Circle Time

Every morning I get up and get things going, then the kids get up and the craziness begins. Lots of playing, running, shouting, car and plane sounds, and just general bedlam. As homeschoolers there’s usually no big transition like waiting for a bus or driving to school, followed by putting your coats and back packsaway, greeting friends, and heading to your seats. My kids are just running around in their pajamas and then suddenly expected to be in school mode.

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I know lots of people who have told me they just fit school things in whenever, but I’m pretty traditional in my approach. I like to have a time dedicated to school work. In order to make a transition from play to work I use circle time! Circle time is what I have found to be my greatest tool to get the ducks all in a row.

We begin each circle time in song, first the alphabet and then the circle time songs for the day provided by Mother Goose Time. After songs we discuss the date, day of the week, weather, and count…sometimes by 2,5,10… you get it. We then discuss the theme of the day another gift from Mother Goose Time! We then read a story, I try to match a book for the day to the theme, MGT provides book suggestions, but I cannot always find them at our library. Finally, for our closing we do an activity suggested by MGT, sometimes it’s a craft, game, or a reading activity.

Let’s take  a closer look-

 

You can see how The Mother Goose Time teacher guide encouraged us to discuss the letter Z and sing the Zebra song, we read a book about giraffes this day because we didn’t have a zebra book, we then did the Zebra art activity and made stripes on the Zebra cut outs. The guide is so helpful and gives me new material every day without having to worry or frantically search for a new song, they even provide a cd each month!

Circle time is a great time for all of us to sit together and make a smooth transition into school mode, even if we are in our pjs! 😄

s

 

*As an MGT blogger I receive compensation for my posts.*

 

The joy and NEED of pre-made

Over the Summer we started receiving Mother Goose Time kits and I’ve been chatting about them ever since! I’m proud to be a MGT Blogger and blessed to receive the kits as compensation. In our life we need them!

Right now I am homeschooling kindergarten and pre-k. We follow a curriculum for my kindergartener, in February he will become a k/1st grader! We have other things to think about too! We hope to keep up and work on having more of a farm up here, I have a pretty strict cleaning routine, I was working on a Homeschool co-op which I’ve helped evolve into a homeschool program with a local library, the boys have outside activities they participate in, I occasionally take crochet/knitting orders from those I know, and sometimes I like to sit. 😊

So, routine is key! When I say routine is key I don’t mean things occur at a specific time! I used to think that was the way it had to be, but since I started homeschooling I’ve learned that’s not true. By routine I mean that there are things that need to get done and in a suggested order…so maybe more of a list than a routine ??? Needless to say, things get busy and hectic and sometimes involve tears or laughs, laughs are preferred! 😉

Our routine goes something like this-

  • Go out and take care of the animals
  • make breakfast
  • start laundry
  • shower- for the kids get up, play, and eat breakfast
  • make beds and clean up- more play time
  • crazy time- outside, run around, bounce in the bounce, pogo sticks…. Whatever it is it’s something to get some energy out
  • school
  • lunch
  • laundry/cleaning time
  • cooking
  • errands, activities?
  • Make dinner
  • take care of animals
  • play/ games/watch tv
  • tubs
  • bed for the kids
  • clean, craft, blog, respond to emails, look at puppies online, plan vacations and FOLD

on Fridays we don’t have school and they go to co-op instead.

This is more or less our current routine, it will change when Spring hits and the weather is better, but for now this is pretty much it. The kids play a ton and we get some stuff done. I am someone who needs a list to keep me up and going and routine is so important for kids! They need to know what’s ahead and have confidence in their parents to guide them.

Homeschool planning takes loads of time if you let it. Right now I have it pretty easy with having little guys. In the future I will have a lot more on my hands and I’m okay with that, but I’ll still take any help I can get! This is where the pre-made comes in! I am a proud Mother Goose mommy! Mother Goose time lightens my load and keeps us all in smiles!

Each month I get a completely prepared curriculum that I can use for both boys. Mr.M does the fun crafts and games and Mr.R does the crafts, games, and all the preschool aged activities to help him learn and develop in an age appropriate manner. I don’t have to worry about collecting materials for 20+ crafts for the month, they’re all right there and the correct amount…I don’t need to have a ton of a really random craft thing laying around-bonus! They even provide me with materials for my classroom board, I will miss this so much when my guys outgrow MGT!

Mother Goose time is such a time saver for me as I slowly dip my toes in the pool of homeschooling. For now I only have to plan for one dude, until I master that skill (as if that will ever happen) I will rely on Mother Goose Time to plan for my little guy!

For more information on Mother Goose Time click their name! Don’t forget you can get a sample lesson!

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S

 

*I belong to the Mother Goose Time blogger community and receive compensation for my posts*

The laundry life

My “day in the life of” post will not be as planned! I made it a few hours before pictures stopped happening, then I got a few more and then I forgot again! Boooo. Now that I’ve actually looked at my pictures I realize they all revolve around LAUNDRY!

Picking up laundry, doing laundry, putting laundry away. Sometimes it feels like my life revolves around laundry and cleaning and you know what?! I don’t mind!

There are two reasons I don’t mind

  1. I know it won’t last forever. One day the two little mess makers will no longer live here, if I raise them right they’ll be doing their own laundry in their own homes, but for now I’ll keep washing and wiping.
  2. People will boo me for this one, I like cleaning! Cleaning is one of my favorite hobbies! I absolutely hate the post that circulates, you know the about kids making memories. My kids are memories too and their toes aren’t stuck to the floor! I know their are situations and households were keeping a tidy household is difficult, I get that, but it often feels like neat freaks are constantly blasted. I like cleaning and I like the end result more than crochet, more than knitting, more than painting. My name is Sarah and I like to clean!

Maybe I’ll give the day in the life of post another try one day soon, until then I’ll do some laundry! 😜

 

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Goal #1

A few weeks back I discussed my hesitation to share my New Year’s resolutions and goals, but today I’ll share my first and the rest can slowly trickle in!

Goal #1 Develop more homesteader skills and habits/ become more self sufficient.

In 2015 I decided I really wanted to become a homesteader, but old habits die hard, really really hard! I started to make some changes…let’s look at some Instagram snippets 😄 and by snippets, I mean screen shots!

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In the late Spring I started hanging all our clothes on the line. It saved us quite a bit of money and made our clothes smell lovely. A whole Spring, Summer, and Fall of drying clothes outdoors was great! I even hung stuff out on our porch the day after Christmas because it was so warm! Now that the cold weather has hit we use the dryer or hang what we can on an indoor drying rack. I would like a larger rack, but I don’t see that happening right now.

In the Summer you may have followed me when I turned old sweaters into pillow covers and boot cuffs. I hate to admit it, but after the holidays I was sick of the pillow covers and I only used the boot cuffs at a community Holiday party, but I do think I’ll wear them again!

We make all of our own bread and baked goods, we use eggs from our chickens, buy local milk, and I have grand plans for lots of gardens in the Spring and Summer. I do little things that work for us, I dye my own hair, do my own nails, and other silly things. This year I hope to make some bigger changes though, with the gardens and hopefully with the way we shop which will hopefully be cut back majorly! Almost two years ago now I decided to try and give experiences for gifts, but over the past few months it’s become experiences + gifts, so it pretty much defeated the purpose. Hopefully the majority of actual gifts I give will be homemade.

This year I hope to develop more habits that lead to a self-sufficient life. I hope to consume less and get out more! So who has some tips on where the heck to start?! I want to be a homesteader!

 

I’m a huge fan of Mavis over at One Hundred Dollars a Month Mom so if you want to join me in stalking her for ideas head over there! Let’s bring back bartering people! 😜

 

s

 

Chicken Broth

Yesterday I cooked a whole chicken in the crockpot. I used my favorite rub- sugar, paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder). It was delicious as always! Before starting it I thought that it would be great to make a broth for soup later in the week, a broth that wouldn’t contain ALL the EXTRA things that come from store bought broth. (In my mind I will become a glorious homesteader! 😜)

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Here’s a quick and easy way to make your own homemade and super tasty chicken broth!

-Start with a whole chicken, get it ready like you would to roast it (wash or use lemon as an antiseptic and apply rub)

-Make aluminum foil balls and place them at the bottom of the crockpot. Place chicken on top.

-Cook your chicken like always, I like 6-8 hours on low.

– After chicken is cooked remove it and the aluminum balls, leave remaining liquid in the crockpot.

-Take all the meat off the chicken and put the bones and carcass back in the crockpot.

– Add 1 chopped onion, 2 chopped celery stalks, 2 chopped carrots, 4 cups water, and season with salt.

-Cook on high over night.

-Let the broth cool and strain it. Toss the veggies and carcass.

 

Enjoy your beautiful broth!

 

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Celebration of Peace

First, I have no pictures for this post because I used this wonderful MGT addition with other people’s children, therefore I do not have permission to snap away! So… On Friday I brought Mother Goose Time’s Celebration of Peace to our homeschool co-op, it really was such a wonderful addition to our group!

The kit contained invitations, a sign in sheet, hints for snacks and songs,  a yoga game, a matching game, a calendar with an art activity, and a brief history of Martin Luther King. It was great to educate the children about MLK Jr on his birthday. We spoke about peace, unity, equality, and acceptance. The kids really enjoyed the yoga game too! Even with so many children they still managed to have fun and not get hurt.

I always enjoy the wonderful holiday celebration kits Mother Goose Time provided! Such a help and always fun!

 

S

 

*This is a sponsored post*

Seedles

It may be the middle of January and Vermont may be covered in an icy white wonderland, but I’m already thinking about growing things! If you know me than you know my mother has passed down her love of gardening! Every year at this time, when seed catalogs start pouring into mailboxes, my mother and I get excited. We are hopeful for a season that still seems so farrrrr away.

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We may be planning our gardens and crops, but thanks to the people at Seedles I know one garden area that will be perfect and simple! Seedles are magical little rainbow colored seedbombs. They have several different types including regional wildflowers and herbs. Seedles contain nothing more than red clay, organic compost, Non-GMO Wildflower seeds & magic. 😄 This is the perfect product for even the blackest of thumbs! It doesn’t get much easier than dropping a handful of rainbows and a sprinkle of water.

I’m excited to know that I will have a beautiful view out my window this summer and I’m even more enthusiastic about helping bees at the same time. While you’re growing your beautiful and effortless garden you will be providing food to promote the growth of the declining bee population. Awesome!

To find out more and order your own visit Growtherainbow.com today!

Check out this completely mesmerizing video about the company on YouTube today!

I’m so excited and I will definitely follow up with more on how they grow when it’s warmer!

S

 

*I was compensated for this post in the form of product from the wonderful people at Seedles*

 

Week one is in the books ✔️

Happy, happy New year! I have so many new readers this week, welcome all!

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First of all, let me say I’m sitting in the middle of a messy living room, watching ‘Lip Sync Battle’. Love it! Channing Tatum as Elsa 👏🏻 I need it today! This has been a long week!

This was our first week back at our school routine after a two and half week break. Monday was great, Mr.M was motivated, but as the week went on and we were trapped inside for a couple days because of super low temps it started to get a little crazy. In the end we met new friends, prayed for old ones, bounced a TON, went snow shoeing, sledding, painted and learned.

My kid loves math and he’s great at it! Totally the opposite of me. Mr.M will be starting first grade math in February. I hadn’t really understood how homeschoolers could say their kids were in 3rd-5th grade all at once, but now I do! It’s crazy how when given the opportunity to learn how you naturally do, you are given the chance to direct your education and really shine. Homeschooling can be difficult, but it is totally worth all the small struggles!

One of the highlights of our week was our Mother Goose Time kit! It could not be more appropriately themed for us! I have to say, we enjoyed are circle time more than we have with other themes. My guys just love all the circle songs about animals and travel. More than anything my sons enjoyed the Passport day! The passport stamping game was unbelievable popular in our house. My parents were even forced to play and stamp passports while welcoming the kids to new countries when they came over for dinner. Mr.M loves learning about other countries and Mr.R was really stuck on loving Australia. I really look forward to our next week with Mother Goose Time, when we start learning about individual safari animals!

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S

 

 

*This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links*

 

Mother Goose Time- January 2016!

I’m so excited for this month’s box! This month’s box is “Going on Safari” and it couldn’t be better timing for us! This box looks so fun. I just love receiving a months worth of activities and crafts planned out for me. Hey some days I just draw a blank or can’t bring myself to bring out the “Tinkerlab” book.

Let’s take a look at this month’s box!

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We received some really great stuff! This includes manipulative of shape beads to string and colorful safari animals. A Scholastic book was even included in one of the days! My favorite part of this kit was definitely the extras kit for a “Celebration of Peace” this included ideas for snacks and music, a yoga game and matching game supplies, and information about Martin Luther King. This will be great to do with our co-op.

I’m excited to update our classroom board with our regularly monthly supplies and poster.

This kit looks great! I can’t wait to get a start on our 2016 learning together!

 

S

 

Don’t be the “Mommy of Defeat”

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As I sat here writing my New Year’s Goals and resolutions, I started wondering whether or not to share them with others. I’m currently reading “Living Well, Spending Less” and in it Ruth Soukup, encourages people to share their goals so that you feel that you’re being held accountable. I think that’s a great idea, but then I had that horrible icky feeling of being judged and brought down by others.

My goals for the year are nothing crazy; they’re actually quite basic. But goals and plans I have shared with others in the past were similar, and they were still met by a “mommy of defeat”. Yes, that’s what I will call them from now on and by “them” I know that includes me at one time or another. I think we all know someone or a few someones who for what seems like no reason at all like to come down on us and make us feel hopeless and somewhat judged. I remember when I was planning our first trip to Disney World. At the time we had a child that would turn three during the trip and a nine month old. I had a friend tell me all the reasons why it was a bad idea and how much fun I would not be having. Every precautionary effort made was met with a what felt like a phony-smug “good luck” that also felt like it was followed by an iPhone drop, you know, like a mic drop. At this point I will add that conversations should not really take place on Facebook, it’s never good! Now, I don’t know what was going on in her life at the time that wasn’t shared or if maybe that person really wanted the opportunity to be planning the same trip but couldn’t at that time, but whatever the motive it hurt and caused stress.

That same scenario has played out many times. Sometimes it happens with someone you know, sometimes by the bored people you don’t know hiding behind their iPhones or iPads. For the New Year I ask you to choose not to be the mommy of defeat! This world is tough enough and ugly enough as it is…then throw in making decisions to mold a squishy little person’s life and it becomes harder. I burden myself with enough guilt and worry as it is. This year lets work on helping each other!  Let’s make the decision that instead of “that didn’t work for me, so you’ll fail too” you will say “hey I sucked at that, but reflecting I think if I threw in this or took the right instead of left it would’ve gone better”. Let’s work on genuine “good lucks!”

I recently had a conversation with a friend with some very ambitious dreams. You know, dreams that made me feel tired (most things do 😉). After I said “that’s a lot at once” I started to panic! I didn’t want to be her mommy of defeat! I had just done a few of those things one at a time and barely survived. I genuinely meant that it was a lot at once and I genuinely want her to reach her goals. So now I’m totally hoping to sit down and talk about her goals and help her when I can. (I think the person who I’m talking about reads my blog, so yeah, you!)

So here I go, one final plea for a softer, less judgemental, less anger and jealousy-filled year. More mommy friends, less frenemies. We all mess up sometimes, but let’s make the goal to suck less and be better people. Let’s have less “iPhone drops”!

p.s. The Disney trip was super fun! Plan ahead though, ladies!

 

S