Crisis Schooling at Home Simplified

Today parents all over the world find themselves crisis schooling their children- This is much different than homeschooling. Even homeschooling families that always homeschooled are crisis schooling, because homeschooling like normal has been brought to a halt. There are no field trips, group hikes, zoo trips, play dates, nature walks with friends, or in person homeschool co-op classes happening.

Most of the schooling new families find themselves doing is indoors, or on the back porch, with cramped spaces, with what they perceive as not enough supplies. But I promise, you can do it, and with limited resources.

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Attempting to educate multiple kids at once isn’t always easy. It’s hard to maintain one child’s focus, let alone several who aren’t used to being taught at home by their parents, or virtually by teachers.

Here are five useful hacks that will take your homeschool to the next level:

Crisis Schooling Simplified

Turn The Garage Into An Open-Air Classroom

Even as a homeschool family that homesteads and spends a lot of hours at home, we all get stir crazy if we are stuck inside. Thankfully, a homeschool classroom is flexible because it doesn’t need to be in a specified place. As you know, the kitchen or living room are fantastic alternatives. We do our “table work” at the kitchen table because it tends to be windy in Kansas for outside paper work, but we do a LOT of other learning out of doors- nature study, reading aloud, reading independently, playing, and just moving our bodies are all done outside.

Even better, you can add a summery element by turning the garage into an open-air classroom. All you have to do is set up the lessons as usual and open the garage door. With the sunshine and cool breeze flowing through, you’ll find that the kids are far more responsive. Homeschooling homeowners love this idea so much that lots of them invest in barndominiums and make the switch permanent.

We have a friend that has an entire separate “rec” building on their property that is a pole barn style. The open space, full kitchen, and lovely porch make for the perfect school house. I would *love* to do this one day! Making a school shack out of the shed, building a new small multi-purpose building, or just schooling on the garage floor all make for great switch-ups.

Anybody who doesn’t have a garage can use the backyard, trampoline, or play house out back. Laying a rug or quilt on the floor adds an extra element to the learning environment. Rather than centering the lessons around the dinner table, you can sit on the floor and mix up the activities. Get creative!

Make Individual Schedules

Each of my school aged children have a weekly schedule hanging on the school cabinet- this has a list of daily work, plus work to be done independently (or with me) on certain days. It keeps us on task, helps us clearly see what needs to be done, and simplifies life for everyone!

Use a simple piece of lined paper to make out the daily work list and hang where ever your family does the most learning.

Utilize Wall Space

Lots of studies show that many young children are visual and tactile learners. Of course, most of us don’t have an electronic whiteboard or smart board, so it’s not as if we can create PowerPoints to teach from (not to mention, this is NOT necessary for learning). More to the point, a boost in screen time isn’t healthy.

So, what’s the alternative? Well, there’s always wall space! Throwing paint on the walls isn’t always ideal, but using chalkboard paint isn’t a bad idea. We have a small chalk board wall in the kitchen.

However, there is a way to let them learn visually without changing the walls- create a writing wall. A sheet of MDF wood works perfectly, and it’s thin enough to hide behind a cabinet. Another option is to use IdealPaint and Krylon products for dry erase surfaces- you can easily paint a sheet of wood from a hardware store. Again, this sheet can be used and then slid behind a cabinet or couch against the wall, when not in use.

I enjoy using a dry erase board for writing out Bible verses we are memorizing, spelling rules we are learning, and other things we need handy and in our face (vocabulary words, phonics rules, and grammar rules are some other ideas).

Spruce It Up

I *love* decorating my house, organizing, and making small changes. Simply adding an art piece (think an original from Etsy), a family photo collage, or new curtains always make me feel fresh and renewed in my home.

When it comes to home or crisis schooling, organizing and creating an inviting space is important. The easier it is to do the work, and the more inviting it is, the more likely we are to stick with it. Adding old maps, wooden frames, or vintage light switch plates to a space can make it fun and enchanting.Check out Etsy for inspiration!


Making homeschooling less complicated for everybody shouldn’t be a grind. Hopefully, these tips will make the process a lot smoother!

Going Green at Home and Homestead is Easy

Whether your home is a farm, a homeschool for your children, or a typical family dwelling, you can save money and energy by going green at home. Adopting eco-friendly habits at home is sure to improve the life of our families and did I mention save money? 😉

Aside from enhancing physical and mental wellbeing, as well as the environment, it feels good to save money, prevent waste (of resources and $$) and live simply. What can we do to go greener without breaking the bank?

