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11 Tips to Set a Homeschool Routine for Success

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11 Tips to Set up a Homeschool Routine for Success

 

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

However,

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. 

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.

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 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.

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 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 instanpot 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.

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

 

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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! 

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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

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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.

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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!

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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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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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Literature Unit Study for Owl Moon by Jane Yolen- Spanish Books And FREE Printables


Owl Moon

Author:  Jane Yolen

Grades: Pre-K – 3rd grade

This book is excellent for introducing the concepts of figurative language in English or in ESL.

Beautifully written story of a girl going owling with her Pa one night. The text describes the entire setting, the time spent between the girl and her Dad. It also teaches never loosing hope.  We are going to be doing some activities to go with this book. Use sections of the story for copywork, find figurative language in use throughout the text. 

Language:

  • Figurative language: onomatopoeia, comparisons, metaphor.
  • Creative writing: Write about a special time going to see something for the first time.

Science:

  • Study owls: discuss what it means “nocturnal”.
  • Study Great Horned Owls – some really good information on the National Geographic Kids site. 

Art:

Spanish:

¡Buenas noches, Búho! (Spanish Edition)

Búhos increíbles (Ciencias: Aprende vocabulario)

La noche del pequeno buho (Spanish Edition)

El dia del pequeno buho (Spanish Edition)

Other Picture books on owls:

White Owl, Barn Owl: Read and Wonder

National Geographic Readers: Owls

Owl Babies

The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark

Little Owl’s Night

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How to Sew Pumpkins the Easy Way – Sewing and a Handicraft Project for Children per Charlotte Mason

How to Sew Pumpkins the easy way a children handicraftactivity

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 per Charlotte Mason:

  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.

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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 sewing with your children? What have you made? 

 

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How to Sew Pumpkins the easy way a children handicraftactivity

 

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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Throw a Travel-Themed Adventure Party

(This post contains affiliate links.)

With celebrations in mind, follow the below links for amazing ideas on how to throw a travel-themed adventure party for kids! Little Passports partnered with Brandy from gluesticksblog.com to bring you clever ideas for hosting a Travel-Themed Adventure Party for kids!

They have also created an idea packed Travel-Themed Adventure Party pinterest board!

Little Passports is turning 7! To celebrate, they are having a big birthday sale!

Until Friday, April 15th, Little Passports is offering the following savings on their Monthly, 6 Month and 12 Month subscriptions:

  • $7 off any Monthly subscription. Use promotion code: BDAY7
  • $14 off any 6 Month subscription. Use promotion code: BDAY14
  • $21 off any 12 Month subscription. Use promotion code: BDAY21

 

You can take advantage of Little Passports’ Birthday Sale by using the above promotion codes at check out. Go on and celebrate!

 

**This promotion is valid online only at www.littlepassports.com. To redeem enter code BDAY7, BDAY14, or BDAY21 at checkout. Offer valid on new subscriptions only and cannot be combined with any other offers and/or applied retroactively to previously placed orders. Offer applies to first month of Monthly Plans only. Offer not valid on Personalized Products and Shop items. Offer excludes shipping and taxes. Offer valid from April 5th, 2016 at 8:00AM EST to April 15, 2016 at 11:59PM EST.

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