Posted in Language Arts Secular Learning Materials

Learning on the Road

Learning on the Road Posted on December 9, 2014Leave a comment

So the tide came in and we are still homeschooling.

My Battle Buddy, the remarkable Honey bear, was sent ahead to our next duty station with 3 of our kids and has been thrown into the world of single parenthood…

Working all day. Cooking. Cleaning. Home educator.

I am surprised that he is surviving! He really deserves a medal especially because every Skype session proves everyone is well fed and well… alive! It’s almost like this has been a reverse-deployment situation. Can you say he is ready for me to come home? LoL

Looking back I am thankful I sat down with the kids prior to the move to find a curriculum that they were interested in… More importantly because with everything on Battle Buddy’s plate it’s organized and easy to handle.

In the meantime what was I to do with Lil Man? Well there was no telling how long we were going to be away from home… and I didn’t want to repurchase the same material.

Our solutions arrived while we were in Tulsa, OK at The Apple Tree.

1. Now I know My Phonics Learning Mats

I love the skill progression through 104 mats! So simple and fun that even Lil Man who claims he can’t read is sounding words out with success. Here is a look at today’s mat…

Learning Mats 2014-3


And a sneak peak of more mats…

Learning Mats 2014-2

The Scholastic Teaching Resources series also includes;


  • Colors, Shapes & Patterns Learning Mats
  • Alphabet Learning Mats
  • Numbers Learning Mats


  • Phonics learning Mats
  • Sight Words Learning Mats
  • Word Families learning Mats

The best part about these mats is that they are designed to be reproducible and they are handy for storing in our 3-ring binders!

2. Teacher Created Resources: Ready, Set, Learn!

There are 3 reasons I like to add mazes into our day.

  1. It helps them to learn how to solve problems and develop critical thinking skills.
  2. As they solve the problem they build confidence.
  3. Reinforces fine motor skills or handwriting skills.

Mazes are something Lil Man ask to do on an almost daily basis. For that reason I like the Ready, Set, Learn Maze series because it is important increase the challenge!

Ready set learn

The Sight Words series doesn’t leave Lil Man in tears. The word is introduced, traced, and reinforced through about 4 short activities. I decided on this because it was less than $4 and complemented the Sight Word crossword puzzle workbook we have waiting for him in Germany.

Here are a few online resources we have been using!!

The Online Resources we are using while on the road is Click n Kid, Essential Skills Advantage,, and the International Children’s Library. I have talked about Click n Kids before but the rest of them are new to us this fall.

I love the organization of Essential Skills Advantage’s lessons! As far as content I like it better than ABC Mouse. The graphic on ABC Mouse are of course better but ESA gets straight to the point and I kind of prefer that. (In ABC Mouse Lil Man likes to dilly dally in the “classroom” with buying things for his house or goldfish tank. He told me this was more fun than doing the lessons. I think he feels the lessons take too long to progress.)


Things I think ESA can improve on:

  • I do not like how small the letters are in the letter matching lesson (I had to re-size the computer screen).
  • The lessons that require you to look for the patterns go way too fast – I as an adult did not have enough time to look at the whole string.
  • If Lil Man wasn’t paying attention there was no repeat function and he had to guess.

We will continue with our trial period and let you know if it is worth sticking with!

Reading is also an important part of our language development.  Our home library is overseas so this is what we have been using;

  • – available by the efforts of the Screen Actors Guild and the Entertainment Industry Foundation
  • – free trial period and then available by subscription.  The cool part about this library is that you can purchase a 3 or 12 month subscription as gift.  Your purchases support PBS!
  • International Children’s Digital Library – free and their mission is to provide books that promote tolerance and respect for diverse cultures. The best part? If you want to read a book in a language you are studying, this is perfect for you!
  • Reading Rainbow is on our wishlist – In the meantime we are checking out their Story Time corner.

Of course we didn’t ignore our local library! It’s just easier in our situation to pull up a digital book to read to your child before he goes to bed. 😉


I must say Homeschooling one child is a lot easier than homeschooling 4! 😉

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