Category Archives: Product Reviews

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.


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!


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?


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.

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.

Simplify Your Life: Step 7 Pay Off Those Debts and Bills

Pay Off Those Debts and Bills

Money is a big cause of stress in many people’s lives. So it would only make sense that getting rid of debts and bills can help us to simplify our lives and reduce stress. Credit cards and online shopping make it is so easy to buy things and accumulate debt without realizing it. We see something we want and we buy it and then we regret it when the bill comes in.

If we can learn to live a bit more frugally then we can learn to buy less, want less, be more eco friendly, simplify our budgets, and reach our financial goals of being debt free. We can’t do a lot about what has already been done but we can work towards simplify our lives to prevent the stress from these debts and bills.

One way we can do this is by setting up automatic deposits and payments. You can have your paychecks automatically deposited and you can also set your bills on auto pay. By doing this you can get those bills paid while preventing late payments. If you want to save a little bit more then you can even go paperless which will help to cut down on paper clutter and mail.  All of this adds up to less stress and a simpler life as there are fewer things to worry about.

I have found that I can not only simplify some of my shopping but save time and money while helping the planet by using subscription services and the convenience of online ordering for some things like cleaning supplies, household supplies, groceries, essential oils, and other items. My favorite place to use are:

Now if you have already overspent and just don’t have the money to cover the bills then that is another story. That can lead to a lot of stress. You can set a budget and work on learning to only buy what you need. You may also want to look into ways to bring a little extra income. Many of these places I listed above also offer affiliate or referral bonuses which can help out too.

I really like the simplicity of the Wealthy Affiliate program. It not only teaches you the ins and outs of affiliate marketing but helps you to set up your own website. With the company’s ‘pay it forward’ attitude there is a constant supply of support from other members who have been right where you are right now. Go ahead, check it out, and sign up for your FREE account right now.


This was the last step of my Simplify your life series. I hope you found some of the information useful. If you implement these easy steps into your life you will find you have more FREE time for quality moments with your friends and family. Good luck!

Have you thought of starting your own blog to make a little extra money? Check out 3 Steps to Start that Blog You’ve Been Dreaming Of for some great ideas to get started.



Is Your HomeSchool Area ‘School Ready’?

**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.

If this is your first year homeschooling this is an important step to making sure you get your year off on a good start.

You don’t need a huge Pinterest perfect school area as I’ve talked about in this post but you do need it to be organized if you want to be successful. Having stuff here and there is a surefire way to get overwhelmed in a hurry. Trust me, I know this from experience.

Our main area is our dining table. We have some bookshelves which hold the majority of our books plus I have another shelf with the books I am using that are specific to our curriculum for this year. Continue reading Is Your HomeSchool Area ‘School Ready’?

Paying Off All Of My Debt With The Snowball Method

As I mentioned in an earlier post I finally got all of my hospital and doctor bills paid off. I am still working on getting my emergency fund built back up and then I’ll be working on paying off my other debts like credit cards. I plan to use Dave Ramsey’s snowball method to get them paid off.

I’ve made me a list of all of my debts and how much I owe. I’ve put them in order from the smallest to the largest as well. Then I will work on paying off the smallest while making minimum payments on the rest. As I knock them out, one by one, I will put that money towards the next one on the list.

I’ve used a similar method before and it worked very well. I am still paying off bills that I accumulated during and after my divorce.

Please note that this post does contain affiliate links which help support our blog.

Have You Heard Of Jaaxy?

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

Have you heard of Jaaxy? I hadn’t until here recently when I stumbled across the Wealthy Affiliate websiteRead more about this here.

What is Jaaxy?

Jaaxy is one of, if not the best, keyword research tool program for SEO out there today. SEO is so important for affiliate marketing and for anyone trying to promote anything.

I have been using for the past couple of days and have seen a dramatic increase in my blog traffic. Continue reading Have You Heard Of Jaaxy?

Wealthy Affiliate, The New Way To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing?

**This post does contain affiliate links which help to support our blog and our family!

Maybe you are like me and just kind flopping around trying to get this affiliate marketing thing to generate enough income to justify the amount of work you put into it. The little successes you see from time to time are just enough encouragement to keep you going but you know there has to be a secret to earning more.

Or maybe you don’t have a clue on where to start but you know you need to earn a little extra income because your minimum wage job just isn’t cutting it.

Or maybe you are a stay at home parent, a single parent, or unemployed for other reasons and really need an income to help support yourself and your family. Continue reading Wealthy Affiliate, The New Way To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing?

My Melaleuca Experience — The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Maybe you remember me talking about a mysterious online shopping club that I joined last month. I didn’t/couldn’t reveal the name due to their marketing rules.

However I’ve since said ‘Good Bye’ to this company. Actually as I’m writing this I am the process of trying to say Good Bye but it’s not an easy thing to do.

I wanted to share my experience, the good, the bad, and the ugly with others.

About the company

A little about the company and their products. They offer what they claim are all natural, made in the USA products. These range from cleaning products, vitamins, weight loss products, beauty items, essential oils, and bath & body. The company has a preferred member option which was what I had enrolled as.

I believe they claim to have been around since 1985. They also claim to be ‘The Largest Online Wellness Shopping Club in North America’. They currently offer over 400 products with a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.

The company seems to have a lot of good values and beliefs which I share so I was very excited to be joining them.

The Good

I did purchase the customer favorite value plan. The kit included a variety of cleaners, snack foods, and some vitamins.

Another thing the company offers are Loyalty Shopping Dollars. You can earn these a variety of ways including watching videos in the Learn to Earn program. IN a short period of time I watched some videos and had accumulated $40-50 Loyalty Dollars.

Shopping discounts are listed as 30 – 50% for preferred members and the 100% Customer Satisfaction Guarantee seems pretty nice too.

They claim to be ‘The Perfect Part-Time Work-From- Home Business which was very appealing to me.

The Bad

We did enjoy most of the products we received but none of them were super outstanding. Hence, the reason I’ve not really been posting too much about them.

The 100% Customer Satisfaction Guarantee is also a little misleading as they say they will credit the customer account for the purchase amount. This does not mean they will credit it back to your bank account.

The Loyalty Shopping Dollars were easy enough to make with the Learn to Earn videos however when I went to spend them I realized that these are only applied after your monthly point minimum had been reached.

Monthly point minimum you ask? Well you must purchase at least 35 points worth of products. Please note that $35 does not equal 35 points. For some people this may not be a big deal but for a busy, frugal, money saving, on a budget Momma like me it is a big deal.

I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about how they promote but they do have scripts to follow. You can’t mention their name on social media and you have guidelines for mentioning their products too. So how are you supposed to promote the company, get referrals, and make money when you have so many restrictions on advertising?

That’s a question I asked numerous call center reps but was told I’d have to contact someone else or a different department. Now I will say that their reps are extremely friendly and courteous they are just very vague when answering questions. Everyone answers the same questions the same way… hmmm…

They suggest using Facebook as I’ll describe below and also getting your friends and family to sign up. If you don’t get people to sign up under you then you don’t make money. Well you can earn Loyalty Shopping Dollars but that’s not ‘the put it in your pocket and go out to eat kinda money’.

I’ve been in sales before and I know you have scripts to use but this made no sense to me. Again, I’m not into bashing the company just trying to say that their tactics didn’t sit well with me.

How did I get started with them in the first place you might wonder? I was contacted by a member who was in a Facebook group that I was in. She began by gaining trust and talking about her grandkids. After a few conversations she introduced her online discount shopping club. A while later I decided to check it out as she had such high reviews.

Once I attended the online conference call/webinar I decided to give it a try. Maybe my timing was bad as it was a stressful period right then with William having his wisdom teeth and all.

I did do a couple of posts mentioning the new discount online shopping club but I couldn’t tell anyone about the special $1.00 membership deal unless you messaged me for more information. 

Anyway… fast forward to delivery of the products. They arrived and sat on the table for several days before I finally decided to open them. Honestly I was tempted to just send the package back but I was sure it would probably cost a small fortune. (Good thing I didn’t as I would’ve only received a certificate of credit and not a refund.) I decided to give them a try when we went on vacation. I threw the snack bars in with our kitchen supplies. They were OK but not anything I’d want to reorder.

When I went to place another order to try some different items I learned that I couldn’t use my Loyalty Shopping Dollars until my minimum point requirement had been met. I wasn’t happy and after debating about what to purchase before they decided to send me the default order I decided to just cancel my membership.

I did really like the smell of the laundry detergent but I mean I can’t keep buying $50 of laundry detergent every month. They have rules against reselling products as well.

After searching the site a bit I found the button to cancel. Well that leads to another link which led to a form to complete, sign, and return. Whew! This is a lot harder to get out of than it was to get into.

I did complete, sign, and return the form and explained my reasons for cancelling. I thought that was it but I was wrong. There were a few more aggravations along the way but I just kept telling them No, and sending emails to the customer service. A lot of hassle to end my membership.

I’ve had several memberships with companies and never dealt with the likes of this before. Normally I hit the ‘cancel button’, ‘are you sure button’, maybe ‘select a reason for cancelling’, and then you get a confirmation email along with an invitation to rejoin at a later date.


The Ugly

Well, fortunately I don’t have anything ugly to say about the company. I may update this at a later date depending on how this membership cancellation goes.

I just checked, two days later, and they have cancelled my preferred member benefits and I finally received a confirmation email.


So all in all if you are looking for more natural products to use in your home this may be for you, that is if you can find a representative to help you join the club. Just research the facts and review the requirements before signing up!

If you are looking for a one stop online shop then this is probably not the club for and I would just pass it by.


One Person’s Boredom Is Another’s Security

This sentence in the book I just finished reading so describes my life sometimes. I’ve written about our routines and schedules again and again. Some people think that our life must be pretty boring if we are doing the same things again and again. Sometimes it does seem a little boring but I try my best to keep things interesting.

I stick with what we do because it is what works best for our family. We have three children, two who are special needs, who were adopted. They need the structure and stability of the routines we have in place to help them feel secure. So this sentence makes perfect sense to me.

As a result of these three being adopted I missed out on a lot of their younger years. Those fun years when you see their personalities being to develop and when you start to develop a sense of who they are. During these years you can learn a lot by watching them and they interact with others. I have felt at a disadvantage because I didn’t have that.

However recently I’ve been reading a few different books to help me help them to succeed. In the beginning of the book she mentions that we should all try to spend at least 15 minutes a day with each child. This is a great idea and I am working on trying to do this but it can be a difficult thing with as many children as I have.

When you are alone with your child she suggests letting them play and interact with you in whatever way that they choose. You can watch, give positive comments, and make mental notes. We can learn a lot about each child just by this simple task. This can be quite exhausting but the rewards will be immense!

This book aims to:

  • help parents identify areas of frustration. These may be due to the differences between the parent’s and child’s different learning styles.
  • help parents find positive ways to build on the natural strengths of each child.
  • help parents to teach their children to work well with others.

She suggests that we all focus on:

  • OBSERVING the patterns of behavior.
  • LISTEN to the way each person communicates.
  • EXPERIMENT with different ways to find what works and what doesn’t.
  • FOCUS on natural strengths instead of weakness for a strong foundation.
  • LEARN more about learning styles.

She also notes that it usually takes 3-5 years of studying and learning, observing, and using learning styles information before it will become second nature. Whew! That seems like forever right now but I’m gonna keep trying.

Gregorian Model of Learning Styles

This book has a variety of information related to learning styles, including the Gregorian Model of Learning Styles. I’ll admit that this seemed a little overwhelming and confusing at first but after taking a couple of the quizzes I was able to narrow down our learning styles.

My learning style is the ‘Dominant Concrete Sequential‘ while my ‘difficult child‘ is a ‘Dominant Concrete Random’.

I am semi organized most of the time and like to manage my time resourcefully. I have a method of completing tasks and like for others to use this method because I know it works. I am also very detail oriented most of the time.

After comparing the information I have a better understanding of who she is and why she acts the way she does. She is strong willed to the point of being defiant, she will refuse to cooperate which may be a result of her feeling like she doesn’t have a choice, and she likes to take risks. All of these have been problem areas but now I have a plan to help her turn these problems into ways that can help her to succeed.

So some of our issues may just be a miscommunication because we are speaking ‘different languages’. According to the author the most difficult child is the one who doesn’t think like we do!

Using the information

Now that I know what styles we are I can use this information to help in so many ways. This will help to determine how each child concentrates, studies, and learns. This can help to improve areas like Homework.

One of the suggestions that the author gives is making a deal with your child. You can give them two weeks to study at home any time, any place, and with any thing they say they need to help them get the tasks completed. All of these things should be allowed within reason of course.

After the two weeks are up the child must show an improvement in their grades or they will need to study by your rules.

Remembering information

This part of the book is very similar to the last book I read by this author. Each person remembers information in a different way. I’ll give a brief explanation below:

  • AUDITORY: learning by listening, remembering by forming sounds of words
  • VISUAL: learning by seeing and watching; using strong visual association
  • KINESTHETIC: learning by becoming physically involved and actually doing something with what’s being learned

Then we also have to consider in the GLOBAL and ANALYTIC styles as well. These affect how we understand and organize information. These also affect how we pay attention, follow directions, and manage our time.

The 7 Intelligences

Have you heard of the seven intelligences? Maybe, maybe not but there is not any one test that can accurately measure any person’s IQ because of these variances in these areas.

They are as follows:

  1. LINGUISTIC: verbal abilities. ex: journalists and poets
  2. LOGICAL – MATHEMATICAL: abilities with numbers, patterns, and logical reasoning. ex: scientists and philosophers
  3. SPATIAL: the ability to think in vivid mental pictures. ex: architectures
  4. MUSICAL: the ability to express through natural rhythm and melody.
  5. BODILY KINESTHETIC: ability of bodily movement or physical activities. ex: surgeons and actors
  6. INTERPERSONAL: the gift of understanding, appreciating, and getting along well with others.
  7. INTRAPERSONAL: this is usually expressed in solitude and is the understanding of ourselves as individuals, who and what we are, and how we fit into the grand scheme of the universe.

By learning about these different styles and intelligences we can have a better understanding of ourselves and those around us. As parents we must become ‘mulit-lingual’ in the different styles in order to help our children succeed in life.

Make medication a last resort.

I am a firm believer in this statement as is the author of this book. Too many times children are labeled with learning disorders, I know there are children who have a valid need for medications just maybe not all of the ones who are prescribed medications on a daily basis, who just need a little bit of one on one time until they can figure out what works best for them. A traditional school setting may not be the best for them.

Read the book for yourself.

Anyway, if you want to read more about these ideas and learn about your learning style or your child’s learning style then you need to check out this book ‘The Way They Learn’  written by Cynthia Ulrich TobiasYes, that is an affiliate link which helps to support our blog. You may be able to find it at your local library like I did.

Here are a few more books written by the same author:

Happy Reading!