Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I'm an Usborne Books & More Consultant

By nature, I have an entrepreneurial spirit.  Since forever, I have been focused on being and remaining self-employed.  Over seven years ago, I decided I wanted to be an Usborne consultant, but I was a little afraid.  For one, I was new to the area and I believe these types of businesses you have to have a few friends to help build your confidence along with your business.  I am happy to say that I finally took the plunge and became an consultant at the end of September.

I really enjoy it. It fits my personality, and it doesn't interfere with my family life.  On top of all that, I am able to get the stack of books I have been eyeing from a distance for a reduced rate or free. Basically, it is a win win for me and our homeschool.

If you have a moment, please visit my site at www.latonyasbooks.com. If you are interested in becoming a consultant, let me know, If you are interested in having a Facebook or Google Hangout party, let me know :)



Blessings,

What We're Learning: 12 Weeks of Learning

I can't believe we have been in our new curriculum for 12 weeks.  The time surely flew by, and for the most part it has been great. It hasn't been perfect, but we have learned to adjust over the years.

Book Learning:
We are continuing on with the core subjects: Math, Reading, and Language Arts.  I am very proud of the girls as they work hard to strengthened their math skills.  They comprehend at least 90% of the material presented thus far.  We are still developing some areas such as problem solving for one, and confidence in subtraction for the other.  The girls complete math from the curriculum four times each week, and on Thursday they complete an enrichment activity.  Either something I created or a sheet I found here and here. They actually enjoy the enrichment sheets even though they are challenging.

As many of you know, I struggle with history. We have started and stopped history a few times in the past 12 weeks, but I am hopeful that we will find a method that works best for us.  The girls are still learning quite a bit in regards to history because they both enjoy nonfiction books, biographies, and documentaries.  My only concern is that it is not chronological.


Life Skills:

As I've shared before communication is a big thing in our house.  I am proud to say that the girls are getting so much better at expressing their needs and concerns.  Our oldest often struggles with finding the right words, and making sense of her thoughts at times.  She has gained confidence over the past months, and she has even noticed improvement.

The girls have also been working on removing clutter from their lives (read:room).  We have been cleaning and getting rid of a few things to make life a little bit easier.

Just for Fun:

Just sharing a few photos from the past 12 weeks :)






How are you all doing this year?  Link your updates in the comments and I will stop by :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Getting It All Done

It is often perceived that mothers are able to get every single thing done on our little checklists.  Well, I will tell you I often do get most things on my checklist done simply because I don't put a lot on it.  I give myself permission to not get it all done before I create my daily goals.

Being realistic when planning your day will often allow you to exceed your expectations.

Each day I start with prayer followed by prioritizing.  On any given day my checklist may have a maximum of five things on it. If I am lucky, I am able to squeeze in something extra like this blog post.

Four Simple Tips for Getting It All Done:

1.  Allow yourself to rise with peace.  What does this mean?  Don't overwhelm yourself before your feet hit the floor.  Take a moment to clear your head using whatever methods work best for you.  I tend to wake and pray.  Followed by looking out the window especially if it is a beautiful morning.

2. Don't neglect yourself.  I have found if I start the day off with neglecting myself then it is usually more likely for me to become irritated.  I take care of myself first.  I take a 15-20 minute walk which includes prayer. I shower. I eat.  The order in which I do these things are not always the same, but every morning I make sure I tend to my needs.

3.  Create a list of goals for the day.  I don't write mine down simply because I do not have a lot of goals each day.  It is easy to remember five or so goals versus 15-20.  Remember it doesn't all have to be done today! For instance, my goals for today are teaching the girls, doing something fun with them, wash and fold two loads of laundry, cook dinner, and go to to work. That's it.  Chances are I will have time to do more, but the something more will be a bonus.

4.  Enlist your family to help.  The girls are helpful.  They help with folding, picking up after themselves, and fixing their own lunch if needed.  Teaching children that they are part of the team and all members have to help for the team to be successful is a valuable skill.


Part of the reason that I have loosened the reigns is I don't want my girls to remember me as always being tired or frustrated.  I also realized that there are other things outside my home I would like to pursue, but in pursuing those things I know that I can't fully neglect my home and family.

Every family's dynamic is different be mindful of your family's needs and goals when establishing ways to meet your goals.  We are in a season  where our children are a little more independent, my husband is more helpful, and my outside the home job has no stress.


How do you get it all done?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Our Favorite Three Apps

Nowadays, technology is everywhere so it isn't surprising that we have some favorites that keep us occupied and engaged during our down times.

Check out our Top 3 Apps for 2014!

1.  The Bible App for Kids
Our youngest daughter loves this app.  She is thrilled each time they add a new story.  The Bible App for Kids currently has 19 stories available including Jesus' Resurrection, The Sermon on the Mount, and The parting of the Red Sea.  The app reads the story to the child while displaying appealing graphics. The app also references the scripture where each story can be found.
We use this app on Kindle Fire and Android devices. I believe it is available on most platforms. This app is free.

2. Reading Rainbow

This is a favorite for both.  The Reading Rainbow app hosts so many great stories.  It includes fiction and nonfiction.  The app will also read the stories to the child. Not only does this app provide a variety books, it also offers numerous virtual field trips.
Reading Rainbow is only available on Kindle Fire and Apple Store. Reading Rainbow has a free version and a subscription version.

3.Oyster Books
Recently, we found Oyster.  Oyster is an app that hosts several types of books including adult and children books so it makes it a great app for the entire family. One thing that I truly appreciate about this app is that a lot of the books are well-known. The great thing about the Oyster app is that we are able to have it on all of our devices which makes it accessible for everyone to read the book of their choosing.  We have this app on Kindle and Android devices. Oyster is a subscription based app. You can try it for free. If you decide try it, let them know I sent you by using my link.

As you can see we are big readers!  I am in search for other types of apps, too. Please share some of your favorites!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Our Curriculum Choices 2014-2015

We have been back at it for three weeks now! I can't believe it.

Our homeschool approach is a bit relaxed and eclectic.  We don't prescribe to a particular method, but follow a path that feels right for us. This is evident in our resource choices.

This year the girls are in 2nd and 4th grades.

Here is our lineup for the 2014-2015 Academic School Year: