Free Printable Easter Activity Sheets

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Easter might still be a few weeks away but we’re celebrating early by giving you these printable Easter activity sheets for FREE, so you have time to incorporate them into your lesson plans.

Your child can practice Easter vocabulary, reading and word identification with the three fun printable activity sheets.

Just fill out the form below to download them. If you’re looking for more free stuff, be sure to visit our store on Gumroad.

Free Printable Easter Activity Sheets

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5 Vocabulary Games for Middle School

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One of the most effective ways to improve test scores, writing, and reading comprehension is to improve vocabulary! Why have students copy down definitions or make old-school flash cards when they can learn new words with some fun games? Here are 5 vocabulary games for middle school students you can try in your homeschool!

1. Play Vocab Bingo! Students write down a different word in each box from a list of vocabulary words. When the teacher reads the definition of your word, the student marks it. When the student get a “bingo” (blackout, diagonal, horizontal, or vertical), they win! This game can be played with just one student. It’s not necessarily a race to win! Individual students may benefit most by playing the blackout method, where they must mark every word on their bingo sheet.

2. Roll a word! Have your student write down specific vocabulary words and then roll a dice. Each # on the dice gets a task (1-give the definition, 2-give a synonym & an antonym, 3-write a sentence, 4-draw a picture, 5-make a connection, and 6-your choice). See more from Southern Fried Teachin’ here!

3. Play Pictionary. Have students illustrate their vocabulary while you (or other students) guess the word and its meaning. This works especially well with content specific vocabulary words such as though specific to science and social studies.

4. Make up meanings. Write the actual definition mixed with fake definitions of a word. You may also have your student generate some fake definitions if there are multiple students playing. The student will guess the real definitions. This works well with brand new words or challenging words that may be seen on standardized or advanced placement tests (i.e. SAT, ACT practice tests).

5. Free Rice: This popular online game allows students to answer vocabulary questions while giving back to the community and the world! Free Rice has a variety of vocabulary subjects from English to foreign languages (Spanish, German, French, Italian, and Latin) to more content specific vocabulary for Math, Science, and Humanities. Check out the SAT prep section as well! For every correct answer, the United Nations World Food Program will donate 10 grains of rice to a country in need. Learn and give back!

These five fun vocabulary games with make learning new words engaging and meaningful without the monotony of flashcards or memorizing definitions. Try one or more out with your kids!

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10 Free Amazon Kindle Books to Use in Your Homeschool

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If you have a Kindle device or one of their apps for reading Kindle books on your mobile device or desktop, you can take advantage of so many ebooks for free. Here are our favorites that are available right now.

Remember, these may not stay available for free for very long so be sure to grab yours while you can!

10 Free Homeschool Books

Free Amazon Kindle Books for High School

The New SAT Study Guide

Varsity Tutors’ New SAT Prep Study Guide has almost 700 pages of content to help you prepare for the New SAT exam. In this book, you’ll find helpful and challenging study material for the New SAT Writing and Language, New SAT Math, New SAT Reading, and New SAT Essay sections. There are over 475 professionally-written questions that will help you practice, and a New SAT practice test to assess your strengths and weaknesses. If you’re preparing to take the New SAT and want to score well, download this award-winning book onto the device of your choice today.

Algebra – The Very Basics

If you’re looking for a gentle introduction to basic mathematics, look no further. This book picks you up at the very beginning and guides you through the foundations of algebra using lots of examples and no-nonsense explanations. Each chapter contains well-chosen exercises as well as all the solutions. No prior knowledge is required.

Speed Reading: Increase Your Reading Speed by 200%: Double Your Learning Skills In Less Than 7 Hours

Speed reading is a technique vastly used by all sorts of people, or at least attempted by many people. The principle is simple, really. Instead of reading one page per minute, for example, you’ll be reading two pages per minute.

Free Amazon Kindle Books for Preschool and Kindergarten

Counting One to 100 Math for Kids: Early Childhood Education

Mr. Bookworm shares counting to100 by ten and then shares how to get to 100 counting by one. It’s remembering twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty, and ninety that’s the hard part for young children. After that, counting to 100 is easy and the child feels confident and empowered.

Preschool and Kindergarten, How We Learn to Read: Reading Readiness Made Easy Ages 4 to 7 Years

The Magic in Phonics – Explaining the Mystery of Reading to Young Children. Regardless of what adults may believe, children feel stress when it comes to reading. Most times, they pretend to read, but they’re smart enough to know they memorized the words in their favorite bedtime story. This short cute, 10-page book takes the mystery and the stress out of learning to read. Children are introduced to phonics in a way that shows reading can be easy and fun. Of course, we won’t tell them about all the exceptions to the rules when learning to read English. We’ll leave that for when they’re older. Scroll up and grab a copy today.

PHONICS – A Sounds – Book 1: Improve Your Child’s Spelling and Reading Skills- Elementary

Phonics are an essential skill that all beginner readers must master. Do you want to help your child to develop their spelling, reading and writing skills? Work through this Phonics book with your child and they will learn how to spell all the major sounds that start with a. 170 pages of A sounds! You can use this book with a young child who is just starting school or with an older child who has missed out on the basics. If a child doesn’t know their phonic sounds…they will always struggle with spelling, reading and writing.

Free Classic Books on Amazon

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Thomas “Tom” Sawyer is the title character of the Mark Twain novel THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER (1876). He appears in three other novels by Twain: ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN (1884), TOM SAWYER ABROAD (1894), and TOM SAWYER, DETECTIVE (1896). Sawyer also appears in at least three unfinished Twain works, HUCK AND TOM AMONG THE INDIANS, SCHOOLHOUSE HILL and TOM SAWYER’S CONSPIRACY. While all three uncompleted works were posthumously published, only Tom Sawyer’s Conspiracy has a complete plot, as Twain abandoned the other two works after finishing only a few chapters.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN is a novel by Mark Twain, first published in the United Kingdom in December 1884 and in the United States in February 1885. Commonly named among the Great American Novels, the work is among the first in major American literature to be written throughout in vernacular English, characterized by local color regionalism. It is told in the first person by Huckleberry “Huck” Finn, a friend of Tom Sawyer and narrator of two other Twain novels (Tom Sawyer Abroad and Tom Sawyer, Detective). It is a direct sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Free Amazon Kindle Books for Homeschooling Parents

Homeschooling: It’s Easier Than You Think!

This book, written by a homeschooling mom, provides just what you are looking for. It not only details the specific method of home education similar to that which more and more homeschooling parents are discovering, but it also gives low-cost, fun ideas for presenting concepts and skills in all of the major subject areas. Finally, it demonstrates how this homeschooling method might look in your family.

So You Want to Be a Homeschooler?: Information and Encouragement for the Journey

There are loads of websites and books and courses designed to help you start homeschooling. But this book is different. It’s practical and has real, useful advice that can help you begin your homeschooling journey and be successful.

Have you noticed any great books for homeschoolers available for free on Amazon? Share them in the comments section!

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Writing Units for Middle School

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Proper writing is one of the most essential skills your child will need in highschool, college and beyond.

In this day of short-hand texting, emojis and gifs, writing has become a lost art.

Getting middle schoolers engaged and enjoying writing isn’t difficult though! I’ve found that helping the find inspiration and providing them with simple and clear instructions is the key. That’s why I’ve created the 4 writing units for middleschoolers for you to use in your own homeschool program. Each of these can be used as a stand-alone unit or you can purchase the all (and save money!) for a comprehensive writing program.

Report Writing Unit for Middle School

This unit is designed for homeschoolers in grades 5 – 8. It contains 10 lessons that will guide your student through the process of writing a report, from start to finish. This unit can be used on it’s own or combined with any of our 3 other writing units.

Journaling Unit for Middle School

Journaling is a great way to introduce your child to wrting. This unit is designed
for homeschoolers in grades 5 – 8. It contains 7 lessons that will guide your
student through the process of starting, and maintaining, a aily journal. This unit can be used on it’s own or combined with any of our 3 other writing units.

Writing A Book Review Unit for Middle School

This unit is designed for homeschoolers in grades 5 – 8. It contains 9 lessons that
will guide your student through the process of writing a book review.
Use it as part of your literature curriculum, on it’s own or combined with any of our 3 other writing units.

Writing Poetry Unit for Middle School

This unit is designed for homeschoolers in grades 5 – 8. It contains 7 lessons that
will guide your student through the process of writing poetry. Use it as part of
your literature curriculum, on it’s own or combined with any of our 3 other writing units.

