It’s alright to have a different schedule…

Working Momma,  I know you are often tired and worn out.  If you are like me, the vast majority of your homeschooling mom friends are full time moms.  That’s ok, there is no contest here.  We each need to do what God has called us to do for our family.

But, friend, if you are anything like me you find yourself sometimes frustrated.  My child does homework at 6:30 am while someone else’s child may not start until 9 am- and your child is of the age they realize the difference.

Or my biggest struggle is we cannot go on that field trip or fun group outing yet again because my schedule cannot be changed for the week due to some meeting or appointment.  I let mom guilt get the best of me- especially when my child knows about the trip I cannot make work.

Let me encourage you- it’s just fine to have a schedule to meet the needs of your family.  Your child will forget about that fun trip or have time for a different activity because your schedule looks different. God has called each of us to serve our families- but it’s going to look different for all of us regardless if we work full time, part time or stay home full time.  So, if you see a fellow homeschooling mom doing something you wish you had the time to do, do not despair- just do your very best.  It’s alright to be on a different schedule and not keep up with the rest of the homeschooling world.

 

 

 

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An easy foil slow cooker meal…

foil.jpg

I’m all about easy meals in the slow cooker.  This is a summertime family favorite that happens to be cooking today!

Bottom layer:

Wrap frozen, skinless chicken breasts in foil with BBQ sauce (or other seasonings to taste).  Put this in the bottom of your slower cooker.

Middle layer:

Dice potatoes and season to taste.  Wrap in foil lightly sprayed with cooking spray.  (We like a small amount of seasoned salt.)

Top layer:

Wrap ears of buttered sweet corn in foil.

I cook this on low all day.  Do you have an easy slower cooker recipe?

School has started!

If you follow the Employed Homeschool Mom on Facebook you know we started school on Tuesday.  I had not planned to start until next Monday, but Monday night my daughter asked to start.  Since I had everything ready to go- that’s just what we did!

She has also been attending a VBS this week where they serve kid friendly meals, so I do not have to break out meal planning until next week.  Of course, next week I have lots of meetings to schedule around too.  I hope to share some of my meal plans and scheduling tricks for working moms over the course of the school year.

Are you ready for the new school year?

 

The Two Week Countdown

Two weeks until we start back to school in our house.  (Honestly, part of me is not ready!)  I have the first week of assignments done, except I’m really struggling with what to have her read.  We dropped a text book reading program this year in favor of books that will challenge her, but she will enjoy more.  (Any suggestions, friends?)

I’m also working on menu planning the first few weeks of school.  This summer I’ve had days where I have not had to use the crockpot every day- but that first week back on a school schedule- I think I’ll be using the crockpot.  One less thing to think about!

I purchased what few supplied we need a couple of weeks ago.  After you homeschool a few years, it seems new pencils, notebooks and erasers are about all you need.

I’ve also been using time watching her extracurricular activities to work on her handwriting notebook for the year.  Since she usually does this without me around, I have numbered all the assignments so we do not have questions every day.

What are you doing to prepare for back to school?

Homeschooling and Participating in 4-H

(Let me start this post by saying, outside of the church, my participation in 4-H had more impact on me in my youth than any other organization.  I learned leadership, citizenship, organization, public speaking- well, the list could go on an on.  My husband is a 4-H alum too.  Both of us are in career fields that 4-H helped us learn about and in my case, sparked my interest.  So, to us, this is an important program.)

As our daughter wrapped up her time as a clover bud, at our recent County show, she was taking in projects and trying to decide what she would like to show next year.  She has quite the list.

As she is telling me what she would like to show, I’m writing down the projects she mentions, and I start to look in our local project guidebook for the requirements.  While I have worked Cloverbud projects into our homeschool days, I have yet to do so with the projects beyond that.

I realized how easy it will be for her to combine some projects for 4-H as she is already going to be doing it in our homeschool program.  Take reading for example.  We have a county project where you keep a list of books you read and then do a report on one.  We do lots of book reports and she can easily keep a list of books.

If you homeschool and participate in 4-H, let me encourage you to find ways to combine as much as you can.  As a (part time) work outside the home mom, it’s important to me to find ways to be able to do both homeschooling and 4-H well, but still save time.

And if your family does not participate in 4-H, call your local Extension office and check it out.  I’m guessing something will be beneficial to your family.

 

Homeschool and Summer Camps

We finally hit the age where my homeschooler can attend summer camps.  She’s been to two and has one more sports camp left.  Interestingly, two of the three camps have been connected to the public school, but both were attended with other children she knew.  Plus, they were only around and hour a day.  I knew (or will know) the adults in charge, so I was comfortable.

Then came the first overnight to church camp (that I may or may not admit left me a sobbing mess).  An adult from our church was attending with our church children, so I knew she would be fine.

Friends, if you are like me and your child has always been where you could check on them, nothing quite prepares you for an overnight at camp- even if she was being watched by a dear friend.  I had suggested to my daughter earlier this summer I could go and help and the camp and was met with “absolutely not.”  Apparently, she has realized I volunteer for 99% of the things she is involved in and she has decided a little breathing room would be nice.

While I do not suggest leaving your child with a perfect stranger, church camp was a good experience for her.  She had the opportunity be with others her age and learn and enjoy church camp.  I had someone I trust that was there and watching out for her.  (And yes, I may have checked the camp’s Facebook page a few times in the 24 hours she was gone.)

Eventually, she is going to go off to college and live on her own.  Hopefully, small experiences like this will begin to prepare the both of us.

Have you sent your homeschooler to any type of camp?  I’d love to know about it!

 

 

The Back to School Countdown

Even though the school books have been staring at me for a while, I finally looked over our Abeka math and language arts closely for the fall.  (We use Classical Conversations for everything else.)  I have 4th grader this year and I have always felt there is a change in curriculum at this level.  They are growing up and the text books show it.

I made a list of supplies we needed.  I ordered some books for reading I have intended to order and had not got to yet.  I made a list of the first week of school assignments (which I’m pushing back a week due a VBS my daughter really wants to attend.  Late nights and the first week of school are not a good mix).

Then, if I can be honest with you, I sat and tried to figure out how I’m going to get it all done.  Math is going to be tougher this year and language arts about twice the work.  I’m still planning to continue my job as well as do the books for my husband’s business.  Then there is the cooking and keeping up with the house.

So, after jokingly telling my husband I needed to hire a housekeeper, I’m working on formulating a plan.  I’m looking at switching around some of our school schedule as well as my household chores and cooking schedule.  Once I get this somewhat figured out, I’ll share it with you.

Are you considering making any changes to your routine for fall?  I’d love to hear about your plans!