Back to School Sale on Amped up Learning!

The Back to School sale is in full SWING on Amped up Learning. All Homeschool Holiday products are 25% off with no coupon code or hashtag needed. The discount will be taken in your cart!

As a matter of fact – all the AMAZING teacher authors I have featured on the blog (AND MORE!) have their stores on sale! The sale is site wide and we worked extra hard to get our REMOTE READY (distance learning) as well as Face to Face products loaded and downloadable for you!

We know times are uncertain, and your new protocols are just being rolled out. Homeschool Holiday has what you need to help develop those relationships from the start. Fun, engaging products that student’s love!

Head over to the Amped Up Learning Facebook page and enter to win great prizes!

$25 Amped Up Giftcard, a shirt/sticker combo, and 2 face masks.

To enter:

1. Like & Follow Amped Up Learning on Facebook

2. Comment the grade level you teach or subject

For additional entries:

• Share the post to your page or stories and tag Amped Up Learning

• Tag a Teacher or Home School family (1 entry per comment)

3 Winners will be drawn at 9AM CST on Monday, August 3rd!

Teachers impact other Teachers

My husband is a Truck Driver. Thankfully he is a local driver and he is home each night. He did do a “run” as a long- haul driver during our younger homeschooling years and it was an adventure for sure. I have SO MUCH RESPECT for this profession. The reason I am telling you this is, driving around all day, he has a LOT of time on his hands… He would listen to audio books while driving, but now listens to pod-casts. Every week he sends me a text message with something like – listen to this, I think you will like it.

FINALLY, Turn around is fair play!!! I am dying to send my husband the link to THIS PODCAST because I AM ONE OF THE GUESTS!

Homeschool Holiday, as well as two of my closest Amped Up Learning contributor friends had the pleasure of being featured on the Inspiring Teachers Podcast. It is also broadcast on YOUTUBE if you would like the visual!

My journey into commercial curriculum writing has gifted me with so many blessings, there truly is no way to measure my success.

Danny Hauger has a store on Amped Up Learning Marketplace called Hauger History. He also hosts not one, not two – but THREE podcasts:

Inspiringteachers.Podbean.com  where he and Tavis Beem provide, as the name implies, Inspiration for fellow teachers.

The other podcast,   Haugerhistory.podbean.com is where he provides overviews of his social studies products.  

small-square-hauger-history-logo-hhp.png

And https://dannyhauger.podbean.com/ for music! Free music and interviews weekly! Enjoy free singer-songwriter songs from Danny Hauger music. Hear interviews with inspirational people and get free music and entertainment by subscribing today! Share and help support indie music for the world!

I’m not sure when Danny sleeps… (or grades papers!)

The Inspiring Teachers Podcast specializes in interviewing leading educators from around the world. I was able to share how Holiday teaching can impact not only homeschoolers, but classroom educators as well. With over 20 years of teaching experience, and curriculum writing under my belt (published or not, I have been writing my own curriculum since day 2 when I was not satisfied with what was in the curriculum I was using!) I would agree with Danny and Tavis – I am indeed a “leading educator” from around the world.

Danny’s podcasts are easy to listen to, as he is a natural in broadcasting. I’ll go ahead and call a spade a spade. Totally biased here because Danny is a former Los Angeles Angels broadcaster and anyone with the Angels is a friend of mine! Danny also believes in using his voice to help young people realize their potential. He admits to veering of the “path” based on what his students are interested in which is also near and dear to any homeschool philosophy.

Danny will have a special place in Heaven reserved for the Middle School and High School teachers. He has spent 6 long agonizing years with them… ha ha no, I put that in there. Danny LOVES it. And uses his podcast with fellow teacher Tavis Beem to help teachers of all levels gain experience and an empowering uplifting message of positivity.

The list of Danny’s talents doesn’t end… and I *thought* this post was about MY debut on a podcast..but I can’t wait to get my hands on this BOOK! Danny has given EXCLUSIVE Amped Up Learning pricing of $2.99 and it contains his best ideas of how to alter your voice to reach more students and help them reach their potential. This is NOT just for classroom teachers… even a MOM wants to help her children reach their greatest potential, and well, frankly we use our voice too!

Episode #99 of INSPIRING TEACHERS is ready for your listening and viewing pleasure. In this episode we discuss the joys of teaching in hopes of reminding all educators why we were called to teach. We also share some of our best moments teaching in classrooms, (or homes!) and share a tool or idea to help make the listener’s classrooms more engaging.  I do hope you will check it out!

Head over to Amped Up Learnning Today through Monday and save on EVERYTHING in the Online Marketplace – including the book – Broadcaster’s Secrets and the Oreo products I mention in the podcast!

Easy solution to the start of your Homeschool Day.

Routine

I see floating all over the internet the same question. How do you begin your homeschool day? I have an answer for you. Everyone HAS an answer for you… just put your feet on the floor and get going ! Remember you are reading the blog of the woman who just keeps saying, there is no wrong way to homeschool. There isn’t.

But I do 100% believe in routine. Perhaps that’s why I loved teaching. The bells provided structure and predictability. I like to know what to expect. So if I can give you advice on how to begin your homeschool day… just begin it the same way every day. I will share with you two AWESOME products I created ( of course they are awesome, I created them giggle, giggle!) that we used every day, and even year after year. (cough, cough…even when my “bugs” had outgrown the activities, they were comforted by the routine and did it anyway!)

Change of Grade Day

I just LOVE the beginning of the school year! Even though at the Happy Hive we say learning never ends and we school all year we do celebrate what we call our “Change of Grade Day”.

