• Family Life,  Homeschooling,  Schedule

    5 Money Saving Hacks this fall.

    5 hacks to keep you fed and warm while homeschooling your kids.

    1. Keep a stocked pantry from sale items.

      • A pantry is incredibly useful during the lean times. There are so many creative ways to use rice, flour, sugar, spices, canned beans, oatmeal, stock, and more. By keeping a pantry stocked you can always feed your family without relying on expensive junk food.
    2. Remind your kids to turn off their electricity when they are not using it, and open curtains during the day for natural light.

      • I know it seems odd to think about electricity on a list like this one, however when you are home all day everyday the PG&E bill can be outrageous.
    3. Do not raise the thermostat beyond 65.

      • Again, being home all the time means the heating bill too can run out of control.
      • Buy wool socks.
      • You homeschool so layer up without the worry of looking ridiculous to anyone else.
    4. Eat real food.

      • Because you have the blessing of being home, make cooking all your meals a priority.
      • Use a subscription service like Emeals to help make shopping lists with the specific store you like to shop at. They have a meal plan called 30 minute Budget Meals that even gives a total of what it should cost you for the week.
      • Eat leftovers
      • Prepackaged or convenience food is helpful for the rare occasion, but when it becomes the norm it can be very expensive.
    5. The homeschool community is a fantastic resource for all things.

      • Used curriculum can be passed down
      • Clothes can be bought and sold
      • Services can be bartered. and so much more.

    I hope these ideas provide some new insight into saving more money this week, this month, and into the new year. I’ll post more as the holidays approach and birthdays are celebrated.

    How do you save money during this season?

  • About,  Homeschooling,  Schedule

    Another new school year!

    It is that time of year again, school is back in session, and like many of you I have been deep in planning mode.

    But before I share all the details of our new year I want to take a minute and rejoice that we will be starting our 8th year homeschooling. I can hardly believe it!!!! Eight years ago God changed the trajectory of my life when He wanted us to homeschool our son. Never! in my wildest dreams did homeschooling fit into the picture of what I had dreamed motherhood to be. I had some weird ideas about homeschooling which most likely came from the interesting homeschoolers I had met. I didn’t have a quarrel with the school district or anyone for that matter. God just started putting this idea into our (I say our because God had to convince my husband first) heads. Little by little and year after year, with the help of Classical Conversations, we have never looked back on our decision. Homeschooling has been the greatest adventure. Our kids are thriving, I am celebrating all the firsts first hand, and I get to be a part of changing the world right here in my home.

    I homeschool for all the reasons you can imagine minus anything personally related to our local District full of amazing teachers. Yes, being able to preach the gospel at all times, in all seasons, when we wake and when we sit is my number one motivation and without the absolute conviction of my role as their primary teacher I would had given up a hundred times over. Homeschooling is a rollercoaster of emotion and some days its exhilarating and some days make you want to puke. Thanks be to God and His sufficient grace to keep me coming back for more.


    Both of my children are currently enrolled in a Classical Conversations program. My oldest son, who is 13, is in Challenge B and my youngest daughter, 10, is in Foundations. She would be in Essentials too but we do not have that option this year on our community, so I’ll be teaching her the Essentials program at home.

    Challenge B includes

    • Henle Latin 1
    • Saxon Pre-Algerbra
    • Current Events and Mock Trial
    • Astronomy
    • Lost Tools of Writing and Short Story
    • Intermediate Logic

    Foundations + includes

    • Cycle 1 memory work
    • Saxon 5/6
    • IEW Ancient History writing program
    • Essentials of the English Language (similar to My Mother Tongue)
    • Various novels to read and discuss
    • Piano

    Did I mention I am tutoring Challenge B too? I have tutored or Directed a program for the past 7 years so its almost second nature to keep moving up. Tutoring gives me a first hand view of my sons work and because I am both tutor and teacher I feel more confident that he will succeed.


    With a larger work load in B I have decided that we need to start our morning earlier then normal. Instead of 9am we begin at 8am with a devotion and prayer. This is a sweet time for us and it will only work if I commit to being present during the entire school day.

    This means I will wake up earlier, spend time with the Lord, drink coffee and see how motivated I am to dance by 6am. This may be more flexible as the year progresses and each child finds a rhythm to their work. I don’t envision sitting with them at the table for all six hours by week 12 but I will have to be there in the beginning.

    • 8am Devotions
    • 8:30 Eat your frog!
    • 9:30-12:30
    • 12:30 Lunch/Play
    • 1-3pm
    • 3pm Please be done so you can play
    • 3:30-4:30pm Xbox if all their work is done
    • 4:30-9:30pm various evening activities and bed time

    My disclaimer to all of this is; Subject to attitudes, holidays, birthdays, and weather this schedule can be modified at anytime.

    Subject to attitudes, holidays, birthdays, and weather this schedule can be modified at anytime.

    I pray you all will have a blessed year with your children.


  • Fitness,  Health,  Schedule

    Six ways to add fitness to your day.

