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

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!

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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

Taco ‘ Bout an awesome deal!

Edit: July 1, 2020 – This sale is ended- However the information is AWESOME and introduces you to other products and many Great Teacher Authors providing curriculum! I hope you enjoy! Mrs. Crabtree

Amped Up Learning is partnering with many teacher authors – INCLUDING Homeschool Holiday for an awesome $2 Taco Tuesday Promotion! This is our very first promotion of this kind. We were asked to pick ONLY 2 of our favorite resources and mark them down to TACO TUESDAY special prices of $2.00 each… well as you know at Homeschool Holiday…the majority of my products ARE ONLY $2.00 to begin with…but we still plan to bring you an amazing sale, as well as introduce you to some of the products other teacher authors have on special as well.

Homeschool Holiday is PROUD to offer you their BRAND NEW Oreo Cookie Bundle. This set includes our Oreo Cookie Staking activity as well as our Oreo Cookie Taste Test. (Spoiler alert – these not only make great classroom activities – test them out this summer with your family!) Grab them Tuesday BEFORE my official blog post release! Separately these products sell for $2.00 each… Bundled $3.50 and on #tacoboutadeal Tuesday – just $2.00 making them 50% off their original price!

You can also snag our Hamburger History timeline and end of the year craftivity. Test your skills and see if YOU know the first fast food hamburger restaurant. Interactive timeline can be digital for distance learning or paper for home or classroom use. The Hamburger Craftivity is designed as an end of the year activity – but is FULLY EDITABLE in powerpoint – so the sky is the limit. Revamp it as a getting to know you for the beginning of the year, a review after reading a book or other creative idea. Separately these products sell for $2.00 each… Bundled $3.50 and on #tacoboutadeal Tuesday – just $2.00 making them 50% off their original price!

Make Each Day Count is featuring CLASSIFYING POLYNOMIALS & EVEN AND ODD FUNCTIONS. Remember this Seller from our Review? They specialize in advanced math activities. This is a great opportunity to begin, or add to your collection.

The TeacherSource is featuring their BOOK CLUBS and Poetry and Figurative Language. This Amped Up Learning seller specializes in 2-4th grade level resources and is next in line for the Homeschool Holiday Product Review series. She has generously let Homeschool Holiday know that her “shop” is always open for our school and Courtney is one of our generous donors! That doesn’t mean I’m not honest about her products… It simply means that after 20 years in a classroom myself I know how to spot a talented curriculum writer. I can’t wait to highlight her for all of my clients! You won’t want to pass up her #tacoboutadeal s.

I’m going to snap up these Science resources as they belong to the Teacher Toy Shop line of products I like to call: Science Curriculum that Teachers Itself! These products are worth every penny full price…so I’m not going to let the salsa spill and not snap these up!

If you have young learners it’s a challenge to constantly create stimulating activities to keep their minds going. Froggy About Teaching has you covered! Reviewed and fully Happy Hive endorsed! With the Kinder Letter Find resource you can make a colorful alphabet wall. Students also get their own copies to color, cut out, and glue into their ABC book journals as they learn!

My Lesson Designer is offering products that work NOW as summer sight word practice as well as a product that is perfect for back to school.

Learn 2 Grow with Jan is curriculum designed for a PLAY focused preschool. Jan believes children learn best through play, and here at Homeschool Holiday we couldn’t agree more. Her 2 resources are “timeless” learning activities that can be used for summer stimulation or as needed!

History is always engaging for learners and MAKE HISTORY FUN doesn’t disappoint. Their products do as their name suggests. They will have a collaborative poster and a lesson on the Gettysburg address with a comic twist. For $2.00? YES PLEASE!

If you are in need of some Math and distance learning options MATHEMATHS has some resources for you. Based in Italy, this teacher seller focuses on resources for middle and high school.

A-Z Infinity has more Digital Resources for you. The S.A.T.P.I.N Method uses the common sounds and when put together they can blended and segmented to read and write several simple words – SAT – SIT – PAN – PIN – TIP – TAP for example. Another great resource is the Word families – both of these are designed to give support to your early readers.

ELA in Middle school provided Homeschool Holiday with outstanding products for our very first review. Since, We have received an has an eclectic collection of resources (much like homeschool Holiday) that is appealing to multiple learning styles. This sale includes 2 of those products at an exceptional value! Who doesn’t want to play dominoes with the parts of speech! Just match the part of speech on one side of the domino to the italicized word in a sentence on another domino to play. The Myths2Movies is a fun research project!

Visit Amped Up Learning and search using #tacoboutadeal to purchase all the fantastic resources and stock up for the coming school year!

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Click on image to visit the Amped Up Learning Teacher Market place, then search using #tacoaboutadeal

Product Review: Become a Biographer – A Multimedia, Interactive Resource

This review appeared on May 29th, 2020 and I thought I would share it with you. Matthew was not paid, other than receiving the product to use with his grandchildren and in his classroom. This is his honest assessment of A Homeschool Holiday product. Matthew and I are *strangers* to one another, and only met through working together as teacher Authors on Amped Up Learning. Our goals are to bring our customers quality products. I hope you enjoy his review of Become a Biographer.


“Become a Biographer” from Homeschool Holiday and Happy Hive Homeschool is a fantastic multimedia product, especially for your younger learners and English Language Learners (ELLs). Created by Christy Gandara, this resource introduces students to the biography subgenre first as a text to be read, and then as a form of writing and reflection with expression.

About Christy Gandara

Christy Gandara is not only a home school mom of three “bugs” (her term, not mine!), but she is also a California certified teacher with 19 years of classroom experience, all in the K-8 grade ranges. This gives her a unique perspective on resource creation, not only for other home school families, but also for the actively teaching classroom teacher. She both knows and understands the challenges of engaging our students and providing them with rigorous curriculum material that they will WANT to interact with!

Become a Biographer – A Multimedia, Interactive Resource

Okay, first of all, Christy had me at Brad Meltzer! I mean, seriously, anytime you have a writer of his caliber TEACHING your students about his interests, his heroes and heroines, and his craft, you cannot help but win. Using Meltzer’s “Ordinary People Change the World” series is already incredibly effective, but pairing the texts with Meltzer’s “SAFE” YouTube links of HIS reading of his work takes it to another level. 
Christy didn’t stop there though. She created a set of interactive PDFs and a set of interactive PowerPoint presentations to allow students to self-pace, self-guide, and self-select their texts and their assignments. People, can we say instant student buy-in? So, how does it work? Students begin by going to the virtual bookshelf in Mrs. Crabtree’s virtual classroom library, and selecting a text. Now, although it is not a requirement, I STRONGLY urge you to have the physical books available for your students as well as these virtual books. The student selects his or her text, clicks on it, and is instantly taken to Brad Meltzer’s SAFE YouTube reading of the book!


Mrs. Crabtree’s virtual bookshelves

Here is his reading of “I am Amelia Earhart“.  NOTE: This is not the linked version, which is SAFE YouTube. That service was unavailable to me when I wrote this! 
From here, Christy has provided students with either a fill-able PPT, PDF, or printout of a facts page that the students complete during the reading of the book.

Fact Sheet for Amelia Earhart
for students to complete during
reading.

In addition to the life events that the students fill in, the bottom has the story’s theme or moral, in this case, “I will know no bounds.”
She then leads your students to scholarship with a fantastic extension. Students are guided through an interview process with a hero of their own choosing, from their own lives. I cannot think of a more meaningful connection to the stories, or the theme that Meltzer introduces our students to…Ordinary People Change the World.
“Become a Biographer”. Price: $2.00 (USD)

*** THANK YOU to Matthew and Suzanne of ELA in Middle School for this wonderful review. It is nice to know what my products look like in the trenches!

You can find ELA in Middle School on Amped Up Learning, Facebook, or their witty blog: Wandering the Halls of Academia.


If you would like to read more about Biographer Appreciation Day and the origins of this product, you can read my original BLOG POST HERE.

To purchase this item from my Amped Up Learning Store, simply click on the image below.

$2.00 from Amped Up Learning

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 your favorite shopping platform to purchase our curriculum:

Click on image to visit my Teachers Pay Teachers Store
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”

For my full DISCLOSURE go HERE.

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

Just Keep Swimming

May 2020 Curriculum Club Newsletter

*This article was first published in our Curriculum Club Newsletter. Not a member? It’s easy to join! Simply Visit our page: JOIN THE CURRICULUM CLUB and great articles about educating your kids will arrive in your inbox every month as well as a deeper look at our curriculum, upcoming holidays and Member’s Only exclusives!


Just Keep Swimming – By Mrs. Crabtree

This is the time of  year I hear the song “School’s Out For Summer” playing in my head! But in our house it said: School’s (Not) out for Summer! We just keep going, or like Dory says:  we just keep swimming! 

Many homeschool families do not take a “break” for summer. Instead they adopt more of a year long (I prefer to call it life long) schooling philosophy.

 If this isn’t something you are already doing, I have some practical tips on what works for us and why we prefer not to take summer’s off! 

If you’re not a homeschool family – it’s the perfect occasion to test it out, or you can be “Summer-Schoolers” only. Just “Homeschool” for the summer months so your children continue to thrive educationally. 

ROUTINE 

We stay in our routine. We don’t get up at the crack of dawn anyway. There isn’t really a reason to “sleep in” and get the family all out of alignment. Then we’d just have to get BACK into the routine again and you know how hard that is. I highly recommend this to all families. Try to say as close as possible to your bedtime and wake time on a REGULAR basis. Think about how hard it is when daylight savings time comes around! Add in adjusting to “Back to School” time and that’s three times a year you need at least a week to realign your healthy sleep cycle. 

(Remember when they took naps? Can I go back to THIS sleep cycle???) 


ACADEMICS

We do most of our core ACADEMICS in the summer. Museums and theme parks are crowded because everyone is off and visiting. We save our field trips for the “traditional: months when things tend to be less crowded, or we can go early before schools arrive. For those of you “summer-schooling” as I suggested this can be a time to catch up on skills or to get ahead! EVERYTHING is learning. 

I always tell my children that we have school every day, 365 days a year. There are no days off because everything IS learning. Whenever we take a vacation (even if it IS over the summer)  – that’s just what we did for school. This works wonders. I actually told my children they could have Leap Year day off. I’ll never forget the year they got up at 1am to play video games on Leap Day. Everyone should celebrate Leap Day with absolute abandon every 4 years. Why fill an extra day with work?
 

(Lauren helps her cousin make giant bubbles at our “summer camp”)


FAMILY TIME

Summers were special because I wasn’t working, so we got to spend more time as a family. If I stopped schooling, my kids would have scattered to the wind. This might not apply to your situation, but many jobs have reduced summer hours so perhaps the non homeschooling parent is home more! Remember #3, everything is learning so Games, Movies, Hikes…it all counts! 

Don’t forget to take advantage of the great programs your community offers. Many have free reading programs with rewards. Even movie theaters have free or $1.00 movies! If you don’t want to go to the Movies or Library this summer due to local stay at home orders or just to play it safe..organize a program among your child’s friends (or classmates). They can all read the same book and meet online to discuss it, or do the same with a movie. Host a small gathering in your home or park, whatever you are comfortable with. This might be THE perfect summer for an old fashioned lemonade stand! When life gives you lemons after all….  I know whatever you decide your learning will be plentiful and your journey will be blessed!

(Douglas making a face, looks like sour grapes to me!) 



 I’d love to hear how you spend your summer months. Feel free to send me an email! 

– Mrs. Crabtree

Sanity Saving Secondary Math Resources.

Welcome back to the Happy Hive Homeschool’s product review series. We have a middle school / High school Math resource for you today. This area of homeschooling is often a challenge for parents as the math gets beyond what we are comfortable with, or what we remember. Finding support and supplements is a good way to keep our learners on track. Today we are going to look at one such line of curriculum that can help do just that.

This Boom Deck™ includes 30 multiple choice questions for finding the exact value of trig functions using the unit circle given the radian measure. This was far to advanced for this former 4th grade teacher I can assure you now! I arranged for quality back up to be sure I was giving the product a fair review. I had 2 different college students engage with the Boom deck that includes values in the 1st Quadrant of the Unit Circle. They both knew exactly what they were looking at. This product can easily be used for memorization practice and even to prepare for an AP test.

The product comes as a pdf file with a link to the BOOM cards and instructions for their use, including how to load into Google classroom or use at home.

Boom cards are popular among classroom teachers and relatively new in the homeschool community. To have learners use these, an adult must have an account (completely free) and you must be connected to the Internet. Boom Cards play on modern browsers such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge. There are Appsavailable for Android, iPads, iPhones, and the Kindle Fire. The Adult simply assigns the Boom Cards you are buying with “Fast Pins.” You’ll be up and running in no time. The BOOM community offers many free decks as well.

From a teacher’s standpoint, The Unit Circle Trig Functions Boom Cards are a no brainer. I didn’t have to do anything but provide the link for the “fast play”. There are options to modify the deck to hide specific cards if I wanted / needed to do so. Using BOOM cards can save your precious time, because no grading or preparation is needed. This is why I have Dubbed the products made by MAKE EACH DAY COUNT: Sanity Savers!

This set of Boom Cards is $1.50 at Amped Up Learning

When a learner uses the Boom deck, they know instantly if they are right or wrong. After some basic instruction from my 2 college tutors, I even gave it a try! Students get instant feedback. You can use this as a daily/weekly check or quiz!

This is the fourth product review in in our series. The goal is to highlight 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)*.

Christina, with Make each Day Count, is an 8th grade through AP Calculus teacher, having taught in both traditional public and charter schools. She has been teaching in North Carolina for over 9 years. She likes for her students to engage in mathematical discourse in a growth mindset environment. Christina holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics with Secondary Licensure.

If you are in need of higher level math products, I can 100% without a doubt endorse Make Each Day Count. Feel free to visit their shop on Amped Up learning for more Math Resources! (All 4 quadrants are available!) And follow them on FACEBOOK to be notified of new products and special offers!

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.

Expectation vs. Reality – a look at Juneteenth

On September 22, 1862 President Abraham Lincoln signed into law, Proclamation 95 – also known as the Emancipation Proclamation. This Proclamation was to go into effect on January 1, 1863. At the time more than 3.5 million African Americans in the Confederate states were enslaved. Proclamation 95 changed the legal status from slave to free under federal law of these African American people. Just to recap: The United States is in the middle of the Civil War, which undeniably begins to revolve around the issue of slavery as much as it does the issue of preserving the union.

The purpose of this Proclamation lays the foundation for eventual freedom, but was actually to strong arm the rebel states to rejoin the union by January 1 or their slaves would be be declared “thenceforward, and forever free.” The Emancipation was only applied to Confederate states currently in rebellion. The 4 border slave states were exempt from the proclamation as were all or parts of three Confederate states controlled by the Union Army. (Anyone else feel like they slept through US history class? … I thought the Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves and everyone went on their merry way…)

President Lincoln had little to no jurisdiction on the Confederate states, the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t free anyone…THANKFULLY its symbolic impact was enormous. The announcement of freedom for enslaved people as one of the North’s war aims, alongside preserving the Union itself, had practical effects. Other countries, like Britain and France, were no longer as interested in supporting the confederacy. If slaves happened to hear about the Emancipation Proclamation the ran away from their owners to the north, to the free states. Black Americans were permitted to serve in the Union Army for the first time, and by the end of the Civil war, nearly 200,000 would.

Image in the Public Domain

In April 1865, Confederate General in Chief Robert E. Lee surrendered to Commanding General Ulysses S. Grant of the US Army after the Battle of Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia. This is often viewed as the end of the Civil War, but the fighting did not stop in all areas, as news did not travel fast!

Deep into May 1865, battles between federal troops and Confederate forces continued in Texas. It was not until June 2, 1865, that Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith finally surrendered to US forces.

On June 19, 1865, US Brigadier General Gordon Granger and his troops landed at Galveston, Texas confirming the news that the Civil War had ended and that enslaved African Americans were now free. This is the day we now honor and cherish as Juneteenth! Before General Granger’s arrival, the US military presence in Texas was too weak to enforce President Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. Two months after General Lee’s surrender in Virginia, Union forces were now finally strong enough to act as a liberating force for enslaved African Americans throughout Texas.

Thankfully, President Lincoln and Congress realized the Proclamation would have no constitutional leg to stand on at the end of the war, and set into motion the 13th Amendment which was ratified on December 6, 1865 – just 7 months after the end of the Civil War. This is what officially abolished slavery in all areas of the nation.

Juneteenth captures the jubilation of the end of slavery in the Confederacy. In 1980, Juneteenth became an official state holiday in Texas and has since been adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia.

Junteenth Historical Marker erected in 2014 by Texas Historical Commission.

To help you reflect and remember this day and what it means I have compiled a set of 7 quotes from the website junteenth.com that are meant to help learners reflect and focus on self improvement as well as truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today.

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 your favorite shopping platform to purchase our curriculum:

Click on image to visit my Amped Up Learning Store
Click on image to visit my Teachers Pay Teachers 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”

Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and as such the links I post are affiliate links. By making purchases through these affiliate links I earn a small commission at no cost to you. This keeps my website free of outside advertising and pleasant for users. You are free to purchase whatever you’d like, just know I only recommend items that I personally find valuable to education and overall personal development as Humans!

For my full DISCLOSURE go HERE.

#thisishowwehomeschool #homeeducation #homeschoolactivities#unschooliscool#unschoolingrocks#unschoolinglife⁣⁣ #unschooling#homeschoolfamily#homeschoolingrocks#homeschoolcurriculum#homeschoolinspiration#homeschoolteacher#freeprintables #homeschoolblogger #homeschoolblog #homeschoollife #Homeschoolinspiration #homeschoolcoach #ampeduplearningseller #teacherspayteachersseller #etsyseller #junteenth #history #June19th

Sources:

https://www.history.com/topics/american-civil-war/emancipation-proclamation

https://www.nps.gov/articles/juneteenth-origins.htm

The truth about Ben Franklin’s kite flying might just SHOCK you!

June 15th is National Electricity day. Where would we be without electricity? Quite literally in the dark! No one person “invented” electricity. Electricity is a form of energy and it exists in nature, it had to be discovered, like gravity! Many elementary school students are taught that Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity in 1752 when his kite was struck by lightning in a storm. This is a GREAT story, but it simply isn’t true. Ask George Washington after he’s done chopping down the cherry tree. (another great story that simply isn’t true!)

Engraving from 1846 depicting young George Washington confessing to his father.

Electricity has always existed, so pinpointing exactly who discovered it can be tricky. The Ancient Greeks discovered in about 600 BC that when they rubbed fur on fossilized tree resin there was an attraction between the two. This was static electricity. Archaeologists in the 1930’s discovered pots with sheets of copper inside that they believe may have been ancient batteries meant to produce light at sights of both the Romans and the Persians leading them to believe those civilizations may have used some form of battery.

By the 17th century the discoveries related to electricity were multiplying! By 1752 when Ben Franklin came into the picture he was able to prove that lightning and tiny electric sparks were the same thing. Spoiler alert – if Franklin’s kite had been struck by lightning, he likely would have died.

Advancements in discovery continue when in 1800 Alessandro Volta constructed the an early electric battery that produced a steady electric current making him the first person to create a steady flow of electrical charge. By 1831 electricity could be created in a practical way – opening the door for American inventor Thomas Edison and British scientist Joseph Swan. They each invented the incandescent filament light bulb in their respective countries in about 1878. Light bulbs had been invented before this by others, but the incandescent bulb was the first practical bulb that would remain lit for hours. We will learn more about Thomas Edison and the light bulb on National Inventors Day in February!

In the mean time – if you would like the rest of the Story about Benjamin Franklin and the Kite I have put together a fact filled resource for you: FRANKLIN & THE KITE: LAPBOOK, NOTEBOOK OR MINI BOOK. This curriculum is suitable for learners in grades 3 and up. There is both a video and Informational Text. You can use either or both to complete the activity. As a BONUS there is a Word Study included because Franklin is responsible for coining several words related to electricity.

Click picture to visit Amped Up Learning and purchase. $2.00 After your purchase leave a review to earn rewards toward future purchases throughout the entire AUL marketplace!

Are you a member of the Happy Hive Curriculum club? – Its FREE! You get an Exclusive Freebie each month, previews of upcoming holidays and coordinating products, coupons and access to our Members only Freebies! Click the image to sign up so you don’t miss out on the latest!

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

Be sure to visit your favorite shopping platform to purchase our curriculum:

Click on image to visit my Teachers Pay Teachers Store
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”

Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and as such the links I post are affiliate links. By making purchases through these affiliate links I earn a small commission at no cost to you. This keeps my website free of outside advertising and pleasant for users. You are free to purchase whatever you’d like, just know I only recommend items that I personally find valuable to education and overall personal development as Humans!

For my full DISCLOSURE go HERE.

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

Sources: