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Top Tips for Making Homeschool fun!

top tips for making homeschool fun

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Top Tips for Making Homeschool fun! is a post from Confessions of a Homeschooler. If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to follow Erica on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest! Also be sure to stop by her Community to join the discussion or her Store to see her latest items!

I love making homeschooling an engaging and hands-on experience for my kids!

My main goal when we started homeschooling was to make learning fun! Adding in tactile, hands-on, and engaging activities to our day encourages my kids to enjoy learning, and using all of their senses helps make the experience all that more memorable as well!

Finding ways to change otherwise boring, worksheet-type activities, into hands-on, tactile, and even kinesthetic activities can really help foster your child’s love for learning.

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Here are some of my tips for making activities hands-on and fun!

  • Get a cookie sheet, fill it with sand, sugar, or salt and let your child trace letters in the sand.
  • Practice writing on a white board with dry-erase markers (kids love those!)
  • Have your use a stamp and ink, then stamp inside the letter shapes
  • Cut letters out of construction paper, lace through the letters, poke the letters with a push pin (activities all available in my Letter of the week Preschool Curriculum)
  • Fill a gallon ziplock bag with washable tempera paint about 1/3 fill, then carefully seal the bag so it lays flat. Tape it to the counter and have your child write the letters in the paint. The counter will show through where your child presses.
  • Use Do-A-Dot Markers to fill in letter shapes
  • Use bubble magnets to write letters (Or make your own pom-pom magnets)
  • Use pattern block tiles to create letter shapes
  • Use dry-erase markers to practice wriring
  • Use Jumbo push pins or toothpicks to poke holes along a printed letter
  • Read TO your kids a LOT! Find SHORT books they are interested in and sit and read with them in the evenings before bedtime. Make it a routine. Find books with pictures as well, most beginner readers come with fun illustrations. And if they are younger get a book that is tactile as well.
  • Be patient 🙂 Reading comes with practice and lots and lots of patience! Kids will get it when they are ready, some earlier, and some later.

Another thing I loved making more kinesthetic and hands-on was our phonics and spelling practice. We used word cards to spell the words with Magnetic Letters. I just used a colorful little cookie sheet, and printed out her word list on paper, then cut them out.

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Letter Tile Spelling: I love using letter tiles! I have this colorful little cookie sheet, we practice spelling out our words on the tray with the letter tiles! It’s not only fun but also a great way to work on fine motor skills, letter recognition, and spelling all at the same time!

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Stair Phonics:

I used to do this with all 3 kids at the same time! They each got a question and if they got it correct, they hopped down one stair. If they were incorrect, they hop back up one stair. The first one down wins! Man, I miss these days!

  • Prek: Letter/number flashcards: Name the Letter & Sound 
  • Kindergarten: Show a CVC word card, have your child read the word 
  • 2nd Grade and up: I say a spelling word, have your child spell it 
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Hop Along Phonics

We also do the same type of activities with our Hop Along Balls. I’ll sit on one side of the room and they hop around in a circle. Each time they get to me, they have to answer a question to get through the gate, a.k.a. my arm or leg sticking out. 

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Some days I’ll even let them use the balls as chairs at their desks. Just simple movement helps them focus on the work at hand. I got our Hop Along Balls here, and I have to say it’s been the best money I think I’ve spent! They love these balls, even when not in school. Our “Jumping Phonics” usually ends like this, with everyone giggling and smiling and knowing their phonics and spelling words!

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Spelling Strips: These are are dry-erase wipe-off sentence strips. We use the cards to practice writing their spelling words on. I don’t know what it is about dry-erase markers but my kids love them!

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Alphabet Stamps: I love this activity, it works on fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, letters, spelling, and reading all at once! Simply give your student some plain copy paper, cute alphabet stamps, and some colorful ink pads, and let them practice writing their spelling words! Have them read the words back to you when they are finished.

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One of the lovely things about homeschooling is that we can meet our kids where they are and help them unlock any blocks they may be experiencing through our curriculum choices! Making activities hands-on and tactile can really improve their learning experience, help them focus, and improve memory retention too!

I hope these ideas have given you some inspiration to make your homeschooling experience more engaging and fun for your kids!

The post Top Tips for Making Homeschool fun! appeared first on Confessions of a Homeschooler.

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2021-2022 Year-at-a-Glance Calendars

2021 2022 year at a glance calendars

Hi everyone! It’s time for my 2020-2021 year at a glance printable calendar pages! 

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Normally I don’t offer my year-at-a-glance calendar pages as a stand-a-lone because they come in my planners. But since I’ve had so many requests I decided to go ahead and make one for you all.

I created them in both portrait and landscape so they can go with whichever planner you prefer!

I also added some fun features to it so you can plan out your overall homeschool year.

Helpful planning sections include:

  • Start and End dates
  • Semester and Quarters
  • Holidays and Vacations
  • Field Trips

I also use a highlighter to mark the dates as well so it’s easy for me to see them on the calendar. And yes, I use the same highlighter color as the topic boxes on the form just to make things easier to see.

Download the 2020-2021 Year at a Glance Pages below:

I hope these calendars help you in your planning!

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2021-2022 Pre-k Daily Learning Notebook

2021 2022 pre k daily learning notebook

Good morning everyone! It’s finally here! The updated 2021-2022 Preschool Daily Learning Notebook!

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This notebook has the updated traceable calendars for July 2021- August 2022, as well as all a bunch of other goodies. Since I have had a lot of people say they start school in July I went ahead and overlapped the new notebook with last years. I hope that helps some of you out!

–> Get the 2021-2022 Preschool Daily Learning Notebook here!

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PLEASE NOTE: The updated Preschool Daily Learning Notebook comes free with purchase of the Letter of the Week curriculum. If you are purchasing that curriculum, you do not need to purchase the Preschool Daily Learning Notebook in addition. If you have an older version of the Letter of the Week curriculum and would like an updated copy of this notebook, you will need to purchase it separately.

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The Preschool Daily Learning Notebook includes:

  • What day is it?
  • Find today’s number
  • Write today’s number
  • Write today’s number word

I made a printable for each weekday, Monday through Friday, with traceable days on it for preschoolers. On this page your preschooler will trace the weekday, find today’s number and color in the circle. Trace the number (I write this in with pencil for her to trace), and then write the number word for the day. Right now I only have her do this when we’re on days one-ten.

This version includes traceable number word cards to help students that need assistance with spelling out the number words. They can trace the copies until you think they’re ready to try it on their own!

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Traceable calendar pages, plus weather tracker:

Each month your child will trace the month name, then trace in one number per day to fill in the calendar for each month. They will also color in a box for the weather. This is great for counting skills, number recognition, and handwriting practice!

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In the preschool version I have also included a numbers recognition worksheet for each day as well. Students can practice tracing inside the number shapes or place stickers on the dots, and practice writing the number word.

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Time, Temperature, Clothing:

  • What time is it?
  • What temperature is it?
  • What would I wear for this temperature?

I’ve also included a time, temperature, and clothing worksheet. We have a simple thermometer right outside our front door that we check. Then we come in and color the correct temperature and an appropriate outfit on the paper doll.

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Handwriting Practice:

For more handwriting practice I included an “I can write my name” worksheet. Students can practice writing their name once each month to see their progress, or they can write it as many times as they like for fun! I also added in a blank handwriting worksheet so they can practice their name or letters as many times as needed!

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100 Days of School Tracker:

There’s also a 100 days of school tracking sheet to make things more fun!

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Numbers, Letters, and Shapes:

I also added numbers, shapes, and letters to this pack. To help make them easier to find, I put in colored divider tabs so we can flip to the correct spot.

For the numbers I put lightly colored dots on each one, I plan to have her put a sticker for each dot on the numbers, then trace the number word. But you can also have them color the shape, or glue the correct amount of objects to it as well.

