Public School is Back in Session

Today was the first day of school after summer break in our town. We start our school earlier than the school district in our town because it’s so hot that there’s not much fun things to do outside in the summer. Another reason is because we end up getting more breaks throughout the school year when we start early. Every first day of school for the school district we have an unfirst day of school. I make sure to have some sort of fun thing planned for the kids to do besides sitting at a table or desk. This year we went to the park and did some schoolwork there. After we finished schoolwork I let the kids play and discover.

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The best part about not sitting at a desk in public school is the fact that children get to discover hands on all the wonderful things around them.

Homeschool, kindergarten, elementary age, first day of school, school back in session, school district first day back

The kids love this park and as the weather cools I definitely plan on having some picnics with the kids here.

Homeschool, kindergarten, elementary age, first day of school, school back in session, school district first day back

I’m so excited about this school year! It’s been a blast for the past month and now that public school has officially started back up I’m looking forward to all the homeschool activities available out there! Can’t wait for the adventures to come!

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Community Field Trips: A Fast Food Restaurant

My youngest has been learning all about the community in the first portion of his kindergarten course so we’ve been taking several field trips to businesses in our community to understand what they actually do and how they help our town. We’ve stopped by the grocery store for a tour, the local news station, a behind the scenes tour of our local library, and now we’ve made our way to Chick Fil A.

Community field trip, kindergarten, homeschool, free, field trip, field trip ideas, Chick Fil A

We love Chick Fil A and although we don’t eat out all that often, when we do eat out Chick Fil A is one of my favorites! They were so kind to allow us to tour their kitchen!

Community field trip, kindergarten, homeschool, free, field trip, field trip ideas, Chick Fil A Community field trip, kindergarten, homeschool, free, field trip, field trip ideas, Chick Fil A

The kids learned how the food is made, when the employees have to get there to start cooking breakfast and when they get to go home at night. They learned how the company got its start and all the events they do to support our community. This may be our last community field trip but we have a meeting with the mayor coming up so stay tuned for that! Thanks for sharing our journey!

Community Field Trips: Learn What Librarians Do

We are weekly patrons of our community library. We stop by every week and also stop by for another events that are available. We use the library often to gather books for school, we use it to get some books for myself since I’m a big reader, and the kids also enjoy playing computer games in the children’s section of the library. When I was creating a plan of places to call that would help my kindergartener learn about community helpers I immediately thought of the library. We go every week, yet we really didn’t know all that went into what the librarian does when we’re not looking.

Free field trip, homeschool, community helpers, kindergarten

I called and they were more than happy to give us a backstage tour and explain what all goes on behind the scenes.

Free field trip, homeschool, community helpers, kindergarten

Free field trip, homeschool, community helpers, kindergarten

We learned so much history about the library, how they transfer books from other local libraries and where they keep them, where the librarians eat lunch, and what our librarians favorite part of her work was. The kids loved the backstage tour and they appreciate how much work goes on behind the scenes to make the library function well.

Free field trip, homeschool, community helpers, kindergarten

If you’d like to see the other community trips we’ve taken check out this page and this page.

Free field trip, homeschool, community helpers, kindergarten

Community Field Trips: The News Station

This year for the first portion of kindergarten my son is learning all about the community. I love that homeschooling allows a hands on approach to learning. Everyone learns so much more about things they are able to see first hand. I have tried to make a point of either including online field trips in my son’s kindergarten lessons or making plans to go to different places in the community for a first hand experience of what the community helper does and learn how they benefit the community.

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Last week we toured the news station! I mentioned in my last post about community field trips that businesses were so welcoming when I called and were more than happy to let us tour. The news station was just as welcoming and didn’t think twice about letting us stop by and tour.

Community field trip, learn about community, homeschool, kindergarten, free field trips

The kids learned all about who creates the news stories, how the news anchors know what to say, how on scene reporters do their jobs, and how meteorologists do theirs as well.

Community field trip, learn about community, homeschool, kindergarten, free field trips

They learned how the cameras operate and how the lighting works. The tour was great and the kids learned a ton!

