Free Stuff Homeschool Deals Resources

Educents February Freebie K-2nd Math Pack


Put a little love into your math lessons this month with the February FREEBIE (Addition, Subtraction, Number Bonds, Ten Frames) pack!

What’s included: This seven page FREEBIE for February includes two vertical addition pages (one to 10 and one to 20), two vertical subtraction pages (one from 10 and one from 20), one ten frame page (to 10), and two number bond pages (one to 10 and one to 20). Skills Addition to 10 – find the sum Addition to 20 – find the sum Subtraction from 10 – find the difference Subtraction from 20 – find the difference Ten Frames to 10 – write the number to match the ten frame Number Bonds to 10 – complete the number bonds Number Bonds to 20 – complete the number bonds.

Hurry to Educents for your freebie!

Books Review

Multicultural Children’s Book Day Review #ReadYourWorld | Amazing Places + activity ideas

I am happy to be participating in Multicultural Children’s Book Day!

The Multicultural Children’s Book Day (MCCBD) team’s mission to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along the fun book reviews, author visits, event details, a multicultural children’s book linky and via our hashtag (#ReadYourWorld) on Twitter and other social media.

My Book for MCCBD is Amazing Places poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins.

In this collection of original poems, acclaimed anthologist Lee Bennett Hopkins brings together fourteen selections that celebrate through poetic imagery some of the amazingly diverse places in our nation. These include Denali National Park, the Oneida Nation Museum, San Francisco s Chinatown, the Grand Canyon, the Ringling Circus Museum, Harlem, the Liberty Bell, Fenway Park, and more. The poems as a whole take readers on an exciting multiethnic travelogue around the United States and encourage a positive appreciation of our country s historical, environmental, and cultural heritage. The inspiring and insightful poems were created by some of the best-known authors writing for children, including Alma Flor Ada, Jaime Adoff, Joseph Bruchac, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Nikki Grimes, J. Patrick Lewis, Jane Medina, and Linda Sue Park. Captivating illustrations by award-winning illustrators Chris Soentpiet and Christy Hale feature well-researched settings that infuse the poems with vibrant life and atmosphere.

BigG loves geography and interesting places.  I knew this would be a fun read for him.  The poems made it interesting to read.  I like exposing him to poetry – although at this point we’ve really only read funny poems – so this was a great way to experience some quality writing.  The book has some amazing artwork that illustrates the places in the poems.  I would love to see a part two as this really only covers a small portion of the United States’ amazing places.

G’s favorite was The Sandy Hook Lighthouse.  It’s a shape poem – written in the shape of a lighthouse!  And it has a very neat picture to go along with it.

My favorite was Niagara.  But it might be (again) because of the artwork.

The back of the book features details on each place feature in a poem.  That was helpful for answering G’s questions.

This book can be read cover to cover or you can do one poem at a time and expand upon it with activities and if you live close enough to the place the poem is based upon – you can take a field trip!

Since G’s favorite was the poem about the Sandy Hook Lighthouse we did lighthouse activities!  He loves to draw so he made his own.  Then he built (a rather good one!) our of LEGOs!


I would love to take him to see it but I’m not sure I’m up for the 15 hour drive!

Thanks for checking out my MCCBD review.  Don’t forget to check out the hashtag #ReadYourWorld on social media to find more posts, reviews and books for this day!

Multicultural Children’s Book day 2016 Medallion Level Sponsors! 

Platinum: Wisdom Tales Press * StoryQuest Books*Lil Libros

Gold: Author Tori Nighthawk*Candlewick Press,* Bharat Babies

Silver: Lee and Low Books*Chronicle Books*Capstone Young Readers T

Tuttle Publishing ,NY Media Works, LLC/KidLit TV

Bronze: Pomelo Books* Author Jacqueline Woodson*Papa Lemon Books* Goosebottom Books*Author Gleeson Rebello*ShoutMouse Press*Author Mahvash Shahegh* China*Live Oak Media

Multicultural Children’s Book Day has 12 amazing Co-Hosts:

All Done Monkey, Crafty Moms Share,Educators Spin on it,Growing Book by Book,Imagination Soup,I’m Not the Nanny,InCultural Parent, Kid World Citizen,Mama Smiles,Multicultural Kid Blogs,Spanish Playground


Catching up to now | 3rd Place Ribbons, Whale Videos and Math

One of new year’s resolutions is to blog more here!  (If you didn’t know, I manage two other blogs – and while I would love to blog about Homeschool all day everyday, this blog is not paying the bills.  So I have to devote a good portion of my time to Saving Toward A Better Life.  BUT if I don’t start making THIS blog relevant and interesting, then it will never start paying the…here we go!)