Going Green at Home and Homestead is Easy

Upgrade Building Features

Building energy-efficiency ratings have a huge impact on our carbon footprint and thus utility bills. Thicker/new windows and improved roofing insulation will reduce energy waste through lost heating. Choosing the right materials should be high on the agenda when building a new home, or improving an existing building- features such as shake siding, updating insulation in windows, attics, and garages, and using recycled items can upgrade the home in every sense.

(We plan to update windows in our home, insulation, paint the exterior brick, and add shake shingle siding eventually.) We enclosed our garage and made sure the new addition space was filled with insulation.

Making improvement can include everything from identifying water leaks and possible mold growth, to stopping drafts. The longer it is left, the more costly the repairs for damage and our health becomes anyway. So fixing those drafty windows, doors, and water leaks offers a big pay out!

Using The Garden

Gardens and other outside spaces are naturally great places to invest in eco-friendly upgrades. Whether it’s growing fruits and veggies, farming, composting, or worm farming, it saves resources and money for your family! Plus, all those things are fun and great ways to spend time as a family.

Simply spending more time outdoors is likely to improve our overall well being, too! It can be  a lifestyle change for some families, but it is 100% worth it. Set some goals for getting outside if your family isn’t used to it- an hour a day, 2- 20 minute walks, looking for bugs in the spring, nature journaling as a family, etc. 

\You can find so many different nature activity calendars out there- do a quick duckduckgo.com search for a free printable. A patio area, BBQ or fire pit, small container vegetable garden, or simple hanging baskets of flowers are a great start to a greener outside space.

Using Efficient Appliances

Inside the home, selecting updated appliances will bring significant benefits. Whether it’s a water filter like the Berkey (we have this one),  water-efficient toilets and dishwashers, the infamous HE washing machines, or a new refrigerator, you can see savings and improved health pretty quickly.

Our Berkey filters out chemicals, bacteria, and has antimicrobial properties in the filters. We have well water so my doctor recommended we get a Berkey to filter out all the cancer-causing and endocrine disrupting chemicals/pesticides in the ground water. It tastes so much better than before and we have definitely seen improvement in my hormone levels and how we feel.

The technologies used in appliances today have evolved at a rapid rate. While making products last longer is usually a good thing, persisting with outdated tech is not. Something I noticed when we moved to our last home- we went from an older (1990s?), perfectly fine fridge, to a brand new fridge- and we immediately started saving money! All of our produce and dairy products started lasting longer in the new refrigerator! So not only was it more efficient for our utility bill, but it saved money in the grocery department.

 

Change Simple Habits

One of the biggest principles in homesteading is reusing what you can- It can mean reviving wooden spoons and kitchenware or turning old toys and furniture into child bedroom decorations. (We’ve all seen the baby cribs or box springs turned into reading nooks and planters.) Embracing the habit of reusing can produce changes that last a long time and keep “stuff and thangs” out of landfills, thus taking a small step towards helping the environment.

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Learning About Other Cultures in Your Homeschool

In our homeschool, we love learning about other cultures. We have done so by using Sonlight Curriculum, watching documentaries, and doing fun activities.

When our kids go to interview for a job one day, there’s a strong possibility that the person on the other side of the desk isn’t part of the same culture that they are. Learning about other cultures promotes respect for others, love, and a true Christian attitude.

One of my very favorite resources for teaching world cultures is Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time.

Featuring a carefully curated reading treasury of the best children’s literature for each area of the globe, as well as practical parenting suggestions and inspiration, Give Your Child the World helps moms and dads raise insightful, compassionate kids who fall in love with the world and are prepared to change it for good.

Learning about Other Cultures

Pexels Source CCO License

 

Experiment With Cooking 

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to explore a new culture is with cuisine. You can think about trying out some different recipes in the kitchen, and letting the kids join in on the fun. The best part is a lot of these recipes aren’t difficult to learn or master and they are healthy, too!  For instance, try a recipe for Sambar that can be prepared in minutes and is sure to be a family favorite.

Try a New Experience/Trip

After reading good books and trying new foods from another culture, you might want to go on a trip somewhere. Obviously, there are some highly popular options for kids’ vacations. But to immerse them in a new culture, you may want to think outside the box here. There’s a ban right now on a lot of European countries due to the Coronavirus. However, this will likely settle down by the summer.

During this time, you should have a wide range of options for family travel. But even looking in your own backyard at cultural grocery stores, shops, and experiences will be enough to create a family memory.

Provide Them With The Right Resources

This could be as simple as choosing a different type of film for a movie night with the family- Disney+ and Amazon Prime are full of documentaries. Instead of the classic Disney film, why not explore some of the options from other cultures on your fav streaming service? You’ll find that there are some fantastic possibilities here. 

Sometimes we have friends or family that can help us submerge our kids in a new culture- spending a day with someone cooking foods, preparing for a celebration, or just chatting is a great way to learn about areas and peoples of our world.

Our favorite way to learn is through good books. There are so many wonderful children’s books that help kids understand how other cultures live.

So often we grow up only knowing and understanding the tiny bubble around us. Learning about others creates adults who don’t see color or differences as a prejudice, but as a celebration of who we are.

learning about other culturesPic Source Image Credit CCO License


Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

2019/2020 Homeschool Year- 3rd grade

Instead of posting everything we are doing in one very overwhelming post, I thought I would break it down by grade level this year. I am late … I know. I’ve been in a deep first trimester exhaustion of random naps and no motivation beyond sleeping and eating. We’ve been sick with one stomach bug after another, and of course with 6 people in the house, it takes forever to get over 1 thing just in time for another to hit! (But I’ve stepped up my elderberry syrup and vitamin C game for the family, so hopefully the rest of the winter won’t be so bad).

And I’m feeling better now, that I’m closer to second trimester! Woo Hoo!

This year, my 9 year old is doing 3rd grade, for all intents and purposes.

Math- CLE Grade 3 math. We like this math so far because it is clean, simple, straight forward, and has students becoming more independent at an early age. I am involved in their lessons, but they aren’t dependent on me for learning 100%. I like this because one of our goals as homeschoolers is to create intrinsically motivated, self taught students who love to read and learn as they grow.

Grammar/Writing/Language Arts- This area is a little more gray. We are using The Good and the Beautiful, and also Easy Grammar (which we have reviewed before). For my 3rd grader, this is working out very well. I would like something that is a little more consolidated so I am not using 2 different programs (we don’t use the reading and spelling in TGTB). I’ve ordered BJU English which includes writing, grammar, and mechanics all in one book. I found it used for super cheap, just so I can look through it. We will see how it is, and may give it a try. Other than using 2 different programs, I *really* like TGTB and also Easy Grammar. Both bring a lot of their own qualities, and most importantly, my daughter enjoys both and does well with them.

Reading and Spelling- This is still All About Reading, and All About Spelling. We don’t really use AAR very often … she just doesn’t need it as much as spelling. I have started implementing he reading aloud to us from our History Core, so I can hear her reading, and help with any difficult words. She is a very fast reader, which is great when you’re studying or looking for key words in notes, or need specific info. But I want her to slow down and enjoy what she is reading, read with inflection, and wait for the good parts. haha  When she reads on her own, it is fast and for the purpose of finding out what happens … which is also great; however reading aloud is so beneficial and she is willing to do it with joy!

Homeschool 2019/202 3rd grade

All About Spelling is what we are working through with her brother, still. They just do it together since he is naturally a great speller, it is easy for them to do it together (and takes some pressure off of me to get one more thing done in the day).

Science– Oh dear science, how we love you. We have really slacked in science since last year, short of nature exploration. So it is my intention this winter to take this season of cold weather, and do a *LOT* more science. We will utilize Apologia’s Creation series because frankly, it is just so good. We love listening to the text on audio, and the activity book that goes along is also great. We have reviewed Astronomy and Anatomy, and really love both. I can’t wait to try their Botany and zoology series.

History/Bible/Read Alouds- This is Sonlight Core C for us, this year. We are finishing up our second year of world history, and will move on to American history next year. I am not entirely sure if we will use Sonlight Core D for American History. I *think* we will, but I also want to look around and see if there is anything else we may want to use for AMerican history years.

Other Stuff- We are using Wordly Wise for vocabulary. I do like to pull words from our read alouds for the kids to learn, but this is something they all really enjoy, can do on their own, and helps develop more than just vocabulary skills. These books are simple, yet awesome.

We get to use lots of other fun stuff throughout the year, like Lit Wits, STEM activities, and foreign languages. We have co op and of course all our handicrafts and arts we enjoy freely.

This homeschool year I definitely feel more organized, and like we have stayed on top of things better so far. Last year was full of concussions, flu, puppies, baby goats, and travels. We got behind and did math through August! NOT FUN; I didn’t enjoy it at all. I DO like doing school year round, because we want to … not because we have to, if that makes sense.

So this school year we do math every single day, whether we are sick or not, or we double up if we miss. Any independent or workbook pages are divided into week in folders, like every year. We put that work each week on their clipboard. Some weeks we do 2 weeks worth of work when things are going really smoothly, to account for any sick days we may have.

Baby #5 should be here in June, so I want us to have plenty of time to enjoy the spring weather, play in the pool, and be homeschool work free! Life is going to change a lot with a newborn, so it will be important for the kids to have a solid routine, without me having the stress of “we must finish.”

What are you using for homeschool this year?

 

Sonlight Curriculum All About Reading Botany Apologia Astronomy

 

 

 

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Homeschool Unit Study Lesson Plans {a review}

LitWits LogoLitWits takes the hassle out of literary unit studies- everything you need for a unit study based on your favorite literature can be found in on click. We have been using LitWts for review and love them! These are also going to be perfect for summer and holiday projects when we read aloud a book, and need something hands on to go along with it. Y’all- LitWits have met all my needs! Like so many homeschool mamas, I *love* literature based learning and literary units-this was my favorite thing to do in college while getting my education degree. This. Is. My. Jam.

But the thought of collecting all the Pinterest and blogger ideas, supplies, and foods, coming up with writing projects, combining them into a unit study myself, and trying to implement it all is just not happening right now. But now LitWits has done it for me!

And not only have they done it for me, but it is organized, beautiful, and more than just a black and white printable file with instructions.

It has everything, it beautiful full color.

LitWits covers

What Are LitWits Kits?

LitWits Kits are literary workshops for kids! Each kit is a 30-40 page PDF full of projects, activities, ideas for discussion, and handouts. Each section is professionally organized so you aren’t scrambling back through the file looking for what you need. Everything is so well organized for you- At the end of the unit, you will find Learning Links, About the Author, Story Supplements, Beyond the Book, and entire Audiovisual Collection section featuring pictures that help bring the book to life, and Great Quotes from the book.

But these aren’t your typical PDFs-when you go to your account with your purchased kits, click on the one you want to access. The kit will have a big, beautiful header with section titles:

LitWits- Anne of Green gables- complete literary unit studies

Of all the many LitWits Kits available, we chose: Anne of Green Gables, Island of the Blue Dolphins (I looooved this book as a child), The Secret Garden, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to start off with. We have already read all of these books together, except for Island of the Blue Dolphins. (I cannot wait to read this in one of our homeschool cores coming up!) It will be such fun to go back and review using the LitWit Kits. The activities in The Secret Garden kit will definitely appeal to my green-thumb kiddos, Island of the Blue Dolphins with studying the stars, rocks, and cave art is going to be a favorite of my boy, and how can you go wrong with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and green glasses, tornadoes in a jar, and the wonderful topics in the handouts.

As a mama and teacher, I appreciate that the creators of LitWits know how children learn and understand their multifaceted learning needs, especially when it comes to hands on:

 … we always try to focus on two important categories: props that are unique to the setting, because they help kids understand “what that was like,” and props that are symbolic of themes, because they make big ideas visual and tangible.

In our Anne of Green Gables kit we enjoyed making our own slate pencils, using carpenter’s pencils and fun crafting supplies.

LitWits- Anne of Green gables- complete literary unit studies

LitWits- Anne of Green gables- complete literary unit studies

Collecting suggested props for the overall bookwas easy- a scrap of fabric, old books, an antique reader, flowers (though we didn’t have the right kind, we pretended), and poetry books.

LitWits- Anne of Green gables- complete literary unit studies

Of the hands-on fun, we chose to do the scene charades instead of acting out the optional scenarios. This was cute!

 

LitWits has narrowed down for us the many study topics to choose from in the Takeaways section-

… But such abundance can also sound pretty overwhelming! We’ve narrowed the focus to three bite-sized (but rich) areas, and based most of our activities and prop choices around these three “takeaway topics.”

This takes so much pressure and frustration out of putting together a unit study- thank you LitWits!

I really like that the handouts cover so many topics in depth.

“People laugh at me because I use big words. But if you have big ideas, you have to use big words to express them, haven’t you?”

We learned about storylines, using context clues to deduct the meaning of an old fashioned word, and characterization. What’s even more great is all the answer keys for the handouts are included after their blanks page, so it is easy and concise to find answers when you need them. Also, this can help mama when she needs her creativity jogged for helping with different literary elements. There were activities that involved creative writing, and a simple character essay; there is a great focus on rich vocabulary as well. I love how simple LitWits made writing an essay- this can be expanded upon for older/advanced writers, or kept simple for those just learning.

When it comes to resources we will use in our homeschool, LitWits is definitely at the top of my list! We will continue using these for our favorite books.

 

Read more reviews from the Crew by clicking the banner below:

LitWits-Homeschool-Reviews-2019

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Horses in History with Mattie Richardson {a review}

Y’all know when there is a chance to review a book in our home, we jump on the chance. =) We have been reading the Mattie Richardson’s Horses in History Series from Author Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books. Formerly known as North Dakota’s Teen Author, Mattie has written a series of books your children and family will love!

Appaloosy Books by Mattie Richardson

Each book centers around the story of a horse (or horses) from history-of course as a mom and homeschooler, this greatly appeals to me! My history buff daughter, 9, also loved the historical aspect of the books, and how the stories were told from the horse’s perspective. Mattie has written books full of love, adventure, integrity, and strength. All characteristics we want for our children. I hold my book standards pretty high; we don’t need ugly words and harsh language to get a point across, and these books definitely held up to my standards.


The first portion of each book begins with a dedication, which sometimes offers some insight to the author’s inspiration for writing the book. Dusty’s Trail, told from the view point of a horse on the Pony Express, begins with an article about the Pony Express, first published in 1860. Next, the reader will find a section of Words and Terms You Should Know. This section is in each of the books, with a small variation. In Day and Night, Mattie has made Civil War-era Words and Terms Used in this Book section. Golden Sunrise offers a Spanish Words Used in this Book section. So each book has a great intro to the topic through a helpful guide in the beginning; my daughter often referred back to this while reading, as did I. Appaloosy gives us the Nez Perce Words and Their Meanings as a helpful glossary to better understand as we read.

Appaloosy Series

The books are nicely bound, with a colorful paperback cover. Day and Night comes in at the thickest with 148 pages, Appaloosy with 125 pages,  Golden Sunrise with 98 pages, and Dusty’s Trail at 66 pages (plus a few un-numbered informational pages). Some books have a few illustrations throughout, the text is appropriate for early readers (not too small), and the pages are a smooth, high quality, crisp white.

Appaloosy is about a horse who wants nothing more than to be wild and free, until he finds the love of a girl named Faith. But when he is stolen and escapes captivity, Storm must decide if he wants his freedom or to go back to Faith on her family’s farm. My 9 year old says:

Faith gives her locket necklace to take Storm home from the man who had him. She was only the 2nd person he let ride him, of all the people that had owned or ridden him. I like his decision and the way the book ended.

Golden Sunrise tells the story of Cheyenne and Jared- “Jared is a man who wants to marry Olivia; they’ve been courting for about a year. But then he has to go off to war to fight for Texas’s freedom. He rides Cheyenne throughout the war, and they are buddies. Cheyenne becomes friends with Davy Crockett, which was really funny. I won’t tell you the end, but it is sweet.”

Golden Sunrise

Day and Night was my daughter’s favorite of all the books. “This book is about 2 horses, Shiloh and Tucker, they take turns having a chapter, so it can be confusing if you don’t pay attention. Tucker is the older horse and Shiloh is the younger sibling horse. Shiloh is lighter in color and smaller; he is gentle and gets very attached to people he likes. Tucker is older and brown. Neither of them wanted to fight in the war but Shiloh was stolen by a girl in the Confederacy, and Tucker got sold to the US army. You will have to read and see what they go through and if they find each other again.”

We also enjoyed using Mattie’s Enrichment Guide for Day and Night, along with the answer key. It includes: vocabulary, history, comprehension, creating your own stories, further reading, and even more! These include activities, coloring, developing character attributes for a story, biographies, geography, and the list goes on! This is definitely worth the small purchase price, and something you can integrate into your homeschool for a large range of ages.

 

Dusty’s Trail is about a boy, Levi who runs away with his horse, Dusty, to join the Pony Express. “When someone starts stealing the horses and killing their riders, Levi and Dusty push through more runs  (I think 3?) until they find someone they can tell. Eventually Levi gets captured, Dusty gets separated from him … and you have to read the rest (haha).”

