Posted in Resources

Geek Schooling: Learning With Harry Potter

Our whole family loves the world of Harry Potter! We have all read the books and watched the movies, and are looking forward to the next book coming out soon, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! My children and I have attended and/or volunteered for a local Harry Potter summer camp, where I played Professor McGonagall. A few years ago, my family even had the pleasure of going to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Florida! It was so much fun – we hope to go back again someday.

Geek Schooling: Learning with Harry Potter

Get ideas for how to make learning fun with Harry Potter at GeekSchoolingGuide.com

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Homeschool Information

Geek Schooling: Learning with Star Wars

learning with star wars

GEEK Schooling: Learning with Star Wars

Do you have a Star Wars fan on your hands? We are HUGE Star Wars fans – all four of us in our household. I don’t know how many times we’ve watched the movies. My husband and I grew up with them on the big screen, bought the VHS tapes, watched them with our children when they came along, and then delightedly watched on the big screen once again when they were re-released. Eventually we bought the new edition on VHS and then DVD. We also went to see the re-releases of the original six films in 3D.

This past Thursday night was a big deal in our household, with the release of The Force Awakens! My daughter and I were involved in a theatrical production of A Christmas Carol so we couldn’t go to the very first viewing, but grabbed the late show with my husband and son. We did manage to put together cosplays for two of us. Here I am as Leia (from The Empire Strikes Back) with my daughter as Rey (from The Force Awakens).

Star Wars in Your Homeschool

The movie was incredible by the way! We laughed, we cried, and we cheered. It’s a must-see.

We’ve been known to engage in all things Star Wars during a homeschool day. Here are some activities for your fans to start learning with Star Wars – pull them together and you have a unit study!

Physical Education

Lightsaber duelling! Believe me, you can really work up a sweat with a lightsaber battle! If you don’t have lightsabers, buy some foam swords available in almost every dollar store, just take off the “crossguard” (which typically on these swords looks like a circle with a slit in it), and it looks like a lightsaber. OR make your own (see Art, below).

learning with star wars

Art

Make a lightsaber. Grab some foam pipe insulation wraps from your local hardware store (or some pool noodles) along with some duct tape in different colours. Wrap the bottom “hilt” part of the saber in the usual silvery-grey colour of duct tape and then wrap the rest round and round in your favourite lightsaber colour. You can also do a search on the internet for other ideas – there are many “how to make a lightsaber” tutorials! You can also learn to draw the animated Clone Wars characters. There are books available at your local bookstore or you can visit StarWars.com to learn to draw characters and make puppets and other crafts, just search for “crafts.”

learning with star wars

Math

Play math games on the Star Wars Math CD-Rom. This is an oldie but a goodie, so look for it used. You may also want check out the Star Wars Math Workbooks.

Language Arts

Read some of the many Star Wars novels available – there are versions for young children as well. Do a search for “Star Wars” at your local library. You can also make a language arts course for your child, or download the Star Wars: A Study of the Hero Myth from Live & Learn. It’s a few pages long and provides your high schooler with a rough outline for a ½ credit in English.

Foreign Language

Have a little fun with languages – do a search for “Star Wars languages” on the internet and learn all sorts of phrases in Ewokese, Huttese, etc. You can also pick up the book, Star Wars Galactic Phrase Book and Travel Guide for even more fun.

Science

Discuss the Science of Star Wars together. Can all those sounds be heard in space in real life? Discuss lasers and gravity. Have your high schooler read the book The Science of Star Wars, written by an astrophysicist.

Filmmaking/Cinematography

Study the films from a cinematic perspective. After watching, discuss directing, acting, and special effects. Watch a “making-of” documentary. Challenge your child to create some of their own special effects with a videa camera or smartphone.

Drama

Act out a favourite scene from the movies, books, or animated series. Put this together with art and home economics, and you can act it out complete with costumes and props.

Home Economics

Knit Princess Leia buns from Knits for Nerds. Sew an outfit inspired by the Star Wars films or make a full cosplay like me and my daughter did for the Star Wars premiere. Make some Star Wars concoctions in the kitchen. Learn to make a Yoda cake, Wookie cookies, Clone War cupcakes, and more at StarWars.com – just searth for “baking”.

Many of these activities fit beautifully into a birthday party celebration! We made a round paper maché piñata, painted it up like the death star and attacked it with light sabers at one of our birthday parties.

learning with star wars

How are you learning with Star Wars in your homeschool? Have you seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet? Please let me know in the comments below!

Love, Luck &

Laughter,
Kimberly

This post originally appeared on the Homeschool Mosaics website and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Posted in Home Economics

Sewing a Ty Lee Costume: Part 1

It’s Fibre Friday! We have been working on all sorts of sewing and knitting projects. As you know, we like to cosplay (see our Elsa cosplay here). I am going to share the cosplay we are finishing for Hal-Con in Halifax next week! We are big fans of the animated series (not the movie), Avatar: The Last Airbender. Since my daughter is into acrobatics, she decided to dress as Ty Lee.

 

Sewing a Ty Lee Costume: Part 1

My daughter started with a design.
Ty Lee costume

Then my daughter and I went on a shopping trip to the local fabric store and found the perfect colours for Ty Lee’s costume.
Ty Lee costume

Next, my daughter cut out some pattern pieces on her own for the collar and the skirt.
Ty Lee Costume

For the pants, we used a combination of a basic kids’ pattern I had on hand and this harem pant pattern we found on Pinterest.
Ty Lee costume

We cut strips to make cuffs.
Ty Lee costume

Then we cut pieces for the skirt, hemmed them, and attached them to the waistband. If we had it to do over again, we would have doubled each piece, sewn around them, and turned them inside out so they hang better.
Ty Lee costume

Here are the finished pants!
Ty Lee costume

Since we hadn’t finished the top before CaperCon, my daughter wore one of her pink tops with the pants. We will be finishing the Ty Lee top this week and I will share with you! Are you working on any Halloween or Hal-Con costumes? Will we see you at Hal-Con? Please let me know in the comments below!

You can find Sewing a Ty Lee Costume Part 2 here.

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Things to Do, Places to Go

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from my family to yours! I hope you’re enjoying your long weekend. We managed to sneak in a delicious supper Saturday night (around my husband’s work schedule and my kids’ dance rehearsals). Today we introduced our international student from China to Easter egg hunts, chocolate bunnies, and egg decorating. We like to decorate eggs Geek Schooling style:

Easter

We used a few drops of food colouring in boiled water with a teaspoon of vinegar to colour the eggs and then used markers for the finishing touches.

If you’re looking for more activities for the rest of your weekend, check out these free Easter printables & unit studies.

Have a blessed weekend!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Free Homeschooling Resources, Things to Do, Places to Go

Geek Schooling: Build a Snow Pony

Do you have a My Little Pony fan? Why not build a snow pony?

Build a Snow Pony

Everyone in my family is a geek. We like to do a lot of activities we call part of Geek Schooling. My 11 year old daughter loves My Little Pony. You might remember that we have dressed up as ponies together for Hal-Con in the past. Since we have had packing snow this week (probably the first time this winter!) she decided to make a snow pony, Pinkie Pie, instead of a boring snowman. I helped a bit, with direction from my daughter.

She decided to have Pinkie Pie sitting on her haunches, for stability. First we made a snowball for her bottom and a snowball for her barrel and shaped her legs.

Build a snow pony

A snowball for her head and a snowball for her snout came next and then Pinkie Pie’s crazy mane.

build a snow pony

Her tail was sculpted on the ground behind her and her cutie mark was carved, although it’s hard to see in the photo. If we wanted to make it pop, we could have added a bit of food colouring to it.

Build a snow pony

The eyes and nostrils are simply leaves pressed into the snow.

build a snow pony

It was a lot of fun to build a snow pony! It was a terrific, artistic endeavour that included some problem solving skills. We are thinking of making Wallace and Gromit next time we have a chance. It won’t be tomorrow, because it’s pouring rain outside right now!

What fun, geeky characters have you made out of snow? Let me know in the comments below!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Resources

GEEK Schooling: Exploring History With Quantum Leap

Quantum leapWere you a fan of the Quantum Leap TV series in the late 80’s, early 90’s? In my GEEK Schooling column for Homeschool Mosaics this month, I discuss how we enjoy exploring modern history in our homeschool through watching Quantum Leap! Check it out at Exploring History With Quantum Leap.

Love, Luck &

Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Homeschool Information

Geek Schooling: Benefits of your Local Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Comic CON

 In this month’s GEEK Schooling column, I cover our recent trip to our local CON, Hal-Con.  Believe it or not, we find that a CON like this is chock-full of learning opportunities! And of course we had an absolute blast, as we do every year.  Check out my article on the Homeschool Mosaics site: Benefits of your Local Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Comic CON.

Love, Luck &
Laughter,