Tips and Tricks Tuesday: Homework and study station


Our little girl starts first grade this week. 


While we couldn’t be more proud of her, we have also been forced to admit she’s growing up. Her needs as a student are changing as well. Our sweet girl had homework in kindergarten, but completing that work at the dining room table wasn’t always the best solution. 

We decided she needed her own desk and workspace in her own room, away from the noise and distractions of the rest of the house. 

We found this beauty on Craigslist.

I promptly made her a French memo board for her photos and school papers. 

I took my girl to Hobby Lobby to pick out some desk accessories. She chose this white crate and I chose some buckets for her utensils. 

We also bought this chipboard E and painted it pink. 

This cute little picture was all her choosing. I love the picture, and what it says. 

This little statue was in my own room when I was a kid. 

I DIYed these boxes to store flash cards and high lighters.

This DIY photo album holds various certificates and awards.

Her center drawer holds workbooks, a student calendar, and folders. 


One drawer holds electronics and chargers.


One drawer houses notepads and journals.


One holds more electronics.


One holds flash cards and markers. 


And her bottom drawer holds work books and art books.


Her space is set up for work and play. While the drawers could be more neatly organized, I did want to be cognizant that a six year old would use it. I wanted her to find her stuff and keep it separated but not be afraid to make the drawers messy. 


I know my kiddo loves her desk and I know she’ll love using it.

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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10 ways to get organized before school starts


Some of us have only precious few days until school starts back. Others of us have a little longer, but chances are we are all beginning to prepare for the school year.

Even if you haven’t yet bought school supplies, I bet you have at least obtained a supply list so you’ll know what you need.

Today I’d like to share a few tips for getting organized for the new school year.


1. Clean out your children’s dressers and closets.

This will not only help you to be able to find things more quickly; it will also help you to see what school clothes you need to buy. When I cleaned out my daughter’s closet, I realized I didn’t need to buy as much as I thought I needed. 


2. Don’t wait till the last minute to get school supplies 

Go school shopping as soon as you get the list (if you can). Waiting til the last minute can mean some of your supplies with be hard to find.


3. Create a designated homework station

Have an area free of distractions where your student can concentrate and have all his or her supplies on hand.


4. Have a pin board or folder to display artwork or important papers. 


5. Plan and create some make ahead meals 

The beginning of a school year is always crazy but you cannot sacrifice nutrition. Make ahead some nutritious meals and all you’ll have to do is take them out of the freezer and cook them. 


6.  Start practicing your family’s back to school routine at least two weeks before school starts

No one likes waking up a cranky, sleepy kid and dragging them out of bed. To make it easier on everyone, get back into your school routine by going to bed early and waking up early before school starts back. 


7. Purchase a calendar or agenda that works for you and use it 

Write down everything and get into the habit of checking over your calendar each night before you go to bed. 


8. Establish a cleaning routine that works well for your family. 

Few can clean their whole house all at once every week. Establish a routine where you can clean a little bit each night. 


9. Prepare for tomorrow as much as possible on the night before.

Before you go to bed, get ready for tomorrow as much as you possibly can. Pack your lunch, lay out clothes, make sure your clothes are ready. Put your bag and everything you’ll need by the door. Put the coffee in the pot and set the timer. Know what you want to eat for breakfast. Mornings are stressful, but preparing for them makes them easier. 

10. Relax and look forward to the new school year. I hope your summer has been wonderful. 

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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Mommy Mondays: helping kids learn to pack their own lunches

snack station

My oldest daughter is five and starts kindergarten next week.

She will be packing her lunch but also enjoying a healthy snack when she gets home. We have already packed a few practice lunches to help us establish a routine before school starts.

I’m always trying to find ways to foster independence and teach life skills to her, so creating a healthy snack station and quick lunch station seemed like the ideal way to do this.

Two years ago I shared our healthy snack station with you.

You can see it on the very top left shelf on the fridge in the picture above.

Now that our sweet girl is older, she can be trusted to fix her own healthy snacks. I thought about moving the snack station lower in the fridge but instead, i provided a step stool for her so she can reach it.

In our pantry, I created two baskets for packing lunches and labeled them “quick lunches.” These two baskets are as much for me as for her. There are also two baskets here for kid snacks.

My kiddo is learning to help me pack her lunch. She knows she can get one item from the quick lunch bins, such as a fruit cup or applesauce. She also needs one item from the healthy snacks in the fridge, like carrots. Afterward, she can choose an item from the kid snacks bin.
So far, our snack and lunch system is working well because she chooses what she wants but within reason. I am excited about her being able to take ownership and responsibility for her lunch choices, but I am still able to ensure she is eating a healthy lunch.

Do your kids help pack lunches? What tips can you share?

​​Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoise HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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Mommy Monday: organizing strategies that will get your school year off to a good start 

Now that we are in “back to school territory”  I thought I’d share some ideas for staying organized during the school year. I have found as a student and as a teacher, the more organized and prepared you are, the better your day will be. Since I will be the parent of a school age child for the first time this year, I’m trying my best to make sure we’re prepared and organized.

1. Create a handy and organized place to store school supplies

How much easier will it be to tackle that homework when you have your school supplies in an easy to access place? We love being able to grab up that caddy and haul it over to the dining room table.

2.Use folders to organize paper work 
Here’s an idea we are just now trying. Get an inexpensive pocket folder. I like the plastic ones as they’re more durable. Use one side to stash papers to bring home or take to school and one for homework.

3. Have a designated routine

Your school days will run much more smoothly if you form a routine and stick to it. Homework will be less of a battle if you designate a time to do it. Stay consistent and it will work.
4. Have a special place for your child’s bookbag 

This one goes right along with having a routine. Have somewhere for your child’s backpack to hang as soon as they walk in the door. I like to put everything else she’ll need right there beside it (shoes, coat, etc.)

What tips can you share for preparing for a successful school year?

​​Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoise HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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Organizing using the Target Dollar Spot 

​ First of all, I apologize for not posting yesterday. Do you ever just need a work day? I needed a work day yesterday to clean my house, do some yard work, and go to the grocery store. By the time I finished all those things, I realized I hadn’t uploaded my post. Sorry about that.

Earlier this week, I went to Target. We do not have a Target nearby,but we do have several within an hour range. I love the Dollar Spot and have found many neat and useful items there in the past few years.

One of the coolest things I found was this ruler framed chalkboard. How neat would this be in my classroom or in a craft room?

These peg board kits are only $5 and I almost bought one myself. I didn’t get it because I didn’t really have a place for it in mind.

Ruler hanging strips? Again, these could be awesome in your classroom, office or craft room.

I can think of lots of ways I’d use this $3 bath caddy.

The hanging pocket organizer and hanging cubbies are useful, too.

There are also jewelry organizers for small items. They had canvas fabric drawers as well but I didn’t get a picture.

I wanted one of these for my desk:

And a few of these for storing paperclips and such:

I came home with some pencils and watercolor note cards. If you’re a college student, a teacher, or an organizing fiend like me, you need to get yourself to Target. You won’t be disappointed. 

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoise HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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2015 school year: a tour of my classroom

It’s that time again… school started last Friday for teachers in my district, and will start on Monday for my students. I can’t believe how quickly summer passed, but it was a good summer, and we’re certainly looking forward to the fall. My classroom didn’t change a lot from last fall, and since many of the organizational tactics I used last year worked well for me, I decided to re-use some of those ideas.

Just like last year, labeled bins and baskets, as well as drawer organizers keep things easily available.

I also was able to get two shelves this year to put in my room. One will be used to store students’ writers’ notebooks, and one in my office area so I can store my binders and materials.

I also created two command centers, one for me to be a more effective teacher, and one to help the students be more effective. 
I also sectioned off my board to include the date, learning target, standards, agenda for the day, and homework. 
I hope you enjoyed my classroom tour- stay tuned for more classroom organization soon! 

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate Addict, and French Country Cottage!


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It’s that time again…

Today, I finished my classroom. I have been teaching going on six years, and I have to say that this year’s classroom is my favorite. I absolutely love how it turned out.

A little background- I am teaching with a completely different team of teachers this year, although I have worked on the same grade level as two of those teachers before. The eighth grade teachers at my school named our teams in honor of comic book characters, For the past two years, we have been the Avengers team (Marvel comics), but this year, we are The Justice League (DC Comics). Because it isn’t as easy to find Justice League paraphernalia as it is to find Justice League, we have had to get a little creative. My character is Superman, so I’m not really having trouble finding Superman paraphernalia. Ditto for my teammate who is Batman.

I am not only really proud of my classroom decor this year, but also of my classroom organization. Especially my classroom organization. I am taking on two leadership roles this year: one is a committee role and the other, a team leader role. This is why it is especially important for me to be organized.

Without further adieu, here is my classroom tour:

In case you are wondering, “ELA” stands for “English language arts,” which is the subject I teach. 
Inside my door. I want a small shelf or a table to put underneath the windows, but haven’t found what I want yet. The posters above the window are sports oriented, inspirational posters. The stoplight is for assessment purposes. The clipboard is for signing out when leaving my classroom. The Jackie Onassis poster contains this quote: “Once you can express yourself, you can tell the world what you want from it. . . All the changes in the world, for good or evil, were first brought about by words.”

My “information board,” which contains a calendar, important dates, a lunch menu (not yet) and an intramural schedule (not yet). You can’t see it in this picture, but the other half of the board is my word wall. 
My desk area- it consists of a computer desk, a teacher desk, two filing cabinets, and hopefully soon, a short shelf. On the walls are a Superman poster, my degrees, and my command center. 
Command center, just like last year. It includes a mail rack for taking things to the office or library, a monthly calendar, a weekly planner, a “remember list”, and a daily checklist. 
Rubbermaid drawers stash piles of paper that need grading, filing, or copying. This cuts down on desktop piles and things getting lost. The composition book is for taking notes and the clipboard contains things that need my attention. 
If my desk is not clear when I leave for the evening, I will immediately be stressed when I walk into my room the next day. No lie. 
A long view of my room. There are 6 tables of 5. There are anchor charts on the far wall. Notice the curtains: this is the first year I have ever made curtains. I made them using material I already owned, some ribbon I bought on clearance and a hot glue gun. 
The front of my room. The long black cord will soon be plugged in and disguised. It is definitely not permanent. Parts of speech posters are above my whiteboard, and various punctuation-related posters are below the board. 
The back of my room. The tall storage cabinet houses supplies, while the cabinets hold teaching supplies, posters, and things like tissues, sanitizer and ziplock bags. The shelves hold our classroom library. Just like at home, there is a place for everything and everything is in its place. Labels are everywhere! 
A long view of my closet/supply cabinet. 
You might say I love bins and labels. 
Another thing that is really making my classroom more functional are drawer organizers. They are everywhere and were mostly purchased from the Dollar Tree or Dollar General. 
Please pray for us to have a successful, pleasant school year. I have met several of my students and am really excited about this school year.
Continue Reading

It’s that time again…

Today, I finished my classroom. I have been teaching going on six years, and I have to say that this year’s classroom is my favorite. I absolutely love how it turned out.

A little background- I am teaching with a completely different team of teachers this year, although I have worked on the same grade level as two of those teachers before. The eighth grade teachers at my school named our teams in honor of comic book characters, For the past two years, we have been the Avengers team (Marvel comics), but this year, we are The Justice League (DC Comics). Because it isn’t as easy to find Justice League paraphernalia as it is to find Justice League, we have had to get a little creative. My character is Superman, so I’m not really having trouble finding Superman paraphernalia. Ditto for my teammate who is Batman.

I am not only really proud of my classroom decor this year, but also of my classroom organization. Especially my classroom organization. I am taking on two leadership roles this year: one is a committee role and the other, a team leader role. This is why it is especially important for me to be organized.

Without further adieu, here is my classroom tour:

In case you are wondering, “ELA” stands for “English language arts,” which is the subject I teach. 
Inside my door. I want a small shelf or a table to put underneath the windows, but haven’t found what I want yet. The posters above the window are sports oriented, inspirational posters. The stoplight is for assessment purposes. The clipboard is for signing out when leaving my classroom. The Jackie Onassis poster contains this quote: “Once you can express yourself, you can tell the world what you want from it. . . All the changes in the world, for good or evil, were first brought about by words.”

