Homeschool Creations

Saturday, February 26, 2011

How to Have a H.E.A.R.T for Your Kids


When Apologia Press saw the Little Leaps of Love challenge this month, they offered two copies of Rachel Carman’s newest book How to Have a H.E.A.R.T For Your Kids ~ one for each of the challenge winners!! I will admit that my interest is definitely piqued after reading the book excerpt and I can’t wait til I have a moment to sit down and start reading it!

How well do you really know your children? Sure, you love them, but do you even like them? What has God shown you about who they are and who they will become? He has sent these children into your home at this specific time for His glorious purposes. Thus you have been invited on the adventure of a lifetime, a journey on which you will see walls fall, seas parted, and giants slain. You don’t need special skills or training for this journey—you need only to seek God and hold tightly to His mighty hand! As with so many things, the first step to having a heart for your children is knowing your heavenly Father.

As you seek daily to share His heart with your kids, keep this inspirational book close at hand. In it, Rachael Carman uses the word HEART to help you remember and focus on what really matters.

Rachel Carmen will also be speaking at Apologia Live in Atlanta, Baltimore, Austin, and Chicago. Thanks so much to Apologia for sharing a little something extra with us!

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button

Friday, February 25, 2011

Preschool Corner ~ Praying for School

Apparently a certain little someone is ready for us to get back into the school groove and I am really hoping that this next Monday we will be back in more of our typical ‘routine’.

At dinner each night we take turns praying for the meal and when it was Kaleb’s turn the other night, the prayer went a little something like this…

“Thanks for the nice day. Thanks that we could ride our bikes today. I hope we can do school tomorrow. Thank you for our dinner. Amen.”

I’m sincerely hoping that our internet is hooked up soon so that I can access some of my own stuff {like link on my own blog, etc….}. Today’s post and internet connection are courtesy of Cindy from Along the Way who let me crash her house and get online for a bit! :)

A Few Preschool Links for You:


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.

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Blessing My Children ~ The Homeschool Village

Homeschool Village

Today the panel at The Homeschool Village is finishing the following statement:

I believe the best way I can bless my children as their homeschool teacher is ...

Having the last few weeks off from school and being in the throes of complete chaos at times has really given me some time to ponder and reflect on what we’ve been doing and what we will be doing/changing…and things I personally need to change to bless my children.

Visit Homeschool Village and see what other moms and I are sharing about this topic ~ you will really be blessed and encouraged by what the other moms are saying about this topic today!

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button


Friday, February 18, 2011

Preschool Corner ~ Moving Chaos

This week I have nothing. Nada. Zilcho.

We’ve been packing and moving {repeat} all week long, and did take a break to visit the Children’s Museum this week, but otherwise we practiced the fine art of lugging boxes, sorting toys and clothing, and navigating our new house.

BUT I’m sure the rest of you have some fun things to share with me that you’ve worked on this past week, so please link up and let us all see!


More Preschool Links:

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.

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button


Thursday, February 17, 2011

What are Your Favorite Websites?

Homeschool Village

I’ll admit it. I love surfing the web and visiting blogs, websites and such. There are stacks of great ideas out there just begging to be used!! Each of us has our favorite sites that we check out frequently. I have many of my favorites in my sidebar under “Blogs I Love” and also a stash of friends and fun memes on a page called Blogs I Love and Visit Often.

What are YOUR ‘go-to’ sites? Today over at The Homeschool Village the panel of moms is sharing some of their favorite sites. Don’t forget to visit Homeschool Village and see what other moms are sharing about this topic!

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cylinders & Cubes {Guidecraft Mom Review}

image      image

Our kids have always loved to play with nesting and sorting cups, but we’ve never had a wooden toy version of them. Guidecraft sent us Cylinders and Cubes to have some fun with and when our 2 year old cousin came for a visit, we thought it was the perfect time to pull them out!

