Thursday, May 26, 2011

Don't forget to smell the roses!

Today I'm posting an older post from my blog that is an important reminder for all of us homeschooling parents to not get too tied up in book work and enjoy our daily lives as educators!

I woke early this morning and decided to make some playdough. My 4 year old has been "somewhat challenging" of late and I wanted to get her busy straight after breakfast. Sometimes, as a homeschooler, I forget to stop and smell the roses. I forget that I'm in charge and that learning occurs in all different ways.
Normally I expect the boy to start his bookwork by 9am for time efficiency. This morning he took an interest in the playdough, and although my brain nagged at me - "it's past 9am!!" I left him to it. 

This led to a few learning discussions. He made a model of a heart, which provided an opportunity for revision of the heart's functions. They made me countless "cupcakes" and "pancakes" and other delights.

They had to share in order to get along, this needs much reinforcement!
They learn to use kitchen tools which improves dexterity.
They learn to clean up after themselves when they're finished.

If you're a fellow homeschooler, or even if you're not, I hope you can find time to "go with the flow" today and remember that learning does not have to come from a book.

Posted by Kelly of The Handmaden

Monday, May 23, 2011

Julie Talks About Homeschooling and Homebusiness

Julie is the creative mind behind Third Eye Artisans and a member of Sheteam. Today Julie is sharing with us a little bit about herself and her Etsy shop.

I have been married for 27 years to a remarkable man and have 8 children, ages 32 to 12. I also have 3 perfect grandsons, who I am blessed to see several times a week. My homeschooling adventure began 24 years ago as a stop-gap for my oldest daughter, who I pulled out of public school, not because of a dissatisfaction with the school system, but because of peer pressure and influence. We had planned to home school her that first year until we could find a suitable, small private Christian school to enroll her in. As the Lord would have it, I took the plunge and never looked back. I have graduated 5 of my children with 2 still in school, but almost done. My youngest has Down syndrome so I expect my homeschooling of him will never end.
We live a not-so-quiet life on 10 acres in the country, a life that I am quite content with. I call the happenings around here "controlled chaos" because of animals, school, jobs, errands, lessons, college, home business, grandchildren, etc. I can't believe how undeservedly blessed I am.

~~~~~~~Baby Hat~~~~~~

I have been crafty my whole adult life, but especially since I started homeschooling. I think crafting is such an integral part of homeschooling for most folks. I have taught all of my daughters to crochet and knit but I am the one who really enjoys the designing and experimenting with color, texture, and technique. My stash of yarn keeps growing and growing as I find different yarn suppliers. Please!! I can't help myself! I started out making my items and simply giving them away as gifts to everyone. Many times for "just because". Finally, my family and friends suggested I try and sell the things I was creating. My oldest daughter has a very successful etsy shop and she really urged me to open my own. So, I did.....

~~~~~Stained Glass Skinny Scarf~~~~~

You know, I have *so* many homeschooling memories but I have to say that one of my favorites is when, after spending what seemed like way too many grueling hours on phonics lessons with one son in particular, the light finally came on in his brain and he started reading. He's not stopped and is one of the best readers I know. It was an epiphany for me and a culmination of all those hours of toil, teaching a dyslexic child to read who might, otherwise, have been lost and forsaken in the public school system.

~~~~~Dopey Slouch Hat~~~~~

The best advice I can give, and have given, to any homeschooler trying to run a business is to not forget your priorities. It sounds cliche' but is so important. Anyone who looks at my shop can see I don't have monumental sales. It takes a lot of time to homeschool and a lot of time to run a business, as well. I can't do it all and neither can any homeschooling mom I know, although we try. The actual crocheting part of my business is easy because I do it while I'm schooling, during quiet time, and watching a movie in the evenings. But taking photos, writing descriptions, listing, etc. takes a lot of time and it's time that I'm not tending to household things so those etsy tasks don't get done as consistently as I'd like. For instance, right now I have about 20 new items that I need to list but I'm trying to get outside to photograph them, write descriptions, and get them listed. I try and work in the 20 minutes snippets of time I get here and there, rather than carving out a full 2 to 3 hours, which is nearly impossible. So, the new items wait, and sometimes wait a little longer. But I am at peace with where my shop is and where it's going. I'm mindful that there will be plenty of time later, maybe too much time, to devote to my shop. In the meantime, I do what I can, when I can.

~~~~~~~~~Razzle Dazzle Shawlette~~~~~~~~

Believe it or not, the inspiration for my pieces comes from inside my brain. I have *always* loved vivid color. I see a beautiful yarn and can picture in my head what to make with it. I tell a little story on my profile page about a first grade teacher who told me, and the whole class for that matter, that my Abraham Lincoln ditto sheet was not colored correctly because I didn't use black or brown but, instead, used every single color in my crayon box. In my little 6 year old brain, black and brown was boring and I wanted to see all the lovely colors that God has created in my picture. I've not changed much since then. Although I do use black and brown in some of my items, I mainly use bright, vivid colors and color combinations.

~~~~~Simple Scarf~~~~~

My main goal for homeschooling has basically remained unchanged all these years and that's to not focus on academics, although we all know how important that is. Rather, I want my children to be hard working, capable, common sense driven, other-oriented, people who know what they believe. I know many well intentioned homeschoolers who thought the whole reason for homeschooling was to just provide a better education than the public school and, although that is part of why we homeschool, it's not the main reason. So, for my husband and myself, if we've raised hard working people who value what God values, elevate others above themselves, and know what they believe, then we've succeeded.
As far as my shop, I would *love* to see my sales soar. We all know the feeling we get when a sale is made! I hope to see my sales continue on a steady course and as the Lord sees fit. As long as I can continue to create and give things to my family and friends, I'm happy.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Birthday Celebrations!

Time for another Etsy treasury featuring a bright bunch of beautiful, birthday ideas. Each of these items were chosen as a fun way to celebrate a birthday, for young and old, male or female.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Musical Learners

This article was originally posted at Chocolate on my Cranium. Montserrat is a member of sheteam and her blog is filled with tips and ideas for homeschoolers, wonderful recipes and a glimpse into everyday life. Montserrat is the owner of Cranial Hiccups and Montserrat.

Of all my children this one is definitely the most musical learner of the bunch. I think she was born singing - okay it was screeching at that young age - but she really has an ear for music and rhythms and tones and sounds.

She can watch her older sisters play the piano and will sit down and play a simplified version of it - with both hands. She remembers songs and melodies after only hearing them once! She is constantly singing or humming.

Other characteristics of musical learners include: tells you when music sounds off-key or disturbing in some other way, has a rhythmic way of speaking and/or moving, unconsciously hums to himself/herself, is sensitive to environmental noises (e.g., rain on the roof, crickets chirping), taps rhythmically on the table or desks as he/she works.

Some strategies to employ with musical learners:

•Have background music going while they are doing school work. Classical music works best for us.
•Linking old tunes with concepts
•Creating new tunes for concepts
•Clapping, tapping, or chanting while reciting facts
•Have access to musical instruments - especially during break time
•Since there is a strong auditory element lectures work better than reading

Reposted by VeryVerdant with permission from Chocolate on my Cranium

Monday, May 9, 2011

So What Have You Been Up To Lately

It is May - YES - May!!! It's time to finish up the last few lessons of the year. It's time to plan for graduations and summer break. It's time to just relax and take it easy for a while.

Photography by Autumn Daisy

Who Am I Kidding?!? If you are anything like me, (and I'm sure that you are, whether you like it or not!) you have already begun thinking about next school year. So, in all actuality, it is time to order more books. It is time to schedule your next school year. It is time to decide...
Vintage Children's Book from Dodies Cupboard

No, it's time to take a break. Push away from the books if only for a few days and just enjoy each other as a family. See if a little break doesn't calm your nerves and clear your brain. Healing Salve by Cindy's Suds

Hey, you might even find new reasons to love the people in your very own household.
Cloth Diapers by The Blissful Stitcher

~posted by VeryVerdant

Friday, May 6, 2011

Family Recipes from Sheteam

My sister actually taught my second oldest how to make these oven crisped sandwiches. They have become a favorite in our house so I thought we would share them with you.

Ingredients List:

8-10 French rolls from the local deli

3-4 sweet large onions

10-12 ounces thinly sliced deli ham or turkey

8 ounces thinly sliced provolone cheese

1/3 C mayonnaise

1/3 C Dijon mustard

Preparations Instructions:

First slice the onions into thin rings and lightly sauté in butter or olive oil. There is no need to season the onions. While the onions are being sautéed slice the rolls into halves and set the tops and bottoms open faced on a cookie sheet. Set aside for later. Preheat oven 350 degrees.

To Prepare the bottom portion of the French Rolls.

In a small dish, mix 1/3 cup Dijon mustard with 1/3 cup mayonnaise. Using your fingers, scoop out a small portion of the bottoms of the French rolls and into the holes place 1 tablespoon of the sauce mix. On top of that place one slice of Provolone cheese and set this back on the cookie sheets.

To Prepare the upper portion of the French Rolls.

On the top portions of the rolls layer 1 piece of deli sliced meat and a good portion of the sauteed onions. Place these back on the cookie sheets.

Place both cookie sheets in the oven and allow the sandwich halves to cook until lightly golden. Serve while hot. YUM!

~Originally posted at VeryVerdant...used with permission.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

In Honor of Mom

Mothers' Day is fast approaching so I have pulled together this treasury of items in appreciation for all our moms and the joys of motherhood. There are so many wonderful choices of gift ideas from the team it is hard to choose which to include. Please search "sheteam" on Etsy to find many more.