January 2

‘Wind in the Willows’ Novel Study

We are reading Wind and The Willows together.  This book is full of multi-subject opportunity.  We are using it for science, geography, vocabulary, and (of course) language arts.

As I researched teaching ideas for the book I came across some amazing resources… most of the free!

  • The one resource that was not free came from Reed Novel Studies. The cost ($7) is very reasonable considering all that you get.  There are 61 pages total, of which, 48 are the student booklet.  There is also, an answer section, short biography on Kenneth Grahame, assignment sheet, and a list of skills (from vocabulary to art).  The direct link to the novel studies is here, however, I strongly suggest giving the entire site a thorough look. (Hint: There is a free novel study on the main page)


  • I’ve considered not listing this resource here because the site does require a monthly subscription in order to view all the materials.  There is some material available as a preview for no charge.  The information presented is in-depth and offers analysis, theme, and character description I decided to include it. This is the only place I found this type of breakdown of the story elements.

Now on to the free links :)

  • You can find a biography of Kenneth Grahame at The Literature Network. Here you can also find the entire text (including illustrations)… link goes to intro, the rest of the book is by chapter in the side bar. Special note: on the bio page is links to his other writings as well.


  • Here is a pdf from Penguin Books.  These “Teacher’s Notes” is a 3 page collection of suggestions for teaching and activities to go with the book. It also includes background information, a summary, and a short bio.


  • A 12 word vocabulary list can be found here.  There are also a few games (matching, crossword) that can be played to help remember them.


  • Audio of Wind in the Willows is free on Librivox


  • An in-depth study of the book aimed at 3rd graders can be found here (pdf).  It is from Core Knowledge and references Colorado State standards. Here is the abstract from the front page.

This is a twelve-lesson unit designed to provide an enriching learning experience that correlates with the reading of The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. This book is a fiction selection for third grade. Students will first research the author and contribute in writing a biography on him. They will use this information to write their own autobiography. While exploring the many adventures that this novel has to offer, students will learn about personification, rivers, comma use, adjectives, habitats, jury trials and poetry. The highlight of the unit is a cumulative reading theater activity based on two chapter selections from the novel. The final assessment will consist of a cumulative notebook of writing assignments completed throughout the unit, as well as a grading rubric for both teachers and parents to evaluate.

As a homeschooler, I wouldn’t go through it step by step and complete every activity. However, there are some great guidelines and activities there.  It’s also helpful to look over and see that I’m not overlooking a possible learning point that my kids could benefit from.  There are also links to other resources included in the unit.




  • If the 12 vocabulary words from above weren’t enough here are 59 vocabulary words with example sentences taken directly from the text. There are no extra activities to reinforce learning.


I hope this list gets you well on your way to studying Wind in the Willows with your kids.  I look forward to sharing more book studies with you in the future.


Happy Reading!


January 1

New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone has a wonderful new year.  I’d like to start this one by sharing with you how our family created our resolutions and why I think this will be our most successful year yet.

Most years our family has simply made a list of resolutions.  Nothing special, really rather boring!  This has led to most of our resolutions not being met, and when they were… the success took place without any joyous celebration that meeting a goal should have had.

So, this year I have set out to change that.  The first thing I have changed is the atmosphere that surrounded the resolution making process.  By using this worksheet, made by Heather @ Moritz Fine Designs, we not only looked ahead to 2015 but also explored the memorable things from 2014.  Approaching goal setting in this manner lead our family on an adventure through memory lane and onto our hopes and dreams for the future.

goals_newyear (1)

(click to go there now)

First stop….

Reminiscing about our much loved experiences brought on a cheeriness that assisted in keeping a positive attitude as we reviewed the trials that were overcome. This was followed quickly by acknowledgement of something we took pride from doing.

Onto, the goals for the coming year….

Far more encompassing than a simple list of resolutions, our worksheet guided us through places we dream of going and service oriented endeavors mixed among the typical goal setting that are expected from a resolution worksheet.  Our final stop was 3 new things to try.  I particularly liked this part because we engaged in a lengthy discussion about pushing ourselves out of the norm and becoming more adventurous.

Final thoughts….

I scoured pinterest for resolution ideas I came across everything from drab to what I consider way too much for our family.  Heather’s worksheet seemed like a nice middle ground. Once we got into actually completing the worksheets (one for each family member) I came to realize what a tremendous gift this was.  By following through step by step I really appreciated the layout and placement of the questions.

One last goal….

As a gift to my family and myself, I promise to celebrate not only each goal achieved from our New Year’s Resolution worksheet but to also honor and rejoice all the conquests of the future.

Until next time,


P.S. Don’t forget to stop moritzfineblogdesigns.com and pick up your own copy of this fantastic worksheet.

January 1

Welcome to Homeschool Cabin

Hi! I’m glad you’re here.  Take a look around and enjoy yourself.  Here you will find a whole lot of links to free (and super cheap) educational worksheets, projects, and lap/note books all organized by theme.  You can also find my favorite picks on homeschooling advice, books for kids, and hands on activities that you can do with your children.

Educating my children is at the core of nearly everything I do, and I’m sure this is the same for most other homeschoolers out there.  I am particularly interested in  developing a deep and rewarding relationship with my children and sharing the joys of life with them.  I believe that education goes beyond the 3 R’s and with that philosophy comes gobs more than just the things that they can attain by filling out worksheets.