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10 Fun and Educational Preschool Board Games

We love to play board games in our homeschool. Always have. And they get their love of playing games honestly. I have always loved board games and so did my dad. So it is not a huge surprise that are constantly on the hunt for games to incorporate into our school. And I figure if we are always looking for them, somebody else probably is too! So, we are going to write an entire series on our favorite fun and educational games… starting with preschool. All of these games we had and played or used in a setting outside of our home. So these are kid tested and have proven to be fun (at least to my three boys). So without further adieu, let’s get to the 10 Fun AND Educational Preschool Board Games list for kiddos aged 3-5 or so.

10 fun and educational preschool board games

 1. Zingo

It was one of our all time favorites. It is easy for little ones to play this because there are pictures on all the tiles and can be matched to the zingo board. It is a very fast-paced, energetic variant of Bingo that does not take too long to play, so it keeps their attention (and yours).

The description from the manufacturer reads:

In this fast-paced, energetic variant of Bingo, kids get a kick out of pulling the Zinger forward to reveal two mystery tiles, and then try to be the first to call out the tiles that match the images on their cards. The first player to fill his or her card wins by yelling “Zingo.” Two levels of play add zing to the competition.

I’ll be honest, my boys were as fast at calling out the pictures as I was. Besides the obvious language and vocabulary benefits, it also develops matching, memory, and concentration skills.

2. The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game

This game was one the boys played all the time at the Montessori school. I was not much into “cooperative” games — Did I mention I’m just a little competitive when it comes to games? Anyway, good thing they learned about it there so they could teach me all about them!

In this game, your forest friends are hungry and they need your help. I appreciate that this game develops matching and sorting skills, strategic thinking, hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and pre-handwriting skills. Yes, it’s fun but also is educational too!


3. Qwirkle

We still love to play Qwirkle!  The description says it is for older children, but we played it well before they were in Kindergarten.

Qwirkle can be played as a simple matching colors and shapes game… similar to dominoes, which is how I used it with my preschoolers. But as they get older, they start to develop well-planned strategies when they learn to place a tile that touches multiple pieces with matching attributes. Once they reach the strategy level, this game becomes addictive!

4. Blokus

Blokus is still my personal favorite! We have played Blokus for years and absolutely were playing it well before my boys were in kindergarten. I use the age ranges on Amazon loosely. We know our children and their capabilities.

Blokus is a strategy board game that challenges spatial thinking. Bright colors and simple rules make it ideal for ages five and up, but adults will certainly be engrossed by this unique and challenging game.  I can assure you  it is not Your Average Board Game. It encourages creative thinking and has received a Mensa award for promoting healthy brain activity! That is a game I can support and encourage our children to play.

5. Chutes and Ladders 

Chutes and Ladders is a very a traditional board game that is great for teaching numbers and practicing counting. This was one of the very first games the boys asked to play often.

Chutes and Ladders is ideal for younger children who are still learning to take turns and just beginning to recognize numbers (the spinner stays in the single digits). It’s also a gentle introduction to the higher numbers as players climb to 100 at the top of the board.

6. Candyland

Candyland is another traditional game that has been around a long time. I hesitated to even put it on my list… but I think this is the game that so many of us start out using with our kiddos!
This game is perfect for non-readers because playing cards are coded with colorful squares matching the jeweled stepping-stone path, so they don’t have to read to be able to play this game… just be able to match colors. So this is a great first game… teaching taking turns, colors and even counting. 

7. Spot It! Numbers & Shapes

We love “I Spy” type games… we actually still play those in the car All. The. Time. So… it’s not a surprise that we love the Spot It games. And there are a bunch of them!

But for preschoolers, I would start with the basics… Shapes, Numbers and Letters is perfect! It is also a great game for honing visual perception and cognitive skills, as well as developing quick mental processing. And, honestly, just like when I played Zingo, I think the kiddos were faster than me at finding them. Maybe I need some of these games more than my kiddos!

8. Imaginets Pattern Board and Magnetic Blocks

Okay, I know this is a strange “board” game… but I think it is good for children to have a “solitaire” type game they can play when they are bored and don’t have someone to play with.

There are a ton of different varieties and versions you can choose from. Here is a search for Tangrams and you can see just how many there are to choose from. They vary in skill level and difficulty. What they all have in common is their ability to boost our children’s fine motor and visual thinking skills! I love doing these too. (Have I mentioned already how much I love to play games?)

9. Pizza Mania

Pizza Mania is a fun and quick little game that my boys loved playing. It is definitely an early learning game and counting in the single digits.

The talking chef is quaint, almost old-school… but the boys enjoyed it. As for its educational component, it reinforces listening, counting, and early addition and subtraction.

10. Workbench

I am so totally cheating on this one. I know it is not a traditional board game… but let’s be realistic, some children just want to do things.

The Wooden Project Workbench includes blueprints for a robot and an assortment of vehicles, so you and your little carpenter can learn to build together. While the bench, tools, and hardware are suitable for kids, the plans for the additional projects will require parental assistance to complete.

I hope you have enjoyed my 10 Fun AND Educational Preschool Board Games list. I am SURE I missed some. Which ones would YOU add to the list?


