Summer Reading Plan


We were at the library yesterday and saw the advertising for the summer reading program. I am always shocked how a sheet of paper, a strip of stickers and a chance for a prize motivates my kids to want to spend some of their summer reading!

So fast-forward to this morning, since our bible reading comes from our school curriculum and we are finishing that up. I told my 7 year old, go read you bible. He was immediately lost on what he should read and slumped on the couch. Hmm might need to offer some guidance here.

Summer Reading Plan for His Glory
A Family Challenge

I decided we should read through the New Testament over the summer. I found some great bible reading plans; I even found one with the New Testament broken down to read in 90 days! No need to make my own.
Of course no plan is complete with out a reading chart! I asked my kids if they had any stickers, cause you know those things multiply when you aren’t looking.

I then remembered I had some great family activity coupons lying in a drawer, the kind of coupons that can get you ice cream for dinner or a special outing with dad. I grabbed a lovely red gift bag and added the coupons to it.

At the end of June, July and August if your reading chart is filled with stickers you can grab a coupon out of the bag! Hmm I might need to come up with a coupon my husband and I can strive towards. It always makes things fun when the kids can check to see how WE parents are doing.


DIY Science Board Game

“Health Matters” the name of our new game.

My favorite way to end our science co-op; design a board game! Since we just finished our unit on the Human Body that became the theme for our game.

We decided to base our game on the actual game of “Life.” The goal: acquire a medical profession, buy a medical building and retire with the most money.

We choose 6 medical jobs: Surgeon, Doctor, Nurse, Pharmacist, Physical Therapist and Medical Clerk.

We choose 6 medical buildings: Hospital, Nursing Home, Medical Clinic, Doctor’s Office, Pharmacy, and Urgent Care.

If you roll a 1 or a 6 you can switch salaries with any player.

The kids came up with 24 medical ideas for the Health tiles. For instance, “Find a cure for cancer, earn $100.” The tiles will be collected traveling the board and they can’t be read until the player reaches the retirement community.

Then came the real hard work, thinking of different things to write on the squares on the board. A few of my favorite: Lead the group in singing Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, For a healthy heart do 10 jumping jacks or Leave scalpel in patient pay $30.

We modge podged some Google images and typed up the words onto address labels to make the different cards. A black Sharpie pen and neat handwriting completed the board.

DSCN5403 DSCN5400

If you want to read about last years game “Journey to the Abyss” hop over to my blog post at Bright Ideas Press 

Amazon sells a pretty colorful make your own board game.  If you need some help in getting started.



Math Formulas in Color

When my son started adding instead of multiplying when doing area, and couldn’t remember to take ½ of the number when doing triangles; I knew we needed to stop and help his mind sort out the information rolling around in there.

First thing I do to help is color code concepts, this really helps form a picture in his mind.

Since he was counting numbers into the trillions I wanted to review place value.

First we discussed what items in life that he pictured in his mind that
had perpendicular and parallel lines, so we added the compass rose and railroad tracks to the pictures.

Putting the adding signs around the perimeter helps to remind him to add.


Then when we moved into area problems I shaded the problems to help him remember that area is the inside of the shape.

We did make the h in the triangle formula a little different, but in his mind angling the H and putting the right angle line on it helps him remember.

Now we have reference sheets for when we are teaching the lesson for the 20th time and it all “seems new” to us.



My Top 10 of 2:1

10) Bloggers have more names, handles, urls then I can keep up with.

9) There is an intriguing gentleman who likes to ask people their favorite smells. He claims to learn a lot about people this way. Of course I told him, “I don’t like smells.” He was stumped.

8) The hand lotion at the hotel needs to be kept far away from the shampoo.

7) Some bloggers travel with gallons of sweet tea. It takes about 3 gallons of sweet tea to attract ants in the hotel.

6) All bloggers have iPhones.

5) Hotel hair won’t win any styling awards in the future.

4) The only way to tell the firm pillows from the soft pillows is by the label on them.

3) That by 4pm my brain no longer holds new information.

2) This was the first time I have had ladies covet my gluten free meals.

And the one I risked my life for……

1) The roads to 2:1 are zigzagged!!!

How to Prioritize the Important Stuff

(Warning: This contains deep thoughts from me!)

For the last few years of juggling all the hats I wear in life, I usually visualized my priorities on a long checklist. Of course God should be first, and then my husband…. This usually led to guilt by lunchtime when I realized I had not prayed or thought of my husband.  Maybe you have been in my shoes?



(Cue Lightbulb!)

Instead of visualizing that rectangle of a priority list, try a circle! Hopefully, you are familiar with the word circles that make the words larger for more usage and smaller for less.

Now the other big thought, don’t analyze this list everyday! That weekly date night goes a long way to keeping my husband high on the list, that morning bible study gives me nuggets of truth for days, or the kids just completed a huge school project.

OH and to remind myself to give myself grace when the washing machine breaks, the children get sick, and I haven’t showered in days. (Yeah that was my week)

Now my Priority Circle can allow the words to grow big or get smaller based on time over the week. So if my circle looks like this….better reevaluate fast!