Fun St. Patrick's Day Sight Word Reader

My children love all holidays equally because it's a time for fun and crafts! I always try to throw some learning in, so here's a fun St. Patrick's Day Sight Word Reader.

Scroll down to the bottom to download the free St. Patrick's Day Sight Word Reader.



First, read the sentences with your child. I think that this book can be read for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade students.

Cut out the strips. Have your child read the sentences again.

Color the pictures. I like adding a picture to the top of new words to build confidence in young readers by giving them a visual clue.

saint patrickday free printable.jpg

 

Last, staple the book together.

Click HERE to download the printable.


Magic Stix Markers Review + Giveaway

This post contains affiliate links.

My children love art and so they were very happy when I was selected to review the Magic Stix Washable Markers from The Pencil Grip, Inc.

Wow, I love these fun art activities for kids with markers!

Wow, I love these fun art activities for kids with markers!

These markers are great for so many reasons! Read to learn more & find out how to win your own pack!

Here are a few reasons why we love Magic Stix Washable Markers:

1.  Portable Carrying Case

I can't stand how quickly art supplies get messy! I'm always trying to figure out what to do with their art supplies, so I love the portable carrying case that they come in.

20180217_141838.jpg

2. Super Bright Colors

My children and I love the super bright and bold colors. Unlike regular markers, the colors are very vibrant and stand out on the paper.

3. So Many Markers!

Since I have 4 children, it gets hard to share practically anything! We have the 24 pack and since there are so many markers to choose from, everyone gets the color they want which makes art projects fun!

20180302_191801.jpg

4. Mess Free Paint

These markers are really mess free paint! I have never seen markers that color like paint.

5. Great Color Selection

There are so many colors in the color wheel to choose from, even gray! My children, especially my twins, love to have specific colors for specific things.

6. No Odor

Why do my children have to smell everything? I have no idea, but I was happy when they told me that the markers had "no smell", so they won't be sniffing them instead of coloring.

7. Bright Colors

I like that these markers are not dull, even after coloring for a long time.

8. Washable

Ok, so this is really my favorite feature. I have no idea why my four year old twins have to get marker on them (and everything else for that matter) as well as the paper.

So what did my children like to do with their new markers? Here are a few fun art activities we did with our markers:

1. Science Drawing

My first grader was reading about frogs in Science, so she decided to draw a frog. I think that it came out pretty good. After drawing, then she wrote a paragraph about what she learned.

20180302_221557.jpg

2. Color a Picture

Now that we have these markers, my twins think they don't have to color with anything else. My four-year old son really put the coloring abilities of these markers to the test, and as you can see they color very well!

20180302_200333.jpg

3. Patterns

My children love to color "adult coloring books" because of the intricate patterns. These markers are great for adult coloring books due to the brightness and fine tip. I would suggest tearing out the page from the coloring book, since we did notice a slight bleed.

20180302_200356.jpg

Some other activities we did with our Magic Stix washable markers were making comic books, using stencils, and writing practice.

Overall, we love the Magic Stix Washable Markers from the The Pencil Grip, Inc. 

These markers will make a great addition to any art supply set!

 

GIVEAWAY

The Pencil Grip, Inc. has graciously offered to giveaway 1 pack of Magic Stix Washable Markers!

Just follow the rules below to enter!

Contest Starts 03/06/18 Ends 03/14/18

    U.S. Residents Only

    Winner Will be Randomly Selected

    Prize will be shipped in 4-6 weeks by The Pencil Grip, Inc.

    Review is my honest opinion & I have not been compensated in any way

 

Magic Stix Washable Markers {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

How to Use The Starfall Home Membership: A Homeschooling Mom Review

I have always used the learning games from the Starfall Education Foundation even when I was a classroom teacher because my students used to love to play games to improve their reading.

 So I was very excited when I was chosen to review the The Starfall Home Membership with my children and see the other materials inside of Starfall.

screen-shot-Starfall.png

Getting Started:

First children can customize their avatar in the “Who Am I” section. My twins love to take turns customizing their person, changing the clothes, and learning about their body parts.

The Starfall Home Membership can be used on the app or on the computer. We mostly used the computer so that the twins could actually share the screen.

Preschool & Kindergarten:

With my four-year-old twins, we focused on the Learn to Read section. This section is broken down by word family, and focuses on a specific skill for each lesson. My twins love the games that are included with each lesson, and I use them as a motivational tool after reading.

First I would read the story with them, then have the story be read to them. There is an ear icon that children can click to listen to the story being read to them. They would then practice reading the story by themselves. Last, they played the word family game and watched the video.

 

Motion Songs

This is probably my twins favorite part of Starfall. They love the Motion Songs that include all of their favorites such as If You’re Happy and You Know It, and Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear. They like to follow along with the video while singing and getting exercise. Motion songs are a great way for young children to practice their gross motor skills and learn spatial awareness.

Elementary Students:

Did you know that The Starfall Home Membership also has an elementary section? The elementary area covers first grade and some second grade skills.

The first grade section is aligned with the Common Core state standards which are taught in a majority of the states. Even if you don’t homeschool, it would be great extra practice or review for first graders.

My seven-year old daughter really benefited from the math videos because they are easy to understand and interactive. Since math is her area of improvement, we focused on the math lessons. I like how the program has children interact with the lesson by clicking on the math manipulatives and answer the questions. She enjoyed the math videos that made the concepts easy to understand.

The first grade reading section goes over the different genres such as myths, folktales, poetry and plays. The poems are written by well-known authors, but are illustrated and animated to make them interesting to young children.

Math skills for second grade include multiplication, place value, addition, and subtraction. Once my daughter completes the first grade section, then I will use the second grade section to prepare her for the next school year.

Parent-Teacher Center

There is also a Parent-Teacher Center section inside the Starfall Education Foundation. This area is helpful to learn more about the benefits of the website, as well as resources for your child. There are printables that go along with the lessons, handwriting worksheets, math practice, and more.  

Overall:

My children enjoy using the The Starfall Home Membership. I think that it is a great way to assist learning and struggling readers in a fun and interactive way. The yearly membership is also a great supplement to any homeschool curriculum for young elementary students.

The Starfall Home Membership {Starfall Education Foundation Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Write here…

How to Teach Typing For Kids

I’m so happy to share with you my new favorite tool to learn how to type: UltraKey Online Family Subscription from Bytes of Learning. I was chosen to review it, with my two oldest children.

Since my 8-year old loves to use the computer, I knew that UltraKey Online Family Subscription would be a good fit for her. UltraKey Online Family Subscription is a teaching and learning tool, suitable for use with children ages 5 and up, so I added my 7-year old on the subscription as well.

productimageultrakeyonlinefamily.jpg

wow, I love this typing program for kids! My daughter has learned how to type quickly!

Getting Started:

The first thing you do after purchasing the subscription is to open your registration link sent by email. After clicking the registration link and you will register your family. This will give you the website link, username and password to set your children up on their computers.

Logging In:

When I first logged in, I was able to use the manager guide. The link is found on the welcome screen. On the welcome screen, the parent is introduced to how the program works so that way you can help your own children. I liked being able to get familiar with the program first so that I could help my 7 & 8 year olds.

The UltraKey Online Family Subscription also provides you with complete control to customize your learning for each individual child. If your child is old enough, they can manage their own goals and settings. Since this was the first time that my girls were learning how to type, I set their goals at the Beginner Level.

After setting my children up, I went through the My Instruction panel. The My Instruction tab allows you to become familiar with how the lessons are set up. I think this is helpful especially if you have younger children who you are assisting with learning to keyboard.

bytes1.PNG

I also appreciate that you are given a private family domain that no one else has access to, so I used my girls’ first names to make it simple for them to log in.

