Photography Props for Budding Photographers

Photography props are so important for any budding photographer. Over the years of my own love of photography, I quickly learned that the surrounding of a photo is what is really important to making it look just right. Learning photography doesn't have to cost a lot of money, as long as you know what you are looking for and where to get it for the best price.

Photography Props For Budding Photographers - A few key things for a budding photographer to get inspiration to be creative is all they need. |

Photography Props for Budding Photographers

When a budding photographer first gets their camera, they are taking photos of everything. (need helping finding the right camera, you should check these suggestions for all budgets) From people, things, landscapes, nature and anything that comes into their lens.

As a photographer skill improves, and they want to start taking photos for others, props become something that is important to them. Photography props can really make a photo, or even ruin a photo.

We are always taught to come close to your subject. Then come closer. It is so true, so having the right props to create the feel of a photograph is really important.

There are some types of photos that do not need any extra props, like landscape photos or sometimes even portraits of people, if you shoot outside, around a beautiful landscape.

Nature is another type of photo that doesn't require props, but a great lens is really important to get the right shot. One of my favorite lens for nature shots is my Macro lens, because of the quality it provides to close up photos.

If you are really into taking nature shots, you will want to get a 55-200mm lens. If you are going on a safari or what to learn how to shoot photos like National Geographic, you will something more in the range of a 200-500mm or higher.

Now with all of that said, if you want to just add some props to make your pictures just look amazing, I would highly recommend several things for buying them: yard sales, Dollar Store, Goodwill, antique stores and any attic or garage that you can get access to.

Here are the things that I collect for props that any budding photographer would want to add to their own collection:

  • Old, distressed looking chairs for outside portraits
  • Old, distressed looking frames for popular portraits
  • Antique looking quilts
  • Colorful plates, cups and dishes – smaller sizes are always the best
  • Antique looking suitcases, or books
  • Wood designed paper (Hobby Lobby is a great resource for this!)
  • Unique looking pens, pencils or even quills
  • Fun fabric or paper for close up of smaller items
  • Different shapes of things that can fill the photo – circles, squares, rectangles
  • Fuzzy and ruffled things for baby photos
  • Old looking toys, or tools

You can also use props around your area, like these ideas:

  • Stone walls
  • Brick walls
  • Steps
  • Playground, swings
  • Wooded area
  • Bridges
  • Rock structures
  • Historical buildings – especially beaten wood structures
  • Open pastures
  • Wild flowers in a field
  • Unique landmarks for your area


How to Learn Photography On a Budget

When our daughter wanted to learn photography, I was excited to see how far technology has come since the early days of my own desire to learn. I never will forget the rolls of film being developed and finding so many blurry photos that I thought were going to be amazing. The amount of money that we would go through just to get my ‘trial and error' photos developed is more than I care to admit. In fact, I still have about 30 rolls of film that I have used, but haven't developed. When that day comes, I know I will have all kinds of emotions with the photos of my children in their early years. Even if the photos turn out blurry!

How to Learn Photography on a Budget - Learning an art doesn't have to cost a lot of money. |

How to Learn Photography on a Budget

When digital photography became a possibility to anyone, I remember looking at my husband who had already blessed me with an amazing DSLR and asking him how long before I could get a digital DSLR.

When we looked at the cost of one, compared to the cost of buying and developing film at the rate I was currently going through it, we realized that it was the smartest thing to do for our budget.

1) Digital Photography Is Already a Budget Saver

At this day and age, digital photography is what every things about when they are thinking about learning photography. So, it really is a no brainer for most people. However, there are some die-hard photographer lovers who just haven't moved on yet.

Digital cameras deliver amazing photography, so if you are still in the era of film, consider moving on.

All of our children have loved to learn photography, even our youngest, who started at just two years old.

Here are some of the recommendations for kids that you may be worried about their responsibility level, but want to encourage creativity with photography:

Here are some recommendations for beginners, who want to learn photography but not ready for a DSLR:

Here are some recommendations for those more serious about photography, and ready to take that jump into an investment with a DSLR (I'm personally a Nikon fan, and so is my daughter, who is a better photographer than I am, by far.):

2) Be Willing to Purchase a Used Camera

If your budget is still too tight to really purchase new, and take advantage of the warranties that come with a new purchase, I would highly recommend looking into purchasing a used camera.

