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Homeschool Hideout Blog

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Ooooh! Love this easy homemade salsa recipe. Cheap, quick and delicious!

5 Minute $5 Easy Homemade Salsa Recipe

There are few foods that my family adores more than a perfectly amazing salsa. With just the right amount of heat, simple preparations and no-fuss ingredients, it’s no wonder salsa has become a staple in so many households.
With only 6 simple ingredients, this salsa recipe can be made quickly and easily. By utilizing a blender in the process, you cut out a large chunk of work and speed up the prep time.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but my taste buds simply cannot handle much heat. Authentic Mexican restaurants tend to fry the taste buds right off of my tongue. The slightest hint of a jalapeno pepper brings tears to my eyes and causes the snot to pour out of my nose.
Ooooh! Love this easy homemade salsa recipe. Cheap, quick and delicious!
Yeah, I know that’s not a pretty picture. But what’s a girl to do when all of her friends try to burn her tongue to smithereens? All I want is a perfect salsa, which rides the fine line between ketchup and toasted taste buds.
Thankfully, I’ve finally found the PERFECT salsa for my tastes. Not too spicy but packed with flavor. And the best part is there are only 6 ingredients, most of which you will probably have on hand!
10 best PG shows to stream on Netflix

5 Classic Family Shows to Stream on Netflix

Raise your hand if you were lucky enough to grow up during a time when you could turn on the TV and not worry about seeing something your little eyes shouldn’t see.
Yeah, me too.

I miss those days.

The days when your mom was in the kitchen cooking dinner and so YOU were in charge of the TV for a bit. You’d flip through the channels (or if you’re a bit older, you actually GOT UP and changed the dial!), searching for just the right show.

And you always found it.

Unfortunately, good quality television shows are becoming less and less. Luckily, we’ve found 5  clean and classic family shows to stream on Netflix ! These shows are perfect for the dog-days of summer, when you’re snowed in or when you’re stuck in bed for the day. With their “old-school” humor, family friendly content and lack of reruns, your family will love all 5 shows, from start to finish!5 classic family shows to stream on Netflix NOW! My kids love these and I love the clean wholesome shows!

WHAT!?! A legit way to spend less than $50/yr on our most expensive curriculum? Teaching Textbooks on a budget? Yes, please!

Teaching Textbooks on a Budget

Whether you’re a homeschool newbie or have been homeschooling for years, chances are you’ve heard about the amazing math program that has homeschool families everywhere singing its praise.

While the popularity of Teaching Textbooks is soaring, it’s no secret that the biggest drawback is the price tag. With each level costing over $100, no matter how great the curriculum is, it’s still out of many families’ budgets.

Most homeschooling families have the added challenge of squeezing enough money from their already tight budget to purchase curriculum for multiple children. Luckily, we’ve found a way to purchase Teaching Textbooks for less than $50/year per child after your first year!

WHAT!?! A legit way to spend less than $50/yr on our most expensive curriculum? Teaching Textbooks on a budget? Yes, please!

So what’s our secret? It’s simple.

OMG! I forgot about most of these shows! You can find me on the couch for the next couple of months, binge-watching! SERIOUSLY!

Top 10 PG Shows to Stream on Netflix

It’s undeniable. They just don’t make TV shows like they used to.

Luckily, Netflix is a game-changer when it comes to watching TV. Now you can stream the very best PG shows on Netflix, right from the comfort of your home! No longer do you need to spend hundreds of dollars on boxed DVD sets, just to enjoy some clean and wholesome fun.

The last 15 years has brought us some of the funniest, most thrilling and jaw-dropping TV shows. We’ve rounded up the Top 10 PG shows to stream on Netflix today.

OMG! I forgot about most of these shows! You can find me on the couch for the next couple of months, binge-watching! SERIOUSLY, the top 10 PG shows to stream on Netflix! Yes, please!
10 fun ideas to celebrate Earth Day!

10 Cheap & Easy Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

In our over-consuming culture, it’s important to teach our kids healthy habits, in order to preserve our earth for our future generations.  What better time to discuss this than while we celebrate Earth Day?

Our kids learn by our example. Unfortunately, today’s children are an “on-demand” generation. They will never know what life was like before being able to simply text a friend and get an immediate response. They’ll never know the anticipation of waiting for a handwritten letter to make it’s way to your mailbox.  They’ll never experience the joy of having an entire meal that was grown on their own land.

As parents, it’s our job to teach our kids what we can do to help save the earth. Whether it’s big or small, there is always room for improvement. We all know we need to REDUCE, REUSE and RECYCLE but by breaking it down into small habits, we can help our kids understand their impact on our world.

We rounded up 10 simple, yet effective ways to celebrate Earth Day with your kids!

10 of the best ideas to celebrate earth day without spending a lot of money! (HINT: Get your hands dirty!)

10 Simple Ways to Make Your Homeschool Husband Feel Like a KING!

You’re exhausted.

You still have a stack of laundry waiting to be folded. You still have baths to give and mouths to feed. You still need to get tomorrow’s schoolwork ready. You still need to shower yourself. You still need to spend a few minutes with your homeschool husband.

Take a deep breath and listen to me, mama. Move your “few minutes with the husband” to the top of your list.  The half-emptied dishwasher can wait. The pile of dirty laundry can wait. The sink full of pots and pans can wait. But do you know what cannot wait? Your marriage.

So often, homeschooling moms put everything before them. The kids, school, karate lessons, dentist appointments, cooking, cleaning, volunteer work, visiting Grandma, bringing a dish to the church potluck.  The list could go on forever. But usually right on top of “myself” at the very bottom of the long list, is the homeschool husband.

Of course, we never intend to place our homeschool husbands on the bottom of our list.  On that memorable day, years ago that I stood in my white dress, promising to love this handsome young man for eternity, I never dreamed there would be a day that he would walk in the door from work and I wouldn’t jump to greet him with a kiss. I never foresaw the mere “hey” I would mumble as I went about chopping veggies for our dinner, while our toddler passionately rams me in the shins with his Tonka Truck. Never did I think my homeschool husband would be one of my last priorities, but sadly, he sometimes is.

Great list of free homeschool e-books! Perfect to add to your collection of educational must-haves for the Kindle.

Free Homeschool E-Books for Amazon Kindle

Free Homeschool E-Books For Amazon Kindle

It’s no secret that Amazon Kindles are a gold mine for homeschool resources. It just seems like when I’m actually looking for a topic we’re studying, I find nothing for free.

So when I stumbled upon an e-book called “Let’s Explore Italy: Most Famous Attractions in Italy,” I got excited. After a few clicks, I found myself on the author’s Amazon storefront, Baby Professor. 30 minutes later, I had downloaded over 40 e-books for FREE!

40+ FREE E-Books to add to your Kindle TODAY!

Box of Homeschool Blessings (Round 2!)


You may remember last summer when I wrote this post about what homeschoolers REALLY want. Shortly after, I posted about  a box of  treasures that my brother and sister-in-law surprised the kids with. The next week, we received another box of homeschool tools, this time from my mother-in-law.

(Shame on me for just now sharing!)


A gift-free Chrsitmas? Now THIS IS worth sharing! We are TOTALLY doing it this year. I would've never thought of these ideas!

10 Easy Ways to Turn a Gift-Free Christmas into the BEST. DAY. EVER.

A gift-free Christmas? Just what kind of parent am I?

As I mentioned in this post, we decided to have a complete Christmas overhaul this year, in order to focus on contentment. We didn’t have any presents under the tree and only a few small items in our stockings.

And can I just take a sec to tell you how amazingly peaceful our gift-free Christmas day was? It was seriously a mama’s dream.

Genius ideas to tame the gift giving or have a gift-less Christmas. MUST TRY THIS YEAR! Our kids NEED to learn to be content.

Why We’re Having a Gift-Less Christmas

 A gift-less Christmas? We must be crazy!
In years past, Christmas morning was consumed by an overwhelming amount of gifts, wrapping paper, beeping toys and greedily rushing through the stack of presents.

That’s how we celebrated:  by buying each other “stuff.”

This year, my goal is to teach my children about one little word: contentment.

Such a small word but what a huge thing contentment really is.
Stop for just a second and think. How many adults do you know who are truly content? Who do you know who isn’t keeping up with the Jones’, yearning for a bigger house, nicer car or fancier vacations? I bet you can’t list very many people who are content.

How sad is it that in this fast-paced, consumer-driven world, even adults want more, more, more? When will we say “enough?” When will we learn to be content with the thousands of blessings that have been poured upon us each year?

For my family, it’s now.

Why one family is having a gift-less Christmas and why YOU should, too! (Hint: Content kids are awesome!)

Clumsy Thief: A Quick and Easy Addition Game

 I love anything that makes learning so much fun that the kids don’t even realize they are learning. And games seem to be the sure-fire way to do that around here!

I told you before about my love for the Bananagrams,  a game that reinforces spelling, reading and phonics skills.

If I love Bananagrams, then I absolutely adore Clumsy Thief! This fast paced game is to math what Bananagrams is to spelling!

Clumsy Thief is just what we needed to round out our game closet.

This game has taken over our math time! It's quick and easy and quickly rising to the top of our favorite lists. Clumsy Thief board game is fun for the whole family!


Tot Schooling

Tot Schooling with a Wild-Man

      If you’ve been around very long at all, you know that my biggest struggle with homeschooling is my 2 year-old son.

That kid is a maniac!!!  Maybe it’s because he’s a boy and I was used to dealing with only mildly rotten girls, but that boy keeps me on my toes.

Tot Schooling

I’ve read about how to deal with homeschooling while a “terrible two” is under the same roof. Most suggestions sound like what I’ve wanted to do, basically every single day: just throw in the towel and try homeschooling again when he’s out of this “stage.”  That idea left me frustrated and still searching.
I knew something had to change and quickly.

Out-of-the-box ideas for a Veterans Day Celebration! Great way to teach your homeschoolers about our servicemembers' sacrifices!

A Homeschooler’s Veterans Day Celebration

A Homeschooler’s Veterans Day Celebration

One of the most important holidays in America is Veterans Day. Why it doesn’t get more attention, I’ll never understand. This year, we decided to hold our own Veterans Day Celebration to give the kids a glimpse into the sacrifices our Veterans have made for our great country.


We sat down with the girls and compiled a list of all the veterans we know. We wanted to keep it fairly small and personal, so we kept it to our close family and then added in anyone that the girls suggested. Once our list had 17 names, we got started on the invitations for our Veterans Day Celebration.

The girls were in charge of every aspect of this event, so they looked up ideas for handmade invitations. They spent all day making hand print flags and filling in the details explaining the purpose of our lunch. In case you’re wondering, that’s a LOT of writing for a couple of kiddos!

Out-of-the-box ideas for a Veterans Day Celebration! Great way to teach your homeschoolers about our servicemembers' sacrifices!

I also included a handwritten note in all of the invites that read:

“It is very important to us as parents to teach our kids about the many sacrifices our veterans have made for this great country. Please come prepared to share your experiences with Miss Bookworm and Miss Manners.  Feel free to bring any photos or anything else you wish to share with our future generations. We look forward to learning from you.”

Field Trip: Outdoor Days {Day 1}

                                          Last month, we packed our bags and headed to Tablerock Lake for the weekend to enjoy Bass Pro’s Outdoor Days.  It was a 2 day event, that offered free camping at the beautiful state park.  Unfortunately, Miss Manners had a dental emergency on Friday afternoon so we spent the day in the dentist’s office, and didn’t get a chance to pack our camping gear.  Instead we stayed in our timeshare, which was thankfully located only about 10 minutes away. We are definitely looking forward to camping out next year, though.

There was so much to do and see that I will be doing a blog post for each day. Be forewarned that you are about to see way too many photos. 😀

There were tons of vendors, both big and small, set up all around the Tablerock Lake campgrounds.  They had buses to get you from one area to the next.

There was tons of hands on learning.  Each “station” had tons of information and resources that were full of exciting information.  I could sit here all day, telling you the details of each station and the fun little facts we learned, but instead, I’ll let the photos do the talking.

Replicas and skeletons:


Field Trip: Right Choices Corn Maze

I am so excited about fall! We had an awesome summer but I am ready for things to slow down so I can enjoy all the sights and smells of fall.


We are lucky enough to have several great corn mazes and pumpkin patches near us.  Our favorite is the Right Choices Corn Maze.  While other corn mazes offer more mature activities, like a Spook Maze, Right Choices is perfect for families with young kids.

History Unboxed

History Unboxed

When a box this large shows up in your mailbox, people tend to get excited.


When an 8 year old girl spies this stamp on a box, suggesting time travel, she tends to get overwhelming excited.


So when History Unboxed sent us this awesome box to review, you can imagine the smiles on a couple of little faces.

Unfortunately, those smiles faded quickly when mean ol’ mom said we couldn’t immediately get started on the awesome activities.  Instead, I made them wait until the next day.  You would’ve thought I was torturing them.

The next day was GORGEOUS, so we grabbed the box and headed outdoors to indulge in the fun.

The China Unboxed set we received included a sticker for a timeline, 2 activities (a kite and a statue of Emperor Qin,)  as well as a package of green tea.

IMG_0533          IMG_0528


Blessings in a Box

I was pleasantly surprised last week when my brother and sister-in-law called to discuss how our homeschooling was going.  They wanted to know how they could help us out.  Ironically, I had just…

Super great ideas for what to buy homeschoolers! Must show this to all grandparents, aunts & uncles and family friends

What Homeschoolers REALLY Want

What Homeschoolers Really Want

It’s happened again. Another well-meaning relative has given me another stack of notebooks and 43 more boxes of crayons. While I really do appreciate their generosity, wouldn’t it be nice if they bought things we actually need instead of whatever random supplies they see at out local supermarket? Don’t you wish they knew what homeschoolers REALLY want?

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could simply make a list for everyone to see before they buy us another package of glue sticks?

You’re probably familiar with a school supply giveaway.  This is an amazing idea that many churches and communities do every August, just before school starts. Simply show up and the church will provide you with all of the supplies on your list, as well as shoes, backpacks, clothes and haircuts.
What a blessing these events are!
Can you imagine the hundreds of parents who don’t have to scrimp and save to buy all of those overpriced supplies? It really is the greatest thing to see a child’s eyes light up at the sight of a new pair of tennis shoes.

Last week, our church had a massive giveaway, with over 1,000 backpacks given away in just 3 hours.

Later, I was asked if there is a similar type of program to help homeschoolers. Wouldn’t it be amazing if there was? Can you just imagine pulling up and being handed a box full of printer ink, copy paper and art supplies?

Since there isn’t this type of service in my area (and if there is one in your area, let me know. I’m not opposed to moving!) I have been thinking about ways someone could help homeschool families get ready for the year ahead and have gathered up a few things that homeschoolers REALLY want.

Super great ideas for what to buy homeschoolers! Must show this to all grandparents, aunts & uncles and family friends