Being An Organized Homeschooler - The Planner

Staying organized and prepared is the dream of every momma out there...homeschoolers and regular schoolers alike. You don't have to reinvent the wheel, but you can if you want to.

I've taken some pages from those who have been homeschooling a lot longer than me and created what works for me. And I suggest that you do the same. None of us are the same in what we need to be successful on a daily basis. If you have trouble in the organizational area of your life, don't worry, we are all in the same boat...there's just not time in one day to school, cook, clean, sleep, and stay organized...I promise!

Here's my binder: I got a two inch blue binder...my favorite color! (photo coming soon!)

Here's what's in my binder:  Keeping it as simple as possible, I print out a few months at a time. Plus the year planner helps keep track of what you want to do in the future. I did borrow some ideas from the free ones listed below. (They show up with a slight gray background here, but on Google they will be white backgrounds).

COVER

LEFT PAGE

RIGHT PAGE

BINDER SPINE

A free printable planner you can use - made by me - as shown above. I used PicMonkey to create my planner.

Other planner resources for FREE:

Confessions of a Homeschooler
The arrow version is Free, but the others are about $5

Living Well. Spending Less.

Free Comic Book Blank Pages For Kids

Here are four new pages I created for my kiddos to use, and I wanted to share them with you...Enjoy!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1R37vcej-OV5Qe_UVuVrgd7qvFgyTNGU3scjhPewQMek/edit?usp=sharing


Click the image to download from Google Drive

Being An Organized Homeschooler

Part One

We are slowly starting up our school year...I'm spending every free moment gathering materials, printing, laminating, brainstorming, and putting things in binders...how about you?

With two in the schoolroom this year I have to label things, so they know whose stuff is whose...Darcy is used to all this just coming out of a well-run Kindergarten class. Holland has gotten a bit jaded in regard to a school routine, so it will involve some extra nudging to get her back in the groove.

I decided to use PicMonkey to create some labels, and it only took a few minutes. I promise, it is so easy to use...much easier than Photoshop or Elements.

Here's what I made:



I like to use the binders with the clear pockets on the front and slip the printed info into the front. This year I am planning on saving most of their written work in a 3 inch binder. Mostly because I'm still sorting out last year's papers!

The school box labels were quick too, I just printed them out and cut around the edges and tapes to $1 bins filled with supplies. I could have gotten fancy and printed on label paper, but I was in a hurry and used photo paper, just taped it down with packing tape.

I'm sure there are more labels that need to be created...I will post more pics when I get them done.

Try PicMonkey out...they even have SCHOOL clip art you can add to your creations. Just look for the apple at the bottom of the left side of options...it's called Themes.



Helpful Homeschool Sites - New List for 2014

http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/
Over 50,000 free images to use for educational purposes

http://www.thecraftyclassroom.com/blog/
A great blog and website with free printables and educational craft ideas

http://www.lapbooklessons.com
Definitely not new...but a great resource for lapbook printables!

http://www.spelloutloud.com/
Tons of lesson plans, printables and craftiness

Wild Kratts Curriculum Printable Worksheets

Curriculum Ideas and Free Printables to use with Wild Kratts (PBS)


  • Almost all printables are complete. I am now working on links to help you with your creature units. Have fun!
  • I made these mostly black and white so they will save ink when printing. Click on the little image to go to the download via Google Docs (drive). 
  • Check out my new Wild Kratts Resource List at the bottom of this post. 


How to use these printables:

I originally created these sheets for my daughter to use in her homeschool work. We love the Wild Kratts (PBS) series and I utilized the programs in our homeschool co-op science class for 5th graders. (Best for 3-5 grade levels, but everyone loves them!)

*ACTIVITY SHEET # 1 

Explain to the student(s) that they have to think about this worksheet while watching the program. Mom does too...so pay attention mommas!

LOOK - identify the animal you are studying (write the animal name in the box provided) and have the student draw a picture of the animal in their habitat/environment.


LISTEN - have the student listen for words that are emphasized by Chris and/or Martin. Identify unusual words they might not know the meanings of. Write these on the lines provided for "vocabulary words".

LEARN - look up the meanings of the unusual vocabulary words and write them down. If the student seems particularly interested in a certain animal, obtain library books for deeper research, watch more "real life" videos about that animal, visit a zoo or wildlife sanctuary near you for an up close view, and visit some of the resources on the web listed below.

MAP IT! - find the continent or country the animal primarily lives in and color that place in on the map provided. A larger world map is available in the resources below if you'd like to print it out and draw the animal on the map...use the same map for all the animals studied.

*CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHEET - have your student imagine further into the storyline of the program...what would have happened if...

Write down some prompts that would encourage your student to write a story while you're watching the program.

*ANIMAL CLASSIFICATION - do some research to classify your creature...check the resources below for sites that can help you do this. Also get started by explaining what the animal classification is and why, how many creatures there are in the world (up to 30 million different creatures).

