Misc Activities and Lessons for Educating at Home

Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB
I am not too sure where to put this so if it needs to be moved so be it. Based on some requests I am trying to put some activities and lessons for those that are now educating kids at home and are at loose ends how to keep it moving forward ... with or without school portals to deal with. Everyone feel free to add to this as well. This is for the use and benefit of our members and those they might forward this stuff on to (or send here to get it themselves).

Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB

Egg shells from 12 eggs
2 teaspoons (9.9 l) flour
powdered tempera paint (optional)
2 teaspoons (9.9 l) hot water
What you’ll need:
Measuring spoons
Resealable plastic bag
Rolling pin or bottle
Small bowl


1.Carefully wash the eggshells, removing any attached membranes, and dry them.
2.Put the shells into resealable bag, and use a rolling pin or bottle to crush the shells to a find powder.
3.Pour the powdered eggshells into a bowl. Add the flour and some paint and mix together until the color is consistent throughout. Add the water and mix to form a paste. Roll the paste into a tube shape and allow it to dry overnight before using.


Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Bread Dough Clay

3/4 cup (.18 l) flour
1/2 cup (.12 l) salt
1/2 cup (.12 l) cornstarch
1/2 cup (.12 l) water

Measuring cups
Paints & Paintbrush

1.Mix the flour, salt, and cornstarch in a bowl. Slowly add the water, mixing until the dough holds a shape. (note: you may not need all the water)
2.Knead the dough in the bowl by pushing it down and away from you and folding it over.
3.Roll small pieces of dough between your hands to make beads.
4.Poke a toothpick through each bead to make a hole. Take out the toothpick and allow the beads to dry. Drying time depends on the size of your beads. Small beads will dry in a few hours: larger ones will need to sit overnight.
5.Paint the bead. When the painted beads dry, you can string them to make jewelry.

Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB
This link was original created for those dealing with Hurricane Katrina. It is "emergency" lesson ideas, etc. but is still quite useful.

I will copy and paste the suggestions in the next couple of posts but it will be broken down because it is longer than an individual post allows.



Life is better in flip flops
Also, I'm going to teach him how to make homemade bread.
He's helping me by doing chores which keeps him busy.
The last time he was here I taught him how to make stuffed peppers and he did that from beginning to end with my supervision. So, we will work on more recipes too.

Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB
AmblesideOnline AO-HELP
AmblesideOnline Helping Hand Emergency Learning Plan

This is a free, complete, user-friendly curriculum plan for homeschooling families who need support, encouragement and alternatives to the curriculum they've lost in a disaster, and also for churches and other groups needing to set up temporary schools for children who may not have been homeschooled. All texts and teaching materials needed to implement this plan are free online. The only things you need are access to a computer and printer, paper and pencil. Please print out and share this information freely with anyone who might need it.

We know that there are more important things than missed schooling during a crisis. But sometimes in the midst of disasters, creating a small oasis of normalcy and continuity is very important. In the midst of such a disaster, grown-ups with many urgent details on their minds cannot focus on thinking up things for children to do, and it is our prayer that this free resource will fill a need.

The most important things to do during a disaster are simple things that bring the family together -- special times that build memories and connections. This includes things like singing hymns and folksongs, reading poetry, playing silly but educational games like Mad Libs, telling stories to each other (try stories about when you were young), reading and retelling Bible stories and old folk tales like The Little Red Hen, The Lion and the Mouse, or The Gingerbread Man. Enjoy each other's company, try baking together, dancing, making something, play old fashioned games such as hide the thimble, 20 questions, and ring around the rosie.

Children are born persons -- they have ideas, working brains, wants, needs. Our approach is to let children work with ideas rather than for us to pour in data. We are less interested in giving lists of facts than in giving children food for thought and the opportunity to share their thoughts as they process the things they read, hear, or think about in a way that draws out what they know instead of giving them a test to show us what they don't know.

After a reading assignment in a public school, students might typically do worksheets, take a quiz, or write a book report after reading a story or a book, in order to reinforce the learning. But we suggest you try these things instead -- not all at once; just choose one of these for each story or section you read:

  • • Those who can write, write down as much as they can remember as fast as they can for about two or three minutes (Mom or Dad should try this, too).
    • Roll a dice, and the person who rolls the highest number tell back what he/she remembers about the story. When finished, anybody else can add details they think are important or they think should be clarified.
    • Act out the story.
    • Draw a picture of a scene from the story, and then tell about what you drew.
    • Use small toys (legos, beanie babies, fisherprice little people, dollhouse dolls, whatever you have) to retell the story. Or make finger puppets by drawing the characters, cutting them out, and taping them to popsicle sticks, chopsticks, plastic picnic knives or spoons, strips of cardboard -- the process and the retelling are what matter here, not the artisan quality of your tools.
    • Use some ideas from this blog post about using a Narration Jar

Think beyond the usual textbooks. Improvise, make the most of what you have, make things up. For example, one family was given an old board game that was too hard to use, but it had a lot of little coloured plastic pieces that fit into each other, and those became their favourite math manipulative. If your phys. ed. equipment consists of a jump rope and a ball, look for new ways to use them instead of worrying that you don't have access to more than that.

Make use of people as resources, including you, your spouse, your relatives and friends. Use internet helps such as search engines, e-texts, swap boards, patterns, maps, Bible commentaries, game instructions, study notes, and experts with websites.

Here are some free or almost-free things to do even if you don't have much on hand to work with: copywork (hand-copying a sentence or two every day from a well written book. This helps imprint correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation), narration (telling back a story), guessing games, pencil games, dice games, card games, writing stories, writing letters, telling jokes, telling time, memory work, paper folding, listening to the radio, counting things, measuring things, fixing things, cleaning things, hopscotch, bug watching, bird watching, leaf collecting, sorting socks, acting things out, reading maps, making calendars, finger spelling, sprouting beans, drawing, cooking, walking, reading, singing, talking, listening, praying.

Free printable Handwriting Paper
Printable planners here and here
Enchanted Learning features thousands of educational worksheets and games.



Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB

In a time of crisis, the Bible can be a source of great comfort and guidance. We suggest that you read a memory verse aloud to the children, asking them to say it back to you. Another way to memorize verses is to write a verse on a blackboard or whiteboard and erase a single word, then try to say the verse aloud together. Then erase another word and again try to repeat the verse together, and so on. This method may also be used to memorize short poems. We suggest no more than one verse a week for younger children, perhaps even one verse every two weeks. Older children might work on an entire passage at a time. For them we suggest Psalm 1; Psalm 23; and 1 Corinthians 13. If you do not have access to a Bible, try BlueLetterBible.org. BibleGateway.com has audio option. Younger children might work on these verses over the course of three to five months:

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Ps 46:1

Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Ps 100:3

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. Ps 19:1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1-5

O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Ps 107:1

Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Ps 124:8

Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments. Ps 119:73

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. John 13:34

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another. Rom 12:10

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1

Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. Rom 14:19

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Eph 4:32

Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight. Prov 12:22

Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Ps 34:13

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might. Eccl 9:10

Bible Stories to Read

The Parable of the Lost Sheep (also in Spanish)
The Parable of the Lost Coin (also in Spanish)
The Parable of the Lost Son (also in Spanish)
The Parable of Two Builders (also in Spanish)
The Parable of the Sower and the Seeds (also in Spanish)
The Parable of the Rich Fool (also in Spanish)
The Parable of the Unjust Steward (also in Spanish)
The Parable of the Good Samaritan (also in Spanish)
The Parable of the Mustard Seed (also in Spanish)
The Parable of the Marriage Feast (also in Spanish)
The Parable of the Talents (also in Spanish)

Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB

All of these books are fully online and completely free. Just click on the title to read the text.

To help children process history (or anything else they learn), it's important for them to tell back part of the story in some way after every reading, and find places on a map.

These are educational for ALL ages:

An Island Story (British history) by H.E. Marshall Ω
The Story of the World (5-volume series of world history) by M.B. Synge Ω The series is made up of the following volumes:
On the Shores of the Great Sea
The Discovery of New Worlds
The Awakening of Europe
The Struggle for Sea Power
Growth of the British Empire

Younger children might prefer one of the following books. Since these contain stand-alone tales, they can be easier to follow than a continuing history sequence, especially if consistency in school scheduling is a problem, as it often is in times of crisis.
Fifty Famous Stories Retold by James Baldwin Ω
Thirty More Famous Stories by James Baldwin listen on player.fm


Suggestions for Mathematics without a Textbook: Preschool through Primary

Here are some everyday items that can be used for math:
Small objects: beans, blocks, cereal, pasta, raisins, pebbles, pennies
Small finger food items such as peanuts and raisins or cereal that can be eaten after math is done!
Small stones, pinecones, pennies, broken match sticks
Small toys such as cars, people, animals (for illustrating story/word problems)
Markers, crayons, pencils
Construction paper (can be backdrop for story problems, or can be used for simple flash cards, fraction pieces, and matching games)
Lined or blank paper, index cards, large pieces of paper or cardboard to make things like a hundred chart (one hundreds chart is online here)
Deck of cards, either traditional type or from another card game
Real or play money
A clock
Homemade or commercial balance (there are many ways to improvise this, such as suspending two containers from a broomstick between two chairs);
Object that have different geometric shapes such as cans and boxes
Things around you for counting (leaves on the ground, cars on the road, forks on the table)
Things with numerals on them to read (cans and boxes, houses, gas pumps);
Things to cut in fractional pieces--sandwiches, candy bars
Calendar (new or old)
Board games such as Sorry, Snakes and Ladders, Yahtzee
Beads to string in patterns (or pieces of coloured straws, or macaroni, or...)
Ruler, measuring tape, measuring cups

Suggested Math Topics and Activities

Keep your math lessons and games shorter than your child's attention span (that means lessons as short as 10 to 20 minutes for the youngest ones), and always quit while they are still having fun, and well before frustration kicks in.

Patterns: Learn to look for patterns everywhere, in nature, in fruits and vegetables (cut an apple in half sideways and observe the star), on your clothing, and in picture books. Tiles on the floor make a pattern, as do designs on wallpaper. Have fun putting together your own patterns using whatever you have on hand.

Old and new calendars: You can do a lot with these, depending on the child's age. Really young ones can just cut them up and play with the numbers -- sort them out, cut and paste them. With older ones, you can ask questions like "How many Tuesdays in June? How many days until we go to church? How many days ago did we do this or that? How many days are in three weeks?"

Cup of Twenty: give the child a cup with twenty small counters in it. It can be beads, dried beans, dry macaroni, poker chips, those glass things for planters- they look like flattened marbles- whatever. Also give them each a regular set of dice from a game, one with the number dots for 1-6. Let them take turns rolling, telling you what they rolled (this, again, helps with the recognition of dot patterns from 1-6), and then they remove that many counters from their cup. The first one to zero wins. As they play, occasionally ask questions about who has the most, who has the least, how many counters they have left, how many counters they have removed all together, etc. Once all the counters are out of the cup, they roll to return counters to the cup - same thing - an occasional question about who has more, who can win with just one roll, how many all together from the last roll and this one.

Draw a blank form for a math equation. You might do it this way: use a circle, a plus sign, another circle, and then an equals sign. It looks kind of like this: ( ) + ( ) = Put the number we are working with in the place where the sum belongs, then give the child that amount of small manipulatives. Her job is to move them around in the circles to show different ways of making six. She writes down each of the math problems she figures out. So she'll put two manipulatives in one circle, the remaining four in the second, and then write down 2 + 4 = 6.

Here's a math game to play with a regular deck of cards. Take out a set for numbers one through ten. Have the kids put them in order smallest to largest, and then largest to smallest. Give them a set of beans and have them put one bean over each spot (this is helpful for learning one to one correspondence).

Money: count the coins in your purse, sort them by size and color, learn their denominations, count nickels by fives, dimes by tens.

Counting real things: eyes in the room, shoes, cans of soup -- whatever items are at hand. Ask how many more and how many less you will have if you add three, take three out, and so forth. Ask your child to put ten objects in a pile or bag.

