Homeschool curriculum choice time! Summer is ending swiftly for this Florida family and it’s time to make curriculum choices for the new school year. If you didn’t know, we are a super cool blended family, but I will only be homeschooling my bio daughter. We are entering second grade and homeschooling for the first time EVER! Excited and nervous are an understatement. The first thing we did was purchase some books. If you want to see what we purchased, head over to our homeschool book haul.
As a former classroom teacher, I’ve seen my fair share of the curriculum. But, I want our homeschool journey full of love and learning and not bogged down by curriculum that “forces” you to complete everything in included. Since this is our first year I’m sure many things will change until we find our homeschool groove.
I love pooling different resources, books, and manipulatives together to create a unique school experience (but that is just me)!
For the upcoming school year, here is the curriculum we are using…
Language Arts Curriculum
Explode the Code
The Good and The Beautiful (level 1)
Easy Peasy All in One (Grade 2)
Brain Quest Grade 2
Khan Academy (online)
The Action Bible
Social Studies Curriculum
Who Was Series
Unit studies (created by me)
We are in the midst of shifting our focus from Spanish to ASL. As a Floridian mom, I naturally wanted her to learn Spanish. She is not interested at the moment and it is not sticking. She has really taken well to ASL so our focus for language curriculum will now be ASL.
Homeschool Spanish Academy (it didn’t work well for us)
Spanish/English picture books (she likes these so we will continue to use them)
There you have it. These are all of the resources we are planning to use for the 2019-2020 school year for 2nd grade. As the school year progresses I am sure things will change and we will adapt as needed.
If you’re homeschooling, what are you using this year for your curriculum? If you are just supplementing your kids’ learning at home, what are you using to do so?
Homeschool Science provides so many real-world opportunities. As we have been delving into our unit study on natural disasters, mother nature gave us the perfect opportunity to apply what we’ve been learning. On a whim, we put together our homeschool hurricane kit. Who said homeschool science had to be from a workbook? After making our list we hit the store to buy some of the items we needed. Check out this video of us showing our hurricane kit.
Homeschooling is so much fun and allows so much flexibility in learning style and time. It’s also allowing me to raise confident kids as she is learning to record and edit her videos to share her knowledge.
How are you allowing your kids to apply the things they know in real-time and real life?
Since everything appears to be in retrograde (and I have no actual clue what that means), I’m finding my blended family as a serious source of stress these days. Being in a blended family brings about a set of challenges no one can prepare you for. As women, we always want to hold down the fort, not complain, and work through our issues in our own heads. It’s not the best solution, but it’s one we hold hands with time and time again. Just like all the internet meme’s are suggesting, “Check on your friends who______”. Check on your friends with blended families, they are not okay!
If you’re thinking, “well you chose that life”, STOP! STOP! That is not how you check on your friends and support them. That is the complete opposite. We blended mama’s need support from our tribe to help press on towards great things for ourselves and our family. Here are some ways you can check on your friends (especially your blended family friends):
Be a supportive shoulder
Stepmoms are especially in need of a supportive shoulder to lean on. Not only are some of us biological moms, but we are also bonus moms that get to deal with bio and bonus issues. We don’t need the “girl that could never be me” friends rather the “I understand, you can do this” friends. The key is to be a positive support system when we don’t feel so positive. We genuinely love our girlfriends that are down to ride but in this case, we need you to talk us off the ledge, not stand on the ledge with us. So in other words, check on your friend by letting her vent, cry, scream and then give her some sound advice.
Encourage a positive outlet
Check on your friend by encouraging her to find a positive outlet. Many times when we get in a funk, we like to indulge in things that aren’t so positive (cue all the college stereotypes you can think of). But some of those activities give us the opportunity to revel in the funk rather than rid ourselves of it. Since we are someone’s mama, we need positive ways to blow off steam. Whatever you and your girlfriend are into, do that. I personally enjoy anything that involves water or logic puzzles. So some of these beautiful Florida beaches or any escape room in town would do it for me. In these stressful instances, it is OKAY not to hype your friend up.
So this year, keep your blended family friends uplifted in love, support, and encouragement. It only takes a moment to send a text message or call to check on your friends!
