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3 Ways to Beat Homeschool Blahs

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Living here in Ohio can make the cold days of winter and staying indoors hard on homeschool mom and student(s) alike! Daydreaming of warm weather, palm trees and sandy beaches is what I find myself doing more and more. Do you wish that your children had somewhere to go or something to do besides complain to you that they are bored? How about taking advantage of the indoors to do some fun and creative activities?

Build a fort The easiest way I found to make a fort was to take sheets and drape over the kitchen table on one side. You can lay the sheets perpendicular (criss-cross) so that it is nice and cozy. Be sure to have something heavy on the top of the table over the sheets so that they do not move. Inside the fort, add blankets and pillows, some snacks and books for the occupants to enjoy. Yes, I know the table is out of commission for the time being. What about cooking something easy to eat for dinner (like sandwiches or walking tacos) and everyone eating their meal inside the fort?  Of course, you can make your fort more elaborate and here is a video for inspiration. 

Have a cooking class would be a great way to not only spend time together, but you can incorporate health and safety into your lesson. Once you teach your son or daughter how to prepare that particular dish, they can make it one night when you are too tired to cook. 🙂 That’s a genius idea, isn’t it? lol Some simple ideas to do with your child are macaroni and cheese, tacos, spaghetti with ready-made salad, potato bar, or a crockpot soup like Quick and Easy Vegetable Soup They might be even more inclined to eat the veggie soup if they made it. (maybe?)

Play Games! Your children will be learning quite a few valuable things while playing games: giving and following directions, cooperating, and physical education (balance and coordination). The children can play Mother (Father) May I?; a version of Hide and Seek  where an object is hidden instead of a person; Simon Says; an indoor obstacle course such as carry a small toy in a soup ladle from point A to point B, crab walk or crawl a certain distance, roll a paper towel tube across the floor with only your chin; or walk the distance of your living room or hallway while balancing a book on your head, jump over a chair cushion, etc.

Enjoy your week! ~Lisa~ 

 

 

 

 

Opportunities to Help Others

Helping others is one of the best things you can do to let children see the needs of others. There are organizations that you can take your children to help as well as ministries where you can send money if you are not able to go. How you go about choosing who to help can be a daunting task since the need is great.

Have a family meeting to decide who/ what comes to mind that needs help. I like to start at home and then reach out from there. Look around and see if there is a need (chores to do, a kind word or deed).  Is there an extended family member or friend that needs help with finances, an encouraging word, or yard work, babysitting, grocery shopping, etc?

If you do not have anyone with a particular need, then what about volunteering at: your church, a homeless shelter, or volunteer on the Great American Clean Up Day or contact a local agency that has a park cleanup.

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I have a worksheet to help you and your children decide what you would like to do. I think it would be great if your daughter or son is old enough to help you decide who to help or where to go.  Helping Others

Enjoy your day and post a comment if you have an idea to help others or you did something kind for someone.  A friend just wrote about someone paying for their lunch! My neighbor heard I was having a big family gathering and volunteered her folding chairs for us to use. How thoughtful is that?

~ Lisa~

Memorable Mondays

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I have been deleting photos from my phone and realized how few pictures I take! How about you? I think it might be good to have a day one a week when I just take pictures of family, friends, and events that take place around here. Oh, wait, that is Instagram! lol

Well, I don’t always remember to do that, but I do have my phone handy and it is easier for me just to download my pictures on to the computer. I will share one that I took recently with my husband when we celebrated our anniversary last week. I plan on making Memorable Mondays a regular part of my life.

What about joining me? If Monday is a bad day, pick another day, but remember to pull out your phone or camera and capture those daily moments because they all too quickly are gone. The bonus is that if you do this you will have quite a few pictures to choose when you do your portfolio review! Hey, you can even make a yearbook.

~Lisa

Road Trip Games for Families

road-tripTraveling with children in the car can sometimes be difficult and make the trip something to be dreaded instead of enjoyed.  My husband’s family lives 24 hours northwest of us and I can remember vividly one time when we had to drive there in one day. There was an emergency that made time of the essence. Our youngest son asked us on several occasions, “Are we there yet?” and once when we stopped for gas he yelled, “Yay! Daddy, you win the prize!” because he thought we had arrived. It broke my heart to tell him we were not there yet.  So, what are some activities you can do while in the car to pass the time? Almost all of these games require paper and pencil, so be sure and take them along with you.

Car/ truck tally  My mom would tell us what color and/or model of car that she wanted us to look for and we would compete against each other. The first one to spot ten wins. Our favorite was to look for Volks Wagon Beetles. 🙂

I Spy Have you ever played this game? You find something that is in the car and say, “I spy with my eye a___ and the color is _____.” Everyone in the car takes turns guessing what it is and you can determine how many guesses it will take until it is another person’s turn.

Paper and Pencil Games Bring along paper to play games such as: Tic-Tac-Toe, Hangman, Categories (explained below), Squiggles and Doodles (see below for explanation).

Scavenger Hunt Make a list of things you might see along the way. Draw pictures or help your littles ones who are not reading by calling out what is next on the list. Each person scratches off the items that they see on their list. You need a person to verify your finding so that children just check off lists and say, “I found all of them!” when they really didn’t. Here is a list of items you could use: a red car (or any other color), a barn, a body of water, a semi truck, a school bus, a restaurant sign, a gas station, a broken down car along the highway, a rest area

Categories Draw a grid on a piece of paper—a square filled with smaller squares. The number of squares can vary, depending on the attention span of your child. Down the left side, put some letters of the alphabet (for example, you could spell out a child’s name: LISA). Across the top, write categories —for example, girls’ names, boys’ names, animals, colors, cars, places. You can make this harder or easier by changing the categories. Players take turns writing in words that fit the category and start with the letter in the left-hand column. (Next to the letter L, in this example, you might have Laura, Liam, lion, lavender, Lexus and Lexington.) Give extra points for words that nobody else wrote. (Idea courtesy of Today’s Parent)

Squiggles and Doodles– This is a game that I just named! But, we always loved to play this when I was growing up. You draw a squiggle or a doodle on the page and then give it to the next person who must add another squiggle or doodle to it. Keep passing papers until you receive your original doodle. Since I grew up with artistic people I would get some pretty fun things back when we finished a round! 🙂

Password Make a list of nouns and give one item on the list to one player. This person must use one word clues to describe what the object is for the person who is guessing. For instance, the word is tree. You say: leaves, trunk, wood, bark and the person wins if they guess the word in 30 seconds. Keep on going! nouns you can use: cow, dog, cat, shoe,  beach, house, just to name a few…

I hope you enjoy these games. Have a great trip!

~Lisa

 

 

A Minute to Win It Games

I had the family over for dinner and some games afterwards. Have you ever played A Minute to Win It? I had seen these ideas on happiness is homemade . I created a spreadsheet and whoever got the best time for each activity  won that event. Our daughter-in-law was the overall winner, but I won the Cookie Face contest. 🙂 You can modify these games for your children if you would like to try them.   You can give points for completion or participation and use a smaller amount with the various games. Our special treat for the winner was a bag of Skinny Pop popcorn because everyone in my family loves popcorn!

Here is the spreadsheet I created to keep track of the games and descriptions of each of the games. If  you are interested in seeing a close-up of the document click here:  minute-to-win-it-games  I am including pictures of the fun too!

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Hex Nut Stacker

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Cookie face

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Cookie Face- almost there!

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Stack it Up!

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Suck it Up!

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Scoop It Up

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Movin’ on Up!

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Defy Gravity

As you can see, we had a lot of fun! So, if you are looking for something fun to do with your family, why not try some of these or create your own Minute to Win It games?

~Lisa