We are less than 2 weeks away from the Solar Eclipse and our family can't wait. With it being a once in a lifetime thing, we're turning it into a party and doing some learning along with it. Here are 15 fun things to prepare for your Solar ...

 

15 Solar Eclipse Activities & Party Ideas



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15 Solar Eclipse Activities & Party Ideas

We are less than 2 weeks away from the Solar Eclipse and our family can’t wait. With it being a once in a lifetime thing, we’re turning it into a party and doing some learning along with it. Here are 15 fun things to prepare for your Solar Eclipse party or to use with your kids leading up to the big day.

  1. Solar Eclipse craft from Books and Giggles
  2. Coffee Filter Solar Eclipse Craft from Look We’re Learning
  3. Solar Eclipse Viewing Guide from Our Everyday Chaos
  4. Solar Eclipse Books for Kids
  5. Solar Eclipse Worksheet Pack from Homeschool Giveaways and Freebies
  6. DIY Solar Eclipse Viewer from The Mama Workshop
  7. Solar Eclipse Activities, Writing, Crafts, Party Ideas, and more from Teachers Pay Teachers
  8. Solar Eclipse – The Complete Kids Guide & Activity Book (Under $5)
  9. Eclipse Lapbook from Teachers Pay Teachers
  10. Experience the Solar Eclipse With Kids the Right Way from Extremely Good Parenting
  11. Moon Pies for a Solar Eclipse Party
  12. Sun Chips for a Solar Eclipse Party
  13. Sun Drop Cupcakes from Jenna Marie
  14. Galaxy Popcorn from Raising Whasians
  15. Eclipse Chewing Gum

How are you celebrating the big event? You can follow my Solar Eclipse board on Pinterest HERE.

 

I have included affiliate links in this post. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site.

The post 15 Solar Eclipse Activities & Party Ideas appeared first on www.meghantucker.com.

        
 
 
 

Why You Should Spend Money on Family Vacations

 

 

Family Vacations – it’s something we believe is so important. I read a study the other day that summed up how we feel about family vacations. Recent research show that family trips have a profound and lasting impact on kids’ overall happiness and well-being. It states that spending time in a new location is so very important for a child’s brain growth. Seeing to new places or doing a new activity helps develop parts of the brain that are associated with everything from stress management to improved ability to learn. Researchers also say that vacations are beneficial not only in the moment, but in the long term as well, because they help build lasting, positive memories.

There is a reason our kiddos long for family vacations to the beach. Why they ask to go camping as much as they do. It’s because we love our time together. At the beach, we love finding seashells early in the morning or riding bikes up and down 30A. They love playing in the sand and being in the water with their Dad. I believe it’s because  these things create special bonds with our kids. When we camp, they love playing cards and games together at the picnic table, or hiking through the woods, or tubing down the river as a family, or sitting by the campfire at night.

It doesn’t matter where you are going. Paris, France or Branson Missouri. The panhandle in Florida or Gatlinburg, Tennessee. All that matters is that you make it a fun, memorable experience.

Family holidays are valued by children, both in the moment and for long afterward in their memory,” psychologist and best-selling author Oliver James explained to The Telegraph. “It’s all about talking nonsense with your parents, sharing an ice cream and moments of time in which your interests are genuinely taken into account. So if you’re going to spend money on something, it’s pretty clear which option makes more sense.”

We like to give family vacations to our children instead of gifts for Christmas and other special occasions. Memories and traditions far outweigh the material gifts that are given at birthdays and Christmas. They’re going to forget that LEGO set you gave them or that video game they received at their birthday. I promise, they won’t forget the family vacation to the beach, or the trip through the Northeast you planned. Or splurge sometime and save up for that Disney Cruise they’ve seen commercials for and heard their friends talk about. The point is, it doesn’t have to be an extravagant trip for it to create good, long, lasting memories and for them to want to continue the tradition of traveling with their kids when they have their own.

18 Places to Visit With Your Kids Before They’re Too Big:

  • National Parks — some of our favorites are Yellowstone, Mammoth Cave, The Smoky Mountains, Utah’s Arches.
  • San Diego Zoo
  • DisneyWorld/DisneyLand
  • Civil War Battlefields
  • Niagara Falls
  • Golden Gate Bridge, California
  • US Space and Rocket Center, Alabama
  • 30A Beaches
  • The islands in the Caribbean or British Virgin Islands
  • Ellis Island – Statue of Liberty, New York
  • Chicago Illinois
  • The Georgia Aquarium
  • Washington DC
  • American Museum of Natural History, New York
  • State Parks – camping
  • Cruise
  • Alaska
  • Seattle, Washington

Family vacations let your kids see another side of you they may not see when you’re back home: the playful side (instead of the over-caffeinated, highly stressed mombie side they’re so used to seeing). We have just decided that we don’t want to wait till we are old to experience travel, because then it will be too late to enjoy these trips with our children, maybe. They’ll be grown up with lives of their own and families of their own. Our idea is to instill the love of travel in them young, so when they are older, they continue to experience it and see the importance of it with their children. Traveling as a family, to me, represents a week’s worth of shared memories we’ll always have – places we’ve been and things we’ve seen that no one else got to experience. It represents a chunk of time where nothing else in this world really mattered to us — no work, Facebook, meetings, dirty dishes, or the laundry.


It doesn’t have to be a huge, lavish trip. A simple weekend camping trip will do wonders for you and your kids. A “staycation” in your own city will be so fun for your family.

Where have some of your favorite family vacations been to?

Happy Travels!

{other travel posts}

 

 

The post Why You Should Spend Money on Family Vacations appeared first on www.meghantucker.com.

 

Our 2017/2018 Homeschool Curriculum Choice

It was our first day today. Our first day of the ’17/’18 school year. I have mixed emotions this year about starting back. I was excited to begin because we had been on break since the end of April and getting back in routine was needed for all of us, but on the other hand, I wasn’t so ready as I usually am. Probably because I see time ticking way too fast for my liking and officially have a middle schooler now is hard for me to digest sometimes. I just can’t believe it, still. So, we officially began our 6th grade, 3rd grade, and Kindergarten school year. Oh, what fun!

We have tried both the boxed sets of curriculum and then have used a hodge podge of curriculum, as well. This year, we’re doing a little bit of both. Each Spring, we love to attend our favorite homeschool convention, Teach Them Diligently where we can get our hands on the curriculum and analyze each and every brand till we drive ourselves crazy. We always use that as our time to stock up on next years curriculum and resources and it’s always SO helpful.

So, what did we decide on this year?

6th Grade:

  • Alpha Omega Monarch (for the second year in a row – we LOVE it!) He loves doing his school work online and is a great independent learners so this method works great for both of us. Of course, I’m there if he has a question and to grade his work, but he usually is on his own and does great. He’s doing Bible, Science, Language Arts, and History using Monarch.
  • Khan Academy (for Math – this is our 3rd year using it). It’s FREE and mastery based. We tried Singapore, Teaching Textbooks, all that and finally landed on this a couple years ago. Two thumbs up. We cannot say enough good things about it.
  • Write Through the Bible Handwriting (again, this is our second year to use it and we love it). Our oldest has always struggled in handwriting for some reason. It just always looked so sloppy, until last year. I’m not sure what it was, but there’s something about this handwriting curriculum that just clicked and his writing greatly improved.

3rd Grade:

  • Alpha Omega Monarch: This will be the first time our middle son has used Monarch or anything online. He’s SO excited and I think this is going to be a great fit for him as well. He’s doing Bible, History, Language Arts, and Science using Monarch.
  • Shiller MathThe last 2 years, we’ve used Singapore Math. While we totally believe in Singapore, it just wasn’t working for our middle son. He’s more of a hands on learner and we think the Montessori approach is going to work well for him. I’ll give you an update in a few weeks.
  • Write Through the Bible Handwriting: Same as last year, we’re doing Write Through the Bible again with our middle son. He did great with it as well last year and why change up a good thing, right?

Kindergarten:

  • Shriller Math: We’re starting with Shriller for him, the first time we haven’t started a child with Singapore Math. So far, he’s doing great and it’s fun. Even to a point of him begging to do more Math and we have to make a cut off time. Pretty great, huh?
  • Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons: It’s what we have used with all 3 kiddos and we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it so much! It’s easy for both parent and child and leaves the child wanting to go farther with lessons. No more crying sessions with your child over learning to read. Promise!
  • Write Through the Bible Handwriting: He’s already having so much fun with his handwriting. My other two hated tracing letters, but this guy is a different story! It’s so fun to watch him learn.

We also are doing something a little extra this year. All 3 kids are reading along with me as I read aloud the Who Is/ What Was/Where Is series. Have you heard of them? After we finish each book, we search Pinterest to create something together based on the book. Oh, they’re already loving it!

What homeschool curriculum are you using this year? I’d love to follow along your homeschooling journey. You can follow ours on Instagram by following me as well as by searching the tag #tuckerhomeschool. 

Happy Back to School!

 

I have included affiliate links in this post. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site.

 

 

The post Our 2017/2018 Homeschool Curriculum Choice appeared first on www.meghantucker.com.

 

Friday Favorites: July Edition

It’s Friday, already? It’s time for another round of Friday Favorites.

  • $5 off your first order at Social Print Studio. We LOVE to print our Instagram images in the 4X4 square format. We use Social Print Studio for that and all our photo printing needs. The quality is amazing, the turnaround time is perfect, and we haven’t found 1 thing that we don’t like about using this service. We display our Instagram photos just like this

Try it out! Just use THIS LINK and the code: 4ASSRBWSW9.

  • My favorite shampoo, Pureology Perfect 4 Platinum Shampoo and Conditioner. I have had a hard time finding the perfect shampoo for the blonde highlights and color in my hair. This stuff is magical! Just perfect. If you have blonde or platinum in your hair at all, you have GOT to try this stuff!
  • Boxed.com – it’s my new favorite way to shop online when buying in bulk. We buy our diapers, toilet paper, paper towels, household cleaners, and everything else that we would buy at Costco on Boxed. Order, ships, and delivered to your doorstep in 2 days. Pretty great, and perfect for the busy families like us! Get $15 off your order by using this link.

    • Mabel’s Labels: My FAVORITE way to organize our family items. I use these labels for backpacks, water bottles, lunch boxes, our camping gear, toys, and everything in between. There are so many options to choose from and to customize your own + FREE shipping to you!

Back To School _DSeries 300x250
 

What about you? What are a few of your favorite things?

 

 

 

I have included affiliate links in this post. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site.

The post Friday Favorites: July Edition appeared first on www.meghantucker.com.

        
 
 
 

Weekend Mammoth Cave Camping Trip {review}

Jellystone Mammoth Cave Campground:

We recently took a trip to Mammoth Cave and wanted to go camping. There is camping inside the National Park, but there isn’t water or electric, both of which we usually need to have because, well, we just like to camp that way. (I am not a fan of “roughing” it that much). I had heard Jellystone Mammoth Cave Campground was close to the park and decided to give it a try.

We booked our campsite a few months in advance to make sure we had a great spot. Our family always loves camping in campgrounds that are family friendly, campgrounds that have things to do for the kids, and we love campsites that are shady and have space. That feeling of being on top of the campers next to you? Yeah, we really don’t like it. When booking with Jellystone, we requested one of the bigger sites with trees and shade.

When we arrived at the campground, the staff was really friendly. They were eager to help and get us situated and on our way to our campsite. We even had the chance to have a golf cart rental for the weekend to get around the campground, which was a plus. We pulled in at our campsite, and it was good on the size, but there weren’t any trees. One of the biggest things my boys look forward to when we camp are trees to hang their hammocks from. This campsite didn’t have trees to do that. They were bummed, so we went back to the check-in spot to try to move spots and there weren’t any available. That was a total bummer for them, but we didn’t let it to ruin our weekend, of course.

Here are the pluses and minuses to our stay at Jellystone:

PLUS:

  • LOTS going on all the time. Something for everyone in the family. From coloring contests, to mini golf, to Hey, Hey, Hey Rides with Yogi Bear himself, to a waterslide for the entire family, crafts, karaoke, and more.
  • The pool, my kids LOVED! They are still talking about how much fun they had swimming.
  • The FREE waffle breakfast each morning we were there.
  • Giant Jumping Pillow
  • Splash Pad
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Family friendly
  • Close to the national park (just 15 minutes) + 45 minutes to Bowling Green + an hour and a half to Nashville.

MINUSES: 

  • If you’re looking for something where the campground is really pretty and the campground is going to be the sole destination, this isn’t it.

All in all, we had a great weekend. It was a great place to stay outside the national park, especially if you like the amenities such as water and electric hookup at your  campsite (since the national park doesn’t offer this at their campground) or you want to stay in a cabin.

Kentucky Down Under:

There is so much to do in the Mammoth Cave area. We visited Kentucky Down Under while we were there and just loved it. While we weren’t sure exactly what to expect when we visited, we really enjoyed our time there!

Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo is home to many unique animals as well as home to many animals that you may see around every day. My boys LOVED the kangaroos and birds the best. It was so neat to be able to spend a good amount of time with all the kangaroos and for them to be able to feed them. Now, the birds. I’m personally terrified of them, but these three had the best time in the “bird cage”. I had the best time taking pictures of them enjoying it. Check out all the animals you’ll find at Kentucky Down Under

We also toured the Mammoth Onyx Cave while we were there. It was a great, short tour and especially fun for the younger kids in the group.

Kentucky Down Under was a great place to visit for a morning while we were in the area. We definitely would go back again.

Mammoth Cave National Park:

We love visiting National Parks. While we live only an hour from Mammoth Cave, we have never visited since living in the Nashville area. I still don’t understand how we went this long without visiting.

Domes and Dripstones and the Historic Tour were the two cave tours we took while visiting the National Park. We were there early one morning when the visitor center opened and purchased tickets for both tour. Our boys also completed the Junior Ranger Program – something they do at every National Park.

Historic Tour: Been in other more decorative caves, but never in Mammoth Cave? This journey through the natural entrance leads to “classic” Mammoth Cave landmarks visited by writers, scientists, military figures and celebrities of the 1800s and early 1900s. A great family trip! Portions of this tour are also seen on the Violet City Lantern, Star Chamber and Gothic Tours. It is seen in its entirety on the River Styx Tour.

Duration: 2 hours
Distance: 2 miles
Total Stairs: 440, including 155 at Mammoth Dome
Difficulty: Moderate
Price: $14 Adults, $9 Youth, $7 Special Access, $5 Educational Rate

Domes and Dripstones Tour: A wonderful complement to the Historic Tour, this trip includes a dramatic series of domes and pits, typical large trunk passageways, and a short journey through dripstone formations. This tour includes the entire Frozen Niagara Tour route and a small portion of the Grand Avenue Tour route.

Duration: 2 hours
Distance: 3/4 mile
Total Stairs: 500, including 280 on the initial staircase descent
Difficulty: Moderate
Price: $15 Adults, $10 Youth, $7.50 Special Access

You can make your reservations online or grab your tickets when you get there. Mammoth Cave is a place we will definitely be going back to, and soon! Since we homeschool our boys, this is a great park to visit as a field trip.

 

Have you visited Mammoth Cave? If you’ve toured the caves before, which tours were your favorite?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The post Weekend Mammoth Cave Camping Trip {review} appeared first on www.meghantucker.com.

        
 
 
 
 
 
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