Homeschool Creations

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Tot School ::16::

~ Kaleb is 27 months ~

Sometimes I look back at the pictures that I've taken during the week and wonder if I ever change my children's clothes...or dress them in different things. Apparently I prefer to dress them in certain shirts and pants. *grins*

This week Kaleb kept disappearing into my room (where a lot of his toys are stored) and bringing back toys for me to play with. The big favorites this week were Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Lacing Beads and also his pegboard from Discovery Toys.

He also found another hidden tub this week that has foam shapes that you match to make designs. This card he used was just matching different size shapes, but he is doing well naming several different shapes: circle, star, and heart. I love these shapes because they are so soft and squishy (I think from Discovery Toys). The shapes were great too because we talked about big and little and also about colors.

We pulled out our Tabletop Easel this week too and Kaleb loved sticking all the magnets on it. He is cracking me up though because not too long after he began putting them on, he started sorting them by color and lining them up (Mommy helped make them straight), but the picture that you see is just the beginning. By the end, the board was full of magnets sorted into four color groups. He is so particular about the sorting it is funny!

I have some great little bear puzzles that show different emotions and let you change the outfits they are wearing. I've had them for years and used them when I was teaching. Kaleb put pajamas on the bear and had a 'ky-ing' (crying) face on his bear and refused to let me change it. He kept imitating some of the other faces and naming the emotions: mad (grunting), crying (fake crying), smiling/happy (cheese!), and laughing (hahaha).

Later he put the 'outside outfit' on the bear and I mentioned that the bear must be happy since he could go outside now. Kaleb quickly got up, picked up the bear and the box and tried to take him out on the porch...and then started screaming when I wouldn't let him go out. Sigh.

I found a ring toss at a yard sale and again with the color matching - he has to have the peg matched to the exact colored flower. He tried tossing them for a bit.

And then the ring toss turned into a mini-music session when the pegs became rhythm sticks instead.

Other favorites this week were the stacking pegboard and the geometric shape sorter that we have.

That's all for this week! Don't forget to visit Carissa at 1+1+1=1 for some more Tot School posts.



Algebra Tutor Giveaway

Congratulations to Heidi from You are What You Eat! She won the Algebra 2 tutor dvd.



Friday, February 27, 2009

Jonathan Parks Freebies to Download

***Be sure to follow the below instructions exactly for your free download!!***

We started listening to Jonathan Park: The Adventure Begins, the first cd set in a radio drama series from Vision Forum that focuses on Creationism. We were a little worried at first that it might be over the kids head, but have been amazed at the questions and discussions that the series has brought up with our kids.

As a BONUS, today through Friday (February 27th) anyone can download the entire first album of Jonathan Park by signing up for a account (it's quick and painless I can assure you). That's over 5 hours of some great entertainment for your kids - for FREE!

Here's the coupon code for this great freebie:

Jonathan Park vol. 1 coupon code: JONATHANPARK

Once your account is created and you have logged in, follow these instructions exactly:
  1. Click on the "cart" link in the top right corner
  2. On the cart page you will see a field on the right underneath the "Redeem a Coupon" Heading
  3. Enter the code "jonathanpark" - without the quotes
  4. Enjoy the FREE Jonathan Park downloads that have appeared in your cart
The download is extremely popular, so the server might be a little slow, but keep trying. If you aren't able to download it right away, it will stay in your cart for you to download later.

Today only (Friday), Behemoth is also offering a track from Jonathan Park Goes to the Aquarium as a FREE download.

This audio series is a guide to 100 of the most popular marine creatures and has 100 2-minute segments that talk about some of the amazing features that the different animals have.

Behemoth also offers daily freebies, so be sure to check them out for other great products!


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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Apparently They're Learning...

I pulled up a new game for the girls to play on the computer the other day based on European geography and they did amazingly well...much better than their Mom, mind you.

When I asked Laurianna how she remembered all the countries, she reminded me about the GeoPuzzle that they have been using, which has apparently more than paid for itself - hurray!! There are two more that are being moved over to the "buy now" section of my Amazon cart now. If it works...

The website the girls visited has geography games for all the continents and each game has different levels that you can choose to play. Level 1 allows you to click on the correct country; in level 2 you drag countries to the correct location (by region); in level 3 you are on your own to place countries where they belong. There are so many different ways to play too!

The games are provided free of charge through a company called Sheppard Software and there are tons of games on their site, including ones for vocabulary, science, math and more. I'll be putting the link in my sidebar too, but be sure to check it out!


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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Beginning Consonant Cards

Our printer has been on the fritz lately and I really wanted to try these out before posting them...but since I'm pretty sure they will be fun, I figured I'd share them even before I get to play along myself at home!

These are beginning consonant cards to use with your tot/preschooler and are designed to help identify the beginning consonant sound in words. There are 3 pictures provided for each consonant (with the exception of 'x' - go figure). I do have them printed off and am going to laminate them to make them a little more sturdy

Match the pictures to their beginning letter sound. You can also use the picture cards to practice identifying objects with your child.

You can download and print the pdf by clicking here for the printable. Be sure to download the long and short vowel cards that I posted as well!


