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Tag: homeschool

Evan-Moor Daily 6-Trait Writing Review

Evan-Moor Daily 6-Trait Writing Review

I am so excited to be sharing another amazing resource from Evan-Moor with you! At this point, you may have guessed that I adore Evan-Moor products. They are so educational, reasonably priced, and my kids LOVE them! These are all amazing things, right? So I […]

Save Money and Sanity with TeacherFileBox

Save Money and Sanity with TeacherFileBox

Have you ever heard of Evan-Moor? If you have been in the homeschooling game for a bit you have likely heard the name or tried some of their amazing books! We have been using Evan-Moor products since we began our homeschooling journey 3 years ago! […]

Favorite Oceanschooling Resources!

Favorite Oceanschooling Resources!

 

We have joined forces with some amazing homeschooling families on Instagram to study oceans for the month of March! This was not part of our original plan for March, as we are right in the middle of a dinosaur unit…but this opportunity was too great to pass up! One of the many benefits of homeschooling is the freedom to change plans and go with the flow…and we do it quite frequently!!

Oceanschooling…what?

So, what exactly IS Oceanschooling? Well, it can be anything at all to do with studying the ocean. You could learn about anything relating to ocean science, marine biology, ocean animals…anything! We have already done a unit on oceans before, but since it is one of our favorite topics we are always interested in learning more! So, I decided to let the kiddos decide what area of ocean science they wanted to learn. They unanimously chose Ocean Animals! So I set out to do what every other book hoarder would do…I amassed¬†books…lots of books! So, I want to share with you some of our very favorite resources!!

Favorite Ocean Books

Our home library is ginormous! I adore books. So, whenever we find a topic that I know the kids will be interested in for a long time we invest in books! Thankfully since we have studied the ocean before we had quite a few of these books on hand. I did purchase a couple extra to add to our collection and then we grabbed a few from our library!

As an Usborne Books & More consultant, we have TONS of non-fiction from Usborne! They are absolutely amazing books! A few of our favorites are:

 

In addition to our collection of Usborne Books, I have purchased some amazing books from Amazon! Here are some of our favorites! I am including just our general ocean study books, but we have several more on dolphins, sea turtles, coral reefs, and manatees! You can never have too many books ūüėČ

Sleeping Bear Press Alphabet Books are ALWAYS the first books I look for when creating a unit. They couple both fiction and non-fiction and are amazing resources! I highly recommend this book! We adore it!
The Big Book of the Blue is GORGEOUS! This is another very favorite of ours. The illustrations are fantastic and it is a huge book. There are several books in this series and ALL are amazing!
National Geographic Kids are amazing books! This Ultimate Ocean-Pedia is packed with amazing info!
We adore these Photicular books…we have Dinosaurs as well and it is gorgeous!

I could go on and on with book recommendations but I want to share some games and resources we are using as well!

Favorite Ocean Resources

 

I try to find a Safari Ltd Toob to go with every lesson I can! This is a bundle pack that has regular size and minis! The kids LOVE these!

 

I am embarrassed to say this is our first experience with water beads! I thought the kids would be too old to enjoy them…I was WRONG! Water beads plus Safari Toobs equals a fun time!

 

Professor Noggin cards are another huge hit at our house! My kids love trivia and these are wonderful!

 

Gorgeous gorgeous game! We have Birds as well and they are so fun and absolutely beautiful and such high quality!

 

We are also puzzle junkies! We try to add those into every unit we do!

Organizing a Unit

For this particular unit, I let the kids decide what we were going to learn about and when. I chose to plan things out without a curriculum, which I tend to do a lot! We use a combination of books (lots of books), Youtube or Amazon videos, art projects, and lap books! This works well for us because the kids love to do hands-on projects. If your kiddos aren’t crazy about art projects you could easily create worksheets or presentations or any other way for them to show their knowledge!

Here is a link to some of our favorite videos for oceanschooling! We also did a search on Amazon and found tons of additional videos…we even watched a dolphin being born! So amazing!

We are also very fortunate to live SUPER close to the ocean! This allows for a lot of field trips and hands-on learning…aka…beach trips! We try to visit the beach at different times of the day to see what kinds of creatures we can find! We have found coral, sea sponges, a sea cucumber, shells, crabs, horseshoe crabs, sea horses, and many other interesting creatures. If you don’t live near the coast, a trip to your local aquarium would be a fabulous way to add some fun to your unit!

Stay tuned for a follow-up post with some of our finished projects!

 

For more book and activity ideas head over to my Amazon storefront!!

 

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Learning All About Non-Fiction with Evan-Moor’s Literature Pockets!

Learning All About Non-Fiction with Evan-Moor’s Literature Pockets!

