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Free Garden Planning Pages

This time of year provides us homeschooling mamas and dadas with a great opportunity to teach our littles about life and biology and botany and how connected we are (or should be) with our planet.  Getting into the garden or the greenhouse is one of my favorite ways to teach.

morning garden 4

You can study life cycles in the garden, simply by growing a plant from seed and watching it for an entire season.  Keeping a diary or calendar of the plant’s growth can help your little understand scientific observation.  Planning a garden helps your little learn about how things grow together.  If you’re planting flowers, you can add an ongoing color lesson for art studies.  If you’re planting vegetables your little can learn about where food comes from and what is good for his body.  Littles can learn how plants need water, soil, and sunlight.  If you’re starting in a greenhouse, they can learn about how different seeds need different temperatures to sprout.

morning garden 1

There is so much a little can learn about life from gardening, but one of the most important lessons they can take away from gardening is that hard work pays off.  Gardening takes some work–you have to baby those seedlings, make sure your plants are getting the right amount of water, keep weeds from stealing the necessary nutrients, and harvest at the right time.  My Littles have been helping with the gardens since they were old enough to walk, and they groan when the weeding or hoeing needs done, but they realize that all that work is going to result in lots of fresh food and beautiful flowers to enjoy from the patio.  So they do it.  I love that it keeps them physical all summer, beyond jumping on the trampoline or swimming in the pool.  It makes them work those growing muscles in ways they wouldn’t otherwise.

morning garden 2

We always grow one special thing for each of the boys in our veggie/fruit garden.  For Littlest it’s watermelon.  For Middle, it’s our grape arbor.  This year we bought some new seeds that are supposed to grow giant watermelons, so Littlest better have his grubby hands ready to get sticky.  We’ve walked out to the orchard and looked at how our fledgling apple trees are covered in blooms this year, promising an actual crop of fresh apples for the first time.  Even the pear trees are producing this year, though not quite as much as the apples.

morning garden 3

Every year the things we grow provide fresh insight and lessons into science and nature.  I want the whole world to enjoy that connection.  I’ve made up a couple of freebies for you, and you don’t even have to subscribe to get them.  Though it’d be a lot cooler if you did.

Here’s a set of Garden Planning Pages to get you and your littles started:

 

garden planning pages

 

And here is a set of Garden Diary/Calendar pages to help your littles learn all season:

my plant diary

 

Print these out and get outside with your littles and enjoy glorious spring.  Learn while you’re having fun?  Yeah yeah.

That’s the stuff.

Love wins,

KT

Free Downloads for National Reading Month

national reading month

Dr. Seuss Day kicked off the greatest month of the year, National Reading Month.  You know me, anything that celebrates reading is top of the list.  It’s the curse of being a Lit Mama.

I’ve often talked about the importance of reading, so I’m not going to bend your ear too much here.  If you want to celebrate national reading month in good form or want to know why you should, check out my posts The Joys of Guided Reading, Teach Your Children Well, 10 Rocking Advantages of Reading Aloud, or 5 Ways to Love Your Library.

Mostly, this month is about teaching or reminding our littles to love literature in all its forms.  To buy them new books, take trips to the library, spread out on the floor with a stack of picture books and read together, start a new chapter book as a family.  It’s about loving stories and the written word.  It’s what we do.

Here are three new free downloads to help your littles celebrate National Reading Month.

My Reading Journey is a book log where your little can track each book he’s read for the month.

Reading journey log

These Belongs To book labels will make your child feel like each book is her special place.

Belongs To book labels

Finally, here are some Dr. Seuss bookmarks so your littles can keep their places in all those incredible books.

seuss bookmarks

I hope they make your littles smile.

Love wins,

KT

Big Changes Around Here

I’m very excited to welcome you to the brand-new Lit Mama Homeschool!  Oh, it’s still the same old Lit Mama Homeschool; it just has a new look and some new features.  First thing I want you to notice is that all of the free pdf worksheets I’ve offered on the blog in the past year now have their own home (under Freebies in the top menu).  I will be adding to those as time goes on, because I want my readers to know how much I appreciate them, and what better way than giving you usable stuff for free?  🙂

Grows Up

I’m also venturing into the world of product reviews and ads for the site, but that won’t change the quality and heartfelt manner in which I post.  My goal all along has been to establish a site which would provide solid advice for other homeschoolers while generating a bit of income for my family.  That being said, I hope you will appreciate it when I get my store up and running and begin selling (on the cheap) some of my unit studies, novel studies, and other wonderful ebooks and pages to help make your homeschool journey easier.  I have mentioned before (though it’s been a while), that the reason I started writing my own novel studies was because I was having trouble finding the ones I needed, and when I could find them, the prices were a bit outrageous.  I’m hoping to provide you with prices that will make you smile rather than cringe for products that will reduce your workload as a teacher.  My goal is to have a few things ready for the store by the end of July (so keep your fingers crossed for me–most of you know how terrible I am at meeting deadlines!).

This is a really amazing step for me, and I’m pumped to dive in to the complete world I envisioned when I started Lit Mama.  I want to thank all of my subscribers from the very bottom of my heart for making this possible.  Without you, I’m just talking to myself, and none of this would have come to fruition.  You rock.  Also, I need to let you know that if you followed the old version of Lit Mama through WordPress and still want to get notifications in your inbox, you’ll have to re-subscribe to the new site.  Easy peasy.

I’ve been out of the loop for the most part for nearly a week because I wanted this new site to be perfect before I launched it, and it was a lot of work.  If I have neglected my reading (and writing), rest assured I will be back to my old self in a day or two.  Monday at the latest.  There are a few more bugs to work out, but I hope to be back to old habits by then.  Monday, I swear! haha

In the meantime, have a look around my new digs, make yourself at home, and enjoy this beautiful summer.

Love wins,

KT

Top 10 Favorite Educational Sites

Big Bird And Snuffy Meme | TOP TEN EDUCATIONAL SITES | image tagged in memes,big bird and snuffy | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

Because I’m in the planning stages of a whole new homeschool year and since I promised to bring you along with me, I thought it would be helpful to share my favorite places to go when I need a little help getting our curriculum together.  These are in no particular order, and nothing is on the list that I don’t use with frequency.

CurrClick.com - Curriculum in a click! Homeschooling resources, lapbooks, and afffordable curriculum

1. Currclick Currclick is an amazing site where many different curriculum publishers sell their worksheets, ebooks, unit studies, and the like.  Each publisher offers freebies and most of the products are well-priced.  They also offer live classes in almost every subject, especially handy if you want your homeschoolers to learn something you’re not comfortable teaching, like a foreign language. Another interesting offer from Currclick is the free clubs, including Lego Club, American Girl Club and Magic Treehouse Club.  Once you sign up, you get a library where all your downloads are kept indefinitely with no limit to how many times you can download a product once you’ve purchased it.

Scholastic Teachers Express Store2. Scholastic Teacher Express Scholastic isn’t just for public school teachers.  I can’t tell you how much it helped when we were doing American history last year.  This site also offers ebooks and worksheets for sale.  Several times a year they have a $1 sale on tons of their products. Even though their regular prices are doable, I stock up during those sales.  The only drawback is that you have only three opportunities to download a product once you’ve purchased it.  I usually save them to a flash drive at purchase so I don’t have to worry about it.

Logo

3. School Express offers over 17,000 free worksheets.  If you’re looking for a worksheet to supplement your schooling, this is a good place to go.  My favorite thing about this site, hands down, is the free create-your-own-worksheet option.  There are several different types of worksheets you can create including spelling lists, word puzzles, word searches, and quizzes.  They are awesome to use for spelling practice.

TeachersPayTeachers

4. TeachersPayTeachers Here’s a site where teacher-generated worksheets and ebooks are for sale.  Because they are created by teachers, you can be pretty sure they’ve been tested on students already and found to be successful.  If you sign up for their newsletter, you receive links to 10 free downloads a week.  Often I find just what I’m looking for among those freebies.  The prices range from free to over $10, and every subject is covered.

The Old Schoolhouse Family

5. The Old Schoolhouse  This site is aimed specifically toward homeschoolers.  It is a font of knowledge, advice, and encouragement.  I eagerly look forward to the quarterly magazine.  I have mentioned them before because it was here I found a great source for Middle about becoming a video game designer.  Their store offers a variety of products on every subject imaginable.

logo6. EarthSky Although this site doesn’t offer ebooks or worksheets, it is so full of information about Earth and space, I would be lost without it.  It has some of the most beautiful photos and interesting articles I’ve ever seen.  When we studied astronomy I used it daily.  Two years later, we still read the newsletter every day to keep up with what’s going on both in our world and out in space.  The store does offer some cool stuff, like planispheres (tools for locating constellations), an astronomy kit, and an atlas of the sky.

Writing with Sharon Watson-Easy-to-use Homeschool Writing Curriculum

7. Writing with Sharon Watson Sharon offers writing courses that can be a big help if you’re struggling with how to teach your child how to be a good writer, but perhaps even more helpful, she offers free middle- and high school-level prompts that are Amazing.  If you really want your child to dig a little deeper when practicing his writing, utilize this site.  Sharon also blogs about homeschooling and writing, so make sure to check out her great advice!

8. Enrichment Studies This site offers composer studies, artist studies, art appreciation, and biographies.  In short, it is a deep humanities well from which all children should drink.  The products are well-written and -researched, and there is no expiration on downloads once you’ve made a purchase.  They often offer freebies and discounts.  In fact, through June 6, they are offering a free Women Artists of the Renaissance to new newsletter subscribers.  It’s a beautiful collection, so be sure to sign up!  Erica also blogs about fine art, so check that out, too.

The Art Curator for Kids

9. The Art Curator for Kids I adore this site, I’m not going to lie.  Cindy is an online art teacher, and her site is filled with brilliant information about art and how to appreciate and accomplish it.  It is an invaluable resource, and Cindy’s passion for it makes it even more interesting.  She offers free worksheets, printables, and powerpoints to help you guide your children through the world of visual arts.  If you’re teaching art at any level, you have to check out this site!

10. Barefoot Ragamuffin/Barefoor Meandering This site offers homeschool curricula based on the classical approach and the Charlotte Mason approach.  My favorite (of course) is English Lessons through Literature. I’ve often mentioned how expanding your child’s reading will expand vocabulary and grammatical usage, and this product offers a way for you to guide your child through those lessons.  But check out Kathy’s site yourself, she offers some of the most beautiful freebies in her newsletter.  Be sure to sign up; my article on adding literature to your nature study will appear in the June 2 edition.

Whew.  Those are not nearly all the sites I use in planning.  Check back tomorrow to read about my Top 10 Favorite Homeschool Blogs.

Do you have any favorite educational sites?  If so, please share them in the comments. Not only will it help your fellow readers, you might know one I’ve never heard of.  And you know I could Always use a little help!

Love wins,

KT