Parents new to homeschooling (as well as some who have been on that path for a while), at some point, all tend to deal with very similar obstacles, among these: fear of failure, curriculum-choosing-confusion, and a general sense of personal inadequacy to take on such a monumental task. Those new to or interested in homeschooling need only go to one homeschooling fair to be utterly overwhelmed when they realize the OCEAN of choices  available to home-educators.  The first year I went,… Read more »

Most kids, at some point, become interested in drawing.   These days, it’s my 6 year old who is a sketch-o-maniac! Even as an adult, I find that I enjoy doing simple sketching for and with my children from time to time, showing them how to draw certain things better, or helping them to visualize something we’ve read.   I’ve done quite a handful of rough sketches as I have read through the Little House series with my daughter, particularly… Read more »

About 6 months ago I took on a pretty major, month-and-a-half-long DIY project: I bought a damaged farmhouse style table on Craigslist with 6 chairs, for $100 that was begging to be repaired and refinished. Over several weeks in summer, I stripped off its old finish, removed its damaged veneer, prepared and laid down new veneer, stained and poly’ed it, then repainted, distressed, and reupholstered its chairs (as well as an unfinished wood bench I found along the way). It was kind of a… Read more »

Hi guys. Some belated Birthday Party fun to share with you all. My 3 year old, New Year’s Day baby, had a superhero themed birthday party a couple weeks ago, and I had fun preparing some indoor games and activities for the kids to enjoy. I have wanted to make one of these surprise punch-through games for so long, and when I was getting geared up for this year’s party, it dawned on me how perfect it would be with… Read more »

This week, we added the final touches to our semester-long astronomy project–a paper mache solar system. This paper mache solar system was a useful visual reinforcement for my kids as we learned about one planet at a time within our Science curriculum (Apologia: Exploring Creation with Astronomy).  More on Apologia Science at the end of the post. Here are the project how-tos. 10 Steps to the Ultimate Paper Mache Solar System    #1 Prepare all materials & reference pictures, printed from the… Read more »

Hey Mamas and Papas.  Do you have any pre-readers in your house?  Any emerging readers who you’d like to see a little more interested in reading? Does it ever seem like your kids lose interest quickly when it comes to books?  Here are a few simple ways you can get your young ones to not only read more, but to truly love reading. 1. Offer tons of variety, and ALWAYS, a fresh supply of books.Get to your local library and bring… Read more »

Hi friends.  Just a quick art-share for you today…If there is one fun and easy art project you can do with your kiddos every single year, without fail, that they will enjoy and you will one day treasure, it’s the self-portrait.  It’s basically like the quintessential elementary art project.This is our second year doing them, and they are truly so much fun for everyone.  And in comparing this year’s portraits with last year’s, it was amazing how much the kids’… Read more »

   The kids are taking late naps after our long field-trip day out, and the house is quiet when I walk past the living room and notice our cream curtains are glowing pink.Like really, truly, PINK! I knew something lovely was on full display behind them, so I set down the load in my arms to go find out.  Pulling them back, I see the most breathtaking sunset I’ve noticed in a good long while. Hot pink and deep purple were… Read more »

 Our young scientists in the Space Station Checking out the floating astronaut mannequin above our heads  Our first graders snooze inside the Space Station. Exploring the gazillions of buttons and levers and handles.   —— We had a great field-trip with friends at the Carnegie Science Center today.  We love love love our Science Center, and have been members for about 5 years now, so we visit there frequently.  However, for today’s trip, we tried to focus a bit more… Read more »

** Update: In Spring of 2013, much of the material within this post was presented in workshop-form at The Greater Pittsburgh Annual Homeschool Fair, and The Crafty Homeschool Mama {that’s me, ya’ll!) is now scheduling regional presentations for the upcoming 2013/2014 School Year.  If your organization is interested in scheduling a workshop on Creative Organization & Inspired Homeschooling, please contact me at for availability. ** Who doesn’t LOVE being organized?!  I’ve always sort of been an organizing fanatic, but since we… Read more »