The Joys of Home Educating

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Fun, Football and Family and a Tutorial

After the holidays are all over and packed away for another year the remaining winter can be daunting for some. 


One of our fun family activities is watching weekend football games. 

I have gathered up some of my creative ideas to celebrate the games in style.  Fun for everyone and won't break the bank!  Many of these decorations I use year after year. 

The ideas are not team specific but you can always cater to your own team colors to make it fun. 


You can find my tutorial on how to make these easy chains - GET THE KIDS INVOLVED - over at Catch My Party. 



Making signs using heavy cardstock (reusable for years to come)...some themed cookies and a goalpost made with fringed paper. Easy and affordable decorations.



I used a hula skirt and some sticky numbers to make the "turf" hanging decoration...the middle picture is from the children's table complete with some Football BINGO and coloring pages....tissue paper fringe adorns the fireplace mantel coupled with a few printables. 


These Oreo Cakester pops were so easy to make for the kids - BIG SCORE

Setting up an easy grab and go station for the children is a must. Complete with juice boxes, some sweets and popcorn. 

For more ideas for your family football fun, I invite you to check out two of my Pinterest boards:


additional ideas at my sister blog My Party Passion - Superbowl



Do you watch Football as a family? 

What are some of your favorite snack ideas? 

Would love to hear them!





Tuesday, December 16, 2014

NO Spend January - prepping for already scheduled items

First, before you read this - if you are on Pinterest, I invite you to follow my No Spend January and my Frugal Living Page - always pinning great things to this page!



Okay, so we can all agree No Spending January is a challenge for us all. It's not a "do or die" situation and please don't beat yourself up IF something unexpected comes along and you HAVE to spend money (car repairs, emergency house repairs are good examples)  then spend it. 


However, what we can do is a little homework is prepare our hearts, homes and shelves for some anticipated items that we already know might cut into our No Spend Challenge.

Here is what I am talking about.

If you already know you have some birthdays, an anniversary, scheduled parties etc. on the calendar for January, prepare NOW while we still can hit the after Christmas sales!  


If you are a big chocolate person and have to have your handful of M & M's every night after dinner, buy them when they are 1/2 off after Christmas and portion them out for your January!  

If you are a person who has to buy 6 birthday presents for people in January - do it now while items are at a low cost. (BONUS:  Make the cards - don't buy them!) Some no spend ideas:  the coupon book you can create, a pretty frame from crafty items you might have around your house. Pinterest is a HUGE FREE resource for a lot of these! 



It will take some planning and yes might be a little stressful for you now to add one more thing to your "To Do list", but it will be worth it in the end, trust me!



I already know for me, I have some girlfriends coming over the 1st weekend in January and I planning on serving some wine and water for drinks and a few appetizers and of course some sort of chocolate! So I will plan my menu now and buy at the grocery store while holiday eats are on a great sale! 




So my point here is, emergencies will happen.  Ask yourself when something does come up - can this wait?  Does it really need to be purchased now?  Make as much as you can as far as cards and gifts go.  Get crafty! 


This post may contain affiliate or sponsor links. You can see our full disclosure policy at the bottom of this blog page.

Disclosure Policy

Disclosure Policy

The Joys of Home Educating is a personal blog written and edited by myself, Melissa Newell. The purpose of this blog is to share my life and experiences as a home educating family. My goal is to encourage and support my fellow homeschoolers.

This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.

This blog also contains affiliate ads and links.

The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All advertising is in the form of advertisements generated by a third party ad network. Those advertisements will be identified as paid advertisements.

The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers' own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.

To get your own policy, go to http://www.disclosurepolicy.org/


About Me



Hi and Welcome to The Joys of Home Educating where I share the ins and outs of being a mom who home educates her children.

I live in the Hudson Valley area of  New York with my husband and four children.  I started blogging in 2007 when my father was real ill. Since then the blog has evolved to a place where I share our adventures in life. Everything from home educating our three children, to travel, to crafting and throwing in a recipe here and there.  

I hope you find something to take away with you from reading The Joys of Home Educating.

Other than my salvation...staying home and raising our children is the best gift I have ever been given!


A special gift to you....

I am so excited to share this with you!  For the last 10 months as most you might know that I am a Mom Mentor over at Graham Blanchard.  I am honored to be a part of such a wonderful group of blessed moms and a wonderful company!



Right now you can grab our collection of insights from 2014 all in one spot. print it out or read it on line....doesn't matter really. You will get out of it so much more than you can imagine.  The words will speak to you as a mom and resonate with you as a woman. 

Enjoy and Merry Christmas and Happy holidays!




Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A homemade Christmas present


I dont know about you, but I love homemade gifts at Christmas time. Really, anytime of the year.  So much love and thought goes into them.  

This year is no exception.  

We switched Molly from Kiwi Crate to Doodle Crate a few months ago.  They seem more age appropriate for her and more "crafty". 

She is loving her second kit.  This one is Colorful Candles. I was surprised at the quality (but I should not have been really, as Kiwi Crate always has top notch supplies) of the supplies given.  Enough to make 4 candles and three of them have class holders. 





Step by step instructions and all the supplies were in the kit - we needed nothing but the microwave.


with a little help from me (warm to hot cups after microwaving) she did it by herself.


mixing the wax with the crayons


she did all two toned candles so this is one of them setting up after the 1st pour



End result!  She even put the little squiggles on the glass with the proivided special markers.  Isnt it pretty!  Wouldn't you be thrilled upwrapping this beauty for Christmas?

If you are interested in a subscription to this wonderful monthly crafting kids you can click my affiliate link and order today!  Makes the PERFECT Holiday present, birthday present or any addition to a homeschool for art class!

Doodle Crate >>


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Monday, December 08, 2014

NO Spending January - Unsubscribing!


Before January starts - there are a few house cleaning items that should happen to help you be successful in your NO SPEND JANUARY. 





Today's topic is: UNSUBSCRIBE

I will totally lay it out there for you. Last year when I unsubscribed to a dozen or more "shopping/deal" websites, I again subscribed again a few months later. It was a bad thing to do and I fell for all the idols and wants in my sin nature. I will attempt to unsubscribe AGAIN and stick to it for 2015! 

What I mean by Unsubscribe: you know all those websites that you bought things from at the holidays or the "deal sites" that send you daily updates on what great deals they are offering?  (I do love these sites) I encourage you to click UNSUBSCRIBE (usually at the bottom of the email they send there is a spot to do this) to those sites for the month. Keep a short list of the ones you might want to check in with next month, but for January, out of sight, out of mind!


Since we moved to our home, 8 years ago, I have never really worried about money or my spending habits. My husband provides for his family very well and moderate spending has never been a problem for us. (we live credit debt free, thank God)

Up until last November, I was one who always found a great deal on "stuff". Those deal sites that had those 60% off, clearance, had to have it "stuff". 

Looking back, "stuff" we did not need but "stuff" I thought would improve our lives, lol,well not so much.  

Are you picking up what I am laying down here?


This is your encouragement for the day. I encourage you to UNSUBSCRIBE to these sites.   Trust me, if you decide to go back and subscribe again, they will be there with more "stuff" of offer you. 


Until next time when I talk about ways to save around the house that have helped - Be Blessed and spend Less!



This post may contain affiliate or sponsor links. You can see our full disclosure policy at the bottom of this blog page.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

NO Spend January - are you with me again?

So last year I posted about our family challenge for January - NO SPEND JANUARY!  



It was a post that was read by a ton of people and I know there were a handful of you out there who walked the walk right along with our family. 

There were definitely some challenges, highs and lows of the month.   Guess what? - we are all IN again for this January!

Here's the 411 on how it goes....


1.  No spending on NON-essential items

Example of essential items are: food, gas, tithing to the church, medical expenses, bills committed too on a monthly basis.

Example of Non-essential items:  anything that you would spend money on other than essential items! (examples might include: take out food, coffee, wine, beer, birthday presents, impulse buys) 

Rest assured you will not be hung out to dry and do this alone!  I will be there with you, to hold you accountable, to encourage you, to pray with you.  I would love the same commitment from you.  

Don't think for a minute, this will be easy. We are creatures of habit and our lifestyle. But I do know that with discipline and prayer this can be done!  Think of what Jesus gave up for US. I am only asking for a month of your commitment. 


I will be posting updates on how we are doing...ideas for NO spending family fun....ideas for living frugal, healthy recipes and more. 

If you join us, welcome! 

If you think you just can't commit to this, that is ok too. Maybe just cut 1 thing out or 2 things out to help your budget. 

I am excited to see how we do and to come face to face with the challenges!  

I look forward to having some of you join us on the journey!  

I will post more on No Spend January in the next few weeks and how I am preparing! 

Until then - Be Blessed!


This post may contain affiliate or sponsor links. You can see our full disclosure policy at the bottom of this blog page.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The start of Advent - Unwrapping our Gift

Tonight is the night! 

The night I have been anticipating...preparing for....thinking about...laying awake at night - hoping and praying this is well received by our children.  

We are starting a new tradition this year. As of December 1st our homeschool will be calmer...lessened by worksheets...lifted by The Holy Spirit...we will be baking...giving...helping..
.serving...decorating...coloring...crafting...creating...learning...reading...as a family.


We are starting tonight by celebrating The Night Before Advent!  Cocoa - games and the reading of the poem by Ann Voskamp (found on her website).

It's not too late to start...it doesn't have to be tonight...or tomorrow..there is no rush, no hurry...just be filled with his spirit and let HIM guide you. 


Do you celebrate the advent season?  

I invite you to follow along with our family on Instagram and we share our school day with Unwrapping the Greatest Gift!  




This post may contain affiliate or sponsor links. You can see our full disclosure policy at the bottom of this blog page.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Best Homeschooling Black Friday Deal!


2014 Black Friday Sale BIP


I am so excited for this sale at Bright Ideas Press!  Black Friday thru Cyber Monday you can get 20% off your entire purchase (some exclusions apply).  That is a huge savings..not just 1 item my friends, but your entire cart! 

Use the code gobblegobble when you check out!

Happy Shopping!


This post may contain affiliate or sponsor links. You can see our full disclosure policy at the bottom of this blog page.
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