Every year, our family looks forward to counting down the days to Christmas with a family activity advent calendar. Instead of uncovering candy or trinkets each day, we find a new activity or outing related to the season. I love that this gives us a way to celebrate and make memories together all December long. I also cleverly sneak in some Christmas to-do’s here and there to satisfy my need to multitask.
One of my favorite things to do this time of year is read Christmas books with the kids. Reading with the kids is actually one of my favorite things to do all year long, but everything is made better at Christmas, right?
We’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner at our house this year (cue the ominous music). I wanted to give the kids an opportunity to contribute apart from being in the kitchen licking spoons, and also keep them in the spirit of thankfulness. These DIY crafty place cards are the perfect thing!
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve found a cup in a random spot of the house, or asked my kids which cup they’ve been drinking from, or even how many cups they’ve had that day, I’d be bouncing between cruise ships right now on back-to-back vacations. After reaching my limit of playing hide-and-go-seek with cups and washing multiple cups per child per day, I thought of a solution. Continue reading
When I first considered the idea of homeschooling my kids, I had a lot of doubts. Am I qualified to do this? Will they learn enough from me? Is this what’s best for them? Or will they become societal outcasts requiring years of expensive therapy and an eventual appearance on Dr. Phil? You know, normal mom fears.
Thankfully, our homeschool experience has turned out to be the best thing we could have done for our family. Notice I didn’t say the easiest thing. Here is some of what I learned from our first year of homeschooling discovery. Continue reading
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all our children just naturally loved reading? Of course! It would be equally wonderful if I naturally loved making dinner but, let’s face it, that’s not happening. Instead, I do what’s necessary to make dinnertime work for me (the crockpot and 15-minute meals are my BFFs).
The same is true for our kids and reading; we have to make it work for them. Some kids naturally enjoy reading and some would rather eat dirt than read for just twenty minutes. (I have one of each in case you’re wondering.) So what are we moms to do when we want to instill a love of reading in our unenthusiastic children?
Pick a Pumpkin, Mrs. Millie!
Mrs. Millie is silly! In this fun story, Mrs. Millie takes her class to the pumpkin patch, where her students spend the day guessing the real meanings of her nonsense words. The story is cute and clever with an emphasis on rhyming, as many of Mrs. Millie’s silly words rhyme with what she really means to say (dragon instead of wagon, spider instead of cider, and so on).
Have you heard of a LitJoy Crate? Until a few months ago, I hadn’t. I stumbled across their site by chance and, being the huge book nerd I am, decided to give it a try. Now we’re sort of hooked.
Before I knew anything else about how I wanted to approach homeschooling, I knew reading aloud to the kids would be a big part of our routine. You don’t have to look hard to find about a bazillion studies on the importance and benefits of reading to children – things like developing critical brain connections and unique bonding opportunities between parents and their little ones.
I have many essential tools in my homeschool mom arsenal. An operational Keurig machine, warm pajama pants, and a secret snack stash, for example. But there’s one thing I put together about midway through our first homeschooling year that’s been invaluable: our homeschool morning basket.