Friday, July 29, 2016

The BEST Classical Conversations Timeline Card Display!

Without a doubt, the number one question I get on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram is, "What IS that thing holding your timeline cards?!"  Lol!  I can totally understand, because that was exactly what I wanted to know when I first saw someone share a picture of the way they had their timeline cards set up!

To my amazement (and a little to my disappointment that I didn't think of this genius idea!), the person shared that it was actually a restaurant ticket holder!  How awesome is that?!  I loved the idea of no longer fooling with sticky tac and tape every week, and also the fact that this would help keep my cards looking great since they just slide in and out of the ticket holder easily, so I ordered one immediately!  When it arrived, my handy man hubby got it installed for me underneath my memory work display (free, super-cute skip counting printables found HERE), and I could not have been happier with how it turned out!

LOVE our Classroom Friendly Supplies pencil sharpener!  Works like none other, and such a fun color!

This ticket holder makes it so easy to slide cards in and out when we update our memory work display every week (see how I store my timeline cards HERE), and the fact that there is no damage (and no fighting to get every last piece of sticky-tac off of the back of my cards, lol!) is definitely important to me since we will be using these cards for years to come.  It is also perfect for quickly removing the cards from the display and being able to read all of the great tidbits of information on the back.  I chose to go for the 48" version, and I found that gives me more than enough room to display just the timeline cards for the week, but also allows for the additional option of displaying both the Acts & Facts Artists/Composers and Science cards for the week as well!  

I love having all of our memory work displayed in one nice, neat area along with our workboxes (video tour of our workbox systems HERE) and Charlotte Mason scripture review system (tutorial and free printables HERE).  It makes is so easy to do impromptu memory work quizzing throughout the day, and also helps keep Daddy in the loop with what we are learning about in school since our school area is in our kitchen/dining area.  Never any shortage of interesting conversation around our dinner table :).

What about you-how do you display your timeline cards?  Do you use a restaurant ticket holder or something else?  I always love to see how others display their school things, so tag me on Instagram using #wifemamteacher so I can see your setup!

Want to see what we are up to elsewhere?  You can find me on InstagramFacebookPinterest, and also YouTube!

*This post may contain affiliate links, and as always, we thank you if you choose to use them.  All products shown were purchased by me.  Not a sponsored post.  I have never accepted money in exchange for a review.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Organizing Books for Toddlers and Big Kids :)

Can I make a confession?  I have to say that, without a doubt, I am a book junkie!  Especially children's books-I love them all!  Perhaps it is all the fond memories I have of being read to as a child or staying up late reading my beloved books, or maybe it is the former kindergarten teacher in me that just loved seeing my students' eyes light up and hearing their precious laughs while reading stories to them every day.  Whatever the reason may be, I just love the wonder and the excitement that books for littles bring!

However...with this love, has also come a BIG problem in our home-with our growing collection of favorites and three kids five and under, we were having major issues figuring out how to store the books neatly, and keep them that way after the kiddos had finished reading them!  We had tried so many systems before, and nothing had worked until I came across an idea a friend had shared-sorting the books by color!

Color is something that even the smallest readers can typically identify (and if they can't-it is a great way to learn colors!), and because of that, it makes it very easy for even young children to find and replace books when they are sorted by color.

I had these stickers left over from another failed attempt at organizing books by genre, so I decided to make use of them to help both my big kids and our little guy keep up with where their books belong easily.

 I started with the big kids' books first.  All the paperback books and books with paper pages stay up on a shelf where the little guy can't reach them because, well...he doesn't quite understand the concept of turning pages carefully yet, lol!

Here is the full view of how we store and organize our big kids' books (DIY "You Are My Sunshine" canvas project here):

Can you tell a toddler lives here?  Did the empty bottom shelves give it away?!

To set this system up, I basically took all the books that clearly belonged in one color family, placed a sticker on the spine, and grouped them on the shelf together.

Here is a closer look:

You may have noticed that the orange books have a yellow sticker on the spine, and that is because I didn't have any orange stickers and wanted to avoid having to buy a whole new pack of stickers :).

You may have also noticed that there are some thin paperback books with no sticker on the spine-so what is a person to do in that case?!  No worries-I just placed the sticker on the bottom right-hand corner of the back of each book!  The big kids know to check the back for a sticker if there is not one on the side :).

We also had a lot of books that didn't have a specific color, so I put them all on a separate shelf and labeled them all with a purple sticker.

Toddler hand print DIY here.

Now, on to the books for my little man!  

As I mentioned before, this fella is not quite ready page books yet, so we keep all of the board books on the bottom two shelves of his bookshelf so he can read them anytime he wants :).  At 21 months, he is still learning his colors, so we kept it super simple with him.

I split his books up into three color categories (no rhyme or reason to how I sorted them-it was really just putting books in a basket, lol!).  I chose to go with green, pink, and blue.  I simply placed three colored dots on both baskets, and then a corresponding dot onto the front of the books that fit within each basket so he can match the stickers on the book with the stickers on the basket.

A few of our books were too big to put into the baskets, so I just put three dots onto the bookshelf, and stacked those books in a pile above the dots.

Speaking of learning colors, "Freight Train" by Donald Crews is an EXCELLENT book for doing just that!  Our little guy has been enthralled with this book since he was just a little bitty boy!  

That's it!  I am really pleased with the way this project turned out, and how much nicer our books stay organized since we implemented it!  I would love to hear your organizing tips and tricks-leave me a comment below and tell me what organizing systems your family couldn't function without!

Want to see what we are up to elsewhere?  You can find me on InstagramFacebookPinterest, and also YouTube!

*This post may contain affiliate links, and as always, we thank you if you choose to use them.  All products shown were purchased by me.  Not a sponsored post.  I have never accepted money in exchange for a review.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Super Fun and Easy Homeschool Review Games

If you are anything like me, you are a person who needs material to come to life in order to make it stick in your brain.  I was never a "sit and get" student-rather, I was one who soaked up activity, movement, visuals, and excitement when my teachers were amazing enough to break away from the standard lecture-style of instruction that was typical in my classrooms growing up.

That is why I have sought to make learning come to life for my littles, and one of my favorite ways to do that is through playing games!  The games don't have to be elaborate-mine are games that literally took me only minutes to put together!  Those few moments spent creating each game have given us all so much laughter and joy while learning, and my kiddos beg to play our games every day!

Below you will find our most loved, and most easy to create, games!  Not only do we play them at home, but several are favorites for taking with us when we will have to wait for appointments, car maintenance, etc.!  Please be sure to comment below and share what your family's favorite review games are!

The Hamburger Game

It is hard to choose a favorite from amongst our review games, but if we *had* to, this one would probably win simply because it is the one my children request the most!  I stumbled upon this while browsing the Teachers Pay Teachers website for free games, and I am so glad I did!  You can find the free printables here, and essentially, you just print out all of your hamburger pieces (I chose to do mine on colored construction paper-with the exception of the cheese, which I printed on white paper and then colored to avoid having it be the same color as the mustard, lol-and then laminated all the pieces to make them extra durable), cut them out, and you are set to go!  

The object of the game is to be the first to collect all of the hamburger pieces so you may then "eat" your pretend hamburger!  Pieces are awarded for all questions answered or facts stated correctly.  Sounds almost too easy...because it is!  However, my kids LOVE this game!  This is definitely our favorite "on-the-go" game-I just toss it in my bag and we can easily play in any waiting room we find ourselves in!  


This game is a ton of fun!  I saw this game while browsing for review game ideas related to Classical Conversations, and although it is simple, it is still so entertaining!  To make this game, you will simply print out the subject cards you need (free template HERE!), and then mount them to construction paper or cardstock.  I chose to use all the same color, because my kiddos would totally zero in on the "BANG!" card simply by color if the cards were different colors :).  I then laminated the cards to help them hold up, and we were ready to go!

Playing is SO easy-all cards are placed face-down, and a child chooses a card then attempts to answer a question about the corresponding subject.  If they answer correctly, they keep the card, and if not, teacher/siblings/etc. may help answer the questions, and I usually still let the child keep the card because I am a big softy, ha ha!  If a student happens to draw the "BANG!" card, they put all their cards back in the pile and start over!  There really is no end to the game and no winner since the "BANG!" card never gets taken out of the rotation, so it is also great for those still working on good sportsmanship and playing happily even if you are not "winning" :).

Wiggle Worm

This is a game we love to pull out if everyone starts looking a little droopy or if they are having a case of the wiggles-it perks everyone right back up, and helps get all the wiggles out!  I followed the same steps as both games above to prepare the game-printing out the pieces (free template HERE!) on colored paper (all the same color because, like the "BANG!" game, my kiddos would pinpoint the Wiggle Worm instantly if I didn't!), laminating, and then mounting the laminated pieces to Popsicle sticks.  

To play, I hold the sticks with the cards facing me, and then kiddos draw a stick one at a time, answering questions that correspond with the chosen subject.  They return the sticks after answering their questions.  If someone draws the Wiggle Worm card, we have a major dance party for about 30 seconds, and totally let loose!  Sometimes I even turn music on-whether it be music that goes along with the subjects we are learning, scripture memorization songs, or songs just for fun-we just love to dance and let loose a little!   

I would LOVE to know what games your family plays to make learning fun!  Leave me a comment below sharing your favorites, and be sure to include a link to your blog if you have one!

Until next time, happy learning!

Want to see what we are up to elsewhere?  You can find me on InstagramFacebookPinterest, and also YouTube!

*This post may contain affiliate links, and as always, we thank you if you choose to use them.  All products shown were purchased by me.  Not a sponsored post.  I have never accepted money in exchange for a review.

Charlotte Mason Binder Cover

As promised, here is the link to the Charlotte Mason Teacher Binder Cover I shared on my Instagram .  May it be a daily reminder to...