March Menu Plan for Busy Homeschool Moms

Over in our Hip Homeschool Moms Community, I read the posts by the moms struggling to have time to get everything done. I can’t buy you more time, but I can help you organize your menus. I have found that if I’ll just commit it to paper, I will cook it! I don’t know why, but the guessing and questioning “What’s for dinner?” is harder than doing the menu plan! I’m sure there is some great psychological reason behind it… I just know it works, so I do it.  So here is my March Menu Plan.

march menu plan d



Also, menu planning saves money. Many know about our struggles to keep our home and for me to able to continue to homeschool, so saving money is a big deal around here. One of my secrets is my hubby hunts. We use 2 lbs of meat in our ground beef recipes… but one of those pounds is ground venison. That saves us a little right there. Also, we live in the country, so we tend to buy in bulk instead of shopping the sales.

Many moms in the group just want ideas of what to cook. So I thought I would create a monthly menu plan with a Pinterest board to match, so you can find them easily and pin them yourself.  And yes, I know March is 1/3 over, but hey, you gotta’ start somewhere, right? Anyway, I hope this helps you and gives you some motivation to get it done!!

If you don’t have a crock pot, you need to get one. That is one of my secrets for saving time. I can put dinner on in the morning while we are still getting ready to start school and it is ready when we are finished. My favorite crock pot cook book is Fix it and Forget it. We have cooked dozens of their recipes and they are all good.

I just keep my menu plan on my normal calendar. This is one I got back in December with one of those fabulous lightning deals I’m getting known for …. It is a Lily Pulitzer calendar! I just love it.


March 1. Homemade Potato Soup. I modified this one heavily, but I’ll share the base recipe and you can adjust to fit your particular likes.

March 2. Leftover Potato Soup.

March 3. Broccoli & Chicken Stir Fry. We love this recipe. It is quick and easy. A win / win!

March 4. Creole Mustard and Garlic Crusted Roast Beef. This was our Purim meal. We are Messianic and celebrate feasts as Israel does… so this was a feast for us!

March 5. Crock Pot Salsa Chicken. This is from my favorite foodie… Conni over at Cosmopolitan Cornbread. She is our Foodie at Hip Homeschool Moms!

March 6. Nachos Grande.  Remember this is one we would split with Venison. My kids love it. I also use Lime Salsa instead of plain salsa.

March 7. Eat out. Yes, that is on the menu sometimes too 🙂

March 8. Chicken Tortilla Soup.  I sometimes use canned chicken (yep, I said it). And thanks to a visit from my partner in crime over at Hip Homeschool Moms, Leann, I now add about three cups of rice to this recipe. Sooo good.

March 9. Heinz Red Magic Meat Loaf. I actually snagged this recipe off a Heinz ketchup bottle 20 years ago and am still using the same recipe 🙂 I cook mine in two meat loaf pans instead of one. My boys like it less moist.

March 10. White Chicken Chili. This recipe is so easy. I use dried navy beans and cook them in the crock pot on high for 6 hours with two chicken bouillon cubes. Then I move it all to my soup pot. We use a lot of cumin and chili powder. More than the recipe calls for. I make this with my Quick Corn Bread recipe.

March 11. Sweet and Spicy Citrus Tilapia. Finding a recipe that all my boys like in the fish category is challenging (unless it is fresh flounder at the beach). But this one is always popular.  Note. I cut the red pepper in half. They rated it an 11 out of 10 🙂

March 12. Crock Pot Meat Balls. I don’t use frozen meatballs… I make them. But this is the recipe I use.

March 13. Grilled Chicken Quesadillas. This is one of our absolute favorite recipes! We love cumin and cilantro!

March 14. Leftovers.Disclosure

March 15. Salisbury Steak with Caramelized Onion Gravy. This is my middle son’s favorite recipe. He asks us to cook this almost every week. It is a long, cumbersome recipe. But it is worth the effort (once a month 🙂 ) We double it so Gage can have left overs.

March 16. Chicken Spaghetti or Chickenetti. We don’t do black olives so I don’t use those, and I cook it in the oven for a bit longer (we like the cheese to be melted).

March 17. Saucy Pepper Steak. To save a little money on this one, I use green bell peppers instead of the other colors. They are much more expensive.

March 18. Grilled Chicken Light Alfredo Sauce. For the Grilled chicken, I just use butter and light garlic salt on chicken breasts. Either bake, fry or grill them. For the pasta, I use Bow Tie Pasta (my boys love it).

March 19 – 21st I’m out-of-town… so the family is fending for themselves. 🙂 I imagine there will be lots of boxed lasagna, homemade pizza and maybe some ramen noodles for lunch! Actually all of my boys can cook, they may eat this… but they are capable of cooking more if they want it.

March 22. Crock pot Turkey. We tend to use our crock pot a lot. I usually thaw my turkey… for this one.  Another very easy meal.

March 23. Crock Pot Stuffed Bell Peppers. We have several different recipes we use for stuffed bell peppers… just to keep them from getting boring.

March 24. Garlic Brown Sugar Backed Chicken. This is one of my hubby’s favorite recipes and it is one of the easiest you will ever cook. I usually cook garlic, lemon pepper chicken for the boys because they are not huge fans of this recipe.

March 25. Chicken Fried Rice. This one I’ll just have to get the recipe for you. I have modified the Beni Hana’s recipe so much… but here is a different recipe until I get mine posted.

March 26. Taco Pizza. We haven’t made Taco pizzas in a while. Will pull this recipe off the shelf and try it again.

March 27.  Honey Sesame Chicken. I guess you see we have a thing for Mexican and Asian dishes!

March 28. Leftovers.

March 29. Beef Burritos. This website was down when I went to pin this… if it is not back up soon, I’ll post the recipe on my site with credits to them. It is the best burritos recipe ever. Another 10 out of 10 from my family on this one!

March 30. We always attempt to try something new each month. Here is this month’s new recipe. Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken. If you make it before I do, let me know what you think.

