Author Archives: Sallie

Relax and Plan More Fun to Re-Energize Your Homeschool

Relax and Plan More Fun to Re-Energize Your Homeschool

Relax and Plan More Fun to Re-Energize Your Homeschool

How often do you have fun as a homeschooling parent?

Do you ever allow yourself to simply relax and enjoy the process of watching your child’s learning unfold before your very eyes?

From all the articles I see online about homeschool mom burnout, stress and fear I’m guessing many of us do not take enough time to just relax and enjoy this homeschooling journey.

As we wrap up this five day series on re-energizing our homeschool, I’d like to encourage all of us to relax and plan more fun.

Yes, plan for fun.

Unless you are a naturally wired to be a fun mom, you might actually need to make an effort to include more fun in your homeschool planning. And, believe me, I’m speaking to myself here. I’m not naturally wired to be a fun mom.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in units and checklists and requirements. But I think we can safely assume none of us made the decision to homeschool because we wanted to spend hours absorbed in keeping track of the minutia.

We signed up to homeschool our child out of love and a desire to see her flourish as an individual. We wanted to see him have opportunities we knew he would never have in a traditional classroom setting.

But hopefully we also decided to homeschool out of a desire for a better relationship with our child.

And I think this is often where it becomes tricky because too often we are quick to worry about the educational requirements at the expense of the relationship.

We are more apt to worry about what others think of our homeschooling accomplishments than what our child thinks of our homeschooling relationship.

And, in the process, homeschooling can become way too serious too much of the time.

I know it probably seems like there is no time to plan for fun. You already feel stretched and stressed getting through everything in the year.

Maybe that is a sure sign that you need to plan for some fun.

We’ve covered a lot of different ways to re-energize our homeschool this week. We’ve considered changing our approach, switching up our space, investing in new materials, and practicing the art of strewing.

Making positive changes in each one of these areas has the potential to add more fun to your homeschooling. Making positive changes will also make it easier to relax.

So perhaps the first step is making some of those other changes. Then as you get a better handle on other areas that were not working for you and your child, you’ll feel more confident planning some fun.

With a better plan in place, you’ll feel more free to relax and enjoy the homeschooling journey with your child.

What changes are you making to re-energize your homeschool? Which day of this series was most relevant to where you are now as a homeschooling parent?

This post is part of my 5 Days to Re-Energize Your Homeschool series.

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Daisy photo credit

Exif JPEG

Practice the Art of Strewing in Your Homeschool

Exif JPEG

Have you ever heard of strewing in the context of homeschooling? I discovered I was doing it before I learned it had an official term. I think strewing is a valuable concept that can do a lot to re-energize your homeschool, especially if you currently have a very mom-centered or mom-driven approach to homeschooling.

What is strewing in a homeschool?

My definition of strewing is leaving out things for Caroline to discover and explore on her own. It could be anything I think she would find interesting… seashells, rocks, a book of poetry with lovely illustrations, flash cards of famous places, a magazine, a new type of craft…

For example, a few weeks ago I got out the various Calvin and Hobbes anthologies we have and put them in a pile on the coffee table in the family room. No comment by me or David. But I knew she would be drawn to them. Sure enough she was and now most mornings before and after breakfast she sits down and reads them, often regaling us with retellings of what is happening.

That’s strewing in action.

Strewing is also setting out a small bin of colorful flashcards about various topics (U.S. Presidents, animals, etc.) and just waiting to see what she finds interesting.

Strewing is also rummaging through my craft stash and leaving some new supplies on her table in the learning room where she will discover them the next morning.

The Purpose of Strewing in Homeschool

Strewing, in my mind, serves a few different purposes.

One, it takes the onus of Caroline’s learning off me to a certain degree. While I am her mother and her teacher, I want the responsibility of her education to gradually shift more and more to her. This is a small step in helping her become responsible.

Two, it reinforces to her that she can explore without me and learn in the process. I’m pretty sure we’ve already made this point clear over the past few years, but it certainly can’t hurt to give her lots of examples of how she is empowered to learn on her own.

Three, it gives me a break. As the work- at-home mom of an only child, providing her with something she can get lost in on her own for a certain amount of time is huge. Really huge.

And, perhaps most importantly if you have a right-brained child who loves to learn and hates to be taught, it fits perfectly with her learning style. Sitting down with a right-brained child and saying, “Let’s look through these flashcards of the U.S. landmarks” can be a bit of a risk. Leave them out for the child and she’ll be telling you all about the interesting facts she’s reading on the cards. It just works for kids who are wired this way.

The Downside of Strewing?

The downside of strewing? It can be expensive, to be totally honest. I’d love to do more strewing than I do, but buying stuff to newly engage Caroline on a regular basis is a costly proposition.

Other than the cost and taking the time to remember to strew regularly, there is no downside to strewing. It’s really a simple but powerful way to influence your child’s learning in a hands-off kind of way.

If your homeschool needs some re-energizing, I highly recommend doing some strewing.

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This is part of my 5 Days to Re-Energize Your Homeschool series.

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Money in the form of many large bills

Re-Energize Your Homeschool by Investing in New Materials

Money in the form of many large bills

Homeschoolers are generally a thrifty bunch. And that is good. No matter what our financial situation is, it’s a good idea to be financially prudent. In addition, many of us have traded off significant financial advancement to be at home with our children and educate them ourselves.

But just like putting on a new outfit can lift our spirits, so can new homeschooling materials lift the spirits of our children.

I do think it can be a good financial choice to invest in new homeschooling materials on a fairly regular basis. And I don’t just mean curriculum. I mean fun things like games, fun books, apps, craft materials, hobby materials, play equipment, etc.

Providing New Challenges and Opportunities for Gifted Children

Providing new materials is especially important if you have a gifted child or a child who craves new experiences, information, etc. Some children truly are wired to need new all the time.

This has been one of our greatest challenges with parenting Caroline. While some kids might enjoy playing with the same things over and over again, she doesn’t (except her stuffed animals!). Once she’s figured something out, she’s ready to move on to a new challenge.  Children who are wired to explore and learn in an intense way truly do need us to provide them with more than the average child.

The Delight of New Materials to Explore

One of the reasons we all homeschool is to provide our children with opportunities they wouldn’t have in a traditional classroom setting. I think those opportunities should go beyond the basics of curriculum. I think it should include providing them with delightful new materials to explore.

I will say that I’m all for supplying free creative materials. Caroline has a large bin in the learning room that is always full of recycled cardboard, boxes, caps and all sorts of interesting potential craft materials. We keep her supplied with a variety of craft items in the craft cabinet. But I honestly don’t think this is enough in a homeschool.

In a traditional classroom, a teacher will regularly swap out materials for the children. She might create a new extended center each week, a thematic play area, or some other opportunity for children to explore new things. While most of us can’t afford to fully trick out a new thematic area on a regular basis, we should look for opportunities to provide our children with a variety of learning experiences. And those experiences should go beyond the required curriculum.

What are some things we might consider investing in?

Games

Wood crafts

Model kits

Sewing crafts and kits

Painting kits for kids

Puzzles in a variety of themes and sizes

Apps

Books! Lots of books in topics they love!

Blocks and building toys including LEGO and K’NEX

I see all of the above as valid and important homeschool materials. They really aren’t extras. Depending on the child’s interests, they are just as important as math books, science experiments and notebooks. And you might be amazed by how providing these kinds of learning materials re-energizes your homeschool experience.

Swapping for New Materials

For some families there may be truly no extra money to purchase anything new. If you can’t afford to buy new things, can you arrange a swap with a few other families (homeschooled or not)? Each family can bring a laundry basket full of books, games, puzzles, hobby materials, etc. to offer in exchange at your swap.

You can decide ahead of time if it is a permanent exchange or a loan. If you go the loan route, you could meet a couple of times a year to swap again. That way every family has the opportunity to pass things around and try new items.

Photo credit

This post is part of my 5 Days to Re-Energize Your Homeschool series.

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Creative Ways to Re-Energize Your Homeschool Space

Creative Ways to Re-Energize Your Homeschool Space

Creative Ways to Re-Energize Your Homeschool Space

Homeschooling happens in all different kinds of places. Some people have a room dedicated to their homeschool endeavors. Some people study at the kitchen table. Some use workboxes. There are lots of different ways to set up the physical aspect of your homeschool.

Today let’s think about ways to re-energize our homeschool by looking at the place where we homeschool and how we can make it better for our families.

But before we go any further, let me clarify one thing. I am NOT advocating spending large amounts of money to do the things I’m suggesting below. Obviously if funds aren’t an issue for your family and you have the ability to do lots of great things then that is super! But for many homeschool families funds are an issue.

What I’m advocating below is primarily working with what you already have and looking for ways to repurpose what is already in your home to re-energize your homeschool environment. Then supplement what you already have with some carefully thought out purchases.

If you look through my Homeschool Organization Pinterest board, you’ll discover I don’t put many pictures on there of gorgeous homeschool rooms that cost a fortune. I can’t afford it and so I just don’t go there. I’m more interested in sharing clever and affordable ideas.

So what can we do to re-energize our learning environments?

Create a Homeschool Learning Room

A few years ago we changed our living room into our learning room. We’ve been so happy with this decision although it took me about a year to actually do it once I started thinking about it. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner!

I know I am biased, but if you have a room that you honestly don’t use all that often I truly think it is worth considering making it into a learning room. It could be your formal dining room, your living room (if you have a family room as well) or a sunroom. Our home is not that large compared to most these days (1500 square feet), but I think it is being a good steward of this space to use it all the time rather than having it sit there mostly unused so I can have a living room.

What I love about having a learning room is that it encourages learning all the time. Because it is in such a prominent place in our home, Caroline goes in there often to do crafts, sit in the glider and look at library books, or drag out some other activity. (More on that later this week!)

It also keeps the mess and supplies in one place rather than all over the house. It is much easier to keep track of our learning materials because there is a central location for all of it. It doesn’t wander off into other rooms of the house. We rarely waste time looking for anything related to our homeschooling because we’ve trained Caroline to know that it stays in the learning room.

If you already have a learning room, there are a few ways to re-energize it. How about painting it a different color? Something cheerful like a pretty yellow or a soothing light robin’s egg blue?

What about removing heavy window treatments from the windows and letting in lots of natural light?

Moving the furniture around? We just moved a couple of pieces of furniture last week and wow! What a difference!

What about switching up the way you use the wall space? I use ours primarily to display Caroline’s artwork (something I’ll share more in the Not Back to School Blog Hop in a few weeks). Other than her artwork, a fun US map, a small dry erase board, and a monthly calendar pocket chart I try to keep the wall decorations few and far between. It makes the room look bigger and it cuts down on the distraction. Re-energizing your room could be as simple as rethinking what you put on the walls. Remember – less is usually more.

Organizing a Homeschool Learning Space or Pantry

Let’s say you simply don’t have a specific room you can use. Can you set up a specific space?  What about a corner of the family room? Could you clear out some of the stuff in the family room you really don’t use and instead put in bookcases or shelves with bins to organize learning materials? For a while we had a small table and chairs and bookcase in our family room for Caroline. Yes, it was a little crowded and it wouldn’t be a set up to feature on Pinterest. But it told her that she was important to us and that we wanted her to learn and explore all the time, not just when we were sitting down to “do school” with her.

If you have a kitchen pantry, you could use that. Most people could clean out half of what is in their kitchen and not even miss it. By purging your kitchen cupboards and pantry, you could open up the pantry space to hold all of your homeschool and learning materials.

Using Portable Homeschool Storage

If none of the above are possible, some kind of a rolling cart could work well. There are carts like this that could hold materials, books and supplies. Each child could have her/his own cart that could be stored in a closet or lined up against a wall in a room used less often. Each drawer could be labeled by subject with one drawer for supplies. The nice thing about rolling carts as opposed to crates is that it keeps all of the materials contained and looks a lot neater.

Utilize Bins and Shelves for Homeschool Organization

If you have room in the dining room or family room, you could set up a set of shelves/bookcase that holds colorful bins. Each child can keep his/her materials in his/her own bin and then you can use a couple of bins for basic supplies. This, too, will keep things looking neater than an open bookcase where everything gets dumped. It also keeps in all in one place instead of children dragging it throughout the house.

Purge Your Learning Materials

I believe that homeschooling moms, by and large, are natural hoarders when it comes to educational materials. Whether it’s books, supplies or curriculum, we have a natural bent to hang onto stuff because it might come in handy.

At some point, however, it can become more of a headache than an asset.

One way to re-energize your homeschool that won’t cost you anything is to simply purge what you have. Do you honestly need to keep every book? Every resource?

Getting rid of materials you really don’t need will free up both physical space and mental space.

Are there games no one wants to play? Get rid of them. What about craft supplies no one likes? Donate them. Curriculum you know you’ll never use again? Sell it. There’s no point hanging on to stuff that doesn’t add true value to your homeschool experience. Model good stewardship to your children by getting rid of what you don’t need so someone else can use it.

Some Guiding Principles

As you think about ways to re-energize your homeschool space, keep these principles in mind:

  • Neat and tidy saves time
  • Less is almost always more
  • Releasing things you don’t need brings freedom

How are you reworking your learning space? What has worked well for you in the past? What do you wish you had changed sooner?

This post is part of my series 5 Days to Re-Energize Your Homeschool.

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3 Ways to Change Your Homeschool Approach

3 Ways to Change Your Homeschool Approach

3 Ways to Change Your Homeschool Approach

Did you have ideas about what homeschooling would be like before you started? Before your child was out of diapers? How about before you had a child?

I did.

We were married almost ten years before we were blessed with Caroline so I had plenty of time to ponder homeschooling before she was even born.

And the funny thing is that it doesn’t look anything like I imagined it would.

There’s lots of reasons for that. I’ve changed. She is very much her own individual person. Our life circumstances have changed. Our financial situation has changed. My professional life has changed. Our location has changed.

My homeschooling approach has been much more fluid and flexible than I would have guessed.

While some people latch on to a particular homeschooling approach and run with it for years, I’ve never found that to work. At all.

Even when I wanted it to.

The more I’ve gotten to know my child, the more it’s necessitated changes to how we do school. Here are three ways you might consider shaking up your homeschool routine if you feel like it is in need of being re-energized.

1. Embrace a Different Homeschool Philosophy

I know this might sound nigh unto heretical to those who hold strong views regarding which approach is the best, but it may be what your homeschool needs. There are families homeschooling successfully using a wide variety of methods. There is absolutely no one way to do this home education thing.

Ask yourself if you are more committed to your philosophy or to your child’s individual needs.

Maybe you really want to be a classical homeschooler because you wished you had that kind of education, but it isn’t the best for your child.

Or maybe you love the warm fuzzy Charlotte Mason blogs you read, but you’re an indoor person who can’t do nature study outside.

Maybe your family would thrive in a relaxed homeschooling approach, but it scares you to think of giving up that much control.

Maybe you need to embrace who your child really is and not what you wish she was.

And if you have been homeschooling for just a year, you will really want to allow yourself freedom to make changes based on everything you’ve learned and experienced this first time around.

Exploring a different homeschool philosophy and changing your approach might be a great way to re-energize your homeschool.

2. Change Your Homeschool Yearly Cycle

Unless you are in a state with very rigid laws, homeschooling allows so much freedom. There are so many ways to schedule your year and maybe a different yearly flow would re-energize your homeschool.

Some families go six weeks on and one week off.

