{CLOSED} The Social Picnic $500 and Tablet Giveaway

The Social Picnic event is finally here, hosted by This Lil Piglet and Family Approve. To enter the giveaway, the Rafflecopter giveaway form will be located on participating blogs September 1- 12:01 AM EST – 8th 12:01 AM EST.

Enter to win…


$500 Cash via PayPal

Next6 Android Tablet

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Sweet Sharer: Life’s Adventures

Next up we’ve got Anna-Marie from Life’s Adventures. She’s got a great link-up she’d like you to take part in!


It is September and most kids are back to school! As homeschoolers there are many ways of doing school. Some school year-round, taking breaks whenever the need arises. Others follow their state school calendar. Still others prefer to school for a set number of weeks and then take a week or two off. However you decide to school almost all of us somehow manage to squeeze in a few field trips to enhance our children’s learning.

So today I am promoting one of the newest blog hops for homeschoolers. The Field Trip Hop!!! Homeschoolers from all over are sharing the adventures they are taking with their children and showing how learning can and does take place outside the home school class room! This is a month long hop so any field trip you take during the entire month of September can be linked up. You will read about some amazing trips and it just might give you an idea or two for your own children.

I hope you will come check it out and join in.

Anna-Marie blogs about her family’s homeschool adventures in the UK over at Life’s Adventures.

Celebrate Diversity Homeschool Blog Hop

Homeschool Blog Hop

Welcome to the Homeschool Blog Hop that celebrates diversity! No matter what style of home education you choose, you are welcome! Lisa from The Homespun Life and I began chatting one day on Twitter based on a post she had linked up about a subject similar to this one.  We both really want to bring people together in the homeschool community, no matter their faith, homeschool style, or anything else.  We are both so passionate about it!

When it comes to supporting home education, we’re all in it together no matter where we choose to worship and we both felt it was high time that the door to diversity swing wide open and remain open.

Here’s what YOU can do to help us all get to know one another better:

We’re inviting you to blog about your education style, your favorite field trip places, and ideas you’ll use this year. Won’t you please pass the word along? Feel free to use the graphic and link to this post so we can connect with more of you! The more the merrier!

You can Tweet about this post, share it on Facebook, and even Stumble it to help spread the word, through the Simple Social Media buttons below. We do hope you’ll participate!

Once you have posted about the Blog Hop, come back and share the link to THAT POST in the linky below. (not your main URL)

We’ll leave the linky open for Sept 1-3. We will have a link up at both our blogs for people to link up with, but only need to enter your links at one of our blogs.

You’ll get to link up with 3 links:
Your blog (the URL to your blog post)
Your Twitter
Your Facebook Page

Ready? Get set? HOP IN!

Sweet Sharer: Michelle from MichellesCharmWorld

Hello everyone! It’s great to be guest hosting here again today! Over on my Blog, MichellesCharmWorld, I run a Wednesday Linky, that is called Recycled Treasures! Everyone can link up and share what you’ve created out of recycled materials! Thanks for joining me this week, not let’s get going!
I have 3 kids that are constantly fighting over who gets to water the plants! They have tiny watering cans from the Water Table, but of course they constantly need to be refilled. I have 1 large one, that they all want to use and it becomes a sharing game, where there are often squabbles. I came up with this idea on one of those days! Heading straight to the Rubbish bin, I found a couple large juice gallons that we had and I washed them out thoroughly. I took a drill to the lid and cut in 35 smaller holes and then about 6 larger holes.
Screw the cap back on and you are set to water! My youngest was loving that fact that he was the only one home today as we headed out to water the trees and test out our new treasure! He quickly decided to walk up the block and water everyone’s grass as we walked!
Our front yard tree was his favorite to water, as he said it was very very thirsty! See how easy this was!? It took literally no more than 5 minutes and has already produced hundreds of smiles!

Snag a button and link up!



Sweet Sharer: Heidi from Frantically Simple


Heidi is a stay-at-homeschooling mama to her daughter “Newt” and partner, best friend and wife to Walt. Nothing else she does will ever be quite as important.

She blogs at FranticallySimple.com. Be sure to check out her summer series about kids and chores.

Heidi can also be found on facebook and twitter.


How we cleaned a messy room (and got ready for back to homeschool).

It’s August.

The stores are full of school supplies.

And Christmas stuff? Already? What’s up with that? Seriously.

The amusement parks and pools are packed full of people (alteration alert) trying to squeeze in one last bit of summer fun. Change is in the air…

For me, this time of year whispers: Time to get organized…

And my goodness, do I need it. Try as I might, the lazy days of summer always tend to wreak havoc on my home. August is the time when I feel the pull to get it together. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks organizing school supplies, sprucing up bookshelves and even forcing helping my husband to clean out the garage.

Yesterday, my ten year old daughter, Newt, heard the bell toll for her. Her bedroom. It was not looking good.

Not good at all.

Now, my daughter is a kid. She’s still learning. What looks okay to her is usually messier than I prefer, but that’s not a hill I’m willing to die on, if you know what I mean. However, the last couple of weeks have seen a furious amount of away from home activity. “Keeping my room from being declared a public nuisance” had fallen clean off her priority scale.

We were at Code Orange, bordering on Red.

Messy Room

I did not think to document the mess that had formed in my daughter’s room, but the above image (found on flickr) comes pretty close.

My daughter asked for my help in getting it put right again. Here’s how we did it.

Step 1

Newt used a broom to clear everything out from under her bed and dresser. We also pulled everything off the top of the dresser, then pushed it all to the center of the room. The pile was impressive. I suggested a bonfire – We could make s’mores! Newt was not amused. In fact, just seeing that huge pile of stuff got her feeling pretty overwhelmed. I assured her that she could handle it. We just had to eat that elephant one bite at a time.

She noticed that I couldn’t stop talking about food and asked if I needed a snack.

Step 2

After our snack break, I brought in a garbage bag and a plastic bin. I explained that everything in the pile had a home, we just needed to figure out where. We’d figure it out by asking questions.

  • Is it trash? If so, it goes in the trash bag.
  • If it’s not trash:
    • Do you love it?
    • Is it useful?
    • Does it make you happy?
  • If not, it goes in the bin to be donated.
  • If so, it needs a home. Now. If no home can be found, it has to go in the donate bin.

Step 3

We went through every. single. item. in the pile. I could not take anything for granted. A gum wrapper may have been a treasure while a once-loved stuffed animal could be sent to the donate pile.

Everything that was deemed a keeper had to be put away. By her. Not me.

It took awhile, but not nearly as long as I thought it might. And certainly shorter than her predicted “This is going to take foreeeeever.”

We ended up with a full bin for charity, a full garbage bag and… a clean room. There were no little piles of things to find homes for anywhere.

Step 4 – Maintenance

We have a system. A pretty good one, in fact. It just got lost in the flotsam carried in on a tidal wave of summer activities. It’s time to dust it off and make it a part of our routine again.

Every morning before breakfast, Newt is responsible for cleaning up a portion of her room. We keep a list (along with her other responsibilities) on a clipboard in our schoolroom.

More about our clipboards here.

  • Monday: Pick up and put away things on the floor.
  • Tuesday: Pick up and put away things from under the bed.
  • Wednesday: Pick up and put away things from the dresser top.
  • Thursday: Tidy your closet.
  • Friday: Pick up and put away extra items cluttering your bed.

So far, she hasn’t found the move-it-from-my-floor-to-under-the-bed-to-the-dresser-top loophole. Shhh… don’t tell her.

It’s only been a couple of days, but her room is still looking bright and shiny. I no longer need to fear permanent injury if I go in and check on her in the night.

I know she is almost 11. And that she is the same height as me. I still check to make sure she is covered up and doing okay. I’ll quit when she goes to college. Unless her dorm is pretty close to our house…

With her room clean, the garage clean, the bookshelves and school supplies organized, I think it may be time to start school. Bring on the messy projects. I’m ready for them.

Every homeschool needs a volcano

Please disregard the condition of my bookshelves in that photo. They look much nicer now.

What do you do to get ready for back to homeschool?