Working From Home While Homeschooling

When I started homeschooling my oldest, I was a single mom going to grad school. A year in, I left grad school and started my own business. I’ve been running that business (and others) now for 12 years. I know a lot of us have been thrown into homeschooling & facilitating distance learning at the moment. It’s hard to balance it all. I have a confession: the interior of my house looks like it’s a disaster site, and to be honest, I probably won’t be fixing that until this weekend. Balance is hard – even when you’ve been doing it for a while.

Know Your Priorities

If everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. The reason I know that we’ll get to the whole house maintaining thing this weekend is because I have a handful of deadlines. For me, with 3 kids ages six and under, having an immaculate house is a task of Sisyphean proportions. I’d rather let go of that and focus on 1) keeping clients happy and 2) ensuring my kids aren’t spending all of their time with the electronic babysitter.

Use Screens Strategically

That said, I do make use of the television, and I’m not even going to apologize for that. Sometimes, there are conference calls, sometimes I need to follow up with a prospect, and sometimes I have a strict deadline that I absolutely have to meet. In those times, I have no shame in my game – Blippi, Paw Patrol, even that Ryan kid help prevent interruptions.

Develop a Do-Not-Disturb Signal

This one is easier said than done when you have young children. With my oldest, I would put headphones on, and that was his signal to read, draw, or play independently. My six-year-old is starting to get the hang of the headphones on…but I can’t do that if her youngest sibling is awake – I need to have all ears ready. Find something that works for your family – especially if your partner is also working from home.

Have a Plan

I use ClickUp to manage my life. (The link is a referral link, which gives me points. I’m not sure what the points do). Between ClickUp with my tasks list for any given day and my homeschooling planning tools, I feel pretty good going into each day. I know what I need to do and what my students need to do. It also gives me a measure of how I did with a day at the end of the day.

Be Social

Okay, so this one is somewhat hard right now and we really need to think outside of the box. Ordinarily, we have a lot of different activities we participate in for social engagement – and I do a lot of volunteer work. Right now, we’ve dialed back on that. I won’t be coaching T-Ball this summer in all likelihood, and I’ve taken all of my Girl Scouts troop meetings into the virtual realm. I’m considering hosting a virtual dinner party or something of that nature. Working from home gets lonely. So does homeschooling. Even if you don’t think of yourself of all that social a person, humans are social creatures. You don’t realize how many small social interactions you have until they’re just not there.

Things May Not Go As Planned

Despite our best intentions, when working with kids, things might not go as you’d planned. Be prepared for this, and do not let this discourage you. Working at home with kids at home full time and homeschooling them on the fly is a really unique situation. Even those of us who have done this a long time struggle. Something I do that really helps is to record how long things actually take when I’m trying out a new schedule or routine. That way, I’m better able to estimate how long things will take next time and I can plan better. Be flexible. There really is a learning curve to this.

Realize You Cannot Do It All

I know this is related to prioritizing, but it really merits its own discussion. No one can do it all. You will lose your mind and drive yourself into a state of burnout. It’s tempting to try to do it all. I know that temptation well! When I was writing about project management, a wise project manager told me, “You can have scope, budget, or time – pick 2.” That’s a pretty good analogy here. We are all in unique situations right now. It’s okay that it all doesn’t get done. It will. Enlist others to help if you can. If you can’t, it will wait.

Schedule Down Time for Yourself

Finally, I’m a firm believer that if it’s not scheduled, it won’t happen. We all need some downtime. Right now, that’s going to be a bit unique, and that’s okay. It’s okay if you decide, “you know what, I don’t have an immediate deadline, we’re fine on our reading, we’re just going to watch movies and play board games today.” I promise you – from my own experience – it all evens out. Make sure you have time-outs for yourself in your schedule.

Overview of the Homeschooling Planning Tools I Use

I’m joining in the Timberdoodle Blog Hop again today, and I wanted to talk about planning. I’m a big fan of planning. I feel like even if I don’t follow the plan exactly, if I have a plan, that’s a huge boost to getting things done. It helps to eliminate the risk of decision fatigue. There are lots of great tools out there for doing this, and perhaps at another time I’ll do more detailed reviews of some of the options. For now, though, I want to give an overview of what you can use to plan your homeschool.

Paper Planners

There are many different paper planners out there – Happy Planner and Erin Condren are two of the biggest providers that are popular with homeschooling parents. There are also bullet journals (which I prefer). Paper planners are just how they sound. I use a paper planner post-work. I use a composition notebook and write down exactly what we did in each subject. That way, I just pull it out to see where we finished the week & to update my plan for the following week.

Excel or Google Sheets

In-progress lesson plan for the week

Right now, because we were thrown back into homeschooling, I’m using an Excel spredsheet just so I can get a general overview of the week. I’ll adjust as needed for the following week – for example, if I find it takes two days to complete a lesson in our reading curriculum, I’ll account for that (that’s one of the big reasons I like using the paper planner to record what we actually do). This allows me to see what supplies I’ll need for the week & plan accordingly. If our library were open, it would also allow me to make sure that on Sunday we pick up what books we’d need for the week as supplimental resources.

Microsoft Word or Google Docs

This is where I do my long-term planning and my brainstorming for curriculum ideas. In the above image, I have links to all the different resources. I’m not going to actually use all the resources listed, but I still like to go through, make notes of everything I’m interested in, and have it all in one spot. That way if one curriculum choice doesn’t work well or if I find we need extra help in an area, I don’t have to go searching. I can just go to my document, click on the link, and go to the page where I found the resource.

It’s also where I lay out the lesson plans for the entire year for each subject. I outline everything we will cover for a specific subject, then find resources, choose some science projects, research videos and documentariess that are available, etc. Again, this is a lot of up-front work, but then it makes life easier later when we’re knee-deep in talking about evolution and I want to remember which videos I’d found that were age-appropriate for the subject matter and what science projects I found to do that week. This isn’t something I’ll do while we’re temporarily homeschooling to the end of the year – my goal is to make sure the remaining standards are met – but it is something that I’m doing for the next level of subjects.

Homeschool Tracker

If you’re looking for an online tool that also allows your students to sign in, Homeschool Tracker is a good resource. It allows you to track anything you can possibly want to track with your homeschool. I will likely go back to this depending on what happens with COVID-19. (and use it in place of Excel) It’s really robust, and it’s handy and you can create transcripts with it. It costs $8 a month, and yes, there is an annual subscription discount.

It definitely is a more handy tool when you have older children who are independent – because they can sign in and see their assignments and chores. You can also enter in those state standards we talked about, and track which assignments link to them – this actually came in really handy with my oldest when we put him in public school for 8th grade. It helped with placement.

So there you have it. These are the tools I use when I’m planning for homeschooling. I’m a classical homeschooler, so that means I do follow the Trivium, depsite being secular, and I do have a much more traditional school approach with lesson planning and tracking. Unschoolers likely will not use these tools – and maybe an unschooler can weigh in on the comments to talk about what they do with tracking/planning in their homeschool.

Be sure to check out some of the other blogs in the blog hop:

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How Do You Know What to Teach?

One challenge parents struggle with is determining what to teach. In the case where you’re homeschooling through K-12 or an online school, that information is often provided for you, but if you want to veer from what’s prescribed, how do you figure out what to teach, and what constitutes covering a given subject?

Providing A Solid Foundation for Learning

I’m a big fan of general education and of teaching children how to learn. A child who knows how to learn, and has the skills to do so, will be able to learn anything that catches his or her interest. Thus, language arts needs to be a big part of your child’s education – reading skills and phonics, reading comprehension, writing (technical aspects and penmanship, spelling, grammar, and writing for communication’s sake), and critical thinking (as it will become important as your child gets older for him or her to be able to discern whether something is a valid source). Mathematics is also an important part of learning as it’s the language of (higher) science and technology and it is a technical life skill.

It’s also important for children to have a general grasp of social studies (history, how government works, their local community) and science. I would also argue that getting a general appreciation of the arts (music, art, theater, literature, dance), how to take care of oneself (physical education, health, nutrition) and general life skills are also important.

This might seem somewhat overwhelming, but it shouldn’t be – keep in mind many things can be learned through everyday life.

Enhancing Interest Areas

Some children love science, some are enthralled with music, and some really want to delve into history. When you’re choosing what to teach, consider areas your student is interested in already. It may even be helpful to use some of those interest areas to springboard into other areas. A reluctant reader may be more excited if basic readers are about dinosaurs. A child who loves to read might really enjoy a biography about a historical figure and be less excited by project-based learning for history. Your child will have her or his own interest areas – and that’s great – but it’s also important to take care to push the child out of that comfort zone. It’s one thing to use an interest area as an entry-point. It’s another thing to neglect mathematics instruction or a basic understanding of history because a child’s interest in bugs has taken over everything during learning time.

Becoming a Global Citizen

Even young children can become involved in some form of service learning. It’s important for children to learn where they fit in society – both now as children and as they grow up. Service learning opportunities can help with this, give children a firm feeling of connection with the communities in which they live, and empathy for those who have different backgrounds and experiences from their own. Right now, service learning is going to require a lot of thinking outside of the box. I’m hoping to compile a list of service opportunities forr kids while they’re also maintaining social distance.

That’s all great but… how do I know what they need to know?

When I’m choosing curriculum, I look at standards-based learning. While I follow the Classical method for learning, I also like to look at what state and national standards are for each grade level – this can also help when determining whether a curriculum is a good fit. Where do you find what the standards are for each grade? Here are some resources:

Core Knowledge Sequence – Not to be mistaken with “Common Core,” this is the sequence put together by those who created the “What Your ___ Needs to Know” series of books (which are a great K-6 resource for those looking for a place to start).

Massachusetts Framework – Massachusetts has repeatedly been ranked top in the nation for their education system. That’s not the only reason to check out their standards. They offer Digital Literacy, STEM, Health Education, Foreign Language, and Vo-Tech standards as well.

New Jersey Student Learning Standards – New Jersey also leads the nation in education, so it’s worth looking at their standards as well. They also list preschool teaching and learning standards as well as life and careers standards.

Common Core Standards – These are definitely worth looking at. It’s not “new math,” it’s a list of what students should know by which ages – and an attempt to standardize this between states so that students who move from say, California, can jump right in in Kansas and expect to pick up right where they left off.

Your Own State’s Standards – You’ll also want to do a search for your own state’s standards.

Keep in mind that standards are just a jumping point to help you determine what should be covered at each grade – they’re not an end all be-all. It’s easy to get caught up in them. Instead, use them to get an idea of what should be taught, when, and if your child seemed ahead or behind, where you should start with language arts or math.

This post is part of a Blog Hop by Timberdoodle with all kinds of tips for homeschooling while we’re social distancing to help flatten the curve.

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Tips for Temporarily Homeschooling

Wow. None of us expected to be where we are right now. It’s overwhelming, it’s a little bit scary, and we have our kids to keep calm and occupy. Last summer, we’d made a decision that we’d send our kids to public school, but that I would “afterschool” and do summer enrichment wtih them. Our little Miss 6 wanted the school experience, and went in for Kindergarten, since she didn’t meet the state’s age requirements to start 1st Grade. She was enjoying it. We all liked her teacher, who worked hard with Miss 6 to help her anxiety the best way possible.

Then, we all know what happened, because it’s happening across the country. School is out for the rest of the school year. Perhaps longer depending on what’s going on this summer. We didn’t get to say goodbye to our kindergarten teacher. No kinder graduation. No muffins with mom. We’re just suddenly done for the year – but going online.

