Sew together, grow together

The following post is by contributor Robin Zipporah of The Not-Ever-Still Life.

Feeling a need to challenge myself in a new way, I began sewing a few months ago. I’ve had a dream for years to make a quilt for our bed so I signed up for a sewing class, began reading quilting blogs, and finally turned on the sewing machine I received four years ago and figured out how to make it run.

Our learning curve

It’s been so much fun, so humbling, and utterly fascinating to my kids. They’re my biggest cheerleaders, and with their witness to my attempts at this new-to-me medium, three really interesting things have happened:

They believe in me so I believe in me.  They’re too little to care that my straight stitch isn’t really all that straight or that I lopped the points off my pieced triangles. They ooh and ahh over every little project I complete with genuine admiration.

Sewing has become an opportunity to model the lessons I patiently encourage them with every day: Take your time. Read the instructions. Work carefully. Do your best.

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Our experience with TV Free Week: what I learned about my kids and about myself

The following post is by editor Kara Fleck.

A few weeks ago our family joined in with Screen Free Week and we turned off the television and limited other screens for the week (for example, my iphone was used just as a phone).  I told you that I wanted to let my thoughts about that week percolate a bit before I shared with you.

Today I’m ready to share with you how the week went and what I think will happen in our family from here on out.  I also want to share what I learned about my kids and about myself that week (hint: it might come as a surprise who really had the screen habit.)

We are normally a family that finds it has to set limits on TV, for one thing because I have discovered that I much prefer music over the television as a background noise.  Aside from a few PBS Kids shows and the occasional movie, I’m a bit leery about the so-called “quality” of children’s programming these days, so we just leave the  television set off more often than not.

However, we do watch some PBS and sports on a regular basis.  My husband and I try to be mindful in our choices, not just “zoning out” in front of the TV, and we watch together as a family most of the time so that we see what the children see and there are no surprises.  We also set a time limit on the amount of television allowed.

My discovery: it wasn’t the kids, it was me.

Although, I have to admit that during a busy season of life this year, when I was doing much of the solo parenting some bad habits regarding the television developed.  Bad habits that were mostly mine. 

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Weekend link love

Have you been following along with Simple Homeschool editor Jamie Martin and their family on their trip to England?  Wonderful pictures and wonderful stories!

Don’t forget you still have time to enter the Maestro Classics 9 CD set giveaway.

Have a wonderful Sunday, my friends.

Weekend giveaway: Maestro Classics

I‘ve got an exciting giveaway to share with you this weekend!  It is from our newest sponsor, Maestro Classics.

Maestro Classics “began in 2004 in Washington, DC as Magic Maestro Music™. The outgrowth of over a decade of sold-out concerts for young people and their parents at the Kennedy Center with the Washington Chamber Symphony, music director Stephen Simon and executive director Bonnie Ward Simon turned their efforts to sharing their gifts with a wider audience. Experience had convinced them that if you educated as you entertained, were sophisticated enough to interest the parents as well as children, and offered only the finest musical performances, all children could appreciate symphonic music.”

This giveaway is now closed.  Thank you!

We are already fans of Maestro Classics at Simple Kids and we think that you and your kids will be, too!

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Simple Gifts Kids Can Make for Father’s Day

The following post is by contributor Amy Anderson of Let’s Explore and Early Bird Homeschool and originally appeared in June of 2010.

My kids look forward to Father’s Day all year.  I think what they love most is the over-the-top appreciation they receive from my husband.  They glow with pride when they give him handmade cards, breakfast in bed, or an extra-long afternoon nap.

Father’s Day at our home sometimes involves a handmade gift, while other years we focus on a fun activity or meal.  My girls plan, shop, create, cook, and serve.  I’m available for help as needed, but the pride of doing something really special for Dad is all theirs.

Whether you consider yourself crafty or not, here are four gifts that kids of all ages can make for Dad with a little grown-up help:
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