Homeschool Creations

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mission Accomplished…

Earlier today I posted that I hadn’t fit in my goal for July ~ roller-skating with the kids.

BUT today is July 31st, so I squeaked this in just under the wire…


You can read more about our time in my post Roller-Skating ~ Geriatric Style at No Ordinary Moments.

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Coming up in August 2010 {and my goal for the month…}

An introduction {and thank you} to our sponsors…

Nancy Larson Homeschool Science

Nancy Larson Science provides homeschool science curriculum that is engaging and challenging for your child while being fun and easy for you to teach. Each science kit comes with everything that you will need to teach your child, making it easy for you to implement and use immediately!

image You’ll be seeing a LOT more about Homeschool in the Woods this year. We’ll be using their Time Travelers units as part of our studies, but they have some amazing maps and timelines too!

imageDisciple Like Jesus is a book that strives to equip and encourage parents in following Jesus' method in discipling their children ~ and enjoying the blessings of children. Be sure to look at their online resources too!

My ‘to post’ list for the month of August…

~ Lesson plans for Peru, Venezuela, and Mexico…maybe more! {vacation in July threw me off ~ sorry!}

~ Poem printables for First Language Lessons 4

~ Full pdf set {and individual ones too!} of verse printables for the Awana Cubbies book

~ Full verse pdf sets for the Awana books: WingRunner and HangGliders

~ A few more great giveaways!!

~ New preschool planning sheets

~ Our {still-in-process} chore system…I’ll fill you all in, but wanted a little time to see how it would actually work for us…or IF it would!

~ and of course all the regular weekly stuff…Science Sunday, Homeschool Village, Preschool Corner, and hopefully we’ll be back with Raising Rock Stars soon too!

My Goal for the month of August…

Last month’s goal of roller-skating went flying out the window with us being on vacation for over a week. And that’s ok because we had fun together as a familySO, we’ll tack that onto this month’s list of things to do. Updated on 7/31 @ 5pm…just under the wire, we squeaked this goal in ~ you can see the fun pictures in Roller-Skating Geriatric Style.

My other big goal? Get our homeschool curriculum…past, present and future re-organized. I’ve been slowly {but surely} going room by room and getting things in line, but in the process one room has become a PIT of despair and is sadly in need of attention and lots of it.

The state of that room is always in the back of my mind and really effecting other stuff {like my ability to focus} so it is top priority ~ especially since we’re supposed to start school soon and finding things could be an issue if I don’t do it! :)

What’s one thing that you really want to do this month?

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Preschool Corner ~ Lowercase Letter Crafts a-d

Preschool CornerWe finished up the uppercase letter crafts {although I still have plans for a few different uppercase ones this coming year to go along with some books we’re going to be using. One thing that I will be focusing on a little bit more this year with Kaleb are the lowercase letters.

And of course, there need to be crafts to go along with the uppercase letter crafts that we did last year, right?

Some of my time this summer has been spent coming up with ideas for all the lowercase letters with Cindy from Along the Way {and truthfully a few of them still have us stumped}. Here are the first four lowercase letter crafts to share with you all. Just click on the thumbnail picture to see the direction for that letter craft.

 a is for apple craftb is for butterfly craft

c is for chameleon craft d is for daisy craft

I’ll be sharing more with you all from these in the upcoming weeks, but wanted to share these before I forget!

Stories & Books We Used

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Homeschool Village ~ Heart for the Arts

Homeschool Village

This weeks topic at the Homeschool Village: A Heart for the Arts. Post a picture of your homeschooler enjoying art and what you are planning on teaching!

Until about 2 days ago, I wasn’t certain exactly what we were going to do for art {other than arts & crafts, rice & beans projects}. Cindy from Along the Way let me borrow one of her books {which I promptly spilled coffee on and hence committed myself to using that book for our art time this coming year…Discovering Great Artists by MaryAnn Kohl.


Ok, I kid {somewhat}. The books is actually what I was looking for ~ art activities for kids based on famous artist along with a brief bio on each artist. We’re going to get together with Cindy and her kids twice a month and learn about a different artist and try our hand at some different art techniques.

Other than painting and drawing, we love to see plays from time to time {depending on what is available and how much they are!}. Flat Stanley has been one of our favorite plays so far! Stanley got flattened by the big ol’ bulletin board below.

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And as far as music goes…this past spring, both girls took piano lessons and also had their first recital! Practicing was hard for McKenna, but she wrote her own song to play for the recital too ~ it was cute!

