It’s almost here, very soon we will be heading back to homeschool.
I have to admit I have loved summer this year. Summer looks a little different as a homeschool family (everything is different really) It’s funny to hear friends, who normally have kids in school, say things about their kids being home with them ALL summer long. and I’m over here like… umm my kids never leave! haha
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But, It has been nice to have the extra time each day, to do all the to-do list, play outside, work on projects, etc. When I think of adding those hours of school back in to or day, I freak out just a little bit!!!
Here on Loveandscribbles, I want to try to write more about our homeschool journey, it’s interesting, because I’m kind of just winging it, so I don’t feel like I have much to offer on the subject. But, maybe some of you mamas out there need to hear that most of us are just making it work however we can. Figuring it out as we go along! Trying lots of things, some that work and some that just don’t!
This Summer is just flying by.. and another homeschool year begins soon!
I can’t believe it. Here we are almost at the end of July!
Are you ready? Where my homeschool moms at? I just realized my kids need things! haha I suppose I should choose what books or curriculum we will be using this year.
We’ve liked bookshark a lot. but this is the first year that I will officially have two students. So I’m a little anxious about how that will all work out. We love that it is literature based. And uses lots of great books by Usborne. and I love that it comes with everything! The teachers manuel is one large book that tells me what to do in each subject, each day. And there are math options and handwriting options to make it fit your student!
We have been using some of these Brainquest and literature work books for summer reminder/school prep. and the boys are liking them a lot!
I also love to attend a homeschool conference during the summer break. We have one not far from us. ( I leave today!!!) I’ll be staying with a few fellow mamas and soaking in the workshops. Most of the time, I get more out of it personally than for my little students. It’s a great way to fill up my heart to be prepared to shape these little learners. There is always awesome practical help too. Topics like ” What to do with littles when you are teaching the bigs” or ideas on organizing the school supplies etc. You can check out curriculum in person, talk to representatives from different book companies, etc. I encourage anyone who is homeschooling, whether it’s your first year or twentieth. to find something like convection or conference. Even if it’s just to remind you, that you are not alone in this adventure!
And then in 2 weeks, we will be fitting in one last little summer getaway with the boys. I’m looking forward to some exploring and fun at the lake for a couple of days, before we dive into another school year!
So, How do you prepare for the school year? Are you also in disbelief that another homeschool year begins soon? Do you squeeze in one more trip to the beach? Are you a packrat like me, so you have to go through all your piles of supplies to even know what you have?
For those days that are just to hot to be outside, we need Indoor Summer Activities!
My boys love to be outside and we usually spend a little time every day in the sunshine, but some days we need to be inside by 10 am, usually just for Mommy’s sanity! And the heat can be intense where we live!
So here are 5 favorite indoor summer activities:
indoor sand boxes.
The boys love these! My Mom gave William one years ago. These box lids latch and keep everything together. The boys spend a lot of time, building moutains, digging, driving their tractors through the sand, and using cookie cutters to make shapes in the sand.
If you’ve been around here a little bit, you probably know I don’t like messy play, as in, My boys will tell you, play dough is illegal in our house haha But, this sand is manageable for me.
It is a mess I can handle
Pretty easy to clean up! Just usually wipe the sand back into the boxes. And sweep what landed on the floor. It’s soooo much easier to clean up them playdough smooshed into everything!!! And don’t even mention slime!!! Lord bless you if you are a fun Mom that can enjoy all that!
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I feel like it is pretty healthy for our kids to have to look at simple supplies and come up with fun on their own. They should have a chance to be creative in their own way. It’s amazing what they come up with!
We also do a very little bit of “school work”. Not enough to make it burdensome but just a little to help us not forget all we learned last year. And prep our in coming Kindergartner! I’m loving the Brain Quest books, the boys think they are fun! And I’m using summer time to introduce the boys to some of my favorite classic books!
