Motherhood, For Such A Time As This

Motherhood presents itself at different times and in different ways. I’ve know women who have tried to conceive for decades, women who’ve opened their hearts and arms to adopted or foster children, women who have raised a niece or a nephew as their own. Women who planned on motherhood since they themselves were little girls. For me, motherhood presented itself, when I was seventeen. I wasn’t married, I hadn’t planned on ever getting married, much less having kids. I didn’t like kids. They were always sticky, or crying, or whining. I was going to become a journalist, or an Air Force pilot. I was going to travel the world, and explore places no one had ever been to. This was the dream. As I stared at that pregnancy test, for what seemed hours, the dreams of travels and adventures in far away lands were gone; and to my shock, I wasn’t crushed. I was excited. That was the day I became a mother. A calling to motherhood. Twenty-two years and six kids later, I can proudly say, that I was called to be a mother. But it took me years to realize it. For years I was crippled by my constant searchREAD MORE

Welcome to Day 1 of 31 Days of Motherhood Encouragement. I want to begin this series, by being completely transparent with you. I had a different post planned as a kick-off to our 31 day series; however this past week God reminded me why we’re here. And even 1 day before the series launch, He showed me just how challenging this motherhood gig can be. Friend, I’ve been praying for this series for seven months. In that time, I’ve made lists of topics to discuss, I’ve come-up with witty questions to engage you with, and collected scripture to share. However, somewhere along the way I managed to make this series more about what I wanted to share; and less about what God wants to tell you and me. Instead, today I ask you to come alongside each of the contributors, and pray for God’s Word to be spoken and His will to be done through this series.  Lord, we come to you as one, and ask you to continue to pour Your Spirit on each of the contributors. Lord, we lift up each mother in this group, those who have already joined and those that will follow. Lord may they be drawnREAD MORE

31 Days of Motherhood Encouragement

Friends here is this month’s line-up. I’ve had the pleasure of reading a few of the posts in advance, and I was incredibly blessed! I know you’ll be blessed too. I’ve been looking forward to see what the Lord will do through this group of women for months! Friend, will you join us this October as we encourage one another to live out the Biblical Motherhood, God has called us to? Also if there is a topic you’d like to see discussed, be sure to leave a comment below, or in the private Facebook group. If you don’t have access to the Facebook group yet, you can request it here. Sign up for daily updates here. You’ll find a complete list of the participating contributors here. You’ll want to bookmark this page, links to all posts on this series, as well as giveaway details will live here. Day 1 – A Welcome and A Prayer by Tatiana Day 2 – Momma It’s Ok To Be Angry – 4 Tips To Dealing With Anger by Ailie Day 3 – Motherhood Encouragement: Raising Up Boys by Jillian Day 4 – Motherhood Encouragement for a Peaceful Christmas by Amy Day 5 – MentoringREAD MORE

Homeschooling Through the Eyes of a 6th & 7th Grader

Years ago, when child number three asked for permission to start a YouTube channel, my immediate response was a resounding no. I had safety concerns of course, but the resounding no, was more for me. I really didn’t want to add another chore to my ever growing list. However, after a very long discussion, I was sold. She had convinced me of the learning opportunities that managing a YouTube channel presented.   Last week child number six asked if internet activities, like blogging and creating YouTube content could be considered school. As soon as she finished asking her question, she realized she was already aware of the answer, and yelled “never mind” as she ran into her YouTube studio. Homeschooling is a lifestyle, not just something we do from 9-to-3. The learning never ends, and it doesn’t only apply to math, science and English. There’s so much we’re learning all day long. Charlotte Mason, is known for saying, education is an atmosphere; … we should take into account the educational value of his natural home atmosphere, both as regards persons and things, and should let him live freely among his proper conditions. Technology is all around us, therefore it’s essential toREAD MORE

It’s time for the 9th Back to Homeschool Blog Hop! Are you ready for the new homeschool year? We are, almost. The mere idea of teaching multiple subjects to four different grades is exhausting. So a few years ago, I opted to combine subjects and curriculum when possible. We adjust the workload and expectations depending on the girl’s ability and interest, and not on their grade level. Right from the start, the girls are involved in the curriculum choice process. This helps take a little of the pressure off me, and helps them become more accountable for their own education. Before overwhelming you with our middle & high school curriculum choices, you should know that our homeschool style is a combination between the Classical Education Method and the Charlotte Mason Philosophy. Therefore our curriculum choices will reflect a bit of both. We call it Classical Charlotte Mason. You can read more about it here. Something else you ought to know, is that we’re huge fans of history, science and the arts. Therefore you’ll see a larger selection of resources in those areas. Here is some of the middle and high school curriculum we’re using this year: Artist, Composer, Nature andREAD MORE

Our Organized Homeschool Space

When I was 2, I was the little girl who organized her stuffed animals by height, color and type on her bed each morning. I was the girl who cried when her younger sister sharpened one of the color pencils a little more than the rest, and the girl who had to get a brand new notebook every time a page had a tiny smudge. Wait a minute, I’m still that girl. I’m obsessive when it comes to organization. In my family it’s called the sickness and it’s taken very seriously. Having an obsessive personality can sometimes be beneficial. This month, I let the OCD tendencies completely take over when reorganizing our homeschool space. Organized Curriculum I’m a proud book and curriculum hoarder, you can see how serious my hoarding case is here, however I finally decided to part with some of our unused curriculum, you can find that post here. Once most of the unused books were gone; we took the rest of our homeschool curriculum, sorted everything by subject, and type. I like these magazine holders from IKEA, because they keep everything neatly in place. I printed colorful labels with a brief description of each holder, so curriculum isREAD MORE

All Saints Movie - Faith, Community, Relationships

(Disclosure: As a Featured Contributor of Sony’s ALL SAINTS Influencer Program, I received the value of two movie tickets in exchange for an honest review on my blog.) Have you heard of Michael Spurlock and the Karen people? It’s a remarkable story, I was not familiar with until just a few weeks ago, when I came across a news headline on Facebook. You can read that article here. This story was the inspiration for the new faith based film All Saints, which depicts what transpired in a small town (Smyrna) in Tennessee. Michael Spurlock was a former salesman turned priest, assigned to close down All Saints church. The church was in deep financial trouble, and had a small congregation unable to keep it afloat. In his attempt to follow orders, he and his family befriend Burmese refugees in need of a church home and assistance. While under pressure from his superiors, land developers and a somewhat doubtful congregation, he hears a calling from the Lord, instructing him to use the land and the people to save the church. By faith, and with the help of Ye Win (a refugee who serves as translator and spokesman for the Karen), Spurlock, the AllREAD MORE

What I'm Reading - August Edition

Reading has definitely taken a back seat this summer. Even though I quit my day job, and envisioned a ridiculous abundance of time, we’ve been extremely busy and have spent very little time at home. With the school time routine in the near horizon, I’m ready to get back to reading. Here’s what I’m looking forward to this month. The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volume 1 – I’m almost ashamed to say I’ve never read this in it’s completion. It’s at the very top of my list this month. Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side – I quickly read though this one a few months ago and found it to be very eye opening. The book hones in on 40 of the most common challenges kids face. I’ve decided to take time to read it again, as I pray about possibly teaching other moms through this book. They’re Your Kids – Last month I had the chance to meet Sam Sorbo at a homeschool conference. I was seriously impressed by the wisdom, drive and encouraging spirit in her. I ended up attending every single one of her lectures, and became a big fan-girl of Mrs. Sorbo. I can’t wait to diveREAD MORE

I’m an organization junkie, I’m constantly moving things around and looking for more efficient systems in everything I do. This sickness (as I call it), tends to get worse at summer time. The kids are restless, everyone sleeps until lunch time, it’s a million degrees outside, and my brain just seems to work overtime thinking about what to clean, organize, categorize and label. Where do I begin? This summer I decided to make small changes instead of complete household overhauls like I’m known for in the past. I’m taking things slow at preparing my home for the busy fall schedule. I created at simple challenge to get my home just a little more organized this month. You can join me and post your progress on Instagram with the hashtag #organized31indays. You can download a printable copy of the challenge here. I asked some friends to share their best organization tips with me, and here they are for your perusal, in case you need just a bit more inspiration. Save Time and Promote Responsibility with the Homey App  CHORE Bingo Free Printable by Lara at Everyday Graces Simple Tips to Manage Household Chores by Renée at Great Peace Academy How to Use technologyREAD 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

Classical Charlotte Mason

We’ve finally come to an end of our Classical Charlotte Mason series, and before we close, I wanted to leave you with a freebie. I created a weekly lesson plan and a 36 week planning printable. The weekly lesson planner I’m sharing is a blank version of the schedule I shared on day 4 of our series (minus the curriculum column). The first column is for the subject, second is for that particular week’s lesson, and you can break down what needs to get done by day on the Monday through Friday columns. We homeschool year round, in 6 week terms, with 1 week in between each term. I typically take that week to evaluate where we are, set a goal for the next term and schedule the next 6 weeks. Once upon a time, I planned every day of every subject. I’ve since learned the art of flexibility and come to realize that planning every second is just not reasonable. I share a bit more on how I plan here. The printable is broken down into 6 week terms for easy week by week planning . Click on the image below, to catch days 1 through 9 of ourREAD MORE

Classical Charlotte Mason Homeschooling & Resources

There are many arguments for and against teaching Shakespeare, I chose to share one of each. First up, is an article published in the Washington Post, quoting a high school teacher who does not feel a need to teach it to her students. You can read it here. Next, is an article written by a homeschool mother, who was leery at first, but eventually incorporated teaching the Bard in her home. You can read that article here. I introduced Shakespeare sort of by accident during our first homeschool year, and it’s become our favorite subject since. I sometimes threaten to cancel Shakespeare for a week when chore and other lessons are incomplete, and the mere though of not being able to read their favorite thing is enough to get everyone back on track. Classical Charlotte Mason Shakespeare Resources Many of Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets are also available in modern English. I’d recommend sticking with the original language, as long as it makes sense to you and your family, and switch to the modern version when/if necessary. One last thing to remember is that Shakespeare occasionally used lewd language, and included some themes that may be inappropriate for younger children. PleaseREAD MORE

Classical Charlotte Mason

Music and art are important components of both a Classical and a Charlotte Mason education. In classical education they are a part of embodied learning –  where children learn to cultivate the love for truth, goodness and beauty. In the Charlotte Mason education is the science of relations – so we the child upon physical exercises, nature lore, handicrafts, science and art. With that said, it’s crucial we expose children not only to science, technology and math, but also to the art of beauty. Classical Charlotte Mason Art & Music Resources There’s a great deal of art and music resources on the web. Here’s a list of what we’ve used, loved and are looking forward to this year. Ambleside Online – We typically follow the art & composer terms as listed on their website. Ambleside Online, also provides links to resources for each piece of art listed on their website. SQUILT – For music appreciation. It stands for Super Quiet Uninterrupted Listening Time. We’ve been using the SQUILT idea from day one. You can learn more here. Gentle Guitar – For music theory and guitar lessons. We’re starting this fall. You can even sign up for a free lesson to try it out. ClassicREAD MORE

Classical Charlotte Mason

Charlotte Mason believed children should spend many hours exploring and learning outdoors. However, this is not very realistic in our time. Specially for those of us who live in the city or in the suburbs. What we have done instead, is allowed ourselves time for a nature outings on Fridays. We’ve had the chance to explore farms, gardens, hiking trails and beaches. We study science more traditionally (books, experiments, directions, etc.) the rest of the week. Here’s a list of our favorite nature study, elementary and upper level science resources. Favorite Nature Study Science Resources Nature Study Books – There’s lots of great books you can use to guide you. Our favorite, because of it’s simplicity and illustrations is Julia Rothman’s Nature Anatomy. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway below for a chance at winning one for yourself. Field Guides – In a constant effort to constantly cut the weight and amount of luggage we tend to take on nature hikes, I’ve stopped packing up traditional field guides. Instead we use apps to help us identify plants, tracks and birds along the way. The apps we are using are Audubon California Bird Guide, Wildflowers Along the Way, Track Lite, Plant-O-MaticREAD MORE

Classical Charlotte Mason

We’ve developed a great love for history these past four years. History has come alive, and we’ve discovered so much about our ancestors, culture and our country. We spend an average of 3 hours a day on history alone, and it very often feels like just a few minutes. History is no longer a list of dates to be memorized, and dry facts we constantly forget. Our view of history has changed thanks to great curriculum and wonderful books, some of which we hope help you develop a longing to learn more about the past. Favorite Classical Charlotte Mason History Resources History Revealed Diana Waring’s the History Revealed series has been a game changer in our homeschool. I can honestly say that at one point, we’d rather see the dentist, than to think about history. Thanks to History Revealed, we’ve grown to LOVE history. We spend a great deal of our time in it. Please check it out. Notgrass History We will be using the Exploring America, and America the Beautiful curriculum this year. This is Christ-centered history, written by passionate authors. Both of this series, include a great list of living books to go along each lesson. Ambleside OnlineREAD MORE

Classical Charlotte Mason

Dictionary-dot-com, defines language arts as the skills, including reading, composition, speech, spelling, and dramatics, taught in elementary and secondary schools to give students a thorough proficiency in using the language. In conventional schools, this results in an abnormal detachment of these arts (composition, speech, spelling, grammar, etc.). However both the Classical and Charlotte Mason methods rely heavily on the influence of literature, as a basis for mastering these arts. Most experienced writers will suggest reading more, in order to become a better writer. In the words of Jeff Goins: Nothing inspires a writer like reading someone else’s words. Great Literature and Living Books Great literature evokes emotion, it pulls the reader in, making it almost impossible to put the book down. Great literature makes the reader an active participant in the story. On day two of our series, we briefly discussed living books, as Charlotte Mason saw them, and today I came across a blog post that in my opinion gave the best explanation of what a living book is and how to spot one. Have you ever seen The Never Ending story? It’s the story of Bastian who goes on the journey of a lifetime as he reads the story of another boy, very different fromREAD MORE

Classical Charlotte Mason

Welcome to day 4 of our Classical Charlotte Mason homeschooling series. So far we’ve discussed the principles of Classical education, principles of a Charlotte Mason education and some similarities (in my opinion), between the two. Today I’m giving you a peek at what a combination of these philosophies looks like in our homeschool. Classical Charlotte Mason Curriculum and Resources For the last 4 years, we’ve used a combination of Classical and Charlotte Mason curriculum and resources. We’re pretty happy with the results. Some of our favorite free resources are Open Biola, Ambleside Online, YouTube (always exercise caution when on YouTube), No Fear Shakespeare and of course our local library. Some of the curriculum we love, that has worked very well with our Classical Charlotte Mason style includes the History Revealed, Notgrass History, Memoria Press composition, Latin and logic, Apologia science, Life of Fred math, Grammar Galaxy for language Arts, and Classical Conversations flashcards for fact review. Our Classical Charlotte Mason Weekly Schedule This will be our 2nd year of year round homeschooling. We like to take time off every so often, therefore we school in 6 week terms (six weeks on, one week off). I’ve been busy planning our first six week term, thisREAD MORE

Save Time and Promote Responsibility with The Homey App

I was compensated for my time reviewing this product and writing this review All opinions are my own, you can see my full disclosure here. We’ve had at least 8 people in our household for the last 12 years, and cleaning up, doing dishes and managing laundry for at times 13 people is just plain nuts. This is why early on in my large family parenting days we began assigning chores. We’ve had kids helping keep the house clean as young as 2 years old. How do you handle the chore situation at home? I’ve tried all sorts of methods. I once had a 3 foot long, color coded room by room and person by person checklist hanging in my laundry room. I had it laminated, and each family member was responsible for specific tasks each day. My chore lists have evolved through the years, some very elaborate, some simple and some on a giant whiteboard in the laundry room. I’ve used apps, reward systems, and spent literal DAYS obsessing over the to-do’s of large family living. If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know I tend to have an obsessive personality. I’m obsessive when itREAD MORE

Classical Charlotte Mason

Welcome to day 3 of our Classical Charlotte Mason series. On days one and two we discussed the principles and benefits of a Classical Education, as well those of a Charlotte Mason education. If you missed either post, please go back and read them here, before we discuss some similarities, and why combining these methods works. I know there are purists on both sides of the spectrum, that would cringe at the thought of combining these philosophies, nevertheless, let’s take a look at how a healthy combination of the two can benefit your homeschool. A quick disclaimer; I’m no expert in either philosophy, but I have successfully combined the principles of both in our homeschool for the last 4 years. A Marriage of Two Philosophies Let’s take a closer look at 4 of the essential principles of classical education from day 1, and how they intertwine with Charlotte Mason principles. Repetitio Mater Memoriae Many Charlotte Mason purists dislike the memorization method of classical education, however Dr. Christopher Perrin points out that repetition and memorization does not necessarily come in the verbal recitation of facts. The repetition can be applied in different formats, much like narration, copy work and dictation would are used inREAD MORE

Classical Charlotte Mason

Charlotte Mason was a British educator, who believed education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life. She believed children are people, with their own thoughts, and ideas, and should be treated as such. She was opposed to treating or talking to children as if they were inferior, unintelligent and ’empty canvases’ ready to be filled with ideas. Instead she encouraged parents to raise children as independent thinkers. Parents and teachers should know how to make sensible use of a child’s circumstances (atmosphere) to forward their sound education; should train them in the discipline of habits of the good life; and should nourish their life with ideas, the food upon which personality waxes strong. Charlotte Mason believed education was about knowing who we are, and how we fit into the world created by God. Principles of a Charlotte Mason Education The Charlotte Mason philosophy, is based on 20 principles: Children are born persons. They are not born either good or bad, but with possibilities for good and for evil. The principles of authority on the one hand, and of obedience on the other, are natural, necessary and fundamental. These principles are limited by the respect due to the personality of children, whichREAD MORE