Category: Freebie Friday

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Fourth of July Craft Round Up

We do not have a consistent Fourth of July tradition. There have been times we have spent the evening with friends at a Community Garden… cooking out and enjoying time together. We have had a cookout at home and invited our small group over- enjoying fried green tomatoes from our garden. One of my favorite childhood memories was going out in our family’s boat on the lake to see the firework show Lake Lanier Islands in Georgia. For the first few years of our family life, my kids were terrified of fireworks and we hid in our house, under pillows for the Fourth. One year, my daughter was going through cancer treatment and she and I watched Memphis fireworks from a window at St. Jude while the rest of the family watched some neighborhood fireworks thirty minutes away. It is probably good that we don’t have a tradition we rely on because, as with much of this year, things just look different now. We are still hoping our town does their annual fireworks show and we can watch from our top secret location that I won’t share because I don’t want a crowd of people!!!

I’ve been looking through Pinterest for creative recipes and crafts to try with my family. My youngest is super excited about making a red, white, and blue dessert with Cool Whip and berries.

Here is a fun little activity I put together to create your own fireworks display. Click the words under the image to download the printable. Then scroll down for my Fourth of July Craft Round Up!

Fourth of July Craft Round Up


Handprint Crafts

Simple Paper Plate Flag

Pipe Cleaner Fireworks

Sparkle Bottles

Cookie Cutter Star Paint

Elementary School

DIY Marshmallow Shooters

Patriotic Star Banner

Marble Fireworks

Tie Dye Firecracker Shirt

Patriotic Lantern

Teens and Adults

No Sew Table Runner

Decorative String Balls

Painted Rocks

Tin Can Candles

Bug Away Candle Holders


American Flag Fruit Tray

Sugar Cookie Flag Fruit Pizza

Fourth of July Pretzel Bites

Firecracker Cake-Lettes with Pop Rocks

Fourth of July Brownie Bites

What are your favorite 4th of July traditions? crafts? recipes? Comment below and share the wealth!

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{FREEBIE FRIDAY} Summer Fun Checklists for Families and Teens

Last summer I wrote a post about allowing boredom in the summer months. I still stand by that post. I think our culture does not know how to be bored. We have constant stimulation and entertainment at our fingertips. You can read the post I wrote HERE.

This year is not not typical. It is not normal. The usual summer events are not happening. Most summer camps have been canceled or modified. Many church VBS programs have been canceled or modified. Between social distancing, phases for opening the country, riots and political unrest… home is looking like the place to be this summer.

I was sharing with my husband this week that I want to have a healthy balance with my children this summer. I want to engage them and I want them to sit in that boredom that breeds creativity. Normally, by the time we get to summer… we have come to the end of an intensly busy year and are ready to just relax and slow down. With the quarantine, we have already slowed down. We have already relaxed. We have played all the board games and made all the sweet treats. We have planted a garden. We have chilled in the hammocks. We have done the summery things.

Regardless of where you are in the world, you have been affected by COVID-19. You may or may not be ready to enter back into society. You may be wary of playgrounds and public pools. You may not yet be able to go to your library. You may have to wear masks and wait in a line outside to be let into Target. Things are different now… and will be for a while.

I have put together a couple of summer fun checklists. The first one is more family friendly… you can use it with all ages. The second is geared towards teens. These are things you can do at home or with friends. Summer fun you can safely accomplish while social distancing (or not). Click on the link BELOW the image to download the printable version.

All clip art was designed by me and can be found at Ninja Mom Designs on Teachers Pay Teachers.

If you like these checklists and are looking for more summer fun for your child, check out my Summer Fun Creative Journal from Ninja Mom Teaches on Teachers Pay Teachers.

What is your family doing this summer? How will you make memories? How will you spend the time that would have gone to other activities? I only 2-3 summers left with my oldest. I want to make the most of my time!!!

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Unbreakable Faith Course- GIVEAWAY

Y’all!!! I am so excited!!! You may remember a couple of months back when I wrote a review of the Unbreakable Faith Course from Pilgrim’s Rock, LLC. It is an apologetics course perfect for highschoolers and adults. Apologetics is, in a nutshell, knowing how and why you believe what you believe (as pertains to the Christian faith).

The folks at Pilgrim’s Rock, LLC reached out to me with an incredibly generous offer to give away TWO FREE courses!!!! TWO WINNERS will be chosen to receive the course. More details at the end of the post.

Apologetics has been an interest of mine for years. I am fascinated by those who produce eloquent and sound reasoning when in discussions about matters of faith. I know that I am a Christian. I know why I am a Christian. I have years of studying the Bible under my belt and a lifetime of experiences with the Lord… but there is something about apologetics and really understanding the why in an intellectual way that just draws me in.

As my children are entering and in their teenage years, I am realizing more and more the importance of them owning their faith. I was talking with a co-worker today about our students (I work in youth ministry). We were talking about our current quarantine rhythm. We have zoom meet ups scheduled almost every day. We are trying to provide points of contact for our students. We are trying to encourage them, get in the Word with them, laugh together… it is EXHAUSTING! We are just not made for virtual connection. We need face to face time with actual in life people!

As we were talking, I was saying to him that I really want to make things ok for these kids. I want them to know that God loves them. I want to point out to them very clearly what God is doing in their lives right now. But the truth of the matter is… God is writing their stories… just as much as he is writing mine. It is not my job to make sure things are tied up neatly and with a bow for these students at the end of the day. Yes… we want to provide points of contact and love these kids as best we can right now, but I am not responsible for making sure they are ok. They have to own their walks with the Lord. The Lord is the one responsible for their story and is the only one who knows exactly what he is teaching them.

I want to equip my kids. I want to give them the tools they need as they face a world that is increasingly hostile towards Christianity. I want them to know the joy of knowing Jesus and the eternal security that comes in entering a relationship with him. I want them to have an anchor that holds fast in the storms. A lighthouse that guides through darkness. A light unto their path. A purpose that goes deep and long and wide…. so that when the world shuts down and fear threatens to reign, they are ready.

As they are growing older and questioning everything, resources like The Unbreakable Faith Course are invaluable.

The course:

  • Exposes the false blind-faith presuppositions of unbelief
  • Builds a solid biblical worldview on God’s infinite excellence
  • Simplifies theological and worldview truths
  • Protects you against difficult unbelieving arguments

The course is self-paced. The developers of the course are amazing and available to help if you need. If you read my review, you’ll know that the website is super easy to navigate (even if you aren’t techy), the videos are about 10-13 minutes long, and the course is set for thirty-six weeks (although I believe it can be completed sooner if you are motivated).

Unbreakable Faith explores the nature and implications of the infinite excellence of God’s perfections (attributes) and demotstrates how they form the source and basis for all things in the universe, including all knowledge, truth, and ethics….Designed to simply and easily immunize the student against the most sophisticated arguments of unbelief, Unbreakable Faith provides the foundation for a solid, comprehensive, logical, and satisfying biblical worldview, while providing the means to adequately address the deepest theological differences and mysteries.

course description

Ok… now for the real reason you are here!!!! THE GIVE AWAY!!!

The creators of The Unbreakable Faith Course reached out to me and are offering to giveaway TWO FREE COURSES!!!! That’s right, TWO WINNERS will be chosen to receive this amazing course!!!!

Entering is super easy!!! Just follow the directions on the rafflecopter below. The giveaway ends Friday, May 15th.

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free printableFreebie Fridayhomeschool helps

The Art of Nature Study

I know so many people who stress out so much about working everything into their homeschool life. We homeschoolers want to make sure we get all the school things done. One of the questions I see come up over and over again in homeschool groups and forums that I am part of is “Am I doing enough?” … or some variation. Everyone wants to make sure they do it all… Bible, Science, Art, History, Grammar, Literature, Math… ALL. THE. THINGS.

What if school didn’t have to fall into so many categories. What if the subjects beautifully merged. What if science and art intertwined. Literature can come and join the fun as well. What the heck… throw some math in there too!

What on earth am I talking about??? Hang in there. I promise I’m going somewhere.

We live in Western North Carolina. It is a beautiful, giant playground. We have woods and hiking trails and rivers and overlooks all around us. When Spring arrives, the beautiful weather draws us out of hibernation. For the first time in months, my children will head out into the sunshine and not want to come back inside. And I don’t want to make them.

So… how do we still “homeschool” when the beautiful weather is calling? Enter the art of nature study. Nature study really only requires a couple of things… nature… and you. Nature study can teach the art of observation and attention to detail. It invites us to slow down and take in.

Nature studies can be as simple as going into your own backyard and turning over a rock or looking under the stairs, collecting leaves, pressing flowers, watching clouds, listening to the sounds… start simple.

Go for a walk. Point out the colors you see. Look for animals. Check out the different plants you see along the way.

How can you turn a nature study into an all in one homeschool experience???

PE– Go for a walk

Art- Take some colored pencils, oil pastels, water color paints, etc…. sit outside and record what you see.

Science– Start an observation journal. Give your child a notebook. Have them pick an object in the yard… a rock, a leaf, a feather, the bark of a tree, an acorn… anything. Have them write down the date, time, season, weather. Have them draw the object and write down all their observations.

Math– Pick five leaves and compare and contrast. Count the petals on a flower, sort rocks. Take your math page outside to work.

Literature– Sit outside and write a poem. Write an essay about the nature walk you went on. Create a list of words to describe your time in nature.

While I do plan for school and have some things that we rely on, there are times when the activity comes first and I later see how school fit into it all.

Are you tracking with me? Can you see how a simple trip to the park can be school? A day spent outside playing on the trampoline and riding bikes can be school. A day spent playing in the river, collecting rocks and building towers from them is definitely school! We let the fear of not doing enough take away our opportunities to slow down and step outside of the house and classroom.

I have put together a Nature Journal Printable Pack on Teachers Pay Teachers. It includes record sheets for nature walks, suggested nature study activities, blank pages for notebooking or creating art, observation pages, and more. Below is a FREE SAMPLE from the pack. You can download the FREE Printable by clicking below the image.

Find the Full Printable Pack Here on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Freebie Friday

Freebie Friday- STEM Challenge Cards

Did you know that STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) is easy to implement in your home? You likely have all the supplies you need already. STEM challenges are all the rage right now. We used to have a STEM challenge box in our home filled with household items like coffee filters, paper clips, straws, tape, etc. On a rainy day, I would tell the kids to pull out the box, give them a challenge and set them free.

Eventually the box of materials dwindled and I did not refill it. However, I realize that my younger two did not get to really benefit from all the fun. Earlier this week, the girls and I were talking about materials in a lesson we were doing through 4th grade science on Schoolhouse Teachers. We talked about different types of materials and how things are built. We talked about the science of engineering and why it is important to study materials to know how to build and what will last.

Per one of the suggestions in the lesson, we cut up strips of paper. I taught the girls how to make triangle blocks using just paper and tape. I made a few for them, then handed them the basket of paper strips and let them create. I tasked them with building a structure that bears weight.

My oldest girl decided to make round blocks instead. She built a pyramid and placed a pen on top. She also built a village and had her stuffed panda destroy it.

My youngest figured out how to make long rectangle blocks using the strips of paper and A LOT of tape! She spent most of her time making bricks and was thrilled every time she completed one.

And, because we love all things Barbie around here, my middle daughter created a throne/ chair. She was so excited when her doll took a seat and it didn’t cave in.

The girls worked for about an hour on creating structures and testing the weight. They saved all of the blocks they made and came back to work again the next morning.

Are you intrigued???? Keep scrolling 🙂

I have put together a printable pack of STEM challenge cards that you can download for FREE!!! The pack includes Challenge Cards (and blank cards so you can make your own), a checklist of materials you might want to include in your STEM challenge box (pictured above), and a record sheet.

To download the FREE PRINTABLE PACK, Click Below:

If you download the pack and use it in your classroom or homeschool, I’d love to see pics. Tag me on Instagram- @thedelightdirectedhomschooler

If you like what you see, please check out my Teachers Pay Teachers shop for more No Prep Printables.

How do you use STEM in your homeschool? Comment below and share the wealth!

By the way… once upon a time I had a different homeschool blog called Plants and Pillars. I used to offer free printables and other homeschool helps. I have since taken Plants and Pillars off of the interwebs. So… if you followed me back then, you may notice some repeat printables that have had a face lift.