Saturday, June 30, 2012

Looking for maps?

Check out this site which has tons of free maps. There are lots of different styles to choose from! I plan to use them for our habitats unit, for our history lessons, and for our Tennessee lesson. I found a great idea for a state brochure from another blogger on Pinterest. This is something that both boys can complete, and it has the added benefit of something they can research together. This will be a good opportunity to introduce Jerimiah to desktop publishing, I think.

 This picture is from the blog I linked you to. It's a great blog with a lot of exciting ideas.

Something I've learned recently is that homeschoolers are generous, loving people. One of my son's Sunday School teacher is also a homeschooler, and she so very generously gave me a BUNCH of materials to use. One book I'm especially excited about is "The Landmark History of the American People" bu Daniel J Boorstin with Ruth F Boorstin. It covers everything from Plymouth to the Moon Landing. What a great book for us to use this year. I had been looking for a book to lead us through American history, and this one is great! I am so lucky to meet such great people. I love how God puts us in each others' lives to do His work.

I started babysitting this summer as well, so that I could contribute some extra income to the family. I have a post I'm working on with a project we all did the other day. Fans of "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" will enjoy this one!

We've been cooped up inside because of the insane heat. It's currently 107 degrees. Nope, that's not the heat index. I feel like I've been dropped into Arizona or something.

Stay cool!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Place Value Flipbook

Teaching place value is done throughout many grades. Initially, kids learn about ones, tens, hundreds, and so on until they master large numbers. Later, kids learn about decimals, and place value is learned again. Having a hands-on approach to numbers is always great.

This website offers a great starting point for a manipulative to help reinforce place value. I modified it slightly, so that I could use this tool with both of my boys. All it took was adding a decimal card to the others.


14 sheets of construction paper (7 colors)
cardboard (I used a flap from a box)
small amount of yarn
black marker
hole punch


1. Cut each piece of construction paper in half. One half will be set aside.

2. Cut each remaining half into halves.

3. Cut each of those into halves. You should have a total of 12 cards for each color.

4. On each card, write one number (0-9) and a decimal point. Complete for each color. You will have one card extra in each color.

5. Order the cards from decimal point to 9.

6. Punch two holes in the top of each card.

7. Place the cards on your cardboard, and mark with the marker where each hole is. Punch each hole into the cardboard.

8. String yarn through cards and through the cardboard. Tie and push knot to the back of the cardboard. Complete for each card.

9. You should have a total of seven cards, fourteen holes, and fourteen pieces of yarn. :)

The activities with this are endless. For my youngest, I had him flip to each number I called. Then I asked him which color had tens, ones, hundreds, etc. For my oldest, I had him flip to numbers, some including decimals. He also had to show ones, tenths, hundredths, etc.

The kids enjoyed this activity. For now, it's a review, but it will definitely be used again, especially when we work with addition and subtraction (with and without decimals).

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Summer projects

I would to be the mom that came up with super creative, highly educational, fun, and exciting summer projects. Yeah, not so much.

Instead, my sons came up with their own summer projects. Jerimiah, my 10 year old, has made it his mission to read a book about every U.S. President this summer. He is also voluntarily compiling a one-page report on each. (How did this happen?) Anthony is obsessed with the I Spy books. He wants to make an I Spy picture and write a riddle for it.

If this is homeschooling, I can do this.

I know it won't always be this easy. The boys are motivated by the summer reading program at the library. For every 40 minutes they read, they get to choose a small prize. After 2 hours and 40 minutes, they get a big prize.

What have we learned here? We've learned that if I give my kids prizes, they will read. When they read, they learn. When they learn, they want to know more. Give the kids prizes. :)

How are you motivating your kids to learn?