Spring Cleaning Your Homeschool Curriculum and 5 Tips For New Homeschoolers From a Mom of Four

%22All Good Thingsare Wild and Free%22




Ok. confession, I love homeschool curriculum. I love reading reviews and the smell of new homeschool books. I love reading about the various homeschool theories and seeing all that is out there. All that said, it can be very overwhelming at times. We are sucked in to the pretty pictures, newest homeschooling fads, and wanting to ‘feel’ like we are covering everything we ‘need’ to.

It is hard to believe this is our 7th year homeschooling {we started when Music-Bee was 2.5/3} I shared some reflections of journey HERE on Periscope. I also shared why we are spring cleaning our curriculum and what we will be doing on Fridays for the remainder of the school year.

As the weather and seasons begin to change we all get a little restless so it’s time to shake things up a bit…check out ‘My Happy Homeschool Fun Fridays’ on Instagram to see what we are up to.

5 {well, 6} Tips for New Homeschoolers From a Mom of Four

  1. Resist the urge my friends – do no buy a bunch of curriculum especially if your kids are little. The books are pretty and ah, that smell….resist it! There are far better ways…
  2. Do not stress if our 3, 4, or even 5 year old is not ‘doing’ school {unless required of coarse check your state laws HERE}
  3. DO NOT make your kids ‘do’ school all day or feel like you need to fill their days with constant entertainment.
  4. DO NOT feel guilty about saying no to the local homeschool co-op, library time, or playdate. Your kids will be social – they will have countless opportunities to ‘be’ socialized – if anything they will be ‘too’ social at times.
  5. DO enjoy spending time with your children – get outside as much as possible, read good books, go to the park, the zoo, the hands on museum, the beach, play games, and don’t feel bad for exposing them to ‘real’ life and hands on learning. Learning is an atmosphere – and, ‘the mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits secures for herself smooth and easy days’*. The road isn’t easy, but you are planting seeds for a love a learning…
  6. Implement a quiet time in your days and don’t feel bad if you have to close your eyes for a few to tune out the noise. We all need a break sometimes and don’t beat yourself up. As homeschool parents there is no ‘lunch room break’, ‘prep hour’, or ‘specials’ – you are it! You are on duty 24/7 – you are the lunch mom, the nurse, the principle, the art teacher, the reading aid, etc. take that break! And, don’t think twice about it!

This is a time in our home where hands  on learning and living books become one; Here are some of our favorite ‘living books’ {If you are not familiar with these they are classics not text books. They are literature based to help inspire, spark curiosity, and encourage a continuous love of learning} Click the picture affiliate links included for your convenience -if you order I will get a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you – it helps keeps this little blog running so, thank you!





Spring Cleaning Your Curriculum And 5 Tips for New Homeschoolers from a Mom of Four

*Charlotte Mason Quote

Some of our favorite Homeschool Spring Cleaning resources;

How Old is Too Old For a Pacifier?

MORGANS

The great pacifier debate – How old is too old?

Our youngest ‘speedy-bee’ (aka speedy-D) always had a paci hanging from his mouth and,  I do mean always.  It never bothered me but, I was always amazed at the number of people that had an opinion about it {even though the pediatric dentist and our pediatrician said it was fine until the age of four}. I think it is quite common for some people to  get squirrelly  about things like potty training, pacifiers, bed wetting, taking away the bottle, etc. My question is ‘why’? They aren’t going to go to college with it for goodness sake- that is unless they choose to jump on the ‘trendy’ teenage pacifier bandwagon {ummm, serious side note – why do teens do this again?}

Everyone is different and everyone has a different need. Let them be little! Don’t worry about the ‘nay-sayers’ and the overly opinionated world we live in.  I truly think Speedy-bee having a ‘plug’ hanging out of his mouth made some people crazy but, I could care less. {after four kids you care about these things less} I knew K-bear used to do the same {Ha, and here is proof! She did!} And, guess what worried momma’s there is no prize taking away the paci before they’re ready. Let them keep it. Ignore the judgement.

Here’s proof we had 2 paci loving kids – that gave it up on their own without ever looking back! Both were just a little over the age of three – they threw them in the trash on their own terms {I of coarse dug them out to save them..haha} but, the key was they chose to do it. The pacifier was gone; neither of them asked for it again, and the once pacifier debate was now a thing of our past. {To be totally honest, I think I missed the darn thing more than they did – I’m a sucker for a cute kid and a paci.}

So how old is too old for a pacifier?

According to our professional health care team ‘four’. But, does that mean a four year old who still requires a bit of comfort at night should be traumatized by taking it away? Absolutely not! At four years of age the ability to reason and know consequences is starting to develop – take baby steps. Your speed doesn’t matter forward is forward – there is no prize for getting rid of your baby’s pacifier before they are one, two, or three all children have comfort items; whether it is a blanket, stuffed animal , or _____. These are the items that help them develop the necessary skill of self soothing – after all we all like to feel secure and validated in our environment.

So, the next time you are tempted to fight the ‘battle of wills’ {I did the force method with Pumpkin, our oldest} let me tell you, from a mother to a mother; fight the urge to conform to the nay-sayers and rest knowing they will give it up when they are ready!

I Believe In the Magic of Childhood, Santa, Wisdom, and Truth

Ibelieve

I believe!

I believe in the magic of childhood, the world as our playground, and the miracle of things unseen. I believe in Santa Claus, Jesus, Angels, and Saints – I believe in nourishing imaginations, cultivating wisdom, teaching truth, serving others, and embracing life’s goodness.

O.k so, you’re saying; ‘Santa Claus’? – Yep, I’m going to go there today….

I have never thought much about this particular subject until the other day- I witnessed a little girl in a class I teach telling my girls ‘Santa is not real’.  I sat silently and proceeded to let my girls give their argument as to ‘why they believe’. My momma heart was aching of coarse as I so badly wanted to interrupt the conversation. I wanted to shield my children – tell great stories, and well, I had a few not so nice thoughts tucked in my mind as well {I’m just keeping it real..}!

When we first had children I contemplated the “Santa” thing – was I lying to my children if we “believed in Santa”. Would they know the true meaning of Christmas? How would I find a happy balance between Jesus and Santa? Why was I even worrying about such a silly thing, anyways? After all, Santa came to our house, I believe in Jesus, Angels, Saints, and I think I turned out ok. {Ha, maybe that’s a stretch}

We have many friends who don’t ‘do the Santa thing’ and that doesn’t bother me one tidily-wink.  I respect their decision, love their children,  and love them all just the same!

But, this was different – this was my children under attack by their peers. A reality I knew would one day come but, not here and not now! What would they say? In the end what would they believe? Could their childlike innocence withstand the pressure of peers?

Indeed it would!! What originally felt like a doomed circumstance soon became the most humbling of experiences – I  have taught them well. I have taught them to believe in the magic of childhood, Santa, wisdom, and truth. I have taught them to love themselves, teach, and serve others just as Jesus does. I have taught them to be leaders, world changers, and independent thinkers. I share this because for once they didn’t need me – they did it themselves!

They held firm to the things they believe in most – they told stories of Jesus, shared stories of Santa, educated about the Saints, and most importantly they stayed true to themselves. Now, they may not have changed the little eight year old classmates mind about Santa but, they certainly walked away that day a little more confident.

Dear, Sweet Child

Santa is real. From the ringing of bells to the magic of twinkling lights – he is real. Santa is a feeling – a joyful bond that unites many. Just as God uses us to serve, share His stories, and teach others – Santa does much the same.

Santa has some big shoes to fill and the work simply cannot be done without the help of many. Moms, Dads, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, and Kids of all ages help keep the magic of Christmas alive – and, you my sweet child have done just the same.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer…”

May the light inside you burn bright always and may the ‘ringing’ of Santa’s bell ding forever. May you always hold tight the beliefs you hold so close to your heart: for it is the roots of truth that one day will become the wings which set you free.