Friday, March 28, 2014

Top Ten Reasons I Love Homeschool

Top Ten Reasons I Love Homeschool


I've thought for a while about my Top Ten Reasons for Homeschooling.  We are wrapping up our second year and I have learned a great deal, and so have my kids.  The first year, we spent a lot of time trying to "de-school" and figure out what we wanted to do.  As a result, we spent many hours just reading.  And math.  And we joined a few groups for fun.

1.  No Homework

Now, you may roll your eyes and say, "But all of it is homework!"  Yes, you become the teacher, the mentor, and you are still the owie kisser as the mom.  However, what you don't experience is your kids being gone for 7 hours only to come home and still have another 30-60 minutes of homework in addition to extra-curricular activities.  In fact, I do "school school" with my kids for less than 30-60 minutes per day because once they are done with their core lessons...they are done.  They don't have to wait for other kids. They just do what they need to do.

2.  You Decide the Schedule

Once I realized that I didn't have to start at 8:00am and finish at 3:00pm, I decided that we would learn more "organically".  Sometimes we focus on math for a couple of hours, and other days we spend a couple of hours reading.  We don't do every subject every day.  We watch movies, and when there was snow, we went sledding.  Well, the kids went sledding.  I prefer not being wet and freezing. 

3.  Everything is a Teaching Moment

My kids have a laundry day and at the ages of 8 and 10 they can do their own laundry.  (That doesn't mean they put them away perfectly, but I take what I can get!)  When we moved last Fall, they got to experience first hand the challenges that came up and helped haul boxes.  I maintain that there are two things kids need to know how to do before they leave home no matter what - dishes and laundry.  Two things that just aren't practical to hire out.

4.  You Get to Experience the Breakthroughs

Grammar is a big deal in our house.  The kids don't get away with much, because they have their mom and grandmother correcting the way they speak.  When they correct themselves, it is a beautiful thing.  In one of our homeschool groups we learned from a master herbalist about willow bark tea and the healing properties for fevers.  My daughter and I were reading an American Girl Doll book and when willow bark was mentioned, she made the connection.  It's just exciting to see the little aha moments.

5.  Hugs and Kisses Throughout the Day

I'm a snuggly mom and I love to give my kids regular hugs and kisses during the day.  I often say to my daughter, "I love you!"  She says, "I know."  Then I say, "How do you know?"  She laughs and says, "Because you tell me ALL OF THE TIME!"  I'm grateful for those kisses.  They grow up way too fast, so I'm taking advantage of them.

6.  Less Sugar Consumption

Just kidding - we all have sweet tooth issues around here, but truly, if you are focused on creating a healthy environment for your kids, homeschool provides the perfect forum.  You have 100% control over meals, and can teach your kids meal planning for real, because they are right there with you.  I at least know that my kids aren't trading lunches or throwing away their apples!

7.  If You Want to Go On Vacation, You Don't Have to Schedule Around School

This is a big deal.  We have plans to go on vacation at the end of the month.  Not Spring Break, not after school gets out.  Just because we want to and it coincides with some business training that my husband has.  What this means is that we avoid crowds, traffic on the roads, and often can get deals on where to stay.  If we want to go to Disneyland during the off-season, we just go! 

8.  Discounts, Discounts, Discounts!

Museums, Aquariums, and Amusement Parks have discounts for homeschoolers!  Sometimes they even have FREE days.  Why?  Because unless a school specifically plans a field trip, they aren't usually crowded on a normal weekday.  Just call the place you want to go and let them know that you homeschool and would love to bring your kids.  If you have a blog, even better!  Tell them you will do a blog review for other homeschool families.  Let them know that you will help promote them on social media if you can get a discount.  You would be amazed at what they will do for you!  If you live in Utah, Utah Deal Diva posts about deals you can get for field trips.

9.  Pinterest Projects

Okay, admit it.  You pin a lot on Pinterest, but don't have time to do any of it with your kids.  Guess what?  When you homeschool you can put those pins to work and create some really cool stuff.  If you want to.  My bestie is a middle school math teacher and taught an entire class using Pinterest and math.  Brilliant!  She had her students design their houses, and measure everything as well!  She had them calculate the costs of running the house, the price of houses in the area, and more!  Way to incorporate real life in school!  Plus, how fun for the students to combine creativity and...math.

10.  These Are My Babies

Raising children is really going to be just a brief time period for me.  At most I will only do it about 1/3 of my life, and I didn't have my first until I was 31, so I will have some living to do afterward.  Even though I lead a busy personal and professional life, I know that I am going to miss the sounds of these voices.  Today I have listened to both of my children singing to themselves as I worked on this post.  In the middle of the day.  I have heard their laughter playing outside in the Spring sunshine.  These past two years of homeschool have been challenging, wonderful, and full of love and laughter.  I know I will remember these years as the time where I grew the most, because I am learning from them as much as they are learning from me.

Now - off to go search for a retainer that's gone missing!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How to Use Essential Oils for Spring Allergies


How to Use Essential Oils for Spring Allergies 

Essential oils have long been used for Spring Allergies, but doTerra has released a new product that is way easier than pouring drops of peppermint, lemon, and lavender into an awkward veggie cap.  Brilliant!  So what is this?  

TriEase has combined the big three oils into an easy softgel to take internally when allergies are kicking into full gear.  Now, in a week or two, Barbara Christensen (Paleo Vegeo) and I are going to do a webinar on How to Use Essential Oils for allergies in general, so don't miss that!  I'm sure I will do some promotional stuff on here.  

In the meantime, I'm going to head over to doTerra today to pick up a bottle of TriEase so I will follow up with you and let you know how it compares to using the straight oils!
doTerra TriEase