Educents Back To School Blowout Sale

If you are a teacher, homeschool teacher or parent looking for educational items, be sure to check out Educents biggest sale ever going on from July 30 – August 2, 2014.

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I love the deals I can often find on Educents and think you will too.

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Our Homeschool Room Makeover

This post is so long overdue, that I hesitated even posting it today, but I decided that in order to show you any future improvements to this room, I needed to catch you up to where it is now.

Our dining room is where we have our homeschool most days, unless the sun is calling us out to the deck.  We only use the table for the kids to eat on holidays, so using the table in the dining room doesn’t conflict with meal times.  We use our big bar that is between the kitchen and dining room for all other meals.

My future house (we are hoping for a big move in next year or two) will have an area for a big table, not a formal dining area since we are just not that formal, but a place to fit a table like this.  I already have hubby looking for just the right wood!  I just love that table!

Back to the makeover now.  It’s time for the before pictures.

wall 1 before

The dining room is situated where it is the main traffic area through the house, making it a poor choice for a dining area, but a great area for a school room.  This opening leads to two bedrooms and a bathroom.

wall 1 corner before

This is the corner of the first wall and the second wall.  The one section of wall has the return air vent and the thermostat, making it harder to hang big items on the wall.  To the left is the opening into the living room.  The opening is large, which gives this house a nice open feeling to it.  It originally had french doors on it that swung into the living room, but they just didn’t have a purpose and they covered valuable wall space.

wall 2 & 3 before

A view of the other corner, our table and our big window.  I considered recovering the fabric on the chairs, but it is in great condition and it kind of gives the school room a retro funky happy feel.

chair 2

The rug, it definetly needs to go, but rugs are a tad bit expensive, so maybe I will find a nice one on sale or at a yard sale.  We will see.

wall 3 & 4 before

This photo is a tab bit blurry, but I wanted you to see this last section of the room.  This is the view looking into the kitchen.  I bet you get that point.

We need some color.

ceiling before

My ceiling.  No light.  A few years ago I was dusting the ceiling fan and it fell off the ceiling. Fortunately nobody got hurt, but I decided to take the fan to another room that needed its broken fan replaced.  We didn’t use this ceiling fan in here, but we did need a light.

Fast forward a few years, we still needed a light.  I hate picking these things out and they are so darn expensive.

THE MAKEOVER 

school room paint

I started this makeover by researching ideas for the color of walls for north facing rooms.  I decided that I needed to get something with blue tones in it.

I found this paint at Walmart that I liked called Wishful Thinking (shade of gray) by ColorPlace.  It was only around $18 a gallon compared to the excessive prices elsewhere, and I am all about saving money, or spending less of my hard earned money.  You know what?  I can’t tell that it is any different than many other paints.  I even have enough left over to paint that hallway that comes into the side of the room.  Just gotta get on that one.

Next it was time to find a light that I liked.  I am really a fan of school house lights, but I didn’t really want to pay the price of some of these lights, so I went to looking online at Lowes.  I ended up finding this one and figured I could paint it to look like one of those high dollar school house lights.

I haven’t painted it yet, but will probably do it after we get some more color in the room.  I’m thinking about what exactly I want to do with it.

Don’t worry, I will try to be more prompt with my room updates from now on.

lightIt’s not huge, it’s not as pretty as those others, but its functional and only cost me $44.97. Since we aren’t planning on being in this house for too much longer, that is all I really wanted to spend, otherwise I would have to tell potential buyers “you get the house, but not the light”!

So now I have a bunch of pictures of the after.  Keep in mind, it’s still in progress.  We have a few more things we want to do.

wall 1

I switched out my cabinets.  This black one was in the living room, so I just moved the brown one into the living room and brought this one in for school supplies.

school cabinet

It was nice to get things organized and give them a place.

spice cabinet

I love using things that I already have, which makes for a frugal project.  Using this old spice cabinet that used to belong to my grandparents fit in perfectly.  It also holds many small things that would normally be in a desk drawer.

brown cabinet

This vintage child sized wardrobe remained where it was in the room, but it got a good cleaning and organization.

brown cabinet inside

I love being able to store my printer inside.  It works great for printing and I don’t have to look at it when it’s not in use.

small cabinet

This small cabinet was in my attic for a future building project, but I decided that the theme didn’t really work for me anymore, so I was gonna sell it at our yard sale.  Well I had it out, but luckily nobody wanted it for $10.  So I had a light bulb moment (I don’t know what took me so long) and decided that I would keep it and paint it.

little cabinet after

I just took the door off, took it outside, taped it off and sprayed it with a few coats of chalkboard paint.  The paint cost me $4.97, but will be able to be used on a few projects.

I may eventually paint the sides a different color, but for now it’s really cute.  It stores more books too!  Every school room needs more book space.

wall 2 & 3 after

This is the corner next to the window.  It’s the 3rd before picture above.

I found this great little dresser at Goodwill for $20 and thought it would be a great addition to our room for daily supplies.  The girls have the top drawer for pencils, rulers, notepads, markers and more.

The second and third drawers hold each of their books, notebooks and binders they use each day.  They love having their own drawer.

The bottom drawer is for the teachers books.

I couldn’t find a before picture of this dresser.  It was brown, scratched and ugly, but it had great potential.  It’s is solid wood though, and who doesn’t love solid wood?

The two black picture frames above the dresser came from Hobby Lobby and hold art made by my girls.  They cost $5 each during a 50% off sale.  I need another one now.  I have a picture made by each girl, but only have 2 of them hung.  I cannot be a bad momma!

If you’ve been around these parts you might remember that plant sand/stool, but if not you can see how and where I got it and it’s friend.

dresser top

I spent $2.99 on the little basket I found at Savers.  It holds the crayons we need each day and looks so cute atop this little dresser.

The lettered basket on the left holds many of the phonics helps that we are needing right now.  I used a coupon at Hobby Lobby and scored it for only $5.99.  I just love how the letters on it add to the theme of this room being a school room.

The other items you see in the rooom are things we already had.  So I included only the items we bought for the total cost of this project.

I realized after writing this post that I don’t have pictures of some areas of the room, so next week I will take pictures of where we are at right now.  So you can see the big picture.

I will have a new camera, so the pictures will be much better quality!  I’m so excited.

Right now the total spent in this room is at $124.92.  Pretty darn good to me.  Now I could have done without a few things and it would be a lot cheaper, but I had certain things I wanted to achieve.  I still don’t think that is a bad amount at all.

I hope you enjoyed the tour.

Do you have any suggestions for our room?  What do you think about our updated room?

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Home Educating Family Homeschool Planner Sale: Save 30%

Home Educating Family has their awesome family homeschool planner on sale for 3 more days.  You can save 30% by using the code wpd30 at checkout.  If you have been wanting one of these great planners, this sale is for you!

The sale ends Saturday, so hurry and get your order in.

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I have been using this planner since we started school and I must say, I still love it just as much as when I wrote my review.

In my review I stated that I wished there was more blank subject areas, but it wasn’t a problem that would keep me from buying the planner.  I still feel the same way.  I have handled the subject areas by just writing in the extras I wanted.  The planner has a large area where they have named the subjects, so there was room for me to write my own in. There is also 3 blank subject areas at the bottom of the page.

Do you use any Home Educating Family products?  What is your favorite?  

making a habit out of living frugal…..

This post contains affiliate/referral links.  I would be very grateful for your support if you decide to use my affiliate links.  The earnings from these links help cover the costs of maintaining practicing frugal.  For more information see my disclosure policy.

Ebook Bundle #32: Back To School

Bundle #32: Back-to-School

It’s back-to-school time, and this week’s bundle is designed to help you simplify your routine, get organized, and juggle all of your various responsibilities during the school year. With your purchase, you’ll get a complete back-to-school guide, printable planners, tips for simplifying your chore routines (for the adults and the children!) and ideas for simple outdoor fun in the midst of your busy schedule.

Get all five of these ebooks for 70% off this week only!

Back 2 School Survival Guide by Susan Heid
The transition from a carefree summer into a rigorous school schedule doesn’t happen easily or without struggle, but it can be easier on everyone if you are proactive and intentional in your preparations. Susan’s Back 2 School Survival Guide provides proven tips, tools, step-by-step instructions and printables to help you and your child be as prepared as possible—and create a more organized home in the process.

KidVentures by Jen Murray
Some of the best family memories take place in the best playground of all – the great outdoors! In KidVentures, Jen shares fresh ideas and inspiration to motivate you to get outside with your family, including 50 outdoor play ideas with supply lists and instructions, along with printables and resources to take each activity even further.

Quick and Easy Breakfasts from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures
We’ve all heard the most important meal of the day is breakfast, and a healthy breakfast provides children with the energy and nutrients they need to be able to concentrate in the classroom. But getting a healthy breakfast on the table can be a daunting task in the middle of your before-school routine. That’s where Lynn’s Quick and Easy Breakfasts comes in. With more than 20 delicious recipes, this ebook will help you make breakfast a priority this school year!

Clean Enough by Jenni Mullinix
In Clean Enough: Simple Solutions for the Overwhelmed Homemaker, Jenni offers practical tips and advice to encourage you and help you become a less-stressed homemaker. You’ll find ideas for getting housework done with young children, step-by-step instructions for decluttering your home, tips to help you clean smarter rather than harder, simple laundry solutions, printable DIY cleaning recipes and more!

The Chore Jar by Kristy Howard & Monica Cooper
Discover an uncomplicated, fun way to motivate your kids to help out around the house with The Chore Jar. In this short how-to guide, Kristy and Monica share their system for making chore time simple, meaningful and fun plus printables to get your started!

The Back-to-School bundle is only available through 8am EST on Monday, 8/12. Get yours today!

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disclosure policy.

Ebook Bundle #31: Homeschooling

Bundle #31: Homeschooling Resources

This week’s bundle is packed full of resources for homeschoolers, including five ebooks plus two special bonus offers. With your purchase, you’ll get tips for developing curriculum and teaching specific subjects, printables for you and your students, and encouragement for the school year at a discount of more than 80%!

Homeschooling 101 by Kris Bales
Whether you’re just getting started or a veteran homeschooler, Homeschooling 101 offers inspiration and encouragement for your journey. Kris includes practical tips on important topics such as knowing your state’s laws, discovering your homeschool style, recognizing your child’s learning style, planning your calendar, dealing with nay-sayers and homeschooling on a shoestring to help you get off to a smooth start this fall!

Notebooking Success by Jimmie Lanley
Notebooking is a popular learning technique that can be used for every subject and every grade level, but as powerful as notebooking is, it can easily become busy work that wastes time instead of reinforcing the learning if not implemented correctly. In Notebooking Success, Jimmie teaches you the ins and outs, including how to use notebooking to its fullest potential, how to know that children are really learning and what to expect at various grade levels. Plus discover all of her favorite resources for notebooking printables!

The Printable Homeschool Planner by Heather Bixler
The Printable Homeschool Planner makes it easy for you to organize what you need to organize, how you want to organize it. With planning sheets and recordkeeping forms plus access to future homeschool printables that are released in the customer forum, this basic set is a great way to start your homeschool planner today.

Training Your Children in Home Economics by Angie Kauffmann
Angie walks you step-by-step through the basics of home economics — including money management, hospitality, simple sewing skills, meal preparation, laundry skills, table manners and more — in Training Your Children in Home Economics. In addition, you’ll find printable progress forms for the various skill sets covered. This ebook will help you inexpensively introduce practical life skills as part of your homeschool curriculum, even if you’re not sure where to start!

Designing Your Language Arts Curriculum Plus Essay Tune Up by Jimmie Lanley
In Designing Your Language Arts Curriculum, Jimmie covers the basics of language arts with specific advice, teaching tips, links to printables, and encouragement for grammar, spelling, vocabulary, poetry, reading, literature, building a library, writing, Shakespeare, and public speaking. She’ll help you decide what is essential, what is optional and how to best teach your students! In this exclusive bundle offer, you’ll also get Essay Tune Up, including 7 simple formulas for teaching essay writing plus 13 printables to help students organize their thoughts and write better essays.

Plus the Life Your Way Homeschooling Printables by Mandi Ehman
As a special bonus, you’ll also receive a set of homeschooling printables from Life Your Way, including notebooking pages, language arts cheat sheets, Black History Month activities, chore charts and more!

The Homeschooling Resources bundle is only available through 8am EST on Monday, 8/5. Get yours today!

making a habit out of living frugal…..

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This post contains affiliate/referral links.  I would be very grateful for your support if you decide to use my affiliate links.  The earnings from these links help cover the costs of maintaining practicing frugal.  For more information see my disclosure policy.

Homeschool Planner Review & Giveaway: The Well Planned Day Family Homeschool Planner

**Home Educating Family so very generously provided me with a Well Planned Day planner to try out with my family and one to give away to one lucky reader.  All opinions of the product are my own, I am not reimbursed for my opinion in any way.

I have been waiting to do this post since I got the planner in, but I am going to be honest and say that I did not think I would like the planner at all.  I wanted to do the review to see what the planner was like and give one away on the blog, but I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the package.

Of course you probably know that I am a frugal person at heart, and $26.95 for a planner seemed ridiculous to me.  I don’t like to spend money on things I can make at home, besides I like things the way I like them.  I like to be able to make things my own way, you know, personalize them a bit.

Well that has all changed since I got the Well Planned Day Planner from Home Educating Family.  I was immediately excited about doing this review.

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I love the inviting colors of the planner, but I do wish the front and back pages were a little more sturdy or protected.  They are coated, but I am not sure how well this will hold up over the year.  I may be pleasantly surprised at the end of the year.

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This planner includes so many things that I like to have in my home binder.  It’s a combination of two binders I currently use (home & school) into one.  At the front of the planner there are pages for household finances, household duties and phone numbers.  I especially loved the fist page that listed the Encouraging Articles from the Home Educating Family Magazine.  I can’t wait to check these out each month in the planner, because we can all use some encouraging at times in this homeschool journey.

IMG_0357[1]I love these little perforated card sized pages for daily responsibilities.  You can flip them over for a look at daily subjects too.  There are enough for 4 students.  The planner is made to accomodate up to 4 students, so if you have more you may need to modify it some.

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There is a teacher schedule page as well as student schedule pages which have a class plan on the back to help plan for each child’s curriculum and expenses.

I love, love this.  I end up making notes in a notebook for the curriculum/supplies I need to buy each year.  I love that I can include all of this information in one place.

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The monthly section of the binder includes a full two page view of the calendar for the month as well as a two page look at each week (pictured) with some subjects filled in as well as a place for a couple of your own.

I love this section too, but I only wish it had a couple more places for my own subjects.  It’s not a huge deal though, as you can always edit it to fit your needs.

On the side of the second page you will find a great place to write in your weekly priorities as well as your dinner menu for the week.  There is also a weekly catechism and a place to write in your weekend activities.

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The monthly section also includes a place to write in books to enjoy, field trips, monthly bills and also these great perforated grocery list pages.  There are 6 perforated lists for each month.  Each list has a front and back side with plenty of space for your list.  Having this in the planner is great.  I can add items to the list over the week and then tear it out when needed.

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At the end of each semester you have a page to write in your semester accomplishments, a page for the semester attendance for each child and a semester goal page.

IMG_0373[1]At the end of the second semester you will find a page for weekly grades by subject for each student as well as a page to write in any notes, a page to write in future plans and 4 ready to fill in report cards.

I love that the planner includes the summer months, because many homeschoolers school year around or do a light school schedule.  Even if you don’t school year around, you still need the planning pages for meals, groceries, filed trips and more.

I am personally hooked on this planner.  I never thought I would fall in love with it.  It has everything I need in one place.  Every time I look at it I find another thing I really like about it.

I will be purchasing my very own next year.  This planner keeps everything in one place and is less bulky than the 2 binders it will replace.  Not to mention the ink and paper I will save from printing all the pages I printed for those binders.

I also love that it’s attractive and fairly small enough to keep for years to come.

The only faults I find are:

  1. I am leary of how the covers will hold up.
  2. Pre-filled subject areas – would like more blanks, but this is not a deal breaker.
  3. Price – I’m not saying the planner is not worth it,because it is, it’s just a bit high for some families to add to the already tight homeschool budget.  I would suggest watching for a great sale on these planners (or enter a giveaway to win your own).

So now you have a chance to win a Well Planned Day Family Planner, or if you already know you want to purchase one you can click here to visit the site to browse and order.

Right now they have a sale where you can save 30% on bundles.  Just click here to take a look.

Good luck and happy homeschooling!

**The giveaway will be open until midnight on August 7, 2013 and for legal reasons is open to U.S. residents only.

Leave a comment for your first entry telling me what you like about the planner.

You may earn up to 4 additional entries by sharing the review/giveaway via email, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.  Just leave a separate comment for each additional entry stating what you did.   

If you are a blogger and would like to sign up for the Home Educating Family Affiliate program, be sure to click here.

making a habit out of living frugal…..

Like what you see here at Practicing Frugal?  Why not subscribe to get a daily email of frugal updates?  Just fill in the form below.

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**This post contains affiliate/referral links.  I would be very grateful for your support if you decide to use my affiliate links.  The earnings from these links help cover the costs of maintaining practicing frugal.  For more information see my disclosure policy.

Preschool Help & Printables

I am going to be adding a large resource section for homechool/after school curriculum, but while I am getting things together I wanted to start sharing some of my resources.

Building Blocks Library Macros April 02, 20116photo credit

Homeschool Share has some great Unit Studies for Toddlers and Preschoolers and Unit Studies for Pre-k and Kindergarten.  I also love this Alphabet Lap n Note.

Confessions of a Homeschooler has a page filled with preschool printables as well as an awesome Letter of The Week curriculum that I have personally purchased (it’s $15.00) and highly recommend.  There is also k-4 curriculum (also $15) that if it’s anything like the Letter of The Week, it’s gotta be good.  Some of the items included in these two curriculum’s are available on the site, but you get lesson plans as well as many extras with a purchase.

Christian Preschool Printables has a long list on the left side of the page of Bible Story Crafts, Bible Story Printables, Holidays, Devotions and Bible ABC’s.

3 Dinosaurs has an extensive amount of printables for tots to 1st grade for you to browse amongst.

1+1+1=1 is a resource I visit often.  My personal favorites are:

Homschool Creations is another place I visit to add to the Letter of The Week curriculum we use.  The preschool alphabet page is filled with all things alphabet.

I want to recommend a Kindle book that was highly recommended to me to help teach your child to read.  I Can Teach My Child To Read has received great reviews on Amazon and many homeschool related blogs.

I think that is enough for one day.  I hope this stuff is a great help to you all.

making a habit out of living frugal…..

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There are no affiliate links in this post.  I recommend and list these items because I like them and believe them to be helpful.  Sharing is my favorite part of blogging.  Enjoy!