Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sewing up Fun

Sewing is a dying skill in society but yet it is so useful to everyone.  All children should be at least taught to do basic mending.  Even if mom doesn't know how to sew there are helpful books out there to guide you step by step through the process.

If you're thinking about teaching your child to sew you can create your own curriculum using these links and any other useful resource.


Sewing Busy Book

Pre-sewing and sewing projects for preschoolers

Toddler Sewing Basket

Toddler Sewing- Sewing on Buttons

Getting Started

Kids Sewing Basket with Tutorial for pincushion and needle book

Travel Sewing Kit --Cutest Kit yet

One Yard Wonders Book- For beginners who have practiced the basics on the sewing machine.

Sewing Buttons

Buttons and Buttonholes

Outline Sewing Idea- For beginning hand sewing

Simple Projects

Book Mark

Kid's Sewing Projects with Index

18 Easy Sewing Projects for Beginners

Other Handi-Crafts

Crochet School

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

American Girl Unit Studies

Following the American Girl theme I'll share with you some free resources and not-so-free resources.

American Girl books, dolls, activity books, it all reminds me of my childhood.  My favorite was Samantha from 1904.  Mostly because it was the only one I ever got to read because at the time it was the only one my local library carried.  I remember getting the catalog and daydreaming about having my own American Girl doll.  I never received one because it was well out of my family's means but I always dreamed about having one.

Fast Forward 15-20 years and I still love American Girl and now I get to share them with my daughters.  My 8-year-old loves them and checks out as many AG books a the library as I will allow each week. She loves them all but her favorite is Marie-Grace from 1854.

Next year we are planning an AG Unit Study and I'm already coming up with plans and extra books and resources as it comes together.  Later this year I'll have lesson plans posted that you can use with Portraits of an American Girlhood.  It is an already put together Unit Study that follow the American Girl books.  The book doesn't cover Marie Grace, Cecile or Kaya since those books were published after the PoaAG came out.

Free American Girl Resources
Kaya Unit Study Has links and resources for doing a study on Native Americans.  You can also follow the Learning with American Girl Pin Board on the site.

Kaya Study and Homemade Lapbook from Shower of Roses

Kaya Lapbook that a homeschool mom has created using the Homeschool Share Templates.

Another Kaya Lapbook another hs mom created lapbook.  If nothing else it will give you ideas on creating your own AG lapbook for other AG characters.

American Girl Unit Study by Heart of the Matter. Great ideas for the frame work of planning out your study.

Meet Addy Study Centered around the Civil War and slavery.  Book list included for more in depth reading.

Unit Study themes to go along with specific characters from Homeschool Helper Online.

Unit Study Ideas to go along with all the AG characters from the Unlikely Homeschool.  Each character has a 3 week study.  While this is not a very "fleshy" study, it is a good start for planning your own.

Kit Kitridge Lapbook from Lapbook Lessons.

Felicity Lapbook and Study from Shower of Roses.  Also check out her Colonial Life Unit and Lapbook along with her American Revolution Unit and Lapbook to go along with your Felicity study.

Make your Own AG to-go Book.  Not a lapbook but more like a holder for little sticker paper dolls.  Just a fun craft to do with your little girl.

American Pioneer Party.  Could spark some ideas to add to your Kirsten Study.

American Girl Lapbooks for all characters except Marie-Grace, Cecile and Rebecca by Homeschool Share.

Not Free Resources
Portraits of an American Girlhood like I mentioned before is an already put together unit study for grades 2-5 for one whole school year.  I do have this book but have not used it yet.  It will be used next year.  I bought my copy used on Homeschool Classifieds.  

Lapbooks from Knowledge Box Central. They are currently on sale for $5.00 each.  I do own the Felicity and Kit lapbooks but haven't used them yet.
Meet Kit            

Lapbooks from Gear for Learning  with different American Girl characters for specific books.  I do not own any of these so I can't comment on their quality.

Pleasant Company published Teacher Guides for all the original American Girl characters in 1995.  They are a little on the pricey side and sometimes hard to find.  Keep watching them on ebay and Amazon and you may catch a good deal.  I don't own any of these but have been told they are worth the price (maybe).

You may also enjoy the AG World Books.  Each Character has her own book (except Marie-Grace, Cecile and Rebecca).

This is an exhaustive list that I've complied for my own personal use.  I hope you get a lot out of it and it enhances your American Girl study with your children.  If you know of any other resources, let me know and I'll research it and update my blog. 

 Happy Homeschooling!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Calendar Math Notebook Page Links

Calendar Math Notebooking pages are great for elementary kids who could use an everyday review of numbers, money and calendar terms.  There are so many pages designed for K-5th grade students.  Most listed are free downloads (with the exception of one) and none of them are the same so you get a nice variety.  Once you see them you may want to incorporate them into your homeschool.
It's really very easy.  Take the pages that you want to use and print out as many as you may need for the year/month/term and bind them together to have it in it's own notebook.  You can take it to your local office store and have them do it for you if you don't have your own binding machine.

So here they are!!

Spell Out Loud has a nice selection of homeschool blogs that have made their own pages.

Confessions of a Homeschooler now has a set of pages for Elementary students.

COAH also has a selection of pages for preschoolers.

 Notebooking Nook has a months of the year set that would be great for K-2nd grade to practice calendar terms and usage.

 A Calendar Notebooking page made by a teacher for 2nd-5th graders.

Pinned Image
 Another teacher created page.  My guess is this is made for 1st-3rd graders

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Teacher created page but this one practices more than calendar terms.  There is rounding, money, fact families and more.  Great if you need a little more variety for your day. It's listed as K-2nd but I believe 1st-3rd is more realistic.

Calendar Notebook Binder
Homeschool Creations has made the best set out there yet.  Their pages offer the most variety and it's a set rather than just one page.

Pinned Image
NOT FREE but a cheap download of calendar notebooking pages.  There are 11 pages and each has a theme for each month or holiday.  All the pages practice different concepts are are not the same from page to page.  If you're not satisfied with the free sets above you may want to check out purchasing this set.

Math Calendar Journal
Page for practicing calendar concepts for K-2nd graders

Calendar Journal Math Worksheet
This calendar page is specific for the 2012-2013 school year.

Like I said there are a variety of pages for free and you're sure to find the one you need from this line-up.  Have a blessed day!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Ultimate List of Math Literature Book Lists

Instead of posting LONG lists of math book lists and cluttering up everyone's Facebook page (like I usually do), I'll just post them in a blog post. has some of the best book suggestions based on different concepts.  Definitely should check this site out first.

Amazon website but they have the categories well organized and you can click on a concept and see pictures of the books and can purchase them easily.

Living Math books for Multiplication by Heart of the Matter

Money themed Living Math Book List by Heart of the Matter

22 Addition Living Math Books also by HOTM

Living Math Book List by Concept.  Click on "Search Categories" for concept list.

Not a book list but an article about Literature based math lessons with examples and printables

Nice living math book compilation.  Pictures for each book which makes it so easy to search for them but no links included.

Top Ten Books for Teaching Fractions

Book List by Homeschool Math

Living Math and Mathematical Classics

A great list of living math books by topic--even with pictures.

Long list of books by concept.  It would've been nice if they would've included links for the books but it's still a site worth visiting.

Math Literature by grade level then concept

Living Math Book List on Squidoo by Jimmie.  I love the list, I just wish it weren't in ABC order but rather by concept.

List of books to teach place value and base ten concepts

Teacher's Books for Living Math Lessons and Teaching with Math Literature (NOT FREE).

Loving Living Math ebook.  Great resource for beginners and has a book list at the end of the book.

Not Free but this book is a great resource if you're starting out with living math and teaching with math literature.  It is definitely worth the price.

Another Scholastic Teacher book.  This one is recommended by Cindy West who wrote Loving Living Math. It's out of print but you can still buy it from Scholastic Teacher Express in ebook form.
Put it on the site wish list and check back when they're having their Dollar Days Sale again.

