Phases of the Moon Printables

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Learning about the different phases of the moon is tons of fun for children of all ages.  We often view the moon in it’s various phases and placements throughout the night sky, and spending a little time researching and discussing why the moon appears the way it does encourages real life learning that can be applied in later studies.

PhasesColoringLinesThis set of printables includes a colorful phases of the moon chart, a cut and paste activity worksheet, a month long moon tracker, blank coloring pages and more.  You can even grab the clipart and design your own Phases of the Moon worksheets.

Find Phases of the Moon Printables Here

Find Solar System Printables Here

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History Notebooking Cover Pages

This is a set of free printable Notebooking cover sheets.  I created these for children to use as time period dividers for History notebooks.  This set coordinates with The Kingfisher’s Encyclopedia of World History so you can easily provide children with blank notebooking pages to help them build their own timeline notebook. Additionally you could use these within a three ring binder as dividers or as covers for a spiral bound notebook.  For information on binding your own notebooks check out this photo tutorial.

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Download History Notebooking Cover Set Here   Use with our Free Bible Timeline Here

Includes 10 Dividers for:

  • The Ancients
  • Classical
  • Early Middle Ages
  • Middle Ages
  • Renaissance
  • Trade & Empire
  • Revolution and Independence
  • Unification and Colonization
  • World Wars
  • The Modern World

Kingfisher

The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia

Each section includes biographies of important people and key features on the art, architecture, and technology of the period. No more hunting and pecking all over the internet for incomplete or un-vetted information. With 3,500 indexed references and more than 2,000 full-color illustrations, photographs, and source materials, as well as research-friendly back matter and index, this encyclopedia provides a beautiful, authoritative reference that is essential for any home, school, or library.

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Homeschool Writing Journal

DailyJournals

Today I’ve spent some time updating our Free Daily Writing Journals for Kids!

These are simple DIY journals that you can make with any standard children’s notebook.

You could even adapt these to use within a binder instead.

DailySpelling

I designed these to be super simple and require minimal resources so you can really use these as your foundation and then add in any online programs or hands on manipulitives you have on hand.  This is not required, but it would liven up the daily structure a bit for children.

Come grab these printables and read the tutorial for setting up your notebooks here.

 

Looking for a simple, no-prep writing program for kids?  Click Here

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Simple Daily Homeschool Journal

Homeschool writing curriculum doesn’t have to be expensive.  We offer many affordable writing guides for children in our eStore, most of them under $5.00, but you can also put together a custom writing journal without breaking your homeschool budget.  Using three different notebooks, you can provide children with simple writing opportunities they can use to build important independent writing skills.  Purchase an inexpensive set of lined notebooks with the appropriate spacing for your child.   Use the printable schedules and title pages below to build and customize your writing journals.  (Alternatively, you can use these to create one single writing binder by using our printables as dividers in each section.)

DailyJournals

Print these four daily journal printables then read below for complete assembly and tips.

DailyVocab

How to Set up a Daily Vocabulary Journal

Step 1:
Paste the title of the journal on the outside of the notebook. On the inside cover paste the instructions.  Additionally you can customize these with your own instructions by writing them in.

Step 2:
Make two pockets to hold your spelling words.  Glue the first pocket to the front and write NEW on it.  Glue the second pocket to the back and write OLD on it.  Then cut index cards in half and write the words you want your child to work on.  Do an online search of grade specific vocabulary words (or choose from the list you’ll be making with your Daily Helper Journal.) 

Step 3:
Place a paper clip at the top of the first page and your ready to go!  At the end of the week have your child place the word into the OLD pocket in the back.  Every so often you can use these index cards as flashcards, for review purposes or to create additional learning opportunities.  (i.e. play an alphabetical order game, or match cards by number of syllables….etc.)

 

DailySpelling

 

How to set up you Daily Spelling Notebook:

Step 1:
Paste the title of the journal on the outside of the notebook. On the inside cover paste the instructions, filling in the blanks according to your child’s ability level. Alternatively you can write in your own custom weekly instructions as well.  You might also consider adding in some fun spelling websites or games on Friday for children to practice typing their words.

Step 2:
Make two pockets to hold your words.  Glue the first pocket to the front and write NEW on it.  Glue the second pocket to the back and write OLD on it.  Then cut index cards in half and write the words you want your child to work on.

Step 3:
Place a paper clip at the top of the first page for your child to store the current word list. At the end of the week have your child place the word into the OLD pocket in the back of the book to keep for later review.  You might consider providing children with additional hands on spelling ideas such as our alphabetical order train or letter tiles, making one day a week for games or review.

DailyWriting

How to set up your Daily Writing Journal

Step 1:
Paste the title of the journal on the outside of the notebook.  On the inside cover paste the instructions, filling in the blanks accordingly.  For my young daughter I decided to have her write five sentences or for at least 10 minutes.  This seemed to encourage her to write a bit faster :) Older children can easily  write more so you can choose what is best for your child.  

