Homeschooling

November 12, 2018

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...

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. 

T...

March 23, 2018

It's Winter.....I mean Spring break in Virginia! The snow is falling and the plows are out. Maybe in your area you are enjoying some sunny spring weather! Regardless of whether you are experience snow, hail or sunshine, this is the time of year to take a little breather. 

Around this time of year, homeschool families tend to start thinking about testing, wrapping up any last minute planning or even researching plans for fall (I'm guilty!). This is exactly why it's time for a break. Before we jump in head over heels, let's step back and take a breather. It's not just good for us as homeschool parents, but it's good for our kids! It teaches them that taking a breather is just as much a part of the journey as everything else in our homeschool world! 

Our breather does not need to be elaborate, but focused on something that brings more wellness into our lives. I am planning a "spring break" trip to the OBX with dear friends. The best part is that these friends appreciate a rel...

March 15, 2018

Kidneys the size of footballs? Yep! That was me, before major surgery to remove them. Polycystic Kidney Disease is a struggle that can lead to dialysis, transplant and so much more, depending on each patient's unique journey. For me, it began with a craniotomy to repair a brain aneurysm, then transplant, then double nephrectomy, followed immediately by an emergency volvulus (and I'm skipping the "small" stuff). This disease is truly a punch in the face. However, if you want to fight it, you must put on your PKD Warrior armor and do so. For me, this comes in the form of positive psychology and wellness. Believe it or not, on the most difficult of days, there is still always something to be grateful for. For me, this generally presents itself in the form of amazing doctors, a wonderful husband, loving children and a bunch of other people that still warm my heart daily by what they did then and still do now. 

Many of you homeschool because your child...

March 8, 2018

I know I know, I usually only post a weekly rundown of our homeschool shenanigans, but I'm being pro-active today! I admit, I don't always know the holidays outside of Christmas and Easter and maybe the Fourth of July, but I noticed that there was talk about women today and I thought "Why not take part in this?". I suppose I see it as an excellent opportunity to share a little wellness with our homeschoolers. It's a little to late to create a short class on this, which would have been awesome, so I created a fun little activity that can easily be added to your day that I hope you and your homeschoolers will enjoy. Please feel free to download, print, discuss or journal and get creative with some drawing! 

March 8, 2018

This week was a full one, with windstorms, gymnastics meets, a closed army fort, medical appointments and a motorcycle accident that was quite the life lesson for many. I won't go over all of the details, but will focus on events that created wellness lessons. 

Spending time with family and friends is always something to be encouraged, whether I am working with my students or in our own homeschool. We can easily get caught up in the grind and forget to add time with a friend to our calendar. Keep in mind, this does not just benefit us. Our friends and family need it just as much as we do, and sometimes more! This past weekend, we headed down to the Shamrock Invitational gymnastics meet in Virginia Beach. We didn't need to be there until late Saturday evening, but we had friends that would be competing all weekend. Friends from our own gym and friends from other gyms. So instead of focusing solely on our own events, we got up ea...

March 1, 2018

We had a fairly uneventful week! Which means more time to be mindful of wellness and get rested up after the flu. After our recent re-evaluation of our 36 week schedule, we have a nice, new, refreshing schedule that we are enjoying! Keep in mind, this doesn't mean we made it easier or less academic, we just made it more enjoyable. It's nice to know we have the freedom to choose to learn in a manner that uniquely works for us. As I write this, my daughter is putting together the full draft of her comic book. She used Canva to create the outline this morning. Super fun and creative! Last night we added a little Home Economics lesson. I made chicken paprikas (substituting the dumplings with cauliflower rice and the sour cream with coconut milk) and my daughter made homemade creamy chicken soup for lunches for the week! This not only teaches great life skills, healthy eating habits and independence, but how to cook ahead for better time management during the week,  and...

February 8, 2018

Looking out over the lush treetops of Jacksonville, you could almost forget you are viewing it from the 8th floor of the Jacksonville Mayo Clinic.

That's the point though, to be aware of the beauty that surrounds us in every moment, whether it be times of challenge or times of ease. Challenge and gratefulness are the best two words to describe this past week. Last week I wrote the weekly blogpost from the Baltimore airport, on my way to help family with a medical issue. My return flight, however, is long gone. 

If you are familiar with my coaching philosophy, realistic wellness is the key and it's times like this that have developed this philosophy. Real life is not simple, it is complex. In order to create wellness that lasts, we focus on skills that help us focus on positive, realistic wellness. This week was tough. When we talked to doctors, we acknowledged the tough feelings, but focused on what was good. As a homeschool parent, I focused on what was working...

February 3, 2018

I am literally writing this a second time because the airport wifi just knocked me out of the system and my entire blogpost did not save! As I teach my students in "The Gratitude Project" we must focus on what is working, not on what is not working. So, I will focus on the fact that I have a laptop, I have wifi (sorta) and I am sipping my favorite coffee. I am also waiting to fly to Florida where I will be able to help out other family members, something not everyone can just pick up and go do. Today, I am thankful for a work from home career that is mobile! 

Activities, Planning and Positive Thinking 

The National Archive in Washington DC was the highlight of the week. We attended a military promotion ceremony that was conducted right in front of the Constitution and The Declaration of Independence. This was an easy one to mix into the homeschool academic curriculum, especially when you throw in checking out The Magna Carta and a wonderful display educating people on America's...

January 19, 2018

I took my Christmas tree down last week! Are you not super proud? I always encourage my students to celebrate their successes and I consider that one of mine! As long as we all seem to be letting the holiday sparkles settle, I figured it was time to get the ball rolling again in this homeschool life! As I teach my students in my wellness classes, there are many parts to wellness and when it comes to the homeschool life, there are plenty of "types of wellness" to keep up with. Here are some of the wellness steps I took last week to improve my wellness, along with a hashtag of the type of wellness I improved on in my life by doing each step! 

Step 1 · Take down the Christmas tree. #personalenvironmentalwellness

Step 2 · Collect all the homeschool science supplies we have been gathering and do some Chemistry experiments! For those of you that don't already know, I am kind of a Chemistry nerd. #intellectualwelless

Step 3·  Revamp my work and my exercise schedule...

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