Homeschool Momma: Give It A Try!

imageThe other day I was watching my husband chop wood when he suddenly handed me the ax. I was a little taken back. Me?! Chop wood? This was ridiculous. I’m 41. I’m not a physically fit person. AND I hate being laughed at… but I was comfortable with being laughed because my husband seemed confidant that I could do it.

Much to my surprise… I DID! I split two large pieces of wood much easier than I thought possible. I didn’t expect to make any progress but here I was splitting wood. It really built my confidance plus I learned a really great lesson in the process that I really want to focus on for our children.

The lesson here is to hand them something and say, “Hey, I have confidence that you can do this! GIVE IT A TRY.” Momma, they may just surprise you! Stop taking over and doing it for them. Don’t accept an I can’t. Convince them they can! If they get a knotted up stick that takes forever to split on the first try don’t let them give up because every stick isn’t that tough.

Now, you are smart enough to know I am not advocating giving your small children an ax to split wood…. apply it to your home school life, your everyday life, your kitchen life, your financial life. Don’t take over what they are trying to accomplish or you send small messages implying they are a failure because they are too slow, too clumsy, too inexperienced. Hand them the tools and say, “Here you go! Go do it! I know you can.” They may end up surprising themselves at what they can do.

Scheduling Hours Table: Now Printable!

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Scheduling those hours can be tedious work when you are totally new to it.  I’ve latched on to a few things that work.  First, decide how busy during the day you want to be?  Do you want to put in eight hours or six a day?  I’ve done the work of breaking up the 1000 hours here for you in several different week/day formats.  I hope this helps you with your planning! I’ve also updated this post so that you can print this schedule for your use! Click the link here: PRINTABLE SCHEDULE.

Charlotte Mason Homeschool Reading Log

imageI spent a little time this morning on Pinterest looking for a reading log for teachers but I only found one for students. I really needed a log for my portfolia to document what chapters, pages, or percentage (think Kindle) I read to the children everyday. This morning I created one since I couldn’t find it and I will share it with you. Above is what it looks like filled when I filled it out. After I worked with it a bit I realized I left out a place for the weekly dates and plugged a spot in for that. Although I didn’t include it in my example you easily document the minutes spent reading if you are more interested keeping track of your hours instead of pages. The beauty of this simple format is that you can use your creativity to embellish it. Click the picture below to download the log for your own personal use. Be sure the “fit to page” box is checked before you print.

Reading Log

Let me know if you found this useful! I always enjoy feedback, it encourages me to keep going knowing that others find my forms helpful.

Not all who wander are lost…

Some are merely trying to escape Mom’s notice. 

Keeping all the children from wandering from the room when they have completed their assignments or chores can be a monumental seeming task. At least it is for me. Currently I’m homeschooling five and nursing an infant. Although I have a plan/schedule life doesn’t necessarily follow it and by the time I am able to get onto the next assignment my children have wandered to the four corners of the house or property. Most days I honestly felt like I was a cowboy trying to rope a calf from the back of a Momma cow nursing her baby.

This spring I had a lucid moment after a particulary hard day when I couldn’t get anything done because of a unhappy baby and scattered children. I made a flow chart. Now, I particulary love charts, lists, and organizers and why I hadn’t thought of this before escaped me but this is what I did:


The next problem was what all the lowing that went up from the calves stuff in the corral and it didn’t take an hour to come up with the next step:

wpid-img_20150818_123242.jpgThe only thing that has kept this from working for me is my inconsistancy in directing them to the first flow chart. Once you have done one thing on the list of things to do you have to mark that off and start on another. That way they don’t draw ALL day but participate in flash cards, and letters, and colors, and drawing.

Perfect Box Pouch Tutorial

Originally posted on Make it Modern:

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How insanely fabulous is this pouch? I can’t decide if I love it so much because a) it is made from glittery elephant fabric, b) of it’s small but perfectly proportioned size, c) it holds my on the go quilting supplies or d) all of the above.

If you’d like to make your own see how below.

You will need:

  • 2 pieces of exterior fabric measuring 8 inches by 6 inches. (The longer side will be the top of your pouch, keep this in mind when cutting directional fabric)
  • 2 pieces of interior fabric measuring 8 inches by 6 inches
  • 2 pieces of mid-weight woven non-fusible interfacing (This helps add body to your bag, because without it it wouldn’t be very “boxy””
  • 1 12 inch zipper
  • Coordinating thread (this will be visible on the outside of the bag)

Things that will come in handy:

  • rotary cutter
  • cutting mat
  • shears
  • craft…

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Summer Fun Inspiration: Brainstorming

Summer Brainstorming

When I first started this blog way back when I only had two children. I loved to sit down and blog ideas and research and answers to my own questions. I never dreamed it would get the traffic every day that it does. Now, I often feel quite guilty that I don’t post more now but life has expanded and the children now number 7 with one on the way. It got harder to post since because I have been keeping up with life AND school.

We have ended up doing school all year long because we often take nice weather breaks and Mom’s too tired to help with Math breaks. However, when summer comes I just hate to stay with traditional learning. It still seems to me that summer should be fun. Which means today, I’m sitting down with my brainstorming tools; my sister over at Streetfire Designs, the internet,  and those old fashioned tools – paper and pencil.

I’m looking for inexpensive things… simple recycled craft ideas, outdoor excursions, fun workbook pages for the rainy days. Those are a few off the top of my head. However, I’m really looking for something with that extra little bit of fun. Things we haven’t experienced yet.

Join me today while I brainstorm! Here are a few of my favorite websites to start from…

What are your favorite internet stops for fun ideas to do with your children?

Apologia Science: Botany, Chapter 5: Fruit a.k.a. Seed Dispersal

Apologia Science: Botany, Chapter 5: Fruit a.k.a. Seed Dispersal

We’ve been working through Exploring Creation Through Botany really slow around here. The sheer wordiness of this particular volume versus the amount of pertinent information on the subject has really disappointed me. The amount of educational information found in most chapters could easily be summed up in one day.  Despite this, however, I like the books and plan to continue through the series.


Today, while the boys are working on the anatomy of a seed I am preparing a fill in brochure for chapter 5. I bought the Junior Notebooking Journal that goes with the text and I’ve been more than a little disappointed with the messy format and have been making and preparing my own type of pre-made notebooking lapbooking worksheets.

I thought I would share my day’s “home work” with you. You can find the Seed Dispersal Brochure by clicking this link. It is my hope that this will save you a little preparation time and provide a fun, creative outlet for your children as they learn about seed dispersal.