I figure the best way to actually getting around to getting our Week in Review posts up on Friday is to open it in my editor on Mondays and add to it all week long.  So that’s what I’ve been doing with this post.

Monday is our co-op day.  This week was our second co-op day of the spring term.  We LOVE our co-op.  I plan on writing soon about what makes a co-op great.  I truly think ours is the greatest.  I can’t think of anything that would make it better.  We have over 80 families totaling nearly 250 people.  We have great classes (BigG is taking Spanish this term!  Yes we have a Spanish class for 1st & 2nd graders!)  Two weeks of Spanish and he already knows all the colors, numbers to 10 and about a half a dozen animals.  Foreign Language is not my strong suit so I’m excited!

While I’m talking about co-op, just before Christmas break our co-op had a Literature Fair.  I was nervous about signing up for this because BigG hates writing and I knew this would require a lot of it.  But we had plenty of time to work on it so we could break it up into manageable chunks and I knew it would be good for him.


I don’t want to make this post insanely long so if you want to read about the Literature Fair Project on the Titanic – you can do so over here in a separate post.  But as you can see, it was very good for him!  I was SUPER proud of his 3rd place ribbon – he was the youngest kid to submit a project AND there were some good ones he was up against!  (He even placed ahead of the kid who did a project on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and actually made homemade chocolate candies for the judges!)

It’s been so long since I’ve written about what we’re up too.  We’re still using Sonlight and are a little over halfway through Core A.  (We started week 18 on Wednesday of this week.)

We started Apologia Swimming Creatures after Christmas (after finishing up an abbreviated run-through of Flying Creatures (which is the Zoology 1 course).  We started Zoology 1 this time last year and scratched the surface of it – BigG was only 6 so I pared it down to what was interesting and appropriate for him.  But since he LOVES ocean animals I plan to stretch Zoology 2 over the next year and a half by taking it slow (sometimes what they have listed to do in a day in the plan is a little much for him) and adding lots of extras.

I’ve made a YouTube playlist of Swimming Creature videos where I’ve been adding videos that go along with our lessons.  We’ve only been through wales and dolphins so far but I will keep adding to it so far.  We have thoroughly enjoyed using YouTube to watch these amazing creatures!


We also just started Singapore Math 2A.  Last year for 1st grade we used BJU Math 1.  We didn’t get all the way through it (the last chapter and some of the optional “going further” lessons scattered through the book).  So we spent to first part of this year doing that.  And then did Singapore Math 1B just to make sure he was on par to switch to Singapore.  He’s doing great in math.  I like how Singapore tries to keep it uncomplicated.  It seems to be just right for him at the moment.  I have 2B, 3A and 3B (I scored BIG at a book sale last summer!) so I plan to work through all those and then have him take a placement test for Teaching Textbooks.  Math is not my favorite so I know we will reach a point where I’m going to need help teaching him (and I know that point will come well before high school!) so Teaching Textbooks is definitely on my radar for that!

I think that catches us up!  Thanks to Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers for having a weekly wrap-up every week!

Weekly Wrap-Up

Co-op/Outside Activities History Unit Studies

Literature Fair Project on Tonight on the Titanic


So I signed BigG up for a Literature Fair at our Co-op before I realized what it was.  HA!  To be fair, I had originally read the requirements for the age group UNDER BigG.  So I was thinking, “Oh, this is a piece a cake.”  So I signed him up.  Then when I realized what was really expected I was like, “oh dear.”

But I knew this would be good for him so we dove in.  I will say, I tried to sway his choice of books to something that I thought would still be easy.  But oh no, he would have none of it.  He was (and still is) enamored with the Titanic.  We had already read Tonight on the Titanic a while ago. And actually owned it because when we reached that book in the Magic Tree House series, our library didn’t have it!  It had been checked out and not returned like 6 months prior.  So Amazon to the rescue with 2 Day Prime shipping we had it in (almost) no time.

So anyway, I wanted him to re-read the book and he was okay with that.  As much as I wanted him to pick a different book that I thought would be easier, it was actually best that he did this one because it’s what HE wanted.  I have a feeling I got more out of him because this was HIS topic.

Here’s what was expected of him for the fair project (now mind you, he’s in the 2nd grade!):

  • Book Report on book of choice
  • Visual Aid based on book
  • Pick a research topic based on book
  • Write a research report on topic with 3 sources listed on works cited page
  • A “hands on” Research project based on report

Please tell me I’m not wrong for being daunted by that list!

So, visual aid…. “Mom, I want to make the Titanic out of paper.”

Me: Well, son…. how about part of it?

“Ok.  Can I have an iceberg?”

Me: *calls my dad and asks how we might fashion an iceberg.  He gives us Styrofoam from a box of motorcycle parts he recently ordered*  Yes, we can make an iceberg out of this Styrofoam.  I think….I really hope.


I think the iceberg turned out well.  We had to cut a few pieces to shape and glue it together.  It’s very hard to glue styrofoam.  Elmer’s isn’t going to cut it and hot glue melts it.  Just so you know.  I finally had luck with tacky glue.

I broke down the writing of the book report into manageable chunks – a paragraph a day.   The guidelines had specific things it wanted in the report.  We followed those to the bare minimum. It was 5 paragraphs so it took him a school week to do it but he did it.  The last paragraph was questions about how the book made you feel.  His read:

This book was a little scary.  It made me feel sad for the people on the Titanic.  I am glad new rules were made so that it would never happen again.

Isn’t he the cutest?  Ok…

I did sway him on his research topic.  Because had I not, his report would have been 92 pages long.  He wanted to included it all.

We settled on answering these Titanic questions:

  1. Why did the Titanic hit the iceberg?
  2. What made it sink?
  3. Why weren’t more passengers rescued?
  4. Why did so many people go down with the ship?

I really tried to make 3 and 4 the same thing but he wasn’t having it.  He had an idea.

The research report was twice as long as the book report but he added every fact he wanted.  Like I said above, this was HIS topic.  I kept reminding him the more things we added to the notes the more he was going to have to write.  He said, “I know, but this is important.”  If I had made him settle for something different, I probably wouldn’t have gotten the same quality out of him.

The visual aid (aside from having the Titanic coming out of it and an iceberg in front) had the 4 questions and some bullet points (we did this on the computer) and some pictures.  We were working on this project just as this story broke about the picture they think is of the iceberg the Titanic hit.  So of course that had to be included.  And a map of the Titanic’s fateful voyage.  And people on the lifeboat.  And he wanted a picture of the Captain and a couple who’s names escape me at the moment but they went down together because she wouldn’t leave him.  The pictures are a little crooked but it’s because I let him do it – I wanted them to be able to see that he did it.  😀

Now we’re down to the last thing.  A “hands on” research project – as if the reports and the visual aids were not enough.  And to make matters worse I realized 2 nights before the fair that the visual aid and project were two separate components.

CRAP.  Pardon my French.  So I’m re-reading the forms and messaging the lady in charge just trying to clarify when G comes to me and says, “Look, I made a little Titanic out of my LEGOs.  I think I can make an iceberg too.  Want to come help me find white pieces?  Maybe I can take it with my project.”

Does this kid have any idea how awesome he is?

So off I go to help him find the write pieces to make an iceberg.  And I say, “So, do you think you can make the other two ships that were in the area that night?  They were smaller than the Titanic, remember?”

“Oh, yeah.  Here’s one I made when I was trying to make the Titanic but I didn’t like it.  It can be the Carpathia.  And I’ll make the other one.”


And thus our “hands on” research project was born!  He demonstrated (with ridiculous accuracy) where each ship was reported being when the Titanic struck the iceberg and why the closest ship didn’t respond and the farther away ship didn’t make it.

