Friday, January 20, 2017

Homeschool Evaluations

I am a Pennsylvania homeschool elevator. What that means is that people that homeschool in this state can come to me and show me their child's portfolio of work from the year and I can sign off saying that they did it. The evaluation itself is actually quick, but I love when families come over and we chat about things that their children are involved in. I'm always learning about new programs in my area and getting excited for things that my children will be able to do when they get older. As you're probably aware, I have a teacherspayteachers.com store called: Wedded Mommy Bliss. For my store, I created a video about what needs to be in your portfolio to prepare for evaluation time. The video is completely free, so please take a second and check it out. When you are finished, if you could leave me some feedback, that would help a lot! Pennsylvania Homeschool Video

Sunday, October 16, 2016

TPT Giveaway!!

I'm part of a HUGE gift card giveaway with a group of sellers from TeachersPayTeachers. To enter, just follow the directions for each store. Each direction that you follow is one entry into the drawing. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The 4 Ways that I Made Our Homeschool Better

I want to share with you today something that his great for me. Something that I think I finally figured out (after 3 years). I think I've finally figured out this homeschooling thing and how to stay sane!!! I made some changes this year that have effectively changed our homeschool days. I want to share them with you, because I think that they can be very helpful if you're new to this and struggling.

 #1. I said NO! Homeschool Mom Part Time Nanny Sunday School Teacher Co-op Blogger Part Time TeachersPayTeachers store owner Part Time Graphic Designer Bible Study Mom Wife Daughter and on and on..... I have always enjoyed being busy. Some weeks, I all of the things that I am a part of have an off week. There's no Bible Study, I'm not working as a nanny, and maybe Co-op is cancelled that week. How nice is it to just put up your feet for a week and enjoy the peace? NO ME! Normally, these are the weeks that I find a way to add another responsibility to my life. Then, the following week, ALL of those things on the list above, and maybe even more collide and I am a hot mess! Homeschooling goes to the bottom of the list. I'm not a great mom, wife, or daughter. Worst of all, I get depressed. I doubt myself and feel like I am failing everyone.
Well, this year, I finally found my courage and my voice. First, and with a ton of guilt, I told the church that I no longer interested in being on the regular schedule for Sunday School. I told them that I'd like to be a substitute. Beyond just decluttering my schedule, I choose to change this, because I felt like I hadn't been to church in forever. I felt like it was time for me to get some one on one time with God. The other thing that changed was my nanny gig. The truth is, I'm not really a nanny anymore. I started with this family almost 13 years ago. Their oldest is going to college next year! Then, there will be another senior coming up and a freshman in high school. My job is really just to get these kids to their activities. It's actually a pretty sweet gig, BUT doing this means that I get TOO MANY last minute phone calls for pick up and drop offs. The other unfortunate thing that has happened is that my poor son, who has been going with me to do this job since he was 8 weeks old, knows dinner from fast food better than dinner at a table. My daughter was whisked into this too. There were nights that they really needed to be at home, being read stories or sleeping and instead I was running kids around for my job. The change this year for my nanny gig....I'm limiting it to 2 nights (with an occasional 3) per week. There have been very few surprises, and we have been getting home really early so that we can still have dinner together and get to bed on time.  

#2. Monday....no Funday! In years past, we have had activities on Monday morning or maybe Monday afternoon. This year, that was a BIG change!! Mondays are now an at home day. We haven't been making playdates or really going anywhere at all on Monday. The reason being, I need Monday to prepare for the week. Monday is when I realize that we are out of towels and bread....so I do some laundry and head to the bread store. This works well for me, because Monday is like a day of renewal for me. I tend to WANT to get things done and really power through them with a lot of energy, so this actually makes all too much sense!  

#3. Quiet Time! Remember when your kids were babies and they napped? It gave you about an hour or two to fold some laundry, just onto Facebook, or rest on the couch? This year, I brought nap time back....in the form of "Quiet Time". This year, from about 1-2 pm, my kids go up to their own rooms and have an hour to play, read, or rest. They need to stay in their own rooms and they are allowed to come back down when the timer goes off.
My 7 year old, I think he secretly likes this time to himself. My 4 year old, well, she's usually calling about once every 15 minutes to see if the timer went off. As for me, I've been taking this time to do all kinds of things. Usually, the first thing to do is regroup. I look around and see what needs done......"Hmmmm....the dishes....the messing the living room....the mess in the dining room....the toys that landed on the kitchen floor....laundry...." If I'm really on top of things, I may have asked the kids to help me pick up before they go up their room. If not, I take a few minutes to pick up. Some days I work on my TPT store. One day, I realized that a show that I love was on Netflix and I watched it while I folded laundry. If I'm really tired, I try to make myself just take a break. This has been such a good thing for me!

#4. Time Away! My kids are always together! Sadly, my son doesn't have great ways of showing that he loves my daughter. He will play with her, but most of the time he is begging to get away from her. That's really hard for us. This year, I was able to make a couple changes so that they can have time away from each other.

The first, is our co-op. Thankfully, my kids each have their own class for co-op and they literally don't see each other for 4 hours on Tuesdays. The other thing, is our YMCA homeschool program. My son has been going to this for a while, but this year is the best it's ever been. The program used to be a 1 hour swim. Now it's 2 hours of gym time and swim! While I am taking him there, my Aunt come and gives Chloe her full attention. Chloe loves that, Matthew is happy, and MEEEEE....I have 2 hours to sit in the lobby of the YMCA to just think! I've been very happy with these changes. I've known that some of these needed to happen for a long time. I wish I just would have had the courage and the discipline to do what I needed to do. Consider what might make your home a happier place for homeschooling and for making peace. I hope these ideas help.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Classical Conversations Tin Whistle

This year we are trying something new for homeschooling. We decided to enroll our children in Classical Conversations. If I had to explain this program to someone that had never heard of it before, I would say: "Classical Conversations is a program that uses the classical method of learning. Much of it is done via rote memory. At the elementary level, students are memorizing facts about math, history, Latin, science, and grammar. Many of the things that they are learning are meaningless to the students now, but as they progress through the program, it comes together."

Another great feature of this program is the time spent on the Arts. We are currently finishing up a segment on drawing. Students have learned about abstract art and perspective. In a few weeks, we will move on to learning the tin whistle for 6 weeks. Then, we will spend 6 weeks on each of learning about artists and composers.

This program is wonderful for my son who just who has a talent for memorizing everything!!! My daughter, who is about to turn 5, likes that she gets to see the same kids each week. My daughter is still trying to figure out how to stay in her seat, raise her hand, and be patient in class. The other amazing part of this community is the encouragement from the other moms. I am so blessed to be a part of a community that has is so willing to give me grace.

Classical Conversations communities can be found all over. If you visit their website, you can find a community near to you or learn how to start your own.



NOTE:
We are coming up on starting the tin whistle, so of course I had to find a way to save a couple extra bucks! Amazon has the tin whistles for almost half of the price as the Classical Conversations website. I am ordering them today after having done some research to find that the whistles that are used are in the key of D.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Hey all!

Wonder what I've been doing lately???

Well, I finished off the summer with a new book!!!

Which is a pretty big deal for me! First, I rarely have time for a book! Second, I NEVER buy a book at retail price!!!

After reading, I can say that it was a fun read. It wasn't all that I'd hoped for, but it was good. If you're in to Harry Potter, you're going to have to read it!