About Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley

Cait is a school psychologist, mom to three amazing children, and an unexpected homeschooler. She loves nature, good books, board games, strong coffee, and dancing in her kitchen. You can read about all of these things and more at My Little Poppies. You can also find her hanging out with Kara at The Homeschool Sisters Podcast.

The only time I worry about the s-word

The Only Time I've Ever Worried About the S-Word | Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, Simple Homeschool

Written by Caitlin Curley of My Little Poppies

For the past six weeks, our homeschool routine has centered around that dreaded s-word: socialization.

In January, our family rescued a puppy. His name is Gryffin and he was born on October 30th in a hospital parking lot adjacent to a major freeway down in Louisiana.

Anyone who has had a puppy before knows that socialization is a priority throughout the entire first year, but particularly during those first six months.

The Only Time I've Ever Worried About the S-Word | Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, Simple Homeschool

This is especially important for pups like Gryffin, whose mother was fearful due to maltreatment.

And so, for the past six weeks, we have been focused on socialization 24-7.

(As a homeschool mom, I find this focus hilarious. More on that in a minute.)

[Read more…]

Cait’s homeschool day in the life (with a 6-, 8-, 9-year-old & a new puppy)

By Cait Curley of My Little Poppies.

I did something kind of crazy after Christmas break, you guys.

Meet Gryffin, our 11-week-old rescue pup. (Because if there is ever a time to get a puppy, it’s a subzero January in New Hampshire!)

We have only had this little fella for a few days and we are head-over-heels in love.

That said, we are definitely trying to find our new normal.

Today, I’d like to share what our homeschool days looked like before puppy and what they look like this week.


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10 unique, educational stocking stuffer ideas

Written by Caitlin Curley of My Little Poppies

I absolutely adore the holiday season, but I dread all of the stuff that comes with it.

I’m not talking about cookies, or handmade ornaments, or holiday cards from friends and family. I love all of that stuff.

I’m referring to the accumulation of new toys, many of which are either of the plastic or stuffed variety.

It seems this stuff is exciting for a minute or two, and then it takes up space in some nook or cranny and is rarely played with again.

I cannot control what friends or family give to my children, but I can help to eliminate unnecessary stuff at home.

We have significantly cut back on the number of gifts we give our children, and I declared a war on stocking stuffers.

Let’s face it: stockings are incredibly fun, but they can be a slippery slope to unwanted and unnecessary stuff.

I’ve made it my goal to fill stockings with fun and educational materials that could double as homeschool resources. I want our stocking stuffers to spread smiles and serve an educational purpose.

Today, I am sharing some of my absolute favorite stocking stuffers from over the years.

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Gameschooling: How to add more games to your homeschool routine

Gameschooling How to add more games to your homeschool routine Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, Simple Homeschool

Written by Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley of My Little Poppies

Do you want to know one of my favorite homeschool perks?

Come closer and I’ll let you in on my little secret.

(This homeschool perk isn’t something I tell just anybody.)

Are you ready?

I get to read books and play games all day.

That’s right. We are gameschoolers.

I’ve written about the importance of gameschooling in a previous post here on Simple Homeschool, and I’ve also chatted about favorite games and strategies on The Homeschool Sisters Podcast.

Folks often write to me and say that they know play is important, but that they have trouble squeezing games into an already busy day.

Today, I’d like to talk about how to incorporate more gameschooling into your homeschool routine.
[Read more…]

Coffee and Books: An unexpected homeschool game-changer

Coffee & Books: A unexpected homeschool game-changer

Written by Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley of My Little Poppies

September is here.

Armed with fresh notebooks and colorful pens, we feel renewed and inspired. We are determined to make this homeschool year a memorable one.

We have a plan for how we want the year to go, a vision.

And yet, sometimes, the best homeschool ideas are unplanned.

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Take, for example, last winter.

A lifelong morning person, I suddenly found myself unable to wake up before my children. I can see now, in retrospect, that it was the result of saying yes to far too many people plus a case of the winter doldrums.

My motivation was at an all-time low.

By not waking before my children, I lost my planning time. Rather than enjoying an hour to myself, drinking my coffee in silence and setting us up for a peaceful morning, I woke up to rambunctious, hungry children.

When my feet hit the floor on those cold wintry mornings, I already felt behind. I was overwhelmed by a sense of urgency, a need to accomplish all the things … and fast!

Coffee and Books, read aloud, reading aloud, reading, homeschool, homeschooler, homeschooling, stealth learning, slow learning, morning time, homeschool routine, homeschool schedule, language arts,

I’d rush through breakfast so that we could tackle math. (Because don’t we all worry a little bit about math in our weakest moments?)

This resulted in colossal power struggles. And tears. And general chaos.

Needless to say, we didn’t accomplish much.

One morning, as I was laying in my warm bed, silently berating myself for not getting up and accomplishing all the things, I had a revelation:

What if I start our mornings with what we love? What if I tackle the one area I never worry about?

And so I got out of bed, poured a cup of coffee, and grabbed a book.

[Read more…]

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