Fun in the Summer Sun!

Welcome to the next Fun in the Summer Sun event!

Thanks so much for all the great link-ups so far!

Each Monday until September 7th, Mama to 4 Blessings along with Adventures of Mommydom, Sweet Diva, Harvest Moon By Hand, and Sweet Phenomena will be hosting Fun in the Summer Sun link-up events.

Here’s the line up:

  • The 1st Monday of each month: link up your “Kid friendly summer activities”
  • The 2nd Monday of each month: link up your “Kid friendly summer crafts”
  • The 3rd Monday of each month: link up your “Kid friendly summer recipes”
  • The 4th Monday of each month: link up your “How to stay cool in the summer heat”

Here’s our “kid friendly summer activity!”

As I’ve mentioned before, we don’t like hanging out in the heat, so our summer activities usually revolve around indoor activities.  Today’s activity is technically a craft I suppose, but a craft is an activity right?

Babydoll is a stellar child.  Really, she’s awesome.  She’s artistic and sweet and uber.  The other day she sat down with a bag of those craft popsicle sticks and made a pencil box.  Yes, an actual pencil box.  That can be used.

Not only did she make this box that could be used, she also put a message on the front in glitter glue.  The box is a gift for her friend.

So, using school glue, craft sticks, and glitter glue, she made a pencil box.  I still marvel at it.

Why not sit your kids down with some sticks and let them go to town?  Let them be creative and figure out how to make things with the sticks that seem impossible.  They might just surprise you…

I’ve got to get a pic of this pencil box uploaded so you guys can see it.  It’s awesome.  Really.

What about you?  Do you have a summer activity you’d like to share?  Be sure to link up below!!

Not Back-to-School Blog Hop: Curriculum Week

I’m so excited to be participating in the 3rd annual Not Back-to-School Blog Hop, hosted by Heart of the Matter Online.

The hop is kicking off with curriculum week!

We all love seeing what everyone is using, so be sure to check out all the posts on the hop.

Since I’ve got a curriculum page up, I will just link to that.

Check out what we’re using this school year at Sweet Studies 2011/12!

Sweet Plans: Homeschool Planning – Digging In

Stack-of-books-001This is the third post in the Sweet Plans: Homeschool Planning Series.  The first post was full of planning links and the second detailed several tools you could use to plan.  Here are posts four and five.

We’ve checked out homeschool planning links, gathered our tools, and now it’s time to dig in.  Sounds fun right?

Well, for me, it is pretty fun.  I’m one of those weirdos who gets a thrill from planning.  Even still, it’s a pretty daunting task.

What are some ways to dig in and start your homeschool planning?

I’m going to detail the way I do it, which is by no means the right way or the only way.  It’s just the way I’ve progressed over the past couple of years.

Since we homeschool around my husband’s rotating shift schedule, I first take a look at the days I know we’ll be doing school {the day’s he’s working}.  This doesn’t give me quite the number of school days we need, so I go through my planner and fill in the extra days wherever it seems logical {not on doctor’s appointment days, that type of thing}.

Now, I should explain this before we go on:  I use two planners for lesson planning.  I don’t remember where I got this tip, so if it is yours, thank you!  In the first planner I write down the “ideal” lesson plans, what I’d like us to do each day.  The second planner is only used to record what we actually did each day.  This planner also doubles as my attendance record.

Once I’ve got our school days marked down, I take a look at the number of lessons in each piece of curriculum.  Then it’s just a matter of filling them in where they need to go in the “ideal” planner.  I know we work on science, history, and art less often, and we do things like literature and grammar every day.  This helps me know where to put everything.

My Desk Apprentice is filled with {pink!!} file folders, labeled by the week {W1, W2, etc.}.  The folders are divided up by quarter and placed into a blue hanging folder by quarter.

I then go subject by subject and look over each lesson.  I make a list of any supplies we might need, any books we need, and make copies of anything I need copies of.  Paperwork is placed in the appropriate week, and I make a book/supply list for each week.

I got so sick of getting to a lesson and not having a book or supply we needed, throwing us completely off last year.  This year, I put each week’s book/supply list in the weekly file folder three weeks prior to when we need the items.  For instance, we need X, Y, and Z in W7.  I put the list that contains those items in the W4 file, giving me three weeks to obtain those items, plenty of time before I actually need them.

So far we have lesson plans labeled in the “ideal” planner, paperwork filed in the respective week’s file in the Desk Apprentice, and book/supply lists placed in the file folder’s three weeks prior to when I need the items.  That’s pretty much the extent of that portion of planning.

The second aspect involves the new schedule book for Babydoll and her workboxes.  We’ll get into detail about that next week!

This might not make any sense to anybody else, so if you have any questions please feel free to ask!!

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SavingsAngel – Save Money on Your Grocery Bill

Savings Angel

As we draw closer to the start of our school year I {like many others} am looking for ways to streamline, save money, and preserve my sanity.

One of the areas I thought about saving in was our grocery shopping.  I spend quite a bit for a family of three.  Some of it is convenience food for snacks or just because we like certain things, and I know that increases the bill.

It also bothered me that I wasn’t using coupons, especially with the generous coupon policy at Publix.  I don’t have the time {read: don’t want to make the time} to be an uber couponer.  That’s why I was so happy to have the opportunity to use SavingsAngel!

It’s a pretty simple concept, and that’s exactly what I wanted.  You select your store from the list, and it takes you to a screen that allows you to build your shopping list.

Savings AngelYou build your list, click the links listed for any printable coupons, and gather your paper coupons.  Once done, SavingsAngel compiles your selections into a printable shopping list so you’re ready to go.  You can even add non-SavingsAngel items to your list so it’s complete.

But how does Savings Angel make couponing easy?

All you have to do is get a copy {or several copies} of the Sunday paper, remove the coupon inserts, and place them in a file labeled with the source and date.  That’s it!  For instance, in the picture above Stayfree Ultra Thins are B1G1 and there is also a coupon from the SS {Smart Source coupon insert} from June 26th.  Find the June 26th file, clip that coupon, and you’re done!

SavingsAngel offers a training academy to familiarize you with all you need to know, a community for getting help or interacting, and other great resources.  All this for only $5 per week.  They even offer several options to get a few weeks free so you can see if the program really fits your needs.

Want to sample SavingsAngel for 2 weeks for $5?

You've selected 4 weeks for $10

Want 30 Days Free instead?

I highly recommend SavingsAngel.  I absolutely love the ease of the program and the fact that somebody else is doing the bulk of the work for me!  Give it a try, you might find that you end up saving more money than you ever thought you could!

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Dislosure:  I was provided with a free trial of SavingsAngel.  That in no way affected my opinion of the program; I really do love it and it really does work well for my family.  This post contains an affiliate link to SavingsAngel, but feel free to register directly on their site instead if you choose!

Homeschool Blogs You Should Be Following

Here is a list of some great homeschool blogs I think you should check out.  Many of them are ones you’ve probably heard of.  I tried to find up-and-coming ones too, though, so be sure to give them some love.

What others can you add to this list?