Tag Archives: planning

How A Bullet Journal Can Help With Holiday Planning

holiday planningPretty light viewings, the ballet, cookie baking, festive gatherings, caroling, and shopping.

This month is typically one that fills up quickly. All of that is fun, but it can also be overwhelming.

holiday planning

That’s where the bullet journal can help.

It is a great tool to help keep your sanity intact during this busy season. Here is how I am going to use mine to make this the smoothest holiday yet!

HOW A BULLET JOURNAL CAN HELP WITH HOLIDAY PLANNING

I began with my usual routine, which is creating a monthly goals page. I’ll fill this in with an overview of what I want to accomplish.

holiday planning

I’ve really enjoyed using more color this year and incorporating more doodles into my pages. The trees and lettering were fun to make.

Usually, I can fit all of my tasks into my weekly calendar.  However, the things I like to accomplish this month, require a bit more detail when it comes to staying organized.

So I made a few specific pages to give me extra space, and to help make that sort of holiday planning easier.

My biggest stress during December is figuring out the gifts. In the past, I have been terribly disorganized, and end up doing everything very last minute.

I want to be able to keep on top of things by organizing gifts that I want to make, and the things that I need to buy.

This page will have all of my shopping and to-do items in one place, which will be incredibly helpful. holiday planning

I am going to love checking things off as I accomplish them!

Kicking off the holidays by baking cookies and other goodies is a family favorite in our household. We put on good music, laugh, and have fun making the house smell delicious. holiday planning

We generally stick to baking our tried and true treats, but I often end up wishing that I would have thought ahead a bit more so that we could make something new and different.

I’m going to set aside one morning this week, and pick out some new additions to our baking day. I have so many different ideas that I have pinned, and this is the year I am actually going to give some of them a try.

This page will allow me to list the things we want to make and serve as my ingredient list as well.
holiday planning
If you want to find out what we make, follow along on my Facebook page. I’ll share recipes and results later this month. You will also be able find all the fun crafty things that we are making for the season there. (Which makes me realize I need to get to work on a journal page for crafty activities, as well)

I hope this helps you see how you can use your bullet journal to help you get organized with your holiday planning. The pages can serve as a record of how the season was celebrated, which is an added bonus!

holiday planningDo you have any tips on how you manage your holiday? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

XO,

Melissa

discobumblebee

P.S. Are you new here? Follow Disco Bumblebee on Pinterest and be sure to join my Facebook group for more journaling ideas, quick and easy crafts, and other lifestyle tips.

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Motivation Lost? 5 Steps You Can Take To Get It Back!

motivation

The months of May and June 2017 will now be known as the time that I lost my motivation.

It all started when our family kicked off  the summer with a vacation. It was a lovely time. I took a break from technology, and read books instead. We explored a cave, had fun on a boat, and laughed with family. motivation

I had every intention of working on a blog post, once I returned. After all, I had just experienced a relaxing week in a beautiful cabin. I was refreshed and could look at the world with a clear head.

But I did not get any writing done.

I kept telling myself that I SHOULD work, but I could do it tomorrow.

Even my beloved bullet journal suffered, it’s pages were lonely. I didn’t doodle, I didn’t track the weather or my mood, and worst of all, I had nothing to check off.motivation

Then, I realized something.

My journal is a huge KEY in keeping me motivated and organized.

When I stopped writing my tasks in my journal, and checking it daily, it gave me a reason to procrastinate. I also felt myself become more anxious and overwhelmed.

I had no plan to follow, so instead my brain just had a running list of things that I needed to do. Without putting it on paper, I quickly went into overload, and fell into my old pattern of just shutting down and doing nothing instead. The motivation was gone.


SO WHAT CAN YOU DO WHEN YOU NEED TO GET YOUR MOTIVATION BACK?


  1. GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION FOR A BREAK

First of all, it is okay to take a break.

I think that in a way, my body and mind were telling me I needed to allow myself some time to do nothing. To read those books that have been piled on my nightstand, catch up on the magazines, and even take a few naps.

Of course, my first instinct was to beat myself up for being lazy and not accomplishing anything.

Instead, I changed my perspective. I gave myself permission to have that break. No writing or work was done, but I did get to enjoy some extra time with my family. I even did some crafts and tried some recipes. And did I mention the naps?!motivation

I was just productive in a different way.

And that is okay.

2. REVISIT YOUR GOALS

However, it is important not to stay in permanent break mode. The longer you remain in it, the harder it becomes to snap out of it.

I needed to take a look at my goals and remember why I was doing all that work in the first place.

When I was checking my bullet journal daily, I was reminded of what I was working for. When I stopped doing that, it became easier to ignore the steps that I wanted to take to accomplish my goals.

If you don’t already have a list of goals, with a plan of action, take some time to write some out. Or make a vision board. Or start a bullet journal.

Even if you are feeling unmotivated, just the simple act of looking at your goals each day will help remind and inspire you to keep working.

3. START SMALL

Part of the reason that I stopped being motivated,  was that I felt like things were piling up around me. Each day my mental lists grew longer, yet I wasn’t doing anything about it. I didn’t feel like it would be possible to get everything done, so instead,  I just shut down.

To combat this, pick just one thing and DO IT.

For me, I told myself that I needed to get out my journal each day and look at and start using my tracker again.

By doing my basic daily tasks again, I started feeling productive and like I was re-building my self discipline again.motivation

Still missing a lot of x’s, but let me tell you, checking off those boxes again when I completed something felt so good!

It doesn’t matter what you choose to do, just pick one small thing and work it into a routine again. Don’t get overwhelmed trying to juggle too many things, or all of the things that you were doing before you lost your groove.

Baby steps!!

When you are feeling ready, add another task. For me, I will start doing my affirmations again. I need that positive reinforcement. 🙂

4. REWARD YOURSELF AND CREATE AN INSPIRED SPACE

This one is easy.

Make sure you create a fun space to help you feel inspired, and give yourself a little reward. Treat yourself to new journal supplies, find some inspirational quotes, clean your work area or re-arrange it, get a cute plant. Little rewards like this are good for motivation.motivation

Just have a little corner or space where you can plan, work, clear your head, or meditate to help keep you on track.

5. DON’T FOCUS ON FAILURES

Finally, be nice to yourself.

Don’t focus on what you did wrong, or what you didn’t accomplish. Negativity can kill motivation. As I mentioned earlier, a perspective change can do wonders.

I’m going to be honest, I still have my dark moments and there are days that I just want to remain in my blanket cave and ignore everything. Just getting out of bed is a simple victory, and it counts as a success.motivation

Think of and remember the successes that you experienced. Even if they are small. Write them down so that you can revisit them when you feel unmotivated.

I followed these 5 steps and was able to find my motivation and get to working and writing again.

It feels good to be back.

What do you do when you find yourself in a funk and need to find your groove again? I would love to hear about it in the comments.

xo,

Melissa

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How a Bullet Journal (and Coffee) Can Help with Cleaning

CLEANING

*Disclaimer: I received a product for free in exchange for a review. However, all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! 

Cleaning is something that I have not always been great about keeping up with. I live in a house with six people, so you can imagine that sometimes things can really pile up.

Enter the bullet journal, my new favorite tool.

As I have explained in some of my past posts, the bullet journal is a great tool for tracking habits and keeping yourself in check. Using a cleaning calendar is similar, and it can help make staying on top of cleaning easy and painless.

If you stay on the schedule that you come up with, and keep up the rotation, your house will stay organized and clean!

I decided to create my calendar page while recovering from a procedure. I was on orders to rest and not move around, which is not an easy task for me. Luckily my family was helpful in assisting with the cleaning while I could not. So, I used my down time as an opportunity to come up with a plan to keep us organized going forward into the future.

Here is what I came up with:

cleaning

As always with a bullet journal, you can customize your schedules and lists to work for you. Don’t forget that you can add or leave out anything that you would like.

Also, I prefer to keep my cleaning calendar at the front of my journal, where I include the pages for my morning routine.  So, when I pour my first cup of coffee (more on that later!) and go through my daily pages, I am reminded of what I need to do each day.

You may notice that I try not to give myself too many daily tasks. This is so I don’t get overwhelmed and just decide to put everything off.

cleaning

I have assigned a different chore for each day of the week. Doing this helps to add a little variety to my daily routine.

At the bottom I included a rotating schedule of things to do each month. These are larger house projects, like the dreaded washing of walls and baseboards, but when they are broken up over the year, it becomes much easier to get them accomplished.

cleaning

And just how does coffee come into play?

Well, quite honestly, it is the fuel that keeps me going. I manage to pack a lot into each day, and in order to get things accomplished, I need to be energized. When I work on my bullet journal pages, or decide to take on any kind of project, a cup of coffee is usually in my hand. Or, at least nearby.

I received a bag of the Sabertooth Roast from Caveman Coffee Company to try, and I must say it is quite delicious. They even sent me samples of MCT Oil, and while I wasn’t sure what to do with it at first, they had recipes on their website. Adding that to my morning brew gave me some amazing energy!

cleaning

I am sharing this because they have an awesome monthly coffee subscription box available. Which means not running out of coffee. Plus, who doesn’t like fun goodies delivered to your door each month?

I would definitely recommend giving this fun company a try and make your life easier with delivery each month!

Finally, do you want to take your cleaning routine one step further?

Add your daily routine and monthly chores to your bullet journal tracker. If you aren’t sure what a tracker is, check out my Beginners Guide to Using a Tracker.

I love to check off my accomplishments, so this is the extra security that I need to motivate me to stay on top of not only my daily personal goals, but also my cleaning goals.

cleaning

If you are struggling to keep on top of your cleaning projects, pour yourself a cup of coffee and try making a cleaning calendar. Having all the tasks listed and planned out, gives you one less thing to think about each day!


XO,
Melissa

P.S. Are you new here? Follow Disco Bumblebee on Pinterest and be sure to join my Facebook group for more journaling ideas, quick and easy crafts, and other lifestyle tips.

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Beginners Guide: Using a Tracker In Your Bullet Journal

Using a tracker in my bullet journal is my new favorite thing! Since I love it so much, I want to share it with all of you. I even included a little mini tracker for you to download at the end of my post! 

tracker

*Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! ?

Recently, I have been dealing with some health issues. I’ve spent the past few months in and out of the doctor office. Each time, I am given new instructions or a different medicine to try, and it started to get a little difficult to remember everything that I was supposed to do.

Then it dawned on me. I should make a tracker for my bullet journal!

Are you new to the world of using a bullet journal? Before you read through this, be sure to check out my Beginners Guide to Bullet Journals.


Of course, it isn’t a requirement to have a tracker in your journal, but it has been such an awesome tool for me. It helps me keep an eye on my good habits and the places that I need a little extra work. I love checking things off, so using a tracker has been a great way to hold myself accountable.

Best of all, there are so many different things that you can track. And as always, there are so many different layout options. Mixing things up and trying different styles of trackers also helps keep me motivated to get my stuff done!

HABIT TRACKERS

The habit tracker is just a list of the things that you like to accomplish in a day. It’s basically like an everyday to-do list. To make one, you can use dotted or grid paper. Having a ruler handy is also helpful. You can make your tracker a weekly one, or a monthly one, that’s the beauty of having that customized system that works just for you.

Here is an example of the one that I just made for myself. I just set it up for a two-week period.

tracker

See? It’s pretty simple but so helpful.

Need some ideas of what to track?

  • Exercise
  • Vitamins
  • Water consumption
  • Journal time
  • Chores
  • Feeding pets
  • Watering the plants (for people like me who seem to have a black thumb)
  • Medication
  • No Junk Food/Caffeine etc…
  • Goals
  • Symptoms
  • Sleep schedules
  • Self-care/Me time (you’ve got to make sure you are giving yourself love)
  • Spending
  • Moods
  • Routines (morning and night)
  • Flossing/teeth brushing

Really, anything that you want to work on, or make sure that you do each day, add it to your tracker!

However, if you don’t use it on a daily basis, it won’t do much good.

I am guilty of thinking that I will remember to fill in what I did a few days later, but that just doesn’t work. So my solution was to work it into my nightly routine.

In my last post, Beginners Guide: Starting a New Month in a Bullet Journal, I mentioned that I changed my layout so that I could write a few sentences about my day. It was my goal to do this on a nightly basis, along with filling in my mood tracker. I am happy to report, that this has been going well for me, and I have now added filling out my habit tracker during this time.  So, just be sure to find a spot in your day that you will be sure to check off those boxes.

OTHER TRACKERS

There are other fun things that you can track, but you may want to dedicate a layout to a single thing, instead of just a list.

For example, here is my mood tracker page. Each day, I color in the boxes to indicate how I was feeling. By the end of the year, I will have a very colorful page with all of my moods.

tracker

I did mine over the entire year, but next year I think I would like to try to do a monthly mood tracker. I have seen some pretty amazing layouts that have inspired me.

I also like to track the books I read, movies that I see, and shows that I watch throughout the year. Here are what my trackers for each of these look like.

tracker

tracker

tracker

It’s fun to have a history of the things that entertained me throughout the year.

You may have one big goal that you want to work towards, such as saving up for a vacation. This is another way that a tracker would be helpful. Having that visual will really help keep you motivated.

Our family recently decided that we want to visit one of the state parks out west, so I made a page to remind my husband and me to set a little money aside each month.

tracker

I can’t wait until all those boxes are filled in, and we are on our way!

Finally, I have a page dedicated to the bills that I need to pay each month. It’s very basic but incredibly helpful.

tracker

Feeling a bit intimidated by drawing out your own tracker?

I always want to remind people that your bullet journal pages do not have to be fancy. Please do not get hung up on seeing all the beautiful layouts out there and then feel like you have to do the same. Part of the reason that I make these blog posts is to show you that I do not make perfect layouts, mine do not look like they are made by a professional artist, but I love them. And they work!

I made these handy little weekly mini tracker stickers to put in my journal, for those times that I just can’t draw one for myself. To print these, I used Avery mailing labels #8168, but you can also just print on blank paper, cut out and glue into your journal.

Feel free to download them and use for your own bullet journal!

tracker

I hope that this has helped to show you that a tracker can be a great tool to help you manage your time better, and to get those dreams and goals accomplished!

xo, Melissa

P.S. Are you new here? Follow Disco Bumblebee on Pinterest and be sure to join my Facebook group for more journaling ideas, quick and easy crafts, and other lifestyle tips.

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Beginners Guide: Starting a New Month in a Bullet Journal

The start of a new month is one of my favorite times because it means that I get to add new pages to my bullet journal.

month

*Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! ?

I love a fresh start! 

I wanted to share with you what I do to kick off a new month. Hopefully, this will help you to understand how to use a bullet journal.


Note: If you aren’t sure what a bullet journal is, check out my post, Beginners Guide to Bullet Journals. Using this system is the first time that I have stuck with keeping a planner and journal. There is just something about being able to customize everything that just makes me happy and motivated! I want to share the love and get everyone hooked!


First of all, yes, I know that we are already a few days into the month of April.

My daughter had surgery, and my crazy life put me behind.

Again.

But, that didn’t stop me. I am trying to be kinder to myself, and reinforce that I don’t have to be perfect, so I went ahead and still got it done.

This might have to be my new mantra: It’s okay to get started late, at least I still got it done!

Remember, you do not have to make fancy pages or layouts for your bullet journals. Simple lists or just a page with each day written on it is fine. Start out that way if you are feeling intimidated. You can always switch it up and add more as you find your routine and get more comfortable with the bullet journal system.

Ideally, here is what I do each  month:

GOAL PAGE FOR THE MONTH

First, I sit down and think about and what my main goals for the month will be. I review the past month to see what I did not get done, and if needed, I move it forward to the current month.

As hard as I try, I don’t always get everything done that I planned on accomplishing, and that’s okay. See my new mantra above 🙂

Usually, I like to write the month and then break it up into four sections; Self Care, Health, Blog, and Projects.

Here is what my page for the month of April looks like:

I like to use a color theme, and April makes me think of spring. This brings to mind the arrival of blue skies and the pretty greens returning, so I used blue and green to decorate my pages.

