Saturday, September 15, 2018

Picta Dicta Natural Road (A Homeschool Review Crew Post)


We've tried a couple of different Latin programs in our years of homeschooling. Most of them have been for the purpose of review. When we first started out I thought a classical education was what my heart was singing for. Then eventually realized that while my heart sang a classical tune, the rest of me was far more relaxed than I had anticipated. That being said, I was really excited to get to review a Latin course from Roman Roads Media called Picta Dicta Natural World




Before I move on too much into my review, I need to tell you that Roman Roads was extremely generous in providing us three licenses to try out the course. You might have figured out by now that Picta Dicta is unique in that it is an online product and is entirely self-paced.  The product is intended for elementary students and up so it is perfect for all kinds folks interested in learning a bit more Latin. 

Other than our glimpses into other Latin programs, my experience with Latin is from Indiana Jones and singing in choirs throughout my life.  Funny story (and a little bit off the subject). I was a "helper" at co-op this past week in the choir room. When the choir teacher pulled out a particular song I squealed, "Oooo, Latin!" She asked me if I was a Latin teacher (she was worried just in case she was pronouncing something wrong). It must be noted that in choir it is not the exact pronunciation that is most important, but that EVERYBODY is pronouncing the words the same way.  



I'm not sure how the rest of the world (meaning all of you) signs up for Picta Dicta Natural World, but I am not going to go into how I got to my profiles...other than it was really easy. I did realize somewhere along the line that I had not completed a step setting up my profile and thus could not figure out what I had done wrong...initially. Never fear. 
There is always a friendly customer service person or teenager there to tell you where you went wrong.  
This is an extremely helpful video going through the program. 

Now it would be super simple for me to tell you all about the program, but I like to see what I'm doing so I thought I would show you how a lesson works. 
Now this is an early lesson. Obviously they are get much harder. There are over 200 chapters avaiable...and one or more of us had to do a chapter or two over (and over again). 

The first lessons are about animals. This first Chapter is Basic Animals and this portion is from the Learn Latin. We are introduced to each animal and given a little story, folklore or history. For example, war pigs were used to scare the mighty elephants used for battle. I don't know if you know this but pigs can be onery. They aren't all Charlotte. I concure with those elephants. The Latin word appears up in the lefthand corner. When you click on it you hear the pronunciation and repeat it. 


After moving through just a few animals, you are quizzed. 

Anybody know? 



You are taken to a screen where you can choose from six different animals. 


Ta-dah! 

However, sometimes we just don't pay attention. Mr. "sus" was labeled incorrectly under his turn. Never fear. This program is self-correcting and Mr. "sus" will appear often until the game feels we have mastered his monicker. 



Sadly, on this day... scores weren't that high. We are given stars for how well we managed the game. This one little star tells me that possibly someone needs some more practice. The redo icon to the right allows us to do that. 

There is also a Latin Picture and Spell Latin with each chapter, as well. 

This is such a fun and innovative way to study Latin! It is certainly better for those kids who need extra repetition and some hands-on experiences. Which pretty much sums up the entirety of my household. Adults included. 
For those of you who are worried about the "pen to paper" aspect of a curriculum, there is free downloadable workbook. 
I love that the program adapts to each student and gives us plenty of time and opportunity to make mistakes. It is certainly worth your time to check it out. I don't think you will be disappointed! 
I also have to say that the artwork in the program is really lovely. Just an aside, but I think you'll agree.


It's a keeper! 

You can connect to Roman Roads via the following social media outlets. Don't forget to click on the banner below to read more reviews. 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RomanRoadsMedia   @romanroadsmedia
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/romanroadsmedia/  @romanroadsmedia
YouTude: https://www.youtube.com/user/romanroadsmedia  @romanroadsmedia
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/romanroadsmedia  @romanroadsmedia

Classical Rhetoric and Picta Dicta {Roman Roads Media Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Kingdom Files (A Homeschool Review Crew Post)

Some of my favorite reviews I get to do involve books.  Surprise! I know you didn't see that one coming. For this review, I received two books from Barbour Publishing. These books are from a series called the Kingdom Files Series. They sent us Who was Jonah? and Who Was Mary, Mother of Jesus? for review.