Measuring things, measuring each other: You can get an amazing amount of mileage out of an activity as simple as measuring each other (height, weight, and various body parts), or measuring each other's paces and then seeing how many paces it takes to cross the yard or to get to the corner. Time also comes into this kind of measurement: how long does it take you to go fifty paces? Use a stopwatch or a watch with a second hand. There are a lot of other fun things you can do with a stopwatch or some other timer: see how long it takes you to hop fifty times, or, in a reverse activity, see how many times you can hop in thirty seconds.

First get the concrete stuff down, then add the number sentences to the concrete stuff he already knows and feels comfortable with. Once they've gotten good at games like 'what's in my hand,' most kids can quickly see that the sense in having the symbols for 'and this many more' (+); is the same as (=).

If you are near a good public library, there are many books available to help with math, including picture books to read and resource books for parents and teachers (including many game suggestions such as those we've mentioned). Peggy Kaye's books are good (see her Games for Learning as well as Games for Math). Here's a simple example from Games for Learning: you need paper, crayons and two dice. Each person draws a rainbow shape on their paper and divides it into squares, from left to right across the arc, which must be numbered from 2 to 12. (Not 1, for obvious reasons.) Take turns rolling the dice, and whatever you roll, color in that box on your rainbow, any color you like. If you get a combination that you've already colored, you miss that turn. You can either play till somebody's filled in all their boxes, or set a time limit. This really simple game can involve several different math concepts; for instance, little ones can just count the spots on the dice, but primary-age students can add the two dice together much more quickly. You can also point out (or the kids will notice themselves) that certain numbers come up much more frequently because there are more combinations that add up to them; it's easier to roll something adding up to a 6, 7 or 8 than it is to get a 2 or a 12.

Throughout the day look for opportunities to talk about numbers, estimate numbers and test your answers. The more you do this, the better the child will get at picturing numbers in his head.

Include your children in the real life math problems you are doing yourself. I need to put up a fence, how much fencing do I need? What kind of math problem is that? I need to paint the wall, how much paint do I need? I need to buy carpeting, how much carpeting do I need? We need to set the table. How many places shall we set? For additional math practice, children should make up one story problem of their own each day (along with the answer).

The King's Chessboard teaches the concept of doubling exponentially.

For Older Children through Teens

If the students have access to a computer and the Internet, one of the simplest-to-access complete courses online is TheMathPage.com , which includes a complete course in arithmetic, one in algebra, and one in trigonometry. Searches for teachers' pages and printable math worksheets will turn up many more possibilities (searching by the particular topic such as "multiplying fractions" will yield faster results). Other algebra help sites: SchoolYourself.org and PurpleMath.com .

Alternatively, teenagers might enjoy the challenge of working through Euclid's Elements.

Here is a link concerning math contests for Jr./Sr. High -- the archives of some contests (USAMTS, for example) are great for math curriculum and problem-solving skills in the absence of textbooks for a month or two (recommended for students who really enjoy mathematics, algebra level and above): ArtofProblemSolving.com

As in the earlier years, it is important to keep the lessons to a reasonable length (depending on the age of the student). A very young child might only spend ten minutes on math, while an older children can take twenty, or even thirty minutes on math in a day. Don't hesitate to spread a lesson or worksheet over a couple of days to keep within a short timeframe.

Math Games and Worksheets

These websites are fun and interesting for those who want to go deeper, but they are not necessary. For crisis mode it is enough to keep the student from slipping back by playing easy arithmetic games with the four basic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division):

MathFactCafe.com - clear and easy to use. You can generate math worksheets to print out and use, or use their online flashcard drill

Time for Time - clock games and quizzes for teaching the concept of time

Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB

Because this is a plan intended to aid those who have suddenly found themselves in a crisis, we cannot know what has been covered already, nor do we know what the children will be doing when the crisis situation is over. Therefore we have tried to use resources that will be new to the children, and can be used with a wide age range. If the children are young enough, use these resources as read-alouds. To make it challenging enough for older students, have them read it to themselves (or to younger friends and siblings). A simple but effective method for teaching composition, as well as for encouraging retention of and attention to the material, is to ask the student to narrate, or tell back, what they have read or what has been read aloud to them.

We suggest:
Beatrix Potter Tales Ω [Peter Rabbit coloring pages to print]

Folk Tales

In times of great stress it can be a great comfort to simply sit together cozily and retell stories. Telling stories of your family's history is one possibility. Another would be to retell old folktales. We suggest some folktales to start with, although, of course, you might want to use others. We have provided links for those who are not familiar with the stories, or who do not need to have to remember one more thing, but if you can, retell these tales or others from memory. These are online to read for free; click to view the text.
The Little Red Hen
The Gingerbread Man
Little Red Ridinghood
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Stone Soup
The Three Little Pigs
The Wind and the Sun
The Three Sillies

Heroes Every Child Should Know, by Hamilton Wright Mabie
Each of these chapters stands on its own, so you may pick up and leave off wherever you need to. Because they are biographies of heroes, students will be given models to look up to and people large enough to spark their imaginations and touch their hearts. You would read one or two biographies each week, depending on the age of the children.

Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher Ω

Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney Ω

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham Ω

Aesop's Fables
Read about three fables each week. You could ask the children to illustrate the fables as you read them. These are excellent for children who are just learning to narrate.

ChildrensBooksOnline.org includes familiar childhood stories in Spanish, as well as many other languages.

If you would like something that looks a little more schoolish, The Elson Readers, Book 5 offers some vocabulary and discussion questions to use with quality literature.

Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice
For younger children, Merchant of Venice is told in story form. Ω (scroll down to listen to Merchant of Venice)

Shakespeare's Henry V

High school:
Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle:
A Study in Scarlet (a novel) Ω
The Sign of the Four (a novel) Ω
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (stand-alone mysteries) Ω
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (stand-alone mysteries) Ω
The Hound of the Baskervilles (a novel) Ω
The Return of Sherlock Holmes (stand-alone mysteries) Ω
The Valley of Fear (a novel) Ω
His Last Bow (stand-alone mysteries) Ω
Short stories are a good choice for high school. There are many online selections at Short-stories.co.uk/ The site has pop-up ads, but it's easy to use and features a 'story of the day,' (click on the main Fiction section for that, in case you get lost somewhere else on the site), page lengths, star ratings and movie-style PG/age ratings.
P.G. Wodehouse wrote entertaining short stories. Here are two collections:
The Politeness of Princes
Death at the Exelsior and Other Stories Ω
More P.G. Wodehouse audiobooks at librivox


Read aloud one poem per day to the children. No further lesson plans are necessary -- simply read the poem. Welcome any voluntary comments offered in response to the reading.

