Categories
homeschool motherhood

Getting Ready for Back to School – 2020 Style

In three weeks we officially start our school year.

My fourteen year old is starting his first year of high school virtually. He’s the amount of excited but nervous that you would expect.

After months of hearing little more than crickets about what’s going to happen, the last week or two have been a comparable explosion of information. We’ve successfully completed online enrollment, picked up his school issued Chromebook, printed out the generic schedule explaining when his classes will meet virtually, and started talking about adjusting sleep schedules so that logging into class on time will be easy.

And then there’s the whole “I’m homeschooling my 6th grader” thing. Our Bookshark curriculum was delivered on Friday and, after spending the weekend organizing everything, things are looking pretty darn real now.

I’ve been labeling books, pouring over instructor guides, filling out lesson plans and calendars, and even started reading my 6th grader’s first independent reader for literature – The King’s Fifth by Scott O’Dell.

I’m hoping to stay a book ahead of her so that I’ll be able to really discuss those books with her and not have to rely solely on the instructor’s guide.

Along with the standard Bookshark curriculum, I also ordered a U.S. elections lapbook – which is a more hands on arts and crafts centered lesson. We’re reading about governments, elections, etc. and then filling out little charts and stuff and filling a fold out booklet with each project.

We’ll be using a similar thing in our social studies curriculum so I thought we’d spend the last few weeks of summer working on the election kit as a way to get our feet wet and ease ourselves into the school year.

I’ve also been figuring out things like health, art and music – which I’m making my own curriculum for. And talking with other mom friends in a similar boat about how to form little co op pods but with Covid precautions in mind. Occasional zoom chats or backyard study buddy time? Maybe some outdoor field trips?

I’ve also been watching lots of YouTube videos by homeschool moms and even started listening to a podcast called Homeschool Your Way. It’s sponsored by Bookshark but run by some mom friends who are longtime homeschoolers who also run homeschooling YouTube channels.

And of course I have to remind myself that we still have three whole weeks of summer left. So in between my spurts of planning and productivity, I’m trying to leave room for downtime. Watching movies with the kids, grilling dinner outside (thanks hubby!), playing video games and you know trying to breathe.

Speaking of breathing, I’ve been trying to spend some time reading or sitting outside while the weather is still nice. And my hubby and I are trying to commit to having coffee just the two of us at least once a week. Sometimes that’s outside in the backyard. Sometimes we’ll hit up a coffee shop with outdoor seating. But either way – it’s just us a good cup of coffee and no kids. Self care for the win!


When do your kids go back to school?

How have you been getting ready for the fall?

What are you doing for self care?

Categories
family fun

Back to School Fashion: First Grade Chic

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Click to view the collection on polyvore.com and find links to all the products.

BB will be the first to tell you that some things are fancy and fashionable and other things just are not.

She’ll definitely be the first to tell me these things as we’re wandering the aisles of Target or H&M in search of the perfect Back to School Look. We tried not to go crazy with our back to school shopping this year – focusing on the things that the kids need and not just the things they might like – so that image above there? Yeah, we didn’t get all of those things.

But I thought I’d put together a little collage on Polyvore that shows off a couple of things we did get along with some fun bling and pretties that would round off the look nicely. Things that BB would rock with her looks if she had a little extra fun money.

Everything in this collage can be found at H&M except the back pack. The reason for all the H&M love is two fold:

  1. H&M totally gets my daughter and her love for all things glitz and glam. I looked at a few stores online before confirming what I already knew. I could buy her entire wardrobe here.
  2. There are some bargains to be found at H&M. Most of the tops and dresses we buy here are $5 each and they are super dreamy, comfortable soft cotton tops that seem to stand up well to the test of time. I buy the dresses a little on the large side for my long-limbed daughter and tend to get a lot of mileage out of them.

The backpack is from LL Bean – we don’t have this pattern because we bought ours last year and now they have all new patterns – the purple one above is right up BB’s fashion alley but she’ll have to wait until she outgrows her bag because these suckers are durable and LL Bean swears by their 100% guarantee.

We got BB the adorable (if slightly creepy perhaps?) top in the collage above along with two other super cute tops and a skirt that is very similar to the one above but apparently not online. The shoes, sunnies, hair clips and clam shell purse are not hers yet but would make excellent belated birthday or early Christmas presents if you find yourself saying, “I really want to spend money on that six year old cutie today.” Or if your daughter said to you the other day, “Man, I wish I dressed more like BB. How can I attain her style sensibilities?” DONE.

Categories
clothing & accessories

Back to School Shopping: Preschool Chic

Last week I shared with you my favorite places to buy clothes for my kids – highlighting some clothes that my soon to be 2nd grader son would like. Today I thought I’d share some things from the same stores that I’d buy for my nearly 4 year old daughter who is going to 4K in the fall.

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Top: Floral Cap | H&M

Middle: Minnie Hoodie T | H&MBicycle T | Lands EndRed Minnie T | Old NavyButterfly T | H&M

Bottom: Polka Dot Twirl Dress | Lands EndFloral Shorts | H&MFloral Shirt Dress | Old Navy

BB is one of those girls who can rock pretty much any look, but we both tend to gravitate towards classic feminine pieces with a slightly edgy twist. And like any preschooler, she loves when a piece of clothing features one of her favorite characters from TV, books or movies.

Both of my kids love hats and this cute floral hat from H&M is right up her alley. In the second row, the Minnie Mouse Wearing a Hoodie t-shirt is something she’d go absolutely gaga over. At $9.95 this shirt would be a splurgey kind of purchase for us. The cute butterfly top, however, is only $4.95! It comes in a few different styles so you can stock up on this one! I also looooove the cute floral shorts in the bottom row. BB loves to mix patterns and she could have a field day with these.

I saw two pieces from the Lands End toddler selection that particularly made me swoon – the pink bicycle tee is so classically chic, I’m kind of in love with it, but at $17.50 I’ll probably wait to see if it goes on sale. The polka dot dress in the bottom row is just too cute for words – this would be an adorable First Day of School look, don’t you think?

For half the cost, Old Navy has a cute shirt dress on sale for $13.97 that would also be First Day Adorable. I also found a super cute red Minnie Mouse tee there that I know my daughter would love.

Where do you shop for your kids’ clothing?

What tv or movie character would your kids most like to wear on their shirt?

Categories
clothing & accessories

Back To School Shopping: 2nd Grade Boys

We’re halfway through the summer so despite my best efforts to be living In The Moment, my mind can’t help but occasionally turn to the coming school year. My son will be starting 2nd grade this fall and of course he’s going to need some new clothes. Before I hit the ground running, I like to do a little online window shopping to get an idea of who’s running some good sales and who has the best looking styles this season. I tend to get most of my kids’ clothes at Target, Lands End, Old Navy and H&M – depending on the price, style and quality of said item.

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Boys Straw Hat | H&MSlim Jeans | H&MOozma Kappa Tee | TargetYoda Man Tee | Old NavyGangnam Style Tee | H&MBoys Slub-Knit Henleys | Old Navy

H&M always has ridiculously cute kids clothes for really good prices. I get fantastic deals there for outerwear, hats, belts, and basics like the slim jeans or that adorable straw hat for only $9.95 each (in the collage above) and the cute button down in the collage below for $12.95. Their stuff is good quality and trendy for a great price so mom & kid will both be happy.

I also have great luck at Old Navy, especially if you shop their clearance sections. They always have something on sale so I like to stop in regularly to pick up pieces throughout the year. They have great screen tees like the Yoda shirt above (on sale right now for $9.97) and cute classic styles like the striped henley (also on sale for $10).

I’m at Target several times a week for everything from groceries to towels to stationary and more. I have great luck there for kids’ clothes, too. How adorable is the Oozma Kappa tee from Monsters University (above)?

Then there’s Lands End – where I like to shop for a few quality pieces that will last me more than one season – maybe even more than one year. Their jeans are a bit more expensive – the pair below are $29 – but they are  super durable with reinforced knees and double-stitched seams. They have inside-adjustable waistbands so you can tighten or loosen to get the best fit. So despite being more expensive, I consider these jeans to be a good deal. I also loved the  graphic moon tee and the striped hooded t (below) – which are each available in multiple colors / styles. These will provide a little extra warmth on those in between season days.

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Button Down Shirt | H&MGraphic Moon Tee | Lands EndStriped Super T Hoodie | Lands EndClassic Fit Iron Knee® Jeans | Lands End

Where do you like to shop for your kids’ clothes? When do you start shopping for “back to school” clothes or do you just shop all year long as they need new things? We tend to do a little of both.