Friday, November 05, 2021

Patrica Polacco for November 2021

  I am looking forward to this month's author: Patricia Polacco.  I saw Ms. Polacco in person many years ago.  I remember her whipping out a babushka and wrapping it around her head during her presentation.  She walked around the room and everyone's eyes were glued to her.  She is an amazing story teller.   

She has an interesting personal story.  She shares her story in this video, including her challenges with her learning disability.  She has a delightful way of sharing her life.  Here is a list of her books from Amazon.

Ms. Polacco also has a wonderful web site.  It is filled with her current happenings and activities to go with each of her books. She has a Facebook page with updates as well. I created a Pinterest Board with some ideas from around the web.

Lastly, I have to end with a fun story.  I enjoy hitting resale shops and thrift stores.  I was searching through books at my favorite resell shops when I cam across this book.

I thought it was providential.  But, then I looked inside, and found this.  

Which close up looks like this.  

Which made it even more exciting!
Happy Reading!
~ Becky

Saturday, September 04, 2021

September Author of the Month Ellen Stoll Walsh

The author for September is Ellen Stoll Walsh.   I remember learning about Ms. Walsh back in graduate school.  I was fascinated as another student used an overhead projector, glass jars, and colored water to enhance her telling of Mouse Paint.   I am dating myself with that overhead projector comment, but it was very fun to watch. 

Mrs. Walsh pictures are distinct and inviting.  She has a wonderful way of reviewing colors, shapes, and counting.  Here is a post by another author Tedd Arnold about Ms. Walsh.  It tells about how she became a storyteller and author. 

 I have set up a Pinterest board with some activities that I have found.   Here are some ideas I am going to try to work in this month.

~ Take a nature hike.
~ Make some shape pictures
~ Read and snuggle as much as I can.
~Do some color mixing in glasses so my kids can see it.
~Paint and mix colors.  
~Print a couple of worksheets as optional activities.

I would love to hear your ideas.  Please write them in the comments.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Author of the Month--Eric Carle


Spring seems to finally be coming to the Midwest.  How can you talk about spring without reading at least one Eric Carle book? Especially if you have a child under eight.

Eric Carle has many wonderful books and a great author web page.   His web page includes a list of his books, a link to his biography, and downloads.  His downloads include how to make his tissue paper illustrations and his Caterpillar Express Newsletter where he answers many questions.  Great information.  I have also created a Pinterest Board with various activities I have found around the web. We have quite a collection of his books here.

We tried our own version of making Eric Carle's tissue paper collages.  First we cut a butterfly shape out of tissue paper.  We then glued it down with watered down glue using a paint brush, and used tissue paper shapes to embellish our butterfly.   We found it helpful to paint glue around the edges of a shape to keep the tissue paper down.  Here are our results.

The tissue paper cut-outs.
Gluing tissue paper embellishments.

The final results!

Enjoy Eric this month. 


Sunday, April 04, 2021

Author of Month: Margaret Wise Brown

Our author for April is Margaret Wise Brown.  I know I have personally read her classic book Goodnight Moon hundreds of times.  I could probably recite it for you by heart, but will refrain.

Margaret Wise Brown led an interesting life and you can find out about her at her web site.   She was a prolific author with many titles to her name.  She has many books about bunnies for April.  These printables for the Runaway Bunny are excellent.

Her other great book is The Important Book.  You can use The Important book as a pattern for many writing assignments.  This blog post by Kindergarten Nanna has several printables that you can use to help your child with writing using The Important Book as a template.  I thought they were very helpful.

Lastly I have set up a Pinterest board with some ideas on using Margaret Wise Brown books.  She is truly a classic author.

Happy Reading!
~ Becky

Monday, March 01, 2021

March Author of the Month Tomie dePaola

My repost for author of the month is Tomie dePaola.  Tomie dePaola passed away last year on March 30,2020.  His books and illustrations are some of my favorites.   

I remember when I met Tomie dePaola at the International Reading Convention in Atlanta.  He was truly one of the coolest people there with his leather jacket and earing.  He  signed my book with his famous Tomie and gave me a big smile.  I was impressed.

I have always enjoyed the illustrations in Mr. dePaola's books.  His web site is filled with answers to many questions about his career, favorite books, and his current life.  He also keeps an updated blog that displays his artwork and current happenings.  He is a prolific writer and illustrator.  Here is a list of his many books.  I also have a Pinterest board filled with ideas. 

I enjoy his books about living with grandparents and the special part they play in our lives.  His book Watch Out for the Chicken Feet in Your Soup is one of the funniest books I have ever read. It is a story about a little boy who takes one of his friends to his Grandmother's house.  The little boy warns his friend about what he considers the strange things his Grandmother does.  His friend is intrigued and finds his Grandmother wonderful.  A great lesson for all of us.

