Diversity in Learning…

Freedom in learning is a good thing!

When we started homeschooling, it took me some time to accept that our learning at home would not necessarily look like the traditional classroom!  Oh yes, I tried at first… to make our learning “look & feel” like the classroom from my years teaching in the public.  I genuinely thought that was the “right way to do it”. 

🤣

Oh how wrong I was!!  Our older daughter, Shelby, (in this fun paddle board video) perhaps taught ME the most about learning in our first years at home!  She thrived on thinking outside the box… as she illustrates here with her ingenuity using a boat dock & paddle board!!  She was my student in elementary school who would sing every answer to me and resist with everything in her to sit down while doing her schoolwork!  Thankfully, I can smile at these memories, but initially, as her teacher, I wrongly thought it was my job to conform her actions to the patterns of the “traditional classroom” believing (of course) we learn sitting down, raising hands, and reciting answers in a completely boring methodical fashion.  UGH… I now see what a snoozer that was!  

😴

Isn’t it crazy how the world has turned?!!  This very moment many, many kids across our country & world are on the sofa or their beds with laptops in hand completing assignments outlined by a virtual teacher and they’re still learning… AT HOME!   Haha!!  I like to say that we homeschooled WAY before it was cool, but how we accomplished it definitely morphed thoughout the years!     

📚

The reality is, today’s students don’t use books like we did.  They don’t sit in classrooms as much as we did.  And they carry the entire encyclopedia with them every single day calling it “Google”!   

⬇️

But here’s how I want to encourage you  —>  if given the freedom (ok, fine – or being forced by a nasty virus) kids will indeed learn wherever they are!  So, like Shelby taught me years ago, I had to allow her the freedom to learn differently!  She needed the freedom to explore life learning in untraditional ways (in other words, untraditional to me) … she needed the freedom to fulfill her curiosity with the paddle board experiment in Tennessee!  And I am so, so glad I realized this strategy early on before she lost her internal drive to learn!

🎉

Yay!!  Let’s encourage & empower our students with a little more freedom to learn in new ways & and more freedom to be curious, exploring what excites them in life … whether it be virtually or even outside!  Either way, there’s no argument that education is changing and, in my personal opinion,  it might just be a good thing!  

🤔

Are you teaching at home?  How is it going?  

~ Domestic Chick

God Met Me at the Park



Well friends, God evidently had plans for me this morning.  Of course, who am I kidding?   I am confident He plans my every day; admittedly, I’m just slower to recognize it sometimes.  Today was one of those unavoidable moments, it was different and I’d be selfish if I didn’t share that if God met me at the park, he can meet you anywhere too.  

I wasn’t dressed for this event at all.  I had on zero make-up, a hat, tennis shoes… and, to risk being a bit graphic, while in the direct morning sun, I feel confident my aroma was nothing less than pungent as well.  And this is how God chose for us to meet. 

It seems that the storms in life are where one tends to “grow” the most.  With this, I definitely am referring NOT to physical growth, but speaking in regard to emotional and mental growing.   And in authenticity, this is the season where I find myself currently.   

As I mentioned, it was hot this morning, and Shelby & I were out walking together for exercise, as we often do.  We laugh together, we solve problems, talk about relationships, friends, our struggles, college classes, ethical questions…. I guess we cover it all.   🙂  These are definitely moments I count as blessings with my sweet girl.

Today as we rounded the park, we saw Blake* at a distance.  He was walking “Cookie” as he always does – while reading a book – which he also always does while walking around the park.   Over the past year, we’ve shared a handful of conversations, I guess.   Mostly we discuss books, our views on politics, college plans for Shelby, and most importantly, our common faith in the Lord.  He has a higher than typical intellect, as is common with chemical engineers, but what is remarkable to his personality is how is relates in conversation.  Through his own self-admission, he has an unusual ability to take on the feelings of others around him.  As I mentioned, in all my 46 years to this point, perhaps I’m in the most difficult storm yet. 

Catching up to Blake*, we exchanged a few pleasantries, gave Cookie some attention and a little scratch, then briefly discussed our quarantine lifestyles.  Somewhat randomly, he shares with us a song he recently enjoyed while worshiping out on his back patio… and he begins to sing.  Instantly I’m thankful to be hiding behind sunglasses, as the tears emerge.  He follows this by quoting some scripture… of course, the exact verse I have been praying specifically through this storm in my life.  And, I felt the very presence of God.  By now, there is no hiding my tears, as much as I tried.  Our intention was not to dive into real life with Blake* today, but it was God’s plan that prevails, not ours.  As our conversation unfolded, he poured scripture over us and shared about the work of Jesus in his own life.  In humility, he shared his regrets and some of his own life’s mistakes.  Ultimately the three of us held hands (yes, during “social distancing”) and we three prayed together right in the middle of the park to our mighty Lord, the only God who is capable of miracles. 

Some days I’m stronger than others, but perhaps today I needed a little boost.   Jesus knew exactly what my heart and my spirit needed today.  He knew how I’d be dressed, where I’d go and exactly who to place in my path bringing me the reassurance, security and peace during this storm of my life.   God met me at the park today through a man walking his dog and reading a book.  He poured out His Spirit and showed me that His love has no boundaries.  Praise the Lord!      

*name changed

Thanks for reading, y’all. 🙂

~Domestic Chick

3 Tips for the Quarantined: from a Homeschool Mom

Learning at home during the Corona Virus Quarantine


So Now You’re a Homeschooler?!! 😳

We are in uncertain times, and likely your world is upside down.

With the United States government mandating “social distancing” and “self-quarantine” due to the 2020 Corona Virus Pandemic, groceries have become scarce, restaurants have closed down, groups are not allowed to gather … and now you are forced to homeschool on top of it all. What?!!

With these uncertain times, the chaos can be overwhelming. I’m in it too… as just recently I found myself in a grocery isle on my hands and knees, reaching to the back of an otherwise empty bottom shelf for the last bags of dried beans! Good grief… perhaps the main difference between you and me, is that I am happily accustomed to being at home every day … I am a homeschool mom (for almost 20 years). And with that being said, it seems that overnight we’re ALL IN THIS TOGETHER… ( 🎵🎶… Cue the High School Musical Song here! 😂) … so let me help you make the best of it.

You have an unexpected opportunity to FACILITATE your kids’ education at home! Let me help YOU make the best of this homeschooling adventure … even if it’s only for a short time!

~ Domestic Chick

CONSIDER YOURSELF A LEARNING FACILITATOR!

Since it is likely you did not choose to be a teacher by trade, give yourself grace to be an active facilitator instead of thinking you must teach all of their school subjects overnight! My advice is to spend a good bit of time on the 3 items below (it will be more time than you think). BUT not to worry, this time will be well worth every minute you spend in the planning! Finding an organized plan together will help the rest of your LEARNING FACILITATOR assignment – however long this time might be – considerably easier!

# 1 – TALK: about time management for online assignments from the school.

Incredible teachers are working tirelessly to get work online for their students. Make sure to follow their plan! Chatting with your students to let them know you, the parent, will still have your own daily work to complete just as they do. Remind them that everyone is learning a new routine, not just them! They are still responsible to the same school teacher for the completion of their work. Encourage your students to offer an extra measure of respect and appreciation for their teachers, who want the best experience for them during this time.

#2 – WRITE OUT: a daily routine/schedule. Have THEM create this, if possible.

The reason I suggest THEM creating this is because it will help them stick to it! Creating their own new routine gives them “buy-in” and will empower them to have more ownership in their day. They will enjoy having this option! And, it will help them grow in understanding how much time activities truly take to accomplish. Make sure to remind them to allow some extra time in-between activities for clean-up from a previous activity, and time for restroom & snack breaks too! There are many examples of this type of schedule floating out there, but at the end of the day, you will have to find what works best for your family. (see an example schedule below)

Perhaps you want to let them sleep in a little longer (and who doesn’t during all of this virus stuff?) Good. The beauty of “homeschooling” is that you are in control of the schedule. Or, maybe you need to work the night shift and will require them to be up earlier as you come home… that can still work as well. Explore and be flexible to find a good plan. Here are a few things you will want to consider.

  • Time to get up
  • Time for schoolwork
  • Time for meals
  • Exercise
  • Daily Devotional
  • Ask them what is important to THEM & add it to the list!
  • ALSO, you can include some household responsibilities too! Think about: laundry, picking up their room, helping to make a meal, and gathering the trash daily etc.

⭐️ This will be everyone’s favorite part…

(FREE PRINTABLE BELOW⬇︎)

#3 – PLAN INCENTIVES: this will be crucial!

As they successfully complete what you both agree on for each day, talk about what they are working toward. It won’t take long to see in what ways they are motivated! Let them know that you want them to have fun/free time and ➙ IT IS TOTALLY UP TO THEM HOW QUICKLY THEY EARN IT! Talk about how they can earn this time and what their options will be with this extra time. To help you, a few ideas are listed below and I have also provided a FREE DOWNLOAD! (Notice there are a couple of extra blank rows … those are for you to add in housekeeping responsibilities, if you choose to do so!) 😉

  • Face-time with friends
  • Online gaming
  • Watching TV/ movie
  • Bike ride
  • Set up the Zoom.us app to enjoy social gathering
  • Social Media free-time

Thank you so much for visiting my blog! Please take minute to leave a comment and come follow me on Instagram and Pinterest for more topics on healthy eating, fitness, & homeschool … stay well, friends!

~Domestic Chick

“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road…”

Deuteronomy 6:6-7

3 Anxiety Lowering Tips for Your Day

Within the last several days I have found myself in multiple conversations on the topic of mental health. It seems to be an increasingly hot topic, and given how 2020 has gone, I suppose there is no shocker in it’s popularity! I have personally suffered from social anxieties in the past; so, from this perspective,… More

Easy Pumpkin Spice Muffins – 5 ingredients

It’s Pumpkin Spice Season, y’all! 😋. This yummy recipe is super simple, it freezes beautifully & it smells oh so good! My girls ❤️ them for breakfast! All you need: 1 box spice cake 1 cup solid pumpkin 2/3 cup water 2 eggs 6 ounces MINI chocolate chips Mix it all up & divide into… More

What Do Your Kids See In YOU?…

Recently I took a couple of “mental health” days all by myself. For home schooling moms this doesn’t happen very often! So before talking myself out of this rare opportunity, I jumped in my car and drove 2 hours away for a much needed personal retreat. As I was driving, I took the recommendation of… More