Journals for your student…

One way I try to track how we are doing with language arts is ask my child to write a journal each week.  I give her a prompt and she writes about it.  I’m able to see where she is on punctuation, spelling, grammar, etc.  She’s grown over the past year doing this and it’s something I think we will continue.

We use a notebook for this project.  I usually send it with her during the day since it is something I want her to do without much help so I truly know what she is learning.

She has a writing project and I have a small timesaver for me.  Maybe this is something that could work for your family as well.

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My top 5 time savers at meal time…

Work, homeschool, activities for my daughter, meetings can all take time.  Here are my top five kitchen timesavers to make sure I still get a meal on the table at dinner.

5.  Take out.  Yes, it’s a last resort, but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.  (Frozen pizza also works in a pinch.)

4.  Keeping browned ground beef handy.  I try to keep some in either the fridge for freezer.  I almost always have what we need for tacos, taco salad or taco soup.  Or spaghetti.  They are quick meals my family enjoys.

3.  Salad.  Everyone at my house likes salad.  I try to keep lettuce, veggies, cheese and dressing on hand.  It makes for a quick meal or quick side dish.

2.  Meal planning.  I try to meal plan with my lesson plans each week.  I know what activities we have each night and try to plan out something that fits in the time schedule.

1. The crockpot.  I could not function a lot of days with out it.  We have a warm meal ready to go when it’s meal time that I often start at 5 or 6 am.  The food cooks all day, usually after minimal prep, while we do what we have on the agenda for the day.  (Bonus, it usually makes the house smell good too.)

What are you top kitchen time savers?

 

 

Planning for the Unexpected…

Our homeschool day often starts at 6:30 am.  It never fails that at least once every few weeks I’ll get a call about an urgent issue at work and I need to speed off.  We may be in the middle of a lesson.  What to do?

I’ve found what works best for me in this situation is to either have my husband take over, if he’s home, or to wait until I’m home in the evening to finish it. I try to keep a block of time in my evenings for situations like this…but it’s not always the case.  Then there are the nights that I call in pizza and instead of cooking I teach English or math.

When you are employed and homeschool, it’s likely this situation will come up from time to time.  Try to plan the best you can for those times and offer yourself grace.  Do what works for your family.

Why I do not take a lot of breaks…

Those that know me in real life know I try to plan our school schedule around my farmer.  He seems to need me to do more running for him in the spring than the fall.

Our state requires 180 day of homeschool.  We do that.  Be we often start school in early August, before the public school students go back.  I personally do not like to take a lot of breaks in the school year.  Family vacation, a few days at Christmas, but that’s about it.  We push through the school year (including a lot of Saturdays) with the goal to be done in early spring.

Another reason we push and do not take a lot of breaks is my job.  There’s usually one week in October that is crazy busy for me.  I will often adjust the school schedule that week to get it all done.  So, while we may miss a day in October, we have had school every Thanksgiving Day since started our journey.

This crazy schedule may not work for you, but it works for our family.  I often plan my days around meetings.  While we do school most mornings before I leave for work, there are some days we do it all in the evening.

Let me encourage you to find what works for you.  It is possible to homeschool and be employed.  Your schedule just may not look like the rest of the world- and that’s ok.

Why Work and Homeschool?

It’s a question I’m often asked.  Why I work and homeschool.

Telling me I can’t do something is an assurance I’m going to try to do it.  I heard it over and over.  There’s no way you can maintain employment, homeschool your daughter and keep your sanity.  Challenge accepted.

We choose to homeschool for a variety of reasons.  We wanted faith to be a part of our child’s education.  Although we feel like there is a time and place for public school, we didn’t feel it was the time for us. (In our rural area, private schools are an hour away, so that was never a choice for us.  Let me also be clear, the public school district we live in is a good school district.)  I personally did not want to be tied down to the school’s schedule.  My husband’s schedule best allows for travel in the winter and we want to travel.  We wanted to make sure our child learned subjects we felt important (yes, we cover all the required ones…but include cursive writing for example.)

So, we knew we wanted to homeschool.  I felt like with only one student I could work part time as well.  (Actually, when we started this homeschooling journey, I was working 40+ hours a week.  Then I had an opportunity to do something closer to home with less hours and I accepted.)  I feel like I can still contribute to providing for our family.

I do not have a housekeeper and my house is never perfect- but clean.  If it were not for a time delay on my washing machine, I’m not sure I could keep up on laundry.  We eat a lot of meals prepared in the crockpot- and sometimes on paper plates.  I often pay bills and keep the books for my husband’s business before the sun comes up.  (I’m naturally a morning person…but I love to be in bed early.)

It boils down to this, homeschooling and being employed are what work best for my family at this season of life.  It isn’t for everyone, but if you need or want to work and are considering homeschooling, let me encourage you it is possible.  Give yourself the grace you need to succeed…and grace to grow and organize your life as you figure out how to make it work.  (It took a lot of trial and error for me!)

 

What I’m Reading

I enjoy reading and think it’s a great thing for our homeschool student to see me read.  I also feel reading important for those of us in leadership positions- be it in the home or the workplace.  I’m currently reading Order Your Private World.   You can find it here: http://amzn.to/2merlhC

If you are struggling with organizing your time (or your space), this is a great read.  I encourage you to let your child see you read!

(If you purchase from my link, a small portion of your purchase will go to support this site.  Thank you for your support.)

 

When Homeschooling Seems Hard

It’s the time of year many struggle with homeschooling.  The weather is often less than idea and we get stuck in the rut of the daily grind.  Many of us choose homeschooling for a variety of reasons.  It’s when we find ourselves in a difficult season of homeschooling that I need to remind myself why I choose to homeschool.

May you be blessed as you homeschool today.