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?

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”

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… 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!

 

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”

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”

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!

Made From Scratch Gifts

Are you tired of wasting your money on gifts that just aren’t appreciated? Or maybe you’ve noticed that your dollar just doesn’t stretch as far as it used to?

Well, here are a few gifts that are sure to be well-loved and appreciated!

These are always a hit around our home and everyone who gets any as gifts always ask for more!

Apple Butter

Apple Pie Filling For Canning

Canned Pumpkin

Crockpot Applesauce

Crockpot Pumpkin Butter

Easy Crockpot Apple Butter

Fudge — Always a Winner!

Continue reading “Made From Scratch Gifts”

It’s Just About Fudgin’ Time!

It’s just about that time of year when I need to get started on my Christmas Fudge. I definitely need to get it made before the Polar Express Party so we can share it with our family and friends who may come to visit.

Here are the recipe links for the fudge flavors that we have made in the past:

The Milk Chocolate Fudge has several flavor variations to try.

Butter Pecan Fudge

Easy Peanut Butter Fudge

Milk Chocolate Fudge (Christmas Fudge) — several flavor variations!

Peanut Butter Fudge

Peppermint Bark

Red Velvet Fudge

I am hoping to try a couple of new flavors this year… maybe even an egg nog flavor! It’s always fun trying out new flavors and sometimes we have great success while others are total flops but we have fun trying!

Here are some of the other candies that we make around this time of year as well:

Caramel Pecan Candies

Chocolate Covered Eggs (updated with more flavors!) (shape into balls for Christmas Candy)

Chocolate-Dipped Goodies

Crockpot Chocolate Peanut Clusters aka Reindeer Poop

Haystacks aka Noodle Cookies (2 versions here) 

We hope you find these recipes easy to use and we pray that you have a blessed holiday season!

Let us know in the comments what your favorite Christmas Candy is!

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!”

Time to think about those last couple of Holiday Meals!

Here in our neck of the woods, the stores are looking a little sparse so I’ve been trying to grab what I can when I see it for our upcoming holiday meals… have you planned yours out yet? If not, I’ve got some easy recipes for you to use and some menus from previous years that may inspire you.

Our holiday meals here may not be quite as grand as they have been in the past but when everyone joins around the table we have more than enough!

Here are some of our favorite recipes:

Appetizers:

Deviled Eggs

Oven-Fried Mushrooms

Party Cheese Ball

Pickled Eggs

Sausage Balls

Spinach Dip

Main Dishes:

Brown Sugar & Honey Glazed Ham

Roasted Turkey w/ Giblet Gravy

Side dishes:

Black Eyed Peas

Candied Sweet Potatoes

Favorite Sweet Potato Casserole

Grandma’s Mac N Cheese sprinkled with bacon

Greens

Homemade Bread Stuffing

Mashed Potatoes and/or Super Yummy Caulitaters

Momma’s Green Bean Casserole

Nanny J’s Carrot Souffle

Nanny J’s Corn Pudding

Old-Fashioned Cornbread Dressing

Potato Salad (with cauliflower alternative)

Simple Cranberry Relish

Steamed Broccoli with Cheese Sauce

Bread:

30 minute Rolls

Hoe Cakes 

Cinnamon Butter

Empty Tomb Rolls (aka Resurrection Rolls)

Honey Butter

Mama’s Best Dinner Rolls

Desserts:

Blackberry Pig in a Poke

Cheesecake

Chocolate Covered Eggs

Chocolate Pudding Pie – (This was something I always looked forward too with my Mom-Mom)

Coconut Cake

German Chocolate Pie

Luscious Four-Layer Pumpkin Cake

Mama’s Southern Pecan Pie

Milk Chocolate Fudge (Christmas Fudge)

Nana’s No-Bake Pig Out Pie

No-Bake Eggnog Cheesecake

No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Roll

Watergate Salad

Beverages:

Cocoa In A Crockpot

Ms. Shirley’s Hot Apple Cider

Old-Fashioned Lemonade

Susie’s Sweet Tea

Need a recipe you don’t see listed? Try checking out the search bar or leave a comment and we’ll try to get one posted ASAP!

We hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!