Showing posts from June, 2016

Alpha Zoo Phonics Chart

Since Dragonfly will be starting "All About Reading" in the fall, I've been trying to be more intentional about reviewing phonics sounds with the kids.  From my Montessori background, I knew I wanted to use real pictures to engage the kids.  I couldn't find any alphabet charts that fit, so I made my own (of course).  The alphabet script is D'nealian, a modern font between printing and cursive.  The pictures come from Wikimedia commons.

The phonics animals are: Alligator, Bear, Cat, Deer, Elephant, Fish, Gorilla, Horse, Inchworm, Jellyfish, Kangaroo, Lizard, Mouse, Night-owl, Octopus, Penguin, Quail, Rabbit, Snake, Tiger, Umbrella-bird, Vulture, Weasel, foX, Yak, Zebra.  The idea for the animals came from this Youtube video.  We've also been using it to learn an "action" for each phonics sounds.  I'm amazed at how quickly Tadpole (2.5) is picking up the sounds and actions.  He thinks it's a game.

First, I made big flashcards for class time o…

Print and Go Activities (TTT)

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 its own blog.  The Print and Go blog post is now at my new site- Party Through the USA.

Click on the picture to go to the Activities post.

School Days Countdown

A lot of homeschool families are choosing to school for six weeks at a time before taking a one week vacation.  This method is sometimes called "Sabbath Schooling."  We're loosely adapting this method for next year.

Another mom asked for a printable so she and her daughter could mark out the days of school before a break.  I thought it was a great idea and whipped one up in no time.  This sticker chart could also be used for potty training, chores, character training, homework, etc.

To download the sticker chart, click here.

DIY Learning Clock

Dragonfly starts kindergarten next year, which is the beginning of formal math lessons- including learning to tell time.  I know that learning clocks are not to difficult to find, but I wanted something more sturdy than what I was finding at the store.

At the time of the blog post, I haven't even finished the clock. I'm waiting on the arms until I'm more sure of what I want to use (real clock arms, popsicle sticks, or something else).  Still, here are the directions and the printable.

I started with an 8" wood circle from the craft store and painted it with white acrylic paint.  I decided to leave it plain in case we ever wanted to put it on the wall or if the kids wanted to decorate it later.

Next, I printed the numbers, cut them out and modge podge them to 1.5" circles.  I added velcro to the back of the circles, making sure to use the same "side" of the velcro on all the circles.  I ended up with 24 circles- twelve with just the "hour hand"…

Pirate Road Trip- Snacks

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 Pirate Food blog post is now at my new site- Party Through the USA.
Click on the picture to go to the pirate post.

Year Two Wrap-Up


Letting Life Inspire Your Lessons

Boxed curriculum and textbooks are very helpful, but nothing can beat real life experiences.  When you tap into a child's interests, you touch their heart.

My kids still talk about the free frog that we found in our yard and had as a pet for a few weeks.  We did a homeschool unit on frogs and learned about metamorphosis.  It was also a great chance to use our Safari Life cycle set, and to play with some sensory bins.  The kids are constantly asking when we can have a frog again.  Maybe we'll start with tadpoles this time?

Frog maintenance tip- put a piece of fruit in his aquarium and wait for the fruit flies to hatch.  We also fed him crickets.

Last summer, our VBS theme at church was about space.  To help my kids prepare, we did a homeschool unit about the universe.  We talked about how the sun is a star and the planets that orbit around it.  We measured the fabric sun with pony beads and talked about how the sun is 109 times bigger than the earth.  The kids practiced their s…

Place Value Cards

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Dragonfly is going to start kindergarten next year, which means that she'll be introduced to place value a little bit.  Instead of buying a commercial set of base-10 blocks or something similar, I've decided to DIY a place value set with supplies that we already have in the house.  Our Cuisenaire Rods came with white "ones" blocks and orange "tens" blocks, so it makes since to use them as our ones and tens for place value work.  Since the C-rods didn't come with a 100-block, I created some that are roughly the same size as 10-ten-blocks in a row.  One of those 100-squares, I'm going to modge-podge onto a 4" wood square from Etsy, just so she can understand the 3D aspect of 10 orange rods becoming a 100 square.  The rest, I've cut out and laminated so they'll be durable but don't take up too much room.

My PDF includes a place value board, where all the places are colored according to the ones, tens, …

C.I.R.C.U.S binder cover

I made this resource for teachers who needs a school-to-home communications binder cover for their circus themed classroom.  As you can see from the picture, I made "circus" into an acronym that stands for "Communicating Information and Resources Central to yoU and the School."    I hope someone can use it.

To download, click here.

My other circus printables:
- matching/bingo
- juggling CVC words
- roll and cover game

Pirate Road Trip- Toys/Activities

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 Pirate Activites blog post is now at my new site- Party Through the USA.

Click on the picture to go to the pirate post.

Parts of an Elephant Booklet

Continuing my theme of providing free interactive science notebook activities, I present my latest printable- a Montessori-inspired parts-of-an-elephant booklet.  Each page lists a part of the elephant and then child can then color the corresponding parts (shown in the picture above).  There is also a page without the labels so that the child can write in their own.  The pages can be stapled together to form a book.  I intend to add this to our notebooks when we study "e is for elephants" next fall.