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What do you as a family enjoy doing for art and fine arts? Leave a comment and be sure to visit Homeschool Village and see what other moms are sharing about this topic!

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Updated Workbox Activity Cards

Just to let you know…I’ve updated the Workbox Activity Cards and added a few new tags after you all requested them. There are now a total 72 activity cards and 16 minute time cards and 12 blank cards.

 Workbox Picture Cards 2  Workbox Picture Cards 3    Workbox Picture Cards 4  Workbox Picture Cards 5   

Workbox Cards 4

Here are some of the additions:

  • Foreign languages ~ French, Spanish, German, Latin, and Greek
  • Subject cards ~ Bible, math, language, history, nature study, music appreciation, circle time
  • Sports ~ volleyball, soccer, trampoline, swimming, baseball, softball, basketball, karate and running
  • Extras ~ chores, video games, music practice, chess, violin, audiobook, clean-up, church, file folders, guitar and field trip and more…

If you need a good laugh, go check out Jodi’s post on her laminating adventures over at Granola Mom for God…I’m apparently an enabler ~ but you can thank her for the ‘potty’ card that was added to the mix! :)

Additional Workbox Resources

~ Workbox Weekly Grid ~ pdf download of the pages I put together for our kids including pink, purple, blue, green and white pages for Monday through Friday.

~ Preschool Number Cards ~ Number cards with some fun characters {if you are using the traditional workbox system}

~ Workbox system using number strips and workfolders {our system last year}

~ Velcro in BULK. I purchased the 3/8” velcro dots from Textol Systems but have also found larger coins at even better prices from Feiner Supply {and they have free shipping this month!}

~ Lots of great workbox links, ideas and ways to adjust the workbox system.

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Guidecraft School Library Cart ~ Review


When I taught in the school system, Guidecraft was a familiar name to me. My classroom had several products that we ordered out of their catalog, but my homeschool classroom hasn’t.

Until now!!image

Trying to keep all of the kids school supplies, books and whatnots in one location and then find room for all of my teaching books and manipulatives was getting a little tricky. We had shelves, drawers and baskets overflowing with all of our school gear…and truthfully it was beginning to drive me a little more than nuts. When things around me are scattered…I am too.

This gorgeous School Library Cart showed up on my doorstep one day from Guidecraft ~ IMG_5105and our UPS guy was nice to bring it inside for me. Trust me, this is one solid piece of furniture! It weighs over 40 pounds, so I opened the box when a friend of mine came over to visit and roped her into helping me put it together.

Overall, it was pretty easy to put together. The assembly instructions for the library cart were easy to follow and all done using pictures. At times, the wheels were a little tricky, but from start to finish we had it put together in about 45 minutes. It is definitely a two person job {ok, maybe one if my hubby would have put it together, but I was too impatient to wait for him to get home!}.

Aside from a screwdriver, we didn’t need any additional materials, but I would highly recommend using a socket wrench to tighten everything…otherwise, you’ll be turning the little wrench that comes in the kit for much longer. Besides, using a socket wrench is fun and makes a lovely little noise that makes you feel handy. :)

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Laurianna was the official photographer since my hands were otherwise occupied, but here we are about 45 minutes into our endeavor with a successfully assembled library cart that was ready-to-use!

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The library cart fits perfectly into the corner of our dining room and is going to be wonderful to use this year. I’ve organized it so that one side has all of my weekly teaching supplies on it {teacher’s manuals, extra books}.

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On the other side each of the kids have space to put their books and extras. Instead of putting shelves on the end, we used some removable 3M hooks to hold the kids pencil cases so they can grab them quickly.  The bottom shelf holds our extra manipulatives, our spelling curriculum bin, reading bin and extra school supplies.

I love that it has wheels and we can move it around as needed during our school time. It takes up much less room that what we had previously {hooray!!} and there is still plenty of room to fill it up as we go through our school year ~ and trust me, we’ll use it!


Do you want to know the best part?? Guidecraft has offered to giveaway a School Library Cart to one of my readers!! How wonderful is THAT?

Ready to win??

Mandatory first entry: Visit the Guidecraft website and let me know what other product you love! Leave a comment and tell me!

For additional entries {leave a separate comment for each entry}:

~ Follow Guidecraft on Twitter ~ be sure to leave me your twitter name!

~ If you already subscribe to my site, give yourself an extra entry.

~ Send out a tweet about this contest. You can copy/paste the tweet below if you’d like!

