Livening Up Lessons -from Boring to Booyah!

Keeping students’ attention is essential and one of the biggest challenges in teaching. ¬†In our modern time, kids are used to the “ADD-style” media that hits them constantly in short, quick bites of info punctuated with loud noise, fast action, and bright colors. ¬†How to compete? Most times, I just think back to what had caught my attention in the lessons I learned. ¬†The time our science teacher made a giant black carbon snake grow across the lab counter while demonstrating chemical reaction, the model rockets we used to study propulsion and aerodynamics, the string/salt/ice cube trick, blowing up a balloon with a bottle full of warm water, and on and on. ¬†THESE are what teach a great lesson, things that are experiential, memorable, and sometimes (almost ALWAYS) a little messy, and the implied element of danger can also make it fun!

Last week, Lady O was playing with her tablet and reading an eBook about insects.  She was very interested in the Bombardier beetle.

We did a little research and found out that this amazing creature has chambers in its rear that when the contents combine produce a small explosion! Being that Lady O is only 3 and her fellow student V is 5, I had to creatively and safely demonstrate the concept of chemical reaction. I took a 5 gallon bucket and placed it on the floor in front of us. ¬†I took a large zip-lock bag and held it in the center in the bottom, forming two small chambers, one on either side of my hand. ¬†I put some baking soda in one side, vinegar in the other. ¬†Once the kids were “READY!?!?,” I zipped the bag and shook it and tossed it into the bucket. ¬†The bagged inflated and then POPPED as the soda and vinegar bubbled inside. It was loud and seemed ¬†dangerous,¬†so it was super-fun. ¬†Needless to say, the kids now know what a chemical reaction is!!


I was inspired to post this quickly after reading “10 Ways to Spice Up Boring Homeschool Curriculum” this morning. I see one of the items is to open the day with a read-aloud. ¬†Being mine are little, we sometimes need to shake the ants out of our pants so we start the day with “The Music Shaker.” Our “Shaker” is a big cylinder (you could use anything, even oats container or shoe box) filled with index cards with the names of energizing songs we like on them. ¬†We start each day with our “Music Shaker” with one shaking it, and the other picking, and them ALL of us getting our wiggles out before class begins. ¬†Welcome to Noble Academy of FUNschooling!!


Our little V lost a tooth :}

V was eating a sandwich tonight and his tooth fell out. ¬†It’s funny, he had just had his first Dentist visit last week! ¬†The dentist had told me he had three loose, but we didn’t expect that it would happen so SOON. Happy and sad; our little boy is growing up!

So proud and excited about losing his tooth!

In honor of this event, we let him watch these: