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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, 

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 I Use Abeka’s Arithmetic Curriculum to Fit into Charlotte Mason’s Math Teaching Style

How to Use Abeka's Arithmetic

There is great comfort in having a curriculum. It tells you exactly what you need to teach, how to teach it, it gives you a thorough scope and sequence; it basically helps you stay on track. How very much needed is to have that peace of mind that we are teaching exactly what needs to be covered for their grade level! 

Part of what I love about homeschooling is the flexibility to draw on different curricula and teaching methodologies. Back in college, I learned that to teach Math, especially the younger years, students should engage in using manipulatives (very much like Ms. Mason said). Also, I learned that it is best to help students make connections between what their learning in their books and apply it to real life. Moreover, they need to see how simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division help them solve everyday problems. 

I believe that you can really use any curriculum to fit the methodology you are looking for. The curriculum is to be your guide, your compass…it’s what keeps you on track that you are teaching exactly what children should be learning at that level. 

Once you come to terms with that, you can use the curriculum in any way you wish. I choose to use our Abeka curriculum to fit into what is my preferred method of teaching.

Best Features about Abeka’s Arithmetic Curriculum:

  1. Colorful, simple-straightforward lessons.
  2. Lessons are short (just like Mason said they should be) – 3 to 5 min. Some things might take just a bit more, depends on the child. 
  3. Seatwork is only one page, or 2 pages from 2nd grade and up. 
  4. It uses a Spiral Curriculum – “A spiral curriculum can be defined as a course of study in which students will see the same topics throughout their school career, with each encounter increasing in complexity and reinforcing previous learning.” (Google)
  5. There are story problems that need to be done orally (just like Charlotte Mason said there should be)
  6. Learning facts (there is drill, but it is so quick! and fun! builds confidency)
  7. Very easy to follow.

For example: How many chairs do we need to sit everyone? How many people will want to each cake? How many slices of pizza will everyone need to eat?

The past three years I have only used Abeka’s Arithmetic curriculum to teach Math grades: Kindergarten, First, and Second. As we are approaching Third, I have already ordered Abeka. We are sticking to it.

When you give it a quick glance or when you ask around, it may seem like it is far from being Charlotte Mason-friendly. Yes, it does use worksheets. Yes, it has speed drills. Yes, it has tests.

Yet, it is so much more than that.

Why use Math Manipulatives with ANY Math curriculum: 

From a young age, children need to visualize the concepts they are learning. It helps make the connection to learn to think abstractically. They need to see it first for it to make sense.  We all have to start somewhere.

Manipulatives help you present the material (concepts) in a concrete manner. 

Recommended Math Manipulatives to use with ANY Math curriculum: 

As you prepare to teach a Math lesson (regardless of the curriculum), I encourage you to keep a box with manipulatives. These are my preferred ones:

 


    1. Popular Playthings Playstix (150 pieces)
    2. Mathlink Cubes – Set of 100 Cubes
    3. Fraction Tower Activity Set
    4. Base Ten Blocks Set
    5. Gear Clock
    6. Teacher Created Resources Foam Fraction Circles (20611)
    7. Manipulative Kit (Saxon Math – very complete)

Additionally, you can use items available at home such as buttons (I get some at Joann’s and Dollar Tree), counters, rulers, beans, etc. Anything you can get your hands on and use for counting. 

What about Living Books?

Let children enjoy math outside of math. How about reading picture books that teach math indirectly? There are MANY picture books that are fun and help expand the understanding of these new concepts. Take advantage of them. Set them in a basket or leave them on the table and your little ones will come to them. Let the books help you teach. 🙂 

We have read through many living books to learn math. It has been fascinating. A living book is NOT a textbook. A living book is one that makes the story or concept come to life. It is engaging and it works! 

This post has the names of some of the math living books we have read the past few years. I do need to update it, though. Hope you find it helpful. 

Another series of books recommended in many homeschooling groups is Life of Fred. It is Math told in a story format. There are sales for it all the time in sites like Educents,


Another series of books recommended in many homeschooling groups is Life of FredIt is a stand-alone curriculum for math, but I want to give it 

So you see, Math should be expected to go beyond what is presented in a book. This is why I believe that you could make any Math curriculum fit into the approach you desire. In my case, we align our Abeka Math to Charlotte Mason’s approach as closely as possible. 

Keep a Journal – Math Notebooking 

We keep a notebook for writing down our thought process for solving problems, strategies learned, math questions, ideas, etc. Pretty much anything they can think of that they want to record, draw about,  about Math.

Sometimes they write a food menu with prices and then add those up. Or write down about company coming over and figuring out a grocery list, how many chairs will be needed.

As long as it pertains to Math, it goes in the Math notebook.  

What Math curriculum do you use? How do you expand your Math curriculum?

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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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10 Sweet Bilingual Board Books for Raising a Bilingual Child in the Early Years

10 sweet bilingualbooks.jpg

As we raise our bilingual children, I have started to make note of the books we read and the things we have done along the way to help teach them Spanish as naturally as possible. One of these has been reading to them from a very young age, the womb. We read books in Spanish, bilingual books, or books in Spanish. The following books are all very special with the goal of sharing sweet little stories to create a connection with the Spanish language. I hope you enjoy this list just as much as we have. As the kids grow, these will become little treasures that will remind you of those times when your kids were so very little and were just beginning to learn the language.

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support for Bilingual Mami, the Bilingual Homeschooler. 

  1. You are my I Love You – Tú eres mi yo te quiero Easily readable English and Spanish side-by-side text.
  2. Besos for Baby – A Little Book of Kisses: Uses simple Spanish words to teach the Spanish language through love. 
  3. La noche en que tu naciste – On The Night You Were Born: An account of the very special night the baby was born…
  4. I like it When…-Me gusta cuando: Great for teaching how to say I like this, I like that and using examples to explain why. 
  5. This Little Piggy – Este Cochinito: This is a classic nursery rhyme in both English and Spanish. 
  6. Pio – Peep!: A collection of traditional nursery rhymes. *Must* have, start reading nursery rhymes in Spanish from an early age to build literacy skills in Spanish. 
  7. Siempre te querré: An absolute favorite in Spanish. We LOVE this book, my children prefer it in Spanish. 
  8. I Love You Through and Through – Te quiero, yo te quiero
  9. Te amo, te abrazo, leo contigo – I Love You, Hug You, Read to You: The three things the reader promises to do. 
  10. Huggy, Kissy – Abrazos y besitos:  So cute!!! Your child will love this one! 

What books do you like to read in Spanish with your younger ones?

Cuéntame, tell me in the comments below!

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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Las Manitos – Spanish Nursery Rhyme

Las Manitos is a very short nursery rhyme or canción de cuna that is learned quickly. It has very short sentences and the motions that go along make it really fun to sing along to.

Children from age 12 months or even younger may be able to do the motions along the song.

Letra Las Manitos Canción de Cuna – Nursery Rhyme Lyrics:

Las manitos, las manitos,

Dónde están?

Aquí están.

Ellas están aquí,

Ellas están aquí,

Y se van.

Y se van.

This is a favorite nursery rhyme!

Arroz con leche: canciones y ritmos populares de América Latina Popular Songs and Rhymes From Latin America (English and Spanish Edition)Arroz con leche: canciones y ritmos populares de América Latina Popular Songs and Rhymes From Latin America (English and Spanish Edition)Muu, Moo!: Rimas de animales/Animal Nursery Rhymes (Spanish Edition)Muu, Moo!: Rimas de animales/Animal Nursery Rhymes (Spanish Edition)Diez Deditos and Other Play Rhymes and Action Songs from Latin America (Spanish Edition)Diez Deditos and Other Play Rhymes and Action Songs from Latin America (Spanish Edition)This Little Piggy/Este Cochinito (Dual Language Baby Board Books- English/Spanish) (Spanish Edition)This Little Piggy/Este Cochinito (Dual Language Baby Board Books- English/Spanish) (Spanish Edition)

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