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3/25 60% off on Select Dover Coloring Books

Posted by on Mar 25, 2015

Coloring Madness! 60% Off – 3/25 and 3/26 Only @ Dover Publications 7o educational coloring books on sale. Some of the items on sale include: Ancient Egyptian Designs Coloring Book $1.58 (Reg.$3.95) Dover Masterworks: Color Your Own Cezanne Paintings  $2.40 (Reg. 5.99) The History of the White House Coloring Book $1.60 (Reg. 3.99) My First Spanish ABC Picture Coloring Book $1.60 (Reg. 3.99) Story of the Civil War Coloring Book $1.60 (Reg. 3.99) Visit their website to view more sale items. Free shipping on orders over $50 (see site for...

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Science: Visual Encyclopedia of Science

Posted by on Mar 25, 2015

    When this book first arrived in the mail a few years ago (I bought it used at Half.com), I was shocked at how small it was.  I was expecting a much larger, much more impressive encyclopedia for me to read to my five-year-old daughter (I was very ambitious when I first started homeschooling).  Instead, I received this six and a half inch book in the mail and it was smaller than my daughter’s barbie dolls.  Disappointed I shelved it away and went on to bigger and better books. Luckily, my daughter did not share the same sentiment.  A few months into our homeschooling year, I found Alice tightly grasping this book and very intently, studying its pages.  Of course, she was too young to read the book, but that didn’t stop her.  Inside it’s pages were pictures of planets, flowers, animals, the earth, weather, and inventions (among other things).    And best of all, it fit nicely into her cute little hands.  It was neither too large nor too heavy.  It was the perfect size for our little girl.  Now that she’s reading on her own these books have taken on a completely different meaning to her.  Whereas before I had to sit down and read them to her, she can now read some of the passages by herself.  Although she still needs me to explain different scientific concepts to her, these explanations are becoming less and less frequent.  For now she’s been looking at this book for so many years, all of it’s great scientific information is finally taking hold. What I’ve come to like best about these books (we have several Visual Encyclopedias by DK), is that the passages are concise and informative.  They contain easy to read summaries, relevant facts, and engaging illustrations, photographs, and charts. Book Facts Title:  Visual Encyclopedia of Science Publisher:  DK Publishing ISBN: 0756607000 Published: 2005 Number of Pages: 512 Topics Covered:  Chemistry, Physics, Earth, Weather, Space and The Living World (plants, animals, ecosystems etc.) Recommended Age Group:  Preschool – 6th Grade Printing Status: Out of Print Price:  Buy it used for under $5 at Amazon.com or Half.com...

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Reading: We Give Books (Free)

Posted by on Mar 25, 2015

We Give Books began in 2010.  As of today over 3, 782, 703 books have been read on this site. We Give Books contains a large variety of children and young adult books that can be read online.    You can filter this collection by age, genre and author.  You can also sort this collection by date and popularity.  Featured books, editor’s picks and classic book lists are also available.  In October 2014, We Give Books joined First Book.   We Give Books   free Registration required (free) This collection includes board books, picture books, easy readers and chapter books in both fiction and non-fiction. Book by popular authors like Rosemary Wells (Max and Ruby), Anna Dewdney (Llama Llama) and DK publishing are included in this collection. Books can be read online (there is no read-a-loud feature) Author information is included with each book (activities and worksheets are listed when available) The recommended ages for these books is 0 – 10 (board books are included in this collection) Activities, plans and other teaching resources Great resource for when you can’t get to the...

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Printable: About Me Packet (Free)

Posted by on Mar 25, 2015

I made this writing packet for my daughter and I thought I’d share it with everyone.  It’s a simple seven-page booklet, in which your child can draw pictures of themselves, their family, home, bedroom and best friend.  Children can also practice their writing skills with fill in the blank writing exercises.  It’s a fun learning assignment that allows children to write about their favorite toys, foods, activities, etc..  It also helps to reinforce useful information like your home address and phone number.  The same printable is available in black and white, a blue theme, and a red theme. Downloadable PDF: About Me Packet – Blue Downloadable PDF: About Me Packet – Red Downloadable PDF: About Me Packet (Black and...

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Sale: Fire HD Kids Edition Tablet from Amazon

Posted by on Mar 25, 2015

Fire HD Kids Edition Tablet  @ Amazon 6 inch display & 8 GB Storage:  $124 (or 5 monthly payments of $24.80) 7 inch display (additional $40) 16 GB Storage (additional...

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Sale: LEGO, Hammer Drill and Skylanders Trap Team

Posted by on Mar 24, 2015

LEGO Creative Building Box (580 Pieces) $ 20 @ Walmart PORTER-CABLE 1/2-in Corded Hammer Drill $39.98 (Reg, 69.97) @ Lowes Skylanders Trap Team Tablet Starter Pack – Tablet $19.99 (Reg. 69.99) @...

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3/23 Sale: Crazy 8 (Promo code included)

Posted by on Mar 23, 2015

Offer: Get $25 off your purchase of $50+ with code CRAZY25 when you pay with Visa Checkout at Crazy 8 Promo Code: CRAZY25 Valid: For a limited time Sample Sale Items: Girls  Pleated Uniform Skirt  Navy (Reg. $14.88 )- final sale $3.97 Pleated Uniform Skirt Khaki (Reg. $16.88) – final sale $3.97 Piped Skirt Gray (Reg. $14.88) – final sale $4.99 Sample Sale Items: Boys Half-Zip Fleece Pullovers as low as $5.99 (Reg. $16.88) Plaid Flannel Shirt Jacket $14.99 (Reg. 29.88) Sample Sale Items: Toddler Boys Camo Fleece Mittens $2.99 (Reg. $9.88) Camo Fleece Hats $3.99 (Reg. $12.88) Sample Sale Items:  Toddle Girls Animal Print Dress $11.99 (Reg. $24.88) I Cut My Own Hair Tee  $3.99 (Reg....

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3/23 Sales: Lego Disney Princess Sets and The Lorax DVD

Posted by on Mar 23, 2015

Lego Disney Princess sets are on Sale Prices Vary @ Target Some of items on sale include: Jasmine’s Exotic Palace $15.99 (Reg $19.99) Elsa’s Sparkling Ice Castle $31.99 (Reg $39.99) Cinderell’s Romantic Castle $55.99 (Reg $69.99) Lego DUPLO sets are also on sale.   Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) $9.99 @ Amazon.com  ...

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Curriculum: Starfall.com Overview

Posted by on Mar 23, 2015

Starfall is designed for pre-kindergartens to second graders.  We purchased a membership several years ago when my daughter was in preschool.  This is one of the many tools we used in teaching her how to read.  To us, it’s a bargain at $35 a year.  Both of my children, Alice (second grade), and Cheshire (kindergarten) love the books, songs, games and activities that can be found at Starfall.com. Even without a membership, you can still access all of the same learning materials that helped launch my daughter into reading. Membership Details All memberships are valid for 365 days. Home Membership ($35) – This membership provides you with one account that can be used by different members of your immediate family.  After you become a member, you can “authorize” several computers at once so that multiple children can be logged into your Starfall.com account at the same time. Teacher’s Membership ($75) – One teacher and 6 students can use the account simultaneously; see website for details. Classroom Membership ($150) – This membership can be used for one classroom in a school; see website for details. School Membership ($270) – This membership covers one school campus; see website for details. Free Resources Some of the free resources available at Starfall.com include: ABCs: Short animated videos that teach the alphabet, vowels and how to sign the alphabet. Learn to Read: 15 basic and interactive books; these were created to teach the fundamentals of reading.  Each book is a part of a greater lesson that includes additional activities, movies, and games.  Reading is taught through both phonetic and whole language lessons. It’s Fun to Read and I’m Reading: Interactive books help children take their new found reading skills to the next level. Calendar and holiday activities and lessons The Homeschooling section contains free worksheets and books for kids to enjoy, like blank certificates, seasonal handouts, reading and writing journals, puppet templates, etc.. At the Teacher’s Lounge, you can download free ABC worksheets on how to write each letter (A-Z), number worksheets, lined paper, picture cards, sample lesson plans and more. Member Resources Some of the membership resources include: Learn pre-kindergarten to second-grade math skills (counting, time, addition, subtraction, days of the week, basic multiplication and division, geometry, and measurement). You children can learn and sing children’s classics in their sing-a-long section (Farmer in the Dell, Pat-a-Cake). There is also a section for nursery rhymes and historical folk songs. Read more books in the Talking Library (these books are also interactive and there is an option to have the books read aloud). Additional phonics lesson A variety of worksheets (reading, writing, phonics, numbers, math), picture cards, calendars, lesson plans, word find puzzles, color by number worksheets,  teaching guides, unit studies, animal kingdom printouts, writing rubric,  downloadable books, biographical information on famous Americans (Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Rosa Parks, etc.)  and more is located in the Teacher’s Lounge. Starfall Store Starfall also sells games, puzzles, stuffed animals, books, CD-ROMS, and more at their online store. Apps A free Starfall app is available at the Apple Store, Google Play and Kindle Fire (internet connection is required for an app to run). In order to access all of the app’s content, you need to be a Starfall member (there is very little free content provided in the app). At this time, they also have 10 additional apps that range in price...

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Science: Bring Zoo Animals into Your Home (Virtually)

Posted by on Mar 22, 2015

Are you learning about animals right now or do you want to?  If you can’t get to the zoo (and who can most days).  Visit these great virtual zoos online.  Our favorite was the Richmond Cheetah Cam –log on at night and watch them sleep (the cubs are adorable!). Virtual Zoo World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) There are over 600 animals in this virtual zoo. The virtual zoo contains mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and invertebrates. Choose animals by species, randomly from pictures, from the zoo map and from the different world regions. Animal names, scientific names, animal photographs, animal facts, zoo information (why zoo’s keep these animals? etc), distribution information (information on habitat, range, wild population, zoo population, etc.), and a map as to where these animals live in the wild can all be found in this virtual zoo. Live Zoo Cameras National Zoo (Smithsonian National Zoological Park) – Animal Cams View animals live at the National Zoo. Elephant Cam Asian Small-Clawed Otter Cam Clouded Leopard Cam Fishing Cats Cam Lion Cub Cam Naked Mole-Rat Cam Orangutan Cam Panda Cam Houston Zoo View animals live the Houston Zoo. Flamingo Habitat Giraffe Feeding Platform Giraffe Yard Chimpanzee Window Chimpanzee Yard Elephant Pool Elephant Yard Rhino Yard San Diego Zoo View animals live the San Diego Zoo. Pandas Apes Elephants Polar Bears Woodland Park Zoo View animals live the Woodland Park Zoo. Bear Cam Giraffe Barn Cam Savanna Cam Richmond Cheetah Cam A partnership between the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Metro Richmond...

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3/20 Get 30% off of your Gymboree Purchase

Posted by on Mar 20, 2015

For a limited time, while supplies last…   Get 30% off your entire purchase at Gymboree...

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3/19 Sales: Play-Doh and Mega Bloks Thomas

Posted by on Mar 19, 2015

Play-Doh Super Color 20 Pack $11 (Reg. 16.99) @ Amazon.com Same price at Walmart Mega Blok Thomas and Friends Rescue Center Heroes – Limited Time Only $12.98 (68% off)...

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What is Homeschooling?

Posted by on Mar 17, 2015

What is homeschooling? Homeschooling is teaching your child at home instead of sending them to a traditional public or private school.  This can be accomplished in a number of different ways.  Parents can teach their own children or they can learn from other parents/instructors (co-ops, outside classes, educational software, long distance learning, etc.), or through online accredited school programs. It sounds simple enough, but it can be a big undertaking, especially in the beginning. The decision itself can be daunting and overwhelming, however, I can assure you that it does get easier over time. The more you homeschool, the greater confidence you’ll have, which will, in turn, make you a better teacher thus making homeschooling easier for you and your child. The quick legal facts: Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states. You do not need a teaching degree or certificate to home school. It is legal to homeschool your child with special needs. It is possible to homeschool a high schooler (Online courses are available for classes such as calculus, physics, and other challenging coursework). HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association) is available to help you with both basic and more advanced legal questions (along with legal assistance and legal representation if you become a member) Reasons families consider homeschooling: Provide a better education for their child. Family lifestyle: Homeschooling works better for some parent’s work schedule, certain military families that want continuity, or parent’s who travel frequently and would like to bring their kids along. Parents feel their home is a safer place for the child. Family values: Parents choose to homeschool so that they can pass on their family values to their children. Their child is having difficulties in school: Learning problems, behavior problems, experiencing boredom, hyperactivity issues, concentration problems, bullying issues, etc. Public school is not working for the child and private school is too expensive. Religious reasons: Homeschooling allows the family to preserve their religious values. Their child has diagnosed medical problems that coincide with the school’s attendance policy and they may be falling behind in school or too medically fragile to attend school. Some food allergies or intolerances may make attending regular school challenging. A family moves around frequently and wants to maintain consistency in their children’s education. Homeschooling is a better for the child. It fits better with their personally and individual learning style. Our top reasons for homeschooling are better education, better fit for our children, and a better fit with our family values and lifestyle.  I’ve also met a variety of other parents who choose to homeschooling for some of the other reasons listed above. Since we’ve been homeschooling I’ve met parents whose first and only choice has been to homeschool. They hope to educate their children from prekindergarten all the way through high school. They dream of possibly living abroad for a few years, or at the very least taking a few long trips overseas. Others have turned to homeschooling because of religious reasons, food allergies, it’s a safer environment, or because private schools are too expensive. And then there are some parents who have been pushed into homeschooling because their child has a medical or behavioral issue that the school can not ultimately accommodate. No matter what your reason is for thinking about homeschooling, rest assured you are not alone!   Deciding to Homeschool The decision to homeschool can...

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The Socialization Myth

Posted by on Mar 17, 2015

Many non-homeschoolers believe that kids need to be in school in order to be “socialized”. I have always found this to be utterly ridiculous. Neither I nor my children live in a cocoon. We are always encountering other adults and children from a variety of ethnic, racial, socio-economic and religious backgrounds. We socialize with older people, young people, people in our neighborhood, at the YMCA, church, stores, parks, playgrounds, family get-togethers, at the pool etc.. My children have and will always be social, so this isn’t something I am worried about. Our routine varies from week to week, but generally my children “socialize” with children their own age five to six times a week and frequently, multiple times a day. These are some of the activities we are usually involved in: Our Homeschooling Group: We are not alone in homeschooling. In the last few years homeschooling has been on the rise. More and more parents are opting to teach their children at home and consequently there are more and more homeschooling groups. Some groups meet at local parks, others form co-ops and still others do anything and everything related to education (community service, nature hikes, zoo visits, fire safety etc.). The group we belong to falls into the latter category, they do everything and anything related to education. Some of our best homeschooling memories have resulted from their field trips. Our favorites include trips to the firehouse, MOHAI in Seattle (a Seattle museum), the Museum of Flight (another museum in Seattle), and vegetable and fruit picking. Sunday School & Church: My children are involved in weekly Sunday School classes and other related youth events at our church. Our Local YMCA Athletic Classes: The YMCA offers countless classes on ballet, rock climbing, basketball, soccer, swimming, gymnastics and martial arts. The classes our children participate in varies greatly and depends a lot on what my children are in the mood for. However ballet and swimming classes are constants in our ever-changing line-up of activities. Local Classes for Homeschoolers: They also have a great program for homeschooled children called HomeZone. A class of 10 -20 children meet once a week for two hours. Each week they attend a half hour art class, a half hour physical education class (they play football, soccer, tag, etc.), a half hour of instructional swim lessons and a half hour of free swim. As you can imagine, this is one of their favorite activities! Adventure Zone at our local YMCA: As members of the YMCA we are entitled to two hours of babysitting daily. As it so happens, the babysitting area is amazing. Along with a toy area, a reading corner and an arts and crafts center, there is also a gigantic play structure making this room, truly an adventure zone. On any given evening, this room is filled with dozens of five to nine-year-olds running, climbing, sliding. and playing. You can only imagine how much fun my kids have here. This is another activity that is not only welcomed by our entire family, it’s become a family favorite.The Adventure Zone at our Local YMCA If you then take into account the 10-15 hours a week we spend at parks and playgrounds, the countless hours we spend at our community pool during the summer, play dates, church functions, festivals, etc… It is easy to see that homeschooled...

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3/15 Sales Mega Bloks First Builders

Posted by on Mar 15, 2015

March 15, 2015 Mega Bloks First Builders Imagination Building – Pink $10 (Reg. 24.99) @ Toys R Us

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