Coolest Flashlight Ever and a Giveaway

LEGO-Flashlight

THE coolest flashlight ever. Right? Look at those teeny tiny LEGO minifigures, cut out with precision with the Silhouette CAMEO. This is just a plain black cardstock circle, measured to fit inside your favorite flashlight. Using the CAMEO, I cut out 9 little LEGO men within the circle. We have also done this with stars, letters in my son’s name, and swirls.

Silhouette America offers a very special educator discount and I’d like to encourage you to go look around their website and sign up for this opportunity.

And now for a giveaway! Enter below to win a pack of clear sticker paper and a pack of white sticker paper.


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This 5 day Hopscotch is organized by iHomeschool Network, a collaboration of outstanding homeschool bloggers who connect with each other and with family-friendly companies in mutually beneficial projects. Visit us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. And of course, click the image below to visit all the other Hopscotch articles from these homeschool moms of the iHomeschool Network.

Summer Hopscotch Collage


Word of the Day Mug

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I love mugs. My 2 favorite mugs are an oversized Winnie the Pooh mug and a Star Trek transporter mug that “magically” transports the crew members when you pour in a hot liquid. When I bought my Silhouette CAMEO, one of the first things I did was run out to Old Time Pottery and stock up on mugs and glassware.

This mug belongs to my son. It is his word-of-the-day mug. It is a delicious way to introduce new vocabulary words!  The little book is cut from black vinyl. Did you know that vinyl is very similar to a chalkboard. It actually wipes off cleaner than a chalkboard!

 

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This 5 day Hopscotch is organized by iHomeschool Network, a collaboration of outstanding homeschool bloggers who connect with each other and with family-friendly companies in mutually beneficial projects. Visit us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. And of course, click the image below to visit all the other Hopscotch articles from these homeschool moms of the iHomeschool Network.

Summer Hopscotch Collage


Greek, Egyptian and More

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That above is my name in Greek. I took a picture of the black piece of paper after I removed the letters, because I wanted you to see an up-close picture of how crisp and clean the CAMEO cuts.

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Here are the punched out letters. We have made dozens of Greek letters in all different sizes and colors. This has not only helped us learn the actual letters, but we create fun games with them like spelling entire sentences, and recreating English words in Greek to see if we can pronounce them. Since we are deep into studying ancient Greece right now, we also use these letters to memorize the spelling of famous figures in ancient Greece.

Hieroglyphs

You can also do all that I mentioned above with any language, such as Egyptian hieroglyphs. That was a ton of fun! I am sure you can imagine the myriad of activities you can do with a set of sturdy cardstock hieroglyphs.

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This 5 day Hopscotch is organized by iHomeschool Network, a collaboration of outstanding homeschool bloggers who connect with each other and with family-friendly companies in mutually beneficial projects. Visit us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. And of course, click the image below to visit all the other Hopscotch articles from these homeschool moms of the iHomeschool Network.

Summer Hopscotch Collage


DIY Dry Erase Map

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I LOVE maps. I think this stems from the genealogist in me. Township, city, county, state, country maps…they all fascinate me. I look at a map and start to wonder about the deep history of the land, how it once looked, and why the original settlers chose to live in the exact spots they settled in. The United Kingdom especially fascinates me, primarily because most of my heritage is Irish, Scottish and English. When I started to teach my son all about our heritage, we had to un-jumble several terms that are often mixed up and bumbled about. You’ve probably heard all these: United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, the island of Ireland, the country of Ireland, Great Britain, British people, Scotland, Wales, British Isles, England…what??

Enter my handy Silhouette CAMEO, some vinyl and a sturdy piece of wood. First, some amazing facts about vinyl:

  • The CAMEO cuts through it like butter.
  • It is like a cheap whiteboard. You can write on it with dry erase markers and wipe it cleanly off with a magic eraser.
  • It sticks to wood beautifully, but also peels off easily in one piece when you are done with it.

I found a simple map of the British Isles, used my CAMEO to cut it out onto vinyl, and stuck it to a nice piece of wood. This became our dry erase map to study the land more in-depth.

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Writing on maps over and over again is a real hands-on learning experience. The boundaries, capitals, rivers, major cities, historical battlefields, castle locations, and former kingdom divisions are fully drilled into our heads. No more confusion about what exactly the United Kingdom is!

The beauty of this project is that when we were done with this map, we simply peeled off the vinyl and stuck another vinyl cut-out on the wood! Yeah for upcycling wood!

In case, you are interested, this video really clears things up about what to call that historic and fascinating bunch of islands across the pond. Take a few minutes to watch it when you have the time. You will definitely learn a lot!

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This 5 day Hopscotch is organized by iHomeschool Network, a collaboration of outstanding homeschool bloggers who connect with each other and with family-friendly companies in mutually beneficial projects. Visit us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. And of course, click the image below to visit all the other Hopscotch articles from these homeschool moms of the iHomeschool Network.

Summer Hopscotch Collage


Educational Crafts with the Silhouette CAMEO

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*I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because even homeschool moms need help with grammar occasionally.

If you are not a very crafty person and do not subscribe to the popular craft blogs, like I do, you may have NO idea what a Silhouette CAMEO is or why I am dedicating an entire series to it. People, this machine is crazy. Crazy awesome, I mean. This machine is a die-cutter, with a teeny tiny blade that can make very intricate cuts in paper, vinyl and even fabric.  Unlike other machines, this one does not require you to purchase cartridges, designs or fonts. You create your own images using their free software, connect the machine to your computer and hit cut!

It is not a cheap machine ($270 at Amazon) but in less than one year, mine easily paid for itself by saving us money on birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, and products that can easily become DIY if you have the right tools.

By DIY, I mean that I made my husband and son several etched glasses and mugs with the Star Trek emblem, the Ohio State logo, a LEGO minifigure, and even a Dalek and Tardis from Doctor Who.

I am always on the lookout for new ideas to give me an excuse to use this machine, however I’ve noticed that it is mostly used for designing and crafts, so I wanted to share my ideas for using this machine in your school or for educational projects.

So, welcome to day one: Educational Crafts with the Silhouette CAMEO

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How many times have you wished you had some cut-outs of states or countries, like the ones above? These are made of cardstock and are very thick and sturdy. To give you an example of how intricately the Silhouette can cut, I included state abbreviations. Here is what the image looks like in the software before cutting…

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Below you can see it just finished cutting Tennessee…

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And here is a close up of the states before I separated them…

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The Silhouette machine comes with a super sticky mat that holds the paper in place during the cutting. Below is a photo of the paper that was left after I pulled away each state and left behind the letters.  I saved this on transfer paper because I am sure I can find a use for it in the future! It just looks too cool to throw away!

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So, what would you do with these? Here are some ideas:

  • Create a matching game by either matching the name of the state or the capital to the cut-out.
  • Use them as puzzle pieces and see how fast you can put the country back together again.
  • If this were created without the abbreviations, you could have a game of guess the state by its shape. 
  • Alphabetize the states by abbreviation.
  • Play along with the book or video for The Scrambled States of America.

This 5 day Hopscotch is organized by iHomeschool Network, a collaboration of outstanding homeschool bloggers who connect with each other and with family-friendly companies in mutually beneficial projects. Visit us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. And of course, click the image below to visit all the other Hopscotch articles from these homeschool moms of the iHomeschool Network.

Summer Hopscotch Collage


Boring Words

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Do you ever get tired of reading books that have a never-ending he said this, she said that, they said what. Yeah, me too.

Teaching strong verbal and communication skills is very important to my husband and I. The more words a child is taught, the greater their reading comprehension will be. The more they are able to comprehend, the more they will be able to take that information and apply it to other aspects of their life.

One of the best methods of teaching vocabulary is teaching synonyms of common words…and because “said” is word that we strongly dislike, we came up with this handy poster. It was so much fun to make, that we quickly made a second one for another disappointing word…good.

We used poster board, foam board and glue. Together, we created lists of synonyms, which I typed up, printed out and glued onto the foam board. I cut the words into their rectangles, using an exacto knife, and we glued them onto the poster board.

Of course, you do not have to glue your words onto foam board. You can just glue them directly onto the poster board around your large “no-no word” but we liked the way the foam board made the words pop out.

If you would like to see the lists of words we used for say and good, you can download them here.