Fun in 50 States, and a FREE Download!

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Home School in the Woods is a hands on history education company that specializes in providing students with creative ways to study and retain knowledge via various projects.  They recently released a new Make-a-State Activity Pak which we had the chance to review.  The Home School in the Woods Activity-Paks series provides students with several projects to fill a lap book that will accompany curriculum but can also be used for independent study.

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The Make-a-State Activity Pak is one of the newest sets available on the company’s website.  This new set provides an opportunity for the student to study about each of the fifty states and Washington, DC through twenty projects that will create a fact filled lap book.  Within this set there are projects for recipes, geography maps, local vocabulary, landmarks, sports, local government, native tribes, agriculture, climate, industry, and timeline of events.  You will also find projects for the state symbols such as the song, bird, quarter, wildlife, motto, seal, flag, and much more.   Detailed instructions on how to construct the lap book and complete each project are also included along with an information sheet for each state and a “Name That State” File Folder Game that the whole family can play.

I must admit this was our first time ever putting together a lap book so we thank God for those detailed instructions.  We committed to completing one activity per day, during the week and Bear had no problem navigating through each activity with ease.  While some required more research than others, he was able to complete assignments within sixty minutes and had fun creating something different each day.  Bear was always excited to try each of the twenty projects so; there was never a dull moment as we navigated through the United States.  We used the Make-a-State Activity Pak to encourage independent study of a few states but Bear particularly enjoyed creating the Texas and California lap books.  During our time with this lap book set Bear was able to dig deep into the history of the United States and I even learned a few things too.

 

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Home School in the Woods offers a myriad of historical projects that have been reviewed by the super awesome Homeschool Review Crew.  In addition to Make-a-State Activity Pak there are four more Activity Paks available including ones for the Old Testament and New Testament.  The Time Traveler American series has seven options covering major moments in United States history each including twenty-five lessons, projects, and lesson plans.  The Lap-Paks sections features five choices of lap books for students in grades K-8 and the Timeline Trio is a comprehensive set that covers eras of history.

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If you’re not ready to commit to a full package just yet, you can also try out certain individual items from their catalog via the A` La Carte section.  In fact, they are currently offering a FREE DOWNLOAD of The Erie Canal pop up lap book.  Just use the discount code ALACARTE to get this item for FREE.

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Check out other homeschool family experiences with products from Home School in the Woods via this wonderful hyperlink.

 

Make this week historical,

Ta’Neisha K.

 

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How to Survive the Family Reunion

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Summer is usually a great time for families to get together, reconnect, and catch up on old times which is always great.  I enjoy hearing the old school music, watching our children run around with their cousins, and listening to the elders tell stories from way, way, way, way back when.  I love the various sounds of laughter, dominoes slamming on the table, trash talk during the spades game, and forks hitting the plate all going on simultaneously.  And, let’s not forget the precious babies being passed from lap to lap or the hugs shared when the newest spouse is introduced.  I LOVE FAMILY REUNIONS!!

Here are my top five tips for surviving the family reunion:

  • Don’t sit at the spades or dominoes table unless you can actually play the games.  Just know that when people sit down at these tables during the reunion they are representing for their whole lineage and  will take no prisoners.  Most families only have reunions every two or more years therefore, the tournament winners have at least 730 days of bragging rights before defending their title again.  Please believe, family will hear about this again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and…
  • Have games and activities lined up for various age groups of children and adults to help keep everyone engaged and participating throughout the day.  For example, in the small children area include toys, coloring books, crayons, etc. In the early elementary area have various board games, family card games, etc.  Include a selfie station for the tweens/teens and even consider putting them in charge of being the photographers for the event.  The whole family can see and share the photos by creating a unique social media hashtag.  Finally, include games for the adults like a newlywed game or family feud as part of the event entertainment.
  • Be prepared for the family elders to say whatever is on their mind!  Age has given the family elders authority to speak it as soon as it enters their minds so if you are short, get ready to hear about it.  If your baby is ugly then come out of denial and get ready to face the music followed by a “bless his heart.”  If you are overweight or obese get ready to hear all their weight loss tips, even if they are big themselves.  If you are single and over 30, you better have a great explanation as to why you aren’t married yet accompanied with a matrimony timeline.  Now deciding whether or not to #clapback is up to you.  I just suggest that you respect their age, smile, and keep it pushing until you’ve hugged all of them.

