Our Learning Shelf | Week 1

We had so many questions about our Learning Shelf this morning after sharing in our stories on Instagram that I decided that I will start blogging about them more often. So here is our Week 1 share of our Learning Shelf. We have a shelf up for the girls always. There was a bit of time when Lucy was first mobile that I stopped doing them for Lilly Belle, but besides that time, we have been putting them up for her since she had just turned 3.

Last week we had a Dinosaur Shelf up. The girls had fun with it but we are in such a busy season right now as Lilly Belle started summer camp this week, I am working a ton, we move in a few weeks and…it’s summer! So I decided to keep it simple this week.

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I set out three cubbies for Lucy and three cubbies for Lilly Belle. I did not have a plan for this shelf, I just went into our homeschool closet and started creating. When I make these shelves I think about their interests and things they are learning and go off of that.

Lilly Belle’s Cubbies (Age 4 Years 9 Months Old)

  1. Writing: She is super into writing stories right now. All day long we hear, “How do you spell _________?” I found this pack on Teachers Pay Teachers and grabbed it immediately. These cards have everyday words on them as well as some blank cards for you to write in your family’s commonly used words. I used the blank cards to write friends and family’s names for her to use when she is writing her stories. I also purchased a pack of seasonal handwriting pages for the whole year on Teachers Pay Teachers. She loves these cute handwriting pages. I put them on a clipboard for her and set the writing word cards in a little basket with a pen.
  2. Math: Lilly Belle is really into addition right now, so I set up a little addition station for her. We love the Addition Cards from From the Pond on Teachers Pay Teachers. I laminated them and put them on a binder ring. She uses them along with a beautiful wooden number set we got on Etsy from My Little Light Shop. I also put out a little container (from the Dollar Tree) with our Usborne Number Tracing Cards that go from number 0-100.
  3. Reading: We are working on CVC words right now so I put out two different resources for her to use. These are again both things she can sit and do on her own without me. I found these wonderful word rolls on Etsy from Array Creations. They’ve been a lot of fun for her to use! I also have out these little CVC books from Moffatt Girls (our favorite shop)! She loves making these into little books. We have math ones from her too.

Lucy’s Cubbies (18 Months Old)

  1. Straws & Felt Activity: I put out a basket filled with crazy straws. I then cut up squares of felt and cut a slit in each square. Lucy slides each of the pieces of felt onto the straws. She also likes when Lilly Belle does it and then she likes to pull them all off. It took me less than 10 minutes to make and she can use these for a while. As she gets closer to 2, I will have her do them on the right matching colors. At this time I just let her play and learn how to use them. Or use the straws however she’d like. It’s here for her to just explore.
  2. Road Chalkboards & Cars: These have been so much fun for both of the girls to play with. The set comes with 4 boards and you can put them into different designs to build a little city. Lucy is really into playing with cars and anything that rolls right now, so she is having fun with this so far.
  3. Name Puzzle: I set this out for her so she can begin exploring how a puzzle works and just so she is seeing the letters of her name. We say the letters out loud to her as we show them to her.
  4. Cheerios Book & Cheerios: She hasn’t quite figured this one out yet, but she loves looking at the book. I haven’t really sat down with her yet on this one, so we’ll keep it out for a bit so she can keep discovering with it.
  5. Color Matching Velcro Sticks: I found these huge craft sticks and immediately knew what I was going to do with them! I cut out little circles with colored foam and then added velcro dots to the back of each circle and on the craft stick. I have them all in a little basket for her. I will leave one circle at the top of each stick and see if she can match the colors. At this age I am just happy with her exploring how the velcro works and watching her fill them up and take them off. Also working on putting all the circles back in the basket when she is done playing.

I have found most of our baskets we use for our shelves at The Dollar Tree and also in the Target Dollar Spot.

We get a ton of questions about which printer and laminator, so here are links for all of those as well! We purchase our laminating sheets in bulk of 500 (we purchase over 3,000/month because of Book Club) I recommend buying the big packs at Target 🙂

Summer Morning Basket (1) 2018 – Pre-Kindergarten & Toddler

We didn’t switch out our Morning Basket at the beginning of May and I noticed a huge difference in how our days went because we weren’t as excited about doing Morning Basket. The girls were bored with everything and there were even a few days we didn’t do it at all, which hasn’t happened the entire year of us doing this together. So now I know, always switch the basket! It keeps things fresh and exciting for all of us. I for sure would not switch it out more than once a month, it takes me one who night and the next morning (Sat Night/Sun Morning) to do this always, so I wouldn’t be able to switch it more. A month at a time seems to be working just fine.

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Lilly Belle is now done with preschool and is in full-on Kindergarten mode! All of the contents of the basket that are for her are all Kindergarten level. This month I did not include many activities for Lucy IN the basket other than our stories, just because she is usually eating breakfast and then wants to get down and play. Now that she is almost 19 months old, she is just too busy to sit anymore. We have a learning shelf set up that is right next to our kitchen table, so I will send her that way when she wants to get down. Then when I’m done working with Lilly Belle, I’ll take about 15 minutes to sit with Lucy at the shelf while Lilly Belle goes and gets herself ready for the day.

Here is what we have included for May/June 2018!

Girls Together:

We always do Bible, Poetry & Fairytales (stories) together first. Those 3 things always happen no matter what. No matter how fussy Lucy is or how tired I am, we always do those 3. After that depends on how the morning is going. Lately we are at about 75% of the time continuing with more. I find it changes every month as the girls change. I imagine as Lucy gets closer to 2, this will change again and there will be a lot more I can add for her again.

Bible: My First Bible and Prayers | We are continuing to read through this Bible per Lilly Belle’s request. When I told her I was switching Morning Basket, she shouted, “NO! Please. Keep the Bible that we have in there, I like that one.” So, that is exactly what we are going to do. The stories are short and sweet and the prayers at the end are so cute. We are also going to be memorizing the Morning Prayer from our Little Golden Book Prayers for Children.

Poetry: My latest discovery is Book Warehouse! I’ve found so many awesome books there and they’re all always super discounted. It’s the best. I found A Family of Poems by Carline Kennedy and loved it for Morning Basket and Poetry Teatime. It is filled with classic poems that are beautiful for children to hear. They aren’t silly like Where the Sidewalk Ends, but I think Lilly Belle and Lucy will love to hear me read them aloud.

Fairytale (Stories): This month we are going to read some of our treasuries together. We are starting with A Treasury of Curious George and then reading A Hundred-Acre Wood Treasury. Once we finish those, I will re-read their favorite stories from each until we start a new basket. Lucy loves monkeys so I think she’s going to love Curious George! Both of the girls love Winnie the Pooh. We will for sure be having a Winnie the Pooh day at Magic Kingdom, too!

Wooden Hundred Board: Lilly Belle will be using this to count to 100 as it is meant to be used. We are also going to start counting by 5’s as she can already count to 100 by 1’s and 10’s. Lucy will be using this as a toy while I am reading if she finishes breakfast early.

Camp Littles and Me: Ashley over at The Littles and Me has an amazing summer family program that is free on her blog! I printed out each week and will be printing out all the printables and gathering supplies so the girls and I can do this together this summer. It will be great family time. We are keeping the binder in our Morning Basket, but this is actually going to be our afternoon activities when we get home from Lilly Belle’s summer camps everyday. I am so excited about this!

Activities for Lucy (18/19 Months Old):

Mudpuppy Alphabet Flashcards: Ours aren’t arriving until Tuesday from Amazon so I didn’t get to add a picture to the blog or share them on Instagram, but we have had our cards for so long that it was time for a new set. I use to give them to Lucy during Morning Basket when she was a baby and she chewed them all up. Now I am going to give them to her but we are going to say all the letter sounds and names as I flash each one.

Montessori Books: I just ordered these and LOVE them! They’ve been on my Amazon wishlist for Lucy for-ever and I got them this week and in the perfect timing. She will love touching the sandpaper letters throughout the book. Again I will just be flipping through saying the letter sounds with her for the Montessori Letter Work book. For these we are not going to say the letter names, just the sounds. For the Montessori Number Work book we will be saying the name of each number and then count to that number until we get to 10 at the end of the book. I’ll let her hold them and feel the numbers. She’s too little to understand how to trace, but she will love touching the letters and numbers.

Color Circle Stickers: I am going to give here these stickers to play with while I am reading if she finishes breakfast and is getting antsy during Bible, Poetry, or Fairytale. She loves stickers lately, so these should keep her busy.

