Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"Normal Where Are You"
Dedicated to Homeschool Moms
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The Joys of summer, the free time, the sleeping in, the countless hours at home, being Lacks A Daisy. Non of these things have been apart of the summer agenda I had in mind. FAR FROM IT!!!!
           Garden in full swing ( Loving It) 4H is in full swing
                                       ( Not Lovin It)
Packing for missions trip (Anxious) One child decided to potty train ( Unexspected) Teens jobs and juggling driving (Gas budget blown) One visit to hospital ( Another Bill) Desk top computer crashed ( Bummer, Do you see $$$?)
I think you get the point and yet the list goes on and on. We as moms rise to the occasion of unexpected moments, we are on top of it, smiling and saying "Yes, bring on the challenge." We stand with boxing gloves on, helmet's ready for a collision and our Shield of Faith. Well, if you are like me a rider lawn mower breaking in the summer means more time mowing ( Amish style here I come)and less time sipping tea to the smell of freshly mowed grass.
Getting out the old fashion paper to pencil and writing out our curriculum ( I use Homeschool Tracker) due to desktop crashing.(Hello, Pioneer Homeschool Mom)I laugh in the face of challenges, hitting them head on until the dishwasher quit and yet another blow to my agenda so much for a glamorous summer at the beach soaking up the sun. Instead we leave behind the dishes to go to the beach and welcome them as we walk in the door.
I do struggle to accept my role as a mom who has to not have these time saver luxuries. However, I am inspired now in writing my rough draft for my blog to you. (Pencil to paper)
Even refusing to embrace the year closer to the big 40 knowing what has come out of the 30s. But clueless at to what the 40's will bring.

                  ARE YOU FEELING MY EXCITMENT!!!!
As moms we know how to multi task. I do believe the Good Lord made us with the ability to step up to the plate when called to carry a large load. It's ok to admit when we are screaming inside for NORMAL. We all have our breaking points. But how we react to those challenges can make all the difference in the face of our children. Do we falter? Do we drop to our knees praying, grateful, and become dependent on our Lord? My expectations of what the summer would bring definitely wasn't what My God had on my day to day agenda. However, even in my pleading, I have pushed through. I have survived, learned, and appreciated more the luxuries we have.
All things may not be fixed, or overcome but my children and I have experienced appreciation, dedication, perseverance, budgeting tighter, and the peace of mind that if we walk by faith and have the right attitude, makes all the difference. Your summer may not look like mine, and Praise the Lord it doesn't, yet at least we have shared this moment of laughing, crying, and high fives this journey of motherhood brings.
I still laugh in the face of danger and will from time to time tread in unknown territory but I do pray they are few and far between.
" Normal Where Are You?"
"Welcoming you today"
When summer is winding down, and seeing an end to 4H and excited about my boys experiencing their first missions trip to Nicaragua. I am ready to start our new curriculums with three teens starting their junior year and taking dull credit classes.
Winding down to a set routine, alarm clocks set, quiet time, devotions, lesson planning, preschool, 1st grade, 5th grade, and potty training and yes even all the Normal homeschooling can bring.
Bring on the grading, the frustration's from a new curriculum, the lessons , the 150 word essays. Because we will rise to the occasion and say Blessed are those who persevere.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Creative Refurbished Homeschool Ideas for any Homeschool Classroom

      Creative Refurbished Homeschool Ideas
             For any Homeschool Classroom

As a homeschool mom on a single income I'm always looking for ideas to incorporate into my personal schoolroom. Whether it's for  organization, fun, simplicity, and a dash of joy the colors and imagination can bring to learning, all can be rewarding. After 10 yrs of Home Educating my children I know how precious a learning environment can alter a child's out look on each continuous school yr. I love to change things up and keep my children renewed in this process and it keeps them on their toes when they know the wheels are turning in moms head. To see their faces light up and take an interested in a new activity, a new table, a new magazine or location of a book shelf can stem a sense of curiosity. Shouldn't that be our desire for our children? It's so easy for us to get tired, wore down and to loss that sense of urgency to get back in the swing of things after summer, but these ideas will help. Lets put the love of learning back into our new school yr.
From a standard ladder, to a dish strainer, or milk jugs we can transform them to make amazing new elements to any learning area.


I love binders you can organize anything with a three ring binder they are easy to show case and label according to your needs.
Every week during our new yr.  I print off our children's weekly
assignments and we keep each new school yr. in one binder. Then at the end of the yr. I just add it to the years prior on the shelf, my children highlight when the assignment is done and file it. So our shelf would look similar to this one except the binders would say 2013 - 2014 school yr. and so on. I can't tell you how many times we have had to refer back to these binders, so filing them can be essential  and  helpful.
Feel free to share your ideas here on my blog or at my FB page to inspire others

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

                             Let the planning begin!!!!!

Every new school year the wheels are turning on how to make the most of my children's learning experience. So here are a few ideas we are going to try this next year. Folders are a huge space saver and they can fit almost anywhere. You can personalize each color for the specific child as i have. I took clear totes and wrote on them Monday through Friday and the 6th one I made for the finished folder file. On Sunday I'll assign the older children's school on the Homeschool Tracker and place all the younger ones work in the specific folder for the week and place them in each tote. 

 On Monday they will grab their folder and it will be laid out very self directed, leaving me enough time to work with my busy bodies until the other children need my assistance. Meanwhile here are some examples of new creations for our up coming school yr. 

Even the simplest out door kitchen set can make all the difference in their imagination, if only we can tap into ours. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

                             Manipulative Ideas to Keep Little Fingers Busy

                                                            From our  School Rm to Yours

 I'm not a SuperMom, nor a mom who has it all figured out however in multi tasking several children at one time and having the healthy balance of older to younger, you strategize almost hourly. At least in my case, it's a must. You find what works and doesn't for your household. What you can do to accomplish things that are a priority more quickly and eliminate things that take more time or effort. I have found with my family school goes more smoothly if my kids have a schedule, laid out expectations, and organization, a little tough love and grace combined into one. Here is what some days look like jumping in feet first to our work and of course what our days look like wrapping school up.

  Some short cuts for us are waking up to alarms at least our older children and myself, their courses already assigned for the week, rooms clean and hygiene a must prior to breakfast, chores started by 8, bible by 9. Many times I am prepping dinner while over seeing the older kids preparing lunch, and wrapping up whatever school that was unfinished by 3. Regardless of where they may be in that subject we stop at the particular time. This allows for free time, family time, dinner and any chores that need attended to. Then homework begins at 7. Our Moto is: Not becoming a slave to any curriculum or course so we try to stay positive, and allow ourselves not to feel guilty if this schedule has to be altered in any way. Of course, we are our worst critics!!!! Thankfully we have children who adapt and can be flexible with our changes. But a good question is " How do I keep those little ones busy" Here are ideas that I used and are still using. I love the idea of clear totes, simply because you can see what is in them and I have each tote numbered so I can assign a tote or two during their free time.



  Many of our ideas are just hours of searching for new things and either buying them or making our own.    Any way you choose there are tons of resources available to us as homeschool/ Stay at Home Moms.  Many times I like to bunch items together for my children to be able to get the full learning experience from  many items at one time. This requires a little more thinking and planning but will keep them busy longer.

Whatever season you are in with your children just know that learning and teaching them at home is just a journey God calls us to, he will equip you and me and fill in those gaps we feel like we are not equipped in. Many times I've pleaded with God about his strength to be given to me in abundance. My journey requires sleepless nights, potty training, bottle breaking, teething, climbing, juggling of 4 highschoolers and the balancing act of getting them all to work. But I know this path I'm on will end all to quickly and will be fewer and far between. So I embrace it, majority of my days. many times I have to regroup and check my perspective. But having the right tools and outlook will make all the difference. Trial and error is a must, but allows the best of learning. So embrace what lies ahead and seek the knowledge to do so.