An unschooling blog

Timez Attack

Posted by freeschool on January 17, 2008

Timez Attack is a great math game for kids to help them learn their multiplication.  What’s different about Timez Attack is that it’s fun enough that kids might not notice that they are playing an “educational game.”  This is because the interface is built like a FPS (first person shooter) style game, like Doom, Halo, or Half-Life.  Instead of shooting the bad guys, you’re shooting monsters a solving multiplication problems.

There is a free version or full version for $39.99.


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Resources for learning piano and guitar

Posted by freeschool on January 17, 2008

Following some recent posts on UnschoolingResources, here are some resources for helping your child to learn the piano and guitar.

Learning the guitar

  • – $20/month with unlimited usage or you can pay an
    annual fee; numerous instructors and video segment; includes demos
  • – software and DVDs, even for preschoolers
  • Bass Guitar Primer by Bert Casey

Learning the piano

Any other suggestions?

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Spark new interest by clearing the coffee table

Posted by freeschool on January 16, 2008

BraveWriter reminds us to “clear the coffee table” to spark interests.

…clear off a space that is taken for granted in your house and put something out that is surprising, new, novel or has been overlooked for a long time.

Suggestions include:

  • bucket of Legos
  • collection of art postcards
  • Poetry books
  • decks of cards
  • the game mancala
  • paintbrushes and watercolor paints
  • new pencils
  • note cards
  • disposable cameras
  • a birding field guide
  • binoculars
  • chess or checkers
  • a mini white board and markers
  • bean bags
  • beads and wire to make bracelets
  • an assortment of shells and fossils
  • teatime essentials (like mugs, teabags, a muffin mix and poetry)
  • picture books from the library
  • jacks
  • back issues of National Geographic from the library
  • a new DVD

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Posted by freeschool on January 16, 2008


A new hobby for the new year… why not try Geocaching with the kids?

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called “geocaches” or “caches”) anywhere in the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook and “treasure,” usually toys or trinkets of little value.

Start with

via Mental Floss

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The World Clock

Posted by freeschool on January 16, 2008

For any parents who have had to answer questions like “How many babies are born every second?” and the like, comes the World Clock…

Click here for a “world clock” (by that constantly updates the total number of, well, lots of stuff: births, abortions, deaths of different types, prisoners, marriages, divorces, extinct species, gallons of oil pumped, and computers, cars, and bicycles built. You can choose to display it by how much has happened in the last year, month, day, or even from a moment, like right… now.

via Sociological Images

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Oldest board game: Senet

Posted by freeschool on January 14, 2008


This weekend we made a visit to the Chicago Field Museum, using our brand new family membership that we got for Christmas.  We knew we had the whole year to see the entire museum, so we slowly went through just a few exhibits:

I think we had the most fun at Ancient Egypt.  We ran across a display of the Ancient Egyptian board game, Senet, purported to possibly be the oldest board game.  We played the online version at home afterwards which was great fun.  We are considering making or buying an offline version.

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Home Chemistry Blog

Posted by freeschool on January 12, 2008

New blog discovered!!   Great for homeschoolers and unschoolers doing science at home, the Home Chemistry Blog is written by a homeschooling parent of a 15 and 12 year old.

The Home Chemistry Blog posts experiments they are working on, information about chemistry in general, and more.  They’ve even posted on the GeekDad blog.

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Family Game Night: Quelf

Posted by freeschool on January 12, 2008

Here’s a game that looks like great fun that I haven’t run across before.

Ages 12 & up / 3-8 players / 60 minutes to play

Quelf is insanity in a box! With this hilariously silly party game, you will have outrageous fun with your family and friends. Quelf will inspire you to use your creativity, wit and sense of humor in ways you’ve never imagined.

As you move around the game board, as one of eight quirky characters, crazy things start to happen. Your friends start talking strangely. Your mom’s face is wrapped in toilet paper. Your dad is acting like Dracula. And you are reciting a poem about your armpits.

Each game of Quelf is a new journey into wackiness. When the dust settles and someone crawls away the winner, you realize…you’ve never had this much fun playing a board game in your life!

Perfect for: family get-togethers, rainy day entertainment, teen parties, youth groups, ice breakers and curing cabin fever.

– 550 Quelf cards in five categories
– Game board
– 8 character game pieces
– 2 pencils & pad of paper
– Sand timer
– 1 giant invisible harpoon (it’s invisible for a reason, use it wisely)

via Escape Adulthood

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Online game: Untangle

Posted by freeschool on January 11, 2008

The game Untangle challenges you to simply fix the lines so that they do not cross. Simply? Ha!

It starts out simple, but gets trickier and trickier.

via MentalFloss

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Mastering math and science learning

Posted by freeschool on January 11, 2008

Pickthebrain directs us on how to master math and science learning.  The strategies include:

  • Get comfortable with your formulas.
    • Start off by keeping a special section of your notebook specifically for formulas. As you learn new ones, write them down. Review your formula list as often as possible, at least a few times a week. You don’t need to spend a lot of time — it’s more important to review frequently. The idea is to build familiarity.
  • Do problems
    • They only way to get this knowledge is experience.

You’ll also find that memorizing important formulas and working through problems will improve your understanding of the broader concepts and how they fit together.

via LifeHack 

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