7 Steps to Meal Planning Success

#homeschool meal planning

7 Steps to Meal Planning Success

1. Organize your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Throw away anything that has expired and anything that you’ve had for a year and haven’t used yet. Sort everything out and shelve it by type: Canned soups, veggies, and fruits lined up on one shelf; rice, pasta, and boxed side dishes in one place; a designated drawer for frozen meat. If everything is easy to see and access, you will be more motivated to cook, and you’ll save money by knowing what you have when you make your shopping list. Cleaning out the freezer is like going on a treasure hunt!

2. Choose simple storage options. Clear plastic containers with snap-on lids are great for keeping cereal, crackers, and cookies fresh. Small baskets make single-serve snacks easily accessible for kids. Recycled jars are great for storing beans, dried fruit, rice, and nuts. When you come home from grocery shopping, empty things into containers and put everything in its place. Freezer bags are such a money saver, allowing me to purchase large family-size packs of meat and divide it up when I get home.

3. Sort through cookbooks. Weed out the ones you never use and whittle down to a few that have recipes your family likes. Store them front and center on a pantry shelf or on the kitchen counter so you can easily grab them for inspiration. Use sticky tabs to mark pages to find favorites quickly. Write notes inside to remind you of alterations or substitutions, or for meals that bombed or were especially successful. Bookmark your favorite recipes online, and pin them to a Pinterest board to find later. Many cookbook recipes are available on the author’s or publisher’s websites, so you really don’t need as many cookbooks as you think.

4. Write down, or type out, every meal you can think of in your repertoire. Ask your family for help. Once you have all of them listed, sort them by common ingredients. For instance, group spaghetti, chili, sloppy joes, and beef tacos; and chicken pie, chicken stir-fry, and chicken parmesan. Now, consult your recipes for any additions you want to make to your list. Strive for at least 25 options. Check out my Easy Meals Pinterest board for some ideas.

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5. Create a master shopping list. Decide what common ingredients you need to stock in your pantry, such as canned tomato sauce, pasta, spices, flour and sugar, cereal, and staples like coffee, tea, and chocolate. Determine what ingredients you can live without, and don’t be afraid to skip them when following recipes. I will buy some specialty items, but I hate to waste money on a spice I’ll only use for one recipe, only to have it get dusty on the shelf. When planning your weekly shopping trip, consult your master list first.

6. Make your monthly menu plan. Look at your calendar, and choose meals accordingly: Crockpot meals for game nights; more involved meals for at-home days; quick and easy meals for field trip or co-op days. Be strategic about planning meals that you grouped on your list so you can cook large portions of a common ingredient and store the rest for another night. Take advantage of leftovers to create another meal: spaghetti becomes chili bean casserole; leftover chicken chopped up goes into chicken pie or becomes BBQ sandwiches.

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7. Keep family mealtime a priority. A little advance planning will ensure that you’ll always be able to answer the question, “What’s for supper?” and you can gather your family together at mealtime. Enlist the kids to help with prep, cooking, setting the table, and clean up (Click here for some Kids in the Kitchen ideas). You can even incorporate cooking lessons into your schoolwork. Gather around the table together at the end of the day to celebrate, reconnect, and share.

 

 

 

Anne CampbellAnne Campbell is the mother to three boys (in every sense of the word!) and a homeschooler for the past eleven years. She is the Managing Editor of Blog at Home Educating Family Association, columnist for Home Educating Family Magazine, and member of the Home Educating Family review team. As a former classroom teacher, she loves to share resources and ideas and encourage other moms and homeschoolers. When they started on their homeschooling  journey, her oldest son was in kindergarten. They decided to take it one day at a time, one year at a time, and now she has a high school student, middle school student, and elementary student, and all still at home. They fly by the seats of their pants most days, spending as much time as possible exploring nature, and seizing learning opportunities whenever they appear. You can visit her at her blog Learning Table. You can also find Anne on Bloglovin’FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram.

Celebrating Cruelty

Blackberry Cell phone

My son is 14. If he had remained in public school, he would be entering 9th grade in the fall. That means, for all intents and purposes, he’s a high-schooler. Even though he’s 5′ 3″ and barely 100 lbs. He started kindergarten a year early, and it shows.

Recently, our tiny hicktown in the Northernest portion of New York State made national news because high school and middle school students were beating the tar out of each other, recording the beatings on their cell phones, and posting the videos on YouTube. It all came out when a victim brought a jack knife to school and was brought up on weapons charges. He was 13.

It’s no surprise to anyone who was a teenager that teens are capable of intense cruelty. This is not to say they are all cruel, not at all. I am well acquainted with a number of teenagers whom I am proud to count as my friends. But I also was the victim of bullying in public school, and peer cruelty lead my son to attempt suicide at the age of ten.

Why are some children so cruel? I suspect it is, in part, human nature. We are born selfish creatures. But we have the capacity for awesome goodness. What makes the difference?

Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

I believe the main contributor to a child’s tendency towards good or evil is the parent. A child who is raised tightly, with a parent or parents who are involved in his or her life, with consequences enforced for actions, is much less likely to record themselves assaulting a fellow student and posting it proudly on the internet than one for whom consequences are rare or variable, or who has no one to turn to when in need.

This is especially true in our current “viral video”, 30-seconds-of-fame culture. Those videos were posted to make the perpetrators appear “cool”…and it was successful. They were considered “famous”, for a short time, in the school. Famous, for beating up a classmate. Cool, for hurting an innocent person.

Just as we drank up our Madonna-esque 1980s culture of MTV and Air Jordans, our kids are drinking up the new culture. But this culture is malleable and made up of the users. The users who create the material are the same people who choose what is “viral”. When that media is accessible all hours of the day or night, from the phone in your pocket or the iPad in your pack, the horror of beating a classmate recedes through familiarity. It is no longer a bad thing…it’s desirable. It will get your video shared.

True worth – as opposed to the false fame of a “viral video” – does not come from outside. It comes from within, from the knowledge of who you are a God’s child. To keep that in the front of one’s mind can be difficult with so much pressure to conform. “The World” wants to suck us in, use us up, and spit us out.

To help your teens understand the fleeting gratification of “The World”‘s approval, teach them their true worth. Demonstrate it in your behavior towards them. If they feel they are valued in your eyes, in the eyes of your extended family and your church family, and in the eyes of the Lord, the desire to be valued in the eyes of strangers on the internet will be lessened. You can also reduce the pull of those internet strangers by monitoring and limiting your children’s access to social media. That is not a society that should have a strong pull on children.

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:2)

 

Kathy LaPan is a homeschooling mom of two in Northern NY. She has an MBA in finance and teaches through SchoolHouseTeachers.com. Check out her blog at Simply Homeschool Living.

The Homeschool Balancing Act

homeschool balancing act @homeschoolsurvival

 

Homeschooling and Getting it All Done

We moms know that life in general can be a balancing act, but when you throw homeschooling in with all the other stuff you have to get done, it can seem like an overwhelming task. On top of that, you might be teaching multiple grades, tackling high school subjects, or dealing with a curious toddler. Field trips, errands, sports activities, and trips to the vet keep you on the road A LOT. Some days, it seems like it’s time to get supper started before you’ve even pulled that first load of laundry out of the washer.

So, how do you manage the homeschool balancing act?

Well, I don’t really have all the answers, but after eleven years of homeschooling, there are a few things I’ve learned that I can share with you. First and foremost, accept that right now — this moment — this is life. Life isn’t a “someday when I catch up” moment. When you are in the thick of it with dirty dishes, piles of laundry, science projects on the kitchen counter, and fussing kids, embrace it, enjoy it, and make the best of it. You’ve heard this before, but it bears repeating, your kids are only young once. Don’t save your best for “one day.” Live it now: enjoy this time with your children.

This realization brings me peace, which helps me maintain focus. And that leads to number two.

You will never catch up. Accept it. There will always be more meals to plan, more dirty towels to wash, and more math problems to figure out. So instead of wasting your time playing catch up, chart a course for what you want to accomplish each day, and let the rest go. It will be there tomorrow. My household list includes getting the dishes out of the sink and starting a load of clothes before bedtime. (I can, however rest easy even if there’s a pile of unfolded laundry hidden away in my closet and a full dishwasher waiting to be unloaded.)

For school, instead of looking at a daily schedule, I focus on where I want us to be by the end of each week. Which leads to my third tip: plan ahead, but be willing to go with the flow. Having a written plan for schoolwork helps keep us moving forward, but I also embrace those “light bulb” moments when they arise. Sometimes, spontaneity brings about the most memorable learning experiences.

If you’re in the midst of planning for the new school year, and the task seems daunting, relax a little, celebrate this season of life, and give yourself some grace.

Anne CampbellAnne Campbell is the mother to three boys (in every sense of the word!) and a homeschooler for the past eleven years. She is the Managing Editor of Blog at Home Educating Family Association, columnist for Home Educating Family Magazine, and member of the Home Educating Family review team. As a former classroom teacher, she loves to share resources and ideas and encourage other moms and homeschoolers. When they started on their homeschooling  journey, her oldest son was in kindergarten. They decided to take it one day at a time, one year at a time, and now she has a high school student, middle school student, and elementary student, and all still at home. They fly by the seats of their pants most days, spending as much time as possible exploring nature, and seizing learning opportunities whenever they appear. You can visit her at her blog Learning Table. You can also find Anne on Bloglovin’FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram.

Gluten Free Porcupine Eggs

 

My grandmother, before becoming senile, often told us the story of the first time she made porcupine eggs for my grandfather. Newly married and on their own, she wanted to impress him with her culinary skills. She followed the recipe carefully and served the meal to him with a smile.

He complimented the great smell and how beautiful the meal looked. Taking a mouthful, he bit down…and cracked a tooth. My grandmother had missed the step in the recipe that called for cooking the rice before adding it to the meatballs.

Porcupine eggs, aka porcupine meatballs or stuffed peppers, are a great naturally gluten free meal. It is also one of my favorites, as my grandmother used to make it for us a lot (and she almost always remembered to cook the rice first!)

1 C cooked rice
1 lb ground meat (I use turkey or chicken, but beef is okay)
1 egg
3/4 C feta cheese (or another strongly flavored cheese) – optional
chopped garlic, paprika, diced rosemary, nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste
red, yellow, and orange sweet peppers (the skins on green peppers tend to be too thick)
a bottle of your favorite marinara sauce (or if you make your own, about 3 C)
1 lb cooked gluten free pasta (for serving)
A crockpot

Remove the tops, seeds, and the white fibers from the peppers, keeping them whole. You can use mini peppers as I did, or you can use regular size ones. I like the minis because they’re cute. Rinse them inside and out, dry, and set aside.

Mix together the meat, rice, egg, and seasoning. Mix this very very well…smush the meat up very good. Once the meat, rice, egg, and seasonings are all mixed together well, fold in the feta. (you may have to adjust the amount of cheese depending on the kind you use. Some good alternatives: pepper jack, mozzarella, Parmesan – not that powdery stuff, real Parmesan- or blue cheese.)

Make sure the cheese is distributed through but try not to beat it up too much so when you get a piece of it, you know it. At this point I wear gloves, because I have long nails and I don’t want raw meat in there. Fill the peppers with the meat mixture. Press it in there as firmly as you can without breaking the peppers. It is harder to do with the mini peppers. A good tip is to hold the pepper firmly in one hand while filling it with the other.

You will probably have left over meat mixture. You can just form those into meatballs.

Once the peppers are filled and the meatballs are made, add the bottle of sauce to the crockpot. I use crockpot liners because I dislike having to scrub the bejeebers out of it! Place the filled peppers and meatballs into the sauce. If you used big peppers, they’ll stand up well in the sauce, but the mini peppers you’ll have to lie down.

Cook on low heat for 4 hours, then increase to high heat for another 1-2 hours until the meat is cooked through and the peppers are falling apart. Serve over the pasta.

Everyone in my family claims they dislike peppers, but everyone ate the porcupine eggs with gusto so…yeah, they’re pretty darn good!

Kathy LaPan is a homeschooling mom of two in Northern NY. She has an MBA in finance and teaches through SchoolHouseTeachers.com. Check out her blog at Simply Homeschool Living.

Do It Because It’s Right For Your Family!

Sometimes It's OK to Just Be

 

Now that summer is in full swing what do you usually do?

Are you taking summer off?

I remember summer vacation when I was a kid. Long hot days that I could basically do whatever I wanted with. The feeling of freedom. Oh to be a kid again.

Or do you begin your new school year during the summer? It might be scorching where you live. They are going to be inside most of the time anyway so why not? Beats getting bored and having sibling rivalry of some sort doesn’t it?

Whatever you choose, you do it because that is what is right for your family.

YOUR FAMILY, not anyone else’s.

I know it’s hard to remember that sometimes.

Maybe you wonder if it’s enough.

Yep, you’ve been reading too many homeschooling magazines haven’t you?

Or looking at everyone else’s awesome pics of school rooms on pinterest. Or?Or?

Just stop!!!

Take a breath. Are your kids smiling? Do they look content and happy? Are you? That’s good, right?

But if the answer is no, try to remember what I was talking about at the beginning of this post.

Try to remember how you felt.

You want your kids to have that, too? It’s ok to just be sometimes. If they need a break take it. Don’t be a slave to your teacher’s manual. Don’t feel like you have to do every page, every lesson. Skip around if you need to. Make it enjoyable. Soon you will see it come alive again. And if it takes a little longer so be it.

Just go with it. They’re worth it.

 

Lara VolkoffLara V. is a wife and mother to two sweet blessings whom she homeschools. She writes about her faith, her family, motherhood and her homeschooling journey on her blog at Learning Through My Eyes and can also be found on Facebook encouraging homeschooling moms of challenging children.

 

24 hours in Jonesville: Chaos Can Have Calm

This post was written by Venus of Mommy Bear Blog. She  has the desire to impart to all homeschooling moms that even though life is chaotic, it will all still be OK. After all, she’s living proof!  You see, she knows all about chaos as she is raising many special needs children!  
January14 Centers, SNG, boxes 001

This blog will be long, but I am hoping that it will help a mom be encouraged that chaos can have calm!

A typical day in Jonesville.

I am taking you back a few months ago. This will be a single, stressed out day here in our lives that we all lived through and can tell about.  Now that’s something to be thankful for!

We will start with that Monday, April 14, 2014. We were all (by all I mean, 8 kids, 2 adults) getting up and getting ready for a day on the road to meet with our oldest daughter. She was interviewing a potential school for the fall and needed a doctor checkup. So being the awesome family that we are, we loaded up and headed out to cheer her on.  I got up at my usual 6 AM time for coffee and a shower.  I got the “bonus babe” up and all the littles to dress them.  Then, my husband and teens get up.  (Something is wrong with this picture, right moms???)

We were on the road by 8am. We had just dropped the “bonus babe” off at the local school. Our oldest son was staying home because he had to be at work by 11am. This was his 18th birthday, but his present would come two days late in the form  of airline tickets to see his best friend in Wyoming.

It was a cold morning. Warnings of flurries were up. They should have been a watch!  We get about 30 miles in on this adventure and the snow and dirt are blowing!  Visibility is only about a mile!  We press through and make it in time for the first appointment.

We get to the beauty college and my dear daughter is all excited!  She was dressed with makeup and ON TIME!!! For this child, THAT IS AMAZING!  She has NEVER been my morning child and she too had to drive in some flurries. 🙁

We tour the facility and she is beaming!  She runs out to tell dad that this is what she wants to do! We look over the list to see what we can help with and discuss financial options.  She is overflowing with excitement for this newest part of her adventure!

Next, I make contact with my sister -in-law since we are in her neck of the woods. They were just finishing up a doctors appointment with my niece and nephew. We decide to meet at a local restaurant and have lunch. Until she is finished, we will run to Target for some water, since mom forgot! 🙁  While there, I change my mind on restaurant and let my sister-in-law know.

At this point I have: the unloading of everyone and announcement of needing to potty, 6 little kids melting down because mom won’t answer them “what’s for lunch?”, a husband wondering why we are killing time in a place that is never easy on his checkbook, a 15 year old son just wanting to get to chat with his sister without interruptions and a daughter looking for new foundation. Did I mention I also sell Mary Kay and had just placed an order??? Why did she not tell me??? Gotta love that girl!

