Why We Switched to Reading Eggs

Reading Eggspress for Reading Comprehension Skills and More

  

{disclaimer – this post is sponsored by Reading Eggs}

You may remember a review I did a few months ago, featuring Reading Eggs. I shared my sweet surprise about the Reading Eggspress portion for older kids and what it was all about. You can read that post here! I am back today with an update now that my daughter has been using Reading Eggspress for awhile. She is in 5th grade and after reviewing Reading Eggs for the last post, I decided to make a change in our homeschool! We now use Reading Eggs for her reading comprehension and spelling.

Why I Chose Reading Eggs

Honestly, my daughter wishes I wouldn’t have chosen this. The main reason – it is difficult! This is also the reason I love it. She can’t just fly right through it, and she is learning things I am not good at remembering to teach.

Below you can see her dashboard, we mainly focus on the MY LESSONS section and the ENGLISH SKILLS section. She works on these on her own using our iPad or a computer.

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She has the hardest time with the quiz portion in the Lessons section. Many of the questions about the book are tricky and sometimes we will sit and do these together.  Below you can see a couple of screenshots to give you an idea of what the quizzes look like, just click on the images to enlarge.

Reading Eggspress Sample 2   Reading Eggspress Sample

As her teacher, I love this section and this is where I am finding a huge benefit. She is learning skills that I often forget to emphasize.

In addition to the digital portion, there are also worksheets to go with each unit.

Reading Eggspress-5

We do these together as you can see below. I focus on my teaching during this time, making sure she understands how to analyze the text and find answers. She definitely likes this part better – because we are working together.

Reading Eggspress Worksheets-2

My daughter is a great speller so switching to Reading Eggs for spelling was a simple choice. It is included in the membership so I took advantage of it to give her exposure to a different spelling program. I give her a pretest before we begin to work so I know which words to focus on.

Reading Eggspress Worksheets

She completes the spelling portion on the iPad independently for practice. There are all sorts of different activities to practice, as well as a final test.

Reading Eggspress-7

There are all sorts of different activities to practice {like “Fly Away Word” shown below}, as well as a final test.

Reading Eggspress Spelling Sample

If you have an older child, I highly recommend giving Reading Eggspress a try! You get to try it out for 4 weeks free – why not?!? Don’t have an older child? Reading Eggs is AMAZING for younger kids too, we used it extensively when she was younger too!

Try Reading Eggs for FREE!

Grab your FREE 4 week trial, just click here! You will get access to ALL of the levels, plus Mathseeds – a program we used extensively when she was younger!

Upon signing up your child can also take the free placement reading test that will place them at the appropriate lesson according to their reading ability.

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Peek and Find PUMPKINS

Peek and Find PUMPKINS

We have a new Peek & Find featuring Pumpkins! Peek & Find is a great activity for for Tot Schoolers, Preschoolers, Kindergarteners and beyond, this pumpkin version is a bit trickier than our other sets since the pumpkins vary slightly from one another! There are a few variations to this activity can easily grow with your child’s ability!

You can also add in some fun elements to the activity, or simply print, cut, and play! Below I will share the free printable, ideas for different levels of play, and fun variations.

There are two main elements of the Peek & Find activity.

The “FIND” boards, available in color or BW…

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The “PEEK” cards…

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Print the board, selecting color for younger kids to make it easier and selecting BW for older kids to make it more difficult. Print the cards, on cardstock if possible and cut them out. Laminate if you plan to use these cards repeatedly.

Looking for a great color printing option? See our favorite printer and ink here!

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A few options for play…

Option #1 {single player}

Print the Peek & Find board.

Print the cards and cut out.

Mix up the cards, choose one at a time and find the object on the Peek & Find board. Color, circle, or mark the object.

Option #2 {2 or more players}

Print a Peek & Find board for each player and one set of cards. Cut out the cards.

Flip over a card and race to see who finds the object first on their board. Using Dot Paint with this game is fun!

Winner keeps the card.

Person with the most cards at the end is the winner!

See a video of my daughter and I playing {we were using the SPRING theme board in this video} …

Option #3 {sensory, fine motor activity}

Create a sensory bin and bury the cards.

Use a fine motor tool {child tweezers} to dig for cards and pull them out and then find the object on the Peek & Find board and mark it.

Option #4 {gross motor activity}

Hide the cards around the room and challenge your child to find one card at a time and bring it back to the board, find it, mark it, and repeat! This is a great version for those of you with energetic younger kids!

Options for marking the board…

  • Mini Pumpkins
  • Dot Paint
  • BINGO Chips
  • Bottle Tops
  • Pouch Tops
  • Mini Pom Poms
  • Markers, Crayons, Colored Pencils
  • Beads
  • Mini Erasers
  • Beans

  

Download your FREE Peek & Find Pumpkins here!

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Pumpkin Books for Kids  Pumpkin Printables and More



Homeschool Wrap-Up September 2019

Homeschool Wrap Up September 2019

See last month’s wrap-up post here!

You can see our detailed curriculum posts by clicking on the graphics below.

5th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices L  8th Grace Homeschool Curriculum Choices K

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links are used}


My Students

Back To Homeschool 2019-2   

A quick update for the 12th grader –

He is taking all of his classes at the community college for dual credit so you won’t be seeing much of him in my wrap-up posts! He’s a BIG kid now! Read more about his journey here in our 11th grade wrap-up post.

Recently he had the opportunity to shadow a friend of ours who is an air traffic controller and he loved it! Definitely a career he is looking into now! He is also enjoying his electrician course, currently learning how to program PLC boards. I barely know what that means. We are really excited for him and feel doors are opening and confirming his decision to not head off to a 4 year typical college experience. It feels strange if I am being honest, since he always thought he would do the typical college route, but we are feeling the Lord leading in this and have peace and joy! His main goal is not wanting to leave a 4 year college with debt if he isn’t certain his career path requires it.


 

5th and 8th Together Learning

This year I have combined my younger two kids for a few of subjects – History, Geography, Writing, and Grammar. We are also studying the Bible together in the morning during our breakfast time together. Below I will share a bit about each!

Geography

We are continuing our geography study with AFRICA Country by Country. We finished reading A Long Walk to Water, and began The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. I keep our map open during reading to consistently remind my children of certain locations. I want them to be fluent in world geography and this is a simple way to help with this.

Africa (1)-2 Africa (2)-2

They are completing one country per day on their own, totaling 4 per week. We have now gotten far enough along that we have begun playing Africa Jeopardy! I figured my kids would like this but had no idea how much! My competitive son especially!

Africa Jeopardy Game Printables

We play for pennies and they have racked up a bit of pocket change!

Jeopardy (2)-2


History

In history we are working together daily, with a goal of 5 lessons per week. We continue to enjoy Notgrass.

History (1)-2

The kids have convinced me that reading on the couch with the animals is way more fun {or distracting}. Imagine me in the middle of this!

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Both kids have their own map book and I love this aspect of the curriculum! It gives us a chance to really see and recall where things were taking place!

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Jeopardy has also begun for history!!! I typed up all of the questions they chose from the units we have done so far and organized them into categories. I also added a few of my own. I plan to add questions as the year moves along, such a fun way to retain facts!

History Jeopardy-2

       


Bible

We do Bible learning together during our morning routine! This is something I began last year and we have continued this year. Click here to see what we are doing in the mornings right now! Currently we are spending most of our time watching the videos from The Bible Project that go along with what we are learning in history.


Writing & Grammar

We picked up where we left off at the end of last year with both writing and grammar, see more about our mid-year switch here. We are finishing up SWI-B and are almost done!

Writing-2

Fix It Grammar continues to be a good fit. It’s a review for both, that they both need. They don’t love it, but they don’t hate it either!

Grammar-2

      

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5th Grade

5th Grade Homeschool

How is my baby in 5th grade? This one is even harder for me to accept than the 12th grader! She is supposed to be in Kindergarten forever!


Science

We are using Evan-Moor Skill Sharpeners Science 5th Grade and we continue to enjoy it. We didn’t do as many experiments during September, but have many planned for October!

Evan Moor 5th Grade Science-5


Math

I can’t say enough wonderful things about Teaching Textbooks Math. It continues to be a great fit, she is using level 6.

5th Math-2

   


Enrichment

She continues to enjoy her weekly enrichment classes! This year she is taking Apologia Science – Swimming Creatures and Mind Benders. Mind Benders is by far her favorite!


Reading

See her 5th grade reading list here.

Here’s her completed list so far for 5th grade…

  • Spark
  • Star in the Forest
  • Wonderland
  • Sing Down the Moon
  • A Long Walk to Water

Currently Reading: The Familiars {book 1}, Wings of Fire {book 13}, Race the Night, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind {read aloud}, Harry Potter {book 1, read aloud}

5th Reading (1)-2


Extras…

We continue to use Reading Eggspress for our reading comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. She does the computer portion 2 days a week and the worksheets with me 2 days per week. It is a challenge for her, so not her favorite subject. I love how it gets her thinking! 

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8th Grade

8th Grade Homeschool

K continues to train many hours a week with his gymnastics so many of his homeschool choices are based around this. He is competing level 9 this year, and has an Instagram account here if you’d like to follow his gymnastics adventures! You can also follow my posts about his gymnastics with the hashtag #krashthegymnast.


Math

Teaching Textbooks continues to be a great fit for him. It isn’t always easy but he is working so hard. I love that he can watch the solutions for problems he misses! He has become a great note-taker, copying down solutions to tricky problems!

8th Math-2


Science

     

The science I chose continues to be a great fit for him. He has aced his first 2 tests and is growing so much in his science knowledge! I am very pleased with the curriculum choice!


Reading

See his 8th grade reading list here.

Here’s his completed list so far for 8th grade…

  • Finding Gobi
  • A Long Walk to Water

Currently Reading: Running for My Life {independent read}, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind {read aloud}

Reading outside with the dog is always a favorite…

8th Reading-2


You can also see much of our everyday homeschool life on Instagram!

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Pumpkin Theme Kindergarten Literature Unit

Pumpkin Theme Kindergarten Literature Unit

We have a another new seasonal Kindergarten Literature Unit Study Printable Pack which is expanded to include more activities than our units in the past! Celebrate October with this new set based on the book The Garden That We Grew by Joan Holub, which features pumpkins!

Looking for our other Kindergarten Literature Units? See them all here!

Set the stage for your PUMPKIN theme by gathering all of your pumpkin toys and books! It helps to draw your child in and get her/him excited about your learning time together.

Don’t have a lot of pumpkin toys and books? Ask friends, go to the library, or buy some things you think might be a good long term investment for your homeschool!

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Be sure to purchase the book The Garden That We Grew or check it out from your library. In addition to the main book, I recommend adding in all sorts of other fun pumpkin books to bring the theme alive!

Pumpkin Books for Kids

Here is a downloadable library checklist for pumpkin books!

Pumpkin Books Editable Book Checklist

Add a pumpkin theme sensory bin to your fun!

Pumpkin Sensory Bin


For this unit, I selected several Kindergarten Math and Literacy Goals to focus on.

Homeschool Kindergarten Literacy Goals Homeschool Kindergarten Math Goals

There are over 20 activities to keep your Kindergartener engaged for quite awhile! Many tots, preschoolers and even 1st graders will enjoy this set! The main focus is Kindergarten but that isn’t exclusive! Below you can see a collage of all the printables included! Click each image to enlarge!

Pumpkin Printables (1) Pumpkin Printables (2)

This is a simple book with rhyming text that is great for early learning. The life cycle of the pumpkin is explored, bringing in lots of fun science learning. The printables were created to go along with the story as you will see in the photos below! Connecting your activities to a book is such a great way to weave a literacy rich learning environment into your homeschool in such a natural and fun way!

A full set of pumpkin alphabet flashcards are included, which can be used in SO many different ways!

Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (2) Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (3)

Have fun retelling the story and expanding comprehension with our comprehension questions, photo cards and sequencing activities!

Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (29) Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (23)Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (27) Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (28)

Explore beginning sounds, tracing, sight words, positional words, rhyming and more with these fun activities!

Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (5) Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (11)Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (16) Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (17) Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (19) Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (37)

Add in some fun science learning as you explore the parts of a pumpkin and the life cycle of a pumpkin.

Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (12) Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (13)Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (14) Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (15)

Explore important Kindergarten math concepts with several different activities.

Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (6) Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (10)Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (8) Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (9)Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (30) Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (31)Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (32) Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (33)Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (35) Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (40)

Use these fun printables for some practice with shapes and colors!

Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (36) Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (38)

Have fun with our Harvest Time Listen and Do activity!

Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (41) Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit Printables (42)

The learning opportunities are endless with this book!

The Garden That We Grew Kindergarten Literature Unit is here in my Shop!

Pumpkin Kindergarten Literature Unit

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Fire Safety Resources for Families

Fire Safety Resources for Parents and Educators

{Disclosure – This is a post sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association and SparkySchoolhouse.org.}

October is Fire Prevention Month and Fire Prevention Week is October 6 – 12, 2019. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is educators’ go-to source for Fire Prevention Week 2019 resources. This is a great time to add some fire safety learning to your lesson plans for your homeschool or classroom.

NFPA has exclusive, instructive fire prevention week materials for teachers and parents that will make essential and important fire safety learning engaging and memorable for children. All materials are geared towards preschool through elementary school aged kids. The videos, lesson plans, printables, take-homes, and fun apps help kids learn important fire safety rules in an enjoyable way.

I want to walk you through a few simple ideas you could easily incorporate into your lesson plans for October.

Read The Story of Sparky the Fire Dog

One of my favorite resources is The Story of Sparky the Fire Dog being read aloud via video, which you can watch for free here on the video resource page {along with many other helpful videos}. This story is a great way to introduce fire safety through a fun character – Sparky!

Sparky Video Book

After listening to the story via this free video, you can then download a lesson plan to give you even more ideas, find the lesson plan by clicking on “LESSONS” in the top menu. You’ll even find a great printable to practice creating a story map.

Sparky Story Map

If you’d prefer to read the story yourself, rather than watch the video, you can do that here with the digital book online! Find the book by visiting Sparky.org and clicking on the word “Sparky” in the menu!

Read Sparky Online

Sparky Helps Kids Be Safe!

Connecting a character to an important topic can deepen learning for young children. Sparky does that! Once you have introduced Sparky and enjoyed the story together, check out some of the printable activities here to help lead discussion about fire safety. You can go deep with formal lesson plans, or use simple resources to teach or remind your kids. Click on  “ACTIVITIES” in the menu to find these!

Sparky Header

Sparky Printables

Enjoy Sparky’s fun apps also if your children play on a device! You can download all of the free apps here, be sure to click on “GAMES & APPS” in the menu!

Sparky Apps

The most important thing is that you discuss fire safety with your children. These free resources can help you do that!  If you do nothing else, watch the video about creating your own Fire Safety Anchor Chart for your home. Create this with your kids! You can download the images to use for free also, in the description of the video.

Fire Sfaety Anchor Chart

October is a great month to teach your kids about fire safety and I hope these free resources from SparkySchoolhouse.org and Sparky.org help you bring some fun and learning into your home or classroom for Fire Prevention Week!

Fire Safety Resources