Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Turkey Dippers

Turkey Dippers (Turkey and stuffing meatballs)

3 cups seasoned stuffing, dry (I used "Stove Top")
2 cups chicken stock
2 1/2 lb ground turkey
2t salt
1t pepper
1 grated apple*
1/2 grated onion*
1/4 c chopped celery*
4t poultry seasoning
4 eggs

*You can "hide" any vegetable you would like in the meatballs!

Pour stuffing and stock in bowl and let sit for 1 minute. Combine all other ingredients with stuffing mixture and form into 2 in. meatballs. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes on foil lined pan.

Yields about 60 meatballs

Cranberry dipping sauce

2 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup orange juice
1 cup sugar

Combine everything on stove until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and puree in food processor for 15 seconds.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Fall Sensory Bins

 Today, I'm excited to share three fall sensory bin ideas for your tots! We love sesnory bins around here, - they not only "distract" our younger kiddos from getting into the big kids' markers and math pages, but also encourage creative play, fine motor development, and introduce a variety of textures and shapes to explore. I'm a firm believer that simple is best with sensory bins, so that being said, each bin only has a handful of things from Michael's or Target! We love using measuring cups, spoons, and THESE fine motor tools, as well. 

Apple Orchard
This bin contains colored pasta "grass" (add a little rubbing alcohol to a bag along with food coloring, shake, and let dry in the sun), apples from the floral department at the craft store, popsicle stick "fences", a bucket, and a bushel basket!

This bin uses pinto beans as base (but I think dried corn would be fun!), gourds from the autumn craft section, fake leaves to bury or throw, and wooden pumpkin stickers for an added sensory activity.

While I know not everyone celebrates Halloween, I wanted to share this one, as the black beans and neon pipe cleaners make for a fun and colorful experience. While this one is "Halloween" themed, this could easily be replicated with other neon pipe cleaners, pom poms, and supplies!

Be sure to check out my video below. Happy Monday!

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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Apple Pie Unit Study & Resources

We can hardly get through fall in our homeschool without reading the book "How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World"! Case in point: THIS POST from years ago. Be still my heart! 

Initially, we did all of the Five in a Row activities, but as the years have gone on, we've added some extra resources to make it less repetitive. Here are some of the things we enjoyed this year! 

Of course, you cannot study the book "How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World" without the BEST apple pie recipe on the planet, which I firmly believe is THIS ONE, along with THIS CRUST

and this year, we added a new recipe: candied apples! We happened to have success with the first recipe we tried, and just like that, everyone loves school ;)

I'm a big fan of making pictures out of letters, and this has been our go-to for all of our kids when we study this book:

THIS worksheet from Teachers Pay Teachers was a great way to introduce my four year old to geography, while my older kids worked on tracking the story across a world map!

My kids LOVE our "build an apple tree" wooden toy, here are a few other options, as well:

I have found many good ideas from Instagram, here are a few that I saw during our "Apple Pie" week:

Finally, here is a pinterest board with some of my favorite apple finds:

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

October Meal Plan

Happy Wednesday! If you're here from YouTube, welcome! Here's what's on our meal plan for the month (planner is from Anna Vance Paper Co. on Etsy!)

Breakfasts this month (and always) are a roation of a few easy things

  • Eggs & Smoothies
  • Yogurt & Toast
  • Bagels & Smoothies
  • Cereal & Fruit
  • Eggs & Fruit
  • Yogurt Parfaits

with a few weekend options such as

  • Baked Doughnuts
  • Baked Oatmeal
  • Cinnamon Rolls
  • Banana Bread


I meal prep our lunches, for that post, click here
I also pack the kids lunches the night before to keep school running smoothly, or they eat leftovers with some fresh veggies and fruit
Sunday lunch is always sandwiches

The dinner menu this month (with links to the recipes when available) includes

What's on your October menu?

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Lunch Meal Prep

So it has been a LONG WHILE since I've done a lunch prep post (check out some of my old posts HERE) and I figured I would switch things up a bit! John now works "traditional" hours, and no longer needs to pack a dinner, as well, so I stopped prepping his lunches for a bit, until I realized that it would still benefit us greatly!

First things first, be sure to check out my video so you can see what we brought for sides, snacks, etc.

First up are these black bean taquitos from Budget Bytes (link HERE) - I followed her recipe closely, subbing whole wheat tortillas, and adding some chopped spinach for an extra boost of nutrition.On the side, I added a half of an avocado (with a splash of lime juice to keep green), salsa, and a lime. These are very filling, so a piece of fruit on the side for late afternoon is all we needed to add this week.

Next we have these quinoa bowls from Sweet Peas and Saffron (link HERE). Again, I followed the recipe closely, adding some chickpeas as well.

THIS pasta salad was the bomb. I used organic GF corn and quinoa pasta to keep it a little lighter for lunch (whole wheat pasta is just too heavy for me mid day!) but we each had to a little splash of red wine vinegar in the morning so it wasn't too dry for lunch. Another recipe I followed with a twist - olives. Can't have pasta salad without olives here!

We were both in the mood for some lettuce cups this week. I simply sauteed a bunch of veggies (cabbage, mushrooms, carrots, bell peppers, etc.) with some garlic, ginger, and orange zest, and then added THIS homemade hoisin sauce. We each grabbed a couple of pieces of lettuce, and called it done! This particular week also included some extra salad from dinner and some muffins for an afternoon pick me up. 

We are simple people, so we finished off this month's meal prep with our favorite of the lunches - the taquitos! This time, I baked them, and they were JUST as delicious! I also added some pinto beans and cut down on the cream cheese. The pinto beans kept the "creamy" consistency up just fine. I added a side of roast butternut squash, and we were happy campers!  

Thursday, July 26, 2018

ALDI Haul and Two Week Meal Plan

Hey everybody! One more day until the weekend, we've got this!!!

If you haven't watched my grocery haul, now's the time to do so:

So let's hop right into it, our meal plan (including some pantry and freezer staples that I had on hand and a quick produce stand trip in the middle) is as follows:

Breakfast Rotation
  • Green smoothies (I pre-portion and freeze ingredients, including spinach, in bags, so fresh spinach lasts longer)
  • Avocado toast or almond butter toast
  • Eggs and fruit (when John is up and at 'em! I hardly make eggs on my own)
  • Oatmeal

Kids Lunches
  • Snack Trays (this is what I do most often, alternating babybel, fresh fruit, granola, cheddar puffs, popcorn, and smoothies)
  • PB&J, fruit, veggies and hummus
  • Grilled cheese, fruit or veggies
  • Macaroni and fruit/veggies

Adult Lunches
  • Freezer black bean taquitos (recipe soon)
  • Salad (I keep a salad bar prepped in our fridge)
  • Snacky lunch (nuts, veggies, hummus, fruit, dates, etc.)
  • Smoothies on the weekends

(I am currently cooking Monday and Tuesday, using Monday's leftovers Wednesday, and Tuesday's leftovers Thursday. I just change it up a bit with a different side or veggie.)

M - Coconut curry, "Rainbow Rice" - recipe on my instagram stories
T - Chicken and broccoli in peanut sauce, rice, asian salad
W - Monday leftovers with mango
Th - Tuesday leftovers with oranges
F - Homemade pizza (w/ peppers, onions, and mushrooms)
S - Mississippi Roast, mashed potatoes, green beans
Su - Potluck at church

M - Breakfast Burrito Bowl (roast potatoes, peppers, onions, fresh egg on top)
T - Chicken Alfredo and broccoli
W - Monday leftovers with fruit
Th - Tuesday leftovers with fruit
F - Homemade pizza
S - breakfast for dinner
Su - Potluck at church

  • Rice Krispies
  • apples/bananas and peanut butter
  • carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, and hummus
  • yogurt
  • granola bars
  • grapes, mangoes, etc.
  • pickles

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Honest "Chick Lit" Book Review

Hey y'all! Today I thought I'd change it up a bit, and talk about books for US instead of our kids! So here are a few reviews on some books I've read over the last couple of months, including my honest thoughts on the content and suggestive themes encountered. 

Dorothea Benton Frank

This book was my favorite of the bunch, even though it was a little different than I anticipated. In this story, you'll follow a couple over a span of about 20 years, as they vacation together in Charleston with another couple. Using the voice of both the husband, Adam, and the wife, Eliza, you'll see the changes in the couples and their children as the years progress, including how things left unresolved turn into larger issues. I was concerned a couple of times that things would take a turn for the (adulterous) worse, but thankfully, I was wrong. I happen to love both the coast, and The South, so this book was already a perfect fit for me, but the main character, Eliza, is a home cook, and the author's descriptive and detailed account of her meals and the ambiance surrounding their holiday tables was the extra touch needed to make this book stand out as my favorite. It's an added bonus that you'll also travel to Europe with the same attention to detail and ability to paint a picture of a setting beautifully. 

Here's a review from Amazon:

"New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank returns to her magical Lowcountry of South Carolina in this bewitching story of marriage, love, family, and friendship that is infused with her warm and engaging earthy humor and generous heart.
One enchanted summer, two couples begin a friendship that will last more than twenty years and transform their lives.
A chance meeting on the Isle of Palms, one of Charleston’s most stunning barrier islands, brings former sweethearts, Adam Stanley and Eve Landers together again. Their respective spouses, Eliza and Carl, fight sparks of jealousy flaring from their imagined rekindling of old flames. As Adam and Eve get caught up on their lives, their partners strike up a deep friendship—and flirt with an unexpected attraction—of their own.
Year after year, Adam, Eliza, Eve, and Carl eagerly await their reunion at Wild Dunes, a condominium complex at the island’s tip end, where they grow closer with each passing day, building a friendship that will withstand financial catastrophe, family tragedy, and devastating heartbreak. The devotion and love they share will help them weather the vagaries of time and enrich their lives as circumstances change, their children grow up and leave home, and their twilight years approach.
Bursting with the intoxicating richness of Dorothea Benton Frank’s beloved Lowcountry—the sultry sunshine, cool ocean breezes, icy cocktails, and starry velvet skies—Same Beach, Next Year is a dazzling celebration of the infrangible power of friendship, the enduring promise of summer, and the indelible bonds of love."

Bunmi Laditan

If you're a new mama, a seasoned mom, or looking forward to a future including motherhood - this book is worth a quick read. In this book, you follow the main character's quest to become the perfect mom according the the advice dished out by her favorite blogger. Gluten free, organic, and gentle partenting failure led to many laughs on my end, and helped me reflect on the years of being a new mom in a way I hadn't for quite some time. I actually longed for the mess of that season when I finished the book, and it totally shed a new light on those early years of motherhood that are such a blur in hindsight. Trust me on this one - you'll want to hug this girl by the end of the book. 

Here's Amazon's review:

"There are good moms and bad moms—and then there are hot-mess moms. Introducing Ashley Keller, career girl turned stay-at-home mom who's trying to navigate the world of Pinterest-perfect, Facebook-fantastic and Instagram-impressive mommies but failing miserably.  

When Ashley gets the opportunity to participate in the Motherhood Better boot camp run by the mommy-blog-empire maven she idolizes, she jumps at the chance to become the perfect mom she's always wanted to be. But will she fly high or flop? 

With her razor-sharp wit and knack for finding the funny in everything, Bunmi Laditan creates a character as flawed and lovable as Bridget Jones or Becky Bloomwood while hilariously lambasting the societal pressures placed upon every new mother. At its heart, Ashley's story reminds moms that there's no way to be perfect, but many ways to be great."

Taylor Jenkins Reid

Going into this book, I assumed it was going to be an easy, fairy tale, romance novel. I had no clue how the main character would have trouble choosing between her husband and her fiance, but the more I read, the more I felt conflicted, as well. In this story, the main character, Emma, loses her husband to a helicopter accident, and eventually he is presumed dead. Years later, she learns to move on and move home, meets someone, wrestles with the guilt of her new feelings, and surrenders to love. It is then that her husband is found, and the remainder of the story focuses on her conflict and how she ends up making a choice - which she does. Either way she chose, it would've ripped my heart out and filled it all at once, so it's no surprise that I was a sobbing mess by the end.

Here's Amazon's review:

"From the author of Maybe in Another Life—named a People Magazine pick—comes a breathtaking new love story about a woman unexpectedly forced to choose between the husband she has long thought dead and the fiancé who has finally brought her back to life.

In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.

Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?

Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying."

Liz Fenton

This was a lighthearted, quick read, and honestly - I'd recommend it to a college aged woman, or young adult. However, the character was likable, and this was a book I could pick up and set down a few minutes at a time. This is about a woman, essentially left at the altar, who discovers that she can use her Facebook status as a genie in a bottle. She attempts to rewrite her future and discovers that she may not know what's best for her after all. I was disappointing in the ending, and the details didn't wow me, but I don't regret reading it, it was sweet, fun, and a good break between heavier content.

Here's Amazon's take:

"What would you do if you could literally rewrite your fate—on Facebook? This heartwarming and hilarious new novel from the authors of Your Perfect Life follows a woman who discovers she can change her life through online status updates.

