Category Archives: First Grade

American History Picture Books – Bright Ideas Press

4 Don't Miss History Books

4 Don't Miss History Books

Are you looking for some quality picture books to add to your American History studies? I shared four of my favorites over on the Bright Ideas Press blog. Stop by to see which American History picture books will be a great part of your study of the Great Depression, immigration and more!

4 Don’t Miss Picture Books for American History

Enjoy!

Presidents’ Day Lapbook, Activities and Resources

Presidents’ Day Lapbook, Activities and Resources

Presidents’ Day is coming up and I wanted to help you get a jump on your planning! I’ve gathered up some great activities and resources that focus on the two American presidents we’re celebrating – George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. In fact, the combination of materials in this post is enough to put together a comprehensive Presidents’ Day unit. Enjoy!

First up is my Presidents’ Day Lapbook (or Interactive Notebook).

This is an easy to assemble lapbook and it looks great when it is done.

It is especially designed to work well with reluctant writers or children … Read more »

Easy Winter Writing Projects, Ideas and Writing Prompts

Easy Winter Writing Project Ideas and Writing Prompts

Winter offers so many great opportunities for creative writing projects! If you are looking for something to add a little variety to your writing time, here are some easy winter writing projects,  ideas and writing prompts to encourage developing writing skills.

Cabin Fever Idea List

Brainstorm fun activities that can be done inside when the weather is too bad to go out. Create a list, type it up and display it somewhere in the home for when you need inspiration!

Winter Sticker Stories

Kids love stickers and they can be a great way to promote writing! Give your child a sheet … Read more »

100 Early Elementary Printables You Don’t Want to Miss

100 Early Elementary Printables You Don’t Want to Miss 2

I asked some of my online friends to share their best and favorite early elementary printables with me. I also spent several hours looking online to find great resources. Below you will find a selection of both free and paid products that cover a wide variety of topics. I hope you will many helpful ideas below!

(P.S. If you like what you see here, would you please spread the word and share this post so others can find these resources? On behalf of all the product creators listed here, thank you!)

December Notebooking Pages

To start with, here is a new … Read more »

Pearson Homeschool Science Curriculum Review

Pearson Homeschool Science Curriculum

I received this product for free. I am being compensated for my time to use the product and write this review. All opinions are my own and I was not required to provide a positive review.

Science is one of those subjects that we’ve been pretty relaxed with so far. I haven’t done any formal science curriculum with Caroline to this point. She’s very interested in science (as long as it’s not gross or messy!), but we’ve been pretty laid back. We’ve read a lot of books and watched a lot of science DVDs and programming on the Kindle. When … Read more »

Simple Learning Ideas for April Holidays, Units and Famous Birthdays

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April is full of fun learning opportunities such as National Poetry Month, Arbor Day, and John James Audubon’s birthday. Here are some simple and creative ideas to use this month!

National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month is a great time to introduce children to the world of poetry. By starting with engaging poems, there is the greatest chance of lighting an interest in poetry so choose poems carefully.

Keep a collection of age-appropriate poetry books for children to read during quiet reading time, indoor recess or when they finish their work early.
Highlight a different poet each day by reading aloud … Read more »

How we ended up relaxed homeschoolers and what it looks like

How we ended up relaxed homeschoolers and what it looks like

I realized we were relaxed homeschoolers somewhere along the beginning of Caroline’s second grade year (this year). I had kind of wandered in the wilderness of trying to figure out how to answer the question when people would ask what kind of a homeschooler I was. This was mostly due to trying to figure out how to best teach Caroline rather than any specific philosophy I might have held before I had her.

Unschoolers?

For quite a bit of kindergarten and first grade I wondered if we were unschoolers. I think because I had to be so unstructured with her compared … Read more »

How I Teach History – Relaxed Homeschooling in the Early Elementary Years

How I Teach History – Relaxed Homeschooling in the Early Elementary Years Series

So how do I teach history?

I don’t.

Honestly.

It’s rather ironic since my Elementary Education degree came with a Social Studies major and I love history. But so far I’ve done almost no history teaching because Caroline has been taking those classes at homeschool co-op.

We’re blessed with a really good Christian co-op. Caroline has been taking two classes there a semester since Kindergarten and she loves it. The vast majority of her classes have been history and geography related. She had a class about America, a World History class, Geography through Literature, and a couple of other literature classes … Read more »

How I Teach Science – Relaxed Homeschooling in the Early Elementary Years

How I Teach Science – Relaxed Homeschooling in the Early Elementary Years Series

My approach to science in our relaxed homeschooling family has been very relaxed. My philosophy is that all children really need in early elementary is exposure to science topics and to develop a healthy curiosity about the world around them. If a child is curious, she will learn plenty even in an unstructured way.

I don’t use a textbook to teach science. Most of the early elementary textbooks are either so simplistic or are so poorly designed that they would not appeal to Caroline at all.

We don’t write about science. Unless it is something she dictates to me for her … Read more »

How I Teach Math – Relaxed Homeschooling in the Early Elementary Years

How I Teach Math – Relaxed Homeschooling in the Early Elementary Years Series

Since I already wrote at length about how we ended up as relaxed homeschoolers in my series intro and language arts post, this post will be much shorter!

In The Right Side of Normal: Understanding and Honoring the Natural Learning Path for Right-Brained Children, Cindy Gaddis differentiates between arithmetic and mathematics. She describes arithmetic as “the act of manipulating quantities (facts)”. Mathematics, on the other hand, is the “science of finding patterns, coming up with theories about it, and proving its existence (concepts).” Right-brained children are most comfortable with mathematics. Left-brained children gravitate toward arithmetic.

The … Read more »

How I Teach Language Arts – Relaxed Homeschooling in the Early Elementary Years Series

How I Teach Language Arts – Relaxed Homeschooling in the Early Elementary Years Series

I almost feel like it is dishonest to say how I teach language arts because I sometimes feel like I haven’t. I have facilitated a lot of learning. If there is any area where I feel like I’ve really embraced a relaxed approach to homeschooling and can see how well it can work, it is language arts.

I should also say as way of background that I spent a lot of time the first few years working on relationship building with Caroline. Due to health issues I had, our relationship had been through a lot of disruption between the ages … Read more »

Relaxed Homeschooling in the Early Elementary Years – A How To Series

Relaxed Homeschooling in the Early Elementary Years – A How To Series

One of the benefits of observing homeschoolers for many years before I was blessed with a child is that I had the opportunity to read lots and lots of articles and blogs posts written by moms who shared their mistakes. They wrote of the things they wished they could do over, what they would change, their regrets, etc. I took those pieces very much to heart and so I’ve tried to be purposeful in not getting too caught up in the things that don’t matter.

What has challenged me more than anything was trying to understand my own child, … Read more »