This is not what homeschooling looks like.

First, it’s important to understand that this is not what homeschooling looks like. Yes, we’re at home when doing it, but we go to park days, zoo classes, museums, the library. I feel like I’m floundering as much as everyone else – not because school is out and I have to teach the kids at home. That, I can do. Being at home 24/7 with no library resources (our library has shut down), no zoo, no museums, no park days with other kids? No Girl Scouts.

I’m bracing myself for everyone to get a horrible case of cabin fever, really quickly.

Recognize that this is an uncertain time and a time of transition.

I’m going to be honest right now; I’m dealing with large levels of anxiety. Uncertainty is extremely triggering for me. Despite all of our good intentions to get in there and have a schedule and have our kids learn learn learn! They’re likely also feeling anxiety. They didn’t say goodbye to their friends. Seniors have had prom canceled. Fifth graders won’t get their important transitions for junior high. Every child, from preschoolers who were just getting used to the out of the house routine to teens missing out on the important milestone of graduation, is also feeling uncertain, anxious, and likely sad.

Give space for big emotions.

When I first got into this homeschooling journey, when Mr. 21 was 8 and halfway through second grade (I’d never intended on homeschooling), the best piece of advice I recieved was to give some time for “deschooling.” It’s important to recognize that there’s a transition happening, and here, now, with COVID-19 threatening us, shaping our lives, shifting our routines – radically, there are going to be a lot of big emotions going on. It’s okay if your days are a bit of a hot mess at first. This isn’t “homeschooling as usual.” It’s every parent and guardian in the nation being thrown into something we’ve never seen before. Everyone is going to have big emotions.

Reach out if you need help.

You’re not alone. Most schools are providing at least some sort of learning continuation. We’ll see what our school does, but we’ll likely return to the curriculum I was planning to use. I’ll share that in another post. So many people are sharing resources – zoos are live-streaming learning videos, operas are online, there are so many great free resources – many of them geared for younger kids. If you need help, ask. I am very familiar with ECE materials, but I’ve also homeschooled a kid from 2nd-7th grade with secular materials.

In the coming days, it’s my plan to share as many resources as I can for older kids who may have online work, but might be wanting more resources to learn. I will do my best to share that information with you.

Meanwhile, if you’re a veteran homeschooler, what is one piece of advice you’d like to share with someone who has been thrown into this lifestyle? Share in the comments.

This post is part of a blog hop, hosted by Timberdoodle. Check out the other posts.

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Review: Djeco Bugs

My 5 year old loves to color. She goes through coloring books so frequently that we’ve taken to purchasing them at the Dollar Tree so we can keep up with the demand. When I was offered the opportunity to review Djeco Bugs, a scratch-off art kit carried by Timberdoodle, I knew that it would be something she might be interested in. That suspicion turned out to be absolutely correct.

About Djeco Bugs

Djeco Bugs is a scratch art set from the French company, Djeco. Kids can scratch through the inc to the surface below using the wooden tool included. There are four images in this particular kit – butterfly, caterpillar, bee, and ladybug – to work with. The kit is only $5.99, making it a nice activity for an afternoon or a nice gift for an artistically-inclined child.

Our Review

Miss 5 really enjoyed working on these. We put some newspaper underneath for easier cleanup, but it really wasn’t necessary – making it a nice no-mess activity for kids that’s different from coloring and doesn’t have the clean-up commitment of painting.

The activity set is for ages 3-6, so it’s one of those great activities for building fine motor skills. Children can make their scratchings as simple or elaborate as they would like – there are patterns underneath the blue ink. Miss 5 went through the kit in an evening and has requested that the pictures be hung on the picture wall in their playroom.

Teaching Tips

While I just let her play with and explore the Djeco Bugs Scratch Art kit, it could definitely be incorporated into both a science and an art curriculum. In fact, it’s originally bundled in Timberdoodle’s Kindergarten Curriculum Kit. Here are some ideas on how you can use the scratch art kit as a learning tool.

  • Use each image in conjunction with learning about the insects. children learn about caterpillars and butterflies, then they can complete the scratch art for that.
  • Use the pictures to talk about composition in art and patterns. Challenge your child to create a different pattern on each area of the scratch-off art.
  • Use the kit as a jumping-off point to talk about how scratch art works. First complete the art in the kit, and then create your own blank scratch art canvas. Here’s a great tutorial on making your own scratch art.
  • Use the images and the artwork created to talk about matting and framing artwork. Either hang the resulting artwork in a place where your child can see it or gift the resulting artwork to a family member or family friend.

What other ways can you think of to use the Djeco Bugs kit in your homeschool? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Review: Timberdoodle’s Batik Painting Kit

I’ve long-admired batik fabrics for their vivid colors and beautiful designs. Mr. 3 loves to paint. So when there was an opportunity to review the new batik painting kit from Timberdoodle, I was happy to sign up.

About The Kit

There are five options for the kit – Turtle, Seahorse, Fish, Macaw, and Hummingbird. We chose the Turtle. For $19.99, you get the fabric stapled to cardboard with the waxed design on it, paints, a paint brush, and the instructions.

You begin by folding the cardboard up to help contain the paint and you wet the canvas. I think we probably used too much water, because the colors are really muted on the fabric after it’s dried, so be careful when adding the water. Luckily, there is more paint left, so Mr. 3 can see if he can get it more vivid with less water.

Our Review

Mr. 3 definitely had a lot of fun with this project. He loves to paint, and so this was no different for him in that aspect.

The paint was really vivid when he was putting it on – and the turtle looked gorgeous. I feel like we must have done something wrong, because when it dried, it dried so light! I was a bit bummed out about that – but we will try again.

We let the batik dry overnight, and it came out with super muted colors except in the one corner. That corner wasn’t as wet as the rest, so I really think that the problem, like with water color, was that the colors got too saturated.

Tips for using the batik painting kit from Timberdoodle

You’ll want to protect the painting area. You’ll see in the photos that I put newspaper under the area Mr. 3 was working in. I’m glad, because it soaked through the box and helped protect our table from the moisture.

You’ll also want to watch that water to paint ratio. We’ll play around with it some more and see whether our thought that less water will make the colors more vivid works.

Finally, have a plan – my little guy wants me to make a bag out of his batik painting. You can also frame it in an 8″x8″ frame.

Verdict

The Batik Painting Kit from Timberdoodle would make a nice gift for an artistically-inclined child. To add an educational component to it, talking about the history of batik and studying some of the batik fabric would round it out – but not everything needs to be educational. Some things can just be fun! And Mr. 3 was definitely all about the process and having fun with it.

Miss 5 wants a kit now.

Hello Fall Theme Q&A

It’s my favorite time of year again – autumn. There’s always been something magical from mid-September through the end of the year and even into some of January. I’m excited, because even though we’re going to be very busy in the coming months, there are a lot of fun things on our calendar.

I became aware of Roads to Everywhere’s Fall Theme Q&A post from a few years ago, and I thought it would be fun to answer the same questions and share with you some of my favorite things about pumpkin spice season in honor of the Blog Hop hosted by Timberdoodle.

Favorite fall sweet treat?

I’m a big fan of the pumpkin spice latte. What can I say? I’m a bit basic that way.

Red, yellow, or green apples?

Good question. I like Gala apples, but I just picked up a bunch of Granny Smiths so that I can make a pie with Princess Boogie.

Favorite fall sport to play?

I always enjoyed playing flag football as a kid. I haven’t played it in years, though.

Best drink for fall?

Nothing says “fall” like hot mulled apple cider…especially if it’s got a little Kraken mixed in.

Favorite fall activity?

Fall campfires/fire pits are a lot of fun.

Must-have fall purchase?

Fall-colored jeans and a plain white oversized sweater.

Pumpkins: Pick your own or store-bought?

We almost always pick our own. There’s something about the tradition of going to a pumpkin patch. That said, there have been a few “hot mess” years where we’ve picked pumpkins up at stores.

Real or fake pumpkins?

I feel about fake pumpkins like I feel about fake holiday trees. 😛 Though, I do have a reusable teal pumpkin since we participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project every year. But, I love roasting pumpkin seeds, and I think we might get a few pumpkins to paint (in addition to a few good carvers) so I can roast them for pie after we’re done with them.

Favorite Halloween costume?

The ones that I throw together randomly 20 minutes before going trick or treating for myself. It’s always fun to get creative and make something random.

College football or NFL?

GO GREEN! GO WHITE! (College football…Michigan State…) though it’s a lot of fun to go to games.

Fall or Halloween decor?

Both? I’m going to be pulling out my Halloween mantle stuff next weekend…I want to collect more fun Halloween stuff though.

Raking leaves? Or no leaves to rake?

Oh…we have a TON of trees around our house, so it’s always a lot of leaves.

Favorite soup?

I have a tradition of making slow cooker white bean pumpkin chili on Halloween & pumpkin cornbread. I love it.

Favorite fall candle scent?

Caramel apple

Love or hate pumpkin spice?

I love it. Pumpkin spice everything, please.

Short booties or tall boots?

I have wide calves, so I have a couple of knee-high boots I really like, but I love booties and boots.

Favorite Halloween candy?

Reeses’ peanut butter cups…and Almond Joys

Pumpkin Spice Latte? Yes or No?

Yes – but it needs to be made right .

Hayride or corn maze?

Both. I love them both.

Favorite fall TV show?

This Is Us.

A good book for fall?

I’m reading Handmaid’s Tale right now. I’ll be reading Red Tents & then The Power. I’ve been on a dystopian novel kick. I don’t really know if it’s a “good book for fall,” but it’s nice to snuggle under a blanket and read.

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Review: Timberdoodle’s Farmland Math Mat Bundle

Recently, I had the opportunity to try a preschool resource I’d been wanting to try for a long time. I received a special discount for Timberdoodle’s Farmland Math Mat Bundle in exchange for an honest review. This preschool math resource is available both on its own for $43.50 or as part of their 2019 Preschool Curriculum Bundle.

What is the Farmland Math Mat Bundle?

The Farmland Math Mat Bundle is a combination of resources. It’s a tub of counters, a large play mat, and then a guided manual that takes parents and students through 36 weeks of hands-on math activities. It’s suitable for ages 2+, but I reviewed it with my 3-year-old instead of my 2-year-old.

Learn By Doing

I love resources that get the pre-k set learning while they play (let’s be real here, I love resources that get anyone learning through play). The animal counters are just the right size for little hands to grasp (plus they’re cute). There are five different animals in six different colors – for a total of 30.

The book has a script for what the instructor can say to the student – this is great. Not only because you don’t have to come up with a script when you play with the farmland mat, but also because the script leads the student through mathematical thinking – from counting to grouping to basic adding and subtracting.

Our Verdict

Mr. Three really wants to “play with my farm animals” again soon. He really enjoyed it, even though he’s been counting past 30 for some time now. It’s always good to reinforce those basic math concepts, but it’s also good for kids to get hands-on experience with the counters. While we did activities, his older sister looked on to make sure he was having a good time. I will definitely use this with the 2-year-old as well. I thought of some fun activities that older children can participate in using the counters, as well. I’ll share a few suggestions for that at the end.

