Where’s Your Summer Bucket List?

Summer Bucket List How to!I know we’ve heard a lot about bucket lists… but you’ve got to admit kids love making them. It’s almost like a wish list for doing things with your family and you can’t get much better than that! We’re suggesting you use the bucket list as a summertime way to get your kiddos writing and thinking. Here are ideas for making that creative bucket list for summer learning fun!

  1. Start by making the bucket list a way to have your kiddos use their writing and language skills. (sneaking it in!)
  2. Have some paper and colorful markers or pencils and stickers. (It’s gotta be fun!)
  3. Start by giving them 3 different sheets of paper. Tell them to make a list of crafts or things to do at home (watercolor, make cards), things to do away from home (feed the ducks), and places to visit (the kid’s museum in the next town over). Encourage them to make it as realistic as possible.
  4. Once they’ve made their 3 lists, have them review it and make sure it’s all things that mom and dad would actually do. Then have them compile their list onto one sheet with check boxes beside each item.
  5. Once they finish, have them decorate their bucket list!

For more bucket list ideas visit this cool collection of summer bucket lists.

Play fun summer vocabulary games!

Superheroes come in all sizes

Superheroes come in all sizes!

We all know how much children love super heroes. They are symbols of strength, justice, and good in an otherwise decrepit world. Superheroes can be much more than just a cartoon or a movie. Since superheroes are an awesome motivational tool why not use them to get your kiddos learning? Here’s a collection of some of our favorite superhero resources.

How Superheroes can inspire student to write

Superhero Writing





Be A Superhero with Spelling City Games

Game List





You Don’t Always Have to Be A Superhero

No Superhero Moms






Superheros Myths

Play Learning Games to Be a Smart Superhero


Beauty and the Beast Learning Ideas

Beauty and the Beast Learning Resources

There has been a lot of hype about the Beauty and the Beast Movie, both for and against. Yet, with or without this new movie, the “Beauty and the Beast” story line is one that spans the ages. It’s an age old classic that has not lost it’s appeal… movie or not… it’s a good story and one that our kiddos enjoy! The original story was written in 1740 by French novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve. It was rather lengthy, so it was abridged by Beaumont in 1756 and later by Andrew Lang in 1889. These latest versions most closely represents today’s story line.

An interesting twist is that some believe the story was inspired by a man in the 1500’s named Pedro Gonzalez. He had a condition called hypertrichosis which causes an unusual amount of facial hair to grow. He was brought to royal courts across Europe as a novelty and ended up marrying a Lady. Interestingly enough, many of his children also inherited his condition.



Up for a challenge? Read the original version translated to English. 



Ready to incorporate this into your regular learning? Try this Beauty and the Beast Writing Unit.

Beauty and the Beast Writing Unit

Looking for a writing prompt and spelling list to go with your book study? Homeschool Literature has a Beauty and the Beast Interactive Book Review with both of those.

Finally, if you love those fairy tale endings and want more books that are similar to Beauty and the Beast, here’s a great list of Beauty and the Beast Inspired Books you’ll love.

Beauty & the Beast Book List


Top 5 Kid Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes

Kid Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes
Move over Mom, the kids are cooking!

I love this time of year, finally a holiday that really gets to the heart of things. Get your kiddos thinking in the right direction for Thanksgiving and keep them focused that way right on through the holidays. Some of the best Thanksgiving ideas are simple and family oriented.  But, isn’t that the best part of the holiday season? Spending time with family is truly a gift that keeps on giving. Our recipes aren’t just for the kids to eat… they are “kid-friendly” for the kids to help you cook. And, they help reinforce what the kids are learning in school. Cooking is an awesome way to make practical use of math skills and learning sequencing, and is one of my favorite excuses for moving school to the kitchen!

So, let’s get cooking with the kids!

  1. Ranch Mashed Potatoes – yep this is the perfect twist to the typical creamed potato.
    • Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to boil, then lower heat to simmer, uncovered for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes fall apart when pierced with fork.
    • Drain potatoes in a colander and return potatoes to the pot. Mash potatoes until smooth.
    • Stir in Ranch seasoning, one stick of butter, salt/pepper, and sour cream.
  2. Green Bean Casserole –
    • Place four cans of DRAINED cut green beans into a 9×13 glass bakeware. Add 1 can of cream of chicken soup and a pint of sour cream. Stir till smooth.
    • Add 1 can of french fried onions on top (I know it sounds NOT kid friendly, but I have six who lick the pan)
    • Bake at 350* for 45 minutes.
  3. Ham and cheese rolls
    • Two cans of refrigerated crescent rolls, 16 slices of ham, and 8 slices of your favorite cheese. (Ours is swiss)
    • Roll out dough and lay out 1 slice of ham and half a slice of cheese each. Roll up each individual roll.
    • Place on foil lined baking pan.
    • Bake at  350* for 15-18 minutes.
  4. Cranberry Apple Cider Punch
      • 1 cup fresh cranberries
      • 1/3 cup water
      • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
      • 4 cups apple cider (see note above), chilled
      • 2 cups ginger ale, chilled
      • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
      • 2 cups cranberry juice, chilled
      • Crushed ice
  5. Snickerdoodle Cookies
    • If you haven’t tasted these babies, you’ll be sure to swoon!
      • 1/2 c butter
      • 1 egg
      • 1/2 c white sugar
      • 1/3 c brown sugar
      • 1/2 tsp vanilla
      • 1 1/2 c flour
      • 1/4 t salt
      • 1/2 t baking soda
      • 1/3 t cream of tartar (the magic ingredient)
      • ROLL COOKIES IN: 2 T sugar/1 t cinnamon
      • Combine wet ingredients and mix well, slowly add dry ingredients.
      • Chill dough for 1 hr.
      • Preheat oven to 300*
      • Scoop out dough and roll into balls and then roll in the sugar cinnamon.
      • Bake 10-12 minutes. (Don’t overbake)

10 Delicious Recipes for Ice Cream Sandwich Day!

OE4K Ice Cream Sandwich dayOh yeah… ice cream sandwiches… aren’t they amazing? I think they rank up there with apple pie as America’s summer time dessert. Perfect for an afternoon on the porch with friends. Not only do we love them as they are, but we love them created into even better desserts. Layers of ice cream sandwiches and cool whip or pudding. We love them store bought, and we love them home made… Oh my, so YES – I’m all for celebrating this holiday, you know – – just for the kids!

  1. The classic ice cream sandwich  – of course!
  2. The cookie ice cream sandwich
  3. Salted Brownie Sunday Bites
  4. Chocolate mint stacks
  5. Caramel Chocolate Chip
  6. Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches
  7. French Toast Ice Cream Sandwiches – more for the adults 🙂
  8. Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwiches
  9. Ice Cream Tacos (cuz really tacos are just sandwiches shaped differently!)
  10. Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches

So, today we are totally off topic. Although I could say these recipes are “online” and they sure are giving me an “education”… LOL! Which recipe will you pick?

The Best in Summer Learning

The BestinSummer LearningUnfortunately our brains don’t stop once summer hits. Yet, who wants to work hard at learning – especially when there are so many fun things to do? Well, to be honest… I don’t. I’d rather sit by the pool and enjoy my summer… but I know… I know… we can’t let our brains (or our kid’s brains) atrophy. BUT – we gotta do it without stress.

Here are our favorite no -stress summer learning ideas!

  1. Need inspiration for learning – go to the king of inspiration – Pinterest!
  2. Find some great summer reading for middle schoolers and elementary age kiddos here!
  3. Choose an online summer school alternative!
  4. Bring a writing teacher along on your summer vacation!
  5. Get your kids hooked on a summer science program!
  6. Find great summer ideas for your homeschool highschooler.
  7. Have a garden? Use it as a learning tool – summer learning in the garden.
  8. How about a whole pinterest board on great books for summer reading?
  9. If “free” is your thing – check out free summer ideas for kids.
  10. Or – just break down and allow them to play computer games – but don’t tell them they’re learning games!