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Friday, October 10, 2014

5 Simple Rules to Keeping Your Sanity While Homeschooling.

Murphy's Law states if anything can go wrong it likely will. You know what it really means, the alarm didn't go off, the dishwasher wasn't turned on, you forgot to print out the worksheets you were supposed to for class...the list is endless. It's life keeping us on our toes. It's aggravating! Who wants to be constantly tested by things not panning out. The dreams you had for sweet, cherubic faces nodding emphatically over your well planned lesson isn't going to happen. Well maybe if you're really lucky it will. The truth is homeschooling is hard work. It requires organization or some semblance of it. It takes patience and truckloads of it. It takes love, kindness, and every ounce of your motherly skills to keep going forward. 
So how can we keep sane? How can we as mother's pull ourselves out of our pity parties over the unwashed floors, the embarrassment that little Tim didn't wash his face like he said he had and now everyone thinks your a terrible mother?

1. Have a sense of humor. Not just oh I can laugh at a good joke or crack a good joke. A sense of humor at the ridiculousness that is life. How many times can we get upset over spilt milk really? Smile its biochemically good for you.

2. When you can't laugh anymore. Take a deep breath and become the master of improvisation. You don't need to have that worksheet that you forgot to print. Create a game or other method for getting the instructions across.

3. When improvisation has tuckered you out and the dinner hour is nearing. Remain calm. Why? You have learned to meal plan. No I don't mean endless freezer meals or gourmet menu plans. I mean good, easy, meals that take less than 30 minutes to create from start to finish.

4. When you have finished being congratulated for your wonderful cooking skills...pass the dishcloth to your sweet children. Yes I advocate chores. Chores for all. If they are too little to do the dishes they can wipe or clear the table. Starting kids early on these menial tasks means a lighter load for mom later on.

5. Now the kids are refreshed with their bellies full of your great food and have expended a little energy doing chores. It's a great time of day to bond by picking up a good book to read the kids. Snuggle on the comfy couch with all the kids piled upon you. Snuggling is good for the mother's heart and for the kids as well.

If these five little rules don't help you after trying them out for a week..well refer back to number one.

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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Our Son Dreams Vegetables.

This year my son has openly said he would like to be a vegetarian. Well I have no problem with his desire for a healthy lifestyle or his ethical choices in the matter either. I do have a problem with cooking using no animal fats, or meat. It's not what I am accustomed to and will require a lot of thought and practice to help him.

Tonight was a classic case in point. Chicken pot pie. We removed the chicken for him before baking. As he sat there eating I realized that lard would be part of the animal lineup of no no's. He was happily enjoying his meal. Should I tell my 11 year old that it contained animal products? It was a dilemma to say the least. Why? Well I rather like seeing my kids eat. Something about them satisfying their hunger makes me happy. Strange as it sounds I didn't want to see him deflated over a meal he was enjoying. On the other hand I didn't want to lie to him. I want him to be educated about his food choices. If he is truly serious about becoming a lifelong vegetarian isn't it my job as his mother to not only educate but facilitate?

I told him...he suddenly was full. Although he may not have finished his meal he was grateful that I had shared the information with him. So far he has caught himself with bacon in his  hand and put it down. He passed on his favorite jello jiggler dessert at a restaurant, and today he learned that lard comes from animals and is found in most pastries.

I am proud of him having the will power to resist foods he normally would eat without a second thought to support his own personal belief that animals are better alive. It's going to be an interesting ride in the next few months. I invite you along on this multi part series exploring what is vegetarianism and how one young man gave up his love of certain foods to save one more animal somewhere.
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