Our Typical Homeschool Day

(This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure policy.)

While I don’t know that “typical” homeschool days happen often at our house, we do like to stick to a general schedule and routine. Years ago, I was more of an unschooler but my Special Needs kiddos really need structure so we have found that following at least a general outline works best for us.

Our Typical Homeschool Day

Here is our general homeschool schedule:

Prayer (see how we set up and use a prayer wall)
Apologia Textbook reading – Who Is God and How Can I Know Him
memory verse
Brain Break

Story of the World reading
SOTW Review Questions
chapter in whatever book we’re reading
Science Textbook reading
Brain Break


Sight Words
Super Sentences (you can read how we do that here)
read aloud
Brain Break

After this portion of the day where I have been doing the reading and leading things, the kids transition to their workboxes. You can read a detailed explanation of how we use our workboxes here. I have pre-filled them with any map work, worksheets and activities that correspond with the lessons from the morning.

The workboxes also contain the kids’ Daily Grams, Handwriting, notebooks, journals, and rotating activities. The rotating activities include things like the Sensory Bin, auditory station, file folder games, educational busy bags, Math (because it’s on the computer) and hands-on activities. Many of the rotating activities are sensory stations.

After they are done their workboxes, there are a few kids that have things like reading practise or attachment work but generally, they are done “school” for the day.

We start homeschooling by 9 a.m. and are usually done by lunchtime but this is our first year with this science curriculum and we didn’t do science last year really so it may take until early afternoon to complete everything in our new schedule.


I do try to plan as much as I can and be prepared by having photocopying done ahead and materials ready for any hands-on activities. I usually start off well with the planning at the beginning of the year and then it dies off a few months in. Things go so much more smoothly when I plan.

I also try to plan out snacks and lunches for school days so that I’m not scrambling. Lunches are really hard for me to think of so I have just started sharing them on my Facebook page and others are sharing theirs. I find that I’m getting good ideas this way and also staying accountable to actually thinking of something! If you’d like, pop over and share your lunch ideas.

I also jot out generally what is in the workboxes that week.

Here is a rough weekly schedule:


I try not to book appointments. Sometimes it can’t be avoided.


piano lessons in the morning (the teacher comes to our home so the kids take turns doing their lessons during our regular homeschool time)

Snuggle Puppy’s program for trauma and attachment

Jui jitsu for Snuggle Puppy in evening


in second semester, swimming lessons in the afternoons


art classes in morning for girls/ outdoor survival classes for boys

Jui Jitsu for Snuggle Puppy in evening


every second week Miss Optimism has her injections

I still need to find a day that would work for Miss Optimism’s sewing lessons and also fit in audiology appointments for Dancing Queen, therapy for Dancing Queen and Snuggle Puppy, and speech therapy for Dancing Queen and Granola Girl.

This also does not account for any field trips. It’s busy y’all!

If you’re interested in finding out more about how we homeschool, you may find these helpful or at least somewhat interesting:

This is how a homeschool day in our house really looks.

Our 2014/2015 Curriculum

Our 2014/2015 Curriculum

How I teach history to multiple ages

How I teach Language Arts to multiple ages with special needs

How I teach Math to multiple ages with special needs

How I teach Fine Arts to multiple ages with special needs

I’m participating in the Not Back to School Blog Hop with iHomeschool Network. This week, is A Day in the Life week. Click here or the image below to read what other families are choosing to use this year or to add your own link.


Lunch Box and Snack Ideas for Kids & Pinning Party

(This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure policy.)

Welcome to the Toddler & Preschool Moms Pinning Party! I invite you to join in the fun, sharing your favourite pins and checking out all the fabulous ideas that are shared!

Back to school is coming up quickly. We are starting our homeschool year this coming Monday. One of the big challenges for moms whether their kids are in school or homeschooled is coming up with lunch and snack ideas. For me, I find lunch the hardest meal to come up with ideas for so this week, Angela and I are featuring some of the lunch box and snack ideas that were linked up to the party last week.

Lunch Box & Snack Ideas for Kids

Vegetarian Lunch Box Ideas from Kids Activities Blog

30 Healthy Kid Snack Ideas from Crystal & Co.

Packed Lunch Box Ideas from The Chirping Moms

Back to School Lunch Ideas from In the Playroom

IMPORTANT TO NOTE: By linking up, you are giving us permission to use a photo (with proper link to you!) to use in a featured collage.For this week’s pinning party, you can link up to 3 pins (or posts if you prefer) relevant to parenting toddlers and preschoolers. This can be anything from activities to child-friendly snacks to parenting tips. Then, visit some of the other pins linked up to get new ideas and help others find these great ideas too by repinning! Sharing the love by pinning your favourites really helps everyone.

Toddler & Preschooler Moms - THE place to find family friendly ideas!The Toddler & Preschool Moms Pinning Party is THE place to come to find all the best ideas from Pinterest each week. You can find the pinning party on the following blogs:

Angela Teaching Mama

Sharla The Chaos and The Clutter

Last week’s most clicked posts were:

Review Letter Sounds with Beginning Sounds Blackout from The Measured Mom

Dragons Love Tacos Books and Craft from Dabbling Momma

10 Boys Crafts from In the Playroom

If you were mentioned as a favourite, you are welcome to grab the most pinned button below.

