Thursday, November 19, 2015

Whoa! It's been along time since any of us have been in here!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Summer Fun 2013

Summer Fun 2013

Here is a list of fun summer ideas I made for a friend who is going to have her grand-kids all summer, and I thought it was a good start of fun summer ideas for us as well, so enjoy this list of ideas of how to handle summer with kiddos :)
Start by printing these things:
Summer Reading Star found here http://www.howdoesshe.com/summer-reading-star-free-exclusive-printable/
Summer Bucket list and weekly journals found here http://lifeasmom.com/2013/05/diy-on-a-dime-the-summer-to-do-list.html and here http://lifeasmom.com/2013/05/diy-on-a-dime-summer-fun-journal.html
100 Things to Do This Summer found here http://www.babble.com/home/100-things-to-do-this-summer-with-your-kids/

Then add this:
~make a relaxed schedule and try to stick with it, except when away from home
~go see the free movies at the Allen Theaters (I recommend the 9am show)
~check out the www.howdoesshe.com and print out the Summer Reading Star program. USE it. One of the great things about having multiple ages is that the bigger ones can read to the little ones. Ask parents what they want to use for prizes.
~Make your own playdough, sidewalk chalk, and finger paints. Use them (see links below)
~Strictly enforce a quiet time after lunch. This is for YOU and them. *reading, puzzles, actual naps, whatever...as long as it's quiet and you aren't disturbed*~Go the library once a week to pick books for quiet reading time/books on CD/a movie in case of a rainy day
~Plan lunches a week in advance so it's one less thing to worry about each day.
~Pack picnics and enjoy them under a tree on a blanket, even if it's in the backyard
~Pull out the board games and teach them to play your favorites.
~Look up www.littlelearninglovies.com for some educational games for cheap that you can print out and use some of that time for learning.
~Make a salt tray for the little ones to practice their letters and numbers
~Check out www.learnforalifetimelc.com for some day camp ideas for a little time away from the kiddos.
~Most zoos/museums have family passes that make it quite affordable.
~Write a story together. Each person gets to tell a sentence, and then illustrate it together and get it copied and bound at Staples or Kinkos.
~If you don't already have some, ask someone make you some wooden blocks and let them build all day (Legos will also work, but only if they are a special occasion thing that normally stays put away)
~Play make overs/beauty parlor/restaurant
~Pack a 'rainy day' box of special things just for days when you can't go out. Puzzles, craft supplies, cards and dice, a fave board game, a new read-aloud book, a DVD from the $5 bin at Wal-Mart, a special treat they all love, etc
~Teach them the glory of just being quiet and enjoying the day. Sip iced tea, read in the shade, enjoy a rocking chair.
~Make them do chores, it they are helping make the mess, they can help clean it up
~Let them be bored, it's ok

http://lifeasmom.com/2013/05/homemade-finger-paint.html
http://lifeasmom.com/2012/12/diy-on-a-dime-make-a-playdough-kit.html
http://www.parenthacks.com/2013/03/homemade-sidewalk-chalk.html
Ta Da! Great summer fun, pretty easy on the budget and it's all right here. Add some lemonade and a swimsuit and you are DONE! :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

"Holiday Hallway" Project

Hello Friends!
Just zipping past with a quick craft for the 'no big holiday' months of January and February. I have this lovely little hallway at the front of my house and I've claimed it as the 'holiday hallway' since hubster doesn't care for my 'clutter', I mean decorating attempts. So since we've arrived last spring, it's been adorned with our Summer Reading Challenge posters, spent a while dressed up for fall, and most recently was a wintry blizzard full of snowflakes. I had intended to leave the snow up all winter, but a certain someone declared with CHRISTMAS decorations and helpfully took them down for me. *ahem, thank you* So I now have a bare hallway that is NEEDING some attention. I've got two long pieces of twine strung along the walls and plenty of mini-clothes pins to hang things on, so it's just a matter of picking a topic. After perusing my calendar for upcoming holidays, I decided that I'd do a multi-holiday theme for the rest of the winter. Those holidays include more snowflakes, hearts for Valentine's Day, President silhouettes and quotes plus national and state flags for President's Day, and "I have a dream" Dream Clouds for Martin Luther King Day where they will fill in their dreams for the world. To some it might be a bit jumbled looking, but I'm excited about it.
I've got a house full today with Jodi's 2 boys here to join my 3, so once nap time is over for the littles, we will be gathering around the craft table with scissors, glue and crayons to enjoy some creative time together.
If you are interested, I printed things from these pages.
Flags~ http://www.free-printable-flags.com/ and http://www.freeprintablecoloringpages.net/category/State_Flags
Hearts~ http://homeschooled-kids.com/valentinesdayhearttemplate.html
Clouds~ http://www.edupics.com/coloring-page-cloud-i22857.html
President Silhouttes~ http://kidscraftzone.com/category/Presidents-Day-Crafts.aspx

Thanks for joining us. I'll be adding a few more pics once we are finished with our craft.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Homeschooling Room Re-Do

Homeschool Room Re-Do



I am so excited to share this post with you! The first weekend in Sept (yes, I know it's November) Dan went out of town to pick up Patrick who had been spending a few weeks in IL with my parents. I asked my sister Karen to watch David and Derek for a few days so I could have a much needed break from parenting, homeschooling, being the mama taxi and meeting the needs of my husband and family. (hey, everyone needs a break now and then) I made my lists, prioritized them, started over, made more lists, made more lists and MORE lists, and before long, I had way more planned than I could get done in a MONTH alone. So I settled on one large project and made it my focus. Our school room had been needing "something" for a while. It was crowded, cluttery, disorganized and discouraging to be in for any length of time. "Something" needed to be done. So I endevoured to do that particular something. *winks*
Once all of the Man Crew was off to their adventures without me, I settled in with some music, some snacks, a new Gaither DVD, and my camera. I'm sure I annoyed everyone on my FB friends list by posting every 5 minutes for a few hours. I am not used to being alone (as in, it's been 10 years since I've been alone for more than a few hours~ seriously) so once I got the hang of that, I got down to business. I started with the pre-requisite BEFORE pictures that looks like this *cringe*



I hope this is a No Judgement Zone :) I know. Clutter clutter clutter. Anywho, after that, I just scooped up every single thing in the room and drug it to the LR. I piled all the papers, and books, and games, and manipulatives on the couch, chairs and floor and started going through every single thing. THAT took 2 full days. It was slow going but so worth doing. I pulled almost 1/2 of the things out to either be put into storage (boys old school papers and projects) sold on eBay or to homeschooling friends, or just be tossed, tossed, tossed. It felt GOOD! I cleaned the room, the furniture and the walls. I also rearranged so that the room was more open and airy. So, here is the fruit of my labors. 3 days well spent in my opinion. The boys are able to find all of their things at a moment's notice. Plenty of things went to other families to bless them. The room is clean and useable, we almost never have to LOOK for somewhere to sit down our papers these days, and that's ALWAYS a good thing!


Oh, and we even finally had room for all my encouraging posters, informative reminders and seasonal decorations.
I know, I'm a super dork to get so excited about a clean and well organized space, but I'm ok with that. :) Being able to effectively corral our homeschooling 'schtuff' has always eluded me, so it's a big deal. LOL
Blessings, ~K~

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Truth in the Tinsel~ Christmas/Advent ideas



I recently found this cute little book called Truth in the Tinsel. It's an e-book for the younger set of kiddos that shares a verse and a craft for each day of Advent to bring the focus back to the birth of the Savior instead of on MORE MORE MORE...gifts, treats, Santa. I purchased it and can not wait for the right time to start. I like that she offers either a list of supplies to make all the crafts so you can be sure to have them on hand, or a printable version of the craft for each day so even the busiest of families (or those with MANY small hands) can enjoy the book. Check it out over at http://truthinthetinsel.com/buy-the-book/   Enjoy!
     Blessings, ~K~

