Fall Photos {Kids}

I found the cutest idea for fall photos on Pinterest last month, and my Hubby, just being the amazing person that he is, helped me recreate that idea.

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Isn’t this the cutest little setup?! My Hubby built the stand using some free wood he had. I bought the crates at Michael’s when they were on sale, and my oldest son stained them for me.

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My Hubby also found some old rusty chains to add a little something extra to this setup.

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I bought the hay bale at Walmart, i think it was like $5.

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The pumpkins i bought at a local grocery store.

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I used some orange craft paint to write ‘PUMPKINS’ at the top.

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Of course even our puppies had to get their picture taken.

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I think these turned out great, i just wish the lighting would have been a little bit better on this particular day.

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Halloween Sensory Bin

Hi Guys!

Today i’m sharing something really fun, a Halloween sensory bin!!

halloween sensory bin

Sensory bins are super easy to make and can keep kids entertained for hours. Here’s what you need to make a Halloween Sensory Bin of your own.

  • Rice (or beans) – I bought a 10 pound bag of white rice for $6.48 and a 4 pound bag of black beans for $4.57, at Walmart. With these amounts, i was able make 3 sensory bins.
  • Pumpkins (fake) – I bought a bag of small pumpkins for $3 at Target, and bought the bigger pumpkins at Walmart for $0.98 each!
  • Assorted Halloween items – Stretchy eyeballs ($1.98 Walmart), Skeletons ($0.98 Walmart), Bat Rings ($0.98), and Flutes ($0.98 Walmart)
  • Plastic Bins w/ lids – I bought a pack of 4, for under $10, at Walmart.

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I poured half the bag of rice in one bin, and the other half in another bin. Then i added several Halloween items to each bin.

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I poured the entire bag of black beans into one bin, and added Halloween items to that bin as well.

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My kids, all 5 of them, really enjoyed playing with these Halloween Sensory Bins.

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One of the great things is that the rice, beans, and bins are all a one time purchase. Just change up the items you add to your sensory bins based on holidays/seasons/etc..

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I hope you enjoyed today’s blog post. Have you made a sensory bin before? What’s your favorite items to add to yours?

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10 Things To Buy At The Dollar Store

Who doesn’t love dollar stores?! You walk in and feel that wonderful feeling that you can buy anything in that store, without breaking the bank.

I don’t visit the dollar store that often, but when I do here are the 10 things I stock up on…

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  1. Envelopes
  2. Bandages – My store always has a fun assortment of character bandages that my kids love.
  3. Toothpaste & Toothbrushes
  4. Greeting cards – Some of the greeting cards are 2 for $1!!
  5. Wrapping Paper
  6. Candles
  7. Teaching Supplies – Classroom posters, workbooks, stickers, etc.
  8. Sponges
  9. Kitchen tools – Measuring cups, serving spoons, etc.
  10. Party supplies – Balloons, table covers, streamers, etc.

What are your favorite products to buy at the dollar store?

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Homeschooling Multiple Grades

This is one of the things that scared me the most about homeschooling. How was I going to teach multiple grades at the same time?! It seemed like a daunting task when I first started looking into homeschooling, however it doesn’t seem that tricky now.

Today i’ll share how I homeschool multiple grades at the same time…

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For those of you who are new here, I currently have an 8th grader, 5th grader, 2nd grader, preschooler, and a 2 year old* (*not pictured below).

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When we first started homeschooling I had a 3rd grader, kindergartner, and a 2 year old. My days then would be filled with teaching my 3rd grader all day long, while my kindergartner would work next to us on; cutting practice, writing practice, puzzles, etc. Then while my 3rd grader had some independent reading time, I would be teaching my kindergartner to read, or doing any other work with him that needed to be done.

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Now that I have 4 students things have gotten harder and easier all at the same time. Harder in the sense that sometimes they all need my help at the same time. Which can be very chaotic. Easier in the sense that my 2 oldest children are pretty much independent workers, so they need very little instruction from me.

The one thing that I have found helps me to teach multiple grades at the same time, is to have all the kids working on the same subject at the same time. For example; all my kids do math at the same time, then they all move on to English, then vocabulary, and so on and so on.

This makes it easier for my brain, in the fact that I don’t have to switch between graphing equations to diagramming sentences in a matter of seconds. My brain can fully focus on math, then on English, and so on and so on.

Another thing, like I just talked about, is my 2 oldest are pretty much independent workers. This helps a lot when you have multiple grades. But let’s say you have a 1st grader and a 2nd grader, both of which need a lot of instruction from you. How do you do it?! My advice would be to teach them the same thing, for example; last year we did My Father’s World curriculum for my oldest 2 and i was teaching them the same things for history, science, and Bible. Of course my oldest child would then have a little bit of extra assignments in those areas because of this grade level.

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My best advice I can give you, is to find what works best for you and your kids. That could be teaching one grade level in the morning, and a different grade level in the afternoon. Or teaching different grade levels on different days. Just do whatever works best for your family, and don’t be afraid to switch things up if it’s not working for you. That’s one of the perks of homeschooling, the flexibility to change things up as needed!!

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Moving To The Country

I’ve always lived in a city, or a small town. Never out there in the country. Moving to the country had always been a dream of mine, and finally back in May of this year that dream of mine came true. However, I was completely unprepared for how different life in the country is to that of life in the city.

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Here are a few things I have come to know about living in the country…

  • Internet service can be frustrating. Even finding an internet provider was tricky for us, we finally found one, but their system is based on sharing. So let’s just say it can get very slow at night when all their customers are on it at the same time. Our family jokes that once the farmers are done with work, they hop onto the internet and go on Farmers Only dot com. So anytime our internet isn’t working, you can hear somebody in our house say “Ugh, Farmers!”. Then you will usually hear someone else start singing the jingle “You don’t have to be lonely, at farmers only dot com”.

 

  • There are so many flies. Never in my life have I ever seen so many flies before.

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If you live in the country I highly recommend having these amazing Fly Stik’s and tons of fly swatters around your house. We have purchased 5 fly swatters so far since moving to the country and right now we have 3 remaining. 2 of them broke from how much action they were receiving.

But seriously can I talk to you for a minute about how great these Fly Stik’s are. Just look at this up close picture of one of them covered in flies. This was taken just the next day after hanging it up. That’s how fast it worked!!!

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  • The sunrises & sunsets are breathtaking.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, then you know how much I love to share these beautiful sunrises/sunsets. Back in the city we had so many houses and buildings blocking our view.

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  • The air smells fresher. Which is totally weird because we are surrounded by farm animals, but I swear there is something about this country air. It just smells fresh. Back when we lived in the city, in a subdivision, if we went outside we would smell our neighbors cooking, or their laundry, or their dogs/cats, or the occasional skunk. But out here we just smell the air, unless it’s a windy day then we smell the stench of farm animals. Surprisingly we haven’t had any skunks, yet.

Those are just some of the things i have noticed since moving to the country. I hope you enjoyed today’s blog post. Take care!

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20 Field Trip Ideas

Hi Guys!

Field trips are always my kids favorite part of homeschooling, however coming up with new ideas for field trips is my least favorite part of homeschooling.

In case you struggle to come up with new ideas as well, I thought I would share 20 field trip ideas to help you out…

20 field trip ideas

  1. Aquarium – This is a great place to go and see all underwater creatures. Especially if you don’t live close to the beach or any bodies of water.
  2. Zoo – This is great if you are learning about different animals from different parts of the world that you can’t go to, or afford to go to. This way you get to see them up close without traveling too far from home.
  3. Museum – There are so many different types of museums; art, history, space, etc.
  4. Train Station – We were lucky enough to ride on a train last time we visited my parents, which was so much fun for the kids.
  5. Library – Teach the kids how to check out books.
  6. Post Office – Visiting the post office is a great way to teach kids about mail.
  7. Fire Station – Check with your local fire station before heading there, sometimes they have certain days/hours where they will give homeschoolers tours!
  8. Police Station – I would check in with them first before heading there, just like with the fire station.
  9. Airport – Watching the airplanes take off and land, seeing the baggage come down the baggage carousels. This would be a really good field trip idea, if you are going on a airplane sometime soon, as a way to get your child(ren) acquainted with the airport.
  10. Factory – We have a few different factories in our area; a cheese making factory, a sugar factory, etc. Just to give you an idea of the different factories you could possibly check out on your next field trip.
  11. Garden – We have 3 different garden places in my state; a botanical garden, a rose garden, and a Japanese garden.
  12. Beach – One of my favorite places on this list!
  13. Mountains – Another one of my favorites! You could talk about different wildlife in the area, investigate tracks/droppings to see what animals have been there, etc.
  14. Nature Walk – You could stop along the way and do some nature journaling, or have a picnic.
  15. Grocery Store – So much learning could happen in the grocery store. Make a fun game of it and give your kid a budget and see what they can come up with for dinner without going over budget.
  16. Farmers Market – A great place to really learn more about the food you consume.
  17. Farm/Petting Zoo – To learn how all their foods are grown, and pet some fun animals.
  18. Fruit Picking – Apples, cherries, pears, peaches, etc.
  19. Corn Maze/Pumpkin Patch – I know it’s a seasonal thing, but I had to add it because they are so much fun for kids. They can see for themselves how pumpkins and corn grow.
  20. Capitol Building – Not sure if all capitol buildings allow tours, but if they do it’s great for the kids to see where state legislature takes place.

That’s it, those are my 20 field trip ideas. I hope you enjoyed them. If you have an idea to add to the list, let me know.

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Top 5 Christian Movies

Hi Guys!

You know one of the things i love most about autumn is cold/rainy days cuddled up in a warm blanket watching good movies. Today i thought i would share my top 5 favorite christian movies that you could enjoy on your next cold/rainy day, or on any day for that matter.

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Here are my top 5 favorite christian movies…

*A little heads up, although these are all christian movies, some of them deal with adult issues so they might not be appropriate to watch with little children around.*

  • Fireproof  – “Kirk Cameron (Left Behind) stars as Caleb Holt, a heroic fire captain who values dedication and service to others above all else. But the most important partnership in his life, his marriage, is about to go up in smoke. This gripping story follows one man’s desire to transform his life and marriage through the healing power of faith and fully embrace the fireman’s code: Never Leave Your Partner Behind.”
  • Courageous – “Four men, one calling: To serve and protect. As law enforcement officers, they are confident and focused, standing up to the worst the streets can offer. Yet at the end of the day, they face a challenge they’re ill prepared to tackle: fatherhood. When tragedy strikes home, these men are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, their faith, and their fathering.”
  • War Room – “Tony and Elizabeth Jordan have it all—great jobs, a beautiful daughter, and their dream house. But appearances can be deceiving. Their world is actually crumbling under the strain of a failing marriage.”
  • God’s Not Dead – “When an atheist Philosophy professor (Kevin Sorbo) plans to forego “dusty arguments” in his class, he insists the new students declare that “God is dead.” Unable to do this, Josh (Shane Harper) is challenged to defend his faith and prove to the class that God’s Not Dead. Against all odds, Josh stands up for his faith and takes on the challenge.”
  • Heaven Is For Real – “Heaven is for Real recounts the true story of a small-town father who must find the courage and conviction to share his son’s extraordinary, life-changing experience with the world.”

 

What’s your favorite christian movie?

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