Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Year's Reflections

This week leading up to the change to a new year is one of reflection for me. I'm thinking about things I'd like to accomplish in this brand new, unblemished year. Loosing weight is always a given for me. I would also like to see less 'clutter' around my home.  I'd love to organize all my yarn and have it neater and more accessible.
There are actually bins inside there with yarn in them! When I want to look for a specific color I have to unload all this other stuff. LOL

Yeah, I guess this doesn't look too bad, but I would like to have it more neat and organized.

It would be great if the kid's rooms could be cleaner as well. This is going to take some participation from mom, I'm sure. 

Another thing that really adds to the 'clutter' around here are books. Like most homeschoolers, I have a weakness for books! However, we have been getting used to using our Kindle more so there is less need to have actual books sitting around. One of my favorite things about doing school online is that I don't have the need to keep bulky curriculum around. Homeschool statistics show that we are not alone in this trend of using fewer books.

My daughter has two large bookshelves that we moved into her room when we started re-doing our kitchen. I still have curriculum on them that I'm hoping to sell this coming year. Fashionista wants to store some of her things on these bookshelves instead. We'll have to wait and see about that.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Internet Safety

Internet safety for kids is always an issue in our house. Especially now that our kids are entering the teen years, well, at least the older two. Did you know that even in a home where the computers are kept out in the open, (not in secluded bedrooms) and monitored by the parents regularly, there can be issues with kids getting into dangerous areas online? It's just a dangerous world no matter where you go these days.

It's not always enough to have parental controls and virus protection on your computers. It's also wise to teach your kids what to watch out for. They also need to know not to share personal information online, ANYWHERE. This is particularly true for social media. More and more kids are jumping on the social media bandwagon, my kids included.

Another area where kids might not think to be careful about what they share is when they are blogging. Potential predators can find out all kinds of things about your child by piecing together details about where they live by reading their blog. I don't say this to discourage you from allowing your kids to blog. I think this is a great way for kids to exercise their creativity and writing skills. However, they do need to be smart about it.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Spelling

At this time of the year many of us are looking for ways to tie our teaching into the holidays. There are tons of ways to do this and even a term for doing this. It's called "Christmas Schooling". Have you thought of giving your kids Christmas words for spelling during this season? If you have trouble coming up with words to use, check out the monthly holiday lists on

For the rest of the year there are popular word lists to inspire you. One of my favorite new features on is the new assignments feature. This is one of the many features available to Premium Members only. I love being able to set up assignments for each of my kids for a week or two at a time. Then on their lesson plan I simply tell them to check the assignment when they log into It also keeps track for me when the assignments are completed. Talk about making things easy for the teacher!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

All I want for Christmas...

ManBoy was looking through the Toys R Us Christmas sale flier and informed me this morning that he was going to be devastated if he didn't get a specific gift for Christmas this year. What is the gift he wants? It's only the Crayola Masterworks Art Case. You'll shoot your eye out, kid! Oh, sorry, wrong gift! Anyway, this thing is an "all-in-one art studio",  according to the ad. It comes in a wooden case and has 200 art supplies.

I'm thinking that we should put all these art supplies to good use by adding a good art curriculum to our school day! ManBoy is a budding artist and I've always wanted to encourage this talent. However, we really can't afford art lessons and I normally don't have a way to get to them anyway.

Praise God that has an art curriculum available! ManBoy has been through this curriculum once before, but I believe that he rushed through it in his excitement over it. This time I would like to see him go through it slowly and try doing each of the assignments.

Now if my other two kids have such definite ideas on what they want for Christmas, and their ideas are ones can we agree with, (not thrilled with the makeup case Fashionista wants) then we will be doing great!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Roadschooling? Not here!

I'm sure you've heard the jokes. You've probably used them yourself, "Why do they call it HOMEschooling? They ought to call it ROADschooling as much as we are in the car!" That is NOT something our family can say.

You see, we are a one vehicle family. We basically have always been a one vehicle family. Even before we had children, my hubby and I shared one car. It's been one of the many ways that we make ends meet.

"How in the world do you manage with one vehicle?", you may ask. Well, it takes some creativity at times but we've always been able to make it work. Thankfully, my hubby doesn't work terribly far from home. So on the days that I know I'm going to need the van, I simply drop him off at work. Yes, there have been many times when I've wished that I could have a vehicle at my disposal all the time. However, in order for me to be home with my kids, sacrifices must be made.

As our kids get to the age when they will be learning to drive, (insert shudder here), I'm not sure how things will change. We may end up having to get an old clunker for them to drive. In the meantime, they practice their driving skills using our family's preferred homeschool learn-to-drive program, "Burn Out Paradise". LOL