Dedicated to being a Wife, Mother, Friend and Educator while I listen to God's call in my life. I blog to inspire others to be all they can be in whatever roles they are called to. I begin all I do with Gratitude and end by choosing Joy. - Thanks for joining me on my journey!
Do you use lapbooking in your homeschool or classroom? You might think – been there done that…or lap – what? Well, today at the Happy Hive we are going to visit the much blogged about topic of lapbooks.
If you want the short version, check out my video:
Lapbooking isn’t a new concept. I used it from day 1 when I began homeschooling in 2006. I’m sure it existed before that. I have no idea to whom to give proper credit for “inventing” lapbooking, but I praise whomever it is mightily.
In a nutshell, lapbooking is a cut-and paste of information onto file folders or notebooks. It’s interactive and engaging for most (but arguably not all) learners. Remember everyone learns different. If you have a learner who isn’t into the creative mumbo jombo- they may not enjoy this type of expression at all.
You can create your own lapbook, purchase them, or do a combination. There is no wrong way! Here is a sample of a lapbook I created many moons ago (and am currently updating)
We used colored cardstock as our “cover” each of my children had their own color, and every lapbook or notebook was always that color.
All the interactive elements are then compiled over the course of the unit study and added inside the file. This was actually a year long project. We completed the assembly, then continued to add to the elements as we went.
This lapbook also holds information you can’t “see” – notice how the dated entries (in the second picture) stop in July of 2010. The untold story is That I returned to the classroom full time in August 2010, so our homeschool dynamics shifted (Topic for another post! YES you can work full time and homeschool). We put this calendar lapbook in our 2010 time capsule and the memories came flooding back! You can read about setting up the time capsule HERE and about the big reveal HERE
We all have a different reason for choosing to homeschool. Unfortunately for homeschool families WE get asked about our reasons, unlike our public and private school counterparts. Identifying your CORE reason for homeschooling can help your answer sound less defensive.
Listen to Christy talk about this subject, and share her CORE reason for homeschooling in this video.
This post also discusses the topic, but is not a transcript of the video 🙂
Perhaps you have several reasons for homeschooling. You might come up with a list:
Avoid cliques and bullying
Provide a better education
Give my children the power of choice
Avoid state testing
Differently abilities (IEP or Gifted)
Ultimately, you know your kids best of all. What are your instincts telling you?
One thing to remember when answering this question from well meaning friends and family is that – there is no WRONG way to go to school. We need ALL SYSTEMS. Every family is making the right choice for them. Answer their inquiries with love and kindness and most of all patience. Own your reasons without making them doubt their own choices. Invite them to a park day or event held on a traditional school holiday. Share your successes on social media. Celebrate the success of other-schooled friends.
When you do get questions, after answering, ask questions back – keep it positive and non threatening. Ask your family and friends what they love most about their school, and let them share! Tell them you would love to come to so-and so’s next (insert event here…. Play, awards ceremony, festival, fundraiser, etc).
If you’d like help discovering your core reason for homeschooling – whether you’re new to homeschooling or you’ve been homeschooling for a while, grab these free guided journaling pages to help you decide what your core reason is for homeschooling. The packet also contains a page where you can compare the top three homeschool choices in California the PSA the ISP / Charter or enrolling with a PSP like the Happy Hive.
To date there have been 45 men who have served as President of the United States. Today is a day to remember and honor them.
There are many books about our past Presidents from which you can gain a great understanding of how they grew into the leaders they became. My favorite series for this by far is the “Who WAS” series .
Back in 2010, For Washington’s birthday I gave the bugs an assignment… Write about what you would do if you were president of the USA, and then paint me a picture of yourself as president… here is what they came up with:
If I were President I would…
9 year old Lauren’s Essay: If I were President I would give the jobs money to give the people for payment. If I were President that is what I would do.
8 year old Megan’s Essay: If I were president I would lower prices and I would give food to the poor and I would like to make toys un – breakable. If I were president that’s what I would do.
6, almost 7 year old Douglas’ Essay: If I were President of the United States I would give people jobs… the front of his picture says: I am the President at my desk. I am saying, “How are you doing today?”. I let the little kid in my desk. The Daddy is looking at the jobs. TOOOOO CUTE!!!!!
