Freebie Friday Oct. 30, 2009 – Explore World Cultures Through Food

October 30, 2009 at 8:16 am (Uncategorized)

Welcome to Freebie Friday!

This week I am feeling inspired by food.  One thing I have learned while teaching my kids is that if I put food into their lessons I really hold their attention.  Recently I was stumbling around the internet and I came across a site that teaches about cultural diversity with a steaming bowls of homemade soup!  This got me curious about what other food related cultural lessons I could find and the results of search will be revealed on this week’s freebie links page.  I hope you enjoy eating your way around the world!

Teaching with Soup is a fun site that was the inspiration of this week’s topic.  At this website you will find 7 different soup recipes that will give you a "taste" of different cultures.  There is also a list of children’s books about soup.  This would make a great trip around the world if you had several families join together each making a different soup and giving a presentation on the country their soup represents.

Next I searched for bread recipes from around the world. has a great collection of amazing recipes!  You will find everything from Venezuelan Arepas to Jamaican Bammie to Yorkshire Pudding from England.

Rice is a staple food in many places around the world. At the you will find a mouthwatering variety of rice recipes from all over the world. 

Teaching Kids about Cultures Through Food
is an interesting article written by a mom who uses dinner each night to reinforce what her children are learning at school during the day.  She shares some great ideas for putting together meals, adding decorations and costumes and just having fun with food and family!

This last one is actually my favorite freebie of the week! Beans Around the World
is a little weird, but I guarantee that my kids will get excited about seeing a can of beans travel around the world to new places!  This "project" reminds me a lot of the Flat Stanly projects that are popular to do with children.  Although in this case it is cans of beans doing the traveling!  Why?  You will have to read the story on their website.  I had a great time clicking around and seeing all the places the beans have traveled.  I really enjoyed seeing a man in native garb in Borneo with the beans!  I also thought it was fun to see them in front of the Eiffel Tower!  But, you can do more than look at pictures at this website!  You can print your own bean can label and become a Bean Ambassador yourself!  This website is a fun way to show your family around the world!

I hope you have enjoyed this edible trip around the world!

Happy Homeschooling,



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Time Marches On

October 26, 2009 at 9:54 am (Uncategorized)

Hi Everyone! I thought I would say hello and let everyone know that we have made it into the new house.  We are still in boxes, but we have everything under our new roof!  YAY!!!!

Here is what we have been doing (between packing, carrying, and unpacking) over the last 4 weeks…

Chillaxin between helping dad carry in loads to the new house.

Relaxing in her very own room! (Who cares if it’s just  mattress on the floor?  LOL)

Helping clean the kitchen before we unpacked our dishes.

Getting in to EVERY box and exploring!
Doesn’t everyone wear a hoodie with a bow tie and suit jacket???

Hanging out with our firends at American Girl Club…
We have made several trips to IKEA for all the things you need when you move.

We went on field trip to a pizza parlour!

Mom taught a How To Begin Lapbooking class for our homeschool friends. :^)

Big and small, everyone made a lapbook to take home!

Everyone seemed to enjoy the lapbooking class!

We went to a construction themed birthday party!

We went to a Mad Science demonstration at Chick-fil-A.
I LOVE Mad Science!

We learned how to weave at American Girl Club.

Here is the cardboard weaving my daughter did.

We got our costumes for Fall Festival.

We have watched the leaves change colors.

We had our Awana Grand Prix races!

Awana Grand Prix is FUN!

Both my boys actually won 3rd place in their division! (My daughter got 7th in hers.)
The middle car with all the googly eyes is my 5 year olds!  LOL 

So as you can see, we have been busy, busy, busy!  The one thing about life is that even when you try to take time to focus on one thing (like moving) time marches on!  As the Amy Grant song says…

Time carries on;
I guess it always will,
But deep inside my heart
Time stands still.

The one thing I have learned as a mom is that no matter how busy life is the memories keep piling up.  I always pray that God will help me not to get too caught up in what "has to be done" because I don’t want to miss the little blessings of life. 

Happy Homeschooling,


P.S.  I know I promised to continue to post about American Girl Club, and I will.  I just honestly have not had any time.  But, stay tuned and I will hopefully get those written in the next week or two.


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Freebie Friday Oct. 23, 2009 Welcome Fall!

October 23, 2009 at 8:22 am (Uncategorized)

Welcome to Freebie Friday’s!

Fall is my favorite season of the year and Fall is truly in the air!  This week I am bringing you freebies to help you celebrate Fall.  You will find crafts, unit studies, a lapbook and lots of things to do with leaves and pumpkins and apples! 

Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it,
and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth
seeking the successive autumns.
–   George Eliot

Eclectic Chaos has a fun Fall Unit Study for little ones.  It includes books to read, math, science, crafts and cooking.

The 1plus1plus1equals1 Blog has a neat collection of links to get you started on a Fall lapbook for younger kids.  Includes Fall words, counting leaves, matching games and more.

Looking for a Fall lapbook for older children?  This Squidoo site has one with lots of resources including ones on trees, leaves, pumpkins and other Fall items.  (NOTE:  This site does offer one link to a Halloween Lapbook.)

Family Fun has an awesome collection of Fall crafts for your family.  Categories include Fun with Apples, Fall Fashions and Woods and Garden.

Need some new Fall recipes?  Check out these great sites that offer all sorts of creative things to do with apples and pumpkins ! I am looking forward to making some Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins and this Apple Blue Cheese Slaw. Yum!

Last, but not least, here are a couple Fall freebies from me!  Last year my children and I celebrated Leaf Day?  Never heard of it?  Click HERE to learn more. We are on year two of enjoying our Fall Photo Placemats.  You can read more about those HERE.

I hope you are having a wonderful Fall!

Happy Homeschooling,


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Freebie Friday Oct. 16, 2009 Pioneer Times

October 16, 2009 at 11:19 pm (Uncategorized)

Welcome to Freebie Friday’s!

This week I am going to share freebies with you to Study Pioneer Times with the Little House on the Prairie books as well as the Kirsten books from the American Girl series.  Both of these series offer ample opportunities to study pioneer times with lots of hands on activities.  I hope you and your children enjoy these freebie!

Little House

Here is a unit study using the Laura Ingalls Wilder books as a basis.  You will find a book list and all kinds of ideas for hands on crafts and projects.

The Little House on the Prairie Lapbook from Homeschool Share is a great way to learn about Pioneer times.  You will find booklets to go with every chapter of the Little House on the Prairie book!

Lapbook Lessons offers a free Little House in the Big Woods Lapbook.  In this lapbook you will
learn about the seasons, the smokehouse, animals in the woods, butter churning, making cheese and more! has a Little House Story Sack that is loaded with great ideas like making a covered wagon from a milks carton and making a corn husk doll.  There are also lots of great free links to instructions for things like making butter and ice cream!

Easy Fun School has a wonderful Learning with Little House Index of Lessons on their website.  The links at the top of the article are for books you can buy.  But, if you scroll down lower in the page you will find free time lines, trivia, word searches, recipes, the list goes on and on!

American Girl – Kirsten

Homeschool Helper Online offers free ideas for a Kirsten Unit Study.  This website includes 3 or 4 activities to go along with each of the six Kirsten books.  There are also links to sites to learn about Kirsten’s Swedish heritage.

Homeschool Share offers American Girl Lapbook.  This set of templates (Which happens to have template design ideas credited to me!) are opened ended so you can use them for any of the American Girls but there are also 9 minit books that are specific to Kirsten.  This is a fun way to dig deeper into the American Girl series!

Don’t forget to visit the Kirsten section of the American Girl Website.  There you will find games and other things to help you get to know Kirsten better.


It is always fun to dress up like the period you are studying!  Here is an Apron/Bonnet Pattern that would make a little girl very happy!

DLTK has a good selection of simple pioneer crafts.  You can make a covered  wagon, make Grandma’s Quilt Paper Craft or create your own farm animals.

"Home is the nicest word there is."
— Laura Ingalls Wilder

I hope you enjoy this week’s freebie’s!

Happy Homeschooling,


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Freebie Friday Oct. 9, 2009 The Oregon Trail

October 9, 2009 at 8:15 am (Uncategorized)

Me standing in front of the Donner’s Pass Monument..  Imagine, the winter the Donner Party spent stranded on this site the snow was as tall as the stone portion of this monument!

Welcome to Freebie Friday’s!

Since my family lived on the West Coast for many year we have been able to visit many of the places along the Oregon Trail.  We have crossed over the Sierra Nevada Mountains (In a car of course!), visited Donner’s Pass, seen Patty Reed’s doll at Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento and visited the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretative Museum in Oregon.  We have even stood in a rut made by the thousands of wagon wheels that traveled the Oregon Trail!  Seeing so much of the Oregon Trail has made that period of history come alive to us!  However, if you don’t live near enough to experience The Oregon Trail for yourself there are abundant free resources online to bring the trail alive for your family! 

So load up your Conestoga wagon, pack your supplies and get ready for some great freebies to take your children on an adventure along the Oregon Trail.  All for free of course! offers a free Oregon Trail Unit Study.  This is a excellent overview and includes general resources, a reading list, lesson plans, web resources, cooking and arts and crafts.

Lapbook Lessons has a free Oregon Trail Lapbook.  While completing this lapbook your children will learn vocabulary, geography, Bible verses and handwriting.  They will also learn about animals, routes taken, children on the trail, trading for goods and much more!

Cooking on the Oregon Trail was a big part of daily life.  Find out what you might have been eating when your resources are "200 pounds of flour, 150 pounds of bacon; ten pounds of coffee; twenty pounds of sugar; and ten pounds of salt."  This website also includes information on what other items you would have packed in your wagon.  If anyone tried the Vinegar Lemonade please let me know how you liked it!

Patty Reed’s Doll was one of our favorite books we read when we did our Westward Expansion study.  You will find a free Teacher’s Guide to go along with the book Patty Reed’s Doll HERE.

The End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center is a wonderful place to wrap up your Oregon Trail Study!  Even if you can’t visit in person you can still benefit from the great free resources at their website! The Classroom Activities section of their website includes ideas for art, writing, math and hands of activities.  There is even a free downloadable Jeopardy Power Point game!

Want to see ruts left from all those wagon wheels? Click HERE.

For wagon loads of more Oregon Trail freebies check out the Pathfinders Website.  They offer online resources galore!

Last, but not least, I wanted to let you know that there are many online sites that offer a free the original version of the Oregon Trail computer game.  I am not going to link to one specific one since everyone’s computer needs are different.  But, if you are interested you can search for "free Oregon Trail online game" and find the one that is right for you.  My kids love this game!  You get to load up your wagon with all the supplies you need, find travel companions and then set out on the trail.  You will experience all kinds of joys and hardships along the way! 

I hope you have enjoyed this week’s journey on the Oregon Trail!

Happy Homeschooling,


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Wordless Wednesday – Painting

October 7, 2009 at 8:00 am (Uncategorized)

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American Girl Club – Josefina – Week 3

October 6, 2009 at 8:11 am (Uncategorized)

Here is what we did for week 3 of Josefina at American Girl Club. 

1. Read book 3 ahead of time. Josefina’s Surprise A Christmas Story.
2. Discussed the book.
3. Had one of the Mom’s that speaks Spanish give the girls a Spanish lesson. 
4. Had our own Las Posada
5. Snack – Hot Chocolate with Cinnamon
6. Craft Hair Combs.
7 Worked on our weaving projects.

Here are the notes from the Spanish Lesson…

Here are the girls having the Las Posada

The pretty blond knocking on the door was our Joseph (or Jose’)! 

Here you can see our Maria (or Mary).

This is a tradition where 2 people play the parts of Maria and Jose’ (Mary and Joseph) symbolizing the hardship they endured before finding a place for Jesus to be born.  In book 3 of Josefina we learn about the Las Posada.  So I thought it would be fun to have the girls act one out.  We drew names out of a bowl to see who would be the holy couple.  (I had 18 blank slips and one with M and one with J on it for them to draw from.)  Then we had the mom’s go in the different rooms in the building we are using for club.  The girls traveled up and down the hall knocking on the doors and saying…

In Heaven’s name, we ask for shelter.

The mom’s would reply…

This is not an Inn, be on your way!

At the final door, the mom that was in charge of our snack for the night opened the door and responded…

Come in, weary travelers.  You are welcome here!

Then we all went in and had hot chocolate and cookies.

The girls REALLY liked this!  I thought of it at the last minute.  if I was going to do it again I would go get those little battery operated candles at the Dollar Tree and have all the girls carry one and turn off the lights.  Our Maria used her Rebozo over her head to look a little like Mary.  It would be fun to provide Jose with a head cocer and staff too.  :^)

After the snack we made our craft.  This week we decorated hair clips.  I told the girls about the beautiful combs worn in Spain and Mexico.  I couldn’t find the same kind of combs they wore back then.  So I bought them what I could get.  They had fun adding glittery stickers and rhinestones!

Sticking on all those little rhinestones kept them busy a lot longer than I expected. (I will warn you though, rhinestones are pricey! Be sure to budget this in when you are shopping for your crafts. And don’t forget to use your JoAnn’s and Micheal’s 40% off coupons!)

Here are some of the finished projects…

Happy Homeschooling,


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Freebie Friday Oct. 2, 2009 Teaching with Cereal Boxes

October 2, 2009 at 8:57 am (Uncategorized)

Welcome to Freebie Friday! 

At the craft store the other day a lady had made a scrapbook about her life using a Life cereal box.  It got me thinking what a cute way that would be to make a memory book for my Kindergarten student this year.  I know, it sounds kind of weird. But, honestly I save all the cardboard from our cereal boxes.  As soon as they are empty I cut them down so they lay flat and save the big pieces.  You never know when you are going to need a free piece of cardboard!  The kids are always using them for crafts, making their own board games, puzzles, etc.  I find myself using them too and I have learned over the years that they can be made into all sorts of educational items.  So this week we are going to talk about cereal boxes as educational material. has an interesting article about using the words on cereal box to make story starters at the breakfast table.  What a fun way to start the day! has simple instructions of making cereal boxes into puzzles for your preschoolers.  My kids have adapted this to make all kinds of creative puzzles by creating their own artwork on the back side of the box.

Texas Speech Communication Online has an interesting activity for older students called The Breakfast of Champions: Teaching Audience Analysis Using Cereal Boxes.  In this lesson kids will learn how to analysis a cereal box to learn more about the audience the box is aimed at. That is certainly thinking outside the box!

Building a Better Cereal Box will teach kids that there is more to a cereal box than meets the eye.  This is a great fun lesson on volume that your children will remember each time they pour a bowl of cereal! gives us A Dozen Ways to Recycle a Cereal Box! Several of them fit into our educational theme including making a journal, magnetic bookmarks and making a puppet theater!

Repurposeful offers 7 ways to recycle a cereal box.  My favorite from this site was her giant building block idea!

How about some new shoes? has a neat idea for making a pair of sandals from a cereal box.  My daughter will LOVE this one!

Another great project from Family Fun is making a cereal box tote bag!  What a great way to tote your schoolwork around!  You will find those instructions here.

How about a little something for mom or grandma? has great instructions on making your own cereal box planner!  It is not only practical, but very pretty too!

Now for a few cereal box freebies from me!

Here is a post I wrote about making your own Math Games.  All of these could be made on the backs of cereal boxes!

This post is one of my favorite uses for cereal boxes!  You can use a simple cereal box to make organizers for those little books that are never easy to find!

Just for fun I thought I would share one of my favorite recipe that includes cereal!  You have to do something with all that cereal so you can get to the box!

I hope you have enjoyed this week’s freebies!

Happy Homeschooling,


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