20 Best Tips

Getting Back into a Daily Routine

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Now that we have our homeschool curriculum in place, we’ve started our new homeschool year. I am SO very thankful that we are getting back into a daily routine! While I love summer and the various things that we are able to be a part of each year, there’s something rather comforting in being back in a rhythm we are familiar with. {deep sigh}

Six Flags Read to Succeed

Yes, we started back a bit earlier than usual, but we have one week off every six weeks and a few short trips planned to keep it fun during the year. Field trips are in the works, and we may have already taken one this past week that involved roller coasters.

Has your family started back to school yet?

A Solid Meal Plan

monthly meal plan calendar

One thing that I am definitely looking forward to is a meal schedule that I can count on. No more nightly swim practices and meets or crazy {but fun} summer schedules that end up throwing all the plans out the window. Although we’ve had a rough meal plan in place the last few months, our monthly meal planner is always a HUGE help to me. 

This week we sat down as a family, and everyone picked a favorite meal for me to make next month.  After printing it out, our meal planner hangs up on the fridge – which THEN helps with the ‘What’s for dinner?” question that is asked approximately 1,569 times a day. Or maybe that’s just my kids. {grins}

Are you a fly-by-seat-of-your-pants meal planner or do you shop weekly/monthly to get it all done?

Some Sponsor Thanks for the Month

We SO appreciate the following companies – be sure to stop by their sites and check them out.

Teach Them Diligently Marketplace

Teach Them Diligently Conventions were created to encourage families in
discipleship, home education, and the mission of reaching the world with the
good news of Jesus Christ! We hope you’ll plan to join us in 2014!

Home Art Studio is a K-5 home art program for families that features projects designed to increase students’ love and appreciation of the visual arts. The Home Art Studio program will enhance a child’s ability to problem-solve, think creatively, and truly see the world around them. The art projects students will complete are designed to illustrate the elements and principles of art in an age-appropriate way.

Master Books is the world’s largest publisher of creation-based materials for all ages; including apologetics, homeschool curriculum and resources, reference titles, and quality children’s literature. Master Books has NEW Creation-inspired educational choices. Easy-to-use & students build a strong biblical worldview, while we’ve done all the prep work for you!

Snuggle up on the couch with your preschooler and the NEW beautifully illustrated book from Apologia, A Light for My Path. This book is based on Psalm 119 and  is an alphabet book written to help children develop an abiding love and deep respect for God’s Word.

Maestro Classics features stories set to classical music for children and families. Award winning musicians and storytellers will entertain and captivate their audience, while teaching children about classical music. Don’t miss the free curriculum guides to go with the Maestro Classics CDs!

My Reading List

While I’ve managed to read quite a bit of fiction this past month thanks to a vacation and some night time reading, I haven’t put much of a dent in my non-fiction pile. Somehow I thought there would be more time with vacation this past month, but I forgot that we’d be camping with friends…which leads to talking and not reading.

At the moment I’m holding on to a technicality since I’ve read seven books already and my goal was twelve for the year. That breaks down to one a month, so I’ll call myself even right now and start digging in more this month.

Here’s the list of books on the list and the finished ones so far:

  1. Unglued by Lysa Tyrk {done}
  2. Desperate by Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae {done}
  3. Just a Minute by Wes Stafford {done}
  4. The Mom Walk by Sally Clarkson {done}
  5. A Praying Life by Paul Miller {done}
  6. The Five Love Languages of Children by Chapman and Campbell {done}
  7. Give Them Grace by Else Fitzpatrick & Jessica Thompson {reading}
  8. Beyond Ordinary by Justin & Trisha Davis {reading}
  9. The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson
  10. Everything by Mary DeMuth
  11. Platform by Michael Hyatt

Reader’s Favorite Posts from July 2013

Curious to see what others have been reading this past month? Below is a list of the ten most visited posts for the month of July 2013:

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10 great tips for people who are teaching a struggling learner


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  1. Jolanthe – I received our Maestro Classics prize in the mail yesterday and we are so excited to use it. Thank you so much!

  2. Shaunna@FantasticFun&Learning says

    I agree—getting back to routine can be very comforting. We start our school year on Monday, and I think we’ll all enjoy returning to a little more routine in our week. Roller coaster field trip on the first week?!? You must have some fun things in store this year :)

    • My theory on the trip to 6 Flags was they kids earned those tickets through 6 hours of reading during non-school time {which was actually closer to 9…shhh!!}. Add to that, I found out several of our local school grades took various trips to other amusement parks on school time. And here I worry about not doing things educational… :)

    • Shaunna@FantasticFun&Learning says

      I like your theory! I think that flexibility is a major benefit of homeschooling. You know your kids and what needs to get done academically. Plus, they had to learn a little bit about force, motion, and gravity along the way ;)

    • I certainly learned a lot about how often I can rotate around in the span of one minute before getting ill. :) Kaleb got to ride the bumper cars this year and I have a feeling that will be a fabulous lesson on Newton’s Three Laws of Motion!

    • Shaunna@FantasticFun&Learning says

      Aah! See it was all in the name of education.

  3. Thank you for sharing!! I love it!!

  4. Elizabeth Mehrkens says

    We are just starting our summer break. We school three months then take a month off and so on. We have played around with our school schedule and we have found this is the best to avoid burnout. As for meal planning, I’m totally OCD when it comes to that. I plan our meals out a year at a time. I even have next years mapped out. (I’m weird like that) :-) I couldn’t take anymore “What are we having for supper” nights and it kinda snow balled into something…awesome. At least for us. lol

    • I actually save the meal plans that I’ve put together and typically rotate them every three months. Summer just gets a little harder when we are swimming so much. But the meal plans make it SO much easier!

    • Elizabeth Mehrkens says

      I do this too. It’s much easier then trying to come up with new stuff all the time. I always put in a month or two for lots of new meals. I pick a couple months that I know don’t have a lot of things going on and focus on playing with food :-)

  5. Jennifer @ Milk & Honey Mommy says

    It is very funny that you mentioned roller coasters. I rode one this past weekend after 20+ sane years after my last ride all because of my daughter. I prayed the entire ride. It isn’t natural (or necessary) for the human body to be thrust downward at a high rate of speed or jerked around. I hope she remembers what I did for her.
    Meal plans are also working well or our family. I’m the biggest problem, because I get lazy sometimes and don’t want to cook. I guess that is where the children could step in.
    I saw a few interesting reads on your list. I am already reading The Five Love Languages and Beyond Ordinary. I got the first two chapters of Beyond Ordinary for free and was about to purchase the book and snagged it as a Kindle freebie. I’ve been dying to read that book.

    • I need to have our kids take the quiz at the end of the book. We definitely notice a difference in one of our kids when his love language is tapped! Can’t wait to read Beyond Ordinary with my hubby too. I have the paperback and downloaded the free kindle version for him. :)

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