Thursday, August 10, 2017

Place Value Flip Book (printable)

Free Place Value Flip Books from In Our Pond
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Free Place Value Flip Books from In Our Pond I haven't done a true Homemade Homeschool post in a long time.  A few weeks ago, I was thinking about how I could use my binding machine and came up with the idea of these flip books.

I made the "money" one first (hundred thousand to hundredths), because I was thinking early elementary.

Then, I made the decimal place one to help students with numbers smaller than one (hundreds to ten thousandths).

After I made these larger ones, I realized that my kids weren't ready for either of them and would do better with a smaller flipbook only covering ones, tens, and hundreds.  The smaller book matches our place value set that I made last summer.

Each of the books has been printed, laminated, and bound!  They should last us for many years.  And the
kids are absolutely fascinated with them.

I'm planning some CVC flip books soon!


Click on the titles below to download the files.

Free Place Value Flip Books from In Our Pond


Free Place Value Flip Books from In Our Pond


Free Place Value Flip Books from In Our Pond


Free Place Value Flip Books from In Our Pond



Free Place Value Flip Books from In Our Pond
Hundreds-Tens-Ones in Color


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Free Place Value Flip Books from In Our Pond




Wednesday, August 9, 2017

10 Must Own CDs for Kids


We love listening to music as a family.  It's on almost every time we get in the car and several times thoughout the day in the house.  In both the house and the car, we use bluetooth transmitted from phones.  With the Amazon Music Unlimited, we have an amazing variety of songs at our fingertips.  It's also allowed us to explore new music without commiting to buying the CDs.  These are our current favorites.




I've written about Songs for Saplings before in my Christian Doctrine for Preschoolers post.  We continue to enjoy these great songs, full of orthodox Christian doctrine and Bible verses.



This is our go-to road trip CD.  When we went on our 11-day road trip last year, we used this album to create stability and a sense of home wherever we roamed.  The children would be anxious, grumpy, would up, and tearful, and this CD would instantly calm them.  It was magic.  Every time we played it, at least one person would fall asleep.  We still play it when the kids need to be sedated after a big day.



We sing a lot of Getty hymns at church, so I love that my kids can get to know the songs in a very friendly way.  The words are sung by children, which my kids love.  The first time they heard the CD, they exclaimed, "Kids can sing church songs too!"  The best thing about this CD (and the sequel) is that the music is played by the Getty band, so it's not too hard on parents' ears and features the Celtic sounds that we expect from the Gettys.



This CD rocks!  Songs for Saplings is very conservative, but The Ology is a bit wild.  It's good for parents who need a bit of drum to their theology.  It even has a bit of rap.  The kids love the simple concepts that make sense to them.



These CDs are scripture put to melody.  Unfortunately, they can get a bit annoying, so I (the parent) can't listen very long.  The kids don't seem to mind and like hearing the verses they've already memorized being sung by others.  Once again, this emphasizes for them that the Bible isn't just important to our family, but to many people.



This album has been in our family a long time.  I think it was one of the first kids CDs we bought.  The Go Fish Guys have a lot of fun music and this one is no exception.



This CD is classic.  I remember laying on the floor with the songbook and listening to these songs on tape.  I was suprised when I heard it as an adult how many of them I remembered.



These are mainly silly songs, but we love the adoption song (I'm Adopted).  It gets played the most often.  Check it out- specially if you've been touched by adoption like our family.


Patch the Pirate is a well-known performer and has bunches of CDs for kids in all sorts of themes.  This hymns album is very traditional, so I found myself singing along right from the first listen.



This is my new favorite.  There are three CDs in this series, singing verses from Genesis to Revelation.  They are all lullaby songs, so there isn't a lot of heavy doctrine, instead the focus is on comfort and fearlessness.  It's a perfect album to play at bedtime to assure that Scriptures are the last thing the kids dwell on before they sleep.

All of these CDs can be found to buy on Amazon or you can listen for free with Amazon Music Unlimited.  I hope you and your kids enjoy!

What's your kids' favorite CD?  Answer in the comments!


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Monday, August 7, 2017

Please Touch Science Center

The frogs needed a home.  They could not live on my kitchen counters any longer.  So I went thrifting, and bought a solid oak bookshelf.  After clearing space for it in the living room, the Science Center was born.

I want the shelf to be an interactive learning area for my kids, so I know that the items on this shelf will change as they grow.  For now, our shelf is even a bit bare as we work on learning how to use the shelf respectfully.

To go along with our frog aquarium, I printed and laminated some posters.  I chose these posters for their realism and variety.  The Frog Life Cycle poster came from The Helpful Garden.  I like the design of it and the use of photos.  The Frog Skeleton was chosen because Skimmer is obsessed with bones.  All of the kids are familiar with the human body, so the poster is meaningful to them in its differences.  I was very excited to find the drawing featuring the Tree Frogs of North America.  It's been neat to spend time comparing them and talking about where they live.

Bullfrog (my husband) found the yellow jacket hive this spring and brought it in the house.  I has been on our bookshelf, but that wasn't a great home for it.  I painted a dollar store clipboard with white acrylic paint and hot glued the hive onto it.  I love the way it looks and how many layers of hives are connected together.  There's even a wasp nest on the top.

To go with the hive, I printed off the Bee Life Cycle chart from Encyclopedia Britannic.  I like how this one shows the different bees involved in the process, almost like a factory.

It will be great to have the shelf for all of our treasures.  I have nests, shells, bones, life cycle sets, and similar things stashed all over the house.  The main rule of our Science Center is that the thing on the shelf need to stay in that area (they're tools not toys).  While we practice that rule, I only have two things on our shelf- the cricket cage and a large seashell.  I make shadow mats and labels for those two items so we can practice putting the things back in the right place.  As we get used to having the Science Center, we'll add more things.

My hope is that we can put things on the shelf for our weekly/monthly Science units throughout the year.  I'd also like to have books specific to our themes too.  I'm very excited about the potential.







Friday, August 4, 2017

Adoption: It's Complicated

When we first became foster parents, I didn't realize how complicated everything would become after adoption. Foster care was crazy enough, with all the oversight, appointments, and people in our lives. I thought once we got all the extras out of our life, then things would get simpler. Not having three or four appointments a week helped, but adoption is still quite complicated.

Constantly Second Guessing

Every single incident, behavior, and word out of their mouths is analyzed according to these questions:

Is it trauma related?
Is this an attachment issue?
Is it sensory?
Is it behavioral?
Is it autism?
Is it developmental?
Is it a mental heath issue?
Is it physical?
Is it evidence of a delay?

Does it need discipline? A specialist? Medication? Therapy?

It's possible that I have a problem with labeling (wink).  But, seriously, it's complicated.


Birth Parent Relationships

When we were foster parents, the State told us what our relationship to the birth parents was supposed to be. Basically, we were friendly, but not familiar, we stayed out of the way as much as possible, and we supported the parents reuniting with their child.

We live in a closed adoption state, which basically means that here is no one (or contract) telling you how to relate to each other. I'm not saying that it would be easier if we were obligated to spend time together, but without any rules, I find it hard to know where to draw the lines. Every family must decide for themselves and their kids what amount of contact is safe.


At present, we have very little contact with the birth parents, which presents it's own set of issues.  The kids often talk about their birth families and ask questions about how they're doing, but I have few answers because of our lack of contact.  On the other side, if they had lots of contact with their birth families, and we were constantly exposed to all the drama, I think that would be hard to deal with as well.  Like I said, it's complicated.


My Own Insecurities

I haven't talked about it on the blog, but we're infertile.  You know those stories that people always tell about how "so-and-so" adopted, and then "Oops!  They got pregnant!"  Yeah, that didn't happen for us.  So, here we are- adoptive parents and still quite infertile.

I feel like it's very important for people, especially women, to understand that the feelings you have about infertility do not go away when you adopt.  It's not that you don't think of your adopted kids as your own or that you don't love them like your own; it's that the part of you that has always wanted a biological child will still probably want a biological child.  Mother's Day will probably be tough.  Father's Day will also be tough.  Your wedding anniversary might be tough.  Your children's birthdays will be complicated.  Baby showers might still be painful.  Anytime someone wants to talk pregnancy or birth, you might feel sad about what you missed.  Whenever someone pushes breastfeeding, you might feel defensive (and sad) as you defend the bottle.  It's all just so complicated.



This blog post was very difficult for me to write.  I'm so glad the ladies at The Adoption Talk Link Up challenged me to write it.  My goal for the upcoming school year is to follow their prompts every month and write more about adoption.


[My Most Popular Adoption Posts]




Thursday, August 3, 2017

25 Ways to Decorate With School Supplies


It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!  School Supplies Time!  I love seeing the isles and isles of Colorful Office Products.  I love the smell of Crayola Crayons and the feel of Newly Sharpened Pencils.  The excited voices of children as they beg for the supplies they want and their temper tantrums when their parents insist on sticking to the school's list.  One of my favorite parts of being a homeschool parent is getting to make my own list and buying whatever I want.  Of course, that usually means that I end up with too many supplies.  I have such a love for school supplies that I even want to use them around my house as decorations.  In my search for new ideas, I've come across these 25 ideas.