Show Me . . . Your Craft Supply Area!

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For more information about our new “Show Me” Series, go here.
Welcome to our “Show Me” series! Your link-up can be just a picture, or pictures with explanation. Or just explanation if you’re like me when taking the picture and actually getting it uploaded might mean you’d miss out!
The goal of this linkup is fun, though some might have a homeschool bent. If you you don’t homeschool, please feel free to participate anyway and show us how that “show me” theme pertains to you and your home! And if we can share some tips and cool brainstorming ideas along the way — EVEN BETTER!

This week’s theme is “Show Me . . .  Your Craft Supply Area!

This is the hall closet upstairs that I use for random storage.

On the left side is all my personal scrapbooking and crafting stuff. This is only neat because I spent all last weekend organizing so I could find the stuff I wanted to take to the scrapbooking retreat. And I actually got it all back in the closet nice and neat, too! Score!

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On the right, is all of our school supplies storage (pens, pencils, notebooks, file folders, paper, etc — all from back to school sales over the previous years) with some extra craft stuff thrown in for good measure.

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My girls have their own scary stash of craft supplies in their playroom – mainly so I can keep them out of mine!

Be sure to check out some of my friend’s posts!

Amy at Http://homegrownhatfields.wordpress.com
Michelle at http://homeschoolerontheedge.crookers.com/
Kyndra at http://kyndrasteinmann.com

Click below and join us, and checking out everyone else’s posts!

Show Me . . . Your Desk!

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For more information about our new “Show Me” Series, go here.
Welcome to our “Show Me” series! Your link-up can be just a picture, or pictures with explanation. Or just explanation if you’re like me when taking the picture and actually getting it uploaded might mean you’d miss out!
The goal of this linkup is fun, though some might have a homeschool bent. If you you don’t homeschool, please feel free to participate anyway and show us how that “show me” theme pertains to you and your home! And if we can share some tips and cool brainstorming ideas along the way — EVEN BETTER!

This week’s theme is “Show Me . . .  Your Desk!

***My apologies in this being posted a week late! Last week I was hit with two puking kids (exactly four days apart, to the HOUR), a job fair I had to attend for work, and a scrapbooking retreat weekend. Needless to say, I just completely forgot to post!***

This shot has not been edited in any way. And yes, it pretty much always looks something like this. This might even be considered “neater” than normal!

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Be sure to check out some of my friend’s posts!

Amy at Http://homegrownhatfields.wordpress.com
Michelle at http://homeschoolerontheedge.crookers.com/
Kyndra at http://kyndrasteinmann.com

Click below and join us, and checking out everyone else’s posts!

Show Me . . . Your Bookshelves!

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For more information about our new “Show Me” Series, go here.
Welcome to our “Show Me” series! Your link-up can be just a picture, or pictures with explanation. Or just explanation if you’re like me when taking the picture and actually getting it uploaded might mean you’d miss out!
The goal of this linkup is fun, though some might have a homeschool bent. If you you don’t homeschool, please feel free to participate anyway and show us how that “show me” theme pertains to you and your home! And if we can share some tips and cool brainstorming ideas along the way — EVEN BETTER!

This week’s theme is “Show Me . . .  your bookshelves! (How your books are organized. Or not!)

If you’ve ever been to IKEA you’ll probably recognize everything in our home.

You think I’m kidding. :) I can quote you the style name and color, and probably can tell you what rack you will find it on in the warehouse!

First up, this is our newest bookcase. Yup, moved here and well heck, since we have more room, why don’t we just add bookcases! (in the past I’d have been forced to stop buying books or get rid of some!) And no, I didn’t even notice this area was messy until I uploaded the picture. Ha. We’ll pretend I did it on purpose for realism! This one is on one side of hubby’s desk in the living room. Next year he might get one on the other side of his desk as well, at the rate I’m going.

This houses all of our educational books that are free for the perusing at any given moment. Science, math, Spanish, and Biblical themes mostly. We added the games when I was purging the playroom because they were brought down here so much to play as a family. As you can see, this is a well-used area; my girls are all the time telling about the things they have learned on their own during their reading time!
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These are the books in our main living room area, flanking the TV. These are the grown up “pretty books.” Sadly, these are the ones we hold on to, but hardly touch any more. Both hubby and I have mostly gone digital with our books (out of necessity).  Under the TV there is another shelving unit (you can see a corner of it in the 2nd picture)  but it’s mostly just packed with completed scrapbooks. The ones on this bookshelf are overflow! And thank goodness the blurriness hides the thick layers of dust everywhere!

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Here is the classroom / my office. On one wall, we have the bookcase we use for active school stuff. I keep it here so it doesn’t get “lost” and we can find things when we are using them, and it has our recently re-organized curriculum.

The books on the top are all library books, so they don’t get mixed up with “ours.” And I’m embarressed to admit how long I spent cleaning and organizing this bookcase over Christmas break to get it to this point.

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Same room, but this is my “work” bookcase. That has been my project this week. I cannot even begin to describe how bad the “before” picture would have been!

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And this is our “kid bookcase.” My oldest went through a phase of wanting to be a librarian, so when we moved here, I book the kid bookcase in her room (it wouldn’t fit in the playroom) and told her she was the librarian and it’s her responsibility to keep this area nice and neat. It takes a lot more nagging than I would like (I’m a bit of a nut about books and taking care of books) but she got into it. She even made “library cards” and makes her little sister check books in and out!
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So, there are our bookcases! This is not including the stack I have on the side table by the couch, or on each side of our bed in the master bedroom! I have my eye on a few more bookcases, actually. I know – we have entirely too many books already, but I have a compulsion!

 

Be sure to check out some of my friend’s posts!

Amy at Http://homegrownhatfields.wordpress.com
Michelle at http://homeschoolerontheedge.crookers.com/
Kyndra at http://kyndrasteinmann.com

Click below and join us, and checking out everyone else’s posts!

Show Me . . . Your Favorite Organizational Tools!

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For more information about our new “Show Me” Series, go here.
Welcome to our “Show Me” series! Your link-up can be just a picture, or pictures with explanation. Or just explanation if you’re like me when taking the picture and actually getting it uploaded might mean you’d miss out!
The goal of this linkup is fun, though some might have a homeschool bent. If you you don’t homeschool, please feel free to participate anyway and show us how that “show me” theme pertains to you and your home! And if we can share some tips and cool brainstorming ideas along the way — EVEN BETTER!

This week’s theme is “Show me . . .  your favorite organizational tools!

First of all, it’s my label machine. It’s a holdover from my “office” days, but I’m seriously addicted. Ha!

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Then, it’s my shredder. It’s nothing fancy, just a cheap model. But we shred everything that has remotely any personal information on it. It’s just being extra-careful in this age of identity theft!

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Yes, a garbage bag!! I will just hang one up in a easy location, and try to get rid of as much paper as possible! This week, I’ve been purging and cleaning the classroom/office, so this bag has been filling quickly! The less you have to deal with, the easier it is to organize, right?

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And here is a brief look at just SOME of my Thirty-One Gifts storage totes and bags. I use them for just about EVERYTHING. The basket is holding my most active files, the small bag beside it holds my pens, etc. And the medium tote underneath – yeah, that’s my “to be filed” pile, completely overflowing! But heck, I used to have two of those completely full, so I’m making progress! :)
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Be sure to check out some of my friend’s posts!

Amy at Http://homegrownhatfields.wordpress.com
Michelle at http://homeschoolerontheedge.crookers.com/
Kyndra at http://kyndrasteinmann.com

Click below and join us, and checking out everyone else’s posts!

2014 in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,200 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Show Me . . . Your favorite “Christmas Break” moment so far!

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For more information about our new “Show Me” Series, go here.
Welcome to our “Show Me” series! Your link-up can be just a picture, or pictures with explanation. Or just explanation if you’re like me when taking the picture and actually getting it uploaded might mean you’d miss out!
The goal of this linkup is fun, though some might have a homeschool bent. If you you don’t homeschool, please feel free to participate anyway and show us how that “show me” theme pertains to you and your home! And if we can share some tips and cool brainstorming ideas along the way — EVEN BETTER!

This week’s theme is “Show Me . . .  your favorite “Christmas Break” moment so far!”

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This wasn’t exactly during Christmas break, BUT it’s been the first time in a few years we’ve gotten professional pictures taken, and that we’ve sent out Christmas cards. It was actually a lot of fun, and the pictures turned out GREAT!

 

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Be sure to check out some of my friend’s posts!

Amy at Http://homegrownhatfields.wordpress.com
Michelle at http://homeschoolerontheedge.crookers.com/
Kyndra at http://kyndrasteinmann.com

 

Click below and join us, and check out everyone else’s posts!

Show Me . . . Your Favorite Christmas Decoration!

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For more information about our new “Show Me” Series, go here.
Welcome to our “Show Me” series! Your link-up can be just a picture, or pictures with explanation. Or just explanation if you’re like me when taking the picture and actually getting it uploaded might mean you’d miss out!
The goal of this linkup is fun, though some might have a homeschool bent. If you you don’t homeschool, please feel free to participate anyway and show us how that “show me” theme pertains to you and your home! And if we can share some tips and cool brainstorming ideas along the way — EVEN BETTER!

This week’s theme is “Show Me . . .  your favorite Christmas decoration!”

My favorite decorations that have to be my nativity scenes! I’ve collected quite a few now, from different places from around the world. I had to cut myself off after a while, but here are a few:

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Be sure to check out some of my friend’s posts!

Amy at Http://homegrownhatfields.wordpress.com
Michelle at http://homeschoolerontheedge.crookers.com/
Kyndra at http://kyndrasteinmann.com

 

Click below and join us, and checking out everyone else’s posts!

Bring on the Girl Power! (Mid-Year Change of Plans, PART 4)

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As I mentioned in the last post, we have decided to change up our homeschooling experience and going to continue with the idea of World Geography, but using literature to do it. We’ll also be focusing on “girl” books – either role models or lead female characters.  This all comes from my girls’ request that we study more “girl stories.”

From what I can tell online, there doesn’t seem to be any “female-focused” homeschool curriculum – except for the “homemaking” lessons. At best, I found a few “Women’s History Month” programs.

I feel like I need to put my own personal caveat in here. Please note this is MY personal feelings and beliefs. I am a “to each their own and to what God has called them to” kinda a gal. I have loved the opportunity to be home with my gals like I have. I also love the career that I now have, especially since it allows me to work from home and successfully build a fulfilling career. I do realize that not all women feel they are called to stay at home. I respect that God has called us all to different things. At the same time, it is evident that there is still a discrepancy for women – there are not enough of us in leadership, in the sciences, in technology sectors. I believe we all have to work to our strengths exactly where God has planted each of us to better our world and create more balance and opportunities for all. Finally, as a homeschooling mama of two girls, I feel it is my duty to prepare them as best as possible for whatever it is God might call each of them to, whatever that might be!

So after a deep long search, here are some of the best resources I’ve been able to find to support our “Homeschool Girl Power” plan! My focus has been to find good female biographies of strong female role models (taking care to evaluate them compared to our beliefs – no promoting trashy popstars just because they are girls), and also great “living books” and classic books with leading female characters.

(This year, we’ll be using the concept of studying world geography to organize our studies. So, we’ll be reading stories of females from around the world!)

A Mighty Girl  – MY FAVORITE RESOURCE!
American Heritage Girls
Secret Keeper Girl
Girls of American History
Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls
Time for Kids: World History Month
National Museum of Women in the Arts
National Women’s History Museum
Girl Museum
SheHeroes
SciGirls

I’m sure there are more, please feel free to share!

Mid-Year Change of Plans, PART 3 (Bring on the Girl Power!)

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As you read in the previous post, homeschool this year really hasn’t been clicking for us.

In November, my oldest kept asking, “Where are all the girls? Why are we only reading about boy missionaries? Can’t girls be missionaries? Why are all these stories about boys?”

Wow.

I really had not noticed, but it was true. Sure, there was an occasional female in a story, but the examples in the books were primarily of boys. The missionary stories (the early ones – female stories come later in the year) were of males. And here is my 8-year-old just BEGGING for female stories, and female role models!

And no, I’m not trying to be all feminist crazy here, but isn’t my oldest right? Where are all the girl stories?

And so, I went in search of a female-focused homeschool curriculum. Not just a “Women’s History Month” or a random biography here or there, but a FULL curriculum that revolves around women’s stories and places through history.

And guess what? It really doesn’t seem to exist! (Please, if you know differently, let me know!!!)

Which of course, started me freaking out. I simply don’t have time to create the wheel from scratch! And yet, how could I do this without doing it all myself??? And what about the “world geography” focus we were supposed to be learning???

Thank you God for Facebook! I was able to get some great tips and other homeschooling mama’s calm me down. And this is when I started looking at the idea of notebooking and unit studies.

Notebooking Resources
Notebooking
How We Homeschool – Notebooking by Heidi St. John
Lapbooking Made Simple
Notebooking Fairy
Fifty Things to Put in a Notebook
Master Lapbooking List
Delight Directed Learning
Homeschool Share
Unit Study Database
EasyFunSchool Unit Study Index
Free Homeschool Unit Stories

So, after doing hours and hours of online searching I think we’ve come up with a plan. We are going to continue with the idea of World Geography, but using literature to do it. We’ll also be focusing on “girl” books – either role models or lead female characters.

Here are our first experience with this – reading Pippi Longstocking and studying Sweden! Next up, we are working our way through Heidi and learning more about Switzerland!

For science, I found this fabulous deal on Educents for The Human Body Detectives, and along with some great books that I have been collecting through thrifts stores and general book hoarding, I think we’ll really be able to do some great study work on the human body. I’m still working on ideas to really learn nutrition, etc correctly (not just the dumb food pyramid we grew up with), but I think the human anatomy stuff will last us quite a while.

Stay Tuned for for the final portion of this series, Part 4 of Mid-Year Change of Plans!

Mid-Year Change of Plans, PART 2

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First Hints Your Homeschool Plan Isn’t Working

  • Mom is stressed, non enjoying homeschool, dreading doing school each day.
  • Kids are listless, and not wholeheartedly diving into the lessons.
  • The kids keep asking, “Can we do something else?” and the mom says “No, we don’t have time because we’ll fall behind on what we HAVE to do.
  • Homeschool is no longer fun and interesting.

Clearly, when homeschool is no longer a delight but drudgery, it’s time to mix things up.

First, analyze what things DO work!

There is no reason to fix what’s not broken, right????

Teaching Textbooks is really working for us this year. Both girls are doing it now, and doing well.

Life of Fred is awesome. We love it in this house, and do it three times per week.

Our Math Fact Songs daily are working great, along with our Math Wrap-Ups. The girls are really getting their math facts drilled into their heads. So far, we are covering addition, subtraction, and multiplication. Division will be added sometime in the Spring.

SpellingCity.com is sorta working. It works when the girls decide to be slightly interested in spelling at all. Right now they just don’t care. I’m still working on that.

The grammar lessons that I am putting together are working. They are a ton of work to find and organize all of the resources I’m using, but the girls are truly learning and learning the grammar well. As long as I stay on top of it, which is always an issue!

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Learning Action Verbs by Creating an Action Verb Path!

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Playing Pronoun Games (from Scholastic Teacher’s Express)

Other things that are working: Homeschool Co-Op. I’m not completely thrilled about Co-Op, honestly. Frankly, it’s a really long drive, I was assigned one too many classes to assist in, and I go home completely exhausted each week. BUT, the girls love it. They are getting really good classes there – Spanish, science, PE, art, etc. So, we’re going to keep with it for another semester. Ballet is also working for us. The girls love to dance.

And then we had some random things we did that they liked. Here is one of us trying a science experiment I saw on Facebook – a “dancing raisins” experiment:

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Ask The Kids!

At this point, we asked the kids, “What do you like about what we’re learning?” “What do you like about what we’re doing right now?” The only thing mentioned from the MFW Exploring Countries and Cultures curriculum were the missionary biographies. Notably, nothing else was mentioned.

Then we asked them, “What would you want to learn about?” “What do you want to study?”

I know, it’s not rocket science, right? Up until this year, they were so happy just to learn, they really didn’t care what. This year, they are starting to have opinions. Strong ones.

First, of all, they wanted MORE science. “Real Science,” as my youngest put it. Lots more science. I started to ask what kind of science, and they even had thoughts about that – they want to learn about how the body works, and about nutrition. More reading of real books. More “real art” (again, from my 6-year-old) not silly craft projects. More focus on girls (more about that later). And holy heck, they want even more math. !!! Are they kidding me???

Clearly, this was a conversation that was long in coming.

Stay Tuned for Part 3 of this series, Mid-Year Change of Plans!

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