Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Holy Cow! New curriculum

We are in the first few weeks of using a new curriculum. I switched because I wanted the kids to have more grammar practice, etc.

I switched to Rod and Staff. All I can say is, "Wow!"

This curriculum will definitely give them a solid grounding in Math and Grammar. Trust me.

Popping out for now. I'll post more later!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

'Tis the season for....head lice

Well, another school year is starting, and that means that head lice are looming in the future of many kids.

So if you are looking for info about any of the following topics:

Home Remedy For Head Louse
Head Louse Treatment
Treating Head Louse
How To Get Rid Of Head Louse
Remedy Head Louse
Head Louse Prevention
Head Louse Cure
Natural Head Louse Treatment
Rid Of Head Louse
Child Head Louse Treatment
Head Louse Removal
Rid Head Louse Treatment
Tea Tree Oil For Head Louse
How To Kill Head Louse
Home Treatment Head Louse
How To Treat Head Louse
Natural Remedy For Head Louse
Home Remedy For Treating Head Louse
Olive Oil Treatment For Head Louse
Mayonnaise To Treat Head Louse
Head Louse Shampoo
How To Prevent Head Louse
Alternative Head Louse Treatment
Head Louse Vinegar
Condition Head Louse
More Treatment
Home Remedy For Killing Head Louse
Head Louse Infestation
Head Free Home Remedy
Head Louse Treatment
Head Louse Nits Treatment
Home Remedy For Nits Louse
How To Kill Louse And Nits
Natural Cure For Head Louse
Preventing Head Louse
Remove Head Louse
Removing Head Louse
Head Louse Control
Home Remedy To Kill Head Louse
Head Louse Home Remedy Treatment
Medication For Head Louse
Head Louse Solution
Home Cure For Head Louse
Head Louse Mayonnaise Treatment
Head Home Louse Remidies
Best Head Louse Treatment
Best Way To Get Rid Of Head Louse
Child Head Louse Prevention
Treatment Prevention Of Head Louse
Getting Head Help Louse Need Rid
Cleaning Head Louse
Head Home Louse Remedy Removing Vaseline
Home Remedy To Get Rid Of Head Louse
Home Made Head Louse Remedy
Head Louse New Treatment
Head Louse Treatment With Mayonaise
Head Louse Nits Treatment
Homeopathic Head Louse Treatment
Remove Nits
Louse Nits Remove
How To Get Rid Of Nits
How To Get Rid Of Louse And Nits
Removing Nits
Kill Nits
Control Louse Nits
Get Nits Out Of Hair

Then click this link to get more info. It is a very economical solution and very informative, as well.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Private School vs. Homeschooling

I rant a lot about public schools. Quite frankly, I think they suck. Just my honest opinion. Feel free to disagree with me.

But what about private schools?

Off the top of my head:
  • They are generally smaller and have a better teacher-to-student ratio.
  • They have a more challenging curriculum.
  • Parents pay for the privilege of having their kids attend, so the parents are more motivated to make sure their kids do well.
  • Private schools can boot any kid that is a troublemaker.
  • Many times, the teachers, parents and students see each other outside of class (at church), so they all know each other better.
  • Teachers can freely and openly talk about God and Jesus.

Now, I don't think private schools are equal to homeschooling, but I think (and this is just my opinion) that they are an option I might consider if I needed to. I certainly would feel better about private schools as opposed to public schools.

Comments? Thoughts?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Being a well-rounded parent

Growing up, I never really cared about what I learned in school. I did well and studied and all of that, but I never really thought about how it would impact my children.

I am so thankful that I learned music. I can play 5 instruments. I can read music. I can teach my kids the basics on 3 instruments, and I can teach them quite a bit more on the other 2.

I am so glad I took art classes in school. I can teach watercolor, oil pastels, chalk pastels, charcoal drawing, decoupage, batik, and a variety of other techniques and media.

I am thrilled that I learned Spanish in school. I can teach my kids Spanish and also show them how knowing Spanish helps in everyday life. (I have translated for more than one frustrated sales clerk while we are out running errands!)

I am happy I went as far a calculus and college - level Biology and Chemistry. I feel comfortable teaching science through high school.

I am sure you are thinking, "That's great, but what about if you don't know all of that stuff?"

Glad you asked! ;)

There are so many resources out there to help teach your kids. A Google search is all you need to find a resource for just about everything you would want to teach your kids. For example - my son wants to learn Japanese this year! Ack! I don't know Japanese!

But that's okay. I don't need to.

However, I will be learning it along with him. Why? Because I really want to share the experience with him, and it gives me a chance to learn something new.

I encourage you - if your kids are learning something you don't know, learn with them!

It can be a lot of fun. :o)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

You know you are doing a good job when....

Well, Loyal Readers, I have to say that my son (12 years old) has done something I never thought possible - he totally embarrassed me and made me incredibly proud in the same moment.

Let me explain.

I consider one of the best things about having cable is that they have the music channels. That means I can be-bop to "Love Shack" and about a zikillion other 80's songs anytime I want. Life is good. ("The looooooove Shack is a little ....") Oh no, wait. Sorry. Got lost for a moment. I'm back now.

So I am in my room (thinking the kids are in bed), be-bopping along, singing, dancing, reliving my teenage years and not really paying attention to what was playing.

Suddenly, a quiet voice says, "Mom, should you really be listening to that?" And I whirl around to see my son in the doorway. He had gotten up to tell me something else, but stumbled onto my little singing and dancing number.

The song, you ask?

"I Want Your Sex" by George Michael. Yeah. That's the embarassing part.

But I was also very proud of my son. First, because he thinks that way. Second, because he had the courage to (respectfully) voice his concern/opinion. And third, because he was right.

I immediately turned off the television and hugged my son and told him how proud I was and that he was right. I thanked him for being honest with me and speaking up.

I guess, maybe, I am doing something right.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Holy Cow! It's almost August!!!

Where does the time go?

Seems like just yesterday we had gotten done with school. Now we are close to gearing up for a new school year!!

I am changing a few things this coming year. Not major changes, but just a few small things to help fit with our schedule.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Cuckoo-crazies

Well, I am back among the living. I am still sick, but I am at least able to write something fairly coherent and not cough my head off every 2 seconds. (cough cough cough)

Okay, I'm back. ;)

My 3 year old has a new word: Cuckoo-crazies. No, I don't know where he got it from, but (considering the house he lives in) it is a pretty logical addition to his vocabulary. He has also informed every member in the house that he/she is cuckoo-crazy. Surprisingly, everyone has agreed.

Not sure how Grandma is going to feel about being called cuckoo-crazy, but that's another day....

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Taking a break

Hey, everyone!

I am sick with a horrible chest cold and feel like I am dying need a few more days to feel up to par.

I'll be back soon!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Income Ideas - A.C.T.

Today is another installment of Income Idea Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Because there are many homeschoolers that want to add money to their budget without going out and working a 40-hour-a-week job, I am featuring different types of businesses that can be done to help you make more money and interviewing the people who are working the business.

Even if you only make a few hundred extra dollars a month, that can pay for books, field trips, vacations, and a whole lot more.

Working from home is also great because you don't have to spend gas money on a daily commute!

That all being said, I now take you to our next interview:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tell about yourself and your family.

Hi, I am Sheri Johnson. My husband and I both work from home full time. We have been married for about 5 1/2 years. We have children from previous marriages and we have a 4 yr old daughter together. I have been home full time since a few days before we got married. I decided I wanted to work from home right away and even though at times I wasn't sure what I was going to do, I am glad I stuck it out and took time to figure out how I could make that work.
What is your business?
My home based business is with a healthy energy drink company called DrinkACT. I have been with them for about 2 years.

Why did you start your business?

I wasn't looking for another source of income when I learned about A.C.T. That is the name of the energy drink. I received a sample of the product and felt compelled to look into the product and the business because I know energy drinks are a HOT business, all you have to do is look around and you can see it is a new beverage category. I decided from the very beginning I wanted to be a leader with this company. I also took my previous 20 yrs of experience in home based businesses to make this decision.

What are some things you love about your business?

I think the thing I love the most of about this business is how simple it is. Anyone with the right mindset and people skills can make as much as they want with this one. I am also thrilled with the company leadership as well as upline and crossline leaders in the field, we all work together to help each other.

Are the kids involved? If so, how?

At this time, my little one isn't old enough to help me with my business, but I know as she gets older she will help. Last week she was offering to help me count the drinks as I was getting an order ready for a local customer.

Do you work strictly from home or do you do parties?

I do work strictly from home on this one. I don't really get into doing parties, but it can be done with this business. It's so flexible that you can promote it pretty much however you want to. If someone wanted to do a party, I would do it in a heart beat and since I have done party type businesses before I am sure it would be great.

How can someone learn more about your business?

To learn more about DrinkACT, go to www.GlobalSuccessMentor.com which is my site or to www.GotEnergyDrink.com which is my company site. I can be contacted through either site for more information such as upcoming conference calls that we hold 5 days a week.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Order your curriculum early!

For most homeschoolers in June, school is the last thing on their minds. They are taking a well-deserved break and enjoying some free time with the kiddos.

However, consider ordering your homeschool curricula in June or early July in order to save some headaches and delays. Why:
  • Companies are less busy, so your order will be shipped out quicker and will get to to you sooner.
  • Many companies offer an "early bird special" for those who order in June. The savings from these specials can be quite substantial. Free shipping is also common if you order early.
  • You can rest easier knowing that you have everything you need.

Some planning is involved for ordering early, but it is well worth it in the long run!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Income Idea - Taste of Home Entertaining

Since I had so many repsonses to the new Income Idea Tuesdays, we are going to have Income Idea Tuesdays and Thursdays for a while! LOL

I know lots of homeschoolers look for ways to make extra income. It is my hope that these interviews will help you find ways to do so.

------------------------

Shay: Tell about yourself and your family.

Renee: I’m a 38-year-old WAHM, happily married to my college sweetheart. We met the last quarter of college in an Instructional Technology class at Georgia Southern (We were both studying to be high school teachers—he in social studies and me in English). We’ve been married for fifteen years and are the proud parents of two beautiful (and lively) little boys, 10 and 5.

Shay: What is your business?

Renee: For fourteen years, I taught high school English . . . I was passionate about my job and I genuinely loved my students—in fact, I didn’t think I could ever find a more rewarding profession in which to work. Unfortunately, with each passing year, the after-hours responsibilities became so time-consuming that I began spending more and more time away from my family (planning lessons, grading papers, mentoring new teachers, leading team meetings, etc.) . . . I didn’t realize what an impact it had made on my children until my eldest “forgot” to tell me about his Thanksgiving lunch at school—when I asked him about it and why he didn’t invite his parents, he shrugged his shoulders and said, “But, mom, you and dad would have had to miss work and eating with me isn’t nearly as important as what you do everyday at school.” I have to tell you, it broke my heart (and opened my eyes)—I decided then that I wasn’t going to miss another school event!

At the end of that year, I quit my teaching job and decided to look for one with more flexibility—a friend of mine, a stay-at-home-mom with small children, recommended that I look at direct sales . . . after researching home party plans, I stumbled upon a new company called Taste of Home Entertaining. As soon as I saw the product line, I contacted the corporate office and within two weeks, I had joined the company as an independent consultant. Now I’m a director with a growing nation-wide team, and I am passionate about helping other women find alternatives to working away from their families.

Shay: What are some things you love about your business?

Renee: I love everything about my job—from the products I can buy at a discounted rate and the wonderful friends I have made to the vacations I have earned for my family and the home-based business tax deductions, (I’ll stop listing them now; I could go on forever!) . . . I especially love the flexibility that being an independent consultant offers—because you set your own hours, you work when you want to. In the year and a half that I have been doing this, I haven’t missed a single school event for either child and THAT is priceless to me.

Shay: Are the kids involved? If so, how?

Renee: The boys LOVE to help—my youngest is an expert catalog stamper and my eldest helps me assemble hostess packets. When I was working to earn the Disney Trip for our family, the boys volunteered for all kinds of household chores so I could work more parties!

Shay: Do you work strictly from home or do you do parties?

Renee: While the children are at school, I spend two hours each day working my business—I respond to emails, make phone calls, run errands, etc. Because most of my sales come from home parties—I schedule three – five parties a month. When I'm not out partying, I devote my evenings and weekends to my family.

Shay: How can someone learn more about your business?

Renee: They can visit my website at www.rhickman.TOHE.com or email me directly at rhickmanathome@bellsouth.net . I’d be delighted to share the products and/or the opportunity with those who are interested!
----------------------------
Thank you for sharing, Renee!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Teaching Math and Science

This question is asked of me quite a bit, so I think it is worth repeating.

How do you teach math and science if they are not your "thing"? (Or any subject, for that matter.)

I am comfortable teaching math and science. They don't scare me. I majored in Chemistry in college, so science is not a big deal; however, it is for some parents.

The answer to teaching a subject you are not comfortable with is easy. There are SO many options for homeschooling parents these days!

Here are a few ideas:
  • DVD's - These are simply a teacher in the classroom recorded on DVD's and the student watches the DVD's. Most of these programs have live teacher help also available.
  • Online classes - These are available through online private schools and also through community colleges (if the student is old enough). Some community colleges now offer "dual credits" - students earn college credit while also earning high school credits.
  • Co-op teaching - I am great in math and science, but I cannot even sew on a button. The parents in my homeschooling group will tutor each other's children if there is a need. I tutor in math and science; someone else helps my kids with other things.
  • Learn them yourself - Some parents dig right in with the kids and find that age helps make learning things a little easier!

Whatever your method, rest assured that there is plenty of help avainalbe in order to teach your child.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Income Idea - Usborne Books

The next installment of a new feature - Income Idea Tuesdays!

--------------------

Shay: Tell about yourself and your family.

Dawn: I live in Illinois with my husband of almost 12 years, Mike, and our two daughters, Katelyn 6, and Megan 4. I love being able to stay at home with them!

Shay: What is your business?

Dawn: I am an educational consultant and supervisor for Usborne Books at Home. We carry over 1400 award-winning, beautifully illustrated, edcuational and fun books for ages infant to young adult.

Shay: Why did you start your business?

Dawn: I had been looking for something to do for extra income, and when I found Usborne Books- I fell in love with the attention to detail, the illustrations, and the variety. I wanted all the books in the catalog- so thought I might as well become a consultant and get the discount! I have been with Usborne 3 1/2 years- and love that I have a great income, amazing books for my kids, and get to help families, schools and organizations get the best books for the children in their lives.

Shay: What are some things you love about your business?

Dawn: It is flexible, there are no sales quotas for consultants, I now have an awesome in-home library for my kids! Plus- the perks are outstanding. I just got back from an Alaskan cruise for 2, and last year went to Paris- all earned from Usborne for FREE! :) Plus- our start up kits are inexpensive- often under 50.00!!

Shay: Are the kids involved? If so, how?

Dawn: YES! They are my "testers" When new books/kid kits come out- they read/ do them- and give me feedback. They will help me at booth events, sticker books, and really are part of the business.

Shay: Do you work strictly from home or do you do parties?

Dawn: I do quite a bit from home - but what is nice is that you have the choice of how to run your business, so I also do home shows, school book fairs, reading programs, fundraisers, etc, as well as work with libraries and corporations- so the possiblities really are endless!

Shay: How can someone learn more about your business?

Dawn: For more information please contact me:
Dawn Berkley
Usborne Books at Home Supervisor
Email: dawnberkley@sbcglobal.net
Toll free: 888-202-BOOK (2665)
Website: www.ReadingCanBeFun.com

--------------------------

Thank you, Dawn, for sharing with us on this blog!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Quilts for Kids

My friend Donna is doing some great things for this organization. Here is what she says about it:

"Basically, what we do is make quilts for sick children in hospitals. Quilts for Kids (www.quiltsforkids.com) makes these quilts and donates them to children in the hospitals with life threatening illnesses such as Cystic Fibrosis, Cancer, AIDS, as well as abused & neglected kids. We do what we can to raise money. All of the fabric is provided for those that volunteer to make quilts. It is such an awesome non-profit group! We also make wheel chair bags and bed bags for these kids. These quilts are quilted by machine so that the kids in the hospitals can hold on to them during procedures and they hold up really well when washed repeatedly. The quilts and things that these kids have in the hospital are washed repeatedly with the industrial machines that the hospital use to try to keep them germ free or as germ free as possible."

This is a great organization to volunteer for. If you can quilt, I would encourage you to contact them about helping out or donating.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

"I have heard that you homeschool...."

In the last week since public school has been out, I have had 3 different families ask me about homeschooling.

The conversation always starts the same way: "You homeschool, right? I heard from ______ that you are homeschooling...." They then ask the usual questions:
  • "Is it hard?"
  • "How do you do it?"
  • "How do you teach math/science?"
  • "How do you get started?"
  • "Was it hard to adjust?"
  • "Do you like it?"

My answers?

  • "No, it isn't hard. It's not the easiest thing I have ever done, but it is not hard."
  • "I just do it. I made the decision to homeschool and made a commitment to homeschool for one year. If we didn't like it, we would go to private school. We love it."
  • "I started as a Chemistry major in college. Math and science are easy for me; HOWEVER, there are so many resources available to teach math and science that even if you are terrible in these subjects, you can teach them. There are online classes, DVD's, software and so many other options."
  • "Read all you can about homeschooling. Go to http://www.hslda.org/ and find out the legal requirements for your state. Then do what you need to do legally to start. Then just choose a curriculum."
  • "It wasn't really har for us to adjust. We had a very calm school year. (That's not saying every day is flowers and sunshine!) But it has been an easy transition."
  • "We love it. We would never do anything else. My youngest (who is now 3) will never set foot in a public school (or a private one, for tha matter)."

Homescooling is becoming an option for many parents. They are sick and tired of what the public schools have to offer.

I encourage you to explore homeschooling as an option!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Income Ideas - Alicia Bodine

Since many homeschoolers look for ways to make extra money, I will be starting a new feature: Income Ideas.

Here is the first of the series:

I would like to give my thanks to Alicia for being the first to offer her story for Income Ideas.

If you would like to share an idea you have, please email me (Shay) at shaysotheremail@gmail.com.

Shay: Tell me a bit about you and your family.

Alicia: I am a single stay at home, work at home Mom. I have a beautiful blonde 8 year old who is super smart. I currently home school her and she is doing 3rd grade work since she started Kindergarten at the age of 4. I also have a beautiful brown haired 6 year old who has Angelman Syndrome. She attends my local special services school where she can get lots of therapy. I love the school and they take good care of her. She has to visit the nurse daily to keep and eye on her temperature. She also has epilepsy which almost all Angelman children do. She smiles all the time so it is easy for people to fall in love with her. My ex-husband left when the girls were 2 and 8 months old and that was when I was finding out what was wrong with my little one. She sometimes spends two weeks out of each month home sick and there is just no way I could work outside of the home. That is why I turned to the Internet.

Shay: How long have you been home schooling?

Alicia: I have to say I began home schooling since my oldest daughter was born. By the time she was one she knew 50 words. When she was 4 I sent her to my church's Kindergarten which she passed with flying colors. I then proceeded to home school her for 1st and 2nd grade. This year I thought I would give the local Christian School a try, but I hated it. She did the first 2 marking periods there and then I took her out. She received honor roll both times which just proved that I had done a good job at home. I know now that I will be home schooling her until she head off to college.

Shay: What is your business? Tell us about it.

Alicia: I currently run a website called Legitimate Home Based Businesses. I had spent so much time searching for legitimate businesses online and found mostly scams. As I learned how to tell the difference and did my research on each company I decided to add them to my website so that other Moms didn't have to waste time getting started with a business online. I also have a blog for 100% Free to Work at Home jobs and business opportunities. I like doing and getting freebies on the side which is how that blog got started.

Shay: Are the kids involved?

Alicia: My oldest daughter is involved in one of the businesses I do. It's called My Power Mall. She has her own store as they allow any age. She likes to hand out her business cards.

Shay: How do you work your business around homeschooling?

Alicia: When I get up in the morning I check my emails. Then I get my little one ready for her bus which comes around 8:20am. Sometimes I can get an article done before the bus comes, but it depends how early I got up. Then my older daughter and I do a little straightening up. We start school about 8:50 am. When we get to a subject she has to do independently I come over to the computer and get a little advertising done. We usually finish up about 12:30 if all goes well. My youngest gets home around 2:30 so that gives me 2 hours to work while my older one does an art project or plays in her room. I pay attention to my kids through to dinner and then sometimes after dinner they watch some cartoons and I get a little more work done. It really depends if we have church that night or not. So I basically work around my kids and their schedules. I work on Saturday and sometimes if I get a chance on Sunday too. After church of course.

Shay: How can someone learn more about your business?

Alicia: You can visit my website: http://www.homebusinessesthatprofit.com/ or my blog http://workingfree.blogspot.com/. You can email me at bodine_Alicia@yahoo.com anytime if you have questions or need help with anything. I am also on Yahoo IM and my ID is MomofAngelGirl.

Shay: Thank you so much for sharing, Alicia!!

Rod and Staff publishing

Just a mention I want to make.

Rod and Staff has an excellent curriculum, and their prices are quite reasonable.

They are truly a no-frills curriculum. You don't find full-color cartoon characters in their books! (Hahaha) They are very basic in their publications.

However, if you want a good solid foundation for English and Math (I have not seen the other subjects), then this is for you.

Learn more at www.rodandstaffbooks.com.

Homeschool costs

I would love to hear how much other homeschoolers are paying for their curricula!

Please feel free to share your moneysaving tips, etc., too!

Choosing a curriculum

Now that you have made the decision to homeschool, you need to choose a curriculum.

There are several approaches to teaching:
  1. "Unschooling" - This approach does not use textbooks. The philosophy is more of a "life teaching" system. I am not a big fan of this approach, but you can find out more by Googling "unschooling".
  2. Unit Studies - This system uses a particular theme to teach all subjects (not including Math). For example, you might study Japan for 2-3 weeks. In studying Japan, you can study Literature (through suggested books), science (Japan has lots of volcanoes and earthquakes), Geography, writing, etc. Then you move to another subject.
  3. Traditional School-at-Home - This is popular for new homeschoolers because it gives you a guide to follow. Most places offer a "boxed set" - everything you need for the particular grade. This is very convenient for parents and comforting to new homeschoolers.

A fantastic resource for curricula reviews is www.homeschoolreviews.com. This is a great place to get reviews on curricula you are thinking of buying, or you can browse around and find new ones you have never heard of. This site has saved me a lot of money. :o)

Another great tresource is veteran homeschoolers. They will happily tell you what they have liked and disliked! They might even have books and resources they will give you or let you borrow.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Making the decision to homeschool

For most families, school is ending for the year and will start up again in August.

Some parents are breathing a sigh of relief that the year is finally over and are now wondering if they should homeschool next year.

There are so many factors in this decision, but here are some of the highlights to consider:
  • Figure in the cost of that "free" public school you go to. Include school supplies, lunch money, field trips, gas to and from, school clothes/uniforms, etc. We made the decision to homeschool when gas was *only* (choke) around $2 a gallon - now that it is nearing $4 a gallon, we are very thankful we made the decision when we did! Also, with 3 kids in school, $2 - $5 here and there (for each) really adds up. Counting Book Fairs, fundraisers we bought from 2-3 times per year, per child, etc., etc. Count up ALL of the costs of school.
  • School supplies. I put this as an item all by itself because I think it meeds to be brought out. Parents now are being asked to supply items for the entire class and the teachers, not just their own children. Rolls of paper towels, bottles of hand sanitizer, 3-4 packs of pencils, 3-4 packs of pens, dry-erase markers, etc. By the time I bought school supplies for 2 kids, I spent almost as much as I did for one kid to have everything for homeschool! Paying for one bookbag cost as much as 2-3 homeschooling books! Saving money for the school supplies alone almost paid for our homeschooling.
  • Time spent with the kids. This is the best part, in my opinion.
  • Better education. Homeschoolers have a better education than their public school counterparts. For hard data, visit www.hslda.org and there are resources and studies to support this statement.

Now is the time to make the decision and get your paperwork in order!

August is closer than you think! ;)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Death of a friend

I just got news that a friend of mine died this week.

In a freak accident, he went to close a window in his condo and fell to his death when the window gave way.

He was only 35. 5 years younger than I am.

I went to school with this guy. We went to band camp together. He graduated with my stepsister.

Now he is gone. I am in shock.

I feel for his family. I wish I had words to say that would be of comfort.

Hug your loved ones, everyone. You never know what will happen.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Book review

I have just finished reading part of Alexis Martin Neely's book WEAR CLEAN UNDERWEAR:A Fast, Fun, Friendly - and Essential - Guide to Legal Planning for Busy Parents.

There are plenty of books that tell you what you should do to plan for the event in case you are nor around to care for your children, but Ms. Neely presents this in a clear and personal way. This is not some dry, legalese nightmare of a book - it is in a thoughtful, engaging, easy-to-read format that involves you in the whole process of showing you how important it is to provide legal documentation for your family situation.

How does she do this? Remember those books you read as a kid with the alternate endings? When there was a decision to make, it looks like this:
  • "If Shaynala decides to jump off of the cliff, turn to page 25. If she decides to turn and fight the Morgols, turn to page 33.

I loved those books. I would always reread them to see how things would have turned out differently had the character made a different choice.

That is how this book engages you. It actually leads you through the story to see how things would happen if different legal paperwork was (or was not) put into place before the need arose.

Not only that, but Neely also walks you through more than just the basic scenarios. What if the person you name as guardian of your children passes away a few years after you do? What if you name a couple as guardians and they divorce? How will your children "know" you and keep your memory alive if you pass on?

This is an awesome book. I highly recommend a copy for yourself and get one for friends, too.

To learn more about the book and to purchase it, go to www.wearcleanunderwearbook.com.

If you purchase the book today, May 7th, you will receive tons of bonus gifts, too.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Yep, I have been a slacker

Well, kids, even Moms get Spring Fever. I have been playing hooky from blogging. LOL

Actually, I am in the process of launching a new company, and it has really been keeping me busy. Between meeting with website developers, emailing back and forth with people - it has been crazy (but fun!).

Also, there are only a few weeks of school left, so I am trying to wind things down with that. :o)

Stay tuned - I have a big announcement coming in the next few weeks!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How to start homeschooling

The school year is coming to a close and there are some parents who are considering homeschooling for the first time in the Fall.

Here are a few tips I would give if you are "on the fence":
  • Read books and learn about homeschooling. One book I recommend is So You're Thinking about Homeschooling by Lisa Whelchel. You can visit her website at http://www.lisawhelchel.com/.
  • Talk to families that are already homeschooling. Ask questions. Talk to the parents and the kids. Go on message boards. Learn all you can.
  • Consider all of the advantages in homeschooling - family bonding, less hectic pace, customized curriculum, etc.

Once you decide to homeschool, follow these steps:

  • Decide which type of homeschooler you want to be: traditional "school-at-home", unschooling, etc. Many families find a "school-at-home" approach to be reassuring during the first year - with texts, tests, etc. - because it is similar to the school situation. It also is helpful for new homeschoolers to have a set curriculum to follow.
  • Once you decide what you are going to use - texts, unit studies, unschooling - then prepare for some research. One excellent place to go to research curricula is http://www.homeschoolreviews.com/ - they have tons of reviews, and they have saved me a lot of money I would have possibly wasted on curricula that wouldn't suit my kids.
  • Find out the legal requirements in your state and do what you need to do. Don't procrastinate on this! Go to http://www.hslda.org/ for info.
  • Join homeschool groups - both online and offline - to learn from more experienced homeschoolers and to find social activities.
  • Don't get overwhelmed - just do things one step at a time.
  • Be sure to order your materials early! Don't wait until August to place an order and expect it to arrive on time! :o)

I am sure others will be able to add to this list. Above all - relax!! Enjoy your homeschooling journey.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Meetup.com

I have belonged to a site for years called Meetup.

Meetup.com has groups for just about any subject imaginable. They have homeschool groups, WAHM groups, parenting groups, sci-fi lover groups and a host of other things. From animal lover groups to vegan groups and anything in between, they have it.

Best of all, you can either join an existing group or start your own group.

Go to the site and search by subject or ZIP Code. See what is in your area.

I have 3 groups on Meetup.com - one for weight loss, one for homeschooling families, and one for WAHM's.

Check them out! I am sure you will find a group you like!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I won the lottery! Again!!

Hey! Guess what! I won't blogging for long because I will be too busy spending all of the loot I won in the UK lottery! WOO HOOOO!

I also won the Australian Lottery, too.

