I Finally Did it!

I bought a laminator.

I bet you thought I had one.

But, nope!

After many strolls down the paper product aisle at Target,
I finally gave it and bought one.

(The one I got is called the Scotch Thermal Laminator)

And even though I’ve been walking by this laminator for months,
(quietly adding up all the handy things I could use it for)
It was still a total splurge.

I’ve been using a more “Frugal” way to laminate things,
Sandwiching my paper between two layers
of clear contact paper…
the type you line your kitchen drawers with!

And really?
Have you ever tried that?
It is more difficult then it sounds.
Sticky. Time Consuming. Finger Pain.

Now all I have to do is
1.Open a pouch
2. Insert paper
3.Run through the machine
4. Sit back and sip my fake Starbucks frappuccino:

Wow!

Wanna know the first thing I laminated?

(This is a must have for any fridge!)
Thanks Erica for helping us to keep the peace around here!
Oh and, yeah… GO DUCKS!. (Ahem)

And the second thing I laminated?

A Protractor.

Yeah, a Protractor.
Usable, sturdy and NO extra trip to Target required.

And now of course I’m scouring the house just looking for things that need to be laminated.

Help me out here….
What sorts of things do you use your laminator for?

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Place Value Folder Game

This week, in addition to multiplication, we’ve been
really working hard on learning and understanding Place Value.
A few years back I picked up a set of Base Ten Blocks,
which really made it easy for my children to visualize
what I was talking about with all this “Hundred, Tens, Ones” talk.

base ten blocks

But it’s due time to to branch out to bigger numbers…
Thousands, Ten Thousands….maybe even Millions!

So today I whipped up this simple (no frills)
Place Value File Folder Game:

We played it this afternoon for Math,
and I’m quite pleased with the results!
Both children are easily reading numbers all the
way out to millions!

I’m surprised at how quickly they picked up on it!
The game is played by drawing numbers one at a time
and choosing where to place it on your board. You’re trying
to build the biggest number you can, so you have to be careful
as once you play a number you can’t move it.

I had my children read the “Place” they were putting each number, then at the end of the game they read their entire number to see who was the winner.

An hour later and they are experts in place value and didn’t
even realize they were learning.
(or gambling….for that ever evasive 9)

How do I feel about it all?

MuuuuAhhhhhhHaHa!
(said in an “I will rule the world” kind of tone)

I uploaded this game on File Folder Fun so
you too can feel this way!

Happy Ruling!

NOTE: If you like “everyone wins” games, just print one board and work together as a team, write down each number you make and try to beat the last one!

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Multiplication Pocket Folder

We are all about Multiplication Facts around here lately
(Did you see our Math Keys)
(And our File Folder Games)

Well, I’m pulling out all the stops trying to get these important facts into my children’s heads.
Sometimes adding a bit of color….and incentive….helps!
So today I made the children a Multiplication Pocket Folder:

It’s really just a fancy way to store our multiplication flash cards
(we’re upgrading from ziploc baggies)

But the important part is the Multiplication chart on the front:

Everytime Sissy can get through a set of math facts she’ll get a sticker.
Ten stickers equals a small treat.
Each day she can earn up to 12 stickers
One for each digit….and no more.
(Ahhh……now you see my genius)

And if you want to make your own,
I’ve uploaded instructions, templates and printables for you too!

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NEW! Family Math, Art, Geography, & Science Curriculum…..


boy

Recently my 4 year old son (Bubba) has been showing interest and readiness to learn at a higher level then I’ve been presenting to him. I’m really excited to see the changes over the past few months:

He will sit for extended periods of time
He can hold a pencil the correct way most of the time without help
He knows his letters and the sounds they make
He is writing his name and other short words
He is beginning to recognize common words (Thanks Starfall!)
He is showing an interest in having “HIS OWN” school books (instead of sharing with Sissy)

I’m really excited because he has been such an “Energetic” little scout, and it’s been really hard to even attempt to lead any type of learning experience that required “FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS”

SIGH.

But I see that we are coming around the bend, and my little Preschooler just might be ready for some more one-on-one instructional learning.

Thus, I’ve been spending the past couple of weeks RE-Arranging my LIFE Homeschool schedule to fit him in a bit more, and of course researching curriculum choices that I could use for both children. I haven’t got it all just perfect yet (do we ever) but here are a couple of new additions to our Homeschool Curriculum that I wanted to share:

Science

The Complete Book of Science:

I love this book not only because it is in full color (total score for entertainment factor) but it has 12 different sections that provide hands on learning alongside worksheets and reproducible charts and diagrams. One of the first topics we started with this book was “Our Human Body” and we made these life size representations of our organs, bones, and muscles. You can imagine that both kiddos were giggly excited to do this. (Now, we’re learning about Rocks and Minerals) You can read sample pages here….

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FamilyMath

Family Math:

I saw this book at a thrift store (after I read that a friend picked it up at a thrift store) and decided to give it a shot. I mean $2 is worth a shot right? Totally worth it. I love this book already, it has transformed Math time at our house in a matter of days. Both of my kids love the hands on activities, and they love learning alongside eachother when an activity fits both their ability levels. The best part about this book is that it tells you very clearly, what ages each activity is for, and then it has pictures and additional ideas for how to explore the concepts with each child. Here is Bubba playing one of the sorting and counting games:

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TeachingArt

Teaching Children ART:

Okay, I know…we don’t really need books to teach children art do we? Aside from subscribing to Art Projects for Kids, I’ve been using this book to make sure that the kiddos recieve some sort of formal traning on Art (you know like color theory and all that technical stuff) So far we’ve done a couple of lessons as a family, and both children have been very interested. Here are some photos of them learning about line (horizontal, vertical, and diagonal)

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Little Passports

And for Geography…..Did you see? I won the 6 month Subscription to Little Passports, and should be receiving some fantastic learning materials soon! I can’t wait, so stay tuned for photos of those!

I’ve added all of our new books and resources to our Homeschool Curriculum page, in case you’re interested in what we’re using for the other topics too!

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Homeschool Tools: Texture Squares

I’ve started a new tab on our main site called Homeschool Tools!

I hope to be able to post some of the different tools we use in our homeschool, nothing to fancy but maybe it will inspire you to get crafty in your own classroom!

Last week I posted the Base 10 Bean Counters,
and this week I’m showing off these colorful Texture Squares:

texture squares

I’ve been saving every little bit and scrap from all my sewing projects in hopes of making something like this for a long time. (hence the large pile of fabric…I might have overdone it a bit..)

Not all the fabrics have a defining texture, some I chose because of the color patterns, but it makes a great matching game, especially one to store in your purse for the long wait times at the Doctor’s office.

(Did I mention we’re on Ear Infection number 7 for the year? Same kid, same ear….what gives?)

Anyway, I put up more photos with instructions, including the sizes that I used on our main site.

I’d love to see any homemade matching games you’ve made with your children! Drop me a link below if you’ve done a similar project!

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