About the Cylinders & Cubes


Guidecraft has done an outstanding job with both of these products. Both sets are brightly colored with non-toxic paints. Rather than having all of the pieces in each size the same exact color, the pieces graduate in color from dark primary to a light pastel version of the color. Each piece also has a fun pattern painted on the edge of the piece, giving an added detail to an already wonderful toy. Both sets have twelve pieces in the set.


The base that the pieces fit into is also brightly colored and designed ~ definitely eye-catching for little ones! Although the age recommendation is for ages 3 and up due to the smaller top pieces, our 2 year old cousin had no problem stacking and nesting the pieces.

My Thoughts

Another feature of the toy that I really love is the graduated pieces are all varying in size. The largest pieces in each shape are NOT all the same size, meaning they can be stacked from largest to smallest in varying colors/patterns also {i.e. blue, green, red}. This adds another great educational twist to the product since the pieces also graduate in color to pastels.

Since children often put pieces in their mouths, the non-toxic paints used to color the shapes are a huge plus also. The detail of each piece makes it not only fun to play with, but colorful to look at too!

Find Out More

Overall, these are both products that I would HIGHLY recommend. You can purchase the Cylinders and Cubes from Amazon or directly from the Guidecraft website. Xenia from Thanks, Mail Carrier! is also hosting a giveaway that is open unitl March 11, 2011.

Guidecraft giveaway


Jolanthe Signature affiliate button

As a Guidecraft Mom blogger, I was provided this product to review. I was not paid for this post and all opinions expressed in this post are mine…or my kids.

Labels: ,

Monday, February 14, 2011

Transportation Preschool Pack

Transportation Preschool Pack Button copy

We’ll be working on a Transportation Preschool Pack soon, so I’ll have lots more to go along with the printables, but I just couldn’t wait to share it! We’ll be using the book Alphabeep by Debora Pearson along with several other great books.

Here’s a look inside the Transportation Preschool Pack:

· Name tag strip for front of lapbook or folder if you store your preschool pack

· Story summary sheet for one of your favorite books

· Transportation words {and 2 part word and picture matching cards}

· Shadow matching

· Fly the Airplane tracing lines

· 3 Piece puzzle cards

· Vehicle size sequencing

· Color by number coloring page

· Letters to spell several vehicle words

· Count the Vehicles ~ 1:1 counting and number identification cards

· Vehicle Colors ~ trace the color word

· Left and Right direction sorting cards

· Beginning sound word cards

· Letter H and B word tracing sheets

1 to 1 counting cardsleft or righttrain counting

letter sounds  transportation words

You can see more pictures and download the pdf files on my Transportation Preschool Pack page. Be sure to download BOTH of the pdf files. I split it into two so that it would be easier to download.

Some of the books and things we’ll be using when we learn…

If you’re looking for more Preschool Packs, be sure to check out the growing collection on my website!

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button

Labels: , ,

Friday, February 11, 2011

Preschool Corner ~ Packing Up

It’s official! Boxes started moving out of our house on Thursday and the move to our new house has begun! We kept it pretty low key for most of the week because our house had a constant cycle of inspectors, contractors, and things we had to work out with our realtor.

Meaning Mommy was a bit distracted in getting it all together. I’ll admit it! I had high hopes of getting in one good week of focused and intentional school before we had to pack up all of our stuff.

Instead I watched my little boy amaze me with things that he has otherwise refused to do during structured school time. Sing his ABC’s completely, count with 1:1 correspondence up to 12, count up to 20, identify all of his letters by name and the majority by sound ~ and all while helping Mommy pack and just sitting around reading with siblings.

There was a lot of Leap Frog watching too…and Pink Panther. I’ll admit that too.

Next week I’ll still be hosting Preschool Corner, but can already tell you we won’t be doing anything planned. We have family visiting us from Holland, so it will instead be a whole lot of fun…and moving. :)

Be sure to visit back on Monday ~ I’ll be sharing a new Transportation Preschool Pack with you all that I’m putting the finishing touches on right now!


More Preschool Links:

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.

