Hip Homeschool Moms » Hip Homeschool Moms http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com A Community for Families Living the Home Education Lifestyle Fri, 22 May 2015 05:01:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Journey Through Depression Part 4 http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2015/05/journey-depression-part-4/ http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2015/05/journey-depression-part-4/#respond Fri, 22 May 2015 05:01:29 +0000 http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com?p=33811&preview_id=33811 This is part 4 of a 4-part series about my journey through depression. Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 My children began their school years in our local elementary school. Every day we’d wake up, eat breakfast, and walk up the hill to the bus stop. I’d wave good-bye as they drove away, […]

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Taunya

Taunya

Owner/Writer at Walking with Shiloh

Taunya began homeschooling in 2010. Currently settled in the Pacific Northwest her days consist of taxiing kids to various activities. When they can, her and her husband enjoy spending time with their three tween/teens exploring the US in an RV. Her greatest passion is to share her story of abuse, acceptance and forgiveness; giving a voice to the voiceless.

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This is part 4 of a 4-part series about my journey through depression. Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

My children began their school years in our local elementary school. Every day we’d wake up, eat breakfast, and walk up the hill to the bus stop. I’d wave good-bye as they drove away, return home, and begin doing whatever it was I was doing that day. I became an involved parent in the classroom and around the school. The office staff knew my voice and my name. I ignored the piece of my heart that ached when I’d miss my children during the day.

I continued counseling and my psychiatrist  kept increasing the dosage of my medication. One session she looked at me. “I cannot increase this anymore. You are taking the maximum dosage. We need to discuss what is causing your depression.” You see, the voices had ceased speaking years before, but the overwhelming feeling of dread never went away. I had to get to the source of my pain if I was going to get better.

Journey Through Depression

 

I had been sexually abused as a child. Later, at the age of 17, I left my family and moved to Oregon. There I met my husband, married, and 4 years later became a mother. I was now the mother of three children who were being taught things I didn’t agree with in school. I was married to a man I didn’t love. I went to a church with beliefs I no longer believed. Instead of facing reality, I was sitting on a psychiatrist’s couch begging her to medicate away my pain.

In 2007 my father-in-law suddenly died of lung cancer, and my world started falling apart. My relationship with my husband was crumbling. Our children were pushing us away. Our business was failing. I was struggling with depression. We’d lost hope. Then my husband had a CRAZY idea. “Let’s buy an RV and travel across the country.”

 

Yes, because when everything is going wrong the best thing to do is just run away from it all.

Journey Through Depression Part 4We made plans, hired an operations manager for the business, bought a travel trailer, and informed the school our children would not be back in the fall. June 27, 2010 we began “The Great Escape.” For two months we traveled around the western United States. Something happened that I didn’t expect — I fell deeply in love with my children. I released control over my children and began to just love them for who they were. I had no idea that parenting them the way I had longed to be parented would heal my heart and bring relief from depression.

I began homeschooling in September 2010 with plans to spend the next few years traveling across the country. Once I let go of the whole “school-at-home” idea and began to homeschool, the depression started leaving. As I gave my children permission to explore what they wanted, I began to allow myself to explore what I wanted. As I encouraged them to try new things, I began to try new things. As I began to tell them people could be trusted and life was meant to live to the fullest, I began to believe I could trust and live life fully. It wasn’t just my children who were changed by homeschooling … homeschooling changed me.

I discovered I like traveling. Writing. Photography. Stalking Watching Birds. I discovered my favorite evening activity is curled up on a couch, kids snuggled, reading Harry Potter, Lemony Snicket, C.S. Lewis, and Madeleine L’Engle. I discovered I love the way my soul feels standing next to an ocean, hearing the waves and soaking in the feel of the spray on my face. I discovered that although I reject my childhood faith, I love Jesus more than seagulls love french fries. Although I’m not a domesticated, traditional type of woman, I love my children deeper than anything I could ever describe. I explored every inch of life with my kids until one day I found the depression no longer controlled me.

I left for a trip to Nashville last month. As I was leaving, my daughter, the one who was pushing me away in 2010, came running out to the car. She threw her arms around me and said, “Do you think our relationship is good?” Before I could answer, she continued “Because I think it’s really good. I love you and will miss you and that’s why I want you to come home.” My heart burst into pieces. I kept back tears. I drove away thankful to know those years of depression have been replaced by these years of joy.

My journey still continues. There is no cure for depression. Although the symptoms are recessed, I will manage it the rest of my life. I’m off all medications and use natural practices to keep my chemistry and mood balanced. If/when it flares again I am prepared. I’m at peace with who I am, where I am, and what I am. The dark nights of desperation are behind me, and I look forward to these years of parenting teens, navigating college, and guiding my children into adulthood. I will always have regrets but being a momma will never be one of them.

Thank you for reading my story. I pray that you found hope in my words. Depression can suck the life out of you, but you don’t have to surrender to it. Please know that you are not alone…that there is life after depression.

Author information

Taunya

Taunya began homeschooling in 2010. Currently settled in the Pacific Northwest her days consist of taxiing kids to various activities. When they can, her and her husband enjoy spending time with their three tween/teens exploring the US in an RV. Her greatest passion is to share her story of abuse, acceptance and forgiveness; giving a voice to the voiceless.

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Fall-Off-The-Bone Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2015/05/fall-off-the-bone-ribs/ http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2015/05/fall-off-the-bone-ribs/#respond Thu, 21 May 2015 05:01:40 +0000 http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/?p=34129 These Fall-Off-The-Bone slow cooker BBQ ribs will have your family cheering for them again and again! IN your slow cooker, place 3-4 pounds of country style pork ribs. Dice a cup of onion and toss it into the cooker.   In a measuring cup, combine 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/3 cup brown […]

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Constance

Constance is a home cooking maven and professional recipe developer, a lover of snow, coffee and good chocolate. She has been an Army Wife for more than 2 decades. The mother of 3 mostly-grown kids, and now living in Alabama, she has been eclectically homeschooling for 13 years and has two homeschool graduates. An organic Christian, she loves studying scripture, and exploring God’s creation. Constance has maintained a food-related website since 1998 and has had her content published in several local and national publications. She loves to encourage others to come back to the family supper table with good food and family-friendly recipes.

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These Fall-Off-The-Bone slow cooker BBQ ribs will have your family cheering for them again and again!

Fall-Off-The-Bone Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs from Hip Homeschool Moms

IN your slow cooker, place 3-4 pounds of country style pork ribs. Dice a cup of onion and toss it into the cooker.

DSC_0085

 

In a measuring cup, combine 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon Chipotle chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon each of black pepper and dry mustard, 1 teaspoon of oregano and sea salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

DSC_0088

Stir them all together.

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Pour the mixture over the top of the ribs, cover and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours.

Fall-Off-The-Bone Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs from Hip Homeschool Moms

You will need a slotted spoon to scoop out the meat, because it will literally be falling off of the bones. The day after I made these, I used leftover meat from the ribs to make some great paninis!

Enjoy!

Fall-Off-The-Bone Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs from Hip Homeschool Moms

Fall-Off-The-Bone Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 3-4 pounds of country style pork ribs
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place the pork ribs in your slow cooker. Dice a cup of onion and toss it into the cooker.
  2. In a measuring cup, combine all of the remaining ingredients. Stir them together and pour over the ribs in your slow cooker.
  3. Cover and cook on low setting for 6-8 hours.
  4. You will need a slotted spoon to scoop out the meat, because it will literally be falling off of the bones. The day after I made these, I used leftover meat from the ribs to make some great paninis!
  5. Enjoy!

 

Author information

Constance

Constance is a home cooking maven and professional recipe developer, a lover of snow, coffee and good chocolate. She has been an Army Wife for more than 2 decades. The mother of 3 mostly-grown kids, and now living in Alabama, she has been eclectically homeschooling for 13 years and has two homeschool graduates. An organic Christian, she loves studying scripture, and exploring God’s creation. Constance has maintained a food-related website since 1998 and has had her content published in several local and national publications. She loves to encourage others to come back to the family supper table with good food and family-friendly recipes.

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How to Promote STEM Education in Your Homeschool http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2015/05/how-to-promote-stem-education-in-your-homeschool/ http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2015/05/how-to-promote-stem-education-in-your-homeschool/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 05:01:00 +0000 http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/?p=33598 STEM education has to do with teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These subjects often cause those who homeschool or who are considering homeschooling to worry that they won’t be able to succeed–that they won’t be able to educate their children well in these subjects. Today, though, teaching these subjects doesn’t have to be a frightening prospect! There are […]

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Brenda

Brenda

Owner/Writer at Schooling A Monkey

Brenda is a professional writer and homeschooling mother to two girls in Dallas, TX; with a passion for books, DIY, and creative education. Her blog, www.schoolingamonkey.com, is all about homeschooling, crafts, green living, and fun. Keep up with the fun here!

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STEM education has to do with teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These subjects often cause those who homeschool or who are considering homeschooling to worry that they won’t be able to succeed–that they won’t be able to educate their children well in these subjects. Today, though, teaching these subjects doesn’t have to be a frightening prospect! There are so many great ideas and resources available to us that the real problem is how to narrow them down! Keep reading to learn more about how to promote STEM education in your homeschool and some of the resources you might want to consider using to make it fun and easy for you and your students!

HHM How to Promote Stem Education in Your Homeschool Resized

When I was a child, I HATED science. We used textbook-based curriculum that I Just. Didn’t. Get. I don’t know if it was my fault or the curriculum’s fault, but I thought science was the worst subject ever.

Math was not far behind. I liked a few things, but mainly I could have done without it.

We didn’t focus much on engineering in school growing up, but we definitely focused on it during play. I remember constructing some risky implements while we played outside–such as a two-story-high tire swing, stick “weapons,” and a fort made from scrap wood.

Of all the STEM subjects, I was lacking the most in math and science. Unfortunately, you need a strong basic understanding of both of these subjects when pursuing many career paths today. For example, I use a lot of science information while writing from home, and my husband uses math and programming algorithms in the legal field.

I always knew I wanted to focus more on STEM activities for kids when our own children reached school age, but with a weaker background in STEM, how does a parent encourage the development of STEM skills? Here is what we have found works for us:

How to Promote STEM Education in Your Homeschool

disclaimerJump in with easy activities:

Our kids are still young, so they still learn from the most basic of science experiments (different ingredients make chemical reactions!), but what I love about any STEM activity is that there is always more to learn. You can make any project as simple or as complicated as you like to suit interest and ability level. When we did our nature science walk, Monkey learned about the life cycle of plants, weather patterns, and the scientific names for plants. Bo just learned the difference between a flower and a tree.

Use a kit:

We are still building up our resources for STEM activities, so we don’t have everything for every project yet. We love purchasing kits that come with everything you need for several projects (We like these Young Scientists kits), which really makes things a lot easier.

Learn along with your kids:

I am not super strong in science or math, which means that I often learn things along with Monkey and Bo. When we learned about rocks, I learned how to categorize rocks for the first time, too! When Monkey was learning how to add and subtract larger numbers, I learned a few new tricks. I think it’s really fun to learn along with them!

Allow open-ended learning:

As I mentioned earlier, a lot of our STEM education came through play when I was growing up. My family and I live in an apartment in the middle of the city, which makes building tree forts a little more difficult. But we try to allow our children the freedom to experiment and explore on their own as much as possible. I try to make sure we have plenty of open-ended supplies on hand for spontaneous STEM learning.

Don’t force it:

Part of what made us dive headfirst into STEM was Monkey’s love of science and experimenting. She has a mind that wants to explore and learn about science, so we embrace it. I thought I didn’t like science and math as a child because it felt forced and boring. Fostering a passion for STEM is a delicate balance between providing solid concepts and allowing children to have fun and explore at their own pace.

Make it fun:

Providing a fun way to learn is probably the most important part of early STEM education. A strong base of fun can help kids power through the boring years in high school to get to the other side in college and in future careers.

Here are a few of our favorite STEM-related resources:

 

Cooper & Kid Cooper Kit Subscription Box for Dads And Kids
Junior Explorers
Explore Science, Technology, Engineering, Math!

 

Do you promote STEM education in your homeschool? Do you have a background in STEM, or are you winging it like we are?

 

Author information

Brenda

Brenda

Owner/Writer at Schooling A Monkey

Brenda is a professional writer and homeschooling mother to two girls in Dallas, TX; with a passion for books, DIY, and creative education. Her blog, www.schoolingamonkey.com, is all about homeschooling, crafts, green living, and fun. Keep up with the fun here!

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HHM’s Featured Posts & The Hip Homeschool Hop 5/19/15 http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2015/05/hhms-featured-posts-the-hip-homeschool-hop-51915/ http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2015/05/hhms-featured-posts-the-hip-homeschool-hop-51915/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 05:01:47 +0000 http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/?p=33975 Welcome to the Hip Homeschool Hop! Our Favorites This Week: Kelli with Adventures in Child Rearing especially liked Outdoor Exploration: 10+ Ideas for Dads and Kids. Kelli said, “We believe in the power of Exploring Creation – these are great ideas for kids to spend time with dad(or mom) outside this summer.” Tanya with The […]

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Wendy

Wendy

HHM co-owner and owner/writer at Homeschooling Blessings

Wendy lives in the South with her wonderful hubby and 3 great kiddos! She is a Christian, homeschooling, work-from-home mom. She and Scott were high school sweethearts and have been married for more than 20 years. Her oldest child has autism, and Wendy began homeschooling her at age 2. Her son, a typical boy, would rather do anything than school! Her youngest child is a little social butterfly and people lover. Wendy loves reading and quilting and will hopefully return to scrapbooking some time soon.

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Welcome to the Hip Homeschool Hop!

hip homeschool hop

Our Favorites This Week:

Kelli with Adventures in Child Rearing especially liked Outdoor Exploration: 10+ Ideas for Dads and Kids. Kelli said, “We believe in the power of Exploring Creation – these are great ideas for kids to spend time with dad(or mom) outside this summer.”

HOP Post Outdoor-Exploration-10-Ideas-for-Dads-and-Kids

Tanya with The Natural Homeschool enjoyed Kids Kitchen: Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Tanya said: “We actually made this cake following the recipe and it was delicious!”

HOP Post pineapple-1

Brenda of Schooling a Monkey has several favorites this week! She really liked this post about how to apply Montessori learning to summer fun! It’s called Top 10 Ways to Use Montessori Principles for Summer Learning.

HOP Post Top-10-Ways-to-Use-Montessori-Principles-for-Summer-Learning1

Another of Brenda’s favorites was Circus Kindergarten Math Worksheets.

HOP Post circus-k-math

And with summer travel coming up for many families, Brenda also suggested 40+ DIY Car Games for Kids. (I apologize, but the image for this post would not upload.)

Thanks for linking up with us! Maybe your post will be a featured favorite next week! 

An InLinkz Link-up


Author information

Wendy

Wendy

HHM co-owner and owner/writer at Homeschooling Blessings

Wendy lives in the South with her wonderful hubby and 3 great kiddos! She is a Christian, homeschooling, work-from-home mom. She and Scott were high school sweethearts and have been married for more than 20 years. Her oldest child has autism, and Wendy began homeschooling her at age 2. Her son, a typical boy, would rather do anything than school! Her youngest child is a little social butterfly and people lover. Wendy loves reading and quilting and will hopefully return to scrapbooking some time soon.

The post HHM’s Featured Posts & The Hip Homeschool Hop 5/19/15 appeared first on Hip Homeschool Moms.

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Creative Bible Journaling http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2015/05/creative-bible-journaling/ http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2015/05/creative-bible-journaling/#comments Mon, 18 May 2015 05:01:02 +0000 http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/?p=33722 Happy Spring, friends! This month, I am excited to share creative Bible journaling to inspire you with a unique way of engaging and connecting with God’s Word. Currently, I am on a recovery from burnout journey. This new adventure has sparked a revival of sorts in my own life. In this season of the resurrection, […]

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Sharra

Sharra

Owner/Writer at The Homeschool Marm

Sharra Badgley is the wife of Christopher Michael and mother to Shaiya and Briyah. They make their home in Central Indiana near Indianapolis. After 15 years of homeschooling, they consider themselves classically eclectic. In addition to traditional classical methods, they are quite fond of Charlotte Mason's educational philosophies and embrace living books, nature study, historical biographies, and timeline studies. With an eclectic flair, they utilize traditional textbooks, unit studies, lapbooking, and a myriad of other diverse home education resources. Sharra likes to incorporate modern technologies (mobile devices and apps) into their homeschooling with a classic twist. Sharra blogs and reviews homeschooling and Christian resources at The Homeschool Marm.

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Happy Spring, friends! This month, I am excited to share creative Bible journaling to inspire you with a unique way of engaging and connecting with God’s Word. Currently, I am on a recovery from burnout journey. This new adventure has sparked a revival of sorts in my own life. In this season of the resurrection, I am walking down a new path of renewal in my devotional walk with the Lord. I finally discovered how therapeutic artistic creativity is to my soul and spirit.

creative bible journaling

If you had asked me a few months ago, I wouldn’t have considered myself a creative person by any means. In my childhood years, I loved to paint, sketch, create, and do anything artistic in nature. Somewhere along the way, I lost this part of myself. Thankfully, I have gracious friends who share the beauty of their lives and inspire me to rekindle the creative spirit in my own life. Now that I am enjoying this creative renewal, I am just bubbling over with joy of sharing this with others. I hope in some small way this post will help spark your journey of nurturing your soul and spirit through art.

Are you creative? Do you make any time for yourself to enjoy creative arts?

If you are anything like I was just a few months ago, you might say that you do not have time for art or creative pursuits. I understand. Friend, I know your plate is probably overflowing with many responsibilities as you educate your children, manage a household, possibly handle additional vocational work, and wear the many other hats that you do in our busy modern world. If your to-do list is crammed full, it may seem difficult to try and squeeze in something that seems as frivolous as art. I once felt the same way.

Last fall, my dear friend Christa (who just oozes with creativity!) introduced me to the concept of Bible journaling. Christa was inspired by Shanna Noel of Illustrated Faith to take her Bible journaling in a creative direction. Previously, I have always written in my Bibles but usually only focused on scribbling little notes, prayers, highlighting, and other marginalia. After being inspired by these lovely ladies, I began to rekindle my own creative spirit, and it has completely renewed my devotional walk with the Lord.

creative bible journaling
When I first began Bible journaling, I simply started with watercolor pencils. My sketches looked just as ones I used to make in elementary school which was about the time my creativity fizzled out. Just recently, it was a therapeutic healing moment for me to understand that I stopped being creative in elementary school. My father had a heart attack and died at the end of my fifth grade year. At that moment, I had forgotten the creative part of my life as I became mired down in grief and depression. Rediscovering my creative side in my middle age years has been such a delight. Truly, it is as if I am returning to a childlike faith. Now I delight in sharing this joy with my own children! I have certainly surprised them because they are not used to seeing me flow with such an artsy vibe.

creative bible journaling

Bible journaling enables me to:
-focus on God’s Word
-concentrate on Bible passages
-meditate in thoughtful prayer
-find relief from anxious thoughts
-shift from passive reading
-explore my creative soul
-nurture my spirit
-think deeply about life application
-wander with wonder
-slow down and savor devotional time with the Lord

creative bible journaling

To get started in Bible journaling, you can order a Journaling Bible by Crossway (includes wide margins), use your own Bible of choice, or select from many blank journals that are available from assorted publishers. I primarily use the Single-column Journaling Bible published by Crossway, but I also use various blank journals and sketchbooks as I try out different artistic techniques. Personally, I enjoy using the specific Journaling Bible for most of my journaling because the margins are wide for artistic space, and the pages are thick enough to handle various art media.

creative bible journaling

When I first began Bible journaling, I started with just a few simple supplies such as watercolor pencils and a watercolor palette. A friend shared her extra art supplies with me, and now I am branching out in art media such as acrylic paint, inks, rubber stamps, stencils, stickers, and gelatos. You can keep your Bible journaling as basic or advanced as your heart desires. What truly matters in Bible journaling is that you have a meaningful connection with the Lord and His Word.

Here are a few different ways you can create your own Journaling Bible:
-Log your notes in the lined, wide margins
-Add prayer requests, answered prayers, and praise items
-Use watercolor pencils, colored pencils, or twistable crayons to draw doodles or sketches
-Use Sharpies (No-Bleed versions), Micron pens, or other specialized pens
-Use watercolors or acrylics to paint pages
-Use gelatos to add color to the pages
-Use rubber stamps and inks to design pages
-Use scrapbooking die-cuts, stickers, rub-on transfers to create pages
-Add glitter by sealing pages with Mod-Podge
-Add photos of your family or log milestone events with photos (weddings, births, baptisms, etc.)
-Add your children’s hand prints with meaningful verses
-Write with calligraphy, various scripts, and doodling
-Create layered overlays with transparencies and vellum

creative bible journaling

I have enjoyed this process so much that I am facilitating Bible journaling classes and workshops for youth at my local homeschool co-op, church, and greater community. Once you get hooked on Bible journaling, you will most likely find that your own family and friends are eager to engage with God’s Word in this creative way. It’s contagious!

Over the past six months, I have witnessed the Bible Journaling and Illustrated Faith communities grow exponentially. Through social media, a dynamic Bible arts community is flourishing as people inspire one another to cultivate creativity in their devotional walks. At first, it can seem intimidating to get started if you aren’t used to exploring your creative side. I would like to encourage you just as my friend Christa encouraged me to just create. Don’t get bogged down in the desire for perfection. Simply enjoy the creative process.

Friend, I hope I have encouraged you to make some margin in your busy life so you can find the time to nurture your own soul’s needs. You may just find that art is therapeutic and can refresh and renew you in areas where you are weary. You are a masterpiece of a Grand Creator. You are created to be creative.

So what do you think? Do you want to give Bible Journaling a try? I would love to hear from you in the comments!

Author information

Sharra

Sharra Badgley is the wife of Christopher Michael and mother to Shaiya and Briyah. They make their home in Central Indiana near Indianapolis. After 15 years of homeschooling, they consider themselves classically eclectic. In addition to traditional classical methods, they are quite fond of Charlotte Mason's educational philosophies and embrace living books, nature study, historical biographies, and timeline studies. With an eclectic flair, they utilize traditional textbooks, unit studies, lapbooking, and a myriad of other diverse home education resources. Sharra likes to incorporate modern technologies (mobile devices and apps) into their homeschooling with a classic twist. Sharra blogs and reviews homeschooling and Christian resources at The Homeschool Marm.

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So I Look Like a Homeschool Mom. So What? http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2015/05/look-like-homeschool-mom/ http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2015/05/look-like-homeschool-mom/#comments Fri, 15 May 2015 05:01:39 +0000 http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/?p=33883 I guess it never crossed my mind.   Not even once.   Not until my friend mentioned it. “You look like a homeschool mom.”   Actually, the conversation went something like this:  “I was out with the kids the other day, and someone came up to me and asked if I am a homeschool mom. […]

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Kristy

Kristy

Owner/Writer at Kristy's Cottage

Kristy Howard is a pastor's wife, second-generation homeschooling mom of five, and a passionate believer in friendship, coffee, and quiet time!

Kristy writes about motherhood, ministry and life at KristysCottage.com.

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I guess it never crossed my mind.  

Not even once.  

Not until my friend mentioned it.

“You look like a homeschool mom.”  

Actually, the conversation went something like this: 

“I was out with the kids the other day, and someone came up to me and asked if I am a homeschool mom.  I thought, ‘Man, do I look THAT bad?'”

My guess is that I just blinked dumbly at my friend when she told me this because, honestly, I’d never, ever thought twice about “looking like a homeschool mom.”

I mean, what does a homeschool mom really look like?  

So I Look like a Homeschool Mom.  So What?

Evidently there’s a label or stigma out there.  Maybe she’s the one with fifty kids, a limo-long van, messy hair, and frumpy clothes… I’m not sure, because I know that doesn’t describe me.  😉

But really?  What does a homeschooling mom supposedly look like?  And why are we afraid of “looking like that”… whatever that is? 

As I’ve pondered the whole “homeschool mom label” thing, I thought about the homeschooling moms in my circle of friends.  We are a diverse group, representing various backgrounds, church affiliations, and personalities.

Some of us have a bunch of kids.  Some of us have one or two kids.

Some of us drive vans.  Some drive SUVs, or sports cars. Or trucks.

Some of us are divas.  Some are jeans-and-tee-shirt gals.

Most of us are stay at home mothers, but I also know homeschooling moms who work from home, work outside the home, or have college degrees and a career history.

Some of us are crunchy conservatives.  Some might be crunchy liberals.  Or not-so-crunchy conservatives… or liberals.  Or a million other things!

I wouldn’t say that any of us necessarily “look alike.”  We live according to our personal convictions, dress according to personal style and taste and, honestly, I don’t think we really even think about it.

We just are, and we let each other be.

And I think that’s exactly how the Lord wants us to live.

As home educators, we all share some common ground, common values.  But we are not all cut out of the same mold, and neither should we be.  There is room for diversity, room for individuality, and room for growth.

Maybe I get that, and maybe you get it.  Maybe your friends and family and the clerk at Wal-mart don’t get it.

Maybe they lump you into a broad category of “that kind of mom.”  Maybe they slap labels on your head.

I say, who cares?

Let people lump and label.  You don’t have to get offended or prove them wrong.  Just be yourself.  

Forget the labels.  Actually, let me rephrase that: REFUSE the labels.

Refuse to label others (your opinions and attitudes toward others do show, and they may affect people more than you realize).

Refuse to wear labels yourself.  

People can think what they want and say what they want, but that doesn’t change who you are.  But first you need to know who you are and be okay with that.  

If you deal with insecurity and feeling like you always have to prove yourself, ask God to help you develop confidence and self-awareness.  Embrace your strengths, skills, and your own unique personality.  God has equipped you to thrive as a wife and mom!

I honestly don’t care if someone thinks I look like a homeschool mom because I don’t believe that is a bad label in the first place.

The other reason I don’t care is that I realize we homeschooling moms have the liberty to be ourselves, to live outside the box, to be original in a cookie-cutter-world, just like everyone else.

Maybe a lot of moms don’t have the confidence to live outside the mold, but obviously you do.  You are.

Live your life confidently.  Live it graciously.  Live it with conviction.

Show the world what a vibrant, fearless homeschool mom really looks like!  

——————

Do you ever get asked if you’re a homeschool mom?  Does it bother you?

Author information

Kristy

Kristy

Owner/Writer at Kristy's Cottage

Kristy Howard is a pastor's wife, second-generation homeschooling mom of five, and a passionate believer in friendship, coffee, and quiet time!

Kristy writes about motherhood, ministry and life at KristysCottage.com.

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PB&J Pockets Recipe http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2015/05/pbj-pockets-recipe/ http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2015/05/pbj-pockets-recipe/#comments Thu, 14 May 2015 05:01:59 +0000 http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/?p=34101 A while back, I came up with a yummy and very easy recipe for lunch or a snack for the kids.  It’s not exactly health food, so I probably wouldn’t serve these often. They are, however, a fast idea for a busy day or a fun treat for a play date. All you need is […]

Author information

Wendy

Wendy

HHM co-owner and owner/writer at Homeschooling Blessings

Wendy lives in the South with her wonderful hubby and 3 great kiddos! She is a Christian, homeschooling, work-from-home mom. She and Scott were high school sweethearts and have been married for more than 20 years. Her oldest child has autism, and Wendy began homeschooling her at age 2. Her son, a typical boy, would rather do anything than school! Her youngest child is a little social butterfly and people lover. Wendy loves reading and quilting and will hopefully return to scrapbooking some time soon.

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A while back, I came up with a yummy and very easy recipe for lunch or a snack for the kids.  It’s not exactly health food, so I probably wouldn’t serve these often. They are, however, a fast idea for a busy day or a fun treat for a play date.

PBJ pic 1 edited

All you need is a tube (or two) of reduced-fat crescent rolls, some jelly, and some peanut butter. I like to use all-natural peanut butter. It does have a bit of sugar in it, but my kids just don’t like the “only peanuts” kind at all, so I compromise. You can use either smooth or crunchy peanut butter. Either will work well. I also use all-natural jelly. It does not contain corn syrup.

PBJ pic 2

The first thing you do is separate the crescent rolls into individual pieces. Then put a small “dollop” of jelly and a small dollop of peanut butter on each piece. The right side of the triangle will be longer than the left side because the sides of the crescent rolls aren’t all the same length.

PBJ pic 3

Next, you take the right side (the longer side) and fold it over to the left. Make sure the peanut butter and jelly is toward the middle of the triangle so you can seal that back edge together.

PBJ pic 4

Then, just bring the point of the triangle that faces toward you up to meet the edge that sits over the peanut butter and jelly.

PBJ pic 5

Pinch together all of the seams to try to keep the jelly from leaking out when they are baked. I almost always have at least one or two of them that leak a bit of jelly, but I do my best to pinch the edges together to minimize it. Even the ones that lose a bit of jelly are yummy!

PBJ pic 6

If I’m taking them somewhere (to a get-together or something), I take the ones that turned out the prettiest. Here are some that I sealed really well that look nice.

PBJ pic 7

Even the ones that come apart a bit still look pretty to me because they have a little bit of color.

I suppose you could also use other “stuffings” for these if you want to. It would be easy to use Nutella instead of peanut butter or to substitute other kinds of jelly, homemade jam, and so on. And if you wanted to get really industrious, you could make your own dough and roll it out thinly instead of using the crescent rolls.  Since I mostly make these when I’m short on time, though, I’ll just keep on using the ready-made ones.

Do you occasionally let your children indulge in a yummy treat? What’s your favorite quick and easy lunch or snack idea? 

Author information

Wendy

Wendy

HHM co-owner and owner/writer at Homeschooling Blessings

Wendy lives in the South with her wonderful hubby and 3 great kiddos! She is a Christian, homeschooling, work-from-home mom. She and Scott were high school sweethearts and have been married for more than 20 years. Her oldest child has autism, and Wendy began homeschooling her at age 2. Her son, a typical boy, would rather do anything than school! Her youngest child is a little social butterfly and people lover. Wendy loves reading and quilting and will hopefully return to scrapbooking some time soon.

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“Things That Give Us Joy” Easy Flower Craft http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2015/05/things-give-us-joy-easy-flower-craft/ http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2015/05/things-give-us-joy-easy-flower-craft/#respond Wed, 13 May 2015 05:01:28 +0000 http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/?p=33662 Here is a fun and easy craft to teach your children about “joy” and what it means. Joy is defined as “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.” (Google) I started out by talking to my children about joy and what it means. And I read the Scripture below to them: Psalm 103: 1-5 (NLT) 1 Let […]

Author information

Tanya

Tanya

Owner/Writer at The Natural Homeschool

Tanya is a homeschooling mom to two children, a son and a daughter. She focuses on following their particular learning interests at their level and in building a strong Christian foundation in their hearts. To cater to their high giftedness, she uses an eclectic teaching approach, which complement each other and maximize the fun in learning. Tanya has a degree in elementary education, a minor in French and a Master's degree in school administration. She is happily married to her best friend and enjoys sharing her life and experiences in her blog to provide inspiration and bring new ideas.

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"Things That Give Us Joy" Easy Flower Craft

Here is a fun and easy craft to teach your children about “joy” and what it means. Joy is defined as “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.” (Google) I started out by talking to my children about joy and what it means. And I read the Scripture below to them:

Psalm 103: 1-5 (NLT)

Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins
    and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death
    and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.
    My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

Next, we spoke about examples of things that bring us joy and happiness. Things that make us smile and feel good. They had a long list (which is great). I realized that I have a long list, too. It is just so great focusing on the good and not the bad in life!

"Things That Give Us Joy" Easy Flower Craft

For the flower craft, you will need:

– 1 egg carton (any size will do)

– tacky glue (or any kind of glue)

– construction paper in your children’s favorite color

– popsicle sticks (we used the colored ones)

– permanent markers in different colors

– scissors

– green paint (washable is preferable)

– paintbrush for each child

"Things That Give Us Joy" Easy Flower Craft

We decided to make 5 flowers for each family member, but you can decide on how many, depending on what you want or on the room you have on your egg carton. On each flower, write down one thing that brings you joy (or happiness). My 3-year old started writing the words under mine and got stuck on both “y” letters. :)

"Things That Give Us Joy" Easy Flower Craft

With the pointy part of the scissors (an adult job), gently poke a hole on the top of each “bump” on the egg crate. Once the flowers have been glued onto the popsicle sticks and dried completely, poke them through the holes on the egg crate.

"Things That Give Us Joy" Easy Flower Craft

Display in a prominent place at home and refer to those things that bring each of you joy. I made some extras for my husband to fill out when he got home from work that day. It is a great activity to get everyone involved and focus on the positives and not the negatives of life.

"Things That Give Us Joy" Easy Flower Craft

What would you write on your flowers? What brings you joy? What was one thing that stood out to you in the Scripture verses above?

Author information

Tanya

Tanya is a homeschooling mom to two children, a son and a daughter. She focuses on following their particular learning interests at their level and in building a strong Christian foundation in their hearts. To cater to their high giftedness, she uses an eclectic teaching approach, which complement each other and maximize the fun in learning. Tanya has a degree in elementary education, a minor in French and a Master's degree in school administration. She is happily married to her best friend and enjoys sharing her life and experiences in her blog to provide inspiration and bring new ideas.

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Oak Meadow Curriculum Sale and Giveaway http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2015/05/oak-meadow-curriculum-sale-and-giveaway/ http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2015/05/oak-meadow-curriculum-sale-and-giveaway/#comments Tue, 12 May 2015 05:05:57 +0000 http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/?p=34079 Yearning for the educational freedom to explore your interests, talents, and passions? Oak Meadow offers experiential, progressive curriculum for kindergarten through grade 12. And each grade or course includes a teacher’s manual with 36 weekly lesson plans that cover all subject areas and include a variety of assignments, activities, readings, and supplementary activities. (Supplementary materials […]

Author information

Wendy

Wendy

HHM co-owner and owner/writer at Homeschooling Blessings

Wendy lives in the South with her wonderful hubby and 3 great kiddos! She is a Christian, homeschooling, work-from-home mom. She and Scott were high school sweethearts and have been married for more than 20 years. Her oldest child has autism, and Wendy began homeschooling her at age 2. Her son, a typical boy, would rather do anything than school! Her youngest child is a little social butterfly and people lover. Wendy loves reading and quilting and will hopefully return to scrapbooking some time soon.

The post Oak Meadow Curriculum Sale and Giveaway appeared first on Hip Homeschool Moms.

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Yearning for the educational freedom to explore your interests, talents, and passions? Oak Meadow offers experiential, progressive curriculum for kindergarten through grade 12. And each grade or course includes a teacher’s manual with 36 weekly lesson plans that cover all subject areas and include a variety of assignments, activities, readings, and supplementary activities. (Supplementary materials include things such as readers, craft books, and craft kits.)

Oak Meadow Logo

You have two options to choose from: independent use or enrollment.

  • Independent use: This option allows the student to use the curriculum at his or her own pace. The weekly lesson plan structure gives you the flexibility to adapt the curriculum according to your child’s learning style and your family’s lifestyle. The curriculum features a choice of creative, hands-on assignments that can be selected to match your child’s visual, auditory, and physical learning strengths and interests.
  • Enrollment: This option allows the family/ student to set the daily and weekly schedules and submit work to the teacher every two weeks. Regular submission of work ensures that students complete courses in a timely manner, however students may work at an accelerated pace if desired. Teachers assist families in tailoring the curriculum to meet each child’s interests and needs.

Oak Meadow Tweens Outside Watermarked

The curriculum follows children’s natural developmental stages:

  • Grades K-3: In these grades, the parent is the primary teacher, and the curriculum speaks to the home teacher.
  • Grade 4: The transition to more independent study starts in this grade.
  • Grades 5-8: In these grades and beyond, the curriculum speaks to the student, and students are encouraged to be more independent learners with parents providing support.
  • Grades 9-12: Students are expected to learn and work independently with parents providing support when and if it is needed.

A few more details about experiential learning:

  • Grades K-4: Because young children learn primarily through experiences such as imitation and hands-on activities, our kindergarten through fourth grade curriculum features lots of healthy activity, movement, and working with materials (mostly natural) like paints, beeswax, crayons, and clay. Some examples of such hands-on activities are baking bread, making musical instruments, and collecting rocks.
  • Grades 5-8: Students at these ages develop skills in critical thinking and creative problem solving through a variety of projects, assignments, and community service learning. They participate in research assignments and extended projects, and they are asked to interpret information, form opinions, and express their thoughts clearly and cohesively. The curriculum is separated into coursebooks: English, history, science, math, and social studies.
  • Grades 9-12: The Oak Meadow approach continues through high school, where academics become more rigorous and challenging. High school students are encouraged to make learning their own through electives, Advanced Placement, college level courses, dual enrollment, and life experiences (for which they can get credit) along with our advanced study program in which students create their own self-directed projects.

Oak Meadow Notebook Outside

Our courses are also nature-based. Studies show that nature play is important for children of all ages. Oak Meadow’s curriculum supports going outside in nature to learn math, science, and language skills, and it encourages curiosity and wonder.

Our courses are interdisciplinary: This simply means that many courses combine two or more academic disciplines. For example, in 7th grade, students study classic literature in English and ancient history in social studies. These interdisciplinary classes allow students to see and learn how these different branches are related as well as to experience how they enrich each other.

For more information and a description of the curriculum for each grade, K-8, and an overview of the 36-week lesson plan, click  this link and then click on the block with the grade level you’d like to learn more about. For grades 9-12, click this link.

To see samples of the lesson plans for each grade level, click this link and choose the level you’re interested in previewing.

We would also like to let you know that you can save 10% off enrollment and 15% off materials in our online Bookstore from now through Memorial Day! Just visit us at Oak Meadow for more information! Happy homeschooling!

Oak Meadow Sale Graphic

And don’t forget to enter below for a chance to win $100 toward purchases in the Oak Meadow Bookstore!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author information

Wendy

Wendy

HHM co-owner and owner/writer at Homeschooling Blessings

Wendy lives in the South with her wonderful hubby and 3 great kiddos! She is a Christian, homeschooling, work-from-home mom. She and Scott were high school sweethearts and have been married for more than 20 years. Her oldest child has autism, and Wendy began homeschooling her at age 2. Her son, a typical boy, would rather do anything than school! Her youngest child is a little social butterfly and people lover. Wendy loves reading and quilting and will hopefully return to scrapbooking some time soon.

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HHM’s Featured Posts & The Hip Homeschool Hop 5/12/15 http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2015/05/hhms-featured-posts-the-hip-homeschool-hop-51215/ http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2015/05/hhms-featured-posts-the-hip-homeschool-hop-51215/#comments Tue, 12 May 2015 05:01:23 +0000 http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/?p=33972 Welcome to the Hip Homeschool Hop! Our Favorites This Week: Tanya of The Natural Homeschool enjoyed Tips for Homeschooling Multiple Ages from last week’s Hop. She loved the tips and the fact that the post answered one of her main homeschool-related questions. We hope you enjoy it too! Heather of A Nurse’s Wildflowers had this to say […]

Author information

Wendy

Wendy

HHM co-owner and owner/writer at Homeschooling Blessings

Wendy lives in the South with her wonderful hubby and 3 great kiddos! She is a Christian, homeschooling, work-from-home mom. She and Scott were high school sweethearts and have been married for more than 20 years. Her oldest child has autism, and Wendy began homeschooling her at age 2. Her son, a typical boy, would rather do anything than school! Her youngest child is a little social butterfly and people lover. Wendy loves reading and quilting and will hopefully return to scrapbooking some time soon.

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Welcome to the Hip Homeschool Hop!

hip homeschool hop

Our Favorites This Week:

Tanya of The Natural Homeschool enjoyed Tips for Homeschooling Multiple Ages from last week’s Hop. She loved the tips and the fact that the post answered one of her main homeschool-related questions. We hope you enjoy it too!

Homeschooling Multiple Ages

Heather of A Nurse’s Wildflowers had this to say about her favorite article, Eight Steps for Guiding and Encouraging Your Middle Schooler Through Puberty,  “I am definitely in what she calls “middle school mania” with my 12-year-old daughter! The author, Yvonne, has quite a bit of encouragement here plus resource suggestions!!! Even made me laugh which is always a perk.”

HOPEightStepsforGuiding

Kelli with Adventures in ChildRearing recommends these Under the Sea Counting Cards and Puzzles offered by Living Life and Learning.

HOPOceanCountingCards

Brenda with Schooling a Monkey recommends this article: 2 Things Homeschool Parents Needs to Stop Saying by Kris with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

HOP2-Things-Homeschool-Parents-Need-to-Stop-Saying


Author information

Wendy

Wendy

HHM co-owner and owner/writer at Homeschooling Blessings

Wendy lives in the South with her wonderful hubby and 3 great kiddos! She is a Christian, homeschooling, work-from-home mom. She and Scott were high school sweethearts and have been married for more than 20 years. Her oldest child has autism, and Wendy began homeschooling her at age 2. Her son, a typical boy, would rather do anything than school! Her youngest child is a little social butterfly and people lover. Wendy loves reading and quilting and will hopefully return to scrapbooking some time soon.

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Why We Have a Homeschool Routine Instead of a Schedule http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2015/05/homeschool-routine-instead-schedule/ http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2015/05/homeschool-routine-instead-schedule/#comments Mon, 11 May 2015 05:01:18 +0000 http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/?p=33856 It can take trial and error to figure out some things about your homeschool style. You might feel like a pinball, bouncing from one method to another, until you finally find a fit for your family….for this semester, anyway. For instance, you may have to experiment to see if your family functions better with a […]

Author information

Charlotte

Charlotte

Owner/Writer at This Lovely Place

Charlotte Siems has been married to her pastor for 34 years. She has homeschooled their twelve children for 28 years, having graduated seven students so far. Charlotte is Minky to five grandchildren (with one on the way). She lives in Stillwater, OK, with her husband, Henry, and the five children remaining at home, along with two dogs and four cats. After losing 100 pounds seven years ago, Charlotte was certified as a T-Tapp Master Trainer. She writes about family life, homeschooling, women's issues, fitness and weight loss.

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It can take trial and error to figure out some things about your homeschool style. You might feel like a pinball, bouncing from one method to another, until you finally find a fit for your family….for this semester, anyway. For instance, you may have to experiment to see if your family functions better with a homeschool schedule or a homeschool routine.

homeschool-routine-instead-of-schedule-hhm

There was a season of time in our homeschool history that we used a strict, by-the-clock schedule. I spent many hours with little sticky notes and charts, coming up with a schedule that meshed everyone’s assignments and responsibilities. I actually called out when it was time to switch to the next activity, and who was in charge of little ones for the next time slot. It lasted about two weeks. Rather than relieving stress, a schedule created stress.

Years later, the results of several personality assessments revealed that I don’t play well with strict schedules. Too bad I spent so many years beating myself up because I compared myself to Schedule Moms. Now I’m like, “You go, girl!” but I’m happy being a Routine Mom.

For the vast majority of our 28 years of homeschooling, we’ve stuck with a routine rather than a schedule. My definition of a routine is “First this, then that.” We do things in a certain rhythm, a predictable order, but it’s not necessarily tied to the clock.

At one point I told myself that starting school very early was an indicator of spirituality and character, but for me it was actually an indicator of my insecurity about homeschooling and the need to have an impressive appearance. When health issues forced an evaluation of our family life while being faced with many more years of homeschooling, my husband and I decided that my health was more important than trying to impress other people. Probably should have figured that one out sooner.

So what does our routine look like? I almost always get up earlier than our children (like 6:00 or earlier) in order to have some quiet time to think, pray, and do self-care like exercise. I’m a slow start in the mornings, and if my health is in a season of needing it, I sleep later. For the students, it looks like this:

  • Get up, get dressed, eat breakfast….then hopefully brush teeth and hair.
  • Chores….so we start school in a reasonably tidy home.
  • Morning Time….mostly reading aloud together, for at least an hour, maybe longer.
  • Start schoolwork while Mom works with the youngest.
  • Eat lunch.
  • Finish schoolwork while Mom works on other things.

This loose schedule would drive some people crazy, but for us the concept of “routine” works well. We shoot for 9:00am on Morning Time and generally start then. One of my girls is more regimented with her personal schedule, and that suits her personality. You go, girl.

Every family should figure out what works best for them, and then cheerfully live it. Moms get in trouble when we look around and base our self-worth and Homeschool Status on what other families are doing. There’s something to be said for flexibility, and there are advantages to strict structure. Find your balance, wave at everyone else, and move through your homeschool days with confidence.

Which works best for YOUR family….a homeschool schedule or a homeschool routine?

Author information

Charlotte

Charlotte Siems has been married to her pastor for 34 years. She has homeschooled their twelve children for 28 years, having graduated seven students so far. Charlotte is Minky to five grandchildren (with one on the way). She lives in Stillwater, OK, with her husband, Henry, and the five children remaining at home, along with two dogs and four cats. After losing 100 pounds seven years ago, Charlotte was certified as a T-Tapp Master Trainer. She writes about family life, homeschooling, women's issues, fitness and weight loss.

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Happy Mother’s Day from Hip Homeschool Moms! http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2015/05/happy-mothers-day/ http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2015/05/happy-mothers-day/#respond Sun, 10 May 2015 05:01:23 +0000 http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/?p=34051 The post Happy Mother’s Day from Hip Homeschool Moms! appeared first on Hip Homeschool Moms.

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HHM Mothers Day 2015

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