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How to Make a Clay Cell Model

how to make a clay cell model

One of my son’s favorite homeschool memories was of creating his own clay cell model! For those of us who grew up in the days of read-about-a-cell-in-the-textbook-and-take-a-test-on-the-parts-of-the-cell, it can sometimes be difficult to remember that there are lots of fun ways to study all kinds of topics! We may sometimes shy away from doing more hands-on projects because we (mistakenly!) think hands-on projects necessarily take lots of time. While that can be the case, it definitely doesn’t have to be! Creating this clay cell model is just one example of a fun activity that can take as much or as little time as you’d like to devote to it. Give it a try!

NOTE: If you want to devote more time to this activity, you can always work on it for a certain amount of time each day instead of completing it all at once!

Clay Cell Model

Materials You’ll Need

This clay cell project requires only a few simple items from beginning to end. The clay I prefer is an air-dry clay since this prevents the need for baking if you want to keep your cell for any period of time.

place each piece in the foam with a toothpick

How to Do It

  1. Look at a diagram showing the parts of the cell. Our article, Edible Cell Project: Chocolate Chip Cookie Science, includes pictures of both a plant cell and an animal cell that you can use as references.
  2. Make a list (or use the one below) of the parts of the cell you want to create and label. If you have younger children, you might only choose to include a few parts of the cell, For older students, you might do all of the ones listed.
  3. Have your child create whichever parts of the cell you want to include in your cell model.
  4. While the clay is still wet, insert a toothpick halfway into each part of the cell. Larger pieces, such as the nucleus, may need two toothpicks.
  5. Then place each part onto the styrofoam “cell” and push the toothpick into the styrofoam to hold the part in place.
  6. After all the pieces are in place, roll out a strip of clay to serve as the cell membrane and press it around the edge of the styrofoam cell.
  7. After the pieces are dry, it’s time to paint your cell! Have fun!
  8. After the cell is complete, you may want to have your child label the parts (as shown in the photo of the finished cell). Or you may choose not to label the parts so you can use your finished cell as a way of occasionally checking to be sure your child remembers them.

Items to Label in Your Animal or Plant Cell Model

Use the list below as suggestions for parts to include in your cell. CLICK HERE to download a printable version of this list.

  1. Nucleus
  2. Golgi body
  3. Mitochondria
  4. Ribosomes
  5. Rough ER ( Endoplasmic Reticulum )
  6. Smooth ER
  7. Chromatin
  8. Plasma Membrane
  9. Cytoplasm
  10. Lysosomes
  11. Centrioles
  12. Cell Wall ( if plant cell)
  13. Vacuole
  14. Nuclear Membrane

More Ways to Make Science Fun!

Cell Models

If you’re looking for more ways to study cells with your children, take a look at 10 Awesome Ways to Make a Cell Model! You’ll find suggestions for making cells from cake, Jello, cookies, and even Shrinky Dinks and Legos!

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If you’d like more ideas for studying plant cells, this Plant Cells Printable Pack includes activities and worksheets for studying the parts of plant cells.

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Or maybe you’re studying animal cells and would like this Animal Cells Printable Pack!

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Africa is starting to receive COVID-19 vaccines. But do citizens trust their governments to ensure they’re safe?

africa is starting to receive covid 19 vaccines but do citizens trust their governments to ensure theyre safe

Originally published on the Washington Post Monkey Cage blog, where our biweekly Afrobarometer Friday series explores Africans’ views on democracy, governance, quality of life, and other critical topics.

While Africa has trailed other continents in obtaining vaccines against covid-19, rollouts are picking up speed. Shipments are helping launch vaccinations in a growing number of countries, including Ghana, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, South Africa, Angola and Zimbabwe.

The COVAX initiative for equitable global access to covid-19 vaccines and the African Union are working to secure and deliver hundreds of millions of doses to the continent in coming months.

Even if Africa has so far been spared the massive covid-19 death tolls experienced in some other regions, health officials say vaccinations are urgent to protect Africans — and by extension the rest of the world — from the health and economic ravages of the coronavirus, including surges in new, faster-spreading variants.

