Valentine's Day Project for Kids






Welcome! My name is Mary. I help parents educate their children at home one day at a time. This site offers LEGO printablesfree music lessonsunit studies,  and much more. Use the tabs above to discover what Homegrown Learners has to offer. You will be equipped and encouraged to travel a most amazing path in your home!

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Books, Books, Books - and a Little Self-Restraint?

My weakness is books. I just LOVE them. Especially children's books. I had a collection before I even had children (well, I did teach elementary school, so I used them). They are everywhere in our house.... closets, bookshelves, boxes, nightstands, random piles everywhere. I love books.

I have actually been avoiding a local bookstore that is on the way to our Thursday co-op. It is a local bookstore, right in the heart of historic downtown. Today I could no longer resist the temptation, so after co-op we decided to park in downtown and take a stroll...

past the historic courthouse and Confederate statue. We read some of the historic plaques along the way - we've never stopped to do that before.

I love the small town atmosphere and the fact that NO ONE was in the bookstore except for us, and the sweet lady who could help us with anything we needed.

This is just a sampling of what the store had to offer.

I think there was silence from Miss, GMan and I for the first thirty minutes we were in the store. It was just so much fun to look at all of the possibilities.

I have a budget for homeschool materials, and I was proud of myself - I only spent $39. I've spent very little on their curriculum this year - we are using the library A LOT! We came home with a puzzle of ancient Egypt, a read-aloud for both children, a math storybook, and a Martha Speaks chapter book for GMan. The woman in the store also gave us a lot of free samples to take home!

Do you have a weakness for books??


Wednesday - What's for Dinner? Slow Cooker Spinach Chicken Alfredo

I'm trying a new recipe here at home tonight, but for the post today I wanted to share a recipe I made over the weekend. It was very EASY and delicious! We ate three meals from this (it makes a great lunch reheated), too. I'll preface things by saying my kids are not big spinach fans. Sometimes I can sneak it in, but it's pretty visible in this dish. Since it contains noodles, I simply saved some plain noodles out for my children - buttered them and put parmesan cheese on top. They were happy with this, and I didn't have to go out of my way to fix something "extra".

Hope you like this recipe - it is a "keeper" in our house!

Spinach Chicken Alfredo

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken strips, cut into strips
8 oz. frozen chopped spinach
1 4 oz. can mushrooms, drained
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 cups chicken broth
2 T corn starch
1 8 oz. brick low-fat cream cheese
12 oz. whole wheat pasta, cooked according to package directions.

1. Place chicken, mushrooms, and spinach in a greased slow cooker.
2. Mix chicken broth, parmesan cheese, and spices. Pour over chicken mixture.
3. Cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 6 hours.
4. Stir in cream cheese, until smooth.
5. Add pasta, and cook for 10 minutes or until heated through.

What's for dinner at YOUR house tonight? Do you have any favorite "go-to" places for recipes? I'd love to know!



For some reason I've been very reflective the past couple of weeks about my children and the path we have chosen for their education. Mostly, it's been thankfulness. They seem to be growing and thriving so well. I'm so glad I've let go of the "school" expectations, and have allowed them to grow and pursue their own interests. I believe their memories of traditional school are fading and they, too, are relaxing as each day goes by.

Right now we are working on projects for a homeschool literature fair, which involves a report of a book, hands-on project and display, and interview. My daughter has chosen a lovely book, "Calico Bush", which we have been reading together. It is one of my favorites we have ever read together. As we have worked our way through literature that takes place in the 1700s, I have noticed my daughter being fascinated with the pioneer way of life. On her own, she came up with the idea of wanting to learn to knit and sew (just like Marguerite in the story). She has learned to knit from my friend Karen, and is learning to sew from my neighbor, Robin. I can't tell you the hours she has spent on these two projects. Her fingerless gloves and Calico quilt will always be treasures to her I am sure! They are good for her patience, self-esteem, self-control, and perseverance. I can't wait until we are all ready for the literature fair!

Another great thing - tonight my daughter wanted to start her Valentines (we usually go to grandma and grandpa's house near Valentine's Day and they love to celebrate with the kids). She went to the American Girl website, selected pictures to print, resized them, printed them on heavy paper, and began the task of filling them out tonight. She wants to laminate them tomorrow and attach a pastel Tootsie Roll to each. I love the creativity! This is my little girl, the one who was fighting to come out a couple of years ago and was so unhappy being stifled. Now, her God given talents are coming to the surface.

It's a little harder to tell with my six year old because he is just so busy, but I see him obsessing about his math (in a good way), learning his times tables, and memorizing all of the state capitals - with no prompting from me. He loves to read and happily retreats to his room each day for quiet time and always lays next to his bookshelf where he can read his favorite Curious George, Dr. Seuss, or baseball books. His literature fair book is "The Grouchy Ladybug" - we are waiting for the ladybug larvae to come in the mail so we can get this show on the road!

I think I share these little stories on my blog to remember them... and so I have a record of what the kids are accomplishing. I hope I give credibility to homeschoolers everywhere by doing this. I finally am starting to GET IT. Homeschooling isn't just a choice in how we educate our children, it's our lifestyle, and one I'm so glad to lead.

Sure, here I sit at 11 p.m. working on lessons for this week and trying to unwind because there is so much to be done, but I can honestly say I wouldn't have it any other way!

Are you just so thankful to be a homeschooler? Leave me a comment and let me know!

This post is linked to The Hip Homeschool Hop and Teach Me Tuesday.
Visit other homeschoolers today and leave some comments, offer encouragement, or just get some great ideas!