Camping with Kids

One of our favorite summer activities for families is camping. For those that aren’t sure about camping with kids, here are some tips for making it doable with kids.
kids-camping-tips



Nervous about taking your kids camping?


Here are some tips to ensure you have a great time camping with your kids!




Choosing a Tent to Camp with Kids

Make sure your tent can be set-up easily by mostly one person in case one of you needs to tend to an infant or other children.

As soon as your kids are able to help, give them jobs to help. They will love the responsibility and it will make your job easier (and with less complaining). Kids can help hold the stakes, tie down flaps, carry  sleeping bags in the tent, put in poles when they are a little older, and eventually they will be very helpful pros.

Make sure your equipment is good, free of holes. You don’t want to end up getting all wet during a middle of the night rain storm.

tips and tricks for camping with kids

Bigger just may be better

We started out camping with a 2-3 person tent.  If it was raining the ceiling was so low that we weren’t able to do anything buy lay down. That may work okay when it was just grown-ups, but not with kids.
Since then we purchased a “cabin” style tent. We can all stand up in the tent and move around.
There are two “rooms” that meet in a curtain in the middle. This allows the kids to go to sleep in separate rooms (if need be) and for us to have a tiny bit of privacy.

If you are traveling with small child remember it needs to be able to comfortably fit your pack-and-play. Ours has our air mattress in one “room” and the port-a-crib and two sleeping bags in the other “room”.
The porch is very handy. Not only does it provide a screened in area where you can hang out if the bugs are bad, but it is a great place to store your camping chairs at night to avoid all the dew or rain.

 

Pick a good spot to camp

Now by picking a good spot I mean two things – the physical location (site) you pick within a campsite AND where you choose to head to camp.

Pick a Good Campground

Sure setting up the tent, watching the fire, and eating are great fun. But chances are your family might need something else to do. Pick where you want to camp based on your families interests. We love camping at National Parks because they are usually pretty cheap (around $10-20/night) and have great facilities (including clean bathrooms).  But a spot is more than just a clean bathroom and cheap cost. You want somewhere you can fish, hike, play at the beach, wander some dunes, explore the woods, or visit a nearby city.

Our family typically camps while on road trips (at least 3 out of every 4 nights). We also like to camp annually at a national park along the beach for several days so we can truly relax and develop a rhythm there. Not only does it have a beach, it has trails and nearby berry picking too.

 

Camping at Arches National Park

Pick your Site Carefully

Sometimes you don’t have a choice which tent site to choose. but at many campgrounds it is first come first serve, so if you have a choice here are some recommendations.
  • Don’t tent by a camper (they are noisy and bright at night, hiding the stars). Stick to the tent only area.
  • Park close to the bathroom, but not the next 1-2 campsites away as they get a lot  of traffic (especially at night).
  • Don’t choose a site at the head of a trail. People will be wandering by your tent all day and besides being annoying and at times unsettling, they may wake up sleeping children.
  • Remember that shaded/wooded sites my shield you from some rain or wind, but they will also be more buggy, your tent will dry more slowly from morning dew, and you won’t get to see the stars very well.
  • Remember that wide open spots may be windy (our site at Dunes State Park above was very windy!) and hot during the day, but your tent will dry off quickly.  We tend to pick part shaded/part sunny spots.
  • The more room in your particular site, the more room you can leave between you and a neighboring camper.
  • If you camp somewhere near home that you will go back to, spend a couple minutes to find the “good sites” and make a note before you leave. Most camping locations allow you to choose a site online ahead of time.
Tips for Camping in the Rain

Have a Rain & Severe Weather Plan

Without fail the days you pick to camp there is rain or worse – severe weather!  First get to know your campground and where to go in the case of tornados (unlikely, but there’s no time to loose in those instances).

If it is raining only (no lightening or thunder) it is so nice to just sit in your tent – it is very relaxing!
If it starts to lightening and thunder you should be in a protected space and your tent is not safe during a thunderstorm. If it is the middle of the night we just move our family inside our fan to sleep for the night. Since we are not driving anywhere kids can lay on the floor or across seats and we simple recline our chairs.