We have found great digital cameras at yard sales, and through Craigslist and eBay. The trick to getting a good deal is to do your homework first on what you are really wanting to get, what functions are important to you and what types of lenses (assuming you are going with a DSLR) would be important to get started.

Window shopping is a great way to do your homework!

Go to a camera shop, and just play with display cameras. When you find what camera is sticking out to you, make note of the brand AND the model. Is it a Nikon or Canon? I'm currently using a Nikon D40, which is about 7 years old or more. My daughter has a Nikon D3000.

We both would LOVE to upgrade our cameras to a newer Nikon camera, like a D5200 or a D7100, but the budget just isn't there for these yet. However, when we are ready to buy our next cameras, our current ones that work great will be sold through these options.

Those looking for a great DSLR starter camera will be really able to fit it into a tight budget.

The key to buying used cameras is knowing what the older models are and what the original price was, and when the model came out.  You may want to keep a notebook for references.

Once you have a camera, you will want to learn how to use the camera. To do this on a budget, you will want to invest in a few things to help you learn.

3) Invest In Reusable Resources for Learning

My daughter, older son and I took camera lessons at a near by location. The class was full of other people of all ages, trying to learn how to use their DSLR camera to the fullest. We found that although we did learn some things in the 6 week course, we didn't walk away with enough to say it was worth the time, and money.

Investing in DVDs that we could watch again and again, with as many people in our family that desired to learn was the right thing for our budget. Here are some of our favorite ones to get started:


If you have a serious photographer in your home, and want to also give your child a credit for photography, take a look at these online courses, where you have lifetime access to with just one payment – I highly recommend these courses from Craftsy:

You may want your homeschool child to learn one of these courses each term, and then fill it with lots of practice of what is being learned, and turn their photography into a keepsake.

Take a look at Shotbox for anyone learning to be a photographer, as it provides great lighting for AMAZING photos!



Would you like to eliminate the challenge of homeschool curriculum choices while finding confidence that you are buying the right curriculum for your family? If so, you can download my free guide that includes secrets to evaluating curriculum that is a perfect fit for your unique family. Just click here to get Curriculum Evaluations The Why, What, & When to Making Curriculum Choices for FREE in your inbox.


Creation Audios and Videos for All Ages

Creation audios and videos have been great ways for our family to really learn all we can while seeming effortless. We have always made these part of our homeschooling curriculum, but implement many of them at relaxed times, like traveling or sick days, to learn what we can. I call them interactive living books, because I know that Charlotte Mason would love this list, too!

Creation Audios and Videos for all ages - Help your children understand things about Creation in a way that makes learning seem effortless. |

Creation Audios and Videos For All Ages

We have our favorite resources for creation audios and videos, and use them again and again. Non-consumable resources like audios and videos have been so worth the investment for our family because these build our library for all ages to enjoy and learn about the Creator, and how to defend their faith, even against evolution statements.

Here are the resources that our family loves and want to share with you for your own family.

Jonathan Park has been one of the best resources that we have ever invested in. EVER.

When our older children listened to these during their 30 minutes of audios before bed, I didn't realize the treasure of what I found. It didn't take me long to see just how much they learned through these dramatization that twist faith, creation science vs evolution. They were learning far more than I have in just a short time and it stuck with them.

When we visited a natural history museum just one year after purchasing our first two sets, I was shocked at how they were teaching me why the evolution statements were wrong based on what they learned in this series.

This same experience happened when visiting caves in Pennsylvania with their aunt.

The real joy comes when my children stand up for their faith and share their creation knowledge with others who don't know. They share it in a way that is natural and not condemning, as it is demonstrated on these CDs.

What I love is that even my husband and I, along with my adult children can't wait for the next set to be produced, so we can continue the journey with Jonathan Park.

Just like filling our children's homeschool curriculum with Creation books, we love to also add DVDs to their curriculum. These are some of our favorites that we have used over the year, again and again.

Being able to identify evolutionary ideas is not enough for children today. They need to understand this theory and to be able to give an answer to why the ideas are not proven by science, but instead science confirms the Bible accounts. To do that, you really need to help your children and yourself learn the differences and the right responses to evolutionary comments.



The Ultimate List of American History Learning Resources

Do you desire to teach your children through living books, especially if you are using the Charlotte Mason way to educate your family? If so, you may not know where to look or what options are available for you, so I decided to create a list of American history learning resources for families with all ages.

The Ultimate List of American History Learning Resources - Teach your children about American History through resources they will love! |

The Ultimate List of American History Learning Resources

We started our homeschool journey in 1999, and in all of those years, we have used either living books or resources that have the living book feel. Our children have all grown loving history and learning about people and events in different eras in our American history and world history.

As with any of my book list, age and grade levels should be determined by each family. 

Here are DVD resources for the founding of American history:

Please note that ALL of these resources are available for FREE streaming with a Prime Membership. Not a Prime Member, try this 30 day free trial now!

Road to Independence
American Heritage Series
Building On the American Heritage Series
The American Heritage Collection
Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White
America's Godly Heritage
Foundations of Freeman
Constitution Alive! A Citizen's Guide to the Constitution

DVDs for the whole family…

The Liberty Kids DVD series (first introduction to American history in our home)
Johnny Tremain
Daniel Boone: The Complete Series
Davy Crockett
American History of the Wild West
George Washington
Benjamin Franklin
Abraham Lincoln
Thomas Edison
Alexander Graham Bell
Harriet Tubman
Helen Keller
William Bradford
The Wright Brothers


Timelines for the whole family…

The New Big Book of American Presidents
The Timechart History of America
American History in 50 Events
An Illustrated History of U.S. Presidents
An Illustrated Timeline of U.S. States
A Timeline History of the Thirteen Colonies
Timeline of the American Revolution
The Civil War Timeline
World War I Timeline
World War II Timeline
Vietnam Timeline
The Wall Chart of History (world history)

Books for all ages…

For You They Signed
For You They Signed – Character Studies
Lives of the Signers of The Declaration of Independence
If You Lived in Colonial Times
If You Sailed on the Mayflower
If You Lived at the Times of the American Revolution
If You Lived When There Was Slavery In America
If You Traveled on the Underground Railroad
If You Lived at the Time of the Civil War
If You Traveled West on a Covered Wagon
If You Lived At the Time of Martin Luther King
George Vs. George: The American Revolution As Seen From Both Sides
The American Revolution for Kids
The New Americans: Colonial Times
A More Perfect Union: The Story of Our Constitution
Lewis and Clark for Kids
Native American History for Kids
The Underground Railroad for Kids
The Civil War for Kids
The Industrial Revolution for Kids
The Great Depression for Kids
World War I for Kids
World War II for Kids



Homeschool Planners for the Whole Family

Do you want to teach independence and accountability to your children, but not sure how to do it? I would like to introduce you to a set of homeschool planners that will help you accomplish that while organizing assignments, schedules and responsibilities for all reading members of your home.

Homeschool Planners For the Whole Family - How to Teach Independence & Accountability |

Homeschool Planners for the Whole Family: How to Teach Independence and Accountability

The more children a home has the more the desire to help them each learn to be independence, while having a sense of accountability. I have found that with our own home, the sooner I give my children the responsibility for their daily homeschool lessons, the easier it is to see that independence and accountability unfold in their lives.

The difference between independence and accountability is important to understand before implementing a system that includes homeschool planners that children become responsible for on their own.

With independence, this is something that is expected of the child to learn and demonstrate. Without clear understanding, instruction and direction, independence can easily become a handicap for a child, because then they believe they are their own boss. However, with the correct safeguards in place, a child that is trusted with her or his daily assignments will begin to feel a pride of accomplishment in their work and the correct balance of independence that will breed respect of authority, while taking ownership of their work.

With accountability, this is something that the adult is responsible for to ensure that a child is learning proper focus and attention to the details of their assignments. When first starting out with independent work, based off a homeschool planner that belongs to one child, I personal hold the child accountability daily. Bad habits are hard to break when too much goes between accountability checks.

I will then increase the days between accountability checks, as the child has demonstrated proper independence, until I work up to only checking on their assignments at the end of the week.

Let me introduce you to the homeschool planners that the whole family can benefit from, while you focus on teaching independence and accountability in each of your family members.

Learn more about this Ultimate Homeschool Planner

I love how thought out this homeschool planner is, as it focuses on more than just academic needs for your family. With nearly 300 pages, this planner has EVERYTHING.

Here is what is included:

  • Sturdy construction with convenient pockets and coated covers
  • Six years of calendars for long-term planning
  • One-Year Planning Grid for the year ahead
  • Student Goal Setter pages to identify academic and character goals for each child
  • Family Priorities page to help you keep life in perspective
  • Resource List pages to track resources for up to six children
  • Two-page planning grid for each month
  • Special Notes for scheduling exceptions that break your routine
  • Wide margins to record prayers and answers to prayers
  • Scriptures for meditating on God’s faithfulness
  • Exclusive Lord’s Day feature for making God’s Word a central part of your plan
  • Maximum flexibility to organize for up to six children by day or subject
  • Memorable Moments and Evidences of Grace pages for recounting God’s activity in your life and home school
  • Pages to record grades for up to six children and six subjects
  • Reading List pages for up to six children
  • Field Trip and Outside Activities logHigh School Planning Grid with a sample plan
  • Year-End Review pages for reflection and next year’s planning

Learn more about this Ultimate Homeschool Planner

Do you have children in elementary grades that already know how to read, and you desire to begin working on their independence and helping them be accountable for their work? If so, I have a great homeschool planner just for them!

The Ultimate Daily Planner for Students

This student planners is colorful, and includes trivia questions, timeline facts for World and American history, along with plenty of space for daily assignments, with slots for marking when they are completed, and when the work has been approved. The perfect system to implementing the independence and accountability.

You can learn more about this student planner and download a free sample.

Do you have a teen that is going into high school, and you want a system that they can help you better track credit hours?  You will want to check this teen planner out:

Check out more about this planner with the download sample.

This teen planner does that and in a theme look that appeals to teenagers, along with quotes, and verses that appeal to moms. It also includes a lot of reviews for grammar and math that will prove helpful to many teens.

Check out more about this planner with the download sample.




Learning Math Facts Through Music

Music is an amazing tool for creativity, movement and learning. I would love to share some great resources with you of how you can encourage your children to learn math through music.

Learning Math Facts Through Music - Music is an amazing tool, so why not use it for learning? |

Learning Math Facts Through Music

Child can struggle while learning math facts, but with the help of music memorization can happen quickly, regardless of the age of the child.

Recently, out of the blue, I thought to teach my Kindergarten son how to count by tens with a song that my older children learned from a fun CD, and just like that, he learned to sing it on his own. It was so simple and effective that I began to remember how music can help the brain recall better than memorizing without it. This same CD teaches the days of the week, the months of the year and many other things that children need to learn and do with ease thanks to the music. I loved the phonics portion of this CD with my older ones!

In search for additional ways to teach my son with music, I came across the Musical Math CD series that contains two CDs for just math knowledge put to song.

Musical Math by Heidi Butkus, includes: counting to 100, sorting, patterning, comparing sets (more, less, and equal), skip counting, coin recognition, estimation, addition, and subtraction. The songs are short, fun and catchy.

Musical Math Volume 2, also by Heidi Butkus, continues with the same short, fun songs that kids will be quick to catch on and start singing, which includes: telling time, measuring, putting numbers in order, and three-dimensional shapes. There are some common core songs as well, which you can skip over or use if your child's school requires this type of learning.

You may also enjoy doing a hands-on learning activity to evaluate your child's math facts knowledge that doesn't include workbooks or worksheets. My son LOVES doing this learning box activity to practice his math facts.

Learning Math with Dominos - Kids will love this hands-on way to practice their math facts knowledge without the normal use of workbooks. |

If you like the concept of using music to teach facts, not only for math but other subjects, you may want to look into some of the following resources as well:

Continent and Ocean Songs
State and Capital Songs
History Songs
Grammar Songs


How to Homeschool With Online Resources

There are so many options available to homeschooling your children today, and the online resources are growing all the time. I would love to help you learn how to homeschool with online resources to supplement and teach your children with just what you are needing and know how to locate some great options for your family.

How to Homeschool with Online Resources - Learning to take advantage of online resources to teach and supplement your child's education can be easier with online resources. |

How to Homeschool With Online Resources

I'm sure you have seen a lot of online resources that could be used for homeschooling, but maybe you just aren't sure how to implement them into your curriculum or how to supplement with them to actually use them in different ways. I love to ‘bookmark' or ‘favorite' online resources that I can search through to find exactly what I'm working to include in our homeschooling.


I love using online resources that have games to make learning fun and entertaining, while being educational. From early learning during the preschool years, and even solidifying concepts for elementary grades, online games can be really helpful to those struggling to learn through just books or need a little reinforcement to get faster with the concepts.

I love having one day a week where we focus on adding games to at least one of our subjects to keep our children excited and motivated in their learning.


Worksheets are one of the online resources that are growing in popularity within the homeschooling community. Worksheets from learning to write the alphabet, to word finds, to labeling the body and globe, to a number of ideas to get a child working on a theme or subject and demonstrate what they know.

