My Family

My Family

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Learning Tree Games

I thought it might be interesting to talk about my "other" blog today although it really isn't so much a blog about me or my family or what we are currently doing in homeschooling. It's a blog about products my partner and I create and sell on It's called "Learning Tree Games" and can be found at: Although I probably need to go on the blog and see if all the products we currently have for sale on Currclick have been included on the blog. We also have a Facebook page where we post about any sales we are participating in and also about new products we are introducing.
You see, my partner and I started creating and making learning games for subjects our sons were needing a little extra help with. It all started with our game, "The Great Space Race" after I had made a gameboard to help our nine year old autistic son with multiplication. After I created the game using a dinosaur themed board, my partner loved the idea and thought we could take the idea and create a game that just about any child would enjoy playing. I ended up thinking of ways the game could be used to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division skills but that was pretty easy.  We ended up changing the theme but that worked pretty well in the long run. We have created some decks of cards that can be used with the basic game board but the basic game is designed to be used with dice too. We have even created a deck of cards about the solar system that can also be used with the board so, it's not just a math game!
One thing my partner and I decided up front was that we wanted to keep all our products at a reasonable price since so much in homeschooling seems to cost not only an arm but also a leg! lol Most of our games are $5.00 or less and the decks are a buck or two. We even try to offer our products on sale as oftern as possible. In fact, we are planning to discount them after Christmas, some time in January.
Right now, we are working on our next game that should be available pretty soon. We thought a game to practice about US Geography would be helpful. The deck for the game has been created but when I had it printed, I found a minor problem that I should be able to fix fairly soon. My partner is working on the board now so we should be able to offer the game sometime between now and the end of January.
Well, that tells you about Learning Tree Games. Drop into the blog or our Facebook page to check us out or take a look at some of our games on

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Great Lapbook Deals

There are some really great deals being offered by Knowledge Box Central and Hands of a Child for a limited time.  Anyway, in case anyone is interested in learning more about the deasl, here is everything I know about them:

Holiday 2012 PackageHoliday 2012 Package

$55.00 regular price $20.00 sale price!
Save: 64% off

This Holiday Package includes 11 products and 567 pages!  
It is available for a LIMITED time ONLY and in EBOOK format ONLY.  This package includes all of the following ebooks in one file:
To view sample pages of each Activity Book or Lapbook, please vist the links by clicking on the book title. 

*New Year’s Around the World Lapbook
*New Year’s Fun & Coloring Activity Book
*Valentine’s Day Lapbook
*Labor Day Lapbook
*History of Halloween Lapbook
*Halloween Activity Book
*Thanksgiving Lapbook
*Turkey Talk Activity Book
*Christmas Fun & Coloring Activity Book
*Christmas Symbols Lapbook
*Kwanzaa Lapbook

I would really like to get it although I don't know what I would do with one of the lapbooks that's included in the package. What is Kawanzaa all about anyway? lol I never even heard about it at all until maybe ten years ago but I did a little research and found it was first celebrated around 1966.

Another lapbook pack Knowledge Box Central is also offering is one about Ancient History. It's more within my price range right now so I might be able to swing getting it but I really wanted to let people know about it as soon as possible! Here's the information in case you would like to know more:

Regular Price: $40.00 
Sale price: $10.00
save 75%
This 287 PAGE Package includes:
3 Lapbooks, 3 Mini-Lapbooks, and 2 Notebooking Pages Packs
Included in this package:

Ancient Egypt Lapbook
Ancient Egypt Mini-Lapbook
Ancient Egypt Notebooking Pages
Ancient Greece Lapbook
Ancient Greece Mini-Lapbook
Ancient Rome Lapbook
Ancient Rome Mini-Lapbook
Ancient Rome Notebooking Pages

Lastly, right now Hands of a Child is having a sale on their products they are selling through A majority of them are half off while a few of them are a little better price and a few are a little less. I have been having my eye on a couple World History lapbooks and would love to be able to pick them up right now while they are on sale. We'll see!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Great Homeschooling Internet Sites

