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!) πŸ˜‚ 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 πŸ˜‰); 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. πŸ’šthis activity!

Ideas for Science Station

Click on photos to see more information!

Ideas for Math Station

Click on photos to see more information!

Ideas for History/Geography Station

Click on photos to see more information!

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! πŸ˜‰

  • 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… πŸ‘ŒπŸ½

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

~Domestic Chick

World Spine Day: A Look at Scoliosis

Left x-ray is before surgery. Right x-ray was taken during surgery.

My grandmother, my mom, my sister, myself, both of my daughters, and my nephew all have scoliosis! I guess you could say we’re one twisted family. LOL πŸ™‚

Exactly what is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is an abnormal lateral or side-to-side curvature of the spine. It can present as an S-shape or C-shape. Scoliosis can also be associated with a rib-cage deformity. It can progress rapidly during the growth spurt just before puberty. However, it can also occur in adults. Scoliosis can cause pain, disability, and an inability to perform daily activities.

“In writing this blog, my hope is to heighten awareness, especially within homeschool families, to routinely check your kiddos for scoliosis.”

~ Domestic Chick

In the school system, along with checking the students’ eyesight, they are regularly checked for scoliosis also. In my particular case, it was indeed the school nurse who found my curvature when I was in the 5th grade. Following her discovery, I was braced for about 18 months and ultimately headed for surgery at age 12. At that time my curves had progressed enough that the doctors were concerned with my “S” curve interrupting the placement and function of my organs.

Only 2-3 percent of the U.S. population is diagnosed with scoliosis.

Source: National Scoliosis Foundation, June 2007

While definitely not a diagnosis one hopes to hear, we can all be thankful for modern technological advancements in medicine and the doctors who have contributed their studies and practice in this type condition!

How do you check you child for scoliosis?

With you seated in a chair, have your child stand in front of you and bend forward as in the illustration above. Their hands should be in “divers” position. Bending over, get your eyes level with their back and check for the points listed above.

What to do if you think your child has scoliosis:

  • Do not over react! Scoliosis is extremely treatable and those affected go on to live normal, productive lives.
  • Make an appointment with your family doctor. Have him/her make the diagnosis.
  • If possible, consider chiropractic care before looking to surgery. (My personal suggestion is to contact: Dr. Marc Lamantia with Scoli-Fit.)
  • If your healthcare provider believes surgery is imminent, seek out a children’s hospital where the procedure is done weekly. (My personal suggestion is: the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.)
  • An additional resource: The National Scoliosis Foundation

The takeaway!

There is much to learn and understand about scoliosis. As with my own personal story, it’s easy to see how strong the genetic component can be, even through multiple generations. The GREAT NEWS is this: scoliosis is treatable! And, there are many medical professionals across the globe working daily in this area to continue studying and developing better solutions for patients with scoliosis! Also, those of us with it, can still go on to live normal lives. What a blessing. πŸ™‚

~ Domestic Chick

Free Printable! Easy Meal Planner

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Do you want to save time & perhaps a little money every single week? πŸ˜‚ Of course you do! Who doesn’t, right?! We all could use a little extra of both at the end of the week!

When I don’t have dinner figured out, I know the clock is ticking down before the “hangry” people show up! Without a plan, we will just end up going out to eat or grabbing some fast food to get everyone fed. Sure eating out on occasion is nice, but consistently ignoring the need to make a dinner plan will #1 – quickly drain our cash AND #2 – result in my whole family eating less healthfully. I don’t wanna do that to our pocketbook OR our waistlines!

Click here to read more!

(Read more on reasons to eat at home in this article posted by DailyHealthPost.com on : Eating at Home Vs. Eating Out. 4 Compelling Reasons To Cook Your Own Meals)

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Life gets chaotic juggling it all! I had to learn quickly that I needed to βž™ MAKE A PLAN! Putting just a little bit of thought into things makes the whole week run more smoothly, doesn’t it? My simple realization applies to all areas of life, but today I’m sharing how to help with your meal planning. (For more great ideas on planning, check out The Happy Planner!)

