Sometimes as a homeschool mommy, it's nice to know you aren't the only one experiencing extreme joy or massive doubt. I have been homeschooling my children since 2000 and I still experience both. I have 3 sons and one daughter. With the eldest son living on his own and the second oldest son away at college, I only have two still living at home. Take a peek into our daily lives and feel free to leave comments.
I have added a new page that is dedicated to contests and competitions. I'm real excited about this because it's something I really believe in. Just because we choose alternative ways to educate our children, it doesn't mean they can't learn to be competitive and have opportunities to learn team-building skills with people outside of their families.
My vision is to focus on the Louisville, KY area since that is where I live. If you tell me where you live and would like for me to find contests that may be local to your location, I would love to help.
I really hope this will become a valuable resource for parents. I truly hope to connect with other Louisville families for the competitions that require teams.
I started a Facebook group, Contests For Home-Educated 'Tweens & Teens ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/wecompetetoo/ ). There you can enter a keyword to search for the type of contest you want information about. The categories are:
ART STEM & STEAM READING SCIENCE VOCATION (including Entrepreneur) ECONOMICS
Please feel free to let me know if you know about any contest or competition not listed. I have quite the list right now, so it will probably take me a few days to post them all. I hope this helps!
Nothing like a fresh start to coincide with the New Year! So much has happened,
and is happening, that I’m most busy trying to keep things in perspective.
So, you know that
voice in you that speaks so only you can hear? Well, mine keeps telling me that
I’m going to write a book a month for the next 6 months. On the surface,
I’m wondering when I will find the time to do so. Deep inside, I know all
I have to do is stop playing Toon Blast, Dominoes, and Yahtzee on my phone 4
hours a day. To help keep myself focused, I just deleted the apps from my
phone. My anxiety causes me to play those games hours a day, when really, I
would be much happier if I spent that same free time reading a book (thanks to
my new glasses) or working on my business plan. Little do my children
realize that they too will put down the electronics to spend more time working
on themselves. All is well, but there is always room for improvement.
I’m looking at a
move to Indiana since it’s closer to my job in downtown Louisville, and the
cost of living is lower. I’m actually excited about it, because I’ve always
hated saying I live in Kentucky. I’m not sure why other than I just don’t
have a good outlook about the state after living in it for over 8 years and in
3 different “cities”. Danville was a small town, Lexington was a bigger
small town, and I guess you can call Louisville a city. It’s just way
different in Kentucky than it is at home in Ohio or Texas. I don’t know much
about Indiana, but I don’t have any negative preconceived notions just yet. I
do know that homeschooling is super easy in Indiana, as well as getting
certified to practice massage there. I’m very much ready for the move.
Currently, I only
have 2 children left at home. CJ is about to turn 15 and Maya is 11. I
hide how absolutely happy I am that they are no longer going to school.
Maya chose to go to school, because my work schedule didn’t allow me
spend much quality time with them. I made CJ go to school. It
wasn’t really what I wanted, but I do feel like it was better than them sitting
around the house all day like they were. The cool thing is, I have a new job
that allows me to get off of work at 3:30 pm if I get there early enough.
I have enough money to pay for extracurricular activities. That is always
As I mentioned
before, I’m writing this year, so get ready. I’m also going to be reading like
I used to. I noticed today that I have quite the book collection started.
As much as I hate setting Resolutions, I do have a few very important
Write more. Every
time I hear my Inner Voice tell me to write, I will.
Read more. Now that
I have new glasses, I have no excuse.
Join a Bowling
League. It’s just something I’ve always wanted to do.
Keep at least a
whole paycheck in reserve. I refuse to live paycheck to paycheck anymore.
Invest. Even if I
just start with a little, I’m going to start in the month of January.
Get a Passport. How
can I expect to travel without one?
Discover the name
of my Inner Being. It is the one who will be writing my book and giving me the
power to overcome the increased anxiety I have developed more recently.
Devote more family
time to the 2 still at home with me; even if that means taking away their
phones and televisions.
Take the time to
meditate daily. I know how amazing it is and since I won’t be playing games on
my phone in the morning anymore, that will open up so much time for me before
Laugh more, Love
more, Live more!
I have quite a few
big projects I want to happen this year and little do CJ and Maya know, they
are going to be a big part of every single one of them. In my homeschooling
journey, I have used several techniques to educate my children. I don’t even
know what you would call the style I use now. The description that is closest
to what I use is Self-Directed Learning, but with a push. I help them figure
out what they want for their lives and then I give them choices on what they
can do to achieve personal goals.
I learned so much
parenting the older two boys. Initially when I realized the end result
wasn’t exactly how I saw it was going to be (their transition into adulthood),
I reigned very loosely. I let them do and say things I never would have let the
older two do at their ages. The truth is, overall, I still have great boys. I
constantly get compliments on how balanced they are to be raised by a single
mother. Little does anyone know how much the 3 of us have been through
together. The younger 2 was getting an older, much more mature mother, but also
a less-hopeful mother. BUT NO MORE…. I am appreciative of the challenging times
we have experienced over the past 3 years, because it has helped me search for
happiness in the dark and be reminded that true happiness lives within me and
is not based on whether life around me is the way I want it to be. I’m
truly grateful for many things that I discovered during that search.
Feel free to share
what your resolutions are. Maybe we share some and can encourage each other.
Yesterday, Crystal told me she wanted to make Potato Soup. I've never made it before, and she didn't have a recipe. She saw there were lots of vegetables in the refrigerator and she didn't want them to go to waste. So, I pulled myself out of the funk I'm in (that's another post) and we got to work in the kitchen. She ended up cutting a red hot pepper and 6 potatoes. While that simmered, she cooked bacon in the oven. When the bacon was done, she added it, including the grease, into the pot. I also added garlic salt and another seasoning. We also added a can of tomatoes with chiles and garlic. She didn't know, but I also added a little bit of milk and some Parmesan cheese.
Let me tell you, it was DELICIOUS!!!! It was so good that only 3 of us ate it. I'll admit, I had 2 bowls! I asked her to make more, but she still hasn't done it yet.
(I took a picture right before I got my 2nd helping!)
I'm so proud of my girl. She learned how to cook a little later than the boys did, but for being 10 years old, she's still quite amazing. Her specialty seems to be creating dishes I haven't ever thought about cooking. I'll have to start posting more of her dishes. I usually don't get to taste them, because she seems to only make enough for herself.
It's not easy having to share small space with so many people. The other night I was feeling overwhelmed, so I called one of my favorite cousins who is very "earthly" like I am. She told me to walk barefoot outside and connect to the earth. She told me to talk to my ancestors and ask for guidance. She told me to let the Universe know what I need. Those are all things I know to do, but somehow in the midst of my turmoil, I never even considered those things.
Since that conversation, I have been cooking delicious food like I used to. I've always loved cooking, but rarely do it when I'm not happy. I've been looking into ways to make money from "home" and also planning to have a garage sale this weekend.
I did have a mini breakdown as I was driving RJ to the next state over to hand him over to a coach for a basketball tournament today. He's my toughest kid to deal with. On one hand, he's so entertaining to have around, but on the other hand, our personalities clash frequently. I truly was upset with him. He was driving and I was sitting next to him fuming. Trying to keep myself from unleashing the fury I felt because I feel he's so selfish. He's 18, yes, but I had had enough. He broke the ice and unleashed an avalanche. I cried. I just don't know how to get to him. But his smile. I love him so much. I feel for him and I never want to hurt him.
I'm not quite sure why I don't keep up with this blog. Maybe it's because after living 2 years in a beautiful 2400 sq ft home in sunny Sugar Land, Texas, we've basically been homeless. Not "on the street" homeless thanks to loving family and friends, but still without our own home. For the last year, we've lived in Ohio, back to Texas, and currently in Kentucky. Needless to say, I have to come up with a better plan and I think I have.