Dusty's Trail

As you can see, the books were greatly enjoyed by my oldest daughter. They will be wonderful reads for my horse loving 5 year old. These books will be best understood by those 8 and up, but I think they can be read aloud to just about any age.

Mattie Richardson is clearly a talented young lady, she has more books coming out, that I know we will be reading! We have enjoyed the Horses in History Series immensely. There are countless way to use it as part of a homeschool curriculum, and they are wholesome books.

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Auditory Health for Children

baby hearing screen

Image Credit: Pexels

As a parent, there are many things we have to look out for when it comes to the health of our children. We feed them nutritious food, make sure they’re moving their bodies, brushing their teeth and take care of them when they’re sick. It is easy to let hearing and ear health get overlooked. If a child has a problem hearing, it isn’t visible, and often, until talking age, a hearing problem can go unnoticed. 

For the sake of child’s development, it is essential to look out for any hearing issues as early as we can, because from the moment we are born, we begin to develop language- which means any hearing loss needs to be detected and treated as early as possible. If you are worried about your own hearing health, then you can click here to find out more information about what you can do about that. 

If you have a young baby, there are some essential hearing milestones to look out for. Most newborn babies will startle or jump if they hear a sudden loud noise. Then by three months a baby usually recognizes their parent’s voice, and by six months a baby can often turn their eyes or head toward a sound. By twelve months, a baby can usually mimic some sounds and produce a few words.

As your baby becomes a toddler, signs of a hearing loss can include limited, weak, or no speech, being frequently inattentive, having difficulty learning, or becoming easily frustrated when there’s a lot of background noise. These can also signal sensory processing problems, so make sure you’ve done a little homework before speaking to your pediatrician. They can recommend a good occupational therapist if needed! You can use ear defenders to reduce background noise when you are in a noisy environment; we use them often in our home during homeschool. It helps my 7 year old focus on his work while I am teaching the 5 year old to read.

A child’s ability to hear can also influence social skills, the ability to both read and write, and learning to assess their environment- so the right medical and occupational therapies are important when needed.

To develop spoken language, children must be able to hear speech clearly and also to hear themselves. Although hearing loss occurs in the ears, the real affect is on the brain, as it is the auditory center of the brain that make sense of sound. The ears receive sounds and send signals to the brain, where they are processed to give meaning. 

If you are worried about your child’s hearing and have noticed that they are asking you to repeat yourself more often, or you think they’re not paying attention, then perhaps it could be something more. It is important to go and get it checked out early on, by a professional, who will be able to give your child the right treatment. 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Reading Skills for Kids with Reading Eggs {a review}

Reading Eggs Logo

We have used Math Seeds by Reading Eggs with my 4 year old. Now my second grade, newly turned 7 year old has been using their 200 Essential Reading Skills for Second Grade. You can check out all their workbooks HERE.

Reading Eggs Grade 2

These workbook style reading lessons are short, and will help improve reading and critical thinking skills. Lesson focus is divided by day, with days 1 and 2 for comprehension, day 3 spelling, day 4 a spelling lesson that builds from day 3, and day 5 a grammar lesson. There is also review built in to the lessons. The pages are colorful, with helpful tips and instructions that are easy to understand.

There are 72 comprehension lessons that includes both non fiction and fiction passages to give children exposure to many types of text; poetry, novels, plays, informational, persuasive and imaginative texts. 72 spelling lessons covering the most common spelling rules such as digraphs oo, ar, or, suffixes, homophones, the sound of k/ck, and the list goes on. 36 grammar lessons cover adverbs, possessive nouns, simple sentences, punctuation, capitalization, conjunctions, etc.

Parents and teachers will find an entire lesson layout covering the week, days, and the lesson focus with its objective (ex: verb endings, main idea, making inferences, endings:y, ey, irregular plurals, etc). There are 36 weeks of lessons, which you can choose to double up, or spread out. There is also a Year Planner chart page for those of us that are visual.

Reading Eggs Grade 2

What We Think About it & How We Use It

Lessons took us about 15-20 minutes tops, but usually less. My son enjoyed the grammar lessons most, but found all the skills fun and the lessons easy to follow. The lessons aren’t cut and dry; they vary with games, drawing, using pictures for clues, matching, sorting, and more! Sometimes I have to help Mister with a problem on the page, but mostly he is able to work independently after reading the lesson instructions.

In the comprehension lessons students use fun strategies like circling, drawing a shape above, boxing, underlining and coloring to mark what they know, have read, etc. This helps them find the information when answering the comprehension questions. Mister really enjoyed this part, because it was like “solving a puzzle.” =)

Reading Eggs Grade 2

Reading Eggs Grade 2

I like that these workbooks cover the basics, cover them well, and aren’t long boring lessons. Anytime we can cut table time down in our homeschool we do so! This workbooks definitely helps in that area, if you’re a workbook style student/parent combo. And, even if you’re not, but you want something for reviewing basic skills or practicing, these are great lessons that your child can get through without painful hours of frustration and complaining.

 

Connect with Reading Eggs

Click the banner below to read more reviews from the Crew-

240 Essential Reading Skills & 200 Essential Math Skills {Reading Eggs Reviews}

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Homeschool Planner with The Old Schoolhouse® {a review}

The Old Schoolhouse® has issued their Hey, Mama! Homeschool Planner for 2019/20 Year written by Gena Suarez! This year’s cover is absolutely beautiful. This homeschool planner is going to keep you organized, and on top of your game this year!

You may have read about how I plan before, but mostly I journal what we have done as we do it. The other thing I do is plan out developmental and educational goals for each child for the year (this includes the tot as well). These plans remind me of our goals as we go through the year, and I am able to write out how they have accomplished that goal, vs worrying about adding in a lot of worksheets/busy-work as “evidence” for our hard work. =)

The Hey, Mama! Homeschool Planner has metal spiral binding, thick, high quality paper, numbered pages, and so much potential for the school year! The monthly calendar spreads begin with July 2019, and provide ample room for writing in special dates, activities, doodles, lists, and all the things! All the monthly calendar spreads with their coordinating devotional, and notes pages are found in the front of the planner.

All the week of pages are found after that; their spreads again, offer freedom to plan in a way that fits you best! If you’re taking off a week- no need to fill in the dates and information. You can use the grid however best suits your family. There are columns for 5 children, and 7 rows to fill however you wish- days of the week or by subject.

My favorite part of the planner are the goals pages-

In the back of the planner are goals pages for each child (up to 5). These pages contain goals for the year, and then provide forms for you to break those goals down by semester.

So how I use these pages, and incorporate it into the rest of my planner?

I write out the goals for each child under the yearly form. Then I break that down into semester goals, on the correlating page. I will then go to the monthly spread we are working in (August for example), and jot down the goals we want to work on that month. This keeps the goals right in my face, where I will see it and know we have a focus, an intention for all we are doing (both at the school table and in life). That makes it so easy to know what we have accomplished, what we are still working on, struggling on, and brings to light what we may need to add to our goals.

 

The Hey, Mama! Homeschool Planner has room for everything you need to plan your school year! The space, mama devotionals, and planning forms will help keep you organized, on top of goals, and feeling confident! It has really helped me think about how we can simplify and amplify our homeschool learning!

They’ve already sold out 98% of this print run, and have no plans to print more this year. So hurry and get yours!

Connect with The Old Schoolhouse®

 

Click the banner below to read more reviews for the Hey, Mama! Homeschool Planner, from The Crew:

Hey, Mama! Homeschool Planner for 2019/20 Year {The Old Schoolhouse® Reviews}

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What Kind of CAR Does a T.Rex Drive? {children’s book review}

If you have children that love dinosaurs, then here is a new summer read for your family!

What Kind of CAR Does a T.Rex Drive? by Mark Lee, illustrated by Brian Biggs is a wonderfully fun book for your littles! What kind of car would you sell to a stegosaurus? What about a pterodactyl? Uncle Otto has no idea either- but Ava and Mickey-two kids with a lot of dino knowledge, are able to help him out.

This definitely brought about a *bunch* of giggles from my youngest 3 kids, and even the 8 year old got a kick out of the T.Rex’s vehicle.

All the super fun goodies our Penguin Random House Publicity Assistant sent us gave me some great ideas for this book.

  • Use it as a book club read aloud with your homeschool co-op book club
  • Read it as part of a dinosaur unit
  • Gift it to your favorite dinosaur loving kiddo-it will be a hit!
  • Use it in a transportation unit study with elementary students

The best thing about receiving a children’s book as a gift is the reading aloud that comes with it! Reading to our children is one of the best gifts we can give them-quality time with our undivided attention, exploring new worlds together.

What Kind of CAR Does a T.Rex Drive? is a perfect addition to your home library shelf!

 

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

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