HomeSchool 101 : Lower Elementary Age

As a former Elementary school teacher, I have a few tricks up my sleeve during this pandemic. My son Brian is a Kindergartener, and I will be sharing with you the schedule I have created for us while he is home during the week. I have our one-on-one instruction time while my younger son takes a nap.

Please feel free to use this for your own use.

Additionally, I plan to create weekly mini lessons based on what he’s been learning in school. I will update this article once I create them. Below I will attach a few websites with great resources to use for free EBooks, worksheets, sight word lists, and more.

Here are some great resources to use while educating and entertaining your little ones:

I plan to share different crafts and activities that I do with my Kindergartener, and also with my 11 month old. Follow along via my Facebook page to see the majority of activities.

This is a weird and difficult time for all of us in America; and around the World. This is all something very unfamiliar and terrifying. We plan to stick to social distancing in order to help flatten the curve (see below image).

As a very extroverted person, this will be difficult; but ultimately I hope that by doing my part, the doctors, nurses, and medical staff will not be overwhelmed, and then we can hopefully get back to some normalcy as soon as possible.

Anyway, back to HomeSchool 101! Haha! Here are a few tips to get you prepared and keep you sane.

  • Be prepared: Map out your week and have all materials ready the night before.
    • Along with being prepared; I suggest printing out a blank weekly calendar to help you write down a quick version of what you plan on doing each day.
  • Use what you have on hand: No need to go to the store to purchase anything. Go through your craft drawer, utilize the websites I posted above, and keep it simple.
  • Ask your child(ren)’s teacher what they were focusing on learning: My son’s teacher sent home a weekly newsletter alerting the parents to what our children will be learning about that week. I’m sure if you email him/her, he/she will be happy to help. In fact they may already be coming up with online packets.
  • Let your kids play: Kids do their best learning through play. Find teachable moments while they play, but don’t force it. For example: if your child is playing grocery store and he says “That box of cereal is $4.” You can say “I only have a $5 bill. How much change will you give me back?” That’s learning through play and a teachable moment about subtraction.
  • Utilize Centers: Centers are the BEST. THING. EVER! Set up 4 different educational, but fun centers. Have a timer go off every 15 minutes during this time. By the time your child(ren) has gone through each center, an hour will have passed. One of the centers should be with you to help your child(ren) focus on something they can’t do alone. Choose a different subject each day to be a center with you.
  • Take a deep breath and relax: Easier said than done, but try to relax. Enjoy the extra time you get with your kids. I understand that some of you are going to be working from home and may not have all the time to do everything everyday with your kids. Guess what? That’s okay. Take it one day at time and know that we’re all in this together.

Here’s a sample blank weekly calendar that you can use.

Well, that’s the gist of HomeSchool 101. Please comment, message, or email me for any questions. I hope this helps you get through the next several weeks of being home with your kiddos!

Mom, No Matter What, I Love You

I’ve read countless articles on mothering without a mother. Each one is heartbreaking. Each one tears me to my core; and yet, my mother is alive. I am extremely fortunate to have my mother with me through my own motherhood journey. Especially when I know so many others who have gone without. The truth is, I’m terrified of losing her.

My mother has been there with me for every big event in my life with me. Losing my first tooth, showing me how to shave my legs, helping me get dressed for the prom, crying over a broken heart, staying up with me the night before my wedding, and both of my boys’ births. I have not once taken these moments for granted. I’m so thankful for every moment I have with her.

Yet, something constantly eats me alive. I’m plagued with the inevitable fear of living without her. One day I will have to tell my boys that their Nanny is in Heaven. For someone who has lived with anxiety the majority of her life, this is something that weighs me down. When I was about 6 years old I remember asking my mom “Will you promise me that you will live forever and nothing will ever happen to you?” She answered as best as she could. She said “I will always try to be here for you. But remember that no matter what, I love you.”

No matter what, I love you. That phrase is what I always say to my older son whenever he asks me similar questions. I notice the same fears in him, that I have had my entire life. Whenever he is acting out and knows that I’m disappointed in his choices, I always say to him “I’m disappointed in the choices that you made, but no matter what, I love you.”

How fortunate am I that I still have my mother here? How fortunate am I that I can call her anytime I want? I’m so fortunate for this time; the precious time that others didn’t get to have. Time… the only thing that I truly believe has solid value. It is irreplaceable; once it’s gone there is no getting it back.

For those of you who still have your mother; for those of you who cherish the woman who has used her own time to love and raise you; thank her and love her… Because no matter what, she loves you. For those who are missing their mother, no matter what, she loves you too.

I will continue to cherish each moment that I have with my mother. I will continue to FaceTime call her, track her phone, and find her multiple times per day. I will continue to embrace the fact that I got to have her for so many of life’s important phases. I am lucky and I’ll never forget that. I will always love my mother no matter what.

All About Me!

Hi readers! I’m Holly Dignen. Currently I am a Stay at Home Mom of two sweet and loving boys, Brian Jr. and Hunter; as well as a pug dogter (dog daughter). My husband, Brian and I have been married since September 2011. He is my rock and best friend. I come from a very close-knit and loving family. We all try to see each other as much as possible. We enjoy having big gatherings with A LOT of FOOD! haha!

I am the baby of a huge amount of first cousins on my mom’s side. My mom is the baby of 10 kids. My grandfather would always say Family is Everything! My mom has always been the glue holding everyone together. I try to follow in her footsteps and keep everyone gathering together. My dad is also a huge part of holding it all together. My mother and him are a team! He is mostly so calm and practical when it comes to just about everything. My mom, not so much. Haha! Together, they do seem to keep everyone happy. They always go out of their way whenever someone is in need. Tradition and family are at the very core of my soul. My family is my legacy. I would not be who I am without them. My sons get the very best of me, because of my family.

A little bit about my educational background… I have my Master’s degree in Elementary Education; as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies and International Business. Crafting, creating, and teaching have always been my passions. I try to implement my knowledge in my everyday life with my kids. We love to create different craft projects, play different educational games, and overall let our imaginations run wild.

With this blog I plan to write, educate, and share my creativity about motherhood, family, marriage, crafts, and life in general. Writing has always been an outlet for me in every aspect of my life. I am excited to start this journey with all of you!