I use worksheets all the time to supplement many subjects. If my child needs a little extra work on a math fact or quizzing on geography, I love printing out a worksheet and see what they retained, and where I need more focused learning, as the worksheets help me gauge where they are in their progress.


Hands-on learning is one of my favorite ways to teach, and some times it is hard to keep finding new activities to introduce new concepts.  I love saving the ideas that I come across, and scrolling through these resources when I need new inspiration and activities to inspire learning with things I have around the house to teach what we are doing in homeschooling.

We do hands-on activities several times a week, so having fresh ideas are really important for me and my children.


With digital products becoming more popular, online resources can also include workbooks with theme learning for all ages and grades. I enjoy using these to supplement our living books, when a subject needs a little more attention, but I don't desire to buy a full curriculum to teach it.


Lessons plans are becoming more and more available online, so bookmarking them when you come across them can really help when you decide to add that topic to your homeschooling. Having someone else pull together the what and how of your homeschool can really eliminate a lot of the behind the scenes work, so you can focus on the actual learning and get more out of each subject.


Kids love to do experiments to see how science actually works. The more you can add this to your homeschooling, the more interested your children will become in the reasons because how, and apply themselves more to their learning because their interest has been perked with an experience.

Having your child participate in science fairs can also be a great way to add science projects, and get your children having fun with experimenting on their own and enjoying writing papers to explain it.


An Educational Tool for the Homeschooling Mother

Homeschooling mothers are great at researching curriculum for the needs of their children, but how often do they really look for resources to help them become better at homeschooling their children? I want to introduce you to an educational tool for the homeschooling mother that last a lifetime and perfect for those teaching preschool through high school.

An Educational Tool for the Homeschooling Mother - This resource is perfect for moms homeschooling preschool through high school, and lasts a lifetime. |

An Educational Tool for the Homeschooling Mother

Often times, homeschooling mothers take the advice of friends or ‘homeschool speakers' to help guide them through the huge selection of homeschool curriculum to choose the right fit for each of her individual children. Many times, these types of decisions can leave a mother second guessing her choices and pulling together different plans mid-year. What I have found is that homeschool mom's need more time to prepare themselves for the task of teaching their children, amidst taking care of a home and feeding their family.

One of these things that I find has helped mother's in homeschooling their children is when they find a method that works and can fit any curriculum, while building independent learners that continue into life learners.

Whether you are using a boxed curriculum, or a classical approach to learning, this video Course will give you insight and purpose in teaching your children of all ages the key principles necessary to true education, while building your confidence in a proven method of education that has developed lovers of education, even if they struggled to read, write or enjoy the process of learning all together.

The Charlotte Mason Way Course is a lifetime membership that allows the members to watch, learn and implement the principles that matter most to them at the present time. Each video runs between 22 and 32 minutes long, giving not only the insights from the Charlotte Mason method of education, but also practical ways to implement them in today's homeschool without overwhelming the mom in the process.

Here are the topics for each of the 14 videos, plus the two bonus videos:

  1. The Charlotte Mason Way Explained
  2. How to Teach Multiple Ages
  3. How to Build Habits
  4. How to Create Your Own Curriculum
  5. How to Teach Preschool
  6. How to Implement Memory Work
  7. How to Teach Narration and Writing
  8. How to Implement Nature Studies and Journaling
  9. How to Teach Science
  10. How to Teach History Using Binder Books
  11. How to Teach Geography
  12. How to Teach Music and Art
  13. How to Teach High School
  14. How to Evaluate Your Child

TWO BONUS VIDEOS: One video is samples from our Binder Books and another video is samples of our nature and science journals!

Before you begin planning next year's assignments, use this educational tool to help you build your confidence, find the right fit for you family and adapt a method that works, giving you joy in your homeschooling days. You will love The Charlotte Mason Way Course.


How to Teach Writing While Focusing on Scripture

All children need to learn how to form the alphabet in order to learn to write and their sounds in order to read. Finding curriculum to teach that is easy, but what if I told you that now you can purchase a curriculum that teaches writing while focusing on scripture. I'm so excited to see that this is available and how amazingly it is put together. I look forward to sharing this curriculum with you and also the bonuses that you can get if you purchase it now, during the launch, and through March 27th, 2015.

