Jamestown Craft and Study

My kids and I are working on studying Jamestown at the moment. My children are not little. In fact, they are teens, so craft time does not happen as often as I would like. However, when I come upon a study that I can incorporate that little bit of craftiness, I jump on it!


I found this neat Jamestown fort craft at About.com.


I knew as soon as I seen it that we were going to enjoy making this neat craft! To create it, you only need the following craft items:

  • Pop-cycle sticks
  • Brown wood stain/Acrylic Paints
  • Hot glue & glue gun
  • Small pieces of Pine tree
  • Dirt
  • Sticks
  • Styrofoam

I know this will help them out a lot with actually seeing a visual image of what a Jamestown fort will look like. It also doubles as art for the day!

To bring this study home for my kids, we completed the the project pack The Story of Jamestownwhich you can snag today for only $5.00!!

Grab your $5 Jamestown project pack and learn all about how this little settlement came to be!

What Credits Will My Highschooler Need to Graduate?

During our Facebook party last week, one of the topics that kept coming up is “What if I forget to teach them something they need in order to graduate?” With that being said, we thought it would be a good idea to share what a general credit lineup looks like for a high school graduate.

There are no national standards–every state has its own minimum requirements–but the average number of credits needed to graduate is 20. Credits have to be distributed among math, science, languages, social studies and electives that include technology, physical education and art or music.


Most students have to earn four credits in math during high school. These credits are most earned for algebra I, algebra II, geometry and trigonometry. Other math courses like business math and calculus also count toward the requirement.


Students have to earn three or four credits in science. Courses that meet this requirement are biology I and II, chemistry, physics and earth and space science. Students might earn additional credits for science classes like Anatomy and Physiology.


High school seniors must earn four credits in English. Each credit represents one year of study in English grammar and literature in grades 9 through 12.

Foreign Language

Foreign language requirements vary. Students earn one credit for each year of study of a foreign language.

Social Studies

Students usually graduate with four credits earned in social studies courses. These include American and world history, civics, state history and geography.


Students can earn credits for elective courses that will count toward the overall number required. These include classes such as art or music appreciation, keyboarding, accounting, technology and physical education. Students earn a half-credit for classes that last one semester.


Now that you have a basis on what credits are needed, now you can map out what they need to do for their course of high school.

Start a New Family Tradition With the Thankful Tree

During November and December, my kids and I take a break from our normal homeschool studies to break up the routine of schoolwork. During this time, we study things like Fall, harvest festivals, thankgiving, and we do several unit studies based on literature that we can read together.

One of my favorite things during this time is to create a Thankful Tree.

You can create one too and start a new tradition in your family. All you have to do is draw a tree trunk and tape it to your wall. Then trace some leaves of different sizes and fall colors. Each day, a member of the family writes something down on the leaf that they are thankful for. By the time November comes to an end, your tree will be full of goodness and thanksgiving unto God.


Looking for more fun studies during November? Check out the following Project Packs we have available.

Prek-1st Harvest Festival Project Pack


Grades 3-7 The Pilgrims Project Pack

PreK-8th Thanksgiving Project Pack

Harvest Ideas

This weekend,  my family and I will be attending a harvest festival put on by the people that live in my city. I am quite excited about attending. I love to see all the decorations and vendors. . .and don’t get me started on the food!

While my kids are older now and we don’t get to do this very often anymore, we used to gear up the week before any harvest festival we were attending by planning and having fun at home.


Yes! You can have your very own harvest festival at home.


Here are a few ideas you could incorporate.


·      For starters, you could grab this preschool project pack and learn all about Harvest Festivals!

·      Have a water gun shoot out using a pumpkin with a cross carved in it. The first one to put out the flame wins!

·      Bubble blowing for the toddlers! They love that.

·      Have an old fashioned face painting time. Let the kids paint your face as well. Even mom needs a painted face.

·      Make street fair foods like corn dogs, Homemade potato chips, and homemade ice cream—even homemade lemonade shakeups!


There are many things that you can do to celebrate the coming of a new season and fun times like harvest festivals. Why not visit one when you are done studying all about them?

National Pizza Month

Did you know that October is Pizza month? There is SO much you can learn from one giant round piece of food!

Pizza can be used for:


Reading—Sign your child up for Pizza Hut’s Book It Program. They earn free pizza for reading books! My kids LOVED doing this all the time. They were always so proud to turn in their certificate to redeem their pizza.


Science—Do you wonder how pizza gets chewed and digested? Discuss with your kids their theory and then do some research to find out just how pizza is digested!


English—Make a fake piece of pizza. Decorate pepperonis with different parts of speech (ex—noun, adverb, adjective, verb, preposition, article) and describe pizza! My kids love doing this. It helps them to realize what parts of speech really mean and how to use them.


History—Where did pizza originate? When was it started? That, my friends. . .is history!


Math—Ah. . Math. I love math and pizza. You can learn all sorts of things with math and pizza, especially MULTIPLICATION!!

Use our Multiplication Pizza Party Project Pack to help!


October is a great month to take one of our favorite foods and use it to “do school”.


What is your favorite thing about pizza? Do you have any ideas on using it in your homeschool?

Is it possible to successfully homeschool when you have little ones to tend to?


If you’ve ever wondered the same, here are a four ideas to keep your sanity and your joyous spirit while juggling your smaller ones and learning all at the same time.

                  1. Practice flexible timing.

You need to have both strategy and flexibility when you have little ones and older ones involved in order to have a productive school day. 

You may want to plan your most important school subjects for when the smaller children are taking naps, so you can focus on your older children. Don’t schedule any intense experiments or subjects at the same time your little one is getting cranky. You’ll be setting yourself up for failure!

