3 Anxiety Lowering Tips for Your Day

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. ~ Psalm 18:2

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, I can relate to the genuine unrest that can occur within our minds, especially during particular seasons of life. Perhaps it’s a pandemic like COVID-19, an accident, divorce, death, triggered fears like abandonment or personal insecurities … the list is long leading to each of our experiences within the scope of anxiety, or at the very least – potentially how we deal with the enormous amounts of stress that happen along life’s way.

Here are my 3 tips for reducing anxiety:

(Because I am a Christian, I see life through this lens; so with that, my content here is based from that worldview.)

1. Read Scripture Morning & Night

My husband has a goal to open his Bible each morning before he puts on his shoes! Reading the Bible does not have to be lengthy or difficult. It just has to be our priority, and all we have to do is open it. In my personal life, I have yet to open my copy of God’s Word and feel LESS peaceful afterward… I always feel more centered. I have more direction. More peace. The Bible is often called the “Living Word” and true to this description, every single time I open it, I “discover” something as though it was new material being revealed to me at the very moment I need it. Reading, even briefly, helps calm my spirit and reduces my level of stress and helps the unrest in my mind. It’s a wise way to start the day!

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

Joshua 1:8

2. Talk with God

So, it’s taken me a lot of years to realize God, as the Holy Spirit, is with us & never leaves us. I love how the pastor of the Marriage Today ministry, Jimmy Evans, simplifies this communication with our Heavenly Father. He says this, “You talk to God, or pray, about what you’re stressed about. There’s your prayer list!” How true! The conversation I have with God through prayer helps me to “get out” what’s on my heart… to get out all the stuff that’s stressing me and causing me anxiety. For me, short chats toward God is how I approach my daily moments. Sure, sometimes I’m bowed, eyes closed, but with our fast paced world, more often I’m speaking right out loud driving down the street or even while doing laundry! In my present season, I pray a great deal in our garage… as I hug my girls each morning I pray as they drive away to school each day. When I take the time to have this talk with God, my stresses and anxious thoughts are much lighter and even relieved when I’m done.

 …casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7

3. Get Moving

There’s plenty of scientific evidence in favor of exercising to reduce stress. Personally, my day typically starts in the order of 1-2-3 here! I READ, TALK, & then MOVE! When I skip the active part of my day, stresses seem to pile up on me more quickly. I feel more anxious, more irritable. Perhaps a good sweat not only releases the toxins from our physical bodies, but helps to clear out the unhealthy thoughts in our minds too! Regular exercise will start my day better every single time… even when it’s hard to get up and do it! I’m thankful for the ability to exercise at home too. (This has definitely worked out well in 2020 with quarantine and social distancing!) I can honestly say that I’m in my best shape since college all because of Beachbody on Demand exercise streaming at home! If exercising at home sounds like your jam – I’m here to help! I work as an online fitness & nutrition coach. Regardless of how you choose to move, just get moving! It is proven to lower your stress and reduce anxieties in your day!

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
https://share.coach.teambeachbody.com/?lang=en-US&postId=1133011&coachId=2270245

I’m here for you!

Like I mentioned, I too have dealt with seasons of mental unrest. It’s not a fun experience. I am not a counselor; however, I can share with you my journey of learning to find more peace, wellness, and a healthier life no matter the circumstances! Feel free to contact me 🙂

God Bless you in your journey-

~ Domestic Chick

Easy Crockpot Tortellini You Will Make Again


“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 & online wellness coach, there are plenty of other things needing my attention. Spending too much time preparing our meals takes away teaching & work time. So, I use my Crockpot as often as possible! And, I can tell you, as long the food is delicious, everyone is happy! 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 🙂

Special Note: If you’re looking for a healthy Nutrition Program that doesn’t limit food groups and still allows you to enjoy the foods you LOVE, check out 2B Mindset! I personally follow this program and believe it to be a fantastic choice to healthy weight/ loss & management.

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 Plan Ahead Meal Solution


Planning Ahead Makes Lunch Easier & Healthier too!

Regardless if it’s your lunch, your spouse’s or the kids’… having a well planned out lunch system makes life so much happier! I came across these little treasures preparing for the meals ahead and can’t help but share them. Literally any food that is on the Beachbody Nutrition plans will go inside! A wrap 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 (my personal preference is balsamic vinegar & a touch of olive oil) 🤩… and you can wait until & add it when you’re ready to eat, so your salad doesn’t get soggy!

Having handy containers is the first step to planning ahead for a healthy meal and avoiding the emergency drive-thru mentality! None of us can afford that 99 cent heart attack, y’all! Using either one of Beachbody’s Nutrition programs: The Ultimate Portion Fix or 2B Mindset, along with having purposeful containers will keep you following the plan and your nutrition on point, which is vital to achieving your overall wellness goals! Remember no workout plan can make up for a bad diet!

Sistema is what I have & here’s why I like it!

  • 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!

Revolutionize your meal prep process!

~ Domestic Chick

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

DIY: 4 Super Easy Steps – Terra-Cotta Patio Vase

Step # 1 – Sand off any rough, flaky places, making the surface as smooth as possible.

Step # 2 – With a moistened sponge, wipe on the joint compound giving the surface your desired texture. Let dry according to the directions before painting.

Step # 3 – After the compound is dry, sand to achieve the smooth or rough look you are going for. Either will look fantastic! 👌🏽

Take a break & smile for the camera 😎

Step # 4 – Spray paint & let dry!

Grab a glass of tea, fire up the grill & sit back to admire your new patio addition!

~ 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

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

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

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#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

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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

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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

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