March 31. Beef kabob. This is actually one we love to fix. It is from Eating our Way around the world Geography study.

So, did I inspire you? I sure hope so! I’ll get my April Menu plan up sometime in late March.

What are some of your favorite recipes that I should be testing?  

Middle and High School August LinkUp #24

Welcome to our Middle and High School Creative Writing LinkUp #24 for tweens, teens and their Moms! We are going to be doing these differently during the summer. Instead of these linkups renewing every week, we will leave it up for a month. So this is August’s Linkup. This linkup is for our children to have a creative writing outlet and for us moms to have a place to share middle school and high school homeschool tips and techniques. For the summer months, the students will not be provided a creative writing prompt.  Thank you all for being a part of it!

You can link up at any of the following co-host’s sites:

Amy at Homeschool Encouragement

Clara at Clara’s Blue Moon (teen co-host)

DaLynn at Holy Splendor

Jennifer at Royal Little Lambs

Laura at Day by Day in Our World

Trish at Live and Learn Farm

Vicki at 7 Sisters Homeschool

Middle and High School Linkup for Students and Moms!

If you are interested in joining us, linkup your article below. If you want to co-host, email me and let me know.  Our focus for the co-hosting  is for only moms of the teens, or the teens themselves to co-host.

guidelines for the linkup:

  • The link-up will be open the entire month of June.
  • Please link directly to the url of your post (permalink).
  • Please check back and visit at least one of student’s submissions and leave a comment for them.  Our job is to encourage writing, their Mom (or Dad) will take care of the critique :-)
  • If you don’t mind, please place the button and code in your blog post so others can find out about the linkup also!
  • That’s it!

and now it’s time for the link up!

I look forward to reading fiction or non-fiction… whatever you guys decide to write is fine!!

Modeling Life-Long Learning

If you recall, we are in the midst of getting our house ready to sell… we are downsizing in a big way!! Part of the downsizing includes clearing out the curriculum that my children have used and passed by. I have been listing all my curriculum for sale and have been so blessed to have sold a ton. I still have loads more to go, so keep watching that post, I’m adding to it all the time! We have so much we are getting done in preparation for putting the house on the market:

  • We have a new liner going into our pool.  
  • A new slide for our pool coming.
  • I am painting the mortar of our brick floor in the kitchen (I’m writing a post on that too, I’ll link it when I complete the post). 
  • And, getting our house painted by an outside contractor. Well, at least I thought we were!

Apparently this is another one of those projects that we are supposed to do ourselves because we literally can’t hire a painting contractor to do it.  So, here we go again… I’m beginning to wonder if I jinxed us when I named the farm “Live and Learn”! We seem to be doing a whole lot of that lately! No, not really… but we are certainly modeling life-long learning for sure!

modeling life long learning

I am just going to add this to our ever-growing real life homeschool activities. You see, we have had a plan in place for a long time to expose the boys to as many experiences (work-wise and leisure activities) as possible while they are here with us. This might even be a blessing. Chase has really been struggling to identify a business he wants to throw himself into for the next few years. And since apparently there is a great need for exterior painters in our area, this just might be the beginning of a paint contracting business for them through high school! Hey, you never know!!

In preparation for this huge task, I have been doing some research. I found a great article on This Old House by a professional painter who gave us lots of suggestions. The pro mentioned that half of a great paint job is the prep work. You need to get the surface ready to paint by scraping, sanding, filling, sealing, and priming first. Then, and only then, do you paint.  Today, we began this new life-lesson on prepping our house for painting. We got about half the front porch completed and still have a lot more to do!  This project may take us a while, but I’ll post updates to let you know how it is going! Here are a few pictures of what we got done today…

House prep

Whew… the house is going to look UGLY for a few weeks at this rate! I guess that will be part of my motivation to get it done!! I’m not going to say this project doesn’t intimidate, because it does. But, not because of the scope (although that is enough to intimidate most painters apparently) but because we have so much going on already! It already feels like we are furiously treading water. So prayers will be greatly appreciated for us to stay on track and not let this project stagnate like we have a tendency to do when we are overwhelmed.

And finally, the last aspect that is uncomfortable right now is the fact that we will have to spend some money on tools to do this project. So far we have purchased:


But that is nothing … to do a project this size, there are two major purchases we have identified that we will need to get:

  • The first is a pressure washer. We are always borrowing a dear friend’s washer. It is here more than it is at his house. We have PVC fences that are constantly needing to be washed, brick walkways and patios to hose down, driveways and a portico that needs to be washed and not to mention the house itself. So, this one will get used and often!  Today we purchased a Generac 6590 from Amazon. We really wanted to buy it locally, but if we ordered it from Home Depot it would not be here until after July 4th… and that is going to be a weekend of working o this house painting project! So, we ordered it from Amazon, even though it has an awful review there… the reviews on Home Depot, are fantastic, so that is the reason we still bought it!! And speaking of faster shipping… Have I mentioned how much I love having Amazon Prime? Honestly, between borrowing Kindle books for homeschooling and my need for speed with the deliveries, I more than recuperate the $79 it costs for a year!!  Try Amazon Prime for free on me !!
  • And the second big purchase is a paint sprayer.  This one we will be buying at Home Depot, because it is much cheaper than Amazon (which is unusual)!  This will be a lifesaver on this size house… but we also have a ton of other paint projects on the horizon.  We are planning to paint cabinets, shutters, plantation blinds, and outdoor furniture… so this will certainly get used as well!  

I really hate to spend that money right now when we really can’t afford it… but I think these will be wise investments and we will come out way ahead in the end. And, once we downsize, if we don’t have a need for these tools, we can always sell them!!

So, say a prayer for us. This is a huge project that we were not planning to tackle. We trust that God has a plan for us through this, so we are jumping in head first and getting it knocked out.  I’ll post an update on our progress soon!

Until then… be a blessing to someone!



The New Chapter – Day 1 with Free Printable

Well, today was the beginning of The New Chapter – Day 1 of T-Tapp.  If you haven’t read about this new direction in my life, you can find it here. And I did read the directions first and even watched the introduction of the video!  So, today was the first day of measurements. I created a Tracking My Success word document to track my measurements and be able to see the changes. I added one column that was not on the T-Tapp chart, dress size. Because that will be a huge motivation to me when I start seeing my sizes drop. But one number that you will notice is conspicuously absent is the weight. That is because Teresa doesn’t want us focused on our weight… so it’s not on the list to track and measure. What a relief that is!

The New Chapter Day 1

After getting all my measurements recorded, I pulled out the DVD to watch it. The pamphlet had emphasized how doing the exercises correctly is important, so I watched the Instructional 1 DVD. If you are interested in purchasing it, here is the link to the store. So my question is, can you still call it “starting” when you are not able to keep up with the instructional video? LOL! Well, I got news for ya’, I am totally claiming it as a win! 🙂


I love that real women who come in different sizes and shapes are in the T-Tapp video. Even different skill levels and ages! I don’t know about you, but watching pencil thin women work out is NOT motivating to me! So having real women, real T-Tapp women doing these exercises was encouraging. Teresa spent time talking about their different body types and how our core body type will impact realistic expectations. That is fantastic!  My best friend growing up with me had big bones and was just a bigger girl than I was … we were given the nicknames string bean and butter bean (not nice, I know)… but those sure give a perfect visual image of the differences in our body shapes, even when we are teenagers!  So the fact that Teresa spent a few minutes discussing this and encouraging us to set realistic goals was refreshing!


Back to the DVD, the exercises are not hard… I just don’t know how to do them yet. Teresa said some people do this same piece of the instructional video for weeks because it is so important to do the exercises right.  I very well may be one of them. I used to love to dance, but something about choreographed exercise always gets me stumped. I think it is because they are looking at me and I can’t see it from my perspective that always throws me off. But I’ll get it, eventually!

Our family keeps the Biblical Sabbath, so I won’t be attempting exercise on Saturday morning… but I’ll be back at it on Sunday.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to follow along better now that I’ve seen them once!

Are you planning to join me in this quest to get healthy?  Let me know!

Until next time….


Almost Montessori – All About Spelling

My boys are hands-on learners all the way! All of my boys attended a Montessori School for at least a couple of years before we started homeschooling. My oldest son was in the Montessori school for six years! And when we brought them home to homeschool, we continued with the Montessori education. As they have completed and grown out of their Montessori materials and have moved to more abstract thinking, we are moving into a more traditional education formula… but we still migrate towards the hands-on curriculum. That is what made me start the series Almost Montessori to begin with. We were finding all these materials that were not traditional Montessori works, but close and certainly kept with the Montessori educational philosophy. Which brings us to today’s article: Almost Montessori – All About Spelling.

Almost Montessori - All About Spelling

For students who learn to read phonetically, spelling seems to be a struggle, at least early on.  My boys read early and are voracious readers now. Spelling was a challenge… until we started using All About Spelling!  This pigeon-toed perfectly with my boys coming from a Montessori background!  The Montessori Method itself is a multi-sensory approach to learning. Children are encouraged to manipulate and explore the materials in the environment. In the same way, All About Spelling’s letter tiles and Phonogram Sounds app provide multi-sensory (sight, sound and touch) learning tools so your child learns more quickly and retains what they learn.

Recently, they have even created another level of sensory learning… taste!  If you sign up for their free newsletter, you will receive a free cookbook! And anyone that has been in a Montessori classroom knows, we encourage our children to be involved in the preparation of food early on… so, from that aspect, even this cookbook is Montessori too 🙂


We started in the first book (even though my oldest was already in fourth grade). I’ll explain why… I wanted him to hear the rules and the rule breakers that AAS covers. In the beginning, we used our movable alphabet instead of the magnetic tiles to help this work feel familiar.  So let me give you some more detailed information about All About Spelling and some of the reasons I chose to use this product for the Almost Montessori series.


It is a seven level program that teaches encoding skills, reliable spelling rules, via multi-sensory strategies to help your student become a proficient speller for life. This program has won so many awards, see for yourself!

These are some of the reasons I love AAS:

  • Multi-sensory approach makes it easy for kids to understand
  • Can easily use the movable alphabet instead of the magnetic letter tiles especially for the first book
  • Very quick lessons, most are less than 15 minutes
  • At the beginning of most lessons is a quick review providing a built-in review system which is part of the spiral approach
  • Just like Montessori, it is focused on mastery of the skill 
  • Easy to teach because all lessons are already planned out!
  • It comes with Free LIFETIME Support!
  • Can be used with multiple children at one time
  • By Level 7, my boys will be spelling at the high school level.
  • It is VERY affordable!!!
  • Finally… they provide a ONE YEAR guarantee! They are that confident that their products work.

If you are enjoying this post and want to see more, please sign up for our newsletter, join us on Facebook and Google+, follow us on Twitter and Pinterest or sign up on the right to follow our blog.

I hope this series is a blessing to your homeschool and classroom!  Please share and pin these articles if they are beneficial!  It will help us get the word out about our blog and the Almost Montessori series!


A New Chapter – Weight Loss and Lifestyle Changes

I quit smoking almost two years ago and I hit 49 this year. So, not only did I gain some weight from quitting smoking, but I now have a lower metabolism to boot!  I refuse to hit Fifty with too much extra weight because it just keeps getting harder to lose. So, I am opening a new chapter in my life! At a time when I have zero extra money to spend… I spent it. I’m choosing to look at the cost as an early 50th birthday present to me! I’ve been looking at the T-Tapp System for a year or so. In that year, I didn’t lose any of that extra weight, just kept finding friends for it!  I am one of the owners of Hip Homeschool Moms and one of our new team members lost 100+ lbs with T-Tapp at about this exact same time in her life. Look at Charlotte’s picture on this page and see if that doesn’t get you motivated!

ttapp live and learn farm 2

So, join with me on this journey! We will motivate each other and encourage each other! I’ll be starting with taking “before” pictures. Don’t think I’m going to share them (yet).  Got to get to those “after” pictures to do that…  Just keeping it real 🙂


Besides just exercising, I’ll also be starting a new healthier lifestyle. When I lived at the beach, it was so much easier for me. I walked miles on the beach each day! Here, I live on a major highway on a farm. I don’t even have a neighborhood to walk in, much less a beach. So, it’s harder. But it is not impossible and and we are pushing aside all excuses, right? So, I will have to either do my walking / running / biking right here on my property (not happening) or we will be driving to the next town over to do it. And that is fine, for the time being. The boys all got new bikes a couple of years ago, so we will be sure their tires are all aired up and I’ll borrow hubby’s bike and we’ll be off! Remember we are also downsizing our life so I don’t anticipate being in this house too long!

bike together

No, his bike is not pink!  But I couldn’t resist this image and I did find a sweet pink bike that would be just right for me! Maybe if he sees that I am making a lifestyle change and I’m sticking to it, he’ll get inspired to get me my own bike so that he can join in on our rides on his bike!

Another way I will be changing our lifestyle is to investigate ways to eat more healthy.  One thing I keep hearing about is a low carb diet.  So, I’ll be investigating recipes to incorporate and try.  Here is one I found today… it is a Free kindle right now (but be sure to check to see if it is still free when you download it). And another one that is low fat and metabolism boosting for free!!

So, what helps you continue to stay motivated when you start a new chapter in your life? For me, it’s sharing it with the world and being help accountable by others. But that is not enough!  So, I’m looking for ideas and ways to not only stay encouraged myself but to help others stay on track.

So are you in?  Will you be part of this new chapter in my life?  I hope you will!  Leave a comment below and let me know!  If you are blogging, be sure to leave your blog information too!

Until next time….



Rat Race Rebellion – Just 18 Summers

worked in corporate America. I personally saw or was involved in lay-offs, corporate mergers, and hostile takeovers! And….. I have worked for myself for twenty years since then. From a quality of life perspective, I would not wish corporate America on my worst enemy, much less my own children. You might say, I am in full Rat Race Rebellion. 

rat race rebellion 2

Let’s define what is “the rat race”.  The wikipedia definition goes something like this:  

“A rat race is an endless, self-defeating, or pointless pursuit. It conjures up the image of the futile efforts of a lab rat trying to escape while running around a maze or in a wheel. In an analogy to the modern city, many rats in a single maze expend a lot of effort running around, but ultimately achieve nothing (meaningful) either collectively or individually.”

Now, honestly, that definition is a bit too sensational. For me, the rat race is completely and totally consuming… mind-wise, time-wise and focus-wise. In this model, we tend to focus on climbing the ladder and using the title / money equation as our measuring stick for success. We work long hours and look for the financial reward. And, if that is what success means to you and you are in corporate America, then you are in the right place. But it is a trap, one that is very seductive and alluring. We have become obsessed with material things, stuff, wealth and keeping up with the Joneses. America no longer makes anything, we have become a consumer economy… and what’s worse, it is funded by us going into debt! We have been programmed to want more and more stuff, Bigger is better… Live The American Dream! That dream is a nightmare for families. Our children don’t want more stuff… the stuff is a temporary fix to fill a hole that we are leaving. That is the irony. That lifestyle we are chasing to give our family bigger houses, nicer cars, more vacations is tearing apart the very fabric of our families, our communities, our nation. There is a word for this “American Dream” and we just coincidentally learned it this week while reading Henty’s The Young Carthaginian … cupidity. 

cupidity: eager or excessive desire, especially to possess something; greed.

cupidity 3

How much is enough?

What do you need to be happy? Our family keeps the Biblical feasts and each year for Sukkot (Feast of Booths), we camp out. Throughout this feast we discuss the ancient Israelites’ Exodus out of Egypt. We ask the boys if they were in a similar exodus could they take all their favorite things with them on their backs? No? How about in a wagon? Or an SUV? How about an 18 wheeler, would that fit it all? And we quickly realize how much stuff we have.  But is the stuff a luxury or just extra baggage? How much do we need to be happy? How much is enough? 

What are we teaching our children by what we do?

If we tell our children that stuff is not important, yet we live in a cluttered house, full of stuff that we just can’t part with… are we sending a mixed message to our children? Do we just have to have the coolest, newest, latest techno-gadget? Do we need monster screen TVs so we can spend more time watching sports than being with our family? Our children are watching us and they learn from what we do, not what we say! Did you open the Bible this week? Once? Did your children see you praying?  

What is the alternative to the Rat Race?

We have been introducing entrepreneurship into our homeschool for years now. The conversation has not been about money though. Rather we discuss the need to find what they love to do and create a business around it. How we hope to accomplish that is we introduce them to lots of experiences… things they might enjoy actually doing to earn a living. Their current list of opportunities they are exploring includes: photography, web design, photoshop, illustrator, homesteading, writing and blogging, farming, raising farm animals, refinishing furniture, and an online business. They have identified some things they don’t want to do for absolute sure, which is valuable insight too!

Do you want time to ponder? To create?

The one fact we constantly return to when discussing with our children their future lifestyles, relationships and careers is that THINGS can be traps. THINGS have to be maintained. Dusted. Cleaned. Protected. Insured. And there is a price you pay for each of those aspects. I wrote about this topic in another article, The Real Price of Stuff.  We have all become so accustomed to living the lifestyle of a rat chasing cheese that we have lost our ability to discern boundaries. Balance. We have lost our focus on people and relationships. We have forgotten the freedom of not being bound (enslaved) by debt.  

I know it is quite intoxicating to climb that ladder and use it as our measuring stick of success (especially when you are moving up). I owned a VERY successful and lucrative recruiting firm for technology employees. My clients included Disney, Hilton, International Paper, Williams Sonoma, Wal-Mart Corporate, Tyson Foods, just to name a few. I Get It. I lived it. However, I chose to homeschool and that choice had consequences. We are now in the process of dramatically downsizing our life (house, cars, clothes, farm, everything) to focus on our family, and our quality of life instead of chasing the money. And since our children are watching intently how we walk out this phase of our life, I pray we are sending a powerful message to them about where family, relationships, and friends rank in our life. One that they can learn from us without having to experience the same mistakes first-hand. 

downsizing upbeat

During this process I had to really explore what my own priorities were and discuss my decision with my husband. Did I want to return to the “drop my kids off corporate mom” or did I want to be a homeschool mom? I decided life is short and I want to spend all day, everyday with my children while they are still home. To limit the outside influences like peer pressure and the entertainment industry. To help them learn about the world and understand it through our system of values. That takes time. So, you see my rat race rebellion is really about prioritizing my time and choosing where I spend it. And in the process, teaching my children by my own actions.  

One final thought… I am NOT encouraging our children to not work for Corporate America… but I AM suggesting they investigate all their options. And, if they choose to go into Corporate America, they will have my blessing, because they will have their eyes wide open and hopefully will have their priorities firmly intact.  

Until Next Time… 




I’m linking up with a few other blogs… New Life on a Homestead; A Mama’s Story


Middle and High School June LinkUp #22

Welcome to our Middle and High School LinkUp #22 for tweens, teens and their Moms! We are going to be doing these differently during the summer. Instead of these linkups renewing every week, we will leave it up for a month.  So this is June’s Linkup.  This linkup is for our children to have a creative writing outlet and for us moms to have a place to share middle school and high school homeschool tips and techniques. For the summer months, the students will not be provided a creative writing prompt.  Thank you all for being a part of it!

You can link up at any of the following co-host’s sites:

Amy at Homeschool Encouragement

Clara at Clara’s Blue Moon (teen co-host)

DaLynn at Holy Splendor

Jennifer at Royal Little Lambs

Laura at Day by Day in Our World

Trish at Live and Learn Farm

Vicki at 7 Sisters Homeschool

Wendy at Homeschooling Blessings

Middle and High School Linkup for Students and Moms!

If you are interested in joining us, linkup your article below. If you want to co-host, email me and let me know.  Our focus for the co-hosting  is for only moms of the teens, or the teens themselves to co-host.

guidelines for the linkup:

  • The link-up will be open the entire month of June.
  • Please link directly to the url of your post (permalink).
  • Please check back and visit at least one of student’s submissions and leave a comment for them.  Our job is to encourage writing, their Mom (or Dad) will take care of the critique :-) 
  • If you don’t mind, please place the button and code in your blog post so others can find out about the linkup also!
  • That’s it!

and now it’s time for the link up!

I look forward to reading fiction or non-fiction… whatever you guys decide to write is fine!!


Homeschool Used Curriculum and Material For Sale – Montessori and Traditional

If you are a regular here on my blog, you already know I’m in major downsizing mode from our Just 18 Summers post.  So, when Hip Homeschool Moms was approached to partner with other bloggers for a homeschool used curriculum and material for sale event. I was excited that we were ALL IN!!  I am a pretty eclectic homeschooler, so my materials will be pretty varied.

The hosts of the 2014 Used Homeschool Curriculum Sale are:

Hip Homeschool Moms

Not Consumed

Free Homeschool Deals

Homeschool Creations

Meet Penny

The Happy Housewife



Let’s get the fine print out of the way on the front end…

  • Each of the items is in excellent used condition unless otherwise noted.
  • The title below each picture is linked to Amazon or homeschool curriculum company for your convenience so you can check the value of the sale price as well as the item description and reviews. It is an affiliate link.
  • Shipping IS included in the prices listed and will be via USPS media mail or the most economical means (if not curriculum). I only ship within the continental US and I will combine shipping.
  • I accept payment through PayPal only.
  • If you have any questions about an item, please leave a comment.
  • Sales are on a first come, first serve basis and are final.
  • I am not responsible for lost or damaged items; if you would like to purchase postal insurance, we can arrange that at your expense.
  • Once items are no longer available, I will cross them out.
  • Most of the items are linked to Amazon or the vendor’s site so you can compare the retail value and also see the product description.
  • If you are interested in purchasing, please email me at with the books and/or materials you want to purchase and I will respond with my paypal email address. Please submit a payment through Paypal immediately. If you don’t respond in 3 hours, I’ll move to the next buyer on the list.
  • I’ll be adding items, so check back often!!
  • I have a shop for Montessori Materials I’ve made… check it out while you are here.

Measurement Material:


What is Mass

What is Mass? $2.00 plus shipping

What is Density

What is Density? $2.00 plus shipping


Geography Study:


Exploring Argentina

Exploring Argentina with the five themes of Geography. Hard Back Book. $1.00 plus shipping


Online visit to SA

Online Visit to South America. Hardback. $1.00 plus shipping


South America

South America. Paperback. $3.00 plus shipping



Africa. Paperback.  $3.00 plus shipping


Africa Petersen

Africa. Paperback. $4.00 plus shipping

The Earth is Mostly Ocean

The Earth is Mostly Ocean. Paperback $6.00 plus shipping

first atlas

First Atlas. $1.50 Plus shipping.


Vienna. Used for cultural studies. .50 plus shipping

Vienna Woods

Vienna Woods. Used in cultural studies. .50 plus shipping.

vienna dk

Vienna DK Travel Guide. Used in cultural studies. .75 plus shipping.


Trier Travel Guide. Used in Cultural Studies. .50 plus shipping

hawaii DK

Hawaii DK Travel Guide. Used in our cultural studies. .75 plus shipping



Luzern. Used in cultural studies. .50 plus shipping


Rome. Used in Cultural Studies. .50 plus shipping.


Oxford. Used in Cultural Studies.  .50 plus shipping.

The top of the world

The Top of the World. Used in Cultural Studies. .50 plus shipping

Italy Calendar

Italy Calendar with fantastic pictures. Was going to use in continent boxes… just never got around to doing it.  .50 plus shipping.

new England DK

New England DK Travel Guide. Used in cultural studies. .75 plus shipping.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace. Used in cultural studies. .50 plus shipping.

TOPS Learning Systems

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Tops Learning Systems. 27 different books. Entire Set $150 (including shipping). Individually, $6 plus shipping.




Vegetable Garden Diorama material

Vegetable Garden. Planned to use for a Diorama. New in the plastic. IMPOSSIBLE to find now.  $40.00 includes shipping

Judy Clock

Judy Clock.  Stands.  $15.00 Shipping is NOT included. PENDING



Mandala Coloring Books. $2.00 plus shipping.  Have three of these.


 Zoology Resources:

Cows in the Parlor

Cows in the Parlor: A Visit to a Dairy Farm. Hardback. $1.50 plus shipping

Birds - Kaufmann

Birds are Flying. This is a Let’s Read and Find Out Science Book from 1979 in great used condition.  $4.00 plus shipping


Dairy Farm

A Day at our Dairy Farm. Beginning Discovery Phonics. Consonants d, m. Paperback. $1.50 plus shipping.


Tree of Birds

Tree of Birds. Paperback $3.00 plus shipping


Milk Cow to Carton

Milk. From Cow to Carton. A Let’s Read and Find out Book. Paperback. $2.00 plus shipping


Birds - Usborne Discovery

Birds. Usborne Discovery Internet Linked. Paperback. $1.50 plus shipping

From Blossom

From Blossom to Honey. $1.00 plus shipping


General Science Books:


Usborne book of know how

The Usborne Book of Know How. Hardback. $5.00 plus shipping

See Inside

See Inside Science Mini Posters.  $1.50 plus shipping.


where does the sun sleep

Where does the Sun Sleep? First Questions and Answers about Bedtime. Paperback. $3.00 plus shipping.

Complete Book QA 4-8

Complete Book of Question and Answers Grades 4-8.  .50 plus shipping

 MSB Hurricane

The Magic School Bus Inside a Hurricane. $1.00 plus shipping 

Down comes the rain

Down Comes the Rain.  $2.00 plus shipping (I have two copies)

Do tornadoes really twist

Do Tornadoes Really Twist? $1.00 plus shipping

The wind blows

I Wonder Why the Wind Blows.  $1.50 plus shipping.

sea of sand

Welcome to the Sea of Sand. $2.50 plus shipping

air is everywhere

Air is Everywhere. $2.00 plus shipping

The sun rises

I Wonder Why the Sun Rises. $2.50 plus shipping

weather station


FunPax Weather Station Activity Pack by DK Publishing. $1.50 plus shipping

Book of Science Questions

Highlights Book of Science Questions that Children Ask. $2.50 plus shipping

Language Arts:

All About Spelling 3

All about Spelling Level 3. $15.00. Great used condition. Everything in picture is included.  



Scholastic Children’s Thesaurus. $1.50 plus shipping.



Scholastic Children’s Dictionary. $1.50 plus shipping.

Writing Strands

Writing Strands Set. New just shelf wear.  $18,00 including shipping

handwriting by george

Handwriting by George.  New never used. Just Shelf Wear.  $7.00 including shipping

Lifepac LA 1

Lifepac (Alpha Omega) Language Arts Set Grade 1. $22.00 includes shipping

Spelling E

Spelling Level E. Modern Curriculum Press. Note a few pages have been completed in ink. $4.50 includes shipping.


Spelling F

Spelling Level F. No marks. $7.00 includes shipping.

Wordly Wise

Wordly Wise C 3000.  $4.50 including shipping

First Thesaurus

First Thesaurus. $4.00 including shipping

Websters Set

Webster’s Set. $5.00 plus shipping.

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Long Vowels Set. $25 Plus Shipping

Learn to read

Learn to read with Classic Stories $1.50 plus shipping

NTG Stalks Stupidweed

Nate the Great Stalks Stupidweed.  .50 plus shipping


World Famous Muriel

World Famous Muriel and the Scary Dragon. $.50 plus shipping.


Quiddler Word Game. $5.00 plus shipping

scooby doo readers

Scooby Doo Readers. Six books. $5.00 plus shipping.

Little pigeon toad

A Little Pigeon Toad. $2.50 plus shipping




Lifepac Math 1

Alpha Omega Lifepac Math 1st grade. $28.00 including shipping.


Math Diagnosis

Math Diagnosis and Intervention System. Great used condition.  $5.00 includes shipping.

Time and Money

Time and Money Grades 1-2. $4.50 includes shipping

Fraction Whirl 1

Fraction Whirl 1. New in package, $8.00 plus shipping


Fraction Whirl 2

Fraction Whirl II. New in Package $8.00 plus shipping.

Multiplication Bingo

Multiplication Bingo. $2.00 plus shipping.

Roll n Add

Roll n Add.  $3.00 plus shipping

Roll n multiply

Roll n Multiply.  $12.00 plus shipping

Roll n divide

Roll n Divide. New in Package. $17.00 plus shipping

Rhonda's Rhombus

Rhonda’s Rhombus.  $2.00 plus shipping

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Cuisenaire Math Manipulatives Class Kit K-6 with Manual.  $125.00 plus shipping



Root Vue Farm

Root Vue Farm New in package (is open but unused).  $15.00 does NOT include shipping



already gone

Already Gone Set: New in the shrink wrap package.  $30.00 including shipping


Kids Study Bible NIV

Kids Study Bible NIV. $10.00 includes shipping

Childrens Ministry Resource Bible

Children’s Ministry Resource Bible NKJV. $25.00 Includes Shipping.

Treasury of Bible Stories

Treasure of Bible Stories. $1.50 plus shipping

Jesus Loves the Little Children


Jesus Loves the Little Children. $1.50 plus shipping

Imprisoned in the Golden City

Imprisoned in the Golden City. .50 plus shipping




Jingo Ancient Greece

Jingo Ancient Greece (similar to bingo).  Like New.  $12.50 includes shipping.


Jingo Roman Empire

Jingo Roman Empire (like Bingo). Like New. $12.50 includes shipping.


Streams of Civilization

Streams of Civilization Volume 1. Like New. $8.00 shipping included.


Streams of Civilization 2

Streams of Civilization Volume 2. Like New.  $9.00 shipping included


Streams of Civilization Teachers

Streams of Civilization Teachers Guide for Volume 1.  FREE with purchase of Volume 1

If you Traveled West

If you Traveled West in a Covered Wagon. $4.50 includes shipping


if you traveled west 2

If you Traveled West in a Covered Wagon. $4.00 includes shipping

If you lived Civil War

If you Lived at the Time of the Civil War. $1.00 plus shipping

Abraham Lincoln Picture

A Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln.  $1.00 plus shipping

George Washington Young Leader

George Washington Young Leader. $1.00 plus shipping

Rand McNally Children's World Atlas

Rand McNally Children’s World Atlas.  $4.00 Includes shipping.  WILL combine shipping and drop cost of each book by half (at least),


Michelangelo. $2.00 plus Media Mail Shipping

Heritage Studies Communities

Heritage Studies. $1,00 plus shipping.

Alexander the Great

Usborne Alexander the Great. Hardback. $5.00 plus shipping

ancient Rome

Magic Tree House Ancient Rome. $2.00 plus shipping



Christian Character for Building Stories

Christian Character Building Stories.  $1.00 plus shipping


A Children’s Book about Lying. $2.50 plus shipping.


Friendship in Action. $1.00 plus shipping

Please and Thank you

Richard Scarry’s Please and Thank you Book.  $1.00 plus shipping

You're All Right

You’re All Right. $1.00 plus shipping


Careless at the Carnival. $1.00 plus shipping

Don't tell lies lucy

Don’t Tell Lies Lucy! Hardback. $2.00 plus shipping

don't be a bully

Don’t be a Bully, Billy. Hardback. $2.00 plus shipping

Give that back jack

Give that Back Jack. Hardback. $2.00 plus shipping

say please louise

Say Please Louise. Hardback. $2.00 plus shipping

Growing up is hard

Growing up is Hard. Dr. Laura. $1.00 plus shipping

hands are not for hitting

Hands are not for hitting. $3.50 plus shipping

but I want it

But I want it! Dr. Laura. $1.00 plus shipping

Messry Room

Messy Room. $1.00 plus shipping



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Bloom’s Taxonomy Cards. Laminated with 7 mil.  Landforms; Zoology; Volcano, Botany.  $75 plus shipping.  If you are not familiar with using Bloom’s Taxonomy cards in your Montessori Classroom, Amonco wrote an article on it


Turtle Nomenclature Cards. 7 Mil Laminated. $5.00 plus shipping.

Montessori Controversy

Montessori Controversy. $15.00 plus shipping

Study of Color

Study of Color by Mandala Montessori Classroom. (originally $30) $10.00 plus shipping



chess tactics 1

Chess Tactics 1 with CD.  $5.00 plus shipping

Origami for Christmas

Origami for Christmas.  $2.50 plus shipping

Rhyme and Sing with Mother Goose

Imagination Desk. Rhyme and Sing with Mother Goose. New in Package. $7.50

Free with any purchase:

Montessori Storage:

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