CrossWired Science (A Review)

CrossWired Science is unlike any science program that I’ve used before. We had the unique opportunity to review this program while it was still in development. I had the privilege of reviewing the Sound, and Fluid Dynamics projects. Typically, the programs I review are completed and on the market. Reviewing a program that was still ‘under construction’ was a very different experience. There were times when it could be frustrating because a quiz might not be ready or the schedules were not published. However, the really neat part about reviewing a product that was not fully complete is that the Review Crew was able to give feedback as we worked through the projects. The folks at CrossWired Science were very receptive to feedback and made a lot of great additions to the program during just the few weeks that we worked through it.

Crosswired3

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

One of my favorite additions that they made during the review period was a suggested schedule. I think that the schedule really helped me to get a better idea of how to plan this curriculum into our school days. I felt very overwhelmed when we first started using the program because there was so much information. Once I had the schedule it made it a lot easier for me to understand how to best utilize all they had to offer.

We focused on the Fluid Dynamics project which covered a variety of topics including rocket aerodynamics, fin types, avian lungs, bird feathers, flight, insect drinking and the space station.  The Sounds project includes topics like how ears work, sonars, ultrasounds, and bird songs.

The program has a variety of components. My children really enjoyed the core video lessons and the included quiz that was completed and graded online. This was beneficial to me as a parent because it allowed me to check and be sure they understood what they were learning.

crosswireddevotional

Next, they have the Digging Deeper and Gold Dig components. As they state on the website, “The Digging Deepers and the Gold Digs are heavily illustrated with fun, beauty and quite stunning “concept pictures”.” These were a great way to go deeper and learn more about a particular part of a concept. My children went through the Gold Dig components about bones and learned a lot of interesting information.

 

In addition, there are research links to help them dig further into a variety of topics, field trip ideas. At this point the field trip ideas are mostly general science field trips but they are developing this section with more specifics. Throughout the curriculum, they point science back to God, but they also have specific devotionals included at the end of each project. They also offer suggestions for books, audio CDs and other materials to extend your studies as well as other science activities.  They give a wide selection of experiments that you can choose from to go with the related topic.

The program offers a wide variety of information and opportunities from which to choose from, much like a buffet line. For some folks this is great, because you can pick and choose what you want to learn and leave out what doesn’t interest you or work for you. However, for others, it maybe a little overwhelming and a little too disconnected.

crosswired8

If you want a program that gives you a script and walks you through every step, this probably is not the right fit. However, if you want a program that gives you lots of resources and tools and then allows you the flexibility to use it how your child works best, this could be a very good fit for your family. I even see this as a great resource for unschoolers, because it would be very easy for a child to just go to the site and spend time learning and digging into the topics of interest. Right now they only have the two projects that I reviewed, however, they are adding more daily and will eventually have twenty-four of those projects. They even have plans to take the first two even deeper.  Their long-term goal is to provide a curriculum that will cover all of science from pre-kindergarten through chemistry.

Overall, this is an up and coming curriculum that will have a lot to offer for many homeschool families.  It is a program that allows for flexibility in both content and scheduling. and keeps a God honoring view of science. They are still working hard and adjusting the program to make it a better curriculum

. While I struggled a bit with the variety that was offered, my children really enjoyed having lots of choices. They are hoping to complete the other project over the summer in their own time. I suggest going to the website and taking a look to see if it might be a good fit for your family. They even have a sample unit available. As an added bonus, CrossWired Science is generously offering my readers a $5 discount. Just go to CrossWired Science and use the code: dp18.  Be sure to click below and check out the reviews from other Crew members.

Sound, and Fluid Dynamics {CrossWired Science Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

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.

Exploring Hobbies on a Time and Money Budget

When it comes to hobbies you might call my children, ‘jacks of all trades’. They love learning new things and tend to prefer to dabble in multiple hobbies rather than focus on one thing in particular. In many ways I think this is a blessing and a very positive experience for them. It helps to make them well rounded, prepares them for many situations, and allows them to try out a bunch of different things to see what they enjoy. However, if we are not careful, it could get quite expensive and time consuming to keep so many different plates spinning.

hobbies pinterest

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

In order to balance our desire for them to have many experiences with the need to manage our time and money wisely, we have found a few programs that balance those concepts.

One key to managing our time wisely is that we do several hobbies together as a family. This keeps us from having to go in several different directions at once and allows that hobby time to also be quality family time.  For example, our family is interested in history and more specifically Colonial and Revolutionary War era American history. We love to take day trips to various historic sites and learn about history but even more, we enjoy being a part of living history events. We volunteer with our local historic site, Tryon Palace, and participate in various events. The children love to dress up in colonial attire and teach others about history. We love that they are learning and we get to spend time together as a family.

Another way we have found to help use our time wisely is to find programs that can be done at home. This minimizes travel time and allows various children to be working on different projects at one time. This helps us to be able to have them each work on hobbies that they enjoy without making me feel like I am spending my days running them from one practice to another.

For their interest in art, we use the You Are An Artist Chalk Pastel classes. These are recorded art lessons that use either chalk pastels or acrylics (new) to help with a variety of beautiful artwork. I love that we can fit in their desire for more art with a teacher that can help them, without ever needing to leave our home. The lessons typically take us about 20 minutes. These also meet our criteria for using money wisely because the supplies are very inexpensive and by utilizing the Clubhouse you have access to a wide variety of lessons for everyone in the family for one low monthly price. If I were paying for in person lessons, I would only get one short lesson per month for one student for the price I am paying to get as many lessons as they want to take for all three of my students (the 4th is only a year old so no art lessons yet).

Music has never been my gift but both of my children expressed interest. Years ago my son tried guitar lessons but the drive back and forth got to be difficult with the other small children. I also had to entertain them in the car while we waited for him and that was no fun. Eventually we stopped lessons. However, this past year I found a solution to their interest in music. My son is working through a subscription to Guitar360 Method. Since it is a lifetime subscription, he can take his time and work at his own pace. He works on it when he has time and interest. My daughter and just recently my 5-year-old son, are taking violin lessons through Practice Monkeys. There program is also online but is different in the fact that they can go online Monday through Thursday at their appointed times and take part in a fifteen minute lesson along with other students of their same level. This allows  the teacher to offer feedback and them to ask questions. If we cannot make it to the live online class, we have access to the replay so that they can still practice. This has been a really great fit for my daughter. I’m still not sure how my son will do at his young age, but as it is a family subscription, I felt I did not have anything to lose by letting him try.

My children enjoy being outdoors, working in the garden and with our animals. We have chickens, ducks, and bees that we keep year round but they wanted some experience with other animals. We were already involved in 4-H which is a great program that offers a variety of opportunities from science, art, public speaking, and more. Through 4-H we have connected with various chicken and livestock shows for them to begin growing their knowledge in those areas. 4-H has programs in place to help children of set the costs of raising and showing the animals to make it more accessible to all children. They even have programs to help students who want to raise animals but do not have the space to do so. We have found 4-H to be a great way for our children to explore a variety of different topics with minimal cost. The other benefit is that all of my children from 5-18 can do this together.

Finally, my secret weapon, our annual subscription to SchoolhouseTeachers.com. Schoolhouse Teachers offers over 400 different courses. Many of these are more standard core classes, such as English and math, but they also offer a huge number of electives that can help your child explore various hobbies. I love these because when my child shows an interest in something, I can give them resources without any added expense or commitment. If they enjoy it they can keep working further, if the interest fizzles out, they can move on without the worry of wasted money.

For example, my daughter recently spent $25 to buy herself a digital camera at a yard sale. She is really enjoying taking point and click pictures with it but wants to learn more about the different settings and how to take better pictures. This month was super busy for us but next month she is going to begin working through one of the photography courses that they offer.  I could also have them take the homesteading course (or selected lessons from the course) to help them with their animal and gardening projects.  This summer I am hoping that they can work through a few lessons in the heritage crafts course to add to their knowledge and skills when we do living history events.  There are so many different options for various electives, music classes, and art classes. They are all included in a single family membership (either monthly or annually), you can start and stop them at any time, pick and choose from the lessons as needed. I love the flexibility to offer my children a virtual ‘buffet’ of learning opportunities to allow them to explore their interests without breaking the bank or becoming a full time chauffeur.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to offer my children a wide variety or experiences to allow them to explore their interests and gain new skills without busting our budget or wasting all of our family time. I hope that this gives you some ideas. I would love for you to share with me in the comments about what you use to help your children pursue their hobbies.

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! If you want to give it a try, your first month is only $1 or you can get an entire year for $111. My daughter is getting ready to use a photography class from our subscription to help her learn more about her new (to her) camera.

April showers

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)

Only A Few Days Left to Sign Up For the Free Independent Play Challenge:

It sometimes seems that the kids need you ALL. THE. TIME!

It’s okay to just want 20 minutes of quiet… so you can get things done.

Join the FREE Independent Play 5-Day Challenge!

Kids in the Kitchen: Knife Skills

 

When people watch my children in the kitchen, one of the most frequent questions I get asked is, “Aren’t you worried about them using a knife?”.  While safety is very important and we are always reminding them to use their knives safely, I do not worry because we have spent the time upfront to make sure that they have the knife skills they need to safely do the job. There are a few keys to good knife skills for children that will help them be able to use knives appropriately in the kitchen.

