Wednesday, January 13, 2016

2016 Has Brought Changes Already!
The end of last year I had to say goodbye to being a stay at home mom and hello to working part time for Wal-Mart. I loved and cherished my time as a stay at home mom over the last seven years, but I felt a desire to go back to work. I really feel only the Lord could give me that desire. It was hard to find a job only two places considered me for a position. After being out of work for so long and being a 36 year old mom of four with limited availability I wasn't "a catch" for some places. Anyways, I decided to go with Wal-Mart. It has been great. It is close to home and they work with my availability. So, I am able to continue homeschooling. I see God on a daily basis whether I am at home with my children or at work. He makes me smile. I have to guard my heart and check my attitude more now that I am out in public, it is easy to get angry or upset over just about anything, Negativity rubs off fast, it spreads like a wild fire. I have also noticed that if you are kind and gentle of spirit that is also catching. So anyways, I try to keep my joy while at work and with the Lord's help most days that is possible.
Well now, a few months back I posted about being able to review some great homeschool books by Thinking Tree. We have decided for this new year to stop what we were doing and begin fresh with books from Dyslexia games and the Thinking tree. This has worked well with having to go back to work. The children are able to work more independently and they are able to choose topics that interest them. 
Over the month of December I kind of prepared them for the change. We had a low key month of December. We read lots of books about Christ and Christmas. We did the advent book thing this year. Wrapped up 24 books and unwrapped and read one each day up until Christmas eve. It was a hit. I ordered books that kept the focus on Christ. Mostly picture books but we has some other chapter books for the older children, They did math and we did a unit study together by Notgrass. We didn't finish the unit study but it was fun and we may try again next year. So as my books from Thinking Tree were coming in the mail I would show the children and explain what we were going to do. I started picking out books for me to read. I have a huge "to be read" list. I started coloring in my journal and making it ready for January. Well my eight year old got excited about it and began to do hers all on her own, without me asking. I was thrilled.
I would like to show you what I as a mom have been doing the last couple of weeks. It has been fun and refreshing for me. I tend to get overwhelmed and get nothing done. So now since I have to be to work at a certain time then it forced me to make a plan. It has flowed together so nicely that is how I know God gave me this plan. It feels like all the loose ends in my life are being tied together and this year I feel we will see real progress in areas we haven't before.

These are the books I chose to read while working on my Mom's handbook.  I bought that cube shelf from Wal-Mart and it works great. We each get out own square.

Here is my square.
I picked a wide variety of books. Here is a photo of a page in the Busy Mom's homeschool handbook.

1. Daniel fast for Weight loss (this is a two birds with one stone read I need to review it and I want to lose weight)
2. Learning to See Creatively
3. Give them Grace
4. The Bazaar Stories of Bad Dreams (don't judge me... I enjoy Stephen King books and my husband bought me this one for Christmas)
4. The total money makeover (the new plan for our lives includes financial freedom)
5. The Bible ( I would love to read the Bible daily again, I fell out of that habit)
6. How to homeschool
7. Life, Love & Dyslexia
8. For the Children's Sake

So basically I read a few pages from each book and do a page or two in my Mom's book. Some days I may feel like reading more in one book than the others. I just play it by ear. The children have really enjoyed seeing me do "my school work". we show each other what we have done. Also by them choosing books they want to read, it has sparked conversations between us that we hadn't had before. We are two weeks in. There has been some whining but the positives I have seen have out weighed the whining by far.

I bought these markers from Amazon. I like them but they do bleed through some. I love to use  Prisma colored pencils. It has been fun exploring my creative side again. In high school I loved art class. Being a busy mom I kind of let that go. Picking it back up again has brought peace and joy into my day again.

This is a little pursed sized book. We do it together on a daily basis. It has allowed us to set aside a time to spend in the word together. Something we use to do, but fell out of. It is a great little book. In the back there is a plan to read the New Testament in 90 days. That is what we are doing. There is a verse at the top of each day. Places to write and color. You can see my review here on Amazon. I really love it.
This is another pursed size book. I was curious more than anything and that is why I bought this one. I am glad I did. It is allowing me to think and reevaluate my homeschool. You can buy it here on Amazon.
I wanted to read Sarah's story so I bought this one. It is great so far. I will review it when I finish. You can get it here on Amazon.

 Just got this one the other day. My new coloring book. I love Sarah's drawings and now that I am reading her story I see that her drawings have been in her even a s a child. It will be fun and relaxing to color. You can get it here on Amazon.
This is my homeschooling journal. Each of the children have their own homeschool journal. They are all different.  You can see my review of the Mom's one here on Amazon.

So as you can see things are looking different at my house. We are excited though. Blessings to you on your homeschool journey.