123 Homeschool 4 Me: August 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012

One of my Favorite New Things: Kiwi Crate

Get the convenience of monthly craft projects delivered to your door with everything you need to do 3-4 really fun kids activities and crafts! Your kid will LOVE it!
Kiwi Crate has fun, engaging crafts for kids!

Reading the Easy Way! - 12 Week Program

Finally a fun way for preschoolers to learn to read! Reading the Easy Way is a 12 week sight word reading program that uses 6 games, fun worksheets (like color by sight word), readers, and more to help Preschoolers learn to read the EASY way.
Reading the Easy Way Preschool

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

+5 Ipad Apps You’ll Love–#3

Have you recently bought an ipad and are wondering what you should load it up with? Or are you looking for some new favorites to add to your collection? Here are 5 of our favorites! (just click on the thumbnail below to see the app in iTunes) I will be continuing this series as we find new favorite apps I think you will like!
image Dinoboy Adventures  is a super cute interactive book! Your child can read it himself (and touch words he needs read to him) or have it read to him. On each page there is something your child must ‘help with’ before you can turn the page – push the boy on the swing, serve breakfast, open the window, etc. Plus there are several spots you get to make a choice that changes the story – what animal to bring along, where to look for home, what exit to use, etc. It’s like a modern-day choose your own story! Did I mention it is only $0.99?!?! Thanks to Stacy from Kids Stuff World for sharing this great find with me!


PBS KIDS Video is a {free} app! Expect to find your child’s favorite PBS show (Curious George, Word World, Dinosaur Train, Cat in the Hat, and more!) There are mini videos and full episodes that you can watch right on your ipad!

Jib Jab has a great collection of fun books where your child is the star! Although most of them cost, my kids really enjoyed Biggest Pizza Ever which is again, {FREE}. Take a picture of your child & they become the chef who makes the most amusing biggest pizza ever.

Camouflage is a look & find game based in the world of Toy Story 3! My kids call it the I Spy game. You pick one of 4 rooms – Andy's, Butterfly, Bonnie’s or Caterpillar. Then play one of 20 missions per room. This $0.99 game is great fun and helps kids improve their observation skills too!

Here is an app that is just for fun. Sky Burger is a FUN, {FREE} game where you tilt the screen to create burgers to order. The ingredients (patties, lettuce, cheese, onions,etc.) fall from the sky and you need to move the bottom bun to catch only the ingredients in your order. I find myself having fun playing this from time-to-time too!

I’d love to know if you find a new family favorite from my list above! I’ll continue the series as long as I see an interest and have favorites to share =-) If you have a family favorite I haven’t mentioned I’d LOVE to know. If I mention it in a future post I will mention and link to your blog!
Previous Posts in this Series:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Download Files Help

I get questions weekly asking for help downloading my files. Most of my files are too large to email. Here are some possible solutions for the most common questions I get:

How to Download a file from www.123homeschool4me.com

  1. Click on the link that says "Download _______"
  2. It will open up Google Drive. Google Drive is a quick, easy, and FREE way for me to share my creations with you!


Solutions to Common Downloading Problems

  1. Sign out of your account (1 out of 1000 says this fixes the problem) – no idea why!
  2. Make sure you are downloading from my site! If you share a family with someone else they will not be able to download it. I am grateful that Google Drive does this – it helps me ensure users comply with the terms of use =-)  I am sure you missed it by accident, take another quick read at the Term of Use =-)
  3. Try a different browser - For some reason Firefox and ipads act up more than others with google drive. Try to access the file from your home computer on Chrome (my fav) or Internet Explorer. 
  4. Restart Your Computer - Sometimes your computer just needs to clear itself out. 
  5. Look for Downlaod in bottom of screen - some settings start the download in the bottom and people just miss it. 
  6. It says no preview possible & could harm my computer! Sorry, not sure how to get around this. When my files are REALLY big it can't render a preview. So it says that as a standard precaution. If you click download anyway you will be good to go, but I know it is a little alarming, sorry!
  7. As a LAST results you can try to email me 123homeschool4me (at)gmail.com and I will try to help you fiture it out. This option will take longer as I cannot promise how quickly I can get back to you, you understand I’m a busy homeschooling Mom – but I’ll do my best to make it as quick as possible. The other problem,many of my freebies that are too large to email.

#2 – How do I save/print the file? 

This question has an easy answer – I’ll show you! Click on the upper left tab that says “File” then click on the button “Download” that is almost at the bottom.

Or you can Click the Print button to print off right away.

