Category Archives: Hands on Learning

Memorial Day 4 Homeschoolers: Field Trips That Matter

Memorial Day for Homeschoolers

Memorial Day for Homeschoolers

*affiliate links present

 Happy Memorial Day!

We love hands on learning – which translates into awesome field trips as well as educational projects at home. Field trips and travel are some of our favorite things about homeschooling. Homeschool convention season presents multiple opportunities to set out for some roadschooling.

Last year we were able to visit Arlington Cemetery and tour Washington DC during the Teach Them Diligently Convention – which is a perfect field trip for any patriotic themed lessons.

Throughout the year, we read and learn about wars, battles, and people who have shaped our nation and made a difference in the world. When we hit the road – we take that information with us and look for ways to add depth to our schooling with great field trips.

Great Memorial Day (or week) Field Trips

Obviously Arlington Cemetery is a top of the list choice, but you may very well have a Veterans Memorial Cemetery in your area. Thousands of patriotic citizens from around the country will honor the service and sacrifice of our nation’s fallen heroes at VA national cemeteries on Memorial Day.

Ceremonies can vary from cemetery to cemetery, and may include parades, speeches, music performances, rifle volleys, bugle calls and wreath layings. Veterans Service Organizations will participate as well as active duty military members, scout groups, government officials and patriotic citizens who wish to pay their respects to those who sacrificed so much for their country.

 STATE by STATE list of National Cemeteries 

Mobile app “grave stone locator”

Another great opportunity came as we traveled from TTD Nashville all the way to Louisiana and then back through Mississippi and Alabama to get home.

We stopped at Vicksburg National Military Park  – and it was one of the nicest military memorial parks we had ever been to. The battlefield came alive in the minds of my boys, as they walked among the cannons, through the tunnels, and visited the monuments. They read markers, and stood beside awe inspiring monuments as more and more understanding of what had taken place there – became much more than an old story.

Vicksburg National Park

As great an experience as that was – when we arrived in Mobile’s USS Alabama Memorial Park something even more wonderful took place.

We started with the Korean War monument and discussed the role their paternal grandfather had played there. We moved on to the Vietnam Memorial, and as the boys stood in front of it – we began reading the names.

Name after name of men who did not return home. Hundreds – even a thousand names seemed to be engraved on the memorial stone. My father fought in Vietnam, and we discussed the fact that he is our very own hero. We took time to be grateful for his service and for the service of those we’ll never know. Then we realized that these were only the names of the men who had not returned to Alabama. As that realization hit home – I watched as the lights came on for each of them.

USS Alabama Memorial

We’ve studied Vietnam, we’ve read, learned and discussed the perils of war – but as we stood and read the names of real men who will  never return home – my boys learned what it truly means to serve your country.

Afterward, we spent time touring the USS Alabama to learn first hand how the sailors lived aboard the huge battleship. The boys even laid down on the bunks that hang from the ceiling!

These valuable experiences will never be forgotten. The information we read and study is important – but it was in the doing – it was in the hands on experience where life changing knowledge and a deeper understanding was gained.

Combining solid curriculum full of exciting stories and important information with field trips that matter – now THAT is a winning and powerful combination!

Up Next

This Memorial Day (week) we are on our way to the Lowcountry Homeschoolers Convention in South Carolina. Charleston is home of Fort Sumter where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. I cannot wait to share this experience with the boys!

One of my favorite tools of the trade in homeschooling – is the ability to bring our work with us on the road. These days – we have digital access to a library of information – right at our fingertips. This is also one of my favorite things about the incredible Build Your Bundle Sale!

The thing I love even more than the ease of use and having a bundle of curriculum at my fingertips . . . . . . . . . IS THE PRICE!

We’re excited about the homeschool bundle sale!

Did you grab your coupon to stack on top of the discount bundle? Sunday is the LAST Chance to grab the coupon which will save you additional money on the bundles – which are up to 90% off already!  (click the pic)

Build Your Bundle 2015 Pre-Sale


FREE Planner

Free homeschool planner including flexible pages for planning extra-curricular activities as well as field trips!

GO HERE to Grab Your FREE Planner 

Ah-HA Moments

Have you had the experience of that “ah-ha” moment on a fabulous field trip with your homeschoolers?

We’d love to hear about it! Share your favorite field trip ideas with us in the comments.

Check out our History Lapbooks For More Hands on Learning HERE


What are Unit Studies?

What exactly is a unit study?

What exactly is a unit study?

*affiliate links present

A Journey Through Learning carries more products besides our wonderful lapbooks. We also carry unit studies, copywork, and notebooking pages. So, what exactly is a unit study, and how can it benefit your homeschool?

What are Unit Studies?

Well, there are many different types of unit studies, and an endless number of topics. One thing that most unit studies have in common is that they are generally centered around a particular topic and subject.

You will find unit studies that are all about various animals, or about certain plants, historical figures – people, places, things & ideas. Often unit studies will provide science, history, language arts, or other subject where-in a unit study about trees would provide a science lesson. Some unit studies are based on a topic, such as dolphins – and then include various subjects like science, spelling, vocabulary, history, geography and so-forth.

AJTL carries BOTH types of unit studies. 

How can they benefit your homeschool?

In our family homeschool, I needed the ability to teach all three of our boys together, and combine multiple subjects – like history and reading, spelling and vocabulary combined with science, handwriting combined with bible study – and ended up creating Wildlife Adventures Unit Studies.

We use the unit studies along with lapbooks to cover a multitude of subjects for all of our children together. Both are a great fit to cover the educational needs of our family. It has allowed us to pursue specific topics that are of interest to our children as well as covering important information that needs to be included in our curriculum, while using real books instead of textbooks.

real books

Benefits of Unit Studies include

  • Fun way to explore subject matter
  • Endless topics to study
  • Creative outlet for learning
  • Saves time and money
  • Flexible for variety of learning styles
  • Combining subjects
  • Teach the family together
  • Hands on Learning (vs. textbooks)
  • Real books (vs. textbooks)

 Can you keep a secret?

The upcoming Build Your Bundle – biggest homeschool curriculum sale of the year – has a complete UNIT STUDY bundle!  There are many other specific bundles to choose from – as well as the option to Build Your Own.Build Your Bundle 2015 Pre-Sale

We can’t yet tell you exactly what is in the Unit Study Bundle – or the others – but we can tell you that both Wildlife Adventures and A Journey Through Learning are participating in it!

Do you have questions about using unit studies in your homeschool?

Be sure to grab your coupon to apply on top of the HUGE discounts (up to 90% off) on curriculum! Enter to win 3 bundles in the giveaway through May 22.

Build Your Bundle 2015 Pre-Sale

Benefit of Lapbooks: Great for Special Needs Homeschooling

Many Benefits of Lapbooking

Many Benefits of Lapbooking


 Special Needs Homeschooling

While the benefits of lapbooks are many – using them for special needs homeschooling is a major benefit that stands out. You don’t need to be crafty or artistic to enjoy lapbooking, and anyone can do it successfully!

For those who do special needs homeschooling – it can change the whole atmosphere and success level of the homeschool experience.

Lapbooking with A Journey Through Learning uses audio – as you read the material out loud, visual – with colorful graphics, and kinesthetic – hands on learning techniques.  This combination of learning techniques will ignite activity in both the left and right brain – resulting in more brain power and better homeschooling success for your special needs learners in particular.

The combination of these different learning styles plays a major role in the effectiveness of lapbooking!

Happy results with AJTL lapbooks

Enhance Homeschool

By adding a creative element to your family homeschool, you’ll be surprised at how much more fun and enjoyment the whole family will get out of it.  Assign different jobs according to the ability of each child. Have older children read aloud from the study guides or curriculum. Younger students and those who need to work on fine motor skills will benefit greatly from cutting out the mini-books for each section of the lapbook.