Community field trip, learn about community, homeschool, kindergarten, free field trips

They allowed the kids to take pictures at the news desk and even stand in front of the weather green screen and learn how meteorologists present the weather on the news. It was a pretty great trip and when the kids saw the news anchors they were pretty star struck! We had a blast and can’t wait for another backstage tour of community helpers in our town!

Free Cursive Lessons

I have looked high and low for a cursive lesson workbook for a reasonable price, and although I have found a few I decided to go ahead and make my own while I was making free print handwriting lessons. I made the free print version handwriting lessons based on a workbook I was already using with my kindergartener and plan on doing the same with my older two that are learning cursive. I have only created the sheets I actually need that will teach how to create the cursive letter structure. I am following my kindergarten son’s writing lessons from Easy Peasy Homeschool for the other le  ssons needed. The only difference is I plan on the rest of the lessons to be written on regular notebook paper. The rest of the lessons are just simple sentences, writing your name, etc. The lessons I’ll be following can be found here, but instead of using print I’m using cursive on notebook paper. Just an additional note, the last few pages have random names of countries, companies, etc. That is a way to introduce how to tie the capital letter into the lower case letters in cursive. I tried to make sure I included every capital letter of the alphabet but it’s quite random and the words do not make sentences, so they’re just for practice. If this is something you can use feel free to print the sheets out. Happy schooling!

 

Click the image below to access the free printables!

free cursive lessons

Free Handwriting Lesson Printables

If you have read through my blog or watched any of my youtube videos, you know that I am a big fan of Easy Peasy Homeschool. My son is in kindergarten this year and he’s learning to write. We purchased all the kindergarten books including Getting Ready 2 Handwriting, and as much as I like Easy Peasy it just hasn’t been working well for us. The lessons tell you what letters you are to practice for the day and then you write those letters in the boxes below the instructions. The problem for us is that it’s just not enough guidance on the proper structure for how to actually write the letters. I looked through other handwriting options and like always, everything seemed to end up costing more and I wasn’t sure if I’d even like the books I found online. I decided to make my own worksheets following the workbook through Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool that he already has but I created traceable letters on the first row for practice on how to properly form the letters and then a blank row below to actually practice all on his own. Every lesson from the book is not included but you can find those for free here. I only created sheets for learning the actual letters, not all the writing assignments included for the year. My thought is that once he can get the structure down better, he can write on the simple lines provided in the lessons. If you’re in the same predicament as I was, feel free to print out the sheets for yourself. Happy schooling!

Click the image below to access the free printables!

free handwriting lessons

Family Art Fun

I’ve been following this fun weekly list of art activities for my youngest in kindergarten. My older two are following a different art program but they enjoy what their little brother is doing so sometimes they join in.

Homeschool art Homeschool art

This is one of the times they joined in…they painted rocks! They had so much fun doing such a simple thing.

Homeschool art

Each one of them worked so hard on making their rocks beautiful.

Homeschool art Homeschool art

Something so pretty can’t sit around indoors! We decided to put them around our little apple tree as decoration.

Homeschool art

We now have a little rock garden that we can add to over time.

Community Field Trips: Grocery Store

This year for the first portion of kindergarten social studies my youngest is learning about the community. I really wanted to make sure he was able to have many hands on, real life experiences of “community helpers” so I made a list of things that would be helpful for him to see first hand and then made calls. You’d be so surprised at how helpful businesses are to homeschoolers and how happy they are to show the kids what they do! Publix didn’t even second guess when I asked them if we could take a trip out there and tour, they said yes right away!

Community field trip grocery store homeschool

I worked in a store for many years and I know that so much goes on behind the scenes which is exactly why I wanted to make sure to book a field trip like this. They led us to each department and at each department the person behind the counter or the person running the area would explain exact what it was that they did and how they did it.

Community field trip grocery store homeschoolCommunity field trip grocery store homeschool

They explained what they do in the meat department and how they make sushi in the fish section.

Community field trip grocery store homeschool

They even let us see first hand how they make a sushi roll.