The Man Crew 2012-2013 Homeschooling Update

Homeschooling Overview for 2012-2013 School Year



Hi friends! Just a little update now that school is in full swing this year. While we continue to home school, we remember it's a journey, not a destination so we revise our plans a bit each year depending on work circumstances, the boys' ability to work alone or in pairs, where we need to work harder, whether a particular curriculum is meeting our needs, etc. Plus, we pray like crazy over it and ask the Lord to fill the gaps, as there are sure to be some along the way.
So let's cover a few things that are the same as last year, then we will mention a few new things for this school year.
SAME~
*Same curriculum for all. D is using Blessed is the Man, an independent unit study approach that allows him much freedom in choosing his own assignments, but that keeps him focused on the Lord and his education. P is working through what will be his last year in MFW and is using the Creation to the Greeks set. DT is enjoying MFW as well and even though he's officially in second grade, we're re-doing last years 1st grade to reinforce some concepts that he's still struggling with in phonics.
*Same scheduling time blocks as last year. D and P work independently in the mornings while I work one on one with DT. Then in the afternoon, DT rests/plays quietly and I work with D and P.
*We have the same goals as well. We want our boys to have a firm foundation not only in the basics of education but to be well grounded in the Bible, character traits and loving their neighbors.
A few things that are NOT the SAME~
*We are not following the same pattern of working like crazy forever and a day, and then taking a super long break during the holidays. While we've enjoyed this routine and it was most definitely a must while I was working nights at Kohl's, I don't work at night anymore and the break was too long and allowed us to get too far off track in our studies and out of the good study habits we'd been working on so long. So this year, we are following a 6 weeks on/1 week off routine that allows us plenty of wiggle room when we need it, keeps us from getting burnt out on school before having a break, and doesn't let our good habits slip during the breaks.
*We've also returned to a 5 day school week, whether Dan is working 4 day weeks or not. The boys are old enough now to focus on school even when Dan is home :) And it gives us a little wiggle room for when we want to join our friends at the park for a picnic and some free time. DT's curriculum calls for one day of exploring nature, so he takes along his microscope and digs for bugs, leaves and such while he's playing.
*My parents will be joining us for the winter months. From early December until late April/early May, so we are really looking forward to that. My mom is already chomping at the bit to dig in and do school with the boys and has spent hours scouring books and Internet sites looking for fun learning activities. It will be such a treat for us to have them with us!
*D and P have added Apologia Science to their studies and are enjoying the experiments already. They are also working on their cooperative skills since I am asking them to work through everything together.
*DT has added tutoring to his repertoire of activities and enjoys his few hours with Aunt Jodi's office each week.
*We enjoyed our first ever home school Co-Op this fall and while P balked at the change in routine (he's such a homebody at times) I think P and DT enjoyed it. D opted out for the fall session. I have already signed up for the spring session and am looking forward to it very much.
*Last but decidedly NOT least in the new category is an actual HOME SCHOOL section in the monthly budget. Since we are nearly done buying curriculum forever (hurray for re-using curriculum) we can afford to spend a little bit each month on a new lapbook, a field trip, some new books, new manipulatives or a day of fun that's home school related instead of using a large chunk of the tax refund to buy new curriculum for all the boys. I'm pretty excited about this! This month's addition was D and P's Apologia curriculum. Next month's purchases will probably be some crafting supplies to make holiday gifts. :)
I think that sums up our school year pretty well. Things are rolling along smoothly most days and we are getting much done. Good stuff!
Blessings, ~K~

Fun Fall Activity/Snack Idea (super easy)

DT and I just came up with this one together. Take a handful of candy corn and set it up like a bowling game. Then toss a Nerf dart at it to see how many you can knock down in one pass. When you get a strike, you can eat one! How is that easy peasy and super fun! You are working on fine and gross motor skills, plus counting backwards/subtraction. Check it out. He's having a ball!
Start with a handful of candy corn and a cheesy grinning kiddo

Then, line it up with a Nerf dart (or other small non-harmful object~ like a crumpled ball of paper or a ping pong ball
Knock them all down, eat one, recount and start over!

Happy Homeschooling Adventures!!
       Blessings, ~K~