Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Homeschooling In the High School Years

I am entering the realm of high school grades, report cards, transcripts, entrance exams, and grade point averages. Daunting.

Typically, I would look to other homeschoolers to guide me or head to the convention and sit in on a quickie class about all this nonsense, but that's not really where I'm at right now. Money is tight and most of the homeschool friends I currently associate with aren't there yet.

So, I would like to pass on some valuable information and helpful links/downloads I have found to perhaps aid in your endeavors...whoever you are...just in case you're in the same boat I am.

First, is a helpful link to the HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense Association), which gives some good guidelines on how to work through choosing appropriate credits for your course work. You will also find some helpful navigation tabs that will show some other helpful topics to research, including transcripts, diplomas, etc.


Second, I wanted to pass on an AMAZING gradebook that is FREE! ( real...) It is so well put together, I kind of want to cry, because it's saving me so much time and effort that I get to type this long overdue update to my blog. Seriously, go download it, and grab your glass of wine and join me in my relaxing as I revel in my victory. They come so seldom, you know.

FREE GRADEBOOK by FiveJ's Homeschooling Resources YOU ROCK!

If you're just getting into the High School years, like I am, all of this can seem overwhelming. Especially if your curriculum doesn't provide grading scales or doesn't fit into the square box that public school curriculum does. Here is one more link to HSLDA's page "Homeschooling Thru High School." Cruise the selections and find some good stuff to keep you going. My favorite: Encouragement!

Also, from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine: Creating an Academic Transcript

Alright, if you have any other nuggets or treasures that would be helpful for current and future readers to snatch up, please share. I do love comments. They make me feel like I'm doing this for something more than just myself. Although, if it is just for me, that's fine. It's fun.

Hoping your home is blessed...


Friday, October 11, 2013

Stay-at-Home Moms

If you're a stay-at-home mom, you've no doubt received "the look." Today, as you are doubting your abilities and your mission as a mom, even if you don't stay at home with your little ones, be reminded that what we have an incredibly important job that is far more important than how much we make every year, whether we get a promotion or recognition, or how many people like us or ask us out for coffee.

You may find this blog post I'm about to share too harsh or too strongly worded or not politically correct enough for your tastes. If that's the case, simply disregard and find something else that encourages you.

Hopefully, though, it will be a good reminder that we are doing something big. Something worthwhile. Something that matters. And some days, when it's raining outside, and the house is a mess, and the kids are all cranky, and you haven't had time to shower or brush your teeth because the baby got up an hour earlier than usual, or you're three weeks behind on schoolwork, you need that nudge in the right direction.

Here's your pat on the back, ladies. And for the gents reading, please give your wife/girlfriend/mother/sister/single-mom-next-door a few words of encouragement (and if appropriate, a hug too) for doing what is truly an impossible task met with great opposition.

And now, here it is....

The Matt Walsh Blog with "You're a stay-at-home mom? What do you DO all day?"

And just for your information, while I posted this blog, my very busy 1-year-old found the cassette tapes (yes, I know...) and mangled one or more. Great part is, she was sitting right next to me. It's just the way it is sometimes. If I could hashtag on here, I would say #tunnelvision.

Keep it real today. Life is messy. That's ok.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wellness Wednesday: Kombucha

I know, I know, I'm behind the times on this one. Kombucha has been around for a very long time. Here is the Wikipedia info on what it is, for what it's worth. In a nutshell, it is a fermented tea that has huge benefits, particularly for the digestive system.

It's been popularized by our culture, much the same way that pomegranates, acai berries, chia seeds, and Greek yogurt have been. It's definitely interesting to see what sorts of foreign foods suddenly make their way into pop culture and become selling points for products. But, let's move on from my critical nature...

After talking with my local health food store worker, I decided to give kombucha a try. I have my first batch of brew in the works, and today is the day when I get to sample to see if I like where it's at or want to let it brew longer. Let me share with you, it looks disgusting.

Basically, kombucha "brews" for a week or so. In the tea, you put what is called a SCOBY, which stands for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast. This SCOBY looks like a giant disc of animal fat. Not pleasant. But, somehow, this growing disc has some benefit to our system. Just like eating yogurt or taking a probiotic, this fermented tea helps the flora of the gut.

Based on some reading I have done, there is a large population of folks in our country that have leaky gut problems and issues with the digestive system. This plays a key role in our health. Everything from skin and hair to the emotional health of a person can be affected by digestive problems.

Lots of things affect our digestive health. Use of medications, food allergies, stress, overeating, and too much sugar or other foods can greatly contribute to digestive problems. Kombucha is just one way of getting your digestive system working for you instead of against you. For those who struggle with candida problems, here is an article (and there are many more) to help you decide if it's for you.

