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?

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.

May be an image of text

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.

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”

Bella’s Ultimate Tuna Salad

The girls have been practicing their Home EC skills and we are their Guinea pigs… thankfully most of their experiments turn out well and are pretty tasty.

This is a tuna salad recipe that they had in their lesson but we changed it up a bit to fit our tastes. Ms. Bella took the lead on getting this prepared by checking before school to make sure we had boiled eggs and she set the cream cheese out to soften.

Ms. Caitlyn served up some celery and carrot sticks with homemade ranch dip and some pickles. Some of the kiddos ate it with crackers and others made sandwiches.

Bella’s Ultimate Tuna Salad

Continue reading “Bella’s Ultimate Tuna Salad”

Flea Market Finds … January 8, 2023

We made another trip to our local flea market today with Grandpa. The kids enjoy walking through the buildings and most everything is outdoors so it gives us a chance to get some fresh air while looking for the occasional treasure.

There’s nothing like playing a real life version of ‘I spy’ with the kiddos while making sure not to lose anyone anywhere! Shyanne enjoys riding in her stroller and blowing kisses at everyone we pass… everyone loves her!

I’ve got a few things in mind that I am always on the lookout for but I’ve really been trying to reduce the amount of items coming in so I’m trying to be a bit pickier about what I buy.

Continue reading “Flea Market Finds … January 8, 2023”

Getting organized a little at a time … January 7, 2023

Whew! It’s been a busy first week of the year but our house is finally ‘undecorated’ all except for the inflatables which are hanging over the back porch railings as they need to dry out.

Yesterday we had our first dance of the New Year at a new location. I tried not to do too much work as I didn’t want to be completely exhausted before the dance… I tried but with my arm, in the condition it is in right now, it doesn’t take much to wear me out at all. I went to one of our sheds to dig out a couple of outfits and then had to go back to find my dance shoes. While we were out in the shed I remembered that someone had mentioned they needed some little boy clothes so I found a tote of clothes our kiddos have outgrown and brought that to the house with us.

Continue reading “Getting organized a little at a time … January 7, 2023”

Getting organized a little at a time … January 5, 2023

So it’s been a busy time here and I’ve been very slow about getting things undecorated but we don’t usually take our tree down until after the 6th anyway so that’s ok. I’m sure the neighbors will be glad when we pick up our poor inflatables out of the yard though.

I haven’t really set any goals per se but I would like to get our house more organized. I had high hopes of getting it right last year but 2022 turned out to be pretty crazy and life had other plans for us.

We had lots of catching up to do from 2021 and lots of checkups but Shyanne’s one year post-chemo checkup went well and everything looks good. This means we don’t have to go to monthly oncology checkups now… they will be every two months now.

Continue reading “Getting organized a little at a time … January 5, 2023”

Starting the New Year Off Right with Bill Organization!

These are a couple of older posts but the information still holds true and I am still using those printables… last year I didn’t print off a new set and things got a little confusing as I was trying to just ‘reuse’ the old ones but I’ve already printed out my new ones for 2023 so I can get a head start.

I also went ahead and wrote down the balances on any accounts that I am working on paying off so I can keep track of my progress… it feels so good to pay something off! We are slowly climbing out of debt even though we’ve had a couple of rough years. We’ve been making repairs to the house whenever we get the cash saved for a project while trying not to go into debt for anything else.

Sometimes we have to go without something for a bit or we have to wait a bit longer than anticipated but the money we save in the long run is a great bonus. With the increased costs of EVERYTHING, we need to save money every place we can!

Having all of your bills organized so you aren’t forgetting about due dates and such can save you a lot of time and money because hopefully, you won’t have as many late fees. I keep a simple pocket folder in a desk drawer with a place for my printouts and any incoming bills for easy access. It truly does make paying bills an easier process although it can still be a bit painful on the wallet.

Here are the links to the posts and printables if you want to check them out yourself!

Keeping Up With The Bills

Keeping Up With The Bills Free Printable

This also works great as a worksheet to help teach kids about budgets!

Don’t forget your meal for New Year’s!

Have you gotten all the supplies you need for your New Year’s meal yet? If not, you better grab them quick before they are sold out!

Here are a few of our favorite recipes for our traditional New Year’s Meal:

New Year’s Meal:

Brown Sugar & Honey Glazed Ham

Black Eyed Peas,

Greens

Hoe Cakes 

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

What are your family’s favorite recipes for the New Year? Do you have any special traditions?

Here is another post we found about the luck associated with the traditional New Year’s Meal.

Here is an older Menu Planning post for the first week of the year which has a lot of our favorite meals included!

Polar Express 2022

Our Polar Express Party was a huge hit thanks to all the help from our amazing family and friends! I’m so glad that we decided to give it a go even though we don’t really have our house set up the way we want it yet… its better to work with what you have right now and not keep putting things off until everything is ‘ready’ or ‘just right’ because that day may never come!

The kids had a fun time and are already making plans for next year! I’ll share some photos of the setup.

Continue reading “Polar Express 2022”

Give a Clutter-Free Gift Without Breaking The Bank!

Are you trying to find the perfect gift for someone on your list this year?

With the economy the way it is many of us have drastically cut back on gifting as we just don’t have the money left after paying for the basic necessities. Why not make sure that you give a gift that is sure to be appreciated?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret that many people are afraid to tell anyone… I don’t know why it is so hard to say but we love our friends and our families but CLUTTER is driving us CRAZY and Christmas seems to bring another level of CRAZINESS with it. Some of us, myself included, are drowning in the CHAOS of LIFE right now and the holidays can get very overwhelming!

I’ve seen many posts in many different groups about people asking for these kinds of clutter-free gifts and really these make a lot of sense in a lot of ways. I know many of us have been trying to simplify our lives and our homes so many of these ideas would help to keep the clutter out of our homes but allow us to benefit in so many ways.

Zoo/Museum Memberships

I know our family loves going to the zoo or the museum and these would be awesome gifts… maybe someone you know would like this as well. If we had an aquarium near us that would be amazing as well.

There have been a couple of times that we’ve received tickets to go to local places and we have had an amazing time… without the thoughtfulness or generosity of others, we would not have been able to have those experiences.

Online Subscriptions

Another idea is to gift a subscription or membership for a service that someone may use or need. In our home, we love using various programs but many of them have also had to increase their prices.

We also love using our Amazon prime for videos as well as a couple of other companies as we don’t have any TV service here.

Continue reading “Give a Clutter-Free Gift Without Breaking The Bank!”