I Quit: Again!

(write down your bad days. you'll laugh later... This was one of my "bad days" last year-enjoy)

Today is definitely one of those days.

I should have quit when:

  • The ceiling started dripping.
  • I realized the water was coming from the upstairs bathroom.
  • When I called the landlord to tell her that the upstairs bathroom was leaking into the downstairs bathroom.
  • When my 7th grader decided I was "wasting his time by trying to get him to write down a few math steps".
  • My 7th grader was shaking in frustration, confusion, and rebellion.
  • The plumber came and asked me where the main water turn off was for our new home.
  • My 6the grader decided that 2 hours was an appropriate time limit for a lesson that was begun with the words, "honey, I am letting you do this easy math lesson today so you can practice three things: neatness, discipline, and timing..."
  • I looked at my 6th grader's paper only to discover he had only neatly written the lesson number after 30 minutes.
  • My 4th grader disappeared from the school area... AGAIN.
  • My 7th grader announces to me, in front of the plumber, "mom, ______ just bit ______" (no names to protect the guilty)
Ok, I really should have quit when:
  • I realized that one of my kids bit another of my kids. 
    • (Really? I have No I kids under the age of 9!!!)
  • The guilty child was just "play biting in order to get his toy back..." 
    • (I repeat. My kids are older than 9).
  • The plumber asks, "So... You homeschool?"
  • I reply, "Yes sir. Only today is one of those days that I question homeschooling!"
I really, really, really should have quit when:
  • The boys almost hung the dog. Accidentally of course.
So, I quit. Just now.
I sent the boys to bed until tomorrow. (Or until I cool down, which ever comes first)

Do you ever keep going on a day that clearly communicates, "STOP!"
Tell me, I'm not the only one!!

Successful Homeschooling: What if...

What if by the time I finish homeschooling our boys:
They are kind.
They are confident.
They look people in the eye when spoken to.
They befriend the new kids.

What if:
They put down their phone when others are in the room.
They are strong and hard working.
They know how to cook, chop wood and change the oil on a car.
They are compassionate and caring.
They LOVE to read and devour the written word.

They still love Jesus.

What if:
They hunt down information when their interests are peaked.They can balance their checkbook and manage a budget.
They can break down a project into a workable timeline.
They can manage a calendar.
They can create power point presentations and present their ides to a group.

What if:
They know how to receive instruction.They can add, subtract, multiply, and divide whole numbers, fractions and decimals.
They can measure accurately using various tools.
They can take a disappointment in stride.
They lose with dignity and win with humility.
What if:
They pass on compliments (..."my dad taught me that")
They can manage their own small business, like lawn care.
They put things back where they found them.
They acknowledge that a great team is worth its weight in gold.
They master the art of harmony- working together blending talents and abilities for the greater good.
What if:
They are self-sacrificing of their time.
They are dependable in a time of need.
They do not whine: when folding laundry, going on a million errands, or picking up dog poop.
They are experts at something: art, music, design, gardening, physical fitness, writing, programming, etc.
What if:
They can write legibly.
They visit people in real like, talk to them in person on the phone, and text only when necessary.
They value life and place the highest value on loving God and others.
They are informed and involved in their community.
They open doors for ladies, stand in the presence of their elders, and play with small children.
What if:
They rejoice when others succeed.
They run to do the right thing, even though they might be afraid.
They know that there are only two kinds of information: things they already know and things they can learn.
They are not afraid of learning hard things.
They know the difference between needs and wants.
They refuse to live in debt, but instead work hard and save.
They are the first to volunteer, and the last to leave when work needs to be done.
What if...

Dear mama, 
Don't sweat the small stuff. 
No math concept, essay, or science experiment trumps raising your sons and daughters to be excellent, loving, kind, hard working, and dependable.
Focus on character and life skills as the default and homeschooling core. 
Subjects and concepts are simply tools used to teach children how to live.

A Challenging Math concept can be the perfect tool to show your kids: How to ask for help, how to look at a problem from multiple perspectives, to walk away/breathe/ and come back later and try again, to not quit.
Focus on the big stuff: attitude, character, habits of diligence. 
This world is at their fingertips. 

They can google anything and study for a day and know more about a subject than you and I learned in a year before the technology boom... SO don't worry about what they are learning. 
Focus on HOW they are learning and growing.

P.S-What if all parents focused on their children in this way...

Make your own "what if" list today.

Homeschooling 101

Homeschool Giveaway: Today only!


 One Day Giveaway!
10th Anniversary of Notebooking Pages

TUESDAY April 26, 2016!!

10th Birthday Homeschool Giveaway

How to Enter:
Click on the above image.
Scroll down past the "Homeschool Giveaway" image.
Click the way you want to Enter (FB, Twitter, email, etc)
Once you have entered your information there are many, many ways to enter.

After you have entered, click on the free product sampler below to get over 600 freebies!

Free Notebooking Pages Product Sampler from NotebookingPages.com.

Teenagers: Secure Their Parachutes

By the time our kids reach high school, we can bend to the pressure to “let them go” and “cut the cords”. 

Teenagers need the help, guidance, and strength of their parents even more than toddlers do at times. The transition from middle schooler to adulthood is like running a medieval gauntlet.

While some kids skate through their adolescence unscathed, many need extra care and attention. Unfortunately we do not get to pick and and choose which kids need extra help, and which ones do not. As parents we need to “go the distance” with each and every child and teen. Our job does not slow down when our kids hit high school, actually this is when the real “fun” begins.

Truth’s About Parenting and Teaching Teens
  1. This is not the time to loosen the reigns. Honestly, adolescence is the time when kids really buck against authority, but should not be the time we let go. With the crazy flooding of hormones, teen brains can really struggle with rational thought and emotion. They need us desperately.
  2. Letting them make their own mistakes in their own educational journey should not mean we “Let Them Utterly Fail”. While we cannot complete their homework assignments for them, we need to stay on top of our teens. Some students flourish during this time and become “Captain of their Own Destinies”- even conquering the world. But, many students put on a realistic smoke screen that implies that they have the world by the tail, but are drowning in the amount of responsibility and work required in their life. By the time parents become aware of the fact that their students are struggling, they are facing a mountain of makeup work. Not fun on any continent.
What does this mean?
  • We stay on top of our kids. Continue to monitor their eating and sleeping habits. Maintain (or regain) parental control over things like tv and screen time so that we help them learn to manage these time-vacuum activities. While each family establishes what is acceptable to them, parents should be in control. Many teens need us to be firm over these things so they can safely flourish. Not doing acceptably in school should dictate less “fun time” with technology, social media, and texting. 
  • Be willing to go the distance WITH our kids. They are struggling in math? Either tutor them or find them one. Sit at the table while they finish their assignments. Model what it looks like to be confused, but to press through confusion to comprehension. There are adults who are willing to sit and mentor/coach not only our kids, but us parents as well. If you do not understand an assignment, concept, or assignment reach out and find help. Even You tube can be a great resource!

Some kids will be easy to guide, others will be challenging, but all of our kids need us. They need to know that they are not stranded on a deserted island, abandoned to figure out how to create a flowchart demonstrating how to name a chemical formula from its scientific name, write an expository essay, or solve a quadratic equation alone. There is a whole team of adults, teachers, and mentors ready to help them, but first they need us. Do not be intimidated by the amount or subject of material they need to assimilate. Let them see you confused. Let them see you research solutions. Let them see you ask for help. Let them protest as you take them to a tutor.

 Just do not give up and let go.
 God gave us the responsibility to secure their parachutes, no matter how loudly they protest!

Confession: I've Taken My Kids into the Men's Restroom

With all the drama with bathroom privileges lately, I feel compelled to make a public confession...

In my 22 years of parenting I have personally taken my boys into the Men's room. More than once.

It was always in desperation. They needed to "go" right then.
I am sure they would have been glad to pee in the hallway, but I had to draw the line somewhere.
Usually I was forced off the normal path of righteousness because the line in the ladies room was wrapped around the corner.
(Seriously. Why don't they make women's bathrooms with 1,000 stalls? or at least 10)

Ok. Full confession.
I have even used the men's bathroom once or twice when I had to "go" desperately too.
I will say that I have always chosen those one stall "I can lock the door" kind of bathrooms.

That's all.

While I understand all the emotion and fear behind all the current media drama about "who should be allowed to used which bathroom", I felt the need to come clean. Confession is good for the soul.

