Thursday, February 4, 2016

A Spelling Book for Animal Lovers!

This post contains affiliate links. See disclosure page for more details.

Spelling is a major weakness in the Crunchy House. We always joke that they invented spellcheck just for us. 
I knew that I wanted the kiddos to have a better way. I did not want to have spelling words that they write and test over like I did in school. I wanted them to enjoy learning them. Enter Sarah and her amazing books! The Thinking Tree has done it again! They created this cute little book for my animal loving kiddos to help them learn spelling! 

The day that Popper received 100 Words to Read, Write, and Spell he was stoked! He read page after page to anyone who would listen. He showed us all of his favorite pages, and there were a lot of them! 
The next morning he started asking to start school at 7:30 am. We usually don't start until 9-9:30 ish. He spent the next hour coloring and reading his new spelling book!

The animals that are in the book each have a little poem that go along with them. Then a page where you fill in the missing words, which also happen to be the spelling words.

There are pages to color the animal and their food and habitat. These have prompted many Google searched to learn about the animals and their lifestyles. I found out from Sarah that this book was created by her older daughter, Anna, for her younger daughters. They love watching Wild Kratts and wanted a book about the animals on the show. I guess that means we will be watching more episodes to help educate us on the animal of the week! 

This is probably my favorite part. Popper can color in the letters of the spelling words. I love this idea! He gets to be creative while learning to spell!

Towards the back of the book there are pages for extra writing practice. It helps reinforce the words.
A little further back there are places for them to draw pictures of the animals and write stories about them. 

This book is so fantastic! The littles have been begging for their own copy. Their favorite part is the size. It is a purse-size book! It fits so well in their little hands. They love all the pictures of animals that they can color. 

You can get your's today! Just click the link below!


And as usual for Thursday, I'm linked up:


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

How to Homeschool When the Box Curriculum Fails!

I remember the day that I received the very first box. I was so excited to get started. I opened the big, beautiful box filled with everything I was going to need to teach my 2 younger boys. I had bought new folders to organize the worksheets and activity guides. I could not wait! I had this pretty little picture of how my children were going to love learning. I imagined them begging to do one more page or read one more story. I got everything prepared and went to bed the night before with very high expectations of how the 1st day would be.

The next day, it took 2 seconds for reality to sink in. Screaming, crying, meltdowns followed! The worksheets were too hard. They didn't like that story they wanted to read this story! I ended that day and several weeks after in tears. I was beyond discouraged. I set it all aside and began to wonder if I was really cut out for this homeschooling thing.

For several years after that epic fail, I tried a few other 'box curriculum' all ending the very same way! I did not understand what I was doing wrong.

I was given a book by a friend written by Sarah Janisse Brown titled "Life, Love, & Dyslexia." She talked about instilling a love of learning in our children. She reminded me that natural learning is fueled through children's natural curiosity! I remembered all at once why I began homeschooling in the first place! I wanted my children to love life. I wanted to fuel their curiosity and allow them to follow thoughts and subjects down the path, however far they chose to go!

I shifted gears! I got Popper a journal from The Thinking Tree. I allowed him to pick what he was most interested in to learn about. He was able to pick books from the library that interested him. He chose books on Egypt, Space, and origami.  None of these topics were remotely close to what I would ever try to teach my 2nd grader.

After a few months of allowing him to explore, I began to add in a few other core subjects that I knew he needed to have as well, like math and a writing program. This has been the best decision I have ever made in regards to my children's education. Popper loves getting to choose what he learns about each week. Some weeks, he chooses books that are on these same 3 topics. Sometimes, he adds something new to try. I love watching the excitement he now has for learning! 
Now that he has freedom to choose, the math and writing aren't near the struggle they use to be. He is getting a genuine love for learning!

That's how we are homeschooling since the boxed curriculum failed!

How Do I Homeschool When ... ?

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Midnights with Jesus is Beginning!

I have been counting down the days until this series started! Here we are! **SQUEAL!**
This weeks post is just to let you know what verse we are focusing on and fill you in if you are new here! I also want to outline how I am going to be using this time. 
If you head over to Mama's Coffee Shop Blog you can find the PDF printables for all 4 of this months verses, and a full explanation of where this all started.

Our focus verse this week is:

Psalm 37:7
"Rest in the Lord,
and wait patiently for Him:
fret not thyself."

Here is how I am going to spend the next week with this verse:

I am going to start by memorizing the verse and praying that God would reveal to me what He would have me get from it. Each day, I will spend time praying and journaling what I believe God is speaking to me through this verse. I am going to read other verses that talk about resting in the Lord. I know as a mom this is a hard concept for me. I wanna let God use this week to teach me how to rest in Him. Next Sunday, I will post here and let you know how it went. 

Remember, the goal is simply to spend time seeking Him! It really doesn't matter if it at night or of a morning. Just. Seek. HIM! He wants us to draw near to Him! Mommas make time for Him this week! Pray and ask Him what He wants to reveal to you through this time. Keep a journal! It is so fun to look back and see what He taught us and how He answered prayers or directed our steps. Finally, if you want, link back up! I know that I would love to see how God is speaking to you! I know that Callie over at Mama's Coffee Shop would love to read about it too! 

I pray that God uses this time this week to speak to each of us and that we learn to make time to truly seek Him!