Tired of tossing heaps of paper into the trash throughout the school year? Equally tired of telling your toddler over and over that scribbling in the older kid's workbooks is a no-no? Perhaps you need a greener and more practical way to do things. Enter the green-freak/veteran homeschool supermom. Yeah, that's me - go ahead and laugh until you try my solutions. They really work! Homemade reusable workbooks can save lots of time, paper, money, and frustration throughout the years.
Materials for Homemade Reusable Workbooks
To make reusable homeschool workbooks, you'll need a laminating machine and laminating sheets, workbooks and/or loose worksheets, a hole puncher (three-ring works best), and a three-ring binder. For the kids to use them, you'll also need some earth-friendly wipe-off markers.
Making Reusable Homeschool Workbooks
If you are starting with workbooks, tear the sheets out so that they are loose. For organization, you can create reusable workbooks that are in order by grade level and subject. Use an eco-friendly permanent marker to mark the outside of the binders. Laminate each sheet individually. If you do not have the patience to do this, many office stores actually offer this service for free or at a discount on a certain day each year. It's generally near the start of the school year. Otherwise, they do charge a fee. But if you have a good number of worksheets to laminate, the fee may be worth it. Once all the sheets are laminated, punch holes in them so that they will go neatly into the binders. Then, put them in the appropriate binders.
Benefits of Homemade Reusable Homeschool Workbooks
Wipe of worksheets are great for going back to correct errors. If a student needs more time with a certain concept, you do not need to keep purchasing workbooks. Just wipe off and practice over and over. Also, if you have more than one homeschool student, you will only need to purchase or print workbooks and worksheets once. They can passed down to each child as they reach those levels. Also, by creating a reusable workbook, you are saving all that paper from going into the landfills. The plastic lamination may not be earth-friendly. But it will create an item that can last years and years, which is better for the environment than throwing piles and piles of paper and workbooks into the trash.
What to Do When Kids Outgrow the Workbooks
When kids outgrow their workbooks, create more and pass on the other ones to your other kids. If you have no other kids, give them to a friend or relative. It also would be a good idea to sell them and raise money for your homeschool. You may also donate them to a child in need. Homeless shelters and other family centered outreach programs can always use learning materials for the kids. Try contacting your local Covenant House, Red Cross, or Salvation Army to find out where you can donate them. If none of those are in your area, try contacting United Way.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Help Kids Be Green With a Fun Lesson That Helps the Homeless
Looking for a way to use fabric scraps instead of tossing them out? Try making a scrap quilt - even better, donate it to the homeless. This is a project kids and adults alike can participate in. Won't it feel great to be green and help someone at the same time? Quilts can be made for adults and children.
Choosing a Pattern
When choosing patterns for your scrap quilt, keep in mind that the kids will be helping with the sewing. If your kids have never made a quilt before, it's best to stick to beginner patterns. This way they don't get frustrated and give up. Plus, if you have a ton of fabric, the less time each quilt takes, the more you can make. One simple pattern I recommend for making quilts for homeless kids is the Child's Rag Quilt. If you're instead making quilts for homeless adults, then I recommend Bev's Country Cottage.
Mixing and Matching
It's alright if not all of your pieces of fabric are going to match. This project is not about being a perfectionist, but about helping someone. If you can afford to purchase extra fabric to match, then go ahead. But if not, the recipient of the quilt will be just as happy. As long as the quilt is warm and cozy, it will serve the purpose. Besides, with quilts, mixing and matching is the whole point. Be creative with your designs to make the scrap quilt as fun and interesting as possible.
Where to Donate
Women's and children's shelters are one place that will need scrap quilts. There are also many centers and programs that serve the homeless. Some cater to just children, some to all ages, and some just to adults. Call around and see what you can find out. Your local United Way or social services department will likely be able to point you in the right direction. Many churches also work with the homeless. Sometimes during the winter or near Thanksgiving, there are blanket drives for the homeless.
What do the Kids Learn?
By making scrap quilts for the homeless, your homeschool students learn many lessons. Being green by not being wasteful is one important lesson. Another is that being green can be beneficial not just to the earth but to people as well. Then, there is compassion for others and the importance of giving. Plus, if they've never made a quilt before, they'll learn how. If they have done it before, practice makes perfect!
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Writing has always been the perfect vehicle for me to best express myself. While I'm definitely happy to talk, I tend to be quite the rambler and I am not exactly the most polished conversationalist. I'm certainly no public speaker, either. While I also love to doodle, it's more of a curiosity for me, although at one time I did take it far more seriously. Other art forms seem to confound me. I simply just write because it's what comes most natural to me. In particular, web writing has become one of the best ways to express my creativity.
So, the question I'd like to ask is this: "Is what comes natural to you the best way to express your creativity?" I think that this is very likely the case. While it's good to dabble in other areas to expand your horizons, it's always best to default to your best form of expression.
It's interesting because even within certain disciplines - writing, art, music, photography, or otherwise - you will discover niches within those disciplines. Some are better at poetry, others at prose, others at free writing or stream of consciousness. Some are great sketch artists, others painters, and others masters of mixed media. In music, it can be a particular instrument or instruments that seem to fit your personality and mannerisms best. Photography can be just point and shoot, but the possibilities of subjects are limitless. It's whatever feels natural. If it's feeling forced, then it's not the best vehicle.
Of course, there are the performing arts, as well: dancing, singing, theater, and many more. Even then, there are niches within those, as well. It's all about finding the category of expression that fits you best, then find the best avenue in which to excel in that particular performing art.
While it's awesome to be good at performing arts in addition to other forms of expression, it's not one hundred percent necessary. It's also not good to spread yourself out in too many directions at once, and the performing arts especially require a great deal of time and dedication to perform at a high level.
Then, there are the crafting arts, and there are too many of those to list. The interesting thing about crafting is that the time and energy you put into it all depends on what materials and methods you’re using. Of all art forms, it may have the most limitless permutations ever.
I'm not saying that writing or traditional art take less time and dedication than the performing or crafting arts - that's certainly not true. But what I'm saying is that it's best to focus the most time on whichever "feels" the most natural.
What do you feel is your best vehicle to express your creativity?
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Welcome to Crafting Successfully ! Here you will find articles about art, art history, art philosophy, DIY crafts, project ideas, lesson plans, material suggestions, and more. If it's related to art or crafts, you will find it. All ages, stages, and grade levels will be represented from 0-1000!
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