Monday, July 22, 2013

Fresh and ready to prepare for the year?

The past week, I have been preparing for the new school year. I feel this year for some reason is taking me longer, I don't know if it is still that Ash will be in 9th grade and I feel her life is seriously depending on me, lol or because they are both getting older.

So when I keep telling my husband each night, I am planning a little at a time. He finally asked me why is it taking me so long to plan for the week. I finally explained that I plan for the year. He only only sees a week at a time. HA!!
See this year, he actually participated in our schooling . It has been great! He schools Aleq in most of his subjects. Aleq told me the other day when I asked if he wanted me to do all of it with him that he had me for 9 years, it is his Papi's turn now.  So, I give my husband the plan weekly and he accomplishes what needs to accomplished. By the way, anyone else has a spouse that helps with the schooling?

After 10 years of homeschooling, I have scheduled many different ways our homeschool routine. It is like different styles of learning, everyone is different! There are many types of homeschool moms when it comes to planning your journey each year:
Wing it each week!
Monthly mayhem!
Yearly Yodas! (I have plan planned I do)
It could be your 1st year or your 5th year sometimes it takes time to figure out what works for you. All, I know is it was easier when they were younger. I remember being so excited when I started homeschooling Ashlie, we used Letter of the Week . It was great everything was planned you just had to get your material which was either the Dollar Tree or Library. I used it with my son as well, it was great for children with special needs. Then they just had to grow older and go through more grades.

So I started out as just a Winger Planner when they were younger, which was okay until about Kindergarten age. Then we moved to each Monthly Mayhem. When we got to about 3rd grade then planning become more efficient if it was really thought out and started being a wise Yearly Yoda. This is what helped me and may not work for everyone, that is why there are many ways to organize. All of these resources can be used weekly, monthly or yearly.

  • There is the computer generated, type it and print way to plan, Homeschool Tracker. This is great if you are the digital kind of momma. I have used it and enjoyed it.
  • If you like to write it all out and be more eclectic Donna Young is so valuable and it can be used for your home organization as well. You can pick and choose how you want your pages and what you want. Takes time to go throught to figure out what works for you.
  • Now, for those who like to be cute and organized with colors, Newbee Homeschooler is the place to go. It can be overwhelming at first but she guides you through 7 easy steps on how to personalize your own plan. It really makes sense and Tina provides many different ways to display what you need. This is my fav!
  • There are several companies as well that provide books to help you organize it all so you don't have to print, you just write it in. Here are a fewThe Ultimate Homeschool Planner, The Well Planned Day, and Homeschool Daily Planner
  • The Old Schoolhouse has one as well that is a print/edit planner, Schoolhouse Planner.
Remember that everyone has their own style, no way is the right way. The right way is the way that helps only you! It took me 4 years to figure out that planning the Yearly Yoda way helped me stay prepared and  keep routine.

I hope this helps you in some way to see all the different planners. Not only do kids learn different, we as parents/teachers plan different. When I am done, I will share how I plan the year. Getting my resources together is my top priority as our local homeschool conference comes around. Now, that I know what planning resource helps me, all I need is everything to just plan away. 

Are you ready for the next school year? How do you like to plan?

Peace, love, and happiness,

Monday, July 15, 2013

Nature clean is the way to be, I need vodka!

Nature clean is the way to be!

Everyone seems to be trying it now, to have a chemical free home. At first you wonder will the concoctions really clean and will it take a lot of time. Basically, yes they clean very well and it saves you money.  We have been doing this for about 19 plus years. It is so much easier now, I am practically jealous because I had to research myself and go through trial n error.Love it, feel better! By the time you read this blog, I will share my recipes and my favorite resource.
 Our goal is to put only in our body chemical free foods and using natural herbal resources for better health.

Okay, here is my story of how it started. I will say that there is a reason God developed my body this way because it benefited me later in life for my family, especially my SPD child. Actually it started because when I was 18, I had sudden allergic reactions to deodorant. Yeah, trying dating and having hives develop all over your body. Thankfully, he married me even though it was the beginning of many hive invasions to my body. Back then, there were was not much in hypoallergenic deodorants. Therefore, at that time, I started making my own experiments on what would work and not feel weird, lol. A year later it then started with makeup, I was allergic to everything. Every year after that it was something else. Last week, seriously I became allergic to my husband's mouthwash. Yeah, not fun because I don't even use (some things he won't won't use chemical free yet) it but it would stay on his lips then he would kiss mine. BOOM, my lips looked like I had botox!

