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!

How to Teach Homeschool Subjects You Don’t Know or Enjoy

When you are a homeschooling parent, it can be a challenge to teach your children subjects you are not familiar with or you don’t like to teach. For example, do you know enough about Science to teach your children all about chemicals and do experiments with them?


One thing you can do is join a local support group or co-op that will help you to teach the subjects you are struggling with. Bring it up to the group that you are having difficulty in a certain subject. Ask if someone would be willing to teach that subject to your child. In turn, you could do the same for others in the group that may face a similar situation with a different subject—one you are very good at. This is usually referred to as a homeschool co-op.


Another option is to have your children use online courses for the ones that you are not to good at or don’t like to teach. Just because they are using the computer and taking an online course doesn’t mean they aren’t being homeschooled. These online courses are there to help you as a homeschool teacher get the subject across to your child. Take advantage of them!


Homeschooling your children is wonderful experience for you and your child and a great way for you to be a part of your children’s education.

A Virtual Trip to the Zoo

                  Did you know that you can go online and watch the gorillas?

They are so neat. I have been watching them for a few days and my kids and I have just fallen in love with this fascinating creature.

For instance, did you know that. . . .

Gorillas are shy vegetarians

                                    Like all great apes, gorillas’ arms are longer than their legs. When they  move quadrupedally, they knuckle-walk, supporting their weight on the third and

fourth digits of their curled hands. Like other primates each individual has distinctive fingerprints.

                                    On two legs, adult male gorillas stand about five a half feet tall (rarely a bit taller). They weigh between 300 and 400 pounds.

Females are smaller, standing up to five feet tall and averaging about 200 pounds.

                                    Gorillas may live about 35 years in the wild, and up to 54 in zoos.

                                    Gorillas live in groups, or troops, from two to more than 30 members.

The gorilla is a very fascinating creature. If you want to learn more facts like these, grab our King of the Apes Project Pack.

With this unit study you will be able to teach your K-8th grade classroom about the king of apes- the gorilla. Travelers to the rainforests of Africa told tales of a “man-like monster” who could stand upright, beat its chest, and roar a loud warning to anyone who trespassed in its territory. Tales of this legendary creature turned out to be TRUE! It was the King of the Apes! Make lesson planning easy with the King of Apes: The Gorilla Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. Teach your students about this amazing creature using the 10-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 23 Hands-On Activities PLUS 2 Fun Bonus and 1 Fun Extension Activity, 11-page Research Guide, and Answer Key.