It’s time for summer planning. The count down is on and school will be out for summer. If you are like me you are thankful to spend more time with your kids but you are also tired at the thought already.
How will I entertain my kids this summer?
How will I be able to feed my kids this summer without them eating the entire month’s groceries in a few days? Because… “can I have a snack?”
How will I keep my kids occupied this summer while maintaining my sanity?
Honestly, I don’t have all of the answers for you because I’m still attempting to figure out our summer life. This year I am making a conscious effort to focus on summer planning. One major thing I am going to implement this summer is a summer schedule. This will be my first year implementing such structure and I’m hoping it will go well.
As a blended family, schedules and routines can become super complicated super quickly. To help us ease into our summer schedule, we started with a “soft launch” by utilizing a morning “to-do” list. Each child has a list that is specific to them. I used this freebie template from another mom blogger. We’re still working on each kid following their list to fidelity, but it has already changed the game in our household.
Our summer schedule will be based on a “theme” for each day. This will allow both adults and children to know what is coming. These ideas are budget friendly and exactly what my family of 5 (family of 6 in the summer) needs! Some people think that schedules are rigid and set in stone. Our summer schedule is flexible and things will shift as necessary.
For example, our summer schedule may change because the library is hosting an event that we want to attend. But, I know we will visit the library each week to switch out books and to attend a program that my kids will enjoy. So, don’t be afraid to switch up the schedule from week to week or as necessary. Here is a look at one week of our activity schedule for the summer.
I am excited to see the change planning out our summer has. In the past we have just let summer happen and it has weighed heavily on my sanity. You can download this cute little weekly schedule template (along with some other fruit template) in my TpT store for free to help you get started and stay organized.
Happy Summer planning 🙂
Keep doing (the best) you boo!
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I thought this was it. I thought I was living my dreams. Until I woke up and realized what I had been experiencing was a slow, soul-draining nightmare. No, it wasn’t my marriage (praise God). No, it wasn’t my kids or my friends. It was the one thing I had major control over, my career. After going back to school to earn a Master’s degree and making a conscious decision that this was my way to impact the world, I realized that public education may not be my calling. All the certifications, degrees, awesome teacher friends, and great students couldn’t change my mind. God helped me realize that that was not where I was meant to be.
So many of us are faced with this heavy reality at some point in our lives. Especially us “millennials” who have no problem jumping ship if something doesn’t quite feel right. So the questions are, how did I figure it out? How did I know it was time to go? It was not an easy decision (and still is not), but I am thankful I knew when it was time to go, knowing when it’s time to quit.
Pray for guidance
The first thing I began to do when the feeling crept in that this was not for me, was to Pray about the situation. Before I allowed anyone else’s thoughts and feelings to cloud my decision making, I sought out God. It’s so important to build your relationship with God so that you are aware of his voice when he speaks. If I had to make this choice in y own strength, I likely would’ve continued the path of unhappiness for the sake of others. All of the “you could’ve just stuck it out” would’ve made me second guess myself had I not already consulted with God and made a decision for myself. Now my response is, “No, I couldn’t have” because I know through prayer that I had to quit my job.
Count the Cost
So you have to logical in your decisions, but especially when you are considering quitting your job. I had to sit down and literally count the costs. How much money would I lose? How much money would I save? What will the effects of quitting do to my mental health? What will the effects of quitting do to my household? Going down the path of walking away from something that was a major financial contributor really forced me to look at my household budget and how it would be affected. At the end of the day, you have to determine what is important to you and what things you can sacrifice. Money wasn’t worth the level of stress and the amount of havoc being a full-time classroom teacher was causing in my home. So, I quit my job.
Advice can come in many forms. I caution you here to be careful about who you allow to speak into your life. Seek out someone you trust, someone who doesn’t always agree with you just for the sake of agreeing with you, and someone who may have experience in the area in which you need advice. For me, it was my husband. My husband is truly my friend and my sounding board. In all honesty, he is a lot more logical than I am and helped reinforce the decision to quit my job. I knew if he was on board that I was on to something here.
