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Printable Reading Log

With my second little learner just beginning to reach the incredibly exciting reading milestone, I’ve been trying to help build her pride and confidence as she acquires what is to her an extremely difficult skill. My first reader needed minimal encouragement in this area, and she learned to read quickly with no bumps or setbacks along the way. She has loved books since birth it seems. Her little sister has proven to be the polar opposite!

Learning to read has been HARD WORK both for her and for me! I’ve decided to help her celebrate her small successes by making a little reading log just for her — some cute pages to keep track of all the little books she has been able to read on her own.

Printable Reading Log - Owl themed reading logsDo you have a young reader who would be encouraged by keeping track of their reading? Download your own printable reading log!

Owl themed, printable reading log

Story of the World Volume 3 Notebooking Pages

Today, I’m excited to be sharing with you about two projects I have been working on! The first is a free, 80 page printable, and the second is my  brand new newsletter – more on that later.

Do you use Story of the World in your homeschool? We are now on our third year of using Story of the World, and we LOVE it! It is so well written, engaging, and has been a great education for both my children and myself! Our history lessons have always included discussion and narration of the material, and my daughter now enjoys looking over her history notebook and reviewing all that she has learned.

For the first two years, I wrote her narrations  down for her and then had her illustrate them. She used to be quite resistant to writing, and I’m so glad that I a) didn’t require her to write much (and thus quench her love for the subject) and b) wrote her narrations down for her so that she could re-read them. She truly loves history, and is so much more knowledgable than I ever was (and maybe even am)!

But as she is increasing in skill and maturity, I have been gently urging her on to more independence in her work — and she has recently taken over writing her own narrations, without a word of complaint! She’s quite pleased with these narration pages I created for her, and thinks they are a great improvement on the plain lined paper we were using previously.
Story of the World Volume 3 Notebooking Pages. Get your free, 80 page download!

Story of the World Volume 3 Notebooking Pages. Get your free, 80 page download!

Would you like to download your own Story of the World Volume 3 Notebooking pages for FREE?

Story of the World Volume 3 Notebooking Pages. Free, downloadable notebooking pages for SOTW 3: Early Modern Times

Each page contains the chapter title, section headline, an illustration (painting/sketch/photograph), a lined area for your student to write a short narration, and a blank box for him to draw his own illustration.

Story of the World Volume 3: Early Modern Times Notebooking Pages are now available in my Subscriber Only Library — free as a thank you to my newsletter subscribers.  Enter your email address into the box below to receive access!


The Massive Guide to Homeschooling History - Story of the World Volume 3 Notebooking PagesFree Homeschool Printables Week from the Bloggers of the iHomeschool Network


Homeschool Art Without a Curriculum

Many homeschoolers feel under qualified in the art department. And with so many other subject areas and resources to buy, not many have the funds available to pour into a pre-packaged curriculum or private art classes for their children. So what is the average, non-artistic homeschool mom to do?

Well, it turns out that between a few well-chosen books (purchased or borrowed from the library) and the internet, you can add Art to your homeschool syllabus without cost or expertise!

This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure statement for details.

If you are interested in using free, online resources for art in your homeschool, I’ve put together a list of our Top 5 Websites for Homeschool Art.  Included there are tutorials using different medium, as well as sites that provide lesson plans for Art Appreciation.

Another option that has long appealed to me is the practice of picture study. Picture study is a simple way to enjoy art with children of all ages and involves showing your children a work of art, allowing them time to inspect and enjoy it, and then removing the picture and have them narrate, or tell back, what they remember about it.

I had been intending to begin picture study with my children for some time now, but even with its simplicity, I still found it a bit overwhelming. Since I have had absolutely no experience, training, or exposure to the arts in my own education, I didn’t even know where to begin in choosing the art and artists to study! I did find some wonderful resources with selections, but I would still need to hunt down either in books or online, the prints of the paintings to use, and then have them printed.

Then I found the perfect solution to my problem: Usborne Famous Paintings cards. I highly recommend them! There are 30  4×6 cards in the box featuring some of the world’s most famous paintings from the 1400’s all the way to modern art. I organized my cards in chronological order, and now we can study Art in tandem with our History!

