Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Homeschool Student Success Skills Class

Student Success Skills Class from College Prep Science

The following is a sponsored post in collaboration with College Prep Science and MommyMaestra. All opinions are my own.

I've been saying for a while that academic classes are great for high school, but there are several desperately needed courses that are not often on a high school curriculum. They are the classes that teach practical skills to teens to prepare them for life in college and life after graduation. 

I have a homeschooled 9th grader and private college prep schooled 11th grader. The two are like night and day in their approaches to school. But I have watched my oldest carefully and seen her develop skills that I know my freshman desperately needs to learn for success not just in high school classes that are getting harder and harder, but also the college courses that are hopefully to come. At the same time, I've been stressing wondering where to start and how to teach him.

So I was VERY pleased to learn that College Prep Science offers a class on Student Success Skills. Read more about it below!

Before going further, I want to note here that MommyMaestra shares homeschool resources for families of all faiths. This particular program has a Christian perspective.

Quick Overview

Program: College Prep Science
Class: Student Success Skills
Religious Perspective: Christian
Format: Live & Recorded
Grades: 7th - 12th
Price: Tuition is $120 (recorded) or $155 (live)

Self-Paced Online Student Skills Class

In January, I wrote a review about one of the science classes College Prep Science offers. But Greg Landry (the owner) offers more than just science classes through his site. And this Student Success Skills class is one example.

First, let me give you the nuts and bolts. This is not a year-long class. It actually earns your child half a semester credit.

Self-paced (recorded) classes have seven lessons total. The live classes are 4 weeks long. The class includes a .pdf file of excellent printables to supplement the videos. The topics include:
  • Taking Notes, Note-Sketching, & Studying
  • Test Taking
  • Measurement & the Metric (SI) System
  • Temperature & Graphing
  • The Scientific Method & Lab Reports
  • Scientific Notation & Magnitude Perspective
  • Statistics, Probability, Accuracy, and Precision

This class is designed to help students learn skills needed for academic success, but also has practical applications for life.

Take a quick look at my IG video about this class:

Benefits for Students & Parents

I don't like to make any comparisons to public or private schools when discussing homeschooling. Instead, I prefer to focus on end goals. And if your family's plan is for your child to attend a college or university, then making sure they are equipped with the tools and skills to be successful is really important. Some students learn these in a college preparatory school. And some homeschoolers develop these skills when they take dual-enrollment courses.

But many homeschoolers don't even think about teaching skills for college success. Or they aren't quite sure how to teach them. We're talking skills like note-taking (SO many different and effective ways!), how to write up lab reports, how to study, and how to take tests. For some of us parents, college was a long time ago, if that was the path we chose! I know that I've forgotten a lot of the skills I used for academic achievement. (That's okay. They were important for me in that season of life, and now I have had to learn new skills for a different season!)

So this class totally takes the burden off of me and helps reassure me that my kid is still learning some of these vital tools he's going to need in just a few years. Plus they will really help him as he moves through high school.

Also, the fact that this is worth half a semester, means that this is an excellent choice for summer learning if you choose to school year round, or just want your kids to take a class or two to keep up their learning habits.

The self-paced aspect is just so fantastic as it lets my son learn as quickly or as slowly as he likes. this makes it easier to motivate my son to actually get the work done. Knowing he has control over his own education in that sense is empowering for him.

If you are a parent looking to offer your child a skills class like this one, head over to College Prep Science to register!

Want to find this review again? Pin it!

College Prep Science: Student Success Skills Class

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Celebrating Día de los Niños 2021


This Friday is Día de los Niños, Día de los Libros.

It'll be the first year that I don't have my oldest two children with me to celebrate, which makes me a little sad. BUT it will be the first year that my youngest can actually appreciate what's happening. 

My plan is to focus on a day of books, starting with a trip to the library and followed by opening and reading all the great new books we've received from Beautiful Feet Books. I selected AROUND THE WORLD WITH PICTURE BOOKS PART I. 

I can't wait to dive into these diverse books and the amazing lesson plan book that accompanies them. Part I covers Asia, Africa, Australia, and Antarctica. (Stay tuned for an in-depth review.)

If you're looking for ideas on ways to celebrate the day, check out my post: 10 Ways to Celebrate Día at Home.

And don't forget about my printable Día Activity Pack! You can find it in my TpT store

Monday, April 26, 2021

Bilingual Flash Cards for PreK & Kindergarten

The following is a sponsored post with Beau & Blaze Creations. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

I absolutely love it when moms come up with a great idea or product, decide to market it to share with other families, AND work hard to make it good quality.

That's what Puerto Rican mama of 2, Jackie Palaualelo, has done. She's starting a line of bilingual products for kids and her first product is now available on Amazon and Etsy

This post contains affiliate links.

Bilingual Toddler Flash Cards has 93(!) dry erase bilingual flash cards, 4 binder (book) rings, and two dry erase markers. The cards are grouped into 4 sets:

  • English Alphabet, 
  • Spanish Alphabet, 
  • numbers 1-20, 
  • and 20 sight word cards

The cards are simple but colorful and eye-catching to keep your child engaged. Each set comes with a binder ring so you can keep them together. Crazy enough, this simple design of adding a ring, intrigues little kids. I gave them to my 3yo and he so enjoyed flipping through them. It makes the cards more interactive, less static.

I also love that the cards come with writing spaces and traceable number and letters. So for little ones learning letter recognition, this is a major plus. The cards themselves are laminated and waterproof making them extra durable. My youngest loves tracing and then erasing and then tracing and then erasing. I appreciate all the pincer/grasping skills he's developing by holding the pens and "writing."

These bilingual cards will help children develop a foundation in both English and Spanish. Go and follow them on IG! Why? Because you'll find great ideas for different educational ways to use these excellent flash cards.

Off the top of my own head, they are great for letter and number recognition, finger tracing, counting, spelling, reading, writing, memory game (Spanish & English taken off the ring), and more.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Froggy Prepositions in English & Spanish


I just can't resist one more frog-themed graphic in honor of Save the Frogs Day tomorrow!

I stumbled upon the clipart and it reminded me of the Calavera Preposition graphics I made a few years ago. So I thought, why not?

Anyway, you can just right click on the images and save them to your computer. Or you can visit the MommyMaestra Facebook page and share it directly from there with all your friends. 

And, yes! It's available in Spanish, too!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Earth Day Resources 2021

Happy Earth Day, Friends!

There are a lot of opportunities happening today that I hope you don't miss, so I'll get right to it.

FIRST, Clap for Classics is having a FREE mini music class on Instagram and Facebook live! The class will air THIS MORNING at 10am EST/ 9 central/8 mountain. It will be about 10 minutes of musical play and learning. Perfect for kids ages 2-6. 

If you've never heard of them, check out my review here. My 3yo LOVES their interactive classes!

Tomorrow, April 22, the American Museum of Natural History's annual EarthFest will offer a series of live online programs to celebrate the beautiful planet we call home, from home, beginning at 11 am ET. Offerings include a live performance featuring puppetry and animation that illuminates Indigenous folklore, a live virtual guided flight exploring climate science from the vantage points of satellites, a live program and chat with conservation scientists, a virtual dance party, and more.

Here's the schedule of events.

Project Learning Tree has free activities for families. The 12 activities from the Learn About Forests series is for kids ages 10–16 in learning about sustainable forest management.

They also have these 21 Tree Art Projects for Young Learners. I'm looking forward to doing most of these with my youngest!

And finally, don't forget that last year TED-Ed launched Earth School. It's a 30-day (not including weekends) interactive adventure through the natural world. 


Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Frogs: Lesson Plans, Videos, Books & More

Frog Lesson Plans, Videos, Books, and More

This Friday is Save the Frogs Day!

Did you know that worldwide, amphibians have seen a dramatic decline in their populations? Frogs appear to be especially vulnerable to changes in their environment.  

Save the Frogs Day takes place every year on the last Saturday of April. This year, I'm ahead of the game and sharing resources so you can plan your own frog lessons/celebrations. I hope you enjoy this list. 

Printable Frog Checkers Game (bilingual!)

But first, just a note to my newsletter subscribers: be on the lookout for this month's newsletter in your inbox. The freebie is this adorable and super fun set of Frog Checkers! 

Lesson Plans

Some great lesson plans found online ready to be downloaded or great for ideas...

Frog Websites & Articles

Here are some remarkable websites and articles with tons of resources. 


I love all of these videos! And your kids will, too.


Check out these fascinating books from your local library or order them from your favorite bookshop! (affiliate links to Amazon)

Monday, April 19, 2021

Hispanic Poets: One-Page Reading Passages

 Hispanic Poets: One-Page Reading Passages

So much going on this week! Earth Day, Save the Frogs Day, and more.

But first, a reminder that we are in the middle of National Poetry Month. I already shared a reading passage for our former U.S. Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera

Today, I wanted to share this packet of notable Hispanic Poets from around the world. 

It features seven remarkable and prolific poets in world history. They are:

  1. Pablo Neruda
  2. Gabriela Mistral
  3. José Martí
  4. Julia de Burgos
  5. Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
  6. Federico García Lorca
  7. Juan Felipe Herrera
This comprehensive packet is very similar to my 10 Latinas in History and Afro-Latinos in History packets. Each poet featured in a one-page reading passage and includes a multiple choice comprehension quiz. 

There are additional review sheets and pages for researching and essay writing. There is also a recommended reading list of children's books that feature each poet. The packet is 41 pages in all. 

At this moment, it is only available in English. A Spanish version will be made available this summer.

So if you're looking for a resource to celebrate National Poetry Month in a way that examines poets who are often overlooked in most poetry lessons, I hope you give this a try.

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

I also recommend the Highlights Book of Things to Write. It includes over 175 creative writing topics for kids, open-ended questions, games, activities and more.

Open-ended writing prompts invite kids to explore their world. Word games, writing tips and how-to’s show them new ways to put their thoughts into words. They’ll also explore how to create characters, write short stories, try out various styles of poetry, write about the things they care about, and so much more.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Resources for Celebrating Selena Day

Put on your most purple outfit and order some pizza because April 16th is officially Selena Day!

It’s a day to celebrate and honor the life of Tejano music’s most cherished icon, Selena Quintanilla Perez. Back in 1995, while fans all over the US, Mexico, and throughout Latin America were still grieving the death of their beloved star, then-Governor George W. Bush declared that April 16th, Selena’s birthday, would be an official Texas holiday.

I still recall fondly watching Selena Y Los Dinos in concert when I was little and never imagined all these years later I’d be looking for ways to celebrate the life of this singer in my homeschool.  Yet, here I am and I’m happy to report there are a few wonderful resources available to make this day a memorable homeschool event!


First, if you can get your hands on this book called Queen of Tejano Music: Selena, do it! It’s Just. So. Lovely!!! Here’s a review with all the details.

Here are a couple of other children’s books about Selena you may want to buy OR consider asking your library to purchase them!   

Lesson Plans and Activities

If you want to check off a few school subjects for the day, try using some of these lesson plans from Little Bee Books and Teachers Pay Teachers.

Selena Lesson Plans in English

Selena Lesson Plans in Spanish:

There are many more resources on TPT about Selena, but here’s a tip for searching, type out “Selena Quintanilla Perez.”  Just “Selena” will take you to thousands of lesson plans about Selena Gomez.  


Here are a couple of kid-friendly websites for your Selena research.

Movie and TV Series

Jennifer Lopez and Edward James Olmos make “Selena,” the movie a must watch! But as a parent, I do believe you have to discern what age would be appropriate. There are no bad words or smut.  But there is the infamous and hilarious bustier scene, a scene where some rockers trash a hotel room, and Selena and Chris’ romance. There are themes dealing with racism and sexism. And of course, there is the end with Selena’s tragic, senseless, and violent death. I’d recommend that parents preview the movie first and IMHO, the best ages for this movie are middle school and up.

On Netflix, there is the new “Selena: The Series Part 1” with Part 2 to premiere next month. This series would not hold a youngster’s attention. I recommend middle school and up with the parent preview first. This series does an excellent job of depicting Selena’s and the entire Qunitanilla family’s struggle to make it in the music business. Their determination and creativity are inspiring. 


Probably the most important thing you and your family could do is to simply listen to Selena’s music.  Music was her gift, her calling, the driving force in her short but brilliant life.  No need to buy if funds are tight because YouTube has them all on the Selena Official channel.

You can listen to her albums, watch her music videos, and see concert clips.  My family’s favorite to watch are clips from Selena’s performance at the Astrodome. Here she is singing her most famous song, “Como La Flor”:

Selena’s life has left a lasting mark on my family and we will definitely be celebrating this April 16th with Coke, pizza, and Doritos (you’ll get why this menu after you see the movie ;)) and some of these activities. We hope you and your family do, too!  If there is any doubt about the significant impact of Selena’s legacy around the world, just watch this absolutely adorable video that just went viral 3 weeks ago with almost 4 million views! 

Proof that Selena’s talent is timeless.

Other Posts You May Enjoy:


Written by:

Stacie Servantes Farias is an Army wife and mom of 6 with a “very healthy” obsession for Snoopy, Disney movies, Audrey Hepburn, Dr. Pepper, Whataburger, books, and homeschooling. Originally from Mission, Texas, Stacie and her high-school sweetheart hubby live with their kids and dog in a different home every few years, because that is the military life. She has big plans to write a book exploring her theory that La Llorona drowned her children because they would take their socks off all over the house and then would complain that they never had clean socks! Stacie also thinks she is really funny, but she is mostly lame awesome.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Guacamole: A Cooking Poem


Guacamole: Un poema para cocinar, A Cooking Poem

by Jorge Argueta
illustrated by Margarita Sada

Groundwood Books (Libros Tigrillo) never fails to deliver beautiful stories filled with culture and warmth. Written by the poet Jorge Argueta, Guacamole: Un poema para cocinar, A Cooking Poem (aff link) is more than just a simple recipe centered around the traditional Latin dish. Instead, it is a glimpse into the world of a child who creates something special for her family using her imagination and joyful spirit.

Told in the first person, our narrator is a young girl for whom aguacates resemble green precious stones,  limes are like big crystal marbles, and their seeds like little pearls. This delightful book comes with full text in both English and Spanish. 

Young chefs will thoroughly enjoy this book. Immediately after reading the book, my daughter made out our grocery list to include cilantro and aguacates. I love books that call children to action and appreciate how Guacamole inspires children to get in the kitchen and put together a simple dish that everyone will enjoy.

The illustrations are so creative and engaging for young readers. I like how Sada has given the reader images that reflect the imagination of the young girl in the tale.

Here's a sample passage from the book...

Ahora le agregas sal, no mucha.
Cántale a la sal
cuando la agites,
para que como pringuitas
de llovizna blanca
caiga sobre el aguacate verde.

Sal salita de mi salero
échale la sal primero.

Now add salt, not too much.
Sing to the salt
as you shake it
so that little spatters
of white drizzle
fall like rain on the green avocado.

Salt, salty salt from my saltshaker,
salt goes in first.

If you loved Argueta's book, Arroz con leche/Rice Pudding: Un poema para cocinar/A Cooking Poem (aff), you'll love this next book in the series!

Parents and teachers can use this book to make guacamole with their children and then talk about the concepts of family, imagination, similes, poetry, and cooking.

If you would like to buy your own copy of Guacamole: Un poema para cocinar, A Cooking Poem, here's my affiliate link to it on Amazon:

Monday, April 12, 2021

Real-World Science: Scholastic Pathways

Do you guys know about Scholastic Pathways? It's a must for educators teaching science to 6th - 12th grades. 

This website has resources (magazines, lessons, activities, and videos) on real-world science topics - and they're all FREE!

The topics include: 

  • Microscopes & Imaging
  • Superbugs
  • Circadian Rhythms
  • Regeneration
  • and Basic Science

Each of the topics comes with an educator's guide, magazine, printable activities, and digital tools that basically consist of an interactive program and a Kahoot game. Actually, all of the materials I just listed are available online in a digital format. 

BUT educators can also order print copies - up to 100 copies of the magazines for their students and a limit of five educator's guides.

The interactives are like virtual classrooms in which you click on specific parts of the image and it yields information in the form of texts and photos. It's fairly engaging for kids. 

Overall, this a fabulous resource for middle and high school students. Homeschoolers especially should take advantage of it and the wealth of information it has for young learners. 

Check it out yourself!

Friday, April 9, 2021

Studying the Immigration Experience with Children

When I sit down to read the news these days, I keep seeing story after story about the huge number of migrants who are coming to our borders. 

Most of them are children.

If you've been following MommyMaestra for long, you know that two years ago, I hosted a book drive for migrant children. The tremendous hardship that these kids are going through is unimaginable to most of us. Actually, it's something we don't want to imagine. Because the reality is horrific.

So how do we have these conversations with our children to educate them about what is happening? How do we present the plight of these migrant children in a compassionate and humane way? How do we explain why children are leaving their countries, their families, and coming here without frightening our kids or teaching them to make (inaccurate) assumptions or to be judgmental? 

One way to do this is through books. Stories have power. When we talk with someone in person, it is too easy to stop listening - to interrupt. But when we have a book, the story is there for us to read in its entirety. I can't imaging how challenging it is for an author to write about the topic of migrant children. But I'm so grateful that the authors listed below have taken on this burden in an attempt to humanize these innocent victims who are so often vilified or mistreated. 

I thought now would be a good time to share resources with you.

Lesson Plans


Next, I love this Ted Talk by author/illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh. You'll find out why he began writing children's books and how his illustrations are inspired by Ancient Mexican art, particularly that of the Mixtec codex. He also discusses why he has chosen the themes of migration and comparing/contrasting the lives of Mexican and American children for his children's books. It's a great listen and I encourage you to take the time to watch the video.

Children's Books about Immigration

In addition, here are some of my favorite children's books that put the immigration experience into a form that kids can truly understand. The titles below focus on children and families and the hardships and adventure that come with moving to a new country, a new culture, and a new language. But these books are not just for children born and raised here in the United States. They are also to give immigrant children a chance to see their stories in print and know that there are many other children who have experienced a similar situation.

If you are looking for great children's literature on immigration, consider the following titles. 
The following are affiliate links.

by Duncan Tonatiuh

by René Colato Laínez

by Amada Irma Pérez

by Jorge Argueta

by Alma Flor Ada and Gabriel M. Zubizarreta

by Mariana Llanos

by Jorge Argueta

by Guadalupe García McCall

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

TpT April Sale & New Products


TpT is having another sale!  

If there's anything on your wish list that you've been holding off on getting, now's the time to do it! It starts today and runs through tomorrow.

And just in case you haven't seen them, I have a lot of new products that have been uploaded recently. I'm listing them below in order of age range for you to look over. 

Happy shopping!

Paleta Board Game (PreK - 1st)

A simple board game that teaches number recognition (1 - 5) and basic counting.

Popsicle/Paleta Activity Sheets (PreK - Kindergarten)

Perfect for summer! This activity pack will keep your little one learning those important skills needed for school success. Click the link to see a list.

Bilingual Number Puzzle Cards (PreK - 1st)

Boost number recognition and counting skills with these three sets of puzzle cards to teach your children numbers 1 - 20 by ones and 20 to 100 by tens in two languages!

Mars Word Search (3rd - 6th)

Is your child following the Mars' rover news? Introduce your young students to vocabulary associated with the Red Planet using this easy word search.

Celebrate Spain with this one-page history on the Spanish dish, paella! 

Introduce your students to the former U.S. Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera with this one-page reading passage that comes with a reading comprehension quiz. Perfect for National Poetry Month!

The Real History of Cinco de Mayo BOOM CARDS (4th - 8th)

If you're using digital Boom Cards in your classroom, check out my latest set for teaching students the true history of Cinco de Mayo. No chips and salsa here!

Monday, April 5, 2021

Giveaway: Homeschool Spanish Program


As we move into April, most homeschoolers start looking ahead to the next school year and thinking about the curricula that they'll need.

We have you in mind here at MommyMaestra and today we have a fabulous opportunity for those of you who are on the look out for a Spanish program. 

Our wonderful sponsor, Spanish for You! has generously offered the following:

Spanish for You! Homeschool Curriculum Package that lasts the school year! 

This package comes complete with everything you need to teach your children Spanish easily and effectively. Some features you'll enjoy:

  • Use with multiple ages together grades 3 and up, but younger children can join in!
  • Fun lessons with simple activities and games that children enjoy.
  • Go at your own pace and do what fits your schedule!
  • Your children will develop skills to understand, speak, read, and write in complete sentences.
  • Participate with your kids or let them work on their own.
  • Materials are reusable.
  • No Spanish experience needed by you or your children.
This is not an online curriculum. This program is perfect for families who are tired of looking at a screen and/or love physical books and printables that they can hold in their hands and work out.

Each homeschool package includes: 
  • one student book,
  • daily lesson guide (PDF), 
  • worksheets (PDF), 
  • audio (MP3), 
  • bonus audio (MP3),  
  • flashcard/activity pictures (PDF), 
  • answer keys, 
  • and access to their Curriculum Users page filled with free extras.​

How to enter

To enter to win, follow these 3 fast and easy steps:

  1. Visit the Spanish for You! website's homeschool page
  2. Remember one feature about the program that sounds interesting to you
  3. Email them here: and tell them the feature that interests you.
Don't worry. You won't get any spam email. the owner (Debbie!) will reply to your email personally and let you know that you've been entered.

This giveaway will run through Monday, April 19th! That gives you two weeks to check out their website and enter.

The winner will be able to choose which homeschool package they would like. 

Oh my gosh, y'all, this is such a great giveaway! If you've been following MommyMaestra for any time at all, you'll know that Spanish for You! has excellent materials. You can find examples of their program and free downloads here.

Go and enter today!

A winner has been chosen! Thanks to everyone who participated!


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