Homeschool Creations

Friday, September 30, 2011

Fall Fun ~ Preschool Corner

With the new Fall Fun Printables pack just staring at me, we had to work on them together!! If anything, it got us MORE excited for fall to really be here! The weather has been so nice and cool during the day and even at night, so it was a great week to talk about the changes that fall brings.

We had some fun fall books in our reading pile for the week and read several of them each day. Everyday we did the following {before we started into our workboxes} ~ read a book or two from our reading pile {see the carousel below} and reviewed our vocabulary words. Most of the printables were from my Fall Fun Printables pack unless otherwise noted {there are some more great links below too!}.

A peek into our Workboxes

Fall Fun Workboxes

Extra activities after workboxes


Monday ~ fingerprint tree {draw a tree trunk and use our fingerprints for the leaves

Tuesday ~ Caramel Apple ‘Nachos’: slice apples thin and drizzle homemade caramel sauce over them {and chocolate chips!}

Wednesday ~ Apple Wreath stamping


Here are a few pictures and look into our week of fall fun….



The Read! Build! Write! mats are always a hit {there’s a fall themed set too!} and Kaleb is getting so much better at finding the letters now. It can still take a bit to ‘build’ the word, but he still works at it. We usually do only 2 words a day because of the time it takes to put it together.

fall unit-2

The ‘Find the Word’ sheet isn’t always his favorite activity in the packs, but when we pulled out the Do-A-Dot markers…he was rather happy to participate. :) If it works….



We used the apple seed printout out of the Apple themed pack from 2 Teaching Mommies along with some dried black beans to work on counting with 1:1. I pulled out our number/counting cards and would show Kaleb a number and have him put that many seed inside the apple.


We worked on adding simple numbers together with our apple addition. I would put two numbers on the mat for Kaleb to add together and he would make the right number of mini apples from playdough and then put the right number as the answer.

fall unit-3

The connect the dot acorn ~ HUGE hit! He especially liked that he could color it in when he was done. The first day I slid the paper in a sheet protector and he used a dry erase marker to connect the dots. On the second day, he used a pencil and then colored it in to finish it.

Other Fun

Kaleb loved stamping the apples to make an apple wreath {something he will proudly be hanging above his desk this week. And the do-a-dot pages…pure happiness everyday. Where the boy gets satisfaction having every dot filled is beyond me {cough cough}.

20110929-IMG_2156 fall unit-1

That’s just a quick glimpse at our week and whirlwind look at fall. What have you all been up to this week?

More Fun Fall Links

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Using Do-a-Dot Pages {Reader Questions}

After I get a certain number of emails with the same question, I figure it’s time to answer the question online so you all can see. Besides, maybe it’s secretly a question you’ve had, but been afraid to ask!

Chandra emailed this week with the following question:

There are these pages that have a letter and a picture and both are full of dots. I have never seen these before, what are the dots for? Are they to be colored in? Want to make sure I use these the best way!

In case you’re wondering, these are the pages that she is talking about {taken from my Fall Fun Printables}. Your printer is not going crazy ~ there are white dots on the letters and pictures ~ and yes, they are meant to be there. :)


I happen to have a son who absolutely loves his Do-A-Dot markers. Not only for these projects, mind you, but anything I’ll let him stick a dot on. If you aren’t sure what Do-A-Dot markers are, basically they are like bingo markers but colorful and fun for kids!


We have a variety of colors and use them on pages {like the above} and even for stamping out words that Kaleb recognizes on our reading sheets ~ really anything if he’s having fun and engaging in school! I put together a set of Alphabet Do-a-Dot pages {from A to Z} last year that you can download here. Each letter has two different pictures to go along with the letters.

Alternate Ideas for Using the Do-a-Dot Pages

If you don’t have the Do-A-Dot markers though, you may have something else around your house that you can use instead. Here are a few more ideas for you to try with the pages.

~ Puff ball magnets ~ Mama Jenn has a great tutorial on how to make your own puff ball magnets. The magnets are great to use on a cookie sheet. Here’s one of her children using them with a do-a-dot page:                      image

~ Circle Stickers ~ You know the little colorful circle stickers you can use to tag for yard sales? Those are another great fine motor activity to use with the do-a-dot pages.

~ Power Magnets ~ Put your pages on a cookie sheet and have fun sticking the magnets on the spots. Kids love magnets too {the power magnets are the ones we have}. With little ones you have to be careful of what might go in the mouth, but they are a hit at our house.

~ Transparent Counters ~ We have what seems like a gazillion of these little plastic coins and have used these as well on the sheets.

~ Markers ~ We’ll many times use markers to color in the dots {or crayons or colored pencils}. Depending on how detailed I want Kaleb to be, I sometimes give him the fine-tipped markers so he has to work a little harder at coloring in the lines.

What other ideas do you have to share to use on the do-a-dot pages?  Leave a comment and share how you’ve used the pages with your kids!

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Removing Awana Printables

I am in the process of removing the Awana printables from my website. My intention was to provide printables for use with your kids at home and provide an extra teaching resource to help putting God’s word in our kid’s hearts. I am so thankful that it has been a help to many of you.

Because the verses follow along with the scope and sequence of the Awana program, I am being asked by Awana to remove them for copyright reasons. The files and webpages will be removed from my website by Saturday, October 1st.

Thanks for understanding!! :)

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Our NEW Calendar and Morning Board


Pictured above: Our monthly calendar pocket chart,We Choose Virtues poster, Calendar and Morning Board, US Wall Cling map, and our All About Spelling board.

The new schoolroom just needed a revised Calendar and Morning Board {ahem}. The foam board managed to get a little bent in the move, so I pulled everything off, moved things around, added a few things and now we’re good to go!  We also have been using a new character program for the kids called We Choose Virtues and I really wanted to include the cute teacher’s cards and the poster in our morning routine.

Want a close-up look?


We did make a few changes to our calendar board. I wanted to move away from as much of the dry erase marker as I could {mainly since a few kiddos have a tendency to draw on many things other than the board}. We added a few things, made a few things smaller, and added some velcro to pieces.

Each morning we all sit down together and one of the kids leads us in our morning routine ~ praying for our Compassion child and one of the missionaries we support, changing any information that needs to be updated {date, days in school , temperature, etc…}, and then reviewing other information on the board {skip counting/multiplication and our We Choose Virtues card}. 

For full details on how I put our new Calendar and Morning Board together and to download the free calendar printables to go along with it, visit my Calendar Time webpage. I have a list of links there as well to all of the printables that I’ve used from other sites as well, along with links to some other great ladies’ calendar boards. Note: some of the printable files that I’ve shared in the past have been updated, so be sure to check them out!

Additional Links You May Like:

~ How We Store Our Calendar Pieces

~ Preschool Calendar Time


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    Monday, September 26, 2011

    The Adventures of Munford ~ Review & Giveaway

    Have you ever looked at a droplet of rain and wondered where that tiny droplet has been or come from? Maybe it was a local stream, a river far away or somewhere across the ocean. What if you could see and hear what that water droplet had seen?

    Meet Munford. He’s two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen ~ a water molecule. He has traveled the world as rain, sleet, steam and has seen some amazing things in his lifetime. Munford brings your child along on his travels, teaching geography, history, science and more in The Adventures of Munford book series by Jamie Aramini.
    imageWhen we received the set of books in the mail, McKenna walked off with the books and started reading them right away. She is currently reading the third book in the series and really enjoying them! We know she is absorbing the info, because we constantly hear about Munford during the day.
    One night at dinner {and in the midst of reading The American Revolution}, McKenna shouted out ~ “Watch out! You might be drinking Munford!”…which then started everyone giggling and laughing. I love the creative twist on history that the series offers along with an imaginative narrator. So far McKenna has learned about The American Revolution, learned about an inventor in Munford Meets Robert Fulton, and is currently exploring with Munford Meets Lewis and Clark. The last book on her list is The Klondike Gold Rush.
    Find Out More

    Each of the books is published by Geography Matters and sells for $8.95. From now until the end of October, you can get 4 books for the price of 3 with the coupon code 4MUNFORD43. The books are written for all ages, but reading level is around a 3rd – 5th grade level. We could definitely use these as read-alouds for our younger boys {and most likely will!}.

    The Giveaway


    Geography Matters has generously offered to give away a full set of the books to one of my readers!!

    I’m trying out a new giveaway system that should make this a much easier process, so hang in there and follow the directions in the widget below {you will need javascript to view the widget}.

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    I received four books from Geography Matters to review and provide my honest opinion, and in this case, my daughter’s too. I do not have to return the products and I was not paid for this post.

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    Fall Fun Learning Pack ~ Free Printables

    The weather is getting cooler, a few leaves are changing color and giving the hint of crisp days to come. Fall is one of my favorite seasons because of so many different things: apple picking, the pumpkin patch, colorful leaves and cool weather. Definitely something we’re looking forward to around here!

    Here’s a peek inside the Fall Fun Unit Printables:

    Fall Fun Printables collage

    The Fall Fun Learning Printables includes two separate downloads, one geared toward younger Preschoolers and another for Kindergarten. You’ll find word and letter tracer sheets, early writing strips, find the different object, and beginning sound cards along with a few other fun pieces ~ the Clip & Learn Wheel, fill in the missing number, shadow matching and more.

    You can download the Fall Fun Learning Printables here.  Be sure to download both parts of the pack!

    Go Alongs


    Find more early learning printables on my website along with many other helpful {and free} Preschool Printables.


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    Saturday, September 24, 2011

    Printable Pack Changes ~ Understanding Skill Levels

    You may notice a few gradual changes in some of my printables over the next few months. Nothing major ~ it’s just a way to better help you all out and better understand the skill levels of the printables.

