Saturday, August 27, 2011

homeschooling and a how to

This week in homeschooling we got back into the swing of things...

After completely stressing about every detail of school last year and burning myself out by the end, this year, I'm leaning on the Lord to help me ease into things and enjoy the teaching moments He brings before having Dave encourage the Brianna and Reese to do book reports and he even put together the book report form. I decided we needed a place to house these reports-to-be, which leads me to the "how to":

Creating Book Report Folders

What you'll need:

What to do:
Choose a picture of your child or an image of their choosing, then go picniking (in case you haven't encountered it before, picnik is a great photo editing site and is free, though it also has a monthly fee if you want premium features). Here are my originals:

Make any edits to your photo as needed (such as cropping or adjusting the light). Then click on the "create" tab. Pick the "effects" button and scroll down until you see the "pencil sketch" feature (it's part of the free package) and select the button. Adjust the radius and strength slide to get the best "like a coloring book" look to your picture - I found moving the radius slide to "5" worked best. Hit the "apply" button.

Next, select the "text" tab and add in your text. If you buy the premium feature, you'll have more fonts to choose from - I used the handwriting-type fonts available in the free version. The text always appears in white at first, so you'll need to adjust the color in the text properties pop-up box. (To create the strikethrough for Reese's picture, I went to the sticker tab, choose the geometric shapes button, selected the rectangle and adjusted it to create a thin black line.)

Save the photo (click the "save and share tab"). Before I printed, I inserted the photos into Publisher (you could use Word, too, or other similar programs) so I could adjust the final print size - if you print directly as a photo, you may be limited in your size selection, but check your photo print options on your computer).

Here are the final products:

I had Brianna and Reese color their pictures, then I pasted them to the front of their folders (I chose to do all the cutting and pasting, but this is something the kids could easily have done).

Since Dave wanted the kids to see where the books are published, I found some maps (world map here, US map here) and printed, cut out and pasted them to the backs of the folders.

We decided we'd like to reward Brie and Reese for the reading and reporting. So I created a book meter with starfish on every nine spaces (there are 36 spaces - one for every week in the typical school year). Each time they get to a starfish space, we will take them to Half-Price Books to buy something for their personal library.

Finally, we used the pockets inside the folder to store blank report forms so they're handy for the kids.

And that's it! My favorite part about this project is that Dave initiated it and got it underway - it's always lovely to be supported  :)

No comments: