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Challenging and Inspiring Students without the Overwhelm or Fear of Failure

We all want those things in our homeschool or classroom, right?! In this series, Thoughts on Teaching, I’ve been diving into some of the deeper issues we have as educators. How do we create an environment that helps students blossom and reach their full potential? Today I’m going to talk about the fear of failure and the struggle that can create for some students. In some ways, I notice that...

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Advent Mailbox (For Kind Messages!)

I think I mentioned a week or two ago that we are not doing a traditional Advent Calendar this year.  Instead, our family is going to do some giving… Giving of kind words that is! Each of us in the family has chosen a day (Monday through Friday) to be our day to receive uplifting mail. Today (Tuesday) is LD’s day.  At some point during the day the rest of...

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Multiplication by 4s and 9s Packets

We are starting a big unit on animals and the biosphere in our homeschool.  ED was ready to move on to the next two sets of multiplication tables, so I made her two new worksheet sets.  There is a board game for the 4s. The 4s Packet has a total of about 25 pages. Here you’ll find a free sample page that you can print out to try with your...

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Oil and Water Fireworks Activity

Oil and Water Fireworks! This is such a fun and simple science activity!  This has impressed the kids since they were toddlers… and is helpful for kids studying chemistry to understand the different densities of liquids. Just take a clear glass, fill it with water. Add some vegetable oil.  Carefully, have the kids place a few drops of food dye in various spots around the oil.  Wait for a few...

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Rosa Parks and the Effort to End Segregation (Free Notebook Pages)

Today I wanted to share some of the books, movies, and worksheets we used when we studied the Civil Rights Movement. Exactly sixty years ago, Dec. 1st, 1955,  Rosa Parks refused to give her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. This led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott and other efforts to end segregation in the South.  These are some of the resources we used when learning about Rosa Parks...

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear Readers, I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I have so much to be thankful for this year.  It has a been an amazing year. Of course, at the very top of my list is my family.  My kids and my incredible Hubby are my world; they make me laugh, inspire me, and make each day an adventure!  My heart swells with pride and gratefulness to...

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15 Family Favorite Board and Card Games

We play a lot of games and with the holidays coming up, I thought I would highlight some of our favorites.  DD absolutely *loves* board games so we have a huge selection of card games and board games in our cabinets! I’m going to start with a couple of games that we use regularly in our homeschool, then will highlight some of the games we love pulling out for family...

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Peanut Butter Bars

I have been making these peanut butter bars since high school and really haven’t ever seen them around.  When I bring these everyone raves about them!  They tend to be one of my stand-by desserts if it is a function where I know peanut butter is acceptable. Peanut Butter Bar Recipe: Ingredients: 1 cup crunchy peanut butter 2/3 cup butter 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar 3...

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Getting Organized for the Holidays and Beyond: Free Winter/Spring 2015 Calendar

The holiday season is here!  This time of year, I really have to keep a close eye on our calendar and plan things out in advance to help keep the stress (and extra errands/shopping) to a minimum. At the same time, I want to make sure we schedule in the fun traditions that make this season special for our family. That takes some planning and organization, especially since we continue...

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What We’re Up to in Our Homeschool (Gr. 2, 5, 7)

This week I’m changing our “Thoughts on Teaching” series up a bit to write about how our homeschool days flow in general.  Each day is pretty different from the one before and is usually a result of what we didn’t get to (or got to only minimally) the day before.  But I keep a general running tab (mentally if not by checklist!) of what we’re doing in each subject. So...

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Chemistry Unit: The Periodic Table

This semester we did a new unit on chemistry and focused on the Periodic Table. We typically use secular resources, but I previewed Chemistry 101: An Overview of God’s Chemical World over the summer on the recommendation of a close friend. It is a wonderful resource. I found the video to be really well done (the kids really enjoyed it) and while there were a few references religion (especially in...

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Thanksgiving Preschool Printables (free)

This packet has various Thanksgiving printables for preschoolers including clothes pin letter matching and counting cards. It also has a 2-letter word file folder game for kids who are a little older. For the counting cards and upper and lower case letter matching, be sure to print the pages out on card stock. Have your child place a clothes pin on the correct answer.  (This is also really good for...

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Thanksgiving Addition and Subtraction Worksheets (Free)

This weekend I made some new addition and subtraction worksheets.  There are two sets. One set has addition with carrying and subtraction with borrowing.  The other set has simpler addition problems.  Hope you can use these!  They are free to download.    ~Liesl Thanksgiving Addition-Subtraction Worksheets And here is the other set of Thanksgiving math worksheets. These are also free to download: Thanksgiving Addition and Subtraction Practice You might be...