Free OnLine Chore Chart For Kids

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As we get into the school routine and holidays and sport, it can be difficult for parents and kids to keep up with chores.  One way to get your kids to ensure they do what they need to is with My Job Chart!  This is a FREE service which is designed to help teach your kids about the rewards of hard work and earning money.   Here’s how it works:

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I set up my own kids on My Job Chart.  It took me around 10 minutes to get my kid’s charts up and running.  Here are some things you might want to know:

  • You will have to confirm your signed up by clicking on the link that they send to you via email after you register.
  • Once you are signed in, just click the green Add a Family Member button to add each child.  You can upload their photo, if you’d like to, or you can leave it blank.
  • When you are ready to assign jobs, you can click on the item you want and actually assign it to all children at once.  For example, I want all 3 of my kids to clean their rooms each morning.  So, I just clicked on Clean Bedroom and then the Select All Button and it was added to all of their job charts at the same time!assign
  • As your child completes each task, he or she will log in using the information you set up for them and then mark the job as completed.jobs
  • They will earn points which you assign to rewards, which keeps them motivated to keep doing what you need for them to do!  You can edit the point value, rewards and more so it is customized for each child’s age/responsibilities.

This is such a great tool to help your kids take responsibility for not only chores, but even their own finances.  Such a great way to help instill those strong work ethics that parents want for their children.  Sign up at My Job Chart today!

Another option is to learn about how to use a Ticket Reward System!

Homemade Gift Idea: Love Gifts (Best of All This Gift is FREE)!

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Love Gifts

 

I have many memories of holidays with my family.  When I think back, I remember the laughing.  I remember the fun.  I remember the excitement of waking up with my sister an sneaking out to see if Santa had paid us a visit.  What don’t I remember?  The gifts.   Well, for the most part.

When I was around 12 years old, my mom came up with a way for us to do something to show how much we cared for one another.  She came up with Love Gifts.  These were not any ordinary gift.  They came from the heart.

We had to come up with a way to do something, out of love, for another member of our family.  The only requirement was that it had to be free.  It couldn’t be to take someone out to dinner or buy someone something they wanted.  Nope.  We had to look within ourselves and decide what would be the best gift to give to someone in our family.

I remember a few of the ideas we would share included:

  • Do the dishes on your turn, once a month, all year long.
  • Wash the pickup 3 times this summer.
  • Be your slave for a day and wait on you.
  • Do all of your chores for one week.

The ideas are endless!  We would also make sure to include a note to let the person know that we did appreciate and love them.  These gifts were always hand written (makes it much more personal) and then wrapped up in small boxes.  They were placed under the tree with a HEART on them.  The heart could be on the tag or even attached with ribbon.

We would open all of our gifts as a family.  The love gifts were the LAST gifts to open.  We were not allowed to touch them until all of the other presents had been opened.  The anticipation of those gifts was just as great as those in the boxes with the big ribbons.  If anything, we were more excited to see what someone was going to do for us – and the joy on the faces of one another to see how excited they were to have us do something for them.

So, here I am, 30 years later and I still remember those gifts.  I remember reading the letters we would write to one another to share that we really cared about them. I remember the fun of coming up with something different to do for each member of my family.  Most importantly, this gift – this simple gesture – stands out above all other things we would do on Christmas.  And, isn’t that what it is all about?

8 Everyday Uses for Peppermint Oil

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peppermint 3 PPM

Peppermint Oil is one of the oldest remedies for heart burn and digestion issues. But many people do not realize that peppermint oil has several uses from curing an upset stomach to cleaning your home. Just remember when using essential oils to use them in moderation, as they are VERY strong!

1. Freshen Breath: Rub a couple of drops of peppermint to your tongue and gums. The peppermint will kill the bacteria leave your mouth feeling and smelling fresh.

2. Itch Relief:  Stop itching caused by bug bites, hives, poison ivy or minor allergic reactions. Simply apply peppermint oil directly to the affected area.

3. Relieve Stomach Pain: Rub a drop of peppermint directly onto the stomach and feel relief from upset stomach, bloating, or indigestion.

4. Headaches:  Apply Peppermint oil to the forehead, temples, behind the ears, and/or the base of the neck. If you can lay down for a few minutes, watch as your headache dissipates.

5. Ant Stopper: Put a drop of peppermint oil in the path of the ants and they will go running away!

6. Pain Relief: For sore-aching feet and and joints, add peppermint to a warm compress or into a hot bath with Epson salt and soak.

7. Reduce Heartburn: Mix 5-6 drops of peppermint oil with a teaspoon of coconut oil and massage onto your chest. Or add a 1-2 drops of peppermint oil to your tea.

8. Fever Reducer: Soak a clothe in warm peppermint infused water and lay over limbs and forehead.  Or apply a drop of peppermint essential oil to the bottom of the feet.

 

*Make sure you read your label and use those labeled for ingestion properly and do not ingest anything that states aromatherapy only.  

14 Days to Smoother Homeschooling Day 14: Staying Home To Homeschool

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14 Days to Smoother Homeschooling from www.pennypinchinmom.com
On the last day of our 14 Days To A Smoother Homeschool Day, I wanted to talk about something that’s vital to a successful home school. Staying home.

There are always going to be things outside of the house that need your attention, whether it be errands, other family embers, community or church events. Before you know it, it’s Thursday, and the kids have yet to get any school done for the week. Then, you’re either rushing yourself, and more importantly, them, to finish a week’s worth of schooling in two days to stay on track, or you’re forced to let them slip four days behind. Too many weeks of that, and your children will be dreadfully behind in their schooling.

To homeschool your children is an incredible task, and has to be a task that is not taken lightly. In a sense, you have to think of it as a job. Think about it as something you are committed to; something that you cannot leave the house for at the drop of a hat; something that is your reason to tell people “no” every once in a while. It is hard to get into the routine of staying home until school work is finished, or being home in time for school work to be completed by the evening, but it is vital for the success of your students.

Commit to your time home with them. Give yourself one day a week, if necessary, that you will spend time running errands, or taking a field trip, or both, but don’t let it be more than once a week. If you can’t stay home to allow your children to learn, and for you to teach them, then maybe homeschooling isn’t the right choice for you. It’s hard! It’s a lot of work, but for those who feel called to do it, or who are willing to take on the task, it’s worth it.

Don’t lock yourself in the house after reading this post, remember, those poor children need to be socialized! I hope you read the sarcasm in that last statement and found truth in our fourteen day series. We hope this has helped you in some aspect of your homeschool day, or at least encouraged you that you’re not alone. It takes a village.

Catch up on all of our posts in this 14 Day Series

Free Home Planning Forms: Shopping List, Menu Plan, Important Documents and More!

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It can be tough to stay organized.  You've got the menu, the shopping list, the passwords, chore charts.....it is overwhelming as to how to create this all yourself.  Relax - we are here to help!  You can access all of these FREE printables - and more!  Keeping your life more organized saves you time, money - and stress!  Click over to learn more!!

 

When it comes to finances, we all know to watch what we spend and to create a budget.  However, did you realize by being organized, it can help as well?  I am not just talking about your pantry, I am talking about your household.

By creating a menu plan and shopping list, you are purchasing what you need.  If you have a price list, you can track the store prices and learn the sale cycles to find the best deals when you need them.  Even by sharing your family’s passwords and where to find important documents can save you — time — when you need them!

This may seem overwhelming to try to come up with on your own.  That’s why we have several FREE forms you can use for your family!  Some of these can be customized before you print them out.  Others, you can just print and fill out with what it is you need.

If you want even MORE great forms just like these to help you with your cleaning and your finances, you are in luck!  Just visit our Free Forms Download page and check out the resources created just for you!

 

14 Days to Smoother Homeschooling Day 13: Balance Is Best

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14 Days to Smoother Homeschooling from www.pennypinchinmom.com
Being a parent. Homeschooling. Working. Being a parent. Homeschooling. Working. And on and on and on and on! Some days it feels like it is a job that will never end. It has its rewards, and you willingly make the sacrifice for you children, but when is enough enough? Guess what? It’s ok, some days, to just take a break.

I know most homeschool families frown upon snow days, or Spring Break, and some even go as far as frowning on Summer Break as well. Don’t feel like you need to be super parent, and that your kid needs to go to college at twelve years old. The truth is, if you feel like you need a day (or a week!) off, chances are your kids feel the same way. Sometimes stepping away from school for a period of time, whether it be a day, or a week, can be the perfect solution to a smoother homeschool day.

It’s so easy to feel pressured to be the parent that has a strict schedule, and is meeting your goals, and is making sure your kids are up to par with their grade level. But, just breathe. Your kids have a lifetime of learning with you. Sometimes it is ok to take a break. You don’t even need to plan the break! If your day starts off bad, and you didn’t sleep well, and the baby won’t stop crying and your four year old is mad because you didn’t dress her in the right pink shirt, and your sixth grader is upset about her math and it’s only 10 a.m., you may want to just take the day off. Seriously, it’s ok.

You do not fail as a parent if you admit you need a break. It’s healthy to take a break. In fact, most of the time you will find that the refresher days are perfect for getting everyone back on track the next day. Some parents do a four day school week for just this reason; sometimes five day school weeks are just too much. Some parents school five weeks at a time and then take the sixth week off, all year long. Do what feels comfortable. Don’t push yourself past your limits, or push your kids to their breaking point just because “that’s what you’re supposed to do”, be sensitive to your needs and to your kids’ needs. Trust me, you’ll be happy you did, and so will they!

Catch up on all of our posts in this 14 Day Series

Free Household Cleaning Checklists

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Cleaning the house is never fun and if you are not even sure where to start, it can be overwhelming.  Use one of our FREE printable checklists to help you tackle your cleaning whether it is your regular routine or time for spring cleaning.  We've got the help YOU need!

 

Let’s face it, cleaning your house is not a fun task.  It can even seem a bit overwhelming. Where do you start?  What is important to clean?  That is where I come in – to help!

I clean our home in just around 2 hours each week.  How big is our home?  It is just around 2,000 sq feet and includes 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, kitchen and two living spaces.  Add in 3 kids, a dog and a husband and it gets pretty dirty!  However, I can tackle this weekly task quickly, because I’ve gotten what we do down to a science.  Of course, my kids have to do part of the work each week, but we are still able to get it all done very quickly.

You can print out any of the great FREE checklists we have available for you:

Weekly Cleaning:

Spring Cleaning  (Access all forms here):

There is not right or wrong way to clean your home. It is just important to do so as it not only can help keep your family healthy, it just makes you feel better when it is done!

Looking for even more printables?  Check out our list of FREE forms for your home, budget, shopping — and more!!

14 Days to Smoother Homeschooling Day 12: Read, Read, Read

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14 Days to Smoother Homeschooling from www.pennypinchinmom.com

A great step toward a smoother homeschool day is to instill a love for reading in your children. Reading will encompass nearly every subject your children will need to complete in a daily basis. The more they can learn to love it, the easier most of their subjects will come for them. We’ve listed some great ideas to make reading more fun for your kids below. Feel free to tell us some of your ideas too!

Pizza Hut’s Book-It Program

This program is often used in public schools, but did you know they allow homeschools to participate as well? This program has you or your child track how many books they read, and gives them pizza as a reward! It’s free to participate and to sign up. The deadline to sign up is typically September 1st, but they do make exceptions for late sign-ups as long as supplies are still available, on a first come first serve basis. Check out the link here to their website.

Library Reading Programs

Many libraries will often offer summer reading programs. Many of these programs will offer rewards from local businesses as children read books throughout the summer. Check with your local library to see if they offer a program like this and what ages it covers.

Weekly Library Trips

Going to the library never gets old, for me at least! Give your kids a nearly unlimited amount of books to choose from by taking them to the library once a week. Allow them to choose books, with your supervision, that they would enjoy to read, and on topics they are interested in.

Monthly Book Goals

You don’t need a pre-established program to reward your kids for reading. Create your own goals for your kids, and offer a monthly pizza party or special dessert treat when their goals are met! Make sure all children can participate in the reward parties, to make sure you don’t discourage those who may struggle with reading, or who may have been less motivated at the beginning of the month. Check up with your children regularly to make sure their goals are being met in ample time. If you notice a student struggling, try to assist them as much as possible. Younger children who can’t read can also participate by having you read to them. Make sure the goals you set for your children won’t burden them, but will encourage them to read even more.

Catch up on all of our posts in this 14 Day Series

14 Days to Smoother Homeschooling Day 11: Setting Goals

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14 Days to Smoother Homeschooling from www.pennypinchinmom.com

As a homeschool parent we always have goals that we set for our children. We also create goals for our school day, school week, school month and school year. Sometimes it can be difficult to keep kids on track with those goals. Why not let your kids set some goals for themselves?

Teaching our children to set goals is very important. Helping them set and complete goals is not only a valuable lesson, but will be an incredible self-esteem boost for them as well. It will also help them to be involved in their school goals. Make sure to teach them to set realistic goals, and both short term and long term. For instance, if your child sets a goal to finish a year’s worth of school work in three months, that’s too lofty. Encourage instead, for them to strive to finish their school work earlier in the day by waking up earlier.

By allowing them to be involved in some goal setting for themselves, it may be less of a fight for them to complete certain tasks or subjects. Because they know they are working toward a goal they set for themselves, it may make them more excited to complete a task. Give them a goal setting sheet, or calender, and allow and encourage them to mark of completions on the list as they accomplish their goals. You can go to this website for some great, free, goal-setting printables!

As your children begin to successfully complete the goals that they have set for themselves, consider having some small rewards available for them. You can even reward them for meeting multiple goals in a row. For example, if one of their goals was to read one book a week, and they did that successfully four weeks in a row, then you could reward them for that in a manner you feel acceptable. The more you encourage them as they set and complete goals, the more inclined they will be to want to continue to set and complete goals. Help them be successful by being consistent in your application of goals as well! The more they see you setting and completing goals, whether it be for them or for yourself, the more it will be reinforced in them.

Catch up on all of our posts in this 14 Day Series

Hasbro Toy Reviews: Littlest Pet Shop Blythe Bedroom Style Set & My Little Pony Equestria Girls Singing Twilight Sparkle Doll

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Hasbro Toy Reviews 3

We have previously shared several other Hasbro Toy reviews on Scrabble Electronic Scoring Game and My Monoply and Baby Alive Brushy Brush Doll, Nerf N-Strike Elite Precision Targeting Set and Play-Doh Diggin’ Rigs Boomer the Fire Truck.  Here are just a few more that our kids got to test out!

littlest pet shop blythe bedrooms style setThe Littlest Pet Shop Blythe Bedroom Style Set of course requires a bit of adult assembly before the actual play can happen, but I will admit it wasn’t so bad on this one!  The directions were nice and clear, and the pictures (diagrams) were exceptionally clear (and big!!) and made the whole job much easier.  After I built the main structure, the fun began when my daughter took over “designing” the set. Of course, this means slapping fun stickers all over the place, but to her, she was “designing”! It was cute to watch her imagination take off! There are several different ways you can set this set up and design it – that’s another plus to this toy!  It does come with a lot, and I mean a lot of little extra pieces, so keep age in mind when buying this.  It recommends 6+, and I totally agree! ;-)

This set is made to be one part of many different sets that together can build one huge doll house.  Once she actually began playing, it was clear she needed/wanted more sets to add on. (Mommy knows what else to get for the holidays – YAY!) She not only used the Blythe doll and Penny Ling pet that came with the set, but she of course brought in several other “friends” to play.  She at one point had a dance party taking place in the living room! She’s going to continue to have a lot of fun with this set, but I’m sure she will have even more fun once we add in the additional sets she will get as gifts soon!

My Little Pony Equestria Girls Singing Twilight Sparkle Doll

The My Little Pony Equestria Girls Singing Twilight Sparkle Doll just screams my daughter’s name! It’s sparkles, it has rainbow hair, it twinkles, it sings — it’s SO her! She immediately loved the fact that she could give the doll a high-5 to hear a song. Although I will tell you, that it’s very easy to accidentally give her a high-5 and you will hear her singing … a lot! Who knew something so simple could be so much fun! Of course she also began singing along with her and I soon found myself watching a “concert” of the 2 rockstars. ;-) Before I knew it, this doll joined all her other dolls and my daughter was off and playing on her own and they were all having one big doll party! I see more My Little Pony Equestria Girls dolls in our future!

Penny Pinchin’ Mom received these products in order to facilitate her review.  All  opinions are her own and were not influenced by any parties.