So through the years, I learned to make my own soaps, lip balm, lotions, shampoos, furniture polish, laundry detergent, fabric softener, room deodorizer, candles, basic first aid ointment, etc....

Now I  benefit from this little adventure because I have seen where that wonderful olfactory that my son has is disrupted when we are around chemicals. 
I have seen it and can see how it throws him out of a good state. It does not take much, even with the smell of some foods which I can't control but I can try to make sure that chemical free scents are around us at home. The worst pollution is not outside but inside a home that is not chemical free...there are many books out there to really get scientific about it. It is crazy and it seems it is because our earth has become lazy and demanding.

Ha, are you wondering where the vodka comes in? Well, I have always used vinegar as a base for many of my blends to clean with. However, I learned from Vintage Remedies that vodka is a better base. So here is a favorite cleaner I use that I learned how to use vodka....

Then I learned her great mouth rinse, is just vodka and peppermint, this will really wake you up.

I don't know where this resource was 18 years ago but I really am happy I found them. It was when I worked for TOS Magazine as the Assistant to the Advertising Director and Senior Advertising Rep. All it took was going to their website and I was a number fan for life!

They have a lot of great resources about gluten free, aromatherapy, and herbal medicine. You can find a lot of great information from Vintage Remedies. I have many of there books, watch their YouTube videos and read their blog. This is my fav book of theirs, Handbook of Vintage Remedies, this is used weekly. Vintage Remedies has a wonderful book on gluten free, Guide to Bread. This book has helped me with our whole family. A tip, when I provide more gluten free options for Aleq, he seems to eat more of a variety of food. He has not gone totally gluten free but if I can eliminate most of it, he eats so much better. 

Okay, so now to what I use and how I use it, the spray above is what I use for everything to clean that is not wood.

Laundry detergent:
1 bar of Fels Naptha ,Zote, Dr. Bonners
1 cup of Arm n Hammer Washing Soda
1 cup of Borax

I grate the bar of soap and mix with the other ingredients. You can also put all this in a food processor and blend too. I usually double and triple this then keep in an airtight container. 1 tablespoon for regular load and if you have a boy who likes to be outside use 2 tablespoons per load. HA!!

Fabric Softner:
1 gallon of vinegar
essential oil of your choice: lemon, orange, lavender, citronella, vanilla etc.. make sure it is a good essential oil

I buy the big gallons of vinegar at Sams and open one to put about 15 drops of essential oil in it. Give the vinegar a good shake. Use about 1 cup on rinse cycle. 

Furniture/Wood Polish:
1/4 cup Olive Oil
essential oil of your choice: lemon, orange, lavender, citronella, vanilla, etc...

Pour the measured amount of oil into a bowl and microwave for about 1 min. Then I put about 5 drops of essential oil of choice then mix with a spoon. Use a rag dip into mixture then rub on wood real well.

Bathtub scrub:
1/4 cup of baking soda or borax
1/4 cup of vinegar
a little water to make a paste
essential oil of your choice: lemon, orange, lavender, citronella, vanilla, etc...

Mix the first two together in a container you can seal for the extra left over then pour a little water at a time to make a paste. You can put about 5 -10 drops of your choice of  essential oil. I love lavender and orange together. Take a rag and dip in mixture then scrub, rinse with water.

Baby Wipes:
1 roll of paper towel
sharp knife
2 tablespoons of hypoallergenic babywash or Dr. Bonners liquid soap
1 tablespoons witch hazel
15 drops of tea tree
15 drops of lavender
1 tsp of almond or grapeseed oil
2  10 cup round containers with lids.

I use the store brand paper towels from Kroger, some swear by Viva or Bounty. You may have to try  out several to see which one you prefer. With a sharp knife (straight blade) cut the paper towel in half. Place each one in the container. Mix the ingredients in order in an 4 cup measuring device except water. Now fill the cup with water until it reaches 2 cups. Mix again until combined well and pour about 1/4 cup in each container aiming toward the bottom. Then pour 1/2 cup each over the top around the papertowel on each one. Then the rest toward the middle on each one. Leave it to set for about 10 min, then take the cardboard tubing out . It will come out easy. Seal and use. I use these for dog wipes as well. If we are going out, I will place some in a ziploc and bring with us for wipes. It takes me about 5 min to make these then they sit for 10 min. Very easy to make.

