My Top Homeschool Resources

This week, my sister made the comment that she is considering homeschooling my niece for Kindergarten and 1st grade.  While I am not one with the patience to do anything like that, props to her!  But it got me thinking, as she asked her “teacher friends” about resources.  Even though I don’t homeschool my kids, I subscribe to many blogs that make learning at home a lot easier.  I’m that crazy mom that makes her kids learn over the summer (don’t worry, they get more than enough play time!).  And I’m glad I do.  Over this past summer, my daughter jumped 7 reading levels.  I think I’ll take it over the summer slide.

Here are some of the recommendations I gave her, and I hope they help you too!

Teachers Pay Teachers – You don’t have to be a teacher to join this site, and you don’t always have to pay.  There are many free resources available every week.

Teachers Notebook – Similar to Teachers Pay Teachers, you don’t have to be a teacher, and there are often free resources.

Educents – This website offers deals on homeschool material all the time, sometimes even free!

These are some of the blogs I follow that offer homeschool deals:

Free Homeschool Deals – A great site with a host of free homeschool deals; I find a ton of stuff from here!

Homeschool Creations – While there’s not as much available here, I still find a lot of good resources, sometimes some additional deals and freebies.

Intoxicated on Life – Mostly scripture copywork, but also has some other good resources for homeschooling

if you are thinking of homeschooling, a homeschooling mom friend of mine suggests contacting your local homeschool association.  You can locate them on google.  No matter how you use these resources, good luck!  And let me know which ones are your favorites!

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How to Live Your Life

The Dash PoemIf there’s anything that I learned about my uncle, whether throughout my life or just from the days after his passing, is that he lived a great life.  I’d have to say that, out of the three mortal men I admire the most, my uncle is one of them, preceded only by my grandpa and my father.

My uncle lived his life to the fullest.  Whenever he had the chance to laugh, he did.  If anyone could shine a light into a dark situation, he could.  He was loud when he wanted to be but quiet when he needed to be.  He was wise.  He was reverent.  He was kind.  He was respectful.  Not one person could say a negative word about him.

My uncle was a positive man and a role model to everyone he met.  He was an involved church member; a loving father, grandfather, and uncle; and a wonderful husband to my aunt.  My cousins said volumes about my uncle’s marriage with my aunt, and I can only hope that we can teach our children the way my uncle taught his.

Visitation on Wednesday was four hours long–and while that may seem like a long time, it was hardly enough.  From all over the country, friends and family came to say goodbye.  I can only hope I am that loved when my time comes.

This month, I have thought a lot about how I want to live out 2013.  I want to forgive those who hurt me in 2012 and move on.  I want to become a more positive and fun-loving person–like my uncle.  I want to be that person about whom nobody has a negative word.  It will take a lot of work, but with God’s help I will get there.

There are many different variations of this quote, but it’s said that we all have two dates on our tombstone: all that really matters is the dash in the middle.

What will your dash say?

When Mommy Goes Away…

…the kids will play.  In this case, 5 of them.  Unless you count the pets–then there are 7.  I hate to imagine what my house looked like while I was gone, but I am told that it was cleaned up before I came home.  (And you should have seen how it looked when I got back!)

I have the feeling that Cinderella fed her two youngest sisters junk food throughout the days I was gone.  I haven’t asked if the kids had baths, but I’m not sure I want to know.  Rapunzel said she brushed her own hair.  I’m afraid to ask if Tinkerbell had her hair brushed at all.  My place at the table had papers all over it, and the counters were a mess.

I’m thankful that, at the very least, they hid the majority of their mess from me.  I’m pretty sure I would be sick from it.  And I should be thankful that they survived three days without me.  You know, a household just can’t run properly without Mom!  (At least that’s what we think.)

I was blessed to speak to my family each night while I was away.  Thank goodness.  I couldn’t have made it through those three difficult days without hearing their voices.  It was a long drive and a difficult trip emotionally.  I’m still not back up to par.  I’m not necessarily tired–just emotionally drained.

Needless to say, I had every intention of posting while I was away, but my laptop refused to hook up to my dad’s wireless, and I refused to write an entire post from my phone.  The letters are just far too tiny and my fingers too big for a full-length post.

But, I am back.  Hopefully I’ll have something of value to post next week.

Quick and Easy Earache Remedy

picture of a baby's ear

So within the last couple of weeks, my entire household (with the exception of Rapunzel) has been sick.  Not only that, but some friends of ours from church and our family have had the same thing, generally beginning with some congestion and a cold, developing into an upper respiratory or bronchial problem.  Several individuals, including myself and our own little Tinkerbell, ended up with some ear pain as well.

I think it was last week that I had my ear pain.  It started on Christmas, and as we drove around I had a great amount of ear pressure in the morning and the evening.  I didn’t do anything for it.  The day after Christmas, we did more driving.  I had more ear pressure in the morning and in the evening.  I’m pretty sure I didn’t do anything for it then either.  The following day, I had to do something.  The pain wasn’t extreme, but it was enough to bother me so I looked up some pain relief methods online.  I wasn’t about to spend $100 to visit the doctor and another arm and leg for some sort of antibiotics when I could fix it myself.

This may not be news to most of you, but I hadn’t thought of it.  What helped me a little bit was lying down with a warm washcloth on my ear.  I did that, I think, for no more than a half hour at a time.  Both ears hurt, so I did one ear for half an hour, wet the cloth, and then did the other ear for half an hour.  In addition to some acetaminophen, it fixed me up well enough to go to sleep okay.

I have also cut up some garlic and mixed it with honey for some minor ear issues with Rapunzel before, though that wasn’t an issue that was easily provided measurable results.  Of course, when it comes to children under three, I would probably consult a doctor before using anything other than the damp washcloth method.

What are some remedies you have used in the past that work?