To download, click here.

X Marks the Spot (year 2, week 40)

We're finally at our last official homeschooling unit of the year!  And we've decided to make it pirate themed!  If you haven't heard yet, we're taking a pirate themed road trip this summer, so this last theme unit is a great way to introduce all things piratical to my kids.

We started the week with some pirate vocabulary and movies.  It was very fun to hear the kids say "Arrgg!"

As the week continued, our theme sort of evolved to "the treasures of the sea."  I picked up a few bags of sea shells at the thrift store, so we looked at them and watched videos of how the creatures live.  We probably won't get to the beach this summer, but a pirate-y trip of beach treasure hunting would be lots of fun too.

I brought the beach to the kids with some sand play dough and buried treasure (dollar store jewels).  The dough didn't photograph well, but the kids enjoyed it.
{Printables} - pirate count and clip
bingo or matching game
map folder game

Dice for Learning Games

This blog is an Amazon Associate.

I'm absolutely addicted to modge podging little squares of paper onto little wood blocks.  After making my 6-sided 100-chart, I couldn't stop making custom blocks for our learning adventures.

The PDF file includes five fun dice for using in roll-and-graph games (boards included) or other learning games, 3 dice for roll-and-cover or addition/subtraction games, and five dice for roll-a-letter or spelling games.  Every strip of boxes is one die.  Wood blocks can be purchased from Etsy.

(picture of finished dice?)

To download the dice, click here.

Roll and Cover Games
- frog metamorphosis
- butterfly metamorphosis
- turtle roll and cover
- candy
- fire trucks

Letter Hunt Like a Scavenger

Next year, the kids will be completing interactive science notebooks (sort of like what we started here).  I haven't been able to find all the printables that I've needed, so I created some.

This printable is a simple letter hunt for the letter V.  We'll be studying vultures and scavengers for "V" week.  Our focus will be contentment, because vultures eat anything (wink).  This letter hunt is more literature focused than science, but I it'll fit our purposes.  I'm going to have my kindergartner put dot stickers over the letters to add some fine motor skills work to the hunt as well.

To download, click here.

Entertaining Adults 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 Group Games blog post is now at my new site- Party Through the USA.
Click on the picture to go to the camping games post.

Interactive Science Notebook- Sorting (printable)

We're going to try interactive science notebooks in our homeschool again next year.  My big mistake this past year was to not have a firm enough idea of what things were going in the notebook.  Next fall, I'll like to have a sample notebook made as a reference for Dragonfly and have all our materials printed and organized before the year begins.  I think those two things will give us a much better chance of success.

To begin our notebooks, I've created a series of sorting sheets, which will require cutting, pasting, and analysis based on what the child knows about the different animals.

Next year, we're going to be studying the marine mammals, so there is a sorting activity with differentiating mammals and fish.  The names of the animals are provided as a control.  These sorting boards aren't meant to be tests as much as they're meant to be learning activities and a chance to show growth and knowledge.

To download the marine mammals sort, click here.

To downlo…

F is for Fossil (year 2, week 39)

We missed our dinosaur week when we moved this winter, so I thought we'd make it up this summer.  It was a really short week because of the holiday, but we plowed into it anyways.

When we go on our road trip, we're going to a "dinosaur museum" for Dragonfly's fifth birthday!  So, ,this week we read the book "Who Cleans the Dinosaur Bones?" which talks the different jobs at the museum. We also read "Digging Up Dinosaurs" about paleontology and pretended to be paleontologists digging for bones!

We watched quite a bit of Youtube videos about dinosaurs, fossils, and paleontology.  We also watched several "read-to-me" books on Youtube.  It was a nice, laid-back way to end a busy weekend.

Read-to-Me Books:
- Berenstain Bears Dinosaur Dig
- Bones, Bones, Dinosaur Bones
- Curious George's Dinosaur Discovery
- How Do Dinosaurs Eat There Food
- Alphabet of Dinosaurs

Safari dinosaur skull 3-part cards
paleontologist anchor ch…

DIY Math Counters (All About Altoids- post 4)

I'm back with more ideas of stuff to put in an Altoid Tins.  I've made these DIY math counters in preparation for next school year, when Dragonfly will be in Kindergarten.  Just a warning, this is going to be a very picture heavy post.

This was a very easy DIY.  The tin is filled with glass stones, which can be used to represent fish bubbles in a themed counting game.

Dragonfly won't be ready for this level of counting practice for a while, but I have the tin all ready for her when she is wanting to count in groups.  The bee hives and bees are buttons.  There are 25 bees and 5 hives.  They store very well in an altoid tin.

I made these candy counters to go with my candy graphing and patterning worksheets and the roll and cover game.  I modge podged the printed circles (included in the printable) onto one inch wood circles (Etsy).

I realized when I took this picture that I don't have ten monster.  I know that I have more monster buttons somewhere- I just need to add som…