Find Your Tribe + Grasshopper Point

The other day we packed up the car and headed to Sedona, Arizona, for a day trip with our homeschool group. We decided to celebrate NOT Back to School at Grasshopper Point, a shady water hole in the red rocks surrounded by big green trees and a stream. 

When I started this blog, I was a public school teacher. I taught 1st grade and 3rd grade. I LOVED teaching. About 6 years in, I decided to take a leave and stay home with my daughter and pursue some entrepreneurial dreams. When my daughter turned preschool age, I started homeschooling her and started a preschool co-op with other mommy friends. We have some of the best memories from those days. But eventually, all of our sweet friends went off to kindergarten and we needed a new plan. It was important for us to have a community. My daughter is an only child (read more about that here), and she’s extremely social and loves her friends. We tried out lots of different homeschool groups, and although we made lots of new friends, nothing felt like ‘home.’ 

Feeling discouraged and questioning my choice to homeschool, I prayed hard for an answer. Again… it was important for us to have a community… a tribe. And a few days after I broke down crying in prayer, I met my friend Mel. She was a mom of a sweet little girl in the PreK cooking class I was teaching. She mentioned that she had decided to homeschool and wanted to know if I wanted to get together weekly with our kids. Of course I agreed (you can tell a kind soul when you see one, am I right?) and soon thereafter we met a mutual friend of a friend, Nicole, and added to our group.

Now, 5 years later, we are 8 moms strong and 21 kids deep. We are all so alike, yet all so different. And each of our differences adds to our group. We collaborate, plan, laugh, educate, meditate, play, adventure, explore, share, make memories, learn, and love on each other’s kids.

I am so thankful for this tribe. They encourage me and support me. And not only am I am better homeschooler for it, I am a better mom, wife, and friend because of them. And my daughter has built some really awesome friendships and has learned a lot of really awesome things. 

I am so thankful life brought us all together… so we could travel this journey of homeschool and motherhood and celebrate milestones together. Plus, we have A TON of FUN! 

If you’re in Arizona, I highly recommend visiting Sedona. Your kids will LOVE Grasshopper Point. Be sure to bring $8 per car for parking. It’s an easy walk down to the water but there are lots of rocks and boulders so watch your step! Once down at the water, there are lots of places to have picnics, swim, hike, and explore. If you can go during the week, it’s even better because you avoid the crowds. It’s not a pet-friendly trail, so leave your furry friends at home. Be sure to bring sunscreen, towels, water shoes, and lots of H2O. And as always, don’t forget to hike out with your trash. 

Wild and Free with a LOVE for learning. Our party in nature has me pumped for another awesome school year full of new learning experiences and adventures. Luci and I are excited for fourth grade!

Are you a parent of a fourth grader or a fourth grade teacher? If so, you must check out Every Kid in a Park! It’s a program for fourth graders enabling them and encouraging them to visit national parks by making it a free and educational program! We are all signed up and can’t wait to take advantage of it. Let us know if you do too! 

Favorite Back-to-School Target Finds

This post includes affiliate links. Please refer to my policy page for more info. 

Hello Makers! It’s that time again… back-to-school season. Is it just me or do the summers go by faster each year? Regardless, it’s time to get organized and prepared for the year ahead and what better way than to get your shopping done at your favorite store… Target!! They have some really great deals for back-to-school that I wanted to share with y’all. One stop for clothes, shoes, lunch boxes, backpacks, school supplies, and even groceries. So grab your favorite icey cold beverage, and let’s parooze our favorite store, shall we? Here are my favorite back-to-school Target finds.

Starting on Sunday, July 30, Target.com is offering savings on women’s & kids’ clothing & shoes, to school supplies, and more! The sale goes through August 5, 2017, so be sure to take full advantage. 

Receive $5 off $50 School Supplies purchase when they use Store Pick-Up. Just select Store Pick-Up option while checking out on Target.com. 

Target has great deals on kids’ clothing for the week of 7/30-8/5 too! Receive a $10 Target GiftCard with $40 Kids’ Clothing purchase, or receive a $5 Target GiftCard with $25 Kids’ Clothing purchase. Jeans, character tees, dresses, and even school uniforms… all included in the sale.

It gets better friends! For the week of 7/30-8/5, all kids’ shoes are buy one get one 50% off! They seriously have the coolest shoes for kids right now too.

Don’t worry moms… there’s a sale for you too!  Women’s Mossimo Supply Co. Apparel
is buy one get one 50% off for the week of 7/30-8/5. I know I need to stock up on cute jeans for fall and winter, so I’ll be taking advantage of this sale for sure. 

There you have it… all of my favorite back-to-school Target finds. But let’s be honest, everything in Target is my favorite!

Are you getting back-to-school ready? What deal are you most excited for?

14 First Day of School Photo Ideas

Happy Friday! Time for the last Must Have Craft Tip post of the month to round up our back-to-school ideas and tips. The first day of school is always an exciting day so why not document the occasion in a fun way? Today I’m sharing 14 First Day of School Photo Ideas!

 

 I know I love documenting the first day of school… and the last! It’s so fun to see how much your kids have grown and changed over the school year… or years for that matter! Let’s check out some of my favorites that I think you’re going to love too.

 
 
 
 
 

 Family Class Photo from Pinterest

 First and Last Day of School Photo Prop from Fynes Designs

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Don’t have time to make one of these props or have chalk sitting around to write on the driveway? I’ve gathered some cute printable signs that will work just as well and are just as fun!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 All of these ideas are so cute and are fun to do to keep those memories of the first day of school forever! Which one is your favorite? Do you have a first day of school photo idea that you do with your children?
 
 
Stay tuned next month for a whole new topic of Must Have Craft Tips and More posts! 
 

  

Have a great weekend! 


Your hostesses,
 


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The Scrap Shoppe | Flamingo Toes | Mine for the Making | A Glimpse Inside

 

 

Best Back-to-School Lunch Box Notes

Hello Makers! Can you believe that the new school year is just around the corner?! Where has this summer gone? This month for Must Have Craft Tips, we’re helping you gear up for all the Back-to-School season with all sorts of fun tips and organization ideas. For our post this week I’ve gathered up the best Back-to-School lunch box notes! These are so fun to print, cut out, and slip in your kids’ lunches throughout the school year, making lunchtime at school a little more fun!

We’ve got lunch box notes for boys and girls of all ages and you can easily search Pinterest for even more when you run out! I didn’t include them in this round up, but there are also holiday lunch box themed notes too! Here are some of my favorites that you could use all year round.

Marvel Lunch Box Notes

Lunchbox Jokes

Inside Out Lunch Notes

Disney Princess Lunch Box Jokes

Emoji Lunch Notes

Minions Lunch Box Notes

Back to School Printable Lunchbox Notes

LEGO Lunch Box Jokes

Star Wars Lunch Box Notes

Pokemon Lunch Box Notes

Frozen Lunch Box Notes

Harry Potter Printable Lunchbox Jokes and Notes

Cute Lunch Box Notes

Superhero Lunch Box Notes

Fabulous and Fun Lunch Box Notes

Star Wars Lunch Box Jokes

American Girl Printable Lunch Notes

Minecraft Lunch Box Notes

TMNT Lunch Box Notes

Peanuts Lunch Box Notes

 

Aren’t these lunch box notes and jokes so cute and so fun?! Try printing a few off and pre-cutting them before school starts. Put them in a drawer that you can easily find them in for when you start packing lunches again for the school year. Such a simple way to create happiness and memories for your kids while they are away at school.

Join us again next week for more Back-to-School tips, tricks and ideas that you will love! Have a great weekend!

 

Your hostesses,
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The Scrap Shoppe | Flamingo Toes | Mine for the Making | A Glimpse Inside

 

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Recycled Desk Organizer

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone. #BoxTopsHero #CollectiveBias

Hello Makers! Can you believe how fast the summer is flying by? It’s almost back-to-school season! And with that being said, I’m all about prepping and preparing so that we have a smooth sailing school year. I am sure to stock up on all the household essentials as well, that way we aren’t running out to the store on busy school days or nights. The other thing I am sure to do is create an organized space for school work. This year my daughter and I made a Recycled Desk Organizer.

I know that my kid is able to accomplish her school work when she has all the supplies needed. It saves a bunch of time and stress when everything is in an organized place where she can access it all easily, rather than running around trying to find where she last put the scissors or the colored pencils. Everything in it’s place! I promise you it will save you a ton of time and hassle. Want to know the cool part? It’s all made out of recycled materials of things that you already need for your home!

Some of my favorite things to stock up on at Walmart of the school year are:

  • Kleenex® Trusted Care* 3 Bundle Pack
  • Kleenex® Trusted Care* 4 Bundle Pack
  • Scott® Tissue 20+4 Roll Pack
  • Viva® Vantage® 6 Big Rolls

Besides being stocked on all the necessities, the bonus to buying some of these products are that they come with double the Box Tops! Now you can give back double!

Are you ready to make a recycled desk organizer for your kids? Let’s do it! 

