How to keep your routines and keep your sanity!!

I am sure this is true for all of you- but all of our usual activities are canceled. No school, no church, and no dance classes. No church and no fitness classes. We have been struggling to find ways to fill our time and make sure we stick to a reasonable routine.

Source

This schedule has been widely circulated on Facebook, and while it is a good model, we have been using the schedule below. I am a teacher and during the summer, we “light homeschool” our kids. We can’t truly call it homeschool because we don’t meet the hourly requirements for actual homeschool, but we do still sit down and do school for about three and a half to four hours a day. We use this schedule:

Please pardon the handwriting.

Following a more extensive schedule would be hard for us, and heaven knows a combination third grade, pre-k class throws up its own challenges. We chose a schedule that doesn’t look like much but works for us.

In addition to creating a schedule, there are some “distance education” resources for teaching your kids, worshipping and working out.

Education:

There are so many websites you can choose from to learn at home! If you want worksheets or written practice, check out K12 Learner or Super Teacher Worksheets.

But for more engaging, interactive learning, we like to use these sites:

No Red Ink– This website has kids fill in their own personal likes and interests, and then it creates sentences for them to correct, and it makes those sentences about the things they’re interested in. I use this at school in my classroom, too. Best of all, it’s free.

ReadWorks– This is a great website for test prep. You can assign passages by grade level, or you can assign them by topic. You can complete them online, or you can print them off. You can do a passage a day, or however you choose. You can also enable the “read-aloud” feature and the kids can listen and follow along while they read. It’s also free.

NatGeoKids– You can read and watch videos about animals, natural disasters, etc. You can take quizzes and play games.

PBS Kids– You can play games or watch videos. There are also clips from PBS kids shows that you can watch.

Storyline Online– Award-winning actors read children’s books aloud on this YouTube channel. The videos are entertaining and they’re animated, too.

Quizlet– This is great for studying words and definitions, math facts and spelling words. You can choose from flash cards, and two different games. There is both a free and a paid version.

Splash Math– This website is subscription based, but it isn’t expensive. Just select your kids’ grade, and they can practice math skills that are taught in their grade using games. It’s a lot of fun and my kid loves it. You can also set weekly goals, and the website will email you a report on what your kid completes each week.

ACT Academy– ACT Academy has games, lessons, videos, assessments, and more for all grade levels and all subject areas. There is a premium version where you have access to everything. I highly recommend getting the premium version, as we use this one a lot.

Worship

Of course, worship is best when you’re among your church family, but if your congregation includes elderly people, immunocompromised people, or young children, then you know this isn’t feasible right now. What you can do is start a new Bible study you can do with your church friends through Facetime or Facebook live. You an also find a plethora of churches offering online services. Here are some of the resources we are currently using:

YouTube– While I direct linked Lifeway Christian Resources, there are a number of great worship resources on YouTube. You can directly search for sermons by a pastor you love. I have enjoyed watching Charles Stanley and Josh McDowell while at home. You can also find Cedarrock Kids, Veggie Tales, and LifeTree Kids.

Children’s Sermons for Kids– These are short, scripture based and include a lot of activities that go right along with the sermon. They’re perfect for Sunday School lessons when we are back at church, too.

Exercise

Fitness Blender has free, full length workouts that are for all levels. There are a number of them available. There are workouts that use equipment, and workouts that don’t use equipment. Did I mention they are free?

You can also go outside and take a walk, if you get tired of being in the house.

Please comment below and share your favorite resources. I am always looking for new ideas.

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Life as a Lumber: What we’ve been up to!

Goofin’ off with my Little Lumbers

Hello, all! We are gearing up for a tremendously busy but tremendously great spring season. I cannot wait to share the wonder we have in store for you all, but I first wanted to catch up a bit. If you follow me on Instagram, some of this will not be new to you. And if you don’t follow me on Insta, you definitely should!

Someone has been bad and needs to go to the Principal’s office!!

Ok, not really! But we did surprise these two with a trip to West Jefferson, Valle Crucis and Boone two weekends ago. They loved it and so did we. We even stopped by my grandma’s house and got to visit with my grandma, aunt and uncle, and cousins on our way home.

