Lessontrek Online Lesson Planner FAQ

Lessontrek has been a part of our homeschool for years now and I am so thankful. I was asked to review it years ago and honestly thought it would be a quick review and I wasn’t even sure I would use it long term. Lessontrek is an integral part of our homeschool and has been such a helpful addition, I can’t imagine not having it now! We are happy to have them as a blog sponsor. I get many questions about Lessontrek whenever I share online and I thought I would write a post addressing some of the most frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, feel free to leave a comment!

Lessontrek Online Lesson Planner FAQ

Do you print paper copies for your kids each week?

Yes I do and this is why Lessontrek is so helpful. It gives me the records I need online and it gives my children a weekly checklist that holds them accountable and give us all a very clear focus. Once the week is done, I file the pages into each child’s notebook.

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Do you plan your entire year at once using Lessontrek?

No, I actually type lessons into Lessontrek on a weekly basis. I plan out each subject ahead of time separately and then each Sunday I enter in our weekly lessons into Lessontrek. I choose to do it this way so I always feel flexible to make changes as needed and to avoid the feeling of being behind if something comes up {sickness, family need, etc.}

Can you bump lessons forward?

Lessontrek does not have a feature allowing you to bump lessons forward. This is not a feature I even need due to the way I do things anyway. But I have been asked this. They do have an awesome copy and paste feature which makes small changes easy.

Why aren’t the colored boxed printing on my plans like I see in your photos?

This is a feature in your printer settings. On mine I have a box to check that says “show background images” and if that is off, the colored boxes won’t print. If your boxes are printing gray, look for this setting in your printer area.

Do you use the gradebook feature?

YES! This is one of my favorite features of Lessontrek. I actually have an entire post about it here. It has been so so helpful especially with a high school student.Lessontrek Gradebook Feature

Want to try Lessontrek?

Give it a try for 2 weeks for FREE and then grab your entire first year for only $15 using this special discount code: 15CF

Lessontrek 15 first year



TypeTastic! ~ Play Your Way Into Typing!

TypeTastic Typing for Kids

{disclaimer ~ this is a sponsored post for TypeTastic!}

Have you wanted to teach your kids typing skills? I know I have and out of the blue I got an email asking me to review and share a FREE site focused on teaching typing skills through games for elementary students. TypeTastic! is a fabulous fit for my daughter who is 8, and we love it! You too can give this program a try for free!

TypeTastic! (1 of 1)

First, what is TypeTastic! and what makes it different from other typing programs for kids? TypeTastic! takes a new, pedagogic approach which guides the child step by step resulting in fluent keyboarding skills.

The keyboard is mapped into nine, color-coded groups. For children, it’s much easier to memorize the keys in groups than individually.

feature-keyboard

It is no secret that kids love learning by playing colorful, cute games. However, good learning games must have a clear, pedagogical approach and build on each other forming a solid learning path. In the first Keyboard Builder game, the kids will start by actually building a keyboard which will help them to map out the keyboard visually. The next Frog Pond Patrol game guides your eye movements to find the correct key effectively. In the third Cupcake Bugs game, kids start actively remembering the location of the keys with the help of visual key groups.

TypeTastic Games

After this, the kids move on to tapping the actual keyboard, and the upcoming games in development now will introduce how to type words and sentences fluently.

TypeTastic for Schools {including HOMEschools}

Teachers {including homeschool teachers} can now sign up to use the Ad-free Edition for free for the 2017-2018 school year and the foreseeable future. After the trial, it’s up to the teacher to decide if they want to pay a small subscription fee or keep going for free by switching to an ad-sponsored mode.

TypeTastic for Schools

They also offer a broader, subscription-based Typing Quest K-12 Keyboarding course that includes all TypeTastic! Games, dashboard, reporting, SSO, etc. TypingQuest can be found at www.typingquest.com.

The mission is to make TypeTastic! available for everyone. That’s why TypeTastic.com is completely free with Coppa compliant ads. Kids can just go to the site and start practicing right away. However, we also know that many teachers would prefer to go ad-free and to serve the needs of our TypeTastic! community better, we are offering Ad-free Edition for Schools. The Ad-free Edition has all the 150+ levels available at TypeTastic.com, just without ads, and more games are already on the way. All you need to do to access the Ad-free area is register!

My plans are to have my daughter {currently 3rd grade} work through the TypeTastic! program for free to help improve her keyboarding skills! She loves it so far and has little idea how much learning is going on while she is playing games on the computer!

Sign up for your AD-free edition here!

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Apple Theme Fun ~ Free Printables and More!

September has arrived and for many of you a fun APPLE theme is happening in your early childhood classrooms! Here is our collection of free apple theme printables for you to browse!

Download a free Apple Activity Printable pack here. You’ll find mazes, coloring pages and more!

Apple Activity Pack

Do you have some colored cubes? Give our Apple Cube printables a try! Apple Q-Tip Painting is great for working on fine motor skills!

Apple Cube Printables  Apple Q tipPainting Printables

These apple songs are great to use for Tot School and Preschool! My kids loved them! If you have a tot, give our A is for Apple unit from Tot School Printables a try!

 Apple-Songs-with-Printables2011  Free-Letter-A-is-for-Apple-Printable[1]

My kids LOVE doing the apple taste test and these printables are great for recording the results! Have an entire apple theme by copying some of the ideas we used when my daughter was in Kindergarten!

Apple Taste Test Printable   Apple Theme Homeschool Kindergarten Fun

Print some fun apple coloring pages for you or for your kids!

Apple-Coloring3

Grab some fun apple books from Amazon or your library! ! {if viewing in email click here to go to blog to be able to see the Amazon widget below}.

Check out these cute apple toys too! Both from Learning Resources, these are great for an apple theme and math learning all year long! Apple Fractions and Attribute Apples!

Apple Fractions     Attribute Apples

Looking for even more apple fun? Check out our Apple Theme Pinterest board here!

Apple-Theme-Pinterest-Board43



U.S.A. State By State

USA State by State

We have a brand new product thanks to my son! I wanted something to help him review the United States but without coloring, and all of the fluffy stuff like birds, flowers, etc. Honestly I am not really concerned if he knows a state’s bird or flower. I want him to know the location, capital, abbreviation and how to spell the state’s name. I also wanted him to practice reading and writing cursive in a simple format so I added that in also!

And…USA State by State was created!

Each state has 1 page and he will write the state’s name, color in the state’s location and look up the capital and record it. He uses one of our United States Geography to look up the capital and abbreviation if he can’t remember it.

USA State by State Printables

In addition to the pages for each state, there’s also a sheet at the front to record each state in alphabetical order. The map gets filled in as he works through the states one by one.

USA State by State Printables

Another fun page I included is a sheet to record states you’ve been to! This one is really popular with my kids already and has brought up much conversation!

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USA State By State (1 of 1)

I used our binding machine to bind the pages together to create a book that’s easy to work through. Not sure how I made it so long as a homeschooler without my binding machine!

USA State by State

After every 10 states, I added in our States and Capitals review pages also. You can download those for free here!

State By State-3

Take a peek inside here where I shared a Facebook Live video! You can also see what I am using for my daughter this year!

FB Live State By State

Grab your copy of USA State by State here in my Teacher’s Notebook Shop!

Save 10%!

Enter the code Chance2 at checkout and save on your entire order.

Limit one per customer. Offer expires 9/2/17 @11:59pm ET

USA State by State

More USA Fun!

USA Map FB Hands on USA States and Capitals FunUSA States and Capitals Worksheets USA PowerPoint



Lauri Toys ~ A Longtime Favorite for Early Childhood and Beyond!

Lauri Toys for Early Childhood

{disclaimer ~ Lauri is a blog sponsor and affiliate links are in this post}

If you’ve been reading my blog since our Tot School days you know how much we have loved the Lauri brand in our home. We own many Lauri favorites and have recommended them for years. Recently I got a fun email which has led to a new partnership with Lauri Toys! I just love when I get to work with a company I already loved, and can share even more with you!

If Lauri is new to you, here’s a quick video showing more.

 

To show you just how long we have used and loved Lauri Toys here’s a collage I made showing the toys in action with my kids over the years! Notice how young they are!

1 1 1=1 Loves Lauri Toys

 

We have loved and recommend this trusted brand for being one of the best for open-ended play, cost, and durability. I have recommended the Lauri brand in my early childhood gift guides for years!

 

New Action Stackers

Imagine my daughter’s delight {and my son} when Lauri sent us a brand new toy for her to play with! Not only a new toy but one that added on to a Lauri set we already owned, making it even better!

Our package included the Action Stackers which are great on their own, or can be added to any of the Lauri Stacking Peg sets.

Lauri Toys (13)

 

My son, who is 11, got in on the action too. Anything that extends a building toy to have movement is a win in his book! I’m not even sure what this was, but he certainly knew.

Lauri Toys (5)

 

My 8 year old daughter built many amusement park rides one day, and her Squinkies fit perfectly into the peg holes, so they got to ride!

Lauri Toys (11)

 

You can see a video here from Instagram.

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