For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Monday, January 9, 2017

How We Cover The Language Arts in our Homeschool

Welcome to week 2 of the 2017 Virtual Curriculum Fair hosted by Homeschooling Hearts and Minds. This week we will be talking about the Language Arts.


When it comes to the Language Arts, it is a very important subject in our homeschool. As a classical homeschooler, mastering the Language Arts is a very important step and component of our study.

Reading:

Both the boys read at a young age with minimum teaching from me. I had to catch up in teaching them some phonics so that they could learn to read well. I do believe both whole language learning and phonetic learning are essential for a good reading education. They both read above their grades and have good comprehension. I am very thankful to The Logic of English as it helped me fill in the gap of whatever they lacked in the area of phonetic awareness. I used the Essentials program then and would recommend both the Foundations and Essentials, as a worthwhile reading and spelling curriculum. Read my review of it to learn more.

Spelling:

This area, along with Writing has been the most neglected aspect of our Language Arts course of study. I have struggled to find a program that worked for my boys, one reason being their reluctance to writing which lasted until the last couple of years. Using the Logic of English helped a lot in improving their spelling skills, and then, thanks to my time as a reviewer with the TOS, we had the privilege to try a few spelling curriculum that also added to their progress. Most recently we have been using Essential Skills Advantage. You can read my review of ESA  to learn more.

Grammar:

When the boys were young we did First Language Lessons as their foundation. This worked very well for them. After FFL 4, I moved Zach to Michael Clay Thompson Grammar series, and this is what he is doing right now. We are using the Ibook interactive version of The Magic Lens 1 which Zach is enjoying.

With my youngest, because he thrives on workbook, unlike my oldest, I used a variety of curriculum such as Simply Grammar, with him. Now that he is in grade 6, we have settled for Analytical Grammar, which seems to be working well for him.

Writing:

As I mentioned earlier, Writing has been a bit neglected as well, but about 3 years ago I found Writing and Rhetoric and have stuck with it. We stated with level 1: Fable and are now at level 5: Refutation and Confirmation.  This program is really good in teaching the content and different styles of writing, but the boys still need lots of practice with Essay writing. This is one of my goals for this year and next year, as Zach enters High School. I am hoping to use the Writing curriculum from Tapestry of Grace, but am thinking I might need to add another, except I am not sure what yet! I did review Writing and Rhetoric in the past, so feel free to check it out!

Literature:

The boys love reading and have been reading a variety of books for pleasure. That said, I have also required them to follow the Literature thread of Tapestry of grace which has served to expose them to classic works of literature and which contains literature study. With this program they will cover the different aspects of literature analysis. They do this as part of an online co-op, which makes it easier for me.

Homeschool Copywork Membership Banner - Vertical
A couple of things I love adding to our Language Arts line up is copywork and dictation. Copywork has a lot of benefits attached to it, such as improving spelling and penmanship as well as memorization. we like to use products from Homeschool Copywork where you get to copy Bible verses or quotes from artists. As for dictation, I have done it on and off and have been wanting to get to it, so this is another one of our goal for this year.


There you have it; our Language Arts curriculum line up. Do not forget to check out the other posts this week:


Delight Directed High School English by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Act Your Part Well- 2017 VCF by Lisa @ Golden Grasses
The Search For Language by Michele@Family, Faith and Fridays
Our Top Picks for Language Arts by Amanda H @ Hopkins Homeschool
Multiple Approaches to Language Arts in 2017 by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
How We Cover the Language Arts in Our Homeschool by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory

Use Your Words by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
The Art of Perfecting Macarons by Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life
Loving Languages Every Day by Jen K @ A Peace of Mind
Speech Therapy & Elementary Latin by Yvie @ Gypsy Road
The Readin' and Writin' Part of Homeschool by Shecki @ Greatly Blessed
Children Who Love Books by Lizzy @ Peaches At Home
Customizing High School Language Credits by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
A Poetry Feast by Sarah @ Delivering Grace
Teaching Language Arts without Curriculum by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
I know your pain and it is worth it! by Kim @ Good Sweet Love
Language Arts: Our Style by Annette @ A Net in Time
Words! Words! Words! by Lisa M @McClanahan 7
10 Wonderful Word Games (+1) by Lori @ At Home: where life happens

Finding the Right Words by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
What About Reading Comprehension? by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset
Teaching Grammar and Writing Through Discussion by Chelli @ The Planted Trees

You can add your Language Arts related posts as well if you want to join in the fun:




Monday, January 2, 2017

Homeschooling - A Glimpse into How We Do it



2016 was a pretty skimpy blogging year for me. Ask me why, I am not sure I have an answer for you beside life happening and writing inspiration fading.

With a new year upon us I will try to get back on the blogging scene and what best topic to start the year with than giving you a glimpse into what homeschooling looks like in our home with now two teenagers.

In the past 4 years I have enjoyed participating in the Virtual Curriculum Fair hosted by Homechooling Hearts and Minds, so I am happy to start my year participating once more.

For those who are not familiar with the Virtual Curiculum Fair, it is a month long series of posts, where over 20 homeschoolers share about their homeschool curriculum and how they homeschool.

The weeks will go as follow:
Week 1: See How We Learn/Welcome to the VCF
Week 2: Playing with Words
Week 3: Discovering Patterns
Week 4: Exploring Our World
Week 5: Seeking Beauty

So how do we learn here? this is the topic of this post.

As  mentioned before on this blog we are relaxed classical homeschoolers. this means that we follow a classical philosophy of homeschooling but in a more relaxed way than most classical homeschoolers do. More on this in my series Relaxed Classical Homeschooling.

Now that my kids are older, independence is the key word in how they learn. They each have a set of subjects that are supposed to be done daily and a loose schedule that they also follow daily and weekly. I do not require them to do such and such as such and such time, only that certain subjects be completed in a week at a certain pace. That said, I am always available and ready to explain or teach something when they need me. I am more of a coach and facilitator in this new stage

This plays out very differently between my two boys. One is very organized and spaces his work out very evenly  with time of day and days in the week. The other is more of a last minute type of child. I am working with him  on learning to be more proactive and organized.

Curriculum are a big part of our homeschool routine. The boys have curriculum for every school subject on their schedule: Math, Science, Spelling, Writing, Logic, Bible, Social science subjects.

An added element t our homeschool life is the fact that we are a ministry family (dad is a pastor). As such life can be very busy with church activities and a lot of our time is spent at church or participating in church or ministry related activities, so the boys have had to learn to jungle their school load. Also, because takes his day off on Thursday, Thursday is a quasi-day off for us too. When they were younger it used to be  a full day off, but with their load increasing they end up having do some school on Thursday.

All this turns out to be that every day is different here. Most days start late, some days are heavier than others, some days the boys are still doing school late in the evening. I do allow them to take their break at their own schedule and pursue their interest, given that my rule is the work need to be completed within a weekly time frame.This is where the relaxed part of our homeschool comes in.

So this is a very succinct glimpse of how we school here, in the next few weeks we will go in more details as to what we do, meanwhile read about how others run their homeschooling by following the links below:

The Evolution of Our Homeschool by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Us-School Because We Are Us, Not Someone Else by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
It's All About the School by Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Setting the Stage- the 2017 Virtual Curriculum Fair! by Lisa N. @ Golden Grasses
New Year, New Goals, New School! by Amanda H @ Hopkins Homeschool
Spotlight on How We Learn in Our Homeschool by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
Our Unique Eclectic Homeschool  by Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life
How We Learn on the Go by Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
Home Education - 10 Ways We Make It Work by Lizzy @ Peaches At Home
Schedules, where would I be without them? by Kim @ Good Sweet Love
Education at Our House by Shecki @ Greatly Blessed
Starting the Day Well by Sarah @ Delivering Grace
Making a Change - Accountability and Responsibility Through Routine by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens
A time to be encouraged is coming.. the Virtual Curriculum Fair by Annette @ A Net in Time
Loving the Moment! by Jen K @ A Peace of Mind
Keeping Our Homeschool Organized by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
Homeschool Goal Setting – Looking Forward, Looking Back by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset
How We Choose Curriculum by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
This Is How We Homeschool by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
How we don't learn in our homeschool & how I don't plan {2017 Virtual Homeschool Curriculum Fair} by Meghan @ Quiet in the Chaos
Learning Our Way by Lisa @ McClanahan 7
Limping Along: Our Semi-Eclectic Approach to Homeschooling by Debra @Footprints in the Butter
2017 Virtual Curriculum Fair: See How We Learn by Dana L @ Luv'N Lambert Life




Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Accountable2You -TOS Review

For my last review this year, I have a very timely and important product for you. We live in such a technological and advance era that it can be scary to hear about all the things our kids can be exposed to using internet devices. As homeschool children especially, the use of devices is a daily occurrence, and we cannot always be right next to our children to see where they end up on the Internet. The product the crew got to review this past month is one that will help you monitor just that threat while at the same time teach some accountability.



Accountable2You is ash online service put out by a christian company that wants to help families and individuals to take control of their internet habits by keeping them accountable.


Accountable2You offered the crew four of their plans to check out:

Family Plan: perfect for multiple family members and for multiple devices
Individual Plan: monitoring of one person, up to six devices
Group Plan: perfect for homeschool, or church groups
Business Plan: perfect for businesses that want to keep their employers accountable

Accountable2You is very easy to set up. They guide you through the process step by step. When it comes to OS mobile devices, you do need to use a specific browser beside the standard Firefox.

I opted for our family to review the family plan so I could monitor my boys on their computer and Ipad. When you set up your account and devices you are asked who the accountability person is and how you want the reports. I opted for myself as the accountability person and for daily e-mail reports. So everyday I have been receiving a report.


Accountable2You is a monitoring and tracking device. It does not filter. It tells you if a person has visited questionable websites, so that you can in turn challenge them about it. We already had Open DSN on our devices which filters content, so accountable2You did not record any objectionable activity. You can also set questionable words to be alerted about if you have some things you wish your children not to be exposed to, whatever that may be.

Accountable2You offers a few features such as GPS tracker, which allows you to know where the devices are being taken. Also you can set multiple accountability partners even one for each device. You can set your notifications to text or e-mail, daily, weekly or hourly.

The reports are pretty details, it lists all the websites being visited, which device and what time.

If you are looking for a tool to help you or anyone in your family be accountable, or a help for curbing habits on the internet, this is definitely a tool to check out.

With two rising teenagers, this is a very useful and helpful tool as it allows me to know where they spend their time online and therefore challenge them about it, if I think it could be used better, and then hold them accountable for it.

One of the great thing about Accountable2You is how it works on all devices and platforms: Windows, Apple, Linux, computer, Iphones, Ipads, Kindles, you name it.

Check them out on Facebook and Twitter and read the other crew members' reviews.

Accountability across all your devices {Accountable2You}


Crew Disclaimer

Friday, October 14, 2016

Online Christian Filmmakers Academy - TOS Review


My oldest is very interested in movies and film. So, when the chance to review a filmmaking course, through the Homeschool Review Crew, came along he asked to be on it. The course in question is called Online Christian Filmmakers Academy and is put out by Family Gravity Media, a division of Family for Christ Ministries inc.



As you can tell this course is put together by Christians, who love filmmaking, and want to pass on what they have learned to the younger generation.

The course is a set of video modules (5 in total):
  • The Camera - covers everything that has to do with a camera (type, lenses, ISO, support)
  • Cinematography - covers color temp and white balance, lighting and framing
  • Sound - covers equipment, microphone, recording
  • Pre-Production - covers story, screenplay, paperwork, the team
  • Production - covers the crew, etiquette, directing, the slate, and the actual step of the filming process.
Each module in turn contains a set of videos on that topic. The videos vary in length, from 1 minute to 15 minutes. Each modules also come with a quiz at the end of that module.

This course focuses on the cinematography part of filmmaking. My son found the first few videos dry and not exactly what he was expecting. He is more into the producing, story telling part of filmmaking than the actual filming I realized. And we both learned that both are equally important! This particular course focuses on the camera, what to use and how to use it, specifically the DSLR. It is pretty detailed about the intricacies of each topic, lighting, sound and everything that has to do with using a camera and the effect produced. The authors obviously know what they are talking about.

I think my son is looking forward to the production part of the course, since that is what he is most interested in. He wants to do more producing than actual filming (I think he is hoping someone else would do that :-)). Nevertheless he has been going through the course awaiting the part he wants to know. He did say that the videos get more interesting as you move along.

The videos are made by a father and son team combo who have experience in filmmaking. The videos are live, that is one of the team member is actually teaching. the videos include examples and pictures and more.

Overall this course is great for students (and adults) who love photography and want to learn the basics of filmmaking. It is easily set up and equally easy to understand and follow. The main thing being having the equipment to practice. It is online so internet connection is a must as well.

If you are interested, for you my readers, Online Christian Filmmakers Academy is offering a $100 off coupon (original price $299). Use coupon code: FALLCREW16, at the checkout. This coupon is valid until November 30. What a nice deal!  Go check it out and read the other crew members' reviews!


Online Christian Filmmakers Academy {Family Gravity Media}
Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

MyFreezEasy - TOS Review

Today I have a very interesting and practical review for you. It is food related. How about that?

The crew got to review MyFreezEasy, a site where you can learn how to make meals that you can freeze to just take out at a later time, and enjoy with minimum effort. We were offered the premium annual membership to MyFreezEasy.com Freezer Meal Plan Membership.



This site is packed-full with tips, and goody meals for your family to enjoy. The idea is to provide you with meals that you can save up in your freezer for those days when you have no time to prepare a meal in your kitchen - you know those days when you are out all day and forgot to stick something in the crockpot.

The great thing about My FreezEasy is that it does not assume you are a pro at this freezer cooking thing. It has lots of videos to teach you the benefits and the how to of the whole process. I needed that because, as much as I have always been intrigued by it, I never looked at it very closely.

My FreezEasy, on top of guiding you through the process of freezer cooking, offer plans that are very detailed. Each recipes have what you need to do in details, from the recipe to the grocery list needed, to the actual steps of the freezer bag preparation. It even has videos for you to see how it is done, if you are more of a visual person.

The idea of MyFreezEasy is for you to prepare 10 meals in an hour and have those set aside in your freezer. It is really 5 recipes doubled up into 10 separate meals.

Now for the recipes themselves, well, if you are like me and like variety, you won't be disappointed. My favorite thing about MyFreezEasy, beside the very detailed step by step guidance, is the selection of recipes. You are given choices and I love that! Every month you are given a choice of 8 sets:
Traditional 
The 20: 20 meals instead of 10
Gluten Free
All Pork Chops
All ground Beef
All Chicken
Slow Cooker
Clean Eats


Each set of meals come as a downloadable PDF which contains all the instructions you need.

The recipes are actually quite easy an use simple ingredients. Nothing really fancy, but tasty.

With the premium membership you also have access to the MyFreeEasy database and can make up your own plan if you wish, with the dishes that you want to include in it that fit your liking.

Each set of meals also come with a downloadable sheet with all the labels for your freezer bags or containers.

When I first got my log-in, I went for the all chicken, all pork chops and slow cooker sets, and downloaded these meal plans, as I tend to buy pork chops and chicken in bulk, and love my slow-cooker.

My only complaint is that since you are making so many meals, you really need a lot of meat, which is more than I normally buy, so I found it hard to complete the meal set. That said, you can make less than the 10 meals suggested, that is make 1 of each instead of 2. My FreezEasy is very adaptable and easy to use. I give it a two thumbs up for practicality and usefulness. Check it out and visit their social media as well:
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/freezeasy
Instagram:  http://www.instagram.com/freezeasy
Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/5dollardinners/freezeasy

MyFreezEasy.com Freezer Meal Plan Membership {MyFreezEasy}

Crew Disclaimer

Friday, October 7, 2016

Everyday Education {Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers} - TOS Review

I have a rising high schoolers, and as I am getting ready and preparing for High School and eventually university or college, one of things my son and I came to agree on is that he most likely will be heading for a major or minor in English. He has always loved writing stories. So, when the chance to review a product relating to writing for the High Schooler came up for reviews I volunteered, of course, even if he won't be officially in High School till next school year.
The product in question is Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers put out by Everyday Education, LLC. What it is is as the name suggest a handbook for writers that will help the student to become a better writer as he prepares to enter college. It covers essay writing and punctuation, style and usage. It is a hefty book ( 420 pages). I received the e-book version and downloaded on several devices for easy access. What does it contain?

Part I: Everything to know about writing Essays and Arguements
  • Arguments: setting up, defining terms
  • Deduction and induction
  • Organizing the main body
  • Paragraph structure and functions
  • Writing arguments about literary works
  • Sample outlines of essays and research papers
  • Critical approaches to Shakespeare
  • Literary evaluation criteria
Part II: Everything about usage and style
  • Grammar covering phrases, sentence structures, clauses
  • Word usage covering a lot of homophones, misused words and plurals
  • Punctuation
  • Pronoun 
  • Parallelism or Parallel structure
  • Modifier, gerund and infinitives
  • Clarity, logic and structure
  • References and biographies
  • Basic format for essays and research papers
It also includes some reference sheets at the end of the book:
  • Visual Guide to Organizing Your papers
  • The Six Sections of an Approach Paper
  • Things a Paragraph can do
  • Rubric for Writing Evaluation













The authors are very qualified:
  • Ian Johnston, retired instructor, graduate from McGill Inuversity, Bristol University and University of Toronto 
  • Janice Campbell, writer, conference speaker and graduated homechool mom. She is a graduate from Mary Baldwin College in English.
This book is very comprehensive. There is a lot of concepts covered and there are no pictures. As such it can seem quite overwhelming. That said, you just need to look for the part that you need help with and go from there.

At this time I was most interested in the clauses, sentences, structure, usage and style section. The handbook gives you the guidelines and tips for good writing, therefore it tells you what not to do, what to avoid and how to best expressed thoughts in a way that grammatically correct and expresses it best. Here is an example:
"1.10 Compound Subject as a Single Unit
Occasionally, a compound subject will take a singular verb. This normally occurs
only when the two nouns form a single unit and always appear together as a
unit (e.g., macaroni and cheese, ham and eggs, hack and squirt, rock and roll, fish
and chips, and so forth).
Macaroni and cheese is my favorite food.
Rock and roll is a cacophonous form of audio entertainment." (p.243)
I am looking forward to using more of this with my kids as they write more. This is great to use as a stand alone or in connection with a writing curriculum where you have to write essays or arguments. If you are not sure about something relating to how to say or express something, you will find a answer there. If you are looking for style, usage and structure help, you will find an answer there too.

This handbook could be just read through as well, as there are a lot of information in there that you may not think you need to know, but is really handy to know, as it turns out. Here is another example:
"7.6 Use of As
Be careful with the word “as” when you use it to introduce a dependent clause.
Usually the word is a poor choice because it is inherently ambiguous.
As I drove home, the argument started.
Does as here mean since, or while, or when? The reader is not certain. So rather
than using as here, select the most precise word to express what you mean (since,
while, or when).
7.7 Use of Transitions
Use transition words frequently and properly to indicate the logical flow of your
paragraph, especially in relation to the previous paragraph. The skilful use of transition
words and phrases is one of the best and most sophisticated ways to keep the
reader in very close and clear contact with your argument.
Some of the commonest words and phrases which function as effective indicators
of logical transitions are the following:......"   (p.340)
All in all I give this product two thumbs up as a very useful and handy resource for any aspiring (or not) writer, parents included!

Everyday Education offers other pretty cool products, check them out on their social media.

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/janicecampbell/
FB: https://www.facebook.com/janicepcampbell
FB page: https://Facebook/excellenceinlit/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/janicepcampbell
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JaniceCampbell
Twitter: https://twitter.com/everydayedu

Beautiful Handwriting, Literature and Poetry {Everyday Education, LLC}
Crew Disclaimer

Friday, September 9, 2016

Christian HomeSchool Hub {CHSH} - TOS Review

Homeschooling is a venture. As such we often need a lot of help on the way, and fortunately there is a lot of it available on the web to make this homeschool journey feasible. One of those is the Christian HomeSchool Hub, also referred to as CHSH-Teach.com. The crew was blessed with a one year subscription to the CHSH Download club, which gives you unlimited access to everything on the site (over 50000 downloads) - a $25 value. There is also an option for a lifetime subscription. Now if you are a resource and curriculum junkie like me, you will want to check CHSH out!


What is CHSH? CHSH is, as the name suggest, a hub where homeschoolers can find a wide array of helpful resources and material to use in their homeschool, as well as load of encouragement. At the CHSH site you can find resources for all grades from kindergarten to high school. Here are a few highlight of what CHSH offers:

  • Math, Science, Language Arts (with Literature Studies, comprehension units, reading lists and books), Music, Art, Crafts, Bible, Foreign Languages, Health, Social Studies (including both Geography, History - US and World - government, election unit studies, inventors and more), and some electives topics.
  • These resources are downloadable and printable. Can't get easier that that. Browse, preview, download and print. 
  • Another neat resource that you can find at CHSH is their downloadable material related to each month of the year.
  • Resources for organization (forms, calendar, record keeping, chore charts), and classroom helps such as awards and flashcards.
  • Lapbooking and notekeeping resources, as well as fun printable such as puzzles, coloring pages and word searches.
  • Complete curriculum treasures from the 1800's and 1900's as well as more recent curriculum put together by members.


With this amount of downloaded material available, often time the problem is finding what you need. Well, CHSH has a search engine that allows you to search by topics and subjects, grade levels, or keyword, which make it easy to navigate.

Also, at the CHSH website you can participate in forum and chat with like-minded homeschoolers. I personally like the newsletter that you receive in your e-mail telling you what's new on the site and giving pieces of encouragement.

The site is constantly growing and one way this happens is through the submission of new material by the members themselves.

At CHSH there is something for everyone. I use it mostly as a complement to what we are already using in our homeschool, by printing worksheets, or posters, but you could plan a whole school year of teaching using CHSH-Teach.com. I like their spelling curriculum and will be using this with the boys, as this is an area that they are somewhat behind.

CHSH is a great place for homeschoolers who like to put their curriculum together. It has a lot for you to teach your kids. For those who use curriculum, this would  still be a great place to find extra worksheets, or posters and classroom helps.

Though this is a paid membership site, CHSH offers a wide variety of items for free, so make sure to have a look at those!

CHSH is very active on social media, so check them out:

Christian HomeSchool Hub {Download Club}


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Homeschool 101- Home Management {5 Days of ...}

Today on day 3 of the Homeschool 101 hosted by The Schoolhouse Review Crew, we are tackling Home Management.

Again, this is a topic that has a lot to do with your personality. Some of us are type A moms and some of us not so much. That said, a house has to be maintained. Noone likes to live in a place that is messy and dirty.


When it comes to managing the homeschool home I have six pieces of advice:

Be realistic (unless you can't help it): As homeschoolers, your home is where your kids learn. If you want your kids to be free to learn and explore you cannot be an overchiever when it comes to tidiness. There will be messes, there will be days when the house will be in the shape that you cannot stand. JUST EXPECT IT!

A Place for everything. If you want to keep a house tidy, this is my #1 advice: Make sure everything has a home place and stick to it! It is easier to put things away if they have a home. It is easier to teach your kids to clean after themselves if they know where things go.

Involve the kids: with my first point assumed it does not mean that the house has to stay a mess, when it happens. One thing I found valuable to cleaning and keeping the house in decent order is to involve the kids, as early as you can possibly do it. From a young age, teach them to pick up after themselves. When they become able to wash dishes, have them do it. Have them help with the laundry, and the setting and clearing of the table, taking out the trash, cleaning counters, and any task that you think they can handle. This teaches them responsibility and minimizes stress on you. in our home some of these talk earns them a few cents, some are part of their contribution to the household. If you are the type that loves schedules, set up a routine and schedule for chores. Recently my oldest has ventured into cooking breakfast once a week and this has been a blessing! so teach them how to cook too!

Learn to menu plan: Meal planning saves you time, money and stress. You can do it per week or per month. Set a day aside, make an inventory of what you have in your freezer (I usually do it according to the meat I have in my freezer, since I buy my meat in bulk), and schedule out your meals.

Lean how to use a crockpot (or get one if you do not have one): This has been my life and time saver. I do not use it as much as I could, but the crockpot is still one of my favorite item in the kitchen. It also helps to save money. When we know we will be out for the whole day, I always set something in the crockpot.

Set a date for your paperwork and bill management. I have found easier to to all my banking, budgeting and paper work all in one day so that I do not have to worry about forgetting something and/or finding time to do it over several days.

I do not by no means excel in home management, but using these few tips has helped me keep a livable home with home cooked meals on the table twice a day everyday, a clear sink most days, floors mostly clear and clean.


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