These are my essential cleaning supplies above. It is really worth it to be able to have a clean home that is chemical free. You will learn as you go what you will like more as in the essential oils. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. If you are looking for a way to clean or change and need help, I would love to help you. I even started making our own mosquito repellent.

So the next time you hear this crazy homeschool momma say "I need vodka" you know why. 


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Already July! Are you thinking of goals already?

I can not believe it is already July. Where did the year go? Am I the only one feeling that this year has been on fast forward?

This was the first year we were able to take the kids to see 4th of July fireworks. It was great and they were amazed with no issues.

We are still schooling through the summer, it truly helps and I feel that it is amazing the FREEDOM we have to homeschool whenever we want. I am so thankful for that benefit of homeschooling!

One of the realities to our learning atmosphere is that if we stop more then 3 days in a row it really puts Aleq out of routine and the effect is not fun. He reminds me of my grandparents when I think about it. Everything needed to be at the same time everyday such as breakfast, lunch, and supper. There was not late supper or skip breakfast. ;) Maybe that is where I learned my organizational crazy skills from. You also went to bed at the same time and woke up with everyone. Everything was organized.  My husband had even thought of schooling everyday with Aleq, but we figured he needed to learn that agendas do change and to learn to change with it. Anyone else have a SPD child that really feeds off of routine?

Ashlie is going into the official 9th grade year! I can't believe it. I have all her resources figured out , I know she will do great. She is volunteering a lot as always and that really helps mold her into a great young lady. So I will be blogging a lot more about high school homeschooling. Still trying to figure a few things out, I know I will get there. I am thinking of using this great lady, who I just adore Lee Binz, The HomeScholar
My problem is part resistance, I don't want to do this and not ready for her to be there.She is in the process of trying to figure out what to pursue, I told her to think of 3 occupations. I know whatever she does I want her to love it so she will be great at it. This is our goal now, for her to think of what she wants to study to help her get where she needs to be. Her personal goal I hope for her is to think of her strengths and what she feels is her weakness so that we can help her become more confident.

Within the past two weeks, I went to a seminar and learned a lot. Very grateful to my boss (she rocks) for letting me go. I learned several things:
"Whatever my children have issues with, it is my fault" Due to having c-sections and not being able to breast feed. Already told my kids both I am sorry. :)
"It is okay if I hang them upside down for about 60 sec several times a day" It will drain the toxins out of their brain. :)
"1 in 6 kids have some sort of disability" (This is really bothers me.)
"Always create a positive environment if you need them to do school work or anything basically without problems" (I try to do this the majority of the time)
Yeah, I know each one of these could be a blog post in itself and I may even do it.

Then this week I came across a great Youtube seminar. This is an awesome woman whom I have learned so much from since the beginning. I blog because I didn't have that help and had to learn through books, research and her. I hope that those with kids that have SPD or those who have friend/family that had kids with SPD will watch.

Our goal this year for Aleq is to grow more and learning to deal with situations that may come about. He is older and becoming more mature. He is realizing now that he does not really have many friends like his sister. That is beginning to bother him. He knows he has a hard time in large groups and has a hard time finding friends that understand him. I can't be there forever or all the time. It is time to really focus on how to show him decision making and recognizing different paths to take. My husband is a great support for this.

One thing we have worked is trying to have him recognize when he is getting overwhelmed and what he needs to do. What choices he has to make? If he is having a hard time processing in the morning, can he realize it? Being more vocal with us so we can sit down to help him then him getting upset, frustrated, and angry. If he is getting overwhelmed in Math, then ask me if we can start with a different subject. I am hoping we can teach him how to deal with situations when around other kids. That not every kids likes to play rough or other kids use other actions to play around. WE will get there......
Academically, getting him to write more.

It is really important to write down or have a mental note of your goal not just in academics but when you have a special needs child. You can express these goals with them if you think it will help especially if they are elementary age. That way they know what they are doing and why.

I think about it twice a year on what we can work on next because we have to work only on 2 goals at a time, academic and personal ones.

Have you thought about goals for your kids, specific goals? What do you want them to specifically accomplish. It is easier to get there when you know what you want them to accomplish. Hmmm, makes you think?

Peace, love, and happiness to ya'll this week.
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