Forty Something Parents

The Ins & Outs of Parenting


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Homeschool Science Project: Treasure Maps and Invisible Ink

Home School Science Project — Creating a Treasure Map With Lemon Juice?!  Here’s how we did it, our source, and items needed.  I hope you and your home school kids (or traditionally schooled kids) enjoy doing this project as much as we did.  :  )

How We Did It–

*My daughter Nixi and I made our maps according to instructions in the book **(see instructions at bottom of this post), then we gathered up some odds and ends…sparkly treasure, bundled it up in a paper towel, and buried it out in our yard where ‘X’ marks the spot on our maps.  I spray painted an X where we buried our treasure, and when my husband (Daddy) got home from work, he and Nixi hunted the treasure.

It was quite a kick, and I would definitely recommend this learning adventure to everyone who has kids or grand-kids; even nieces or nephews.  Heck..! Gather up the neighborhood kids and make a party out of it. The more the merrier!  :  )

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We Checked Out This Great Book From Our Local Library

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Invisible Ink Science Experiment

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Recipe and Items Needed

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Items Needed & Treasure to Bury

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Nixi’s Map

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Mom’s Map

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We Spiced Things Up a Bit by Making One Map a ‘Trick Map’!

**INSTRUCTIONS–

You’ll need:

-Paper (We used Resume Stock Paper)

-Lemon Juice, Cotton ‘Swab’ (Get it…?!  Swab!  hahaha)

-Treasure to Bury

-Spray Paint or Crafty ‘X’ to Mark the Spot

-Oven…heated to 400 degrees

Juice your lemon, then dip your cotton swab in the lemon juice, then ‘paint’ your map.  Steady as she goes, since the ink disappears rather quickly.  Place your map onto a cookie sheet and place in a 400 degree preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Careful when you take it out, it’ll be hot!  Gather your treasure, bury it, mark the spot with an X, and let your littlest Pirates (or the bigger scally-wags) hunt for the treasure.  Fun all around!


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Friends and Home Schooling

~ An Impromptu Birthday Party on a Budget ~ 

A day in the life of a seven year-old may not seem like super excitement to some, but yesterday, to my Nixi, was a blast!  Yes, the day might’ve started out quite mellow — me singing her Happy Birthday when she awoke — but by day’s end, at the Joe’s Crab Shack restaurant playground, the running, playing, jumping, and laughter was oh-so abundant.

It was  a last minute plan that sort of just hit me the day before Nixi’s big 0 7 day.  And contrary to what a lot of folks believe — that homeschool kids are introverts who have trouble making friends — my Nixi makes friends where ever we may go.  She has a few kids she has bonded with and calls best friends.  I knew I had to invite them, and I was delighted to hear they could make it.  Nixi didn’t know, and I could hardly wait to surprise her.

So…the day moved on (tick-tock), and I created party favors on a shoe-string budget…while still trying to keep it all secret from my very observant young’n.  I skirted around the truth when she quizzed me on what the jars were for, that I was painting outside.  She wanted to come help, and it was hard to not let her.  But the chemicals I had to use for the project weren’t safe for her to be around.

Needless to say, I finished the party favor jars (made from recycled/reused Starbuck’s Frappuccino bottles), Nico picked up a few balloons and the cake, and we were off to destinations unknown to Nixi.  The party was a HUGE success, even though a few friends couldn’t make it, and I knew our daughter would remember this birthday for years and years to come.  –Perhaps a lifetime.

*Here’s to impromptu gatherings!  And making friends, no matter what your circumstances.*

— Home School Birthday Party Fun at Joe’s Crab Shack on Seawall —


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Home School Science Experiments

Making BLUE GOO —


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Home School Learning — Spelling with Building Blocks

We recently acquired a set of wooden building blocks for our Nixi; which we figured she might’ve outgrown by now.  Not our little’n!  She has no qualms about playing with toys for babies, and Nico and I see no problem with it either.  In fact, it seems to help her grow even more, when it comes to educating her here at home.

I’ve come to see, in my early years of homeschooling, that Nixi can make a learning game out of just-about anything.  She amazes me at every turn; the way she is reading and spelling new words every day.  One particular day last week, we sat down at the kitchen table (our desk, if you will), and dumped a heaping pile of wooden building/letter blocks out…covering the mass of our small dining perch.

