Say Something Nice Day – June 1, 2017

Welcome to another new month! Can you believe that it is June already? I am having a hard time believing this. Coming into June means that we are getting ready for summer. While we homeschool year-round, we still love to enjoy the summer months!

Nice

Today is the first day of June, do you know what that means? Today is say something nice day. Yes, as crazy as that sounds, there is a day dedicated to that! Just think, if everyone said something nice to just one person each day, what a better world we would have around us!

Say Something Nice Day began in Charleston, South Carolina. What happened was the mayors of Charleston and North Charleston came together to create a day to celebrate those who are close to us or those in our everyday life. This is a day to fight against unkindness, bullying and the lack of politeness that we see in our everyday life.

Say Something Nice Day is a great day to show our children how to cast aside our differences and be kind to those around us. While many of us do this on a regular basis, it is nice to see a day to pull us all together in making our world a better place!

After seeing numerous different posts on Facebook this last week on the effects of bullying, I thought it would be a great idea to challenge all my readers to say something nice to 5 different people today. Do you think you can do it? I am going to make sure I do! Will you do this again tomorrow, and the day after that, and after that? Will you take the first steps to make a change in our world by simply saying something nice? I hope you do, and I hope you challenge your children to do the same today!


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Homeschool Rescue ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

Homeschooling can be rough. In fact, some days you may want to just throw in the towel and send your kids off to school on those big yellow canoes (insider joke at my last job). Heather at Only Passionate Curiosity has given you the perfect resource if you feel as though you have hit your homeschooling limit when she created Homeschool Rescue!

Homeschool Parent Resource

Homeschool Rescue is an online class just for moms, or dads, who have hit the end of their ropes when it comes to homeschooling. For the parents who feel like they are going around and around in circles not getting anywhere. For those moms with the mom guilt that they are not doing enough for their children when it comes to homeschooling and life in general. If you have ever felt like this you first need to know that you are not alone, and second, you need to check out this course.

There are 5 Modules within this course. Within each of the five modules, you will find 3-5 lessons on that topic. Each lesson leaves you with a small amount of homework to help your home and your homeschool run just a little bit smoother. Heather has the busy mom in mind when she made each lesson. You have options on how to go through them!

Homeschool Rescue

There are multiple ways to get through each lesson. If you have the time to sit down and listen to the video on the computer, you are able to do that. Don't have the time to sit down in front of the computer, you can download the audio of the lesson on your phone and listen to it on the go. Did you miss something you wanted to remember? You can download the transcripts and highlight what you want to remember. I love this because I am a paper and pencil type of gal, highlighting is my thing!

Paper and pencil type of learner? There is even a downloadable note sheet to go with each lesson for those of you who want to take notes as you go. What more could you ask for? Oh, I know!!

Homeschool Rescue

The Bonus section!! Here you will find access to the Facebook group, Student Checklists and eight different styles of the Ultimate Planner with two different layouts, monthly and/or daily. With these bonuses, you are able to add more to your learning experience and bring it all together. Not to mention, the Facebook Group was where I was able to find a great mentor/friend who not only helped me work through this course, but has been there through so much more as well!

Heather does a great job of really walking you through the lessons. She has a very calm and refreshing tone of voice that just makes you want to listen. That calm voice that makes you also calm down. The Modules and Lessons are bite size. These are not going to take up your whole day or night. Each video or audio ranges from 15-30 minutes and the homework doesn't take that much longer to complete.

Help for Homeschool Parents

My favorite module was the one on teenagers. This is the area where I am struggling right now. It was nice to find the help I needed to go along with the rest of the help that was given.

I really enjoyed using this course. There are great tips for when you hit that homeschool burnout moment and all you want to do is send the kids off for the day or week.  If you are new to homeschooling and just don't think you can do it, if you fear that you are failing your kids in this adventure you were called on, this is the course you need.


Homeschool Rescue {Only Passionate Curiosity Reviews}


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Crew Disclaimer

Blogging Through the Alphabet ~ Letter E for Endurance

Momma, you know what the word endurance means. It means being able to keep going when you just want to stop. Well, not exactly, but some days it does! Working on this week of Blogging Through the Alphabet, the only thing I could think of when thinking of the letter E was Endurance.

