U is for the Under the Sea

When my five year-old son was about two he received a copy of the Usborne Lift and Look book,  Under the Sea. He absolutely loved it and would have me read it over and over. On each page, you lift various flaps trying to find a small fish aptly called, “little fish.” He would lift the flaps and get quite excited and clap each time he found little fish.  He had me read it and ‘read’ it himself over and over again until it fell apart. Thankfully, Usborne has a discount replacement system and I was able to get a new one that he continued reading. We are now enjoying sharing this book with his little brother who is 16 months old.

U is for Under the Sea Pinterest

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Under the Sea is a fun book that is great for the toddler and preschool years, especially if you have a little one that loves fish and sea life. It encourages their observational skills, helps with fine motor (opening the flaps), and is enjoyable to read together. It is also a great book for young children to ‘read’ independently because they can enjoy looking at the pictures and finding little fish under the flaps even without being able to actually read the words.

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Have you read Under the Sea or any of the Usborne Lift the Flap books?  Tell me what books come to mind when you think of the letter U.

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When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

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This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

Enrichment Studies has a great free fine arts memory match game this month!

Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!

T is for the Tuttle Twins and Trixie Belden

I was having a hard time deciding between these two sets of books so I decided to share both of them with you today.  While not as common as some of the books I have shared before, I think they would be great additions to your reading list and personal libraries. The Trixie Belden books are a series my mom introduced me to as a child and now, I am excited to be passing them along to my own daughter. The Tuttle Twins are a much newer series that I purchased for my son for Christmas last year.

T is for Tuttle

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The Trixie Belden series was one of my favorites as a child. It was a series by Julie Campbell and Kathryn Kenny about a fun young lady named Trixie Belden who was always solving mysteries. This series written from 1948 to 1986  was full of good wholesome stories that made reading a pleasure. If you have a child that likes a good detective story or dreams of solving mysteries this is a great fit. They are similar to the older Nancy Drew books and a perfect fit for the 8-12 year old crowd.

The Tuttle Twins is a newer series that teaches children the principles of freedom. It is a great way to teach your elementary age children about economics and limited government. These books teach about entrepreneurship, free trade, the Golden Rule, banking and even the dangers of socialism.  These books teach complex concepts in ways that make them easier for students to understand and without the liberal bias that is often found in books about these principles.

Instead of being taught in a textbook, these books are written in a story format with beautiful illustrations by Elijah Stanfield.  Each book contains a glossary and discussion questions at the end as well information about a book for adults on a similar principle.  You can purchase them as a set from the Tuttle Twins website (they are having a 35% off sale right now) and get a free set of PDF workbooks to accompany them. You can also check them out on Amazon if you would rather purchase the books individually. These can be used as a read aloud, independent reading, or with the workbooks as a civics curriculum.

Have you read any of the Trixie Belden or Tuttle Twins books? Tell me what books come to mind when you think of the letter T

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When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

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This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

Schoolhouse Teachers is also offering a great sale!

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

Enrichment Studies has a great free fine arts memory match game this month!

Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!

S is for the Secret Garden

C.S. Lewis once said, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”   The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a delightful classic novel that stands up to CS Lewis’s test. It is a pleasant family read aloud (though it has some sad parts) or a great independent read for later elementary school and middle school. If you have a high school student who has not yet read it, I’d even recommend it for them.  We personally have the paperback 100th anniversary edition by Harper Collins and my daughter really liked some of the bonus features, but our favorite way to enjoy the story was the radio theater version by Focus on the Family.

S is for Secret Garden Pinterest

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“I like The Secret Garden because of the adventure Mary has and I also like how it tells the story of Mary and Colin and how Mary finds Colin by the crying she hears. I also like the bit of Yorkshire they use in it and how Mary teaches herself how to do things. i.e how to jump rope.” Elizabeth Age 11

The Secret Garden is the story of a young orphan girl named Mary Lennox who goes to live with her uncle in his large home, Misselthwaite Manor, and finds it to be full of secrets.  At night, she hears the sound of someone crying. She loves the massive gardens around the estate and eventually discovers a young boy (her cousin) and a secret garden. She helps him to over come some emotional and physical obstacles and changes the their lives and the lives of those around them.

We are going to read this one (or listen as the case may be) again together as a family this summer and use this free book club guide from Sarah Mackenzie over at Read Aloud Revival to discuss the book.

Have you read The Secret Garden? Tell me what books come to mind when you think of the letter S.

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When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

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This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

Schoolhouse Teachers is also offering a great sale!

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

Enrichment Studies has a great free fine arts memory match game this month!

Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!

R is for Red Rock and Read Aloud Family

R is for Red Rock Mysteries! This fun series is written by Jerry B Jenkins and Chris Fabry. We were first introduced to the series through the online audio dramas but my son is collecting all of the paperback books and highly recommends them.

r is for red rock pinterest

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The Red Rock Mysteries star a brother and a sister whose father died and later their mother remarried and they moved out to the desert of Colorado where they ride ATVs, have adventures and solve mysteries. Their mother is new to the Christian faith and they struggle with figuring out what they believe and learning to trust in God. It is a fun series that shares important lessons without feeling like a sermon. I would recommend these for ages 8-14. This series could also be used as a family read aloud, but know that there are a few scary parts as the teens run from bad guys and solve mysteries that might bother younger children.

For moms, I highly recommend the Read Aloud Family by Sarah Mackenzie. This book was such an inspiration to encourage me to get back into the habit of reading aloud with my children, including audio books into our days, and just encouraging a love for books in our home. The book is part inspirational and part practical suggestions to help you actually put into practice those ideals that you long to see in your home.  You can find out more about the Read Aloud Family over at my  Read-Aloud Family Book Study posts.

Have you read any of the Red Rock books or Read Aloud Family? Tell me what books come to mind when you think of the letter R.

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Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

Schoolhouse Teachers is also offering a great sale!

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

Enrichment Studies has a great free fine arts memory match game this month!

Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!

Q is for Queen Esther

Q is for Queen Esther! It is not often that I write a post about a book I have not actually read. In fact, I think this may be the very first time. I was having a bit of a difficult time coming up with a book to share for the letter Q and I remembered this great series that we had reviewed last summer, Barbour Publishing Kingdom Files Biography Series .  We reviewed the two books about Mary and Jonah but they have a book about Esther that looks great. I love the story of Queen Esther and how by stepping out in faith she allowed God to use her to save her people.

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This series of books, written by Matt Koceich,  teaches children about Biblical people and each book is set up to contain three parts: Fact File, Action File and Power File. These parts take them through learning the basic facts about the person and timeline, telling the story of that person, and then walks them through how that all applies in their life today.

These are great for independent reading for roughly ages 8-12 and for family read alouds or devotional times. There are currently six books in this series which each focusing on a different person from the Bible.

Have you read any of the Kingdom Files books? Tell me what books come to mind when you think of the letter Q.

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Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

June 13th -15th 20% Sale at You Are An Artist!

Schoolhouse Teachers is also offering a great sale!

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

Enrichment Studies has a great free fine arts memory match game this month!

Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!

Flag Day Resources

Flag Day is an often-overlooked holiday, but there are many great resources to help us celebrate and the history tie-ins are abundant! While it will probably never share the ‘fame’ of  Independence Day on July 4th; Flag Day is a great day to learn more about our flag and our nation’s history. I know that summer is here for many of us and we may not want to have to make one more lesson plan, so I gathered some fun resources that you can easily use to celebrate Flag Day in your home with very little preparation.  Some are more ‘school like’ but there are also some fun ideas, like a flag cake and art work that can feel more like a party than a history class.

It’s flag day because, on June 14, 1777 the second continental congress decreed: “Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

Flag Day Pinterest

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My children love to make a flag cake. We typically make one for Memorial Day (which often is the same weekend as my son’s birthday) and Independence Day but it would be a perfect treat for Flag Day.  Simply make any rectangular cake that you would like (we use two yellow cake layers with strawberries in the middle) and then top with sweetened whipping cream. Once you have a nice white rectangle, they can use blueberries for stars and cut up strawberries to make the stripes. For something a bit more savory we have also made this yummy American Flag Dip.

There are a variety of great art projects and crafts ideas for Flag Day.  We really liked this free chalk pastel flag tutorial or this video lesson. If you like those lessons, you should check out Nana’s US History Course, which is currently 20% off in celebration of her birthday. In addition to chalk pastels, there is a great list of crafts here including one for small children using paint and star shaped cookie cutters that I think will be fun with my five-year-old. Older children might enjoy these patriotic jar lanterns or these washi tape flags.

If the history of the United States and her flags is interesting to you and your students, I have also added our fun ‘US History Through Flags’ packet to the free resource library. This will give you a fun and easy way to incorporate these topics in a few minutes a day throughout the year. You can also follow the US History Through Flags page on Facebook to get daily bits of history right to your news feed.

I have included a variety of resources below to help you tailor your Flag Day celebration to your children.  I would love to know what creative ideas and resources you use to celebrate Flag Day in your home.

Flag Day Resources

History of Flag Day

US History Through Flags

Smithsonian Star Spangled Banner

Flag Day Poster

Flag Day Worksheets

21 Ways to Celebrate Flag Day

Flag Etiquette

Flag Coloring Pages

Patriotic Poems

Why Are There Stripes on the American Flag? (Free on Kindle Unlimited)

F is for Flag

Story of the Star Spangled Banner

Flag Day Resource List (Still Learning Something New)

 

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

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This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

June 13th -15th 20% Sale at You Are An Artist!

Schoolhouse Teachers is also offering a great sale!

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

Enrichment Studies has a great free fine arts memory match game this month!

Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!

Our Summer Bucket

We often talk about summer bucket lists this time of year but today I want to talk about our actual summer bucket. I got this idea from a book study that I’m doing with my friend Jenn over at Homeschool Fanatic. The book study is all about being organized and getting your things together for summer was one of those challenges.
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I decided but it would be far easier for me to say yes to summer fun if I had everything together and ready. I didn’t want to go out and spend a whole bunch of money but I wanted to be able to make things easy. So, I gathered supplies that we already had and made a trip to the Dollar Tree to finish it out. I’m hoping that we can use these things throughout the summer for some fun family time. With everything all together I won’t have to worry about taking the time to gather things we can simply go outside and enjoy.
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summer fun pinterest
You might choose different things depending on the ages of your children and what they like but these are the things that I found to put into our bucket. My kids range in age from thirteen to one so I chose versatile items that would allow us to all have fun together. In the heat of the summer, I’m always looking for a little bit of water fun but we don’t have a big pool at our house am I big kids are too big for most of the little kiddy pools.  I put together some water squirters and water soaker balls that would be easy to use and we’re available at the Dollar Tree. Some folks might choose water balloons instead of soaker balls but we liked that the balls could be used over and over again and would not leave trash on the ground.

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I also went ahead and put sunscreen in our bucket so that would have it ready so we can enjoy our outdoor time safely. Then I added some sidewalk chalk because it’s fun for all ages. Other fun toys could include bubbles, balls, or even outdoor lawn games like ladder ball. You might also add bug spray if those tend to be a problem in your area ( you might also want to try the amazing Spartan mosquito eradicator. )
As I was putting together this post, I realized that there was one more thing that would really help out our bucket: towels! If you have extra towels, it is always nice to have them together with the water fun toys so we don’t forget to bring them outside and have to come back in dripping water all over the floors.
In addition to these summer bucket basics, a few larger items that I purchased to keep from year to year include a Little Tikes slide that I found at a yard sale, this really fun splash pad that my son got for his birthday, and a sprinkler. For my older children, they have these fun hammocks that they can hang up in the backyard to relax or play. Another larger purchase that we have found to be really beneficial is the sun shade they can go over a play set or some other play area in your yard to help keep it a little cooler and the sun off of your little ones.
Now when the children get bored or are begging to do something fun together, I have all I need to to go outside and have a great time together. What items would you put together in your Summer Fun Bucket? Do you find it makes it easier to do fun things if you have all of the supplies ready to go?

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

Schoolhouse Teachers is also offering a great sale!

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

Enrichment Studies has a great free fine arts memory match game this month!

Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!

P is for Penderwicks!

P is for The Penderwicks! This funny and charming story about four sisters and their father is fun for the whole family. This is the first in a series of five books that chronicle the adventures of these sisters and their friend Jeffery (whom they meet in this first book).  The sisters, Rosalind, Jane, Sky, and Batty show a love for each other and while they do not always agree, they are great role models for positive sibling relationships.

