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

* indicates required
/ ( mm / dd )
Select the best fit:

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!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Amped-Up-Learning-for-Posts.jpg
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

Magical and mystical wrapped up into one special day!

ideas for fairy day

June 24th we celebrate International Fairy Day…. you may be imagining pretty creatures fluttering around in glittery dresses with  wands and magic… and you’re not wrong, but fairies have a rich history and they are more than just winged creatures.

History of Fairies

Fairies are creatures of legends – they are mythical creatures. We find their beginnings in European folklore. Stories of fairies were passed down through traditional beliefs, customs and stories. We don’t know if fairies are real.

fairy day

The most popular view of fairies is as magical creatures, like the tooth fairy (She is so popular there are 2 days set aside to celebrate her – February 28th and August 22) and Tinkerbell. However, The land of the Fairies contains fairies, gnomes, whisps, and dwarfs.

In Germany fairies or dwarfs are known to have lived in mines. They were called Knockers. These fairies would “knock” to warn the miners of pending cave ins and danger. That’s why they got the name = Knockers!

red hat gnome

The Gnomes we are familiar with, that often wear red hats, are designed after creatures from the far north. (Santa’s elves perhaps???) They spent their time living near the homes of humans which they would sometimes help out!

Celebrating Fairy Day

Fairies have found their way into literature, movies, and artwork  and yes our gardens over the years. Celebrating Fairy Day is an easy thing to do. Today is a great day to read a fairy tale, watch a movie starring fairies or honor them with a garden playground in your yard. Don’t forget the family of dwarfs and gnomes too!

If you are looking for a QUICK activity that is FUN for the whole family – Try the Happy Hive Fairy Pin Art. For just $1.00 you get 4 different pin art patterns and HOURS of fun!

fairy day curriculum
Click Picture to Visit my Amped Up Learning Store to Purchase – $1.00

Poke art is fast and fun. It is something learners of all ages can do.

I would love to see what you do for Fairy Day. Leave a comment in the comments section.


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!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Curriculum-Club.jpg
Click Image to Sign up for the Curriculum Club – FREE!

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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Amped-Up-Learning-for-Posts.jpg
Click on image to visit my Amped Up Learning Store
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Teachers-Pay-Teachers-for-Posts.jpg
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.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Share-Homeschool-Holiday-Posts-1.jpg

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

Source:

https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/fairy-day

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:

Meaningful Money Lesson for young learners

Interactive lessons are NOT just for older students! This week for the next installment in the Happy Hive Homeschooling product review series we are going to take a look at curriculum from Froggy About Teaching that is designed specifically for learners in Kindergarten and First grade. This interactive curriculum is off the page! Not your traditional pencil and paper assignment – the K-1 Coins Pack is designed for use with Smart Boards, Google Classroom, Seasaw or other similar virtual learning platforms.

30 page power point for $3.50 available on Amped Up Learning

As a curriculum coach, I am going to show you how you can use this product in both a HOME setting for extra practice, if you homeschool, or as a classroom teacher. How we get good quality curriculum into the hands of our learners matters not, we just need to do it! Homeschool Holiday is here to support education in all it’s forms – and our product reviews aim at giving you a wide range of materials to use with learners!

Debbie Mendoza began her teaching career in 1990. She has worked with Kindergartners, 1st , 2nd , and my personal favorite 4th grades. Debbie has shared her educational talents as a regular education teacher (although I see nothing regular about what we do!) as well as serving as a bilingual elementary teacher for Kinder, 1st, and 2nd grades. To put the icing on her career cake Debbie taught elementary Spanish and was an ESL teacher for grades K – 4. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Bilingual Elementary Education and ESL and has a minor in Spanish. Her Master’s Degree is in Curriculum and Instruction.

To relax Debbie enjoys gardening, watching nature and the night skies, reading and camping. She is a teacher that looks for ways to entice students into wanting to learn and loving to read. Debbie has partnered with Happy Hive Homeschool in making quality Digital Resources. She freely shared her knowledge with me so I too could bring my clients quality digital resources for their homes and classrooms! We are both teacher authors on the Teacher Marketplace, Amped Up Learning.

The K-1 Coin Pack asks our young learners to recognize pennies and nickels (both sides), count them and assign value to items using these coins. In the Google Classroom/PowerPoint option, learners are required to slide the coins into place as well as type values into pre-designated text boxes.

Students slide the appropriate number of pennies down from the top into the boxes to match the price for the items.

When using SeeSaw, students can use the tools to “write on” the worksheet and return it to the teacher. (SeeSaw has many other options as well!)

Sample digital response from Seesaw

If you would like to use the packet in a more “traditional” manner, you can easily print the pages as a PDF file and have your learner work on the pages using the pencil paper method.

Regardless of the method chosen, with 30 jam packed pages, your learners will have a solid understanding of both the penny and the nickel when they finish these activities. Froggy about Teaching is following up with Set Two, using other coins as well. Be sure to follow them on Pinterest as well as their Froggy about Teaching Blog. I am confident you will love their primary level activities as much as I did.

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.

The SOLUTION to your Math PROBLEM – and other easy language changes every educator (and parent) can make.

The words we use as educators are so important. Have you ever done the “Wrinkled Heart activity”. It’s a kindness lesson. Read the story Chrysanthemum, no matter the age of your learners or if you’ve read it before. Then give each person in your family or classroom a cut out heart. Have them wad the heart up into a ball and unroll it. It’s all wrinkled. See who can smooth it out again…it will never look like the fresh crisp heart they were handed. Words are powerful. Before you speak, think and be smart, it’s hard to fix a wrinkled heart. Feel free to download the free printable for this activity from our Curriculum Club. It includes a link to the book read aloud as well.

Sign Up for Exclusive Curriculum Club Access

* indicates required
/ ( mm / dd )
Select the best fit:

If you would like to see the video that accompanies this blog post I have included it below. It is not a word for word transcript of the post, but mentions the same or similar language to use.

In our homes and classrooms we have a CAPTIVE audience. They listen to our every word. Every year I was so and so’s favorite teacher…until they went to 5th grade, and then he or she was their “favorite teacher”. But during my 180 days as favorite, it was vitally important that each and every student feel successful, safe, and loved.

The overall purpose of the educator is to guide learners. You can’t teach anyone anything honestly. You can only present the information, and the learner must absorb and apply the information. Everyone self educates. Everyone. So if you are a parent, or a classroom teacher, your job is to simply guide the day and keep kids safe. They have to do the learning. Here are the ways I guided my children and the students I encountered as a classroom teacher.

When I was in High School my freshman year, Mrs. Harris told me I was a Genius. I can’t even spell it (trust me the red squiggle came and I just had to fix it for this post) She had a magical way of teaching and relating to students that made me BELIEVE her. I liked Science for the first time in my life, because of the words she used. Funny thing, she called ANY student that went and asked her questions GENIUS. All of us. I wasn’t special, but it didn’t matter – she communicated that she BELIEVED in me. Try it. Start calling your kids Genius. (Don’t forget to look them in the eye and if possible touch them on the head or shoulder for personal connection.)I bet you will see a difference immediately in the quality of work you get.

Nice work Genius, next time remember to put your name on the paper.

Only a Genius like you would turn in this quality of work, thank you.

I’m impressed Genius.

And the magic of Genius is in this: Ask them who they think is a Genius. Likely they will say someone like Albert Einstein or Isaac Newton or even someone like Elon Musk. Then research their FAILURES. YUP even a GENIUS’ makes mistakes – so it is a believable statement that you call a child Genius.

You can also focus the praise on the WORK not the child. Think about “Good Dog” – “Bad Dog” – it’s not REALLY the dog that was good or bad, it is the behavior, the dog is actually clueless without the proper training. Children are the same. (Sorry if comparing kids to dogs is a bit much for you!) Their ACTIONS and the WORK they produce are where our focus should lie.

I’m impressed with how that turned out. vs You did great on that project.

Big question: what happens when they don’t do so great? There will be a reason, and nothing is likely WRONG with the child, but instead the mistake is a further opportunity for growth. Mistakes are the ONLY way to learn, but we as adults know this. Children fear mistakes. The language we use can help guide them passed the fear and into the comfort zone. That’s where true genius awaits.

If I could have been paid by the number of times I heard a child say “I can’t” or “It’s too hard”, I would have made up the salary difference between my private school salary and my public school equivalents! Where does that idea come from? Those words are banned in my home and my classroom. To help re-train their thoughts, I say: You can do hard things. Whenever a child says: I can’t or any equivalent statement, I tell them to try phrasing it another way (what is the REAL problem) and I encourage them by saying :You can do hard things.

So, what do we do when a child needs help? When they were learning to walk we held hands, removed obstacles, etc. Now as they continue to navigate through these hard things it is important to understand help vs doing. Coming out and simply blurting: Do you need help? that’s it, they do… the authority “thinks” they need help so they MUST need it right? Instead try: I’ll be at my desk if you need help. I always added the phrase, It is okay to interrupt whatever I am doing. I discovered sometimes learners were not asking for help even though I was always available because they didn’t want to bother me. Sweet things. I’ll be walking the room if you need help, just call my name if I don’t notice you.

I do look like I’m getting some serious work done here. This picture was taken by a student who was in charge of taking pictures as her class job!

Another common issue that would have increased my riches was “not understanding the instructions”. As a teacher in the trenches, this is a tough one. I have seen it used as an avoidance tactic equivalent to the “I have to go potty”. It’s amazing how they don’t understand, but haven’t even done one task. How do they *know* they don’t understand? Many times it goes back to HARD THINGS. The learner heard you, they *know* what to do, but not quite HOW to execute it. Instinct makes us want to say: I’ve already explained this, just try. I have used those words myself, because no one HAS to go to the bathroom during Math every day even when I teach Math at different times every day. SOMETHING is going on and it’s not a small bladder. What I choose to say instead is: Let me show you another way. I have gotten other teachers because I have run out of ways to explain. But I always find the solution to the underlying trigger for avoidance, or genuine misunderstanding. (Not always in one day mind you!)

Now, let’s think about the word PROBLEM. What is the first thing that comes to mind… something along the lines of a situation that needs to be worked out or solved… Does the word PROBLEM have a positive vibe or a negative vibe to it? Do you want to have a lot of problems to solve? I sure don’t! When it comes to Math however – that’s what we have – we have Math PROBLEMS – things that need to be worked out, Finding the solutions is a GOOD thing! Yet so many of our learners struggle with Math. What if we change the LANGUAGE we use surrounding Math?

Math is a subject I watched countless students struggle with by the time they arrived in my 4th grade classroom. They already saw Math as a “problem” and defined themselves as not good at it. (The I can’t syndrome!) Changing the language we use regarding math is critical! Just being a cheerleader and telling a learner they can do it, keep trying is not enough. They have PROBLEMS and we are helping them solve the wrong one!

Try assigning things like: Math Calculations (any of the traditional math operations). Whole different ball game. The official term is : MATH OPERATIONS. Play up the surgery play on words, we dig into math and like a surgeon, we operate and get to the solution… WHAT A DIFFERENCE!

Historically Math was called ciphering . The mathematical definition of ciphering is: to use figures in a mathematical process. (Miriam-Webster) It’s also related to writing and solving code – like a secret agent. Imagine your home or classroom filled with secret agents solving ciphers! What an exciting place…or you can get out your Math and work the problems.

It’s always been a MYSTERY to me why anyone would need that many watermelons, but hey – critical thinking skills are important. When learners are faced with what we know as “word problems” the YUCK-meter goes off the charts. Good strong readers turn into jello when faced with words and math mixed together. Just change the language – Give your learners a Sherlock Holmes hat and off they go to solve the Math Mystery of the day! I have a set of Math Mysteries to get you started. They can be used with students in as young as 2nd grade and as high as needed for training purposes.

Purchase our Math Mysteries by clicking the image and visiting Amped Up Learning.

A final thought on the words we use. In my classroom I stopped giving tests. Yup – you read that right, zero tests were given, I simply had students complete and activity called: Show What You Know. “Tomorrow we will have a {Show What You Know} over Chapters 5-7 in Charlotte’s Web.” We did them in every subject! I saw a dynamic change in my classroom. As a homeschooling mom I NEVER gave tests (or even show-what-you-knows). Working with my children one on one I had the feedback I needed to evaluate learning and make decisions as to curriculum adaptations, etc. But if you do use tests, or a charter school that requires tests, change the language surrounding the activity. As adults, you and I both know that I was able to clearly determine if Chapters 5-7 were comprehended based on the “Show What You Know Activity”. Good bye test anxiety, at least for the 180 days they were in my class.

Changing your language is intentional, and it takes TIME. Start slow, and stick with it. Remember you can do hard things. If you need any support for your schooling, or have other great ideas for language we use with children, please feel free to reach out. I would love to see your comments!

May your educational Journey Be Blessed!

Mrs. Crabtree

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