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

Choose the Right Knife for the Job

This is one area that is challenging for a lot of parents. How do you choose the right knife for the child and the job? First, we need to understand that ‘dull knives’ are not the solution. This particularly applies to knives that are supposed to be sharp but are not and in cutting things that do not cut easily. If you are trying to cut something with a dull knife you are more likely to slip and cut yourself.

When we start our children with a knife (somewhere around 2 or 3 depending on the child and their interest/development) we start with a butter knife and a lettuce knife. While a butter knife is not a particularly sharp knife, it is not designed to be sharp, and is used to cut things that are soft and easily sliced. This works great for soft fruits and cutting up veggies on their dinner plates. For harder vegetables and fruits that need a sharper knife you can use a lettuce knife. I love these knives because they will cut right through many foods but will not cut your child. As soon as we introduce them to these knives we begin instruction so that they learn to use the knives properly and safely.

As they get older and begin to use regular kitchen and chef’s knives, we make sure they are kept clean and sharpened. You want them to be able to slice what they are cutting and not feel like they have to ‘hack’ at it. It is also beneficial to choose knives that fit well in their hands so that they are able to handle them comfortably. My two older children both received a Sabatier-K chef’s knife for Christmas a couple of years ago that works very well for them. It is a high quality but reasonably priced knife that fits well in their hands. We purchased ours from their outlet store but they are also available on Amazon. At 11 and 12 they can both do any cutting that is required for the meals that they cook.

knife skills pintrest

Quality Instruction

Instruction is vital to good knife skills. While a young child’s fine motor skills may not allow for perfect knife skills in the beginning, you do not want bad habits to develop. For older children or if you need a little refresher yourself, Alton Brown has an episode titled American Slicer that can help with knife skills.

You want to make sure they learn to curl their fingers under and away from the knife, to have a good surface to cut on, to cut or peel away from their bodies, and to be aware of what is around them as they are cutting (make sure baby’s hand isn’t on the cutting board, etc).  They need to learn not to run with the knife, to carry it point down like a pair of scissors, and not to swing it around like a toy.

When you begin teaching about knives it is important that young children understand that they may only use the knife with permission and under supervision. As they get older they can be allowed more freedom.

Practice

It is really important that we give them opportunities to practice. It can often seem easier and certainly quicker to just take care of it ourselves. However, giving them multiple opportunities to practice will help grow their skills and confidence. Like many life skills the more they practice the easier it will become, just be sure to continue to monitor for safety until you are confident that they are consistently using the appropriate safety measures.

Teaching children to use knives can feel scary at first but it is a life skill that is so very important. Accidents do happen, but proper training and experience greatly decreases the risk! I highly encourage you to take the time to teach them well and enjoy the shared time in the kitchen.  What kitchen skills are you wanting to teach your children?

 

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!

 

Exciting news from All About Learning Press this week ! The NEW color edition of All About Reading is ready to order! We use All About Spelling and are hoping to use All About Reading next year with my son who will be in Kindergarten.

My Snowman Paul is Free on Kindle and many others in the series are less than $1.

LAST TWO DAYS FOR THIS SPECIAL PRICING ON SCHOOLHOUSE TEACHERS!!

2019-fresh-start-new-year-1st-pinterest-768x1024

WriteShop

 

FREE Writing About Books: Book Reports and Beyond from Write Shop!

FREE: Check out this great new FREE resource for classical and Charlotte Mason education! Classical Christian Education & Charlotte Mason. Great for folks already homeschooling or if you have friends that are looking into it!

 

 

What is New With All About Reading?

Testing out All About Reading's new color edition level 4

If you have been following along on our homeschool journey, you may already know that one of the programs that we love and are most loyal to is All About Spelling. My oldest taught himself to read (with a little help from the leap frog videos) at the age of three but struggled with spelling. We had tried traditional spelling books, word walls, copy work, and other assorted programs and styles until I was at a loss. Finally, I found All About Spelling and it really clicked.

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

At that time I did not switch over to All About Reading because both my oldest and my second child were already reading well and I was not looking for another phonics program. However, my third child will be five in a few months and start ‘Kindergarten’ next year which in our home means we will at least introduce him to a phonics program and see how things go. Depending on how he does with it, we may keep going or we may hold off a little longer until he is developmentally ready. In looking at various programs I have been highly considering All About Reading. I know that I will be using All About Spelling with him when the time comes and I love the idea of the two programs that are set up with similar styles and working together for an all around literacy program.

All About Reading's new color edition review

Knowing that I was considering it for next year, I was very excited to learn about their new color edition. The color makes it very visually appealing to young learners and can help with engagement. In addition to the full color activity books and heirloom quality readers they have also fully updated the teachers manuals with full color and an additional 56-72 pages of material per level.

I wanted to dig a little deeper and I was given the opportunity to try a sample lesson. I used a lesson from the level four program and gave it a try with my daughter. I knew going into it that it should be a review for her but I wanted to see how the style worked and what she thought of the new activities. She really enjoyed it and thought that the game she was able to play was a lot of fun. She told me that she thought the reading program was, “cool”. For this particular game she had a set of word cards that had a gopher on one side and the word with another gopher on the opposite side.  She had to pick up each card, read the word on the card correctly and then she could place the card through the slot on her paper that made it appear the gopher was going into his hole in the garden. It was quite simple but as she stated she really enjoyed it and it made the practice more fun.

The lesson we worked on taught the ph phonogram. First with the flashcard and repeating after the instruction that ph says /f/, two letter /f/. Then after a bit of review and practice you moved onto reading words using that phonogram and the other letter tiles. First together and then independently. Once you felt they had grasped the concept you could move onto the activity and further review as needed.

All About Reading is a great systematic way to teach phonics. Much like the spelling program it goes through each step making sure to teach both the rules and the exceptions. They do a good job incorporating various learning modalities throughout the program. I have found that even though I have memorized how to read or spell a word, there are rules that they teach that I never learned. This new updated program keeps all of those positives and adds in some extra helps for you as the teacher and the addition of the beautiful full color pages. I highly recommend that you take a look and see if this might be the right reading solution for your family. You can even try the sample lesson!

All About Reading

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!

 

My Snowman Paul is Free on Kindle and many others in the series are less than $1.

2019-fresh-start-new-year-1st-pinterest-768x1024

WriteShop

Are you looking for a free Bible study that your whole family can enjoy? The Proverbial Homemaker is offering up a study of James that is FREE for a limited time.

Did you join us last week for the FREE five day activity challenge?

To keep the fun going, and keep making memories with your kids, Jamie has a program called The Activity Room that I know you’ll love, so I have to share about it just a bit, plus it is only open for enrollment a few times a year and enrollment JUST opened TODAY.

What this means for you, right now — is that The Activity Room is open for enrollment only through this Thursday, January 24th. After that time, she’ll close down to focus on her members and won’t open the doors again until May.

Changing Up Curriculum Without Overspending!

It is January, a new calendar year, but for most folks the middle of a school year. It is often a time we reevaluate what were are doing in our home school to see what is working well and what needs some tweaks. Sometimes we can make minor adjustments and see big changes. For example, I shared last week about how I switched my son from regular chalk pastels to chalk pastel pencils and renewed his love of art. However, sometimes you need to make bigger changes.  It could be that the spelling program you are using just is not working for your child, or they are frustrated and not understanding math because of the way it is presented.

How to stay flexible and change curriculum without wasting money.

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

It can seem so simple to change things up on one hand, but I also know that curriculum can be a financial investment. It can feel like a waste to toss aside old curriculum without using it and purchase more curriculum (which may or may not be the right fit).  However, continuing on with a curriculum that is not working is not just wasting money but time. So how do you manage to not waste money or time and still have the flexibility to find the right fit for each child?

One solution is to buy used curriculum. If you can find the curriculum you want used you can save money upfront. Assuming that it is not a consumable product you should also be able to sell it when you are finished or realize it is not the right fit for your family and recoup much of your investment. You can ask around on your local homeschool Facebook groups or e-mail loops, your local homeschool store (if you are lucky enough to have one), or check online at places like Amazon or eBay.

What if you want even more flexibility or do not want to hassle with buying and selling curriculum? You might want to the ability for your children to pick out some of their curriculum based on interests or to add electives as the year progresses. This is where a family membership to Schoolhouse Teachers can be the perfect solution.  They have a variety of classes for each grade level in most subjects with a total of over 425 courses for the whole family. This means that if you are working through one of their 7th grade literature courses and decide it is not quite right, you just switch and take a different one. All of the courses for ALL of the students in your family are included for the same low price.  You can also combine courses or just do certain lessons depending on what you need for your child.

I personally use a combination of both of those approaches to give me flexibility to work with what each of my children needs, to change things up as we go along, and yet to stick to a reasonable budget. We use math from other programs, but love the literature courses on Schoolhouse Teachers. I love the fun hands on courses for my preschooler and enjoy being able to give my children access to instruction in a variety of electives based on their interests.

If you were looking for an inexpensive way to change things up or just wanting to add in some fun electives like music, drama, bread making, photography, homesteading, graphic design, or wild life adventures, you should consider a membership to Schoolhouse Teachers. Right now they are running a great special that makes their already good value even better. You can get access to all 425+ courses, World Book resources, and lots of parent resources for your entire family for only $90 a year. You can pick and choose as many or as few courses as you would like and change them whenever you see fit. You can do lessons from various courses or do the entire course straight through.

