Monday, May 11, 2015

My New & Improved Home Education Planner (With Downloadable Cover Art)

As we're wrapping up this school year and I plan for the next one, one step is making my planner to track our school days. You may remember My DIY-Planner from last year. It worked out really well for me so I used much of the same format when printing one for this coming school year, BUT I got a major upgrade for the cover! I love the artwork, complete with a couple Charlotte Mason quotes.

Isn't it lovely? The artist is Ally, a fellow home school mom in the Simply Charlotte Mason Facebook group. She shared it with the group saying that she thought a few other ladies might like to use it, and was kind enough to give me permission to post it on my site as a free download as well. I just love it! Thank you so much for sharing Ally!!!

To view or download Ally's Home Education 
Planner Cover, click the links below...

This is a free file for personal use. If you want to share it, please link to this post. Do not circulate it as your own, try to sell it, or link directly to the file. Obviously. Anyway, it looks just like mine except without the years typed on. I used photoshop (and Ally uses picmonkey) to add the year range on to it each year.

I made the tabs using this fun little tab punch, and stick them on with these tab stickers.

The inside of my planner starts with calendars from Calenderpedia...

Then Goals For the Year from Trina's Dynamite Homeschool Plus (she has TONS of cute, free planner printables)...

And next are our school day pages. I made a table in Microsoft Word to suit my purpose for this. 

I made the table in this format for a couple reasons:
  • I tried to make it easy for my son to take care of his independent work... well... independently. At a glance, he can see his assignments by looking in the assignments column. We still do much of the school day together, but it's nice that he can stay on task doing school work when I'm not right there beside him. 
  • I wanted to type out as much as possible so that I would be writing less in the book each day. In the boxes that have several choices, I'll just circle which one we actually did that day. 
  • Our state's requirement is simply to do school for 180 days. Notice that I write in the school day at the top, as well as the date. This serves as my school records for the year. 

What about special days like co-ops or field trips, when we do something instead of the subjects listed? I fill in this box instead:
One page includes two regular school days as well as two special school days. This doesn't mean that every other day of school is a special day, it just means that when ever we have one I can jot down the date and school day number while keeping it in order with all our regular school days. The rest of the time I'll just skip over that little box. 

At the end of our school days section I also include an "End of the Year Flashback" for fun. (I downloaded it here.)

The last three sections are where I track our co-ops, field trips, and book log. Each one is just a basic table in Microsoft word. 

Last of all, I bind it with my fabulous Pro-Click binding machine.

Happy Planning! ~

Monday, May 4, 2015

Some Sewn Cuteness From My Featured Readers!

I love receiving pictures back from readers who make projects using my tutorials! (Although it may take me a while to finally post them!) Here are a few new ones... 

Mary G in North Carolina used my Custom Bible Cover tutorial to make this pretty case for her bible... 
After corresponding with a few people making their bible cases, I also updated my post with a few new tips and FAQ. 

Kristie H from Baltimore Maryland shared her little one's frog costume, which she made using my Hoppy Halloween Tutorial. (This tutorial includes instructions for making both frog and tadpole costumes)...

Melissa used my Pack & Play Sheet tutorial to make this cute sheet for her future foster kids...

Jennifer, from St. Louis Missouri used my ear flap hat pattern to make this hat for her son...

And Beth, from Iowa, used my dishtowel bib tutorial to sew her first dishtowel bib... 

Thank you ladies for sharing your pictures! :D 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Comparing Simply Charlotte Mason History with Mystery of History

I started our year with Simply Charlotte Mason (SCM) history, and mid-year switched to Mystery of History (MOH). This blog post is for anyone who may be comparing the two curriculums and trying to decide between them. If you're not then you can just skip this post and wait for the next one! :)

For reference, we did volume one of both curriculums which is Ancient History. 

This is SCM Genesis to Deuteronomy and Ancient Egypt 

And this is MOH Vol 1 Creation to the Resurrection

Similarities between the two curriculums:

Monday, April 20, 2015

You Can Make a Burlap Wreath

Check it out, I made my first wreath!

I have seen some cute burlap wreaths lately and wondered how big of a deal they are to make. Surprisingly, they're pretty easy. And once you have the hang of it, you can make all sorts of different looks to suit your tastes. Take these for example...  

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Learning to Read: What Worked for Us

Learning to read is a messy process, and there isn't one clear-cut way to do it.  I've shared many of my favorite reading resources here, and today I'm going to share with you what exactly worked for us. And I'll let you in on a little secret... I didn't actually purchase a phonics curriculum at all!


I did NOT push formal reading lessons on my kids early-on. If you're not sure why on earth I chose to wait then please click here and read the "when to start formal teaching" section. Instead, we strongly encourage a LOVE of reading by reading aloud, a lot.

Gentle Introduction:

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What Makes Young Living Different From Any Other Firm in the World

What follows was written by a YL Customer Service in an email:

Here are eight key elements that make Young Living® different from any other firm in the world:

  1. Own organic herb farms and custom-built essential oil distillation facilities on three continents.
  2. Have one of the largest libraries of scientific review papers on essential oils in the world.
  3. Have a founder/CEO who has devoted almost a quarter century to studying and growing therapeutic-grade essential oil.
  4. Have company leaders who have published twelve research papers and nine books on the therapeutic benefits of essential oils and herbs.
  5. Have a founder/CEO who has studied at nine foreign universities.
  6. Have a founder/CEO who has spoken at the United Nations conference on essential oils.
  7. Have a staff of essential oil experts who regularly travel the world searching for the finest essential oils being produced.
  8. Offer totally unique and natural products that get immediate results

We do not dilute, cut, or allow any adulteration to our single oils or the single oils we place in our oil blends, supplements, or other products, nor do we fractionate (isolate or distill out specific components) our essential oils. We harvest, distill, and sell only 100% natural, pure essential oils that meet the Young Living therapeutic-grade standard.

One of Young Living's defining attributes is that we take quality so seriously that we actually own and operate our own farms and steam extraction equipment. We have operations on three continents, including Europe, South America, and North America that produce the finest essential oils on earth. Again, no other vendor is more fanatical on quality.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Stick Figuring Through The Bible

Today I'm sharing with you one of my favorite finds for parents of young children. It's called "Stick Figuring Through the Bible," from Grapevine Studies, and it's a great way for children to begin making a bible timeline of their own. This is not just for home schoolers! It's for any parent or bible class teacher who is reading through the bible (or a bible story book) with their kids.

It's amazingly simple and a great way for children to begin visualizing the story of the bible as a whole. Here is a peek at the first few pages of my son's timeline...