Now that my 8 year old has almost completed the program, I will change her goals to increase her speed and accuracy. She likes the certificate that is very motivating and makes her want to beat her goal.

certificate.PNG

Program Details:

We used the UltraKey Online Family Subscription for about a month now. I think two to three sessions a week for 15-20 minutes is enough for this age range.

My oldest was able to almost finish the program, and my 7-year old definitely needed my support while using the program. For younger children, I recommend sitting with them to make sure they have proper finger placement, as well as to encourage them during the lessons.

Affordable Pricing:

The UltraKey Online Family Subscription is very affordable even for large families. They offer family subscriptions for 3-user, 5-user and 8-user levels, with the attractive pricing of $29.95, $39.95, and $49.95 per year. Families will be able to purchase renewals and continue their use for as many years as they wish. Larger group subscriptions are available with multiple managers, for home school organizations and other consortiums.

Helpful Customer Service:

I love how easy it is to contact the customer service. You can either visit their website Bytes of Learning or visit their new Facebook page.

Overall Conclusion:

My 8 year old: “I love using UltraKey Online! It’s like a game and it’s so much fun. I’m getting better at typing and in only a few weeks I don’t have to look at my fingers anymore.”

My 7 year old: “I like UltraKey Online. I think that it takes some time to get used to, but I know that I’m getting better.”

Personally, I think that UltraKey Online Family Subscription is an easy way to introduce typing to children and adults. As a person who went through keyboarding class, I appreciate learning how to type correctly and your family will love the easy format of this program.

UltraKey {Bytes of Learning Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

5 Free Crafts for Black History Month

This post may contain affiliate links.

 

Are you looking for a fun and creative way to teach Black History Month? I love to do crafts with young students, since it is a physical representation of what children are learning.

black history crafts freeb.JPG

Here are 5 Free Crafts for Black History Month:

Materials Needed:

Cardstock

Scissors

Tissue Paper

Markers

Watercolor Paint

Crayons

Black History Month Activities:

1. Jackie Robinson's Bat

After reading a book about Jackie Robinson, make a bat. All you must do is print out the bat and cut it out. Then have students color it brown, use watercolors, or copy on brown cardstock and cut it out.

2. Ruby Bridges Schoolhouse

Ruby Bridges was a little girl who helped to integrate schools. After learning about her, students can create their own schoolhouse.

 

 

 

3.  Rosa Park’s Bus

Rosa Parks helped to protest segregation on buses. Use the school bus template to have children make their own bus.

Related: 5 Tips to Teach Black History Month

4.  Garret Morgan’s Stoplight

Use tissue paper or cut up construction paper to make a stoplight. This is a great time to talk about street safety and what the colors of the lights mean.

5.  George Washington Carver’s Peanut

Use brown tissue paper, crayons, or markers to make a peanut for Dr. George Washington Carver. Children can also list things that are made from peanuts that they use everyday.

CLICK HERE to download all the crafts.

Hopefully these crafts will make it fun and easy to teach Black History Month.

What else do you plan on doing for Black History Month? Leave a comment below.

5 Tips to Teach Black History Month to Young Children

This post may contain affiliate links.

February is Black History Month and it can be hard to talk to young children about race. Instead I would focus on achievements of African-Americans and not focus on race or the civil rights movement.

Since young children really have no concept about race, I think it is something to be taught later.  The purpose of Black History Month is to honor the accomplishments and contributions that African-Americans have made to society. Community helpers is a recurring theme in Social Studies, so it is easy to tie in to Black History Month.

Here are 5 tips to teach Black History Month to preschool and kindergarten children:

1.  Read Biographies

There are many child-friendly biographies about African-American heroes. Make sure to preview the book before so that you don’t have to explain any words or concepts that your child is not ready to understand.

Here are a few books that I recommend:

 

2. Complete Crafts

For example, you could make a baseball bat for Jackie Robinson or a school for Ruby Bridges. Black History Crafts are a fun way to create a physical object that represents the person that is being studied.

 

 

 

3.  Black History Month Printables

I have created printables for Black History Month that include coloring pages with short biographies, community helper sheets, and paper toppers that can be used for crafts as well. Go here for a few freebies or purchase the complete set here.

 

Related: 5 Free Crafts for Black History Month

 

4. Introduce a new person each day

Use your Social Studies time to introduce a new person each day. Choose a few people to study during the month. Click the link below to download a list of Famous African-Americans.

Free Printable: 20 Famous African-Americans to Know

5. Talk about the message

The message of Black History Month and all the other history months that celebrate people is to teach diversity. Show children that all people are the same, so everyone should be treated fairly and equally.

I like this cute egg experiment that opens a brown egg and a white egg. Children see that it doesn’t matter about the color of the outside, everyone is the same on the inside.

These are just a few tips to teach Black History Month to young children. How do you teach Black History Month? Leave a comment below.

Hands-On Spelling Practice for Preschool

This post may contain affiliate links.

I'm always looking for independent and fun activities for my preschool twins. This activity is very low prep and is so much fun.

Instagram 01.png

Materials:

Die-Cut Letters (we used the small ones)

Alphabet Flashcards

Instructions:

1. Punch out the die cut letters- I would recommend you doing it, since they are very easy to tear. We needed 2 packs of letters for my twins, and to make sure that we had enough letters to spell the words.

2. Spread out the letters and have your child (or you) choose 2-3 cards at a time.

3. Show your child how to pick up the letters and spell the word.

4. Have fun!

My twins loved this activity and it kept them entertained for at least 20 minutes. I recommend having your child work on the floor so they have more room to maneuver. Since the picture is on the card, then your child feels as though they are "reading", which is great for building fluency and confidence.

How do you teach your child spelling? Leave a comment below!

Homeschool Preschool Curriculum: Preschool Star

Do you want to prepare your preschooler for school but don't know where to start?

When I decided to become a stay at home mom and preschool homeschool my twins, I naturally went looking for a resource or curriculum that I could use.

The only problem was that I kept finding resources that were either too easy or too hard for preschool printables. I also didn't want to keep spending our precious homeschool preschool minutes searching online for the perfect printables everyday.

I also saw a lot of fun stand alone activities or letter of the week curriculum.  While those might be an option for a toddler curriculum,  for 3-4 year old preschoolers,  they need more academic focus.  Kindergarten is an important grade, so children need to be prepared.

So I decided to create my own curriculum.

Simple. Engaging. Educational. All for one low price.

What does a unit look like?

Amphibian Preview.jpg

What age group is this for?

I designed Preschool Star for 3 to 4-year olds.

How is this different from everything else?

My preschool homeschool curriculum is based upon the Core Knowledge Standards,  which are research based standards for school readiness.
This means that instead of random activities,  children are learning necessary core skills for school readiness.

Is this a structured program?

Since I'm a stay at home mom, and I have 2 older children,  I knew I wanted flexibility.  I didn't want to deal with a heavily structured program,  but something that wouldn't take more than an hour a day.

It is flexible,  so you choose what you want to use. I also have a Pinterest board for each unit which includes supplemental activities. Note: Some programs make you pay for crafts they have copied online and call it a curriculum, and I didn't want to do that.

I also want to explore the themes and have my children enjoy their learning experience,  so I made each unit a 2 week unit.
Here is a sample lesson plan:

 
Slide3.JPG
 

My curriculum includes printables that I created with the Core Knowledge Preschool Standards in mind.
 

What about Math?

Math is an important subject that just doesn't get a lot of time as much as reading.  So I created fun and easy homeschool preschool math lessons which include two grid games for each theme. Grid games are fun games that teach young children math skills by learning how to count up to 10, and up to 20.

 
Slide1.JPG
 

I also include number and counting worksheets in each preschool theme unit, so your child is constantly reviewing their math skills.

Are you ready to start Preschool Star?

