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! 

ENTER to WIN THE NATIVITY STORY CARDS & THREE WISE MEN PEG DOLLS!!!! 

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 History.com 





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 www.etsy.com/shop/willowandowl 

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:










Wearables:


Percy Jackson Bracelet (stocking stuffer)

Unicorn Wristband Bracelet (stocking stuffer)



Horse Charm Bracelet (stocking stuffer)

Horse Lover Hair Ties (stocking stuffer)

Books:


















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. 


Books






                              
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! 
-Kira 


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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. 
Finally...an 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 www.chalkpastel.com 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. 










Monday, November 5, 2018

Cranberry Relish, A Family Favorite


          I love November. It’s literally one of my favorite months out of the year. As I’ve gotten older, a deep appreciation for the season has blossomed inside of me like the most gorgeous flower. With that blossom also grew my ability to cook. My husband will the be the first one to tell you that I only knew how to cook a box of Kraft Macaroni when we got married. I was really good at boiling water. And following directions. ;) 

          My parents cooked well enough, but our kitchen was super small and Mom didn’t like to cook with people crowding her.  However, she is really good about sharing recipes, and over the years, I’ve collected a plethora of recipes  from my Mother-In-Law as well. Now, I enjoy sharing these family faves with our children and sometimes I let them help! This recipe is a fantastic one for your kids to join in on!! 




      When you start planning your Thanksgiving Menu, do you cringe at the thought of Cranberry Sauce?? I know it has a fair share of people like myself saying “no thanks”.  When my Mother-In-Law lays out the Thanksgiving table, my eye is immediately drawn to the beautiful and festive Cranberry Relish (okay, okay..I have to look past the Turkey Cookies first..). 

       This antique recipe has ultimately replaced cranberry sauce at our Thanksgiving table. It has a fresh and sweet flavor that goes perfectly with your Turkey and fixins’, and tastes just as good the next day, if not better! 
I encourage you to try this flavorful relish dug from the depths of my MIL’s recipe stash! 





Cranberry Relish
from the Keller Family 

Ingredients: 
1 lb of fresh cranberries 
2 Medium Oranges, seeded
2 Medium unpeeled apples, cored
2 Cups of Sugar

Instructions: 
Peel the yellow rind from the oranges, trim off and discard the white parts. 
Put the oranges pulp and yellow rind, cranberries, and apples through a food processor until chunky with a little sauce (you don’t want it pureed). 
Add the sugar, mix well. 
Cover and refrigerate. 
*You can put in glass jars, leaving 1/2” head space, seal and freeze. 
Makes 2 pints. 



You can also find a variation of this recipe all over the internet. If you're feeling creative, try adding lemon zest on top or walnuts for a crunch! 

Next week, I'll share a recipe for our family tradition of making Turkey Cookies!


Friday, November 2, 2018

When Homeschooling is Questioned

           As an adolescent homeschooling family, we often find ourselves reminding family and friends that our children are learning at home. Our family broke the mold for the entire clan. Out of all of mine and my husbands' cousins, we are the only ones to step out and actually homeschool. Funny enough, many of our friends frequently forget and acquaintances are curious and sometimes confused. This may also happen to veteran homeschoolers. 


Recently we fell into a situation where some friends felt that because we homeschool, we are free birds. Free as in, we could stop our schooling, and come volunteer for everything.  I'm sure some people truly do think every person that homeschools', gains an incredible amount of flexibility. When I tried to explain that my children are better with consistency and a schedule, and we don't volunteer for things before noon, you'd think I had committed a crime. Truly.  I knew right away that these people didn't understand (or wanted too) and had developed a mindset that my backing out of an event was deemed unreliable. 

As a homeschool Momma, or Dad, we generally take on this amazing responsibility with serious planning, consideration, and goals in mind. You are going into the homeschooling idea of being more.  Sure, you might enjoy a quick run out while the older kids continue their work, or you might be able plan those doctor appointments easier. There is flexibility. However, that flexibility is for you and your children. It isn't for the world. It isn't for others to assume you can get up at 5:30 in the morning to go sit somewhere for a few hours to be a support figure.  Your family will ALWAYS come first. You already have these little people to be a support figure for, so outside requests can and should be carefully thought over. 

After that incredibly frustrating discussion about putting my family first, a sweet friend reached out and reminded me that no matter how much I wanted to help in that venture, it was quite possible I was just put there for one reason. She sent me this quote from Martin Luther King Jr. and it spoke to me from the depths of my soul. I was gently reminded to follow my heart no matter what. 

“When you discover what you will be in your life, set out to do it as if God Almighty called you at this particular moment in history to do it. don’t just set out to do a good job. Set out to do such a good job that the living, the dead or the unborn couldn’t do it any better.
If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Leontyne Price sings before the Metropolitan Opera. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well. If you can’t be a pine at the top of the hill, be a shrub in the valley. Be be the best little shrub on the side of the hill.
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.”
Martin Luther King Jr., to students in Philadelphia, in 1967.

From one homeschooling parent to another-  you have the right to stand down, to focus on your family above other obligations, volunteer positions, or outside engagements. I did. Sometimes it can be too much to juggle anyway.  Even if your heart is in the right place, we have to check our plates and do our absolute best not to fill them up like that Thanksgiving plate. ;)  It's okay to back away for a little bit or entirely. 


If there's one thing I've discovered, it is how incredibly supporting the homeschool community is. Even on social media, where we compare and contrast our homeschool lessons, experiments, stories, and all, there is a large gathering of this community that are purely inspiring.  We are not alone in this journey. This reformation of education is ours and I find myself quoting another Martin Luther.. 
"Here I Stand"

*Special Thanks to my friend Megan for sharing her quotes. I felt they should be shared for others as well. :)

Mayflower and Pilgrim Unit Study

Could you imagine giving up the life you had known for something entirely different? An adventure that turns into a grueling and des...