So look at what you need to accomplish in a given day and plan around the needs of your little learner.s

                  2. Schedule older children time to play with the younger children.

If you have slightly older children in your home, they can be assigned a daily 30 minute block of time play or assist with your smaller ones. Older children can help with assignments and practice their reading skills with a picture book as a young child listens.

This time together between the older and younger children creates family bonds, allows siblings to develop deep relationships, lets your older child learn responsibility, and provides the practical break you may need to help another child with his spelling.

                  3. Plan lots of fun activities.

Rotate a list of activities for your toddler–something he or she can do to feel like they are doing school as well.

Babies may enjoy time in an activity center (like a playpen, highchair, or walker) while, older toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy a variety of play tasks. Keep assorted bags or boxes for each day of the week so that they always have something new to keep their attention.

Make sure you pick activities that your little one can do without direct assistance (Some ideas: playdough, crayons and paper, lacing beads, blocks, etc.)

                  4. Remember that flexibility is the key.

Always leave room for the unpredictable moments..


How do you orchestrate school in your home with a baby or toddler on the scene?


Are you looking for preschool activities for your little learner? Be sure and check out our entire Preschool section

Lapbooking through Thanksgiving & Christmas

We have tons of lapbooks that any family would enjoy, but our favorites during this time of year are the Thanksgiving and Christmas ones in our product line.


Below you will find a list of those for you to take a look at. Each one has a downloadable sample so that you can see if this project pack is right for you. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to send an email to sales@handsofachild.com.

  • November Sampler Pack
  • Harvest Festival Project Pack
  • The Pilgrim’s Project Pack
  • Thanksgiving Project Pack
  • 5 Little Pumpkins project Pack
  • Winter Sports Project Pack
  • New Year’s Celebration Project Pack
  • The 12 Days of Christmas Project Pack
  • Katy’s Big Snow Day Project Pack
  • Holiday Traditions: Nutcracker and the Story of the Nutcracker
  • What is Snow Project Pack
  • Let It Snow Project Pack
  • Symbols of Christmas Project Pack
  • Christmas Around the World Project Pack

Columbus Day

Today is Columbus Day! So what are your plans for studying this week?

What exactly is Columbus Day? Columbus Day is the day that Americans celebrate the landing of Columbus to the Americas. You can read all about the history of Columbus Day here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbus_Day


So what are some things you can do to celebrate Columbus Day?

~Create your very own versions of the Nina, Pinta, and the Santa Maria


~Make an Italian feast on Columbus Day. Research the kind of food that Columbus would have eaten on his voyage to the Americas.


~Create a play of Columbus Discovering America


While you are learning all about Columbus and this great holiday, why not take some time to complete our Columbus Project Pack! It’s filled with all kinds of great facts and fun tips and hands on activities about Columbus and his life.

Using Project Packs as High School Credits

High school seniors must have credits in English, Math, Science, Social Studies and various electives to be able to graduate from high school. The exact number will be different according to the state, but generally ranges from 13 to 24 credits.

Did you know that our project packs make great portfolios for high school credits? We have many packs that can be used as semester electives which would look great on a transcript.


But first off, do you know how many credits are required in high school? Here is a general breakdown of a high school credit list:


Math–at least 3 credits (Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Geometry)

English—4 credits (English Grammar 1-4 plus literature)

Science– at least 3 credits (Biology 1 and 2 and Chemistry)

Social Studies– (American and World History and one civics or government class)

Foreign Language—2 credits (if your state requires it)

Electives—whatever credits remain must be taken as electives


Here are a few project packs that would be great for your high school student’s portfolio:


·       Consumer Math course (a great business math elective)

·       US Economics (a great refresher course)

·       Let’s Dance (used for art appreciation elective)

·       State Study (all students are required to do a study of their state)

·       Art Appreciation project pack

·       Human Reproduction (a great anatomy study)

·       Interior Design (could make a great careers elective)


There are many project packs that you can choose from to build a great portfolio for your child.


Have you started your portfolio yet? It’s never too late to start!

You CAN Do Lapbooking

You may already be aware that lapbooking is a great way to add a hands-on approach to your classroom or homeschool curriculum, but are you aware that it’s not as hard as it looks?  If you haven’t tried lapbooking yet because you are worried it will be too time consuming or overwhelming, you aren’t alone.  Some educators take one look at a finished lapbook and become overwhelmed with the task of creating one with their students.  Although some finished lapbooks look like art masterpieces completed by super creative lapbooking experts, it really doesn’t take an artist, or an expert, to create one!  Anyone can create a lapbook- any age, any skill level, and for any topic.  You CAN do lapbooking!

Creating a lapbook is a fun and easy process.  Not only does it appeal to visual and hands-on learners but it helps break information up into bite-size sections, making the information easier to comprehend and retain.  Lapbooks are great hands-on tools for 4H Projects, PreK-12 Classrooms, School Presentations, Homeschools, Homeschool Co-ops,  Sunday Schools, Bible Studies, Book Studies, and more! You do not need expensive materials or supplies to get started; you may even have all the supplies you need right in your office or craft drawer.  All you need to create a lapbook is a file folder (or 2), paper, scissors, tape or glue, writing tools, crayons, and perhaps a stapler or hole punch.  You CAN do lapbooking!

Beginner lapbookers might want to create their first lapbook with one that has already been designed like the Project Packs provided by In the Hands of a Child.  These ready-to-assemble lapbook project packs contain a full research guide (also called a unit study) with hands-on activities, reproducible graphics, and full instructions to create a lapbook on the topic you choose.  You can visit In the Hands of a Child and browse over 400 lapbook topics to choose from at www.HandsofaChild.com.  The best time to start lapbooking is now with our Back to School specials!  We can help make your lapbooking curriculum affordable!