Homeschooling made simpler

When I first began homeschooling I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I had seen a few homeschooling families on TV shows and they pretty much did ‘school at home’ so that was what I tried to recreate in my home… I failed miserably.

I was getting stressed and we did not have a great environment for learning… it wasn’t what I had envisioned at all and I was so frustrated! I was struggling and beginning to doubt that this was really the best thing for our family at that time.

It was then that I found the Easy Peasy All-in-one Homeschool site… I fell in love instantly and so did my kiddos. The site has been through several changes since then but we always seem to fall back to that when we are stuck or feeling overwhelmed! We are still using it now for some independent learning and the kids all enjoy working on their lessons without being completely dependent on the internet for our lessons.

I also began researching other methods and have always been drawn toward the Montessori and Charlotte Mason styles. I have always considered our style to be a bit relaxed but over the past two years we’ve had a different kind of style… I’m not sure what you would call this but it definitely hasn’t been the most enjoyable learning environment. Sure, some parts are super exciting but others are lacking and seem extremely boring. More Montessori links HERE.

I’ve been wanting to make some changes so I’ve been going back through some of our past lessons and trying to take notes on what we really enjoyed and what we didn’t. I’ve also asked the kids what things they remember about the past few years of school and what they remembered and enjoyed. Using this information I have been putting together some notes on things we want to try again or try to incorporate into our school days.

In addition to the Easy Peasy site, I have been going back to the Simply Charlotte Mason site and checking out all of the FREE resources that they have. I plan to incorporate more of these principles into our daily routines to see if we can find that happy place we had before. We really love being able to combine as many subjects as possible and the kids seem to enjoy this method more as well. I’m hoping that this may also help some of the kids with the adjustments to our new living arrangements by making them feel more like a team… this would alleviate so much of the daily stress in our home and maybe help lower my blood pressure a little!

I know a lot has changed since we began homeschooling and a lot of things have changed with our family in the past couple of years. Nothing ever stays the same so we need to continue to adapt to these changes… the same thing happens in every area of our lives so it is important to continually reevaluate our situations and make changes when they are needed

What are some changes you would like to make in your homeschool?

Making Good Choices in Your Home

I love this and this is so true! We. as parents, must be vigilant about what we allow in our homes and around our children! Everything they are exposed to is shaping them into the adults they will become.

You are the books you read,

the films you watch

the music you listen too

the people you spend time with

and the conversations you engage in

choose wisely

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Meal on the Go Breakfast Sandwiches

Some days are just a little crazy and we need something super simple to make for breakfast. Sandwiches are always a hit and they are usually pretty simple to through together.

These can be served as is or with fruit, they can also be eaten on the go and made ahead of time!

If you have some leftover pancakes or French Toast then these will help use that up and keep them from going to waste!

Meal on the Go Breakfast Sandwiches

Ingredients:

Use any combination of the following to create your own breakfast sandwich creation.

  • Bread:
    • Sandwich bread, toasted or plain
    • French Toast
    • English Muffins
    • Pancakes
    • Croissants
    • tortillas
    • Bagels
  • Eggs, cooked however you like them
  • Meat:
    • Bacon
    • Ham
    • Sausage
    • Lunchmeats
  • Cheese, your favorite
    • American
    • Swiss
    • provolone
    • pepper jack
    • farmers cheese
    • cream cheese
  • Condiments
    • Syrup
    • jelly
    • mayo
    • ketchup
    • mustard
    • hot sauce
    • salt and pepper
  • Veggies:
    • tomato
    • lettuce
    • onion
    • spinach
    • peppers

Directions:

Continue reading “Meal on the Go Breakfast Sandwiches”

Save the Dishes Oven Placard

I don’t know about your house but here we often have different people doing different things in the kitchen. One rule is that they need to check the oven before turning it on because sometimes people tend to ‘hide’ things in there and forget about them.

I’ve had many things that have been ruined because one person put a dish in there and the next person didn’t check it… most recently it was a plastic cover for one of my casserole dishes and the whole dish of peach cobbler that had been made for dinner… sigh.

This dish alone will cost me almost $40.00 ** to replace as I haven’t been able to find the lid sold separately… luckily the carrier is still alive!

More often than not it was my bread dough that was hanging out in there… minding its own business when someone would forget to check, even with the oven light on they forget, and then the temperature would go up and ruin the dough… (crying face).

Continue reading “Save the Dishes Oven Placard”

Did you know you can cook FROZEN ground beef in the Instant Pot?

Ground beef has gotten a bit more expensive here lately but it can still be stretched to make many different filling meals on a budget. I like to throw some in a pot in the morning so that it can be cooked before dinner and quickly made into a yummy dish. I like to add some finely chopped mushrooms to ours while cooking to add a little extra nutrition… the kids never notice!

