7 Christmas movies your kids might not have watched yet

Written by Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool

The countdown is officially on with only a handful of days left until Christmas! And if your family is anything like ours that means you have some serious movie watching to do.

I keep a list on my phone of our favorite holiday flicks, and many of those we watch are the well-known classics: White Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, and so on.

But I thought it might be fun to share a few that perhaps your kids haven’t watched yet, to enjoy this week–or to add to your own list for the years ahead! Happy viewing:
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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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The introverted mom’s advent calendar

Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool

Hey there, fellow introverted mama. The countdown has begun.

We can face the upcoming weeks with wonder, delight, and sacred stillness.

OR we can crash and burn–driving ourselves into the ground as we attempt to do more and be more and have more and shop more. Which will we choose?

This time of year can be a challenge for moms of any personality type, but I think introverted mothers are especially susceptible to ending up drained and depleted before Christmas even arrives. 

So I had a gift made that will help us. And I hope you LOVE it as much as I do!
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How to squeeze in one-on-one reading (and spread smiles)

How to squeeze in one-on-one reading (and spread smiles)

Written by Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley of My Little Poppies

One of the biggest challenges when it comes to homeschooling multiple children is how to squeeze in that oh-so-precious one-on-one time.

Amazing things happen when we invest individually into each of your children.

Whenever I spend time with a child, I learn something new about him or her. And afterward? I notice more smiles, increased kindness toward siblings, and improved cooperation overall.

(Plus, feel good.)

I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering how this is even possible.

I mean, let’s be honest: Homeschool mamas barely get a minute to themselves. How can we manage to carve out daily one-on-one time for each kiddo when we can’t even use the bathroom alone?

About a year ago, I stumbled upon a super-simple solution to this  conundrum. It’s not perfect and it doesn’t always work, but when it does it’s beautiful. And it’s so simple that I almost didn’t write about it.

But then I thought about how much this one change in our homeschool routine has improved our homeschool and I wanted to share here.

The best part? This simple solution involves reading aloud to your child, so we’ll be crossing off some of our homeschool must-dos as we make memories with each child. It’s a win-win!
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The power of play

Written by Kara S. Anderson

I’ve been thinking a lot this summer about the importance of play, and how it can help kids dive deeply into learning.

It began simply, with an idea – to put something out for my kids each Monday this summer that they could explore at their leisure.

I didn’t want to force anything. Instead, I wanted to make something available that could be our go-to for the week.

Unschoolers call this idea “strewing.” I’ve been calling them Monday Morning Invitations, and so far they’ve included ideas like making sidewalk chalk paint and giant bubbles, crafting a s’mores solar oven and creating gnome homes.

Some of them have been huge hits and extended far beyond the initial week. Some have been minor misses. The kids didn’t hate them, but the idea didn’t stick around as long.

But all have been fun and hands-on, and maybe arty or science-y (and usually a little messy).

And all have reminded me of what can be learned through play and time and space.

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