The Kingdom Files Series, written by Matt Koceich, currently has six books ready for consumption. The books are intended for ages 8-12. The other titles include...

  • Who Was David?
  • Who Was Daniel?
  • Who Wad Esther?
  • Who was Jesus?
The books are an easy size to manage (just under 100 pages long) and contain plenty of illustrations and maps. The most interesting aspect of the books (besides the subject matters) is how Mr. Koceich has created a series that is so much more than storytelling. 



Each book is divided into three portions. 

The Fact File gives the character's name, provides biographical information; such as where he or she is from. This section all talks about what the character did in the Kingdom of God. It's that section you probably wish somebody would include in the back of every Bible behind the concordance. 

The Action File is the character's story itself.  I appreciated the ease of the narration and that Mr. Koceich didn't add any conversations or events that he imagined could have taken place. It's all straight from the source but written in a way that kids can read. This part also contains "clues." These clues provide a bit more information about the story and character.

The Power-Up File is the action part of the book. How do we apply what we just read? For example, Each Power-Up has a memory verse to learn. This portion of the books is essentially a small devotion. 
    What I Thought




    Sadly, my teenage son has leaped ahead of the suggested age range for the Kingdom Files.  Though I can tell you secretly that he really enjoyed them.

    While both books were hits, I think Who is Jonah? was the favorite. We saw a live production of Jonah a few years ago a Christian theatre. It was fantastic. I am always sad for Jonah. In Sunday School you are taught about the days he spent in the belly of a whale. You learn that he learns his lesson and finally obeys God.

    What you don't understand is that Jonah's heart wasn't really changed through his experience in the belly of that whale. He practiced obedience, yes, but God still had to show Jonah that there was so much more at stake...even in Jonah's own heart.

    Who is Jonah? does a fantastic job at speaking to more than just those obvious takeaways we've heard all of our lives. One of my favorite Power-Up File's is Power-Up #8: God is Grace.  The big
    story of stories is His grace. This comes from the Power-Up.

    "The enemy is doing everything in his power to make us feel like we're one mistake away from God shaking His head and walking away from us. But this isn't truth. God is grace. Forever. ........Live your life full of thankfulness for everything God has done and is doing, because He is grace."

    Now that will preach, my friends. 

    Beyond the edification and encouragement found in the Power-Up File, I found the rest of the book to be just as neat. Of course, it had me at the timeline found and found in the Fact File and I immediately start perking up when anybody mentions "From: Gath-Hepher"....I love all of the history stuff. 

    These are just really cool books! They are kind of detective/devotion/Bible study books. Who could ask for more?  

    This one is a keeper! 

    You can connect with Barbour Publishing via the following social media outlets. Read more reviews by clicking on the banner below. 



    Kingdom Files {Barbour Publishing Reviews}
    Crew Disclaimer

    Friday, September 7, 2018

    The Gyn

    My husband tells me that sometimes I can be mouthy.

    He knows better.

    Mostly, I am guilty of not speaking up.

    Last week, my nurse practitioner and I "practiced" what I was going to say to my gynecologist. I had told her that maybe I should see somebody else. That I just knew that if I went back to him that he was going to "prescribe" the same course of treatment that nearly every other gynecologist I had seen in my life was going to suggest and he wasn't going to hear me.

    My nurse practitioner "hears" me.

    This is about to get a little personal.

    She told me that unfortunately, most everyone would feel that they would have to run the same battery of tests he had completed the year before and would want to run again.  But she also told me that I needed to speak up for myself. That I was intelligent and that I knew what I wanted.

    And what I wanted mattered. ( I really need to have her make a general doctor's note a can carry around in my purse for this)

    You see, when I go to a typical gynecologist visit it is never typical for me. There is always a sense of unfinished business. There is always a sense of loss. Most of the time, I can brush it off and bury my head in a magazine or book.

    Only seldom do I go back to the exam room and have a typical visit. There is always an issue to be discussed or a problem to be solved.

    And while I have many "specialist" who I have standing appointments with...it is the gynecologist who has always told me things I didn't want to hear.

    You are not ovulating.
    They are not regulating.

    There is no heartbeat.

    When it came time for my visit to my gynecologist it was not a pleasant one. I cried ugly tears. I'm fairly certain I scared the man. I'm also pretty certain he's never made a hillbilly mad before. Not to mention the number of unchecked hormones coursing through my body.

    But, I also know what I want. This girl, this woman...had to learn to walk again. She faced death full on and cackled...The Muffin says I cackle. I am sure there are those that have traveled across my life and have discounted my tears and my pain, but we all have 'em.

    Let me tell you something. You don't know me. You don't even know the half of it.  If I said the half of it, you probably would be offended. I'm mouthy somewhere up there.

    As I was listening to that young man speak (I'm fairly certain he's younger than me) I wondered if he had looked fully at my chart.  But also realized that some of those qualities of "hearing" came from time and experience.

    Our time together did not end badly. Eventually, he did hear me. He became less defense and actually gave me some really good advice. Though the man didn't offer to find me a baby somewhere and we all know that would have made everything better.

    I have never been shy about talking about infertility or my love affair with adoption. Josiah is everything. And he knows it.

    I just never figured on still having this unfinished business and sense of betrayal so late in the process. Especially after everything else I've been through. 

    Confrontation and painful feelings are just so stinkin' hard to talk about.

     And we are all such ding-dongs. Really! The minute anyone of us wants to vent or cry about something "some" beacon of "light" has to stand up and remind us that we are so "blessed" and have so much to be thankful for. Or relate a story of a relative that has suffered a  tragedy that makes your story pale in comparison.

    Word of advice? Just let people talk. Don't try and fix things. And don't start your reply with "well, you think that's bad..." 

    Shew. So that was the tale of my time at the gynecologist and the visit he'll never forget.  Though I did eventually get to my favorite little boutique and spent too much on clothes.

    There are many kinds of therapy, my friends. And nobody went in debt and died to do it.

    I feel that I do need to make a bit of disclaimer here before I finish my little rant. The Muffin and I are not trying to conceive. The Muffin, my cardiologist, and my momma would KILL ME! There are some other things going on. I'm just speaking vaguely to protect the gentle sensibilities of my Uncles, Daddy and any other male relatives who might happen on this post.

    You never know.




    GrammarPlanet (A Homeschool Review Crew Post)

    The latest review I have for you is GrammarPlanet. So far, I've been quite impressed.



    Way back in the day (before the Interwebs were even a thing) I learned grammar the old-fashioned way. My teachers were also big fans of diagramming sentences and I still can't look at a sentence without automatically diagramming it in my head.

    I am not quite a grammar fanatic, but I do kinda/sorta probably mostly cringe when reading most social media posts. Much like the one I just wrote.

    I do feel like grammar needs to be part of a good, if not great, education. However, it's a lot harder to teach...especially to someone who doesn't enjoy reading as much as I did as a kid. My son is also dyslexic, so we have spent a good amount of time just celebrating the reading part of the process.

    Josiah does so much better when he can constantly review. He has a hard time playing catch-up and likes to compete with himself. GammarPlanet is perfect for him in this regard.

    I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's talk about the particulars.

    GrammarProgram is an online program. You will need a reliable Internet connection, a good set of speakers, headphones or earbuds and some way to print a set of notes that come with each unit. It is intended for kiddos who have no knowledge of anything grammar to those who think they know everything but want or need review. That covers a lot of folks.

    GrammarPlanet actually has a FREE version that you can sign up for that features ads. The trial version I played with this version and perfectly respectful.

    In fact, I initially enrolled Josiah and me in the same course. Granted it has been a bit since either of us have simply needed to identify only the nouns in a sentence, but this is the deal. If you are playing around and trying to whiz through a lesson and happen to score poorly on your practice questions....

