What Kind of Homeschooler Are You? #Results

The girls are in bed early and special speeches at the U.S. House are on C-SPAN. I’m totally nerding out right now. What I wouldn’t give to be in these guys’ shoes.

So I’m piddling around with a few projects and decided to take a break to scroll the ole Facebook feed. On one of homeschool groups, a mom posted a link to a fun little quiz, “What kind of homeschooler are you?” over at Eclectic Homeschooling.

You can take the quiz here.

My results:
Score for Charlotte Mason Education: 0
Score for Waldorf Education: 9
LOWEST: Score for Traditional Education: -7
Score for Unit Studies Education: 6
Score for Montessori Education: 21
Score for Thomas Jefferson Education: 10
HIGHEST: Score for Unschooling: 23
Score for Classical Education: 8

I’m surprised by the results. If I took this quiz even just two years ago, my highest and lowest would have been flipped.

Even though I’m a spontaneous person who makes snaps decisions, I thrive on structure. Our homeschool was going to be traditional with structure, textbooks, and all the other usual suspects.

But then we started to homeschool and that all changed. As we went with her cues and our family grew, we fell into unschooling. I can tell you now, our oldest doesn’t fit in any box. She’s dances on it.

My views on homeschool have changed drastically in the past five years. They continue to change. That’s a good thing. Our children’s education should be tailored to their abilities, weaknesses, strengths, interests, inner clock, etc.

The results of this 40-question quiz were interesting to me. It gave me something to chew on. How about you? You can take the quiz here.

Never stop learning. Never stop growing. Never retire from the quest for more.

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Play ball!

Tball season has arrived! This is becoming one of my favorite times of the year. Spring is waking up, stretching its arms. It’s warming up. Mommobiles are crowded into every possible makeshift parking space around the ball fields. You can hear the clanking of chain link fence and metal bats mingling with the giggles of small children. The concession stand is bustling – cans of pop, bags of chips, and hot dogs serve as dinner for the masses. Yep, tball season is in full swing in these parts.

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Our oldest daughter started tball back in Arkansas at the age of three. (Isn’t she cute with her little hairbows?) There the season started closer to summer and you have one practice plus four games. We had a load of fun with our dance and pageant friends. It was extremely laid back.

We missed sign-ups when we moved to Virginia, so she sat out one year. We picked back up last year and signed up again this year after having a positive experience. Here the season starts the first of April and runs through Memorial Day with weekly practices and games. They wear uniforms and carry gear. I like being more involved with it. I also like how tball goes through age 8 here. We had the option of joining a softball team, but that’s just too much for us right now.

We dropped competitive dance this year and recently retired from competing in pageants. We’ve kept it low key with a single ballet class. As dance winds down, we’ve picked up tball. Over summer we’ll do a swim class. I’ve learned the value of keeping it simple. Up until this year, our oldest was very busy with extracurriculars. I kept reading about scaling things back, keeping it simple, and being more relaxed. There was a time I laughed at that as we signed up for every last activity we could squeeze in. Now I get it. Slow down, focus on family time.

Next week is our first game of the season. We have a great coach and I’m already seeing improvements with her performance – for starters, she’s no longer galloping with her tongue hanging out all “happy dog”. We received our uniforms this week, so I’m off to “bling” hers out.

Play ball!

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Foodie Friday | Veggie Beef Soup

After a hiatus from my usual schedule to do the 30 Day Blogging Challenge, Foodie Friday is back!

I had a craving for the veggie beef soup. Not just any veggie beef soup. The veggie soup beef I would purchase by the half gallon every Wednesday from my favorite Mennonite bakery/deli back home. It’s made with brisket and it has a sweet tomato base. I’ve never tasted anything like it before and I’ve been unable to find a recipe for it.

So this week I decided to randomly pull a veggie beef soup recipe off Pinterest and see if it fulfilled my craving. I ran across this one by Gimmie Some Oven. I decided to try it not only because it looked easy and was “clean”, but one of my standout clogging routines from back in the day was “Gimmie Some Lovin'”. Weird, I know, but I think this recipe and I were meant to be.

The only adjustment I made was that I used A1 steak sauce in lieu of Worcestershire sauce because I was out. The soup is pretty awesome. Nothing like the one from the Mennonite place, but it made my craving go away. A big bowl is 301 calories according to my cal-tracking app. I’ll admit that yesterday I had a bowl for breakfast AND a bowl for dinner. It’s really that good.

So good, in fact, I didn’t get a pic before we polished it off. Opps. Sorry. It does look just like the pic below, though.

Easy to make. Crock pot friendly. Hearty, simple deliciousness.

I give you, Vegetable Beef Soup by Gimmie Some Oven:

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Enjoy!

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Girl Meets World to Introduce Gay Character… Why not a homeschooler?

images (4)The writers of Girl Meets world, the Disney-backed sequel to the 90’s cult classic Boy Meets World, are writing in a new character who is gay.

Many of the thousands of comments on social media said kids need to be aware of diversity around them. One comment noted that about 3% of the American population identifies as gay or bisexual, so it’s not a necessary topic. I looked it up and the percentage is around 3% who identify as gay or bisexual and up to 5% total including those who are not “out” yet.

This got me thinking. Homeschoolers make up about 9% of the youth population. That’s not counting adults who were homeschooled. Not a single program on the air has a homeschooled character. Why not include one to combat those stereotypes? If 3-5% requires a media takeover, shouldn’t 9% warrant at least a nod? My oldest would LOVE to see someone like her on tv. I’ve been wondering for years now why networks like PBS haven’t picked up a homeschool family show.

And yes, I do have a problem with bringing sexual preference into our home at this time. Our oldest is six and I don’t give a crap how aware of diversity you think she needs to be, sex is not a topic for us yet. Another bonus to homeschool is foregoing that topic until she brings it up. A first grader should not be concerned with if she’s attracted to boys or girls and what she should do about that. Being a Disney show means this topic will have age appropriate dialogue meant for her to understand. That’s a problem for me.

When she was five she saw two men kissing. She laughed because it was absurd to her – her daddy doesn’t kiss other men. I kept the explanation short and sweet: people love who they want to love and it’s none of our business. That was all her five year old self needed to move on.

Perhaps we should bring back the Golden Rule and leave it at that. There are so many ways in which a person can be “diverse” that instead of teaching awareness and acceptance, we should just teach kindness.

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30 Day Challenge {Day 30} Hopes for My Blog

Oh my Gawd, y’all… I MADE IT! I have never ever finished a 30 day challenge.

My final blogging challenge is what my hopes are for this blog.

Of course I’d love to have followers and make a little change, but I honestly just want to rediscover my love of writing. Once upon a time I was a good writer and found it easy to let the words flow, let my fingers dance across the keyboard. I could tell beautiful stories and make you laugh. I have that in me somewhere – I just need to find it again.

I hope I’m still blogging in a year.

I hope I have a few followers by then.

I hope I can buy myself something cute with the earnings.

That’s pretty much it.

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30 Day Challenge {Day 29} A Confession

f665ea1fca678aa3ae9e0043032d9ae2I’m always amused when people call me a “domestic goddess”. I do love to cook and it’s something I’m good at – now. I do love to sew and it’s something I’m good at – now. I do love to clean and it’s something I don’t mind doing – now.

But, I have a confession. I failed home-ec. Like, big fat F level of fail.

In eighth grade I barely passed. I showed signs of being able to cook, but I also showed I could be an awesome accidental meth cooker and had no idea what a trash disposal was. I played chemist with the various household chemicals one day and burned off the top layer of the counter top in my unit. Another day I broke a glass bowl and thought it fine to shove it down the garbage disposal in the sink.

In high school I rushed through my sewing project which looked like utter crap. Okay, so maybe I deserved a big fat F, but I’ll stand firm on giving one of my classmates an A after the teacher practically sewed her project for her. That was crap. Oh look, my politics-loving self was just starting to bloom then.

My entire life up until this point – despite my poor mother’s efforts in training me to be self sufficient – I had no interest in food prep, cleaning house, etc. You can pay someone to do all that stuff, right? Yeah, right. Not as a college kid or newlywed.

Shortly after we got married I let Martha Stewart tuck me under her wing. I soaked up everything Martha I could get my hands on. It worked – I’m the boss of my kitchen. I can cook just about anything.

I honed my sewing skills during this time as well. I’m self taught. Start small and work up big. Now it ain’t no thang to sew whatever my oldest daughter requests.

These past two years would be the first time I’ve nailed housework, cleaning, etc. I love cooking and cleaning now! I’ve become downright obsessive about it.

I’ve notice our youngest, at even 16 months old, has a little clean freak in her. She’ll clean up better than her six year old sister. Makes me proud.

Just sayin’… I haven’t always been a domestic goddess.

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30 Day Challenge {Day 28} Most Embarrassing Moment

Not a day goes by I don’t have an embarrassing moment. I’m an awkward goofball – it just happens naturally. But I’m okay with it. We’re going on 30+ years like this now, it’s just time to accept my fate and move on with life.

I guess my most embarrassing moment would have to be here recently. I applied for a very high position of leadership within one of the organizations I belong to. I wasn’t planning on it, but after being deluged by emails and messages, I went for it. Why not?! Carpe diem! Well, the day should’ve been left alone.

I pride myself on my “pageant girl” status as I think most do. We stand out, we have extensive public speaking and leadership experience… we’re different and we like it that way.

I’ve been through competition at all levels. I’ve coached girls through all levels. Now I’m a director and happy to help my girls work on their weaker areas. When asked if I was comfortable giving an interview, I told them I was comfortable on either side of the table. I had a strong interview in my pageant days, so I went into my interview for this leadership position like ain’t no thang.

Memo to self: Your pageant days were 10 years ago.

I bombed that interview. It was horrible. I let my nerves get the best of me. I kept referencing pageantry which I know made me look like an utter joke to these women interviewing me. For example, when asked how I would handle my strong political beliefs as a representative of the organization, I told them it’s no different than being crowned Miss America who leaves herself behind to assume the role of ambassador for the Miss America Organization. What a stupid correlation! In front of a group of professionals who I felt already viewed me as less than equal because I’m merely a mom, here I was saying being President of their organization was like being crowned Miss America. They wouldn’t know the first thing about the pageant industry and here I am drawing likenesses left and right. I rightfully lost the position and after that disastrous interview, I won’t be reaching that high again. The sourness I felt after that interview is entirely on me. I have never been more embarrassed in my life.

What’s important here, though, is at the end of the day you should always remember: It’s okay to fail. The point is that you tried and went outside your box.

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30 Day Challenge {Day 27} Inside My Closet

I am one of those super anal, super organized types… then there’s my closet which is an entirely different beast. Everyone has that drawer or closet. I know you do. So you cannot judge me.

When time allows, the children are in bed, and I have an ounce of energy left, that’s when I tackle my closet and whip it into shape. Unfortunately, this day falls post-seasonal clothing swap and mid-master bedroom makeover so everything has been getting tossed into each person’s closet.

Hide yo kids. Hide yo husband. We’re going in! WARNING: If you have OCD, look away now!

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Besides clothes and shoes, I have all of my craft supplies, a box of memories, professional steamer, all files for the organizations I belong to, etc. etc. etc. There’s also the plant stand that needs to go back out on the balcony. It’s sad, I know.

But ya know what? I’m not ashamed. I keep the rest of our home in tip-top shape. As long as guests don’t look in my closet, of course.

Someone call up hell and ask if the lake of fire has frozen over. For the first time in forever, my husband has a cleaner closet than I. I’d share a pic, but he wouldn’t like me outing him.

Happy Spring Cleaning!

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30 Day Challenge {Day 26} My Hidden Talent

This is going to be a very short blog post. But hey, I’ve made it day 26!

What’s my hidden talent? That’s an easy one. I have no hidden talents because I choose to use all of them for one reason or another. I’m also a pretty open person, so I wouldn’t keep in a hidden talent for very long.

tumblr_m21frcUJ5I1qkvb1eo10_250Why hide something you’re good at, even if it is silly? Your hidden talent could lead to the career of your dreams or bring you fame and fortune… you never know! At the very least, it could make someone laugh, and that’s a good thing. (Perhaps my hidden talent is quoting Martha Stewart?)

Be you. Be genuine. Let your freaky hidden talents out. Life is too short to be boring.

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30 Day Challenge {Day 25} My Biggest Regret

I could write a novel [or two] about the mistakes I’ve made. Those, regrets if you will, run the gamut of everything from eating an entire tub of peanut butter in one sitting to cheating on my boyfriend to missing the death of my grampa. I guess I’m at the age now that I can look back on those and realize they all happened for a reason. I either learned something to take with me down the road or that mistake resulted in something beautiful later on.

Everything is meant to be. Don’t regret, learn and grow.

The end.

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