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Squirrel and Acorn Books for Autumn

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The calendar has turned to September, and it's officially time to start fortifying for winter.  Few animals are as famous for their autumnal preparation like squirrels!  It's so fun to watch them scamper around the yard and woods, as they get their stashes ready for the first snowfall.  Last year, I did a bunch of squirrel printables for preschool and kindergartners, so this year I thought I'd expand the collection of ideas for include some fun picture books, too.  Here are some great ideas for creating a theme unit for your kids!


Squirrels Leap, Squirrels Sleep- this charming, rhyming book gently leads kids through the world of squirrels from playtime to bedtime.

The Busy, Little Squirrel- this board book focuses on the season of autumn as a time of preparation as the world winds down for the long sleep of winter.

Grey Squirrel Stuffed Animal- my tenderhearted daughter brought home a dead squirrel one day, so we bought her this stuffed animal instead.  It's very cuddly.…

Build a Whole Pizza with Fractions

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It's a new school year, so it's time for some new printables!  I have lots of math helpers and manipulatives on this blog, but I'm not sure I'll ever reach a point where I can say that I have too many.  I was chatting with some other moms this morning in a Gameschooling group (homeschooling through game playing), and one of the moms mentioned she was looking for a pizza fraction game.  I've been spending so much time working on my small business that I haven't been posting to this blog very often, so I thought this was a great opportunity make a new printable!



Is there any American kid who doesn't love pizza?  It doesn't matter what time of the day or how often we've eaten the food, the kids are always game for another pie.  With so many varieties available from savory to sweet, there are so many options for chowing down on it too.  If your kids enjoy pizza like mine do, they might enjoy these other fun pizza themed toys and books.  Check them out …

What's Working for Math in 2020

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I don't often write about the specific curriculum choices that we've been using, because I never feel like I have a firm enough grip on their success to justify putting them into the blog.  We are relaxed homeschoolers, which means that we don't use a lot of curriculum in the first place, but we also have some special needs in our family.  It's been an experiment to try to find what works for us.  For the first time in years, I feel very confident with our current set up enough to share it.


Dragonfly (9)

We've been struggling with Horizons Math workbooks for years with Dragonfly.  Finally, this spring, I switched her to Khan Academy.  I also had her start over with kindergarten work, since Khan is common core, which is different from Horizons.  Khan Academy is also FREE, which made it a very easy switch, even as an experiment.  I also like that Khan is set up more like a traditional classroom with very simple text and pictures, not animations or any elements that m…

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…
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