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Twelve Tips for Visting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Our family just returned from a one-day adventure in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and it was a highlight of our shared book experience. If you can swing the trip, I assure you that it is well worth the experience.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is located inside the Universal Studio theme parks in Orlando. Hogsmeade is a small section in the rear of Universal Studios Islands of Adventure while Diagon Alley is a small section in the back of Universal Studios Orlando. The two parks are connected by the Hogwarts Express.

I have no doubt that your journey through one of the most beloved books of this generation will be unforgettable.

Twelve tips for making the most of your visit to Harry Potter World! Continue Reading


The Meaning Behind the Name: Not Before 7

Why is your blog is called, “Not Before 7”?

The answer to this question was published on my original blog on August 11, 2007. I dug it out of the archives to publish here.  At the time this post was written, my children were 4.5 years old, just about 3 years old, and 9 months old. 

I am not a morning person. I never was.

I don’t function well in the morning, at least, not before 7 AM.

Therefore, our house rule is that children can not enter our bedroom until there is a 7 on the clock.

We taught this rule to our kids as soon as they could read the “7” on the digital clock. Some pretty memorable and funny moments occurred as the kids learned to obey the clock rule.

Why is your blog titled, "Not Before 7"? I explain it all today.





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Connect with Your Kids: March Activities

March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.  It’s the perfect month to have some fun with your kids both inside and outside.

Take some time this month to have some fun and connect as a family.  To make it a bit easier for you, I’ve compiled a list of ways you can make some family memories this month, including a FREE printable of conversations starters for your family!

A list of fun activities and ideas to connect with your kids this month: March. Continue Reading


Homeschooling Teens: One Mom’s Transition

Nothing could have prepared me for the day that my little elementary homeschool grew up.

Looking back, it feels like it happened overnight, but that isn’t really true. Changes began when my oldest entered middle school and they continued throughout that first year. There was a whole new level of resistance to schoolwork, complaining and dismay about field trips, and whining about crafts and hands-on activities.

What on earth happened?

Where, oh where, did my happy homeschool go?  Oh, where, oh where could it be?

Turns out that I was going to find that happy homeschool again, but it was going to be a bumpy ride.

One mom's journey from homeschooling little ones as they grew up and the first one became a teen. She shares her widsom about handing that transition. Continue Reading


A Review of the Brave Writer Arrow Guides

I felt like Tarzan.  Or Jane.  Swinging all day from tree to tree and never knowing if it was going to be enough.

Spelling.  Vocabulary.  Comprehension questions.  Grammar.  Writing.  Would my kids ever connect all of these branches?

I was leaping from workbook to workbook to cover these skills, but what was I achieving?

Language arts felt so jumpy and disconnected in our homeschool.   And I felt so tired.  I didn’t want to swing like Tarzan from topic to topic anymore, but I wasn’t sure what else to do.

So I did what any homeschool mom does.  I googled.  And I googled.  And I googled.  I knew I could find a program that would help me teach Language Arts as a cohesive set of skills for communication.  I knew I could find a guide to take us into the world language and communication.

And I was ready to drop my Tarzan rope.

A review of how the Brave Writer Arrow Guides and how they transformed our approach to Language Arts.

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