A Peek Into Our Homeschool – January

Phew! I’m can’t believe that January is finally over! This month felt like a year in length. We took a week off of school time at the beginning of the month to ease into things after the holiday break. And this month, after nearly three years,  our family caught Covid. Thankfully we are all doing ok and have recovered. But needless to say, homeschooling this month was more of an adventure than I expected! 

Trying a schedule 

Lala and I talked a bit as I worked on planning for our new year and both agreed that we would try a more time based schedule for a week or two and see how that worked for us. In the end, we decided to go back to our old routine of time blocks and fitting in what we can when we can. I was surprised that the schedule seemed to work less for me as a homeschool mom than it did for her. In the end, I still think it was a successful trial. I got a much better picture of what time I currently need to budget for each subject and a realistic look at what my time looks like. 

Diving into books

Books have always been a big part of our lives and homeschool, but this month has felt much more saturated in books and it’s been lovely! Before our back to school time officially began, we read Ella Enchanted so that we could go to a local book club discussion that was happening. When Lala decided that she wanted to attend the book club we really had to read a lot each day to make to that timing happen. I don’t think either of us enjoyed that amount of read aloud time each day on a deadline like that, but the story is captivating and helped us make it through. We made it to the book discussion, which was fabulous. I loved watching Lala share her thoughts and opinions with the group, even though she was the youngest there and the group consisted of all ages, including adult. We followed up the book and discussion with a family movie night of the movie version. She and I both agreed that the movie version was awful and nothing like the book. It was a good lesson for her in the difference you often see in books and movies and I think she finally understands why I insist that we read books before we watch the movies or shows when we can. 

Our little Bubba diving into books too!

Pizza is still motivating 

I decided to propose a challenge this month! I told Lala that if she read and then logged digitally 75 books between now and the end of our homeschool year (we homeschool year round, but have a break  starting at the end of April that we consider our grade year’s “end”) that we could have a pizza party. My husband chimed in and said that if she could make it to 100 books read in that time, he would add on ice cream sundaes to the party. Even though pizza and ice cream are something we have from time to time, it is apparently still a great motivation to kiddos, as it was in my Pizza Hut BookIt days! (Which still exists, by the way!) I hope this challenge will help her realize just how much she can read. I’m having her log all of the books so that we can look back on them as well. I’ll talk more about our books from the month and our digital book logging systems  in other posts coming soon. 

Snow ❄️

I suggested our unit study for the month to be on snow and Lala agreed. Usually I let her lead the topics but I needed something easy to prepare after the holidays and I was grateful she agreed with my idea. I found this unit study on TPT and we’ve really enjoyed it. There are more resources and activities than we will use this month, but the ones we have used have been fantastic. I’ll detail more about what we used for this unit study in an upcoming post. 

Snowflake decorations for a snowy month


Right now we are allowing Lala to pick one outside sports activity each season. For this winter season she has decided on swim lessons at an indoor facility in a nearby town. We did swim lessons before the pandemic and I’m glad to see her getting back into them for a bit and working on her form. She loves it! 

Know Yourself

We also started a new curriculum this month. I wanted us to get a basic overview of anatomy so we started the Know Yourself curriculum. I was surprised to see that the curriculum not only covered anatomy, but also touches on history, geography, and cooking. This month we have been learning more about the senses and Ancient Greece. Lala made dinner for us one night inspired by flavors from Greece. We had a Greek salad and meatballs.We’ve been enjoying this curriculum even more than I thought we would! 

Our delicious Greek inspired meal

Shop class

For the first time since the pandemic began, we returned to in person kid workshops at Home Depot. Both kids loved it! It’s a great way for them to practice following directions and building skills. The January project, a foosball style game, also helped give them a peek into how games like that work. And best of all, it’s free! 

Preschool Begins

I do NOT think that two year olds need any formal schooling or learning time. Learning at that age happens best during play. However, I wanted to have a little focused time to expose Bubba to some videos and songs that I think were a good foundation for Lala when she was younger. So most school days we take about 5 minutes and watch a couple of YouTube videos and then set him up with a more independent activity that he can play with while I focus on math with Lala. 

The Raccoon Rumpus game was a big hit this month

Little Learning Highlights – Early 2020

Please note that I share any available links with affiliate links that provide a small payment to me at no additional cost to you. Please know that these affiliate links do not influence the opinions I share. 

Bookshelf Highlights

Stegothesaurus (Heos, Bridget)

This book was a little over little gal’s head, but my hubby and got some chuckles out it. I think this would be a great book to read when teaching about thesauruses.

Yes, Yes, Yaul! (Czekaj, Jef)

Little gal picked out this book at the library. The rap references and rap sections made me chuckle. I’m not a natural rapper and would have loved to hear someone with some rap skills really perform this book. I’m not sure little gal got much out of this, but It was an amusing read for her momma!

Hank’s Big Day: The Story of a Bug (Kuhlman, Evan)

My daughter LOVED this book and asked to read it more than once. I’m not sure what captivated her about this book, but I did love the little asides added in to the illustrations.

In the Garden with Dr. Carver (Grigsby, Susan)

This was a beautifully written and illustrated book that taught me quite a bit about what Dr. Carver taught. I expect to revisit this when little gal is older.

The Day My Dogs Became Guys (Markoe, Merrill)

Little gal also loved this book and requested to read it multiple times. I can’t blame her, the imagery of adults acting like dogs is pretty hilarious in this book.


I have heard how bad worksheets are for learning, but little gal begs to do the workbooks I have in her school supplies. We’ve been doing worksheets a lot this week and she’s been really enjoying them.

Judy Moody read aloud

This book is a good case for pre-reading, which I obviously don’t do right now. I bought Judy Moody Declares Independence at a yard sale because I had heard she was popular for kids and I thought the cover was adorable.

I actually think the historical content is really great and I’ve even learned about the American Revolution from the book. I was especially excited to see Sybil Ludington referred to in the book (Hubby and I just recently listened to her story on Drunk History). However, I have a really hard time with Judy’s attitude, words, and behavior. I probably wouldn’t have read it with her if I had pre-read it.

We are finding a good flow with little gal coloring in a book or doing copy work while I read aloud. I’m going to see how it goes long term, but for the time being this is a good fit. 

Incorporating Books and Literacy for Preschoolers at Home

A love of reading is one of the top things I want to instill in my little Mudpie during our learning at home time. As a long time book lover, I know the power that literacy can have in an education and in life as well. We started early on by surrounding her with books and reading to her regularly. I loved seeing her explore books on her own at such an early age. 

Now that we are doing preschool at home, it’s really starting to sink in that my little gal is getting closer and closer to the point where she will start to read on her own. Throughout this year, I’ve been researching ways that I can incorporate those early skills that will come together as she starts to learn to read and write. I’m not an education major, so pulling together lessons, tools, and games became a self educated, DIY experience. 

That process went well enough, but was a time consuming rabbit hole to navigate. One of the things that I loved the most about Mother Goose Time curriculum is their emphasis on literacy. The people who create this curriculum are pros, so I no longer have to wonder if I’m incorporating the most important skills needed into our lessons. It’s already done for me. 

I love that each month with Mother Goose Time, we receive a full sized themed book that we can add to our library here at home. The books have great illustrations and include activities that Mudpie can interact with in the book. In addition, other activity suggestions with the book are added into the teacher’s guides as well. 

I love seeing my little girl’s love of reading grow and know I’m giving her the skills she needs as she starts her own reading adventure! 

Ocean Commotion Mother Goose Time Unboxing

Disclosure: I am a Mother Goose Time blog ambassador. I receive the Mother Goose Time curriculum free of charge in exchange for sharing my experiences with you. All of the thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own. You can see more about Mother Goose Time here: https://www.mothergoosetime.com/

Unboxing this month’s Mother Goose Time curriculum was a lot of fun. The theme this month is Ocean Commotion, so there were plenty of sea animals and plants. There were some really nice manipulatives in this month’s box and I love the ocean letters book that was included as well. I learn a lot just from taking a look in each month’s box. Check out the video above to see what’s included in this month’s box! 

Our First Week With Mother Goose Time

Disclosure: I am a Mother Goose Time blog ambassador. I receive the Mother Goose Time curriculum free of charge in exchange for sharing my experiences with you. All of the thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own. You can see more about Mother Goose Time here: https://www.mothergoosetime.com/

Our first week with Mother Goose Time went really well! As with any new routine, we are still trying new things and finding our rhythm with the program. The circle time routine is fairly different from what we have been doing for circle time since the beginning of the year. I really like the format of Mother Goose Time’s circle time, however it does feel (understandably) more centered around preschool or daycare centers. I think that as we continue with Mother Goose Time, we will probably find some combination of the activities we used to do and the activities suggested from Mother Goose Time.