I am super happy you are joining myself and Annette from A Net in Time for our 5th week of blogging through the alphabet. This week we are focusing on the letter E. I am super excited to share my letter with you, and cannot wait to read to what you have to share with me for your letter this week!

Dictionary.com defines endurance as: 1. the fact or power of enduring or bearing pain, hardships, etc. 2. the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina 3. lasting quality; duration, 4. something endured, as a hardship; trial.

Looking at this definition, tell me, as a homeschool mom, you have not felt any of these at some point or another! I can personally say that I have done 3 of the 4 in this last week alone.

  1. the fact or power of enduring or bearing pain, hardships, etc.

Many of the families that homeschool are from one income families. Finding the budget system that works to not only support the family and bills not to mention the added supplies of homeschooling, means that you must endure some hardships along the way. Sometimes the hardships are small, having to wait until payday to buy something like paper towels or paper plates. Sometimes those hardships are big, like when your main income source suddenly has surgery and you don’t have a savings set up like you have always talked about doing.

  1. the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina.

We may joke about our need for coffee or caffeine, heck we even have memes about how tired we get. But we know this is true. We endure during stress or fatigue, knowing that our kids need us to. We need to make sure that we have them fed and that they are learning every day. Maybe we don’t always follow the lesson plan, but we need to make sure they are learning while in the homeschool. We put ourselves to the side, knowing that one more cup of coffee will help us get through the next math lesson, and we just do it!

  1. lasting quality; duration.

Through it all, we don’t slack in the quality of learning and love we give our families. We endure and know that they deserve this and will remember this. Knowing that we love them, no matter what life is throwing at us. Knowing that we made sure they were getting the best education that we could give them and knowing that through it all, we endured and gave them the best quality that we could.

  1. something endured, as a hardship; trial.

While not every day is a trial, we know that have gone through the trials before. We know that we will go through them again. Because of our endurance, we know that we will make it through each one that comes our way. Our children will watch this. They will learn from us that even when the times were tough, we endured and pushed through. We did all that was possible through the hardship to keep our heads up. And they will remember this when their time comes, as much as we don’t want it to, we know it will. And we will watch them show the endurance they watched and learned from us!

Keep up the endurance momma! You got this!

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3.    Your post must be published during the week of the link up.

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Hopkins Homeschool

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If you do not follow these rules, we have the right to remove your link from the link up. We want this to be fun for everyone!

 

 

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Interview With An Author ~ Dan Seaborn

I have been spending some time reading a great book, Parenting with Grace and Truth written by Dan Seaborn. I can't wait to share my full review with you next week, but today I have a special interview with Dan himself!

Thank you for taking the time to spend with us Dan! Could you tell us a bit about your own family and what lead you to write this book for today's parents.

Jane and I have been married for 35 years. We live in West Michigan. We have four children. Our oldest son, Alan, and his wife, Annaliese, live in West Michigan as well. Alan works with me at Winning At Home. Our son, Josh, and his wife, Amy, live in Camden, NJ where Josh is a pastor at an inner city church. They are expecting their first child in February. Our daughter, Crissy, and her husband, Jonathan, live in West Michigan. They have our two grandchildren, Jackson and Naya. Our youngest daughter, Anna, lives home and works with the youth at our local Boys and Girls Club.

I wrote this book for parents because I encountered a time of parenting in my life that I never anticipated. Even though I worked with teens for many years I had never personally experienced the challenges of raising a child who is rebelling. In this book, I took the approach of understanding what it takes to balance grace with truth. I want to be a forgiving parent, but I don't want to move into being an enabling parent. Balancing these two things is very difficult. I try to address that topic in this book.

You and your wife call your list of values, "rules to die for." Why?

I wanted to establish some guidelines early on to make sure we had foundational principles in place with a Biblical base. These are rules we feel are vital to living a life honoring to Christ. If you begin shifting and changing the rules while you're in the process of dealing with your teenagers it can create a lot of confusion. Enforcing these foundational principles early on and sticking to them daily as we faced challenges helped protect us from that.

How do we help our children understand the importance of making good choices and how that impacts their future?

There will be some children that understand that naturally, but others do not have that type of discernment. You might be surprised as your children age how rapidly some of these things can change. You might be facing a situation with a child who made good choices all along then starts to make poor choices. The rules to die for were important because they were the foundation that I could point them back to to determine whether they were making wise choices or not. We could try to evaluate together whether their choices fit the type of living our family rules encouraged. All you can do is keep teaching the principles. Eventually they need to learn to make good choices for themselves.

Many of us are good at setting the "rules" but struggle with the follow-through. What are some ideas for consequences for violating family rules?

In our home we established the rules to die for and laid out the consequences when those rules weren't followed. If you were choosing not to follow the rules, we went so far as to say that you're choosing not to live in our home. That actually happened to us with one of our teenagers. It was a very difficult day, but we stood by our rules. In the long run, it has proven to be very effective.

How do today's television shows shape our parenting?

I think our parenting is shaped much more by the people around us, our faith, our own upbringing, and our environment than television.

We live in a culture that prizes being "busy." Parents often don't think twice about loading up their kids schedules and have dreams of their child being the best in whatever they do. Is there danger in this?

Yes, I have always said parents need to believe in their kids but there is such a thing as over believing in your kids and many parents fall into this. I believe we should encourage our children to be involved in the positive activities they enjoy and certainly support and cheer for them, but not force them to be involved in everything. Sometimes this can become a competition more for the parents than the children. We want our child to be the best at everything and we lose our focus of what is really important – spending quality time together! Be sure to keep proper balance!

Why is discipline often hard for us as parents?

Because we have to be responsible adults and we fear losing our child's friendship. We need to understand being best buddies isn't the most important part of your relationship with your children.

How can we help other parents, specifically single parents?

Put yourself in their shoes every now and then. If you know a single parent, try to relate to their life once in a while. Do what you can to support them! Think of practical ways you can help them and make their life a little easier. Take time to care!

You and your wife had a prodigal child. Tell us about that and how other parents dealing with this situation can cope.

This answer I feel could get very lengthy! If you want to have a phone conversation about this, let me know. I've learned a great deal through the challenge of having a prodigal child. It has been very difficult, but I now can relate and seek to love and encourage parents who are going through a difficult situation in a way I never would have been able to before. For this I am grateful. My wife and I learned to lean on the Lord, each other, and our friends in ways we never had before through this trial. It is important to surround yourself with people who love you and who have been through a similar situation. People who get it, can give you wise counsel, and encourage you to press on.

What should our main goal be as parents?

That our children grow to know and love the Lord. They need to see you modeling this for them daily as the parent! We need to be mature. Parenting involves a lot of dying to self. Being a good parent means most of the time the kids come first. Make sure you're setting a great example for others in the way you love your family.

Thank you so much for your time Dan! Parenting With Grace and Truth has been a great book for our family. It has opened our eyes to being more like Jesus as parents and this is how we want to be!

I can't wait to tell you all more about this next week, so please remember to check back! But, honestly, from what Dan has said today, who wants this book now? 


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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.

**Affiliate links have been used in this post. It won’t mean a thing for you, but will help keep this blog going. Thank you!

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 me 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 mommy 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 breathe 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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CrossTimber Personalized Name Meaning ~ A Homeschool Review Crew Review

Why do you have the name you have? What does it mean? Have you spent time researching your name and finding more about it? We had the chance to check out the Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse from CrossTimber and we surprised daddy with this wonderful gift!

CrossTimber Reivew

CrossTimber is a home-based business that was started in 1994 by John Denhart and his sister as a printing company for local farmers and businesses. John has a high standard of honesty, business integrity and customer service. This was seen immediately when I started looking at the items they had available. Even with a large "rush" of orders from the members of the Homeschool Review Crew, John made it a point to treat me as though I was the most important customer in his day.