Writing Unit Bundle for Middle School

Save money with this bundle of writing units! This bundle of writing units is designed for homeschoolers in grades 5 – 8. It contains 4 units (a total of 33 lessons) that will guide your child through process of writing a report, book review, journal and poetry, step-by-step.

If you’re looking for more great printable homeschool resources, click this link to visit our store on Gumroad.

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18 Curriculum Resources for Homeschoolers

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Are you looking for a comprehensive homeschool curriculum that’s prepared with multiple subjects, or do you desire to supplement the curriculum you already have with additional trusted homeschool resources?  You’ve come to the right place because this is a list of top homeschool curriculum that has been used and approved by thousands of homeschoolers.

18 Curriculum Resources for Homeschoolers

Times Tales

Kids will learn their times tables in an hour… for real!

If your kids aren’t quite “getting it” when it comes to the multiplication tables, use this supplemental multiplication resource. Times Tales is a very popular series of videos and games that use stories to help kids memorize their upper times tables.

Times Tales is a great example of a program that uses both stories and visuals to make learning the upper times tables easy and fun for kids. The video’s cute, simple stories provide students with a “memory peg,” allowing them to quickly recall otherwise abstract multiplication facts.

Here’s what one mom says about Times Tales: “Listen – Times Tales is amazing. If I can sit down with my son for an hour, or for two half-hours; follow-up for 15-minute sessions and he still knows the information; then anyone can do this.”

Maestro Classics Music Collection

Help your children foster an appreciation for music.

Maestro Classics prides itself on musical representations of classic stories. One of the most classic of these stories is “The Tortoise and the Hare,” which is entertaining and provides a good lesson about achieving goals by moving at a slow and steady pace.

Stephen Simon directs truly amazing work and with included activity books, your students can get the story behind the music!

One homeschool mom said, “I wanted to teach my kids music appreciation, but I don’t have a lot of background in it myself. These CDs have filled my need – the booklets provide information about the composers, the cultural background of the piece, information about the instruments, and activities.”

Complete Curriculum Digital Textbooks

A comprehensive and affordable homeschool curriculum.

This homeschool curriculum package covers every grade and subject for Kindergarten through 5th grade, complete with a teacher’s manual. If you’re looking for a first step in your homeschool curriculum, this is comprehensive package that you can build your lessons off of.
The digital curriculum includes many interactive activities that reinforce every subject – from language arts to social studies. The science experiments are especially hands-on, and include fun activities at every grade level.

One homeschool mom said, “My kids are really loving these texts. I’m able to teach all three of my kids with these texts and know that we’re good for the next couple of years at least.”

LearnToMod Minecraft

Add basic programming skills to your homeschool curriculum.

Sharpen your child’s computer and critical thinking skills using your their favorite video game. This Minecraft program allows for users to modify the game through computer programming and helps them learn JavaScript. These “mods” are quite popular and help Minecraft players take the game to the next level.
Why add computer programming to your homeschool curriculum? Professions in computer science are not only some of the highest paying jobs out there, they are also some of the highest satisfaction jobs!

“One thing I love about LearnToMod is that each lesson is very focused on a specific task to teach. This makes the lessons short, easy to understand, and easy to put into practice. This is really important for my highly distractible kiddo. Each lesson includes a short video and step by step instructions that help him stay on task.”

Learn Math Fast

Use pennies to teach tough math concepts!

This homeschool math program makes math learning fun and easy. The Learn Math Fast System teaches 1st to 12th grade math with a unique approach, making it possible for students to start over from the beginning and still advance several grade levels in just one year.

Perfect for struggling students and gifted students. The older you are the faster you’ll learn. If your homeschool kid hates math or is struggling to retain math lessons – this program is worth checking out.

“I have been very pleased with this math system. I never expected it to make such an extreme difference! My 8 yr old son has never completed a page of anything without being prompted to ‘move onto the next problem/question.’ He does some pages for ‘fun.’ I can’t say enough how pleased I am to have this system. Love it.” – Charlie, Homeschooler

Online Autism Training Course

Learn new strategies to empower your student.

This Autism training is helpful for all educators who work with students that have Autism, or to family members of children with Autism. This course is also helpful to individuals who are studying to become an educator.
The comprehensive 9-part training program covers topics pertaining to the implementation of basic Austism training methods.