He had to meet with the judges and “present” his project.  Oh, how he shined!  I had to watch from outside the room through a crack in the door but I could see him and his facial expressions and gestures as he was talking.  Afterwards I said, “Were you able to answer all their questions?”  And he said, “They didn’t really have any questions because I told them everything.”

Oh how I love this kid!


He was over the moon about his 3rd place ribbon (and so was I!)  We had talked for a couple days leading up to this that it was okay if he didn’t get a ribbon.  That he worked hard on his project and that’s what was important.  And he learned some new things and did his best.  And that we weren’t going to be upset if he didn’t win.  I wanted to prepare him.  I hope that I didn’t scare him into thinking he wasn’t going to win but I didn’t want him to get upset.

We got his score sheet back a couple weeks later with the judges comments.  He got a 99 out of 100 – so it was close among all the participants!  Which made me even prouder.  He got a 4/5 for “visual aid neatness”.  (Those pictures glued on crooked is what cost him!  lol)  That was his only missed point.  The judges comments were “well organized, creatively presented, and very knowledgeable.”

This momma could not be more proud!

Mom Thoughts Random

This sums up my week….


No wonder I was STARVING at dinner time tonight. I just found my lunch right where I put it down on top of the book shelf when it was time to help G do his math. Totally forgot to finish eating it.





Free Stuff Homeschool Deals

FREE Subscription to Family Fun Magazine

familyfunWe have a subscription to this magazine.  I love reading it each month!  There are tips, activities to do with the kids and more.

Here is a completely FREE, no strings attached magazine subscription offer!  Get a FREE subscription to FamilyFun magazine!

Plus, check out some fun ideas the kids can do with old magazines when you’re done with them!

If you don’t mind jumping through a couple hoops, you can snag free subscriptions to Family Circle and Outdoor Photographer!

 Get a FREE subscription to FamilyCircle magazine!   For the job questions I just went through and selected “other” on all of them.  I declined all the other offers.  When you get to the page that asks for Credit Card information that’s JUST if you’re choosing any of the offers on THAT page.  We aren’t selecting other offers so just look for the tiny “no thanks” button and click it. Say “no” to a few more offers and you’ll get to the confirmation screen showing that your free FamilyCircle magazines will be on it’s way!

Get a FREE subscription to Outdoor Photographer magazine!   – just follow the same directions as above.


Free Stuff Homeschool Deals

FREE 2016 “Read with Me, Talk with Me” Calendar


Here’s a nice little freebie!  I can always use a wall calendar in the school room and it sounds like this one has some extra useful stuff in it!

Boost your child’s language and literacy skills all year long with the 2016 “Read with Me, Talk with Me” calendar!

Expand vocabulary and help get children ready for school with tips and resources. You can jumpstart your child’s early language and literacy skills all while having fun and spending time together.

Request yours for FREE!


Homeschool Moms’ Favorite Educents Resources

I do love Educents!  They recently asked me what current item on their site I had used and enjoyed and they included my comments in a roundup of Homeschoolers Favorite Resources!

Educents is valuable for homeschoolers and teachers alike.  You can always find deals (and sometimes freebies!) to help with your lessons!   Do you have any lessons coming up in 2016 that will be challenging?  Or that you don’t have all the resources together for yet?  Don’t forget to check out Educents for what you need!

top picks homeschoolers

No matter what may be on your lesson plan for 2016, consider the resources below. Members within the Educents community put a list together of their favorite homeschool resources. If you’d like to learn more about the resource, just click the link! If you want to get more involved in the Educents community to learn more about homeschooling and the curriculum offered on Educents, join the Educents Facebook group!


Emily of Smith Squad recommends the Life of Fred books.

“As a child, I always hated math, even though I was good at it because it was soon boring. When I heard about Fred, I knew he had to be a part of our homeschool. My kids absolutely LOVE when it’s math time, and they are learning a ton about how to apply math to every day practical situations.”

Life of Fred Buyer's Guide


Lisa Marie of The Canadian Homeschooler uses the Writecraft and Mathcraft Units.

“The writing portion of this resource was the first time EVER that my oldest son ever willing wrote anything! He was excited to write instead of hating it.”