Typically, I like to add a quote for each month at the top of my page. I still haven’t found the perfect one for this month yet, so I have left a blank space to add one.

I also try to make a point not to overwhelm myself with too many goals. If I do that, I tend to just shut down and not accomplish anything. So, I only choose 2 or 3 things that I want to work on that month for each category.

For example, in the health category, I want to make a point of eating more fruits and veggies. I also need to remember to take my iron pill, so I added that to my list.

WEEKLY LAYOUT

Once I get that accomplished, it is time to set up my weekly pages.

Many people like to do just one week (or day) at a time in their bullet journals. You can totally do this, but for me, it is easiest to set up weekly pages for the entire month. It helps me be to be able to plan ahead a bit.

Remember, one of the fun things about using a bullet journal is that you can try different layouts to see what works best for you. Mixing things up helps to keep it fun. So this month, I’m trying a different layout.

month

In the past, I have used vertical boxes for each day. However, I made a goal this month to try and write a few sentences about each day. I decided that horizontal boxes might work a bit better for my diary entries.

I also added small boxes in the corner so that I could make a little drawing about what the weather was like each day.

ADDITIONAL PAGES

I like to incorporate my menu plan into my bullet journal. In the past, I have just written down what we are eating somewhere on my weekly pages.

This month, I thought it would be fun to try something new, so I made a page dedicated completely to our menu.

month

If you recall, I wanted to add more color to my journal this year, and the little doodles are the perfect way to do this!

I also home school my daughter and have been working on planning ahead a bit more. This month, I created a page dedicated to our lesson plans and theme.

month

I think that having a visual for the crafts, reading, and experiments that we will be doing alongside our usual daily work will be helpful. I can fit our whole month of activities on one page (front and back) since we focus on each theme over a period of two weeks.

Finally, I made a lettering practice page. You may have noticed that most of my lettering in my journal is done in the same style.

At this point, I am ready to branch out and I know that I will need some practice.

month

It might not be a super fancy page, but it gives me a visual reminder that I need to work on my lettering, which is a goal of mine this month.

There you have it. See, it isn’t too scary or overwhelming, right?

This is what I do each month for my bullet journal. I really enjoy creating my layouts and pages because I feel like I am taking some time for myself to be creative, but I am also being productive as well. It’s a win win for me!

Do you have any favorite layouts or pages in your bullet journal? I would love for you to share them!

Stay tuned for my next post, where I will discuss different trackers that you can use in your journal. I will also have a neat little sticker that I have been working on available as a download.


xo, Melissa

P.S. Are you new here? Follow Disco Bumblebee on Pinterest and be sure to join my Facebook group for more journaling ideas, quick and easy crafts, and other lifestyle tips.

 

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My Favorite Bullet Journal Supplies

bullet journal supplies

*Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! 

Today, I thought I would share my favorite bullet journal supplies with you.


If you are not sure what a bullet journal is, check out my bullet journals for beginners post.

One of the best parts about a bullet journal is that you can create your own system.

You really only need a notebook and a pen, but there are also many fun supplies that really can help personalize your journal.

So let’s start with the journal itself.

JOURNALS

Just do a search on Amazon and you will find tons of adorable blank books. Many people use this Leuchtturm 1917 journal, it seems to be the tried and true go to.

However, I like to be able to rearrange and remove my pages, and I am unable to do this with this particular style of journal.

To solve this, I use a simple mini binder.

It has clear sleeves in the front so that I can switch up my cover often. Plus, if it gets damaged, it is very inexpensive to replace.

PAPER

There is plain, dotted, lined, and grid paper available in loose leaf form.  I like to use all of the types of paper since I prefer the grids for my trackers, dotted for my calendar, lined for writing and plain to do little doodles and drawings.

By doing this, I am able to have everything together in one notebook, and it is easy to switch it up if I get tired of my layouts.

You might want to invest in a 3 ring hole punch as well. It comes in handy sometimes.

PENS

Next, you need pens.

If you like basic, just invest in some nice black pens.However, you may want to add some color.

Last year, I did most of my pages in simple black and white. This year, I wanted to branch out and play with color.

Brush pens are a wonderful way to add a little variety to your pages. The set that I have been using recently has a wide and a thin tip. I have been having fun experimenting with different brush strokes.Sometimes, your colors will bleed through your pages, which can be frustrating. Colored pencils are another good way to get a little creative, without the frustration. I like this set because you can also get the pencil wet and get a watercolor effect.

STICKERS AND WASHI TAPE

Stickers are another fun way to add some fun to your bullet journal pages. There are tons of Etsy shops that sell custom stickers, as well as Amazon. I am working on my own sticker pages and will be sharing them here on the blog soon.

I also have become a bit addicted to Washi Tape.

For example, I found some super cute Totoro Washi tape that I have been using to decorate the top of each of my daily calendar pages for this month.

There are so many different styles and patterns, it is fun to stock up so you have a bunch of options for your decorating.

CLEAR SLEEVES

There are a few pages in my journal that I don’t access often, like my color key, and blog information, but get a little beat up because I refer to them often. I found some clear protective sleeves to put those pages in, and it helps keep them in good shape.

DIVIDERS AND TABS

Because I keep a lot of different content in my journal, using tabs and divider pages helps me easily access my different sections. I like these dividers because they are made of plastic that is a bit sturdier.These self-adhesive tabs are also great because I can easily label them and stick them on specific pages that I use often.

I hope that this list of my favorite bullet journal supplies is helpful in giving you some good ideas for your own book.

XO, Melissa

P.S. Are you new here? Follow Disco Bumblebee on Pinterest and be sure to join my Facebook group for more journaling ideas, quick and easy crafts, and other lifestyle tips.

 

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Bullet Journal: A Year in Color ( with printable)

journal

Last year, I discovered the world of the Bullet Journal.

Quickly, I became addicted. It helped me stay organized and focused on tasks better than anything else in the past.

bullet journal blank

There is just something about a fresh start, and with the arrival of the new year, I spent most of last week reflecting on what I wanted to accomplish throughout 2017.

Typically, my thoughts are a jumbled mess in my head, so I decided that I would kind of re-create that on a page for my journal by creating a word cloud.  

I brainstormed about everything I wanted to do this year.

I thought about my crafts, knitting, self-care, health, things I want to learn, my blog and my relationships. Then, I started writing each thing in a box, and connected the different ideas that were in a similar category. 

Before I knew it, my page had turned into a great visual for the year. 

bullet journal black and white

Yet, I still felt like something was missing.

I realize that I kept my journal pages pretty basic last year, and just used a black ink pen. After all, I was trying to keep it simple while learning the ropes. I didn’t want to overwhelm myself and end up quitting. However, this year, I want to branch out a bit, and feel that my journal needs some color.

I thought that by using color, it might be a fun way to track my moods throughout the day. My mom gave me this cute little book about colors and their different meanings, so I decided this would be the perfect tool to help me choose the perfect colors to associate with my moods and thoughts.

Of course, once I settled upon my colors, I needed to make a page to serve as a key for my bullet journal.

journal color key

After that, I returned to my 2017 overview page, and I filled in my different boxes with color.

bullet journal color 2017

Now, it felt right!

I already love the addition of color, and I am hoping that it is helpful in tracking my moods. Stay tuned for an update on how it is working for me in a few weeks.

I also made a little color and their meanings printable, it highlights a few colors and their most popular meanings. Just click here and print!

I’m also looking forward to working on learning some lettering, playing with different layouts, and adding new pages to my journal this year. I am ready to dig deeper and branch out!

Do you have a bullet journal? If so, what are some of your goals and what pages are you looking forward to adding this year? I would love to hear from you in the comments.

xo Melissa

discobumblebee

Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. ? Full disclaimer information can be found here.


 

  

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Lessons and Activities for November

lessons and activities november pin graphic

November has arrived, and that means it is time for some new books, experiments, lessons and activities in our homeschool classroom!

In addition to our regular work, we will focus on being thankful, and the history of Thanksgiving, which I will be incorporating into our lessons and activities throughout the month.

I found a great resource on the Scholastic website. It has a ton of information on The First Thanksgiving, so we will definitely be using that as a resource this month.

LANGUAGE AND READING

We are continuing to use our sight word list from our word hunt last month. They have been helping Bean learn some key words that she is seeing more often now that she is reading.

We’ve also been working on identifying long and short vowel sounds. I have a little game I found at the dollar store to help her with that.

I also selected some books that fit well with the Thanksgiving season:

Being Thankful by Mercer Mayer

The Very First Americans by Cara Ashrose

The Story of the Pilgrims by Katharine Ross

The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush by Tomie dePaola

Please and Thank You Book by Richard Scarry

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

10 Fat Turkeys by Tony Johnston

Pete the Cat by Kimberly and James Dean

SCIENCE

Another fun part of Thanksgiving is the food, so I have picked out a few food experiments for our science lessons.

Bendy Bones

When you make turkey, set aside some bones for this fun experiment (chicken bones would work too, you don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving turkey time for this one).

First, make sure to clean and scrape any meat off of the bones.

Then, make some observations and discuss your findings. Are the bones strong? Do they bend? What color are they? How long are they?

Next, fill a container large enough to submerge the bones, with vinegar.

Place the bones in the vinegar and let them sit for four days. If it gets smelly, cover the container with a little plastic wrap and secure with a rubber band.

After four days, remove the bones from the vinegar. Observe and discuss again.

Because of the acidic vinegar, the bone should bend because the calcium has been broken down.

You can even try other acids, like lemon juice or soda.

Re-Grow Food

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Find a fun recipe that calls for green onions, and when you use them, leave about 3 inches of the root .

Place your trimmings standing up in a glass container.

Fill the glass with water, leaving an inch or two above the water.

Find a sunny window, and set the glass nearby.

Change the water every other day, and in a few days, green shoots should begin to appear.

Once you have some growth, trim and use in another meal. Leave your roots in the jar, you should be able to get a few cycles of re-growth. See how many you can get!

Bouncy Rubber Egg

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Grab a glass jar, an egg, and white vinegar.

Place the egg carefully in the jar, and add enough vinegar to cover the egg.  Let it sit for 24 hours.

Once that time period has passed, carefully remove the egg from the jar, and dump out the vinegar. Replace egg and cover again with vinegar. The wait is a little longer this time around, let it sit for 2 days.

Remove your egg from the jar, and observe. What does it feel like? Does it look different? What happened to the shell? What do you see?

Now is the fun part! See if it will bounce! Gently bounce it from a short distance- it is still fragile and could break.

Because an eggshell is made of calcium carbonate, the acid in the vinegar reacts and produces carbon dioxide. The egg membrane may absorb some of the vinegar, which will make the egg larger.

CRAFTS

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I found a few fun activities on Pinterest:

Paper Bag TeePees

Paper Bag Turkeys

T.P. Roll Totem Poles

Herb and Spice Play Dough

Handprint Turkey

You can also find these on my Arts and Crafts board. Follow me for easy access!

I hope you found these November lessons and activities helpful. I would love to hear about what is happening in your homeschool classroom too, tell me about it in the comments and be sure to link your blog so that I can visit!

 

Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. ?

 

 

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Top 5 Homeschool Game Changers

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There are times in our homeschool classroom in which we have perfect days. Our lessons go exactly as expected, because Miss Bean is happy, cooperative and willing to learn. Of course, those are the best kind of days.

However, there are also the other days where things just seem off. Those days have tears, protests, frowns, and my well thought out lesson plans just don’t seem to do the trick.

What do I do when that happens?

I switch things up and use my homeschool game changers. They usually help to end the frustration and aid Miss Bean in changing her attitude. Most of them are visual, and also give her a little break from having me as her teacher.

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Here are my top 5 homeschool game changers:

1. Amazon Prime Video and Netflix

Recently, PBS moved most of their shows over to Amazon Prime. If you don’t already have a Prime subscription, I highly recommend it.

Currently, our favorite shows are Peg + Cat and Reading Rainbow. However, there are so many other options available.

They even have yoga and exercise videos. Sometimes, a little deep breathing, stretching, and a wiggle break is all we need for our day take a positive turn.

Also, Netflix has Magic School Bus and Bill Nye The Science Guy episodes. Both are fun ways to learn about how things work.

2. YouTube

There are so many different educational channels on YouTube. Most of the videos are short, which helps to keep Miss Bean’s attention.

A few of our favorites are:

Crash Course Kids

SciShow

MashUp Math

Storyline Online

3. Starfall

This website is one of Miss Bean’s favorites.

We are currently working our way through the reading units together. She likes to try and read each page herself, and then check her work by having it read out loud to her. There are even math games available. Whenever she gets a little independent learning/free time, she loves to play the different songs and interactive games.

Parts of the website are free, and you can also choose to pay a small fee in order to get full access.

4. Pinterest

Honestly, Pinterest is my best friend,

I can find anything that I need there. Seriously, it is a life saver.

It helps me find fun material for my lesson plans, and quick art projects. Miss Bean loves to look through my pins and pick out which experiments or crafts she wants to try next. I try to pin a lot, so feel free to follow me!

5. The Library

homeschool game changers

Sometimes, the day is just not going as planned at all. That’s when a change of scenery is a great solution.

Impromptu field trips to the library are easy, and they are free!

We are quite lucky to have a library within walking distance of our home. Because of this, we can make frequent trips. Sometimes, we even like to make it more of an adventure by visiting the huge library downtown. While there, we enjoy looking for Reading Rainbow books. Also, there are also a ton of easy readers so that we are able to keep lots of variety in our learning to read journey. Miss Bean is always sure to bring a backpack, so that she can bring a few books home with her.

If you haven’t visited in awhile, be sure to check out your local library and give it some love!

Do you have some classroom game changers that have worked well for you? Be sure to share them in the comments.

 

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Plant Lessons: Adventures of Miss Bean

This week, we kicked off the homeschool adventures of Miss Bean with plant lessons. It is quite hard to say goodbye to lazy summer days, and get back into a school day routine. However, we managed to ease back into it by staying in our pj’s during morning work and taking lots of wiggle break dance parties.

This year, the big goal is for Miss Bean to be able to read independently. Therefore, there will be lots of sight word practice. To help with this, we have been using Bob books, and also making visits to the library for simple readers. She enjoys using Starfall as well, so we have been working through the lessons that they provide online.

During the next two weeks, the theme will be plants, seeds and growth. I’ve found fun activities in math, reading and science to keep with our subject.  Jack and the Beanstalk is the story that we are using to go along with our lessons and experiments. We also have several books from the library about plants, cycles, and seeds.

This week, we started our first experiment; which is growing a beanstalk. First, Miss Bean placed a lima bean in a mason jar along with some damp cotton balls. Next, she colored and cut out a castle, and taped it to a stick.  By doing this, it will help her observe how high her seed will grow.

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We found that the glass jar is perfect for her frequent check-ins. She is very excited to observe that the seed is already beginning to open up!

Next week, I have a few more fun science lessons planned. We will dissect a seed, create a shoe box maze, and will also learn about how plants absorb water. I even have a snack time planned out, in which she will eat the parts of a plant.

Math is not one of Miss Bean’s favorite subjects. So, for one of our math activities, I made up a dice game to help illustrate the concept of more and less. I made a simple beanstalk themed sheet. Then, we roll the dice, write and tally or diagram our numbers. Whoever ends up with the most numbers in the more category, wins! (You can download the worksheet too: moreorlessbeanstalkworksheet)

Finally, to help Miss Bean learn more about numbers, I drew a flower. Again, she rolled the dice and added the numbers together. Next, she wrote the number in the center, and used each petal to either tally, add, subtract, diagram, spell, or fill in a ten frame. Having multiple visual examples is always the best way for her to pick up on things.

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Next week, we will do these activities a few more times, as well as  working on number sequencing.

I feel that our first week was a success and that Miss Bean seemed positive about it too. We are both looking forward to our lessons for the second week of exploring the world of plants. Since our weather is not supposed to be quite as hot, I have a nature walk scavenger hunt planned. I will share the printable I created next week, so be sure to check back in on our adventures!

 

 

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