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Holidays on a budget: spend less, play more

holidays on a budget

Holidays on a budget: spend less, play more was written by Amber Doughty at Rose Garden Hub, a guest contributor to the Homeschool Bundle + the Create Your Homeschool Blog! Enjoy! ‘Tis the season for very clever marketing! It’s the time of year when so many mass-produced toys and play resources are almost essential if you want your child to thrive and develop. These toys offer limited uses, reducing the imagination required to play. It happens every year. We are so excited to gift our child such a toy, only to find that actually more time is spent playing with the box it came in. I’m going to share some ideas and inspiration to help you resource some enriching play opportunities for your child this festive season! Opportunities that are not only free or low cost, but are environmentally conscious too. Einstein describes “Play as the highest form of research”. Children are ‘THE’ experts when it comes to play. With it being so important to their development and well-being, it is indeed one of the United nations rights of a child. Having taught, studied, parented, observed, and engaged with children in the Early Years and beyond for more years than I care to mention, I have learned that play is not only innate to children, but it is essential in their processes of learning, developing, and growing. Yet, we are still seeing so many marketed products and services that really inhibit the ‘play’ experience. The focus of this article is to delve head first into the concept of ‘Play’, and share with you a couple of low budget options to enable our children to engage in meaningful and nurturing play, in its highest form. Also, I want to give you permission to stress less about financing the high-cost resources and get back to the basics of enjoying your children, watching them grow, and have fun. | Related: Free Christmas Challenge for your homeschool There’s enough guilt involved with parenthood, without the financial impact of wanting the best things for your children too. Here are two key ideas to launch your own version of the best play opportunities for your family. First, one of my happiest childhood memories was at my Gran’s house. The cupboard under the stairs was transformed into a playhouse for me using household items but mainly structured from cardboard boxes. I had an oven, sink, cupboards. I loved that house so much. Throughout my career I have been known as a ‘box hoarder’. My classroom always had a box project on-the-go. And my partner has now developed a twitch every time he sees a parcel being delivered. I can almost hear the groan as another box enters our home and my eyes light up! Empty boxes. Different sizes, types, and shapes. They can easily be a brilliant starting point to launch an amazing play experience, or more often, an ongoing activity that develops in time. The processes that the children go through to create from a blank canvas (or in this case box) are extensive. The planning, the teamwork, the communicating, the resourcing, and the problem solving. The physical motor skills, the mathematical skills, it could tie in with a celebration and enable the child to process and reenact situations to make sense of such. Every age group can engage in meaningful play using a box. From cutting a door for a baby to play peek-a-boo, to older children designing and modeling a structure of their interest. Perhaps a sleigh to ride in, a house to build, a car or train to drive. You can really let their imaginations run wild with a box and some other basic crafts materials. Especially around this festive season, keep hold of those boxes, cardboard tubes, etc. They can all contribute to a wonderful learning experience, and they cost absolutely nothing. You will be amazed what ideas they come up with themselves! Lastly, I remember my Gran having a big jar of buttons and a sewing box with ribbons that I absolutely loved. My daughter now loves exploring my own ribbon box! You may have heard of ‘loose parts play’, which is something that is quite the thing in educational circles these days. It is pretty much a term that depicts enabling children to design and create their own play through the use of a variety of age-appropriate loose parts! These can include buttons and ribbons. Or you could take a family walk to collect nature treasures such as leaves and acorns, shells and twigs. The options are endless, which is the magical thing about loose parts! You are only bound by your imagination. You can support your child to collect these in a basket or tray so as to revisit! You can also add them to homemade playdough or clay, or the younger children may like to explore filling and emptying a variety of your pots and pans with the items. Almost every area of development can be nurtured through these processes of exploring! Describing the items as well as the process of implementing them into their play is so great! A fantastic resource we have here locally in the UK is ‘scrap stores’. At a really low cost, my daughter loves to go and fill a bag with materials of her choice to incorporate in her play. This cost supports a community resource, is less than it would cost for a magazine with a plastic toy that usually comes with them, and we can donate materials back when we are finished with them. Perhaps you might find a similar resource in your area! I hope these suggestions have inspired some exciting play opportunities for you and your family this festive season. If you wish to learn more about ‘Play Opportunities’ check out my Facebook page or drop me an email to share your success stories! I am launching a Facebook-based workshop and community group called ‘Spend less PLAY more’. So keep an eye on my page, ‘Rose Garden Hub’, for further… [read more]

Free Christmas Challenge for your homeschool

take the family christmas challenge for family fun at christmas

I am so excited about this Christmas Challenge! I simply can’t believe how quickly December 2020 has gotten here. What has seemed like the longest hours of our whole year have really flown right by. We’re grateful for good health, toilet paper, and of course the opportunity to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year yet again! December is the month a lot of mamas drag through. I think there’s just so much going on, in general, this time of year, that homeschooling is the icing on top that mentally drains you. So that’s why we started taking FIVE weeks off for winter break. Yup. Five. My mind and even our kids’ minds just need that refresher, ya know? But here’s the kicker… We aren’t just dropping everything and becoming couch potatoes for a month. We’re just shifting HOW we “do school” so that the kids think we’re on a break and I’m not as stressed out trying to check all the boxes!​ This year, we’re repeating the Gather Round Christmas unit study (because it was SO good last year) and adding in A Connected Christmas from Lyndsey at Treehouse Schoolhouse, and it’s absolutely stunning! We’re also completing the Christmas Challenge I’ve created for the December Bundle! When I told the kids we were memorizing 20 verses in the Bible about Jesus’ birth, they looked at me crazy! It sounds like a lot, but the way I’ve laid it out will make it super easy for your family to do the same! SO – My gift to you, and perhaps one of many more throughout this month — wink, wink! — I’d like for you and your family to have a copy of the Christmas Challenge for FREE! You can find it in the Resource Library! Now, of course, if you’d like to download the challenge PLUS 80+ pages of homeschool goodies, the bundle is just $10 this month! You can grab it here. But the Christmas Challenge is something I think we will all enjoy going through together – so I wanted you to have it, regardless of if you purchased the bundle or not!  Follow me on Instagram and tag me as you finish each day! Make the last 31 days count, mama.So grateful for you!

The Ultimate Small Business Saturday List

small business Saturday shop small where can I shop small for small business Saturday homeschool

I had not planned on creating another post for Small Business Saturday, because I’ve already put so much time into the Cyber Week post in general. However… When I started thinking about how Small Business Saturday is a day where we should support small businesses, I thought that it might make more of an impact on our community if there was a list of awesome women-owned / mama-owned businesses you could shop from this season, regardless of if they sell homeschool resources or not – Because, not everyone we’re buying for is a homeschooler, right?! So, I have attempted to organize this list as best I can so that you can easily navigate it! Please support these amazing businesses this weekend, even if it’s just by sharing their shop for someone else to see! Don’t forget to grab the FREE 2020 Gift Guide full of incredible women-owned shops that you’re sure to fall in love with, a fun Christmas Challenge, freebies, exclusive flash sales, and MORE! Happy Small Business Saturday! Jump to: Courses MLM’s Small Business Products + Services Etsy Shops For Mama For the Kids Subscriptions Everything Else COURSES Minimalism Your Way Revive Your Relationships Postpartum Prep Feel Good For The Holidays Stress-Relief Course + Journal Become a Tech Virtual Assistant Finally Launch Your Course Well Rested By Christmas from Sleep Baby Love Stress Relief Survival Guide Get Un-stuck Self-Paced Beginner Yoga Roots of Behavior – 3-Day Course Empowered Eating MLM’S Color Street Nails by Heather Reiki Sessions with Angela Herbalife with Lakeen Arbonne with DeAri DoTerra with DeAri MIG Living with Beth Legging Girl with Tina Mary Kay with Jessica Thrive by Larissa Zyia Active by Nikki Origami Owl by Maria Rodan + Fields by Windy PRODUCTS + SERVICES FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS Branding Strategy Post-C0v1d Marketing Strategy Workshop Entrepreneur Templates 90-Day Achiever’s Planner Enneagram Tees + Mugs Power Hats – Support the fight against human trafficking Voiceovers Canva Templates Basic Business Box Branding Party Web Design 2021 Planner Podcast Hosts + Guest Collaboration Membership Custom Logo Design + Brand Board Pinterest Course Captivate Your Audience Program Email Marketing Systems Passive Income Blogging Bundle DIY Brand Photography Branded Christmas Gifts with your logo Virtual Assistant Services from Your Virtual Angel ETSY SHOPS Baby gifts, nursery decor, and more Wood flower ornaments + reindeer Gemstone Jewelry Name Crayons Scarves, tote bags, and more Hand-Crafted Unicorns + Books Original Printable Artwork Boho Decor + Accessories Earrings by mom + daughter team Hand-Painted Wooden Signs + Home Decor Boho Style Jewelry Handmade Personalized Gifts + Engraving Self-Care Gift Box Sets and more Wooden Home Decor Windproof, Waterproof, Breathable Jackets Wire + Fiber Crocheted Jewelry Stationery, Party Decor, and more Drink Mixes, Rubs, and more Wooden Toys All the fun things for Christmas Jars, Home Decor, Vintage Decor, and more Handcrafted Jewelry Beaded Bookmarks + Book Charms FOR MAMA Bath soaks, body butter, sugar scrubs, and more from The Roan Cow Holistic and functional medicine practice + house-formulated herbal remedies from Tao Holistics Luxury non-toxic candles, perfumes, and more $15 Christmas Tees Matcha Tea from Epic Matcha Connection Call with Nicole for help with separation or chaotic homes Custom Oil Blends (non-mlm), pure essential oils, diffusers, and aromatherapy consultations Eco-Friendly, natural cleaning products Gemstone Diffuser Bracelets Digital Family Meal Planner Purses, Clutches, Backpacks, and more Apparel, accessories, and more Natural therapy packs, heat packs, and more Self-Care tips, tricks, yoga, and crystals Crystal-Infused Lip Gloss Elderberry Syrup Handmade Statement Jewelry The Honeybee Rose T-Shirt Shop (Free Coupon with Every Order!) Handmade Candles + Wax Melts FOR THE KIDS The Jessi K Adventures books Genevieve’s Boutique Yoga Classes Ben’s Adventure Books Pre-School Curriculum Packets Art Kits Hand-Crafted Swings – Veteran Owned + Made in the USA Screen-Free Organic Toys High-quality, handmade baby essentials Snowflake Macrame Kits Adorable Clothing J + S Handcrafted Toys (Free custom ornament with every purchase of $25 or more!) Handmade baby bonnets + plushies Genuine leather, handmade moccasins SUBSCRIPTIONS Book + Activity Boxes for Kids by Kidspire Crate The Intuition Gym – Train your mind The Boxy Momma Co. Momxiety Club Crusin’ + Campfires Activity Boxes Monster Box Magna-Tiles Structures + Photo Sets You Were Made To Bloom – Bloom Boxes Family Time + Self-Care Boxes EVERYTHING ELSE Headlight Harness Sebastian Roberts Pop-Up Gift Wrap Custom Teaching Solutions Jomo Coffee Co. Ashlee + Rhubi Collar Me Charming – Handmade Dog Collars Kai’s Ruff Wear Digital Prints by Alissa Morabito Educational / Homeschooling Services Elegant Jewelry by Delevo How Far I’ve Risen Unique gifts for teachers by Creating Joy in Art Wooden Flower Decor by Pine + Petal Market Aged Maple Syrup by Watsons Barrel – $5 OFF with code FF5OFF Creative Creations Boutique Sweet Sassafras Boutique Wildman Arts Bobbi Jean K Baubles + Designs Goat Milk Soaps, Bath Bombs, Lip Balms, and Lotion Bars from Straw In My Bra Homestead Latin American Boutique Inspired Soul Boutique Butterfly Boutique Herbal Products from Mountain Mels Tinzis Co. Joy Love Paper Soap N More Gift Baskets Craft Therapy Gifts Midds Creations Bee Free Babies Sweet Timber Maple Beehive Soap + Body Care – 15% OFF with code JOLLY15 Little Wander Shop – 20% OFF of $20 or more with code SHOPSMALL20

50+ Free Christmas Homeschool Printables

free christmas printables

I am so excited to share 51 FREE Christmas Homeschool Printables with you! These printables look like so much fun! There are activity sheets, worksheets, games, time-fillers, crafts, and more – listed here to help you homeschool through the Holidays, stress-free! It’s the most wonderful time… For Free Christmas Homeschool Printables! Our three Christmas trees have been proudly shining through our windows since November 7th… We’ve even overheard neighbors commenting on them — I won’t share the comments. Haha 🙂 But I have no shame… I am one of “those” Christmas people. I absolutely LOVE this time of year! I don’t really understand why people wait so long to embrace it! Nevertheless, each year in our homeschool, we get restless. Waiting patiently for Christmas is no small feat in this house. So I do whatever I can to incorporate Christmas fun into our homeschool- Because, why not! |Related: 5 Quotes Inspired by Gratitude to Stimulate Essay Writing Skills Actually, this will be our second year doing the Christmas Unit Study from Gather Round Homeschool! We love it so much! And Rebecca just updated the study for 2020 and it is so beautiful! Click here to check it out. In addition to the unit study, we like to add in more FUN! That’s where my search for Free Homeschool Christmas Printables came into play! Then, after seeing how many amazing printables there are… I KNEW I needed to share what I found with you here on the blog! So, without further ado… Here’s, what I consider, the ULTIMATE list of Free Christmas Printables for your homeschool! Enjoy! Christmas Play-Doh Mats Christmas Science Experiments Christmas Scavenger Hunts Christmas Sight-Word Coloring Sheets Christmas Dot-To-Dot Sheets Christmas Pictionary Game Christmas Math Activities Pre-K Christmas Worksheet Bundle Christmas Word Wall Activity Pre-K Christmas Counting Sheets Christmas Alphabet Game Pre-K Christmas Math Printables Pre-K Christmas Literacy Printables Christmas Word Search Christmas Alphabet Flash Cards Christmas Incentive Charts Polar Express Unit Study The Birth of Jesus Writing Prompts The Night Before Christmas Unit Study Christmas “I Spy” Game Christmas Matching Game Christmas Do-A-Dot Printables Writing Stories to Christmas Music Prompts Christmas Spelling Game Elf Printables Christmas Cutting Practice Christmas Treasure Hunt Snowman Coloring + Doodle Pages Christmas Shapes Activity Christmas Roll + Graph Activity 12 Days of Christmas Number Puzzles Christmas Counting Busy Book Christmas Pattern Strips 12 Days of Christmas Sing-Along Printables Christmas Activity Bundle Gross-Motor Skills Christmas Activity Christmas Shapes + Patterns Pack Christmas Color-By-Letter Sheets Christmas Math Printables Christmas Language Arts Printables Christmas-Themed Name Puzzle Christmas Old Maid Card Game Christmas Alphabet Scavenger Hunt Spirit of Giving Printable Pack Christmas Alphabet Train Printable Christmas Word Scramble How the Grinch Stole Christmas Unit Study Christmas Family Feud Game Christmas Mazes Nativity Lapbook Christmas Scripture Copywork

3 Simple ways to teach gratitude to kids all year

how to teach kids to be grateful

3 Simple Ways to Teach Gratitude to Kids All Year Long was written by Keyana Martinez at The StoryTime Box, a guest contributor to the Homeschool Bundle + the Create Your Homeschool Blog! Enjoy! Here’s a quick list of ways to teach gratitude to kids all year long! “What are you thankful for?” This is a common question for kids to explore during the Thanksgiving season. They may write a list, make a wreath, or share heart-warming stories about the things and people they love as a way to share what they are thankful for. While this is a great holiday tradition, it’s also important to encourage gratitude in a more general, everyday sense. Here are three simple ways that you can teach your kids about gratitude all year long- without the turkey and stuffing! Give thank-you notes/cards for any occasion.Let’s face it. Sometimes, it’s easy to take the “little things” for granted. We may not thank our mail carrier or local grocery clerk as much as we should. Help your child make blank thank-you cards (or pick up some fancy ones from the store) and discuss who you could give them to. It could be a friend who shared their bike the other day or a granny who gives the best warm hugs! This helps children to be mindful about small acts of kindness that deserve a little “thank you.” Make fun crafts about gratitude. Don’t just save that “thankful tree” craft for Thanksgiving! Incorporate the idea of being grateful into other arts and crafts projects throughout the year.Make a picture collage, a mosaic gratitude jar, or a scrapbooking project. Encourage your child to add photos and notes, whenever they are feeling thankful. Read books about giving thanks.Literacy is a fantastic way to teach social-emotional skills (the understanding and expression of emotions). Reading stories about gratitude can promote open discussions and real-life application.Kids can relate to the feelings and actions of the characters in order to gain an understanding of what gratitude can look and feel like.  While most books about giving thanks may focus on Thanksgiving Day, you can also find non-seasonal titles to share with your child at any time. Here are a few to get you started:  

Educational Podcasts for Kids

educational podcasts for homeschool

Looking for Educational Podcasts for Kids? This list of podcasts is great to include in your homeschool day, while driving in the car, or simply in the background while the kids are playing! Educational Podcasts for Kids Each podcast makes it so fun and engaging for kids to listen to, they really know how to hold a child’s attention! What is an educational podcast? Educational Podcasts for kids are audio-only broadcasts that share stories, interesting facts, trivia, and more with their younger audience! They work so well for extra learning, reinforcement, and educational fun! How an educational podcast can be used in your homeschool Including an educational podcast in your homeschool is super easy and extremely effective! Rainy Day Learning You can choose to cut the science curriculum for the day and throw on a science podcast instead while the kids craft with dough, color, or build with blocks. On-the-go Learning We love to listen to audio books in the car, and podcasts are another great option for filling that time riding through town with engaging educational content! Here are some benefits to including educational podcasts in your homeschool They introduce another way to learn or reinforce what you’ve already discussed Educational Podcasts can allow kids to process and remember what they’re learning through storytelling They make learning seem fun because it’s not another book to write in | Related: 102 Things to do instead of worksheets Here’s a list of some of our favorite educational podcasts! Learn more about the Eleanor Amplified Podcast here! Check out this gameshow-style podcast here! Read more about Storynory here. Learn more about this history podcast here! Learn more about the Book Club for Kids here! Read more about Finn Caspian here! Check out the Sugarcrash Kids podcast here! Dr. Floyd also has YouTube! Click here to watch! So many fun things about the Story Pirates here! Check out The Adventures in Odyssey podcast here!

5 Quotes inspired by gratitude to stimulate essay writing skills

essay writing prompts for homeschool

5 Quotes Inspired by Gratitude to Stimulate Your Child’s Essay Writing Skills was written by Claudia Hotea, a guest contributor to the Homeschool Bundle + the Create Your Homeschool Blog! Enjoy! Essay Writing?! Huh? If you have just inhaled and exhaled deeply and closed your eyes for a couple of seconds, I know that you are dealing with the same issues that many homeschooling parents do. You get the importance of your child writing good essays, especially if your goal is to see them through college. However, there is no shame or fear in admitting that sometimes it is difficult to nudge them in the right direction. This is why you need to take advantage of every possible opportunity to foster this skill and to encourage them to write essays. | Related: Autumn Journal Prompts For Your Homeschool Probably, autumn and winter are the best seasons to offer them renewed opportunities for practicing. With so many positive holidays in sight, it would be a shame not to take advantage of it all! Especially with expository essay writing! A favorite holiday to do that is Thanksgiving. This is a season full of grace and gratitude. By instilling these values early on, you would guarantee that your children will become adults with a full-rounded grateful personality. Giving thanks for everything that God has provided is an excellent way to fill hearts and challenge minds. Inspire your children with the words of great men and women! Give them quotes that act like essay prompts to expose them to a wealth of wisdom! Essay writing will also stimulate their desire for self-expression! There is nothing more empowering than giving one’s opinion over the words of a famous person. So here are some great quotes, inspired by gratitude, that you can use today in your home school! “No one who achieves success does so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.” – Alfred North Whitehead This quote is excellent for your child to reflect upon the importance of the people that help him in life. Have your child take time to appreciate every effort made by his parents and peers. “In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer It is amazing how much richness is in this quote. Your child will have to reevaluate the things that he considers riches in life. Then, take a moment to dwell on the fact that generosity is the best quality a person could have. “You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson Your child will think about being kind and identify the right moments to be so. It is sad to see how postponing an act of kindness could be a source of regret because it may be too late in some cases. “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” – Willie Nelson This quote is excellent for a person that feels discontent most of the time. The simple act of counting your blessings could give you and your child a whole new perspective on life. Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” ― Melody Beattie The above quote is proof of the power of gratitude. Talk to your child about the common things. Things like meals, other things they may take for granted, like their home, and the importance of building strong and meaningful relationships. You can start today and use these quotes to challenge your child into writing a meaningful expository essay in which they will develop and express their sound vision of the world. And because it is the season of giving, I would like to offer you a gift! A free, useful resource that would help you get started on this road of essay writing.  The FREE SAMPLE – Expository Essay Writing Unit – Inspired By Gratitude Prompts has an Essay Checklist! It includes all the parts that a proper expository essay needs to have in its introduction, body, and conclusion. It also has an Essay Template you can use for your child to write an essay, TEN additional quotes to use in your home school, and two other surprises for you!

6 Tips for teaching kids about gratitude

how to teach kids gratitude

6 Tips for Teaching Kids About Gratitude was written by Ana Scaramella, a guest contributor to the Homeschool Bundle + the Create Your Homeschool Blog! Enjoy! As parents, we all teach our children to say please and thank you from a very early age. We even go as far as gently nudging them to remind them when they forget. But how many of us practice the art of gratitude deeply enough to instill in our kids a true sense of gratitude? It is easy to say thank you for a pair of socks. But true gratitude lies in beinggenuinely happy about getting a pair of socks for Christmas instead of a long-awaited toy. Yes, good manners are important – we know that! – but teaching children to feel gratitude is a tall task that we as parents must take on. Here are 6 tips for teaching kids about gratitude Model gratitude The very best way to teach children to be grateful – or to teach them anything really – is by practicing what you preach: BE GRATEFUL. Children are always watching our actions and very often modeling our behaviors. Have you ever observed a little girl playing with her dolls? She usually “parents” her dollies the same way she sees mommy doing it. So, thank kids often, thank them for helping with the dishes, thank them for giving you a hug, or for being nice to their siblings. Allow them to see you practicing acts of kindness, giving your time to help others, or showing love and appreciation to people in your life. They will mirror your behaviors, whether you like it or not. So make sure you give them something good to imitate. Chat about the Peak and Pit of the day One thing that I started with my girls a little while back is a “peak and pit of the day” conversation at the end of each night, before bedtime after we read a story. I start by asking them “What was the peak and pit of your day?” (the peak being the best part and the pit being the not so great part of the day), then we each take turns talking about the high and low points of our day. This helps them (and me) put things in perspective and realize how truly blessed they are for everything and everyone in their lives. This practice has truly helped my girls to practice gratitude for the good things that happen during their day and know that despite the fact that sometimes things don’t go as planned, they still have a lot to be grateful for. Resist the urge to give kids everything they want You know what they say: “all things in moderation.” Now, that’s not to say that you should only give your kids the bare minimum of everything. However, buying children everything that they want, whenever they want, disables them from appreciating what they have. If everything is so easy to get, how will they learn to value and respect their possessions? Have you ever seen a child be so excited about a toy, play with it for a few days, and then forget about it? Sometimes kids have so much stuff, so many toys, that it is impossible for them to appreciate each one of them. Having them save up for something they really want is great for teaching kids about gratitude If your children are old enough to get an allowance or have a job, have them save up their own money to buy something that they want. My daughter recently started making and selling lanyards. Each time she sells one, she puts part of that money towards buying a pair of headphones that she’s been wanting for a while now. When kids take it upon themselves to save money for something they want, they learn how much hard work goes into making that money. This gives them an understanding of the value of each dollar and encourages them to appreciate what they have and what you and others do for them. | Related: Best Family Read-Alouds When teaching kids about gratitude, give them chores I know sometimes it is easier to just do it ourselves, but resist that urge to take over the chores that were assigned to your children because they are taking too long or whatever other reason. Giving your kids age-appropriate chores helps them to learn and appreciate all the work that is done to keep the household going. It teaches them that every family member must help because we are a part of the family. It teaches them to appreciate all of the things that are done for them. Additionally, when you assign specific chores to your children, you are also teaching them the great skill of responsibility. Get the free printable family task chart now! DOWNLOAD Create a gratitude journal together For children that are already able to read and write, creating a gratitudejournal is a wonderful way to generate a gratitude habit. Children that are not yet able to write can draw about what they are grateful for. Have a conversation with your children about what they are grateful for and ask them to record their feelings in their journal. Choose a later day to revisit the journal as a family or simply instruct the children to read their gratitude journal when they are having a bad day. Doing this helps children realize how much they have to appreciate in their lives. Teaching kids about gratitude is a continuous job that we, as parents, must take on and stick with. Let’s teach our children to be grateful and appreciative of all the blessings in their lives. Have you tried any of these ideas to teach kids about gratitude? Share your experience in the comments!

weekly homeschool planner printable

weekly homeschool planner printable

Let’s talk about a weekly homeschool planner. Did you know that one of the biggest hang-ups for homeschool mamas is planning? Not just the idea of planning out lessons, but also what they’re going to use to make the plan. Download your weekly homeschool planner below. When we first started homeschooling, I knew I needed a planner. I had specific things in mind that I needed to plan and track and I started looking for a planner to do that! I found the mother of all homeschool planners and immediately became obsessed with filling it out each month. But I quickly realized that I was doing a LOT of erasing every week because I was trying to keep my planner current with what we were actually accomplishing every day. It was borderline exhausting. I began to research methods of homeschool planning and came across “back-planning”. I share more about it below, but basically it sounded like the way to go for our homeschool. Over time I’ve developed a system to make planning even more efficient in our homeschool and now I’ve created a weekly homeschool planner printable to help you do the same! The printable will help you map out the must-do’s in your day and actually help you get more done in the long run! But before we dive into that, I know there are a ton of questions about homeschool planners and not every method of planning is right for every homeschool mama. So, here’s a little more info 🙂 What should be included in a weekly homeschool planner? Big picture vision If you do not have a big picture vision for your homeschool, this is crucial to keep you on track and passionate about teaching your babies. Without a “why” we often fall off the wagon because it seems unimportant or much like a hassle to us (kind of like dieting…) However, a lot of mamas make the mistake of picking a vision for the year – Like I did. A vision for the year is really great! Don’t get me wrong. But throughout the year, our homeschool needs and focus might need to shift a little. So now, I like to create a vision for the year as well as a vision for each week we homeschool. To create a big picture vision, simply ask yourself what’s important to your homeschool this week, month, or year. Not specific tasks, but overall feelings, inspiration, and ways to grow for your homeschool. Goals for the week / month / year This is kind of like setting your big picture vision. Goals keep us motivated to move forward. And unless you’re just really super passionate about homeschooling every single day, you need a little something to keep you going when you’re tired, burned out, or plain ol’ over it. Goals are specific, measurable, achievable, and relevant tasks that your can do within your homeschool week. And when you hit your goals, you freaking celebrate them like the rockstar homeschool mama you are! Attendance tracker Even if your government does not require attendance tracking, keep up with it for yourself. It’s rewarding to look back over it at the end of the year and see-on-paper that you accomplished a year of homeschooling. Amy at Rock Your Homeschool has a fun attendance tracker that lets the kids interact with keeping attendance as well! It also gives them a visual of how many days are left of schooling 🙂 It’s free, we love it, and you can get it here. What is the best weekly homeschool planner? I’m not going to pretend that one homeschool planner does it all for me. The truth is, I use a lot of different planning resources each week to make our homeschool run smoothly. However, what works for me may not work for you. So here’s a breakdown of the different homeschool planning options so that you can choose the best one for yourself! Digital Weekly Homeschool Planner Digital planning is becoming the next best thing, probably because you can reuse stickers and planners over and over again! | Related: How to get started with digital planning for your homeschool I use my digital planner because it’s fun and a creative outlet for me! However, our daughter uses a digital planner exclusively to keep up with her homeschool tasks. It really is something you need to try to see if you’ll like it! Paper Homeschool Planner Obviously paper planning has been a go-to for most mamas and still to this day is the number one way to track your homeschooling efforts! But there are A TON of different homeschool paper planners and even more PRINTABLE homeschool planners! You’ll have to figure out what’s most important for you to track and start the process of elimination until you find the one you love most! I will say that out of all the homeschool planners I’ve tried, I keep coming back to Well Planned Day year after year. I do not use EVERY page in this planner, but it is my favorite BY FAR. Weekly Homeschool Planner Sheets Then, of course, you can skip the big planner and use weekly planning sheets (like the one I have created for you below!) to track and plan for your homeschool! Weekly sheets keep things simple! And when you’re done, simply add them to your file folder for the year (if you need to track that) or toss it and print another! You could also grab these dry erase covers and use these markers to plan each week and never print another planning sheet again! How do I create a daily schedule for our homeschool? Again, you really need to do what’s best for your family and your method of planning and preparation. But here are a few ideas to get you going! Skip the schedule I know a ton of homeschool mamas who have ditched a schedule and simply homeschool throughout the day. We actually homeschool similarly to this! Our… [read more]

Autumn Journal Prompts for any age

autumn journal writing prompts

Looking for autumn journal prompts? Check these out! Writing was always my favorite subject as a kid! I would write short stories, poetry, even plays haha.. Journal prompts weren’t a thing in our homeschool when I was growing up, but I am loving incorporating them into our homeschool now with my kids! The list I’m sharing with you today is from the October Homeschool Bundle. Although the October Bundle has been archived, you can still get some of the goodies featured inside it in the Create Your Homeschool shop! Using Autumn Journal Prompts in your homeschool One of the things that make journal prompts so much fun is how versatile they are! While the prompt could sound “kid-ish” at first glance, it can be used at any age! You can use these in whatever way your creative mind can imagine. For example, in the free printable you’ll get today, we’ve included a printable writing sheet for younger kids as well as older kids. However, if you have an artist in your homeschool, you might want to let them use the younger kids version to illustrate their answer to the prompt. You can also take each prompt to deeper levels of writing to help older kids be more engaged! You can do this by expanding thoughts, going down rabbit trails, and making comparison lists. Here’s what’s included: In the free download, you’ll get 22 autumn-themed journal prompts to use for your homeschool. You’ll also get three different versions of printable writing pages to use for each prompt. If you’d like to grab other printables that were included in the October 2020 Homeschool Bundle, click here to shop! Don’t forget to download your Autumn Journal Prompts! DOWNLOAD

7 daily homeschool rhythm ideas to help you manage your day

daily homeschool rhythm ideas

Newsflash: You do not need a perfect daily homeschool rhythm to create an environment where your kids can learn everything you want to teach them. In fact, while kids thrive on consistency, I’ve found that their desire for routine or rhythm is based more on knowing what’s coming next, versus having a chart with specific things to do during certain time frames. Listen, public school mamas everywhere have this misconception that homeschooling is hard. And part of the reason why they think that is because homeschool mamas share perfectly printing and structured schedules of their homeschool day. Sometimes, those schedules list out more hours of “doing something” than their kids are even in public school for. So, they look at that photo and die a little inside because they know they will never be able to stick to that kind of routine. I will admit, when we first started homeschooling, I fell into the same trap. It’s the main reason why I began researching all I could about a daily homeschool rhythm. But, no matter how beautiful some mamas can make their schedules look, or how full they are, there is no comparison to having a daily homeschool rhythm versus a homeschool schedule. A schedule keeps you on time, a rhythm keeps you focused. When you’re first making the switch from schedule to rhythm, it can feel overwhelming. So, a few mamas shared their homeschool rhythms with me and I thought I’d share them with you today! Take a look at these, pick one, and try it! Some are more detailed than others, but that’s the beauty of a good daily homeschool rhythm! It highlights things that matter to your family! If it doesn’t work for you, don’t give up. Keep looking for ways to make it better and perfect for your family. Here are 7 daily homeschool rhythm ideas to help you manage your day: Breakfast > chores > morning basket > core lessons > afternoon basket + lunch > extra curricular lessons > afternoon chores > free time. Assigned morning chore > independent reading > breakfast > clean-up + unfinished tasks > independent work > free time > lunch + read-aloud > group work > chores > free time. Breakfast > Bible study > group work > free time > unit study > foreign language > free time. Breakfast > music practice > Bible study > language arts > group work > lunch> independent work. Breakfast > chores > exercise > Bible study > group work > lunch > free time > group work > chores > screen time. Chores > breakfast > podcasts > character building > morning work > lunch > quiet time > free time. Breakfast > journal > chores > independent work > free time. So, now that you have a few rhythm ideas to choose from, it’s time to pick one and run with it! Switch things out if you need to, but stick to it. Consistency is everything when it comes to incorporating a daily homeschool rhythm into your family! Now, if you need help with sticking to your rhythm, I created a free tracker so that you can visualize your efforts and make it a little easier to follow-through! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram so that we can keep each other going through this homeschool journey! Enjoy!


Create Your Homeschool -

Want to learn how to get started with digital planning for your homeschool? Stick around! Digital planning is such a trendy topic, but it’s still something a lot of people just do not understand. I get it, it’s a learning curve. But what if this digital planning craze isn’t just a fad… What if it’s a gamechanger – especially for your homeschool?! Think about it… A DREAM planner for your homeschool that you only need to buy ONCE and use FOREVER!? Sign me up!! ​I’ve tried multiple digital planners on the market and they’ve been beautiful and fun to use – but it’s been so hard trying to use them to plan our homeschool, which is what I really need it for. So, I have been working really hard to design a CUSTOM digital homeschool planner that makes my homeschool planning so much more simple and organized… And it’s FINALLY here! 🥳​ Introducing the Digital Homeschool Planner by Create Your Homeschool: ​​​​CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO WALK-THROUGH​​ This digital planner is a PDF file with hyperlinks embedded inside so that you can import the planner into your favorite note-taking application on your device and get started with digital planning for your homeschool. Popular note-taking apps, like GoodNotes and Noteshelf (the two note-taking apps I recommend), make your planning FREE of paper – super cost-effective and much more fun!​ WAIT… THERE’S MORE TO HELP YOU GET STARTED WITH DIGITAL PLANNING FOR YOUR HOMESCHOOL! ​In the video, I explain my process for using and storing digital stickers for my planner. SO – I’ve included the hyperlinked digital sticker book you’ll see in the video for FREE as a bonus when you purchase the planner!  ​This planner is UNDATED so you can start using it immediately to get started with digital planning for your homeschool after you purchase it! SO stinking excited to hear what you think about this planner!​Watch the video now, then click here to purchase!

Ideas for fidgety homeschool kids

fidgety homeschool kids

I love looking for new ideas for fidgety homeschool kids because I was a fidgety homeschool kid. I didn’t like to sit still for long amounts of time, I would doodle all over my school work, I would get up and down frequently (I was homeschooled in the time when homeschooling was only done at the table haha). I’m sure it was frustrating to my mom. But I can’t help but think that if there had been other ideas for helping fidgety kids not be so fidgety that maybe we would have gotten more work done with less frustration. I like to use my experience as a homeschooler in our homeschool now because… I believe I can learn a lot from the way I was homeschooled in comparison to the way I want to homeschool our family. Regardless of if you are a second generation homeschooler or not, you can glean good ideas from other homeschoolers, and learn to watch for the things that aren’t so good too – so that you’re not falling into the same trap. The main idea to remember is that two homeschools should never look the same. They are made up of different families and learning styles and kids! When you compare your homeschool to another’s and try to do the same things they do, that’s when frustration happens as a homeschool mama and the fear of failure or not being good enough starts creeping in. Stay in your lane and your homeschool will thrive! | Related: 10 things I didn’t know about homeschooling (from a second-gen homeschooler!) Okay, let’s dive into this list of ideas to try when you’ve got a fidgety homeschool kid 🙂 Let them get up. Homeschool does not have to be strict. Use the freedom and flexibility of homeschool for frequent brain breaks and the option to get up as needed. Slime. Don’t underestimate the power of slime when you need someone to sit still and listen. Take a walk. Do something to let them get their energy out and come back to homeschool later. Create a sensory basket. Fill a basket with things like fidget cubes, silly putty, dice, rubber bands, and Koosh balls. Leave it on the homeschool table or a shelf and bring it out when you need it! Ditch the desk. Again, homeschool is flexible! Let them lay on the floor, sit on the couch, lay on the bed. Or let them work outside! As long as they’re learning and doing their best, that’s all that matters! What ideas have you tried and work well with your fidgety homeschool kids? Share them in the comment section 🙂

7 Things you need to let go of as a homeschool mama

7 things to let go of as a homeschool mama

There is nothing worse than feeling like you are failing as a homeschool mama. The weight of your kids’ education is literally in your hands and sometimes homeschool just feels so overwhelming that you’re ready to give up. But let me tell you, mama. You are not alone. Every homeschool mama I’ve ever spoken to has said the exact same thing. It’s a lot of pressure, and it can be overwhelming at times, but you were called to this homeschool mama life or you wouldn’t be here. And because you are called, you have what it takes to do it. However, there are some things that keep us in that season of overwhelm and feeling like a failure. Regardless of how many times we tell ourselves that we can do this, these few things I’ve listed below keep us from fully experiencing the freedom and beauty of homeschooling our kids! So, I want you to read through this list and make a commitment to let some of these things go. Because, at the end of the day, we have an opportunity most mamas only dream about – and we should embrace it. Here are the seven things you should let go of – TODAY: 1. A strict schedule. Homeschooling is more than sitting down for a certain number of hours per day and checking off the grade book. Live a little. Fall in love with the flexibility that comes with homeschooling! 2. Cleaning. Teach your kiddos to do “their part” in keeping your home organized. Make it part of your homeschool to-do! But also, embrace the chaos. You don’t need a perfectly clean home to be a good homeschool mama. 3. Extra projects. Some projects are fun – like, we will still incorporate fun book reviews, big art projects, and research papers. But make it meaningful. Don’t just do a project to be doing one. Make it worthwhile, something that really interests your kids! And do NOT think they’re missing out if you skip out on projects altogether. They’ll learn all they need to regardless, I promise. 4. School at home. Homeschooling is not and will never be school at home. You do not need a desk, a designated lunchtime, or lots of paperwork. You just need kiddos who are ready and eager to learn! 5. Routines. Some work really well with routines and others do not. If you’re one of the latter, don’t stress about not having a routine. Maybe you’re more of a rhythm kinda mama (read more about that here) – or maybe your kiddos work better in the late afternoon or evening. Don’t try to do something the same way it seems everyone else does. It’s gotta work for YOUR family! 6. All the subjects. Make homeschooling YOURS. Don’t feel like you need to do every subject every day. Pick core subjects and rotate the rest. You can spend more time on each subject and make sure your kids are really getting it, rather than rushing through to get it done in time. 7. Your Planner. Our planner is always done in pencil because I am always moving things over. It’s too stressful to try to plan ahead and then never hitting the mark and feeling frustrated with your homeschool. Instead, try to back-plan or use your planner as a guideline instead! If you take a step back and look at your homeschool from a higher level, you’ll probably see that your kids are thriving. You can totally do this. Just learn to make it your own.

A guide to homeschool fun!

how to have fun in homeschool

We are always looking for more ways to incorporate homeschooling fun into our school day! I thought it would be exciting to share a few ideas for homeschool fun with you today here on the blog! First, it’s important to know that homeschooling can be overwhelming at times. It doesn’t mean that you are not a good homeschool mom or that your family isn’t made to homeschool. It simply means that good days and not-so-good days are a part of life and we have to learn to navigate them in healthy ways. I wrote another blog post about feeling unmotivated in homeschool and how to snap out of it quickly, maybe it will also help you in your homeschool journey! Click here to read. Next, homeschool fun can look different for different families. If you’re used to gameschooling or unschooling, homeschool fun might just be a slow movie day or a nature walk. You have to do what feels right for your kids when they need a change of scenery! Now, here’s some unique ways to incorporate homeschool fun into your week! Bake something for math class! Write a play and act it out for Language Arts! Have a dance-off! Sidewalk Chalk for art! Go on a penny adventure (flip a penny at every intersection – heads, turn left – tails, turn right!) Have a joke-telling contest! Create a library scavenger hunt! Make sculptures with Play-Doh! See? It’s not too difficult to incorporate homeschool fun throughout your homeschooling journey. Just think outside of the box a little!

7 Things to do when you’re feeling unmotivated in homeschool

Feeling unmotivated in homeschool? Here's a list of 7 things you can do when you're headed down that path. Click through to read!

Feeling unmotivated in homeschool is a terrible feeling. You’re exhausted, overwhelmed, or simply burnt out and you can’t figure out how to get yourself going again. I think every homeschool mama goes through the same thing every once in a while. And unfortunately, you will experience this feeling multiple times throughout your homeschool journey. However, there are ways to get out of the funk of feeling unmotivated in homeschool and I’m going to share those with you today! Now, before we dive in, I think it’s important to note the signs of jumping on the unmotivated train. When we know what to look for, we can get off the train a little quicker, and the ride might not be as discouraging. During our first year of homeschool, we jumped in head first and rocked out the first half of the year. Christmas came, our most favorite season, and we took a long break from homeschool. Getting started again was so much harder than I imagined it would be. The kids and I were all unmotivated and found ourselves just going through the motions to “just get it done” each day. Now, I don’t know about you, but one of the things that we love about homeschool is that we get the freedom to make it exciting and fun! So when you’re in a season of feeling unmotivated in homeschool, it’s takes all of the joy that comes from homeschooling almost instantly. Suddenly, homeschooling becomes a chore or something that we take for granted. That’s not the kind of homeschool I want for our family. And I’m sure that’s not what you desire either. So, I began tracking the signs that would highlight the path to our lack of motivation and when I see the signs, I know it’s time to put one of the methods I’ve listed below into practice! A major sign for us is going too long without a break. We need brain breaks during the day, for sure! But more importantly, we need regular breaks throughout the school year too! We like to put our breaks on a schedule (for example, on six weeks, off one) that way we know where our stopping point is and it gives us something to look forward to! Some days are just hard though, too. When you see the kids (or YOU!) are starting to get frustrated or tired, you need a day off. It’s okay to take a day off! Don’t fall into the myth that homeschooling has to look like public school at home for it to count. It doesn’t. Learning at a pace your kids respond to is all that matters. So, let’s dive in to some of my favorite ways to tackle feeling unmotivated in homeschool! Keep these in your back pocket for when you need them! 🙂 1. Take a break! I’m telling you. Taking a break is okay and a much-needed thing in homeschooling. Try to switch up your schedule to four days a week or taking a full week off every fifth or sixth week and watch how your home atmosphere changes! 2. Go back to the basics.On the days when no one is excited about homeschooling, go back to the basics for the day. What are your “must-do” tasks? For us, it’s reading and math. So we will just commit to finish those and call it a day. 3. Try out unschooling!Unschooling is intimidating for me to commit to the long-term. However, throwing in an unschooling day here and there is fun for us! There are so many great unschooling ideas on Pinterest too! 4. Movie Day!Stay in your pajamas, eat comfort food, snuggle on the couch, and watch a movie. You can find SOMETHING to talk about that’s educational in almost every kids movie. Or just let it be and get back to the learning tomorrow. 5. Bake something! Baking something together is not only a learning opportunity in itself, but you also get to eat something delicious afterward, and that almost always tackles feeling unmotivated in homeschool for us! 6. Start on the easier things first. When you’re “over it” trying to complete something hard for homeschool only makes it worse. Start with the easier tasks and watch it snowball into feeling motivated enough to work on the hard stuff. 7. Game Day! Games are such a great way to get motivated! I made a list of a ton of great educational games to play, that won’t actually feel like school work! Click here to read it 🙂 I hope these ideas are helpful for when you’re feeling unmotivated in homeschool. It’s tough, mama. But we can do this together! And when all else fails… You can always add more coffee to this mug and keep on truckin’!

Best Educational Games for K-6

Best Educational Games - Over 50 ideas for your next homeschool game day! Take a look at our favorite games, classics, and some newly added to our wishlist!

We’ve been looking for the best educational games to add to our homeschool collection this year. I know this is something that get’s asked about a lot, so I thought it would be fun to list our some of our finds and a few on our wishlist so that you can shop for new games to add to your homeschool space too! Now, games are my favorite way to incorporate learning without the workbooks – cause, y’all know how I feel about them workbooks… And I think my kids really enjoy the break from “learning” when we play. Even though I sneak super fun learning games in there and they do not even realize they’re learning when they are! So, I’ve mixed a few classics into this list, a few of our absolute favorites, and some new game options that are on our wishlist for this year! I hope this list inspires you to put some fun games into your homeschool day or heck, maybe even “cancel” homeschool for a full game day! Can you imagine what level of cool you’d be at with your kids, mama? For real. Ok, let’s get into this list of best educational games for your homeschool! Uno Card Game – A classic card game that can be used for counting, color matching, number matching, and strategy! Zingo Bingo – A family favorite for us! This game helps with reading, matching, and it’s super fun, even for older siblings! Boggle – Another classic that helps with letter and word recognition, speed, fluency, and friendly competition! Scattergories – Definitely a family favorite around here! We love the rush to think of something in each category and list it quickly. It’s a great way to test your thinking skills! Scrabble – I’ve linked the junior version of this game, depending on ages the classic version might be a good fit for you as well! Scrabble is just super fun and keeps your mind sharp! Memory Matching – A classic game that reinforces memory skills, picture or letter recognition, and keeps the little ones entertained for a while! Dominoes – So many options! These Dominoes have colored dots, so you can teach color recognition with the littles, as well as strategy, matching, simple math, and so much more with just one little set of Dominoes! Jenga – Another family favorite! Jenga teaches engineering, strategy, competitive play, counting – and it’s so much fun to yell JENGA! 🙂 Scrambled States of America – A geography-based game that reinforces thinking skills, observation, and matching! Brain Games – One of the best educational games! This kids edition is great to help you play and discover and challenge your brain! Apples to Apples – A fun game of comparisons that improves vocabulary and thinking skills along the way! Mastermind – We’re so excited to get this game! It’s a STEM game that focuses on setting secret codes and solving them! Monopoly Junior – Our family LOVES Monopoly! The Junior edition makes it easier to get the littles involved as well 🙂 Counting, strategy, fun – this game has it all! Grocery Cart – This game is FULL of math reinforcement. Mental math, money management – this is a great game! OSMO Games – These games are on our wishlist! There are different levels that reinforce age-appropriate problem-solving. They work alongside an iPad to make learning fun! Brainiac – A fun game that focuses on a lot of different subjects and grades! It’s perfect for larger families to incorporate every learning level! Alphabet Bingo – Another wishlist item that we will be incorporating into learning this year! GeoBingo – This is an awesome game that focuses on Geography! There are two options, World Geography and US Geography. Candy Land AND Chutes + Ladders Bundle – This bundle of two classic board games are awesome for when you need a brain break (or a mama break). They’re easy to setup and play and they reinforce taking turns, following directions, and good sportsmanship! Totally Gross – A unique science-based game that will be so much fun for everyone! Adding this one to our wishlist! Race Across the USA – Another fun game to incorporate US Geography in a fun way! Hoot Owl Hoot – This is an awesome matching game that reinforces following directions, taking turns, and matching! Sum Swamp – Perfect for littles who are working on early math skills! Bananagrams – One of our favorites! I’ve linked the big letter edition because we love to play with those better than the traditional version. You can do so many things with this game! Shut the Box – This game has recently been added to our wishlist! I had never heard of it, but it looks like so much fun and it will reinforce strategic thinking! Hi Ho Cherry-O – This is our five year old’s favorite game! You definitely need this one if you have littles – it’s great for counting 🙂 Story Cubes – We can’t wait to get this game! We love creative writing around here and this game makes it so easy to spark your imagination and create an awesome story! Ticket to Ride – This is a highly talked about game in the homeschooling community! We’re adding this one to our wishlist this year! Scabs and Guts – Grossly exciting and definitely on our wishlist! If you have a medical-obsessed kiddo, grab this game! Chomp – This is a card game that looks like so much fun! It encourages science and reinforces hand-eye coordination. This one is on the wishlist! Sight Word Swat – Definitely belongs on the list of best educational games! The most fun game you will ever play for school! We love this game so much! Buy It Right – Another fun shopping game that reinforces money management! Yahtzee – A classic game that we love! This is a great game for any age that reinforces competitive gameplay, good sportsmanship, counting, and thinking skills! Sequence Dice –… [read more]

How to use Trello for homeschool

how to use trello for your homeschool

Trello for homeschool is quickly becoming a hot topic around most mamas. It honestly caught me off guard because I’ve been using Trello in some way or another for different business projects throughout the last five years. I thought everyone knew what Trello was! Nevertheless, I see that among most mamas, Trello seems to be a little overwhelming and they can’t see how it can be used in their homeschool. If that’s you, grab the Trello training in my shop! It comes with a Homeschool Management Board template so that you can learn the basics of Trello and then jump right into managing your homeschool with little-to-no setup 🙂 Click here to download! Ok! If you’re wondering HOW you could use Trello for homeschool, I’m sharing some of my favorite ways in the list below! These are simple, yet practical ways Trello can make your homeschooling so much more organized! Let’s jump into it 🙂 1. Assignments Trello has this awesome feature that allows you to create “teams” within each board. When a board is shared with a certain team (whether that’s you and your kids, you and your husband, or whoever) you can assign certain cards or tasks to different members of the team. You can even add due dates, too! This is a feature we’ve been playing around with for assigning homeschool work. Our daughter would rather work independently to get her school completed for the day on her own time. So, for the next school year, I will be only assigning her projects and work through Trello! 2. Memory Keeping Trello has the option to save photos and files right to a list or card! We like to use this feature to keep memories from the month / year in our portfolio board. Our state doesn’t require that we keep a portfolio, but I just like to keep things digitally for my own sanity and assurance 🙂 You can use an app like Scannable to take a photo for worksheets or artwork and it will turn it into a PDF that you can keep on a portfolio board on Trello! Or simply upload your favorite photos from a field trip or activity and keep those there as well! | Related: Why your homeschool needs a blog 3. Reading Logs We use our reading logs to track books that we loved and want to read again, books we want to get for our read-aloud library, our public library wishlist, and even keeping up with what books we’ve borrowed on our library card (remember, there’s due dates!) I’ve got two more ideas to help you use Trello for homeschool! 4. Chores Use the teams feature to assign chores for the week! Within our Homeschool Management Board, we have lists for daily tasks (including checklists for each thing that needs to happen for that chore to be complete – or is it just my kids who like to take shortcuts? Ha!) We also keep up with projects that need to be done throughout the house, rotating chores, seasonal tasks, etc. 5. Calendars We have boards for our weekly homeschool calendar, monthly field trips, attendance, family calendar… all. the. things. Within Trello, you can use Power-Ups. With the free plan, you get one free power-up per board, which is amazing! I have Trello Gold and get three per board, but before I decided to shuck out $5 a month (yes, that’s it!) I almost always chose the calendar power-up for my boards! It’s so easy to use and convenient! Okay! There’s five different ways you can use Trello for homeschool! If you’d like a big, huge list of board ideas to not only manage your homeschool but manage your life too, simply enter your info below and I’ll send it your way! It’s free 🙂       SEND IT TO ME! Ps. Trello has an app, which just makes all of this planning and managing even more awesome! So check it out -> Click here.

How to organize your homeschool: My top 3 tips + free printable!

how to organize your homeschool

Looking to organize your homeschool? Well, that wasn’t even on my mind when we were making the decision to homeschool. However, a few months in, I realized that we needed to do something – and quick. Look, I don’t think it’s possible to prepare for the amount of homeschool STUFF you’ll bring in as a homeschooling mama. I mean, I used to walk through the Target Dollar Spot as I made my way to the cart area… But now, I spend at least 20 minutes there, every single time, because they have the BEST homeschool stuff! Who knew?! I’ve never been the best at keeping things organized, to be honest. I can create a system and a process for organizing something super quick – but the everyday mundane is what gets me, and keeps me from staying organized. So, when I set out to try to organize our homeschool, I knew I needed something that would set me up for success and not make me feel like a failure. I needed simple and to-the-point. I LOVE our homeschool system now and it makes me feel like I’m in control, even on the days I know I’m not – haha 🙂 I’ve never promised to have it all together – but I have promised to share my experiences and the things I’m learning with you! SEND ME THE EBOOK! > > Thank you! You have successfully joined our subscriber list. Our homeschool system is always changing, as it should. Change is the only way to grow – didn’t you know that? 😉 So I am constantly looking for better ways to homeschool – Especially in the homeschool management department! So, if you’re into all the system and process stuff, like I am, comment on this post and let me know you want to see more content like this on the blog! And to remind me that I’m not alone – ha! | Related: The Ultimate Homeschool Supplies List So, let’s dive into my top 3 tips to organize your homeschool: 1. Have a designated mama space Listen, life with kiddos gets crazy. It’s nice to have a space that is just yours. A space that you can keep organized and know where everything is. Trust me. Your sanity will thank you for doing this! 2. Create spaces for everything Our favorite thing is this 15-drawer cart. I use the large drawers to separate things for each kiddo and the small drawers are used to separate supplies and books by subject. The top acts like an extra shelf and we use magazine holders and bins to organize our supplies there. The whole cart is flipping amazing + a must-have for your homeschool space! 3. Go digital! Paper clutter is the WORST. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a pretty planner and writing with a pencil and #allthethings. But when I found that I could use this app (GoodNotes) to download digital worksheets and notebooks for our oldest to complete and use during homeschool – I was SO excited! Not only do digital resources cut down on paper clutter – but most digital resources are CHEAPER than buying the physical book or printing them off! We just download the PDF and import it to the app. Everything gets saved just like it was written on permanently! It’s so cool! PLUS – I learned how to create our own digital homeschool planner and I incorporated all the things I love about the many different planners I’ve had over the years to create the perfect planner for us! And now I no longer spend money every year on a new planner! It’s so awesome! If you’d like to check out the planner for yourself, it’s available in our shop 🙂 Click here. And there you have it! My top three tips for organizing your homeschool! I can’t wait to hear how it helps you! Before you go, don’t forget to download the FREE ebook I created full of tips, an awesome organization checklist, + our favorite resources for the homeschool mama who wants to get organized! (Hint: That’s you!) Just tell me where to send it and it’ll be on its way! 🙂 SEND ME THE EBOOK! > > Thank you! You have successfully joined our subscriber list.

HOMESCHOOL SUPPLIES LIST | What do I need to homeschool?

what do I need for homeschool

Everybody needs a great homeschool supplies list to get them through the year and that’s exactly what I’ve got for you today! The not-so-obvious guide to homeschool supplies is here – Leave your favorite homeschool supplies in the comments! I’m always looking to add to my cart! 🙂 Homeschooling can be overwhelming – I get it. That’s why I am working hard to bring you the very best resources and tips to help make homeschooling a little more simple for your family, so that you can actually ENJOY all that homeschooling brings! Check out the resource at the bottom of this page to learn how I manage and plan our homeschool – almost effortlessly 😉 If you need help or have questions about making your own homeschool supplies list, reach out to me on Instagram! I reply to everything and will help you figure out what else you need to homeschool! Ready to dive into our homeschool supplies list? Let’s go! There’s more where that came from! Hit subscribe! Here’s the list of links I mentioned in the video: *Note: I did not link everything, so make sure you watch! Dry erase board: https://amzn.to/2MxGUjr Printer: https://amzn.to/3gWkZ3k  Rolling cart: https://amzn.to/2Y5g0F6 Additional cart we’re getting this year: https://amzn.to/2UarCFp Call of the Wild + Free: https://amzn.to/3gYM9GL  | Related: Ultimate List of Summer Boredom Busters Looking for a BETTER way to manage your homeschool? My new homeschool BFF is Trello! I love how simple it is to integrate with our homeschool, my kids use it too! But I know how overwhelming it can be to create the perfect Trello space for your homeschool – SO – I sat down, created a mini-training, showed you how I use Trell for our homeschool, AND provided our homeschool board as a template for you to use as well! Click here to download it now 🙂 Ps. Have you ever wanted to lock arms with another mama who just flipping gets it? Well… Now you can! Come hang out with the INSIDERS group on Facebook!

HOW TO START HOMESCHOOLING | 5 steps + workbook!

how to start homeschooling ebook with guide and five steps

Want to start homeschooling, but feeling overwhelmed? I totally get it! There is so much info out there for starting your homeschool. In this video, I’m sharing my top five tips for getting started with homeschooling! These tips are NOT overwhelming, they’re super-practical… PLUS! There’s a workbook to help you too! Homeschooling can be overwhelming – I get it. That’s why I am working hard to bring you the very best resources and tips to help make homeschooling a little more simple for your family so that you can actually ENJOY all that homeschooling brings! Check out the resource at the bottom of this page to learn how I manage and plan our homeschool – almost effortlessly 😉 If you need help or have more questions about starting your homeschool, reach out to me on Instagram! I reply to everything and will help you figure out specific details to start homeschooling in your state! Ready to dive into the video? Let’s go! There’s more where that came from! Hit subscribe! Here’s the list of links I mentioned in the How to Start Homeschooling video: *Note: I did not link everything, so make sure you watch! Homeschool 101 – Digital Workbook | Related: Ultimate List of Summer Boredom Busters Looking for a BETTER way to manage your homeschool? My new homeschool BFF is Trello! I love how simple it is to integrate with our homeschool, my kids use it too! But I know how overwhelming it can be to create the perfect Trello space for your homeschool – SO – I sat down, created a mini-training, showed you how I use Trell for our homeschool, AND provided our homeschool board as a template for you to use as well! Click here to download it now 🙂 Ps. Have you ever wanted to lock arms with another mama who just flipping gets it? Well… Now you can! Come hang out with the INSIDERS group on Facebook!

Homeschooling Pros + Cons | The advantages + disadvantages of homeschool from a 2nd-gen homeschooler

homeschooling pros and cons

Have you noticed that homeschooling is a hot topic these days? Regardless of the current state of our world, you need to make the best decision possible for educating your kids. Whether you choose to homeschool during quarantine or for the long-haul, this list of homeschool pros and cons will help you make that decision for your family. There’s more where that came from! Hit subscribe! Here’s a quick view of the advantages of homeschooling: More quality time with our family Kids have time to be a kid No homework Less stress at bedtime Weather advantages No bullying More time for creativity Customizable learning You get to influence your kids PJ day… every day 🙂 Here’s my opinion on the disadvantages for homeschooling: A lot more time spent together Your grocery bill increases You have to learn how to field stupid questions Mom-time is hard to find The mom guilt is real (Spoiler Alert: You will not mess up your kids!) Homeschooling can be expensive As you can see, the pros outweigh the cons and honestly… the cons aren’t even that bad 🙂 Until next time! I sat down with a few other homeschooling mamas and we chatted about being frugal in your homeschool. So I created a list of the best ways we’re frugal in our homeschool and included a few of their ideas as well! Ps. Have you ever wanted to lock arms with another mama who just flipping gets it? Well… Now you can! Come hang out with the INSIDERS group on Facebook!

Summer Boredom Busters [Free Printable Calendar]

summer boredom busters homeschool boredom make homeschool more fun

Summer Boredom Busters – This free homeschool printable is going to transform your summer! We’ve put together the ultimate list of boredom-busting activities for your family in a convenient printable calendar! Simply download the calendar and print it to get started planning your summer fun! Feel free to repeat activities throughout the summer! Especially the activities you REALLY loved! And double-up as often as you want! There are no rules for how many activities you can do in a day 😉 We’ve done our best to list activities that inspire creativity, learning, and fun! Most of the summer boredom busters we’ve listed are FREE (or super frugal) too! | Related: 102 Activities to do (no worksheets!) WHAT’S INCLUDED: 90+ Free or frugal activities to keep your family entertained this summer! Convenient, printable calendar for easy planning! Un-dated calendar to give you freedom to choose the activity you want, when you want it! ALL FREE + READY FOR YOU TO USE THIS SUMMER! 🥳 Looking for more fun this summer? This free homeschool printable has 31 different “challenges” that encourage STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, + Mathematics) learning. All of the challenges can be done at any age and will be SO much fun to do as a family too! I also included a bonus printable I’ve been working on for our homeschool!  We’re growing a garden this year, so this has been fun to learn for us! I hope your family enjoys it just as much! 

Summer Sensory Bin Ideas

Create Your Homeschool -

Summer sensory bin ideas are here and they are so much fun! You can use sensory bins to keep the littles busy during lessons with the bigger kids or as an extra activity to reinforce what you’re learning. You can check out the list of spring sensory bins here. Sometimes the bins can get messy, so I’ve separated the list of summer sensory bin ideas below into indoor and outdoor categories, instead of by age like the spring list! As with anything homeschool-related, don’t feel like you need to follow the directions to a T. Switch out ingredients (but keep them kid-friendly), add toys you already have, or figure out how to make a bin you love more difficult or easy. Don’t forget to post pics with the summer sensory bin idea you’ve chosen to do! Tag me on Instagram and I’ll share too! #createyourhomeschool Ok, let’s dive in! INDOOR SUMMER SENSORY BINS Flower Garden – Plain Vanilla Mom Rainbow Jello – Must Have Mom Ocean Sorting – A Dab Of Glue Will Do Ice Cream Toppings – Modern Preschool Sink or Float – Stay At Home Educator Bug Fun – What Can We Do With Paper + Glue Dinosaur Rescue – Busy Toddler Ice Cream Fun – Happy Toddler Playtime OUTDOOR SUMMER SENSORY BINS Decorate A Cake – Days With Grey Flower Soup – Simple Fun For Kids Frozen Lego – Happy Toddler Playtime Letter Matching Seashells – Natural Beach Living Scoop + Pour – Stay At Home Educator Washing Dishes – Twin Mom Refreshed Ice Painting – Days With Grey Bubble Fun – Twin Mom Refreshed We hope to see your bins over on Instagram! And if you think of new ideas for your bins, share those too! Have fun! If you’re looking for a free homeschool printable to end your homeschool year with a bang, this is for you! I am SO excited about finishing up our homeschool year with STEM challenges! I mean… why wouldn’t you want to close out the year with STEM activities, right?! So much FUN! This free homeschool printable has 31 different “challenges” that encourage STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, + Mathematics) learning. All of the challenges can be done at any age and will be SO much fun to do as a family too! I’ve also included a bonus printable I’ve been working on for our homeschool! We’re growing a garden this year, so this has been fun to learn for us! I hope your family enjoys it just as much!  Click here to download!


Create Your Homeschool -

This free homeschool printable is the perfect rainy-day activity! You guys know how I feel about worksheets… [read more, here]. However, we’ve done our best to make each worksheet interactive, so that your child isn’t just writing for an hour, but learning through cutting, pasting, and playful scenarios. This free download is not meant to be a strict learning workbook. Instead, use these pages as stand-alone worksheets to reinforce learning in certain topics. The pages are in no particular order so that you can use each page once or 100 times, depending on your child’s level of learning and love for each worksheet. We’ve provided directions for each worksheet, but use your own mama judgment. The sky’s the limit for how to use these versatile learning worksheets! LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Number sequencing Greater-than / less-than Sorting Beginner math More / less Object placement + more! ALL FREE + READY FOR YOU TO USE IN YOUR HOMESCHOOL! 🥳