Teach Your Child to Read Free Flash Cards and Giveaway!

I am excited to have Janine from True Aim here to share how she teaches her children to read with a Free printable and giveaway!

Teaching your child to read is easier than you think and it can be a lot of fun! With just 10-15 minutes a day, you can help give your preschool or kindergarten aged child a head start, or help them improve their reading skills.

First hundred words free flash cards printable

This post contains affiliate links and a giveaway!

When I decided to start teaching my child to read early (around 3 yrs old), there were so many different programs! It was a little overwhelming. I tried Teach Your Baby to Read, The Reading Remedy, Starfall and many others. They were things I liked about them, and things that I felt were missing. There had to be a better way. After researching, My husband and I came up with our own program. The Blue Manor Phonics Reading Set helps your children learn to read by teaching the sounds of the letters first, and in all caps. This is to prevent children from memorizing the shape of the word and has them focusing on what the letter sound is.

Teach your child to read phonics curriculum

The Phonics Book in Level 1 starts with a few basic sounds and has your children blending the sounds to make words right away! This helps motivate them because it makes it more meaningful to them than just learning a bunch of random sounds. Plus, practicing combining the sounds is the KEY to reading. Here’s a quick video to show you what Level 1 looks like.


After completing Level 1, your child will have learned to read their first 100 words! Then they will be ready to read the early readers perfect for their level. These readers are unique in that they have the pictures featured on the next page so your child practices blending the letter sounds instead of being distracted by the pictures. You can use the curriculum just like it shows in the video; review and learn a few sounds each day for 5-15 minutes or however long your children like. Most of the time we do that because it is just SO easy and then sometimes we use activities to reinforce letter sounds or combinations that they are struggling with. Here are some examples of the activities we like to do.

Learn to Read Activities

1. Letter Sounds Bean Bag Toss

2. Alphabet Cube Puzzle Printables

3. Race to a Letter

4. The Reading Road

Use this FREE printable of the First Hundred Words flash cards that go with the curriculum to play exciting Flash Card Games and make it fun for your child!

Teach your child to read flash cards  

To get a FREE children’s eBook each month, sign up for the Blue Manor Newsletter!


Teach Your Child to Read Giveaway!

5 lucky readers will win a FREE Phonics Reading eBook Set from Blue Manor {enter to win using Rafflecopter below.

You can also save 50% on the Blue Manor Preschool Set until 9/30 with code: 1plus1E50

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The Me, Me, Me Epidemic ~ Book Giveaway

Me, Me, Me Epidemic Book Giveaway ends 9.12.15

We had the privilege of reviewing Amy McCready’s new book, The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic, and now get to host a giveaway so one of you can have this awesome book. You can read our original review here!


What are some key signs that a parent might have an entitlement problem in their household?

You might have a entitlement problem if your child:

  • Expects bribes or rewards for good behavior
  • Rarely lifts a finger to help
  • Is more concerned about himself than others
  • Passes blame when things go wrong
  • Can’t handle disappointment
  • Needs a treat to get through the store
  • Expects to be rescued from his mistakes
  • Feels like the rules don’t apply
  • Constantly wants more…more…MORE!!!

Sound like a child you know? In truth, there’s not a child alive who doesn’t exhibit some of these symptoms from time to time. Whether you’ve got a big entitlement outbreak at your house or only a minor case, the tools in The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic will help you move your kids toward greater independence, responsibility and contentment.

Enter to win using Rafflecopter below.  Giveaway ends 9.12.15, US/Canada Only

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USA Geography Package Giveaway from Barker Creek

Barker Creek USA Geography Pack Giveaway ends 9.6.15

When I planned my USA Geography curriculum for this homeschool year I immediately went back to our StickerUSA book.  I used this book years ago with my children, you can see a post here showing my kids using it. When Barker Creek joined us as a blog sponsor and asked if I’d like to host a giveaway for StickerUSA and other geography items I immediately said, “YES!”

They sent me some awesome magnet sets to add to my plan this year and my kids love them.  We received flowers, birds and abbreviations. The magnets are very sturdy and thick.  I am very pleased with the quality.

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I sorted them out by state in baseball card sleeves like this…

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We are studying 2 states per week {see our entire plan here} and our magnet board is slowly growing.  The board is SO nice for review, I love the magnets!

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We aren’t using the StickerUSA book this year since we already worked through this book years ago.  Here’s some pages I dug out to show you!  We all loved this book when we used it!

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Here’s more about this book, which sells for $19.99 on the Barker Creek site here.STS5520

Newly updated to include figures from the 2010 census, there is a tremendous amount of information packed in this highly interactive sticker book. We’ve used the best state outline maps we could find to help your students learn their state names, capitals, state birds, flags, flowers and postal abbreviations. Children will love using the 300+ brightly colored stickers included in this book to “fill-in-the-blanks” on each state activity page.

As a special bonus, our StickerUSA™ book includes 50 state flashcards. The flashcards are printed on perforated card stock so they are ready to be punched out of the book and be used! We’ve also included fun facts about each state, information on time zones, regions of the U.S., major mountain ranges, rivers and much more. Working with more than one child? Not a problem! The activity pages, stickers, and flashcards in this book are reproducible for home or classroom use.


The Giveaway!


USA Geography Giveaway

This giveaway is sponsored by Barker Creek, you can read more about their company here!

We are giving away a StickerUSA Activity Book, a magnetic KidBoard (your choice of red or blue), and your choice of states & capitals OR any two of birds, abbreviations, or flowers magnets.

Use Rafflecopter to enter to win below.  Giveaway ends 9/6/15 and is only open to continental US address.

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Life of Fred Elementary Math Giveaway!

Life of Fred Giveaway

Educents is the first online marketplace forEducents educational products. In just 2 years we’ve saved homeschoolers & parents over $20 million on much-needed educational products and resources for their students. We hope we can help you discover and save BIG on all the educational products you deserve! Discover thousands of educational items at the absolute BEST price available all at your finger tips!

Click here to browse and discover all our affordable deals.

One of the amazing deals featured at Educents is Life of Fred Math. Up until about 2 years ago I had never even looked at Life of Fred, and had no clue what all the fuss was about.  I bought 4 of the elementary math books to use with Krash last year as a supplemental review and we fell in love! 

We are now using the same books with Ladybug this year, as more of a main math program for 1st grade. Educents kindly sent us the remaining books in the series for this review, since we only owned the first 4 books of the series. The photo below shows all 10 of the elementary math books.

Dr. Schmidt recommends that all students up to 4th grade start with Apples and work their way through the entire elementary series.  Krash is in 4th grade this year and finishing up the series this year {we hope}.  Ladybug is in 1st grade and just started!

Life of Fred


These books looked strange to me at first. Take a peek. Does this look like a math book to you?

Life of Fred


Not really, huh?  But it is math. presented in a engaging, purposeful and silly way.  Our entire family now really enjoys Life of Fred math! The strangeness is what has really drawn us in.  The characters are quirky, the stories are funny, and the math is practical.

Want a deeper peek?  Scroll down to the product description section on this page and there’s a link to see inside of each book!  There’s also a great overview video!

We just started with Ladybug and I captured a bit of learning with her Dad during her first week. They sit together like this most days and will use a dry erase board to complete the problems at the end of each chapter.

Life of Fred


Here’s a video I made showing them in action.  It’s about 6 minutes long, giving you a peek into chapters 1 & 2 from Apples.


For more added fun, invite your dog!

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Life of Fred  Video


The creator of the series, Dr. Stanley F. Schmidt is a former high school teacher and college professor who created the character Fred Gauss to give students real-world examples of how to use what they are learning. Kids love these adventure-focused and engaging stories. With 10 different Life of Fred books, they will have never-ending fun while developing their math skills. This giveaway features the full Elementary Math Series, a $139.90 value – but the educational experience is truly priceless!

Click here to find out more about the Life of Fred books, and click here to read even more.

Click here to read about how an inspiring homeschooler uses the Life of Fred books in her lessons.

Giveaway is over.

littleBits ~ Review and Giveaway

littleBits Electronics Review

I have always been intimidated by electronics.  When littleBits contacted me about sponsoring our blog and having us review a kit I was a bit apprehensive mostly due to my silly fears.  My husband was exactly opposite and was SO excited about the opportunity! I am so glad we listened to him and weren’t guided by my fear of electronics because this kit is just incredible and my kids absolutely love it.

We were sent the Deluxe Kit for review, which has everything you see below. This is the kit you can enter to WIN at the end of this post!

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What exactly is littleBits?

littleBits is a simple way to learn and invent with electronics.  There is a vast module library and the modules snap together with magnets so it’s impossible to make a mistake. The library has over 60 modules and growing. Every module works with every other in millions of combinations, you’ll never run out of things to make.

I must be really honesty with you.  Since this kit has a higher price tag, we “hid” it from the boys, only allowing them to get it down when they asked.  This was a BIG mistake.  After about a month I was a bit hesitant to write our review and asked my husband for his thoughts.  I was concerned that the boys didn’t seem drawn to it and we concluded that possibly that was our fault for hiding it.  We didn’t intentionally keep it out of their sight, but had it in my husband’s office.  Out of sight, out of mind.  The boys had just forgotten we had it. 

After that realization, we put the kit out on the table, gave some guidelines for free exploration and then just left it.  Someone has had their hands in this kit almost every moment since then.

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Our kids are 6, 9 and 13.  Our younger daughter loved watching and interacting with things the older kids built, but she doesn’t build with it yet.  The age recommendation is 8 and up and I agree with that. 


Our 9 Year Old’s Creations…

Krash just turned 9 and could follow the guide by himself and learned the basics quickly. He is our guide book follower.  He has always been this way and proved it again.  After some teaching from Daddy, we let him loose and soon he was coming in to show us what he had created all following the guide book.

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He made the spin and shake sign project…

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My favorite was definitely the handshake buzzer!

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See him get his little sister here in this video!


The last creation I caught on camera before writing this was the tickler. 

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He used it to dust the table.

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A 13 Year Old’s Creations…

My 13 year old is the more free spirited creator.  He ignores most guide books and just wants to figure it out on his own.  He created his own things, only referring to the guide book if necessary {very little}. 

This is his drawing machine.  He added Legos in to create a vehicle that would draw lines.

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See the drawing machine in action here!


The pom pom tosser

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Here’s the pom pom tosser in action


Final thoughts…

I am SO thankful we were offered this kit to review.  My boys are now both begging for additional kits so they can build more. As a parent, the price is hard to swallow if I’m being honest. I have never looked into small electronics like this for my kids, so although the price tag seems a bit high to me, it may be totally normal for something like this. However, the creativity I have seen and the idea that my kids very well may not fear electronics like I have is worth it. I love that both of my boys can use this now and my daughter will be able to use it soon. It’s a long term investment.


The Giveaway!

littleBits is giving one of our readers a Deluxe Kit, just like we were given for our review!

This is the biggest kit littleBits makes with 18 powerful modules. Whether you’re a professional designer or just getting started with electronics, Deluxe Kit gives you the flexibility you need to make big, powerful projects. No soldering, wiring, or programming required!

littleBits Review and Giveaway

Enter to win using Rafflecopter below, US address only. Giveaway ends June 6, 2015.

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