Giveaway Winners and results of my informal poll and such stuff

So, here’s the big winners:

For the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons:

Pink & Green Mama said…
My 6 year old is just starting to read but I’m trying to find new ways to help her along, this book looks like it would be a huge help. I’m artsy but always need help with curriculum ideas.
I’m always making art projects with the girls – I made Rainbow Rice Bottles with them last week for our road trip to Pennsylvania. They were a huge hit in the car!!

For the Hands On Homeschooling age 2

CJ said…
What a great giveaway. One of the several websites that I like is

I have now emailed or commented on the winners blogs and they have 2 days to contact me for me to send the prize!

And here’s what I found were the favorite websites:

Homeschool Creations – that one seemed almost like a cheat because they’re hosting the giveaway, but I figure if you’re just finding cool preschool/primary sites then it makes sense to name it

Homemaking Fun – I hadn’t heard of this one before, so I’m going to have fun checking it out.

Jumpstart – I’ve heard great things about this one, but haven’t wanted to plunge into a subscription site for my kids yet.

TOTLOL – it’s like Youtube for kids, without you having to moderate as much, at least that’s what it looks like to me. I think I just found a great new place to waste a lot of time, I mean find educational videos for my kids.

PBS Kids – truthfully, I haven’t taken near as much advantage of this site as I should. It’s pretty awesome.

Homeschool Share -I didn’t link to their main page, this is their alphabet section, which is excellent, and I’m using with my kids right now. I haven’t done super well with their preschool lapbooks for me, but that’s just me. However I’m loving the alphabet stuff.

Starfall – if you haven’t been there, it’s great and go check it out. If you have, this is a great reminder of it’s awesomeness. Actually I should show my kids the “M” video when I get them up from nap, in all too soon.

Prekinders – This is another new one to me. From my quick glance at it, it looks pretty cool!

1+1+1=1 – I’ll echo that one, she has lots of great stuff that she’s made for her kids, that I’ve used with mine.

ABC Jesus Loves Me– a preschool curriculum, for those who didn’t win the Hands on Homeschooling, this could be for you.

Joyful Learning – at Mother’s Hubbard, another preschool curriculum site

ABC and 123 – I love their posts, and am having lots of fun with their picnic posts right now

Family Fun Education – I’m going to have to take their word for it, that this is a great site, my computer has decided it doesn’t like that one

Making Learning Fun – I just looked at their themes pages and there are tons of them!

Totally Tots – another great site, much like ABC and 123, but aimed for a younger age

Letter of the Week – also called Brightly Beaming, another great free curriculum, if you do use it, join the yahoo group, there are a bunch of great printables to be gotten through that group

Kid’s Science Experiments – this looks to cover all of the traditional early elementary science topics

Bembo’s Zoo – I’d definitely say it’s educational, and it’s lots of fun. My kids have so much fun looking at the animals they make and finding the letters. This would also be a great springboard for an older child’s art activity.

Homeschool Library – I’m so glad I asked people to give me their favorite learning sites, I’m finding so many new ones.

Raising Itty Bitty Bookworms – I just love the word picture of the name

The Crafty Crow – always a great source to find fun crafts and the occasional new blog to follow

Christian Preschool Printables – more great crafts and things to do from a Biblical perspective

To all of those, I’ll add two more of my own, you guys got most of my favorites:

Kinderprintables – It’s coming back up soon, but she has all sorts of great printables that she does

Childcareland – lots and lots of printables for many different themes. The games are all somewhat derivative of each other, but that’s what little guys like. Just be prepared to go out and use lots of ink when you go to her site.

It looked like what people most wanted me to post more about were: Nursery Rhymes, organization, legos, and tot school. That works out well, because those were the things I wanted to post more about. I’m going to be trying to tie my nursery rhyme of the week to my theme as much as possible. So, last week we learned about the sun, and so our nursery rhyme was “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.” There’s not a lot of rhymes about the sun, sadly.

I’ll post more about Legos and organization as it’s appropriate (meaning as I get it done), and as I find ways to put it in. For now I better get dinner started and groceries put away. I’m giving up on the thought of my kids actually napping, despite their desperately needing it.