@jolantheerb is hosting a giveaway for a library cart from @Guidecraft. Enter to win here: Ends 8/3.

~ Will you blog about it if you win? Give yourself an extra entry if you will!

This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only. Please be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry. The contest will be open until Tuesday, August 3rd at 8pm EST and a winner will be chosen using {GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED}

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Learning About Chile ~ Lesson Plans and Links

While Brazil is the largest country in South America, Chile is the longest. Off the southern coast there are thousands of small islands. We had fun learning that the seasons in Chile are reversed from those in the Northern Hemisphere {summer is December to March and winter is June to August}, comparing the Chilean flag to one of the US state flags {Texas} and figuring out which came first.

We talked a little about the Inca’s and Chile’s independence from Spain, about the five regions of Chile, and also about earthquakes and plates. We also used the time to talk a bit about Darwin and the theory of evolution {his visit to Chile after an earthquake} ~ maybe not typical geography studies, but it fit in when we were studying. You can view the other countries that we’ve studied from South America on my geography page.

Week 1 Layout


  • Review song about South America from Geography Songs {see words below}
  • Use atlas and globe to locate Chile; read in the atlas about Chile
  • Read one of our books from our bookshelf about Chile.

      South America

    Argentina, Venezuela and Colombia,

    Ecuador, Peru and Chile and Bolivia,

    Uruguay and Paraguay, Brazil and Guyana

    and Suriname ~

    These are the countries of South America.

    The French have French Guiana.

    The British have the Falkland Islands.

    Brazil is the biggest country and

    Chile is the longest.


  • Learn {and review} some terms: inlets, fjords, desert, strait, island, continental plate
  • Read together book on Chile  
  • Learned about the flag of Chile and completed our notebooking sheet

    Flag of Chile 

    Click on thumbnail to download pdf file



  • Reviewed geography song
  • Spent time ‘sightseeing’ on the Time for Kids ~ Chile page. 
  • Read together book on Chile

Week 2 Layout


  • Quick review about what we covered last week.
  • Visited the National Geographic Kids site to learn more about Chile
  • Independent reading from shelf
  • Filled out the map of Chile using our notebooking page.

     Mapping Chile Click on thumbnail to download pdf file


Wednesday Thursday

Resources and Websites

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Preschool Corner ~ Getting Buggy

A friend of ours {hi Catherine!!} invited us over this week to do a ‘mini-camp’ of sorts. We spent a few mornings over her house with all of our kids {preschool up to 4th grade} and had fun learning about a few bugs, making some crafts, creating some yummy treats and just having fun. Cindy from Along the Way joined us one of the days too.

Unfortunately I forgot my camera on the first day, but made up for it on the second day by taking over 100 picture. I’m so glad we have a digital camera. :) The first day we learned about ladybugs and on our second day we talked about ants.


Catherine started off each morning with a devotional time…and we read a book about the insect we were studying. After we sat down to make a craft ~ some cute little bug jars from Oriental Trading.


The kids also made some ladybug beanbags {felt circles filled with rice} and glued some spots on them. They weren’t quite dry enough to play a game with, so we had to use plain beanbags to play ‘catch the aphid’, where the kids had to toss a beanbag on a giant leaf and try to land on one of the green foam dots.


Snack for our ladybugs was a yummy cookie that the kids frosted and put little candy dots on {not healthy…but fun!}.


After devotions on ‘Ant Day’ we read Are You an Ant? and even I learned some fun facts about ants ~ did you know that ants can stroke an aphid? That they have two stomachs? The Are You? series are great books…and ones that we’ll be checking into more.


Craft time was an ant made out of egg cartons. The kids painted them black and used pipe cleaners for legs and antennae. 

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For snack we made anthills {aka chocolate pudding and crushed graham crackers} and the kids added chocolate covered raisins for the queen ants and mini chocolate chips for the worker ants.

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Right after we finished our story time, we took three lids outside to see if we could attract ants. One lid had a chunk of watermelon in it, one had water, and one had some apple juice.

After about an hour we went back down to check out the caps to see if we had any ant action. The kids guessed that the watermelon would have ants on it ~ and it did! The water had no visitors and the apple juice had a few ants. Can you see the little visitors?

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Stories & Books We Used

These are some of the books that we read at home to learn a little more about our insect friends.

Ready to Link Up?

Share what you are doing with your kids! Please link your exact blog post to the Mr. Linky below and link back here too! The updated guidelines can be found here if you need them.
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