Tuesday, October 30, 2012


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I have this lovely homeschooling room. I love it to death, and feel very very blessed.
Though.... Lately we've been doing homeschooling at the kitchen table.
Pie for Breakfast: Homeschool Room
 I've learned homeschooling is all about flexibility. My little homeschooling room is downstairs. The kitchen is upstairs. I've found lately, if I want to get the housework done and the homeschooling done, I have to combine it some where. So the girls do some independent work while I do the dishes.
The best part of homeschooling is finding out what works. Some people do homeschooling on the couch. Some people only do it in their special room. Some people do it on the porch outside (on nice sunny days) I love the ability to make my schooling work for me and my children.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Are you the winner?

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We have a winner!!!!!!

Thanks to my husband (the guy who got to pull the name out of the bag) the winner is...........................


Congrats on winning the supplies. I will be in touch with you to arrange getting you your prize!!

Keep reading our blog for more give a ways and lots more tips and fun about homeschooling!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Craft Time

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 Like I said, I'm known for LOVING doing crafts. Today we did some of The Story of the World. We read about Joseph going to Egypt. So, we made our own coats of many colors. It was a fun easy craft that just required scraps of fabric, scissors, glue, and a cut out paper coat.

Yes, my fashionista is indeed in her pj's. That's one of the perk of home schooling. If she want she can wear her pj's and I don't have to fight her to get dressed!

Here is one of the coats. I love any opportunity to have my children use their imaginations. Crafts allow me to see inside their little minds. I love it!

Don't forget tomorrow is the last day of the give-a-way!!! It will be closed at midnight and the winner will be announced on Monday!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My 10 Best Websites for FREE Homeschool Printables

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[photo by tonx]

I'm going to be totally honest, okay? My husband and I have no money. We're on public assistance. Not very conducive to homeschooling, right? Especially when public school is free.

So how do we do it? (Why we do it is another topic entirely.) Well, we spent part of our tax return this year on some curriculum--mostly used, and what we couldn't get used, we bought through Rainbow Resource. We also use the library a lot. But that's only part of what I use to teach The Boy. 

The rest comes from the internet. 

Honestly, I don't know if I'd be able to homeschool if I didn't have internet access. There are so many awesome free resources out there. In fact, when we were doing preschool, all of our materials and ideas came from the internet.

I obviously can't point you to all the free homeschool stuff on the internet. But I want to show you my most-used sites. The Boy really likes worksheets, and he's currently doing schoolwork that's either kindergarten or first-grade level, so this list is biased toward those areas. But a lot of these sites have materials and activities for multiple ages and abilities, and some of them aren't even homeschool sites--they're for educators of all kinds. Awesome, right?

Here they are, full of free resources, with my most-used sites toward the top:

  • Education.com--tons of stuff here. I usually go to the "Worksheets" tab or the "Activities" tab, and then do a search or just click on "kindergarten" or "first grade." 
  • Lesson Pathways--used to be a paid site, but it's free now. Technically, you can use this site to design a complete curriculum. It doesn't have its own materials; just links to other sites on the web. But it has them organized into different subject "pathways," from K through 5th grade. Again, I usually just do a search for whatever topic I'm looking for.
  • Classroom Freebies--SO MUCH STUFF here, from PreK through 12th grade. Put together by classroom teachers, but most of it is adaptable to whatever purpose you want.
  • Kids Activities--good for classrooms, homeschool or just family activities. Ranges from PreK to middle school.
  • Mr. Printables--if you're going for originality and cuteness, this is the place. They tend toward younger kids. Not a blog, but they seem to update pretty frequently.
  • Watch Know Learn--videos! Says for ages 3-18, but they seem to mostly be for older kids. Do a search with the search bar, instead of using the links in the sidebar. I find more interesting stuff that way.
  • Homeschool Share--exactly what it sounds like. I don't use this site as often; I tend to forget it's there. But it's full of good printables, especially if you're into lapbooks.
  • Homeschool Creations--Jolanthe is pretty much a celebrity in the homeschool blogging world. Her printables are awesome. I really need to use this site more often.
  • Confessions of a Homeschooler--another homeschool-blogging rock star. Erica's blog covers all kinds of homeschooling topics; her Teeny-Tiny Tot School ideas are awesome if you have toddlers running around.
  • And, last but not least...Pinterest. I'm serious! Just in the last couple weeks, I've used this, this, this, and this. And I'm thinking about doing this. [Note to self: You also have a million homeschool pins that you have not used.]
So, there you have it. Don't forget to enter our Getting Started Giveaway, if you haven't yet. It still has only a few entries, so your chances of winning are very good. And art supplies make really good Christmas gifts for kiddos.  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Getting Started Give-A-WAY!

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Do you want to win this?

Since we are starting up this blog again. We thought we should give you something! These are some of our "start up" homeschooling essential supplies!

How do you enter?  All you have to do is follow us and leave a comment telling us you're following us! Simple, right? We'll draw a name Next Sunday October 28th!!!

*only open to people living in the USA, sorry!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Where to start?????

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Fashionista making a "stone" tablet

Where do I even start when I decide to home school?

I’m still fairly new to homeschooling. But here are some of the tips I feel will help.
1.       Talk to friends around you.
I wish I had done this first. Talk to others around you and find out the different resources they use. Find out about co-ops that they are part of. Find out what curriculum they are using.  Ask what programs they are using.  After a year of living in the state I am in, I learned that there was a program where I could get help paying for books and other programs I wanted my children to participate in.  Home schooling can be expensive. It’s nice to know about the free and inexpensive programs in your area.
2.       Research. This point probably is a no brainer. But it’s an important part. I really enjoy going into an actual store and spending and hour (or way more) looking through books and seeing what I want. I don’t have a ton of money to buy supplies and find out I hate it. I am particular about what we use. I need to get my hands on it before buying it. After I have found what I want, I research it more. Then I find the cheapest place to buy it, which usually aren’t the stores I investigate the book at.
3.       Teaching Styles. Figure out how you like to teach. And then figure out how your children like to learn.  I needed first to know what kind of teacher I was. This is also an area you need to research. There are different styles you can read books about. For me personally I just needed to know what would keep me going in home schooling.  I am a very craft oriented teacher. If I am bored, I find that I can only teach boring. I try to engage my children in things I enjoy also. I then figured out how my children like to learn. Luckily they like crafts also. But my scientist REALLY likes to read where as my fashionista hates when she has to read too much without pictures. I’ve taken the curriculum we have and adjusted it to fit both of their needs.
4.       Decide for yourself (with your spouse). There will be MANY people telling you why you shouldn’t or should home school. You know yourself. You know what you are willing and wanting to put into your children’s education. Yes, there are some weird home schooled people (have you seen America’s Next Top Model). But there have been so many times where after getting to know someone I find out she/he was home schooled. You’re not going to ruin your child. Just try to ignore comments that make you doubt your decision. Surround yourself with people who are going to support you in your decision. And don’t bring up the subject in people who are going to be negative about it.
5.        Fun. Have fun. Don’t take yourself too serious. You’re going to mess up. You’re going to get burnt out. You might even yell at your students. Take a break. Breath and then start again. Homeschooling can be so enjoyable and so fun. As long as you remember to breath.

Now that you’ve read my advice. What is your advice to the beginning homeschoolers?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Halloween Storytime

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Since I'm a glutton for punishment, I have a gazillion blogs. (Not really. But four is almost a gazilllion.) One of them is The Storybook Shelf, where I highlight stories that The Boy and I have read together--mostly books that I think more people should know about. There are some AWESOME kid's books out there, besides the usual classics that we've all read.

Anyway, I have a few stories posted there about fall and about Halloween, if you have kids of the picture-book age. Hopefully, I'll have enough time to get a couple more posted there soon.

This one is my most favorite Halloween book ever:

Ghosts in the House!, by Kazuno Kohara

If you have a favorite, we'd love to hear what it is!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Who am I?

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Yes, I know who I am.. But for those who don't, here's a little about me. My name is Melissa. I have four children. A scientist,a fashionista, a princess, and my boy (yes only one boy).  I’ve been homeschooling for 3 years now. This is our first year that counts. Last year I had a daughter go to kindergarten every other day, and we homeschooled on her off days. I’m not against public school, however it just isn’t what is right for my family. I love homeschooling, reading about homeschooling, and talking about homeschooling.

My homeschooling style is my very own. I use a little of The Well-Trained mind ways, a little of Montessori style, some of the Classic… But mostly it’s Melissa Style. I have a love for adding crafts to as many things as possible. We get things done with as much fun as possible.
Here's a little of what we like to do:

                                                 We like to make cave paintings, with our fingers

Towers out of sugar cubes Sadly our Leaning Tower of Pisa leaned to far.


                                      And occasionally we create our own rain clouds....

                                       But mostly we try not to take ourselves to serious.
I’m very excited to be joining Andrea in blogging. She’s not only extremely smart but she is the funnest (yep, I said it too!) person I know!

HI! I'm back!

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It's been a long day, but I'm finally here for our big "first" day! We're having a technical issue with Melissa being able to post, but I think we'll have it fixed soon.

Most of you guys know me from when I blogged here before, but here's a little update. The Boy (he's six years old now) and I started his kindergarten year in April. It's going really well so far; we're about halfway through. I'll tell you all about what materials we're using...in another post. For today, I want to give you some visuals of what school life is like at our house right now.

We do some of this:

A whole lot of this:

We're trying to do more of this:

And I wish we could do this all the time:

[But we can't. We live in the Northwest, and it will be raining from now until May.]

So that's a glimpse. There are also a lot of dirty dishes, arguments about Nintendo, and days that we do the bare minimum, so don't get the wrong idea. But we love what we do, and I'm really excited to start sharing it with you again. 

We're hoping to get Melissa's post up soon--you guys are gonna love her. She's one of the funnest (yeah, I said it) people I know. So stay tuned!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Watch This Space!

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We're back! And when I say "we," I mean me and my best friend, Melissa. We'll be working on this blog together now, and I'm pretty sure it's going to be awesome.

We're still working out some of the little details, but we'll be ready to launch soon. Don't miss it!
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