Monday, August 28, 2017

Menu Monday for 8/28/17

Another week another attempt to provide family meals on the table each night and an opportunity to connect with our inner circle. This is a busy week at our house, and we can't do the family 6:00 dinner every night. Monday there is a 7:00 Boy Scout commitment; Tuesday there is a 7:00 Pampered Chef party; Wednesday there is a 6:00 Back to Homeschool commitment; Thursday there is a 7:00 CAP commitment; Friday afternoon hubby and I drive to a neighboring state to talk to a financial advisor. 

Those are just the events that affect dinner preparation. The lad is back to Dual Enrollment classes with a Monday/Wednesday commitment from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. He just had right foot surgery on Wednesday, so I am his taxi driver. We had a boy haircut, a Starbuck's visit and a follow-up podiatrist appointment today after his class. I have a haircut appointment tomorrow. Thursday the lad needs his allergy shots. It is back-to-school time, and life is already hopping. This past weekend we didn't have time to menu plan, so we only shopped for part of this plan. But here's the plan:

Saturday: life was crazy. We got pizza.

Sunday: Dinner out with son-in-law and daughter;

Monday: Spaghetti and meatballs, salad, TX toast;

Tuesday: Salad plate with tuna and cottage cheese, hard boiled eggs, lots of cut veggies;

Wednesday: subs, I guess -- I'm going to be in a meeting with my son when we normally eat...

Thursday: blackened cat fish, yams, green beans;

Friday: Date night 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Everyday Family Chore System - A TOS Homeschool Crew Review

Review Crew
For the past month or so I have been working with a product from Everyday Homemaking to review.

For the past month I have been working with the concepts presented in The Everyday Family Chore System.

I received access to the PDF version of the book in late mid-July. I had just undergone foot surgery, and my son was away on a trip with the Civil Air Patrol. When I learned that  The Everyday Family Chore System was coming up for review I expressed interest. Sitting in a chair with my foot elevated, looking around at the mess my house was, I knew I needed help. I thought, "Sure! Why not!"

As I began reading The Everyday Family Chore System, I began to get a lump in my stomach. We were expected, for this review, to "read through the book and implement something from it." This system is a great product, but my family is not a good fit for the system, and the time-frame was not good for my son's summer schedule. My son, in the midst of a ten trip, came home briefly and then left on another trip. Shortly after his return from his second trip, there was County Fair week...

As I further explain the Family Chore System I will help you further understand what I mean (that the system is great but that I was not able to implement the system). 

The Everyday Family Chore System is an ideal system to begin following when your children are young. It gives excellent instructions and encouragement to the mom on how to implement the system with various aged children. The book teaches which chores are appropriate at which ages.

The Everyday Family Chore System begins with a section that covers training the child: realistic expectations; setting up rules; establishing disciplinary consequences; and cultivating your relationship with your child.

Section two covers setting up the actual system. It involves first determining things that need to be done daily, weekly, monthly, etc. Next jobs are divided between children (and parents, if desired). Next there are resources provided that you can print out to set up the system. The first is called "How-To-Do-It Cards". If you have additional jobs you write them up on 3"X5" cards. You put contact paper on everything and cut out the cards. Instructions are given for what to do with the cards and how to set up a "Job Box".

A third section of the book focuses on teaching the children to work with diligence. You demonstrate the task and gradually let the child take over. You want to be organized and have a functioning routine. Success gets rewarded; slacking has consequences. Commit everything to the Lord.

A forth section gives the actual templates to use with instructions. There is also a link given to a workshop you can listen to, Getting Kids to Help at Home.

I'm not trying to explain the whole system -- I want you to buy it if you want it. There is a rotating system for daily and weekly jobs assigned to your various children, and it is explained how to work in the less frequent jobs.

So where the program did not work for me was that I have only one child (almost adult) in the home at this point. During this review his time was already taken.

But I do love the system. What I read that is totally working for me is the various "How-Do-Do-It Cards". I've been homemaking almost 40 years, and gradually over time things have been going downhill in cleanliness. The instruction cards, while not rocket science, are very helpful for me. I read, and I say, "Oh, I never thought of that! No wonder that is so dusty!" In other words, author Vicki Bentley includes cleaning steps that I have not been doing, which explains the gradual downhill slope of cleanliness around here. I think I used to move so frequently that it never got this bad. At this point we have lived in this house 18 years, and there are places that just haven't been getting cleaned.

So while I don't have an army of little people to train to help me with the many jobs that need doing around here, I do appreciate the content of The Everyday Family Chore System and look forward to the gradual improvement I will see around here as my little army (hubby, son and I) work to make improvement. This is a program you can run with as is or tweak to fit your situation. Improvement is good; we don't need perfection. Neatness and cleanliness bring peace.

I got an email from the author this morning offering my readers a special deal - 10% off The Everyday Family Chore System and/or Everyday Cooking (print or e-book) through Labor Day! The code for your discount is TOS10books -- you can apply it to as many books in yout cart as you'd like, but you do need to shop first, apply the 10% discount code last.  Expires Sept 5.

Other members of the Homeschool Review Crew were reviewing both The Everyday Family Chore System and Everyday Cooking. To read more reviews please click below.
Everyday Cooking and Chores Systems for your Family {Everyday Homemaking Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Monday, August 21, 2017

Menu Monday for 8/21/17

Did you miss my menu plan last week? Sorry about that. It was County Fair week and I didn't have time to plan and/or post. We were winging it.

This week I am back in the kitchen. Plans are set. Here they are:

Saturday (8/20): County Fair

Sunday (8/21):  BBQ Chicken, corn, broccoli

Monday (8/22): Spinach Pie, biscuits, salad

Tuesday (8/23) (CAP): salad plate with tuna and hard boiled eggs

Wednesday (8/24): lasagna roll ups, salad, TX toast

Thursday (8/25) (Men’s Meeting):  Rotisserie Chicken, rice, California veggie mix

Friday (8/26):  Salmon, yams, asparagus

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Dear Homeschool Mom.... - TOS Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

Dear Homeschool Mom,

Do you remember when your baby was first born? 
He was so adorable, and he had you wrapped around his little pinky!
As he grew, you knew that you always wanted the best for him. 

You fed him, 

cared for him, cleaned him, kept his needs met…
Then one day you realized he was the age to start some sort of formal schooling for him.
You investigated your options, and you decided to teach him at home.

Friends and relatives were shocked. Some asked you, “Why don’t you like public school? What’s wrong with public school?” Others asked, “What about socialization?” Still others asked, “How will you teach him Chemistry and Algebra 2?”

To the first question, don't bother attacking public school. A lot of the teachers are great. The person asking the question probably feels threatened by the fact that you chose to homeschool -- as if that means you are telling them they made a mistake to put their kids in public school. You're not. Just tell them this is what you and your husband have decided is right for your family right now.

The second question, "What about socialization?" ...Are they serious? Have they ever sat on the playground of an elementary school during recess and listened to the conversations and the language? Never mind; don't say anything about that. Just answer that there are a lot of outside activities home schoolers can participate in to get socialization: 4-H, church youth group, Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts, home school co-ops. Note: you don't need to commit that you are doing any of these, just that they exist. You can say you will have time to figure it out as you go along.

Third question... again, are they kidding? Your son is five years old. ::sigh:: Okay, answer that for now you are only committing to this year, but that there are a lot of resources out there for the upper grades, including group classes outside the home.

I will never regret that I homeschooled my children. I will never regret that we were able to learn fractions using measuring cups making chocolate chip cookies. We will all always have very fond, warm fuzzy memories of hour after hour, day after day of read aloud books. Dark, wet, rainy days meant hot cocoa, popcorn, a fire in the fire place, and snuggling up while momma read Louisa May Alcott and Little Women or Jack and Jill.

The years fly by quickly. Enjoy the trip. It IS hard work, and it is best to try to be organized. Any time I had a difficult school day, I liked to tell myself that a bad day of homeschool was better than a good day of public school any day. Not necessarily true, but it helped me get through.

Priorities of God, husband, children, then other things outside the home help one to keep perspective. Setting written goals are also so helpful. Goals for mom for one day might be: make bed; wipe down master bathroom; run a load of laundry; start crockpot; do school; finish laundry; finish dinner side dishes. Goals for oldest daughter might be: make bed; eat breakfast; do school; help with lunch; finish school; wipe down hall bath. For second child goals might be very similar, like: make bed; eat breakfast; do school; load dishwasher; do school; vacuum/sweep. 

The years go by quickly. My house is seldom clean, but my children have all been accepted by colleges they have applied to. I may regret that one never took Algebra 2 and another never finished Latin, but I will never regret that I homeschooled my children.