Monday, April 22, 2013

homeschool gym class

In these days of school budget cuts and doing more with less, the time and money spent on physical education in public schools is dwindling. How can you make sure your homeschoolers get enough beneficial exercise? In fourth grade, most kids still enjoy game-playing, so use that to your advantage. A game of dodge ball or basketball, or even hide and seek with friends counts as healthy activity. If your turn off the TV, computer, and other electronic gadgets, the kids will naturally find things to do, often involving running and playing - it's as easy as that!

But if you're looking for something more formal, sometimes the local YMCA or community center offers "Homeschool Gym" classes so kids can play the sports like soccer or games like kickball that require more than just one family's worth of players. These programs are a great option as well.

Overall, kids and adults should aim for 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity to stay healthy. That sounds like a lot but it's so much easier to accomplish when it's FUN too!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Learn about pigments in food by using natural Easter egg dyes this year

What a fun idea for kids - make this year's batch of Easter eggs with natural dyes! Have the kids think about it, and decide which foods might be useful to dye eggs. Have you ever eaten fresh berries and stained your hands? Maybe the dye from the berries would stain eggs too! Some other popular choices are grape juice, spinach, beets and onions.

The first step, of course, is to hard boil your eggs and let them cool and dry. Vinegar is a natural preservative, and also helps the dye "stick" to the eggs, so add a little bit of vinegar to whatever liquid you want to try as an egg dye. You could boil some beets in water and use that to dye your eggs, or use grape juice concentrate the same way. Search the internet for more ideas - there are plenty more out there!

Here's a great worksheet to fill out to help you experiment with the colors of different vegetables.