Did you think I fell off the face of the planet?  I feel like I have (and lost an entire week in the process)!  The truth is that we welcomed our second child into the world last Tuesday (July 17, 2012).  She is an angel and we are absolutely in love with her!  My son has even taken to being a big brother easily.  Welcome to the world, Joanna!  I'll be back to blogging tomorrow... :o)

I know many of you moms out there are also home-schooling your kids!  That's awesome!  However, I also know that curriculum is expensive and it doesn't always have JUST what you want.  You may be lacking some extra practice worksheets or activities that your kids need.  Well, I've started looking into great websites that may help you out!  The website names are links and there is a short description.  Just click around and hopefully you find things that are useful!

Worksheet Works is a FREE website that allows you to create worksheets in the areas of math, english, geography, puzzles, and miscellaneous topics.  You get to pick the layout of the worksheet and then you can print out the pdf file for FREE!  (If you are an SLP and your kiddos are working on grammar, then check out the english section... if you have kids working on executive functioning skills, then check out the miscellaneous section for calendars)

Hand Writing Worksheet is a FREE website that allows you create customizable handwriting worksheets with different types of handwriting (Print, D'Nealian, and Cursive).

Tools for Educators is a FREE website that has a TON of games, certificates, spelling worksheets, handwriting worksheets, and MORE!!!
Teach Speech has some exciting news!  We have recently become part of the Teachers Pay Teachers world.  This website is designed for teachers to be able to upload things they have created for FREE and for SALE!  Then, teachers (or homeschooling parents or parents who love to do activities with their kids, etc) can log on and look for pre-made activities and pay the TEACHERS who have created them rather than the CORPORATIONS who put them out!  How neat is that?  We will continue to be creating materials for FREE, but we have also been working on several BIG projects that we will now have a forum to sell on.  We are not quite ready to debut our thematic units (based on favorite children's books), but will start putting up some of our smaller projects - check it out as we hope to have new and exciting things up each day!

Click here to find the link directly to our store!
I usually try to blog the FREE printables on Fridays, but I'm going in for my 39 week appointment at the OBGYN today and I want to make sure that I get this one loaded before my appointment... just in case I'm having a baby tomorrow!  :o)

We are still discussing great ways to keep kids entertained while on road trips this summer!

Here is a simple Road Trip Lotto game that I created.   You can click here to download the pdf file and print for FREE!  If you can laminate the cards or put them in clear plastic sleeves, then your kids can cross out the things they find with a dry erase marker and then wipe it off to start a new game!  You can also print these as many times as you would like if you would rather play and toss (or recycle)!

Unfortunately, the jpg file (seen above) won't show the entire board... you will want to make sure to print the pdf version.  Plus, the pdf version has two game boards so you can have two players playing at once!

Here's a great way to make a SUPER CHEAP activity book for the car (or anywhere)!!  We are talking about great activities for road trips since it's summer time!  (If you choose to fly to your destination, this can easily be thrown into your kids' carry on bag).

Grab a 1 inch, 3-ring binder.  If you don't have one laying around the house, you could always get one for $1 at Office Max through the 14th of July.  I've also seen them at Wal-Mart for $1 too... and I don't think it was a promotional thing.  Also, pick up a package of clear plastic sleeves (if you don't already have some).  

Now, check the back of your cereal boxes.  Are there great little games on the backs?  My brother and I used to LOVE to do the games on the back of the cereal boxes.  Start cutting them out when you're done with the cereal and slip them into the clear plastic sleeves.  You could also go through magazines for kids and take out the activity sheets.  If you don't get magazines at your house, then ask the local dentist or doctor's office if you could have them when they plan to throw them out.  It doesn't matter if it's a current issue or not!  

Throw all the activity sheets into the binder and voila!  You have your self an activity book that didn't cost too much.  The best part is that you can change out the activities when your kids get bored with them.  Also, if the activity requires writing, a dry erase marker should be able to write on the clear plastic sleeve and then be erased!!  Everyone can do the activity!!
Last week I started blogging about car activities for road trips (long or short) that help promote language development?  If you would like to read the two blogs from last week (I got caught up with doctors appointments and tying up loose ends at work to start MATERNITY LEAVE), then catch up fast by clicking here to read last Monday's blog!  

Have you ever played the "punch-buggy" game?  You know... the age-old game where you got to hit your sibling if you saw a Volkswagon Beetle/Bug?  The game stopped being so novel (but more painful) when VW re-released the "new bug" a while back.  Well, here's a different spin-off of the old game (without the punching so no fights ensue).

Pick one color that everyone in the car can recognize.  When you see something that color as you drive by, call it out!  If you are a competitive family, then you can award a point for each item identified and see who has the most by the end of the trip.  If your kids are simply first learning, then use this time to teach them about that color.

Are your kids older?  Instead of selecting a color, select a letter (or sound).  If your child is working on a particular articulation sound, then that would be a great one to select.  

If you are working on shapes, then shapes can be your guide.  Find all things that are round, square, triangular, etc.

If your child is working on a particular articulation sound, then look for items that have that sound it!
This week we are talking about great language activities for the car!  Whether you are taking a long road trip or you are taking day trips, but that still require a good bit of driving, here are some great things to have on board for your little ones.  Catch up fast by reading the blog from yesterday.  Are you planning a road trip this summer?  Need something to keep your kids occupied?  Well here is a great FREE printable from enchantedlearning.com.  
It's officially summer (I'm pretty sure even the schools in the North have been let out by now) and summer is always known for road trips (or traveling of any kind).  This week I will try to focus on some great car activities for your kids.

I've seen these in stores, but I figured that I could make one just as easily.  This is a great activity to keep in the car that will keep your kids entertained for hours.  Simply collect up small objects (examples:  toy cars, paper clip, coins, marble, pen, whistle, etc.), place them in a bottle (small soda bottle or half-gallon milk jug would work great) along with lots of rice, shake it up, and let your kids try to hunt for all of the objects in the bottle!  

Make sure to write down everything that is in the tube so your kids will know when they have found all the objects!  This can be fun for hours!

If your child is working on articulation, then try to collect objects with his/her sounds in it!  That will be a great way to get some practice in while on a road trip.

We have been pretty sick around here - my son was sick, then he got ear tubes, then I got sick... we are now on the up-swing of recovery.  Sorry for the delay in blogging.