How Many Clothes Do You Really Need?

Friends of mine were laughing at this post put up by Muddled Up Mommy.

Some reactions were astonishment, others were totally in agreement.  What do you think?

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In our house, laundry is on-going.  There is always a basket going into the washer and a basket that needs to be put away.  And we still end up with no clean pajamas in the evening!

I am beginning to think we have too many clothes actually.  Just TOO MANY OPTIONS.

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So what’s a mom to do? Research of course!

How much laundry do we really need?

Living on a Dime has taken the time to figure it all out: How Many Clothes Do I Need?

If you’re a stay at home mom, Laura at This Felicitous Life has come up with a list of her own.

Let’s talk about kids.  They grow so fast that it seems like you always have to have clothes in reserve just in case!

Keeper of the Home lays out (pardon the pun) her kids clothes and describes what they have and what they don’t really need: How Many Clothes Do Kids Really Need?

Actual Mom describes her large family’s wardrobe need in her piece: How Many Clothes Do my Kids Really Need?

The Purposeful Mom conducted a laundry experiment.  You will want to read all about it here.

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Let’s face it, in America, we have so much stuff, in general. Clothes are cheap and made cheaply and it’s therefore no surprise we are drowning in laundry which costs us money in water, soap and WASTED TIME (the most important thing!)

  • Jenny

 

 

Getting Started in Homeschooling: Writing a Mission Statement

This is for all you Mama’s who are just getting started.

Recently I conducted a workshop for parents new to homeschooling.  Trying to be thorough, we covered a lot of different subjects: the legalities of homeschooling, different curricula that is available, the option of using classes or co-op’s to enhance your teaching and the truth behind socialization (they get plenty by the way).

But, the more we talked, the more I saw the moms and dads’ eyes WIDEN.

So, I thought we would attempt to break it down a bit through a Getting Started in Homeschooling series.Hopefully it will help start you on your path to homeschooling without feeling too overwhelmed.

In order to reach any new destination you need a road map. When you walk out your door to go somewhere you have never been before, don’t you pull out your phone and type in the address so you can have directions easily accessible?

Why would we approach something as monumental as educating our children without some sort of map?

It’s the same with homeschooling.

Granted, not all of us are good at planning ahead.  Me too.

After four years of homeschooling though, and making the mistake of wasting my time on some classes and groups I should never have participated in, I see the mission statement’s resounding value.

Let’s jump in.

Using my mission statement worksheet, spend some time thinking about/writing down why you have chosen to homeschool. 

  • Is your child unhappy in school?
  • Are they falling behind?
  • Do they have problems with bullying?

I began to homeschool because I was concerned my older, extremely inquisitive child would be dulled and bored by the public school routine.  I wanted to offer him adventure, hence the name of our school: Adventure School!

Next, think about the things/write down the things that are important to your family.

  • Is it important to you that your children read a lot?
  • Do you want them to be able to explore their artistic interests?
  • Do you feel a spiritual component is essential to your family life?
  • Do you want to make sure that they spend an ample amount of time out in nature?

Now, spend some time thinking about/writing out the things you feel you will be happy to leave behind once you start homeschooling.

  • Does your child hate getting up early?
  • Does your child despise workbooks?
  • Does you child need the flexibility to do work at his/her own pace?

When I began, although I didn’t have a mission statement, I knew it was important to me that I had time in the Bible with my boys, that we got out in nature and that school would be varied and interesting. I wanted to keep them involved in peer-appropriate activities and to teach them important life skills.

My mission statement for this school year reads as follows:

“Our family will homeschool in order to make sure that our children have enough time to foster their relationship with God as well as their interests and passions. By homeschooling, we will not only pursue academics, we will have new and varied experiences and have balanced, memorable lives. By homeschooling, we will surround our children with positive influences, maintain the home as the central hub of of their lives and teach them practical life skills.”

Here is the MISSION STATEMENT template again.

Good luck writing your mission statement and let me know how it goes!

Next blog post in this series will be: “Getting Started in Homeschooling: Choosing a Curriculum.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prepping for Homeschool: toddler time

Not all my readers are homeschoolers, but, as some of you are, this one’s for you!

Being that it is the middle of August, it’s time to get ready for the homeschool year.  We are going on our fourth year homeschooling and this year I have a 4th grade and a 7th grader (woah!).  I also have – a 21 month old.

Last year, the baby would sleep while we taught in the morning.  I doubt that will be happening this year, so I need to be pretty organized and have a plan for the little squirt.

So, the first thing I am going to do is organize a BUSY BOX for him. The busy box has to be special to the homeschooling time, or it will lose its magic. So, ideally the items in the box cannot be used outside of homeschool time.

I have included some busy boxes from around the internet (with credits).

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This is a simple one. I like the shells!

You could go really crazy with this concept and create an entire CORNER for this purpose.  As we have 5 people in the house, I will be keeping it small. Keep in mind, some of these items are specific to our little boy’s interests, but you can adjust as preferred.

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This is from teachingmama.org.  Threading buttons – great fine motor practice.

In my busy box, I will put:

  • play doh
  • crayons
  • big pad of white paper
  • pom-poms
  • books
  • matchbox cars
  • dry erase board
  • dice
  • matching cards

I am also going to make some things, including:

This monster themed color sorter!

This Montessori-style color book!

These roads in shapes (tell me this isn’t genious!) !

I know you have have had toddlers already have a ton of ideas!  Would you share one in the comments below?  I sure could use some more ideas!

 

 

 

 

In the BB I will include things like: stickers, crayons, pom poms, matching cards, matchbox cars, and a big pad of white paper.  I am also going to create a FUN CORNER for him with a table and books and age-appropriate puzzles.

I know a lot of my homeschool friends have toddlers in their homes.

 

 

 

Giving notice….

I gave notice that I was quitting on Friday! It was an exciting day and I felt great afterwards. Two weeks and I will be home full time. I already feel a load lifted off of my back.

Last week my son was a little sick…a fever. I felt great staying home with him and helping him to feel better. No more conflicts in my mind about should I send him in to preschool – should I go to work – should I call my husband – who would want to babysit him with a fever?

Simple. Clear cut. For me…a huge relief.

The future definitely seems to opening up and I have been praying that God will show me what steps to take next. I am tempted to just go ahead with all ‘my’ plans, but I know I want to put them at his feet first and see what he says of course.

I am thinking about organizing and there is a habit I have been using for about a year now. I call it my “command central” and it’s a little area on my basement door that have the monthly calendar, and a pocket for each of the children for school stuff. I have attached a photo.

I am also thinking about money. I don’t like to think about money very much – it stresses me out – but I do want to be aware of the needs vs. the wants. I was thinking about making some of the snacks my son takes to school instead of buying so many pre packaged ones. Perhaps a homemade cheese cracker, choc. chip cookies… what do other people do out there? Please let me know, I would appreciate it!

And….off we go!

Eyes wide open…

Ok, I want you to know that I am not going into this daydreaming about hours alone or watching tv all day. I realize that I may get sick to death of seeing my house and it’s 80 year old cracks and creaks, it’s grubby bathtub, persistently clanky iron radiators, weedy lawn…
I think I am going into “staying at home” eyes wide open.
I know about being lonely in a house all day even though you are surrounded by kids, I know about getting tired of talking baby talk and wanting to see something on the tv besides Wow Wow Wubzy or Backyardigans.
Regardless, I’ll take my chances.
I also know some of my weaknesses…say for example not being a real ‘structure’ person. Luckily, I recognize that and I try to impress it on myself regardless of the fact it doesn’t come natural. There are numerous websites that can offer assistance (a few of which I will put at the bottom on this blog entry) if you are willing to make some changes. I truly admire my homeschooling mom friends…you are amazing!
Also, I don’t like to clean. You may be surprised. You may think a stay at homer must have a innate desire to clean, clean, clean. No. I think that it actually is an assumption a lot of folks make that is not true. I am going to have to really figure that one out won’t I? (advice please?)
I would like to ask you alll: How do you get it all done? How much of a structure do you use? Any tricks to chores?
Here are those links I promised…God bless!
http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com
http://www.mommysavers.com
http://www.containerstore.com