“Information of ABA has empowered me to help my child overcome trial and obtain new skills. Our relationship is now strong and we have a much improved quality of life since we communicate well and interact more. This training is absolutely vital for parents of children with autism to understand. We are very lucky to Have Special Learning!”

Bank It! Money Management Game

Teach kids to save money and shop wisely.

Manage your money wisely and shop for a good bargain while saving money for your bike! Bank It! introduces concepts of saving, interest, and giving. Up to 4 players can play this board game that develops skills in counting money, decision making, and mindful spending.

Perfect for kids ages 8 and up. This board game is a great way to show kids how to manage their allowance, or start a conversation about family budgeting. If your homeschool kid wants a job, this is a great way to prepare them for earning money (and saving it!).

One homeschool mom suggests you replace the play money with real coins and dollars to prepare kids to handling money!

Hooked on Phonics Reading Kit

Learn to read in 20 minutes a day!

Because kids learn in different ways, this program includes a variety of multi-sensory tools that appeal to visual, auditory, and experience-based learners. With the Hooked on Phonics® step-by-step approach, kids learn about letters and sounds, learn how to put them together to form words, and then read great stories and books.

hooked on phonics

Each lesson takes about 20 minutes, making the complete Learn to Read kit perfect for parents and homeschoolers looking for an effortless reading program for children ages 3 to 8.

“I’m SO glad I bought this kit! My daughter has had such a great time working with the program (which was a bonus to me) and she’s now reading!”

Anatomy Adventure Series

A monthly science & history adventure delivered to your door!

Each Know Yourself Adventure is anchored by an educational comic book highlighting anatomy, history, and civic engagement. These comic books, together with an adventure guide and other cool stuff will introduce kids to foundational learning about the systems of the human body through collaborative, hands-on, STEAM-based activities and side by side learning.

Delivered monthly, each Know Yourself Adventure includes a Time Skaters comic, science experiments and corresponding materials, historical lessons and healthy recipes.

adventure kit

“These books are very colorful. My kids like to look at them and they don’t even realize that they are learning. The books make it very easy to learn a large amount of information easily.” -Katie L.

ShillerMath

A research-based math curriculum with music, manipulatives & more!

ShillerMath publishes research-based curricula, music, manipulatives, flashcards, and workbooks for students of ages 4-13 (including pre-K and pre-Algebra), with beautifully designed lessons, diagnostic tests with answer keys, songs, and Montessori-based manipulatives. No Montessori or math/language arts knowledge is required and there’s zero lesson preparation – just read (or have your child read) what’s in quotes and you’re good to go!

shillermath

Students using this approach consistently outperform their peers. ShillerMath includes authoritative materials and lessons used by thousands of Montessori schools worldwide and is the curriculum of choice for thousands of homes and classrooms nationwide.

“This is our third year of ShillerMath! After a previous experience with math in a school setting, I never expected math to be my daughter’s favorite subject or to be a source of confidence for her.”

College Prep Genius

Make sure your homeschooled teen is putting their best foot forward on college applications.

College Prep Genius provides an eCourse on how to ace the SAT and other standardized tests. 85% of colleges admit and give money based on the SAT so learn to answer questions in 30 seconds or less and raise your score high to get scholarships!
There are 12 easy self-directed/mom-friendly lessons. Each lesson is 45-60 minutes with a complete step by step homework guide. Students have raised their test scores as much as 600 points, become National Merit Scholars and gone to Ivy-League colleges for free. Test prep can be used as an elective on your student’s high school transcript.

“My son was told he would never go to college because of his low test scores after 3 attempts. We heard Jean at a local event and after the program, Buddy raised his SAT score 600 points and received $230,000 to Brown University!-Thank You So Much!”-Joe Y. Keene, TX

Free Math Games by TeachMe

Take your child’s math skills to a new level with these fun games.

Math Games combines interactive skill testing questions with exciting games to cover the full range of math skills, taking practice through play to an entirely new level! Parents and teachers have access to progress reports, individualized learning plans, and student management tools to facilitate truly innovative digital learning without all the time consuming grading and overhead.
Practicing math through play is the most engaging way to reach today’s modern student. It really combined technology with learning in a way that captures attention and builds a sense of fun of learning. These games make learning fun!

Sanela posted on Edmodo, “I want my students to have fun while learning and this is the thing. Kids love games, and now they love math games.”

The Fresh 20 Homeschool Meal Planning

Homeschool meal planning with fresh, nutritious ingredients and easy to follow recipes.

The Fresh 20 is a meal planning service created for busy families who want to eat fresh, healthy food without the stress of “what’s for dinner?” Meal plans rely on just 20 fresh, seasonal ingredients per week and are created by a professional chef who utilizes each ingredient to make meals that are high on taste and low on budget.

Each week you get a prep guide, shopping list and original recipes everyone will enjoy (even picky eaters). We offer Classic, Vegetarian, Gluten Free and Paleo meal plans to cater to your family’s specific dietary requirements.

“The meals are amazing. My husband loves that almost every night is a new recipe, and my shopping budget is always less when I “shop The Fresh 20.” ~Jillian, PA

Red Apple Reading

Sharpen your child’s reading skills with these fun lessons and games!

Get the most value for your child learning to read with Red Apple Reading. Fun, safe, effective and robust, this program includes over 100 hours of game-based learning, teaches phonics, phonemic awareness, sight words, vocabulary, fluency and reading comprehension while your child plays games and learns at his/her own pace!

Uses proven research-based practices and was developed by a team of educational experts! Practice with 50+ original storybooks and printable support material. Works on PC, Mac, iOS, and Android, and comes with a 30 day no hassle money-back guarantee. Start your child learning to read today!

 

“I have to limit how long the girls spend and how many lessons they can do. I’ve seen tremendous strides. The confidence surprises me daily. If you are looking for extra help when it comes to getting young kids reading, I very much recommend giving Red Apple Reading a try.”

VideoText Interactive Math

Foster independent learning with these videos for middle and high school math.

Recommended by Dr. Jay Wile of Apologia Science as “…truly, the best that I have seen,” VideoText Math specializes in multi-media programs for middle & high school mathematics (Pre-Algebra through Pre-Calculus).

Focusing on the “why” behind concepts, video lessons are supported by notes, worktexts, tests, step-by-step solution guides, and a toll-free helpline for additional support. While parents and students are often frightened by the prospect of teaching high school mathematics, VideoText Algebra and Geometry programs are the perfect solution for continuing home education. Visit our website to request a FREE sampler DVD or login with guest access to VideoText Online!

“After completing the VideoText Algebra course in 1.5 years, my 13 yo son took the college Algebra CLEP test and passed! Through the clear video instruction and the practice problems, quizzes, and tests, he learned the algebraic concepts quite thoroughly. Many thanks to all of you at VideoText!” -Jill H.

Wings to Soar Online Academy

Fill in your student’s learning gaps.

Is your child struggling with reading, spelling, writing, or math? Are you starting to worry your “late-bloomer” actually has a real problem needing intervention? Does your teenager need more independence? Are you feeling less confident to teach certain subjects?

Wings to Soar Online Academy specializes in helping dyslexics and other outside-the-box learners gain skills and confidence through custom Path to Success™ Learning Plans for K-12th. Enroll in just targeted intervention on up to full enrollment. Get started with your free Just-Right Level™ Assessments today!

wings to soar

“Wings to Soar supports children with learning differences to fill in any gaps in their learning in a fun way. It brought me peace of mind to know that I had a professional, who was very affordable compared with a therapist, helping me to meet their learning needs.” Liz M.

School of Rock

Learn to rock your world.

The School of Rock has a unique approach to teaching music that helps kids blossom in unimaginable ways. The performance program gives every kid who participates the opportunity to work with a team and perform live in front of an audience. And along the way, they learn to work toward a goal, go outside their comfort zone, and kill a riff from their favorite song. Visit School of Rock’s website for more info on programs, camps for all ages, and click here to browse their 27 locations and find a school nearest you!

school of rock

“My son has been involved with School of Rock for two years and it is wonderful. He is learning musical skills, but also being exposed to lots of great music. The instructors are talented, encouraging and great communicators and the other students become friends fast.” -Megan

Nancy Drew: Codes & Clues

In one of the most creative and educational coding games for kids, as a member of Nancy Drew’s De-TECH-Tive crew, choose disguises, find clues, and program your robot puppy to solve the mystery of a missing project at the Tech Fair.

nancy drew

The coding challenges increase as the story progresses and leads to a Super Coder award. Not only is it a great way for girls to get some basic education on coding skills and knowledge, but it’s also a great way to keep them entertained and challenged.

“An amazing introduction to teach kids coding in an easy, approachable way.” – The Toy Insider

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What to Teach When Homeschooling First Grade

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Though some parents do choose to teach preschool and first grade at home, first grade is the level at which most parents begin to focus on academics and learning milestones. Here’s a simple guide for what to cover and develop in first grade:

What to Teach When Homeschooling First Grade

First Grade Language Arts

By the end of first grade, your child should be able to read about 150 sight words,  decode stories using basic phonics and pictures, read first grade level books, listen attentively, and understand the purpose, settings, and plot of stories. He should also understand action, descriptive, and naming words, spell some sight words, and understand how to use question marks and periods for sentences. At this age and stage, he should also learn to use pronouns and conjunctions.

First Grade Writing

By the end of this year, your child should be able to form complete sentences of sight words and names she knows. She should be able to hold her paper and pencil in the correct position.

First Grade Math

In first grade, your child should be able to count up to 100, skip count, understand place value, and grasp concepts such as less than, more than, and equal to. He should also be able to add numbers up to a sum of 20 and subtract from 20, do mental math involving basic addition and subtraction, and tell time by the hour and half-hour. At this stage, children should also grasp ½ and ¼ and understand the concept of symmetry.

First Grade History

At this stage, your child should learn more about communities and learn the origins of the United States and state and local communities. He should learn some local and national customs, what citizenship means, and how people and communities of the past compare today. He should also learn to use a simple map and identify the United States and his state on a globe.

First Grade Science

In first grade, your child should learn about solids, liquids, and gases; learn about earth and space; compare plants to animals; and learn about different types of energy, including light and sound.

First Grade Health

By the end of first grade, your child should understand the basics of germs, the five senses, and the importance of healthy food. At this age and stage, he should also learn healthy ways of dealing with anger, disappointment, and stress.

First Grade Art

At the first grade level, your child should be able to create art on paper and canvas, use clay and mix colors, and explain how a piece of art makes him feel.

For more details on what to teach when you homeschool first grade and the other 13 grades, check out our Year-by-Year Teaching Guide for Homeschoolers:

Click the arrow in the widget below for a preview of what’s included!

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5 Fun Ways to Teach Fractions

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Learning about fractions is an integral part of any middle school curriculum. Teaching these concepts can be tough, but these fun ways to teach fractions can make the probability of learning so much stronger! (I love Math puns.)

1. Use Fraction Manipulatives

Using fraction strips can help students see the processes rather than just know the math. The build it, draw it, write it model allows students to use fraction strips (small pieces of paper with fractions listed that students can build and put together to show the different operations) to actively model and show what they learn with their class. Students build the fractions with their strips, draw it out on paper, then write out the equations.

See it in action on Teaching Channel. Here’s a step-by-step lesson on using Fraction Strips with Teaching Mahollitz. Her practices are from an elementary classroom but definitely work with middle school students!

2. Break out the Dominoes

Dominoes are a perfect way to bring games and math together! Hold the dominoes vertically (the top number is the numerator; the bottom number is the denominator) and have students place the numbers on a number line in order. Play with both improper and proper fractions, or you can make sure the smaller number is on top to just focus on proper fractions. Learn more about number lines and fractions at Scholastic.com.

Working on operations? Line up two dominoes vertically and choose an operation. Have students write out and verbally explain their process!

3. Get Cookin’!

Make fractions relevant by showing practical applications outside the curriculum. Use different measuring tools and bake some cookies! Double recipes to teach multiplication with fractions. Talk about proportions and ratios by making a salad with several different kinds of fruit. Don’t have the facilities and supplies for kitchen activities? Check out this idea from Girl Tech and convert your favorite recipes based on the number of people who will partake!

4. Musical Fractions

Your students will be sure to think the glass is half full of fun with this fraction activity! (Well, it may be a 1/4 or 2/3. . .). First, fill up glasses with different fractions of water. Next, add some food coloring for fun. This also lets the students know it is the amount (fraction) of water in the glass (not the color) that makes the difference in the pitch when they hear the different sounds made when tapping the glasses with spoons! Let students write their own melodies by writing out the fractions on a piece of paper. Learn more about this and other magical math activities at weareteachers.com.

5. Math Mosaics

Build math mosaics with fractions of different colors. Teachers can provide the different challenges (1/4 of the design is blue, 1/4 yellow, 1/2 red). This activity makes for prime differentiation as teachers can challenge students with more difficult patterns or have the students come up with their own challenge. Designs can be completed with markers or crowns on grids or with pieces of tissue or construction paper. The possibilities are endless! See more ideas for math mosaics at Scholastic.com.

These hands-on activities can simplify the process of teaching fractions, and make it more fun!

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Living Simply Series: Maintaining a Decluttered Home

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I may the be odd one, here, but I really do love cleaning house and organizing things. The problem has always been the upkeep after I’ve organized everything. It’s taken a bit of “new-habit-forming” but I feel like I’ve (finally) got ahold of things.

Do you find it difficult to keep up with the maintenance of decluttering? If so, you’ll find our third installment of our Simple Living Series helpful!

If you didn’t grab your FREE Living Simply Bundle last month you can still get it! (link at the bottom of this article)

Maintaining a Decluttered Home

So you’ve followed all the advice and decluttered your house. But all too soon, you realize that you have clutter creep. Stuff is starting to build up again. Maybe you ended up replacing some of the stuff you got rid of or maybe everyone isn’t pitching in to keep the house decluttered. Here are a few simple, quick habits that all family members can do to keep the house decluttered.

Deal with mail immediately — The last thing any of us wants to do after a long day at work is deal with the mail. But since it has to be done, do it immediately. Throw ads and other junk mail directly in the trash or recycling bin. Put bills and other important papers in the specified place and shred sensitive information that doesn’t need to be filed. To make this even easier, make all your bills, banking and other statements paperless and get your name on the “no junk mail” list. Before long, there will be very little mail to deal with at all.

Nightly pick-up routine — As you gather in the living room in the evenings, each family member brings stuff with them—a mug, a glass, a snack plate, an iPod, a hand-held video game or homework. Have you ever noticed how frequently that stuff stays in the living room, making it cluttered? Set a new rule that each night before heading to bed, everyone picks up everything they brought into the room that evening and puts it back where it belongs, in their out-the-door basket, for example. It takes 2 minutes to do and keeps clutter creep to a minimum.

Add a coat rack and baskets — As soon as the family walks in the door, they are likely to take off coats and backpacks, set down lunch boxes and briefcases, all right in the entryway where they will be tripped over for the rest of the evening. To keep this area decluttered, add a coat rack and a basket or cubby for each person in the entryway. Get family members used to hanging up their coats and putting the other stuff they bring home in a designated place, like their out-the-door basket. It will take a little time and a few gentle reminders, but everyone will eventually appreciate the new peace that a decluttered house exudes.

Eliminate your junk drawers — This may sound undoable, but it really isn’t. Have a place for everything, including the small items that tend to end up in a junk drawer. Get small containers or better yet, upcycle some with the kids, and keep these small items separated and organized in drawers. Things like batteries, paper clips, rubber bands, twist ties, etc. all have their own place in a drawer or two. Take a rubber band off the Sunday paper? Put it immediately in the correct cubby hole before sitting down to enjoy the paper.

As promised, here is my free gift to you, so you can start living simply right away. Sign up below and you’ll receive the FREE Simple Living Bundle. This includes a checklist, eBook and a guide with tips to you start living simply in just 15 minutes a day!

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10 Popular Homeschooling Methods

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If you’re planning on homeschooling your child, you’ll need to learn the many styles of homeschooling that’s available so that you can decide which would work best for your family.

10 Homeschooling Methods

Eclectic Homeschooling

This type of homeschooling works under the philosophy that you should enhance your child’s everyday activities and emotions, using them to insert appropriate lessons to teach them a subject.

Classical Homeschooling

This is a method of learning that goes all the way back to the middle ages. It works on the philosophy that the younger children begin with learning the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic. Once that’s mastered, they move on to the next stage, which consists of grammar. It involves compositions and collections.

Then they move to the dialect stage, where the serious study of reading and writing and arithmetic comes in. Instead of learning grade-appropriate materials that public schools use, the child learns in stages.

The Charlotte-Mason Method

This is one of the most popular methods of homeschooling today. Charlotte-Mason developed this style to enrich a child’s education through nature, literature and real life experiences.

Although a child must still be taught with a regular curriculum according to your state’s laws, they can learn to love learning with nature lessons, poetry understanding and much more. When learning is more enlightening for a child, they’re more apt to absorb the information then when they’re given a bunch of facts to memorize.

Montessori-at-Home

This type of homeschooling allows a child to learn their fundamentals through the use of their environment and by using all of their senses – not by memorizing facts from a textbook.

Montessori is a woman who studied children for many years and developed the philosophy that one should control the environment and not the child when teaching them skills.

The Moore Formula

This method is divided into three separate parts. It’s a way of teaching with studying for a determined amount of time each day based on the child’s needs.

It involves manual work and entrepreneurship, which teaches a child to accept responsibility. Lastly, it involves home or community service, which builds character within the child.

The Reggio Emilia Approach

This method teaches preschool-aged children to learn through exploration and not by having the fundamentals forced on them. It teaches that children have a built-in sense that allows them to learn what they need in this world at their own pace.

The Structured Homeschooling Approach

This is a method of homeschooling that is similar to the curriculum seen in public schools. This approach teaches lessons at a grade level depending on the student’s age and where they are at in their academics.

The Unit Study Approach

(my personal favorite!) This approach to homeschooling allows a child to learn a subject as a whole instead of just reading chapters in a textbook. A child learns a subject through use of reading, science, math and other methods to learn that topic. Children can retain almost 50% more than the traditional study techniques applied in public schools.

Unschooling

This is a more laid back form of educating your child. Basically, your son or daughter will lead you in their educational needs. You’ll discover what to teach them based on their own interests and goals, not by abiding by a strict curriculum.

Waldorf Homeschooling

This method works on the philosophy of teaching through use of spirit, soul and body. The method teaches that the child will best learn by exploring their environment.

By analyzing your child’s learning abilities and your comfort-level with each type of instruction, you’ll be able to find a method of homeschooling that fulfills both you and your child during the educational journey the two of you take together.

Looking for more homeschooling information and advice? Get your FREE eBook here!

 

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What to Teach When Homeschooling Kindergarten

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Kindergarten is a time of exploration, play, and absorbing from the world at large. Children at this age are like eager little sponges, soaking up knowledge at lightning speed.

What to Teach in Kindergarten

You don’t necessarily need to teach your child at this age, as he or she will learn from playing and doing. However, the following list provides insight into how you can support his development.

Kindergarten Language Arts

By the end of kindergarten, your child should be able to recognize and identify both the lowercase and uppercase letters of the alphabet. Your child should also be able to recognize the sounds all the letters make and some phonetic sounds.

Kindergarten Reading

Reading to your child for even a few minutes per day encourages a continued love of books and aids word recognition. By the end of this year, your child should recognize about 30 sight words (short, high-frequency words).

Kindergarten Math

By the end of the kindergarten year, your child should be able to recognize and identify the numbers up to 30 and count up to 30 aloud. He should also be able to add to a sum of 10 and subtract from numbers of 10 or less.

You may want to check out this HUGE book of printable worksheets for only $5!

Kindergarten Writing

By the end of this year, your child should be able to write a variety of short, simple words, such as those with two consonants and one vowel. She should also begin to write short, simple sentences.

Kindergarten Shapes and Colors

In kindergarten, children learn or reinforce their knowledge of colors and shapes. They should also be able to classify objects by shape, color, size and texture.

Kindergarten Science

For kindergarten, your child should learn about the world around him as well as basic facts about topics such as the seasons, weather, sun, moon and stars, plants, and farm and domestic animals.

Kindergarten History

During kindergarten, your child should learn about different types of communities, customs, and traditions. He should understand that people live in different parts of the world, grasp holidays and special occasions, and view and grasp the marking on simple maps.

Kindergarten Art

Children at this age and stage continue to explore art using different colors and mediums. Your child should be able to express emotion and tell a simple story through drawings.

For more details on what to teach when you homeschool kindergarten and the other 13 grades, check out our Year-by-Year Teaching Guide for Homeschoolers:

Click the arrow in the widget below for a preview of what’s included!

 
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