In no time at all, we’d built a cozy looking seaside village of beach houses; complete with bridges and all.  We were both very proud of our creation.  Then we moved on to the letter blocks.  I nudged Nixi into the direction of spelling by asking her how to spell certain words, in a tone like I had no idea how to spell these words.

I was delighted to snap a few pics of the first words she spelled out for me.  I am always proud of her efforts, and I see every day how much she is growing and truly enjoying the freedom of learning at home.  I only wish I could’ve been home schooled!  I think it would’ve made me a more confident, independent person as an adult.

I feel Blessed to be able to encourage my young daughter into the wonderful world of being free to truly learn all of the things that interest her in life.  If I accomplish nothing else in my lifetime…if I find success in no other avenue, I will be grateful for educating my daughter in a relaxed and fun environment.

*Freedom to Learn.  Freedom to Grow!*


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Home School Arts & Crafts — Making Musical Instruments

~~ Shaker Drum from plastic Folger’s Coffee Canister ~~

I’m always looking for fun creative projects for my Nixi; always hoping to re-use, re-purpose, recycle in the process.  Well, our last homeschool art project has touched on all levels of creativity, as far as I’m concerned anyway.  Putting together Nixi’s newest musical instrument was both fun and rewarding!  –Not to mention very useful to our band Gypsy Vin Rose.

Here’s what we used to make our shaker drum, and a brief run-down on the process (though it’s rather self-explanatory).  It’s SO easy to make, you can probably do it with your eyes closed.  :  )

*Make a joyful noise by re-purposing, re-using, and recycling!*

Items We Used —

-Folger’s Plastic Coffee Canister (pop-top kind)

-Variety of beans (small handful)

-Large handful of birdseed

-Masking Tape (to tape lid securely shut)

-Crayola Kids Paint (washable)

-Paint brushes, etc

*Child’s Art/Paint Smock (helpful to keep clothes clean)*


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Paddle Boarding — Never Too Young

I never could’ve imagined doing water-sports back when I was six years old; let alone paddle boarding or surfing.  I grew up inland, though I was never a land-lubber.  But as I stood watching my daughter stand with ease on a paddle board this past Saturday, balancing upon Mother Ocean, I couldn’t have been more proud of her natural abilities.

Looking back to my own childhood, I realize now that I wasn’t quite the athletic type.  I didn’t even learn to ride a bicycle until I was 10 years old!  But once I did — feeling the wind blow through my hair…free as the breeze — I was hooked.  And to this day, I still love riding my bike more than most things I’ve ever done.

As for my young daughter, I can hardly wait to see her gliding on top of the water.  And soon after she’s paddle boarding, I hope we can introduce her to the art of surfing.  Being island transplants — known as IBC’s (Islanders By Choice) — to our Gulf Coastal home, I feel our little-one will grow up knowing what it really means to blend with nature.  And I too, will come to know Mother Ocean’s embrace like I was never able to when I was a child.  Just as we are never too young to try new and daring things, neither are we ever too old.

*Live the Life You Love*  #NeverTooYoungToPaddleBoard #NeverTooOldToPaddleBoard #LearningNewThings #EveryDayAdventures #PaddleBoarding


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Field Trip: The Grand Children’s Festival

–Fun…FREE Activities For Home School (or Traditionally Schooled) Kids–

In my last post, I wrote briefly about this past weekend…when we attended the Children’s Festival down in the Strand District.  It’s a really fun time for kids of all ages, and very family friendly.  Best of all, the festival is FREE!  And even though this was our first year to attend, we certainly don’t plan on it being our last.

In the meantime — I wanted to share some of the fun moments from this past festival.  The numerous booths and activities were enough to keep us busy for the entire weekend; though the event is only for one day.

The learning experiences that Nixi was able to be a party to, I feel, will stay with her for years to come.  As for me…?  I realized I’m absolutely no good at hoola-hooping, but I  can still do the Lemon Twist; or an updated version of the old classic jumping toy I used to love as a kid.  It was great to show my husband and child, that this middle-aged Mamma can still ‘cut-a-rug’.  I look back on it, and I have to laugh.  –As I feel I’ll do…for years to come.

*Forever Young*

*Being Young-at-Heart*

*Remaining Active Over 40*