Showing posts from May, 2016

Family-Friendly Audiobooks for Road Trips

I've been enjoying Travel Time Tuesday so much and have been posting so much content (twice a week lately) that I decided to move all of it to it's own blog.  The Family-Friendly Audiobooks blog post is now at my new site- Party Through the USA.
Click on the picture to go to the audiobooks post.

Telling Time to the Half Hour- Zookeeper

My first telling time activity focused on a school day and telling time to the hour.  This one is longer and deals with telling time to the half hour, using a fictional account of a zookeeper's day.

Kids can put the zookeeper's schedule cards in order, then answer questions about what time certain event happen.  Parents and teachers can encourage more exploration by asking the child to tell them how many hours between lunch and when the zookeeper goes home.  Or how much time between the penguin feeding and the bird show.

The PDF featuring the schedule cards and the worksheet can be found here.

B is for Bangladesh (year 2, week 38)

We have very special guests from Bangladesh staying at our house next weekend, so I thought it would be a good idea for us to study a little about that interesting country.

We looked at some traditional games, saw videos of girls doing henna, and dug into our Asia continent box.  We talked about some of the different British English words that their friends might use compared to our American English ones.  And we ate a few of the favorite foods of Bangladesh (mostly rice), and watched videos of rice planting and tea harvesting.

We're so excited for our special company!

- B is for Bangladesh
- Children Just Like Me

- playing in the rain
- market day
- kids playing
- Christian church service
- dancing
- life in a village (kids)
- Dhaka city life
- a day in Dhaka (subtitled)
- street foods

- world cook (website)
- khanapakana (website)

Letter Tiles for Spelling

I love the idea of using Scrabble tiles for spelling practice, but I'm not fond of presenting all capital letters to the kids.  We're also not using "print" handwriting font in our homeschool, so I wanted to make some spelling tiles that matched the font we're using (D'nealian).  I also made the vowels and consenants different colors to match our movable alphabet.

The tiles include four sets of alphabet tiles, three lowercase and one uppercase.  They can be used for spelling almost any word, matching lowercase to lowercase or lowercase to uppercase, letter identification, crossword or spelling games (although you might need more tiles), sentence writing, and anywhere else you might use letters.

Blank "Scrabble" tiles can be purchased from Etsy.  The ones
in the printable are sized to be used on one-inch squares.

I made the tiles without "Scrabble" values first.  Then, I remembered that I have made a lot of spelling games with math component…

Deep Sea Toob 3-part Cards


Deep sea animals are so interesting!  These picture cards match the deep sea toob by Safari Ltd.  To download, click here.

Family Rules Printable

I saw a handwritten poster similar to this one on Pinterest, and thought that it would make a good printable.  I'm planning on adding it to our homeschool decorations. The legal-sized PDF comes with six options (color schemes) of the family rules and can be found here.

I hope you enjoy it!

E is for Eye Doctor (year 2, week 37)

Dragonfly and I had appointments at the eye doctor this week, so we made learning about eyes our theme for the week.  We spent quite a bit of time before the appointment talking about the eye tests that the doctor gives in his office and watched some videos that showed all the equipment that they use.  One of the videos showed an eye model and talked about the parts of the eye.

Our eye appointment went very well!  All the extra prep really paid off.  I could tell that Dragonfly was nervous, but she did as the doctor asked.  After both of our appointments, the doctor showed her the eye model and went through the parts.  She can now name a few of them, like pupil and iris.

Later in the week, we talked about the outer parts of the eyes and how to take care of our eyes.

Dragonfly and I also played a new game (coming soon to the blog) called "Popcorn Letters," where we took turns pulling a letter tile out of a popcorn container and placing them on a game board.  I started with j…

Montessori-Inspired Ocean Animal 3-part Cards

I seem to be on a Safari Toob printables binge.  Here are the ones for the ocean toob.  These would be a great accompaniment to an ocean sensory bin or a Montessori-inspired study of the ocean.  The toob figurines can be matched with real animals.  The child can also use Scrabble tiles or movable alphabet pieces to spell out the names or use the cards to tell a story.  Laminate them for long term or classroom use.

> > > Click Here to Download the Printable < < <

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DIY Math Games (All About Altoids)

This is my third post featuring Altoid Tins.  The first one was on a Travel Time Tuesday.  The second one was about storing homeschool supplies in tins.  This third one will be about math games you can make and store in a tin.

This may seem like a morbid game, but the kids think it's funny.  The ladybug buttons can be tossed like dice and then counted and graphed as to which ones are "alive" (red side up) or "dead" (black side).  I think this would work well as a 10-frame graphing game where the kids could color in their results.  You can get a free printable 10-frame game board here.  Of course, they can also be used for addition and subtraction number sentences or word problems.  You could even play "war" with them to see who can get the most points.

