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Posted by on Aug 26, 2014 in Homeschool, Kids Activities | 1 comment

This Is Homeschool: 08.26.14

This Is Homeschool: 08.26.14

It’s that time of year again. The “end of summer” & the beginning of “school”.

Not for us.

We are on our own schedule since homeschooling last year. Our summers last a little longer (until September 23rd, at least, as they should be) and our official school year doesn’t begin until, well, until I say so. (Reason #789 why we homeschool.)

This is our first year reporting as homeschoolers. What does that mean? We had to send of Letter Of Intent to our district and wait for their response, at which time we sent our IHIP (Individualized Home Instruction Plan) with a nice overview of what we plan to teach our little first grader this year. Lofty goals.

One thing I like to do all the time, whether it be part of schooling or not, is talk with the kids about what they want to learn. Maybe there is a long-term goal attached, maybe just a short-term. Their answer could even be something as simple as “learn to whistle” or “I want to make pizza”. No pressure, only a way for me to keep up-to-date on what’s going on in their little minds.

This is our current list. We will add to it and take away from it as the year progresses. The plan is to start next week along with the rest of the education system, but we likely will let the summer linger a few more weeks and enjoy visiting places like the zoo & the museum so we can have them all to ourselves. (Reason #790 why we homeschool.) We are somewhat structured/somewhat unstructured, or “unschoolers” in our home instruction. The kids have been dipping into learning all summer and we will continue to do so until we feel the need to be a little more structured. (Reason #791.) There are some great ideas here on this list. Our children are now almost 6, 4 1/2 and 2 1/2. I like their goals & hope to help them achieve them this year.

What are your plans for the impending school year? Whether you’re in public school or private, homeschooling or co-oping it, we’d love to hear!

TIH 2014 Learning

 

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Posted by on Jan 4, 2014 in Arts, Children, Crafts, Creative, Economical Activities, Homeschool, Kids Activities, Kindergarten, Preschool, Stay At Home Mom, Toddlers | 2 comments

C Is For Camel

C Is For Camel

We’re finding ourselves right down the middle of the line between structured schoolers and unschoolers. No rush, but the kids seem to desire some structure once in a while. This is such a learning experience for all of us!

Part of our latest homeschool curriculum is to choose a letter as well as take turns choosing an animal of the week.

I got the idea to do a letter of the week from Confessions Of A Honeschooler, one of my favorite homeschooling resources.

This week, it was Tavia’s turn to choose so she chose camel. Therefore, the letter of the week is C.

I love that she chose a camel! We learned a lot about camels. I always enjoy learning new things alongside them. Did you know dromedary camels can store up to 80 pounds of fat in their humps?! They can survive on that for a long time in the desert.

We watched a few videos, some educational and some just for fun. The kids got a kick out of Alice The Camel!

Some info came from National Geographic, some from other sources online & from our local library.

We also made some camels of our very own out of egg cartons, markers, glue, & pipe cleaners.

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Posted by on Jan 3, 2014 in Children, Crazy Mom-isms, Creative, Decor, DIY, Economical Activities, Education, Family, Home Decor, Homeschool, Kids Activities, Kindergarten, Library, Lifestyle, Minimal Living, Motherhood, Organize, Save money, Stay At Home Mom | 3 comments

Space Invaders

Space Invaders

20140103-120818.jpgHere’s a little something you may not know about us: We live in a 1200 square foot town home.

Five people. Two bedrooms. One general living room. One kitchen. One dining room. One and a half bathrooms. One garage. One basement.

One work-from-home Mama. Three homeschoolers. One hundred percent childhood energy.

You do the math.

This photo depicts an organized, believe it or not, version of our current set-up for a “play area”. (It may appear a tad hazardous, but not to worry, those shelves are anchored several times to insure safety.) All of our new Christmas presents & overflow of toys have been sorted and arranged. This is pretty much everything the children have, nestled into this puzzle of shelving.

The homeschool area was just relocated yesterday & has to be organized, art & projects hung up, shelving installed. This is depicting the bare minimum.

There is always something more needed in this space. We always need something more to keep us from going bonkers while living in close quarters.

Sure, we have outgrown our space. You’re not the first person to think that, not would you be the first to call me crazy for choosing to homeschool three little ones in such a tight space.

The time will come when we have our own home, but now, life is just too busy and hectic to have to worry about a new roof, a leaky hot water tank, broken windows or a new refrigerator.

We are making due with what we have because that is the way to happy.

We are choosing happiness together. Really close together.

For tips on how to stay organized with lots of toys, books, games, puzzles, and supplies, please don’t ask me.20140103-121935.jpg

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Posted by on Dec 12, 2013 in Children, Christmas, Crafts, Creative, DIY, Economical Activities, Education, Gift Ideas, Handmade, Handmade Holiday, Holiday Gift Ideas, Holidays, Homemade, Homeschool, Kids Activities, Kindergarten, Parenting, Preschool, Stay At Home Mom, This Is Homeschool, Toddlers | 0 comments

This Is Homeschool: Gingerbread Crayons

This Is Homeschool: Gingerbread Crayons

It’s snowy and cold. Winter is here, and so are the holidays…in full force!

As busy as I’ve been, I always try to make time to craft with the kids. For the past several years, we have collected broken crayons from our home, restaurants, etc. We just hold onto them to make our own crayons!

I found a fairly inexpensive gingerbread crayon mold at Hobby Lobby last week (it was 50% off) for a total of about $4.

The kids love to peel stuff (it’s a gene, I swear), so we got to work stripping the crayons. This takes a while, but with a little Christmas music & storytelling, we passed the time fairly easily.

Speaking of time, we’ve been learning about the passage of time – how long is a minute, an hour, a day. We guessed how long it would take to melt the crayons in the toaster oven. We didn’t get too scientific, rather we kept it simple. Each child guessed & Marsden came the closest! Then we did the same for guessing how long it would take for the crayons to cool. Tavia was closest this time.

A fun and pretty time consuming activity – with lots of play time in between!

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Posted by on Oct 7, 2013 in All About Kraft, All About Kraft, Children, Crafts, Crafts, Creative, Economical Activities, Etsy, Gift Ideas, Giveaways, Handmade, Handmade Holiday, Holiday Gift Ideas, Homeschool, Kids Activities, Kindergarten, Preschool, Product Review, Quiet Book, Reviews, Shopping, Stay At Home Mom | 6 comments

All About Kraft – Review and GIVEAWAY!

All About Kraft – Review and GIVEAWAY!

Several months ago, I received an email from a sweet shop owner wishing to purchase some peg dolls for her little one. We ended up trading our goods because I fell in love with her shop, All About Kraft. Owner and creator Jessica is a stay-at-home Mom of one little one (& expecting a second child soon!) and opened the shop out of the love for her son. She created a quiet book for him and soon had inquiries from others to create for them. Isn’t that the best way to start a handmade shop?! Jessica considers her sewing and crafting to be her “me time” while her son is sleeping & allows her to relax and unwind. We all need our outlets, and All About Kraft has chosen to spread the love to others by expanding her creative outlet to her Etsy shop.

Mr. Potato Head Quiet Book

Mr. Potato Head Quiet Book

Mr. Potato Head Quiet Book

Mr. Potato Head Quiet Book

Tic Tac Toe Quiet Book

Tic Tac Toe Quiet Book

We have the Mr. Potato Head Quiet Book and the Tic Tac Toe Quiet Book which the kids really love! We tote it along on car rides, lunches and dinners out to eat, play dates, and especially during rest/quiet times. Believe me when I say they will keep your child quiet and busy for a good amount of time! Jessica had our custom books shipped to us nicely in no time at all. We were able to choose special colors which we took advantage of by selecting our son’s all-time favorite color of orange for much of the Mr. Potato Head book pages and pink and blue were our daughter’s choices for the Tic Tac Toe book cars. You can have a lot of fun with All About Kraft, so don’t hesitate to get creative. Jessica can handle it, for sure!

The shop has more than just quiet books. We really need to get ourselves some Super Hero & Princess Capes! What kid doesn’t love pretending with a cape?! I think her Toddler Messenger Bags are crazy cute and pretty sure my kids would, too.

all about kraft capes

all about kraft toddler messenger bags

Homeschoolers and educators and parents alike: take note. The shop has great learning resources like the Weather Felt Quiet Book and the Train Counting Quiet Book. I’d have to say the pièce de résistance has to be the Take Along Fabric Doll House and Dolls. If that doesn’t keep your child busy, I don’t know what will!

all about kraft dollhouse

all about kraft laundry room

What’s in it for you?

All About Kraft is giving away one (1) quiet book of your choice from the shop to one lucky winner (up to a $25 value)!

You can enter HERE

Good luck, and enjoy!

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: One (1) winner will receive one (1) quiet book of their choice from All About Kraft (up to a $25 value). Contest begins October 7, 2013 at 12:00am and ends October 14, 2013 at 12:00am. Winner will be announced Monday, October 14, 2013 via sweet whimsy designs’ Facebook page. Prize will be shipped to any of the 48 contingent U.S. states within one week of winner announcement. Entries will be verified.

Full disclosure: I have not been compensated in any way to write this post or feature All About Kraft in this post. It was completely my own doing, simply a collaboration, and I hope you never thought otherwise, even for a second :). 

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