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Just In Time for Back-To-School

These cute ABC flashcards and Wall Cards are just in time for back-to-school. The free download can be found at Living Life Intentionally.

3 Dinosaurs is offering over 100 pages of neat ABC printables using the same graphics. You will find ABC Activities including: Missing letters, Writing Pages, ABC Clip Cards, Stamping Pages, ABC Cards, 3 part ABC Cards, and ABC Matching.

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FREE Snowman Pack

Living Life Intentionally is offering a really cute free snowman.  The site says the pack us good for ages 2-7. They also offer a Spanish add-on. The pack comes in two downloadable sets.

Here is what is included in the free pack:

  • Patterning & Sequencing with Snowmen
  • Read & Build words with SCRABBLE tiles
  • Cut & Paste Frosty’s Top Hat
  • Cut & Paste the Seasons
  • Clocks: minutes, telling time, and counting by 5’s
  • Which one’s biggest and other fun with sizes
  • How many snowman? Practice with counting, numbers, and oral addition/subtraction
  • Identifying upper & lower case F’s
  • Tactile letter F (finger trace, play dough mat, glue & sand/glitter/rice, etc.)
  • Cutting practice
  • Amazing Mazes (2 levels): Fine Motor Skills & Pre-writing practice
  • Rhyming
  • Beginning letter sounds: H,S, B,C
  • Colors
  • Add it up Dice Math: Addition 0-12
  • Letter S practice
  • Tracing color words

 

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Honoring The Military

How many homeschool lapbooking writers read this blog? Lap books are a fun way to showcase a study about the military. It is also neat to add lap books to your child’s portfolio.

When the Iran war was going on, I wrote a letter that was delivered to a service man. I did not pick anyone in particular. I let the organization I used decide who would get it. The service man who received my letter wrote back. We continued to correspond until he went home. He told me how much it meant to get the letters. It made me smile.

                

Encourage your child to actively honor the military (excuse the split infinitive). There are several ways to show you care, and they are all educational.

Here are a few examples to get you started.

· Letters-I know I love to get letters in the mail, so I can only imagine how it must feel for a soldier to receive one, especially from someone they don’t know. It shows them they are being thought about. Organizations like Operation Gratitude accept letters that they will include in care packages. If you have a family member, friend, or neighbor in the military, ask for their address and send them a letter. If your child is very young, have them draw pictures. Sometimes the person who receives the letter will write back. It only takes one stamp to mail letters to our military who are overseas. Educational Opportunities: Make sure you use good grammar and punctuation. This is great real life practice on letter writing and addressing envelopes. On a map, pin point where the solider is located once you find out, if you find out. Calculate the distance from your home to their location. Learn about the country the soldier is stationed in.

· Care package-Put together a care package. Include magazines, food that won’t spoil (check to see if there are specific food items that are not accepted. I sent a care package to a service woman stationed in Iraq and p0rk rinds, which were her favorite, were not allowed), socks, boot cleaner, toiletries, cards or games, books… are easy to send and not too expensive. You can get flat rate boxes free at the local post office. Don’t forget to include a letter and maybe a picture. To increase your chances of getting a return letter, include a stamped, self-addressed envelope; a few pieces of paper; a pen; and put them in your package. There is no need for a stamp on the envelope. In your letter to the Soldier, which you also put in the box, ask him/her to drop you a quick note. The organization, Any Soldier, is a good one to use. Educational Opportunities: Research what is and isn’t accepted in care packages, and why (some have to do with culture, religious beliefs, safety, and so on). When your child shop for items to send, have them follow a budget. Give them a calculator and a notebook to keep track of the money.  

· The Families At Home-Write a note to the family members who have a loved one serving in the military. We tend to forget about them. The kids of service men and women miss their parents. Educational Opportunities: Again, writing practice and addressing an envelope is the focus here. Locate the families home on a map. Calculate the distance from your home to their home, and calculate the distance from their home to their where their family member is stationed. Add all the distances up. Draw lines connecting all three locations on a map.

The best thing you can send is your SUPPORT! Tell them you are proud of them. Let them know you care. It only takes a minute, but your simple expression will make a huge impression.

 

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Lost Art

Handwriting seems to be a little bit of a lost art these days since so many folks tend to use a word processor.  I must admit I LOVE using a word processor to quickly jot to-do lists, notes, letters… However, I also know how much it means to me to receive a handwritten letter in the mail. Technology is wonderful, but sometimes it takes the personal feeling of yesteryear away. When I receive a handwritten letter, I know the writer took valuable time out of their day to convey something of importance just to me, and that makes me feel special. I try to keep that special feeling in mind when I want to send a letter or note to someone.  Kids are no different. They too love to receive handwritten notes from Mom, Dad, grandma, grandpa, cousins, aunts, uncles…  In order to receive a handwritten note, many times they must first write one. What better incentive to teach them to write notes.  Plus, it makes handwriting worksheets and handwriting practice a little less dull or boring.

Print, D’Nealian, cursive, upper case, lower case, arrows, no arrows, Zaner Bloser, ball and stick, italic … The list seems endless doesn’t it? However, handwriting and handwriting worksheets are important not only for those learning to write, but for those who need extra practice and to maintain proper form. An easy way to make sure you add student handwriting practice to your weekly assignments is by having students use their weekly spelling list as a springboard for writing. Students can write rhymes, stories, vocabulary meanings, put words in ABC order, write jokes,  songs … using the current week’s spelling list. This makes handwriting more realistic for the student.

So, grab some funky stationery and fun writing pens and set out to make someone’s day a little brighter!

 

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