The Mom Conference

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As a mom, it is VERY important that we are able to connect with one another, grow, and learn from each other. Sometimes we need some refresher and restarts or maybe some tips that you can use for you or for your family. Conferences are great ways to be able to find some great resources and right now, the MOM Conference is going on this week!

The MOM Conference is an online event held for moms by moms and its FREE! After you register (HERE), you will get an email each day and let you know which speaker is up. You will get tips and ideas from over 30 inspiring speakers. You will also get a chance to WIN some really neat prizes and more. Did I mention that its free?

Today, Camille Beckstrand from sixsisterstuff.com is talking about family traditions, Jordan Page from funcheaporfree.com about getting out of debt, Jenny Layton from thehappygal.com about getting organized, Tricia Callahan from onceamonthmeals.com about a month’s worth of dinner (YUM!), and Nicolas Come from nicolasgarden.com about picky eaters. 

This is one conference you really don’t want to miss!  Check out the video below and click on the banner at the bottom to find out more!

 

Alphabet Flip Book

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I recently came across Crystal and Co.  blog. She is also another mommy blogger. She did this article on Teaching your Preschooler their ABC’s by making her own ALPHABET FLIP BOOK.  I really liked her idea! For some odd reason I have LOTS of flashcards and I thought I would give it a try.

0319141639I pretty much did the same thing she did except I didn’t laminate the pink ones (which I wish I would have) the others were already laminated.  I took my flashcards, punched a hole in them, and used a ring fastener to hook them together.  I recommend laminating them either with laminar or use contact paper.

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You can find flashcards at your local Dollar Store or you can go to your local Wal-Mart or teacher store (or order online).  You can also do these with the number flashcards or with some sight words. You can even use them in the car or take them with you when you have appointments or restaurants. And the best thing is, you wont lose them! :)

More Alphabet Activities:

Amazing Alphabet activities from No Time For Flashcards

Alphabet Soup from Dirt and Boogers

 

 

More on the No More Perfect Kids Book

NMPK Cover with Chapman name

I’m so excited to announce that the No More Perfect Kids book is now here!
Jill Savage and Dr. Kathy Koch have been working so hard over the past year to bring parents this powerful book!  I am part of the launch team and have already had the opportunity to read the book and can highly recommend it!
However, they say good things come to those who wait. This saying is especially true where No More Perfect Kids is concerned. The official release date was March 1, BUT if you are willing to wait to get your copy until March 13 – 23, you will be eligible to receive over $100 in free resources! I’ll provide all the info you need during release week to get the book and the bonus offers so stay tuned for the details.
You’ll also want to pop over to www.nomoreperfect.com where you can sign up to receive weekly antidotes to the perfection infection on the No More Perfect Blog, or learn how to better love your kids for who they are through our free 13-day No More Perfect Kids e-challenge.
While you’re waiting for those bonus offers, here’s an excerpt from the book:
Ten Ways to Encourage Your Child
An excerpt from No More Perfect Kids by Jill Savage and Dr. Kathy Koch
Parenting is hard work and sometimes it seems our kids do more wrong than right. Add in household responsibilities like laundry and meals, spilled milk at the breakfast table, a child who comes in from playing outside and is covered in dirt, and sibling rivalry where the kids pick at each other all night and sometimes life just isn’t easy. Fatigue is normal and frustration is, too. Learning not to act unkindly in our frustration is a journey requiring grace for ourselves and our kids.
Even in the midst of real life, it’s important to say far more encouraging words to our kids than correcting words. When we encourage kids, we give them courage. It’s empowering, freeing, and strengthening. When encouragement is the norm, children will learn they can take risks, try new things, ask for help, and make mistakes without the fear of losing the acceptance, love, and support of their parents.
It’s not easy to give encouragement, especially on the hard days. There are, however, steps we can take to increase encouragement in our home.
Here are 10 Encouragement Enhancers you can use in your family:
1. Don’t expect perfection. When we expect perfection we notice every little thing that’s wrong and that creates an environment of discouragement.
2. Encourage childlike behavior. There’s a difference between childish behavior and age-appropriate childlike behavior. Discourage the first and encourage the second.
3. Value what your kids learn. We need to pay at least as much attention to what’s being learned as we do to grades being earned and performances at games and concerts. This is one way we communicate that our kids are more than what they do and how they do.
4. Resist the urge to judge all performances. One way to emphasize learning rather than performance is not always to ask about their scores or grades.
5. Ask them how they feel. When talking about one of their athletic competitions, concerts, or tests, sometimes ask first how satisfied they were with the outcome. Two-way conversations about grades, concerts, and competitions will be more profitable than one-way judgments.
6. Notice their strengths. Point out their character, attitude, and action strengths to help them when they work to make progress in weak areas.
7. Don’t worry about their challenges. Understand some areas will remain challenges for our kids no matter how hard they try. Trying to get kids to change what they can’t improve is a sure way to discourage them.
8. Celebrate what’s real. When one child deserves to be celebrated for something significant (e.g., no C’s on a report card for the first time in a year, a soccer championship, art being displayed in the county library), don’t create fake celebrations for your other kids in order to be “fair.” Use these opportunities to teach children to genuinely celebrate their siblings.
9. Introduce them to overcomers. Discuss relatives and local people your kids know who have overcome great odds. Read biographies and autobiographies of people who have been highly successful even though they also struggled. We can often learn our greatest lessons from our greatest challenges.
10. Have fun together. Play with your kids. Relationships are deepened while building forts and having tea parties with your little ones and going shopping and watching ball games with your older ones. The fun, relaxed moments you share make tough times easier to walk through and go a long way to creating an encouraging family culture.
Be patient with yourself as you work to increase the encouraging environment in your family. If you choose too many things to change, you and your kids will be overwhelmed and little progress will be made. Don’t look back with shame or guilt either. Today is a perfect day to look forward with hope, choose one Encouragement Enhancer to start with, and walk in a positive direction!
**************************************************************************

Jill Savage and Dr. Kathy Koch have been working so hard over the past year to bring parents this powerful book!  I am part of the launch team and have already had the opportunity to read the book and can highly recommend it!

However, they say good things come to those who wait. This saying is especially true where <i>No More Perfect Kids</i> is concerned. The official release date was March 1, BUT if you are willing to wait to get your copy until <b>March 13 – 23,</b> <strong>you will be eligible to receive over $100 in free resources!</strong> I’ll provide all the info you need during release week to get the book and the bonus offers so stay tuned for the details.

You’ll also want to pop over to <a href=”http://www.nomoreperfect.com/”>www.nomoreperfect.com</a> where you can sign up to receive weekly antidotes to the perfection infection on the No More Perfect Blog, or learn how to better love your kids for who they are through our free 13-day <i>No More Perfect Kids</i> e-challenge.

While you’re waiting for those bonus offers, here’s an excerpt from the book:

<b>Ten Ways to Encourage Your Child</b>
An excerpt from <i>No More Perfect Kids</i> by Jill Savage and Dr. Kathy Koch

Parenting is hard work and sometimes it seems our kids do more wrong than right. Add in household responsibilities like laundry and meals, spilled milk at the breakfast table, a child who comes in from playing outside and is covered in dirt, and sibling rivalry where the kids pick at each other all night and sometimes life just isn’t easy. Fatigue is normal and frustration is, too. Learning not to act unkindly in our frustration is a journey requiring grace for ourselves and our kids.

Even in the midst of real life, it’s important to say far more encouraging words to our kids than correcting words. When we en<i>courage </i>kids, we give them courage. It’s empowering, freeing, and strengthening. When encouragement is the norm, children will learn they can take risks, try new things, ask for help, and make mistakes without the fear of losing the acceptance, love, and support of their parents.

It’s not easy to give encouragement, especially on the hard days. There are, however, steps we can take to increase encouragement in our home.

Here are <b>10 Encouragement Enhancers</b> you can use in your family:

<img alt=”Encourage-Courage” src=”http://www.jillsavage.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Encourage-Courage-240×300.jpg” width=”240″ height=”300″ />1. Don’t expect perfection. When we expect perfection we notice every little thing that’s wrong and that creates an environment of discouragement.

<b>2. </b><b><i>Encourage childlike behavior. </i></b>There’s a difference between childish behavior and age-appropriate childlike behavior. Discourage the first and encourage the second.

<b>3. </b><b><i>Value what your kids learn. </i></b>We need to pay at least as much attention to what’s being learned as we do to grades being earned and performances at games and concerts. This is one way we communicate that our kids are more than what they do and how they do.

<b>4. </b><b><i>Resist the urge to judge all performances. </i></b>One way to emphasize learning rather than performance is not always to ask about their scores or grades.

<b>5. <i>Ask them how they feel.</i></b><i> </i>When talking about one of their athletic competitions, concerts, or tests, sometimes ask first how satisfied they were with the outcome. Two-way conversations about grades, concerts, and competitions will be more profitable than one-way judgments.

