Review – Do and Discover Rock and Gem Dig Discovery Kids

The last few weeks have been super busy in the Divine household! Little Divine went to summer camp at our local animal shelter for a week and she had a blast! Plus we just celebrated 4th of July here in America as well. I’ve been trying to get all caught up and back into a rhythm at home since they have ended.

One thing I like to do is have Little Divine work on projects of some sort during the week. During all of our moving, resettling, and moving again over the last year, we’ve ended up with a large collection of projects and activity kits that haven’t been done. Now that the major events of the summer are over – with the exception of Little Divine’s birthday – I feel we can get back into a little bit of a routine.

We have several dig kits for kits that involve excavation on a small scale. I think these kits are really fun because kids learn to do the work to unearth their treasures! (^.^) It brings a different level of excitement because it feels like a treasure hunt. Since the weather here is so warm, I thought this would be a great activity to do outdoors!

We started with the Do & Discover brand Rock & Gem Dig. This set is sold at Toys R Us and on Amazon but has now been rebranded under the Discovery Kids Rock & Gem Dig name. The set says it included 11 gems hidden in the block, a pair of little safety goggles that were too small for Little Divine, a mallet, a dowel, a magnifying glass, a brush, a streak plate, and a color poster with instructions. I found the brush they included to be pretty useless so I pulled out one of my paint brushes for her to use instead.

The box it came it was a really good size so I was very surprised at how small the little block to dig in was. It was actually quite small. I’m hoping some of the other sets we got have more to them. We decided to use a rectangular plastic storage container about 6 inches tall as her excavation site. This way all the extra dirt is contained in one easy place for clean up!

In the above photo you can see where Little Divine discovered her first gem. It wasn’t long after she started chiseling away that she found this one. I was thinking this process would take a lot longer than it did, but the block was pretty soft and easy to get through. This is definitely nice for younger kids, but it makes the process too quick for older kids.

Here is the kit totally demolished! The box says it includes 11 gems but we only found 10. Both Mr. Divine and I looked through it with Little Divine and we couldn’t find an 11th gem anywhere.

Even with 10 gems, Little Divine was quite pleased with her new treasures.

Once the gems were all cleaned up, Little Divine tried to test them out on the streak plate to see how it would work. She’s taken classes on rocks and minerals before so she knew that with a streak plate you can tell what a mineral is by the color of powder it leaves behind. She was unable to get any sort of streaks to show up on the plate included though. We tried several times but no results.

I did like that her set came with a large poster with information on identifying gems. Extra learning material included in a fun way is always nice! We will be keeping the poster and the 10 lovely gems Little Divine dug up.

All in all, this was not a bag kit for about an hour’s worth of use. I am disappointed in how small it was and how easy it was to break through. Also, the streak plate and some of the tools they sent weren’t very useful. I would say this kit is great for younger kiddos and those who aren’t expecting anything too fancy. Little Divine is about to turn 11 so this kit was enjoyable for her but not extremely challenging. She does love little treasures so the gems were a nice add to her collection! (^.^)

I’ll be reviewing other kits in the future so keep an eye out!

Have you tried this Rock & Gem Dig set?

Don’t forget to check out my Esty Shoppe featuring unique and one of a kind items! Dragon Fire Rose

The Complete Idiot’s Guide To European History

The Complete Idiot’s Guides aren’t just for idiots!

Who knew right?

It turns out they can be super handy tools for learning. They offer condensed info on subjects and are generally presented in a way that can be understood pretty easily. Mind you, some vary and are meant for kids while others are meant for adults. You can absolutely use the adult versions for kids, just keep in mind that some of the info may be over their heads.

For example, today Little Divine learned what heretic means. She’s ready The Complete Idiot’s Guide to European History. She’s been studying through the ages starting from the beginning and working her way up. This book was a suggested book from the library website based on other books I was getting for her on the subject. I’m surprised it was suggested as it isn’t a children’s book, but I like trying new things so we’re using it!

Little Divine is turning 11 next month so I didn’t feel it would be too over her head. I figured she’d ask questions as she read, like she did this morning with heretic.

I’m very pleased with how the book is set up. There are lots of chapters and each is relatively small, between 10 and 20 pages usually. I find that breaks up easier for younger readers. As you can see in the picture, I’ve used sticky tabs to mark each chapter with the date and pages she needs to read. I find this to work wonders with helping her keep on target with her reading. It’s easy to forget which chapter you were on after a weekend so sticky notes help kids know what to read and when!

