100 Sentences 4 Summer

One of my children is excellent at reading, but his writing could stand some extra practice! I designed this activity pack to provide him with a fun Summer challenge; Write 100 Sentences over Summer Break!

100 Sentences 4 Summer Challenge

This pack includes:

  • How to Write a Sentence Chart
  • Vocabulary Words  (Verbs, Adjectives, Family Words, Color Words, Pronouns, and Prepositions)
  • 100 Cut and Paste Story Prompts
  • 25 Sentence Strip Sheets (4 sentences per sheet)
  • Super Writer Awards (Boy & Girl)

Here is how it works:

Print up the entire notebook (1 for each child) and Bind it together if possible.

Everthing prints in assembly order with the reference charts and vocabulary boxes in the front.

Each day children will choose one picture story prompt, cut it out and paste it to the sentence sheet on the following page

Children then write one small sentence inspired by the picture they chose.  (They can choose to draw their own picture as well.)
There are two lines of writing provided, so younger children can write short sentences like, “I am a skunk,” and older children can write sentences with more detail, “The little skunk smells a red flower.”

You can also encourage the children to try to use different end marks (. ! ?) for each page they fill up.

Two printable awards are included but we also recommend having a tangible treat or item for children who do complete this book. Best of all, this pack is print ready! You can bind them and send them home with students over the Summer break and invite them to bring back their completed notebook for a special prize!

Check out more Photos of 100 Sentences 4 Summer Here

We’ve got a ton of new teaching resources headed your way, so stay tuned!


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Summer Fun School

We no longer technically homeschool over the Summer.
Ever since joining a local charter school we’ve decided to try and stick to the Monday-Friday, September through June schedule, but that doesn’t mean we don’t learn over the Summer.

If you’re looking for some simple ways to encourage learning over the Summer break here is a list of some Summer Fun School activities:

Lately I’ve noticed that my children have been enjoying skits and plays. Sometimes in their Language Arts curriculum or with certain books they are encouraged to act out a story and they are so very happy to do so. I recently looked up some fun 2-3 person skits on Puppet Resources and thought I might keep a few on hand for those “boring” Summer days.

Summer of Photography!
Why not take your kids and your camera out on a daily hike with a goal. ABC’s in photos. Only pink things. Or have children arrange vacation photos with their own captions. There are some great ideas at Montessori-Now for using photography over the Summer.


Want to keep kids writing over the Summer?
Enlist a willing friend or family member to become Silly Story Penpals!
Initiate the conversation with your children writing a silly story then asking the penpal to return the
favor. This is a great way to sneak in some creative writing, penmanship, and basic language arts skills, all while having fun.

Space Crafts and Activities
Summer is a great time to learn astronomy! From Summer nights spent looking at the stars, to the Persides meteror showers in August, you’ll find some great Summer opportunities to learn all about our universe. We actually use this Meteror Shower Ap to keep track and be reminded of them.
If you really want to get into Space over the Summer, consider investing in a telescope, or participating in a local stargazer event.


Don’t forget about your local and semi-local museums!
Here is a list of US Museums by State.
There are so many wonderful exhibits to see, and it’s a great way for children to get excited about learning.

Chalk Pastels
This Summer we’ve ordered A Simple Start in Chalk Pastels, which includes 45 step by step tutorials. I plan on pulling it out whenever we hear “I’m bored,” or “It’s too hot,” ect…
Maybe by the end of Summer we’ll have a nice collection of artwork to start the year off.

doodle art bible

If you’re not looking for a full on set of art lessons,
why not print out a few of these adorable Color-in-Quotes!
A set of pretty markers and a stack of these will go a long way on a HOT Summer afternoon!

summer reading chart

Summer Reading!
Here is a handy printable your children can use to keep track of their Summer Reading. We laminated ours and used a dry erase marker. A special follow up worksheet is included as well. At the start of Summer make a goal, and when it is reached have an ice cream night with the family!

Summer Science Activities
Our ES brought some fun Soda bottle science activities last week, and the kids were loving every minute. They made tornados, dancing raisins, and even a shooting rocket bottle.