As a single mother who has really dropped the ball by allowing her family to become without a permanent residence, something I once read came back to mind that could possibly be a viable solution. HOUSE SITTING. I remember reading a post in a Facebook group for single mothers that homeschool where there was a discussion about being able to Worldschool (homeschooling while traveling the world). Many moms were discussing how they wish they could, but their money was limited. This one mother shared that she is able to travel the world with her young son because they house sit. She named the different countries that they have been to. I remember thinking how cool that was, but at that time, I was renting that beautiful house in Sugar Land.
But, now that we've had plenty of practice of abiding by other people's rules, I think we might as well get some traveling in. There are some pretty neat houses that we can visit. I started researching and found quite a bit of helpful information from this website. (http://www.angloitalianfollowus.com/house-sitting-site-best). I decided to try MindMyHouse.com because it has the lowest member fee of $20 per year. There weren't as many opportunities as I saw on some of the other sites, but I had to start somewhere. I'll let you know how it goes!
Tuesday was the first "normal" day we have had since November. It started with a trip to the ice skating rink at 10:45 a.m. Initially, I was only going to take CJ and his friend since Crystal has been hanging out so much with her best friend, but I just couldn't imagine leaving her home while we went somewhere she COULD go. Plus, she had such a wonderful response when I told her she wasn't going to go. I told her I was taking CJ since he had not had much fun outside of the house in a few months and she just said, "Ok." No whining, complaining, or any show of disappointment, just understanding. Soooo....as we were about to walk out the door, I told her to change into pants and she could come with us. Good thing I did, because she skated much more than the boys did. She wants to go back. CJ on the other hand, is in no rush to ice skate again. I'm glad because he said he wanted an ice skating party and it starts at $170!
After an hour and a half of ice skating, and after Crystal's 3rd fall, we decided to leave. We headed to the grocery store to get something to fix for lunch. Next stop, an ice cream social with one of the unschooling groups I found on Facebook.
It was fun, but it was pretty much all very young children. Crystal met a girl her age, but no luck for CJ. He hung out with me most of the time. The ice cream sundaes were delicious. After the ice cream social, we went to a friend's house and then to end the night, CJ had basketball practice from 8-9 p.m. What a long and eventful day :)
This was pretty much the expression he had on his face the
We had a lot of fun bringing in the new year. Normally, I am sleep and my children wake me 5 minutes before midnight, but this year was different. My mother bought party food and made way more than the 4 of us could eat!
Mario had a party at his apartment in Kentucky. RJ was in Missouri with his basketball team. That left me, my mom, and the younger 2 at home. My mother, Crystal, and I watched movies. First we watched The Equalizer with Denzel Washington, and then we watched Maleficent. Both were good movies, although the Denzel movie had way too much violence for me. I spent most of that movie playing Scrabble on my phone. LOL!
RJ came home the next day and by Friday, we were back to the extensive basketball schedule. He had a game on Friday and on Saturday. Sunday, today, we accomplished a lot. I started off by cleaning my room, but got sidetracked and actually spent the entire day helping the 3 children deep clean and rearrange their bedrooms. Khiry cooked dinner both Saturday and Sunday night. He made Texas chili (with barbecue sauce) and he cooked spaghetti tonight. I'm soooo glad he loves to cook and he is sooooo good at it! (I told him if basketball doesn't work out, he definitely should pursue a culinary career.)
Also, RJ has been going through growing pains (he will be 17 next month!) so we had a long talk about his commitment level to this basketball life. I also explained to him that my dreams come second to my children, because in my opinion, they are starting with clean slates. I've had to let some of my dreams go, and some of the ones I plan to pursue, I'm at a deficit because I will always have to make sure children living at home are ok. I think it was a good talk. I love the relationship I have with my children, even when they drive me insane. I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world.