Additional Activities

There are 36 weeks worth of activities in the book that is included in the Farmland Math Mat Bundle from Timberdoodle, but if you’re looking for a way to extend the activities or adapt them to older children, here are some ideas:

  • Sorting – young children love to sort. You can have them sort by color, by animal, by animal characteristics (fur vs. feathers, perhaps)
  • Graphing – older children can use graphing skills to depict what is in front of them on the mat
  • Multiplication – if there are 3 of each type of animal, how many animals are there? If there are four four legged-animals, how many legs are there all together?
  • Skip-counting – counting by 2s for pairs of legs or 4s with the four-legged animals
  • Number shapes – get some colored popsicle sticks – have students make shapes and place an animal in each corner.
  • Open-ended play – let your child take the counters and play with them – either with the mat or without it. Imaginative play is vital to healthy development.

What ideas do you have? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Find It Series – Tot Resource Review

I received the Highlights Find It series from Timberdoodle in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

My kids are 2, 3, and 5 now, so this year, I’ll be adding some totschool preschool activities into our routine. I’ll write more about what I’m using for that soon, but first, I wanted to share this fun series of board books with you.

There are four books in the Highlights “find it” series: Things that Go, Animals, Bedtime, and Farm. Each of the books has three items on the left page to find and an image on the right where toddlers can search for the images. This makes the books a good resource for math concepts, pre-reading, vocabulary-building, and fun.

Pages from Bedtime

Vivid Images Hold Interest

The books have bright images, which engage children. I tested this resource with both my 2 and 3 year old children. They both really loved the books. My 2 year old enjoyed looking at the photos, finding the animals, and matching toys to the animals in the photos.

My three year old wanted to make sure that he was saying the words correctly when we ere looking at the books. His favorite was the Things That Go volume. He’s a big fan of backhoes and excavators and fire trucks, so it wasn’t much of a surprise that he really enjoyed this book.

I was actually surprised by how much my 3 1/2 year old got out of the books. I was thinking of them as solely being resources for my toddler, but it turned out that he really got a lot out of them as well, and that they kept his interest.

Using Find-It Books in Lessons

In addition to reading the books and finding the items, there are some activities you can do with your young student to maximize the value of these resources. Here are some ideas:

  • Match toy animals or vehicles to images
  • Talk about the animal sounds
  • Challenge your student to find a word that rhymes with the item
  • Ask your student to search for other items (i.e. where is the owl?)
  • Ask student to describe an item to you without naming it for you to find it.

What other activities can you think of to use these books for?

Purchase the set of Find It books here, or find it as part of the whole Tiny Tots curriculum at Timberdoodle.

Secular note: Timberdoodle’s curriculum packs are primarily religious-based, but they offer a variety of secular resources – and many critical thinking toys and curriculum options.

Resource Review: Moon Rush: The New Space Race by Leonard David

Do you have a student interested in space exploration? Moon Rush: The New Space Race by Leonard David talks about the technology and science that will drive exploring the moon. This book is great for learning about the history of moon exploration and myths about the moon to plans for the future. It’s definitely for high school level and above, although a precocious middle-schooler would probably enjoy reading this one. I’ve shared tidbits from it with my younger students, but it will be shelved with my 10th grade science curriculum.

About Moon Rush

• Hardcover: 224 pages
• Publisher: National Geographic (May 7, 2019)

Veteran space journalist digs into the science and technology–past, present, and future–central to our explorations of Earth’s only satellite, the space destination most hotly pursued today.

In these rich pages, veteran science journalist Leonard David explores the moon in all its facets, from ancient myth to future “Moon Village” plans. Illustrating his text with maps, graphics, and photographs, David offers inside information about how the United States, allies and competitors, as well as key private corporations like Moon Express and Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin, plan to reach, inhabit, and even harvest the moon in the decades to come.

Spurred on by the Google Lunar XPRIZE–$20 million for the first to get to the moon and send images home–the 21st-century space race back to the moon has become more urgent, and more timely, than ever. Accounts of these new strategies are set against past efforts, including stories never before told about the Apollo missions and Cold War plans for military surveillance and missile launches from the moon. Timely and fascinating, this book sheds new light on our constant lunar companion, offering reasons to gaze up and see it in a different way than ever before.

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