Free Range Kids

Free Range Kids!
Raising children to be healthy and self-reliant in an unpredictable world can be tough. You've come to the right place. I am a homeschooler taking a stand for my kids to "be kids". I love the title "Free Range Kids" as is accurately depicts my teaching and parenting style. While learning can be serious business, so is play time! I use a Montessori approach in my teaching... allowing my children to touch, taste, feel and experience a little thing called LIFE. Teaching from love and not fear has been an obstacle I've had to overcome. Come on this journey with me as we teach, love and raise strong independent children!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Make learning fun for kids!

We absolutely Love Melissa and Doug toys. These are geometric pattern blocks. My children (especially the 3 yr old) love to play with them. There are about 5 wooden boards here and there is an image on each side. Sometimes we do a timed version and we see who can finish first. My 6 yr. old loves a good challenge. 

We took a little trip to Barnes and Noble and bought them each a fun work book for their handwriting skills. I bought some fun chapter books like "great expectations" and "The adventures of Geronimo the mouse." We also bought the game "Feed the Woozle". This has been a fun one for Jocelyn.

We found a turtle near our house and it was making it's way to the road. We decided to adopt it. We named him Cutsie and put him in a plastic container and made it like a terarrium. The sad news is he got out and ran away 2 weeks later. Im hoping he found his way back to the lake. The kids miss him. 

I've been making a lot of Kombucha Juice and Kefir. I figure it's kind of a science experiment for the kids to see fermentation and how a Scoby grows on top of the Kombucha.

We took a good month and learned about the Civil War. All the books we got to read were so fascinating. Dax retained quite a bit as I still frequently ask him "What's the mason dixon line" What is the "Confederacy". What's an "Abolitionist". He is able to tell me these things and that's not bad for a 6 year old if you ask me.

And of course we experimented making some delicious homemade popsicles. These ones were  our "Coconut Key Lime" popsicle. It was basically coconut milk, lime zest and juice and raw honey. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Some fun things

Pretend play is so important! I can remember myself as a little girl just loving to play house and grocery store. My imagination would take me to so many places. I wanted my kids to experience the same thing. For Christmas I bought them some play food and a play house tent. I've also saved food containers like a cool milk jug, egg case, pringles cans, cocoa container and other things that they find fun to put into their store. I was the cashier, checking out their groceries and making a "beep" sound with my paper cutter. They thought that was fun. 

 My oldest child got a monopoly nintendo game for Christmas and has literally played with it every single day since. He is learning so much about counting and how money works and how to take turns and how to be a good loser too! All these things are so  important to a child's development and interactions with the world. He still gets upset every time I buy a property he wants, but we're working on it every single day.

Sorry, this photo is upside down. This was an activity I had my youngest doing. It's Alphabet strips. I put the letters on plastic spoons and she matches it up with the letters on the strips. Great fun!
  She was learning some dexterity here as she had to squeeze the clothes pins onto the alphabet circle. I got this printout from

We do something called "Something Fun Friday" every single Friday. We usually make an extra cool breakfast, or a treat or just go somewhere extra fun. This morning, we made tie-dyed waffles. They were easy and the kids keep requesting them over and over.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Rainforest Week!

        I typically pick out my spelling list topic from my Melissa and Doug floor puzzles. I decided that we would do all things "Rainforest" this past week. Here is what we do:

1: Once I pick the topic, we go to the library to look for books on that specific subject. I always make sure to grab an encyclopedia for children so we can look up definitions and see the pictures. 
2: I come home and create a spelling list that we will use throughout the week. Dax will write the word next to mine and do about 3 words a day. 
3: I give a definition and history of the topic. In this case we learned about the layers in the rainforest: Emergent, Canopy, undergrowth & floor bed. We talked about what animals leave in each layer. 
4: I print out a page or two for Dax to color on that topic. You can google your topic, click images and printables will come up. 
5: We look at our globe and see where the rainforests are located. By the equator. 
6: We put together our puzzle 
7: We visit a location that has to do with that specific topic. In our case, it was the Rainforest cafe! 

Rainforest Cafe Fun! 
If you've never been here to eat, it's a must see!  
It seriously feels like something they would put in Disneyland.
The animals make sounds and move. There is even a thunderstorm.
It scared Jocelyn for a while, but she got used to it. Since we don't do things
like this very often, we took a lot of pictures. Im so glad we have one 
of these restaurants here in Arizona. 
Dax got to see what a Rainforest might look like. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Birth of the Earth!

Today I got out some of my Montessori notes, studied them and then decided to teach Dax about the birth of the earth. We talked about what the earth looked like when it first formed. I showed him pictures and drew examples as we went along. We talked about how the earth is millions of years old. Then we talked about Trilobites and what they are. I tried to draw one for him. Since they are extinct and all we have are fossils of what they looked like, we got out the playdough and imprinted things in it. We talked about fossils. I didn't totally get through the lesson because once I got out that playdough that is all the kids wanted to do. And since I teach in a child led approach, I let their curious minds sculpt and build with that playdough. 

 These are my not so fabulous drawing of earth when it was first formed.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Spelling Words for the week: Farm words

Last week we learned all about farms. I came up with a farm words spelling list that Dax would copy. 

I had these little sticky notes with each letter of the alphabet on them 3 times. I would give him three words to spell and he would use the sticky notes to spell the words. 

Then a farm coloring page contest between him, sister and myself....(I won of course)

We looked up our farm words in our encyclopedias checked out from the library. We learned a lot about how farms work and what kids of things are grown on farms. 

Then we put together our Melissa and Doug farm puzzle. I absolutely love these large sturdy puzzles. 

We talked about farm animals and even played with them on our puzzle.

More farm books that we read. 

Then a healthy farm snack (no we didn't eat the butter plain) Cheese, ham, yogurt and milk. 

our glorious puzzle

We really used our imaginations and played with all our animals on top of our farm puzzle. I sat down on the floor with the kids for a good hour just pretending I was some of these animals. The kids loved it. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

3 Things That Will Automatically Make You A Better Parent!

1) Get off your phone!  I know you don't want to hear this one but you gotta. I decided one day that I wouldn't let my children see me on my phone ever! This did not include talking to my parents or a friend occasionally. But if I want to check my email, facebook or instagram I need to do that on my own time. This would be during nap or quiet time 1-3pm or after bedtime hours 7:30pm. If all your kid does is see you on your phone 24/7 you are going to have one kranky kid wondering why his mom or dad spend more time on their phone then actually playing with them. This includes computer devices too. Prioritize your time better so you make the time with your kids quality. I promise they will be happier and more cooperative. Plus you don't want them growing up believing that our society is based on virtual relationships. Try it for just a day....then a week...then a month! You will see that you have a completely different child and you will enjoy parenting way more. It only becomes a burden when they are interrupting something you really want to do...i.e..smartphone time. So just put that down until they go down and you'll have a happier home.

2) Be with them! Next time you get invited to a mommy play group, instead of just associating with the moms while your kids go off and play, go play with them. Jump in and build that lego tower, jump on the tramp, cook that pretend meal with them...just be with them. This will strengthen their trust in you and your relationship. So next time you're at the pool, jump in that water and play shark or mermaid or marco polo with them instead of grouping up with the moms or dads and wondering where your kid is the entire time and then getting mad at them when they get into something they shouldn't have. This is also a great time to teach them how to share and play well with others. Be their mentor and teacher. I promise it's okay if you seem like the anti-social mom. There are other times when you can socialize with your mommy buddies.

3) Read this book....It will change the way you do everything! You will begin to understand yourself and your child more. A mutual respect and appreciation will grow as you apply the teachings of this book!   The Child Whisperer by Carol Tuttle