Welcome to Teaching with TLC

Welcome to Teaching with TLC! I'm glad you stopped by. Teaching with TLC began as an educational outreach in 2006 to help encourage parents and educators. I'm a mom of five and an educator who enjoys sharing creative and practical teaching tips. Actually, I'm a bit obsessed with making learning FUN!
Here's how you can get started:
  • Looking for teaching tips in a particular subject area or perhaps for a holiday? Visit my Virtual File Cabinet for hundreds of fun and practical ideas.
  • Want to find out the latest tips? Head on over to my recent posts by scrolling down.
  • Would you like more teaching tips? Check out my resources for printables, E-books, workshops, and books.
  • Do you like freebies? Fill up your virtual goodie bag while you visit.
  • Don't want to miss out on future tips? Subscribe to my email
Enjoy making learning FUN!

Making Art History FUN

Every summer I like to spend one morning a week focused on art history. During the school year, we tend to be on a tight schedule, but the summer allows us to be more laid back and truly enjoy every minute of bringing art history to life.

If you have read my previous posts on art, you already know that my kids go crazy over art projects, so we do those continuously throughout the school year. But this post is on teaching art history, so this is how we do just that. :)

Beginning in second grade, we complete one module/workbook of the Beginning Drawing with Thomas Kinkade curriculum each summer. My children, including my little ones, enjoy watching the late Thomas Kinkade teach art concepts on the DVD and then they practice creating artwork in their workbooks using the concepts they learned about. Previous summers we've had an "Art Club" meet in our house with our close friends. We complete our art lesson together, eat lunch, and then jump into the pool and swim. My kids get very excited for art club!

TIP: If you only get one module from this set, it has to be Unit 4 which focuses mainly on Art History. I think it does an outstanding job of teaching on an elementary level. 

Now that my middle boys are graduated from the elementary grades, I drill my boys weekly on the names of several famous paintings and their creators using Usborne's Famous paintings cards. We focus on six paintings every week and by the end of summer, they will have mastered them all. We plan to have a contest between my two boys to see who knows them the fastest, and yes, there will be a prize!  Breaking up learning into small bits and then playing a game with what they have learned are two tricks to make learning fun.

We are also reading Usborne's Book of Famous Paintings this summer. We take our time with just a small section each week. I don't want my kids to feel like they are doing schoolwork over the summer, but they love it when I read to them so that is simply what I do.
When my children are in 8th grade, we begin God and the History of Art, which is an extensive art history curriculum. We continue to work on sections of that curriculum every summer throughout high school, and they earn an art history credit for high school. It is a terrific program, and I enjoy working alongside of them and learning, too.
Enjoy making art history FUN!

Teaching Children to Become Entrepreneurs

Hello everyone! I hope you are enjoying these summer months with your kids. The past month has been an exciting time in the Chilver household as we began a new business venture.

It all began when we attended the Florida Parent Educators Association (FPEA) convention at the end of May. It was outstanding as usual and there were so much great information that I couldn't wait to get home and start processing everything I learned.

One thing that really resonated with me was several speakers discussed how we can be teaching our children to become entrepreneurs with having a home-based business. Now don't get me wrong. My husband loves his job and I enjoy my part-time businesses, such as writing books, designing homeschool merchandise, and managing several blogs. We are a VERY busy family.

But it hit me that none of these jobs involved the entire family. I wanted to be able to teach my children how to run a "family" business, and the best way to do this was to start one this summer. As God's perfect timing would have it, I was introduced to a home-based business HERE while attending the FPEA convention.

This business was Jamberry and my husband and I felt it would be an excellent opportunity to teach our children how to run a business. Even though my middle children have had small jobs in the past, such as babysitting and dog walking, I wanted them to be a part of a business team. From learning about products to sales to building customer relations to brainstorming innovative ways to share products, I wanted them to experience the real deal! I knew these would be life lessons they would not receive from a classroom or a textbook. It was my responsibility to guide them as they learn how to operate a business and become entrepreneurs.

Jamberry nail wraps are nontoxic nail wraps that are long lasting and very affordable, which makes them super easy to sell. Only a couple of people are selling them where we live and the company is currently booming (even featured again on the Today Show last week), so we saw it as a great opportunity to get in on ground level. The cost was only $99.00 to begin, which included a starter kit with everything we needed to get our business up and going. We do not have to keep any inventory or meet monthly requirements. No delivering product or taking orders as customers order directly from the site Jamberry gave us. The only extra expense we made was purchasing business cards that we used for passing out samples. This was really was the perfect start-up business for our family!

These nontoxic Mommy and Me nail sets are what stole my heart and sealed the deal when I first learned about Jamberry. Aren't they precious?

You may be wondering how we run a new business with everything else we have going on. The simple truth is we work as a team. My children have learned if everyone pitches in, we can get much further faster. Plus, it is just so much more FUN working together as a team!

We make marketing and financial decisions together, as we want to use our time and talents wisely. We are also learning a whole lot about sales by listening to audio books we check out from our library. We listen to these while we are in our car and have learned so much from terrific business leaders, such as the late Zig Ziglar.

I manage our new blog Pretty Nail Wraps, as well as create videos to help share our business with others.

My youngest likes to try to help stuff envelopes but for now, she is mainly our product tester. 
She acted like it was Christmas when she opened our Jamberry starter kit. So cute!
My middle children help make all the sample cards by attaching the wraps and then stuffing and addressing envelopes with the samples and extra literature.

My oldest son shares sample cards with college girls since we live by a college. Yes, he thinks that part is wonderful! LOL He also drops off goodie bags for salon owners to introduce our products.

My husband has a computer engineering degree and likes to custom design nail wraps in the Nail Art Studio. (We are hoping to have the local college sports team designs done soon.) He also manages the spreadsheets to keep track of our customers and keeps the accounting part all organized.

Every Friday we get paid on our Jamberry ProPay card, which is like a PayPal card. Of course, this is the kids' favorite part of having our own business! We decide as a family to save the money, use some of it to purchase something, help someone in need, or even use towards a vacation.
Some unexpected blessings happened this summer since we began our own business. We had the privilege of hosting fundraisers for families who are currently going through some challenges. In addition, we have been able to help fellow homeschoolers begin their own businesses. One homeschooler is planning to raise money for her braces while another homeschooler is earning money for a missions trip. What a great feeling it is to be able to help others!

If you have older children,  I encourage you to take time to begin a family business. It has been such a joy to see my family use their strengths to work on a common project. The life skills they learned this summer will always be remembered.

Enjoy making memories this summer with your children,

FUN Ways to Teach Prepositions

During the elementary years, I teach my kids a few parts of speech each school year and then we take time practicing what we've learned in our writing assignments. My kids are currently learning about prepositions, and of course, I am looking for ways to make it fun.☺

We read Under, Over, by the Clover: What Is a Preposition? by Brian Cleary

We watched Schoolhouse Rock's Busy Prepositions. 
As you may already know, I LOVE these classic songs.

I printed off this sheet of prepositions to use as a guide for a couple of weeks. I kept it in their school folders and we reviewed it every day. It is 70 of the most used prepositions.

Tip: One thing I have learned about teaching prepositions is that memorizing lists of them does not really help in the long run. When my oldest son was in the fourth grade, he memorized at least one hundred prepositions. We spent a lot of time working on this. However, he could not recall that list a few years later. (One benefit to homeschooling, I get to see what really lasts long-term.) So this time around with my other four children, I am focusing more on being able to identify them and using them to make their writing more descriptive. I will save the rote memorization exercises for other lessons, such as learning the presidents in order and the state capitals.

We discussed a simple trick- many (but not all) prepositions describe positions, such as "anywhere a mouse can go."  HERE is a super simple way to illustrate that point.

This activity was the perfect springboard to lead into a descriptive writing lesson. I had my boys write a  paragraph about an animal using 15 prepositions.

If you have very young children, you can begin to introduce prepositions through this basic activity that teaches the prepositions of place.

I printed off a few FREE worksheets from education.com to review prepositions.

Last, we visited this site, which has several preposition lessons kids can complete on-line.

My favorite lesson was Identify Prepositions. I thought it was also great typing practice.

My boys' top pick was the game Pirate Octopus on a Hunt

Enjoy making learning prepositions FUN,
You may also like these posts:
5 Simple Ways to Make Conjunctions FUN!
10 simple ways to make adjectives and adverbs FUN!

 Check out my book
101 Ways to Make Writing FUN!

FUN activities with plastic Easter eggs and jelly beans

Easter time provides several opportunities for hands-on learning activities. This week on FOX 4's Mom Squad, I share plenty of ways to use plastic Easter eggs and jelly beans to make learning FUN!

Watch the full segment to learn how to use these materials for reviewing these skills:
spelling words
solving math problems

CLICK HERE for a detailed post on jelly bean learning activities.
CLICK HERE for more ideas on how to teach statistics using Easter eggs and jelly beans.

Here are the links to the printables featured on the program:

Jelly Bean Patterns
Statistics (practice finding the mean, median, mode and range)
Graphing Jelly Beans (AWESOME Jelly Bean Unit)

Happy Easter to you and your family,
For more FUN Easter activities, click HERE