Not Before 7 http://www.notbefore7.com Life as a Homeschool Nightowl Wed, 13 Dec 2017 22:19:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 92723913 Gifts for a Teen Girl http://www.notbefore7.com/2017/12/12/gifts-teen-girl/ http://www.notbefore7.com/2017/12/12/gifts-teen-girl/#respond Wed, 13 Dec 2017 04:24:07 +0000 http://www.notbefore7.com/?p=4041 Need a few thoughtful and original gifts for a teen girl in your life? I was at a complete loss when it came to Christmas for my teen girls.  I started searching online and asking friends for ideas. In the end, I am thrilled about the options I found for the 13 and 15-year-old girls in this house. Now I will pass on some of the great gifts for a teen girl that were given to me. Gift Ideas for a Teen Girl {This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.} 1. Jewelry Subscriptions Mint Mongoose sends you three pieces of jewelry surprises each month for just $12. Fair Trade Earring of the Month is the jewelry subscription that I have for myself. I have also gifted a 3-month subscription as a gift. 2. Kavu Bag This one is a perfect gift for your teen on the go. She’ll be set for summer camp, study group, or sleepovers. There are so many pattern choices as well. 3. Tickets to an Event How about an annual subscription to the theater or ballet? Maybe a ticket to a concert for their favorite singer or band? You could plan a trip to a theme park or local zip line adventure park. 4. Instant Camera This one is a hot item and has been for a year or two. You can find a variety of colors. a. Polaroid Instant Film Camera b. Polaroid Snap c. Fujifilm Instax Mini 9       Don’t forget the film […]

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Need a few thoughtful and original gifts for a teen girl in your life?

I was at a complete loss when it came to Christmas for my teen girls.  I started searching online and asking friends for ideas.

In the end, I am thrilled about the options I found for the 13 and 15-year-old girls in this house.

Now I will pass on some of the great gifts for a teen girl that were given to me.

Make gift giving easy with this life of gift ideas for a teen girl.
Gift Ideas for a Teen Girl

{This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.}

1. Jewelry Subscriptions

Mint Mongoose sends you three pieces of jewelry surprises each month for just $12.

Fair Trade Earring of the Month is the jewelry subscription that I have for myself. I have also gifted a 3-month subscription as a gift.

2. Kavu Bag

This one is a perfect gift for your teen on the go. She’ll be set for summer camp, study group, or sleepovers. There are so many pattern choices as well.

3. Tickets to an Event

How about an annual subscription to the theater or ballet?

Maybe a ticket to a concert for their favorite singer or band?

You could plan a trip to a theme park or local zip line adventure park.

4. Instant Camera

This one is a hot item and has been for a year or two. You can find a variety of colors.

a. Polaroid Instant Film Camera
b. Polaroid Snap
c. Fujifilm Instax Mini 9

     

Don’t forget the film that matches the brand you purchase.

And may I suggest fairy lights and mini clothespins so your teen can design a wall of photos in her bedroom.

5. Eno Hammock

Hang this hammock anywhere in a jiffy. Take it to the lake, on a hike or to the local park. Your teen can relax with friends just about anywhere with trees.

     

If your kids own a hammock, then just buy the ENO style straps. We did this for our kids this year because the ENO straps are so easy to use. A teen can hang their hammock with no problem.

6. Creative Art Supplies

Put together a little kit with a few art supplies that are a little different from the everyday supplies:

a. Gelato Pastel Sticks
b. Dual Tip Brush Pens
c. The Visual Journal

      

d. Kneaded Erasers
e. Blender Marker
f. A book about Hand Lettering (The one I treated myself to is pictured below)
g. Electric Eraser (The one we own is pictured below.)

7. Book Subscription Box

How about a brand new young adult book delivered to her house each month?

Owl Crate contains a brand new hardcover book each month with 3-5 bookish goodies. Each box has a fun, unique theme.

8. New Bedding

Who couldn’t use new bedding? We treated our teen to a new down comforter and duvet cover one year. They were both a huge hit. She was so excited to have a soft down comforter like the one on my bed.

How about special flannel sheets?

Maybe a new bookish throw pillow? or a Shakespeare quote?

9. Makeup

Find a complete makeup kit or just purchase various favorite items. How about a nice zipper pouch for makeup storage, especially for travel?

Consider a makeup subscription box so the goodies keep coming all year long.

10. Athletic Items

How about new workout clothes including a few new athletic headbands?

You can stock up on some athletic supplies like a yoga mat and a new water bottle.

Of course, in the end it also works to toss a little cash their way and let them come up with a creative way to spend it.

Need more inspiration for this holiday season?

Check out these other ideas:

SUBSCRIPTION BOXES

The gift that keeps on giving:

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Gifts Inspired by the Brave Writer Lifestyle http://www.notbefore7.com/2017/11/11/gifts-brave-writer-lifestyle/ http://www.notbefore7.com/2017/11/11/gifts-brave-writer-lifestyle/#comments Sat, 11 Nov 2017 15:07:16 +0000 http://www.notbefore7.com/?p=3987 Gift giving is such fun. I love surprising people and finding the perfect gift. Shopping for my kids brings me joy. Truly. On the same hand, I don’t want a big pile of “stuff” left around after a holiday celebration or birthday. This forces me to think before I buy. I want gifts that are fun and practical. It is a possible combination! I don’t want to find myself overwhelmed with stuff for the sake of stuff. This is where my creativity comes in. I need to find things that will be inspiring, useful, and a joy to give. So in the spirit of practical AND fun gifts, I present the following ideas inspired by our love for the Brave Writer lifestyle. {This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.} Making my lists and checking them twice… Poetry Teatime Special Teapots I absolutely adore these Tea-For-One ceramic tea sets from the English Tea Store. I bought each child their own solid color set and treated myself to this beautiful set. Everyone loves drinking from their own special teapot, whether it is filled with hot tea, hot chocolate, or lemonade. You can find several on Amazon as well. Here are a few that caught my eye: Addison Tea for One in polka dot (I also like the black and white) Tea-Rex Tea for One – Oh my word. Pun AND Tea?? Star Wars Rouge One Death Star Teapot. Seriously. I might have to become a teapot collector. Harry Potter Tea for One. […]

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Gift giving is such fun. I love surprising people and finding the perfect gift. Shopping for my kids brings me joy. Truly.

On the same hand, I don’t want a big pile of “stuff” left around after a holiday celebration or birthday. This forces me to think before I buy.

I want gifts that are fun and practical. It is a possible combination! I don’t want to find myself overwhelmed with stuff for the sake of stuff.

This is where my creativity comes in. I need to find things that will be inspiring, useful, and a joy to give.

So in the spirit of practical AND fun gifts, I present the following ideas inspired by our love for the Brave Writer lifestyle.

A list of gift ideas that are fun and practicall so that you will continue to use them all year. Check out these gift ideas inspired by the Brave Writer Lifestyle.

{This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.}

Making my lists and checking them twice…

Poetry Teatime

Special Teapots

I absolutely adore these Tea-For-One ceramic tea sets from the English Tea Store. I bought each child their own solid color set and treated myself to this beautiful set.

Everyone loves drinking from their own special teapot, whether it is filled with hot tea, hot chocolate, or lemonade.

You can find several on Amazon as well. Here are a few that caught my eye:

   

New Poetry Books

I could list a million poetry books. The sky is the limit here.

