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Don’t Skip Your Stretch

Hey friends! It’s easy to get past the hard part of our workouts & forget to do some stretching… bad idea!

Especially as we age, our joints and muscles need that extra few minutes of focused lengthening for protecting our joint areas as well as helping our muscle’s elasticity. Don’t skip it. It only takes a few minutes and feels oh, so good! For every muscle group you work, take 15-30 seconds to stretch it out afterward.

“Your future self will thank you!” 🙂

~Domestic Chick

What Do Your Kids See In YOU?…

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Recently my husband was kind enough to give me a couple of “mental health” days all by myself. For home schooling moms this doesn’t happen very often! So with his suggestion, I quickly (before he realized what he had done) jumped in my car and drove 2 hours away for a much needed personal retreat.

As I was driving, I popped in a CD that a friend gave me. It was the Key Note Speaker, Steve Demme, the founder of Math-U-See, from a previous Oklahoma Home School Conference.

It was keeping me awake, his content had some humor and a few good stories, then he said one thing. He asked a question that I will not quickly forget. What will your child say when he/she is asked the following question:

“What was it about your parents’ faith that made you want to follow Jesus?”

~ Steve Demme

Here I am driving 70mph down the highway and everything around me seemed to stop. That one statement kept repeating in my mind over and over. When our kids are grown, THAT is the only thing that matters, isn’t it? I mean we can do our very best as parents to educate them, socialize them and even make sure they’ve visited foreign lands and speak more than one language…but, if we haven’t immersed them in how to faithfully follow Jesus…eternally none of the rest matters.

Like I did, I pray you’ll camp out with this question in your heart. Our children are our biggest “mission” in this lifetime. God has entrusted their precious lives to us… and I believe it’s an eternal responsibility.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children…”

Deuteronomy 6:5-7
~ Domestic Chick

Math-U-See Products by Steve Demme

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3 Reasons to Choose Homeschooling

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Delish Oven Veggies Ready in Minutes

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A Simple On-the-Go Lunch Solution YOU can Start Today!

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Sistema To-Go Makes Lunch soooooo Easy!

Regardless if it’s yours, your spouse’s or the kids’… having an easy on-the-go lunch system makes life so much happier! I came across these little treasures and can’t help but share them. Literally whatever food we have on-hand is what what goes inside! A sandwich fits nicely in the top compartment, but as you can see in the photo, salad works great too. PLUS, the little circle in the middle holds just the right amount of salad dressing 🤩… and you can wait until you’re ready to eat to add it, so your salad doesn’t get soggy!

Why Buy Sistema To Go?

  • They stay closed tightly with clips on each side!
  • They are dishwasher safe!
  • They have a variety of containers: soup, sandwich, breakfast…etc!
  • They come in fun colors!
  • They are great for anyone wanting to control portion sizes!
  • Some items come with utensils that clip right inside!
  • So easy to grab-n-go!

These will revolutionize your lunch process! Get yours today…

~ Domestic Chick

Men!

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I’m jumping in with both feet today friends, so to my girlfriends, buckle up… I’m in this boat with you, and my message is for me too! This comes straight from my heart (not to mention it’s Biblical) …nonetheless, it may be a difficult pill to swallow. But we all need to hear this, girls. Hang with me and I’ll explain.

Our Men Need More Respect & Appreciation

Nope, I’m not sugar coating it, just saying the truth. I’m afraid too often, myself included, we get in our comfortable lifestyles and forget the sacrifices our men make daily for us. Yes, ladies we give our fair share, working full-time, part-time and tending to the home, perhaps even home educating on top of it all; but, today I’m thinking of THE MEN. It shouldn’t be only on Father’s Day or their birthdays that we offer them sincere gratitude!  They need it daily… honesty, we all do.  

When I hear wives speak down about their husbands, it hurts me. Remember that perfection is not possible for us or our husbands – only Jesus was without fault! Here’s a valuable piece of advice I remember a good friend sharing with me…

Don’t talk badly about your spouse because it just opens the door for others to
jump on the bandwagon either about your husband or theirs.

Our men deal with a whole different world of business pressures, social expectations, deadlines, maybe even hard labor… but, on top of it all MOST have a tremendous desire to provide for their family.   No man wants to fail.   As I look around, and especially observe my own husband, I see sacrifice. It’s amazing to me how God built into a man the natural born propensity to work hard and provide. They are made differently than us and we should be so thankful.

