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Are you curious about The Precious People curriculum for older elementary aged homeschoolers?  This review shares our first few weeks with the curriculum, how I’m organizing the materials, and our thoughts so far.

Watch The Precious People Review on YouTube!

When I chose to switch up curriculum this coming school year, I struggled with what curriculum to use that would feel slow and steady and yet challenging enough for my middle kids.  I happened upon The Peaceful Press in the spring, and was impressed with The Peaceful Preschool (Read my Review of The Peaceful Preschool here.)  After getting a free sample of The Precious People, I decided this was exactly in lines with the gentle, Charlotte Mason style approach I wanted to take with school this year.

Get a FREE SAMPLE of The Precious People!

Related podcast: Making Major Changes in Your Homeschool

The Precious People is a world history survey with elements of church history, art study, copywork, and good old fashioned family activities and read alouds.  The download for the curriculum comes with several files:  The Parent’s Guide, Readings, Student Sheets, Recipes, and you can add on the Saints Cards and Timeline Cards as well.

Check out The Precious People site here!

I chose to send the The Parent’s Guide and the Readings off to The Homeschool Printing Company to be printed, covered, and spiral-bound. I printed the Art prints at home and laminated them, and will be doing the same with the Saints and Timeline cards.

Get the laminator I use HERE!


After much contemplating, I decided to do this curriculum first thing in the morning as a Morning Basket daily activity as the author suggests.  I wanted to incorporate some other Charlotte Mason lessons into the plan as well, and I wanted to include all my children in most of the curriculum.  That means everyone from age 3 through 17 gathers at the table to start the day out!  It was a little rocky at first, but after a couple of weeks of tweaks, it all worked out seamlessly!  (I’ll write more extensively on how I use The Precious People with multiple ages and our Morning Basket time in other posts, but you’ll get a little taste of it from the sticky notes in the photos.)

Like the other Peaceful Press curricula, The Precious People has a Supplies List, a Weekly Lesson Grid, and then a Daily Schedule in the Parent’s Guide.  These are a guideline, not a rule or written in an order you must follow without deviation.  In fact, I often switch things around, remove entire lessons, and add in other things to suit my style (as you will see from the sticky notes scattered throughout my daily lesson plans!).  That said, you can simply use the curriculum “as is” and never touch a thing.

I mention in my video review of The Precious People that some activities may seem beneath your older kids, and you can choose to simply put those at the end of Morning Time and dismiss your older children before you continue with your younger crew, or remember that sometimes even “little kid” activities can be fun for older children!  My older kids love to reminisce about when they did some of these activities years ago, and as I mentioned in my review of A Year of Playing Skillfully, my middle children missed out on a lot of these “little kid” activities and I have enjoyed giving them some of that childhood back.

In the grid above, you’ll see that the Bible reading comes from The Gospel Story Bible.  This devotional is definitely too young for my 12 – 17 year olds, so I chose to put the Bible reading at the end of Morning Time, so I could dismiss them and send them off to do their own Bible Study.  You can see the order I have chosen for activities on the sticky notes in my Daily Lesson Plans below:

These sticky notes also include the other Charlotte Mason elements I have added into our Morning Time.  If you are doing the curriculum without a lot of variety of ages, you can follow the order in which it is written, but I needed to change things up to accommodate my older kids.  You may also want to split things between a Morning Time and an Afternoon Tea Time or do it all in the afternoon like I talk about in my book Flexible Homeschool Planning.

I did not chose to flag this curriculum the way I did The Peaceful Preschool.  Instead, I just have the paper clip (from my Grace Notes Scripture Memory Subscription) to hold my place in the book.  You could flag the weeks to make it a little easier to find your place, but I still recommend using a paper clip to keep track of where you are in the daily lessons.

What I love about The Precious People curriculum

*It’s open and go.  There is very little planning that needs to be done.  The supplies list rarely includes anything but household supplies you probably already have on hand.  The only reason I have any real planning to do with this curriculum is because I’m adding in extra things like Shakespeare and Hymn Studies, so that’s on me.

*There are lists of books to help stretch the curriculum for multiple ages.  I use the book list to give my older kids books to read to supplement what they are learning, and there are books for all the other ages as well.  I like that Jennifer thought to include these!

*The recipes!  One of my favorite parts of the curricula from The Peaceful Press are the recipes you get to make as a family!

*The gentle and relational approach to schooling this curriculum takes.  I have never been much for rigor in our homeschool.  I believe the best education comes from long conversations and engaging with the material being taught.  The Precious People does just that.

Don’t buy The Precious People if…

*You want a boxed curriculum with all subjects and books included.  If you need everything delivered to your doorstep, this is not the curriculum for you.  You will need to add in Math, Phonics, and potentially some Science.  It is a pdf download, so you will need to either use it from your device or print it out or send it off to be printed.  No books are included, so you either need to borrow or buy the suggestions (and you do not need to use only their suggestions – the curriculum does not depend on a certain book being used).  I found some great deals on many of the books at Amazon, and you can get many of these titles at your local library.

*You don’t like downloadable curriculum.  Although this curriculum is VERY printer friendly (other than the Art Study pages), not everyone likes pdf’s.  However, the price is right ($49), and for just a bit extra, you can have it bound like I did.

*You don’t want any extras this coming school year.  You might be in a place where you need to focus solely on Math and Phonics.  If that’s where you are, then I recommend you spend your money and energy there, and wait a bit to add in anything else.

*You want a rigorous homeschool schedule.  The Precious People is not the curriculum for you if you are looking for a lot of memorization, writing, and deep studies of world history and the church.  It’s more like an introduction or survey, and is more focused on relationships and activities than rigorous seatwork.

Learn more about The Precious People here!

Frankly, I am very excited to have found this curriculum, and the more we dig in, the more I like it!  The children have really taken to it, and just feels like a good fit for the slower pace I wanted to take this year.  If you have any other questions, feel free to ask, and I’ll do my best to answer or point you in the right direction!

The post Review of The Precious People Curriculum appeared first on Raising Arrows.

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Are you a mom who is easily overwhelmed by noise, lights, touch or smells?  You might have sensory issues like I do.  Listen to this podcast to learn how I deal with being a large family mom and having sensory issues.  Learn my tips and tactics for managing all the sensory input a mom comes in contact with during the day!

Don’t want to listen?
Read the blog post –>  Life as a Mom with Sensory Issues

Find all Raising Arrows podcasts here!

Subscribe via iTunes HERE
Subscribe via Stitcher HERE

Resources:

Educating Your Gifted Child


The Out-of-Sync Child



The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun



The post Life as a Mom with Sensory Issues – Podcast #45 appeared first on Raising Arrows.

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We had a strong week in our homeschooling, which is good because we have some pretty major events happening in our lives soon (more on that in a later post), and I need to stay on top of the schooling as long as I can.

We did the letter C in The Peaceful Preschool this week.  One of our projects was sewing a button just like in Corduroy (which we had to watch on YouTube rather than read because our book got torn up and I haven’t replaced – yay, YouTube!).

The children also bandaged their stuffed animals and learned about cuts and scrapes and how to treat them.

Related post:  Printable Bible Verses for The Peaceful Preschool

We also read and watched Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (a family favorite!) and made alphabet trees.

Related post:  Review of The Peaceful Preschool

We are finally getting a good rhythm down with our Morning Basket, but for the life of me I can’t seem to call it that when I’m calling the kids to school each morning.  I always end up calling it Table Time, so while Morning Basket sounds so much more romantic, I have to stick with what comes naturally.  Table Time it is.  (I’ll be writing about our Table Time soon!)

We made it through the first week of The Precious People!  The kids are loving All of a Kind Family (the current read aloud)!  I’d never even heard of this book, so it’s been a treat for me too!  I’ve been really amazed by the results of the Art Study!  The kids spent a lot of time recreating the Garden of Eden painting, and they are really learning an eye for details.  I print the art study pages off and laminate them so the kids can easily pass them around.

Related:  Review of The Precious People on YouTube

This week, I took some time to look over my daughter’s General Science notebook from Apologia.  I was thrilled to see all the work she was putting into it, and when I asked her about it, she rattled off a bunch of scientific facts she’d been learning!  I am now officially SOLD on the Apologia Notebooks!

Related post:  Using Apologia Science with Multiple Ages

My oldest daughter has been having a little bit of trouble getting into the groove with her new school work, but this week, she finally got started.  She is doing Ambleside Year 12, plus finishing up Geometry from Teaching Textbooks and moving from Apologia Biology to Advanced Biology.

Related post:  Why Teaching Textbooks is Perfect for our Family 

While Year 12 isn’t rigorous in the amount of reading required in one setting, it is rigorous when you consider the material being covered.  I am anxious to see what questions and thoughts come from her readings as she digs deeper because right now, she’s just getting her toes wet.  I think I mentioned before that she keeps all of her books in a basket along with a folder that has all of her assignments in it where she can check them off as she goes.

She did download the Where Is That? app to work on her Geography skills, and realized she’s pretty deficient (as most of us are!).  I’m hoping she becomes much more adept at geography as she takes the quizzes on the app.

I did want to share a little tidbit with you when it comes to homeschooling with little ones underfoot – sometimes the playpen is your best friend.  Mercy does great until we read aloud.  It’s like a trigger for her to become clingy and noisy and grumpy.  I could wait until her naptime to do the read aloud, but I just haven’t managed to make that a part of my workflow.  So, I take her to her playpen with some toys during read aloud time.  She plays happily (initially, she gives me the “what for,” but that doesn’t last too long), and as soon as I’m done with the chapter, I get her back out and she toddles off to play.

Related post:  How to Make Read Aloud Time More Peaceful

Are you homeschooling this summer?  Gearing up for next year?  Leave a comment below and let me know how it’s going!

The post Large Family Homeschooling Week in Review – 7/14/18 appeared first on Raising Arrows.

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Last year, when we used A Year of Playing Skillfully, a kind woman in our Facebook group created several printable verses that corresponded with the Bible verse of the month.  I would print them off on cardstock and hang them on my cupboard.  I loved this concept, and wanted to continue it when we transitioned to The Peaceful Preschool this year.

Every letter in The Peaceful Preschool has a corresponding verse, so I wanted to create a free verse graphic for you (and me!) to print and hang in a place where we (and the children) will be reminded of the verse of the week!

Download the “Letter A” Bible verse HERE!

{Find all of the Bible Verses for the Peaceful Preschool here!}

Looking to buy a copy of The Peaceful Preschool?
Check it out here!
(and snag a FREE Letter A sample while you are there!)

The post Free “Letter A” Verse for The Peaceful Preschool! appeared first on Raising Arrows.

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The 2018 Homemaking Conference is coming soon, and now is the time to snag the Super Early Bird price!

GET THE CHEAPEST PRICE HERE! >>
(don’t forget to use your $5 off coupon if you have it!)

The speaker list and topics are incredible!  I cannot wait to hear all the wisdom these ladies have to offer!  The really great thing about this conference is once you buy your ticket, these sessions are yours to keep FOREVER!  You get all the videos, all the bonuses, all the notes to go back to over and over again!

Here are just a few of the topics from this year’s conference:

Finding Contentment
Being a Heavenly-Minded Mom
Budgeting & Meal Planning
Creative Homemaking Routines
Decluttering Your Home
Biblical Marriage
Overcoming Anger in the Home
Managing a Home Full of Little Ones (my session!)
Gospel-Centered Parenting
and many more!

I also wanted to announce that I am bringing back my FREE Creating a Home You Love series, for those of you who missed it in the spring, or for those of you who would just like to go through it again.  It is a 5 day class that is delivered to your inbox that will teach you how to create peace and beauty in your home with simple, practical steps that can easily be implemented with a busy schedule and children underfoot!  I hope you’ll join me!

SIGN UP HERE!

The post Join me for the 2018 Homemaking Conference! appeared first on Raising Arrows.

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It is with deep affection and admiration, I introduce you to Lea Ann.  She is a homeschool grad who came from an abusive homeschooling situation, yet went on to homeschool her own children lovingly and successfully.  You will be inspired by her story, and I am so thankful she was willing to share it.

Name & Age
Lea Ann Garfias, and I’m *gasp* 41.

How many years were you homeschooled?
I was homeschooled in the dark ages of the late 80s, early 90s. This was in Michigan, which was one of the two most horrible states to homeschool in. We were in deep hiding, never telling anyone we were homeschooled until we graduated. I was homeschooled from 7th grade through graduation, which I completed in five years by homeschooling year-round.

A favorite homeschooling memory.
Finishing Saxon Calculus. This was back before the solutions manual had the problems worked out, so it would take hours for my dad and me to grade and correct every paper. And we dared not skip a single problem, because of the litigious system that could swoop in and inspect us at any moment. We were extra careful to finish every problem on every page of every book. So when I finished that course, I literally threw the textbook down the basement stairs in glee. My parents were horrified, but it felt so good!

Favorite curriculum.
I didn’t have an emotional attachment to my high school curriculum because we were pretty close to “school at home.” Each book and workbook represented something I had to finish to get to my goal: graduation. I loved reading for fun, though, so working on my homework as fast as I could so I could go read, that was my reward.

Worst homeschooling memory.
I was physically abused until puberty, right around the time we started homeschooling. Then it was just verbal and emotional abuse. That tainted a lot of my homeschool memories, the pressure to get 100% on everything and the anxiety over tests and quizzes to avoid an ugly scene. This actually made me not want to homeschool my own children. I’m so glad my husband convinced me that we could, in fact, homeschool differently.

Most difficult lesson/subject for you?
Spelling. Hands down. I still can’t spell, and I’m a published author. Spell check is the best thing EVER!

What did you choose to do after graduating?
I went straight to Bob Jones University (yes, that college) after graduation and studied Church Music (violin and piano). After two and a half years, I eloped with a hot immigrant from Peru, and we’ve been married happily ever after for the past twenty years.

Why you chose to do that.
I choose music because I had studied classical violin and piano seriously for a decade, performing and competing around the country. But I didn’t want to go into music performance because I was burdened to serve and because the music career is grueling (worse than homeschooling, if you can imagine!). I eloped because of my issues with my family; I was running away to safety, and God graciously healed my heart over time through my husband’s loving counsel. And now I write and speak because I want women to know the God still has a great purpose for them, no matter their painful pasts.

Will you homeschool your own children if you have any?
Yes, I joke that our four children “have never been institutionalized,” except now our homeschool grad is away at Liberty University, so he had to learn to sit in a classroom eventually. Poor guy. I didn’t originally want to homeschool, but my husband challenged me to try to homeschool differently for “just one year,” and then I was hooked. I loved being part of those “lightbulb moments” of discovery, and I loved the daily life of motherhood. I’ve been surprised, pleasantly surprised, by homeschooling.

Why or why not?
So I started off homeschooling because of the deal my husband made me, but we stuck with it for deeper reasons. We want to pass on our core values to our children: love God, love others, work hard. That’s it. So whether or not they get all A’s, whether or not they go to college, whether or not they achieve fame and fortune, we know God will bless their lives if they just remember to love and keep working. But we really have a lot of fun, too.

Any regrets directly related to being homeschooled?
It’s more common for homeschool grads like me, who came out of bad situations, to be jaded about homeschooling itself. They blame the isolationism, the cultural superiority, the abuse of power for their own neglect and abuse. I see it much differently. Sin happens in all corners of life, even in the church and even in the best of families and even in homeschooling. Homeschooling isn’t the problem — sin is the problem.

Anything you wish you had been taught?
I got the best academic education anyone could ask for, and I received one of the highest grades that year on the ACT, garnering me full-ride scholarship offers from Ivy League schools (which I turned down to go to a Christian college). Academically, I have nothing to complain about. But I learned there are much more important lessons: love, forgiveness, loyalty, grace. I pray that’s where our focus remains in our current homeschooling.

How did homeschooling prepare you for what you are doing now (college or work)?
I’m a homeschool mom, author, and speaker, lol! Homeschooling taught me to work hard, to study hard, and to find the answer to any problem by looking carefully. But homeschooling in my life also taught me to boldly pursue a new path, to courageously embrace a new vision for a different family than I had ever experienced.

What is the worst misnomer about homeschoolers?
That we’re weird. Yet there are weird people everywhere. And you’ll find every kind of problem and every kind of success in homeschooling that you can find in traditional schooling. We’re just people. People who survived homeschooling . . . and bravely tried again.

