Homeschool Planning

Homeschool Planning

Day 2: 5 Days of Homeschool 101

 

5 Days of Homeschool 101- Homeschool Planning
 

Homeschool planning.  It seems daunting.  At least it always has to me.  There are so many different ways to plan for your homeschool.  So many different planners available and curriculum choices.  It’s enough to make you want to run away screaming.

I’d love to share with you how I have finally found myself in homeschool planning.  I have a large family with several school aged children which makes homeschool planning even more of a challenge for me.  Add in some of the kids having special needs when it comes to learning plus life on the farm and I’m liable to go crazy!

Some people plan out their whole year, some their month, others their week, and some even do it just day by day.  My strategy incorporates a bit of all of those together.  When we get ready to start our new year of homeschooling I look at the curriculum and find the halfway mark.  I note that down in a notebook.  That’s where I want to be mid year, so by January 1st I want us to be on that lesson or that page.  Seems simple so far right?

 

Homeschool Planning

 

Next I start out by choosing day 1.  What will be the first day of our new school year?  Most years we start on the first Monday of July since we tend to school year round.  However some years, like this year we pushed our start date back.  I needed a bit more time to recover from having a baby, which also adds a new dimension to homeschool planning!

Okay.  So we’ve got our halfway mark, we’ve got our day 1.  Now it’s time to do some planning.  I plan out the first month all at once.  That way we have a solid foundation to start with.  We’re more likely to hold to our schedule and follow through if we know that we can’t get off track or we’ll be behind so soon.  As we get to the end of the first month I start doing my planning by week.  This way I allow room for our other activities and can plan around days we’re going to need to be out of the house.

One of the fun things with homeschooling is that if I know we’re going to be gone and have a lot of driving time I can plan accordingly.  So, instead of doing workbooks or notebooking while driving we can listen to some history or science.  We can take a short field trip. There are lots of ways to add in schooling hours and keep us learning without being in the books everyday.

What about homeschool planners you ask?  I have tried a lot of them.  I’ve tried online and in print.  I prefer mine to be in print so I can write in them.  I’m a pen and paper type of girl.  Plus it gives the kids access to them as well.  My current system involves using a weekly planning book for each child while also maintaining a large calendar for me which overviews what we’re doing daily.  It may seem confusing but it works very well for us at this point in time.  

I love homeschool planners, but most don’t have space for me to plan out for 7-8 children.  Eventually I’ll need one that I can plan for ten(or more).  There are printable options that I could customize to get to that point, but I don’t seem to have the time to do that either.  Life is short, life is full, and I’m looking for an easy planning method so I don’t have to spend a full day every week planning.

That brings me to how I “cheat”.  I love to find curriculum that all the kids can use together.  Example is that for history we’re using Story of the World.  All the kids can listen to me read and participate in the question and answer session.  We then each have a notebook to record what they learned that day through drawings and writings.  It’s simple for me to plan out and yet still very educational.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my short little view of my homeschool planning.  As time allows I’m going to be giving you a visual of my monthly and weekly planning and what we use for each age and grade.  I’m still bouncing around a bit with some of my children but for the most part we’ve found our groove.

In relation to our homeschool planning check out our home management as well.  They go hand in hand.

All members of the TOS Crew who wish to are participating in this blog hop.  Feel free to go to the Main Blog Post or check out some of the blogs on the linky below.



Balancing Homeschool and Housework

Balancing Homeschool and Housework

5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents -Day 2

I don’t know about your homeschool, but mine is very time-consuming.  I have nine children.  I’m pregnant due in June.  We homeschool year round.  I have a tiny house.  My housework can pile up and my home quickly become unlivable if I don’t keep up with it.

 

Balancing Homeschool and Housework

 

It seems like all I’m ever doing is balancing homeschool and housework, or really just trying to.  It’s hard.  I won’t lie.  I have to do both at the same time and that means multi tasking.  It also means I must have a schedule.  A schedule set for when and how we do school and for when and how I do housework.

Balancing homeschool and housework is more than just making sure dirty dishes go in the dishwasher as soon as they’re done being used.  It’s more than making sure dirty laundry gets to the dirty hampers.  For me, it’s bigger things.  It’s keeping my house company ready(well good friend company at least).  It’s making sure my floors are swept at least twice a day.  It’s having a schedule for when I’m going to mop the floors.  But more than that!  It’s working in fixing meals and keeping a routine so my special needs kids aren’t floating in the breeze.

Balancing homeschool and housework isn’t just about the schooling and the cleaning.  It’s about me having time to do the things my kids love and I love.  It’s taken me several years to get to a place where I know I’m doing what I need to around the house without shirking on school and I know I’m getting done what needs to be done with school without shirking on housework. And within that delicate mix I’m also getting to spend quality time with my husband and kids.

What did I do?  

Well, for starters I realized that I couldn’t do as much of the homeschool planning as I had been doing.  I needed to make that easier on myself.  I couldn’t take a full day every week just to plan what I was going to do with my children for school.  Again, that was taking away from housework and then I’d need a full day to catch up on my housework!  It just wasn’t working.

We changed up our homeschool.  We still do school in the mornings but we don’t start until 9am.  That gives me time to get some morning chores like sweeping/vacuuming/mopping out-of-the-way and gives the kids time to get their own household chores done as well as eat breakfast.  I also do laundry daily.  This makes sure it’s not piling up on me.  My kids all have chores.  This has really helped me!  And I’ve learned to delegate more chores to my older children who can manage them.  Due to learning disabilities and delays children the same age may not be able to do the same chores, but everyone has chores they are capable of doing and they get a sense of accomplishment from doing them.  

When moms ask me how I do it all, I tell them I don’t.  And it’s true.  I don’t do it all.  My kids help me a lot.  They know that school time is for school and we have to get school done or we don’t get to go outside and play.  If school doesn’t get done we don’t go on nature walks, we don’t get to ride horses, etc.  Those are some powerful motivators!  I encourage other moms to take the time to teach their young children chores and responsibility.  

When I was in the worst of it(for me) was when I had 8 children ages 5 and under.  I was starting the older half on kindergarten or preschool but I was also trying to keep toddlers and newborns busy.  I was struggling to do anything with the house.  My house was a huge mess.  My house is so small that being a huge mess makes me depressed.  I quickly learned that I had to teach these little ones that they could help me.  Because they could.  Did you know a 5-year-old loves to help fold clothes?  That they can learn colors by helping to sort laundry?

Balancing homeschool and housework is tough guys.  I won’t lie.  But if you can get a plan in place you can do it.  That plan for me is one room a day.  I divide the rooms up so that I only have one room per day to deep clean.  That means every room gets fully cleaned once a week.  For example, on Monday I deep clean and scrub my bathroom.  It’s not neglected the rest of the week but merely surface cleaned.  One of my older girls is in charge of sweeping and picking up the bathroom daily.  On Wednesdays my kitchen gets deep cleaned.  It’s one of the few rooms that the kids don’t help with too much.  They sweep when I ask them but that’s about all.  I do a pick up of that room daily though.

Saturdays are our school free day.  That’s the day that I work on any and all housework that has gotten behind during the week.  I do bulk baking on this day.  Sunday is our day of rest and we do all kinds of fun things as a family.

 

5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents
 

I hope you’re enjoying this blog series and remembering to check out the Main TOS Blog to see all the other blogs who are participating.  I’m listing a few below that you can check out too.  Plus don’t forget to check out my other days in the 5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents blog hop.  

 

 
Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine
Jennifer @ A Peace of Mind
Jennifer @ Faithful Homestead
Joelle @ homeschooling for His Glory
Joesette @ Learning Curve
Kari @ Random Acts of Boyhood
Katie @ Katie’s Daily Life
Kemi @ Homemaking Organized
Kim @ Homestead Acres
Kylie @ Our Worldwide Classroom

Homeschooling While on Bedrest

Day 1:  Homeschooling While on Bedrest

5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents

 

I recently had the opportunity to be on bedrest for two weeks.  I needed to keep homeschooling my kids so we don’t fall behind.  This brings a new perspective to what I do and how we do it!  So for the first day of the 5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents that the TOS Crew members are putting on I bring you Homeschooling While on Bedrest.

 

Homeschooling While on Bedrest

 

Homeschooling takes commitment but we all know that coming in to the game.  What we don’t always understand is just how time-consuming it can be or how hard it can become.  Life throws us curve balls just to see if we can catch them I guess.

I caught such a curveball a few weeks ago.  I had some pregnancy complications which left me on bedrest for two weeks.  Homeschooling while on bedrest is not for the uncommitted.  I can tell you that.  I was committed to keeping the kids up on their schooling while I was on bedrest but that first day I really wasn’t sure how.  Not to mention the fact that I had two kids sick and wasn’t sure how to get them to the doctor!  My mom came to my rescue and took the kids to the doctor and we declared it a sick day while I figured this all out.

Homeschooling while on bedrest looked to me like me being in a reclining chair or on our couch so I could be out in our main living area.  Our living room is the largest room in the house which isn’t saying too much since we have a small house.  I knew I needed to find a way to move the kids into that room for their school or I wouldn’t be able to keep track of what they had done and what they still needed to do.

Enter solution for me!  We have a folding dining room table.  It’s not ideal but it does seat us all if barely.  We outgrew our old table and haven’t found a harvest table that meets our size requirements so we’re working with what we have.  My solution was to simply bring that folding table and our chairs into the living room with me.  So I set the kids to cleaning and sweeping the area the table would go in and getting it moved.

Once we had the table moved to the room I was resting in it made it a lot easier for me to watch the kids do their school.  They could then bring their books to me when they needed help and homeschooling while on bedrest began to seem doable.  But I still had two sick kids.  

So while I was in the chair reclining my two sick kids were on the couch resting.  The others were doing school.  The toddler was playing with her toy kitchen in a corner of the living room and the preschooler would play with her when she was done with her small bit of school.

Homeschooling while on bedrest was definitely not easy.  It’s also not something that I want to do again.  But, there is a chance I will have to.  So I’m making preparations now to make it even easier.  I think for me that’s the biggest hurdle to overcome.  I’m a planner and suddenly being thrown into something that wasn’t in my plans does not work well for me.  Having a plan in place if you’re pregnant and this does happen to you will really help your sanity and your thought process.

By thought process I mean it will help your can do attitude.  It will bring homeschooling while on bedrest from a I think  I can do this to an I know I can do this mindset.  I truly think that is the largest hurdle that has to be overcome.  Having a good support system will also help.  I have 9 children ages 2-11.  My husband works.  I was home alone all day and was overwhelmed with it all.  I mean how do you homeschool while on bedrest and take care of your home and your kids?  Thankfully my mom stepped in and came over around lunch time almost daily to help me out.  She was such a help!  I’d encourage you if you think you might have to homeschool while on bedrest to talk to other people and get a support system set up so if you need help you have it available.

 

5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents
 

Hope my little post helps someone else who might be faced with homeschooling while on bedrest and I’ll see you tomorrow with another installment of the 5 Days of Homeschool Tips for Parents right here!

Don’t forget to check out the Main post linking us all up over on the TOS Blog.  You can also check out a few other blogs by clicking the links below.  I hope you enjoy this blog hop as much as we enjoy bringing it to you!  Don’t forget the hop is five days and you should read all five of my posts!

 

Annette @ A Net In Time
Brandy @ Kingdom Academy Homeschool
Brenda @ Counting Pinecones
Carol @ Home Sweet Life
Cassandra @ A Glimpse of Normal
Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses
Cristi @ Through the Calm and Through the Storm
Crystal @ Crystal Starr
DaLynn @ Biblical Womanhood
Danielle @ Sensible Whimsy

 

 

 

This post has been shared on:  Motivation Monday, Clever Chicks link up, Modest MondayMonday of Many Blessings, Art of Homemaking, Mondays Musings, Titus 2 Tuesdays, Wise Woman Link Up, Hearts for Home Blog Hop

Real Life Homeschool with a Toddler

My life has had a toddler in it since my oldest hit the toddle stage.  She’s now 10.  So my entire homeschool career has had a little toddler around while I’m working with the older kids.  Let’s talk today on Day 4 of Real Life Homeschool about Real Life Homeschool with a Toddler.

 

Real Life Homeschool with a Toddler

 

We tend to make cute little tubs that hold toys in them.  We have a tub with blocks, a tub of duplo, a tub with a baby and accessories, a tub with crayons and a coloring book/some colored paper, and several sensory activity type tubs.  Oh and we have a tub that has Thomas the Train engines in it for when she’s in a high energy must make noise time!   We also have a low shelf that contains books that she can look at and play with.  I plan on doing some posts next week about our toddler activity tubs.  There are some awesome ideas out there too!

I also keep snacks handy for the toddler.  Little things that are healthy and easy for her to eat without choking.  We get some awesome baby snacks that resemble cheerios but are actually made from veggies and fruits.  My toddlers have always loved these.  Keep a sippy cup of water in your school area as well!  Cut up grapes and put in a container in the fridge the night before and you’ve got a great little snack. 

Something that has saved my life with a toddler is babywearing.  I love to wear my babies and they love to be worn.  This seriously saves our school day when the toddler is teething or cranky or just in need of a nap.  Even if she’s in a great mood she still likes to be worn for around ten minutes at a time to have that closeness with me.

Of course, you get the fun toddler times too!  I cannot count the number of times we’ve had a toddler sitting on a school desk smack dab on top of their lesson so that they’ll pay attention to her instead of their work.  Another thing that happens countless times is the toddler deciding to take all the school books off their shelf and resort them.  So, if you visit and wonder why the 4th graders reading materials are mixed in with the kindergartener, just giggle and say “I see the toddler has been here.”

I have come to learn that Real Life Homeschool with a Toddler can be very challenging.  There are going to be days you want to pull your hair out, days where you’re looking for the closest school to put your kids in or at least a daycare for the toddler!  But there are also going to be the days where you are filled with joy at all your children have learned.  When your toddler comes over to you and can count to 10(she’s not even 2 yet!!!) or when the toddler is recognizing letters and numbers and colors and you haven’t worked with her at all yet!  Those are the moments it’s all worth it and those are the memories that will stick with you.  Though I do have to say she’s pretty adorable sitting on the kid’s school books while they give her the “yes you’re adorable now please move” look.  

So remember, mama just starting to homeschool with a toddler, you can do this.  It does get easier and the memories you’re creating will last a lifetime.
Don’t forget to check out the other days of the blog series!

Day One:  Real Life Homeschool On A Farm

Day Two:  Real Life Homeschool on One Income

Day Three:  Real Life Homeschool Year Round

 

Discover real life in other homeschools with the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers! Join the blog hop to read more!

Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop

Blogs to visit on Day 4!!!

Life at Rossmont
A Stable Beginning
Happy Little Homemaker
Joyful Hearts and Faces
Day by Day in Our World
Mama’s Coffee Shop
Delightful Learning
Double O Farms
Tales of a Homeschool Family
Home Sweet Life
A Rup Life

Real Life Homeschool Year Round

I’m so glad you’re back for day three of the Real Life Homeschool Series!  Today we’re going to talk about Real Life Homeschool Year Round.

 

Real Life Homeschool Year Round

 

I tried homeschooling just during the normal school year like the public schools do, but it didn’t work for our family.  We tend to take a month-long break in the winter and smaller breaks when my husband has down time from his business(self-employed).  So, it made more sense to us as a family to school year round.  I also find that my special learners tend to forget things if they go more than a week without working at them.  With that being said we really try not to take more than a week off from the main subjects.

So for me, Real Life Homeschool Year Round was the answer.  Now don’t get me wrong.  My kids aren’t bent over notebooks and workbooks all day every day with no end in sight.  We do unit studies and whenever possible we do them outside!  Even when they were sick with the stomach bug this past month we all went out on the porch on the nice days and had read aloud and silent reading time.  I’m afraid a few times it wasn’t quite so silent as someone got sick, but such is life in a large family!

I want learning to be fun.  I want learning to be non stop.  For us, year round homeschooling is this.  We do Civil War Reenactments.  My children are learning that entire weekend.  That is more school for them even if they’re not realizing it.  They’re learning history.  They’re learning about and experiencing nature as well.  Plus I throw in some random things like doing math with helping me plan meals and measuring ingredients.  I might even be sneaky and have them read some old-time schoolbooks and do spelling words on slates.  I can be devious like that!

Like I mentioned above, Real Life Homeschool Year Round is what works best for us.  I’ve heard others do two months on and one month off.  Whatever works for you and your children is what you should!  Homeschooling is all about being able to be flexible and do what works for you.  

 Day One:  Real Life Homeschool On A Farm

Day Two:  Real Life Homeschool on One Income

Day Four:  Real Life Homeschool with a Toddler

 
Discover real life in other homeschools with the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers! Join the blog hop to read more!
 

Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop

 

Here are some blogs to hop on over to today!

Treasuring Life’s Blessings
Double O Farms
Simple Living Mama
Fried Clams and Sweet Tea
This Sweet Life
A Net In Time
Counting Pinecones
Some Call It Natural
Kingdom Academy Homeschool
Debbie’s Homeschool Corner

Real Life Homeschool on One Income

Welcome back to Day 2 of my Real Life Homeschool Blog Series!  Today we’re talking about Real Life Homeschool on One Income.  I know a lot of people are in this boat.  Several of those people I’m happy to call my friends!  We’re the mommies that stay home everyday with our children.  We not only teach them how to be kind and share but how to multiply and maybe speak a foreign language!

 

homeschooling on one income

 

My homeschool lives on one income.  If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know I’m a representative(or whatever the companies call them) for a few MLM companies.  I don’t do home parties or shows and rarely do facebook events.  I’m not huge on promoting them.  They are for products I love and use that I like to share with people.  I don’t normally share to make money but to say Hey I LOVE this!!!  I don’t consider that a form of income(well maybe I would if I actually made money).

So how does a large family with nine children homeschool on one income?  

Well, we’re frugal.  I love curriculum that isn’t workbook based or that allow for copying of the workbook.  The curriculum we use now is KONOS which is a unit study curriculum.  One book can be used for two to three years and you just use library books to supplement into it for teaching the lessons.  I LOVE this!  Libraries are free guys!  Use those libraries!

Unit studies are a great way to get a lot of subjects together without spending a lot of money.  I’ve written my own unit studies before and made some easy printables for my kids.  Our spelling words come from our unit study.  Our read alouds and reading time books correlate with the unit study.  Our history and science correlate with the unit study too!  And sometimes, if I’m extra creative, we can get math in there too!

Another way to have a real life homeschool on one income is to find free places to go for field trips.  A field trip can be a trip to the grocery store where your children  have helped you write the shopping list, help you find the items on the list, talk about why certain items have to be frozen or refrigerated, calculate how much money you are spending, and then help you count out the bills or change needed to pay for said groceries.

While you’re out and about on your grocery field trip, stop at the library for reading materials, have a picnic at a park, or visit a nursery to look at plants!  We get all of our school subjects in even though we’ve done none of our regular work just by learning as we go!  And we have fun too!   

So the key for me is to find resources that I can use for multiples ages without having to buy a ton of workbooks.  Those workbooks get expensive!  Also, take advantage of free activities in your area.  We live in the country but we go for nature walks on our farm and then journal what we saw, look it up to learn more about it, etc.  Local wildlife areas are great to visit as well.

I’ll share more about our homeschool and what real life is like around here in the next few days!

Don’t forget to check out my Day 1 post about Real Life Homeschooling on a Farm as well! 

Day Three:  Real Life Homeschool Year Round

Day Four:  Real Life Homeschool with a Toddler

 

Discover real life in other homeschools with the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers! Join the blog hop to read more!

 

Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop

Blogs to visit on Day 2!!

