Welcome to Teaching with TLC

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:
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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!

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

20 FUN Easter Activities for Kids

Easter is almost here so let's celebrate this special holiday with FUN activities that your kids are sure to love. Click on each link below to learn more about these activities that my family has enjoyed. They include: arts and crafts, yummy recipes, free printables, learning games, great books, and more.

Easter Silhouette Art (These are breathtaking.)

Easter Cross Art Project (These look like stained glass.)
The Jelly Bean Prayer (and a special one for teachers)

Create marbled eggs with shaving cream (My kids' favorite art project)

Use Easter eggs to teach statistics

Jelly Bean Bark
Wonderful Easter books for children
Easter egg ideas GALORE (a great collection)

Unique Cross Crafts

Jelly Bean Board game (What an innovative way to teach and review the Easter story!)

Make Resurrection Cookies

Create your own Easter BINGO cards to print.

Easter Clip Art
Go on an Easter treasure hunt.

Use Resurrection Eggs to teach the Easter story. (You can even make your own.)

Make adorable Easter treats.

Use jelly beans for learning activities. (I LOVE using these activities with my kids.)

Use Easter Mad Libs to review the parts of speech.

Make an Easter dirt dessert. (Add some Peeps and jelly beans.)

Tons of free Easter printables (I like to make packets for my kids the week before Easter with mazes, wordsearches, fun worksheets to practice skills, coloring sheets, games, etc. This provides a break from our regular school day but they are still learning- disguising learning at its best!)
Make Resurrection Rolls with your kids.
(These taste really good and are fun to make, too!)

Happy Easter!