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Monday, July 21, 2014

Our Homeschool Journey

So many times people ask when I began homeschooling my children. I know they mean "formally with academics". 

When my children were little they leaned to crawl, talk, walk, use the potty, dress themselves, make their beds, clean up after themselves, tie their shoes, etc. So learning was just a natural part of life.

I helped them as they learned the alphabet, learned to sound out words, and read at home.
We began our official "homeschooling adventure" when my son was 4 years old in Pre-K. I actually got a preschool curriculum from a friend and used it. (It was from Weaver called Interlock.)

So the next year when it came time to enroll him in Kindergarten, I decided to begin homeschooling. I really just took it year by year.  I had the heart to do it, and really felt that for my children it would be great. I really sort of took it year by year. I had many things cross my mind, can I teach him everything he needs to know? Will I ruin my kid forever?  Will he be able to interact with others? Will he be too sheltered?  All those common things that people seem to assume about homeschooling.

Fast forward....9 years later and my son will begin his Freshman year of high school this year. This was another time that I really stepped back, prayed and my husband and I talked again about the direction we should go. Should we continue this course, or choose another. My son, was the biggest factor-he wants to continue to homeschool.

There are many reasons different people choose to homeschool Not everyone chooses to homeschool for the same reasons. Some are religious, some are because of the schools being more dangerous, bullying, some are flexibility, and others choose to do so because it opens up many opportunities to unconventionally teach your children. It gives you freedom to try different materials and approaches and see what works best for each childs' learning style.

We have tried curriculum materials, some we loved, and others we set aside, since they didn't work so well for us. Learning is a lifestyle, not something we do just during set school hours. We have learned unconventionally, we have studied out in nature and been able to go on many great field trips. Most of the time I learn new things right along with the kids. Learning never ceases. In fact I must admit my love for history wasn't even ignited until I began homeschooling. I discovered a literature approach to history which made all the difference for me. I grew up reading history from a traditional boring textbook, but now we get to travel along with characters of the past in amazing books and adventures. The kids and I have had many opportunities that we would have never had if they had been enrolled in traditional school. Especially opportunities to share together in this amazing journey.

The kids and I taking a walk at 10 AM on a traditional school day.
So glad we get to spend this time together and not segregated.  

Now, even though I am pro-homeschooling, it doesn't mean I am against traditional (public or private) schools. I am for allowing parents to make that decision for themselves.  They can decide what they feel is the best way to educate their child. I believe parental involvement is very important no matter how one chooses to educate their child. I can tell you that I want my town to have the very best educational opportunities for everyone. I believe having more choices is better, than fewer.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Amazing Benefits of Mila-The Only Chia Seed You Need

This is another product that Cleanses, Balances and Builds the body. Skip to 4:12 to hear the benefits of adding Mila to your diet.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Visit To Ijams

Today our hiking club went to Ijams Nature Center. This is a great place to view nature, hike, play, and they have a little exhibit area too. We haven't been in a couple years and I have to say after going today I am very sad that I haven't taken advantage of it more. It is a great place to go and free to the public.

Here are some pictures of what we did today. We hiked the Universal and River Trails today. Then played in Jo's Grove which is like fairy land for kids. I never even knew this existed, so I think it might be a new addition. It is a great place to have a picnic lunch and allow the kids to play, jump over logs etc.

At the Discovery Center

One of the many scenic views along the river trail.

A beautiful farm across the river. On the river trail.

Beautiful wild foliage line the trails.

A couple trails are paved. But not all. So be sure to ask and plan appropriately if you plan to take a stroller.

Jo's Grove. This is like a fairy play land for kids. There are little huts made from sticks, a playhouse, Logs to walk on, or sit on. Picnic tables and benches for lunch or for watching the kids play. The area is all shaded. It was a lovely little place to play. Even the 14 year old boys enjoyed it.

I found out today that they actually have many planned events during the summer months. Many times a hike is planned with a volunteer. These are great because most of the time, theses people know a lot about the plants, and wildlife in the park and can point it out. For more information visit their website.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Cleanse, Balance & Build - Proper Health Strategy

I mentioned before in my previous post about the Cleanse, Balance, Build Philosophy of Genesis Pure. This is what really separates this company from the others. To obtain good health, we have to do all three in the body. So many people try to approach health as a magic pill type of strategy.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Bays Mountain

Sunday, we went to visit Bays Mountain.
This was our first visit there.
This cute little raccoon looked rather lonely in the cage by himself.

There were a couple grown wolves in a large habitat. Stick around for the wolf pups later.

This little fawn was nursing. These deer were in one of the enclosures.
There is a Herpetarium in a building at the park. You can view snakes, lizards, turtles, etc.

My absolute favorite part was the nature trails. There are many trails, short ones, long ones, steep ones, etc. Here are some picture of the trail we took around the lake.






Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Vitacost savings

A few months ago I began purchasing from Vitacost. After visiting the site a few times, I saw that I could buy many things I was already buying -cheaper at Vitacost. Other items I could not even get locally so it became a great option for me to obtain them.

I always make sure I order the minimum so I can get free shipping. But again these are things that I would have bought somewhere else. I vary my order each month based on our needs.

This month I bought 3 cans of organic beans, A big jar of organic coconut oil, sunbutter (something new I recently heard about which is sunflower seed butter. I just tasted it and I love it!)  I also bought non gmo all natural honey. All of these items I cannot even get locally.

The Giovanni shampoo I use, I can get locally but it is over $8 for each bottle at my local Walmart. Vitacost's price is $5.19 on those same bottles.

I also never have to worry about packaging they are very careful to tape lids and even place them in extra bags when necessary to avoid spillage in shipping.

Last month they left out a new organic, natural tooth paste we are switching to. I just sent them a quick note, and it was shipped the very next day. So I have had great service with them as well.

I plan to make them part of my monthly shopping and save more money. If you are new to Vitacost you can sign up and get $10 off your first order by getting a referral link from me. Send me an email request for the link and I will get it to you.