Peanuts Word Cards

Anyone who knows anything about me knows I love Snoopy. It was with great sadness that my first three children were not impressed by Joe Cool and Charlie Brown. Then finally it happened, my fourth and final child became a Snoopy fan. Either she loves Snoopy and the rest of the Peanut gang on their own merit or she is trying to get on my good side. Either way, she is the inspiration behind the Peanuts Word Cards.

Each page contains four cards with an image and a word that describes the image that can be traced. You can either print it off and use a pencil or laminate the pages and use wet erase markers. I highly recommend Expo Vis-a-Vis Wet Erase markers. Dry erase markers can prove difficult to remove and make messy streaks. The wet erase come off beautifully for laminated sheets you want to use over and over again.

Here is what you will need to make your own set of Peanuts Word Cards for your child.
Once you print off your sheets, simply laminate, cut, punch a hole and fill your book ring up. I let my daughter use her cards at night before going to bed. In no time at all, she is able to read and spell the words! 

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Home Art Studio:  Homeschool Art Made Easy

If you asked me years ago what my favorite activity was during the homeschool day, I would have said arts and crafts. While my son wasn't thrilled, all my daughters love putting their creative hands to use. As the years went on, life became very busy. Between teens, home business, and homeschooling, I hardly have time to think much less bring out the crayons. I struggled with that since I believe art is joy and adds great value to the homeschool experience. I enjoy creative pursuits...well...I am a graphic designer after all. Yet, most of my homeschool art projects were based on google searches and Pinterest finds. This method was found to be unsatisfactory to my very curious daughter who insisted on learning "real art". I only got the "be real mom" stare when I suggested I teach her Photoshop. 

Thankfully, the opportunity to review Home Art Studio came my way. I will be honest, I wasn't terribly thankful at first. I wondered how much work I would have to put into it and how many times I would be running to the art supply store just to finish out the course. Sure, I missed art but adding in stress and routine seemed daunting. Since, I'm a risk taker, I went ahead and give it a chance. I decided to try out the fourth-grade level since it was in between my girls' grade level and I could use it with both at one time. I concluded that while that decision was sound, I think next time I will just get each their own grade level since they enjoyed it so much. 

Time for art!

Homeschool Art Studio: What I Love

  • Each DVD contains easy to follow and thorough instructions along with engaging lessons which build upon each other throughout the course. 
  • The lessons are short and easy to implement into your school day. 
  • Ms. Volin, the art teacher, is fun to watch and makes kids excited to learn art. 
  • You will have no trouble searching for art supplies since there is the option to buy all the supplies you need right on the site.  I can't think of a more exciting box to open than one filled with art supplies and a fantastic art program. 
  • You don't need prior experience for your kids to get a great art education.

Little Known Uses for Home Art Studio

Sometimes we can push the boundaries of a curriculum and make it a useful tool of fun and learning during other times in our lives. 
  • When sickness strikes the homeschool mom, let Ms. Volin sub for you! Keep in mind, this may not work so well for younger children who cannot clean up on their own. However, it is a fantastic way to keep your older kids busy, engaged, and learning, while you take a break. 
  • Need to make a phone call, nurse your baby, or prepare lunch? This is the perfect time to pop in Home Art Studio. The format makes carving out time for art easy!
  • Home Art Studio is a great way to spend a rainy day. 
  • Provide a fun activity for the kids to do with grandparents while they visit or babysit. 

Home Art Studio Inspires Creativity 

Take a look at these designs. As I mentioned earlier, I am a graphic designer. When the lesson on positive and negative space came up on the DVD, I discussed how graphic designers often use negative space in designs for logos. I showed the girls several examples. They were intrigued and wanted to come up with some designs using negative space. Each girl decided to use her favorite animal. I gave them free reign to break loose their creative power on my laptop. I enjoyed using the lesson on Home Art Studio to make a connection to something mom knows something about. You can't beat a curriculum that impacts a child once the lesson is over!

Learn More About Home Art Studio

To learn more about Home Art Studio, you can visit the website, Facebook, Pinterest, or YouTube.

With the festive season approaching, there is no better time to get the kids involved and let them explore their creative sides. It's the perfect time to get cutting, sticking and gluing in anticipation of the big day.

DIY Advent Calendars

Why not bake your own sweet treats and fill your advent calendar with homemade shortbread shapes? Beat together butter and sugar and stir in around 180g of plain flour as you go. Roll it out on the work surface and use a cookie cutter to style into shapes of your choice. Decorate with sprinkles and royal icing in festive colors like vibrant reds, greens and even purples. Store your shortbread in a cool, dry place and top up your stocking every few days to keep your biscuits as fresh as possible.

Stitch Your Own Stocking

If your children are a little older, making your own Christmas stocking from scratch is really satisfying. The stocking can be passed down to younger children and stored as a keepsake for years to come. Pop down to your nearest craft store and buy some felt, stick on sequins, glitter glue and pom poms. A simple running stitch should hold it together perfectly. Double up the fabric, cut out your pattern and stitch your socks shapes together around the edges.

Creative Christmas Tree Decorations

Why not make some Christmas tree decorations? It's a great activity for kids of all ages, from toddlers to teenagers. Opt for stars, springs of holly, snowflakes, Christmas puddings, candy canes and Christmas crackers. Buy some card in various colors from your local craft shop (or even your local supermarket) and use colored pens and glitter to decorate them. Use a hole-punch to create a small opening and tie a piece of ordinary household string in a loop. They’ll look terrific hanging up among the Christmas tree lights.

At Home Nativity

Encouraging children to act out their own nativity teaches them about the Christian origins of Christmas whilst letting them hand craft everything and having them act it out using props. Appoint someone as narrator (you can easily find a nativity script online.) You only need around five actors (these can be interchangeable) to act out the whole play, it's educational and it's fun!

Images by cowley_mail used under Creative Commons license

Carol Singing

Having an hour of free time from the school day to spend some time exploring their musical talents is can be a good outlet for stress. You can print off free sheet music online and it's easy to download sing-a-long soundtracks, or you can pick up CDs and tapes from charity shops. Dot them around the house so you and the kids can burst into song in any room.

Before you get started, why not make a mood board and plan your activities throughout the month of December. It will get the kids excited about the festive season and is a useful planner to build into day to day teaching either as a parent or as an education specialist.


A book as a gift for a child is possibly the best gift ever. You are not only giving an excellent time, but you are also improving kid’s reading skills too. Book reading is especially necessary for those children who struggle to read. Bellow, you will be presented with some of the best books that can help kids of many different ages to deal with reading problems and some tips for you as a parent. These books were approved by Yale professors and were not only fun to read, but teach kid too. And that is all that we, parents, can want!

Your infant or toddler

Since infants and toddlers are just starting to speak, you should take a slow pace and be persistent. And to help a child deal with language problems – read books to him! Do that every day, and also remember that younger children have short attention spans. This means that you need to try reading for a few minutes at a time at first to get the best result.

Professional speech therapists agree that these three books bellow are very suitable for this age and might help a lot too.  They are My Very First Mother Goose or other various Dr. Seuss books with their rhyming stories that are easy to remember and to copy for a kid. Also, Each Peach Pear Plum by Allan and Janet Ahlberg and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. are appropriate for children with this problem at his age.

For you preschool and school-age children

Kids who are a little bit bigger and have speech problems need a little bit different type of treatment from you. This time you need to help a child read, to only read to him. Of course, continue to read to your child every day. This is not only a strong bonding experience, but it will keep your child more motivated too. Also, choose books that are on your child's language level and that your child likes.
At this time, books that are funny or silly are an excellent choice. Such books include Does a Chimp Wear Clothes? by Fred Ehrlich, M.D., Hippos Go Beserk! by Sandra Boynton, and, of course, Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss. These books will teach your child repeat animal sounds, and so - become aware of letter sounds.

For more of your knowledge on this problem

To learn more about this problem and how to deal with it, here are some literature you can find handy too. The firsts works that come to my mind are Childhood Speech, Language, and Listening Problems by Patricia Hamaguchi and Does My Child Have a Speech Problem? by Katherine Martin. Get these books and read how to help your kid. You are one of those people he trusts more than any other!

Furthermore, if you are looking to buy these books somewhere, you might need to start looking for it at Target. Especially since at this moment thousands of online coupons are waiting for you to use them! For example, these Target coupons at ChameleonJohn. But take notice, that at you can find many other stores (even specialized bookstores) and special coupons to shop there cheaper. So – buying these literature pieces will be a piece of cake!  

(Legally, I need to reveal that Mighty Mug sent me a mug to review. They have no clue what my review will say and I have no idea if they will approve of my findings. Perhaps they should have put more thought into allowing this unpredictable redhead take Mighty Mug for a test drive.) 

When push comes to shove the only thing left standing is the Mighty Mug

It wasn't so long ago that my keyboard fell victim to a tumbling mug. I sat helpless to save it as the coffee sunk deeper causing certain death. As I took a moment of silence the thought entered my mind, "Why or why is there no such thing as a Webble mug?" Remember Weebles? When I was a kid I had a bunch of those egg shaped little characters made famous by the little tune, "Weebles wobble but they don't fall down."

Sure, I could get another keyboard but who was I to bring in another potential victim. I could try to and pretend that I would be more careful, but we knew that wasn't going to happen. I am a homeschool mom who needs a little refreshment among the spelling tests, art projects, and historical timelines. My mug contains just enough sanity to get through the day. Yes, I am aware of the detrimental effect my chants of "Don't spill my coffee.", "Watch out for my mug.", are dong to my children. They are living in an oppressed environment that values liquid joy housed in an insecure mug. I know the painful result of a coffee tsunami overtaking a dining room table covered in watercolor masterpieces. The would come when hard choices would have to be made.

Just as I was debating giving up my mug or my sanity, I was introduced to Mighty Mug. Was the promise too great? Could a mug really exist that would not claim more victims in my chaotic home? I didn't think so, but it was worth a shot.

The day the mug arrived it was meet with the eager hands ready to test its "untoppable" claims. The sting of past losses still with us, we decided to try it empty. I carefully sat it down on the table and skillfully raised my elbow in perfect bumping position. Right as I was about to make contact, a Sharpie was launched at the mug. The impact made a tinny sound and the mug shook slightly. Preparing for a topple, I cringed while simultaneously giving my kid the evil eye. (Moms can do that. We are multitaskers.) In a rare moment of speechlessness, we stood and stared. The mug was still standing. Cheers erupted. We furiously began to find ways to test the limits. One over zealous tester decided to throw a shoe at it. Yeah, there are no claims that the mug is impervious to thrown objects. The mug is intended to withstand the normal accidental bumps from everyday life.

Mighty Mug proved itself and was now ready for the front lines. In a moment of mom sacrifice, I allowed my daughter to use it. She placed it on the desk next to the new keyboard. Flashbacks from the death of my previous keyboard filled my mind and I blurted out, "Remember, no drinks on the desk." My daughter turns around, "We have the Migh....", and just then her elbow hits the mug. Inhaling sharply, I see the mug hold its ground and I let out a sigh of relief. The only downside was I had a song stuck in my head.

""Don't you know I'm still standing better than I ever did
Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid
I'm still standing after all this time""

That Elton John, he has a song for every occasion. 

Keyboards no longer have to fear liquid death. Let's make it our goal to save more keyboards. Use Mighty Mug.

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