Category Archives: homeschool

Why I Use Abeka Phonics and Language Arts to Teach Reading K through Second Grade – An Honest Review

Abeka Review Phonics Teaching Reading.png

(This post includes affiliate links to resources that I trust and use. )

I have been using Abeka’s Language Arts program for each of my children for five years. I have been very impressed with Abeka, it is a solid curriculum! It is very complete with books, consumables, lesson plans, scope and sequence, charts, you name it. They have it. To be honest, you don’t need anything beyond it, but just like with any curriculum, you can use the curriculum as you see it best.  You can add or take as you wish! 

Related: How I Supplement Abeka Arithmetic Curriculum with a Living Math Charlotte Mason Style – Going Beyond the Textbook

Related: How to Organize ABeka Homeschool Assignments and Papers for the Year

For K4 I have only used Abeka’s readers and hands-on activities where we used stamps, foam letters, stickers, and did plenty of tracing activities with flour and markers.  

Abeka’s books are very colorful and cute. My kids really like the pictures and the characters that were once presented in K4 continue throughout the books in K5, 1st, and 2nd. One of my kids gets a smile whenever he notices one of the old characters is in  the illustrations in his first grade book. 

Abeka’s program is very thorough, it uses a spiral approach meaning that the same concepts will be practiced throughout while introducing new ones and reinforcing the old concepts. I believe using this method helps students to develop mastery and confidence in their work.  This same approach is also used in Abeka’s Arithmetic, which my kids also love. 

Reading textbooks / consumables:

It is a phonics based approach. Children are taught the short vowel sounds and long vowels. Long vowels are introduced when presenting the silent ‘e’. 

Teaching Tip: I teach my kids to say that the ‘e’ gives all its power to the vowel before and therefore it now has a long vowel sound. Since the ‘e’ gave all its power away, it is now silent.  This explanation has worked very well for my kids. 

There is plenty of practice throughout the workbook for children to circle the special sounds and mark the the vowels short or long.

Teaching Tip: I find this practice really helps with spelling. There is ample practice looking and circling the special sounds, which helps children to hear, recognize, and learn to write the special sounds (blends) when thinking of the words they need to write. 

Vowel combinations are presented in such a way that it comes really natural to learn when to use them. Often times I ask my kids how to spell a word and they just know exactly what the two vowels are going to be. 

Teacher Manual:

The teacher manual tells you exactly what and how to teach every special sound. It also tells you which flashcards to use and what to write on a whiteboard (or notebook if you are short on space). 

Abeka’s Teacher Manual is detailed and thorough. Honestly, going through the concepts takes about 10 minutes approximately.  Some lessons are really quick, so you could totally do two lessons in one day. Like I said, it is totally up to you. 


Abeka has a book for tests. It is totally optional to use it  (if unaccredited). Tests are a page each. They have an oral examination where they have to hear the sounds you say and they need to write them down. The written part of the test is both sides of the page. 

Abeka’s Flashcards: (this is gold!!!) 

Abeka has a great set of flashcards and charts to use to teach reading. Personally, I only use Abeka’s Basic Phonics Flashcards which are to be used from Kindergarten through Second Grade.  This website has a list of all their flashcards/charts available. 

Abeka’s flashcards are really all the hype! I know some moms who only purchase the flashcards to use with their chosen reading program because they are so complete, colorful, and a great addition to reading lessons. 

Abeka’s Basic Phonics Flashcards are my favorite! A really great resource to have in your homeschool to teach blends, special sounds, spelling! 


Find Abeka’s flashcards and ALL homeschool materials through
Abeka Homeschool

Binder: Heavy Duty Binder

Sheet protectors: These are very durable and great for marking on! 

Dry Erase Markers: These are the ones we use and erase well.

How to store Abeka’s Basic Phonics Flashcards?

I store mine in a heavy-duty 3-ring binder in plastic sleeves. They come in different colors according to the special sound. Some are only used in Kindergarten, others in 1st, and so on. Eventually you use all of them. If you notice your child has mastered a set, go ahead and move on with the flashcards and review the old ones when he/she completes the pages on the book. 

How to use Abeka’s Basic Phonics Flashcards? 

Since we have been using them for several years now, these are some of the ways that I use the flashcards in my homeschool. 

