Homeschoolers Don't Wear Shoes - Much

As summer is winding down and we are all planning our first days of school with the kiddos the last thing that goes through our minds is shoes. Well, mine anyway. Because I homeschool the two little darlings, the thought didn't cross my mind about the first day of school.
Well, JINX!!!

We go to a co-op twice a week, so we do put clothes on and brush our hair, and we have backpacks! So that's very school-like. However, when 9:30 on the first day rolled around we weren't as prepared as I thought. The girls put on their outfits and brushed their hair and I'm like, "Put on your shoes, let's go"...and guess what? My 11 year old bursts out crying that her shoes don't fit and she hates her feet. Yikes!

We jumped in the car and drove directly to the closest shoe store. We had less than an hour to get to our co-op and eat lunch...we had her feet measured and there was an entire size difference! (Have never seen that before!).

Then my youngest and I treated this shoeless child like a princess and brought her every pair of shoes we could find that would go on her obscure feet. I was aiming for a pair of Converse (because they are so cool), but she said they felt funny and looked like clown shoes, we tried Bobs, ballet slippers, moccasins, sandals, boat shoes and more...the poor kid was teary and finally I found a pair of those tough trail sandals...they fit and they made her bouncy and she smiled...what!!!!? Then it was buy one get one half off so we looked at the clearance section and found some other cool silver metallic tennis shoes and a pair of sky blue Keds. Now she has four pairs of shoes that may or may not fit her for a while, it depends if the small foot catches up with the larger...oi.

Crisis averted we made it to co-op with smiles and Chick Fil A all over our faces. Whew!

This sounds like a commercial doesn't it...but at least last week taught me that if you get ready early enough you can go get new shoes. And being prepared is a good thing even if I tend to want to wear flip flops all year long. I am from California after all, and that's a thing.

To all the mommas out there starting up for the fall, stay calm, smile a lot, bring snacks, and don't forget that being 11 is really hard.

Happy Back To School Everyone!!! What's on your back to school list homeschool mom?

Make Your Own Microscope Slides At Home - Homeschooler's World

Today has been amazing! We basically fell into a two hour in-depth study of a world we don't usually see! The microscopic world!!

Last weekend I picked up a used, older microscope at a flea market. I don't know anything about 'scopes but it looked like it would I brought it home for $17. I realized later that it didn't have a light source, so placed a small bright lamp underneath until I can find a proper light.

I only had two old slides on hand to test it out at the time...luckily I'd saved them for 20+ years...(can you say hoarder?). We tried them out and everything worked great. Then I researched on Amazon for prepared slides and plain slides and solutions etc. I then got to thinking that I have a bad habit of spending money on supplies and then my children tend to lose interest.

So fast forward to this morning! (This idea has been brewing since Christmas by the way). One of my kiddos slept till noon and the other one was chomping at the bit to learn something I asked her if she wanted to be a botanist and collect samples to look at under the microscope...of course, she was intrigued! Eight year olds are amazing at finding tiny stuff by the way...

Now here's the part that I've been wanting to try out: making homemade microscope slides that kids can use safely...using my LAMINATOR! And yes, it works. Some of the slides can look cloudy, but most of them turned out great.

You will need:
  • a laminating machine (got mine on Amazon for under $20)
  • business card size laminating pouches
  • tweezers
  • sharpies
  • nature collectibles, tiny things, dead bugs
  • microscope or bright light source like a light table
All you do is open up the little pouch and place your tiny leaves, petals, ants etc as much in the middle of your pouch as possible. Then slide the pouch into the machine (follow the manufacturer's instructions) and let it work its magic!

 See how great things look even when not magnified!

The heat of the laminator makes petals and leaves almost translucent so you can get a good view of the structure of samples. Place them under the 'scope at 4X for larger items and 10X for smaller (like ants).

Things we collected include:
  • dead fly and ants
  • small dead beetle
  • various blossoms, flower petals, pollen, garden plants and herbs
  • potting soil/dirt
  • bark & pencil shavings
  • textiles like fabric, felt, threads, twine, string
  • house plant leaves
  • glitter and glitter glue (the glue will squirt out so only a tiny drop is needed)
  • hair
  • aloe vera gel 
  • money
  • tea, coffee, spices from the kitchen 
  • a smidge of bread (will turn moldy eventually)

The kids spent over an hour looking at everything and discussing what each slide looked like, comparing to other slides, and thinking about what each would look like if we had an even more powerful microscope. We will be on the look out for more items to turn into slides.

I found an empty pencil box and placed all our slides inside, along with our trusty tweezers, and a marker. Now we are prepared to enter the realm of "microsopy" at any moment!