As adults we potentially deal with Presidents on a daily basis (even if we avoid the news)… how? Because our presidents are on Money!
Did you know that there have been no revisions to the Presidents depicted on currency since 1928? Unfortunately the department of treasury can not determine with any accuracy why certain Presidents and statesmen were chosen for their specific denominations.
The only modifications to currency began in 1996 to improve security against counterfeiting.
You can learn all kinds of Fun Facts about the presidents (and other leaders) on paper money in my slide presentation and guided note activity pack.
My answer might surprise you… then again, it might not.
I’m not going to discuss the cost in terms of finances, I’m going to discuss the cost in terms of actual life cost required now or in the long run… as stated by Thoreau….
If the actual financial cost is what is worrying you, we will cover that another time. There are plenty of free resources out there, it doesn’t have to cost a thing financially to homeschool!
Kids spend 6.5 hours a day, 180 days a year in school. Do the math. It’s staggering. Their entire childhood is traded away sitting at a desk. That’s pricey.
As a former classroom teacher, I’m sorry to say that’s not all spent learning. A lot of those hours are recess, lunch and wasted time. Jane and Johnny have to be allowed to go to the bathroom whenever they ask after all. I had a file full of doctors notes that said so.
Not to mention how much time is wasted quieting a class or transitioning from subject to subject? What about the interruption when students arrive late or leave early.
In a class of 30 students, this is a DAILY occurrence. These are just a few of the external “costs” involved in sending your child to school. I didn’t even mention behavior disturbances or phone calls from the office….
If they are struggling with schoolwork for ANY reason. That’s pricey.
Bullying – I actually don’t like that term. I think kids need to learn how to deal with kids, but seriously – I watched teacher after teacher ignore issue after issue. Kids should feel safe and loved, end of discussion. I spent the last 5 years of my career in charge of “discipline”. I took a different approach, called my self the student support coordinator. It was beautiful how open the lines of communication were. Not all schools are war-zones.
Another common “cost” is to the students who are excelling and have to sit and wait while the teacher explains things for the 10th time. As a teacher I could just hand them another worksheet, or the iPad…or I could use them as peer tutors (which was what I actually did! – valuable, but not ideal!)
As a homeschool family, by the time my children were in late elementary, middle school… We finished our lessons before lunch and had all afternoon for what I called free choice learning. Talk about the price being right! We jam packed more learning into one day as a homeschool family than I did in a week as a classroom teacher. (Well, I might be exaggerating a bit to make my point, but we did finish a full day in AT LEAST half the time!)
We didn’t have “homework”, but instead we had family time for “hidden” learning in puzzles, games, reading and educational television. Cooking dinner together is quite an education.
As a classroom teacher, each year I received a new class of students. I invested countless hours getting to know each of them, forming personal connections to foster a positive learning environment. Just as things were going smoothly, my 180 days were up and I was forced to turn the class over to the next teacher in line whether the students were ready or not. Whether the teacher was competent or not. Summer passes, and I did it all over again.
With homeschooling I already HAVE the connection with my children and we moved along naturally when ready, and never before. No calendar or testing agenda dictated progression. (I homeschooled by filing my own PSA – Private School Affidavit. Results with a charter may vary, but are still similar) I grew WITH them 365 days a year because learning never stops. We didn’t take summers “off” but instead shifted our learning with the seasons.
From this perspective, the cost of homeschooling is priceless! I am trading my days, nights and holidays for the complete education of my family.
The only cost of homeschooling is your time! Investing in my children has been worth every minute. You don’t have to do it alone!
Enrolling in the Happy Hive Private School Satellite Program (PSP) frees you up to worry about all the GREAT things involved in homeschooling and we will take care of the paperwork and legalities! You will be operating your school- your way, with the guidance of a fully credentialed teacher.
Our services include taking care of requesting cumulative files…official letters of withdrawal as well as help selecting curriculum and transitioning through what we call de-schooling. (or un-schooling).
Groundhog day’s largest celebration is held each year in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, where Punxsutawney Phil is awakened from his wintery slumber to let the crowd of thousands know to expect an early spring, or 6 more weeks of winter! It also happens to be Mrs. Crabtree’s Birthday! Here she is checking for HER shadow! She likes to be called: California Christy!
This unique tradition in weather folklore is tied to the Christian holiday of Candlemas brought to the Americas by the Dutch. It was a tradition on Candlemas day for priests to bless candles and distribute them to parishioners on February 2 (the middle of winter).
Candlemas takes place between the winter solstice and spring equinox, therefore it is traditionally thought to be the “middle of winter”. It is also celebrated as the day in the Catholid Church as the day Jesus was presented in the temple in Jerusalem. When Simon held the baby Jesus, it is said he proclaimed Jesus would be a light for the world, and therefore, February 2nd (40 days after Christmas) was named Candlemas.
There is no clear historical path to the actual beginnings of Candlemas and which came first Jesus as the light or the blessed candles as the light.
The tie into what we now celebrate as Groundhog day comes from the way Farmers see this day.
In Germany a badger or hedgehog was used to see if he saw his shadow. When early Pennsylvania settlers came to America, they replaced the hedgehog with a groundhog.
There are several versions of this song:
“If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, Winter, have another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go, Winter, and come not again.”
I put this saying up on my letterboard as part of my end of January decorations.
When the Groundhog comes out sand see’s his shadow – he is presumably scared, and retreats back into his burrow for 6 more weeks of winter. (“If Candlemas be fair and bright, Come, Winter, have another flight. ) No shadow, means he stays out and therefore the prediction of an early spring. (If Candlemas brings clouds and rain, Go, Winter, and come not again.”)
The activity Packet also contains these great posters with clip art from Teacher’s Pay Teachers Seller:
The first Groundhog day celebration in Pennsylvania was held on February 2, 1886. According to The Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper: “Today is groundhog day and up to the time of going to press the beast has not seen its shadow.” The groundhog was named: “Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary”. Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania is known as the “Weather Capital of the World.” The first prediction called for an early spring as Phil did not see his shadow!
The now legendary first trip to Gobbler’s Knob was made in 1887, just the following year.
How much do you know about Punxutawney Phil? Use the slide presentation portion of the activity pack to play Fact or Fiction and see!
Some other fun things you can do to celebrate the day are:
Trace your shadow with chalk
Bake Groundhog cupcakes / Brownies. Here are 2 sample versions that are easy to copy. The first version I did with my kids. We used Brownies because they are my favorite and are more dense than cupcake batter. They hold the wafer cookie better.
Use icing and a toothpick to draw the face. Depending on the ages of your learners, faces will vary! We used sliced almonds “glued” on with more chocolate icing!
Here is our completed tray.
The second version were created FOR me as a gift. They were assembled by an adult – but could totally be kid created as well. The cupcakes were baked first, then the candy was assembled after they had completely cooled.
However you decide to celebrate – may your day be filled with fun.
Come back again for another fun Homeschool Holiday to explore- because there is always something to learn!
Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and as such the links I post are affiliate links.
Barbie remains possibly the best known doll of all time. But what about toys for boys? – yes back in the day toys were designed with a particular market in mind. In 1964 Hasbro, in an effort to compete with Matel’s Barbie came up with GI JOE. The soldier was introduced as an “action figure”, not a doll.
Government Issue Joe was a huge success! The name came from the 1945 film: The Story of G.I. JOE. (you might find it on youtube with a search 🙂
The action figure carries a patent for its 21 point articulation. It is also copyrighted because of the scar across Joe’s right cheek. This unique mark is what allows the action figure to be copyrighted, otherwise the human likeness isn’t eligible for copyright.
How to Celebrate:
Write letters to soldiers – Check out Operation Gratitude . com
Design your own ACTION FIGURE ( 3d printer) or repurpose an old action figure from yard sale.
Have you ever seen a flying squirrel? What about a squirrel touching up her lipstick?
I have the pleasure of belonging to a group of women who scrapbook and our mascot is the squirrel. We have had many “squirrely” adventures! So indeed I have seen a squirrel stop, pull over and touch up her lipstick.
Today we are going to focus a bit more on the 3 types of squirrels you may encounter in nature: the flying squirrel, the tree squirrel and the ground squirrel.
The flying squirrel doesn’t really fly… remember the scene in Toy Story – where Buzz Lightyear is “falling, with style” – that’s exactly what a flying squirrel does… They glide through the air after launching off a tree branch. Fascinating for sure. Check out this great video by National Geographic Wild: World’s Weirdest- Flying Squirrel
Tree squirrels, as their name implies live in trees. Some of the most recognized of the tree squirrels are the grey, red and fox squirrel. They may bury food in the ground so tgey have it for later.
Ground squirrels can sometimes be mistaken for gophers due to their burrowing underground. They eat nuts, seeds and plants. They even eat small insects.
Did you know chipmunks and marmots are also in the squirrel family? There are so many cool squirrel facts I compiled a list of my favorites and created a copywork activity pack. Here is a sample you can use. The full version is available in my TPT store for only $1.25. It comes with 9 facts in print and cursive.
I can not resist sharing this youtube video…. If you can not get out of the house to go squirrel watching today – have no fear. This Mom and her babies will keep you entertained for quite some time. Squirrel Clown Car
One of my favorite websites as a classroom teacher was SCI Show Kids. It’s geared at kids TK – grade 3, but my 4th graders loved it, and I dare say – kids are kids. The information is great. They have a video called: Why do Squirrels dig? I have created a FREE companion worksheet to go along with the video.
Watch the video and use this FREE companion worksheet! (answer key not included, but you can get it in my Squirrel Appreciation Day activity Pack!)
I don’t use a formal language arts (reading, writing, spelling, grammar) curriculum. I have my children read and write examples of good written work! – that’s why copywork has been essential in my homeschool!
Simply put, when I find a great quote, or even something my child is interested in. I write it down (or type it on the computer) for them. Their responsibility is to read the sentence, or passage to me, then to copy it EXACTLY as it is written, in their BEST writing. This is copywork.
I look for passages that model good grammar, quality word choice, and are interesting. My son has indeed completed copywork on video games. I’m sure that is not at all what Charlotte Mason would have intended, but it worked for us! The gift of homeschooling is YOU are the designer. My son also copied his share of bible passages and famous quotes. I tried to balance everything.
Mario and Luigi fight to save the Princess. While this is not mindblowing literature, or an earth shattering statement. I was very much able to motivate my son who was bored with the same copywork routine by adding these gems in there. He even made suggestions! It was a wonderful opportunity for us to customize his education, and for him to own his learning.
One year our copywork coordinated with History, and the kids were able to draw pictures to go with what they had copied! I loved this added artistic component.
When my middle daughter was re-reading the Harry Potter series for the third time, I had HER select her own favorite quotes and use them as her copywork.
Every formal “English/Grammar” lesson I taught in the classroom can easily be taught with no fuss and muss through copywork. Even spelling. My children have learned to spell through reading and writing and have never had a formal spelling lesson nor spelling list/test!
Bible verses make excellent copywork, as do quotes from your favorite novels.
I too practice the discipline of copywork. As with everything we do, being a good role model for my children is important.
Copywork by age:
First learn to write – handwriting instruction. The copywork is simple letter formation.
As soon as your learner can copy short phrases, copywork can begin. God is Good. (for example) is simple enough for a pre-K or Kindergarten writer,
As your writer advances they can move to copying longer sentences, to paragraphs.
We did not use formal handwriting past cursive (3rd grade) and we incorporated copywork beginning mid-year kindergarten. But every child is different. Everyone learns differently. Please listen to the balance of learning for each of your learners and adjust accordingly.
There are a million different possibilities for how copywork can look in your home, or even your classroom.
One sentence/verse a week, copy each day – recite as memory verse at the end of the week.
New one each day Monday – Thursday – pick favorite and copy again on Friday. Copy onto decorative border paper to display.
Simply complete one a week and have a ‘set’ at the end of the school year of = Famous quotes, Bible Verses, Dates in History, Fun Facts…etc. (This same concept can be done daily.)
Older siblings create copywork for younger siblings.
Happy Hive homeschooling is working on copywork to accompany the Holiday of the Day curriculum. Check ourTeachersPayTeachers store. You can also request custom copywork and we will do our best to meet your homeschool or classroom needs. Copywork makes great “morning work” as students enter the classroom.
Put on classical music, sit together and practice the art of good writing.
Happy Kid Inventors Day — also called K.I.D. January 17th is a special day. It is the birthday of Benjamin Franklin who invented the first swim flippers at age 12! Mr. Franklin went on to invent many more things (perhaps you can research what they were) as well as become an important statesman in American history. Here is a FREE organizer you can use for this research:
Kids have brilliant minds, and today is a day to celebrate that. There are no limits on inventions. I bet you have a great idea. I know I would love an automatic laundry folder!
Rube Goldberg was an inventor and a cartoonist. He is famous for drawing cartoons that contained inventions that solved simple problems in the most over complicated – outrageous ways. The main character of these cartoons was named Professor Butts. Today we call these inventions Rube Goldberg Machines. Mr. Goldberg drew over 50,000 cartoons over his life. Around the globe contests are held for the best “Rube Goldberg” Machines!
Perhaps you will be inspired to create your own Rube Goldberg Machine. If it does fold laundry, will you let me know?
When you do have a true and unique invention, designed to solve a problem, many inventors – even kids seek what is called a PATENT. This protects the invention from being produced by another inventor for a period of 20 years. Even kids can be granted patents!
Visit the United States Patent & Trademark Website. They have an awesome section just for kids and teens.
Learn about the process and meet other Kid inventors like you!
Amazon has books on inventors, some are just about inventors in general and some are biographies. This is a fun one that covers all interest levels:
Brainstorm is filled with 20 stories of only KID inventors!
Today is a day for creating, even if it’s just THINKING about your invention because we don’t always have the exact supplies laying around the house for an automatic laundry folding machine… Begin by becoming inspired by other KID inventors, then brainstorm your own awesome invention. Use this great resource as a way to organize your thoughts.
If you would like to research 10 different Kid Inventors quickly and easily I put together this great resource for you! It uses QR codes you simply scan and read about or watch a short video about how these real kids solved real problems!
Then you can organize your research and determine how these inventions have impacted your life on a handy graphic organizer!
Head over to my TeachersPayTeachers store to check it out!
Way back in 2010 we celebrated Kid inventors day in a completely spontaneous way, check out that blog post: KID INVENTORS DAY 2010
I hope you are inspired to invent something on your own. (even like my kids – it had already been invented!) Come back again for another fun Homeschool Holiday to explore- because there is always something to learn!
Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and as such the links I post are affiliate links.
Pets play an important role in our homes and our lives. Don’t worry if you don’t have a pet – you can still participate in Dress up your pet day! But before you begin – make sure you have permission to dress your pet, and PLEASE make sure your pet is a willing participant.
Pet stores have plenty of clothes, but you can be creative with making a cape, using doll clothes and even baby clothes if your pet is small enough.
If you do dress your pet, be sure to take a photo and share it with us here at HomeschoolHoliday.com.
If you don’t have a pet, or can’t use your pet to celebrate this day, there are some easy alternatives.
One great way is to use a favorite stuffed animal.
Even homemade costumes for a favorite stuffed animal count for Dress Up Your Pet day!
You can also print and color our FREE Dress up your Pet coloring pages. Color these animal pages anyway you want then add hats, glasses and other fun items by coloring them or by cutting them from magazines and gluing them to the coloring pages.
There are 16 different coloring pages in this awesome FREEBIE!
For even more fun you can visit our TeachersPayTeachers storeand purchase the Dress your Pet paper Dolls. This affordable activity comes with the FREE coloring pages as well as a set of 10 different color your own Pet paper dolls, ( DOG, CAT, HAMSTER, GUINEA PIG, MOUSE, TURTLE, BUNNY, FISH, SNAKE, & BIRD) and 2 color (Cat and Dog) pet paper dolls for your learner to be creative with.
Remember to come back here and post your silly pet pictures, using your pets, stuffed animals, coloring pages or paper dolls. Today is a day to celebrate that special bond we have with our faithful friends.
I hope you have fun dressing your pet, live or paper! Come back again for another fun Homeschool Holiday to explore- because there is always something to learn!
Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and as such the links I post are affiliate links.