Friday, August 19, 2011

Homeschool Deals at Target

I love Target.

Actually, I LOVE Target!

I popped in my local store the other day for some necessities and was super excited to find TONS of great schooling supplies in the One Spot. We approach homeschooling through a very frugal lens and don't think it's appropriate for our family to spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on school curriculum. Little finds and discoveries like the One Spot at Target are what help us keep our homeschooling goals affordable!

We don't really need a ton of items this year, curriculum wise, but I still picked up a few fun things that the kids will enjoy, and a few things for Teacher!Mom as well.

This teacher's planning book and the teacher's grade book will come in handy for keeping track of our activities. I'll probably find an "off-label" use for them rather than using them to keep strict track of attendance (ha!) or to plan out lessons. Both books were $1.00, and were comparable to other plan and grading books that I've seen on sale for $15.


I picked up this division book ($1.00) for my stepson. And this cute Crayola first reader ($1.00) is for my 4 year old, who is just learning to read.


I also found these cute Bingo games the kids will enjoy ($1.00 each), and these foam blocks that we can use for math lessons, or just for distracting the younger kids while I'm working on a lesson with my oldest.


A great haul for just $8.00!!

I'm still working on putting together our homeschool binder for the year, but as soon as I've got it assembled, I'll be sharing it as well!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Homeschooling: It's almost that time again!

It's been a crazy week here in the Crafting Sanity household. Maternity leave is officially over, and this mama is both sad and excited to be back to work. Being back to work means a new routine for our family, new "duty" sharing for Mom and Dad, and the knowledge that some things are going to fade into the background while we acclimate to our life in this new phase.

We're also coming up on the beginning of the school year. Chloe (4.5) is starting Kindergarten this year! As a mom, I'm very excited and proud. As a homeschooling AND working-out-of-the-home mom, I'll admit - I'm terrified! It's such an awesome responsibility to teach my children. I do believe that there is no teacher in the world more qualified to teach them, but I do struggle with the thought that I may not be able to do the task justice while I'm also working out of the home.

Thank goodness we're still in the earliest years of school where learning is mostly play. This makes my job miles easier. But, there is still some work to be done. Here's how we're going to do it:


Starting this week, I'll be beginning to plan out our school year. We do year-round schooling: school in the months of September-October-November, January-February-March, and May-June-July with the remaining months of December, April and August for free time, family time, vacations and holidays. So, this month I'll concentrate on outlining our goals for the year. Once I know what we have in mind for our year, I'll plan for our fall quarter.

Because I do work out of the home, it's important for us to have a flexible schedule. My work schedule and days off are never the same from week to week, so our school week can't look the same either. I rarely plan our week's assignments out to the day. Instead, I just list the assignments and activities that we need to get to for a given week, and then we just chip away at that list, doing a little bit everyday. Some weeks we won't get to everything, other weeks we'll finish up early, and most weeks will fit right in the middle. The important thing is to have a plan that's neither too flexible or too rigid in order for us to feel like we have the freedom to have fun while we learn.

I'm just getting started with this year's planning, but as the month progresses, I'm hoping to share what our plans look like.

Next week: Our Homeschool Notebook, and what we put in it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pinterest: Like I Needed Another Internet Time Suck

So, I've just recently discovered the wonderful, bottomless world of Pinterest.  For those who haven't heard of it, Pinterest is an online community where you can "pin" your favorite images from around the web onto different "pinboards" of your choosing.  You can create any kind of pinboard you like.  For example, a few of mine are "Homeschooling," for great homeschool ideas I find, and "Tulips," for beautiful, inspiring photos of my favorite flower.  I've also got "Sewing" for future projects I'd like to try, "The Simple Life", "Books Worth Reading", and more.

Really, the concept of the site is so simple, and maybe that's why I can't get enough.  Anything organizational really gets me going, and Pinterest is so visually stimulating that it's a double whammy.  I can easily lose hours a day to wandering aimlessly around the interewebs searching for beautiful photos to pin.

For example, my pinboard of homeschool ideas features fun ideas like these:

Easy math manipulatives I could make in ten minutes.
Source: via Heather on Pinterest

I can also use my pins to keep track of plans I'd like to make for Christmas and Yule this year: gift ideas, decorations, food, etc. Like these:

Perfect for hanging holiday cards!

In short, I absolutely {heart} Pinterest, and I wanted to share my excitement with you all.

Are you a Pinterest member? If so, I'd love to follow you! Leave me a blog comment or look me up on My user name is Heather Harris. See you there!