Create a Story

Do you have a struggling writer? I know that a couple of my kids have been reluctant to write, mostly because they didn’t know how to get started or what to write about. Enter Create a Story. This little book walks your writers through the process of writing a story in a fun and creative way.

In this edition, they give you two story options

  1. The Vikings
  2. The Arctic

Each section provides you with some background information about the different options. The informational section is brief so it’s great for those that would be intimidated by a lot of reading, but you could also have more advanced learners dive further by doing more research to add to their story. As soon as they are done reading about their topic, the book dives right in. It helps them to

  • Choose and develop various characters
  • Create a plotline
  • Design a setting
  • Come up with a problem
  • It even suggests having one of the characters have a trusty pet.
  • I also love that it gives some suggested word choices to help avoid repetative word usage.

One thing I would suggest if you have a young struggling writer is to not be overly critical. Sometimes it’s beneficial to just let them write. As their love for writing grows, then you can gently come in and offer corrections. If they are currently having a difficult time, just let them have fun with it and that’s what I love about Create a Story. It makes writing fun! So head on over to their site and check out how you can get your hands on this great book.

https://www.createastorybook.co.uk/ 

 


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“Like a wildflower; you must allow yourself to grow in all the places people never thought you would.”

I found this pretty little flower growing in a crack in the sidewalk the other day and I had to snap a picture of it. Here this beautiful flower was growing in the most unlikely of places. How many of us are like this flower? Or rather, how many of us could be like this flower, but let outside influences keep us from thriving? This little flower didn’t need everything to be perfect to take root and grow. It found an opportunity, regardless of what the circumstances were, and grew.

How many of us are like this flower? Or rather, how many of us could be like this flower, but let outside influences keep us from thriving? This little flower didn’t need everything to be perfect to take root and grow. It found an opportunity, regardless of what the circumstances were, and grew.

So many of the things I’ve done in my life, I’ve had people ask me, “Well why would you want to do that?” Homeschooling, fitness instructor, event planner, making wedding cakes . . . quite literally all of these things I have done I have had someone say, “well why would you want to go and do a thing like that.” “It will be too hard.” “Why are you wasting your time?” If I hadn’t let go of my fear and doubt and made the decision to grow, even when all the odds were against me, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

If I hadn’t let go of my fear and doubt and made the decision to grow, even when all the odds were against me, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

I still have a lot of growing to do, but am grateful for the opportunites to be like that little flower and to look in the small cracks of life and grow.

Have you had moments where you’ve bloomed where you’ve been planted or have you let fear and self doubt keep you from becoming who you are supposed to be. You are capable of AMAZING things so go and plant yourself in unusual places.

3 Delicious & Easy Snow Treats

We have been on an AMAZING trip as a family to an absolute winter wonderland! I have felt like we are in a magical snow globe! We don’t get a lot of snow back home, so I thought it would be fun to try a couple of treats that we can’t do without snow and I wanted to share those recipes with you. What I love about these, as long as you have snow, you probably have most of the ingredients on hand! Isn’t that great?!

We looked up several recipe variations, tried out a few and then altered the ones we loved the most to make it perfect. So without further adieu, here are the treats.

 

Vanilla Snow Ice Cream

This one was a fan favorite for everyone who tried it! And the fact that it only requires 3 ingredients (one of those being snow) make this a mom fave too.

  • 6 cups of CLEAN snow
  • 1 – 14 oz. can of sweet and condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Have the kids collect clean snow, add in the can of milk and vanilla and mix well! Sprinkle with your favorite toppings and ENJOY!

 

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Chocolate Snow Ice Cream

For all my chocolate lovers, here’s another fun snow ice cream to try!

  • 8 cups of CLEAN snow
  • 1 – 14 oz. can of sweet and condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa powder

Mix well. Sprinkle with your favorite toppings and ENJOY! We added the little mini marshmallows to make more of a Rocky Road(esque)  Chocolate Ice Cream.

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Snow Cones

Who doesn’t love Hawaiian Shave Ice? This “shaved” ice comes straight from Mother Nature herself and let me just say, she is good.

Fill a cup with clean snow.

Drizzle with your favorite Torani Syrup flavor or flavors. ENJOY!

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That’s it!! Three fun recipes, all only needing a few simple ingredients. So simple, but SO good!! The kiddos LOVED each of these and the adults thought they were pretty darn good too!

 

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Mental Shift Part 2

When I left you last, I wrote about the idea that we don’t need to send our kids to preschool, dare I say kindergarten. This idea is the first step towards the mental shift that can be very difficult to move towards. The next shift we need to make is the shift that we might not be smart enough to educate our children. So many of us, ESPECIALLY women, feel inadequate to teach our own children. Why is that? Who has told us that? And why do we believe it?

In our day and age, when the world is out to empower us all, do we feel so strongly that we can’t teach our strongly that we can’t teach our children? We have every available resource at our fingertips… literally! We have smartphones, tablets, computers, etc. and yet we fear we won’t be able to fill their minds with knowledge. We have been fed the notion that books can no longer be the teacher, that every ounce of education must be spoon-fed or they couldn’t possibly learn anything.

When I made the leap into homeschooling, I’ll be honest. I totally thought that I had to stand in front of my kids for 8 hours a day for them to learn anything. I was so wrong. I learned very quickly that this just wasn’t necessary. It turned out that direct instruction only needed to be an hour or two. I had started out micromanaging their education and it turned into frustration and tears for all of us. It wasn’t until I took a step back and realized that once they could read, the world opened up to them! They devoured knowledge and still do. Sometimes they need a little encouragement and maybe a little help to understand a concept and that is where most people, moms and dads, freak out.

Take a deep breath.

It’s going to be o.k.

No one knows everything. Teachers don’t know everything! SHOCKER!! I know!! But remember how I mentioned those awesome devices? This is where they can become so useful. You don’t have to know EVERYTHING! The inter-web is an amazing resource. Anytime one of my children wants to know about something or how something works, we turn to the internet. I literally go to Google, type in the question, and thousands of resources are available within seconds. Articles will pop up, titles of books to read on the subject will appear. I always have my phone on me and can type in our question or even ask Siri. It’s fabulous! What’s cool too is that my children aren’t the only ones learning. I get to learn right alongside them. And for those extra hard questions, there are online tutors. It’s darn right AMAZING!!! So now that I’ve addressed the issue of filling your child’s head with knowledge, we can let go of those insecurities.

The world would have you feel that you are not enough, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Take a moment and say to yourself . . .

I AM ENOUGH! I AM CAPABLE! I AM AMAZING! And no one is more dedicated to your child’s success than you!

Now start believing it! Who knows your children better than you? You were given these special little people because they were meant to be yours and you have it within you to know exactly what they need to be taught. The trick is to make that mental shift, live it and know it.

So we have covered the mental shift of not sending your child to preschool or even “GASP” kindergarten and now just made the shift that we are capable and empowered to educate our kids. I can’t wait to share our next mental shift! Stay tuned!

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How to Homeschool Guide

How to Homeschool

If you haven’t seen or heard, I have just recently released a new product that I’m super nervous, but super excited about. This is something I’ve been developing for over a year and am confident that anyone that is feeling lost on how to start homeschooling or is struggling will greatly benefit from this guide.

I get it! I’ve been there! Starting to homeschool is TERRIFYING! There is a plethora of information out in the world regarding homeschool and it can be overwhelming and that’s why I’ve created this product. So many families have approached me and asked, “how do I start?” and that is what inspired me to create this.

If you’re lacking in confidence, this will help. If you’re worried about being compliant with state laws regarding homeschool, this will address that. Are you concerned about choosing the right curriculum for your child? No stress! This guides you through that as well. And did I mention the homeschool personality quiz, mapping out your homeschool day and other organizational tools to help you on your way to success? These tools are exclusively available in The Savvy Homeschooler’s Guide to Homeschooling.

So if you’re on the fence about homeschooling, just go check it out! This can help you with that decision. If you are trying to figure out how to be a better homeschooler this can help you too! Head on over to The Shop or click on the link below to take you to

The Savvy Homeschooler’s Guide to Homeschooling

Homeschool Schedule and Organizing Your Time

IMG_3952 Regardless of your homeschool style we all have habits and those habits lend themselves to some sort of schedule. If you are more of a traditional style homeschooler then you will probably have a much more strict schedule where as an unschooler might have a more liberal approach with time, but whatever your style, usually we have goals we want our children to achieve and we need to have a plan on how to make that happen.

For our family we sort of fall in the middle of the extremes and that works for us. We still get our academics completed but we also take opportunities that come into our lives to take a break from our regular “schedules” and seize those moments and enjoy the world around us.

I think one of the bigger misconceptions about homeschooling is that a parental unit must be sitting in front of their children for 8 plus hours and then spend the rest of their time grading papers. THAT COULDN’T BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!!! The fact of the matter is that a public school teacher has to be in front of his or her students for that many hours to spoon-feed information to their students because kids don’t know how to self learn.

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The amazing thing about homeschooling is that once your kid can read it opens up this whole new realm for them and an abundant amount of freedom for you as a parent.

Kids are smart! They just need to be taught a little bit of self-discipline and given the right tools so they can learn without a lot of oversight. So with that being said this is how our day looks on average. Now remember… this is an average day for us. Sometimes a kid needs some extra sleep or we have a field trip or…

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an opportunity for service,

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but this will give you an idea.

7:-7:30am- Wake up

8:00- Get Dressed and tidy room

8:30- Eat Breakfast and clean up breakfast mess

9:00- Start Math… independently! They might come ask a question here and there but for the most part they do it on their own.

10:00- Language Arts- Again this is done on their own. The younger two work on workbooks and the older two have lessons on DVD that they watch and worksheets they complete when they are done with DVD lesson.

11:00- Kids make their own lunches and then clean up the kitchen.

11:30- Chores

12:30pm- Play games. I have a whole cabinet of educational games that the kids can play during free moments.

1:00- Some days we have coop classes and they fall during this time.

1:30- Practice violin or piano. Rotate through. When it’s not their turn to practice they can read

2:30- Depending on the day we will do a science lesson or a history lesson.

3:30- Clean up school stuff and have a snack.

4:00- Outside play or a foreign language lesson.

5:00- Get ready for dinner

5:30- Dinner

6:30- Clean up kitchen

7:00- Depending on the day we might have church youth group activities, scouts or soccer.

8:00- Scripture study, prayer and younger kids bedtimes. Younger two can read till 8:30

8:30- Older two in bed and read till 9

9:00- Me and the hubby climb into bed and watch a show. It’s my favorite time of the day!

So that is the kids’ schedule in a nutshell. But what you didn’t see in there really, is what I do during the day. When my kids were younger I didn’t have quite as much freedom because my kids couldn’t read and needed much more hands on time. But with them being older and especially having children old enough to babysit I can get things done outside the home while they are working on schoolwork. I teach fitness classes once a day for an hour, which is something I really enjoy and I get to workout. I can run to the store and the kids know they have their things that they need to get done while I’m gone. When I’m at home I can fold laundry, paint the house, work on church assignments, etc. I just make sure to leave an hour or two in the afternoon open for a family science or history lesson. As for correcting assignments, the older two girls’ programs correct themselves so… easy peasy, lemon squeezy. The younger two kiddos are still fairly easy to figure out so it takes me maybe 5 minutes to correct theirs.

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What I hope I am able to show you here is that homeschooling doesn’t have to be all life consuming. Let me take that back… It is life consuming in that you are with your family most of the time, but that the actual schooling doesn’t have to be life consuming. You can still pursue your life ambitions AND get to be with your children before they leave to pursue their own life’s ambitions, which will happen all too soon!

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