Usually Labor Day weekend, or Labor day itself because my husband would be off we would take a Field trip! The first day of Homeschool seemed appropriate with a field trip! It was our “not back to school celebration”.

For the past 2 years, as the kids have all been high school teenagers, our trips have been to Disneyand… but I did get my pictures!

They were not too old to enjoy pre-school snacks. And my Mommy heart gladly paid for the overpriced treat.

(I love that when we go out sometimes people comment about my “girls” My son has beautiful hair. When I ask why he is growing it or if he wants to cut it – he doesn’t have answers, but it is his hair! )

Who doesn’t want their back to school picture with the headless horseman? They don’t have enough fingers to hold up like in the old days. But in September of 2019 I had a College freshman, A Senior in High School and a Junior in High School.  We had no idea what the future held (you never really do!)

I’m not one of the “GRADE” sign makers… I had them use fingers. It worked great, until as I said, they ran out at 10, lol. I think the sign makers have me beat!

2012 (6th grade, 5th grade and 4th grade)

2009 – The first year I started using fingers to indicate grade level.

2007 Preschool, Kindergarten, First Grade. They wanted to “walk” to school. So we went around the block. Didn’t last long!

School Keepsakes

I have a few treasured keepsakes from over the years. It really is great to look back. Perhaps you remember our 10 year time capsule. We packed a lot of memories into that box. The REVEAL was so much FUN!

If you have started your own time capsule in 2020, or perhaps you got sidetracked, but intended to start – have no fear. I have a GREAT resource for you!

The PASSAGE OF TIME and WHAT’S THE WEATHER? Weather tracking activity will get you started.  These two products are items tried and true in our school, year after year. I have polished and perfected them after years of putting together this and that.

Here’s how they work:

At the beginning of the school year (or the beginning of the calendar year) children fill out an “About Me” page.

There is one specific to homeschooling, and there are general “about me” pages. There are several to chose from including one for “older” learners.

These are fun to keep year after year. Does the favorite food stay the same???

Then I have my kids draw a self portrait. You can also include their official school picture. But their drawings at the beginning, and again at the end of the year are really fun.

The next element to the memory book are calendar pages. I created color pages and black and white pages. I have primary pages in which the youngest of learners simply trace the date each day and color the decorations either at the beginning of the month, end of the month or any day as time permits. Older learners use the calendar to track time – family birthdays, appointments, lessons, – it’s their “personal planner”. Use those calendars anyway you see fit. I felt it was essential my kids knew how to track time using a traditional “paper” calendar.

(12 months shown – 17 months included!)

(simply re-download the file each August for new primary dated files)

There is also a Gratitude calendar. Each day I had them write something they were thankful for. We didn’t do this every year, but once or twice over the years is enough. You can even use the color calendars for this activity so it is more of a keepsake.

On the first school day of the month, or on the first of the month, however it works out – I had my children write their name in their BEST writing, and the name of the month as well. There are a variety of levels and “Starts” for the months. There is even a blank if you start completely mid-year.

This activity pairs SO PERFECTLY with our WHAT’S the WEATHER?  As part of your child’s daily routine of checking the calendar and writing the date, it is a great habit to also check and record the weather. Use the 24 different icons to record weather related events for 1 week, 2 weeks or the entire year. (I really lean toward the entire year!)

I know what you are thinking… Earthquake is not “weather” – However, if you are recording for a year that’s a pretty significant event along the lines of hurricane and tornado, so I wanted to include it.

After recording the weather for the month create a graph of the most common weather events:

After tracking the weather all year you then create a similar graph. Won’t it be fascinating to see the most common weather over time?

The set also includes larger “classroom calendar” sized weather icons you can display for Today’s Weather.

By investing just 5 minutes each day you will have a wonderful keepsake at the end of the year!

Passage of time $3.00 and What’s the Weather $ 3.50- Purchase during the Back to School Sale and save 25% automatically!

I’m sure you can tell I’m excited and passionate about these products. I actually used them in my classroom as well! Every morning upon arrival students had to write the date, record the weather and on the first day of the month, write their name and the month in their best writing. These “packets” went home at the end of the year and were a great way to show progress over time!

Thank you for choosing Homeschool Holiday to supplement the curriculum you are using in your homes and classrooms!

May your Educational Journey be Blessed!

Mrs. Crabtree

Music in YOUR homeschool- Yes indeed!

So far in my product review series I have addressed some of the more “challenging” subjects for homeschool families to address curriculum wise: Writing, Upper Level Math, Science, & Foreign Language (Spanish).

Today we are going to look at Music! It’s so much more than “do, a deer, a female deer” and listening to a variety of music through a streaming service! You can provide lessons and a trip to the library…but what if you want your learners to really learn music, and music theory? In waltzes Music in Our Homeschool .

Getting to know the Music Teacher

Gena is a homeschool mom with 8 children. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education as well as a Masters in Vocal Pedagogy (teaching music) and has spent many years teaching music in schools and homeschool settings. Gena loves music and wants to share that passion with others. She has a full blog, online courses and TONS of freebies on her website Music in Our Homeschool.

Music in Our Homeschool provides:

Online music courses

Reviews of music products

FREE music products and lessons

Helpful tips for including music in your homeschool

They also have a FULL store of products published under: I choose Joy Publishing.

A complete curriculum for under $30

I had the pleasure of receiving “A Folk Song a Week” curriculum for Elementary. This in itself is a COMPLETE curriculum, easy to use and requires absolutely NO music ability whatsoever! It’s perfectly homeschool friendly, and as a classroom teacher, I would absolutely keep this on hand for “emergencies”!!

A Folk Song a Week elementary music curriculum
$27.00 for all 36 weeks of curriculum

Each folk song has printable PDF lyrics and sheet music as well as background music about the song. There is a link to a video of someone singing the song and 3 variations of copywork practice. (Not familiar with copywork? You can check out my post about it HERE) There is also a related coloring page you can use and suggestions for supplementing the song with literature when possible. This curriculum explores classic songs like Take me out to the Ball Game, and Oh Susanna. Music that is appealing to learners of all ages and not stuffy by any means.

I was completely impressed with the care that went into this curriculum. (So much so I signed up for the free course sampler, see below.)

So much more than written curriculum

If you want to dive even DEEPER – Music in our Homeschool offers fully online courses. There is even a 20 course sampler you can try for FREE. The sampler is for multiple ages and dabbles in all the courses offered by Music in Our Homeschool. After my students and I finish exploring the sampler and the folk songs this fall, you can bet we will be taking more of Music in Our Homeschool ‘s courses. I am can not carry a tune if it is strapped into a car seat, and with the curriculum purchased (and freebies) through Music in Our Homeschool & I Choose Joy publishing, I’m a rock star! I’m certain you will find similar, if not better results.

It’s delightful curriculum, and I love not only Gena’s enthusiasm for what she does… I find parallels in her love for music in my love for holidays! I also found it completely thrilling that another business has created multiple facets in the way I have. Gena has I Choose Joy as well as Music in Our Homeschool, while I have Happy Hive Homeschooling and Homeschool Holiday... we are kindred spirits you might say!

Until next time – Be blessed friends!

Mrs. Crabtree

If you have questions about homeschooling or would like to supplement your child’s public/or private school education ,   Whatever journey you are on, I can help. Happy Hive Education Consulting is run by an experienced homeschooling Mom with a California Teaching credential. This unique combination of experience allows for a customized partnership between her family and yours.

  (Check out what others have to say HERE)

Reach out and CONTACT ME anytime!

*Disclosure regarding the “EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT REVIEW” series: Homeschool Holiday/ Happy Hive Homeschooling does not accept any payment for reviewing products from other Teacher Authors. I do recieve the product being reviewed and provide my HONEST, educated opinion about how the product can be used with my target audience: Educators in all their forms: Parents, Homeschoolers and Teachers.

I will be linking to Teacher-Author blogs and the stores in which they sell many their products. Purchase at your own risk. My opinions are my own and meant to help guide your curriculum and educational decisions.

You Don’t Have to Speak it To Teach it!

Maestra Michelle is the sixth Teacher Author in our series of product reviews on items you can use with confidence in your homes, co-ops and classrooms to meet the needs of your learners. Each of them are created by teacher-authors like myself (small, family oriented businesses)*. Michelle lives in South New Jersey with her husband, two teenage step-daughters and their barky beagle Pebbles. They are big into strategy and word games at their house-even before quarantine.

Maestra Michelle

Naming her Store

Michelle named her store using alliteration (alliterations are fun, right?!) and it gives a hint into who she is as a Person. Michelle is a non-native Spanish teacher who creates resources for learning Spanish at the middle and high school levels. She has I’ve taught a variety of levels but have spent a good chunk of my career teaching Spanish 1 & 2, and thus her product line focus’ there.

The Products

I had the pleasure to work with her Adjective Agreement: Shapes and Colors. I must admit – I was a tiny bit intimidated. Every time the Spanish teacher came in to teach my 4th graders, I swore I was going to pay attention and no “work” – but it never happened. I took French in High School and College , “Because it was pretty” ( yet, not very practical living in Southern California!) So reviewing a Spanish product was going to be challenging.

$8.00 from Amped Up Learning

Adjective Agreement Shapes and Colors is a PDF with hyperlinks to a Google Slides(TM) Presentation, Quizlet(TM) sets, and a Google Form(TM) self-grading quiz. Learners tackle indefinite articles, word order, and noun-adjective agreement including plurals! It can be used with new students or as a fun review for Spanish II!  I felt it could be used with primary students myself having sat in on 4th grade Spanish with half a listening ear for so long. As soon as I began to go through the activities I had a “light bulb moment” – THIS IS FANTASTIC – you don’t have to KNOW Spanish to use this!!!!

The curriculum gets learners describing objects by learning to identify the shapes, colors, gender, and number of an object.

I recognized immediately curriculum developed by Maestra Michelle could be used by homeschoolers very easily! Michelle confirms that, “yes, many of my resources can be used by homeschool families or by other non-Spanish teachers-especially the activities and lessons listed as “Beginner” (Spanish 1-2). “

Michelle includes easy to follow directions with screenshots. Many of the activities are self-correcting and if a question asked in the presentation, the answer appears on the next slide so students can get immediate feedback.

Michelle also creates open ended- project based activities, asking the students to create something personal using Spanish.

$3.00 available on Amped Up Learning

Vamos a Presentarnos works for both Beginning and Spanish 2 levels. There is no “right/wrong” answer in mind. This type of project based learning is meant to create opportunities for students to connect with others while using Spanish in a way that is personally meaningful to them. The project and the Spanish inside doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be understandable. In this project students are completing a template that includes:

name

birthday

origin

why they like their school

and space to answer several Spanish-2 level questions

a space for students to upload pictures

a space for a QR Code linking back to their FlipGrid™

Each of Michelle’s products are TEACHER TESTED – meaning she is “a teacher first, *published author* second. I only publish products that I have used in my own classroom and found them to be successful!”

The Person

Michelle began teaching in 2006 and spent 8 years in post-Katrina inner city New Orleans. It was, by far, one of the most difficult and rewarding experiences of her life. She learned a lot about resilience from those kids! She also taught ESL in a college in Northern Mexico, and spent a year in the Chicago suburbs and a year in England teaching Spanish. Michelle is currently in New Jersey teaching at a private school and Loving it!


Before COVID-19, Michelle did a lot of traveling. She believes travelling is the most important form of education. By getting out in the world and experiencing different surroundings, foods, ways of thinking and speaking you will learn so much about yourself! I couldn’t agree more.

Be sure to check out the awesome offerings Maestra Michelle has in her Amped Up Learning store for your Spanish Curriculum needs!

You can also follow her on Instagram@lamaestramichelle

Until next time – Be blessed friends!

Mrs. Crabtree

Keep up with The Happy Hive!

If you have questions about homeschooling or would like to supplement your child’s public/or private school education ,   Whatever journey you are on, I can help. Happy Hive Education Consulting is run by an experienced homeschooling Mom with a California Teaching credential. This unique combination of experience allows for a customized partnership between her family and yours.

  (Check out what others have to say HERE)

Reach out and CONTACT ME anytime!

Disclosure about our Product Reviews

*Disclosure regarding the “EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT REVIEW” series: Homeschool Holiday/ Happy Hive Homeschooling does not accept any payment for reviewing products from other Teacher Authors. I do recieve the product being reviewed at no cost and provide my HONEST, educated opinion about how the product can be used with my target audience: Educators in all their forms: Parents, Homeschoolers and Teachers.

I will be linking to Teacher-Author blogs and the stores in which they sell many their products. Purchase at your own risk. My opinions are my own and meant to help guide your curriculum and educational decisions.

Your Next Family Fun Night will be delicious!

We have been making Saturday night our Family Dinner and Game night for some time now.

We get tired of the same thing week after week. So, recently I decided to mix it up.

$4.50 bundle – Individual curriculum $3.00 each. You save 25% on the bundle!

Our Oreo Cookie line of products make a Fantastic Family Fun night. I believe you can use this for any age. Let me show you!

First we have the Oreo Cookie Taste Test. Purchase 5 different Oreo Cookie flavors. Use our tracking sheet to record the responses.

Full instructions are in the curriculum.

I held the taste test with my family. We included my daughter’s boyfriend as well. So the ages were 16, 17, 18, and 19. I did not taste, as I was passing out the cookies and keeping the MASTER list of flavors. Their faces and comments were so much fun. The laughter lit up the room.

This is a fun award you can present to the individual who correctly identifies the most flavors!

After we were done tasting – we had PLENTY of cookies left to stack! The Oreo Cookie STACKING challenge asks learners to see who can make the tallest Oreo tower. If you have younger family members, they can work with partners. If you don’t have as many cookies, you can take turns.

MY rambunctious teens all stacked at the same time!

As soon as one cookie tumbles – you loose! But the memories were made, the pictures speak 1,000 words. That’s priceless!

If you would like to purchase the Oreo Cookie Curriculum it is available in My Amped Up Learning Shop Individually, or as a Bundle!

I appreciate all my blog readers and want to remind you about our growing MEMBERS ONLY area – access is granted when you sign up for the FREE Curriculum Club!

You get an Exclusive Freebie each month, previews of upcoming holidays and coordinating products, coupons and MORE! Just click the image below to sign up!

Click Image to Sign up for the Curriculum Club – FREE!

Be sure to visit our favorite shopping platform to purchase fun Holiday themed curriculum:

Click on image to visit my Amped Up Learning Store

I hope you learned something new. If you haven’t already, sign up to follow our blog so you get an email notification every time there is a new post. (Left side, very bottom SUBSCRIBE via email) That way you can come back again for another fun Homeschool Holiday because – there is always something to learn!

With Love,

“Mrs. Crabtree”

#thisishowwehomeschool #homeeducation #homeschoolactivities#unschooliscool#unschoolingrocks#unschoolinglife⁣⁣ #unschooling#homeschoolfamily#homeschoolingrocks#homeschoolcurriculum#homeschoolinspiration#homeschoolteacher#freeprintables #homeschoolblogger #homeschoolblog #homeschoollife #Homeschoolinspiration #homeschoolcoach #ampeduplearningseller #teacherspayteachersseller #etsyseller

Not sure how the Chickens feel about this celebration…

Thank you Cows!

The Second Tuesday of July is Cow Appreciation day… This holiday started in 2004 by the Chicken Chain, Ckick – Fil- A. If you are not familiar with this fast food restaurant, their marketing revolves around cows who humorously tell us to: “Eat Mor Chikin”.

Cows are quite valuable, and dare I admit cute. Today is as good of a day as any to learn about their contribution to society, impact on the economy and raise awareness to issues surrounding cattle farming and dairy production. You can choose to celebrate by indulging in a burger or chicken – I’ll leave that to you!

Quick Cow History

Christopher Columbus introduced Cows to the Americas in 1493. Cows have been used for milk since 4,000 BC. As far back as 6,000 BC cows were used as money, they were traded! So if you happen to be short on cash, just see if the local store will take Cow instead!

Cow Economics

Cattle is big business. An economic analysis published in 2014 reported that beef cattle production contributed approximately $165 billion to the U.S. economy through direct and indirect economic and employment opportunities.

Cow’s Milk on Dairy Farm – Commercial Use

Dairy farming developed after pasteurization was invented in the early 1900s. Milk is an important ingredient in many recipes, yet up to 65% of people worldwide are unable to properly digest lactose. This has causes a significant rise in the popularity of milk alternatives. It is recommended that we have 2 – 3 cups of dairy a day. (But not all of those cups can be ice cream, darn!)

Holy Cow! – We’re not kidding!

In India the cow is indeed holy. Cows walk the streets and are not slaughtered or consumed to honor Hinduism. In ancient Hindu texts, the cow appears as “Kamdhenu” or the divine cow. Kamdhenu fulfills all desires: Its horns symbolize the gods, its four legs, symbolize the ancient Hindu scriptures or the “Vedas” and its udder symbolizes the four objectives of life:material wealth, desire, righteousness and salvation.

In one state in India you can find as many loose cows as the population of Dallas, Texas, more than 1 million cows. It’s not necessarily a good thing. Sometimes these cows are un-cared for because they are no longer producing milk, and it is against the law to slaughter them. Farmers can’t afford to feed them and turn them loose instead. It’s a tough situation! There are organizations working toward creating more cattle shelters.

Cows in the marketplace Johudpur India -Commercial Use

In our house, the Cow is pretty sacred as well… My oldest has quite a collection over the years. Her favorite cow, “Buloney” seen here when the two best friends were just wee little ones!

Cows in Literature

One of the most touching stories involving Cows has to be, the true story: 14 Cows for America

by Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez

14 Cows for America tells the true story of when one small African village heard about the events of September 11th 2001 from a returning Medical student, they were moved to send American the only help they could — a gift of 14 cows. After hearing about the terrorist attack, they invited the US Ambassador to visit their village, and when he did, they conducted a ceremony and presented the 14 cows, an unspeakable gift of generosity in their world, meant to help America in their recovery.

One tip shared by the website, THE BEST CHILDREN’S BOOKS is that when using this with children today, they may be unaware of the events of September 11th at the same scope as adults are, so when the book mentions the “Buildings so tall they can touch the sky” (at the time the World Trade Center towers were the tallest buildings in the world) and “fires so hot they can melt iron” some discussion may be necessary as is age appropriate.

Paper Plate Craft

You can create your own adorable Cow in honor of Cow Appreciation day, or in conjunction with this or many other Cow themed Literature, with our Cow Paper Plate Craft for just $1.00! Comes with Color options in both Brown or Black and White as well as Color your Own Templates!

Visit Amped Up Learning to Shop for this and MORE animal Paper Plate patterns!

We hope you will consider joining our Curriculum club – Its FREE! You get an Exclusive Freebie each month, previews of upcoming holidays and coordinating products, coupons and MORE! Just click the image below to sign up!

Click Image to Sign up for the Curriculum Club – FREE!

Be sure to visit our favorite shopping platform to purchase fun Holiday themed curriculum:

Click on image to visit my Amped Up Learning Store

I hope you learned something new. If you haven’t already, sign up to follow our blog so you get an email notification every time there is a new post. (Left side, very bottom SUBSCRIBE via email) That way you can come back again for another fun Homeschool Holiday because – there is always something to learn!

With Love,

“Mrs. Crabtree”

Sources:

NATIONAL TODAY

THE BEST CHILDREN’S BOOKS

#thisishowwehomeschool #homeeducation #homeschoolactivities#unschooliscool#unschoolingrocks#unschoolinglife⁣⁣ #unschooling#homeschoolfamily#homeschoolingrocks#homeschoolcurriculum#homeschoolinspiration#homeschoolteacher#freeprintables #homeschoolblogger #homeschoolblog #homeschoollife #Homeschoolinspiration #homeschoolcoach #ampeduplearningseller #teacherspayteachersseller #etsyseller #CowAppreciationDay

Summer School: A flexible schedule

Last month  I shared with you that we don’t *Stop* schooling over the summer. In fact, I subscribe to the philosophy of everything is learning, and every day is a school day (yes even weekends and Holidays!) If you have been a subscriber and a blog reader for awhile, you also know my motto: There is no wrong way to homeschool! There is only your way, and that’s the right way! So as we ease further into summer why not try a flexible summer schedule where each day has a bit of a theme? I’m going to share my schedule with you – but there are literally tons of these things floating around the internet. Again – do what works for YOUR family, the area you live, your comfort level, supplies, etc. This type of plan works great for families who are not currently homeschooling and just need a little something to keep their minds busy. 

Movie Monday
watch, share, create


Each Monday watch a movie, create a “book report” type activity to go along with it and discuss as a family the aspects of the movie. You can make: Movie posters, dioramas. character maps, write new endings, puppets, Lego builds, etc. Discussions can include character development, plot development, setting changes (what if the movie took place in space?) and if the movie happens to also be a book, that opens up a whole realm of compare and contrast! 

The Curriculum Club Member Area*   has a FREE movie Discussion Guide to get you started.


Not a Member yet? What are you waiting for? It’s Fast, and it’s FREE.

Field Trip Tuesday
get out or make it virtual


Field Trips don’t have to be expensive and elaborate. A picnic in the backyard works! There are many Virtual Field trips as well to museums, amusement parks and zoos all over the world. Home School Holiday has a World Traveler Virtual Field Trip set in which you can “visit” 14 different countries. Your learners make a passport and everything. The regular price is $2.50, however with the EXCLUSIVE CURRICULUM CLUB COUPON CODE (Sorry readers this code expired… but more will be included in FUTURE Newsletters!) you can get it now through July 4th for 50% off! Take the activity for a “test drive” using the try before you buy version – FRANCE that is available in the The Curriculum Club Member Area*

Visit my Amped Up Learning Store to purchase



Word Study Wednesday
vocabulary, reading, book club



There are so many options for increasing your word power! Use Wednesdays to read together as a family. You can use a different book each week, or a longer book that builds anticipation. Invite a few other families to join and create a book club in which you can share ideas. You can meet using online tools such as Google Meet or Zoom . You can hold a book club in person if you’d like. Your learners can also simply engage in their own personal reading time. If you want to add more of a vocabulary twist to the day, why not use a word of the day/week activity such as the one available from Homeschool Holiday. This Vocabulary of the Day/Week has 200 words suitable for grades 3 – 7, or you can easily use the worksheets with your own words. Especially after you snap up this fantastic resource for 50% off using our EXCLUSIVE CURRICULUM CLUB COUPON CODE  (Sorry readers this code expired… but more will be included in FUTURE Newsletters!)

Visit my Amped Up Learning store to purchase


Think Thursday
science and math, puzzles and games

We always defaulted to puzzles and games on Think Thursday! The kids can use apps to keep up with their math facts or even a deck of cards. My all time favorite for the middle grades is to play multiplication war. It’s like the old fashioned game of war – but you want to be the first to multiply the two cards. A tie in calling out the answer results in the “war”. Spending a few hours together on a puzzle or playing a board game is summer fun that simply can’t be beat! You can also try an out of the box idea and go on a Scavenger Hunt! 

There is a fantastic Free version of the Indoor Scavenger Hunt in our Curriculum Club Member Area*  or you can snag the Mega Pack  With 20 different hunts! Our regular price is $3.00 (That’s 15 cents a hunt!) but it is 50% off now through July 4th using our EXCLUSIVE CURRICULUM CLUB COUPON CODE!  (Sorry readers this code expired… but more will be included in FUTURE Newsletters!)

Visit my Amped Up Learning store to Purchase

Fan Art Friday
recreate the greats



Whatever your level of “creative” – find a famous painting, sculpture, or even craft item and use whatever you have on hand to make your own version of it. Be inspired by the art! Playdough (find an easy homemade recipe for extra fun) is a great way to make sculptures. What about a Lego bust of a famous face? Summer construction paper mosaics suddenly become masterpieces when hung on the fridge – guaranteed! 


If you want to keep the “Schooling” going into the weekend, we call it: 

So Together Saturday and Sunday
special meals, one on one with each child, chores and gardening


Use the weekend to cook together, make sure you spend one on one time with each of your children (even if it’s while you fold laundry!) and get outside to do some yard work and gardening. Summer is a perfect time for flowers or vegetables! If you have a small space, try container gardening. Chores are a wonderful way to maintain responsibility and build character. 


Whether you do *something everyday* or just one thing each week, I hope these ideas help you keep the minds learning this month!  I’d love to hear how you spend your summer months. Feel free to leave a comment! And please – if you haven’t done so already – Join the Curriculum Club. You get one – two newsletters a month.. access to our EXCLUSIVE FREE curriculum in the MEMBERS ONLY AREA and up to date announcements about coupons, giveaways, and SALES! We’d love to have you as an exclusive member of the hive! Sign up HERE

Until next time, Be Blessed!

– Mrs. Crabtree

Looking for a great SOURCE for curriculum?

Welcome back to another article in the Homeschool Holiday series of Educational Product Reviews. These are items you can use with confidence in your homes, co-ops and classrooms to meet the needs of your learners. Each of them are created by teacher-authors like myself (small, family oriented businesses)*.

If you are looking for supplemental curriculum, look no further than TeacherSorce! TeacherSorce is the perfect hub for products for both busy teachers and homeschoolers. I have used MANY of Cortney’s products with learners this summer, and stocked up for fall. Her focus is 3rd grade, but you can easily use any of her products with grades 2-5 and their age appropriate homeschooled counterparts and co-op groups.

I am going to review several quality products to give you an overview of the TeacherSorce… the insider scoop you might say and if you stick with me to the end, there is a BONUS product to download!

Cortney named her store TeacherSorce, because her maiden name is Sorce…so it works as the perfect play on words- your source for great curriculum. It is so very true!

Fraction Pizza Project

Fraction Pizza Project (Distance/In Class Learning)
Fraction Pizza Project is $3.00 in the TeacherSorce Amped Up Learning Store.

Project Based Learning is one my absolute favorite learning modalities. In Project Based Learning students learn through real world and personally engaging projects. True Project Based Learning takes place over time, anywhere from 3 -5 days (longer the older the learners are) and ends with a presentation by the students about what they learned. Fraction Pizza Project fits the bill perfectly and then some!

As summer continues and we continue to worry about where we will be teaching in the fall…face to face or from home in a distance learning model, you may be hesitant to spend your money on new curriculum. Products from TeacherSorce are DOUBLE created – meaning they are suitable for BOTH face to face and distance learning models, at no extra cost. Links are included for products to automatically upload to See Saw as well as Google Classroom. Your purchase will serve you now and in the future!

Another facet of products from TeacherSorce is without knowing it, Cortney has created products that are IDEAL for homeschoolers. Homeschool families often provide learners with high interest projects of their own choosing. Not only that, we look for projects that are going to take longer than a day. The Fraction Pizza Project can take at least a week, and depending on how much supplementation you do, could go longer. The Fraction Pizza project is also cross curricular incorporating math, writing and life skills. Learners reflect on the perfect pizza, then they draw their own using fractions and toppings. This can be done as elaborately as your situation allows. Learners Also have to apply critical thinking calculating elapsed time regarding delivery. Having learners present their projects at the end, or the pizza they make ties the entire project together.

Many of the products created by TeacherSource target Cortney’s major demographic audience of English Language Learners. All of the products published by Cortney have graphic organizers, videos, visuals, vocabulary pre loading (introducing key vocabulary ahead of discovering it in the lesson), games and interactive ways to learn! TeacherSorce creates products for Literacy, Writing, Math, Science, Word Work as well as Classroom Organization! These elements walk students step by step through the project. With 9 years of teaching experience and a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction Cortney takes pride in offering other educators quality products.

Teacher Organization – Digital Planner

I took my chances in entering on of the MANY raffles Cortney holds over on the TeacherSorce Facebook Page . I did it really just to support her efforts to grow. Turns out I WON! Along with student curriculum the TeacherSorce offers classroom decor items, teacher organization helps and tons of FREEBIES.

Digital Planner
Digital Planner is $4.00 in the TeacherSorce Amped up Learning store.

This digital planner is extremely versatile. Send it to students or use for your administrative needs as a Mom, or teacher. The sky is the limit. and to top it off, it’s C-U-T-E!

Cortney is still in what I call the “newlywed years” – having only been married for two years. She shares her home with her husband Bryant and their 10 month old daughter, Palmer. The family is rounded off with three Labrador Retrievers a black one named Kody, a yellow one called Stella and a Chocolate one called Kane. The Family loves to cook all cuisines and smoke meats on our Traeger and have a cooking blog! With some of the extra time Cortney and her husband have given Sourdough Starter recipes a try. She reports: “It’s like having a 5th child.”

I’m not sure when she sleeps – running circles around me with product creation, marketing etc… but I sure am blessed to have her in the Happy Hive circle of friends.

Distance Learning – for newbies!

Even if your returning to the classroom full time, this product is going to make your back to school life easier. Remember that ALL TeacherSorce products are Double Duty! They work for both distance learning as well as paper/pencil face to face. Regardless of the situation, going back you will be dealing with new protocols. Take some of the pressure off. Help create a cushion for your back to school frenzy.

Distance Learning 3rd Grade Starter Pack
Distance Learning Starter Pack $20.00 in the TeacherSorce Amped Up Learning Store

The Distance Learning Starter pack is a COMPLETE CURRICULUM. This will give you such a Head start! It is suitable for grades 2 – 5 and contains: 5 Weeks of Literacy activities, 6 Weeks of Math Problem a day, a Fairytale Writing Mini Unit a Narrative Writing Mini Unit, 6 Science Activities, an Animal Who Would Win Research Project and a Going on a Shopping Trip Math Project. Over $36.00 of product for just $20.00

Freebies

TeacherSorce has plenty of FREEBIES for you if you want to get to know their style. I happen to have a special one for you If you download the FREEBIE below – there is a coupon code for additional savings!

Back To School: Getting to Know Me Glyph - FREE
Download this FREEBIE from the Homeschool Holiday Member’s Only Area after you register for the Curriculum Club! Get a THANK YOU from Teacher Source!

To access the FREEBIE, and join the Homeschool Holiday Curriculum Club (It’s FREE) simply fill out the form below!

Sign Up for Exclusive Curriculum Club Access

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Until next time – Be blessed friends!

Mrs. Crabtree

If you have questions about homeschooling or would like to supplement your child’s public/or private school education ,   Whatever journey you are on, I can help. Happy Hive Education Consulting is run by an experienced homeschooling Mom with a California Teaching credential. This unique combination of experience allows for a customized partnership between her family and yours.

  (Check out what others have to say HERE)

Reach out and CONTACT ME anytime!

*Disclosure regarding the “EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT REVIEW” series: Homeschool Holiday/ Happy Hive Homeschooling does not accept any payment for reviewing products from other Teacher Authors. I do recieve the product being reviewed and provide my HONEST, educated opinion about how the product can be used with my target audience: Educators in all their forms: Parents, Homeschoolers and Teachers.

I will be linking to Teacher-Author blogs and the stores in which they sell many their products. Purchase at your own risk. My opinions are my own and meant to help guide your curriculum and educational decisions.

Feeling overwhelmed by the decision to homeschool? 8 things to help.

So you’re thinking about homeschooling, but the fact is- you’re overwhelmed by it all. I mean HOW DO YOU HOMESCHOOL? At the risk of oversimplifying the answer and losing you, the spoiler is, you just do it! However, I have broken it down and provided 8 of the best tips to help guide you in more detail.

These 8 tips are designed to answer that BIG SCARY QUESTION and assuage your fears regarding taking the leap into homeschooling.

Tip #1: Let’s just get it out of the way, because it is by far the single most asked question of homeschoolers:

“What about Socialization?”

Socialization means learning how to communicate effectively and handle a variety of situations with people of varying ages and backgrounds. It’s not just playing with friends. Since we experienced a world-wide school shut down at the end of the term in 2020, we have gained additional perspective. Kids and adults alike found ways to socialize even when they couldn’t socialize traditionally. We created online group meetings, play dates and show and tell opportunities. We held drive by birthday parties, graduations and virtual Prom … while not ideal, these events demonstrated that yes, Humans are social beings and we get ourselves out there. Homeschoolers were impacted by the closures as well – they could not meet with their book club or co-op. There were no more park days or field trips, all of the ways homeschoolers socialize were shut down. Homeschoolers adapted and went virtual for their social needs, the same way schooled children did.

So if you are worried about socialization – the best tip, is don’t. Your kids will take classes and go on field trips. They will attend birthday parties, and park days. They will go with you to the bank and the grocery store. Let them talk to the teller and the grocery clerk. They will experience true socialization by interacting with people of diverse ages and backgrounds.

Tip #2: I worry I’m not qualified to teach, I’m not a teacher.

That piece of paper (A teaching certificate or credential) is simply a legal document – it doesn’t make you GOOD at the task it qualifies you for, and it doesn’t make you BAD at it either. Consider those of us with a licence to drive. Some do it very well, some not so well – but just holding the paper that says: YES, you have permission to drive. It is NOT what makes you good at it. Marriage licence, CPR First aid certification, car mechanic – the list of things we can hold documentation to be qualified to perform goes on and on.

The single most important thing when homeschooling is your RELATIONSHIP with your child. Think about the teachers you remember most, the ones who made the greatest impact? What type of credential did they hold? From where? (You likely have no idea) But you do know one thing: THEY CARED. No one is going to care more about your child, than you!

Tip #3 : I want to Homeschool because of X, Y and Z.

Homeschooling isn’t magic. Absolutely, homeschool so you can give your children individualized attention, customize curriculum and take trips in the winter not the summer. But recognize the limits of homeschooling as well. I will never forget the day I heard my oldest daughter bossing the heck out of her siblings. She was relentless. I was SHOCKED. What was going on? I homeschooled them? Why was she BULLYING her siblings??? I homeschooled to avoid bullies. I didn’t want them to get picked on the way I did. But it was NATURAL, the way all siblings interact. Homeschooling was not a solution to being a family! Every form of education has it’s limits.

Tip #4: Will I have time to get all my projects done while the kids do school?

W- e- l- l …. for sure any learner under 5th grade needs help and I challenge you: Are you HOMEschooling or SCHOOLING at home? There is a difference. (And your answer is 100% OK…guilt free perfect. It just must fit YOUR FAMILY, whichever answer you give, if you are SCHOOLING at home I will have tips for you in a future post, because it is fundamentally different than homeschooling. (Not wrong, just different. When I returned to work, we did school at home for awhile when I was adjusting!)

Remember the single most important element was a relationship with your learner. You can’t be a full time blogger and sell Essential oils and sit and learn along side your children. They need you for a majority of the school day, THEN you are free to oil the universe! There is so much joy in learning and discovering together. This also helps you gauge the workload. If you feel overworked and burnt out by how much work there is in a school day, then it’s likely too much for them. Homeschooling shouldn’t take from 8 – 3 each day.

Tip #5: My best friend just enrolled in this great charter.

…or left the charter and is going rogue…or unschooling or gameschooling or WHATEVER someone else is doing that YOU are not doing….

Please, don’t compare. The flexibility of homeschooling is it’s STRENGTH. Do what works for your family, all of them. There are blended- schooling families out there: Some children homeschooling or unschooled and other children attend public or private school. Let me say it again: The flexibility of homeschooling is it’s STRENGTH. Comparing is the fastest way to doubting your abilities and damaging your relationships.

Tip #6: How do I know my curriculum is right?

This is the easiest of all. You don’t. But it’s YOUR school! If something isn’t working, no matter what point you are in the school year, give yourself permission to make the necessary changes to keep your relationship with your child top priority. If you are making a recipe and it calls for 2 tablespoons of salt, but every time you serve dinner the family says it’s too salty, what are you going to do? ADAPT, I know you will put less salt! Little changes or big changes. I have personally scrapped entire curriculums because they just didn’t work like I thought they would. Classroom teachers are STUCK – they have to stick to the standards and the tests and do what the districts tell them to, even when it isn’t working! Homeschoolers get to make changes as many times as they need to!

Tip #7: I’m worried about keeping up with EVERYTHING, it’s a lot!

You’re right, it can be, but it doesn’t have to be. Schedules in whatever form they look like for your family help. Some homeschool bright and early in the morning, others hold afternoon school. Many families only school 4 days a week and do “chores & errands” the other three days. Then there are my favorite days of all… FREE CHOICE DAYS. When you just need a break, serve pop tarts for breakfast and give the kids free choice learning. They get to pick what to do for school: games, reading, even a movie. Just let it go, because EVERYTHING is learning. Allow yourself to reset.

At the beginning I told you the “spoiler” for Homeschooling – you just do it. Another way to look at it would be this: Homeschooling is a bit like swimming, you have to get in the water and swim in order to truly get the hang of it, but I assure you you won’t drown or mess up your kids.


In 1994 I was a first year teacher. Those poor kids, all 42 of them! But you know what? THEY LEARNED! (And so did I!- I’m still learning!) Everyone is new when they first start any job!

Tip #8 is to: Join a group of like-minded homeschoolers.

Sometimes this takes time, but your “peeps” are out there. There are groups on Facebook, Park Groups, Church Groups – you name it! Happy Hive Homeschooling is one of THOSE groups designed to provide support along your journey. Our Blog and the Curriculum Club are excellent resources. We also offer educational consulting for those families that want the security of a credentialed teacher behind them. Our Private School Satellite Program is designed to assist you in your Homeschool Journey with curriculum coaching, report card and transcript creation and monthly support. For more information Check out our Education Consulting Page.

If you would like a printable version of the images found in this post, they are available to members of our Curriculum Club! Not a member yet? It’s Free. Simply sign up by filling out the form below and you will have access to these printables and monthly resources!

Sign Up for Exclusive Curriculum Club Access

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I hope you will consider sharing this article, pinning it for later and coming back for another visit. I hopw whatever educational Journey you are on – it is BLESSED!

Mrs. Crabtree