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  • Go on a detox at least 1 week prior to the event.  Drink plenty of water and eat EXTRA healthy.  You may have to travel for your trip which means you might have to fast food along the way.  Plus, you know your favorite uncle will have the BBQ on point and your aunts, grandmother, cousins, and own mother will have assorted sweets available for all reunion attendees.  Don’t be afraid to use this reunion as your cheat day or cheat weekend but prepare your body in advance and don’t skip the leafy green salad at the event.
  • Last, but certainly not least learn all the latest line dances before you go.  In fact, if you are over 30, learn all the newest dances  just so you can show up the young people.  I love the look of surprise on their faces when out dance them in something that was made up yesterday. #yougotserved

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So as you pack, plan, and detox in preparation for your family reunion don’t forget the most important thing to do is have fun and make memories.  Enjoy seeing your awesome features and characteristics in your great grandparents, grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, children, and even those twice removed.  Love on everyone!  Hug on everyone!  Take a picture with everyone!  Remember, time spent enjoying family is definitely time well spent.

Make this reunion memorable,

Ta’Neisha K.

My Newest Addiction: Planners Galore!

My newest addiction is one that hit me like a ton of bricks after watching a suggested YouTube video.  My friend Bridgette has been telling me about using a planner for years but with the increase in phone capabilities, I just moved away from pen and paper.  Last year, I noticed that I was becoming drawn to my phone for every menial and important thing, including planning.  I noticed that I’d wake up and reach for my phone immediately and even end the day with playing on my phone.  That is not how it should be!  So, after some research and binge watching of planner videos I decided on the Happy Planner.

In January, I was so grateful that I happened to catch some Happy Planners on clearance in my local Mardel for $5.99 each and I purchased both designs.  One was the horizontal Rose Gold 2016-2017 and the other was vertical Peonies 2016-2017 style.  I immediately put both to use by just practicing spreads and alternating weeks for a couple of months.  As I defined my planner style, I realized that I preferred to use vertical for family/personal planning while the horizontal would work best as a gratitude journal.  In addition to those, I have added a several more planners to fit my lifestyle and I am so excited to share my planner line up for the remainder of 2017.

2017 HAPPY PLANNER LINE UP

  • Family/Personal scheduling will be jotted down in the beautiful Wildflowers 2017-2018, Classic
  • Daily Goals and Resolution Reminders will be placed in my undated A Well Crafted Life, Mini

  • Morning Prayer will be written down in the new horizontal, Have Faith, Classic
  • Weekly Sermon Notes will be transcribed within the 12 Month Box Kit – Faith Edition, Classic

  • Gratitude Journal entries shall be placed in the remaining months of my horizontal, Rose Gold, Classic
  • Fitness plans, goals, and accomplishments will be noted within the Fitness Extension Pack

 

I truly believe that using my planners for these various avenues has been a great decision.  It is so relaxing to begin and end my day with journaling rather than staring at a smart phone screen.  I’ve been able to put down the phone, pick up a book, and use my time wisely.  Of course, I still scroll aimlessly from time to time; however, those purposeless swipes are few and far between in 2017!  Thank God for my newest addiction and all the time I’ve managed to use wisely since my starting #plannerlife.

 

You can see more of my weekly spreads, planner hauls, and some of the sticker shops I use on my @Married2KDK Instagram account.  A blog post featuring my favorite sticker shops will be coming soon.  In this month’s flip through videos you will see stickers from several shops including MadeWithSouthernLuvTheBustyPlanner, Armadillo Amore,  StickItInYourPlanner, and PreppyPlannerCo.  You can also see individual flip through videos of each planner I showed via The Happy Planner youtube channel.

 

Make this week organized,

 

Ta’Neisha K.

The ULTIMATE Brow Blog

This post is your all in one stop for everything that has to do with grooming, filling in, and shaping your eyebrows.  I have several product review and tutorials that I’ve filmed over the years so sit back, eat your favorite snack, and enjoy this ULTIMATE brow blog.

 

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EYEBROW GROOMING for me is extremely simple.  I just apply some razorless cream shave to certain areas while my brows are filled in and wipe off the product after three to five minutes.  You can learn about this product via my detailed review and my updated brow grooming routine videos.

 

 

FILLING IN MY BROWS varies depending on the look I’m going for and the amount of time I have to apply my makeup.  Sometimes the fill in process takes three minutes and other times it takes ten minutes but that is only when I am going for a super detailed full face.  Here are a few tutorials featuring some of my favorite eyebrow products and methods.

Perfect Beginner Tutorial

 

e.l.f. Eyebrow Kit

 

Reverse Method (applying concealer and then filling in)

 

Wet n Wild Eyebrow Mascara

 

Hopefully you were able to pick up some new tips or reminded of things you used to do that worked well for your eyebrow routine.  I’m not saying every makeup application has to have pristine eyebrows HOWEVER, I do believe that taking an extra minute to fill them in doesn’t hurt.  You can see me complete a FULL FACE featuring the popular “no makeup, makeup look” in this tutorial and the eyebrow portion only took one minute.

 

If you missed something and don’t feel like scrolling back up, you can just click this hyperlink which will open up an ULTIMATE YouTube playlist in you BROWser.

 

Make this week BROW-tastic,

Ta’Neisha K.

Happy Father’s Day

You know I had to take the time to wish all the fathers out there a Happy Father’s Day. So here’s a big salute to the real HEROES of the world, Fathers.

 

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To those that may have lost their father, I pray for peace and comfort during this holiday.  Let the memories of your father bring your heart joy and be sure to spend time with others so you’re not alone today.

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Finally, because fatherhood is so important I want to remind you that to put reminders in your phone to make sure your father has his gift on time until the year 2025.  Yes, procrastinators and planners I’ve got your back until the year 2025!  By then, it should be a habit so you shouldn’t miss anymore Father’s Day celebrations.

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For additional encouragement about the POWER OF DADDY, check out these blog previous blog posts.

You can also watch my recent video, dedicated to my own awesome father, phenomenal husband, and cool father-in-law.

 

Make this week grand,

Ta’Neisha K.

 

Homeschool with Joy, Focus, & Confidence

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One of the most frequently asked questions I hear are “how do you get started homeschooling,” which is where I usually refer them to a few videos and blog posts that tell our story.  Now, that I’ve had the chance to review How to HOMESCHOOL with Stunning Confidence, Contagious Joy, and Amazing Focus (DVD & Coursebook) from Apologia Educational Ministries, I will also be sure to include it in my list of resources.  This course in based in Christianity and includes two DVDs with videos that accompany the chapters in the provided course book.  Various topics are covered within this course that will help get the family started, keep them motivated to continue, and even look beyond a high school diploma into continued education.

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First, let’s discuss the videos provided on the two DVDs.  Initially I assumed the videos would go through different steps, similar to a class or online course, and provide the viewer with the information in a formal way.  Apologia decided to take a different approach and I’m so glad they did.  These videos are approximately ten to fifteen minutes and honestly feel like you are in the room chatting with your friends, Rachael Carman and Leslie Nunnery.  I was so happy to hear the women share their personal stories, testimonies, frustrations, challenges, tips, tricks, and solutions with such transparency.  I do this all the time because you never want to share only the good when someone is about to embark on the homeschool journey.  These ladies covered so many topics during their dialogue and their words were extremely encouraging.

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Next, let’s dig into the course book information and assignments.  I found the course book to be a synopsis of the conversations had between the Rachael and Leslie.  Within the pages you will find approximately two pages of reading per chapter and a connected page for notes per chapter, along with scriptures, and continued encouragement.  I love that the lessons aren’t designed to take up much of your time and the information provided is easily accessible and relatable.  Some of the course topics include setting goals, tips for choosing curriculum, dealing with opposition, finding support, organization, continuing education, and even marriage.  During this course you are also given ten assignments which have you do some research about local programs and your state homeschool laws, organize items, spend time in prayer, and so much more.

Lastly, I was happy to find even more resources within the FREE online appendix.  Through a password protected website you will be able to access special blog posts, Pinterest Boards, prayer and family resources, and printables not include within the course book.  You will also be given access to join the private Facebook group for others who have previously taken or are currently taking the course.  There is something amazing about have a social media group that you can access 24/7 for feedback, encouragement, and support throughout this journey.  I also love that there are new homeschoolers and veterans in the group from so many places, making it easy to reach out for understanding to situations that might only pertain to your area.

I don’t doubt that this course will be extremely helpful to those interested in homeschooling and who feel overwhelmed by the very thought of it.  As I was going through the videos, I thought about our decision to homeschool years ago and I realized that I did every one of the assignments based off of advice and conversations with other homeschoolers.  Now, I look forward to sharing Apologia Educational Ministries, step-by-step approach to getting started with those interested in embarking on the call from God to educate your children at home.  Use How to HOMESCHOOL with Stunning Confidence, Contagious Joy, and Amazing Focus (DVD & Coursebook) to light an educational fire in yourself and your children.

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Be sure to click this magnificent hyperlink to read additional reviews on this course as well as the Internship for High School Credit book by the coolest Homeschool Review Crew around.

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Make this week educational,

Ta’Neisha K.

 

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We love Whistlefritz!

Whistlefritz is a language curriculum which offers complete programs designed to teach your children various languages.  Our household was so excited to receive and subsequently review the Educator’s Spanish Collection.  This collection includes the five Spanish for Kids DVDs, three  Spanish for Kids CDs, the Spanish Lesson Plans for Kids book, and Spanish Matching Cards.  This program is designed for Pre-K and early Elementary students.

While using the WhistleFritz Spanish curriculum we decided to focus mainly on introducing the new language to our preschoolers. With Bam Bam and Princess we were able to go through the lessons fairly easily.  Both enjoyed repeating the Spanish words and holding a conversation in their new language. I always smiled while watching them get excited about viewing the DVDs and learning about the characters. Each DVD allows you the opportunity to watch it completely in Spanish, with or without English subtitles.  We chose to watch these without the subtitles and the children were able to still pick up on the new words and understand the conversations.  We always watched the DVDs together and the preschoolers had so much fun learning about the various topics.

 

These products were also helpful for reviewing Spanish with Bear. Even though he was doing his own school work,  I’d hear him quietly responding during the preschooler’s lessons.  He also enjoyed playing the memory matching cards game with Bam Bam.  Bear also liked following along with the DVDs because the conversations were completely in Spanish and provided additional practice opportunities.  The music CDs were also a huge hit for our preschoolers.  Music is a great way to teach and reinforce new things so we were happy to use these every week.  As our children practiced their new language, I also made it a point not to focus so much on translation with them.  By just using the words frequently and repeating the teaching text, as stated in the lesson plans, I found that all the children picked the language up a bit more quickly.  Turns out, they didn’t need as much help adjusting to Spanish as I originally thought.

Overall our family has enjoyed using the Educators Spanish Collection by Whistlefritz.  I love the idea of teaching via a multi-sensory approach coupled with language immersion in all areas.  We also took our lessons on the road by creating different Spanish playlists on Spotify.  In the car we were able to listen to familiar nursery rhymes, family favorites, and even worship music in Spanish.

Whistlefritz also offers language curriculum options for French.  You can click this hyperlink to read more about how other Homeschool Review Crew members are using the various products offered by Whistlefritz.  

Hacer esta semana fenomenal, 

Ta’Neisha K.