FREE First Day of School Signs

Most parents adore these first day of school signs and I am one of those parents! Since I couldn’t ever find signs that are special to my children, I just custom made some myself. And because you are reading this post, you are lucky enough to get these editable signs for FREE!

If you love the signs and decide to use them publicly, all I ask of you is that you mention my blog (Raising Children and Chickens) wherever you post it online and leave my website link on the bottom of the sign! Also, please do not sell this sign anywhere.

You must be able to access Microsoft PowerPoint in order to download these files. Also, you may not have the same fonts that are used in these documents so feel free to change them as you like.

Our daughters first day of first grade!
Our son’s first day of (pre)Pre-School!

If you have trouble using these documents, I won’t mind a bit to edit the file for you and email it to you! Just leave a comment if you need help.

Please consider following my blog and pinning this post to your Pinterest board for future use!

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How I Use Amazon’s Alexa To Help Me Home School

(This post contains affiliate links. By signing up under my link, I get a small commission.)

If you’ve been around the internet long enough, you’ve certainly heard of the gadget Amazon has created called Alexa. We never heard of it until a couple Christmas’s ago when our parents gifted us one.

If you haven’t been lucky enough to hear of it, let me fill you in. Alexa is a speaker and/or video device that you can ask questions, play music, make video calls, play shows, etc. The options it can provide are endless. To relate, Alexa is much like iPhones Siri. Learn more about Alexa here.

We have the first one they created that is basically just the speaker tower like this one. This Christmas, we were gifted by our parents the newest one like this one called Amazon Echo which is a speaker and video screen. I’ve also ordered this cheaper and smaller Echo Dot to put in our daughters bedroom. I’m really looking forward to it coming in.

Here’s how I use Alexa to help me homeschool:

(Even if you don’t homeschool, these are ways Alexa can help you in your home or with your children!)

  1. Timer– You can say “Alexa, set a timer for 5 minutes.” My daughter uses that when she is doing her math facts everyday. She gets 5 minutes to complete 100 problems. I bought two different cheap timers you can get at the store and neither worked properly.
  2. Alarm Clock– You can say “Alexa, set an alarm for me.” I plan to use this on my new device for my daughters bedroom to wake her up on school days. And they have some cute alarm sounds!
  3. Intercom– You can have Alexa send a voice message from one device to another in your house. So, for example, if my daughter is upstairs in the classroom finishing some work and lunch is ready downstairs, I can tell Alexa to announce on all the devices that “lunch is ready, come eat”! (You have to own more than one Alexa for this to be an option.)
  4. Amazon Storytime– Alexa also has skills you can enable through the Alexa app. If you enable the skill “Amazon Storytime”, she will read your children a story. It’s actually really cute!
  5. 1-2-3 Math– This is also another skill you can enable through the app. If you tell Alexa to open 1-2-3 Math, you can pick a difficulty level and she will ask your child math questions. I use this during our down time like when we are waiting on lunch to finish cooking. There are more math apps she can play as well, but I like this one the best.
  6. General Questions– Alexa can answer any general questions we might have while learning. If we aren’t certain what season it is, or the date when doing our calendar, or the capital of a state, we just ask Alexa. With our Amazon Echo Show, she can play educational videos for us or show images.

Other benefits of Alexa:

  1. Playing music– This is my favorite ability of Alexa. I like it even better on the Amazon Echo Show because it shows the lyrics on the screen. You know what makes cooking meals everyday not so boring? Dancing to music with Alexa!
  2. Video & Voice Calling– My children especially love this feature. They are able to see their grandparents from a different state while they talk to them. My daughter also gets the opportunity to see and talk to her pen pal!
  3. News & Weather– Want to know the headlines in the news or what the weather is like today? All you have to do is ask her! How convenient!

This is only a small list of how we use Alexa during school and personal time. She has so many capabilities and some I haven’t even learned yet!

Do you use Alexa while you homeschool? If so, tell me how you use Alexa! I’m always looking for new ways to have her help me!

*It would mean a great deal to me if you followed me on Pinterest! Search for Raising Children and Chickens and click follow. *

How I Decorated Our Home School Classroom

When we moved into our current house, I was desperate to have a room dedicated to homeschooling. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a paint roller and make the room above our garage a classroom! Eventually, I was able to find time to start on it and even though it’s not completely finished, I cant wait to start using it!

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It may not look like a traditional classroom but when you only have two students, it doesn’t have to. It’s worth mentioning that one student is a toddler, hence the toys.

We plan to begin school in our updated classroom on January 7th following our holiday break. What makes it even more special is that the toddler will be doing some lessons too!

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I’ve created a weekly focus board for both children but mainly for the toddler. They will be learning the presidents and states each week on top of their normal curriculum.

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I’m certain we will all enjoy the new space!