  1. I select the ones we need for the blends we are learning in the week and use it for a center time. I give my kids their favorite color dry-erase marker to mark the blends and vowels. Then they just erase them once we check the work.
  2.  Another way I have used them is to have my children read the blend, the clue word, read all the words in the back. Then on a notebook write down the special sound and three words (including the clue word) below it. 
  3. The third way we can use them is to put the words in the back in ABC order. We can write the number on the back or copy the words in alphabetical order.
  4. The fourth way I have used them is in dictation. I choose the words and read them and my children have to write the words. 

Throughout the workbooks (known as the consumable in their website) there is plenty of practice for recognizing and marking special sounds, splitting syllables, splitting double consonants, and writing rhyming words. 


K4 and K5 readers were good. Second grade readers are also really nice, we especially liked one about animals and one book with Bible stories. We supplemented reading time with books we checked out from the library in English and Spanish to match the themes we have been studying in our homeschool. 

The stories are simple and silly, but engaging to young readers. It is all about the surprise the child gets when reading their first sentences! You are definitely encouraged to look for additional books to read beyond the readers from Abeka.  

For K4 and K5, we enjoyed Biscuit books. There is a lot of repetition. 

I have a post with ideas for books to read for Kindergarten and First Grade. 


In Conclusion, Abeka’s reading program is very thorough, offers lots of practice, and fairly quick to do. There are days we can do two or three lessons in Kindergarten.  Like any other program, you can adjust the textbooks to suit the needs of your child and your own teaching style. Definitely feel free to add more activities, or practice skills in a way that you see fits your style best. 

I have been able to see in my own kids how much they have been learning with Abeka. They can even recognize how the spiral approach works and they tell me that doing an exercise a few weeks ago prepared them for a new challenge in the book. 

Most people I know who have used Abeka score really well in tests and are well prepared for college. I feel very confident with our decision to use Abeka and plan to continue using their books.  If you have any further questions on the program, please send me a message or comment below. 

Happy Homeschooling!

How to Order Abeka Homeschool Curriculum

–> To order Abeka Homeschool curriculum, use they offer great prices, quick shipping, great customer service!
Abeka Homeschool


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Homeschooling and Learning about the World with the World Cup

As huge soccer / futbol fans, the World Cup is quite the occasion.  I cannot pass on the opportunity to watch great games with the best players around the world while learning facts and geography of the different countries that will be represented. 

Jamie Martin’s book Give Your Child the World is a wonderful resource to have in your homeschool! It is a book with curated book lists of the best books to read for different countries and zones around the world. I love having this book in my teacher’s library! 

You might also like to check this post: 

Teaching Geography in the Bilingual Dual Language Classroom or Homeschool Plus FREE Geography Signs Printable

My goals are pretty simple: 

  1. Watch games (yay!)
  2. Learn the basics of soccer
  3. Learn the location of the country (what continent is it in?)
  4. Learn the capital city of the country
  5. Famous landmark
  6. Language spoken and listen to a video on YouTube with simple phrases in said language 
  7.  What would you add to the list? 

Since World Cup 2018 will be held in Russia, we are going to read a couple of picture books about Russia. 

These are the picture books on Russia that I am requesting from our local library. 

Russia ABCs: A Book About the People and Places of Russia (Country ABCs)


Luba and the Wren 

Babushka’s Doll


Creating Onion Domes – this website has an easy tutorial 


What ideas do you have to include the World Cup 2018 in your homeschool / readings / summer plans? 



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Free Addition Game for the Doubles Hands On with Free Printable


Today I am sharing a FREE Printable game I made for my Kindergartener to use.  My kids really enjoy games and puzzles and putting things together, so I created this addition printable where the bee card will have to go to the sunflower to get the pollen. 

Each addition card also has a ten-frame where the kids can color each of the spaces necessary OR they could use any other counting manipulative available to find the correct the sum. 

Related Post

Adding Doubles Muffin Tray Activity

Favorite Books Series to Teach Math 

How I Supplement Abeka Arithmetic Curriculum with a Living Math Charlotte Mason Style – Going Beyond the Textbook

How to Use the Double Addition Free Printable 

Print and laminate for durability. Cut the cards in the center lines (this is my preferred paper cutter), and then shuffle the cards. Have fun adding and finding the sum! 





To get your FREE printable (2)


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Teaching Geography in the Bilingual Dual Language Classroom or Homeschool Plus FREE Geography Signs Printable

Bilingual Geography


We love, LOVE, Geography. As a language learner and world traveler, a world map makes my heart beat. Although these days, most of our traveling happens by looking at our world map and finding travel videos on YouTube to help us see the world.

Until we travel again, we are getting to see the world from home and it is so exciting. We are learning the names of capitals, countries, directions, oceans, continents, and so much right from our home. There are a couple of resources that I want to share with you that we use as well as a FREE Printable that we are using in our home.

As we are learning Spanish through content, it is very important that we provide our children with plenty of input in the target language, Spanish. We also want to make this input accessible in print at all times, so we are labeling our home with plenty of signs in Spanish, including signs around our world map for Geography class. 

This month we are focusing our attention on studying Africa’s geography since we recently partnered with Trades of Hope to be a Compassionate Entrepreneur. As world changers we have the opportunity to empower women out of poverty all around the world and send cloth diapers to women in Uganda who don’t have access to any diapers for their babies. Imagine, that.  I would love to tell you more details (leave a comment) or simply visit my website at Trades of Hope to learn more.


How to Teach Geography Bilingually in English and Spanish in your Homeschool 

Read in English:

One of the favorite books that we use is a fantastic resource, written by fellow homeschooler Jamie Martin. She wrote Give Your Child the World, a book,  filled with lots of picture books and books to read as a family (or read aloud) about different countries in the world.  It is divided into continents and countries.  She also gives a brief description about each book and the ages it targets. 

Although her book is written in English, any family would greatly benefit from it. If I want to read a book in Spanish, I simply go to google and search the name of the book and add the word Spanish next to it. In doing that I can usually find the title of the book in Spanish, if it has been translated. 

This is an excellent book! It is available in paperback (what I have) or also in Kindle format. 


Give Your Child the World – paperback

Give Your Child the World – Kindle 

Another fantastic book is The Lonely Planet Kids Travel Book: Mind-Blowing Stuff on Every Country in the World. Just by reading this book, you get to go on a world trip, reading facts, seeing pictures, and learning so much about every country. Every country gets a whole page. Love it!!!

The Travel Book – Hardcover

The Travel Book – Kindle 

One last resource in English is Child’s Introduction to the World: Geography, Cultures, and People – From the Grand Canyon to the Great Wall of China . I love that this book gives an intro to basic terminology used in Geography. This book will be a great companion to use when using the FREE Printable I am sharing with you at the end of this post. 

Reading in Spanish

This is the one book I am very drawn to because I have heard so much about it through different homeschool groups. This one is in my wish-list, hoping to get it soon.

In my home we grew up with a world atlas in Spanish, it is a must have. I really like that this one is in Spanish. It is so important to read in Spanish and build up our knowledge in Spanish. 


Keep a Wall Map Accessible (or Visible) 

We spend a lot of time looking at our world map, noticing the countries, names, locations, and pretty much everything in the map. We keep it on the wall as a reference, so that whenever we read a book  and a country or language is mentioned, we can quickly reference it on our wall map. 

Use a World Map for Reference 

For example, a few months ago we read The Family Under the Bridge. This book is set in France where Paris is mentioned all throughout as well as a major river that runs through part of France. During our read aloud, we stopped a few times to find Paris, France and the river on our map. 

Talk about the Terms used for Referencing a Place on a Map

We talked that France is to the East of the United States, across the Atlantic Ocean. We also talked about the countries neighboring (limítrofes) France.  

  • Talk about directions (direcciones) 
  • Talk about neighboring countries
  • Talk about oceans, rivers
  • Talk about location (how far or close to the Equator a country is)
  • Talk about their current season and your own. 
  • Show where the North and Southern Hemisphere are located and its implications to the seasons of the year and the weather. 

Our World Map

This is what ours looks like.  It is so simple, but it has sparked so many conversations around our table.  At some point, I would like to get this scratch map, looks really nice and I think the kids would have fun scratching the places we have read about through our read alouds, places visited, family locations, etc.  

Geography Homeschool Bilingual English Spanish

This is how we label our map in our homeschool using bilingual labels / signs. 

Look at the Globe – El Globo Terráqueo

Having a globe is so important, too. We talk about “El globo terraqueo” (the globe) and that the “tierra es redonda” (the earth is round). It gives us a good reminder of what the earth looks like.  I also really like that we can clearly see La Línea del Ecuador (Ecuador Line) in the globe and follow it all the way around. 