How to grab Email Freebies

  1. Make sure you signed up to receive 123 Homeschool 4 Me email updates here. Just enter your email address, the CAPTCHA (to make sure your human) and click enter.
  2. Confirm you got the email. If you don't see it within minutes chances are it went into your "other" folder - also known as SPAM. Just look in spam and click "not spam" on the message. 
  3. Check for Freebie listed on welcome email
  4. Get access to any current Email Subscriber Freebies with every email. here is what you'll see:

How to Grab Facebook ONLY Freebies

First you need to like 123 Homeschool 4 Me on Facebook here.

If you have anymore concerns or questions, please feel free to email me at 123homeschool4me (at) gmail.com. 
(NOTE: The @ in my email address is spelled out in paranthesis to help cut down spam.)

Hatching Butterflies with FREE printable

As part of our homeschool science we observed the butterfly life cycle. I even put together a free butterfly life cycle worksheets to teach preschoolers and homeschool kids about this amazing metamorphoses that takes place. This is a wonderful science experiment to witness in person!FREE butterfly observation notebook and great pictures as caterpillars turn into butterflies. Great for preschool, kindergarten, homeschool kids or for summer activities for kids.

Monday, August 27, 2012

{free} Missouri State Printables

Today, I am sharing the first of 50 {free} state printable packs! They may seem like they are in a random order, but they actually just coincide with states my kids have & will visit first and move out from there. =-) I will be sharing one pack a week (typically on Monday). All packs will be released by July 2013. First up…..
In preparation for next year’s study of the USA I am creating State Printable Packs for our unit – From Sea to Shinning Sea! Studying the US States is a great way to get to know our great country, meet famous Americans, learn about natural habitats & their animals, famous landmarks, history, and have LOTS of fun!! I am thrilled that my Preschooler & 1st grader can learn side-by-side! The packs have lots of activities suitable for kids Preschool – 5th+ grade! Did I mention it is FREE!!
I will share more about how we are using them later, but basically we have BIG binders with a tab for each state.  Each state pack has:
  • State Fact sheet (blank & filled in – I suggest using the blank one for older children and the filled in one for younger children who do not have the skills or patience to fill it in)
    • Nickname
    • Capital
    • Chief Products
    • Brief History
    • Things to Sea
    • Weather
  • State Fact Sheet #2
    • Where is the state in the US?
    • Longitude & Latitude Map Skills
    • Math Activity as you travel from state to state
    • Did you Know section
    • Population & Size Graphs
  • Map Work (including time zone activity)
  • Number practice (from 1-50) – practice writing and counting
  • Plant Cards (common to the state)
  • Animal Cards (common to the state)
  • Practice writing letters A to Z –twice
  • OTHER – You will find about 20 sheets of other activities. These will incorporate  educational skills with facts about the state. For example you may use a measure to see how tall the Missouri Gateway Arch is compared to the Willis Tower. Or you may learn about colors with ice cream scopes in honor of the Missouri State Fair where cones were ice cream cones were first used. Each pack is different in this area – so browse for the activities that fit your child’s needs, interests, and skills.
Grab your {free} Missouri State Printables by clicking on the sample image below. (Note each state has approximately 30 pages)
Do you live in this state? If you live here & notice I missed a major thing from your state PLEASE let me know! I do research, but if I miss something big about your state please shoot me an email and I will add it to the pack =-)image
If you are interested in seeing a little more about Missouri, check out our minication to St. Louis here.
For more {free} US State printables and information about this From Sea to Shinning Sea Unit click on the image below:
These units do take time to prepare in a thoughtful, fun, educational way. I am grateful for your kind comments and encouragement as I continue to provide free printables for everyone to enjoy! Thank you! And happy learning!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Revolutionary War for Kids #4

This week is is the fourth and final week studying the American Revolutionary War in our Homeschool history for kids . We did some fun hands on history projects like cold feet, dragon pistols, rolling cartridges, field trip to valley forge, leaned about Benedict Arnold, and finished our free American Revolution Lapbook. This has been such a fun history unit to explore together as a homeschooling family.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

FREE Shape Picture Book

Here is a great hands on learning activity for kids to do at home, for busy bags, or in the car during a family roadtrip. Includes a free printable shape picture book. This math shape activity is perfect for preschoolers, kindergartners and 1st graders.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Medieval Times

For Goofy’s birthday this year we took him to Medieval Times. It’s not cheap, so we waited until we thought he was old enough to remember and appreciate it. There are 9 locations to pick from.It was a really cool thing to do once, but I wouldn’t feel the need to rush here all the time.May 2012 157
First of all there are lots of ticket options. We did the Celebration Package as it was his birthday. If you sign-up online you get in free for your birthday. You can also look for deals online, local newspaper, and other coupon books. Our Celebration Package included:May 2012 166
  • Picture for everyone in your party (although you have to pay extra to dress-up $3/person) The picture itself was nice & a great souvenir
  • Souvenir Cup – plastic cup with image/ the kids like it although it will warp even in the top rack of the dishwasher after several washes
  • Cheering flag (the kids though these were fun)
  • Commemorative program – this was a nice souvenir as it had really good pictures of the knights and some of the events.
  • VIP seating (if you have this there is no need to get there more than 30-45 minutes early)
  • Behind the scenes video (still haven’t watched it)
  • Slice of birthday cake (they did put a candle in it, but it was not very good and not really a big deal – wouldn’t need that part again)May 2012 215
  • Announcement during the show (there were so many announcements it kind of got lost & was hard to understand them)
  • Crown – everyone gets this!
They tell you to arrive like an 1 1/2 hour early. I don’t recommend it! If you have VIP seating I’d say 30-45 minutes, enough time to take your picture and use the bathroom. There is a dungeon ($3/person) that is a racket with like 12 itty bitty exhibits of torture! There is no dungeon if your kiddo was hoping for one like mine was. You can take a look at the horses for free, but that won’t take you long. Other than that there is lots of stuff you can buy…..and you wait. May 2012 153I think if you opt to not do the Celebration Package having the knighting ceremony would be really special.  You can pay to have the king make you a knight and it might be more fun for the kids than the announcement or cake. There is a little procession, you wear a cape and the king uses his sword and knights you. You also get a certificate/picture. May 2012 170

When it is time to enter you will enter by color (they decide for you) of knight you are cheering for. At your spot will be your package freebies. You sit in theater type chairs with a counter in front of each row. The server will bring 2 rounds of soda (there are 4 choices: coke, diet coke, sprite, or water), tomato soup (from thermos), focaccia (very good), chicken, rib, potato wedge, and pastry for desserts (ours was an amazing apple pastry!). The food, other than the focaccia and pastry was fine, but nothing exciting. They will call your soup dragon breath and chicken baby dragon, etc. It is also worth noting that you are in medieval time so you will not get any silverware to eat with. You will get sturdy pewter plates. There are plenty of napkins – it all adds to the experience.
May 2012 172

While you eat the knights will perform different events – jousting type tournament events. You cheer for your colored knight. At the end of each round the princess will throw the knight a flower that he will then throw to someone in his cheering section (so cheer loudly!) At the end of the tournament each knight will get a sash that says “Queen of the Tournament” that they will give to someone – Minnie got it & was SO EXCITED!! May 2012 226
Then it moves on to the story part (which was honestly hard to understand with the sound system). The netting will go down as they “fight” and if you have a little boy he will be amazed at the fighting scenes. The show lasts about 1 1/2 hours. By the end you will have your picture and be set to go so they can get the next group in. The server will let you know his gratuity isn’t included. May 2012 201
By the way it is REALLY hard to get pictures with all the special effect smoke & lighting. So get the free picture, snap a picture of your family & your night & then put your camera away & enjoy the show!
img002Overall it was a really neat experience! LOTS of fun & very memorable!! Our kiddos still talk about it and look forward to going back!! (In case you were wondering, Tinker Bell stayed home with Grandma & Grandma. We thought that although she would like it, she would be wiggly and harder to entertain – taking away from the attention we could give the birthday boy) This is definitely worth doing once (with a coupon). Although I wouldn’t feel the need to rush out & do it again later this year….. maybe in a couple years.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

FREE Printable Color Flashcards

Here are some free color wall card and flashcards - perfect for not only teaching toddlers and preschoolers their colors, but also to be used on color scavenger hunts  and toy sorting among other fun hands on learning activities.
FREE printable color flashcards - these are great to use to teach toddler, preschool, prek, kindergarten colors and color words, hang on the wall, color scavenger hunts, sorting games, and more

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Favorite K/1st File Folder Games

Looking for a fun, resusable way for Kindergarten and 1st graders to practice skip counting math, money, telling time, addition, rhyming, opposites and language arts word blends? Here are our family favorite file folder games that will provide lots of learning fun and most of them are FREE!
Favorite Kindergarten and 1st Grade File Folder Games - FREE

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Engino Mechanical Structures & Bridges – A Timberdoodle Review

I was so thrilled when I was contacted by Timberdoodle to do a review. I think they have some of the best quality and variety of educational items out there! I thumb through their catalog and always find something new to add to our wish list. 
My first impression when getting the Engino Mechanical Structures & Bridges was WOW – I can’t wait to dive in! That was Goofy’s reaction too! I thought the set would be a lot like Lego’s. Well, it is and it isn’t. You do build things in a modular step-by-step process like with Lego’s. But this is so much more than a toy!
July 2012 558
As a homeschooling Mom I was beyond thrilled that it came with a hands –on activity book. This book not only gives background information on structures and architectural principles including weight distribution, triangulation, tension, and more. It is filled with additional experiments, colorful pictures of modern day architecture, quizzes, and so more. This would be a wonderful 6-8 week elective unit!
July 2012 580
The instruction book includes step by step instructions to make 6 structures (one house and 5 different types of bridges). So if you just want a fun toy – this is for you too! We loved that this set was intended to built more than one way. Isn’t it frustrating when you get a new Lego set and you build it and then don’t want to mix up the pieces or you won’t be able to build it again! This set will entertain again and again!
July 2012 562The pieces themselves snap together and then can twist when connected so they have more building possibilities. Another advantage to the twisting is that they are more realistic when using to learn about architecture. We found them to be incredibly tough and durable as well as easy to disassemble to build our next project.  I loved that the activity book encouraged the kids to push on the sides to feel how sturdy different structures were. You could feel some give (like real structures) but they weren’t going to break either.
August 2012 050
This tension bridge was our favorite to build. It was just so FUN and looks really cool! Goofy has started to point out the things he’s learned as we go over local bridges or see ones on TV (like Tower Bridge he saw during the Olympics!) It is no wonder this toy has won  8 awards!
July 2012 567So, bottom line, would I recommend this item? ABSOLUTELY! It is fun, durable, entertaining, and educational.  They toys recommended ages is for kids 6-14 years old. My kiddo is 7 and he was able to build the structures and understand some of the principles behind them. It definitely has made him more aware and curious about structures! But there is so much more in this set that I plan to use this as an Engineering Elective down the road as well. I think the hands-on activity book would be ideal for 5th-8th grade. This would also be WONDERFUL to do together in a coop! Plus with 365+ pieces there are so many things your child can create on their own – you just may inspire a young architect of your own!

The Engino Mechanical Structures & Bridges  set retails for $39.99. Right now it is on sale for $34.99!! This truly is a wonderful product that I can recommend whole heartedly! So whether you are looking for a fantastic homeschool unit or a fun toy that will spark creativity – you are going to love it! Timberdoodle has lots of other wonderful educational items for babies through high school.
Disclaimer: I received Engino Mechanical structures & Bridges free in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions presented are my own honest thoughts.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Revolutionary War 3– Declaration of Independence

This week in our hands on American Revolutionary War history unit add important dates and people to your the free printable lapbook, make a DIY Spy Cipher, a take a peak at the real historic sites in historic Pennsylvania.
American Revolutionary War for Kids - 5 week hands on unit filled with fun history projects, free printable lapbook with timeline and important people, book recommendations and lots more! K-8th grade

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

{free} School Memories MEGA Pack!

Keep track of all your childs school years, their friends, favorites, who they want to become,and more with these free School Memory Pages.
free school memory pages for kids

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

1 Year Blogaversary

Okay blogaversary is a made-up word. But did you know that a year ago tomorrow I started Living Life Intentionally?  I have a REALLY cool freebie for you all tomorrow, but for today I thought I’d take a moment and reflect on the past year.
Numbers – I love numbers….I always have. So I just had to share some numbers/stats with you.
  • Over 1 million page views!! (1,185, 945 to be exact) - Crazy, right! I would have never guessed I would have that many in just 1 year!
  • Over 1800 people following along regularly on Feed burner and/or Facebook
  • 330 posts this year

The other thing I thought would be fun was to show you some things you may have missed – I mean how many of you have been following along since day 1? (anyone?)
  • These are my very first posts - I posted 3 my very first day. Have you seen these original posts? (click on image to see the post)
image    image_thumb[4]    image_thumb[4][6]
  • Top 5 most viewed posts (the Seusical Learning Pack has gotten over 23,000 hits!)
seussical learning pack blog image    tangled preschool pack blog image  February 2012 428
image_thumb[2]    explorers unit
  • Most commented on posts (other than giveaways or top 5 most viewed)
pooh preschool pack thumbnail  image_thumb[4]  weather thumbnail
image_thumb4[1]   holiday traditions    Photobucket
  • Some of my favorites (that weren’t mentioned above)
image    image_thumb[4][5]
image    image  book recomendarions
  • I have had viewers/readers from almost every country in the world! It truly is a small world after all!!! Here are the countries that read the most:
    • US
    • Canada
    • United Kingdom
    • Australia
    • Russia
    • Germany
    • Singapore
    • Romania
    • Spain
    • Sweden
    • South Africa
    • India
    • Brazil
  • Most common browser used – Internet Explorer
  • Operating System of those that read: 69% Windows, 15% Mac, and 16% read on a mobile device

I hope that was interesting to you! AND that you found some hidden treasures that you hadn’t seen before. I’ve got lots of printables, unit studies, the rest of My Father’s World Kindergarten, more Five in a Row, crafts, and more prepared for this coming year!

Now you tell me – what would you like to see more of? What are your favorite posts?