3 Alternatives to Elf on the Shelf to Inspire Kindness

3 Alternatives to Elf on the Shelf to Inspire Kindness

Many years ago, we tried the Elf on the Shelf. It was a desperate parenting move; I had a newborn, a toddler, and a brazen 3-year-old. In our case, the Elf on the Shelf backfired. That scoundrel caused far more trouble than he was worth.

If you are in a similar boat, or if you are just in need of an alternative, I have three fantastic options for you. Read More

My Favorite Milestone: And Why I Love Brave Writer

My Favorite Milestone: And Why I Love Brave Writer

Last Thursday, my youngest son read his first three books to me. As a bibliophile and homeschool mom, building a love of written language has been on my mind from the beginning. That is why I chose Brave Writer as our homeschool language arts curriculum. I know, without a doubt, that Brave Writer helped us to grow a love of the written word in our children. Read More

Poetry Doesn’t Have to Be Scary… And Here’s Why

Poetry Doesn’t Have to Be Scary… And Here’s Why

When I was a little girl, I loved poetry. Somewhere along the path to adulthood, I became disconnected from poetry… until I had children. And now, as an unexpected homeschooler, I find myself appreciating poetry in a way I hadn’t before. Thanks to the Brave Writer curriculum we love, we make space for poetry every week! Today, I’m sharing our family’s favorite titles and a few tips for adding poetry to your homeschool routine! Read More

Grisham’s ‘Theodore Boone’ Series: Legal Thrillers for the Younger Audience

Grisham’s ‘Theodore Boone’ Series: Legal Thrillers for the Younger Audience

Gone are the summer days when I could while away the hours reading everything ever written by an author. As a mother to three little people, I’m lucky if I can finish a chapter without interruption, let alone a series! But did you know that John Grisham has written a legal thriller series for young adults? Read More

ThinkFun’s ‘Escape the Room: Mystery at the Stargazer Manor’

ThinkFun’s ‘Escape the Room: Mystery at the Stargazer Manor’

Escape the Room games originally started as digital adventures. More recently, Escape the Room games have turned into physical adventures for small groups. Players are locked in a room and in order to escape, they must work together to find clues and solve puzzles. These in-person games have become widely popular across the globe. Now, ThinkFun has developed a tabletop Escape the Room game. Read More

Using Books to Ignite Your Child’s Imagination

Using Books to Ignite Your Child’s Imagination

As a bookworm and homeschooling mom, I absolutely love a good read aloud. I always know I’ve picked a good one when my children reenact the book once the book has ended. Together, they travel to a world of play and imagination. The story fuels their interactions and sparks their creativity.

I thought it would be fun to share three of our family’s recent favorites. These read alouds are fairly new to us, and yet already well-worn. Each of these titles ignite creativity and imagination in my children. I hope your children love them too! Read More

When News Is Nightmarish: Parenting Sensitive Souls

When News Is Nightmarish: Parenting Sensitive Souls

Let’s face it: The news is scary.

It’s always been scary, but it has certainly upped the ante recently.

And this week? Downright painful.

When I was in 6th grade, I remember reading about Darwin and the theory of natural selection. I was wholly fascinated by it all. I fantasized about traveling to the Galapagos one day. I wanted to swim with the sea turtles and make important discoveries.

And then the Gulf War hit. Read More

Keep Those Kids Busy With ThinkFun’s ‘Back Spin’

Keep Those Kids Busy With ThinkFun’s ‘Back Spin’

I don’t know about you guys, but with three kids 8 and under it gets pretty loud around here. I’m always on the quest to find educational activities that will provide a little bit of silence. My favorite way to do this is by using one-player games.

That’s where ThinkFun’s Back Spin comes into play. Read More

Practice Math Through Play

Practice Math Through Play

I have one of those kids who understands higher-order math concepts but stumbles over the rote memorization piece of it. He makes careless errors because he’s always flying at full speed, and he hates back-tracking to remedy the situation. We are homeschoolers and, initially, this tendency resulted in heaps of power struggles. And tears. I want my children to love math, and to see the value in it. I want them to grow into adults who feel confident in math. How can we practice those skills without the never-ending battles? Is it possible to make it fun? Read More

Mother’s Day Fantasies: Mommin’ Ain’t Easy

Mother’s Day Fantasies: Mommin’ Ain’t Easy

My first baby was only five weeks old on my first Mother’s Day.

Like many mothers, I had Mother’s Day fantasies. You know the ones:

Sleeping in
Breakfast in bed
A leisurely, hot shower
Heartfelt card and flowers
A hot meal at a restaurant
Go ahead, you can laugh. I’m laughing over here, too. We can be so naive the first time around, can’t we? Let’s just say that my first Mother’s Day was a stark contrast to the fantasies I coveted. Read More