This simple Weekly Meal Planner is here to help you get started! πŸ†“πŸŽ‰ Just scroll down & click the ‘Download’ button to get your copy and take the guessing out of meal time! Check out these handy containers too! Taking just a few minutes to toss your meal plans into these containers will be an enormous time-saver too! Your future self will thank you! πŸ‘ŒπŸ½

Give it a try! Stick it on the fridge or carry it with you. Along with meal planning, you will also have a grocery list close! See if at the end of the week… and then the month… you aren’t happier & smiling with a little extra green & maybe a little extra time on your hands too! πŸ’΅πŸ‘ŒπŸ½

~Domestic Chick

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Does Your Homeschool Measure Up?

QUESTION: Do you ever wonder if your education at home measures up to that of the public system? If you’ve found yourself asking this question, (or perhaps someone close to you may inquire) then what I am about to share may help you navigate the answer to this common inquiry with more clarity than ever before! Please keep reading…

To be fair, comparing the two is as apples are to oranges, right? Education in general is a heavy topic in almost any circle. But certainly, we have all wondered academically speaking, “how we’re doing.” And we absolutely should be asking this question and chasing down the facts, keeping the best in mind for our students. To help in discovering the answer, I share this post.

Personal Note: I would be deeply amiss if I said ALL parents should educate their children at home. Yikes! I do not hold that opinion, so I want to be clear on that right up front. I do, however, believe that if you feel strongly led to do so AND can approach home education with a fully devoted heart, a healthy balance of self-discipline along with an attitude of self-sacrifice, always being willing to evaluate what is best for each student, then I definitely believe you can and should pursue this worthwhile adventure of home education.

That being said, recently I had the opportunity to discuss the climate of the present-day public school system. On 3 separate occasions, I spoke with 3 separate individuals. Our brief conversations were shocking, eye-opening and worth passing on to you. Yes, 3 is a small number. With such a narrow group, I was driven to look deeper into other sources as you will see below. Here’s what I learned:

A public middle-school teacher shares…

  • There are entire districts that have removed the common antibacterial hand gel from all classrooms due to the trend of 7th & 8th grade students sniffing and eating it for the alcohol. 🀒
  • Foundational elementary skills in math are being taught so rapidly focusing on the standardized tests, that middle school teachers are forced to allow calculators because there is no time to go back and teach how to add, subtract, multiply & divide by hand. 🀯
  • Some administrators now expect the teachers to pick up all their materials, laptops and planning materials to meet corporately several times weekly with other teachers in a general area (not their classrooms) to “make sure they are actually working.” πŸ™„

A public high-school senior shares…

  • Students make phone calls AND “FaceTime” friends throughout their class time …while class is going on. (excuse me, what?) 😲
  • Keeping headphones in this senior’s ears as often as she can at school is purposeful because she admits: “I want to hear as little as possible of what’s going on around me.”
  • She also tells of a time last winter, when two kids were having sex on the side of the building at lunch and “a lot of us saw it.”
  • Also during lunch, kids cannot even be seen through the glass in their car windows because of the smoke filling up the inside.

A public high-school freshman shares…

  • “If your grades are important to you, you just have to ignore the distractions of others playing games, watching YouTube, and making calls on their phones and just pay attention to the teacher, but a lot of kids just don’t care.”
  • “I try not to go to the bathroom because of all the smoke from marijuana, vapes & e-cigarettes in there.” 🚬
  • This same straight A student tells a friend, “I wish I could do all my work at home. I hate school.”

Those conversations led me to dig deeper.

As I mentioned above, home education is not the right choice for everyone. I am both a past graduate and educator from the public school system. I will freely admit there are tremendous teachers and even top-notch programs within the public school system; however, I do believe in a broad sense, the system is in need of reform, and to that end, there is little argument.

That being said, I will state the obvious here: because three conversations is hardly a cross-section of the country, I began to dig for more. My findings all point to the success of homeschooling (done well, with intentionality) and gave me CLEAR answers in “how we’re doing” academically speaking compared to the public schools. And well . . . LOL, “how we’re doing” socially speaking too! πŸ˜‚ Take a look . . .

Digging Deeper…

Here are a few statistics from a study in January 2019 * alongside additional data:

  •  Homeschooling/ home education is now bordering on β€œmainstream” in the United States. It may be the fastest-growing form of education in the U.S. *
  • The home-educated students typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests.*
  • From April 2018 to April 2019, days teachers/staff spent on strike within the public schools.
  • “These Kids are Out of Control”: Why we Must Reimagine “Classroom Management” for Equity, a 2018 publication points to addressing critical classroom challenges.
  • An opinion article in the New York Post (2018) written by a former substitute teacher titled: “Failing public schools should be blamed on out-of-control kids” shedding light on the climate in the classroom.

The Answer…

ANSWER: YES, home education measures up! We have every potential to offer our kids #1 – a great academic education and #2 – a healthier climate than many other choices. Stay the course, friends . . .

  • with a fully devoted heart
  • with healthy self-discipline
  • with an attitude of self-sacrifice
  • and with the willingness to evaluate what is best for each child

Be encouraged, homeschool moms, WE DO MEASURE UP! πŸŽ‰πŸŒŸ

~ Domestic Chick

Public educator 3 years ~ College instructor 12 years ~ Home educator 15 years+

3 Easy ARM exercises at Home

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Arm day, y’all! πŸ’ͺ🏽 Free weights and a chair is all you need :). The great thing about this workout is that it doesn’t take too long, and the results come quickly with consistency!
Check out these videos & photos to show how easy 3 ARM exercises can be!

Start with biceps & triceps…

  • Sit comfortably on a chair.
  • Support your other arm on your leg.
  • Secure your elbow into your knee holding the dumbbell.
  • Tighten your core to protect your back.
  • Aim for 12-15 repetitions.
  • Switch arms & again, do 12-15 repetitions.
  • Repeat for 3 sets on each side.
  • Do this 2-3 times each week to see results quickly.
These are so easy to do anywhere! Just grab your weights… I’m using a 10 pound dumbbell here.
  • Bend over with knee comfortably on a sturdy chair.
  • Use the opposite arm for support on the chair as well.
  • Hold the dumbbell at a 90 degree angle with your upper arm horizontal to the floor.
  • Tighten your core to protect your back and allow your knee to be slightly bent.
  • Extend arm with dumbbell stopping when it’s horizontal to the floor.
  • Aim for 12-15 repetitions.
  • Switch arms & knee position.
  • Do 12-15 repetitions with other arm.
  • Repeat for 3 sets on each side.
  • Do this 2-3 times each week to see results quickly.

Then, shoulders…

There is so much benefit to strength training as we get older… give it a try! I think you will be glad you made it a priority & your future self will thank you too! πŸ˜‰πŸ‘ŒπŸ½

~Domestic Chick

EASY Oven Veggies: Even the kids ask for them!

PREP: 15 min. COOK: 30-40 min. TEMP: 375 degrees F

πŸŽ‰BONUS: These can marinate in the fridge a day or two if it helps your schedule! πŸ˜‰

Here’s what you need:

– a few of your favorite fresh veggies 
( purple cabbage, carrots, onion, brussel sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower…)
– extra virgin olive oil
– choice of seasonings
– plastic gallon storage bag
– shallow baking sheet (I use a jelly roll pan)
– foil

Directions:  

  • Cover a shallow baking sheet with foil, preheat the oven to 375.
  • Select your veggies & chop into bite-sized pieces. For example: cut brussel sprouts in 1/2, small onion into about 8 chunks, and use baby carrots just the way they are!
  • Throw it all into a gallon storage bag about 1/2 to 3/4ths full (depending on how many you are serving).
  • In a measuring cup pour in 1/4 to 1/3 cup of olive oil (depending on how full you fill the bag.) 
  • Add approximately 2 Tablespoons seasonings into the oil & stir. (I often go with: Montreal Steak, garlic powder, pepper, salt … it’s hard to go wrong!) Pour this oil/ seasoning mixture into bag over the veggies.
  • Seal the bag & turn it over & over to completely coat the veggies inside.
  • Pour the mixture onto the foil-covered baking sheet and slide into the oven! 
  • Check on them & stir a time or two while they’re cooking.
  • Cook until they are tender, with slightly crispy, caramelized edges… generally 30-40 minutes.