The Chaos and The Clutter

<a href=”http://thechaosandtheclutter.com/archives/category/tender-moments-with-toddlers-preschoolers” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://thechaosandtheclutter.com/TPmostpinned.jpg” alt=”The Chaos and The Clutter” width=”125″ height=”125″ /></a>

You may also want to follow my Pinterest boards where I pin many of the ideas linked up here.

Huge List of Free Homeschool Printable Sites

(This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure policy.)

As part of my 5 part series on Frugal Homeschooling, I am sharing a reference list for finding the best online printables for free or almost free. Using printables, you can create an entire curriculum that will fit with many types of homeschooling.

Huge List of Free Homeschool Printable Sites

Free Printable Websites

Donna Young – Donna Young is often thought of as the original site when it comes to homeschool printables. It is best known for planners and home and school organization sheets but there are homeschool printables there as well.

Free Homeschool Deals – Free Homeschool Deals is one of my favourite homeschool sites (and not just because I’m a contributing writer over there!). I like that they share about free printables that you can find elsewhere on the web as well as their own free printables but I appreciate that they look at homeschooling families as a whole and realize that providing articles about saving money on household items also allows you to have more to put towards homeschooling and that providing encouragement for homeschool parents trickles down into the schoolwork too.

Frugal Homeschool Family – Frugal Homeschool Family also provides both their own free printables and shares printables from others as well as deals for homeschoolers.

Confessions of a Homeschooler – This is the original place I discovered free printables! I have used her Letter of the Week printables as well as many of her others, including lapbooks.

1+1+1=1 – This site has really good quality printables and printable packs, especially for Preschool and Kindergarten.

123Homeschool4Me – This site offers free printables in all homeschool subjects and even includes some in Spanish.

Blessed Beyond a Doubt - There are a lot of free printables here and Jill seems to add more almost every day!

3 Dinosaurs - Cassie creates some of my favourite printable packs and I am very thankful that she keeps them free. Many of them are huge packs and they work well for us for unit studies especially and for seasonal times.

This Reading Mama - Spend a few minutes poking around Becky’s site. She does have a few resources and printables that she charges a fee for and she also has a ton of free printables. Her focus is on literacy and her printables are extremely good quality ones that will enhance your homeschooling.

Teaching Mama - Angela is the author of the very popular preschool curriculum The Preschool Journey but she also offers free preschool printables on her site (as well as great craft and activity ideas!).

Homeschool Share – Ami from Walking by the Way runs this site and it is a great place to search for any topic of printable you can think of. It has notebooking pages, educational printables, mini books, and more. I’ve used this site to find sheets to go along with topics we are studying because of its easy search feature.

Notebooking Pages – Thought NotebookingPages.com has a membership feature that is their most popular way for printables, they also do offer some free notebooking pages as well. We have the membership and use the pages regularly.

The Chaos and The Clutter - Right here on this site, you can find free printables. I don’t have a large selection yet but it is growing. You can find unique printables such as relaxation cards for kids, a babysitter checklist, notebooking pages, and more.

Picklebums – Some of my favourite printables are from Picklebums. They have a different quality to them that is hard to describe but I would say that the best way I can explain it is that they are cheerful.

Meet Penny - Tabitha offers free printables in a variety of subjects. She also has a membership option for other printables which is discussed below.

Homegrown Learners – Homegrown Learners is best known for their free Lego printables. I am especially a fan of the minifig writing prompts.

Kids Activities Blog – I love this site for so much more than the printables but thought it is known more for the activities, they do have free printables and good ones at that!

Homeschool Creations – Perhaps best known for its great Homeschool Planner which is available for purchase, Homeschool Creations also offers free printables. There are a LOT but it takes a bit of navigating to find them all.

Living Montessori Now – There is a very large list of places here to find free printables Montessori materials.

Every Star is Different – Renae is regularly adding free printables for Montessori style unit studies.

Montessori Print Shop – While many of the printables here need to be purchased, there is a section for free Montessori printables.

Teachers of Good Things – While the focus of this blog is on Charlotte Mason homeschooling and not on printables, you will find some preschool printables that are quite good, particularly for boys.

Teach Beside Me – There are a wide range of printables here and I like that there are some that can be used for older kids which are generally harder to find.

Simply Vicki – Vicki has some nice out-of-ordinary free printables.

Not Consumed – Kim creates some really fun printables that are outside of the usual educational printables box. They include things like kids’ party planning, practical items like morning checklists, encouragement, as well as educational printables.

Golden Reflections Blog – This blog has printables related to sensory, homeschooling, fine motor and preschool.

Education.com – Education.com has a large variety of free worksheets for all age levels. The selection is huge but you do have to put up with there being a fair amount of ads and many are only available through membership.

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom – While this site is most known as a membership site, there is still a large selection of free printables (that link will take you right to them!).

Handwriting Worksheets.com – Make your own handwriting printables.

Royal Baloo – Royal Baloo has free printables that focus mainly on preschool, kindergarten and the lower grades.

Suzy Homeschooler – Although this site doesn’t have a huge selection of printables yet, the selection seems to be growing and there are themes that are harder to find.

File Folder Fun – If file folder games is what you’re looking for, this is where you’ll want to visit.

In All You Do – This site has a selection of free homeschool printables, particularly for holidays, even the more obscure holidays.

Free Printable.com – While not expressly homeschool focused, there are printables here that can be used.

Adventures in Child Reading – There are some beautiful printable here.

Homeschool Encouragement – Many printables available including some Lego printables.

Tutus and Tea Parties – Some cute printables here.

Gift of Curiosity

The Crafty Classroom

Making Learning Fun

DLTK’s Crafts for Kids

Of course Pinterest is a huge resource all on its own and a good source for finding printables.

Membership Sites

Membership sites can still be a frugal choice because many have a one time fee so once the cost is recovered, everything else after that can be considered as free.

Notebooking Pages – We have a lifetime membership to NotebookingPages and use them often for all kinds of learning opportunities. They have a huge selection and what’s even better is that you can even use their creator to make your own.

Enchanted Homeschool Mom - EHM has been around for years and has amassed a HUGE collection of printables. Purchasing a lifetime membership gives you access to all of what is there and everything added in the future. It is just $15 for a family use and $30 for a co-op or classroom membership.

Meet Penny - Meet Penny has many free printables but for the larger printable packs and specialty packs such as Minecraft and Dr. Who, as well as for some of her ebooks, she offers a lifetime membership for $25. This can be a cost effective choice if there are several printable packs that you want to purchase as it pays for itself quite quickly.

Enchanted Learning – I haven’t used this membership site myself but it looks to have a lot available.

Education.com – Education.com has a membership option.

Teacher Share Sites

Many of the products on teacher share sites such as these are paid but there are also free unit studies and printable worksheets that can be found. Some of them allow you to search by cost so it’s easy to find the free resources.

Teachers Pay Teachers

Teachers Notebook

Homeschool Swap

This list is by no means exhaustive but by using the links on this list, you can create curriculum, organize and plan entire homeschool years, and best of all, save a lot of money doing so.

Frugal Homeschooling...a 5 day series on The Chaos and The Clutter

This is part of my 5 day series on Frugal Homeschooling. I hope you’ll join me in discovering how you can homeschool without breaking the bank.

You may also be interested in following me on Pinterest, where I pin lots of homeschool ideas, including many of the great free printables that I find.


The 2014 Homeschool Omnibus is Here!

(This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure policy.)

The Omnibus is here! There are a lot of ebook bundle sales out there but there is only one original homeschool bundle sale. It’s called the Omnibus and it just keeps getting better and better and better!

One week only - 83 ebooks and more for just $25!

This year, the books are available on pdf and Mobi/Kindle for one price so you can read them on whatever device you like, wherever you are! Books can also be purchased on DVD for those who would prefer that option.

Why should you buy THIS bundle?

There are other ebook bundles that come on the market from time to time and occasionally, even one with a homeschool theme, but there is nothing like the homeschool Omnibus. There is no disputing that it’s a great value and that you will find practical help and information, but the biggest reason in my opinion that you should buy the Omnibus is that you will be encouraged.

So often as homeschool moms, we can doubt ourselves or feel alone. There are seasons when we question whether we should continue or wonder whether our choice to homeschool is the right one. There are even times when we hit a wall or worse, hit burnout. That’s why the encouragement is critical to our success as a homeschool mom.

Homeschool Support and Encouragement ebooksAmong the incredible book in the Omnibus bundle are some gems that can encourage you in your situation. You Can Do it Too! is the ultimate read on a day when you are feeling low. There are also books specific to unschooling, homeschooling an only child and homeschooling a large family.

How much is the Omnibus?

With a value of $545, the Omnibus only costs you $25. It includes 83 ebooks, mp3s, freebies, bonus offers, and discounts.

Where else can you buy books for a quarter each?!

Where else can you buy a book for a quarter?!

What’s included in the 2014 Omnibus?

Additional Resources: Codes and Links Provided After Purchase

Is there anything else I need to know?

  •  The deadline for refunds is September 5. Positively no refunds will be given if the file host shows that you have downloaded any files.
  •  The ebooks will only be available until September 25, please do not delay in downloading them. See the FAQ or contact iHomeschool Network for more information.
  •  DVDs can be purchased until September 20.
  • The sale runs from 12:00 a.m. ET Monday, August 18 to 11:59 p.m. ET Sunday, August 24, 2014.

A Bonus for The Chaos and The Clutter readers… 

If you purchase the Omnibus through my affiliate link, that’s this one here (or by clicking on any of the images above), I will throw in your choice of one of my other ebooks free! My book, The Ultimate Guide to Field Trips in Canada is already included in the bundle but if you buy through my link and then leave me your email address, I will email you a pdf copy of your choice of either my book Sensory Bins or my book Self-Care for Foster and Adoptive Families. In fact, I’d be willing to email you a copy of both! Just e-mail me and let me know you purchased the bundle through my affiliate link and which one of my other books you’d like.