Saturday, March 26, 2011

FREE Children's worksheets

I know many of you are thinking about homeschooling or you've already started the journey. Even if you only have little ones (under age 3), it's not too early to get them started!! I encourage you to begin teaching them NOW!! It's never too late!

We started Tucker at age 2 (just this February) on flashcards. I started out doing them daily, but he quickly got bored. Now we do them a couple times a week. Other days I try to get him to color a page or two or just sit & listen to our Bible story time. In any case, I'm trying to condition him to sit and listen to instructions, then follow them. He's a VERY active young boy (he can literally climb up my walls) and so it takes a LOT of patience. But, when I am consistent with it I can see the difference. He begins to remember from day to day that when he sits its time to listen and do something. He wants so badly to be involved in his big brothers schooling, which makes it a little easier. However, most of the time I have to wrestle Tyler's papers away from him!

In my homeschooling journey, I utilize the internet as much as possible!! If I can find FREE worksheets, why would I pay for a book of them? I have done hours of searching & have a few favorites that I'd like to share with you. (I am getting no compensation for referring you to these sites, I just like them! All opinions are my own.) So, here they are:

All Kids Network - they have a TON of options on their site for seasons, holidays, themes, coloring pages, etc. I would say these are mostly K-2nd grade papers. There are a few in each area that older kids might enjoy, but mostly up to 2nd grade. They also have a monthly newsletter that you can subscribe to. The newsletter gives you links to new items they've added. Just this morning I printed about 10 pages of Earth Day worksheets (we're going to do this in connection with how God has instructed us to take care of the things He's given us) & Spring worksheets. ALL FOR FREE!!!!! They also have coloring pages, but my 5yo is not the least bit interested in those - go figure! I did look at the link on their site for Math worksheets & they have some GREAT ones. We're just moving on right now, so I will use some of those for review at the end of our Kindergarten year in May.

School Express - this site has EVERYTHING!!!! When you go to this site you will see a row of tabs across the top. The second from the left is the one you want!!! It says: 16,000+ FREE worksheets!! When you click that tab, you'll see another list of links. From here you can choose what you'd like! Some of them have hundreds of worksheets with them. I used this site for nearly all our addition & subtraction papers. There are only about 16-20 problems per page, so it was perfect! We made it a game and timed him everyday (once he knew how to do it) to see if he could go faster than the day before. He loved it!! We've also used their phonics, language arts worksheets & their awards. The awards are for just about anything. So far I've utilized the reading rewards. We've got the charts to record the books he's read & now I've got bookmarks to give him when he's reached each 20 book goal! It's so FUN and a GREAT incentive for him!

File Folder Fun - this site has GREAT file folder games you can print for FREE!!! All you need are the folders! These are fun for my 5yo when he's tired of his daily worksheets or I just want to change it up a bit & let him have some fun with learning. You can look them up by subject or age.

Coloring Pages - there are a TON of great sites for FREE coloring pages. Here are a few of our favorites: Crayola lets you see pages by categories, Veggie Tales pages can go with the videos (if you watch them), Sesame Street has both online & printable coloring pages that are fun. If you want Bible coloring pages you can check here for OT or NT pages and here for some that I think are a little more detailed for older kids, as well as Bible stories that correlate with them.

Well, I think that's enough for today. I hope I haven't overwhelmed you. I just want everyone to know there are so many GREAT options out there online to check before you go buy a ton of curriculum. They can also give you a great jumping off point if you're just getting started. These are also GREAT for SUMMER activities when its too hot in the afternoons & they've played every video game in your house! Print out some papers & let the FUN begin!!!

Blessings and happy "FREE" printing!!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Child's Daily Devotion

A few days ago I read a wonderful posting at Passionate Homemaking. It was eye-opening and challenging at the same time. A few paragraphs down she said, "Your children may be at an age where you can start helping them develop their own quiet time. Guide them in learning how to pray, look at Bible story books (Jesus Storybook Bible, Big Picture Story Bible), listen to a CD of Christian music, watch a Bible story DVD, or color Bible story pictures. I remember using Keys for Kids when I first launched into my own quiet times. They are free and can be ordered in paperback copies or downloaded on the web. While they do that, you can have your own quiet time."
This small paragraph really got me thinking. My 5-yr old is reading now (32 books so far) and doing very well. So why is he not reading THE most important book of his life?! WOW!!! I followed her advise & looked up Keys for Kids and signed up for their daily emails. The emails are sent every morning to my inbox & I just copy/paste them into a Word document and print them out for him. I lay them on his Bible. They are ready & waiting when he awakes. Now, ideally I would LOVE for him to get up and run straight to his Bible for his daily reading. However, my son is NOT a morning person and he needs time to wake up. Time to adjust to the surroundings again and time to eat his breakfast (usually consisting of a pop-tart (when we have them) or most recently a cinnamon roll). At 10am the TV is shut off for the day and I play soft Christian music throughout the remainder of the day. (We are working on cutting out TV from their daily schedules, but so far we've only dramatically shortened their watching times.)
Anyway, I was impressed by these daily devotions for young children. They give a scripture reference to read and a story that relates to their everyday lives. My husband was even impressed. My son has given me some brief grief about more reading, but honestly once he gets into it...he can't stop!! If you have young children that are learning to read or can already read, I highly encourage you to start them on their daily journey with God. He wants to know them - EVEN NOW!!!! They need to know Him - ESPECIALLY NOW!!!! A child's faith is something to behold and it has been such a JOY watching my son get excited when he finds the verses for the day - or like today he asked if he could just read the WHOLE CHAPTER!!!! Uh...SURE!!! ;) I am so thankful that someone saw it important to blog about getting your own children started on a Bible devotion/reading time. I hope you will take the challenge too!!