—> Our favorite veggies cooked this way are the brussel sprouts!!  Hard to believe, but try ’em and see for yourself… please comment & share what your favorites are.  πŸ‘πŸ˜‹

~Domestic Chick

The Plan vs. The Relationship

Don’t miss the talk!

Homeschool friends! 🏑

If you’re like us, mid-September finally brings a little more predictability & routine jumping back into the swing of our school days…yes! πŸ™ŒπŸ½ πŸ“š. It’s a welcome return, for sure.

Being type A, & a go-getter kind of girl, though, I have made some mistakes along the way 😫. So, I’ll just be transparent enough to share with you what I have learned NOT to do as you start a new school year.

I deeply relate to the drive of β€œgetting the lessons done”… I love the PLAN!! And, I spend hours preparing & painstakingly counting out the upcoming school days, pouring over the calendar to make sure we can β€œfit it all in”, right? I carve out time for math, literature, foreign language, sport activities, music lessons, etc. And I think there’s little question, those all have their importance … BUT being blessed with the title of both teacher and momma, we have an additional challenge to prepare within OURSELVES! Here’s where I have made the mistakes & had to be teachable… πŸ˜¬πŸ‘‡πŸ½

Don’t ever let the curriculum & the β€œplan” become more important than the RELATIONSHIP with your kiddos! Friends, education is important & you will get to the subjects, but please, please remember those real-life moments with your precious ones are priceless. When they need to talk in the middle of the school day (or any other time, for that matter), don’t miss it! You cannot go back. Those times may be some of the best opportunities to teach … deeper & more meaningful conversations than any lesson you had planned! Love your kiddos, invest in your students, and enjoy the journey you have been called to! πŸ‘πŸ™ŒπŸ½πŸ“š

~Domestic Chick

3 KEYS to 6-pack ABS

Ok, y’all! I know abdominal work can seem a bit overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! I wanna share with you what I do to get toned ABS… now, I’m not on the cover of a Muscle magazine, but these 3 KEYS have helped me to achieve definition that lets me feel pretty toned (in my mid-40’s) 😎. So, listen y’all – if I can do this, trust me, you can too… πŸ˜‰

Before we drop to the floor on a crunch mat, though, let’s get the facts. One massive, important thing I have learned over many years is that my DIET has a great deal to do with toning my ABS! Perhaps you have heard this too. I hope so… because IT’S TRUE! In my experience, when I focus on increasing certain foods while limiting others AND by getting serious about a few, simple core exercises… AMAZING THINGS HAVE HAPPENED πŸŽ‰

6-pack ABS are SOOOOOO related to your DIET! πŸ˜‹

In my life before the addition of my sweet girls, I worked as a personal trainer having a degree in Kinesiology. In addition, I was certified with The Cooper Clinic as a Health Promotion Director, so with that along with the last 20 years of living the busy life with kiddos, I can tell you without question: OUR DIET MATTERS … A LOT! So, if your goal is to whittle your middle, consider these 3 KEYS to making a difference in how you feel around that midsection!

KEY #1

EAT COLORFUL FOODS! 🌈 This is honestly something I think about every single day! With colorful foods that are NOT boxed, bagged, or fried, you will be eating less fat, less sugar + more protein, fiber and vitamins. For mid-day & evening, look for ways to combine salad ingredients (kale, spinach & mixed greens) with proteins like beans, grilled chicken or salmon! Here are a few photos of my mid-day meals. Be creative & get colorful! πŸ™‚

For snacks, I like to make up a few little baggies of good snack choices and have ’em in the fridge ready to go. Having these on hand during the day helps me avoid the regrettable high sugar, high fat moment of weakness… you know, that sneak up between 2-5pm?!πŸ˜…Choose carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes, fresh fruit or even deliciously crunchy, purple cabbage (my personal fav!)… fill up a few little “snack-sized” bags & you’re all set.

