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A2Z Homeschool - THE A-to-Z of Homeschooling
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Halloween Spook School

Child in ghost costumeBat flying across purple moon, wishing you a Happy HalloweenChild in pirate costume

Welcome to our homeschool for little spooks this Halloween.

Our haunted house meets all the state requirements for being a haunted home school. We need your help to make our ordinary homeschool into a haunted home school for Halloween. Will you help?

History

Why, we’ll start with collecting some rubbings from tombstones. Be careful! Remember that is someone’s loved one under there! Place your rubbings over boxes or boards set out in your front yard.

Learning Comes Alive At The Cemetery On a cemetery visit, your child will discover fascinating facts, perceive connections, draw conclusions from comparing names and dates, and become more comfortable with this most integral facet of human life and culture.

The Real Prince Dracula Yes, there was a real Dracula, and he was a true prince of darkness. He was Prince Vlad III Dracula, also known as Vlad Tepes, meaning “Vlad the Impaler.” The Turks called him Kaziglu Bey, or “the Impaler Prince.”

Read The Legend of the Jack-O-Lantern and find out how Irish immigrants brought this story to America. According to Irish folklore a man named Jack, well known for his drunkenness and quick temper got very drunk at a local pub on All Hallows Eve. He met the Devil outside the pub because the Devil wanted his soul. Jack asked him for one more drink but he didn’t have the money to pay. Perhaps make a skit of it and act it out on Halloween!

Many, Many Mummies Some famous Incan mummies included children. At times of a drought or a famine, a a child would be offered to the gods as a sacrificial gift. Modern people love their pets and so did the Ancient Egyptians. They also loved them enough to make sure their beloved Fifi made it into the after world through the process of mummification!

Visit a Haunted House! A directory of haunted houses in the US and Canada. Some may be in historic buildings.

Visit a ghost town like this one in Bodie, California, that I and a bunch of other homeschoolers enjoyed one cool October day.

Drama and Costumes

Next, with a little science and art mixed together, we’ll work on some special effects from Halloween – Special effects on Pinterest.

Backyard Imagineering
Learn about imagineering, what folks like Disney and Spielberg do to make objects seem to come alive.

Making a Spooky Radio Play
“I want to make a movie about zombies,” my 10-year-old Spencer announces while I’m making dinner. I don’t want Spencer to lose the muse, however. “What about making it into a radio play?” I suggest. I figure this way we wouldn’t have to create any special effects or elaborate sets; we would simply have to write the story and read it into a microphone.


What makes a Halloween Costume Special? The Props!
These are great examples of how a Halloween costume is nothing without a comical prop to assist it.

18 Cool Halloween Costumes You Can Make Using Stuff Around the House
Find out how to turn an old yoga mat, exercise ball, pool “noodles,” laundry baskets, etc. into way cool costumes. From Real Simple magazine.

Turn your yard into a haunted house such as this one called the Dragon’s Head Inn.

Plan a ghoulish party and invite all your friends to come and get Goosebumps.


Home Economics

Cleaning your home in order to make it look neglected can be great fun. Just throw sheets over everything. Now, go into the kitchen and make some Gory Goodies for your family, friends and neighbors. There’s DrinksDips, Snacks, & AppetizersBreadsMain DishesDesserts and Other Good Ideas, such as throwing a Halloween Party.

Kraft has a witch cake recipe and some other spookie Halloween concoctions, too.

The Halloween Costume Closet has lots of wonderful ideas for costumes and Halloween decorations you or your parents can make with the help of a little Velcro.

Science

Halloween Science Activity Series ($20 value) 
Everything you need to spook up your house, freak out your friends, and create a Frank Einstein mad science lab! Learn how to make glow-in-the-dark slime, build one-way mirrors, create a morph-box that will transform an apple into a skull, make screaming balloons, real bats that fly, and ghosts that hang by themselves! Free to friends of A to Z!

Set up a mad scientist’s laboratory, and invite the trick-or-treaters to watch in amazement as you perform a variety of glowing and eerie tricks from Dr. Grovenstein & Igor’s Halloween Lecture Notes.

The Evil Mad Scientist of Silicon Valley has some real cool Halloween projects that involve some simple electronics anyone from about 10 years old and up can do. Components are available on the site to buy if you don[‘t have a Radio Shack nearby.

This is a good time of year to find skeletons for part of a unit study on anatomy. How about studying the nature of blood as well.

Have you observed how your pet handles Halloween? We love the holiday, and our kids especially love the sugar-induced frenzy of free candy, but our pets are not always so keen on the never-ending doorbell that preludes tiny monsters with chocolate-covered hands. It’s up to us to make sure they feel comfortable and ensure their safety. Along with your scarecrow and infinite bags of candy this year, make sure these five tips are on your checklist.

Before you carve your pumpkin, have children guess if a pumpkin will sink or float when out in a tub of water. Have them justify their guesses. Put the pumpkin or pumpkins in the tub. What happens? How do the children explain this? Does this hold true for all pumpkins, or does it vary? Why?

Spinning Pumpkin

Art

Crochet a Pumpkin Bag
This bag is 3 times the size of the smaller one. Whole Lotta candy can fit in it! A pattern by Libilou, one of our chat members, and homeschool mom.

Set up black lights around your house. Beneath the lights “paint” some spooky pictures or things like “Boo!” using liquid Tide. The stuff that makes Tide “whiter than white” will also make it glow under black light. [Note: Tide may be effective in repelling ants around your home when washed off the walls.]

Carve a simple or really elegant jack-o-lantern with these original pumpkin carving patterns. Find or submit a winning pumpkin pattern to the ThinkGeek contest.

Olaf Pumpkin-Carving Template
Create your own jack-o’-lantern inspired by the lovable snowman from Disney’s Frozen. The great thing about this version of Olaf? He won’t melt.

Grab our Spongebob pumpkin carving pattern. Cut out the black parts.

World Culture

Costumes need not be scary. Consider wearing the native costume of a person from another country, perhaps those of your ancestors or of a land where you might have a penpal or want to travel to some day.

Careers

Dress up in the uniform or usual attire of someone you aspire to become some day.

Health

Pimple Portal Offers Tips for Boo-tiful Skin!
While a dermatologist cannot help you choose a costume, he/she can offer insight on how to avoid any scary skincare scenarios. Sandy Swanson, M.D., a general and pediatric dermatologist from North Carolina, offers some tips for trick-or-treaters on how to keep your complexions clear this Halloween.

PE

Consider having a Run Like Hell race with your friends, in costumes, around a local cemetery. They really do this in Cincinnatti!

Literature

Years ago children used to sit by the radio and listen to spooky stories on the Mercury Theater. Today, you can download these old shows and listen on your computer.

Another favorite series children love are the tales of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Older students will enjoy reading Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat,” which first appeared in the United States Saturday Post (The Saturday Evening Post) on August 19, 1843, serves as a reminder for all of us. The capacity for violence and horror lies within each of us, no matter how docile and humane our dispositions might appear. – By Martha Womack. Another spooky favorite to read on Halloween is “The Tell-Tale Heart.”

Too Many Pumpkins, by Linda White, is the tale of Rebecca, who was busy not eating pumpkins when–SPLAT–a giant pumpkin fell off an overloaded truck and smashed into her yard. She buried the mess so she wouldn’t have to look at it, and, as you might imagine, she witnessed a bumper crop the following fall. A good fall story for those who wish to avoid the scarier aspects of the season.

Read the Legend of Sleepy Hallow, Washington Irving’s classic American short story.

Read some Ghost stories and strange folktales of the American South, told by the region’s most celebrated storytellers along the moonlit road.

Language Arts

Halloween Jokes can help teach parts of speech and things like homonyms and words with two meanings. Why didn’t the skeleton want to go to school? His heart wasn’t in it.

Scary Readers Theatre

Scary Readers Theatre
by Suzanne I. Barchers
Deliciously ghostly, startling, and downright scary scripts will make your students shiver, chuckle, and even jump! Based on 30 folktales, myths, and ghost stories, these reproducible scripts are invaluable for enhancing the language arts program and much more.|Deliciously ghostly, startling, and downright scary scripts will make you and your students listen, ponder, shiver, chuckle, or even jump! Based on 30 folktales, myths, ghost stories, and legends, these reproducible scripts have been evaluated using the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Scale and range from second to fifth grade levels. Elementary, middle school, and chapter teachers will find them invaluable for enhancing the language arts program and for use with developing and remedial readers. An introduction provides everything you need to get started.
Kindle Edition

Write a story about fall on this lined fall paper for primary students or on this lined stationery for older kids. Here’s two other papers to choose from: candy corn Halloween paper for beginners and slightly older kids.

Music and Sound Effects

Consider some eerie music from our affiliate, Amazon.com:

Math

Here’s some Halloween Worksheets, including many for math facts. You could create similar puzzles for your child at their math level. Mrs. Fitzgerald and Mrs. Taverna’s classes created math word problems.  Give them a try and see if you can solve them.

When you have collected all the candy you can, sort the candy by brand and put in columns next to each other. On graph paper, color one square in a column for each type. Label the column. Does your graph of actual candy bars look like the one using equal sized squares? Why doesn’t it? Come up with a guess (an hypothesis) about why one candy bar was favored by your neighbors.

The Pumpkin Patch
Pumpkins make everyone think of fall and fall holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving. But did you know that pumpkins are healthy to eat? Do you know how long it takes a pumpkin to grow? Did you know there are many different kinds of pumpkins? Come into the Pumpkin Patch to learn more about pumpkins. Here are a couple of pumpkin jokes to tell your friends.

Estimate how many seeds are in your pumpkin. Put the first handful of seeds in a 1/4 cup measuring cup. Count them. Put these seeds and all the rest of the seeds in the biggest measuring device you have in the kitchen. How many 1/4 cups of pumpkin seeds is in that cup or bowl? Multiply the number of seeds in the first measurement times the number of 1/4 cups in all. You will have a pretty good estimate of the total number of seeds your pumpkin had.

Activism

Donate half your candy to a worthy children’s shelter or shelter for battered women and their families.

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF and help the world’s poorer children.

Why bother to save Halloween?
Halloween is in trouble. Each year editorials in magazines and newspapers and on television warn of dangers to children. And each year more communities “ban” Halloween. So what? Who needs it? What is Halloween anyway? By Richard Seltzer.


Share your Halloween lesson ideas in the comments below.

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