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The Start of a New Year

I love the start of a new year – a chance to look back on all that we did over the past year and look forward to the fun things coming in the new year.

pencil sharpener

image courtesy of microsoft.com clip art

And perhaps a chance to revamp a few things that might not be working so well {ahem}. Time to tweak a few routines, pull out some curriculum pieces that may have been forgotten, reorganize the homeschool room, sharpen new pencils and restock the school supplies.

Ahhh….organization.

The last few weeks being primarily offline have been fabulous and a chance for me to re-focus a few things and think about what goals and ‘resolutions’ to set for myself in the upcoming 2013 year. Want to know what is on my mind?

  • Simplify – get rid of the excess around our house, in our lives overall {there is always something to do and a place to go}.
  • Couch to 5K – I really strongly dislike running, so why this is such a fascination to me is really a mystery. I do, however, want to get in better shape {and lose a little bit of weight}, so this is on my list to do. I started it the week before Christmas – again, where is my head??
  • Read 12 non-fiction books – I read fiction books like my kids eat candy. Non-fiction books and I tend to have a different relationship. I have six books in my stack so far {7: An Experimental Mutiny against Excess, Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe, Unglued, The Mom Walk, Platform and Good & Angry} and am looking for another 6 to finish out the year. I may {ahem} have gotten a jump start on reading two of them, but really do want to read more in this area!
  • Finish up the Before Five in a Row printables – You all have been asking and YES I do plan to work on them.

There are quite a few other things that I’m mulling over in my mind – household projects to tackle and whatnot {following the principles in 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life by Crystal Paine}, but above are the ‘key’ things that I have on list so far.  With company here, I haven’t been thinking as much about what is coming as I have been focusing on what was happening at the moment.

Some Fabulous Companies to Thank

Photobucket elves Weekly_Homeschool_Planner_125_Buy_Now_copy

Apologia Educational Ministries ~ producing resources to help homeschool families learn, live, and defend the Christian faith.

Maestro Classics ~ introduce great music and classics stories to children with this classical music series. Don’t miss their newly released Carnival of Animals that you will want to check out!

Teach Them Diligently Convention ~ encouraging families to disciple their children and have a great commission focus at home.

Weekly Homeschool Planner – organize your school day and record your daily learning ~ year after year with this editable pdf homeschool planner.

 

What Are YOUR plans?

A few days ago I shared my Top 10 Visited Blog Posts from 2012 – and it was so interesting to see what everyone is reading on my site {grins}. There will definitely be more of what you all love and this month I’ll be focusing on answering some of the homeschooling questions that you have been emailing me about this past month.

Overall, I am REALLY looking forward to the new year and all that is in store for our family!

Are you ready for the new year? What ONE THING do you hope to accomplish in the upcoming year, either personally or in your homeschool? Leave a comment below!

 

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button

Apologia Educational Ministries ~ producing resources to help homeschool families learn, live, and defend the Christian faith.

Maestro Classics ~ introduce great music and classics stories to children with this classical music series. Don’t miss their newly released Carnival of Animals that you will want to check out!

BEECH blogging retreat 2013

Our Timeline is Up!!

Last month I mentioned our {ahem} pitiful timeline and my history timeline project and goal. The lonely poster just hanging on the wall, begging for timeline figures. Pitiful to say the least since I HAD all of the necessary components, but it just seemed so overwhelming. Really, the problem was I was being l.a.z.y.

History timeline 1

After reading 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life by Crystal Paine, I figured it was time to cross this one nagging ‘to do’ off my list. Really though, this project escalated into a wee bit more {which is actually a great thing}. Instead of only tackling the wall timeline,  I also worked on our timeline book and put together a few index card sets {from Creation to the Crucifixion so far} for the kids and have two more to work on.

 

History timeline 2 History timeline 3

Timeline poster from Geography Matters. Timeline figures from Bright Ideas Press.

Starting on the wall timeline led to a bit of a rearrangement of our schoolroom wall too – you know, just for fun {grins}. This month I’m planning to finish up the index card sets. Having this crossed off my ‘to-do’ list is rather nice!! Now to study more history and fill up the rest of the timeline!

Thanks to the Following Companies

These are a few companies that you all need to check out this month. They offer some fabulous resources and products to the homeschool community. Be sure to stop by their sites.

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Photobucket Grapevine Bible Studies Free Homeschool Deals
elves elves elves

 

Apologia Educational Ministries ~ bring your Christmas list to the Apologia Nativity Shoppe and wrap up your gift shopping from the comfort of your home.

Maestro Classics ~ introduce great music and classics stories to children with this classical music series. Don’t miss their newly released Carnival of Animals that you will want to check out!

Grapevine Studies ~ effective, easy-to-teach Bible curriculum to disciple students ages five to adult. Grapevine Studies will give your students a panoramic view of the Bible.

Elves and Angels ~ Heirloom quality wooden toys for 25 years! Be sure to check the Elves and Angels Facebook page for weekly giveaways {they have some AMAZING ones this month!!}.

Free Homeschool Deals ~ Get FREE stuff everyday for your homeschool family at FreeHomeschoolDeals.com

Teach Them Diligently Convention ~ encouraging families to disciple their children and have a great commission focus at home.

Larsen Toy Lab ~ Rediscover the power of building blocks with these eco-friendly wooden blocks made in the US.

Popular Posts in November 2012

Curious to see what everyone is looking at? Here are the top ten posts at Homeschool Creations for the past month.

  1. ABC Bible Verse Flashcard Printables
  2. Free Thanksgiving Printable Pack
  3. Printables from A to Z
  4. Chore System and Chore Chart Printables
  5. Three Letter Word Card Printables
  6. Letter Ee Ideas
  7. Book Report Form and Reading Log
  8. Christmas and Advent Resources for Families
  9. Alphabet Flash Cards and Posters
  10. Calendar Notebook Printables

Are you all ready for Christmas? We’re excited to have a lighter month during December and work on the Star of Bethlehem study with just the girls and Everyday Emmanuel with all of the kids together. What are your plans for the month of December?

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button

Apologia Educational Ministries ~ producing resources to help homeschool families learn, live, and defend the Christian faith.
Maestro Classics ~ a classical music CD series for children ages 5 to 12 and their parents

Working on Self-Discipline…and Printables

A new month is here! Can you all believe it is already NOVEMBER?? The blast of cold air that came through here this past weekend, along with some snow flurries from Hurricane Sandy, were reminders that the cold weather is settling in. Brrr….

This past weekend I attended Allume thanks to the folks at Christmas Celebrations, a company dedicated to helping families celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. If you’d like to share their free Advent calendar printables and Christmas online workshop with your friends, join their affiliate program today! The girls and I will also be working on their Star of Bethlehem study together before Christmas ~ excited to use this!

 

There were so many other wonderful ladies at Allume that I was able to catch up with {and meet}. Allume may have also involved a lot of laughing and cheesiness {see above pictures with Jodi a.k.a. Granola Mom 4 God and Carisa a.k.a. 1+1+1=1} – we can’t even operate the Smilebooth correctly}. Overall a fabulous weekend with friends and some much needed laughter and encouragement for me that put some things into clear focus {and I just love it when God does that!}.

Plans for This Month

Life is slowing down a bit here – my time teaching at our local co-op is finished for now, which will free up a lot of my planning and work time during the week {woot!}. That will give me time to tackle a few other projects that have been waiting patiently on the sideburner.

And speaking of things sitting on the side, this month I’ll be joining in the 21 Day Full-Size-Discipline-Challenge-300x300Self-Discipline Challenge {based on the book 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life by Crystal Paine} and undertaking our history timeline project. It’s been one of those projects that has been silently mocking me {you know the ones I’m talking about}, but I’m determined to take care of that thing once and for all! I’ll be updating every now and then on my progress – my daily list to do over the next 21 days is ready to go! And psst…. you can still join in with the challenge!

Now that my website is up and running consistently {woot!}, I’m able to share printables that I’ve been working on – so stay tuned, because next week they will start posting!

Thanks to the Following Companies

YEscience_FB210px

Photobucket Grapevine Bible Studies LivinWithPizzaz_Homeschooling Free Homeschool Deals elves

Apologia Educational Ministries ~ producing resources to help homeschool families learn, live, and defend the Christian faith.

Maestro Classics ~ introduce great music and classics stories to children with this classical music series. Don’t miss their newly released Carnival of Animals that you will want to check out!

Grapevine Studies ~ effective, easy-to-teach Bible curriculum to disciple students ages five to adult. Through the use of Bible timelines and easy-to-follow lessons, Grapevine Studies will give your students a panoramic view of the Bible.

Elves and Angels ~ Heirloom quality wooden toys for 25 years! Be sure to check the Elves and Angels Facebook page for weekly giveaways!

Free Homeschool Deals ~ Get FREE stuff everyday for your homeschool family at FreeHomeschoolDeals.com

Livin’ with Pizzazz! ~ A child’s health begins at home! Dr. Bill Sears has an incredible six session online eWorkshop for parents of kids 3 to 12. Hands-on learning activities, family challenges, and free downloads. Get fun recipes and learn the best foods for growing kids and easy label reading tips.

Popular Posts in October 2012

Curious to see what everyone is looking at? Here are the top ten posts at Homeschool Creations for the past month…

  1. ABC Bible Verse Flashcard Printables
  2. Free Fall Fun Learning Printables Pack
  3. Chore System and Chore Chart Printables
  4. Letter Ee Ideas {the fact that this post has been in the top ten for 6 months cracks me up!}
  5. Book Report Form and Reading Log
  6. Calendar Notebook Printables
  7. Preschool Chore Charts
  8. Alphabet Flash Cards and Posters
  9. Printables from A to Z
  10. Playdough Mat Printables

This past week I asked a question on my Facebook page and I would love your input as well! You can either comment on that thread or leave a comment here today – What one question would you like me to answer? i.e. maybe it’s about scheduling or well…who knows! Chances are if you are thinking it, someone else may be as well!

Looking forward to your questions!

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button

Truth in the Tinsel

Enjoying the Last Camping Trip

Moon at Natural Chimneys-1

We are just back from our last official camping trip of the season {brrrr!!!} and ready for fall to really be here! Nothing like toasting your feet by the fire and watching an amazing night sky to help you relax and unwind!

Kids Camping-1 Kids Camping-2

I am so thankful for the many trips that we were able to take this summer as a family ~ some with friends and some just on our own. Zachary still gives me a near heart attack every time he pulls out his pocket knife.

And although I love the time to relax, there still is no place like home…

Laundry pile

…even with the piles of laundry that typically result {grins}.

This month we are looking forward to a few things:

  • Having a Shoebox Packing Party for Operation Christmas Child – I can’t wait to share more about this with you. We’re having two different get-togethers with friends, decorating the boxes, making crafts and just having fun with our friends while learning about the mission of Operation Christmas Child.
  • Getting my website FIXED!! I know that many of you have been having issues {bandwidth, database…blah, blah, blah} – all of that is thanks to my current hosting company. I’ve been trying to get it fixed behind the scenes and sometimes balancing work and life can get tricky. Here’s hoping to get all the kinks worked out asap!
  • Sharing more printables – I’ve been hesitant to share anything since my website keeps ‘crashing’ for others, so once the glitches are fixed, I’ll be uploading and sharing with you all!
  • Heading to Allume – ok, the kids may not be as excited about this as I am, but I’m just giddy to spend a few days with my friend Carisa from @1+1+1=1 and also spending time with Maggie, Amy, and Nester ~ three of the ladies that I traveled with to Tanzania this past May on our Compassion International trip. I’m packing extra tissues just in case…

      Thanks to the Following Companies

    Beech Retreat 250 w tag copy

Photobucket Grapevine Bible Studies LivinWithPizzaz_Homeschooling Free Homeschool Deals elves

Beech Retreat ~ more than a conference, BEECH is a creative, hands-on learning retreat dedicated to empowering bloggers to sharpen their skills, renew their vision, and broaden their influence.

Livin’ with Pizzazz! ~ A child’s health begins at home! Dr. Bill Sears has an incredible six session online eWorkshop for parents of kids 3 to 12. Hands-on learning activities, family challenges, and free downloads. Get fun recipes and learn the best foods for growing kids and easy label reading tips.

Maestro Classics ~ introduce great music and classics stories to children with this classical music series.

Grapevine Studies ~ effective, easy-to-teach Bible curriculum to disciple students ages five to adult. Through the use of Bible timelines and easy-to-follow lessons, Grapevine Studies will give your students a panoramic view of the Bible.

Free Homeschool Deals ~ Get FREE stuff everyday for your homeschool family at FreeHomeschoolDeals.com

Elves and Angels ~ Heirloom quality wooden toys for 25 years!

 

Popular Posts in September 2012

Curious to see what everyone is looking at? Here are the top ten posts at Homeschool Creations for the past month…

  1. ABC Bible Verse Flashcard Printables
  2. Calendar Notebook Printables
  3. Letter Ee Ideas {the fact that this post has been in the top ten for 5 months cracks me up!}
  4. Free Fall Fun Learning Printables Pack
  5. Chore System and Chore Chart Printables
  6. Book Report Form and Reading Log
  7. Alphabet Flash Cards and Posters
  8. Number Playdough Mats
  9. Organizing Homeschool Paperwork
  10. Preschool Chore Charts

A big thanks to Homeschool Freebie, Confessions of a Homeschooler, Money Saving Mom, Free Homeschool Deals, iHomeschool Network, Free Homeschool Deals, and The Frugal Girls for sending traffic my way last month.

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button

 
Homeschool Reading Program

One Month Finished! Phew!

I don’t know about you, but somehow realizing that it’s September – wow! This year is just flying by! The fact that Christmas decorations are already showing up in stores isn’t helping any either!

We’ve finished up four weeks of school now – WOOT! This month we’ll be starting up with our local homeschool co-op and also have a fun camping trip scheduled at the end of this week to celebrate the end of summer and all that we’ve finished with school already. The kids are definitely excited about camping because they found out we’ll be digging for shark’s teeth!

Over the weeks we have been adding more and more into our daily homeschool schedule {i.e. one week we added spelling, another week we added art, etc…} until we are almost at our ‘full’ schedule for the year. We’re adjusting to some new routines and I’m hoping to share a little of our homeschool routine with you soon.

Thanks to the Following Companies

Red Wagon Tutorials

Photobucket Grapevine Bible Studies LivinWithPizzaz_Homeschooling BCP_LogoAwardWinning_125x125-1

Red Wagon Tutorials ~ online live-feed, online recorded, DVD and flash drive science classes for grades 7 through 12.

Livin’ with Pizzazz! ~ A child’s health begins at home!  Dr. Bill Sears has an incredible six session online eWorkshop for parents of kids 3 to 12.  Hands-on learning activities, family challenges, and free downloads.  Get fun recipes and learn the best foods for growing kids and easy label reading tips. 

Maestro Classics ~ introduce great music and classics stories to children with this classical music series.

Grapevine Studies ~ effective, easy-to-teach Bible curriculum to disciple students ages five to adult. Through the use of Bible timelines and easy-to-follow lessons, Grapevine Studies will give your students a panoramic view of the Bible.

Barker Creek Publishing ~ For the past 19 years, Barker Creek has been designing award-winning products for use at home and at school. Products include the popular Draw Write Now series, hands-on materials for children, and beautifully designed posters, charts, file folders and other decoratives to brighten your learning environment.

Popular Posts in August 2012

Curious to see what everyone is looking at? Here are the top ten posts at Homeschool Creations for the past month…

  1. ABC Bible Verse Flashcard Printables
  2. Letter Ee Ideas
  3. Organizing Homeschool Paperwork
  4. Calendar Notebook Printables
  5. Chore System and Chore Chart Printables
  6. Alphabet Flash Cards and Posters
  7. Calendar and Morning Board
  8. Preschool Chore Charts
  9. Homeschool Curriculum Choices
  10. Our Homeschool Classroom {showing our new arrangement soon!}

A big thanks to Money Saving Mom, iHomeschool Network, Free Homeschool Deals, Confessions of a Homeschooler, and 1+1+1=1 for sending traffic my way last month.

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button

 

What's in the Bible Coupon

Less Productive and Learning to Not Stress

Sometimes my head gets a little ahead of my body {and life in general}. Originally the plan {ok…my plan} was to start school yesterday. Instead, we were screaming our heads off on the rides at Six Flags and enjoying one last hurrah before school starts next Monday.

Roller Coaster

Note to self: having the kids first roller coaster ride be the Batman ride, may NOT have been the best plan.

This summer has been less productive than I anticipated and had me on an emotional roller coaster I didn’t see coming. After my trip to Tanzania with Compassion in May, I’ve been a big bucket of emotions {ranging from tears to anger}. We’ve walked alongside some friends going through difficult situations and I am just drained.

{This is where the ‘scheduled’ part of me really annoys me sometimes}.

Because it was in my head that we were starting school on August 1st, I put way more pressure on myself than needed, causing me more stress especially as I looked at the growing mound of things that needed to be finished before we started. Undue stress.

The word flexible escapes me at times.

My hubby is being a huge help by letting me have this Saturday to knock a bunch of things off my to-do list {and if he didn’t remember, he will when he reads this post ~ grins!}. Our start date has been pushed to Monday and I’ve released myself from getting everything ‘just so’ before we start. I don’t need to have the first half of the year planned out before school starts. I have a rough plan and as long as I have things ready for the first couple of weeks, I’m good to go. I’m already feeling a load of pressure off.

Are you one that puts undue stress on yourself or are you a ‘fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants’ kinda girl? {bless you if you are!!}. Or have you found that lovely balance in between?

I’m learning and changing…slowly, but surely.

 

Check Out These Companies!!!

Red Wagon Tutorials

Photobucket Grapevine Bible Studies JSPhotogSummerCamp BCP_LogoAwardWinning_125x125-1

Red Wagon Tutorials ~ online live-feed, online recorded, DVD and flash drive science classes for grades 7 through 12.

Maestro Classics ~ introduce great music and classics stories to children with this classical music series.

Summer Photography Camp for Kids ~ 3 week class from August 6th – 24th for children ages 8 through 13 to learn basic photography and camera techniques. Our girls have both been taking this class and love it!

Grapevine Studies ~ effective, easy-to-teach Bible curriculum to disciple students ages five to adult. Through the use of Bible timelines and easy-to-follow lessons, Grapevine Studies will give your students a panoramic view of the Bible.

Barker Creek Publishing ~ For the past 19 years, Barker Creek has been designing award-winning products for use at home and at school. Products include the popular Draw Write Now series, hands-on materials for children, and beautifully designed posters, charts, file folders and other decoratives to brighten your learning environment.

Popular Posts in July 2012

Curious to see what everyone is looking at? Here are the top ten posts at Homeschool Creations for the past month…

  1. ABC Bible Verse Flashcard Printables
  2. Letter Ee Ideas
  3. Organizing Homeschool Paperwork
  4. Free Printable Blog Planner
  5. Curriculum Clean Out 2012
  6. Our Chore System and Chore Chart Printables
  7. Weekly Workbox System
  8. Calendar and Morning Board
  9. Preschool Chore Charts
  10. Our Homeschool Classroom {showing our new arrangement soon!}

A big thanks to Money Saving Mom, Free Homeschool Deals, Confessions of a Homeschooler, 1+1+1=1, and Totally Tots for sending traffic my way last month.

 Jolanthe Signature affiliate button