Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Review

I always ask for feedback on the crafts I send out and I've sent several out to people I know locally that may benefit.  Usually the feedback I get is something like, "oh, these were great!" and "[the kid] loved them." This is all well and good, but it doesn't really give me a lot to go on as far as improvement or if I'm really helping families out by offering this service.  The other day, I was reading a forum post and it was about the craft kits.  It wasn't necessarily directed to me, but I felt like it was an informative review (and more complete than a thumbs up!).

I asked Ann if I could post it here and/or on FB and she agreed.  For clarification, the "charter member" comment is because she was the first person to order a kit and it was her initial search for a company that offered craft kits that led me to start Kristin's Crafts for Kids.  We do not know each other, although we both post on the same homeschooling forum.  This comment was posted on the Well Trained Mind forums PreK and K board.

I guess we are 'charter members' - I can't say enough good things about these! My ds#1 did the first two months almost all by himself & now ds#2 is using February's. 

There are enough crafts for three per week - which is PERFECT for a busy mom with a lot of other things going on. Once I knew how great they were, I went ahead & did the multi-month ordering because then I don't have to remember to go back onto the blog mid-month to order for the next month. There is variety in the materials & types of crafts, there is value in the items sent (it isn't all just paper materials), there are suggested books & activities that go along with each craft, and some of them tie into themes (President's Day, Valentine's Day, who knew there was a Polar Bear Day?).

Everyday ds#2 does his chores and then asks, "Is today a craft day?"

Thank you Ann.  I'm very happy that this is working out for you and your family. ;)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Here's what you get. . .

I took a quick picture of the kits this month once they were finished.  I will still take orders for the March kit through tomorrow evening, and I'll take orders for the Lent kit through March 5th or so (it obviously would arrive after Ash Wednesday, but I still think there would be plenty of time to get the activities done).
March Kit

Lent kit

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

March and Lent Kits are Ready to Ship

I'm putting the final touches on the Lenten kit (again) and the March kit is finished as of tonight.  I'll be mailing them out in a few days.  Feel free to place an order. :)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

How This "Project' Came To Be

I was reading back through my old posts and realized that I said I would someday explain how this whole craft business got started.  Well, today is someday.  This is mostly because I didn't have to go to work tonight (6" + of snow on the ground) and I'm avoiding folding the two loads of laundry that are in front of me.

So, here we go...

This is our family's second year of homeschooling.  Last year, my girls (then 10 and 12) were home and my son (5) went to a mornings only pre-kindergarten program.  This year, my oldest returned to our local Catholic school and the middle and youngest are at home.  In addition to homeschooling, I have an in-home daycare.  We have from anywhere from 2-4 and occasionally 5 extra kiddos around from 7:00 to 5:00 each day.  This may sound absolutely nuts to you, but I dropped my workload from 10 kids down to four, specifically so I could homeschool.  I did preschool in my home for 7 years and was a preschool teacher for a public school district for 2 years before that, and was a classroom teacher before that (so eons ago basically).

Now our daily group is two or three almost or just turned 2 year old girls, a 6 month old and a 4 month old, both boys.  Our days are crazy.  We fit school in around what the little ones need and hope and pray that everyone sleeps at the same time in the afternoon, so we can do math uninterrupted.  My kids are unusually good at dealing with chaos, since that's all they've ever known, so we make do.

The down-side of all the littles is that it makes it difficult for us to go places.  Our area has a wealth of opportunities for homeschoolers, but we aren't able to make it to much.  That's just part of our life.  At this stage, I'm not able to go hang out with the moms and "talk shop."  Lucky for me there's a wealth of online opportunities for chatting about whatever topic you could possibly imagine.

Here's where we get to the craft part.

One day I was reading The Well Trained Mind forums and Ann mentioned that she was looking for an alternative for her son.  She had been purchasing prepackaged craft kits online and when she went to place another order, she fo
und that the business had closed.  Ann was asking if anyone knew where she could get a similar product.

There are several aspects that lead me to believe that the Holy Spirit had a hand in this.  I'm not sure why I even opened that particular thread.  I don't purchase prepackaged crafts.  I come up with my own and I'm relatively good at it.  I didn't know of any sort of alternative--see previous reason, and I had come looking for the answer to a certain question in another part of the forum--not sure why I was even in the pre-k section.

Anyway, as I read, my curiosity was peaked and so I did a few Google searches.  Everything I found was, in my opinion, expensive for the product received.  I returned to the forum and asked a few questions about the previous product and within a couple weeks, I was shipping out my first kits.

So far, I've had a lot of fun designing the crafts and I hope that those who have received them felt that they were fun and interesting as well.

Just this week, I started advertising on a well known blog. In the Heart of My Home.  I am now committed to this for the long term.  I hope that within the next year and a half, I can build my subscriptions up to a point that I can quit the daycare business and focus more on expanding the craft selections and give more time to my children and our homeschooling journey.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Craft Kits for Lent

I'm super excited to report that the craft kits for the upcoming Lenten season are almost finished!  One of my goals when we began homeschooling was to make our Catholic faith central in our lives.  Over the past year and a half, I've learned so much and am excited for this year as we begin building very meaningful traditions around Lent.

Some of the activities included are a countdown to Easter , specific crafts related to the Sunday readings, and Holy Week activities.

Lent is most definitely a time of reflection and penance, but providing children a hands-on way of learning about this liturgical season can have long-lasting effects.

As soon as I get the finishing touches of everything, I'll get a button up to purchase.  Look for it mid-February.

Have a blessed Sunday!