Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Typical Day In Our Homeschooling World

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A Typical Day in Our Homeschooling World

In our home, we don't aim for the 'same' everyday,
but instead we try for consistency.

Consistency over time yields great results.

When I sit & look back at what we've done over this past year,
 I am so proud of our children.

They've worked hard. They've cooperated (mostly!).

Note: Everyday I write down an outline what we accomplish. For myself more than anything.


I realize that the schedule I'm sharing today is only a snapshot
of where we're at currently as a family.

I know it'll continue to evolve as we grow & mature in age,
and as our homeschooling vision changes.

~Our 'Aimed For' Homeschool Schedule~

6:30-7:00 Mommy wakes up & has her tea. One of my favs is nettle.
 Most importantly, time to journal my thoughts & pray.

Anytime between 6-7:30am Nurse Baby

7:30am Daddy leaves for work. Teens leave for school.

7:30-9am Older two kids get own breakfast. I feed tot & baby their food.
Morning Chores & Devotion.

9:00am-9:30am  Begin PACES; Science, English and/or Math (first section of homeschool).
Baby usually goes for first nap.

11:00am First break (sometimes earlier or later depending on day)

11:15am Begin book work (*see embedded link for full list) with Mom and/or marking PACES 
(second section of homeschool)

Noon (approx.) Lunch time! Often older two kids help prepare & serve (they love it!).

After lunch, we clean up. Often I bathe younger two. Then the littles have nap time.

Older two kiddos usually take a second break :)

1:00pm (or later) Resume with rest of subjects. (*see embedded link for full list) 
Usually if younger two are napping,
I can concentrate to help them with more difficult material.

2:00/2:30pm Finished up work. Older two do music practice.

Once finish, we have some free time before I have to pack up
& leave to pick up the teens from their school.

Sometimes a special project breaks out!

Often I spend time with baby & toddler doing activities.

Now, this schedule doesn't include all the FUN extracurricular activities 
that we participate in; usually we have at least 2-3 of them throughout the week
(i.e. co-op, field trip, play date, library time, bible quizzing, hike or special shopping excursion).


What is a typical day like in YOUR homeschool?



Saturday, January 23, 2016

Writing A Homeschooling Vision: 5 Things To Consider When Writing Goals

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Writing A Homeschooling Vision:
5 Things To Consider When Writing Goals

What is the definition of a vision for your homeschool?

Basically it is creating a vision statement, whether written down or in your heart,  
that represents the core set of values that your family upholds in regards to homeschooling.

These values will govern & determine your course of action, as it relates
to making choices in regards to homeschooling...



So how exactly DO you come up with your own unique homeschooling vision?

Well here are 5 thoughts that I believe will help in creating your own-->

Five Thoughts To Consider
While Writing Your Own Homeschooling Goals:

1) Pray about it!

If we ask, He is faithful & will give us wisdom. (see James 1: 5) 
He may send someone along to help share from their journey. He may guide you towards 
a particular passage that gives you insight. He may speak through your spouse or 

2) Talk to your spouse and/or children.

Unity is important if our homeschools are going to thrive. Although a spouse may not
even be particularly sold on the idea of homeschooling (yet!), you have both
ultimately decided to give this lifestyle a try.

So, how do you get unified with your spouse?
Talk to him/her! Pick their brain on what their idea of a well adjusted child/adult
looks like. Ask what is important to them.
 Don't leave this conversation to chance! Set aside a time to do this.

KEY:  Also, re-evaluate from time to time to discuss what's working & what's not.

With your children/teens, you may want to ask them what type of career they are
leaning towards. What field are they drawn to? What gifting can you see developing
in them? This info can also be helpful in setting your course.

3) Get the end goals in mind, then work backwards from there.

It's better to look at what where you want to end up, and then 
break down incremental steps that you will take to get there.
Goals will include character traits, family values, but of course academics
will be thrown into the mix.

Some of my own personal homeschool goals are: having children who are
competent in math, who can communicate effectively, and 
are diligent workers. Those are only a few, but they have definitely 
influenced our schedule & which curriculums we are using!

4) Leave room for "life to happen" (be flexible!).

Life does happen.....

Your financial circumstances may change.
You may have to start working part-time.
You may end up moving.
A loved one may end up needing you to care for them.

But that's okay...

If we set our goals, leaving room for the "unthinkables"
to happen, when they do, we won't be totally thrown off
kilter. We need to remain open to change.

That brings us back to number 1. Stay in communion with 
the One who knows what's ahead.

5) Don't allow other's decisions to derail your efforts.

Yes, we can always glean from others.
I think it's wise to follow the examples of others
who are successful in an area of life that
we also want to succeed in.
Being teachable can take us a long way.

However, you are not them!

So are your children...

However, once you've set your course, keep it set!
 Don't change your family's core set of values, unless of course
God shows you that they're not the right ones ;)


Here are some scriptures with more 'food for thought'-->


What about you?
Do you have a list of homeschooling goals?
Or a vision statement?

If you do, feel free to share in the comments section below.



 homeschool series reasons for

Sunday, January 10, 2016

5 Ways To Nutritionally Support Your Family

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5 Ways To Nutritionally Support Your Family 

Many of us instinctively realize that the winter weather lends itself to an
increase of colds & flu bugs "floating around",
and scientists continue to study the reasons why.

Nonetheless, whether it's winter or summer, whenever people are living communally,
your family may experience some sickness from time to time.

However, I do believe there are some EASY practical steps that you can
 take to help best support your children (and yourself!) nutritionally.

Here are FIVE PRACTICAL steps-->

1) Cut out or lessen sugar consumption.

I believe that sugar is one of the worst 'foods' of the Western diet.

In my opinion, eating too much of this 'food' (particularly white sugar)
lends itself to all sorts of health problems. 

Here are a few things to consider about sugar:

Some valuable reasons to consider lessening your family's sugar consumption!

2) Supplement with Vitamin D.

Since studying nutrition, I've decided to keep this handy supplement
available in the house for our entire family. 

Now, on top of Vitamin D, we should ensure our family is eating an overall 
balanced diet.

I also choose to supplement with a basic vitamin & mineral, and a high quality 
probiotic (helps support good bacteria in the gut).

3) Eat foods that contain living enzymes.

Which foods contain living enzymes you may ask?

Basically, ALL foods that are "alive" have living enzymes.
So that would include plant foods!

In all their colourful array.


a) Stock up on a variety of fresh produce every time you shop.

b) Include a salad "station" in as many meals as possible.

4) Keep nourishing bone broth in stock.

The properly prepared homemade soup (and broth), is 
an addition your home can't afford to be without.

It is such an easy food to make, having been around for generations, and consumed

Plus, for the frugal shoppers out there, animal bones are relatively easy to find
AND affordable. The local butcher should have some on hand.

5) As much as possible, make your food from scratch.

Food that is highly processed is pretty much devoid of nutrients.

Why do you think that processed food has to have vitamins & minerals
"added back in"? (check your bread loaf's label if you don't believe me)

The more processed a food is, the less nutrients available, 
and that leaves us with only one thing:


By cooking from scratch, YOU are now in control of the content. 

By making your own food, you are also able to keep out chemicals that normally

Of course, I realize that that it may not be possible to do this all the time.

But even if you aimed to increase your home cooking this year by say 25%
 (especially if you use well chosen nutritionally dense ingredients), 
you are helping to GREATLY improve what your family will be eating.

Set reasonable goals.


c) Become a good friend with your slow cooker. Less fuss & creates meals with less work!


So there you have. Five practical tips to help nutritionally support your family.

Which one are you already going? 
Which one do you hope to newly implement this year?


***Note: this article is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease. 
It is for educational purposes only.



Saturday, January 2, 2016

Top Ten Tips: Eating Healthy On A Budget!

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Top Ten Tips
To Eat Healthy On A Budget!

As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, 
I've had some experience talking to people about what they eat.

One of the most common obstacles that prevents
many people from eating healthy is, in fact, their budget.

There are other barriers of course, but this
one is prevalent these days.

With job losses, wage cuts, and increasing bills AND food prices, well, 
that puts a lot of pressure on even the most frugal of families.

We're a one income family ourselves, with six children no less,
so we can relate!

Ergo, today I'm going to share my TOP TEN TIPS to save money on your groceries!

All the while, focusing on healthY eating.

And please don't feel that you're alone....

It's a personal goal of mine to eat even healthier this year, 
and aim to follow as many of these same principles as possible.

***feel free to comment with your own personal tips 
as well. We'd love to hear from you :)

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1) Use whole foods as much as possible.

If you think back to what our ancestors ate, there wasn't any
packaging included. It was simple, and unprocessed.

Although some unprocessed foods do cost a bit more
than their commercialized counterparts (think meat),
going back to a more traditional diet will eventually save money
as we trim off all that "junk" that we really don't need.

For an intro to eating based on what our ancestors ate, check out the
interesting research of the late Dr. Weston Price -->
"Characteristics of Traditional Diets"

2) Grow your own foods where possible.

This is one where I admit I have failed....

Every year I've attempted to grow a garden, but it has not produced
what I had hoped.

However, even the few plants that DID work out, yielded
us tons of food that cost us only a few dollars!

If you can plan to grow even a few vegetables/fruits this year,
then you'll have shaved some money off of the ole' budget.

That's makes it worth the (often tedious) effort (wink).

3) Use local farmer's markets. 
For deals, shop at the end of the day.

I actually ENJOY shopping at the farmer's market.

Where we live, it's not that close to us, so normally
it's a treat when we get to one.

When I do go, I search out different
vendors & delight in trying new products.

Though my fav way to shop there is to wait until the end of the day,
and then score some amazing deals!

Most vendors will eagerly take a cut off of original
prices, if it means they don't have to lug all their
produce back home.

4) Use a meal plan.

This is probably my FAV way to trim the budget.

By planning what you are going to use for each meal,
you are trimming off extra expenditures that
emotional grocery shopping will often lead to
(been there, done that).

Try to set aside a regular time (whether once/week or month)
to fine tune what you need to purchase.

Don't forget to do a walk through your fridge & freezer
to see what you have already kickin' around!

6) Double batch & 
incorporate leftovers into your meal plans.

This works well for casseroles, soups, stews, and grains.

I often make a huge pot of brown rice at the beginning of the week,
after pre-soaking it, and then use throughout the week with
most lunches & dinners (freezing extra works too).

Quinoa is another rich grain that this works well with.

7) Buy seasonally.

It costs money to import foods from other countries.
By buying seasonally, when fresh produce is available, we often save
a pretty penny.

Even better, visit a local farmer's stand or store to buy their specials,
and support local businesses!

8) Realize when you eat healthier consistently, 
you may save on medical bills!

We often complain that we have to put out a lot of money
to eat nourishing foods (although some same it's not as much as we think), but
if we count the TRUE cost of eating that junk, then we'll realize
that eating healthy is really a long-term investment.

It will eventually pay off dividends.

9) Buy in bulk (watch per unit pricing however).

We have a local large shopping chain that we shop
at almost every week.

There are many stores that do offer great discounts when
purchasing large quantities, but still, it is wise to watch the
"per unit" pricing on the price label.

Sometimes a cheap deal, or flyer match can also bring the
same savings.

Use this tip with discretion.

10) Make your own from scratch when possible.

This works for those that have or are able to "budget"
the time to do so.

All the same, by making your own muffins, pancakes, protein bars, treats, etc. 
it not only increases nutritional value (as you avoid preservatives),
but it often saves money.

Watch pricing on items such as flour & sweeteners, and
freeze extra batches for even greater savings.

Here's a couple sample recipes -->
Chocolate Orange Oat Bars! & Nourishing Brown Rice Pudding


So what does YOUR family do to save money?
(please share in comments below)




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