{Free Printable} Beginning Sounds Matching Game

Beginning Sounds Matching Title Page

Learning letter sounds is a popular activity in our house these days.  I’m in no rush for Wesley to read, but he is wanting to learn more.  He points to various words he sees throughout the day and pretends to read them.  So I’ve been slowly teaching him his letter sounds, because once again, I’m in no rush.

Beginning Sounds Matching picture to letter

We’ve started playing more board games in the past few months and the boys seem to like the matching games quite a bit.  I decided to make some image cards with matching letters so we could play the matching game while learning.  It’s a bit much for Wesley right now, so we break up the game into smaller batches at a time.

Beginning Sounds Matching pictures to letters

They don’t even have to play the matching game.  They can just place the letter on top of the matching image, like we did in all of these pictures.

Beginning Sounds Matching Pictures

Beginning Sounds Matching

In this download, I have the letter tiles, image tiles, and image tiles with corresponding capital letters, in case you have a learner working on matching lower case and upper case.  I imagine we will be working on letter sounds for a while to come, so be on the look out for more printables!

Click Here to Download Printable


{Free Printable} Dino Dice Math Cards

Dino Dice Math Cards Title Picture

A couple years ago, when Tanner was just starting to learn about addition, I downloaded free dice cards.  They had a little picture of a pumpkin and dice on them.  We loved those cards.  And it was hard to pack them away once the Autumn season was over.  So once I began creating my own printables, I knew this was something I had to make for Wesley!  He likes dinosaurs, and I think alliteration is cute, so I named them ‘Dino Dice’.

Dino Dice Math Cards with Playdoh

They’re pretty straight forward.  You can use clothespins to mark the answer, or in our case, playdoh balls.  Any manipulative will work!

Dino Dice Math Cards

Wesley loves these.  He will go look for them all by himself and sit at his desk and complete all of them.  I hope you love them as well!

Dino Dice Math Clip Cards

Click Here to Download Printable



{Free Printable} Beginning Sounds Clip Cards

Beginning Sounds Clip Cards Title Page

Beginning Sounds Clip Cards Finding image that matches letter

I am still having trouble believing Wesley is old enough to start learning his letter sounds.  He has been wanting to do more and more school lately.  I don’t blame him, he has grown up watching his brother learn, and now it’s his turn!

Beginning Sounds Clip Cards

He was going through a clothespin/clip card phase so I created these cards to be used that way.  But you can use any type of manipulative as a marker.  Just clip (or mark) the picture that matches the letter on the card.  They are simple and straight to the point, and Wesley loves them. I hope you enjoy them, too!

Beginning Sounds Clip Cards Smile


Click Here to Download Printable


{Free Printables} Practice Writing with CVC Words- A, E, I, O, & U

CVC Practice Writing Title Page

The perfect pre-kindergarten summer activity. Practice writing with CVC words!

CVC Practice Writing Ending Sounds

I have really been focusing on preschool printables lately and I started feeling a little bad for Tanner.  So I decided to created some CVC word cards for him so we could just practice and practice while he’s learning new blends/word sounds.

After I printed the cards, I laminated them.  Tanner uses his dry erase markers and we can just erase them when he’s finished. You can also use page protectors.

CVC Practice Writing

I created 4 different options for these cards, for each short vowel: blank notebook paper lines, dotted words for tracing, missing beginning sounds, and missing ending sounds.  This way you can pick and choose what type of learning or review you want to work on.

Please let me know if you like these, and if you would like to see any other types of printables!

Click here for: Short A CVC Writing Cards

Click here for: Short E CVC Writing Cards

Click here for: Short I CVC Writing Cards

Click here for: Short O CVC Writing Cards

Click here for: Short U CVC Writing Cards

Pinterest Tuesday

Pinterest Tuesday- Make your own moldable sand

Make Your Own Moldable Sand- The Boundless Homeschool

For this week’s Pinterest Tuesday, we made moldable sand!

We live in Florida.  The boys love going to the beach and building castles and rivers in the sand.  But we still have to drive an hour to go to a nice beach with nice sand.  Making a little bin of moldable sand so we could make castles at home sounded like a great idea!

Make your own moldable sand

I took some sand from the beach the last time we visited.  I probably could have just gathered the sand from my car and garage. We seem to always bring most of the beach home with us.

Moldable sand and cup

There are many different recipes out there that you can use.  Shaving cream, corn starch, water, and dish soap are some of the ingredients I read about. I decided to pick the recipe that used flour and vegetable oil.  Mostly because it keeps, and you don’t have to add water each time you want to play with it.

Scooping Moldable Sand

The recipe:

1- 5 cups of play sand (I used beach sand)

2- 3 cups flour

3- 1 cup vegetable oil

Mix the ingredients in a bin.  Stir together until all the lumps and bumps break up.  If it doesn’t feel moldable, add 1/4 cup of oil at a time until it reaches a moldable consistency.  Store in an air-tight container. 

Squishing Moldable sand

I had enough ingredients so I doubled the recipe.  I also figured most of the sand would end up on the ground (I was right), so why not make a little extra. I’m wondering how the recipe would have turned out if I used regular play sand you buy from the store, because the beach sand was already fairly moldable to begin with.

Moldable Sand

The recipe worked.  The sand was moldable, and the boys were able to build a few little buildings and houses (even a sand snowman).  Unfortunately it was such a hot day that it was almost unbearable to play outside.  And it’s not quite as much fun playing in the sand when you don’t have salt water to jump in when you need to cool off.  So we didn’t play with it for a terribly long time.  But, it does keep, and we will be able to play with it more when the summer ends.

***UPDATE:  A few months later, I opened our container of moldable sand, and it had molded!  It may be because I used sand from the actual beach vs store bought play sand.***

Classical Conversations, Homeschool Basics

Classical Conversations – An overview and why we are giving it a try

Classical Conversations - An overview and why we are trying it

Classical Conversations. To know God and to make Him known.

This mission statement for Classical Conversations (CC) is the biggest reason I was drawn to this form of homeschooling.  But it hasn’t been an easy decision.  Before I get into the details of why we decided to give this program a try this coming school year — and why I was totally against it last year — I will write an overview of this homeschool community to give you a basic understanding of how it works.

There are many different forms of homeschooling.  Traditional, classical, Charlotte Mason, unit studies, unschooling, and electic are a few.  If you can’t tell by the name, Classical Conversations is based on the classical education approach.  The focus of classical education is how a student learns.  The following information has been adapted from the Classical Conversations Foundations Guide, written by Leigh A. Bortins, the founder of Classical Conversations.

Classical Conversations is not really a co-op, but a community. The communities are broken up by ages, so the classes are small. All Classical Conversations’ communities meet once a week for 24 weeks.  There are three cycles.  Every student, of any age, will be learning the same material.  Just at their own level.  Which makes it tremendously helpful when you have multiple children learning at home.

Classical Conversations (and classical education) divides learning into 3 stages: the Grammar stage, the Dialectic stage, and the Rhetoric stage.

Classical Conversations Programs

Grammar Stage

The Grammar stage is not ‘English Grammar’. It is the time in a child’s life where they learn by memorizing facts.  The age for this learning is around K4 through 6th grade.  In Classical Conversations this program is called Foundations.  Here tutors (CC moms who are paid to to lead a community group) help load facts from a variety of interesting subjects.  I know more about the Foundations program because of the age of my kids.  I won’t be able to go into detail on the community day for the other CC programs.

Each week during community day the students review previous memory work, get introduced to new memory work, practice public speaking, complete a science experiment, and work on a form of fine arts (art work and music-playing the tin whistle, or learning about classical composers).

Dialectic Stage

The Dialectic stage is when the student learns how facts relate.  This CC program is called Essentials, and is around the 4th through 6th grade age.  From what I’ve read and been told, here the students really start to focus on writing. In the Foundations Guide, it says “the tutors model the grammar and dialectic tools of learning in English grammar, writing, and math drills. [The students] develop mental skills to sort and classify facts and learn the tools they need to become effective writers.”

There is a second program in the later years of the Dialectic stage (7th and 8th grade) called Challenge A and B. Here the students become much more independent, and the material becomes more challenging.  They focus more on group discussions as they learn logic and debate.

Rhetoric Stage

The Rhetoric stage is where the student begins applying the facts they’ve learned in the grammar and dialectic stages.  This CC program is Challenge I, II, III, and IV, and the age is 9th-12th grade.  Since I really only have young kids, and not much experience with CC in the older years, I am going to quote the Foundations Guide again.  The students “not only discuss, but learn to lead discussions.  Students can fully express themselves in creative, meaningful, and practical applications of subjects”.