Teaching Early Math Standards.  Another great Teacher book from Scholastic.

Hands On Math 2-3
Hands-On Math for Grades 2-3 is probably the most used math book in my personal library.  It is well illustrated, has age appropriate activities and a great book list in the back along with reproducible pages for the activities..  It is my favorite living math resource so far.

Hands-On Math for Grades K-1st.  Not my favorite book but still has great ideas and activities. Also has a book list in the back of the book.

Family Math
Family Math.  A great resource once you get past the fact that the illustrations aren't pleasing to the eye and don't present the activity well.

Teaching with Math Literature ebook.  This is probably the only thing I've listed that I don't personally own.  It's a cheap download and it's strictly math literature book lists by concept.


There you have it!  A long list of Living Math book lists pulled from my Homeschool Math Pinterest Board and going through my personal library for other titles.  I love living math and using math literature to help my kids understand (and come to love) math is well worth it being teacher intensive.  Check out my previous post that I wrote about Beginning Living Math. If you have any other questions, feel free to email me and I'll help you in any way that I can.

July Thrifty Round-up

Thrifty Homeschooling Posts from July 2012.

I started theme days this month and I've divided them by the theme days. Sorry the first week looks different.; Blogger don't let me change it.
1st week in July
Monday: Contractions
Tuesday: Science  
Wednesday: holiday- no posts 
Thursday: Holiday- Living Math 
2nd Week in July 
Monday: US Geography
Tuesday: No posts
Wednesday: Workboxes
Thursday: Tangrams
3rd Week in July 
No posts since I was sick
4th Week in July
Monday: Planners
Tuesday: Basic Notebooking
Wednesday: Toddlers and homeschooling
Thursday: Money (Math)
 5th Week in July
Monday= Book Reports
Tuesday= Nature Study
Wednesday= Homeschool Room
Thursday= Life Skills for Kids

Week of July 2nd
Monday: Contractions 
Now for out posts related to topic of the day: CONTRACTIONS.
Cut and paste sheets (2). Plain but good for kids who are easily distracted by colorful graphics.
Another cut and paste sheet. Only one page with a cute bee theme. Only practices "not" and "will" words.
Not a printable but a neat thing to put in a Language Arts/Phonics Notebook.
Another cut in paste. 1 sheet in black and white. The word order here seems random but a good sheet for review or assessment.
This is actually one of my favorite downloads. Rainy Day Contractions. It's a neat memory game for skill building in contractions. I would not use the whole game set at once. It's too many cards and very overwhelming to a child. I would pick 4-7 words (each word has a pair of cards) to review every 2-3 days. PLEASE print on white cardstock. If you use regular paper you will be able to see the other side. Not good for a memory game.
A whole literacy pack for Contractions. It has a little of everything in here.
Neat file folder game. Warning though, it does use alot of colored ink but it's not a big deal if you plan on using this with more than one child.
Tuesday: Science 
Science Theme Day!
This site has all kinds of neat things but today I'm featuring the "science video report". Have the kids watch the video like Bill Nye the Science Guy and they write a report afterwards to show that they were paying attention.
The Skeletal System Notebooking Pages. Sorry the image doesn't have anything to do with the pages.
How roller coasters are made. I can see a Unit study could be made with this outline.

