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Story Time: Leaf Jumpers

Watch the leaves turn while doing fun math, science, language and craft activities to supplement Carole Berger's picture book Leaf Jumpers

With simple vocabulary and lush illustrations, Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber will have your littles pumped about autumn.  Maybe even as excited as I am.

Maybe not.  But it could happen.

I can’t help that all my favorite-ist things happen in autumn.  The world turns a billion shades of red and gold.  Leaves fall en masse (my favorite is when I’m driving and they fall in front of my car).  Pumpkins ripen.  Indian corn abounds.  Apple cider is available.  Pumpkin Pie or Homemade Maple Cream coffee creamer (I only take creamer in autumn.  The rest of the year I drink my coffee black).   Also, you probably need my recipe for that yummy Maple Creamer, so scroll down and I’ll add it in here.

I’m cool like that.

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Is Your Toddler Disrupting Your Homeschool?

Is your toddler disrupting your homeschool? Tips to save the day!

It’s been a long time since I had a toddler.  9 years to be exact.

And don’t think I’m not looking forward to being a grandma.  Because I totally am.

Even though I don’t have to entertain a little bugger while trying to homeschool my boys, I’ve had plenty of people ask me what they should do to keep their toddlers from disrupting their homeschool day.  I’ve put a lot of thought into it.  Because I remember when Littlest was an infant and the family would be gathered on the bed for early-morning-wake-up-family-time, and Martin would start to tickle or wrestle with the older boys.  Littlest, not yet even able to roll over, would jerk his tiny body toward all that other testosterone like he simply Could Not Wait to jump in and be a part of it.

Yeah, I should have realized that was a deep look into his future personality.

I also remember why I sent Middle to public school for the first 3 years.  He thought the coolest thing in the world would be to get on that yellow bus with his big brother and ride off into parts unknown.  I could not deny him that.  He Had to get on the bus.  His life would not have been complete if he hadn’t gotten to try it.  I think the hour-long ride dampened his spirit pretty quickly, but at least he experienced it.

Do you see what I’m getting at?  Little brothers and sisters want to be part of things.  They don’t want to feel different from their siblings.  So if you’re toddler is disrupting your homeschool, stop fighting him.  Give in.  Let him be part of it.
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Win 1 of 5 Educational Apps to Kidloland

Win a Kidloland app

You want to win more good stuff?  I mean, if you haven’t already entered the Ultimate Homeschool and Mama Giveaway and the Ultimate Early Years Homeschool Giveaway or the Ultimate Homeschool Giveaway, get over there and do so.  Also, check out the 30 Ways We Homeschool Blog Party–there are 9 mama’s stories available for you right now and 21 to go.

But you want to win More Good Stuff.  That’s where the Lit Mama comes in.

When I was given the opportunity to review the Kidloland app, I wasn’t sure how I was going to get a kid to play with it–it’s for very young littles and my Littles are are almost teenagers.  And you know I feel about using tech over hands-on learning.  What was a Lit Mama to do?  Enter my fabulous nephew.  He took a look for me and gave me the thumbs up.  Here’s what he found.

kidloland app categories

Kidloland is an easy-to-use app with so. many. categories. your little will never get bored.  Each category has bunches of choices and each choice has a song–an upbeat, lilting song that teaches your little about animals, letters, shapes, insects… You can see how many learning opportunities there are here.  All of the songs have the lyrics along the bottom that light up as they are sung, so it’s good for word recognition, too.

Kidloland Activities Categories

Our favorite part?  The Activities category.  There are several themes to choose from and each has puzzles that help with shapes, hand-eye coordination, and colors, as well as a little more learning about the subjects in the categories.  Check these out:

kidloland activities

That’s right–dot-to-dots, puzzles, and filling baskets with the correctly-colored flowers are just a few of the games for your little to play.

But the bestest, bestest thing was feeding leaves to the hungry caterpillar.  That, of course, made us break out a book.

Hungry Caterpillar-Kidloland

And anything that makes us break out a book gets a thumbs up From Me.

If you have littles who like to play on your phone and you want an app that is going to teach them something, Kidloland is definitely going to do that.  Its cheery songs and brightly colored graphics will hold your little’s attention for a good long while.

You know, so you can get the dishes done.

If you don’t win a subscription here, you can check it out for free (with limited access) or go to Kidloland, Google Play, or the App Store,and order a year-long subscription for $39.99.  It’s available for both iPhone and Android.  You have till June 30 to enter, so get on it!

Love wins,

KT

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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