Archive | July, 2013

DIY Tri-Fold Board–creative uses in class & at home

29 Jul

I wrote yesterday about my bff Tri-fold Dry Erase Board. It truly is magical! You should definitely make one!! It LITERALLY took my husband less than 30 minutes to make mine! Amazing! As promised, here are some other ways that I’ve gotten creative with my Tri-fold Dry Erase Board…

In class–

Timeline cards–I first thought to write the titles of the 7 weekly timeline cards on my board. However, I really wanted my kiddos to see them. (I’m an Abecedarian tutor, so not all kiddos in my class can read.) I put 7 of these page protectors (size 5.5×8.5) across the middle of the board to hold the timeline cards in place. I LOVED this epiphany because I was fearful that, if taped, I would lose some in-transit to CC. Now, these little page protectors act like mama kangaroos protecting my timeline cards in their little pockets. 🙂 I, also, liked that the timeline cards stretched across my board visually dividing it in half. I could have 3 subjects on top and 3 on the bottom. 🙂 My type A brain loves the symmetry. 🙂 🙂 Again, with Abecedarians, I’m always looking for visual breaks or arrangement to aid them in memorizing.


Fine Arts–My other bff, blue painter’s tape, and I had fun creatively playing with the BACK of the board! You hadn’t thought of using the back had you?!?!? For the weeks with Tin Whistle, I made a musical staff on the back of my board. I used this to teach the notes of the musical scale and to also let them play/review with the notes to reinforce their learning.


New Grammar & Review Games–With the Latin packets that I made for the declensions last year, I made a grid on the back of my board to give my Abecedarians a visual of the Latin Noun Endings and its corresponding Noun Case. The possibilities of using this with New Grammar are endless. After all, you have the entire BACK of the board to play with! I’m thinking to make another grid to go along with this year’s pronouns, and I might make cards with my Abecedarians’ names to show our order for Presentations. I would tape those on the back as well. This also served as a great tool for review during our Review Games time. Oh yes we DID use it for our Nerf Gun Review Game!!!

At home–


I wouldn’t necessarily erase the New Grammar from week to week so that it would still be written on my board for use at home. This was especially helpful for the weeks that my sons were sick and stayed home from CC. Those occasions I went ahead to class and taught my rockin’ Abecedarians. After my sons’ illness subsided I was able to whip out my board at home to teach them the week’s New Grammar.

I also took advantage of using it for reviewing at home, as well. When I established the Latin Grid on the back of the board last year, I would have the boys remove the endings and put them in the correct box. That was a quick, easy way to review our Latin for the week.

AND…when we’re not doing CC, it just makes a wonderful gigantic dry erase board for my boys to draw on! Who doesn’t love a life size dry erase board?!?!? We even used it this summer at our church as a gigantic, life-size calendar for our summer events for kids. It’s so versatile, multi-purpose and inexpensive that I recommend this for any person to have for use at home or work!

Have any of you made the DIY Tri-fold Dry Erase Board?!?!? Would love to learn from you about creative ways that you’ve used this at home, work or in your CC class. Please comment and share below!

DIY Tri-fold Dry Erase Board–my #1 “must have” for CC Tutors

28 Jul


I could NOT, NOT, NOT have made it through my first year as a Classical Conversations tutor last year without my Tri-fold Dry Erase Board. What is a Tri-fold Dry Erase Board? It’s a Science Project Board made out of dry erase board material. It is truly amazing; I love this board. I love it so much I just had to share him with you. 🙂

As a tutor for Classical Conversations, they provide us with 3 days of training (which I’m SO THANKFUL FOR!) Last year during our tutor training, we were encouraged to use a board in class to display each week’s New Grammar. Several of the tutors in my training mentioned that they wrote the New Grammar on their boards the morning of their CC day after arriving on campus. Now, in a perfect world, that sounded dreamy–walking into my classroom, writing all of the new grammar on my board, and peacefully beginning our CC day. However, since I don’t live in a perfect world and would have 3 boys running around my classroom on the morning of our CC day, I decided that writing out the New Grammar right then and there would be…disastrous. 🙂 I had to figure out another option.

My next brainstorm was to bring my dry erase board back and forth each week to CC. I would write the New Grammar on my dry erase board before leaving my house (did I mention that my dry erase board was mounted on my school room wall?), drive to our CC campus and have my CC board all set and ready to go. That sounded doable, right??!!? Well, the more I thought about that option the more I realized it wouldn’t work. I had visions of my board bee-bopping around in the back of my van en route to my CC Campus, and huge chunks of the New Grammar being erased off in transit.

Drum roll, please (and cue the “Hallelujah Chorus”). Well, this is where my Tri-fold Dry Erase board enters my life. One of the other tutors in our community shared this link with us. It contained instructions for creating your own Tri-fold Dry Erase Board. After reading over the blog post, it sounded like the Tri-fold Dry Erase Board was the answer to all of my problems! First, all of the supplies could be purchased inexpensively at Lowe’s. There would be some sawing required because Lowe’s can do that for you for FREE! Second, the only “construction” required was done with duct tape. (Don’t you love that!?!?) Finally, the board’s design allows the two sides to fold inward leaving the writing on the board completely covered. Wahoo! Problem solved–I could now write the New Grammar on my board before leaving my house (no dry erase board removal from wall required. Whew!), have no worries that the words would be erased en route to our CC campus, and no last minute writing on the board in my CC Classroom as my 3 silly monkeys  sons run like wild men sit calmly waiting for our CC day to begin.


(Just a side note, I bought and used Marker Board, which is 3 feet x 4 feet, at Lowe’s rather than the Shower Board mentioned in the instructions. The Marker Board substituted with no problems. This is the SKU tag that is still on the back of my board to give you an idea of which board I bought.)  

If you’re a CC tutor, CC parent, homeschooling family or dry erase board enthusiast, I highly recommend making this Tri-fold Dry Erase Board. It does not disappoint. Stop by tomorrow as I highlight some of the other creative ways I use this in my CC classroom and at home.

Classical Conversations website–FREEBIES

26 Jul

I’m a tutor in our Classical Conversations community, so I spent the first 3 days of this week at a Classical Conversations Practicum and Tutor Training.  As always, it was a very, very encouraging time! Our tutor training was AMAZING, and I was so pumped about our Tutor Trainer. Maybe you’ve heard of her?? I must say Brandy is as AMAZING as you would expect her to be if you read her blog. She was encouraging, gracious, generous, humble, gifted and FUN! We had a GREAT 3 days of training!

From our Tutor Training, I walked away encouraged and ready to start the school year! There was a wealth of information shared, and I have plans to implement many of these “nuggets” of wisdom this upcoming year. I wish our school year started tomorrow! 🙂 One of the “nuggets” that I walked away with was the GUEST section of the Classical Conversations website. Brandy directed us to this section of the CC website indicating that there were FREE resources available. WAHOO! I love FREE!!! I, honestly, had never frequented it. Last year was our first year of CC, and I tutored. So, I immediately signed up for CC Connected and consequently, never entered the website as only a “Guest.” Thereafter, I was always immediately logged in as a user.

After Tutor Training, I headed home and immediately hopped on my computer. I logged out as a USER and clicked on the GUEST section to find lots of little treasures! There is a public forum, videos demonstrating a Memory Master proof, and even some great resources for spiritual encouragement called “Nurturing Your Soul.” The section that I was most elated to find was the Public Library. There are some wonderful resources accessible here…for FREE!!! There is

  • a Multiplication Drill Sheet
  • the U.S. Presidents song
  • the books of the Old Testament and books of the New Testament songs
  • an orchestra song

My GREATEST find in the Public Library was–-a Bible resource to go along with Cycles 1, 2, and 3! YAY! Go to the Public Library page and scroll to the bottom in the teal section. There, you will find “Bible Memory Work Model.” Click on the link to find Bible grammar to memorize Weeks 1-24 of each of the 3 cycles.  Bible grammar is not included in the New Grammar section of a typical CC day, but if you believe in the Classical Model, you’ll know the value of memorizing the grammar of the Bible. This FREE Bible Memory Work Model lays out the grammar of the Bible to memorize simultaneously in the 24 weeks of your Classical Conversations school year! Isn’t that WONDERFUL!?!?!? I was like a kid in a candy shop finding all of these amazing, FREE resources!

Did you know about this “treasure” on the CC website? If not, go check it out now!

FREE Lego Event @ Toys R Us (Saturday, July 27)

25 Jul

Build Your Own Speedorz Challenge!

I was excited to see this email appear in my inbox from Toys R Us! There is another FREE Lego event  at Toys R Us this Saturday, July 27 from Noon-2pm. The event centers around Lego’s new line, The Legends of Chima, which I’m not completely familiar with, but my boys are! ha! I told them about the event and asked if they would be interested in going. My 6 year old proceeded to ask, “Which day is the Lego Chima party at Toys R us?” about every 15 minutes. 🙂 So, you know where we’ll be on Saturday. 🙂


If you plan to attend, I recommend calling your local Toys R Us to make sure that they are a participating location. I would also recommend going as close to Noon as possible. Each participating store will have a limited number of the Legends of Chima Speedorz Challenge sets, so they are available on a first come, first serve basis. Click here to find your nearest Toys R Us location.

Magic School Bus Complete Series DVD (great CC resource!)

8 Jul

I got The Magic School Bus: The Complete Series DVD for my boys for Christmas after snagging it for a great deal on Amazon. It was a wonderful resource to have this spring for homeschooling, particularly to go along with our Classical Conversations science memory work. There were several videos that corresponded to what we were learning about in Cycle 1, and I anticipate using them again this year for Cycle 2!

Amazon has it 64% off right now…for $28.99! This is an excellent price (only $2 more than what I paid for it in December)! I’ve not seen it this cheap since December. If you need some fun educational DVDs for the kiddos in your life, I highly recommend these! All kids love Mrs. Frizzle! These would make a great birthday gift or go ahead and stock up on this deal for Christmas presents!

Also, right now you can Join Amazon Prime – For a FREE 30 day trial , and you’ll FREE 2 day shipping on these DVDs (and you can freely stream UNLIMITED from Amazon Prime video, check out 1 free Kindle book per month. Just a few of the reasons we LOVE Amazon Prime! It’s worth the $79/year!)

Thanks to Free Homeschool Deals for the heads up on this great deal!

Cycle 2-Latin resource–FREE (and a great CC blog!)

3 Jul

photo credit:

One of my favorite Classical Conversations blog is Sola Gratia Mom. She always has FUN ideas and projects for each week’s New Grammar. I got some wonderful ideas last year for projects related to the science grammar. We made this wonderful model of each continent’s highest mountain after seeing her post, and that project was one of our highlights this spring. The boys and I had a BLAST making it!

She’s already cranking out some great things for Cycle 2! RIGHT NOW she has a wonderful Latin resource for Cycle 2, and it’s FREE! It’s a bright, colorful file folder game with the 1st Conjugation Endings. Go over to her blog to get this great resource!  Have you found any great Cycle 2 resources yet? If so, share them below in the comments! 🙂

If you want to know more about Classical Conversations, click the image above or visit their website.

OR, better yet, attend a FREE Parent Practicum this summer to learn more about Classical Education and Classical Conversations. It is a wonderful (and FREE!) encouraging homeschool conference. Click here to search by your zip code to find a Parent Practicum near you.

Liberty Kids (Complete Series DVD) only $9.99!

2 Jul

I’ve heard GREAT things about the Liberty Kids cartoon.  This is a 40 episode series about two teenagers, Sarah and James, living during the American Revolution. Amazon has the complete series available for pre-order right now….for only $9.99. I’m excited about having an educational DVD option for my boys, and they’ll be excited about cartoons. (Shhhh….don’t tell them that it’s educational. hahahaha!)

Again, this is available for pre-order (and Amazon has a pre-order price guarantee! YAY!) and is available July 16.

Thanks, Free Homeschool Deals!