We finally got some snow!!

Not long after we came home from the mountains, it started snowing! It didn’t snow a lot but we were out of school two days and the kids enjoyed playing in it.

Cutie sisters

These two stinkers actually got along for a few days and I have pictures to prove it!!

Rehearsal

This one is gearing up for her next competition and has been practicing like crazy! Wish her well because those nerves are really starting to set in.

Selfie queen

This one commandeered my phone and took hundreds of selfies- I made a collage of her best ones…and laughed at how much her “selfie game” has improved.

It’s clean!!

And we have started cleaning out our playroom, since we are about to repurpose this room. Spoiler alert: it’s going to be used for something else, and no, it’s not a nursery for a new baby. Just in case anyone gets confused.

Join us this week for our spring home tour, some beautiful spring quotes and a round up of my favorite spring decor at local retailers. Have a wonderful week!

Room Refresher: From underused office to fab family room

Room Refresher:
From underused office to fab family room

We have a strange layout to our home, and somehow we have two bonus rooms. We currently have one of them set up as a playroom and one was set up as our office.

Our former office

It was a beautiful office but we never used it. Entire weeks would pass without us even setting foot in the room. We decided the office would better serve us as a family room.

We eventually plan to put new furniture in this room, but after buying new furniture for our living room, we need to wait a bit before buying more. In the meantime, we need to save some money and decide what we want to purchase. We just moved our old furniture to the family room.

Our new family room

It’s not perfect. There are things out of place and there is a mess in the corner. But it’s a room where we can hang out and be comfortable. It’s a room we can relax in and not worry about messing it up.

Our eventual plan is to add new furniture, a new light fixture, new flooring and an entire wall of built in bookshelves on the back wall.

We have used this room a thousand times more since it became a family room than we ever did when it was an office.

What changes have you made to add function to your home?

Valentine’s Gifts for Kids…That don’t involve candies!

Every year we struggle with what to get our children that doesn’t involve candy or sugar. While material objects are nice, we try these days to limit the stuff we buy and just spend money on things we can experience as a family.

Nevertheless, we still find some small Valentines goodies to get for our girlies. When you want to buy a small gift to go along with those experiences, here are a few ideas.

1. Colorful knee socks from Sock it To Me

Who doesn’t want unicorn socks? These cute little socks are less than $10 a pair. And they unfortunately don’t come in adult sizes ☹️

2. Matching family pajamas from Primary

These pretty heart printed jammies are less than $20 per pair. Maybe you and your family can book a special trip and all wear these matching jammies…or just wear the jammies and watch a movie together.

3. Small gold heart necklace, $25

I am a huge fan of giving sentimental gifts that people can keep for years to come. I love this dainty little necklace- It would be cute for mothers and daughters to have matching necklaces like this one.

4. Pack of scrunchies, Amazon, $8.69

If your little girl is anything like mine, you have a house full of scrunchies. So why not buy her 12 more? And aren’t these cute?

5. Ella+Mila vegan and cruelty free nail polish

This pretty and extremely safe nail polish is available on Amazon for less than $12. If your little lady loves having her nails painted, then this is perfect for her.

I hope you have enjoyed this list of Valentine gift ideas for your little girl! Have a wonderful week!

Life with the Lumbers: What we’ve been up to!

We enjoyed a low-key, no big deal weekend at home this past week.

Little Miss Daisy Mae loves looking out the window. You can bet if you open the blinds for her, she’ll be sure to check up on the happenings outdoors.

We removed a ton collar from a post in our backyard and found a colony of ladybugs! Since I like ladybugs, I thought this was pretty neat.

I also tried on my old pointe shoes and realized two things: my ankles are not as strong as they used to be and my shoes are too small. I have been thinking about taking an adult ballet class.

Then, we dragged out our hammock, which we strung up between two trees. Who knew a hammock could be so entertaining?

Then, we had some fun with a fallen tree in our woods. Nature’s playground.

We finished up our weekend with a little trampoline fun. Sometimes a little low key weekend at home is just what you need to recharge.

And it was an absolute blast.