It’s summertime which means we will need to prepare for busy VBS mornings! Vacation Bible School (VBS) is one of our favorite ministries to be involved in. They are like summer day camps, usually held at churches for the local area kids! You usually don’t have to be a member of the church to join in the fun! I encourage you to look for a church offering one near you! It’s a blast! But if your family is like ours, you aren’t used to getting everyone ready and out the door so early every morning.
In just a couple of weeks, our two “big” boys will get to attend VBS at a church nearby (where we also participate in Awana club through the school year.) Then a month later we will all be going to VBS every day at our church where I will also be volunteering.
I know lots of families are used to running out of the house in the morning, during school days but for us homeschoolers, it’s a new challenge, for sure! So, there are a few things we do, to help us
Prepare for Busy VBS Mornings
1. Prep Clothes
I lay out all of the boy’s clothes for the whole week! It may seem a little bit overboard BUT, there really isn’t much worse than not having enough clean clothes or someone not being able to find clean underwear, in the middle of a rushed morning!
2. Prepare Lunches
Usually, VBS let’s out just in time for lunch. Especially for the week that I volunteer, getting everyone lunch is pretty ruff. So I prep lunches ahead of time for the boys and for me, so we can eat before we leave the church. This really helps keep the crankies at bay 🙂 and sometimes they even fall asleep in the car on the way home!!! One tip I’ve discovered is that if you put peanut butter on both pieces of bread then the jelly, it will help the bread to not get soggy! 🙂
3. Easy Dinners For Tired Days
I LOVE using my once a Month Freezer Meals for these days that everyone is just plain worn out! and rushing around for drop off and pick up means, I don’t have to stress about “What’s for dinner?” Here’s a link to how I use Once A Month Meals
Everyone gets an early bedtime during VBS week. Even Mom!! Nothing is more hindering in efficiency, organization, temperaments, and everyone having a good time, like sleep deprivation! So, get everyone to be early and make sure you shut off the lights at a decent time too!
5. Pray Pray Pray
Pray it up, Mamas! The Lord Sees what we are striving to do with our kiddos. He cares about all of our troubles. Even the “small” things like getting our family out the door in one piece. And of course, Pray that all this preparation and effort provides for wonderful memories and lessons about Jesus for our kid’s hearts!
It’s almost summer and around here that means we’ll be out at the BBQ a lot more often! But you better believe we will still be Freezer Cooking for the Summer!
Once A Month Meals is amazing! It’s easy to use and implement no matter your eating or cooking style! I normally use mostly Instant Pot recipes from my Once A Month Meals Membership (and we love them) But there are all kinds of recipes available. Stove, Oven, No Cook, Easy assembly, crockpot, griddle, and grill!!
For the Grill!! I cannot tell you how many times we have been sitting around and think, oh man, the weather will be perfect for bbqing tomorrow.. but we don’t have anything in the freezer or fridge to grill!
I’m going to do it, I’m switching to Mineral Makeup! Not going to lie, I’m a little nervous and really hope I like it! Have you ever tried switching to Mineral Makeup?
I’ve never been all that fussy about makeup, Didn’t even start wearing it until I was already an adult. But, I enjoy that it makes me feel pretty and put together and I’ve learned to have fun with things like eye shadows and lipstick!!
Young Living has quickly become a part of our life, in every aspect. And you’ll find products from Young Living in nearly every room in our home (in both cars too) And now, you’ll even find Young Living in my make up bag.
Switching To Mineral Makeup
So Why switch?
We really have been becoming more aware of the products and toxins we use in our daily lives. Swapping as many items with synthetic fragrances and other unknown ingredients out for more natural products.
What Makes Savvy Minerals from Young Living so great?
Happy New Year! I know, that was so last week! hahaha I’m a little late for New Years, But, I’m slowly getting into the groove here.
Do you like the New Year? I get super excited about all the New. But, then I get super overwhelmed by it very quickly!
I love setting goals and getting organized, but I also don’t order a new planner or get any calendars until the first week of January, so I sit here waiting for them to arrive and then scramble to get started using them.
And you know what? It’s ok to be late for New years
And why does it feel like no one remembers how to do the school thing, (even mom) after a 2 week Christmas craziness break? We have been struggling to focus, that is for sure.
But, I won’t let any of it stop me from planning, dreaming, setting goals and even getting my calendar in order… even if it’s mid-January when I do.
One of my hopes with starting this blog was to encourage other moms out there… I had dreams of encouraging and inspiring.. But, then, I found myself hesitating to speak on anything involving the heart of motherhood or family, because I’m here in the middle of it too. I stop myself from saying anything because, “who am I?” How could I help anyone when I’m neck-deep in the trenches.
I don’t feel equipped or strong or wise and sometimes (most days) I don’ t feel right for the job in front me.
I see a friend struggling or she tells me she doesn’t know how to keep on going or what to do with a situation.. I want to tell her truth, I want to fill her with life-giving words. Truth is.. I do know the TRUTH!! And it IS exciting, thrilling, and absolutely life-giving!!!
The Lord has not turned His face from us, He has appointed you and me to this far-reaching, Intensely important role of MOM!! And you know what? He knew exactly what He was doing. And He doesn’t just shove us into this and leave us (like the hospital does when they send you home with a day old babe and say good luck)
He really has equipped us with all that we need and His power is available to us. Hebrews 13:21 says that God will “Equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. ” He is aware that it is daunting and that everyday we feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and unsure….
But that is exactly why he sent his bravest, toughest, soldiers for the job. He knows everyday is a battle, a battle for the hearts of our children, for their protection, their training.
I know these things in my heart. but I still stop before saying them to my friends the majority of the time. I don’really believe them for myself or at least I temporarily forget them. I start to think things like “how dare I speak so boldly when I’m honestly cowering in front of my calling at this very moment.
Even now, you might be tempted to envision me sitting at beautiful desk, in a beautiful peaceful home writing all this to you. Maybe you see my kids playing so quietly with everything in it’s place. Truth is, I’m sitting in the dark, hiding in my room, typing this into my phone because it takes to long to locate my laptop. I can hear chaos in the living room, I left them with sheets and chairs to build forts and ran in here for just a break from the noise. My dishes are piled high in the sink, mostly because I tried to do way to much this morning and didn’t even finish the dishes from last night. I ruined an entire pot of yogurt that my husband was looking forward to and I’m leaving to attend an out of town conference tomorrow and the house is a complete mess. I haven’t packed or even figured out how to get the boys to sitters and all those details.
(updated to say: Turns out I can’t just copy and paste things from my phone notes on to here…. or I don’t know how to, so now you can picture me sitting with my laptop retyping this furiously, while my kids are eating way to many gold fish and watching tv so that I can finish this, before I lose my nerve to share it.)
So, Here’s the thing I’m trying to learn… I cannot wait for my life, and situation and calling to get figured out. My friends can’t wait around for me to perfect all this before helping them. If I do we all drown.
Instead, When a friend so bravely shares her struggles or concerns. I can and should speak love, peace, and truth to her. In doing so, I’m not saying to her, ” see how I’ve figured this all out? ” But I can say I feel you, I hear you.. ” I can “preach” a little truth to myself in the process!
Christ’s truth for us is in fact true… Even when we forget it. Did you know that? He doesn’t change with the winds (Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is (always) the same, yesterday, today, [yes} and forever (to the ages). )
He doesn’t rely on us for his identity or his power. BUT, He sure does long for us to rely on Him for ours!!!
Mommas in the trenches. Let’s do this hard thing! We aren’t alone in any stretch of the imagination.
YOU are loved, and Amazing, even (and maybe especially) when you don’t feel like it!!!!
~ In the trenches with you,
Know any Mamas in the trenches? Would you share this with them? Maybe add an encouraging “we can do this” word for her!
Hey even if all you can do is cry together.. it sure it better than crying alone! 🙂