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button


Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Great Backyard Bird Count


Next week is promising to be a bit crazy in our household since our official move date has been set. Most likely school as we generally know it will be put aside while we pack and unpack, but in the midst of it, I am truly hoping that our kids will be able to participate in The Great Backyard Bird Count from February 18th-21st.

At our current house we do see several different birds each day, but our new house promises to have a MUCH larger variety of birds!! Today I’ll be busy printing off a tally sheet and getting our bird feeders ready to move over to the new house.

The website for The Great Backyard Bird Count has some helpful articles and tips on their site too, even if you are unable to participate this time around ~ tips on choosing bird food, bird feeder placement, selecting the right bird feeder, identifying tricky birds, and myths about bird feeding.

Learn more on how you can participate here and print off some great helps for educators including regional bird checklist and info on a photo contest too!

Will you be participating in The Great Backyard Bird Count or have you in the past?

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Schoolhouse Expo

Have you wanted to attend a homeschool convention, but found it difficult to travel to one ~ or don’t even have one in your area? The online Schoolhouse Expo, held from May 16-20th, 2011,  may be the answer for you!

The theme for the Spring Expo is: “Homeschooling with Heart.” and speakers this year include Susan Wise Bauer, Dianne Craft, Carol Barnier, Jim Weiss, and one of my favorite people, Marie Rippel from All About Spelling! You can view the full lineup of speakers here and purchase tickets on the Schoolhouse Expo site.

Each Early Bird ticket includes:

  • a virtual goodie bags (valued at over $200!), door prizes, and even a virtual vendor hall offering freebies and specials!
  • MP3 downloads of all the sessions from the convention, so you can listen to ones that you miss or keep your favorites handy to listen to again.
  • one year membership to Homschool Legal Advantage

A special Early Bird ticket price of $19.50 ends Wednesday, February 9th at 11:59 p.m. On February 10, the price goes up to $29.00 and the Bonus Freebies will no longer be available. On February 27, the full price of $39.99 will be in effect.

Just wanted to let you all know about the Early Bird ticket price before they expire!

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button

Why Spelling is Important

I know this is just a silly post, but had to share this fun picture from our vacation. This sign was sitting on a table at a coffee shop that we stopped at in hopes of getting internet service.


Amazing how misplacing a few vowels can make all the difference in the world, isn’t it?

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Coming Up in February 2011 {and a goal for the month}

An introduction {and thank you} to our sponsors…

Ahh ad Laurianna 3 copy  
Our Ahh! Prods bean bags have been well loved at our house and will keep us warm at our new house! If you are looking for high quality bean bag chairs, be sure to visit their site! 
My Grafico Clip Art

My Grafico has become my ‘go-to’ site to find clip art for my recent Preschool Packs. Their graphics and clip art packs are unique AND affordable ~ a great combination!

Time 4 Learning

Time 4 Learning is a convenient, online homeschool curriculum that combines education with interactive fun for grades PreK-8th. Time4Learning offers each child their own learning path, with animated lessons, unit assessments, and integrated printable worksheets for reinforcement.

I am so very excited to have The Vintage Pearl as a sponsor for the Little Leaps of Love challenge. Their necklaces and handstamped pieces are gorgeous! Each piece created is unique and something that you will have as a keepsake for years to come.

My Goal for the month of February {and January’s results}…
My goal for January was to update and share my Emergency Binder printables. I started and was making good progress, but when it became clear that we were moving, I put all of that on hold. Many of the things that I would need to put into the binder will be changing and truthfully I felt my energy was better put elsewhere. :) I did what I needed to leave my mom important information for my parents, but otherwise I had to focus on preparing to move.

For February, my main goal is to keep up with the basics of school work in the midst of moving ~ and be realistic about the expectations on the kids and myself. We’re at a bit of a standstill since we can’t quite move into our new house {while we wait for the former owner to move out}, but we’re ready to start the process. I’m well aware that patience is NOT one of my strong traits…and trying to rest and know that God has been working through this entire process…and He isn’t going to leave us hanging!

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

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button