How To Keep Kids Busy | Our Homeschool and Daily Schedule

Hello! It is a crazy time in the world right now, and the kids are out of school! So far in my area of Texas, the schools are canceled this week, but to be honest, I don’t see them going back to school for awhile.

I have a 5 year old in Kinder, and an 8 year old in 3rd grade. They love to “play school” together, so I thought right now was the perfect time to try homeschooling.

At this time, we aren’t leaving the house, and if you have kids, you’ll know that it is really hard to entertain them ALL day at home without leaving. Unlike summer break, where we can usually leave for awhile, we can’t right now. We need routine and a schedule if we are going to be here all day.

My girls have been staying up pretty late, so they’ve been waking up around 8. The longer they sleep, the better!

I decided to start homeschool at 10 am, because, what is the rush? We have all day. I’m not doing it because I’m afraid they will get behind, I’m doing it because we’re gonna get bored.

Before school, they:

  • Make their beds
  • Clean up their rooms
  • Brush their teeth
  • Get dressed
  • Brush their hair
  • Eat breakfast

At 10 am school starts. I’ve made time blocks for the different subjects/activities for us to do.

  • 10:00 Reading

The girls take turns reading a small book or a chapter or two from a chapter book. After each one reads, I ask them reading comprehension questions about what they read. Setting, main characters, main idea, problem, solution, favorite part of the reading, etc. I will switch this up daily and ask different questions, and sometimes I will read to them and then ask questions.

  • 10:30 Writing

I give them 30 minutes for free writing. They each have a journal, and I either give them a topic to write about or they can pick. If they have time after writing, I let them illustrate what they wrote about on the back of the page.

  • 11:00 Math

I make them up worksheets to do for the math time block. Allie is working on multiplication/fractions, and Ashley is working on adding/subtracting/word problems. We grade the worksheets together when they are finished. Also, my 8 year old likes to use our dry erase board to give Ashley some math problems, so we do that too.

  • 11:30 Workbooks

I have workbooks for them to do that are full of all kinds of worksheets and activities. I get one grade level up from the grade they are in so that they are challenging. The girls love doing these.

  • 12:00 Lunch

I prepare lunch while they are doing their workbooks and then it’s time to eat!

  • 12:30 Art Time

The girls love art, so we have devoted a whole hour to art. watercolor painting, drawing, coloring books, origami, crafts, etc. I choose one activity per day.

Today was painting.

  • 1:30 Science/ Social Studies

I prepare a science experiment or a lesson on a certain topic and then we do a quiz on the topic afterwards where I ask them questions about what we learned. You can find tons of ideas online. Today we learned about honeybees and butterflies and had quizzes on those. Brainpop is a great resource.

  • 2:00 Recess

They love to play outside at this time!

  • 2:30 Snacktime and Movie

They usually like to watch a movie in the afternoon. It takes up a while and allows them to rest. After the movie it’s pretty much a free for all till dinner. This time is usually spent outside.

  • 5:30-6:30 Dinner

We usually have dinner during this time, depending on when I start cooking!

  • 7:00 Bath/PJ’s

We will do showers/baths and they’ll put on their pajamas.

I’m not too strict about bedtime, seeing as we do not have to get up early. I let them play and have a sleepover or do whatever they want. They usually go to sleep around 9 pm.

So that is it for our schedule! Without a schedule, we get bored, and it’s hard to come up with things to do. When the girls are on a schedule, it helps with arguing about what to do, and also keeps them busy.

What are some activities and things you like to do with your kids?

Thanks for reading! xx

DIY Personalized Beaded Bracelets

Hello! I absolutely love personalized jewelry. Anything with a monogram or a name I just have to have!!! Recently, I have spotted a trend of beaded bracelets that you can have personalized with a name. I have seen these on Etsy, Baublebar, even really expensive ones on NET-A-PORTER.

Photo from Baublebar

Photo from Etsy

Photo from NetAPorter

These range from $10- $85!

I thought, I can totally make these myself. AND, my girls will love to help me!

All you need are some beads and some string. We found ours from Michaels and Amazon.

Multicolor letter beads here

Black and white letter beads here

Metallic beads here

These were all fairly inexpensive, and they come with a ton- you can make bracelets for everyone!

The girls and I had so much fun making them, and I love how cute they are.

Do you like personalized jewelry?

Thanks for reading 🙂

xx

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New Blog Name | Back to School Lunch and Snack Ideas!

Hello! Welcome to my new (ish) blog! I recently changed the name from Amy’s Beauty Diary to its new name, The Hustlin’ Homemaker. I did this because I want to create content that is not just exclusive to beauty. While I love doing beauty posts, I want to be able to post about anything, whether it be kids, home, books – things that I think you guys would be interested in! So, thanks for sticking w me 🙂 I also created a new Instagram page, so give me a follow at @thehustlinhomemaker! I’ll be posting on there a lot. 🙂

Alright, so let’s get on with today’s post.

My two girls just went back to school- today, just as I type this. My older daughter, Allie, has started 3rd grade, and my baby, Ashley, has just started kindergarten. While I am sad and will miss them, I am so proud of them and will always cherish these past years of them being with me. I haven’t been without a kid for about 8 years, so it’s a big change for me as well.

Anyway, this post is about school lunch! My girls love to bring their lunch, and also like to buy their lunch at school. I have a lot of ideas that I am excited to share with you all!

First off, their lunchboxes. These came with their backpacks as matching sets. I like the shape of these because they can fit the lunch containers perfectly.

I have two types of lunch containers, these bigger ones with 3 compartments and then the smaller ones with four compartments that look like the containers Lunchables come in. I love to use these because they save money and reduce waste- and I can actually see how much of their lunch they eat.

Here are some examples of what I pack in them.

A Lunchables type meal with pepperoni, cheese and crackers, blueberry skewers, celery, some goldfish crackers, and an Oreo for dessert.

A unicorn shaped pb&j, some strawberries, carrots, some vanilla yogurt that i put a few sprinkles on, and a rice krispy treat.

A turkey and cheese sandwich on a Hawaiian roll, some cherry tomatoes, strawberry applesauce, wheat thins, and a pink sugar cookie.

Here I have a ham and cheese sandwich on a crescent roll, some pineapple, pretzel sticks, an oatmeal raisin granola bar, and some Barbie fruit snacks. 🙂

The little containers are what I use for Ashley, as she can’t eat as much as Allie.

Some string cheese and crackers, a hard boiled egg, carrots, and some blueberries.

And lastly, we have some turkey and cheese roll ups, strawberries, a granola bar, and some goldfish crackers.

The biggest tip for lunch making is just to do it the night before so you don’t have to rush in the morning. It really doesn’t take long at all.

Some other things I like to use for their lunches are these little Thermos Jars.

You can pretty much pack anything in these, mac and cheese, soup, spaghetti, chicken and rice…any leftovers, and it keeps it hot in the lunchbox, even if there’s an ice pack inside.

Also, the Thermos cups. These are so durable and keep their water cold all day. We have a bunch of these.

These silicone baking cups and toothpicks add a little bit of a colorful touch and just something extra that I know makes the girls happy to eat their lunch. Also, cutting a sandwich out with a cookie cutter is really fun for them- we’ve got a drawer just for cookie cutters.

I got these super cute Lunch Notes for them just to put inside their lunch. These are thick cardstock and have cute little sayings and pictures on them, and there is space to write something. They will love these.

Lastly, just a few snack ideas. I made these cinnamon roll apples for them for the first day of school- they were super easy!

Make up some cinnamon rolls, and wait until they’re completely cooled.

Add some red food coloring to your icing. Count out 8 pretzel sticks for the stems, and cut up some sour candy belts to make the leaves. It’s ok if they’re not perfect; all leaves are different!

I leveled the cinnamon rolls to make them flat, and then iced them and stuck the pretzel and the leaf into the top.

How cute are these?!

Super quick and easy! I made them the night before the first day of school.

The next idea is a little pencil wafer cookie. Just cut the top of some sugar wafers into a point.

Add icing to the top and bottom, and add a mini chocolate chip to the top.

These are such a cute afternoon snack! I gave these to the girls when they got home from school, and they loved them.

I hope you liked these ideas and will try them! Thanks for reading!

xx amy

MOMMIN’| What To Do With Your Kids This Summer

Summer break is officially here and I am so excited! I get to hang out with my two little BFF’s every day and do fun things with them.

Sometimes it’s hard to come up with ideas and creative ways to entertain these little bears, so I thought I would share some ideas with y’all!

I am all about the free/cheap activities, and my kids are pretty easy to entertain. Usually a can of play doh or a coloring book is all they need, but they also really enjoy being outside and playing.

LIBRARIES

This is a big one for us. The girls love to read, Allie loves chapter books, Ashley loves books about babies. They can check out books every week, attend story time, pack a lunch and eat it on the patio, and play in the toy room. Check out your local library if you haven’t, the girls love it, and it’s totally FREE.

PARKS

We have four parks that we regularly go to, we love to fly kites, bring sidewalk chalk, play basketball, and play on the playground equipment. Some parks even have splash pads, so you they can bring their swimsuit and have fun in the water. We always pack snacks or a picnic lunch so we can make a day of it. Again, FREE.

MORE GOING OUT ACTIVITIES

Children’s Museums

My little one and I have a yearly membership to our Children’s Museum, and so we just have to pay for Allie when we go in the summertime. The museum has things for all ages of kids, and they have different activities and crafts set up each day. Most of the things are educational and fun.

Movies

If you have older kids like me, a movie might be something your kids like to do! Sometimes you can find theaters that show kids movies in the mornings at a discounted price. Plus, you can sneak in your own snacks. 🙂 My girls love it when I make them up a snack bag for the movie.

Malls

Going to the mall is a nice air conditioned option for the really hot days. Walk around, do some window shopping, have lunch, and a few of the malls around me have little play areas. My girls love going to the mall.

Trampoline Parks, Bounce House Places, Open Gyms

These are indoor places where your kids can go to burn off their energy. These are good to do on really hot or rainy days. Most of the time, they aren’t too expensive.

Pools

In our neighborhood, we have a complex with three pools, a playground, and a huge pavilion with bathrooms. If your neighborhood has this, JACKPOT. If not, you can find a pool around you or go over to a friend’s pool. Sometimes YMCA or other gyms will offer memberships for their pools.

Play dates/ Visiting Family / Lunch w Daddy

We like to visit family, schedule play dates with friends during the summer, and we also like to go over to my husbands work and bring lunch to him. I know he loves to see us when we come.

Other

Other activities we like to do are go to water parks or theme parks, aquariums, zoos, bowling, or places like Chuckee Cheese. These places can get expensive so we don’t do them often, but a few times in the summer. We also like to take a beach vacation a few times since we are only about 3 hrs away.

Summer Camps/ Extra Curriculars

Summer camps are really good for the kids and help them to make new friends while doing something different. Allie is going to be doing Summer Art Camp for a week through her school, and Ashley is going to be attending her Summer Camp Days through her preschool that she will start attending in the fall. Also, I plan on putting the girls in either swim lessons again or dance class to give them something else to do each week.

HOME

Ok, so now for the hard part. The AT HOME part. The time when the day can tend to drag a bit. You went somewhere in the morning, you had lunch, and now what? You’re gonna be home for the rest of the day.

This is where my activity jar comes in.

I wrote down 50 activities that I could think of that my girls like doing, and some new surprise ones.

I wrote them on popsicle sticks and added some paint on the tips to make them look cute.

I put them into a jar, and each day, one of the girls gets to pick one out and we do that activity for the day.

THEY LOVE THIS.

Some of the activities are indoor, some are outdoor, but they are all fun and keep the girls entertained.

Some examples of things outdoors:

  • play in the sprinkler
  • have a treasure hunt
  • ride bikes
  • blow bubbles
  • fly a kite
  • have a toy car car wash
  • sidewalk chalk
  • set up an obstacle course
  • collect wildflowers
  • make pet rocks
  • make leaf rubs

And indoors:

  • have a dance party
  • scrapbook
  • make jewelry
  • have storytime
  • have a tea party
  • make slime
  • make paper airplanes
  • build a fort
  • play Play Doh
  • paint
  • play hide and seek

The options are really endless, just be creative with it and your kids will have a really fun summer.

Thanks for reading!

xx

Products I Regret Buying

Yep, we’re doing it, we’re going there. We’re about to bash some products.

DON’T BUY THESE.

Let’s start with the two hair products I have here.

Ok, so you may remember this first gem from my recent beauty haul post from a few weeks ago. This is the Garnier Smooth Air Dry Anti-Frizz Cream. So, this product claims to give you frizz control without heat styling. I don’t usually have frizz, so I’m not sure about that, but it did make my hair feel like a greasy sticky mess no matter how much I used. I ran some of this through my hair, let it air dry, and it still FELT WET. NO, Garnier, NO.

Next. WHY OH WHY do I continue to buy hair products made for kids? Why don’t I just stick to Its a Ten for my two girls who both have longer hair than me? This product is the FairyTales Static Free Detangler Spray. This “DETANGLER” sucks! First of all, it reeks, both of the girls said it smelled like their “stinky cheese crayon“. Also, this shiz doesn’t detangle or make hair feel silky AT ALL. If anything, it dries their hair out. Fail. Maybe this is meant for a baby with no hair. I don’t know.

Shall we even talk about this green cream that “transforms to a universal shade”??? No L’Oréal, not everyone is this shade of orange, tysm. This is the L’Oréal Anti Redness BB Cream. First off, to cover redness, the product has to STAY GREEN. This doesn’t, oxidizes, and turns orange.

Not only is it orange, but it is super oily and feels heavy and greasy on my skin. Yuck. HARD PASS, L’Oréal.

This pencil looked so promising! It is the Lancôme Drama Liqui-Pencil, and I thought it would be close to that Estee Edit Pencil Liner that I loved. Unfortunately, it is not. It’s dry, it drags, and it’s not creamy and smooth at all. This has fairly good reviews, so maybe I just got a bad one?

Lastly, a mascara that is super weird. Why did I even think this would be good?

I love to try new mascara, so I thought this one looked pretty and interesting. This is the L’Oréal Voluminous Butterfly Sculpt Mascara. Unfortunately, the wand on this makes it so difficult to apply. Most of the wand is bare, but on the top there are some tiny spikes. This mascara is an extremely wet formula, and immediately clumped up on me. It weighed down my lashes and looked so bad. Also, is was VERY hard to remove, and it’s not even waterproof. I think I’ll stick to my Lash Paradise.

Alright, so I hope I helped you from wasting your money on this junk!

Thanks for reading xx