This is default featured slide 1 title

This is default featured slide 1 title

You can completely customize the featured slides from the theme theme options page. You can also easily hide the slider from certain part of your site like: categories, tags, archives etc. More »

This is default featured slide 2 title

This is default featured slide 2 title

You can completely customize the featured slides from the theme theme options page. You can also easily hide the slider from certain part of your site like: categories, tags, archives etc. More »

This is default featured slide 3 title

This is default featured slide 3 title

You can completely customize the featured slides from the theme theme options page. You can also easily hide the slider from certain part of your site like: categories, tags, archives etc. More »

This is default featured slide 4 title

This is default featured slide 4 title

You can completely customize the featured slides from the theme theme options page. You can also easily hide the slider from certain part of your site like: categories, tags, archives etc. More »

This is default featured slide 5 title

This is default featured slide 5 title

You can completely customize the featured slides from the theme theme options page. You can also easily hide the slider from certain part of your site like: categories, tags, archives etc. More »

 

Where to Find Notebooking Pages

Whether you are new to notebooking, or you have been using the method for years but your kids are asking for new/nicer/more creative pages than just a binder, I’ve put together this list of where to find notebooking pages.

I’ve divided them loosely between free and paid pages, although many of the paid sites also offer some terrific freebies, so you’ll want to go take a look at all these places and see what they have that fits your needs.

Free notebooking resources:

I would be remiss if I didn’t start by sending you to the wonderful site owned by Jimmie Lanley, A.K.A.The Notebooking Fairy. Jimmie is probably the best-known notebooking homeschooler around and offers tons of great advice as well as loads of attractive, free pages.

The Crafty Classroom offers some terrific freebies and some paid sets. Of particular note in the freebies are some beautiful Mystery of History go-along pages, and some really useful creative writing resources, but there are loads to choose from.

Practical Pages Nadene has been using the Charlotte Mason style of notebooking and journaling since her children were small, and she has a fantastic collection of free notebooking pages for pretty much any subject. I especially love the coloring pages of famous works of art, perfect when you are doing artist studies.

Homeschool Helper Online is another don’t-miss -it place for some great pages! Sports, holidays, and geography are just a fraction of the beautiful and simple pages you’ll get here.

Design-Your-Homeschool has a few pages that you might want to grab for older students especially.

Guest Hollow is a blog that’s been around for years and has offered a lot of terrific materials during that time.

Activity Village has my favorite set of famous people notebooking pages, including quite a few hard-to-find ones.

Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus has some truly gorgeous pages, and all free. TONS of topics, too!

Confessions of a Homeschooler made these for the youngest notebookers: Daily Learning Notebook for preschool/K and lower elementary as well as cursive .

Looking for notebooking pages? We have the BEST list of available notebooking pages for your homeschool.

Great notebooking companies:

Notebooking Pages is probably the best known of the companies in this topic….and for good reason. They offer a lifetime membership, sets by topics, a way to make your own, and a lot of freebies for subscribers.

Currclick.com has paid and free pages from a massive variety of companies. You can filter by grade, cost, subject, and a load of other things to make it easy to narrow down your search. Set aside extra time for this one, though, because you’ll find yourself on many rabbit trails as you surf!

Donna Young used to be free but now her many and varied pages are subscription only. It’s still worth it!

Homeschool Notebooking offers thousands of pages for a $5 subscription.

NotebookingNook offers both sets at a fixed price, and all-access pages for a lifetime membership option.

A Journey Through Learning, besides lapbooks, sells page sets to go with popular curricula such as Prairie Primer and Apologia. A real time saver for busy families.

That Resource Site offers a nice selection of science notebooking pages on a subscription basis.

Westvon Publishing (Happy Scribe, History Scribe) have loads of copywork pages with different topic and font options, and their History Scribe pages are great for self-propelled learners.

Hands of a Child (better known for their lapbooks) also offers notebook packages for older students. Look for their Note Packs.

 

Got another suggestion for where to find notebooking pages? Share with us on Facebook!

 

5 Ways to Make Spelling Fun

For some children, spelling can be a real struggle. It can be really frustrating for both parent and child, especially if the parent or other siblings are “natural spellers” who’ve never experienced the same difficulties. I’ve put together 5 ways to make spelling more fun that has worked in our house. Hopefully, they’ll help you out too!

Sing it.

