New and Updated Bible Crafts:
God Keep His Promises Bible Craft
Jesus Feeds 5000 Bible Craft
God Gives Me Strength Craft

Image

Jesus Calms the Storm Bible Craft
Baby Jesus in the Manger Craft
Creation Activity Sheet


Stay tuned for more helpful resources!

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?

Giveaway: Pop for Addition and Subtraction!

 

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed!

We have a winner!!

Comment #188 was:

Last month we were contacted by Learning Resources to review one of their newest products

How Exciting!
We actually use many different Learning Resources products already,
so I was pretty excited to have a NEW item in our collection!
And I even got to choose which one!
Can you guess what I picked?
(Ya’ll know about my math fact troubles lately right?)

I chose a game called, “POP for Addition and Subtraction”
The suggested age level for this game is 6-8
and it retails for $9.99

It’s cute, It’s colorful,
and it’s helping my kiddos to learn (and relearn) those evasive math facts.

Like I mentioned last week,
we are hitting the math facts pretty hard around here.

So I thought it would be nice to change it up with a math fact game,
and seriously, a little friendly competition goes a long ways around here.

Not to mention that it’s fun to play!
Here’s the deal:

The game includes a spinner and an assortment of math fact gumballs.

On each turn, your child spins the spinner

Then draws the appropriate amount of gumballs from the “gumball machine” (i.e. box)

In order to keep the gumballs children have to say the answer to the math fact printed on the gumball.

If they get the answer correct, they keep the gumball in their pile.
If they don’t get it correct, the gumball goes back into the box.

If they draw a “POP” gumball, all of their accumulated math facts go back into the box.
(the POP gumball is now out of play).

The game continues until all gumballs have been collected.
They are then counted and a winner is declared.


What I like:
The quality of the game is reflected in the price.
The box, and playing pieces are thick and sturdy,
and they are sure to stand up to years of classroom use.

Everything is stored in the box, making it simple to store and easy to use.
(it would totally fit in a stocking if you’re looking for ways to stretch that homeschool budget!)

There are two levels of game play and the directions for both are printed on the back of the box
(how thoughtful is that

With 90 gumballs, this game is for any number of players.
You can play this game at home with one child or use it in your classroom.

Classroom Idea: Sometimes it’s fun to have an end of the day activity or ritual in your classroom….you know like a little fun treat children can look forward to.
I think it would be super cute for children to choose a gumball fact to solve on their way out and exchange it for a small treat, or sticker for their charts. You could even make the “POP” gumballs stand for something special. It would encourage children to be working on those math facts at home to show what they’ve learned each day.


I’m sure YOU can think of creative ways to use this game too!

Learning Resources is offering you the opportunity to WIN your own
POP for Addition and Subtraction game!

 

How to Enter:

1. Leave a comment telling me how you would use POP for Addition and Subtraction in your classroom.

Optional Entries:

2. Check out all the other Math activities by Learning Resources, come back and tell me what you have on your wish-list.
3. Like Learning Resources on Facebook. Come back and leave me a comment telling me you did.
4. Follow Learning Resources on Twitter. Come back and leave me a comment telling me you did.
5. Follow Learning Resources on Pinterest. Come back and leave me a comment telling me you did.
6. Share about this giveaway via your blog or social media. Give yourself one extra comment for each way you share.

Giveaway ends Friday 11:59pm PST. Winners will be drawn at random and this post will be updated.


Disclaimer: I was sent free product from Learning Resoruces for purposes of this review and giveaway. All opinions are my own.

 

Math Fact Monkey on my Back

Oh Golly.

You know.

I think this is probably one of THE MOST talked about subject in homeschool circles.

Or maybe it’s just me….
running around in circles
asking the question:

HOW do you get your kids to memorize those math facts?

What works with one of my kids, doesn’t even sink in with the other.

And everytime I DECLARE that we have learned our math facts,
I soon find out that, “OOPS! We didn’t learn our 8’s as good as we could have”

Tell me please that I’m not the only one.

This is the point in which you would inturrupt me
with a big, “I KNOW! Mine TOO! I tried this,
and that and the other thing but we still haven’t got them all down.”

Then we would laugh and hug and say,
“Oh I’m so glad your kid doesn’t know his 8’s either.”

Happy Happy Day.

Or
Something like that.

But you see,
over these past zillion days we’ve been struggling with math,
I’ve realized that there isn’t a MAGIC anything that is going to make
it sink in.

The only formula that seems (to me) to REALLY works is repetition and time.

One thing were doing this year to brush up,
re-learn, and speed-up are daily math drills:


More Minute Math Drills

(yes. in addition to our daily math lessons)

We simply take 5 minutes each day and dedicate it to learning math facts.

5 little minutes gives us time for 5 speed tests.

The book is a simple progressive collection of math facts.

Here’s how we spice it up:

-We set a standard beginning goal as we start each new set of facts
-Then the goal each day based on yesterdays performance
-Kids are rewarded with a sticker for meeting the days goal.
-A Full sheet of stickers (for us about 70) equals an ice cream social

It only takes Five simple minutes a day
and Math Fact Guilt is gone out the window.

(try it….it’s cheaper then therapy)

And yes, the children are getting FASTER and more accurate,
but seriously,
I’m more excited to kick the Math Fact Monkey on my Back to the curb.

We have both Addition/Subtraction and Multiplication/Division with this series.
I would definitely recommend using this system for
Five Minutes a Day x Four Days a Week

Yes.
You read that right.
Four Days a week.

On Day Five you might want to play a simple math facts game like this one.

You might even be able to WIN one exactly like this.

Sometime.

In the near future.

HINT. HINT. AHEM. HINT.


Veteran’s Day Printables

Do you homeschool through the holidays?
We usually continue class as usual for most of the Monday holidays,
but we do try to incorporate so holiday themed activities for that day.

I just can’t DO a four day week.
I’ve tried in the past, and a four day week quickly turns into a three day week,
and then a two day week…and then eventually I give up and say,
Hey let’s just start FRESH on Monday.

A whole week gone, and I’m scrambling to figure out
where we’re going to make it up later!

So, I’ve since learned to do something else for these one day,
beginning of the week holidays.
Here is my magic formula:

-Drop everything except the three R’s.
-Include a special craft, activitiy, or field trip.

There. That’s it.
Impressive huh!

So tomorrow we’ll be reading about Veteran’s Day,
and making some special Thank You Cards.

Of course I made plenty to share.
And of course like a good little procrastinating Homeschooler,
I’ve posted it the night before Veteran’s day.

I realize that’s not the best plan.
I almost just waited until next year to share it,
but then I realized that there is at LEAST one of you out there
who is scrambling for something to do on Veteran’s Day tomorrow.
Obviously, I speak from experience.

Ahem.

So it’s not a fancy set, but I think it will get the job done!
There is a set of printable Thank You badges for children to color,
and use as the cover of a Veteran’s Day card.

I also included some easy to cut decorations,
which would be great for little ones just learning scissor work.
For children who are showing readiness, I also added in some ABC practice
and a small copywork page.

Pretty simple stuff.
You can print the Veteran’s Day Printables here.

Pssssst……
Be Sure to Stay Tuned!!

I have lots more Holiday Printables coming out soon,
They will be available on Christian Preshool Printables
so be sure you are subscribed if you’re interested in more simple sets like this!

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!


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.

Drrrrrrrrr……Aaaaaaaaa….Giiiiiiiiiiiiiing

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.

“I HATE MATH”
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.”


Whaaaaaat?
Oh.
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….

(ack!)

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!

 

Heritage History Giveaway!

UPDATE: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED AND THE WINNERS HAVE BEEN DRAWN!

First Winner was comment #160: Ann R. who said, “My girls enjoy the Little House books. My son enjoys books about knights and the Lord of the Rings.”

Second Winner was comment #67: Melody Lunsford who said, “Christian Europe and British Middle Ages would go along with our Mystery of History Vol. 2 material. Thank You for having a giveaway!”

Congratulation to both of our winners!

Don’t worry if you didn’t win, you can still take advantage of the
FREE Curriculum CD Offer below, but do note that it only goes through the end of October.

It’s time for another fantastic giveaway from our sponsors!

But First, Write Down This Code!

valerie7

It will get you a Free Curriculum CD from Heritage History.
You can read about the offer here

Now, on to the giveaway…

When I first learned of Heritage History,
I was a bit confused as to what products they offered,
and what would be the best fit for our family.

So I wanted to take a second to show you the different ways
Heritage History can become a part of your daily learning:

1. Read pre-1923 books online for FREE.

You can choose from hundreds of living books, and search by author, genre, title, and even civilization. If that weren’t enough, they have color coded them by reading ability.
Bookmark or Pin this page, you’ll love it.

For those of you interested, you can read the Worldview
Heritage History uses to selected each title.

2.Order single E-books based on your current studies.

The benefits of ordering a book can make all the difference in how you access the resources.
When you order an e-book you receive a PDF version and two different e-book versions.
This allows you to print multiple copies to use in your classroom,
and to save the book to your personal computer or tablet. Also the formatting of a purchased book
has been handled with detail. The captions, tables and other parts of the book have been preserved.
You can download a FREE e-book here to see the difference!
(instructions for loading it to your tablet can be found here)

3. Order a Collection of e-books surrounding a theme or topic:

history curriculum

Heritage History offers TWO different types of CD Collections:
Classical Libraries
Classical Curriculum

These collections of e-books have been specifically chosen to help ease the burden for homeschooling families. With these selections, you can easily provide your children with living books that compliment your current studies.

As with the single e-books, each CD comes with a PDF and two e-book versions of each title.
There are on average about 50 different titles for each collection,
and the price of the CD’s range from $19.99 to $24.99

Last month Heritage History has sent us a CD copy of
Early America from their Classical Library Collection

I was happy to see that it was filled with over 80 titles covering the American colonies to the First World War.

The American library focuses less on politics than many American History curriculums, but includes biographies and short stories about explorers, settlers, inventors, military heroes, writers, presidents, and Indian leaders. American Indian history is treated thoroughly, with over sixteen books on the subject. American Negro and Spanish American histories are also covered thoroughly.

My children are still considered early readers (green books)
so I was happy to see this series by James Otis:

It made me giggle because these are like the original Dear America Journals.

Storytelling just never goes out of style,
children love to read personal accounts of a living history.

We will be using these alongside our American History studies through out the year.

You can read more about the James Otis series here.

See all the 80+ titles included in the Early America series here.

So now that you know all about Heritage History,
are you ready to WIN some classical titles for your classroom?

Heritage History is offering up winner’s choice
of one Classical Library CD, and one Classical Curriculum CD!

There will be TWO Winners!

How to Enter:
1. Check out the Classical Library CD’s, and the Classical Curriculum CD’s.
Come back and tell me which title from each that you would want.
(If you’re the winner, you’ll get BOTH your picks, so choose wisely!)

Additional Entry:
2. Leave me comment with your children’s favorite History story.

Contest ends Friday, October 4, 2012 11:59pm.
Winner will be drawn at random, and this post will be updated.


Disclaimer: As an affiliate of Heritage History I received free product for review purposes, and a percentage of sales is credited back to me. All opinions are my honest thoughts about this product.

You can read our review of the Young Readers Collection here.

Writing a Biography Printables

writing notebook printables

With all the back to school mayhem going on at our house,
I haven’t had much time to tackle my “to-do” list.

One thing I really wanted to work on was posting more of our Writing Guides.
(I get emails about these all the time)

So I did scramble an extra evening to add in some more resources for writing a biography:

writing a biography for kids

Here is what this set includes:

Purpose and Description of a Written Biography
5 Step Instructions for Writing a Biography
Brainstorming Subject Sheet
Three Fact Finding Worksheets
Writing Tools Guide for a Biography
Fact Organization Sheet (First Draft Guide)
Self Editing Sheet
Final Draft Decorative Paper

You can print this entire set FREE here.

