Debunking 10 Myths of Homeschool Moms and Their Kids

We’ve come across plenty of folks, who, after learning we homeschool our kids, give us The Look … followed by The Nod, paired with The Smile. Then, I get the, “Oh, that’s nice!” I’m not really sure what they’re thinking, positive or negative. But if at least one of the common myths of homeschoolers has clouded their thinking, this is my attempt to bring some clarity to the issue.

Debunking 10 Myths of Homeschool Moms and Their Kids

Debunking Homeschooling Myths

1. Homeschool kids don’t know how to socialize.
I never understood this one. Kids come in all shapes and sizes. Some will be more social than others, homeschooled or not. Nowadays, being social means looking down at a screen. That’s something I want my kids to unlearn.

2. Homeschool kids won’t learn what the other kids are learning.
Even though I spend a lot of time preparing our lessons, my kids still claim they learned such-and-such from PBS Kids. So, if what other kids are learning and remembering also come in the form of a TV show or an app, then my kids are just fine.

Debunking Homeschool Myths

3. Homeschool kids can’t participate in extracurricular activities.
My problem is that the flexibility of a homeschool schedule presents too many extracurricular options. Do I really want to drive one kid to dance class, one to basketball, and another to Jiu-Jitsu. I mean, when will I have time to go shopping?

4. Homeschool moms drag their kids to run errands all day.
This brings to mind a day at the store with my littles when the cashier raised an eyebrow at one of my kids and said, “Shouldn’t you be in school?” For the record, we were actually in the middle of a math lesson, showing my kids how much you can save when you use coupons.

5. Homeschoolers stay in their pajamas all day.
Oh, come on! We’re not gonna go to Target in our pajamas!

Debunking Homeschool Myths

6. Homeschool moms don’t get any chores done.
On the contrary, “Chores” is a required subject in our school.

7. Sleeping in and starting school at 11 am is normal.
Not entirely true. We’ve indulged in some late starts, but my kids probably end up doing more school than I did as a kid, working through summer breaks and an occasional Saturday. And forget about taking a sick day … if my kid starts feeling better by lunch, it’s time to crack open those books.

8. Homeschool moms don’t get any breaks.
Sure I do! When my husband gets home from work, it’s “Wrestle with Daddy” time … also known as P.E. class.

Debunking Homeschool Myths

9. All homeschoolers come from a big family.
Exactly how would you define “big”?

10. Homeschool moms have it all together.
We don’t. Some days, I want to hit the snooze button one more time. Or, I want to be excused from class. Or, I’m the one having a meltdown.

But my students are very forgiving. They know that Teacher Mommy doesn’t always have it together, but she’s doing her best. And though they would vote for me as their favorite teacher (Do they have a choice? ;-) ), they really deserve the greater honor of Class of the Year.

Debunking Homeschool Myths

 

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Make Over Your Mornings One Day Sale {Today Only!}

Are you tired of the mad rush every morning? Do you want to take steps to redeem the early hours of your day?

Today only, August 25th, Make Over Your Mornings online course is just $10! You won’t see a price drop like this until next year!

Make Over Your Mornings by Crystal Paine is a 14-day online course, which provides both the inspiration and practical direction so that you can start your days off on a good note.

It’s not a super intense course that saps more energy from you … who needs another thing to add to your stressful day? Rather, each day’s reading and video takes only about 15 minutes, but the ongoing results can last a lifetime.

To sign up, click here.

 
 
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Thank you for your support! I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Click here for more information on my disclosure.
 

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If You Got Up 30 Minutes Before Your Kids Do …

Imagine a world where your home is peaceful and quiet, where no one is asking you to get this or make that … Imagine being in this world for 30 minutes.

If You Got Up 30 Minutes Before Your Kids Do …

Inspired to Get Up Early

Instead of being abruptly jolted out of dream state by your kids, you can intentionally wake up at least a half hour before they do. You’d be amazed at how much you can accomplish in that time when you’re not distracted by so many other things. Here are some suggestions on how to make use of those 30 minutes.

Read

“I never have time to read.” Many moms, including me, have expressed this frustration. But if we truly wanted to, we would make time for it. I love being able to read the Bible and pray and truly be alone with God. Remember that 30 minutes of uninterrupted reading time is huge for a mom of little ones!

Exercise

Again, this falls in the “never have time for” department. We can commit to exercise if we truly see it as important. I’m preaching to myself here, folks!

Drink a Hot Cup of Coffee … real slow

Not lukewarm. Not reheated 5 times. A hot, freshly brewed cup of coffee. Or whatever it is that you like to enjoy without interruption.

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Shower

It’s amazing how a shower or just getting out of my pajamas can signal the start of my day with the kids. If I wait until the afternoon, then I can tell you that all the time before that was probably not used well.

Communications

You can actually respond to those emails and text messages without feeling rushed. So difficult to do during the day when your littles are trying to get your attention, and you are at the mercy of autocorrect.

Journal

Keeping a log of the happenings in your world is a wonderful way to preserve a piece history for the generation to come. Wouldn’t it be neat, when your children are grown, for them to read about what life was like for you as a mom?

Inspired to Get Up Early

Food Prep

Have breakfast ready for your sleepy-eyed children and lunches packed for those going to school and/or work. You can even do some dinner preparations, like getting the slow cooker going or precutting some vegetables.

Hobby or Project

Devoting just a few minutes each day might bring you closer to finishing that project than just leaving it on the table untouched while you wait for a whole day to free up so you can tackle it.

Clean Up

A quick clean up could mean one less thing on the day’s to do list. So let’s tidy up before those kids wake up and create more mess for you to clean up.

Make a List of Goals

Just 2 to 4 goals. My husband has encouraged me to include in my goals at least one fun thing, whether it’s something I want to do on my own or with the children. Things can get crazy busy sometimes that we forget to simply do something we enjoy.

What would be on your “Before the Kids Wake Up” list?

Could you use some extra help and inspiration in this area? Join me in following Make Over Your Mornings, an online course by Crystal Paine to help us bring some order to our early hours. [affiliate link]

To get started, click here.

 
 
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Thank you for your support! I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Click here for more information on my disclosure.
 

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“Make Over Your Mornings” {Special Offer}

I’m a big believer in making the most of the mornings. Once my kids wake up, they are wide-eyed, energized, and ready for the day. The questions begin the second they see me. “What’s for breakfast?” “Can I have some milk?” “What are we doing today?” If I don’t match their eagerness, the result is a rough start to what could be a very long day.

“Make Over Your Mornings”

Make Over Your Mornings
As much as I would like to always have those productive couple of hours when the house is quiet and the sun is just beginning to emerge, it doesn’t always happen. I had a baby a few months ago, and you can forget about any kind of morning routine around here!

But now that my little one is sleeping through the night, and I’m passed the “Mommy Zombie” phase, I want to get back in the habit of making better use of the early morning hours.

For us, homeschool starts next week, and after a very relaxed summer schedule, my children will experience the shock of their lives. To soften the blow for me as well, I could use some motivation and inspiration to redeem my mornings and, in turn, make the most of the rest of the day.

Make Over Your Mornings

I’m excited to take part in Make Over Your Mornings, an online course by Crystal Paine (aka Money Saving Mom). She has inspired countless women, not just to live frugally, but to live intentionally. This 14-day course only takes about 15 minutes a day, each day consisting of a short video from Crystal, a brief reading from the handbook, and a project list to help you apply the lessons to your everyday life in manageable, bite-sized chunks. [affiliate link]

I just started the course and look forward to more! How about you? Would you like to stop feeling like you’re sinking in quicksand the second you step out of your bed? Do you want to take solid steps towards starting each day in the right direction? I know I do. Care to join me?

Go to Make Over Your Mornings to sign up.



Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Thank you for your support! I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Click here for more information on my disclosure.

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Lessons from a Model Home

Lessons from a Model Home (John 14:2-3)

We go to my in-laws’ house often, and every time we go, we pass by this new housing development. Even though we weren’t in the market to buy a house, we decided to go and check out the model homes. They weren’t exactly in our price range, but we thought we could get some good decorating ideas. If anything, it was a good way to beat the summer heat by walking through beautifully decorated, air-conditioned homes.

As expected, they were gorgeous, immaculate, and perfectly staged to make you think, I can see myself living here. They certainly fooled my kids, as they ran from room to room, staking their claim on which one would be their bedroom.

Lessons from a Model Home (John 14:2-3)

But those homes weren’t real. The bowls and plates that were arranged and set nicely on the dining table were all glued to each other. The boxes of boardgames on display in the family room were all empty. And although those houses were not lacking in furnishings, they were certainly lacking in life.

No one lived there.
No one was there to give us a warm welcome.
No one was there to receive us and say, “See this place. I prepared it especially for you.”

Lessons from a Model Home (John 14:2-3)

That was not my home, not even because we couldn’t afford it. My home is not of this world. It is a better home, prepared not by top designers, but by Jesus Himself. And to that promise, I cling.

“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:2-3

Often, we have a strong grip on this life. We can hold on tightly to our comforts and earthly treasures. Even when it comes to things that cause so much anguish in our hearts, we will choose to hang on to the misery rather than casting our cares upon God. Bible verses, like the one above, are a reminder that for those who believe in Him, there awaits a far better place.

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Brush Your Way to Glowing Skin: The Jen Charming Body Brush {Review}

I’m a low maintenance kind of girl. Call it lazy, but that’s just how I’ve always been. I don’t wear too much makeup. My usual hairstyle is a ponytail. Adding a little bit of gel to tame the frizz is a step up. And my daily beauty regimen pretty much consists of brushing my teeth.

But I’m getting old. And, this low maintenance girl realizes she needs to start exerting more effort in taking care of her slowly decaying body. My skin, for one, has become an issue. The battle with dry skin can no longer be fought with lotion alone. So when I heard about dry brushing, I thought, “Dry what??”

Brush Your Way to Glowing Skin: The Jen Charming Body Brush

Jen Charming Body Brush Review

According to Jen Charming, dry brushing is the removal of toxins and dead skin cells from your body. By regularly brushing your body, the skin will feel softer and more natural.

Jen Charming sent me their Dual Head Body Brush to try it out for myself. [affiliate link]  But, where do I begin? Fortunately for newbies like me, instructions on how to use the brush are on the Jen Charming website. So, I began with my feet, brushing up my legs. Then, on to my hands and up my arms. Finally, the torso, the front and then the back. The long handle was helpful for getting my back.

At first, it felt … well, weird. My skin wasn’t used to the friction. But by the second use, I was feeling pretty good. Honestly, it was quite relaxing to brush my skin.

So after a few weeks of body brushing twice a day (morning and night), I did notice a difference. My skin did feel softer and smoother. The rougher areas, like elbows and knees, took a bit of work, but I can definitely see the effectiveness of dry brushing. I thought about sharing some before and after pictures, but — Ahem! — they were somehow deleted from my phone, and you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Jen Charming Body Brush Review

It takes me about 2 minutes to dry brush from start to finish. That’s about the maximum amount of uninterrupted time I get before hearing the door knob jiggle. “Mommy, so-and-so hit me.” “Mommy, I need toilet paper.” “Mommy, why is your door locked?”

So anyway, 2 minutes tops! I remember years ago, following this skin regimen that required 4 or 5 steps. First I used the moisturizing cream, then exfoliated with this other cream. Or was it the other way around? Yep, it was a bit complicated. Not to mention it was expensive to buy all those products!

The Jen Charming Body Brush is easy to use, reasonably priced, and made well. I bought a similar brush at Walmart to use in the shower, except that it was plastic. I got what I paid for … a cheap brush that eventually ended up in the trash.

When I need a mommy break, a relaxing day of being pampered at the spa sounds like a plan. Oh, who am I kidding? That thought never really enters my mind. Who needs to spend all that money at a posh spa anyway? I’ll take my 2 minutes and my Jen Charming brush, and I’m good to go.

Are you interested in giving body brushing a try? You can find the Jen Charming Body Brush on Amazon. Click here to order.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the product mentioned above to facilitate this review. Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Click here for more information on my disclosure.

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4 Tips to Getting Your Family Out the Door on Time

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When our family needs to be somewhere at a certain time, it’s often a mad rush to get out the door. Don’t be that innocent bystander standing in the middle of the hallway, or you’ll likely get knocked down by a kid or two. I can’t claim we’ve mastered the art of getting out the door on time. Sometimes someone can’t find their shoes. Sometimes someone will need to sit on the toilet for a while. Sometimes we will simply be late. I accept that.

But we try–really try–not to be the stereotypical family running on “Filipino time.” I met a woman, who told me they call it “Hawaiian time” in their family. I know many other cultures that have adapted this little phrase to excuse their tardiness. Let’s face it. Most of us have this problem.

On the TODAY Parenting Team, I share my tips to help you and your family leave the house on time.

4 Tips to Getting Your Family Out the Door on Time

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The invitation says “2:00 pm”. For reasons still unknown to you, no matter how much time you have to get ready, you will almost always be late to the party. At 10 minutes past the hour, one kid might have permanent marker art on her face, another one is still in his underwear, and you’re afraid you may show up at the event with your messy pony tail and yoga pants. Sound familiar? Here are some tips to help you and your family get out the door in a timely fashion.
. . . .

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You Can Homeschool Your Child with Special Needs

That moment when a parent learns that his or her child has special needs can feel like being stuck in the tracks, while an oncoming train of information is running full steam ahead. If you are that parent, a major decision that you will have to face is education. There are many options, but if you have decided to homeschool, you may be feeling apprehensive. Don’t let the lack of experience or credentials lead you to believe you’re not qualified to do this. You are a greater expert on your child than you think.

You Can Homeschool Your Child with Special Needs

Homeschooling a Child with Special Needs

Study Your Child

You will be a student first before becoming a teacher. By studying your child, you will have a firmer grasp on his temperament and learning style. A helpful resource is 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy [affiliate link]. This was instrumental in figuring out my kid’s learning style as well as shrinking down the mountain of available curriculum to what would best work for us.

Split Up Your Day

My child was first diagnosed with a language disorder and, later on, with auditory processing disorder. My biggest mistake when I first started homeschooling was trying get our work done as quickly as possible to avoid any resistance, like when you gulp down that nasty medicine because it’s easier than torturing your tastebuds with little sips. But it doesn’t work that way with a special needs child. Little sips of work with lots of small breaks sprinkled in between will grant you a more productive school day.
Homeschooling a Child with Special Needs

Spend One-on-One Time

One of the biggest reasons why you probably want to homeschool is because your child thrives on one-on-one interaction, whereas a busy classroom of 30+ kids may leave your child ignored at best. If you have more than one kid, set up rotating “stations” of independent activities, like computer games, reading, or workbooks, and make one of those stations a Mommy and Me time. That way, everyone can have one-on-one time with you.

Set Up Your Child for Success

Another mistake I’ve made was presenting lessons solely in a lecture format, containing little or no visual aids, even though my kid was a visual and kinesthetic learner. When preparing schoolwork for your child, set him up for success. Slowly challenge him in areas, where he is weak, but not to the point of frustrating him, and pair it with activities that will call on his strengths.
Homeschooling a Child with Special Needs

See Each Day as a New Day

When you’re homeschooling a child with special needs, today will not look like yesterday or the day before. That science experiment may not have piqued your youngster’s interest as you thought it would. That very engaging math lesson just went over his head. An unavoidable meltdown caused you to end school early.

Though you didn’t complete anything in today’s lesson plan, the learning doesn’t have to stop. So, close those school books, just for now. Snuggle on the couch with a favorite story book or bake some cookies together. Tomorrow will be a new day.
Homeschooling a Child with Special Needs

Are you considering homeschooling? What are some of your concerns?

Have you homeschooled a child with special needs? What is your advice? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Click here for more information on my disclosure.

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And the Winner is …

  

Congratulations to Jennie on winning the Mighty Mug Giveaway! Thank you all for participating!  
There will be more giveaways to come. Stay up-to-date by subscribing to the latest posts.

Note: The winner was selected via random.org.
 

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5 Things I Learned From Our Theme Park Day

Theme Park Lessons for Mommy
It’s time for 5 Things, where I share 5 of anything that happens to be on my mind. And since this blog has recently been all-things-theme-park, I figure I’d keep going with that. But, unlike the previous posts on how to save money at these places, this one just takes you on a tour of the park, as seen through my eyes.

Well, the night before our fun day, when the kids were tucked in bed, my husband and I were on the internet, planning our day at the theme park. It was just one day, and we intended to maximize it. We noted the height requirements for the different rides, made a list of the attractions to visit, and studied the map to determine the most efficient route.

The park’s hours of operation were from 10:30 am to 9:00 pm. Shall we dare stay the whole 10 and a half hours? Would the kids be able to hang? Would we?

Well, we did. I don’t know how, but we did. And, we didn’t choke each other in the process. But, I did take away 5 lessons from that eventful day.

Theme Park Lessons for Mommy

#1  Things won’t always go according to plan.

No matter how meticulous we were in planning each step, there was bound to be unexpected detours. For us, it happened at the entrance gate when my ticket was scanned, and I was told that I had already used it last month. Huh? Really? Would I really go there without my family? I mean, I know I need a break once in a while, but going to Target by myself will do.

#2  We should’ve circled all the bathrooms on our map.

After our ticket misunderstanding was cleared up, we took less than 10 steps when my youngest boy announced that he desperately needed to go potty. Where’s the nearest bathroom?? And of course, this happened a few more times throughout the day.

#3  I can still ride a roller coaster.

I used to ride roller coasters all the time, but my fears have grown over the years. Since some of my kids are old enough to ride them now, I have to toughen up a bit. If I can handle 20 hours of labor and delivery, surely a 2-minute thrill ride is tolerable.

Theme Park Lessons for Mommy

#4  Consuming a funnel cake can always be justified.

It was almost closing, and we were beat. As we made our way to the exit, a place selling funnel cakes happened to be conveniently located near the gates. Though I can easily say no to my kid asking for those cheesy souvenir magnets, we will surely make room in our budget for funnel cakes.

#5  A fast food dinner at 9:30 pm is an exception I’m willing to make.

As we loaded up the van, the kids asked if we were going to eat dinner. I thought, We just had a delicious funnel cake dinner. But no, they were still hungry.

I was achy. I was tired. And the last thing on my mind was lecturing my kids on healthy eating … and after walking around that park from morning till night, a bacon cheeseburger and curly fries sounded like a good way to end a very long day.

Theme Park Lessons for Mommy

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