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Writing Workshop Discussion Questions

At the beginning of the week, I thought it would helpful for the kids to think about some fundamental questions about writing… Why do we write? Why do we read? What makes for a good story? What makes a story interesting? What inspires you? What kinds of techniques can we use in our writing? What writing habits work best for you? And finally, I had the kids brainstorm alternative words for...

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Language Arts Homeschool Checklist

What skills do I want the kids to have in order to become successful writers?  For this post, I shared a list of some of the language and literary skills I want the kids to build in elementary and middle school.  These are topics and terms I want the kids to be familiar with.  As they get older I hope they are able to use and incorporate these naturally into their own...

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Considering Homeschooling Next Year? A Post about Planning Ahead

I got an email from someone a few days ago from someone who said they were in “full blown school panic.”  She is  considering homeschooling next year and is wondering how to start planning. And not only that, she wondered, “How do you even know what to teach?” I thought it was about time to write about planning again… especially as I start looking ahead to next year. How do you decide what...

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My 911 Call — And what I did totally wrong

Let me start off by saying that everything is just fine, though I am still quite tearful simply because I was so scared. The unexpected happens… it comes out of the blue and you’re never quite prepared. In our case, we had just hopped into the car for afternoon activities.  I was rumbling up our very steep driveway. But suddenly I could tell somethings was wrong with ED… she was...

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Middle Ages – Notebook Pages on England and France (800-1200)

Last week all we did for history was continue reading The Adventures of Robin Hood. (affiliate link).   The kids are really loving the book (and so am I!). Each chapter is a complete adventure unto itself. This week we’ll be going into a lot of detail about feudalism (and I created a simulation that I think the kids will really love!), but before we do that, I really wanted to review all...

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German Family Vocabulary Practice — die Familie

die Familie The kids have been having a lot of fun building their German vocabulary for family terms such as father, mother, son, daughter, grandma, boy, girl, etc. etc.  The kids learned (reviewed) some of the terms such as die Familie (the family) das  Mädchen (the girl) der Junge (the boy) die Tante (the aunt) der Onkel (the uncle) die Tochter (the daughter) der Sohn (the son) die Schwester (the sister), etc. etc....

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20 Reasons Why We Mothers Are Amazing! Happy Mother’s Day!

For all the Moms out there, I hope you are pampered and swamped with love today! We have so much to be proud of as Mothers. We are one hard working lot! We juggle meals, laundry, clean up, jobs, schooling (whether we homeschool or juggle the paper work and demands that come home from public schools). We tend to sniffles, stomach viruses, achy legs, boo-boos, broken bones mostly our children’s but sometimes our...

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It Feels GRRrrreat… (and other Ramblings & Random Things… Like a Pumpkin Muffin Recipe, Hiking Pics)

Hooray! We’re done with standardized testing!!  The kids are really happy! In those hours and hours of sitting by witnessing the kids toil, I have a come up with a bunch of hands-on activities and blog post ideas! Hope to get those written up soon. But in the meantime, I just came on to celebrate!  Jumped through that hoop… Now back to our fun stuff… like our Middle Ages Unit, Human...

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Butterfly Math Activities PreK-K

Yesterday, I mentioned the butterfly and insect lapbook that DD made when she was in PreK.  It had a lot of shares over on Facebook. Two things came to mind. First, that I should make sure I also mention this cute butterfly lapbook here on the blog for those of you who don’t use Facebook or missed that post. And the other thought I had was that I had purchased some really...

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Free Skip Counting Mazes – Minecraft Themed

As many of you know, my kids love the game, Minecraft. I’ve made a number of math worksheets for them this year with various Minecraft images I’ve drawn.  This is a latest Minecraft-themed freebie… a set of skip counting mazes I made for the ED. She is just beginning to work on multiplication and still practices skip counting.  In this packet there are 9 mazes for practicing skip counting by...

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High Standards and a Nurturing Atmosphere

I am drawn to books and stories about amazing teachers and inspiring mentors who help their students achieve greatness. What are great teachers teaching students along the way?  To love learning. To learn and think for themselves. And to work hard on the fundamentals.   The common thread among many of the inspiring books I’ve read is that great teachers set high standards for all of their students. They believe in...

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Semicolon Rules and Practice Sheets (free)

We are reviewing some of the basic grammar rules (again) and I wanted to share this sheet I made for the kids about semicolons.  These sheets covered these 4 rules: Use a semicolon to join two or more closely related independent clauses that are not connected with a coordinating conjunction (and, but, or, nor, for, yet, so). Use a semicolon to join two closely related independent clauses that have a...

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Standardized Testing Options for Homeschoolers

Yesterday we ordered the standardized tests we’ll take to fulfill the homeschool requirements of our state.  We used Brewer Testing Service because of the ease of ordering.  Their customer service has been excellent. (I’ll tell you more about that below.) This year, all three of my kids will be testing.  They will be taking different tests: First Grade: I am having ED take the Terra Nova Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills....

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Long A Sounds /ay/ – a, ai, ay, a-e, ei, eigh, ey –Sorting Cards and Board Game!

Here are some fun activities to work on the long A sound. I made these sorting cards activities,  game board, and bingo cards for ED. She has had a lot of fun with this packet! She hasn’t yet worked on all of the Long A spelling variations, but this will start getting her familiar with some of the spellings she will tackle in her spelling curriculum (we use All About Spelling (affiliate...