Things to Entertain my Boys at Great-Grandma’s House

We’re headed to California next week to take care of my grandmother as she recovers from back surgery.  Recovery and two young children don’t always go hand-in-hand.  That said, my two boys are so excited about going and helping and spending time with their Great-Grandmother, that I’m hoping it’ll be a wonderful experience for all of us.

 

In order to keep my boys entertained during times when my grandma needs quiet over the next couple weeks, I picked up a few activity books from our favorite local bookstore. … Continue reading

My Homemade Calendar Notebook

My Homemade Calendar Notebook
A picture of the type of notebook I use, and a picture of two pages within my particular calendar notebook. The top is a how I structure my weekly view pages. The bottom image is my year-at-a-glance page (the key to the numbers is on the following page).

For two years now, I have made my own calendar notebook, which doubles as a journal/planner. … Continue reading

Family Game Night: Mole Rats in Space Cooperative Game

We like to play games in our family.  Board games, card games, outdoor games; we’ll play them all.  And now that my four-year-old is ready to join in the fun, it’s enabled us to take our games a step beyond Slips and Ladders and Candy Land.

 

Cooperative games have been a big hit in our house because, instead of competing with each other, we all work together to win or lose the game. … Continue reading

Little Reminders of Love

Little Reminders of Love
Two pencil holders, one for each of my boys, made by sweet friends of ours.

We homeschool our boys.  Last year, my oldest son took a once-a-week art class.  That was the extent of our formal, every week classes.  This year, he’s taking three classes.  The same once-a-week art class, a nature class, and an all-day enrichment class that covers a variety of topics (robotics being the most exciting part for him).… Continue reading

Learning is Fun: Making Bead Necklaces

My 4-year-old has recently become very interested in necklaces.  He’s always had a bit of interest in my necklaces, but it never really stuck.  Then his big brother bought him a cat necklace at the Artisan Fair where his big brother had a booth, which immediately turned my 4-year-old into an every day necklace wearer.

 

Following the introduction of the cat necklace, we took a family trip to Michigan, where – in addition to lots of family gathering and fun – we cleared out my [deceased] mother-in-law’s belongings in order to donate them to a local women’s shelter.… Continue reading

When a Random Comment Reflects Learning

My four-year-old getting ready to carry the beetle to our garden after his talk with it.

After they find out that we homeschool, people often ask me how I know my kids are learning.  After all, while kids in schools (and even some homeschoolers) take tests, I don’t test my children.  And the answer is, in a myriad of ways.

 

Sometimes I know they’re learning because they demonstrate a skill. … Continue reading

Learning by Doing: Manning a Table at a Local Artisan Fair

My 8-year-old manning his booth at the artisan fair.

Last year, my elder son made a family friend a series of four bead ornaments depicting the life-cycle of a caterpillar (an egg, a caterpillar, a chrysalis, and a butterfly).  She loved them, and suggested that he start a business selling them.  My then 7-year-old leaped on this idea and began to make ornaments to sell.… Continue reading

Edible Fresh Fruit Flag

Last year’s Edible Fresh Fruit Flag, cut and assembled by my [then] 7-year-old.

In case you’re looking for a last-minute, healthy, patriotic dessert idea, it’s hard to go wrong with an edible fresh fruit flag.  It’s essentially a disassembled fruit salad.  It tastes delicious, looks great, and is very easy to make.

 

We began the tradition of making an Edible Fresh Fruit Flag as part of our July 4th celebration two years ago. … Continue reading

Family Game Night: Uno Card Game

I love to play games.  Board games.  Card games.  Strategy games.  Word games.  Puzzle-solving games.  Any of them.  And my boys seem to have inherited that same love.

 

Over the years my 8-year-old has been a fan of a huge number of games, each for their own period of time.  My 4-year-old is just beginning to enjoy game playing with games that aren’t cooperative, meaning everyone works together (Cauldron Quest and Wildcraft are two cooperative games that we enjoy; I’ll review them another time.).… Continue reading

The Pen is Mightier

The Pen is Mightier
My younger son’s note to his big brother.

While my boys generally get along well, like all siblings they sometimes squabble with each other.  The other day when we were cleaning up my [then] three-year-old’s room to prepare for his birthday party, I found the above message on his shelf.  It was clear he had taken the time to write something, but I wasn’t aware that he could spell (let alone write!) words other than his name, and so I wasn’t certain what – if anything – he was trying to communicate. … Continue reading