24 Sweet Valentine Books For Kids


Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Here’s a list of some of my favorite books to read on this sweetest of holidays. I discovered some new books which I’m excited to introduced to my kiddos as well.

Tthe-ballad-of-valentine-imagehe Ballad of Valentine by Alison Jackson

I found this little gem while browsing through the library with my kiddos. It’s a clever rhyming book that will keep kid and adult amused.

Val615XNP452HL._SL500_AA300_entine’s Day Is……. by Gail Gibbons

Not only does this book illustrate all of the different things we do to celebrate this special day. It gives you a history lesson on the origins of Valentine’s Day. Great book!


The Valentine Bears by Eve Bunting

This is one of my all-time favorite books for Valentine’s Day written by one of my favorite children book’s authors. Mr. and Mrs. Bear wake up mid-hibernation to give each other very special Valentine Day gifts. This is a must read.

61y1S0dr26L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Snowy Valentine by David Peterson

I put this at the top of my list because I just love this sweet book. Jasper Bunny wants to find his wife, Lilly, a very special Valentine’s Day gift. The ending is a sweet surprise.

Kissing handThe Kissing Hand by Audry Penn

I remember Lily’s teacher reading this book on her first day of Pre-K.  I really love this book and am reading it for H’s Pre-K co-op coming up soon.

Guess_How_Much_I_Love_You_Cover_ArtGuess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

Who doesn’t love this book? This is a must for any library.

I’d Kidknow youanywherenow You Anywhere My Love by Nancy Tillman

I found this book while browsing around Barnes and Nobles with The Hubs. It caught my eye because it is written by the same author who wrote On the Night You Were Born, one of my all-time favorite children’s books. I like this book just as much. It’s about the love we parents have for our kids. The book reminds me of Lulu and H who are always pretending to be someone or something else, just like the child in this book. I highly recommend this one. The Nancy Tillman also gives us the illustrations which are captivating as well.


Valentine Surprise by Corinne Demas

The main character, Lily, is trying to make the perfect Valentine for her mom. The end result  is absolutely perfect to mom.

II-Love-You-Night-and-Day Love You Night and Day by Smriti  Prasadam Halls

This book reminds me a little bit of I’d Know You Anywhere My Love. It’s heartwarming and the  illustrations are a bit more cartoonish. This is a great book for Valentine’s Day or before bed reading.

The Dathe day it rained heartsy It Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond

This is another gem I found while browsing at Barnes and Noble.

biggest kissThe Biggest Kiss by Joanna Walsh and Judi Abbot

I really enjoyed this book and the one below (by the same author).

Tperfect hughe Perfect Hug by Joanna Walsh and Judi Abbot

plant-a-kiss   Plant a Kiss by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Sweet and simple.  My kids loved this one, too.

I enjoyed reading these next set of books. I know my kids will love them because of the characters and what I know will capture my kids’ (and most kids’) interests. Some of these books have familiar characters that I know my kids will be drawn to.

Big HBig Hugs Little Hugsugs, Little Hugs  by Felicia Bond

I actually read this book this week to L and H while they were eating breakfast. Perfect for little ones.

there's no one I love like you

There’s No One I Love Like You by Jutta Langreuter

This a book with a lesson. Bunny doesn’t appreciate his family until he lives somewhere else. This book would make a great discussion starter for being grateful and having a good attitude.

There WaOld ladys An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Rose by Lucille Colandro

This one is just plain funny and very entertaining.

fancy nancy

Fancy Nancy Heart to Heart by Jane O’Connor

We like all the Fancy Nancy books! This is right up Lulu’s alley.

Pete the CatPete the Cat Valentine’s Day Is Cool by James Dean and Kimberly Dean

To be honest, I’d never read a Pete the Cat book. I’ve been missing out. Pete realizes that thinking of others and giving thoughtful valentines to his friends is super cool!!

Dinosaurs UnderpantsDinosaurs Love Underpants by Claire Freedman 

Okay, this isn’t so much a Valentine’s book as it has the word LOVE in the title. I think every boy (and girl) would love this silly and creative book read to them on Valentine’s Day. Did you know that wearing underpants is why the dinosaurs went instinct??? Neither did I! This is a super fun book.