Some families do school four days a week, but go all year.

Some families do school all year, but take off the time between Thanksgiving and New Years as well as the month of July.

Personally I’d like to try to do school from January through August and take off September through December.

Would changing your overall yearly approach help your family?

3. Change Your Homeschool Daily Schedule

I’m going to let you in on a little secret… Did you know you don’t have to homeschool in the morning?

Shocking thought, isn’t it?

Let me ask you this… How many people did you know who refused to take an 8:00 a.m. or even a 9:10 a.m. class in college? Quite a few, I bet. Especially the 8:00 a.m. classes. I didn’t know ANYONE who willingly took one. But I can’t think of a single person who failed to function in the “real world” after college because they couldn’t get up and get to work on time.

Taking an 8:00 a.m. class did not equate to success in the real world. Neither does homeschooling in the morning mean your child will be better prepared for the real world.

I think it is amusing how quickly people extol the virtues of homeschooling flexibility when it comes to curriculum, learning styles and yearly scheduling, but become almost legalistic in the adherence to schooling in the morning.

Have you ever seriously considered moving the bulk of your homeschooling to the afternoon? If you have night owls, it might make a huge difference in their enthusiasm and level of engagement. Research shows starting later might even be especially better for teenagers. Even if you don’t push it all to the afternoon, choosing to start later in the morning might be an improvement.

Unless the laws in your state require you to do school in the morning (and I’ve never heard of it being so), you can do your learning whenever it works best for your family. That’s why for quite some time we homeschooled primarily in the afternoon and not the morning.

Something to consider if getting everyone started in the morning is a bit of a battle.

So there are three ways you can consider shaking up your homeschool routine a bit. Which one would make the biggest improvement in your home? Is there any advice people could share with you in the comments to help you implement the change?

Photo credit

This post is part of my series 5 Days to Re-Energize Your Homeschool.

girl lying on bed and reading book

 

girl lying on bed and reading book

5 Days to Re-Energize Your Homeschool

5 Days to Re-Energize Your Homeschool

Is it time to shake things up in your homeschool? Have you lost that energized feeling? Does homeschooling feel too routine? Not what you dreamed of doing with your child?

Even though you are still completely committed to homeschooling, have you lost some of your passion?

I have been feeling the need to re-energize our homeschool and so writing this series is as much working it out in pixels myself as it is sharing with those who gather here.

Part of my need to re-energize things is simply because of my daughter. As a gifted child, she craves variety. She requires variety.  I’ve known this since she was tiny, but it has become even more clear to me as I’ve delved into the world of the gifted. So keeping her interested and challenged is a huge deal for me.

This week I’m going to share 5 ways we can re-energize our homeschool

If you feel like you’ve fallen into a rut, this is for you.

If you feel like your approach to homeschooling isn’t producing the results you would like, this series is for you.

If you simply think your family would benefit from a fresh start, this series is for you!

May I offer one bit of advice as you read this series?

Tune out everyone else and do what works for you.

Seriously.

Don’t worry about what your parents or in-laws or siblings will think.

Don’t worry about what the other moms at co-op will think.

Don’t worry about what the other moms in such and such homeschool method forum will think.

Just focus on the particular needs and interests of your family. Read through the suggestions I offer and take what works for your particular situation.

And if you find yourself thinking, “Well, I could never do that!” ask yourself why.

Is it because it really won’t work for your family?

Or is it because you are carrying the expectations of others?

Or is it because you read something on a blog where the writer ripped to shreds anyone who would dare choose to do X and therefore would be ruining her child for life?

It’s really easy for us to absorb the expectations of others and not even realize it.

So let’s encourage each other as we shake things up! I hope you will find something each day to re-energize your homeschool. If you would like to receive the posts in your email so you don’t miss anything, feel free to subscribe.

Day 1: 3 Ways to Change Your Homeschool Approach

Day 2: Creative Ways to Re-Energize Your Homeschool Space

Day 3: Re-Energize Your Homeschool by Investing in New Materials

Day 4: Practice the Art of Strewing in Your Homeschool

Day 5: Relax and Plan More Fun to Re-Energize Your Homeschool

This is part of the iHomeschool Network 5 Day Blog Hop! Click here to see the other topics!

HopscotchSummer2014

 

7 Day Declutter and Organize Challenge

7 Day Declutter and Organize Challenge – Day 7

7 Day Declutter and Organize ChallengeIt’s our last day! Time to push toward the end! I still have a ways to go on my goals and have company coming today. I’m not sure how this is going to work, but I know that I’ve cleaned out quite a bit this week.

If you feel like you just don’t have time… Try to do just 5-10 items for a few minutes. Find some things to throw away. Sometimes just getting started will get the ball rolling!

How are you doing? Have you made some good progress this week? Even if you haven’t started, jump in today! You can share with us tomorrow what you accomplished!

See all the posts in the 7 Day Declutter and Organize Challenge

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7 Day Declutter and Organize Challenge

7 Day Declutter and Organize Challenge – Day 6

7 Day Declutter and Organize Challenge

When I first started decluttering in the spring, I decided something that had to go was the piles of unopened scrapbooking products. Before I developed neck and shoulder issues and then had Caroline I was a fairly steady scrapbooker. But once my life took a significant change, the scrapbooking fell to the wayside. I had a lot of Creative Memories products that were still in the original packaging. I knew that there was no way I was going to use them any time soon, if ever.

And so I sold them all on eBay.

I still do have some scrapbooking materials – pretty papers, stickers, etc. I’m letting Caroline use them from time to time, rationing them out a bit so she doesn’t go through them in a week. LOL!

But all of the pages and pocket pages and stuff like that is gone. I’ve released it to other people who will use it and enjoy it. It no longer takes up mental space or physical space in my home. If I ever do decide to get back into scrapbooking in the future, I can go shopping and buy what I need.

Do you have unused hobby materials that need to go? Are you hanging on to products that you simply don’t use and probably never will? Who could you give them to? Or could you sell them on eBay and use the money for something that really would be helpful today?

See all the posts in the 7 Day Declutter and Organize Challenge

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The Ultimate Guiide to the Best Seasonal and Holiday Boards on Pinterest

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Seasonal and Holiday Boards on Pinterest

The Ultimate Guiide to the Best Seasonal and Holiday Boards on Pinterest

I love Pinterest. It is by far my favorite social media tool. I enjoy scrolling through all the ideas. In the past I had to keep all my ideas in files, on paper. Now I can keep so many more and find them so much more quickly!

I’ve assembled below what I’m calling The Ultimate Guide to the Best Seasonal and Holiday Pinterest Boards. These are primarily Pinterest boards by fellow homeschool blogger moms who are a part of the iHomeschool Network (iHN). I’ve broken it down by topic in academic calendar order starting with autumn.

The list isn’t fancy. Even though it is Pinterest themed, I didn’t spend a bunch of time on gorgeous graphics. I thought it was a better use of my time to include as many boards as I could and let you click through to find what you like.

So enjoy exploring and I hope you find many new boards to follow!

You can find all of my Pinterest boards here.

Fall/Autumn

Fall Ideas for Kids from Mama of Many Blessings

Autumn Activities for Kids from Susan Evans

Fall from Amy Matkovich

Fall for Kids from Ticia – Adventures in Mommydom

Autumn/Fall Ideas from Karyn ~ Teach Beside Me

Autumn from Amy Stults

Autumn from Heather Woodie

Homeschool – Fall from Amy T. – Are We There Yet?

Fall Crafts and Activities from Beth {123 Homeschool 4 Me}

Autumn from Our Journey Westward

Fall Art from Tricia Hodges

 

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving for Kids from Ticia – Adventures in Mommydom

Thanksgiving from True Aim Education

Homeschool Thanksgiving from Amy T. @ Are We There Yet?

Thanksgiving from Kathy of Cornerstone Confessions

Thanksgiving Homeschool Ideas from Dianna Kennedy – Kennedy Adventures

Holidays – Thanksgiving from Amy Stults

Thanksgiving from Heidi at StartsAtEight

Thanksgiving from Mama of Many Blessings

Thanksgiving from Our Journey Westward

Thanksgiving from Judy Hoch

Thanksgiving from Amy Matkovich

 

Christmas/Advent

Advent and Christmas from Stephanie @ Harrington Harmonies

Seasonal – Christmas from Our Journey Westward

Christmas Crafts for Kids from Beth {123 Homeschool 4 Me}

Homeschool – Christmas from Amy T @ Are We There Yet?

Christmas Fun from Heather Woodie

Christmas from Amy Stults

Christmas Crafts for Kids from Ticia, Adventures in Mommydom

Christmas Homeschooling Resources from Dianna Kennedy – Kennedy Adventures

Holidays – Christmas from Kathy from Cornerstone Confessions

Christmas from Amy Matkovich

Christmas Ideas for Families and Kids from Mama of Many Blessings

Christmas from Tricia Hodges

Advent from Ticia – Adventures in Mommydom

Christmas and Winter from Karyn, Teach Beside Me

Advent and Christmas Activities for Toddlers and PreK from Lara’s Place

 

Winter

Winter from Heidi at StartsAtEight

Winter Activities for Kids from Ticia, Adventures in Mommydom

Winter from Blog She Wrote

Winter Books and Crafts for Kids from Dianna Kennedy – Kennedy Adventures

Winter from Amy Stults

Winter Activities for Kids from Susan Evans

Winter Art from Tricia Hodges

Winter from Mama of Many Blessings

Holiday – Let It Snow from Stephanie @ Harrington Harmonies

 

Valentine’s Day

Holiday – Valentine’s Day from Stephanie @ Harrington Harmonies

Seasonal – Valentine’s Day from Our Journey Westward

Valentine’s Crafts from Beth {123 Homeschool 4 Me}

Valentine’s Day from Karyn ~ Teach Beside Me

Valentine’s Day for Kids from Ticia, Adventures in Mommydom

Valentine’s Day Resources from Dianna Kennedy – Kennedy Adventures

Holidays – Valentine’s Day from Kathy of Cornerstone Confessions

Valentine’s Day Ideas for Kids from True Aim Education

Valentine’s Day Ideas for Moms and Kids from Mama of Many Blessings

 

Spring

Spring Theme from Mama of Many Blessings

Spring Activities for Kids from Susan Evans

Garden and Spring Resources for Children from Dianna Kennedy – Kennedy Adventures

Spring Activities for Kids from Ticia – Adventures in Mommydom

Spring Art from Tricia Hodges

 

Easter

Holiday – Easter – Alleluia from Stephanie @ Harrington Harmonies

Easter Activities for Kids from Beth {123 Homeschool 4 Me}

Lent and Resurrection for Toddlers from Lara’s Place and a Cup of Grace

Easter and Spring from Karyn ~ Teach Beside Me

Easter Activities for Kids from Ticia – Adventures in Mommydom

Easter Resources for Children from Dianna Kennedy – Kennedy Adventures

Holidays – Easter from Kathy of Cornerstone Confessions

Easter from True Aim Education

Easter Unit Study from Susan Evans

Easter Ideas for Kids from Mama of Many Blessings

Easter from Amy Matkovich

 

St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day for Kids from Mama of Many Blessings

Saint Patrick’s Day Unit Study from Susan Evans

Saint Patrick’s Day from Dianna Kennedy – Kennedy Adventures

Saint Patrick’s Day for Kids from Ticia – Adventures in Mommydom

St. Patrick’s Day from Karyn ~ Teach Beside Me

Holidays – St. Patrick’s Day from Amy Stults

St. Patrick’s Day from Heidi at StartsAtEight

Saint Patrick’s Day from Beth {123 Homeschool 4 Me}

Holiday – St. Patrick’s Day from Stephanie @ Harrington Harmonies

 

Summer

Summer Activities for Kids from Susan Evans

Summer Activities for Kids from Ticia – Adventures in Mommydom

Summer from Heather Woodie

Summer Activities from Beth {123 Homeschool 4 Me}

Summer Fun from Mama of Many Blessings

 

Patriotic: Memorial Day and Independence Day/Fourth of July

Patriotic Holidays from Karyn ~ Teach Beside Me

Fourth of July from Susan Evans

Fun 4th of July Ideas from Mama of Many Blessings

Patriotic from Tricia hodges

4th of July – Independence Day Resources from Dianna Kennedy – Kennedy Adventures

If you are looking for more seasonal and holiday ideas, check out my learning products by topic!

Back to School

Fall/Autumn

Thanksgiving

Christmas/Advent

Winter

Spring

Summer

Patriotic

7 Day Declutter and Organize Challenge

7 Day Declutter and Organize Challenge – Day 5

7 Day Declutter and Organize Challenge

Woo hoo! We’re up to Day 5! How are you doing?

Today let’s focus on getting rid of things that make us feel guilty because we never use them even though we have the best of intentions.

What did I get rid of?

A bunch of Pampered Chef stoneware.

Many years ago I attended a few Pampered Chef parties. And I bought some stoneware because everyone raved about it.

Except I discovered I didn’t like baking with stoneware.

I just didn’t.

So I had a few pieces of this expensive stoneware that mocked me each time I opened a certain kitchen cupboard.

It reminded me of my good intentions to do more “special” baking for my family.

it reminded me of how much money I had wasted on this stoneware.

I finally had enough. I sold it on a local FB group. I got $10 for each piece I sold. I don’t even care that I lost money on it.

IT’S OUT OF MY HOUSE! 

IT’S NO LONGER MOCKING ME!

What’s mocking YOU? Clothes you never wear? Shoes? Kitchen paraphernalia? Books? Exercise equipment?

What needs to go today?

Share with us what you’ve gotten rid of so we can celebrate with you!

See all the post in the 7 Day Declutter and Organize Challenge

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Shapes Treasure Hunt - Hide and seek game with colors and shapes for toddlers and preschoolers

Shapes Treasure Hunt – Free hide and seek game with colors and shapes for toddlers and preschoolers

Shapes Treasure Hunt - Hide and seek game with colors and shapes for toddlers and preschoolers

When Caroline was a toddler, I found a hide and seek shape game online. She LOVED playing it. I decided to make my own version to share here. I improved it and added a bit of flexibility that was lacking with the one I downloaded.

After you print the three pages, cut out the nine shapes. I highly recommend laminating the shapes and play mats. (I love my Scotch Thermal Laminator!)

Show your little one how the shapes match the outlines on the mat. Then hide the shapes around the room. When your little one finds a shape, she can come back and put it on the play mat. The mat will also help her keep track of how many more she needs to find and what color they are.

When she finds them all, hide the shapes again. And if your toddler or preschooler is like mine, you’ll be doing it many, many times.

Enjoy!

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7 Day Declutter and Organize Challenge

7 Day Declutter and Organize Challenge – Day 4

7 Day Declutter and Organize Challenge

Did you find the courage to get rid of some “valuable” things yesterday? Were you able to separate your sentimental feelings about a person or event with the object you associate with it?

Good for you!

If not, keep trying! It took me a number of years to get to the point where I could get rid of some things and not feel guilty or sad about it. But once you get there, it does get easier!

One of the great gifts we can give to our children is the ability to not become too attached to “things” and recognize that stuff is just temporary. We set the example for how to relate to material possessions.

So what are you cleaning out today? How much clutter have you removed from your home? Has anyone else around you caught the declutter bug after seeing you in action? Leave a comment so we can celebrate with you!

See all of the posts from the 7 Day Declutter and Organize Challenge

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