I seem to be getting a lot of similar questions, so I thought I’d address some of them in one spot, so here goes…

1. What age did you start doing your prek activities with your children?

  • I started doing our prek stuff with my daughter at 3.5. Really I think this is sort of on the young side, the main reason for it was that she has 2 older siblings doing school already and wanted to have her own boxes! We started with motor skill stuff from 1+1+1 Tot Tray ideas, and it evolved into my letter of the week program!

2. How many boxes do you do with your 3 year old?

3. What is the “Workbox System”, and where do you get your boxes?

4. Where do you get all of your clipart/images for your prek activities?

  • Most of them I make them myself in Photoshop Elements 7.0. Some are public domain clipart that I find online. I do try to be VERY careful about making sure an image I use is indeed public domain before using it though. I’d rather not worry about copywrite laws!

5. What software program do you use to make your downloads?

  • I use Photoshop Elements 7.0, though at the time of this post, they have released 8.0. I find PSE very user friendly and there are TONS of free tutorials to get you started. I also use it for my digital scrapbooking. One of my favorite tutorial sites is Jessica Sprague, she offers some free ones that include graphic image downloads, as well as online classes. She is a very good instructor and her videos are great quality. Plus most of her classes come with great digital downloads to help complete your projects!
  • After creating the images, I save my photoshop files as JPGs then use a Word program and just insert the JPGinto the document. Finally I save that document as a PDF file (I use PDF Creator) and upload them to 4shared. When I post them, I simply make a link to the 4shared file for you all to download.
  • I use ACDSee 2009 to manage all of my digital scrapbook elements as well as my images for homeschool. Although Photoshop Elements 7.0 comes with an organizer, I found that once I got a certain quantity of images in it, that it was very slow and had a tendency to crash. ACDSee seems to do a better job of managing my images. Although it was fairly easy to understand, there is a “How To” class offered at Jessica Sprague for ACDSee.

6. What laminator do you use?

  • The Xyron has cartridges that you put in, so instead of “heat” laminate its “sticky” laminate, kind of like contact paper. I like it better for cutting objects out as it doesn’t peel off. They also sell adhesive cartridges so you can make stickers, as well as the magnetic laminate that is magnet on one side and laminate on the other, so you can make magnets!
  • Scotch Laminator: This is a heat laminator, and though I don’t own one of these, several people have said they love it! You can get it at Wal-mart for around $28 and the refills can be found at Sam’s club, I believe it was about $20/200 sheets.

7. Where did you buy…

  • Desks/whiteboard: I got mine from a church school that was closing for $5 each! Check craig’s list in your area for student desks.
  • Plastic Tot Trays: Lakeshore Learning $14.95 for 4 trays
  • Tiered Bookshelf: Lakeshore Learning on sale!
  • Games/Toys/Etc: I get my stuff from all over the place! One fun place to look is TJMaxx in the back they have a toy section and usually pretty good prices for Melissa and Doug toys, puzzles, books etc. I also go to www.lakeshorelearning.com. They have TONS of fun educational games, manipulatives etc. Also, places like Wal-mart, Target $1 section etc, you can find great cheap stuff that can be used for school, for example I just got some fun valentine stuff, foam hearts that I’ll put numbers on for my dd to count and sort by color/size etc. And of course Michael’s and JoAnn’s as well for craft supplies. Remember “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have” Hebrews 13:5a. That said, if you can’t afford to buy something, try to think of a way to make it yourself! Popsicle sticks, paper plates, cups, beans, pom-poms etc, can all be used for sorting, counting etc. You just have to be creative!

9. How do I get started homeschooling? Click here to see my post on Getting Started!

I hope this helps answers some of your questions, if you have any other questions not addressed here, please feel free to leave a comment, or email me by clicking on the link found in the “about me” section of this blog.


  1. This may seem like a silly question but I'm clueless when it comes to laminating. For all the smaller pieces, do I need to cut them prior to laminating or can I laminate and then cut them out? Thanks!

  2. HI Erica,
    I was referred to your website by two different friends and I really admire your creativity, organization, and ease of operation available to the rest of us. I’m starting off slow, a letter a week for just an hour a day picking and choosing activities appropriate for my 3 yo son. I have since recommended your site to other moms and they also love your site. I have 2 quick questions for you: 1) What in the world do you do with your TinyTot (how old is she by the way?) while you’re teaching your other 3? Right now I do “school” with my 3 yo during my 16 mo’s morning nap, but I know she’s going to need to drop that nap any week now. I’m scared stiff of the trouble she will get into being unsupervised, or the abandonment of my son b/c she needs so much attention. She doesn’t seem ready to participate or play on her own like your cutie. 2) In your intro blog post and again in your Enrichment #1 post you mentioned that you were initially not positive about homeschooling (much as I am), and you linked to a “Why we homeschool” post, but the link seems to just loop back to the same 2 posts. Would you be able to direct me to your post? I’d love to read it as I am so hesitant to make this decision. Thank you so much for your servant’s heart for your children and the Lord and your willingness to share it all with the world. We are all blessed because of you.

    Kim H
  3. Hi Erika, Our homeschool wants to order the co op version of the expedition earth.
    Could you please tell me how many pages in total. we are trying to figure out whats more cost effective for our parents.
    I also assume that they are color pages rite?
    Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Valeria, The Teacher’s Manual is 168 pages, some are color, most are black and white. The Student Workbook is 117 pages, and again, most are black and white, but some are color like maps for each section and the mini-books for the world lapbook. Hope that helps!

  4. I am looking for a curriculum to do for a 2 day a week/ 2.5 hours each time co-op preschool with 4-6 3 and 4 year old children. I looked into the Joy School program, but really don’t want to pay that much money. I just had a big move to Korea, so am late in getting started for the school year. Because of this, I feel like I need some help with the curriculum and materials. I love the sounds of your program, all the creative ideas, how fun it sounds, and the amazing price! As a Christian, I also love how you incorporate Bible verses, stories, etc. How do you think it would work for a program like I’m starting up?

    Sandy N
  5. Hi Erica,

    I am interested in your geography combo download. I have 2 students that will be using this curriculum. How do I print this out? It would cost an arm and a leg to do home printing. Does the download allow me to have it printed at a printing service? Just let me know. I would like to print it all and place in a binder for 2 students. Thanks 🙂

    Bettina S

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