Valentine's Books for Creative Writing. Use these writing prompts to encourage kids to consider creative ways to express love to others. Team V's Top Picks!

Valentine’s Books for Creative Writing

The days surrounding Valentine's Day are such a wonderful time of year to practice words of affirmation with children and to reestablish an atmosphere of love and kindness in their midst.  These five books are wonderful to read throughout the year, but are especially great to use as Valentine's books for creative writing.     This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Team V Education!   I sought out to find stories that are beautifully illustrated and that provide an excellent framework from which children can develop creativity in their thinking and writing.   Use these writing prompts around Valentine's Day to encourage children to think of creative...

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What do Reggio Emilia, Child-Led Learning, and Unschooling have in common? With this common denominator, it doesn't *really* matter which style of learning you use in your homeschooling/alternative education.

Reggio Emilia, Child-Led Learning, and Unschooling

Reggio Emilia, Child-Led Learning, and Unschooling have gained traction as popular methods of instruction, especially in homeschooling.  And with such a great variety of educational methods to choose from both in mainstream schooling and in homeschooling, it can be disconcerting for parents to know what is best for their children.   We too have struggled to give name to our homeschooling methods, bouncing from a Reggio Emilia approach, to child-led learning, to even unschooling. This was until I recognized that these three methods, and truly all methods of educating, share one common denominator: intentionality.     The argument that one style of teaching prevails over another is...

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Eclectic homeschool kindergarten curriculum for child-led learners. It is possible to find a balance between the two.

Eclectic Kindergarten Curriculum that Supports Child-Led Learning

There seems to be a growing trend amongst homeschoolers to identify oneself with not just one style of learning; however, to gather up bits and pieces of various learning styles and models to create this glorious masterpiece that we have come to describe as “eclectic homeschooling.”  An eclectic kindergarten curriculum allows the parent/educator and student to dabble in various learning styles to develop a feel for what is right!     It is difficult to argue against taking the best of the best to guide the learning of our most precious little ones.   Each one of our children, while most definitely created in the image...

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How to deepen your child's understanding of the world around them. Observe & document with children! Children seem to notice everything around them and share an excitement that can even be overwhelming at times. Use these tips for observation and sketching to help children to see and understand their world as it functions.

How to Deepen Your Child’s Understanding of the World Around Them

Is it just me, or do children seem to notice everything?   They notice the beauty of the leaves blowing in the trees on a windy day. They notice the fans spinning overhead in church, and pause in wonder at their speed.   They notice the flatbed truck 600 metres down the road and ask what it is carrying before you even recognize that a truck is approaching!   They recognize a change in your hairstyle, or that you wore a skirt today instead of pants. They recognize the intonation of your voice and become more deeply immersed in the story you are reading with them.   They recognize that...

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Looking for Preschool Curriculum, but not sure where to start? These three steps are your keys to success, and your bank account will ultimately thank you! | The Prudent Homeschooler

3 Keys to Success for Creating the Perfect Preschool Curriculum

The other day I shared a very short history of our family’s journey of how we came to homeschool our children, from beginning as classroom teachers, to attempting to recreate “school at home,” to fully embracing the belief that our children are designed to learn and do it naturally and in their own time. It has been years of adapting our philosophy of teaching to the apparent needs of our children, and simply being open to change, no matter how unchartered this new territory of education may be.   Together my husband and I believe that learning is natural, organic, and simply...

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End the struggle to create "school at home." Recognize that learning happens naturally with very little help from us! Learn to walk alongside your children as they soak in the world around them. | The Prudent Homeschooler

End the Struggle to Create “School at Home” – Preschool Home Education

Several weeks ago I shared loosely about our Kindergarten Curriculum choices, which I candidly referred to as “Un-Curriculum.” Despite both my husband and I having graduated from Teacher’s College and working within various school systems (Private, Private Christian, and Public), we have seen time and time again how children thrive when they are given the freedom to learn and explore on their own!   A CLASSROOM TEACHING CAREER   In nearly ten years of teaching we have used textbooks, paperwork, busywork, interactive lessons, group work, and all sorts of other methods with the goal of engaging classrooms of 20-30+ students to absorb material that...

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What does it look like to explore play dough for THE FIRST TIME?! Beautiful photos documenting a toddler's first experience.

Exploring Play Dough – A Toddler’s First Experience Through Photos

Toddlers experience so much in their lives through touch and taste. It never ceases to amaze me some of the items that make their way into our littles one's mouth: board books, table edges, sweater strings, zippers, and even flip-flops!   While this behaviour is developmentally appropriate, I sometimes have to take a deep breath before stepping in to remove something surprising from his mouth.   So while I have encouraged a great amount of open-ended play with our little man, as I have too with his siblings, I have been hesitant to offer play dough as a form of exploration. In my mind, I...

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Learning about colors?! Participate in a simple, yet fun "Color Hunt" at your local garden centre! | Find more over at The Prudent Homeschooler

Little Gardeners Learn About Color as they Search for Plants/Flowers at their Local Garden Center

If you have little gardeners who adore all things colour and full of life, head to your local garden centre for a simple, yet fun colour hunt!   Gather Your Supplies:   Clipboard with Colour Words Listed Pencil Camera/Camera Phone (that you are willing to allow your child to manage on their own)     If your child is able and willing, have him or her print a list of the colours that they would like to search for. We love the book "Pantone Colors" for its fresh take on colour, and used it to spell each of the colours that we hoped to find!   With clipboard, pencil,...

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Five key elements that transform painting with preschoolers and kindergarteners from disaster to creative victory! By implementing these ideas, painting with little ones will be a breeze!

From Painting Disaster to Creative Victory!

Painting is by far one of our most favourite art activities.   I love the freedom that it provides our children. I love to watch their eyes as they select a colour from the palette. I love to watch their little hands move the brush across the paper. I love the grace and fluidity of the colours mixing before them. I love the creative expression that pours out from their hearts and minds. I love listening to their conversation as they work side by side. I love the beautiful mess!       In our home we do not have a homeschool room. You will not find a designated studio in which...

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How to organize children's books. We set up the best home library display! Are you considering how to set up your home library to better engage your little ones? Consider these 6 great ideas to help you create a home library display that will entice your young readers to both read and tidy up after themselves, while also maintaining a cohesive look in your home décor.

Six Solutions to Organize and Display Children’s Books

Are you considering how to set up your home library to better engage your little ones? Do you have books that you simply love, or frequent your public library often and simply haven’t found a storage solution to suit your home and style? Consider the following suggestions to create a home library display that will entice your young readers to both read and tidy up after themselves, while also maintaining a cohesive look in your home décor.     1.  Consider the Age of Your Children   In my experience, children under the age of 18 months will gravitate toward board books with attractive imagery...

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