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Monday, February 23, 2009

Homeschool Showcase

The latest edition of Homeschool Showcase is up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers and she has some great links up this week, including a video of great games to use along with homeschooling, my color cards, and a party based on the movie Night at the Museum. Be sure to head over and check it out!


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Math Tutor

I loved math growing up. Loved it. But the thought of teaching my kids anything beyond simple addition and subtraction scares me to death. I know that I am able to figure it out and work through problems, but there are some things that are just difficult to explain without additional help.

Math Tutor sent me two instructional DVDs to review: The Basic Math Word Problem Tutor (8 hours) and The Algebra 2 Tutor (6 hours). Math Tutor offers 19 instructional DVDs on their site including basic math, algebra, geometry, calculus, and physics and most of the Math Tutor DVDs are priced under $30.

The DVDs are very simple in their design - no fancy props or over-the-top acting/examples. Just a simple whiteboard and the instructor, Jason Gibbs, who walks you through the problems step-by-step. While I wasn't too thrilled initially that he uses his fingers for counting at times, I have to admit that I realized this week that I am guilty of the same when teaching our kids. *grins*

I first thought the DVD was a little dry (for my 35-year-old taste), but the problems are explained very well and it definitely grew on me the more we watched it. The DVD is broken up into various teaching segments, making it is easy to skip to the exact area you need to cover. As an added bonus - it isn't me trying to show something to my kids, so they listen and pay attention!

These are the areas that the Basic Math Word Problem Tutor covers:

Disc 1
Section 1: Adding Whole Numbers
Section 2: Subtracting Whole Numbers
Section 3: Multiplying Whole Numbers
Section 4: Dividing Whole Numbers
Section 5: Adding Decimals
Section 6: Subtracting Decimals
Section 7: Multiplying Decimals
Section 8: Dividing Decimals

Disc 2
Section 9: Adding Fractions
Section 10: Subtracting Fractions
Section 11: Multiplying Fractions
Section 12: Dividing Fractions
Section 13: Percents, Part 1
Section 14: Percents, Part 2
Section 15: Ratio and Proportion

The Math Tutor website has sample videos that you can check out and they have a great guarantee: All DVD courses Guaranteed to raise grades or your money back! Math Tutor also offers DVD bundles to help you save a little money and their shipping is great - you only pay S&H on the 1st DVD. All additional DVDs in the same order ship for FREE. You pay the same S&H price whether you purchase 1 DVD or 10 DVDs!

Click on the Homeschool Crew banner below to read other reviews on the Math Tutor DVDs.


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Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Preschool Corner: Letter P

There are a plethora of activities to do with the letter P and unfortunately just not enough days in the week to do them all!

ABC Book: Penguin

Before you run in terror, screaming "What is that THING?"... rest assured, it is a penguin. It's just an odd little penguin, who's creator was a little lazy and decided that a blob of construction paper glued onto his head would be much better than cutting it out and making an actual beak...or something. More of a 'hat and earmuffs' kind of day apparently.

Art Activity: Painting Pigs

Pink pigs. And mud. That was the request, so two colors were given to paint with and the little man went to work painting.

Fun Activity: Playdough

Not much work was done in the sculpting department - but this was what he proudly showed me after working very hard for about 10 minutes with his lump of playdough. I wasn't quite sure what to think until he let me know that it was a pattern on the playdough. And for that I have to give the boy credit. :)

Math & Money: Pennies, Pickle Counting, Patterns, and Pizza Fractions

Math was apparently on my brain this week. Because we did a lot of activities relating to math. First we counted out 100 pennies. Zachary made lines of 10 pennies and then stacked them into piles. When he had stacked 100 pennies, we counted by 10's together.

I pulled out some of my old folder games this week too and we had one counting the dots on pickles, so we practiced 1:1 counting and number identification.

I can't remember what in the world these little manipulatives are called (anyone, anyone??) but Zachary sat for quite awhile playing with them and created his own pattern for me: blue, yellow, yellow until he ran out of the stacking rings.

I made some 'mini' pizzas using small paper plates and cut them up into different fraction sizes (1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/6 and 1/8). Zachary had fun putting the little pizza puzzles together and we talked about fractions and how many pieces made up each puzzle.

Letter Sheet/Collage

Click on thumbnail to download worksheet

Stories and Books

Piggies by Audrey Wood
If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff
The Popcorn Book by Tomie dePaola
The Pokey Little Puppy by Janette Lowrey

Verse: Psalm 147:1

"Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God."

About the Preschool Corner:

The Preschool Corner is a place for us to share the ideas we are using during our "preschool time" with our kids. You can join in the fun and record what you are doing in your house. Please link your exact blog post to the Mr. Linky below (if you have questions feel free to ask). Be sure to link back to this blog post so that your readers can find some other great ideas too!

The guidelines can be found here if you need them.

Share what you've been doing in your house this week!


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Traveling Great Britain: Week 2

Last week we moved on (not very quickly) in our study of Great Britain and the United Kingdom. I'm personally a little overwhelmed with just how much we could really do if we really wanted too. :) That said, we focused more on the flag this week and had fun watching some different videos on YouTube and learning about the British currency.

