Category Archives: Homeschooling

Talking pollinators at the Common Ground Fair

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At 2pm on Saturday, September 24th I will be in Unity at MOFGA’s annual Common Ground Fair to give a talk Ive dubbed “Pollinator Conservation through Agriculture”. *Insert excited squeal here.* There’s a decided interest from the public in pollinators, I’m excited to be able to say. You see it in the news, in the increasing numbers of backyard-beekeepers, at… Read more »

Porcupine on the farm

problems with porcupine on the homestead

We have a bit of a problem on our farm. A porcupine problem–to be specific. With an overabundant population they’re devastating the trees of our forest and repeatedly coming into contact with our dogs. But what can you do about porcupine problems on your homestead or farm? Disclaimer: This post contains images that may be too graphic for some readers,… Read more »

Take action this Earth Day

At Runamuk Earth Day is a big event.  Any significant event celebrating nature is a big event here because we make it so, the Winter Solstice, Mid-Summer’s Eve, the Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes, Arbor Day, Pollinator Week, Compost Awareness Week, just to name a few.  Keith and I are both nature lovers, passionate about embracing nature, preserving and protecting life,… Read more »

Unschooling at the Runamuk Homestead

Our youngest son “Summer” is never more content than when he his hard at work fixing something, and while the Runamuk truck is down for maintenance, Keith thought it the perfect time to include Summer in the repairs.  This is the rear axle that they are tinkering on.

NOT-going-back-to-school

My boys are happy to be able to stay home, and I am more than happy to oblige. We’ve been discussing what they’d like to learn more about this year, things that we all need to work on to improve ourselves, and fun, new things we’d like to try. That’s how we do things here–we explore things that fascinate us,… Read more »

Owls at the Library

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On Tuesday the boys and I went to the Madison Public Library to participate in the second session of their Summer Reading program.  They’ve put together a really great line-up this year, which includes craft-sessions, a balloon demonstration–and a presentation called “Owls of Maine”.  Winter has long been fascinated by owls–all animals really, but a special interest in owls, so… Read more »

Homeschooling Adventures

On Friday I loaded my boys into the Runamuk-truck and we ventured over to New Sharon for some goat manure.  Two older women manage the 80-something goats and their farm, and for $10 will use their tractor to load your truck with manure. The boys had a blast petting the goats while we waited–the tractor needed a boost to get… Read more »

Why Runamuk Acres?

Runamuk Profile Pic

I’ve had a number of people ask me about my choice in name for our farm-business. It always makes me laugh at myself to have to explain the reasons behind the Runamuk logo.  First, there are my kids.  Some people would say “They can’t be that bad!”  And they’re right–my boys are not bad at all.  But they are high-spirited… Read more »

Wildlife in the backyard

maine moose

A large part of our plan for the Runamuk farm revolve around wildlife.  In our home we love to watch the wildlife in our backyard: birds, bats, squirrels, butterflies and other insects–and so we garden with animals in mind.  After we’ve moved into our new home, I’m looking forward to increasing our efforts to invite nature to share our space. … Read more »

Citizen science for summer

There are some great opportunities for scientific involvement this summer, and it’s not too late to get in on it. I like citizen science projects.  I think they’re a really fun way to get my family practicing science, and we love the feeling of doing our part to help real scientists. Usually the projects are really simple, like counting species… Read more »

Pressing plants

For a long time I’ve wanted to learn how to press plants.  I like the idea of creating beautiful framed works of art using pressed flowers and herbs.  I had saved two large squares of cardboard for the project, and today I begged some newspaper from my mother-in-law’s recycling bin.  I attempted to entice both the boys in collecting specimens… Read more »

Our field trip to the Maine Wildlife Park

painted turtles

We save all our change for our homeschool field trips.  It’s gotten to the point where Summer will fish the coins straight out of his Daddy’s pockets to put in the pickle jar that now serves as a coin-bank.  Papa saves his change for the boys too; and between the two jars I rolled a total of $53 Sunday to… Read more »

How Unschooling Has Changed Our Lives

Back in October when we decided to make the shift from homeschooling to unschooling, I had no idea how drastically it would change our lives.  I hoped it would have a positive impact on our family, but there was no way I could comprehend the full implications of this change; no way of knowing how much it would change me.Switching… Read more »

Best field trips to teach science

Field trips with a focus on science are a great way for your family to learn more about science in real life. Providing examples of professionals utilizing the tools and processes of science can lead your own children to pursue careers in science, technology, and industry, for which our nation has a growing need. When planning your field trip it… Read more »

What Exactly is Citizen Science?

I’ve mentioned it a couple of times in some of my posts, participating in a citizen science program at-home.  I also wrote about central Maine’s lack-of citizen science and environmental activism programs.  I even started a new blog recently, called Green in Central Maine–hoping to create more opportunity for citizen science where I live. But what exactly is citizen science? … Read more »

Science for Preschoolers

Establishing an atmosphere of science-inquiry even when your children are small, will set the foundation for a scientific lifestyle that encourages your family to explore their curiosities and learn more about the science of the world around them. Most young children are naturally curious and inclined to exploration.  The traditional school system cannot encourage this inquisitive nature, and typically children… Read more »

Age is No Limit in Big Scientific Discoveries

This is amazing. Just two days ago, on January 2, this 10-year old Kathryn Gray in Canada was using a computer program that compares new and old images of the same portion of the night sky when she located a previously undiscovered supernova.  She is now the youngest discoverer of a supernova, proving that age isn’t an obstacle to practicing… Read more »

Science at-Home; Not Just for Homeschoolers

Everyone agrees that parents play a critical role in their children’s education: research shows that when parents are actively involved in their child’s life he will achieve greater success as a learner.  It is also generally agreed upon that a scientifically and technologically literate society is crucial to America’s future success, yet much of the general population are intimidated by… Read more »

Unschooling Update

We’ve been “unschooling” for a couple of months now, and I’m embarrassed to admit that my boys are still obsessed with their video games.  I even hesitate to share this news with you, but in the fairness of full disclosure I want other parents to know that the road to unschooling success has it’s own curves and bumps. Daily Routine… Read more »

The Science of Winter

Now that the first day of winter is just around the corner, I have found myself standing at my picture window gazing longingly outside and wondering what I can do to encourage participation with nature despite the cold.  And how can I stimulate inquiry into the science of winter?  What are the sciences of winter anyway?! There were the obvious… Read more »

How to Teach Science Every Day

Why is it that science intimidates us?  I’ve heard it more than once–I even used to feel that way!  That science was just too hard to teach, since I really didn’t understand it myself.  Science is so all-encompassing, and so critically important–as homeschoolers it’s daunting to think about teaching our children any part of it, especially when most of us… Read more »

Great Migrations on National Geographic Television

As the Scientific Homeschool we love our science channels. We watch Mythbusters, How It’s Made, Planet Earth, Destroyed in Seconds (is that really science? or just the male desire for destruction?), Dirty Jobs, Bugging Out, Head Rush, Meteorite Men, Through the Wormhole, even “Punkin Chunkin” and more.  I even consider watching “Phineas and Ferb” on the Disney channel fair learning… Read more »

Learning to Say “Yes”

Now that we’re practicing unschooling, I’ve been consciously making an effort to say yes more often. We’ve done no formal sit-at-the-table school work this week. Basically it feels as though we’re on vacation, enjoying the New England autumn–and working through our screen-obsession. As we adjust to the unschooling lifestyle, I’m keeping in mind that saying “yes” opens the door to… Read more »