I also have some other wonderful art resources that I’m using with the art cards that I’d like to recommend today, and I’ve even made a little lesson plan for their use with the art cards
Usborne ART Treasury

This full-colour book features 22 works of art, biographical information about their artists, and projects inspired by them. It’s great for exploring the themes, ideas or mediums used in the famous works shown.  10 of the 30 works or artists from the art cards are featured in this book, providing ideas to go along with your picture study.


 Discovering Great Artists

This book, by MaryAnn F Kohn & Kim Solga, features 75 artists and 110 art appreciation activities. It contains 17 projects that correlate with the Usborne art cards.




Getting to Know the World’s Great Artists

This is a collection of 37 books, each featuring an artist. Written by Mike Venezia, they are colourful, informative, and humorous. 18 of the artists featured in the art cards have a book in this series. Our library carries several of them, but we liked them so much that we purchased some for our own collection.



 Start Exploring Masterpieces

This is a colouring book with line drawings of 60 works of art for colouring. My girls really like to colour, so I thought that this would make a nice add on activity for our picture study. We have been having a bit of fun trying to match the colouring and shading of the paintings using colouring pencils! There are 19 artists/paintings that tie in with the Usborne cards.

Homeschooling Art Without a Curriculum! Picture study is an excellent way to cover art without an expensive curriculum. All you need are a few carefully chosen resources and your library card!
This is how we have been doing Picture Study using the Usborne Famous Paintings Cards:

Day One: We begin our week simply by spending a few minutes observing the card silently. In advance, I tell my girls that this is like our SQUILT lessons, only instead of Super Quiet Uninterrupted Listening Time, it is Super Quiet Uninterrupted Looking Time!  After we are done, I cover up the card and ask my 5-year-old to tell me everything she remembers about the art. Her answers are pretty short, but then my 8-year-old has a turn to chime in with all the things she remembers that Little Sister left out. Finally, I take a turn and add on anything else that I remember that hasn’t been mentioned yet. This works wonderfully into our regular Morning Time when we cuddle on the couch to read and sing before we start our day.

Day Two: The next day we look at the card again and read some biographical information (from the card itself, or the other resources listed above) about the artist or art movement they belong to. Sometimes we sit and colour from the Masterpieces colouring book at this time.

Day Three: This is the day we get our hands dirty, and try out any hands on activities or art projects that go along with the art or artist.


Free, printable lesson plans using Usborne Famous Paintings art cards


If you are interested in my lesson plan spreadsheet, co-ordinating the above-mentioned resources with the art cards, click on the image to download and print.





Have you used any formal art curricula in your homeschool? What have you used, and what did you like about it?

This post is part of The Canadian Homeschool Blogging Team’s feature on Art in our homeschools.

The Canadian Homeschool Blogging Team

Living and Learning at Home

Set of 5 Watercolour, Literary Inspired Bookmarks {PRINTABLE}

I’m well on my way with my 2016 reading plan! This past week I had the pleasure of starting in on two of this year’s selections: Teaching From Rest and The Awakening of Miss Prim. I really like to have at least two books on the go — a fiction and a non-fiction, or a “heavy” read and a light read. This week has been a bit of a treat because both books are such easy going page turners!  Although it is a short book, and charmingly written, there is still a lot of meat and inspiration in Teaching from Rest; it is giving me much encouragement regarding my children’s education and my mothering.

And since I’m chugging along full steam ahead with my reading commitments, I thought I would refresh my stash of bookmarks with a good supply of motivational bookmarks to keep me reading all the year through!

So here they are, the are intended to be thought provoking and to inspire self education and a literary lifestyle! Each bookmark features beautiful watercolour flowers and contains a quotation on the subject of reading and books from such writers as Hemingway, Emerson and Thoreau. So go ahead, print them off for yourself and enjoy!  You can print them off on regular paper or cardstock, and even laminate them if you want to make sure they last. Or punch a hole in the top and tie a ribbon on, and tuck one into your next book gift or when you loan a book to a friend!

Free Printable, Literary Inspired, Watercolour Bookmarks!

The beautiful watercolour clipart is from  Angie Makes.


Download your bookmark by clicking here or the image above. Please don’t host these files on your own site or link directly to the file, but please do share by referring friends to this page! Happy reading 🙂

What are you currently reading?