These science books include so many different science experiments you can do with your kiddos over the Summer, and they won’t even realize they are learning!

I’m sure there are TONS of other ideas out there,
I love how relaxed learning can be during the Summer!


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Summer Learning

Just a quick post to share some of the adorable
and FREE Summer resources I’ve found floating around the web.

Free Summer of Fun Calendar from Amanda Bennett

Free Summer Fun Activities from Money Saving Mom

Summer Reading Chart from The Crafty Classroom
(use this to keep track of your Summer Reading)

Summer Reading Worksheet from The Crafty Classroom
(use this for extended learning with your Summer Reading)

Reading Challenge Charts from Homeschool Creations

Adorable Printable Summer Calendars from The Brassy Apple

30 Days of Summer Fun from Sew Dang Cute

Summer Merit Badges from The Crafting Chicks

50 Summer Crafts from The Long Thread

Summer Reading Tent from Sew Mama Sew

Looking for more “Active” fun?
Check out my Homeschool P.E. links on Pinterest.

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DIY Homeschool Tools

ToolsMathPinDIY Math Tools for Homeschool
These tools can be used in your Homeschool or Classroom setting as an alternative to purchasing premade educational materials. Not only will you save money, but you’ll be able to customize your classroom to fit the needs of your children!
Base 10 Bean Sticks
Math Facts Learning Folder
DIY Number Bean Bags
Making Math Sentences Game
Printable Math Equations Board
Math Master Speed Scoring Chart
Math Mini Office Printables
Free Math File Folder Games

DIY Language Arts Tools
Learning grammar and spelling doesn’t have to be boring!  Try these eight ideas in your own classroom to spice things up a bit. Most of these games are made with resources you can find around the house.

Word Family Block Game

DIY Spelling Activities

Free Printable Language Charts

DIY Vocabulary Notebooks

Free Language File Folder Games

Free Summer Reading Chart

Language Mini Office

Writing Notebook (available in our eStore)


Be sure you check out our Favorite Homeschool Tools and Craft Supplies during your visit!



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Why Homeschooling Isn’t for Everyone

Homeschooling is such a great way for kids to learn, but is it the right choice for everyone? When I first started homeschooling (twelve years ago) you might have heard me say things like:
  • Homeschooling is the BEST thing for your child!   -or
  • Everyone should homeschool no matter the cost.  -or-
  • What do you mean you are sending your kids to school….don’t you love them?
Okay, that last one is a tad dramatic, but somehow I had the preconceived notion that because I had decided homeschooling was the best situation for my family, that is was the best situation for EVERY family.
(Did I mention I was a tad self-righteous as a young adult? Just a tad…)
Fast forward to today and I am still homeschooling two of my four children. My eldest two children, grades 7 and 9, were just enrolled in a local private school last year. My youngest two, grades 1 and 3, are still being educated and home and we continue our daily homeschool journey.  We love and support our local charter school and my younger two boys take part in weekly on-campus enrichment classes.
So currently, we are like a hodge-podge homeschooling family now, but it’s working for us. And that is what the homeschool movement is all about…..doing what works best for each individual child and family.
So, back to the issue at hand…is homeschooling for everyone?  Well, maybe not?  If you are considering homeschooling, here are five questions to ask yourself before going any further.

Why Homeschooling Isn’t For Everyone

Although homeschooling is the perfect option for many families, unfortunately, it’s not for everyone. There are a variety of reasons why homeschooling isn’t for everyone, such as not having the time to homeschool or homeschooling simply doesn’t fit your child’s educational or emotional needs. If you’re wondering if homeschool is the right choice for you or not, ask yourself these five questions.

1. Do You Have the Passion?

In order for homeschooling to work, the passion to homeschool needs to be there. You need to be excited about all of the possibilities of homeschooling. Each day should feel like a new day to explore and have fun while learning. If you aren’t passionate about teaching your child at home, then commitment might become lacking, in which case homeschooling might not be the right choice for you.  Note:  It’s not all sunshine and roses. There will always be times of struggle when homeschooling, (some have coined the term, “Homeschool Burnout,” but the desire to continue to breath life and learning into your children should be an ongoing passion.

2. Do You Have the Patience?

Even if you have the passion to homeschool, you need to understand that homeschooling requires quite a bit of patience. It’s common to hear people say, “I just don’t have enough patience to homeschool…..” and there is a little truth to that…..homeschooling requires patience. Homeschooling takes time, energy, and commitment, just like anything else in life worth doing.  Your children are not going to be perfect little students every day of the week and understanding that beforehand can help you prepare for the trials ahead. There are seasons of homeschooling that seem like a daily struggle sometimes, and that is totally normal.  But like everything in life, when things are important to you, you stick with it and find a way to make it work.  This goes back to my first point, deciding if homeschooling is important to you. If you lack the passion for homeschooling then when your patience is tried, and it will be, you’re more likely to become frustrated and give up homeschooling altogether.  If you think your patience might be tried beyond your capability, there are many great homeschooling conferences (online and otherwise) to support the building of patience and realistic expectations.  These conferences and homeschool support groups are amazing as you continue your homeschool journey.  Sometimes all it takes is a new schedule, a little encouragement, or a renewed sense of purpose to instill order back into your homeschool. Take the summer to educate yourself about the specific joys and trials and the support resources available to you before making your decision to homeschool.

3. Do You Have the Time to Dedicate

Homeschooling is a big commitment for your time. A BIG ONE!  When you decide to homeschool, you’re dedicating a large portion of your day to educating your child, ensuring they learn and grow at an appropriate pace. Although you won’t be sitting down all day with your child, teaching for 8 hours straight, you will spend hours teaching and exploring with your kids.  Many homeschooling families strive to teach independent learning in their children, but that can be difficult if your child is not yet reading on their own.  So be realistic about your time scheduling, and even if you cannot dedicate yourself completely to homeschooling full-time, try looking into local charter programs, online school, or even block scheduling at private school settings.

4. What Are Your Children’s Needs?

Your kids are unique and with that uniqueness comes different needs. For one of your kids, homeschooling might lead to academic and emotional success, making it the right choice for them. On the other hand, another child might struggle with homeschooling, making it the wrong choice for your family. When deciding if homeschooling is right for you, take your children’s needs into consideration. Knowing your child’s specific learning abilities or disabilities is key to your decision. There’s no shame in admitting that homeschooling might not be the best choice for your child.  Many homeschooling families have a child or two in public or private education, while they continue to homeschool their other children.  Do what is best for your family and each of your children.

5. Are Both Parents On Board?

You might have the passion and patience to homeschool, but does your spouse? Even if you’re planning to be the one that does all of the teaching, it’s important that you have your spouse in your corner, supporting you in this decision. If your spouse isn’t comfortable with homeschooling, then homeschooling might not be an option for you at this time. Before making a decision take time to research and learn about the cost and benefits of homeschooling with your spouse.  Attend conferences, and learn more about your state requirements.  Find local groups and homeschool communities in your area that you can connect with and learn from. Make sure your spouse is 100% on board before making the leap into homeschool.




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Homeschool Art Curriculum

Draw3dPinAs a kid I loved Art.

It was my favorite subject.

Besides Recess and P.E. of course.

Art is something I try to include in my homeschool curriculum every year, but it always seems to take the back seat when life gets busy.

(If you follow my blog you may notice that I post TONS of art projects over the Summer when we actually have time for art.  I call it Summer Art School)

Anyway, this year I found an amazing drawing curriculum that is ONLINE and requires NO help from me.

Let me repeat that.


I provided art journals, #2 pencils, and when asked a drawing stump.

But that was it.

I set up their username and password and let them be for a couple of weeks.  (i.e. Take it over Mark Kistler, this Mama is tired!)

Imagine my surprise when I picked up my daughter’s art journal and found this. (Continue Reading)

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$25 Gift Card Giveaway: Sallie Borrink Learning


It’s mid-April and you homeschool mom’s know what that means:

Curriculum planning!

I know you are probably knee deep in your Springtime lessons; busy hatching butterflies, pressing wildflowers and dissecting frogs….but I also know you’re silently thinking and planning about what curriculum you will use next year!


Maybe you’re looking for a fun but educational way to keep your kiddos learning over the Summer break?

We’ll today we’re blessed to offer you a chance to relieve some of that burden with a fun giveaway!

Sallie Borrink Learning is offering one winner a $25 gift card to her online store…..and her store is FILLED with high quality teaching resources for pennies on the dollar.


I am seriously in LOVE with her Fun Fact Cards series, and even more in love with the price!

Cards are a quick, flexible, colorful and fun way to expand your unit! Start building interest in your topic each morning with these 30 fascinating fact cards that go beyond the basics.

These cards are used multiple ways by teachers and parents in many grades. I love reading about all the different ways teachers and parents use them!

Quick Fun Fact – Read the fact card each day and store them in a small basket where the students can look at them again and again. Or keep the set on a ring.

Fact of the Day Bulletin Board – Read a fact each day and display the cards on a special bulletin board or foam board.

Hallway Display – One teacher displayed them on the hallway chalkboard outside her door so many students and adults could read them.

Calendar Pocket Chart – Put a fact behind each number on the calendar and have a different student take it out each day. You can then display on bulletin board.

Geography Extension – Put the cards on a wall map with a string that points to where it ties in.

Go Fish – Create two sets and use for a game of Go Fish.

Memory Game – Create two sets and use for a Memory Game.

Scavenger Hunt – Use the cards to create a Scavenger Hunt.

School Bulletin Board – One kindergarten class had two students take the fact of the day down to the office each morning, “teach” the fact to the office staff, and then display the cards on the office bulletin board for everyone in the school to see.

The cards are 3×3 and there are 6 on a page. I made them small so they easily slide behind your date cards on the calendar pocket chart. They are also a good size for small hands if using them for a game. I also made them smaller to find the balance between making them colorful, but not taking too much ink when you print them.

The cards are unnumbered so they can be used in any month and in any sequence. You can use all the cards in the set or only a portion. This provides maximum flexibility for the teacher’s schedule. Use one set all month or use parts of two sets depending on your needs.

Also included is a hyperlinked list of the relevant websites where the facts were located.

Click Here for All Fun Fact Titles


More Popular products from Sallie Borrink Learning:

Thematic Literacy Packs

Math Centers & Activities

Notebooking Pages



Writing Prompts




Ready to Win?

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Our Curriculum Choices 2013

Ok, am I the only one who uses the NOT Back to School Blog Hop
as a personal call to action?

I know it’s supposed to be a blogging calendar,
a group effort where we (as the homeschooling community)
share with each other all of these different aspects of planning for the new year,

But I can’t help but see a different, more personal message to this schedule.

For example wouldn’t “Curriculum Week” more accurately be called:


Or at least that’s how I read it. I mean by August, I’ve already spent half the year driving everyone nuts with zillions of questions about the curriculum they are using, and it’s time to make some decisions. I must have 30 different products in my online carts……and I just keep saving them for later! Well, it’s crunch time baby, it’s Curriculum week. Time to hit BUY or DELETE and live with the decisions. (Or come back mid year and tell everyone why this curriculum failed miserably.) Either way, I’ve got some blog content right?

And next week, School Room Week….well, we all know what that really means:

Really clean that thing. Pull everything out, books, paper, pens, crayons, and set it all out on the table….. even the wet diapers and moldy milk bottles that your toddler somehow shoved behind your desk while you were busy teaching fractions last year. Then when it’s all nice and dirtied up, snap a photo. You don’t have to post it or share it, but it will make you feel good later (after you’ve done a year’s worth of cleaning in a single day) to look back and see your progress. And during the 15 seconds that your classroom actually stays clean, snap an instagram photo to share with the rest of us. We love to think that our classrooms could be so clean like yours, don’t burst our bubbles or we will have nothing to live for.

Keep the dream alive homeschool moms.

And in a just a couple of weeks it will be School Photo Week

Which we all know is code for:


The days of bare feet and long summer locks are approaching an end. Throw them in the tub, give em’ a hair cut, find an article of clothing that still fits and doesn’t have too many stains or rips and put them in front of a camera. But before you snap the photo tell them that school starts in two weeks, so you’ll get a nice big grin for that family album.


Don’t get me wrong……for the most part we really do enjoy homeschooling.
And we really do have some very happy homescholing days.
There are some amazing benefits to homeschooling,
It’s a choice I’m committed to,
and I consider it a huge blessing to even have this choice.


There are also some VERY REAL days when I’ve considered shoving my children out the front door and telling them to walk their sorry behinds down to the public school…… or the coal mine,….. which ever they decide, because I’m checking myself into the spa (read: mental hospital) for some much needed sleep.

Ha! The coal mine.

That’ll teach them that Algebraic functions and Polynomial Equations are a PRIVILEGE to learn.

Oops….did I say that outloud?

moving on…

The final week on the calendar:
Day in the Life Week.

This one makes me giggle.



or even a


That first week back to school can be brutal right?

Oh, I hope you are reading this in good fun.
I am a huge homeschool advocate, these have just been some of the funny things I’ve noticed in our own crazy homeschool family.

I do plan on sharing all of our curriculum choices, once I make them
and photos of our classroom, once I clean it

But today I will share progress photos with you,
here is where we’re at folks:

Homeschool Curriculum:
Sonlight Core F


Homeschool Classroom:
Crazy Homeschool Mess

I took that photo three days ago and posted it to facebook.
It looks the same this morning.
Except now there are flies around that glass. They are new.

I promise to come back and post when those final decisions are made…..and things are cleaned up.
For now, enjoy all the other amazing homeschooling moms who have posted their curriculum this week as part of the NOT Back to School Blog Hop.

I always love reading these before I make my final choices :)


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Bogged down by Math….

It has been a long couple of weeks over here.
I have been meaning to post all sorts of wonderful ideas for you,
I have lots of photos and even a fun giveaway coming,
but too be honest our homeschool days have been DRAGGING along.


Sissy (9) has reached LONG DIVISION.

IF you missed our Curriculum post,
Sissy is using Math-U-See Delta, and so far (up to this point),
she has FLOWN through the book.
It’s been cake.

When we first hit long division,
She even FLEW through single digit divisors.

But then we hit double digit divisors and we literally came to a rushing halt.
It was like a smack in the face with cold broccoli.

The days of cake were long (division) gone.

It just wasn’t….sinking in.

We spent three weeks trying to get into a rythym with these,
printing off extra practice sheets and doubling our time for Math,
We kept our Base 10 blocks within arms reach of our dining table.

But nothing worked.
She would become frusterated.
She wouldn’t finish her lessons.
She would stay up to the wee hours struggling quietly in her room,
spending her nightly “reading” time with math instead.

was the new slogan around here.

It was really depressing, and
I finally talked with her ES about our frustrations.
(Education Specialist from a local charter school we joined)

And you know what she said?
“She’s just not ready.
It’s okay to put it up on the shelf and come back later.”

Oh yeah.
I forgot.
We can do that.
We’re homeschoolers.

For some reason I thought that if we put enough hours into Math,
it would “CLICK” and a little lightbulb would go off right above her head.

And more honestly,
maybe I just needed permission to quit.
…mid book…
… before we finished…
…with pages left….


So that’s what we did.

We Quit.

Bunch-o-Quitters around here now.

Just kidding.
We tucked Math-U-See back up on the shelf for a while,
and decided we are going to give it another go in the Spring.

Obviously, we didn’t quit math entirely.
We brought out Envision Math instead, because
for some reason Math-U-See covers double digit divisors and Envision doesn’t.

So now, Sissy is happily using Envision Math.
We started mid book near lesson 8,
which strangely evened the scales in my OCD mind.

Balance has been restored.
The long-division weight has been lifted and
The girl is smiling about numbers again.
Well not so much smiling, but
I haven’t heard “I HATE MATH” all week!

And me?
I’m feeling pretty blessed with this small reminder of why we homeschool.


If you’re looking to rediscover your Homeschool Joy, check out Bloom this Summer!


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