Category Archives: homeschool

Back to School Shopping List – Homeschool Edition

School Supplies

This post contains affiliate links. 

My favorite section to shop is school supplies. LOVE it!!! My type A personality wants to plan and make sure I have everything needed to keep things running smoothly in our homeschool. Some school supplies we have to purchase every year, sort of like consumable workbooks; other things we have bought once, having worked so well, we haven’t had to purchase a new one. 

Since my children are still young, the list is focused on school supplies geared towards preschool and elementary age students. 

RelatedResources to Teach and Learn about the Human Body in Homeschool inspired by Charlotte Mason, Classical Education, Montessori. Spanish Materials included.

I am only recommending what has worked for us or plan on getting based on reviews and friends comments. Hope you find this list helpful!

Yearly Homeschool Supply Materials  – 

Dixon Ticonderoga Wood-Cased #2 HB Pencils, Box of 96 

Ticonderoga pencils are pretty much the B.E.S.T. They sharpen really well and they write well. Most my teacher friends recommend them as well.  We got the 96 ct box. We may have some pencils to last us through all elementary school! 

Everything Crayola: coloring pencils, markers (thin and thick), crayons. This Crayola pack for K-2 is pretty neat.  Thinking about adding these Watercolor Tube Artist this year, also. 

We like to go on Nature Walks, following Charlotte Mason’s philosophy that children should spend time observing nature. This set comes with 2 pads so it is perfect. You can also find it at Jo-Ann and get it with a coupon for an additional discount. I think they sell them as a single book there, though. The spiral makes it really easy for the kids to turn pages and draw their leaf and write down their observations. 

This is the journal my kids use for writing their creative stories and drawing a picture. They also have this one that we use for copywork or to write down their spelling words. It works great for dictation as well. 

We use A LOT of paper!!!! So I keep printing paper on hand that we use for lapbooks, notebooking, or writing additional things that we then cut and glue to our notebooks.  This box comes with 1,500 sheets which lasts a while even though we use it so much! 

For colored printing paper, Astrobrights has the best deal on Amazon. I use it for printing memory verses, color coding memory work, signs for our homeschool area, etc. It is very useful! We save a lot of ink by printing on colored paper.

Mom – Homeschool Mom Teacher Needs

The very first thing I bought for our homeschool was a laminator. I use it ALL the time. It saves me time from going to the store to get stuff laminated. It is very convenient for laminating memory verses, signs for our classroom, phonics cards, syllable cards, and so many other things that we use on a regular basis. It makes them last so much longer, that way I don’t have to print the same papers over and over. My laminator is so old, it is no longer online but this one has really good reviews and a lot of moms say the use it. 

If you get a laminator, be sure to grab a package of laminating sheets

Another investment we made right at the beginning was purchasing a printer. Are you familiar with the site Teachers Pay Teachers? Well, you can download SOOO many activities, guides, resources for teaching your own children! If I need a novel guide for a book, I just go there and get one. In less than 5 minutes I have a file and printed in my hands! Printers that use toner will go a long way!!! Amazon has toner made by off brand that are compatible with most printers. You can get toner for as low as $20! Check the reviews before purchasing to make sure you are getting a good product. 

Brother makes GREAT printers, also. Check this one

Tip: To find off brand toner, search “Toner compatible with __________” fill in with the brand and model number of your printer. 

Pencil Sharpener – where do I begin? Hmm we bought 3 last year. We got an electric one that didn’t work well. The X-acto one has great reviews and a lot of my friends use it. My ideal sharpener is this one…just can’t install it right now. Someday, though, we will get this metal manual pencil sharpener

Sheet Protectors – I keep them in stock for keeping papers we will be using in our portfolio assessment review.

File folders and hanging files useful for sorting lessons, activity pages, and additional resources.

Binders for portfolio evaluations and a binder for my morning meeting / homeschool organization.

RelatedHow to Organize ABeka Assignments for the Year

Last, but not least, a planner. Somewhere to write down all the appointments, get togethers, information of co-ops, friends’ birthday parties, lesson plans, logs, etc.

 

Supplies from Dollar Tree

 

Clipboards – very useful!!! We use it for holding paper to trace maps or for drawing.

  Shop For Pencils, Markers, Pads and Other Crafts Today! Only $1 Each!

Educational posters, although other stores like Michaels are carrying a good selection. 

 

Hope you found this list helpful and at a convenient time to help you plan and get ready for a new school year. If you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments below. 

Have a wonderful day, 

Fabi

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Resources to Teach and Learn about the Human Body in Homeschool inspired by Charlotte Mason, Classical Education, Montessori. Spanish Materials included.

 

Resources and Materialsto teach about the Human Body (1)

 

This post contains affiliate links. 

The human body is a very common topic of discussion around our dinner table. We like to discuss where the foods we eat come from and how they can HELP our bodies. Because of this, we often end up talking about the digestive system, bones, joints, brain, etc. 

Therefore, I have put together a list of books, materials, and games that we use at home and ones that we will be using  to learn about the human body. I also have posters like this one for us to look at in our spare time or for the kids to look at when they want to a picture of the digestive system. 

 

Learning is so fun and we want to provide as many materials and opportunities in order to enrich their understanding and knowledge. 

 

Charlotte Mason, Classical Education, and Montessori strongly recommend using hands-on materials to engage young learners so they can discover, make connections, and really learn material beyond what is presented in a textbook. 

 

 

Below are the materials I am going to be using with my children to learn about the human body. Hope you find them useful. 

 

Materials to Learn about the Human Body

 

make and move human body

 

  1. Make and Move: Human Body 
  2. See Inside: Human Body
  3. Human Anatomy Coloring Book (Dover Children’s Science Book)
  4. The Magic School Bus: A Journey into the Human Body
  5. The Human Body and Anatomy
  6. Anatomy Bundle Set
  7. See Inside Your Body
  8. Melissa and Doug Human Body Magnetic Set
  9. Learning human body parts game – FREE app
  10. Painless Learning Human Body Placemat

Resources in Spanish

mi cuerpo scholastic

  1. El cuerpo humano 
  2. Scholastic: Mi cuerpo humano
  3. El libro de los huesos
  4. ¿Puedes ver lo que yo veo? (Spanish Edition)

Picture Books about Human Body

 

  1. Inside Your Outside: All About the Human Body (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library)
  2.  My Bodyworks: Songs About Your Bones, Muscles, Heart and More! 
  3. Why Do My Teeth Fall Out?: And Other Questions Kids Have About the Human Body (Kids’ Questions)
  4. Parts (Picture Puffin Books)

  5. Your Fantastic Elastic Brain: Stretch It, Shape It

  6. The Tooth Book (Bright & Early Board Books(TM))

  7. Germs Make Me Sick! (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2) we have learned so much from this one!

  8. A Drop of Blood Very good!!!

Related Post: Good Enough to Eat Picture Book  –excellent book! 

 

Games and Toys to learn about Human Body

melissa and doug magnetic human body

  1. Melissa & Doug Magnetic Human Body Anatomy Play Set With 24 Magnetic Pieces and Storage Tray

  2. Janod Body Magnet

  3. Kids First The Human Body Kit

  4. Learning Resources Stethoscope this has been excellent for us to have as read about the heart, listen to each other’s heartbeats, count heartbeats per minute. 

  5. Educational Trivia Card Game – Professor Noggin’s Human Body

  6. The Magic School Bus: A Journey into the Human Body 

 

There is also this HUGE list of STEM-tastic Science Kits by Scientific Explorer on Amazon. 

scientific explorer encourage exploration

 

They have a kit about the heart, a Disgusting Science one, and soooo many more!!! I keep going back to decide which we will be getting next. So far the reviews look really good and often times I read about them being used in different homeschool groups.

Hope you find these resources useful!!!

Let me know in the comments what should be added to the list!

 

 

 

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How to Organize ABeka Assignments for the Year

How to Organize Abeka assignments for the Year and other Tips

A new year has come and I am once again planning for our upcoming school year!

This is going to be my fourth year homeschooling. Where has the time gone?! A lot of learning in the process for the kids and myself. We love homeschooling even more than the very first year and we are eager to continue!

The new books were ordered in May from
Homeschool
ChristianBook.com. It was a fantastic experience shopping there! My good friend who has been homeschooling for 8+ years had told me to shop there from the beginning and I finally did it. I should have listened to her from day 1! lol. Live and learn, right?

As we are continue using Abeka for our primary subjects, Math (Arithmetic), Reading, and Writing, now with 3 children, you can imagine the amount of papers all around! We need to be more organized and everyone needs to know exactly where our papers go.