How to Teach Writing While Focusing on Scripture - Don't just teach your child how to form the alphabet, teach them about scripture at the same time. |

How to Teach Writing While Focusing on Scripture

It is important for your child to learn the correct formation of the alphabet and their sounds, but it is also important to take advantage of the strong memorization abilities of younger children by introducing scriptures.

Write Through the Bible: Junior does just that and in a way that your children 4-6 will absolutely love!

I will be using this curriculum when our youngest officially starts homeschooling, even though he can already write most of his letters and even loves to copy words. I want him to be able to work on his formation and phonics more, as we move into learning to read and practicing early spelling, however the addition of the scripture focus is what has sold me on this curriculum verses the other. Well, I also love the hands-on activities because they are the types of activities that he already loves to do, so learning will be easy for him because of the element of fun attached to the curriculum. 

Here is how the curriculum is set up for you to simply walk through the curriculum with your child:

  • It includes 31 weeks of lessons
  • It is structured for 4 days weeks
  • Each daily lesson includes: memory work, talk about the verse for vocabulary purposes, practice, activity and prayer
  • Short lessons with hands-on activities that children will love and look forward to the next one
  • Pages that include eye-catching graphics

Would you like to get a sample of the FIRST WEEK of lessons to get a feel for what you can expect in this 420+ page book that is available in ebook or paperback?



Write Through the Bible, Junior is available in a variety of options.


Bible Translations


In addition, this full-year program is very affordable costing just $17 for the digital download or $27 for the softcover book.




We are using the consumable paperback book and my little guy can't wait to get started!


After purchasing your digital download or softcover book on Amazon, please fill out this short form located on the SALES PAGE, where you will then be redirected to a page where you can download your bonus offers.



A Hands-On Approach to Spelling

Spelling can be so difficult for some children, which makes it more challenge to teach them if you are using the conventional way of spelling that doesn't work for some children. I love to implement as much hands-on approaches in early years of homeschooling to not only help my children who are struggling but to give them the ability to learn faster by incorporating their hands into the learning. That is why I love this hands-on approach to spelling!

A Hands on Approach to Spelling - Take the struggle out of spelling and make it fun! |

A Hands-On Approach to Spelling

We I came across All About Spelling, I was so excited to try it with my unmotivated learner. He wasn't struggling to spell, he just wasn't enjoying it and because of that he wasn't motivated to give it his best. When I implemented this into our homeschool he loved it and his spelling improved immediately. I had only wished that this was around when my older two was younger because my struggling reader would have really benefited from this hands-on approach of spelling.

Now, I'm using All About Spelling – Level One as a learning box activity with my youngest and he is doing it quickly.

All About Spelling Level One |


I love how everything you need is all provided, including how to work through each level for a mastery of the spelling words included in each level.

For the hands-on approach to spelling, we use the magnetic letters and the spelling cards, along with a metal pan to keep our work in one place.

I pull a few spelling words cards, in the same word family, together with magnetic letters and have him build the letters.

Independent spelling fun. |

Notice that the vowels are red and the consonants are blue. As they develop their spelling skills they will begin to use multi-lettered phonograms that are also colored coordinated. LOVE IT!

Once he is done building the word, he moves his finger to the left and we work on sounding out the word together. When we are done, he will spell the word and say it again, before building the next word in the word family.

Reading practice with hands-on spelling fun. |

This kit is excellence!

Although it is designed for homeschoolers, this would be an excellent way to help your children who are struggling with spelling at school. Just have them make up their own spelling cards from their spelling list at the beginning of the week and then each evening, they can build the words for their spelling practice for the test at the end of the week.

Check out all the resources from All About Spelling and turn your spelling time into a hands-on learning time.

If you like this post, 7 Ways All About Reading Will Teach Your Child to Read

7 Ways All About Reading Will Teach Your Child to Read



How to Teach Geography with Books

Geography can be a difficult subject to teach if a child isn't interest in maps. Learning how to teach geography with books, as it is taught in the Charlotte Mason way, can really open up the interest of a child and give them excitement about the dry facts of cities, states and countries. Starting your children with learning about geography with books is a sure way to get them interested in geography and building on their knowledge for all future learning.

How to Teach Geography with Books - Learn how to turn dry maps into interesting subjects with books! |

How to Teach Geography with Books

To teach geography with books, you need to start with the right books. The right books will be the kind of books that include adventure and can hold a child's attention. I have always used a series of books to introduce geography with my children and it has always been successful, as these have become cherished books in our home library.

