Wishing You a Happy New Year!

Happy New Year-Mud Hut Mama

2013 has been a crazy year for us with a move from Malawi, and the only home Kooks ever knew and Boo remembers, to less than ideal living conditions in Zambia. We are currently in between contracts and have spent the last two months in Botswana visiting with my in-laws while we plan our next step. On Sunday we start our three day drive back to Lusaka, Zambia’s capital city, where we have all of our belongings in storage. Shortly after we arrive we will take a two day drive up to northwestern Zambia to explore a job opportunity for my husband that we are very excited about. It is not too far from where I was a Peace Corps Volunteer about 15 years ago […] Read more »

Recycling in Germany

Recycling in Germany - Mud Hut Mama

We feel incredibly lucky to have a lifestyle that is centered around nature conservation, but you don’t have to work in conservation to make a difference. Conservation Corner is a series where I highlight the many ways people around the world are making an effort to tread a little lighter on our planet. Today Olga from The European Mama writes about recycling in Germany. Olga’s blog has a wealth of information on raising multilingual kids and third culture kids, she is a 4th generation TCK and I really appreciate her insights. But that’s not all Olga writes about, click over to learn more about her life as an expat in the Netherlands and to peruse some delicious recipes. I plan to highlight one story a month and I hope to make […] Read more »

Preschool Christmas Activities

Preschool Christmas Activities - Mud Hut Mama

Seeing the girls get excited about Christmas and all the magic that surrounds it brings me so much joy! I love using our homeschool to help build that excitement. I found the little tin Christmas tree in the photo above at the grocery store. When you turn the top of the tree it plays Christmas carols. The girls have been having a lot of fun playing with it and dancing around it. We have really been enjoying our preschool Christmas activities. Language Arts: We learned the parts of a letter when we wrote to Santa Claus. I used the same fill in the blank and multiple choice Santa letter that we made last year and, as you can see, the girls took their letter writing […] Read more »

Cookies, Compassion & Chemistry for Kids

Cookies, Compassion & Chemistry for Kids - Mud Hut Mama

We are starting a Christmas tradition of making sure we do an act of kindness for people and for either wildlife or for the earth. Of course I want us to commit acts of kindness all year long but the holidays are a nice time to really focus on compassion and this week’s homeschool was a great way to segue into our new tradition. This post contains affiliate links. I love, love, love Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. I came across this book while searching for secular children’s books that teach values. It isn’t a story but more of an illustrated vocabulary list that defines virtues (and some vices) in relationship to cookies. For example, “Trustworthy means, If you ask me to hold your […] Read more »

Pre K Learning Activities: Birds & Flight

Birds & Flight-Pre K Learning Activities-Mud Hut Mama

We studied birds (and flight) a couple of weeks ago but I’m only getting around to writing about it now. We focused on two very sweet picture books and a Magic School Bus episode. My girls love bird-watching with their father, especially Kooks who has a real knack for spotting birds and remembering their names. I really appreciated that, apart from being a topic my girls were happy to jump into, it was a nice, easy week where everything we needed for our pre k learning activities was on hand. This post contains affiliate links. Birds by Kevin Henkes is a colorful story of a child recounting the observations she has made when watching birds. “Sometimes, in winter, a bird in a tree looks like one […] Read more »

Water Cycle Experiments & Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain

Water Cycle Experiments - Mud Hut Mama

We are continuing with our homeschool as much as we can while we are in Botswana. Since we arrived to the worst drought Botswana has had in years, it made a lot of sense to study the water cycle with Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema and a Magic School Bus episode. This post contains affiliate links. Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain is a Nandi tale from Kenya (East Africa) that tells the story of a man who shot down the rain with a bow and arrow. I love the rhyme, rhythm and repetition of this story and it was extra special to us as everywhere we looked we saw images that seemed straight out of the book. “These are the cows, […] Read more »

Homeschool Resources: What I Bought for Pre-K

Pre-K Homeschool Resources - Mud Hut Mama

Last year I bought very little for our homeschool and we learned a lot and had tons of fun with very few homeschool resources. This year I bought a little more and, since I’m really happy with most of my purchases, I thought I’d share them here. I bought a lot of books. I think that even if I quadrupled the size of our home library I would still want more books – by far the biggest challenge of homeschooling where we are is the lack of a public library. Apart from children’s books, and the multitude of activities and ideas found on the internet, this is what we are currently using in our homeschool. This post contains affiliate links. Reading: Teach Your Child to […] Read more »

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Activities: Preschool Homeschool

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Activities-Mud Hut Mama

In our last week of homeschool before leaving the forest conservancy in Zambia, we focused on caterpillars and butterflies with an episode of The Magic School Bus and some The Very Hungry Caterpillar activities. This post contains affiliate links. Science: We watched the “Butterfly and Bog Beast” Episode of The Magic School Bus where we learned that some butterflies protect themselves by blending into their surroundings to stay safe and others use mimicry (like markings that look like eyes) to trick predators. We did a simplified version of the activity at Scholastic and drew butterflies that could protect themselves. Boo drew her own butterfly and Kooks filled in a butterfly outline that I drew for her. We also used The Very Hungry Caterpillar to learn about the lifecycle […] Read more »

The Animal Boogie & Asian Animals

Animal Boogie & Asian Animals - Mud Hut Mama

I’m trying to catch up on some of our homeschool weeks that I haven’t gotten around to posting about yet. We studied the continent of Asia through animals and took a closer look at India while we were in Zambia but I’m just getting around to writing about it now. The book of the week was The Animal Boogie by Debbie Harter. It is a song as well as a book about a variety of animals that inhabit a jungle environment. The book doesn’t come out and say that it is based in India but if you take a closer look at the animals in the story you can play a geography game that will lead you to that conclusion which is exactly what we did. This […] Read more »

Understanding Water Pollution for Kids: A Science Experiment

Water Pollution for Kids-A Science Experiment-Mud Hut Mama

We feel incredibly lucky to have a lifestyle that is centered around nature conservation, but you don’t have to work in conservation to make a difference. Conservation Corner is a series where I highlight the many ways people around the world are making an effort to tread a little lighter on our planet. Today Leanna from All Done Monkey shares a science experiment that helps children understand water pollution. I love Leanna’s dedication to raising world citizens and I am so happy to be a part of the Multicultural Kid Blogs community she started. It’s a lovely place to meet parents who, while not always like minded, I’ve found to be open minded, accepting and inclusive. I’ve learned so much from this group and am […] Read more »