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Tag: homeschool

Organizing Our Homeschool Room with Quartet!

Organizing Our Homeschool Room with Quartet!

Organization is not my strong suit! As a homeschool mama, blogger, and book reviewer, I feel like my brain is always a jumble of thoughts, ideas, schedules, and projects! Life is just way too hectic to leave all of these thoughts tumbling around in my […]

Hands-On Fun with STEM Lessons & Challenges from Evan-Moor

Hands-On Fun with STEM Lessons & Challenges from Evan-Moor

I will be the first to admit that STEM is not my favorite area to teach. If you were to ask me which subjects I do not excel at, I would tell you, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math…STEM! Give me all the books, grammar, art, […]

Out of this World Books for your Astronomy Unit!

Out of this World Books for your Astronomy Unit!

We are just at the beginning of our astronomy and space unit! The kids have been looking forward to this unit for months! I have spent so much time collecting resources, books, supplies, and organizing activities and I can’t wait to share it all with you!! I am hoping to have lots of posts with ideas for books, projects, and supplies! This post is going to be ALL about the amazing out of this world books to add to your unit! As you well know by now, all of our units are super book heavy…we just can’t get enough! So, let’s get to it!

Out of this World Space Books

Narrowing down this list was nearly impossible…but I limited myself to just sharing my top 6…and I didn’t even include my very favorite books from Usborne Books & More…which could fill an entire blog post in itself…actually…it probably will! Anyway…on with it!

1.) Planetarium

Not to be dramatic…but you need this book. If you are a fan of Botanicum or Animalium…this is the newest installment from Big Picture Press. It is just gorgeous and so packed full of information. I can’t recommend these books enough. Awesome resources to use again and again.

 2.) Seeing Stars: A Complete Guide to the 88 Constellations

If you plan to cover constellations YOU.NEED.THIS.BOOK. I have only had this book for 3 days and it is incredible. Not all books will contain all 88 constellations, but this one does. Not only does it show you the constellations but it also explains to you how they came to be named, the brightest star in the constellation, and where and when to see it. I think my favorite thing about this book (aside from the fact that it smells fab) is that it breaks the constellations down into the “ancient” constellations and the more modern ones. So well organized and just gorgeous.

3.) A Child’s Introduction to the Night Sky

I have had this book forever and have only recently opened it. It is incredible. I loved the way it was organized so much that I planned much of our unit based on this book. It is so beautiful but it also explains things in such an easy way that it is easy for kids to understand! It also comes with glow in the dark star stickers and a cool star finder!


4.) What We See in the Stars

This one can best be described as Gor-Geous. It is such a wonderful combination of science and myth. It is packed with so much goodness. I ordered this one before even seeing it in person because I had a feeling it would be a keeper and it absolutely IS!


5.) G is for Galaxy: An Out of this World Alphabet

No Homeschool by the Beach unit would be complete without an alphabet book from Sleeping Bear Press. These are my go-to books for creating homeschool units. I wrote about my obsession with them here. G is for Galaxy is another home run. It is packed with information and in usual alphabet book fashion has gorgeous illustrations and tons of facts! S is for Saturn, T is for Telescope, and J is for Jupiter are just a few of the pages you will find. Absolutely awesome book!


6.) Star Stories: Constellation Tales from Around the World

I literally just got this book this week! I was supposed to have it yesterday on it’s release day but my friends at Amazon were a little late getting it here…not pleased my friends! Anyway, it was worth the wait. This book is GORGEOUS! Star Stories is FULL of the tales and mythology surrounding the constellations. You will read about stories from Ancient Greece, China, India, North America, Egypt, and the South Pacific. We are starting this book this afternoon. I read the first few stories and it is awesome. The illustrations are SO lovely and the stories are ones both you and your kiddos will love!


As I mentioned above, this is just the tip of the iceberg of awesome books. I have created an Amazon list with several more…and if you love Usborne Books & More…I am hoping to get a list up with those amazing books as well!

To view my Amazon list click here.


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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!!


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!


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.


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

    • Muscles and Bones
    • Skin
    • Eyesight
    • Hearing
    • Weathering and Erosion
    • Glaciers
    • Earthquakes
    • Volcanoes
    • What is a Wave?
    • Waves in the Water
    • Sound Waves
    • Digital Waves
    • What is Energy?
    • Heat Energy
    • Electrical Energy
    • Light Energy


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.


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!


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 gifts […]

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