We are two days into the book and so far so good! I am not one of the coddle my child parents so if death and crime come up in her book, I’m okay with her reading it. It opens up discussions on so many things! History is often very, VERY ugly. I don’t feel that at this age there is a reason to hide that from her. I also want her to see the good in history as well. I strive to give her a very well rounded view of each subject she learns.

We are planning to get more of The Complete Idiot’s Guide books on many more topics! Have you used these books in your homeschooling before? Tell me what you thought!

Don’t forget – if you’re looking for one of a kind handmade jewelry, goodies inspired by video games and awesome characters, busy bags for kids, artwork or prints… check out my Esty Shoppe: Dragon Fire Rose  ❤

The Sound of Closing Doors

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Do you ever feel like doors to a path in life are closing for you? Sometimes you see it coming, sometimes it is very unexpected. I’m there right now. I’ve spent most of my life working with children. Even when I was one, I was babysitting and tutoring. I spent my life working with kids on and off in one way or another. After I had Little Divine 10 and a half years ago, I tried to go to work away from her. I was a single mom, my mother had dumped me in this state when she was supposed to take us with her so I could finish school and work from home doing Medical Transcription. Since she failed to do that, I ended up taking a retail job and putting my newborn in daycare. It was an absolutely shitty position to be in and I cried every single day. There are no nice words to express the place I was put in. It was miserable. :/

Thankfully a girl at the daycare recommend I just apply for a job there. I had past childcare experience so I went for it and I got hired. I spent the next 4 years working in daycare. It had a lot of rewards but I was at a place that took advantage of the hard workers and mistreated a lot of employees. They ended up dealing with a lot of legal issues for many years after that because of their lack of respect for the rules and for human beings.

After I left the daycare, I decided to do home childcare. From 2011 till 2016 I worked from home watching children. I’ve seen so many kiddos grow up in those years! I’ve been blessed to be a part of each one of their lives. ❤ There were both good and bad moments. Many times I struggled to bring in enough income. I live in a very low income state so it was hard to get paid well doing childcare. Yet with a little one of my own, other work wasn’t an option since I also couldn’t afford childcare on the pay I could get from jobs I would qualify for.

We had years of good pay and years of struggling. But we stuck with it through it all because I loved what I did and it gave me the freedom to stay home with Little Divine and see her grow. There is nothing I would trade for those moments! I got to see all of her firsts and I got to be there for everything. As a single parent, that is very rare!

The last two years I mostly worked with one kiddo. He had a lot of behavioral issues and was asked to leave his preschool. We had a hard time with his family as his dad was a jerk, plain and simple, and his parents were split up so we were often put in the middle of bad situations. Dad complained all the time about paying me, despite the fact that I discounted my rates for them and I was barely making it off the pay. They would constantly change their schedules and hours last minute, often giving me zero notice. They didn’t want to pay cancellation fees or deal with paying for last minute schedule changes. I often got different stories and times from each parent. All their instability created extra issues for their son who did not need any of that.

When I sent him off to kindergarten this past August I was exhausted. They had sucked all the joy out of childcare for me. They drained me completely. The idea of watching kids exhausted me. I decided to take a break for a bit. We had tons of stuff left over to sell from my resale business and I was making my $2 fashion earrings that seemed to sell well. I had saved up a bit over the last couple of months because I had a feeling I would need a break. I just didn’t have anything left to give after that.

Since then I feel like the doors to childcare are closing for me. I don’t know if it’s because we haven’t found the right family yet or if it’s because I am meant to do something else. I have been applying for jobs on Care.com weekly but so far no go on any of the ones I feel would work for us.

I got another message today telling me they found someone else. I keep feeling like I’m supposed to focus elsewhere. A few weeks ago I took my jewelry making to a new level and started making higher cost sets that people seem to really love. Apparently I have a really good eye for it and I’ve been told I’m great at my craft! For someone new to it, that’s a huge compliment! ❤

Maybe this is what I’m supposed to do instead. I honestly don’t know. I wish life came with clear signs in the direction you should take! Instead I am working on selling off all the resale items left and everything we don’t need  in the house. Little Divine has been bringing down hoards of toys from her room for me to sell as she’s getting older and is weeding out what she doesn’t use. We have a small income coming in from that and now I’m  slowly selling jewelry sets. Eventually I want to work on refinishing furniture too. And I am working on my photo editing and photography work.