We suggest that children get a taste of poetry every day. This is not the time to analyze and dissect the poems. Just read a poem or two each day. Once a week ask the children if there are any poems they would like to hear again, and allow them to choose from the poems they've already heard. Talk about it afterward if you like, but it's enough to begin just by hearing a poem read on a regular basis. We have chosen the works of Emily Dickinson because we believe she is simple enough for young children to gain something from exposure to her work, yet interesting enough for older children. Her poems are online here.
AmblesideOnline also has a more varied collection of poetry here.
Very young children might prefer Mother Goose.

Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB

Home Geography for Primary Grades

High School:
Sailing Around the World by Joshua Slocum Ω
South! by Ernest Henry Shackleton; Harrowing Antarctic expedition 1914-1917. Ω

Geography lessons will be greatly enhanced if you're able to locate places on a map or globe as they come up in reading.
There are maps online here and here. Seterra has map drills to print or play online.


For very young children:
The Burgess Bird Book for Children by Thornton Burgess Ω

For slightly older children:
The Young Folks' Book of Inventions by T.C. Bridges

For high school:
The Life of the Spider by Jean-Henri Fabre -- fascinating; a classic
The Chemical History of a Candle by Michael Faraday -- a chemistry classic Ω We recommend Bill Hammack's YouTube presentation of this book.

Crash Course Biology Youtube playlist


Children can learn or reinforce handwriting, punctuation, capitalization rules, sentence structure, spelling, grammar and style by doing copywork from any of their school books. Copywork is just what it sounds like -- copying down a sentence or poem or verse. It exposes children to the form of written sentences on a page, it is a means of teaching children to spell, and it also covers handwriting practice. Be careful not to burden young children with too much written work. Less is more, and children should write only as much as they can write perfectly. Handwriting Practice worksheets are available if desired. Hymns or poems can also be copied. The youngest children can copy a sentence, or even just one word. Older children can do more.

Prepared dictation is one more tool to improve skills in language arts: the child should study a sentence or paragraph (depending on his age) and, after he's sure he knows it, someone reads him the sentence or paragraph, and he writes it without looking at the original. Read about the benefits of dictation here.

A Charlotte Mason Language Arts scope and sequence that explains how this subject can be taught with very little curriculum.

Grammar -- play Mad Libs online (Click "Dowloads")
Another good grammar site is DailyGrammar.com

Phonics websites for beginning students
Reading/Phonics Lessons
JanBrett.com (alphabet and other links are listed in the Activities tab)

Handwriting Websites
Phdmom/writing_paper -- lots of pop-up ads, but nice writing paper
StudioArts.net/calligraphy -- Italic handwriting
HandwritingWorksheets.com -- A site that allows you to input the words to make worksheets for handwriting
Cursive Writing at KidZone
AKidsHeart.com -- Another site that allows you to input the words to make worksheets for handwriting

If you do not have access to paper and pencil, here are some possible substitutes:
A stick in the sand
a finger in mud
salt or cornmeal in a cake pan or shoebox, just a thin layer, and the child traces in it with his finger.
A thin layer of shaving cream spread evenly over a cookie sheet, window, tray, or the bathtub -- the child traces through it with his finger.
chalk on sidewalk
Bit of charcoal or a rock on sidewalk (this one is messy, but it will work)



Simply play the classical music selections in the background while the children eat, rest, do chores or crafts.

Johann Strauss, Jr. -- almost any CD will feature an easy-to-listen-to selection of his waltzes. One suggestion: Strauss Favorite Waltzes (2-hr Best of Strauss on YouTube)
Here is some classical music online, especially for young children just beginning to appreciate classical music:
Benjamin Britten's Simple Symphony (YouTube)
Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring (YouTube)
Prokofiev's Lt. Kije Suite (YouTube)
Claude Debussy's Children's Corner Suite (YouTube)
Bizet's L'Arlesienne Suite (YouTube)
Johann Sebastian Bach's Brandenberg Concertos No. 2 (YouTube)

Haydn (YouTube), Mozart (YouTube) and Brahms (YouTube) are also good choices for starters. You can find other selections at ClassicsforKids.com.

Listen to free streaming classical music: WDAV or KING FM.

The typical AmblesideOnline Composer Study plan is to select one composer to listen to for 12 weeks; find that here

ClassicsForKids.com specializes in introducing children to classical music
Dallas Symphony Orchestra Kids' Page with lots of interactive games.


Research shows that singing together increases bonding and a sense of cooperation. Singing also increases the 'happy' hormones and can relieve anxiety.

Sing one of these folk songs anywhere from a couple of times a week to every day for about six weeks, then begin to learn the next one, or you may alternate them throughout that time period. It is not necessary to have accompaniment, as children can learn to sing a cappella with ease.

These songs would be a good starting point for children new to folk songs:
1) Home on the Range (YouTube)
2) English Country Garden (YouTube)
3) I've Been Working On the Railroad (YouTube)
4) Simple Gifts (YouTube)
5) Blow the Man Down (YouTube)
6) Freight Train (YouTube)
7) The Happy Wanderer (YouTube)
8) Funiculi (YouTube)
9) Waltzing Matilda (YouTube)

Contemplator.com has a large selection of midi files of American folk songs.

The other AmblesideOnline Folksong selections are here.


Choose a hymn and sing it several times a week, even daily, for a month. First thing in the morning is a good time for this. Most of our hymn selections are linked to midi files which may be helpful in learning the tune initially, but it is best for the development of a child's singing ability to have them sing the hymn without accompaniment as soon as they have become familiar with it.

