Friday, December 21, 2018

The Home Educator's Christmas Break Checklist

This post contains amazon affiliate links for your convenience. 

It's Christmas Break, and you are a Homeschool Mom, Dad or Educator.  This might seem like a blatant observation, but those titles carry a lot of responsibility, and the holiday vacation is really a time to catch up, re-organize, and gather your plans for the next semester. 

Ha! What vacation?!  

I homeschool a child in each level. For my elementary child, we aren't changing anything. She will continue her lessons the same way. For my middle and high school kiddos, we have to change up some elective classes, finish grading papers, and adjust our schedules a little. 

Chances are, you may be doing the same thing we are!  

Here is our holiday break checklist to getting reset for the new semester: 

1) Allow your child a few days to catch up on missing assignments. 

2) Grade Papers, & Enter Grades if necessary.

3) File away art work, clean out old projects, organize your desk. 

4) Lesson Plan- this will vary on your grade/level. For my family, this includes switching out curriculum, adding new lessons, and updating transcripts. 

5) Sanitize school spaces (deep clean, straighten). 

6) Prepare items for use in upcoming lessons. 

7) Refresh your calendar(s). This may require a flip calendar, or planner..whichever way you prefer. 

8) Get some rest. Don't forget the most important part. 

Don't forget your ME TIME!

Sometimes the season can be stressful, whether it's in preparation for the biggest holiday of the year, or finishing up classes, etc.  It's always a good thing to take some time for yourself, or learn how to schedule it in. We have made a big commitment to our family...but we need some ways to decompress, rest our minds, or let out some energy. 

Try one of these new kind of planners for helping you start a new goal, or achieve some creative release! 

Journal Me Organized The complete guide to practical and creative planning.

Crossroads - Find and Follow your Passion.. a guide. 

Make Art Everyday (An instructive guide to making art with various methods!) 

Draw Your Day: An Inspiring Guide to Keeping a Sketch Journal -features information on materials, creative inspiration and instruction, prompts, and helpful tips and tricks.

The Wildflower's Workbook: A Journal for Self-Discovery in Nature (Basically a Nature Journal for Moms) 

100 Days of Bible Promises- A Devotional Journal 

My Prayer Journal Highly requested by homeschool moms, this inexpensive journal is the perfect little book to write down prayers! 

I hope these suggestions help you find a new way to brighten your days for the remainder of the school year! You are always welcome to comment and share tips that have helped you! :) 

Best wishes this Christmas and New Year! 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

It's Time for Christmas School!

Christmas School, What is it and How do we do it??

Christmas School is essentially a combination of lessons or plans put together to give your children the History, the Reason, and the Joy of Christmas.  

We initially began planning our December Morning Basket with books and games in mind. At some point though, I was directed to Advent studies and found a whole plethora of ideas! Quite honestly, I'm still finding them.  It got pretty messy on my desk, so I created a Christmas Binder to put each packet in and make it easy for our Morning Christmas School. You can grab a Free Printable Cover below!

Our Schedule: 
(I don't set times as I have teens, and that's tricky)

On the First day, we read the History of Christmas from Homeschool in the Woods. 
8am (ish) We start with our Advent Morning Time Plans from Pam Barnhill.  Sometimes I have to remove or replace items for the age of my kiddos.  This includes memory work, poetry, music, and art. 
Next we move on to a small lesson from our Free Focus on the Family Advent Plans. It gives the kids coloring or busy work while I read. 
Then we read our daily poem from Christmas in Copenhagen. (Also Free)
Then I begin our Squilt Music Study. We are using the Christmas Carols Vol. 1 right now. 

My extra plans include Truth in the Tinsel (some projects are kind of young for my children), Chalk Pastel Christmas Videos for Art, and we have just added a daily devotional for our Shepherd on the Search. 

Get your own Free Printable Christmas School Cover!

To See Our Complete Morning Basket List,
Click Here.  May include amazon affiliate links for your convenience. 

You can do as much or as little as you see fit. I tried not to buy everything out there, and some of them can be time consuming. Our whole morning of Christmas School takes about an hour and half, then they move on to core subjects and electives. If you have little ones, you can use more of the Pam Barnhill plans that include Math! 

Please comment below with any thoughts! :) 

Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Free Homeschool Gifts

Know someone that could use this? Please share!

We all love goodies and great deals that save money! 
This season... Get connected to A LOT of Freebies! 

Have I got your attention yet?? It is the holiday season and we are all over the place either shopping or DIY-ing it up for gift giving, but take a deep breath and slow down. These deals are meant for the homeschool Momma who is really wanting to get something for FREE and be able to use it with her kiddos. 

Step 1: Click Here for a Trip to A Better Way to Homeschool 

Step 2: Sign up for the Daily Freebies so you don't miss out!

Step 3: There's a Giveaway!!!!  Over $100 value! >> Visit Here, and Scroll Down <<< 
Last Day to Enter is 12/4!!!!


Are you looking for new additions to your Morning Basket or Advent studies?? I've got just the thing and it doesn't take up too much space! 

Don't forget to check out the sweet Peg Dolls as well! 


Here's How: 
Hop over to Instagram 
Follow @WillowandOwlToys
 And finish the entry rules under the Giveaway Pic! 
Good Luck! 
Last Day to Enter is November 30th!

Have you seen these FREE Printable Christmas Poems?

A friend has posted these on Instagram as part of a DIY Advent Calendar! One Poem a day! It was so cute how she rolled each one up and clipped it on a numbered clothespin! I'm not sure how we will use ours yet, but very excited about them! 

Visit HERE to get Yours! 

If your looking for writing 'inspo', our very own Free Winter Journaling Pages pair well with Christmas stories! 

You can get those right HERE

Free Advent Calendar from Focus on the Family

Click on the image to get there. 

FREE Christmas DVD from Learn Our History 
I just ordered mine!! Order your's at Learn Our 

We will continue to add cool Holiday freebies as we find them! Please keep checking back! :) 

Wishing you the best! 

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Winter Journaling Pages

'Tis the Season for Giving! Free Christmas/Winter Journaling Pages! 

Have you seen the book, The Tomten? Or noticed the cute new little Gnome ornaments at Target?  I don't know about you, but ever since Frozen came out, I've been in love with Scandinavian styles around this time of year. 

These journaling pages are inspired by the Tomten and Arctic Animals. You'll find some for older children, and a some for younger children too! 

➨If you're looking for other Tomten or Arctic accessories, checkout my December Morning Basket page for FUN Add-Ons!! 

Why is Journaling important? Journaling helps children retain information. It is a big skill that typically begins in Kindergarten, as drawing things they've learned about. Not only are children writing down what they learned (helps information stay in their memory), but it also improves their writing skills.  

Here are some great ways to use these journaling pages: 
1)  Use them for a "book report"...but don't call it that, you will get a dirty look. 
Ask your child to write down or draw their favorite characters, or scene from a book you recently read to them.
2) Use them with Story Cubes or Story Builders. Have your child create a short story!
3) Create a mini book! Make a few copies or combine with other pages to make a fun Winter theme book! 
4) Change up your daily spelling or letter/word practice with these pages! Sometimes ordinary notebook paper gets boring! 

Get your FREE Winter Theme Journaling Pages HERE! 

⇩Download Them Right Here⇩


NEW in the Etsy Shop ⇩⇩ Arctic Animal Anatomy Pages!!

If you're looking for more Christmas Printable's, please visit my shop at 

for Nutcracker Story Cards and Nativity Story Cards!

    I hope you enjoy the Journaling pages and other activities as much as my children do! 
Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Holiday Gift Guide for Homeschooled Pre-Teens & Teens

This holiday gift guide includes affiliate links for your convenience. 

Has the Spirit hit you yet??  We are slowly getting there...I will admit, it is getting harder and harder to shop for my kids as they grow up. I mean, I honestly love shopping for toys. It's so easy to find gift guides for young ones, so I figured why not consult with a few friends and get some really unique ideas for the Pre-Teen - Teenager range!

In this gift guide, you'll find a mix of boy and girl ideas and a wide range of price variations because not everyone plans the same way!  Shopping for older children often means spending more on fewer items. However, I've found some great gifts that can appease your budget if you are aiming for traditional gifts. 
If your son is like mine, he is highly motivated by electronics, so you'll find some techie ideas like the Coding Kit, Gaming Headphones, and Nintendo Switch!  For more outdoorsy boys, nature games, and walkie talkies! For the girls, I found the cutest bath bomb maker set, string art, color changing alarm clock, and color changing mugs! Have a few Harry Potter or Percy Jackson fans? Do you have a burgeoning chef?
 Yes, you'll find something for them too! 
Keep scrolling for the complete list!

Easily find what you're looking for by checking the categories below. 

Games & Crafts:

Uno Wilderness  (stocking stuffer)

Techie Gift Ideas:


Percy Jackson Bracelet (stocking stuffer)

Unicorn Wristband Bracelet (stocking stuffer)

Horse Charm Bracelet (stocking stuffer)

Horse Lover Hair Ties (stocking stuffer)


Click HERE for Other Great Gifts 

See the entire list of 70+ items by clicking the link or image --> 

Thank you for allowing me to share my ideas and I wish you a successful and happy shopping season! 

Monday, November 12, 2018

December Morning Basket

Morning Basket
This post contains Amazon Affiliate to better assist you. Also for your shopping enjoyment, Amazon now offers new shipping options.

Since my family started Morning Baskets, we've grown to love them more each week. However, if I'm being honest, I think this next basket will be our favorite! For some reason, we have already snuck in a little Christmas music and have decorations ready to go as soon as Thanksgiving is over. To say that putting together this resource was a lot of fun is kinda of an understatement. 

When I add books to a Morning Basket list, I try to include picture books and chapter books. The list below contains options for 4-12 year olds. 


When sprucing up your Morning Basket, think about hands on materials that can help anxious ones sit still, or fidgeters to keep their hands busy. I have included a few games and toys to help with these kind of kiddos! 

                       Interactive Toys & Games

These Peg Dolls and Homes are available in my shop! Click the images for details!

For a Complete Morning Basket Shopping List, 
---------Click HERE. -------

You'll find Advent Activities like Shepherd on the Search, The Giving Manger, and more! 

I hope you've enjoyed this list and the resources I help provide. If you have suggestions, please let me know. I'm always adding new and fun ideas to the lists! 

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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Our favorite Fall Art lessons!

As an avid crafter and art hoarder lover, it has always been easy for me to include art in our home. 
Even when the kids were little bitty, I would pull out the art supplies and let them create. Not only did it help their motor skills, but it also allowed them to use their creativity. 

I homeschool three kiddos ranging from 8 to 14 and sometimes it's difficult to find an art lesson that can include all of them. When I stumbled upon chalk art, I was quickly impressed. art lesson that doesn't require expensive materials AND engages all of my kiddos! 

First, you need to gather your supplies! 
Here are the items I recommend:

chalk, art, chalks

Grab this FREE E-book!

Ideas for Fall Lessons: 
1. Fall leaves
2. Acorns
3. Pinecones
4. Pumpkins
5. Turkeys
6. Fall trees
7. Cornucopia
8. Indian Corn 
9. Pilgrims
10. Native American Feathers
11. Plimoth Plantation Home
12. Mayflower
13. Apples
14. Owls
15. Pies

You can find inspiration anywhere on the web, but if that doesn't work for you, I suggest checking out for seasonal and themed art videos. They also offer some free videos on their Facebook Page! 

Do you love art supplies as much as I do?? 
Consider these supplies to stay organized and give your older children an edge! 
sketch pads, easel, chalk storage, drawers

You can always supplement the chalk pastels for oil pastels when older children start to feel the chalks are too easy. They can continue using the same videos, just using a different medium. Keep in mind oil pastels require a little more elbow grease when blending, and you may need something more than a damp paper towel to clean up. 

Let's Preserve Their Precious Artwork!

You'll want to get a Spray Fixatif to help keep the chalk/oil pastels in place and avoid damaging other art if it's kept in a portfolio, or hanging from your refrigerator.  Try not to purchase the Workable Fixatif, as it does allow movement with the pastels. 

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. " -Pablo Picasso 

This post contains affiliate links to better assist you. 

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