Tinker Crates and Doodle Crates

Recently, at the high recommendation of a friend (and thanks to her $10 off link) I purchased both a Tinker Crate and Doodle Crate for my daughter.  We were both quite excited when these boxes came in the mail:

We have started on Doodle Crate, which is the paper bowels, but have not finished those yet.

However, my daughter (with a little help from dad- which in all honestly she probably didn’t need), worked hard to put together her crane from her Tinker Crate.

crane 1

And this was the end result:


This offered a few great lessons.  First, following directions for a project on her own without much help- and it took about 45 minutes for her to put it together.  The directions were kid friendly.  Second, STEM.  Finally, it has entertained her the better part of two days now.

Kiwi Crate offers boxes for all ages of children and is a monthly subscription service (so be sure to cancel if you no longer want to receive it).  Follow my link below for $10 off your first order: http://www.kiwicrate.com/Refer?i=HollyH107

We are excited to receive next month’s boxes!

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Learning through gardening…


One of my favorite summer activities is gardening.  (Yes, we do take a summer break.)  I started my plants a while back (with the help of my daughter) and my daughter and I have enjoyed watching the plants grow, talking about how they grow, planning our garden, etc.  She also takes gardening as a 4-H project, so I’m thrilled to have her help and involvement.

Gardening is a great real life horticulture lesson.  It’s not a planned lesson or activity (except for what she is required to plan for her 4-H project), but she certainly is learning.  Maybe you do not garden, but have another hobby as a homeschool parent.  Is there something your child could learn from you by participating in your hobby?

A helpful geography book…


Thanks to the recommendation of a friend, I have found this book helpful when learning about new places in geography.  It gives the student a taste of culture, while telling how one can pray for different places in the world.

You can find this book here:  http://amzn.to/2mgSuos

Do you have a suggestion for a good book that goes along with geography?

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Your student and your job…

One unique thing about homeschooling and working outside the home is that it gives your student(s) a chance to experience a part of our life they otherwise may not.  While I do not make it a habit, my child has gone to work with me on occasion in the past (and did some school work while there).

However, not only does she see what I do each day, but because of other work related activities she has had the chance to meet many community leaders.  She’s been to more than one meeting of the civic club of which I am a member.  I take her to community events and try to let her at least experience what it is like to serve others in a work related environment.

Even if you do not work outside the home, I bet you know someone who is a part of a civic club that would be glad to allow your child to visit one time with them.    Or know someone who would be glad to allow your child to visit their office for a few hours or even a day.

This experience also allows my child to understand a little more in depth if she asks about my day.  The beauty of homeschooling is the real word experiences it often offers.  In this case, I can give my daughter a taste of the business world or community service on occasion.  Are there ways you can look to do this with your child?

Homeschooling, working and cleaning the house. My top 5 tips.

When you work outside the home there are times when the family schedule can be messy- and then the house will fall into that category too.  Add in setting aside time to homeschool and finding time to clean can be a chore.

Here are 5 things that help me (attempt) to maintain a pick up home:

5.  I keep my cleaning supply list simple.  I use E-Cloth (a microfiber cloth that requires water only) and keep this- http://amzn.to/2mIOsRV -all purpose cleaner on hand.  I also keep a toilet cleaner.

4.  I try to clean one room each day, though on the weekend I sometimes clean the entire house at one time- if time allows.  I find it easiest to clean before the rest of my crew is awake for the day

3.  We try to do a quick pick up before leaving each morning and going to bed each night.  (Try is a key word.)

2.  Continually work to find a cleaning schedule that works for you.  I’m still not in love with mine and am trying to find a way to make it work better.

1. Give yourself grace.  There are days I’m not sure I get much done but a quick pick up.  Getting our lessons done for the day will always trump any deep cleaning.  Work to find a schedule that works with your job, homeschool schedule and family.

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Quick Cake Mix Cookies

If you are like me, you are sometimes asked to bake something for an event.  (I have four different things I’m doing that for this weekend alone.)  You wonder how in the world you will juggle your job, homeschool and everything else you need to do.

This recipe is quick and easy (and yummy)!  It takes me less than 10 minutes to mix up two batches.


Cake Mix Cookies:

-Box of cake mix of your choice, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of oil

Mix together and drop cookies on baking sheet.  Bake at 375 for 7-10 minutes until done.

Do you have a quick and easy recipe to share?




How I save time on shopping.

I have been receiving lots of questions about my schedule, as I wrote earlier this week.  How I save time on shopping has been a topic mentioned to me a few times lately.  Let me be the first to say, I do not have all the answers.

What I’m telling you works for me and my family at this stage of life.  This may or may not work for you, but if you keep searching, I am guessing you will find something that works.

Most of our common household items show up at my house on a monthly basis courtesy of Amazon’s Subscribe and Save Program.  I also have Amazon Prime for those times when we need something in a few days or I don’t have time to make the hour trip to the nearest larger city to get something not available in our rural area.

Once a week, I try to make it in the store for items we need to buy fresh and other items I may not be able or want to purchase on Amazon.

Have you tried Amazon Prime?  You can get a 30 day free trial here.

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