LEA ANN GARFIAS, The Genuine Homeschool Mom, believes there is enough coffee in the world to make even dreadful Thursdays tolerable. As a homeschool author and speaker, she helps ordinary moms realize their extraordinary influence. When she’s not homeschooling her four children, shouting at soccer matches, or performing on the violin, she’s passed out asleep. You’ll find evidence of her existence at lagarfias.com.

The post Interviews with Homeschooled Adults – Lea Ann appeared first on Raising Arrows.

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While I am making huge changes in our homeschooling this year, one thing is staying the same – I will be doing preschool again.  I’m hooked!  I didn’t do preschool with my older children, but I’ve been feeling the need to spend quality time with my tiny ones, and part of that involves using preschool materials that are not rigorous or difficult to implement, but give us plenty of together-time.  Last year, we used A Year of Playing Skillfully, and this year, we are moving on to The Peaceful Preschool.

–> You can watch my review of The Peaceful Preschool on YouTube HERE <–

First of all, I love how simple this curriculum is.  It is literally open and go.  You need very little to make it work, and it is super affordable – $35 for the entire downloadable curriculum – SEE IT HERE!

I printed the curriculum out myself (it doesn’t require a lot of ink), but you could use a service like the Homeschool Printing Company to have it printed and bound.

I printed the letter and number cards on cardstock and put them in a separate folder to pull out as needed.  You may want to laminate the counting cards, and if you are using this curriculum with more than one child (like I am), you will need to print out a couple of copies of the letter of the week each week.

By the way, I should probably share that I am using this with my 3 and 5 year olds.  My 3 year old (a girl) loves being included in school, and my 5 year old (a boy) isn’t ready for formal curriculum.  He craves projects, and this curriculum teaches him his letters and sounds and numbers through play-based activities.  It is a logical progression from A Year of Playing Skillfully because it is more “schoolish,” but not so much that he feels boxed in.

Each week has a Supply List, an Assignment Grid, and then day-by-day instructions.

Get a FREE “Letter A” Unit HERE!

As you can see, I flagged my weeks with sticky note flags like these:


It makes it much easier to turn right to the week we are studying.  I also use one of my fun paperclips from my Grace Notes Subscription to move from day to day and clip together pages as I go.

Also, if you absolutely cannot buy or borrow from the library the books listed each week, check out YouTube.  Most of these books can be found on YouTube read by kind people who have entire channels dedicated to reading children’s books!  Here’s an example of The Runaway Bunny.

The Peaceful Preschool is a 4 day a week curriculum, with Fridays used for corresponding (and totally optional) field trips.  I actually often find myself only doing 3 days a week and smooshing activities together.

One of my favorite parts of the curriculum are all the yummy recipes!  Nearly every week there is a cooking or baking activity to do with your children.  If you have older children, this can be a great time to pull everyone into the kitchen and work together, letting the younger ones do the bulk of the work.

That leads me to another point about this curriculum that I love – it appeals to a variety of ages!

During the “Letter B” week, my 7 & 9 year olds (both boys) joined in to make Bunny Masks and Carrot Cake!  They loved it, and often join us for lessons from The Peaceful Preschool!

As with every curriculum, remember YOU are in charge, not it!  We don’t always do every project or read every book.  We sometimes move things around, and we rarely go on the suggested field trips.  But, it is still worthwhile to have the ideas there where I can pull from them each week!

This is truly a fantastic curriculum, and so easy to use!  I would highly recommend this for moms who have a lot on their plates, but still want to have some activity time with their little ones!

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PEACEFUL PRESCHOOL!

The post Review of The Peaceful Preschool appeared first on Raising Arrows.

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Subscribe via iTunes HERE
Subscribe via Stitcher HERE

Even if your child chooses something other than college, the academic, relational, and spiritual tools you give during their homeschooling years are crucial!   The tools your children need for college are the same tools they need for life – so give them that college-prep homeschool education even if they don’t go to college! Here’s what we did!

Read the post here – https://www.raisingarrows.net/2018/05/preparing-homeschooler-college/

Mentioned in the podcast:

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The 2018 Homemaking Conference is coming soon, and to kick it off, I’m sharing a HUGE Homemaking Resources Giveaway full of amazing products that will be sent right to your door!

Ladies, these are REAL products – not digital! 

GO HERE TO ENTER!

Here’s what you’ll win:

  • NutriMill Gain Mill (worth $219!!)
  • The Home Ground Essentials Cookbook by Sue Becker
  • 18 Month Planner (July 2018 – December 2019)
  • Philippians 4:11 Coffee Mug
  • Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family Book
  • Be Strong in the Lord tote bag
  • ESV Interleaved Edition Journaling Bible
  • Praise the Lord Traveler’s Notebook with three notebooks
  • Bible Journaling Kit with pens, highlighters, and more!!
  • Various planning and Bible journaling stickers and things

And to give you a quick taste of what this Homemaking Conference is all about, let me share my own experience with it.  I have been a part of this conference for a couple of years, but before that, I was an attendee, and I LOVED it!  In fact, I still go back and watch sessions that inspired me!

This conference is so full of relevant, useful information for your homemaking endeavors that you will not want to miss it!  In fact, the caliber of this giveaway is just a foretaste of the caliber of the conference itself!  Tickets go on sale soon, and when you enter this giveaway, you’ll be given a $5 off coupon, so please sign up!  You won’t be disappointed!

The post HUGE Homemaking Giveaway – REAL PRODUCTS! appeared first on Raising Arrows.

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Whenever I can, I like to bring all of my children together for homeschool projects.  Even projects from the preschool curriculum can be made into something all of them enjoy.  {Read my review of A Year of Playing Skillfully to learn more about this concept!)  However, sometimes, certain projects need to be supplemented and tweaked in order to make it work for multiple ages.  That’s how our Apples & Cinnamon Unit Study came to be!

It started with The Peaceful Preschool curriculum.  The Letter A unit had my little ones learning about apples, sorting cinnamon sticks, and making an apple crisp.  Now, most of my kids can read and don’t need a unit on the letter A; however, all of my children love to cook!  That’s when I remembered the Sugar & Spice Unit Studies I purchased years ago from Marmee Dear.

One of the units is on Cinnamon, and it is perfect for the older grades!  So, between The Peaceful Preschool and the Cinnamon Unit Study, we had the perfect combination for all my kiddos!

As with everything I do, it had to be tweaked to fit our needs, so I’ll share with you exactly what we did to make this a fun activity for everyone!  You don’t have to purchase either of these curricula in order to do this study, but both are reasonably priced and worth the consideration.

Get 10% off The Peaceful Preschool through July 4 with code: Peaceful
Click here to learn more!

This is a very simple unit study that can easily be pulled together and done in an afternoon.  Just the way I like my projects – EASY!

Items needed:

  • Apples (any variety, several different kinds would be preferable)
  • Apple Taste Test Worksheet (like THIS ONE)
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Ground Cinnamon (if you can get a average store-bought along with a higher quality Asian cinnamon, you’ll have a much better sampling)
  • Ingredients for a simple Apple Crisp (like THIS ONE)
  • Information on the origin of cinnamon (Wikipedia will do)
  • Letter A template (like THIS ONE)
  • Sandpaper
  • A book about apples (my favorite is How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World)


(Consider pairing this with a Unit Study on Johnny Appleseed like THIS ONE to maximize educational potential!)

Start by gathering everyone in the kitchen or dining room and have them examine the various apples you’ve purchased.  You can have your younger ones sort by color, and have your older ones sort by variety.

Choose one apple of each variety and cut into slices.  Pass out the Apple Taste Testing Worksheet, and enjoy tasting and commenting on the different varieties!

Next, bring out the various cinnamons, including the cinnamon sticks.  Read about cinnamon and then let them taste the different kinds of cinnamon you have purchased.

Cut out the sandpaper in the shape of a letter A using the template.  Rub the cinnamon sticks on the sandpaper A’s (have older children help).

Gather everyone to put together the Apple Crisp.  We used a peeler/corer/slicer and the kids loved eating the “apple snakes” and making the apple crisp together!

If you choose to add on a Johnny Appleseed unit study, do it while the apple crisp bakes.  This is also a great time to read your apple book or do an apple craft!

Enjoy!

The post Apples and Cinnamon Unit Study appeared first on Raising Arrows.

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