Grapes…and New Printables

This is what was on my counter recently:grapesNow we have a ton of Ziploc bags full of frozen grapes in the freezer (for snacks) and bags of raisins I made with my dehydrator! The raisins taste so much better than the ones you can buy in the store. They also have little, tiny, crunchy seeds left in them. After a bit of research, I learned that grapes seeds are quite good for you!!

My husband was also a sweetheart and processed the last of the plums and two fridge drawers full of peaches for me. I think we literally grow enough fruit now that 1-2 people could eat it all year-long. I’d probably get tired of it all, though! 😉

In other news, I’ve put up some printables in my website store in the new “printables category”:

I plan on adding things over time, between working on curricula. For now there are some excerpts that were adapted from the Science of Seasons Learn-and-Play Activities book and some items that are bundled in the Knowledge of Nature Curriculum. I’ll be creating lots of new goodies, for a variety of ages, as time goes on.

Now I’m off to work on the up-and-coming high school chemistry curriculum! Stay tuned (does anyone still use that phrase? lol) for updates!

Otter’s Botany Curriculum Notebooking Pages

I’m currently working on creating notebooking pages to help my son retain what he will be learning in botany this year. All answers to these notebooking pages can be found in the Botany For Dummies text. All the pages are in PDF format. I’ll post more sets of notebooking pages as they become available. I’m also creating some interactive tests and quizzes, but am waiting to see whether they can be posted online or not.

Chapter 1 Botany Notebooking Page
This printable page highlights the many ways plants are useful.Botany notebooking page chapter 1
Chapter 2 Plant Cell
Draw and label the plant cell parts based on figure
2-10 from the text.botany notebooking page
Chapter 2 Lift the Flap 3 Domains Base Sheet
Learn about the 3 domains. Copy the book’s text explanations underneath each flap.botany notebooking pages
Chapter 2 Lift the Flap Cut & Paste Page
Cut out the tree parts for the 3 domains printable.botany notebooking page
Chapter 2 Plasma Membrane
Make the parts and jobs of the plasma membrane memorable with this printable!botany printable
Chapter 2 Lift the Flap Cell Parts & Jobs
Create a lift-the-flap on colored paper to help retain the parts of a cell and the various organelle jobs.botany lapbook page
More to come!

Incorporating Independent Study in Your Day

WinterPromise includes independent study assignments in the Adventures in Sea & Sky instructor’s guide. You can see an example here on page 4. I didn’t end up using them though because we do most of the scheduled activities together. However, I think the sheets are a GREAT idea so I designed a simple schedule of things for Otter to accomplish on his own each day.

Independent study schedule

After eating breakfast, Otter knows exactly what he needs to do by looking at his schedule. I have all of the items he’ll need to use in a neat pile near his school desk. For any lapbook assignments, I have a printed sheet with information he may need to work from or copy in his lapbook folder and all of the lapbook printables ready to go. Teaching Textbooks is installed on a computer that does NOT have Internet and there are headphones available to him so he can concentrate on his work and not disturb anyone. After he gets all of his independent work done he’s allowed to have free time until we start school together later in the day. Before starting our other work, I check over his independent lessons to see how he did and answer any questions, etc.

I like this because it encourages Otter to take some responsibility for his own learning. It’s also helping him develop some good work habits.

If you are interested in giving something like this a try, you can download a copy of our schedule by clicking on the image above and alter it to work for your own children.

Printable Passport and Butterfly Notebooking Page

Otter’s science has been updated and a new Microsoft Word document created for those of you with older copies of the software. I consider it pretty much finished, except that as we work through the materials this year, I will likely tweak things here and there. There are also just a couple of books that don’t have page listings scheduled in because I haven’t received them yet.

I’ve really enjoyed getting emails in from those of you who are planning to use Otter’s Science! For those of you who are making alternate schedules, let me know if you’d like to share and I’ll post your alternative plan(s) for everyone else.

Here’s a preview of some more new printables posted:

Pretend printable passport Pretend printable passport
I made this pretend passport to use with CAW. The PDF has 3 pages to print out: a cover, an info page and blank pages for your country stamps. Click here to access it.

Notebooking printable butterflies

I offered to make a friend a notebooking page for her daughter. This is what was requested and here it is for everyone else! Visit our notebooking printables that feature “illustration boxes” to download it.

Lapbook Printables for Geography and Cultures

I’ve been busy getting ready for the up and coming school year by making some lapbook printables to go along with our study of world geography and cultures. Here’s a preview of some of the printables I’ve made and am sharing with you:

lapbook booklet Lapbook printable - prayer needs
lapbook menu lapbook temperature booklet Highest point flap book

To take a look and download them, click here. Lots more will be added over the next couple of weeks!

I recently had someone ask how I made my printables. Basically I work out of several programs. For the country and cultures lapbook I worked with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Poser, a Wacom tablet and Adobe Acrobat.
Illustrator is a vector illustration program. I used it to make graphics that have simple shapes: the flap books, the dotted lines for fold marks, the graph for the mountain heights, the tracing of my hand for the prayer book, etc. I also used it to clean up some of the clip art images that were purchased through (Jupiter Images).
I used Photoshop to put everything together. I arranged the graphics, drew things, erased lines, used special shape brushes and so on. I saved my creations as a high resolution gif to import into Acrobat so that they would look nice printed.
Acrobat makes the PDF files for you to download.
Poser is a 3-D program that is used to create “people”. I created a child in Poser, exported a picture of the child into Illustrator and created the “blank people” template that is used for one of the cut out projects.
It probably looks very simple but it’s a lot of work!

Anyway, take a look and let me know what you think. All of this work was prompted because I couldn’t find a country lapbook that had graphics I like. In fact, I was very disappointed with a particular purchase I made awhile back and so, I just created my own. Please check back soon for additions that are in the works. The whole thing will be finished in just a couple of weeks.

For more info on lapbooks as well as links to lapbook freebies, please visit Jimmie’s Squidoo lens!