Step 2:
Setting up a daily journal is very simple!  Print a list of Story Starters, ( a quick internet search will pull up a ton, you can find age/theme appropriate for your child) and cut them into strips. Store them in a pocket in the front of your notebook.  Provide a paper clip for your child to place the story strip at the top of their sheet of paper.

DailyHelper

How to set up your Daily Helper Journal

Step 1:
Paste the title of the journal on the outside of the notebook.  On the inside cover paste the instructions.

Step 2:

Provide children with tabs, paperclips or bookmarks to organize this journal into different sections.  Label the sections with the suggested titles above or with your own as you see fit.  This journal can be used as a reference for newly learned words, grammar rules, and for keeping track of future words to add to spelling and vocabulary lists.

 

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Step-by-Step Writing Guides are now available in our eStore

Come Check them out today!

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Learn to Read with a Bible

LearntoReadBible

Teaching your child to read is one of the most difficult but rewarding tasks of Homeschooling.

Starting with read alouds when children are very young builds many pre-reading skills that will set the foundation for your child’s reading career.   As far as teaching a child to read, the best thing you can do with your child is read to them!

I’m currently teaching my third child to read so I’ve had ample opportunity to try out different reading curiculums and online software, some of which I couldn’t live without, but today I wanted to highlight some of my favorite Bible resources for learning to read.

Learn2ReadBible

Learn-to-Read Bible by Heather Gemmen

Who is this for? This Learn to Read Bible is for a child who is just starting to master letter sounds and blends.  The child may or may not have memorized a few sight words, but they are showing readiness to move beyond letter sounds and into blending words.

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Why use this Bible?  Each page is filled with full color illustrations that will draw your young child into God’s word.  Below the colorful pictures are two new words for children to learn, followed by three or four short sentences for children to read.  The font is bold and easy to read, with the new words in a different color.  Many pages contain short follow up questions you can ask your child after the reading.

 

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How to use this Bible to Learn to Read:  For each day teach your child the two new vocabulary words.  Introduce the words to your child then work together to read the days reading, emphasizing the new words as you read.  If your child is just starting to read words you might read the page first, moving your finger underneath each word accordingly.  Next, read the page with your child. Again, as you read with your child hold your finger underneath each word you are reading and slowly sound out the letters together, blending the sounds to form the word.  Slow and steady is the goal, it might take the entire lesson to read the first page and that is okay.  After blending the word be sure to “recap” what you are reading to keep the words in context and move the story along.   You might ask your child to copy their new words into a notebook, and choose a sentence to use as copywork and handwriting for the day.

Learn2ReadWorksheetPin

Here is a free copywork page you can use specifically with this Learn to Read Bible.  This would make a simple follow up to your short daily lessons.  Children write their two new vocabulary words into the blank frames.  Then using the Learn to Read Bible as a source, they can copy a sentence with one of their new words onto their paper.  Children can then follow up by writing something they learned about God from the story.   The Learn to Read Bible is very good at keeping God the center of the storyline, children will easily find sentences in their reading such as, “God is great,” “God does not lie,” “God was with them,” and “God had a plan.”  Pages that don’t include such sentences provide children with an opportunity to dig deeper into the story to determine what they can learn about God from the days passage.  You might even have children read their responses to you afterwards to reinforce reading and editing skills.

 

LTRBibleReaders

For children who are ready, you can expand these daily readings with Rocket Readers Bible Stories.

Each level includes multiple books for children to read with a specific goal in mind.  For example Level 1 Rocket Readers work on alphabet sounds and beginning sight words, Level 2 teaches letter combinations, Level 3 brings in beginning writing skills…..etc.  These books are small but provide children with a sense of accomplishment and don’t overwhelm the early reader.

 

 

Early Reader BibleOnce your child can read more than a few sentences at a time, you might consider The Early Reader’s Bible.  It was also one of our favorites and with the vocabulary word bank and follow up questions it’s very easy to transition your child to this next level.

 

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St. Patrick’s Day Printables

St. Patrick’s Day is on March 17th and I’ve added some new resources on our websites to help you teach this Holiday!

This set of bible printables features the verse from Matthew 6:20, “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” This is a great verse around St. Patrick’s day for children to learn about things of true value. Included in this set are bible verse cards, handwriting pages, bible vocabulary and a bible craft.

Click Here to print the full set

Click Here for ALL St. Patrick’s Day Bible Printables

We also have a great collection of St. Patrick’s Day File Folder Games! You’ll find lots of printable games to help you round out a thematic unit in your classroom.

Click Here for St. Patrick’s Day File Folder Games

st. patrick's day notebooking pages

These March Notebooking Pages are Free on Currclick through Sunday March 3rd, 2013.

Quite a few MORE St. Patrick’s Day Freebies
(free as of this posting today, always double check the price!!)

st. patrick's day craft

And remember this St. Patrick’s Day Craft from a couple years back!
This is simple to do, takes very little planning, and turns out beautiful!

Hope you find something helpful!


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Aquarium Notebooking Pages

Today I wanted to THANK all of our Crafty Classroom subscribers by offering a special freebie!

This is a HUGE set of Aquatic Animal notebooking pages.
Over 30 different creatures, each with their own facts sheet and coloring page.

About this set:
This set includes printable notebooking pages and coloring pages for different animals children might learn about at the aquarium. These pages are a great way for children to research and copy basic facts about each creature. The coloring sheets provide children an opportunity to learn about the animals colors and unique markings. If you have younger children, the coloring pages are also a wonderful way to help them learn about aquatic animals.

Originally, I drafted a few pages to go alongside our local aquarium inhabitants, The Oregon Coast Aquarium. However, I decided to add in a few extra animals interesting creatures that are featured at many aquatic centers over the U.S. Additionally, if you find that your child is interested in an animal that isn’t listed, there are blank notebooking pages they can customize themselves.


Children’s Ocean Animal Encyclopedia

Suggested use:
These pages are wonderful for before or after your aquarium trip. Even if you can’t squeeze in a field trip, there are many wonderful books and online resources for children to learn about the animals at their local aquarium. Most aquatic centers have a website with photos and facts about the animals they care for. As with most of our notebooking pages, I would recommend storing them in a three ring binder, or investing in a binding machine if you use notebooking methods across multiple subjects.

Ready to Subscribe?  Sign up Here

PLEASE NOTE: This is a very large file, and I would expect some heavy traffic this week.
The link you receive to download won’t expire, so if you’re having trouble downloading you might try again later when things settle down.

Additionally, if you’d rather not subscribe, or you just want one or two pages, I also offer this set available in single page format. (Only Subscribers are offered a simple one click download)

Stay tuned for more homeschool freebies!

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Apologia Fever Baby!

So over Christmas break we made a semi-BIG curriculum change.

We completely swapped out our science curriculum
(previously: Truth in Science) for Apologia Science.

Now, don’t get me wrong here,
I still love Truth in Science.
I am so very fond of the Christ centered worldview presented throughout the program.
There was really nothing wrong with the program.
We had lots of fun learning about animal classification,
plants and trees. But…


We just have been so taken with notebooking lately.
We found ourselves straying a bit from our Science lessons and
creating our own notebook adventures.

So, I finally made the call to switch over to Apologia Science
which has pre-bound notebooking elements available.

Oh Happy Day.

This is our very first Apologia product.
(can you believe that?)

And while I always find that I am in LOVE with every curriculum that I purchase
(at least for the first half of the year *snicker*)
I’m really thinking that Apologia is going to make it the Long Term at our house.

There is just no substitute for pre-planned daily lessons,

pre-bound spiral notebooks,

LAPBOOKING elements,

and multi-level accommodations.

And no, this is not a review for Apologia,
just sharing the excitement over a new addition to our classroom.

(Though if you’re looking for a great price on Apologia products,
do check out our sponsors, Hearts at Home Curriculum!
They offer 30% Apologia EVERYDAY!
)

Anyway, I love that more and more curriculum publishers
are incorporating multi-level teaching options and notebooking supplements,
it makes it so much easier for us homeschool moms!

Isn’t it fun making mid-year changes?

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Fungus….Ewwwwwe!

Even though we’re mid Fall,
recently I’ve been noticing lots of different colors pop up in the yard.

So today,
as crisp and cold as it was,
we donned our hats and gloves,
and headed outside for a small nature walk.

We brought cameras, a small rubbermaid bucket
and we quickly captured Fall life all around us.
They were all so pretty that we spent all our camera batteries just taking photgraphs!

Some Fall FUNgus for you:

You can imagine how excited the children were as they found each new specimen.

We immediately took off for the library and found this wonderful book
called, Mushrooms of North America and it was filled with beautiful photographs
and information about each different kind of mushroom.

Over the next week, we will be notebooking in our journals about the variety of fungus in our area.

How fun that we can just step outside and marvel at God’s creation.
So glad we got Math worked out so we can have some more days like today!


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Heroines of the Past

I am so excited to share this review with you today.
not just because I got to use my binding machine,

But also because I’ve been on the lookout for a resource just like this,
and here it has landed in my lap as part of a TOS review!


Heroines of the Past Bible Study
By: Amy Puetz

An Inspiring Thirteen-Week Virtue Study Celebrating
the Noble Deeds of Women and Girls from History.

This is a 5 day/week, 13 week course taking children through
some amazing historical accounts of virtuous women.

The Daily Lessons Include:

Daily Reading: For each day there is a short story for children to read and respond to. The characters in the stories are all girls or young women who displayed particular virtue(s) during their lives. The exerpts are short, only about three pages long but I think they are just the right size for a reflective study. Many stories are broken into parts so you read the first part on Day1, the second part on Day2…untill you have finished the story. There are still study questions at the end of each daily reading.

Study Questions:These focus on the story, and relevant Bible verses
There are a few questions that reflect the comprehension of the story, meant to draw out the specific virtue displayed. Girls are also given key scripture references that apply to the story. They can look these up in their bibles to see what God says about the virtue. (Just a side note here: I love that children are prompted to look up the verse in their own bibles and not provided the scripture.)

Box of Visual Reminders:
Every so often girls are prompted to add a specific item to this box to help remind them of the virtuous choice that was made. This is such a great idea to review, I love the visual aspect of this study and I see this being a great addition to a hope chest.

Idea: We might spend a day and modge podge a shoebox or something to make it extra special.

Virtues listed in back
This is probably my only con, if you could call it that because it is so minimal. But, I would have loved to see the virtues defined in the back as a reference. They are all listed, which is helpful, but there are no definitions. Just a couple of sentences or an example would be sufficient to keep the conversations moving fluidly. Sometimes it’s hard to define two similar virtues on the fly. It would also be nice to be able to look at the table of contents and see what virtue was going to be covered.

How we’ll be using this:
Eventhough I could read this on my kindle if I wanted to, I printed the entire book and bound it instead. Of course I personalized a title page with my daughter’s name. There are so many pages to print so I did print two pages per sheet, both sides of paper, and fast draft ink. For those of you who dislike the hassle of printing ebooks you can purchase this study in printed form.

I am hoping to use this as a Mother-Daughter bible study. We will read the short story at bedtime together, and maybe even try out our funny acting voices with a few of them. I haven’t decided yet on the study questions, I might have her answer them on her own with a special journal or we might discuss them instead of write them.

The way the book is set up you could easily use this in a group setting,
so if you are looking for a young women’s study plan, this is the one to get!

You can purchase Heroines of the Past in e-book or printed form from Golden Prairie Press.

Golden Prairie Press is owned and operated by Amy Puetz, a homeschool graduate and self taught Historian. She has a website full of similar resources, some for boys even! I just listened to a sample of their audiobook “Ten Girls from History” and I was hooked! Amy has some wonderful things on her website, be sure to check them out!

Disclaimer: As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I was sent this product free of charge in return for my honest product review. You can read more reviews by other TOS Crew members here.

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Can History be Engaging?


Warning: Soapbox Post Ahead
The printables and Free Curriculum Offers are at the bottom, scroll if you must.

So, what do you think?

CAN History be engaging?

If you would have asked me that 20 years ago,
I would certainly answer that with a big fat,

NO!

In fact,
I can even go further and tell you the specific night
that I decided that I HATED History.

H.A.T.E.D.
I would use a milder word,
but it really wouldn’t convey my actual (10 year old) feelings about History

(and yes, if you do the math that makes me 30)

Ahem…..

So, it was 20 years ago and
I vividly remember sitting in my uncomfortable wooden chair,
with my gigantic 5th grade (public school) History book propped on it’s spine.
The tendons between my thumb and pointer finger ached from holding
this monster of a book upright.
It was massive.

I was tired.
It was late,
Homework was due,
and I had more pages to read then I cared to count.

I tried my best to read. I willed myself to focus.
Self motivation kicked in; “You can do this!”
With heavy eyelids I read a full page.

Great!
Until I realized,
I hadn’t a CLUE what I just read.

(ever done this?)

Giggling at myself,
I started to read again…..this time outloud.

An hour passed, until I just couldn’t stomach any more.
I had no idea who these “historical” people were.
I had no personal frame of reference for where they were at in the world,
or even what period of time they existed in.
There were dates and numbers and facts,
graphs and arrows and lists of accomplishments.
I had no connection to any of it.

My brain was jumbled.

That was the moment I realized my complete hate disregard towards History.
(yes, I was a moody young girl and my feelings quickly swept from hatred to apathy)

I closed my book,
went to bed and
took an incomplete on my lesson the next morning.
No Joke.
Big fat ZERO.

And, now that I’ve written that all out,
It is almost sad to remember how much
I actually loathed History lessons.

I know better now.
I’ve actually become quite fond of History over the past few years,
Mostly from reading His-Story from an entirely different perspective,
but also out of a necessity to teach it to my own children.

I want my children to actually connect with the people and stories they read about.


This is one reason we will be using many living books
from our Heritage History Curriculum.

PSSST…..
If you are making a purchase at Heritage History use
coupon code: valerie7
It will give you the Spanish Empire Library FREE
with any Curriculum CD purchase! Ends 10/31/12Click Here for more details

So mostly I’ll be assigning these living books during independent reading time,
but for some of the titles I’ll be following up the reading time with
actual assignments. It is for those times that I made a set of Notebooking pages:

notebooking living books

And of course I couldn’t wait to share them with you too!
If you use living books or any kind of chapter book as part of your weekly lessons,
you’re going to love this 5 day spread of self-guided notebooking assignments.

You can read all about each daily assignment and print the free notebooking pages here.

TIP: Print up an extra set and keep them in a folder
for one of those “mom is sick, everyone pick a book” moments.

Happy Notebooking!

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How to Bind your Notebooks…

This week I made a big purchase.

There has been something on my homeschool “wishlist” for quite some time.

I’ve spent the last year rationalizing away the cost.

Quietly planning all the different projects that I would use it for.

Promising myself that I would get my monies worth.

Do you know what it is yet?

It’s a binding machine!

It does things to my e-books that a stapler NEVER could.

(Oh sweet notebooking heaven)

I can’t believe it has taken me this long to get one!

So wondering how it works?

Here’s the deal:

Step 1: Print up your e-book.

Make sure to use cardstock for a cover page, and a back page.
(note: you can get special coverpages at the store if you want)

Step 2: Load your weapon:

This means you put your curly binding comb between the prongs,
pull the special lever to open it

Step 3: Poke all your holes:

For my machine that means entering the paper like so

And pulling down the big handle.

Crunch.

All the papers are stored in a drawer inside the machine. No mess.
(note: my particular machine can handle up to 10 sheets at a time)

Step 4: Start assembling your book.
Slide your freshly punched papers onto the open prongs of your binding comb.
(the black curly thing you opened in step 2)

Step 5: Continue until you have all the pages you want included.

Step 6: Release side lever and the binding comb closes back up.

Step 7: Enjoy your fancy looking notebook!


If your interested here is the machine that I purchased.
It’s called Fellowes Star Manual Comb Binding Machine
I also picked up some different sized combs:

Fellowes Plastic Comb Bindings
Note: Combs come in different capacity…
Some do up to 55 pages, some up to 150 pages.
You want to get a variety, but I use the 55page and 90pages the most!

Pssst: Like my garden notebook?
STAY TUNED!!

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Notebooking Printables

Looking back on the different Homeschool techniques we used
over the past year, there is one method that really stood out:

Notebooking.

As my children have grown we have slowly progressed from Lapbooking to Notebooking
and a somewhat middle ground of LapNoting or NoteLapping.
(Them are progressive homeschool words right there folks)

Anyway.

The Notebooking Fairy -- printables and how-tos with a pinch of pixie dust

Ever since Jimmie came out with her Notebooking Success eBook
I am a stalker follower of her blog The Notebooking Fairy.
(In fact, she has a hilarious post up right now that made me giggle all the way through)

Besides being super funny, she has some AMAZING tips for
successfully implementing notebooking techniques with your child.
I love, love, love the simplicity of her tips.
Be sure to check her out!

So, back over here at our house,
the binders are staking up, and I’ve found myself
making more and more notebooking-type printables.

So I decided to just go ahead and make it official with a page dedicated
to all of our Notebooking Printables.

notebooking printables

Now it looks all official doesn’t it?

Currently we have:

History Notebooking Printables
Writing Notebook Printables
Dinosaur Report Printables

And I just added a small set of

blank notebooking printables

Blank Notebooking Printables.

I made these to go alongside our History Notebooking sheets,
but I suppose you could use them for whatever you like!

So there you have it.

We are officially Notebookers.

What about you? Do you notebook?


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Heritage History

Last year I wrote a post entitled 10 Things I bet ya didn’t know about me.

I posted 10 because it’s a nice round number, and it seemed like a good place to stop.

But if I had to write a #11, this would be it:

#11. I love to read.

As a child I would read anything and everything that I could get my hands on.

Sometimes this was not such a good thing.

*ahem

Flash Forward 20 years and you’ll see that my 9 year old daughter shares my passion for reading.

Christmas and Birthdays are easy for this little girl.

Her stocking is filled with little brown rectangles and she cherishes every single one.

With her I hear, “Can we go to the library” more often then “Can we go to McDonnalds?”

What could be better right?

Well, if you have an avid reader you probably already know that
keeping the bookshelf stocked can be a bit of a challenge.

And if you’re a homeschooler you know how wonderful it is when you find an appropriate book….
a Classic even that teaches your children about important facts in a fun, and memorable way.

I believe the term for these types of stories are called Living Books!

heritage history

“Putting the story back into History-
Heritage History promotes traditional narrative history. Our online library contains biographies, legends, adapted literature, and introductory histories. All were written for the general reader and are easy and enjoyable to read.”

So here’s the deal with Heritage History:

heritage History

Isn’t that neat?

Heritage History has over 400 titles, and you can purchase a single book, or an entire collection!

heritage history

We were sent the Young Reader’s Curriculum

Every book in this curriculum was written pre-1923
You can check out theYoung Readers Book List here.

The Young Readers library is one of our largest collections, with over eighty books to choose from. Many of the books in this collect are simple enough for a fluent reader to complete in only a few hours, so avid readers may be able to read dozens of books from the collection before moving on to more challenging curriculums. Reading a few dozen of these books will expose students to hundreds of famous historical characters and will be an excellent foundation for future learning.

Ok.

Stop right here.

I HAVE to tell you that I was a bit worried when I saw that these were pre-1923 books.

Wait….Wait….Wait. Back up even further here.

Let me just say something here:

We are not KJVer’s.

I simply can’t get through the thee’s and the thou’s and the thy’s
without spitting all over myself
and that never makes for good worship.

Anyway, when I saw that a lot of these books had that old world ring to them,
I was a bit worried.

Read:
A bit worried was I that my eldest would find the text
a daunting reversal of mirrored context, neglecting to partake
in the fanciful pleasure of each winnowed passage.

(I’m 74% sure that actually makes sense.)

In short, I wondered if it was going to be too much for my little 9 year old girl to handle.

Would she get all tongue twisted and frusterated?
Would she just skip over the seemingly backwards sentences and simply go for the general idea?

Nope. She read them.
She understood them.
She enjoyed them.
She wanted more.

(And of course I secretly took Homeschool Mom credit for providing her
such a wonderful resource that I knew she would like)

Ahem.

Actually all of the stories in the Young Readers Collection are chosen
because they are told in a “child-friendly, easy-to-understand manner.”
You can read them online to get an idea of the tone.
(Green books are for Young Readers)

Quite a contrast to fact drilling, public school, History books that i grew up on!

What a great way to learn!

Just as a side note here: I believe I remember a certain someone
who used easy to understand parables in His teaching as well.

Just Sayin’

Anyway,I really love that Heritage History is providing these classic stories in an updated format, making it easy for today’s homeschooling families. You can easily print multiple copies, and reuse your teaching materials for your upcoming students. Some of the more difficult passages make excellent read alouds as well.

There are also additional resources like Teacher Guides, maps and clipart for you to use alongside the books.

(I smell a Notebooking project)

You can pick up the Young Readers Collection for $24.95

There are quite a few other collections for older children as well, and right now if you purchase multiple CD’s Heritage History is running a special deal you can take advantage of!

Be sure to check them out on Facebook, and subscribe to their newsletter.
(Which enters you in a giveaway for a Kindle Fire!)

Overall, I’m really excited about having this resource at my fingertips. I know that I’ll be putting our new books to good use, and tying them into all of our unit studies over the coming years.

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this product for review purposes. Check out what other TOS Crew Review Bloggers thought of Heritage History!

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Scripture Art: Trees


This week we finished up our third scripture art project!

I thought I would take a second to share a bit behind the scenes.
These projects usually take two 30minute lessons.
The first day for the artwork, and the second day for the scripture.

Even though I’m kinda flying by the seat of my pants,
I try to spend each of the days with small amounts of discussion and instruction.

Day 1: Instruction in technique
Day 2: Discussion of the verse

And since I didn’t really share this with the first two projects I posted,
I am backtracking a bit so you know what the actual deal is:
(This is classic me type of organization)

Soaring Eagles Project
Verse: “Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.” Psalm 63:7
Day 1: Blending, Hue
Day 2: God is my protection

Seasonal Trees Art Project
Verse: “There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
Day 1: Repetition of same basic object (same tree branches in four spaces)
Day 2: God created an ever-changing world.

Tall Trees (today’s project)
Verse: All the trees of the field will know that I the LORD
bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall…” Ezekiel 17:24
Day 1: Resist, Texture (Dry brush painting), Background painting
Day 2: God decides everthing! He can bring down the mighty and lift up the meek.

There, now we’re all caught up!

So here’s how we did our latest scripture art project:

First I taped down three strips of masking tape across the paper.
These are for the trees. (resist)

Then I got out the watercolors a flat paintbrush, and puff balls!
(btw-We always watercolor on cardstock or watercolor paper….not looking for a pulpy mess)

I encouraged them to find a line where the land meets the sky.

The puff balls are nice and watery, making for fun blotchy backgrounds.

We set these aside to dry, and then lifted off the tape.

Now to paint the tree bark, we turn the paper sideways,

Use a dry brush (so we can see the strokes) and start making our way up
and down the trees.

Then of course we add in our scripture!

All the trees of the field will know that I the LORD
bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall…” Ezekiel 17:24

(Don’t look too close or you might notice a spelling mistake I didn’t see until post photo-shoot)

Sissy cut her’s to the shape of a tree which looked pretty neat too!

More beautiful Scripture Art for our gallery!

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Dandelion Paint

It’s April.
The sun is shining (today) and it’s officialy Spring.

And as I stare out my window all I can see are little pops of yellow all over my yard.

Even after mowing.

You see, I’ve recently realized that Spring dandelions are much smarter then Summer dandelions.

Summer dandelions stretch long and tall chasing the sun across the sky.

But Spring dandelions know better.

They stay low to the ground, hidden safely where the mower can’t reach.