I’ve always felt my creative pursuits benefit me the most and I really, REALLY love doing work involving them! Maybe this is why the doors to what I’ve done just to make it through the last few years keep closing. Maybe it’s time to find something new that I truly love. Mr. Divine tells me often that he wants me to find something I love to do. I love him for so many reasons but that is one of them. He doesn’t care if I make millions. He wants me to do what I love and succeed at it!

So I start off the holiday weekend with hope for my jewelry business to bloom into more, and more new doors to open for my life! I have hope for the next year to bring more joy and more happiness in whatever work I do. I look forward to seeing what doors will open as these ones close. I’m very excited to see what happens! ❤

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Why My Family Comes First

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I see a lot of families everywhere I go. There are many, many types of families. I love how unique and individual each family unit is. Every family is something special and different. That’s what makes a family a family – unique structure and bond created to best suit the members in it.

I am pretty sure Facebook has become the place for inspiration for a lot of writings, though most are not positive inspirations. It has become a very negative and toxic environment. What used to be a place to share and celebrate life with those you know turned into a cesspool of hate, anger, and inappropriate behavior. I rarely go on Facebook anymore unless it is to list items to sell. Even my own personal feed is filled with garbage I don’t want to see.

I’ve had old friends make comments to me about how I spend all my time with Mr. Divine and Little Divine now, how I don’t make time for anyone else. I’ve had people invite me to Girls Night Out events and get mad when I don’t go. Or they make remarks how we are always together as a family.

I see nothing wrong with this. In fact, I see an issue with the fact that those people need to get away from their families. That is a big issue that needs to addressed. The wives who need a Girls Night Out to drink and bitch about everything are not for me. I am happy with my life and my relationship. If I have an issue in my relationship I address it with Mr. Divine. I don’t blast it on Facebook or trash talk him to everyone I know. That’s disrespectful. Yet I see women doing this all the time on Facebook.

Just as there are women flirting with other men, posting sexed up selfies, and putting their husbands down on a public social media forum. It’s embarrassing. It baffles me how 5 posts later they are complaining their husbands don’t listen to their needs. My advice is to stop flirting with every male human being you see, put your boobs away, and start focusing on your marriage. Why in the world would your husband respect you or put any of your needs first when you behave that way??

In life you should be daily trying to better yourself and your world. You should be working to be the best you possible and the best mom/dad/sister/brother/son/daughter/etc. you can be. Our family works together to make our family unit as healthy and happy as possible. No one person makes all the decisions, no one person’s needs come first, no one person is more important than the rest.  We all contribute and all put the others in our family as a priority.

Family values are on the decline in a big way. I see it daily and it saddens me. We need to be focused on putting our families first and fixing them. They are a priority and they set the example for our children on what life is supposed to be like. Our kids need healthy households and healthy examples.

This is why my family comes first. This is why I do so much with my family. This is why I don’t do Girls Night Out or bar nights with friends. That’s a single girl’s game. I absolutely have time for friends who act like adults and put their own families first. We have some really great friends who we spend time with monthly, some months weekly. They are great people who set a good example for their children and who are enjoyable to be around. They don’t behave like spoiled children wanting to live like they are single while they are in a marriage and have children to raise. They are the kind of people I want around my daughter.

As kids get older they can see the kind of people adults spend their time with. I want to Little Divine to see that we are making good choices on friends. I’ve had to back off from several friends in the last few months due to this. She is old enough to understand what is going on in a lot of situations and that has led to a lot of discussions in recent months. It’s made me think long and hard about who I keep around as a friend!

I love my family and I love being with them. We truly enjoy spending time together no matter what we are doing. They are great people who bring so much good into my life. They give me joy and make me laugh. They are fun to talk to and share experiences with. I love both Little Divine and Mr. Divine. I’m really lucky because Mr. Divine is my best friend and I get to share everything with him. I would not want life any other way. I am truly blessed to share life with them!

The next time someone tries to guilt you for not wanting to go out and drink and bash your husband, tell them NO with no guilt at all! Those of you out there who are putting your family first and are trying to build a strong foundation – kudos to you! What you are doing is amazing and it is something to be proud of. People are not making good choices on a daily basis in our current culture. Putting your family first and trying to be the best you can be is admirable.

Don’t ever feel guilty for putting your family first! ❤

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The Fine Art of Learning

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Little Divine: “Why did you give me a book on race cars to read today?”
Me: “I thought it looked interesting. Give it a try and see if you have anything interesting to journal about after.”
Little Divine: “Hmm, I guess we’ll see.”

Ten Minutes Later.

Little Divine: “Did you know they give out big money prizes to whoever wins the races? And there is a race pretty much every month! And there is this guy, Richard Petty, who holds the all time record for winning 200 races! I wonder if he’s still alive? I’m going to check Google.” (continues to talk while doing so)

This is the learning I’ve hoped for. This is the whole reason I homeschool Little Divine. For a much more natural and child led type of learning. I absolutely bring home books that are on a variety of topics, some Little Divine doesn’t think she’ll be interested in, because I want her to explore the world of learning available to her and find new that peak her interest. With a library card and Google at hand, there is very little that we can’t learn about. I want to challenge Little Divine to research and explore things that come across her mind or her desk so when she’s an adult she will do the same.

Why is the sky blue? Just one question can open the door to so much learning and excitement!

Yesterday Little Divine spent hours researching ways to stimulate the mind of our dog and then trying them out. No one told her to – this was an idea she had all on her own. She got online, found things to try out, and spend a good part of the day doing them. I cannot speak on the dog’s mental stimulation, but she sure was thrilled to get attention and a lot of dog treats! Little Divine shared many of the things she learned with us over dinner and throughout the day. She was really enjoying it!

A few weeks ago Little Divine spent a good hour online researching insects that live in our area, as well as resourceful ways to get rid of the pesky or dangerous ones that can sometimes get in your home. She then recounted to me all the information she learned with pride. I told her I hoped she enjoyed her science lesson and she stared at me curiously. I explained that learning about insects was a part of science and she gave her self a great lesson on them. Her reply? “I didn’t even think of it like that.” No, she just got online and looked up information she wanted to learn. No one stopped her and told her she had to learn what the class was learning. No one told her that it was time to switch to another subject. No one reprimanded her for looking up information on the computer. She got to learn something she was interested in on her terms.

I read a post about unschooling yesterday that I really enjoyed. The writer used a quote from the book, Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book of Homeschooling  by John Holt and Patrick Farenga. In it he describes unschooling as, “interest driven, child-led, natural, organic, eclectic, or self-directed learning… associated with the type of homeschooling that doesn’t use a fixed curriculum… allowing children as much freedom to learn in the world, as their parents can comfortably bear. The advantage of this method is that it doesn’t require (the parent) to become someone else — a professional teacher pouring knowledge into child-vessels on a planned basis. Instead you live and learn together, pursuing questions and interests as they arise …This is the way we learn before going to school and the way we learn when we leave school and enter the world of work.

Unschooling, for lack of a better term (until people start to accept living as part and parcel of learning), is the natural way to learn. This does not mean unschoolers do not take traditional classes or use curricular materials when (they) decide that this is how they want to do it. Learning to read or do quadratic equations are not “natural” processes, but unschoolers nonetheless learn them when it makes sense to them to do so, not because they have reached a certain age or are compelled to do so by arbitrary authority. Therefore it isn’t unusual to find unschoolers who are barely eight-years-old studying astronomy or who are ten-years-old and just learning to read.”

I read that quote to Mr. Divine and he said, “Very nice! That sounds like us.” I think often people assume unschooling means no schooling at all. This is not the case. Unschoolers take classes and learn. They just do it at the child’s pace. Learning is MEANT TO BE FUN. Schools have long since taken the fun out of it. Unschooling is trying to put it back in. Little Divine is full of information and facts. They are things she’s learned about and enjoyed learning about them. I think it’s truly sad that so many school children hate school. Learning should be a wonderful experience!

Last week went to the local museum for Nuclear Science week. We spent 3 hours enjoying the sessions and activities! I signed Little Divine up because nuclear science is not something we’ve covered a lot. I was also thrilled to see a class for just homeschool children was offered. One speaker was a little unsure how to speak about his lesson since we had grades 2 through 8 in our group. Yet the children of all ages were able to sit down and listen, as well as learn what he was teaching and do the activity well! Little Divine and I both learned a lot of neat stuff that we were able to take home and share with Mr. Divine. Neither of us expected to enjoy it as much as we did or glean so much from it. (^.^) It was a great shared learning experience with Little Divine and it opened the doors for more learning at the dinner table with Mr. Divine. We traveled through history and science together as a family.

And so while I look online at a new series of Manga style educational books I’ve found for Little Divine, she reads stories of Roman gods and goddesses, telling me interesting information as she comes across it. She then journals about anything interesting she’s read in the book and we discuss all of it throughout the day. Later we’ll do a science experiment and watch a movie on Robin Hood. For us, this is educational bliss. ❤

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Reading Based Homeschooling

 

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I am constantly trying to find the best way to do things for our family and ways to improve our lives. Homeschooling is a very flexible system of education and we tweak it as needed. When we started off homeschooling years ago Little Divine loved doing her workbooks. They were colorful, fun and engaging. They held her interest and she enjoyed doing them. As we’ve progressed over the years the books have become less colorful, less fun and she doesn’t enjoy doing them as much. We will find a few that she enjoys and gets a lot out of, but a majority are just very plain looking and the book work isn’t something that appeals to her as much.

When we find that something isn’t working, we evaluate it and see if we can find a way to work. If it’s just not working out – it’s time to look for an alternative. That’s exactly what I did for Little Divine. She LOVES to read and is reading at a 9th grade level at least. Books have always been something she’s loved since she first learned to read. She enjoys reading  daily and gets a lot out of it. Because of this I started looking online for information on book centered homeschool curriculum and ways of teaching.

The program I like the best is Build Your Library. This program offers a low cost curriculum for grades K – 9. I’m hoping they expand to higher grades each year so we can move up with them! You purchase each year individually and they each come with generally the same stuff depending on grade level.

  • A lesson plans with:

    • a daily and weekly schedule
    • reading list
    • a set of narration cards
    • vocabulary words, discussion questions and dictation passages tied to the literature readings
    • Weekly writing assignments
    • memory work projects
    • Activity pages (including map work)
    • research projects
    • art projects

The price isn’t bad at $24.95 – $54.95 per set depending on the grade level. That’s a small cost compared to other yearly curriculum programs! I have never been a fan of homeschool curriculum companies who think charging families $300-$600 a year for a curriculum is fair business. Homeschool should not be that expensive. This is another reason I like Build Your Library because I feel their prices are very reasonable.

Little Divine is in 5th and 6th grade books right now. Build Your Library has 5th grade working on US History but I wanted to start off our whole reading based learning system from the very beginning. We have begun checking out books from the Ancient History book list from Grade 1 from our local library and will work our way up through the other grade reading lists until we’ve reached our grade level curriculum. This way we get to start at the beginning of history and move forward! (^.^)

Little Divine is super excited! I showed her the books on the list we are working on right now and showed her the lists to follow. She told me that she’d much prefer learning with reading over workbooks. We are not throwing all our workbooks out the window though. Each week she will be given the choice to pick which workbook she wants to work on each day. She can also work on whatever pages in it she wants. I still feel that writing skills and book work is beneficial, but this way she gets to pick what she works on each day and hopefully it will add some enjoyment back into it for her!

Another thing I added is her choice of something to learn about every week. Each week she gets to pick something she wants to learn about and it can be anything! We will go to the library for books on that subject, watch videos online, and find documentaries on it. We will fully immerse in that topic and learn all we can about it! I’ve told her that if she really loves a topic she can extend how long she learns on it, it doesn’t have to just be a week. This gives her another way to guide her learning and enjoy what she’s learning!

I feel that giving her freedom with her education is extremely important. Homeschool isn’t meant to be a duplicate of the school system. It’s meant to be something that’s special and unique for each child. We as parents often have to make decisions for our kiddos but there are also many times we should let them make their own. I will be here to guide her and step in when needed. We should always remain present in our children’s lives and decisions, even when we let them make their own.

I have to say that both of us are so excited for this new path! Sitting down to devote and hour or more to laying out all her lessons and make her worksheet packets is quite a task. It will be a nice change for me to just hand her the workbooks for the week and tell her to work on them as she desires! Homeschool shouldn’t stress out the parents daily either. It should be an enjoyable experience as much as possible. No you won’t always have enjoyable days, but it should be enjoyable more than not.

Have you tried a books based/reading centered curriculum for your kids? What did you think?

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Code.org Coding For Kids Review

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Little Divine has found her thing. Or at least one of them. She wants to learn how to make her own video game. This is a skill we are happy to encourage! Mr. Divine works with computers and makes video games in his spare time so this is something that we know a lot about.

We have had a hard time with Little Divine and STUFF for a long time. Her room looks a lot like an Amazon storage warehouse…. As that’s her space, we encouraged her to clean it up and organize it, also suggesting she get rid of stuff she doesn’t need/use/want/play with. We felt it should be up to her to do so though, and didn’t force her one way or another. For some reason she just didn’t want to let go of any of her stuff until recently. We FINALLY found a motivator that works for her – for every 2 toys she brings down from her room for us to sell or give away, she gets 1 hour of video game time.

Success!! Hoards of toys have made their way down from her room without hesitation! Little Divine is now able to see the importance of priorities and what matters most to her. She’s been quite surprised herself how she no longer wants to keep things she never uses and how easily she’s able to get rid of stuff. I did a lot of online searching and found that this is actually a very common experience for kids. The age varies widely when kids hit that, “Aha!” moment and start to purge their stuff, as well as the reasons for them doing it. Many times there is no real cause, they just wake up and decide to get organized. Parents are too busy being thankful for it to ask too many questions!

I absolutely understand that childhood should not revolve around screen time. However, we know exactly what games Little Divine plays as she has to ask permission to add any, and we have parental controls set on her laptop as well. Just because she brings down 20 toys does NOT mean she gets 10 hours of game time that day! She still has to do her priorities first and have good behavior to get game time. It’s not an every day thing either. However, this is something that clearly matters to her and is worth getting rid of tons of toys for! That is an important consideration, especially since there it is a learning experience as well. These are skills she can use through adulthood and even turn into a career.

Learning what Little Divine loves has been an important factor in our homeschooling experience. I’m trying to find the best homeschooling path for us so Little Divine truly gets an amazing education that she LOVES. I don’t want her to hate learning. This is why we do a lot of interest led learning. Kids learn best when they are learning about things they love and enjoy! ❤

Little Divine talks about making video games a lot and that process begins with coding. I’ve spent a lot of time looking for coding programs and apps for kids for that teach it in a fun and engaging way. Kids like things presented in a creative and exciting way that will hold their attention and keep them focused on it. Too dry and they don’t want to do it.

Code.org is an amazing site! Not only is it free, but it offers a large selection of coding programs for kids. As I type, Little Divine is working on their Minecraft Hour of Code. Minecraft is one of the games Little Divine enjoys A LOT and will play both with us and by herself. She’s spent hours in creative mode doing whatever her heart desires. With Minecraft Hour of Code, she’s getting to learn how to code with one of her favorite games! ❤

Code.org is a non-profit founded in 2013 with the goal to expand the access of computer science and help participation grow, especially among women and students of different nationalities. The site offers classes for all ages, including adults. There are not enough women in the computer science and technology fields according to the stats I’ve read so I’m very happy to see there are sites, including Code.org, that are trying to change that! As Little Divine is female, I want her to see that she can go into the field of her choice and her gender has nothing to do with it. I also want her to be able to find role models and friends who share the same interests!

What caught my eye on Code.org the most was the variety of classes and programs for kids. Kids are sponges so the earlier you can start teaching them something, the better it will stick. Little Divine will sit at her laptop and work on these coding programs non stop without complaint for hours. This is when you know that your child is loving learning!

For me, it is a really big deal to see a website or organization that has put education first. By offering free programs and classes, Code.org is doing just that. While there are great coding programs for kids out there that have a high price tag, I prefer to focus on the ones that put education above profit.

When you take something a child loves and you nurture that love, you create a positive experience and memory for your child. Encourage and support the interests of your child because they will gain so much more from it with you by their side, helping them get the most out of it! The whole goal of homeschool is to give your child a fulfilling education that is based solely on them. It’s meant to be tailored to them and guided by them. When we keep that in focus, our kids get amazing experiences while getting an a great education!

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DIY Yeast Inflated Balloon Science Experiment

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We love hands on projects here in the Divine household! Science, crafts, wood-working, art. You name it, we like doing it! Creating things, especially together as a family, is tons of fun! Little Divine and I have had a lot more time recently so we’ve been looking for more hands on learning activities to go along with her homeschooling. I bake bread so yeast is a common ingredient in our house. This project seems to be a popular one online with the kids and adults alike! (^.^)

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First things first! You need 1 empty water bottle of whatever size you choose. You will also need yeast, 1 non-inflated balloon, sugar, and warm water. We mixed in 2 tablespoons of yeast into hot water and mixed it well. Then we poured it into our water bottle using a funnel. We added 4 tablespoons of sugar to give it some extra to eat off of! We gently swirled the mixture around inside of the bottle and then put our red balloon over the top of it.

Almost immediately we saw results! Our balloon slowly started inflating before our eyes! Little Divine was thrilled and thanks to Mr. Divine making homemade mead, she could tell us all about why the balloon was inflating and what was causing it. (^.^)

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We spent the next 2 hours checking on our balloon as it grew and grew! It actually got pretty big! We were all very impressed with our project and it was a lot of fun. Plus it was simple to put together and didn’t require expensive ingredients. That’s always good! If you try this experiment, let me know what you think!

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Water Beads Glitter Bottle Project

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These are Water Bead/Jelly Beadz/Water Beadz. They are tiny little balls of excitement! As I mentioned in my original review of them, we discovered these through a friend of ours who had added some to a water bottle for her baby to look at and be fascinated by. I ordered a set of 10,000 beads for my kiddos to try out as well and they loved them! We added them a water filled container and they played with them for hours. (^.^)

I decided to do a project with them similar to our DIY Glitter Bottles because those were such a hit! I took 2 full water bottles, cut off the labels, added 1 drop of food coloring to each bottle, and then added the fun! I added 4 pinches of Water Beads to each bottle, and added 20 small plastic fake diamonds to each bottle. Lastly, we added glitter! I have an excess of fun colored nail glitter that we used, though I really need glitter that sinks for these kind of projects. A lot of our glitter floats at the top instead of sinking to the bottom.

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The bottles were a huge success! ❤ The kids love them! Each bottle shimmers in the sunlight and looks so neat! It was a very simple project that took all of 10 minutes to complete. I did soak the water beads in the water bottles overnight, though they started puffing up after just a few minutes. I think they should be good to go after 2 hours in water.

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These are a super cheap for of entertainment for kids, especially during hot months. There are tons of ways to use them! And you get so many in a package that they last a long time. I am still very happy with this buy because the kids adore these Water Beads! This is something that would make a great gift as well! If you package doesn’t include instructions, you can print out a little tag with instructions and ideas to go with it. (^.^) I may add that to my present list this Christmas season!

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DIY Glitter Bottle For Kids

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I found a fantastic online article this morning from Mindful.org about the benefits of a glitter jar for children. The author gave great examples for kids to use their glitter jars to help with behavioral issues by comparing the glitter to overwhelmed minds. He said that he asks kids to think of the glitter swirling around as all the thoughts going through their heads that distract them and keep them from focusing. He feels it’s a useful tool with children of all ages, not just small children. I wanted to give it a try because one kiddo I watch has a lot of concentration and behavioral issues, and Little Divine gets distracted easily sometimes while she’s doing school work.

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We started off with supplies from our local Dollar Tree. I figured if we needed more advanced supplies we’d go to Hobby Lobby. I decided against glass jars as they can get broken easily by kiddos. These hand sanitizer bottles were the perfect size and made of plastic. We picked up glitter and used glitter I had for nail polish. I figured the combo of glitter should assure a pretty bottle!

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I peeled the labels off the bottles and emptied the sanitizer out. We added water and 1 drop of food coloring to the bottles. Any more than that would have made it too hard to see in it. We added as much glitter as the kids asked for! After I shook them up and they were satisfied with the results, I super-glued the lids on the bottles. I then cut thin strips of fun colored duct tape to cover the tops just to ensure they stayed on and closed!

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The results were fabulous! We did have glitter settling at the top, not just at the bottom, but the kids didn’t mind. (^.^) They love the result! We talked about the bottle representing our minds, and the glitter being all the many thoughts and feelings we have each day. I told them that all their feelings are okay, and we don’t want them to go away, but we do want to find a way to calm our minds so we can focus during the day. We talked about breathing slowly and deeply to calm our minds while we watch the glitter fall and settle in our bottles.

I’m really hoping these are a big help for the kids! Little Divine is 10 so I feel she can better understand how to use her bottle in a calming way, and remember to do her breathing to settle her mind. This was a fantastic project for $2.14 and they turned out very pretty! ❤

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