You will need an empty Kleenex® box and enough left over rolls of Scott® Tissue or you can cut down left over Viva® Vantage® paper towel rolls to fill the box. My Kleenex® box fit 10 rolls. If you decide to use Viva® Vantage® paper towel rolls, you’ll have to cut them in half (or more) to fit. 

First you’ll want to use a utility blade to carefully cut the top of the Kleenex® box off (adults only for this step!). 

Next, decorate the tops of the Scott® Tissue rolls with washi tape and hot glue them into the box so that they are secure.

Then all you have to do is fill up the rolls with school supplies! We filled ours with crayons, markers, pencils, colored pencils, water colors, scissors, and a ruler. 

You can also paint the box and the rolls to create a whole new look! We love this mermaid themed recycled desk organizer. Isn’t it pretty?!

Everything is easily accessible, organized and ready for the new school year!

And with Box Tops on these everyday items, back-to-school shopping is made easier. Even though we homeschool, we have lots of friends who go to public school and will happily take our double Box Tops. 

All these products can be found at your local Walmart, and you’ll be able to give back double purchasing them! It’s a win-win if you ask me! 

How are you getting ready for the back-to-school season? I’d love to know! 

Back to School Splatter Party

It’s that time of year again, can you believe it?! Back to School season is upon us! As a former elementary school teacher and a current homeschool mom, I can honestly say that I love this time of year. I get super excited to start up the new school year and I like to make it exciting for my daughter (and former students) as well. We love to ring in the new school year with a Back to School Splatter Party!

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This can be as simple or as extravagant as you want. This year our homeschool co-op group opted to take a field trip to Pinspiration for our Back to School Party. And let me tell you, this was one of my most favorite Back to School celebrations yet!

B2S Splatter Party1

I shared my love for Pinspiration before (check out this post HERE) and my daughter and I really wanted to share this place with our friends, so we invited them all to join us for some Splatter Room fun and healthy, Back to School snacks. 

B2S Splatter Party9

B2S Splatter Party8

Pinspiration set up a darling Back to School themed table for us, complete with apple plates, plaid placemats, and chalkboard nameplates. The kids enjoyed rainbow carrot sticks with hummus, strawberries and cream, and apple & peanut butter sandwiches for their snack before we geared up and headed for the Splatter Room.

B2S Splatter Party7

B2S Splatter Party6

After the healthy snack, the kids were fueled up and ready for some messy artsy fun! Pinspiration provided canvases for the kids as well as protective gear if we didn’t want to get too messy. We chose to have our kids wear white shirts just for fun! 

B2S Splatter Party2

B2S Splatter Party3

The kids had a BLAST in the Splatter Room and made beautiful works of art. There were lots of giggles and looks of concentration. 

B2S Splatter Party5

We all had such a great time during our Back to School Party at Pinspiration. I love that the kids could be totally engaged and as messy as they wanted (without me having a panic attack). They loved that they had paint in their hair, on their faces and thought it was even funnier when one of us moms were caught in the fire (aka: paint). Definitely a celebration we will not forget!

B2S Splatter Party4

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How do you get your kids pumped for a new school year?  Stay tuned for more Back to School Party ideas from our party expert, Mindy Alyse!

 

Thank you to Brooke of Pinspiration for the beautiful Back to School table and the awesome fun time we had in the Splatter Room! Can’t wait to go back!

Thank you to SicFit Scottsdale and Michelle Mango Cakes for the delicious and healthy Back to School snacks!

Teach Me Tuesday: 26+ Math Games for Kids

Welcome to Teach Me Tuesday! A (mostly) weekly series where we share all things kid-friendly that you can do with your kids or teach them how to do. It can be educational, artistic, scientific, hands-on…anything goes as long as it’s kid approved!

TeachME Tuesdays Button - Kara

We’ve been having a lot of fun with math lately. My daughter has really taken a liking to it and I think some of it has to do with my approach in teaching her new concepts and reviewing concepts she’s previously been taught. Games are incorporated in a lot of our homeschooling, but especially with math. Pinterest is a great resource for educational ideas. I’ve rounded up 26+ Math Games for Kids in Kindergarten-third grade. Just click on the links below to get to the directions for each game or to download the freebies. 

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Be sure to pin this list and check back as I will be adding to it as I find more fun math games for kiddos! Thanks for stopping by! If you want more educational ideas, check out my Homeschooling board and my Kiddo Stuff board on Pinterest.

I hope you come back by again tomorrow. I something really pretty to show you! Hint: it goes in my craft room.

Teach Me Tuesday: 12 Inspiring Homeschool Rooms

Hello and welcome to Teach Me Tuesday, our {mostly} weekly series about all things that relates to teaching your kiddos. I’m a teacher at heart and this is a way for me to share that with others. 

TeachME Tuesdays Button - Kara

Today I am sharing 12 Inspiring Homeschool Rooms! I love browsing Pinterest and my favorite homeschool blogs and Instagram accounts to get new ideas for our own homeschool room. Everything from decor, organization, colors, seating, layout… it’s fun to dream of these rooms and even apply some of the ideas. Check out these amazing, Inspiring Homeschool Rooms! Click the links to get a closer look…

Inspiring Homeschool Rooms

  1. Organized Chaos’ Homeschool Room
  2. Happiness Is Homemade Homeschool Room Tour
  3. Homeschool Creations New Homeschool Room
  4. Good Morning Girls Ikea Inspired Homeschool Room
  5. 1 Plus 1 Plus 1 Equals 1 Homeschool Room
  6. My Joy Filled Life’s Homeschool Room Reveal
  7. Mt. Hope Chronicles’ Live and Learn Studio
  8. Jamie Coupaud’s School Play Room
  9. Everyday Snapshots’ Homeschool Room Redo
  10. Rossimore House’s Homeschool Room
  11. Natural Beach Living’s Homeschool Room
  12. Living Out His Love’s Our Hoemschool room

Aren’t they fun?! I love the use of maps and globes. I also love the storage from Ikea. What are you loving about these rooms?

Thanks for stopping by today friends!

Teach Me Tuesday: Nature Journals

Hiya friends and welcome to Teach Me Tuesday, where I share all things kid-friendly!

TeachME Tuesdays Button - Kara

 

Today I am sharing Nature Journals with y’all. We absolutely LOVE adventuring outside…whether it’s a bike ride to the park or hiking a scenic trail. Our homeschool group (made up of creative and inspiring mommas and their cute kiddos) decided that Nature Journals are a necessity for our kiddos and the exploring that they will be doing this year. We brainstormed, look for inspiration, and helped our kids create really rad journals. We are so excited to fill them with adventures, discoveries, and treasures. Let’s take a peak at the Nature Journal my daughter and I made…

nature journal9

 

We recycled a cracker box for the covers, cut construction paper to fit inside, added paper bags, hole punched everything, and attached binder rings. Then she went to down decorating.

nature journal collage1

 

Here’s a look at the whole shebang. Pretty simple right? We are so excited to fill it up!! 

Here’s my girlfriend Nicole’s girls’ Nature Journal (say that 10 times fast). I love that she added a zipper pouch to it…genius!

nature journal collage2

 

And this is in no way limited to homeschool kids! Use it on the weekends or on holiday breaks! Or to all my teacher friends out there, this would be a great addition to your science curriculum. 

nature journal4

 

Want to see some FUN Nature Journal inspiration? Get your pinning finger ready…

naturejournal 10

 

Spell Out Loud

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Daffodil Lane

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Martha Stewart 

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Smallable

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Great Stems

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The Taylor House

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Etsy

Thanks for stopping by today!

Teach Me Tuesday: Sight Word Target Practice

Welcome to Teach Me Tuesday, friends!

TeachME Tuesdays Button - Kara

I find it’s important to have FUN while learning and practicing concepts and skills. When we are having fun, we are more than likely actively engaged and we are enjoying what we are doing. When we enjoy what we are doing, we tend to remember it. Today’s learning activity can be adjusted to fit the needs of your child and can be manipulated to practice different concepts. I will share examples later in the post. But first, let’s check out Sight Word Target Practice!

  nurf sight words1

This one is so fun and can be played inside or outside, depending upon the time of year and weather in your location. 

For inside play, you will need:

Nerf gun, sight word cards, washi tape

For outside play, you will need:

Water gun, outdoor chalk to write sight words

nurf sight words2

How to Play:

We played the game inside this time, so I used some washi to tape up the sight word cards that my daughter is practicing. She then aims the Nerf gun at the word she wants to shoot and shouts out the word. Then *BAM!* She fires off the Nerf gun and moves on to the next word. 

It’s easy and fun and both girls and boys like this one. You can tape the words to one wall like we did, or you can put them all over the house so the kids have to “hunt” for them. When playing outside, you can use chalk to write the words on the back wall or patio and then use a water gun instead of a Nerf gun. You can also use math flashcards, vocabulary words, spelling words, state/capitals, etc. 

nurf sight words3

What are some ways you try to make learning fun with your kids?