Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween Costumes

Our annual tradition is to buy costumes on November 1st then a year later we are usually surprised by what the kids will be dressing up as, haha. May I introduce Pumpkin Head and Rose?

Friday, October 28, 2016

$10 credit at Educents!

They say that giving is better than receiving, but who says you can't do both? Educents just launched a new program that will help you AND your friends save money on innovative products that keep kids excited about learning. give10get10-affiliates
If you're not already familiar with Educents - here's the scoop. Educents is the best place to discover new ways to make learning fun. Find innovative products and ideas created by a community of experts in education. Sign-up-now-button

Innovative items that make learning fun:

  • The Magic School Bus Science Club - A 12-month science journey delivered to your front doorstep.
  • Life of Fred - These books weave math (and other lessons) into a funny story about Fred, the 5-year-old math prodigy.
  • Times Tales - Proven to teach children their times tales in an hour.
  • Magformers - Develop motor skills, geometric thinking, and problem-solving with the click of these magnetic tiles.
  • NEW! Front Row Online Math Program - A standard-aligned technology for K-8 classrooms.

Give $10, Get $10

If you're new to Educents, help me earn credit! I have a couple items on my wishlist I'd love to test out and share with you. Use my referral link to sign up. You will receive an email for $10 off your first order of $25 or more (adding some of the items above will fit the bill). Sign-up-now-button If you're already an Educents member, you can earn $10 for every friend who signs up and makes a purchase of $25 or more. Simply go to your account page and find your unique referral URL, scroll down to "Earn Edubucks by referring your friends" and copy the link.

A referral is sending someone you care about to someone you trust.

Invite your friends, your parents, and all the rock-star educators in your life! This deal will help everyone save a pretty penny on top products like the insanely popular Life of Fred or Times Tales.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Lawn Mowing

Why are we still having to mow the lawn at this time of the year? I'm ready for it to stop growing! Granted, I love that we rarely get snow, so maybe I should stop complaining!

He tried first. She is supervising and giving helpful advice.

Her turn and she discovers her advice isn't nearly as helpful as she thought.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

DNA extraction

The big science museum in the large city near us, has an area for doing science experiments. My kids selected DNA extraction. The supplies are all provided, there is a video of the step by step instructions which you have to click after every step to make it continue, and an instructor walking around. There are 4 different stations each with a different experiment.

Sometimes they look so grown up.

They were so focused they didn't even notice I was taking pictures.

This was near the final step. It worked perfectly, but didn't come out well in pictures.

They did their first DNA extraction at 6 years old. Times have changed more than I care to admit, but I am thrilled for them. I wish I had these experiences when I was young!

Monday, October 24, 2016


We visit a lot of museums. Here are pictures from two difference science museums that we visited in the same week. I love that the kids ask for more science!

Dinosaur Dig

The skulls are biting my kids!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Homeschool Resources

