Cursive and Pipe Cleaners

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Hey y’all!  It’s been a long, hot summer.  We moved and settled into a new home.  I’ve finally got my bearings.  So, now it’s the perfect time to tackle cursive.

Many moons ago, I taught middle school and had students [in my class] who could not read cursive.  Public schools stopped teaching it, so cursive was not something they had exposure to in a classroom setting.  They had to learn it at age 12, in order to read my board and copy down lessons.   I broke out the cursive strips, and we practiced- A LOT.

Personally, I like writing in cursive; it’s faster.   These days, it is important that parents take the reins on this skill.  Turns out, it is not that difficult, and pretty inexpensive to teach.

My daughter is 7 years old and can read, so it’s the perfect time to introduce cursive.  (Side note: cursive writing is easier for dyslexic kids to read, too.  The letters B and D look completely different in cursive.  This is great for kiddos that have a hard time differentiating between the two letters.)

Now, here is the best part.  My daughter figured out that she could use pipe cleaners to make the letters.  Wow!  She promptly sat down and started constructing letters.  Whatever keeps her interested.

That’s my tip for the day!  Also, this cheap little book helps, too.  I bought it off Amazon.

Have a wonderful week!


Little Red Riding Hood for Homeschool


Grimm’s Fairy Talesdual reader

The Usborne Book of Fairy Tales (Dual Reader)

DVD of Into the Woods (stage version with Bernadette Peters)

Dress up clothes, wolf stuffed animal or whatever you have handy for imaginative play.


Week 1:

We began by reading the story “Little Red Riding Hood” in our Usborne Book of Fairy Tales.  My daughter read the top line, and I read the bottom lines.  This is a great way to encourage a reluctant reader to like reading.

I took note of the challenging words as we read and created a spelling list.  We reviewed the list all week and used an app on our tablet called Spelling Bee.  This app created word jumbles, multiple choice and spelling tests.  I just imputed the words into the app.

We also used a dry erase board, so my daughter could write out the words. Technology can only get you so far, and she needed to write/make the letters and the sounds.

This was our reading for one week.  We completed our other subjects, too, but for reading this was the whole shebang.

Week 2, Day 1:

Now, the fun begins!  I use the Waldorf method of reading a Grimm’s fairy tale aloud to my kids based on a letter of the alphabet.  (Even though, my daughter is 7, and knows the alphabet and letter sounds, this method has vastly improved her reading skills and motivation.)  I do not change any of the language or dumb-down any of the wording for my kids.  Occasionally, we will discuss the meaning of a word.  Also, I might discuss the moral of a tale and/or the grimmer-aspects of some of the stories.

Basically,  before I read a fairy tale, I light a candle and we say a morning verse.  Our verse comes from Barbara Dewey’s e-book.  Then,  I sit the kids down and read to them.  The letter for Little Red was R.

Next, we create art based on the letter and the story.   I give my kids the choice of medium for their art.  Most of the time, they choose watercolors, but markers, crayons, map pencils etc. are available to use. 20180109_180504

I laminate their work and add them their own fairy tale binders.

After this, it’s music time!  Watch the three scenes with Red Riding Hood from the first act of Into the Woods, one of my favorite musicals! (sidenote: The wolf is anatomically correct, but my kids did not notice.  As an adult, it’s kinda hard to miss.)

My kids have been singing all day.  Since, we watched the stage version, they have also acted out some of the scenes with whatever they found in their room (a red dress, a basket, some play food, and a stuffed wolf).

“I sorta hate to ask it, but do you have a basket?”



Lilla Rose is having their annual Black Friday SALE!  I wanted to let y’all know about it.  ashminiThese clips make me look like an expert hair stylist, right?  Anyway, I love them!

And, my youngest finally has enough hair for a mini clip.  We were really excited.


Shop here:

There is a live event that starts at noon CST on my Facebook page with extra special deals:



So Many Changes…

We changed our reading curriculum.  We now use and supplement with phonics books from the library.  Nessy is wonderful, if you suspect your child has dyslexia.  So many letters and numbers are reversed or read as a jumble in our house.  Nessy helps, trust me.

We keep a weather journal.

We have geography and science workbooks and a cool globe that doubles as a nightlight.

We still LOVE Life of Fred Math and are onto the second book, Butterflies.

Added a Handwriting book from the Good and the Beautiful.

Added a phonics/digraph game.

Added spiritual lessons from Deepak Chopra.  The 7 Spiritual Laws for Parents is our book.  We also say a mantra/prayer every night before bed.

It goes like this:

May I be safe

May I be happy

May I be strong

May I life my life with ease

And have Sweet Dreams

*I usually add in whatever the struggle has been for the day.  Usually, it is May I be Kind.

We competed Level 6 on

Finally, homeschooling is a journey.    We are finding what works for us and what does not and what causes stress.  I eliminate the stress, mostly.



This or That

My daughter is having some trouble with digraphs.  So, today, after the word “this” was giving her some trouble, I decided to solve it with music.  We listened to a little Black Sheep and ran from the word “this” to the word “that.”

Dance Party in between words.

You can deal with this or you can deal with that


Panic Without a Disco

When I was a kid growing up in Houston, I thought hurricanes were fun.  Hurricane Alecia actually lifted me up in the air for a couple seconds, a fact my mom swears is not true.

Now, years later, hurricane + kids of my own= anxiety/panic attack. 20170825_160248

We evacuated an hour and a half ahead of Harvey.  It was windy and raining when we left; I almost turned back.  I’m so glad we kept going all the way to Dallas.  All nine hours in the car with three dogs, a cat, and my kids.  It was worth it.

Now, we have a downed fence and some shingle damage.  We were lucky.

It has taken me a bit to get back into the swing of things, mentally.



On a positive note, my youngest had a blast on the carousel in the mall.


Ranch Hands


My coastal kids went to their grandparent’s ranch in flip flops, so maybe I should have horseplanned a bit better and brought their boots.  Next time!

At least I remembered the flexi clips for my 6 year old’s hair.  It was so easy to put her hair up in a bun in the morning, and then forget about it all day.  She played hard, swam in a pool and rode a pony.  Her hair stayed put, and it was cute!

Next week, we officially begin home-schooling.  Luckily, this will still afford us the freedom to travel and learn.  I’m pretty excited about this.

I’ve decided to start the year with Life of Fred- Apples math curriculum.  I will let you know what I think of it, and if it will end up being our main math curriculum for first grade.

Enjoy the last week of summer!  School is approaching, quickly.  Thankfully, we are almost ready!

Flexi Clips for school:


Bed Hopping

sleep4Today, we visited our local Sleep Number store, and it was magical!  Dim lights, comfy pillow tops, and a bit of massage.  I’m pretty much sold.   One super cool bed, please!

I took my kids with me to experience these marvelous sleep creations.  Now, most people would think that sounds like torture.  Why take your kids into a place where the temptation to touch, jump and roll around [on a bed] is too much to handle?  My answer is this: I take my children EVERYWHERE with me.  The dentist, the grocery store, the mall, the veterinarian (usually with large animals in tow) and even the gynecologist -you name it, they’ve been there.  My babysitters are hours away.  Looking back, this lack of a “village” has been a tremendous gift.  It’s a gift of time with my children.

I wish I could tell you that all these experiences with my children mean that I have the most well behaved kids around, but that would be an outrageous lie.  They are kids; they get a little crazy sometimes.  Still, all these experiences show them life, real life.  I feel that there is a mighty big lesson in that.

sleep2Also, hey, I got to check out some really cool beds with my fabulous, really cool kids.  And, they were mostly good.  Not a child jumped on a bed.  Of course, they did remove their shoes and lay down on beds, there was some bed hopping, and they were shown where the legos are kept by one of the employees.  Now, I ask you who needs legos when you have moving beds that sense your sleep requirements and vibrate?  No one.  No one needs those legos.

We laugh at your legos! Hahahahahaha!

Bounce into Fitness

We have a new exercise/P.E. plan.  It involves bouncy balls, or as old people call them hippity hops.  I have one, and my daughters each have one.  We tried it out this morning for ten minutes, and (holy crap) it does work.  You can basically use them as an exercise ball with benefits.  The benefit being the bouncing.  That’s where the cardio is hiding.  ballsballsWe also have hula hoops.  Mine is weighted; their hula hoops are from Toys R’ Us.  I bought mine on Amazon.  Believe it or not, there is a world of weighted hula hoops to choose from for exercising.  Heck, people even pay for hula exercise classes.  I should know, I went to one once, and it was very real.

Hooping is a sport!  Check this out.  So, basically, our exercise program consists of super kid-friendly activities and some much needed yoga for me! hooping