Archives for June 2012

Celebrate Independence Day – July 4th

In America, Independence Day is celebrated each year on July 4th commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. It is a national holiday and is celebrated with community picnics and parades during the day, followed by spectacular fireworks displays in the evening.

I’m working on printable pages for the holiday which should be completed by the weekend. But in the meantime, here’s a 4th of July Wordsearch and some of the activities from Flag Day and the Summer Adventure Planner will also work. Check back on Monday for the new printables.

4th of July Wordsearch

Homeschooling Kindergarten

I’ve been thinking a lot about the curriculum that I will be using this year and spending lots of time researching different books and programs. I’ve decided not to go with a prepackaged Kindergarten program, because I don’t want to feel the pressure of doing and completing everything in a set program. If I were to pick a prepackaged Kindergarten program, I would probably pick My Father’s World because it is reasonably priced, Biblically based, and has simple, straightforward instructions.

These are the books that I’ve decided on:

Math – Math K5 Student Worktext 3rd edition

The reason I chose this book, is because it’s colorful and goes at a great pace. It introduces children to shapes, same & different, numbers, counting, addition, time, calendars, money, measurements and more. Each lesson is one page, front and back.



Reading – Reading Eggs and Bob Books

I’ll be using for our reading. This is a great computer program that teaches all the basics of reading. My daughter loves it!! (I’ll talk more about that in my next post.) I’ll also be using the Bob Books. These books are not the most interesting or colorful books, but they’ve given my daughter quick success. I’ve had trouble finding any other books that are able to get her reading so quickly and easily. Within 3 days, she’s been able to read the first book with minimal help.


Handwriting – Zaner-Bloser Handwriting K

I chose this book, because it has clear instructions on how to write letters properly. I know how to write, but when I’m teaching I want to be sure to teach proper techniques. This book seems to make those techniques clear. It is also a very colorful, fun looking book.



Literature/Art – What Your Preschooler Needs to Know

This book is one of my favorite books. It has poems, stories, songs, art, history, and science. It contains a lot of classical stories that every child should know, like The Little Red Hen or The Gingerbread Man. We started this book last year and it quickly became a favorite in our household. Everyone gets excited to read these stories. It also has pictures to go with all the stories. When we finish this book, we’ll probably go on to the kindergarten book.


Vocabulary – Wordly Wise 3000, Book K

I’m really interested in this program. It seems like a great way to expand little children’s vocabulary. You read stories aloud and teach them words like muddy, soil, dew, stare, fluffy, etc. This is something I can use for both my preschooler and my kindergartner.



Phonics – Spectrum Early Years Series

My children love workbooks. They love to write and circle things. So I like to include a few books from the Spectrum Early Years series. I really like these books because the are cheap and they cover many subjects. I’m going to choose Phonics Readiness for my 5 year old. And Basic Concepts for my 3 year old. The phonics book covers letter sounds and recognition. The Basic Concepts book covers beginning writing, shapes, colors, and other early learning concepts.

Homeschool Convention

Those are my choices for next year, so far. I plan on going to the homeschool convention in July, so some of these choices might change. This will be my first convention and I’ll probably be totally overwhelmed, but it will be a good overwhelmed.

~ Jessica Jacobs

NOTE from Beverly: The above links go to if the books are available there or directly to the publisher if they’re not. The following books are also available at

Summer Sale on Saxon and more

As I was working on the Math Curriculum Guide, I realized that CBD ( has a summertime homeschool sale going on and Saxon books are 40% off until June 30th. They are also offering 25% off on A Reason for Handwriting and Spelling, Easy Grammar and Shurley English, all until June 30th.

Welcome to my Homeschool Journey

Welcome to my new blog on! I’m super excited to start writing about our journey through homeschooling.

I’ll begin with our journey to our new house in Arcadia. We moved in 6 weeks ago and are just about settled in. We went from a two bedroom upstairs condo, to a 3 bedroom house with a yard. With this new beginning, I’ve decided to give myself a fresh start in all areas, especially in how I take care of household responsibilities. I’m hoping to have everything running smoothly by the time the school year starts. I want to be able to start off my first year of homeschooling with a calm, peacefully run home. Of course, it can only be so calm with 3 children, age five and under.

An introduction: Meet my three children

Alissa – Age 5

Alissa lives up to the oldest child name. She is in charge and proud of it. She’s a mini mom to her siblings, she takes good care of them and is always willing to lend me a hand in my many endeavors. But she also has many of her own ideas and is often thinking of things to create, parties to throw or places to go.

Anthony – Age 3

Anthony was born on April Fool’s Day, and he lives up to that name. He’s the funny guy, always trying to make everyone laugh. He loves to run, play, & climb. But, he can also be found coloring, painting, or doing puzzles. He can stay focused on things for a long time, even longer than his older sister.

Rebecca Joy – Age 1

Rebecca is my delicate girl. She was the smallest as a baby, because she came a little early. From the moment I held her I’ve felt as though I needed to protect her and cherish her as long as I have her. She’s always been more quiet, but able to stare down anyone she doesn’t like. She’s become more vocal now and with that, more stubborn. She will not back down. She sees no reason to say please, if she’s already gotten her point across. She’s a delight to the whole family.

A Fresh Start: Settling in and making changes

I’ve also been taking the time to settle in. I’ve made it a point to decorate, spend time outside with the kids and also do some gardening. I want to take full advantage of all the time that I have in this house. We don’t know how long we’ll be in this house, but I’d like to enjoy all the moments I can. I want it to feel like home for my little ones.

One of the ways that I’m improving my care of the household is by reading and applying the Large Family Logistics Book. This book has been a lifesaver. The first half of the book talks about the attitudes and character needed to run a household. The second half of the book gives very practical advice on how to manage a household. It’s been teaching me many things about how to run a household smoothly by creating routines, systems, and dividing up tasks by days.

I’ve found after reading this book that my heart is more focused on my family and in finding joy in my responsibilities, instead of dragging my feet and trying to fight them. My children are enjoying all the changes too, they are becoming more helpful and more content. I would recommend Large Family Logistics to anyone that needs help learning how to run a household, even to those that don’t have a large family.

The Kids in the Swimming Pool

The Garden







Our Family Room Pictures

The Girl’s Room

Summer Adventure Planner

This printable Summer Adventure Planner is your ticket to a fun-filled summer! We have found that the key to having fun with kids is to plan ahead. We’ve done the brainstorming so you can fill out your calendar and get to having summer fun.

The 28 page Summer Adventure Planner includes:

  • Instructions on how to set up self maintained reward programs
  • Ready made pages and schedules
  • Blank theme pages and schedules
  • Reward charts
  • Summer calendar
  • Club plans
  • Reading and worksheet tracking pages
  • And More!

Choose the pages that best fit your family and themes. Here are helpful tips to help you get the most out of your summer adventures.


The summer months have been divided into 3 themes: June – Carnival, July – Rodeo/USA, August – Sports/Olympics. Use these themes as you buy reward stickers, plan games, activities and outings. You can be as simple or elaborate as you’d like.


Having a calendar filled out and posted on the wall will give everyone an idea of the fun to come! Fill in a simple activity on each square to bust those summer boredom blues!


These will be different for every family, but we’ve included sample ideas to get you thinking. Some families will want to do more, some less and some will want to tear up the schedule and forget it! Do what works best for your family.

Clubs & Rewards:

We’ve included forms to keep track of clubs and charts for stickers and rewards. We have a system set up with small rewards in a “treasure box.” Treasure is earned after a sticker chart is filled, usually about 5-7 stickers. Choose a method that will work for your family.

Here are some things to consider: Rewards should be simple and easy to earn. Some reward ideas are: stickers, erasers, pencils, small candies, small notebooks, party supply-type toys, etc. Rewards can also be for experience sharing, some ideas are: going for ice cream, playing a game with mom, having a water fight, etc. The thing to keep in mind is that you’ll want the kids to be rewarded often to keep the momentum of the clubs going.


Packets are to keep learning happening in a fun setting during the summer. Packets are also something to do when kids are bored or on a long car trip. Keep them simple and fun!

Summer Adventure Planner, 28 pages

More Summer Fun:

Celebrate Flag Day – June 14th

Celebrate Flag Day

Flag Day is celebrated on June 14th each year. Here are some printable worksheets and coloring pages to teach your children about Flag Day. Talk about the history of the flag, the design and even the rules that govern the flying and care of the flag.

Flag Day is also a good time to practice the Pledge of Allegiance. If your children don’t know it yet, begin by having them copy the words on the worksheet. If your children can already recite it, dig deeper into the meaning behind the words and have them write about what they learned.

More Summer Reading Fun – Win an iPad

Homeschool Buyers Co-op also has a Summer Fun Reading Program for their members. Each week during the summer, they hold a drawing awarding two students with a prize. At the end of the summer, they hold a drawing from all the entries for the grand prize of the new Apple iPad. Students earn an entry for each hour that they read. Membership to the Homeschool Buyers Co-op is free.

Summer Reading ClubAs your students are reading for Homeschool Journeys’ Summer Reading Club, in addition to listing the books on the Summer Reading Club Form, keep track of the time they read and log the hours at the Homeschool Buyers Co-op.

Here are other reading opportunities for the summer:

Summer Reading for Kids – Suggested reading lists from

Share about your homeschool classroom

This is our homeschool classroom. We have one long desk where both children sit to work. We have tried a couple of different classroom set-ups and this seems to work the best. It’s not a huge room, but we have everything we need: workspace, storage, and seating for both children and myself.” ~ Maria of Our Home’s Cool

Check out the process of redecorating a homeschool classroom to get ideas for your own homeschool classroom or workspace. Maria did a great job converting her small area into a homeschool classroom, then redecorating it after evaluating the changes that needed to be made.

Show off your Homeschool Classroom or Space

Send me pictures of your classroom or homeschool space and any storage tips and pictures. I’ll feature your classroom too and add it to the gallery to help inspire others.