Category Archives: homeschooling

Ride the Wind Day

*This post contains affiliate links which help to support our blog and our family.

Ride the Wind Day is a day to celebrate the wind, air, and sky above us. It is celebrated on August 23rd. Click here to learn more about this holiday. This would also be a great day to plan a trip to a local aviation museum.

Below are some of the activities I found to celebrate this day:

(Use at your own discretion.)

Also check out:

Homeschool: August on Pinterest

How the wind works for kids on YouTube

 

4M Make A Wind Chime KitaGreatLife Huge Rainbow Kite For Kids - One Of The Toys For Outdoor Games and Activities - Good Plan For Memorable Summer Fun - This Magic Kit Comes wThe Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Young Reader's Edition

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Why I Quit Homeschooling My Kids

**This post may contain affiliate links to certain products we use in our home. 

It’s true! I’ve quit homeschooling my kids… at least temporarily. We’ve had a busy hectic schedule here and everyone is off routine which means total CHAOS here. We originally planned to start back this past Monday, and we did, but things just didn’t ‘feel’ right. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been so stressed with everything going but I am just not in the right mindset at the moment.

Missing Materials

I didn’t have time to plan like I had wanted so Monday and Tuesday felt so ‘rushed’ and ‘chaotic’ that I was ready to cry several times. We had planned a ‘First Day of School’ video but that didn’t turn out well either as partway through the video I realized we were missing some important pieces to our ‘Morning Table Time’. Sigh… it wasn’t pretty as I went digging through drawers and folders to find everything and then trying to find a place to put it back up was another matter.

I do have most of the first few weeks planned out on our Homeschool Manager app but I still had a few blocks that I wanted to ‘fill in’ with some fun activities. If I couldn’t find something I wanted to use I had planned on making a couple of things. Well, with my trip to PA that hasn’t happened. I just really haven’t felt like doing much of anything since we got back and it has really shown this week.

Lack of Space

We had planned a couple of projects over the summer to help out with space issues in our Little House on the Pond but they didn’t happen. That only led to me feeling more and more frustrated.

Interruptions

We also experienced several interruptions each day, many of them while attempting to make our video. Our homeschool area is usually right around the dining room table, although Joey has been using one of the smaller end tables for his independent work, and the table sits right inside of the front door.

This means that every time someone knocks on the door I have to go answer it if the door isn’t open. This causes an interruption and takes us forever to get back to what we were doing. Not to mention that on occasion guests want to chime in on our lessons. Please don’t get me wrong, I do love having others help out with lessons from time to time but I like to know about it beforehand.

Mr. Awesome is great with math and the kids really like it when he helps them with their school work. Plus hearing something explained in a different way from another person may help them to understand something they didn’t get when I first taught it. I usually want to have a little control over who is helping with what lesson because sometimes people tend to wander away from what the intended point of the lesson was or they get long-winded, like really long-winded.

Our house phone is also right by the door as well and the telemarketers can be relentless some days. I have been pretty good about keeping my phone away from our school area and not checking on notifications every time they pop up. (In fact I’ve been trying to implement a ‘social media free Sunday’ here at our home.) The interruptions just kept piling up one on top of another and when I was already feeling a bit stressed it didn’t help my mood.

Busy Schedule

On top of unexpected trips and having trees cut down we still have our normal busy schedules to deal with. We have dances at least twice a week and we are gearing up to start beginner classes next month. As the Publicity Chairman for our clubs I have a lot of work for advertising and communicating with potential new dancers.

Then I have some blogging stuff I’ve been working on. I’ve been trying to do a few webinars and courses to help me out. These will also, hopefully, end up benefiting the whole family but they don’t see that. All they see is Momma ‘playing’ on the computer and there is no way for them to distinguish ‘play’ from ‘work’. That’s the life of a work from home Momma, right?

I also had and still have a few blog posts that I need to work on. There are quite a few ideas running around in my head as well as an Inbox full of requests and offers that I need to take care of.

We have also been doing a few ‘side jobs’ like some painting for family and we have a couple of events that we have been planning for the upcoming weeks as well. When we do a square dance event for a company, organization, or other party there are contracts to draw up and schedules to organize. Not to mention that I often need to find child care for those events because we don’t really like to take the whole brood with us to a location we haven’t been to before.

Then yesterday we picked up a nail in our tire when Mr. Awesome went to look at a job. I noticed the warning light come on as we sat outside waiting. It went off after putting some air in the tire but came on again a little bit down the road. After calling the dealership and making an appointment to get the tires checked and an oil change we headed to get groceries. (I hadn’t been grocery shopping since before I left to PA!) 

Walking back to the van from taking the carts to the corral I noticed that we had a flat, very flat, tire. We do have insurance where someone will come out and change it but it was starting to rain and the kids were tired and hungry. (I was tired and hungry too.)  I felt it would probably be best to try to change it without waiting for help as Mr. Awesome was with us. About 20 minutes later we were on the way home and in desperate need of a shower.

I know that these things are a part of life and they can’t always be avoided so I try to make the best of the situation and remind myself that there is a reason for everything.

Lack of Routines

OK, this is probably one of the biggest downfalls to our homeschool attempt this week. While I was only gone for a weekend that was long enough for the kids to get out of routine and for the house to get more than a little chaotic.

The kids have been sleeping in a lot later than normal which has proven to be a very hard thing to get them out of. They also did very few chores and did not keep up with their household responsibilities. Part of this lies on Mr. Awesome for not keeping up with it but I know he was just trying to keep things simple and easy.

The fact that the routines had not been enforced means that the kids have ‘conveniently forgotten’ a lot of their normal chores. This puts more work on everyone especially myself. While ‘forgetting’ to brush your teeth for a weekend may not kill anyone the ‘forgetting’ to empty the trash might when the smell is enough to knock you off your feet when you open the door after being gone all day.

My routines have also suffered because of all the CHAOS and as a result I hadn’t been to the grocery store. My meal planning has been planned out like a Pantry Challenge for the past week or so. I’ll admit that we also spent more on fast food this past week than I would have on groceries. Not a good thing for someone who has been working so hard to stay on a budget!

Solutions

So what do I plan to do about all of this and when will we get back to homeschooling?

Well, we do plan to continue homeschooling the kiddos as I still feel strongly about this. In fact I read something the other day that said this year, in Florida alone, there will be approximately 90,000 homeschool students! (I have a post planned on this as well.)

We will continue to do our ‘Morning Table Time’ and probably add the other areas within the next week or two. During this ‘transition’ time I will be working on getting our house back in order. I just can’t function when my house is in CHAOS and disorganized. While our house isn’t that BAD it isn’t the way I’d like it to be.

Last year was rough as we had just moved and trying to get things in order took FOREVER! This past summer we worked hard on getting things organized. So hopefully if I focus my attention on getting things back in order we will have a better homeschool experience.

I will be working on getting lessons planned out and pasting links to videos/articles in the notes section of our Homeschool Manager app(Check out the giveaway here.) I am also going to get things printed out and filed so they are ready when we need them.(Did I mention that the whole wireless system had went crazy while I was gone? I just got it fixed yesterday.) This will hopefully prevent the craziness of tearing everything apart to find what it is that we need at the last moment.

I already have a blog post series started to keep track of everything we are using so that I can post it for others to use as well. This little bit of time spent planning will help to make that series go along a little easier as well. I will try to get it posted week by week at first so that anyone who wants to follow along can have easy access to resources and materials.

The lack of space has been addressed with Mr. Awesome who is working on some solutions. While we have been looking at some ‘new to us’ houses we haven’t found ‘the one’. We also agree that we would like to be a little bit more financially secure before we commit to a mortgage payment. That means we need to get creative and find some ways to make our current space work better for us.

Then there are the interruptions. I know that interruptions are a fact of life and can not always be prevented. Sigh… we just seem to have so many more than I am used to right now. I have registered with the National Do Not Call Registry as well as with some of the local sites. I also make sure to let each telemarketer know that I want to be removed from their list ASAP. I may look into one of these gadgets here to help prevent telemarketer calls from coming through or I may invest in one of these phone systems that has it all integrated in one unit.