KEY #2

CARRY WATER WITH YOU!πŸ’§πŸ’¦ Y’all, water is free…containing absolutely no calories or fat! When I focus on sipping water all day long, I tend to forgo the sugary drinks. By intentionally avoiding the drinks loaded with tons of sugar, I automatically feel less weighed down AND there’s no sugar crash later!

I ❀️ these pop-top water bottles from Klean Kanteen! With the loop, they’re easy to grab on the go AND there’s no lid to mess with.πŸ‘ŒπŸ½

KEY #3

MOVE 6 DAYS/ WEEK! πŸ’ͺπŸ½πŸƒπŸ½β€β™€οΈ

  • #1 Cardio – (I don’t even have a gym membership 😳) – I am passionate about walking! If the weather permits, I hit the streets, but if not, I have a Nordic Track T6.5 treadmill at the house. My personal goal is to get in 8,000 WORKOUT STEPS each day. I make it a point to say “workout steps” because during that time, I’m hustling! My heart-rate is up and I’m rocking a nice sweat. I’ve tried the 10,000 step goal too, but for my schedule, it seems to work best shooting for 8,000 leaving me a little extra time to focus on weights and resistance training. I can typically fit in a GREAT workout within an hour to 75 min. I also rotate through different videos to surprise my body & spice things up … but I always come back to Crunch Fitness: Belly, Butt & Thighs BOOT CAMP with Teri Ann Krefting!
  • #2 Body Weight Moves – I am a strong believer in basic moves that use your own body weight to exercise. A few of the moves I do weekly include walking lunges, plank, push ups and bridge. With each of these, I do 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions. More recently, I have also started incorporating quick PiYo videos! Trainer, Charlene Johnson, really knows how to motivate and guide you through the workout! I’m LOVING how I feel doing her Beachbody PiYo program! Do I use actual weights at all? The answer is yes, definitely. With a degree in kinesiology and working as a personal trainer, I will always try to incorporate free weights – especially for arms & upper body. I’ll share about that in another post! πŸ˜‰
  • #3 Focused ABS exercise – I have a few favorite AB moves that I want to share here, BUT, I want to re-emphasize that I believe food & cardio are really critical to great ABS! With that being said, here are my go-to AB exercises. I try to do these 3-4 times every week. When I do it consistently, I like the results!πŸ‘ŒπŸ½πŸ₯°
Mountain Climbers are effective & tough! From plank, alternate knees to the front. Back to plank, knees cross to opposite elbow – both sides. Finally, knees go to the outside of the arms – both sides! Try doing this sequence 5 times & repeat for 3 sets! πŸ˜…

Ok, y’all… I hope this post is helpful to you! I enjoy sharing, so please follow my blog for more content coming soon. Also, see the links to my other social media! πŸ™‚

~ Domestic Chick

Out-the-door Breakfast Burritos for Back-to-School

Ok, friends, BACK-to-SCHOOL season has made it’s arrival & across the country we’re all scrambling to check off those infamous lists… Backpack – check; Binders, folders, pens, calculator – check; Vans, Converse, etc. – check; Distressed jeans (with holes) check πŸ™„

βœ… πŸ˜… Yay, praise the Lord in Heaven… it’s all purchased, packed and ready to go.

But WAIT . . . WHAT. ABOUT. BREAKFAST??

We all welcome extra ideas in this department, I think, SO I’m sharing one of my girls’ favorites here! These delicious burritos warm up super well AND they pack a good amount of protein to jump start their brains for the school day.

Make 2 dozen at a time & your future self will thank you!

Find more BUSY MOM RECIPES on my PINTEREST!

Here’s all you need…

  • 24 foil squares (about 1 foot square)
  • 2 bags of flour tortillas (12 count each)
  • 2 pounds of breakfast sausage
  • shredded cheese (we like cheddar jack, but feel free to be creative!)
  • 18 eggs soft scrambled
  • 1 pound bag of frozen potatoes
  • large foil pan or gallon zip bags for freezer storage

Directions: These are super simple!