But sadly, as they are the very first flower to pop up around here, they are no better off.

There are too many little boy hands,
scrambling around for every last one,
in hope of presenting the largest bunch.

And while dandelions aren’t exactly my favorite flower,
they can certainly be put to good use.

Especially in our nature journals:

There is nothing like a sunny afternoon spent making Dandelion paint.

I too, joined the fun.
painting dandelions with dandelion paint…

And immediately, the structured homeschooler in me thought,
“Yes! We could draw the different stages of a dandelion and color them in with different things we find around the yard.”

But then, I looked down at my little blond babies,
watching their yellow stained fingertips scribble away….

and I realized that today we were only meant
to do nothing more then paint the sun.

Here are some more dandelion activities to try this Spring!

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Notebooking Success!

Update: This Giveaway is now Closed! We have Two Winners:

Comment #128 was Marcie who said, “I really like that primary, manuscript, and wide ruled are offered. As a parent of a 2nd grade reluctant writer (who is also still learning to form letters), I like that I have options for him as well as my 4th grader.”

Comment # 107 was Jackie S. who said, “I find it hard to pick out one item that I like more than the others. All the information in this notebook is much needed and helpful to do notebooking right.”

Congratulations ladies!

Thank You to everyone for participating! You can still pick up Jimmie’s e-Book for the introductory special of $5.50 and be sure to subscribe to Jimmie’s blog (NotebookingFairy.com) because she offers so many invaluable printables and tips…and my favorite…Notebooking Q&A!

Original Post Follows:

Today is a special day!
We’ve got a special guest!
One that I’m sure you already know….

Jimmie (You know Jimmie from here…and here...and here...)
has just released a new eBook called Notebooking Success!

If you’re familiar with any of Jimmies blogs, lenses, and work on various homeschool websites
then you know that she is just the gal you want to get expert information from.

She knows her stuff.

And now she has published this handy guidebook that will help you get started using
notebooking techniques in your own homeschool.

Notebooking Success will answer these questions:

What is notebooking?
Am I using notebooking to its fullest potential?
How do I know if my children are really learning?
What should I expect from different ages?
How do I use notebooking to help my children learn and to remember what they learn?

»»Free Bonus — Grade Specific Reference Sheets

»»Free Bonus – 50 Things to Put into a Notebook
This free printable chart is designed for your planning notebook.
Refer to it when you need a fresh notebooking idea.

»»Free Bonus –General Notebooking Pages
This specially created set of lightly tinted notebooking pages features four layouts
in three line styles (primary, manuscript, and wide ruled).

Buy the eBook!
Jimmie is selling her eBook at an introductory rate of $5.50 (regularly $8.00)
So if you’re looking for ways to incorporate notebooking into your classroom Notebooking Success would be a great place to start!

And Guess What?
Jimmie has graciously offered to give away 2 copies of Notebooking Success to two lucky winners here!
And if you purchase the eBook and end up winning this giveaway, she will refund your money!
How great is that?!


How to Enter:

1) Check out Notebooking Success here. Come back and leave me a comment telling me what excites you about this eBook.

Additional Entries:

2.) Leave a question or a tip you have about about Notebooking.

3) Tweet, or Blog about this giveaway. Use the text:

Notebooking Success Giveaway
@JimmiesCollage @CraftyClassroom
#homeschool http://bit.ly/wVmG0N

Leave an additional comment telling me you did this!

Giveaway open until Friday January 20, 2012, Winner chosen at random.

Good Luck!

Disclaimer: Jimmie sent me a Free copy of Notebooking Success for review purposes and invited me to join her affiliate program! Yea! Thanks Jimmie :)

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Moses Bible Printables

This week we’re studying the life of Moses.

Using The Mystery of History as our guide, and reading directly from our family bible, we have spent our afternoons immersed in the life of this interesting, and very human man named Moses.

My children (and I) have been enraptured by the way God revealed himself to Moses, and the amazing miracles that were witnessed by so many. It is the ultimate adventure story.

I whipped up a few notebooking pages to go alongside our studies, and I’ve added them to our History Visuals pages.

Click Here for our Life of Moses History Printables

These are listed as the newest additions to our History Printables.

I’ve also made a few NEW file folder games that would go perfectly alongiside a Moses unit study.

Click Here for our Preschool Moses Printables
Click Here for our K-5 Moses Printables

And for your little tots, here is a simple bible verse and new vocabulary word to introduce.

Click here for our John 14:15 Bible Verse Printables

It’s my hope that you’ll be able to put these resources to good use in your home too!


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Mystery of History Activities


Have you solved the Mystery of His-Story?

We’re knee deep in our new History curriculum,
and loving every minute of it.

It’s The Mystery of History!
And it’s one of my favorite purchases this year,
and it was really worth every penny.

Before I got this curriculum I was a bit skeptical,
the price is what really stopped me,
but I found a great deal on ebay and decided to give
it a try.

