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Printable Autumn Activity Pages

Autumn Activity Pages The Busy Mom (1)

I love a good season-themed activity pack to give my two youngest. This month I created this cute printable pack that my almost-four-year-old and six-year-old can both enjoy!

In the pack you will find the following fun activities:

  • Trace the line
  • Memory Game
  • Do the Math!
  • Number Practice (1-20)
  • Letter Practice (Upper-case and Lower-case)
  • Do-A-Dot Fun
  • Size Sorting
  • Coloring Sheets

What you will need to have on hand:

  • Crayons or Markers
  • Do-A-Dot Markers
  • Cardstock (if you prefer to print for durability)
  • A Printer
  • Paper

To download the Autumn Activity Pages click HERE.

Autumn Activity Pages The Busy Mom (2)

A Few Tips to Homeschooling a Wide Age Range

A Few Tips to Homeschooling a Wide Age Range 2

One of the biggest challenges I find with homeschooling is scheduling it all in. Even if we don’t have a super set and outlined schedule, it’s still one of the biggest stressors when it comes to the homeschool year. I want to make sure I fit in everything, but I also want to make sure I’m not overwhelming anyone. I tend to let my kids lead in that realm of things, as far as how much they can do. I set the guide because we do need to cover certain things each year, but beyond that – it’s up to their ability and desire.

We usually end up doing much more than I had planned because my kids are eager learners and love to read. Often times at the beginning of the year I’m shocked at how much we have planned for the year. I believe that our relaxed approach to our schedule is a huge contributing factor to them having such a love of learning.

The next challenge is the wide age range of my children. My eldest is in 8th grade, then the next of my kiddos is in 1st, followed by my little one who is 3. I guess the three-year-old would be considered preschool or toddler school level.

As you can see, we have a pretty big age range. You might have more kids which might mean you have several kids in multiple different grades, more than I do.

So, how do we face head on homeschooling a wide age/grade range?

First things first

See if there is anything you can teach all of the kids together. For instance, if your 8th grader is studying American History, why not have your younger children study American history too? They don’t have to do it at the same intensity or depth as the older one, but they can still do it. Many curriculum options out there offer this flexibility to tailor their curriculum for older and younger students to use at the same time. But if they don’t have that option, you can easily relay the information to your younger one in a manner that they understand.

Next, keep your schedule super simple.

For us, this is essential. And as more of my kids are heading into school age, it’s been a huge life saver for us.

I have a rather untraditional schedule with my kids. It works for us and it helps me teach each of them according to their needs without feeling like I’m overwhelmed, overwhelming them, or missing anything.

My approach: I don’t teach every subject every day! That’s right. We have designated days for our more meaty subjects. This allows us to focus on one topic at a time and allows me to spread myself amongst my kiddos to give them the best attention I can.

So, how does this look you’re wondering?

Let’s say we do Math on Monday, History on Tuesday, Science on Wednesday, Language Arts on Thursday, and Foreign Language on Friday. That’s just a sample of what it could look like. Many wonder – but what about constant practice? What if they forget skills from one week to another until that subject day arrives?

Here’s how we prevent that:

Using the example above, Math would be taught on Monday. We would work through the lessons and then practice with our worksheets. I would work with the older student first and work my way down through the younger ones.

Then Tuesday comes along and we’re on to History, but before we start History we do another Math worksheet. Our math program offers 5 worksheets for each lesson so it happens to work well with our schedule. If that weren’t the case, I would simply create or find worksheets based on Monday’s lesson.

This way, they are refreshing and practicing their newly learned concepts all week, but just with a simple worksheet which takes maybe 5 or 10 minutes. They’ve taken the core of the lesson on Monday – leaving the rest of the week for practice.

Back to Tuesday, when we’re on History. After we do our Math worksheet we do our History lesson and discuss it. We do some map work and really dive in to any discussion questions that we may have. But we don’t just forget about it until next week. On Thursday we would have a brief discussion with my youngest about what we learned on Tuesday and I’ll have my big kiddo write down a paragraph or two. Catering to their capabilities.

This keeps things fresh in their heads, allows for time for it to really soak in for a day or so, and allows for me to see how much they have retained. It’s a super chill approach to learning that we have grown to love.

If this schedule just does not appeal to you, I have another suggestion. We’ve tried this method before and although we liked it, we went back to our one-subject-a-day method.

Work with your older kids first. They are more likely to have work that they do more independently than your younger ones, but may need you to either teach the lesson or at least assign them the lesson for the day should they be working on it independently. When my eldest hit 6th or 7th grade, she did a lot of her work independently and I would just grade her work and discuss it with her after.

Once you’ve finished with your hands-on lesson teaching with your older kiddos, move on to your younger ones. You’ll have the peace of mind that your older kiddos are working on their school work, which allows you time and focus to teach the younger ones.

Encourage independence as soon as they show readiness.

As I mentioned above, my eldest started doing a lot of her work indecently once she hit 6th grade, for sure by 7th grade. How did I know she was ready? It just got to a point where I realized she was ready to take a stronger hold of the reigns and work at her pace. She works much faster this way too. I think my schedule was holding her back a bit.

Total side note: This is something I just adore about homeschooling, my kids can begin to work at a pace that suits their learning needs and style so much sooner than they could in what’s referred to as a traditional school setting. But with homeschooling booming, I think traditional is changing.

Takeaways

Don’t try and teach each of them different subjects at the same time. If your kids are working on two different subjects at the same time, it should be independently. Stretching yourself into different subject directions AND grade directions will cause you to burn out.

Plan your schedule realistically. Don’t try and do every single thing every single day with each kid. It’s just not realistic. I like to think of it this way: in college, do you do every subject every day? Nope! So there is no harm in not doing every subject every day now either.

Work with the older kids first, then work with the younger ones. While you’re working with the older ones have the younger ones work on something like handwriting or maybe give something for them to color. I have a few connect the dots booklets for my younger kiddo. This keeps her busy while I teach her big sister, and helps her practice her numbers!

And finally, encourage your kids to begin working independently as soon as they show readiness. This is beneficial to them and their development. Taking ownership of their work is exciting and encouraging for them!

A Few Tips to Homeschooling a Wide Age Range

How To Steal The Joy Out Of Motherhood – A Few Tips

How To Steal The Joy Out Of Motherhood TheBusyMom.com

This summer I experienced a pretty tough awakening. I’ve spent the past few years running the motherhood race, trying to be the perfect mom – and I totally lost grasp of the kind of mom God designed me to be. Go figure, His plan is better than mine ever will be. And I love that, I love that when we find our peace we realize that it IS in fact what God meant for you all along. The peace I thought I wanted, that I tried to achieve through actions and works – just left me drained, sad, and made me feel really disconnected from my kids. I didn’t like it. So I stopped “doing” and just started “being”.

Over the course of working through this in my heart, I jotted down a list of ways to steal the joy right out of motherhood. I’m list maker, and a bit sarcastic – so silly lists often help jolt me back into line.

How to steal the joy right out of motherhood

1. Plan your kid’s schedules to the “t”. That’s right, allocate 3 minutes to brushing teeth (that includes cleanup), 5 minutes to making the bed, 4 minutes to getting dressed, and 15 minutes to eating breakfast. And when they don’t measure up to your outline, freak out.

2. Overload their schedules with activities. Make sure they are signed up for tap, ballet, and jazz. And don’t leave it there, make sure they are signed up for swimming, soccer, football, and baseball. Make sure their schedules are jammed packed all week long. Convince them that in doing this, they’ll become “something” in the future. So when they don’t do this they’ll think they will never amount to anything.

3. Plan out their future, and don’t let them have a say. When your three-year-old says they want to be a dentist when they grow up, make sure you constantly remind them of that. Don’t let them explore other ideas or careers. Don’t let them know that you’ll support them and encourage them, no matter what they choose to do in their professional life. Make sure you let them know that you’ll be disappointed if they don’t choose to be a dentist.

4. Compare yourself to other moms, constantly. Make sure you live up to their standards, or at least what you perceive their standards are. You know that mom you see every time you head off to the park?  She’s always in her cute workout clothes taking a jog around the neighborhood. But you’re stuck entertaining your kids. Why can’t you do that? Call the sitter, don’t spend that time with your kids. Head out for that run so you can be the perfectly fit mom.

5. Criticize yourself daily. Make sure you remind yourself of your failures, daily. The harder you are on yourself, the more likely you are to change those bad habits. Make that list of everything you need to change about yourself, so you can be just like that mom who lives down the street. You know, the one whose garden is always super cute, who always dresses so nicely, whose kids are always so well behaved, whose husband is always raving about her dinners, who always has time to make it to the salon every week, who is always so cheerful and perfect. That mom. That’s the one you want to be like.

There you have it. Five simple ways to steal the joy right out of motherhood. That should do it, right?

Hey momma, you know what? We are all too hard on ourselves. Way to hard. And I think it does start from a good part in our hearts – our massive love for our kids. We adore these little people so much, we just want to be the best mom we can be. We want to encourage them to be the best people they can be. We want to give them the perfect life, because we love them that much.

And then we take it too far.

You know what? YOU are all they need. The life you can give them, and are able to give them daily – is the life they need. Not some made up version of bits and pieces of what we perceive to be perfect. They need you. Your hugs, you love, your cuddles, and your smiles. There is a reason God choose you to be their mama. Because you have exactly what that child needs. When we turn to anything but Him for guidance, for advice, for direction – we are steering off the path He meant for us to walk.

That’s when it becomes draining, dreadful, exhausting. That’s when we begin to feel like we are failing. Because you know what?? We cannot fail when we are walking the path He has laid out for us. It’s impossible because His plan is perfect. It always has been, and always will be.

What we perceive as failure, He sees as drawing us in, closer to Him.

It’s okay if your kids see you with crazy mom hair all day, because that’s real. That’s you. And I could probably bet that they don’t notice it the way you do. To them, you’re just their mama who cares for them and loves them endlessly.

It’s okay if you have a few extra pounds on you, slow and steady is the best way. You don’t need to load up on the workouts and neglect your time with your kids. Consistency is key, and if that means your only option is to be consistent for 3 years before you reach your goal, then that’s okay. Because during that time you are being the mom your kids need you to be, you are taking care of your health, and you will look back three years from now feeling great. Thinking “wow! I did it, and I didn’t miss a beat with my kids.”

WE cannot change who we are, we cannot become someone else. But we can make the most of our situation. WE can choose to be intentional, purposeful, and make the most of it all. You are you because God made you this way. Don’t try and do what everyone else is doing, and don’t kick yourself for not achieving what someone else is. Yes, it’s cool to watch sometimes, and appreciate what others are – but embrace yourself, right where you are. Turn it over to Him and let Him lead your path.

Roosevelt once said: “Comparison is the thief of Joy”

It is. Let’s stop comparing ourselves to other mamas. Let’s stop comparing ourselves to other women, wives, or whoever it is you are comparing yourself to. When we do this we are comparing ourselves to a false perceived perfection. We only see the surface of the reality, not the heart of it.

How To Steal The Joy Out Of Motherhood TheBusyMom.com Pin2

4 Ways Busy Moms Can Stay Fit

4 Ways Busy Moms Can Stay Fit I TheBusyMom.com

Are you struggling with creative ways to stay fit?

Maybe it’s a busy season running after kids, changing diapers, keeping home, homeschooling, or doing homework with the kids. Or maybe you work outside of the home and can’t carve out time for a quick workout.

I think we’ve all been there, or are there. We use those moments of energy throughout the day to tackle our daily responsibilities, often leaving us exhausted even when time does arise!

Here are some tips that have proven to help me stay active, even when life doesn’t allow for a designated workout time.

Get outside with the kids

I see moms at the park hanging out on the bench just watching their kids. More often than not, they are playing on their phone or chatting with another mom. While there is nothing wrong with this, I would encourage you to get in there and play with your kids! You’ll be making some great memories with them but you’ll also get your heart rate up! Climbing up and down a play set is no easy task! Doing that for an hour or two a few times a week is a great workout in itself!

Eat well, track your food intake

While eating well doesn’t equal fit, it does equal a healthy inside. By recharging and fueling our bodies with what it needs, and by not over feeding it – we’ll make it stronger. My Fitness Pal has a great free app and desktop access. You can create a plan and log your food as you go throughout your day.

I also have a FitBit. I can track my steps, calorie’s burned, food log, and so much more! It’s a huge motivator to get outside when I see that I haven’t met my steps goal for the day.

Include the kids

Kids love play. They love competing. Have a couple of afternoons a week where you challenge each other to a workout duel. See who can do the most push-ups in one minute, then see who can do the most sit-ups in one minute, followed by who can do the most squats in a minute. Do that as many times as you can, and as long as you can keep their attention. It’s fun for the kids (and you) plus you’re secretly working out!

Get on the bike

Most kids have bikes already, but sometimes mom doesn’t. You can find really affordable bicycles at Walmart or even on Amazon. Pick one up and go for a fun bike ride with the kids!

When seasons are busy, or life simply doesn’t allow for you to pull away and go somewhere to workout, get creative and bring the workout into your life! The great part about this is that you’ll also be showing your kids that they too can have an active life, just by enjoying it!

Gyms aren’t necessary, at home workouts might not be doable every day if you can’t pull away from the kids, and home gyms may still be in the works, but with a little bit of creativity you can find ways to incorporate some great activates to get that heart rate up!

Have you found a creative way to stay active and fit, even with the kids in tow?

4 Ways Busy Moms Can Stay Fit I TheBuysMom.com

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FREE Spring Printable Pack

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In the pack you will find the following fun activities:

  • Memory Game
  • Handwriting Practice
  • Number Practice (1-20)
  • Letter Practice (Upper-case and Lower-case)
  • Do-A-Dot Fun
  • Size Sorting
  • Coloring Sheets

What you will need to have on hand:

  • Crayons or Markers
  • Do-A-Dot Markers
  • Cardstock (if you prefer to print for durability)
  • A Printer
  • Paper

This is a freebie for subscribers!  Subscribe here and you’ll find the link after confirmation and on each email you receive.

PK2

Enjoy!!

5 Homemade Face Masks For The Busy Mom

5 Homemade Face Masks For The Busy Mom I thebusymom.com

I rarely find the time to get out and treat myself to a spa afternoon. In reality, even if I did find the time I’d probably fill it up thinking about the zillion things I could be doing at home! I just prefer to find ways to relax and spoil myself at home. I guess you could call me a homebody.

Over the last year or so I’ve tried out a few different homemade face masks, and today I’m sharing my favorites! I turn to these all the time and they never fail to impress me! The coolest part is that I can find most of these ingredients in my pantry, so I can do these anytime I want!

I love to start out my spa sessions with a lip and face scrub. For each of these, you only need a few basic ingredients, and if you are missing some you can still make a mask with just a few of the ingredients.

  • Brown Sugar (key, must have ingredient)
  • Coconut Oil (or Olive Oil)
  • Vanilla (optional)
  • Honey (optional). Honey is great for so many things – acne, aging, boost in complexion, and clarifying.

My go-to recipes

Recipe #1

  • 1cup of Honey
  • 1cup of Brown Sugar
  • 2tbs of Coconut Oil (or Olive Oil)

I prefer using the Coconut Oil and like to use it in its solid state. This way I can mash everything together and it forms a creamy paste. I also store a portion of this batch in my fridge. It makes a lot so feel free to adjust the measurements to make less. You could add a few drops of Vanilla to this too. Vanilla is a great antioxidant!

Recipe #2 (I use this mostly for my lip scrub)

Equal parts of:

  • Brown Sugar and Coconut Oil (I use about a tsp each). You could use Olive oil in place of Coconut Oil.
  • Splash of Vanilla

Mash everything together, store in a container. When you go to use it just dab your finger in the mix and apply to lips in circular motions to exfoliate. You can use this for your face too.

Face Masks

Okay, now that you’ve prepped your face it’s time for a nourishing face mask! Here are 5 face masks for different skin types/purposes.

Grapefruit/Oatmeal Mask (this is a great post winter/winter mask)

  • 1 Red Grapefruit
  • 1 Cup of cooked Oatmeal (great for calming inflammation)
  • 1 Cup of Milk (soothes skin)

Mash up grapefruit, mix all ingredients together, apply to face. Leave on face for 15-20 min. Rinse with warm water and apply your favorite moisturizer as needed.

Blemish Prone or Acne Skin Mask

  • 1 Tsp of Oats (ground it up to make a flour like consistency)
  • 1 Tsp of Baking Soda
  • A few dashes of salt
  • Warm Water

***If you’re sensitive to Baking Soda you can reduce the quantity and increase the oat quantity accordingly. So if you do ½ tsp of Baking soda you’ll use 1.5 tsp of oats.

Mix all dry ingredients together, add warm water until you reach a pasty consistency. Apply mask, leave on until hardens. Rinse with warm water, apply moisturizer.

Anti-Aging Mask

  • 1 Banana Mashed
  • 4 Tbs of honey
  • 2 Tbs of Water

Blend ingredients together, apply to face. Leave on face for 20-25 min. Wash off and apply moisturizer as needed.

Combination Skin Mask

Combination skin is typically oily in the “T” zone and try around the rest of the face.

  • ½ of a Banana mashed
  • 2 Tbs of Honey
  • 1 Tbs of water

Blend ingredients together, apply to face, leave on face for 20-25 min. Rinse off with warm water and moisturize as needed.

Combination Skin Mask #2

  • 1Tbs of Graham Flour (for absorption and also evens skin tone)
  • 4 drops of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (nourishes and revitalizes skin)
  • Full Fat Milk  (just enough to form paste)

Apply to face, leave on for 10-20 min. Rinse with water, and apply lotion.

5 Homemade Face Masks  Mother Daughter Date Night I thebusymom.com

Mother Daughter Spa Night

My two girls just LOVE it when we have our Mommy Daughter Date Nights! And of course, one of our favorite things to do is to have a Spa night while watching a fun movie together. If you’d like to keep things super simple, I often use this recipe for my youngest daughter. She tends to have super dry skin and she raves about how good this feels on her skin. I’m sure that has more to do with the excitement of the night, but I’ll take it! :)

Simple Honey Face Mask (Bonus Recipe)

  •  1 Egg (raw)
  • 1 Tbs of Honey

Apply to face, leave on for 15-20 min. Rinse with water.

Do you make any homemade face masks? Let me know what your favorite one is in the comments! If you try one of these let me know too! 

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The Busy Mom’s Favorite Beauty and Makeup Products

THE BUSY MOM'S FAVORITE BEAUTY & MAKEUP PRODUCTS4

I’m excited to share with you all some of my FAVORITE Beauty and Makeup Products! Keep reading for body care products, facial care products and makeup!Read More