In order to make my life easier, I am going to be pulling out ALL the sheets from all the books and keep them together by lesson number. This way, on Sunday I can just go ahead and pull out all the sheets for the lesson numbers we are going to need and set them up in their daily folders.

AmazonBasics Hanging File Folders - Letter Size (25 Pack) - GreenAmazonBasics Hanging File Folders – Letter Size (25 Pack) – Green

These hanging file folders have been the best way I have found to organize homework, worksheets, and seatwork by lesson number. 

The empty books are stored away in a tub where I have kept other books from past years. Depending on the state you live, you will need to keep books and other records for the time stated by the regulations of your state. 

Storing the lessons in file hanging folders has been so convenient and so EASY for me!!! It saves me time having to pull out all the books and find matching lessons from different places. It also helps me to look ahead and see what kind of themes are used in different units which help me plan ahead for those days. 

For example, our Math book (2nd grade) had a unit in geography. Because I had looked ahead, I planned videos and picture books that we requested from the library ahead of time. So we learned Geography along with our math and expanded our theme to include Living Books, videos, songs, etc. We basically travelled all around the world thanks to the geography theme tied into our Math book. Thanks, Abeka! 

I talked more about how to adapt ANY Math curriculum into a living Math course – per Charlotte Mason.  See this post. 

Pendaflex File Folders, Letter Size, 1/3 Cut, Manila, 100 per Box (752 1/3)Pendaflex File Folders, Letter Size, 1/3 Cut, Manila, 100 per Box (752 1/3)

  • We use file folders to store the lessons, to do lists, and anything else that needs to be completed on that day. Each day of the week has a different folder.
  •  I only need for the week, per child.
  • The extra file folders are saved for completing lap books throughout the year.

The kids have access to their weekly folders that contain all the work they need to complete that week. I found this File Folder Storage Pocket Chart really handy and sturdy! It has room to store five folders, one for each day of the week.  It is available in lime, teal, and purple.

Here is a picture to show you how we use this storage system for our weekly work.

19748428_809884898200_3890839010225831794_n.jpg

I simply used washi tape and a label to write the day of the week. I actually have two pocket charts so my other children’s folders will also have washi tape in their favorite colors. 🙂

File Folder Storage: Teal Pocket ChartFile Folder Storage: Teal Pocket Chart

This is the pocket chart that we use to store the file folders that contain the papers and everything that needs to be completed for the day and week.

It’s available in these colors:

One of my children thanked me for pulling out all the sheets because it made it so much easier to write on all the sheets. I was so glad it helped!!!! 

Once the lessons for the week are completed, checked, and discussed, we put them back in the file folder where they correspond. This way, everything gets stored and stays together. No more papers all over the place!!!!!! YAY!!!! So much easier also for being able to plan ahead or pick up after a long weekend or Christmas break. 

Chime in: 

How do you organize your homeschool curriculum? Let me know in the comments! 

Fabi

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Spanish Poetry Tea Time – Eclectic Charlotte Mason Homeschool

 

This post contains affiliate links. 

The month of May has been mainly dedicated to analyzing what 2016-2017 was like for our schooling. What I am wishing to keep the same as well as the areas I am wishing to further work on.

Since the very beginning of our homeschool, way before we officially started, we have done narrating, read alouds, and nature walks. We enjoy reading bilingual books and having a snack to go with it like we did when we did when we read a book about a monkey looking for bananas (see more How to have Bilingual Story Time at Home). Based on that, we are going to take the plunge and read poetry in Spanish. 

Many Charlotte Mason homeschoolers share their experience of  reading poetry while gathering together at the table during tea time. I have observed this activity throughout many blogs, Pinterest, and Instagram and although I have wanted to do it, I just haven’t gotten to it consistently. We have read poetry and we have had tea time as two separate activities. I think it is time we combine them, enjoy a cup of tea and listen to poems in Spanish.  

Poetry uses such beautiful, rich language to communicate ideas. I may be biased, but I find poetry so rich in Spanish, after all Spanish is one of the romance languages. The metaphors can be so simple, yet they can depict a whole complex idea in just a few words. Perhaps it is the reason I am so drawn to reading it in Spanish. I would strongly recommend reading Alberto Plaza’s lyrics to songs like “Que cante la vida.” One of the lines says “que cante la vida, por todo rincon // que se abran caminos y se encienda el sol”

Poesia Alada: Poesia y arte para volar (Spanish Edition)Poesia Alada: Poesia y arte para volar (Spanish Edition)

So my plan for the upcoming year is to have Poetry Tea Time on Tuesday afternoons with my children. We plan on reading poetry in Spanish to further learn the language, grow in appreciation of rhymes, and gain fluency in Spanish. There is a really good review on Amazon so I think this book will go really well.

