Friday, December 19, 2014 Yearly Membership Review

We have been homeschooling for several years now and I'm often on a quest to find ways to keep the boys engaged.  Over the last few weeks, I've been browsing around the website and have found many resources that we are excited to incorporate into our school day.  You'll find offers a Yearly Membership with classes that are online (so a computer/tablet is necessary), but many courses offer videos and printable pages as well.  There is so much available for ages preschool to high school.

Science = Win 

With kids on such different grade levels, it can be difficult to find ways to bring everyone together to discuss a topic.  However, a fun science experiment is a surefire way to get all three boys eager to learn.  Since we are on a modified school schedule right now for the month of December, I spent my time on, reading about some great supplementary resources.  

In order to best accommodate the age range of all three boys, I opted to check out the Pre-K/Elementary side of  Once there, I found classes that offer an entire year of content, classes that offer a semester's worth of content, and a section of supplementary resources and materials for parents.  Under the supplementary heading, I found the subject of science and headed that way.

Mr. Science is Great!

Let me just say that Mr. Science is great! We checked out the science lessons provided for December and found each one had a video and accompanying experiment guide.  Plus, the lessons are set-up to coincide with the season or upcoming holiday. With everything laid out and helpful descriptions and instructions, getting started and finding science experiment success was no problem!  I opted not to print out the experiment guide, but rather have it open on my laptop when we got started.  I assembled the few supplies before calling the boys in to the kitchen.  

Did you know that pinecones can indicate whether there is moisture in the air or that you can pop popcorn inside a Christmas tree ornament?  See?  FUN!  Check out our experiments below!

Experiment Time

We first experimented with popping popcorn in a Christmas ornament.  I was only able to find glass ornaments that were already decorated, but the boys and I decided that it looks even prettier that way.  We definitely used too much popcorn in each ball, but they still turned out nicely!  In fact, the boys would love to buy some more ornaments and make these as Christmas gifts for family members.

Supplies for Popping Christmas Ornament

Finished ornament!

We tested the air's moisture with pinecones.  With plenty of pinecones to be found in the backyard and Zander in the middle of a botany class in our homeschool co-op, this experiment was very timely.  We learned how to determine whether or not the air is full of moisture or not.

Setting up our Pinecone Hygrometer.

Which one indicates moisture?

And we made an exciting flash with an orange and a candle.  This experiment was the most fun for the boys!  Of course, most things that include fire are a big hit with boys.  Our tip with this experiment was to use smaller pieces of orange peel to get the desired result.

Supplies needed for Orange Flash.

See the flash?

As school resumes after the holidays, we'll be checking out a few more classes.  Adisson is super interested in learning to play the guitar and wouldn't you know, there's a class for that!  I'm also looking for ways to make preschool learning fun (because after the first few kids, it appears as though my preschool game is getting a bit dry) for Jaxon.  Those classes and many more are available.  I hope to have a little bit of downtime over Christmas break to add some courses into our schedule.

But, wait!  There's more!  There are also several resources for parents and the whole family.  Meal planning, family fitness, reading lists, and nature studies are just a small selection of courses available.  Have you ever checked out the courses available at  If not, then it's absolutely worth your time to see what it's all about.  Also, check out some additional reviews from other Crew members to hear what they have to say!

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