The Bible even acknowledges these stages. In Proverbs 24: 3-4, they are referred to as knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

Classical Education - Stages of Learning

Now, that most of the basics of the classical education has been explained, I will start talking about our idea of it.

I first learned about CC when Tanner just turned 3.  I thought the idea of a community was awesome, and I loved the idea that CC put God in the center of all the different subjects.  But there were a lot of things about Classical Conversations that I didn’t understand, and due to that misunderstanding, completely pushed me away from wanting to join. There’s lots of memory work.  And it seemed odd to me to make a child memorize so much stuff, but not really learn it.  Also, they learn Latin.  LATIN!  Is that crazy to anyone else?  I also figured I could put my own curriculum together.  You have to use separate Language Arts and Math curriculum anyway.

The turning point.

It was almost like God was leading me to this.  It happened fairly quickly. I was struggling a bit trying to figure out how to put my own curriculum together.  I wanted to make sure I covered what I needed to but didn’t over do it.  I was literally searching for a book to help me learn about gathering my own curriculum when I took a Facebook break.  And while I was scrolling through my newsfeed a homeschool mom shared a blog post from Family Style Learning about Bullet Journaling.  I didn’t really read the title, I just glanced at the pictures and saw how cool it was ( I love journaling).  So I clicked on it and began reading it.  Which lead to me being blown away by what the upper level Challenge students do.  Which then lead me to do more research on Classical Conversations.

After a few days of researching and reading, I finally understood how the Classical model works.  How the memorization in the younger years is NOT actually a waste.  I learned how the three cycles work well for the students.  For an example, Tanner will start cycle 3 this next school year.  Then he will be in cycle 3 again at age 8/9.  He will re-learn the information in a completely different way at that time. He will start asking more questions about the material because he will remember it from the first time.  So we will then be able to dive deeper with learning the material he is most interested in.

After learning more about CC,  I even realized that THIS IS HOW I LEARN!  My mom would help me memorize skip counting when I was younger, and I still remember it to this day.

Let’s give it a try!

So, I figured this was the best time to figure out if this will work for us.  If it does, I want the boys to have as many years as they can with this form of learning.  If it doesn’t work, it was only one year, and a kindergarten year at that.  Also, we don’t just have to memorize the Foundations memory work.  If there is something Tanner is interested in, we can dig a bit deeper with more activities.  There is CC Connected online where other CC parents and tutors create and post activities and printables for the students to use.  And Pinterest, of course.

This next school year is cycle 3.  Tanner will be learning about the USA in History and Geography, and Anatomy and Chemistry in science.  All of which he loves.  With CC you have to choose your own language arts and math curriculum, both of which we already have. I’ve heard that you either really like CC or you don’t. So why not give it a try?  I’m really looking forward to this community.  I, personally, need a community of other experienced homeschool parents.

This was a crazy long post.  But there was a lot of information I wanted to share.  Next week I will be attending the 3 day Classical Conversations Parent Practicum.  It will help me understand this program, and classical education, much more.  I am planning on sharing my experience after I complete it.

What about you?  Are you interested in Classical Conversations?




Pinterest Tuesday

Pinterest Tuesday- How to make your own bouncy balls

How to make your own bouncy balls- The Boundless Homeschool

It’s time for another Pinterest Tuesday!

Even though there is less than 2 hours left of Tuesday.  Today the boys and I created our own bouncy balls!  I figured this would be an exciting project to do because of the amount of measuring and mixing involved.  My oldest is learning about measuring, and my youngest has always loved watching and helping me cook.  So this was definitely something they wanted to do.  And what kid doesn’t like a bouncy ball?

Since we do many activities like this one (homemade slime, mostly) I already had a box of borax on hand.  It’s actually the same box I’ve had since my 5 year old was 1.  It still mostly full too! All the other ingredients are usually found around the house. Especially in a homeschooler’s house.

Ingredients for DIY Bouncy Balls

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 Tbsp borax
  • 2 Tbsp white (liquid) glue
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • Food coloring
  • Optional: Plastic disposable cups and plastic forks.  The clean up was so much easier because I could just throw everything away instead of scrubbing cups/bowls.

What we did:

I definitely did not make this  “instagram worthy”.  No high definition, posed pictures here.  I am actually surprised I remembered to take any pictures at all.  I could have taken over a bit more and made the balls perfectly round and smooth, but I really let my boys do most of the work.  This is for them, after all.  I made one whole recipe for each boy.

