Jumping on the trampoline has become part of the rhythm of our Home Education day-
The monkeys 'exercise' on the trampoline after breakfast and before we go upstairs to get dressed and start doing some 'work'. 
We have a pace counter that my FIL sent us and sometimes when they need to get some energy out-
 I'll send them onto the trampoline with the instructions to get to 500- each!
That my friends is called buying yourself time. 


You Wouldn't Want To Be…

We've been reading this series of book for a few years now.  Historically accurate they depict the life of various people, from history and present it in such a way as to highlight the difficulties of the period and the position of the persons.

Usually around 30 pages in length, each page has text, drawing, cartoon text and small windows of 'extra facts'.  All the books contain a glossary of vocabulary words and there is table of contents as well as index to help exercise research skills.
Some of our favorites are:

  • You Wouldn't Want To Be An Egyptian Mummy!
  • You Wouldn't Want To Be A Roman Gladiator!
  • You Wouldn't Want To Be A Slave In Ancient Greece!
  • You Wouldn't Want To Be A Viking Explorer!
  • You Wouldn't Want To Be An Aztec Sacrifice!
  • You Wouldn't Want To Sail on the Titanic!
  • You Wouldn't Want To Live In A Wild West Town!
  • You Wouldn't Want To Be An American Pioneer!
  • You Wouldn't Want To Be A Pirate's Prisoner!
  • You Wouldn't Want To Be An American Colonist!
  • You Wouldn't Want To Be A Mammoth Hunter!
  • You Wouldn't Want To Be A Pyramid Builder!
  • You Wouldn't Want To Be In A Medieval Dungeon!
  • You Wouldn't Want To Be On Apollo 13
  • You Wouldn't Want To Sail With Christopher Columbus
  • You Wouldn't Want to Work on the Great Wall of China!
  • You Wouldn't Want to Be a Roman Soldier!
  • You Wouldn't Want to Be Joan of Arc!
  • You Wouldn't Want To Be In Alexander The Great's Army!
  • You Wouldn't Want To Be A Crusader!
  • You Wouldn't Want to Live in Pompeii!
  • You Wouldn't Want to Be in the First Submarine!
  • You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Worker on the Statue of Liberty!
  • You Wouldn't Want to Live in a Medieval Castle!
  • You Wouldn't Want to Be at the Salem Witch!
  • You Wouldn't Want to Travel With Captain Cook!
  • You Wouldn't Want to be Tutankhamen!

Here is a peek inside the You Wouldn't Want to be Tutankhamen! book:

Have you read this series? 
Do you have any other series to recommend? 


Puzzles, Team Work and Communication

My youngest Monkey is particularly fond of puzzles.  
He usually does them on his own or if it is a challenging puzzle we'll work on it together as a family.
We have a collection of puzzles that I buy at our local thrift store for 99 cents- most are brand new.
Yesterday we did a puzzle while exploring the concept of Team Work and Communication:

From Compass Learning:

Communication is an important key to working with a partner. 
You need to clearly explain your ideas. 
Then your partner can understand them. 
That will help both of you. Use clear communication with a partner. 
It can be challenging. Have you ever tried to do a puzzle with a partner?

Some people start with the outside borders of a puzzle. Then they do the inside. Others just pick any piece. Then they try to find where it fits.

Your guide has a puzzle for you. There is one catch. You must communicate to your guide which piece you want to use next. Explain clearly which piece you want. Your guide may hand you the piece. You will link them together.

This exercise was really interesting for us- it allowed my monkey to see things from a different perspective.  I purposely chose to give him directions that I knew were opposite of how he usually does a puzzle. When he was 'guiding' me I reacted literally, which forced him to reassess his instructions in order to get 'his partner' to understand the steps in the proper order. 



We do worksheets.  They are not the highlight of the monkeys day or mine- but they are a good indicator of how well they understand a lesson.
I print out the sheets that they need to do for the week and they are kept in a folder with two sections- 'Done' and 'To Be Done'.
The idea is that they will eventually have the foresight to go into the folder and chose sheets to work on.  The reality is that during that small window of opportunity when they seem in 'the mood' to do them- usually if there is some reward or fun trip planned- I present a few sheets and set either a time limit: Do as much as you can in 30 minutes; or completion goal: finish two sheet and then we'll go.

Sometimes one of them is still working on them at the pool-
While the other one is done and playing!


I love to read and do it for hours, everyday.  Always have.  I have worked it into our rhythm to read everyday.  Sometimes the monkeys do it when they wake up to 'get it over with'.  Sometimes we take our books to the club and read by the pool.  Lately my older Monkey has been reading to my parents on Skype.  We visit the library several times a week so sometimes we use this time to read by bringing the book we are reading to the library or just checking out new ones.  If I have an appointment or errands to run that the monkeys are with me- they bring books.  We have books in the car which I change out often.