About the title

In our home we want learning to be fun. We want to entertain our children first in order to get their attention. Once we have their attention, the learning can begin. School does not have to be boring. So our journey starts with Entertaining to Educate...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A great way to use Yogurt that is close to expiration

My kids love go-gurts.  You know the stuff that comes in a tube that is meant for lunchboxes.  I buy them and freeze them and they eat them like popsicles.  I recently was at the store and they had several yogurt cups on clearance since they were close to expiration.  I had coupons which made these free!  I took them home and was informed that the flavor I purchased was not what they liked.  This particular variety had two colors in it, pink on bottom and white on top.  I took the lid off, stirred it well so that it was all pink and stuck a plastic popsicle stick in it.  You know the ones that are designed for the molds so you can make your own popsicles....  I stuck it in the freezer and the next day I ran warm water over the outside of the yogurt cup in order to release it from the cup.  I handed it to my ultra picky kid (who now could not see the label) and told him it was a yogurt pop.  He loved it! 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My new obsession: Knitting and other crafty things....

Ok, so it has been a little while since I have posted.  My daughter and I have been trying out some new crafty things.  It all started this summer during the summer reading program at the library.  One of the activities was "Ductigami".  This consisted of making items using duck tape.  The event featured purses and wallets.  We made wallets and quickly went out to purchase our own duck tape and got started on our own crafts. 

Duck tape sure has come along way!  They make it in every color, print, and design imaginable.  We have zebra, polka dots, butterflies, camo, hot rod flames, and solid colors.  We have made wallets, bracelets,  check book covers, mp3 cases, phone covers, lap top decorations, book covers, and more.  Mu darling daughter puts it on anything she can think of!!! 

Our next craft was macrame key chains.  We are interested in pursuing this craft, but have not actually purchased the materials yet.

After that we started friendship string bracelets, again.  We did this a year or so ago and had put it aside.  Well, now my daughter started back at it.  She has made tons!

The next bracelet adventure was pop-tab bracelets.  We used pop-tabs and ribbon and crafted some nifty little bracelets.  I have some big ideas to expand on these and can't wait to try them all out.   This has been a little more unique than some of our other crafts.

Now, our latest adventure:  knitting.  Last summer during the summer reading program they hosted a knitting event.  Some very kind, and patient, ladies came to our library in order to attempt to teach us knitting.  It all went pretty well, while we were there.  by the time you get home and do ten other things and then come back to the knitting, well, it wasn't as easy.  So, after a few attempts, I got frustrated and put it aside.

While cleaning out and going through things a couple weeks ago, I rediscovered all my knitting supplies I had gotten.  (Not really that much ~ some yarn and various knitting needles and a round loom set(this I got on sale).  I decided to try again.  This time I tried it on the round loom.  Oh wow, the difference it makes!  It gives you time to get the rhythm and feel for knitting without dropping the needles 40 times!    My 11 year old even has the patience for it!  In the past few days I have completed two scarves and one hat and tonight, I started a pair of socks!  My husband looked at me tonight and said, "You have become obsessed!"  I told him that yes I had..  I have so many plans and ideas.  Christmas gifts, stuff for us, and who knows what else! 

We will have to see how long this lasts, but, I think I may stick with this one.  Not as a full time obsession, but at least a part time one!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Home Educating Planner Giveaway

Here is the link to a great giveaway.  For your chance to win click here  This looks like a great item to have.  Here is what the website has to say about this:

Organize your busy days all in one place with this beautifully-designed planner. That Well-Planned Day is a family homeschool organizer, designed especially for moms. This effective, yet easy-to-use format will ensure that each day at your home is smooth and profitable.


  • Spiral Bound with Three Hole Drilled to Fit into Binders

  • Over 230 Full Color Pages

  • Full Year Planner: July 2011 - June 2012

  • Home Management with weekly cleaning schedule, monthly projects, greeting card registry, and monthly budgeting.

  • NEW in 2011, Holiday Organization Section: Greeting card registry, activities and event schedules, gift giving, around town shopping, and internet shopping.

  • Organize and plan for up to 4 children in one convenient book.

  • Four Student Class Plans: Schedule each student's class assignments.

  • Four Student Time Schedules: Track each day by the hour.

  • Weekly Schedule: Organize your week with class assignments, weekly priorities, prayer requests, dinner menu, and notes.

  • Month at a Glance: Plan field trips, enrichment activities and books to read

  • Semester Attendance & Progress Reports

  • Perforated Report Cards

  • Menu Planning: Plan weekly meals and conveniently shop with perforated shopping lists.

  • Family Worship: Read through the Bible in a year.

  • Insightful homeschool articles and tips to inspire you throughout the year.

  • and much more....

  • Sounds like something you might be interested in??   Click here to register.

    Monday, August 1, 2011

    Dawn dish detergent ~ great flea shampoo!

    I read somewhere that you can use Dawn dish detergent as flea shampoo for your dogs.  Well, today I tried it out.  It works great!  The fleas were literally falling off the dogs with hardly any effort on my part!!  I highly recommend it.  Can't say yet as to how long it keeps the fleas away, but works instantly!

    Friday, July 29, 2011

    Homeade Dishwasher Detergent

    I hate to buy dishwasher detergent.  I have looked at making my own, and wondered if it would really work.  Well, yesterday I was out of dishwasher detergent and my dishwasher was full of dirty dishes.  I didn't want to wash them all by hand...  I got online and searched for "recipes" to make a batch.  I looked at several different combinations and read comments posted about them.  I ended up going with the basic mixture and trying it out.  It really worked.  I am pleased with the results. 

    Now, some people posted about build-up after time so I will have to wait and see if that happens.  Depending on what brand of dishwasher detergent you buy (if you use coupons, etc.) it may not be that much more expensive.  The homeade stuff costs about $.03 per load and the brand stuff is about $.09-$.15/load best I can figure.  Not a huge savings.  If you washed one load every day, it would add up to somewhere between $21 - $43/year savings.  Using the homeade stuff I am putting less chemicals into my septic tank.  It is also nice to know I have another option if I don't want to go to the store or don't have coupons.

    The recipe:
    1 cup Borax
    1 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda)
    4 packets lemon kool-aid with NO Sugar (for the citric acid)
    1/4 cup white vinegar (as a rinse aid ~ optional)

    Mix the borax, washing soda and kool-aid together.  Use about 1 tsp (I used a cereal spoon).  Add the white vinegar as a rinse aid if needed.  I didn't do this as my dishwasher is old and doesn't have a rinse-aid compartment and I don't typically use one anyway.  I was going to try it, but forgot until after the rinse cycle was already finished.  I realized I didn't need it anyway.  I think I will continue using this method instead of the other commercial brands (unless I have a great coupon which gets it for free.....)

    Thursday, July 28, 2011

    My Kindle

    I love to read.  Both my kiddos love to read.  Our house is full of books.  We also love our local public library.  I was skeptical of this whole e-reader thing.  I have tried to read a book on the computer and didn't like it at all.  I do well to read a long article on the computer.  I really wasn't sure that I would ever like an e-reader.

    For my birthday, my mom gave me a Kindle.  I started shopping on Amazon's site for free books.  I loaded it up with plenty to read for our beach trip in May.  I first had to read the newest Karen Kingsbury book, Leaving.  After that was finished I picked up the Kindle.  I had all my books right there.  As soon as I finished one book, I started on the next one.  I didn't have to dig in my bag or go back to the room for another book.  I think it was easier on my eyes than a real paper book in that bright beach sunshine.  I am totally hooked!  I will never fully abandon books, but the Kindle is awesome!

    My kids beg to read my Kindle.  I set up collections for each of them on the Kindle as well.  My 11 yr old started reading Great Expectations because it was on the Kindle.  I don't think she would have even considered it if she saw the print copy. 

    For those of you that homeschool or take long car rides, the Kindle is a great solution.  One device with the capability of holding 3500 books vs. a bag of reading material?  You can hold all your books in one small place.  It easily fits in your purse, backpack, etc.  It also has the feature to rent textbooks for college now.  Stuck in traffic, waiting for an appointment, whatever the case may be you have your books right there with you.  I even have several translations of the Bible loaded on mine and have used it for church and Sunday School.

    The Kindle is now available for as low as $114.  I know that even that amount is too much for some families.  For families that have avid readers, I think it would make a great gift for an older child.  An initial investment, then for other birthdays, Christmas, etc. give a gift card so they can purchase additional books and / or games.  There are so many free books available that you don't have to actually purchase books at all.  They range from old classics to plenty of contemporary books.  All genres have offerings for free books.  A great site to help with this is www.pixelofink.com .  They post  freebies and bargain books every day.  Better act fast though, because some of these are only available at free or bargain prices for a day or even a few hours. You can also load pdf files on the Kindle. 

    There are only a couple negative things I could say about the Kindle.  But, even these things are not necessarily negative ~ depending on your preferences/use.  Currently, the Kindle does not support the format used for reading of library loaned e-books.  However, Kindle has announced that it will support this feature sometime later this year.  While this will be a nice feature to have, I have found that most e-books that I want to "borrow" from the library are rarely available and have such long hold times, I opt for the print copy of the book instead.

    The other negative feature is that while the Kindle does have web-browsing capabilities, it is difficult to get used to.  If you are wanting to use your device for lots of web-browsing along with reading books, you might want a different device.  If you are using your device primarily for reading books ~ Kindle is the way to go!

    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    Banana Bread in the Crockpot....

    Ok, so I bought a bag of ripe bananas at the grocery store.  I really didn't want to heat up the house making banana bread so I was searching for recipes.  Lo, and behold I found a few for banana bread in the crockpot.  Weird, I know.  It was easy and was really quite yummy.  It was actually a little more moist than oven baked bread.

    You just follow the recipe for your favorite banana bread.  You take out the insert (glass crock) for your crockpot.  Grease and flour the insert.  Turn your crockpot on high.  Mix the batter for the bread and then pour it into the greased and floured insert.  Place it in the crockpot and put the lid on tight.

    No matter how tempted you are, do NOT open the lid for 2 hours.  After 2 hours has passed you can check it.  It may take up to 3 hours.  Mine took a little less than  2 1/2 hours.  It was very yummy.  The hardest part was flipping it out of the pan.  That crock is so heavy when it is hot and you are trying to flip an oval crock onto a round plate, but at last, I did succeed.

    My library friends seemed to enjoy the bread and so did I.  I will definitely do this again!!

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    Entertaining to Educate what does that really mean?

    I remember when I was a kid and often being bored at school.  I enjoyed the socialization and I did have some great teachers along the way.  But, I do not remember a lot of what I studied in school.  My husband hated school and couldn't wait to graduate.  We wanted a different experience for our two children.

    After we had children we decided that we wanted to homeschool our children.  I must say the phrase came from my husband, but it makes sense.  He told me one day that we should entertain them in order to educate them, at least to get things started.  In order to get the kids interested and enjoying learning ~ we try to make it fun.  We do not have the traditional school setting:  sitting in a desk for eight hours a day doing lots of boring workbook pages.  For us, we may have school on the couch, on the bed, sitting in the swing, on the trampoline, or even in the tree!  While certain aspects are not as "fun" as others, we try our best to make it as fun as possible.  We try to do hands on things and learn through exploration.

    As for the way we do things, it works for our family.  Our kids are learning with this method and surprise us often with things we did not even realize they know.  I am looking forward to this upcoming school year.  I can't wait to get started in full swing.