Frozen ground beef in the Instant Pot

Did you know you can cook FROZEN ground beef in the Instant Pot? Here’s how → sl290.isrefer.com/go/ipbeef/happy2bmyownboss/

Here are a few of our favorite ways to use precooked hamburger meat:

Mrs. B’s Good Easy Pizza (this is a great way to use meat and vegetable leftovers)

45-minute spaghetti sauce (a family favorite)

Crockpot Taco Soup

Daddy Can’t-Wait Casserole

Easy Burrito Casserole

Goulash

Shepherd’s Pie in a Skillet

Mama’s Secret Spaghetti Sauce

Sloppy Joes

Taco Ring

Tater Tot Casserole

Tortilla Bowl Taco Salad

 

What are your favorite ways to use hamburger?

Homemade Sourdough English Muffins

We’ve been experimenting with sourdough recipes for a while now and this one has been a favorite of ours. It’s super easy to make but does have a bit of time required for rising so we usually start these the evening before we need them.

You can mix them by hand, use a stand mixer with a dough hook, or even mix them up in your breadmaker… we’ve tried them each way and they all turn out great. I like to put the dough in the oven for its long rise… be sure to leave the light on for it to keep it comfy!

These work great for breakfast sandwiches, mini pizzas, or with a bit of butter and jelly… yum!

This recipe may look a little tricky but once you made it a time a two you could probably do it in your sleep! If you don’t have a sourdough starter you can find tons of easy recipes online to start your own or you can buy some starter like we did HERE.** (Yes, that’s an affiliate link but it won’t cost you a penny more to use it.)

Homemade Sourdough English Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. active sourdough starter
  • 1 T. sugar or honey (we prefer to use local honey but that’s not really necessary)
  • 1 c. milk (I haven’t tried using milk kefir but it would probably work as well)
  • 1 t. salt
  • 3 c. all-purpose flour (may need a little more or less depending on the climate)
  • a bit of cornmeal of flour for dusting

Directions:

Continue reading “Homemade Sourdough English Muffins”

Progress towards goals, sweet treats, and a date night

This past weekend one of my sisters gave me a special treat… she offered to babysit so we could have a date night! This was unexpected but very much appreciated. Not only did she come down to babysit but she also sent me to get a manicure… something I haven’t done in quite a while.

I tried to resist but I was glad that she insisted because I really did need that little bit of quiet time without anyone else. It allowed me to clear my head a bit and make some plans for the next couple of weeks. I made a few goals to work on and tried to form a plan of action to achieve these goals while I was out and about by myself… I probably should’ve written some of this down but I didn’t.

If the weather hadn’t been so chilly I might have stayed gone for a bit longer but I was freezing by the time I finished at the salon and ran a few errands so I headed back home… little ma’am was happy to have me back and she covered me with kisses when I returned.

Continue reading “Progress towards goals, sweet treats, and a date night”

The meanest mom in the world as a compliment

I have been called the meanest mother in the world so many times that I’ve lost track. This morning I happened across an article that had been printed in a newspaper some time ago… after reading it, I will now take ‘You’re the Meanest Mom in the World’ as a compliment.

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While trying to find a picture of this article I came across this:

The Meanest Mother in the World

This was an interesting post I found regarding this letter.

Broccoli Slaw

We love this recipe with many meals all year round… it is so good. Feel free to add your own favorite fruits/veggies or omit some if you don’t like them.

Broccoli Slaw

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds of Broccoli, broken into small pieces without the large stems (or about 3 cups)
  • 2-3 carrots, thinly sliced or grated (we usually leave this out as we have some carrot haters here)
  • 1/3 c. Onion, red/green/white, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 c. Raisins/cranberries
  • 1/4 c. Almonds/nuts/sunflower kernels
  • 1/2 pound Bacon, cooked and crumbled

Dressing:

  • 2 T. vinegar (we use ACV or Red Wine Vinegar)
  • 1/2 c. Mayo
  • 2-3 T Sugar, Monkfruit, or Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 t. celery seed, optional
  • salt, and pepper to taste

Directions:

The broccoli needs to be washed and dried and then cut or sliced into small bitesize pieces.

Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

Add in the remaining ingredients and toss well.

Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours to let the flavors meld together… the longer it sits, the better it tastes but we have eaten it right away and it still tastes pretty good.

Getting in the right mindset to simplify… simplify your spaces

It seems like our lives can get so hectic so quickly without us realizing it is even happening. I know that I seem to get one thing running smoothly but then ten other things seem to just fall off the track and then everything turns to CHAOS. We need our homes to be comfortable and not a place we dread being.

For me, the very first thing I need to do before starting this process is to find a little time for me & God… I often find that life feels overwhelming when I haven’t been able to have any quiet time for myself. I have tried getting up earlier but that just isn’t working out right now, I often would take a few minutes after lunch when the baby was down for a nap but our school routines have been out of whack since adding a new kiddo, when the time bedtime rolls around I am worn out. I do find little bits of time here and there to have little chats with God but I just haven’t been able to have my devotional time and I think that may be part of the reason that I am feeling so overwhelmed.