As far as the visitor interruptions, most of them come from people we know, I will have to get a little bit more creative. I do have an idea to rearrange the furniture which will put the homeschool area away from the door. I have also thought about coming up with a simple sign to hang on the door ‘Quiet Please… Learning in Progress!‘ or something like that to let them know that we are indeed working on something important.

There are other interruptions that just can’t be helped like the flat tire that I need to go get fixed when I finish here but we will just need to deal with them as they arise.

One of the great things about homeschooling is the flexibility. I know each family can decide how strict or how relaxed their schedule should be. I consider our schedule to be somewhat relaxed but I do have an outline of things I would like to cover/accomplish within a certain time frame whether it be for the day, the week, the month, or the year. When we have so many interruptions day after day it puts us behind and we end up not finishing what I had planned. The flexibility of being able to put things aside can also be the root of stress when things just keep getting put aside for later.

Our schedules are kind of crazy and I try to allow for that when I plan out our homeschool year. This is part of the reason I love Homeschool Manager so much as I don’t have to erase anything or change anything. We can easily rearrange our schedule or simply work off of our ‘back log’, if I like. I can also enter in important events, just as I do with my Cozi Calendar, so that we can plan around them. Both of these make life so much easier.

I do try to get up earlier than everyone else so I can get a little bit of important work done but sometimes that just doesn’t happen because of one thing or another. This is something that I do need to try to improve on though and I plan to work on this during the next week or so. I also know that once the house is back in order then a lot of this other stuff will fall into place.

I am also trying to come up with some kind of idea to help the kids, and everyone else, know when I am working on something important. Sometimes I go to my bedroom and work on a makeshift desk but the kids know where I am so they are constantly interrupting me. I read somewhere, and maybe even posted, about a mom who wears a hat when she is ready to start homeschooling. This lets the kids know that it is time to settle down and get ready to learn.

I don’t think I want a hat but maybe an apron, I did have one with apples and a chalkboard on it so I may need to dig it out, or another little sign will let them know that I am working. I have even thought of maybe scheduling a little time to head to the library for a bit of solitude. I do want to be accessible for the kids but I also need to have a little bit of distraction free time so I can work on lesson plans, blog posts, club activities, or just taking care of household business.

Then we have the routines. While we have our basic routines in place they just haven’t been followed lately. This will take a little work to get back on track but that will be one of main focuses this week. Once we get back into routines things will start getting back to where they should be and our home will once again be working like the well oiled machine that it has been in the past.

When we get there we will be able to start back to our homeschool routine. The little bit that we get did done was a lot of fun and I am looking forward to sharing it with all of you soon!

Have you ever had to take an unplanned break from homeschool?

Homeschooling Through The Unexpected

**This post does contain some affiliate links which could possibly earn me a small commission if a purchase was made through them. These links help to support our blog and our family.

We’ve all been there… or some of us have. I was once a very efficient, organized, multitasking homeschooling Momma. I still am for the most part but I have learned that you also need a lot of flexibility and patience.

There will be times when your plans go perfectly and everything seems to be so easy. But then there will be times when your homeschool is complete CHAOS! This can happen in the blink of an eye and without warning. Continue reading Homeschooling Through The Unexpected

Aviation Day

*This post contains affiliate links which help to support our blog and our family.

Aviation Day is celebrated on the August 19th in honor of Orville Wright’s birthday. Click here to learn more about this holiday. This would be a great day to plan a trip to a local aviation museum.

Do you have an aviation enthusiast in your house? Here are some great ideas for them.

Below are some of the activities I found to celebrate this day:

(Use at your own discretion.)

Also check out:

Homeschool: August on Pinterest

Aviation for kids on YouTube

 

Airplane Table Clock CR Retro Vintage Plane Airplane Model Clock with Lindbergh Aviation Aircraft Clocks Home Decoration Toy gift for children kidsTouch the Earth (A Julian Lennon White Feather Flier Adventure)Kids' Paper Airplane Book (Paper Airplanes)

National Honey Bee Awareness Day

*This post contains affiliate links which help to support our blog and our family.

National Honey Bee Awareness Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in August. Click here to learn more about this holiday.

Do you have a honey bee enthusiast in your house? Here are some great ideas for them.

Below are some of the activities I found to celebrate this day:

(Use at your own discretion.)

Also check out:

Homeschool: August on Pinterest

Honey Bees for kids on YouTube

 

Curious George A Home for Honeybees (CGTV Early Reader)REALBUG Lifecycle of a Honey BeeSurprise Ride Bees Learning KitAuberge Kids Costumes Pretend Dress Up Role Play Sets (Honey Bee)

National Tell A Joke Day

*This post contains affiliate links which help to support our blog and our family.

National Tell A Joke Day is celebrated in August while Tell An Old Joke Day is on July 24th. Click here to learn more about this holiday. It is celebrated on August 16th.

Do you have a jokester in your house? Here are some great ideas for them.

Below are some of the activities I found to celebrate this day:

(Use at your own discretion.)

Also check out:

Homeschool: August on Pinterest

Tell A Joke Dayfor kids on YouTube

 

The Big Book of Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids: A 3-in-1 CollectionKnock-Knock Jokes for KidsJokes for Kids: The Best Jokes, Riddles, Tongue Twisters, Knock-Knock jokes, and One liners for kids: Kids Joke books ages 7-9 8-12

Homeschool Manager Giveaway

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If you read my post ‘Homeschool Organization. Simple. Flexible.‘ then you can only guess how excited I am to be announcing this giveaway! If you haven’t read that post I encourage you to go check it out ASAP.

Click Here to Enter To Win One Year of Homeschool Manager for Free!

The only requirements are that you need to signup for Homeschool Managers Free 30 day – No Card Required – Trial  and comment below to let me know that you have done so. Also please be sure to enter your information in the Rafflecopter form in the link above or the one below!

Click Here to Enter To Win One Year of Homeschool Manager for Free!

Deadline to Enter is 8/18/18 @ 12:00am!

Good Luck!

Be sure to share this awesome giveaway with your friends and on your social media also keep an eye out for another giveaway coming soon on one of our Facebook pages.

Cozi Back To School 2018 Survey Results are in!

**This post does contain affiliate links at no charge to you which help to support my blog.

Recently my favorite online calendar service, Cozi, surveyed all the parents who use the Cozi Family Organizer, to find out what they’re doing to prepare, looking forward to most, and planning to buy this school year. Check out the infograph down below.

  • 47% of parents say getting their family back on routine is their top priority, followed by organizing all the new events and activities (38%)
  • 25% of parents buying something new for back to school this year say it will be a computer
  • The #1 thing they’ll miss is time with family, followed by the relaxed summer schedule

I know I love Cozi and it helps keep this crazy Momma on track. Try the Cozi Family Organizer today. It’s FREE! I know you’ll love it.

Cozi-back-to-school-graphic..png

You’re Invited To Join Our New Tribe!

Cover Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

**This post may contain affiliate links which help to support our blog and our family.

Hey y’all! I am excited to announce that we’ve just created our very own Tribe on Tailwinds. What is a Tribe? Well, it is a new Pinterest tool that allows people like you and me to meet others with similar interests. We can use this tool to share our experiences and grow our blogs/businesses.

‘Tribes is Free for anyone to get started, even if they aren’t using Tailwind already!’

I’m so excited to start our Kirby’s Kids Homeschool Tribe and would like other homeschoolers to join us as we help each other on this journey. I know I don’t have a lot of homeschool support close to me and I am always looking for ideas and solutions to problems we encounter. If I am looking for these things I know others are too and I just wanted to make a place where everyone is welcome to post ideas, tricks, and tips to that they have found which may help others.

As a member you can share up to 3 posts per day with the request that you will repin/reshare 3 posts (or more) from other members. Feel free to share anything related to homeschool, parenting, or anything else that might help a busy mom keep it all together. I look forward to seeing all the great tips and advice as well as watching each member help another to grow and learn on our journey.

If you join our Tribe right now you can get a very special surprise when you join with this invitation link right here.

Continue reading You’re Invited To Join Our New Tribe!

Don’t Forget This Back to School Essential!

**This post does contain affiliate links at no charge to you. These links help to support our blog and our family!

This is one part of the back to school adventure I do not miss at all. It never failed that when my kiddos went back to school the girls would eventually come home with those dreaded head lice. EWWW! I would always get a bit paranoid when one of them would start to scratch their head for any reason.

I am gonna spare everyone the description of what head lice are and how they infest anyone around them because I really hate thinking about them. 

I can vividly remember many a time combing through long thick hair with that little metal comb trying and trying to get all those pesky little buggers and their eggs. It would take several comb-throughs before I was satisfied. Even after being very meticulous with the treatment they would often have a reinfestation.

My girls would be in tears because those metal combs really hurt!

I can’t tell you how much money I spent on Lice Killing Shampoos. I tried everything I could get my hands on. They smelled nasty and made me wonder how safe they were. I even tried some of the home treatments like the mayonnaise treatment. Yuck! It left their hair so greasy I didn’t think it would ever wash out.  Continue reading Don’t Forget This Back to School Essential!

Homeschool Organization. Simple. Flexible.

This post is sponsored and includes affiliate links, yet the opinions are my true opinions, as always.  We really do love using this program in our home and I feel that you will too!

‘Scheduling and planning that’s flexible and organized.’

Has the idea of keeping track of lesson plans and schedules got you feeling overwhelmed? The thought of keeping records for report cards, transcripts, and attendance can be enough to make anyone second guess their idea to homeschool.

Just a few years ago I was overwhelmed with the task of record keeping for my large brood. I had one child who needed transcripts and several others in multiple grades with different needs. I was suffering from an informational overload trying to sort it all out and make everything work together without losing my sanity.

Then on October 8th of 2015, with the help of my friend Google, I found the perfect app for our family. It was Homeschool Manager. It sounded so easy and I decided to give it a try.

They had me at the Free 30 day – No Card Required – Trial period which was more than enough time for me to know that this was just what we needed. This one tool IMMEDIATELY brought order to the homeschool chaos we had. (Our Cozi app keeps the rest of our life running smoothly.)

Homeschool Manager completely changed my life and has allowed our homeschool to be the productive and fun learning environment I had envisioned!

Homeschool Manager also gives us the flexibility to adapt and reorder our school year as needed when life throws us an unexpected curve ball or two. We can also easily rearrange our schedule to fit in time for new learning experiences that pop up. We have been able to be more spontaneous and have had the ability to incorporate so many more spur of the moment activities into our homeschool which has allowed our children to have a much more fulfilling and enriching learning experience.

Portfolios are so EASY with Homeschool Manager!

Continue reading Homeschool Organization. Simple. Flexible.

Top 5 Back To School Worries For 2018

It’s almost time for many of us to get those kids ready to head back to school. Well, my kids have never left…lol. That’s a plus to homeschooling but sometimes it can be a downside too because this Momma just needs a BREAK every now and then. If my kids can see me then I am ‘on call’. In this tiny house that is pretty much 24/7.

We are gearing up to get ready to start a fresh homeschool year which will be our 5th year! Wow! Where has time gone? Anyway I am so excited to be using the PRAIRIE PRIMER this year. We have enjoyed reading the biography which I had hoped to have finished by now but we aren’t quite there yet. I have pretty much gotten our first four weeks planned out. I still need to look through a few activities and plug them into a few gaps.

1. Learning Disabilities

I am also going to look through some of the new items that we purchased for William. His learning disabilities mean that we do have to practice some things more than others and I really try to keep things interesting. I know I get tired of doing the same thing again and again. When William gets tired of repeating something that usually ends up in disaster. And I realize I am off topic… Oops, sorry guys! Continue reading Top 5 Back To School Worries For 2018