How We Print All of the Homeschool Curriculum

Print it all with HP Instant Ink

{Note- this is not a sponsored post, I bought our printer on Amazon and pay full price for Instant Ink. My Instant Ink referral link is used in this post. I have also used affiliate links for the products linked in this post}

Homeschoolers print a lot. We use a lot of ink. For our family, HP Instant Ink has been an incredible solution for our printing needs! We have had this specific printer for over 2 years now and it is still going strong!  It’s an HP Deskjet 8610, it is here on Amazon. I am using HP’s Instant Ink service and love it!

One of the BEST things about Instant Ink – each page counts as 1 page no matter how much ink you use! If you are printing full color pages this makes the subscription a HUGE savings! I wish I had this service back when I was printing loads of Tot School and Preschool printables!

HP Instant Ink -18

 

There are many HP printers that are compatible with Instant Ink, here’s the list from their site. Be sure to double check yourself on their site before purchasing. I copied this list in May 2017.

  • HP ENVY 4500 Series
  • HP ENVY 5530 Series
  • HP ENVY 5660 Series
  • HP ENVY 7640 Series
  • HP Officejet 4630 Series
  • HP Officejet 5740 Series
  • HP Officejet 8040 Series with Neat®
  • HP Officejet Pro 6830 Series
  • HP Officejet Pro 8610 Series
  • HP Officejet Pro 8620 Series
  • HP Officejet Pro 8630 Series

The basics of Instant Ink…

You sign up and they send you a starter pack.  When you use my referral link we BOTH get a free month of Instant Ink!!! You wait to install the starter pack until your initial ink runs out.  Your Instant Ink subscription does not begin until you install the first instant ink cartridge.

The printer connects wirelessly to HP and automatically tracks your pages printed and how much ink you have left.

New ink is sent to you before you run out, you don’t even have to think about it! The ink sent to you is “free” as it is included in your monthly cost.

 

Monthly Plan Options…

I am now on the $9.99/month plan for 300 pages. This also means I can roll over up to 300 pages to the next month if I don’t use them. I can go over 300 pages if needed an pay $1 over 25 pages. Below you can see the different monthly options.

HP-Instant-Ink-Subscription-Plans1

 

If you are in need of a new printer, I highly recommend getting an HP printer that is compatible with their Instant Ink subscription service.

 

This wee konly you can get LOADS of homeschool curriculum to print with your new Instant Ink subscription! Be sure to check out the Build Your Bundle sale before May 30!

general-sale-graphic2



Everything You Need to Ace {Math, Science, History, English} in One Big Fat Notebook – Book Review

Everything You Need to Know to Ace...In One Big Fat Notebook Book Review

 

{disclaimer ~ the books were provided by Educents and I was compensated for this review}

We have added a wonderful set of books to our homeschool resource collection thanks to Educents and Workman Publishing Group.

Educents -4325

 

When Educents contacted me for this review I had never even seen these books before and was very curious. The colorful covers of the books drew me in. However, I knew that what was on the inside was what really mattered. I turned to my husband for the more detailed review of these books. He is a co-teacher with me in our homeschool and is currently in grad school himself. In the end he will have his Master’s degree in Christian Counseling. He teaches our kids history and science, and oversees their math. This is the main reason I turned to him for his thoughts so I could share with you!

One intimidating aspect about being a homeschool teacher is the question, “how will I be able to teach the many different subjects through the years?” As an adult I am fully aware that I have not retained much of what I learned in school, and when I teach my kids I am having to relearn. It does not take much to kick start my brain and find the file I have tucked away for so many years, but a large textbook is a bit much in my busy life.

The Everything You Need to Ace — in One Big Fat Notebook series is an excellent resource for middle school subjects. The books are quite impressive with the amount of information they put in each of their subjects, and I found myself intrigued as I read through them. I wish I had these when my oldest son {currently 9th grade} was going through middle school as they touch on all the major themes and definitions that pertain to specific subjects.

The science book is a great example of this as it is full of the many basic concepts we have all learned. I remember Newton’s laws, but there are things about them that I just cannot easily recall. They simply cover velocity, acceleration and speed in simple language. It all came flooding back to me as I flipped the pages, and I could not help to think how good of a resource this would be for my kids as well.

Educents -4360

 

The editors claim, “this Big Fat Notebook makes all the stuff you learn in school sink in,” and I would completely agree. The simple language, it’s organization, and illustrations allow the subjects to be a bit more palatable and make what they learned fun. There are also many places where they use acronyms that are helpful in memorizing information. They use creative study techniques.

This is not a Christian resource, therefore, subjects are not approached from a Christian worldview. The subjects are covering all the basic materials that are accepted in public schools. I was not a fan at first of some of the world history language, especially in the pre-history area. However, I did keep in mind that this is what is being taught on a grand scale, and it allows me opportunity to have great discussion with my kids. I got a greater appreciation of the World History book as I read more and noticed that they were touching on all ancient civilizations and beliefs. I believe this is extremely important for my kids to learn, as they are growing up to carry the gospel out, not to already-believers but rather those that are of different or no faith. For example, when I as a Christian talk about the Spirit, it is not the same as the Hindu spiritual power. This allows a great place for me to discuss with my kids the differences, and the need for us to listen and not assume that people are talking about the same thing. I can teach them to learn to ask what they mean when they say “spirit.”

There are only a few places that my discernment really had to kick in, as most of the literature was straight forward teaching basic fact and theory. The books are organized clearly where readers can easily pick and choose what they want. I read through them but rarely would they be used like this. You may just want to have your student read a small portion to just brush up on the information they have already learned. Using this as an extra resource can only help the information seep in and it can help our kids see the information in different, concise, and creative ways.

 

I fully agree with my husband’s review. I love the details he shared and hope they are helpful to you also. Personally, the books were very engaging for me. I loved the organization and how easy it was for me to quickly brush up on a subject and even “test” myself. Here’s a peek inside of the math book for an example…

Educents -4302

 

You can buy these awesome books on Educents using the links below!

Educents -4308



All About Spelling Review

Homeschool Curriculum Reviews All About Spelling

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links are used}

This year, we used two different levels of All About Spelling. My 2nd grader used level 2 and my 5th grader used level 5. They have both used AAS from the beginning.

 

AAS 2aas 5

 

2nd Grade -7748 

 

All About Spelling is based on the Orton-Gillingham approach, which you can learn more about here!

Orton-Gillingham

 

We have adapted All About Spelling this year in some creative ways. My kids got tired of the board and the tiles so we switched things up a bit and tried some different ways of presenting the words and rules.

One of her favorite methods is using the Boogie Board. She will gladly write on this for just about anything it has been a wonderful addition to our homeschool.

2nd Grade -8965

 

She also gets very creative on the dry erase board and loves to create elaborate pictures out of the words. Hey, whatever makes it fun!

2nd Grade -6304

 

My son {5th grade}, has asked to keep things simple and honestly we have gotten to the point where we use the AAS book and discuss the rules, practice the words on the Boogie Board, and then review at the end of the week. He is picking the words up pretty easily, so it has worked for us to not be so intense using the board. For his busy schedule dues to his gymnastics training, quick and simple has worked better.

5th grade -7506

 

Below you can see and download the year-at-a-glance sheets I made for each level. I actually make these for each of my kids’ subjects because it really helps me see the focus for the year and keep track. It helps with weekly lesson planning, since I only like to plan one week at a time to allow flexibility. I just pull out these sheets and type up the plans in Lessontrek for my kids each week. Yes, it takes me a lot of prep time in the summer, but is so helpful to me, and entirely worth it.

You are welcome to download and use these if you are using AAS 2 or AAS 5, just click on the images below to download. Forgive any errors, when I created these, they were just for me to use, but I figured some of you might like to use them too.

All About Spelling 2 All About Spelling 5

 

Wondering which level to start with, you can see placement tests here and get answers to more FAQ by scrolling to the bottom of this page!

All-About-Spelling-

 

Wondering about the differences between All About READING and All About SPELLING? Read this!

All-About-Learning-Press


 

See more curriculum reviews and all of our curriculum choice posts!

Homeschool Curriculum Reviews and Choices



Homeschool Curriculum Reviews

As this homeschool year comes to a close, many homeschoolers are searching for curriculum to use next year. I wanted to gather all of our curriculum choices posts for you in one place, as well as all of our specific individual curriculum and educational toy reviews. I hope this post helps you browse around and gather ideas.

Homeschool Curriculum Reviews and Choices

First, here are direct links to all of our curriculum choices posts. You’ll see a year-end review post for the past couple of years. My kids are currently finishing up 2nd, 5th, and 9th so those will be coming soon. I am also planning to do some individual curriculum reviews for some of the subjects we had this year. If you would like to request a review of a particular curriculum we have used, please comment and let me know.

Learning with Ladybug Preschool Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum Choices Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum Choices Year-End Review 1st Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices1st Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices Year End Review 2nd Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices 3rd Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices 3rd Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices Year-End Review4th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices 4th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Year End Review 5th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices 7th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices7th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices Year End Review 8th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices 8th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Year End Review 9th Grade Homeschool Curriculum ChoicesAll Together Subjects Homeschool Curriculum Choices All Together Subjects Homeschool Curriculum Choices Year-End Review 

Homeschool Curriculum Homeschool Curriculum Choices


Reviews

Over the years I have done many individual reviews, some for sponsors, and some just on my own. I organized these into categories below so you can easily browse around! Many of these posts have video reviews included, if you prefer to see all video reviews, here is our playlist containing product reviews!

Math

Literacy

Science

Geography

Bible

Art and Music

Foreign Language

Technology

Educational Toys

It’s quite possible I missed a review I have done, but I did my best to gather them all here! If there is a specific curriculum you see we have used that you would like a more in depth review of, please comment and let me know. I will be sharing our year-end grade level reviews as my children finish up for the year!



Dog’s Colorful Day Unit Study with Ivy Kids

Dog's Colorful Day Ivy Kids Kit Review

{disclaimer ~ Ivy Kids is a blog sponsor and sent us a kit for this review}

Our love for Ivy Kids Kits continues! These continue to be the best monthly subscription kits I have seen.

Not familiar with Ivy Kids Kits?

Ivy Kits are a monthly educational subscription for children ages 3-8 developed by early childhood teachers with children of their own. You can tell these kits were developed by people who truly know young kids.  The activities are awesome. Not only can you subscribe to a monthly kit, you can also buy past kits.

Each Ivy Kit contains instructions with ways to modify games to best suit each individual child and provide adults with questions to structure a child’s learning. There are enough games and materials in each kit to engage and cognitively stimulate a child throughout the month and can be replayed for years to come.

We were sent Dog’s Colorful Day for this review.

Ivy Kids -3707 

Here’s ALL that was included in this kit:

Ivy Kids-20-2

    • The book Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd, a messy story about colors and counting. 
    • Read along Bookmark: Use to assist with reading comprehension.
    • Your Own Colorful Dog: A soft and cuddly dog to color and use for story-retelling.
    • Paint by Number: Roll the die, select the corresponding color paint dauber, and paint a space with the number that was rolled.
    • My Dog’s Colorful Adventure: After reading the story Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd, create your own story about a messy dog.
    • Colorful Dog Puppet: Create a dog puppet with 10 colorful spots and re-tell the story Dog’s Colorful Day.
    • Roll-a-Spot: Roll the die and cover the matching spot on your board with a colored chip. Be the first player to cover all the spots on your board to win the game.
    • Letter Match: Cover each letter space on the board with the matching letter sticker. Can you find and cover all the hidden letters on the picture?
    • Create a Colorful Sun-catcher with Wet Glue Painting: Add different drops of coloring onto wet glue and use a stick to create a colorful design in the glue. Once the glue is dry, hang in a sunny window and enjoy!
    • Dog Race: Roll and Dot! Roll the dice and use the paint daubers to stamp a dot in the column displaying the number rolled. Continue rolling and stamping until the paint dots reach the top of at least one dog column. Which dog column will win the race? 
    • Story Re-telling Cards: After reading Dog’s Colorful Day, use the cards to retell the story. Your child can sequence the cards in the same order as they appeared in the story. 
    • Mixing Colors in Water: Explore color mixing by adding different colors to water. Then record your findings on a observation sheet. 
    • Patterns on Bones: Use the colored chips to continue the pattern on each bone. Can you make your own pattern?
    • How many spots do I have?: Create your own number stories about Dog and his colored spots.
      She was SO excited to open our box and see a stuffed dog! She loves stuffed animals and dogs!

    Ivy Kids-20

 

Activities From Our Box…

After reading the book, she immediately begged to begin decorating her stuffed dog!

Ivy Kids-20-3

We usually spread our activities out over a few weeks. often doing a “box” activity after we have finished her regular schoolwork. Although some of these activities are below her school level, she still enjoys them and loves to share them with you through pictures.  She knows I blog about these kits and loves to help me share with other families.

Below you can see us sequencing the story together…

Ivy Kids-8

 

The more crafts the better for her! She loved the dog puppet craft!

Ivy Kids-8-2

 

She grabbed the sticker matching activity one day and said, “I know I already know my letters and numbers, but this is fun!”

Ivy Kids-1

 

Her brother joined in on this day, and we made the sun-catchers together!

Ivy Kids -3386

Ivy Kids -3390  Ivy Kids -3382

We also did the color-mixing activity together. They both loved these activities!!

Ivy Kids -3394 Ivy Kids -3396

 

She loves the printable games included, and often plays with me and then again by herself!  Below we were playing Dog Race: Roll and Dot.

Ivy Kids -3691

 

I love that she still has fun with activities like this although she is a bit old for them. Below she was painting by number.

Ivy Kids -3699

 

Patterns on the dog bones!

Ivy Kids -3704

 

She asked me recently if she could keep doing these boxes. She said, “I know I am getting old for them but they are just so fun, I love them!” You can buy this kit here!

We also loved our A House for Hermit Crab kit, Penguin & Pinecone kit, Gotta Go! Gotta Go! kit, Over in the Ocean and Mrs. McTats and Her Houseful of Cats!

A-House-for-Hermit-Crab-Unit-Study-w[2] Penguin-and-Pinecone-Unit-Study-with Gotta-Go-Gotta-Go-Ivy-Kids-Kit-Revie[1] Over-in-the-Ocean-Unit-Study-with-Iv[2]  Mrs.-McTats-and-Her-Houseful-of-Cats[1]

 

20% off your first kit for NEW Subscribers to the monthly subscription kits!

Use code: IVY20

A huge thanks to Ivy Kids for sending us these kits to review. If you are looking for a simple way to do unit studies with your young child, I highly recommend Ivy Kids Kits!

When you subscribe to Ivy Kids, each month you will receive a very well organized kit containing a book and ten or more activities based upon the story. Everything you need to learn and play is included in your kit. I mean EVERYthing. These kits are incredible!