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A few Sweets and Treats for Learning

As treats are a focus today and even on All Saint's Day as many families combine dressing up, candy and All Saints Day Celebrations, I thought I would just offer a few themed things on sweets and treats.

Counting comes to life with our Welcome to My Kitchen Learning Card Set
This delightful card set tells a baker's story of the things and ingredients needed in their kitchen to bake sweets and treats. Numerals, number words and graphics all match to teach numbers from one to twenty. This set includes twenty bright and colourful cards that also reinforce basic reading skills of simple sentences and words associated with a kitchen including measuring cups, mixers, rolling pins and more.

See our collection of math learning cards to download our fun and interactive Welcome to My Kitchen Learning Card Set.

Our Sweet Shop Candy Math Game is perfect for today as it features collecting candy while teaching valuable math skills. Featured before on our blog, it is worth a repeat mention as the kiddos love playing this game.

Halloween themed Write and Draw Describing Nouns Worksheets
Adjectives are words that describe a noun. Help children learn to increase their descriptive skills with our unique worksheets that allow not only for writing but drawing as well. Why include drawing? Writing limits many young learners who haven't quite developed the dexterity or spelling skills needed to keep up with their thoughts. Writing isn't always necessary to show proof of understanding. I'm sure Socrates and Charlotte Mason would agree with this statement whole heartedly.

This little set of three worksheets features a pumpkin, a princess and a cute little ghost.

Download our Halloween Set of Adjective Write and Draw Worksheets.

Hope this helps bring a few smiles to your kiddos faces.


Can the Holy Souls Help Teach Your Children Math? YES!!

Many have already begun praying the Novena for the Holy Souls this week.  November 2nd is All Souls Day and kicks off the month that Holy Mother Church dedicates to the Church Suffering or Church Expectant comprised of the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

As part of the communion of saints, we are implored to remember and pray for these Holy Souls who suffer to perfection in purgatory as they await the beatific vision of our Lord in heaven.  With our prayers for them, we can help them to become part of the Church Triumphant more quickly.  For this task, they are grateful and will intercede for us out of love and thanksgiving.

So, how can they help teach our children math?  Easy.  Take on our Holy Souls Prayer Project for the month of November (although you can do this any and every month, if desired) and pray for the Holy Souls daily. 

It is said that each time the prayer for the Holy Souls is earnestly prayed, 1,000 souls will be released from purgatory to join God in heaven.  This project asks children to keep track of how many souls they and their family members have helped throughout the month by using multiples of 1,000. 

Our project pack includes the Prayer for the Holy Souls, a cute charting sheet, and prayer pieces.  It is my favourite prayer project of the year and I hope that you will join me and my family as we dedicate our prayer life to the Holy Souls in November.

Learn more and download our Holy Souls Prayer Project in one complete file now.


All Saints Day Resource Run Down

Still looking for resources to help celebrate the fast approaching All Saints' Day (a.k.a. the Solemnity of All Saints and also called All Hallows or Hallowmas?) Let us offer some freebie help and inspiration for fun and learning.

Our Resources for All Saints Day:
Saint Biography Cards (Printable Saint Biography Cards that kiddos can fill in and use for references and game play in the future.)

Printable Saint Trading Cards (Printable Saint Trading Cards feature some of our favorite saints of all time.)

Saint Mini-Books (Saint Mini Books. Encourage learners to put their thoughts and creativity to work creating these mini-books that they either illustrate, write or write and illustrate. Each book has eight pages including a title and end page. Print out, fill in, cut apart and staple together. Glue onto our keepsake pages to create a library of your child's work or document their learning.)

My Adventure with the Saints Project (A project to help children develop good character and morals by learning about and studying the lives of the Holy Saints)

Saint Mini-Book Project: All About the Saints (A great learning project for lovers of mini-books and creative learning which focuses on eighteen individual saints.)

Saint Notebooking Pages (Notebooking sets in four different line spacing options with both a picture or a blank space for a drawing. Pages can be used for learners of all ages.)

Games that Feature Different Saints:

Syllable Symphony of Saints (Bingo style game that merges the names of saints and phonics fun.)

Catholic Bingo (Bingo game that requires very little reading but offers lots of fun featuring pictures of different saints along with other basics of the Catholic Faith.)

I know that I have probably missed a few things, but this should give you a start at any rate. :)


A Saint Mini-book Project with a Focus on the Doctors of the Church

If I showed you pictures of an astronaut, a dog and a waitress would you be able to name their patron saints?  If I asked you to name any four doctors of the Catholic Church could you do it quickly and without hesitation?   

I hope that you would have answered St. Joseph of Cupertino for astronauts, St. Roch for dogs, and St. Martha for the waitress,  but if you didn't then our All About the Saints Mini-Book Unit Study might be a fun project for you and your family or religious ed. or CCD classroom to complete together.

If you have never completed one of our Mini-Book Unit studies before you will find it to be a fun and engaging project for learners of all ages.  One year I did the study right along with my kiddos.  We had fun and I was surprised at just how creative we can be with only eight little pages per book.

There are five steps to the unit study:

1. Download the unit.   It is a zipped file and you will need to unzip it as it contains many files including the mini-books, instructions, listings of the Doctors of the Church, Keepsake memory pages and unit cover sheet.

2. Print out the individual files.  Instructions are given on the first page of the unit file. Books should be printed on regular paper. Memory pages are designed to be printed double-sided on cardstock but will work single-sided as well. We use cardstock so that when our little books are attached the pages will be sturdy.

3. Assemble the unit pages.  Bind memory pages using a comb binder, 3 ring binder, duo tang, or other binding of choice.

4. Create the mini-books. Have children create books through writing and/or drawing as they learn from resources from your own home, your parish library, the local library, the Internet, text books, videos, etc. about the highlighted saints. 

The printable mini-books in this unit study are prompted and require learners to research and fill in basic information about the featured saint including such things as when and where they lived, their patronage, special symbols, and when we may find their intercession necessary and helpful.
Feel free to let learners take real ownership of their projects by allowing them to make it as fancy as they like using coloured pencils, crayons or other art supplies. A good dictionary and thesaurus are great tools to give them as well as they encourage the use of new vocabulary and accurate spelling.

5. Attach the mini-books. Affix mini-books to the keepsake pages in their proper place. There is a designated spot for each book. In some units you are free to rearrange the order of the keepsake pages to meet your family's needs. Be sure to mark the date in as well as your learner is sure to come back to this finished project over and over.

Learn more about or download our All About the Saints Mini-Book project now.
Enjoy the fun!!

Now You Can Celebrate the Saints All Week, Month or Even Year Long. . .

Help children develop good character and morals by learning about and studying the lives of the Holy Saints.

Learning about the saints is an excellent way to learn about God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The resources below can help to enrich your child's understanding of these people who have encountered our Lord in many different ways. In a day and age when singers, stars, and sports people are considered role models by many youth, the study of our Catholic heroes is more important than ever.   

My Adventure with the Saints project is a fun way to get to know some new saints and review the lives of some already familiar ones. By using the letters of the alphabet as a guide, learners must choose at least one saint for each letter of the alphabet and describe their life. The description should contain the following information:

-When they lived (birth and death if known)
-Where they are noted from
-Symbol that would identify them in a work of art, statue or icon
-Patron saint info
-A portrait of the saint and their symbol(s) - either drawn or pasted in from other sources.

A progress sheet is also included to help children keep track of the tasks they have completed and goals that need to be met to complete the project.  To make it easier to get started, over sized alphabet letters are included in the project so that learners can cut them out and creatively incorporate them into the corresponding page.

Learners will also be asked to complete the 5Ws (and 1 H ) of Sainthood:
Who can become a Saint?
What does it take to become a saint?
When can one be declared a saint?
Where do saints fit in to the Communion of Saints?
Why would one want to become a saint?
How can you become more saint like?

This is a great project that can be used over the course of the year, a month, or however else you may choose to use it. This project could also be undertaken and split among siblings or students in a CCD Religious Education Class.

Find out more or download My Adventure with the Saints Project now.

Here are some samples that my then third grader did years ago.  She had loads of fun being creative while practicing her art and drawing skills, writing skills and developing research skills as well.




Celebrate the Feast of St. Luke with Fun and Games

This week we celebrate St. Luke, the Evangelist and author of one of the Gospels.  He is the patron saint of doctors, physicians and surgeons.  If you want to incorporate St. Luke into your learning week, here are a couple of free fun printable resources for you to use from our collection:

Research and writing fun.

Complete a mini-book on St. Luke which is 8 simple pages allowing children to write or draw the answers to the biographical writing prompts.  Use info from books or prayer cards you have at home or find info quickly on the Internet as well.   If you prefer a notebooking type sheet, you may find our saint biography notebooking sheet helpful.  This sheet can be used with any saint and for various ages as well.

Enjoy MORE symphony fun!
If you enjoyed last week's Syllable Symphony of Fall printable bingo style game to learn about words associated with fall and how to count syllable sounds, then you will love the Syllable Symphony of Saints Game that includes St. Luke in a host of other saints.  This game is fun and easy to play and features saints with names from one to five syllables.

Use Dr. Virtue's medical themed literary discussion cards. 

Part of our Virtue Lesson resources, these little cards help children to explore characters, the plot and other literary elements, morality and virtuous behaviour in any book they choose to read.  Use this in a virtue lesson, reading club or family read-aloud time.  They are fun and simple to use.  Simply print out sheets and cut apart on the lines.  Get what the Doctor ordered from Dr. Virtue's Literary Check-up Discussion Cards in US English or Get Dr. Virtue's Literary Check-up Discussion Cards in UK English.

Phonics fun is helpful and healthy for readers. 

Help young and new readers improve their phonics skills with this game that builds their knowledge and familiarity with consonant blends. We have observed first hand with our own children, the power of scheduled play to create and develop confident and happy readers.

In this game we ask players to help our doctors treat patients by packing their first aide kits for them. Match the content words to the proper Dr. Blend. Practice the S, L, R, and Final blends. 1-4 players, co-operative or competitive play versions available.  Download our Dr. Blends First Aid Kits phonics game now.

We hope that you find these resources a helpful and fun addition to your learning week.


Play a Fall Syllable Symphony of Fun

Celebrate fall one sound at a time.

Introduce or review the concept of syllable sounds with children as they learn to say and spell the names of various favorite fall themed things.  Syllable Symphony has a neat twist to it in that it is played like bingo but uses a specific number of musical note graphics to represent the syllable sounds in a specific word. It is simple to make and play.

This fall themed game can even be useful for non-readers as the parent could read the words and the child would only need count the syllable sounds using clapping if necessary. It is fast to complete and several rounds could be played within 15 minutes.  The words used feature words that are one to five syllables. With golden orange playing boards, one can't help get into the seasonal change with the smile.

The Syllable Symphony of Fall game is suitable for eight players and is a six page download including the boards, calling cards, instructions and word key.  You supply the markers including coins, buttons, beans or even macaroni.

Featured words include: fall, leaves, rake, frost, saints, souls, celebration, hibernation, festivity, autumn, harvest, thankful, apple, scarecrow, pumpkin, veterans, migration, equinox, bountiful and more.

If you have made and used any of our other syllable symphony games (like our animal themed game pictured at right), the game boards could be reused in a pinch with the new words and pieces for the fall themed game. 

Hear the call to fall with this Syllable Symphony of Fall game. 


Fall Harvest Graphing Fun

Everyone learns math in their own unique way and timing. 

Some of us learn by doing, others by observing, still others by listening, reading and so on. Graphing is a cool way to present information in a visual way. From newspapers to cookbooks, magazines to mail flyers, graphs are everywhere. 

There are many different types of graphs - bar graphs, line graphs, pictographs, area graphs, pie graphs and XY coordinate graphs. Graphing is not only fun but very important for children because it gives them a chance to learn that one thing can represent another. Why is this so important? Simple, in order to create adults who can stand strong in their faith and be independent thinkers for God's glory, they must first start out as children creating and honing these skills of interpreting information. Graphing helps us to be able to assimilate data to make logical conclusions. Plus, using graphs can be fun.

Here are two graphing games that focus on fall harvests.  They are variations to accommodate wee learners as well as elementary aged learners who are learning or practicing using a bar graph.


Happy Harvest Graphing Math Game  Wee +

Use simple graphing of fall produce game pieces to teach children how to use a bar graph. Simply print out sheets, cut apart and you are ready to go. Each game requires ten turns to complete play. Graph rows include ten spaces each. Three items are used: an ear of corn, a crow and a pumpkin. Print out one game set per player.  Instructions are included in the game. Matthew 9:13 is highlighted in this game.

Use simple graphing of autumn themed playing pieces to teach children to use a bar graph. Simply print out sheets, cut apart and you are ready to go. Five items are used including a crow, a pumpkin, carrots, an ear of corn and an apple.  Thirty turns are required to complete a game. Print out one game set per player.   Instructions are included in the game.  Matthew 9:13 is highlighted in this game as well as an introduction to St. Isidore, the Farmer.

Blessings for a bountiful harvest in your learning this fall!


Resources to Celebrate the Month of the Holy Rosary

October is the month dedicated to the Holy Rosary.  Although many people pray the rosary throughout the year, October has a special call to explore the rosary even more than we would usually.  If you do not usually pray the rosary, then October is the time to start - even if only temporarily.  Even if only a decade is prayed daily, it is a start and the door to receive extra graces is now open. 

There are a few different aspects to consider when we think about praying the rosary and more especially when we are teaching children and those new to the faith to pray the rosary. 

What Is the Rosary? 
Need help explaining that the rosary is a meditative devotional method of prayer dedicated to exploring the life of Christ and the role the Blessed Virgin Mary had in it?  Then we have a few resources to help you explain the rosary to your kiddos.

Begin with our very popular Rosary Handout sheet that reveals how God shows His love for us when we pray the rosary.  Not only does this sheet give an overview of the mysteries with words and pictures, but it also gives a bit of history of the rosary and introduces the kiddos to St. Dominic.  This sheet is also good to use as a discussion starter.

A good thing to think about when teaching kiddos about the rosary is to explain that it is a sacramental and that it should be treated with reverence. 

A few months ago I was instructed by my pastor on what constitutes an acceptable, tangible rosary.  It must be in a proper bead form (like Our Lady revealed) with a recognizable crucifix, a proper centerpiece, and it must be treated with reverence.  He spoke to me about how we as human beings many times try to trivialize sacramentals especially in the name of making a profit.  His exact example was once seeing, in Italy, a glass ashtray for sale with the image of Pope John Paul II in the bottom of it.  I got his point right away. 

Children must be taught that the rosary is a tool to prayer, which is speaking with our Lord, and that the rosary should never be confused with toys and other trivial things.  To help explain and further explore sacramentals, you may want to complete our F3 Folder lapbook style lesson on Sacramentals

How Do We Pray the Rosary?
Learning to physically pray the rosary can be a challenge for many Catholics young or old.  Praying the rosary involves knowing the prayers to be prayed and the order in which to pray them during the meditations. 

Young children may need to review what prayer actually is and its real purpose.  To help with this you may want to try some of our Resources to Help Learners Develop a Healthy Prayer Life.  Find our F3 Prayer Activity, a mini-book activity for the Apostles' Creed prayer and a handout to introduce four types of prayer to children:  adoration, contrition, thanksgiving and supplication.

Once children have been introduced to the purpose of prayer then they should be taught the basic prayers of the faith Incorporated into the rosary:  Sign of the Cross, Apostles' Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Fatima Prayer, Hail Holy Queen.  Praying prayers daily is a great way to teach children to commit them to memory.  Here are some of our other Resources to Help Children Catholic Learn Prayers.

Once children are comfortable with prayer you can help them learn the order of prayer in the rosary with a simple rosary worksheet that allows them to count, color and interact with the prayer inspired sheet.

What Does the Rosary Mean?
Help children explore the mysteries of the life of Christ as presented in rosary in a true joyful Montessori Spirit, if you are looking to teach about the life of our Lord through joy and play then perhaps our Games to Teach About Blessed Virgin Mary and the Rosary is just what your homeschool, classroom or CCD class is looking needing to solidify your lessons.

Another way to help children learn about the rosary is through the gentle art of coloring.  See our collection of rosary themed coloring pages or Blessed Virgin Mary coloring pages.

If you prefer to use narration or the retelling of events as a way to help focus on learning, then our notebooking sheets about the Blessed Virgin Mary or Our Lady of the Rosary might be quite useful.   If you are looking for notebooking page sets about the events of the life of Christ, then our New Testament Notebooking Sheet sets will help you meet the needs of any aged writer in your home or classroom who wants to think, write or even draw about the mysteries of the rosary.

If using or writing minibooks is what your kids enjoy, then we have you covered there as well with our simple 8 page minibooks that allow children to show what they know about the rosary.  Explore our Mini-books About the Rosary collection now.

Incorporate the Rosary into other areas of your learning including rosary themed daily assignment sheets, Ten Words About Mary and the Rosary copywork and more.  See more rosary themed printable resources now.

I hope this gives you a good starting point for teaching about the rosary in your little homeschool or classroom.

If you have resources to share or are looking for even more rosary themed goodies in Spanish, head on over to Familia Catolica's Rosary Link-up and join Xhonane and her family as they celebrate the month of the rosary.  She always has neat craft ideas too.