Before we get too carried away with the health benefits of this particular fad, let's take a look at what it is and is not. It is not a cure-all. It is not the most healthy thing on the planet to drink. It is not completely sugar or caffeine free. It is, however, healthy for you and contains a number of helpful properties. Here is a great article, which challenges the truths and myths of kombucha and explains things much better than I can, given my limited research into the matter. It is a blog, not a medical journal, so be sure to check the links at the end to verify her information and do your own research as well.

And just because I love him, here's an article from Dr. Mercola about gut health and ways to combat and heal digestive problems.

I'll keep you informed on how my own batch turns out. Right now, it looks questionable. Hopefully it turns out tasting fantastic. (I plan to try a Dr. Pepper flavor recipe.)

If you brew or drink kombucha or just have something to say about it, please leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you! Here's to your health!

Monday, October 7, 2013

It's been a while

Almost two years ago now, I posted my last blog entry. Unfortunately, family circumstances and situations have changed greatly since then. Now a single mom of four children and living in a new community, I am picking up the pieces of what was once viewed to be the quintessential homeschool life and existence.

Life never behaves as you expect.

Mistakes were made, lines were crossed, and life got messy for some time. That was a season I do not wish to repeat. Now is a season where my children and I and many others involved get to learn of grace and new beginnings. We all want to look back and see what went wrong, where we could have made different choices and changed the outcome. Looking back is good when it fosters future change. But where it binds us to a life of regrets and sorrow and guilt and shame, it is not helpful or healthy.

So, as life teaches us big lessons of forgiveness, grace, mercy, kindness, self-control, and many other things, we seek to press on toward the goal...

What is the goal now? With such huge changes, I have to figure that out. Is the goal to homeschool? Is the goal to survive? (Some days it seems that way.) No, I think the goal is still the same. To raise my children in the fear and admonition of the LORD and live a life I would want them to imitate. Which can be particularly difficult in certain seasons of life. And certainly shame plays a role in making me feel the failure.

But, the beauty of messy lives is that they pave the way for great heaping amounts of grace, and in that, the opportunity to share and teach and humble ourselves as parents and people of THE WAY. I find myself saying '"I'm sorry" a lot. And if I can teach my children one thing while they are with me, it will be to know that our GOD is THE great big huge GOD who cannot fit in any box or poem or slice of scripture we seek to fit HIM into. And as a hopeful citizen of HIS heavenly world, I want to model a life that is gracious and loving and more than just a cute little picture of a churchy family.

Messy. We are messy, broken, and ugly people. But our God is huge, beautiful, and beyond our imagining. Today, I will pick up one piece of my former life, one I have tried to avoid because it hurts to go back to, and try to let God use it to bless someone.

I'm welcoming myself back to my own blog. :)

May your day be full of finding God in the mess.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I'm back

After months of no posts, I have returned to make some small contribution to my self-propelled blog. It's not much today, but I'm hoping it will get me back in the zone.

Toward the end of last school year, I was using this book to do daily breakfast devotions with the kids. They enjoyed it so much I wanted to continue it through the summer. We all know how that goes.

So, I'm finally finding my groove again and making efforts to get back on track with multiple previous projects and endeavors. Thought I would share with you all one of the things I'm picking back up and maybe it will inspire you to do the same.

Here is what came of this morning's devotions....


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Life and its unexpected turns...

We got news last week that our two sweet foster boys are headed home after 9 months in our home. We got a measly 10 day notice, so I'm scrambling to get things together...including my emotions. And as we process them out the door and on to new adventures, we also have been processing a new young boy into our lives.

I've barely had time to think these last months, and after feeling like I've largely ignored my friends, it'll be good to socialize just a bit more. But, I will miss these two little ones terribly.

So, moving forward into more uncharted territory...

The house deal is still in the works. My heart is so tied up in living in the country that I'm not sure I'll be able to bear a "no" from God on this, but we've been waiting for 9 months and it seems like we've stalled out. Where are we headed? Not a clue...

Summer has been eventful, with a trip to memories from my past. Old friends have come back into my life, we took the kids to enjoy one of my favorite childhood creeks, and I've spent some time digging through old photos that have sent my belly laughing.

More later...this momma needs a few moments to catch up.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fun to Share

We love to eat world foods at our house. If you do too, and you love to have your children be the ones to learn how to slice and dice, then here are two GREAT world cookbooks for kids.

Usborne Internet-Linked Children's World Cookbook
~with fantastic photos, information about food ingredients, and great peeks into the people of that region!


Eat Your Way Around the World
~with a section for notes and ideas on how to make it a real authentic experience!

Both of these are fantastic books for teaching children how to master the arts of the kitchen.