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Living History Diaries for Kids

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During my preteen and teen years, I was obsessed with "who lives, who dies, who tells your story" (although Hamilton hadn't been written yet).  When I was around 11 or 12, the asthma doctor told myself and my parents that I would probably not live into adulthood.  My lungs were so bad that any illness or irritant could be the thing from which I never recovered.  Tough words for a doctor to tell their patient, very difficult words to hear, and heartbreaking for a parent.

From that moment on, I was obsessed with telling my own story, and reading other stories about girls my age who had also dealt with difficult things.  I loved the "Dear America" series for that reason.  It was historical fiction about lives in the past, who had overcome adversities and survived them (or not).  I remember also being a bit obsessed with Anne Frank, even addressing an entire diary/journal to her at one point.



Living and Adventuring with Asthma

I've been wanting to blog about th…

How to Hack Your Homeschool Year with this One Easy Tip

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Before I begin with this post's content, can I vent a minute about blogging in general?  I had the hardest time figuring out what to use for a headline.  I really wanted to saying something like "How to be Productive even though You're a Relaxed Homeschooler without a Schedule."  Or something less wordy (wink).   Or even something more direct, "One Tip for Your New Homeschool Year."  Unfortunately, neither of those ranked very well on the headline analysis website, so here we are with the super long and slightly bait-clicky one.  But, you're also here, aren't you?  So, I guess it worked?

I bet your wondering what my ground-breaking tip is to revolutionize your homeschool year is, right?  Once I tell it to you, all the magic and suspense is gone.  I don't know if I should just drop it or string you along.  Google doesn't like it when I write one sentence blog posts, so you have to put up with my wordy blathering.  Blogging is a lot harder th…

Ice Cream Letter Cards

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So, I totally missed National Ice Cream Day, which was earlier this week on July 19th.  Since July is still Ice Cream month and summer is an entire season of frozen food time, I thought I could still share this free printable.  It's just a simple collection, just like all my other letter cards (see them here), but there are still several uses for them.



One of my favorite ways to practice handwriting is with sensory writing trays.  This is a modern take on the Montessori salt tray, which can be customized for many different themes or events.  If you click the colored text to see several examples from this blog and to get more printable letter cards.  They're so fun, and I've found that their almost irresistible to kids.

You can use whatever you have on hand to set up your sensory tray.  In the past, I've used lids, paper plates, and trays.  My favorite option is a plastic 8x10 plastic tray, as it seems to give kids a good amount of space to write while not being too bi…

US States, Capitols, and Flag Matching Game

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I was in a Facebook group this week and we were talking about teaching kids the US states and their capitols.  We tossed around some of the store-bought learning options, then talked about whether a free printable would be better.  Since printable is sort of what I do, I decided I should make a matching game for our new school year.  We'll be reading through Notgrass Publishing's "Our 50 States" geography curriculum as a family this next school year, so this game should be very helpful for our family, too.  I also highly recommend that you buy the "Stack the States" app for a silly geography game that can be played individually or as a team.



> > > Click Here to Download < < <

I'm not claiming this is the best game in existence, but if you're looking for a FREE printable for your US geography lessons, click the colored text to download it.  I recommend printing it on cardstock either as a complete pack of 6 pages, or print one set o…

Dinosaur Egg Letter Cards

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I've been waiting to publish this printable for a really long time, because I kept thinking I would do something more interesting with the blog post besides just giving you the PDF.  Then, when I went to write this post, I realized that the digital scrapbook file had been corrupted, and I no longer had the original file.  As a result, the printable in the link is NOT an exact copy of the ones displayed in the picture.  Sorry.  I've done my best to remake them and added a few more options than I had before (so that's good).



> > > Click Here to Get the Printable < < <
Like all of my letter cards, these can be downloaded by clicking on the colored text under the picture.  Print them on cardstock for the most durability.  If you're wanting to use them for spelling, printing 2-3 copies might be a good idea.  You can organize the letters in small zip top bags to make finding the one you want a lot easier.  Cut out the eggs and use them to spell CVC words, s…

Read the USA- Pacific States

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This year, we're studying US Geography with Notgrass's "Our 50 States" curriculum!  To countdown for our new school year, we're doing a huge series about all 50 states showcasing lots of books and other items we can use to learn about them individually.  I'm finding myself being really stretched about my own knowledge of the states and what make them unique.

Last week when I did the menu page for this series, I showcased a colorful map book called, "The 50 States: Explore the USA."  It arrived this week, and the kids can't stop touching it and flipping through it.  They love going to the familiar states and pointing out all the places we've visited and where our loved ones live.  Because the book is set up in alphabetical order, it is also helping them learn ABC order, how to use an atlas, and how to spell the states' names.  I'm excited to continue to use it throughout our school year and beyond as a great reference.

For our bloggi…

The Mega List of US Geography Books for Early Elementary Kids

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I am so excited about next year's U.S. geography curriculum with Notgrass History, called "Our 50 States."  I just pre-ordered it for next year, and I can't wait to get it into our hands!  We were able to do some geography with the US history study (Our Star Spangled Story), but it will be great to slow down and study landforms, state flags, and do some map work.  Look for printables and idea posts in the near future.




We chose Notgrass History because they are a reputable Christian curriculum company for social studies.  They not only have US history and geography, but also civics, world history/geography, and economics covering all 12 grades.  I love that their "textbooks" are actually narrative stories (what Charlotte Mason called "living") and include primary texts, songs, poems, hands-on projects, and Bible verses.  There are novels and biographies to go along with each curriculum set, allowing you to combine social studies and literature if …
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