Homeschooling

September 16, 2018

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...

March 29, 2018

What is your tradition? Church with family, the Easter Bunny, Fish on Fridays, an Easter egg hunt? Do you have one? If not,  it's time to make one or bring one back. It is not too late, traditions all start somewhere!  

Traditions are the handing down of customs from one generation to the next.

I realized that, although it may take a little work, carrying out traditions is a wonderful gift to give your children. It's something they can remember their family by and share with their own family one day! 

As a child, I grew up in a home in which Slovak tradition was introduced. It is now something that I will continue in my house, especially because it is unique and not every child gets to engage in such a fun opportunity! Yes, we still enjoy the typical American Easter fun, but we get more! Why not? It allows for so much positive wellness! 

Our Easter will consist of painting Easter eggs, fasting, fish on Friday, late night mass on Saturday, feasting, and ev...

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

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 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 25, 2018

This past weekend we went on a field trip to Charlottesville, VA to learn a little more about American History in a non-textbook, hands on, real life experience way.

January 12, 2018

For those gymnastics homeschoolers out there, we are mid-season out here on the east coast and things can get a little hectic. We're trying to stick to our carefully laid out lesson plans, get the best nutrition set out at each meal for our little athletes and make sure all of the meet supplies are ready and waiting in the car for the next meet (can't take any chances showing up with no grips, right?!). But whether you are homeschooling a small athlete or not, we tend to get caught up in "the schedule" and that can cause some stress if we are not mindful about what this whole journey is really about! 

Last week the snow surprised me out here on the east coast! I had checked the weather reports weeks ahead of time and this was not in my plans. I think I have mentioned before, but I am a Florida kid! I don't mind snow, as long as I am looking through a window inside a heated house! With plenty of schoolwork to get done and gym classes to prepare for, my thought was more "that looks s...

January 3, 2018

If there is something you want specifically addressed this year, please shoot me a note! I would be more than happy to add it to my calendar for 2018!

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