This is a similar game, except we're graphing red or blue tree frogs instead.  We painted white beans with spray paint.  They have a very nice texture that I think the kids will enjoy touching.  The…

Cat Toob 3-part Cards


I had a request this morning for 3-part cards to match the Safari Ltd Domestic Cats toob.  I'm always up for a challenge, so I whipped up these cards.  They are free like all my printables.  The cats toob can be bought here.  The cards can be downloaded here.  My other Safari Toob printables can be found here.

Comment below if you have other requests for Safari Toob cards.  I love making them!

When You Gotta Go.... On the Road

I've been enjoying Travel Time Tuesday so much and have been posting so much content (twice a week lately) that I decided to move all of it to it's own blog.  The Crafts for Camping blog post is now at my new site- Party Through the USA.
Click on the picture to go to the camping crafts post.

Telling Time to the Hour- Schoolhouse Schedule

One of the things that is covered in kindergarten is telling time.  Since my kids will be homeschooled, they're very interested in what other kids do at school.  The schedule cards have fifteen times on them, which can be placed in order according to the times on the clocks.  I included two sets of cards, one with the digital time and one with only the clocks.  There is also a worksheet for kids to fill out that asks questions like "What time is lunch?" with the word lunch replaced by the picture from the schedule cards.  The parent or teacher could also guide the child to figure out other clock/math related concepts like elapsed time, etc.

The printable includes the schedule cards, which can be kept together or separated for additional time-telling practice, and a worksheet for kids to write in the digital times for the analogue times.  The PDF can be found here.

How I Became Your Mom- Dragonfly

I read a blog post by another adoptive mom where she used Mother's Day every year as a chance to tell her kids how she became their mother.  Well, Mother's Day was a week ago, but I'm going to start this tradition this year anyways.

My oldest child is Dragonfly, currently 4-years old (almost 5).  She is my only girl and an absolute delight.  She has declared that "being a scientist is better than being a princess" (I didn't tell her that- she concluded that on her own).  As a scientist, she wants to know all the details of how and why about everything.  She loves worms, animals, and her family.  She also loves Jesus and understands a lot of theology.  She teaches her brothers important concepts like, "God is a spirit" and "Jesus rose from the dead so that you can go to heaven when you die."  She's the leader of the kids and often acts like she's twenty or so years older than them.

To start the story about how I became your mother, …

Q is for Questions (year 2, week 36)

This week, our theme was "Q is for Questions," so we focused on science experiments.  None of the ones we did this week were unusual, but they were all new to my kids.  They loved them, and I loved tapping into their wonder as we explored the world together.  Because of their ages (4, 3, and 2), we focused on exploration instead of explanation.

The first thing that we did was the classic dissolving-an-egg-shell-in-acid experiment.  We used every bit of vinegar in the house to fill our jar, so we didn't have an extras to do the job correctly.  The directions on the internet said to change out the vinegar after 24 hours, since the the acid gets "saturated" with calcium and can no longer absorb more after that amount of time.  We only did 24 hours, which didn't dissolve it all the way, but it did pickle it enough that the egg was completely spongey.  Dragonfly was completely unimpressed and disappointed.  She thought that the egg with disappear completely.


Learning Opportunities with Safari Ltd Toobs

This blog is an Amazon Associate.

In the Pond, we love Safari Toobs, and we find many reasons to use them on our schooling.  Toobs are rectangular prisms filled with 6-12 animals, people, or objects.  They can be found at Michaels Craft store, in other brick-and-mortar stores, and on Amazon.  The hand-painted, detailed, tiny figurines are engaging to kids, fit in their hands well, and excite their imaginations.

The easiest way to use Safari toob animals is in sensory bins or pretend play.  Almost every one of our weekly units has had (or could have had) a corresponding Safari toob.  Here's a few that we've done:
- river animals
- shark tank
- turtles
- frog
- zoo animals
- dinosaurs
- fairies
- ocean

We have dabbled in Montessori method a little bit.  One thing that is common in those circles is "3-part cards."  They are two sets of "flashcards."  One set is the control and contains a picture and a label and the other set is separated into the pictures and t…

Letter Toolbox

This blog is an Amazon Associate.

My goal is to have all of our main homeschool tools in tackle boxes, which can be stacked in a small space and accessed easily.  I showed off my math toolbox earlier, so here is my Magnetic Letters one.  I love that the magnetic letter set that I bought has the majority of the letters in blue and the vowels in red.  I'm hoping that this box will encourage sound exploration and spelling practice.  I intend to have the kids build words on a cookie sheet.  Visit again to see them in action.
To download the labels, click here.

Beyond 100 Chart

I haven't quite decided how we're going to do all of our number work next year, but I thought it would be a good idea to have an extra-long number chart to keep track of it all.  This number chart covers numbers from 1-169 in a rainbow version, a black-and-white version, a light blue, and a dark brown version.  The chart prints on legal size paper (8.5x14) to accommodate all the numbers.

To download the charts, click here.

Free Family Printable Sign

Happy Mother's Day!

Our family includes three adopted kids, so this quote is particularly meaningful to us.  We have it hanging on our family gallery wall in our new house.

To download, click here.