I am still homeschooling both kids. We reevaluate every year and they have decided to continue what we are doing. Our core curriculum is Moving Beyond the Page. It covers Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies. We use two different things for Math - Khan Academy (free!) and Life of Fred. We also use Rosetta Stone for Polish, Typing Instructor for typing, and music and sports are outside of the home. All of this adds up quickly in the budget so here are some other resources that are all under $20!
homeschool resources for a budget
Here's a list of the best affordable homeschool resources - all available for $20 or less on Educents. Helpful Resources Homeschool Planner - This planner includes dated journal pages, practical forms, motivational quotes, and teaching aides to make your homeschool planning effortless and enjoyable. Do-a-Dot Mega Bundle - 17 different activities that cover fine motor skills, numbers, letters, sight words, word families, shapes, colors, patterns, and early addition. All of these items are designed for us with do-a-dot markers, but they also come with a variety of suggestions for alternative uses. Photography Lessons for Kids - Add some fun to your homeschool! Whether your kids have a point and shoot or a DSLR camera, the fundamental rules of photography can still be taught. Math Resources Tegu Geometric Blocks - Here's a hands-on way to learn geometric shapes. These blocks come in many shapes and colors. Educents Tegu Blocks Buy Now
Times Tales DVD - Kids can learn their times tables in a snap! Most homeschoolers say this DVD only takes about an hour to teach kids the upper times tables. There's also a downloadable version available. Life of Fred Math Stories - After reading the Fred books, kids will never say "math is boring" ever again. These fictional stories weave in math concepts with real world examples. Start with the Apples book for early math, and follow Fred all the way to calculus lessons! Tegu Geometric Blocks - Here's a hands-on way to learn geometric shapes. These blocks come in many shapes and colors. Science Activities Slimy Squishy Polymer Bucket - Learn, create, and play with your student. These polymers can help teach measurements, chemical reactions, and following directions.slimy_squishy_polymer_gloopy_hands_mommywifelife Buy Now
One Minute Science Mysteries - Each story, just one minute long, challenges students' knowledge in earth, space, life, physical, chemical, and general science. Language Arts Games & Lessons uKloo Early Riddle Edition Treasure Hunt Game -Disguised as a treasure hunt, this literacy game gets kids physically active as they strengthen reading comprehension skills while solving clues to find a surprise. ukloo treasure set Buy Now
 Let's Get Reading Bundle - Play detective with this printable packet investigating CVC words, phonics, word families and more! Kids can even print & wear spy gear! Cursive Writing Worksheets - Make handwriting practice more fun with these superhero-themed printable worksheets.  

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Multicultural Festival

Every year we try to attend the giant multicultural festival near us, but this is the first time we have been able to go. Sweet Son's favorite part was the dancers from India. Sweet Daughter's favorite part was the martial arts demonstration with weapons.

Polish dancers! We try to keep the kids connected to Poland as much as possible since they are second generation immigrants.

The instrument petting zoo was also a favorite, though I wish they would have had more multicultural instruments rather than just standard orchestra ones.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Carved Pumpkins

Here are the results of yesterday's carving post!

One scary (Sweet Son), one happy (Wonderful Husband), one cat (Sweet Daughter)

One skull (Sweet Son), one bat (both kids), one pirate (Sweet Daughter)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Carving Pumpkins

It's pumpkin carving time again. Every year the kids get a bit more independent in the process.

Cleaning out the inside

More cleaning out the inside

Learning to carve on a pattern

They took turns on this pattern

Come back tomorrow to see the finished results! (I'm such a tease, haha)

Friday, October 14, 2016

Blog Recommendation

I have just discovered this site out of New Zealand and I'm checking it every day. They have a parenting section that isn't just advice from one parent to another, it's scientists looking at what the research says, it is explaining which news headlines about parenting are just sensational journalism, and it's basically everything I want in a parenting site.

Here is the article that got me hooked:
Science should empower us a parents

They have inspiring stories also:
A Reminder That People Are Good

The editor, Emily Writes "explains her vision for the section as a place for parents on the internet that won’t make you feel like a miserable failure."

We all need more of that in our life.

This post is not a paid endorsement. I have never been to NZ and don't know anyone involved. They have no idea I am recommending their site. I just love the idea and the content and wanted to share with my readers.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Fall Festival

I can't believe it's that time of year again. Wonderful Husband's work offers two festivals a year and they are always a blast.

Watch the chicken fly!

That's only slightly terrifying.

They passed out plastic hard hats for everyone so of course that was included in our family photo!

A cool bench in one of the courtyards

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Decorating Cupcakes

Grandma gave us a scary cupcake decorating kit which was all of the encouragement we needed!

Adding the icing (notice the bit on her cheek, hehe)


He tried to look scary for the photo.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Pumpkin Patch

Another annual tradition we have is visiting the local pumpkin patch. I will miss it when the kids are too big to enjoy this.

Racing through the hay maze

Skipping through the hay maze

Required photo with props - they picked which area they wanted their picture in

Family selfie

Friday, October 7, 2016

Birthday Present Ideas

If you're a parent or relative to young children, then you've got birthdays to attend. For me, it's almost every weekend these days! Finding the appropriate gift can be time-consuming, and a bit stressful- whether it's coming directly from you or from your child to their pal. Never fear! I found a gift guide so you can focus on enjoying time with loved ones (and getting on with your day!) rather than hemming and hawing at all of the options. And while Summer birthdays have been top of my mind, the gift guide is appropriate for any time of year so you can bookmark this page as your gift that keeps on giving. The gifts are organized by age group from toddler to teen, and all of them are under $40. Happy gifting!

For giftees ages 3 to 5

 Geometric Building Set tegu Tegu Blocks combine fun colors, geometric shapes, and a magnetic snap to create a playtime experience that's fitting for the living room or the classroom. Parents (and littles!) love this toy because its production has positive environmental and social impact. get-it-now-200x60

  Make a Match Game mama_may_i_make_a_match_dino1_large_9117 This game helps children grow memory skills with adorable dinosaur chips! The beautiful design is a treat for parents and kids alike. Perfect for picnics, play dates, and rainy games, this game is small enough to carry in your pocket and hip enough for the coolest of pre-k birthday parties. get-it-now-200x60  

For giftees ages 6 to 8

Animal Charades Game mama_may_i_mamamayianimalaction5_fd5e Get kids on their feet and brimming with ideas! This high-quality wooden game is a perfect gift for outgoing children and to create an atmosphere of fun and creativity. get-it-now-200x60
 Pirate Adventure Board Game grouchy-dog-llc_box3drm3_c2be This board game is cleverly disguised. Kids will be having so much fun that they won't even know that they were learning math from an award-winning program. get-it-now-200x60  
 Squishy Science Experiment ss-worldwide_screen_shot_20160616_at_43240_pm_5e55 The Slimy Squishy Polymer Bucket is the perfect gift for budding scientists who aren't afraid to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty in the name of...scientific learning! But they'll too be busy having fun to realize they're learning the basics of chemistry. get-it-now-200x60
 Garden Flowers Coloring Book garden-flowers-coloring-book-9781632205247-1459709691.3733.3088 One great idea for a gift is coloring books. These garden flower coloring books are perfect for child and parent, and can make a great group activity. get-it-now-200x60

For giftees 9 to 10

Food Fighter 2-Player Game kids-table_fdf_box_top_jan_5daa Food Fighter is a board game that has two children face off in a kitchen-themed battle. Children will have fun while developing higher-order thinking skills, mathematics, literacy, and executive functioning skills. get-it-now-200x60
 Dream Catcher Kit the_happy_trunk_dreamcatcher2_f343 Building dreamcatchers is a classic crafting activity - this colorful kit has everything kids need to make something unique and beautiful! get-it-now-200x60
  Just Add Milk Experiments griddly_games_outofboxjustaddmilk_62e8 I love these experiments - little parental oversight is required, and they're so easy to do right at home! Girls and boys, readers and scientists, alike will love this colorful kit. Not to mention parents! get-it-now-200x60

Gifts for Ages 11 to 13

Pairs in Pears pairs-in-pears-lr1998-1460411317.7972.3088 Whether or not they love this pun as much as some of us, this game gets kids flexing vocabulary muscles while having fun with a little challenge and competition. Players build pairs of connecting words in matching patterns, like Scrabble 2.0. Best of all it's portable - a perfect gift and activity to bring along on sleepovers or for parties. For a little more "pearity," pair with two more pears! get-it-now-200x60   Rainforest Biome rainforest-biome-discovery-kit-lr2993-1460412048.0125.3088 Budding scientists and tweens who like hands-on fun will love this all-in-one Rainforest Biome - they get to start a whole ecosystem right at home! The biome includes cacao beans (a favorite), clay, an apple snail shell, and more to create a full-on biofeedback loop. Super cool! get-it-now-200x60
 Math & Science Mystery Books slack_for_ios_upload-3 Who doesn't love to solve a mystery?! The One Minute Mystery series takes a simple concept and turns it into an awesome book. Kids will read mysteries, then use their powers of deduction and knowledge of math and science to find the solution. Each is as satisfying as the next! get-it-now-200x60