Tag: homeschool

Adding Magic to Your Homeschool with a KidArtLit Subscription!

Adding Magic to Your Homeschool with a KidArtLit Subscription!

Picture Books are magic. There is something so incredibly special about diving into a beautiful picture book with a child! We were recently given the opportunity to check out an amazing subscription box that is perfect for picture book lovers! KidArtLit so generously sent us 

Learning Spanish in our Homeschool with Rosetta Stone

Learning Spanish in our Homeschool with Rosetta Stone

My goal for our 2020/2021 school year was to start my kiddos on their journey of becoming Spanish speakers. We have dabbled over the course of the last 4 years, but I was looking for something with more structure that would really immerse them in 

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 head! I have made it a priority to get a handle on my organization! I have a new secret weapon and I am so excited to share it with you! The Quartet Magnetic Combination Calendar Board is my new key to organizational success! It has been a game-changer…let’s take a peek!

Magnetic Combination Calendar Board

At the beginning of February, I added the Magnetic Combination Calendar Board to our homeschool room. I wanted something that the kids and I could look at to easily to see what we have planned for the day, week, or month. We needed a way to keep our hectic lives organized! Our calendar board has been working wonders!

For starters, it is BIG! I wanted something that we could see from anywhere in the room and boy does this do the trick. Our board is 23″ x 35″, but they do offer a smaller size as well as several other types of whiteboards and glass boards!

I wanted something that would not only act as a calendar, but also offer us a space to write notes, lists, or add papers. This is perfect. It has a large section for adding notes or grocery lists AND it has a corkboard on the bottom! SO fantastic.

Also, because our schoolroom is also our dining room/kitchen, I wanted something that was pretty to look at. I didn’t want a large industrial looking calendar. This board is beautiful! It has a beautiful black frame around it that goes perfectly with our home decor. It would look great in any room or office!

Calendar Combination Board Features

One of the reasons we love our board so much is that it is so multi-functional. Not only is it a dry erase board, but it is also magnetic and has a cork border at the bottom. This allows huge flexibility in your organizing!

I wanted to share some of our favorite features below:

  • Beautiful ebony frame
  • Contains easy mounting system
  • Comes with a magnetic marker
  • Includes 2 magnets
  • Erases with EASE
  • Looks gorgeous

In addition to our board, we also had the opportunity to try some of the amazing dry-erase markers from Quartet. We have been using the 2-in-1 dry-erase markers and they are amazing! Our 2-in-1 Dry Erase Kit includes 4 double-sided dry-erase markers, a foam eraser, and a spray cleaner. If you have never tried a spray cleaner on your whiteboard then you are missing out. This stuff is incredible!

The markers are double-sided including a fine tip and a chisel tip. These worked perfectly for adding smaller details like dates as well as larger details like month headings. I have used a lot of dry-erase markers in my day and these were some of the best! Here are some reasons why we love them:

  • Vibrant colors
  • LOW odor
  • Easy to erase
  • Non-Toxic

You guys, I used the spray cleaner on an old whiteboard that we had…it cleaned it SO well. I couldn’t believe it. I don’t know how I have gone so long without using a whiteboard cleaner!

For More Info

I can’t say enough wonderful things about these products. As someone who is extremely visual, I have learned that a paper planner that I shove into a bag, just doesn’t work for me. I need something out in plain sight that I can quickly glance up and see!

I am feeling so much more confident about staying on top of my organization thanks to these products!

Sending a huge thank you to my friends at Quartet for gifting us with the Magnetic Combination Calendar Board and 2-in-1 Dry Erase Kit. As with all of my other reviews, the thoughts and opinions I have shared are always my own!

These products have made a wonderful addition to our home and our homeschool and I think that you will love them too! Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions!

For more information on the Magnetic Combination Calendar Board or the 2-in-1 Dry Erase Kit, you can click the following links!

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 

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 am super excited to share with you a book that is new to me! Daily 6-Trait Writing has made an incredible addition to our homeschool writing curriculum!

What IS Daily 6-Trait Writing

Daily 6-Trait Writing is a comprehensive teaching guide that has 25 weeks of mini-lessons divided up into 5 units. The book focuses on the six traits of writing:

  1. Idea (Unit 1)
  2. Organization (Unit 2)
  3. Word Choice (Unit 3)
  4. Sentence Fluency (Unit 4)
  5. Voice (Unit 5)
  6. Conventions (tied into all units)

Each of the first 5 traits listed above will be presented in 5 week increments, with Conventions being included in each week. Each week will then focus in on a specific skill that pertains to one of the writing traits listed above. The weeks follow a consistent format so they are extremely easy to use and the kids and the momma know what to expect! To give you an idea of what you can expect within a unit, take a peek inside below!

Take a Peek Inside

Each of the units begins with a fantastic two-page spread of what the week will look like. It is a wonderful tool for the teacher because not only does it help keep you organized, but it helps explain how to word things and HOW to teach the traits to your child.

I want to share a sample layout with you so you can get a better idea of how the book is organized! Let’s take a peek at Unit 1, Week 1.

 

You can see in the top left-hand corner of the first page that the focus is on Choosing a Good Topic. Each week will list the focus ideas in the top corner. Unit 1 is broken down as follows:

  • Week 1: Choose a Good Topic (Convention: Capitalizing Names of People and Pets)
  • Week 2: Add Details (Convention: Compound Words)
  • Week 3: Choose Better Details (Convention: Plural Nouns that End in S)
  • Week 4: Stick to the Topic (Convention: Periods)
  • Week 5: Review (Convention: Capitalizing Book and Song Titles)

So, let’s look at week 1 for an example. Each day it will tell you what you are teaching and give you wording on how you can teach it. This first teacher page will also give you a sample of what the answers could look like. Following the teacher page, you will have the student worksheets that you can tear out or print or have the child write straight in the book. There are 4 sheets for the students to do for days 1 thru 4, day 5 is a fun writing prompt to put the ideas into practice!

WHY I Love Daily 6-Trait Writing

The first thing I was drawn to is the design of the book. It is not overwhelming and not intimidating! Like all of the Evan-Moor books that I have used with my kids, this book is packed with information, but it is presented in a way that is easily accessible by kids. This is the Grade 2 book and it is perfectly geared for my son’s age. He is a kid who gets easily overwhelmed when there is a TON of information on a page. These pages are quick but they teach the kids in a way that it sticks.

The next thing that I love is that it includes the weekly layout page. I am a very visual person and I love being able to take a quick glance at something and know what I need to do for the week. I love that the weekly layout includes verbiage for the teacher/parent to use. While it isn’t necessary that you read it verbatim, I love having a cheat sheet so-to-speak to help coach me!

Third, I love…and I mean really, really love that it includes the conventions. This is just another way of integrating these important tools. It flows naturally with the lessons and doesn’t seem forced at all!

Lastly, I absolutely love that we end the week with a writing prompt. It gives the kids a chance to put what they have learned into practice and I think it is fantastic.

For More Info

If you are interested in learning more about Daily 6-Trait Writing you can head right over to Evan-Moor’s amazing website. They have some great peek inside videos as well as a chance to peek inside the books! Click here to check it out! I will also be sharing my own video on Instagram this Friday, 4/26…I will link to that as soon as it is up!

As I mentioned, we are huge Evan-Moor fans…if you would like to check out some of my other favorite books you can check out my reviews of Skill Sharpeners Geography and Reading Comprehension Fundamentals!

Daily 6-Trait Writing is $29.99 and is available in grades 1-8. Daily 6-Trait Writing is also available as part of Evan-Moor’s Homeschool Bundles and the Homeschool Writing Bundle!

Please feel free to send me any questions you might have! I would be happy to help!

 

 

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

 

 

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