Thursday, March 21, 2013


Blythe over at "Desperate Craftwives" has outdone herself for Easter.    Her Salt Dough Easter Egg Garland is adorable and so easy to make.   I have this on my schedule to make this weekend.   Blythe always has amazing craft projects and recipes that are so easy to make.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Evan Moor Review and Giveaway

Evan-Moor Review and Giveaway
Ancient Civilizations
Grades 1-3

I recently began teaching Batman about history so I was really happy to include Evan-Moor "Ancient Civiliations" Grades 1-3 in our studies.    I've used a number of Evan-Moor's History Pockets in the past and I've been more then satisfied.   Take a look below to see our exciting trip to Ancient Egypt.

History Pockets-Ancient Civilizations contain seven discover pockets.  One is an introduction pocket that gives an overview of all of the time periods studied.   The other six pockets focus on the food, shelter, clothing, and contributions of the different ancient worlds.  

In this book you will study:
 Ancient Mesopotamia
Ancient Egypt 
Ancient Greece
Ancient Rome
Ancient China
Ancient Aztec World

Each of the six pockets contains:
*a reproducible pocket label
*four picture dictionary words
*a fact sheet of background information
*a reproducible student information booklet with illustrations
*a postcard of a famous monument
*two puppets to show the clothing
*arts and crafts projects
*writing activities

Batman and I first read about Ancient Egypt using the fact sheet.  Using the enclosed map we were able to see exactly where the Egyptians lived.    We reviewed our four new vocabulary words and even put together a small paper pyramid.   Batman colored two puppets that showed how the Egyptian people dressed during those times.   He even made a booklet too about "Life along the Nile".   

Batman got really engrossed in the stories of Egyptian people and wanted to talk about this time period a lot.   I was super impressed with him when days later he remembered words such as hieroglyphics, papyrus, and sarcophagus.   He remembered the stories that we'd read and was really loving this lesson.

Do you want to win a copy of Evan-Moor's "Ancient Civilizations?  Enter below for your chance to win this awesome book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here are a few "extra" things I built into our lesson...

Kit #1
Digging into his pyramid for treasure.
Inside the pyramid was one mummy, and four vases.

Kit #2
First we made a mummy using plastic of paris and a mold.  We then wrapped it using linen cloth.
Batman painted the mask.
The mummy was then placed in a linen bag inside the coffin.  The mask was placed over the head.
 The coffin was then placed inside the sarcophagus.  The last step was placing it inside the pyramid.

Here are the two kits I purchased at Amazon:

Sunday, March 10, 2013

This semester at my homeschool co-op I'm teaching creative writing to a wonderful group of 6-8 year olds.    It's been a really fun class so far and I'm really encouraged by how the kids are doing.   Batman actually told me that writing is his favorite class.   I think bringing the "fun" back into writing has had something to do with it.   The kids have already learned how to write  the following types of poems: acrostic, diamante, bio, and cinquain.    It's very exciting to see the children so eager to read their work to the class.

I was searching the internet yet again for a fun yet effective way to teach the kids about writing paragraphs.    I came upon the "Hamburger Paragraph Method" and was instantly intrigued.   Imagine the five layers of a hamburger like this:

TOP BUN=  Topic sentence
     LETTUCE=  #1 detail sentence
MEAT=  #2 detail sentence
    TOMATO=  #3 detail sentence
   BOTTOM BUN=  Conclusion

The first goal is to come up with a topic to write about.   Write a sentence to introduce/hook the reader.

The three middle detail sentences give reasons, facts, explanations, etc. about the topic.

This sentence provides for a brief summary of the topic sentence.

I found a great worksheet for free to use when teaching this method.   The kids seemed to really grasp how to write a paragraph with all five necessary components.   I can't wait to hear their stories during class next week.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Batman and I had a rough day yesterday homeschooling.   Today was a bit better but I think overall we both needed a break.   I got Batman's Brain Quest Game out that Santa got him for Christmas and got it all setup.   When Batman saw it he got very excited and was ready for play.   We spent the whole afternoon playing game after game.  Can you believe that we played 12 games?

Brain Quest is an award winning game for children in grades 1-6.   Questions are sorted by grade level. There are over 1,500 questions though in the game so it will last us many years.  Subjects include science, social studies, math, grab bag, and english.   Perfect for learning!

   Each time a player gets a question right they move a space.  They can win extra moves if they answer a question from a higher-grade level.   The player that answers enough questions correctly and makes it all around the schoolyard first wins the game.   I must admit that Batman did beat me a few times!

Here are some sample questions (first grade level):

1.  Doris has 3 quarters and 2 dimes.   What coin does she need to to have exactly $1.00?
2.  Tyler is making a birthday card.  How should he spell "birthday"?
3.  Which of the birds lay the eggs that we buy at the grocery store: ducks, turkeys, or chickens?
4.   Name two of the three countries that touch the Gulf of Mexico?
5.  Which of these rocks is the biggest: a pebble, a stone, or a boulder?

Need a break from your routine or another addition to your family game night stash?   I really like Brain Quest and I know you will too.