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–> Get the 2021-2022 Preschool Daily Learning Notebook here <–

PLEASE NOTE: The updated Preschool Daily Learning Notebook comes free with purchase of the Letter of the Week curriculum. If you are purchasing that curriculum, you do not need to purchase the Preschool Daily Learning Notebook in addition.

If you have an older version of the Letter of the Week curriculum and would like an updated copy of this notebook, you will need to purchase it separately.

Ready for more of a challenge? Check out my other Daily Learning Notebook versions below!

MAC USERS: You will need to Install Adobe Reader, then set it as your default program to open PDF files. This will resolve any weird viewing issues you may have with PDF files. Safari tries to open the file in preview instead of full view which causes issues viewing and printing files. Hope that helps!

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May 2021 Printable Calendars

may 2021 printable calendars

Hello friends! They say April showers bring May flowers, but in our case it’s been April SNOW showers! Yikes! So we are definitely ready for spring time here so hopefully we’ll get some warm weather soon! But alas, it is time for our May 2021 Monthly printable calendar !

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For kiddos who need more handwriting and number writing practice, I’ve created a traceable version where they can practice number formation and counting.

I’ve also created one with numbers already printed for students not ready for handwriting, or for students who already know how to write numbers well.

To use the traceable calendar: Have students use a marker or pencil to trace each number, then have student count up to today’s number.

To use the dot calendar: Have students a bingo dabber or small stickers to mark each day as it passes. Have students start back at one and count up to today’s number for counting practice. If they’re ready you might also encourage them to count only odd or even numbers.

Alternate advanced ideas:

Have students create a pattern as they write/mark their dates!

For example write odd numbers in red and even numbers in blue (ABA pattern). For more advanced patterns, use multiple colors to create more patterns.

You can also use stickers to create patterns, for example on day 1 put a star sticker, day 2 a smiley face, day 3 a star, and so on. See below for more pattern ideas.

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Here are a few patterns you can encourage your kiddos to use when working with daily calendars:

  • AAB (i.e.: red, red, blue)
  • ABBA (i.e.: red, blue, blue, red)
  • ABAB (i.e.: red, blue, red, blue)
  • ABC (i.e.: red, blue, green)

There are lots of ways to create patterns, so feel free to get creative with your calendars!

Weather: I’ve also included a small weather graph at the bottom of the monthly calendar as well. Have students either color one square or put an “x” in one square for the appropriate weather each day. At the end of the month compare each weather type to see which type of weather was most/least common.

–>> Download the May 2021 Printable Calendar pages here!

Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you enjoy these monthly calendars and that they make your homeschool days a little more fun and engaging!

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April 2021 Printable Calendars

april 2021 printable calendars

Hello friends! It’s springtime here, the birds are singing, trees are budding, and the weather is warming up! I hope you have all had a good 2021 and are ready for a new monthly printable calendar !

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For kiddos who need more handwriting and number writing practice, I’ve created a traceable version where they can practice number formation and counting.

I’ve also created one with numbers already printed for students not ready for handwriting, or for students who already know how to write numbers well.

To use the traceable calendar: Have students use a marker or pencil to trace each number, then have student count up to today’s number.

To use the dot calendar: Have students a bingo dabber or small stickers to mark each day as it passes. Have students start back at one and count up to today’s number for counting practice. If they’re ready you might also encourage them to count only odd or even numbers.

Alternate advanced ideas:

Have students create a pattern as they write/mark their dates!

For example write odd numbers in red and even numbers in blue (ABA pattern). For more advanced patterns, use multiple colors to create more patterns.

You can also use stickers to create patterns, for example on day 1 put a star sticker, day 2 a smiley face, day 3 a star, and so on. See below for more pattern ideas.

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Here are a few patterns you can encourage your kiddos to use when working with daily calendars:

  • AAB (i.e.: red, red, blue)
  • ABBA (i.e.: red, blue, blue, red)
  • ABAB (i.e.: red, blue, red, blue)
  • ABC (i.e.: red, blue, green)

There are lots of ways to create patterns, so feel free to get creative with your calendars!

Weather: I’ve also included a small weather graph at the bottom of the monthly calendar as well. Have students either color one square or put an “x” in one square for the appropriate weather each day. At the end of the month compare each weather type to see which type of weather was most/least common.

–>> Download the April 2021 Printable Calendar pages here!

Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you enjoy these monthly calendars and that they make your homeschool days a little more fun and engaging!

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March 2021 Printable Monthly Calendars

march 2021 printable monthly calendars

Happy MARCH 2021 friends! I have another freebie for you today, it’s time for my monthly printable calendars! Download the March 2021 FREE Printable Calendars here and add a little fun into your homeschool day. 

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For kiddos who need more handwriting and number writing practice, I’ve created a traceable version where they can practice number formation and counting.

I’ve also created one with numbers already printed for students not ready for handwriting, or for students who already know how to write numbers well.

To use the traceable calendar: Have students use a marker or pencil to trace each number, then have student count up to today’s number.

To use the dot calendar: Have students a bingo dabber or small stickers to mark each day as it passes. Have students start back at one and count up to today’s number for counting practice. If they’re ready you might also encourage them to count only odd or even numbers.

Alternate advanced ideas:

Have students create a pattern as they write/mark their dates!

For example write odd numbers in red and even numbers in blue (ABA pattern). For more advanced patterns, use multiple colors to create more patterns.

You can also use stickers to create patterns, for example on day 1 put a star sticker, day 2 a smiley face, day 3 a star, and so on. See below for more pattern ideas.

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Here are a few patterns you can encourage your kiddos to use when working with daily calendars:

  • AAB (i.e.: red, red, blue)
  • ABBA (i.e.: red, blue, blue, red)
  • ABAB (i.e.: red, blue, red, blue)
  • ABC (i.e.: red, blue, green)

There are lots of ways to create patterns, so feel free to get creative with your calendars!

Weather: I’ve also included a small weather graph at the bottom of the monthly calendar as well. Have students either color one square or put an “x” in one square for the appropriate weather each day. At the end of the month compare each weather type to see which type of weather was most/least common.

–>> Download the March 2021 Printable Calendar pages here!

Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you enjoy these monthly calendars and that they make your homeschool days a little more fun and engaging!

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February 2021 Printable Calendar

february 2021 printable calendar

Happy February friends! I have another freebie for you today, it’s time for my monthly printable calendars! Download the February 2021 FREE Printable Calendars here and add a little fun into your homeschool day. 

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For kiddos who need more handwriting and number writing practice, I’ve created a traceable version where they can practice number formation and counting.

I’ve also created one with numbers already printed for students not ready for handwriting, or for students who already know how to write numbers well.

To use the traceable calendar: Have students use a marker or pencil to trace each number, then have student count up to today’s number.

To use the dot calendar: Have students a bingo dabber or small stickers to mark each day as it passes. Have students start back at one and count up to today’s number for counting practice. If they’re ready you might also encourage them to count only odd or even numbers.

Alternate advanced ideas:

Have students create a pattern as they write/mark their dates!

For example write odd numbers in red and even numbers in blue (ABA pattern). For more advanced patterns, use multiple colors to create more patterns.

You can also use stickers to create patterns, for example on day 1 put a star sticker, day 2 a smiley face, day 3 a star, and so on. See below for more pattern ideas.

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Here are a few patterns you can encourage your kiddos to use when working with daily calendars:

  • AAB (i.e.: red, red, blue)
  • ABBA (i.e.: red, blue, blue, red)
  • ABAB (i.e.: red, blue, red, blue)
  • ABC (i.e.: red, blue, green)

There are lots of ways to create patterns, so feel free to get creative with your calendars!

Weather: I’ve also included a small weather graph at the bottom of the monthly calendar as well. Have students either color one square or put an “x” in one square for the appropriate weather each day. At the end of the month compare each weather type to see which type of weather was most/least common.

–>> Download the February 2021 Printable Calendar pages here!

Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you enjoy these monthly calendars and that they make your homeschool days a little more fun and engaging!

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December 2020 Free Printable Calendars

december 2020 free printable calendars

Hi everyone! Seriously where did the year go?? It’s already time for my December 2020 FREE Printable Calendars I can’t even believe it! Let’s hope 2021 is better eh?

Anyway, my FREE printable calendars are ready for download! 

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For kiddos who need more handwriting and number writing practice, I’ve created a traceable version where they can practice number formation and counting.

I’ve also created one with numbers already printed for students not ready for handwriting, or for students who already know how to write numbers well.

To use the traceable calendar: Have students use a marker or pencil to trace each number, then have student count up to today’s number.

To use the dot calendar: Have students a bingo dabber or small stickers to mark each day as it passes. Have students start back at one and count up to today’s number for counting practice. If they’re ready you might also encourage them to count only odd or even numbers.

Alternate advanced ideas:

Have students create a pattern as they write/mark their dates!

For example write odd numbers in red and even numbers in blue (ABA pattern). For more advanced patterns, use multiple colors to create more patterns.

You can also use stickers to create patterns, for example on day 1 put a star sticker, day 2 a smiley face, day 3 a star, and so on. See below for more pattern ideas.

Here are a few patterns you can encourage your kiddos to use when working with daily calendars:

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  • AAB (i.e.: red, red, blue)
  • ABBA (i.e.: red, blue, blue, red)
  • ABAB (i.e.: red, blue, red, blue)
  • ABC (i.e.: red, blue, green)

There are lots of ways to create patterns, so feel free to get creative with your calendars!

Weather: I’ve also included a small weather graph at the bottom of the monthly calendar as well. Have students either color one square or put an “x” in one square for the appropriate weather each day. At the end of the month compare each weather type to see which type of weather was most/least common.

–>> Download the December 2020 Printable Calendar pages here!

Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you enjoy these monthly calendars and that they make your homeschool days a little more fun and engaging!

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November 2020 Free Printable Calendars

november 2020 free printable calendars

Hi everyone! I have a fun freebie for you today! My November 2020 FREE Printable Calendars are ready for download! 

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November 2020 Free Printable Calendars 61

For kiddos who need more handwriting and number writing practice, I’ve created a traceable version where they can practice number formation and counting.

I’ve also created one with numbers already printed for students not ready for handwriting, or for students who already know how to write numbers well.

To use the traceable calendar: Have students use a marker or pencil to trace each number, then have student count up to today’s number.

To use the dot calendar: Have students a bingo dabber or small stickers to mark each day as it passes. Have students start back at one and count up to today’s number for counting practice. If they’re ready you might also encourage them to count only odd or even numbers.

Alternate advanced ideas:

Have students create a pattern as they write/mark their dates!

For example write odd numbers in red and even numbers in blue (ABA pattern). For more advanced patterns, use multiple colors to create more patterns.

You can also use stickers to create patterns, for example on day 1 put a star sticker, day 2 a smiley face, day 3 a star, and so on. See below for more pattern ideas.

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Here are a few patterns you can encourage your kiddos to use when working with daily calendars:

  • AAB (i.e.: red, red, blue)
  • ABBA (i.e.: red, blue, blue, red)
  • ABAB (i.e.: red, blue, red, blue)
  • ABC (i.e.: red, blue, green)

There are lots of ways to create patterns, so feel free to get creative with your calendars!

Weather: I’ve also included a small weather graph at the bottom of the monthly calendar as well. Have students either color one square or put an “x” in one square for the appropriate weather each day. At the end of the month compare each weather type to see which type of weather was most/least common.

–>> Download the November 2020 Printable Calendar pages here!

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Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you enjoy these monthly calendars and that they make your homeschool days a little more fun and engaging!