*Tip: On larger lapbooks – don’t get overwhelmed by trying to cut out the entire lapbook at once. Try doing one section at a time & label the backs of the mini-books with a light touch of a pencil as you go along to keep up with what goes where. Follow the simple instructions on each page and the diagram layout for the big picture.

Your students will be so proud of their finished product and will look forward to showing it off to parents and grandparents alike!

Improve Retention

As mentioned above, lapbooking with AJTL uses all three of the main learning techniques in the educational process. As children hear, see, and interact with the material – they are using both the left and right sides of their brain which results in more brain power and better success in homeschooling.

Ultimately, kids have better retention levels because they have heard it, seen it, and interacted with it. It works!


Have you seen the New Leaf Press – ANSWERS for Kids lapbooks? 

We have many products to go along with your favorite curriculum and plenty of stand-alone choices as well!

Answers for Kids lapbooks    ANSWERS vol 3    ANSWERS vol 4


TTD Scavenger Hunt Family Fun Challenge

Aim for FUN with TTD!

Aim For Fun! TTD Nashville Field Trips & Scavenger Hunt fun!

 *affiliate links present
Come see A Journey Through Learning and Wildlife Adventures by Adventures in Childrearing in Nashville with Teach Them Diligently! Make a fun family field tripping time out of it with this scavenger hunt challenge.
Field Trips
One of our favorite things about homeschooling . . . is the opportunity to take amazing field trips and enjoy hands on learning. Teach Them Diligently Convention begins in Nashville on March 19 – 21 so we have put together some fun and frugal or free field trip ideas – with a twist.
Scavenger Hunt Photo Challenge
Use your smart phone to take photos of yourself or your family in front of special field trip locations around Nashville. Tweet out the photos using Teach Them Diligently hashtags – then visit the A Journey Through Learning & Wildlife Adventures booth at the convention to show us & get a special treat!
Wacky Adventures  – use hashtag #ttdnashville
Challenges include things such as “take a wacky photo in front of the Parthenon” and “google or look up the Tennessee state tree & take a picture of one (or a pic of a picture of one) and tweet it out with fun message”.
Complete one task or complete them all! Most of all – enjoy this family fun time and your visit to the Teach Them Diligently Convention in Nashville.
Find out more about TTD HERE: 

Gospel Vision 2014

(Please make a note – use hashtag #TTDNASHVILLE to share your fun photos)
Aim For Fun! Scavenger Hunt Field Trips!  TTD Field Trip scavenger hunt - Nashville  Special Treat at the AJTL & Wildlife Adventures booth when you share a tweet & scavenger hunt pic with us!
Enter your email to join the A Journey Through Learning & Adventures Newsletters. We will never share your info and you will receive discounts, freebies and encouragement you can use. Unsubscribe with a push of a button if you no longer wish to receive the news. If you are already on the lists – don’t worry – you will not get duplicate emails.
You will be directed immediately to the download page for your Fun Field Trip Challenges!

Hands on Learning Fun – On SALE NOW!

Wildlife Adventures Unit Studies

Spring Specials AJTL Lapbooks


Spring Sale by A Journey Through Learning includes select download choices. You’ll get 50% off of those choices with the special: SPRING50 code at checkout.

What Moms Say About AJTL Lapbooking . . .

What moms are saying about AJTL

What moms are saying about AJTL

*affiliate links may be present

We’ve been asking questions – because we want to know what moms say about AJTL lapbooking and how it helps their children learn. Martina Bump is a homeschool mom, like you, and she had these things to say about our lapbooks . . .


“My children and I love A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks and study guides!!!

We have done several of them and my girls retain more by being able to write,cut and glue and put together a lapbook that is fun and engaging to look at over and over again.

With your student wanting to go back and look at what they have created over and over they are reenforcing what you have taught them.In addition to it being fun it works on fine motor skills such as cutting ,writing and also on following step by step directions.

Happy results with AJTL lapbooks

Upon finishing one of the lapbooks my daughter took it to show her speech and OT therapist and they were very impressed by what she had accomplished and how much she had retained from schooling with the lapbook. The therapist agreed that this was the PERFECT fit for my struggling learners.

The strides they have made in school since doing

lapbooks from A Journey Through Learning have been amazing!!!

What a wonderful testimony of homeschooling it has been to their therapist. Some who were not for homeschooling have been in favor of my homeschooling as a result.

Thank you Paula for taking the time and helping out an overwhelmed mom, a few years ago . It has been a tremendous blessing.”

~ Martina Bump – Happy Homeschool Mom


A few choices to consider: 

AJTL Giveaway - Spring Lapbook  easter-lapbook-with-study-guide-13-00-5

the-death-and-resurrection-of-a-king-lapbook-with-study-guide-on-sale-5-00-5  earth-day-grades-1-4-lapbook-with-study-guide-4

Use code: SPRING50

To save 50% on select download lapbooks – Including:

Spring Lapbook, Spring Notebooking, Easter, The Death & Resurrection of a King, Earth Day, St Patrick’s Day



Want to try lapbooking for free?

Sign up for our newsletter and immediately download the Overview of the 17th Century Lapbook – We will not share your information & you may unsubscribe any time. We will send valuable updates and freebies with encouragement for your family homeschool.

Facebook Party- Giveaway and Prizes

Facebook party winners

Facebook party winners


Facebook Party Giveaway and Prizes for Homeschooling – New Year Giveaway – 30 Winners!

A Journey Through Learning Printed Lapbooks   & 5 different Download Lapbooks!

Going West - lapbook and Study GuideLouisiana Purchase Lapbook


SKrafty HS Minecraft                                              Write Bonnie Rose

1 winner – Mine Through History                          Revolutionary War Activities

DISCOUNT code for all: AJTL20                           American History Bundle!

mine through history                              The American Revolution - Activities for KidsAmerican History Through Copywork - Bundle


Bible: Scripture Memory Cards, Literary Analysis Journal

Home School Adventure Co.  

Scripture memory cardsThe Wise Woman Critical Thinking Literary Analysis Journal


 The MultiTaskin’Mom                                                                Kids in the Word 

3 Manuscript or Cursive – Learning Pack                                  3 – Whole Bible Reading Journals

Learn to Write ABC Animals                                   Whole Bible Journaling


Special for Mom!

   8 Weeks of Freezer Crockpot Meals                    New Ebook from Candace Crabtree     

        From Sidetracked Sarah                                                      His Mercy Is New 

             Freezer to Slow Cooker Meals                                              Waiting Upon God eBook



3 Homeschool Copywork Memberships               3 Wildlife Adventures Unit -Bundle

4 Wildlife Adventures Unit Studies Single

Homeschool Copywork Memberships                         Wildlife Adventures Unit Studies - bundle 1


Not consumed – Breakfast Stations Combo        & New Beginnings Devotional Journal    

Breakfast Stations - combo pack                                      New Beginnings Devotional Set


2 Candace Kate Story – by Nancy Felicia

1 Print Candace Kate Story 

Candace Kate Story, Special Needs Adoption



Don’t forget to visit the FREEBIES Page!

Giveaway totals valued over $500

– Multiple Winners!

The companies who donated their wonderful homeschool curriculum will have your email address. It will not be shared anywhere else. You may unsubscribe at any time. Duplicates will be eliminated. Must be 18. See full disclosure in Rafflecopter. Giveaway ends Jan. 21 at 12 am.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


FREEBIES For Everyone- January Facebook Party

AJTL Facebook Party FREEBIES

AJTL Facebook Party FREEBIES

Click on the product photos to claim your freebies

For most, you will be directed to enter your email. Do not worry about receiving duplicate emails. This is only so that AJTL and the wonderful companies who donate their materials can add you to their newsletters. Duplicates are automatically eliminated in the system.

When you join the newsletters – you are led immediately to the download page. Your emails are protected and you may unsubscribe at any time.

A Journey Through Learning - Facebook Party Freebies


Take a moment to visit the company sites and bookmark them to return for regular encouragement! Text links go to the site, pic links go to your freebies!


Home School Adventure Co.                                      Adventures in Childrearing                                                 Free Unit                                                                          Writing Prompts & exercises- Multiple ages

                           Sand Dollar Writing prompts & exercises


Founding Fathers’ Quotations copywork                                 2015 Grateful Journal

Write Bonnie Rose and AJTL news sign up                                   Ben & Me and AJTL news sign up

Founding Fathers quotes copywork                                                              Grateful Journal


 Kathy’s Cluttered Mind                                  Kids in the Word – Bible Reading Journal

Journal & Notebooking                                         Get 25% off with code: AJTL25

                                           Kids in the Word - bible reading journal - Matthew


Bowmania                                                                                          Write Bonnie Rose 

Bible Handwriting & Copywork                                                             Free coloring book & more

Bible handwriting & copywork                                             Life on the Prairie coloring book                                                                     Multi-Tasking Mom 

Vincent Van Gogh Copywork & study                                                           February Planning Pack

Vincent VanGogh copywork & artist study                                                                 February Planning Pack



Praying The Scriptures for Family                                                  My Joyfilled Life

praying scriptures                                                    ABC - My Joyfilled Life


Jill Craft – Blessed Beyond a Doubt

Valentine Bingo





You are Invited! Join us for a Facebook Party

Winter Express - Lapbook - freebie for registering for the facebook party


 Encouragement and Information to Enhance Learning at our Facebook Party

Join us on Tuesday night on the A Journey Through Learning facebook page here for a fun, and encouraging party. The event starts at 9 pm. ET and will run for about an hour.

We will discuss tips and tricks to help you teach and answer questions about hands on homeschooling, teaching with chronic illness, teaching special needs kiddos, teaching multiple ages, how and why notebooking, lapbooking, and unit studies are invaluable tools in your family homeschool.

Win door prizes, enter giveaways, get freebies and leave feeling refreshed and encouraged that you really can homeschool your children!


Tuesday Night – 9 pm ET

A Journey Through Learning Facebook 

Register HERE for exclusive freebie

Overcoming Dyslexia – a guest post and free printables

Overcoming Dyslexia - a guest post

Overcoming Dyslexia - a guest post

*affiliate links are included – see disclosure

Guest post by: Kelli Becton @Adventures in Childrearing  from the –  Teaching Students with Dyslexia Series! Here you will find encouragement and information you can use to teach your child to overcome – to work WITH their gifts and talents – and to read and write successfully.

When Practice Is Just Not Enough

You practice and practice, and work and work – and yet feel like you’ve made very little progress with your child on reading. Sound familiar?

Sometimes practice just isn’t enough!

You don’t need to be discouraged, the good news is – there are loads of resources, tools, products, and information available to help you along in this reading journey with dyslexia.

Our Homeschool & Dyslexia

I am a “relaxed” homeschooler. We do a lot of hands on learning, traveling, museums and outdoor exploring. I read aloud to the boys about science and history and we have wonderful discussions about what we learn. All three of our boys have thrived with this type of environment!

They are learning to seek and find the information they need, rather than simply memorizing a list of answers. They do a lot of map work – exploring the world from an encyclopedia and an atlas with pretend passports in hand – when destinations are out of our physical reach.

They have each had ample opportunity to investigate and pursue individual interests, and they each have very specific & different interests as well as things the whole family enjoys studying together. These are all some of our favorite parts of homeschooling!

Everyday exploring

When I realized that our youngest son was really struggling to remember the basic shapes of his alphabet (it was evident from the very beginning that his problem was out of the range of what is considered “normal”) I really didn’t worry too much about it.

I have taken a relaxed approach in our situation. Knowing that he is learning so much from our hands on projects, field trips, and family read aloud studies has given me the perspective that once it “clicks” for him, he will be well ahead of the game.

While that is certainly true, it has also become obvious that it isn’t enough. He deserves more support and better resources. Learn more about the recommended beginning steps in the first article of our series here.

With a lot of research and planning, I have come up with a plan for the next few years.  One of the most important pieces of information I’ve come across is what is called the “Orton-Gilligham Approach” 

The essential curricular content and instructional practices that characterize the Orton-Gillingham Approach are derived from two sources: first from a body of time-tested knowledge and practice that has been validated over the past 70 years, and second from scientific evidence about how persons learn to read and write; why a significant number have difficulty in doing so; how having dyslexia makes achieving literacy skills more difficult; and which instructional practices are best suited for teaching such persons to read and write.  (source: Academy of Orton-Gillingham)

The approach is so named because of the foundational and seminal contributions of Samuel T. Orton and Anna Gillingham. The Orton-Gillingham Approach is usually referring to a one-on-one teacher-student model, making it perfect for homeschool!

The All About Reading and All About Spelling program is designed to make reading successful!

Making A Plan

If you are just getting started on this journey with dyslexia – be encouraged – we can and will succeed! God has ordained you as the parent, and He will be faithful to bring you the resources and information you need to teach your child.

As you follow our series and do your research – make a plan that seems right for your family and your student. It should be a plan that focuses on your child’s talents and abilities, one that includes things they like, hands on tools they can use, and a positive attitude.

If you haven’t yet read our first post in this series – go here. 

Below you will find links to resources, games, information and ideas that I am using, plan to use, or recommend.

Products & Tools

While there is no need to run out and buy everything you can get your hands on – it helps to have some good tools on hand to encourage your child to read. Also, choose books with themes they love (mine loves fishing and wildlife – for instance) those are the books they will WANT to learn to read.

Use things you have on hand – such as the blocks in our series picture. We use those to write site words on and then put them together to build short sentences or race to pick up the block with the right word on it. It does not have to be complicated to be successful!

Lapbooking is another tool and technique that aids in teaching because of the creative nature of the process. Students with dyslexia need to stimulate both sides of their brain in order to really understand what is on the page in front of them. Using their gifts – such as creativity and artistic abilities will help them when mixed with reading practice!

Watch the Video – Figure 8 Right Brain Therapy Technique

I cannot stress enough the importance of Diane Craft’s book: Brain Integration Therapy Manual  She explains  exactly why this technique (of her own design) works and how it can help with dyslexia and dysgraphia. You don’t need to run out and spend a bunch of money to help your child read – but a $57 investment in this information is one that will encourage and equip you for this journey.

Success Story

Since we have been researching, using and sharing these techniques and resources – my son has seen dramatic improvement in his reading. It is wonderful to see the proud look on his face when the clues come together and he understands what is on the page in front of him! ~ Kelli Becton

FREE Dyslexia Worksheets Pack #2

Enter your email below to sign up for our newsletter and you will be directed immediately to the download page for our FREE Dyslexia worksheets – Pack #2


FREE Dyslexia Worksheet pack #2

Get the download link when you enter your email below:

*You will be directed immediately to the download page. Your email will only go to the AJTL newsletter and the Adventures in Childrearing news. It will never be shared elsewhere. Unsubscribe at any time. Duplicates will be eliminated. Current news members need not worry about duplicate emails. 

This is the 2nd post in our series. Check back regularly for more information. Thank you – and please let me know if you have any questions. ~ Kelli Becton @Adventures in ChildRearing
More hands on learning to aid in teaching students with dyslexia – and to make learning fun for all homeschool students: Try A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks! 
enter code: WINTERFUN to save 50% on select options this month
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