December Planning: Holidays & Curriculum

December comes and goes so quickly with the holidays and family. Below we’ve highlighted some of our favorite well-known and wacky holidays to help you get a head start on planning.

 

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day – December 7

Attack on Pearl Harbor

 

With this unit study you will be able to teach your middle and high school classroom all about the attack on Pearl Harbor. December 7, 1941, is a day that many Americans will not forget.  As Franklin D. Roosevelt said, it is a day that will live in infamy.  On this historic day, Japan attacked the Pearl Harbor naval base in Hawaii, forcing the U.S. to enter World War II.  Make your lesson planning easy with the Attack on Pearl Harbor Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. This unit includes a 6-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 20 Hands-On Activities PLUS 1 Fun Extension Activity, 10-page Research Guide, and Answer Key.  Students will learn a brief history of World War II, the events of the attack on Pearl Harbor, damages and casualties of the attack, the aftermath, memorials, and more.

 

International Monkey Day – December 14

A Trip to the Zoo

With this unit study you will be able to teach your 3rd-6th grade class about animals at the zoo. With the A Trip to the Zoo Graphics Pack Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child, your student can study the trip to any zoo. Simply choose a zoo to visit and then use the 17 Hands-On Activities and Reproducible Graphic Templates to complete a study on that zoo. This Graphics Pack contains a 3-day Planning Guide, Related Reading, a brief Research Guide explaining types of zoos, purposes of zoos, where zoo animals come from, zoo management and animal care, zoo rules, and comparing animals in the wild to animals in captivity plus vocabulary words your student might encounter during his or her own research needed to complete a study on a visit to the zoo!

 

Bill of Rights Day – December 15

The United States Constitution

With this unit study you will be able to teach your middle school and high school classroom all about the United States Constitution. The Constitution was signed on September 17, 1787. This was the day that a new government was formed in the United States, the same government we have today. Make lesson planning easy with the United States Constitution Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. This unit includes a 9-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 20 Hands-On Activities, an 8-page Research Guide, and Answer Key. Students will learn about Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, the Articles of Confederation, structure and content of the Constitution, the Constitutional Convention, U.S. citizens and their rights, and much more.

 

Christmas – December 25

12 Days of Christmas Fun

With this unit study you will be able to teach your early childhood classroom fun activities that correlate to the song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”.  The 12 Days of Christmas Fun Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child includes a 12-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 24 Hands-On Activities, and Supply List to help your students celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas.  This unit includes both religious and secular based activities that correlate to “The Twelve Days of Christmas” song.

 

New Year’s Eve – December 31

New Year’s Celebrations

With this unit study you will be able to teach your 3rd grade and up classroom about the history of New Year’s Celebrations. January 1 is the first day of the new calendar year in the United States as well as in many other countries around the world. People in America celebrate New Year’s Day with parades, football games, special foods and other customs. Many cultures celebrate New Year’s Day on other dates as well. This pack includes a 12-page Research Guide and 16 Hands-On Activities to introduce your students to early New Year’s customs, celebrations in the United States, celebrations around the world, New Year’s resolutions and rituals, and much more!

 

Which one is your favorite? Is there a holiday we missed that you love celebrating? Comment below or comment on our Facebook page!

November Planning – A Look Ahead at the Holidays

While planning for November, we’ve listed a few well-known holidays, as well as some unusual holidays that you can tie learning into. Which holiday are you looking forward to most?

November 11 -Veterans Day

World War I Project Pack

With this unit study you will be able to teach your 3rd-8th grade classroom about the history of World War I. On July 28, 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia and the world suddenly changed. The First World War had begun. Make your lesson planning easy with the 101-page World War I Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. This pack includes a 10-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 22 Hands-On Activities, 18-page Research Guide, and an Answer Key. Students will be introduced to the countries involved, causes of the war, weapons used, and the battles fought. There is also a detailed timeline of events, short biographies of important people, and much more!

 

World War II Project Pack

With this unit study you will be able to teach your 6th-10th grade classroom about the history of World War II. For twelve long years the world was in turmoil as the Allied countries fought against the Axis countries in World War II. Make your lesson planning easy with the World War II Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. This pack includes a 14-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 30 Hands-On Activities PLUS 1 Extension Activity, a 26-page Research Guide, and an Answer Key. Upon completion, students will understand the causes of the war, weapons used, the decision to drop the atom bomb, secret codes, and how the balance of world power shifted as the war came to a close.

Attack on Pearl Harbor Project Pack

With this unit study you will be able to teach your middle and high school classroom all about the attack on Pearl Harbor. December 7, 1941, is a day that many Americans will not forget.  As Franklin D. Roosevelt said, it is a day that will live in infamy.  On this historic day, Japan attacked the Pearl Harbor naval base in Hawaii, forcing the U.S. to enter World War II.  Make your lesson planning easy with the Attack on Pearl Harbor Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. This unit includes a 6-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 20 Hands-On Activities PLUS 1 Fun Extension Activity, 10-page Research Guide, and Answer Key.  Students will learn a brief history of World War II, the events of the attack on Pearl Harbor, damages and casualties of the attack, the aftermath, memorials, and more.

 

The Vietnam War Project Pack

November 13 – Peanut Butter Day

The Peanut Project Pack

With this unit study you will be able to teach your elementary grade classroom about the peanut. The peanut, a member of the legume family, is an annual warm-season plant that originated in South America. Students can learn about this fun and nutritious food with The Peanut Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. Make your lesson planning easy with the 8-page Research Guide and 12 hands-on activities PLUS 2 extension activities to help students learn about types of peanuts, the peanut plant, peanut growth cycle, peanut uses, and fun peanut facts.

November 23  – Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Project Pack

https://www.handsofachild.com/thanksgiving-curriculum.html

With this unit study you will be able to teach your multi- grade classroom about Thanksgiving. Every year Americans look forward to the fourth Thursday of November and enjoy the feasting and good times with their families. But Thanksgiving is not just about eating all that wonderful food. Make your lesson planning easy with the Thanksgiving Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. This pack includes a 7-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 17 Hands-On Activities, a 12-page Research Guide, and an Answer Key. Introduce your students to the history, people, symbols of the holiday, recipes, and more!

 

The Pilgrims Project Pack

https://www.handsofachild.com/the-pilgrims-curriculum.html

With this unit study you will be able to teach your elementary, middle school and high school classroom all about Pilgrims. Have you and your family ever moved to a new house or maybe even a new city or state? Have you ever imagined what it would be like to move to a new country? This year as you celebrate Thanksgiving, think about those people long ago who moved to a new country in search of freedom – think about the Pilgrims. The Pilgrims Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child is complete with a 10-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 20 Hands-On Activities, 11-page Research Guide, and Answer Key to help your students study the history of the Pilgrims.

Monthly Holiday – Harvest Month!

Harvest Festival Project Pack

https://www.handsofachild.com/harvest-festival-curriculum.html

With this unit study you will be able to teach your early elementary classroom about celebrating autumn. Autumn leaves are falling and it’s time to celebrate the harvest! Your preschoolers will absolutely love the Harvest Festival Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. We have included a total of 15 Hands-On Activities; three activities for each day of the unit to help you and your student celebrate autumn! This is a thematic unit focusing on skills and concepts needed for school, there is no research guide included with this unit. This unit covers the following concepts: the letters L, P, S, R, A, and B; matching, symmetry, and sequencing. Tracer font or cut and paste answers are provided for this unit.

A Back to School Planning Guide

Back to school planning can be daunting, especially with so many options and subjects out there. How do you know which ones will be best to start with? How will you incorporate these with activities. Below, we’ve listed some of our more popular curriculum from most of the subjects we offer. Whether you want to start with Economics, The Arts, or a little of both, these lapbooks are sure to get you started in the right direction. Each curriculum notes the age group and what is included.

 

Economics

Law and Government

With this unit study you will be able to teach your 4th-7th grade classroom about law and government. Throughout the world, there are different forms of government that establish and enforce laws for the people who live within the boundaries of each nation. Make your lesson planning easy with the World Governments Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. This unit includes a 5-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 15 Hands-On Activities, 5-page Research Guide, and Answer Key. Students will be will introduced to roles of government, types of laws, how U.S. laws are made, national and state laws, and careers in law.

 

Geography

Globes and Maps

With this unit study you will be able to teach your 2nd-5th grade classroom about globes and maps. How do you find your way around the world? Globes are the most accurate world maps. Flat maps, though not as accurate, are easy to store and take with you when you travel. Teach your students about these two important models of the Earth. Make your lesson planning easy with the Globes and Maps Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child, which includes a 10-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 20 Hands-On Activities PLUS 4 Fun Extension Activities, 11-page Research Guide, and Answer Key. Students will be introduced to globes (invention, longitude and latitude, twenty-four hour globes) and maps (map projections, types of maps, parts of a map, and reading maps).

