No First Day Jitters Here!

We are off on another school year! This year, Avery is in 2nd/3rd grade and Kaylee is officially in kindergarten.

We like to celebrate our homeschool freedom with a not-back-to-school field trip.

Last year, we went to Legoland Discovery and an aquarium. This year, we took the girls to the American Girl store! Kaylee had been saving her money to buy a WellieWisher but the store is a couple of hours away so it required a special trip. Both the girls are AG obsessed so it worked well for their special day. If you have never been to an American Girl store, it is an experience. Full salon and ear piercing for the dolls. Restaurants or snack bars to dine with your doll. The girls loved it, dad might have been overwhelmed. But it was a fun daytrip to celebrate the path we have chosen and embrace the fact that we don’t answer to anybody!

What grades are you teaching this year? Do you do anything special to celebrate the start of a new school year?


Say Yes

Lately, Avery has been dreading her math. She’s good at it but she just doesn’t like it. Fair enough but sorry girl, you still have to do it.

Last week, she decided that she wanted to have a painted rock sale. She has been talking about this for awhile but this particular day, she was mostly trying to get out of math. But I went with it that day. I don’t know why but instead of arguing that she had to finish math first, I just said yes. And what a great choice that turned out to be!

They designed and painted their rocks.

Art: ✔

They made a sign.

Copywork, spelling, writing: ✔✔✔

Avery priced the rocks and calculated how much money they could make.


They waved at the cars and sat outside for hours.

Perseverance: ✔

They got along✔, worked together✔, and had a ton of fun✔.

Maybe we can’t throw the lessons out the window every day for a rock sale but when you can say yes, SAY YES!!

Draw + Learn: Faces

Draw + Learn: Faces

I think I’ve mentioned before that my artistic skills are lacking.  My level is stick people.  I can draw a decent stick person.  More than that is pushing it.  I remember one time when Avery was 3 or 4 and we were drawing.  I drew a shark and she asked me what it was.  I told her and she thought about it for a minute.  She said “Well, if you tell me that it’s an airplane, I’ll say it’s really good.”  Apparently, it was a pretty bad shark but my sweet lady didn’t want to say that.  So, that pretty much says it all about my artistic capabilities.

So when I find a step by step book that helps my little ladies (and maybe me too) learn drawing basics, I am all in with it!  Timberdoodle’s Draw + Learn Faces was a definite hit with us!  Recommended ages are 3-6.  I used it with my 7 and 4 year olds.


This book is included in the Preschool Curriculum Kit but I have it on good authority that it is helpful to anyone who needs a step by step drawing guide (ages up to….uh, 32 at least).  The book starts with pages focusing on each facial feature and different ways to draw them.  The kiddos get to practice each of those individually before combining them later on in the book.  My girls loved the silly aspect of drawing faces on flowers, potatoes, ice cream cones, etc.  I loved that it added to their imagination and creativity.  Reminded them that they could make any inanimate object into a character.


There are several pages towards the end with blank frames for them to combine what they have learned and draw their own faces (theirs or just their own creations).  Before using this book, my girls each had one way that they tended to always draw certain facial features (whether that was my own poor art direction or just habit).  I loved how this helped them to branch out and gave several different examples of how to draw each feature.  Eyes with eyebrows. Eyes with lashes. With glasses.  Full lips.  Smiles with teeth and without.  My other favorite thing about this book is the doodle aspect.  How intimidating would it be to learn to draw in a professionally illustrated book?  I love that the pictures in this book are drawn in a doodle format.  Simple lines and shapes put together to make faces.  Bright, bold colors but not too much intricate detail.  I think that really helped the girls own the drawings.



Draw + Learn: Faces was another Timberdoodle win for this family! There are others in the series including places, animals, and people.  I am planning on getting those too….maybe for an upcoming birthday or Easter baskets.  Paired with a new set of colored pencils and it would make a super cute gift!

We received a copy of this book from Timberdoodle to review.  All opinions are my own.


Are you taking a holiday break or playing catch up?  We are trying to catch up and I am trying to keep reminding myself that we aren’t on anybody else’s schedule. With Kaylee’s health issues at the beginning of our school year and everyone in the house catching the plague earlier in the month, I feel like we’ve been trying to catch up all year long.  But we’re giving ourselves grace and going at our own pace….

I Can Doodle, Can You?

We love doodling in this house.  I doodle when I’m making phone calls, I doodle when the girls are doing school work, the girls doodle when I read to them.  We have gotten dedicated doodle books before to guide our doodling and we love those books.

So when we got the chance to try out I Can Doodle Rhymes from Timberdoodle, I knew it would be right up our alley!


I was right! The girls totally loved this.  Avery is older than the target age for this book but she still enjoyed it.  She is at that point in reading where her confidence is growing and she is just THRILLED whenever she can read something herself.  She was able to read all of these rhymes and that made it so much more fun for her.  Bonus for mom was that she could do it 100% independently!


Kaylee has just gotten a good grasp on rhyming so she was having fun using these rhymes as a starting point and then thinking of anything else to go along with that particular word set.  The format was perfect for her age/ability too!  As everyone knows by now, we follow a Brave Writer Lifestyle so the copywork aspect fit right into our realm.



Disclaimer: She does her own lipstick and she’s in a “loving leftover Halloween lipstick” stage.


This doodle book is included in Timberdoodle’s Kindergarten Curriculum Kit and I think that is the perfect place for it.  My girls are on either end of that (Pre-K and 1st) and this was a big WIN for both of them.  I am a big believer that learning should be fun and that the more fun you have, the more you will be learning.  That kinder age is such a special time when kids have voracious appetites for learning and it is so important to foster that and continue to make it fun.  I Can Doodle Rhymes does just that!

In her own words, Avery’s review is: “Great! I really like drawing and writing and I got to do both.”

In her own words, Kaylee says “That one is funny! And fun!”


*I received a free copy of this product from Timberdoodle for the purpose of an honest review.  All opinions are my own.



You know the saying “your eyes are bigger than your stomach”?? We have that problem with read alouds. I’ve picked one, Avery’s picked one, we have a holiday one, we have our Quiver of Arrows ones. 

How many read alouds at one time is too many?? 😂😂 Today, school is going to be finishing a couple of these!!