Christmas Around the World Online Unit Study

Want to do something fun for the last few days before Christmas break? You’ll love the Christmas Around the World Online Unit Study!

It’s an online course where everything you need is right there–no need to head to the library or order any extra books for this unit study. The only thing that you’ll need to get (if you choose to do them) are some art supplies to make art projects or ingredients to make certain foods.

There are videos and links. We are really going to enjoy doing this in the next couple of days.

However, the Christmas Around the World Online Unit Study is about to close it’s doors for purchase for this year. So, get it today or tomorrow and use coupon code LASTCHANCE to get $5 off. Only 12/14 and 12/15 and then it is no longer available until next year.

What will your kids learn about?

Celebrate Christmas around the world

Learn about 10 countries and their Christmas traditions
Create hands-on and digital projects
Prepare an ethnic Christmas feast


Christmas in Ghana
Christmas in Germany
Christmas in Sweden
Christmas in Japan
Christmas in Mexico
Christmas in The Philippines
Christmas in France
Christmas in Australia
Christmas in Russia
Christmas in Brazil
Project: Christmas Feast

(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.)

Backyard Science: Easy Activities for All Ages by Marci Goodwin

Today I’m happy to review for you a brand new ebook called Backyard Science: Easy Activities for All Ages by Marci Goodwin. If you haven’t heard of Marci before, she’s the Homeschool Scientist! This 46-page ebook is chock full and fun and easy ideas for getting outside–even just to your own backyard–to do some hands-on science.

Backyard Science ebook

I love that Backyard Science: Easy Activities for All Ages includes:

  • Lesson plan ideas
  • “Recipes” needed for science activities (such as making an animal track trap)
  • Printables
  • Links to websites, resources, and books to add to the learning

Table of Contents

See the Table of Contents for Ideas of how you can use Backyard Science: Easy Activities for All Ages:

  • Introduction: Why the Backyard?
  • Capturing Animal Tracks
  • Life Under a Log
  • Backyard Bees
  • DIY Bird Feeders
  • Square Foot Nature Survey
  • Square Foot Gardening
  • Backyard Weather Station


There are 11 different printable worksheets (and a couple of resource ones). They include:

  • Animal Tracks
  • Life Under a Log
  • Bird Identification List
  • Label Your Own Bee
  • Square Foot Nature Survey
  • 24-Hour Rainfall Totals

Backyard Science ebook

Some of these are perfect to do right now during our season of fall. Some, like the DIY Bird Feeders will be wonderful during winter. And, others , like the gardening, you’ll want to plan now so you’re ready for spring!

The price of Backyard Science is only $4.99!

Social Media

Be sure to follow Marci Goodwin here:

Backyard Science ebook

(Disclosure: I received a copy of Backyard Science in order to write this honest review. This post contains affiliate links.)

Review/ Giveaway “Life of Fred” Beginning Readers

[The following is a Sponsored Post from Educents.]

Review of the "Life of Fred" Beginning Readers

For the last couple of years, I’ve been teaching my 7th child to read. If you have ever taught a child to read, you know that it is a systematic and sometimes long process. Teaching them first to learn their letters, then say the various sounds of each, then learn the sounds of all phonograms (“or”, “eigh”, etc.) takes daily practice and can occasionally be frustrating for both student and mom/teacher. What you sometimes need is a little Fun! And we have definitely found more than a little fun in the Life of Fred Beginning Readers! Read our review today and then enter to win the first book of the series called Blue.

Life of Fred Beginning Readers

The Life of Fred Beginning Readers are written by Stanley F. Schmidt, Ph.D. He has also written the extremely popular Life of Fred math curricula, which goes from elementary through college level.

Review and Giveaway of the "Life of Fred" Beginning Readers

Now, he has written some books for beginning readers. I got the first set to review with my son (there are 3 sets). Each set has 6 books in it.

Set 1 includes the books Blue, Bus, Lake, Potato Dreams, Ducks, and Rain.

Each book is study hardback and contains 32 pages.

To see sample pages, click here.

The Stories:

Life of Fred: Blue:
We have never read any of the Life of Fred math books, so we didn’t know the characters Fred and Kingie. No problem, we meet them in this first book. The color is “blue.” (Each book has a color that is talked about so kids learn to read it.)

Life of Fred Bus:
Fred and Kingie pack and get on a bus to go to the lake. The color is “orange.”

Life of Fred Lake:
Fred and Kingie have adventures at the lake. The color is “red.”

Life of Fred Potato Dreams:
Kingie wears different hats and you’ll learn why in this book. The color is “brown.”

Life of Fred Ducks:
Fred and Kingie meet some ducks and draw them. We also learn more about the author. The color is “pink.”

Life of Fred Rain:
Rain falls at the lake, but Fred and Kingie still have fun. The color is “gray.”

Review of the "Life of Fred" Beginning Readers

My Review:

My initial thoughts were that these books are not the best at fitting the category of “beginning reader.” They aren’t systematic in their phonics approach (such as having a particular book be all about the long “a” sound). Also, although there are many words a new reader can sound out and be reminded of certain rules for (“this is a silent ‘e’ word”), there are also quite a few words that are simply too difficult for him.