What can we wives do?

  • They deserve our respect for what they deal with on a daily basis!
  • They need our loving support and heart-felt appreciation!
  • They need us to teach our children to respect their dads, not take them for granted!
  • They need our prayers for their confidence and strength!

“Let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband…”

Ephesians 5:33

A Message Worth Your Time – from Jimmy Evans

Jimmy Evans HOW TO HONOR (RESPECT) A MAN – Marriage Today on You Tube

Ask yourself…

  • Do you meet him with a smile at the end of the day?
  • Do you serve him in ways that say to him ‘I respect you’?
  • Do you model for your kids how to love & respect him? 

If we choose to find all his faults, it’s not difficult… we all have MANY. But, instead of focusing on the negative, please consider today how God has blessed you with a man who sacrifices daily, loves you and provides for your family. He is far from perfect, as we all are! BUT, he desperately needs YOU to be his biggest cheerleader!

~ Domestic Chick

3 Life-Hacks for Every College-Bound Homeschooler

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You Can Do This!

Even as their homeschool teacher, I knew I was not the BEST at every subject, so rather than trying to teach it all, I became more of a facilitator of their education leading them up to college level. It’s an incredible time to teach at home! We have so many resources available in today’s world! So, please let me encourage you to seek out the BEST learning experiences as your students are in high school. Trust me, you don’t have to shoulder it all. And, with that being said…

Today, our high school junior pulled out of our driveway and away to her first day of college! Yes, of course I had tears. So, from one home school momma to another, I want to share with you the HOW & WHY she’s doing this! We have discovered a few little “short-cuts” that have completely changed the way we choose to approach college for our kids. Learning how to do the same thing will save you time & money plus give your college-bound adult a nice transition from home education into university!

I sincerely hope these 3 Life-hacks will be of help to you as you bravely navigate the road toward your own student’s high school graduation day! If I can do it, you can too! Please, keep reading 🙂

#1 – CREATE: a weekly SAT/ACT plan

Here’s the HOW – Facilitating high school at home is a full-time job. As you, the home educator, prepare your high school lesson plans, I recommend assigning routine work on Khan Academy or perhaps in an SAT/ACT workbook if your student prefers/needs to learn with a physical book. With that, maybe your weekly assignments could look something like this one:

*Khan AcademyMon.Tues.Wed.Thurs.Fri.
Math*SAT math – 45 min.Lesson from your math curriculum*SAT math – 45 min.Lesson from your math curriculumLesson from your math curriculum
EnglishLiterature, Grammar, & Writing curriculum*SAT read. – 45 min.Literature, Grammar, & Writing curriculum*SAT read. – 45 min.Literature, Grammar, & Writing curriculum
This example shows a plan for SAT/ACT preparation and is meant to accompany the various other high school subjects as necessary for graduation. (Ex: science, history, art, etc.)

I highly recommend using Khan Academy online. This online FREE education website is phenomenal, and hands-down the best official SAT preparation available. In recent years it has partnered with the College Board as well, which means that the questions and test reviews match directly with the format of the SAT. I cannot say enough good about Khan Academy!

Here’s the WHY – get your student scoring well on the SAT/ACT and they will earn the ability to exempt college classes! To be clear… this means they get credit for a class without ever having to attend it AND you don’t have to pay for it either! With her SAT score, our daughter exempted English 1301, 1302, and College math. Y’all that’s 9 hours exempted by scoring well on her SAT. (With U.S. averages at $594/ credit hour that amounts to an approximate savings of $5,346 for 3 exempted classes!) Even if your student gives the SAT/ACT several attempts to reach higher scores, the savings definitely makes it worthwhile.

#2 – CONNECT: with a College Advisor

Here’s the HOW – As you complete the student’s high school transcript, it will be well worth your time to become friends with an advisor in the college world to help guide you. This person will assist you in understanding which classes can be completed during the high school years. He/she can also help select the best teachers for your kids. While convenient, the school doesn’t have to be in your town, either. At niche.com, there are many online options for your high schooler as well. For us, we do have one in our city ranked the #3 best in Texas so that made it a no-brainer! (Interesting to Note: “On average, a two-year public school will cost about 60 percent less per credit hour than a four-year public school. And at just $135 a college credit, local community colleges are one of the most accessible and affordable ways to earn college credits.” Article – “Study: Here’s How Much College Credits Actually Cost”)

Here’s the WHY – Ok, so what does a college advisor do to help your high schooler at home? Good question! Every college has an advisor guiding public school students who are the “dual-credit” students. (They also are getting college credits while in high school; however, after visiting colleges, we found that not all schools honor these dual-credit classes.) This same individual may likely be the advisor to homeschool students as well.

  • Your student’s advisor will lead you to complete paperwork for enrollment
  • He/she will provide the “Petition for Exemption” form your student will need to sign in order to receive credit for classes based on their SAT/ACT/CLEP scores
  • In Texas, if a student has not taken the SAT already, they will be required to show their readiness by taking the TSI exam for reading, writing & math, so an advisor will help you to know what is needed.
  • He/she can help in class & teacher selection – partnering with you providing the best possible education for your high schooler.

#3 – CONSIDER: Concurrent College Classes & C.L.E.P.

Here’s the HOW – After completing a few paperwork items with your student’s advisor, they can enroll and attend classes that semester – simple!

An important note: CONCURRENT classes are NOT the same as dual-credit! Personally, we chose to avoid dual-credit options because not all universities honor them when transferring credits. Our girls have attended the actual college classes on campus… hence the name CONCURRENT, meaning attending a college class and homeschool class at the same time. This way, there is no debating if the class taken during high school was rigorous enough to award college credit. It WAS an actual college class. For example, during senior year, most students have government and economics as requirements; however, they will also have them as requirements toward a college degree. Therefore, our daughters choose to complete these as concurrent – getting high school credit and college credit at the same time! It’s a beautiful thing.

Lastly, I do highly recommend looking into the C.L.E.P. options for your student at home. It is exciting how many high school classes can actually be taken online in preparation for taking a CLEP exam. The best resource I have found for this is the Modern States website. Impressively, this website offers “freshman year for free”! This means they offer enough classes online to study (again, free online classes) followed by taking the exam for college credit. Our daughter was able to exempt one full year of Spanish by taking advantage of the CLEP! (That allowed her to exempt 8 college hours, roughly an average savings of $4,752.00).

The Dave Ramsey Show

Here’s the WHY – The easy answer: these options save time & money! In doing this, your student can complete their high school transcript AND begin the college transcript AT THE SAME TIME! Below I am sharing how I noted the college level classes on our transcript. In addition, showing the ability to take rigorous, college-level classes in high school also looks favorably in the eyes of scholarship committees… BONUS!

Sample Homeschool Transcript

Note the ‘*College Level’ courses were all taken at the community college for high school graduation requirements.

Thanks, y’all for reading! I truly hope this can be a help to you. AND, I love to hear from you… so, please consider leaving me your comments & feedback!

Domestic Chick

EASY 2 Minute AB CHALLENGE!

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Hey friends! Quick post here… I am excited to share a little fitness challenge I have put together! I designed it with busy women & moms in mind… it requires only 2 MINUTES a day and we rest on Sundays! 👌🏽

Please join me as I wrap up January with a not-so-difficult AB Challenge! I’ll post daily videos on my Instagram story, so please meet me there every day starting Saturday, January 18th! It’s only 2 weeks, but I guarantee even this will make a difference in how you you feel! Please join me 🙂

** And, if you come across this blog after January, NO WORRIES! All “how-to” videos will be saved on my Instagram highlight: “AB CHALLENGE” … so you can still visit my page & go through all 14 days anytime!

DOWNLOAD THIS PLAN BELOW! ⬇︎
Domestic Chick 🙂

13 Top Education Websites for Your Homeschool

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Hey homeschool mamas! After intentionally seeking out the TOP ONLINE LEARNING & ONLINE K-12 EDUCATION WEBSITES to use in our little homeschool academy, today I am sharing my findings with you!!! In this post, I will share 13 of the most AMAZING sites to consider incorporating alongside your current homeschool curriculum! You can either use these resources as a supplement to what you already do well, OR use them to alleviate a heavy schedule by assigning a subject or two online. Find what works for you! With my own homeschooling journey, I find great value in adding supplemental ONLINE LEARNING. Maybe we all need a lighter load on Friday and adding these to the lesson plan is just what we need! So, trust me when I say, these are the TOP-OF-THE-TOP education websites for your students at home! You will love them as much as they do, I promise! They are presented here in alphabetical order… so, scroll down and see if perhaps you discover an online treasure to help you in your journey as teach your sweet students at home! Enjoy, y’all 🙂

