Monthly Archives: December 2010

Hanukah Craft Round-up

I meant to post this before Hanukah started, but Dora has been unusually high-maintenance the last couple of weeks, so I am a bit behind. You could still make some of these and save them for next year.

image Craft made this absolutely stunning menorah using tea light holders, tissue paper and Mod Podge

Better Homes and Gardens tells you how to make this beautiful Star of David candle using eyelets. image



image Sara in Akko made this beautiful fabric menorah.




Meanwhile, the Junior Society made another gorgeous menorah using buttons. image



I Love to Create Blog posted another creative menorah, which she used materials from the hardware store to make.




Labels: Arts and Crafts, High School, This and That, Toddlers, Wrapping Up Our Week
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Christmas Printables Round-up

There are a lot of good Christmas printables in the blogosphere and I thought I’d share a few that I have found.

24357730-Doll-Xmas copybabalisme has another set of adorable paper dolls, this time Christmas-themed.





The Toy Maker has some gorgeous free printable Christmas toys.



Meanwhile, Canon offers this oh-so-cute pop up Christmas card.





Confessions of a Homeschooler has a whole free Christmas-themed preschool pack image


Kids Printables has Christmas-themed thank you notes for kids to fill out. has this cute printable for kids to make Christmas tree centerpieces. Christmas Tree Centerpiece-1









Craft Leftovers offers this free Advent calendar (sorry I’m a bit late on this one, as the countdown already began)image


Non Dairy Diary also has a cute house-themed advent calendar, which uses four houses





imageGingerbread Snowflakes also has an advent calendar that doubles as a fun Christmas tree fridge magnet set. also has a print out to make your own winter wonderland to color. Winter Wonderland-3



Labels: Freebies, Homeschooling in the Mainstream, Printables, Social Studies, This and That, Toddlers, Wrapping Up Our Week
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Christmas Craft Round-up

Here are some fun Christmas crafts from around the blogosphere.

imageI love these earrings from Childmade, because even the youngest child can make these and feel pride in giving a handmade gift to a loved one.image




There are a lot of fun wreath ideas out there right now, but I think kids would especially like making a candy cane wreath with these directions from Better Homes and Gardens.



If you haven’t ever used Christmas crackers, kids love them. They make noise and have a toy in them, what’s not to love? The Hybrid Chick has directions for making your own Christmas crackers.



If your kids have a toy kitchen, you can make them these adorable felt Christmas cookies from Life is a Party. image




Christmas Time Together has directions for making beaded ornaments, which is a great project to do with kids.



Kaboose has directions to make these totally cute, miniature hat and scarf ornaments.





Kaboose also has directions for making this beautiful angel ornament from coffee filters.image

Meanwhile, the Crafting Chicks use juice can lids to make these stylish heirloom ornaments.

Labels: Arts and Crafts, High School, This and That, Toddlers, Wrapping Up Our Week
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

We’ve Come a Long Way Baby!

I was very excited to see that on page 51 of the December issue of Family Fun magazine, there is an ad for Microsoft Office that uses homeschoolers to promote the product. An ad for a mainstream product in a mainstream magazine using homeschoolers is big! When Primo first started homeschooling, many people didn’t even know what homeschooling was and now we’re a large enough movement that mainstream advertiser’s are targeting us AND not worried that including us in their ads would turn off non-homeschoolers. Yay!

Labels: This and That, Toddlers
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Tot Time Weekly Wrap-Up: December 3, 2010

As I mentioned in my previous post, Dora’s learning theme this week was reindeer. The week started off a bit sketchy, but we ended up fitting in almost everything that I wanted to do by the end of the week.
We started off watching the old Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer movie, which has Burl Ives as the narrator.


I have been wanting to get this movie forever and Costco had it as part of a DVD set, which also included Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and a CD of Christmas music. It also has “bonus” features, such as The Little Drummer Boy, which happens to be my all-time favorite Christmas movie (I always tear up when I listen to that song). I noticed that Amazon also has the same DVD collection if anyone is interested in buying it (I wish I remember what Costco was charging, but I was so happy to get it, I didn’t even look at the price).

Fieldtrip – We went to a Reindeer Festival at the Cougar Mountain Zoo. Dora really enjoyed feeding the reindeer apples, which are carefully rationed out by the zoo so that the reindeer don’t eat an unbalanced diet. Santa was also there, but Dora was not having anything to do with him, though the story she tells is that she waved “hi” to him.

Practical Life – I’m going to stop blogging about this area of learning unless Dora does something out of the ordinary. It’s her favorite thing to do, but mostly entails “helping” me with household chores. She did get to help me wash my car today. After last week’s snow, and subsequent road sanding, my car needed it! I can’t go through the drive-through car washes, because of my bike rack, so I have to use the power sprayer and wash it myself. She loves drying the car, though is a bit frightened of the sprayer.
Sensory Tub for December
Sensorial – Dora played with the December sensory tub that I set up. It contains artificial poinsettias, pretend gifts, sparkly balls, and Christmas-themed eraser to stimulate the visual senses; pom-poms, pine cones, and textured balls to stimulate the tactile senses; jingle bells for stimulating the auditory senses; and frankincense and myrrh for stimulating the olfactory senses (thanks to Anna-Marie from Life’s Adventures for that idea!).
Math – Dora has been counting everything! She really is ready to learn to count. Hence, my making the reindeer counting printable that I mentioned in my previous post.

Literature – The reindeer-themed books that were appropriate for Dora were Olive the Other Reindeer, which is a really sweet story about a dog who thinks the line “All of the other reindeer…” is “Olive the other reindeer…”.

  Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, illustrated by David Wenzel


and The Night Before Christmas, illustrated by Jan Brett, which has a lot of reindeer in it, those is not specifically about reindeer.


Science – We worked on the Winter #9 Outdoor Hour Challenge, which is the winter mammal study. Firstly, we reviewed the section about deer in Fun with Nature book.

Not only did we see reindeer, reindeer poop, and reindeer tracks close up, the zoo actually had a plaque with reindeer prints on it.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Cooking – We made “Reindeer Food”.  It really did not resemble reindeer food in any way, shape, or form. Quite frankly, it looked more like reindeer poop! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Crafts – Dora is also really focused on gluing right now. She spent a lot of time gluing pages from the Kumon Let’s Sticker and Paste books.


She also glued together this reindeer printable that I got from First School (I just printed it on paper). I was pretty impressed with her ability to assemble this, given that she just turned two in October.

I’m linking up to:
Tot School  preschool corner Reviews and Giveaways

Labels: Things To Do Around Seattle, This and That, Toddlers, Wrapping Up Our Week
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Reindeer Printable for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Dora’s learning theme for the week was “Reindeers”. I tried to find good printables for her to work on counting with and couldn’t find any. She is really trying to learn to count right now, though she’s not ready for counting past five right yet. So I bought these really adorable reindeer clipart from J. Rett Graphics (the downloadable version was on sale for only $4.99!) and made a little file folder game that I though I’d share with you. The goal is for the child to feed the reindeer the correct number of carrot bunches (up to five reindeer).

Reindeer Number Feed Reindeer Number Feed-2OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Labels: Apps, Blogging Business, Printables, Toddlers
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Homeschool Art and Music Currciulum


Previously, I posted about online curriculum resources for teaching art and music, but I also wanted to post about art and music curriculum sources that aren’t online. I will also add this list to my art and music resources page, where I will update it as needed. Please let me know of any curriculums that you know of that I have not included.


  • Art Curriculum and Supplies 
    • Art for Homeschool – in addition to being able to watch this video series online, you can purchase the DVD’s. The Elements of Art Series is over 5 hours of 8 lessons covering line, value, shape, form, texture, space, and color.
    • Artistic Pursuits – This award winning homeschool art program meets the specific needs of homeschoolers at home. A variety of fun applications teach both the expressive and technical aspects of art while allowing children to make choices about what and how they will draw, paint, and sculpt.  Assignments work within the stages of artistic development of children and  guide them to mature artistic expression in the visual arts.
    • Atelier – Atelier by Arts Attack is devoted to developing and publishing high quality, easy-to-teach, DVD-based visual art lessons for children. Used extensively by homeschool parents & co-op art-teachers, Atelier is known for enabling home educators to achieve exceptional artwork from their students and for its process oriented and experiential approach to teaching – which teaches to the right side of the brain, developing learning and creative skills that enhance student performance in all areas and throughout life. 
    • Core Knowledge Bookstore – sells sets of unbound, shrink-wrapped, full-color art prints, which includes all of the artworks listed in the Visual Arts section of the Core Knowledge Sequence for the grade in question (What Your ____ Grader Needs to Know).
    • Dick Blick – has a humongous selection of all types of art materials and supplies
    • Discoveries in Art – In addition to their regular curriculum, Calvert offers enrichments. You do not need to purchase the full curriculum to use these enrichments. This two-DVD course will introduce your student to hundreds of images of paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, and photographs by artists ranging from Leonardo da Vinci to school-aged children. Projects include a self-portrait, cartoons, papier-mâché sculpture, printing, and more. Art supplies and an easy-to-use Lesson Manual are included.
    • Evan-Moor – offers a limited selection of books for teaching art to children
    • Exploring Art Media – is a guide for discovering the methods and creative techniques of the visual arts. It was expressly written and designed for the independent learner and individuals who want to improve their basic art skills.
    • Harmony Fine Arts at Home – Year-long learning plans for studying fine-arts. Plans include week by week schedules, materials and supplies lists, and an explanation of how to implement the program. You can purchase the books from their website directly, borrow them from the library, or use online resources given in the plans.
    • How Great Thou Art (Christian) – Barry Stebbing’s curriculum teaches topics like Fundamentals of Drawing & Painting, Manners & Etiquette, Journaling and much more.
    • Klutz – offers a variety of unique art and craft books/sets.
    • Miller Pads and Papers – is a discount art and educational supply warehouse
    • Mister Art– discount art and craft supply store


  • Music Curriculum and Supplies
    • Discoveries in Music – In addition to their regular curriculum, Calvert offers enrichments. You do not need to purchase the full curriculum to use these enrichments. Discoveries in Music introduces students to a variety of musical forms. Students learn about the various instrument families, study basic music theory concepts, and are introduced to important composers. Children will learn some basic skills by playing string, percussion, and wind instruments, using the included lap harp, triangle, and flutophone. The course presents thirty-two lessons on DVD.
    • Discovering Music – a music history and appreciation course
    • FJH Music Company – publishes music instruction books for a variety of instruments
    • FreeHand Music – offers music learning software and the most extensive selection of legal Digital Sheet Music and Guitar Tab Downloads available for musicians online
    • Harmony Fine Arts at Home – Year-long learning plans for studying fine-arts. Plans include week by week schedules, materials and supplies lists, and an explanation of how to implement the program. You can purchase the books from their website directly, borrow them from the library, or use online resources given in the plans.
    • McGraw Hill Higher Education – Publishers of Music: An Appreciation curriculum by Roger Kamien, which is an excellent resource for a high school music history and appreciation curriculum
    • Morton Subotnick’s Creating Music – a variety of fun software programs so that allow teachers to help and guide the children to learn the fundamentals of music theory and to create and compose music.
    • Music Wizard – software curriculum that teaches how to play the piano
    • Phonics 4 Piano – curriculum that teaches young children to play the piano or keyboard while preparing the child to read music
    • Simply Music – the “learn at home” program uses software to teach students to play the piano

Labels: Curriculum, Music
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Wordless Wednesday–A, B See Photo Meme–F is for a Froggy Christmas


Labels: Wordless Wednesday
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

10% off at Home Science Tools

I’m not an affiliate for Home Science Tools, I just love their merchandise. This discount is good through December 10% on your order

Labels: Educator Discounts and Curriculum Sales
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff