Lately in Our Life ~ Easter, Florida, and a 6 Year Old!

It’s been a fun few weeks for our family! I am just so thankful for so many things as I reflect on this recent time in our life!

Lately in our Life April 2015

 

Easter with Family

Celebrating Easter here at our new home was awesome.  We got to worship with our new church family and then spend the day with our parents – both sets! Such a blessing to live near them again! 

Extra bonus to my Easter Sunday – this picture!  They actually all smiled and snuggled together for me!

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Regionals in Florida!

What an amazing gymnastics season we have had with our son!  We closed the season out in Florida at his regional championship meet. He rocked it and we are so proud!  It was just so much fun and we are excited for next season already!

Lately in Our Life -6667  Lately in Our Life -6696

 

We extended our trip to his meet to enjoy some family camping time!  It was our first time taking our camper to a “beachy” location and we loved it! We all thanked Krash for having a meet in such a beautiful location!

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Our Baby is 6!

CanNOT believe I no longer have a 5 year old baby girl.  Something about 6 just seems so old.  For those wondering – no we are not planning to have any more children so this is our baby. She enjoyed being with her family on her birthday and we even flew her best friend from Philly down here to surprise her!

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She LOVES birds right now and asked my mom, “Nanee,” to make her a bird cake and she totally delivered!  Isn’t her bird nest cake so cute!!

Bird Nest Cake

 

She asked for a pet bird for her birthday but that was a NO way for mom and dad, so we compromised and surprised her with one of her other pet-wishes…a fish!  Thankfully she was thrilled!  Swimmer is now happily living in her room.

Lately in Our Life -5370 Lately in Our Life -5374

See more of what’s been going on lately in our life here on Instagram!

See our other Lately in Our Life posts here!



15 Unique Books for Fine Motor Skills

15 Unique Books for Fine Motor Skills

I am honored to have Janine LaTulippe with us today sharing a guest post and giveaway!  I just love Usborne {I am not personally a consultant but use and love the books} and am excited to share with my readers!

Developing a strong grip and hand-eye coordination is so important for a young child. The easier it is for children to control their hands and fingers, the more they can express themselves and learn through art, writing, and play! Here are 15 books to help children gain fine motor skills from a very early age.

This post contains and Awesome Giveaway at the bottom. Don’t miss it!

 

Books for Fine Motor Skills

Practicing pencil grip and writing is one thing, but many of these books offer so much more! Critical thinking, creativity, and many more skills are hidden in the fun activities these books bring to your home.

1. Baby’s Very First Touchy-Feely Fingertrails PlayBook Your baby will fall in love with this sensory playbook! There are textures and lift-the-flaps, plus bumpy finger-trails and dots that motivate baby to follow the path and develop those fine motor skills even at a very young age (ages 0-2).

Fingertrails Fine Motor Book

 

2. My Farm Animal World This is actually a little box with 9 mini books inside. The box is lined and each book fits in a certain spot and becomes a little puzzle when putting the books away. The little pages make perfect fine motor practice for young children (ages 2-4). My Farm Animal World

3. I Can Draw Animals Even the youngest children can draw with this easy to follow step-by-step drawing book. The results children get from using this book is why it is award-winning and perfect to inspire self directed fine-motor practice.

I can Draw animals

 

4. Lift Out Colors Jigsaw Book This book does 3 things; teaches colors, matching, and fine-motor skills! Each page features jigsaw pieces embedded in the book that reveal surprises underneath (ages 3+)

Lift Out Colors fine motor book

 

 5. Busy Bug Book If you have a reader that doesn’t like to sit still for very long, this is the perfect book for them! It features a pull-back toy that rides along the pages through the story (ages 3+)

 

6. My First Keyboard Book The perfect first introduction to the piano, this book features simple tunes children can play right away without any knowledge of how to play. The tunes are actual recordings of musical pitches and NOT electronic sounds and both the black and white keys work. This book will definitely get those fingers working! (ages 3+)

Keyboard book

 

7. Look Inside a Castle Use those fingers to lift and look under 60 flaps and learn all about castle life. Because of the detailed illustrations, castle lovers will be motivated to look under every one and practice their pincer grip.

look inside castle

 

8. Wipe-Clean Alphabet Children love wiping these activity books clean after practicing their handwriting skills. This alphabet book is unique because the letters are hidden in the playful pictures that begin with that page’s letter so it keeps children’s attention longer than most letter practice pages. (ages 4+)

wipe-clean

 

9. 1001 Things to Spot on the Farm Sticker Book Sticker books promote creative thinking, reasoning, matching and association. Plus, they are great for fine motor skills! This Farm book is also a seek and find, so it’s fun to read even after the stickers are gone. (ages 4+)

Things to Spot on the Farm Sticker Book

 

10. Castles, Build a Picture Sticker Book Let their imagination run wild and feel good about all the fine motor practice they are getting with this Build a Picture Sticker Book all about Castles! (ages 4+) Castles Sticker Book

 

11. First Coloring Book Zoo This coloring book features full color backgrounds so it is easy for young children to complete the picture. It also has stickers for finishing touches. With familiar animals from around the world, this coloring book is a great learning activity. (ages 4+) first coloring book zoo

 

12. My First Color By Numbers This beginners coloring book is perfect for children learning their numbers. It has lots of finish the scene and patterns to reveal using the simple color key. (ages 4+)

color by numbers 

13. My First Big Book of Dot-to-Dots A fun way for kids to practice pencil control, this book is really fun! Complete the scene by connecting 1-10 and drawing the missing picture. Add finishing touches by coloring and placing stickers too! (ages 4+)

first dot-to-dot

 

14. Under the Sea Jigsaw Book This sparkly puzzle books has six 15 piece puzzles embedded into the pages. Each puzzle comes with a special hidden shape within the puzzle and features fun facts about the beautiful sea life. (ages 5+)

under the sea jigsaw

 

15. Fingerprint Activities Everyone loves fingerprint art! This book makes it easy for kids of all ages to make prints and pictures with their fingers.

finger print activities


Usborne Book Giveaway and Facebook Party!

Enter to win $25 worth of Usborne books in the Rafflecopter below and then join us for a Facebook party on April 23th at 8:30pm CST {9:30 EST} for even more chances to win another $25 in Usborne books!

Usborne giveaway and party

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Scholastic Dollar Deals

Scholastic Teacher Express Dollar Deals are back for a limited time.  Many digital resources are priced at $1.00, now through April 20, 2015.

{disclaimer ~ my affiliate link is used}Scholastic Teacher Express Dollar Deals Spring 2015 Sale ends April 20, 2015

No discount code is necessary, the discounts are already shown on the items. You can grab some really great resources for very little money during these sales!  Head over to their site to browse around and save!

Once on the site, look for this banner and click shop now.  You can easily sort resources by price, grade level, or many other ways. Happy shopping!

A few of our favorites are shown in the graphic below!

Dollar Deals April 2015



Counting is for the Birds Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables

Our next Kindergarten Literature Unit Study Printable Pack is ready, Counting is for the Birds by Frank Mazzola Jr.!  We are technically closer to 1st grade now so I adapted this set to her needs.  It would be a better pack for later in the Kindergarten year for most children.

Counting is for the Birds is a favorite book of Ladybug’s, featuring another of her favorites ~ BIRDS!  It features many of her very favorite birds, lots that we find on our own feeders! You can get the book here!

Counting is for the Birds Kindergarten Literature unit


In this printable unit you will find a sample lesson plan.  I provide a lesson plan idea, but even I probably won’t follow this, it is just an idea.  Make this work for you and your child!

Slide2

 

For each unit, I am selecting Kindergarten math goals from our list. For this unit I chose ordinal numbers, skip counting by 2s, basic fractions and 100s Chart Mystery Picture.

Slide4  Slide14

Slide15

Slide16  Bird Hundred Chart

 

Lots of literacy activities; Letter B sound, sequencing the story, comprehension questions, writing, unscramble the sentence.

Slide3  Slide11

Slide18  Slide19

Slide24

 

 

The science activities: 3 Part bird cards, label parts of a bird, and bird life cycle.

Slide5  Slide6

Label a Bird Printable

Bird Life Cycle  Bird Life Cycle 

 

The character connection is focused on identifying times to be quiet and times to be louder, since bird watching is a quiet activity.

Slide27  Slide28

 

Bible verses are available in a few different formats, choose the one you like best.

Slide20 Slide21Slide22 Slide23

 

I share more ideas here on our Pinterest board for this unit.

Follow {1plus1plus1} Carisa’s board Kindergarten Literature Unit ~ Counting is for the Birds on Pinterest.

See books and toys to go along with this unit.

Bird Toys and Books

 

~~>Download your FREE printables here!<~~

We will be sharing our unit study in action soon!  See other units here!

Kindergarten-Literature-Unit-Printab

 

See all of our Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum Choices here!

Kindergarten-Homeschool-Curriculum-C



Monthly Homeschool Wrap-Up March 2015

Another month of learning!  Below you will find highlights from our March homeschool fun!

Monthly Homeschool Wrap Up March 2015

You can see our detailed curriculum posts by clicking on the graphics below.

All-Together-Subjects-Homeschool-Cur[1] 7th-Grade-Homeschool-Curriculum-Choi 3rd-Grade-Homeschool-Curriculum-Choi[1] Kindergarten-Homeschool-Curriculum-C[1]

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links are used}


All Together School

We have a wide grade and age range between our three kids, but I am thrilled to say that we have found quite a few subjects to learn all together! 

We do the following subjects all together, and I will share mini updates below!

 

Mystery of History

Our Mystery of History time together continues to be a favorite of mine.  We do lessons 3 days a week, and then work on our timeline and review on the 4th day.

We recently began using the blank notebooking pages together, all three kids are loving them!  I love how they work for each child, despite the age differences. Below you can see a collage we shared on Instagram showing my dry erase board notes as well as a shot of each child’s page. Top right is Ladybug {K}, bottom left is Krash {3rd}, and bottom right is Pac {7th}.

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Another fun thing we did recently was listed to the Maestro Classic’s Tortoise and the Hare after we studied Aesop’s Fables.

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U.S. History ~ Ben Franklin

We use YWAM’s Heroes of History as our U.S. History foundation. It is novel based and a perfect fit for us.  We finished William Penn recently and are now reading Ben Franklin. We all LOVE these books and this way of learning together. We read together 2-3 times per week, and the kids all get to play with something quietly while we read. Lately we have been able to sit out on the porch and read!

Homeschool -4534

 

World Geography

We finished the book Passport to the World!  I also shared our geography country cards printables here!   We have moved on to using Children’s Atlas of God’s World! I shared our printables and how we are using them along with our book here!

Homeschool -4753

North America Printables


7th Grade

PacMan is almost entirely independent this year thus making him the least photographed child.

The one photo I did have from this past month was a shot of him doing his Teaching Textbooks Pre Algebra. Daddy oversees this too and helps when needed.

7th Grade -6000

We finished reading The Hiding Place together.

Everything else is moving along, with the end in sight.  He has completed his vocabulary book and is itching to be finished with spelling and grammar.  He is close.  Science and math will last into the summer, but he is anxious to be done with the rest, for now!


3rd Grade

Homeschool-Portraits--990422

All About Spelling continues to work really well for him.  We are well into level 3, and he is really absorbing the rules. We plan to finish level 3 and use level 4 next year.

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Working on vocabulary with the dog makes it much more enjoyable.

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He finished The Wright Brothers and really enjoyed it.  Below he was working on a book report using a printable I got here.

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Kindergarten

Homeschool-Portraits--992422

 

I do specific posts for much of Ladybug’s Kindergarten.  Here’s direct links to the posts showing her in action during March {click on the graphic to see the posts}.

ug word family fun  an word family fun

Bible Verse Printables M is for Mighty Ephesians 610  Bible Verse Printables N is for Neighbor  Bible Verse Printables Letter O Psalm 11944

Goose Kindergarten Literature Unit in Action Mr. Cookie Baker Kindergarten Literature Unit in Action

You Can Read Sight Words Unit 12  You Can Read Sight Words Unit 13  Playful Learning with Spielgaben March 2015

 

She also has other Kindergarten fun that we don’t blog specifically about, and I will include in the wrap up posts here!

Lately we have been back to our work drawer method. I set up 6 drawers for her, and printed her some new dinosaur labels, which she loves. I made a very simple rotation plan for myself : 1 – AAR, 2 – Literature Unit, 3 – You Can Read {rotate between sight words and word family}, 4 – RLRS, 5 – Daily Literacy Page, 6 – spelling workbook.

Kindergarten -5387

 

Daddy is now in charge of box 5 & 6 and has been working on her daily literacy paper and spelling workbook with her. She isn’t always thrilled but he does an awesome job and I am so thankful he is playing a part in her homeschooling!

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Last summer I got this spelling workbook using points I had from Zulily, and it turned out to be the perfect fit for her right now.  She just began using it in March.  I am not quite ready for her to do All About Spelling 1 yet, so this is great for right now!  She really likes this book which makes it even better!

Kindergarten -5332

 

In our last monthly wrap up I shared a bit about why and how we are using both All About Reading and Logic of English Foundations, you can read that here.

We are moving right along with All About Reading Level 1 and she LOVES it.  Really loves it.  We are up to lesson and moving quickly because she begs for more than one lesson a day and she loves the stories and usually wants to read ahead!

The little activities with each unit are fun for her and she enjoys them.

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She still doesn’t love the fluency pages but they work and she likes playing our “get a fruit snack” game while we use them. I am not a big fan of rewards of food during school and rarely do this, but in some cases I do and this is one of them.  She gets a snack anyway when we are done, so we just use the snack to make it more fun! She collects her snack one section at a time. Here’s more ideas for making the AAR fluency pages more fun!

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In March she completed the first reader and was so proud!  We are now almost done with the 2nd reader already!

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We came back to our Logic of English Foundations lessons picking up around lesson 30, when LOE focuses more on blends.  She really loves the mini books with the pictures to glue down so she was excited to see them back again!

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You can also see much of our everyday homeschool life on Instagram!

1plus1plus1-on-Instagram52

 

Old Wrap Up posts from this year are below!

Monthly-Homeschool-Wrap-Up-K-3rd-and[2]  Monthly-Homeschool-Kindergarten-Wrap[2] 

January-2015-Homeschool-Wrap-Up41  Monthly Homeschool Wrap Up February 2015

Linking to ~ Weekly Wrap-Up