September 2, 2014

SEPTEMBER


It feels ok to close a book when you're fully satisfied with it.  This summer has been full and laid back and adventurous.  We're ok to close the back cover, feeling fully satisfied with all we've done.  I admit, the pumpkin spice candles and freshly sharpened pencils are calling my name with their fall-smelling breath, but a good thing like summer calls for a fond glace back.  So let's do.


Last weekend, we went to Sullivan's Island, SC.  We didn't make it to the beach last year with Vera being so tiny, but this year was so different.  A baby on the beach is a beautiful thing.  She was amazed like all of us at an ocean so vast and mighty.  We picked up shells and ate sand (maybe that was just Vera.)  We chased gulls and smashed sandcastles. (Well maybe all that was just Vera.)  It was good to be back.














 
While we were there we toured the Magnolia Plantation.  It was hot and muggy but always a great history lesson.  We learned many things about South Carolina--and their spiders. #help  We even saw several gators, which we were not expecting. 
 
Taking our kids in the car and spending the night in a hotel always makes me feel like we're "real" adults.  It's something I remember vividly from being a kid--taking off in the car and staying in a hotel.  I remember being so excited to see the hotel room and check out the pool.  I watch my kids do the exact same things and know that they will remember these days when they're grown.  


 
This weekend, Labor Day weekend, the last hoorah of summer we've been spending with family that has come to visit.  It's always so much fun playing tourist while guests are here, seeing things through their eyes for the first time.  We've been hiking, walking the downtown streets, to local restaurants, and to the Biltmore.  It's like a vacation for us too.  Our own bidding goodbye to summer in a way.  
 









 
One last look back at some of the highlights of summer....
 

School starts officially next Monday the 8th.  We'll be prepping and getting ready till then, having an orientation of sorts.  I love this time of year.  This week I'll be buying mums and all things pumpkin.  This change of seasons is so inspiring.  A fresh and new season to offer all sorts of great expectations. 
Happy September, friends.
 
 

August 28, 2014

BACK TO ROUTINE: THE FALL PLAN

The weather this week has been absolutely divine--cool with a hint of fall, matching exactly with the mood of the hustle and bustle of readying schedules and the school room.  I've gotten bitten by the homeschool bug hard this year.  Maybe the excitement of my new planner or all the great ideas I've been reading out there on blogs and books, but either way I'm excited for school this year.  There's still some planning to do, but I'm counting down the days till September 8th.
 
I know one of the biggest things that gets me excited is the return of the routine.  Summer is amazing and I would never wish it away--the break serves us all well, but then it's time to regain our natural rhythm of sleeping and waking and business and play.  The beginning of a new season is like a fresh new year.  I love going into a new season expecting great things to happen.
 
This school year will be great.
 
A new routine will be great.
 
I'm expecting great things from this season blowing in.
 
 
 
A new season always calls for a little sprucing up of home and self.  The fall calls for spiffing up after the lazy summer, the winter and New Year needs a plan after the holidays, the spring hollers for new life and crawling out of winter's shell, and summer calls for less structured, relaxed days. 
 
You can read about my Summer Plan and my 6-Week Spring Plan as well.
 
I've spiffed up for fall and created a shiny new plan.  It's not all that original--it's pretty similar to what I've done before, but on paper it's shiny and new.  I like to lay things out on paper and see if logistically everything I want to happen, can.  One thing I always think about is my limits.  I can't deep clean my whole house on Monday mornings, I can't sign up for everything, I can't schedule every day full, and I have to allow for a lot of setbacks, aka: I have a baby.  I've written up weekly plans for school and home stuff, allowing for the whole morning for school and after lunch is independent work for the kids so I can get a few things done in the house.
 
For school, we like to be done by lunch.  The kids usually have something they didn't fully finish in the morning and they can finish that on their own after lunch.  I also have some things for them to work on independently in the afternoon.  I wrote out their weekly schedule for different subjects below.  If you're looking for more info on scheduling and planning, I write a lot on this subject in my PLANNING + ORGANIZING book.  You might be interested to check that out.
 
For home, I set up a daily task sheet of one little thing I can do to keep my house clean-ish.  I cannot function in clutter and dirtiness.  I'm not a perfectionist at all, I just don't like chaos, so I'm busy but it has to stay more neat than messy or I'll lose it.  For fall, I'm going to try to do laundry twice a week.  I've always done it every day, but I'm going to try this.  About once or twice a month, I will do a good deep clean in different areas of the house, but my weekly schedule for "home" will look something like this: 
 WEEKLY CLEANING SCHEDULE
 
 
 
 
WEEKLY HOMESCHOOL CLASS SCHEDULE


Meal planning is also a major part of a smooth-running routine around here.  I'm trying something a little different this fall too with my meal planning.  My friend and I are sharing a month of meal planning.  I came up with half the meals for a whole month and she did the same.  We mailed each other recipes and we'll fill in our whole September calendar with meals.  We'll still go to the grocery store once a week or so but we'll know just what we're getting. 
 
I created a little blank calendar that matches the planner I made at the beginning of the year for our meal plan.  I actually laminated it so it can be wiped off for the next month.  
 
 
 
 
 

I also whipped up a page to hold my weekly schedule that can be wiped off too.  It's nice to be able to see my quick to-do list on the fridge every day.
 
 
 
 
 


Since there's only three months left of 2014, I thought I'd offer my 2014 Printable Planner + these two new printables for a whopping deal of O N E  buck.  Just a dolla.  You can click the original post to see what's all in the planner.  E N J O Y!!!

I know you're ready for routine too.  Happy almost-fall!!


 
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August 24, 2014

LAST DAY FOR THIS YEAR'S OMNIBUS

Last call for the Omnibus, my friends! Sale ends tonight at midnight!  
The OMNIBUS sale has ended...see you next year!
 

https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1363915&c=ib&aff=183558&cl=221111

A few final thoughts:

1. When you make a purchase of the Omnibus, you can enter to win one of THREE Kindles! Yay, you!

2. The value of this fab bundle is around $600, and the price is only $25...that's like paying around ONE quarter per item.  So even if you wanted a few of these items, it's worth it! And you'll have a whole pile of other great resources as well.

3. There's no doubt you will uncover some amazing inspiration here.  I have been so rejuvenated to start this school year just by reading some of the fabulous titles in the bundle. 

4. These titles are written by moms just like you.  We've come together, written about our passions in our homeschool, and shared them with others just like us.  It's almost like sitting down to coffee with a good ol' friend to chat about your passion: schooling your children well.


https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1363915&c=ib&aff=183558&cl=221111
 



Here's some more info on the Omnibus, including a full list of eBooks included.  You can see more info about the Omnibus on my post from Monday as well.

D E T A I L S on the O M N I B U S:
  • There are 83 eBooks and 24 audio mp3's included in the bundle.  Everything comes in both Kindle and pdf formats.
  • Bundle includes discounts and freebies from 25 great homeschool companies.
  • The cost of the Omnibus is $25 total.  With a $545 value, that's less than a quarter per item.
  • You are entered to win one of three free Kindles with your purchase.
  • This sale is for ONE WEEK only, August 18-25!  It will not be available after the 25th.
  • You can also purchase a DVD for $8 more to receive the entire collection on DVD.
I M P O R T A N T:
  • The deadline for refunds is September 5.  There will be no refunds given if the host shows that you have downloaded any files.
  • The eBooks will only be available until September 25th, please do not delay in downloading them.  See FAQ (http://www.homeschoolomnibus.com/faq/) or contact iHomeschool Network (http://www.homeschoolomnibus.com/contact) for more information.
  • DVDs can be purchased for $8 until September 20th.
 


https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1363915&c=ib&aff=183558&cl=221111https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1363915&c=ib&aff=183558&cl=221111



August 23, 2014

A FEW FAVORITE HOMESCHOOL RESOURCES

It's probably no secret that I'm getting really excited for school.  I've been sharing posts all week on the planning I've been up to: Language Arts Notebooks, Art Plans, and Having a Hands-On Homeschool.  I've tried to tie this in with the big Omnibus sale we're having at iHomeschool Network.  This bundle really is amazing and I hope I've been able to share that with you. 

***UPDATE: the Omnibus sale has ended***
 
 
I wanted to do a round up of just a few of my favorite books you'll find in the book bundle.  Resources I didn't even know I needed, but now I'm in love and super inspired!

 Every so often, iHomeschool Network Studio host live podcasts for their listeners.  You can find out more on www.ihomeschoolnetwork.com.  I have listened to several while I've folded laundry or made dinner.  I have been SO inspired by these talks.  So inspired! I listened to a talk by one of my favorite homeschool mamas, Cindy West, as she talked all about one of her favorite subjects: Living Math.  I am so intrigued by this topic I am doing a ton of reading up before school starts and am really going to incorporate this into our homeschool.  Had I not received the Omnibus and listened to this podcast, who knows if I would have been as apt to read into this?  If you are interested in the topic of living math, Cindy has a fantastic eBook on it: Loving Living Math.  I believe there are around 23 podcasts total and I'm sure there are some that would strike your fancy.



Circle time has always seemed like way too much of a "regular school" thing to me to try at home.  That is until I read this book.  In Circle Time, Kendra talks about the importance of having a set aside time during your school day to not just talk about much more than the date and weather.  Some of Kendra's suggestions for morning circle time include:
  • -Daily scripture
  • -This Day in History
  • -Songs
  • -Poetry
  • -Art of the day
  • -Subject reviews
Kendra includes several printables at the end of the book where she lists TONS of ideas on what to include in your circle time.  She also includes pages to print to plan your time together.  There are tons of reasons why to include a time like this in your homeschool day and the benefits it has.  Kendra also talks about renaming your circle time something more fitting for older children.  I'm planning on calling ours our Morning Meeting.  I'd like to incorporate poems to memorize and/or other recitations, review our history or science, talk about things we're stressed about or happy about together, review our day ahead, and review our German we've been studying this summer.  I'm really excited about doing this this year for the first time!








 This was one of the many surprises I found in the Omnibus this year, a fabulous children's literature pack!  We are studying the middle ages this year and this pack includes both a TON of lapbooking components AND a ton of notebooking pages for two of the books we're reading this year: King Arthur and Robinhood.  This pack also includes lapooking components and notebooking pages for the following books: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Gulliver's Travels, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Call of the Wild, Robinson Crusoe, Wind in the Willows, and Tom Sawyer.  Great resource!



Writing is something we are really going to try to beef up this year in our homeschool.  I love this book by Jimmie Lanley on writing essays.  She has some great ideas on writing introductions and conclusions, for brainstorming, and getting the writing juices flowing.  She has included plenty of printables to use in the brainstorming phases.  I plan on using this a lot this year especially with Noah, who will be in 7th grade.  Jimmie stresses that you don't need a big, fancy writing curriculum to teach writing, but simple formulas to teach good writing skills.  She has made something that's been a little intimidating for me to teach seem much simpler and doable.



This one was yet another little blessing I discovered in the Omnibus.  One of Noah's main texts to read this year for history is Famous Men of the Middle Ages.  This book provides piles of wonderful notebooking pages and printouts to accompany this book.  I love that I will be able to print off some beautiful pages to add to Noah's history notebook that tie into what he's reading.  I love that!




https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?cl=221111&c=ib&aff=183558


Here's some more info on the Omnibus, including a full list of eBooks included.  You can see more info about the Omnibus on my post from Monday as well.

D E T A I L S on the O M N I B U S:
  • There are 83 eBooks and 24 audio mp3's included in the bundle.  Everything comes in both Kindle and pdf formats.
  • Bundle includes discounts and freebies from 25 great homeschool companies.
  • The cost of the Omnibus is $25 total.  With a $545 value, that's less than a quarter per item.
  • You are entered to win one of three free Kindles with your purchase.
  • This sale is for ONE WEEK only, August 18-25!  It will not be available after the 25th.
  • You can also purchase a DVD for $8 more to receive the entire collection on DVD.
I M P O R T A N T:
  • The deadline for refunds is September 5.  There will be no refunds given if the host shows that you have downloaded any files.
  • The eBooks will only be available until September 25th, please do not delay in downloading them.  See FAQ (http://www.homeschoolomnibus.com/faq/) or contact iHomeschool Network (http://www.homeschoolomnibus.com/contact) for more information.
  • DVDs can be purchased for $8 until September 20th.


https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1363915&c=ib&aff=183558&cl=221111https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1363915&c=ib&aff=183558&cl=221111

TITLES INCLUDED IN THE OMNIBUS:

https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1363915&c=ib&aff=183558&cl=221111



DISCOUNTS AND FREEBIES INCLUDED:
https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1363915&c=ib&aff=183558&cl=221111



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