But when it comes to gift giving, I like to find unique books that we will return to again and again. In that spirit, I’ll list a few favorite poetry book gift options:

  • Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost – In this beautiful adaptation for kids, there are hidden animals to discover in the black and white images.
  • Imagine A …. by Rob Gonsalves – We have these books in hardcover on our poetry shelf. The images are mind-bending illusions with accompanying poems. You can read more about my love for these books.
  • Winter Bees or Dark Emporer by Joyce Sidman – Both of these books include poetry and informational text about the animal or topic of the poem. I love the combination of non-fiction and poetry.
  • The Crossover by Kwame Alexander – A chapter book written in slam poetry style. Then there is the beautiful collection in the Poetry Teatime Companion complied by Julie Bogart and Nancy Graham.

 

You can also check out this list of Modern Picture books and scroll to the poetry section.

Just for Fun

How about magnet poetry for the fridge? Maybe the Haiku version? Or the Edgar Allen Poet kit?

Movies

Did you know that you can find movie discussion guides on the Brave Writer blog every Wednesday?

Movies create the opportunity for big, juicy conversations in the same way that a good book does. Take advantage of a few family movie nights during the busy holiday season or the gift of a good movie.

Check out the Brave Writer Movie blog posts and pick a few for this holiday season.

Gift a family movie night with a new movie and big gift basket of movie watching yummies.

Writing

Writing gift fun because we are BRAVE writers.

Copywork

I am obsessed with markers and pens, so I am happy to buy a ton items in this category. And I do. All. Year. Long.

Here are some of my favorites to pull out for copywork fun.

 

   

Just for Copywork Fun

   

Journals

We love our special Golden Lines journals (for favorite book quotes) and our Friday Freewrite journals. My boys have asked to start their own Golden Lines Journal, so you know they’ll be getting one.

  • A Novel Journal is one of my favorite options. If your child has a favorite title that is featured then this is a perfect Golden Lines journal.
  • A Gold colored journal for their Golden Lines.
  • Grab a simple spiral notebook with a special cover. Maybe a sport or a character?
  • Some of these Harry Potter Journals would delight the kids in this house.
  • Get Out!!! There is a great selection of Stranger Things notebooks.

         

Game Play: Language Games

Toss the vocabulary and spelling workbooks and grab a game instead. Here are a few of our favorites for wordplay, storytelling, vocabulary, and spelling:

  • In Dixit, players use a descriptive word to describe their artwork hoping that it also describes the artwork someone else is holding. We own Dixit Journey, but it was very pricey when I posted this. I would check out the version pictured below.
  • Codenames forces the players to think about words, their various meanings, and connections. There are many versions to choose from. We have the original, but the neighbor has the picture version. The Duet Version is on my list.
  • Quiddler. Think spelling practice but FUN!
  • Rory’s Story Cubes are a classic storytelling game. They are also easy to take with you in your purse.

 

  • Taboo and Scattergories are classics from my own childhood. Both involve creative wordplay and work well with your older kids.
  • Apples to Apples is a great follow up to a lesson on adjectives and nouns!
  • Snake Oil is a fun game of persuasive language and laugh out loud word combinations.

 

   

 

Hygge

What is hygge?

According to Wikipedia, it is a “Danish and Norwegian word which can be described as a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).”

Part of the Brave Writer Lifestyle is all about bringing coziness to our homeschool environment. Instead of doing school at home, we create a cozy home environment where learning can happen.

Art and Nature

Experience Art and enjoying nature are just part of the activities on the agenda as a Brave Writer family.

In my home, we are much more likely to dabble in the arts instead of nature, but I try to incorporate both. There are so many simple gift ideas that will remain useful for years to come.

      

Shakespeare

Bring the Bard to your gift giving events. There are so many books about William Shakespeare, so I am going to list my favorite “gift-worthy” titles.

Shakespeare Books

  • Wills Words – My favorite kids hardcover picture book to introduce kids to the language invented by Shakespeare.
  • My love for OMG Shakespeare runs deep. This is a hysterical set for your teen. (language warning with emoji and texting acronyms)
  • Loves Shakespeare and Star Wars? Combine your loves with these hysterical Star Wars rewrites.
  • Pop Sonnets are modern day pop songs rewritten in the language of Shakespeare. I like to read the Shakespeare version and see if the kids can guess the modern song.

     

Shakespeare Fun

 

Continuing Education

Julie Bogart of Brave Writer supports continuing education for the homeschool mom. We learn alongside our kids every day, but we should feel free to pursue our own passions as well.

In addition, we can improve our ability to homeschool by surrounding ourselves with other moms who are pursuing the same ideals and reading books about learning and education.

Support

If you are looking for a one-stop shop for a Homeschooling Parent to learn and grow in a community of like-minded Brave Schooling parents, then a membership to the Homeschool Alliance is the perfect gift.

The Alliance is Julie Bogart’s personal coaching community where a homeschool parent can find support for their homeschool journey.

Gifts for the Brave Writer Lifestyle includes support for mom from the Homeschool Alliance.

My favorite aspect of this community is the Master Class in Learning. I consider it my continuing education because each month I read and discuss thoughts on learning and education with like-minded adults. The monthly webinars are important to my growth as a homeschooling mom.

Self-Care

Of course, part of the Brave Writer Lifestyle is taking care of YOU – the parent.

Make sure that as you make your lists for the kids, you think about something that will nourish your own soul this holiday season.

What useful gifts are on your shopping lists?

 

RELATED POSTS:

For More Great Homeschool Ideas:

For lots of great ideas about motherhood, homeschooling, and travel, follow Not Before 7 on Pinterest.

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100 Ways to Explore Geography with Your Kids http://www.notbefore7.com/2017/11/06/100-ways-to-explore-geography-with-your-kids/ http://www.notbefore7.com/2017/11/06/100-ways-to-explore-geography-with-your-kids/#comments Mon, 06 Nov 2017 05:09:48 +0000 http://www.notbefore7.com/?p=3927   Looking for ideas and inspiration while you are studying Geography with kids? I’ve got you covered with 100 ways to Explore Geography. From map skills to websites to apps, you’ll find plenty of ideas to choose from. {This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.} Geography with Kids: Map Skills 1. Play Battleship – learn to read grids and coordinates 2. Explore an Atlas Kid’s Beginners World Atlas Kids World Atlas Maps Atlas of Adventures Barefoot Books World Atlas 3. Print and Color in a wall-size map – I like to print 3×3 maps (9 sheets of paper) 4. Trace a Map 5. Make a Salt Dough Map 6. Participate in Journey North – a global game of hide-and-seek to find mystery locations 7. Play with a Create-A-Scene Magnetic USA Map 8. Read a book: Maps and Globes The Once Upon a Time Map Book Me On a Map Discover Science: Maps and Mapping Mapping Penny’s World Follow That Map: A First Book of Mapping Skills 9. Sketch the continents on a blue balloon 10. Hang a Wall Map at home – try a dry erase wall decal world map 11. Play on an interactive Smart Globe 12. Make a Fantasy Map 13. Pin locations on a Pin It Map – World Set Review; USA set Review 14. Make a Treasure Map 15. Create a 3D town 16. Make a Homemade Compass 17. Watch this video about the Mercator Projection 18. Create a Geography Picture Dictionary with your kids 19. Make […]

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Looking for ideas and inspiration while you are studying Geography with kids?

I’ve got you covered with 100 ways to Explore Geography. From map skills to websites to apps, you’ll find plenty of ideas to choose from.

Check out this list of 100 ways to explore Geography with your kids. You'll find arts, music, crafts, books, and more!

{This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.}

Geography with Kids: Map Skills

1. Play Battleship – learn to read grids and coordinates
2. Explore an Atlas

3. Print and Color in a wall-size map – I like to print 3×3 maps (9 sheets of paper)
4. Trace a Map
5. Make a Salt Dough Map
6. Participate in Journey North – a global game of hide-and-seek to find mystery locations
7. Play with a Create-A-Scene Magnetic USA Map
8. Read a book:

9. Sketch the continents on a blue balloon
10. Hang a Wall Map at home – try a dry erase wall decal world map
11. Play on an interactive Smart Globe
12. Make a Fantasy Map
13. Pin locations on a Pin It Map – World Set Review; USA set Review

Pin It Maps for Hands on World Geography
14. Make a Treasure Map
15. Create a 3D town
16. Make a Homemade Compass
17. Watch this video about the Mercator Projection
18. Create a Geography Picture Dictionary with your kids
19. Make a Paper Mache Globe
20. Complete this Latitude and Longitude Map Activity with your Kids

Geography with Kids: Get Outside

21. Use a city map to walk around downtown
22. Read a map while planning your garden
23. Go Geocaching or Letterboxing: Read how one mom got started
24. Explore the US National Parks and become a Junior Ranger.
25. Take a trip – in your own country or across borders

General Geography

26. Subscribe to Little Passports for monthly geography fun
27. Go on a Geography Quest
28. Read: Give Your Child the World, for all of the resources you need
29. Read the Children Just Like Me books and meet kids around the world
30. Watch John Green’s Crash Course Kids: Landforms
31. Watch CNN 10 for 10 minutes of World News every day.
32. Enjoy a Poetry Teatime focused on one country or culture

33. Host a Geography Fair for your kids and their friends
34. Sing Geography Songs

Geography with Kids: Play

35. Professor Noggin Countries of the World
36. Professor Noggins Countries of the World II
37. Professor Noggins Geography of the United States
38. Scrambled States of America


39. Brainbox: The World
40. GeoBingo World
41. GeoBingo USA
42. World Edition Borderline


43. Ticket to Ride (USA; Europe; Asia; Nordic; United Kingdom)
44. Flag Frenzy
45. Flags of the World
46. Passport to Culture


47. Sequence States and Capitals
48. GeoPuzzles (Floor puzzles) – One for every continent
49. Continent Puzzles (framed puzzles)
50. 3D World Globe Puzzle


Geography with Kids: Apps

51. Stack the States – answer state trivia and then balance the states
52. Stack the Countries – answer trivia and then stack the countries
53. Kids Maps – US and various continents available
54. State Bingo and Geography Crossword – two fun-filled games
55. Geography Drive – USA trivia about everything from state capitals to US landmarks
56. Earth 101 – an amazing atlas full of maps and information
57. Barefoot World Atlas – explore an interactive globe
58. Jazzy World Touryoung kid friendly – learn about music, animals and culture
59. GeoBee Challenge – challenging game for grades 4 and up

Geography with Kids: Websites

60. Sheppard Software – Play USA and World Geography Games
61. Seterra Online – Map quizzes measured by accuracy and time. We love to race!
62. Google Earth – Explore the world. Look at landmarks. Walk the streets in Streetview. I have a Facebook Live video with a demonstration.
63. Geoguessr – Can you guess where you are based on the photo?
64. National Geographic Kids – videos, games, information, and more
65. World Geography Games – physical geography games.
66. Learn Around the World Facebook Group – my Facebook Group for resource and idea sharing
67. Great Big Story – Watch the untold stories of people from around the world. I shared a Facebook Live demonstration about this website.

Geography with Kids: Eat New Foods

68. Make a meal from another country – I recommend this cookbook.
69. Visit a restaurant specializing in ethnic cuisine
70. Enjoy a local cultural festival

100
71. Share a drink from around the world
72.Shop at an ethnic grocery store
73. Subscribe to Universal Yums and receive monthly country themed food boxes

Oceania/Australia

74. Read a few books:

75. Let Jonathan’s Blue World YouTube introduce you to the Great Barrier Reef
76. Bake ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) biscuits
77. Tour the Royal Australian Mint

Europe

78. Read a few books:

79. Listen to stories from Europe using Around the World Stories – You can read about my experience.

80. Enjoy Classical Music and learn about Classical Composers by listening to Classical Kids.

My favorites:

81. Watch a documentary about the Grimm Brothers.

Asia

82. Read a few books:

83. Chinese Paper Lantern – learn about them and make one
84. Japanese Origami – learn and create
85. Explore India through great videos and books

Africa

86. Read a few books:

87. Watch this video series with David Attenborough (We loved this one!)

Explore Geography with Kids
88. Listen to the Music of the African Playground
89. Pin the flags of each country on a Pin It Map of Africa

South America

90. Read a few books:

91. Take a tour of Macchu Picchu with Travel Kids
92. Watch a video of a Carnival Parade
93. Practice the samba

Antarctica

94. Read a few books:

95. Watch Happy Feet
96. Cut Paper Snowflakes
97. Learn how to dress for your journey

North America

98. Read a few books:

99. Draw American Landmarks with chalk pastels
100. Watch and learn about the Candian Government 

Dive in. Dig in. And Go For it. Most of all, have a great time exploring the world with your kids.

Related Posts

Want more “100 Things” fun? Check out the 100 Things Round-Up at iHomeschool Network.

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Art of Fall Mixed Media Workshop Review http://www.notbefore7.com/2017/11/04/art-of-fall-mixed-media-workshop-review/ http://www.notbefore7.com/2017/11/04/art-of-fall-mixed-media-workshop-review/#respond Sat, 04 Nov 2017 14:56:15 +0000 http://www.notbefore7.com/?p=3947 I love doing art with my kids, but I need a little guidance when it comes to project ideas and creativity. I am willing to gather the materials and join in the fun, but it helps to have someone else design the plan. That is where the courses at the Masterpiece Society have saved me from hours of digging around for ideas to copy from Pinterest. This fall we began working on the projects in the Fall Mixed Media Workshop and we are all having fun while creating unique pieces of art. {{NOTE: Coupon Code for the Workshop included at the end of the post!}} {I received the Fall Mixed Media Workshop in exchange for sharing my experience with it. I enjoyed it enough to request a second one and I assure you that my thoughts on it are my own honest opinion. The post below contains affiliate links.} What is the Fall Mixed Media Workshop? The Fall Mixed Media Workshop is one of the many online courses offered by Alisha Gratehouse at the Masterpiece Society. It is an online mixed media e-course that will guide your family through 20 Mixed Media projects over the course of 4 weeks. Your family will experiment with: Sketching Acrylic painting Watercolor painting Chalkboard art Collage art Sculpting Hand lettering Art Journalling AND MORE! Each project is unique and includes a complete video lesson to guide you through each project. You also receive LIFETIME access to the course so there is no rush to […]

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I love doing art with my kids, but I need a little guidance when it comes to project ideas and creativity.

I am willing to gather the materials and join in the fun, but it helps to have someone else design the plan.

That is where the courses at the Masterpiece Society have saved me from hours of digging around for ideas to copy from Pinterest. This fall we began working on the projects in the Fall Mixed Media Workshop and we are all having fun while creating unique pieces of art.

{{NOTE: Coupon Code for the Workshop included at the end of the post!}}

{I received the Fall Mixed Media Workshop in exchange for sharing my experience with it. I enjoyed it enough to request a second one and I assure you that my thoughts on it are my own honest opinion. The post below contains affiliate links.}

What is the Fall Mixed Media Workshop?

The Fall Mixed Media Workshop is one of the many online courses offered by Alisha Gratehouse at the Masterpiece Society. It is an online mixed media e-course that will guide your family through 20 Mixed Media projects over the course of 4 weeks.

Your family will experiment with:

  • Sketching
  • Acrylic painting
  • Watercolor painting
  • Chalkboard art
  • Collage art
  • Sculpting
  • Hand lettering
  • Art Journalling
  • AND MORE!

Each project is unique and includes a complete video lesson to guide you through each project.

Our experience with the Fall Mixed Media Workshop.

You also receive LIFETIME access to the course so there is no rush to go through all 20 projects in just one season. Our family completed 2 of the 4 weeks this fall and we will complete the other 2 next fall.

USE CODE: NOTBEFORE7-15 to receive a 15% discount on full priced workshops.

What do you Like about the Fall Mixed Media Workshop?

The Variety

Some days we use watercolor and other days we cut paper and get covered in mod podge.

We have used white gel pens for design techniques and have experimented with a variety of “canvases”, including the cover of a children’s book.

Every project teaches us a new technique or idea that we can use again.

The Flexibility

We have been able to adapt our creations so that no two look exactly alike. It is very easy to personalize each project with your own paper choices, colors, or quotes.

One of my children is in private art lessons and she enjoys changing the colors and even the media used to create aspects of the project.

In the end, no two projects look the same. I love that each of my children can create their own interpretation of the ideas.

Our experience with the Fall Mixed Media Workshop

The Video Instruction

It is difficult for me to follow art instructions in a book or using a PDF so I am grateful for the video instructions.

Alisha completes the entire project in front of the camera so there are no questions about how to complete a particular step in the process.

Can you share some of the Fall Mixed Media Workshop Projects?

I certainly can! Check out my Facebook Live video for a look at the instruction and the projects we completed.

On the video:

  • our vintage books turned art journals
  • what sort of materials we had to buy
  • what materials we already had on hand
  • some of our completed projects
  • my general experience with the first two weeks

The only thing I wished there was in the course was a materials list by individual project. Currently, there is only one main list and it isn’t sorted by project.

To accommodate for this, I usually preview the video so I can make sure our materials are all ready to go.

The great news is that Alisha is working on the materials list so that it will be available by individual project.

Are Other Art Courses Available?

Alicia has created several mixed media workshops. There is one for each season, a mini Valentine’s Day Workshop, and others. Each one is full of unique art creations.

       

Alicia has also created several Art Appreciation Courses that can be used to study a wide variety of famous artists:

You can read the details of all of these fabulous options in the store on her website. There are complete descriptions and details of each course.

I have already received my Winter Wonderland Mixed Media course and am ready to get started after Thanksgiving.

USE CODE: NOTBEFORE7-15 to receive a 15% discount on full priced workshops.

Related Posts:

Follow Not Before 7 on Pinterest for homeschool ideas and resources.

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Hands On World Geography with Pin It Maps http://www.notbefore7.com/2017/10/24/hands-world-geography-pin-maps/ http://www.notbefore7.com/2017/10/24/hands-world-geography-pin-maps/#comments Wed, 25 Oct 2017 01:07:38 +0000 http://www.notbefore7.com/?p=3924 After our wonderful experience with the US Geography Pin It Map set, I was ready to give the World & Continents Bundle a try. This year was the perfect time to use it because we are ready to travel the globe as we study World Geography this year. I knew that hours of pin building were in store for me once the set was delivered, but I was ready for it. These interactive, sturdy, reusable maps sets are well worth the effort it takes to put the pins together. After all, pin making is a perfect excuse to catch up on a few good Netflix shows. Better yet, invite a friend over to work on their set (or to help you) and catch up over a few hours of conversation. In the end, you won’t regret it. {This post contains affiliate links. In addition, I offered to write a review in exchange for the World Pin It map bundle but you can rest assured that the opinions are my own. You can read my full disclosure.} What Are Pin It Maps? Pin It Maps are beautiful, high-quality maps that can be used by kids over and over again to “pin” historical and physical locations all around the world.  Pin It Maps make it easy to throw out the worksheets and engage your students with hands-on learning. Each set comes with control maps (think: Answer Key) as well as a large 18″x24″ map for pinning. Students can pin the flags on the large […]

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After our wonderful experience with the US Geography Pin It Map set, I was ready to give the World & Continents Bundle a try. This year was the perfect time to use it because we are ready to travel the globe as we study World Geography this year.

I knew that hours of pin building were in store for me once the set was delivered, but I was ready for it.

These interactive, sturdy, reusable maps sets are well worth the effort it takes to put the pins together. After all, pin making is a perfect excuse to catch up on a few good Netflix shows. Better yet, invite a friend over to work on their set (or to help you) and catch up over a few hours of conversation.

In the end, you won’t regret it.

Looking for a hands on way to learn World Geography? Look no further than Pin It Maps. Check out how we are using them.

{This post contains affiliate links. In addition, I offered to write a review in exchange for the World Pin It map bundle but you can rest assured that the opinions are my own. You can read my full disclosure.}

What Are Pin It Maps?

Pin It Maps are beautiful, high-quality maps that can be used by kids over and over again to “pin” historical and physical locations all around the world.  Pin It Maps make it easy to throw out the worksheets and engage your students with hands-on learning.

Each set comes with control maps (think: Answer Key) as well as a large 18″x24″ map for pinning.

Students can pin the flags on the large maps while referring to the control map (or an Atlas) as needed. The control maps encourage your students to work independently by giving them the ability to check their own work.

Pin It Maps for Hands on World Geography

Of course, independence isn’t a requirement because it is so much fun for mom to join in as well.

What Comes with the Pin It Map World Bundle?

The World & Continent Bundle includes eight large Maps: maps of 6 continent (Antarctica is not included), a map of the World, and Central America and the Carribean.  This bundle will allow your kids to pin the countries, major cities, physical features (land and water), and the country flags on every continent in the World!

Your Set Includes:

  • 8 — 18 x 24″ Pin Maps (World, N. America, S. America, Central America/ Caribbean, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia/ Oceania)
  • 2 — Foam Sheets (18 x 24 x .5″) with plastic corners
  • 30 — 12 x 18″ Control Maps
  • 1 — set of 1147 flag labels and national flags
  • Flag poles and flag bases
  • 1/2″ Transparent Scotch tape for colored flag labels
  • 3/4″ Transparent Scotch tape for national flags

Seriously. Even the tape you need to assemble the flags is included.

The maps and flags are printed on heavy card-stock and the pin map is laid on a sheet of 18×24 foam held by plastic corners. The maps and flags are coated with a gloss finish for durability.  You do not need to laminate the flags.

What Else do you Need to Purchase?

Creating the flags will require 1-3/4″ Quilters Pins. These are not shipped with your other materials.

I purchased a pack of 500 and it was not enough. I had to run to the store to grab an additional pack of 500.

In addition, you need to consider how you want to store the pins.

I purchased one large 4×6 photo storage bin because I had some compartments left in my bin for the US Map set. If you only have the World set then you will need to purchase two large 4×6 photo storage bins.

I store my US Map Set and the World & Continent Map set in a space between a bookcase and the wall. The maps store vertically while the photo storage bins rest on the bookcase.

How Does the Pin It Map Work?

Your 18″x24″ laminated map is attached to a piece of foam board with four plastic corners. These corners hold your map in place.

The pin is stuck through the map and into the foam board, which holds it in place. The pins are built with a “bumper” in place to keep the pin from going through the foam board.

How Could You Use the World & Continent Pin It Maps?

Pin It Maps are a perfect alternative to workbook map assignments.

Don’t get me wrong. I love to print out a good continent or country map to fill in with my kids, but then it is finished. Pin It Maps provide a perfect follow up activity to the worksheet that can be used again and again.

Hands on World Geograpy with Pin It Maps.

I pull out one of the continent maps each time we begin a new continent study. We pin a few things each day and talk about the pins. This hands-on activity helps my kids gain familiarity with the names and locations of countries, major cities, and major landforms without the overuse of a workbook.

How do you Make the Flag Pins?

I will be the first to tell you that this is a time-consuming activity. I received the entire World Set at once, so there were a lot of pins to make at once.

I suggest that you block out a few hours of time, find a friend or spouse or parent to help if you can, and just get it done.

Talk. Watch Netflix. Listen to a podcast. And build the flags.

Want to see how it is done? I shared instructions on Facebook:

What Maps are Included in the World and Continent Bundle?

The World and Continent Map Bundle includes eight 18 x 24″ and thirty 12 x 18″ Control Maps.

The eight large (18×24″) control maps feature:

  • South America
  • North America
  • Central America and the Carribean
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Austrailia
  • Europe
  • The World

The thirty control maps have four control maps for each continent:

  • Countries
  • Major Cities
  • Major Landforms (bodies of water, mountains, volcanoes, etc)
  • Country Flags

The remaining 2 control maps are for the World map and included:

  • Continent and Oceans
  • Land and Water Forms

How are the Maps Working for You?

These maps have been a fantastic resource for our year of Learning Around the World.

In future years when we are less intensely focused on Geography, I suspect they will come out on rainy days and during our history studies. They are also a perfect activity to loop with our Morning Basket Loop in the future.

You can purchase Pin It Maps individually or in bundles.

Use the code: maps to receive 10% off your purchase!

Other Helpful Geography Posts:

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More Than a Shelf of Books http://www.notbefore7.com/2017/10/12/more-than-a-shelf-of-books/ http://www.notbefore7.com/2017/10/12/more-than-a-shelf-of-books/#comments Thu, 12 Oct 2017 16:30:11 +0000 http://www.notbefore7.com/?p=3893 I am not one of those moms who can’t get rid of books. I am a purger. And I have no problem purging books. The way I see it, that is what libraries are for. Libraries house my books. But even I have my soft spots and my memories, so I must admit that there is a section of our hallway bookcase that is more than just a shelf of books. It is a collection of memories that will always be exempt from purging. {The thoughts below contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure for more information.} Occasionally, as I pass through the hallway, the book titles in the top left corner of the bookshelf catch my eye: The Outsiders. Little Women. Esperanza Rising. The Green Ember. This section is my favorite corner of our cheap, overfilled bookshelf in the hallway, and it isn’t because these are my favorite books. They aren’t. Instead, these books represent some of my favorite homeschooling moments and each title contains treasured memories that I will carry with me forever. I look at the cover of The Outsiders and immediately picture a roomful of Greasers and Socs. No. I don’t picture Ralph Macchio or Patrick Swayze in their starring roles. My memories contain a houseful of middle school girls dressed up as Greasers or a Socs while smoking candy cigarettes. And chocolate cake. I definitely remember eating chocolate cake. Then there is the delightful tale of Anne of Green Gables. I can still hear Anne yelling, “I hate you. […]

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I am not one of those moms who can’t get rid of books. I am a purger. And I have no problem purging books.

The way I see it, that is what libraries are for. Libraries house my books.

But even I have my soft spots and my memories, so I must admit that there is a section of our hallway bookcase that is more than just a shelf of books.

It is a collection of memories that will always be exempt from purging.

{The thoughts below contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure for more information.}

Occasionally, as I pass through the hallway, the book titles in the top left corner of the bookshelf catch my eye: The Outsiders. Little Women. Esperanza Rising. The Green Ember.

This section is my favorite corner of our cheap, overfilled bookshelf in the hallway, and it isn’t because these are my favorite books.

They aren’t.

Instead, these books represent some of my favorite homeschooling moments and each title contains treasured memories that I will carry with me forever.

I look at the cover of The Outsiders and immediately picture a roomful of Greasers and Socs.

No. I don’t picture Ralph Macchio or Patrick Swayze in their starring roles. My memories contain a houseful of middle school girls dressed up as Greasers or a Socs while smoking candy cigarettes.

And chocolate cake. I definitely remember eating chocolate cake.

Then there is the delightful tale of Anne of Green Gables. I can still hear Anne yelling, “I hate you. I hate you. I hate you”.

More precisely, it is the voice of my friend’s daughter that I hear when she quoted her golden line as the rest of the girls at book club laughed.

Despite all of the wonderful quotes in the text, “I hate you. I hate you. I hate you.” is the golden line quote that will forever represent my memories of this book.

Who can forget the evening of our Hunger Banquet when the girls assigned to the lower class were served pieces of bread while sitting in the trash on the floor? Their frustration at the unfair financial distribution was palpable that night. (Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder)

As my eyes linger on the rest of the titles in the corner of the shelf, I let the delicious memories fill my mind.

There was that time we quoted Shakespeare from the balcony. During the death scene, one of the girls had to lay on the floor pretending to be dead for so. so. long as Romeo rambled on.

I can still picture the excitement of a group of elementary school boys as the busted Morbin Blackbird into pieces. At last. The enemy in The Green Ember was defeated.

There have been broom sweeping contests and homemade quesadillas.

And there have been eyeballs. So. Many. Eyeballs. Eyeballs on cupcakes. Eyeballs on rocks. And even eyeballs on chandeliers.

And of course, there was Effie.

Effie Trinket from the Hunger Games.

It was Effie Trinket who arrived at our first book club and changed the trajectory of our literature studies forever.

Effie, who showed up in her blond wig and heels.

Effie with her jar of tributes – slips of paper with the names of slightly nervous and somewhat quiet middle school girls. Somewhat quiet, that is, until she drew the name: Peeta Melark and the group erupted in laughter.

Someone in that crew was a prankster.

Ironically, it was my daughter. I remember the moment so well because it shed light on her incredible sense of humor and genius creativity in a whole new way.

Clearly, book club discussions were never going to be the same.

I am so grateful for that first book club. It was the moment when a dear friend and I took a chance. Together, we explored a whole new way to host a book club for kids.

We realized that with a little creativity and spark, we could create emotional bonds and memorable connections to literature that would be remembered by our children for years to come.

These memories. These moments.

They are the reasons I organize book clubs for my kids. They are the reasons I am so grateful for the many other women in my life who attempt this crazy, fun book club adventure with me.

And they are the reason that little corner of my bookshelf will never be purged. 

NOTE:

{This year, I joined the staff at Brave Writer in order to equip and inspire more families to celebrate learning with book clubs. I accomplish this goal by writing a book club guide for each book included in the Brave Writer literature selections this year. These guides are published through Brave Writer.

Every Arrow and Boomerang Guide published during the 2017-2018 school year contains a guide for hosting your own book club party school. Each guide is filled with ideas for themed food, activities, and decorations.

My hope is that you will use some of my ideas or put your own twist on them so that literature comes to life for your family.}

HELPFUL ARTICLES AND VIDEOS:

Find more ideas on my Instagram or my Pinterest account. You can also search the hashtag: #bwbookclub on Instagram.

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Because Doing All The Things Won’t Work http://www.notbefore7.com/2017/09/24/things-wont-work/ http://www.notbefore7.com/2017/09/24/things-wont-work/#comments Sun, 24 Sep 2017 19:50:27 +0000 http://www.notbefore7.com/?p=3838 Laundry sits in piles upstairs. There are two loads waiting to be folded and two are sitting in the washer and dryer. Campfire scented top sheets are tossed haphazardly on the floor so I don’t forget to wash them next. None of these piles include my own laundry which is overflowing in a basket down the hall. I have only tackled the towels and the boys’ clothing so far and I can’t seem to even finish that task. Piles of homeschool guides, planning pages, and books are sitting out on the table. I need to plan out tomorrow at the very least, but I was hoping to get the whole week laid out. Our first week was brilliant, but after a weekend of camping it doesn’t look like week two is going to be quite as well-planned. Mess is scattered throughout the house. Dishes. Shoes. Water bottles. Unfinished art projects. People live here. That is very evident right now. And in the back of my mind is my neglected blog, the online book club I am teaching this month, meal planning, bills to pay, and the option of a nap. Clearly, the nap isn’t going to happen. Neither is half of that list. Because trying to do all the things just doesn’t work. And curling up in a ball, watching too much Netflix with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s is only a temporary fix which leaves a bigger problem the next day. So this year, I have just accepted […]

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Laundry sits in piles upstairs. There are two loads waiting to be folded and two are sitting in the washer and dryer. Campfire scented top sheets are tossed haphazardly on the floor so I don’t forget to wash them next.

None of these piles include my own laundry which is overflowing in a basket down the hall. I have only tackled the towels and the boys’ clothing so far and I can’t seem to even finish that task.

Piles of homeschool guides, planning pages, and books are sitting out on the table. I need to plan out tomorrow at the very least, but I was hoping to get the whole week laid out.

Our first week was brilliant, but after a weekend of camping it doesn’t look like week two is going to be quite as well-planned.

Mess is scattered throughout the house. Dishes. Shoes. Water bottles. Unfinished art projects.

People live here. That is very evident right now.

And in the back of my mind is my neglected blog, the online book club I am teaching this month, meal planning, bills to pay, and the option of a nap.

Clearly, the nap isn’t going to happen.

Neither is half of that list.

Because trying to do all the things just doesn’t work.

And curling up in a ball, watching too much Netflix with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s is only a temporary fix which leaves a bigger problem the next day.

So this year, I have just accepted the fact that I can not do all the things for all the people at all of the times.

Put simply: I can’t do all the things.

And chances are, neither can you. Unless you are Wonder Woman.

Then maybe you can. But this post is for the rest of us. You have bigger fish to fry like those bullets flying at you.

And blocking bullets is one thing that isn’t on my to-do list. It might be the only thing.

So what is a busy mom to do when the tension is high and the piles are mounting?

I ask myself this one important question:

What do I need to do RIGHT NOW so I feel less crazy?

It’s a simple question, but taking the answer seriously has a profound impact on my day.

Do I need to take a timeout to sip tea and brain dump my thoughts? Do I need to postpone school and ask everyone to help me clean the upstairs? Do I need to let everyone play Minecraft while I go on a walk?

Honestly, it isn’t always easy to dig down to the one thing I need to do at the moment, but I think about my life in categories and that typically helps.

Think Categories

This year I have grouped my life (in my head) into general categories:

  • Home
  • School
  • Work
  • Fun
  • Fitness

Home 

Home includes all of the things that I do as a mom and wife: meal planning, clothing shopping, running our calendar, paying bills and taxi driving.

It also includes the fun stuff like planning adventures, being available to talk with teens, relaxing with my husband, and playing games with my kids.

School

School includes everything involved in planning and implementing a homeschool education for my kids. I have to purchase curriculum, plan our weeks, research field trips, and keep up with activities.

Work

Work is a bit different this year. In the past, I have worked for myself on the blog. This year I joined the staff at Brave Writer. Working with a company that I believe in on a practical and philosophical level is a dream. My new job also allows for flexibility because I can take it with me, but in the end, it means that I have deadlines.

Fun/Self-Care

Fun includes pretty much everything I do for me: Mom’s nights. A good book. Starbucks with a friend. Voxer. Podcasts. Calling a friend to talk.

The big change this year is that my blog has moved from the category of work to the category of fun. I didn’t realize how hard that would be, but at the same time, I simply love my new job so it is a good thing.

Fitness

Fitness didn’t really fit in any of the other categories. I was tempted to consider it part of my fun options, but it deserves its own level of importance. There are also days that a workout doesn’t feel very fun so I didn’t want to leave it as something I could just replace with a phone call, though some days I do. And some days I cover both by running with a friend.

Either way, fitness became its own category.

Now it is time to go back to the original question:

What do I need to do RIGHT NOW so I feel less crazy?

Sift through the layers and find the answer by thinking through the categories:

Which category is feeling the most overwhelming. Which is causing the most anxiety? Which one needs to be addressed by the end of the day or first thing tomorrow?

And before you lose your mind…

Make a Plan

Once you have an answer to that nagging question, attack it head on.

Sometimes I realize that I haven’t had time to workout in a few days and we eat frozen pizza for dinner so I can go for a run instead of prepping a meal.

I might realize that our day will be better if I blow off some school plans to clean the entire upstairs and get the laundry finished. Truly. I just make a mental note that school will be the top priority the next day when our home is in order.

Sometimes I realize that our family feels disconnected and I feel guilty about it. We drop everything and play a board game or go out for ice cream, or I make a plan to relax together after dinner.

Most often I realize that I have to hide my phone and turn off my laptop for a good few hours. Period.

No Hard Fast Rules

That is what makes this process somewhat difficult. There aren’t any 10 step solutions that will help you get it all done.

There is only the realization that you can’t get it all done.

Not even Wonder Woman can get it all done. My guess is her kids ate a lot of Mac-n-cheese so she could save the world.

Related Articles:

Mom Guilt: Yeah, I’m Over It, Mostly

Tackling Your Mommy Guilt

Confessions of an Imperfect Mom: Christmas Edition

Love the Year You’re With

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Homeschooling High School: Freshman Year http://www.notbefore7.com/2017/09/16/homeschooling-high-school-freshman/ http://www.notbefore7.com/2017/09/16/homeschooling-high-school-freshman/#comments Sat, 16 Sep 2017 19:51:21 +0000 http://www.notbefore7.com/?p=3846 First. A few thoughts: My daughter is not trying to earn a public high school diploma. She is trying to earn one a diploma from The Wilson Academy. Therefore, I am in charge of her graduation requirements. I looked at the typical coursework for the local high school and a few private schools to consider their ideas, but I don’t have to follow their plans. My daughter has expressed a desire to attend college, so we did print the UNC minimum college requirements. These will serve as our minimum guidelines as we move forward. We will add her own areas of interests and strengths to the minimum requirements. Finally, it recently occurred to me that one credit doesn’t have to be completed in one year. We can work on a topic over the course of 2, 3, or even 4 years and then assign her a credit. Of course, this means that I am keeping records of the books we are reading, her hours in training and work, and other topics that spark her interest over time. In the end, I want her transcript to reflect her uniqueness. I don’t want it to be a duplicate of everyone else’s checklist. And now…for my daughter’s freshman year.  (This post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure.) Organization First, a note on how I organize my daughter’s weekly assignments. Because the key to a good week, is good organization. Because she and I are Type A. Pam Barnhill’s Independent Student […]

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First. A few thoughts:

My daughter is not trying to earn a public high school diploma. She is trying to earn one a diploma from The Wilson Academy.

Therefore, I am in charge of her graduation requirements. I looked at the typical coursework for the local high school and a few private schools to consider their ideas, but I don’t have to follow their plans.

My daughter has expressed a desire to attend college, so we did print the UNC minimum college requirements. These will serve as our minimum guidelines as we move forward. We will add her own areas of interests and strengths to the minimum requirements.

Finally, it recently occurred to me that one credit doesn’t have to be completed in one year. We can work on a topic over the course of 2, 3, or even 4 years and then assign her a credit.

Of course, this means that I am keeping records of the books we are reading, her hours in training and work, and other topics that spark her interest over time.

In the end, I want her transcript to reflect her uniqueness. I don’t want it to be a duplicate of everyone else’s checklist.

And now…for my daughter’s freshman year.

Our plan for homeschooling high school for my daughter's freshman year.

 (This post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure.)

Organization

First, a note on how I organize my daughter’s weekly assignments. Because the key to a good week, is good organization. Because she and I are Type A.

Using a weekly planner to Homeschool High School

Pam Barnhill’s Independent Student Planners have several planning pages to help middle and high school students (and their parents) get organized.

Right now, we are simply using the weekly planning sheet to keep track of her weekly assignments.

This has been working well to keep us on track, and we can make adjustments as needed.

Homeschooling High School: Freshman Year

My goal is to help my daughter find a healthy balance between her school work and her extracurriculars. We have a lovely mix of textbooks and self-designed curriculum as well as outside, online, and “in the living room” classes.

Math 

My daughter decided to continue with Teaching Textbooks this year. It does the job and works for her.

History

History is not my daughter’s favorite subject so she just wants to “check the box”. We bought a textbook that a friend recommended and she is going to read it. {The friend is a former high school History teacher and this particular textbook was her favorite.}

She and her father (or I) will discuss the information. Each section has questions and assessments that I can pick and choose from. We’ll come up with some research projects and some other readings.

Science

She is completing Marine Biology in a class outside of our home.

English

For literature, we will use a combination of short stories, essays, and Brave Writer Boomerang guides. In addition, she participates in monthly book club using books from the Brave Writer Boomerang list.

I am creating some of my own English assignments by using the following books:

For composition, we will use a combination of Brave Writer online classes, my own assignments (created using some of the above resources), and writing from the Brave Boomerang Guides.

My daughter is also publishing her own fan fiction about James and Lily Potter on WattPad. She might take a Brave Writer Fan Fiction online class in the spring. As a result, she could earn a half credit for Creative Writing: Fan Fiction. We will see how the year plays out.

For grammar, we are considering Winston Grammar advanced and Editor in Chief Level 3 for some formal instruction. Our Brave Writer Boomerang Guides include Grammar instruction as well.

Sign Language

A little background first – my mother and uncle were both sign language interpreters. As a result, I know basic (very basic) sign language.

Fast forward to this summer. My daughter started watching the television show, Switched at Birth. There is a deaf character on the show.

This show (and I suspect our family background) inspired her to learn sign language. She is working her way through the lessons on this site, which was created by a deaf man. In addition, she will read, “Deaf Like Me,” a suggestion from my mother.

The site offers a syllabus for a homeschool course, including quizzes, tests, and a checklist for a research paper.

Fine Arts

We are working through Alicia Gratehouse’s Fall Mixed Media Workshop. There are so many wonderful ideas in this course. We already created our Mixed Media Owls.

We are using Alisha Greathouses Fall Mixed Media Workshop for part of our High School Fine Arts.

I have a feeling we will get through about one-third of them before we are ready for the Winter Wonderland Mixed Media course.

I am sure we will use several of the Mixed Media courses. Each course includes fantastic project ideas. I’ll keep track of what we accomplish as I suspect she will complete a half credit for Fine Arts. We’ll add Art Appreciation or some other art course later in her high school career to complete the other half of the credit.

Theology/Worldview

(Not sure what we’ll call this in the end)

I plan to assign her a few books a year in the area of Christian Theology and Worldview.We will read these and have some Big, Juicy Conversations. By the end of four years, she will have accumulated a full credit.

On the table for consideration this year:

Work

(Mentorship/Leadership)

My daughter coaches gymnastics for three hours a week. In order to do this, she completed an online coaches training course and a mentorship program at work.

She also works and volunteers at a local camp during the summer and the during the school year. During the school year, she will assist with administrative duties and classroom teaching for six hours a week for 20 weeks.

NOTE: During my senior year, I assisted in a classroom for 6 hours a week and received a full credit for a mentorship. I consider this experience to be part of her coursework (even though she loves it – ha) and we’ll find a course title.

I am keeping track of all of her training hours, hoping that there will be enough for a full or half credit in Youth Leadership.

Woot. That’s it. Freshman Year in a Nutshell.

That sums up our plan of attack for this year. Admittedly, I was concerned that she wasn’t taking her foreign language yet, but I am over it. There is plenty of time. After all, she only has to take two years of foreign language for college entrance.

On a side note, I look forward to our last four years together.

There was a time that homeschooling high school scared me. Afterall, so many homeschooling families send their children to high school.

And I get why they do it.

But I know we got this. And I am really glad that it is still very much WE.

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Our Morning Basket Loop http://www.notbefore7.com/2017/09/08/our-morning-basket-loop/ http://www.notbefore7.com/2017/09/08/our-morning-basket-loop/#comments Fri, 08 Sep 2017 23:31:42 +0000 http://www.notbefore7.com/?p=3813 Looping has become a popular way to schedule everything from homeschool subjects to household cleaning tasks. Looping rejects the notion that subjects and tasks should be assigned a specific day of the week. Instead of assigning a day of the week, subjects or tasks are written in list form and completed in order. Each day you move on to the next item on the list and when you have finished the list, you start over at the top. All I needed to work out was the learning topics and reading that would occur daily and the ones we could loop. The Plan Your Year Planner had a form for that, so I downloaded it and got to work. Morning Basket Daily Items {This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.} Current Events CNN 10 is typically how we kick off our Morning Time. We watch and discuss current events after this 10-minute broadcast. Every now and then our conversation leads to a rabbit trail that is well worth our Morning Time and we skip everything else. Geography We will read from one of our general Geography books and any titles I select for our current continent study. If I have a Geography activity planned we will complete it before Morning Time ends. This is also a great time to work on our Pin-It Maps on the first day of a new continent study. {Read my Pin-It Map Review} Read Aloud Fiction  My kids are all reading different titles each month […]

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Looping has become a popular way to schedule everything from homeschool subjects to household cleaning tasks.

Looping rejects the notion that subjects and tasks should be assigned a specific day of the week. Instead of assigning a day of the week, subjects or tasks are written in list form and completed in order.

Each day you move on to the next item on the list and when you have finished the list, you start over at the top.

All I needed to work out was the learning topics and reading that would occur daily and the ones we could loop. The Plan Your Year Planner had a form for that, so I downloaded it and got to work.

We worked out a loop schedule for our Morning Basket Time.

Morning Basket Daily Items

{This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.}

Current Events

CNN 10 is typically how we kick off our Morning Time. We watch and discuss current events after this 10-minute broadcast. Every now and then our conversation leads to a rabbit trail that is well worth our Morning Time and we skip everything else.

Geography

We will read from one of our general Geography books and any titles I select for our current continent study.

If I have a Geography activity planned we will complete it before Morning Time ends. This is also a great time to work on our Pin-It Maps on the first day of a new continent study. {Read my Pin-It Map Review}

Read Aloud Fiction 

My kids are all reading different titles each month for their book clubs, but a few times during the year I would like to pick a historical fiction to read as a family. These titles will probably focus on WWII or our Geography studies. I am going to start with Number the Stars.

Memory Work

I always have BIG plans for memory work but they rarely work out. This year we are just going to try to memorize 1 item each month. I’ll keep adding to this list and select an item each month during the school year:

Morning Basket Loop

This is the list and we hit from 1-2 areas each morning. Sometimes we have such an involved discussion that we only make it through one book or activity.

Check out: Your Morning Basket Guide

I keep the bin of books next to my chair in the main room so it is easy to grab our next selection.

History

My boys asked me to include reading from “The World Wars” again this year. We finished WWI last year and now we are reading about WWII.

SQUILT

We are working through the Modern Era. After I kick off our exploration, we listen to the piece a few other times over the next few days. I ask Alexa to play it during lunch or in the evening when I remember. {SQUILT review post}

Non-Fiction

Right now we are reading essays from “We Were There, Too“. I select essays from time periods that we are familiar with. Each selection is brief and brings alive a time period in history from the point of view of a kid.

