Chores and the Working Mom

Chores.  It’s an area I admit I’m probably not the best at as a mom.  Because we start school at 6:30 am each day and finish in the afternoon/ evening, sometimes (maybe always?) often easier to do the chores myself.

Now, I do insist on the bedroom being kept clean.  However, as a working homeschooling mom, I find it’s often easier to do things myself during the school year and introduce new chores in the summer when we are on break.  I have more time to help teach the chore and we are not as rushed in the learning.

She helps with laundry, vacuuming and dusting and has throughout this last school year.  We also have some animals that my daughter helps with each day.  This summer we are working on helping with cooking.

What chores do you assign in your household?

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Crockpot Chicken and Noodles

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Here’s an easy- but maybe not the most healthy- meal for a busy day!

Crockpot Chicken and Noodles

2 frozen skinless chicken breasts

1 can cream of mushroom (or cream of chicken) soup

1/2 cup sour cream

pepper to taste

egg noodles (I try for about 2-3 cups cooked)

Spray crockpot with a non stick cooking spray.  Cook chicken mixture on low in the crockpot all day.  When it’s done, it should shred easily with a fork.  About an hour before serving, cook egg noodles of your choice in boiling water on the stove.  When they are done, drain and add to crockpot.

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That’s it!  I don’t recommend letting the noodles stay in the crockpot more than a few hours of they loose texture.  We also like the Amish noodles as pictured, but eggs noodles work great too.

I’ll be serving this this evening with mashed potatoes (the potatoes are cooking in a second slow cooker) and will make peas when I get home.

For me, this is a great meal on busy days that I almost always have the items needed to make it.  It can also easily be doubled to feed a larger family.  My recipe feeds the three of us with leftovers.

Do you have an easy slow cooker meal idea?

Preparing for next year… a great DVD!

I’m still trying to decide on a lot of things for Classical Conversations next year.  I’ve personally been in the process of some spring cleaning and I found our Liberty Kids DVD series.  As we will be on Cycle 3, which is American history, this is a great addition to your home to reinforce the history memory work.

My daughter loved this series at age 5 and still loves this series at age 8.  We have this Liberty Kids DVD series but you may also see if your library has it available for check out as well.

While we do not encourage a lot of screen time, we do seem to find ourselves on the road quite a bit, especially in the spring and fall.  My daughter enjoys watching the DVDs while we are traveling and they can be a fun treat at home as well.  (It’s also a good time to listen to the CC CD’s.)

If you are like me and on the rare occasion have your child at work with you, this is a good option to take in a portable DVD player at well- especially if you have something pressing.

Do you have any great suggestions to go with CC Cycle 3?

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Words on Wednesday

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I’m continuing my series on our summer schedule this week.  While I do encourage reading every day, I insist on reading some kind of book on Wednesday in the summer.  I try to buy some fun ones ahead of summer and we also use the library.  Normally the reading occurs at home, but give the day, I may send it with her for the day.

Right now, we are enjoying a couple of books from the library.  (Disclaimer, my child specifically asked for a Spanish and Latin book and of course a Barbie collector book was nearby.   Also, CC friends, this is Latin nouns, etc.)

As for Thursday, Friday and the weekend…it’s summer.  If she wants to do something great, but I do not expect any type of schoolwork.  Sometimes our Tuesday project will spill over though, and that’s fine.

Do you have a summer schedule that works for your family?

Learning through gardening…

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One of my favorite summer activities is gardening.  (Yes, we do take a summer break.)  I started my plants a while back (with the help of my daughter) and my daughter and I have enjoyed watching the plants grow, talking about how they grow, planning our garden, etc.  She also takes gardening as a 4-H project, so I’m thrilled to have her help and involvement.

Gardening is a great real life horticulture lesson.  It’s not a planned lesson or activity (except for what she is required to plan for her 4-H project), but she certainly is learning.  Maybe you do not garden, but have another hobby as a homeschool parent.  Is there something your child could learn from you by participating in your hobby?

Your student and your job…

One unique thing about homeschooling and working outside the home is that it gives your student(s) a chance to experience a part of our life they otherwise may not.  While I do not make it a habit, my child has gone to work with me on occasion in the past (and did some school work while there).

However, not only does she see what I do each day, but because of other work related activities she has had the chance to meet many community leaders.  She’s been to more than one meeting of the civic club of which I am a member.  I take her to community events and try to let her at least experience what it is like to serve others in a work related environment.

Even if you do not work outside the home, I bet you know someone who is a part of a civic club that would be glad to allow your child to visit one time with them.    Or know someone who would be glad to allow your child to visit their office for a few hours or even a day.

This experience also allows my child to understand a little more in depth if she asks about my day.  The beauty of homeschooling is the real word experiences it often offers.  In this case, I can give my daughter a taste of the business world or community service on occasion.  Are there ways you can look to do this with your child?