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Tag: homeschool

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 […]

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.

If you are not familiar with Evan-Moor’s History Pockets or Literature Pockets, you must check them out! They are amazing resources for homeschool families! There are SO many different topics. I am currently also using History Pockets: Colonial America and just finished with History Pockets: Explorers!

So, What ARE Literature Pockets??

Literature Pockets are an amazing combination of activities and hands-on resources that your students will create and compile into a pocket filled book! Each pocket will pertain to a specific subject within the topic…in this case, Non-Fiction. When your kiddos complete their Literature Pockets they are left with an absolutely wonderful portfolio of their work! We have absolutely loved the pockets we have done and highly recommend them! They are such an amazing showcase of your students’ hard work and knowledge of the subject!

A Look Inside Literature Pockets – Non-Fiction

The Non-Fiction Literature Pockets are designed to help you and your students learn about the Dewey Decimal System as well as many categories of non-fiction. Can I be honest? I had completely forgotten how the Dewey Decimal System works! As avid readers and users of our public library, this is wonderful information to learn! My kiddos are also huge non-fiction buffs, so learning how the different categories are organized was so helpful.

Our Non-Fiction Literature Pocket is divided into 12 categories that your kiddo will turn into their pockets. The 12 pockets they will make are:

  1. Finding Information in the Library
  2. People
  3. Religion and Myths
  4. Folklore
  5. Language
  6. Nature and Animals
  7. Mathematics
  8. Science and Technology
  9. Arts, Sports, and Recreation
  10. Poetry and Plays
  11. History and Travel
  12. Biographies

In the interest of full disclosure…we are still in the middle of creating our Literature Pockets! We have been taking our time and exploring lots of books along the way!

But, I want to share with you some of the awesome things we have been making!

Finding Information in the Library

This pocket was SO much fun! We began by making our booklet all about Melvil Dewey and the Dewey Decimal System. After learning about how the numbers worked we began searching for some books on our library’s online search system. We then took our lesson to the library and searched for the books by using the library call numbers! This was so fun! We had discussed how to search for fiction titles by the authors last name but had never discussed how to search for non-fiction books!

My daughter Sophie chose to learn about Amelia Earhart. As part of the project, she was able to create a booklet all about Amelia Earhart and wrote a paragraph about her and whether or not she was a hero. Such an awesome activity! We are planning to do this again in the future because it is a great biography and writing exercise!

Some of the other projects that are included in the Non-Fiction Literature Pockets are: creating an accordion book to retell a myth (my Greek Myth loving daughter is eager to do this project next), creating an alphabet book, making a pop-up book about animal habitats, and so many more!

Using Literature Pockets with Multiple Children

My kids are in 6th grade, 4th grade, and 2nd grade. I LOVE Evan-Moor Literature and History Pockets because I can easily use them with all three grade levels. Even though this particular pocket was geared for 4th-6th grade I was able to very easily adjust the work so that my 2nd-grade son could join in with us. For example, when we created the pocket I posted above, he and I worked on reading the book together and he wrote a shorter paragraph than his sisters. Any unit or lesson that I can use for ALL 3 kids is such an amazing thing in my book! We try to do as many units together as we can together because there are only so many hours in the day!

 

For More Information

We have enjoyed creating our Literature Pockets and once we have the finished product I will share pics here! I think these are a wonderful fit for homeschool families who love to do projects together and are eager to learn more about non-fiction!

For more information on Evan-Moor’s Literature Pockets: Non-Fiction you can simply click here! There are many more Literature Pockets available, including another one we are working on: Caldecott Winners!!

To read more about my favorite products from Evan-Moor you can click the links below!

Skill Sharpeners Geography

Reading Comprehension Fundamentals

Building Math Fluency

 

 

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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 […]

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 gifts that would make fabulous additions to a dinosaur experience box! Not sure what an experience box is? Check out this post that I wrote that explains what they are!

So, this year for Christmas, I am planning a few experience boxes for my kids. These will be joint gifts for all 3 kiddos! What I have done is created experience boxes based around themes that we will be covering in our homeschool. Yes, I am totally gifting my kids with school supplies and homeschool curriculum! It feels a little sneaky…but also kind of awesome…a little bit evil genius like 🙂

So the first box is DINOSAURS! My son, Max, has been begging to have a unit on dinosaurs. We already have a few books on our shelves but I have done some research and found some really awesome items that I can’t wait to share with you!

As I mentioned in my previous post, an Experience Box will look different to everyone. It can be anything you want it to be. It can be as simple as a book and tickets to a museum…truly, it can look however you would like. This is just my take on it and I hope that it will be helpful to you when you create yours!!

DINOSAUR BOOKS FROM USBORNE BOOKS & MORE

We are a book obsessed family. There are some absolutely AMAZING books available on dinosaurs. I will have books listed from two sources…Amazon and Usborne Books & More! First up are some of my very favorite books from Usborne Books & More! Usborne is the master of non-fiction books. They make learning about a topic so fun and engaging…and many of the books are internet linked!

This is a gorgeous book with big beautiful fold-out pages. Full of awesome information and excellent illustrations!
This awesome book is part of our Shine-A-Light series…shine a flashlight behind the page to reveal a hidden image. Full of non-fiction facts, this is a kid favorite.
Build Your Own Dinosaur sticker book…TONS of fun! My kids are going to love this one!
Jigsaw Puzzle and Book! I am so excited to add these to our Experience Box!

 

This awesome hardcover book is only $4.99! Full of facts and completely internet linked. The Beginner’s Non-Fiction books are one of our faves. Can’t wait to add Dinosaurs to our collection!

 

BOOKS FROM AMAZON

Below I am going to share some awesome books that will be under OUR Christmas tree this year!! I love engaging books that get kids excited about learning…and I think these ALL fit the bill! Here are just a few of the ones that I have chosen!! I am SO excited to add D is for Dinosaur to our collection of Sleeping Bear Press books…they are one of our favorite book publishers.

 

GAMES, TOYS, and FLASH CARDS OH MY!

Something that I am trying to get better at is gameschooling. My kids LOVE playing games…so do my husband and I! I am loving the idea of linking up games to our curriculum. What an awesome way for kids to learn! We are also huge flash card lovers…I think the majority of us in my family are visual learners…so flash cards are such a great tool to have on hand!

I ADORE the Fandex Field guides. They are such an amazing resource. We have Birds and Native Americans already and can’t wait to add dinosaurs to our list! We are also HUGE fans of Safari Toob products…I try to add those into every unit I create. The dinosaurs look awesome! Professor Noggin Card Games are also another family favorite that you can find to link to almost ALL units you may be teaching…from dinosaurs to space to Native Americans to explorers…they have you covered! All of these also make AMAZING stocking stuffers!!!!!

 

I am so excited to be gifting my kids with these experience boxes this year for Christmas…and I think they are really going to love it too. My plan is to purchase a storage box or basket for all of the items…and I am going to individually wrap everything and just let kids take turns opening things. I love to draw out Christmas morning as long as I can! I am going to be using this basket from OrganizerLogic! They have THE best storage baskets…I already have two huge ones for toy storage! They are sturdy and so cute!! Click the link below to check them out! LOVE the chalkboard sign on the front!!!

HAVE FUN WITH IT!

There is no one right or wrong way to create an experience box! You can make them as simple or as complex as you would like. These are just some suggestions of things that I will be adding to ours! Here are a few more fun ideas that I will be adding:

  • Stickers
  • Bath Bombs
  • Dinosaur shaped crayons
  • Tickets to visit Dinosaur World
  • Jurassic Park Movie

For a complete list of books, games, toys, and other educational materials that I have put together, head on over to my Amazon storefront here!

Thank you so much for stopping by! I would love to hear any other ideas you might have!!!


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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 […]

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 out a brand new Golden Book! Even today I can be easily bribed with books…just sayin’!

Though I love all books, Children’s Books have my heart. There is something magical about Children’s Literature. I started my own library of kids books well before I had my own kids. It wasn’t even that I was putting books away for when I one day had kids of my own…I was buying them for myself because I love them so much!

I always knew that it would be a goal of mine to raise children who loved books and reading as much as I do. I am happy to report that we are well on our way to having 3 little bookworms! They may not have reached full book hoarder status yet like their mother…but they are young yet 😉

SO…How DO you raise a reader???

 Be a Reader Yourself

Let your kids see  you reading! Let them see the joy you get from getting lost in a book!! I know we are all so busy and it is so hard to carve out time to sit and read, but even if it is just for 15 minutes it is so great for you and it sends such an awesome message to your kids! When your kids see you pick up a book and read for pleasure it is sending a message to them that reading is something fun and enjoyable.

Read Aloud

This may be my very favorite tip. Read aloud to your kids. Not just your young children. All of your children. So many parents stop reading aloud to their children when their kids learn to read on their own. Don’t do it! Keep on reading aloud to them. Even if it is just for a little bit before bed, reading aloud is such a wonderful experience for both parent and kiddo. We start every single day with a read aloud. My kids and I agree…it is our favorite part of the day. They absolutely LOVE having me read to them and I LOVE getting to experience so many amazing books with my kids. My oldest is almost 12 and she still absolutely loves getting to sit with her brother and sister and hear Mama read books. We have experienced so many awesome stories!

Talk about Books

My almost 12 year old could talk your ear off about Percy Jackson…or any Rick Riordan book for that matter. She gets so excited to tell us about the characters in her books and what is happening and what she THINKS will happen next. She loves to compare the books to the movies…and tell you exactly why the makers of the movie got it totally wrong at certain parts. I LOVE it! I love seeing that excitement. It tells me she is not only loving what she is reading…but she is absorbing and comprehending what she is reading.

Ask them questions about what they are reading…not just as a test to see that they are retaining information…but show them that you are genuinely interested in what they are interested in. Let them ask YOU questions about what you are reading…you don’t have to give a play by play of the steamy scenes in your romance novel or the gory details of your murder mystery…but letting them know what your book is about and why you like it is a great way to connect with them over reading. My kids are constantly asking me about my books. They are so curious about the types of books I read and why I like them!

Have Easy Access to Books

In the words of the great Dr. Seuss…”Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.” If books are easily accessibly then they will be picked up and read. Our home is full of books. They are everywhere. We have shelves, baskets, bins, cubbies…you name it…we’ve stuffed it with books!! Now this isn’t to say that you have to spend a gazillion dollars on books and shelves…you can have easy access to books without spending a cent! Take advantage of your local library!! We are so lucky to have access to not only one library, but several libraries within our county. If I have a book I am looking for chances are one of the libraries has it! Its such an amazing resource. There are sites online as well where you can get access to free books to read. Amazon often has free or very inexpensive books to download for your Kindle as well!

Another tip that I have learned that has helped immensely in my house is to display your books with the covers facing out. We have recently purchased some picture ledges to display our books on…without fail the kids gravitate toward the books that they see on that shelf. It can be a book that we have had in our bookshelf for years…but once they see its cover they are drawn to it! Seeing those beautiful book covers entices kids (and mamas!) to pick it up and flip through it!

bookshelf pic
This is one of my favorite places to display our books!

Embrace ALL Types of Reading Materials

This may not be a hugely popular opinion among reading professionals…but I don’t stress over reading levels. If my kids have a topic they are interested in reading about I will gather anything and everything I can get my hands on regardless of reading level. Through my years as a consultant with Usborne Books & More I have had so many parents refuse a book for their child because it is “too easy”. That bums me out big time! If you have a child that loves horses…let them read about horses!! It’s OK if it is below their reading level…they are reading…and you know what? They are ENJOYING it because it is a topic that interests them!

If you have a child who loves comic books or graphic novels…let them read them! They are great choices for a reluctant reader!

If you have a child who is a non-fiction buff…let them read non-fiction! Some of my kids favorite books are non-fiction!

If you have a child who still loves to read picture books…bust out those picture books! Picture books are some of my very favorite books and are filled with amazing writing!! We often stop reading picture books once our kids have begun reading chapter books, but we are missing out on some seriously amazing reading material!

 

These are just a few simple ways that we have created an atmosphere of reading in our home. How are you raising readers at your house?

 

 

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A Review of Evan-Moor’s Reading Comprehension Fundamentals Grade 6

A Review of Evan-Moor’s Reading Comprehension Fundamentals Grade 6

  I was recently given the chance to review Evan-Moor’s Reading Comprehension Fundamentals for Grade 6. I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review. As a huge fan of Evan-Moor products, I again jumped at the chance to try this product […]