The Nthe night before valentines dayight Before Valentine’s Day  by  Natasha Wing

Join this delightful class as they get ready for their special holiday celebration.

Havalentine curious georgeppy Valentine’s Day,  Curious George  by N. Di Angelo

Little H loves Monkey George (as he calls him)! This is a sweet book.

Lovbook_loveYouWhene You When by Linda Kranz

This one really caught my eye. What great photographs of real rocks with loving messages painted on them.

It's valentines dayIt’s Valentine’s Day by Jack Prelutsky

This is a fun book of Valentine’s  poems that Lulu loved reading to me!

little critterHappy Valentine’s Day, Little Critter! by Mercer Mayer

We (Little H) are IN LOVE with the Little Critter books right now. This is right up his alley!

Happy Reading!



24 Sweet Valentines Books For Kids

Untitled (1)Hello February!! We made it out of what we call around here, “Birthday Month”. We have a ton of family birthdays in January. Now we are on to one of my favorite months for homeschooling, February. We have a lot of interesting holidays to explore, Groundhog Day, President’s Day, Black History Month and Valentine’s Day.

So I dug back a little in The Accidental Domestic Archives to this sweet and helpful post I wrote last year. Check out these wonderful books to share with your kids about love, family and Valentine’s Day here: 24 Sweet Valentines Books for Kids.

Just a little tip: I don’t have time to search for all these books at my library with two kids in tow. So, I request them on line through my library’s website and pick them up in one fell swoop. It makes life much easier.

Enjoy and Happy Reading!


What We Are Reading This Month:: Back to School

Where has September gone??? School started and we hit the ground running. We’ve schooled for 6 weeks and we are ready to take a little break. But we have been reading up a storm here. I’m excited for all the fun things we’ve been reading as school has picked up again. Some of these books were still part of our lazy summer reading and some are what we are reading as we start up a new year.

Let’s start with Lulu:

cobblestreet The Cobble Street Cousins Series  by Cynthia Rylant

We just finished Some Good News and Wedding Flowers. Fortunately, we discovered these delightful books this summer. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize they were a series and we read the last book first! Oops! I read these to Lily and she absolutely loves them. I really like them too.



The Lighthouse Family Series by Cynthia Rylant

We are reading The Turtle right now. There are 5 in the series and delightful is the perfect word for these books. This is a great book for shared reading with Lily. I read a page and then she reads a page to me.


Meet KitMeet Kit by Valerie Tripp

So Miss Lu has recently discovered the  American Girl Book Series. She has the doll, Molly, and had not read any of the books yet. Once she found the Kit books, I could not keep her from just devouring the whole set of 6 Kit books.


Now on to me, Jen:


DontMakeMeCountTo3Don’t Make Me Count To Three by Ginger Hubbard

This book has been a blessing. I’m about 3 chapters in and I’ve been hi-lighting like mad. Gosh, I wish I had read this book a year ago. While I read this book, I go back and forth between berating myself for being the worst parent ever to thanking God that He’s given me some much needed insight into some parenting challenges we’ve been having. Getting to the heart of your child and not just having them “act” the way that looks good to others is the theme of this book. I knew this as a parent; but having examples of how to do it, is what this book offers and what is making a difference for me. I know there are other great parenting books to read. I highly recommend this one.

germanshepherdpuppyYour German Shepherd by Liz Palika

I’m all about parenting this month! We have a one year old German Shepherd puppy mix. I wish I had had this book 6 months ago when we brought home our handsome little furball! It was really  helpful in understanding the personality of a Shepherd and what they are going through in each stage of puppy hood. It’s helped me change some bad habits I was practicing in training him. It also helped me to be more patient with my puppy who acts a lot like my 4 year old! If you have a puppy or are thinking of getting one, I highly recommend this type of book for your breed of dog. If you are thinking of getting a German Shepherd, they rock!! They are smart and loyal and so loving.


We’ll end with Little H:


gentlegiantoctopusGentle Giant Octopus by Karen Wallace

This is a beautifully illustrated book that really captivated Little H. We learned a lot about the octopus but it was written in the form of a charming story. We loved this book.


Happy Reading,


Cirriculum Choices for 2015/2016 School Year:: Pre-K:: Pants Optional

Are you feeling like you are getting into the swing of school yet? We are entering week two around here. I shared Lily’s Second Grade Cirriculum last week and this week I thought I’d share Henry’s.

I am using the word “cirriculum” very loosely.  Hey, this kid spends half the morning wrapped in his blanket and may or may not be wearing pants. Ok, usually he’s just in his underwear. So, we homeschool “loosely” right now. He really loves “to do” school and I want to keep it that way.

Here are my main goals for Henry this year:

  • Learn his alphabet sounds and recognize the upper and lower case of each letter. If we try reading and he’s ready, great. If not, we’ll just wait.
  • We are learning our numbers and counting. He can count to 10 and recognize those numbers; but the 1:1 correspondence is what he needs to work on.
  • We will cover various concepts in math and basically I want to keep it fun and “hands on”.  He knows his colors and most of his shapes; but we’ll keep working on those concepts too.
  • While we are tracing letters, his little hands need more fine motor tuning before he’s ready to write. So, I’ll be searching for activities to help with that skill. When he’s ready, we’ll start with My First School Book.
  • As I mentioned in my previous post, both kids are doing Bible together. H  is really working on obedience and his attitude. So, character training will be a big part of his schooling this year.
  • Sitting still for short periods of time. Ha! I’m being serious here. You’d think I gave him straight coffee each morning the way this kid bounces around. Sitting, listening, being respectful of others. It’s baby steps at our house. You have to start somewhere, though.
  • Last but not least, I will read, read, read to H. And then read some more. (It’s my favorite part of homeschooling.)

*Note: May of the items in the picture above were purchased from the dollar bins at Target. What???? Yup. Some of the puzzles were $3; but everything else was $1. The Pout Pout  Fish workbook is dry erase and I found that at Costco for under $10. The Almost Ready to Read book can be found on Amazon and I purchased that a couple of years ago.

I’m so excited to see how Little H will grow and what he’ll learn this year. Pants optional:)


Cirriculum Choices for 2015/2016 School Year:: Second Grade

We started school last week.

Lu Lu is starting 2nd Grade this year and Little H just turned 4. So, we are starting Preschool with him. I’m going to share her cirriculum first and then share H’s at a later date.


BIBLE: (Both kiddos are doing this.)

Awana.  We do Awana at our church doing the school year and that takes up some of our Bible time.

Bible Stories to Read. I found this little gem at a cirriculum sale this summer.  It’s published by Rod and Staff. I was looking for something I could do with Little H and Lu Lu. My plan is to read a story each week and have the kids color the corresponding picture. Then, we’ll do a fun craft to go with each story. Just something quick and simple.


Godly Character Study: I’m still working on this and it might be a work as we go kind of thing. I’ve found a few resources to help with this while I was scouring Pinterest the other day. (You can check out my Character Training board here.) Basically, I want to pick a character trait that we will focus on for the week (or month, haven’t decided yet). There are some character traits that the Hubs and I know our children need to work on ASAP.  So, we’ll be starting with those. I’ll share these as I go on the blog. Nothing is concrete yet.


Grapevine Bible Studies  Until Awana starts, we will be continuing in our Grapevine Bible Study that we were working on at the end of last school year.


All About Reading Levels 2 & 3: We had about 8 lessons left at the end of first grade, so I’ll use the first few weeks of school to finish those up and then we’ll jump into Level 3.

I also have a list of read alouds lined up for the year and a list of short chapter books for LuLu to read for independent reading.

This year, I’m going to have a book box for her to read from during her independent reading time. Some books will be picked by me and some by her. This is what I have in her box to start the year. She will get to choose a few books during this first couple of weeks of school to add.



Read and Understand Stories and Activities Grade 2

I used this very same book when I taught 2nd grade. I don’t know how much time I’ll have to do these; but they’ll be used to work on her comprehension


Horizons 2: We’ve been using this since Kindergarten and we are going to keep with it for another year. We are also using a math journal this year.


All About Spelling Level 2: We obviously love the All About Reading/Spelling program. I love it for many reasons; but one is that I can use the same letter tiles for both reading and spelling.

Handwriting Without Tears 2, KickStart Cursive and Typing: We’ll start off with printing and end the year with a little intro to cursive.



Rod and Staff 2: This is the first year that we are doing formal language/grammar lessons and the first time I’ve ever used this curriculum. I found it in my homeschool group’s library. Free is always good! (I noticed when I looked on-line that they had a test booklet. We are not using tests this year.)


Story of the World, Volume 1: Ancient Times:  I’m very excited to use this cirriculum. I wanted to start teaching Lily history from the very beginning of history. We are only doing history a couple times a week, so I’m sure we will be working slowly through this cirrculum. I love how it reads like a story and NOT A TEXTBOOK! I’m excited to do projects and hand on activities with this subject this year. I also purchased the Activity Book to go along with it.


Expedition Earth: I’m hoping Henry can join on this with us. He loves animals and this combines geography, learning about other countries and their wildlife. I’m planning on doing this once a week.

Ocean Unit:This is a Mama Made unit that I’m currently working on. I’m pulling from several different resources and I’m very excited about starting this in a couple of weeks. We will complete our ocean unit first and then begin Expedition Earth and continue with it  for the remainder of the year.


How to Teach Art to Children: I’m shooting for once a week with Art. This is a hard subject that I feel I’m always squeezing in (or not). I’m going to give it my best effort, though.


Co-Op classes

Lily is part of a big co-op that meets weekly. They offer a variety of classes. She’s taking two this year. I’m sure she’ll enjoy each of them.

Phew! Seems like a lot when I write it all down. Of course, it always seems like our best laid plans manage to take some unplanned turns. This is the goal and I’m excited to see all the things we will be learning this year.

Stay tuned for my Pre-K Cirriculum post. Coming soon.






Here We Go!!:: First Day of School 2015


I have a Second Grader and Pre-Schooler! What????

Can I be real honest here? I was kind of dreading the start of school.


It’s been such a busy summer and there wasn’t much down time before the first day of school. I was simply exhausted. I didn’t feel ready. I didn’t get done all the little things I had on my to-do list.

This was not the way I wanted to start the year.


Then I was reminded of two things. First from The Hubs: “Babe, no one will know except for you that you didn’t get everything done.” Then, from another friend who is also a former teacher. “We just have to remember that it’s not like the classroom.”

It’s not like the classroom and each year I let go a little bit more and more of the pressure I put on myself to have everything perfect and “just so” at the beginning of the year. (Like I did when I was a classroom teacher.)



It was simple this year. Despite all the ideas I saw on Pinterest, I didn’t have the time or energy to do any of them. No special breakfast even!

And guess what?




It was a great day. My kids had a blast. Dad came home from work with donuts for a special snack and Starbucks for me. Their new school supplies were all they needed to make the day special. I think just getting back into the routine of school was fun. (We’ll see how long that lasts. Ha!)




I’m kinda digging this simple thing……



…and I think it’s going to be a great year!




Getting Ready……….


My little blue shelf that holds my school books and lot of items I use daily for homeschooling. I love, love, love this little shelf.

I’m doing what I planned on doing at the beginning of summer, clean out my school area and put things away for the summer.

So, instead, I’m cleaning out my little corner of school and then getting ready for the next year because school starts in…….wait for it….. just a few weeks. (Plus a few days more.)

I’m getting excited and feeling sad all at once. Summer has been fun.

I’ve enjoyed our lazy mornings and not having to get school done or run to another commitment. I loved that for one whole week our only commitment was to go to swim lessons and spend hours by the pool.

I miss the structure and routine, though. I also get excited (and I mean really excited, giddy almost) whenever a box of cirriculum shows up on my doorstep. I love cracking open new books and buying school supplies. The thought of all the fun and amazing things we’ll do and learn this year get me excited for school to start.

And so, one season of life must end for another to begin. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy our last days of summer.