July 2015

Homeschool Favorites

With summer in full swing I can not help myself thinking of the upcoming homeschool year that’s right around the corner.

You may not follow the same schedule as traditional public school perhaps, but with September approaching (sorry to burst your summer bubble, but only 5 short weeks remain!) fall always is refreshing and feels like a new start to the academic year ,whether or not you take summer holidays 🙂 . Don’t worry I am not wishing away our summer days, in fact I am taking it nice and slow and enjoying each day as it comes. Keeping with that also comes thought and planning for the days ahead, which leads me to the point- my favorite-can’t-live-without homeschools items.

1.) Quality pencils

This is a must. How many times have we tried sharpening the same pencil, just to get to the end of it to find out the lead is broken into bits and pieces. For early elementary I have been happy with the #2 HB pencil.

a pencil

2.) Quality pencil sharpener

Along with those cheap pencils, in my opinion a cheap sharpener is even worse. Every time you sharpen the pencil it breaks the lead, leaving you frustrated. We are going to invest in a good electric pencil sharpener this year, such as the X-Acto SchoolPro electric sharpener from Staples.

a sharpener

 3.) A Planner

A good planner to keep your school year, activities and schedules on track are key to a smooth sailing, less forgetting, more productive school year.  Bonus if they include progress/attendance/report cards, or even a meal plan area! Here are a couple I have been checking out-

a plannerThe well-planned day homeschool planner

a planner 2Class Lesson Planner

4.) A laminator

With small children in the home, especially working with preschoolers, I highly recommend investing in a laminating machine. I had the opportunity last year to purchase a laminating machine with bonus laminating pouches for a whopping $15 online through Staples. Watch for deals! Received free shipping on that as well, regularly priced around $100 by itself without the extra laminating pouches. I find amazon has the best deals for future purchases on laminating pouches. Unfortunately they do not make the exact model I have anymore but here is a similar one that can do up to 13″ wide, 3-7ml thick (same as the one I use) –

a laminatorEs1315 13″ 2-Roller Laminator from Staples.

5.) A good cup of coffee

Had to throw this one in here. Whatever beverage you prefer that is relaxing and aroma-filled, its the little things isn’t it?

Simple but effective. These are my favorite fives that keep our homeschool life flowing.

What are yours?

Till next time,


There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God,

Ecclesiastes 2:24



Taking the summer slow

Summer time. A time to jam pack all sorts of fun into two short months.

We however did sneak an extra month in there by finishing our school year by the end of May. Summer is looking a little different for our family this year, taking it slow and sticking around home. Enjoying our beautiful back yard and the community programs our town has to offer. Other than our oldest two going to bible camp each for a week and swimming lessons we have nothing planned. Which is perfect for us this year anyway!

We now have the opportunity to feel relaxed and soak up leisure days in the sunshine without the rush to and fro, which comes with camping or road trips with five little ones.

So what am I doing with all my time? (Ha, ya I know… what extra time is that, I am sure your asking!?) For starters, working in the garden and flower beds daily, adding landscaping edging in the front yard, attending my baby sister’s wedding in which our little guy was the ring bearer, and I had the honor of being a bridesmaid. (I just have to insert here what a beautiful bride she was!) Doing a fundraiser for our Moms and Tots program selling frozen cookie dough (no big deal, just mixed up 91 batches- not dozen- batches) with the help of a couple others. As for today I hosted half a dozen mommy friends and their kids over so we could let some serious finger painting fun happen for the float we are doing in the town and country fair’s parade. Here is a sneak peak at our results-

DSCF4574 DSCF4573 DSCF4575

If you look closely, each of the handprints vary in size, all the kids had fun participating in the handprint rainbow for the parade. Next step is to cut it out and adhere it to a strong piece of cardboard (covering the back side in a solid light blue) cutting out large cardboard ‘clouds’ and covering the cloud pieces in white batting, and shimmering it with white glitter. Of course you can not have a rainbow without a sun, so our plan is to hit up Michaels craft store and purchase a large foam ball, spray paint it yellow, add some cool sun glasses, pipe cleaners in orange and yellow, and wire it on top to look as though its floating 🙂 . Will have to update on the day of the parade and let you all see the finished product.


Here is a little looksee at our fundraiser cookie dough (above), which was a huge hit I will have you know! I even bought a few to have on hand at my place (which I totally baked up a batch this morning for all the kids here!) So thankful for a successful fundraiser, our program really needed some $$$ for new play equipment.

Onto the outdoorsy stuff…

My new fav for this year- the snap dragons 🙂

DSCF4497 DSCF4496 DSCF4488 DSCF4518Remember the size of the garden in my previous post? If not you can check out the size comparison, just click here in Think Garden. So thankful for sprinklers this past month, it sure has been dry around here and has helped the garden to grow.

And what do those kiddo’s of mine do when I am accomplishing these things? Well the twins know how to have some fun- bottles of food coloring dye later…

DSCF4549 DSCF4556 DSCF4566I wonder if they had been feeling a little… blue?

Until next time,


For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:8-10