    I know what your going to say, “I don’t have time to workout!” “where do I start?” “I don’t like getting sweaty!” I completely get all of these excuses, but here are a five six ways to get moving more and doing something healthy for yourself and your family.

    1. Be accountable to someone. Last fall I bought a Fitbit so I could play along in the challenges my friends were doing. Every week my friends and I participate in a “work week hustle” on the Fitbit app which keeps me accountable to a whole group of people who can see how much or how little I’m moving. Now you don’t have to go out and buy anything, you could join an online group that is just for accountability, or you can start one yourself. Being accountable to someone other then yourself or your husband can be very motivating.
    2. There is no right time to workout. There are seasons in a moms life and those seasons dictate free time. I have tried every time and came to the conclusions that I hate morning workouts, and after lunch is to late in the day, therefore I had to come up with a system to fit in my workout and homeschooling. The best time of day for me is between 8-9am so I schedule my kids some independent work during that time and some days they do it without complaining and some days they are cleaning their rooms quietly until I’m done. Does this happen every day? No, but I try to get 3000 steps in doing one workout.
    3. Get your kids involved. Some days I can’t get a workout done alone so we lace up our shoes and head outside for a walk. Now the dog loves this and occasionally I get complainants from the kids but rarely so it is a win for me and my steps.
    4. Free classes. Who doesn’t like free? I have found some great classes on YouTube for free. BeFit is a channel that hosts all ranges of videos from Jillian Michales shred to ballet classes. When I need a kick start I’ll go there and just do something that looks fun.
    5. Just do it! Nike definitely has the corner on that truth, but it needs to be said more often. Just get moving. Moving more develops stronger bodies and stronger bodies are more confident. Bathing suit season is approaching and your kids need you to be in the water with them playing, and the fastest way to feeling better in a bathing suit is becoming a stronger person.
    6. Find something you love doing and do it! Even if your old, tired, etc…do that one activity you have been wanting to try or retry. For me this has been dancing. I have never taken an official dance class with pink tights and a black liatard because it was never an option. Thanks to social media and the ability to stream workouts I can dance without pink tights (because no one needs to see that) like no one is watching. I am addicted to Dancebody, which is a dance class online or if you live in New York they are there in person. Try them out for 3 days free (code is on their site), you will be so thankful you did.

    Now that you have Five Six ways to fit fitness into your life I hope that this weekend while your planning you will plan sometime to move more. And if you have tried and failed then try again. Change the time, change the workout, change who you are with, and get accountable to someone. Look forward to the process and less about the destination. Its in the process that we grow.

    Leave me a comment and tell me what you’ll do this next week to move more.

  • Family Life,  Schedule

    Fall and Pace Setting

    Some would say fall is their absolute favorite season, because its the season of change, pumpkin spice everything, boots, sweaters, and long nights. I mostly agree with all of those reasons except I have a hard time when the weather gets cold. Coldness hurts my body and my soul. All I want to do is sleep under my electric blanket and eat warm soup. Every day habits seem insurmountable. What was a great schedule, getting up early, working out before everyone woke up, and getting my shower in was super easy when the sun was up and my windows were open. However now that the days are short and the birds are leaving it is very hard to get motivated in the morning.

    I recently read an analogy about running and how pace setting correlates with moving through life. She talked about how runners get to a pace where everything feels great! They are moving easy, and all their muscles are happy so they increase their speed, which usually backfires. There bodies get over exerted and they loose time and possibly risk injury. Our life is run by pace setting as well. We can get over excited when everything is clicking, and the whole world seems to be in agreement with your plans so you take on something new. You start a new project, join a book club, and what you have done is leave the pace and like the runner you too can risk injury and loose time.

    Fall is not a time for me to get depressed that my pace needs modification nor is it a season to take on a new thing. Fall for me is a time to nest. Read books I already own, cook recipes that have been collecting dust, workout when the sun does come up, and be okay with the quiet.

  • Family Life,  Homeschooling,  Schedule

    Get up and clock in!

    My motto this season of homeschooling is “Get up and Clock in.”

    I have never been one to do school work everyday of the week before. If it was to sunny we could skip school and play outside. Rainy days were filled with documentaries and popcorn. My monthly cycle was a great day or week off from everything. Needless to say my kids learned to expect that somehow during the week mom would call off math lessons and writing assignments for something else. Fast forward to week 7 of our 7th year homeschooling and we have a full plate of assignments that can not be forgotten.

    My oldest is now in 7th grade and in the Challenge A program with Classical Conversations, and my youngest is in 4th and beginning Essentials. Challenge is thoughtfully named, I am assuming because its a challenge to keep up with the workload, which is not crazy hard, but time consuming. My 4th grader is having to write a paper every week, which actually means “we” are writing a paper every week. There is literally no time off and it’s been a rough transition (for me).

    Let’s be real, the transition is hard for me. It is hard to encourage my kids to keep at it when there are days I want to cry and throw a little temper tantrum, “but I don’t want to do it all again today!” My kids have been great! They are chugging along and praise God they keep showing up willing to do it all again today. So, for me then, I have to wake up, get up and clock in. Homeschooling these two is a sacred job and Gods grace will meet me each and every morning.

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