Category Archives: Homeschooling Activities

Great Artists- Introduction/ Lesson 1

After having taught art for a co-op of elementary school students, I spent some time researching great resources for art history. I came across this great book on Amazon and  I use this book as a springboard for many of my ideas for teaching art to my own children. Come along with me as I work on this book and our study of some of the great artists in history!!

Paul Klee (1879-1940) is known for one line realistic drawing. In this form, the artist creates a drawing using one continuous line.  Because my children are so young, I thought it might be good to “aid” them a little in their creations.

Wiggly eye art

I found this art project  on Pinterest and thought it would be a great springboard for the kids. I gave each child a piece of white paper with wiggly eyes on it. I told them I wanted them to create a monster or several monsters without picking up their pencil. I wanted them to learn this element of one line realistic drawing and see the difficulty in having to decide what you were going to create before you started.

Here are some of the kids artwork…….

Fashionista's picture

Fashionista’s picture

Dirty Dog D's picture

Dirty Dog D’s picture

Sweet Pea's picture

Sweet Pea’s picture

This was an art project that was easy to do since we didn’t need a lot of supplies.

This is definitely one that we will do again. Maybe with a color pencil next time!

100 day celebration!

So…I’ve been sitting on this post for a while and figured it was time to send it through to be published since we did it in FEBRUARY!!!! lol (the life of a SAHM)

We’ve been in school 100 days!!! (We actually were in school for about 104 days when we did this activity. Our family was struggling through the Stomach flu and it just didn’t seem like jumping up and down would be the best activity…you know?!)

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Feel free to comb through these pictures of all the various stations I set up in our home to complete our 10 stations of 10 repetitions of each exercise. The kids LOVED it. It helped us beat some of the winter blues.

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The kids definitely slept good this night!

The second project involved candy!!!! Everything works great with candy. So I picked out 100 random colored M&Ms, and then divided them into 4 groups of 25 each since I had 4 children working on the project. I had each child separate their candy, by color and then graph their own bar graphs from the 25 pieces of candy I gave them. We then combined all 4 graphs to make a Master graph using the 100 candies.  It was a great exercise in graphing and team work.

With all the candy leftover, we HAD to make ice cream sundaes. =)

How did you spend your 100 day of school?????

Holy Saturday….prepping for the big day!!!

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Decorating Madness

This is the current mess thrown across my formal dining room table. I like to consider myself a thrifty person. I would never purchase all this stuff at one time. However, it’s easier to find an extra $10 or $20 in your budget a month to grab a few things in advance. I stockpile items as I go….and I ALWAYS hit up Homegoods, Ross and Marshall’s after a holiday to grab “goodies” for the next year’s decorations.  So….here is a  little bit of everything for my decorations for Easter:

  • cute disposable easter cups and plates for a fast breakfast (Target $1.99 each)
  • 2- 4 pastel placemats (for a total of 8) for my Easter table (Kohl’s 10.49 a set)
  • 2 white platters/bowls for centerpieces (Marshall’s $9.99 each)
  • 2 packs of Easter cookie cutters (Amazon $7.99 each)- to be used in the project below
  • white wire bunny and green EASTER block letters (Marshall’s 9.99 each) for my mantle
  • bunny cupcake toppers (Walmart…???? not sure since I grabbed it a while back)
  • hanging decorative Easter eggs to be hung from my mantle (Homegoods $9.99)
  • hot pink cupcake tier (originally purchased at Walmart for Valentine’s Day for $9.99)
  • stickers for the kids’ placecards (walmart 1.99)

Check back on Monday to see how our Easter decorations looked!

If you want some great ideas but don’t want to have to search Pinterest….here you go:

EGG DYEING!!!!!!

So…I cheated. I snuck these in the oven on Holy Thursday while making my beef stew for dinner. I figured if I was going to be chopping vegetables, I might as well prep some eggs for dying for Holy Saturday. I love this technique. Pinterest introduced it to me last year…and it’s fabulous! It can leave some little brown spots on your eggs but, we don’t care..we are dyeing them anyway. =)

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When it came to actually dyeing the eggs, I decided to try using another idea that I saw on Pinterest….these worked out great for us last year so we will do it again this year.

Love this idea!!

If you are like me, and your kids dyeing eggs + your floors/chairs/carpets = nervousness, I would suggest what we did two years ago. Dye your eggs in the garage….put down one of those great $1.00 tablecloths from the local dollar tree and then just gather it all up and put in a trash bag. The kids will have a blast and then run and play while you clean up.

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DDD making his eggs

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Fashionista and the hubby

CRAFT ACTIVITIES:

Holy week wreath w/ printables

Holy Week Wreath

I recently found this Holy Week Wreath “pinned” to my holiday board on Pinterest from last year. This will be a great way to tie together our work all week. The kids like to hang stuff like this on their bedroom doors, but we can use it for the mean time to decorate our school room walls for Easter.

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The above banner hung in our playroom two years ago on Easter Sunday. The kids and I will spend some of the afternoon creating these tissue paper flowers to adorn our school room on Easter morning. They are made using several sheets of tissue paper in various colors and a pipe cleaner. You should be able to you tube it and get specific directions.

EGG HUNT:

The hubs likes to hold an easter egg hunt for our kids Sunday morning. He hides one “money egg” with each child’s name on it as well as a certain number of eggs. When each child has found the specific number of eggs and their “named” egg, they can then help their siblings find their eggs. It’s just so awesome to watch their excitement over finding all the “great places” that daddy tried to trick them and hide their eggs.

