Cycle 2 Week 14 FREE Resources


Cycle 2 Week 14 FREE


History: World War I Leaders – gives information about each person, the only person not included is Clemenceau of France – animated map of Europe that shows the advancement of troops as the war went on.


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Review – Story of The World – Volume 1

story of the world

This is our second year of using Story of the World Series: by Susan Wise Bauer, at the beginning of this year for my eight and five year old. Here is our review of this Social Studies Series:


The stories that are in the book are easy to read and are in simple fiction format. Susan takes the time to include important vocabulary, but not at the expense of the understanding of your child. I also like the pictures that are in the textbook. They are kid friendly and point out the important parts of the text.

I love the activity book. Each chapter includes encyclopedia cross references, review questions, narration exercise, additional history reading, corresponding literature, map work, coloring page(s), and project(s). We do the map activity before the beginning of each chapter. This allows my children to understand what region of the world we are learning about. I also use the coloring pages for them to color while I am reading. Sometimes I want to read a little more from the story book and their attention span is just not there yet. They tend to sit a lot longer for me if they are coloring. I love the list of books that correspond with each chapter. We like to go to the library the weekend before a new chapter and get some books that relate to the topic, that we will be reading about in our Story of The World book. Finally, my favorite thing about the activity book is the list of projects. You might be creating a crown when you read about Egypt, a paper coat to resemble Joseph’s colorful coat, or a Mohenjo-Dara dwelling out of clay. My kids love all of the projects that we have made and look forward to them.

I like how the author also talks about creating a time line with your kids. We decided to use all of their coloring pages and maps to create a timeline around our school room. We tape them up along the top of the wall to create a timeline. Some other people use a big cork board and smaller pictures to create their timeline. Whatever method you use, creating a timeline helps your child to visualize what they have learned in Social Studies for the year. I refer to the timeline quite often before we read a new chapter to review what we have learned so far.

I like how the program is created for four years and then you cover the same material, but at a different level. For example, in first grade you start learning about 1,500 B.C. to 400 A.D. Then in second grade you learn about 400 A.D. to 1600 A.D. You continue learning about world history all the way till present day in fourth grade. Then in fifth grade you start to learn about 1,500 B.C. to 400 A.D. but at a higher level. Then in ninth grade, they learn about the same time period but at a much higher level. So by the time that they are in ninth grade, they will have learned about the same time period twice before and will be able to discuss, defend and apply their knowledge in a whole new way.


The only complaint that I have against this social studies curriculum is that there is a lot of material to cover in one year.


I highly recommend the Story of The World curriculum for your 1-8 grader. This series is meant to be used with 1-4 graders but, can be used with older kids depending on their level of understanding of ancient history.



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Getting A Handle On The House Work

Finding A Solution To Getting All The House Work Done


    Do you feel like no matter what you do, you can not keep up with the house work? You have tried everything under the sun to make sure that your house stays clean, but it never seems to work. You have come to the right place.

How To Keep Your House Clean

I use to get so overwhelmed trying to keep up with the house work. Now I have a fool proof organizer.

House Work Organizer

I fill out the everyday chores section first. For myself I have to do the dishes, sweep the floors and pick up the objects that are just laying around the house everyday. Then I have other chores like laundry, dusting, bathroom, windows, mopping and others. I try to figure out which days would work best to complete the other chores. For example, I need more time to do the laundry. So I choose 2 days a week to finish that chore. Then I know that it takes me awhile to get the bathroom clean, so I schedule that chore on a day that I have more time.

Here is an example of how I fill out the chart:

House Work Organizer 1


* Seasons in our life change. So when I realize that the old organizer is not working any more, I fill out a new organizer. This helps me to move    the extra chores to days that work for me.

* To have your children help with chores, you can put their initials next to each chore that they need to complete.

This organizer has helped me to keep up with my housework and to not feel overwhelmed anymore.

Click Here to Download the Free House Work Organizer

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Measure Your Child’s Reading Ability and How Difficult the Text is That They Are Reading

reading level

Knowing Text Difficulty and Child Reading Level

As a teacher knowing the level of difficulty of each book in my room was a must. Then knowing at what level my students were reading at, was required. Putting the two together allowed me to make sure that each kid was reading books at just the right level.

Finding out these two areas took some time and the correct tools. Here is how I did it…

Lexile Levels

I use a website called The Lexile Framework for Reading – When you first go to this website you will want to register for a free account.


lexile levels

After you create a free account, take time to look at this box. It lets you know what levels your child should be at. Then I bought round sticker labels of different colors, so that I could color code each one of my books.

round stickers

For example, all books that receive a lexile level of 100-200 gets a green sticker. Books that receive a lexile level of 201-350 gets a blue sticker. I continue this process for all of the books up to level 800 right now, because that is the level that my oldest daughter struggles with. This way, I can tell right away if my child is reading a book at their level or not.

To figure out which color sticker each book receives, I type in the title of the book in the lexile quick book search. The lexile reading level site then comes up with a number for the book. Then I can know right away what color sticker it needs. For example, if I type in the book “Charlotte’s Web,” it comes up with the number 680. I would then give it the sticker that matched that number.

I can also use the quick book search at the library, so I know that the books they are reading are not too easy and not too hard for them to read on their own. If they really want to get a book at the library and its’ lexile reading level is too hard for them to read on their own, tell them that you can read the book together.

Finding Your Child’s Reading Level

Then you will want to find out what each child’s lexile level is. So here is what I do. I have my son/daughter read from three different books at three different levels. So my oldest daughter is in third grade. I look at the lexil table (at the top of this post). For third grade she should be reading around 500-820 lexile level. So I will get one book around the 500 mark, another book around the 650 mark and then the last book will be around 800. I copy one page out of each book, making two copies of each page. Then I label each page with its’ lexile reading level. Then I put the lowest level page in front of her and see how many words she can read in one minute correctly. As she reads, I follow along on my paper. If she misses a word, I cross it off and do not count it. When the minute is up I write how many words she read correctly at the top of the page.

Then look at the fluency table at Look only at the last two columns that read early rate and end rate. The early rate is where your child should be at the beginning of the year. The end rate is where they should be at the end of the year.

So for my daughter at the beginning of third grade, she should be able to read 100 words per minute. Now, I can look back at the printed page that she just read and see how many words she read correctly. If she read more than 100 words per minute, then I would put the next printed page in front of her that is a little bit harder. Start the timer over again and have her read for one minute. If she reads close to 100 words per minute with this story, then I know that she is closer to a 650 level. If she reads more than 100 words again then I continue on with the next harder paper. If she can read through these three stories, then I find a page out of another book, whose lexile reading level is higher.

This is how you figure out at what level your child is reading at.

Why Doing All of This Helps

Having your child read books that are below their own reading capability, is okay sometimes. If all they do is read books way below their reading level, then their growth in vocabulary will be slower. Also, they will have a harder time learning reading concepts at their grade level, if the books that they are reading do not have enough meat to learn different ideas from. To help with reading comprehension

If your child tries to read books that are too hard, than their comprehension ability will falter. Also, most kids tend to keep reading even if they do not understand what they are reading. They will also skip words they do not know, which leads to holes in their comprehension. It is okay if you read a harder book with them and then stop every so once in awhile to make sure that they understand what you are reading.

Reading books that are just right for them, helps their confidence grow, their ability to comprehend gets better and their reading skills grow at just the right pace.

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