Community field trip grocery store homeschool

At several sections they let the kids have little treats and samples, which they loved!

Community field trip grocery store homeschool

Community field trip grocery store homeschool

The kids learned a bit how a pharmacy operates and how pharmacists help the community as well.

Community field trip grocery store homeschool

All in all it was a great trip and a great way to see community helpers first hand and up close!

First Day of School Festivities

My little ones were not always homeschoolers. At one time they went to public school and every first day of the school year I would go all out to make the day extra special. I think those kinds of memories matter and are important.

One of the traditions for the first day back to school has always been a great breakfast. This morning we continued the tradition with some bacon, eggs, pancakes, and strawberries. Cheat tip: Buy the pancakes in the frozen food section that you just have to warm in the toaster. That’s what I did and it cut down on the time and clean up! 

homeschool, celebrate, first day of school, school year, breakfast

First Day of School Breakfast – Homeschool Edition

Notice our sneaky bulldog waiting on crumbs!

After breakfast I had the kids run upstairs, brush teeth, and get dressed for their first day back of school. My younger son is entering kindergarten and it just wouldn’t feel right without getting him dressed in a nice shirt for his first day ever as a kindergartener! He has been so thrilled at the thought of being a real kindergartener! The kids did their school work and were extremely cheery about it. It really was an all around great first day to the school year. After school I took their pictures holding their first day of school signs.

first day of school, signFirst Day of School, signFirst Day of School, sign

You can find this printable here.

They also filled out their All About Me papers. I love these papers because I have the kids do one on the first day of school and one on the last day of school and it’s amazing how much personalities change in year!

first day of school, free printable, all about me

First Day of school, All About Me, free printable

first day of kindergarten, all about me, printable, free

You can find the printables above here.

We recently got a new little kitten and she was so curious about what the kids were up to all day.

homeschool, kitten, class pet

 

The kids did so well and had such positive attitudes that we decided the day wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the splash park/playground nearby.

first day of school, celebration            first day of school, celebration

first day of school, celebration, traditions, fun, homeschool

first day of school, celebration, traditions, fun, homeschool

first day of school, celebration, traditions, fun, homeschool

first day of school, celebration, traditions, fun, homeschool

first day of school, celebration, traditions, fun, homeschool

I have to say, it’s been a pretty great start to our school year. What are some traditions for your first day of the year?

FREE Notebooking Pages

We’ve never done official notebooking before but I want to give it a try this year. I like to have a guide to follow for our social studies, science, reading, math. etc. because that’s just my personality, but I also want my kids to pursue whatever their interests are and focus some dedicated time to learning more information about them. That is the reason I have decided to use notebooking this year in our homeschool. I don’t plan on using it for our actual studies. This will be specifically for their interests. Each week I plan on having the kids decide what they would like to spend 15 minutes a day learning about. It can be anything they like. My son has decided on video game programming for the first week, my daughter chose insects, and my younger son wants to learn about deer. We rented books from our library for next week and I started my hunt for notebooking pages. I came up with nothing that was specifically what I was hoping to find. Like usual, I decided to go ahead and create my own. I have made the deer notebooking pages with primary writing lines for my younger son but the other pages have regular lines. I also went ahead and created some really basic primary lined notebooking pages with boxes for illustrations to use in the future. If you’ve been looking for something similar I hope this helps. Depending on how we fit this into the day I may end up creating more designs for different topics.

 

You can click on any of the images to print your free notebooking sheets. ** The insect set is different than the image below. The picture with the bug border is colorful instead of a black and white border. I changed it and then didn’t change the cover image.

Free Deer Notebooking Pages, homeschool, notebooking, free, kindeergarten

Free Deer Notebooking Pages

 

 

Free Video Game Notebooking Pages, free, homeschool, notebooking

Free Video Game Notebooking Pages

 

 

Free Kindergarten Notebooking Pages, free, homeschool, notebooking, kindergarten

Free Kindergarten Notebooking Pages

 

 

Free Insect Notebooking Pages, homeschool, notebooking, free

Free Insect Notebooking Pages