Video –

What is Geography? Qué es la Geografîa? Video for children in Spanish.  Thanks to YouTube we are also able to go on world tours. Search the name of a country or city and type in virtual tour. Definitely preview videos before showing them to your kids, just in case. 

Cooking World Foods

Another interactive, hands-on way to learn Geography is by making food recipes from a different country. We have made Dutch food, Chinese, Chilean, Mexican, and Italian food so far.  It has been a joy to share the kitchen with my kids while they learn Math and Geography at the same time. 

This cookbook is fantastic!!!! Eat Your Way Around the World is a cook book with recipes from around the world. Each section is divided by continent and by country. You could easily pair it with Give Your Child the World. 

Bilingual Geography Signs – Free Printable 

So far I have only put up the north, south, west, and east signs. I will be adding more signs as we encounter more Geography terms in our readings. One curriculum I would love to try is Beautiful Feet Geography.  It would be a study on Geography through literature. 

Get Your Bilingual Geography Signs Free Printable for your homeschool or classroom. Let me know in the comments if it is useful for you or if you would like to see more resources like this one.  

Download your free printable below:

Bilingual Geography Signs


Have fun learning Geography! 


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Authentic Materials to Teach American Culture through Music

Authentic Materials to Teach American Culture Through Music

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own and I only post about courses that I use and love. 

Music is an authentic, natural way to get to know a country’s language and culture especially the music related to national holidays and special celebrations that occur throughout the year.

Music is the easiest way language learners can make a connection or association with a country’s language and culture. This is why in our bilingual homeschool, we make the study of music such an essential element to discover new cultures and languages. Becoming aware of the world around us, helps broaden our perspectives and see there is a whole world out there created by God.

Today, I am sharing about a brand new course released by Gena Mayo that we will be using in our bilingual homeschool that will benefit English Language Learners (ELL), as well as Americans who live outside the US, and even Americans who live in the US. This course is for anyone who wants to learn about American Holidays and Special Dates

Music to learn about Holidays and Special Dates in the United States

music lessons.jpg


Who is this course for?

English Language LearnersThis course provides authentic materials, already laid out for the teacher or homeschooling parent. It teaches the special dates that are celebrated in the United States, along with music and culture that is associated to it. As an ESL teacher, this course will save me hours of research!!! 

American Students – There are brief descriptions, biographies, and information presented along with videos and activities to further enhanced the study of American holidays.

Bilingual Homeschool – The bilingual homeschool is constantly looking for ways to learn about the culture related to the languages we are learning to speak. 

Music is a unifying component in the study of language, culture, and tradition. Language Learners and those who already speak the language as a first or second language will benefit greatly from this course. What I love about teaching music is natural way to pass-on tradition and teach culture. 

What about extension activities?

The course comes with quizzes that we can do together, it also encourages learners to do more research if desired. Learners can also make observations on the differences of style and instrument used to approach a holiday or special occassion.  Using short videos and reading the biographies could be used in an ESL classroom or a bilingual homeschool where English is the second language to teach relevant and authentic aspects of the culture. 

Why study music about another country while learning a language?

Basically, it broadens one’s worldview and helps you appreciate culture and traditions from your own home country and others around the world. 

Babies and toddlers begin learning language or many languages through music long before learning to talk or read. Preschoolers and school age kids begin associating music to holidays from a very young age. For example, Christmas music is played from November or December as Christmas comes closer.  Or Irish music is played in March as we near St. Patrick’s Day. 

Understanding the culture, the music, the language used in the country’s target language helps deepen the level of proficiency in that second language. 


What is included in the course?

The course includes videos, activities, quizzes, and everything I need to pull a music lesson that is relevant to teach my kids about America through music. The course is self-paced, online, all at the ease of a click!

How to learn the culture of another country while learning the language?

  • Learn the names of the holidays of the year
  • Learn the dates of the holidays or approximate times (i.e. just the month or semester)
  • Read picture books or living books about the holidays
  • Study history related to the holidays or special dates
  • Dress in colors/clothes related to the holiday. For example: red and green for Christmas, green for St. Patrick’s Day, red for Valentine’s Day, yellow for New Year’s, blue and red for 4th of July.
  • Practice activities or traditions per the holiday: cookout (hamburgers and hot dogs) for Labor Day, Memorial Day, and Fourth of July, Thanksgiving Dinner with turkey for Thanksgiving, ham for Christmas. 

Right now the course is 40% off through March 28th, 2018. After that the price will be going up.  Today we are going to start the section on Easter since we are getting so close to it, coming up on April 1st this year. 

What kind of special dates does it include?

In the United States, May 4th is a big day because it is Star Wars Day. It comes from May the Force be with you. It is just a fun day, but honestly language learners would appreciate knowing about this day when coming to live in the United States. Same thing with April Fool’s Day.

Will this course help English Language Learners?

Yes!!!! I personally didn’t know about April Fool’s Day, it wasn’t taught in textbooks or language school. I learned about it from living here. So as you can see culture is an aspect of language learning that is best taught and learned from authentic materials.  

Hope you find the course as helpful as I have! Let me know in the comments how you are using it with your homeschool or ESL classroom. 

Get the course when you click on the picture below: 



Hasta la próxima!

For older students:




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Best Educational YouTube Channels for Kids


Thanks to technology, we can learn most subjects from YouTube. Offering videos, online field trips, learning a thing or two about let’s say farm life or cooking in the 18th century or who knows what your child will want to look up tomorrow morning. YouTube has it. YouTube has pretty much everything!!! It is the best assistant teacher I have found so far. lol. I definitely recommend looking up the videos beforehand and deciding what is appropriate for your family or not.  

I will be adding more to this post as we come across new channels.  Hope it is useful to you! Let me know what your favorite channels are in the comments. 

You might also be interested in

*** Favorite YouTube Channels to Teach Spanish for Kids ***


Math Antics This is our go-to channel for having a new Math concept explained. The presenter gives a presentation where he shows how to follow certain steps do an exercise.

Mr. DeMaio – This channel has Multiplication Table songs


Seeds Family Worship –  Bible verses are turned into songs that can easily be memorized. 


Luna Creciente – Mono Sílabo: Teaches how to read syllables and reading in Spanish. Cute songs and overall a really good channel.

A Tiempo Preescolar: LOTS of authentic Spanish songs, it even has circle time songs and quick games that children can learn to play. LOVE this channel! 


The SciShow Kids channel helps children “explore the unexpected.” Each video answers a question like “why do we yawn?”, videos are only a few minutes long, quite engaging though. 

Peekaboo for Kidz has videos on inventions and science. Worth checking out!

Blue World: Life under the ocean


Discovery Kids

Read Aloud

For Read Aloud (in English), look up Storybook Nanny where stories like I know an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly are read. 


Art Hub for Kids: We watch this channel quite often for learning to draw things related to our topics or units or simply because we have some free time and everyone likes to learn to draw something new. 


Fitness Blender: We especifically like this video that is perfect do inside when there is bad weather.  It includes water breaks!!! 

Worth Noting:

Crash Course Kids is a popular channel that has videos for different subjects. Worth taking a look. 


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Free St. Patrick’s Day English Spanish ABC Printable

Clover AlphabetPrintable

St. Patrick’s Day or St. Paddy’s Day this year will be on Saturday, March 17th, 2018. This is an opportunity for children to learn about Ireland, go on nature walks looking for clovers, trying out new Irish food, and so much more. In a different post, I will share what all we will be doing as we study Ireland. So excited about this upcoming unit!!! 

To introduce the topic to the preschoolers, I created this set of clover ABCs that can be printed, laminated for durability, displayed on your word wall. What’s even more fun is that you can use this set to:

This is the best laminator I have found and used by many of my teacher friends and homeschooling friends. Laminating helps me save tons of time and helps make everything last longer so all the kids can use the same materials. 

Scotch Thermal Laminator, 2 Roller System, Fast Warm-up, Quick Laminating Speed (TL901C-T )Scotch Thermal Laminator, 2 Roller System, Fast Warm-up, Quick Laminating Speed (TL901C-T )Scotch Thermal Laminating Pouches, 8.9 x 11.4-Inches, 3 mil thick, 100-Pack (TP3854-100)Scotch Thermal Laminating Pouches, 8.9 x 11.4-Inches, 3 mil thick, 100-Pack (TP3854-100)

How to Use the Clover ABCs in Your Home or Classroom:

  • practice ABC order,
  • recognizing beginning sounds in English and Spanish,
  • thinking of words that begin with the sound and letter,
  • looking for objects in the home or outside that begin with the letter or sound. 

First print, laminate (or use contact paper), then cut. This mini-pocket chart is great for displaying the letters while you teach this theme. 

An example on how to display the ABC cards on a chart. In this photo, I am using an animal pack that I have been using for teaching reading syllables in Spanish. 



The photos above are featuring the Valentine’s Day Animal Pack available in English and Spanish. You can find it at my two shops:  TeachersPayTeachers and also at Bilingual Marketplace

Inside the Clover ABCs Printable You will Find: 



Favorite Books to Teach Spanish ABCs

Favorite Books to Teach ABCs in English

There are so many books to list, but one of my favorites and most-used books is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom in English and Spanish

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (Board Book)Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (Board Book)Chica Chica Bum Bum ABC (Chicka Chicka ABC) (Spanish Edition)Chica Chica Bum Bum ABC (Chicka Chicka ABC) (Spanish Edition)

This FREE Clover ABC Printable is perfect for the Bilingual home or for those who are introducing the Spanish language or for those who want to use the English alphabet only. 

The only difference between the English alphabet and the Spanish alphabet is the letter ‘ñ’. There’s been much debate and revision of the Spanish alphabet at different times regarding whether the ‘ch’ or the ‘ll’ should be included. When I learned the alphabet in Spanish those letters WERE included. However, much has changed in the last few years. For more information, read what the Real Academia Española has to say about the alphabet.   I researched online before making this set just to be sure only the ‘ñ’ was to be included. 

Spanish ABC Song

There are some ABC songs in YouTube we enjoy that include the ‘ch’ and ‘ll’ and I am totally okay with that. It introduces the sounds those two letters make together. But for the purposes of the alphabet, I only included the ‘ñ’. 

This song is really fun to dance to and so catchy!

English ABC Song

This is the best ABC song in my opinion and also includes the sounds to all the letters.  My other favorite ABC song is this one.

Hope you find it useful!!!!

Click Here to download your copy of the ABC Clover in Spanish and English.  (Black and White)

—> If you would like it in color, please leave a comment below so I can make it and post it. Thanks! 


Let me know in the comments or tag me in Instagram with #thebilingualhomeschooler to see how you use the FREE Clover ABC Printable. 

¡Hasta la próxima! 

Other posts you might be interested in:

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11 Tips to Set a Homeschool Routine for Success

This post contains affiliate links.

11 Tips to Set up a Homeschool Routine for Success


Fact 1: homeschool provides freedom to have your own schedule…


Fact 2: when there is no routine, everyone and everything is all over the place which may lead to chaos. 

Many times friends and family ask me “how do you homeschool when you have 4 children?!?! You must be very organized!”- they tell me. Well, in a sense, I am organized when it comes to the routine I have set up for our homeschool based on what I see are the needs and goals of our homeschool.  I look at our needs and goals and see (and pray a lot!) on what we can do to achieve those goals. 

The main aspect to remember throughout homeschooling, like in all things, is to be consistent. It is imperative to have a consistent routine, or schedule, or rhythm to you home life

Below I am sharing 11 tips that have been a true life saver for me!!! These tips are what keeps our homeschool running smoothly and guarantees a successful homeschool week. After all, isn’t that what we all want!?

Recently I read in a book by Rachel Carman where she stated the importance in planning and setting up a routine for success in your homeschool.

Because after all, we are people of habits!!!

We strive with routine. Children, especially, strive when they know what is expected of them. Children and adults do well with routine, clear expectations, and everyone does better when they know what they are supposed to be doing. 

Therefore it is very important that we set up a homeschool routine for success! It takes a little bit of planning on our part and going the extra mile, but with prayer and dedication, you will see your work paying off when your homeschool week goes smoothly! 


11 Steps to Set Up a Homeschool Routine for Success


1. Set a Weekly Theme – what is a common theme in your lessons / read loud for the common week. Look through your homeschool books and see what the the unit will be about. What is one aspect that is tied into your lessons? What is an animal/place/thing that your children became interested in? Use what you see as a common theme to tie into different subjects. For example, our math book had a travel theme for a unit, so each day we talked about a different country based on what was presented on the book.

2. Plan read alouds – Set a time in your week for read alouds at the table over a yummy snack, poetry tea-time, or snuggling on the couch.  Set a goal to read a book over a week’s time, then choose a new book for the following week. Imagination Station or Magic Tree House series have books that can be easily correlated to a theme.

In our bilingual homeschool, we have two main read alouds: one in Spanish and one in English. Plus many other books we read throughout the day on varied subjects. 

In our history curriculum at the very beginning of the year, we studied about the Vikings: who they were and their travels. This book by Imagination Station was so fun to read while adding a living book element to our history lessons. This book is the first one in the series. As soon as we finished the first one, my kids were ready to continue with book 2.

Most, if not all, Magic Tree House books have been translated into Spanish. The books are very easy to read, the children are able to follow them well. If you feel you would like to read them in Spanish but are hesitant about comprehending the text, pick up a copy in English. Read a chapter in both languages to help you guide the discussion and pick up vocabulary the kids might need further assistance.

Overall, I have been very pleased with using Imagination Station and Magic Tree House series for read alouds. Both series are quite engaging, quick to read, easy to follow. I really like the non-fiction elements included throughout the stories. Very much like a living book.

Magic Tree House has been my go to series for reading chapter books in Spanish. My kids have enjoyed them very much to the point that whenever they find a Magic Tree House book, they always request it to be in Spanish.


 Voyage with the Vikings (AIO Imagination Station La casa del árbol # 13 Vacaciones

3. YouTube Time: Take advantage of YouTube and travel around the world, visit museums, farms, learn about a new animal, etc. Tell your children to come up with a question or two each on something they really want to know about the weekly theme. Use this time to look up videos on YouTube that could help answer the questions.  Then write a sentence or two as a follow up activity.  Have some fun and learn something new together!

Related: These are some of our favorite YouTube channels in Spanish that we like to watch. 

4. Nature Walk and Nature Journalying – Set a time for the week when you plan on going outside for a walk. Pick a day of the week that you intently go outside and observe animals, trees, bugs, etc. See this post with ideas on additional books and supplies for a nature walk that could help expand on this activity. Perhaps even use your Spanish during this activity. Go on a language Scavanger Hunt around your neighborhood. 

5. Pick a Bible Verse for the Week– Pick a verse from a book like Psalms or Proverbs and read it every day. You may work at memorizing it or you may simply just talk about this verse daily. Take it a step forward and use it for copywork! We like to memorize a verse in Spanish to practice throughout the week.  They each recite it at the end of the week. 

Also use this verse to talk about vocabulary, attributes of God, and life applications. 

6. Set a loop schedule –  A loop schedule consists of a set of subjects that are taught every day in no particular order but that are completed daily. I am of the opinion that certain subjects should be taught every day such as Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Bible, and Spanish.  There are other subjects and activities that I assign to a few days of the week like History twice a week even though it tends to happen more throughout the week which is great when it happens. We do Geography every day so that is also part of our loop schedule. 

7. Chores – Part of our homeschool routine is to complete chores around the house. It teaches responsibility and basic entrepreneurship skills.  Children receive an allowance for their completed work. Then they get to divide their money into three areas of money management: give, save, spend.

I strongly recommend reading this book by Dave Ramsey to teach money management skills from a young age.


 Smart Money Smart Kids: Raising the Next

8. Cooking – Cooking is a regular activity my children do throughout the week. Since a very young age, they each have been involved in helping with a meal like getting the ingredients, helping find a recipe, mixing and stirring, peeling, etc. There is so much of the Spanish language my children have learned from cooking with me!!! We take time to study about eating healthy and read books that will enhance our understanding of food. We also watch cooking videos in Spanish to get an authentic input of Spanish language.  

Learning to cook is just as important as learning math or science. It is a life skill that will save them money someday when they know how to shop and what ingredients to get to be able to cook themselves a meal. My children have enjoyed cooking, they look forward to our time spent in the kitchen just as much as our read aloud time!  I am quite fond of this online course that teaches children how to cook basic meals, how to use an instapot safely, how to use knives, and how to try to eat varied foods. Cooking is so much fun and allows them to become more creative and develop problem solving skills!  

9. Extra-curricular: Any classes, activities that you have signed up your child outside of home. It could be music lessons, sports, art, language classes, additional tutoring, etc.

10. Co-Op: A once a day when children attend classes with other children. If you are in a season of hygge, use this time to connect with a smaller group at your own home. 

11. Devotional – Grow together as a family when you gather to read the Bible and present your requests and praises to God.  These have been my go-to devotionals for my children. I have yet to find a devotional book for them in Spanish. 

Having a personal devotional book, allows each person to have some quiet time where they can read, reflect, pray, and interact with the text. When we gather for discussion, we take turns sharing about what we read.


 God and Me! Devotions for Girls Ages Gotta Have God: Ages 6-9 His Mighty Warrior: A Treasure Map from 

Cuéntame – Tell me:

What are your tips for a successful homeschool week? Share in the comments. 

11 Tips to Set up a Homeschool Routine for Success


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Homeschooling and Preparing for a Hurricane in the Same Week

Little did we know this week we would be preparing for Hurricane Irma, right after watching out and praying for our friends in Texas who endured Hurricane Harvey a week ago. 

Irma looks massive. So many people have left. So many people are staying. The streets are quiet, all shelves are pretty much empty with a few exceptions here and there. Most people have been pretty calm out on the street, which is great. People have been lining up for water, facebook groups have served as a means to share information and encouragement for those who are new to hurricanes. 

I keep on hearing this is the first time people have seen such a massive hurricane about to hit Tampa. This is the first time we have witnessed fellow friends having to evacuate from Clearwater and St. Petersburg area. 

While we are here at home, waiting, watching the news, homeschooling, we have also been preparing to face the hurricane. 

First of all, we are praying. Praying hard the hurricane will loose strength and for people’s safety. 

Secondly, we have been taking the necessary precautions to be ready for Hurricane Irma. 


Hurricane Essentials to Have at Home – Home Preparedness Kit in case of Emergency


The light can be used as a lantern when expanded or as a flashlight when compacted, making it a dual-purpose light. It also works for charging cell phones, using as a flashlight. It can charged with batteries, electricity, or SOLAR in case of power outages.
It is very light. Very easy to use. Just got it out of the box, plugged in, and that’s it.

I am glad we got it because it can help us charge our cell phones. It comes with a USB cord to charge, or it can get charged solarly. This light is VERY bright, it will light up a whole big room. It also has a button that allows you to set an intermittent light in case of emergency to let others know you need help. You can also use the energy from this lamp to charge a cell phone.  We are really happy with this purchase! 


Suaoki Led Camping Lantern Lights Rechargeable BatterySuaoki Led Camping Lantern Lights Rechargeable Battery

We got this large Brita water filter that comes with a dispenser. It yields 18 cups. We got this so we can filter tap water. The filter comes with it. Be sure to grab extra filters


Brita 18 Cup UltraMax Water Dispenser withBrita 18 Cup UltraMax Water Dispenser with

This is a item we are going to be getting. I keep seeing to put important documents in the dishwasher, but honestly, i think having a water proof case is the best option for permanent storage.


Fireproof Money & Document Bag By DocuSafeFireproof Money & Document Bag By DocuSafe

This is another item we will be getting to have for next season. Gas lines can be very long (or short!), but the scarcity of gas may make it more difficult to contemplate evacuating on short notice. I actually saw some people filling up their gas cans and thought that was really impressive. So definitely adding this item to my list to get ready for next hurricane season!


Briggs & Stratton 85053 5-Gallon Gas CanBriggs & Stratton 85053 5-Gallon Gas Can

In case of any emergency, I strongly recommend having a first-aid kit at home. We have one from Ikea, but if you don’t have a store you, this kit from Amazon looks just as good. it comes with 299 pieces. This is also really easy to pack and store in a suitcase in case of evacuation.

First Aid Only All-purpose First Aid Kit,First Aid Only All-purpose First Aid Kit,

Homeschooling the Week of Hurricane Watch


Make a hurricane out of cardstock – draw a spiral on paper. The small spiral will be at the center which will become the “eye” of the hurricane.  Really simple, great activity.

Notebooking – We watched a few YouTube videos and then the children did some notebooking in which they wrote in a sentence what is a hurricane, then they drew a picture. 

Discuss Safety Measures – Where to go? What to do? Listen to phone alarms, check weather reports. 

Write down lists – This was so important!!! 

  • Things to pack
  • Things to purchase 
  • Priorities 

Most importantly, we discussed the importance of keeping CALM. In times when things go out of the norm, it is very important to pray, have a plan, and stay calm.  God will guide our steps, every step of the way. 

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

Psalm 119:106


Trust in God, above all. 


Keep safe. 







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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, 


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