#1 ABC Mouse – Educational Games, Books, Puzzles & Songs

  • Summary: ABCmouse helps kids learn to read through phonics, and teaches lessons in math, social studies, art, music, and much more. The Step-by-Step Learning Path presents the full ABCmouse.com curriculum in a carefully designed program of more than 850 lessons in ten levels. As your child completes each lesson, he or she is guided to the next one and is motivated to continue learning by ABCmouse.com’s Tickets and Rewards System.
  • Grades: ages 2-8
  • Membership: $59.95/year
  • What is ABC Mouse? video introduction
  • Find it in the App Store
  • Multiple Awards

Find these items on Amazon…

#2 ArtyFactory – Artist, Styles, Techniques & Ideas

  • Summary: Art Lessons, Art Appreciation, & Design Lessons
  • Grades: all ages
  • Membership: FREE
  • Great for the art teacher, art student, artists of all ages and levels.

Find these items on Amazon…

BrainPop websites are phenomenal! ~ Domestic Chick

#3 BrainPop – A Universe of Learning

  • Summary: Animated Educational Site for Kids – BrainPOP offers curriculum based animated movies, learning games,  interactive quizzes, primary source activities, and a breadth of additional resources for students in all grades. Its topics span Science, Social Studies, English, Math, Engineering & Tech, Health, and Arts & Music. BrainPOP is also home to GameUp, an educational games portal for the classroom
  • Grades: K – 12+
  • Free Content: There are many free videos available! Take a look at free videos at Brain Pop Jr. & Brain Pop.
  • Family & Homeschool Membership: $160-$240/year *
  • *Coupon Codes: these can be found here.
  • Multiple platforms: Brain Pop is a family of sites! They include –

#4 Calculation Nation – Challenge Others. Challenge Yourself.

  • Summary: The games of Calculation Nation® are organized around content from the upper elementary and middle grades math curriculum. By becoming a citizen of Calculation Nation®, your child or student will play online math strategy games that allow them to learn about fractions, factors, multiples, symmetry and more, as well as practice important skills like basic multiplication and calculating area — all while having fun.
  • Grades: upper elementary – middle grades math
  • Membership: FREE

Find these items on Amazon…

#5 Ed Heads – Activate Your Mind!

  • Summary: Edheads is an online educational resource that provides science and math games and activities that promote critical thinking. Choose from Simple Machines, Virtual Knee Surgery or Stem Cell Heart Repair, among others. All activities meet state and national standards. Edheads empowers students to pursue fulfilling, productive careers in science, technology, engineering and math.
  • Grades: 2-12
  • Free Games: You can still play Virtual Hip ResurfacingSickle Cell DNATrauma and other games without logging on and without a membership!
  • Family Memberships: $20 annually

Find these items on Amazon…

#6 Fun Brain – Games, Videos, and Books for Kids

  • Summary: Created for kids in grades Pre-K through 8, Funbrain has been the leader in free educational games for kids since 1997. Funbrain offers hundreds of games, books, comics, and videos that develop skills in math, reading, problem-solving and literacy. FunBrain is the #1 site for online educational games for kids of all ages. (math, grammar, science, spelling, history)
  • Grades: Pre K – 8th grade
  • Membership: FREE

#7 Hippo Campus

  • Summary: HippoCampus.org is a free, core academic web site that delivers rich multimedia content–videos, animations, and simulations–on general education subjects to middle-school and high-school teachers and college professors, and their students, free of charge. Teachers project HippoCampus content during classroom learning and assign it for computer labs and homework. Students use the site in the evenings for study and exam prep. Users do not need to register or log in to use the site.
  • Grades: middle school – college
  • Membership: FREE
  • Over 7,000 free videos in 13 subject areas

#8 IXL – Where Learning Feels Like Play

  • Summary: IXL is personalized learning. With a comprehensive K-12 curriculum, individualized guidance, and real-time analytics, IXL meets the unique needs of each learner.
  • Grades: K-12
  • Membership: $9.95 – $19.95/month
  • Multiple Awards

The top-notch education offered by Khan Academy will likely transform learning across the globe! ~Domestic Chick

#9 Khan Academy – Free World-class Education to Anyone, Anywhere.

  • Summary: Created by experts, Khan Academy’s library of trusted, standards-aligned practice and lessons covers math K-12 through early college, grammar, science, history, AP®, SAT®, and more. Khan Academy offers personalized learning allowing students to practice at their own pace, first filling in gaps in their understanding and then accelerating their learning. Here are many of the subjects covered:
  • Grades: K-12 and beyond
  • Membership: FREE – for learners & teachers
  • BONUS: Practice is aligned with the questioning style of the College Board, the organization that creates the SAT.

#10 Math Giraffe – An Incredible Site for MATH Teachers!

  • Summary: The goal of Math Giraffe is guiding teachers to incorporate CREATIVITY into analytical, logic-oriented math classes. It offers ideas, insights, resources, and teaching materials to guide you in teaching math more creatively!
  • Grades: for middle school & high school MATH teachers
  • Membership: Simply subscribe to get free resources, updates, and ideas for teaching math.
  • Classroom Management & Ideas
  • Math Giraffe Blog
  • AMAZING pre-algebra doodle notebook newly available in 2019!

Find this item on Amazon…

⬆︎⬆︎⬆︎CLICK ON THE PHOTO ABOVE to get Math Giraffe’s NEW pre-algebra doodle notebook!

#11 Quizlet – Learning Tools & Flashcards, for Free

  • Summary: Quizlet’s mission is simple: to help students (and their teachers) practice and master whatever they are learning. Quizlet provides engaging, customizable activities with contributions from people everywhere.
  • Grades: all grades
  • Membership: FREE
  • Apple App & Google App available

Find these items on Amazon…

An incredible reading comprehension site with built in grading, immediate feedback, & progress reports easily available for the parent! ~Domestic Chick

#12 Read Theory – Reading & Writing, improved.

  • Summary: Read Theory is a powerful educational tool that offers online reading activities for all ages and ability levels. Their custom web application adapts to students’ individual ability levels and presents them with thousands of skill building exercises that suit their needs.
  • Grades: all ages & ability levels
  • Membership: FREE
  • FAQ’s
My personal favorite “littles” site where they have so much fun they ask to learn more! ~ Domestic Chick

#13 Starfall – Kids Games, Movies, & Books K-3

  • Summary: Starfall’s emphasis on phonemic awareness, systematic sequential phonics, and common sight words in conjunction with audiovisual interactivity has proven effective in teaching emergent readers. Starfall activities are research-based and align with Individual and Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics. The program emphasizes exploration, play, and positive reinforcement—encouraging children to become confident and intrinsically motivated.
  • Grades: K-3
  • Home Membership: $35/year

Find these items on Amazon…

Friends, I’d love to hear your comments here! And also, if you have other AMAZING sites to share, I’m always looking for awesome new sites to pass along to other homeschool moms! Thank you for reading, y’all 🙂

~ Domestic Chick

Easy Crockpot Tortellini You Will Make Again

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“I need an easy Crockpot Recipe to make for dinner!”

Crockpot meals make me so happy, y’all! Regardless if you are home during the day or away, it sure is nice to toss everything in the Crockpot hours before dinnertime! My Crockpot makes my entire day easier. Being a homeschool mom, there are plenty of other things needing my attention. Spending too much time preparing our meals takes away teaching time with my girls. So, I use my Crockpot as often as possible! And, I can tell you, as long the food is delicious, they are happy too! This Cheesy Tortellini with ground beef certainly did not disappoint my family one bit at the end of the day! So, if you’re like me and could really use a great meal with little effort, this is definitely one recipe you will want to add to your cookbook! Enjoy 🙂

Super Simple: Here’s All You Need

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (precooked*)
  • 1-2 small yellow onions, chopped
  • 2+ cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 10 oz. can diced tomatoes & green chilis, undrained 
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 19 oz. package frozen cheese tortellini
  • 4 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded

So Easy: Less Than 30 Minutes Prep Time

I make delicious, easy meals with my Crockpot slow cooker! ~Domestic Chick

Directions:

Put all ingredients except tortellini and cheese into the Crockpot.  Cook on high 4 hours, or on low for 6 hours.  Add tortellini 20-30 minutes before it’s done cooking.  Top with shredded cheese as you plate this dish & add  a beautiful green salad or side of steamed broccoli for a sure crowd pleaser!  

* Precooking the beef makes this an incredibly easy meal to prepare.  Tip: Buy meat on sale, precook and freeze in 1-pound bags to easily pull out and prepare a quick and delicious meal.  

~ Domestic Chick

Your Next 30 Day Push-Up Challenge

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The holidays are fast approaching, and we all know this means yummy food will soon be around every corner. I’m right there with you, soooooo rest assured that I will not be asking you to avoid all the good stuff… Lord knows I certainly don’t plan to miss out on it! 😂

BUT . . . I am asking you to join me in making a commitment to PUSHING through November & staying active! 💪🏽

Join Me for “No Excuses November”
Every day in November I will post videos on Instagram 🙂

➡︎ Join Me! Day 1:

  • Print off the calendar below – – – stick it on your fridge, keep it by your bed, throw it in your gym bag – – – and commit to completing one square every day WITH ME!
  • Follow me on Instagram – where I will post videos daily on what we’re doing!
  • I’d love to see you post a photo to your story & add #noexcusesnov2019
  • Please, please tag a buddy to join us – more friends means more sticking with it 👌🏽
  • That’s it.

This is a plan for everyone! It’s not intense, but simply a little motivation to stay active as we head into the holidays!

WE WILL START ON NOVEMBER 1st! (a plan adapted from Shape Magazine)

Why Do This?

Here’s what seems to happen year after year: our defenses get worn down beginning with Halloween. Then, the colder weather begs for that mid-day Pumpkin Spice Latte & a handful of holiday cookies. Then, we find ourselves deep into November eating all of that famously fantastic Thanksgiving food and before we know it, Christmas has come & gone…

… and we stopped exercising & picked up a few extra pounds! 😬

No! Let’s Stop the Madness…

Together – one day at a time, we can commit to staying active through all the yummy food & beyond! Every day in November we will mark off one box on this 30-DAY CHALLENGE. YES, YES, YES! Let’s PUSH toward the holidays staying ACTIVE together… and we’ll start this season off right with NO EXCUSES NOV2019!

We can do this! 🎉

~ Domestic Chick

Best Ever Leg Toners at Home

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Friends, if you’re like me and workout at home, this post is for YOU!

These easy moves are the best exercises to tone both the FRONT and BACK of your legs. In the video below, I’m using a padded bench, but an ottoman or sturdy chair will also do the trick!

My ankle weights are 5 pounds each. The ones pictured here are adjustable, letting you start light and increase as you go!

This is the exact bench I use to do these moves! Really comfortable & also long enough to give me good support!

The goal is to isolate the 4 combined leg muscles – on the front (those above our knee) called the quadriceps. It’s not important to rush this move. It’s all about slowly controlling the contraction as you extend your foot up. And, tighten your core muscles to give extra stability. When your leg is horizontal, pause briefly, and then relax it back down.

Weighted leg extensions – do 15 on each leg, then switch. Repeat each side 3 times.

Weighted leg extensions – do 15 on each leg, then switch. Repeat each side 3 times.

On the back, above the knee is our hamstring, which runs all the way into the glute (booty) muscle. Focus on squeezing your butt as you bring your heels back. Again, tighten that core for extra stability. No need to rush this move, either! Take it slowly and feel the back of your legs and booty muscles squeezing tightly.

Weighted hamstring curls – do 15 curls. Rest, and do it again 2 more times.

Weighted hamstring curls – do 15 curls. Rest, and do it again 2 more times.

On days that I do these exercises, I definitely start with a good bout of cardio. We have thunder snow here today (super cool), so… I went for some time on the treadmill to warm up. 👌🏽 🏃🏽‍♀️ Quality cardio before your legwork is super important because your leg muscles are some of the largest muscles in your body and they need warming up before strength training! Especially those hamstrings (on the back)! They have a tendency to be tight, so loosen them up with some cardio & stretching before the exercises I have recommended here. 👍🏽

Give these exercise a try! I’d love to hear what you think…

~ Domestic Chick

Homeschool: Easy Learning Stations

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Homeschooling is so much more than providing a stack of textbooks for our students. When the idea of homeschooling was brought to me, I knew immediately that choosing to do this would not be for the reason of sheltering our kids from the “real world”. Not at all. My husband and I felt led to begin teaching our sweet girls at home to offer them MORE. To us, more meant a broader perspective of learning that would take place beyond the “sit in your seat and do your work” philosophy!

One of my favorite simple designs available at: Educating Everyone 4 Life on TpT website

Learning Should be Active

Perhaps I have some A.D.D. myself, but as the teacher (both in the public school & at home), I learned to evaluate my own teaching methods in terms of this:

IF I AM BORED WITH LEARNING, SO ARE THEY!

~Domestic Chick

So, with that, I began to intentionally seek out creative ways of accomplishing our school day. (If you come from a public school background, this may initially cause you some internal struggle!) 😂 Not to worry, though. Once you experience ACTIVE LEARNING in the homeschooling setting, those old methods of straight rows, sit in your seat, and do your work will dissolve into a distant memory of times gone by.

As the pyramid shows, kids need to move (adults do too, but that’s a topic for another post 😉); and for our kids, it shouldn’t only happen at recess! The more we can allow them to move, touch, experiment, draw, act, observe within their education experience … the deeper the learning will be. AND, studies show they will retain subjects much better as well.

Learn at Home with Stations!

To beat the boredom of monotonous days, we added stations to our school day at home. No, not every day, but as often as I can blend the curriculum with ACTIVITY, we do. I literally made station signs and place them around the house! Yes, I do. Such an EASY strategy to incorporate! They kids look forward to this, knowing today they will be up moving around and not stuck filling in meaningless blanks on a worksheet. Here’s how to get started:

  • Make or buy your signs – they can literally display whatever subject you desire them to accomplish that day.
    • Examples: art, music, cooking, math, listening, science, spelling… etc.
  • Select only a few to use in one day. Depending on the time you’d like them to spend at each one, 3-5 is likely a good number to allow for quality learning in a day.
  • Place them around your home.
    • Examples: science might be in the garage or on an outdoor patio. Math could be at the dining table. Spelling can be outside with chalk. Perhaps history will be a DVD in the family room. And literature can be on the sofa or even on their beds!
  • Gather the items they will need for station and have all supplies ready for them.
    • Examples: digital timers, color pencils, cd player, their workbooks, colored construction paper, maps, audio book, headphones…etc.

Remember, the goal is ACTIVE LEARNING, so make sure the items you select allow them to DO SOMETHING fun while they are learning!

For illustration on set-up ideas, below I have chosen some of our favorite elementary school – middle school specific items. Your choices are only limited to your imagination! Make sure to consider your students’ special skills, what they are currently learning about, and also what they are naturally interested in! Purchasing is not always necessary either! We teachers tend to have items that will work already at home! One simple station we have enjoyed includes: a black Sharpie marker, a ruler & a piece of white paper to create art inspired by Andy Warhol. 💚this activity!

Ideas for Science Station

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Ideas for Math Station

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Ideas for History/Geography Station

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Ideas for a Few Other Subjects

  • art station – have paintbrushes, canvas, & water cups ready
  • cooking station – set up a recipe you’d like to teach them to make
  • music station – at the piano (or another instrument) to practice their assignments
  • listening station – have an audio book, spiral for notes, headphones, & blanket

Station Procedures

Make sure to show excitement for a special day like this! If they know their behavior determines how often you allow more fun days such as this, they may be motivated to follow your expectations more closely! From my personal experience, my girls LOVED station days. And, actually, they’re pretty fun for the teacher too! 😉

  • Walk your students through each station & explain what you expect
  • Have them repeat back to you their responsibilities while at each station
  • Remind them to set a timer when they begin (optional, but helpful)
  • Emphasize to do their best work to share later
  • If siblings are together, address how they are to work together
  • Motivate them by sharing when they can expect the next “Station Day”!
  • Share how to complete proper clean-up procedures

I’d love to hear how you incorporate stations into your homeschool. We can all learn from each other. Send me a comment… 👌🏽

Thank you for reading! Please FOLLOW my blog & be watching for more EDUCATIONAL posts COMING SOON! Blessings, y’all.

~Domestic Chick