Thursday, June 27, 2013

Another Issue of Free-Cheap (Mostly Free)

The following post contains affiliate links.

Ok, I have promised more free and cheap on the books for children and parents as well and here are a few more that I thought were very enjoyable.  I hope that you enjoy these.
Mississippi Cotton

Cougar Cub Tales - I'm Just Like You

Lily Lemon Blossom - Welcome to Lily's Room

Guardians, Inc. The Cypher

One Pea

Now for the adults in the family.  Just a bit of disclaimer on the adult books.  I have not read all of these books, and some may be secular but are here for you to choose or not to choose.  

What to Cook for Dinner for Picky Eaters
Coolest Kids Science Projects: 40 Fun & Easy Science Experiments For Kids

Schoolproof Your Child: Assure Your Child A Better Future
College Math Concepts For Middle School Students: A Stress-Free Approach To Broad Math Understanding
The Absorbent Mind

There are many more and they change daily as do the prices.  So if you are interested, do check quickly before the $0. price changes

Be blessed

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Homeschool Journey

I hope you enjoy this particular journey.

 As we take this learning journey together, my "little man" and I have had many miserable days. Some nearly intolerable.  Thanks to my heavenly Father that he has given me an indomitable spirit.  I do not quit, I do not give up.  Even when faced with sure failure, of being knocked down again and again, I keep coming back again and again. I am new to homeschooling and therefore I am learning as I go and even though I do, letting go of preconceived notions of "school" is difficult.

We still have more “bad” days than good.  This week I just left, I put my sneakers on and took a walk of about 1 ½ miles.  A lot for someone who never goes out walking.  I sat at the Mickey D's drinking water.  Yep, I live in Florida and it was the middle of the day and about 90 degrees.  I started praying, did some crying and some more praying.  Folks must have thought me crazy. No worries.

God strengthened my spirit yet again to face the challenge of teaching a gifted and talented little boy of 5 years old.  What God has shown me is I don’t need to teach this child. He has given him everything he needs to succeed and that all I need to do is provide the highway so to speak and make sure to instruct him to keep it between the lines which I try do through daily devotion and Bible study.

Two of our favorite verses are

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not you’re your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and He will make your paths straight. 


Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.

I began to think on accomplishments rather than issues. Jaeden hates to write, hates math and if it involves any part of picking up a pencil, then it simply is either not going to be done or there will be a war of wills. Mind you he is quite good at both.  So we get him as many books as the library will allow.  He prefers that fiction be read to him and he spends his time reading the non-fiction books which we fondly call his “did you know” books a term which came about because every time he would pick up one of these books we would spend hours listening to him say “Mimi, did you know?” “Mom, did you know?”

From some of his “did you know” books and a lot of  resources provided through facebook friends, homeschool group friends guiding me to free materials he has now created a wonderful lapbook on Nature.  It began as a study on plants and evolved into plants, butterflies, birds and insects.  We will complete this lapbook next week with our final studies on birds and insects.  It has taken us about 5 weeks to complete but we only work on the actual creation of the lapbook when he is more willing to do a bit of writing.  I sometimes write what he dictates to me, but I insist that some of the writing must be done by him.

My little man loves to be outdoors so our first true lapbook experience was inspired by a field trip to a garden here in town.

Take a look at what he has so far.  

And here is the adorable face that I love so much.  These looks and this happiness is why I homeschool and why I simply must continue to change my thinking about schooling and methods .  

But 'little man' has a bit of a thought process change to endure as well. Pictures don't lie, look at that face.  Devious looks, yeah he is always thinking of ways to trick 'mimi'.

Thank you for reading and I hope that you are enjoying your own homeschool journey.

I will leave you with one of my favorite scriptures that I read to Jaeden every day.

Provers 9:10
Fear of the Lord is beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Be blessed

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Closing Our First Year

Well, the end is near.  Since we decided to homeschool year round, basically July to June, we are drawing to the end of our first year of homeschooling.  Well almost a year, since we did not begin until December. I still call it my first year, even though I know that beginning in July going through next June, I will still probably call that my first year as well.  

I have nearly quit several times in these last few months.  The struggles have been many and the frustrations sometimes escalated into heated arguments and broken trust.  I survived and so did 'little man'.  The last few weeks have been better as far as family dynamics are concerned. Everyone is a lot happier.  Whether or not there has been consistent learning and retention happening remains to be seen.

I have changed how I do things dramatically over these months  many many times.  I read a lot of blogs from a lot of different homeschool moms and did a lot of comparisons (won't make that mistake again).  I started with worksheets in huge numbers which 'little man' dutifully completed in record time and accurately. However, he did not retain as much of it as I would have liked, or did he? Now worksheets are a ‘no, no’.

What I have found over these last few months is this.  My little man, retains a lot more than I know.  When I give him a 'test', there is usually a struggle of wills because he has to write the answers.  But if he becomes compliant generally he can answer most of the questions. But I can never get more than one area completed before he is at the stage of refusal.  If I randomly ask him question, I usually get "I don't know". Then that’s it, I know better than to continue because it will lead to frustration of both our parts. So we just have to sit back and wait for him to let us know what he knows.

What I can tell you is this.  This child is astonishingly intelligent, in ways I never dreamed.  He knows instinctively when someone is sad, whether he can see their face or not, he knows when he is being lied to, and when we are wrong, even on subject matter for which he has little previous knowledge. He makes dramatic leaps from a tiny bit of knowledge to a conclusion on issues where the material has only had basic coverage or sometimes had no discussion at all. "How does he do that", I ask myself continuously.  Or, he says “Mimi, did you know . . . ?”  Then he gives me information I know he hasn’t heard before.

When our typical day is over and sometimes that can be as long as 2 or 3 hours or as short as 15 minutes, I am typically on the computer, blogging, listing new products in my shop or working on a new design.  I also spend lot of time reviewing YouTube videos.  During this time, 'little man' is generally playing with some of his Ultimate Humongasaur (sp) (Ben 10) or Bumble Bee and Optimus Prime (Transformers).  He has a most vivid imagination. Sometimes I record these play sessions. Or, he is watching Spongebob or Santa's Puppy Paws, (yes he watches Christmas videos all year long), or listening to Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn on CD.  Either way, if while reviewing a video I have the sound on, he is instantly at my side and I wonder how could he possibly have heard that. 

I have found that during these times, his mind is like a sponge, he absorbs whatever the video is about and at the end when the collage of other videos appear, he immediately starts pointing to one or the other of them, and saying, "this one next, Mimi".  Then he will lose interest but then I go about my research to find more information on whatever the video topic was, print it as a lesson for the next day. Right! BAD IDEA.  He is never receptive to this method.  But he will watch the video again.

Overall, I think this year was not half bad.  Did I quit?  Yes, Many times.  Did I cry and scream out to the Lord?  Yes again, many times.  But as I have said in previous post, God has given me a tenacious spirit, I simply don't give up.  .

I think this is what homeschooling is all about, trying out ideas and solutions until we find a fit.  Little man has taught me this year that there is not one solution or idea that fits him as he changes from day to day.  I have learned that it’s okay, it’s the way his brain works.  Yes he is gifted, yes he is hyper, but all that really means is that he sees the world from a different perspective and as I work with him, I find that it really is not that different from the rest of this family and if I work within that perspective, he gains leaps and bounds.

When I look at the big picture, he has learned.  I have learned. We wait for it to show itself.  He gives it back to us when he is ready. It may be a day or a week, but it will be there.  He is just letting us know it's there and he will show us when he is ready.

Today for example, one of the first things that I went over with him was the vowel sound for the long a.  This has been months ago.  Today I asked him what vowel sound did 'eigh' have.  He looked at me, gave me one of those looks of his and said, "Mimi, you silly grandma, it is the long a sound."

What have I learned this year?

For the Lord gives wisdom and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6

Be blessed

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Mommy Perfection - Part 2

Ok, I think the first thing to do here is to just get it out there, every mom does the things or most of them that you read on the previous post Mommy Perfection - Part 1.  If you have not read it just click on the link in the last sentence and take a look.  We would all like to say, I'm not that mom, but we are.  We all fail in the perfect department.  We just aren't and that is OKAY.  My goal here is not to hurt your feelings or call you out on the things you (we) are doing wrong.  It is to help us to recognize that we are all imperfect, help us to recognize the areas where we fail and to try to do better.

Can we do better?  ABSOLUTELY.  Will we do better?  I certainly hope so.  Am I doing better?  Well my time has passed for the most part since I am now a grandmother, but I certainly will try with my grandson since he is with me oftentimes more than with his mother (she is the breadwinner in this family now).  How can we do better?  Let's take a look at this one.