I seem to use these books from Holling C. Hollings in the same system each time I use them to teach my children. I will share the books in the order that I read them aloud to my children. (These are also perfect books to teach narration as well). Each chapter is only one page, with the exception of Minn of the Mississippi. The illustrations are captivating and aid the younger children in developing narrations skills while keep their attention as parts of geography unfolds.

The trick to adding geography is to always find the place on a map after the reading. A great way to do that is to mark it on a printable map that the child can color on their own.

Paddle-to-the-Sea is a story of a little carved canoe with an Indian that travels through the Great Lakes to the Atlantic ocean and the adventures he experiences along the way.

Tree in the Trail is a story of a tree in the middle of the Santa Fe trail during the western expansion.

Seabird is a story of an ivory carved seabird that travels with a boy through his life as a sailor in America during the early sailing history.

Minn of the Mississippi is a story of a turtle that travels the mississippi. I purposely hold this book off until later years because of its references of evolution and the longer chapters.

Other books by Holling C. Hollings that you may enjoy:


An Interactive Timeline for Narration

Many children have a difficult time mastering the skills of timelines and narration. Taking the printable timeline figures from Homeschool in the Woods, while enjoying a little craft time with them, will allow your children to grow in narration and help them be more interested in giving you more details because it increased their attention with a hands-on element.

An Interactive Timeline for Narration - Turn timeline images into a hands-on learning approach that will help children master timelines and narration with ease. |

An Interactive Timeline for Narration

Most homeschoolers use a timeline on their wall or in a book of some kind. Young children can go through this activity but may not really make the connection on their own of what it really means. For our children, it became easy for them to understand a timeline when associating it with people and events that we were studying in History and making connections with others that lived in that time period.

Over time, it was easier and easier for our children to make the connection and base everything off from what they already knew and understood up to that point.

Here is how to create this Interactive Timeline:

First, you will need to purchase the Homeschool In the Woods Timeline Figures on CDs. This is one of the best investments we have made in our homeschool journey because we have used it every year for all of our children and will keep using them for years to come. I love non-consumable curriculum!

I love to use the full length timeline figures, however some of the figures only have head bust images of certain people, and these are still okay to use, as well.  Print off as many of the images as you would like to cover, remembering that the CDs have them organized in chronologically or alphabetically.  You can even print off events, with people from the event. For an example, the American Revolution and people from that time period.

Each of the timeline figures can be printed with or without text. For this purpose, I used the ones without text. I then write the name and dates that are the printouts onto the back of the images.  I then have my children color them.An Interactive Timeline for Narration - Turn narration time into a hands-on learning that will help your children learn facts for timelines. |

Next, I add two graphics per laminating sheet and then laminate them for longer use.

Once they are done laminating and cooling, I cut out each one.

I then add double sided tape to the back of the popsicle sticks and attach it to the back of the laminated image. Be sure not to cover up the name and dates, for the children to remember when working with them in their narration.  You can color code your popsicle sticks to be for a certain time period or event, if you like to go that far into creating these interactive timelines for narration.

5 Ways to Use Interactive Timelines - These hands-on learning activities will help children love learning. |

Here is how to use this Interactive Timeline:

Narrate a Biography

Younger children would be thrilled to have the interactive timeline image and be able to retell an oral narration while holding it. If they are a reader, having the name and dates will help them mentally see this information, as they narrate, for a way to memorize the facts for quicker recall.

Narrate an Event

If a child was asked to retell all they knew about an event, like the American Revolution, you can give them a large amount of interactive timeline images that they helped to create over a term of learning and give you a great narration by picking up the different images at different parts of the story. The more they learned of the different people during this period of history will help them make the connections of the timeline and the people who lived during this event.

Free Time Play

Children who grow up on learning history through living books, often times will fill their free time with play that reenacts things that they learned. These interactive timeline images can easily become as enjoyable as paper dolls in their creative play.

Puppet Show

Have your children put on a puppet show with these interactive timeline images. They can really enjoy this experience with several images that could carry on a conversation with each other. Children will ask for more narration time if you used the power of a puppet show for the way they delivered what they retained in their lessons.

Movie Making

With all the devices today that give you movie making abilities, your older children will love using these interactive timeline images to create a movie to retell what they retained from their lessons. Building skills, while narrating will be something that any techie loving child will find all kinds of way to make learning fun.

To learn more about Homeschool in the Woods, you may enjoy reading…

5 Ways to Use Homeschool in the Woods Timeline Figures