Living Books can be hard to find for science. This blog has suggestions for books on different topics of science.
Virtual Dissections Online. Several animals to choose from. A great option for squeamish parents/kids.
 Thursday: Holiday- Living Math 
Here is a sneak peek of what's in my blog post. Math Notebooking Pages. The link will also be in my upcoming post. These pages are fun and easy to incorporate. I did not make these.
New Blog Post: Beginning Living Math. A very basic outline to Living Math. More detailed articles to come.
Subtract-It game. Hands-on learning with basic math
Free Math Curriculum from grades 3-5. This is the whole shebang. It's pretty hands-on and utilizes math notebooking and literature. It looks like fun.
Free math curriculum for K-2nd grade. This is the whole shebang. It's pretty hands-on and utilizes math notebooking and literature. It has all the printables you'll need. You might need a workbook or use a math worksheet generator for extra practice.
 Note: this site also has grades 6-8 for free but I haven't really looked through them.
Article about using foldables (like in lapbooking) in math notebooking.
 Math is in everyday life and the kitchen in no exception. This article offers great tips on teaching math in the kitchen.
Neat idea on teaching area and perimeter.
 Math notebooking ideas from Kindergarten to high school
Random Posts
Take a look at my pinterest page for homeschool planning. If you like making your own planner this is the board for you. I think there is something here for everyone. Even planning pages for bloggers.
Curriculum Planning Pages from Timberdoodle. Most pages are grade specific and can be used with their curriculum packages. There is also a blank planning set.
A homeschool mom's blog post. I agree with all of her points..... especially 1-5! I think I do get a high from buying books. lol
 Monday: US Geography
My own blog post: Our State Study. We have had so much fun with this study.
Love these US Geography games. My children and I have learned all our states and state capitals because of these games.
USA Coloring Pages in different variations.
50 states coloring pages
State Bingo Game
State Unit Studies
 Massive free state Notebooking file. The file says it's for grades 1-3 but I can see this being for grades 1-6

Wednesday: Workboxes
Workbox day! This is a modified workbox approach.
This is my favorite workbox system and it has free printables
Homeschool Share has great printables and things to put in the workboxes
Modified Workbox. plus File Folder Games
Most unusual modified workbox.
Thursday: Tangrams 
Tangram Day! Tangrams are a math manipulative. To get a better understanding of what they are and how it will improve your child's spatial awareness this article will get you started. It has Tangram templates, activities and literature links.
Tangram and Pattern block puzzles
Tangram activities and literature. Grandfather Tang's Story is one of my favorite math literature books.
More Tangram template and puzzles in PDF form with choice of black and white or color. Nice option when you're low on one of your ink cartridges.
I love this Tangram bag and Tangram card set on a ring this mom made. Keeps everything in one place.
Teacher blog post on Tangram activities and Tangram ART. Great idea.
DIY Fabric Tangram set plus bag. Great for travel and different texture for sensory sensitive children.
Random Posts 
High School Credit Planner
Do you love the Little House on the Prairie books? Have you read "Farmer Boy" about Almanzo Wilder's (Laura's husband) boyhood? This family has taken a field trip to visit the old homestead. A wonderful post and it makes me wish I could go to Malone, NY. Beautiful pictures and references to the book.
Write a letter to a Disney character and get a postcard in return. Neat idea to practice letter writing.
Sharing this because it's an awesome blog post for a "homeschool" room. Very organized small space.
Free Canada Notebooking Pages from Currclick
Handwriting sheets, worksheets and copywork. They have collected some great links for handwriting. ALL FREE!
Free Place Value Poke Game. My kids love these poke games and they come in all kinds of math concepts and phonics too! Get your freebie and check the other poke games out (Not free but a good value). Just a note from experience: print these out on cardstock otherwise the answer will show through to the other side.
Fact Family Triangle Printable. A fun dice review for addition and subtraction. Print on cardstock and laminate for a fun, reuseable math resource.
Monday: Planners
Free 2012-2013 school year calendar. Landscape and portrait format
Always a winner: Donna Young's planning sets
For FIAR users: Five in a Row planning sheet
Not a planner but an article on the different ways you can schedule your school year.
Customizable weekly student planner. This one is the one I use to keep my kids on track and on task.
Printable school year calendar that you color in. Use different colors for weeks off, holidays, birthdays, school weeks, doctor appointments and more.
Neat self-made planner. Great for those of us who write our own curriculum.
Tuesday: Basic Notebooking 
Notebooking Day! You can't mention notebooking without mentioning Jimmie. She is one of the best bloggers on this method.
Article on Notebooking. Great for beginners.
Has lots of free notebooking pages by homeschooling moms
How to make your own notebooking pages
Don't forget to check out my "Notebooking" pinterest board. It has LOTS of links and free notebooking pages.
Wednesday: Toddlers and homeschooling
Toddlers and Homeschooling: A helpful article on what to do about Toddlers when you're homeschooling
Quiet Time Bins.
Busy bags are another great idea. The idea is that these only come out when it's "school time" to keep them special.
Quiet books: another cute idea I see floating around on pinterest. I may make one for my toddler as a Christmas present.
Another great article on Toddlers and Homeschooling. Keeping a workboxes for little ones.

