April Calendar

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The warmth and sunshine of April just makes ya want to sing . . . or quote poetry!  April is National Poetry Month, so why not take a few days here and there to read poetry to your kids, study different types of poems, have the children make up their own poems, or memorize some great poetry?  Your students might even like to give a poetry reading for their family…spend invitations!

This year, we also celebrate the resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ in April!  Hallelujah!  He is risen! He is risen indeed!

April has lots of other fun days including April Fool’s Day, Go Fly a Kite Day, National Oatmeal Cookie Day, and Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday. . . make them count with your children!

A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk: A Forest of Poems

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April is National Poetry Month and finally the weather will be warming up enough to spend some time outside—at least in most places. There’s no better way to celebrate both events than a reading from A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk: A Forest of Poems, written by Deborah Ruddell and illustrated by Joan Rankin.

What makes this such a great book? First, there is a good mix of silly and serious. Kids will laugh at the badger writing a love letter or the wild turkey that is offended by the traditional hand tracing pictures of Thanksgiving time. There are more reflective poems, too, that reflect the peaceful side of nature. This collection has something for everyone’s tastes.

Another thing I enjoyed about A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk is Ruddell’s use of information, as opposed to making up some cute rhymes about animals. In fact, one poem is entitled, “How to Recognize a Green Tiger Beetle.” With their accurate descriptions and scientific vocabulary, many of the poems would be great companion pieces for nature studies.

This book would be a great addition to your library, too, because the poems cover all the seasons. You could read all of the poems in one sitting, or you could pick and choose to go along with the time of year or which animals you were studying. The poems are arranged roughly in seasonal order, but of course they don’t have to be read that way.

Joan Rankin’s illustrations complement Ruddell’s poems wonderfully. The earthy watercolors make you feel like you’re right in the forest with the animals. Some, like the yawning woodchuck, are funny, and some, like the raccoon admiring his reflection, are more somber. While realistic, the illustrations aren’t so precise that kids would be too intimidated to try their own similar artwork after reading the book.

Whether you’re old or young, serious or silly, A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk has something for you. If you’re looking for a poetry book to add to your library, give this one a try!

Show & Tell ~ Pondering Poetry

April is National Poetry Month.  How about celebrating by studying various poems?  Sara at For the Beauty of the Earth did just that with her 5 boys. Take a peak at their adorable lapbook. Sara used two file folders, cut off the tabs, then glued them together so there would be three pages when opened.


Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll is full of non-sensical words, which makes it a fun poem to read (especially aloud.)  One of the activities is to classify parts of speech for these funny words.


Two more fun poems Sara used with her students were “The Dentist and the Crocodile” and “The Crocodile’s Toothache”.  They were able to learn and illustrate the parts of a tooth, as well as make comparisons between these two poems, using lapbooks pieces from the Poetry Lapbook at HSS.


Sara found some great links, including a very cute video of a 2 year old reciting “The Quarrel”, by Maxine Kumin.  What a fun unit, with a variety of poems to study, from some great poets.  Maybe this would be a good time for your student to try his hand at writing his own poem.  There are so many types – rhyming, Haiku, acrostic, limericks, alliteration, etc.  You can find this Poetry Unit at Homeschool Share.


My Photo

Sara and her husband have a busy family, homeschooling 5 boys–3 dancers, 1 baby, and 1 free spirit. You’ll find her blogging about their daily adventures at For the Beauty of the Earth.




Have you used a Homeschool Share unit, lapbook, or resource lately? Have you blabbed it on your blog? If so, please link up to your blog post and let others read about your Homeschool Share adventures! Please link back to us too!


Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice

Do you have lots of girls at your house? Are you looking for some pink and frilly fun!! Homeschool Share has lots of girly units. I thought I’d share some of our favorite!

All little girls love princesses! And with the princess theme there are many different things you could focus on: fairy tales, manners, being God’s princess, etc.

Here are some of my favorite unit studies based on the princess theme:


And if you have girls that are into dancing and ballet, you may like a few of these!

Other girly favorites we have enjoyed:

In our home, we have enjoyed so many unit studies over the years! We also have a younger brother who is now doing school, too, so we aren’t doing quite as many “girly” studies as we did a few years ago! But whether you have boys or girls, it’s always fun to just spend a week here and there doing some fun ALL-BOY or GIRLY studies with your kiddos!! I believe these units are sure to make some very sweet memories.


March Grand Giveaway


This month’s Grand Giveaway is sponsored by Apologia Educational Ministries. Apologia is a family-owned corporation with the mission to help homeschooling families learn, live, and defend the Christian faith.

Specializing in products and curriculum for science, Bible, worldview, homeschooling and other subjects, Apologia publishes books and curriculum that are written by a wide variety of authors. Apologia offers creation-based science curriculum for K-12, worldview curriculum for ages six to fourteen, practical and inspirational books about homeschooling, and other topics of interest to homeschool families.

Now for the prize. Apologia is offering up Debra Bell’s The Ultimate Homeschool Planner!

 Count your blessings while charting your family’s homeschool journey with this gorgeous day planner from best-selling author Debra Bell. The Ultimate Homeschool Planner will help you prayerfully prioritize your family’s lessons, assignments, and activities as well as academic and personal growth goals for each of your children. Includes teaching helps, record-keeping, and pages to document God’s faithfulness throughout the year.

Take a sneak peak of this lovely planner here. 

One very blessed homeschool mom will win a copy of The Ultimate Homeschool Planner!

I hope you win!

Click here to familiarize yourself with our contest rules.

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