Thursday, March 31, 2016

Bonding With Your Child: Parenting the Individual

One day I realized that with so many kids vying for my attention, I wasn't really getting close to any of them.  I was overwhelmed with managing all of their activities and couldn't imagine changing anything.

I started meeting with my kids one on one in a way that I could manage at the time.  When I ran my errands I would leave all of the kids behind except one.  I couldn't believe how much I learned about each kid just by getting them alone.

The family dynamic is strong and every person has a role to play.  For the kids who are naturally loud, their voices may be heard anyway, but as parents we may miss some aspects of the kids who follow along unless we get them alone.

We can't parent what we don't know.

I have learned that the most important thing I can encourage my child to do is to talk to me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Homeschool Expectations vs Reality (Parents)

Hopefully this video doesn't sound like a rant that makes you want to forget all of your rosy expectations about homeschooling.  Personally, I really appreciate real talk because challenges come to everyone.  Learning is all about trying things, making mistakes, and growing as you push your way through.

I am so glad we decided to start this adventure nearly two decades ago.  It has been challenging enough at times to bring me to tears, but the benefits are greater than I imagined.  I started out looking for the most perfect way to train up my kids, and discovered an imperfect situation with endless possibilities.  My best advice to my younger self would be to just let it happen and stop worrying.  My advice to myself today is to enjoy the imperfection of it all, and thank God I'm not the head honcho in charge!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Twist Rod Set Tapered Fro

In the past I have been so frustrated when trying out products and not getting the promised results.

All methods don't work the same for everyone.

A number of factors may be affecting our results, including how our hair absorbs the products (porosity), texture (different strokes for different folks), and the order of product usage, etc.

When I read a label I tend to follow the instructions exactly.  If the product is geared towards a wash and go that failed, it gets chucked into my stash of failed products I just can't throw away because I spent the money.  It doesn't typically occur to me to try a wash n go product for a wet set.

If a product works, I'll keep using it the way it works.

I am not sure what made me reach for Miss Jessie's Pillow Soft Curls as my holding product for the wet set in my video, but I am so glad!  The resulting set was super soft and beautiful.  Dare I say, softer than when used for my wash n go?

Check out the video!  This one is a keeper!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

So you want to homeschool? | Save time and Money

When I decided to homeschool, I thought that buying curriculum and having a stack materials that no one could take away from me was the first step.  I still feel my blood pumping whenever I purchase a school book, or walk into an office supply store!

Maybe it's OK to purchase one small thing, but I am asking you to stop and step away from your wallet for a minute.

Consider the following:

1. Train your child to listen to you in the school room.  Discipline is key or nothing is getting done no matter how much money you spend on curriculum.

2. How does your child learn?  Most really young children are going to need some kind of hands on demonstration even if they ultimately prove to be auditory or visual learners.  Curriculum is often designed to work best with a certain kind of learning style.

3.  How do you teach best?  While you definitely want to pay attention to your child's learning style, it may have to be tempered by how you understand and like to work with things.  If you hate being crafty, but your child really needs to have an experience to process information, you can plan ahead to make that happen even if you don't do all of it yourself.

4. What is your budget?  You will find curriculum at every price point.  Some people even make an art of paying absolutely nothing for what they do.  In the beginning, make use of the library to try out items to see what you think of them.  They may look great online, but work terribly for you in practice.  Also, what may be working very well for your friend, may not be what you are looking for.  If you can borrow materials or try them out without much expense, it will be easier to drop them and move on.

5. Know your state requirements.  Everything from letting your state know you plan to homeschool for the year, progress reports, to liberty in choosing a curriculum will vary according to the laws that govern the state you live in.  Your state homeschool support system is a great way to get support from other homeschoolers about what the process looks like where you live.  They are also an awesome resource for researching and trying out curriculum for free.

When you are confident about the above five, you'll find Google and Amazon to be your best friends.  I always research customer reviews.

Ready.  Set. Go!

Congratulations on your decision to homeschool!  It's not easy, but I thank God for it.