This is a post for those of you either entering the high school homeschool realm or preparing ahead. In our case, I have realized that planning for high school homeschool and planning for high school homeschool with a serious athlete can be two different bears! I am hoping this post will be helpful for both. While we are all looking for the best curriculum, the NCAA seems to have certain requirements that others may not need to worry about. For instance, word on the street is that online classes are something to be cautious about and that having a text as a spine for the curriculum is recommended. These were a few things that we considered in our choices for 9th grade. A few things that I did learn through the hours of research on developing our choices and that I would recommend are: 1 - joining the NCAA Homeschool Facebook page is great for getting ideas and running questions by others that have already been there. 2 - https://www.cmasas.org seems to be an excellent choice for a...
Hey homeschool friends! Are you back at it? Set up and rolling smoothly? Or are you slowly dragging your school books and planners back into the New Year? Either way, congrats....you made it through 2018 and new adventures are on the horizon! I don't know if I have ever been so excited for a New Year! I'll be honest, 2018 was tough, but what a better time to think back on the struggles and challenges of a year and consider what you have to be grateful for, what you have learned and how to move forward with gumption!
I just LOVE the flexibility that homeschool brings! We had a wonderful holiday with family and I learned to ride a snowmobile. So. Much. Fun!
We returned home and I quickly realized how some of our Christmas gifts rolled right into "new curriculum". As we moved into the new year, we took a few visits to urgent care for colds and we just were not on top of our game. I was feeling a little behind when I realized that the 3D printer that my husband and daughter were buildi...
"How full is your bucket?". Most of us have heard this saying, but let's take a moment to break it down. In today's society we tend to believe that to be successful we must live big and fast, but when we do this, we run our buckets low and in some cases completely dry! We are busy running from one place to another, checking our cell phones constantly, all while trying to keep everyone happy. We run on high constantly, leaving little time for awareness of our own personal health and wellness needs. When we do this, we have nothing left to give to those around us. This leads to less quality and meaning in our everyday interactions.
So how do we slow down in this fast paced world long enough to let our buckets fill back up? By taking just a few minutes a day to stop and consider how we are doing and what small changes we can make to create a better environment for those that live with us, we can slowly fill our buckets back up. Consider things...
Extracurricular activities. What emotions do those two words evoke? If stress, chaos or feelings of overwhelm were felt, then that might be a sign that you do not have enough downtime. It's very common in our society. We have basically been led to believe that if our child is not signed up for some sort of stem class, a sport, a language and well....fill in the blank, we have somehow failed in our role as a parent. The difficult part is that these things are not bad for your child, but we need to find a balance that allows for downtime. Here's the kicker, when I say downtime, I mean good old-fashioned downtime. Limit screen time and boost time for the brain to wander, explore nature, play with friends, do a puzzle, read, draw, journal or just sit outside and stare at the stars for awhile.
As a homeschool parent and teacher, I have experienced this first hand. We recently moved to an area that has just about every wonderful extra curricular activity imaginable ready and waiting...
Seriously, where did the summer go? I'm not sure about the rest of you, but I was wearing flip flops last week and now I'm in boots and sweatshirt! There is something about the change in season that is sort of rejuvenating, even for a Florida girl like me! I am writing this with my pumpkin spice candle lit and a yummy roast that is filling the air with wonderful aromas of thyme, sage and rosemary. Yep! It's fall.
But let's not kid ourselves, it's Sunday afternoon and I had the whole day to myself while my daughter hung with her friends and my husband ran around looking for old car parts! Tomorrow is a weekday, tomorrow is a different story. Or is it.........
A friend of mine just passed on a book that is right up my alley. I LOVE reading books on any kind of application of positive psychology and this book is all about positive mindset. But isn't that just what we need in life? A positive mindset. Well, it's definitely a start.
Let's begin with a positive mindset and set a goal of...
Have you taken the obligatory first day of the year photo yet (I have not)? Is your curriculum ready and in order? Signed up for all the STEM activities? This time of year surely has homeschool families across the country excited about a new year, but also busy making sure everything is set and ready to go. With this can come stress, so let's take a moment to put things into perspective. Do you have the basics, "the meat" of your program ready? Start with that. Over the past 7 years of homeschooling my children, I have found that keeping things simple and streamlined can keep you grounded in this homeschool journey of ours. It's so easy to get caught up in the "maybe I can add this" mode, that we can get sidetracked and spread ourselves (and our children) thin!
5 Tips to "Keeping it Simple"
1 - List your subjects and stick to it. Try to keep it under 20!! Seriously, if you can limit yourself to the most important 5 or 6, you can focus on providing a more solid education...
Do you build your circle up? As we get ready for this new school year, consider how to motivate your circle to build each other up! It might be between your own family before the school day begins, it may be a team or a youth group. You can play an amazing role in the life of young people by teaching them to build up their circle! Once they learn this skill, they can go out into the world and continue making the world a better place......one stackable item at a time!
What does it mean to "Build Your Circle UP"?
When we "Build Our Circle UP", we are using positive talk to encourage those around us! We are not worried about ourselves, but we are concerned for the growth and emotional strength of those around us! When your entire circle is happy and strong, SO ARE YOU!
Let's talk Kindness. We all know what it is, but do we know how to apply it, how to USE it? At first thought, you may be thinking "Absolutely!". Think harder.
Life is a roller coaster and we have lots of life skills, like kindness, that help us deal with the ups and downs. During the good times kindness is easy to use, like a spoon smoothly flowing through the liquid of a nice cup of tea. It's easy! Try to use that same spoon, with the same amount of effort, when stirring dough! Not so easy anymore. What we need to know is that with a little mindfulness and and some extra effort, we can accomplish the task at hand, we can accomplish kindness. And the more we do it, the more natural it will become.
In life, we will experience easy days and difficult days, but we need to know how to use the life skill of kindness during the difficult days. Why? Because that is when it might not come so natural and that is when it is most critical.
Summer is a great time to teach our kids about healthy foods! It's also an amazing way to introduce them to new cooking skills. If you are bored with your breakfast, giving in at the cereal aisle or just want to start your day off healthy, try out some of these options.
3 Healthy Breakfast Ideas
Berry Yogurt Parfait
1/2 cup of your favorite berry or berry mixture
Add 1 large dollop of Greek yogurt
Add a sprinkling of Muesli and a drizzle of honey!
1 slice of toasted whole grain bread *optional for the paleo crowd*
1/4 sliced or mashed avocado
Add an egg (over easy or scrambled)
Top with a dollop of salsa, cracked black pepper and a dash of sea salt.
Who says salads are just for lunch? It might seem strange, but if you are not the green smoothie type, why not throw it in a bowl?
Start your bowl with any kind of greens you like (spinach, kale, spring mix, etc.)
Add your favorite fruit (tangerine slices, strawberries, blueberries, apples, pears....you name it!)
Less math, more mindfulness! I don't mean you don't need to do ANY math over the summer, we actually do math year round in our homeschool. However, summer is a time in which we tend to wind down from the rigors of academics and break out into the outdoors with lots of hands on learning opportunities with our families and friends! This is a great time to start being more mindful of life skills that help our children, and ourselves, increase our happiness levels.
As I teach my students, being mindful of applying life skills like gratitude and kindness is simple and difficult all at the same time. These life skills are easy to use, but can also be easy to forget! We live in a world that is fast paced and filled with activities. Therefore, we must take the time to create more mindfulness of these life skills and increase our practice of them.
3 Ways to Practice Summer Mindfulness
Spend 5 minutes each day with a gratitude journal. This is a wonderful way to get the day started off...