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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Free Printable Alphabet Phonics Sprinkle Flashcards

Free alphabet flashcards with a fun sprinkle theme to use in your classroom, homeschool, or for play learning fun!



Happy New Year everyone! I hope that your holidays and family get-togethers went well and you're all rested up now (or recovering!) for 2019!

We're into full swing here enjoying our morning baskets, lessons, and all the snow!

My littlest one is learning to read and already sounding out her CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words. We've also been practicing sight words and reading longer books together - her favorites are the Mercer Mayer Little Critter books. But we've also been really enjoying this one by Sally Sutton...


But more about that in another post soon...

But to start off the new year right I wanted to review letter sounds and upper/lowercase lette
rs with her. She sometimes gets her b's and d's confused, and we still need to review letter sounds together sometimes. Especially the whole confusing vowels make 2 sounds bit. So I made these fun and colorful flashcards for us to use - and I'm sharing them with you!



I know there are a lot of printable flashcards out there, but if you've managed to stop by my little corner of the web then I hope you enjoy these! They have colorful "sprinkles" on them, a bright blue frame, and three different colored letter options to choose from - black, blue and pink!

Just scroll down to download...
And remember to subscribe to my blog (in the right sidebar) to get more freebies and fun in the coming weeks. Enjoy!



Monday, January 7, 2019

Searching For You by Jody Hedlund

Searching For You
A Jody Hedlund Orphan Train Series Novel


*I received a free copy of this book to read through Bethany House & Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

If you've ever read a book review on my blog then you know how much I love historical fiction. Not only is it interesting to read back on how people lived during different times in history, but it's fun to look at different authors takes on it.

In Searching For You, Jody Hedlund takes us back to the 1850s and a young orphan girl named Sophie...

Despite years on the run, Sophie Neumann is determined to care for two young children. She won't abandon them the way she thinks her older sisters abandoned her. But times are growing desperate, and when she falls in with the wrong crowd and witnesses a crime, she realizes fleeing 1850s New York is her only option.
Disappearing with her two young charges into a group of orphans heading west by train, Sophie hopes to find safety and a happy life. When the train stops in Illinois for the first placement of orphans, Sophie faces the most difficult choice of her life.
Reinhold Weiss has finally purchased his own small farm. With mounting debts, a harvest to bring in, and past scars that haunt him, he's in no position to give his heart away . . . but can he say no when his long-lost friend shows up on a nearby train pleading for his help?

I honestly had never read one of Jody Hedlund's Orphan Train series of books, but I will admit that after reading this one I bought the first one too! She actually has a free first novella to start with (you can get that here)

Not only was Searching For You a well-written story that brought tears to my eyes during a particular chapter, but it brings you to a place not often written about in History.

A tenement apartment from the 1850s - unknown


The book starts out with a thrilling scene that brings Sophie into danger right away, so don't expect it to be easy to put down straight from the start. I'm not going to give anything away here, but I will say that although there are chapters in the book where things slow down a little, Sophie's anxious thoughts, feelings and memories keep you reading through the book.


If you've read the previous books by Hedlund in this series, then you'll easily recognize all the characters mentioned in this book, along with a few new ones (some that you'll love and some that you'll despise!). I was saddened to read that this will be the last book in the series, but am happy to have found a new author to follow - she had quite a few novels and series out so I've added them all to my TBR list!

You also might be happy to know that the book is  clean romance, though there are a few passionate encountersđŸ˜—



You can grab a copy of this book here on Amazon. You can also check out Hedlund's other novels, as well as begin with her first FREE Novella in this series, An Awakened Heart here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Where The Heart Takes You by Virginia Wise...A Book Review


*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review via NetGalley.

My personal best indicator of a really great author is one who not only makes you see the character in your mind's eye, but actually feel a kinship with that character - that is just what Virginia Wise does in this novel! Set in the Pennsylvania wilderness in the 1700's, we follow the story of main character Greta Scholtz who has come to the US as an anabaptist refugee fleeing persecution in Germany...

Pennsylvania, 1737. Greta Scholtz braved a perilous journey—and the loss of her beloved father—to find religious freedom in America. With two orphan children she's taken under her wing, she's trying hard to survive this rugged new world. So she won't let settlement elders pressure her into marrying reserved widower Jacob Miller. She and Jacob simply can’t agree on anything—even if the unexpected feeling between them is proving an irresistible force . . . After losing his wife and baby, grief-stricken Jacob keeps everyone at arm’s length. Duty is the only reason he began helping the headstrong Greta make a life for herself and her charges. Yet he’s grown to admire her, especially her strength in the face of obstacles—including him and his wounded ways. But wrenching misunderstandings and a jealous rival could separate them forever. To find harmony—and perhaps even a future together—Greta and Jacob must take a leap of faith and risk opening their hearts . . .

My absolute favorite part of this book is how vivid the scenery and home life of the Amish of this time was painted. Although Greta is adjusting to her new life without her father amongst strangers, she is a strong lead who you truly feel for throughout the story. Although her dwindling courage felt frustrating at times, you were frustrated for her more than with her, because of the spirit of her character.

I would truly put this book right up there with some of my other favorite Amish fiction writers, and I
cannot wait to see what Virginia Wise comes out with next! Want a copy?..


or



Monday, November 19, 2018

Lowercase Letters Match: A Free Printable Sensory Bin Christmas Activity


Christmas is just around the corner! Can you believe it? I am seriously in awe of how quickly 2018 has flown by and is coming to an end. We still haven't even started our Christmas shopping, but I have been thinking about Christmas-theme activities for school!

One of my favorite parts of this season is getting the kids excited for it - we take out our Christmas decorations, Christmas books, do crafts and bake cookies. We make cards, shop for others and go to so many family dinners. It's just awesome!



In-between all that, however, I do like to squeeze in some learning at some point! This year I discovered that a lot of homeschoolers do what is called 'Christmas School', where they do Christmas-themed learning activities for all of December. Isn't that amazing?

I really wanted to add some Christmas activities in this year too, so I started out making some activities first, including this fun sensory bin activity game. It's going to be part of a bigger Christmas activity pack, but this activity is free :)


I'm really proud of how far our littlest, A, has come along this year in her reading. She's been reading through CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant words, like CAT) really well! We've also been using a lot of fun activities to learn sight words. 

But she still has trouble with mixing up lowercase and uppercase letters sometimes, so that's something I've been wanting to take a step back and focus on. This activity is perfect for that, and it's SO much fun!
You can use any sort of sensory bin you like, or just use no bin at all! 26 Christmas (or pine if you don't celebrate) trees with capital letters are included in this pack as well as a cute winter background scene with matching lowercase letter trees.
We decided to use cotton balls since they look like snow and are so much fun to squish, stretch and make a mess with! In fact, after A finished this activity, she started playing in the bin with her toys too. Well, mostly in the bin - I'm still picking up cotton balls here and there!

As she picked up each tree card out of the bin, I had her say the name of the letter as well as it's sound. She would then find the matching lowercase letter on the background scene. Just scroll down below to grab this freebie on my Teachers Pay Teachers Store - just download it for free! ...



You can get this freebie HERE directly or  HERE in my Teachers Pay Teachers store
And look out for the holiday activity pack I have coming soon! It will include this activity alongside fun centers that teach color names, patterns, sorting and more!

Hope you enjoy!






Wednesday, September 26, 2018

FREE Worksheet Wednesday: Fall Addition Subtraction Mats


Addition And Subtraction Math Mat Printables

Get your free printable addition and subtraction mats at the end of this post...

We've been having so much fun in our homeschool this year and I am so proud of how well it's going so far! We don't always get "everything" done, but we sure do get a lot of learning in...



One way I have been making our days a bit more fun is by including some math games for the two younger kiddos - my 1st grader and kindergartener. This week I made them this fun Fall-themed Math Mats.


This set comes with four different background scenes and counters. Each scene has an addition mat and a subtraction mat. You can grab the firefly one as a freebie, and Get the whole set here for just $1!


These are the firefly mats (and this weeks freebie! Scroll to the bottom of the page to get it). You start out by writing in numbers on the bottom for your child to use, or your child can write the numbers in themselves. You then add in the counters - in this case, the fireflies - and either add some more or take some away for subtraction.

My girls had so much fun with them last week! They're great for practicing writing numbers too, as my youngest did here. We didn't quite get to adding them yet with her, she just loved counting them out!


It's such a fun way to practice addition and subtraction facts! And you can print out as many counters as you need too. We love to laminate ours for durability. You could also add in some velcro dots if you want the counters to stick on. This is the apple tree mat.



Here is the pumpkin patch mat. They especially love this one - who doesn't love to see some pumpkins in Fall!



And finally, this is the fall leaves mat, where you can add or subtract some pretty fall leaves onto the tree or ground.

If you don't want to use the counters, you could also replace them with play dough, blocks, plastic chips or even a few treats!

You can download the Firefly set for FREE by clicking here!
And you can get the entire set in my TPT store for just $1 here!


Monday, September 24, 2018

Monday Inspiration: Reach For The Stars!

Here is some Monday Motivation for you this week!

Just a little reminder to always try - because unless you do you'll never know what might have happened!


"Remember to reach for the stars and they won't be able to resist flying into your hands"
 -Katherine McNamara

Please feel free to repost or share this inspirational pic anywhere, just remember to leave the watermark (messybeautifulfun.com) in place!

Have a happy week!


Monday, September 17, 2018

Motivation For This Week In Parenting

This week's parenting quote is a powerful one that never fails to stir me up!


"You are the bows from which your children, as living arrows, are sent forth."
-Khalil Gibran

For me this quote is powerful. It means that every day I have a chance to impact my children's future selves in an important way. Whether it's through words, homeschooling, playing a game or enjoying a good book together, every little thing matters and sends them forth into the world prepared for whatever comes their way.

What does it mean to you?

Please feel free to share this quote on social media or on your own blog or pages. Please just remember that you must keep my watermark in place at the bottom (see more at messybeautifulfun.com)

Thank you and have a wonderful week of raising little ones!