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Read the USA- Pacific States

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

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 …

Why I Kissed Dating Goodbye 20 Years Ago

Disclosure- this post is not aimed at any one person or one group specifically.  It's just my story that I'm telling- a chance for me to process many of my thoughts and emotions.  Like all of my blog posts, this is only my opinion.

20 years ago, I kissed dating goodbye.  Back then, evangelical Christians were talking about the radical book by Joshua Harris and making their own purity pledges.  Being the young, impressionable, Christian girl that I was back then, I committed to kissing dating goodbye too.  At 14/15, I had even even thought about dating a boy, but it didn't matter.  I kissed it goodbye, and I didn't look back.

After Joshua Harris renounced his book and purity culture in general a few months ago, many people were again talking about kissing dating goodbye.  It seemed like the vast majority of the conversation was centered around how bad courting is for lasting relationships, how purity culture harms everyone who practices it, and how "pure" coup…

Poisonous and Helpful Plants of North America 3-Part Cards

Summertime means that lots of us are getting outside of our houses and into nature once again.  The birds are singing, the butterflies are fluttering, and the poison ivy is stinging.  Unfortunately, getting back to the wild can also mean exposing ourselves to lots of harmful plants.  Of course, there are lots of helpful plants in North America, too, but how can we tell the difference?

Before starting this blog post and FREE printable, I had no idea which plants were helpful and which were harmful.  I could maybe name a few, but I definitely couldn't name ten of each kind.  Can you?  Comment below and tell me which ones I've missed.

My information about poisonous plants came from the World Atlas and their list of ten.  Before doing this printable, I had only heard of a few of them, mostly because they're not very common in the Pacific Northwest.  The only one that I have had personal experience with is the nightshade- one of my siblings at some while we were playing outsid…

3 Cleaning Games to Play with Your Kids

True confessions time!  My house is a mess.  My husband and I are both very creative people with lots of hobbies and crafts.  We like to joke that between us, we own every department of Hobby Lobby.  If you're looking for a craft supply or tool, we probably have it (haha).  But, cleaning is NOT creative, and it's really hard to motivate anyone in the house to get some work done.  This morning, I was sharing with another special needs mom some of the games we play at our house to make cleaning more fun.

Side Note- A few weeks ago, I posted this picture to my Instagram account and caused an absolute storm of controversy.  I had no idea how many people think that kids should not do chores of any kind.  How many people think that asking kids to clean is child abuse.

On this particular day, this child made a huge mess on the window.  I attempted to clean it up several different ways (with his help), but nothing was working, so I told him we'd have to get the ladder out.  The res…

Montessori-Inspired Rainforest 3-Part Cards

Did you know that the jaguar has the strongest bite force of all the big cats?  You'd think it would be the tiger, since it's the largest.  Nope!  It's the lithe jungle cat- the jaguar- that takes that crown.  There's really so much to learn about the rainforest, it's almost a never ending topic.  It's my hope that this post will get you excited about learning and give you a few places to begin your exploration.

Learn About the Rainforest
1- Many of the foods we eat and products we interact with every day come from the rainforest.  A great place to start exploring is the produce section of the grocery store, since up to 80% of our food originated there.  Things like avocado, bananas, pineapple, tomato, mango, and more!  Have the kids pick something new to try and a few of your favorites, then use the stickers on the fruit to find out where it's from.  Look at a world map and match them.  Which fruit came the furthest?  Here is a printable if you'd like …

Garden Mystery Words Activity

Several months ago, I saw this amazing idea on Instagram that I knew I needed to make my own one day.  A mom and blogger at "The Rome Home" featured a horse learning theme with a mystery word activity called, "Stable Secrets."  From the first moment I saw the post, I was trying to find a theme to match it.  When I bought this garden clip art pack from Etsy recently, I knew I had found the perfect kit to finally do the mystery word printable!

Since we're talking about words and helping kids learn to read, I thought a book list would be a good place to start.  All of these books are nonfiction resource books for learning about plants and how seeds grow.  From toddlers to upper elementary- you should be able to find the perfect book for your crew.  Click on the colored text to learn more about the books.

Trees, Leaves, Flowers, and Seeds
From Seed to Plant  <>  How Seeds Grow
Botanicum- Welcome to the Museum
Flower Alphabet  <>  The Tiny Seed
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