Trying out her new cardboard telescope

I have been really enjoying exploring the different activities with Mudpie and learning more about space myself. So far, my favorite day of activities has been our day learning about stars. Mudpie made both of us star headbands during the Make and Play activity and she her own constellation after learning about what constellations are. We also played a fun star game that helped her work on her counting skills but also gave me an opportunity to teach her about graphing and greater than/less than.   

Modeling our new star headbands

I also really enjoyed our day that was centered around the sun. Mudpie made a sun mask during the Make and Play activity and we practiced and later that evening performed a small song for my hubby and my parents.

Learning all about constellations

I was a little surprised that there wasn’t a general teaching section for each subject, but the way that Mother Goose Time lays out the teaching opportunities is even better because preschoolers learn best by doing. Each teaching opportunity is tucked inside an activity where they are either doing or creating. I’m looking forward to learning more as we continue with this curriculum. I hope you’ll join me as we explore during this part of our homeschool journey!

Mother Goose Time Unboxing – Blast Off to Space!

Disclosure: I am a Mother Goose Time blog ambassador. I receive the Mother Goose Time curriculum free of charge in exchange for sharing my experiences with you. All of the thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own. You can see more about Mother Goose Time here: https://www.mothergoosetime.com/

After a recent search of preschool curriculums available, I settled on Mother Goose Time for our homeschool time. Recently, we received our first month’s box of supplies for the program and I am so excited to bring you along with me as I unbox everything we need as we “Blast Off to Space” this month! 

You can watch the video above to see the entire unboxing. Here are some of my favorite things that I discovered as I unboxed our supplies for this month: 

  • The supplies and materials needed for each day are separated into different bags. No sorting through a big box of supplies each month! 
  • Everything that is needed for each activity (other than basic supplies that you will likely have on hand) is provided! I love that I don’t have to spend hours tracking down supplies that I will only use a fraction of for learning activities. I’d much rather spend time that time playing with my little gal. 
  • This curriculum is in-depth and covers so many areas of learning, while pulling it all together under a central and fun theme. 
  • The illustrations on all of the supplies are so adorable! 
  • There are awesome activities and supplies, like board puzzles and a book, that will used over and over in our home. 

I am so excited for us to jump into the curriculum this month and, of course, share our experiences with you! 


How I Plan Our Homeschool Time In OneNote and Our First Day Preschool at Home DITL

I just recently realized that I no longer have a toddler. Now that Little Gal is three, she is considered a preschooler. How in the world did that happen?! 

We’ve been doing relaxed, organized learning in some form for a year a half. Now that Little Gal is older, I’m working to create more routine and structure in our learning day. Nothing too intense since I do believe that the majority of learning at this age comes from play interaction, but just some anchor points to give us a little more structure in those sometimes unpredictable at home days. 

My first focus is to build up our circle time, or morning time as I call it. Our routine for this currently includes: 

  • Singing “This Is The Day”
  • Adding the date to our wall calendar
  • Singing our days of the week song
  • Talking about what day of the week it is
  • Singing our months of the year song
  • Talking about today’s date
  • Listening to the Bounce Patrol counting song
  • Talking about our number of the week
  • Listening to the Preschool Prep phonics song
  • Talking about our letter of the week
  • Singing a Bible verse song (currently coming from ABC Jesus Loves Me)
  • Saying a prayer 
  • Talking about what we are going to do for the day

I’ve also started planning for our homeschool time in a new way this year – using OneNote. I’m really finding OneNote to be a great fit for my prep and planning time due to the flexibility of being able to use it on my phone, tablet, and laptop. I love that I can embed YouTube videos for our learning time right into my plan for that homeschool day. 

I’m definitely not a homeschool pro, but little gal and I are learning together.  We are both really loving this morning time and our homeschool activities so far this year! 


Lift and Find Toddler Game – Pin It or Forget It?

This toddler lift and find game offers a way to recycle wipes containers while providing a fun and educational game for your little one.  The only real challenge with this project is peeling off the wipes lids, but once that effort is over the rest is easy peasy. I used one of the free printables of shapes for this game, but I love that I can create my own games as well based on what we learning. I’m looking forward to using this game and having it grow with us! 

Pin: Toddler Lift and Find Game
Project Time: 20 minutes
Project Cost: Less than $1
Pin it or forget it? Pin it!