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

Life’s too Short

Find your happy, healthy life without guilt! Life’s too short.  While the passion behind it is every bit as moving as a Nicholas Sparks novel, my writing here will no doubt fall way short; so, please give me the grace to stumble through and do my best.  With all sincerity, I hope what I’m sharing… More

Today… “It is Good!”

Genesis 1:31 “And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day…” Genesis 2:2 “and on the seventh day God finished his work which he had made; and he rested…” With my limited understanding, after He spent six days creating,… More

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

13 Top Education Websites for Your Homeschool

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. #CommissionsEarned


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

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 🙂

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. 🙂

~ Domestic Chick