First of all, we need God.  That is absolutely the priority for doing better at anything we do especially in the area of being a better mom.

I have always called myself a Christian and most of the time I truly did try to do the right thing by all around me and to serve the Lord.  Was I successful?  NOT!!!  Do I have regrets?  Some, but I have forgiveness.  I think that this is the thing that I took away from this post.  We all make mistakes.

I can't tell you the number of times I told my chidren, "I brought you into this world and I can take you out of it."  Harsh, yes I know.  Regret it? Yes, I do.  But I have to remember that words once spoken can never be taken back, so on my knees I go and I cry monumental tears to God for forgiveness, which He freely gives and then I try to do better.

I now watch my daughter being the mommy.  She is a single mother, by choice.  She wanted a child.  She did not want a husband.  Did I agree with that? No, but it was not my decision and I am not her judge.  She is a good mom.  She makes mistakes just like I did and the rest of you do.  Sometimes she does not see the mistakes until she sees the consequences of them.  But she is a work in progress, just like we all are.  She is making every effort to become the person she believes her son will be proud of and in so doing she is showing him the person he can become.

There are consequences to our mistakes with our children.  How they affect us and our children is what we need to think about.  Children learn what they live. So if you are a screamer, your children will be screamers too, now and later.  They will also stop listening to you.

Can we stop screaming? Probably not because we are quick enough most days to think before we speak or scream.  For most of us the screaming is a reaction and usually an instant one. What we can do is take it to the Lord in prayer.  What we can do is remember that God chose us specifically for that child for a reason.  There is something that no other mom can do for or teach that child.  BUT, let us also remember that there is something that child can do for us that no one else in the world can do.

Do you have an angry child? I do.  Guess what, he was not born that way.  You/I made him that way. Does your child wipe his 'boogers' away with his arm then wipe it on his shirt?  Yep, you did that too.  He just figures if it is okay for you to do it with your hand, it must be okay for him to do it with his arm.  What's the difference right?  Do you make mistakes? So does your child.  Are you punished for your mistakes, many times not, so why punish the child for mistakes that he makes while learning what he should do.

Let's just breathe slowly every time, whether it is milk dumped in the trunk or a misbehaving child, just breathe, breathe, breathe.

Remember when you share that milkshake with your child, he is learning to share, when you play with your child and bang your knee, he is learning to play.  He may also be learning some words that he shouldn't but these are correctable things for us and for them.

Save the designer purse for date night with your husband, then you won't be crying while you are scrubbing it.  There are no material things worth your child's confidence and happiness.  That purse or whatever the item might be is just a 'thing'.  Your children on the other hand can not be replaced.  Their confidence once shaken is very difficult to get back, their self-esteem, once destroyed is very difficult to recover.Most of all their trust, once broken, may never be given again.

I do have to say I NEVER used my hand to wipe 'boogers' but I did use my shirt tail and still do with my grandson when needed. Some may see something like this and say "oh, how disgusting."  I see things like this and say "there is an act of love."

I have hidden in the kitchen and eaten the crust from sandwiches or their pizza because I did not want them to know that I only had enough for them.  I have cried in the night for all the things that I wanted to do and could not.  I have cried tears of joy at their accomplishments as well as tears of frustration.  I am sure that I will cry many more tears in my life as I help my daughter raise her son.

The main thing that I think we should take away from this is that we are human and we fail. Many times we fail miserably and those who say they don't are not being honest with themselves.  We all see a bit of ourselves in this post.

Do what you do, think about what you do, take it to the Lord and give it to Him.  He has told us that He will never forsake us.  He will never leave us.  Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  Wisdom leads to understanding.

Our children need our understanding, they need our love, no matter what they do, they will learn from it.  They need our guidance which they receive when we make mistakes and correct them.  Children watch us closely, more closely than you may imagine.  What will the lessons be?

I believe that the post from Lea in part 1 of this mini series was a gift from God.  I believe that He put those words on her heart because I know that He is the one who sees all these things.  Just as I know He put it there for me to see and to use here hopefully as an encouragement to others.  He knew what we would do with our children even before we were born, so He knows everything now.

I hope that you enjoyed this.  I realize it may seem a bit disjointed, but it came from my heart they way that it was given to me.

