Self-care While Homeschooling

Often times as moms we forget to take care of ourselves. Add in homeschooling and well, you can really forget about it most days. Self-care is so important because if you’re not well you aren’t going to be able to properly care for anyone else.  I think caring for yourself is an important gift not only to yourself but your family. Nobody likes an overtired, grumpy momma!

 

woman doing yoga meditation on brown parquet flooring

Self-care is whatever you make it! Most people think it’s spa days or facials but really do something you love! Read a book, go for a walk, go shopping! It doesn’t matter as long as you do it! I think once you do you will find that you take the stress of homeschooling a lot better. The days where your kid refuses to do math, or won’t read a passage will be better handled. The shopping trip after you spend the whole day asking for just one paragraph will be easier to get through.  Even the easy days where things go smoothly will seem brighter.

person reading book

If we don’t take time to breathe and just be we can and often do (I’m talking from experience have a time where we lose it and it’s never good. I’ve had days where I put on an educational show and we did just that because I was so frazzled.  I realized it had been a while since I  had some me time!  I am not saying it fixes all my problems but it sure helps. Even a short walk in fresh air helps me get my equilibrium back.

man walking beside the foot of the mountain during daytime

I have spoken to homeschool moms that take regular time for themselves and some who don’t. The difference is eye-opening! Not one is a better mother but the ones who practice self-care report that they are calmer and tend to snap less. The moms who don’t take many or any breaks admitted there are days where they want to run away or at the very least pull their hair out. I get it, it feels selfish, it makes you feel like a bad mom if you spend that $5 in your purse on a coffee but you are neither of those! Just do it! You and your kids will thank you later! Even taking a breather in your room for a few minutes can leave you feeling better!

three white ceramic mugs

I started taking time for myself over a year ago and I can tell you, my son tells me every day about how I yell less, or how much more patient I am. Trying to pour from an empty cup is impossible and if you’re empty you will only wear yourself down more! I know many moms may not have anyone to take the kids but don’t let that stop you from doing something that helps you keep your sanity! When the kids are asleep take a nice long bubble bath, sit on the porch with a cup of tea and enjoy the night sky, listen to a podcast you love but haven’t heard in a while. If the kids are hyper one day and you feel yourself slipping, turn on your favorite music and dance with them.  Even these small things can help you bring yourself down and feel so much better!

milky way

I challenge you to make a list of things you can do to practice better self-care. Try to do at least once a week until they are all done and see if it helps you maintain a better balance. Keep doing those things until it becomes a habit for you to do something for yourself. It may seem strange at first if you don’t already do self-care but soon it will be natural you’ll start feeling healthier! Let me know if you already do this and what you do, maybe you can give someone an idea they can do to practice self-care!

person writing bucket list on book

 

 

 

Homeschooling During the Holidays

I don’t know about your kids but when November hits mine can only concentrate on one thing. The fact that Christmas is only one month away! Getting them to focus is hard and sometimes frustrating. All I hear is it’s almost time for Christmas! When can I make my list for Santa? When can we decorate? I am not going to lie there are some days I don’t fight it and will throw a Christmas movie on for my sanity! ball-blur-bokeh-717988 (1).jpg

It gets even worse after Thanksgiving! Just this week I have had to hear the number of days until Christmas 3 times a day! Now I’m not complaining I love Christmas too but when I am trying to get my son to focus on his school work it usually turns into some kind of report about the coming holiday. I have to hear about Santa, my son’s theory on how he travels around the world so fast, all about the reindeer, what his favorite toys are and all about Christmas trees. I thought we weren’t going to make it this far without my pulling my hair out haha! animal-bed-christmas-246576.jpg

 

The other day as I was trying to show him his math for the day he was going on and on. I decided I had enough I was going to tell him that he just needed to stop! Then it hit me, I was going to be waging a war I may not win and possibly come off seeming mean. I made a decision right there that I would incorporate Christmas and all the awesome things involved with it in our schooling. Starting tomorrow I am going to teach him math that asks questions about how many trees there are, taking away elves, dividing reindeer. His history will be about how Christmas got started, social studies will be about the people around the world celebrate Christmas. We will make a map of Santas’s possible route. I figure why fight when I can just join em’! blur-child-christmas-1556679.jpg

He can write stories and poetry about Santa, the reindeer whatever and it can count toward his writing. Bible will be learning about Jesus’ birth and the wise men. Art will be all about Christmas! This way I know he is learning in some capacity and he is surrounded with his favorite for the moment thing Christmas! I feel like this is a win-win and I don’t have to bang my head on a wall. celebration-christ-christmas-753561.jpg

 

Do you allow your kids to learn using a Christmas theme during this time of year? If so what do you do?

Homeschooling a Child with ADHD

44993551_751471625205321_3420500345237798912_nThis is a picture of one of the people who has captured my heart. He is my son and he is smart, kind, giving, silly and lots of fun. He has ADHD and that has presented some challenges in our homeschool journey. This isn’t an easy post to write because I know there are people who don’t think ADHD is real. I am going to write this post anyway because I know there are others out there that would like to make homeschooling easier for them and a child who has ADHD. I am going to share with you what I did to make homeschooling easier for my family. I was all about sitting down to do worksheets or work on a book. Often times my son wound up frustrated and bored. He didn’t like it and it was a fight almost every day. I stuck to my guns, I really thought I new what was best. I really wanted my son to learn and I thought following the public school style was the way to go. Soon we were both frazzled, at wit’s end and ready to give up. I just didn’t understand why it was so difficult. I turned to homeschool groups looking for answers and support. What I found surprised me, all of these families were learning different ways, they were going at there own pace.

I learned that I didn’t have to follow the public school way or even their schedule! I sat down with my son and asked him what he didn’t like about what we were doing. He told me sitting down for hours at a time every day was boring and made him feel sad, this was the way he explained it in his sweet 5-year-old way. I began researching different curriculum and soon found a lot of hands-on activities. We did science experiments, played word games, math games and I even allowed him to do some of his work on the computer. Soon my reluctant learner was thriving! As he got older and we found ways to help us manage his ADHD symptoms we also were able to change our learning style. My son had learned to read because I allowed him to do it his own way, one example is I let him move around while either he or I read.

I soon discovered Charlotte Mason and fell in love with her method. I was worried though what if we tried it and I loved it but my son didn’t and we ended up back at square one. We tried it and he liked some things about it but not others, we compromise. Very soon we had a hybrid curriculum that worked for the two of us! Now, we mostly use Charlotte Mason (more than half now) we still do things my son loves. The best thing I have ever done for my son is listening to him, be flexible and allow us both to thrive by having a say in his education. I think it’s so very important to listen to your child no matter what but I think when dealing with a child who has ADHD it is the absolute best thing you can do.

 

If you have a child with ADHD I say please allow them to be a part of the decision-making process of their education, learn what their learning style is, try different things, go out of your way to have fun and don’t give up. It will make homeschooling easier on both of you and I think you will find you enjoy it so much more!

Five Important Things to Know About Homeschooling

I get asked certain questions all the time about homeschooling.  I wanted to make a post that answers the 5 top questions I get. They are important to know if you want to start homeschooling as well. So here they are 5 important things to know about homeschooling.

 

Is it legal?

Legal 3

You would think with homeschooling being in the media so much people would know this but I get asked all the time! Yes, it is legal to homeschool your child in the United States. Each state has their own laws you have to follow to make sure you’re compliant but it’s totally legal. Some people are shocked when I tell them this and some ask isn’t it outdated. Nope, not in the least bit. In fact,  more people are beginning to homeschool their kids in recent years. I like answering this one because I’m educating people who aren’t necessarily trying to be rude they just truly don’t know. If you’re planning on homeschooling make sure you know your state laws.

