Category Archives: Thoughtful Thursday

Because child rearing takes so much thought, especially when home educating.

A Few Stocking Stuffer Ideas and Activities Suggestions

I saw this post with some neat homemade stocking stuffers. I really like the idea for the story cubes. Maybe there are some ideas you can use too. :)

If your looking for some activities to do, here’s this list of some fun ideas, which include

  • hunt for red things
  • make snow angels
  • find pine cones.

Hope you don’t mind the quick post today but that it is helpful to you and your family. (It’s been a tough week.)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

It’s Time for Cinnamon Bear!

Thanksgiving ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt’s been such a strange year! With family members having Covid this month, we decided it was best not to all get together. Thankfully Brian, Lauren, and Liam are still coming up to spend the day with Tiffany, Sean, Michael, and I. :) Makes me very happy.

I love Thanksgiving!!! We have so much fun, although it is a lot of work getting ready. But hey, I now have a head start on everything for Christmas. :) I just love this time of year.

Cinnamon Bear ~ Lifeofjoy.meSpeaking of Christmas, have you heard of Cinnamon Bear? It was an old radio show with 26 episodes that aired in ’30’s, ’40’s, and ’50’s. It aired 6 nights a week beginning Thanksgiving night and went until Christmas.

It is an adventure of Paddy O’Cinnamon. Here is a synopsis if you want to know more details. On this webpage you will find all 26 of the audios. Finally, they are also available on this page, and if you go down to Now Try Download Land, you can download the original coloring book (mind you they are very childish drawings) that your kids can color while listening or later for fun.

The episodes are very short so you should be able to find a few minutes, even during the busy days of December, to listen to an episode. If you do happen to get behind, they are short enough that you can easily catch up again.

One word of caution though, this does have Santa Claus in it. I sure wish I could find the old You Were There Nativity series. I listened to it once a LONG time ago on the radio and have never heard it since. Well, that’s a topic for another time. For now, go download the audios and make some memories with your kids. :)

Until next time, God bless,
Michele ºÜº

Prepared for Advent

I post something about these books every year about this time, so that you have time to obtain them and be ready the Sunday after Thanksgiving. :) This year I’m just reposting it (with the dates changed). ;)

It is already November 19th and Thanksgiving is coming soon. I love this time of year but it moves so quickly. Before we know it, it will be a brand new year. :)

One of the things I liked to do during the Advent season when the kids were younger was to read an advent book. The ones I’m showing you today are for the older ones. Of course the younger ones in your family may also enjoy them but there are some tense scenes that may be too much for the littlest members of your family.

I’m sharing this week because you may need to order a book or request it from the library (if your system has it).

Advent Books ~ Lifeofjoy.meI have to admit that it has been quite a number of years since we’ve read this, so I don’t remember much of the story line. I do remember that we enjoyed it. We enjoyed it so much that I bought the sequels.

Advent ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdvent ~ lifeofjoy.meThe book would be started on Sunday, November 29th. But if you think you may have trouble reading it every night, I guess you could start early. ;)

Give Jotham’s Journey a try this year, if you haven’t read it before. Next week I’ll share some books that can be read with the younger ones next week (here’s the link to that post).

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Time Sensitive Freebies!

Do you remember the Back to School Blessing a few months ago? Well they have a Christmas Blessings Bundle 2020 but it has some other holiday themed stuff too.

There are things for Fall and Thanksgiving, including a fall themed alphabet for littles and a gratitude journals. There’s also a history of Thanksgiving freebie and a Thanksgiving planner.

There are Christmas printables galore. :) There’s even an interesting winter photo scavenger hunt, aimed at teens but a little with a love for the camera could participate too. I’ve know some littles that can use a phone camera better than some adults. ;) There’s themed writing prompts for fall, Christmas, and New Year, aimed for 1st-8th grade.

There’s a brick advent calendar which makes suggestions for things to build with “lego’s”. It seems to go with the Jesse Tree ornaments. Also available is a Names of Jesus advent calendar.

There’s so much available, including a history of Christmas trees and Saint Nick. There are activity pages and so much more. Check it out . . . but do it quickly, you only have until the 15th to get in on it and then everything has to be downloaded by the 22nd.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Book Series Recommendation

I read and enjoyed Strangers by Margaret Peterson Haddix, as I’ve mentioned before. ;) I have also read a series of hers that I did not like and Tiffany really did not like it. :D But I was willing to give her another try.

I found the series, The Missing. There are eight books in the series and it is complete. :) That last bit pleases my sister and her girls, as I got them to read Strangers and they were quite upset with me when they found out the series was new and therefore had to wait for future books to be written and published. :D

In my opinion The Missing is a good living book series. It can be a really good jumping off point for further study on some interesting people in history.

Basically the premise is that 13-year-old Jonah has always known he was adopted. It was never that big of a deal to him. Then his 13-year-old neighbor Chip also finds out he is adopted and they receive anonymous letters telling them they are one of the missing and beware, they are coming for you again.

As you might imagine, this shakes them up a bit. ;) This plunges them and Jonah’s sister Katherine deep into a mystery to solve, where they find people appear and disappear at will. Eventually Jonah and Chip learn that they are two of thirty-six 13-year-olds stole for profit by time travelers.

Throughout the eight books in the series we learn about some famous people in history including Anastasia Romanov, Virginia Dare, and even a king and prince of England.

I love that at the end of each book the author shares about her resources and which points in the story were creative license and what the facts were as is currently known.

This series is TIME TRAVEL and gets a bit “wibbly wobbly, timey wimey.” ;) I found it to be a lot of fun, even if it did bend my mind a little in the last book or two.

I think this is a good book series for some introduction to some historical characters. If you read it, I’d love to know what you think of it.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Student Planners

It was my job, as a homeschooling mom, to get my children to “own” their education. With Tiffany, I set up a planner of sorts for her to keep track of the things she read and studied. We talked about what she needed to do and set them up on a check list. Then she used the “planner” to write down some specific ideas/plans and then checked them off as she did them.

I got an email from Well-Planned Gal that I thought I’d share with you today because I think it is really good.

Have you ever felt frustrated when your child dillydallies during school? Most of you know, I homeschooled five kiddos, each were two years apart. So with students in preschool, 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th, I had little time for falling behind. But one of my daughters, although sweet and pleasant in every respect, seemed to have the daily ritual of daydreaming when she was suppose to be doing her math.

I tried everything from frequent reminders throughout the morning and motivating her with rewards to warning of possible discipline if she didn’t get to her work. But none of these worked. Then, one morning, I tried something completely different. It was something my father did with me, and it was something I was doing each day. I took a sheet of paper and wrote down a checklist of all her assignments.

Placing it on the table in front of her, she had a reference for what I expected her to accomplish in the day. And it worked. That day and each day after, as long as she had a reference, she would proceed from one assignment to the next. In no time, she was completing her schoolwork ahead of the other kids.

Looking back, this made sense! This daughter was smart and hard working, however, she always seemed to work better when I worked with her. This daily checklist was a way I could work along side her while having the freedom to help the other kids.

The next year, I developed a student planner! Knowing what my kids needed, this planner wasn’t just for school assignments, it includes a daily routine, schoolwork, practices and chores.

If your child is daydreaming during school time, perhaps a little guidance using my student and high school planners can help! Best of all, right now you can save 35% on any annual planner.

Student Planners

I got the link for the discount in the email newsletter to which I subscribed. I didn’t get prior permission to share the article, so I didn’t think I should share the discount code. So if you are interested you could contact them and see if you can get it.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Reading Should be Fun

Sometimes we can get into a reading slump, especially if the majority of the reading being done is “required” reading. Sometimes a reading slump comes because of dud books. ;)

School-aged children have so much reading to do that the fun can be lost. So it is important to put the fun back into reading, so they don’t lose the enjoyment of reading.

RAR (Read Aloud Revival) did a podcast about this topic recently and shared some FUN books to help put the fun back into reading (books are pictured on the webpage). Full disclosure: I have not listened to the podcast yet but the books suggested look interesting.

Also on the website are lists with monthly picture book suggestions. There is also a podcast on the website about the fun way to study history, again with some interesting books listed on the page.

I hope this website and book suggestions are a blessing to you and your family.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Daily Focus ~

Photography Elective

I recently found out that my niece is interested in photography. I remember sharing a link some time ago (five years ago) to a Charlotte Mason approach to studying photography as a high school elective, here.

If your child/student is interested in photography, I’d stick with the suggestions on Dollie’s site. Then if your student enjoys that and still has interest you could use one of the free photography classes available online (from the links Dollie has on her site with the other suggestions).

It wouldn’t be necessary to get and use an expensive camera. Many students have a cell phone and most of those have good cameras in them. So the ideas suggested on Dollie’s site can be followed using a cell phone camera and finally printing the ones you want in the end. (We print at Wal-Mart but you could use the place you usually print photos.)

I hope this gives you some good ideas for you child that is interested in photography. And don’t forget to ask your student what they are interested in taking pictures of. Remember, the point behind this is to find your child’s interest and develop it.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Should I Allow My Child to Read Books with Magic in Them?

Today’s post is guest authored by my daughter, Tiffany Michele. I hope it is helpful to you and your family. You can find her on Instagram here.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

So you’ve come across a game, movie, or book that you want to enjoy. But low and behold…magic.

Yeah it can suck to have this happen. But let me share with you something my mother had us kids do as children.

“How can you explain it not being magic or witchcraft?”

We kids took that question as a personal challenge and ended up coming up with scenarios that feel so real to me that I forget that it isn’t Cannon.

“Well you see, Mom. They have nanites in their blood that gives them abilities to freeze water by affecting the molecules around them!” or “So they have this device in their brain that allows them to move things with their minds!” and “See their ‘Wand’ or ‘Staff’ has technology in it that only works if you say the password for the ability you want to use!”

If our arguments were convincing enough, then we could play, read, or watch what we wanted. Though usually during this if my mom would look over and see a new ‘Spell’ or something she would sorta quiz us on it.

Just to see if our minds were in the right place.

I remember when we were using potions in Kingdom Hearts she looked over and was like: “Well how do you explain that?”

And me and my brothers were like: “Oh hohoho. We have explanations.” We went on to theorize that Potions were simply herbal concoctions. And the more powerful ones may or may not be imbued with nanites that can help heal you or heighten your senses creating a ‘Luck Up’ effect. (this explanation was easy to reach due to having read the Warrior Cats books that deal with Herbs and also having been fed a steady diet of Sci-Fi all our lives.)

As you can tell, I still remember these explanations. And honestly they weren’t hard to come up with. My brothers and I usually made them up on the spot. We didn’t spend much time thinking about them. We just were like: “Well here’s a logical explanation,” and that was that.

To this day I’ll find myself almost subconsciously doing this, making up explanations for ‘Magic’ and the like.

(Sometimes like with Narnia or Lord of the Rings we said ‘God blessed them’ and that was that.)

Instead of saying or thinking: “Oh no. Witchcraft etc. things! I must not let my child view this because they will think it’s real.” Challenge your child, like my mom challenged us. Take it as a learning experience and let your child come up with an answer. (We did not by any means win every debate. Sometimes we had to lick our wounds before trying again. Pokemon was one we never won until we were late teens, and then we didn’t even want to play it! It was just the principle of the matter . . . )

Kids are smart. And with the right carrot at the end of the stick, they can come up with really convincing arguments.

Personally I’m going to do this with my own kids. I’m not going to let them play Kingdom Hearts without a good explanation. I’m not gonna spoon feed them my own hard won victory. They have to do their own reasoning.

And that’s really good for them.

I will add that sometimes when we would watch certain things (like Krats Kreatures or movies with unexpected bad language) that were iffy, my parents would say: “That’s not true!” or “Bad word!” so much so that whenever we kids heard it we would start saying: “Bad word!” and “That’s not true!”

Also there were some things that even if we had an agreement for it, my parents did not let us watch it. Disney Princess movies were one of these things (though personally I don’t remember coming up with an explanation for Princesses, as a Tomboy it wasn’t my thing).

And that’s my rant. Hope it was helpful!


Handwriting/Copywork ~

Alternative NaNoWriMo Autumn Camp Opening Soon

November is NaNoWriMo, which is National Novel Writing Month. I’ve written about this before and this summer I wrote about a Christian alternative to the NaNoWriMo events held throughout the year: King’s Daughters’ Writing Camp.

King’s Daughters’ Writing Camp creators realize that the end of November is a very busy time, so they decided to make the official writing month be from the middle of October to the middle of November. Consequently, they are opening back up the camp, as of today.

Here is their website, so you can find out more. Here is their blog post about the beginning of camp for the fall.

Be sure to read my post from June for more information about what the camp is and why it was created. And remember, this is for all ages. So if you have girls that are interested in writing, this would be a great thing for them to be a part of.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº