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?

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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.

 

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?

Easy Meatballs

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I thought I would share my meatball recipe.  It’s very versatile.  You can freeze them, bake them or put them in the slow cooker.

What you will need:

1lb ground chuck (ground beef works too), 1 cup oats, 1 egg, 1/2 cup milk (you can used condensed milk too), 2 tablespoons dried onions (you can use fresh or you can add more to taste), 1 teaspoon garlic salt, 1 teaspoon chili powder, salt and pepper to taste.

1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup ketchup, dash garlic salt

Mix together meat, oats, eggs, milk and seasoning.  Form into balls.  Place the meatballs into either a crock pot or baking dish coated with non stick cooking spray.  (Additionally, you can put them in a freezer bag and freeze for later use.)

Mix together ketchup, brown sugar and garlic salt.  Coat the meatballs.  (You can also use regular BBQ sauce.)

Cook in a crock pot on low for 4-6 hours or in the over at 450 for 30-60 minutes.  (It depends on how thick you make the meatballs.)

Sometimes I make these up in the morning and put them in the crock pot in the refrigerator until I am hope in the afternoon if I know I’m going to be busy.  I also sometimes make these right before we leave for church on a Sunday morning and lunch is ready when we make it back home.

I have this in the crock pot to be served with baked potatoes (in a second crockpot) and plan to fix okra as well.

 

Time Saving Tip: Cleaning the Microwave

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I don’t know if you are like me, but as a busy homeschooling, yet working mom, I am always looking for tips on saving time.  I read something similar to this a while back and decided to give it a try.

Get a microwave safe bowl and add three drops of a citrus essential oil.  I used Doterra Lemon as I know it’s safe for ingestion.  (Using the oil, do not use a plastic bowl.)  I put this in the microwave and turned it on for 3 minutes.  Take a damp rag after the three minutes and wipe out your microwave.  It seriously took me all of two minutes to wipe out the microwave thanks to the steam building up.

(I should add, use essential oils at your own risk.  My family uses oils on a regular basis, but please be cautious with brands and what you use/ put into your body.)

Do you have a time saving tip to share?