OCT
18
2012

Homeschool Variety

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Do your kids ever get bored with doing school at home everyday? Looking to add in a little variety and fun? Look no further than your local library! Today I packed up bags for each of my kiddos and we headed out to our local library for a day of school!   Each student grabbed a good sized bag (for example our All About Reading bag), and we emptied out their workboxes…sans really big stuff of course! We went into the children’s section of our library and found a comfy desk area to work. (Sorry for the blurry pics, I was taking them with my iPhone so as not to attract too much attention LOL!) The good thing about the children’s area is that there are kids in there, so you don’t have to worry about being totally quiet when working. If you have older kiddos, I’d suggest the regular area since the children’s area can get a little noisy at times.   The lighted suitcase is Strawberry Shortcakes! It was a Christmas present, turned into a school work briefcase, perfect for … [Read more...]

OCT
09
2011

Educational Insights: Smens Review & Giveaway

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So today, I have another fun little giveaway from Educational Insights for you! Smens Scented Pens! The Smens from Educational Insights have become our latest summer school motivating tool! We’ve been using them to complete our Summer Bridge Activities from Carson Dellosa. We do a lesson each day and the Smens are our “special” pens for these activities. Somehow having something special makes the work more fun ;o) What are Smens? Smens are gourmet scented pens made from recycled newspapers. Available scents include Red Licorice, Creamsicle, Aloha, Mystery Scent, Banana Fo Fana, Mocha, Passion Fruit, Ninja Berry, Pink Lemonade, and Black Licorice. Each Smen is individually wrapped in a stay-fresh biodegradable plastic tube and is guaranteed to keep its scent for two years. What’s the Cost? $24.95 for a set of 10 scented pens The only complaint we had were that the pens are all black ink, my kids were hoping that they were colored according to their scent. We also … [Read more...]

MAY
29
2011

Educational Insights Sneaky Squirrel Giveaway

Hi everyone, I have another awesome giveaway from the super cool people at Educational Insights today! We had so much fun reviewing the Sneaky Squirrel game. It was easy enough that the younger kids could catch on, and it moved fast enough that it kept the attention of everyone. The kids literally love this game! The Rules: The game starts with all the acorns in the tree box. Each player takes a turn with the spinner. If it lands on a color, they can use the squirrel tweezers to grab that color acorn and add it to their tree stump. If it lands on a number, they can pick that many acorns. If it lands on the sneaky squirrel they can steal one from another player. If it lands on the sad squirrel they skip a turn, and if it lands on the wind all their acorns get blown back to the tree and they start over. The first one to fill their stump with one of each color wins. The cost: $19.95 (But you know I have a freebie to offer…keep reading!) My son had a great time, even though he was … [Read more...]

MAY
24
2011

iPhone Educational Tools

When I first got my iPhone the thought of letting one of my kids even touch it was like “NOT HAPPENING!” Then slowly, I allowed them to play games here and there as a way to keep them occupied. It was such a hit, my kids asked if they could use the tickets they earned from doing chores to play on my iPhone! Now, as a homeschooler, I’m always trying to think of new ways to make learning fun. I’ll admit, I’m an iPhone newbie, and honestly I didn’t realize was that there were literally TONS of educational games out there! This epiphany lead to what’s now affectionately referred to as “There’s an iPhone in my Workbox!”. I think it would be even more fun with an iPad, but for now everyone’s happy with the iPhone idea. I purposely leave a workbox empty when I’m filling them, and instead put a sticky note with the game I want them to play on it. (I’m not foolish enough to leave my phone unattended in a workbox overnight, plus my fish would die if I didn’t tend to them.) Then the next day … [Read more...]

MAY
09
2011

Easter Egg Dyed Yarn Tutorial

I recently found a wonderful tutorial for using Easter egg dye to create hand dyed yarn and just had to try it! Now, I’m not exactly a rule follower, and the tutorial mentioned prior was too much work for me, so I surfed around and found this tutorial which was much less work. I adjusted it a tad and it still worked, so I’m calling it a success! This is a great project for kids, and it was easy enough that they did most of it on their own, with just a little instruction from me such as measuring and help with the microwave. Supplies: Easter Egg Dye Tablets (I grabbed some after Easter for half off!) Distilled White Vinegar Plastic Wrap Glass Dish (or other microwaveable container, I used a 9x13 pyrex) 6 small dishes for dye tablets Microwave White/Cream Yarn (IMPORTANT: This must be yarn from an animal such as wool, alpaca or silk. If you try to use acrylic or poly-fiber yarns, the dye will not take! Please trust me on this one…) Step 1: Wind yarn into large oval shape, … [Read more...]

MAY
03
2011

Living Math Ideas

Last week, I reviewed Loving Living Math by Cindy West. I love the ideas she presents in the book, and plan to implement the ideas for next year. (See my review here.) Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m a planner, and so I’ve been working on ideas to add into our homeschool. Of course I’m going to share them with you! For now my plan is to do 4 days of Text Book math, and 1 day of Living Math. I figure if I do 1 Living Math lesson per week, I’ll need at least 34 ideas for next year’s schedule. So far I’ve come up with 45 ideas to pick from. I added in printables where possible to help you implement the ideas in your homeschool as well! --> Click here to download Living Math Ideas <-- This is just a start to my Living Math ideas, and I'd love to hear what you all incorporate in your school as well. The ideas in this download are mainly for early elementary level students. For preschool, you can easily add in any type of counting, sorting, patterning ideas as well. You can even … [Read more...]

MAY
02
2011

Knitting On A Loom

We are involved in a local Keeper’s of the Faith group, and this month we learned how to knit on a loom. We’ve also tried knitting with needles, but for young kids, this is a very easy way to go! It also goes really fast, which helps to encourage! It’s fairly simple once you get started. I realize it’s kind of hard to explain in written form, so here’s a link to a You Tube video if that helps you more. Supplies: Knitting Loom Heavy weight yarn Instructions: Step 1: Wrap the end of the yarn around the peg on the end of the loom and hold the yarn in place to get started. Step 2: Holding the loom vertically, take the yarn attached to the Skeen, and wrap it around the first peg on the right side of your loom. Make sure to wrap yarn over the top of the peg. Pretend you are climbing up a set of stairs, always step on the top of the stair. Step 3: Wrap the yarn around the underside of the first peg and across to the first peg on the left side of your loom, again, going over the top of … [Read more...]

APR
26
2011

What’s in the Box Wednesday: First Grade

Welcome to What’s in the Box Wednesday! I’ve been trying to get back to adding in fun things to our workboxes lately! With the end of our year in sight, I’ve been slacking a little, but the kids notice and have requested more fun things. These were our first grade boxes for today: Abeka Reading Abeka Letters and Sounds Tape Measure It: This is a favorite! I give my son a tape measure, and a chart of objects for him to find and measure. He records the length of each object. On page 2 of the printout, he charts the objects based on length then lets me know which one was longest and shortest. Math U See Alpha Abeka Language iPhone Math Bingo: Another Favorite, anytime I can add in a fun educational iPhone app, they love it! AbekaLetters and Sounds Test A Reason for Handwriting T All About Spelling Level 2: I LOVE THIS PROGRAM! Have workboxes to share? Leave your blog in the comments, I’d love to see them! … [Read more...]

APR
19
2011

Guidecraft Interlox Review & Giveaway!

Hi everyone! Can anyone guess what today is? You got it, it’s Guidecraft review and giveaway day, yipee! I have to say the Interlox might be one of my favorites! Do I say that every time? Okay, well, whatever! I love these things and so do the kids! They’re great for inspiring creativity, and super easy to use! My son was happy to have some ‘boy’ stuff this time too! He immediately grabbed these and started building. I love how they even stand up on carpet! It was great to watch him learn to build something that needed to balance too. They come in a set of 96 colorful transparent plastic pieces that lock together easily and enable some great building projects! They’re easy enough for the Teeny Tot to stick together too, though my son wouldn’t let her have a turn until his project was complete. He was building the leaning tower of Pisa. (From our week on Italy) Wanna hear the best part? Guidecraft is of course offering a giveaway for our mom blog readers YAY! Click on the image … [Read more...]

APR
07
2011

K4 Level Curriculum: My First Books

Hi everyone! I have another fun K4 Preschool curriculum treat for you today! These are cute beginning readers called My First Books, that can be used by preschool-K4 level students. -->Click here to download My First Books<-- There are 8 mini-books total in this download. I think it’s fun to cut out the pages then staple together like a real book. My preschooler gets excited to feel like she’s reading just like the big kids! You can always leave them on the worksheets though and just read from them without cutting up. The sight word “the” is introduced, the rest are CVC words and should be fairly easy for young readers to get through. Click here to see my other K4 Curriculum Activities! These activities are part of my K4 level expansion to my Letter of the Week Curriculum, click on the images below to see more activities! Note: Yes, I will be packaging up all the K4 stuff shortly, I’m not done with it yet! Don’t worry, I’ll post it when it’s ready! Hope you enjoy! … [Read more...]