To Homeschool or Not?

Have you ever thought about homeschooling...To Homeschool of Not is the question?

HomeschoolI have been wanting to write a post like this for some time now. I have been homeschooling my kids from the very beginning (5 years now) I was so scared and nervous if I could do it or handle it! I went back and forth with the idea multiple times. Can I really teach my kids?! While this is normal, and even appropriate at times (we should self-examine), please know that yes…you are enough. And not just enough, but here are a few compelling reasons why you…yes, you can teach your child the best.

Why do I homeschool? Not because I want to hide my children away from the world. Not because I don’t have any dreams or goals of my own. Just the opposite. I sacrifice a lot to spend this time and effort on my kids. This post is not to prove anything if Homeschool is better then public school. Homeschooling is just what works best for my family and could work for yours also if you choose.

Kids should love LEARNING and have a say in what they would like to learn along with what books they would like to read. Of course along with what they should be learning as well (Grade Standards) School doesn’t need to be all about;  sit down, shut up, pay attention, take notes, do assignments, homework, get report cards – take a test, pass a test.

In time, kids learn to hate learning. I did many times and I went to public school all through my school years. My 4th grade teacher made me hate reading with how strict she was and how I had to read books I had absolutely no interest in. I ALWAYS froze up on tests no matter how well I knew the material I was going to be tested on. Sure, school taught me some things, but nothing of much value on tests, and certainly nothing I couldn’t have learned better, faster, and in my home.

So here are some Pros and Cons of Homeschooling for those of you weighing the options.

=Pros=

More Family Time:  You don’t miss a thing! I don’t get to just see my kids in the afternoons and evenings, competing with friends and homework and bedtime. Instead, I get to spend all day with my kids, filled with discussion and exploration as a family. I love that my kids’ best friends are their brother and sister. I want time with my children: learning, playing, laughing, disagreeing and forgiving. Friends will come and go through life, but our children will have their family forever, and I want these relationships to matter most.

Freedom & Great Flexibility:  I can put so much info just in this section! I get to build a curriculum and create a schedule around our life and our needs. I can change and adapt what I need. When I see that something is not working and needs to be changed, I can adapt.

Because my kids don’t have to wait for a class of 20-30 other kids to finish or ask questions or stop goofing off, lessons are WAY faster! When you homeschool you have the ability to teach what you want to teach, to follow their interests or what is relevant to them. You are not bound to read “that particular book” but can choose what your child is passionate about.

You also have the freedom to take as long as you need to ensure your child understands. You are not rushing to beat the clock. Now why would you want flexibility?  With homeschooling you can choose books, lessons, and methods that suit your child.  

My children are getting one-on-one tailored education instead of being just one in a crowd. We can gently work on the areas they struggle in, approach it differently, we can skip things that are boring to them or too easy. We can take vacation days when everyone else is in school without reporting to someone.

Sleeping in: This one is so nice! My kids can get the sleep their bodies need without being sleep deprived!  I don’t HAVE to get up and get dressed and take the kids to the 7am bus stop. I don’t have to pack all the kids in the car to take them to school.(this is extra nice in the winter months with snow) I don’t have to pack school lunches the night before. Our mornings are not as hectic as they would be to rush them out the door. My kids sleep in between 8:00-8:30 we don’t start school until 9:30 in the morning. We have time to eat together and have a morning devotional.

Real Life Experiences:  We visit city parks, museums, libraries and my kids are always active in sports. We meet friends for events and play dates. My children aren’t confined to one room all day, they experience the real life in the real world around them. They help in the kitchen with making lunches and even dinners. We are able to explore the world around us.

Save Money on Clothes: No special brand of clothing, uniform, shoes, or accessories to meet dress codes. No pricey back to school clothes shopping. I do take my kids to get a new outfit for the first day but they can just wear whatever on other days. You can even have school in your PJ’S some days and just relax without worrying about being the best dressed. 

=Cons=

You can be the odd Mom out: Judgment from those around you that don’t understand your choice. ***It happens but so what*** You have to just face that there will be people who think you are weird for choosing to homeschool your kids. 

Of course you will still need to do things to fill your tank and you will be able to do some things you love, but your life will be greatly focused on being a homeschool parent, (teacher, homemaker and wife all at once). Make sure that you are ok with that. This can be especially hard when your friends have kids in school and all kinds of free time ask you to go places like go get a pedicure or go out to lunch kid free. Most of the time I have my kids with me 24 hours a day Monday-Friday with no free time. Adult conversations (besides with my husband) can be far few in between but so needed at times!

Here are some of the responses I have had when people find out I homeschool. You’re so brave. I could never do that. Home all day with your kids? Do you think you’re a better teacher than real teachers? Do you not trust schools?  Are you teaching everything? What makes you qualified to do that?  Are you going to do this forever? Are you completely insane?

Not having a clean house ALL the time: This is a hard one for me. I have little ones in my house all day so you can imagine my house isn’t as clean as I would like it to be. You have to serve three meals a day, which means that your house has three sets of dirty dishes every day you get to clean. Children actually get to spend time playing with their toys every.single.day. Which means every day, there is a mess of toys to pick up. Some weeks I get super behind on my housework. If I am teaching my 2 year old will be out destroying something, somewhere. I wish I could just sing a song and snap my fingers like Mary Poppins and poof everything would be clean. One of these days when we can afford it I am going to hire a house cleaner to come once a week….I can dream right?! Since I made my daily cleaning chart it has helped for sure you can download it for free CLICK HERE

Paying for Curriculum: We have to pay for our own curriculum, but we also still pay taxes for our county’s public schools and can’t write off any of it on taxes. It doesn’t have to be expensive but often when you are starting out and want all the planning done for you, you choose programs that are all laid out and they are pricey. 

In the end and still to this day I am SUPER glad that I chose to Homeschool!! It has been the best thing for our family in more ways than one. There are still days I want to pull my hair out BUT I wouldn’t change it for anything! I love that my kids are chasing dreams, not test scores.

Know this: there is no other teacher in the world that loves your child as much as you, understands your child like you, has the freedom to adapt the curriculum for your child according to their needs, or will teach your children the values and principles and faith that you strive to live by day after day. You are the best teacher for your child.

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Pick The Right Hair Brush

Time and time again I have clients tell me they can’t style their hair like I do when they get home. Well there are two things to keep in mind….number one: Use the right styling products, (I have a bunch of other hair tip posts so check them out to get more in detail on that) AND number two: the right hair tools (brush, combs etc)

There are so MANY different brushes and combs out there how do you know what to use each one for?? Well here is a picture to be able to show you what each one is meant for.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re standing in the hairbrush aisle of your favorite beauty store. With so many shapes and sizes, how can you be sure that you’re using the right one for your hair type or style?

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Kid 72 Hour Kits

During an emergency, kids will most likely become frightened, and depending on the circumstances, possibly traumatized. The thought of that literally breaks my heart! I want my kids to feel safe and calm knowing that regardless of the emergency, everything will work out! When making a 72 Hour Kit for Kids, it’s important to first provide for their basic needs and also specific needs that might just pertain to them. Do they wear diapers? Do they have a favorite blanket? If so buy 2 so you can put one in their kit. Do they take medication? What are their individual needs?

Kid 72 hour kit

Fun Treats & Small Toys:

This can include but not limited too:

Fruit snacks, gum, suckers, applesauce, freeze dried fruit, mini snack packs (oreos, animal crackers etc.) Water bottles or 100% juice boxes.

Blankets, small mini pillows, a stuffed animal or small mini figures that they like; (Dinosaurs, animals, army guys) coloring books and small pack of crayons (the dollar store has some great coloring books), container of play-dough, (it’s a great stress relief), Mini photo albums you can also get those at the dollar store and insert some fun family pictures. Card games like go fish, story cubes, these are my kids FAVORITE you can get them HERE , a small first aide kit just for them.

All of these items whichever you choose or all, can easily fit into a backpack for your kids. The purpose of these are to make them feel comfortable in an emergency and have a little fun.  The parent packs will have the more important and essential items.

*NOTE: I am in NO WAY an expert, this is just what I came up for my family after studying a lot of information.  There is SO MUCH that you can have in your packs, it can be overwhelming.  Just start somewhere and get the basics, you can always add to it.  Also, this is just the KIDS pack, our parent packs contain more supplies.

Also, I don’t care HOW OLD your kids are, baby wipes are ALWAYS a necessity in an emergency! (:

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Porch Decorating for 12 Months

Here are some fun and easy porch decorating ideas that will get you though each holiday and all 12 months. I love to decorate my porch and I wanted something easy to be able to change out for each holiday. This is what I came up with and it works wonderful. I always get compliments on my porch decor. I hope these will help you with some of your own porch decorating. All of my filler items in my pots come from the dollar tree so it makes it VERY budget friendly.

First you need 2 matching flower pots. Fill them with dirt and make sure they are heavy and not plastic ones that can blow away easy (where I live it gets super windy sometimes)

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This is what I have in them at all times, this goes with every decoration I use for each holiday. After you have your pots and dirt add some neutral Christmas bulbs on top of the dirt. Then add some twigs for height and whatever else you would like to use to give your own signature decorating style.

 January:

I use the same decorations as in December but I take anything down that is Christmas related.

February:

feb

March:

March

April:

april

 

May-September:  

I like to show my patriotic side for more than just one month 🙂

May,june,july,aug

October:

October

November:

NOvember

December:

dec

 

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Kitchen Chair Makeover

If you have kids and chairs with any type of fabric on them you know how hard it is to keep them clean. I had to deep clean and scrub mine ALL the time. I have had my table and chairs for years now. I was getting sick of them but instead of going out and buying a new set I thought it would be fun to redo my table and chairs instead. It will be a process for what I want to do with my table but I have done my chairs already.

I chalk painted them with white Annie Sloan Paint with a clear wax over them. This is my very first chalk paint project and OH MY GOODNESS I LOVE IT! There is no paint smell it covers nice and you don’t have to sand everything down. Peace of cake!

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Here is the link to my brush I used and I loved it(CLICK HERE)

 I wanted a cute fabric to recover my chairs with. I found the perfect fabric that matches all of my other turquoise decor throughout my house.6034_10153796579466085_3849133646741597524_n

I didn’t want the fabric to be ruined within a few weeks with my kids so we also covered the seats with some plastic. I can not tell you how much easier and nicer it is so just wipe with a wet rag and not have to sit there and scrub and scrub each chair ALL the time to keep them looking half way decent. Why have I not done this SOONER?!

The before…stains waiting to be scrubbed again. 🙁

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Now it is going to be so much easier to clean and keep nice!

Here is what they look like now with the chalk paint, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how this turned out! Thanks for stopping by and come back soon for more so you don’t miss a thing 🙂picmonkey-image45

I also have a live tutorial on my Facebook page

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Science Project

blood

What is blood?

We have been learning about the human body in school this year. Today we learned about what is blood? Here’s an easy way to make a microscopic model of  blood with ingredients found in your kitchen.We learned about all of its properties and made a Science project, my kids loved making it. Here is what you will need:

Clear container with lid

Karo syrup (plasma) 

Red hot candies (red blood cells)

Lima beans (white blood cells) I couldn’t find any big Lima beans at my store so I had to use baby Lima beans. White blood cells are much bigger than red blood cells.

Letntils (platelets)

Pour in Karo syrup then everything else and give it a little stir. You can have your kids write about what they learned in their science journals and there are some fun free worksheets online that you can print off that will help with this lesson.

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No More Squash Bugs!!!

Whoever has had a garden knows all about these pesty squash bugs! Well I can officially say I have finally found the solution. This was my first year in my garden I didn’t have ONE…..YES!!!! I don’t like to use chemicals in my garden I try to do everything all organic. So any harsh chemicals was a given no go for me.

I tried this same recipe I am going to share with you today the end of last year. I started to see the yucky squash bugs and it killed them and didn’t see any more.

This year I wanted to make sure I never got them, (once you get them they are hard to get rid of, in the past I would just pull my plants because I didn’t even want to deal with them) so I sprayed my leafs with my recipe a few times a month. I only sprayed it on plants where these little guys like to show up such as cucumbers, any squash or zucchini, and pumpkin plants. This really worked like a charm and I am SUPER DUPER excited!!!

bugs

Only 5 ingredients:

Get a spray bottle and fill it 3/4 full of warm water. Add 2 drops of dawn dish soap, 30 drops of Lemongrass Essential Oil, 40 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil, and 40 drops of Cedarwood Essential Oil. That’s it!

I am still in shock it worked!

Take it from someone who has gone to great lengths to keep chemicals out of the garden 🙂 Give it a try and let me know how it goes for you 🙂

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