Wipe-Clean Alphabet Cards: Bitty Beginnings has adorable toddler and preschool activities. We found her shop when Lilly Belle was 2. I am excited that Lucy is now old enough to start doing some of the activities as well. I got out the Wipe-Clean Activity Cards for her to play with while I am reading. She will just be coloring on them with dry-erase markers, but I want her to just start seeing the letters more.

Activities for Lilly Belle (Almost 5):

My Summer Learning Packet: I purchased this from The Moffatt Girls and it is perfect for our Summer Morning Baskets and for when we head to Washington for 3 weeks this summer! It has over 100 pages of math and literacy work. I purchased the Kindergarten one for Lilly Belle because when I was looking at them online, I realized she can already do 75% of what is included as Kindergarten REVIEW in this packet! So apparently, Lilly Belle already did Kindergarten lol. Oops! There are some new concepts included that I am excited to work with her on this summer and just touch on before we really dive in during Kindergarten. I printed this out on colored paper and she is going to love that I made it like a rainbow. It’s the little things 😉

Let’s Play School Play & Learn Weekly Spelling Program: This is our newest product in the Let’s Play School shop and I am so excited to be working on this with her! Each week she will follow the program I have created using the Spelling Lists from The Good and The Beautiful Kindergarten Language Arts curriculum. I will have a whole separate post on how this program works, but she is going to love it! She was so excited this morning to see her Spelling Box all ready to go filled with fun for her. She is super into spelling and writing right now, so she’s pumped and so am I!

Early Readers: She really wants to read “real books” right now, so I included two for her in our basket that she can read to us during breakfast. Her favorite beginning reader is, I Love Pink and I bought her a new one last night, Biscuit. She’s going to love it!

Explode the Code 1: I will have her do a couple pages from this each morning. She just completed the beginning series for Explode the Code and is excited to be on the “big girl books” now!

ABC See, Hear, Do 2: Lilly Belle knows all her letter sounds like the back of her hand now, so it’s time to start working on blends! I am putting together a Blends Box for her right now, but don’t have it quite ready yet. Once that is done, that will also be added to our morning time. It will be a box similar to our Spelling Box that will included fun activities and resources for her to learn all her consonant blends! These books are so much fun and make learning sounds so silly as your child does actions with their body to remember the sound of each blend. Lilly Belle AND Lucy will think this is hilarious. They both loved the first one. Lucy just loves watching Lilly Belle do the actions, she cracks up and I love it!

Let’s Play School Play & Learn Sight Words: This is our next new program I am working on but am not quite done with it. Once it is complete, this will become a part of our morning time as well! Each week we will focus on 3 new sight words and play tons of games and activities to memorize them. She will have a Sight Words Box just like her Spelling Box and Blends Box. It’s just a matter of when I get it all together that we will start it. She is still working on the Dolch Pre-Primer list. She isn’t super into memorizing so I think this will REALLY help her! I cannot wait to share it with all of you!

Zoom Cards & Timer: As a part of our letter sounds and blends practice, we are going to be using some of the Zoom Cards from From the Pond. Lilly Belle thinks these are the best. She has to say the letter sounds and on the new cards I pulled out for her, sound out the blends, as fast as she can. We time her and she tries to beat her time everyday. It’s a really neat idea!

So there it is! Our 1st Morning Basket of the Summer 2018! I am beyond excited about all the new things the girls are going to learn from this basket and about all the beautiful time we will be spending together. I can’t wait to start tomorrow! Lilly Belle ran out this morning thinking today was the day, “Ahhh yay! I can’t wait to see our Morning Basket!”

This has become such an amazing part of our everyday and I cannot imagine life without it!

 

Freebie – Alphabet Phonics Flashcards

About a month ago I shared a freebie for you all that was our Alphabet Sounds Chart! Today, I have finished the Flashcards I promised to go with!

Phonics Alphabet Flashcards

I don’t have time to write some awesome blog post about it, but really wanted to get these on here for you all as part of our week of birthday surprises before I turn 30! Yay!

I have not only included the cards with the Letters and Pictures on them but this set also includes plain alphabet letter cards and then cards with just the picture so you can match them together with your child!

Phonics Alphabet Flashcards

Enjoy!

Count and Write to 100 Freebie

In celebration of my last week in my 20’s, all week we are having sales, offering new products and today we have a freebie! In our house right now we are really working on counting to 100 and now writing to 100. Lilly Belle has also become interested in skip counting.

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Here are some 100’s charts you can print out for your home. There are so many fun ways you can use these. I am going to have ours in page protectors so that Lilly Belle can use a dry erase marker to trace and write the numbers. We will also use buttons or other manipulative to count to 100 together. I will play a game with her where I all out a number and she will have to find that number and cover it; sort of like Bingo.

Included in this free pack you will download 100 Chart, Count by 10’s, Count by 5’s, Count by 2’s, Trace to 100, and Write to 100!

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I hope these help your littles! Enjoy!

Count and Write to 100

Book Club FAQ

What is Book Club?

Book Club is a subscription box you can order for your preschool-age children. It includes an Usborne or Kane Miller book, 6 printed activities (most are also laminated unless it is something your child colors or cuts), 10 additional project ideas with instructions and a supply list, a one-week calendar to make this a fun unit study with your child, and a list of related recommended books.

Basically, it is a unit study in a box! Everything you need for a successful and fun week of learning with your child.

How Do We Sign Up?

We take Book Club orders just ONCE a month. You sign up by purchasing your subscription through our Etsy shop. We only take 40 new subscription orders/month. Once those 40 boxes are gone, we are then closed for the month.

We have 4 subscription options: 1 Year, 6-Month, 3-Month and 1-Month

12th of the Month: Open for 1-Year Subscriptions

(if there are any of the 40 left)

13th of the Month: Open for 6-Month Subscriptions

(if there are any of the 40 left)

14th of the Month: Open for 3-Month Subscriptions

(if there are any of the 40 left)

15th of the Month: Open for 1-Month Subscriptions

(there are usually 0-2/3 boxes left for 1 month)

Book Club Subscription Prices

1-Year $245 | 6-Month $135 | 3-Month $85 | 1-Month $30

Book Club FAQ

  • Do you offer just the PDF versions of the activities?
    • Yes, but only twice a year. Once on my birthday (April) and then again on Black Friday. Other than those two dates, the activities will remain special to the customers who purchase our Book Club Subscriptions. 
  • What if I already own the book?
    • We are more than happy to switch it out for another Usborne book of equal value. You will still get all of the activities, you would just get another book in your box instead.
  • Do you know which books you will be using in the future?
    • No. I choose the book club box book and theme each month based on what we are learning at home so I have more to share with you, new books released by Usborne, or common themes or seasons I see fellow homeschool families learning about.
  • Do we ship outside the US?
    • Not at this time.

 

 

Let’s Keep Playing School – Book List

The Let’s Keep Playing School : Early Elementary Literature Study is geared for ages 5-7. Each unit study is based off of one of these 15 amazing children’s books and filled with growth mindset, positive affirmation and projects to bring each of these books to life! Each unit ends with a writing project that you will complete with your child.

The Little House

The Word Collector

Extra Yarn

Islandborn

If I Built a House

Chicken in Space

Last Stop on Market Street

The Blossom Shoppe

Swatch: The Girl Who Loved Color

Hattie and Hudson

Ada Twist, Scientist

What Do You Do With a Problem

The Pink Umbrella

Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit

We’re All Wonders

Let’s Play School Preschool Curriculum – The Book List

Our Let’s Play School Preschool Curriculum is perfect for ages 3-4. We are currently working on an extension for the curriculum that will also make it work for 5 and 6 year olds as well. This way you can take your time with the units, do them as a family with younger siblings, or repeat them a few times. I chose this books because they had themes that I know this age group enjoys. When choosing books I looked at their illustrations as well as the character building qualities. I hope you and your family enjoy the books we have chosen for this curriculum!

Here is the order of the curriculum now that we have a calendar that families can follow along with. This calendar includes complete lesson plans for you and your family to use during the entire 2-week unit. You can also choose to do the book units in your own order, just know that the milestone goals that we are including with each unit would need to be adjusted.

Below you will find the book list with affiliate links. By purchasing books through these links you are helping contribute to the growth of our small business. Thank you!

(*you are not charged anything extra by using these links, the price for the books remains the same)