In Grandma’s Attic

A Book Worth Reading: In Grandma's Attic from the Homeschool Share Blog

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, and though sometimes a cover can draw me to a book, there have also been times I’m glad I’ve taken that advice to heart and started reading anyway.  One of those times was with In Grandma’s Attic, the first book in the Grandma’s Attic series by Arleta Richardson.  I first picked up an old copy of the book at a used book sale, and it sat in my bookshelf for at least a couple of years before I decided to pull it to read during our morning basket time.  Once we started it, my kids did not want to stop–in fact, I ended up ordering the Grandma’s Attic Treasury (the first four stories in the series–republished with newer covers) as well as the later books, which have not been republished and are more difficult to find.

In Grandma’s Attic is a collection of stories (each one a chapter) that the author’s grandmother, Mabel, tells her about her childhood in Michigan in the 1800s.  The stories often revolve around some sort of mischief Mabel and her friend, Sarah Jane, have gotten themselves into and are always entertaining.  I was surprised at how much both of my children–an 11 year old boy and a 6 year old girl–were drawn in and interested!  The stories do have a Christian message and Mabel’s parents often refer to scripture, but it doesn’t come across as overly preachy; it just comes across as good parenting instead of a story written to fit a moral lesson.

The second and third books in the series follow the same format, but beginning with the fourth book, young Arleta’s part (the “tell me a story, Grandma” part) is left out, and Mabel tells her own story.  At this point we have read the first six books of the series and are about to start the seventh book, where Mabel is teaching and preparing to get married.  My kids and I are totally invested in these characters, so we’re going to finish the whole series!

The short chapters in the Grandma’s Attic books make them great read alouds, even for young children, and kids will love to hear about what Mabel and her family and friends did for fun so long ago.  The characters are engaging and at the end of each chapter you’ll be wanting to read just one more!

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Owls in the Family

A Book Worth Reading: Owls in the Family

Do you have one of those adventurous children who always loves to try new things?  Or perhaps an animal lover who wants to rescue every creature he sees?  Then Farley Mowat’s Owls in the Family needs to be in your family reading basket!  (Or perhaps not, as you may not want to have owls in your family!)

Owls in the Family begins with two young boys, Bruce and Billy, hunting for an owl’s nest on the Saskatchewan prairie.  Their plan is to get some baby owls that they can raise as pets, but mama owl foils their attempts.  After a storm, though, they go back to check the nest and find it has been destroyed.  A single owlet has survived, though, and they and take him home to care for him, deciding to call him Wol. A couple of weeks later, Billy comes upon some boys tormenting a small owl and trades his pocket knife to the bullies in exchange for the tiny animal.  This owl, named Weeps, also comes to live with Billy’s family.

The owls become part of the family–along with the rest of Billy’s menagerie–and develop their own personalities.  There are so many funny stories in the book, like the disastrous pet parade and the visiting minister who is shocked to find an owl on his shoulder.  Owls in the Family has lots of sweet stories that will make readers laugh, and at the end, will make them a little sad as Billy has to find them a new home.

Owls in the Family is a short chapter book (just under 100 pages), so it makes a good choice for a younger reader to tackle independently or for a short read aloud for the whole family.  Either way, you will enjoy this sweet and funny story–and probably learn about owls, too!

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2016 Summer Olympics Unit Study & Lapbook

Free Lapbook for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio

The Summer 2016 Olympics are coming, and now is the perfect time to start planning your Olympics unit study!

The official dates for the games are August 5th-August 21st, providing a fun way for you to start your school year.

Stop by Homeschool Share and  pick up some free lapbook printables for the Olympic games.

Olympic Unit Study & Lapbook

This lapbook includes:

  • Geography: Mapping the route of the Olympic torch; Flags;
  • Math: Graphing medals;
  • History: Traditions & Symbols of the Olympic games; Olympic Timeline; Ancient Olympic History; Modern Olympics
  • Science: Health & Nutrition;
  • Language Arts: Write an athlete’s biography; other writing exercises
  • Art: Design an Olympic Logo

Summer Olympics Bonus Lapbook Materials

We also offer a few lapbook items specific to the Summer Olympics. These include:

  • Tracking the weather in Rio
  • Matchbooks with descriptions of events for the Summer Olympics
  • Shape books to record track events as well as water events

Brazil Lapbook

Since the 2016 Olympics are being held in Rio, you may want include a study of Brazil within your Olympics unit study. This lapbook provides a simple overview for Brazil with mini-books on the following topics: time zone, population, culture, sports, religion, animals, landmarks, the flag of Brazil, and simple phrases in Portuguese.

In addition to the lapbooks above, you can find more fun ideas on our Olympics Pinterest Board.

Happy Homeschooling!

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20 Amazing Activities for Learning about the Rainforest

Children are fascinated by the rainforest! Incredible animals, giant plants, yummy fruit, chocolate–the rainforest is packed with learning possibilities. If you are planning or considering a rainforest unit study for your homeschool, check out these 20 learning activities including games, lapbooks, snacks, crafts, coloring pages, a famous artist connection, and art projects!20 Rainforest Learning Activities from The Homeschool Share Blog

1. The Great Kapok Tree Unit Study & Lapbook

2. The Parrot Tico Tango Unit Study

3. The Umbrella Unit Study

4. Chocolate Unit Study & Printables

5. Sloths Lapbook

20 Rain Forest Learning Activities from The Homeschool Share Blog

6. Manatee Lapbook

7. Brazil Lapbook

8. Play with a Pineapple and Learn All About Bromeliads

9. Fruit Tree Snack

10. Virtual Visit to the Rainforest

20 Rain Forest Learning Activities from The Homeschool Share Blog

11. Interactive Learning Activity from Sheppard Software

Click on the animals (sloth, jaguar, macaw, tamarin, and poison dart frog) to learn!

12. Chalk Pastel Rainforest Animals

13. Read about famous artist, Henri Rousseau, and create your own Rousseau Jungle

14. Rainforest Habitat Diorama

15. Toco Toucan Drawing Lesson

20 Rainforest Learning Activities from The Homeschool Share Blog

16. Make a South America Animal Map

17. Rain Forest Coloring Pages

18. Animal Mosaic Art Project

19. Twisty Snake Sculptures

20. Rainforest Survival Challenge iPad app

20 Rainforest Learning Activities from The Homeschool Share Blog

Happy Learning! Be sure to check out our Rainforest Connections Page, too!

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Cook with Books: Pete’s A Pizza

Cook with Books: Pete's a Pizza from The Homeschool Share Blog

Have you read William Steig’s Pete’s A Pizza before?  If not, this is the perfect book to share over a fun pizza lunch with your kiddos!  In the story, Pete is in a bad mood, so his dad decides to cheer him up by making him into a pizza.  It’s a funny and sweet book that is a quick read, too.

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Making your own pizzas can be really easy!  You just need dough–we made it crazy easy and used biscuits–sauce, cheese, and toppings!

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Spray your baking sheet and mash out the biscuits to form your pizza crusts.

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Spread the sauce on the dough.

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Then add your toppings!  It’s really that easy!

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We baked ours for about 10 minutes at 375 degrees.

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Delicious!

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