Since my husband and I are both disabled veterans, it also means that we are also on a tight budget too. That also means that I need to keep my eye out for things I can find to use while homeschooling our nine year old autistic son. Along the five year old road of homeschooling, I've found a lot of really great sites that I've either used or plan to use while homeschooling him. I thought it might be useful if I posted my list to my blog in case someone else could possibly use any of them. If you find out that any of them don't work, I would really like to hear about it. If you want to pass the list along to others, great! If you have  a favorite site or two that might be useful, drop me an email at I know, I know where's the list already? If there are asterisks (*) before the link, that means it's a site that I really like! Well, here it is:

General sites for homeschooling Resources lessons on various subjects coloring pages & etc
* (some free stuff, some low cost, some expensive!) Teachers Net PreK-12 Over 5,000 freebies but you have to sign up, products created by teachers
* free entire homeschool curriculum like Charlotte Mason K-12
* resources for special needs, gifted and talented Downloadable pages for Math, using computers, science, communication, the Arts, and other areas. Teacher blog
* Entire Free Homeschool Program!
* Free Homeschool Curiculum, liturature and text books

***ebooks Great site for classic books like Tom Sawyer, Alice in Wonderland, & Treasure Island!
ebooks (read on site)

Math multiplication worksheets Basic math concepts to pre-algebra games Math Task Cards some free some have fee!

English McGuffey Reader Weekly Newsletter PreK Learning Alphabet




History Limited, but good history link for making Power Point Great to bring history alive through interviews
middle ages
gladiator,mummy, exploring,whaling
ancient rome
pics for ancient Greece and Rome
kings,queens and castles
history and science

US History
Founding Fathers (great curriculum for all grades from elementary through high school) a vertual exploration of Ellis Island
Links for Presidents of US:

Native Americans
2nd Grade Lesson Plan
    Native American Pictures:
7th Grade Lesson Plan

http://publications USAPubs.php? PubID=6099 - free poster showing how to
get to be the president - several games to play to understand
government/laws/ bills/courtrooms - several games and other links to help them understand more how things work
http://www.unitstud Study.html

Geography US geography work pages

Maps Blank US maps Map Blank Maker Continent Maps
Outline Map links (many links listed) (one for each state)

Worksheets  I don't know how good this one is but it has been suggested to check it out.      "          "          "          "


Free Homeschool Materials (Notebook, lapbook, etc) Lapbooks Unit Studies Notebooking how tos

Science Rainforest    this site has science videos and games all free   great site for beginning readers. e-Science Activities & Experiments available for limited time!
      Astronomy Great kids science site and astronomy
In spite of the "kids", there's stuff here for upper levels too - if you go
to Free Online Classes, there is a track for 12 and up.

Classical Music & Art
Biography of Beethoven:
Site dedicated to Beethoven:
Free listening, videos, concerts:
Beethoven videos:
Johannes Brahms free notebook
world's greatest artists: Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh, Jackson Pollock, Claude Monet, Henry Matisse, Georgia O’keefe, Michelangelo, and Leonardo Da Vinci. If you are interested in this, follow this link: may or may not be free! A Music Glossary

Religion Bible videos Children's New Testament Stories Children's Old Testament Stories

Games Low cost learning games


Paper Crafts Paper Dolls

Cooking Homemade Marshmallows

Low Cost Homeschooling materials
*    some free stuff, but only costs $20 a year for full access. worth the money for K thru 8
* Unit Studies

Lapbook companies       sign up for newsletter and get free lapbook of their choice                      free quarterly lapbook and weekly $5 lapbooks          sign up for newsletter and get coupon good for $5 off purchase which means either your first one free or half off! All their lapbooks are either $5 or $10 each!

I know the list is pretty long, sorry about that but some of them I found and others have been passed on to me. After five years, you kind of end up finding a lot of sites if you are looking for things that can be helpful to you! I do hope it is helpful to you though. If anything, take a look at the sites with an *.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Our Son's Favorite Subjects

     Well, school has been going on now for close to a month. Believe it or not, our 9 year old autistic son has asked me to ADD lessons to his schedule! He really likes learning about habitats which covers science and US Geography which I believe is considered social studies. We've also tried astronomy and American History but he didn't care for those subjects much. Since I've always like history, I'm hoping that eventually he will discover a love for the subject also.
     The company I bought the curriculum from is called Intellego Unit Studies. The materials were designed by a mother of a special needs child. I know my special needs son LOVES learning from the science and social studies portion of their curriculum. Each selection is usually broken into grades K-2, 3-5, and 6-8. The K-2 level tends to have more hands on activities so we have been using them although our son is actually ready for fourth grade work.He's more of a hands on learner and using manipulatives seems to help him learn a lot better than any other activity I have tried.  I add additional materials, like lapbooks from Hands of a Child or Knowledge Box Central, we've even made a couple of our own. I also include games that I have found on or I have created myself. We've also made cookies in the shape of the states we have been studying too or an entire meal with dishes or foods from the state we are studying. There are so many things you can do to help a child learn a subject, you are only limited by your imagination, Intellego Unit Studies is a great starting point.
     The way the program works, you download an eBook with instructions on how to use it. Each lesson is pretty short, most of the time we are done in about half an hour. There are pages to print out for the student to either fill in or draw pictures. Instructions about what is being taught and how to go about doing it. Lastly, there are links to click on to take you directly to internet sites that will teach a child about each subject. Those links can be anything from short reading assignments, games, or videos. Many times, we end up playing the games several times or finding and watching several videos associated with what is being taught.
   Believe it or not, I have already picked up our next eBooks for our next classes when they were on sale about a month ago. That way, when we finish what we are studying now, we will be ready to go on to our next ones. We will be learning about maps then world geography for social studies. The animal kingdom then living things for science. Sooner or later we will advance up to higher grade level sooner or later and I'm sure the higher grade eBooks will study the subjects more in depth or from a different perspective.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lapbook Prices and the Election Process

     I can't believe the great prices at Knowledge Box Central!! I finally bought a Presidential Election and Trivia Games lapbook when it went on sale for a really great price and wouldn't you know it, they drop the price a short period later to an even better price! lol I always seem to have the best timing. Now it's only $5.00 along with most of their lapbooks. They have others for $10.00 but they must be the greatest deal for homeschooling products. Even when other lapbooking companies put their products on sale I don't think they are that cheap.
     At least I didn't waste my money though. I'm using the lapbook to introduce our 9 year old son to the presidential election process and this has been a fun way to do it. While he and I play one of the games, I talk to him about how important it is to vote. How important each vote can be. How important it is to find out on our own what each person who is trying to become president is like and what that person thinks is important. For instance, one person may think homeschooling shouldn't be an option or that a person shouldn't be allowed to own a gun in their home. Maybe they do or don't think abortions should be allowed except for certain circumstances. There so many different things a person can have an opinion about. There are some that I may have in common and others that I won't have in common with all of these people who want to become president. To me, it's more important to decide which of these issues are more important than others and to find the person who believes as closely as possible but I'll probably never find someone who has the exact beliefs on all issues as I do.
     This lapbook is allowing our son and I to have so many fantastic conversations! I'm just using it as a springboard into learning about our presidents. just think, we can continue using the lapbook throughout our study. Now, to find the right lapbook to help learn about the Presidents of the United States! I know at least some of what I want in it but other parts will just be a bonus. Kind of like a lapbook I want to find to help learn about our solar system, I still haven't found just the one I want after looking for so many months. Maybe I just need to find one close to what I want and just add what I want to it. lol

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Try, Try Again

Since my partner and I create our games so that they are useful for all children, including special needs children I was asked by the editor of's special needs newsletter to write an article. A very good friend I had asked to read the article and give me advice on it suggested that I include the article here on my blog so, here it is including a picture I took that gives anexample of what I was talking about in the article.
Try, Try Again
      Our nine year old son is diagnosed with autism and reading delay. We often have to try one thing after another after another before we find just the right thing that clicks for our son. Sometimes, we have to make something of our own design or change up something we already have to fit our needs.
     Our biggest challenge has been finding the right reading program. First we tried to teach our son to read using phoenics, both him and I were near tears every day we worked on learning to read. Next, we bought an expensive program that seemed to work at first but after about a month, our son wasn't making any more advances. We tried just about everything and even called the company we had bought the program from to ask for help but nothing was clicking anymore! After seeking advice from other homeschoolers, I still hadn't found the answers I needed and then I remembered my mother showing me a book that had belonged to my grandmother that she had used to learn to read with. Ever hear about the McGuffey Readers? I found them available to download for free on the internet and although he's still having problems from time to time and unsure about his reading abilities, our son is making advances in his reading. I just refused to stop trying something until I found what worked.
     We also hit a stumbling block with math as well. A few months ago, our son was having a horrible time learning multiplication. We started with his math curriculum which up until then, he had been doing great with. We tried picking up workbooks about multiplication but they didn't help either. Finally, an idea came to me. I had our son dig out a bunch of his small toys, dinosaurs, toy soldiers, cars, you name it. I also brought out our dry erase board and drew circles on it with an equal sign and a large circle. I wrote a problem at the top of the board and using the toys as manipulatives, showed him how to work out the problem. We did another problem and on the third problem, a lightbulb suddenly went on and he was helping me work out his math problems. You've been there, it was one of those ah ha moments when you know you have reached your child.
     Once he understood how to multiply, I knew I couldn't just stop working with him on his multiplication. I did some thinking, some reading, and some internet surfing. Finally, after reading an article, I had an ah ha moment of my own. Our son loves to play games and one day he was begging to play one. After playing, I had the idea of making a game to practice his multiplication. I had a couple trial and errors while trying to figure out a game but finally I had it figured out and with his help, we made a game. Of course, it had to have a dinosaur theme since he's crazy about them. Thank goodness I do scrapbooking so I had all the supplies I needed except stickers for the spaces and we took about a week off most of our studies to make the game but now he was begging me to practice his math! It was just finding the right format to use and he was practicing multiplication.
     I learned something, our son learns a subject better or maybe easier if I can encorporate a game into his learning. The games let us take a break from his usual studies and helps him learn although he just thinks he's playing a game. What's really nice about it is that he's still learning but we're both more relaxed, he's learning, and there's no pressure. I've found a few games that have worked for him just as they are designed and sometimes I've had to change a game around a little to fit his needs. When I haven't been able to find a game related to our studies, I get my creative juices flowing and see if I can create one that will help with what he's learning about. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't but that doesn't mean that I give up, it just means that I have to get a little more creative and keep on trying to find just the right way to reach him. I may have to take an occaisional break myself and sometimes I've found that if I give him a chance, he will lead the way to finding a solution to what we need. Just because he has a special need doesn't mean that he can't come up with a really great idea for his own homeschooling.
      Just remember, you never know what you try today may help your child. It could be something you tried a while ago that didn't work then, maybe a week ago, or it could be something you hear about tomorrow. It never hurts to try something whether it's new or old or whether it's just new to your child and a big price tag doesn't guarantee that it's the product that will fit your needs. Just remember to try, try again you never know when something may work!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Thinking of Mother's

Somewhere, I have packed away a books I bought my mother years ago. I know she enjoyed filling in the various blanks with the help of the prompts on all the pages for each of my older sons. One of the reasons I haven't given them to the boys although they are all in their 20's is because of our youngest son who is only 9 years old now. He wasn't even w twinkle in his father's eye when my mother passed away. I don't have a book for him from her, I've thought of copying several pagers from each book for him or even all the books but, they were done specifically for each of the older boys.
Well, since my oldest grandchild was born, I've thought of finding a book like my mother's to fill out. I've finally found something! It's from Knowledge Box Central, called "Grandmother's Virtues Lapbook" for a really great price and I'm actually looking forward to making one for each of them. I also plan on sending a copy to his adopted grandmother although I'm not sure she'll be able to really fill in all the booklets since she's not really related to us but I'm sure I can do something. What I'm also planning to do is see if I can use it with the books for my older boys to make one for our youngest about my mother. Once I get it done, I'll post about it with pictures to show my finished product! I think I should be able to work with it to make a really special gift for him with this great lapbook. After all, if I can't come up with information to fill it out, I won't have to leave blank booklets. I can just leave that booklet out! I love it for that reason since there must be at least one page in each one of the books my mother never filled out! lol At least the ones I put together will all be filled out.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Learning Tree Games is now a business! We have loaded two games, one of them has two versions. You can get it in either a file folder game or a board game. We'll see which version people prefer but since the file folder game is cheaper, that may be the one! I know our son likes playing games and doesn't prefer one over the other as long as it's a game.
We've also loaded all four of our decks that can be used with The Great Space Race. Depending on whether people want to work on addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division there is a deck for their needs. I also was able to figure out an additional mini game to go along with all the decks except the division deck. I hope to eventually figure out a game to go with it too.
Now, we are working on two more game boards to more apply to the interests of the children than to create more games. One will be "Princess" themed and the other will be "dinosaur" themed but basically the same game as our Great Space Race. We are also working on several other items at this time though. We are working on another deck to go with the Space Race but, it's going to be Space or Solar System themed. We are also working on something to learn about Native Americans. We are also working on a game to help children work on spelling words. Lastly, I have an idea for a game to learn about the history of the Latter Saint Church. These items are listed in the order they should be completed.
What would be nice is to hear from customers about games that would help them with their children. Maybe a topic or subject they are studying and can't find something to help them teach that subject or topic to their children. At this point, we've been creating things we can use with our sons but, there are bound to be items like them out there already. I haven't found some of them but, there's bound to be items out there.

One thing we are trying to do is make our games affordable to people since one thing we have found while looking for something we could use to homeschool our sons is that almost everything out there we find is just soooo expensive!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Our New Business!

Well, we have decided to name our business Learning Tree Games.
We named ourselves that because we want to try to make most of our products games. At least I've found that our son learns better when what he's learning about has a game of some sort to suppliment his other learning. We have an idea for the logo, my partner is working on it right now.
We have gotten back the answers from our testers, I've made some changes to the directions on how to play it. Now, as soon as the logo is finished, we'll be ready to send the first game to Currclick. Here's what the finished game board looks like. Now, I'm making some cards to go with it that will cover harder math problems than 6+6 or 6x6. I also want to make some cards that will cover questions about the solar system too.

I need to get back to our testers to see if they are ready to tell us what they think of the other game. We'll be ready to sell it soon too.

I have so many ideas running around in my head! I need to write them all down and deal with them, one at a time. So, if you are a Currclick customer you might want to keep an eye out for a new business called Learning Tree Games!

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Bussines Being Born?

Well, it's been a while since I've posted, frankly I'm busy doing so many other things that I just don't have time. Then too, I just plain forget to post sometimes too.

Anyway, what's the business going to be about? A friend of mine and I want to try design, make, and sell learning games. How did we come up with the idea? It started a few months ago when our son was having problems understanding how to do multiplication. After trying several ways to teach him how to multiply, he finally got it! So, now I needed to come up with a way for him to practice his multiplication skills. How did I do it? I created a game board. If you know our son, you know his interest in dinosaurs, so I made a game board with a dinosaur theme.

I met my friend through the internet, she had contacted me, asking me for help and advice about homeschoooling. Her husband was resistant about her homeschooling her son but, he finally let her start and from what I understand, she and her son are doing well. When I sent her a picture of the game board I had made for Martin, she liked it so much that she suggested that we try making and selling them. Once we had decided to start, it was slow starting.

I think we have split up our business pretty evenly, so far I've come up with the basic idea for each of the game boards, then she does the graphics, I write the directions for putting the game boards together and how to play the game. We have made two game boards so far, a space themed game board and a letter blending game. We have sent them out to our game testers a couple weeks ago and now, we are anxiously waiting for them to return their opinions of them!

So, now we're almost ready to start selling our game boards. We've decided the name of our company is going to be Learning Tree Games and to start, we're going to sell our games only through

So, wish us luck!