I figure I can use the Australian winnings to pay my taxes and then the UK winnings will be mine to spend. Sounds like a plan to me. :D

Seriously - who really believes this garbage? Are there really people so ignorant in this world that they get an email saying they won the lottery in another country and they think it's for real?

However, this chick who emailed me saying she needs my bank info because her husband was killed and he had millions she needs to hide - she sounds sincere. I trust her. Not a scammer like those creeps with the lottery.

Online public schools

I stand corrected - sort of.

I spoke in this post about how the government would not pour money into online public education.

Well, as you can see on this site (http://www.k12.com/schooling_programs/k8/index.html), it appears that the Virtual Public School is becoming a reality.

Sort of.

This is not available in my state (yet), but there are a good handful of states with this available.

But I have heard a very interesting tidbit via the homeschooling circuit. These programs are only being marketed to families that are currently homeschooling. As one teacher said: "If we sent information home to all of the parents with kids in school now, we would lose too many students." Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

I have received info in the mail about this program (that it will be available in the future). I could see why it would be appealing to some homeschoolers:
  • It is free.
  • It is considered being enrolled in public school - an easier option in some states with lots of homeschooling restrictions.

If the only reason why parents want to homeschool is for safety reasons, then I think this would be a wonderful alternative for those families. I think it is a viable alternative for many people.

I am not interested in this program. Too much governmental involvement for my tastes, but I am a rebel. ;) I also enjoy having a curriculum choice - not having to follow what the public schools do.

Product review - Mathisfun.com

I just stumbled upon this great website: www.mathisfun.com

This site has explanations, quizzes, games, puzzles and more to help with all kinds of math - from basic times tables and addition facts to algebra and polynomials. There is also Geometry help and explanations.

This would be a great resource to help kids retain their math skills over the summer, or as a review of different skills. It can also be a great supplement to your curriculum.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

College and homeschoolers

I was talking to my (very wise) homeschooling friend yesterday. She has 5 kids and they have all been homeschooled forever. Two have graduated from high school.

Since I have one kiddo getting into the higher grades (and we are thinking about college already), I asked for some advice. I thought it was great and wanted to share. :o)

Here are the highlights:
  • Keep an extensive portfolio of your child's work over the years, especially when they are in high school. Examples of writing, projects, etc. are very important.
  • Be sure to document/keep any awards your kids receive.
  • Take pictures of your kids doing projects, especially charity or volunteer activities. A great way to document these activities is to write up a short article about it, and send it (with pics) to your local paper. Clip and keep the article. :o)
  • Have your child ask for letters of reference from people they know and work for (whether volunteer or paid).

In other words - document! LOL

You can build an impressive portfolio in a year or two. If you start sooner, you can get an even more impressive one.

Remember - academics are important, but a child that is well-rounded and community-minded is important, too! (Especially if they are trying to get scholarships.)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Product review - Spectrum workbooks

From time to time I thought it would be good to give some ideas/thoughts about things that would interest homeschooling moms/families: books, curricula, personal products, etc.

Today I wanted to give my thoughts on some workbooks we use - the Spectrum workbooks by Frank Schaffer Publications.

We use the writing, math, phonics and geography workbooks to help supplement our studies. They are not necessarily designed as a stand-alone text, but they really are excellent for extra practice and the math is really good to practice with the grade-level state standards.

The math workbooks also have pre- and post-chapter tests, and they are pretty detailed. They are great to see if the child "gets it".

You can find these workbooks at Books-a-Million and you can also go to their website: www.frankschaffer.com.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Cops say 3rd-graders plotted teacher attack

In this story, police averted what could have been a fatal attack on a teacher. The conspirators? They are all kids ages 8 to 10 years old.

What horrible offense did the teacher commit in order to have these precious angels plot to knock her unconscious, bind her with duct tape and handcuffs and stab her?

She scolded one of them for standing on a chair.

And people ask me why I homeschool? Like I would want for my kids to go to school with nutjob kids like this???

Something is terribly wrong when kids want to resort to violence over such petty reasons. And so young!!

I have said it before and I will say it again: the school system is broken, and I am not letting my kids stay in it while polititians and school officials blow smoke up the backsides of the public, promising change and delivering nothing.

Can you imagine how different things would be if homeschooling were the rule and not the exception? If the government poured money into online public schools that children could access from home, complete with online teacher support? (There are already private schools that operate like this, so it can be done and done exceptionally well.) Teachers would still be needed - they could just work from the safety and privacy of their homes.

Think about it: money that previously went to school buses (can you say "gas prices," boys and girls?), building costs and upkeep, etc., could be spent on teacher salaries, computer access for students who cannot afford it, and so much more. From an economic standpoint, it would be a huge improvement. From a safety standpoint, it would be priceless.

Not that I ever see this happening. The school system is too large and hungry of a beast for it to give up its power. And its money.

What do you think? Like the idea of public homeschooling via the Internet? Hate it?

What about the news story? Comments?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cute!

Okay, this has nothing to do with anything, but it is so darned cute!


Monday, March 17, 2008

We are moving!

Well, Readers, the situation I wrote about earlier has been resolved. We are moving in two weeks.

It is really hard for me to wait on God. It really is. It is much more in my nature to try to take control and make things work the way I want them to, when I want them to. Patience is NOT one of my virtues.

But in my 40 years I have learned something about patience, and I am getting better at it. I am also learning that God is in control, and things are better that way.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The "seasons" in a woman's life

The Bible tells us there is a time for everything. (Ecc. 3:1)

As I look back over the past 40 years, I can clearly see the different seasons. I was a child, then a teen, then a single adult, then married, then kids, then single again (with kids this time), and now married with even more kids. LOL

But now I am finding myself approaching a new season: having older kids and preparing for those kids to leave the "nest".

Now, don't get me wrong: I still have a little one who is only 3, so the nest won't be comletely empty for a while! But the older ones are getting closer to being adults.

As such, my responsibilities for them are changing, and they are shifting. While they don't need the kind of supervision my toddler does, they need a different kind of supervision and guidance that comes with them becoming more physically mature and yet still being emotionally and mentally immature.

Also, I have to envision what MY future self will be. When a I have a completely empty nest, I will have quite a few years left in me (I hope), so I need to prepare myself for that.

I have enrolled in college and will be graduating around the time my oldest turns 18.

I have chosen a field that will lend itself well to doing what I am doing already - working from home.

I am excited about this new season and will keep you updated. :D

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Exchanging toys can kill you

This is truly a horrible story: http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/03/04/wendys.shooting.ap/index.html

A 42-year-old Dad, Rafael Vazquez, is shot killed while in a Wendy's in West Palm Beach, FL, exchanging a toy fron his child's kid's meal. He was not the only death from this senseless shooting.

The shooter, Alburn Edward Blake - aged 60 - of West Palm Beach, FL, shot and killed himself after his bloody rampage.

I look at the headlines and realize that we never know when we will encounter evil.

Monday, March 3, 2008

It really is up to God....

Hubby and I are looking for a new house. We want to buy my mother's place (since she is moving in with my Granny), but we may not be able to. It is a long story, but the gist of it is that if we are NOT able to move into the area where my mother's home is, it will be because of discrimination on the part of the person in charge of leasing the land - not my mom. It is not for sure yet - we don't know yet.

My first reaction when I learned there was even a question of whether or not we could move in was anger. There is no legal reason why there should even be a debate! My hotheaded side was getting the best of me.

But then I prayed. I vented. I prayed some more.

Now I am at peace.

Whatever happens with this happens for a reason. I really feel like if this doesn't work out, it will be for the best. If it DOES work out, it will be for the best.

Could I fight and be able to move in? Yes, I believe it would only take one letter from my attorney and we would get the okay to move in.

But, in this instance, I don't believe that would be the best course of action. I really feel like God has it all worked out - I just don't know the whole story yet. :o)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Reading assignments and Russian History

I got my daughter (9 years old) a book for her reading assignment. I decided to go with something a bit more challenging for her, so I chose a work of historical fiction. It is over 200 pages, and it has references to the actual history that the story is based on (complete with pictures). The book is about Anastasia, the last Grand Duchess.

Because I know my daughter, I prepared myself for this, too. I figured she would ask a million questions about the book (and she has), so I am reading the non-fiction book The Russian Century - A History of the Last Hundred Years.

Mom and daughter have been learning a lot about Russian history - and this isn't even what she is doing for her history assignments! (She is studying American history this year.) She has fallen in love with this series of books and wants the rest of the series.

I love the book for two reasons - it is challenging for her and it is teaching her more than just reading.

Homeschooling is not just for the kids. The parent learns just as much as the kids do when they get involved!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Go watch the lunar eclipse!

The lunar eclipse is visible tonight!

Totality begins at 10:01 pm Eastern time.

This is the last total lunar eclipse until 2010 - so it is great to get the kids seeing it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Homeschooling and resources for special needs children

This topic recently came up on a message board I am on.

For the purpose of this post, the term "special needs" can refer to anything from ADD to autism and anything in between.

How do you homeschool if you have a special needs child?

Sometimes (as in the case of an ADD or ADHD child), homeschooling can be the perfect way to alleviate the hardship kids suffer in a traditional school setting.

But what if your child needs professional resources in addition to homeschooling?

Laws vary from state to state, but most of the time homeschoolers can use the resources offered by the school district/county to help with a special needs child (at little or no cost).

However, some homeschoolers want nothing to do with the governmental system. Period. And they prefer to use a private doctor/therapist/program.

Both have their pros and cons. Do your research and do what you feel comfortable doing.

The important thing is to make sure your kids get whatever help they need.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

WANTED: Homeschool teacher

"Thy God hath commanded thy strength: strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us." (Psalm 68:28)

Have you ever thought about how an advertisement would read for a homeschool teacher? If truthfully stated, the ad would probably go something like this:

"Now accepting applications―Family seeking fun-loving, godly homeschool teacher. Applicant will be responsible for providing total educational development and daily personal care for children of multiple ages. Applicant will assume the following roles: cook, housemaid, nurse, taxi driver, administrative assistant, accountant, athletic coach, social director, computer technician, household and automotive repairman, gardener, course instructor in multiple subject areas and grade levels, and various other responsibilities.

This is a full-time position―approximately 120 hours or more per week.

Qualified candidates must be able to work well under pressure, multi-task, and prioritize work loads while maintaining a friendly, enthusiastic attitude. Quick thinking, good memory, and a varied background in extensive subject matter are a must. Promising candidates will be resourceful, adjust easily to distractions, and display creative, hard-working leadership abilities. Organizational and problem solving skills are a plus. Previous teaching experience and/or college preferred, but not required.

If you're interested in working in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment, this is the position for you! For more information on this exciting opportunity to earn fulfilling, one-of-a-kind rewards, please apply in person today."


After reading the above qualifications, no wonder many parents walk away from this employment opportunity. Who can measure up to these standards? Praise God, you can! As you step out in faith and yield your weaknesses to God's strength, you'll not only get the job, you'll also successfully homeschool and discover the fantastic benefits of teaching your children at home. "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might." (Ephesians 6:10)

The above post is taken from the Homeschool View Newsletter.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

On a lighter note

In the 1400's a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have 'the rule of thumb'
-------------------------------------------
Many years ago in Scotland, a new game was invented. It was ruled 'Gentlemen Only..Ladies Forbidden'...and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.
-------------------------------------------
The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.
-------------------------------------------
Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the U.S . Treasury.
-------------------------------------------
Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.
-------------------------------------------
Coca-Cola was originally green.
-------------------------------------------
It is impossible to lick your elbow.
-------------------------------------------
The State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska
-------------------------------------------
The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28% (now get this...)
-------------------------------------------
The percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%
------------------------------------------------------------------------
The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $ 16,400
------------------------------------------------------------------------
The average number of people airborne over the U.S. in any given hour: 61,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:
Spades - King David
Hearts - Charlemagne
Clubs -Alexander, the Great
Diamonds - Julius Caesar
------------------------------------------------------------------------
111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321
------------------------------------------------------------------------
If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of what?
A. Their birthplace
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name requested?
A. Obsession
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter 'A'?
A. One thousand
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers all have in common?
A. All were invented by women.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?
A. Honey
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. Which day are there more collect calls than any other day of the year?
A. Father's Day
------------------------------------------------------------
In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes.
When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase......... 'goodnight, sleep tight.'
------------------------------------------------------------------------
It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England , when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them 'Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down.'
It's where we get the phrase 'mind your P's and Q's'
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Many years ago in England , pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. 'Wet your whistle' is the phrase inspired by this practice.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
At least 75% of people who read this will try to lick their elbow!
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Don't delete this just because it looks weird. Believe it or not, you can read it.
I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh?
------------------------------------------------------------------------
YOU KNOW YOU ARE LIVING IN 2008 when...
1. You accidentally enter your PIN on the microwave.
2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.
3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.
4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.
6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.
7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen
8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't even have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.
10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.
11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )
12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.
13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.
14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.
15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list.
~~~~~~~~~~~AND FINALLY~~~~~~~~~~~~
NOW U R LAUGHING at yourself.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I want to change the way we elect officials

Yeah, I know....like anyone is going to listen to me.

But that's never stopped me before. Hehehehehe

The way we elect officials now (especially the President) is ludic lewdi loodic stupid.

In this day and age, why on earth do we have the Electoral College? Why go through the delegate process? For Heaven's sake - Florida isn't even GETTING democratic convention delegates!

The technology exists for every vote to be counted for each and every citizen. The one who wins the most votes wins the election. Period. This could work with both nominees for each party and for the actual Presidential election.

I think it is time for the system to be overhauled.

Just sayin'.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Parental Rights vs. Government Interference

I imagine this post will get strong comments on both sides of the fence - and that's okay.

I just received my copy of the The Home School Court Report (put out by the HSLDA), and I have to say I am shocked and appalled by what I read.

  • In Michigan, homeschoolers are harassed by school officials (illegally) in order to coerce homeschoolers to submit to taking a survey. Two years in a row.
  • In Montana, homeschoolers were (illegally) asked to register with the school district.
  • In Ohio, homeschoolers were asked to submit paperwork not required by law.
  • In Pennsylvania, school districts are (illegally) attempting to impose additional, unauthorized testing for homeschooling students.
  • In South Carolina, school officials came to the homes of homeschooling families and insisted that families provide information about their homeschooling family not required by law.

There were many more instances, but these are a good sampling of the kinds of things going on.

Our public school system is broken. Period. I am not saying that there are not a few schools out there that I would send my children to, but I know they are few and far between.

Perhaps there are those out there who want to change the public school system. That's fine. (Right now, it doesn't need to be "fixed" - I believe it needs to be completely restructured and redone, but that's another story.) I don't want my kids sitting in a broken system for years while politicians bicker about how to "fix" the schools. I want my kids to receive an excellent education without the fear of being shot in school. My children are too important to me for that.

Yes, private school is an option. I am not sure if I want my kids in any school at this point (the whole group mentality thing bugs me), but if I had to put my kids in school, I could live with private school.

The issue I have with reading all of these stories is that officials (from a broken, inefficient system) are knocking on the doors of homeschoolers (who are trying to help kids escape this broken system) and harassing them.

Where were these officials when I complained that a newsletter sent home by my child's public school teacher had more mistakes than I could count? Where were these officials when I had my public-school-educated child asking me if they spoke English in Michigan? Where were these officials when I repeatedly went to them and asked for protection for my kids because the hoodlums in the school were physically assaulting my kids? Where are these officials when I listen to the kids in my Sunday School class struggle to read? Where were these officials when I corrected schoolwork/study sheets the teachers sent home with the kids?

In my honest opinion, these officials need to worry about what is going on in their own backyard and try to fix what is wrong in their schools - not harass families who are trying to escape their broken system.

Homeschooling works. There are numerous studies (that can be seen on the HSLDA website) proving how much better homeschooling students perform academically compared to public school students.

My message to those school officials:

"Quit wasting your time and resources going after homeschoolers. Go work on the problems staring you in the face in your schools."

Friday, February 1, 2008

Upcoming project! Warning! Warning! Warning!

Just giving you a heads up, people!

The kids are going to be working on a postcard project next month! Trying to see how many and from how far away they can get post cards. They will be making a science/geography project for display.

Just warning you to go buy some stamps! LOL

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Almost 20,000 hits!!

Holy cow! I just saw the sitemeter count. There are almost 20,000 hits!

Quit lookin' and start commentin'!! LOL

A whole new approach to education

Actually, it's not "new" - it's "old."

Heart of Wisdom is a homeschooling resource that I have been looking at for a while now. Now is the time of year for homeschoolers to begin thinking about gearing up for next year. (Yes, I know it's early, but curricula needs to be decided upon and bought in advance.)

Reasons why I really like the HOW approach:

  • I like the approach used by HOW. It is designed on a 4-year plan, and it covers all of the required subjects. It also has a 4-step approach to lessons, and it is based on the Hebrew education style (as opposed to the Greek education style taught in schools).
  • It seems less structured, so I feel it is going to be a good "fit" for my daughter, but there is still plenty of content - so it will challenge my son.
  • Part of the lessons are "how this helps me in everyday life." - how many times have you heard students ask, "When am I ever going to use this?"
  • There is a heavy emphasis on the Bible.
  • There are a LOT of Internet links in the lessons.
  • There is an emphasis on writing.

My only drawback is that it does look time-consuming for the parent, but that is okay.

I am going to spend the next few days/weeks poking around the website and seeing what I think, but it really does look like a good curriculum to use.

If anyone has used this (or if you know of a fantastic curriculum), feel free to leave a comment!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Mommy's little treehugger

First, let me start by saying that the title of this post refers to my 9 year old, and I say it with love. :o)


Somehow I have a little activist on my hands. I do my part for charity stuff, but Camryn takes it to a whoooooole new level.


I fully expect her to join GreenPeace or some such organization when she gets older. Or start her own.


When I asked her about which Presidential candidate she thought would be the best, her answer was: "Someone who would be conscious of environmental issues. We have to conserve our natural resources." This was from a 9 year old. And she just rattled it off like she says that kind of stuff every day of the week.


Case in point:


We had a food drive for our church this week. (We have a food pantry at the church.) Camryn called relatives and collected 65 items for the food pantry!!! She collected more by herself than most of the adult classes did altogether!!

What does this have to do with homeschooling?

Each of my kids has their own strength. My older son is really strong in science and math. Because I share this passion, it is easy for me to relate to it and get excited about it.

But I finally realized that Camryn has a true gift, as well. She has a heart of compassion. She can motivate people to contribute to worthy cuases. She never meets a stranger. She relates well to younger kids, older kids and adults. She loves talking to an audience.

And so, in the long run, her gift is as valuable as any other. (And perhaps more so.)

My job is to help her nurture and grow that talent over the next 9 years. :D

Curriculum choices are an obvious start, but I also need to choose projects and other opportunities for her to gain experience in her chosen "field."

By the time she is 18, she could have an impressive resume built up!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Do what you are passionate about

I had several emails about a previous post that mentioned working from home. My response is this:

What is your passion?

I would say that there are several "passions" in my life:
  • Homeschooling. I feel very passionately that I am the best teacher for my children and that I should be free to raise my children as I see fit - with my morals and values.
  • Writing. I love to write. I love to put my thoughts "out there" and see how others respond and react. I love to generate discussion. The Internet has brought out so many good authors and provided an outlet for their talents! (Hopefully, I am one of them! LOL)
  • Debate. I LOVE a good debate. I love switching sides and debating the opposite of what I believe in, just to play the Devil's Advocate from time to time.
  • Public speaking. I love getting up in front of groups and yapping. I have spoken to groups about my testimony (former Wiccan and occultist, now Christian), about how to spot signs of witchcraft/occult involvement in teens, about domestic abuse (from past experience) and other topics, but those are the ones I speak about most.

I read recently that when the artist Renoir was crippled with arthritis, he strapped a brush to his arm and continued to paint. THAT is passion!

Find something you love doing (or a product you love selling and telling people about) and start from there! Find a hobby or find a company you can love working with!

Comments or suggestions? Comment here and tell about what you do! Why do you do it?

Got a question? Post that, too!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

"What do you study?"

This is another question I get a lot.

Please keep in mind that different states have different requirements. To find out more about what is required in your state, please visit the HSLDA site.

In SC, for the grade level my children are in, I am required to teach reading, writing, math, social studies and science. I am free to teach these subjects however I choose and do not have to use any set curriculum.

Personally, in addition to these subjects, I also teach the following:
  • Phonics/Word Study
  • Spelling
  • Language Arts
  • US Geography (which could be under the Social Studies heading)
  • Home Ec (sewing, cooking, etc.)

Next year (when my son is in 7th grade), I will add literature to the list.

Because it takes so much less time to do schoolwork, we can cover a larger number of subjects in any given day. Even with the additional subjects, we are still done by noon most days.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I am SO much cooler online....

Have you heard the song by Brad Paisley?

"I work down at the pizza pit
And I drive an old Hyundai
I still live with my mom and dad
I'm 5'3 and overweight

I'm a Sci-Fi fanatic
Mild asthmatic
Never been to 2nd base
But there's a whole nother me
That you need to see
Go check out MySpace

'cause online I'm down in Hollywood
I'm 6'5 and I look d*mn good
I drive a Maserati
I'm a black belt in Karate
And I love a good glass of wine

It turns girls on that I'm mysterious
I tell 'em I don't want nothing serious
'cause even on a slow day
I can have a three way
Chat with two women at one time

I'm so much cooler online
So much cooler online

I get home, I kiss my mom
And she fixes me a snack
I head down to my basement bedroom
And fire up my Mac

In real life the only time
I Ever even been to L.A.
Was when I got the chance with the marching band
To play tuba in the Rose Parade.

Online I live in Malibu
I posed for Calvin Kline,
I've been in GQ
I'm single and I'm rich
And I got a set of six pack abs that'll blow your mind

When you got my kinda stats,
it's hard to get a date
Let alone a real girlfriend

But I grow another foot
And I lose a bunch of weight
everytime I log in"

I love this song!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

"I can't afford to homeschool."

This is something I hear a lot. I discussed this a bit in this post.



"I can't afford it. Both of us have to work!"



Aside from the fact that the second income may not really be helping (when you factor in child care, etc.), let's assume you need to have two incomes.

Did you know there are lots of options for women (and men) who want to work but need to be at home?

  • Ebay is one option. Clean out your house and make some moola.
  • Telecommute. See if your current job can be done from home.
  • Freeleance work. Writing and marketing jobs can be done this way.
  • Home businesses. You can either start your own biz or join a Direct Sales company.
  • Turn a hobby or passion into a business.

I do a combination of #3 and #4. Right now, my income comes from my home business (with a gourmet food company), but I am releasing 3 books this year, and I believe that will contribute greatly to my income. I would love to make a living at #5, but I have yet to find a way to turn my fondness for watching Star Trek reruns into a profitable home biz. Hehehehehehe

My true goal is to make enough to keep my hubby at home hand have him not need to work. We'll see how that goes! LOL

Snow days

Here in the beautiful coastal city of Charleston, SC, snow is something we watch on The Weather Channel, not something we drive in or see outside of the window.

Actually, we do get snow - about once every 8 years. I have 2 kids that have never seen the white stuff. One has seen a dusting. The other saw tons of snow - in PA.

So last night the weatherman said we "might" have snow today. "Might," in this case, meant "not bloody likely, but there is always a miniscule chance we could see a flake or two." That was all it took for my kiddos.

KIDS: "Can we miss school if it snows? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease? Pretty please? Pretty pretty please?"

ME: "Sure! No problem! In fact, if it snows, I'll dance naked on the lawn!"

Okay, I didn't tell them the last part, but I thought it really loud.

Anyway, today the darling kiddos got up, ran to the window and saw.........!!!!!!!!!

Rain. Lots and lots of rain. Sad, sad kiddos..... :(

For those of you who live where it snows all of the time, homeschooling is great. Curl up on the sofa and enjoy some hot chocolate while other people try to drive in that slippery white stuff.

For those who only get the occassional snowfall, homeschooling is great, too. Want to take a day off to frolic in the snow? Sure! Go ahead! Have a blast! Want to have school anyway? Sure! Go ahead! Go for it! Want to frolic in the morning and study in the afternoon? Sure! Go ahead! Do it!

It's all about having control over your own schedule instead of answering to someone else. :o)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Lies, lies, lies

I was looking through the local paper and saw an ad in the Help Wanted section. I am not looking for a job, but this ad caught my eye.

It read (and I am paraphrasing) "Local entrepreneur seeks bilingual assistant to help expand business."

Now, I really don't want a job, but I thought I could help out a fellow entrepreneur, right?

Well, when I called, I got a sales pitch to join this guy's MLM. I have nothing against MLM or Direct Sales (I am with a Direct Sales company myself), but this company sounded like a ripoff AND the ad was VERY misleading, and I told him so.

I also told him that I had called with all intentions of VOLUNTEERING my services to help with his business, but after calling and hearing what he had to say, I changed my mind. What he is doing (with the ads) is just plain wrong.

Okay. I feel better now. Thanks for letting me vent. :D

Monday, January 14, 2008

Living life more efficiently

As many of you read on this post, I am not known for my housekeeping abilities. LOL

However, that is before I found FlyLady. (http://www.flylady.com/)

The transformation has been AMAZING! My family is in shock! (Even my Mom.)

She uses very small steps (she calls them FLYBaby steps) to get you started.

I am on Week 2 and I am thrilled. She has everything broken down into really easy, 10-15 minute steps.

If you suffer from CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome - her phrase), be sure to check her site out and sign up for the emails. It is awesome!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Lordy, Lordy - Guess who's 40!

Yep, that's me! I turned 4 decades old on Jan. 10th!

Do I feel old? Nope. I don't. The grey hairs in my head remind me that this ain't my first rodeo, and I have a little common sense now.

Our culture worships youth. Ads cater to the young and how parents can please the young. Ads loudly proclaim how you can "fight the signs of aging" and all of that nonsense.

I worked hard for these grey hairs. Heredity has been good to me in the fine lines and wrinkles department (Thanks, Mom!), but my grey hair gives me away.

If I dyed my hair, I could easily pass for 30, but I don't. Why should I? So people can think I had my kids when I was 16? So they can look at me differently? So total starngers can think I am younger than I really am?

No, thank you.

Besides all that, my daughter loudly and proudly proclaims that I am "4 decades old" to total strangers everywhere we go, so the hair dye wouldn't work anyway.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

I've been tagged!

I have been tagged by Mercedes!

Here are the rules to this particular meme:

  1. Link to the person that tagged you.
  2. Post the rules on your blog.
  3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
  4. Tag six random people and the end of your post-link to their blogs.
  5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
  6. Let the fun begin!

Okay. Here are my non-important things:

  1. I love dark chocolate.
  2. I drink way too much coffee.
  3. I have a zillion Post-it Notes on my desk.
  4. I am tired today.
  5. I had pizza for lunch.
  6. I will blog more after I finish this post.

Now I have to tag six people. Hmmmmmm.

Okay. I tag the following:

  1. The Myst: http://www.pynkmyst.wordpress.com/
  2. Dave: http://www.balancedmarykay.blogspot.com/
  3. FreefromPT: http://www.werlivingfree.wordpress.com/
  4. MKRules: http://www.mkrules.wordpress.com/
  5. Shades of Pink: http://www.shadesofpink.wordpress.com/
  6. And finally: http://www.mom2my6pack.blogspot.com/

Now to go notify them.....:D

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Homeschoolers and college

Another question I am asked about homeschooling is, "What about college?"

What about it? College is certainly an option for homeschoolers. Homeschoolers (on average) do better in a college environment than those who are traditionally schooled. Homeschooling is a lot of independent study, any way - much like college.

Another option homeschoolers have is taking college classes before graduating from high school. It is quite possible for a homeschooled student to have an Associates Degree by the age of 18. In fact, some online colleges will allow students as young as 14 to take courses! Graduating from high school early is not unusual, either.

Homeschoolers also keep a portfolio of work done. They usually take the SAT. They can take college entrance exams. All of these things help "prove" the academic ability of the student.

Having control

Kids in public schools around here will be going back to school on Thursday. I never understood that - going back to school for 2 days and then being off for the weekend.

We are off until Monday. Yeah, only 2 less days than the public school kids, but it seems like more because of the weekend.

I love the flexibility of homeschooling. It makes for a much more relaxed time.

I have also decided that we are not taking off 2 months for the summer. I am going to have some time off, but then we are going to take a shorter break so that the kids don't forget all that they have learned. :D

I like being able to control our schedule. It makes things work for us.