A Mental Shift Part 1

image1I think one of the hardest shifts for most new homeschoolers is to stop thinking like a public schooler. Unless you were raised as a homeschooler, then all that you know and are familiar with is the public school mindset. We have been fed our entire lives that this is what we do. When we turn five, we go to kindergarten. With my oldest daughter, there was even tons of pressure that she NEEDS to be in preschool or how will she possibly be ready to enter kindergarten. It was like we were preparing her for law or medical school, but it was kindergarten! So much pressure! And guess what?! I fell for it! I asked and researched to find the best preschool in our area and I enrolled her. We paid a crazy amount of money each month for her to go learn her colors, write her ABC’s and be “properly” socialized with a bunch of other kids her own age. It was a shock to me when I found out while she was learning to write her ABC’s that they were improperly teaching her how to write certain letters because she wasn’t getting it “fast” enough and so they made it easier for her. It took me YEARS to correct that! And let’s talk socialization! She came home with name-calling, anger and an unhealthy concern about what she should be wearing. So why was I doing it? Because that’s what we do! We send our kids away and hope for the best, thinking that this is the way society has done it and has told me to do it for years and so it must be the best way. So here it is…the first mental shift we have to make. The idea, the notion, that it’s o.k. that I don’t send my kid to preschool. And can I maybe take it a shift further and say that it’s ok that I don’t send them to kindergarten. Now I know at first this might strike some different levels of varying emotions in you. Anger. Anger that I am even suggesting this! Confused. Confused as to why we’ve been told that this is how we do things. Fear. Fear that what I am saying might be true and what do I do now! Don’t stress! These feelings are all normal. But if you’re still reading this and your brain is reeling with the beginnings of this mental shift that I am walking you through then stay tuned for part 2 of this mental shift series. And if you’re already thinking you might want to do this, then check out the shop or click the link to find The Savvy Homeschooler’s Guide to How to Start Homeschooling.

How to Start Homeschooling

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How to Homeschool Guide

How to Homeschool

If you haven’t seen or heard, I have just recently released a new product that I’m super nervous, but super excited about. This is something I’ve been developing for over a year and am confident that anyone that is feeling lost on how to start homeschooling or is struggling will greatly benefit from this guide.

I get it! I’ve been there! Starting to homeschool is TERRIFYING! There is a plethora of information out in the world regarding homeschool and it can be overwhelming and that’s why I’ve created this product. So many families have approached me and asked, “how do I start?” and that is what inspired me to create this.

If you’re lacking in confidence, this will help. If you’re worried about being compliant with state laws regarding homeschool, this will address that. Are you concerned about choosing the right curriculum for your child? No stress! This guides you through that as well. And did I mention the homeschool personality quiz, mapping out your homeschool day and other organizational tools to help you on your way to success? These tools are exclusively available in The Savvy Homeschooler’s Guide to Homeschooling.

So if you’re on the fence about homeschooling, just go check it out! This can help you with that decision. If you are trying to figure out how to be a better homeschooler this can help you too! Head on over to The Shop or click on the link below to take you to

The Savvy Homeschooler’s Guide to Homeschooling

Healthy Hot Chocolate

I don’t know about you but the weather around here has definitely turned very cold! We LOVE hot cocoa at our house this time of year, but I HATE all of the nasty ingredients in store bought cocoa mix. Plus, there can be a lot of sugar in those mixes which is no bueno for the waist line. So how do we warm up with our favorite drink without taking in all the crud? We make our own mix! It’s super simple, sugar free and tasty!img_6851

Ingredients

  • 6 tbs Unsweetened cocoa powder (I use a high quality dutch processed cocoa)
  • 1/2 cup Dry nonfat milk powder
  • 1 tsp Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 cup Baking stevia (we buy ours at Costco) 

Mix all the ingredients well and store in a sealed container. To enjoy hot chocolate, mix 1 tbs dry mix with 1 cup hot almond milk, skim milk, or water. Stir until hot chocolate mix is completely dissolved and well combined. We like to add vanilla and peppermint flavor to ours to make it more gourmet, but it tastes fine on it’s own. Enjoy!

*recipe found on https://dashingdish.com

 

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An Empty Cup

empty-cup

Have you ever felt like a cup? Sometimes you feel like your cup overflows and other times you find your cup dry. Very, very dry. That was how I felt this last week, an empty cup with nothing more to give. I don’t tell you this to have you feel sorry for me. I’m sharing this with you because I have a feeling that I’m not the only one who has felt like this. Non-homeschooling moms can definitely feel like this! But as homeschool moms, we can tend to give every ounce of ourselves, not take the time to fill our cup and then wonder why we feel so drained. It’s in those moments that we need to realize it’s ok to take time for ourselves. For me this last week it was going to Café Rio, eating a GINORMOUS salad and then heading to Target just to wander and picking up a couple of cute strands of gold Christmas lights. It helps that my kids are old enough that I can leave them for a couple of hours to go and have some time to myself, but when my kids were younger my husband understood the importance of refilling my cup and would find those times for me to get out and do that.

I also know that the Lord is incredibly mindful of my needing filling. It seemed that at the moment when I needed it most, the right people texted me to let me know they were thinking about me. Do what you can to surround yourself with good people that lift you up. People that take the time to listen to that still full-cupsmall voice that says someone might be having a hard time, you should send them a message. After those simple moments that fill your cup, make sure to take a moment to pay it forward and do a small simple act for someone else and you’ll find your cup will be doubly filled.

Life is one big balancing act and with all we do we can find ourselves teetering on the brink of falling of the balance beam. Try and catch yourself before you find yourself falling and readjust. Call in reinforcements, let that last load of laundry go, order pizza for dinner, take a break from regular lessons and watch a movie with your kids (without a laptop or phone in hand), or go to Café Rio and target! Whatever you need to do, recharge! Take the time to refill yourself and you will find that you will be a better version of yourself in no time! So what do you do to refill your cup?

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Dear Falling Behind

Dear Savvy Homeschooler-

teacherMy mother-in-law is a teacher at a public school and when I told her I was considering homeschooling my kids she told me that when formerly-homeschooled kids come into her classroom they are always behind. I obviously don’t want my kids to fall behind academically, so how do you make sure they receive an education that is on par with their peers so they can get into the college they want?

Dear Falling Behind,

First, I would like to ask your mother-in-law how many homeschooled students did she know personally that came back into her classroom that were all behind. Did she know maybe know a couple personally or just hear about kids coming to school and being behind? Either way, it doesn’t classify EVERY homeschooled kid as being “behind.” I put behind in quotations, because what does behind mean? Does it mean that your child isn’t learning everything that a child might be learning in a public school classroom? Then sure, they might be behind. But did you stop to think that a public school student might be behind too? Are there not classrooms with student’s that don’t know how totest read or understand math concepts being taught? Are there students that just study to pass a test, but aren’t really retaining any important information? But if testing is your gauge for success, then there are plenty of statistics done that show that homeschoolers test higher on average than public schoolers.

Here’s some food for thought: It just might be possible that homeschool kids are learning things at home that might not be being taught in the classroom, like the constitution or the bill of rights. constitution_we_the_peopleThese are things we’ve discussed as early as kindergarten in our home, but is the kindergarten up the street teaching those things? Probably not. So yes, there might be gaps in my third graders education because the third grade classroom that he could be currently attending is learning about cloud formations, but we learned about the periodic table of elements. Maybe during fourth grade we will study the weather and cloud formations. Do you see what I’m getting at here? In our home we study what we want to learn about, not what the state tells us we should be learning.

So unless you want to create a classroom setting in your home, check with heiwa_elementary_school_18your local school district to see what each grade is learning, then have individual lessons for several hours each day with each child that year, then go for it. But I can almost guarantee that you are setting yourself up for burnout and failure and almost definitely ruin the love of learning in your child/children.

As for your concern with you child getting into college, there are TONS of homeschoolers that have gone on to college. Colleges are actually seeking out homeschoolers because they are self-learners and highly motivated. A lot of public schoolers have had all their education spoon fed to them and don’t know how to learn for themselves and come to college not knowing how to learn or study, whereas homeschoolers have been learning that way their whole lives. A lot of colleges don’t even require a high school diploma or GED. It just requires the SAT or ACT and a portfolio of their work in high school. And the cool thing about the ACT is you can take it as many times as you want till you get the score you want. So if college is the goal of your homeschool student, then go for it! Nothings stopping you!

I think the hardest part of homeschooling is stepping out of the public school mindset that we have all been fed our whole lives. We feel we have to learn X,Y,Z at ages 5,6 and 7 because they will fail in life if they don’t. We feel we lieshave to be sitting at our desk for 6 hours a day to learn anything because if a child is in school for 6-7 hours a day then they must be learning that whole time…which is a BIG FAT LIE! We feel that if our child is not around 30 other children their same age for most of the day then they will be socially backward. Another BIG FAT LIE! These misconceptions are SO, SO hard to break out of, no matter how long you’ve been homeschooling for. If you were not raised in a homeschool family, then you probably attended public school, so that is all you know as the norm. Why would you think anything else would work? Especially when so many rumors have been spread about the homeschool realm. And why wouldn’t a public school teacher feel extra strong about homeschooling? I get it! Their very profession is being challenged. But there are lots of teachers that have quit their chosen profession due to seeing from the inside just how broken the system is and chosen to homeschool. What does that say? I’ll let you decide for yourself.

But the simple answer to your above questions is: Could your child be behind? Maybe. If for some reason you have to put them back in school, will they be able to catch back up quickly? Yes. And can your child still get into college? YES!

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