  • I take a few tortillas, wrap in a towel and warm in the microwave 20 seconds to begin. (This helps them be more flexible for rolling with everything inside.)
  • Lay a warm tortilla on a square of foil and spoon in the ingredients. (If they crack or are a little stiff to roll, it’s ok! Just keep them together and wrap tightly in the foil.
  • Layer all burritos in a foil pan, like you see in the video.
  • Freeze & forget until you’re ready to grab & go in the morning!

TO WARM UP: They are easy to pull out one at a time! Remember to REMOVE FOIL, then wrap in a paper towel and warm in the microwave for 30 seconds to start. Some microwaves cook quicker than others. You will probably need 45 seconds to 1 min 30 seconds… start less and check before over cooking!

VARIATION: If you need to feed a crowd, you can also warm up the entire pan on a LOW setting in the oven for 40 minutes or so. It has worked for us at 250 degrees. Also a yummy idea for a Sunday morning – out the door for church – breakfast too! πŸ˜‰πŸ‘ŒπŸ½

In just a couple of minutes your kiddos, hubby, you… are all out the door with a DELICIOUS start to the day. Y’all enjoy! πŸ˜‹πŸ’™

~ Domestic Chick

3 Homeschooling Musts before Fall



As home educators, it’s an incredible benefit to have the array of homeschool curriculum choices and options for the homeschool year that we have before us! To serve our students in the best ways possible, we must give attention to these 3 tasks before summer draws to a close.

#1: SELF-REFLECTION

Reflecting back on what worked well and what did not should be top-priority as we think seriously about the school year that just passed.  Make lists, brainstorm, and be honest as you mull the answers to questions like the ones here…

Questions to ask yourself about last year…

  • Did my students master the content from last year?
  • What areas do I need to cover again?
  • Did we like our curriculum choices last year?
  • What subjects might he/she take online?
  • Are there any community college class options for my students?
  • Does our curriculum fit our schedule needs? For example, do we need more digital learning for on-the-go?
  • How much time do we allow for extra activities like sports & music lessons?
  • Have I asked my students what they are excited to do & learn this coming year?

Perhaps it’s been a few weeks since you considered the finished school year. If so you’re not alone! This is the perfect time to consider these questions! Gather up each student’s books to make room for the new items you will purchase for the upcoming year. As you do this, take time to look through their work and materials giving special consideration to the questions above. Make some notes for yourself. For example: “Michael Scott did not master multiplication this year.” Keep these notes close by to use (in steps 2 & 3, the planning & purchasing) as you select the best homeschool curriculum for the fall.

#2: PLANNING

This is the next crucial part of facilitating successful learning and a successful next year. Have any notes you made close by! These notes will be of great help to you as you browse the array of curriculum choices before you. Make sure to look specifically toward satisfying the needs of each student. For example: If Michael Scott will be working on mastering multiplication, make sure to select a math curriculum/ supplemental item to accomplish that goal for him in the upcoming year. Please keep this in mind, though: No teacher will ever plan a perfect year… a good educator will monitor and adjust along the way. The exercise of planning simply gives you a roadmap to start another academic year with direction. It’s a must and there’s no better time than these longer summer days to do it!  There are many, many curriculum choices and the process can be quite overwhelming. I suggest investing a great deal of time on the review website linked below:

#3: PURCHASING

Finally, let’s entertain the PURCHASING part of this refreshing season! After choosing your curriculum (part of the planning stage mentioned above) its now time to shop. Yes! Once you have discovered the curriculum that serve your needs the best, there are plenty of ways to seek out good deals.  I will share some sites below! In the days that follow purchasing, packages will begin to arrive… and, if you’re like me, these deliveries are as exciting as Christmas morning! Smile big and be thankful for the blessing of providing a QUALITY education of your precious students. High five, teach! πŸ™‚

Here are a few sites I use to buy curriculum:

I hope this is helpful to you. Each year, I too, go through the musts of SELF-REFLECTION, PLANNING & PURCHASING for the upcoming year. After that, we can all take a deep breath, kick back & relax to enjoy the long summer days we have left knowing that your future self will thank you! πŸ˜…

~ Domestic Chick

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