Thursday: Money (Math) 
 Money Math Day~ Print your own play money. I like the realistic looking (and sized) play money rather than the tiny bills. I laminate them for durability. I had problems printing the $20 bill though.
Print out a coin money dice for your own homemade money game.
Online Money games
Coin War. Neat fast paced game
Cha-Ching money game. Kind of like Race to a dollar
Money fractions foldable
Money match up game. Can also be used for a memory game. I suggest printing on cardstock and laminating.
Great online money games on this site
Monday= Book Reports 
Lots of great printable book report pages
More Book Report forms by Grade level
Article about alternatives to Book Reports for elementary aged students. Especially great for kids who are reluctant writers or have problems with their fine motor skills.
More creative book report formats
Cereal Box Book Report. How fun is that?
More Book Report Forms. A little more creative than your regular forms.
More Forms. They're pretty plain jane but that can be great for a kid who gets easily distracted by a busy page.
Tuesday= Nature Study 
Nature Study Day! Most of these pins are from Pinterest. Isn't Pintrest just awesome!
Wildflower Coloring Pages.
This site has great blog posts about nature study with your kids but this page that I'm posting are notebooking pages. Some are generic nature study pages and some are a specific theme. Great freebies.
Huge list of Nature Themed Children's Books
Audubon Society: Just for Kids website
Your A-to-Z Guide to Summer Backyard Nature Fun
Birding in Mississippi. For members in my home state.
Nature Study for Children. Great article on Squidoo with lots of useful links.
Don't forget to check out my "Nature Study" Pinterest board.
Wednesday= Homeschool Room 
Homeschool Room Day! Lots of great ideas for organizing or decorating your homeschool room or area.
This blog post has lots of great links to other homeschool bloggers and their rooms posts. Love their ideas!
A Tale of Two Homeschool Rooms. I love the transition she made and it's so true. The first year always seems to copy the public school classroom model and then you loosen up and do what really works for your family and her room reflects that.
Sort of a homeschool room. This lady has students that come to her home and she teaches them. I love her room(s) and organization.
Not a homeschool room but I really like the set up with a bonus sewing room. I'm a little jealous. Can you tell?
Not a room design but a simple craft for pocket organizers. Now you don't have to but that expensive set from a teacher supply store.
Math manipulative organization plus free printable labels.

But I like these labels more.
I love this idea for little supplies that you need but don't really have a place for in your homeschool area.
I also have a Pinterest board for "School Room" ideas. More ideas there for your homeschool room.
Thursday= Life Skills for Kids 
Life Skills for Kids Day! This site has a listing of what kids should be able to do around the house and for themselves for the ages of 2-18. Great list and it's printable.
List of things all kids should learn before they're teenagers.
Easy Table Setting Tips for Kids
Life skills list with printables. Great ideas like how to use a phone book and phone skills.
Teaching kids about grocery shopping and sales flyers
First Aid Skills for Kids.
Teach kids to sew with 100 easy projects. Great tutorials with pictures. Some come with PDF files that can be printed out. Would make a great sewing curriculum.

Posted by other members
free bible curriculum for age 3 to kindergarten
free bible curriculum for 1st to 6th grade
not sure if it's always free or just right now.'s-Print!---Letters?affiliate_id=122076
saw this on another homeschool page and wanted to share. these are benchmarks for middle school to senior.
benchmarks for K to 5th grade.
just in case some on here are not part of a homeschool group, this site has hs id cards. print your own for free or have them print a card for you for $6.95. good for those times when you need a teacher discount. joanns. michaels. hancocks.