But urgent action by African governments may run into a problem of trust. Afrobarometer surveys in five West African countries between October 2020 and January 2021 show that only a minority of citizens want to be vaccinated, and that most don’t trust their government to make sure the vaccines are safe. In some countries, most people prefer to rely on prayer.

Where there’s little trust in vaccines — and the government

Benin, Liberia, Niger, Senegal and Togo have all recorded thousands of covid-19 cases, with death counts ranging from 81 in Benin to 925 in Senegal, and have undergone painful restrictions on economic activities and schools. As of Thursday, all except Niger had reported receiving vaccines through the COVAX initiative.

But skepticism about covid-19 vaccines runs high among citizens in these countries (see Figure 1). On average, only three in 10 citizens (31 percent) say they trust their government “somewhat” or “a lot” to ensure that any vaccine is safe. Mistrust is particularly high in Senegal (83 percent) and Liberia (78 percent), but it’s the majority view in the other three countries as well.

Why does this matter? Simply put, people are less likely to comply with public health messages if they don’t trust the messenger. During Ebola outbreaks in West Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo, for example, preventive behaviors, including acceptance of Ebola vaccines, were less common among people who mistrusted the government.

In Afrobarometer’s surveys, 60 percent of respondents say they are unlikely to try to get vaccinated against COVID-19 even when a vaccine that the government says is safe becomes available. Resistance (44 percent who say “very unlikely”) is considerably stronger than hesitancy (16 percent who say “somewhat unlikely”).

Vaccine hesitancy/resistance is highest in Senegal (79 percent) and Liberia (66 percent) — the two countries with the least faith in the government’s ability to ensure that vaccines are safe. In Benin and Togo, about half the population (51 percent each) is at least “somewhat likely” to try to get vaccinated — still well below the 60 percent that the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says is needed to create community immunity.

Figure 1: Don’t trust government, unlikely to get covid-19 vaccine | 5 West African countries | 2020/2021 

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Respondents were asked:

How much do you trust the government to ensure that any vaccine for covid-19 that is developed or offered citizens is safe before it is used in this country? (percent who say “not at all” or “just a little”)

If a vaccine for covid-19 becomes available and the government says it is safe, how likely are you to try to get vaccinated? (percent who say “not very likely” or “not at all likely”)

Looking at individuals rather than countries, the link between trust in the government’s ability to ensure vaccine safety and willingness to be vaccinated becomes even clearer (see Figure 2). In every surveyed country, people who trust the government “a lot” are about five to 10 times as likely to say they will probably get vaccinated as those who don’t trust the government “at all.” On average, the gap in willingness to get vaccinated is an astounding 71 percentage points.

Figure 2: Likelihood of getting vaccinated, by level of trust in government to ensure vaccine safety | 5 West African countries | 2020/2021 

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The figure shows the percentage of respondents who say they are “somewhat likely” or “very likely” to try to get vaccinated against covid-19, disaggregated by how much they trust their government to ensure that the vaccine is safe.

Poor and urban communities show greater vaccine reluctance

The differences by demographics, though far smaller than by trust levels, could be useful for targeting vaccine information. While men and women differ little in their likelihood of wanting to get the covid-19 vaccine, hesitancy/resistance is higher among poorer communities. On average across these five countries, a gap of 6 percentage points separates the poorest group (62 percent unlikely) from those who are economically best off (56 percent). In Liberia, the gap is 15 points.

Liberia is the only surveyed country where more educated people are significantly more likely to want the vaccine. In fact, Benin and especially Niger show the opposite pattern, perhaps reflecting the fact that trust in the government’s ability to ensure vaccine safety declines as education level rises.

A similar dynamic may help explain why vaccine hesitancy/resistance is higher (by 13-15 percentage points) in urban than in rural areas in Benin, Togo, and Niger — the three countries where trust in the government is significantly lower in the cities.

The reluctance to be vaccinated against covid-19 shows different age-cohort patterns by country, decreasing with age in Senegal, Niger and Benin but increasing with age in Liberia and Togo.

Will prayer be more effective than the vaccine?

In three of these West African countries, people are far more likely to believe in prayer than in vaccines as effective protection against the coronavirus. This view is nearly universal in Niger (89 percent) and Liberia (86 percent), and very strong in Senegal (71 percent), as shown in Figure 3.

In Togo and Benin, the two countries with the lowest levels of vaccine hesitancy/resistance, four in 10 citizens consider prayer more effective than vaccines.

Figure 3: Prayer vs. vaccine: Which is more effective against covid-19? | 5 West African countries | 2020/2021 

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Respondents were asked: Do you think that prayer is more effective or less effective than a vaccine would be in preventing covid-19 infection?

How serious is covid-19?

Looking ahead, only a small minority (20 percent) of citizens in these five countries think that covid-19 will be a “somewhat serious” or “very serious” problem for their country over the next six months. Concern is highest in Senegal (40 percent), where people are most doubtful of the government’s ability to ensure a safe vaccine and least likely to want to get vaccinated.

But our analyses show no clear relationship between the expectation that the pandemic will be severe and a willingness to be vaccinated.

Instead, trust in the government’s ability to guarantee a safe vaccine appears to be a decisive factor. In line with the perceived protective power of prayer, Afrobarometer surveys in more than 30 countries have shown that the most trusted public figures are religious leaders. African governments and others focused on promoting vaccination might find powerful allies in religious leaders for whom prayer and vaccines aren’t an either-or choice.

Aminatou Seydou is a senior majoring in international relations and comparative cultures and politics at James Madison College, Michigan State University.

Find her on Twitter @AminatouSeydou.

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Yes Day Freebies and Giveaway!

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Did you hear about the new movie called Yes Day? I got to preview it with my family recently, and we loved it! Even though I do enjoy a good laugh, I don’t usually (literally) laugh out loud very much. While I was watching this movie, though, I think I laughed more than I ever have while watching a movie! And after the stress of the past year, it was much needed.


When and Where to Watch It

That’s why we want to share more information about this movie with you. We all need a break and a laugh and some time to have fun with our kids. If you have Netflix, you’ll be able to watch it this week starting on Friday, March 12!

Watch the Official Yes Day Trailer

Not sure if this movie is for you? Take a look at the official trailer below. It’s just over 2 minutes long, so it won’t take much time to watch it.

The movie, as you can tell from the trailer, is about parents, Allison and Carlos, who feel like they are always saying no to their kids and their co-workers. (Anybody else ever feel this way? I know I felt this way a lot when my kids were younger!) So Allison and Carlos decided to give their kids a Yes Day – where for 24 hours the kids got to make the rules (within certain boundaries). Little did they know that they’d be going on a whirlwind adventure around Los Angeles that would bring the family closer to each other than ever before.

Have Your Own Yes Day!

Let’s face it, everyone deserves a YES DAY – a day when parents get to say YES! to their kids (with some ground rules of course!). It is a great way to reconnect with your kiddos, change up the routine, and have lots of FUN together!

YES DAY is all about creating memorable experiences with our families right at home. To help you do that, we’re sharing this YES DAY Family Activity Guide for fun ideas and activities to get the party started! (Don’t worry. We promise you won’t have to go through a car wash with your windows down. Haha!)

Share Your Yes Day Adventures on Social Media!

We can’t wait to see how you spend your Yes Day! Be sure to share your adventures with us on social media using #YESDAYchallenge, @NetflixFamily, @NetflixFilm, and #hiphomeschoolyesday. We want the folks at Netflix to know that we homeschoolers are watching and that we like great family movies! 

Enter the Yes Day T-shirt Giveaway Contest

Do you want a chance to win a Yes Day t-shirt for each member of your family? Enter below for a chance!

Yes Day T-shirts for Your Family!

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Comprehending Phone (Caller ID) Spoofing – A 2021 Guide

comprehending phone caller id spoofing a 2021 guide
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Over the past year, three out of four Americans claimed they had been targeted by phone scammers (caller ID spoofing). When a caller sends false information to change the caller ID, this is known as call spoofing or spamming.

A VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service or an IP phone that uses VoIP to relay calls over the internet is used for the majority of spoofing. When setting up a VoIP account, users normally have the option of having their preferred number or name displayed on the caller ID.

What is spamming?

Spam encompasses but not limited to unsolicited messages and/or calls, robo calls, Caller ID spoofing, or any form of unwanted communication(s). Spam is intended to reach a large audience (i.e. targeted users) for phishing purposes or other purposes like spreading infectious malware, advertising etc.

Neighbor spoofing is a spoofing form where robo callers feature a number that looks similar to yours on your caller ID in order to get you to pick up the phone. This multiplies the chances of entertaining the spammer.

What is Caller ID Spoofing?

You may have an idea what spamming actually is, however, when it comes to caller ID spoofing, it is the practice to cause the network to indicate that the call has originated from another station than its original station.

This is accompanied by a caller ID that is shown on your screen, displaying a regular phone number but the motivation is deemed to be malicious or corrupt. Incessant ringing is one of the patterns that makes you question if I can trust caller ID?

A brief summary

  • When a caller intentionally falsified information transmitted to hide the number they’re calling from, this is known as caller ID spoofing.
  • In an effort to trick you into answering the call, the number displayed on your Caller ID might appear to be from a government entity, a company, or even someone on your contacts list.

The instances when Caller ID Spoofing is legal or illegal:

  • Spoofing is illegal if the caller’s intent is to defraud, damage, or trick you into providing information you wouldn’t otherwise provide over the phone.
  • Spoofing is not illegal if no harm is intended or caused. Some individuals, such as law enforcement officers or doctors’ offices, may have valid reasons to keep their information hidden.

Did you notice the term: neighbor spoofing?

I hear you! You must be wondering what neighbor spoofing is? Think deeply. The crux is that bad actors want your attention. They want to target you, they want you to answer their call. Will you entertain their motives?

Once you receive a call from an anonymous telephone that bears a striking resemblance to the numbers where you reside, this is known as neighbour spoofing. The caller ID would have the same area code as your phone number, and also the same prefix (the three numbers after the area code). The evil ones do it in the hopes that you’ll mistake it for a “neighbor.” You see, a trick? This is such a malicious one, beware!!

P.S This is what this blog is about, to educate our readers to take their privacy seriously.

Did you know?

Robocalls have evolved from a minor annoyance to an unavoidable plague. Though some of these calls are legal – for example, a candidate campaigning for office, a charity asking for a donation, or a school notifying parents and students about campus closures – many are not, and some are outright ponzi schemes.

Unnecessary robocalls are the most common source of customer complaints to the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.

Enough with the terms, what is their motive?

Notice the pattern. The caller ID appears to be coming out of your own numbers, which is known as reflection spoofing. Once again, it’s a crook attempting to get you to pick up the call.

People are more likely to answer a call if they know the incoming number (via similar number, area code), so these tricks work. Even if you don’t recognize the figure, if it looks familiar, you’ll be less suspicious.

If you respond, the bad person will use a compelling argument to threaten you or manipulate you into sharing your sensitive passwords, credit card numbers, or other personal data. Trust me, even experts in the field fall for these scams, so there are certain tips to apply when you’re or have been a victim of incessant calling.

What are the consequences of answering these scammers?

These dangers are self-evident. The motives are to trick people so they could possess your personal information or even money-related information, or even both. The motives vary person-to-person. The bad guy could impersonate a banker, an authentic individual from a charity organization, or authorized individuals distributing phony prizes.

Senior citizens or older people fall for it as the common aspect of vishing (voice phishing) or smishing (SMS attacks) / phishing (email) attacks trigger them to entertain such calls because of lack of awareness of the surmounting spoofing/caller ID threat.

An illustration of spoofing

A common scam would entail a call from the IRS. The caller attempts to intimidate the recipient into believing that they owe money in back taxes or that they must immediately hand over confidential financial details.

Another popular scam is phony technical support, in which a caller claims to be from a well-known company, such as Microsoft, and claims that there is an issue with your device that requires remote access to resolve.

Getting calls from a colleague’s or partner’s mobile number when they are present but not calling you. Instead of the calling party’s phone number, Caller ID shows ‘911 Emergency.’

There’s more to come..

There are indeed “SMiShing” attacks, or phishing by text message or emails, subsequently, in which you may receive a message that appears to come from a trustworthy individual or reputed organization that encourages you to click on a provided link.

However, if you do, it can install a malware on your laptop, mobile device, sign you up for a premium service, or even steal your online account credentials. Horrible, isn’t it? It could also lead to a convenient sim swap (face-palm).

What makes Spoofing so popular?

The ease with which digital phone signals can be sent over the network has resulted in an increase in spam and robo calls in recent years. Since robo calls use a computerized auto dialer to send pre-recorded messages, advertisers and scam artists may position many more calls than a real person might, and they frequently use deception techniques including making the call appear to come from a trusted source.

What should you do if you get spam calls?

This is the summary of the pre-provided information.

  • Don’t divulge any private information. To obtain account numbers, SSNs, mother’s maiden names, passwords, and other identifying information, identity thieves often pose as representatives of banks, credit card companies, creditors, or government agencies.
  • Terminate the call immediately and dial the phone number specified on the account statement / business or government website (if the request is reasonable).
  • You can report unwanted calls here.
  • Most carriers offer Do Not Call Registry, it could be costly but it brings you peace when the risk of spoofing is reduced to an acceptable level. Be vigilant when someone asks you for your private number as this could lead to sim swap or open an unwarranted portal of hacks. If you are asked to fill an online form requiring a number, leave it blank on purpose. Do NOT list your number on any social media profile.
  • In case you receive a call from an unauthorized number, make sure to leave it unattended.
  • Make a habit of reading privacy policy on any service you sign up for. This will ensure if your contact information is not sold. One of the USPs of efani is that it never sells your information to third parties.
  • While entering for online competitions and sweepstakes you should be mindful to avoid provision of any sensitive information to other businesses. You could open up a risk of hacks as these companies sell your information to other companies. Be wary of it!
  • Keep up with the latest schemes so you recognize what to avoid, and set up mobile protection on your devices to protect yourself from malware and relatable threats.

The belligerent hacker

Scammers that use robocalling technology can be diligent, looking for new ways to get their calls through ever-evolving blocking solutions.

Often callers attempt to hide their identity while using a mobile number that they are not approved to use, like that of the number of such a government agency or a legitimate company with which you might have a business relationship, or a phone number that you are not familiar with.

As stated above, the number will resemble (because it will contain your area code creating an impression as if it is from your neighbor or your friend). In this way, they hope to get you to pick up the phone while avoiding technology that might otherwise block the caller’s actual mobile number.

NOTE: Do not even try to outwit the bad person by deliberately providing false details. Simply hang up. Do not contact the company back, or any other number they send you, or any numbers (or ties in texts) you are sent.

FYI or ICYMI: In the telecommunication sector, caller ID spoofing is popular. This issue affects landline, wireless, and IP-based telephone service providers alike. This isn’t a problem exclusive to one carrier.

The learning outcomes from this article

Is it okay to pick up the phone, nowadays? The quick answer is no. It’s most likely a robocaller.

They also say they’re calling from the Social Security Administration or the IRS. (They aren’t; either service that will ever harass you or claim compensation right away over the call.)

They can even call to inform you that your car’s warranty is about to expire and that your credit card interest rate may be reduced. Please be sure that you should NOT answer such calls.

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Fun and Educational St. Patrick’s Day Activities!

fun and educational st patricks day activities
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St. Patrick’s Day is coming up soon!  This Irish holiday honors the official patron saint of Ireland. However, the fun traditions of St. Patrick’s Day aren’t limited to Ireland. In fact, St. Patrick’s Day traditions have caught on all over the world! St. Patrick’s Day is now proudly celebrated in many countries, such as the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, and New Zealand.

St. Patrick's Day activities

Whether you are Irish, have Irish ancestors, or are just looking for some festive  ways to celebrate the unique culture of Ireland, we’re bringing you some fun and educational activities that you can use to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in your homeschool!

These crafty activities inspire hands-on learning and can be fun for the whole family to try together!

Create a “life-sized” Leprechaun hat with this fun and simple craft that utilizes those used up K Cups in your kitchen!

St. Patricks' Day Leprechaun hats craft

This shamrock wire bookmark is beautiful and features a very Celtic-inspired design! This would be a great craft to make with older kids, and one that they’ll enjoy using, too!

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The rainbow is a popular symbol in St. Patrick’s Day celebrations (after all, it’s where you can find the mythical leprechaun’s pot of gold!) Here are some rainbow-themed projects that combine a little bit of art and science to make some colorful, magical fun.

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Create a Saint Patrick’s day masterpiece and teach your little learner about ROYGBIV (color order) using playdough and this printable mat!

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This article also contains links to even more crafts and activities that you may enjoy using for St. Patrick’s Day!HHM St Patricks Day Pinnable Image

Just download and print these educational worksheets out to add some instant St. Patrick’s Day fun to your homeschool! 

This shamrock-themed printable offers a great visual aid to help children with multiplying by 3s and 4s!

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Use these worksheets to give your child some extra practice counting to 100 with festive, Leprechaun-themed pages.100s 400x600 1

Teaching young kids about skip-counting? Use these printable shamrock-themed worksheets that they can fill in and color, too!

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This article includes links to a variety of downloadable activities: a not-too-hard word search, a grammatical scavenger hunt, and a mad lib activity (all on theme for St. Patrick’s Day, of course!)

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Practice different tenses of verbs in a fun way with this Leprechaun-themed grammar printable!

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Use this St. Patrick’s Day Adjective Word Wall to introduce your child to adjectives or reinforce learning about parts of speech (or just use them for some St. Patrick’s Day themed spelling words!)

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Use this Leprechaun-themed word wall to help teach your child more about action verbs this St. Patrick’s Day! These also make great spelling words for young learners.

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This St. Patrick’s Day themed word wall will make it fun and easy for young children to learn about nouns!

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This fun and interesting cultural study will get kids involved in learning about the nation of Ireland! This printable has a huge variety of engaging activities that work for a wide range of ages.
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It’s funny to think that so many countries around the world celebrate a holiday that honors Ireland’s patron saint, but they do! This printable booklet would fun to read as a family and discover traditions that different places around the world observe on St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe you’ll even find some that you want to try in your homeschool!


These Rainbow Tie-Dye Cupcakes would be the perfect colorful treat to enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day!

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This healthier twist on classic Mac & Cheese has hidden treasure (AKA green vegetables) and may just be your new lucky dish for picky eaters.IMG 2823

These thumbprint cookies are fun to make, look at and (of course) eat! Whimsical St. Patrick%E2%80%99s Day Cookies

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate (and a pinch of bright green!) You can’t go wrong with these Reverse Chocolate Cookies.

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These fun-to-make cupcakes represent the rainbow (on the inside) and the gold (at the top) which are both symbolic of Irish lore!

How to Make Rainbow Cupcakes

I hope you and your children have some fun celebrating St. Patrick’s Day while sneaking in some educational benefits using those activities.

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DEAL ALERT: THE Most Beautiful Homeschool Magazine is $7 off

deal alert the most beautiful homeschool magazine is 7 off


THE Most Beautiful Homeschool Magazine is $7 off

Offer details:

At Homeschooling Today, they’re growing a movement of families who are choosing to homeschool boldly. To homeschool boldly is to take control of your children’s education while nurturing family relationships. It’s choosing courage over fear and doing what’s best for you and your kids. It’s what homeschooling today looks like. Let us help!

USE CODE Spring21 to get your discount

Their Mission

Their mission is to come alongside you with encouragement and practical help, to remind you that we’re in this together and to help you see past the present trials into the reality of your true calling, equipping your children to be the remarkable people God created. Whether you are homeschooling for a season of life or the years to come, this movement can be a catalyst for courage. It will be through our ability to shed fear and embrace courage that will enable our children to do the same!

Join Homeschooling Today as they cast aside mediocrity and say we will enjoy this time with our families, we will let go of fear and take hold of courage. We choose to homeschool boldly!

Thank you for supporting Hip Homeschool Moms. Below are other deals you might be interested in. #affiliatelinks

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