DIY Bouncy Balls- Mixing Ingredients

DIY Bouncy Ball

In the first cup, we mixed the warm water and the borax.  In the second cup, we mixed the glue, cornstarch, and food coloring.  Once everything was mixed thoroughly, we poured the borax mixture into the glue mixture and stirred.  It hardened almost instantly.

Mixing ingredients for DIY bouncy balls

After a few seconds of stirring, I pulled out the glob with the fork and squeezed it in my hand a few times.  Just like the slime you can make with borax, you need to knead it a bit.  Once the ingredients seemed to bond together I let my boys roll and squish them until they formed into a ball they approved of.  Only once the glob mixture was too slimy to bond together.  So I dunked it back into the water a few times and that did the trick.

Our four balls are a lot larger than I was expecting.  You could easily make two out of each.  Next time I will half the recipe to make more but smaller bouncy balls.

Oh, and YES! They actually do bounce! We stored ours in plastic bags.  I will come back in a week or two and update here how they hold up.  Another Pinterest Tuesday win!

Edit: They did not hold up very well.  They are basically slime, so they do flatten out.  It was very hard to actually roll them back out, but that may have been because ours were so big to begin with.  Also, if any of the bouncy balls are touching while stored, the colors will bleed into one another.

Pinterest Tuesday

Pinterest Tuesday- Colorful Fizzy Liquid Chalk

Fizzy Liquid Chalk- The Boundless Homeschool

Pinterest Tuesday

That name may change, but for the meantime, I am calling this new series of posts “Pinterest Tuesday”.  My boys always love the days where we create new fun things.  I’ve been pulling ideas from Pinterest for as long as I have been a mom  (is there anyone who doesn’t use Pinterest?).  Usually they all work out well, or I can at least salvage it and make it work out in the end.  Rarely have we had any fails.

Often times I find myself avoiding these fun experiments because of the prep time and the MESS.  And I just want to kick myself because these are fun memories my boys are creating.  They LOVE this stuff.  So I am forcing myself to step out of my cleanish comfort zone.  We are going to attempt (at least) one Pinterest activity every week.

This week I knew I wanted to do something fun that the boys could help me prepare, but preferably something outdoors. I need to slowly ease into the mess thing, right? I decided on liquid chalk, because it hadn’t rained in forever, and the old chalk on our driveway, from a month and a half ago, was fading out.  A few pins mentioned using vinegar to make everything fizzy, so that’s what we went with.  Tanner is in a big chemistry phase at the moment, and this is right up his alley.

Some pins used squirt bottles, others used balloons.  I went the muffin tin and paint brush route, for Wesley mostly, since he enjoys painting.  I’ll most likely invest in squirt bottles for future activities.

The recipe I settled on was simple.  Equal parts baking soda, corn starch, and water.  I used 1/3 cup of each ingredient, for each boy.  It seemed a little thin to me so I added more baking soda.  But I wouldn’t do that again.  I ended up having to stir it a lot to get every thing to mix, and if anyone has played with ooblek, or other non-newtonian liquids, it’s hard work stirring that.  It would have been fine sticking with the original recipe. Once it was all mixed, I poured the liquid into the muffin tin and let my boys choose which colors they wanted to use.  We used what I had on hand, which was food coloring.  But I have ordered washable liquid watercolors to use next time, so I won’t have to worry about it staining clothing.

Mixing Fizzy Liquid Chalk

Colorful Fizzy Liquid Chalk

Painting Fizzy Liquid Chalk

The boys went to town painting the driveway.  I was actually surprised how vivid some of the colors were! I’m not sure if that’s due to the gel food coloring we used or the powders in the recipe.  Once the chalk was dry, I gave the boys little cups of vinegar and an eyedropper.  They loved how the chalk fizzed when the vinegar touched it.  It took Wesley a little longer to grasp that concept, he preferred just pouring the vinegar out all at once.

Fizzy Liquid Chalk Painting

Fizzy Liquid Chalk Paint

Fizzy Liquid Chalk

The driveway was so colorful.  The boys were so proud of their creations.  And because it just makes since, the sky opened up and we had a downpour rain storm, literally within minutes of finishing.  So everything, including the chalk from last month, disappeared.  But the boys enjoyed playing in the rain, and it made clean up that much easier.

So I’d say our first week of Pinterest Tuesday was a success!  Making this fizzy liquid chalk was fun for all of us!