Boy am I ever thankful I did.

If you’re not familiar with MOH, just looking at the program can be a bit daunting.
Initially I was pretty confused as to what programs I actually NEEDED, and what
parts were complimentary to the program.

(Thanks loyal FB followers for all the guidance!)

Since we’ve been using the program for a little over a month now,
I thought I’d post about what parts we are actually “Using”
and what parts aren’t getting used as much.

I purchased my set on ebay, and it included quite a bit of materials in the package.
You can get these (and more) individually from Bright Idea Press as well
I listed what we ended up with, below;
The products that we use the most have a little **star **

**MOH Curriculum Book**
(We use this book the most of course)

MOH Audio Curriculum
(I really thought we’d use this more, but not so much)

MOH Craft Pack CD
(Don’t use at all)

MOH A Crash Course from Creation to Christ by Linda Lacour Hobar on CD
(Don’t use at all)

MOH Printables & Reproducibles CD
(Semi-helpful, but I’ve got a copier at home)

**MOH Timeline Pieces**
(LOVE this set. Worth it)

**MOH Timeline Suggested Placement**
(This is quite helpful, not necessary but helpful)

MOH Coloring Pages
(Used for first couple of weeks, but kids weren’t interested

I also picked up a
**Blank Timeline from Miller Pads and Paper**

We are also using the Illustrated Children’s Bible when the lesson
coresponds with something that was recorded in the bible.
And here’s how we’re using the program:

Each week holds three lessons. So we are using
this program three days a week,one lesson for each day.
However because it’s VERY adaptable
we can expand a lesson to cover an entire week if needed.

Also for each lesson there are suggestions for follow up activities
that are age realated. We do these activities about 25% of the time.

For each lesson we are building up a timeline
(during which my children *graciously* take turns applying the glue stick
to the image and placing it on our timeline.)

As I mentioned before, I opted to pick up a cheaper brand of a blank timeline,
I’m not sure that it’s exactly the same size so we might run into problems later,
but so far we’re loving this aspect of the program, and with a $30 price difference
I’m sure we can figure out a way to make it work.

For the rest of the time we are using our own craft/activities
and our own notebooking visuals:

The notebooking visuals are just pages that help remind my children
some key facts that we learned. I’m big on visual memory techniques,
and we use these images during our lessons, review, and our oral quizzes.
I’m amazed at how much more information is retained when my little students
have something visually stimulating alongside the lesson.

If you want to follow along or print our MOH activities I’ve posted the first
three weeks here on our main site.
Again these are more like Visuals as opposed to notebooking pages, but they do
have small spaces throughout for children to customize the information.

(Note: There is actually a MOH notebook and lapbook for purchase too,
I didn’t pick one up myself, but the sample pages look great!)

Anyway, We are really excited about this program
I’m working on the next three weeks right now
and I”ll post them as soon as I finish!

Stay Tuned :)


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Writing Notebook Printables

Oh, golly.

This is one of those posts that has been sitting in my “draft” box,
patiently waiting to be published.

It was meant for May.
(of 2011….so not too bad, but still)

Do you ever do that?
Get a post half finished then forget about it.
For months.

I do.
(obviously.)

However this time I think I lucked out,
because there is nothing Seasonal (i.e. Christmas in July)
about this post.

And it happens to be perfect timing for “Back to School”
so perhaps it was just meant to be.

I suppose I COULD delete this introduction and PRETEND that I planned it this way…..

But I guess what’s done is done, so without any further ado,
I present to you May’s post: TODAY~

writing notebook printables

Writing Notebook Printables:

I’ve been working (behind the scenes) on a writing notebook for Sissy.

Sissy is going into the 3rd grade this year, and writing is NOT her favorite subject.
(I’m sure she would say it a bit more eloquently, but you get the picture)

So to trick inspire my dear daughter into working on those NECESSARY
(and not something you’d want to cut from your school curriculum) skills, I came up with this Writing Notebook idea.

writting guide printables

And I know, I’m re-inventing the wheel here,
but sometimes having just the right method for just the right child
can work AMAZING miracles.

printable writing guides

The front of the notebook has a custom cover page,
(I made a boy or girl version you can snag too)

writing guide printable worksheets

The back of the notebook has an editing marks sheet for reference.

Please know that these might not be PERFECT printables.
There might be a spelling error.
The font is kinda funny and
my grammar might be incorrect.
(I’m sure the police will point that out to me shortly)

But they are what they are and I’ll be using them to inspire my little girl this year,
(I’ve got high hopes!)

Instructional Paper guide

So far I’ve uploaded a printable writing guide that will take children through the
steps needed to write an Instructional Paper.

And if you jump over to the main website, you might notice
quite a few more titles that I’ve got in the works.
(please read that to mean: Whenever I get a spare second)
(and please read Spare Second to mean: When pigs fly)

Oh the plans of a homeschooler…….

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