Note: If you think you might drive somewhere (like if you are parked under tall trees that could fall) make sure kids are buckled in to allow you to move quickly without waking them during the night.
We’ve also slept in our car when there was a bear sited nearby and when one campsite in the mountains was to have a low overnight of 20 degrees. It was just warmer to sleep in the car!
If it starts to thunder during the day, you can drive to a nearby Wal-Mart and walk around, see a movie in a theatre, go out to eat (sometimes storms pass as quickly as an hour), or have a family movie night in the van. It’s memorable!
Remember you set the tone. If you are upset and frustrated that your plans have been ruined your kids will be more grumpy about it to. Have a good attitude and see it as an adventure and it just may be your favorite camping memory! By the same token, if there is a storm, be calm and decisive in moving your family to safety. The kids don’t need to be worried.

 

Plan Fun Camping Meals

I didn’t grow up camping and neither did my husband, so it took us a while before we ventured away from hotdogs as the main staple when camping.  Here are some ideas for meals while camping:

Lots of Camping Meals Ideas for Families

Simple Camping Meals using only a stick

  • hot dogs & chips with fruit
  • Baked Potatoes (set foil wrapped potatoes directly on the grey coals for 30-45 minutes) – serve with cheese and sour cream
  • Cinnamon roll on a stick (just bring a cinnamon tube and wrap a cinnamon roll around the edge of stick and hold over the fire until done, rotating as you cook)
  • Baked Goods from home (muffins, coffee cakes, cookies, brownies, etc.)
  • Corn on the Cob (just wrap husked corn in foil and set on coals or raised surface for 20 minutes or so)

 

Camping Classic – SmoresCamping Glassic - Smores

Don’t forget to bring marshmallows, graham crackers, and Hershey chocolate bars to make smores! This classic camping treat is just as fun for kids to help make as it is to eat. Your kids will LOVE this delicious, classic treat.

Raised Cooking Surface or one Pan Meals While Camping

  • Eggs (with or without bacon)
  • Pancakes (get the just add water containers for easy mixing & clean-up)
  • Doritos Bags (see complete directions)
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with chips & fruit
  • Steak (the best steak we ever cooked was over a campfire. You’ll need a raised surface which some campgrounds provide. Serve with baked potatoes – Yum!
  • Tin Foil Pouches (throw in some veggies and meat and seasoning if you like and cook over campfire for 20-30 minutes) – like a camping casserole
  • Campfire Quesadillas
  • Campfire Cones (dessert – Yum!)
  • Campfire Mac & Cheese
  • Soup (canned or premade and brought in cooler)
  • Kabobs (just put meat and veggies on skewers and put on raised cooking surface until cooked through (about 20 minutes)
  • Burritos
  • Pie Iron – tacos, sandwiches, or pie
  • Popcorn
  • Hamburgers
  • Nachos (just put nacho ingredients in a pan to warm enough to melt the cheese)