Easter Sunday:


These are a great tradition that we started last year with the kiddos. They love making them themselves. They love the way the melted marshmallow and cinnamon taste, and I love the lesson that they learn when their marshmallow has “disappeared”just like Jesus was risen from the tomb. Plus, I like something fast and simple on Easter morning when we have to get dressed and out of the door for church. The children will enjoy these but mom and dad prefer Whole Wheat Banana Muffins. We omit the strawberries but they are fantastic. Pair either of these with some frozen fruit and some Chobani yogurt and you’ve got a great breakfast.

Cute idea: Place a bunny-or chick-shaped cookie cutter on a plate and fill it with M's in a single color.

I love when a project is adorable and easy. To me, this one seemed perfect for a little “gift” on each person’s plate for our Easter dinner. I would definitely reuse these cookie cutters anyway so I bought them off Amazon right away.

How to put together affordable, fantastic gift baskets.  (Plus a lists of suggested items for different themes)!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea for an Easter basket instead of the typical Easter wicker basket that breaks or the plastic ones that the handles crack. I’m making a special trip to the local dollar tree tomorrow to see if I can score 8 of these. (I always buy more than I need in case we lose one, or one breaks) If not, it’s the usual baskets. I’m really hoping to find these.

In addition, I already printed out these awesome tags for the outsides of the baskets.

Free Printable Easter Basket Tags - Smilebox

In order to really make the “impact” of closing down our school room, and celebrating Easter. I put up all the Easter decorations on Saturday night so the kids only see them Easter morning. So….I guess that’s it for this post. Hopefully, you can get some ideas for your own Easter celebration.

Join me on Monday morning when I show pictures of our Easter Sunday events, decorations, and family pictures.

In the meantime, Have a blessed Easter!!!!!

Holy week through Good Friday…..pictures!!!

Earlier in the week, I blogged about the events our family would take part in over the course of the week until Good Friday. You can read that blog post here.

Here our some pictures from the week thus far:

Holy Thursday:

Painting our coloring pages of Jesus washing the feet of the apostles

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Our Lenten Tea Tradition- such a great time!!!

Good Friday:

Taking the “littles” to the outdoor stations

Making their “Closing the school room until Easter banner”…

Hung and ready!!!

100 Acts of Kindess- they finished!!!! Now to work with the hubby and figure out how to reward that HUGE accomplishment!!!!

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Our family is super excited to celebrate Easter!!!

What about you???!!!

Kids Chore Chart…..thanks, pinterest!

Pinterest chore chart

Pinterest chore chart

I saw this adorable kids chore chart on Pinterest. (You can click on the picture to go to the website) and just HAD to replicate it for my kid’s homeschooling activities.

It gets really hard trying to motivate them to get everything done when you are trying to keep on top of their homeschooling; their hygiene; and their housekeeping responsibilities.

So we decided to try our version of this chore chart.

Here it is:

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The local dollar tree had these cute door knob signs that were perfect for this project. Add some markers, and a few clothes pins and we were set. Obviously, Sweet Pea created her own chore chart, thus the cute markered little girl on the bottom.

I should add that in the past, I would have completely created this chart myself with little help from Sweet Pea. However, I am beginning to realize that my own need for perfection can lead my children to feel that their work isn’t “good enough”.  Thereby, my attempts at letting them do their own crafts from start to finish. =)

We have found this to be very effective for the following:

  • in helping her gain independence in getting her own stuff done
  •   releasing me from a need to “nag”
  • being able to see how effective she is being with her time, by checking it throughout the day
  • allowing her to see how much she has left to do
  • giving her a strong sense of accomplishment, when all the pins are to the right.

So…it’s been a win/win for us! I definitely would call this a Pinterest Success for us!!!!

Easter books……

My friend Mary over at Sometimes Mary Always Mary always has such great posts about the books that adorn her home for the different holidays.  You should go check out her posts on books for Lent and Spring. 

She is also just an amazing lady with a keen sense of home decor and style. You should check out her blog when you have some time. (My check is in the mail…right, Mar??!!!)

Since I was making my “list of things to do this weekend” ,which included Easter outfits and basket “stuffers” for the kiddos, I decided today was a great day to have the great people at Amazon.com deliver me some books to use for some of our lessons next week. Here are the three that I chose.

I’m a little biased about this book since I have always LOVED this folktale. I will not ruin it for you by telling you what it’s about. Come on….buy it….you’re going to love it.

I’m excited to add these three to my growing collection of books!

Any suggestions for next year??????

Valentine’s Day activities

Valentine’s Day. To me, Valentine’s Day is more than red and pink and construction paper. It’s a tremendous day to share the life story of a virtuous saint. My good friend Mary over at Sometimes Martha always Mary has a great link to a number of valentine resources to read to your children. You can find them here.

My personal favorite which I recently purchased from amazon is the story of St. Valentine by Robert Sabuda. The story is both beautifully written and illustrated.

The book is full of illustrations created using the artistic medium of mosaics. I figured this would be a great opportunity to celebrate the feast of St. Valentine while practicing this technique. In addition to the book depicted above, I also purchased the following magnetic mosaic kit to add to our classroom “centers”.

Magnetic Mosaics

For our Valentine’s Day craft, the children will be creating their own paper mosaic Valentine’s day cards similar to this project from Momista Beginnings.Heart Mosaic

Wishing you and your family a wonderful Valentine’s Day!