Category Archives: Extra Curricular

Em’s Treasures


The end of “Entrepreneurship Week” (February 20 – 25) seems like the perfect time for me to take the opportunity to tell you about my daughter, Emily, and Em’s Treasures!  She has had an interest in crafting since she was a little girl.  We would include crafts and art projects with our homeschooling work, but that wasn’t enough for her. She spent hours of her spare time creating and making.  By the time she was a teenager, she was getting comments such as,  “You should sell that!”, and “Would you make one of those for me?”  After her graduation in 2014, Em enrolled in the certificate entrepreneurship courses through Coursera.  Her plan was to make a business out of what she loved doing, and on a time scale that would allow her to continue studying for her Christian Leadership degree, providing childcare a couple of days a week,  coach Silver Lining Homeschool Colorguard, and read avidly.  She not only earned the certificates but earned them with honors.  She immediately went to work applying what she had learned about entrepreneurship to her crafting, and began attending craft shows and vendor events .

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She sold some of everything and earned more than enough money to cover supply expenses.  After a couple of other vendor events she realized the hair bows generated the most interest and that bows were not offered by the other vendors.  The hair bows continued to be her best sellers in the events that followed.


She’s even made bows exclusively for homeschoolers!

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Though it’s the hair bows that have the majority of her focus and attention,  Emily still takes requests for  gifts, cards, and decorations.

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Em’s Treasures is gaining repeat customers and has accepted a few custom bow orders.  Recently, she had the opportunity to create an original design for a local school’s cheer squad. This is the largest order she has been offered so far. and the first of her designs to be exactly duplicated.  Also, this was the first order to be shared with another vendor who specializes in monogramming.


Currently, Emily is preparing for the upcoming spring vendor events in our area. She’s planning to take her collection to some local boutiques to sell on commission .  Here’s a little of what Emily has started for her spring lineup.


16938548_625973984264049_255494105368490263_n  Em’s Treasures now has a Facebook business page and can accept payment through Paypal to accommodate out of town orders.  Emily could use your help with growing her business.  If you would be so kind as to give her Facebook page a “like”, it would be much appreciated.   An order would be most appreciated, too!                                                     

Thanks from a proud mama!

betty jo

The Super Bowl


A few years ago I put together a cross curriculum resource list for Super Bowl related lessons.  I have updated the post for 2017 and super Bowl 51!.






betty jo




Free Learning Resources for the Olympic Games


Our first Special Days unit study of the new school year will be based on the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio.  I’ve been lesson planning and collecting resources.  And, I’ve found some fantastic free online learning resources to share with you!

Homepage for the Rio 2016 Olympics!

Olympic Sports Schedule

Meet mascots Vinicius and Tom and learn what they are and who and what they represent

Free Summer Olympic Lapbook Printables

Brazil facts, interactive, and printables

Great selection of Oylmpic and Brazil free printables for all subjects and levels (you’ll need an account and it’s free to set up and won’t take long)

4 Olympic Bible verses and homeschooling ideas

Olympic Maps!  Maps and information of participating countries, Brazil, Reno, the torch relay, venues, history, events, and more

Olympic Current Event Articles for kids

Olympic Atheletes’ faith based current event articles for families

Olympic Vocabulary List with interactive and printable puzzles

“Lighting the Olympic Torch”, “Swimsuits – What A Drag”,  “Which Olympic Sport…”  math lessons adaptable for any level.  I use this site often and anticipate other Olympic math lessons to be released throughout the next few days

Olympics history and trivia interactive quizzes

Watch videos that teach about the elements gold and silver

“Mr. Science” with Hooked on Science and a kid scientist explain how your big toe can determine your athletic potential.

Play Olympic Interactive Games

“How to Be a Good Sport” article and tips for kids  with audio and printing options

“What If I Don’t Like Sports?”  article and tips for kids  with audio and printing options

List of “Sports  Injuries” and athlete health articles with audio and printing options

Learn to speak Portuguese (the official language in Brazil) with flash cards and games. Lots of other Brazil  .

Portuguese language printable worksheets and quizzes

Lots of Olympic activities, printables, and craft ideas

Brazil and Olympic themed crafts and activities.  I love the coloring page of Rio!

BIG list of Olympic arts and crafts

Fun and easy DIY backyard Olympic Games  ( Javelin Throw, Balance Beam, Discus Throw, Bean Bag Toss and Water Bucket Relay)

Party, food, and activity ideas

Let the Games Begin!  (August 5, 2016)

betty jo




Learning Resources for Special Days


Recently, I was asked what resources to use for teaching from the Special Days posts. Every month has different topics, but I turn to the same tried and trusted web sites as I collect resources for our Special Days learning.  Below is a list of those I find to be the most helpful when preparing our “from the calendar” studies.  I hope that you will find them helpful, too.

A monthly calendar “resource of links and things to do, things to learn and things to explore”

Wonderful resources, activities, crafts, recipes, and open ended ideas often related to seasons, holidays, and monthly themes for families and independent learners

Calendar of Books

“Food, Nutrition, and Health By the Month”

Monthly themed bulletin boards, lesson plans, activities, and writing prompts

Daily Feature Video

Wonder of the Day

This Month in History

Bible based object lessons, games, projects, and science experiments which will often correspond with themes and holidays

100’s of biographies with free printables and online activities

Historic events and biographies.  (Most of these will have a quiz)

My own collection of resources for president’s birthdays

Vocabulary lists to go with just about any seasonal or holiday topic

Seasonal and holiday themed math lessons and activities

Monthly Science Calendar with resources

Science Activities for Every Month of the Year  –

Crafts for holidays and themes

Special Days art lessons, craft projects, and activities

Featured holiday and seasonal theme printable resources, crafts, and activities

Elementary level printables with monthly themes including holidays, statehood anniversaries, and president’s birthdays

Seasonal and holiday interactive games and printables

I’m going to keep this handy resource list on the sidebar under the current Special Days icon link.  And, if you need some help developing a special day study, just let me know!

Happy Learning!

betty jo






Special Days in August, 2016

august_clipartThe 2016 August calendar has loads of special days!  The following list is made up of August’s holidays, observances, food themes, awareness days , famous birthdays, science and historic based anniversaries, and more.  So, if you want an occasion to celebrate, pick up some trivia, or add foods to your menu, this is the right place for you. And, of course you’ll find multiple opportunities for “on the calendar” themed studies for your homeschool, classroom, or  co-op/support group.

History, Fireworks, Food, and Family Fun – A 4th of July Unit Study

4th-of-JulyThe 4th of July, America’s birthday, is a fantastic opportunity for family fun, fireworks, food, and summer school learning!  I’ve found some great cross curricular and multi level resources to share as we celebrate,  explore, create, learn, review, and play through a unit study.

American Revolution Timeline starting with The Stamp Act (1765) and ending with The Treaty of Paris (1783)

Early America Resources – Documents, Photos, Biographies, and Videos

Interactive version of John Trumbull’s famous painting “The Declaration of Independence”

banner_2465Liberty’s Kids is an entertaining and a favorite video resource for homeschooling families to introduce the events and people of the American Revolution.  Here’s the link to the viewers guide for all 40 episodes.

And, the link to the Liberty’s Kids Youtube channel and playlist.  All the episodes are available to view.

This PDF from gives discussion questions to ask after watching each Liberty’s Kids episode  PDF from

Schoolhouse Rock 4th of July Cartoon


“Why do we celebrate the 4th of July with fireworks?”  According to Slate, that answer is , “Because John Adams wanted us to.”  Link here for the full article.

Boom Pow Whizz” is an awesome article explaining the history of fireworks with a couple of suggested art and language arts activities.

Learn about the chemistry of fireworks and use the handy chart of to identify what chemical compounds are used to produce different colors

And here’s more firework chemistry including a highlighted periodic table

And to find out more about the elements that make the firework colors, click for an interactive periodic table

What’s inside a firework and step by step explanation of what happens when lit

How It’s Made – Fireworks

How It’s Made – Sparklers

Steve Spangler’s – 4th of July Science

fun_4th_july_independence_day_bbq_party_invitation-re61b9e961f6d43d6adf021d8dd488c0d_zk9yi_324BBQ and Grilling Safety Guide with kids

Kids Grilling Recipes and Tips

My family’s favorite 4th of July treat is this yummy and easy layered dessert using store bought angel food cake – cut into cubes, blueberries, sliced strawberries, and whipped cream.

4th-dessert-2Devotions, Quotes, Prayers, and Bible verses for Independence Day

4th of July themed Bible games and activities

Crafts, Activities, Recipes, and Learning Resources for Families

4th of July themed vocabulary list with printables and interactives

Fireworks and Flags Math Activities

4th of July themed printables (including jokes, lined writing paper, coloring pages, and a word search)

4th of July Party Games

4th of July themed Interactive Games

Patriotic Music for Kids

And don’t forget to check with your local library!  We found these …







betty jo

Learning Resources for October, 2015


Even after 18 years of homeschool teaching learning with October themes and special days, I’m excited to be doing it again!  Below is a wonderful learning resource collection for October’s themes, holidays, and special days.  Be sure to check back occasionally throughout the month, for I’ll add to this collection as more resources become available.

BIG List of Special Days in October, 2015 –

Resource Links for Daily Learning from October’s Calendar

October Events, Bulletin Boards, Writing Prompts, and Lesson Plans

Oct. Prayer Calendar for Children –

Oct. Science Calendar –  not yet available

Seasonal Math –

Authors/Illustrators and Events Almanacs – Librarian Resources K-12 –

October and Halloween Theme Vocabulary Lists and Word Games –

October Themed Elementary Printables and Activities –

Seasonal Themed Bible Based Activities –

Oct. Fact Cards ––Mini-Cards?term=october+fact+card

Oct. Themed Vocabulary Word Lists –

Oct. Themed Arts and Crafts  –   and

Oct. Star Gazer’s Guide  –

Oct. Netflix –

Fall and Halloween Interactive Games –

Autumn and Halloween Background Lined Printable Paper  –

Presidents Born in October:  (This link takes you to our family’s resources for studying any president.

  • Oct. 1    –  Jimmy Carter born 1924
  • Oct. 4    –  Rutherford Hayes born 1822
  • Oct. 5    –  Chester Arthur born 1829
  • Oct. 14  –  Dwight Eisenhower born 1890
  • Oct. 27  –  Theodore Roosevelt born 1858
  • Oct. 30  –  John Adams born 1735

October Statehood Anniversaries

  • Nevada –  Oct. 31, 1864

Printables –

Videos and Facts  –

October Themes

Daily Specials

Oct. 1 –  Model T Ford introduced 1908 –  Henry Ford Biography, Quiz, and Word Game Printables –

Oct. 2

Oct. 3 –  Fall Astronomy Day * –  This link takes you to my “go to” site for all things astronomy.

Oct. 4 –  World Space Week begins*  –   Activity Guide –

Oct. 5

Oct. 6 –  Mad Hatter Day – Make this adorable Cardboard Mad Hatter Hat  –

Oct. 7 –  Balloons Around the World Day * –  Learning Resources –

Oct. 8 –  World Sight Day –  Learning Resources –

Oct. 9

Oct. 10 –  Metric Day –  Activities –

Oct. 11  –  Elenore Roosevelt born 1884  –  Here’s a short biography, reading comprehension quizzes and word puzzle printables

Oct. 12

Oct. 13

Oct. 15

Oct. 16

Oct. 18 –

Oct. 19

Oct. 20 –  Monster Mash Day  –  The Monster Mash song is the first one on this  Youtube Halloween song playlist     And, these kids can teach you the dance moves!

Oct. 22 –  Daniel Boone born 1734  (We’ll definitely be playing the pioneer games again. They were awesome and they were outside!)

Oct. 24 – Make a Difference Day – Planning Guide for Families –

Oct. 25 – Magic Week begins –  Magic Tricks Resources –

Oct. 26

Oct. 28

Oct. 29

Oct. 30

Oct. 31

Thanks, Fran, for the access to all of your October resource collections. In between the two of us we’ve come up with a wonderful collection for October learning!  And, if any of you have special day resources for the month, let me know so I can edit them in.

Happy October!

betty jo