EXTRA ACTIVITIES:

CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM LECTURE FOR BEGINNERS

- includes printable classification activity available for download as a PDF
- includes history of Linnaeus' system
http://www.exploringnature.org/db/detail.php?dbID=87&detID=2282




EXTRA ANIMAL IDENTIFIERS - here's a great way to learn more about your featured creature...use the boxes to identify special traits, food sources, sleep habits, size, and life span.


*USING THE FIVE SENSES - sight, sound, touch, taste, smell....figure out which of these creatures use most...

COPY WORK - I have included several copy work levels, that are not specific to any creature or episode.

*ANIMAL RIBBON - When each creature unit is completed have the student draw the creature inside the ribbon. Cut it out and place on the Wild Kratts Unit poster.
OTHER IDEAS -

Start a notebook for all the creatures studied. You can even use dividers for each animal, or each continent etc.

Unit Poster - use a large size poster board to create a large book, or hang on the wall. Images coming soon.

Thank you to the sites below that provided clipart and images for this project -

simplygraphicdesign.net

Links to Other Resources you can use with Wild Kratts:


Make your own creature power discs, print and laminate. You could use these as a memory match game, as rewards for completing an animal study or just for fun.

Sources for the discs (includes great birthday party or activity ideas) -

http://yellowmums.blogspot.com/2012/07/wild-kratts-birthday-printables.html

http://www.momendeavors.com/2012/04/diy-wild-kratts-party-decorations-activities.html

http://onceuponasewingmachine.com/easy-activity-board-the-wild-kratts/

Vertebrate and Invertebrate Picture Cards - includes classification cut out printables for various animals:

http://www.guesthollow.com/homeschool/printables/printables_science.html

Sea and Sky - whales, sharks, squid, mobiles, drawing activities and ideas to incorporate into the classroom

http://www.guesthollow.com/homeschool/extras/seaandskygravy.html

A great explanation of how to classify animals:

http://animalclasses.blogspot.com/2012/03/classification-of-animals.html

Watch animals live on the African savannah at www.africam.com

Products to help with your creature studies:

Animal Habitats: Reproducible Mini-Books
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003M8HEQK/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B003M8HEQK&linkCode=as2&tag=diffdog-20
Smethport Chart Card Set - Life Science via Amazon Prime $11.81

WILD KRATTS RESOURCE LIST

PBSKIDS.ORG

AMAZON.COM LINKS TO PRODUCTS:



WIKIPEDIA.ORG 

GOOD RESOURCE FOR EPISODE DESCRIPTIONS



*Mom of a Croc Ep. 101 
Crocodilians Lapbook PDF

Pirate Parties Are The Best!

Posted a few months after-the-fact =

Pirates have way more fun than princesses, did you know that? It's SOOOOOO true! We had a girly pirate party last night for my soon-to-be 5 years old daughter! I spent all day painting and baking and planning and it went smoothly! I also researched all week and last minute bought an amazing book to read to the crowd...that was a huge hit!

Here are some photos and where I found my inspiration...I definitely suggest pirates to everyone these days!! Arghhhhh!!!!

I printed out little pirate flags and used striped fabric around the bottom of the cake. I added those fun little gold covered Rolos as treasure around the edges. My local Hobby Lobby had affordable paper pirate hats and mini foam swords. Luckily I had a quilt in red, white and black that worked great as a table cloth!

Happy Birthday to my little pirate girl!


I painted a picture of a pirate to use as a welcome sign and doubles as a "pin the tail on the pirate game"


Backdrop is made from a pirate tablecloth, an Urban Outfitter scalloped shower curtain and canvas drop cloths on the floor! A cute match card game came with the book below, so I cut the game out, laminated it, and then used the cards to decorate with!

 We made this map out of a pillow case so it can be used over and over. Plus we made the newspaper swords and the kiddos decorated the hilts themselves. That was a hit for sure.

Coconut Flour Banana Bread - Tres Bien!

Perfect banana bread recipe - gluten free!
Banana bread is a comfort food...that I thought I might have to live without. But no, I reworked a recipe I had and this comes out perfectly...light, airy, not too dense or thick. 

2 large super ripe mashed bananas
1/3 c. coconut oil melted/soft
4 eggs
2 T. honey
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. coconut flour
1/2 c. oat bran or golden flax seed flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 T. cinnamon
1/3 c. sliced almonds to sprinkle on top

Mix up your wet ingredients first till whippy looking.
Sprinkle in the dry ingredients. Mix well.
Scrape into your prepared pan.
Sprinkle almonds on top (optional).
I used an 8x8 brownie pan, sprayed with olive oil.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
If you used a loaf pan your baking time will be about 45 minutes.

This bread is totally light and barely sweet. You will LOVE it!