Category Archives: Thoughtful Thursday

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

Story Writing Practice

Tiffany and I had a girl day this week. One of the stops we made was at $5 Below. We really like that store. :) Most of the items are $5 or less. You have to be careful or you can end up spending an awful lot of money in there. :D

One of the items we found was this writing practice workbook. It was only $5 and Tiffany is already enjoying it. We think it would be good for anyone that is interested in writing, as young as 12 or so.

It has six different sections and numerous prompts in each section.

Story Starters

The first section is Story Starters. There are about 50 pages with at least one prompt on each page.

Crafting Characters

The next section is about developing characters and has about 30 pages with at least one prompt on each.

These are situations to put your characters into, to see how they respond. Here is another example: “Describe three things that your character is afraid of and why and then include them in a story.”

Filling in the Blanks

This approximately 30-page section has a prompt with a blank for you to fill in and then use it as some part of a story, either a beginning or an ending, or whatever.

Develop Dialogue

This next section is another 30 pages or so and is about developing dialogue.

A bit of dialogue is given and you are to write a scene surrounding it.

Crafting Conversations

Developing from the last section, this one works on conversations between two people. The aim is to continue the conversation, filling in who the people are and/or why they’re having the conversation.

Genre Generator

This last section is also about 30 pages long. There are at least one prompt per page. They are designed to get you thinking in another direction. Here are some examples.

Overall there are about 300 prompts in this book and although Tiffany just got it this week, she has already done a couple. I think she is liking them. :)

It would definitely be a good thing to throw into the language arts mix, especially if your child is interested in writing.

Here’s the back cover, in case you are interested.

I hope this helps you and your family.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Educating Your Teen/Pre-Teen

When your child gets about 12 years old, it is a good idea to start planning for their future and begin channeling their studies toward their interests (if you haven’t already).


Remember choosing electives in junior high and high school? Well, you have the opportunity to tailor the “electives” to be uniquely attuned to their interests and future knowledge base needed.

I didn’t do this as intentionally or aggressively with my first two but I learned from my mistakes. ;) With Tiffany, we knew for certain that she wanted to be a wife, mother, and homeschool mom.

Interest Directed

Tiffany and I talked about her interests and desires for the future. Then we planned out some areas of study. We included some study on marriage, child rearing, and homeschooling philosophies.

Being a wife means that she would need to know how to be a homemaker. We of course, had her begin cooking with me, to learn how, since cooking is a big part of the duty of most homemakers. :)

Tiffany had an interest in gardening, chickens, and goats. So we included those studies in her schedule. She also was interested in writing books, so we included time in her schedule to work on that too.

The point of all of this is to help your child get a knowledge base that will help with their future. If your child desires to do something that will require college, then preparing for that is a top priority.

Liberal Arts and Sports

Be sure to include things like art, music, physical activities/sports, if these areas of of interest to your child. It isn’t good to force them to do one of these activities, but talk with them and see if they have any interest in one of them. It’s a good idea to let them have as much say in their studies as possible.


The goal of education is to work yourself out of a job. :) Train your child to self-educate with you checking in, answering questions, and guiding them in their studies.

Be sure to follow their interests and not dictate to them what they should do. Remember, it is their life. It is your job to help them prepare for it. Be their best cheerleader not their dictator. Help them discover what they  want to do/be and help them prepare for it.

I hope this is helpful to you and your family.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Cool Printables for Young Ones

I stumbled across this really neat website that provides some really nice printables each month. This link goes to the Raccoon set.

It includes counter cards, name recognition cards, rhyming cards, letter recognition, do-a-dot activities, and even a gameboard and a math activity. :) Soooo cute!

Apparently she releases a new unit on the 15th of each month to subscribers (which is free). Here is a link to the ones she provided free online last year.

Spend some time looking around her website. There is a wealth of information there. There are fall, winter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, winter, and even Ten Apples Up On Top units. Soooo much available, cute and fun!

There is a search feature at the top of the site, so if you are looking for something in particular, search for it. Such a great website.

I hope this is helpful to you.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Educational Games for PreK-6th Grades

I found this interesting website that has games for a wide variety of ages. You can choose a game from the all games list or look at the games suggested for specific ages/grades.


It uses adobe flash, so if your child will access it on a computer, make sure it is enabled on your browser. Because some of the 400 games uses adobe flash, not all of them are available for play on other devices  via the app on their device but still over 300 games are available.

It is free but there are also subscriptions available with added benefits.

I also saw this article on cnet with some educational game suggestions.

I hope this is helpful to you and your children.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Holiday Prep, Yes Already

Whether you have begun your school year yet or not (or even homeschool year ’round), it is always good to be prepared for the holidays. You know they will be here in November and December, so best to plan for them now.

It can either be fun or hectic. :) I like to ask my family what activities they want to do this year and see if they have any new ideas. Our cookie decorating came from one of these discussions (and ideas I’d seen online).

Liam cookie decorating ~ Lifeojfoy.meI love to go walk through some Christmas lights! So I always like to plan that into our holiday schedule. I think this year I may see if my parents or maybe even the extended family want to do it together, since we haven’t gone with them in several years.

My awesome family ~
Sean, Lauren, Mike, Brian, and Tiffany (left to right) – a bit blurry

While the children were still young enough that I homeschooled them (they have all been graduated for five plus years now), I liked to plan lighter activities for the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, with some days completely off.

I’ve done different things throughout the years. I’ve had them do the bare bones of math and Bible, with lots of cooking and crafting thrown in. We’ve read lots of books during the holidays. There are holiday unit studies, which are a fun way to homeschool through the holidays. And don’t forget about cooking/food when doing unit studies. :)

I came across this post the other day and thought I’d share it with you. It has some really good ideas. There are even ideas for fall and winter, as well.

I hope this get you thinking early enough that you have some good fun and stree-free holidays this year.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Cute Free Game: Island Saver

Tiffany found this cute game for play on the Switch a few weeks ago. There are 3 free levels and then there is a fourth level you can purchase for ?$5.99? I think. I have since discovered that it is also available on xbox one, ps4, and steam. :)

I like cutesy games and don’t generally like propaganda. ;) This is a very colorful game and gave me several hours of enjoyment.

In this game you are the bionaut and are tasked with cleaning up the trash that has landed on the island. As you remove the recyclable trash and wash (by shooting water) the goop off, you are rewarded with doubloons (a.k.a. money) and gray bankimals that arrive on the island. As the bankimals eat the fruits of the local vegetation, they process it into doubloons and they get full (they are a bank-animal) and you then help them by removing the money and they spew out the money and turn vibrant colors. :)

Since you can only hold so many items at once, you quickly need to open a bank account, complete with self-made pin. :)

The game teaches about money, banking, interest, and even taxes.

As you shoot the recyclables into the machine, it will fill up and eventually have to be emptied. You then get a tax coin from the tax machine and shoot it into the recycle center, which will then take off and land a few seconds later, empty and ready to receive more trash.

There are bankimals you can befriend and ride.

It’s a really cute and enjoyable game that even touches on loans, loan sharks, and foreign exchange/exchange rates.

There are even hats you can buy to put on your animals and paintballs to change their color combinations. If desired, you can collect the fruit from the plants and sell them to make money to buy more paint and hats. :)

I was quite surprised with this game and recommend it. (I am not compensated for this review, nor did I receive anything — I simply played the game and saw its value.)

As I was trying to spell certain names for this post, I found that the creators of the game have a website with activity sheets. They also have more financial learning help on the rest of the site. I haven’t looked it over very closely though, it seems good from what I have seen.

I hope this is helpful to you and your family.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Time Sensitive Freebies Galore!!!

Okay, so I’m a little late to the party but I found this in my email and just HAD to share it with you all today. It is the Back to Homeschool Blessings Bundle 2020. There are 60+ products available to you for free!

So here’s the deal. Go to the multi taskin mom and read the info there. Scroll down and add it to your cart for free. Then go to your cart and checkout. You’ll have to give your name and email. You’ll get a pdf to download.

Inside that downloaded pdf is the descriptions of all the offers. I copy the coupon code and then click on the link. Then when I get to the link provided add the item to the cart there and so on…

Trust me it is totally worth signing up for these things. I’ve gotten a lot of them myself and I’m not even actively homeschooling any more, since I worked myself out of a job by graduating them all. :D Some of the items I got just to check out, some for my future grandkids. ;)


Here’s the deal . . . it’s only available through this Sunday, August 16th, 2020 and then you’ve got to claim them before Saturday, Auguest 22nd.

There’s stuff for all ages. If you have littles, be sure you still look at the things for the older ones because you may want them later. ;)

Okay, I’ll run, so you can check it out.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

PS. I’m not involved with this in any way and get nothing from sharing this with you, except knowing that I passed on some valuable information that I hope will be a blessing to you and your family. :)

Scheduling the School Year

Our friends are still here, so today’s post is a quickie but a goodie. ;)

How Much Time

First up is a link that shares how much time children should spend on “school” time and gives an example or two, as well.

You do have to scroll down a bit but there is a large purple graphic that summarizes it for you. The rest of the post is about scheduling and has some good information. :)


I actually visited this page before the previous page (and it led me to that one). It has information about scheduling both the daily kind of schedule as well as some different yearly schedules.

She talks about block, loop, checklist, and term, as well as year-round and public school calendars. It’s an informative article.

I hope these helps you set up daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly schedules. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Early Learning (and older) Freebies

I landed on this page from a link in a homeschool freebie Friday email. I saw the playdough mat and wondered what that was, so I followed the directions and downloaded it.

It is cute but could be a bit of an ink user, if that is a concern for you. It is in color but has things left in white for the child to add to the mat with playdough. One page has an ostrich and its nest and asks the child to put eggs in the nest . . . things like that.

Then I clicked on the Animal Habitat Printables lower on that page, to see what was there. Once there I was drawn to the Tot/Pre-K packet Woodland Animals Themed Printables. So I clicked over on that and was introduced to the wonderful free resources of In All You Do. Now not everything on the site is free but most of the Toddler/Pre-K packs are and they are cute. This is the link on that page to here other TOT packs.

But Wait There’s More ;)

Back on that first link, there are so many more free printables and several I clicked on were black and white, which means inexpensive to print! :) Plus it can be used as for coloring too. ;)

The link to cut and paste animals and plants had some good free printables too. For a little bit older children there are some cool color by code free printables too. I imagine you’d cut the picture apart on the thick solid lines and then have the child color according to the code (think color by number style but reinforcing the concepts being taught) and then the child assembles the picture. So it is a couple of activities in one, as well as reinforcing concepts. It’s really a neat idea.

I encourage you to look around these links . . . surf around . . . and see what you can find that will be helpful to you and your children.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Ask First ~

Teaching Children and Teens How to Make Requests

I mentioned on Monday needing to remember that sometimes Michael (my husband) asks me if I want to do something when what he really means to ask is would you do this with me. Well, since that reminder, I’ve realized that sometimes my grown children will do the same thing.

Recently Tiffany asked me if I wanted to go to the lake that today. I asked her, are you asking if it is something I want to do or if I would go with you because it is something you want to do. Thankfully, she was really wanting to know if I wanted to do it that day and I could truthfully answer, no. :D

This is something that I hadn’t thought about teaching before. So I thought I’d break down how requests should be made.

  • May I ________ (play video games)?
  • May we _______ (go to the park)?
  • Would you please_______________ (scratch my back)?
  • I’d like to _____ (go shopping) , would you please go with/take me? OR
  • I’d like to _____ (go for a walk), would you like to _____ (go) with me?


It is very mature to ask if someone would like to do something, but that doesn’t always make for clear communication. It also leaves the requestor open to hurt, if the person asked doesn’t desire to do what was requested.

It’s important to instruct teens especially, to ask for what they desire, rather than hint at what they want and expect the person to figure it out and offer. Especially if the teen will have hurt feelings if the outcome is not as they desired.

I hope I’m clear with this. If not, please ask in the comments and I’ll try to clear it up. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº