Monday, July 29, 2013

Why I Quit Homeschooling

Hi All,

I'm writing this post to let those who have tried homeschooling, and for one reason or another decided to send their children to school, that they are not alone.

To set the stage, our oldest daughter went to Kindergarten alternating days, full days.  Then for grades one and two I homeschooled her.  I also homeschooled my next oldest for Kindergarten and grade 1 simultaneously.

Now, this coming year I have decided to send them to school, or as I'd rather put it, I decided to delegate the academics to the public school.

During this deciding time I turned to the internet to see if there were others with this same mindset.  I googled "quitting homeschooling" and all I seemed to find was homeschoolers who are having one of "those days" and they feel like homeschooling, or others who are trying to encourage those who want to quit to keep going. If you want encouragement to keep going, stop reading.  There are plenty of other blog posts supporting that decision.

No.  This blog post is to say I QUIT.  That's it!  Enough!  I've had it!  It wasn't a matter of praying more, or that I'm more selfish than others or me not following God's will.  God does call others to homeschool and I will not deny that.  I felt that He was calling me the beginning.  But now?  I have no calling either way.  The truth is, sometimes a lot of the big decisions in our life are largely up to us.  The point is trying to do our best for God's sake.  Doing it the best that you can do for Him.  Whether it's becoming an accountant or a teacher, marrying this person or that one, homeschooling or public school.  Be the best person you can be to give God glory in whatever you decide.

I'm stopping because I'm not truly convicted of my reasons to homeschool in the first place.  What were my reasons anyway?  Did I really believe I could teach my children better than the teachers who have gone to school for this particular purpose in the first place?  No, I have no other education other than my High school diploma and learning in the school of Life (I'm not saying that those who have no post-secondary can't homeschool).  Did I think I could pass my faith on better at home that with them at school?  No, I think I can do it just the same.  Did I think that with my children around me All day Every day was better for them or me?  Nope.

I'm looking forward to this coming September, not so that I can "send my children off" as if I'm expecting the teachers to raise my children eight hours of the day.  I'm looking forward to this September so that I can be a better balanced Mother, instead of this tyrannical teacher I've played for the past two years.  I'm looking forward to this September so that I can play with my younger children while the older ones are learning at a great school.  I'm looking forward to welcoming my older children off the bus with the wind back in my sails.

Yes, if you were once a homeschooler and decided to delegate the learning to the public schools, you are not alone, you are not a failure, you are not even a quitter.

The point of being a good parent is doing what is best for your children whether that's teaching them at home or sending them to school.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Jazzing Up a Store-Bought Cake

Hi All,

My young son just turned 5!  Boy, where has the time gone?  Usually I make the cake but this time I opted for easy and bought a plain vanilla cake from the grocery store.

Since this cake was for a birthday, it needed a special touch for my boy.

So this is how I decorated a plain store-bought cake.

Most stores will add writing for free, so that was the first step.

I've seen bunting as a cake topper online.


But my son wanted a superhero cake so I made a Superman style bunting.

First I needed to make a template of the Superman Emblem. I googled it and clicked on images.

Then I pushed my laptop screen all the way back and VERY GENTLY traced.

I made a couple stars as well.  Cut them out of cardstock and tape to some yarn.  I ran out of bamboo sticks but had chopsticks.  So I used those instead.

Next you just add some small figurines and candles.

There you have.  Low cost with big effect.



Friday, July 12, 2013

Organizing Kids Clothes

Hi All,

When you have kids you accumulate a lot of clothes.  They grow like weeds and in a matter of a few years you have on hand about six full wardrobes of different sizes.  It makes frugal sense to keep the clothes.  But a few children later, and different genders, what do ya do with them?

This is what I did.

First, you need to assess what you have.  Gather all your clothes.

Create piles with different clothing in each.  For example, all the PJ's in one, tops in another, bottoms in another, you get the idea.

After that's been sorted, gather just one of the piles.  Now sort the different sizes.  Here I've sorted my sons tops.  Newborn to 3 months, 6-9 months, 12 months, Sz 2 tee's, Sz 2 long sleeves and sweaters, etc.

Now sort through each of these mini piles.  Ask your self  "How many (shirts, tees, sweaters) in this size do I really need?",  "Why did I pack this away dirty?".

For the next step you will need some bags. This is what I used:

 I bought them from Dollartree.  The over-sized plastic zip bags are much less expensive than the brand name ones. I also bought these travel bags.  They're quite large and once everything is in them you roll the bag and the air comes out the end, so they take up less room.  I tended to use the travel bags for pants and dresses (anything big, or that I had lots of). Everything else fit either in the over-sized bags, or large Zip bags.

The next step is you "file" the clothes you decide to keep in whatever sized plastic zip bag they require.

 LABEL.  I made tabs for the left-hand corner of the bag with some tape.

And there you have it.  Now you can see what you have in each category of clothing.  It took me a long time to do all of this since we have girl clothes from NB to size 7 and boy clothes from NB to size 4. But well worth it.

I also have a bin for clothes that my boy has yet to grow into and my oldest girl to grow into.  In these bins I just tossed whatever I get into them.  They're not sorted but I don't have too much so it's no big deal to sort when the time comes that they need something from them.

If my kids get into one of these bins and start trying on different things, there's no need to fret anymore ('cause it's happened before), I can just grab the garment, see what size it is and put it in it's appropriate sized bag.

All of these bins are kept in the baby room closet.  Jackets that they will wear when the winter season arrives are hung in there too.

Cue happy dance.



Sunday, July 7, 2013

Kool-Aid Dishwasher Cleaner

Hi All,

Dishwashers.  They clean your dishes, hence the name.  But I never really thought I had to clean the dishwasher.  I mean I do wipe it out every once and a while.  Deep clean a dishwasher?  Your dishes come out clean so I figured the washer itself should be clean too, right?  But we do deep clean our showers, baths and sinks, so it does make sense to deep clean the dishwasher too.

I've read about using Kool-Aid to clean your dishwasher.  Apparently, ONLY Kool-Aid Lemonade works because of the citric acid.  I went shopping and all I could find was Kool-Aid Lemon-Lime.  I figured Lime is also a citrus right?  So I gave it a try. (Normal Cycle, no dishes)

The result?  Inconclusive.   I think it worked. The dishwasher didn't smell as bad as it usually does after a load.  It didn't really smell at all, and I think it looked cleaner.  I will have to try the Lemonade one to compare.  Good news though; my dishwasher didn't turn green!

I wanted to write this post just to debunk the "Lemonade is the only Kool-Aid to work".  Lemon-Lime also works, I think.

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