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Posted by on Jan 16, 2014 in Children, Education, Family, Homeschool, Kindergarten, Memories, Motherhood, Parenting, Preschool, Stay At Home Mom, This Is Homeschool, Toddlers | 2 comments

This Is Homeschool: 01.16.14

This Is Homeschool: 01.16.14

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We’ve been spending lots of days in our jammies (you’ve got that right – full days in pajamas – simply because we can). Between multiple illnesses among us and the freezing cold temps outside, why bother getting dressed?! Today, being a ‘recovery’ day, we decided to stay in our pj’s & do things like play cards, dye noodle necklaces (post coming soon), read, & do workbooks and a few other projects.

We love playing cards for so many reasons. As homeschoolers, it teaches us various concepts such as numbers, taking turns, strategy, planning ahead…and as a family, it brings us together for some time, usually a long time, and teaches patience as well as how to win and how to lose.

Crazy 8’s (pictured) is a great game for little ones. Also, Go Fish, Old Maid, & Speed are fun, age-appropriate games to play with preschoolers & kindergartners. The kids love playing card games & learn in the process: a win-win! Who knew a little play could lead to such enrichment?!

What are some of your favorite family-friendly card games? Do share, please!

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Posted by on Jan 10, 2014 in Baby, Breastfeeding, Childbirth, Children, Choices, Education, Family, Fatherhood, Homeschool, infant, Life, Lifestyle, Motherhood, Motivational Posts, Natural Childbirth, Natural Parenting, newborn, Parenting, Philosophy, Potty Training, Pregnancy, Stay At Home Mom, Terrible Twos, Toddler Challenges, Toddler Naps, Toddlers | 1 comment

Patience Is Key

Patience Is Key

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Several times throughout my time as a mother, conversations have come up regarding different parenting styles. Should you co-sleep or cry it out? Should you breast-feed or bottle feed? Should you go natural or have a medicated birth? When it’s time for potty training, do we try boot camp or let them learn on their own? The list goes on…

It has been my experience that I always choose the long road. I’ve had three natural births (including two decently long labors lasting over 24 hours and a shoulder dystocia baby), we co-sleep, I’ve breastfed each of our three babies until they were at least one year old, and we homeschool. We let our kids potty ‘train’ in their own time (which we have really lucked out at so far!) & our discipline methods are few. It seems as though we have created work for ourselves, but I truly believe it will make a difference in the long run.

Everything requires patience. It takes longer to learn how to breastfeed your baby than it does to mix a bottle. It takes more time to sleep with your baby or rock your baby to sleep each night than it does to cry it out. Natural birth takes more work and waiting patiently for that baby to come may take longer than you would like, but it’s worth it! It’s always worth it. Your children are worth it.

Patience doesn’t come easily around our home these days. Juggling all life has to offer while raising children is hard work.

Hopefully our children will, in turn, learn that patience. Patience is a very important quality to hold throughout life. I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t have much. However, what I do have is most often spent on our children, and I have to remind myself of this on a daily, if not hourly, basis.

I realize this post will fire up some defensive parents, but relax. I’m not judging those who don’t do what I do. We are all unique and to each his own. The only difference between you & I is a little patience.

I would like to show my experiences, that what you think may be harder at first glance may actually be easier in the long run.

You see, natural birth often leads to healthy babies, which often lead to healthy bonding, which also often means successful breastfeeding which often leads to a sleepy baby. Don’t you think this is a good start to life, if you can help it? Wouldn’t you imagine children are much more likely to have happy childhoods if this is the way they begin? It seems like so much less frustration and annoyance if the anxiety is lessened by living this way.

It doesn’t stop there (And here is where I need to be reminded most these days). Remaining patient while raising our children hopefully teaches them to be kind and gentle, patient and understanding.

Once again, obviously we will all live how we need to live. And we all will love the way we need to love. A little patience certainly has never hurt anyone. In fact, patience is key.

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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 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 Nov 30, 2013 in Baby, Birthday Parties, Birthdays, bowtie, Carnival Party, Children, Christmas, Creative, Etsy, Gift Ideas, Giveaways, Handmade, Handmade Holiday, headband, Holiday Gift Ideas, holiday shopping, Holidays, Party, Photography, Product Review, Reviews, Save money, Shopping, Stay At Home Mom, Support Handmade, Tiny Chaos, Toddlers, Working Mom | 1 comment

Tiny Chaos – Review and GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

Tiny Chaos – Review and GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

I’ve fallen in love. I simply adore bow ties, especially on little boys. Our own little man also simply adores wearing bow ties. He thinks they’re handsome, and so do we.
Bowtie by Tiny Chaos, Photo copyright Jessica LK Photography 2013

Bowtie by Tiny Chaos, Photo copyright Jessica LK Photography 2013

The best place, the only place to find super adorable toddler bow ties is Tiny Chaos.
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Natalie Carter is the creative mind behind some really handsome handmade bow ties and hair bows at Tiny Chaos. I found her on Instagram, though she also has a Facebook page and shop on Etsy. Tiny Chaos is so good about posting photos of her latest bow creations, and even better – she has flash sales often!
tiny chaos holiday headband
I love that Tiny Chaos puts together color combinations, textures, and patterns that are unexpected, yet they are always beautiful and unique. Her holiday collection is spot on with both classic styles & modern looks. Every little guy needs a Tiny Chaos bow tie in his stocking this year…but why wait?! Take advantage of her Black Friday weekend sale – many of the shop’s listings are marked down plus free shipping on all domestic orders over $10.00 until 12/25 with the code ’10FREESHIP’!! How much do you love these bows?!
tiny chaos polka dot
tiny chaos pink headband
tiny chaos glitter headband
Natalie is so easy and fun to work with. Shipping is very fast & those darling little bow ties and headbands come packaged very nicely. It makes a good gift or a perfect accessory for your holiday photo shoot! (And keep in mind she can make matching Father/Son bow ties, even sister headbands to match!) Tiny Chaos was gracious enough to supply our mini man with a special celebratory bow tie for The Big Carnival Bash!
Bowtie by Tiny Chaos Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Bowtie by Tiny Chaos
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

We have decided to be sure to have a Tiny Chaos bow tie for every occasion now through college graduation! How can you resist?!
Tiny Chaos is giving away a handsome bow tie to one lucky winner!
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ENTER TO WIN A GINGHAM BOW TIE!!

You could and you should win this handsome fall gingham bow tie! Simply just click the link above & be on your merry way.

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TERMS AND CONDITIONS: One will receive one (1) Fall Gingham Bow tie by Tiny Chaos (a $14 value). Contest begins November 30, 2013 at 12:00am and ends December 7, 2013 at 12:00am. Winner will be announced Saturday, December 7, 2013 via sweet whimsy designs’ Facebook page. Prize will be shipped to any of the 48 contingent U.S. States within one to two weeks of winner announcement. Entries will be verified.
Thank you to Pamela Rayburn Photography & Jessica LK Photography for providing their beautiful photographs. Rochester, NY & Finger Lakes-area friends, keep them in mind when looking for superb photography!
Full disclosure: Tiny Chaos provided me with a bow tie to review to be able to write this post. I have not been compensated in any other way to feature Tiny Chaos 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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