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.

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!

 

A Year in Review: Top Posts from 2022

We hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and we pray that you have a Happy New Year! Our house is full as we’ve had some older kiddos visiting but that makes our hearts full as well so we have a good balance going on.

It’s hard to believe that this year is almost finished and a new year is about to begin. It’s definitely been an interesting year in many ways… the past couple of years have been interesting and have brought lots of hardships and trials but they have also brought us lots of unexpected blessings.

I read something earlier about letting out tears from 2022 be the seeds for 2023 and that sounds like a good idea to me. I know that 2022 has been a year of major adjustments here in our household. After spending most of 2021 in the hospital with Shyanne and away from our family, it has been quite an adjustment for everyone. I’ve also been dealing with some health issues but hopefully, I am on the way to getting better. It’s been a tough year for sure and it’s definitely been a struggle to get this far but we survived and I have faith that next year will be even better!

Continue reading “A Year in Review: Top Posts from 2022”

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”

DIY Hair Detangler

I don’t think I’ve shared this post before but I wanted to throw it out there just in case anyone else finds themselves in need of this.

DIY Hair Detangler

Ingredients:

  • Spray bottle (16-20 oz)
  • About 2-3 T of your favorite conditioner or coconut oil
  • Hot water

Add all the ingredients into your spray bottle with just enough hot water to fill almost to the top.

Shake well and use as needed!

Our 2022-2023 Homeschool Curriculum and Schedule

I know most families are just now finishing up their 2021-2022 school year and looking forward to a few months off but we aren’t like most families. We’ve decided to adopt more of a year-round school schedule which allows us more flexibility to take time off whenever we need a break or have something important or unexpected come up… which has happened a lot lately!

We have it planned so that we can take a one-week break every three weeks or so with a two-week break around Christmas and at the end of our school year. We can adjust this as needed, for example, we could complete six weeks of school and take a two-week break if needed. Or we could have two weeks of school with a break and then have four weeks… we have a little bit of flexibility for whatever we need to do without feeling ‘rushed’ to get finished.

We finished our 2021-2022 school year back in March and I was tempted to take a few months off and not start back until August/September but I know from past experiences that this doesn’t go well and that it takes FOREVER to get a couple of the kids back into the school routine. You can read more about last year’s curriculum and routines HERE. Last year was pretty crazy but we adapted and we survived!

Last year I switched to some Living Education Books from Master Books for our Language Arts and Math and we absolutely loved them so we went with them again for this year. We used some materials that we already had on hand and I ordered a few new things to go along with our studies. So far, everything has been working out well and many of the studies have been overlapping/going right along with each other which has been really nice as it helps to reinforce what we are learning and gives a little bit of review as well.

I also have another post with activities that we use for little miss (20 months old right now.)

Continue reading “Our 2022-2023 Homeschool Curriculum and Schedule”

Homeschool Activities for a 1 to 2-year-old and Our Daily Schedule plus a Weekly Preschool Schedule

How in the world do we keep little miss occupied so we can get some school work done?

Homeschooling any number of kids can be difficult at times but when you add a baby or toddler to the mix it can get really crazy. Some days are easier than others as she is pretty good at keeping herself entertained but other days she can be extremely clingy and doesn’t want to be ‘left out’. We have to come up with some clever tricks to keep her entertained at times and sometimes we just take turns having someone play with her to keep her happy, although we don’t give in to every little whine or cry because sometimes she will figure out a way to entertain herself without us.

We have the basic routines that we have tried to stick to, even through the rough year that we had last year. During our numerous in-patient stays, I did my best to keep her routine as similar to our home routine as I could. It was difficult but it helped us both tremendously. Big sister also kept the kiddos at home on a regular schedule and that helped keep some of the chaos to a minimum.

Now that we are home and doing well we really had to get a little bit stricter with our routines as we’ve had a lot of adjustments to make. Shyanne missed her big brothers and sisters and they missed her but sometimes they get on each other’s nerves just as all siblings do. It’s a normal part of having a big family but it can lead to many distractions which are not good when we need to get certain things accomplished.

The basic areas we try to include in her daily schedule are:

  • Life Skills/Character Development
  • Language/Communication
  • Math
  • Science/STEM/Sensory
  • PT/OT (Gross/Fine Motor Skills)
  • Art/Music
Continue reading “Homeschool Activities for a 1 to 2-year-old and Our Daily Schedule plus a Weekly Preschool Schedule”

Easy Chia Pudding

This recipe is pretty easy to make and I’m sure you could adjust it in many ways to suit your taste. I love that this is full of fiber, protein, and lots of healthy fats that little bodies and brains need!

I’m not sure how long this will keep in the fridge as I need to make a new batch every 3 to 4 days because my kiddos just gobble it up! Little miss loves this for breakfast or a snack.

Continue reading “Easy Chia Pudding”

The ‘Ten Fingers, Ten Toes’ Book Is a Game Changer!

I have done more than my fair share of research on Down Syndrome and ways to help with development when my older son came into our family. I never expected that ten years later we would be blessed with another very special addition. When we learned of her diagnosis I began researching more and buying more books geared towards babies and younger children.

We all know that our brains and central nervous system dictate all of our functions so I was terrified of her multiple diagnoses and many of the doctors were not very optimistic either. I knew I would need as many tools and resources as I could find to help her reach her full potential.

With certain disabilities like Down Syndrome and Dandy-Walker Malformation, the brain can be adversely affected. Both of these conditions usually cause some degree of developmental delays along with various health issues. The degree of disability will vary from individual to individual so there is no ‘one size fits all’ therapy program to use. When you add in the diagnosis of Hydrocephalus with chromosomal abnormalities and other birth defects there is an even greater chance of severe delays and disabilities.

Even with all of my other research, I’d never even heard of neuroplasticity training before Shyanne was born but I had been doing some research for therapy ideas when I came across this book. (Maybe I had read it somewhere but forgot?) I wish I’d had this book for my first child as I could’ve learned ways to help all of my children with their development.

Ten Fingers Ten Toes Twenty Things Everyone Needs to Know: Neuroplasticity for Children** by Karen Pryor PT DPT Ph.D. 

Continue reading “The ‘Ten Fingers, Ten Toes’ Book Is a Game Changer!”

Shyanne’s Bell Ringing at UF Shands Children’s Hospital

Counting our blessings

This was actually meant to publish back in March but for one reason or another it didn’t. A lot has happened since then … the biggest thing being Shyanne’s leukemia diagnosis.

Hey everybody! We hope you all are doing well… everyone here is doing pretty good.

The kiddos have been catching up on school work. They’ve not been too happy to double up in some lessons but they are getting it done. One of the younger boys said that he knows we need to work a bit harder to catch up for the days when we didn’t do anything because we were going through a ‘crisis’. That just goes to show that kids know more than they let on.

Continue reading “Counting our blessings”