Tag Archives: homeschool

12032962_10153287138644983_4910941088961530721_nI want to share with you a comment from a small elementary school’s club. They are currently doing our CARDS FOR A CAUSE FUNDRAISER and they had this to say about the program.

“This is the easiest fundraiser I’ve ever done! One of my girls said she asked a few neighbors if they’d like to order the cards and they were very happy to – they liked that it was 30 cards for $30 and that the cards were so nice. The little girl said ‘all you have to do is ask and they buy them!’ “11988360_10153287138234983_272295816896363365_n

Would you like to know more about this super-easy program? Take a look at
and let me know when you’re ready to get started. This is so easy you can complete this fundraiser, start to finish, in about 2 weeks.




Yay, it’s finally here!

12027550_10153681532294809_3118894892065702213_n (1) I’ve been waiting for this since I saw it at our National Convention this summer.  Not only is it a bright, beautifully-illustrated thesaurus but this one includes games and tips for writing. This is so much fun, you’ve got to see it! Take a look and let me know if you want one (or more) for your family or classroom collection.

What are your kids doing this summer?

As the school year winds down you may be wondering how you’ll keep your kids active and engaged this summer  There are many options but camps and childcare can be so expensive.  One idea is to have your own Summer Brain Camp with a small group of like-minded families.  It isn’t as difficult as you’d think and you’ll probably spend only a fraction of what you’d spend on other activities.  Ask around and you may find more parents than you expected who have the same concerns.  
0008156_300I can help you find the resources you need to pull it off.  For example, you could get together once a week for simple and fun science experiments like the ones in 365 Science Activities or 101 Science Experiments.  0000419_300The activities usually involve common materials you’d find in your own home or at a nearby dollar store. Each family can take a turn directing the science activity, or one organized person can be your Camp Director and the other families can chip in snacks and drinks.  The possibilities are endless.
0000533_300If you have free spirited kids, we can help inspire the artistically minded.  The Art Treasury is unique in the way it “combines dazzling art from around the world with exciting projects to do that will inspire every young artist. It includes 0001343_famous_artists_book_of_il_300famous European paintings, delicate Japanese prints and traditional African masks, and each work of art is followed by a project influenced by the artist’s methods or ideas.” (from the catalog)  Pair it with The Usborne Book of Famous Artists to delve deeper into the lives of thirty-five of the world’s most talented artists.

Visit the website for yourself or get in touch for more summer ideas.  I’m here to help you find what you’re looking for.

This is an excellent idea! (I didn’t come up with it)

(See the full post at http://www.artbarblog.com/inspire/make-mornings-better/  for suggestions to try with your child’s specific personality.  I am sharing only a portion of this wonderful piece.  Diane)

Make Mornings Better {through patience + planning}

Make Mornings Better {through patience + planning}

Last year, I made a chart of sorts for my one that just cannot get her body moving in the morning. It wasn’t really a chart as much as a way for her to visually see what she needed to do. This totally worked for us. It helped her understand and grasp the fact that the mornings were hers to own (or hers to ruin). By taking me out of the equation, she actually did everything she needed to do because she was in control. We had this chart up for no more than two weeks and then it wasn’t needed anymore. Why it took me 4 years to figure this out is a mystery.

DIY good morning chart ~ teach kids to own their day | artbarblog.com

Make your own Good Morning chart:

shoe box lid / scissors / piece of cardboard / white glue / markers or paint / photos of your child doing the things that need to get done

I simply cut a shoebox lid in half and glued it to a piece of cardboard. I decorated it for her because she was honestly not into this idea at all. She thought it was “babyish”. But I convinced her by telling her that it would make mommy not have to talk to her at all! She liked that idea. We took photos of her in the midst of her morning tasks. All she had to do was move the photos from one pocket to another. She still is slow to get up, but she knows what to do and that if she doesn’t do it, I will have to speak to her (are you getting the picture that she is not a morning person?).

Idea for crafts with kids

I was delighted by this fun project to create wonderfully unique artwork.  The complete instructions can be found here.  Thanks to Pink and Green Mama for this idea.

Black Glue Watercolor Resist

Here is the gist of it-
“This is a project I used to love to do with my students
when I was an elementary art teacher!  Black glue and watercolor resist!  This is a classic art teacher project and the results are always beautiful.


Start by mixing some black acrylic craft paint into a bottle of Elmer’s Glue-All white school glue.
I use a couple of big blobs of paint.  Yes, I know, it’s a very scientific measuring technique!
I screw on the lid tightly and shake it really well to mix it up.
I shouldn’t have to say this, but please understand that your glue will always be black now, in this bottle – no backsies.  : )

Sketch your drawing/design lightly in pencil
on watercolor paper then trace over the whole drawing with the black glue.   You can also just draw a picture “free-style.”


Let it dry completely. Ours took a whole day to dry.

The next day, you can start to paint it.  We used our watercolor paints to paint ours, it has a stained-glass
or velvet poster look with the thick black outlines.”

The best ten bucks I spent

(Note from USBORNE BOOKS & MORE – I ran across this recommendation for our Activity Card Set, 100 Things for Little Children to Do on a Trip, while browsing for an interesting art activity to post for y’all. So here’s today’s art activity idea thanks to artfulparent.com. See original post at http://artfulparent.com/2010/04/the-best-10-bucks-i-spent-this-trip.html)

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I bought these travel activity cards at the last minute before our beach trip and, boy, I’m so glad I did! They’re made by Usborne Books & More and called 100 Things for Little Children to do on a Trip. These cards saved us for the hours we were in the car!

The card above says, “Draw a boat on the sea. Add lots of fish and an octopus, too.”

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The box is filled with a stack of cards that I handed back to Maia one at a time for her to work on. The activities included mazes, matching activities (match the animal to its food, for example), “spot the difference” pictures, beginning literacy activities, and drawing prompts. Maia loved them all! She worked on them in the car on the way down to the beach and also at the restaurant while we waited for our lunch.

Each card is large, sturdy, and double-sided. The pack comes with a write-on, wipe-off pen for doing the activities which means you can use these for many different trips and multiple kids! I really think these are a must-have for a road trip! Also for restaurants, airplanes, and doctor office waiting rooms, etc.

The only (minor) problem with these is that since they are double-sided, the ink rubbed off a little bit onto Maia’s clothes when she turned them over to work on the reverse. And, unfortunately, it didn’t all come out in the wash. Maybe pack one of those spot remover pens or use a lap tray.

(Note from USBORNE BOOKS & MORE – Many Activity Card Sets are available – Though I’ve never had anyone mention the above problem, I imagine it could happen so I would advise you to use a lap tray or simple towel or blanket over their laps if this is a problem for you when traveling. Any wipe-off marker will work on the cards and I’d grab some extras so multiple kids can divide the cards and trade back and forth, as so often happens with kids anyway. Also, a smart teacher once told me a tip to keep any flashcard sets manageable – punch a hole in one of the upper corners of each card and put them on one or more key rings (approx. 2″ dia.) to keep them from being dropped or lost. Here’s an example of the type of key ring I’ve used though I’m sure I found them at Jo-Ann’s or some such store in a pack of 6(?) for just a few dollars.  http://www.keyring.com/heavydutysplitkeyringnickelplated2diameterusa.aspx)


Here’s a new one called Secrets of the Seashore for all your spring and summer beach vacations (and to remind you of past vacations). This one’s just like Secrets of the Apple Tree but you get to see the hidden habitats of the seas and oceans instead. These make great gifts when paired with small flashlights to shine through the pages. Enjoy these with the favorite people in your life and share loving reading experiences that will encourage your child’s natural curiosity and love of learning.0005798_300

Did you know I also offer services for your favorite school or library?

School & Library Programs

Contact me for information on any of the following programs. I’d love to help your school, library or other organization get free or discounted books, or to help you earn funding for a special project.

Reach for the Stars!!

Reach for the stars materials


Reach for the Stars!! Is a generous pledge-based reading incentive program, designed to benefit schools, individual classrooms, clubs, preschools, church groups, home school groups, charities, businesses and public libraries. 

The goal of Reach for the Stars!! is for participants to read, or be read to, for 300 minutes over a two week period of time, thus developing a reading routine, receiving Usborne and Kane Miller books for participating.

Reading is a Gift Book Fairs

Book Fair Materials


Your school deserves commercial free, quality books at great prices!  The Reading is a Gift book fair program was developed by Usborne Books & More to encourage reading, and at the same time, raise money and/or free books for your school or organization. Continue reading Did you know I also offer services for your favorite school or library?

1604803_10152251133892386_181058963_nThis series is a hit with boys and girls from preschool to older elementary for many
reasons. Parents love them too. With features like thick sturdy pages, flaps that open all different ways, vibrant double-page illustrations and bite-size chunks of scientific information, kids eat up and store away incredible amounts of knowledge as they “play around” with these books. Check out this newest one, See Inside The Universe, or grab other titles in this popular series here.