According to the description, it says the poems use simple language, perfect to for us to take off with poetry in Spanish!

Per Amazon: “La poesía de Mariana Llanos nos contagia las ganas de seguir siendo niños. Con un lenguage sencillo, tierno e intenso a la vez, Poesía Alada nos brinda más de 25 poemas llenos de aventura, asombro y admiración por las cosas más simples de la vida.”

This is the plan for the Fall semester. I will update you on how it goes. What do you read for poetry time? Do you read it in English or Spanish or both? Let me know in the comments!

Oh before I go, which set do you think we should get? What do you use for tea time? 

Happy Tea Time! Hasta la próxima! 

Fabi

Porcelain Tea Cup and Saucer Coffee Cup Set with Saucer and Spoon 20 pc, Set of 6 SI-BFLY-WPorcelain Tea Cup and Saucer Coffee Cup Set with Saucer and Spoon 20 pc, Set of 6 SI-BFLY-W

So far we have been using our regular mugs for tea which has worked fine, although these tea sets do look pretty amazing. These would make a nice addition for our poetry time and make tea time so much more special.

This one Gracie China by Coastline Imports Vintage Blue Rose Porcelain 11-Piece Tea Set, BlueGracie China by Coastline Imports Vintage Blue Rose Porcelain 11-Piece Tea Set, Blue

S

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Good Enough to Eat Picture Book

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support. 

For our weekly readings, I keep a basket of books that cover topics like Science, History, Geography, Spanish, and some fun readings like Mr. and Mrs. Green – those are great to give us a mid-morning giggle and work on our comprehension skills, especially for my preschooler and kindergartner. 

Picture Book on Nutrition – Healthy Eating

Alright so going back to the book basket, this week we have been reading Good Enough to Eat: A Kid’s Guide to Food and Nutrition. This is an excellent book with very good information and plenty of pictures and examples all throughout. Since it is so rich in information, we like to read it in parts to really grasp the text. This book is a great extension to my list of 10 ideas on raising healthy eaters 

Just this morning when we were reading, my son (who dislikes tomatoes) was telling me how important it actually is for him to eat tomatoes. In this book we read that “Vitamin C helps my skin heal” and below it shows a box with foods rich in Vitamin C – tomatoes is one of them.  

reading-about-healthy-foods

So he was able to read and see the importance of eating tomatoes and why Mami likes to make Ensalada Chilena – Tomato Salad so often at home. 

 Bravo for him! It is so important we read to them about eating healthy and model it at home with very yummy recipes! 

This is one of my favorite pages that has sparked many conversations around the table and throughout the week. We also discuss the terms in Spanish as we go. 

digestivesystempicturebook

Digestive System in Spanish

Mouth – Boca

Esophagus – Esófago

Stomach – Estómago

Small Intestine – Intestino Delgado

Large Intestine – Intestino Grueso

I am also really interested in purchasing this Scientist Kid Young Scientist Series – Set 6: Flight (Kit 16) – Heart and Lungs (Kit 17) – Digestive System (Kit 18) from Amazon to expand our reading on the digestive system. This one has some really good reviews.

Spanish Picture Book on Nutrition Healthy Eating

Qué rico se ve, ¡a comer! (It’s Good Enough to Eat!) (Spanish Version) (Fiction Readers) (Spanish Edition)

I am getting this book from the library. I’ll let you know what we think of it soon!

 

Cuéntame – Tell me:

Do you keep a weekly book basket? What books have you been reading? Let me know in the comments!  

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 Teaching a Handicraft to Children: Sewing for Young Children – Charlotte Mason style

Charlotte Mason’s teaching methodologies resonate with me in more ways than I can count. One of those ways is her idea of teaching children a handicraft from a young age. It enriches them and opens the door for them to become more creative, skilled, and confident.  

*** Some points to acknowledge about handicrafts:

  1. They should make something that will be useful
  2. Be challenging and work through it – perseverance

There are many handicrafts a child can learn, sewing is just one of them. Start them out with learning how to sew on a button or how to thread a needle are basic life skills that will be used at one point or another.  