For This Season
Unexpected Homeschool
For Him and My Family
As We Walk Along the Road
Growing in His Glory
Homeschool Coffee Break
Daily Life
There Will Be A $5 Charge For Whining
Proverbial Homemaker
ElCloud Homeschool

Real Life Homeschool on a Farm

This week I’m participating in a Blog Hop with several other blogs.  We’re going to be talking about Real Life Homeschool!  For me today I’m being a bit more specific, so we’re going to chat about Real Life Homeschool on a Farm.  

 

homeschool on a farm

 

We live on a farm.  We may not have cattle and a working ranch but we do have several animals that need daily care.  My children have chores around the farm and they have to get them done in the mornings and evenings.

Some of the farm chores that my children have to do are feed and water the chickens, bottle feed the two baby lambs whose mothers didn’t care for them, care for the outside farm cats, outside dog, grain the small pen of horses(we have two pens for horses), water horses, water sheep, water goats, and gather the eggs.  Some of these are morning chores, some evening chores, and some have to be done twice.  These chores are essential.  If they don’t get done then our animals will die and no one wants that!

We also have things that happen that interrupt our school like lambing and kidding season.  We don’t normally have to assist in birth but do have to check several times a day to make sure our animals are doing okay with birthing and that the babies are cared for after  birth.  We also have a ferrier who has to come trim the horses hooves.  And then there is shearing time for the sheep in the spring when the whole family helps shear, trim hooves, worm, and give shots to the sheep.

Some people wonder how I can homeschool on top of all these chores that we have to do(that doesn’t even factor in the garden during season).  A lot of people think I’m crazy to try or should put my kids in public school so I can have a break.  For me though, I am perfectly content to raise my children on our little farm and teach them how to care for others whether they be friends in need or animals.  I believe we are building life skills just as much as we are learning how to read and do math.

A large part of our homeschool is life skills.  Learning to do their chores and knowing that others depend on them for survival prepares them for being out on their own, owning pets of their own, and having children someday.  Learning how to do their chores in a timely manner and learning that chores come before play is also a great life lesson to learn.  We can’t always do what we want when we want it.  

 

real life homeschool

 

So how do we schedule around this stuff?

Well we do and we don’t.  For daily chores, we do outside chores before breakfast or right after we eat.  Then we can do our morning school.  Feeding lambs happens three times a day and is around meal time s we’re not doing school then.  We can do any school we need to do in the afternoon without interfering with chores that happen at 5 in the evening as well.  The last bits of chores happen after dark when the chickens are shut up.  

For major farm events like lambing and shearing, we just work around them the best we can.  If my kids miss some subjects a few days because they’re watching a lamb be born or helping with all the shearing commotion I know I can mark down that they learned things even if it wasn’t in the house or in a book.  It’s real life.  It’s homeschool.  It’s our life and it’s perfect for us.

Whether we learn by feeling and doing or by reading or by seeing, everyday we’re learning.  That goes for adults as well as children.  

My kids also have inside chores but we’ll save those for next post!

Day Two:  Real Life Homeschool on One Income

Day Three:  Real Life Homeschool Year Round

Day Four:  Real Life Homeschool with a Toddler

I hope you’ve enjoyed our Real Life Homeschool on a Farm!  Now discover real life in other homeschools with the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers! Join the blog hop to read more!

 

Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop

Here are a few specific blogs you should visit for today’s posts!

Every Bed of Roses
Ben and Me
Footprints in the Butter
Mountain of Grace Homeschooling
Raventhreads
Counting Our Blessings
Homeschooling for His Glory
Ozark Ramblings
Chestnut Grove Academy
Only Passionate Curiosity
Farm Fresh Adventures

Falling into Autumn in Skirts #seasonalskirt

I so cannot believe that it is fall already!  I love Autumn for the changing colors and the cooler weather, but not for the shorter amounts of daylight.  If you follow my blog you know I’m participating in a blog hop all about wearing skirts!  So let’s talk about falling into autumn in skirts!

  What can I say, I love a good denim skirt.  I probably wear denim skirts 90% of the time.  Not lying.  That’s how much I love them!  The skirt above is one that I purchased from Deborah and Co.  It is sadly no longer available.  It was the Nantucket I believe.  They still have the denim rainbow skirt though which is awesome!  And the maternity version of that was my absolute favorite maternity skirt.    For the top I’m wearing a grey tank top topped with a grey short-sleeved tee-shirt.  Over that I have an adorable loose knit sweater.  I love sweaters in fall!  Honestly, I’d wear a sweater everyday if I wasn’t afraid I’d stain it up or tear it up with some of my normal daily activities. And then there are the shoes.  Remember I’m a shoe girl.  These are another pair of Chelsea Crew shoes that I got on sale off Zulily.  Really, Zulily is my go to place for shoes.  They have awesome sales and I can always find my size!  That’s a biggie for me because I have small feet.  Think tiny.  Let me give you a for instance, my 9-year-old daughter has recently started wearing my shoes. . .. and they fit her.  Yeah I’m fairly small here.  See below for a better picture of my footwear.    

 

A photo posted by Erin Slocum (@forhimandmyfamily) on

 

Gorgeous huh?!

 

 

 

A photo posted by Erin Slocum (@forhimandmyfamily) on

 

Okay so let’s see another outfit and another denim skirt!  This is an of the rose ruffle skirt from Love My Jean Skirt.   Love this detail!  This is a skirt I’ll wear for running errands or being out and about, I’ve even worn it to church with a dressier top.  

My pictured top is one that I got at a thrift store for $1.  Just a nice half button up, 3/4 sleeve polished cotton type shirt.  Love the blue hue.  I’m a blues and greens type of girl though I am trying to branch out a little and try out a few girly colors.

For instance, I wore my hair down the other day!  I know it’s shocking.  I tend to put it up so much that when fall started to pop up I wanted to try a few new styles.  In the below picture you see my hair slightly wavey(this is it’s natural I air dried it look) with a size small flexi clip in.  You can check out all kinds of flexi’s and other gorgeous hair accessories on my Lilla Rose website.      

 

A photo posted by Erin Slocum (@forhimandmyfamily) on

 

I am in love with Lilla Rose for hair accessories.  They are all I use anymore.  Great for my hair, no snagging, stays in no matter what I’m doing, looks gorgeous, and makes me appear put together even if I just twisted it up.  Yes please!

Something else I’m doing more of lately is my nails.  And I’m even doing them in girly colors!

 

 

A photo posted by Erin Slocum (@forhimandmyfamily) on

 

The above picture is my latest Jamicure.  Jamicure is a manicure done by me at home using Jamberry Nails.  They are awesome!  Super easy to do and last up to 2 weeks.  I normally change mine around a week though because I like change and get bored with the colors I have.  The ones shown are Gala which is a new autumn design.  I was surprised with how much I LOVED this coloring!  You should definitely try out Jamberry Nails if you haven’t ever!  They are so easy and make such a great statement.  

Let’s talk a bit of makeup now too.  I don’t normally wear a lot of makeup.  But I have been wearing more lately as part of my lets not be frumpy persona.  I’m on a quest to make myself feel better about myself and I feel better when I know that I have taken time to make myself look nicer and put together.  I’m less likely to be flustered or grumpy.  So you might ask what I wear for makeup.  I have been wearing L’Bri makeup.  I use the compact foundation, brown mascara, blue eyes quad eyeshadow, plum eye liner, and brown mascara.  Some days I top with a slight blush and lipgloss.  I have been trying out a few of the lipsticks as well.  The entire line of L’Bri makeup and skin care are all natural and contain aloe vera as their #1 ingredient.  Very moisturizing and feel wonderful on your skin.  

The above photo was as I waited on my Azure Coop to arrive last month.   I got all “dolled up” including some jewelry.  Those are just some cheaper pieces from Walmart but they made me feel beautiful and I got several comments on them.   I have on a plain jane skirt.  It was knee length and just a straight skirt.   I have on a tank top that is white with a blue light weight sweater over the top.  It had three quarter sleeves.  I’m not normally a fan of 3/4 sleeves but do wear them just as fall is beginning as we’re apt to have some warmer days still.  

seasonal skirt

 

Again I’m wearing my L’Bri makeup and a Lilla Rose flexi clip with my hair all up in a twist.  For a twist I use  size large.  My makeup is once again L’Bri and totally wonderful! Any questions?  What are your favorite skirts to wear in fall?  Do you say autumn or fall?  I use both interchangeably for myself.  Please let me know what you think!  Oh and check out the other blogs on the linky below!  Some awesome posts about skirts going on here!       

Homeschool Curriculum for Our New School Year

Welcome to Day One of the 5 Days of Back to Homeschool Blog Hop!  Hosted by The Schoolhouse Review Crew you can find all the blogs participating HERE and rest assured there is going to be a vast array of topics!  I know I’m doing different topics each day but all related to going back to school for us!

 

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop
 

For my day one I’m focusing on sharing the Homeschool Curriculum that we chose to use this year.

I have tried a few different homeschool curriculum in my time.  I was not homeschooled so I don’t have the tried and true of “oh I loved this as a kid” or “this one wasn’t for me” plus our kids are never totally like us anyway right?  In previous years I have used Sonlight as my base to work around.  But I’ve only used one year for ALL my kids instead of trying to do four different years.  This worked well when the oldest was only in 1st grade but last year when I had two in 2nd grade, two in 1st grade, two in Kindergarten, and two in preschool it just wasn’t working all that well for us.  I was using the grade the oldest were in and then trying to make it work for the younger too and it was just too much.  It was turning into more work than fun and I want our school to be fun!  Sonlight is a great program but just not for us in our season of life this year.

I turned online looking at other literature based programs.  I love to read, my kids love to read, and we love to frequent the library so I wanted to keep it literature based.  I stumbled across Konos.  I started researching them and thought hey this is something we could do!  It’s geared towards multiple age levels and seemed fairly simple to use.   But I didn’t have the money to purchase the volume one at that time and I knew that’s where I would want to start.  So I turned to Ebay to look and see if I could find a used copy. 

homeschool curriculum

 

While I was scouring for a used copy of Volume 1 of Konos, I discovered a friend who was thinking of using it too(she finally decided Weaver was for her) and thought that would be awesome if we could use the same curriculum together!  She then told me of a mutual friend who had great success using Konos with her children and some of those were kids with learning disabilities.  That sealed it for me.  I have some that have learning delays and learning disabilities and I struggle to find just the right curriculum for them.

I did finally find a copy of the Volume 1 Konos off ebay for a fraction of the new price.  It is in perfect condition and I’ve been reading and studying it.  It seems too good to be true!  Seriously it’s easy to use, easy to read, easy to line up what I want to do and from the small bits and pieces we’ve done, it’s something my kids love!  And we all know that if your kids don’t like it, they are not going to do well with it.

 

Now to go with our main homeschool curriculum, we are using some workbooks.  I know workbooks aren’t for everyone, but we have found some that we love and so I’m not ditching them just yet.

We discovered Horizons probably by accident.  I had thought I’d use ABeka with my kids.  I had high hopes for it!  Then I saw the prices.  Whew.  I at the time had 6 children.  That was going to be an investment that I didn’t have the money for.  So I started to look around and was checking out Life Pacs.  I had heard good things about them and wondered what they were like.  When I was looking at them I saw Horizons and that they had an all-inclusive preschool program.  This is what I needed as I had 4 that I wanted to start in preschool.  So I purchased the preschool curriculum.  We fell in love.  I tried Horizons for Kindergarten but found while we loved their math we hated their reading.  So we still to this day use their Math!

Now for some extra reading/grammar help we use Explode the Code. My two in third will be finishing up the program this year and I’m still in the market for something to replace it with.

For copywork, I make my own or find them free online.

For spelling/vocabulary, I make up my own list.  I use words that are in our reading for that week that I think they will struggle with a bit to help familiarize them with them.

For handwriting we use Handwriting Without Tears.  It came highly recommend to us by an occupational therapist who worked with one of our girls and I have to say that all of my children love it and do really well with it. My four oldest are in the cursive sectors while the younger ones are still in print.  I love how easy it is to teach and how well the kids learn.  

I also have a copy of Mystery of History volume 1 to use.  I’m not sure yet if we will use it this year or just use it over the summer or on breaks.  I really like this book and want to find a way to use it.  I may just hang onto it and use it when we get to those topics in our Konos books!

Now that I’ve told you all about what we’re doing this year, tell me about you!  What homeschool curriculum are you using?  Don’t homeschool?  What is your favorite thing about the curriculum that your school uses?  What is your child’s favorite subject?  I’d love to get to know you better!

We were divided up into groups for sharing purposes so please let me introduce you to my group!  Drop by, read their posts, say hello, and don’t forget to come back for tomorrow’s edition!

Jennifer @ Chestnut Grove Academy
Crystal @ Tidbits of Experience
Rebecca @ Raventhreads
Jennifer @  Milk & Honey Mommy
Dawn @ Guiding Light Homeschool
Monique @ Living Life and Learning
Lisa @ A Rup Life
Beth @ Weavings

 

Skirts in the Summer #seasonalskirt

Do you struggle with staying cool in the summer?  

Wonder how hard it is to stay covered and modest without falling over in a dead faint from the heat?

It’s not as hard as you’d think.  I know you’re thinking I’m fibbing to you, but I’m not!  In fact, what would you think if I told you I still tend to wear long ankle length skirts in the summer?  You might think my many years of being a Civil War re-enactor and wearing layers upon layers of fabric may have scrambled my brain, or you might keep reading and see what I’m talking about!  And in truth my brain might be a big scrambled, but I can honestly say that I have NEVER suffered heat stroke or passed out from heat.  Now low blood sugar is a totally different thing. . . 

Anyway.

I had a special friend snap some pictures of me in one of my favorite summer skirts.  It is long and flowy and denim.  To me, it’s not much different than wearing a pair of jeans on a warm day.  

Seasonal skirt

Showing off our casual everyday at home with my monkeys look!

I chose this skirt to feature this time because there is so much you can do with it!  I can wear it around the house.  I can wear it out to play with my kids.  We can go for hikes in this skirt.  And then I can take it the next day and wear it out on a date or simply out grocery shopping.  The above look is my normal look.  Some makeup, but not a lot, casual hair style that is functional and secure.  Comfy shoes or no shoes at all if I’m in the house(I’m a barefoot lover).  I layer my shirts even in the summer.  I’ve been a breastfeeding mom long enough that I love having an extra layer between me and leaks and it makes me feel more comfortable that no one can simply see through my shirts.

seasonal skirt

Here is a cute way to dress up the outfit for running errands with the kids.

Now a cute outfit above for running errands.  Yeap same tshirt, same undershirt, but adding a bit of lace in the from of a loose flowing vest.  This gives you a bit more femininity and a bit of extra layering.  This is oh so the style these days it seems and who doesn’t want to feel just a bit more in style?  Awesome addition and hides those stains and fingerprints you might have already acquired from working around the house with the kids.  Oh wait, am I the only only one who gets those?

seasonal skirt

And here is a cute little date night outfit!

I have to admit the above is probably my favorite of the pictures.  I feel gorgeous!  I love the date night look.  Of course, I don’t remember the last time we went on a date, but that doesn’t mean I can’t prepare for one!  And those shoes. . . swooning here.  Yes I’m a barefoot lover, but I’m also a vintage heels lover.  

super cute vintage shoes

These are my favorite shoes!

Oh yes, I did have to have a close up of my shoes.  I love them!  Seriously.  And yes the ribbon ties matches the blouse perfectly.  These are Chelsea Crew shoes.  They are European sizes so make sure to measure and remeasure before purchasing.  I wear a size 5.5 US and these are a 37UK and fit wonderfully.  I got them off Zulily.  And drumroll!  Zulily is having a sale on Chelsea Crew shoes starting today!  Make sure to hop over and check them out if you love these.  To me this brand has a great vintage flair.  You will find several that are 1940’s reminiscent.  I’m a fan of the ’40s myself and that’s probably why I really love these shoes.  

So we’ve talked a bit about the one skirt.  I also have some nice jersey knit skirts that I tend to wear in summer, but those are only on days I know I won’t leave the house because I refuse to wear them in public.  I’m just not a fan of how they make me look and I think they are a bit too clingy.  It’s like wearing yoga pants in public, not something I think is appropriate.  Afraid I’m not sharing a picture of me in that.  Shows off my mommy tummy to perfection and all those extra pounds I can still stand to lose!

You might ask about what little girls should wear.  Well mine do denim or cotton skirts.  I also am a huge fan of jumpers.  Stick a plain colored t-shirt under a jumper and they’re nice and cool but still able to play and move around.  We do NOT do shorts in our house at all.  Not for girls and not for boys.  They are not practical on a farm.  

 I’ve shown you my favorite skirt, my favorite shoes, and now lets talk my favorite summer hairstyle.  Trust me when I say this is the way my hair is 99.9% of the time in the summer.  I use a Lilla Rose flexi clip to secure it up in a twist.  It’s simple.  It’s fast.  It’s secure. And it looks pretty too!

Lilla Rose flexi clip

My favorite up twist

This is the simplest style ever.  You gather your hair into a ponytail with your hands, twist it around, twist it up and around on itself and secure with a flexi.  Depending on the length and thickness of your hair, you may need a different size than me.  This one is a large.  I used to have to use a mega before I cut off over 2 feet of hair to donate.  I’m loving my shorter locks.  This design is one of my favorites.  Nice an feminine but no danglies to get caught up in my hair.  It’s called Tree of Life and I love the class that the pearls lend it.  

 This is my workout outfit, a jersey knit skirt with my layered tanktop and t-shirt.  I don’t have any workout pants but this skirt still lets me run.  And considering I love to run and easily can run 6 miles when I’m running, I think it’s an okay workout outfit!

When I’m not in my workout skirt or my long denim skirt, I do have a few cotton or shorter skirts as well. But all of my skirts are knee length or below.  I don’t want to have to worry about bending over or kneeling and showing off more than I want to.  Life has a way of making us move and bend and I want to be able to do so uninhibited.  One of my favorite shorter skirts for summer is a cute little knee length denim number.  My second favorite long skirt(the pictured denim is my favorite) is a long flowy cotton skirt.  It’s a khaki and green coloring and matches several of my solid colored t-shirts. 

Right now in this stage of my life, comfort is a key factor.  I have 9 kids so I want to be comfortable and able to move freely.  I don’t want the fear of my skirt blowing up or my top getting pulled down to expose things running my life so I try to make sure that those things aren’t going to happen instead of worrying about every move I make.  

Let’s talk makeup for a quick bit as well.  For summer I wear a BB Cream from Southern Magnolia Minerals in fair.  It’s light and you don’t need a lot.  If I’m going out I add a bit of a mineral powder over the top in matte to help soak up any excess oils.  I also wear their brand of brown mascara which was just reformulated and is marvelous!  My eye shadow and eye liner are from Physicians Formula’s organic line up.  My lip shimmer is a new product that I recently reviewed from Beeyoutiful.  I have the shade of Kiss of Cupid which is a great natural shade that is barely there.  It’s close to my normal color but still gives me the feeling that I’ve dressed it up.  That in turn gives me a confidence boost!  Make sure to check out my Review for more!

I have joined these awesome bloggers for part two of our a year in skirts with seasonal skirt wearing.  Below find my fellow bloggers and make sure to visit them on the linky as well!  The linky is below our list of participants!  


Dusty at To the Moon and Back
Erin at For Him and My Family
Laura at Raising Soldiers 4 Christ
Kyndra at Sticks, Stones, and Chicken Bones
Selena at Look! We’re Learning!
Mrs. Warde at Sceleratus Classical Academy
Caroline at The Modest Mom
Melissa at Life Off the Paved Road
Dawnita at Fogleman Forerunner
Hilary at Our Homeschool Studio
Annette at In All You Do