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!

 

My Snowman Paul is Free on Kindle and many others in the series are less than $1.

2019-fresh-start-new-year-1st-pinterest-768x1024

WriteShop

Are you looking for a free Bible study that your whole family can enjoy? The Proverbial Homemaker is offering up a study of James that is FREE for a limited time.

Did you join us last week for the FREE five day activity challenge?

To keep the fun going, and keep making memories with your kids, Jamie has a program called The Activity Room that I know you’ll love, so I have to share about it just a bit, plus it is only open for enrollment a few times a year and enrollment JUST opened TODAY.

What this means for you, right now — is that The Activity Room is open for enrollment only through this Thursday, January 24th. After that time, she’ll close down to focus on her members and won’t open the doors again until May.

NOT CONSUMED is having a great sale on her Bible studies right now as she prepares to make some changes and additions to the age levels.  There are some great deals at clearance prices. We are currently enjoying the one on the ‘Fruit of the Tongue‘.

 

Happy Birthday AA Milne

Growing up we did not have satellite or cable television, but my aunt and grandmother both had a satellite dish (you know the big ones that looked like UFOs). When I went over to their house I loved watching the television show Welcome to Pooh Corner. I have so many fond memories and when my children were old enough I was excited to share the characters of Winnie the Pooh and his friends with them as well. The show is no longer available but the books that inspired them are a great place to start.

happy birthday aa milne

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

Today is the birthday of the man who created the wonderful imaginary world of Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne. What better way to celebrate his life than to read some of his wonderful stories. There are several different books and collections written about the bear and his friends. I have included links to those in the resources list for your convince. If you do not have any of them, several of them are less than $2 on Kindle or Audible.

In addition to the stories that he wrote, we really enjoy the book, Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear.(As of this posting the book is only $1.71 on Audible but prices are subject to change.) This book is a great story about the bear that inspired the Winnie the Pooh stories as well as an introduction to World War I. It is a picture book but even my older children enjoy it.

If you want to do something a little different you could try a new recipe with honey (Pooh’s favorite food). You could also try this free Winnie the Pooh art lesson by the wonderful folks at You Are An Artist Chalk Pastels. If your children are a little older you could also watch the new Christopher Robin Movie, I have not yet seen it but it does have good reviews on plugged in.

I hope you have a chance to study AA Milne and his wonderful books. Winnie the Pooh is such an enjoyable addition to any childhood and a great way to revisit memories of when you were younger.  I had a $5 credit on Audible and a lot of errands to run today, so for less than $1 I picked up The House at Pooh Corner and we will be listening while we ride. Take a few minutes today and read a book, listen to a story, draw a picture, or try a new recipe. Who was your favorite character from the 100 Acre Wood?

Winnie the Pooh Resources

Free Art Lesson

Winnie the Pooh (only .99 on Kindle)

Audible Dramatization of Winnie the Pooh and The House on Pooh Corner

Now We Are Six

Finding Winnie

Christopher Robin Movie

Pooh’s Library

 

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!

 

My Snowman Paul is Free on Kindle and many others in the series are less than $1.

2019-fresh-start-new-year-1st-pinterest-768x1024

WriteShop

Are you looking for a free Bible study that your whole family can enjoy? The Proverbial Homemaker is offering up a study of James that is FREE for a limited time.

Did you join us last week for the FREE five day activity challenge?

To keep the fun going, and keep making memories with your kids, Jamie has a program called The Activity Room that I know you’ll love, so I have to share about it just a bit, plus it is only open for enrollment a few times a year and enrollment JUST opened TODAY.

What this means for you, right now — is that The Activity Room is open for enrollment only through this Thursday, January 24th. After that time, she’ll close down to focus on her members and won’t open the doors again until May.

 

Jelly Fish, Jello, and Jesus : Letter J Preschool Activities and Printable!

J

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

You might think ice cream is a summer time treat, but we sure enjoyed ours in November too. Benjamin loved making and eating his own little baggie of ice cream to finish up our study of the letter I. He spent quite a bit of time practicing tracing and writing his letters in his dry erase book this week. He enjoys sitting and working on that while I work with the ‘big kids’ on their school work.

 

I am excited to include some extra Bible time this week with our letter studies. The letter J lends itself well to a focus on Jonah and more importantly Jesus. We have several children’s Bibles (including this interactive one Planet 316 Story Bible ) that we often read from and I will just include a bit more of that and some conversations focusing on Jesus as well as Jonah. We have the DVD for Sight and Sound Theater’s Jonah production that we have waited to watch so I’m hoping to fit that in as a family movie night in conjunction with our letter J studies.

planet3161

Jets and airplanes are fascinating to many children and are a fun topic of study. There are tons of great books and movies on jets, including several free ones on Amazon Prime. We also have a one that we should be able to stop by and see one day this week that is on display at a local park.

For nature study this week we are going to talk about jelly fish. My son loves the water and has seen many jelly fish, so they should be a fun topic for him even though we will not be able to actually see any live ones this week. We can use this live cam of jelly fish and try this fun jelly fish craft. We can also read Jenny Jellyfish by Suzanne Tate. If you are not familiar with her books, I highly recommend them. They are lots of fun.

In addition to the fun activities focused around letter J we will of course work directly with the letter. This letter J craft ties into our jelly fish study. We will also work on making the letter J both with fun materials (like Play Doh or shaving cream) and writing them in his dry erase book. Unless I have found a unique activity that I think he will really enjoy I normally find it works best to give him a variety of choices and let him pick which one interests him that day. This keeps him engaged throughout the week.

I hope this post gives you some ideas to get started with the letter J. Please share your ideas for letter J in the comments below!

Snack Ideas:

Jelly Beans

Jelly

Jello

Jerky

Jumbo Shrimp

 

Extra Resources:

Letter J Upper Case Craft Freebie

Letter j Lower Case Craft Freebie

Optional Activities:

Nature Study: Jelly Fish, Jungles

Jesus (of course we regularly study and read the Bible but this will be a great week to give it a little extra focus)

Jonah (We have a copy of this production by Sight and Sound that I’m hoping to make time to watch this weekend.)

Jars (We keep lots of jars for canning and storing and I think he would enjoy having some creative play using the jars to maybe fill and pour or even decorate.)

Jets (most children find jets to be quite interesting and there are many neat videos and books on them.)

 

Don’t forget to download your free letter J sensory bin printable.

 

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!

2018-fall-harvest-special-ban-240x400-2

FREE Fall in Love with Science e-book from Apologia

The World of Peter Rabbit and His Friends Only .99 on Kindle! We love Beatrix Potter’s stories and this one includes her original illustrations.

Sunny Under the Sea  Free (always double check because Amazon changes prices regularly!)

Wind in the Willows on Audio for only $2.95

Alice in Wonderland on Audible for less than $1!!

FREE: Check out this great new FREE resource for classical and Charlotte Mason education! Classical Christian Education & Charlotte Mason. Great for folks already homeschooling or if you have friends that are looking into it!

FREE Fantasy and Fairytales StoryBuilders from Write Shop!

Igloos, Ice Cream, and Insects: Letter I Preschool Activities and Printable!

I

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

My favorite part of the letter H study were the fun hand print turkey papers that we made. He loves finger painting and I thought they turned out so cute. We made several so that we could send them to a few relatives for Thanksgiving. We didn’t get a chance to make the Hot Cross Buns but we did enjoy a hike, a letter H scavenger hunt, and hand print crafts. He also had the opportunity to visit a great little backyard zoo for a field trip this week.  We also spent some time talking to and about our heroes.

 

Like H, I is made up of straight lines that generally make it easier for a young child to write or trace than curved letters. We will practice I as well as the letters he has learned so far in his dry erase letter book. He also really enjoyed the glue and glitter letter activity that we did with G so we may try that again with the letter I or we may use his PlayDoh .

He loves collecting ‘bugs’ so our study of insects should be a lot of fun. We have the book, Pets in a Jar, which is a super helpful resource if you want to collect insects to study for awhile. While it is not just insects, it covers the care of many different insects and has given us many hours of fun and learning.  There are also premade kits that can help give your new insects a place to live while you study it if you prefer.  If you do not want to catch your own insects to view, you could always purchase a butterfly garden kit.  I think we will find a few insects around our home to study and then try the butterfly garden this spring. If you didn’t want to do it this week, it could make a great Christmas or birthday gift since you can get the kit and redeem the certificate for the caterpillars at a later date.

I think we will enjoy an ice cream treat this week in celebration of the letter I.  We could always purchase ice cream but I think he will enjoy making his own. There are several very simple ‘ice cream in a bag‘ recipes that can be used to make a small amount of ice cream without any fancy ingredients or an ice cream maker.

Finally, I think we will have some fun with ice. There are some great sensory activities or these fun science experiments. You can get as complicated as you want or as simple as getting a few ice cubes out of the freezer and letting them explore with them.

There are many books that you could use to accompany an I theme but my son is particularly fond of Curious George so we will probably use Curious George and the Ice Cream Surprise.  If you are looking for a video to watch, Sid the Science Kid has an episode on ice that is included with an Amazon Prime membership. There is also a Popular Mechanics for Kids episode on Igloos that would work well with this week’s theme.

I hope this post gives you some ideas to get started with the letter I. Please share your ideas for letter I in the comments below!

Snack Ideas:

Ice Cream

Icing (If you want to limit sugar you can use mostly cream cheese with a bit of honey or powdered sugar)

Iceberg Lettuce

Italian Ice

 

Extra Resources:

Letter I Upper Case Craft Freebie

Letter i Lower Case Craft Freebie

Optional Activities:

Nature Study: Insects or Icicles

Igloos

Iguanas

Ice (melting experiments)

Iowa or Illinois

 

 

 

Don’t forget to download your free letter I sensory Bin printable.

 

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!

2018-fall-harvest-special-ban-240x400-2

FREE Fall in Love with Science e-book from Apologia

The World of Peter Rabbit and His Friends Only .99 on Kindle! We love Beatrix Potter’s stories and this one includes her original illustrations.

Sunny Under the Sea  Free (always double check because Amazon changes prices regularly!)

Wind in the Willows on Audio for only $2.95

Alice in Wonderland on Audible for less than $1!!

FREE: Check out this great new FREE resource for classical and Charlotte Mason education! Classical Christian Education & Charlotte Mason. Great for folks already homeschooling or if you have friends that are looking into it!

FREE Fantasy and Fairytales StoryBuilders from Write Shop!

Heroes, Horses, and a Hippopotamus: Letter H Preschool Activities and Printable!

H

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

Last week we covered the letter G and I almost forgot one of my favorite G snacks, guacamole. We love guacamole with chips, tacos, or even on salads. My son even calls avocados ‘baby guacamoles’ because we generally turn them into guacamole.  The glue and glitter letters turned out really well and were a great quick and easy craft. My daughter even found the green glitter so that it was a green, glue and glitter G.

guac

 

H is a fun letter and typically fairly easy for a child to draw because of the straight lines.  I think that for our main ‘H’ snack instead of doing snack we will make Hot Cross Buns for breakfast with hot cider. My son loves to help in the kitchen and will enjoy making them with me.  I also found this recipe for hoe cakes that looks tasty. I may try to make some of those to go along with some chili this week as the weather is supposed to be cool.

We started our study of H on Sunday by taking a hike. We had the opportunity to take about a half mile hike down to a small stream and through some beautiful forest. We searched for things that started with the letter H while we were hiking and we found hickory nuts, hanging branches, hickory trees, habitats, and a hiking stick.  You could go hiking on a local trail or even in your own back yard or you could go looking for H somewhere else like the grocery store.

In addition to our snacks we may have our sensory activity be food related. My older children are going to do a history project where they draw in cookie dough and I could easily let him practice his letters on a few of the cookies.

H is for hand print in this weeks art work. There are so many fun hand print art projects but since we are getting into November I think we will do a turkey. He can trace his hand print and then color the fingers as feathers and the thumb as the head. We may also do some finger paint hand prints for fun.

Last but not least, we are going to talk about heroes! We believe that providing positive heroes is an important part of providing our children with the guidance they need to grow into Godly adults. My husband believes so strongly in the importance of this that he wrote and published Heroes Next Door which is aimed toward the teens and tweens age group but can be used as a read loud for younger children.  For our study of heroes we are going to talk about people we know or have read about that have done heroic deeds. With young children I think using people they actually know makes it easier to conceptualize, so we will talk about our veteran friends as well as our friends and family in law enforcement and emergency services.

I hope this post gives you some ideas to get started with the letter H. Please share your ideas for letter H in the comments below!

Snack Ideas:

Hot Cross Buns

Honey

Hoe Cakes

Hersheys

Hot Dogs

Huckleberries

Halibut

Extra Resources:

Letter H Upper Case Craft Freebie

Letter h Lower Case Craft Freebie

Optional Activities:

Nature Study: Hurricanes, Horses, Hickory Trees and Nuts, Hills, and Hiking.

Hippospotamus (Free video)

Heroes

Horses (Free Amazon Prime video about farms including horses)

Hungry Hungry Hippos Game

Harmonicas

Hygiene

Handprints

 

Don’t forget to download your free letter H sensory bin

 

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!

2018-fall-harvest-special-ban-240x400-2

Kiwi Crate Deal:

 Get 50% Off your First Month with code: SPOOKY

FREE Fall in Love with Science e-book from Apologia

The World of Peter Rabbit and His Friends Only .99 on Kindle! We love Beatrix Potter’s stories and this one includes her original illustrations.

Sunny Under the Sea  Free (always double check because Amazon changes prices regularly!)

Wind in the Willows on Audio for only $2.95

Alice in Wonderland on Audible for less than $1!!

FREE: Check out this great new FREE resource for classical and Charlotte Mason education! Classical Christian Education & Charlotte Mason. Great for folks already homeschooling or if you have friends that are looking into it!

FREE Fantasy and Fairytales StoryBuilders from Write Shop!

Giving, Giant Sequoias, and Grapes: Letter G Preschool Activities and Printable!

G

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

We had so much fun with the letter F last week! I love that it timed out so that we were able to go to the fair while we studied the letter F. In addition to our regular fair activities (milking a cow, seeing all the animals, tasting yummy treats, and visiting all of the exhibits), we had a lot of fun trying to find things that start with the letter F. When you consider how many things are fried at the fair there were lots of food options for the letter f: fried vegetables, fried candy bars, funnel cake, french fries, fried soda, fried fish, and fudge. The whole family got involved with the letter f scavenger hunt and we found everything except for the fish. His favorite letter might still be B for Benjamin but he had a great time learning about the letter f.

 

This week’s study of the letter g will be a bit more tame than our study of f but hopefully still lots of fun! No field trips but we will do some nature study, sensory bin work, and Play Doh letter making this week.

Our nature study is going to focus on the giant sequoia trees. We live on the other side of the county from these beautiful trees so a real life field trip is not an option right now. however, I think my son will really enjoy checking out all of the great information and pictures from the National Park Service and the Visit California site.  There is also this cute two minute documentary about the giant sequoias that is free with Amazon Prime. If you wanted to take it a step further you can actually buy a kit to try and grow your own giant sequoia.

We may also take some time to do a little art work related to the letter G. For practicing making the shape of the letter I will use glue sticks and glitter. I will give him a piece of paper with a large letter G on it and then have him trace the letter with the glue stick. After the letter has glue he can sprinkle glitter on it to cover the letter. Shake off the excess glitter into the trash can and he has a sparkly letter G. Since he really loves art we will do one or two chalk pastel projects as well. There is a great green anole in the Backyard Nature lessons or this fun goose lesson in the Pond Nature lessons. If you are concerned about the messiness of the crafts then check out my tips for being able to say yes to crafts and sanity.

Games is a fun extra activity because there are so many options. We can play board games, card games, or outdoor games. Games are a great way to work on various skills while having fun as a family. You can play competitive board games or if the age ranges in your family make this difficult try a cooperative board game like Race to the Treasure  or our family favorite Wildcraft.

Grandparents are a valuable part of a child’s life and this is a great week to spend some time with a grandparent if they live close by or take some time and do a craft or card to send to a grandparent that lives further away. If grandparents are no longer living you could spend a little time this week sharing pictures or telling stories about your parents to your children.

Giving or service can sometimes be a bit tricky when children are younger but there are lots of ways for them to give back to their community. You can make cards to send to people who serve your community or bake cookies for a local fire department. I will have my son help me bake cookies to give to the volunteers that are staying at our church to help with hurricane relief work.  If you want more ideas these 100 ideas were written for the holidays but most could be used anytime of year.

I hope this post gives you some ideas to get started with the letter G. Please share your ideas for letter G in the comments below!

Snack Ideas:

Grapes

Ginger Snaps

Graham Crackers

Grapefruit (we like ours sliced in half, topped with just a bit of maple syrup and broiled for a couple of minutes)

Godiva Chocolate (ok maybe that is mom’s snack)

Gouda Cheese

Extra Resources:

Letter G Upper Case Craft Freebie

Letter g Lower Case Craft Freebie

Optional Activities:

Games

Nature study on gnats, geraniums, gems, or giant sequoia trees (online unless you are fortunate enough to live close)

Focus on giving by having them work with you to complete a service project (cards for the sick, cookies for a neighbor, etc)

Georgia ( A great chance to learn about the peach state!)

Giraffe (Live WebCam from zoo)

Grandparents! (This is a great opportunity to spend a bit of time with the grandparents if they are local or make a card or craft for them if they are further away.)

Guitars (My son loves playing around on his small guitar and if you don’t have one in the house you can make one from cardboard!

 

Don’t forget to download your free letter G sensory bin pictures.

 

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!

The World of Peter Rabbit and His Friends Only .99 on Kindle! We love Beatrix Potter’s stories and this one includes her original illustrations.

Sunny Under the Sea  Free (always double check because Amazon changes prices regularly!)

Wind in the Willows on Audio for only $2.95

Alice in Wonderland on Audible for less than $1!!

FREE: Check out this great new FREE resource for classical and Charlotte Mason education! Classical Christian Education & Charlotte Mason. Great for folks already homeschooling or if you have friends that are looking into it!

FREE Fantasy and Fairytales StoryBuilders from Write Shop!