You read that right. It’s a lot more entertaining to sing the word opera-style while blubbing your lips, like a robot, or whatever else floats your boat and it sticks in your head a lot longer too. Start by having the child sing it while looking at the words you are working on that day. Later in the day, or the week, you can come back and perform them again, this time without reading them as you go. By the end of the week, they’ll have it nailed and you’ll have spent a whole lot of time laughing.

Spell in the tub.

Foam letters, washable bath paints, the letter magnets from your fridge (come on, we all have those plastic letters somewhere around!) can spell a whole lot of entertainment if you turn your back, call out a challenge word from the list, and let them tell you when they’re ready for you to see. Bonus fun seems to involve letting them wear a swimsuit into the tub – I have never figured out why this is true, but it’s always a winner.

Have you been looking for ways to make spelling fun? Here are 5 creative ways to make spelling fun, that you've probably not thought of!

Play hangman.

It’s a classic for a reason. If you have multiple children learning spelling words, give each of them a paper bag or jar with their sibling’s words for that week and let them draw one to challenge the other with. Sounds effects and gleeful drawing of the little hanging man are gory but memorable. If that makes you cringe, play “clown face” or “monster face” or “alien” and have them draw a new feature on the face each time someone misses a letter. As long as they’re playing fairly they can cover a whole week of spelling vocabulary together no matter what the age differences.

Make cootie catchers.

If you don’t remember how to do this, google it. Then make a cootie catcher with the correct spelling inside and definitions on the last flap. Put whatever you want on the outer flaps….numbers, colors, whatever. Play with your child while waiting in the doctor’s office, or let them play together in the back seat as you drive to lessons or co-op. It takes 5 minutes to make a new one up each week and children love this game. Store old ones in a box and pull them out from time to time to help refresh their memories.

Draw a line in the sand. Or the snow.

Let them use toes, fingers, sticks, or whatever else they’ve found on your hike outside (in the snow, you could fill a spray gun with water and food coloring and let them write it that way too.) This is a great one for perfectionists because it’s easily erased and you can always move on to a clean patch of sand or snow.

Do you have extra tips for ways to make spelling more fun? Share with us on Facebook!

 

 

Homeschooling in the Great Outdoors

I don’t know about you, but my family and I love spending time in the great outdoors. We camp a few times a year. And by camping, I don’t mean camper and electricity. I mean pitching a tent and really camping. Why? Because there is SO much that can be learned by spending time in the great outdoors.

One may even call it homeschooling?

Don’t believe me? Take a look!

Life, survival, and cooking skills

Camping allows us all to learn many things that can carry on for the rest of our lives. Things like cooking over an open fire or using a camp stove. Knowing multiple ways to start a fire and then put one out. Storing food safely outdoors is important to keep critters away. How do you pitch a tent and take one down? What about keeping hands clean when there’s now running water or staying warm without electricity?  These are all things one can learn while camping.

 Botany

Take along some books on plants and leaves and see how many your kids can collect and identify.  Which plants can you eat? Which plants do you avoid? These lessons can be learned in the woods while camping.

Hiking and Mapping

While camping you can teach your kids how to use a compass while taking a hike in the woods. Along the way you can show them how to follow a map (if the trail has one) or you can teach them to read the campground map.  Show them how to not get lost while hiking, or even how to find your way back if you do get lost. These are all important skills that many kids now a days don’t know.

Have you tried homeschooling in the great outdoors? Getting outside and enjoying nature is a great way to learn. Try camping this month and homeschool in the great outdoors!

Stargazing

Have you ever looked at a night sky without all the hustle and bustle of the city or the sounds of neighboring houses? You can do this while camping. Find the Big Dipper and the North Star. See what other constellations are out there. Kids love this and it’s not something that you can always do in your own back yard.

Contentment

Food, water, shelter. Really that’s all one needs right? Camping helps you learn that you really need very little to survive. After spending a few days roughing it outdoors everyone will be happy to have the comforts of home.

In addition to the above kids can also learn while fishing, they can bird watch, play in the creek and learn about rocks (Geology), they can find animal tracks, identify critters they see along the way and much more.

Camping is an affordable, fun and memorable vacation opportunity for many families. So, head out there this month and take advantage of the many things you and your family can learn while camping! And while you’re at it call it school ;)   


Misty Bailey is a work at home homeschool, mom.  She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

Internet Safety Tips for Teens and Tweens

If asked, every parent would say they want to keep their kids safe online. However, statistics have shown that children are more and more at risk online than ever before. Teens and tweens are more at risk than any other age due to the fact they have increased independence, and are more likely to seek out relationships online.