    The program will prevent you from moving on, my friend.

    You will either have to appeal to your mother and master of the GrammarPlanet dashboard to unlock the next Unit or you will have to do the poor Unit all over again.

    There be consequences in grammar.

    Eventually, our account was changed over to an Ad-free version and I have to say that this was much better for Josiah. I am not sure about the cost on this, but if you have a kiddo who is easily distracted I would recommend this version. The program itself is wonderfully simple and perfect for kids who need just the basics and none of the fluff.

    Which, in my humble opinion, is about everybody.

    Before you get ready to head on over to sign yourself up, I don't believe that version is ready for the general public so don't get too excited. But do sign up. They will have the Ad-free version ready for everybody very soon...I am just not sure when.

    On with the show.

    I don't have a screenshot of video lessons, but each Unit begins with those. These lessons are taught by the lovely Erin Karl who is CEO and Owner of GrammarPlanet and Analytical Grammar. She does such an awesome job. She is easy to understand and very clear in her explanations.

    As I mentioned, the program itself is simple and easy to manage.

    You can see from the screenshot that parsing is used here. Parsing is simply labeling the part of speech in a sentence using an abbreviation. Here we are marking the noun.  The popup box is asking me about labeling the word.


    What you can't see is while the word is read is marked red, there is a little note at the bottom of the screen that told me that I had labeled something I hadn't been taught about yet.


    Here is the score sheet from Josiah's first Unit. I can tell what he struggled with by scrolling down to what was marked incorrectly.


    This is a screenshot from a test.


    And the screenshot after the test was taken.





    Another great thing about GrammarPlanet is that it is recommended for the student to work for 15 minutes a day. It's not going to kill anybody to work at anything for 15 minutes a day. You get great progress notes and you know your student is getting a solid grammar study and review. 

    The boy needs it. Every bit of it. 


    This one is a keeper! 


    You can connect with GrammarPlannet via the social media outlets. For more reviews click on the banner below.

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/analyticalgrammar
    Twitter: www.twitter.com/analyticalgram
    Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/analyticalgram
    Grammar Program Online {GrammarPlannet Reviews}
    Crew Disclaimer


    Wednesday, August 29, 2018

    Exploring Creation with Health and Nutrition (A Homeschool Review Crew Post)

    I recently had a chance to review the brand new Exploring Creation with Health and Nutrition by Dr. Laura Chase from Apologia Educational Ministries. For my review, I received the Health and Nutrition Basic Set.



    I'm going to spend just a minute completely geeking out on you. Apologia was the very first vendor review I did for The Crew way back when. I begged and pleaded and probably offered my services for life when I asked for that review.

    Which is probably why I am still here.

    Apologia has published some of my very favorite homeschool curricula. And now...Exploring Creation with Health and Nutrition. I haven't even got to my favorite part yet.

    IT'S FOR HIGH SCHOOL!

    Yes, it is! Cue all the fun emojis!☝✌😉😀💗👍

    The Basic Set comes with a hardcover textbook and a spiralbound student notebook.

    The textbook is gorgeous. Josiah spent a whole afternoon just looking through it. This kind of stuff is right up his ally. Though he tells me he wants to make a living playing video games, he is really interested in the medical field. I think this course has been a fantastic nudge in that direction.


    All the Apologia textbooks that I've had the privilege to own have also come with book extras online (via a password). This one was no exception. We were treated with online articles and videos to visit with each module. There are also answers to the study guide and test.

    The book also provides instructional support for those of us who have students who need extra help. For example, I usually try and find Josiah an audio component of his textbooks. Unfortunately, this product is so new I don't think the audio CD is out yet!

    There is also a list of items needed for the course. These include internet access, few items needed for exercise, and the Book Extras.

    The course is divided into Modules. I have to say...Every module I looked through I thought..."Yes! I'm so happy Dr. Chase is covering this!"

    This is a little paragraph about body order.


    I'll just leave that one there.

    Beyond being a textbook, this is really one of those books that I want to keep long after Josiah finishes. It like "everyman"s guide about health and how to live your life. At least in terms most of us can understand.

    Trust me. I was an education major in Anatomy and Physiology I in college. That class about killed me.

    The student notebook is also excellent. It is much more than busy work.  There is ample space for notetaking and plenty of interactive activities.

    For example,  Module 1 is "Who Am I and Why Does Health Matter."

    Almost right away Josiah had to take a temperament test.  Now I think I know what he's like, but I wasn't sure he would be all that self-aware. Turns out my 16-year-old didn't have any trouble taking the test.



    He is much more self-aware than I give him credit for. He is also more observant of other people too. He was ready to test me too!


    This page is from Module 4 which is about Interpersonal Harmony. This Module talks about making friends, building relationships, interacting with others, and gender roles. So much good stuff! And so many capital letters down below!


    What impressed me was the variety of activities contained within the pages of the notebook. I think variety is the spice of life AND education.  I think your student is going to be engaged...regardless of his or her inclination.

    The notebook also has Grading Rubrics and Suggested Daily Schedules. The tests are all located in the back in the Student Notebooks.

    My Thoughts (the rest of them)

    Obviously, it has been a long time since I've had Health in High School or College. But I do remember a few things about my time. It certainly wasn't like this health course.

    Yes. Health And Nutrition talks about ALL of it.

    The usual things like good nutrition and exercise. Dental care and bad cholesterol. Josiah learned more about certain medical professionals and help for ear wax troubles. The cardovasicular system and allergies.

    This course also talks about reproduction, masturbation, immunization choices and sexual health. But it does it in a way that is God-honoring. The course also talks about Spiritual joy, taking Sabbath rest and finding peace in difficult times. It's nice not having to worry about what I'm handing over to him to read or learn.

    Here is what Josiah had to say.

    "This is a really good class. I like knowing what is good for me and not trying to just figure it out."



    That is high praise, indeed.

    I can't say enough good things about this course. I don't think my son has been this excited about a class in a long time. It makes my heart happy.

    Before you go take a look-see at the product yourself, go download this FREE e-book  It's called  Whole-Health: God's Design for Your Body, Mind, and Soul Activity e-book. 


    You can connect with Apologia via the following social media outlets. Don't forget to click the banner below to read more reviews.

    Facebook:  www.facebook.com/apologiaworld    Tag:   @apologiaworld   
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    Health and Nutrition Basic Set {Apologia Educational Ministries Reviews}
    Crew Disclaimer

    Friday, August 24, 2018

    Friday Favorites

    It's Friday.

    If you have been following the 5 Day of Homeschool Encouragement Series at all you might have noticed something.

    I didn't do Thursday.

    Thursday went by like a runaway stagecoach being pursued by a band of outlaws bent on gettin' the gold and the purty gurl.

    "The best laid plans of mice and men...."

    I will maybe go back and catch up some time. As for time moment, it is what it is.



    Today I want to talk about My Favorite Stuff. Most of this stuff pertains to homeschooling, but also can be used generally. This is an eclectic list. There are no affiliate links or links at all. Sorry about that...I just want to tell you what I know.


    1. I love Audio Books. They are a mainstay of our educational experience. But I use them far beyond that. I use them while I am cleaning the house or having a sick day or riding in the car. Currently, we use Audible, but I have always used the library or Youtube for FREE. And FREE is always a good thing.

    2. HP Instant Ink. It's been worth the money. Every bit of it. In case you don't know it's an ink service for your printer. I pay a monthly fee. Printer ink and homeschoolers have a precarious relationship. I got tired of trying to figure out ways to budget in ink cartridges or make copies at the library. Saves me time and a big headache.

    3. Everything But the Bagel Seasoning.What the What? I realize this isn't anything related to homeschooling, but I thought I would throw this lovely little seasoning in there. It's from Trader Joe's and up until a few months ago, I had never sampled its wonderfulness. I still live about an hour and 1//2 away from one, but I try and stock up when I visit. It makes even the plainest salad sing for joy.

    4. Charlotte's Web. This is the one that I have read to every child that I have ever had a chance to read aloud to. My kindergarten classrooms. My little reading co-op clubs. My own son. It's the best read aloud ever.

    5. Prism Colored Pencils. We are big fans of art supplies here and there is nothing like these colored pencils. I'm sure they make some fancier ones, but these are a bit more affordable and they do a good job. Plus, my artist mother was the first one to give me a set of them to use. I haven't looked back since.

    6. Gel Pens. They make me so happy. Every semester, Josiah gets a brand new set. Not all are created equal, but that's okay. They make notetaking, doodling, problem-solving, and life, in general, that much better.

    7. Lapbooks. Genius. I'm a fan. For some of you, they will be a lot of work. Don't even mess with them. They will make your brain hurt. But there will be those of you who will get it. You understand that kind of creative process and hands-on activity. You understand that not only does it provides a record and review of your child's education, but a much-needed outlet for you.

    8. Rituals. I promise I am not suggesting anything untoward or demonic. We just aren't those kinds of people. I'm talking about building routine into your life. These are small things that either bring ease or simple comfort. They might even be basic life-giving habits. I start my mornings with coffee but end it with herbal tea. I read at night, but I also have been trying to stay off the computer. I take a soak in Epsom salts a few times a week.

    9. I love my Timer. Do you have a piddler? Are you yourself a piddler? Use a timer. It will change your life.

    10.Youtube. This is fairly obvious for many reasons. Classical music playlists. Old documentaries. New documentaries. Historical speeches. Educational programs. Public programs. Old television programs. It's easy to get caught up some nonsense, but there are a lot of great free resources. I love doing Unit-based Studies and have gotten a lot of my information on Youtube. Plus FREE can't be that bad.

    You know I have lots more favorite stuff. But I've got my timer on. You know how that goes.

    Have a fantastic weekend, my friends!!!









    I'm joining my friends from The Crew for The 5 Days of Homeschool Encouragement Blog Hop.

    Don't miss their very encouraging Posts!








    Wednesday, August 22, 2018

    Wednesday's Rules (5 Days of Homeschool Encouragement)

    It's Wednesday!

    I'm sitting in the corner of my couch listening to the comfortable sounds of my air conditioning. It's the calm before and after the storm.

    A group of church ladies just left my house. I just fed them a healthy breakfast casserole made with hash browns, cheese, yellow and red peppers and eggs from my daddy's chickens. There was plenty of coffee to go around. And as always, I made sure that there was real butter under the butter dish and honey on the table.



    We have a Wednesday tradition. It started as a Bible Study at McDonald's, but it has morphed into a breakfast and Bible Study at the Parsonage (aka my house). It's a little more work for me, but I've decided that the ladies feel a little more pampered and it gives those who are strapped for cash an opportunity to feel included.

    And The Muffin mopped my floor this morning. I do have my ulterior motives in all this.

    In just a bit, I have to do some busy work for an event we are having at the church Friday evening. Not to mention some last minute planning for our BIG start of school day coming up shortly.

    Recently, I've had to put myself in time out and give myself a big talking to. I'm instituting "office hours" for all the things I have to get done during the day. There have been too many late nights. And too many "come to Jesus" talks from The Muffin and my momma about taking better care of myself.

    I really do know better. A girl can't live with a suite of chronic illnesses this long without knowing better. But it's hard to get off the hamster wheel of "busy" and "bad habits" once you've been riding for a while. Trust me, I know.

    But I bet my bippie (whatever that bippie might be) that there are those of you out there, be ye homeschool mommas or my favorite librarians, that are tired of the ride.

    It's time you know about "The Rules."

    "The Rules" are also known as "The Be Good to Beke Rules." Those of you who have read my blog for any number of years might have heard me refer to them. Only they really don't just have to do with just me...they apply to my whole family. These are habits and practices that deal with the health and wellness of "us."

    It's what works for us. You can take or leave them. But they help this homeschool family stay focused and this momma stay alive.

    1. The only beverages I will purchase consistently are water, milk, and buttermilk (The Muffin is a lifer). I will also buy almond milk for me to use in my oatmeal. I will also purchase Crystal Light to keep up in the cabinet and I will make tea for the fridge. I do buy tea bags and coffee. If there is pop/soda/coke in this house...these people will drink it. These people will have cavities. These people won't drink water. The end.

    2. I don't buy junk food in any form except for popcorn and a bag of tortilla chips weekly. I'm mean like that. People think I'm so mean that they bring my son Ding Dongs. This is the thing. I gained 600 pounds last year just buying Girl Scout cookies in front of the Walmarts last year. Sometimes I made a healthy treat for my family. But my son knows. He sniffs out stevia.

    3. I let Josiah pick out whatever fruit and how much fruit he wants. However, I decided if he wants sugary cereal he can purchase it himself. I'm mean like that. I got tired of the spaziness. And the trips to the dentist. It's amazing what the boy considers worth his money. Same with candy. Try it. You'll like it.

    4. I will buy fast food for him on Mondays when he is done with his co-op class. Then The Muffin takes him out for their "Dad's Day Out" for a Big Mac. I bent the rules yesterday when we were out for Chik-Filet. Cause it's Chik-Filet. As for myself, there are only certain things I will eat at certain fast food restaurants. This helps me stay accountable.

    5. Because of our busy schedule and Josiah's age (he's 16), I purchase things he can make for himself for breakfast and lunch. But I have done so for a few years now. When he was younger, I made up pancakes ahead and put them in the freezer. In fact, I used to add baby food to his pancakes to add more nutrients to them. Now he will make himself an egg. He also likes frozen burritos or peanut butter sandwiches. He also likes salads or sometimes will make a quesadilla. The quesadilla I taught him how to make in the microwave years ago. I also try to have salad stuff made up in the fridge.

    6. We have never enforced a bedtime (homeschool privilege). However, we get up when we get up. If you stayed up until 1:00am playing a game on your Kindle that is not my problem. Blurry eyes and a foggy head is your problem. As is your dirty laundry. Boys in my house learn to do laundry early.

    7. During our busy seasons, I keep supper as simple as I can. I will use my slow cooker a few times a week. Right now, The Muffin is grilling once a week, but I am having him grill 2 kinds of meat. We are using it for a few meals. One of my easy favorite meals is a can of refried beans, one-half link of chorizo sausage, one-half onion. Fry up the onion with chorizo, then add the beans. Chop up lettuce, tomato, and sour cream. Serve with tortilla chips.  Chorizo sausage isn't the lightest product in the universe, but it will make you want to smack somebody. In a good way, I promise.

    8. We talk about what kinds of things we are doing to keep ourselves active. The Muffin and Josiah ride bicycles for long distances. I do cardio rehab several times a week. Josiah used to be on a swim team. Your family could take walks together. The point is to be intentional with movement. Even throwing dance parties in the living room could be a good time. Provided there aren't any broken bones! Gotta move!

    9. We also talk about ways to keep ourselves Spiritually focused. We all have personal devotions. Built into our School days are devotions and Bible reading. We are faithful in our church attendance. This isn't too hard. The Muffin is the pastor. We make sure we find people to connect with and talk a lot about encouraging one another. It's easy for all of that kind of stuff to fall into a routine. But it needs to be so much more. You know what I mean.

    10. Be good stewards of your time. Don't be afraid or ashamed to say "no." This is a tough one. Especially because when you homeschool some folks will take this to mean that your time will be more flexible. You got to stand your ground. You will also have to make yourself accountable for how you are using your time. There is nothing wrong with letting that phone go to voicemail or not checking your social media pages. Or putting up boundaries. Like me with my "office hours."

    So there you have it. I'm pretty sure I have numbers 11-20 floating around somewhere in my head. But this girl as stuff to do. I got to stick to my own rules!!

    I am joining up with friends from The Crew for the 5 Days of Homeschool Encouragement Blog Hop. Take time to read their stuff.











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