7 posts categorized "Back to School Week" Feed

Back to School 6

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I have to say this is one of my most favorite things I have made. I wanted some kind of folder for us to have as a keepsake for the year. I came up with this paper-bag PG folder. You could make this out of any thing. But pick paper that is not to fine or to thick. I like the paper bags, because I like reuse and it is free. I will try to walk you through what to do. I am not go at explaining things. So if my directions do not make sense please let me know.



1. You want to cut open you bag. Cut down one folded sided and around the bottom, so I lays flat like above. Now cut off that extra square and the handles (if it has one). You will need to iron the bag. I like doing it after I cut it out, but you could do it now. Just use a medium setting with no steam.


2. Now you want to cut your bag. You want a total length of 28 inches. But length of sides 19. Width 12 inches. Use the picture to see the measurement.


The best way to do the point is to find the center and run a ruler from side to center. I suggest you make  a pattern to keep like I did. Then you always have that.


If you have a rotary cutter, that really helped to squared off the folders. But it does not have to be perfect and can be cut by hand. Now is when I would iron the folder.


3. To make a pocket, cut out a 10 x 5 " piece with leftover bag. Iron and glue down on center piece. Glue on sides and bottom.



4. The closer. We sewed on buttons. If you have heavy coat thread, that would be great. But regular thread is fine. Mark on the folder were you want the buttons. I used dental floss for the string on the closer. I tied one end of the floss to one button. Then just wrapped around one button then the next a couple of time.

Now just flip over and decorate. I will suggest if you are doing this with your kids, a couple days ahead you (mom) cut and iron the folders. When we did them we did the closure and pocket in the morning Then took a break and did the decorating in the afternoon. It is not a hard project to make. Just lots of little steps and this can be frustrating. So breaking it up helps. I plan on a making a bunch of these and decorating competition books as Christmas gifts this year. What I loved was seeing how our personality was so obvious. Chloe the horse lover, had her horse carry her books. Aubern’e the teen had a rock and roll skating rink. My French school, is were Mrs. Lovedove plans to retire to !!

Mrs. Lovedove is very tried after back-to-school week, so I am taking a couple of day off from the blog and will back. I  keep feeling I am missing someone who was sharing in the back-to-school week. If I did please let me know. And sorry. Wait until you see my kitchen queen I was given !!!

Back to School 5




I thought I would do back-to-school list of things I love. Well I love Lesley andSmall Meadow PressIn case someone did not get to see this, she has kindly made herhome-notes free for all. Even if you do not have children ther are some calendars that would be useful for all. Thank you Lesley !!

I LOVE French word of the day. I get a mailing everyday from them. It is palatable, yummy way to learn French.


I find words very. I think I got that for my mother. When I was a child she was always using words that I never heard anyone else say. Like brew-ha-ha. Which I use all the time. I use to tease my mother but really I thought she was quite clever. I think it is interesting to know about words and the history of them. I enjoy looking up words in the dictionary and in the 1828 dictionary and compare the difference.

I also love (which is why I am doing this list) Karla Dornacher. She have free downloads for teacher. Enjoy


Back to School 4


Meet Dumpling (her name use to be truffles, but I changed). She is all ready for school. She has her new dress (you know how important that is !!). In her lunch basket she has an apple for the teacher, her nature notebook, her favorite book Flower Girls and a hanky for any first day-of-school tears. Dumpling is not scared herself, but if any of the others children cry she will feel obliged to not let them cry alone. So she wants to be prepared.

Go check out Patchwork Pastiche. Mary has a great entry about not-back-to-school week. By the way Mary is a good friend of mine. She only live one block from me. Her daughter and mine are best friends. What I admire about Mary is she is so grounded in her choices and that she will be hating me writing this about her. She is much more modest then me !!!

Also check out In The Red House Renee has a great overnight crockpot oatmeal/rice hot cereal recipe. Thank you Renee!!!



Back to School 3




Ikk curriculum. I guess I can not avoid the subject with back-to-school week. I will say that if I can I try to use something other than curriculum. Like living books, real life experience, ect. But there are times when you need more. At this years curriculum sale I found some interesting curriculum.

Math is not my strong suite and Aubern'e borders on math phobic. So I have been looking for something interesting, easy, not too dry for higher math. I found Teaching Texbooks. I was hoping to actually have this before I posted but it will not come for another week. But I feel pretty confident recommending it. There are several lessons to try on-line. Both Aubern'e and I liked. Did I say I will also being doing the pre-algebra too. I need to learn it as well as Aubern'e. We liked it because visually it is appealing without being over the top (it has a comic book looks). Also they explain why you do something. I know there is a lot in math that I can do but do I understand why?? No. It also had lots of word problems, which is good for Aubern'e. It seems clear and easy to understand


I was so excited when I saw Brimwood Press: Tools For The Young Historian. Marcia has some wonderful hands-on units for history. My favorite was the Calendar Quest and Color The Western World. Calendar Quest tells of the history of the calendar, which covers 12 different historical periods. The calendar is used as a way to connect different parts of history. Calendar Quest is a story of two children traveling through time with father time. My very favorite thing was the coloring book Color the Western World. The sample does not show what a beautiful and interesting coloring book this is. It is large 17x11" and beautifully illustrated. It has bits of history from that time to use as a jump of point for more study. I rarely see beautiful, interesting, hands-on curriculum. I am hoping to get "What every child should know about western civilization".



Julie shared her wonderful back-to-school ideas. I loved the back-to-school hunt !!!! Thank you Julie for sharing.

I so enjoy homeschooling our three sons (Ben - 12, Caleb - 10 and Eli - 8).  Last week we had a back-to-school party with two other families, and I thought it would be fun to share my ideas.  The party was held in a lovely little one-room schoolhouse
down the road from us.  Here was our agenda:

- Notebook decorating - I provided each child with a notebook (bought
at a terrific back-to-school sale!), along with a pile of stickers,
foam pieces, rubber stamps/ink pads and markers.  They really enjoyed
this and spent longer at it than I figured they would!

- Scavenger hunt - Several days before the party, I visited the
schoolhouse and made up questions based on items in the schoolroom. 
Ex. Name the 2 presidents whose pictures are hanging on the walls.;
What page is "Silent Night" on? (they had to find it in the song book);
and so forth.  It was great fun!

- Trivia game - My friend divided the kids into teams and asked them
various trivia questions from cards about different subjects.  While
she did that, my other friend and I hid school supplies outside around
the property.

- School Supply Hunt - My friend decorated lovely little paper bags for
each child, and they used them to hunt for their designated number of
supplies (1 glue bottle, 1 glue stick, 4 pencils and 3 pens)

- Back-to-school BINGO - We played Bingo for prizes (fruit snacks and
cracker packs).

  For lunch I served a lunchbag type lunch - halves of pb&j, various
bags of chips, applesauce cups, juice boxes, little bitty water bottles
and cupcakes with a letter of the alphabet on each.  I decorated the
table with a lovely autumn-colored tablecloth scattered with tissue
paper leaves and leaf confetti.  All the food was served in pails or
baskets. It was great fun - hope you enjoyed hearing about our party

Back to School 2



I have a confession to make I hate cooking breakfast. I am too groggy in the morning and I not wanting to cook. But I do not want my family living on cereal, so I am always looking for shortcuts. Now my baked oatmeal is very different then the typical overnight baked oatmeal. The first time I made pan of the typical kind of baked oatmeal, my family hated it. It was too mushy. So I started playing with the recipe. First I baked it in a muffin tin, instead of a pan, that helped. Then I used regular rolled oats, instead of instant. This is more like a muffin, then oatmeal. On-time I forgot the butter and they were great. So now I make them without the butter and instead add a nice thick slice butter when I eat it ;-) 

This is one of the recipes I make and everyone loves, plus it is very healthy. I love that I make it the night before and then bake it off the next morning. I mix it in a bowl and put it in the fridge. Grease my pan and then in the morning fill and bake. You can do anything with theses, add orange zest, dried fruits, streusel topping, nuts. I even sometimes make them for tea time and add chocolate chips.

Overnight Oat Cakes

3 cups rolled regular or thick oats, but never instant

 2 egg

1/2 cup melted butter (optional, it is fine without it)

2 cups milk, you can also use soy or nut milk

1/2 cup sugar or evaported cain, honey, ect.

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg

Mix all in a bowl night before and refrigerate. Next morning fill to top pre-pared muffin tins. Bake 350 for 1/2 hour or till eggs mixture cooked. Let cool then lift muffin out of tin.

Susan sent me a lovely post about her back-to-school celebration. Thank you Susan for sharing. I am sure we will all be baking soon !!

Every fall we make chocolate chip pumpkin bread or pumpkin muffins off and on throughout the season. I guess you could say it's one of our fall traditions. Just last week, I made up a new recipe that is healthier than the ones I've made before, and we really like it! In fact, everyone keeps asking me to make it again.

Instead of having one or two cups of sugar in the batter, there's a bit less than 1/4 c., and it's still yummy (we think). This is not your overly sweet cupcake-style muffin they make in bakeries, but it's sweet enough, though, and made more sweet by the addition of chocolate chips. And the muffins are really moist! This is a good, homemade, tasty, healthy kind of recipe for those of us who care about this kind of thing occasionally! :-)

Makes 8, but you can easily double this.

3/4 c. whole wheat *pastry* flour
1/4 c. unbleached flour
3 T. - 1/4 c. sugar
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. chocolate chips

1 c. pumpkin (I use canned pumpkin/no spices)
3 T. - 1/4 c. canola oil
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Stir together dry ingredients and chocolate chips. Mix wet ingredients and stir into dry mixture. Bake in muffin/cupcake papers in muffin tin for 12-15 minutes.

I don't use spices in this because it's not overly sweet, but I suppose you could add them if you want. I like the plain pumpkin taste a lot and prefer to leave this as is.

Happy Back to School, Mrs. Lovedove!

Painting by Valorie Snyder

Back to School 1


For Mrs. Lovedove's first day back we made Schultüten and of course had show and tell. Schultüten are brightly decorated cardboard cone filled with sweets, school supplies and small gifts. This blog Just call me Mausi  has a great entry talking about  Schultüten. You can purches them at Giftcones and German Corners

We made our own. We made paper cones decorated them with cut tissue paper. Here it tells you how to make a paper cone. My tip on making the paper cones I learned was to use a glue gun. Otherwise while you are waiting for the glue to dry the cone slips around. Then I surprised the girls with treats to fill them.

Make sure you go see Mrs. Pivec at Golighly Place. Her post about her back to school celebration and Recitation Club is just charming !! Thank you for sharing.

444350340l_1History of Schultüten (school cones)
By Sue Grant

    If you have never seen one before, you might feel a trifle bewildered. What is this large cone-shaped object in front of you? An artistic version of a traffic beacon perhaps? A particularly decorative dunce’s cap? Now you are getting closer. Turn the funnel around so the pointed end faces downwards and there you have the solution: you are looking at a traditional German Schultüte or school cone.

    All over the country at this time of the year, six-year-olds exchange the carefree childhood of kindergarten for the serious side of life – “der Ernst des Lebens” – when they spend their first day at school. For nearly 200 years, parents have attempted to publicly mark this transition and sweeten the blow by providing their offspring with the candy-filled cones to clutch during the opening ceremony.

    The origins of the tradition can be traced back to Saxony, Thuringia, Silesia, and Bohemia. As early as 1817 in Jena and 1820 in Dresden, children starting school were being presented with simple, conical paper bags, such as you can still find at a greengrocer’s or outdoor market, containing pastries or candy.

    Other children looked forward to picking their bags from the Zuckertütenbaum or sugar-bag tree. This magical tree, so the story went, grew in the cellar or the attic of the schoolhouse and all good diligent first-graders could pluck one of the delectable cones from its branches. In some areas, real trees on the school grounds were decorated with the filled cones. In 1928, Albert Sixtus and Richard Heinrich produced a popular illustrated children’s book called Der Zuckertütenbaum. It is still in print today.

    By the turn of the century, it had become fashionable in Saxony and Thuringia to send children color postcards on their first school day, invariably depicting a child hugging a giant Schultüte or standing on a ladder and plucking one from the candy tree. The sender would wish the schoolchild good luck and an enormous cone.

    From German Life

Welcome Home Mrs. Lovedove



    Well ladies we received our yearly picture from Mrs. Lovedove in the mail, telling us that she will be returning at the beginning of the week. Mrs. Lovedove spends every summer in Provence. Above is her nature sketch of the lavender field below the house she rents every summer. Mrs. Lovedove need a whole summer in a lavender field to recoup and refresh for the new year.

    I bet you are wondering who Mrs. Lovedove is? Well there is a bit of a story behind her. When Aubern'e was six she was fascinated with the school bus. What is it with homeschooled six year olds and the school bus ? Anyways she thought Miss Frizzle drove the bus and was sure she was missing out on something. One day she informed me she was going to "school" (Now we do not call learning, school. We just learn! All the time!) At breakfast she came in with a backpack, all dressed. After breakfast she kiss me goodbye and went to take "the bus:. The bus was all our outdoor chairs and picnic table lined up in a straight line. Then Auberne` came back in the house and wanted to do "school". Which I found out meant she got to stand up and do show and tell, which is what she thought one did in school. Also read a picture book, draw a picture about it and have a snack. Wha-laaa, school done! After a couple of days doing this Aubern'e decided I needed a name and Mrs. Lovedove was born.

    Even though we homeschool year around, there is a rhythm to our year and over time I have learned to just go with the flow. Summers are always more laid back and in the fall there is a back-to-school bug. My girls always crave more structure in the fall after a relaxed summer. So every fall Mrs. Lovedove come home from France. Whenever Chloe wants to be doing more in school, she asks for Mrs. Lovedove. That is my cue. So in honor of Mrs. Lovedove's return, I am doing a back to school week. Sort of like summer corners but a week of school ideas. Recipes, crafts, stories, decoration maybe ever curriculum. Horrors :-P  I will be starting next Monday and I invite all to join me. If you have any ideas, please post them (or if you do not have blog send them to me). Let me know and I will post a link. You do not have to homeschool, heck you do not even have to have a children. We all learn, plus it could just be a cute corner of your home or a favorite breakfast recipe or snack. Come see me next Monday for fun back-to-school ideas!