How to Make an Indoor Mini Sandbox for Your Kids

How to Make an Indoor Mini Sandbox for your Kids on green mini-sandbox background with rocks and rakes

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I’m in big trouble. 

It’s only the middle of January and we’re already getting cabin fever… what’s a mom to do?!

Thankfully, I’ve got a few tricks up my desperate-homeschool-mom sleeve. One of my all-time favorites is our homemade, indoor mini-sandbox. 

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Essential Non-School Apps for Your Homeschool

Essential Non-School Apps for your Homeschool with iPhone home screen apps

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Homeschooling is more than a method of education – it’s a lifestyle. 

So it’s not surprising that there’s overlap with other areas of life when it comes to the best tools to use for the job. For example, when it comes to digital tools, I’ve found that all kinds of non-school-related apps have helped our homeschool.

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4 Smart Money-Saving Strategies for One-Income Families (Strategy #4)

4 smart money-saving strategies for one-income families strategy #4 with piggy bank

So far in this series we’ve looked at ways to save money by being…

The final 4 C’s Strategy overlaps with #3 but I’ve kept them separate since each one has it’s own main focus. 

Being counter-cultural in our approach to money helps us zero in on our own goals and work towards them without being influenced by what culture says we’re “supposed” to do. Once you’re comfortable going against the cultural grain, it becomes easier to come up with all kinds of creative money-saving ideas that are unique to your own situation.

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Spotlight on School Supplies: Paper Cutter

Spotlight on School Supplies: Paper Cutter with Fiskars paper cutter background

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A Cut Above the Rest

Other school supplies on my Top 5 Must-Have Homeschool Supplies list boast frequent use and a variety of applications. 

Paper cutters are more of a one trick pony. And it’s a pony that stays in the barn most of the time. So you might be wondering how they made my Top 5 list. Allow me to explain.

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DIY or Buy? How to Teach Your Kids Without Going Broke

DIY or Buy? How to teach your kids without going broke on kid's cash register gradient background

No room in the budget for fancy school learning tools? 

No problem!

(Even if there IS money available for the latest and greatest educational gizmos, buying more stuff just because you can generally isn’t wise.)

Please don’t feel like you have to OWN every cool-looking manipulative, learning center set and educational toy that exists in order to provide a high-quality education! 

Whether you know it or not, you already own countless items you can repurpose to teach many – if not most – concepts. Or often, a DIY option will get the job done just as well as expensive classroom tools. And, by the time you’re done repurposing and DIY’ing, you’ll have saved enough money to splurge on a few really cool items that you just can’t duplicate at home.

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Spotlight on School Supplies: Hole Reinforcement Labels

Spotlight on School Supplies Hole Reinforcement Label sheets

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Heroic Halos of Helpfulness

My mom was right. Good things do come in small packages! If I remember correctly, she was referring to me, not office products, but I think the expression works here, too.

I never thought I’d have such strong feelings for tiny, donut-shaped stickers but I just love these little guys.

It’s so frustrating when a child puts their heart and soul into a detailed notebooking page only to have it torn out of their binder by a sibling. Or worse yet, on more than one occasion, my kids have dropped a binder rendering the holes of many pages useless all at once.

Never fear… hole reinforcement labels are here!!

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How to Make a History Timeline

how to make a history timeline fold-out pages

Well, it’s about time!

After years of historical knowledge going in one ear and out the other, I’ve finally found a system for learning and retaining history that works for me (and my kids, too)!

One of the key elements of this system is making timelines. (The other elements that work for us, notebooking and using chronological curricula, will be addressed in future posts).

I believe one of the main reasons I disliked and couldn’t retain history was because I’m an “overall picture” kind of gal and I had never been given the big picture of history – only out-of-order chunks. I memorized names and dates for tests and filled in the blanks on my worksheets and even did fun projects. But, to my frustration (as a child) and embarrassment (as an adult), I retained very little information about the history of our world.

I don’t even like playing Trivial Pursuit for fear that my historical ignorance will be exposed! 

(oops… the truth is out now)

Thankfully, the history curricula that we’ve used so far (Tapestry of Grace Primer and Story of the World) have both suggested creating timelines to keep track of historical people and events. 

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Spotlight on School Supplies: Colored Index Cards

spotlight on school supplies colored index cards

Bright, Edgy and Surprisingly Useful

I never expected to use colored index cards – or any index cards for that matter – in our homeschool. I bought some in a weak moment as I drooled walked down the aisles of our local office supply store.

Side note: If you read this blog for any length of time you’ll probably notice my fondness for office supplies. I’m not ashamed.  I’ll shout it from the rooftops…. “I LOVE OFFICE SUPPLIES!!!”  So many options! So many ways to be organized! So much potential in every package! 

*happy sigh*

Sorry, where was I? 

Oh. Right. Colored index cards. 

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Spotlight on School Supplies: Magnetic Whiteboard

spotlight on school supplies magnetic whiteboard background with markers and eraser

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Never Bored with Your Board

My apologies to any chalkboard aficionados out there, but now that we’ve used whiteboards I’ll never go back to chalkboards. Just imagine…..

  • No chalk-covered toddlers
  • No chalk dust in the air and in the carpet
  • No ear-piercing, goose-bump-causing SKREEEEEECH from wandering nails

*shudder*

Don’t get me wrong – I like a cute & trendy menu chalkboard in the kitchen just as much as the next Pinterest-perusing mom.  And, of course, chalk still has its place for some activities (that place being outside). But for our day-to-day schoolwork we needed a different solution.

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Spotlight on School Supplies: Laminator

spotlight on homeschool supplies laminator with laminated printable

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Melting Hearts of Homeschool Moms Everywhere

One of the first memories I have of my early homeschool research is reading a handful of homeschooler’s blogs and noticing the deep affection they all had for their laminators. 

I recall thinking this was strange.  

Yet now, here I am adding my voice to the chorus of homeschool moms singing an Ode to My Laminator. 

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