Cost effective Art & craft

My kids love Art and Craft lessons, they go through art materials so fast though it can be difficult at times to keep the costs low. I took a look around the Hobby Craft sale although I love their stuff I often find it can be a bit on the expensive side but the sale was fantastic. So thought I would share some of purchases with you including art lessons ideas and maybe you will be able to pick up a few deals of your own. Please feel free to comment and share your own Art & craft ideas I would love to hear them.

hobbycraft header

blue visor 49p

foam shapes 99p

My kids loved these visors and at only 49P each they were a great deal, they came in all sorts of colours and some were even glittered, i purchased the foam shapes at 99p for a pack and they have sticky backs so the kids can just peel and stick saving mess and glue. Ok I know visors are a summer thing but my son has been wearing his around the house he is very proud of his work.

foil picture maker 1.49

These foil pictures were down to £1.49 each, and my kids just love them, I normally pay around £3.00 for one of these but they keep the kids entertained for hours, so picking them up for such a great price was fantastic and there was a huge variety of pictures. Some of the ones the kids have done have looked amazing and I have picked up cheap frames for them to hang in the classroom.

I also picked up several packs of art and craft materials including a pack of plain wooden people for 99p, we will be using those in winter wonderland display the kids can makes hats etc for them and they will look great on the display.

sewing kit 99

This little sewing kit was just 99p and again came in a whole range of animals great for little fingers to practice their sewing skills.

Home schooling where to begin?

Question.

My eldest is 4yr old, will be 5 end of September so not strictly speaking home-schooled yet.

What would you be teaching a 5yr old?

I think the most important thing to do is decide what your home schooling style is, there are so many different methods of home educating you need to decide what you feel the most comfortable with, there are a whole host of books out there to read and it’s true to say that your child’s learning actually begins with you learning. Your a teacher now and reading and planning will be a big part of your life.

There are literally thousands of home educating sites around the world with resources for pre school and young children. One of the sites I relly enjoy using is the leap frog printable worksheets

http://www.leapfrog.com/en/leapfrog_parents/activities/printable_worksheets.html

they are grouped in age order and help children with their bright colorful designs. My kids loved these, and the worksheets gave me plenty of my own ideas for developing lessons.

Make an alphabet display at home, a number display just introduce the basics, a plus sign a subtraction sign etc turn these into art and craft lessons kids love that.

Just start small and take each day step by step you don’t have targets to meet or inspections to adhere to you can do what ever you like.

Have a good look online and ask at your library if you can take out an educators tab, you need to be registered with the council to do this but it is well worth it as you get access to the educators library as well saving you thousands of pounds not having to buy certain materials.

If you don’t want to register with the council amazon and ebay have loads of great books to choose from, as well as online blogs aimed at moms teaching younger children.

Getting ready for the month ahead.

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I love discovering new website especially ones as great as the money saving mom, I have been following her site for a while now and it never gets old. I jumped on board the freezer cooking days about a year ago now and have found them in be incredibly worthwhile. Like many home educating families time and money are precious, we need the time to teach and we need the income to provide the best resources and activities to our kids.

I found that food shopping was becoming a nightmare, especially when trying to balance it between caring for three children and a home and schooling, i would often feel very tired by the end of the day and not always so keen on cooking up healthy meals – it’s easier to pop a pizza in the oven or something similar. However since I started freezer cooking days this has not been the case.

Using the following resources provided by the money saving mom website : http://moneysavingmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/msm_freezer_planning_pack.pdf

I will purchase a bulk load of food products and then spend the day cooking . For example I decided to go really cheap and purchase the frozen bags of mince from farm foods (the quorn mince works great as well) – previously I was buying from asda in the packs the frozen stuff is cheaper if you are really trying to cut down. I would cook the beef and onions together then split into different pan, one for lasange, one for spag bog, one for mince pies etc and then finish cooking with the appropriate spice. I make up dishes such as chicken enchiladas, chicken curry, chicken pie mix. I make home made marinara and free some and keep the rest in the fridge.

Making your own tomato ketchup and apple chutney etc is cheap and healthy way to ensure your children are getting less preservatives in their diet. We also make home made granola which is amazing and both freezes and keeps well in the cupboard the kids love it with milk or yogurt.

Yes it’s hard work on the day but when the freezer is full and meals and snacks planned for the month its well worth it. Remember you can make up chapati dough, pizza dough etc the list is endless.

Lesson Planners – getting organised

I have been creating myself some new lesson planners, I like to do a variety so I keep my planning folder cute and my mind active.  It’s important to remember that monotone can be very boring to the eye and even us adults need to keep our minds alert, so adding a few colours can be just the thing.  For those who like it simple though I have included the plain old black and white.  If anyone would like me to create a particular kind of lesson plan such as a dinosaur theme etc just drop me a line and I will try and get them posted within the next few days.

simple lesson planner

simple lesson planner lined

Lesson planner rose colour

Winter-artic animal theme lesson planner

Sale shopping

I am not a big fan of shopping in the sales simply because I always have the kids with me and I am not a big fan of being poked and prodded every two second by people who have no patience.  However I did decided to brave it today and take a look in our local Entertainer toy shop and was very pleased I did, I managed to get some great educational tools that were not available to buy from their website.  

These National Geographic puzzles were down to just £2.00 each that’s 75% off their original price and they are at least £6.99 from Amazon new.  I managed to get panda and an elephant floor puzzle.  I also picked up several other jigsaws and floor puzzle for just £1.40 each a huge saving and great for rainy days or just some quiet time with the kids.  

A great idea to keep jigsaw puzzles fun is to create a treasure map with them.  Write up clues and leave a piece of the puzzle in the hidden spot, the kids will love finding the pieces (if’s there are a lot of pieces I suggest putting the pieces in groups according to how many clues you leave.)   You can always through in a few sweets or treats to make finding those jigsaw pieces that bit more exciting.  

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It’s cold outside!!

Oh my goodness, how cold is it getting outside, it’s so frosty it looks like we have had a good covering of snow!!

Last week I got in touch with a local home schooling group called HELM they can be found on yahoo or click on their link at education otherwise website.  I have found so many activities taking place for home schoolers which I had no idea were avaliable!! For all you home schoolers who have not found a group to join I would seriously sugguest that even if it is one outside of your immediate area, get in touch!! A little travel may be required but it is well worth it.

We attened a group today and at first the kids were not so sure, but after a while they had really settled in and were running around laughing and joking and getting involved with the Art & craft sessions it was great.  I met some lovely moms today and some seriously lovely children.  The thing I noticed was how social and friendly these children were – who says home schooled children are wierd? and can’t socialise?

I think this is far more a case of what the parents do with children and not with the children themselves if the parents want the children to socialise they will!! And so many home schooling familes are seen as people who want to wrap their children in cotton wool and save them from the world.  Groups like this just prove other wise a big well done to all the moms who put in the time and effort to plan and hold these events you are a tribute to us all 🙂

These moms were not sitting on the sidelines will their kids played they were involved right there with them at the art and craft tables and joining in the French lessons.  Many of the groups I took my children to when they were younger were very much a case of children plonked in the middle of the room to play while mom sat and had a chat!! I was one of those moms!! (not so say every mom did this but most of us did)   This was completely different the moms were as interested in learning and playing as the kids, it was a wonderful atmosphere, with great moms.