Saturday, 30 January 2016

What Read Alouds Look Like at Our House

If you want kids to want to read...Then read amazing books aloud every single day.

I remember reading the importance of reading aloud to your children, before I started homeschooling. I remember thinking that is a fantastic idea. I am a reader at heart I love books.

Sounded simple and amazing I couldn't wait to try it out. We signed up for a book club, I purchased the book I believe it was Charlotte's Web. I sat down with the boys and started reading the first chapter. Half way into the chapter they were wiggling around, fidgeting and getting that look in their eyes, you know that look when you've lost them-yeah that look. 

I thought I was doing something wrong. Maybe my voice was to boring, maybe the reading selection wasn't interesting. Well thank god for the internet, I read and read and finally realized I am not alone. Most homeschooling parents had the same complaint. I read some tips and suggestions and was determined not to give up.

Now these ideas are not new ideas and have seen many suggestions like these all over the internet But I'll share anyway.

1. Give them coloring books (sounds simple but very effective)

I took them to the dollar store and let them pick out their favorite coloring books and some new crayons. It worked like a charm, they were keeping their hands busy and I had their attention. Win win right.

2. Puzzles 


My kids love puzzles and are allowed to do them anytime, but I put some aside just for read aloud time. I try to make sure they are fairly easy and they can just do it with out giving it to much thought.

3. The boys also use spiral notebooks and draw and take notes about what were reading about.

I let them write in pen and I also let them use markers. Its something they don't get to do a lot. So it makes it more exciting.

4. Copy work/ Crossword Puzzles

The  crossword puzzles have to be simple and I only give it to my eldest, because he really enjoys them

I hope those suggestions were helpful for you. What do you do during read aloud time?

Friday, 29 January 2016

Free Life Cycle Cards

This post contains affiliate links

I recently purchased Safari Toob Life Cycles from a local teacher supply store. I decided to make some cards to go with it. I purchased frog life cycle, butterfly life cycle, and chicken life cycle.

I love these Safari Toob Life Cycle figurines. The size is perfect and the quality is great both my boys have enjoyed playing with them and matching the cards with each stage.
 Butterfly life cycle
Frog Life Cycle
Chicken life Cycle.

Click on any of the pictures above to download your free life cycle cards.


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Thursday, 28 January 2016

Writing with the Traits: Word Choice

This post contains affiliate links

My 7 year old and I have been working through Using Picture Books to Teach Writing With the Traits by Ruth Culham and Raymond Coutu. This is is a fantastic book it has easy to follow lessons and connects writing with picture books.

We did a lesson on word choice, we read Max's Words. Max's two older brothers have a collection and Max wants one too. He decides to collect words-long ones, short ones, interesting ones, and ones that capture his imagination. Eventually with the help of his brothers, Max writes a short story using many of his favorite words.

My son really enjoyed this story, after reading the book we started a word collection of our own. We gathered all our supplies.

Just like Max we collected all types of words; interesting words, words we didn't know the meaning to, happy words, etc. We used magazines and newspapers.

We used a mason jar to collect all our words. Even my 5 year old joined in, it was a lot of fun for both boys. They did not want to stop. I love lessons like these it incorporates great literature and hands on learning. We will be adding to our words and completing the rest of the lesson during the week.

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Wednesday, 27 January 2016

How I Prepare For My Homeschool Week

Having 4 children and 2 under 2 can make homeschooling a challenge sometimes. That is why I like to be as prepared as possible. This helps me; (1) stay sane (2) keeps me on task (3) it helps my boys have a routine, no guessing what were going to do that day.

Getting ready for homeschooling starts way before we start our year. I take the summer to lay out a plan. I purchase all my curriculum and sit down and take everything apart. I like to give my boys worksheets rather than the whole book. It just helps them feel like the task is do able.

 I pull out their work out of this binder. It contains all their reading comprehension, vocabulary, math, etc.

When I plan I don't write down any page numbers or how much I would like them to complete. Sometimes they work ahead and sometimes they do a page. That is okay with me as long as they are completing at least a page a day. I also write down what subjects we will be doing on what day. I have a main board that I refer to for the rest of the school year.

We use a workbox system in our homeschool. It helps me stay organized and keeps the boys on task.

So after my school year is planned, all I have to do is pull out worksheets and write down what they need to get done that day.

I start preparing for my homeschool week on Sunday. I put away all the work that they completed from the week before and mark anything that is left.

I store all completed work in this binder.

I use a spiral notebook and make a list for both boys. I have a section for independent work and a section for 'mommy teaches'. They always start with independent work and they come to me if they need help with anything.

 As for the subjects I teach they are spelling, science, history, geography and Arabic. I have prepared all the worksheets and what we cover each day ahead of time. I refer to our main white board which I showed above and our group study binder.

On Sunday I sit down go over page numbers, library books that I need to grab, and any supplies for science I am missing. I write those things down on my notebook that I carry around with me all week.

I hope that wasn't too confusing and it was helpful to you. Please leave me a comment if you have any specific questions.

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Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Under the Sea Activity (تحت البحر)

I wanted to share this under the sea unit with you guys. My boys enjoyed matching all the animals together and learning their names. This activity was mainly for my 5 year old, I made it to help him learn more vocabulary. You can use this set of printables to play a matching game or just use it as flash cards.

I used Safari Animal Toobs with the cards, it made it more hands on. I purchased these at Michaels but you can also get them on Amazon.

Both these books I purchased at Noorat. It comes with a set of 38 books, they have different theme books. This is the science books, we love this set a lot and have gotten a lot of use out of them.
Click on the image to download your free coloring page.
Click on image to download flash cards


Monday, 25 January 2016

My Five Senses Arabic Craft

I wanted to share this fun my 5 senses craft in Arabic. I have included all the words plus the template for you to download. I hope you enjoy this craft and do please share with me if you make this with your kids.

I purchased this Arabic book a long time ago. It comes with a set of 208 books on all different topics. It was an expensive purchase but while worth the price. I purchased them from noorart.
Click on the image above to download free worksheet.
Click on the image above to get the free template for the craft. You can use this for both a boy or a girl.


Our 1st graders Reading List

Today I wanted to share with you what my 1st grader has been reading. He has been enjoying the Mercy Watson series. I purchased a box set for him and it comes with six books.

Kate DiCamilleo is the author of this funny series. She also wrote the Tale of Despereaux, Because of Winnie- Dixie, and many other books.

These books are the perfect intro into chapter books. The pages are short and so are the chapters, they still have colorful illustrations and they are really entertaining. My son really enjoyed reading these books.

I try not to limit his reading content. If he wants to pause and grab another book I allow him, its stress free reading. I just want to create a love for reading. Just like his older brother he goes through books really fast and enjoys reading.

Since both boys are close in age they like to do a lot of the same things and that includes reading the same books. He also got into the Roald Dahl series I purchased for my 3rd grader.

I was a little nervous that he might find it hard to read, but so far his having no trouble at all. I sometimes here them discussing stories and laughing about their favorite parts.

Read Alouds:

We have enjoyed some really great read alouds. I try to base our read alouds on what we are studying in history, geography, or science. I just rotate between these subjects.

  • Tale of Despereaux
  • Little House in the Big Woods
  • Matlida
  • The Witches
  • The Mystery of the Great Barrier Reef
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Gorillas in the morning
Here is the post about our 3rd grade reading list.

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