So, I decided to take a different approach. I just read the words that were too hard for my son and had him sound out the words he could. I saw these lessons as ones in which he was learning to enjoy reading, rather than learning to read an entire book all by himself.

Review of the "Life of Fred" Beginning Readers

And enjoy them, he did! My son absolutely loved the quirky, random stories! Each page has a graphic or photograph and only a few words or a couple of sentences, so it doesn’t seem overwhelming to a new reader. He got so excited every day when I told him it was time to read!

I like how the books are broken up into chapters. It makes it easy to know where to stop each day.

My final analysis: The Life of Fred Beginning Readers aren’t the best for actually teaching your kids to read, but are so fun that they get your child practicing reading daily. Because the entire set (sort of) tells an entire story, your kids will want to read the next chapter or next book! And, I think I will be forced to get the next two sets now. 🙂

Hear my son reading the sixth book Rain and “see inside” it in our video review:

3 Ways to Use the Books:

  1. Use the color of each book and do something fun with it–eat something that is that color (apple for the red book) or make a craft (pumpkin for the orange book).
  2. Learn to draw with the books. Draw Fred, Kingie, and the ducks.
  3. Read Rain on a day that is raining. Then, go outside and play in the rain!

Other Educents products for beginning readers:

  1. Phonics Collection DVDs from Rock ‘N Learn 
  2. Complete Learn to Read Kit
  3. Phonics Mini Books

Giveaway of the "Life of Fred" Beginning Reader "Blue" ends 10/17

Now, would you like to win the first book of the Life of Fred Beginning Readers set #1 called Blue? Enter on the Rafflecopter app below. You must be age 18+ to enter, and the winner’s address must be in the continental U.S. Contest ends 10/17/16, and the winner will have 24 hours to respond to my email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by Educents. I also received a complimentary set of the Life of Fred Beginning Readers set #1 in order to honestly review them here. I am an affiliate for Educents, and this post contains affiliate links.)

Brand New: Literature Study & Book Report Notebooking Pages

As you probably know, I love all the different categories of Notebooking Pages that Debra has created. There is a brand new set out today! Check out the Literature Study & Book Report Notebooking Pages.

Literature Study (& Book Report) Notebooking Pages

Aren’t these great? You can mix and match for all grade levels and abilities/interests of your kids. There are notebooking pages for the following and it’s only $7.95!:

  • Reading List pages
  • Reading Log pages
  • Cover Art pages (I love how you can add your own image to these.)
  • Background Information pages (About author & historical context)
  • Chapter Summary pages (including copywork, literary elements, etc.)
  • Book Report Style pages
  • Book Summary pages (including setting, plot, characters, conflict, theme, etc.)
  • Character Study pages (including character list, map, traits, sketch, quotes, etc.)
  • Setting pages
  • Plot pages
  • Theme pages
  • Literary Devices pages
  • Vocabulary pages
  • Blank (general) templates with same border as rest of set
  • Custom Image Cover Art … 20 pages (Add the image of your book to one of these border pages!)

Literature Study (& Book Report) Notebooking Pages

If you aren’t sure that Notebooking Pages are right for you or your family, try some of their freebies first:

Free Notebooking Pages Sampler

(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.)

R.E.A.D. Ready, Eager, Able and Determined to Read curriculum for my daughter

R.E.A.D -reading-curriculum-from-the-crafty-classroom

New Product from The Crafty Classroom

I just started a new new reading curriculum with my youngest daughter. She already knows her letters and the basic sound of each, so it’s time to start some reading lessons. I wasn’t wanting to do the full-blown phonics lessons that I always do with my kids because I’m still doing it with my youngest son. Then, I found out about this new curriculum from The Crafty Classroom called R.E.A.D. Ready, Eager, Able and Determined to READ. It’s perfect for her!

Ready, Eager, Able and Determined to READ is a 36-week curriculum that provides everything you need to teach your child to read.  Structured over a 4-day/week program you’ll cover phonics, digraphs, blends, sight words, grammar and writing. Hands-on activities keep your child engaged and learning with little to no-prep required.

She already loves it (we just started it this week) and asks her 7-year-old sister to help her each day. 🙂


R.E.A.D Curriculum Notebook: 785 pages

  • 4 Days a Week over 36 Weeks
  • One Word Family per week
  • 2-3 Sight Words per week
  • Beginning Blends cycle every fifth week
  • 60 page Interactive Grammar Notebook
  • Weekly Writing Prompts
  • Science Sequencing & Drawing Activities
  • Daily Warm Up Activities

Valerie gives you several methods for setting up the curriculum (it’s a download that you print yourself). I put our pages in a 3-ring binder with a couple of the pages in plastic sleeves so she can write and re-write on those with a dry erase marker.

Can you believe this curriculum is only $25! Head over to check it out now.

And if you have kids a little younger, get the Alphabet Curriculum Notebook–only $15!

(Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of R.E.A.D. in order to honestly review it. This post also contains affiliate links.)