12 Months of FREE Printables and Planners to Make Your Life Easier

Have you been enjoying our free gifts that we give to you each month? In addition to the monthly free gift, we are also giving away a FREE printable planner every single month!

When you sign up as an email subscriber you will receive a new planner and printable pack every single month! That is a total of 12 months of planners and printables to make your life as a busy homeschool parent even easier. Each month you will receive an email that explains what is in the planner and printables, with ideas for how to use it for that month.

What’s inside the planners:

You will receive a 4 square planner for that month, with a calendar and free printables that go along with the theme of the month. These are holiday and seasonal themed and will give you ideas that you can do with your family for that month. There are words of encouragement for you as a parent, recipes and homemaking ideas, printables for your children, scripture copywork, holiday activities and so much more!

These are the planners you will receive each month:

January – Planner

February – Fun Ideas & Printables

March – Planner & Printables

April – Planner & Printables

May – Celebrating Mom

June – Making Memories Summer Fun

July – Schedule & Lists – Find Your Passion

August – New Beginnings

September – Reach For the Stars – Child’s Potential

October – Fall Blessings

November – Giving Thanks

December – Ultimate Gift

If you aren’t already a subscriber to our emails you will want to sign up today so you don’t miss these AMAZING freebies for the entire year!

12 months of planners and printables to make your life easier. Sign up HERE to get yours today. Limited time offer.

Kids Say The Funniest Things

Kids Say The Funniest Things | Parents everywhere can attest to the fact that kids say the funniest things! In fact, if you want everyone to know something, tell your toddler. | #blog #homeschoolblog #UHRNetworkKids Say The Funniest Things

Parents everywhere can attest to the fact that kids say the funniest things! In fact, if you want everyone to know something, tell your toddler. Recently my daughter posted the following questions with the answers shared by her four-year-old daughter.

The questions went like this:

  •  What is one thing I say a lot?
  •  What makes me happy?
  • What makes me sad?
  • How tall am I?
  • What is my hobby?
  • What’s my favorite thing to do?
  • What’s my favorite food?
  • What’s my favorite drink?
  • If I could go anywhere, where would I go?
  • Do you think you could live without me?
  • How do I annoy you?
  • What is my favorite book?
  • What’s my favorite TV show?
  • What’s my favorite music to listen to?
  • What is my job?
  • How old am I?
  • What’s my favorite color?
  • How much do you love me?

She thought her mom was 16, her favorite store is the dollar store, her favorite color is white and what makes her happy and sad is when people clean up or don’t clean up! Ah, through the eyes of a little one life seems so simple.

Soon, I will podcast on VintageHomeschoolMoms about topics that are related to relationships, parenting and sibling rivalry. When I look at questions such as these it gives me ideas of devising questions for my family that also can give you insights into what they are really thinking. It is easier to share what is on your heart by answering a list of questions at times than one at a time.

So, how about it? Ask your kids the questions and post the response below. Be sure to post the questions along with the answers.

FREE January Family Time Saving Goals Planner

We have another FREE gift for our subscribers this month, just in time to help you with your New Year’s Goals!

I love the New Year because it is a great way to keep focused on our goals and strive to do better in our lives, with our family and in our homes and homeschools. This month’s theme is on Mind, Body & Spiritual Goals with incremental steps to achieving the highest success possible as busy homeschooling moms. This set has over 50 pages of encouragement, and planning for your faith, family and health!

Included in this printable packet is:

  • Creating Goals Spreadsheet
  • Time Saving Tips
  • Schedules and Planning
  • 4 Square Planner Step-by-Step
  • Grocery Planning Printable
  • Faith, Family and Health
  • Spiritual Growth
  • Bible Memorization
  • Family Relationships
  • Meaningful Family Activities
  • Healthy Substitutes
  • Healthy Meal Planning
  • Printables and Scripture Copywork
  • Journal Pages and much more!

You can download this planning pack by clicking HERE to sign up now!

 

One More Child

One More Child | Having one more child gave us joy. | #podcast #homeschool #homeschoolblog One More Child

I was very happy with my two children. I didn’t think I wanted one more child. After all, I had a boy and a girl wasn’t that the “perfect” number of children? And I had one of each. My husband and I made a decision to limit our family and while this decision was not made in haste, it caused me to pause and think.

Life continued on and we discovered homeschooling. I jumped in with two feet and not only that, I began writing homeschool curriculum and later began a company (Media Angels, Inc.) that owns this podcast network. It was a wonderful time in my life and I enjoyed teaching my two children, exploring with field trips, learning to camp and studying all types of different things.

Yet something was missing.

The Lord was reaching out to me and I finally listened. Our lives grew deepening in faith and love of God. Our lives were not complete and when my husband and I finally had the time to talk, pray and seek God and His will for our lives we finally found peace. Little did I know that “one more child” would become three more children.

I didn’t plan to tell my story but again, God’s plan began to unfold and I wrote a short book with snippets of my life. This book, “One More Child,” is available on Amazon in print and as an eBook on Kindle. If you have Kindle Unlimited it is free. I hope to use this book as a ministry tool to encourage you to seek God’s will for your life. I can attest that the joy that comes truly surpasses all understanding!

Free on Kindle Unlimited

One More Child | Open to God's will in your life? | #Christianbooks

Eating Raw Cookie Dough

Eating Raw Cookie Dough | Just say no, raw cookie dough is dangerous. | #homeschool #blog #cdcwarning #cookiedoughI’ve said this for years! Eating raw cookie dough can make you sick! I remember my kids wanting to snack on the dough as I was allowing them to help me make cookies. I’d take some chocolate chips or raisins and place them in mini-cups for them to snack on, instead of the dough. Why? Call it gut instinct.

I grew up with parents owning several businesses. One was a bakery in New York the other a restaurant in Winter Haven, Florida. My dad was a neat freak! He kept his workplace neat. He had sayings such as, “You want to learn how to cook? Learn how to clean first!” We never ate cookie dough.

Now, the truth is that raw processed white flour and raw eggs can make you sick. The CDC has put out a statement read here, but in a nutshell, the article urges:

  1. Do not eat raw dough — or anything made with raw flour
  2. Do not let kids play with or eat raw dough (kids put their fingers in their mouth!)
  3. Prepare foods at a proper temperature and follow recipe directions.
  4. Do not make milkshakes with raw flour or cake mixes
  5. Do not use the raw dough in ice cream (the ones you buy are cooked to kill harmful bacteria)
  6. Keep raw foods separate from ready to eat foods (flour is a powder and can be airborne and harmful).
  7. Refrigerate raw cookie dough.
  8. Clean up with soap and water — all hands, utensils, bowls, countertops, cutting boards, cookie utensils, etc.

Parents – please be careful! Kids can still frost cookies and help in other ways with decorations.

Here is what I would do:

  1. Purchase organic whenever possible. Not that that in itself is the total answer, but it can help.
  2. Use sprouted organic grain. You can soak the grain overnight – when it begins to sprout dry it in a warm oven. 150 degrees or less. Be sure to heat oven and turn it off before you put in the sprouted grain. Then, grind.
  3. Be sure to keep your baking area clean. Use hot water and soap.

It is a wonderful tradition to bake cookies with your children but safety is first! Have a wonderful time, and be safe!

Best Ever Christmas Printable

This month’s subscriber only freebie is sure to wow you!

I am so excited for this month’s printable packet! This is our biggest one yet with 100 pages! Felice pours her heart out to her readers, with sweet words of encouragement, backed up with scriptures to print out and meditate on. She is chock full practical tips and ideas to help you have the most meaningful Christmas with your family. During the hustle and bustle of the holidays, you are going to enjoy sitting back with a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate to pour over the wonderful words of wisdom and sweet sentiments for this holiday season. There are lots of printable activities to keep your kids busy as well!

Included in this printable packet is something for your whole family:

  • December Ultimate Gift Planning Printables
  • Calendar, National and USA
  • Encouragement Printables for Mom
  • Countdown to Christmas
  • Top 10 DIY Best Gifts to Make with Recipes
  • 4 Square Party Planner – Step-by-step
  • Grocery Planning Printable
  • December Fun Advent Activities
  • Christmas Table Name Tags
  • Printables for Christmas Count Down Scripture Chain
  • Kid’s School Planner for December
  • Wise Men Seek Him
  • Journaling Pages
  • Journaling Notebooking Sheets
  • Scripture Copywork
  • Planning Sheets for Kids

You can download this planning pack by clicking HERE to sign up now!