So, what is the secret to keeping our teens and tweens safe online? Educating our children about the dangers online can be done a few simple ways. Here are a few internet safety tips for teens and tweens.

 Teach The Important Things!

Teach your kids the important things! Here are a few things you want to make sure your kids know:

  • Never share passwords with anyone that you and your parents haven’t agreed on.
  • Don’t purchase anything online (even free items) without parental permission
  • Never share addresses, birthdates or other personal information online.
  • Don’t open documents or files from people you do not know. This includes pop-ups and email.
  • Show your older children how to check the privacy policy on games and apps. They may be surprised to see what information is being shared with the developer of the purchase.

Communicate Often!

  • These conversations can happen anywhere and must happen often! Share teachable moments when issues of online scamming and identity theft come up on the news. Share what could have been done to prevent the crime.
  • Be available for your children on a regular basis. Create an open door that allows your children to come to you when they have done something wrong.
  • Continue these conversations regularly. Online safety is not a one-time conversation. Studies have found that 93% of parents have talked to their teens about online safety, but only 61% of teens say they have had this discussion.

As parents we need to do our best to educate our children about how to stay safe online. These internet safety tips for teens and tweens can help us do just that!

Be Cautious!

  • One of the most important tips we can teach our children is to be cautious. If our children are aware of the dangers out there, they can be taught to think twice before falling for a scam.
  • Teach your kids to trust their instincts. If something feels uncomfortable it probably isn’t right.
  • Make sure they know to NOT meet individuals they have met online in person without a parents’ permission. Explain the dangers of online predators in a way that won’t scare your tweens and teens but that will make them aware that there are dangers out there.

Our children are growing up in a world full of technology. This opens up a whole new world for our kids but also a world full of dangers.   As parents, we need to do our best to educate our children about how to stay safe online. These internet safety tips for teens and tweens can help us do just that!


Misty Bailey is a Christian wife and work at home homeschool mom. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio.  She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued, homeschooling and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.  You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

4 Great Writing Programs

When I began homeschooling I researched tons of curriculum. Language arts, math, science, you name it, I researched it.  We found curriculum we liked and began our homeschool journey. Fast forward a few years and we are still homeschooling, and still using some great curriculum.

But, I missed something. In all my researching, in all my teaching, there was an important area of homeschooling that I missed. What was it?

WRITING

I didn’t even realize I had missed it until my daughter took a creative writing course in 4H. At that point I realized how lacking her writing skills were.  You see, I had assumed that the basics would be taught in her Language Arts course. I assumed she would just “know” how to write.

But… I was wrong. So, I began researching writing programs. I began gathering up information that would help me make the right choice when it came to a writing program for my children.

What to Look For in a Writing Program

When looking for a writing program I knew what I wanted, and I believe no matter who you are you are going to want these things out of a writing program.

  • The first was that it offered step by step instruction and clear directions. Both for me and my children.
  • I wanted to be able to use the program for multiple children with different learning styles
  • Does the program lay a good foundation?
  • Is the building process taught?
  • Is it fun for kids and not just busy work?
  • Is self-editing taught?

I found four writing programs that consistently received great reviews, met my list requirements and seemed to turn out happy customers.

Looking for a writing program for your homeschool? Here is some great information that can help you make the right writing program choice for your children.

Write Shop

Write shop is a program that not only teaches your children how to write but teaches YOU how to TEACH writing.  It helps introduce and review the building blocks of the writing process. Write shop offers programs for all grades from Kindergarten through high school.

Essentials in Writing

Essentials in Writing is a video based homeschool writing and grammar curriculum. Students will learn how to communicate with readers through written language and become confident writers. This is great for those looking for an independent program, or those who struggle teaching grammar and writing.

Institute for Excellence in Writing

IEW users say the program is easy to use, and provides step by step instruction. Children enjoy going through the program and have fun while writing. The program is flexible and spans a wide variety of ages.

Brave Writer 

Brave Writer expresses that their goal is designed to enhance the parent-child relationship through the teaching of writing and for writing to become a safe playground instead of an intimidating foreign country. Brave Writer does this through products and classes that lead you through all the steps from thought–origination to published writing.

If your homeschool child has not been through a formal writing program I highly recommend any of the above programs. When choosing a program for your child it is important to look through reviews, examine the curriculum, and see how or if it will meet your child’s needs. I am confident that at least one of these great writing curriculums will work for you and your child.


Author Bio: Misty Bailey is the wife to Roger, and mom to three active kids.  She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued, homeschooling and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

0

Your Cart