Just blogging: a simple daybook.

USJuly2014SKphoto by Jillian, taken at Indiana Bastille Day this year

Note: there may be affiliate links in this post. Thanks!

I shared with you a few weeks ago that I wanted to start blogging back to the basics again: just sharing stories and little tidbits from our days together sometimes. I miss the days of more personal blogging and so from time to time here at Simple Kids I’ll be “just blogging” and sharing posts with you that are less of a how-to or tutorial in nature but more just simple stories and thoughts.

I wanted to begin with something I haven’t done in a long while: a Simple Woman’s Daybook entry. You can find the original source of this here.


For today …

Outside my window … it is still very dark and the birds aren’t even up yet. It’s the first day back to homeschool for us and I got up even earlier than I normally do (you probably don’t want to know how early.  Okay, I’ll tell you: 4 am. Yes, I’m nuts).
I am thinking … back to our very first homeschool days when it was just me and tiny little Jillian, over eight years ago. There have been so many changes for our family since then, especially so many changes in my oldest daughter. I cannot believe she is starting seventh grade and will be a teenager soon. In my mind’s eye she’s still that little curly haired pixie girl who loved to learn her ABCs while wearing her ballerina tutu and who colored everything with jumbo beeswax crayons whose wrappers she would carefully peel off.  Ah, memories!

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The Friday Five: a State of the Blog Address


Hello Simple Kids readers! For this week’s Friday Five I have a few things I want to share with all of you about the current state of the blog.

1. First, you might have noticed the blog has had some behind-the-scenes maintenance so for a little while it hasn’t been very convenient for you as readers. The changes are a good thing for the blog and will hopefully resolve issues long-term. Hooray! And a huge shout out of THANKS to the Oxenreiders for always taking such good care of me and SimpleKids.net

Unfortunately, the timing overlapped with the Tinkerlab giveaway.  Since many of you reported to me that you tried to enter but weren’t successful I’ve decided to do two things:

  • one, I’m going to keep the giveaway open another week
  • two, I’m going to add to the book that Rachelle is giving to you and I’m going to purchase another copy myself to give away to a second reader.

So, the post has been updated to reflect a longer entry time and there are now TWO copies of Tinkerlab up for grabs. You can enter here and I hope this helps make up for some of the wonkiness here at SK lately.

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2014 – 2015 Homeschool Year Plans

Homeschool Plans 2014 - 2015 | SimpleKids.netNote: there are affiliate links in this post.  Thanks!

I know this isn’t a homeschooling blog, but enough of you read Simple Kids who are homeschoolers that I thought it might be fun and helpful to share what our plans for the upcoming school year are.

This is a bit of a link heavy and long post, so you might want to Pin it or bookmark it for later, or just grab a cup of tea and sit and stay with me for a while.

In the 2014 – 2015 school year we will have a seventh grader, second grader, kindergartener, and an age three year old preschooler in our home. While the preschooler won’t be an “official” homeschooler, no one can tell her that, so it will be the first year I’m homeschooling all four kids at once, even though the bulk of Amelia’s day will be play, play, play!

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We #LoveBooks Summer 2014 Exchange: Thornton Burgess, red squirrels, and “Not Alvin”

LoveBooks2014insidebookNote: there are affiliate links in this post. Thanks!

Hooray, hooray, it’s Summer #LoveBook Exchange day! This is our second year participating and it is becoming one of our family’s favorite annual traditions.

This year we were matched up with the Tripp family from the amazing blog Teach Beside Me.  They sent us the book The Adventures of Chatterer the Red Squirrel, which was fantastic because we are fans of author Thornton W. Burgess at our house, and this was a book we hadn’t read yet. I just love that it worked out that way, like we were simply meant to be matched up with them and this book was destined for our shelves.

(If you’d like to see what book we sent them, you can head to the Teach Beside Me blog and find out).

If you guys are Burgess fans like we are, you’ll definitely want to head to Teach Beside Me and check out her Burgess Animal Guide resource page.

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Tinkerlab blog tour and giveaway

tinkerlabcoverNote: I was given a review copy of this book and there are affiliate links in this post. Thanks!

Friends, I think you’re going to love today’s post. I’m giving away a copy of my friend Rachelle Doorley’s incredible new book Tinkerlab to one lucky Simple Kids reader!

7.28.14 This giveaway is now closed and winners will be announced soon.  Thanks!



I know that many of you are familiar with Rachelle’s wonderful blog and with her creative challenges and prompts. I personally am a big fan of both. I have felt a connection to Rachelle and her work with kids and her artistic voice ever since I discovered her blog a few years ago. In the crowded world of kid blogging, Tinkerlab stands out and part of the reason is the very talented writer behind it.

So, I was really excited to learn last year that Rachelle was writing a book and I jumped at the chance to be a part of the Tinker-Circle group as she was writing and to help promote this incredible resource through the blog tour team.

The day our copy of Tinkerlab, a Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors: 55 Playful Experiments That Encourage Tinkering, Curiosity, & Creative Thinking arrived the kids and I were thrilled! This is a gorgeous book to look at, but more than inspiring pictures, there are so many projects and ideas and Rachelle encourages you and your kids to “tinker” – to create, explore, find that inner artist and just to play.

Hmmm, tinkering, creating, exploring, and curiosity.  Yes, that sounds perfect for the Fleck kids!

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