How to Declutter Toys in a Big Family

When you take the plunge into minimalism, every “expert” tells you to start with toys if you have kids. It will give you easy wins and you’ll see such a huge difference, it will give you the momentum to continue. Or so they say. But when you have multiple kids (especially of different genders), decluttering toys can get complicated fast.

I started with toys after reading the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and let me tell you, it was painful. I debated a long time over things like dolls and Little People and wooden blocks. Hopefully sharing my experience will save you some of the decision fatigue I experienced.

I’ll give you the simple questions that I eventually (after much debate) came up with in order to decide what to toss and what to keep. I’ll also show you exactly what remained after we decluttered. Your toy collection will probably look different, but I always find it really helpful to see what other families end up keeping when they declutter toys.

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The 10 Best Mo Willems Books (and one to pre-order!)

mo willems books

If you only know the Elephant & Piggie side of Mo Willems, you are missing some of the best Mo Willems books! While Elephant & Piggie books introduced us to Mo Willems, we have discovered so many of his lesser known books that we love even more than beloved Elephant & Piggie.

If you have kids and have never read a book by Mo Willems, you are about to discover books that will turn even the most reluctant young reader into an absolute book fanatic!

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How to Make Mom Friends (when you’re tired of trying)

how to make mom friends

When your first child is born, it’s fairly easy to make mom friends. There are groups designed just for that: like the ones your local hospital or community center coordinates for new moms. You check the birthday range set for each group, pick one, and enjoy regularly attending an event that you didn’t have to lift a finger to initiate, plan, or host.

Connection is easy, nearly effortless, right? You just had a baby; they just had a baby. The topics for conversation are endless!

Birth stories. Baby sleep. Swaddling techniques. Your choices are endless and fairly safe (unless you’re in a group that happened to attract moms who want to duke it out over breast versus bottle or schedules versus attachment).

Making mom friends was never easier. Fast forward five years to when it’s anything BUT easy. 

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How to Raise Kids who Love Math

homeschool math, how to help kids love math

Most American parents know how important math is. They also know that we’re behind almost every country when it comes to math scores in our schools. How could the media let us forget it?

The powers that be in public education keep trying to change that: different curriculum, more testing, more drill, more homework, new approaches. Is it working? I guess we’ll know ten years from now.

While we know how important math is, a whole lot of American parents just plain don’t like math. Good old math: you can’t live with it, can’t live without it, right?

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Will every kid be a math rockstar? Probably not. Will math in all its forms come easily to every child? No. But I really believe that almost every child can appreciate math*, and by changing the way we approach math in our homes during their earliest ages, some kids just might love it.

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35 Activities for Kids (for when you’re stuck at home)

activities for kids, stay at home

I love being a stay at home mom. I do. But sometimes, being stuck at home all day with four energetic kids can drive a woman crazy! Ironically, it’s easy to draw a blank just when you need several indoor activities for kids to choose from that don’t involve media.

You may be home all day because of sickness, babies needing naps, lack of transportation, or lack of money to spend on outings. Whatever the reason, I’ve put together a list of activities to make it easier for you on the days when you are absolutely out of ideas (and they’ve already watched way too much TV).

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14 Easy Ways any Parent can Teach Geography

homeschool geography without curriculum

Geography is one of those subjects that can easily get pushed to the back burner day after day, in public schools and homeschools alike. After putting so much effort into math, reading, writing, and maybe science and history, finding the energy to get to subjects like geography can be a real challenge for any teacher.

Studies consistently show that U.S. Students are terrible at geography (source). But raising kids who have a good grasp of geography doesn’t have to be hard – promise! Any parent can use these ideas to raise globally minded kids, ensuring that they have an excellent grasp of geography, homeschooling or not. 

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Simple Phrases We Use instead of Spanking

Are you dealing with whining, tantrums, sibling fighting, or arguing? With four kids seven and under, I know firsthand that parenting can be downright exhausting, any way you spin it. But when the only tool I had was spanking, it was exhausting, plus I hated being a parent. This article is for parents who feel the same way and are looking for alternatives to spanking that actually work.

After reading what felt like a million books, I started using these eight parenting phrases. Now I have them memorized and use them all day every day.

They don’t solve all your parenting problems, but they do address some of the most common behavior problems for kids 6 and under in a straightforward and simple way. They give you more parenting tools than just spanking.

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