Phonics Friday Part 3 – How to quickly make a copy worksheet on the iPad

Here is a quick easy way to create a copy worksheet with the iPad. For Part 3 of my Friday Phonics series, I thought I would show you how to make a simple copywork worksheet for homeschooling using the iPad.  As always with my Phonics Friday series, I will provide a free copy of the resource shown below.

If you need to quickly create a custom copywork worksheet, the easiest way I have found is on the iPad with Microsoft Excel. I decided to use one of my favorite old early reader books, Reading without tears, to show how you can quickly make a copywork worksheet.

Start with a blank worksheet.  Select several cells and merge the cells.

Next, you want to create some guide lines using the top and bottom borders.

The top cell has a border on top. The next cell has a dashed line top border. The last row has a top solid border line.

Tip: To create the dashed line with Excel on the iPad, first you need to select the line style before you apply the border. 

Once you select your line style then you can add the border where you want the line to be.

Once you have the lines how you want then you need to adjust the row height.

To find out what row height that works best, I usually print a few different row heights to see which one works best. For kids that have been writing for a while, I use a row height of 15. Excel on the iPad seems to be the easiest to set line-height. The Apple numbers app also works but I find Microsoft Excel is easier to set the row height and enter text into the cells.

Now you can add the text that you want your child to copy and adjust the font.

If you want multiple lines just select all the cells and you can copy them to another location.

I like to add a few pictures as well which is easy to do on the iPad. Just take a screenshot of what you want by pressing the power and home button at the same time.

You can crop the image with just what you want.

Tip: before you insert a picture increase the row height. If the picture is too close to a cell, then you cannot select the cell to enter in text.

The last step is to print out the sheet you want.  You can also save it as a pdf. Click here to download the free pdf copy work worksheet from Reading Without Tears.

Here is the finished Excel copywork worksheet that my son completed.

What do you use for copywork and phonics practice?

For other posts in the Phonics Friday series click the links below.

For source material to create your own copy work see my Mega list of free reading resources.

Phonics Friday Part 2 – Configurable word wall

It’s another Friday and I am continuing on my mission to teach my son to read. In Part 1 last week I showed a simple vowel phonics chart I put up in my boy’s room. This allows me to review with him most night his vowel sounds. This week I am adding to his “bedroom classroom” a configurable word wall.

I decided to create some big letter tiles that I can use to make simple words for my son to sound out. I can also have him practice by making words himself.

I used pages on the iPad to make the tiles but MS Word would work as well. I created a table on a Normal letter-size paper that was in landscape orientation. I used a font that seems better for dyslexics reading. I think Comic Sans is recommended but that wasn’t a choice with Pages for the iPad. Chalkboard font on the iPad seems similar to comic sans so I chose that one. If I set the font size at 120 points to got the letters and spacing shown below.

I made enough columns and rows so each cell would fit one letter with large font size. I printed out the page of letters. Then I finally used my laminator for the first time! I cut out each individual letter and then put a hole in the top.

I decided to use yellow card stock after reading this report about the best background colors to use for dyslexics. I think other colors could be slightly better but yellow was the closest color I have to orange and light yellow.

Once I had enough letters I worked on getting the spacing right. To do this I made the vowel letters a little narrower by cutting off some of both sides. Then I used a simple CVC word to figure out the hook spacing. I used simple teacup holder hooks so I could hang the letters up and make words.

I put up some additional hooks to store the words but I arranged them with the same spacing. Now some of the older boys try and make funny phrases.

The boys have fun coming up with new words or even silly combinations of non-words. In the future, I hope to make blends and other consonant combinations. I also hope to experiment with different background colors. So now every night I can make new words for my son to practice reading.

What do you think of my configurable word wall? If you are interested in making your own here is a free copy of the Letter Tiles I used. Do you have any suggestions for teaching phonics? I would love to hear them in the comments.

Which 2020 iPad is right for you

Well, another new (actually 2) iPads are here for 2020.  The new iPad Air and the new iPad 8th generation. With the new iPad Air becoming the smaller version of the iPad pro with a screen.  Of course, both new iPads come with new processors.

Which iPad

First, are you in the market for a new iPad?  How old is your iPad? Is it several years old?  Apple has figured out that an iPad does not need to be updated every year so there are no big changes in 2020.  It is quite obvious that if you bought a new iPad last year (7th generation or iPad Air ) then you have no real reason to update this year. The biggest change is that the iPad air now is similar to the 11″ iPad Pro and the 2020 iPad is similar to last year’s iPad Air. For homeschoolers, there does not seem to be any reason the get the smaller Pro.  Here are the new 2020 iPads.

The biggest advantage to the 2020 iPad Air might be the USB C port. This could possibly allow storage options like USB C hard drives. You would also need a new Apple Pencil and keyboard. For most cost conscience homeschoolers the 2020 iPad Air price is not worth it. I would recommend the 2020 iPad or if you see a good deal on last year’s iPad Air that would also be a good option but only if it’s less than the $329 2020 iPad or has more memory.

Here is a comparison of the new 2020 iPad with last year’s iPad Air.

So there you have it. This year you can basically get last year’s iPad Air for only $329.

What do you think? Which iPad will you buy? If I were you I would watch apples refurbished iPad Air from last year here if you can get one with more memory at around $329.

Here are the two I would recommend.

Homeschool Easy complete curriculum Review

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Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

If you are new to homeschooling or need a complete package, you’ll want to check out the 2nd Grade Entire School Year Curriculum from Homeschool Easy.

What is the Homeschool Easy curriculum like?

Homeschool Easy offers a fully digital curriculum for grades 1st through 5th.  The entire grade curriculum can get downloaded all at once or as individual weeks as needed.  The curriculum is digital and mostly contains pdfs that you can print out for your child. There is a lesson guide for each week or section which has links to videos that cover the subject being studied. The curriculum includes Reading, Books, Math, Grammar, History, Science, and writing.

History

History contains 8 months of studies.  For second grade the curriculum covers American history and geography (World and US Geography.  The first week starts with a unit on Patriotism.  History covers early American history and then presidents all the way to modern-day.  All the video links are provided so you just click the link for the lesson and then have your child fill out the answers for the lesson.  A sample lesson is shown below.

Math

Math has 32 weeks of lessons.  There is a pdf with all the answers and a worksheet for each lesson.  The picture below shows a sample of the math lessons.

Science

For science there are lessons about landforms, Natural resources, motion, weather, dinosaurs, and plants and animals. Each subject has a list of youtube links to go along with the lessons. For example the science lessons on weather has links to videos about weather.  You can see the questions in the picture below.

I watched most of the videos about dinosaurs with my boys and they were pretty good and entertaining.  The questions were basic and seemed to skirt evolution.  Here is a sample for T-rex dinosaurs.

Reading, Grammar, and Books

For reading the curriculum is geared for those who are already reading at second-grade level.  There are reading guides for the recommended books.

The books to go along with the curriculum are from a website called Wilbooks.com. With the curriculum, you get a membership to Wilbooks.

Here is a sample of one of the reading guides.

Grammar was pretty straightforward.  Here is a sample worksheet for a grammar lesson.

It is nice to have a whole curriculum.  I really liked the History lessons.  They were simple and easy to use. Some of the other subjects may be a little hard if your second grader is not a great reader but most students should have no problems.

If you ware are looking for a full curriculum that doesn’t require a lot of lesson planning then check out Homeschool Easy.  There are grades 1 through 5. If you are interested in another grade be sure to click on the picture below to see what other reviewers thought.

Homeschool Curriculum for Grades 1 to 5 {Homeschool Easy Reviews}

Super Teacher Worksheets Review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

We’ve been adding printed worksheets from Super Teacher Worksheets Full 1-year membership with Unlimited downloads/access to supplement our reading programs in our homeschool.  Check out my review below.

What is Super Teacher Worksheets

Do you spend a lot of time trying to find worksheets for your students?  Super Teacher Worksheets makes finding worksheets for your homeschool easy. Super Teacher Worksheets is an online subscription to hundreds of already made worksheets for most anything school-related. It is hard to find a subject that is not covered by Super Teacher Worksheets.  There are worksheets for math, reading, science, and many more.  Membership costs less than $25 for a whole year.

You can download the pdf of the worksheet or you can print out the worksheet you need to go along with your student’s lesson.  Here is a list of all the worksheet topics available: Math, Reading Comprehension, Reading & Writing, Phonics, Early Literacy, Grammar, Spelling, Literacy units, Science, Social Studies, Holidays, Puzzles & Brain Teasers, Worksheet Generator, and Teacher helpers. 

How we used Super Teacher Worksheets

The great thing about Super Teachers Worksheets is that I can use it with all of my school-age children.  I especially like to be able to use the phonics worksheets to help my son with his reading. There are so many worksheets to help with phonics!

Each phonics section has many different types of worksheets like the ones shown in the picture below:

I also used Super Teachers Worksheets for my son to work on sight word spelling lists. Here is a screenshot of one of the units he worked on.

One of the nice features of the Super Teachers Worksheets is the ability to organize worksheets in folders.  There are so many worksheets that I wanted to use with my different children so  I created folders to organize for each of my children and also subjects.  The screenshot below shows some of the folders I set up.  It is easy to file the worksheets to the different folders for easy access later.

The other feature I thought was useful is the worksheet generator.  You can generate math worksheets, games/flashcards, quizzes, and puzzles, My son likes puzzles so I generated the Cryptogram puzzle shown below.

Wow, there is no reason not to subscribe to Super Teacher Worksheets.  I definitely recommend subscribing to Super Teacher Worksheets! I cannot believe all the worksheets available for all of my children! Don’t just take my word for it though, try out some printed worksheets from Super Teacher Worksheets or see what other reviewers had to say by clicking the link below:

Printable Activities and Worksheets! {Super Teacher Worksheets Reviews}

Progeny Press Review

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Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Progeny Press makes earning High School Literature credits easy with high school level study guides such as My Side of the Mountain Study Guide and Animal Farm  Study Guide.  The guide suggests that one study guide is worth 1/4 of high school credit.  So if your high schooler does two different books you can use the guide for a half-semester credit.

I was excited to see Progeny Press has a study guide for My Side fo the Mountain.  When I was a boy, My side of the Mountain was one of my favorite books.  I was initially going to read the book out loud to my boys but after reviewing the My Side of the Mountain Study Guide I decided to assign reading it to my older boys for school.  The guides I reviewed in my opinion seemed to be High school level of work.  Even though the guides are for older kids there are still activities in the guides that you can use with younger children if you are reading the book out loud.  For example, there are Prereading activities you can do with younger kids like suggested field trips related to the book.  Like in the My Side of the Mountain Reading Guide one of the activities mentioned was to go on a fishing field trip which is always a hit with my boys.

The reading guides are in pdf format so I can use it over again.  The pdf actually allows you to type answers in right in the pdf.  You can have your student work on the computer and save it or you can just print it out and have them write out the answers. Each pdf has a Synopsis of the book and information about the author.  The guides also have a section for additional resources for you.  Each section of the book is covered in the reading guide with a vocabulary section and a set of questions about the chapters. Of course, the answers are provided in a separate pdf.

If you are looking for a study guide for your high schoolers literature then I would recommend you look at what Progeny Press has to offer.

 

 

Other study guides available at the high school level include The Red Badge of Courage, The Yearling, Heart of Darkness, Jane Eyre, Hamlet, Out of the Silent Planet, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Day No Pigs Would Die, The Great Gatsby, and A Tale of Two Cities. Visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews of Progeny Press.

Study Guides for Literature - A New Coat for Anna, In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, My Side of the Mountain, Animal Farm & Little Women {Progeny Press Reviews}