Please leave your comments and/or questions.  I will be happy to respond.  I would also love it if you would follow my blog as time goes by, it will get better and better as I learn from my grandson, my daughter and other mothers that I regularly follow and who inspire me to be a better person in order to raise a better child.

Thank you.

Be Blessed

Friday, June 21, 2013

Mommy Perfection Part I

I am going to do something just a bit different today.  What you will find here is not a post created by me, but a post created by Lea of "Becoming SuperMommy".  I happened upon her post and it struck a note in my heart for myself and for my daughter.  So today here is the post from Lea.  At the end of this post, I will post a link to the original poster.  I hope that this post touches your heart as it did mine.

Please come back for the second part of  "Mommy Perfection"

Dear-Less-Than-Perfect Mom

Dear Mom,

I’ve seen you around.  I’ve seen you screaming at your kids in public, I’ve seen you ignoring them at the playground, I’ve seen you unshowered and wearing last night’s pajama pants at preschool drop-off.  I’ve seen you begging your children, bribing them, threatening them.  I’ve seen you shouting back and forth with your husband, with your mom, with the police officer at the crosswalk.

I’ve seen you running around with your kids, getting dirty and occasionally swearing audibly when you bang a knee.  I’ve seen you sharing a milkshake with a manic four year old. I’ve seen you wiping your kids’ boogers with your bare palm, and then smear them on the back of your jeans.  I’ve seen you carry your toddler flopped over the crook of your arm while chasing a runaway ball.

I’ve also seen you gritting your teeth while your kid screamed at you for making him practice piano, or soccer, or basket weaving, or whatever it was.  I’ve seen you close your eyes and berate slowly after finding a gallon of milk dumped into your trunk.  I’ve seen you crying into the sink while you desperately scrub crayon off your best designer purse.  I’ve seen you pacing in front of the house.

I’ve seen you at the hospital waiting room.  I’ve seen you at the pharmacy counter.  I’ve seen you looking tired and frightened.

I’ve seen a lot of you, actually.

I see you every single day.

I don’t know if you planned to be a parent or not.  If you always knew from your earliest years that you wanted to bring children into this world, to tend to them, or if motherhood was thrust upon you unexpectedly.  I don’t know if it meets your expectations, or if you spent your first days as a mom terrified that you would never feel what you imagined “motherly love” would feel like for your child. I don’t know if you struggled with infertility, or with pregnancy loss, or with a traumatic birth.  I don’t know if you created your child with your body, or created your family by welcoming your child into it.

But I know a lot about you.

I know that you did not get everything that you wanted.  I know that you got a wealth of things you never wanted until they were there in front of you.  I know that you don’t believe that you’re doing your best, that you think you can do better.  I know you are doing better than you think.  I know that when  you look at your child, your children, you see yourself.  And I know that you don’t, that you see a stranger who can’t understand why the small details of childhood that were so important to you are a bother to this small person who resembles you.

I know that you want to throw a lamp at your teenager’s head sometimes.  I know you want to toss your three year old out the window once in a while.

I know that some nights, once it’s finally quiet, you curl up in a bed and cry.  I know that sometimes, you don’t even though you wanted to.
I know that some days are so hard that all you want is for them to end, and then at bedtime your children hug you and kiss you and tell you how much they love you and want to be like you, and you wish the day could last forever.

But it never does.  The day always ends, and the next day brings new challenges.  Fevers, heartbreak, art projects, new friends, new pets, new fights.  An every day you do what you need to do.

You take care of things, because that’s your job.  You go to work, or you fill up the crock pot, or you climb into the garden, or strap the baby to your back and pull out the vacuum cleaner.

You drop everything that you’re doing to moderate an argument over whose turn it is to use a specifically colored marker, or to kiss a boo-boo, or to have a conversation about what kind of lipstick Pinocchio’s mommy wears.

I know that you have tickle fights in the blanket forts, and that you have the words to at least eight different picture books memorized. I’ve heard that you dance like a wild woman when it’s just you and them.  That you have no shame about farting or belching in their presence, that you make up goofy songs about peas and potatoes and cheese.

I know that an hour past bedtime, you drop what you’re doing and trim the fingernail that your three year old insists is keeping her up.  I know that you stop cleaning dishes because your kids insist you need to join their tea party.  I know you fed your kids PB&J for four days straight when you had the flu.  I know that you eat leftover crusts over the sink while your kids watch Super Why.

I know you didn’t expect most of this.  I know you didn’t anticipate loving somebody so intensely, or loathing your post-baby body so much, or being so tired, or being the mom you’ve turned out to be.

You thought you had it figured out.  Or you were blind and terrified.  You hired the perfect nanny.  Or you quit your job and learned to assemble flat packed baby furniture.  You get confused by the conflict of feeling like nothing has changed since you were free and unfettered by children, and looking back on the choices you made as though an imposter were wearing your skin.

You’re not a perfect mom.  No matter how you try, no matter what you do.  You will never be a perfect mom.

And maybe that haunts you.  Or maybe you’ve made peace with it.  Or maybe it was never a problem to begin with. 

No matter how much you do, there is always more.  No matter how little you do, when the day is over your children are still loved.  They still smile at you, believing you have magical powers to fix almost anything.  No matter what happened at work, or at school, or in play groups, you have still done everything in your power to ensure that the next morning will dawn and your children will be as happy, healthy and wise as could possibly be hoped.

There is an old Yiddish saying, “There is one perfect child in the world, and every mother has it.”

Unfortunately, there are no perfect parents.  Your kids will grow up determined to be different than you.  They will grow up certain that they won’t make their kids take piano lessons, or they’ll be more lenient, or more strict, or have more kids, or have fewer, or have none at all. 

No matter how far from perfect you are, you are better than you think.

Someday your kids will be running around like crazy people at synagogue and concuss themselves on a handrail and somebody will still walk up to you and tell you what a beautiful family you have.  You’ll be at the park and your kids will be covered in mud and jam up to the elbows, smearing your car with sugary cement, and a pregnant lady will stop and smile at you wistfully.

No matter how many doubts you might have, you never need doubt on this one thing. You are not perfect.

And that’s good.  Because really, neither is your child.  And that means nobody can care for them the way you can, with the wealth of your understanding and your experience.  Nobody knows what your child’s squall means, or what their jokes mean, or why they are crying, better than you do.

And since no mother is perfect, chances are you are caught in a two billion way tie for Best Mom in the World.

Congratulations.  Best Mom in the World.  You’re not perfect.

You’re as good as anybody can get.

With love,

Link to this blog 

I hope you enjoyed this post and look forward to your comments.  Please follow me using Bloglovin or Google+ to see more homeschooling and parenting posts.

Be Blessed

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Biggest Bang for your Buck

I know that for many of us, blogging is a way to journal our homeschool life.  For others it is a way to encourage others who are struggling with homeschool  or have just begun their journey into homeschooling.

No matter the reason for our blogs, we all want them to be seen, read and hopefully shared as encouragement to others.  For me, it is a bit of all of the above.  I do it to journal our progress sometimes or often it is to just simply ask for help.  There are times when I struggle to homeschool my grandson and then there are times when I just really want to quit and I write about those times.  I also write about the good times and what we do.

What I really want is to learn from others, be inspired by others and in doing so draw closer to our heavenly Father and gain insight into how others share their love of Jesus with their children and teach them.  What works for them.  I hope to be able to begin to share more of this with others and to grow my list of followers so that I can be an encouragement to them as well, to give back in the same way that I was given so much.

To make sure that I am doing this the best that I possibly can, I have signed up for a free class on blogging.  I  hope that I learn enough from this class that my blogs will be inviting, interesting, inspiring and encouraging to all.

I invite you to join me in this class.

{FREE} 4-Week Profitable Blogging For Beginners Class
This free offer expires June 30, so click on the above to sign up to increase your readership, and your ability to be a light to those in need.

Be Blessed

Saturday, June 1, 2013

School's Out - Or is It

While for many of us school is really out now, but for some who do year round school, it is not. For us, we do year round school and we are now on a break.  We decided to do random 2 week breaks to begin with to see how it works for us.  Our re-start date is June 19.  Since this is our first year homeschooling, it is a trial and error system we have here.

So what do we do for two weeks and still keep the interest level.  First we have an Eco Tour set up and of course our reading.  Check out some of the things we will be looking at. The following books are either free or cheap.  As always know that Amazon prices change often so what might be free today may not be free tomorrow.

For the adults or older kids.

Some choices for the children for summer reading.

I hope that you find somethings that will interest your in the books above.  Be sure to check my blog again in a few days for a new list of free and cheap books for you and your children.

Now my verse for today.

Romans 15:13
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Peace be with you all.

Be Blessed