To end, here is a wonderful video of an interview with Tomie dePaola on the value of  reading aloud.  It is a wonderful reminder of the gift we give our children.  Happy Reading!

 ~ Becky

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

February Author Bill Martin Jr.


Bill Martin Jr. Books

Our author of the month is Bill Martin Jr.  What is there not to love about a man with a smile that wonderful?  Mr. Martin Jr, an elementary-school principal, teacher, writer, and poet, held a doctoral degree in early childhood education. I found an interview where Mr. Martin shares about Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See?  Here is a short biography on Mr. Martin. 

Scholastic has an author study that has wonderful links as well, I set up a Pinterest Board with some great activities too, and
Amazon has a nice book list.    Reading Rockets has an excellent one as well, with some information on each book included. 

I have two favorite Bill Martin Jr. Books.  The First is Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you Hear?, and the second is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. I love Polar Bear Polar Bear because I collect polar bears.  (Really, I do. I wanted something obscure to collect.)

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is a classic alphabet book. I have an old one with
magnetic letters we love to use.  There are so many alphabet activities to do with
this book.  Using your own magnetic letters to tell the story, making a tree and writing the letters on the paper, and this fun printable I found from Scholastic books. 

Have fun with Bill Martin Jr. this month.  I am excited to visit some old favorites and find some new friends.


Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Author Ezra Jack Keats

 I have fond memories of reading Ezra Jack Keats books as a child.  I still remember seeing the short film for The Snowy Day.

Mr. Keat's was a fascinating man.  The Ezra Jack Keats foundation is  set up to use the royalties from Keat's books to make the world a better place for children.
Keats has written many books.   There are several wonderful activities on Pinterest using his books

Happy Reading!

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Picture Books of the Month!

This is a repost!  I thought it would be fun to run again. My youngest is in third grade so it is kind of my last hurrah with picture books.  Join me on the adventure.  

 I am starting something new at my house.  I feel like my "littles" need some more directed author studies.  I believe there is something powerful in studying an author and reading many books by that author. You get to observe the type of writing style and look at their artwork more closely.  

I have decided this school year, I am going to do an author a month in picture books.  The intended audience of the books is PK-3rd, but my older kids love to revisit their favorites. I am going to gather the books from my personal collection and ask my local librarian to help me gather more by that author.  I am going to put them in a special tub/bin and keep them available for the month.  My hope is that by having them all gathered, I will be able to grab and read them.  I feel like personally I need to be more intentional about reading good literature to my kids.  When I ask them to grab a book we tend to read some less quality titles.  I am also hoping the older kids will read these to the younger ones as well.  

I will try to post these at the end of the previous month.  Hopefully you can join me on my journey. These are the authors I am planning on for this school year.  But, they are subject to change. I am choosing easy to find authors who have published many books.   

January- Ezra Jack Keats
February- Bill Martin Jr. 
March- Tomie dePaola 
April- Margeret Wise Brown
May- Eric Carle
September- Ellen Stoll Walsh.  
October- Lois Ehlert
November- Patricia Polacco.
December- Jan Brett 

I hope you will join me on my adventure.  

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Portfolio Assessment Give-Away for 2021!


Contest runs through Monday January 18 at 11:59.  Please enter!  

I  am giving away two FREE portfolio assessments (valued at $40.00 each). These are the Assessments that I complete for Ohio Homeschoolers to fulfill requirement 3301-34-04 Academic Assessment Report Option #2. You may redeem your prize anytime between February 1, 2021 and July 15, 2021. The prize is non-transferable.  

Use the Rafflecopter entry form below to enter.  Please hurry the contest ends January 15, 2021 at midnight. 

Please know I verify all winning entries. If you need help, email me:

How to become a Public Follower.

To become a follower, look under: "I would love it if you would follow my blog publicly, Please click on "Follow" below."  After clicking on that button follow the steps. You may use a Google Account, Twitter Account or Yahoo Account to follow. Click on one and follow the steps. In order for your entry to count you must follow publicly.

If you are on a mobile phone... go to the end of this post and click on the words "View web version" (It is under a HOME button) It will take you to a page where if you look in the top right corner you will see the FOLLOW button. Click on that and Follow Publicly.

Please know that I verify the winning entry. If you need help with a step please email me. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, January 02, 2021

A + Interactive Math Review and Give-Away!

 I was thrilled to learn about the A+ Interactive Math Program.  It is a comprehensive math program for grades 1 through 6, Pre-Algebra and Algebra I.    I have toured the program and I think it is an excellent choice for families.  It is easy to use, automatically grades, and is reasonably priced.  Some highlights for me:

1. There is a free trial to see it if is a good fit for your student and your family.  (scroll down the post to the section highlighted in yellow for more information.) 

2. The videos lessons are easy to follow and you can also print the worksheets included with each lesson or work on them on-line.  

3.  You can use this as a supplemental program to help your student with specific areas they need help with or as a full math program.  You can easily choose topics your students need and there are placement tests to help.  

4.  The program is very easy to navigate.  I feel for the price and ease of use you can not go wrong.  Here is a YouTube Link that explains more.  

5. GREAT NEWS:   You can take a 20% discount off A+ Interactive Math by using the code OhioHS

Now for the SUPER GREAT NEWS!  A+ Interactive Math is giving away a One-Year Family Math Package which covers up to 10 students to one lucky Ohio Homeschool Assessment family!  That is a $149 value !  Please enter by the Rafflecopter below.  The contest runs through Friday January 8 at 11:59pm   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Taking the guesswork out of homeschooling Math!

We all know that homeschooling is not easy, but it is very rewarding. Homeschooling is a huge undertaking, and it takes a firm commitment. It can be very stressful, especially when homeschooling two or more students. And all of us are not great at every subject. We have our favorite subjects and those that we find a bit challenging and very time-consuming, even very stressful.


Research has shown time and time again that math is the subject that makes most homeschooling parents a little weak-in-the-knees. For some parents, teaching and grading math is a frightening aspect of the homeschool journey. The good news is - it does not have to be! There is help. 

The Family Math Package from A+ Interactive Math could be the answer you are looking for. This program takes the guesswork out of homeschooling math! It eliminates the stress of teaching & grading math as it does all the work for you.

What is included with the Family Math Package?

The Family Math Package is an online program that is easy to use. It allows students to work independently at their own pace. It includes very comprehensive contents for each grade level. It uses age/grade appropriate computer animated visuals to maximize student engagement without any unnecessary distractions.  The Family Math Package includes Grades 1st – 6th, and Pre-algebra and allows you to enroll up to 10 students. It includes

  • Video Lessons
  • Interactive Q&A
  • Worksheets
  •  Chapter Tests
  •  Step-by-step Solution to Each Problem
  •  Automatic Grading and Tracking
  •  Easy to Read Progress Reports
  •  eBooks for Offline Use (Lessons, Worksheets, Chapter Tests, Solution Guides) 

The program also includes some features that allow you to optimize the use for your specific needs.

How does it work?

The Family Math Package program is pretty easy to use. You can get started within minutes with its intuitive navigation menu. 

There are 3 easy steps to getting started:

Step 1: Learn with Video Lessons

Students start the lesson from the Table of Contents. (Click on the “+” sign next to each chapter in the Table of Contents to see a listing of lessons and click on the lesson name. We recommend starting with first lesson in Chapter 1 and working down the list.)


Step 2: Interactive Review (Q/A)

After each lesson, we recommend that student work with the interactive review. The program will point the student to click on an Interactive Q&A button. This is where the program will ask a few questions about what was taught in the lesson. The program automatically re-teaches if student answers any questions incorrectly. This is a great way to make sure a student is actually learning as it provides immediate reinforcement.


Step 3: Practice w/ Online Worksheets

We recommend students complete an online worksheet for each lesson. This is similar to homework. This will provide extra practice to apply the learning to problem-solving. After the status changes to “completed,” a student can review each question and check step-by-step solutions if needed.


The program does the Grading and Tracking for you. You will easily be able to check student’s progress from the Parent’s Dashboard.

The Extras:

The program also includes optional chapter tests (i.e. exams) which are time-bound. After a student has completed all lessons in a particular chapter, we recommend that a student takes a chapter test (recommended but not required). This is a great way to assess a student’s learning progress. If the Chapter Test reveals any gaps, a student can always go back to any lesson in any chapter to review/re-learn and close the gap. The program includes a few other Extra Features (very useful and powerful) that make this program even more flexible:

·         Parental Controls

·         Generate Additional Worksheets

·         Generate Additional Chapter Tests

·         Cumulative Review Tests

·         Printable Lessons, Worksheets & Chapter Tests etc.…


Family Math Package Video Tour:

Take a 3-minute video tour of the Family Math Package program to see how the program works.


YouTube Family Math Package Video Tour:


FREE 1-Month of Family Math Package:

You can try the Family Math Package FREE for 1-month with no obligation at all. You can sign-up for a free 1-month trial with just your name and an email (No Credit Card needed).


Link to FREE 1-Month:


Want to know what others are saying about the Family Math Package?

Follow us on Instagram @aplustutorsoft to see genuine reviews from the homeschooling moms.