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Learning About Strawberries with the Novel Strawberry Girl (Summer Reading Club)

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My oldest (Dragonfly) is almost ten years old and has a lovely group of homeschooled girls she calls her friends.  To capitalize on their friendship and desire to spend time together this summer, the moms have conspired to have them read a few children's novels and meet for book club.  For the month of May, we've been reading "Strawberry Girl," which has been a very interesting and fun read aloud for the beginning of the summer.   "Strawberry Girl"  was written by Lois Lenski in 1945 and won the Newbery Award for it.  The book is set among the "Crackers," rural, poor, white families in Florida during the early 1900s.  We've found it to be a good book for reading aloud because the accent and vocabulary of the "Crackers" is very authentic and can be challenging to read at times, if you're not from that region.  The story has lots of teachable moments about respecting adults, working hard, having compassion for others, dealing with d

Summer Book Club Ideas for Kids

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My daughter (age 9/10) has a group of girlfriends her own age.  The moms decided that the girls should have a book club this summer, to encourage them to read good literature.  They'll be getting together once a month to discuss the book and do some fun activities related to themes in the book.  Here's the plan for this year.  The Plan for Summer 2021 May- The Strawberry Girl June- Charlotte's Web July- All of a Kind Family August- TBA As we dive into each classic novel, I'll be posting articles with ideas for ways to engage your kids more on the subjects in the books.  Since I've already done a few blog posts, I've linked them below for you.  I'll add the new posts as well throughout the summer. Of course, you don't need to do a formal book club to get lots of value out of these classic book activities.  Each of them would also make great whole-family read aloud stories and a basis for a unit study in your homeschool.  Let me know in the comments below

Fascinating Books for Learning about Bald Eagles and Birds of Prey

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My family loves spotting eagles around our home and learning about other birds of prey.  We regularly spot falcons, hawks, and eagles.  Did you know that the American Bald Eagle has it's own national day of celebration?  June 20th is a great day to focus on the great American symbol.  Scroll down for lots of great hands-on learning ideas.   DK Eyewitness Eagle and Birds of Prey- The Eyewitness encyclopedias have a reputation for beautiful pictures that make a great resource for anyone who wants to learn more about a subject.  This book discusses birds of prey in all sizes and types from around the world.  Also includes a look at their anatomy. The Eagles are Back- From the author of other great stories of wildlife brought back from the edge of extinction (the Buffalo are Back and the Wolves are Back ) comes a story about one boy who helps hatch an eaglet.  The story encourages kids to embrace conservation and environmentalism. Eagle in the Sky- Active kids who have a bit of tro

Montessori-Inspired Backyard Birds 3-part Cards

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/> Originally published on August 12, 2015 and updated on April 30, 2021. It's springtime!  Even thought it won't stop snowing and raining and hasn't gotten about 40 degrees, we're starting to see birds!  The kids are getting pretty restless getting stuck inside all the time, but they're enjoying all the variety of birds in our yard.  They have big plans for birdseed sensory bins, water fun, and other warm weather games.  Spring is also a great time for a bird, egg, or nest themed homeschool unit. The Little Book of Backyard Bird Songs Backpack Explorer: Bird Watch book Safari Ltd Backyard Bird toob Build a Bird Bungalow Kit Bird Sound Stuffed Animals Collection Backyard Explorer Dress Up Kit Birds, Nests, and Eggs book Western USA Backyard Birds Flashcards Hanging Bird Feeder   <>   Warbler Bird Whistle Toy Robin Stuffed Animal Puppet Safari Ltd Incredible Creatures Cardinal This is a Member's Only Printable! Sign Up for the Newsletter to Get

Montessori-Inspired INSECTS 3-Part Cards to Match the Safari Ltd Toob

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Originally published on May 13, 2015 and updated on April 17, 2021. My family loves Safari Ltd toobs for homeschooling, which is why this printable is one of the first things I put onto my blog.  Over six years later and it's time for a quick update on an old favorite.  These Montessori-inspired 3-part cards match the Safari Ltd Insects* toob and can be used in numerous ways for learning about bugs.  Scroll down to grab the printable for free! *Insects seems to be more of a suggestion than a scientific term for the manufacturer of these toys, but that can be a great lesson in itself.  What is an insect and what is not?  Finding names for all of the generic creatures in the tube was much more challenging than it usually is for me.  I did a lot of research and made my best guess to find names that match the look of the bugs. This is a Member's Only Printable! Sign Up for the Newsletter to Get It! (If you're already a subscriber, add your email again to get the s

Painted Lady and Monarch Butterfly Species Sort Printable

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Is there anything more exciting in springtime than seeing the first butterfly?  We love it!  As the weather gets warmer, our homeschool lessons start moving more outside or things that we can see outside.  Butterfly life cycles are so fascinating, and growing caterpillars is something kids should do at least once in their lifetime (I know some families do it every year). I'm always looking for new activities and printables to go with a butterfly or insect study and these Painted Lady and Monarch butterflies are great for celebrating springtime.  Putting this printable together was refreshing and theraputic.  I hope these colorful lepidoptera will perk you up, too.  If you're working on a theme unit on butterflies, check out the awesome resources below! How to Rais e Monarch Butterflies book Monarch Butterfly Anatomy Tshirt Monarch Butterfly Life Cycle Set Monarch Butterfly Stuffed Animal Monarch Butterfly Dress Up Wings Monarch Butterfly Garland   <>   Monarch Butterfly K

Montessori-Inspired 3-part cards for the Safari Ltd GREAT LAKES Toob

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The regions of the USA have a great variety of wildlife.  Whether you're studying the geography of the entire nation for homeschooling or you want to familiarize your kids with the animals in your own area, the Safari Ltd Great Lakes Toob  would be a great addition to your collection.  The set includes 10 plastic figurines of common regional animals including Canada Geese, Sturgeon, and Mudpuppies. I have a personal goal of creating Montessori-inspired 3-part cards to match every Safari Ltd toob.  I have several of them, which can be found by clicking on the colored text here.   I am pleased to add the Great Lakes toob to my collection.  Scroll down to get the printables for free! If I was studying this region with my kids, I would also add many of the animals from the River toob and the North American toob.   For this reason, I also added a few extra cards to the printables pack, so you can make an even more robust unit study.  Here are a few things I found to add to your learn
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