Thanks so a friend of ours, we were able to see first hand what counterfeit currency looks like (she wasn't passing it off, but unfortunately was on the receiving end of it!). McKenna started her first official chapter book this week (Christmas at Camelot) and Laurianna is reading through the Fairy Tales book still and together we're reading Knight at Dawn to prepare for our studies on knights and castles in a few weeks.


  • Colored flag of UK
  • Talked about how flag of UK was created (see notebook page below)


  • Used Draw Write Now, Book 1 to draw sheep and had the girls write their own information about sheep
  • Reviewed the difference between the UK and Great Britain
  • Read aloud more from Knight at Dawn

  • Finished Knight at Dawn with the girls
  • Looked at the currency of England and also had fun trying to figure out if the money we had was counterfeit or not (it was - thanks Christin!)
  • Made the DLTK palace guard craft (link below)
Resources we used:
Websites we visited/used:

Notebooking page: UK Flag Notebooking Page



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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tale of Peter Rabbit Lapbook

As part of our study of Great Britain we picked The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter as a unit/book study. We used Five in a Row for the study and I loved it! Homeschool Share has a great lapbook pdf to go along with many of the areas we studied.

Here's how we divided the week to study Peter Rabbit:

  • Language Arts - animal fantasy story
  • Science - emotions/fear (crisis thinking)
  • Math - what is a fortnight?
  • Art - naturalism


  • Language Arts - vocabulary and onomatopoeia (McKenna has been having too much fun saying 'onomatopoeia' ever since...and pointing them out). I made a minit book for onomatopoeia to go along with the lapbook too.
  • Science & Math - planning a garden. I created a grid for the girls and they made a "garden plan". The girls picked the vegetables that they wanted to plant and then laid out their gardens using Unifex cubes. They had to space them 'x' inches apart and have rows between their plantings (pictures below). The garden planning pages are available at Homeschool Share.
  • Art - details/movement
  • Beatrice Potter

  • Social Studies - geography and setting
  • Language Arts - noticing the details in text and illustration
  • Science - pets of Beatrice Potter
  • Art - created our own lapbook covers

  • Social Studies - setting rules
  • Language Arts - descriptive language and wrote a letter of apology to Mr. McGregor (used this resource as a stepping stone for our letter)


Today we put all the pieces of our lapbook together. Here's how McKenna's turned out.

And just in case you can't read the apology letter that McKenna (first grade) wrote to Mr. McGregor, here is her note to him (her spelling). We put our letters on the back of the lapbook.

"I'm sory for eating yur vegetables and makeing a mess. Al (I'll) clean it up for you. I'm going to plant you sum new vegetables. Al (I'll) plant lettuce peas broccoli and lima beans."


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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Preschool Corner: Letter O

I've been continuing on with Zachary's alphabet theme, but in the next few weeks I'll also be 'testing' and reviewing some other curriculum, so the alphabet theme might be put on hold for a week or two while I post about the new curriculum that we are using.

'O' ended up being mainly for 'octopus' this week, so the ocean theme was plentiful in our house.

ABC Book: Octopus

I cut an octupus shape (of sorts *grins*) out of blue foam and we added ribbons and white paper reinforcers on as the 'tentacles' and legs of the octupus. The main page was colored like water and we added on some other ocean themed stickers so that the octopus had a little company in the water.

Alphabet Activities: Ocean in a Bottle

What isn't there to love about water, strange sea creatures that expand when they are put into water, rocks meant for a fish tank and fake seaweed?

Just remember to hot glue the top of the water bottle shut - or you might just have a big, fat watery mess on your hands.

Not that I speak from experience or anything. Not me.

Fun Activities: Making Orange

Paint mixing and color mixing can be especially fun when attempted with a four year old who refuses to sit still.

We all know that red + yellow = orange.

Red + orange + Zachary = a big mess and paint everywhere.

Math: Estimating O's & Octagons

We set out some small bowls of Cheerios this week and had Zachary try to guess how many were in each dish (his answers were hysterical). We then counted out 1:1 to see how many were actually in the dishes.

We pulled out our pattern blocks too and had fun making octagon patterns together.

Music: Opposites

We have a great cd called Sounds Like Fun {you can now download mp3 files!} that we sang along with our "O" theme called 'Opposites':

Opposites are tricky
Opposites are fun.
One day we will know them,
We'll learn them one by one.

Happy faces smile.
Sad ones make a frown.
To use a slide go up, up, up
And then slide down, down, down.

(There's more to the song, but I'm sure you get the idea...)

Letter Sheet/Collage

Click on the thumbnail to download worksheets

Stories and Books

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear
Animals, Animals by Eric Carle

Verse: Psalm 118:1

"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!"

About the Preschool Corner:

The Preschool Corner is a place for us to share the ideas we are using during our "preschool time" with our kids. You can join in the fun and record what you are doing in your house. Please link your exact blog post to the Mr. Linky below (if you have questions feel free to ask). Be sure to link back to this blog post so that your readers can find some other great ideas too!

The guidelines can be found here if you need them.

Share what you've been doing in your house this week!

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