    The bulk of my printable packs are currently labeled Preschool Packs. As I’ve worked with Kaleb and created printables to use with him, I’ve gradually increased the difficulty of some things and added new ideas. While some of the things in the packs are definitely preschool skills, some of them are targeted more at the Kindergarten level.

    PLEASE hear my heart on this ~ the point of these printables is to give you a little extra ‘something’ to do with your kids, not to make you think your child is behind or not keeping up with the rest! Because I don’t want there to be any confusion in what are ‘age-appropriate’ skills, my early learning printables will now be labeled ~ and if your child is ready for the next level, print them out and have fun!

    Most of my printable packs currently have two file downloads {due to their size} and in the future they will labeled to look a little something like this:

    ~ Fall Fun Printables ~ Preschool

    ~ Fall Fun Printables ~ Kindergarten

    Same fun printables, just labeled a little differently to help you all out a bit more! Make sense? So if you see a few changes here and there ~ don’t panic!! It’s all still the same fun stuff, but just getting a little makeover to make it more user-friendly. :)

    In the very near future, Carisa from 1+1+1=1 and I are going to each be writing some posts talking about things that are age appropriate for preschool and kindergarteners {Carisa is a former kindergarten teacher and I was a preschool teacher}. This all has been on our hearts lately and we’re hoping that it will help some of you all out as well.

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    Thursday, September 22, 2011

    Preschool Corner ~ The Pinterest Edition

    If you haven’t joined Pinterest, consider this your formal invitation! :) This has been a great tool for me to visually sort my online finds and discover some great crafts, recipes and more. Today I wanted to share a few things with you that I think you all would enjoy much and invite you to browse around.


    Airplane clip via

    We have a few birthdays coming up this month and next and two little boys that are Star Wars I’ve been gathering party ideas, favor finds, and some other great ideas on my Star Wars board, but here are a few favorites.


    Light Saber Popsicle Cozy via Rips in My Jeans


    Light Saber party napkins via Catch My Party

    And with fall now here, it’s time to start planning some fun fall activities. I’ve been gathering ideas on my Fall Theme board and cannot WAIT to do some of them with the kids!


    You know these acorns treats from Little Nummies are the cutest, don’t you?

    My favorite find today ~ this colored pumpkin seed mosaic from Our Little Nature Nest. Oh…I would scoop pumpkin guts to do this!!


    Don’t let me stop you from browsing around. There are some great ladies on Pinterest sharing their great finds ~ it’s a virtual bulletin board chocked full of great ideas!

    More Preschool Links


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    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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    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    Fall 2011 Curriculum Clean-Out Begins!!

    Let the Giveaways Begin!!!

    If you would like to join in on the Curriculum Clean-Out! and have fun giving away the excess on your shelves, now is the time! Once your post is ready, leave your link below using the Linky tool. Be sure that your post follows the 'rules' of the Clean-Out! ~ and please be sure to link your post back to this giveaway page and that you are using the permalink for your post.

    If you have any questions, I would be happy to help you out. There are several different ways you can enter your link. It would be helpful for readers to know what you are giving away and where you are willing to ship your giveaway. For example:

    Jolanthe {Preschool Learning Toys ~ ends 9/25} or

    Preschool Learning Toys {US shipping ~ ends 9/29}

    Giveaways will be added daily, so be sure to check back so that you don't miss any of the great giveaways! Spread the word, make some new friends and have fun!! The big thing to remember - grab the code below, put it somewhere in your post, link back here, and start giving!!

    Note: If you do not have a blog and would like to participate in giving something away, feel free to start a discussion in my Blog Frog community forum and link to it there! Be sure to start your own discussion!

    When you are done posting your giveaway, grab the html at the top . It should look a little something like this:

    And the code for the Curriculum Clean-Out button:

    <center><a href="" target="_blank"><img border="0" alt="Photobucket" src=""/></a></center>

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    Preschool Puzzles and Games Giveaway


    This giveaway set for the Curriculum Clean Out includes some fun preschool games and activities for your little ones…and making me a little sad since Kaleb is no longer using them. :)


    The winner will receive the following {and a bunch of other goodies that I’m not listing}. It will be a BIG box of goodies and fun!

    • Leap Frog Counting Caterpillar puzzle
    • I Spy Preschool puzzle game
    • Alphabet Boxes Trucks
    • magnetic fridge letters
    • Dress-a-bear puzzle
    • Animal ABC Bingo
    • Wonderboard Magnetic Shapes
    • Every Day in Every Way preschool calendar
    • ABC Floor Puzzle
    • Puzzle matching cards
    • Color Sorting Cards
    • Leap Frog shape puzzles

    Enter to win by simply leaving a comment. Giveaway will close on September 30th st at 8pm and winner will be chosen using This giveaway is open to US residents {or those with a US mailing address} only {sorry!!}.

    Be sure to visit the main Curriculum Clean-Out post starting September 21st for many more great giveaways. Giveaways will be added all week, so be sure to bookmark the page!

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