Homeschool Room Updates

Hey Loves!

So, if you are new here, I am a homeschool mom. This year, I am homeschooling 2 preschoolers. Thus, updates were greatly needed.

The first thing we needed to maximize was space. One of the reasons I chose to homeschool was individualized lesson plans and one-on-one learning. I don’t think you can do that without space to learn. That meant re-organizing what we already had, removing some things and adding a few things (I know adding things doesn’t make sense but go with me).

Removing

Don’t hate me. I got rid of the train table while my children were sleeping. Yes, I waited until they were sound asleep, dismantled it and put in the garage and the immediately gave it away. There was an adjustment period of maybe 12 hours. Why? That’s simple. Valuable real estate. That thing was freaking huge. Plus, the kids didn’t use it properly. Train tracks, trains, cars and whatever else were always flying and my kids would not stop crawling up on to the train table. It was no longer safe…for my sanity, of course. So, off it went. Man, oh man. The joy of that space.

Re-organizing

To start, for me, meant evaluating our space and seeing what works for us. I new our circle time wall and safe space for reading and calm down time worked and worked well. Our art table is very close to the bathroom and that works very well (easy access to handwashing is a must!). What didn’t work was our lack of storage. So, I took the cubby organizer we got from Ikea from its horizontal position and placed it vertically. BAM! Not only did that make the cubbies more effective for children to access their toys, it gave two cubbies AND a shelf to store curricula supplies and supplements. What????

I also moved our world map to a blank wall that was lower, giving my children more visual and physical access.

The cars, trucks, planes, etc. from the train table I placed in storage bins and totes under our bench in the learning room.

Adding

I added a map of the USA (Dollar Tree). Geography and map studies are going to be a big focus for us this year and I wanted constant visuals of this. I also added a small table from Ikea (who doesn’t love Ikea???) in order to have to learn/work spaces for my boys because …frenemies. #thestruggleisreal I also made another art display because double kids equal more art to show off. I thought I was done and then… Target dollar spot got me. I bought two more pocket charts to display our visual schedule and one for WORD WALL. What in the actual world, people???

That’s it! Any suggestions for me? For pics, check out my facebook page! You can also keep up with my (almost) daily ramblings about life.

Love you. Mean it.

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My Lesson Planner

Hey Loves!

Ok-if you are new here, planning is my jam. Planners are my joy. My old friends, nothing new here.

So, this was my first year researching and purchasing a lesson planner for homeschool. The past 2 years, I created our curricula and typed them up as I planned them. With purchasing curriculums and planning for two kids, I needed a planner to stay organized.

Now, I don’t want to delve into the amount of time I spent researching planners because that will just end in a judgment of me but I will say in my research I stumbled across the Scholastic Teacher Inspiration Planner.

Total transparency here, it was the cost that drew me in. Then, I did more research. How were others using this? How functional was it? Is it one of those “you get what you pay for?” deals? I learned that it was very similar to the Erin Condren Lesson Planner and, well, let’s just say in my pre-mom days Erin Condren planners were my world. 

I did know I wanted a little flare with this planner but it also had to be extremely functional. Hold up for at least this school year, and hopefully last on the shelf for following school years.

Armed with my research, I decided to try it. I got in the mail and was pleased before opening it because it was longer than I originally thought. I assumed it would be the length of my day planner. This meant I had more room to write in each subject session.

Opening the planner and reviewing some of the pages, I realized quickly, like I did with just about every other planner, some pages I would not used as-is and, thus, I entered the world of washi-tape and made those pages my own. I also used washi tape to indicate field trips, and days we would not have school.

While I have written in lesson plans up until the end of December, I haven’t finished adding everything to the planner I want. I will share the updates when I have them. Until then, happy planning!

Love you. Mean it.

P.S.- I have since joined some new homeschool Facebook groups and, y’all, my planner game is about to be seriously upgraded.

Dresser Labels

Hey loves!

So, remember my nursery for two post? Well, I can’t stop “improving it”. 
To help a certain dad know where both kids clothes are and to help a certain toddler get himself dressed, I thought labels with the words and photos of the items on the drawers would solve both questions. 
I found these labels online, printed, cut, laminated and cut again. Then I found some vibrant green washi tape from the dollar spot at Target and made a frame around each label. 
They came out pretty cute and nifty as well!


P.s- I also found a black-out curtain on clearest target that matches their room. It’s made nap time so easy. Not to mention, decreased the heat in there significantly. I highly recommend them.  

Mini Masterpieces Art Display

Hey Hey!

So, we are homeschooling, if you couldn’t tell by the 8 million post on the subject and we needed something. It was critical. We couldn’t make it without it. Well, we could but what’s life without some fun drama? 😜
We needed something to display artwork because… I’m not sentimental. I wouldn’t keep it. I may take a picture of it and trash it. Horrible. I know. Feed me to the wolves. I’m not worthy. 
Anywho, I came across this via Pintrest during my middle-of-the-night pregnancy insomnia searches and went to Home Depot 4 hours after I found it. Talk about being inspired, right?
I grabbed a yardstick that 3 people had to help me find for a whopping $.98. 


Now, the paint…I couldn’t decide on a color until I realized I had to go dark to mask the neon orange writing on the yard stick. So, I applied 3 coats of grey acrylic paint. 


I already had clothes pins that I painted white last December but I went over them with two coats of white acrylic paint. I attached the clothes pins with super-strength super glue. Be careful. My phone was stuck to my hands, literally, for a little bit. As for the clothespin locations, I followed the tutorial, I started at 2 inches and then added a clothespin every 4 inches. 
I attached it to the wall with wall mounting tape also following the tutorials instructions. 


Viola! $.98 and about 12 mini. Cheers to more art projects!

Toddler Bag Chronicles

Hey Loves!
 

So, being pregnant has made me realize that my first baby is growing up. Not that I didn’t know before, but it just hits harder now. Anywho, this big boy didn’t need 80% of the stuff I had in our baby bag. I came to this conclusion when I was thinking about the reality of two kids, under two, stroller, carriers and then 2 bags…yeah, no.

So, we pulled out the cutest small back pack we got as a gift. James was so excited about it. We put in the essentials:

 

1. Germ fighters: Thieves spray, disinfect spray and hand sanitizer. I don’t play about germs.

2. Summer necessities: Sun screen and bug spray. (Two words: Florida, Zika)

3. Butt shields: Diapers and wipes

4. Just in case: change of clothes

5. Fuel: Snacks

I also used a gift card and ordered a coordinating lunch box for days when we need more snacks or even a lunch.

 

What’s in your toddler bag?

It’s Christmas Time in The City!

Feliz Navidad, amigos!

I love Christmas. I mean, who doesn’t? Well, at one time, me. We traveled everywhere and it was just a pain. Now, in our home with my little family and our traditions, I’m dancing my socks off I’m so happy.

I got the ball rolling a little early this year thanks to this blog. It really helped me plan and take the stress out of the season. Before Thanksgiving we: had our Christmas Card printed, made a card-recipient list, made and wrapped grandparent gifts, planned gifts for nursery workers, gift exchanges, planned our holiday treats with recipes and made all sorts of lists. Can you say #winning?!?!?!?!

Do you all celebrate Advent? We are getting better about it. It’s important to us to teach our kids the meaning of Christmas and to be reminded ourselves, so we do some scripture reading and bible based activities and some secular ones. I found this great printable to list out our activities and verses.

Need activity Ideas? I GOT YOU! Merry Christmas!

ADVENT ACTIVITY IDEAS

Service project-Someone somewhere very near to you needs some type of help. They are easy to find and willing to accept.

Prayer Day-Because our world needs it

Christmas Music Dance Party- Need I say more?

Library Trip for Christmas Books

Pajama Movie with Friends

Make Christmas Cards

Community Events- Living Nativity’s, Breakfast with Santa and Parades, oh my!

Decorating the tree

The norms-Holiday baking, family movie nights, Christmas Eve service

Christmas Light Hunt-Go around town and see what you can see

2014 Makeover=HIT!

Hey loves!

Hope you had a blast ringing in the new year. I did! I did something new for 2014 that I want to share with you. I got a make-over! Well, my purse did but I promise I look better than I did!

As organized as I am, my purse was a mess and I was ALWAYS digging for things! I could never find things when I needed them and sometimes I would have to carry another tote in addition to my purse for the rest of my stuff. So, I made some much needed adjustments and enhancements.

First, I realized I just need large purses. Clutches and cross-bodies are great for special outings but for day-to-day usage, I need space for all my stuff! So switched from my Betsy Johnson purse to my handy Coach tote. Then I made the following to organize my tote.
1. Business Card Holderr- to hold business and gift card
2. Mint pouch- to hold ginger mints, Altoona, gum and throat lozenges ( yes, I have all on me all the time.)
3. Large zippered pouch to hold all of my cosmetics
4. Tissue case– to hold and protect tissues in case I catch the sniffles.

The great things about a lather bag is that it can hold my planner and tablet-which I also have on me all the time.

The tutorials for everything but the mint pouch are linked.

To make the mint pouch, cut two pieces of the same or coordinating fabric in a small rectangle (or to the size you desire) and put them right-sides together. Sew or hot glue along the two short sides and one long side, leaving an opening at the top. Sew or got glue the salvaged-edges of the opening under to nake a finished look. Then turn inside out. You can add an electric band and button or Velcro to close.

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Organizing and crafting part two.

Hey loves!

I know you all got a kick out my last crafting and organizing tutorial so here is another one. In preparation for spring cleaning, I did A LOT of organizing/discarding before hand so I could focus on the cleaning itself (blog post coming, don’t fret 🙂 one of the things I HAD to organize was the storage in my bathroom where I keep hair products, hair tools, make up and beauty products. You can see the before here of my drawers and the cabinet under my sink. (So sad, I know!)

For the organization under the sink I made a trip to the handy-dandy Dollar Tree and purchased a picture fame, a storage compartment and some candy to keep me going (vegan of course :).

I then went to my craft room and grabbed the glue gun and fabric, I used the last of the black and white polka dot I used on other craft project explained here. I got some picture-hanging hooks from the garage. (Yes, home owners just have that lying around). Then, I got to work.

The first step to organizing is taking inventory of what you own and what is staying or going. That is what I did with the items under my sink. I separated them into hair products, hair tools and beauty products. I threw away what I hadn’t used Ina while; what I wasn’t going to use and what was too old to stay.

With what was left I organized the hair products by category (leave-ins, deep conditioners, moisturizers, etc.) and organized them neatly, making sure they are easily accessible, in a bit I already had.

I took the organizer from the dollar store and did the same (organized, discarded, place neatly, ensuring accessibility,) with beauty products.

For my hair accessories I used the same process I explained when my earring display. Instead of applying wire I applied the hooks normally used to hang wall art and I used those to hang my headbands (organized by style of course) I then got some one-inch wired ribbon and cut two strips about three inches long. You can use more or less depending on the space you have available. I then added my hair bows to the ribbon. (Remember, accesiblility is key. ) I then mounted a walk hook to the inside of a cabinet door and hung the picture frame.

I am thoroughly satisfied!!! This is by far one of the best things I have done.

Now, on to the drawers, I attempted to follow this YouTube tutorial but this was WAY more complex than I required. I am not a make up artist and definitely do not have the space capacity the demonstrator did in the video.

So I separated each drawer on the floor by products type (eye shadow, foundations, brushes, etc. I did this for each drawer- I also have a drawer where I keep my combs, brushes, clips, hair pins and hair ties as well a drawer of hair products (yea, I am a bit of a product junkie).

I then used just half 1 extra -large foam board from Hobby Lobby and measured the length and width of the compartments I would need for maximum accessibility. The Mr. Was a great help during this process 🙂 make sure your measurements are very accurate. I thought mines were, but we has to go back to the board and cuts few more times.

After you have the boards cut for your specific compartments, assemble by simply placing the boards how you see fit (according to the pieces you cut. I did not use any glue or anything like that. The tension between the boards is sufficient. Plus, this gives you the opportunity to move some things around of your collection grows.

I am in love with this as well. I have no idea why I did not so this sooner!

Share, comment and enjoy the visual process

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