Advent Activities for Slacker Moms

If you’re like me, you have great intentions when it comes to the holidays. You want a Pinterest-Perfect winter wonderland, but what you end up with is…less than perfect. I want to make the holidays magical for my kids- without making myself insane. So often, when I am looking at blogs for advent activities, I find lists of activities that are just not realistic for my family. I put together this list of super easy advent activities to keep myself sane. Hopefully some of you will enjoy them too!

  1. Christmas Coloring Pages from Crayola – It doesn’t get much easier than this! Just hit print! Great for a day when you don’t have time to prepare anything.
  2.  Christmas Music Dance Party – Check out this Youtube playlist or use your own favorites.
  3. Write letters to Santa.
  4. Draw a gingerbread house with Art for Kids Hub– these fun, short videos are easy to follow and kids have a blast.
  5. Get/ put up your Christmas tree. You’re going to do it anyway, it may as well count as an activity.
  6. Christmas movie night. Netflix has a ton of family holiday movies.
  7. Make cocoa. Quick, easy, and the kids will be happy.
  8. Go look at Christmas lights. Good for when you forgot to do something all day and suddenly, it’s almost bedtime. Put jammies on and go drive around looking at lights. Easy peasy.
  9. Go shopping for those less fortunate. Grab one of the tags hanging on an angel tree near you and take the kids shopping to help make the holidays brighter for kids in need.
  10. Bake cookies. Use the pre-made cookie dough if you need to.
  11. String popcorn.
  12. Play Holiday Charades
  13. Read your favorite Christmas storybook.
  14. Go to a local holiday parade/tree lighting/ town festival.
  15. Have another movie night. The kids won’t be sad if you have them watch Rudolf twice.
  16. Print out this Christmas word scramble. 
  17. Write your own Christmas stories. If your kids are too young to write, have them tell you a story. You can write it down for them and they can illustrate it.
  18. Go to a holiday party. You are probably doing this anyway.
  19. Take the kids Christmas shopping. I like to set mine loose in a thrift shop or dollar store with $5 and see what they find.
  20. Make lunchtime more fun with this printable holiday place-mat from Three Little Monkeys. 
  21. Make family game night festive by playing Christmas music and eating candy canes.
  22. Get some wrapping done while your kids enjoy holiday games online.
  23. Make peppermint bark. It’s super easy. Really. You basically just melt chocolate chips and sprinkle it with crushed candy canes.
  24. Open one present Christmas Eve. Pajamas are a great choice so the kiddos can put them on and look cute in the 200 photos you’ll take Christmas morning.

For Educators, Homeschool Groups, or Book Clubs

If you are interested in using the Nellie Nova series in your  classroom, homeschool group, or book club, please contact me at stephie.peterson@live.com. I am happy to provide a discount for orders of 20 or more books. I  also can provide a special educator’s guide to accompany Nellie Nova Takes Flight free of charge with a bulk order. The guide contains more information about the science and history concepts in the book as well as art, science, writing, and history activities for kids.

I love visiting schools and homeschool groups. If your school or group is within two hours of Raleigh, North Carolina, I would love to come do a reading for your students. I can also do Skype presentations for those outside of my driving range.

I love hearing from educators. I’d love to hear more about how your schools or groups are using Nellie Nova.

 

 

 

Black Friday/ Cyber Monday Book Deal

If you’ve been thinking about buying some Nellie Nova books for kids in your life, now is a great time! Use code GIFTBOOK17 on amazon.com to take $5 off any book order over $20. Can be used with any combination of books.

 

Happy shopping, book lovers!

 

Thanksgiving Writing Prompts for Kids

Get your kids writing this Thanksgiving with these writing prompts!

 

  • On Thanksgiving morning, you wake up and find that you are not in your bed. You are in a pen, on a farm, and you have a lot of feathers. You’re a turkey and the farmer is hungry! What do you do?
  • Your mom tells you that all pies have been banned by the government this Thanksgiving. What do you do?
  • You hate turkey. You hate pie. Most of all, you hate cranberries. How do you convince your parents to make something else for Thanksgiving dinner?
  • What are you thankful for this year that you either did not have or did not appreciate last year?
  • It’s Thanksgiving Day. Your parents decided to order a delivered meal this year. The doorbell rings. You open it and find three dozen live turkeys waiting for you. What happens next?
  • Your crazy Uncle Bob shows up at Thanksgiving with a time machine. He sends you back to the first Thanksgiving. What do you see?
  • Your Grandma serves a Thanksgiving dinner of cereal, dog treats, and candy canes. What do you do?
  • A strange guest shows up at your Thanksgiving dinner. Who is it and how does your family react?

Nellie Nova’s Summer on the Run Now Available!

I have spent the past year and a half working hard to get this project finished. It’s been so fun writing my newest book. I recently had a release party here in Raleigh and it was a blast! Snacks, crafts, and a reading made for a really fun day. I hope all of Nellie’s fan’s check out book number two!

Nellie Nova’s Summer on the Run is a great read for kids in 3rd-6th grades!

About the book:

A year has passed since Nellie Nova built her time machine, the Purple Flyer. She and her brother, Niles, have been busy traveling throughout history to meet amazing women. Everyone in the Nova family, including their “Auntie” Amelia Earhart is very happy that the pesky government agents who tried to steal their time machine last year have finally backed off. One day, after traveling in time to meet the Native American trail guide Sacagawea, Nellie and Niles return home to find out that Agent Riley and his team of operatives are back in town and they’ve come for the Novas! Ruthless as ever, the agents chase Nellie and Niles through town, park their car in front of the Novas’ home, and even show up to Nellie’s dance recital. The Novas have had enough, so they pack their bags and head to Washington state to hide out in the mountains for the summer.
Worst of all, Nellie’s parents forbid her and Niles from using their time machine until things settle down.
Will they ever get away from the agents? And will Nellie ever be able to use her time machine to meet her newest heroine and namesake, reporter Nellie Bly?

 

If you’ve been itching to buy the second installment of Nellie’s story, check it out on Amazon today!  The Nellie Nova series is a great way to gently encourage a love of science and history in young kids.

 

 

 

 

16 Ways I’m not a Stereotypical Homeschooler

A lot of people have preconceived notions about what a homeschooling family looks like. Some of the ideas people have about homeschoolers are based on stereotypes they’ve heard. Sometimes, someone remembers a homeschooling family they once met and assumes that’s just how it’s done. Sometimes people are just making assumptions based on their own lives. Whatever your assumptions about homeschooling are, put them aside. Like any other group of people, no two homeschoolers are exactly alike.

Here are sixteen ways I break homeschool stereotypes. I’ve heard all of these from people in the past. Some of these assumptions are great qualities – just not ones I possess. Some of them are awful stereotypes and just need to end.

  1. I wear pants. The last time I wore a denim jumper, I was five years old.
  2. I don’t bake my own bread from grains I harvested myself.  I buy it at Aldi.
  3. We don’t live in an RV. (But that would be really cool!)
  4. My kids don’t speak Latin and I don’t have plans to change that.
  5. I’m not super organized.
  6. We’re not unschoolers, though I know and admire many unschoolers.
  7. I don’t homeschool my kids to keep them away from the world. I homeschool them so they can spend more time in it.
  8. My kids do not behave perfectly. In fact, when people imply that they do, I laugh.
  9. I don’t think everyone should homeschool or that schools are evil. We’re just doing what works for our family.
  10. We don’t homeschool because of super conservative religious beliefs.
  11. My kids socialize with other kids. A lot. I promise. Please quit asking about this. Homeschoolers have a million ways to get out in the world and interact with people. My kids go to baseball, dance, classes with other homeschoolers, co-ops, the park, the library, museums, the store, church, friends’ houses, doctor appointments and about a thousand other places. Seriously. We’re almost never home, so let’s put an end to this one.
  12. I do not have saint-like patience and I get frustrated just like other parents.
  13. I don’t sew all of our clothes nor am I great at crafting in general.
  14. I’m not a perfect parent.
  15. I am not a dead-beat parent who is too lazy to get her kids to school on time.
  16. My kids are not illiterate.

In the end, I am really not that different from any other mom. I want the best for my kids and I am trying my hardest to help guide them in this world. I think that most moms I know can agree that’s what we’re all aiming for.

 

Homeschoolers, what assumptions have others made about you because you educate your kids at home? If you don’t homeschool, maybe you learned something about families like mine. Let me know what you think! 

 

Image Slideshow Post Example

Cras ultricies ligula sed magna dictum porta. Vestibulum ac diam sit amet quam vehicula elementum sed sit amet dui. Donec rutrum congue leo eget malesuada. Nulla porttitor accumsan tincidunt. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Donec velit neque, auctor sit amet aliquam vel, ullamcorper sit amet ligula. Mauris blandit aliquet elit, eget tincidunt nibh pulvinar a. Nulla quis lorem ut libero malesuada feugiat. Donec rutrum congue leo eget malesuada. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Praesent sapien massa, convallis a pellentesque nec, egestas non nisi.

Audio Post Example

Vivamus suscipit tortor eget felis porttitor volutpat. Curabitur non nulla sit amet nisl tempus convallis quis ac lectus. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Donec velit neque, auctor sit amet aliquam vel, ullamcorper sit amet ligula. Nulla porttitor accumsan tincidunt. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Donec velit neque, auctor sit amet aliquam vel, ullamcorper sit amet ligula. Donec sollicitudin molestie malesuada. Curabitur arcu erat, accumsan id imperdiet et, porttitor at sem. Quisque velit nisi, pretium ut lacinia in, elementum id enim. Nulla quis lorem ut libero malesuada feugiat. Vivamus magna justo, lacinia eget consectetur sed, convallis at tellus.

Youtube Video Post Example

Nulla quis lorem ut libero malesuada feugiat. Donec sollicitudin molestie malesuada. Pellentesque in ipsum id orci porta dapibus. Vivamus magna justo, lacinia eget consectetur sed, convallis at tellus. Donec sollicitudin molestie malesuada. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Donec velit neque, auctor sit amet aliquam vel, ullamcorper sit amet ligula. Vestibulum ac diam sit amet quam vehicula elementum sed sit amet dui. Quisque velit nisi, pretium ut lacinia in, elementum id enim. Praesent sapien massa, convallis a pellentesque nec, egestas non nisi. Vivamus suscipit tortor eget felis porttitor volutpat.

Quote Post Example

“Ut pharetra augue nec augue. Nam elit agna, endrerit sit amet, tincidunt ac, viverra sed, nulla. Donec porta diam eu massa. Quisque diam lorem, interdum vitae, dapibus ac, scelerisque vitae, pede.” John Smith

Sed in lacus ut enim adipiscing aliquet. Nulla venenatis. In pede mi, aliquet sit amet, euismod in, auctor ut, ligula. Aliquam dapibus tincidunt metus. Praesent justo dolor, lobortis quis, lobortis dignissim, pulvinar ac, lorem. Vestibulum sed ante. Donec sagittis euismod purus.Sed ut perspiciatis sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque.

“Duis ac turpis. Integer rutrum ante eu lacus.Vestibulum libero nisl, porta vel, scelerisque eget, malesuada at, neque. ”

John Smith

Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Suspendisse sollicitudin velit sed leo. Ut pharetra augue nec augue.

Nam elit agna, endrerit sit amet, tincidunt ac, viverra sed, nulla. Donec porta diam eu massa. Quisque diam lorem, interdum vitae, dapibus ac, scelerisque vitae, pede.

Nulla venenatis. In pede mi, aliquet sit amet, euismod in,auctor ut, ligula. Aliquam dapibus tincidunt metus. Praesent justo dolor, lobortis quis, lobortis dignissim, pulvinar ac, lorem. Vestibulum sed ante. Donec sagittis euismod purus.

H5 Heading

Mauris fermentum dictum magna. Sed laoreet aliquam leo. Ut tellus dolor, dapibus eget, elementum vel, cursus eleifend, elit.

Aenean auctor wisi et urna. Aliquam erat volutpat.

Duis ac turpis. Integer rutrum ante eu lacus.Vestibulum libero nisl, porta vel, scelerisque eget, malesuada at, neque.