I’ve also posted some more helpful printables for your aspiring writers:

citing sources printable kids

Citing Sources
A simple guide for children that you can print and keep inside your writing binder.

transitions worksheet printable

Transitions:
This is a list of helpful words children can refer to when the right words just won’t come.

Both of these would be great to use alongside any research report, not just a biography.

Just as a side note here, I was up extra late last night finishing these,
so if you notice a typo please do let me know and I’ll fix it ASAP!
I am NEVER offended by the extra help!

If you don’t already, be sure to subscribe for updates!

What’s That Bug? Notebooking Printables


So if you’ve been following us on Facebook this Summer,
you’ve been treated to a plethora of animal and bug photos.

We’ve been visited by many NEW and interesting creatures this Summer,
and most of them we’ve needed help in identifying.

As handy as the internet it, sometimes it’s hard to look up a bug by description.
We use these sites quite often, they are the best we’ve found:

What’s That Bug
What Bird
Animal Track Guide
Printable Animal Track Identification Guide
Another Printable Animal Track Chart

But, we have come to realize that’s it’s much more efficient to simply post the photo to Facebook.
Within a few minutes we have gotten some very interesting and often accurate identifications.

It’s gotten to the point that directly after we catch a new critter,
my son says, “Post that to facebook so we can find out what it is!”
So I must say a BIG Thank you wise Facebook Followers for all your help!

You have made my job as Mommy/Biologist so much easier.

Just to prove I’m thankful, I whipped you all up a few identification printables.

What’s That? Notebooking Printables

There is a sheet for Bugs, Birds, and Animals.
These would be great to have on hand as your children come to you with their backyard discoveries!
I’m a big supporter of impromptu research sessions, and these will help guide young children through the identification process.

It’s Child-led learning at it’s finest.
I’m convinced that this is one of the best, easiest, and longest lasting styles of teaching.
You simply capitalize on their excitement,
and milk it for every educational drop you can get out of it.

So next time your little kiddos come to you with something crazy looking like this:

or this…

or even one of these…

Stop what you’re doing and take them on a learning adventure!
They will love you for it!

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!

Teaching Children to Follow Directions

A couple of weeks ago we got a Super Duper package in the mail!

It contained something I was really looking forward to,
somthing that could only come from a Super Duper Store.

Isn’t is marvelous?

teach following directions

HearBuilder Following Directions CD ROM
Created by by Susie S Loraine, M.A., CCC-SLP and
Mark Strait, M.Ed., CCC-SLP

This fun and intereactive software will teach your child to
follow increasingly difficult directions using 40 basic concepts in five areas:

Basic Directions
Sequential Directions
Quantitative & Spatial Directions
Temporal Directions
Conditional Directions

Before recieveing this product to review,
I had never heard of such a product!
(You can be sure that I would have ordered it much sooner if I had)

You see I have one particular child who can really take advantage of this program.

Getting real for a moment here:
I have a boy that struggles so badly with listening
that I literally had his hearing checked.

Long story short:

He hears fine.

He just listens poorly.

You can imagine the problems this creates with three other children and a homeschool agenda.

So, I was almost giddy tearing open the package, and loading up the game.

This little child also LOVES his computer time,
so this was akin to giving him candy and ice cream for breakfast.

He kept saying, “Thanks Mom!” over and over through out the lesson.
(yes, he was talking during his lesson….hence the need for the software)

The main goal of the game is to build toys.

But you can’t build toys without tools.

And you have to earn your tools baby.

You earn a tool by listening to the directions and acting them out correctly.

Directions are based on the five concept areas I listed above.

To begin with he was told, “Click on the small boat under the car”
As the game progressed, the directions became increasingly harder;

“First, set the size to small. Second, set the temperature to hot.
Third, set the shape to square. Then, set the color to blue, and press start.”

You cannot start following the directions until all of the directions have been said.

The boy HAD TO STOP TALKING in order to get them correct.

He struggled at this point. He was not happy to get the questions wrong.
But instead of reverting to frustration, he became all the more determined
to earn his tool.

He went silent and really focused.
(I knew he had it in him)
The incentive to listen was great enough to override all the other
distractions going through his 6 year old ADHD brain.

And I hovered over him the entire time, congratulating him with each success.

After his lesson time was over he literally beamed with pride
at accomplishing something he knew was difficult for him.

And also, because his worn out mother has so often yelled said,
“You need to listen dear boy” and here he was being rewarded for such
a good job listening.


Pros:

-My favorite part about his program is that the directions are auditory.
I feel my son needs the most work in this area and that progress will help our homeschool experience immensely.
-Can be used with multiple children, up to four and game progress is saved.
-Classroom size program is also available. (also compatible with SMARTBoard)
-No subscription, you get an actual CD-Rom that you can keep forever.

Here are some other features that you as the parent can set:
-Set levels of difficulty for each activity
-Identify and print learning objectives for all levels
-Add background noise at any level (obviously unneeded in our house…snicker)
-Monitor progress and track data for an unlimited number of students
-Track all relevant data
-Customize and print reports

learning to follow directions homeschool
Here is a wonderful video
that explains the software in much more detail.

super duper publications

HearBuilder Following Directions Home Edition retails for $69.95
You can purchase this software from Super Duper Publications You can save 30% by using the code BLGFD30 before August 31st.

Super Duper Publications has HUGE selection of educational resources,
if you’re shopping for next year you want to check them out!
They offer free shipping to USA and Canada on $20+ orders
Be sure to check them out on Facebook for exclusive deals and coupons!

Disclaimer: As a member of TOS Crew I received free product in return for an honest review.
Read what other TOS Crew Members thought of HearBuilder here.

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!!

Fourth of July Bible Printables

Next week is Independence Day!

I can’t believe it is here again already.
It seems like it catches me by surprise every year.

Here are some printable resources you can use with your kiddos next week:
Or maybe Pin for next year :)

Preschool Bible Printables on Christian Preschool Printables

Includes:
God Bless America Coloring Sheet
USA Flag with Bible Verse
God Bless America Star Craft
God Bless America Wreath

K-5 Bible Printables on BibleStoryPrintables.com

Includes:
God Bless America Coloring Page
American Flag Bible Verse Copywork
Patriotic Prayer Journal
God Bless the USA Bible Bookmarks

From Teacher Gifts on Little Blots of Faith
(You can get some fun goodies from the Dollar Tree and wrap them with these custom labels)

Includes:
God Bless America Lollipop Sleeves
God Bless America Pencil Flags


Fourth of July Lapbook Printables on Lapbook Lessons

Includes:
Independence Day Cover Sheet
Fourth of July Minibook
Firework Colors Flapbook
Fourth of July Vocabulary
Bible Verse Copywork
Freedom Shapebooks
Fourth of July Flagbook
Fourth of July Coloring Page
and more….

fourth of july bible printables

Fourth of July File Folder Game on File Folder Fun

fourth of july bible crafts

Fourth of July Crafts & Activities on The Crafty Classroom

Includes:
American Flag Craft
Bald Eagle Balloon
Mayflower Craft
Mt. Rushmore Craft
Religious Freedom
Statue of Liberty
Symbolic Flag Craft
Tricorn Hat Craft

Some resources from around the web:

fourth of july calendar cards
Fourth of July Calendar Connections on 1+1+1=1

fourth of july hat craft

Patriotic Hat Craft on No Ordinary Moments

Hope that helps get you started!

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?


In which I spill my Dirt….

Literally.

I am spilling dirt everywhere.

Or…more accurately: Future dirt.

Cause it’s not really dirt yet.

It’s grass.

And leaves.

And some of this stuff.
(cause I’m just a beginner)

And water.

Good dirt takes time.

So we’ll wait

Please pray that I don’t end up with the smelly horse sludge!

Do you compost? Got any tips -or- Smelly horse sludge stories?