Homeschool Hodgepodge

(I’m also guest posting at Mary’s today about how to balance Teacher and Mom.)

This post is long but worth it!  Great resources and a giveaway at the end!

Homeschool planning (History)

As I mentioned yesterday (in my other giveaway post– be sure to enter!) I am deep in the throes of planning for next year.  I’m surrounded by tons of piles of this and that, at least a dozen lists that I have to consolidate, and a few new items that I am so excited to use!

We’ve always been an eclectic homeschool family and we choose a private kindergarten, starting out with more of a classical bent but quickly moving to an overall living books philosophy that I can easily taylor to the needs of each child. To give your students fresh air from your aircon make it sure that you brought it for maintenance and repair at Duct Repair. Since I’m not married to any one method, I have felt the freedom to experiment and explore different things, and as I mentioned in my post about our homeschool year’s personality, each summer I assess and figure out what will work best for the stage we’re in, we love to have an audio visual systems for school at home, that way it feel like an actual school.

US Geography Notebook

Last year we started notebooking with a simple US geography project.  The kids loved it, and I absolutely adored having them all at the table working on their age-appropriate pages all together, instead of having to go from child to child individually.  It made things so simple, and I couldn’t wait to incorporate more notebooking in the coming year.

Enter Notebooking Pages: a fabulous site full of thousands of pages, with more being added each month, and now a new web application for children and teens to use to create fully digital notebooking pages.  I have become an affiliate for this company, and this means that I can pass on awesome discounts and specials to all of you!  Win-win!

Notebooking Pages is right now, starting today, having a huge back-to-school sale that you do not want to miss!  We’re planning on notebooking through science, history, poetry, and any other subject that would benefit from this method, and I can’t recommend the selection enough.  There are sets to purchase, but the best deal by far is the membership.  Click the image to get more information:

Notebooking Pages Sale!

The second resource I’m super excited to use is our new CD library from Heritage History. I have a middle schooler who is a voracious reader.  When I had the opportunity to become an affiliate for this company, and received the Christian Europe library of books to use in our own homeschool, I could not wait to begin.  Each affordable library includes dozens of books that can be downloaded onto an iPad or e-reader, and curriculums have maps, timelines, and other resources in addition to the books!

Heritage History- use code CHRISglo

Now that I’m actually planning and choosing which books to include from Heritage History’s CD library (we are going through year two of the Story of the World for our history which covers the Middle Ages), I am even more convinced about this resource.  So much so, that I’ve chosen to purchase at least one more CD curriculum for use this year.

My connection with this company also means that I can pass on savings and deals to you and I am whole-heartedly thrilled to do so.

One lucky reader will win a CD library or curriculum of her choice!

To enter, visit Heritage History and look at the selection of CD libraries ad curricula, and leave a comment with your first choice.  For extra entries you can:

*oops!  Forgot to mention to leave a comment for each entry so I can fully enter you!*

Giveaway open until 11:59pm August 8th.

Even if you don’t win the giveaway, Heritage History is offering a free Spanish Empire Library ($19.99 value) when you purchase any curriculum CD for $24.99.  Simply enter code CHRISglo at checkout.

And, by the way, any purchase you make from now until August 31 enters you to win a Kindle Fire.  Awesome!

Please know that I am only passing on these amazing resources because we are using them ourselves going forward.  I do not choose to be an affiliate for any company that we don’t fully endorse through use in our own homeschool.  Being an affiliate earns me a small percentage of purchases made with my code.  For more information, see my Disclosure page.


Curriculum Clean-out {Write-and-Wipe workbook giveaway!}

{{This giveaway is now closed}}


So I’m planning for the coming year.  And this is what it looks like:

I know.  Scary.  I sat there for hours today and finally had to quit when I began staring blankly at a wall, mumbling and drooling.

Since I wasn’t getting anything productive done, I did a little tooling around on the internet and happened upon Jolanthe’s Curriculum Clean-out link up.  I decided I had plenty of stuff we no longer need, so I’m linking up!

Our workbook junkie

We have one child who went through a seriously Cuh-RAZY workbook phase.  Our youngest, Zachary, at three, decided he wanted to do work like the big kids and wouldn’t take no for an answer.  He whizzed through workbooks so fast (actually doing them, not just scribbling) that we thought we’d go broke if we had to keep feeding his addiction educational habit.  We even asked my parents to get him the entire set of Explode the Code phonics books for Christmas when he was four.  They obliged.

I then found some awesome write-and-wipe workbooks for the PreK to 1st grade crowd and he was in heaven.  I got the whole set, and though a couple of them were used until they fell apart, most of them are still in good or great condition.

Curriculum Clean out giveaway

So this week I’m giving away a set of write-and-wipe books, and a pack of non-toxic Lakeshore Learning dry erase markers to one lucky reader! (US residents only)

Set will include: Get Ready for Kindergarten (books 1 and 2), All About Shapes, Count and Add, Think and Learn, and many more!

To enter, simply leave a comment telling me how old your children are.  I’d love to get to know you a bit more!  (Make sure you leave your email address!)

For extra entries, you can:

  • subscribe to Fruit in Season (or by email at the top of the side bar)
  • like Fruit in Season on Facebook
  • Follow me on Twitter
  • Tweet this post or share on Facebook (use buttons below the post- easy peasy)

Leave a comment for each entry and I’ll pick a winner on Monday, August 7th.  Spread the word!  Don’t keep this to yourself. (And click the image for more curriculum giveaways!)

Curriculum Clean Out {Homeschool Creations}

Elemental Science Habitats Lapbook

Elemental Science Habitats Lapbook

The Challenge of Homeschooling Multiple Ages

As a homeschooler with children of various ages, I am always looking for options and resources which will allow me to include multiple children in our subjects.  I was offered a gem in the Habitats Lapbook by Elemental Science, and three of my four children were thrilled to work on this lapbook together.  (Pssst!  There’s a giveaway at the end of the review!)

Working on the Habitats Lapbook

This is a wonderful first lapbook, or a lapbook that can be successfully completed and enjoyed by young elementary students and even preschoolers.  My three younger children– a 3rd grader, Kindergartner and preschooler– loved working on the four mini-books and extension activities and even my youngest was able to work almost completely independent of me, a big plus in my book!  Elemental Science has made an excellent resource that allows for Mom to be a facilitator and children to have significant ownership in their finished product.

Elemental Science Habitats Lapbook preschool
Zach cutting his mini book

The Habitats Lapbook is divided into four sections to be completed over four weeks– Grassland, Forest, Arctic, and Desert– with templates, vocabulary, extension activities and book suggestions.  The lapbook was set up almost as a mini unit study and I loved that I could use as much or as little of the supplementary suggestions as we had available in the time we had in our weekly schedule.  While I didn’t have all of the books on the list, for example, I used other similar titles from our home library and could easily search the library as well.  This was a major plus in my book!

The extension activities, one per week, included a suggested documentary, art projects, and a diorama.  My boys especially loved the desert diorama.  They were very proud of their finished product!  I think there will be more of these in our homeschool science going forward, and I’m excited that there are more Elemental Science lapbooks where this one came from!

Habitats lapbook- desert diorama

Benefits of the Habitats Lapbook

  • I am not a science mom; it’s not so much my thing.  So while we do it regularly, I’m more into reading about it than hands-on activities.  My younger children, though, loved the hands-on nature of the Habitats Lapbook and begged to work on it on more than one occasion.  And as I mentioned above, they were able to do most of the work themselves!

    Elliot copywork habitats lapbook

  • Easy time commitment.  This lapbook required four weeks to complete, but I think a homeschool family could easily do two of the habitats in one week and cut it down to two weeks total, or extend it to eight weeks and dig in even deeper!
  • Flexibility.  While the spine of this curriculum is very simple, concrete and well-laid out, there is wiggle room to bring in more or leave something out.  For example, my oldest did to walk your dog on her own and the feeding thing.  As a more relaxed homeschooler, I loved this flexibility!
  • Wide age range.  I did not intend to do this with my 3rd grader, but she was super excited to work on it with us.  The different reading level suggestions were perfect for including her as well.

    Maddy habitats lapbook

Habitats Lapbook giveaway!

Now for the fun part!  Elemental Science has agreed to provide one lucky reader with the Habitats Lapbook for use in her own schooling.  You’re planning for the next homeschool year, right?  What a perfect and easy addition to your science curriculum!

To enter, simply leave a comment below to say “hi”!

For additional entries, you can:

Elemental Science habitats Lapbook Zach

Please remember to leave a comment for each entry!  Giveaway will close on Sunday night, June 3rd, at midnight.  The winner will have two days (until midnight on Tuesday the 5th) to reply.  Make sure you include an valid email address with your comments.

Tomorrow, stop by Tabitha’s blog to read about her experience with Earth Science Grammar Stage.  She’ll be having a giveaway as well!  Be sure to visit Carlie’s blog review from yesterday to learn about Lapbooking through Animals. (Another giveaway- you can get your whole science year covered this week!)

I received this product for the purpose of review and was compensated for my time.  However, I only give honest opinions here and stand behind each product; I am not required to give a positive review. See my disclosure policy for more details.