How to Help Teens Manage Their Studies

Teens are on their way to independence and need to practice self-management skills that will pave the way to success for the rest of life. Managing time, energy and relationships are three skills that teens need to cultivate.How to help teens manage their studies with Homeschool Highschool

Managing Time

Teens rarely think about the scope of a big project. Parents are wise to involve their students as they plan each year of homeschool high school. Setting goals together and agreeing upon reasonable expectations BEFORE the year begins leads to success instead of frustration. Try an approach like Scheduling Backwards (a FREE download from 7SistersHomeschool.comhttp://7sistershomeschool.com/products-page/freebies/scheduling-backwards-5/ ) to get you thinking about the projects in the upcoming year, then plan for them with your teen in advance. Practicing time management together is one way to help teens manage their studies. It makes for less arguing over reminders about deadlines and stops the “crunchtime craziness” before it begins!

Managing Energy

Helping teens learn to set healthy boundaries (protecting sleep time, leaving space for exercise, creativity, friends and fun) while still working hard to reach goals is worth the effort it takes from a homeschool mom. Teens often vacillate between feeling unstoppable and feeling exhausted. While this is a pitfall many of us experience, it is made worse for teens because of fluctuating hormones and a lack of experience in maintaining balance.

Talk to your teens about the cost of an opportunity before they commit to their involvement in it, weighing the pros and cons of the choice to participate or pass. This type of conversation requires some gentleness and good listening on both parts, but it can yield great results in helping teens manage their studies. Discuss the potential impact of time elsewhere on their regular academic work, their special projects like research papers and science lab hours, and their reading list.

Managing Relationships

Teens have more diversity in their relationships than young kids do. There are teachers (mom and dad at home, co-op teachers, online instructors, even professors at the local college), bosses at part-time jobs, mentors (older and wiser, but not in direct authority over them), co-laborers (in a volunteer or church group, where people of many ages may be working side by side), peers (similar age with similar lifestyles), younger folks (siblings, babysitting charges) and more!

Helping teens manage their studies well means helping them learn to manage their varied relationships. What’s the best way to approach a co-op teacher for extra help on a project? How do you respectfully tell a volunteer coordinator that you will be unavailable for a meeting because of school responsibilities? What’s a good way to demonstrate a good work ethic at a part-time job while still keeping your priorities in place regarding your high school education? It helps teens manage their studies when parents help them learn to manage the conflicting demands of different relationships they value.

While it’s helpful to find a good planner to write in, a calendar reminder system that doesn’t irritate parent or teen, and a system of check-ins throughout the year to stay on top of the goals for the year, even more important may be the consideration of time, energy and relationships as you discern how to help teens manage their studies in homeschool high school.

 


If you enjoyed this blog, please check out The Homeschool High School podcast on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network!

Sabrina and Vicki are your Big Sisters as they share the experience they’ve gained in over 20 years of homeschooling. They are the talky-2 of the 6 Sisters at 7SistersHomeschool.com. They are often joined by their other sisters, Kym and Marilyn OR other 7th Sisters! When YOU join us at The Homeschool Highschool Podcast, YOU will be our 7th Sister, too! Hooray!!

Come be our 7th Sister each week for The Homeschool Highschool Podcast, Tuesday mornings at 9:00 am EST!

Top 5 Reasons to include Literature Study in your Homeschool

After teaching literature and writing in many settings for many years, I have concluded there are five important reasons to include literature study in your homeschool for your middle and high school students. #homeschool #curriculumAfter teaching literature and writing in many settings for many years, I have concluded there are five important reasons to include literature study in your homeschool for your middle and high school students. Some benefits are academic while others are more in the personal and character development realm. But, I feel that all of them contribute to a student’s understanding of themselves, their world, and their individual viewpoints. I have them listed here in no particular order because everyone will have their own priorities as to which is most important.

Practice Analyzing World Views

Literature is usually written in the worldview of the author. Occasionally, an author writes a literary piece in a different worldview from his own based on the narrator of the story or to present a different worldview for the reader’s examination and analysis.

You can usually divide worldviews into two categories, Christian and Secular/Humanist. The middle and high school years are the optimum time to have discussions about worldview and your family’s own views. From there, you can have valuable discussions centered around topics that your children encounter when reading different pieces of literature.

For example, dystopian book series have become popular recently and are an excellent opportunity to discuss the events and characters that are included in these stories. As a Christian family you will want to take advantage of the natural discussions about good vs. evil, absolute vs. relative morals, and your family’s beliefs that will arise as you read some of these books.

Older novels are also prime material for practice for your children to apply their worldview filters when reading and deciding where they stand on the issues presented in the story. Examples of these kinds of novels would be Frankenstein, 1984, Brave New World, or Fahrenheit 451. Parents will want to make sure to read these books beforehand to decide if the book is a good fit for your family and prepare themselves for a discussion.

Develop and Practice Higher Order Thinking Skills

Literature study is also a great opportunity to help your children develop and practice using higher order thinking skills. Analyzing the worldview of a novel or story is just one level or kind of thinking skill. There is a list of others from comprehension and knowledge when recalling facts and details about a story to comprehending what an author is trying to say to the reader.

Moving up the hierarchy of skills, your children can practice applying what they know from their own experiences to what they are reading in a story and compare and contrast what they are reading to their own experiences or to events in the story. From here, as they get older and have more practice in analyzing literature, they can begin to have those worldview discussions about specific moral issues in the story and debate the side of their worldview against the author’s point of view or debate both sides of an issue.

The development and the practice of these higher order thinking skills are necessary to children’s development of their own beliefs and the ability to articulate and argue those beliefs. It assists them in “knowing who they are and what they believe”, an important characteristic in self-identity and confidence. This was an important foundation in our homeschool pursuit and mission in my family. It’s paid off very well.

Practicing Empathy and Understanding Motivation of Others

There have been scientific studies that have shown that when children read and discuss the characters and events of a fictional story, they develop empathetic skills and understanding of the actions and motivations of others.

Reading a fictional story presents the reader with an opportunity to follow a character through different kinds of circumstances and watch how those circumstances affect the character and his feelings and subsequent actions. Readers develop empathy for that character as they get to know the character and are then also affected by what happens to that character. Having discussions about the characters and their feelings about certain events helps children to sort through their thoughts and own feelings.

Analyzing characters in stories and what is motivating them to act certain ways or have specific personality characteristics assists children in examining the motives of others through the practice they receive from this kind of literary analysis. This understanding can be transferred when trying to understand other people in their own daily interactions.

Literature is a Reflection of History and Society

Throughout history the spoken and written word has kept record of historical events and views held by a society during different time periods. When reading literary pieces, readers can learn about the time period in which the author lived or is writing about, as well as common viewpoints and practices of society at that time. Even a piece of fiction is a reflection of history and society of that literary time period and is of valuable consideration to understand where a society has been and where they are in the present and how they got there.

Literature from all over the world reflects societal, religious, and philosophical beliefs to shed light and an understanding on that part of the world. Sometimes, a pendulum movement can be seen from one literary time period to another in what a society believes is important at the time.

For example, literary time periods from the Puritan to the Modern times reflect a swing from a Christian worldview to a Humanist viewpoint and back again several times when looking at the topics and expressions of the authors in their written pieces. These viewpoints were affected a lot of times by what was happening in history and society around them as the authors were writing these stories.

Literature can be an Influence on History and Society

As literature can be a reflection of history and society, the opposite is true as well. Authors have used the spoken and written word to influence the events of history and the beliefs of a society.

Studying speeches and novels written by people of varying time periods will demonstrate the power of the spoken and written word when expressed effectively and the importance of those words and their connection to key historical events and societal views of the time.

Supposedly, when Abraham Lincoln met Harriet Beecher Stowe, he commented, “So you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.” This shows the influence a book such as Uncle Tom’s Cabin can have on the course of history and society and belief systems of a time period.

Even a pamphlet with the title “Common Sense” influenced history and the outcome of where we are today.

Studying literature does not have to be a mysterious and muddled discussion of symbols and hidden meanings that an author buried in a novel for us to decipher or a long list of comprehension questions.

Studying literature can be an interactive exercise and discussion in discovering ourselves, who we are and what we believe in, using the literary piece as a spring and jumping off point and vehicle for the discussion.


Literary Cafe PodcastKatie Glennon has a monthly podcast, Literary Cafe Podcast, where she discusses all things Language Arts for all ages with practical ideas, tips, and suggested resources to help you in teaching Language Arts in your homeschool. You can also find her at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage and a Facebook Group, Homeschool Language Arts Corner, where she expands on what she shares in her podcasts. With 30+ years in education and having graduated two sons, she hopes to share ideas with you that allow you to better enjoy your homeschool journey!

 

FREE November Planner and Holiday Printables

We have another wonderful freebie bonus for our subscribers this month!