Don't worry, I've got you covered. Each unit comes with a flexible lesson plan that has a fun, hands-on activity for each subject.

You can buy it as a COMPLETE curriculum- lesson plans, math grid games, printables for one low price.

Or you can try a printable pack for only $2. Each printable pack includes 16-30 pages for a fun preschool theme.

What is Schoolhouse Teachers? A Preschool Mom Review

Schoolhouseteachers.com Homeschooling Curriculum Review.png

As a preschool homeschool mom, I am always looking for more resources to supplement my preschool homeschool curriculum. Although the curriculum I follow is complete, I am always looking to enhance the extracurriculars of Music and Art.

This is why I was excited to review the Yearly Membership from SchoolhouseTeachers.com.  SchoolhouseTeachers.com is a comprehensive, online resource for homeschooling families. I also think it is a good supplement for children enrolled in a traditional school.

High-quality, Self-paced, Online Homeschool Resources {SchoolhouseTeachers.com}

Once I signed up, I liked that SchoolhouseTeachers.com  started to send me emails to help you get the most of your membership. I like the fact that it gives a brief overview of each section, which helps me learn more about what is available on SchoolhouseTeachers.com.

Here's a sneak peek of what SchoolhouseTeachers.com looks like once you log in:

High-quality, Self-paced, Online Homeschool Resources {SchoolhouseTeachers.com}

Out of the different sections, I was anxious to look at the Preschool Playground. Preschool Playground covers the following topics:

·        Bible

·        Language Arts

·        Multi-Subject

·        Numbers, Patterns, and Cognitive Skills

·        Manners and Healthy Habits

·        Arts, Crafts, and Music

·        Science

·        Motor Skills

·        Social Studies

My twins are loving the variety of resources in the Preschool Playground available with the Yearly Membership from SchoolhouseTeachers.com.

There are also achievement certificates that you can print out and give to your child as well. This would be great as she masters a new skill, such as writing her name.

There is also a Planning section that includes e-books and articles about a variety of topics to help you plan the perfect preschool homeschool.

I wanted to focus on the Arts, Crafts, and Music so I explored the Music section. There is a Family Music online program that is included with the Schoolhouse Teachers subscription.

 Music is very important for young children since they learn rhythm, movement, and patterns through music. I like to incorporate music any chance I get, so I like the fact that it is included with my yearly subscription. The online music school provides lessons and videos that are fun and engaging for toddlers and preschoolers. The lessons are short and easy to follow.

Another area of the Preschool Playground I started to use immediately is the Beginning Handwriting Lessons. Now that my twins are interested in writing on everything, we are starting to practice handwriting. The Beginning Handwriting lessons include proper techniques for pencil grip and letter formation. My children enjoyed the poems that are included to help remember the correct letter formation. I like that it is easy for me to include this handwriting practice with our letter of the week that we are focusing on in our curriculum.

The Yearly Membership also includes access to World Book Online, which is an online encyclopedia. My oldest daughters use the reference section when they want to learn more about a topic. Not only can your child use the reference section, on World Book Online there are many educational videos about different topics. The video library has a variety of videos on multiple topics which would be a good introduction to your unit study.

There are also videos for electives such as Spanish and Art. My first grader who loves to draw liked the Drawing with Realism series. She began the watching the four part series, and was very happy with her results.

Another thing that I was very excited to see is the report card and transcript builder. Since I am now homeschooling my first and third grader, the one thing that I dreaded was creating their report cards. Apple Core makes it easy for you to keep track of your child’s grades with just a few simple questions.

I know that I will be referring to SchoolhouseTeachers.com throughout this year and can’t wait to explore the Literacy Center more. There are so many resources in one site that it truly makes it a one-stop resource for homeschooling. From preschool to twelfth grade, SchoolhouseTeachers.com has resources to support any homeschooling curriculum.

 

Click the image below to read more reviews!

Homeschool Curriculum for Everybody - {SchoolhouseTeachers.com Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer