Tag Archive Homeschool


GIVEAWAY! One Subscription For 1 Year To Miss Humblebee’s Academy!

Have a preschooler that needs to be ready for Kindergarten? Want to be able to track their skills? Need their lessons to be portable?

Look no further! Miss Humblebee’s Academy is here to the rescue!

GIVEAWAY! Miss Humblebee's Adacemy on Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven

Now, you all already know how much my little boy, Johnny Ben, and I are in love with Miss Humblebee’s Academy because of the review I posted last week. But maybe your little one would love a chance to play with Miss Humblebee and her friends as well?

Today we are posting this giveaway for (1) Subscription for 1 year to Miss Humble Bee’s Academy! It will end on May 7th at Midnight edt. The winner will be emailed and given 48 hours to respond, so be sure to check your email on Thursday morning!

Without further ado, I present to you… The entry form. Have fun! Be sure to come back and tweet/pin each day for more entries.



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Review: Miss Humblebee’s Academy (Online Preschool Curriculum)

A few months ago I was feeling lost when it came to tracking how well my 4 year old non-verbal autistic son, Johnny Ben, was doing academically. Sure, I would see him accomplish things and notice where he had issues. However, I just couldn’t get him interested in certain activities and it was taking me a long time to sit and chart where he was thriving and lacking. We had tried a few online programs and apps with him in the past, but they just didn’t seem to get his attention or were not available on a tablet. (He lacks the coordination needed to use a mouse, but he’s getting close!) I whispered a prayer that God would help me find a preschool curriculum that would match his needs, be fun, and challenge him but also not break our bank.  It wasn’t but a few days later that I received an email from Miss Humblebee’s Academy asking if I would be interested in reviewing their program. (Can you see where this is going? It’s pretty exciting!)


Review: Miss Humblebee's Adacemy on Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven



Immediately I went to MissHumblebee.com and started looking around. First off I noticed that the program worked on a tablet. Perfect! It may not be an app, but that’s okay. It loads easily on our Android tablets.  Second, the characters, music, prizes, and everything else were fun and very animated. Then that was when I saw it: All instructions are audible so that the child can hear what they are to do. They could even be repeated if needed by the press of a button on most lessons. Since my little guy is just coming around to following instructions, this is a MUST HAVE. But would it cover as many subjects as I needed it to? I went on to look at what the lessons consisted of. This is where I was completely sold, because Miss Humblebee doesn’t just cover math and reading, but also science, social studies, art, and music. Not just a little here and there, either, but hundreds of lessons. This wouldn’t be a temporary fix, but something that we could continue to do over time. I can’t imagine what I looked like reading all of this, but if Mary Poppins were in my living room she probably would have told me to close my mouth because I’m not a codfish. This was exactly what I had prayed for!



Now, if you’re at all familiar with special needs children, you might know that they live for routine and hate change. It took a couple weeks of just getting him to want to acknowledge Miss Humblebee. He wasn’t interested in creating his own avatar like most kids would be. He would look out the corner of his eye at what was on the screen, but it took awhile to get him to acknowledge it was there. Being we had done this before, I knew it had nothing to do with Miss Humblebee’s Academy and more to do with it being new to him. I pressed on in a way that would not upset him.

In the beginning he would give in and do a little after a some guidance then push it away, but I could see by the look in his eye that he was intrigued. This was more than just another learning tool, this was fun and like a game. We took our time and warmed up slowly. Sometimes he would only do a little, other times he would just look around at the different options. Options like “Art Box”, “Music Room”, “Choose A Lesson”, “Rewards”, “Sticker Room”, and more. After showing him the classroom every so often, he gradually did a little bit more each time. He loves all the characters, Miss Humblebee’s voice, the music, and the “games”. I’ve never had to help him, nor did I ever have to show him what to do. Miss Humblebee made it all so easy, flying around the classroom and guiding him through the lessons.


Miss Humblebee's No Caption


What he surprisingly shows no interest in is the rewards/stickers/puzzles, but I’m assuming that is because he doesn’t quite grasp the concept. Miss Humblebee also offers printables, which is a great addition so that you can work on motor skills while keeping with the theme of the curriculum, but Johnny Ben just seems to hate paper (Maybe it’s the sound of it rustling?) so while I printed a few out, he wasn’t having it. So unfortunately I can’t give you an opinion on those aspects. That being said, Johnny Ben’s 2 year old little sister, Molly, is VERY interested in what all Miss Humblebee has to say and offer. So much so that we will be purchasing a subscription for her soon after her 3rd birthday as well. For now we have had to cut back our lessons to when Miss Molly Pop is napping or distracted. 😉 I really wish I had Miss Humblebee when 6 year old Tommy was in preschool also. It’s so fun, easy, thorough, and extremely interactive.

So, I’ve told you that Johnny Ben grew to love it and my toddler is aching to get into Miss Humblebee’s classroom… But how am I tracking Johnny Ben’s progress? Every week I receive an email to let me know that a progress report is available. When that email arrives, all I have to do is click on the link and it’s all right there in my account for me to see.  How many lessons he’s completed,  how many prizes he has earned, and how much artwork has been saved. I also have access for past progress reports so I can see how he’s coming along. It is exactly what I needed.


Music Class at Miss Humblebee's Academy


I do still believe in hands on constructive play for preschoolers. But these lessons are a great addition to all of the other things we are doing without becoming overwhelming. Besides, it is so much more fun that filling out a worksheet! Again, a complete answer to my prayer!

The price of a subscription to Miss Humblebee’s Academy is $12.95 a month for 1 child and $5 for each additional. Another option is a yearly subscription at $129 for 1 child and $60 for each child after that. Not sure you want to make a commitment just yet? There is also a free 1 week trial so you can see if it’ll work for your child.


Stay tuned to Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven… A giveaway for one 12 month membership to Miss Humblebee’s Academy is coming soon!




How I Manage To Homeschool With A Chronic Illness

I absolutely love homeschooling. I get to spend more time with my kids, watch the light bulb turn on in their head when they learn a new concept, protect them from worldly influences, and more. But I’ll be honest, it does have challenges. Having a chronic illness brings even more hurdles.

6 tips for homeschooling with a chronic illness

It took a little bit of time, but I eventually figured out some ways to homeschool with a chronic illness and keep our family thriving. Is it a perfect system? Not a chance. But it works. My kids are learning, I’m not bringing on more pain, and everything flows.

Today I’m guest posting over at Homeschool Encouragement with 6 Tips For Homeschooling With A Chronic Illness. I would love for you to come over there and visit with me! If you know someone that homeschools with a chronic illness, be sure to send them the link to Homeschool Encouragement as well. I’d love to chat with them.

See you there!


Review: Seed Sowers: Gospel Planting Adventures

Growing up in a Pastor’s home, I always loved when missionaries came to our church and shared stories of their time out on the field. Reading books about their journeys and experiences always fascinated me as well. So when I was given the opportunity to review Seed Sowers: Gospel Planting Adventures by Gwen Toliver, I was ecstatic!

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This book certainly did not disappoint. In fact, I would say it was one of the most exciting and descriptive missionary books I have read yet. With 165 pages full of adventure just as the title states, the true stories of missionaries out on the field with the task of translating the Holy Bible into the native tongue of the people they are spreading the gospel to will keep you from wanting to put the book down! While some of the names and locations of those in the stories have been changed, each chapter is indeed a true story of a way that God has worked to help His children.

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We used this book as a “family read aloud”, but I also went back and read it again alone so I could soak it all in. The kids seemed to be really interested in what they were hearing and even asked me a few times, “Is this for real? This stuff really goes on? Cannibals and witch doctors?” Yes, kids. It does go on, sadly. But as they listened on they realized that God was there all along, keeping His hand on those He had called. The stories make it clear that God made a way for those who were not only doing His work, but also those who needed to hear the Gospel.

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In addition to hearing all about what God can do, the descriptions of the locations where these stories took place were amazing. Hearing about different parts of the world that we had never been to was really neat and a way for us to explore more geography than we usually would during the Summer time.

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Gwen Toliver, a homeschool mom and blogger, could not have done a better job writing this book. She went to great lengths to share the stories of those who had given it all to share the love of Jesus with others. I am so thankful to her for her hard work on this project!

On top of all of the information available in the book, there are also photos on the Seed Sowers website where you can see the faces and places from the book. How cool is that?

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Available for sale on the publisher’s website, you can purchase Seed Sowers: Gospel Planting Adventures for $12.50.


If you’d like to give your children a heart for those who need to hear the Gospel and be able to read the Word of God, I highly recommend this book. It will bless you to bits and introduce your family to having a heart for others.



Want to read more reviews? Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew





Review: Greene Bark Press

I’m one of those moms. You know, the kind that try not to be helicopter moms, but on the inside still want to jump out and protect their kid every second. I stand back and watch my kids as carefully as I can without smothering them. While placing them each in bubbles is tempting, I have not. The best way to ease my mind but give my children freedom is to teach them every aspect of safety that I can. So when I was given the opportunity to review the book Look Left, Look Right, Look Left Again from Greene Bark Press I was intrigued. A book about safety? Sounds good. But would it keep the kids’ attention? That it did!

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Written by Ginger Pate and illustrated by Rhett Pennell, Look Left, Look Right, Look Left Again is a board book about a little duck named Wally. Wally is a lovable little character who wants to mail a card he has made to his Grandma, and eventually visit her. But to do that, he has to learn to cross the street properly. Wally’s mom helps him learn how to do this, guiding him a long the way with cute little phrases and corrections. The pages are full of color and eye catching illustrations, while the story includes sound effects for the reader to sound out. Not leaving out humor, the book drills the message of how to appropriately handle being a pedestrian in a few different scenarios home to young children, emphasizing the importance of safety.


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 My children adore this book. Molly loves to help sound out the sound effects with me while pointing to the photos as Tommy pops in to finish the sentences. Yes, we have read it enough for them to memorize the book and they still want to keep reading it! Just today I heard Tommy say to Molly as they played, “Be sure to look left again for elephants!”

Greene Bark Press

If you have a young child this is a great book to add to your collection. It doesn’t seem preachy, dry, or boring at all. The kids love the story and it brings a great message. Priced at $8.50 and made with sturdy board, it would make a great book to keep in the car or stroller.



 Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew



Review: Reading Kingdom

For some children, learning to read with a book just isn’t enough. They need something that is more multi-sensory. With these kids, this might mean using an online program like Reading Kingdom to help them learn the skills they need.

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Whether your child is just starting out or has been struggling with learning to read for some time, Reading Kingdom can help teach your child to read and write at a 3rd grade level. By starting out with a very thorough assessment, the program knows exactly where to place your child and what challenges are necessary to help him or her thrive. By using colorful animations with fun sounds, most 4-10 year olds will feel like they are playing a game at times instead of actually learning.

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By covering sequencing, writing, sounds, meaning, grammar, and comprehension, Reading Kingdom helps children learn to read in a more balanced approach than phonics (sounds) alone. Parents are emailed regularly with updates on progress their child is making and can log in and see where their children are at, adjust the settings (I had to increase the response time for Tommy, as he needed a bit more time to find the keys on the keyboard.), and manage the readers. That’s right, you can have more than one child on your account! Being that it is a website where you log in and not a software, you are able to use Reading Kingdom on any computer making it extremely convenient. I loved that if needed I could send Tommy to my Mom’s for the day and he could still get some of his studies done, yet I would still know his exact progress as I could look at it online.

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While the program costs $19.99 a month for the first child, $9.99 for each additional (Or the annual plan of $199.99, $99.99 for each additional child.), Reading Kingdom is flexible in that they give you a 30 day free trial before you begin paying for the subscription. This way you will know if it is the right fit for your family before you commit to it financially.

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Tommy struggled a bit with this program in the beginning. However, once I fixed the response time and he became more familiar with the keyboard he began to like it. Overall, we really like this program and I believe it might be a really good fit for him. He’s quite fond of the little characters on the screen, making up little names for them and such. When he is congratulated for getting something right by the program, he says, “Why, thank you!”. Such a funny kid. It has really helped him with sequencing and sounds.

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If you’re looking for a different approach than you’ve tried in the past, or have a beginning reader that needs something a bit more visual, I would definitely recommend Reading Kingdom. If you do try it out, be sure to let me know!



Want to know what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought of Reading Kingdom? Click to read more reviews.



Review: Bible Study Guide For All Ages

About a month ago, a week or two after we began using Bible Study Guide For All Ages to review the Beginner Level Student Pages, Beginner Level Time Line, and the Children’s Song CD Set in our homeschool, I had sent my oldest daughter, Becca, and my middle son, Tommy, to church with my parents as I was not feeling well.  When they arrived home, before I had a chance to say anything, Becca went right into telling me how her little brother embarrassed her in Children’s Church. My first thought was “Oh no, what did he do…”, so with fear I listened her tell me how he interrupted the teacher several times.


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Now, let me be clear that I am not condoning his behavior, and I was still embarrassed. (Melissa, if you’re reading this, I’m so sorry!) However, his reason for interrupting was because he was excited that he knew all the details of the story of Joseph that the lesson was detailing. From the Coat of Many Colors all the way up to Joseph becoming Pharaoh. After having a talk with Tommy on how impolite it is to interrupt our teachers, I walked away surprised. “He knows every detail of the story! Every single bit! Wow!


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Intended for ages 3 – Kindergarten, Bible Study Guide For All Ages Beginner Level is a complete Bible Study that covers more than just a simple story with each lesson, but helps your child memorize Books of the Bible, each day of Creation, lineage of the Bible, and more. There is little prep work to be done for each lesson on your part, yet so much material is covered. The most I ever had to do to prepare for a lesson was to cue the songs on the CDs that were to be used that day or find a household object to bring to lesson time with me.


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Each day we began by pulling out the student page we would be using. It literally walked me through each step right there, instead of having to jump from place to place to know what needed to be done. First we would go through our Time Line cards that we hung around the room. These are 8 1/2 x 11 card stock pages that go through people and events in the Bible in the order they took place. We went through each of these each day that we did a lesson, adding a new card each day. Next, we would sing a few songs and memory drills along with the Children’s Songs CD, go over some memorization and simple questions about things we had already learned, and then I would do a little lesson that was mostly read from the page where I applied the story we were about to learn to present day. Once all of this was done, we jumped right into that days lesson.


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Here is where it got really cool. The lesson is set out as if it were a comic strip, making it easy for little ones to follow along.At this point, I would read the story from the page and at the end of each segment there would be a little instruction for the child to color or mark the photo in one way or another.


Bible Study Guide For All Ages - Beginner's Time Line - Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven


At the end of the story, we would flip the page over and do a quick question and answer about what was going on in the photo. One example was a picture of little boy holding a glass behind his back as he told his dad that he didn’t know where his lemonade was. The question was if the little boy was lying. (Good luck to you if your child is like mine and quickly colors the glass a light shade of brown to make it Iced Tea so that the boy is not lying about not knowing where the lemonade is… 😉 )


Bible Study Guide For All Ages - Beginner Level Student Pages - Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven

Overall, our family LOVES Bible Study Guide For All Ages and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a thorough, Biblical, and easy approach to teaching the Bible to their children.

The Beginner Level Student Pages are $5.95 per unit. (26 lessons, you’ll need one for each child.)
The Beginner Level Time Line is $24.95. (You only need to buy this once, and only need one total.)
The Children’s Songs CD Set is $19.95. (This will only need to be purchased once as well.)




Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew, including reviews for products at different age levels.



5 Days Of Crafty Lessons: Makin’ A Craft Supply List, Checkin’ It Twice

*This post may contain affiliate links.


Today is day 4 in our 5 Days of Crafty Lessons series in the 5 Day Summer Blog Hop with the Schoolhouse Review crew. Don’t forget to read Days 1, 2, & 3 in our series as well!


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There are so many things laying around your house right now that can be used for crafty lessons. Jars, styrofoam peanuts, scraps of fabric, buttons… This list could go on for hours.

Next time you go to through out an old spoon or another household item, stop and ask yourself: “Can I use this in any crafty lessons we will be doing soon?”

When you are walking through the dollar store, check every aisle you walk down: Fake flowers, toy bugs, glue, markers… the list goes on and on.

While making your lesson plans, and you know there are crafty lessons coming up, make notes of items you will need. Fur? Glitter? Pipe cleaners? Scrapbook paper? An old book? You may be amazed with what your imagination gives you to be in need of!

Never limit yourself. But don’t go crazy breaking the bank either. Use discount stores, remnant bins at fabric stores, clearance racks, etc. Most crafts are not going to be saved for more than a season, so there is no point in spending a fortune on them.

I hope you have found this series beneficial to your homeschool. It’s been a lot of fun to write!


Be sure to visit the other 90 bloggers on the Schoolhouse Review Crew participating in this blog hop by clicking the image below. Thanks for stopping by!
Summer Blog Hop

Psst… Don’t forget to head over and enter the Back To Homeschool giveaway and enter for your chance to win!



5 Days Of Crafty Lessons: An Easy – Peasy Crafty Lesson To Help Little Ones Understand Addition

*This post may contain affiliate links.


Today is day 4 in our 5 Days of Crafty Lessons series in the 5 Day Summer Blog Hop with the Schoolhouse Review crew. Don’t forget to read Days 1, 2, & 3 in our series as well!


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This crafty lesson is a super easy one to do with your little one to help them understand addition. It doesn’t take much set up or clean up, and can be done in a few minutes or can be made longer to last over the course of a few days.


An easy - peasy Crafty Lesson to help little ones understand addition


To complete this craft, you will need the following supplies:


I began with this crafty lesson by writing “1” on a piece of felt with glitter glue. I then asked Tommy to find 1 foam sticker to put on the felt sheet. Once his 1 sticker was on the sheet, I then wrote “+2=” on the felt. Now I had him find 2 foam stickers and he applied them to the felt. I then pointed to the “1” sticker and the “2” stickers and said “1 + 2 =” and he counted up the stickers and exclaimed “3”! Sure, it came easily the first few rounds as we counted up to “8 + 2 =” before his little brother and sister woke up from nap, but the higher the numbers got the more he had to count, which is good for him. This was a good exercise to help him with his addition skills.

Use Felt, Glitter Glue, and Foam Stickers to teach addition

Once it was all done, and the sheets were all lined up, he informed me that he will be making a book out of his creations to help teach his little sister about adding numbers. I gotta tell ‘ya, that melted my heart.


Using A Crafty Lesson to help little ones understand Addition


Come back tomorrow for the 5th day of our 5 days of Crafty Lessons! I’ll be sharing a list of great, low priced supplies to keep on hand for use in crafty lessons.

What would you do with the felt sheets once the crafty lesson was completed? Do like Tommy plans to and make a book, or would you do something else? Maybe include them in a busy bag or quiet book? I’d love to know!


Be sure to visit the other 90 bloggers on the Schoolhouse Review Crew participating in this blog hop by clicking the image below. Thanks for stopping by!
Summer Blog Hop

Psst… Don’t forget to head over and enter the Back To Homeschool giveaway and enter for your chance to win!



5 Days Of Crafty Lessons: Using Basic Supplies To Explain How A Plant Grows And Some Thoughts

*This post may contain affiliate links.


Today is day 3 in our 5 Days of Crafty Lessons series in the 5 Day Summer Blog Hop with the Schoolhouse Review crew. Don’t forget to read Days 1 & 2 in our series as well!

With this post I want to add some thoughts, and then we’ll get into another crafty lesson.


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When lesson planning, sometimes we as parents get excited. We are certain that this crafty lesson is going to cause our children to suddenly catch every little detail of what we are trying to convey, when usually that is just not likely. Grasp the majority of the lesson? Probably. All? Not usually. Don’t be upset if you have to go over it all again in different ways a few more times before they “get it” completely.

Another problem that can come up is that in our imagination, we have this grand idea of how this craft is going to come out. It’s going to be just perfect and the kids are going to love doing every bit of it. Keep in mind, it is a child doing the craft, not a 22 year old art major. Let them use their imaginations, let them do it not so perfectly, and most of all, encourage them if there is a part of the craft that is tedious and they just want to give up. If they push through, the next step is most likely fun and they’ll forget they were ever upset.

If the above 2 paragraphs are not remembered, you can quickly become discouraged and feel like you’ve wasted a lot of time. I’ve seen it happen with others and myself as well. Just keep on going, remember you are the best teacher your child can have… and some kids just don’t like crafts. There’s nothing wrong with that.


How to teach using CRAFTY LESSONS Exploring education with a craft


Now, for today’s craft. This is one of those where in my mind it looked completely different from the way it came out, but it’s not my craft. It’s Tommy’s craft. So of course, it looks very unique. It’s not bad, and it got the lesson across. The lesson is what matters. Not the project. (Kind of like yesterday’s funny looking little mail man. That was NOT what I expected either. HA!)

Creating an example of how a seed grows into a plant:


Creating an example of the growth cycle of a flower


For this craft, the supplies were:


What you'll need for your child to create an example of a seed growing into a flower


Tommy and I have read books and I’ve tried drawing for him the process of planting a seed and it growing into a plant, flower, tree, vegetable, etc. He grasped some of it, but was still having trouble understanding it. One day last week I was putting some blocks of packing styrofoam and boxes in to the garage to be thrown out when I suddenly had an idea. I pulled one of the blocks out, cut off one of the ends, scooped a hole with an ice cream scoop on the top and another hole on the side. Then I placed it aside meaning to come back to it right away, but instead waited until the last possible minute, hence this being posted today instead of yesterday. (I do stuff like this frequently. I’m the worst procrastinator. It is my worst habit, for sure.)

A few days later, I came back to my block of styrofoam. I painted the front and sides brown along with the hole in the top. The top I painted green. (I left the back alone.)


Paint a block of styrofoam and use it as an example to explain the cycle of a seed growing into a flower to your child


The only reason I did this step without Tommy was because I knew he would not handle having to wait until the paint dried to move on to the next step. He did, however, catch me painting and asked what I was making. I just told him it was a surprise for school and he would find out soon.

Once we were ready to do our lesson, I sat down with Tommy and explained the whole process. I began by telling him that we were going to be silly and pretend that some of our craft supplies were things found in nature. He “planted” the seeds into the holes by gluing them in… but would not let us move on to the next step until we covered the hole back up with pretend dirt. So for 2 minutes, we used “shovels” and filled the holes with imaginary dirt. THAT was when I knew this crafty lesson was going to be a hit!


Plan a crafty lesson to have your child create an example of the growth cycle of a flower


Next I told him that a seed needs 3 things to grow: good soil (He pointed out that we already had that, smart alec.), water, and sunlight. So we made a stand with pipe cleaners for our pretend rain to fall from, tore up a bunch of little pieces of tissue paper, taped the tissue paper to the string, and tied the string to the pipe cleaners… but not before he used an imaginary watering can to put water on the seed himself.

Now, of course, we needed a sun! Again, we made a stand from pipe cleaners, but this time we made a circle at the top and inserted a yellow pom pom.

With our seed receiving plenty of water and sunlight, our seed was beginning to grow. He literally said, “Now I get it” which was SO stinkin’ cute and relieving! He made a little sprout from a pipe cleaner and put it in the styrofoam. Then he asked how it would become a flower… I told him it takes time, but eventually our little sprout would keep growing and it would bloom into a beautiful flower. He chose which pipe cleaners he wanted to use for his flower and with a little help from me created a gorgeous little stem and petals. Next he glued a pom pom to the center of the flower and inserted it into the styrofoam.

When it was all done, he was so proud of his creation. I asked him to tell me what each piece was and what was happening with each step. Even hours later he still had it all down pat. SUCCESS!!!

As we sat and enjoyed his little artwork, we read Planting a Rainbow, Jack’s Garden, The Tiny Seed (World of Eric Carle), How a Seed Grows (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 1). It was a wonderful time of learning for him, teaching for me, and spending time together as a whole. We made some lasting memories with this lesson. That’s one of the many reasons I love homeschooling!


Reading children's books about gardening after a crafty lesson on how plants grow


While reading this series, have you come up with any ideas for Crafty Lessons? Are you enjoying these posts or do you find them silly? Should I consider making this a weekly link up? I’d love to know!


Be sure to visit the other 90 bloggers on the Schoolhouse Review Crew participating in this blog hop by clicking the image below. Thanks for stopping by!
Summer Blog Hop

Psst… Don’t forget to head over and enter the Back To Homeschool giveaway and enter for your chance to win!