I am a married woman.
I do not think I am a creeper. Do you?
I have five boys. That means I have been pregnant five times, some of those times with toddlers in tow. The vacant bathroom wins.
Sometimes the line for the ladies room is simply too long.
I have a weak bladder. Sometimes this clouds my ability to reason.

As for all the bathroom drama:

  • Be safe. Keep your kids safe.
  • Make wise choices.
  • Choose single stall/locking bathrooms whenever possible.
  • Teach your children what to do when they feel uncomfortable in a public or not so public place. Kids need to know what to do. They are more likely to have a compromising situation at a friends house, so equip them with an escape plan.
Err on the side of grace. The person in the restroom just may be a child who couldn't hold it anymore and his mom who used that as an excuse to bypass the line in the ladies room.

"By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
                                                             John 13:35

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Mother's Day Craft and Keepsake

Mother's Day Craft and Keepsake

Mother's Day Crafts

Mother's Day is a few weeks away.
While it may seem self-serving to have your kids make you a Mother's Day Craft, it can be one of those precious keepsakes that finds a forever home in your treasure chest.

This booklet craft is easily modified for different age kids.
Recommended Time for craft:  3 days- each with an hour block. (some children prefer to complete the project in one sitting. Younger children require smaller chunks of time spread out over a few days)

Why do a Mother's Day Keepsake?
  • Your kids love you. Give them a chance to show it!
  • They enjoy talking about you.
  • You'll want to capture the essence of where they are developmentally.
  • Kids says the darn'dest things and it is precious to capture these funnies on paper. Plus, you may want to hold it over their heads when they are teenagers. Just kidding. Sort of.
  • This craft uses scissor skills, helps fine motor development, and nurtures creativity.

Mother's Day Craft templates
direction with photos
10 customizable booklet pages
cut and paste activities
scissor skill practice
creative writing
and more

Science: Water Rocket

I pretty much fail at teaching science.

I try. 
I really do. 
But we just can't be great at everything.

On my list of "Things I am not great at Doing" is teaching science.

My saving gracing, besides Jesus, is childhood ingenuity.

With the help of a teacher friend, my 8th grader not only made a water rocket, 
but launched it successfully.

While I may not be the best "science teacher", but kids are the best independent learners!

Here are some easy instructions for building your own Water Rocket.

Be safe, and have a "BLAST"!

Spring Freebies and more!

Spring always causes me to pause.

  • Do I like what we are learning?
  • Is the curriculum still working?
  • What last minute changes to our school year do I want to make?
Spring Causes me to get a bit lazy. There, I said it.
The sun beckons us to go outside and play, so we obey. And we love every second.

I always grab extras and fun activities for the boys each spring. It helps me press forward until summer and gives them a welcome break from "normal" schoolwork.

I thought I'd Share some fun freebies and activities with you all as well! Ready? Here we go!
Share these resources with your friends.

Some of these freebies are offered for a limited time.

Freebies for every grade!

Ant: Bible Study

Fine Motor Skills Freebie

I Know My "5" Multiplication Family

Brahms Unit
Confessions of a Homeschooler

Huge List of Freebies!

Just for Fun, (and Almost Free)

Mother's Day Craft and Keepsake

Insect Bundle

Insects and Spring: The Perfect Homeschool Pair

Spring has sprung!

We live in the Pacific Northwest and there is no doubt that spring is in the air (Ah-choo!).
While everything is covered in pollen so thick that you leave footprints in the yellow, the boys are in heaven.

  • Sunshine
  • Warmth
  • Birds
  • Bees
  • Flowers 
  • Trees

Take advantage of the spring in your area and do a unit study on one or more aspects of God's Creation.

This is a read along video about BUGS! Great for emerging readers!

Unit Study on Insects

Insect Documentary

50 Art Projects for Spring!

Wildflowers, Weeds, & Garden Flowers Notebooking Pages

Plants & Trees Nature Study Notebooking Pages

Nature Study Notebooking Pages

Birds of North America Notebooking Pages

Science Experiments!

Have Fun!

Have you Discovered Homeschool Share?

Have you discovered Homeschool Share?

What a wealth of homescholing resources!
No one person or organization has all the answers about homeschooling...
What is one of your favorite homeschooling resources?