Mentoring Still Matters: How Moms Help Moms

Think back to when you were a new mom. Do you remember holding a crying baby and wondering what you were doing wrong? Or having doubts that you would ever get him to sleep through the night? Or perhaps wondering at what age it was safe to introduce table foods? Perhaps you, like me, didn’t have the benefit of a mother or aunt or even older sister who lived nearby to pass on some encouragement and parenting wisdom. Perhaps you, like me, were in need of a mentor. Or think back to when you were a new Christian. All the questions you had: about Scripture, and sin, and walking out your faith. Can you think of the person who came alongside you and shared her own wisdom? If you had someone in particular come to mind, you’re very fortunate! Many of us go through life during these times on our own. But friend, let me tell you: we’re all in need of mentors and mentoring! What exactly is Mentoring? Mentoring is one of those activities that was an integral part of life long ago.  It is coming alongside someone, living life intentionally with them, and working together so that both partiesREAD MORE

I'm Not Antisocial, I'm An Introvert - I Am THAT Mom

For years I’ve been accused of being antisocial, and often times rude. I admit there’s been times when I’ve been short with people, but not rude, at least never intentionally. These last few weeks, I’ve come across several articles from Introvert, Dear. I’ve shared them on Facebook, sent links to friends and even quoted them to my kids.Being an introverted mom is lonely. Especially when you are constantly surrounded by normal moms, as woman once pointed out. Our girls were in the same gymnastics class, and she occasionally made small talk as I read a book. I politely laughed at her jokes and nodded at her comments on the weather, but there was no real connection even when I tried to pay close attention to the conversation. After a few weeks, she got off her chair, and loudly announced she was going to sit on the other side of the room; with the normal moms. What makes you a normal mom? I didn’t meet the expectation of motherhood she had in mind. I was a very young mother at the time, and I did not have as many mom-years under my belt as she did. Sadly, I began to wonder if thereREAD MORE

Homeschool-Mom-Guilt-BINGO

We’ve all had those days. You know, the days when you know exactly which assignments you want the kids to complete before taking a week off, or before a holiday, yet nothing gets done. My 3rd oldest is turning 16, or actually she turned 16 last month but we are having a rather large party to celebrate this milestone in the middle of May, and unlike my oldest girl, this one is a little behind on the party planning. A couple of weeks ago we were scheduled to take a quick 5 minute walk-through the banquet hall where said shindig will take place. It’s not far from the house, so we decided take maybe an hour off our Wednesday morning for the tour. Very quickly this one hour on a Wednesday morning escalated into a Wednesday to Friday affair. We toured the facility, the decoration inspiration bug bit us and we ended up driving to multiple party supply stores. The following day we went dress shopping, and spent hours on Pinterest looking up cakes. Have you ever planned a sweet sixteen? It’s just a little less intense than planning a wedding. This is my 2nd one of 5. Yikes. WhileREAD MORE

Building friendships is not as easy for some of us. Dictionary.com defines a friend as a person who gives assistance, a patron, a supporter. We all need these supporters, especially when it comes to homeschooling.  Building Friendships is Not Always Easy I’m an introvert by nature; in fact, many people see me as either rude or antisocial; however, this is not the case. I’m just one of those people who like to keep to themselves and are constantly thinking about stuff, all kinds of stuff. I’m thinking about the groceries we need to pick up, the laundry I didn’t put away, the crisis in the Middle East, the blog post I want to write; I’m even still laughing at the ridiculous cat video one of the girls showed me last week. I’m not rude, snobbish, and I’m not judging you, I promise! However, this is what people often see when they meet me. Friendships don’t come easy for me. I have to REALLY work at them. I mean really work. Taking the homeschool leap was blissful at first. Finally, there was something I could do solo. No need to make small talk with the PTA moms, team moms, teachers, etc. I wasREAD MORE

Encouragement and Inspiration for the Homeschool Blahs

Are you in need of encouragement and inspiration for the homeschool blahs? I’ve heard it say that many homeschoolers are ready to call it quits in November and February. I’ve been there more than once due to burnout and when our routine and curriculum just weren’t working. Here’s some great news whether this describes how you’re feeling or if you just need some encouragement and inspiration. The bloggers at iHomeschool Network, have put together an amazing resource to get you soaring through the rest of the year. The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas Volume 2 was just released and is available on paperback and Kindle instant download. This resource covers 57 topics, by 38 homeschool moms. This was not put together by a stranger who’s never been on the homeschool trenches. But by women who have been and still are in your shoes, women one who are schooling multiple ages, women who have successfully graduated their children, women who struggle to keep their homes presentable while educating their children. Yup just like you and me.  Encouragement and Inspiration Topics Include Socialization opportunities for teens Independent learning for teens Fun with high school electives Assigning high school credit to life learning opportunities DualREAD MORE

10 Practical Self-Care Tips for the Tired Homeschool Mom

Webster defines tired as in need of rest, or weary. Synonyms for tired include exhausted, worn out, fatigued, ready to drop, drained. How many times have you used any of these words to describe how you feel this week alone? I’ve used them quite a lot of times. I’ll admit I’ve said I’m ‘ready to drop’ at least 3 times this week, and it’s only Wednesday. To top it off this is a holiday week, and there’s a million things that many of us have to get done before the Thanksgiving holiday. When my kids were little, everyone said to sleep when they sleep. As they got a little older and naps were no longer a reality I wished I had taken their advise. The older the kids are, the less sleep I get and the more I use phrases like ready to drop. Homeschooling brings on an even deeper level of exhaustion. You not only have family, household and work responsibilities, but you now have the home-education-responsibility add-on. These last three years, I’ve struggled to get it all done, and I’ve strived to do it perfectly (type-A personality), but something’s gotta give. And it did. This summer I took a lookREAD MORE

(This post contains affiliate links, see my full disclosure here.) As a brand new homeschooler, 3 years ago I set out to create the ideal school at home. I read through countless books and articles. Watched way too many TED talks and devised the perfect “home/school” plan. I literally mapped out the next 12 years of home education, with a complete list of curriculum, projects, field-trips, etc. If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time you know I’m a planner. And a little very obsessive at times. How I Managed To Frustrate Everyone Before we even began homeschooling, I did some research on learning styles, multiple intelligences and personality types. I even had most of the kids take online tests to confirm my suspicions and the year before we started, I attended a couple of lectures on learning styles. I was well informed, and armed with a flawless plan. I was ready. The perfect plan worked for two weeks. Maybe less. You see, the twelve year plan was so amazing that 90% of the expensive curriculum I “had to have”, was out the window before we finished our first semester. My husband was thrilled. We tried all sorts of curriculumREAD MORE

For the last three years I’ve been a been able to work while homeschooling and successfully taking care of my home. Believe me when I say I’m not telling you this with the intention to toot my own horn, but to encourage you to ask Christ for His strength on your day to day routines. Our families and our our homes are a blessing and a great responsibility He has entrusted us with! here’s a peek at how we balance homeschooling and homeschooling at the same time.READ MORE

Our move has taken much longer than we originally planned. After looking at a ridiculous number of homes, we finally found one that is just right for us. The only catch, is that it is not available yet. In the meantime, the old house is on the market, our ‘everything’ is in storage, and we’ve been paying an extended visit to grandpa’s house in Arizona. Consistently homeschooling during this move has been almost as difficult as finding a house. By day 20 (yes 20), we are finally getting a hang of it. Here are 4 tips in case you’re ever in a similar situation; though I really hope you’re not: 1. Less is more. Long gone are the days of a dedicated school room, with manipulatives, whiteboards, science station, library, etc. These days our ‘schoolroom’ fits in a small box with wheels. For now we have decided to focus on core subjects, like math, science and writing, with an occasional Latin lesson. When we are settled in the new house we’ll ease back in to the rest of our subjects. 2. Flexibility is key. For 3 weeks the girls and I have been spending our weekdays in Arizona and weekendsREAD MORE

I love routines,  I am definitely creature of habit, however  this past month has been the complete opposite. About two weeks before the Thanksgiving holiday I became completely overwhelmed with everything, specially homeschooling. I’ve heard everyone considers quitting in November and February, but with this being just my third year, I didn’t have much to compare it to. I really did want to quit. Getting lessons ready for 4 girls, working full time from home, holiday season coming up, an upcoming road trip to plan for, a big theater performance for 5 out of my 6 children plus a full basketball schedule just became too much. On November 16th, I decided we would take 2 weeks off for Thanksgiving. The Monday after Thanksgiving I got sick so we took an additional week. By the end of that week with the theater performance just around the corner I still had 6 costumes to make. I threw in the towel, and decided we’d reconvene in January. Am am so glad I did. I do have to admit that taking the time off also created some stress, because now I was trying to figure out how we’d make up for lost time, but was quicklyREAD MORE