<b>6. <i>Notice their strengths.</i></b><i> </i>Point out their character, attitude, and action strengths to help them when they work to make progress in weak areas.

<b>7. <i>Don’t worry about their challenges.</i></b><i> </i>Understand some areas will remain challenges for our kids no matter how hard they try. Trying to get kids to change what they can’t improve is a sure way to discourage them.

<b>8. <i>Celebrate what’s real.</i></b><i> </i>When one child deserves to be celebrated for something significant (e.g., no C’s on a report card for the first time in a year, a soccer championship, art being displayed in the county library), don’t create fake celebrations for your other kids in order to be “fair.” Use these opportunities to teach children to genuinely celebrate their siblings.

<b>9. <i>Introduce them to overcomers.</i></b><i> </i>Discuss relatives and local people your kids know who have overcome great odds. Read biographies and autobiographies of people who have been highly successful even though they also struggled. We can often learn our greatest lessons from our greatest challenges.

<b>10. </b><b><i>Have fun together. </i></b>Play with your kids. Relationships are deepened while building forts and having tea parties with your little ones and going shopping and watching ball games with your older ones. The fun, relaxed moments you share make tough times easier to walk through and go a long way to creating an encouraging family culture.

Be patient with yourself as you work to increase the encouraging environment in your family. If you choose too many things to change, you and your kids will be overwhelmed and little progress will be made. Don’t look back with shame or guilt either. Today is a perfect day to look forward with hope, choose one Encouragement Enhancer to start with, and walk in a positive direction!

“Why Do Kids Make Mistakes?”

Why Do Kids Make Mistakes?
An excerpt from No More Perfect Kids by Jill Savage and Dr. Kathy Koch

Does it ever feel like your child does more wrong than they do right? As a parent, we know our kids aren’t failures. They can fail a quiz here and there, not win a tournament, and not earn a raise during their first job review, but none of that makes them failures.

They will make mistakes, though, because they’re human! To best help our kids overcome their mistakes and not feel like failures, we need to understand why they make mistakes. When a parent understands, it increases their compassion and decreases their frustration. As you listen closely and observe intently for the “why” behind their mistakes, you can know how to best support them. Let’s explore eight reasons kids make mistakes.

NMPK Cover with Chapman name

1. They need more experience.
When kids complain that school is hard, remind them that if it were easy, they wouldn’t need to go. School—and much of life—is about trying new things. We must let our kids know they’re not stupid when they get things wrong. Mistakes are a part of life, and they often show up when we need more experience.

2. They need to be taught in order to be successful.
Mistakes can occur when content and tasks are new and teaching hasn’t yet occurred. Kids might enjoy trying things on their own, but then can get very frustrated when their independent approach doesn’t go well. Protect their self-esteem when you notice that the reason they did something wrong was simply because they need help or more instruction.

3. They need more time to learn something.
Errors occur because kids didn’t learn something well enough, although teaching has begun. These mistakes are a part of learning. They happen, and it’s no one’s fault. How did you learn to drive? By driving imperfectly for a while. How did you decide which barbeque sauce you prefer? By cooking with one and then another. Did you make a mistake? No. It was a “learn by doing” experience, not a “mistake by doing” experience. The language we use to discuss mistakes matters; this includes what we say to our kids and what we say inside our heads when thinking about them.

4. They need healthy motivation to do things well.
Sometimes kids make mistakes because they don’t want the additional pressure that comes with excellence. Maybe your son’s teacher keeps calling on him because he’s always attentive and right, but your son wants to take a break from that. Maybe your oldest is feeling like all your happiness is on her shoulders. That’s unhealthy motivation and creates a lot of pressure for any child.

5. They need our understanding and attention.
Kids will occasionally fail at something or make mistakes just to push our buttons. Let’s face it: They are smart little people even at a young age, and they learn the power of manipulation early.
In these cases, responding with understanding is important. When the time is right, and depending on their age, let them know you understand they’re angry or frustrated but you’d rather have them talk with you about their feelings than to act their feelings out.

6. They need more modeling and instruction related to character and obedience.
Sometimes mistakes are an issue of character. Kids might hurry through a task or assignment so they can get back to their video games. They can choose to not double-check their work because pride is in their way and they’re just convinced they haven’t made any mistakes. As parents, we need to discern whether our children are making occasional errors in judgment or if they’ve developed consistent character flaws that need to be addressed.

7. They need self-respect, self-control, and respect for others modeled for them and taught to them.
Sometimes kids’ strengths get them into trouble. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing! For example, word-smart kids might talk too much. Logic-smart kids with a heightened curiosity may ask questions to keep you distracted and to extend bedtime. We don’t want to paralyze their strengths by overreacting and being too critical, but we do need to teach the concepts of self-control and respecting others.