  As a long time user of Evan-Moor’s History Pockets, I was so excited to have the chance to review their Literature Pockets! Let me tell you…they did not disappoint! The book that I have chosen to review is Literature Pockets: Non-Fiction for grades 4-6. […]

A Review of Building Math Fluency from Evan-Moor

A Review of Building Math Fluency from Evan-Moor

  Math is one of those areas where sometimes things just “click” and you get it right away…and sometimes you need a little help along the way! It can be a real struggle to find the right tools to help things “click”! I was so […]

Our Review of Evan-Moor Skill Sharpeners Science Grade 4

Our Review of Evan-Moor Skill Sharpeners Science Grade 4

 

I am so excited to be reviewing Evan-Moor Skill Sharpeners Science Grade 4! As a homeschooling Mama of 3 kiddos, I am always on the lookout for lessons that I can teach as a whole group! There just aren’t enough hours in the day to create individual instruction in EVERY subject! Some subjects lend themselves much better to group instruction than others…and science just happens to be one of those!

Confession time? Science is NOT my strong suit. If I could teach History, Geography, and Reading ALL day, I would do it in a heartbeat! It’s not that I don’t¬†love science, or find it fascinating…it just isn’t my area of expertise! SO, I am so excited to find Evan-Moor Skill Sharpeners for Science! I am a HUGE fan of the Skill Sharpener books…you can find reviews for Skill Sharpeners Geography here and Critical Thinking right here!

WHAT ARE SKILL SHARPENERS?

Skill Sharpeners are educational activity books created for children in PreK РGrade 6. There are 6 different topics covered: Critical Thinking, Math, Science, Reading, Spell & Write, and Geography. Skill Sharpeners are a perfect addition to any homeschool curriculum to provide enrichment in a specific topic area, to plan grade level appropriate lessons, or as a review. Each Skill Sharpener book is aligned to grade-appropriate standards so you can easily gauge your childs grasp in a particular learning area.

A LOOK INSIDE THE BOOK

Skill Sharpeners Science Grade 4 is broken down into the following 4 units:

  • OUR BODIES AND OUR SENSES
    • Muscles and Bones
    • Skin
    • Eyesight
    • Hearing
  • SHAPING THE EARTH
    • Weathering and Erosion
    • Glaciers
    • Earthquakes
    • Volcanoes
  • WAVES
    • What is a Wave?
    • Waves in the Water
    • Sound Waves
    • Digital Waves
  • ENERGY
    • What is Energy?
    • Heat Energy
    • Electrical Energy
    • Light Energy

A LOOK INSIDE THE BOOK

As I mentioned above, Skill Sharpeners Science is broken down into 4 main units. Each of those units is then divided into 4 sections. Within the sections, you will see things like reading passages, open-ended question and answers, crossword puzzles, labeling, hands-on activities, experiments, and so much more! I want to take you on a little tour through one of the sections! As a visual learner myself it always helps me to see what is inside!

So, we are going on a little tour of the first section of the first unit: Muscles and Bones! I am just going to share a few of the pages to give you an idea of what is included…but each unit contains much more!

The first part you will come to will be a reading passage! We LOVE that it has the definitions posted above in a box as well as in bold in the reading passage. The paragraphs are short, interesting, and include a great diagram! I also love the addition of the Concepts on the side…very helpful for my kids to understand what the focus area is!

 

I am so excited to see the inclusion of these hands-on activities! How much fun is this? These are simple activities that do not require a lot of extra supplies but really bring the concept to life for the kids! I can’t wait to do this activity with my kiddos…It is going to be a big hit!

Now, this is absolutely awesome! This is the “application” section. This allows the kids to take what they have learned about and put it into practice! I love that it includes physical activity. My 7 year old loves to be able to get up and move and this is the perfect activity!

I love that there is a chance for the kids to put the vocabulary they have learned into practice! Not only are they learning new words throughout the unit but they are having a chance to test their knowledge.

HOW I PLAN TO USE THE BOOK IN OUR HOMESCHOOL

The thing I love the most about Skill Sharpeners books is how easily I can adapt them for use with all 3 of my kids. I have a second grader, a fourth grader, and a sixth grader. I plan to use the fourth-grade book with all 3 kiddos. For my second grader, I will work with him to complete the work…I know some of it will be over his head but I also know that he will absolutely be able to grasp a lot of the information because it is presented in such a kid-friendly manner. He will also adore the crossword puzzles, experiments, and hands-on activities. For my sixth grader, I will add in some additional vocabulary words and perhaps an extra writing assignment…I honestly think that she will greatly benefit from the information presented in the book even though it is geared for fourth grade. This is what I love about the books!

FOR MORE INFORMATION

I highly recommend Skill Sharpeners Science for any homeschooling family looking to add some science to their lives! I can’t say enough wonderful things about all of the Skill Sharpener books that I have had a chance to use. They are such beautiful and interesting books that are presented in such a great way for kids of all ages.

For a sneak peek inside, here is a wonderful video from Evan-Moor!

These books are an amazing value at only, $9.99! To grab your own, just click the image below!! 
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A DINO-RIFIC Experience Box for your Little Paleontologists!

A DINO-RIFIC Experience Box for your Little Paleontologists!

  Do you have a dinosaur obsessed kiddo? You know the one I mean…the kid who can pronounce¬†Piatnitzkysaurus without missing a beat (totally a real dinosaur…just ask google). Well then, stay put, because¬†this is the post for you. I have created an awesome collection of […]

Give the Gift of Experience Boxes this Holiday Season

Give the Gift of Experience Boxes this Holiday Season

Do you hear what I hear? Yes, those are indeed jingle bells. It’s too late now…there is nothing we can do to stop it…the peppermint train has arrived and whisked away all traces of pumpkin spice. Now, if you are anything like my husband and […]

A Review of Evan-Moor Skill Sharpeners Critical Thinking- Grade 2

A Review of Evan-Moor Skill Sharpeners Critical Thinking- Grade 2

 

I was recently given the opportunity to review Evan-Moor’s Skill Sharpeners Critical Thinking for second grade! I was given the book in exchange for my honest review!

Evan-Moor is my go-to for quality books to enrich our homeschool. I was so excited to have the chance to review Skill Sharpeners Critical Thinking because we have absolutely LOVED all of the Skill Sharpener books we have used in the past. To check out my review on Skill Sharpeners Geography click here.

WHAT EXACTLY ARE SKILL SHARPENER BOOKS?

Evan-Moor’s Skill Sharpeners are one of my favorite series they make. They are colorful, engaging, and well-organized books that my kids absolutely love! Skill Sharpeners are designed to help children¬†master and retain skills. They are for grades Pre-K through Grade 6! Skill Sharpeners are available in the following subjects:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Geography
  • Math
  • Reading
  • Science
  • Spell & Write

A PEEK INSIDE SKILL SHARPENERS CRITICAL THINKING

The first thing I noticed when I opened this book is a letter to the child. It explains to them why thinking is important, what thinking skills are, and how a thinker behaves. I love this because it gives the child a basis for using the book. It lets them know that throughout the following pages they are going to be practicing their skills to become a better thinker!

As I mentioned early, Skill Sharpener books are extremely well organized. Below is a photo of the table of contents. The book is divided into 4 main sections:

  1. Animals
  2. My Body
  3. Things
  4. Places

Table of contents

Each section begins with a reading passage. We have so enjoyed these. My son is 7.5 and is just beginning to gain confidence with his reading…and these passages have been PERFECT for him. They are interesting, short, and informative…a winning combo in my book!

Critical Thinking Reading Passage

Following the reading passage, you will find all different types of activities. Things you can look forward to seeing are:

  • Word Searches
  • Word Problems
  • Games
  • Coloring
  • Mazes
  • Graphing
  • Puzzles
  • Craft Projects
  • So much more!

sample pages

sample pages

WHY WE LOVE SKILL SHARPENERS CRITICAL THINKING

  1. FUN Topics– Max has absolutely LOVED the topics included in Skill Sharpeners Critical Thinking…topics such as Alligators, Bugs, and Oceans are right up his alley!
  2. FUN Activities– Did I mention that this book is fun? The activities included aren’t dull or boring…they get him thinking but they do it in a way he enjoys which is such a huge plus!
  3. Hands-on¬†Learning– yes, this is a workbook…but each section includes a hands-on¬†activity that allows them to cut and craft something. This was Max’s favorite part!
  4. Grade level appropriate– Max and I both loved that this was something that was created just for him. Both of his older sisters have their own Skill Sharpener Books and he was overjoyed to have one created just for him! The reading passages were perfect for his age as well!
  5. Answer Key– We loved the inclusion of an answer key at the back of the book. It was a great resource to teach Max how to check his own work!

 

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION!

As I mentioned above, Skill Sharpener books are available in a variety of subjects as well as a variety of age groups! They are also an amazing value at only $9.99! I highly recommend these to anyone looking to enrich a specific subject in their homeschool! They have been such a valuable resource for us! Stay tuned for a new post soon on Evan-Moor Skill Sharpeners Science Grade 4! I am SO excited to share that one with you!!!

To shop for Evan-More Skill Sharpener books just click here!

 

Here is a great video from Evan-Moor featuring the Skill Sharpeners Critical Thinking books!

 

To check out my post on Skill Sharpeners Geography Grade 4 head on over to…

http://homeschoolbythebeach.com/2018/09/21/a-review-of-evan-moors-skill-sharpeners-geography-for-4th-grade/

 

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Raising Readers – One Books at a Time!

Raising Readers – One Books at a Time!

  I have loved books for as long as I can remember! My Mom actually used books as bribery to potty train me when I was 2 (OK, that is moderately embarrassing!) We would walk to the store together and I would get to pick […]