Some of my favorite products for teaching and practicing sewing (while making a useful product) are Alex’s Sewing Toys. Also this book is fantastic!!! it has 21 projects that children will enjoy making.

Sewing for kids can be the gateway to let them discover a new skill. My kids enjoy hand sewing and have benefitted greatly from learning to sew. There are so many fun things to sew and make for the home or for their rooms. They take such delight in being able to hold something they made with their own hands.

&

Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to MakeSewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to MakeSewing School 2: Lessons in Machine Sewing; 20 Projects Kids Will Love to MakeSewing School 2: Lessons in Machine Sewing; 20 Projects Kids Will Love to Make

We keep a basket of sewing supplies easily accessible so that it creates an invitation to create and to sew. It has encouraged us to put together a sewing kit to have available at home. I will post more details on that soon, but for now, feel free to look at this kit readily available. 

Easy Hand Sewing Project – Perfect for Beginners and Young Children

 

My kids ages 7, 5, and 4 completed the project below. 

The other day, we made fabric pumpkins to go with our Fall Décor. Before we made them, I made an invitation to sew by setting out fabric circles, needles, and thread. When they saw the needles and thread their eyes widened and thy were just full of enthusiasm to learn something new as well as a real opportunity to use a needle. 

Hand Sewing Safety Guidelines

 

First things first. Talk about SAFETY WITH NEEDLES.

  • Let them know there is a sharp point. Talk about what would happen if you touch that?
  • Keep needles away from the eyes.
  • Use the needle for sewing away from you, not towards you.

Hand them the needle and see how they hold it. It is very possible that their small hands will adjust almost intuitively to hold the needle properly. If so, BINGO!

Hand sewing has many benefits like:

  • coordination

  • develop fine motor skills

  • space awareness

How to teach children to sew:

 

  1. Pick a small project – Small children attention span is fairly short. Use their enthusiasm to the max by offering a project they can complete in a fairly short amount of time.
  2. Review steps in a 1-2-3 format

 

Hand Sewing Goals for today’s project:

  1. Sew around the circle
  2. Stuff the circle
  3. Sew it shut
  4. Optional: Glue a button to decorate the top. 

 3. Make it with a purpose – Children are naturally curious and they want to know the purpose of their project, especially when they know they are going to invest time in making it. They want to see the value of what they do. The peoject should answer to the questions: “What is this for?” What are we going to do with it?”
Sewing can be lots of fun and allows for some quick crafting time. Everyone can enjoy sitting at the table to complete a quick new peoject for their home. 

 Cuéntame: Have you tried hand sewinf with your children? What have you made? 

Children Hand Sewing Hand Sewing

Have a great day!
Fabi 

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What we read this week and Reviews- April Week 3

In April we focused on reading books related to nutrition and eating healthily.  Below are some of our favorites this month.

Read Aloud:

  1. The Complete Tales & Poems of Winnie the PoohThe Complete Tales & Poems of Winnie the Pooh: We read several stories from this book, the Heffalump one was a favorite. It also has poems in the back. We read those and used a couple for copywork.

Preschool Picture Books:

  1. Pie Rats Ahoy – I will definitely check out more books about pirates from now on.
  2. If You Give A Mouse a Cookie – Such a cute story, a classic. This is a great story for teaching sequence and cause and effect.
  3. Si le Das una Galletita a un Raton – Of course, we had to read it in Spanish. It helps to build vocabulary and work on comprehension skills when reading a story in two languages.

Science:

  1. Good Enough to Eat: A Kid’s Guide to Food and Nutrition  – This book will offer a great introduction to eating healthy for children. My kids were especially fond of the page regarding the digestive system. They were amazed to know there are two intestines with distinctive functions.
  2. Sylvia’s Spinach – Sylvia’s seeds are the last ones to sprout and she doesn’t like spinach either. Very cute story about patience, diligence, and learning to eat a new vegetable.

First Grader Independent Reading:

Chapter Books

  1. Amelia Bedelia Means Business – This book is based on young Amelia Bedelia. My daughter absolutely loved this one and had her laughing really hard.
  2. Disney Fairies Fairy Tales a Treasury – Build reading comprehension and confidence when children read familiar stories. My daughter loves the Tinker Bell movies so reading this book was very fun for her.

Have you read any of these books? What did you read this week?

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