Top ten mistakes made by homeschooling parents

I was asked to put together a list of some of the mistakes that parents make when choosing to homeschooling.  I am speaking from direct experience as I write this out.  Things I have personally learned to do and not to do.

Top ten mistakes made by homeschooling parents–and written out of motivation from what I have done wrong:)

 1.  Thinking “one size fits all.”

Every child is unique and learns at different rates, with different methods, and in their own ways.  That is what makes up who we are, our job as parents is to find out “how” to teach them so that we can do an effective job.

2.  Being unprepared.

I love the saying, “If you fail to plan, than you are preparing to fail.”  So true in life and with homeschooling.  You have to have a plan before you begin to know what to accomplish.

3.  Being motivated by fear.

One thing I learned early on is that everyone wants to question your motives and methods.  Even well meaning people.  They will wonder why your child can’t read or can’t spell a certain word by age 6.  Don’t let fear of your child not being able to do something motivate you to teach them.  If you work with them, naturally they are going to learn and if they don’t get something at the “public school standards time frame” they will learn it eventually.

4.  Always rescuing your children.

Life is going to have disappointments and failures.  It is part of the learning process we go through.  If we always try and “save” our children from falling, they are never going to learn how to get back up and continue onward.

5.  Being inconsistent.

When a child knows what to expect, and what the consequences will bring if they do not, they will comply.  But if they know that maybe that “one time” you will give in, then they will push you to the limits.  Having a routine helps your child know how to set personal and time management goals, which is key in life.

6.  Not admitting when we as parents are wrong.

If we can humble ourselves and admit our failures and wrong doings to our children, this will go a long way when teaching life lessons for them.

7.  Leading based on emotions instead of principle.

Getting emotionally involved when necessary is only going to lead to more heated conflict.  You need to separate yourself from the situation and teach from a distance.  Giving instruction, but not giving into their whims.  That is what they desire.  They desire to toil with your emotions and if you give in one time, they will remember that for the next time they want to manipulate you.

8.  Saying “yes” to too many engagements outside of the home.

You cannot teach your children how to learn contentment in life, if you are constantly filling up your schedule.  Children need time to sit and do work, where they don’t need to feel rushed.  They need time to think, to plan, to dream.  Having outside the home activities is fine, but if it is not creating a peaceful haven in your home, evaluate which ones you need to cut back on.

9.  Internet overhaul.

There are a million great ideas on the web.  I love Pinterest just as much as the next person, but if we are constantly looking up ideas and wanting to do every last one to fulfill a desire within ourselves it is wrong. Pick one and work through it.  Then when it is finished, move onto another idea.  Don’t implement too many at once, it will only overwhelm your child.

10.  As much as I hate to admit it…..I am not supermom!

Remember to set down expectation that you would “normally” have IF all of your children were in school and away from home each day.  The house would stay neater, things would not get out of place, your table would not become a constant book holder, dishes would be caught up, there would be no paper crumbs on the floor, and laundry would be done.  When you are a homeschooling mother or father, know that you have to do more than the job of keeping up the home.  Your first job is to be the teacher and the rest gets put on hold.  Don’t set unrealistic expectations for yourself.  Learn to let things go and just do.

The best way to teach your children is to DO as you SAY and as you DO!

Hope you are having a good week——I am busy coming up with a new thing I will be debuting in the next few weeks here. I look forward to sharing with you, this new venture in my life.  Be blessed.  Amy

 

The little things of life

Throughout my life I have had momentous moments of really saying, “Wow look at all that God has done!”  But there were times, when I was going through a season in life and it just didn’t seem like “big things” were happening.  They were, but I was overwhelmed by the tasks of taking care of little ones or preoccupied by my own things to notice.  Sometimes it takes noticing the smallest of things and being happy in the moment to get you through things.  I was reminded today to be happy and joyful in the little things of life.  What are the little things that bring happiness to my day:

  • a beautiful sunset on the mountains
  • a good book
  • the smile of a baby
  • the laugh from a toddler
  • a good cup of coffee
  • the refreshing breeze on a warm summer day
  • a comfy chair
  • the joy of receiving a letter from a friend in the mail
  • a good nights sleep, undisturbed
  • a snack all for myself
  • an encouraging sermon for my week
  • sparkling clean windows
  • the smell of freshly baked bread
  • a cozy, warm home on a cold winter’s day
  • waking up to a clean home all ready for the day

What are some of life’s little irritations?

  • squabbling children
  • getting your fingers pinched
  • burnt cookies
  • frozen water pipes
  • a weedy garden
  • snow or mud tracked inside
  • spilled milk in the refrigerator
  • socks without a mate
  • new books with torn pages
  • gum stuck on your clothes
  • getting up late
  • mice in your home
  • a road full of pot holes
  • missing tools
  • a speck in your eye

Let us remember to find joy in the little things of life.

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:15-17

 

peanut butter cookie dough ball

One year, I attended a ladies meeting and we were to bring our favorite snack.  One of the ladies had brought this cookie dough ball.  It resembled a cheese ball but minus the egg in the dough. I thought genius, you get the benefits of enjoying cookie dough without worrying about eating the eggs.  Maybe I am the only one who worries about that?!?!?

Anyways I wanted to make that for a ladies meeting we were having at our church.  But we decided on going the peanut butter route. Who doesn’t like peanut butter and chocolate????

I started out chopping up a package of Reeses peanut butter cups into small pieces.IMG_20160105_170414I then added to a mixing bowl:

    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1 pkg cream cheese
    • 1/2 cup peanut butter
    • 1 cup powdered sugar

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Mix it well with a mixer.  When solid you can place it on a piece of plastic wrap. Then wrap up into a ball and place in the freezer.IMG_20160105_170658

We didn’t get to let ours sit for more than an hour in the freezer, which worked out perfectly.  It was solid but not smooshy.  I flipped the ball onto a plate.  Then we put white chocolate chips onto the outside of the ball.  My daughter then decided to stick vanilla wafers into the ball all the way around.  Other people have put Reese Pieces candies around the outside or plain chocolate chips.  We only had white so we did that.  The cookies were delicious into the mix. IMG_20160105_181545

If you are a lover of peanut butter and chocolate make this.  After using up all the vanilla wafers, I started using apple slices to dip into this.  DELICIOUS!!!  I will be making this for an apple dipping sauce in the fall time.  Enjoy!

Large family takes on Blizzard 2016 in Western North Carolina

How quickly the weather can turn when you live in the mountains of the Carolinas.  On Thursday, my daughter and I were out running some errands and it was beautiful. Some people were wearing flip flops as it was so nice out.  The sky was clear and it was gorgeous, it was hard to believe we would be experiencing a blizzard over the next few days.  It was the calm before the storm.

Being from Michigan, we have had our fair share of blizzards, the snow down here does not bother us.  For the few days we get it, then it quickly melts.  My kind of winter.   IMG_20160121_073710After moving down here last year, we got rid of all of our snow gear.  We gladly did not bring shovels or snow scrapers—-so on the days of scraping windows, we are resounded to looking for creative ways to scrape.  Here is Greg scraping with a wooden block.

I inwardly chuckle at the “milk sandwiches” that people joke about eating down here.  That to me sounds very gross.  I think with a little preparation, you can be prepared for anything.  No need to run for milk and bread when you hear the word “blizzard.”

If you cover your basics:  food, heat, and water.  You are good.  I believe in having this already on hand for any time of year as you never know when the power will go out.

We own a kerosene heater and that heats our home quite well.  It is efficient and takes only a little bit of kerosene to burn the entire day.  You can pick one up for under $100 (and less at thrift stores) and we keep it stored in our garage for when the need arises.

We always have 5 gallon water bottles on hand as well.  Every year, I take note and change the water adding 1 Tablespoon of bleach to the bottle to keep it sterile.  I actually leave these outside all year round and we have never lost any to solid freezing water.  This is great for drinking as well as dumping into toilets when everyone has been using it and you are out of power.

We always have plenty of candles to burn for lighting.  I know where my lighters and matches are always and know we can live by that light.  It works to keep one burning in the bathroom for children to see easily.

Food, I don’t worry about food as we have a camping stove to cook with.  I have plenty of propane bottles to use and if the power went down, we can easily fix spaghetti or fettucine for food.  We can even cook scrambled eggs or cook some soup.

Then it is time for fun.  We were fortunate to not lose any power during this storm, as I had heard many people were without power.  I made sure that I kept my phone plugged in at all times and I have a backup battery that I keep charged as well.  We keep the tablets and laptops charged too,  this will allow for some fun if we are stuck for days with no power.

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When you come from the north and move down here, who needs winter supplies.  In fact finding winter items are somewhat hard unless you are paying full price for them at the stores.  My children don’t have boots because that would be a waste of money to keep them on hand for the 1 time a year it snows. What we did, I used to do as a child back in the days before waterproof boots.  We used to put bread bags for our feet, but I just used grocery bags wrapped around the children’s socks and then slid into their tennis shoes or dress boots, depending upon what we had.  IMG_20160122_114219

It worked well in the girls boots but the the little boys only had tennis shoes and that was hard.  I put legging type pajamas on them as well as another pair of sweat pants over top.  I pushed the bag in between the two layers of pants. It worked:)

They all own winter coats—thankfully:)  and we brought one pair of mittens for each younger child. These are great for hiking and bike riding when it is a little chilly.  Unfortunately none of the adults had gloves.  My husband had some work gloves he found in the garage for him and the older boys.   I was gonna grab some socks but just decided to brave it.  My theory is, if I am freezing, them my children are cold and I need to take them inside.   IMG_20160122_123914_edit

Okay, so we don’t own any sleds.  Can you even buy sleds here?!?!!?We decided to do the next best thing—we blew up our inner tubes that we swim with.  What we found is that when you blow them up, as soon as you take them outdoors the air condenses in them and they deflate.  I had the children bring them back in and we filled them up past full.  This made them stay full of air.  IMG_20160122_124555_edit

With the children in their “snow gear” we decided to slide down the front yard, which is a mountain.  They had fun, but walking up through the snow was treacherous for little ones.  As trucks started driving down the road, we took our sledding down the road. My husband and two oldest stood down the road and I pushed children one after another down the paths of the wheels.  This was great, because they walked back up on the other tire tracks coming up.  As it got dark, we took this to our little lane we live on.  This worked out perfectly as we pushed them down on the tubes one after another and Dad and older ones caught them.  Such fun.  We blew up 9 tubes and lost 4.  My theory is that it was $20 worth of tubes and that is about the cost of one pair of winter boots–which we didn’t buy:)  I will take it.

Afterwards they were cold and wet from the snow, we heated up with some homemade hot chocolate.

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We keep a big batch of this on hand for an easy  morning drink with some homemade muffins.  The children love it and I love it because I control how much sugar is in their drink.IMG_20151231_194228

Saturday afforded much sunshine and the winds were blowing.  I believe in total we got 18 inches of snow.

You can watch our video of having fun in the snow:

The best advice is to stay home and don’t go anywhere unless absolutely necessary.  It is only 3 days of being cooped up.  It gives you much time to get some things done in the home.  Plus spending lots of extra time with family.  Enjoy!!

New book—Home Economics Household Skills

For those of you who have been waiting and wanting the entire year’s worth of home economics curriculum in a book form–this is for you!!

Home Economics Household Skills is a complete year’s worth of curriculum with over 400 pages. It combines Kitchen Skills along with Home & Personal Management Skills. Your daughter will practice the necessary skills to help make her become proficient in the household, her personal life, around the kitchen, as well as in relationships with others. Included is 36 week’s worth of character trait study devotions to help her enhance true beauty that can only come from the inside. We have also included personal checklists and evaluations, and weekly teacher evaluations and graded sections. This is the single most important class that you can have your daughters take for their future. They can gain every skill in the educational realm but if they don’t know how to grow in character and practical life skills they will be missing out on the basics of life.

 You can purchase it for $20 and download it by clicking here:



If you would rather have a softcover version, you can order from Amazon by clicking here.