 



Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse {CrossTimber} Reviews

 

By 2005 CrossTimber had over 100 different background images for their Name Meaning Gifts. And today CrossTimber has over 1240 different name meaning gifts available to purchase. There are pictures that can be printed and put into frames before shipping to you, ready to gift. These come in a 5×7 size and an 8×10. There is also a 10×12 plaque that can hold 1, 2 or 3 names. This is a great gift for newlyweds, or even for an anniversary gift!

These were the two things that I looked when looking on the website. But here is the thing…these are not the only thing that CrossTimber has to offer! They also make Coffee Mugs, Music Boxes, Name Cards and Bookmarks. All of which are just as beautiful as the next. In fact, we got a simple bookmark with our 5×7 Name Meaning Picture. Both were just as beautiful as the other!


Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse {CrossTimber} Reviews

 

After checking out the website, I decided to sit down with the kids. I asked them if they thought this might be a gift idea for dad to show him that we appreciate all that he has done for us. They all agreed. Now this alone was a win for me. Having 3 kids agree without arguing! This meant they all felt the same way as I did and we now started a secret mission to pick out and plan for this surprise! Have you ever tried to tell your 16, 8 and 5-year-old to not tell dad something? Yeah, not fun!

The next step was looking through all the different background pictures. Which one did we want to pick. This is where the fighting came in. We all thought that we should pick something different. This is when John came in! He sent me name meaning, origins and bible verses for everyone in the house. For a moment, I wanted to change my mind. I wanted to get something different, but we had already made our choice. Now maybe Christmas will have some surprises, but that is a different story.

Finally, we had decided on a single background to go with dad's name meaning. Now came the hard part, the wait. I knew that this was a small company, and I knew that we had bombarded them with orders, but I was still shocked when I received a notification that my order had shipped. Yay! And the expected delivery date was a day that dad would be gone at work, even better!



Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse {CrossTimber} Reviews

 

Now comes the tricky part…I got a notification that we would be getting this gift a day ealry…when dad was home. I talked with the kids, I got dad out of the house and called the Post Office. This was a true Secret Mission that had to be pulled off. We were able to get to a safe point, now to get to the "library" before dad caught on. We made our trip, what homeschool family doesn't go to the library?

We had our chance to grab our package, wrap it up and still surprise dad with this, I can't even tell you how beautiful, gift! After lunch, which seemed to take forever, we pulled out our gift bag and told dad that we had a gift for him. When asked why, we simply said because he is dad and needs a gift every once in a while.

CrossTimber Review

Baby Girl hopped up on daddy's lap and we all gathered around. Slowly and suspiciously, daddy opened his gift. He made sure to tell us he knew something was up, but we just wanted him to open this up! Once he did, he was speechless. Who wouldn't be? I was, and it wasn't even my name! John, his family and everyone at CrossTimber exceeded our expectations and gave us something beautiful to give to someone who meant a lot to us!

CrossTimber Review

This was such a special thing, and we were so happy to have the chance to give this to dad! The meaning is spot on, and the bible verse that was included is something that touches us. This is our dad. This is my husband. CrossTimber just took his name and gave us something that was perfect for our dad and husband. The only thing we noticed was that we could have used one more staple on the back of the frame. That was it! And I think this could have been a simple mistake with the rush of orders they had. We are not worried about this. This is not something that would ever stop us from ordering again.

CrossTimber Review

We gave this simple, yet meaningful gift as a just because gift, but there are other members who have used this for other gift ideas. Check out the other reviews right here!



Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse {CrossTimber} Reviews

 

Thank you CrossTimber, John and family! We love what you gave us and will be back for more!

Before I go, check this out! CrossTimber has a giveaway happening right now! I entered, now it is your turn! Head on over and get yourself entered now!



CrossTimber 2016 giveaway

 

Social Media Links:
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/meaning.name/
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/crosstimber 

 



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Crew Disclaimer

10 Tips for Managing Your Stress

Homeschooling moms are busy, they are stressed and they do a lot every day. So what can these moms do to relax at the end of the day? Or beginning of the day, or middle of the day? Today I want to share with you 10 tips I have found to be helpful when I find myself stressed out with the day to day dealings of a work at home, homeschooling mom.

10 Tips for Stress Relief

Essential Oils

I love my essential oils, and I love the DoTERRA brand of essential oils. I have found that using their grounding blend oil has helped to promote a sense of relaxation. I love to apply this right away in the morning to the bottom of my feet to help lessen the stress throughout the day. I also find myself diffusing this to help create a calm environment whether in the car or in the school room. Shoot me a message if you want more information on this!

Yoga

I love yoga. I have always loved yoga. I know when I have not done yoga for a long time. I tense up, I snip at the kids or the hubby, I am just all around a grumpy no good person! I don't do anything too crazy, I don't even consider myself to be experienced in it. I just know what I need to do and when. I am in love with this DVD that I have been doing for years now. This simple DVD is just what I need most days, and I try to get it in at least 3 times a week.

Yoga for Stress

Exercise

I have just gotten back into a routine of exercise. I have gotten myself a simple Jawbone pedometer and set a simple goal of 6,000 steps a day. For a mom of 4 kids, I thought I moved more than I really did. This goal will change as I consistently hit it, but I want to start with an attainable goal and build from there.

To help me get those steps in, I take the girls out in the double jogging stroller. Little Miss challenged me to running, and I took her up on it. While I can only do a little at a time, I am working on getting more of the running versus the walking.

Even though I strive to get outside with the girls, or any of the kids that want to join me, I also have been following the Jessica Smith Walk Strong 6-week program. This is a simple program to work your total body without being too crazy. I grew up with walking workouts, and I love the freshness of these ones. If you want to try it out, the YouTube site has a great variety of workouts. Check her out at JessicaSmithTV.

Reading

While this sounds simple, this is not something I always have time for. I used to love finding a good book and staying up all night reading. Now I find myself grading papers, planning lessons or writing for you instead of reading. What I have found is I need to just read. I need to set other stuff aside and just read again. This is something that I love and I need to make time for it. If I do that I find myself a little more peaceful each day.

 



5 Days of Homeschool 101

 

Read the Bible

Oh how this one works for me. I have started teaching this to the kids as well. When something is going wrong, when something is going right, when you need relief or want to show thanks, pull out your Bible and read it. This one book is the best book in the world and I can't get enough of it. Have you ever looked up a verse on Google or Pinterest for whatever is ailing you? You will find dozens, so you know there is no shortage in finding help in the bible!

Color

Yes, I said it. And yes, I do it. I love to stop everything I am doing and color with the kids. Lately there has been a coloring trend amongst adults which has lead to adult coloring books. These books are a little more focused on detail and you can find some to use as devotions if you need it. As much as I love coloring with the kids, I love pulling out my very own coloring book after they are in bed and coloring by myself.

Take a Bath

You should try to do this weekly. Take a simple detox bath using 2 cups Epsom Salts, ½ cup baking soda and 10 drops of Lavender essential oil. The Epsom Salts is a great source of magnesium for your body, while the baking soda helps to detox and reduce your swelling. Lavender Essential oil is widely used for the calming and relaxing qualities and it also helps to ease feelings of tension. I personally try to make time for this weekly, and can't wait until I have a larger tub to enjoy this detox bath in!

Detox Bath

Get Sleep

This is a tough one if you are a busy mom. But you need to have sleep. You need this time for your body to relax, and recharge. No matter how busy you are, you should aim to be asleep before midnight most nights. I know, this is hard. I find it hard as well. But this is something I am working on.

Get Up Before The Kids

This will give you the chance to get your coffee going number one, but you will also be able to spend some time just waking up and focusing on your day if you can get up before the kids. This is also where you need to make sure you get to bed before midnight. If you plan to get up earlier, you need to get to sleep earlier. I have been working on the Make Over Your Mornings Course these last couple of mornings. I love how I feel and can't wait to finish this online course very soon. I see a difference from sleeping in as long as I can to actually having time to wake up in the morning!

Laugh

Yes, laugh. Just laugh. Realize that not everything has to be serious and let yourself laugh. Laugh with your kids, laugh with your spouse, laugh with your friends, just laugh. Laughing will help you destress, it will help your heart and it even helps with pain! Why are we not laughing more? Find a joke book and tell jokes around the dinner table tonight and help everyone laugh more!

Manage Stress

And A Bonus!!

I know, I said 10, but I want to make sure that you are getting outside. Go and look at the beauty God has around you. He has made all of this for us and we need to enjoy it, not stress all the time. Breath in the fresh air, smell the flowers, and let the wind blow through your hair. And don't forget to dance in the rain!

So, what is your favorite way to destress?

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What I Wish I Knew Before I Started Homeschooling

Homeschooling, this crazy word that sends people into a panic as if they know more about you and your family than they really do. The looks, the whispers, are they really worth it? I wouldn't trade my experience for anything but there are days when I wonder what I am doing. Here are the 5 things that I wish I had known before I started homeschooling.

What I Wish I Knew Before Homeschooling

  • I wish I would have known hard it was.

I was always hearing how much fun people were having. How they could do what their children wanted and make a lesson plan from it. No one told me that this wasn’t just a simple fly by the seat of your pants to make it happen. You still have to follow your state laws, and some states are harder than others.

  • I wish I would have known that having a special needs child changes it all.

Moe Man is my oldest. He is also the hardest student I will ever have. He requires more attention then his younger siblings, and that doesn’t change because he is a teenager. In fact, this is when I find myself working more with him. But I wouldn’t trade this for anything. At least I know he is getting an education and not just being pushed along with the system.

  • I wish I would have known how much criticism I would face.

Everywhere I turn, someone has an idea of what I should be doing. I don’t let them do this, I do too much of that. But these same people don’t know my children like I do. These people are not praying for my children like I am. God is not telling these people what he wants for my children like He is doing for me. That is why I started homeschooling in the first place, He told me to, and I listened.

  • I wish I would have known how much I would be learning.

I mean, really, how can you homeschool and not learn something new? I have learned the learning styles of my children, I have learned more about writing, history and science than I ever would have cared to know, but I am having fun learning with my kids. There is so much learning to do, that sometimes even I forget we are learning since I am having too much fun!

  • I wish I would have known how much homeschooling is a great fit for our family.

No one can tell you if homeschooling is for you. They can tell you what does or doesn’t work for them, but they are not you. I have heard about the good, and the bad of homeschooling. I have seen the successes and failures of homeschooling. But I have also felt the failures and accomplishments of homeschooling.

No, homeschooling is not for everyone. You need to pray about it first. God will tell you if it is for you. You will have ups, but you will also have downs. Days when you think you made a huge mistake. Those days will be followed by times of success and accomplishment. While there is a lot I wish I would have known before homeschooling, I would not trade my experience and journey for anything.

What is the one thing you wish you would have known before you started to homeschool?

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Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

It might be the start of summer, but for homeschool moms, this is the time to start the planning for the upcoming school year. One of the main things we need is a homeschool planner. So what kind of planner do you use? Well, in my house I use multiple, one for each child. And Ray Ray loves the Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner 2016-2017 from The Old Schoolhouse.


A Schoolhouse Crew Review

What Is It

This is a spiral bound print planner that you can easily use for one child or multiple children. This planner includes yearly and monthly calendars along with weekly panning pages. You also get Hey Mama! Letters, monthly, semester and yearly goal sheets, attendance charts, books read this year and curriculum planning sheets. This is just for mom, you also get writing prompts, story starters and some great United States help sheets for the students. And no planning is complete for high school parents if it didn't have the pages to help you make an academic transcript!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

This planner is really everything that mom needs to make things work for the whole school year, no matter the child or the age/grade. The Weekly Planning pages are undated, so you start them when you want to! While this is for the 2016-2017 school year, we have already started to use this planner since we school year round. This is what makes it nice for our family, we are not trying to find a way to fill in those summer months with a planner that is only set up to follow the academic school year. We make this planner our own and use it as such!

How We Use This

Like I mentioned, we have a planner for each child. Each child likes a different kind. I like them all, so I don't mind. Ray Ray loves this Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner the best out of all three school aged kids, so I have decided to use him as my test subject!

Monthly Planning Pages

This planner is simple to use, all you need to do is start by filling in your dates for the week. Decide what days you will be doing lessons and what days you won't. Decide what subjects you need to work on that week and fill them in as well. Now you have a chart to fill in. What will you do each day for each subject. That easy! While I used it for one child, you can easily fit more than one child's assignments in each square.

Now that I have the week filled out, Ray Ray knows that he can come and take a look at what needs to get done each day for each class. I do not have to rewrite anything in a separate planner for him. He can write a list each day if he prefers, but he really just likes to see what he needs to do and get to it, usually last minute, but it gets done!

On my yearly calendars, I have marked the holidays that I know we will not have any school lessons. This gives me an overview of what I have to work with, when we want to plan breaks and when we need to work a little harder. Each month I am able to transfer any holidays from the yearly calendar over to the monthly calendars. I than add any appointments or other activities to the calendar for the month and start my weekly plans. I have everything in one place, with no worries about losing something.

 Coupon Code Hey Mama Planner 2016 2017

What We Thought of It

Ray Ray and I loved this Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner. I loved the Hey Mama! Letters. These simple little reminders are what have helped me get through the planning that comes with homeschooling. They remind me that I am not alone in the struggles or the joys. I love having everything in one place for Ray Ray and knowing that he can simply grab this planner and know what he needs to do.

Hey Mama!

Ray Ray loves that while this is my planner, he is able to be independent in his school. He doesn't have to wait for me to finish with the baby, he can just run and grab the planner and get to work.

We are not the only ones who have spent some time in this new planner. Check out the reviews of these other families and see what they had to say!!


Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner 2016-2017 Review
Crew Disclaimer

 

Bible Coloring

Spending time alone with God. This is one of the things that we need to find in our days. As moms, we do a lot in our days. From cleaning the house, to raising the kids and some of us are even homeschooling and blogging along with everything else. Not to mention those of us who work outside of the home as well. How in the world do you carve out the time to be alone with God?

Adult Bible Coloring

I have found a new, fun way to fit my alone time with God into even the busiest of days. Adult coloring. You have heard of it, right? This silly little book that is usually 10 times harder than the coloring books that your kids have. But when you find the right one, you not only get to escape and color, but you get to spend some time working on coloring God's words into a masterpiece.


I found a few different actual physical books that I love to color in. You can grab these at the local store or order them right from Amazon. I mean, look at the beautiful pictures that I have found and started working on. Yes, I said started working on. That means that I may not actually finish them each time, but I get to come back and continue them as I need them. That also means that I get to come back to that passage and refresh myself with the meaning of it as I need it.

Drawn from the Heart

But what if you are one of "those people". The type of people who just cannot wait for something to be delivered to your door. The one who doesn't want to go into the store and grab something for yourself. Well, that is okay. I have found a few different sites that are willing to give you free printables that are the same thing.

Bible Coloring

This is my favorite verse. Not only is it the first verse that Ray Ray memorized when I started teaching him at home, but this is the one that I find myself saying over and over again when the day gets tough. I love having this as a friendly reminder of the beautiful meaning behind the verse and love having it hanging up on the fridge.

Bible-Verse-Coloring-Pages

What Mommy Does has a few printables available to print with great scriptures as well. These are beautiful and are an easy to color design that allows me to color and not feel defeated when I can't finish.

Bible Journal Love has a great page where they not only have printable bookmarks to color, but they also have links to 20 different coloring pages. You are able to find what you need and print it up to color. This is great when you are looking for that one verse that speaks to you.

Bible Coloring

Now when it comes to coloring, it is not just on a set of paper. What if I told you that you could take your coloring into your bible? I love these books of the bible pages, and have slowly started printing them and tracing them into my bible. This adds some color to my bible and makes it more me.

So, have you fallen in love with this new craze of adult coloring? Do you take it to your bible and your bible study?

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