Friday, August 1, 2008

Celebrate Everyday - October

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Monthly - October

Celebrate Everyday - 10 - Fall Fun Day

Find More Special Days Here!!


Homeschool Mom Life Tips

Homeschool Mom Life Tips

It is hard for me to believe that I have been doing this “homeschool mom thing” for 11 years now.  Trust me when I say…  There have been some AMAZING days where I feel so blessed to be able to home educate my children and then if I am being completely honest (which you guys know that I always am), there have been some um…  NOT SO AMAZING days where I am ready to run as fast as I can away from this crazy homeschool thing.  And if I am being painfully honest with you guys, those feelings can and do sometimes happen all in the same day.  Thankfully they do not come very often and most days, I do feel so blessed to be on this educational journey with my sweet children. 

All that so say…

There are some tips + tricks that I have learned along the way as we have continued in our homeschool journey and I hope that by sharing the things that have helped me that I will be able to help you add more sanity to your day and focus more on your children. 

Trips to the Library

Here’s a quick tip…  If you can create going to the library as part of your weekly routine, it makes it so simple to know when your books are due.  For example, the past 2 years my “library day” has been Tuesday afternoon after ballet drop off/pickup.  My favorite local branch is close by and this makes it super easy for me to drop by to pick up holds or return books each week.  I know that if I check them out on a Tuesday, then they are always due on a Tuesday.

Easy peasy and one less thing for this mama of 8 to have to remember in my brain.

Meal Planning Tips

This is a short mini series on how I plan meals monthly for our family. 

Click here to see my entire Meal Planning Tips playlist all in one spot!!

Part 1

Getting Started with Meal Planning

Part 2

More Details On How I Plan Monthly

Part 3

Q+A – Answering Your Questions

Part 4

A Peek at My Meal Calendar

Part 5

Chatting about Breakfast

Part 6

Time for Lunch

Part 7

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner

Part 8

How We Handle Snacks

Part 9

Q + A Wrap-Up

Want To See Even More Menu Ideas?  Check This Out!

Laundry Tips

Mini Series on how a family of 10 gets laundry done. 

Click here to see my entire Laundry Tips playlist all in one spot!!

Part 1

Back to the Basics

Part 2

Our Weekly Routine + Laundry Chores

I hope to be able to grow this little spot here on our site so check back often and if any of these ideas work for you and your family, please leave me a comment below.

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What’s In Our Library Basket… {new series}

Library Basket

When we first embarked on our homeschool journey, I envisioned that we would establish the habit of weekly visits to our local library.  We would peruse the aisles, get to know our local librarian, and come home with a basket full of fun treasures that we would spend the week reading before we headed back to refill our minds + baskets the next week.

Merry Layne  ~  9 Months Old  ~  September 2012
This sweet little nugget has always loved to read (and pull out every book in the house.)

The reality is that as the years have gone by, despite my best intentions, this has just not been a reality for our family.  It is a combination of…  Not balancing my time very well during those early years when I had a house full of only little ones + realizing that as my babies grew up and as I became more comfortable with this whole “home education thing” that I was not a fan of all the twaddle, dumb-downed, and secular worldview resources that are readily available on the end caps and shared during the weekly storytime hour of our local libraries.

You guys know what I mean, right?

I did not want to go to all that effort to load everyone up, head off to the library, and then stand there and say “no” to all my children’s selections from the picture book bins and endcaps that I saw as twaddle and “not the best”.  So instead, I spent many years building up our little library with good, quality literature.  I wanted my children to know what “good” tasted like in their minds + what it felt like deep down in their souls.

All that to say…  Thank goodness for the online database + reserve/hold service available from our local library system.  This little saving grace has made our “weekly library trips” a reality over the past few years.  I add books randomly to my queue throughout the week so we can “try before we buy”, search their database when we are interested in certain topics, renew books online instead of making a trip “just to renew” books that are due that week, and I am able to schedule all my pickups at my favorite local branch.  It truly is a beautiful thing.  We have gotten to know the smiling faces behind the desk a little bit and it one of those weekly errands that I do not mind as part of our routine.

Merry Layne  ~  6 Years Old  ~  August 2018
This is that same sweet girl a few short years later.
She is now in the 1st grade and reading fun books to me.

I thought it would be fun to begin sharing with you guys some of our library hauls that we pick up each week.  Check back here often for updates and be sure to leave me a comment if you have some favorites that we should add to our library basket.

Here is a listing of all our previous library hauls…

Happy Homeschooling!
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Homeschool Mom Life Tips

Here’s a quick tip…  If you can create going to the library as part of your weekly routine, it makes it so simple to know when your books are due.  For example, the past 2 years my “library day” has been Tuesday afternoon after ballet drop off/pickup.  My favorite local branch is close by and this makes it super easy for me to drop by to pick up holds or return books each week.  I know that if I check them out on a Tuesday, then they are always due on a Tuesday.

Easy peasy and one less thing for this mama of 8 to have to remember in my brain.

Click here for more Homeschool Mom Life Tips.

Celebrate Everyday

Valentine’s Day : : February 14

February 14th

Celebrate Everyday - 02 - Valentine Day

This is one of our favorite holidays all year.  We like to call it “I Love You” Day.  It is the perfect time to share God’s love with your children, have a special tea time, make treats for friends + neighbors, make cards for grandparents, and my list could go on and on.  Ha!!

Here are some of our favorite books + resources that we like to pull out for this special week…

Holiday - Valentine - 2
If You’ll Be My Valentine

Holiday - Valentine - Elmo Loves You
Elmo Loves You

Holiday - Valentine - 3
Guess How Much I Love You

We have a paperback version of this classic that we leave out year round but it is fun to have this special sweetheart cloth edition that we pull out especially for this time of year.

Find More Special Days!!


Celebrate Everyday : : February

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Monthly - February

Celebrate Everday - 02 - Groundhog DayCelebrate Everyday - 02 - Valentine Day

Find More Special Days Here!!

Celebrate Everyday

Groundhog Day : : February 2nd

February 2nd


This is a fun day to watch the news, learn about shadows, and remind your children that we are 6 weeks away from Spring. 

Wake Up, Groundhog

This is a cute book showing that it is important to watch for the signs of Spring.  I also love the history nuggets about Groundhog Day at the end.  This is one that we use each year.

You can also watch it being read over on YouTube.

Don’t forget to also watch the actual news coverage from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to find out what this year’s weather prediction will be.  We usually search for it over on YouTube

Find More Special Days!!

Celebrate Everyday

Celebrate Everyday

Celebrate Everyday

Mama, These days with our children are so very precious.  I know they are not easy and they do not always go the way that Pinterest tells you they should.  However, do not lose heart and do not stop trying to create special memories with your children. 

Every year, I love to add in some exciting books + lessons that are centered around holidays + silly special days.  This is where the memories + traditions are made.  I have posted about these over the years, but I thought it would fun to gather together some of our favorite resources all in one place.

Enjoy and I hope this helps you to CELEBRATE EVERYDAY with your children,
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The days are long, but the years are short.

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Monthly - February

Monthly - October

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Our Little Library - Seasons

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites
Friday Favorites 2

I love to share – really  I do.  When I find something that I enjoy, my 1st thought is to share it!!  Watch my social media – Facebook or Instagram – for the latest happies.  You can find them with the #OLSFavorites hashtag.

For The Little Ones

Don’t Rock The Croc

This is a fun, simple game that our littles received for Christmas this year.
It keeps them busy during read aloud time so that makes it a win-win for everyone!!

Our Little Library

Our Little Library

Welcome to Our Little Library.  We love to read and we thought it would be fun to share our favorite books with you.  Some of these titles are timeless classics, while others are newer books.  Some are more serious and others are just for fun.  Click around and we hope you find a few new ones to add to your reading list. 

Picture Books for Early Years - Small

Our Little Library - Seasons

Our family loves to celebrate the seasons.  One way I do this is by creating a book basket full of books + activities for the children to enjoy.  I thought you might like to take a peek inside the seasonal baskets that our family enjoys each season of the year.

The Reasons for Seasons

This book is perfect to read at the beginning of each season.  It explains the reasons for the change in seasons + it has a good overview of what you can expect from the new season that is just beginning.  I like to start with this book each season and then dive into our seasonal book baskets.

Our Little Library - Winter Basket - SmallOur Little Library - Fall Basket

See a good book that we missed?  Please leave us a comment telling us a few of your favorites!!!

Looking For Specific Holidays?

Celebrate Everyday

Picture Books for the Early Years

Picture Books for Early Years

These are some of our family’s favorite picture books.
These titles are perfect for any age, but especially those early years (3 – 5 years old).

Picture Books -  Bearymore


Picture Books - The Bee Tree
The Bee Tree

Our Winter Book Basket

Our Little Library - Winter Basket

These are some of our favorite resources to pull out during the winter months.

Winter - Secrets of Winter[2]
Secrets of Winter

Shine a light behind the pages and discover a natural winter world full of surprises!

Winter - The Big Snow
The Big Snow

This one teaches so many great lessons about nature, hibernation, and reminds us to feed the animals during the winter months.

Winter - Grandmother Winter
Grandmother Winter

Love the nuggets about nature + the sweet illustrations.

The Night Before the Snow Day

This one is fun to read the night before a big snow.  There are several in this series.  The Christmas one is a favorite.

Winter - Thats Not My Snowman[2]
That’s Not My Snowman

Perfect for toddlers.

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Let It Snow

We have several in this series.  They are simple, just for fun books, but I absolutely LOVE the illustrations so that is why it stays in our basket.  They are fun to pull out each season and talk about the pictures.

Winter – Snow

These are some of our favorite resources to study snow + snowflakes.

Winter - Snow - Curious About Snow[8]
Curious About Snow

Winter - Snow - Snowflake Bentley[14]
Snowflake Bentley

Winter - Snow - Snowflakes in Photographs[10]
Snowflakes in Photographs

Enjoy the actual photographs
from Snowflake Bentley

Winter – Antarctica + Shackleton

We love to study the adventures of Shackleton and this is the perfect time of year to focus your geography on Antarctica.  Discover some of our favorites rescources we use each year. 

Trapped by the Ice!

Great picture book!

Who Was Ernest Shackleton?

Antarctica Journeys to the South Pole

This is a thrilling read to learn more about all of the expeditions to Antarctica.  Great one for upper elementary + middle school.


This is an A&E dramatization of the story.  It does a pretty good job retelling the journey.  There are a few choice words in this one + they mention the affair that he was involved in.  I personally like the way they focus on the photographer/videographer Frank Hurley.

Winter - Antarctica - When The Sun Shines on Antarctica
When The Sun Shines on Antarctica

This books adds a fun flavor to our Poetry Tea Time during the winter months.

Don’t Miss The Rest Of Our Favorite Books!!Our Little Library