When something is frustrating me I often go to Him in prayer and ask Him to help me and show me ways that I can change or that we can change as a family. I ask Him to give me wisdom and guidance about the changes and things we need to work on so that they will benefit everyone.

Where do we start when it seems like everything is the problem?

We use this process in our home for a lot of different problems, part of it we even use for teaching the kids to make good choices. I’ll give a couple of examples of how we have used this system in the past.

1. STOP and identify the problem.

This might be the most difficult part of the whole process because sometimes it can be difficult to actually narrow down what or where the problem actually is when you are feeling overwhelmed. Many times there are multiple problems and sometimes the problems are not actually what we think they are. If you do find yourself with a multitude of problems then just try to focus on the biggest one first and work on ONE AT A TIME or you may find yourself even more overwhelmed and frustrated.

Maybe your home just feels way too small and unorganized. What’s the biggest problem area? Well, the one that bothered me the most was the kitchen because that was where I spend the majority of my time.

Continue reading “Getting in the right mindset to simplify… simplify your spaces”

Getting in the right mindset to simplify… setting up routines

It seems like our lives can get so hectic so quickly without us realizing it is even happening. I know that I seem to get one thing running smoothly but then ten other things seem to just fall off the track and then everything turns to CHAOS.

For me, the very first thing I need to do before starting this process is to find a little time for me & God… I often find that life feels overwhelming when I haven’t been able to have any quiet time for myself. I have tried getting up earlier but that just isn’t working out right now, I often would take a few minutes after lunch when the baby was down for a nap but our school routines have been out of whack since adding a new kiddo, when the time bedtime rolls around I am worn out. I do find little bits of time here and there to have little chats with God but I just haven’t been able to have my devotional time and I think that may be part of the reason that I am feeling so overwhelmed.

When something is frustrating me I often go to Him in prayer and ask Him to help me and show me ways that I can change or that we can change as a family. I ask Him to give me wisdom and guidance about the changes and things we need to work on so that they will benefit everyone.

Where do we start when it seems like everything is the problem?

We use this process in our home for a lot of different problems, part of it we even use for teaching the kids to make good choices. I’ll give a couple of examples of how we have used this system in the past.

1. STOP and identify the problem.

This might be the most difficult part of the whole process because sometimes it can be difficult to actually narrow down what the problem actually is when you are feeling overwhelmed. Many times there are multiple problems and sometimes the problems are not actually what we think they are. If you do find yourself with a multitude of problems then just try to focus on the biggest one first and work on ONE AT A TIME or you may find yourself even more overwhelmed and frustrated.

Maybe your mornings are very hectic and it just feels like you can’t get anywhere on time. What’s the problem?

Continue reading “Getting in the right mindset to simplify… setting up routines”

31 Ways To Go Plastic Free

I read about this Plastic-Free Challenge earlier this week but haven’t had a chance to post about it until now… If you’ve been following the blog you’ll know that I’ve mentioned that we’ve been extraordinarily busy this past couple of months and hopefully we’ll be able to share what we’ve been up to sometime later this month… it’s really exciting!

Back to the post though… part of my New Year’s goal was to start using less plastic and disposable items in our house. I know we probably won’t be a zero waste household anytime soon but I know that we can have really cut back on single-use plastic items in our home.

Just the other day I realized that our plastic storage containers have been disappearing. Where have they gone? Well, that’s a question that may never be answered but I do know that I really need to replace them. I’ve been looking at a few Plastic-Free options on Amazon and Walmart but haven’t decided what to get yet but I will need to find something soon.

I know that some things will not be replaced soon like our favorite lunch boxes but I have found some replacements for some time in the future. I have also been looking for non-plastic/non-glass replacements to the kids’ water bottles that they use at home. We do try our best to use reusable shopping bags when we go for groceries. I’ve even been suggesting that they need to add an option for using your own bags to the Walmart Grocery Pickup service but I don’t know if that will happen anytime soon.

Here are a few ideas of things we’ve replaced recently:

I know that there are some items that might hard to replace but there are new solutions coming out every day. Making these changes one at a time will make a difference and you may find that it saves you money as well!

Join the Plastic Free Challenge Today!

So many places around us are putting bans on plastics as well so this is something that everyone really needs to adjust to. It’s crazy to see the numbers on the plastic pollution crisis and our family wants to do our part to help out with this. With the Plastic Free Challenge, you can choose where you will be going plastic free, what you choose to refuse, and how long you choose to go plastic free.

This week I got an email from Life Without Plastic about their Plastic-Free Tooth Tabs which can replace those plastic toothpaste tubes and are packaged in a paper box. They also talked about their new Plastic-Free Lunch Boxes which were funded on Kickstarter. They also have a wide variety of Plastic-Free Containers for packing those delicious lunches in.

Take the Plastic Free July Challenge with www.goingzerowaste.com

Take the Plastic Free July Challenge with www.goingzerowaste.com

Here are a few more interesting articles I’ve found about this topic:

 

It’s not too late to join the Plastic Free Challenge Today!


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!