Interactively Comparing the Arctic and Antarctic

arctic and antarctic venn diagram

My wiser-than-me mother-in-law always reminds, “It’s great to have a plan, but know, things probably won’t go according to plan.” And that’s exactly how things played out as we dove into a recent multi-elementary-age science unit.

I’d planned to keep things simple by lumping the Arctic and Antarctic together while teaching my preschooler, kindergartner, 2nd grader, and 4th grader about polar habitats. But more organically than I could have planned they began asking questions.

But why don’t polar bears and penguins live in the same place?

To be honest, I wasn’t sure I truly knew the difference between the Arctic and Antarctic myself. And so searching for a way for the kids to differentiate helped fill-in the gaps of my own learning and gave me renewed perspective about this amazing world we get to live in. The love for learning I’ve discovered during this homeschooling journey has been one of my favorite parts of teaching.

arctic and antarctic Venn diagram

To see how we discovered the differences and similarities between the Arctic and Antarctic, and download FREE printables, read the rest in my contributing post at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

arctic and antarctic venn diagram3

Setting Goals for Growth

scripture storytelling with printables by Keeping Life Creative

{helping mommy tell a Bible story}

Can you imagine the tremendously overwhelming feelings Mary and Joseph must have felt as they carried the responsibility of becoming the earthly parents to the Son of God?

Sometimes–usually during the quiet, early mornings when I’m alone with our nursing newborn baby–I think of these Biblical parents and wonder if they ever felt inadequate–knowing their son’s potential–or if they received enough divine guidance through those early years to give them the confidence, “we’ve got this.”

young Jesus teaches at the temple felt story set by Keeping Life Creative

{prepping Childhood of Jesus printables for Bible storytelling}

Learning from the Childhood of Jesus

My current church responsibility is to teach the adult Sunday School class and we recently spent class time discussing the childhood of Jesus. I’ve been thinking a lot about this idea:

 Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of our Heavenly Father, still had to experience earthly life. And though the scriptures don’t record a lot of his childhood, the stories we do know show his growth physically, intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally. The growing experiences he had as a child must have been the foundation for the service he would later give during his ministry. Though I’m sure his Heavenly Father was a key role in his growth, so were the experiences and teachings he received from his earthly parents.

Luke 2:52

Though we’re raising “regular” kids who will likely grow up to be “regular” adults, I feel just a small piece of the weight Mary and Joseph might have felt when I consider the responsibility I have in raising my own children–children of God with incomprehensible potential.

Growth is Not Automatic

In a webinar I recently listened to, Kelly Thorne Gore taught, “Growth is not an automatic process. If we’re going to grow, we have to do so intentionally. We have to decide what areas we’re going to grow in and we have to have a plan–something strategic, specific, and scheduled.”

Setting Goals with Kids

Helping my children grow has been on my mind over the past few weeks and so I’ve spent some one-on-one time with each child talking about their personal goals for the new year. I feel a need to be intentional in fostering their growth (as well as my own), and so we each selected goals in the four areas: physical, intellectual, spiritual, and emotional.

Then (my favorite part!), we spent an afternoon rummaging through old magazines (and Google Images) to create our annual vision boards.

vision board

The collages will serve as a visual reminder of the things we’d like to accomplish/work on/learn. It’s just one of the ways I’m trying to “keep life creative” through this parenting business.

What are some things you do to help your kids “grow?”

Love to Learn Hop

When planning school time, I love to gather creative ideas from around the web, so I’m excited to co-host this month’s Love to Learn Hop with Sandy Toes Creations.

What are you or your kids creating right now?
What are your top tips for fun ways to learn?

We’d love to see! Keep scrolling to add your own links, or to discover new ideas in this collection of fun and educational activities for all ages.

Love to Learn #bloghop #mombloggers #homeschool #kids #education #kidsactivities #learnthroughplay #kidscrafts


 Welcome to the

Love to Learn Blog Hop

 (previously Learn Through Play)

A collection of educational activities to instill a life long love of learning in our children.


Enjoy learning through play, nature, crafts, and many other educational activities.

This is a PIN-IT PARTY! 
Your hosts will Pin each post to our Pinterest boards! I encourage you to do the same!
Add all or some of your favorite social media links below the main hop.



Only one rule, please:

Follow your Host & Co-hosts on Pinterest.

We work hard to share all your fantastic content!
 (click on our badges, or scroll down to the social media link up)


Hosted by

Sandy Toes Creations

Sandy Toes Creation #momblogger #homeschool #kids #education #parenting


Co-Hosted by

Keeping Life Creative

Keeping life Creative #education #homeschool #kids #momblog

email lmastilock(at)gmail(dot)com to co-host a future hop


Sponsor a future hop
(view Sponsor Page if interested!)

link up is open all month long,

with a new one beginning every 1st


Join at any time and even come back to add new

Grow blog followers, gain views and comments, and find other great blogs here.



Grab the Blog Hop Button and Share the fun all month long!!


Love to Learn #bloghop, #mombloggers #homeschool #kids #education #kidsactivities #learnthroughplay #kidscrafts

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Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

We woke up to snow. Sort of. The dusting was so light you could still see patches of grass and it melted before breakfast was over. As the mama who has to dress (and then five minutes later, undress) the kids for snow play, I can’t say I was disappointed. But we haven’t seen much snow this winter, and the kids were hoping to go out and build a snowman.

snowy weather

{Real-life winter weather aftermath}

Enter some creativity, and no one has to go out in the cold!

Do YOU want to build a snowman?

Download and print this simple snowman template and build your own cut-and-paste snowy weather art project. . . .

snowman art projects

. . . . or use the template to create toddler-approved felt board manipulatives for building and rebuilding snowmen.

L snowman

A Day of Knights

Homeschooling these kids has done funny things to me. During my own schooling, history was a “boring” subject I couldn’t get excited about. But teaching it to my kids has been fascinating and I surprised myself by getting giddy about an annual “Days of Knights” medieval festival just a short drive away. We grabbed daddy on a day off, and declared it field trip time!

Sword fights, horse-back jousting, blacksmith demonstrations, men and women dressed in historical pieces, open fire dutch oven cooking, and trying on knight’s armor illustrated the time period we’ve read about and made it real for them.

days of knights

It’s probably no surprise this field trip inspired a craft. The knight template has quite a few small pieces, so the younger ones may need help cutting.

knight craftivity

Sometimes I get stressed about whether the kids are learning enough. If I’m not careful, the mommy-guilt creeps in, consuming my thoughts with all the things I think we should be doing. But The Well Trained Mind reminds at this stage of learning, the goal isn’t to cram in every fact because this subject will come around again. Instead, the goal is to help them excited about learning so that the next time we study medieval history (or Ancient Greece, or whatever), they’ll be excited and remember how much they love the subject.