25 Alternatives to a Traditional Book Report

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The words “book report” can elicit groans from students at any age. Writing a summary of a book isn’t necessarily the most effective way to demonstrate learning in the digital age. With summary book websites online, the traditional book report is no longer an enriching task. Here are 25 alternatives to the traditional book report for students to demonstrate their comprehension and deeper understanding of a book.

25 Book Report Alternatives

  1. Interview a character from the book. Write a series of questions and answers from the protagonist or antagonist. You can even try focusing on a flat character.
  2. Write a diary or journal from the main character’s point of view. This can be done in a physical format or through blog posts online. Try a student-friendly blog site like kidblog.org or edublogs.org.
  3. Create a stop-motion video of major scenes from the book. Here are some tutorials on using stop motion in education.
  4. Draw a comic book version of the book.
  5. Give a book talk convincing someone to check out this book from a library.
  6. Write a script for a scene or scenes from the book. Cast famous actors as the characters.
  7. Create a playlist of songs that go with important moments or characters in the book. Explain the reason you chose each song.
  8. Design your own Google Lit Trip for the novel.
  9. Make a book jacket for the novel. Look at traditional book jackets for inspiration.
  10. Write the climax of the story from a different character’s point of view. (If it’s in the third person, try telling it in first person or vice versa.)
  11. Write an alternate ending for the story.
  12. Make a picture book or children’s version of your novel.
  13. Choose one of the themes (lessons) of the book and write about how it relates to current events.
  14. Write a narrative poem based on the plot of the novel.
  15. Make a scrapbook for one of the characters in the book.
  16. Explain why this book should or should not be read by students in your grade level. Back up your argument with specific evidence from the text.
  17. Create a glossary of vocabulary words from the book. Use images and specific sentences and context from the novel.
  18. Read a related book (same author, related theme, same series) and compare and contrast them in a short essay or Venn diagram.
  19. Create an online Jeopardy game based on themes, characters, plot questions, and other elements from the novel.
  20. Write a resume for the main character of the book. Use what you know about the character to make inferences to their experience and qualifications.
  21. If the main character is a child, write a short story about an event that happens in their adult life. If the main character is an adult, imagine an event that happened in their childhood and write about it.
  22. Create a social media profile (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat) and some posts for a character in the book. Use these templates or create real pages that comply with terms of service.
  23. Design the setting in Minecraft. Build a character’s home, neighborhood, city, or even country.
  24. Make a family tree for the main character of your novel. Create some artifacts (birth certificates, newspaper articles, scrapbook entries, photographs, etc.)
  25. Write a letter to the author suggesting changes in the novel.

These 25 ideas will have your student excited about reading and sharing what they learned from their latest book!

Of course, there is nothing wrong with writing a traditional book report, either. Check out this link for a lesson for middle schoolers on writing a book report.

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Stomp Rocket Science: Free Lesson Plan and a Giveaway

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After being cooped up all winter with textbooks and indoor activities, even moms get spring fever! With the sun starting to make its debut and the weather turning warmer, now is the perfect time to get out from behind those text books and get some hands-on science lessons outdoors.

Give Spring a Science Boost with Stomp Rockets

Maybe you remember Stomp Rockets as a kid, or you’ve seen them in the store? After all, they have been around for almost 25 years. If you have’t played with them yourself, you can tell it’s going to be fun, just from the name. Stomp Rockets!

Stomp Rocket Ultra LED is 100% KID powered: Run, jump and STOMP to launch these rockets up to 150 feet in the air! Click to turn on the powerful LED light inside, and these Stomp Rockets will really shine in the night sky, so it’s fun to play outdoors after dusk and on gloomy days too. Light up the night with vibrant color. The LED lights inside these rockets make them bright enough to double as a flashlight! Stomp Rocket Ultra LED is strong and durable, and great for active, outdoor play. Stomp Rockets have won lots of awards from industry experts, including iParenting Media, Dr. Toy and Creative Child Magazine. Includes a Stomp Launcher and 4 foam-tipped Ultra Stomp Rockets with bright LED lights inside. Refill rockets also available (item #20502). For kids ages 6 and up.

As if running, jumping, stomping and launching rockets into the air wasn’t just great all by itself, there are a TON of science experiments and concepts to learn from all of this fun.  Concepts include force, gravity, trajectory and so much more.

You can do a quick Google search to find some activities but did you know there is a corresponding curriculum you can use with your Stomp Rockets???

Use the “Stompin’ Science” book with Stomp Rocket Launch Sets to make science a blast! Kids can learn about things like gravity (what goes up must come down), trajectory, force and more by running, jumping and STOMPING to launch rockets — so learning is fun, interactive and active! Plus, the “Stompin’ Science” book makes teaching easy. It contains lessons for students of all ages and grade levels. Great for teachers, homeschoolers and parents who’d like to have some educational fun with their kids.

Here’s a peek at the lessons included in this book:

  1. Top Secret Toy Testing (grade K-8)
  2. Exploring Force and Motion (grades 3-12)
  3. Exploring Force and Mass (grades 3-12)
  4. Angling for a Stompin’ Good Time (grades 3-12)
  5. Speed Rockets (grades 3-8)
  6. What Goes Up ….. (grades 3-8)
  7. What Goes Up … May Not Come Down (grades 8-12)
  8. Up, Up and Away (grades 8-12)
  9. Get a Blast of Energy (grades 10-12)
  10. Analyzing Projectile Motion (grades 10-12)

Those are just the lesson plans. There’s another 16 pages dedicated to science fair projects!

Aren’t you super excited to get outside and use your stomp rockets to teach science now?!?!

To give you even MORE motivation, I’ve got a two special treats for you!

First, I’m give you lessons plans to teach Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion using your Stomp Rockets. This lesson plan has 3 adaptable experiments you can do in your own back yard and note booking pages to use too. This lesson plan is free, but for a very limited time only, so be sure to grab yours while you can (link at the end of this post).

Here’s the other special treat (I’m giddy with excitement!) …. one lucky Modern Homeschool Family reader is going to win his or her own Stomp Rocket set and science project guide!

Enter to Win Stomp Rocket Science

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If you just can’t wait to get started using Stomp Rockets and the lesson plans, you can find them on Amazon Prime:

Stomp Rocket Science Lesson Plan with Printable Worksheets and Notebooking Pages

As promised, here’s the lesson plan. Don’t forget, it’s only free through May 3rd, so download yours now!

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How to Help Your Child Prepare for the SAT

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High school juniors across the country are preparing to take the SAT in the next few weeks. At this point, you may be wondering what you could possibly do to improve your score.

How to Help Your Child Prepare for the SAT

Here are some steps to follow in the next few weeks to make the most of the remaining time.

14 Days Out — Get a current snapshot of your skills

If you haven’t already, take an SAT practice test. Your score and skills analysis will give you a clear starting point for planning. Organize a study plan with these steps:

  • Identify your good areas that you want to make great. Every student has a strong suit; figure that out and optimize it.
  • Identify the areas that need the greatest improvement, and, here’s the key: find the few highest-impact skills in those areas that will produce the biggest impact. Focus on those high-impact skills.
  • Prepare a detailed study schedule that charts your expected personal growth over the next two weeks, including specific goals for your areas of focus.

A well-trained tutor can help use the practice test data to focus your efforts so you can improve during the time that remains.

10 Days Out — Work on time management

Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with some of the test construct and high-impact skills, you need to start to think about time management. How are you breaking up your time for the reading passages and questions? How much time are you spending on the easy and medium math questions versus the hard questions? These nuanced time-management decisions can have a big impact on performance.

7 Days Out — Take another practice test and assess progress

At this point, take another practice test. Assess your growth in your scores and skills. What has grown? What hasn’t? Now, target the skills that need the most attention and focus there for the remaining days.

1 Day Out – Summarize & Review

With the end in sight, it’s time to consolidate your lessons learned onto one sheet. What high-impact skills are most important for you? What grammar rules, math formulae, reading strategies are the most helpful? And what time management approaches optimize your performance best? Write these down for review and bring them along in the car ride on test day morning. And be confident! The key is that you have insight into your own personal performance and you know how to personalize your own test-taking approach to meet your specific needs. That’s the key to success.

About Matthew Pietrafetta
Matthew Pietrafetta, Ph.D. is the founder and CEO of the test preparation company Academic Approach.

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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 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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What to Teach When Homeschooling Preschool

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While there aren’t any hard and fast rules for what to teach when homeschooling preschool (it’s mostly about playing with them and loving on them), this guide will provide some suggestions on what to cover to prepare them for Kindergarten.

What to Teach When Homeschooling Preschool

At this age, children learn primarily from play, interacting with others, and observing the world around them. Each child learns at his or her own rate as well, and there’s no set of facts or concepts your preschooler absolutely needs to know at this age and stage. The list below simply covers what your preschooler may learn during this period.

Preschool Language Arts

This is the age and stage at which your child will begin to recognize and identify letters of the alphabet. By the end of preschool many children will be able to identify all of the uppercase letters, some of the lowercase letters, and the sounds the letters make. Your child may begin to recognize his name when printed out and make solid attempts at writing it himself. He may also write some other short words, such as mom, dad, dog, and cat.

Preschool Reading

At this age and stage, children typically love being read to and looking through books on their own. Many pretend to read books, which is a precursor for reading. Reading to your child for even a few minutes per day can encourage a lifetime love of the written word.

Preschool Color and Shapes

During preschool, your child will likely learn the names of shapes and colors or add to those she already knows. This stage is also marked with more accurate naming of the body parts and objects around the house.

Preschool Math

In the preschool years, children learn to recognize and identify numerals up to 10. They also learn to count to 10. Many are also ready for basic additions, such as saying that one toy plus another toy makes two toys.

Preschool Art

At this age and stage, your child is likely ready to begin cutting with safety scissors, tracing, and using glue and paste in artwork. He may also begin to make recognizable drawings and paint with a paintbrush.

For more details on what to teach when you homeschool Preschool 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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Now Available! The 50 States Notebooking Unit

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Notebooking can be a valuable tool for your homeschool program. But just what is notebooking exactly? Essentially, notebooking is the process of gathering written notes, facts, answers images, and other educational items in a single location—usually a notebook, though you might use a binder or a folder instead.

The purpose of gathering these things together is two-fold. One is to reinforce learned information, making it easier for your child to retain and recall facts, and another is to keep a record of the knowledge your child has absorbed. Both are important purposes, and homeschooled children (as well as their parents) often feel a sense of accomplishment when looking back at their notebook pages and seeing all they’ve explored.

Above all, notebooking is fun. For many, it feels like building a collection, except you and your child are collecting knowledge rather than coins or bottle caps!

Our “Learning the United States of America” notebooking pages can easily fit with your current curriculum, providing a fun, easy way for your child to record the facts he or she has learned. However, you do not need a separate curriculum to use these notebook pages. They can also act as a standalone, complete unit study, and you and your child can use Internet research and/or the library to gather the facts to record on each notebook page. No matter how you choose to use our notebook pages, they are sure to become an integral part of your homeschool program.

There are two versions available, full color or coloring book style. Get your by clicking the appropriate button below!

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Resources for Learning About New Year’s

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resources-for-learning-about-new-years-featured

Yes, I realize that Santa hasn’t even come to visit yet! I wanted to get these cool resources for pulling together a quick lesson plan on New Years in your hands so you actually have time to enjoy them!

Resources for Learning About New Year’s

Here are some links you can use to create your own “on the fly” New Year’s Unit Study:

Learn About New Year’s Around the World

Turn your New Year’s Eve celebration into a multicultural one!  Have you children pick a country or two to learn about. Locate them on a map, read about their New Year’s traditions and prepare some food from that country.

New Year Around the World Facts:


Read this interesting,  fun collection of facts about traditions from around the world.  You’ll learn about customs in Greece, Columbia, Scotland & many more countries!

Traditions from Around the World:

Find out even more about the history and traditions of New Year’s. This site offers and extensive list of countries. We just wrapped up a study on our heritage, this will be a great tie in for us! Find the country you are interested in and click on the link to learn more.

How to Say “Happy New Year”:

Have fun learning how to say “Happy New Year!” in other languages.

Lucky New Year’s Eve Food Traditions from Around the World:

Read about food traditions and try to prepare some yourself for New Year’s Eve.  NOTE: There are a lot of pop-ups on this site.  Be sure to have your pop-up blocker on for a better experience.

Calendar Concepts

What better time to reinforce time and calendar concepts, or even learn something new about the history of the calendar? If you kept a family calendar this year, you can review the events of the past year and have your children create a time line.   You can print calendar pages and have your children decorate each month, filling in the special days and holidays.

Calendars: Counting the Days:

This site is just a wealth of information about the calendar!  Read through the different pages to learn about the history of the calendar, how to measure time and the different types of calendars used today.

Assignment Discovery:Days and Months:

Watch this short video to learn how the moon is connected to the calendar.  A nice, quick and to-the-point lesson!

Printable Calendars:

If you want your children to create calendars, this is a nice place to find printable ones for coloring or customizing.

Just Plain Fun

Maybe you’re just looking for some good, old-fashioned, coloring pages, printables and crafts?  There’s lots of fun and learning that can happen with paper, pencil, scissors and glue!

New Year’s at Danielle’s Place:

A nice collection of ideas.  My favorite is the FREE printable “pop-up” New Year’s card to make.  Let your kids make a few for friends and neighbors.

New Year’s Word Search:

Just print and circle the words!

Bright New Year Mobile:

This fun craft project, from Crayola, will liven up your home on New Year’s Eve.  You probably have all the supplies you need on hand: construction paper, colored pencils, gel pens, glue & glitter glue, scissors, hole punch, ribbon and recycled foam trays.

Will you be doing some fun learning this New Year’s?  Or, do you have a learning idea or resource for New Year’s?  Share it with us in the comments section below!

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8 Free Middle School Math Activities

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“When are we ever going to use this?”

If you have a middle schooler (or teach them), you’ve probably heard this question about Math. Truthfully, we all know that we use math at all levels of education from Kindergartners counting out crayons to adults figuring taxes.

What makes kids “get it” is bringing math to real life. Middle schoolers aren’t thinking about balancing a checkbook or figuring out miles per gallon on their vehicle, but we can help them make those connections. Taxes are at least a few years away, and most have mastered counting back change. Understanding the practical applications for Math practice today can help students apply their learning into adulthood.

Free Middle School Math Activities

Here are 8 free math activities to help your middle school student learn and grow with real-life math.

1. Table Talk Math
Sign up on this site to have prompts and articles delivered to help facilitate math discussions at home. When parents can help carry on conversations about learning in any context, it will help students understand its value!

2. Football Math

These activities can be adapted for other sporting events, but it’s never too early to prepare for the biggest game of the season. Yummy Math gives dozens of ideas from Fantasy Football picks to analyzing whether or not a team should go for it on 4th down or even comparing the quarterback ratings of those with and without facial hair. Hey, the last one may be a little in left field (don’t let the baseball metaphor confuse you), but it does make learning fun!

3. Top Speed

This is an authentic learning activity from galileo.org (an educational network) to help students understand the relationship between distance and speed and using linear measurements. Students determine their top speeds while running skipping, and walking and then test the relationships between speed, distance, and time. This works best with a group, but it can be adapted in a homeschool setting.

4. Inquiry Maths

Fueled by mathematical statements or prompts, students generate their activities and explore through inquiry. The menu on the side has a list of categorical prompts and even options for students and teachers to create their own statements.

5. Plan a Dream Vacation

It doesn’t get more real and fun than planning a vacay on a budget. It’s Fine in the Middle gives you the steps and resources to implement this project for students who finish other work early in the classroom, but it’s really relevant for all learners. Knowing how to manage money early may, in fact, help them take that dream vacation in the future!

6. What’s Behind the Price of Gasoline?

This economic lesson from econedlink.org includes a lesson, student, and teacher resources to teach about supply and demand, OPEC, and the world implications of the cost of oil.

7. Financial Literacy Lessons for Middle Schoolers

14 lessons with teacher and student resources are included for everything from budgeting and living on your own to credit cards and consumer privacy.

8. Start a Small Business

Thirteen Ed Online has hundreds of lessons on a variety of topics. This financial literacy lesson walks students through what it takes to start a small business.

Give your students something they can apply to real life situations through these authentic math tasks!

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Sensory Play DIY Recipe: Silly Putty

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Every kid loves silly putty because it’s squishy and messy. If you have carpeting, keep this as a kitchen or outdoor only activity.

Silly putty is fun to play with, they have a unique texture and their chemistry is definitely therapeutic.

Who knew you could make it out of simple ingredients you probably already have lying around the house?

Sensory Play DIY Recipe: Silly Putty

Ingredients:

• Pitcher
• 4 oz water + 2 cups of water
• ¼ cup Borax Powder
• 4 oz Elmer’s Glue (school or glitter glue, NOT washable.)
• Food Coloring
• Bowl
• Fork or spoon

Directions:

In the pitcher pour 2 cups of water. Add 1/4 cup of Borax powder and stir for 30 seconds. There will be borax that doesn’t dissolve, that’s ok.

In a large bowl pour 4 oz of clean water. Add 4 oz of Elmer’s Glue (store brand is ok).

Add desired amount of food coloring and stir until it’s well blended.

Add 4 tablespoons of the borax water to the bowl of diluted glue and stir continuously. It will begin to get thick and stick to the fork or spoon.

Add 1 tablespoon of borax water at a time to the bowl and stir until there is no watery glue left.

Then Scrape the bowl with the fork and remove all of the putty from the spoon. The silly putty will be a little watery at first.

Flatten, fold and knead putty until the consistency is how you want it.

Store in an airtight container or plastic egg to preserve.

Tip: For transparent glitter putty, use glitter glue instead of traditional white glue.


 

Picture-8-300x168This Sensory Play recipe was provided by Katie Vega.

Katie Vega is a mom of 5 in Columbus, Ohio. She is an internet marketer, marketing/branding consultant, and e-book author. She began her career in the Network Marketing industry in 1999, and over the years has totally transformed her business to use her passions and talents. In early 2013 she left her job to build her business at home part time so she could homeschool her children.

One of her passions and goals is to show moms with ADHD or behaviorally challenged kids how they can manage the chaos at home and run a profitable business without losing their mind!

Visit KatieVega.com to learn more.

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