 

History

Remember the Alamo!

With this unit study you will be able to teach your 3rd-6th grade classroom about the  history of the battle at the Alamo. There have been many famous battles throughout the history of the world. One famous battle in the U.S. was the Battle of the Alamo, a critical event during the Texas Revolution. Make your lesson planning easy with the Remember the Alamo! Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. This pack includes a 5-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 16 Hands-On Activities, an 8-page Research Guide, and an Answer Key. Students will be introduced to the events leading up to the battle, the history of the San Antonio de Valero Mission, the Texas Revolution, the events of the siege of the Alamo, Texians who fought at the Alamo, and the aftermath.

 

Language Arts

Words, Words, Words: Understanding a Dictionary and Thesaurus

With this unit study you will be able to teach your 2nd-5th grade classroom some basic tips for using a dictionary and thesaurus. There are over one million words in the English language. Luckily there are two very important tools that can be used to find and understand words: a dictionary and a thesaurus. Make your lesson planning easy with the Words, Words, Words Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child, which contains a  5-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 15 Hands-On Activities, and a 10-page-page Research Guide. Students will be introduced to the parts of a dictionary, parts of word entry, and how to look-up a word, types of thesaurus’ and how to use a thesaurus.

 

Math

Introduction to Geometry

With this unit study you will be able to introduce your 4th-8th grade classroom to geometry. Geometry is the mathematical study of the properties of points, lines, planes, angles, and shapes. Make your lesson planning easy with the 7-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 22 Hands-On Activities PLUS 2 Fun Extension Activities, 10-page Research Guide, and Answer Key. With the Introduction to Geometry Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child, students will be introduced to points, lines, planes, angles, and shapes as well as measuring shapes and the importance of geometry.

 

Science

Traveling Seeds

With this unit study you will be able to teach your PreK-2nd grade classroom about plants. Plants may not travel, but their seeds sure do! In fact, a traveling seed is one of the ways that new plants begin! Introduce your student to the science of plants with the Traveling Seeds Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. Make your lesson planning with the 5-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 14 Hands-On Activities, and 5-page Research Guide about plant anatomy, pollination, growth, photosynthesis, and plant uses.

 

Social Studies

Freedom & Equality: Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks

With this unit study you will be able to teach your 2nd-4th grade classroom about two incredible women: Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks. Throughout U.S. history there have been many people who worked to ensure freedom and equality for all citizens, including Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks. Teach your students about these two remarkable women and their role in freedom and equality. Make your lesson planning easy with the Freedom & Equality: Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks Curriculum  from In the Hands of a Child. This pack includes a 5-day Planning Guide, Related Reading, 15 Hands-On Activities,  and an 8-page Research Guide. Students will be introduced to each woman’s personal life, her role in freedom and equality, and important events in history during her lifetime.

 

The Arts

Broadway Musicals

With this unit study you will be able to teach your 6th-10th grade classroom about Broadway Musicals. Located in New York City, Broadway Musicals have been a part of the New York theatre scene throughout history. Make your lesson planning easy with the Broadway Musicals Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. This pack includes a 5-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 13 Hands-On Activities, an 11-page Research Guide and Answer Key to introduce your students to the history of the longest-running Broadway Musicals: The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Chicago, Les Misérables, The Lion King, A Chorus Line, Beauty and the Beast, Rent, Mamma Mia, and Miss Saigon.

5 Summer Activities that Double as Education

Visit a Botanical Garden

While a botanical garden is beautiful to walk through, it also provides a lot of learning opportunities for your student. The most obvious one is to learn about the plant life. What are the flowers and plants? What do they do? Even learning how a plant grows could be interesting to younger students.

On another note, there is an abundance of birds and insects at a botanical garden that may interest your student. Why are certain insects there? What do insects do to the plants? What about the birds?

This is very simple, but also a great hands-on way to learn over the summer. If you want to tie it into a curriculum, our recommendation would be our In the Garden Project Pack.

Bring a Camera Everywhere

Most people already have a phone on them with a camera, but learning how to operate a camera can be fun. Have your student carry around any type of camera all day and take pictures as they go. While they are taking pictures, they are learning about how to zoom, focus, what all of the nodes and buttons are used for, as well as what to look for that is a good “shot.”

At the end of the day, look over the photos and maybe even talk about the printing process and what goes into the developing of a photo.

If you’re looking for curriculum to tie in to this activity, we have them for every age group here.

Science Museum

This one is a no-brainer. Science museums are chock full of fun and amazing learning opportunities. Check your local science museum for any events they have over the summer. They usually hold mini-summer camps and classes.

Trip to the Zoo

The zoo is full of learning experiences for your student. You can teach about the types of zoos, purposes of zoos, where zoo animals come from, zoo management and animal care, zoo rules, and comparing animals in the wild to animals in captivity. There are also endangered species and why they are endangered. They can learn more about animal classifications and why animals look differently from others.

If you’re looking for curriculum to tie-in to this activity, check out our numerous lapbooks.

Water Science Experiments

There are so many amazing science experiments involving water. Below I’ve listed a few that link to some great blogs with the full projects written out.

The blog Rookie Parenting has an entire section with water science experiments. It includes the properties of water, capillary action, water density, refraction, surface tension and the freezing point. The greatest part is that most of the objects needed to conduct the experiments can be found in your home.

Another blog, Brain Power Boy, is a great resource for water science experiments. The great part about this blog is that it’s all about how to have fun with water and science. There are also some ground rules that Sheila lists out that are very useful and great to remember.

Have any summer activities you tie in with education? Let us know in the comments below or by heading over to our Facebook page.

Using Pinterest for Homeschooling

You may be guilty of it, and most importantly, almost everyone is guilty of it.

What is it you may be guilty of? Scrolling through Pinterest for hours.

You may look up recipes, everything you’re interested in or fun ideas for the kids. The thing is, it’s not just a social media platform, but also a search engine. This search engine can be used in a powerful way to aide in homeschooling.

Here are just a few ways it can be used:

  1. Create new boards for themes or units. Then, whenever you find something browsing Pinterest, blogs or just through Google, you can Pin it to that board to go back when you are about to start that theme or unit.

  2. Use the Pinterest Search Engine. Do what you may already do, but streamline it by searching for things you may need help with. Not sure what crafts to go along with your curriculum on Consumer Math? Search “consumer math crafts” and you’ll get hundreds of ideas that others have tried and tested for you. You can use this in any way, even for things like “homeschool organization.”

  3. Who you follow will show up on your overall feed. So be careful. Not every Pinterest account you follow will be ONLY what they pinned that caught your interest. To combat that, follow specific boards.

  4. Create a board for each child. As you know, each child learns differently and is at a different level of education. Why not use a Pinterest board to pin things you know one child would like versus all of them?

  5. Join group boards with other homeschoolers! Usually the collaborative efforts of all will show some pretty great content.

  6. Showcase your students’ amazing work! Why not use it the other way around and show everyone what you’re doing? You may be able to inspire others, but it also doubles as a tracker as well.

Extra general Pinterest tips:

  • If you don’t want a board to be public, you can make it “Secret” so that you can only see it (or whomever you would like to add).

  • You can easily pin the same pin to multiple boards, move pins from one board to the next or even delete pins if they don’t work.

  • If you try something out from Pinterest, you can go to the pin and click the checkmark. This allows you to write your own notes on the particular post, such as “Will do it again,” “Made these changes,” or even “This didn’t work.” You can go back and look at those anytime.

30 Minutes or Less Recipes Perfect for Weekday Dinners

By the time dinner rolls around, you may not have the time to dedicate one or more hours on a meal for the family. Below, we’ve listed five recipes from recipe blogs that are 30 minutes or less, easy to make and delicious for the entire family. Make sure to visit their sites and grab the recipes by clicking on the images!

 

EASY 30-MINUTE HOMEMADE CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP from Averie Cooks

Wow, does this look delicious! A homemade tradition that usually takes hours only takes 30 minutes now! One of her tips? Use rotisserie chicken!

ONE POT CHILI MAC from Num’s the Word

Not only does this just take thirty minutes, but it also only uses ONE POT. Think of what you can do with your time outside of washing dishes when you only have to clean one pot.

SHEET PAN FAJITAS from Wine and Glue

Take Taco Tuesday to the next level. This recipe requires one cutting board, one sheet pan and only 10 minutes of hands-on time.

30 MINUTE MOZZARELLA CHICKEN IN HOMEMADE TOMATO SAUCE from Little Spice Jar

A traditional and simple Italian meal.

ORANGE CHICKEN 30 MINUTE SKILLET RECIPE from The Gunny Sack

One of the most popular Chinese foods out there can be made in 30 minutes in your home.

BONUS RECIPES from The Love Nerds

So here’s the thing: Maggie from The Love Nerds has put together more than 25 recipes that take 30 minutes or less and are perfect for weeknights. Print it, Pin it and Save it in any way you can to keep this on your list to rotate through.

Understanding Tragedy through Lapbooking

Open any newspaper or watch a nightly news program and you are bound to find a report about a tragedy somewhere in the world.  From natural disasters like forest fires and hurricanes to tragedies like September 11, 2001 and war; these are some of the unfortunate events we hear about and experience on a daily basis.  How do we explain these types of things to our children?  How do we help our children understand what a crisis is and teach them how to deal with it?  One way of helping your child understand tragedy is to create a lapbook about the event or a related topic.

 

I recently spoke with a mom about her son’s love of Steve Irwin, the “Crocodile Hunter”.  She recounted to me how upset her son was when he heard the news of Steve’s  tragic death in 2006.  While snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef, Steve was pierced by a stingray barb; what some experts says was a one-in-a-million incident.  While trying to console her son and think of a way for him to honor his hero’s memory, this mom came across our Steve Irwin: Crocodile Hunter Project Pack at In the Hands of a Child.  They had never tried a lapbook before, but thought this would be a good time to start. 

 

By creating a lapbook on his hero, this young boy learned about and celebrated Steve’s life.  He learned about his childhood, his family, his career as a television and movie star, his work with zoos and animals, and his work as a conservationist.  Even though it has been 7 years since Steve Irwin’s death, his young fan can pull out his lapbook and remember his favorite “Crocodile Hunter.”

 

In the Hands of a Child has a variety of topics that can help you create a lapbook that will help kids understand some of the unfortunate events that may be happening right now in or have happened in history.  Some of those topics include:

  •  Slavery HOCPP 1014

  • Titanic HOCPP 1019

  • Forest Fires HOCPP 1041

  • Volcanoes HOCPP 1042

  • Extreme Weather HOCPP 1044

  • World War I HOCPP 1086

  • World War II HOCPP 1089

  • September 11th, 2001 HOCPP 1105

  • Steve Irwin HOCPP 1107

  • The Civil War HOCPP 1181

  • Amelia Earhart HOCPP 1227

  • The Holocaust HOCPP 1249

  • Earthquakes HOCPP 1255

  • Emergency Services HOCPP 1304

  • America’s Great Depression HOCPP 1347

  • Basic Survival Skills HOCPP 1350

  • Firefighters HOCPP 1367

~Katie Kubesh

Personalizing Lapbooks

Lapbooks are not just a great hands-on tool for learning, they are also creative outlets for students.  A lapbook is a great way for students to showcase what they have
learned as well as their creativity and individuality.  No two lapbooks are ever alike; whether students design the lapbook themselves or use a ready-to-assemble pack.

 Personalizing a lapbook doesn’t mean writing your name on it!  Personalizing a lapbook means creating a one-of-a-kind portfolio that is as unique as the child who created it!  Encourage your students to express their own personal style and creativity with each lapbook he or she creates.  Here are some ways you can encourage your students to make their own lapbooks unique:

  • Provide multi-colored file folders for students to choose from.
  • Allow students who enjoy coloring to print the graphics and templates on white paper and then color in the pictures.
  • Allow students who do not enjoy coloring to print the graphics and templates on colorful paper.
  • Allow students who are reluctant writers to type their answers on the graphic or template before printing.
  • Provide stickers, printed papers, scrapbook embellishments, and other fun materials for each student to personalize and embellish.
  • Encourage students who enjoy creative writing to write a short story or poem about the topic they are studying.
  • Encourage students who enjoy drawing to draw a picture of something they learned or something related to the topic.
  • Encourage curious students to conduct a survey or experiment and record their data in their lapbook.
  • Encourage musically talented students to write a song or jingle relating to the topic and include it in their lapbook.
  • Preserve memories of making lapbooks by taking pictures of the process and including them in the lapbook.

If lapbooking with multiple students, hold a contest to see who can create a lapbook with the most color, most creative story, neatest handwriting, most detailed pictures, most detailed information, etc.

 Give your students ownership of the lapbooks they create!  No two students are alike so why should their lapbooks be the same?  Encourage them to complete lapbook that is as unique as the person who created it!  Encourage your students to personalize their lapbooks!