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Rainy Day Activities, Further Up and Further In

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, November 24, 2008

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 9 No 93 November 24, 2008
ISSN: 1536-2035
Copyright (c) 2008 - Heather Idoni, FamilyClassroom.net

Welcome to the Homeschooler's Notebook!

If you like this newsletter, please recommend it to a friend!




Notes from Heather
-- Happy Thanksgiving
Helpful Tip
-- Model Magic
Resource Review
-- Narnia Unit Study
Reader Question
-- Rainy Day Activities
Additional Notes
-- Newsletter Archives
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm taking off Friday's issue for a Holiday break -- for those
of you in the U.S. celebrating Thanksgiving, enjoy your families!

I'll see you again next Monday.



Do you have comments to share? Please do!
Send your emails to: mailto:heather@familyclassroom.net



Helpful Tip

www.Crayola.com and Model Magic

"We love the Crayola website. If you have never purchased or
used any 'Model Magic', then I highly recommend it. My daughters
use it to make all kinds of things. I taught a co-op and we built
bridges, the Eiffel Tower, the Death Star (this was their idea,
from Star Wars, when they had left over Model Magic).

You can paint it, glue it, stick stuff in it. It air dries in a
few days and it doesn't smell like Play Dough." -- Michelle in OR


Do you have an idea, experience, or tip to share? Please write!
Send to: mailto:HN-ideas@familyclassroom.net

Resource Review

Further Up and Further In
Author: Diane Pendergraft
For more information or to order: www.cadroncreek.com

Turn the pages of the unit study 'Further Up and Further In', and
enter the enchanted world of Narnia. Here you will find truth
through the imaginative mind of C.S. Lewis. Diane Pendergraft has
written a wonderful resource built around The Chronicles of Narnia
series. Each of the seven volumes in the series is studied at the
rate of a book per month. This unit study covers a well-rounded
year of lessons for your child through the reading of living
books, which permit a relationship to grow between the student
and subjects of study.

According to the introduction, the average time a child should
spend is 2-3 hours per day. The plan is to spend four days a
week on your assignments and use the fifth day to 'catch up with
unfinished projects or attend a field trip'. Of course, you may
tailor all the lessons to the individuality of each family. There
is a small list of recommended resources that will be great to
have on hand and are worth the price - especially when considering

The subjects you will encounter in Further Up and Further In are
Bible, Art and Music, English, Reading, History, Geography, Health
and Science. Diane has broken down the lessons covered in each
subject by topic and lists where the lesson may be found in the
book. The appendix comes complete with recipes, recommended
readings, poems, a resource listing, and an answer key. Although
this unit study covers many subjects, Diane does suggest you
include a separate math, grammar, and spelling course.

The lessons focus on a section a week, which includes four chapters
per section. Each section begins with a Planning Guide. You will
find a list of all the items needed for you to gather. This will
assist you in completing all of the lessons for that section. Next
are the Worksheets. These may be copied for in home use with your
family. I find these useful in evaluating the comprehension of a
student. After the worksheets, you'll find the heart of this unit,
the Study Guide. Here is where you'll learn how to center your
subjects of study around your chapter readings. The assignments
are broken into steps to be completed for the day. There are icons
used to show us what each assignment requires -- for example, time
to be spent in reading, writing, researching, etc. These handy
little icons assist a great deal in the daily scheduling of lessons.
The lessons are written to the student, so an older student would
be able to complete most of the work independently. Of course, if
you're working with a younger student or including several students
in the unit, you'll be doing more of the directing/teaching. The
assignments are sufficiently challenging and students have many
opportunities to do research and writing.

In addition to the Narnia books, students are exposed to other
classics such as Shakespeare. There is a good balance between
hands-on activities and written work throughout the entire course.
All of the student's work is kept in a notebook that is set up at
the beginning of the unit with dividers for the various topics to
be covered. At the end of the study they will have a binder full
of work and memories so they can enjoy reviewing all the lessons
learned from their trip through Narnia!

My children loved to hear the Narnia stories as their father read
to them. If we could have had this unit study at the time we read
the books (a few years ago), we would have simplified our learning
days. There are an abundance of lessons to be learned throughout
this unit study -- and Diane has done a wonderful job creating and
sharing them.

Adapted from a review written by Donna Porter for

Last Issue's Reader Question

"For next issue, why don't we share our ideas for rainy day fun?

What are some creative things your children have done in the past,
especially the ones who LOVE to be outside, when they are stuck

Our Readers' Responses

"I have younger children ages 7 and under. One of my sons doesn't
enjoy doing art very much. He is kinesthetic and extremely active,
and his needs are different than my other children. To help him
stay happy on rainy days, I save odds and ends, such as pieces of
cardboard, the spools left over from wrapping paper ribbon, magnets,
paper clips, string, even some broken toys, wood scraps -- the list
goes on. He enjoys figuring out new 'inventions' with these things.
He is very creative this way, and when he is doing this kind of
activity, he is calm and enjoyable to be with. Another thing he
likes are 'Fidget Toys', such as can be found at this website:


Also, a small, indoor trampoline helps when fast activity is needed.
Of course, I keep 'centers' toys fairly handy, too: Legos, wooden
blocks, train tracks, Lincoln Logs, playdough." -- Dorothy in AR


"When there is a storm, we like to turn off all the lights and
open the windows and watch the lightning, and then count until
we hear the thunder.

We also like to use the time to read together. I will read a book
to the kids and they are either coloring or playing with playdoh.
It helps take the scariness out of a really bad thunderstorm."


"For my sons (4th grade and 2nd grade) -- on warm rainy days we
bundle up and go outside! On cold rainy days, we generally stay
inside (Mom's a wimp!) and make our own fun for 'recess' time.
In the past I've set up obstacle courses through our four connecting
rooms -- pillows make wonderful 'islands' from the carpet 'lava';
the boys have made 'tent cities' with nearly every blanket and chair
they can find; stand-bys like playdough or air-dry clay are a must;
built wood-kits of airplanes (craft store clearance find); played
hide the letter (letter blocks or index cards with letter on it -
then have kids put letters in order); have had whittling practice
(sticks dry nicely over a heat source in about 30 min.) for Cub
Scouts; baked two loaves of bread and taken one to surprise a friend
(we ate the second); made bird-feeders from a variety of materials;
cleaned the fish tanks (it was wet outside AND inside that day and
we've not done that since!);made coil-wrapped small baskets from
yarn ends and thin rope; made our own dream-catchers out of pipe
cleaners and feathers; pounded nails into a board just for practice;
created artwork on Microsoft's Paint program and emailed to
relatives; made small crafts from Sculpey (ideas on Sculpey's
website); field trips to a variety of places - indoors and out
- you'd be surprised how empty your local zoo and park is on
a rainy day!;made river beds in the gravel walkway and watched
streams flow; put small rocks in path of downspouts and see
which one got pushed the furthest by water flow; tracked the
path of the water around our home to see where a leak was coming
from (!); and many more I'm sure I've forgotten but documented

Gee, I guess we've had a lot of rainy days in my six years of
homeschooling!" -- Jennifer in Illinois


"I have a cookbook/activities book that I put together. There
are a lot of activities that are easy and fun to do, and easy
recipes. If anyone is interested in it, they can email me at
mailto:momofemmett@gmail.com and I will email it in sections
because it's too long to email it all at once. No charge, just
sharing." -- Jan in MO


"My son and I put out heads together and came up with a few ideas
for rainy day activities. You should be able to detect which ones
he came up with!

1. Create-a-story. Each person makes up a sentence, then the next
person makes up a sentence, and so on. The more ridiculous, the
funnier it gets. Record it on a tape player, and/or type it up.

2. Play a board game.

3. Watch a family favorite movie. Make popcorn together.

4. Make up silly piggy back songs about your pets (sung to familiar

5. Play 'pass the sketch book'. The first person draws a partial
picture, then passes the book to the next person and tells them
what they started to draw. Of course, each person has their own
interpretation of what the object looks like. We had great fun
drawing a dragon which began as an 'X' shape.

6. Make a favorite food for dinner. Let kiddos help.

7. Put on a video with some peppy music, and shake the wiggles out.

8. Distribute some bubble gum and have a bubble blowing contest.

9. Have kids write what they think is interesting about an older
relative (aunt/uncle/grandparent). Make a card with their quote
along with some artwork and present as a gift to the above-mentioned

10. Have kids make a list. It could be about anything... foods they
love/hate, people they admire (and why), favorite TV programs,
favorite books, Bible verses, favorite songs, etc. Possibilities
are endless.

11. Of course, we can always bring out the art supplies (play dough,
paint, sketchpad), blocks, favorite books to read, some pretty
stationery (to encourage kids to write a letter), a favorite collec-
tion (such as stamps, or coins, or dolls) to peruse. A personal
favorite of mine is to periodically retrieve my coin collection and
see what it actually contains (sometimes I forget)." -- Debora


"Our family has a lot that we do on rainy days, because where we
live it rains a lot!

We have a big, finished basement, and our kids often use that to
play soccer in, or hide and seek.

We don't watch TV, or many movies, but when we do we like to make
blanket tents in the living room, cuddle down under them with a big
bowl of popcorn, and watch a family movie.

We like to play board games, and put on puppet shows, and go bowling
in the hallways (with a small wooden bowling set).

I am an artist, and have naturally artistic children, and we have
times where we all paint together, or doodle in our art journals. We
take turns drawing each other in our sketch books, or work on cards
for family and friends, or just color in coloring books.

Another fun thing we like to do is act out favorite stories as we
read them. We have stacks of puzzles, coloring books, board games,
a stuffed-to-the-gills craft basket, and tons of Legos!

I hope you will have fun with some of these ideas." -- Sheri


"When the weather is disagreeable, we like to try new recipes,
especially baked goods. Heating the oven seems to be a good antidote
to cold or wet weather." -- Mary Beth


"My kids love to be outside. Period! Doesn't matter if it's raining,
snowing, howling wind -- they need their outdoor time. Pile on the
clothes and rainboots and explore the puddles to make dams, or slide
on frozen puddles. We especially love playing soccer as a family, and
that you can do no matter the weather -- most children in the neighbour-
hood agree too!" -- Liz in BC


"Buy your kids a box of toothpicks, get a piece of cardboard and some
craft or Elmer's glue, and let them design and build anything they'd
like (ie. houses, roads, forts, people, etc.). You'll be surprised by
what they come up with and how much time they will spend doing it. This
tends to be a nice quiet activity also. The toothpicks are small and
therefore the 'project' can be put away in a small space and taken out
again on the next rainy day.

My husband's parents gave this to him and his brother 45 years ago and
he continued with our kids 10 years ago. New projects can be started
anytime and patience is a learned virtue through the process (especially
if you use Elmer's glue). Have fun!" -- Bobbi in NC

Answer our NEW Question

"Hi all -- I know the holidays are upon us and many are struggling
out there. How do you all go about helping others, besides shoveling
snow for an elderly person or taking them a meal or giving money? We
currently help others by shoveling snow and taking a meal when the
weather is really bad. I would like us to do this all year round so
I would need ideas for all year long. Thanks a bunch." -- Melissa


Do you have some practical suggestions for Melissa?

Please send your answer to: mailto:HN-answers@familyclassroom.net

Ask YOUR Question

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