 

Parents are qualified to teach their children

Qualified

Many homeschool parents don’t like this question and with good reason. It sounds like the person asking if the parents are smart. I don’t think that is what the person asking is meaning to be rude. I think this question comes from a place of concern and while that can be annoying, I think it’s a legitimate question. The main question I get asked is if I have a degree in teaching? The answer is no I don’t but I, in fact, don’t need one to be qualified. Many people may not know this but not all states require a teaching degree to teach, some only require a Bachelor’s. You read that right! Also, there are tons of public school teachers who homeschool their kids and they will tell you parents are definitely qualified to teach. It seems the idea is that teacher know everything because they went to school but they don’t. No one knows everything including teachers. They guides, answer books and outlines to help them. I’m not putting public school teachers down, they think they are amazing. The only thing I’m saying is homeschool parents have the exact same resources as public school teacher and we use them.

 

Homeschooled kids are involved in a lot of activities 

Socialized

I’m going to be mentioning a lot on this blog and with good reason. When the majority of people here a family homeschools they ask what about socialization? Aren’t the kids bored? Do they have friends? Do you leave the house? Yes, homeschoolers here that last question a lot. We do leave the house a lot! Just like other kids homeschooled children go dancing classes, are cheerleaders, football playes, soccer players, are in band, go to classes with other kids, have playdates, go to dances, birthday parties, field trips, church, camps, and the list goes on and on. Most homeschooled children are very socialized. It’s not true that all homeschool kids are socially awkward and I’d like to point out the type of schooling one has nothing to do with if they are socially awkward or not. I promise that’s true! I think a lot of people see socialization as being with peers one’s own age. Homeschoolers do that in spades and they interact with people of all ages on an almost daily basis. I hope one day this question isn’t so prevalent but until it’s not I’m going to keep saying it, they are socialized!

 

We don’t usually have a public school teacher involved nor do we have to

Alone

 

I get asked this a lot and it kind of goes hand in hand with the are you qualified question. Most homeschoolers do not get a public school teacher involved in their schooling. We don’t have some come by and check out our children’s progress or make sure we are teaching right. We follow our state laws and teach the subjects required and times some that aren’t like coding etc. Some states have a requirement where you have to get yearly testing done and have a licensed person look over your portfolio and of course, arents comply with that. We don’t, however, go to a school and ask someone to come over say every day, week or month to look over what we’re doing. The reason being is it’s not necessary. We know we are doing fine based on the fact that our kids are learning and doing well on their tests as well as the fact that the state tells us we’re doing good when we turn our portfolio and paperwork in. Also, teachers are busy enough without having people coming to them and asking them to do extra work. We are fine doing it alone and our kids are learning!

 

Most homeschooled children like being homeschooled 

Enjoy

 

We hear it all the time but does your kid like being homeschooled? Do you even care if they do? Yes, we do care and most kids do enjoy being homeschooled. You do have some kids that fight doing school work or don’t want to get out of bed. I find this is true of many public schooled kids as well. There are many who go to public school that hates school. It’s has nothing to do with how they are schooled, it has to do with each child. Most homeschooled kids say they think they are getting a rich education and love the freedom homeschool gives them. They have more time to study the subjects they want, many are duel enrolled and some graduate early and are accepted into college right away. Sounds like a lot of public schooled kids right? I think most focus on the home pare of the word homeschool and get an image of kids sitting on the couch all day playing video games, or locked in the house and never get out. This really isn’t the case. while homeschooling doesn’t necessarily done like public school there is still a lot of learning going on and most of the time the child has a lot of say in what they learn. That isn’t to say parents are letting their kids listen to music all day and having them write reports. No, it’s more like the kids are allowed to tell if something is working or not. They get to pick a lot of the books they read, the places they visit on field trips etc. A majority of homeschooled kids love it because they can be more involved in their education and there is no pressure to follow a crowd.

 

There you have it 5 important things to know about homeschooling. Are you a homeschool parent and want to add anything to the list? Let us know in the comments!

 

My Favorite Homeschooling Resources

There are so many resources for homeschoolers that you might feel a little overwhelmed by all the choices. I have combed through tons and found my favorites! Note: I am in no way affiliated with any of these companies/resources. Here are my favorite homeschooling resources.

Khan Academy

They have classes for all grade levels. They have videos for math, history, programming, geometry, science and more. They will give your students step by step info on the subject they are learning. After that, they are given exercises to practice what they learned. They can watch the video again if they need more time.  It’s free to use Khan Academy and is an amazing supplement to any curriculum you are using. You can use it on a computer or download the app and work from your phone. It is highly engaging, brightly colored and easy for kids to use. You can set up a parent account to keep track of your kid’s progress and they even have some exercises for you to do. All in all, this is a really good resource if you’re looking for something to add to your children’s learning experience.

 

https://www.khanacademy.org/

Image result for khan academy

Tynker: Coding for Kids 

Kids play fun games that teach them to code. They can create apps, get drone codes, and program robots. This site is easy to use and is colorful which helps gets stay engaged as they learn.  they get to see the code they are making and are given instructions on what to input next. The kids can read the instructions which make it easy to comprehend and they can see a picture of the code as they make it. Once the code is complete they are reward with the animation they just made. My son made a penguin one day that walked and danced. There are free options as well as paid options. The site includes JAVA, Python, HTML&CSS, and SWIFT. This is by far one of my son’s favorite sites to play on. My parent account lets me know what he is doing and progressing through the games and codes.

https://www.tynker.com/

Image result for tynker coding

 

Library of Congress

I love this site for getting classic books for my son! They are free and great quality! I don’t have to see if they are available at my library or worry about returning them. My son can read them online at his own pace. They even have the illustrations, if the books have them! We enjoy this site very much and use it often! Right now for kids, here are 51 books and we haven’t read through all of them yet. We also use the books in other categories. They have teens, kids, and adults. There are many other resources you can use on the site as well. This is one of our go-to places for online books!

http://www.read.gov/books/

Library of Congress

Teachers Pay Teachers

I love this website! We don’t use a lot of worksheets but when we do this is the first place I go! There are thousands of worksheets made by teachers, homeschooling parents, and educators in all positions. Some are free and some you have to pay for but it’s so worth it! They have worksheets from preschool-12th and the subjects include art, math, science, English, science, social studies foreign language and more! The search feature is easy to locate and use. If you choose you can even make worksheets and make a little extra cash for them. This site is an excellent one to add to your list for all things needed for school.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/

 

Image result for Teachers pay teachers

ABC Mouse

This is an online “school” for ages 2-8. I have used this with both my kids who loved it and learned so much. They will have books read to them, the words are highlighted for them, listen to songs, do math problems to color pages, make puzzles of their pictures, They learn about their body,  play games, learn about different parts of the world, learn to read and more. They will also have their own avatar they can dress, a room the can decorate, a pet to play with and can have a fish or gerbil to watch. This is a very colorful and interactive site. Both my children learned to count and identify colors among other things by using ABC Mouse. I highly recommend it for anyone who has a child in the age range for this site. With your parent/teacher account you can make lesson plans, view your child’s progress, play with your own avatar and more! They even teach your young children how to use a mouse. If you looking for a fun learning site this is one of the best!

https://www.abcmouse.com/abt/homepage?8a08850bc2=T2920721574.1540852218.5066

Free Unit Studies 

If you like unit studies you’ll love this site! They have so many to choose from! History, math, science/nature, geography, home economics, art, music, Bible, holidays and sports are included. If you do literature you will pick a book from their list. It’s broken down in chapters and you do one chapter at a time. You get vocabulary words, questions to test comprehension,  and suggested activities. I love this site when I want to do a unit study. My son loves that he gets to make a unit study which shows all of his work! This site is easy to use and packed full of information!

http://www.freeunitstudies.com/

Free homeschooling unit studes

There are many more resources these are just the ones I use the most! If you’d like me to make a bigger list of resources let me know and I will gladly do so. Did I miss one you like? Let us know in the comments.