8. They need sleep, food, and/or emotional stability.
Do you sometimes underperform or make unhealthy decisions when you’re tired, hungry, or emotionally vulnerable? So do kids. You might discover your daughter should start her homework after having a snack. Your son may not be handling the long day of school well and may need to go to bed thirty minutes earlier than you originally thought. To track patterns, you can keep a written record of their misbehavior using a calendar or a list. After recording a few days of when mistakes and misbehavior occur, who was present, if it was near mealtime, or if they were fatigued, you can often identify possible strategies to decrease the misbehavior.

It’s okay, in the midst of mistakes, to verbalize that your child is not failing or a failure. Look for impressionable moments when kids need the reassurance that making mistakes is how people learn. You may not be happy with their choices, and discipline may be necessary, but also let them know they’re not stupid. In fact, letting our kids know they’re not mistakes even when they make mistakes is very important for us to communicate, especially in the hard days of parenting!

This excerpt is from No More Perfect Kids, a new Hearts at Home HYPERLINK “http://www.heartsathome.org/” book by Jill Savage and Dr. Kathy Koch!  Pick up your copy of the book between March 13-23 and you’ll get over $100 in bonus resources!  Find out more at NoMorePerfect.com!

Why Do Kids Make Mistakes?
An excerpt from <i>No More Perfect Kids</i> by Jill Savage and Dr. Kathy Koch

<img alt=”Mistake” src=”http://www.jillsavage.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Mistake-240×300.jpg” width=”240″ height=”300″ />Does it ever feel like your child does more wrong than they do right? As a parent, we know our kids aren’t failures. They can fail a quiz here and there, not win a tournament, and not earn a raise during their first job review, but none of that makes them failures.

They will make mistakes, though, because they’re human! To best help our kids overcome their mistakes and not feel like failures, we need to understand why they make mistakes. When a parent understands, it increases their compassion and decreases their frustration. As you listen closely and observe intently for the “why” behind their mistakes, you can know how to best support them.

Let’s explore eight reasons kids make mistakes.

<b>1. They need more experience.
</b>When kids complain that school is hard, remind them that if it were easy, they wouldn’t need to go. School—and much of life—is about trying new things. We must let our kids know they’re not stupid when they get things wrong. Mistakes are a part of life, and they often show up when we need more experience.

<b>2. They need to be taught in order to be successful.
</b>Mistakes can occur when content and tasks are new and teaching hasn’t yet occurred. Kids might enjoy trying things on their own, but then can get very frustrated when their independent approach doesn’t go well. Protect their self-esteem when you notice that the reason they did something wrong was simply because they need help or more instruction.

<b>3. They need more time to learn something.
Errors occur because kids didn’t learn something well enough, although teaching has begun. These mistakes are a part of learning. They happen, and it’s no one’s fault. How did you learn to drive? By driving imperfectly for a while. How did you decide which barbeque sauce you prefer? By cooking with one and then another. Did you make a mistake? No. It was a “learn by doing” experience, not a “mistake by doing” experience. The language we use to discuss mistakes matters; this includes what we say to our kids and what we say inside our heads when thinking about them.

<b></b><b>4. They need healthy motivation to do things well.
</b>Sometimes kids make mistakes because they don’t want the additional pressure that comes with excellence. Maybe your son’s teacher keeps calling on him because he’s always attentive and right, but your son wants to take a break from that. Maybe your oldest is feeling like all your happiness is on her shoulders. That’s unhealthy motivation and creates a lot of pressure for any child.

<b>5. They need our understanding and attention.
</b>Kids will occasionally fail at something or make mistakes just to push our buttons. Let’s face it: They are smart little people even at a young age, and they learn the power of manipulation early.

In these cases, responding with understanding is important. When the time is right, and depending on their age, let them know you understand they’re angry or frustrated but you’d rather have them talk with you about their feelings than to act their feelings out.

<b>6. They need more modeling and instruction related to character and obedience.
</b>Sometimes mistakes are an issue of character. Kids might hurry through a task or assignment so they can get back to their video games. They can choose to not double-check their work because pride is in their way and they’re just convinced they haven’t made any mistakes. As parents, we need to discern whether our children are making occasional errors in judgment or if they’ve developed consistent character flaws that need to be addressed.

<b>7. They need self-respect, self-control, and respect for others modeled for them and taught to them.
</b>Sometimes kids’ strengths get them into trouble. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing! For example, word-smart kids might talk too much. Logic-smart kids with a heightened curiosity may ask questions to keep you distracted and to extend bedtime. We don’t want to paralyze their strengths by overreacting and being too critical, but we do need to teach the concepts of self-control and respecting others.

<b>8. They need sleep, food, and/or emotional stability.
</b>Do you sometimes underperform or make unhealthy decisions when you’re tired, hungry, or emotionally vulnerable? So do kids. You might discover your daughter should start her homework after having a snack. Your son may not be handling the long day of school well and may need to go to bed thirty minutes earlier than you originally thought.  To track patterns, you can keep a written record of their misbehavior using a calendar or a list. After recording a few days of when mistakes and misbehavior occur, who was present, if it was near mealtime, or if they were fatigued, you can often identify possible strategies to decrease the misbehavior.

<img alt=”NMPK Cover with Chapman name” src=”http://www.jillsavage.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/NMPK-Cover-with-Chapman-name-220×300.jpg” width=”220″ height=”300″ />It’s okay, in the midst of mistakes, to verbalize that your child is not failing or a failure. Look for impressionable moments when kids need the reassurance that making mistakes is how people learn. You may not be happy with their choices, and discipline may be necessary, but also let them know they’re not stupid.

In fact, letting our kids know they’re not mistakes even when they make mistakes is very important for us to communicate, especially in the hard days of parenting!

<em>This excerpt is from </em><a href=”http://www.amazon.com/No-More-Perfect-Kids-Love/dp/0802411525/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1393728458&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=no+more+perfect+kids”>No More Perfect Kids</a><em>, a new <a href=”http://www.heartsathome.org/”>Hearts at Home </a>book by <a href=”http://www.jillsavage.org/”>Jill Savage</a> and <a href=”http://drkathykoch.com/”>Dr. Kathy Koch</a>!  Pick up your copy of the book between March 13-23 and you’ll get over $100 in bonus resources!  Find out more at <a href=”http://www.heartsathome.org/index.php/nmpm-home”>NoMorePerfect.com</a&gt;! </em>

March Goals

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I really suck at keeping up with goals. So I finally bought a notebook (don’t you love how flowery and girly it is?)  that is just for me and started writing out goals that I want to keep up with. I have divided each goal in different categories and was very specific for what I want.  Check it out: 

IMG_20140304_111459[1]Personal: 

  • I want to lower my soda intake so I can eventually stop drinking it all together. It’s not healthy.
  • Yoga at least 3 days a week with the kids. I want to show my family how important it is to take care of your body and the importance of exercising while showing a good example.
  • Read books: Made to Crave and Made To Crave Action by Lysa TerKeurst and Living with less so your family has more by Jill Savage.
  • Take me day. Because being selfish to myself is not ok.
  • Wake up earlier. Use this time to do some work or social media.

Relationships:

  • Date night with my hubby because that is important.
  • Date night with my kids because that is important to foster a relationship with each of my kids.
  • Work on friendships and show how important they are to me
  • Potty training sis…TIPS PLEASE?!

Homeschool:

  • Work on memory boxes
  • work on listening skills
  • Plan a field trip
  • plan out months for April through May.
  • Organize papers and school books

Home:

  • Spring clean each room
  • Organize Kitchen and Dinning/School area
  • Donate unused clothing
  • Spruce up the Laundry Room

Work:

  • Book one Usborne Book home show or catalog show. Any takers?
  • Blog at least 3 times a week. Hopefully to increase by April.
  • Since I got a volunteer job at the church, I need to prepare my children sermons and youth lessons in advance. I may need a notebook for that too.

What are some of your goals for this month and how do you keep track? Comment below and let us know!

 

No More Perfect Kids

Hey all! Hope everyone is doing well! I recently had an exciting opportunity to be part of  a launch group for a new book called “No More Perfect Kid’s.” If you have read Jill Savage‘s book “No More Perfect Mom’s” than you will LOVE this one, I know I did! Jill and Kathy Koch teamed up to help us embrace and celebrate our children and who they are and provided perfect examples on how we can practice this through the book “No More Perfect Kids”.

NMPK Cover with Chapman name

 Often Parent’s (including my husband and myself) get caught up on our own perfectionism that we try to instill this in our children. We say things like “You can do better than that”, ” Don’t do that”, “that’s not right” and we don’t see how this can make our kids feel.  I know I am guilty of it. There are so many times where I have compared my own kids to someone else’s, thinking “She is walking, why isn’t Sis doing it?” “Wow, she is already going potty, why isn’t Sis doing it?” “So and so’s child is reading, why can’t he?”. “I know that he has read that before, why is he struggling now?”  I have also expected to much from my child, expecting him to do a task or job that he isn’t ready yet to perform or expecting him to do something that he isn’t going to be skilled in. I have fallen caught the Perfection Infection a few times to many in my parenting job. It’s not something I am proud of. It can be school work, chores, or in their behavior. Sometimes we expect way to much from our children because we want them to be perfect.

“As parents, we hold an incredible power over how our children feel about themselves and their relationship with us.”  No More Perfect Kids

During my homeschool journey, I have learned that each of my kids are different and unique from one another. They are not the same in any way, shape, or form (except maybe gender). I shouldn’t expect my kids to do the same thing in everything they do. They each have unique abilities, performances and skills from each other. I found that out my second year of homeschooling. I had to learn how they are able to process and learn before I can just hand them a book to read or write. I also learned that this is why they behave the way they do.

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But it’s not enough to learn more about my kids, I need to embrace their uniqueness and celebrate it. I can’t expect my kids to be perfect and behave all the time, because well, they are kids. The same way we mess up (yelling at our kids, forgetting something at the store, talking about someone behind their back), our kids will do the same. I can’t expect a perfect paper to be done because he is still learning. Writing may not be his thing, but reading is. Big man is a little more serious, he enjoys the techno life and baseball. He has to know what is happening and what will happen, he has a hard time just following the flow of things. Little Man loves to be funny and humorous. He can go with the flow of things but also gets his feelings hurt easily. Sitting still is something he has a little trouble in.  Because both my boys are different and unique, I have to embrace and celebrate both their  personalities differently. Same with the Sissy, she has a girly girl side and a tom boy side. She doesn’t mind getting dirty as long as she can wash up right afterwards. She loves to read and write and color. I know for sure I can’t compare her to the boys nor can I compare any of my kids to their cousins or neighborhood children. Your kids are the same way. God has designed all of His children to be unique in their own special way.

That is why I love this book, “No More Perfect Kids”. It has helped me to remember that my kids aren’t perfect nor are anyone else’s and I shouldn’t except them to be. It has taught me that I need to let go the perfection infection and embrace them for who they are. They have given me so many ideas to help embrace my children and celebrate who they are. and the best part of all, IT’S NOT JUST FOR MOMMAS!!! :D Dad’s can greatly benefit this book as well!

“When parents untangle themselves from their expectations, they free their children to be their best. You can identify the unique design of each of our children, resisting the urge to compare them to ourselves, their siblings, or other children, we set them free to be all they are created to be. Allowing our children the freedom to be their true selves is on e the best gifts we can give them. All children deserve to be celebrated for who they are.”  (No More Perfect Kids)

For the next couple weeks you will see more and more post about the upcoming book, “No More Perfect Kids” and where you will be able to get it and so forth. I am very excited that I was able to be part of this launch and provide you readers bits and pieces of this book. You will also see lots of info my Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest Pages as well. For more info on the book visit: http://www.heartsathome.org/index.php/nmpm-home

Science Project Warning

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Do you ever have to put a label on your science projects? I am interested to know…

Daily Homeschool Life of a 10, 6, and 2 year olds

Last week Simple Homeschool had a Blog series about “A Day in the Life of Homeschool”. Several families, from single child to multiple children to special needs, guest blogged about their daily life. Today, she offered us to link up about our own homeschool day. So, I would like to introduce to you, OUR homeschool day!

Well, just like everyone else (or so I hope), our daily is NEVER the same. Some days we are formal, we sit around the table, go through our calendar and all and some days, we are informal and lazy and do our own thing at different times. Either way we do it, I try to follow a routine schedule.  Our take 10 posters help with the order of routine.

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“Take Ten” Chart is used to help with the routine flow

Usually this is how our day goes Monday through Thursday:

7:30 a.m. Kids are usually up. They feed the dog, breakfast and then chores. The list of chores is on the kid command center, laminated and changed nightly. They mark it off as they go. After Breakfast, I try to start the laundry and tidy up.

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Kid Command Center has schedules, pictures, and Bible Verses

8:30 a.m. I spend some time with Little Sis. Reading, working with letters, and playing for a few minutes.

8:50 a.m. Our school bell rings (alarm clock set on my phone). I set it a little early so that the kids can use the rest room or get their drink or any thing last-minute.  On a formal day, they meet at the table for Bible, Character, and calendar. On an informal day, we do Bible and than just our separate subjects.

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Little Man using his homeschool board

We usually do Bible, Character, History, Geography, Art, and Science together. Math, Grammar, Journal/handwriting, and sometimes reading is usually done separate.  I work with Little Man first (grade K) in the living room and I than help Big Man (Grade 4th) later at the table.

11:00 a.m. is break time. Boys will sometimes help with lunch or they are free to play while I make lunch. Than 11:30 a.m. is lunch and discussion over this afternoon events.

Our Nature Trip

Our Nature Trip

12:00 p.m. is free play or they get time on the computer while I do a 30 minute cleaning session.

12:30 p.m we try to do our reading, history/geography, and science. We usually do history and geography in the same week and alternate weeks with history and science. Little sis also takes part and enjoys sitting in.

Playing a game of eye spy sight words

Playing a game of eye spy sight words

2:00 p.m I jump on the computer to do some work and check emails, or try to blog. :D Kids will start on their afternoon chores.

3:00 p.m We have snack and quiz over what we went through for the day. and then they are able to take turns on the computer or watch something on Netflix or the history channel.

Around 5:00 p.m. I shut everything off, have the kids race to pick up the last-minute items and make sure the table is cleared off from the kitchen before dad gets home and then by 6:30 p.m. we have dinner.

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When we made Dinosaur teeth

Fridays is usually our “Day off”. I still make sure they do their math, reading, and spelling quiz. We usually go to town, meet with our homeschool group, library, field trip, or a trip to the grandparent’s house we go.

We are rarely dressed in street clothes nor is my hair all prettied up and make-up on. The house is hardly clean and meals are not extravagant. There are days where not much of this completed and there are days where we are ahead of ourselves. We are pretty laid back and like to enjoy our day. We love to do experiments and field trips. Some days we may have swimming lessons or homeschool groups during the week. Anyway our day goes, we are blessed that God has introduced us to homeschooling!

Virtual Field Trips

So the weather hasn’t been the greatest this winter where we are at. It has snowed A LOT (probably not as much as some, but for us it is a bit unusual) and it is VERY cold, negative 9 cold! Outings has not been very desirable. So, we are getting cabin fever and wanting to do something fun, but it’s still to cold to get out. So, we are having to do the next best thing and turn to the World Wide Web to help us. I have found some great websites that offer virtual tours and fun, interactive learning. We are able to watch small clips of History too.

History.com: You can view clips of famous speeches, check out articles, view “On this Day in History” and SO much. Obviously great for History class. We have used this one quiet a bit to read about Abraham Lincoln and the Dinosaurs. Biography.com also has some great information and videos you can watch and read as well as print out study guides.

I(Heart) Ed Tech had a list of 7 virtual field trips to explore. Each one of them was very interesting and inspiring to go through. Personal favorite was the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. You can go through each room of the museum through a virtual tour and in the “Educational” section, you can get lesson plans and more. They also have one about the White House. I recommend going and checking it out!

LDS Homeschooling in California also has a nice LONG list of sites to visit. They have categorized it by Museums, Natural and Science, Regional,  and a few other categories. She has a lot of websites that are great.

Educators Technology has a list of 10 that are fun and fascinating.  Some of them are listed on the I (heart) Ed Tech, but some aren’t. You can find some on the moon, the Arctic, Eternal Egypt, and more.

The Little House on the Prairie is a favorite of mine, heck who doesn’t enjoy the Ingalls’? Simple Homeschool (a personal favorite of mine) has done a  Little House Virtual Field trip. She had included maps of their travels, videos, and links into the post. Education World also has a virtual trip of the Ingalls. They are a lot of fun to go through!

Discovery Education has a lot of neat resources for teachers, parents, and students. Not only do they have videos but also worksheets and articles to read up.

Don’t forget youtube.com has TONS of videos (obviously). We use YouTube for a LOT for school. Whether its videos of a field trip or videos about ABC’s or “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom”, we use it weekly.

These “field trips” are still educational and fun, but we can do it free from home and go places we wouldn’t get to go otherwise. I often have my kids take notes or write about what they remember from their field trip and it often leads to discussion.

What are some of your favorite virtual field trips? Comment below and tell us about them!

Frugal Friday: Homeschool Supplies

Hello again! Even though I am in my second year of homeschooling, I have already learned so MUCH about homeschooling and I have found many ways to be able to gain access to homeschooling materials without spending tons of money.  We didn’t have the funds to purchase big curriculum or a lot of materials right off this year due to the new home we are building (yes, it came first and I don’t mind this year) and my drop income. In a strange way, I enjoyed this. We were able to get a little creative in how we did school and with what we used.