I would love to hear what you think about this idea. If you don't have a microscope, you can also use a light table or a window on a sunny young and old will truly enjoy noticing the tiny details of a flower or a slice of bread.  

Have a ton of fun being a science explorer with your kiddos! 

Some awesome printables I found that you can use to learn about microscopes and cell structure are located at Teachers Pay Teachers , A School Called Home and Pinterest.

Technology Time-Keeper Chart - Limiting Time on Electronics for Your Kids

We got the kids their own Kindles when they were $35 each, but we didn't think how much it would cost us in time and aggravation when we didn't want them to be using the devices.

I came up with a quick post-it note chart on the fridge one day, and wrote five minute increments on the notes...then every time they did something worthy of moving up in time, I let them move their magnet marker up one or two spots. The chart only goes up to one hour, because if they go over their hour they seem to get even more bad-tempered than usual.

So I decided a while ago to make one that is printable and I just now remembered to post about it. I hope this chart can help you navigate the murky waters of how much time your kids get to use their devices. If this chart doesn't work for you then improvise and make your own with your own times and totals.

I also use the time boxes to take away time if they do something I deem in the "bad" zone. Like burping at dinner, or taking a toy away from another kid, using a negative tone, not doing what they're asked within a reasonable time frame, etc. With my youngest child, the idea of losing hard-earned minutes was a really big deal!

One thing I've been trying lately is the BONUS system...if they do something amazing, like, above and beyond the call of duty, then I move their marker up without telling them and then they get a surprise! I love free stuff!

Feel free to print this out and place on your refrigerator door...explain how it works to your kid/s and give them a week or two to get used to using it. Pretty soon they will be self-monitoring and asking you how they can earn more minutes!!!

Please share the link to this page, not the actual download...I really appreciate it!

Wild Kratts Field Journal Notebook Printable

I am super excited to present to you the brand new FIELD JOURNAL that is now ready to go with our Wild Kratts animal study! It's only taken me forever to pull it all together and get it completed. I hope your kids love it as much as we do!


This field journal has been created to fit on both legal and letter size paper. Legal size paper folds beautifully into an almost square shape that is perfect for kids to use and fits their hands.

Print this out on both sides of the paper and you could create an outstanding journal of your child's journey into animal habitats.

Also, if you print it at 50% or less, you could create a mini book which would be even cuter as a party favor! The children could use the notebook during the party to write/draw observation of animals you present in the form of puppets, videos, and stuffed toys hidden in the backyard. So cute!

Included on 12 pages: Animals, Birds, Insects, Plants, Extra Notes & Observations, Animal Classification Chart, Leaf Chart, Sketch Areas and Scientific Identifiers.


I offer all my printables free of charge. However, for this field journal I am asking a small fee to cover the cost of art work. For $1.99 you can own this printable forever and print as many copies for your family as you like. I only ask that you do not sell or distribute as your own work. Please refer those interested to this page if they need a copy.



I hope you enjoy this and that it adds some fun to your school day!

Thanks to the Graphics Fairy for vintage animal images.



alternative cover without WK logo

Organize Your Desktop

I cannot stay organized, can you? I created a desktop organizer for all the folders on my screen...

You are welcome to try it out yourself if you like. Just save the above image as a jpg on your desktop and load as a screen background...

Would you like more designs? Let me know and I will make a few more!

Have a blessed day everyone!

Learning To Watercolor

Creativebug is my new favorite! I signed up for two free weeks and I've been learning how to watercolor and how to calligraph(y). It's pretty cool. And I like FREE.

Here's some shots of my watercolors.
I will post some calligraphy when I get something nice done, so far it's just a lot of practice.

I started off with the wreath. You basically put some spots of color in a circle and then had vines and leaves. You then proceed to make the details with either a pen or colored pencil or with your brush if you feel up to it. Wreaths are very forgiving, so get creative. Then I went online and found some tutorials for roses, leaves and feathers - which are so cute. I could make my own greeting cards!!!

Hope you enjoyed this little peek at my new hobby! There's always something new brewing around here!

Happy Tickets and Reward Ideas List

Prize tickets are a fun way to encourage children to help around the house without grumbling or muttering or dragging their feet (ha ha). Use these FREE PRINTABLE tickets by printing out on card stock and using one ticket per child...when they help out with a "happy heart" they get a star stamped (or use a hole punch). When the stars are all stamped then a prize is in order. OR they can save up several tickets for a BIG PRIZE (like an amusement park, horse riding, renting a canoe, a party, a shopping spree etc).

What are some reward ideas you use with your family?

Click on the image to go to the FREE download. Feel free to share with your friends by sharing the link to this post, not the direct link to the image. Thank you! Created by Sarah at