California History

California History Curriculum Snapshot: The Missions

Literature-Based One aspect you will find with California Out of the Box is at each step, learning is anchored in story. As I have gone to homeschool events and conferences, many have asked how I tackle the California missions period. The missions unit in California Out of the Box begins in the late 1700s with […]

Book Reviews

How I Expanded Our US History Curriculum

When my kids and I studied US history, I went with a literature-based approach, probably not a surprise. At the time, my daughter was in 6th grade and my son was in 3rd grade. For the main basis of our study, I used Beautiful Feet Books Early American History: A Literature Approach for Intermediate Grades. […]

California History

Will Our Kids Care About The Things We Care About, Someday?

Do They Notice? I am trying to remember the number of nights my mom, who was an art teacher, sat down, or even stayed home during the week when I was in junior high. I attended a magnet school that was about an hour away from my house, 32nd St./USC Visual/Performing Arts Magnet in downtown […]

Rats, Bulls, and Flying Machines: A High-Flying Renaissance Curriculum

4 Things I Love About This Book It’s Easy to Use During our homeschool time, we read a little more than 1 of the 16 total chapters each week; due to the fact we were on a tight timeline, we needed to finish our study in 12 weeks. With many chapters only 3-4 pages in […]

California History

Why did you write a curriculum?

You have a MA in Economics. Why did you not continue on with your forensic economics job? You like painting and film. Why not become a full-time artist or filmmaker? You have a degree in art history. Why not work in a museum? You love education. Why are you not teaching in a classroom? Yes, […]

Contextualized Learning

Wisdom From a Seasoned Homeschool Mom

“Ditch what ‘school work’ does not seem to add value in exchange for real edification out in the world. Learn from people who are passionate and want to share that with your kids! By giving your children such tremendous exposure, they will have a greater ability to understand what they are passionate about in addition […]

California Places

Urban Wildlife in the City of Angels

Lions, in Los Angeles? Last week I had the great fortune to come speak about urban wildlife in my youngest son’s 3rd grade class at Los Feliz Charter School for the Arts. The school is located in a unique place within Los Angeles, close to the LA River. Ever since I heard about the challenges […]

Contextualized Learning

Organic STEM Learning: DIY Go-Kart Project

I had this one on my mind for a while before starting anything: I thought it would be great to make a go-kart with my kids—fun to build, fun to drive. But I hesitated because I didn’t want to pursue something canned and boring. I wanted us to get our hands dirty: something that could […]

Contextualized Learning

Giving up my idea of a “normal education,”

and creating resources for an inspiring one. Ten years ago we were looking at educational options for our kindergartener and noticing the elementary school choices were like a trip to Baskin Robbin’s 31 Flavors. There were lots of combinations and permutations in that ice cream freezer. One factor my husband and I thought was super […]

California History

Looking to visit a California Gold Rush town? Columbia State Historic Park’s Your Ticket!

Here’s another post related to travel.  Where is my mind these days?  Obviously in other places! This post is for families looking for a great Gold Rush boomtown to learn more about California history.  My pick:  Columbia State Historic Park.  The first time I went there, I was in the 3rd grade or so.  (My […]