Kate is a thirty-five-year-old woman who is obsessed with social media. So when her fiancé, Max, breaks things off at their rehearsal dinner—to be with Kate’s close friend and coworker, no less—she goes straight to Facebook to share it with the world. But something’s changed. Suddenly, Kate’s real life starts to mirror whatever she writes in her Facebook status. With all the power at her fingertips, and heartbroken and confused over why Max left her, Kate goes back in time to rewrite their history.

Kate's two best friends, Jules and Liam, are the only ones who know the truth. In order to convince them she’s really time traveled, Kate offers to use her Facebook status to help improve their lives. But her attempts to help them don’t go exactly as planned, and every effort to get Max back seems to only backfire, causing Kate to wonder if it’s really possible to change her fate.

In The Status of All Things, Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke combine the humor and heart of Sarah Pekkanen and Jennifer Weiner while exploring the pitfalls of posting your entire life on the Internet. They raise the questions: What if you could create your picture-perfect life? Would you be happy? Would you still be you? For anyone who’s ever attempted—or failed—to be their perfect self online, this is a story of wisdom and wit that will leave you with new appreciation for the true status of your life."

Laurie Gelman

Here's my big disappointment. This book could've been SO GOOD. The story line is fun, the character is sassy but likable, but the amount of vulgarity and divisive speech among women kept me from finishing the book. The idea is that this mom, who is the Kindergarten class mom, has been around this block once already. Her older kids are college aged and she has a son now in Kindergarten, so she's taking a no-nonsense approach to this whole class mom deal, including recording response time to emails and not allowing requests for conference times, etc. The language was an unnecessary distraction to the fun idea, so for was ruined. 

Here's the Amazon review:

"Jen Dixon is not your typical Kansas City kindergarten class mom―or mom in general. Jen already has two college-age daughters by two different (probably) musicians, and it’s her second time around the class mom block with five-year-old Max―this time with a husband and father by her side. Though her best friend and PTA President sees her as the “wisest” candidate for the job (or oldest), not all of the other parents agree.
From recording parents’ response times to her emails about helping in the classroom, to requesting contributions of “special” brownies for curriculum night, not all of Jen’s methods win approval from the other moms. Throw in an old flame from Jen’s past, a hyper-sensitive “allergy mom,” a surprisingly sexy kindergarten teacher, and an impossible-to-please Real Housewife-wannabe, causing problems at every turn, and the job really becomes much more than she signed up for.
Relatable, irreverent, and hilarious in the spirit of Maria Semple this is a fresh, welcome voice in fiction―the kind of novel that real moms clamor for, and a vicarious thrill-read for all mothers, who will be laughing as they are liberated by Gelman’s acerbic truths."

Here's my video review if you's like more info:

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Curriculum Review || 2017-2018 Homeschool Year

Hey guys! Last school year is officially behind us, and we're gearing up for a new one, so I figured now was the time to share some of my thoughts on the curriculum we chose last year for 1st and 3rd grade.

K-3 Old and New Testament
     The Picture Smart Bible has been a great fit for our family for a couple of years now. We use the K-3 manual, but the 4-A is great for many ages, as well, as you can give younger students the master drawing, like a coloring sheet, rather than having them tracing or writing in detail. This curriculum feels like a TRUE curriculum, rather than simply a "bible study", as we do our own devotions as a family, and I feel conflicted about teaching my kids that being in the written word of God is a "subject" rather than a lifestyle. The Picture Smart Bible covers the themes, characters, timelines, and an overview of each book of the bible, without personal commentary added in, so that by the end of the curriculum, they will have illustrated or colored the entire bible, one book on each page, and can tell you exactly what each book entails. My husband and I continue to grow in our understanding of the bible as a whole thanks to this curriculum, and we're so thankful to have found it for our kids, as well. They have been so generous as to offer my subscribers a 50% off code, as listed:

Use code TPSB2018

Drawing Americana
    As someone who has very little artistic training, yet desires to know and understand art, this program blew me away. I have struggled to make any sort of connection between crafting with my kids, studying an artist, and doing a picture study, but with this program, all of the bases are covered. Drawing Americana, just like is sounds, features American artists and their pieces, as well as teaching your students how to critique art, recreate variations of their own art, and learn about said artist. I actually completed this curriculum WITH the kids, and look forward to using another one of Marrissa's bundles this upcoming year. sure to come back next week to win a bundle of your choice!!!

The Middle Ages, v. 2
    This is our third year using SOTW, and we have now completed all of volume 1 and volume 2. We do this with friends, so I read the book aloud during the week, and we work on the projects together on the day that we meet. We absolutely love it, and will be moving onto volume 3 this upcoming year. The stories are engaging and descriptive, it's hard to recognize it as "history", as my experience with history was quite boring in school. It really comes to life through SOTW.

Simply Charlotte Mason
Visits to Europe
     I love the approach that Visits to Europe takes for teaching geography. If you would like either a little guidance, or a full curriculum, this, along with Material World and Hungry Planet, is a great option. We didn't finish, per se, but used it as a launching pad to explore the books on our own. 

Swimming Creatures
     This is a hard one for me to write, because I REALLY wanted it to be a "yes" for us. Unfortunately, it was a "no", but NOT because of the curriculum. I still love Apologia's immersive approach and hope to continue to use their curriculum as reference, but I see that my family prefers to be a little more interest led, so a full year study of the ocean was wearing on them.

Grade 1
   Keeping with the same structure that worked for my daughter, this program worked well for my son. Bright, colorful, and engaging, the lessons aren't too exhausting, and the curriculum does a great job at reinforcing concepts as the lessons move on. 

Level 4
    It's no secret around here that we LOVE TT Math! My daughter has about 10 lessons to go before she can start level 5, and she's super excited about seeing what her new "buddies" will be! Check out my video below to see how and why we use TT math!

Simply Charlotte Mason 
Spelling Wisdom & Using Language Well
     I LOVE THIS PROGRAM. That's my full review. Just kidding! Short lessons, encompassing both spelling and grammar, and only twice a week. Need I say more? THAT's my full review ;) 

Delightful Handwriting
     Unfortunately, this is another "the program is great but not the right fit" books for us. It was actually a good fit for my 1st grader, and he may continue, but I need something for a child struggling with handwriting, vs. something that is teaching from Point A. I do wish that I had started with this years ago, as the WAY it is taught, very calm, simple, and self correcting, is something that I really appreciate about the curriculum.

Level 2
     We are big fans of "All About Reading" levels 1 and 2 in our house. My daughter flew through at 4 and 5 years old, and my son, who was a reluctant reader, completed levels 1 and 2 in about two full school years. He still has a few lessons to go, but as his desire to read took off, he no longer needed the curriculum to assist him. However, we will still complete it in order to reinforce good habits. This program has been great, therefore, for both a child who does, and a child who does not, naturally read well. I beleive that is due to their multi-sensory approach (flash cards, games, magnet tiles, etc.)

I hope that helps any of you who are doing your curriculum research for the upcoming school year. Let me know if you have any questions, and be sure to check out my video for an in depth review!

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Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Summer Lunches

Sweet summertime, when my floors are covered in sand, my wash is loaded with towels, and my table is FULL of beached out hungry kids. Often times, and especially in the summer, I pull out a tray, load it with some mix and match bites, and call it a "snacky lunch". No dishes, no plates, no complaining - there's something for everyone. My only request is that the kids try one piece of food from each section. Here's a peek at what the kids ate last week:

This lunch included organic grapes, Aldi's organic cheddar puffs, rainbow carrots and baby bell peppers with hummus, and a fun treat, The Incredibles' yogurts, which were an ALDI special buy. They also had smoothies that consisted of oranges, beets, kale, mango, banana, and hemp.

Tuesday's lunch looks rather bland, but it was a big hit with the kids. This one is a mix of strawberries, apples, peppers, and tomatoes, and a fun play on pizza. For the mini pizzas, I used whole wheat mini bagels, baked at 350 for 5 mins so they wouldn't get soggy, and then topped them with organic jarred pizza sauce from ALDI, and some mozzarella cheese. I popped them back in the oven for about 5 mins and there ya have it...easy peasy!

Wednesday called for some creativity because I needed to get to the grocery store, so I grabbed some cheese sticks, hard boiled eggs, and fruit cones. Fruit cones are a fun summer breakfast/snack treat I pull out when necessary, and the concept is simple - chop up some fruit nice and small, let the kids stuff it into cones, voila. Suddenly fruit is really fun! To be honest, if you compare the label between a cone and a box of original Ritz crackers, there's not much difference, so don't get hung up on the fact that it's a cone...its a special treat!

We were feelin' the Thursday blues this week, so I decided to put a little extra effort in and theme our lunch. Clearly, I went with breakfast, which happens to be the most simple theme for ANY meal. Here we have blueberry muffins, berries, grapes, kiwi, and whole grain waffles with peanut butter. Their smoothies were quite sad - oranges, bananas, water, spinach, and hemp. But hey, you win some, you lose some, and they enjoyed them, so I'll call it a win for the sole reason that it gave them a veggie for the day.

BOY Friday was a rough one. We had an extra mouth to feed this particular day, and we were all WHOOPED from the beach. I literally grabbed the cheddar penguins (like goldfish) that were left in our beach bag, quick chopped some cucumber and apple, and made a few PB&J sandwiches cut into nibble size bites. The verdict? This was their favorite lunch of the week. Of course it was...

 So there ya have it! Do you do snack trays in your house? What are your kids favorite snacky lunch foods? Be sure to check out my video. which also includes MY lunches for the week, and let me know if you'd like more posts like this!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Preschool Tag

Hey everyone! Today's post is answering some questions about homeschooling for preschool, and I was tagged by Momma Schmooze Reviews! Thanks, friend!

1. What is your preschooler's favorite picture book(s)?
Eli is a little book worm, and gravitates toward books he can "read" himself, meaning picture books, number books, or shine a light books. These are his favorite at the moment and you can find them HERE

 He also LOVES the PRESS HERE series

2. How do you teach them the ABCs, colors, shapes, and numbers 
(shows, tablets, hands on, etc.)
In the past, we've used a lot of pinterest for this, most specifically the letter of the week crafts, but this upcoming year, we will be using the reading corner, check out my review HERE. He also sits through most of our school days, and little ones are sponges!

3.Do you use a curriculum with your preschooler? If so, mention curriculum choices.

We've used Five in a Row and some printables from 1+1+1=1, but this upcoming year, we're sticking with some FIAR, but bringing in The Reading Corner and Let's Play School

4. What are your favorite websites to use to teach prek?

We've always loved 1+1+1=1, and Delightful Learning!

5. Do you take your preschooler to any community activities on a weekly basis?
Yes, beyond county sports, we meet once a month with friends and celebrate a holiday with a "class party" or field trip, as well as a weekly homeschool PE class that he participates in.

6. How long (approx) do you teach your preschooler each day?
Honestly...other than helping me in the kitchen, which he LOVES, and participating with my older kids' schooling, I usually only sit and do one on one instruction for about 15 minutes with him while my older kids work on their Teaching Textbooks. I use Five in a Row specifically FOR him, but still have my older kids participate, so that isn't necessarily one on one instruction. I also bring age appropriate activities into our morning basket and family subjects, so he tends to have upwards of an hour to an hour and a half of concentrated "school" time each day, but specific preschool skills - 15-25 minutes max. 

7. What are their favorite educational shows to watch?
We're not big into TV here as of yet, so if I had to take a guess...Leap Frog? Other than Man v. that educational? 

8. How do you occupy your little one while teaching your older kids (if this applies to you)?
See answer 6 :)

9. What is your favorite educational toy to use for teaching?
We have SO many favorite educational toys, but if I had to pick just one...probably this one:
That's it! If you'd like to check out my video answering these questions more candidly, with some random advice at the end, check it out here:

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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Favorite Patriotic Books

Hey y'all! I'm back today sharing some of our favorite books for The Fourth! We're prepping for a day full of friends, fireworks, and beach fun by reflecting on why we celebrate. These books help us do just that.

This book is similar to "How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World" (one of our all time favorites), but themed around the USA.

In this book, the main character travels across the United States, collecting materials needed to make a mixing bowl, rolling pin, spoons, etc.

 It's a fun way to visualize all of the resources that our nation has to offer.

This book is a super cute play on "The Night Before Christmas"

It's full of family traditions most children would be familiar with surrounding the 4th, and is sure to be a hit in your house!

My kids go crazy for "Shine a Light" books by Usborne, the concept being that until you shine a flashlight behind the page, parts of the image remains hidden.

This is a great book for bedtime, a rainy day, or in lieu of fireworks if you have some nervous kiddos.

Last, but not least, "Blue Sky White Stars" 

This book is sure to open up conversation with your older children, and the gorgeous illustrations will captivate your younger ones, as well.

The author and illustrator did an amazing job conveying the spirit of our nation and the trials that we've faced in very few words.

The book focuses on the flag on one side, with the same words on the opposite page showcasing a part of our nation's history. If I could encourage you to add one more book to your family library, this would be it!

Check out my video if you'd like to hear more!

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