Category Archives: homeschooling

Spaceman Word Spacer – homeschooling

ABM_1408404168I am always looking for ways to help my munchkins on writing.  When I was student teaching, the kindergarten teacher had these COOL SPACEMEN word spacers to help the kids learn to space their word when they write.

You will need a clothes pin, white paint, sky blue paint, a red and black sharpie.

 

SIMPLE!

  • Paint your clothes pin white.
  • Let dry.
  • Add a blue semi-circle for the helmet.
  • Draw your clothes (follow my sample if you need help) using the sharpie.
  • Repeat on the back side of the clothespin.

This serves as a little reminder that there are spaces between each word while your littles are writing. My 3rd grader just pins it to the top of his paper. My 1st graders use it while they are practicing writing.

To use, have the kiddling write their first word. Please the spaceman on their paper after the word and then start writing their next word. It puts a finger wide space in between each word on their papers until they can remember to SPACE!

Making chalkboard clipboards

chorechartsMaking chalkboard clipboards are very easy and they are usable over and over again. They are great for “in the car” activities, traveling, and chore charts for the wall. Our family uses them for all 3. We are making new ones today for the missing one and for our 2 new boys as well.

We have been using the same clipboards for 3 years – Here is the original post: http://scrapwarrior.com/blog/2010/07/03/chore-charts-on-our-wall

 

You will need the following:

  • wooden clipboards (These are sold at walmart or kmart or target for less than $2 each),
  • bottle of spray paint (chalkboard) – I found this at our local Ace Hardware
  • blue painter’s tape
  • Foam stamps and paint
  • matching ribbon

Directions:

Blue tape the “Metal Hinge” and spray paint the entire front of the board. After 24 hours, remove the tape carefully. Stamp your child’s name on the board and tie matching ribbon at different lengths on the hinge.

blog-clipboard

 

 

 

Free on the Kindle 6/22/2013

Free for the Kindle TODAY ONLY!

kidscookiebookcoversmall

My new Children’s books is finally out on the market.

It is on Amazon.com for both print and Kindle.The book will be exclusive to Amazon for several months and then I will move it over to BN (In October)

Click here for the book on AMAZON – Mama, Can I help? 

Meet Reagan. She wants to help her Mama make cookies. This book includes a short how-to story to help mom make cookies. Author, artist and mom, Kris Mazy has compiled 12 of her family’s favorite cookie recipes from Kris’ childhood. They are the same recipes that her grandmother made 30 years ago when she was just a little girl. Cookie Recipes Include Peanut Chocolate Chip Cookies, Lemon Cookies, Zucchini Cookie Bars, No Bake Missouri Cookies, Everything but the Kitchen Sink Cookies, Peanut Butter Blossoms, Oatmeal Raisin Craisin Cookies, No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars, Crinkle Crackles, Animal Cookies & Royal Icing, Chocolate Cut-outs, Chewy Gingerbread Cookies,

Summertime Fun – Find a Local Library Program

libraryprogramsMost children’s libraries put on programs during the summertime. Yes… I am telling you, if you have children, CALL YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY!

Our local children’s library website is: http://www.chinoaz.net/library/childrens.shtml

The library in Chino Valley, Arizona (where the kiddlings and Larry and I live) has an FANTASTIC summer program. We attend the Special Needs one for Berlyn and Trystan. (Autusm and ADHD are interesting things to try and get children to sit still… but the program for the special needs in not terribly busy and allows the kids to move around. The best part is that there are a lot of “get up and dance” . )

Today, the Prescott Heritage Park Zoo visited the kids! They let the kids touch the  snake, hissing cockroach and the tortoises. They also brought a pink-footed tarantula and 2 prairie dogs that were in a rolly exercise ball.

The Chino Valley Library has an AMAZING Children’s Librarian by the name of Darlene Westcott (better known as Ms. Darlene to the kids.) I have known Darlene for 20 years. Her daughters went to school with me. In 2010, she won the 2010 Arizona Youth Services Librarian of the Year because of all of her  phenomenal work with children.

Here is a link to the Chino Valley Summer Reading Program – http://www.chinoaz.net/library/pdf/2013_SummerReadingProgram_Tri-Fold.pdf

Here is a link to the Chino Valley SELF Club (SPecial Needs) Summer Reading Program: http://www.chinoaz.net/library/pdf/2013_SelfClub_Tri-Fold2.pdf

 

So if you have kids at home this summer… call your local library!

You never know what they have in store for you!

 

 

Summertime Fun – A MUST HAVE book

It is not often that I do reviews on books. I actually avoid them because for the most part, I know that everyone is different and has different types of writing so I always feel that I am judging another person’s art.

However, that being said, I have found the ULTIMATE go-to book for the summer if you have kids. Link to the right –> This book has literally HUNDREDS of different games, and indoor and outdoor activities. Every activity has how many players, ages, location and equipment listed along with the riles and ways to play it. There are indoor games like card games, mind games, word and brain game, pencil and paper games, and tabletop games. There are also outdoor games that include categories like blacktop games hide and seeks, relays and races, tag and chases and ball games, water games, party games and more.  There are even ROAD GAMES for the car!! YEAH!

Shelby and El are going to lead our homeschool park day with some games from this book today!!

blog-bigbookreview

Favorite Tools as a homeschooler

This is our 8th year homeschooling. I feel like I have successfully accomplished so many things with the kids. I was in my studio and was thinking this morning. “What Items Can I Not Live Without?” Besides the kids computers(yes, they each have their own netbooks) and AOP homeschooling curriculum called Switched on Schoolhouse, there are a FEW other things that just make my life a bit easier!!!

We started off our homeschooling sitting on the floor in the living room with a few workbooks for a lone 1st grader. Shelby was AMAZING to go along with mommy, having a 2 year old brother and and a one year old sister. Then, we moved out of boxes at the dining room table. – We never ate at the table because there were always projects going on all of the time. When we moved into our new house 20 months ago, we converted the formal dining room into a classroom. I really don’t need anything “formal” in this house since, well, we have little hand who break things. We got a FREE dining room table and chairs set off of the local Freecycle group. It needed a bit of “re-gluing” but is perfect! I also have a dresser that we have added into the room in order to have some extra space for art supplies.

 

My Cricut Machine is never far from me and it lives on the dresser in the schoolroom. Today, I am using the calendar set and cutting the months of the year to hang on my classroom wall for Berlyn and Rowan. (Berlyn is my autistic child and does go to a half day Kindergarten class at a public school with the most AWESOME teacher.) Berlyn has been learning the months of the year at school, so I wanted to add that to our classroom wall too! Shelby even got the new one for Christmas this year that hooks up to her computer and has digital art and can also use the cartridges. I can’t imagine not having this tool in our collection. The kids use it for reports. I use it for scrapbooking, and school related items (both theirs and mine).

 

My Cube Shelving in my classroom is another essential. I pick up a lot of items at local yard sales and I needed a way to organize them. These cubicle shelves are at places like Walmart, and Target. They have all different color shelves and you can pick up drawers separately.

We use the drawers for “glue”. Yes, I have an adhesive drawer! And one that has all of their painting supplies, and decorative scissors, and extra supplies.

The shelves also hold the plastic shoe boxes GREAT and can double as bookshelves! I have math counters and science equipment in those. Along with a shoebox of crayons, and one with colored pencils and one with markers. I have never run out of or lost my colored pencils while they are in these shoe boxes. (Hey, I even labeled the outside of the boxes with my Cricut machine and wall vinyl!!!

 

INTERNET plays a HUGE roll in our schooling as well! I use it for project ideas and the kids use it for research. I find worksheets online and activities as well.

 

Last but not least – a TIMER is essential in our house. We DO NOT school all day with formal lessons, however, we do school for a time every morning. I set the timer to 3 hours at 9am and get started. Once that buzzer rings, I check the computer work. If everyone has gotten done their today’s work, then… WE ARE DONE! 🙂 In the afternoon is free reading, activity, cooking, etc.

 

I hope that this gives you an insight to “US” and what we can’t live without.

I


I LOVE LOVE LOVE homeschool days that we can take time away from books and get hands on. Dylan, the little guy who I tutor a few days a week was ahead in his work, and Grif and El needed a BREAK!

So the kids decided to make French Baguettes and Bruschetta!!!

While the bread was rising, we read all about Thanksgiving and history and traditions – Here’s a site that I found some cool information on – http://www.thanksgivingnovember.com/

 

Bruschetta

Ingredients

    • garlic, pressed
    • 14 slices French bread (3/4 inch thick), toasted
    • 4 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
    • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, oil, minced basil, salt and pepper, garlic; spoon about 2 tablespoons onto each piece of toast.

 

 

Here is the French Bread Recipe that the kids tried… we are still trying to find one that REALLY works well with our home-ground Flour.

 

FRENCH BREAD

Ingredients

  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast and salt. Stir in 2 cups warm water, and beat until well blended using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, knead in enough flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. Knead for about 8 to 10 minutes total. Shape into a ball. Place dough in a greased bowl, and turn once. Cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled.
  3. Punch dough down, and divide in half. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each half into large rectangle. Roll up, starting from a long side. Moisten edge with water and seal. Taper ends.
  4. Grease a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Place loaves, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly beat the egg white with 1 tablespoon of water, and brush on. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until nearly doubled, 35 to 40 minutes.
  5. With a very sharp knife, make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts about 1/4 inch deep across top of each loaf. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for 20 minutes. Brush again with egg white mixture. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until bread tests done. If necessary, cover loosely with foil to prevent over browning. Remove from baking sheet, and cool on a wire rack.
French Bread Recipe found on: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/french-bread/detail.aspx?&recipeID=6882

Point Reward System for chores

I am serious when I say that I believe in NOT giving out allowance for everyday household chores. As a mom, I don’t get paid in money for washing the floor or folding laundry… why should my kids earn money for keeping their rooms clean or brushing their teeth? These are every day items that are required to run a household (I know that I will have those who disagree with me, however I want to show your something else that we have implemented with out clan before you scold and cuss me out for being a bad mom!!)

Having one child who doesn’t understand the concept of money anyway and thinks that you can go to the store and ALWAYS buy him a toy while we are there, we have made out own store at home with items that I have picked up on sale racks, dollar sections of Target, Walgreens sale aisle, etc. We call it Mommy’s Treasure Box Store.

Here’s the Breakdown for our family

Point Reward System for chores and extras

(I found everything that I used on sale or at yard sales – DO NOT overspend on these items… I budget this very closely and take $20 cash out and can only use that $$$.)

I started by making POINTS – I used the pre-made sheets of business cards and ran them through my printer with 1 Point, 2 Points, 5 points and 10 points on them. I then took with the kids and stamped on each card.

I keep these in my desk. As children complete normal chores, I give out these points. If I have to ask more than once for something, then, they don’t earn anything. We don’t ever take away points… If my kiddlings do something extra, without asking, they will earn extra points. And we give them for good behavior (especially with my Autistic son, Berlyn.)

At the end of the week, our family store opens up. I spend less than $20 every paycheck on items for the store. The kids get 30 minutes to shop and purchase items with their points. I purchase little things at the dollar store, Target Dollar section, sale rack at Walgreens, etc and also print up (on the same business cards) rewards that they can buy as well.

Everything in the point basket is priced at 5, 10, 25, 50 or 100 points… and then there is a movie theater card that is 500 points.  Included in the basket are school supplies (decorative pencils, notepads, stickers) toys, games, candy, dolls, bubbles, color books, cooler TEEN stuff for Shelby, etc.

 

I store everything in a basket that I picked up at a yardsale for $1! I store it up out of reach of kiddlings. If they have 50 points and spend 35, then they have 15 that carry over to the next week. They store their points in an envelope on their chore clipboard in the hallway. Here is the link to the Chore Clipboards that we made: http://krisandlarry.com/2010/07/03/chore-charts-on-our-wall/

 

My kids LIKE to help out around the house. They make it a point to remind me when they do extra things just so that they can earn points.

 

Point Reward System for chores

Planting Pineapples? Fun Homeschool Project!

One day I came across a youtube video about growing your own pineapple plants… We just HAD to try. This week there were bulk pineapples on our bountiful basket and we picked up not 1 but 2 cases. After we dried 1 case, we decided to try and plant a few. What a blast we had doing this.

Check out this FUN Video:

Welcome to 2011 – Back to school

It always amazes me how fast time flies. It’s 2011. How did that happen? Lar had 17 days off in December (love when he actually uses vacation time) then he was called in 4 times over that period. So, we got part of our vacation or rather our staycation.

It was GREAT to have him at home, especially since he helped me with ideas that I had for Berlyn. We are still having a bit of difficulty adjusting to the autistic tendencies that he has. God made him perfect – God made him Berlyn. So we are trying something NEW. Learning the alphabet has been – should I say – a CHALLENGE.

I found a Star Wars scrapbook with paper at Hobby Lobby. (THANKS HL – LOVE that store!!) I found and printed up Characters from the movies that match different letters of the alphabet. We have made it through “D” so far. He is starting to “get it”. Although he was resistant in making each page into ONE letter… so we are going to run out of pages long before the alphabet is done.  The fact that God has blessed us with him is more important on how fast he learns specific things. Lar and I are constantly researching and relearning how to teach him (out of our own boxes) and I believe that is the key!

Griffen got up this morning and decided that his bookwork would wait and made a lunch sack owl. SERIOUSLY CREATIVE!!! He would just prefer to do hands on any day than bookwork! HAHAHA That’s Griffen!

El is booking her way rather quickly through 2nd grade – and asked if she could start the 3rd grade on the computer today because she was bored!

Shelby moved her squishy chair in my studio where I snapped a quick photo before she stuck her tongue out at me.  OOPS I forgot to take down the Christmas wreath.

I have a list of activities that we have planned out that I can’t wait to share with everyone.  Happy New Year to everyone!!