Giveaway: Hands on Homeschooling year 2

This is a great curriculum for 2 year olds!

I used it with my boys, and kept with some of the ideas with Princess.

Here’s a link to the Curriculum itself: Hands on Homeschooling.

This is great even if you’re not homeschooling, just looking for some fun ides to do with your kids. This is a great bargain for you because this curriculum is selling for $80!

Here’s how to enter:

1. First entry. Tell me about your favorite learning website.
2. Follow me.
3. F- okay that’s just because the first two started with F, seriously find something I’ve talked about you’d love to know more about.

For more great giveaways go to Curriculum Clean-Out

Preschool Corner: our plans for the year

This year I’m actually using a curriculum. I’ve bought the “My Father’s World” Kindergarten to use with my kids. It’s intended for ages 3-6, so Princess is a little young, but I’m doing it more for the boys. With her I’m going to have her play along and she’ll do different workbook activities. I don’t think they’re ready for a super hard core kindergarten with lots of workbooks or something, but this seems like a good way to step up what we’re doing a little.

Here’s our list of themes for the year:

Nest (animal homes)
Us (five senses)
Goat (farm animals)
cow (farm animals)
horse (farm animals)
elephant (wild animals)
penguin (wild animals)
kangaroo (wild animals)
zebra (wild animals)
butterfly (life cycle)
frog (life cycle)
quail (birds/contentment)
yellow (colors)

I like that it includes a list of books and some activities, it also has a very good plan for getting kids to read. It kind of reminds me of “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons”, I’ve seen people rave about this book, but it didn’t work for me personalitywise. I’ll also be supplementing with any and all cool activities that I’ve found on various blogs (I’ve become quite the Evernote addict). My plan is to post about what we’ve done a week later, rather than trying to frantically post that same week.

We’ll probably start up with sun in a week or so, it’s a boring post, but I thought it could be helpful to know what we’re up to in the near future. Or, at least I like to know what other people are doing.

For more great preschool ideas go to Homeschool Creations
For what other people are doing this year go to Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Picnic Table Talk: Alphabet

Okay, so I had this theory I would do a letter of the week and be all organized, but in reality I don’t like doing a letter of the week. It’s rather sad, but I’m just not good at it.

So, I was thinking about what to write about the alphabet…… And I thought about how I told Christy at Superheroes and Princesses I would write about getting Handwriting W/o Tears, so that will be my alphabet post.

Last Saturday I went by Mardel because they were having their sale on homeschooling curriculum, they were out of the one I wanted, but they had this so I got it thinking it looked cool and I’ve heard wonderful things about it. I got the teacher manual, workbook, and the wooden pieces. I’m probably going to go back and get the CD of songs because I’m figuring out that Princess is a very auditory person (or at the very least loves music, she serenades us in the car all the time).

I looked through the manual and kept thinking, “brilliant, I must do this.” It’s got all sorts of great ideas. I’ve used the first few pages of the workbooks with Princess because it’s the first thing that’s at her level, and she’s always wanting stuff to do with me. Basically to work on positioning you have them aim for a star and then scribble. She LOVED this.

At this point you’re thinking how’s this related to letters? I’m getting there. The big thing about this program is getting kids to love writing and learn how to write without freaking them out. So we spent a couple of nights just having fun playing with the wooden pieces to make letters and roads and all sorts of stuff. It has 4 basic pieces: big line, little line, big curve, little curve. With these you can easily make most every capital letter. They had a good point that it is much easier to write capital letters so teach that first. I had never thought of that, and so I’m changing how I’m teaching writing letters.

So, here’s a bunch of pictures playing with the wood pieces.

Superman so very proud to of figured out how to make a D

Princess very proud of making an O.

Batman proudly figuring out an E.

What I loved about this was they completely guided the activity. They had so much fun figuring out how to do it on their own. I’m really looking forward to seeing what all else we can do with this.

There are a lot more awesome alphabet ideas at the Picnic Table.