These hymns would be good ones for a time of crisis:

It Is Well With My Soul (YouTube)
What a Friend We Have in Jesus (YouTube)
Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah (YouTube)
Tis So Sweet (YouTube)
Because He Lives I Can Face Tomorrow (YouTube)
Anywhere With Jesus (YouTube)
Oh Love Which Will Not Let Me Go (YouTube)
Here We Are But Straying Pilgrims (YouTube)
A Mighty Fortress (YouTube)
Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah (YouTube)
Be Still My Soul (YouTube)
Rock of Ages (YouTube)
Where No One Stands Alone (YouTube)
Poor Wayfaring Stranger (YouTube)

And here are some that children especially enjoy:
Anywhere with Jesus (YouTube)
Trust and Obey (YouTube)
Doxology, or Old Hundredth (YouTube)
Can You Count the Stars (YouTube)
Jesus Loves Me (YouTube)

A cappella hymns online here

AmblesideOnline's Hymn selections (over 100 hymns) are here

Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB

Select one artist and study one painting per week. Either view these directly from the computer, or print them out. Have the student(s) look at the picture for a few minutes, then have them look away (or turn the print over). Ask them, "What do you remember from the painting?" and let them 'narrate' (tell back) what they noticed. Some artist selections (click on smaller images to enlarge):

Paintings by American artist Mary Cassatt -- American Impressionist - 1844-1926

1. In The Loge (Woman in Black at the Opera), 1880 (Smarthistory on YouTube)
2. Woman and Child Driving, 1881
3. Children on the Shore, 1884
4. The Child's Bath, 1893 (Smarthistory on YouTube)
5. The Boating Party, 1893/4
6. Breakfast in Bed, 1894


Thomas Cole (1801-1848) (Smarthistory on YouTube)

Read a 14-page article about Thomas Cole by David Quine here, Adventures in Art, Cornerstone Curriculum (first appeared in Home Schooling Today.) Used with permission.

The Voyage of Life - 1842, an allegorical series of 4 paintings, always exhibited together. Oil on canvas, each approx. 55 x 77 in. There are two sets - one at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the other in Utica, NY.
1) The Voyage of Life: Childhood
2) The Voyage of Life: Youth
3) The Voyage of Life: Manhood
4) The Voyage of Life: Old Age
5) View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm ("The Oxbow") (Smarthistory on YouTube)

Edward Mitchell Bannister (1828-1901)
6) Newspaper Boy
7) Driving Home the Cows
8) River Scene
9) Train
10) Palmer River
11) Moon Over Harbor

The AmblesideOnline Artist studies are here.

More sites that offer art resources:
Gardenofpraise.com/art.htm Art Appreciation/Lessons For Kids
Artist Coloring Pages at Enchantedlearning.com
Elements of Art (lines, color, balance): 2-min YouTube animation
Smarthistory short art videos
Online Art Galleries:
International Gallery
National Portrait Gallery


An enjoyable handicraft is origami, which only requires paper.

Here are some links to origami patterns that can be printed out and followed:
Folds.net -- simple through complex models and techniques
Origami Instructions
PaperFolding.com -- includes basics for beginners

These sites also offer handicrafts and art lessons:
How To Sew By Hand (6-min YouTube) Basic Handsewing Stitches (8-min YouTube)
Incredible Art Elementary Art Lesson
PaperToys.com Paper Craft patterns to cut out

Another easy craft project would be paper airplanes:
Paper Airplanes HQ -- sorted by coolest, farthest, and easiet.
Joseph Palmer's Paper Planes
Exploratorium Paper Airplanes
Kyong Lee's Amazing Paper Airplanes
Alex's Paper Airplanes
Flying Toys.Com kits students can use to make their own flying machines.
Throwing a Paper Airplane: It's a Balancing Act
PaperPlane.org Ken Blackburn For fourteen years, Ken Blackburn's paper airplanes held the Guinness Book record for time aloft (18.8 seconds). This is from his book.

Build a village out of paper templates to download and cut out
Pictures of fairies to color

With just a piece of string, many different games can be played. This site shows several different string games, with illustrations and directions. It also has video clips of how to do the string games, with slow dial-up, dial-up, or broadband.

Traditional folk games

Hand Shadows


Subjects can be scheduled in whatever way works best for your situation. You can do history twice a week, or every day. You can do math just a couple of days a week if you like. Some homeschooling families like to get all their reading and math done between Mon-Thurs and save their "fun stuff" (looking at art, singing folksongs, playing math games) for Fridays. Some folks like to do Bible first, then have breakfast, do their table-time work (writing and math) and save reading for last. Others like to shuffle things around so that they have breaks in between reading to do something different, like math or looking at a picture. It's totally up to you.

This is one way a schedule might be worked out to "do school." Note that not every subject needs to be done every day, but, over the week, everything is covered.

Read a Bible story
Work on a Bible memory verse
Listen to some Classical Music, perhaps during rest time or lunch
Read a chapter from one of the history books, have child 'narrate' (tell back) after the reading
Work on math, either informally, or using online math worksheets
Read a poem informally
Spend a few minutes on copywork for Language Arts
Practice a folksong for fun
Spend a few minutes looking at and discussing one of the suggested paintings informally for Art Appreciation

Read a Bible story
Work on a Bible memory verse
Read a chapter from the Home Geography book, have child narrate after the reading
Read a story or chapter from one of the Literature selections, have child narrate after the reading
Read a poem informally
Spend a few minutes on copywork for Language Arts; older children might also do a prepared dictation
Work on a Hymn
Games/Handicrafts can be a resource for free time

Read a Bible story
Work on a Bible memory verse
Listen to some Classical Music, perhaps during rest time or lunch
Read a chapter from one of the history books, have child narrate after the reading
Work on math, either informally, or using online math worksheets
Read a story or chapter from one of the Literature selections, have child narrate after the reading
Read a poem informally
Spend a few minutes on copywork for Language Arts
Games/Handicrafts can be a resource for free time

Read a Bible story
Work on a Bible memory verse
Read a chapter from one of the Science selections, have child narrate after the reading
Read a story or chapter from one of the Literature selections, have child narrate after the reading
Read a poem informally
Spend a few minutes on copywork for Language Arts; older children might also do a prepared dictation
Practice a folksong for fun
Games/Handicrafts can be a resource for free time

Read a Bible story
Work on a Bible memory verse
Listen to some Classical Music, perhaps during rest time or lunch
Work on math, either informally, or using online math worksheets
Read a chapter from one of the Science selections, have child narrate after the reading
Read a story or chapter from one of the Literature selections, have child narrate after the reading
Read a poem informally
Spend a few minutes on copywork for Language Arts
Work on a Hymn
Games/Handicrafts can be a resource for free time

Please know that as we prepare this AO-HELP, we realize that anyone needing to use this has been through a terrible experience. As we put these links and plans together, we are praying for you, and trusting that God will give you peace and comfort, and that your home -- wherever it is -- will be healed and blessed.

~ The AmblesideOnline Advisory

Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Alum Play Dough
I'm told this is one of the best homemade playdoughs around. Even though it will air dry overnight, to keep it pliable for a couple of months all you have to do is keep it in an airtight container when you aren't playing with it. No refrigeration needed with this one.


3 teaspoons alum (available in the grocery)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons vegetable oil


1. Combine the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl.

2. Add the boiling water and the oil.

3. Mix thoroughly.

4. Add this point you can add tempera paints to create a desired color.

Model the dough and let it air dry overnight or store unused dough in an airtight container.

Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Good way to use up those Styrofoam trays from all the meat people have been buying. LOL. I know I've got a few but my kids aren't really of that age any longer.


Backpack Tags
You can create unique tags for your backpack, lunchbox, umbrella, or even your coat by shrinking old Styrofoam meat trays! This would be a great art activity or a recycling activity. This activity does need parental supervision because you are using an oven. This is also a good activity for groups such as co-ops and scouts.


Styrofoam meat trays
Permanent markers or colored pencils
Other craft markers such as Rubber stamps and stamp pads, optional
Key rings or lanyard hooks


1. Using markers or colored pencils, write name, and other pertinent information on the Styrofoam tray. This makes it easy for lost possessions to be returned to the child.

2. Use rubber stamps to apply a design on the Styrofoam tray. Color in the design with markers or colored pencils. Use markers or colored pencils to create an original design.

3. Cut out design using scissors or exacto knife. Using a hole punch, punch a hole in one end of the Styrofoam tray shape. Then using the hole punch, punch the hole a few times around the first hole to make it bigger because it shrinks a LOT!

4. Follow the directions for baking the designs. (see below)

5. Hang on key ring or lanyard hook, then attach to backpack or other items.

Note: Remember that the Styrofoam shrinks to about a third of original size. This means that if you are making matching items (for example, earrings), you would want to lay them out on the plastic in the same direction. You can also make new tags for different holidays, seasons, or celebrations.


Styrofoam Tray Shrinks
This is a fun and cool craft that is so versatile that the possibilities are almost limitless on how you can use it. You can cut out almost shape imaginable. You can use shapes and write on them with permanent markers. Just let your imagination take wing. Great for children’s parties, clubs, scouts, church groups, homeschool co-ops …. You name it! Have fun, this is so inexpensive that its worth trying even if its only once.

Shrinky Dinks Using Stryofoam Trays

Supplies Needed:
Styrofoam tray(s) (cleaned with soap and water)*
brown paper bag

1. Make sure that if you are using recycled styrofoam trays that you have washed them with soap and dried them well.
2. Very Important: Work in a well ventilated room, you can open the windows or do this outdoors.
3. Cut out shapes from meat Styrofoam tray.
4. Decorated with permanent markers.
5. Place on piece of brown paper bag and put into toaster oven or regular oven.
6. Cook at 300 degree F for a few seconds. (You may need to adjust the time or temperature. You can watch the shapes curl, distort and eventually flatten (& stop their transformation) through the window. Then take them out.

*You can also try melting a Styrofoam cup to make a hat.



Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Beet Dye
This is about the easiest of the natural red dyes to make. It only takes a couple of grocery store cans. This dye is reddish. The intensity of the red color will depend on the length of time you leave your fabric in the dye and the variety of beets used.


2 (15 ounce) cans of cooked beets*
container to collect dye
material to be dyed


1. Open the cans of beets and strain them.

2. Use the juice from the cans as the dye.

3. Let the material soak in the dye until the desired color intensity is reached.

*You can also used home canned beets if you choose. Even though I’ve tried using the juice from the home canned pickled beets, it doesn’t work quite as well because the beet juice is diluted with vinegar and sugar.

Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Batik Fabric

Batiking fabric is a craft that is probably older than tie-dying. We used this activity when studying ancient Africa, but you can also use if for other countries and as a project in the study of textiles and fabrics.

Project Supplies:

old newspaper
aluminum foil
cotton fabric
large, flat pan of cool water
double boiler (or similar set up)
paint brush
large, flat non-metal pan to hold dye
running water (indoors or out)
ironing board or heat proof flat surface

Project Directions:

1. Cover your work area with the old newspapers.

2. Place a piece of aluminum foil on the work area you just covered.

3. Place the cotton fabric on top of the foil. The foil is used to keep the paraffin-coated fabric from sticking to the newspaper that is protecting the workspace.

4. Melt the paraffin in a double boiler or in whatever similar system you have set up (such as a coffee can and water filled frying pan). [NOTE: never melt paraffin unless you are using the “double” method. Paraffin is flammable, and the double boiler set up keeps the paraffin from getting too hot too quickly and combusting.]

5. When the paraffin wax has melted, dip the paint brush into the wax. “Paint” a picture on the fabric with the wax. – geometric, landscrape, plaid, print, etc. – dip the brush back into the wax often as the wax will cool quickly. Now the fabric is batiked.

6. Place the batik in cool water for a few minutes to harden the wax.

7. Prepare your choice of dye according to directions.

8. Remove the batik from the cool water and place it in the dye. The longer the fabric sits in the dye, the darker and/or brighter the color will be.

9. When the desired shade is reached, remove the batiked fabric from the dye bath. Rinse the fabric in running water until the water runs clear.

10. Place the batiked fabric on old towels or paper towels to remove excess water. Do not “ring” fabric out.

11. Heat your iron. Place the batiked fabric on the ironing board or other flat, heat-proof surface. Cover the fabric with newspaper. Iron the fabric.

12. The paraffin wax will melt into the newspaper and away from the fabric. Change the newspaper and continue ironing, repeating the process, until all the wax is fully removed.

*Dyes can be store bought (e.g., store brand named Ritz) or they can be natural dyes. Below are some natural dyes you may be interested in trying.

Tea Dye
Coffee Dye
Mustard Dye
Marigold Dye
Walnut Shell Dye
Beet Dye
Spinach Dye
Purple Cabbage Dye
Blueberry Dye
Grape Juice Dye
Cranberry Dye
Onion Skin Dye

Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB
This used to be a godsend because my kids read a lot of paperback books that I would pick up at yardsales, library sales, etc. The cheap commercial glues would invariably give out. You have down time, you might as well put it to something useful.


Book Binding or Leather Glue
If you enjoy collecting books or making your own books, you'll find this homemade glue very helpful. Made of very simple items found easily around the house, this is a great project glue for papers and leathers.


1 packet (1/4 ounce) unflavoured gelatin
3 tbls. boiling water
1 tbls. vinegar
1 tsp. glycerine


1. In a pan, add gelatin to boiling water. Stir until gelatin is completely dissolved.

2. Add vinegar and glycerine. Stir until well mixed.

Yield: Makes about 1/3 cup. For larger projects, double the recipe.

How to use it: While the glue is still warm, apply a thin layer with a brush. This waterproof glue is excellent for binding leather to leather. It also makes a good flexible glue for use on paper, or for gluing cloth to cardboard for making notebook binders or scrapbooks. Stored in a tightly capped plastic or glass jar, this glue will keep for several months. It will gel in the bottle after a few days. Warm bottle in hot water to reuse glue.

Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Chocolate Fudge Clay
I was rather dubious when I first tried this. I'm thinking... like a mom naturally ... that this is just going to be a big mess, so rich that they won't eat it. Wrong! The peanut butter actually helps cut down on the "richness" of the chocolate frosting.


1 Tub Chocolate Frosting
1 1/2 Cup Confectioner's Sugar
1 Cup Peanut Butter (creamy)


Mix all ingredients together. You can add a little more confectioner's sugar (aka powdered sugar) if it is still too runny. Add less if it seems to be getting too thick.

Shape and Eat.

While not quite as stiff as your typical clay, you can use this to make decorations for cakes and such. Just let them sit for a bit and they get stiffer.

Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Coffee Dye
This is a nice rich, brown dye. Super easy to fix and even has a nice odor while the fabric is soaking.


1 cup ground coffee
1 quart water
stove or heating source
large enamel or stainless steel (not aluminum) pot
study wooden or plastic stirring utensil
container to collect dye
material to dye


1. Combine coffee and water in the pot.

2. Boil for 15 minutes.

3. Strain the mixture and discard the coffee grounds.

4. Add material to the dye.

5. Let the material soak in the dye until the desired color intensity is reached.

Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB
My internet connection is frazzling here at our BOL so I will go back to posting in a bit. My phone just isn’t sufficient for this thread.

No, I did not bug out. We took some supplies and food stuff to my parents and swung by here to check on a roof repair, deal with a flat tractor tire, double check the mouse proofing and all the other spring odds and ends we have to do.


North to the Future
Great thread Kathy, thanks! I noticed today that the latest aisle to empty around here are the arts and crafts things. Last Thursday the Gov closed ALL public schools in the state - so folks are scrambling for supplies to keep kiddos occupied.

....just heard the Anchorage Borough has now closed all restaurants, cafes, bars, etc. Muni buildings already closed so no libraries either.

Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Coffee Grounds Playdough
I found this mixture hard to believe, but its great. What to do with the old coffee grounds can be a problem, unless you compost them. Here is a good recycling use for them and your kids will have a blast. There is no milk proteins or solids in this recipe so it is great for kids with milk allergies.


2 cups used, dry coffee grounds
½ cup salt
1 ½ cups of cornmeal, plain – not self-rising
warm water


1. Mix all the dry ingredients together.

2. Add enough warm water to moisten ingredients.

This dough has a very unique texture. Its great for rolling, patting, and pounding … which is great for little ones. Since you are using USED coffee grounds, there shouldn’t be any problem with staining. The cornmeal should absorb any remaining coffee coloring.

Little ones seem intrigued by how this feels on their hands vs. how store-bought play dough feels. Because you control the moisture content you can make this as dry or as damp as you would like.

Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Colored Glue
Here’s an inexpensive alternative to the colored glues that you find in the stores these days. You can create a rainbow of colors in the quantity you want for a fraction of the cost.


white glue in squeeze bottles
poster paints


1. Open the bottles of glue.

2. Add a bit of poster paint to each bottle.

3. Replace the lid and shake to mix. The finished/dried product will be darker than the original color of the poster paint, so don’t add too much.

Variation: After you add the poster paint to the glue, only slightly shake it. Do not completely blend. This will give you an interesting, marbled effect.

Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Cornmeal Playdough
This dough is grainy and gooey, but will air dry to a hard finish. You could paint it to make look like a concrete finish. This is another playdough that doesn’t require cooking at any stage.


1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
2/3 cup salt
1 cup water


1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir together.

2. Add enough water to make a dough, with no dry pockets.

3. Allow finished projects to air dry before painting.

4. Store any leftover dough in an air tight container.

Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Create a Fresco
During the Renaissance period, especially in the Italian Renaissance, artists began experimenting with different mediums and methods to express their creativity. One of the methods they used was to create a Fresco....painting directly onto damp plaster. Examples of this are still on display in many Italian museums today.

Here is a simple version to use in a study of the Renaissance era.

1. Mix a batch of plaster. You can use Plaster of Paris* or patching plaster. Quickly pour into an aluminum pan or into a wood-backed frame. Smooth the surface.

2. When the plaster is almost dry, but still damp, paint with water colors, poster paints, or tempera paints.

As the plaster dries, the pigments from the paint set into it.

*PLEASE NOTE: NEVER pour plaster down the sink or wash buckets or spoons that have plaster on them in the sink!! Plaster sets even under water and will seriously clog your pipes!!

Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Science Fun: Acids in Nature
Acids appear in nature all of the time Sometimes you can see the effects that they have immediately and sometimes the effects take much longer to become aware of. Here is a fun experiment where you use a simple piece of chalk and household vinegar.

Project Supplies:

a piece of sidewalk or blackboard chalk
vinegar, white vinegar is best but cider vinegar will work
a glass


Vinegar is a weak acid that we use on a regular basis … in homemade cleaning solutions, cooking, preserving, etc. The chalk will represent limestone.

1. First, half-fill a small glass with vinegar. You will want to use a glass that you can see through.

2. Next, drop a piece of chalk into the vinegar.

3. Watch what happens and record your observations in your science journal or lab book.

What happens?

The limestone/chalk reacts to the acid in the vinegar. As the limestone breaks down, carbon dioxide is formed as a by-product. How do you know carbon dioxide is being formed? Do you see the bubbles?

Have you ever seen a statue that is pitted or crumbling? What about the condition of an old headstone in a graveyard that has become difficult to read after so many years? Compare what happened to your piece of chalk to what happened to the statue or headstone.

Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Alum Crystals
Alum is normally used in pickling and for helping to cure mouth cankers. You can purchase it at your grocery store in the spice section.


2 ounces alum
1 cup water


1. Heat the water to boiling.

2. Gradually add some of the alum and stir. Keep the solution boiling.

3. Add more alum and stir. Repeat until the alum will no longer dissolve.

4. Remove from the heat source.

5. Pour the solution into a clean glass jar and let sit undisturbed for one day.

6. Next day, pour the solution left into a second clear glass jar. There should be several alum crystals already forming. Save these crystals.

7. Cut a piece of string longer than the height of the jar. Tie one end to a pencil or dowel. Tie the other end to one of the alum crystals that you sat aside..

8. Place the pencil over the top of the second jar, so that the string and crystal end dangle into the alum solution.

9. Put the jar in a place where it will be undisturbed and watch more crystals form.

Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB
The Amazing Egg Part 1
This is a fun experiment. It takes more than one day, but is a good illustration of the scientific principles. You will be turning an egg into a rubbery ball to found out how your cells get food. After you are finished with this part of this part of the experiment, continue on to The Amazing Egg Part II.


1 uncooked egg in its shell*
jar with a lid (old mayonnaise or peanut butter jar)
white vinegar
measuring tape


1. Wrap the measuring tape around the middle of the egg. Write down that measurement.

2. Place the egg inside the jar. Make sure that it does not crack as you are putting it in.

3. Pour enough white vinegar over the egg to completely cover it. Screw the lid of the jar back on.

4. Leave the egg in the jar for three days. Every once in a while, look to see if it is changing and how.

5. After three days, carefully take the egg out of the jar. Measure around the middle of the egg again.

What happened?

When you put the egg in the vinegar, you see bubbles. After three days the shell of the egg is gone and the egg has gotten bigger.

Why? The eggshell is made of a substance similar to limestone. When the acid in the vinegar touches the shell, there is a chemical reaction. The shell breaks down during the reaction, creating gases including carbon dioxide, resulting in the bubbles that you see.

Vinegar has water in it. The water moves through very small holes in the egg’s membrane. This process is called osmosis. As more water goes inside the egg, it gets bigger. This is the same way that nutrients move into your body’s cells.

*Save this egg for The Amazing Egg Part II.


The Amazing Egg Part 2
This is a continuation of a science experiment entitled "The Amazing Egg Part I". Now we are going to learn about molecules and membranes by trying to shrink the Amazing Egg.


The Amazing Egg from the experiment entitled “The Amazing Egg Part I
Jar with a lid (old mayonnaise or peanut butter jar)
Corn syrup


1. Pour the corn syrup into the jar until it is at least three inches deep, but don’t fill the jar completely.

2. Gently place the egg in the jar and then screw on the lid.

3. Leave the egg in the jar for three days.

4. Check the egg every once in a while. What is happening... anything?

5. After the three days have passed, remove the egg from the jar very carefully. Measure around its middle.

What happened?

The egg shrinks and wrinkles up. It becomes small and rubbery.

Why? The water molecules inside the egg move through the egg’s membrane and into the corn syrup. The corn syrup does not move into the egg because its molecules are too big to fit through the tiny holes in the membrane. Particles move in and out of your body’s cells in this same way.


Kathy in FL

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Another Easy Solar Oven
Here's another very simple, solar oven to use with studies of the sun and/or astronomy, outdoor activities, or recycling and/or alternative fuel sources. Lots of fun and re-usable too. This even works with the very young and older kids can do everything on their own.


Shoebox with a lid
Aluminum foil
Masking tape
A popsicle stick
Hot dogs


1. Line the shoebox and the lid with the aluminum foil. Be sure the shiny side is facing up. Keep the foil very smooth. Tape the foil to the edge of the box.
2. Use the scissors to cut a flap in the lid of the box. It should be one inch from the three sides of the lid. Fold the reflecting lid back so it sticks up. Put tape around the edges of the opening to keep the foil in place.
3. Place the lid on the box. Use the popsicle stick and masking tape to hold the flap open.
4. Place the oven in the sun. Be sure the lid is on the box and the flap is open. The sun rasy should be reflecting into the oven. Place a hot dog or marshmallow on a stick. Hold it in the center of the oven. It could take a while. Be careful, once it is cooked, your piece of food will be hot.

NOTE: You may want to wear sunglasses, a hat, or sunscreen while you are doing this activity … especially if you are sensitive to the sun.


This too shall pass.
Some good stuff here! Thanks! I’m going to direct my oldest DD here - her fourteen-year-old son may find a few things to do. She said he already has plans to put in a garden. She is working full-time (and probably won’t be laid off because she does lab work for a pharmaceutical company), and doesn’t have time to garden, and The Boy is home alone much of the time.