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The Everyday Family Chore System – A Homeschool Crew Review

Chores

Having six people in the house almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the house can become a disaster. Dishes piling up, clothes that need washing and putting away, even just the simple job of sweeping can cause tantrums. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Everyday Homemaking has a great system in The Everyday Family Chore System.

Chores

The Everyday Family Chore System is a PDF book that not only gives you background on the chore system and how it was formed, but also all the charts and printables that you would need to make this a success in your house!

This is not just a chore chart system that you print up and use. This is one that you make for your family. You can pick and choose the chores that are needed in your house. In our house, I would love to have unload the dishwasher, but that is currently broken, so I need help with dishes or wash dishes, depending on the child. This is a plus for me. I don’t have to pretend to be a family we are not.

There are three parts in this system. Part One talks about Laying a Foundation. This is where we learn about why it is a good idea to have a foundation in action for your family. There are two main purposes for implementing the chore system, according to the authors, to train your children to be responsible members of the household and to teach them living skills. I truly agree with both of these! I don’t want to send any of my children, male or female off into the world, unable to take care of themselves, and even living alone for some time. By teaching and training them now, I know when they are out of the house, they will not be lost when the dishwasher breaks, and will still have clean dishes!

Chores

Part Two is Implementing the Plan. This is when you assign the responsibilities, teach the child how to actually do the chores and work on motivating them to get their chores done. This is the section that I loved. I loved that there was Life Skills Checklist. This is broken down by age and gives you goals for each age. I know that even though Baby Girl is 2, she does not know how to do all the life skills on the chart, but this gives me something to work with her on this year. The same goes for all the others. This list shows me where we need to focus for each child. I am able to tailor this system to work for each child and this family as a whole.

Not only do we get to check out the life skills, but now is the time we need to think about our family. What are the chores that NEED to get done each week? Once I figure those out, I can work on our rotating schedules. This is the schedule that will rotate, daily, weekly or monthly among the children who are able to do the chores. All three of the bigger kids are included in this, with Baby Girl getting added in on things she can do to help the older sibling with that chore when it is up on rotation.

Chores

There are numerous different ways to implement this system. I looked through all the ideas and I decided to use the Kids on a Mission idea. However, I did this a little different. I had cups with each of the kids names on them. I would put the chores on rotation for them that day/week/month, into their cup. I did not add the clothespins and make the children attach them to themselves for the day, instead, they needed to complete their cup each day before screen time was allowed. If you know my family, this is a big deal! Each time the chore was done, they would give that slip to me or dad. We would make sure that chore was done, and if things needed to be improved on, we would work with the child one-on-one to fully complete it.

Part Three is The Actual Chore System. This is where you are going to find the items you need to implement the system. The reproducible pages that you can print up, and some really great How-To-Do-It cards that will help your children remember how to do certain chores. These How-to-cards are easily available next to our cups. If the child on rotation that week had a chore they didn’t understand, or mom and/or dad noticed it wasn’t done all the way, we would pull these cards out and go over it. These were my lifesaver! Everyone loves a cheat sheet and it is no different when it comes to learning chores!

Chores

First things first, we are not a perfect in our chore system yet. We are still a work in progress. However, we have come a long way since we first started. The kids no longer fight me when I mention chores. They are not doing them to “my standards”, but I have learned to lower those as they are learning what needs to be done. I no longer have to do everything and have some time to myself that does not include clothes or sweeping. Ray Ray is super excited that he now knows how to make scrambled eggs…yes, I was that mom that thought I had to do it all, until I realized my kids couldn’t even cook for themselves!

Chores

Everyday Family Chore System has changed the way I looked at things around the house. No, my house is not magazine worthy, but it is live in worthy, without a stressed-out momma. This is an improvement that needed to be done. I am thankful that I have lessened my load, yet had a cleaner house because of it. How often do you say those words together?

Everyday Homemaking also has Everyday Cooking to go with The Everyday Family Chore System. Want to know more about it? Check out the reviews right here:

Everyday Cooking and Chores Systems for your Family {Everyday Homemaking Reviews}
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10 Ways to Make You a Better Mom

We are moms, we have days when we are on top of the world, but we also have days when we feel like we have failed those given to us from God. These things that seem to tear us down are changeable, and usually they are small things we need to just let go of. We work so hard at being great moms that we forget that these little things can be changed. That we can change.

Breathe

(photo credit Finding Joy.net)

With the added stress of the holidays upon us, I wanted to share a few tips with you. I have been at the point of feeling like a failure. I am sure I will have moments when that happens again. You know what, that is fine. That means I want to be a better mom. That means I know that I need to work at something a little harder.

10 Ways to be a Better Mom

To help you, and myself, I have put together 10 great ways to work at being a better mom. I hope you find at least one thing that works for you!

30 Day Mom Challenge

30 Day Mom Challenge

This sounds simple enough, but have you tried to do this yet? Each day you spend just a little time focusing on one thing. These one things add up to a whole lot of big memories for your kids. These memories are what they will remember as they grow up!

Plan for a Better Morning or a Better Evening

If you spend some conscious time planning for the morning, you will have a better morning. A better morning makes for a better you. I have been following these plans from Crystal Paine and love the little things that help me in a big way! Not only does she help you Make Over Your Mornings, but she has added a Make Over Your Evenings Course as well!

Control Your Anger

This one is hard for me. I love my kids. I love caring for them. Some days are harder than others. These are the days that remind me that I need to work on a better me for a better them. I love the information at The Orange Rhino Challenge. This was my first resource for my anger/yelling.

Triggers Book

I also fell in love with the book Triggers: Exchanging Parent's Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses. This book has been my favorite go to book. I love that it is a daily study that helps me to be better for my kids and that it includes God in the helping process!

Read a Book

Yes, it can be as simple as reading a book each day. I remember lying in bed with my mom reading out loud to my brother and I at night. No matter how busy the day was, no matter how busy she was, she sat down each night. She set aside time for us. This might not seem like a lot to your kids today, but when they are grown up, they will remember this and do this for their kids.

Pick Your Battles

This is the true and tested mom tip. You will not always win. This is a fact of life. What is more important, what your kids are wearing or how they behave? Should you be more worried over if they finish their plate or if they actually eat something healthy during the day? Mom, you need to pick and choose what is important and let the other things go.

Time Outs

When I say time outs, I don't mean for the kids, I mean for you. I have found myself taking a lot more time outs when things are stressful. I simply tell the kids that mom needs a timeout. I shut the bathroom door, sit at the picnic table, anything that gives me a moment away when I know that they are safe. These timeouts don't last too long, just long enough for me to breath and ask God for a Hail Mary pass. Something to keep getting through the day.

Connect With Other Moms

Better Together Book

You are not alone in this journey. All moms feel the same way no matter what they seem to portray. I have this book on my shelf, well it is sometimes on my shelf, but most of the time I have it pulled out or within reach. Better Together Because You're Not Meant to Mom Alone is a great book to check out. Find a mom group, or start one. It doesn't have to be huge, it can just be one or two of you who get together and spend some time sharing stories, successes and failures. We need each other, more than we want to admit some days.

Exercise

Yes, I said it. Exercise. This is one of those things we throw on the back burner, but it is important. I don't do this one as much as I should. I know this. I am working on this. I do not have a gym membership, rather I go to YouTube and find the ones that work for the time I have. Some of my favorites are JessicaSmithTV or BeFit. These are free and they are just what I need to help me stay active with variety!

Make A Plan

Motivated Moms

Yes, I said it! You need a plan. Benjamin Franklin said it best when he said "If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail." Mom, I know you don't want to fail. You need to start making some simple plans. If the housework seems to be never ending, you can plan to conquer it. There are many great resources out there for this. I love the Fly Lady and Motivated Moms. These two are great for the homeschool mom and will help you keep at least one thing in control. One thing at a time, right?

Pray

This sounds simple enough, but are you really taking the time each day to spend with God? This is the time when we, as moms, are able to set our focus for the day. There are many different bible studies you can find online. You can different studies for the month, for the season you are going through, or for something that you need extra help in. Whatever you can think up, you can find a study on it. This can be online, in a book, or just by opening your bible and asking God to guide you.

These are my top ten ways to feel better about my job as a mom. I know that not every day is going to be perfect, I know I will make mistakes, but I know that I am trying and that is all that matters to my kids!

What are some of your tips on being a better mom?


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Freezer Meals Made Easy With MyFreezEasy.com ~ A Homeschool Review

I love freezer meals. My family loves freezer meals. I love having food on hand for the busy crazy days that happen and I love knowing that even when I am crazy busy my family will eat a healthy homemade meal. While I have sat down, stared at Pinterest for hours and made lists for the whole freezer meal shopping trip, I have had the chance to review the MyFreezEasy.com Freezer Meal Plan Membership from MyFreezEasy and I love the simplicity of this membership!

MyFreezEasy

Erin Chase is known for her $5 Dinners and how easy it is to take a meal plan, shop for it and have yummy meals in your house. She took this one step further and has made MyFreezEasy for those of us who love to have meals on hand without all the prep the day of the meal. Not only that, but she knows that every house has a different menu they like and she is striving to make the freezer meals available to everyone!

I was so happy to have the chance to take a look at the Premium Annual Membership to MyFreezEasy and was surprised by all of the options that are available. The Basic Membership Plan gives you access to:

  • Traditional Plan – 10 meals: mix of different types of meals
  • Gluten-Free Plan – 10 meals: completely gluten-free including sides
  • Slow Cooker Plan – 10 meals: all freezer to slow cooker style
  • Clean Eats Plan – 10 meals: all "clean ingredients"
  • 20 Meals Plan – 20 meals: mix of different types of meals
  • All Chicken Plan – 10 meals: all recipes using chicken breasts/chicken thighs, so you can get the chicken on sale and stock your freezer
  • All Ground Beef Plan – 10 meals: all recipes using ground beef so you can get the ground beef on sale and stock your freezer
  • All Pork Chops Plan – 10 meals: all recipes using pork chops or pork tenderloin so you can get the pork on sale and stock your freezer


MyFreezEasy.com Freezer Meal Plan Membership {MyFreezEasy}

These recipes are super awesome and will let you fill your freezer up. The nice thing, Erin will make sure that each month you have a new rotation of recipes so that you and your family will never be bored with supper time!

But here is the kicker, you will not just get the recipes and be left to fend for yourself. Each month you will also get:

  • Well organized shopping lists arranged by grocery store section so you'll save TONS of time instead of walking back and forth in the aisles
  • Assembly details – including how to prep the ingredients, then load up the meals into bags and trays – you'll know exactly what to do and when to do it to make this your quickest cooking experience ever
  • Printable Labels for your meals' bags or trays – don't worry about getting Curry Chicken confused with Pork Chop Primavera – you'll know exactly what's what!
  • Highlights videos with tips and tricks for the recipes in each plan – this makes the recipes conusion free and SO easy to follow
  • Instructional assembly video for the meals in the Traditional Plan – you'll learn this method and never have freezer burned sadness again
  • Dairy-free modifications on all recipes
  • Gluten-free modifications on all recipes – don't worry about figuring out proper substitutions because we've done the work for you.

Now, that was just the basic membership. I was able to explore further with the Premium Membership. What does that mean? I got to explore Erin's library of recipes and pick and choose what I wanted to make for my freezer stocking day. I was able to see what would work better for our family, pick a different serving size and get the same benefits of the shopping list, assembly directions and printable labels. What more could a freezer cooking mom ask for?

Food ready to go into the freezer!
Food ready to go into the freezer!

When I do my freezer cooking adventures, I love to include my mom. We plan our meals that we are going to make and go at it. We split the meals and the cost, so I didn't get the 10 meals each time, I also only paid half the price. Although, paying full price with 10 meals at home would not discourage me one bit, it is just how we have always done it.

Labels for the bags. No more guessing what is inside or how to make it!
Labels for the bags. No more guessing what is inside or how to make it!

Using MyFreezEasy is different than what we have done in the past. We didn't have to sit down separately and plan our meals and hope that we weren't picking the same ones. We spent an afternoon just looking at the choices we had available. Not only that, but looking an already planned menu was perfect! We loved having the option to change this up to fit our eating styles. Once we finally looked at most of them, we started picking the ones we wanted to make for our shopping trip. I printed up the recipes, shopping lists, and assembly directions. The next day we were off to the store.

Labels on the bags.
Labels on the bags.

We did our shopping and came back to my house. This is where we prepped everything. This usually took us a few hours and we had a huge mess after we were done. While it was nice to have meals stored, the aftermath took forever to clean up and we didn't have any fun with this. But using Erin's MyFreezEasy, we had all of our meals made up in no time. Both of us commented numerous times how quickly it was going and the aftermath, well, there really wasn't one. It all fit into one dishwasher load, and that included extra dishes from previous meals.

MyFreezEasy Chicken

After it was all said and done, we had 12 meals, 6 for each house, made and ready to go for the week. Do you know what that means? I don't have to stress about what the family will be eating this week. I have a menu planned for the whole week and I don't have to do much more planning other than to pull out the meals out of the freezer on the right day.

MyFreezEasy Freezer to Table Meals

This program has been a time saver for us! We cut our time in half, and still came out with meals we loved to eat and the kids loved to eat! Erin even went as far as filming herself making the monthly selections to show you how it can all be done. These monthly videos show us how it can be done and that it is just as easy as it sounds.

Not only have we been able to make a freezer full of meals, but Erin gives us the option to make this meal tonight and one to freeze for later. This has been an awesome time saver. I loved making the Sloppy Dogs for supper and having a second serving in the freezer for another night. This meal is just as it sounds, a Sloppy Joe on a hot dog, similar to the Chili Dog. This was a well-loved meal in the house!

These Sloppy Dogs are a great meal!
These Sloppy Dogs are a great meal!

If you have ever thought about making freezer meals, but the whole process scares you, you need to head over and take a look at MyFreezEasy and see just how easy it really can be. With this site, there is no excuse for why you can't fill your freezer full of meals. And to have the prep time being under an hour, this can be done during nap time and you have nothing to worry about.

Overall, I love MyFreezEasy, and I have done the old fashioned way to freezer meal planning. I dread ever going back to the old way of filling my freezer. We were just one family to have the chance to review this plan. Head on over and check out the other reviews, and don't forget to give some love to Erin and her MyFreezEasy!


MyFreezEasy.com Freezer Meal Plan Membership {MyFreezEasy}


 


Social Media Links:
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/freezeasy
Instagram:  http://www.instagram.com/freezeasy
Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/5dollardinners/freezeasy

 


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Try it Tuesday ~ 4-ingredient Chicken Bake

Chicken Bake

Have you seen the recipe that is going around Facebook? The one for the 4-ingredient Chicken Bake? Well, we decided to test that recipe out!

This recipe calls for just four simple ingredients. That is something that caught my eye right away. It looks good and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to make!

 

Ingredients

Chicken breasts

Basil Pesto

Roma tomatoes (or whatever you have sitting on the counter)

Mozzarella shredded cheese (we added some provolone also)

That is it! That is all you need to make this meal!

 

First you want to preheat the oven to 400 degrees

 

Lay your chicken breast into a 9×13 greased pan.

Chicken Bake

Put a spoonful of basil pesto on each chicken breast and spread it around.

Chicken Bake

Cover with sliced tomatoes. We had a bunch of different kinds sitting on the counter from the garden so we used what we had.

Chicken Bake

Next we layered the chicken with a slice of provolone and shredded mozzarella. We needed to use up our provolone before it went bad, and I am sure glad we tried this because it was wonderful!

Chicken Bake

Put the pan in the oven for 40 minutes at 400 degrees. I think we ended up with 45-50 minutes, but the oven was shut off at 40 minutes.

Chicken Bake

Plate this beauty up and enjoy!

This recipe actually turned out! It was just like the video showed and that never happens to me! Everyone in the house ate it and we had no leftovers!

 

Have you tried a recipe that you have seen on Facebook? Did it turn out or was it a Facebook Fail?

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FishFlix Christian Movies ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Do you like to watch videos as part of your homeschool? I remember LOVING the videos during school! FishFlix.com has come out with some wonderful videos that you can use as a part of your homeschool lessons!
FishFlix.com Review

For our review we were given the chance to watch Metamorphosis and Flight. These two movies went together very well as we learned about butterflies and birds in flight.
FishFlix.com Review

Metamorphosis is a beautiful movie about the design and beauty of butterflies. The film was wonderfully made and the pictures were beautiful. I loved watching the beauty of these wondrous creatures in flight. The film was filmed in the rain forests of Ecuador and Mexico's Trans-Volcanic mountain range.

During this movie, you are taken through the life of a butterfly. We were able to watch this to go along with our life cycle study of the butterfly. Learning about the wonderful transformation of a butterfly is fun, but to add in a beautifully though out movie is a fun experience. This movie had us following the monarch butterfly with their migration, and now the kids are excited to see the butterflies arrive here this summer…hmm, time for a butterfly garden and numerous re-watchings of this video I think!
FishFlix.com Review

Flight was another wonderful movie, but this time it was about the flight of birds. This was the film that I thought my boys would love, but the child who couldn't stop watching it was Little Miss. We watched this film on a road trip and found that it was great way to learn while we had to drive!

FishFlix Homeschool Review

Watching a bird as it grows within the egg and learning about the hummingbird and starlings has a way of capturing anyone's attention, but watching this video was another fun way to learn about birds for our science lessons. We were able to take this video and add on to it with writing for Moe Man, and drawings for Ray Ray. Seeing them pay attention and knowing they were enjoying what they were watching was really fun!

Out of the two videos, we all seemed to enjoy Flight a little more! Watching it while driving might have been the key, but watching birds fly has always amazed me. I love the hummingbird, and I loved learning about the robot model that they are making to try and copy the hummingbird. The other fun thing about the Flight video was the starlings. I had always wondered about how they grouped together and how they were able to fly like they do. This video let me understand how they don't crash, yet fly in such huge groups.

We loved the videos and loved being able to learn in a new way. All the kids love using visuals for learning, and these Christian based videos really helped us in a subject mom has never really liked. They are not a full curriculum in a movie, but they are enough to help you build a unit study out of them and be able to use them as part of a full curriculum.

I would have to say, my favorite part of these movies, was finding out the company, FishFlix, is literally just down the road in the next town over from me!!

FishFlix carries many more movies and I am making my way over to read the other reviews on these other ones. Will you join me? Come back when you are done and let me know which movie(s) you are most interested in watching!!
FishFlix.com Review
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FREE 4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking!

Are you a stressed-out homemaker? Don’t stay overwhelmed! Check out this free eCourse: 4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking!

4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking

Are you tired of getting behind on laundry?

Do you struggle to keep your kitchen clean?

Does the dinner hour have you harried?

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If so, you cannot miss a FREE 4-part mini eCourse that is available for a limited time: 4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking!

In this eCourse, you will learn:

  • how to never get behind on laundry again,
  • how to wake up each day to a sparkling clean kitchen,
  • how to avoid the 5 ‘o’clock scramble with a super simple meal planning method, and
  • how to set yourself up for success with a quick nighttime routine.

Control My Spin’s Holly Dvorak, a popular speaker and home management coach, and her long-time homemaking mentee, Erin Odom, of The Humbled Homemaker, have put together this eCourse to help curb homemaking overwhelm and give you the tools you need to run your home like a well-oiled machine.

4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking will not take you long to complete, but what you learn through it can totally revolutionize your home.

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What comes with this eCourse?

  • 4 videos: These videos are all less than 10 minutes long, so it won’t take up a lot of time to watch them. But they each pack a punch!
  • 4 printable worksheets: We don’t want to just leave you with the teaching; we want you to brainstorm ways to implement it in your life!
  • FREE REWARDS by sharing this FREE eCourse with your friends as well!

What rewards can you earn?

  • Share this FREE eCourse with 1 friend to get $5 off the 2015 Ultimate Homemaking Bundle! This year’s sale starts next Monday, April 20!
  • Share this FREE eCourse with 5 friends to get a FREE 1-year magazine subscription!
  • Share this FREE eCourse with 10 friends to get the 2015 Ultimate Homemaking Bundle for absolutely FREE!

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We let a sampling of bloggers get a sneak peek at this course, and this is what they had to say about it:

Kayse Pratt

“I absolutely loved the course! It was so encouraging for me to hear someone else’s homemaking struggles, and the tips I learned are so practical, I can implement them immediately! Each video is less than 10 minutes, and well worth your time. I’m recommending it to all of my friends!” ~Kayse Pratt, blogger at Kaysepratt and author of Worth the Fight

Angi Schneider

“I was really encouraged by the videos to really think about the little things that make my day go smoother when I do them. Thank you!” ~Angi Schneider, blogger at Schneiderpeeps and author of Hope: Thriving While Unemployed

Jill York

“I cannot tell you how much this simple free course has helped me already! I’ve watched them with my oldest daughter, and we are putting them to action! The motivation it provides can be life-changing! It made me really look forward to digging into the rest of what’s in the bundle.” ~Jill York, blogger at Jill’s Home Remedies and co-author of Homeschooling Day-by-Day

Kristen Smith

“The four mini lessons taught in this eCourse aren’t overwhelming, won’t load you with guilt, and are really doable. There’s also room to tweak the lessons for your family’s unique needs, which I appreciate as a homeschooling mom of give younger children. Instead of feeling like a failure by watching it, you feel motivated to make the small changes that Holly explains.” ~Kristen Smith, blogger at Smithspirations and author of Strengthening the Heart of a Homemaker

Don’t miss out on this FREE eCourse that can help take the stress out of homemaking! Get immediate access by signing up here, now, or click on the button below!

Click here for immediate access!

Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Thank you for supporting my site!