Sunday, July 27, 2014

Flash Giveaway on Easy Peasy Chores!

I have this one last post for the Build Your Bundle sale and it's a good one!

 I am giving away a copy of Easy Peasy Chores from Good Old Days Farm.  It's a part of the Mom Bundle or you can get it as part of a Build Your Own bundle.  It's valued at $18.99 but as a part of  the mom bundle it is only $10!!! So the Easy Peasy Chores book alone is worth MORE than the price of the entire Mom Bundle! What a great deal!

Save 92% on the Bundle Just for Moms Bundle at the Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale!
Build Your OWN Bundle at the Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale and save up to 80%!
I just got mine last week and I'm so excited to implement it.  I love the ideas behind it and have heard such great things about it!
There are upcoming posts at Good Old Days Farm on how to implement this system so make sure you sign up for their e-mail updates! 
The Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition is ending soon!  Sale Ends at 11:59PM EST on 7-28-14!

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Friday, July 25, 2014

An Easy Way to Add Fine Arts to your Homeschool

*Affiliate links included in this article.
 Today I'm sharing a resource we are trying out in our homeschool.  Classical Composers Monthly offers a simple introduction into Artist Study with their Fine Art Pages. It's a helpful yet simple method to share great art works with your children. We are using the Fine Art Pages Collection 2. 
Basically the set provides classic art prints that have the artwork, information and fun facts provided all on the same page.  You place them in obvious places in your home and just allow the exposure to the pictures to initiate conversation and learning about the prints. In the introduction to the document there are also some helpful tips to get you started.
We printed 5 pages to start with and hung them above our main computer center and above our game closet.  My youngest daughter helped me arrange them to her liking :)  It's been fun to see the children's response to the pictures being there.  We have talked about our favorite picture, what we think is going on in the picture and my 5 yr old has even determined that someday when we build our own house we need to have dutch doors so that our horse can join us for dinner like one of the pictures shows!  
The great thing about the collection is that you can be assured that you are getting a quality collection of prints with accurate information.  There's no extra work for you.  You print and put them up.  I had considered buying a picture frame at the thrift store and just changing out the picture in it throughout the year.  But as described in the set that you get, it doesn't even have to be that complicated.  The idea is just to get exposure to the pictures and the interest and learning will follow.

{I received a copy of the above mentioned product to help facilitate the writing of an honest review.  All opinions are my own, your results may vary.}

Want to try it out?
You can get a Free Monet Lesson that has the Monet Art Page and some great links and ideas for teaching the lesson.  

What's Included?
Fine Art Pages Collection 2 includes:
-Tips on how to use the collection 
-Lifetime Subscription:  the pdf will always be available to.  You can save it on your computer or access it at the site.
 -Prints and info on Narcissus (Caravaggio), A Young Girl Reading (Fragonard), The Veiled Woman (Raphael), The Persistence of Memory (Dali), Bedroom in Arles (van Gogh), Girl With a Watering Can (Renoir), The Jockey (Toulouse-Lautrec), Succession (Kandinsky), Electric Prisms (Delaunay), An Orchard in Spring (Monet), The Hunt (Monet), Sorrows of the King (Matisse), One of the Family (Cotman), The Owl and the Pussycat (Blake), Children’s Games (Bruegel), Thanksgiving (Lee), The Soul of the Rose (Waterhouse), The Bitter Drink (Brouwer), Woman Meditating (von Jawlensky), The Rainbow Landscape (Rubens), Census at Bethlehem (Bruegel), Polperro II (Kokoschka), Field Under Thunderclouds (van Gogh), Tahitian Landscape (Gauguin), and Haymaking (Bruegel).

What Does It Cost?
Normally the cost is $14.95 but  right now you can buy it as part of the Charlotte Mason Bundle and get an 87% savings, plus you get a ton of really great resources!  If you are not interested in the Charlotte Mason Bundle, you have the option to build your own with the products you specifically need! 

If you missed the Build Your Bundle sale, you can still get this wonderful resource and others for 40% off as part of the Grand Birthday Pack or individually at a 25% saving!

Birthday Sale

Monday, July 21, 2014

Planning for Homeschool: {Giveaway!}Plan It! Editable Planner

Are you as excited to get planning for this next school year as I am?  Am I the only one who can't wait to get everything sorted out and ready to go?  I may not always stick to the initial schedule but I love going through new books and planning exciting activities.  And I like it when all of the chaos falls into line and I at least have a general map of where we are going!

Today I want to share a helpful resource for organizing your homeschool day.  It's a 100% editable planner called  Plan It! Weekly Homeschool Planner from Learning to Walk.  It's in an Excel format and you can edit the entire thing to suit your needs!  I like to plan two weeks at a time in case of schedule changes.

What I Loved!
-You can copy and paste repeating information.

-You are able to edit it so that each child gets a certain color.  It's easy to see who's doing what.  There is also the option to list each child and their assignment under each subject.  For us it was easier to split them up by color because they don't do all of the same subjects at this time.

-You can add rows to make room for handwritten notes or additional information.
-It's so neat and tidy!  My written planners are so chaotic.
-There are checkboxes so you can mark off what is done.
-The date is entered at the top and it instantly updates all the days on the planner.

Now you know what I loved. And there isn't actually anything I didn't like.  But I would note that it is helpful if you know a little bit about Excel in order to change some aspects of it.  Although Alecia was really helpful when I had a couple of little questions about getting everything lined out correctly.
Also, I'm stingy with my printer ink so I print it on draft quality to save ink and money!

The Cost
The planner is normally $5 but my readers can get it for $3.50 until July 31 at 11:59pm EST using the Promo Code REVIEW1 

Alecia also graciously offered a free copy of the Plan It! Weekly Homeschool Planner for one of my readers!   
If you want to buy it right away so you can get started on planning but you end up winning the giveaway, the cost of the planner will be refunded to you!

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Homeschooling In Small Spaces

I know a lot of us are not able to dedicate an entire room to our homeschool.  It can be a little tricky to carve out a space but I thought I would share some of the ideas we have come up with to make homeschooling work in a small space.

1. Moveable storage
We like to use plastic storage drawers on wheels to store each child's supplies.  That way, no matter where we are working we can take everything we need with us.  We keep a drawer of basic supplies like pencils, markers, glue, etc. and another drawer of workbooks and such and a third drawer for misc. items.

2. Folding Tables
We use both card tables and folding trays.  The card tables can be folded up and put away if we need more room and the folding trays make great work surfaces when the children choose to sit in the living room or bedrooms.

3. Bookshelves Back to Back
I put our shelves back to back in order to make a work surface but ended up creating a nifty corner reading nook(we keep a beanbag in the corner for a comfy reading spot) and saving space at the same time.

4. Storage Bins
There will inevitably be items you need to store but what I like to do is put them in clear bins and give the bin a number.  Then I make a list of all of the items in that bin.  That way I can refer to my list and know right where to find the items I need. In a pinch, you can even set a board over two (or four if you stack them) bins and make a play or work table.

5. Label Everything! 
I have found that in a smaller space, things look messy so much faster. We are working hard to make it a habit for all of us to return items that we are done using.  I use blue painter's tape and stick it on my shelves and just write what belongs in that space.  Then the children know where to put items that they have taken out.  

6. Mason Jars as Organizational Containers
My 7 yr old actually came up with this one.  A friend had some little buckets that they organized their supplies into and she wanted to come up with something similar.  Again with the painter's tape and a Sharpie.  I throw a label on and keep them all on a small tray that we can carry from place to place.

Do you school in a small space?  What are some of your tips?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

One Person's Chores are Another Person's Reprieve

I haven't really shared what our family has been up to recently, but we sold our house on 3 acres in order to look for land to build a house on.  We needed a little more room for our family and livestock.  We have been living in a condo in town and it's a nice place to live but I think we are all a little restless with town living.  I had to explain to my 5 yr old the other day why we are unable to keep an Alpaca in our condo.  I'm still not sure she's convinced we shouldn't get one... And the kids and I miss being able to putter around our property.
Last week I was asked, or rather, invited to do chores for some friends of ours.  And we would be able to keep the goat's milk and eggs from the days we did chores!  I jumped at the chance!

I prefer this view of town.  See it?  Way over there past the trees...

So we have been having a great time milking goats, feeding hay, checking on the chickens and ducks and all the little things that go with taking care of livestock. 

And the kids have loved just wandering outside, picking alfalfa for the animals and playing to their hearts content.
And I get to have fresh goat's milk in my tea again!  It finally tastes right!
Yum... If you have only tried goat's milk from the grocery store, you are missing out.

Doing the chores, being outside and spending time with all of the animals makes me feel centered again. 

What do you do that calls to your heart?  That makes life seem right?