20 Best Tips
Teaching Textbooks

1 Day Only – Chalk Pastel Giveaway and 25% off Sale

Fall in Love with Art - 30% off All Fall Art

Today only (Monday, October 9th) you can save 25% on the ENTIRE STORE at ChalkPastel.com. They have a wide variety of video art courses and ebook tutorials – a little something for each season and subject. Chalk pastels are very forgiving and a great start for budding artists.


They are also hosting a giveaway for three (3) starter sets of Alphacolor soft chalk pastels to go with their lessons! 

Shop now before the sale ends! 

Print PDF Files for Less – Inexpensive Homeschool Printing

If there’s one thing we do a lot in our homeschool, it’s print. So many of the curriculum components we purchase come with ebook downloads or workbooks to print. Add to that the various bundle sales that pop up and the digital files pile up quickly. While I don’t mind printing them, often it can get tedious to remember what all I still need to print off.

My printer had already been getting quite the workout this year printing student planners, my homeschool planner, and a few various other items when one of my friends mentioned an online company she has been using and the prices were FABULOUS. 

I shared a live video on Facebook where you can see more of the questions people asked and a little more detail, but I also put together a quick video showing some of the things we had printed and how much we saved. 

Let’s put it this way – it was a good chunk of change compared to having it printed at Staples or another copy center locally. Overall I had TEN items printed and with shipping it was a few dollars more than having just two of the items printed at Staples (and that was for two of the smaller workbooks, a total of 220 pages). In all, we had over 900 pages printed from The Homeschool Printing Company

Here are a few of the services they offer: 

  • Black and white or color printing (single-sided or double-sided)
  • Laminating
  • Spiral binding with protective covers
  • 3 hole punching
  • various weights of paper
  • cardstock covers
  • 10-12 day turnaround time

Yes, I could have spent a chunk of time printing it off myself, but quite honestly I’m looking at that being $50 very well spent (and both time and ink saving for me!). Take a peek at the video above and see the various services they offer! I promise you – it’s a huge help! 

Want to save 10% on your first order? Visit TheHomeschooPrintingCompany.com and let them know I referred you and they’ll put the discount on your first order! 

11th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices

Now the textbook pile may be looking a little sparse, but I promise it’s not because our oldest is taking a break from anything. This year marks a big turn for Laurianna! As of the end of her sophomore year, Laurianna has earned 20.5 credits toward her diploma. An advanced diploma in our area requires 26 credits and she still has two years to go in school, and this year she will be taking at least two classes at the community college that will count for both high school credit and her college degree. 

  • Math: Pre-Calculus Teaching Textbooks
  • Science: Holes Human Anatomy & Physiology and lab (community college)
  • English: Patterns for College Writing & The Little Seagull Handbook
  • Foreign Language: Visual Latin 2
  • SAT Prep: CollegePrepGenius
  • Spring semester classes TBD

One of the biggest helps has been finding our textbooks on Amazon. Until recently I had no idea you could rent textbooks via their site! When we priced out books at the campus bookstore and also via the Chegg website (for college texts), Amazon came out with the best prices overall for brand new, used, or rentals (another reason to love Prime!!). Laurianna’s Human Anatomy book was $335 new at the campus bookstore and $92 from Amazon. Since it’s one we knew she would use in her nursing degree, we went ahead and purchased it (and truthfully, the $92 isn’t much worse than some of our high school text costs). 

We kept her class load in the fall fairly light with only two classes at the community college since she is still struggling with health issues (and we are still in limbo on a diagnosis). There are a few classes we are looking at for the spring, but we are waiting to hear from one of the colleges Laurianna is interested in attending before committing to the specific classes. 

This year Laurianna will also be studying for the SAT and hopefully taking it either November or December. Prior to that, she will be taking the PSAT in October. To help her out, we are using CollegePrepGenius. Both Laurianna and I sat in on a class with the company in June and it was one we both believe will help her out this year (I’ll be sharing more about it on the blog this fall). 

Overall, Laurianna is very excited since she will be taking one of her classes with a friend and we are thrilled she has this opportunity this year. Granted, not as many of her classes will be at home with us, but it’s all for a great reason!

Does High School Have You Scared?

If homeschooling high school is worrying you, don’t miss the free middle and high school planning printables and map out your middle and high school years!

Homeschooling in High School Middle and High School Planning How to Choose Homeschool Curriculum

If you are new to homeschooling and aren’t sure where to begin in choosing homeschool curriculum, please don’t let this post overwhelm you! Here are a few posts that you might find helpful as you discover what is best for your family. Be sure to check out the entire Homeschool Basics series for answers to more frequently asked homeschool questions.

See What the Other Kids Are Up To…

I’ll be sharing more in the upcoming days and weeks on what our other kids are studying this year, so stay tuned for those posts. 

5th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2017


What subjects are you excited to work on this year with your kids?

Thanks for Your Patience…

I’ve received many emails over the last few days that files are unavailable for download on my site. People are getting 404 errors – and I apologize. 

There is an issue we are trying to fix with files prior to 2015. Thanks so much for your patience. :) I understand how frustrating it is and would be happy to help you out if you email me: homeschoolcreations at gmail. 

Busy Bags Kids Will Love

Preschool age is one of my favorite age groups to work with. First of all, they are curious, every little thing becomes a learning opportunity, and they LOVE pretty much everything. 

Keeping them occupied can be a predicament though. Because attention spans are short on those in the five and under crowd. Finding activities that keep kids learning, little hands busy, and make life easier for the parents – well, that’s a definite win in my book. 

My friend Sara, from Happy Brown House, recently wrote a book that does all three of those things. Busy Bags Kids Will Love is full of quiet boxes, bags, and bins (52 to be exact) that can be made ahead and brought along to play with in the van, at doctor’s visits, church – anywhere really! 

Why Busy Bags? 

The name ‘busy bags’ can be deceiving. Busy bags are more like educational activity kits that parents (or teachers) put together for children to play with either in moments a parent may need a little break (maybe you’re helping another child or trying to cook dinner) or when a quiet activity is needed. 

Busy bags also take on many different forms – from items in an actual bag, to bins full of fun, or even a box packed with learning supplies. In essence though, they are intended to keep the attention of little ones while providing something educational and fun

Creating Your Own Busy Bags

In her book Busy Bags Kids Will Love, Sara shares 52 activities that are easy to put together and focus on several specific learning areas:

  • math
  • fine motor skills
  • literacy
  • and just plain ol’ fun.

While we don’t have preschoolers in this house at the moment, we do have nieces and nephews that visit, so we’ll be making up some of these ideas and also sharing them with the grandparents. Between visiting kids and games our girls grab when babysitting, these are goldmines!

Each activity includes skills that are targeted, materials needed to create, and detailed directions to make the activity with full color pictures. She really makes it very simple! 

The bulk of the materials used are ones you can find in your own closet or inexpensively at the dollar store. There are some that require very little prep, while a few may need a little more time, BUT they are all easy enough for you to make. 

What I love most about these activities is the full intent for LEARNING that is packed into them. Yes, they will keep little hands occupied, but as they are busy, they will also be taking in and processing key information for this early stage: 1:1 counting, matching colors, identifying numbers, matching ABCs and so much more! 

In addition, Sara also shares 100 things children should know or be able to do before entering kindergarten. Sometimes it’s not all just about the alphabet and numbers. Overall, the book is truly a fabulous resource for any family with young children or those who work with them.

Grab a copy for your home or school from these sellers: 

Win a Copy!

To celebrate the release of her new book, Sara has generously offered to give a copy to one of my readers. Follow the directions in the Rafflecopter widget below. Giveaway is open to those with a US mailing address and ends on Sunday, June 25th at midnight. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Free Long Vowel Sounds Poster

Learning the various vowel sounds can be tough work for kiddos (trust me, I know!). Sometimes it helps to have a great visual for kids to refer to when reviewing or trying to remember the key patterns and sounds. 

All About Learning Press has a GREAT tool to help you out, especially with those pesky long vowel sounds – a FREE long vowel sounds poster to print off for reference. 

The chart colorfully illustrates the most common long vowel sounds (for visual kids this is a fabulous resource!).