Monday, October 28, 2013

Not the typical classroom nor student

All I knew about school was desks line up in a row, kids sitting down and teacher standing in front of a black board giving instructions. Naturally, when I started home educating, that is what I tried to model. Out of the 3 little girls, only one can sit still at the kitchen table for a long period of time.

I have seen my little goose hanging upside down from the couch to watch a show on TV, why was I surprised when the same little one was trying to do the same at the table while practicing her phonics?

I am slowly feeling more comfortable letting the school being done outside the table and chair setting. Doing math on the floor works just fine, and they are enjoying the freedom of being able to learn without the limitation of a designated space.

There is a time and place for kids to be still, and they do need to learn that skill, and other time it's ok to let them wiggles it out.

How about you, do you have a formal classroom setting or more relaxed setting for your homeschool?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Creative play, a great learning tool

With young one, learning during playtime is the easiest way to incorporate a lesson. While they are having so much fun playing,  they are barely noticing that they are learning some new skills.

I like a certain structure to our playtime, like when we are playing board games or hide and go seek and other games or the sorts. At the same time I do let  the girls have some time to play freely, without "rules" or structure.

I think that it is important to have a balance between both freedom and structure. That goes beyond just play, but that is a whole new post.

I have to admit I often use that time of free play to do some catching up on chores like dishes or laundry, but I catch myself from time to time, just listening or watching them play. There I stand, smiling, being in awe of how much they have grown, how creative they have become and how much they have learned.

If I could stop time, capturing those little moments, I would.

I was reading Mama smiles blog and came across her post on The importance of creative play, there she mentioned a few skills that comes with letting children creatively playing.

  1. The ability to self-entertain
  2. The development of language art
  3. Emotional self-regulation
  4. Social skill practice

I have to say all those are true for our family. I  have seen all the points being practice during the girls free play. Of course I do sometime have to intervene and break a fight or two, Ok, there are days that I feel more like a referee then anything else. We all have days like that right? For most part, I seen them growing more and more and I love what they are becoming. 

These pictures are just a glimpse of some creative free play, I should have took a video, it was pretty funny seeing her act out the book we had been reading earlier that day.

How about you, what skills are your kids learning from their free play?

Before you ask, the outfit was found at a local thrift store, in the Halloween costumes section. She notice it from far away and was begging me to get it for her. 

Can you tell what book we are reading aloud from this post???

Friday, October 11, 2013

Favorite Fall Flavor Friday ~ Tuna Melt

Have you ever look at your watch and think "oh my where did the time go, it's dinner time already" You might have had a really busy day, or are just plumb tired and want somethings fast and easy.

Drive true are fast and easy, but don't come that cheap. If you do a bit of planning on your day to day meal preparation, this could be a very good alternative.

What you will need:

  • A can of tuna (if you are not a tuna fan, chicken, turkey or ham would be good substitute)
  • Mayo
  • Grated cheese
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce (completely optional) ~ for this recipe I use my homemade Curried BBQ sauce.
  • Bread (sliced)
Since I don't really measure can't really tell you quantities but it's pretty easy mix the tuna, mayo and BBQ sauce in a bowl, spread the mixture on slices on bread and topped with grated cheese. Put in the oven at 350 degrees until cheese is melted (you can turn the oven on broiled for a minute or two after the cheese is melted but totally optional) 

Now you are wondering what sides can we served with these. Salads, fries, *rice and vegetable are all very delicious with those. 

Do you have a go to meal when you are in a rush and don't know what to prepare for dinner?

*If you are the type of person that hate waiting for the rice to cook, you can make large pot rice (rice cooker or stove top) in advance and freeze in portion that you would normally serve. Can be heated up in microwave in minutes.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

If your wardrobe could roar

I love animals, they are absolutely beautiful, but wearing clothing that reflect them was not something I thought I would EVER wear. I am fine with wearing bold and bright colors, but animal prints are out of my comfort zone.

A few months ago, I got a pair of shoes with a little bit of leopard spot accent. It was barely noticeable, but my girls kept telling me that they loved it when I wore my leopard shoes. Then I noticed this fall a big trend on animal prints, really it's everywhere.  I got some rubber boots for 2 of the girls and they are zebra prints and of so cute.

Purse, boots, scarf ~ payless shoes store

When looking around for some boots, also another hot item this fall, found the prettiest scarf and cutest purse to go with the boots. 

 Stepping out of your comfort zone it not easy, but it is so much fun.

What would be one fashion item that you have been wanting to try but haven't dared yet?

pleated poppy

Monday, October 7, 2013

Learning on nature walks

I love that I live in a city where nature is so easily accessible.

 A few minutes drive, and you can but enjoying some glorious walking/hiking trails, the ocean, the rivers, waterfalls and many more exiting spots. 

We are even lucky enough to have lots of walking/hiking trails that provides information boards  that can be use for teachable moments.

If your kids are curious like mine, the questions will keep coming. Curiosity makes homeschooling so much more fun, and exiting.

I love  Educating is life outlook on nature walks. Here is a few wise words:

"I don't need to know everything, or even very much. Nature study can be a joint exploration with my children as we search after truth and beauty in the outdoors."

"My job is not to tell them all the facts. Rather, it is to gently lead them to observe things carefully for themselves."

 Learning together is such a great experience, and being an observant little student is a skill that we need to encourage.

 Exploring, manipulating, smelling, observing getting all senses involved in the process it far better then just learning from a book. Book learning is great, but when you can have the opportunity of doing some real hands-on learning, better take advantage of it.

Last week we went on nature walk every single day for about 2 hours each trip. Some days were easier then others, the little girls had their moments.

 Here are a few tips that can make your nature walks a bit easier

  1. Wear comfortable shoes
  2. Bring snacks (walking can create a big appetite)
  3. Bottles of water
  4. If available, bring a  map of the park or trails you are visiting. Some kids get insecure when exploring new places and being able to show them where we have been and where we are going. It also can prevent many "Mama we are LOOOOOOSSSSSTTTTTTT"
  5. A bag to collect stuff, rocks, pine-cones etc... whatever you child wants to bring along
  6. A few bandages and cleaning wipes (for those scrapes and small cuts that can happen if you are on the clumsy side!) 
  7. For those little people that can get discourage about the length of the walk, giving them something to look forward too like "we will walk until the next bit maple tree and take a rest and sit down for a snack" Treasure hunt is also a great way to keep them happy and busy. Playing a few round of "I spy" is always interesting.
  8. Camera to take pictures (for things you can collect but still want to use as a learning tool)
  9. And bringing a warm cup of coffee in a travel mug for yourself never hurt!

How about you, what are your tips to make nature walks easier on you and your children?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Favorite Fall Flavor Friday ~ Chicken&Dumpling soup

Summer is lots of fun, plenty of beach time and playing in the parks, but as soon as school starts and the weather changes I feel the business of everyday life sometime a bit challenging. Cooler weather makes me want to go on long walk in the woods, or spend a whole day cleaning and organizing, but that means that I have less time to be in the kitchen.

I found the best way to get a warm delicious meal, after a day exploring outdoor, is to set the crockpot before leaving. Nothing like coming home to the yummy smell of a cooked food.

This weeks favorite fall flavor: Chicken and dumpling

This soup always brings childhood memories. With every bowl full, whatever day you had, always brings a smile to my face. This soups qualifies as comfort food.

The soup itself does not take long to prepare but for the best flavor roasting a whole chicken (or in a pinch using the crockpot) does make a difference. Roasting a chicken and having it it with potatoes, gravy and veggies one day and using the left over chicken for the soup is how I choose to do this, but to each their own.


  • Chicken 
  • carrots
  • celery
  • onion
  • potatoes
  • Spices (oregano, summer savory, thyme, salt pepper)
  • Chicken broth (I use my homemade one)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tps salt
  • 2 tps dill 
  • pinch baking powder
  • 3/4 cup of water (more or less)
Cut the vegetable (except the potatoes) and sautee them lightly with the pot with olive oil and butter. Add broth, potatoes, chicken and herbs to a boiled. Meanwhile in a bowl mix all the dry ingredients for the dumpling and add enough water to for a dough ball that should be formed but not wet. Drop small spoonful at the time in the boiling water, lower to med heat until vegetable tender.


Thursday, October 3, 2013

DIY Serving Tray Makeover

When you think serving trays, you might think breakfast in bed or dinner on the couch. To me, serving trays, always bring tea time in mind.

I own a set of 3 wooden trays that I had for a while and they were starting to look a bit dull, it was time to give them a makeover.

All you will need
  • used serving trays
  • Mod Pudge & brush
  • paper (scrapbooking paper, magazines, newspaper, old pictures, whatever you like etc...)
  • ribbons (optional)
Step 1
Clean the surface of your tray where you'll be doing the collage.

  Step 2
Cut all the paper and  get all other embellishments ready. Set aside.

Step 3
Coat the surface that you are going to be using for the collage with Mod Pudge

Step 4
Layer all the pieces of paper and such and add a layer of Mod Pudge over it all to seal your project. Let it dry.

Step 5 (optional)
Add an extra coating of Mod Pudge over it all, let it fully dry before setting any object on it (overnight should be enough)

If you had any item in your home that would need a makeover, what would it be?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Easy Fall outfits

Scarfs, hats, boots, layers are a few things that I love about getting dress in the fall. No need of heavy coat to carry abound, and no need to get the kids snowsuits and boots on and off.

Here is a glimpse of what I wore in the past few days

Outfit #1

  • Polka dot shirt, black dress (thrifted). 
  • Necklace& earrings ~ RW&Co. 
  • shoes ~ Also
Outfit #2

  • Blazer, Pants, Purse (Thrifted)
  • Scarf (gift from a lovely beautiful friend)
  • Shoes ~ Nine West
Outfit #3

  • shirt (thrifted)
  • Pants ~ RW&Co
  • Boots ~ Aldo
Now tell me what is you favorite of the 3 outfits? Comment below.

pleated poppy