Thanksgiving is the theme of this month’s planner. This is a 65 page set full of encouragement to focus on our family, and friends and the things that we are thankful for. There are sweet sentiments and prayers to help you keep your focus, as well as practical ideas and helps to keep you organized and on track for the busy holiday season.

Included in this printable packet is something for your whole family:

  • November Planning Printables
  • Best Recipes
  • Calendar: National and USA
  • Encouragement Printables for Mom
  • 10 Tips for Holiday Planning and Guide
  • 7 Pages of Recipes
  • Healthy Recipe Substitutes
  • 4 Square Step-by-Step Fall Party Planner
  • Grocery Planning Printable
  • Mini Book of Thanks for Kids
  • November Fun Ideas and Games
  • Thanksgiving Table Name Tags
  • Printables for Games
  • Veterans Day Printable
  • Kid’s School Planner
  • Printables and Scripture Copywork
  • Journal Pages

You can download this planning pack by clicking HERE to sign up now!

 

How to Add Poetry to Your Homeschool Day from Bright Ideas Press

Back in the “olden days”, memorization was a big part of school. They memorized poems, essays, books, and documents. I always think about Little Town on the Prairie and how Laura was called on to recite American History by memory from Christopher Columbus through the presidency of John Quincy Adams. Somewhere along the way it was decided that memorizing was unnecessary and some thought it was even harmful to children’s creativity. But children especially have a huge capacity for memorization and memorize things all of the time. Memorizing is a great was for children to increase their vocabulary and learn different language patterns, helping them to become better readers and writers.

One thing the children and I love to do is memorize poetry. I know what you are thinking, that you do not have time to add poetry memorization to your already busy school day. But this is something we only spend around 10 minutes a day on and it is our favorite part of the day. Poetry is fun to read, easy to memorize, and often uses wonderful vocabulary and imagery. Children and adults of all ages and work on memorizing poetry together. You can add poetry easily into your homeschool day.

How to Add Poetry to Your Homeschool Day with Bright Ideas Press - and a fun giveaway!  #giveaway #homeschool #poetry

Each morning after our Bible lesson, it is poetry time. We have a book of poetry that has a variety of poems by different authors and poems of varying lengths. The first day we are starting a new poem, I read the title, name of the author, and the entire poem. Then I read each line and the children read it after me. The next day we start memorizing sections of the poem a little at a time. If for instance a poem has three stanzas, I will read the entire poem first, then just read the first stanza a line at a time and have the children repeat each line after me. The next day I read the entire poem again, do the first stanza altogether and we work on the second stanza by me reading and them repeating the lines after me. After we are done with our new poem for the day, we recite a few poems we have already memorized altogether.

I have been amazed at how easily the children have memorized the poems. They can do them much faster than I can! It has also amazed me how much they enjoy reciting the poems. There have been some days that I have been running behind in the morning and have thought that I would skip it that day but they always ask to do poems. We have spent some time looking up information on some of the authors and they have even tried their hand at writing a few poems themselves. I have noticed too that the more we have memorized, the easier it has become and the children have been able to memorize longer Bible verses and entire passages in Scripture as well.

Take 10 minutes a day and add some poetry memorization to your homeschool. You will be glad you did!

Ready to add poetry to your homeschool day? Grab the newest, updated product in the Bright Ideas Press store …. Young Scholar’s Guide to Poetry.

 

 

Enter for a Chance to Win a A Young Scholar’s Guide to Poetry from Bright Ideas Press

The authors of this curriculum walk incrementally with young writers through the process of composing their own poetry and encourage their individual creativity.  Includes 32 weekly lessons covering biographies of famous poets and explanations of key poetic devices, easy-to-use timeline and maps, poet info-cards and game directions, poetic device cards, poetry puzzle cards, student reviews, answer keys, coloring pages, poetry reading and resource list, and more.  Click here to enter for a chance to win!


Homeschooling Moms are busy!  Bright Ideas Press gets that. And that’s why they promise to publish Christian-oriented curriculum that will fit into your hectic lives, curriculum that is both affordable and easy-to-use with children of different ages at the same time. Curriculum that busy Moms love! The team at Bright Ideas Press prays that their products and resources will not only simplify lives but also inspire, encourage, and enable parents to effectively educate their children.

 

How to Add Poetry to Your Homeschool Day with Bright Ideas Press - and a fun giveaway!  #giveaway #homeschool #poetry