Logic Book

We’ll explore logic using the Fallacy Detective. Once we finish, I’d like to move on to Philosophy for Kids.

Game Play

Playing games with my kids happens a lot in this house, but we’ll use morning time to focus on educational games. I’d like to rotate math games, language arts games, and Geography games. Sometimes we might just choose from our favorite card games and favorite board games. {A month of game play on the blog.}

Shakespeare

Our plan is to continue reading this fantastic book and add selections to our own Shakespeare books. We’ll memorize them as we go along. I shared the books we are creating on Facebook Live.

After our Morning Basket Time, the kids will work on their individual activities: spelling, math, and reading. Then we will work on our content areas in the afternoon using another loop.

Have you tried looping? How did it work out?

Our Morning Time Loop.

Related Articles:

 

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Keeping Perspective on Family Adventures http://www.notbefore7.com/2017/08/21/keeping-perspective-family-adventures/ http://www.notbefore7.com/2017/08/21/keeping-perspective-family-adventures/#comments Mon, 21 Aug 2017 14:47:32 +0000 http://www.notbefore7.com/?p=3780 As I type this, my crew and I are on the road toward eclipse totality. We decided to take off for an overnight adventure to chase the full eclipse because our day trip plans were canceled by Mother Nature. Now we will spend a total of two nights away from home so that we can experience 2 minutes of totality excitement. We have no idea where we will spend our time while waiting for the eclipse. There are reports of traffic jams, crazy people, and gas shortages. Personally, I am concerned about one thing: a bathroom WITH toilet paper. Every time my husband or father suggest a spot to meet and set up “camp” for the day I ask, “Where is a bathroom?” It’s become quite clear to me that men don’t think about these things the same way. So our spot for tomorrow remains a mystery. As do the traffic conditions, the bathroom issues, and the weather. Tomorrow could be a fantastic family memory or a complete disaster. It’s been my experience that there exists a fine line between a fantastic family memory and a complete disaster. With the right attitude, plenty of preparedness, and some flexibility, even a seeming disaster can be remembered as a fantastic family adventure. Keep in mind that the power to tip the memory scale from disaster toward family adventure is often dependent the age of your children. Turning a disaster into a fun family memory probably means you don’t have a child under […]

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As I type this, my crew and I are on the road toward eclipse totality. We decided to take off for an overnight adventure to chase the full eclipse because our day trip plans were canceled by Mother Nature. Now we will spend a total of two nights away from home so that we can experience 2 minutes of totality excitement.

We have no idea where we will spend our time while waiting for the eclipse. There are reports of traffic jams, crazy people, and gas shortages.

Personally, I am concerned about one thing: a bathroom WITH toilet paper. Every time my husband or father suggest a spot to meet and set up “camp” for the day I ask, “Where is a bathroom?”

It’s become quite clear to me that men don’t think about these things the same way.

So our spot for tomorrow remains a mystery. As do the traffic conditions, the bathroom issues, and the weather.

Tomorrow could be a fantastic family memory or a complete disaster.

It’s been my experience that there exists a fine line between a fantastic family memory and a complete disaster. With the right attitude, plenty of preparedness, and some flexibility, even a seeming disaster can be remembered as a fantastic family adventure.

Keep in mind that the power to tip the memory scale from disaster toward family adventure is often dependent the age of your children. Turning a disaster into a fun family memory probably means you don’t have a child under 5. And you definitely don’t have a three-year old.

As I head toward our potential family disaster, the eclipse totality, I am reminded of other family adventures that had disaster potential.

What tips the scale from disaster to laughable memory?

Look on the Bright Side

Our first camping trip was a three-night trip to Brevard, NC. Our weekend plans included lots of water fun at swimming holes and waterfalls.

It was not supposed to include water from the sky. But it did. And lots of it.

Not only did we get wet, but our towels remained wet without adequate amounts of sunshine to dry them. After hiking a half-mile to the car in the pouring rain, we decided it was time to make use of a clothes dryer at the local laundromat.

The sun came out while we were sipping Sonic shakes and waiting for our towels to dry, but as soon as we arrived at our next cold water destination, Sliding Rock, the rain appeared again.

But making a family memory means you look on the bright side.

All of the sane people left Sliding Rock and we had the place to ourselves. We laughed and slid in freezing cold mountain water and pouring rain with only a handful of other insane Sliding Rock adventurers.

And I was smart enough to leave a few of our freshly dried towels in the van.

Our kids still talk with fondness about this amazing camping weekend, including the misery of it.

Then there was the time that a cold front moved into the mountains on the exact weekend we planned our camping trip. We did some research, bought a ceramic heater for the tent, packed our snowsuits and took off.

At least we had our heater and winter coats, right?

It was so cold that first night, but we came prepared and stayed warm.

Sometimes it is the “disaster” that cements the trip into your memory. It definitely was in this case. Everyone still laughs about our cold weather camping adventure and Mommy making pancakes while wearing her winter coat.

Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More

I realize that some families will laugh at my over planning. If it doesn’t work for you then ignore me, but it has helped keep the scale tipped the right way for our crew.

When packing, I think through all of the potential problems we might encounter, and I plan for them.

My concerns for our eclipse trip include being stuck in traffic, long lines at food places, and the heat. As a result, I packed a laundry basket of snacks and a cooler full of food. I also have one cooler filled with frozen water bottles. No one will dehydrate or starve in traffic or during the eclipse.

No one will dehydrate or starve in traffic or during the eclipse.

We have our pop up canopy in the van and well as pop-up chairs so we can set up a shady spot to relax while we wait. I tossed a large picnic blanket is in the car as well.

I have no idea what our situation will look like in Greenville so I also packed several card games in case we do have some time to kill under our canopy.

The only emergency I can’t plan for is bathroom access, but I did pack toilet paper just in case we have a spot but the toilet paper has run out.

Yep. I really truly try to think of everything.

General Planning Tip: I purchased rain jackets for every family member, and I pack them in their own large eBag (affilate link) for almost all of our trips. Our emergency raincoats saved our Mackinac Island memory earlier this month. Instead of being cold and miserable as we rode the ferry in the rain, we were able to smile and talk about our desire to get a hot chocolate as soon as we got to Starbucks.

Keep Perspective

As much as I try, I can’t plan for everything. I can’t predict every potential situation, and there are problems I can’t prevent. Other times I just plain forget something important.

The one thing I can control is my attitude.

Even as I drive toward the eclipse and the potential disaster of traffic and a collision of humanity, I remind myself that these moments are the future family memories for my kids.

This whole weekend – good, bad, or ugly – is a memory for life.

We make a big deal out of going to Trader Joe’s for special treats before trips. Because even if you are stuck in traffic, a box of special cookies helps!

We made this a social event, complete with 2 overnights – one with grandparents and one with close friends. Even if things go south, we will have memories with friends and family.

I talk out loud about the potential disasters and what we will do.

“Man. If a cloud blocks the eclipse, I am going to be so annoyed at it. I might have to eat extra cookies.”

“If we get stuck in traffic, we’ll just pull over and enjoy the dark highway during totality. That will be crazy!”

It helps me maintain perspective and encourages my kids to do the same.

Because let’s face it. Years from now we will talk about this trip. This is the 2017 eclipse and our family took off to chase totality. Whether it is cloudy or we get stuck in traffic, we will have a memory of this weekend to discuss forever.

I keep that in my mind as we drive.

Relax, laugh, and take it in stride. Come what may, this will become our family’s story of #eclipse2017.

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