What to bring with you when camping with kids

What to Bring with you Camping

  • Tent (including steaks and mallet)
  • Tarp (helpful for covering chairs from morning dew, wrapping a wet tent in, around firewood you didn’t use, cover a leaky tent, etc.)
  • Sleeping Bags (even if it is hot during the day, it can get chilly at night) & pillows
  • Air mattress (if you like to be comfy like we do) – bring a battery operated pump or one that plugs into the outlet in your car
  • Chairs – to sit around the campfire (Hint: Kids love having their own special chair)
  • Coal (for cooking), lighter or matches, and wood (or buy from campsite)
  • Cooking pan or sticks
  • Cooler (to keep drinks and food cool – a large cooler with 1/5 full of ice can keep food at a refrigerated temperatures for 3 days before needing to add more ice. HINT: Bring meat frozen if you are going to camp for a week)
  • Food (plan your menu ahead at home and do as much of the cutting, preparing, and storing in Ziploc bags as possible)
  • Blanket (for kids to sit on the floor of campsite or beach)
  • Paper plates, cups (with sharpie to write names), silverware
  • Toys (books, balls, drawing boards, etc.) – just don’t bring too many!
  • Towels (if you are planning on showering or going to the beach)
  • Bug Spray & Sunscreen (you may also want some citronella candles for the campsite)
  • Flashlights (and larger lantern for campsite)
  • Cell phone or weather radio (to know if there is a storm coming)
  • Clothes – remember to pack sweatshirts and comfy clothes for sleeping in
camping-checklist
    By downloading from my site you agree to the following:
    • This is for personal use only
    • This may NOT be sold, hosted, reproduced, or stored on any other site (including blog, Facebook, Dropbox, etc.)
    • All downloaded materials provided are copyright protected. Please see Terms of Use.
    • Clipart Purchased and used with permission from: shutterstock
    • I offer free printables to bless my readers AND to provide for my family. Your frequent visits to my blog & support purchasing through affiliates links and ads keep the lights on so to speak. Thanks you!

     

    Tips for your Families 1st Camping Trip

    Prepare your kids by watching shows or reading books about camping – then they will know what to expect (Example: Curious George goes Camping)

    Tipsf or your Families first camping trip

    Make it Short and Sweet – make your first trip for 1 night only, serve classic hotdogs and smores.
    Camp close to home – although 99% of the time camping is great, what if you (or your child) really don’t like it.
    When our oldest was 3 we took him camping for the first time. It was a terrible campsite with lots of tents packed together, very noisy neighbors, and we were on the corner and had a steady stream of traffic (and headlights) shinning in our tent. It was also before we learned to bring the pack-in-play which gave our kids a feeling of safety. At about 11:30 at night, with the noise/lights still going strong, we packed it up and headed home. Luckily we’d thought to only go about 30 minutes from home.  The next time, Goofy did GREAT and he loves camping now.
    Go with the flow – not everything may work out just right, but go with it and enjoy the moment!
    Bring warm clothes and bug spray
    Don’t forget to have a campfire – it is the best part of camping! And typically, kids favorite memory of camping


    camping-with-kids-tips-and-tricks

    Take lots of pictures to remember this trip. Even the “it’s raining and we are going to have to feed baby on our bed even though she is making a huge mess” are memorable when you look back. Trust me – I’ve been there and all those moments are priceless memories now!

     

    Make it Memorable

    Camping is lots of fun and is something your kids will remember their whole life. Make it memorable by slowing down and enjoying the quiet, carefree moment! Instead of busying yourself (as we often tend to do) just be. Making Memories with Your Kids while Camping

    Sit. Watch. Listen. Engage.

    Spend extra time cuddling around the campfire or in your tent. Let them crawl into bed with you in the morning when they’re cold. Go on some fun family hikes and teach them about nature. Listen to their thoughts, dreams, ideas.  Let them stay up late to enjoy the beauty of a campfire and the immense night sky.
    Sing songs or tell silly stories around the campfire. Use this time to recall your family stories – keep the stories of the fun you’ve had together fresh! “Remember the time……” or “My favorite vacation has been……”

    Our family has been camping from coast to coast and it is still our favorite summer activity. We the love the simplicity, quiet, and the chance to reconnect without life’s distractions.

    More Vacation Tips


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    One of our favorite summer activities for families is camping. For those that aren’t sure about camping with kids , here are some tips for ...

    Don’t Miss Great Homeschool Conventions in California

    Coming up in just a little over a month is the don’t miss homeschool event for the west coast – Great Homeschool Conventions in Ontario, California.
    Homeschool Convention Locations, Dates and Speakers


    Who: YOU! Come get inspired, encouraged, and equipped for the ministry God has called you to do.
    What: 100s of workshops + the largest homeschool exhibition hall in California!
    When: June 12-14, 2014 (they have hugely discounted hotels from $89/night available!)
    Where: Ontario Convention Center in Ontario, California
    Why . . . .

    This is the do no miss Homeschool event of the year!

    I recently was able to attend the Great Homeschool Convention in Ohio and here are some of my takeaways to help you plan for the California Convention!
    • Don’t Delay! Book quickly to get your best choice of hotel location & pricing (I’ll be booking sooner next year!)
    • Children’s Conference is very well done. I’m a cautious parent, but I felt completely safe and the kids had an amazing time.
    • If you plan on buying lots of curriculum (many are discounted for the Convention only) bring a rolling milk crate type of thing. Then ones that fold are the best.
    • One of my favorite things about Great Homeschool Conventions is that they are very family friendly. An affordable family registration allows the entire family (including grandparents) to attend. You will see kids in every workshop you attend.
    • Don’t for get to hydrate & eat. In the exciting, back-to-back line-up it’s easy to forget to eat……
    • Pick workshops by representatives/authors of material you are looking into and topics of special interest (i.e. High School transcripts etc.)
    • Prioritize Key Note Speakers! Although all the workshops are great, don’t miss hearing Heidi St. John, Kathy Koch, and other big name speakers. There is a reason they are the featured speakers and you will be so glad you went to their workshop!

    >> Get your Tickets here <<

    Start Planning for Next Year!

    As I mentioned above, the key to getting the most convenient, best priced rooms is to book early. I know I will be booking sooner next year. So no matter where you live in the country, make sure to put next year’s dates on your calendar now! Get the early registration pricing and book those hotels 3 months ahead!
    2015 Homeschool Conventions Dates and Locations
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    Coming up in just a little over a month is the don’t miss homeschool event for the west coast – Great Homeschool Conventions in Ontario, Cal...

    12 FREE Bug Coloring Sheets

    Here are some fun and FREE printable Bug themed Coloring Pages for Toddlers and Preschoolers to color. These are great for spring or fall!
    Free Bug Coloring Pages for Toddler, Preschool, prek, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade. These coloring sheets are perfect for spring and to improve fine motor skills.


    12 Free Bug Coloring Pages

    simple coloring pages are always a hit with Toddlers and Preschoolers. Plus they are so good for kids as they work on strengthening those fine motor skill to get ready for writing!


    Here are some fun spring themed coloring sheets including lots of bugs.

     

    Fun Bug Activities for Kids



    Teach your Child to Read the EASY Way

    Reading the Easy Way PreschoolHave you tried to teach your child to read? Most Preschool children are ready to begin reading. Reading the Easy Way: Preschool is a 12 week program that uses fun worksheets (like color by sight word), 6 games, fun readers, and more to help your child gain proficiency in key sight words.



    Download FREE Bug Coloring Pages

      By downloading from my site you agree to the following:
      • This is for personal use only (teachers please see my TPT store)
      • This may NOT be sold, hosted, reproduced, or stored on any other site (including blog, Facebook, Dropbox, etc.)
      • All downloaded materials provided are copyright protected. Please see Terms of Use.
      • Graphics Purchased and used with permission from Scrappin Doodles License #94836
      • I offer free printables to bless my readers AND to provide for my family. Your frequent visits to my blog & support purchasing through affiliates links and ads keep the lights on so to speak. Thanks you!

    >> Download Bug Coloring Sheets <<



    <

    Here are some fun and FREE printable Bug themed Coloring Pages for Toddlers and Preschoolers to color. These are great for spring or fall! ...

    Play, Learn, and Build Memories with LEGO® Friends



    In our house LEGO® were always more of a Daddy / Son thing. I was always hoping my daughter would want to build them, but up until recently my daughter wasn’t that interested in LEGO®. Enter LEGO® Friends.
    Lego

    LEGO® Friends are FUN to Build!

    Ever since LEGO® Friends sets begin filling shelves in 2012 my daughter has shown a huge interest. There are a wide variety of sets to choose from that not only allow kids to build things that they are interested in, but also to expand their horizons too. There are small sets for under $4, perfect for birthday presents, and those around $25-$40 perfect for birthday presents. We’ve already been amassing a small city of our Lego Friends at our house.LEGO® Friends make a great present for girls in 6-12 years old
    My daughter, age 6, was super excited to get to build a new LEGO® Friends set together.

    Building Memories & Learning with LEGO® Friends

    Build Memories while  making LEGO® Friends sets with your kids I’ve always been amazed at how much kids can learn by building with LEGO®.  Kids not only learn to follow directions, look for details, and refine essential fine motor skills, but it is a lot of fun to build with your kids. Plus my daughter is always so proud of the fact that she build it herself.

    My daughter specifically has struggled with fine motor skills. She never really enjoyed coloring and as such never refined those skills in preschool. So when she started Kindergarten shouldn’t make anywhere close to her letters. It was a struggle to refine those skills; my daughter didn’t much care for the repetition either! But then I realized that after we worked on building with LEGO®  her control of the pencil and it’s movement was getting better. I really believe building with LEGOS® helped my daughter improve her writing skills.

    Plus let’s face it, some days we are busy. Okay, lots of days are busy. Having a fun, concrete activity my daughter and I can do together is a great bonding experience. We create memories, work together, and are having fun.

    Playing and Expressing Creativity with LEGO® Friends

    Create a world of your own with LEGO® Friends
    Building is always lots of fun, but I think my favorite part is playing with our creations. I love watching my daughters play based on her experience with the world around her.  We used extra LEGO® to expand our play by making new and exciting things for our news reporter to report on.  I love how creative kids are!
    Play with LEGO® Friends We built set 41056 Heartlake News Van. I was amazed at all the creative details put into the set. I especially love how easily the side and back of the truck swing open to allow for lots of play.

     

    What is your daughter’s favorite LEGO® Friends set?

    I am always looking for great sets to add to our collection. Take a moment and leave me a comment with your daughter’s favorite set in the comments!

    I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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    In our house LEGO® were always more of a Daddy / Son thing. I was always hoping my daughter would want to build them, but up until rec...

    Cookie Recipes - Sprinklicious

    If you’re a Mom I know you are always looking for some great cookie recipes! This colorful, moist cookie cookie is sure to become a new families favorite cookie recipes.
    Sprinklicious Cookies for Kids Recipe #recipes

    Kids LOVE sprinkles! This Sprinklicious Cookie Recipes was an instant hit in our house. This is just one of all recipes I've shared on this blog of our family tested recipes!

    Mix the following together being careful not to over mix.  

    our colorful cookie dough
    • 1 1/4 cup flour
    • 1 1/4 cup yellow cake mix (1/2 box)
    • 1/2 teas baking soda
    • 3/4 cup salted butter, softened to room temperature (I prefer Target brand)
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teas vanilla
    • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
    • 2/3 cup semi sweet chocolate ships
    • 1/2 cup sprinkles (any that you have in the cabinet that your looking to use up)

    Chill for 3-24 hours (covered).

    make cookie balls sit up tall

    Preheat oven to 350 F. Mound up a cookie on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 11 minutes.

    these cookie are ALMOST too pretty to eat

    Cool slightly and remove from pan. Theses are as delicious as they are pretty!

    More Delicious Recipes


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    If you’re a Mom I know you are always looking for some great cookie recipes ! This colorful, moist cookie cookie is sure to become a new fam...

    11 Recipes for PLAY and TGIF #119

    Get ready to play this week with 11 FUN Recipes for PLAY!
    Preschool Sensory Play




    Welcome to the TGIF Linky Party! Please grab a button below to include with your linked up post so others will find our party too. And as always a BIG thanks to everyone for linking up & sharing your creativity with the rest of us! I really enjoy seeing all your creative ideas every week.

    Featured at TGIF Linky Party hosted by 123Homeschool4Me

    Candy Playdough from Kids Activities Blog

    Candy Playdough from Kids Activities Blog


    Sticky Sand Dough from Growing a Jeweled Rose

    Sticky Sand Dough from Growing a Jeweled Rose


    Silly Putty from Crystal & Co.

    Silly Putty from Crystal & Co.


    Ice Cream Dough from Play Create Explore

    Ice Cream Dough from Play Create Explore


    Sludge from Picklebums

    Sludge from Picklebums


    Homemade Quick Sand from Growing a Jeweled Rose

    Homemade Quick Sand from Growing a Jeweled Rose


    Clean Mud from Learn Play Imagine

    Clean Mud from Learn Play Imagine


    Microwave Puffy Paint from 123 Homeschool 4 Me

    Microwave Puffy Paint from 123 Homeschool 4 Me


    Non-Newtonian Fluid from Kids Activities Blog

    Non-Newtonian Fluid from Kids Activities Blog

     

    Monster Slime from 123 Homeschool 4 Me

    Monster Slime from 123 Homeschool 4 Me


    Edible Sand from 123 Homeschool 4 Me

    Edible Sand from 123 Homeschool 4 Me


    Thanks for sharing your creativity with all of us! I look forward to browsing through all your amazing ideas! By linking up you give me permission to use a picture from your post to feature you. Pictures will only be used to feature you and will always contain a link directly to your blog.
    TGIF Linky Party hosted by 123Homeschool4Me
    image image


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    Get ready to play this week with 11 FUN Recipes for PLAY! Welcome to the TGIF Linky Party! Please grab a button below to include...

    FREE Dart Gun Spelling Practice

    Sometimes there are just some spelling words that don’t stick. We need extra practice for these spelling words and unfortunately lots of extra practice can mean lots of complaining too. So I came up with this Dart Gun Spelling Practice which makes my kids want to practice their spelling words over and over again!
    FREE Dart Gun Spelling Practice - this fun spelling game works with any spelling words for kids from kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 5th grade kids. Perfect for homework, summer learning, and more.

    More Fun ways to Practice Spelling Words


    spelling words practice

    Spelling Words Practice with Dart Guns  

    Battle Mode

    As you stumble upon words your child frequently misspells (or your weekly spelling list) write them down on the sheet with lots of dart gun lines. When you are ready to practice grab two dart guns – whatever kind you have on hand. Have the parent say the word they need spelled. If you child spells it correctly they get to shoot you and you can mark it off your list. If they misspell the word you get to shoot them.
    This is especially great for active boys. You can also use water guns outside during the summer months.

    spelling practice

    Solo Mode

    Using the bullseye sheet write down four words your child needs to practice on the orange lines. Have you child stand back 10-15 feet. They can aim for the word they want to spell. If they hit it they need to spell it. If they hit a bullseye they get all new words (a nice relief if the words are difficult for your child). Note: I usually cycle through the words several times so hitting the bullseye doesn’t mean they will never learn to spell it.

     

    Spelling Games - FREE Dart Gun Spelling Practice

    Download Dart Gun Spelling Practice

    By downloading from my site you agree to the following:
    • This is for personal use only (teachers please see my TPT store)
    • This may NOT be sold, hosted, reproduced, or stored on any other site (including blog, Facebook, Dropbox, etc.)
    • All downloaded materials provided are copyright protected. Please see Terms of Use.
    • Graphics Purchased and used with permission from ScrappinDoodles License #94836
    • I offer free printables to bless my readers AND to provide for my family. Your frequent visits to my blog & support purchasing through affiliates links and ads keep the lights on so to speak. Thanks you!

    >> Download Dart Gun Spelling Practice <<

          <

          Sometimes there are just some spelling words that don’t stick. We need extra practice for these spelling words and unfortunately lots of ext...

          May Creative Writing Prompts

          If you are looking for some fun ideas to get your child writing more, I’ve got you covered. Here are FREE May Writing Prompts.
          FREE May Writing Prompts for K - 4th Grade #writingprompts #kindergarten #homeschooling


          FREE May Writing Prompts


          Creative writing prompts contain a black & white illustration your child can color as well as a writing prompt and a place to write.


          Each worksheets for kids has both large Kindergarten / 1st grade paper with three lines per page and smaller lined paper for 2nd-4th grade with 6 lines per page.  These are perfect for preschool, kindergarten, and early elementary aged kids. The May writing prompts include:
          • Mother’s Day
          • Cinco de Mayo
          • Memorial Day
          • National Bike Month
          • Space Day
          • National Chocolate Chip Day
          • and more!


          107 Must do Summer Activities for Kids Bucket Lists

          107 Must Do Summer Activities for Kids Bucket Lists


           

          More Summer Activities for Kids



          Download May Writing Prompts

          By downloading from my site you agree to the following:
          • This is for personal use only (teachers please see my TPT store)
          • This may NOT be sold, hosted, reproduced, or stored on any other site (including blog, Facebook, Dropbox, etc.)
          • All downloaded materials provided are copyright protected. Please see Terms of Use.
          • I offer free printables to bless my readers AND to provide for my family. Your frequent visits to my blog & support purchasing through affiliates links and ads keep the lights on so to speak. Thanks you!

          >> Download May Writing Prompts <<


          <

          If you are looking for some fun ideas to get your child writing more, I’ve got you covered. Here are FREE May  Writing Prompts . FREE M...

          Is a Boxed Homeschool Curriclum Right for You?

          Picking a homeschool curriculum is tough! There are so many wonderful choices out there. With this article I am hoping to spell out some homeschool curriculum choices for to help you decide what homeschool curriculum is right for you?
          is a boxed (all in one) homeschool curriculum right for you?

          Advantages of a All-in-One Homeschool Curriculum

          Boxed curriculum is a convenient option for homeschoolers. All you do is pick the grade level you need and they will include most everything you need to begin your homeschool. These boxed curriculums include things like -- teacher guides, books, study sheets, tests, activities, and some include report cards.

          Besides being convenient you will have all the books and plans for a complete academic year planned for you.  Plus by using the same company for many years you will be able to take advantage of their scope to ensure you are covering everything.  Many boxed curriculum also makes record keeping much easier by having you mail your child’s completed work to an assigned teacher who will correct, comment, and grade your child. Some even provide an official transcripts and a diploma upon completion of the program.

          Companies Providing Boxed Homeschool Curriculum

          A Beka Correspondence Program

          • Grades K-12
          • Biblical perspective curriculum
          • Very structured, weekly tests, lots of drills & repetition
          • Costs  1st-6th Grade – $795 and 7th-12th grade - $856

          BJU Press Total Homeschool Solutions

          • Grades K-12
          • Traditional textbook curriculum with Biblical teaching woven throughout all the disciplines
          • Choose from traditional textbooks, complete online solution, etextbooks, or a mixture of the three
          • Costs about $850 (including teacher textbooks)

          BookShark
          • Grades PreK - 9 (eventually through grade 12)
          • Secular and literature-based
          • 4-Day homeschool week schedule
          • Costs for full grade packages: around $700

          Calvert School

          • Grades K-8th (but expanding through High School one grade at a time beginning in 2014)
          • Nondenominational program with a Christian undertone
          • Provide everything including needed school supplies
            Hands-on for parents in lower grades and then progressively self-instructional in the upper grades
            Cost: approximately $1300-$1500

          Class Homeschool from Christian Liberty

          • Grades K-12
          • Traditional textbook curriculum from a Biblical perspective
          • Cost: approximately $500-$700

          Clonlara School Home Based Education Program

          • Nonsectarian program for grades K – 12
            Geared for new homeschoolers, veterans, unschoolers, and more
            Includes everything including transcripts and diploma from an accredited school
          • Relaxed program with choices on courses to study; program guidelines without pressure
            Cost: Elementary - $780 AND High School $1000

          Heart of Dakota

          • Toddler – 8th Grade
          • Hands on history based unit for families to do together
          • You will need to add Math & Langauge Arts – they have recommendations that can be purchased easily at the same time
          • Costs about $500

          My Father’s World

          • Grades Preschool – 12th Grrade
          • Easy to use, hands on, literature based, Charlotte Mason inspired curriculum
          • Focus on missions with Christian worldview woven throughout the entire curriculum
          • Many subjects can be taught to a range of ages simultaneously
          • Cost: about $550 (with core Social Studies & Science package which can be used by various siblings)

          Oak Meadow School

          • Nonsectarian program for grades K – 12
            As well as curriculum materials, a class teacher is available for phone or email consultation
            Hands-on learning for a wide variety of learning styles
            Cost: Elementary $200+ AND High School $975+

          Seton Home Study School

          • Catholic program for grades K – 12
            Includes workbooks, lesson guides, record-keeping services, and extensive phone and mail consultation services
            Textbook-oriented learning focusing on traditional Catholic values
            Cost:  $495

          Sonlight Curriculum, Ltd.

          • Literature-based and Christian centered education for grades K – 12
            Provides textbooks, curriculum, and supplies
            18-week trial with full refund if not satisfied
            Cost: Basic package from  $800
           

          Sycamore Academy

          • Grades K-12
          • Online or text book based Christian education
          • Quarterly critiquing of child’s work, annual report card, and high school transcript
          • Costs up to $1600 for high school online program
           

          So Why Wouldn’t You Purchase a Boxed Homeschool Curriculum

          As you’ve probably learned already, most everything has advantages and disadvantages. Although there are many advantages, there are some disadvantages too.
          • Packaged homeschool curriculum can be very expensive
          • They are generally more structured programs with less options for tailoring your child’s education to their interests.
          • Some new homeschoolers go the route of a boxed curriculum thinking it will be easier. But the amount of books and structure involved can be overwhelming.
          • Many choose to homeschool to leave the more “traditional” sit at the desk with a book approach
           

          Getting the Best of Both Worlds

          You may decide to pick and choose to get the best of both worlds. Take advantage of some rich curriculum without buying everything. Or enjoy customizing your own curriculum while kids are in elementary school and switch over to a more traditional approach that offers high school diplomas before your child enters high school.

          As for our family, we are enjoying customizing our own curriculum during the elementary years. That allows me to customize our homeschool curriculum to my children’s interests. We’ve enjoyed Bob Jones Kindergarten Math, but don’t feel the need to purchase the super expensive teacher’s guide. We love the included lesson plans with My Father’s World reasonably priced Singapore Math, but we don’t use their complete package.

          If you used a Boxed Homeschool Curriculum,

          I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!



          Homeschooling Resources






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          Picking a homeschool curriculum is tough! There are so many wonderful choices out there. With this article I am hoping to spell out some hom...

          How to Make a Flower Crown

          Spring is finally here and that means it's time for some fun outdoor kids activities. Here is a childhood classic your kids will love - making a flower crown.
          how to make a flower crown kids activitiy


          Something every child should do during spring is to pick dandelions and make a flower crown.


          It’s simple and free kids activity! Here is how to make a flower crown:



          Outdoor Kids Activities

          how to make a flower crown kids activitiy

          Have your child pick dandelions with as much stem on them as they can get. You will want it to be 3-4”, but you can always just pull of any extra.

          how to make a flower crown kids activitiy

          Hold the stem between both your thumbs. Using your thumb nails press into the middle of the stem and pull apart to create an eyelet. Insert a new dandelion into the small eyelet. Repeat with the stem of dandelion #2.
          how to make a flower crown kids activitiy

          Continue going until you have a long strong of dandelions that will go around your child’s head. The closer the dandelions are to each other the more dandelions you will need and the fuller it will look. You can put the eyelet whole down on the stem a couple inches to make crowns faster.

          How to Make a  Flower Crown

          how to make a flower crown kids activitiy

          Here is our finished flower crown. Making a flower crown is something my kids look forward to every spring!

          More FUN Kids Activities:bucket list






          <

          Spring is finally here and that means it's time for some fun outdoor kids activities. Here is a childhood classic your kids will love - ...