My “information board,” which contains a calendar, important dates, a lunch menu (not yet) and an intramural schedule (not yet). You can’t see it in this picture, but the other half of the board is my word wall. 
My desk area- it consists of a computer desk, a teacher desk, two filing cabinets, and hopefully soon, a short shelf. On the walls are a Superman poster, my degrees, and my command center. 
Command center, just like last year. It includes a mail rack for taking things to the office or library, a monthly calendar, a weekly planner, a “remember list”, and a daily checklist. 
Rubbermaid drawers stash piles of paper that need grading, filing, or copying. This cuts down on desktop piles and things getting lost. The composition book is for taking notes and the clipboard contains things that need my attention. 
If my desk is not clear when I leave for the evening, I will immediately be stressed when I walk into my room the next day. No lie. 
A long view of my room. There are 6 tables of 5. There are anchor charts on the far wall. Notice the curtains: this is the first year I have ever made curtains. I made them using material I already owned, some ribbon I bought on clearance and a hot glue gun. 
The front of my room. The long black cord will soon be plugged in and disguised. It is definitely not permanent. Parts of speech posters are above my whiteboard, and various punctuation-related posters are below the board. 
The back of my room. The tall storage cabinet houses supplies, while the cabinets hold teaching supplies, posters, and things like tissues, sanitizer and ziplock bags. The shelves hold our classroom library. Just like at home, there is a place for everything and everything is in its place. Labels are everywhere! 
A long view of my closet/supply cabinet. 
You might say I love bins and labels. 
Another thing that is really making my classroom more functional are drawer organizers. They are everywhere and were mostly purchased from the Dollar Tree or Dollar General. 
Please pray for us to have a successful, pleasant school year. I have met several of my students and am really excited about this school year.
Continue Reading

It’s that time again…

Today, I finished my classroom. I have been teaching going on six years, and I have to say that this year’s classroom is my favorite. I absolutely love how it turned out.

A little background- I am teaching with a completely different team of teachers this year, although I have worked on the same grade level as two of those teachers before. The eighth grade teachers at my school named our teams in honor of comic book characters, For the past two years, we have been the Avengers team (Marvel comics), but this year, we are The Justice League (DC Comics). Because it isn’t as easy to find Justice League paraphernalia as it is to find Justice League, we have had to get a little creative. My character is Superman, so I’m not really having trouble finding Superman paraphernalia. Ditto for my teammate who is Batman.

I am not only really proud of my classroom decor this year, but also of my classroom organization. Especially my classroom organization. I am taking on two leadership roles this year: one is a committee role and the other, a team leader role. This is why it is especially important for me to be organized.

Without further adieu, here is my classroom tour:

In case you are wondering, “ELA” stands for “English language arts,” which is the subject I teach. 
Inside my door. I want a small shelf or a table to put underneath the windows, but haven’t found what I want yet. The posters above the window are sports oriented, inspirational posters. The stoplight is for assessment purposes. The clipboard is for signing out when leaving my classroom. The Jackie Onassis poster contains this quote: “Once you can express yourself, you can tell the world what you want from it. . . All the changes in the world, for good or evil, were first brought about by words.”

My “information board,” which contains a calendar, important dates, a lunch menu (not yet) and an intramural schedule (not yet). You can’t see it in this picture, but the other half of the board is my word wall. 
My desk area- it consists of a computer desk, a teacher desk, two filing cabinets, and hopefully soon, a short shelf. On the walls are a Superman poster, my degrees, and my command center. 
Command center, just like last year. It includes a mail rack for taking things to the office or library, a monthly calendar, a weekly planner, a “remember list”, and a daily checklist. 
Rubbermaid drawers stash piles of paper that need grading, filing, or copying. This cuts down on desktop piles and things getting lost. The composition book is for taking notes and the clipboard contains things that need my attention. 
If my desk is not clear when I leave for the evening, I will immediately be stressed when I walk into my room the next day. No lie. 
A long view of my room. There are 6 tables of 5. There are anchor charts on the far wall. Notice the curtains: this is the first year I have ever made curtains. I made them using material I already owned, some ribbon I bought on clearance and a hot glue gun. 
The front of my room. The long black cord will soon be plugged in and disguised. It is definitely not permanent. Parts of speech posters are above my whiteboard, and various punctuation-related posters are below the board. 
The back of my room. The tall storage cabinet houses supplies, while the cabinets hold teaching supplies, posters, and things like tissues, sanitizer and ziplock bags. The shelves hold our classroom library. Just like at home, there is a place for everything and everything is in its place. Labels are everywhere! 
A long view of my closet/supply cabinet. 
You might say I love bins and labels. 
Another thing that is really making my classroom more functional are drawer organizers. They are everywhere and were mostly purchased from the Dollar Tree or Dollar General. 
Please pray for us to have a successful, pleasant school year. I have met several of my students and am really excited about this school year.
Continue Reading

It’s that time again…

Today, I finished my classroom. I have been teaching going on six years, and I have to say that this year’s classroom is my favorite. I absolutely love how it turned out.

A little background- I am teaching with a completely different team of teachers this year, although I have worked on the same grade level as two of those teachers before. The eighth grade teachers at my school named our teams in honor of comic book characters, For the past two years, we have been the Avengers team (Marvel comics), but this year, we are The Justice League (DC Comics). Because it isn’t as easy to find Justice League paraphernalia as it is to find Justice League, we have had to get a little creative. My character is Superman, so I’m not really having trouble finding Superman paraphernalia. Ditto for my teammate who is Batman.

I am not only really proud of my classroom decor this year, but also of my classroom organization. Especially my classroom organization. I am taking on two leadership roles this year: one is a committee role and the other, a team leader role. This is why it is especially important for me to be organized.

Without further adieu, here is my classroom tour:

In case you are wondering, “ELA” stands for “English language arts,” which is the subject I teach. 
Inside my door. I want a small shelf or a table to put underneath the windows, but haven’t found what I want yet. The posters above the window are sports oriented, inspirational posters. The stoplight is for assessment purposes. The clipboard is for signing out when leaving my classroom. The Jackie Onassis poster contains this quote: “Once you can express yourself, you can tell the world what you want from it. . . All the changes in the world, for good or evil, were first brought about by words.”

My “information board,” which contains a calendar, important dates, a lunch menu (not yet) and an intramural schedule (not yet). You can’t see it in this picture, but the other half of the board is my word wall. 
My desk area- it consists of a computer desk, a teacher desk, two filing cabinets, and hopefully soon, a short shelf. On the walls are a Superman poster, my degrees, and my command center. 
Command center, just like last year. It includes a mail rack for taking things to the office or library, a monthly calendar, a weekly planner, a “remember list”, and a daily checklist. 
Rubbermaid drawers stash piles of paper that need grading, filing, or copying. This cuts down on desktop piles and things getting lost. The composition book is for taking notes and the clipboard contains things that need my attention. 
If my desk is not clear when I leave for the evening, I will immediately be stressed when I walk into my room the next day. No lie. 
A long view of my room. There are 6 tables of 5. There are anchor charts on the far wall. Notice the curtains: this is the first year I have ever made curtains. I made them using material I already owned, some ribbon I bought on clearance and a hot glue gun. 
The front of my room. The long black cord will soon be plugged in and disguised. It is definitely not permanent. Parts of speech posters are above my whiteboard, and various punctuation-related posters are below the board. 
The back of my room. The tall storage cabinet houses supplies, while the cabinets hold teaching supplies, posters, and things like tissues, sanitizer and ziplock bags. The shelves hold our classroom library. Just like at home, there is a place for everything and everything is in its place. Labels are everywhere! 
A long view of my closet/supply cabinet. 
You might say I love bins and labels. 
Another thing that is really making my classroom more functional are drawer organizers. They are everywhere and were mostly purchased from the Dollar Tree or Dollar General. 
Please pray for us to have a successful, pleasant school year. I have met several of my students and am really excited about this school year.
Continue Reading