Tag Archives: homeschooling

Badgers, Butterflies, and Sourdough Bread

It seems that every week is a crazy week around here lately and I know that part of that is probably my fault for trying to squeeze so much into my days. It’s definitely a juggling act around here with the kids, homeschooling, square dancing, blogging and the list of things that need to be done to keep up house and I then I add in things like trying to revamp some of our favorite recipes to make them healthier, working a couple of part-time jobs from home to earn a little extra income and trying to start up my own notary business. Yeah, no wonders things are so crazy right? Not to mention I’ve signed up for a multitude of online classes like the Positive Parenting Solutions which has really helped out when I remember to use the tips and tools I’ve been learning about.

Sigh… parenting is hard. When you add the special challenges of raising two special needs children (ODD, ADHD, Down’s Syndrome and a few others) to the mix it can be even harder on some days. It may be because I am making some progress with our class that I am seeing a little bit more rebellion or ‘testing of the waters’ but whatever the reason it has been quite the challenge here lately. It is enough on some days to make a Momma wanna through up her hands in defeat but I know that God is here and He is going to help us all get through this.

The kids have had a blast with this week with our newest Academic Adventure using the Little House on the Prairie book series. We’ve learned about dugout homes, even a whole town that lives underground in Australia, and some other interesting facts about the strange animal that Laura encountered on one of her adventures.

They’ve also learned some important lessons about obeying rules and right now I have a couple of little girls who have lost some privileges and are under constant supervision similar to what Laura experienced at the beginning of our On the Banks of Plum Creek Week 1 Lesson Plans.

The boys also enjoyed learning with Ziggy as they started their All About Reading Level Pre-reading lessons. They also enjoyed reading  The Very Hungry Caterpillar which I thought was a good book to go along with our lessons this week.

 

Another book they are really enjoying is Natural World: A Visual Compendium of Wonders from Nature which are reading through as part of our science lessons. It is full of facts and illustrations that they love. The jacket also unfolds to make a huge poster for them to look at. The next best part of their science lessons was looking at bugs with their Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Bugnoculars(pictured above)

We haven’t finished all of this week’s lessons as this week has been a bit busy and it was hard for some people to get back on the school routine. We still have a few like skills lessons which include our new Herb Fairies books and some dog training lessons from Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days. These might not be things you’d normally expect to find in your school lessons but the kids asked for them so I have included them to keep them interested in learning. Plus we can all benefit from these lessons and I find them pretty enjoying myself.

The best part of our homeschool experience this week is at the bottom of the post so you can keep reading or scroll through to find out what it was.

Getting back the week we’ve had, we had an amazing day at the zoo last weekend followed by a birthday party at my sister’s house. The kids had a lot of fun and a bit too much sugar that day. We had to deal with the after effects for a few days afterward. No fun!

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On Monday we had our usual square dance and then back home. Tuesday I decided to make a grocery run with my favorite Walmart Grocery Pickup service. Mr. Awesome had announced that he was starting a new diet after I had already made up my grocery list so that meant we needed to run into the store for a couple of last minute items. I already had the menu planned out as well so I just decided to tweak a few of the recipes to make them a little more diet-friendly and healthier for everyone. Be on the lookout for some upcoming recipes that we have been trying out.

I remembered that I had bought a couple of Trim Healthy Mama books (Trim Healthy Mama Plan and Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook) before so I dug them out and started skimming over them a bit. I also bought the last book, Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table, as I kept finding references to some recipes that weren’t available in the original book. There are several recipes that I want to try and I have been adding some things like collagen, acv, psyllium husk flakes, sunflower lecithin, nutritional yeast to some of my recipes for a little extra health benefit.

I know we can’t undo all these years of unhealthy eating in a day but we can make one change at a time to become a little healthier every day. I also know that my kids will be learning how to eat healthier and hopefully, they will pass some of these habits down to their kids. I’ve added some healthier options to our breakfast menus like omelets with mushrooms and a side of sauteed spinach. While Mr. Awesome passed on the spinach at breakfast I did manage to sneak in some greens and A TON of veggies at dinner time. That’s not potatoes on that plate but you wouldn’t know it if I hadn’t told you.

I’ve also done a lot of food prep so that we would have some healthier choices when we needed a quick meal or snack. We made a few boiled eggs and our own bagged salads for the week. I made one bag special for Mr. Awesome as he said he wasn’t ‘Popeye’  and he didn’t want spinach in his salad.

We cut all the lettuces, a mixture of iceberg and romaine, into bite-size pieces. Then we washed everything and spun it dry in the salad spinner. (You want to make sure it is as dry as possible before bagging it.) We layered a couple of big baggies with a paper towel and carefully placed our lettuce and spinach inside. Then we squeezed out all the air and sealed them. They have been in the fridge all week and still look pretty. (You will also want to change out the paper towel frequently.) The kids really enjoyed practicing some of the kitchen skills they’ve learned and it seems to make them more interested in trying out new things when they are involved in the process.

I also decided to try my hand at making some sourdough bread again. My first starter died when I neglected it a few months ago when I was sick. I wasn’t really feeling like attempting my own so I ordered some San Francisco Sourdough Starter from Amazon. It was quite easy to get the activation started by using the instructions provided. We’ve named our starter ‘Fran’ and she seems to be doing well. We’ve got some dough rising right now so maybe we’ll have a bit of sourdough bread to go with dinner tonight.

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The kids are really excited about our new ‘sourdough baby’ and they keep checking up on her to make sure she isn’t hungry … lol. They even wanted to try out a new recipe for muffins using some of the leftover sponge we had from the bread dough. Here’s a couple of pictures of the batter and the finished product:

This recipe still needs a little bit of tweaking but I did manage to use some whole wheat flour with these muffins and I snuck some greens in there as well! The kids said they liked them but personally, I think they need a little something more before I want to share the recipe.

I was also excited to get my Grove order this week as I ordered several items I’ve never tried before. I did get the room spray for FREE and I love that it comes in a reusable glass bottle. You can even order the concentrated sprays to refill it. 

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The body wash smells amazing and the brushes have helped out a lot with some of the cleaning we’ve been doing around the house. I bought the washing machine cleaner to help get rid of the mildew on the refrigerator seals … yuck. It has helped somewhat but it may need to be used several times to get rid of it completely. I may cave and get some bleach to get rid of it because I just really hate seeing it.

And now for the best part of our week! We had gotten the Insect Lore Deluxe Butterfly Garden with 2 Live Cups of Caterpillars & Feeding Kit at Easter and the kids have really enjoyed watching their little caterpillars grow up. I don’t know if you can see in the first picture but they were small enough to fit on my pinky nail but boy did they grow quickly.

The kids have been excited to observe the whole process but they were also very excited to let them go. This was easier said than done as a couple of them didn’t want to leave their little home. A couple of them have been spotted hanging out near the pond so we still get to see them just not as often as we did before. The kids are begging to this again.

Well, I guess I better finish up here as the boys are begging me to ‘let the dough out of the bowl’ so they can work with it. They already have some plans for bread and jelly when it gets finished!

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We just want to wish everyone a very Happy Mother’s Day and we hope that you have a wonderful weekend!

Remember that sometimes motherhood, or even parenthood, is not the way we had it pictured that it would be and we can get overwhelmed and stressed but it is so much more rewarding than we could ever hope that it would have been!

Here’s a picture of our finished bread:

**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

 

Cover image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay 

Preventing The Back To HomeSchool Meal Planning Madness

**This post does contain some affiliate links which could possibly earn me a small commission if a purchase was made through them. These links help to support our blog and our family.

Hmmm… have you thought about what you’ll be feeding those hungry learners? If your kids were in public school you may not have had to think much about it before. If you plan to homeschool then you will be feeding them at least three meals a day and maybe a few snacks in between.

This can turn into a chaotic juggling act if you aren’t prepared. How do we prevent meal time chaos in our home? By meal planning. I even plan out snacks sometimes so I don’t forget to include them on my grocery list. Check out this link for some Healthy Snacks to Go.

10 snacks your kids can make star (1)

It might seem like a lot of trouble but when you find a system that works for then it is so easy. It will actually save you time and money in the long run. This is also a helpful thing even if you don’t homeschool.

Check out this post for some quick and easy breakfast ideas to help you beat that morning chaos and fill those tummies with a nutritious breakfast to start their day off right. Here is another link for even more ideas: The Healthy Breakfast Book. Continue reading Preventing The Back To HomeSchool Meal Planning Madness

13 Fun First Day Back To HomeSchool Ideas

**This post does contain some affiliate links which could possibly earn me a small commission if a purchase was made through them. These links help to support our blog and our family.

I can remember how excited I always was on my first day back to school. I loved school as a kid and I was always so eager to learn. My best memories were of the teachers who let us play games or gave us special treats on that first day. Maybe they were just trying to bribe us but it was something I remember.

As a homeschooling Momma I can find ways to bring that excitement into our homeschool. I try to keep things fun and interesting and sometimes do something a little crazy. Check out my new Pinterest board, Homeschool: First Day Activities. Continue reading 13 Fun First Day Back To HomeSchool Ideas

Have You Bought Your School Supplies Yet?

**This post does contain some affiliate links which could possibly earn me a small commission if a purchase was made through them. These links help to support our blog and our family.

We’ve bought the majority of our school supplies for the upcoming year. I know from experience that this is something best done sooner rather than waiting to the last minute.

Not sure what to buy? Check out my post here with our Free Printable Back to school list. I’ll try to start planning for our next year’s school choices about midyear. This gives me plenty of time to research and make lists for supplies that we’ll need.

Not homeschooling? Check with your child’s school and/or teacher for supply list. Many times the local Walmart will have a handy checklist available when you walk in. Continue reading Have You Bought Your School Supplies Yet?

Kirby’s Kids: Making The Decision To Homeschool

So maybe you’ve decided to try homeschooling or maybe you have already been haphazardly homeschooling and have decided to continue but you aren’t sure what to do next. Or maybe you were just browsing and came across this post by accident. No matter what your reason I’m glad you are here and invite you to follow along this little series.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced homeschooler the decision to homeschool or not can be quite overwhelming. I’ve broken it down into a few different sections to help you out. I’ve also shared a few affiliate links to some of our favorite resources.

Go ahead and grab a notebook so that you can jot down some notes as we go through this series. (I may try to make a printable checklist at some point.) Continue reading Kirby’s Kids: Making The Decision To Homeschool

Updated Shopping Links!

**Please note this post does contain affiliate links to which I may, possibly, earn a small commission from if you click on and purchase an item. For full disclosure click here.

I just wanted to let everyone know that I’ve added some new links on the Affiliate Disclaimer & Links tab just in time for Christmas. Are you still looking for a unique gift for someone special? Why don’t you check out some of these sites below or check out the Affiliate Disclaimer & Links tab for a complete list of companies I am currently working with.   Continue reading Updated Shopping Links!

Making Memories With Family

My oldest daughter and her husband came to visit this weekend. We decided to have an impromptu cookout with hamburgers, hot dogs, deviled eggs, baked beans, and pasta salad… yum!

The best part of the whole time was not the food but the time we spent together. I wasn’t feeling really well and tried to ‘keep away’ but watching the kids all spend time together was really amazing. The little kids enjoyed having big sister around and they loved playing with their dog.

The older kids decided to get down some games… I normally have them in a big coffee table, however that coffee table is out on the porch because we have no room right now, so they had to get them down from the storage loft. (We have a big collection of board games as we would request these for Christmas gifts as the whole family can enjoy them. Board games do make great Christmas gifts!)

First came Battleship, we have the older version somewhere but couldn’t find it so they got down the Electronic version, however we couldn’t find all the pieces so I guess that will need to go on the Christmas list. I am thinking about getting this Star Wars version.

Next came the classic Monopoly. We would spend hours playing this game when they were younger. We also have the set with a speed die. DD18 is planning on getting this out later to play again with the kids. I am thinking about checking out the Junior edition too as this is a great game to teach money skills.

Last they pulled down the old Scrabble. (We have a couple version of this game too.) I love that you can buy replacement tiles for this game fairly cheap and these tiles also work great for crafts. I think my oldest daughter took the electronic version home with her to play with her husband. This is also a great game to help with reading, spelling, vocabulary, and math as you count up the scores. You could start younger kids out with this junior edition.

After they played for a while we ate dinner together and talked a bit. Big sister also passed out some bags of Halloween candy for everyone. We cleaned up and they went home as it was starting to get dark and they had to work the next morning.

DD18 wasn’t ready to put up the games though. She asked Mr. Awesome and me if we would play and we did. We played Scrabble first and she went to grab the dictionary so she could make sure my words were ‘legal’… lol. Like I would really cheat. I do pull words out of my head that I don’t even know that I knew sometimes though.

Once that game was over they decided to play Monopoly again. We had a blast playing even though they lost… again. This was definitely one of those days that we will keep in our hearts forever. It has also encouraged us to start some new traditions with the younger kids. I am hoping to start having a game night at least once week like I did when my oldest kids were younger.

All in all today was a great day. I am so thankful for these days and feel so very blessed to have such a wonderful family! I definitely feel like a winner!

 

Dollar Tree Finds: 10/20/2017

Its took me a few days to get this post written but I wanted to share a few neat things I found at my last trip to Dollar Tree.

My littlest ones are still really into dinosaurs and all of them are so artistic it’s complete craziness here sometimes. Right now we have crayons, markers, scissors, glue sticks, and paper all over the table and floor from their latest projects. I probably have enough artwork to fill a museum… some of these masterpieces will eventually make it to friends and family.

I try my best to restrain myself when I walk down the ‘teacher’ section but I was super excited when I spotted these iDRAW dinosaur books with step by step instructions on how to draw so many different dinosaurs. Then I was almost doing a little happy dance to see that they had a few other versions like sea life, jungle animals, horses, and such. The kids are going to love these and I am hoping to incorporate them into some of their art classes while we homeschool.

There was also a Learn to Recycle kit that I picked up. I think this will work well as we are learning about the earth right now. If I don’t incorporate it into the Science lessons I’m sure I will find a place to use it as a teaching tool and they will have tons of fun doing this activity.

I found a few stickers to use on their projects as well as some jewel toned stickers. These stickers will, hopefully, be used to mark the countries and places we are ‘visiting’ in Social Studies. You can see more about this here. The kids are having a blast with this study so far. We have visited Great Britain and Spain with plans to visit France next week. (Our trip to Greece has been delayed as I haven’t received the Highlights kit yet.)

I’ll keep checking back and bringing you new items that I find to use in our homeschool.

Happy Homeschooling!

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Start Date: Jul 5 , 2013
End Date: Ongoing
Type: Evergreen
Categories: Office Products

National Cheesecake Day

National Cheesecake Day is the day to enjoy a slice or two of delicious cheesecake! Click here to learn more about this holiday. It is celebrated on July 30th.

Below are some of the activities I found to celebrate this day:

(Use at your own discretion.)

National Cheesecake Day « Eli’s Cheesecake

National Cheesecake Day | Sue Bee Honey

Celebrate National Cheesecake Day on July 30, 2017 – Chiff.com

Recipes:

PHILADELPHIA 3-Step Cheesecake – Kraft Recipes

22 Easy Cheesecake Recipes | Taste of Home

No-Bake Cheesecake Recipes – Allrecipes.com

Also check out:

Homeschool: July on Pinterest

 

Aunt and Uncle Day

Aunt and Uncle Day is the day to let your Aunt and Uncles know how much you care! Click here to learn more about this holiday. It is celebrated on July 26th.

Below are some of the activities I found to celebrate this day:

(Use at your own discretion.)

Celebrate Aunt and Uncle Day on July 26th | Lit For Kids

Aunt & Uncle’s Day – 123 Greetings

Aunt and Uncle Day – 26th Jul, 2017 | Days Of The Year

Also check out:

Homeschool: July on Pinterest

 

National Lollipop Day

National Lollipop Day is the day to satisfy that sweet tooth! Click here to learn more about this holiday. It is celebrated on July 20th.

Below are some of the activities I found to celebrate this day:

(Use at your own discretion.)

Celebrate National Lollipop Day – Grandma Ideas

National Lollipop Day – Punchbowl

National Lollipop Day – Gone-ta-pott.com

10 fabulous facts about lollipops on National Lollipop Day – AOL Food

Also check out:

Homeschool: July on Pinterest

how lollipops are made for kids on Pinterest

 

Global Hug Your Kids Day

Global Hug Your Kids Day is a day to reach out put your arms around your kids to make sure that they know how much you love them! Click here to learn more about this holiday. It is celebrated on the third Monday in July.

Below are some of the activities I found to celebrate this day:

(Use at your own discretion.)

Global Hug Your Kid Day: The importance of showing affection

Global Hug Your Kids Day – WordPress.com

July 21 – Global Hug Your Kid Day | Juliana Lee

Also check out:

Homeschool: July on Pinterest