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Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Unit Study Part 1

C and I have officially dived into our unit study on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  I let her choose the subject because she didn't like my ideas.  We were at the library and I saw a bunch of fun fairy tale books but she thought that she was "too big" to study fairy tales.  (She is only six!) I suggested a few other ideas and she wasn't impressed, so I let her choose.  The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was her choice.  We've read the book together before and we've seen the movie but we haven't done any lessons focused on the book so I was excited.  I love so many books by C.S. Lewis and who doesn't love the Narnia series? 

Prior to getting started, I searched the internet for ideas.  I shared some of my favorites in a round up post which I will link to at the bottom of this post.  Many of the activities we will do throughout this unit study will stem from those sources.  We have had a lot of fun so far and I am so excited to share with you!  For some chapters we did extra activities and for others we have only completed the lapbook pages.  We are using the lapbook from Homeschool Share.  There are a lot of pieces in this lapbook, I initially made a double lapbook and still will need to add additional space for everything.  This is a free resource so I highly recommend it!

An Introduction to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Before we started reading, we took a couple days to introduce C.S. Lewis, fantasy stories, England, and WWII.  We didn't do too many activities for this, mostly we just read from books I found at the library.  The books we used were:

  • Writers Uncovered: C.S. Lewis by Vic Parker
  • Fun and Easy Drawing: Fantasy Characters by Rosa M. Curto
  • Kids Write! Fantasy & Sci Fi, Mystery, Autobiography, Adventure & More! by Rebecca Olien
  • Why did the Whole World Go to War? and other questions about...World War II by Martin W. Sandler
C enjoyed all of these resources!  We didn't read the entire C.S. Lewis biography, we just skimmed for interesting information.  She loved the ideas in Kids Write! for sparking creativity.  They have crafts and activity suggestions to help you come up with a story idea for the genre you are working on.  For fantasy stories, one the of the ideas was to build a castle out of cardboard so you can play around with it and come up with a story line.  We did build the castle, unfortunately I don't have a picture of it.  We both enjoyed drawing fantasy characters with the drawing book.  I usually don't draw more than a stick figure so I was very proud of my dragon. ;) 

I really loved the book, Why did the Whole World Go to War?  by Martin W. Sandler.  It had a lot of great information that C was able to understand, without graphic details or images.  It also specifically addressed the evacuation of children in England.  This is evacuation is the whole reason the children end up at the professors house so I wanted to include a bit about WWII in our study. 

I was planning on including the introduction and the first few chapters in one post, but before I knew it, I had a whole post just on the introduction.  I will write up a post on the first few chapters very soon!  I've added some helpful links to the bottom of this post, enjoy!

 Have you read any of the Narnia books with your children?  I'd love to hear how they liked it, please leave me a comment! :) Thank you so much for visiting Joy Focused Learning!


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Unit Study Idea Round-Up!

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Unit Study idea round-up from  #CSLewis #Narnia #UnitStudy

C loves to read long chapter books with me and she really loves the Narnia series.  So when I asked her to pick a topic for our next unit study, she chose The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.  Over the next few weeks we will be digging in to this book and adding to the fun with activities and assignments that connect with what we are reading.  When I started my plans for this unit, I headed to Google of course to see what was already out there and I found some great resources.  I gathered up my favorites for you to save you time if you plan on having a unit on this fun book this year!

Lapbooks for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

  • Homeschool Share has a free lapbook, we will likely use at least a few of the printables from this lapbook during our study.  

  • Walking By the Way made a few more printables to supplement the Homeschool Share Lapbook.

  • Confessions of a Homeschooler has cheaper paid lapbook option.  In addition to the lapbook pieces, the download includes forms for a story timeline, a book report, predicting story plots and more.  It is only $2.99!

Crafts for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

  • J & O Fabrics has a cute no sew lion pillow craft.  C will love this!

  •  This adorable no sew cape will really add to the pretend play.

Miscellaneous Activities and Printables

  • Creekside Learning has a fun idea for creating a Narnia scene to re-enact scenes from the story.  She also shares some additional ideas on the bottom of the post.

  • HomeScholar has a lot of information and lesson ideas.   
  • Schooling Memoirs shares their lesson plans for a The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe unit study.  There are some great ideas for each chapter here!   
  •  Hello Kids has some great Narnia coloring pages.  
  I've shared some great resources to get you started.  Have you read The Chronicles of Narnia with your kids yet?  Be sure to check back to see what C and I are up to with this fun unit!

Thank you so much for visiting Joy Focused Learning!

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Wild West!

This month we explored the exciting world of the Wild West!  C was especially excited about this theme. While at the library, we chose two chapter books this time instead of picture books.  C has enjoyed all of the Magic Tree House books she has read so we picked up Ghost Town at Sundown.  We also checked out The Last Cowboys by Harry Horse.  If you aren't familiar with the Magic Tree House series, it is an excellent choice for kids who are ready to try chapter books.  The chapters are short, the stories are engaging and they have pictures.  I have to admit that at first C didn't appreciate that the pictures are black and white.  Even though she can now read longer chapter books, she still enjoys reading the Magic Tree House selections!

The Last Cowboys is a cute little story told in letters from a grandfather to his grandchild.  He is off in search of his beloved dog's grandfather who supposedly lives in the Wild West.  It isn't set in the days of the wild west so the grandpa and his dog find themselves searching attractions like, "Cowboy Town" to find the old dog.

I found a cute cactus craft from the Preschool Playbook.  For complete directions you can visit the link to her blog. The weather was beautiful so we decided to take our Wild West school work outside!  C wanted to dress up to go along with the theme so she put on her jeans, boots, and the closest thing she had to a cowboy hat.  The results are adorable.

After we made our craft, we got out C's writing journal and I asked her to write about the wild west.  I didn't give her any other instruction.  She came up with:

If you lived in the wild west, you would need a horse because how else would you get around?

You can tell a bit from the picture that she didn't spell everything perfectly.  When she is writing I ask her to do her best to use the skills we learn in our spelling time but I let her focus on writing.  When are spelling rule comes in up in our All About Spelling that applies to words I have seen her spell incorrectly,  I will point it out then.  

While at the library, we also picked up the Putumayo Kids presents Cowboy Playground cd.  We listened to it as we ate lunch on our wild west day! C loved it!  Check out the links below to view the resources we used on Amazon:
If you enjoyed our wild west activities, be sure to visit the other participating bloggers below!

Poppins Book Nook - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God's Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy's Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy's Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A "Peace" of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama
Make sure to visit the main Poppins Book Nook page at Enchanted Homeschooling Mom!  For more literacy fun follow along on Facebook and Pinterest! - See more at:
 Don't forget to check out the main Poppins Book Nook page at Enchanted Homeschooling Mom! - See more at:

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual MayhemPreschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ My Bright Firefly ~ A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the WoodsGolden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama

Make sure to check out all the Poppins Book Nook fun at Enchanted Homeschool Mom!  Poppins Book Nook Clipart by MelonHeadz.

Wild West Learning Bundle Giveaway - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom
Wild West Learning Bundle Giveaway! Every month the Poppins Book Nook group will be offering readers a chance to win a brand new storybook or product that ties in with our theme for the month. This month one lucky cowpoke will strike gold and win a bundle of fun for the theme of the Wild West.  This bundle will include a copy of the storybook Westward Ho!: An Activity Guide to the Wild West (Hands-On History) and one Wild West Toob. So mosey down to the corral for your chance to win today!
Entrants must be 18 years or older and reside in a country that receives U.S. Postal mail. This giveaway is brought to you by the company Enchanted Homeschooling Mom who is owner and founder of the Poppins Book Nook. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the Rafflecopter terms & conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom’s found HERE. Just enter the Rafflecopter below to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you have a post that goes along with this month's wild west theme, share it in the linky below!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Pimsleur Spanish Level 1 Review

In the past I have shared printables and reviews for products to teach your kids Spanish.  I haven't mentioned anything about how you can learn Spanish, until today! I recently had the opportunity to try out Pimsleur Spanish level 1.  The Pimsleur approach to language learning is:

  • 100% Audio-based learning
  • Based on Dr. Pimsleur's research
  • No reading, writing or textbooks
  • 30 minutes a day
  • Downloadable to your mp3 player
  • No Software to install
Pimsleur Spanish is designed to teach you Spanish by listening and speaking.  There isn't any reading or writing involved.  The reason for this is that Dr. Pimsleur found that learning to read and write a language while learning to speak it, resulted in students applying their native phonics rules to the language.  In order to promote proper pronunciation, the Pimsleur approach doesn't include reading and writing lessons.

I found the lessons to be effective and engaging.  Even C participated most of the time and picked up some new Spanish words!  I did notice that since there isn't anything to look at or do with my hands, I felt the need to multitask. Driving worked well but when I tried to do housework while listening to the lessons I found myself missing cues to repeat occasionally.  Of course, that could just be me. ;)

I like that the lessons are set in 30 minute increments.  It is enough to remember what I learned while not taking up too much of my day.  The case the disks come in is very nice.  However, I think I would have preferred a box set with a different case for each disk.  This way, I can easily grab the disk I need for the day and take it with me without worrying about it getting damaged.

If you are looking for a Spanish program for your older student or yourself, Pimsleur is an excellent option!  I would love to hear what programs you have used to learn a new language and what you though of it.  Leave a comment below!

Thank you so much for visiting Joy Focused Learning!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.