A is for Apples!

A is for Apples!

First, check to see what you have. Do you have curriculum hidden away some where? Books that your children will enjoy reading? Twice I went through our reading books and pulled things that we can use and items we didn’t need or want any more. I also did the same with old curriculum that my sister-in-law gave me. I was able to find items to use for both the boys to use.

Find your child’s learning style.  Once you know how your child learns, you are able to move forward on curriculum.  Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers explains it very well HERE and the book “100 Top Picks For Homeschool Curriculum” by Cathy Duffy is a great book that will help you pin point your learning style as well as your child’s.  It’s very important that you learn your style as well as your child’s learning style. You could be spending a large amount of money and it’s something that won’t work for either one of you. I found out that both the boys learn in two different ways, my oldest responds well with structure and computerized schooling and my youngest would rather be creative and hands on and doesn’t like to write much (or color). This will save not only your budget, but your sanity as well.

What makes it float or sink?

Check out your library. There are lots of benefits when you use your library to look for homeschool materials. First, you can find a lot of book, curriculum, and DVD’s  without spending a fortune and second, you are not cluttering up the house with the items that you find. All you have to do is return them. Usually Library’s charge a yearly fee or its free if you live in city limits. Some library’s will even let you use your library card from other cities. Either way, you can always go back and check out more supplies when you need them.

I don’t know about your town, but we have a Dollar Tree 20 minutes from us. I was able to get A LOT of materials from their. Our sight word books, math worksheets, handwriting worksheets, and reading books and puzzles for just a dollar from the store. They also have plenty of teacher supplies from their as well. Don’t be afraid to get in touch with your creative side. You can also get pencils, colored pencils, crayons, coloring books and a lot of other bins and baskets to hold your supplies at low-cost. If you don’t have a store like this close by, Dollar General also holds a lot of educational and storage supplies for low-cost.  Don’t forget to check out Goodwill or resale shops for supplies while your out at Dollar Tree. Often times we forget that these places are great to collect books and teachers books as well as workbooks and teaching supplies at low-cost. I was able to get tons of books and videos for just 50 cents at our local Goodwill.

Back to school L(new size)

Throw a party! Usborne Books parties are a great way to get FREE books for your homeschool. Yes, I know, I am a consultant and you would expect to hear that from a consultant however, I am more of a buyer than I am a consultant because I LOVE these books and we use most of them in our homeschool.  But when you have a party and are able to get so many in sales, you are able to earn FREE books.  Throw a party at least a couple of times a year, get your friends to party too. The more you host and the more your friend’s book off of you, the more rewards you will earn. The sticker books, phonics books, science, and math are all great and the kids will enjoy them as well. You will be surprised how in-depth, colorful graphics, and interesting facts these books have.

Scope the Internet! Pinterest, of course, has plenty of homeschool ideas that you can use in your homeschool, just don’t be afraid to get creative. Sites like Free Homeschool Deals, Frugal Homeschool Family, Money Saving Mom, and many homeschool blogs gives some creative ways to homeschool with every day items as well as help you save money on curriculum.  Websites like Educents has several curriculum sales and sometimes free products each week. and you can earn rewards as you purchase. And there are many websites that you can get worksheets and units for free or for a low-cost. Education.com so many worksheet free but after you print so many a month, you will need to pay or wait till next month. k12reader.com, homeschoolshare.com, superworksheets.com are a few sites that allows you to print a few for free. Other websites:

atozhomeschooling.com has lots of resources and articles to help with homeschooling

thefrugalhomeschoolingmom.com has LOTS of homeschooling resources to get curriculum for free or low-cost

donnayoung.org also has planning sheets as well as a few worksheets and resources.

Join up with your local homeschool groups and Facebook curriculum groups. I belong to our local homeschool group, and sometimes ladies will have books and things they are no longer using. A lot of times they are willing to let you have them free or at low-cost. I was able to get some reading books from some of the ladies in our group. Than I am also members of a few Facebook Curriculum sale groups who sell their used curriculum or just books at low price. I was also able to get some chapter books shipped to me at low-cost on some of these sites that were in good condition.

Nature Drawings at the State Park

Nature Drawings at the State Park

Finally, be creative! Don’t be afraid to try something new and branch out from the books. Allow your kids to make their own lunch, try their own experiments, make messes, and write stories. Read to them often. Nature walks are great way to explore the world and learn about the environment without spending big bucks. Find out how you can combine your subjects together. Play together and learn together.

How are you able to save on school supplies? Comment below and share your thoughts. We would love to hear from you!!

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