We survive Target and make it to McAlester’s for lunch. We get there and they have no potatoes, which happens to be the only thing my daughter eats off their choices! AHHHHH  I finally get her to try a chicken sandwich.  She refused to eat it because it was frozen, not fresh and tasted rubbery!  That girl!  The rest of us eat our lunch!  Baby A had an issue with little cousin A stealing her fruit.  She about lost it with the baby!  She kept telling her, “no baby! that is mine!”.  Adorable, yet a teaching moment for mom!  Mom needs to work on my “baby” learning to share more!

We made it through lunch and decided to head to the mall play place.  It was quiet and only about three children until my crew walks in! 😀  Yes, the lady with 6 small children and 2 older ones.  Then my sister-in-law came in to join us.  YES, we ROCKED that place! 🙂   The kids played for about 45 minutes.  Of course we had a blow out with little A.  Big A brought her to me and said, “mom, I think A is going peepee?”.  I ask her why she thinks that and she just turns little A around.  YEP, it was clear that she had peed!  Her britches were wet and getting more wet as we observed.  So being the awesome mom I am, I walk her to the end of the food court with urine approaching her knees to change her.  In the bath room, I contemplate…Do I just throw her pants away or take them home to wash??? In a ziploc bag they went.  Now we are walking back to the play land with all eyes on my diaper clad, half naked child as she LOUDLY proclaims the names of most everything we pass in a flash.  Yes, I did let her rejoin her siblings for the remaining time at the play area.

Now we are off to sister’s doctor’s appointment.  I take her in and my awesome husband is on baby duty.  Him, 6 littles and a teenager in the van for almost 2 hours.  Every mom out there is on the edge of their seat wanting to know if my children were still alive at the end of this appointment??? The answer is, YES.  He made our 20″ TV able to hold the Ipad so they could watch Planes for the first time.  It worked great!  He also got a call to do a check on that location for a jack or something. My husband is a communications manager for a larger university in Texas.

So my sweet teen was on baby duty now!   All this while we get a call from the school that our “bonus babe” was not picked up timely and that her teacher had her out front ready for the friend to pick her up.  Finally, we see our daughter’s doctor and then we are given a new medicine and on our way!

Now we are off to Walmart for her meds, potty breaks, a snack for everyone and drinks.  That was an adventure!! Of course I could not decide what I wanted for everyone to eat and just impulse shopped.  Walmart, low blood sugar, busy like it was gonna close or something, tired and hungry kids…..Not a good mix!  We got out items, lost the husband and kids, got her medicine, finally checked out and was back to the loading dock to get ready for hugs and goodbyes!   Hugs and goodbyes were done. Now time to set up kids with a “snack” at dinner time.  Got them set up and ready for the 3 hour drive home.

Three wonderful hours later we are home and ready for bed.  We fed them their actual dinner, dressed them for bed and I ran to pick up bonus babe.  Now that everyone is in bed, the big people can eat and see how the birthday boy enjoyed his day of quiet.

Not the most adventurous day on the planet, but it is the day in the life of “Jonesville”!!!!

 

Venus JonesVenus is a veteran homeschool mom to 9, the youngest 6 of which she’s adopted.  She has been homeschooling for 13 yrs.  She recently started a new blog called Mommy Bear Blog and would love for you to follow her journey there.

Growing A Homeschool Child

It’s that time of year!  Garden Season!

There are very few, if ever, any days in the garden that I’m not reminded of our Creator.

I see His beauty.

I see His grace.

Planting & Growing Your Homeschool

I see the awesomeness of Creation.  And without fail….I see how my garden is so much like our lives.  No wonder the Psalmists and Jesus Himself used nature to teach.  It’s always such a perfect picture and reminder of our own lives and journeys.  So, today, I’m offering advice on how to grow that Homeschooled Child.  Now remember, I’m no professional gardener, parent, or Homeschool Mom.  But our God….He is the perfect teacher and I think you just might find some inspiration, encouragement, and food for thought here in my Homeschool Garden instructions!  Happy Planting!

STEP 1

Prepare Your Soil.  This is SO important.  The type of soil you plant your seed in often decides much of the outcome of the plant…um, student!  A soil filled with scriptural vitamins and minerals and laced with a teachable spirit has proven to be the most workable and fertile ground!

STEP 2

Thank the Lord for the seed He’s given you to work with here, aka your student!  It’s important to take care not to damage the seed while planting.  Instead, carefully place your child in the correct depth of soil (level of learning) and cover with the right amount soil (curriculum) to allow them to sprout properly!  If and when in question, know you can always refer to the guidebook (your Bible) for proper instruction, guidelines, and help to make such decisions.

STEP 3

Once your ground (a strange mixture of their hearts along with your own) has been prepared, and your child properly planted at the right level and proper kind of curriculum for their needs, be ready to tend your garden while it prepares to grow.  This is a season of watering and waiting.  Remember to water (teach) every day, even when you don’t see results.  You must also allow adequate sunshine into this equation!  By exposing your seed to the light of God through scripture, experience, and great fellowship, you’re adding the other essential to growth!  While you continue to consistently water (teach) your child, changes are forming and growing in their hearts, minds, and souls, even when you can’t see!  Be ready for that first sprout!  It’s so encouraging and exciting to see the beginning of knowledge take root and begin to grow!  Be sure to thank God, pat yourself of the shoulder, talk to and praise that tender sprout, and then move onto step 4!

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STEP 4

Continue allowing your student the exposure to God’s light, the regular watering of your teaching, and of course regularly monitor your soil in case it becomes depleted.  If that’s the case, a good dose of fertilizer might be needed to give your student a boost.  The best fertilizers out there are study in God’s word, church events, camps and getaways, and sometimes even just an uplifting visit and outing with other homeschool families.

STEP 5

Stay on top of the weeds and grass in your garden!  The growth of these outsiders is normal and to be expected.  It’s important to watch for these distractions and negative influences on your student.  In our garden we’ve found these in the form of too much electronics, the distractions of busyness, and over commitment.  When weeds or grass first begin to sprout, pull them immediately before they become a problem!  I know that this isn’t always possible.  But don’t give up, do your best, and continue to clean out the grass and weeds from your precious garden.  When these things are around your plant, they take the needed nutrients from the soil away from your student for their own growth.  When left to grow too long, it becomes even trickier to remove them and they can even become so entangled in the roots of your own plant that their removal causes damage.  So, tend to the weeds!

Keep Those Life Weeds Awry

STEP 6

Enjoy the fruits of your garden!  This homeshool life is beautiful!  Beautiful on perfect days, on not so perfect days, and even on those days you may be tempted to run to the grocery store to meet your garden needs instead of working the hard but fruitful garden you’re growing!  Stick to it!  Enjoy the times of rest.  Be grateful for the days it rains and your garden is watered by God’s hand so you get a break.  Be proud of your fruit, that child you grow.  Be proud of the gardener, yourself.  And above all else, give thank to the Creator of them all!

 

Jennifer Whitten FamilyJennifer is a first year homeschooling Mom of 3 elementary aged kids and step mom to one middle school girl.  She was born and raised in Wyoming but now enjoys country living in Louisiana with her husband and kids.  She is a lover of Jesus, family, gardening, canning, all things creative, and hog hunting with her husband.  Tea enthusiast and crochet addict, she can be found blogging about all things family, devotional, health, and homeschool atStop, Pray, Listen.  A volunteer peer counselor at a Pro-Life Crises Pregnancy Center, her other passion is sharing the gospel with women in need.  Far from perfect, but in love with this grace filled life with kids, Jennifer makes it her mission to Stop, Pray, Listen, and Obey.

Aiming for Mastery

Aiming for Mastery @homeschoolsurvival

This time of year, many homeschool moms start discussing mastery.

How do you know when students have mastered a subject and are ready to move on to the next level? Some experts recommend that you complete at least 75% of a textbook to consider it credit-worthy.

But, what if you don’t use a textbook? Or, what if you switch curriculum mid-year?

According to HSLDA, “For courses that do not use a standard high school-level textbook (perhaps you are putting together your own unit study, or you are using an integrated curriculum), log the hours that your child spends completing the course work. One credit is approximately 120-180 hours of work.” (http://www.hslda.org/highschool/docs/EvaluatingCredits.asp)

With those guidelines in mind, I go one step further when evaluating my students’ readiness to move to the next level. I move ahead when they’re ready, and I don’t move ahead if they’re not.

It isn’t easy to let go of the feeling that you have to complete this or that, or that you have to check this or that box in the plan book. It is also a struggle when you have the feeling that you’re behind if you haven’t reached a certain chapter in the book by now. Believe me, I get it. I’ve been homeschooling for eleven years, and every year is still a new experience as we move into upper level high school classes. But, I decided it is more important that my kids know enough to move forward than it is to finish the book by a certain time.

Aiming for mastery is the goal:

  • When my youngest masters printing, we will move into cursive.
  • When my oldest masters Algebra I, we’ll move on to Algebra II.
  • We might set anatomy aside for a while and study ecology and astronomy during the summer months, and then pick up where we left off.
  • Even when 180 days have been completed, we will continue reading our read-aloud novel until we finish it, because we really want to know how everything turns out.

Equipping my kids with the joy of lifelong learning is my primary target.

 

Anne CampbellAnne Campbell is the mother to three boys (in every sense of the word!) and a homeschooler for the past eleven years. She is the Managing Editor of Blog at Home Educating Family Association, columnist for Home Educating Family Magazine, and member of the Home Educating Family review team. As a former classroom teacher, she loves to share resources and ideas and encourage other moms and homeschoolers. When they started on their homeschooling  journey, her oldest son was in kindergarten. They decided to take it one day at a time, one year at a time, and now she has a high school student, middle school student, and elementary student, and all still at home. They fly by the seats of their pants most days, spending as much time as possible exploring nature, and seizing learning opportunities whenever they appear. You can visit her at her blog Learning Table. You can also find Anne on Bloglovin’FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram.

Menu Planning Sheets & Dear Wife Prayer Cards Giveaway + Freebies + Giveaways Link Up

Homeschool Freebies & Giveaways Link Up - Every Monday

Homeschool Moms Giveaways & Freebies Linky Party – Week 16

Welcome to Week 16 of the Giveaways & Freebies Linky party!  We’ve been having so much fun these last few weeks with some amazing giveaways!  Thank you to all of the sponsors so far! and Thank YOU for showing up and participating in the giveaways and freebies!

This Week’s Giveaway is sponsored by Becoming a Godly Wife and Beautiful Ashes

During this busy end-of-the-school-year time, homeschooling moms often find it difficult to fit in important things like meal planning and personal prayer time or time in the Word. Couldn’t we all use some helpful tools to make these things easier? Today we have just the things to help you in both these areas. Bridget from Becoming a Godly Wife has created helpful menu planning sheets so you know exactly what’s for breakfast lunch and dinner all week long! Misty from Beautiful Ashes has created beautiful prayer and verse cards that offer encouragement and strength in your Christian walk as wife and mother. These cards coordinate with her ebook Dear Wife: Letters from a Help Meet in which she encourages wives to look to God when faced with emotional struggles.

 

what's for dinner                    prayer and verse cards

 

These resources are brand new and not yet available anywhere. Will you be the first to own them? Enter to find out! One winner will be chosen to receive a copy of both What’s for Dinner and Dear Wife . . . Prayer and Verse Cards.

To enter the giveaway, you may have to click the link below…..
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

Other Giveaways & Freebies:  Lets Link Up!

  It’s time to link up!  If you’re a blogger linking up, I only ask that you link back to me, if possible.  I can’t wait to see your giveaways and freebies! (If you’re reading this in an email, be sure to click to the site to see more giveaways. More could be added all week!)  

Homeschooling With Essential Oils

HSS-YLEO College

Home schooling can be mentally and emotionally exhausting for the parent of an ADHD child.  Does your child lend assistance in draining your emotional and mental well-being? Do you feel as though you’re unsure what to do with them? Are their behaviors off the chart? Do they already have a diagnosis that begins with 1 of the 26 letters of the alphabet, but ends in D?  I have 2 kids that are considered on the spectrum. One child is diagnosed with aspergers and ADHD and one with PDDNOS and ADHD.  We made the decision to try medication on the boys because it seemed to be the right decision at the time.  However, now we have felt God leading us to a natural way of treating our children.  I have used essential oils in the past for various reasons, but not for treatment. That is when I found out about Young Living Essential Oils!

Did you know that you can use them to help your children in home school or any school?!  I was so excited to see and try these oils on my own children! Soon after my kit arrived, I began pouring over it. Then I ordered some more books and poured over them.  Since then, I have been making recipes and deciding what I needed to use for my kids.
I can tell you that they really do have amazing results!
Here are some of the supplements we love!
OmegaGize- This is a supplement that is full of omega 3 and fish oil.  It is a huge help for brain function and concentration. It also helps with digestive elements to support healthy gut function.
ImmuPro- Aids the immune system. It also boosts melatonin levels, which can decrease anxiety and restlessness.
MightyZyme- Designed to help children combat negative effects of enzyme depletion.
There are more we are adding in this coming week!
Oils:
YLEO-Oils for Autism-1
Here is a breakdown on how some of the oils listed in the pictures work.
  • Brain Power – Supports mental clarity and concentration. Also, increases natural melatonin which helps regulate sleep!
  • Frankincense – Arouses the limbic system of the brain and promotes higher concentration
  • Cedarwood – Calming and purifying. Also, can increase melatonin naturally. Helping concentration in the day and sleep at night.
  • Lavender – Calms and relaxes the nervous system.
  • Peace & Calming – Helps to reduce nervousness, stress and depression, may help calm over active children! (It works:))
  • Valor – Detoxifies, promotes courage and self-esteem. Balances the body, also, so it helps with sleep and wake cycles.
  • Vetiver – Calms and relaxes. Helps with anger, irritability, and neurotic behaviors as well.
  • Joy – Uplifting, may help with depression.
Friends, I have trudged through these hard days as well.  I have struggled with reaching my child at times, but more importantly, reaching his heart.  These are just a few of the reasons that led us to medicine; however, these are also just a few of the reasons that has led us to essential oils and natural supplements. One of the most effective ways of treating ADHD and Autism is with oils and supplements – pure therapeutic essential oils – according to a study in 2001.
ADHD Oils
Here is the snippets from the study:

“The American Medical Association Journal published a two-year case study (1999-2001). Stating that Dr. Terry Friedmann M.D. found children who previously had been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD were administered therapeutic essential oils by inhalation that got noteworthy results. The essential oils used were Lavender, Cedarwood and Vetiver”

This is how Dr Friedmann used the oil; one was inhaled 3 times a day for 30 days. There was also a device used at bedtime to receive constant inhalation of the essential oil. Dr. Friedmann found by using the inhalation process with the oils, they demonstrated to help in settling the brain waves back into patterns that were considered normal. He also found that the children had improved in not only their school performance but also how they behaved.

Dr. Friedmann found a 53% performance increase with Lavender, 83% performance increase with Cedarwood, and 100% performance increase with Vetiver.

So far while we are still very much on a path to recovery, I have noticed huge changes! We have been able to decrease certain medications! We have also noticed huge differences in focus, schoolwork, chores, and overall behavior.  I have been using the supplements on all 3 of my children, including my youngest who has no diagnosis.  It is really amazing what these oils can do.
Have you tried essential oils and supplements from  Young Living in your homeschool? With young living you can sign up to buy their products at a 24% discount without being pressured to build a business, unless of course you want to! 🙂
I personally use these oils daily in my home.  Because I love these oils so much, I am offering you a special.  Anyone who signs up as a distributor under me, with a PREMIUM kit, I will also send you a copy of the Reference Guide For Using Essential Oils FREE! Also, if you sign up for ANY kit, let me know and I will add you to our Facebook group! 🙂
Here is how you can sign up:
www.youngliving.org/rs4christ and here is my member # 1726375
Young Living Graphic
In Christ,
Laura
Laura PraterLaura is an Army wife to a Soldier who has served the last 18.5 years active duty. They reside in WA for the time being with their 3 boys. Laura home schools all 3. They are very active in their church and community. You can find Laura blogging atwww.raisingsoldiers4christ.com on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Raising-Soldiers-4-Christ/320756691285805, on Pinterest atwww.pinterest.com/RS4Christ and on Twitter atwww.twitter.com./RS4Christ.