2018 Planner

It’s time for me to start scheduling stuff for 2018.  I prefer a monthly view planner without a lot to it.  I went with this one.  Have you purchased your 2018 planner yet?

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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?

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?

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?

Homeschooling, working and cleaning the house. My top 5 tips.

When you work outside the home there are times when the family schedule can be messy- and then the house will fall into that category too.  Add in setting aside time to homeschool and finding time to clean can be a chore.

Here are 5 things that help me (attempt) to maintain a pick up home:

5.  I keep my cleaning supply list simple.  I use E-Cloth (a microfiber cloth that requires water only) and keep this- http://amzn.to/2mIOsRV -all purpose cleaner on hand.  I also keep a toilet cleaner.

4.  I try to clean one room each day, though on the weekend I sometimes clean the entire house at one time- if time allows.  I find it easiest to clean before the rest of my crew is awake for the day

3.  We try to do a quick pick up before leaving each morning and going to bed each night.  (Try is a key word.)

2.  Continually work to find a cleaning schedule that works for you.  I’m still not in love with mine and am trying to find a way to make it work better.

1. Give yourself grace.  There are days I’m not sure I get much done but a quick pick up.  Getting our lessons done for the day will always trump any deep cleaning.  Work to find a schedule that works with your job, homeschool schedule and family.

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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!)