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While there is a bit of a romantic crush discussed in the book, it is a mostly clean and wholesome book that had us both laughing and crying. The girls make mistakes, but learn from them and have some really grand adventures on their summer vacation with their father. Their mother died shortly after Batty was born and so the girls have learned to really stick together. They play soccer, watch pet rabbits, get chased by a bull and a host of other silly adventures.

My 11-year-old daughter said, “I like the Penderwicks because they go on adventures, whether they go somewhere or stay home. I also like their dog, Hound.”  You might think that because it is just a group of sisters it would be a book for girls, but my 13-year-old son also enjoys listening to all of their adventures.

p is for penderwicks pinterest

In addition to The Penderwicks, I have listed below a list of other favorite P books that we have enjoyed or that my readers recommended over on my Facebook page! Have you read any of the The Penderwicks books? Tell me what books come to mind when you think of the letter P.

Letter P Books

Peter Pan

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Paddington (You can also check on this Unit Study.)

Prince and the Pauper

Poky Little Puppy

Princess and the Pea

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Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

Schoolhouse Teachers is also offering a great sale!

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

Enrichment Studies has a great free fine arts memory match game this month!

Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!

O is for Otis!

Otis is a charming and entertaining tractor. Yes, I said tractor. This adorable book series, written and illustrated by Loren Long, is based on the adventures of an old farm tractor and his farm friends. I don’t know that I ever thought my children could learn so many life lessons from an old tractor but this series is full of great lessons woven into engaging stories.

O is for Otis Pinterest

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In the title book of this series, Otis, the kind old tractor enjoys his life working on the farm and sleeping in the barn near his friend the calf. Then one day Otis is retired when a new tractor is purchased to do the farm work. This is a sad day for Otis and his friend, but in the end when his friend is in trouble it is Otis who saves the day.

My four year old loved that books so much that I had to read it over and over. Once he found out there were more books in the series he asked for them all. We have been collecting them at various holidays or when I have been able to find them at yard sales or used book sales.

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In addition to Otis, we have Otis and the Kittens, Otis and the Tornado, and Otis Gives Thanks. Otis Gives Thanks is a shorter book because it is a board book and great for toddlers. My son loves all of these books and has me read them to him often. I love the moral lessons that they fit seamlessly into the stories. They teach children to value friendship, be kind, be helpful, and work together.

These adorable picture and board books make a great read aloud to toddlers and preschool age children. They would also be fun reading for young elementary aged children. They are the kind of books that I plan to keep even after my children are older, so that I can read them to my future grandchildren.

Tell me what books come to mind when you think of the letter O. Have you read any of the Otis books?

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Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

Schoolhouse Teachers is also offering a great sale!

May Sale

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

Enrichment Studies has a great free fine arts memory match game this month!

Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!

Through The Year in Foot Prints: May

I normally like to go ahead and post these at the beginning of the month, but May seems to have come and gone in the blink of an eye. I decided that ‘April Showers, Bring May Flowers’ for this post and we did a flower out of my son’s foot prints. I’m also sharing pictures of a couple of the craft projects that my five-year-old son did as a part of his Toucan Box subscription and a cute seashore chalk pastel lesson that my older two children completed.  It may have taken until the end of the month, but they all enjoyed their various art projects.

may footprints pinterest

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

For the baby, I simply chose purple as the color of the flower, dipped his foot into the paint and pressed it onto the paper. I then moved the paper slightly and repeated until I had a circle (mostly) of footprints. I used my finger to add a yellow middle and a green stem from finger paint. If you were working with a child that was a little bit older, they could probably do that part themselves.  It is amazing to me to see how much his little feet have grown since January.

Supplies:

White Cardstock

Finger Paint

I am trying to think of a fun summer or beach themed idea for June. I’d love to hear your thoughts or ideas in the comments.

Benjamin enjoyed working with shapes and paint by adding in the black foam lines and then painting the various rectangles. The other part to this activity involved sticking the foam circles onto the framed area to make interesting designs. This was one of two kits that were in his Toucan Box this month.

My older children are feeling the summer itch and ready to be spending days at the beach so this fun tide pool lesson was a big hit!

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

Last week for the  Schoolhouse Teachers sale!

May Sale

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)