Have a Plan
Whenever you decide that your employer is not where you are meant to be, don’t get so excited to walk off of the job today. Make sure you have a plan that will sustain you. Don’t count on your business making millions the minute you launch your website and don’t think you’ll hit the lottery next week. Think carefully and practically about your exit plan and then do everything within your power to make it happen. For some, this may take a few weeks, for other a few years. No matter the length, keep pressing towards your goals.
My plan was online teaching. I am teaching online and loving it. I have the opportunity to continue to do what I love, without sacrificing myself or my family. There are so many options to choose from when considering an online teaching career. I work with several ESL companies as well as take on private online tutoring students. I am so blessed to do what I love from the comfort of my home. Figure out what you love, make a plan, and rock it!
Quit: Exit stage left
And finally, exit stage left! After all is said and done bow out as gracefully as you can. Don’t walk out cursing your supervisor or ruining everyone’s day. Close up shop, say your goodbyes, and move on to the next stage in life. Make sure that part of your exit plan is talking to your boss about the situation (don’t burn bridges people). You never know when that person will come back into your life.
All in all, if you feel that tug down in soul that your career choice is no longer lighting your fire, don’t be afraid to reevaluate and go for it!
It is very important that we start implementing budgeting for kids at an early age. In my household, we have been overhauling our budget and getting more focused and dedicated to planning and properly utilizing our income. We all know kids don’t really care about budgets. They see things, they want them, they expect their parents to come through to make it happen. This is why I felt the need to focus on budgeting for kids. What if we challenged that paradigm and taught our children the value of budgeting and choosing what to allocate your money towards?
In the posts “How to get your Budget in Check” Part 1 and Part 2 we set the groundwork for gaining control of your finances through purposeful strategies. Here, we want to include the whole family in our budget endeavors. We want to focus on teaching our kids about budgeting. Because after all, the family who budgets together stays together…..(I totally just made that up).
Set the example
Firsts things first, you have to be the change you want to see. Your kids look up to you for everything in their lives, budgeting should be no different. If you want to teach your kids good money habits, you should have good money habits. In no way am I saying you should be perfect, but you should have good habits and tips to share. More is caught than is taught. If your children see that you are not frivolously spending money, they are likely to follow in your footsteps. Be transparent about your money making decisions so they can see that managing money and a household takes both strategies and thought.
The best way to learn is to do. Give your children ample opportunity to earn money and make budgeting decisions. Notice I said earn money (you should not just give them money, just because). When your child has completed their chores or whatever task you have set forth, they can be compensated for their work. This is how they will earn their money,
Allow them to set money goals and work towards it. For instance, If your son wants to buy a new remote control car, help him set a monetary goal and provide opportunities for him to work towards it. Once the goal is met, take him to reap the benefits of his hard work and set the next goal. Goal setting will provide your kids an area of focus for their budget.
An important aspect of teaching kids about budgets is giving. Show your children that they should be givers. They shouldn’t keep all of their money to themselves, instead teach them the power and importance of giving. I really enjoy this part because you get a chance to see where your child’s heart is based on who they choose to help. A word of caution here is to not allow them to help mom or dad. Although this is very sweet, encourage your child to be a blessing to a person or organization outside of your household. Important lesson are learned when we are givers and children learn that we can work to earn and work to help others.
Allow Them To Make Mistakes
This one may be the most difficult! As parents, we naturally want to shield our kids from making mistakes. But, who learned to ride a bike because their parents stopped them from falling off? NO ONE! Let your kids make financial mistakes, let them purchase something that is priced too high, let them give away all of their money and have nothing left for themselves. Then, use it as an opportunity to help them learn and grow to make sound decisions in the future. It is better for kids to learn about money and make mistakes while the risks are low than to become an adult making high riskdecions with little knowledge.
Dave Ramsey has a great list of how to teach kids about money at different ages. The learning should never stop and should get more complex as kids age. If we can get in the habit of teaching kids about budgeting and teaching kids about money, we can break cycles from the past. We can raise children who are money conscious and well equipped to financially navigate life.
How do you teach your kids about budgeting?
Keep doing (the best) you boo!
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Hey beauties, I am Lani. The creator of Lani on Life. On this blog you will find all the things that make our lives interesting. My life is not perfect but I am here for it all: Moming. Teaching. Lifeing. Enjoy your stay :)