Tea Time Tuesday Harvest Edition

Welcome to Tea Time Tuesday Harvest Edition… We spent the weekend helping my parent’s cut and stack wood to prepare for the upcoming winter, so it seems the end of fall is already here (especially since I’m a fanatic and have started preparing the house for the Christmas season). After such a couple of busy days, Tea Time Tuesday was exactly what I needed.

Featured Poem

Gathering Leaves by Robert Frost

Spades take up leaves
No better than spoons,
And bags full of leaves
Are light as balloons.

I make a great noise
Of rustling all day
Like rabbit and deer
Running away.

But the mountains I raise
Elude my embrace,
Flowing over my arms
And into my face.

I may load and unload
Again and again
Till I fill the whole shed,
And what have I then?

Next to nothing for weight,
And since they grew duller
From contact with earth,
Next to nothing for color.

Next to nothing for use.

But a crop is a crop,
And who’s to say where
The harvest shall stop?

Featured Recipe

This week Jack decided to make us Harvest Trail Mix. To make your own trail mix you will need:

  • 7.5 oz bag original Bugles
  • 15 oz bag Chex Mix
  • 8 oz bag Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Minis
  • 10 oz bag Reese’s Pieces
  • 11 oz bag Candy Corn

Homework and Horseplay Tea Time Tuesday Harvest Trail Mix IngredientsSimply pour all of your ingredients into a bowl and mix! This is a super simply sweet & salty snack that Jack came up with on his own.

Our Table

Homework and Horseplay Tea Time Tuesday Harvest Trail MixIf you follow me on Instagram, you know that #reallife has taken over. Our dining room is currently covered in boxes and cleaning supplies, and our school room is not much better. Due to my mess we decided to move into our living room for tea time, and it worked out perfectly. After reading our poems we snuggled up and watched a movie together.

Thank you for joining us for Tea Time Tuesday Harvest Edition.

Did you miss our past Tea Time Tuesdays? Head on over to my Tea Time page.


Tea Time Tuesday Halloween Edition

Welcome to Tea Time Tuesday Halloween Edition…

I am so excited that Halloween fell on a Tuesday this year. In lieu of a traditional school day, we are doing ALL things Halloween today! From pumpkin carving to trick-or-treating it is a perfect Tea Time Tuesday Halloween kind of day.

Featured Poem

Halloween by Mac Hammond

The butcher knife goes in, first, at the top
And carves out the round stemmed lid,
The hole of which allows the hand to go
In to pull the gooey mess inside, out –
The walls scooped clean with a spoon.

A grim design decided on, that afternoon,
The eyes are the first to go,
Isosceles or trapezoid, the square nose,
The down-turned mouth with three
Hideous teeth and, sometimes,
Round ears.
At dusk it’s
Lighted, the room behind it dark.

Outside, looking in, it looks like a
Pumpkin, it looks like ripeness
Is all.
Kids come, beckoned by
Fingers of shadows on leaf-strewn lawns
To trick or treat.
Standing at the open
Door, the sculptor, a warlock, drops
Penny candies into their bags, knowing
The message of winter: only the children,
Pretending to be ghosts, are real.

Featured Recipe

This week Kenten made “Puppy-Chowdaa” which is really just Puppy Chow with pumpkin candy corn. To make your own Puppy-Chowdaa you will need:

  • 9 cups rice cereal squares
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 bag of pumpkin candy corn

You can find the instructions to make puppy chow here. If you want to step things up, don’t forget to add in your pumpkin candy after everything else is mixed.

Our Table

We kept our table pretty simple this week because Jack and Julia needed the space to carve their pumpkins before trick-or-treating time.

Thank you for joining us for Tea Time Tuesday Halloween Edition.

Happy Halloween! I hope you all have an amazing, sugar filled evening. Don’t forget to check out my Instagram later to see how our pumpkins turned out and to see the kids dressed up.

Did you miss out on our past Tea Time Tuesdays? Head on over to my Tea Time page to see what you missed.



Charlotte’s Web Literature Unit

Do you love Charlotte’s Web as much as we do?

Charlotte’s Web has been a long time favorite in our home. At the beginning of the school year Jack asked me if we could read it again. I jumped on the opportunity, and took things a step further… I created my very own Charlotte’s Web Literature Unit to share with all of you!

What is included in this Charlotte’s Web Literature Unit?

I created a five week literature unit. Each of the five weeks includes:

  1. Discussion Questions & Answer Keys
  2. Vocabulary Worksheets & Answer Keys
  3. Dictation or Copywork
  4. Project Ideas

Want a sneak peak of some of the fun things we did through our five week unit study?

Barn Diorama
Word Web
Visit to the County Fair
Pig Slop Snack

You can download a free copy of this literature unit below.

If you want your very own copy of this literature unit, simply click the image.

Thank you for all of your support. I hope you enjoy this unit as much as my family did.

What’s a literature unit on Charlotte’s Web without a trip to the County Fair?

Are you interested in poetry tea time? Head on over to my Tea Time page to see how we include poetry tea time into our homeschool.



Tea Time Tuesday Monster Edition

Welcome to Tea Time Tuesday Monster Edition…

It is a cold and gloomy day out, and the wind is blowing EVERYTHING away… So it was a perfect afternoon to stay inside, eat some yummy treats, and tackle all of our STEM challenges.

Featured Poem

The Monster Mattress Superstore by Kenn Nesbitt (Copyright © 2011. All Rights Reserved.)

The Mattress Factory Superstore
is owned by dear old Fred,
or, as he’s better known,
the Monster Underneath Your Bed.

His beds are cold and clammy
just the way a monster likes.
He also offers beds of nails
and mattresses with spikes.

His waterbeds are filled with sharks,
piranhas, eels, and squids.
But, just in case, Fred also carries
comfy beds for kids.

And Fred makes sure that every mattress
always feels alright
by checking every bed he sells you

Featured Recipe

This week we decided to switch things up and made an edible craft rather than bake something. Julia came up with this idea on her own and has called it “Monster-Mallows”.

Suggested Supplies:

  • Marshmallows
  • Edible marker
  • M&M’s
  • Icebreakers Mints
  • Red piping gel
  • White piping gel
  • Black piping gel

In addition to making Monster-Mallows, we also broke out our STEM Boxes. If you are not sure what a STEM Box is, you can read about them here. We had a blast creating some spooky monsters!
Our Table

I found these super cute “Monster” plates, napkins, and tablecloth at the Dollar Tree, and I couldn’t resist! I was planning on saving them for Halloween, but when Julia told me about her Monster-Mallow idea I knew we had to use them.

Thank you for joining us for Tea Time Tuesday Monster Edition!

If you would like to see more from our STEM challenges, head on over to my Instagram. I shared a bunch of pictures of the kiddos (and maybe even a few of me) hard at work earlier today.

Did you miss our past Tea Time Tuesday posts? You can find them all on my Tea Time page.




Dollar Tree STEM Boxes

Welcome back to Homework and Horseplay. Today I am sharing some tips for how I create STEM boxes.

You can watch the video below to hear my top tips for creating your own STEM boxes. If you are not sure what STEM is, here is a break down…
So, STEM boxes are simply boxes with different challenges in them that focus on at least one of those four categories.

Recap time…

Here are my top tips (just in case you would rather read them instead of listening to me babble):

  1. Pick a theme.
  2. Shop somewhere affordable, such as the Dollar Tree.
  3. Choose a box with a lid.
  4. Create challenge cards.
  5. Put all the materials needed inside the STEM box.
  6. Allow this to be an open ended challenge and encourage your children figure it out on their own!

Halloween STEM Boxes

As I said in the video, the theme I chose for this month is Halloween. I created three different challenges for my children to complete.

Challenge #1
Build a bone bridge.


  • Q-tips
  • Clothes pins
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Scissors

Challenge #2
Build a candy corn house.Supplies:

  • Candy corn
  • Tooth picks

Challenge #3
Make a spooky monster.

  • Cupcake wrappers
  • Googly eyes
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Pom-poms
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Thank you for stopping by.

Do you use STEM boxes in your homeschool? Comment below with a link so I can check them out! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram so you can see how my children tackled these challenges. 

Want to check out some more Halloween fun? Last week during Tea Time Tuesday we had a Halloween party with friends. You can see our spooky afternoon here.




Tea Time Tuesday End of September Edition

Welcome to Tea Time Tuesday End of September Edition…

If you have been following along you know that last week we took a break from Tea Time Tuesday because my nephew passed away. It has been a rough couple of days, but with the end of September approaching we are trying to get back into the swing of things. This week in math Jack is working on calendar activities, and has been struggling with how many days each month has. I figured it was the perfect time to bring out an old nursery rhyme for our featured poem this week. In addition to our featured poem, we also read all of our BookShark poems for this week.

Featured Poem

Thirty Days Hath September by Mother Goose

Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November;
February has twenty-eight alone,
All the rest have thirty-one,
Excepting leap year, that’s the time
When February’s days are twenty-nine.

Featured Recipe

This week Kenten helped Jack make sugar cookies. To make your own sugar cookies you will need:

  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • powdered sugar (to sprinkle on top)

You can find the recipe here. This is a very easy recipe to follow. Kenten has made these cookies a few times over the last couple of weeks, and everyone loves them. I am so thankful that my sweet boy stepped in for me today so we could still have Tea Time Tuesday.

Our Table

This week we had Tea Time Tuesday in our school room. You will notice that we did the bare minimum for preparations, but it was still nice to change our setting. I definitely see us using our school room for this more often.

Thank you for joining us for Tea Time Tuesday End of September Edition!

Do you want to check out our past Tea Time Tuesdays? You can find them all on my Tea Time page.


BookShark’s Level 100 Package

Want a peak at what is included in BookShark’s Level 100 Package?

Today I am sharing a video walk-through of BookShark’s Level 100 American History & Literature kit. We are so excited to be using BookShark  for the very first time this year. Although we started school a few weeks ago we were waiting for Kenten’s science materials to arrive before starting any of our new curriculum. Thankfully the last of our core materials are here, so we can finally dig into all these amazing books from BookShark.

Check out my video…

A special thank you to my hubby for picking up lights, and helping me set up my “studio” every time I want to shoot a new video. It is a work in progress, but I think we are getting better at this whole YouTube thing.

Sidenote… I promise I know how to pronounce “Sacajawea” (bahahaha)! As you can tell I obviously didn’t realize I mispronounced it while recording. Immediately after this video I got to work putting together my Instructor’s Guide Binder, so I couldn’t redo the video and still show the items individually.

That’s it… Thank you for watching!

Don’t want to miss my future videos? Visit my channel and subscribe. You can also read about Kenten’s 9th Grade curriculum here or visit BookShark for all the details!


Tea Time Tuesday… Back to School Edition

Welcome to another Tea Time Tuesday… Back to School edition!

Our dreary summer has come to an end, and the Raiche kiddos are getting back into the swing of things! I am very excited to kick off our 2017-2018 school year. This week I have chosen a poem talking about how a traditional classroom can take away the joy of learning. Homeschooling is NOT for everyone, but it certainly is the best fit for our family. I am thankful that I am able to be home with my children, so they can thrive in their own environment.

Featured Poem

School Boy by William Blake

I love to rise in a summer morn,
When the birds sing on every tree;
The distant huntsman winds his horn,
And the skylark sings with me:
O what sweet company!

But to go to school in a summer morn, –
O it drives all joy away!
Under a cruel eye outworn,
The little ones spend the day
In sighing and dismay.

Ah then at times I drooping sit,
And spend many an anxious hour;
Nor in my book can I take delight,
Nor sit in learning’s bower,
Worn through with the dreary shower.

How can the bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?
How can a child, when fears annoy,
But droop his tender wing,
And forget his youthful spring!

O father and mother if buds are nipped,
And blossoms blown away;
And if the tender plants are stripped
Of their joy in the springing day,
By sorrow and care’s dismay, –

How shall the summer arise in joy,
Or the summer fruits appear?
Or how shall we gather what griefs destroy,
Or bless the mellowing year,
When the blasts of winter appear?

Featured Recipe

This week Kenten has taken on Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls. To make your own cinnamon rolls you will need:

  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 cup milk warm
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup margarine I used softened unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 3 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup margarine softened
Cream cheese icing
  • 6 tbsp margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt

You can find the instructions here at Jo Cooks. I give Kenten props. I personally hate making cinnamon rolls (probably because they NEVER turn out right when I make them). They are a lot of work, but they taste so yummy. Hopefully this boy will take on the task of making us cinnamon rolls from here on out!

Our Table

To celebrate our first day of school I made the kiddos a “selfie wall”. I absolutely love how it turned out… Even if it did take me almost two hours to get it all hung up and another 15 minutes this morning to hang up a few things that fell down over night.

Thank you for joining us for Tea Time Tuesday-Back to School Edition! I hope all of you have/had an amazing first day back to school. Follow me on Facebook or Instagram to see pictures of the kiddos on their first day back to school!

Did you miss our other Tea Time Tuesday posts? You can find them on my Tea Time page.

2017-2018 Homeschool Room

Welcome to Homework and Horseplay! Today I am sharing our 2017-2018 homeschool room.

When we first started homeschooling in 2011 we worked from our dining room table. After a few months of constantly having to move our materials for every snack and meal, Ryan and I decided to transform our bonus room into a homeschool room. It was the best newbie homeschooler decision! Although you can school anywhere, having a dedicated space just works better for our family... Fast forward 6 years and a couple of moves later, we have created a new school room in our finished basement. Please make yourself at home and take a look around our 2017-2018 homeschool room.

This is the view when you first come down into our basement. We do the majority of book work and projects at this table. The rocking chair tucked into the corner is this mama's read aloud spot.


Thankfully our new homeschool room had the space for the shelves we purchased for our first school room. We have bookshelves in our family room to hold my books and young adult novels, but these cubbies make a perfect children's library!

Next to our "art table" I have a cubbie separated from the rest to hold the curriculum we are currently using. On the backside of the same wall there is a built in shelf that will hold the Bookshark materials (which will be here in a few days, EEEEEK!) that we are not working on yet.

The second half of our school room has a sofa to cozy up on, vintage school desks, and our computer/tv area. Last Christmas the kiddos got an air hockey table from their Papa, which I have tucked behind the sofa. The previous owners used this space as a bar... Thankfully they took the whole bar setup with them and left us the perfect spot for our standing freezer. There is still a "wet bar" area, which comes in handy for making bottles when I babysit my cousin's daughters (and the fridge is perfect for our All About Spelling tiles).

If you are ever in the Sanford, NC area you have to check out Bert's Furniture. I purchased all of our vintage desks, art table, and chalkboard from this place. It is one of the things I miss the most about living in North Carolina. As you can see we refinished the desk in the middle, and eventually we will do the same to the other two (or so I keep saying, ha!).

It may not be picture perfect, but I am so thankful to have this space! Thank you for taking the time to look around our 2017-2018 homeschool room. Do you have a dedicated learning space?

Tea Time Tuesday-Wind Edition

Welcome to Tea Time Tuesday!

I can’t believe another week has come and gone… I really don’t know where the time is disappearing to this summer! However, we are excited that it is time for another Tea Time Tuesday. The weather in Michigan has been crazy this year. I feel like we have been living in a windstorm ALL SUMMER, so I wanted to feature a poem about wind!

Featured Poem

Wind on the Hill by A. A. Milne

No one can tell me,
Nobody knows,
Where the wind comes from,
Where the wind goes.

I’s flying from somewhere
As fast as it can,
I couldn’t keep up with it,
Not if I ran.

But if I stopped holding
The string of my kite,
It would blow with the wind
For a day and a night.

And then when I found it,
Wherever it blew,
I should know that the wind
Had been going there too.

So then I could tell them
Where the wind goes…
But where the wind comes from
Nobody knows.

Featured Recipe

This week Julia really wanted to make tea sandwiches and do Tea Time Tuesday at lunch. My children are the PICKIEST eaters in the world (seriously… ugh!), which means I don’t have a recipe to share this week since our tea sandwiches consisted of only pb&j! Wind on the Hill by A.A. Milne talks about flying a kite, so we decided to make these cute kite snacks in place of trying out a new recipe.

We used:

  • Graham crackers
  • Peanut Butter
  • Chocolate chips
  • Shoe string licorice

Our Table

Thank you for joining us for another Tea Time Tuesday! Did you miss last week’s tea time? Check it out here. Follow me on Instagram or Facebook to see us in action!