• Gifts For Homeschool Moms

    Perfect Gifts For New Homeschool Moms

    I created this gift guide with new homeschool moms in mind. I’ve been homeschooling for nearly ten years now and I’ve learned a thing or two on what keeps the engine running without blowing up. These items listed are the things I use on nearly a daily basis and have multiple uses so you get as much of your money’s worth as possible!

    1. Planner

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    Whether your friend is a new or veteran homeschooler, it really helps to have something to plan your days and write it all down with intention. There’s no right or wrong way to do this; however, I always encourage a physical paper planner over digital any day. Science supports the notion that our brains prefer paper over a digital screen. Physically writing your to-do list down will enhance your memory, create better focus, and more.  

    2. Desk

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    I’m all about minimalism and frugality; however, its space and finances allow, having a dedicated desk for work is excellent for focused and training the mind to prepare for work.

    3. Whiteboard

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    Having a whiteboard is handy as it allows you to save money on paper. When not in school, use it’s fun for the kids to draw and as well. 

    4. Whiteboard Markers

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    And with whiteboard comes a need for-you guessed it, markers! I recommend grabbing a sizeable multi-colored pack. It’s helpful when you need to explain different concepts or have a visual learner where the different colors will better grasp the material. 

    5. Laminator

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    However, this is not a must; it is definitely nice to have much cheaper than laminating in a store. Laminating your homeschool materials will help it last longer and allow you to treat the materials as a whiteboard since you’ll draw and erase on the papers. 

    6. Chair

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    Having a chair for both you and your child helps to create that score at the sphere and train our brains to prepare for work. 

    7. Chair massager

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    This one is for the parent, obviously. LOL. Depending on what subjects teaching, you may find that you’re sitting in a chair for hours on end. It’s helpful to have something to make that makes that more comfortable. 

    8. Laptop

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    I recommend having a separate laptop for school work. This isn’t necessary, so if your finances don’t allow this, don’t feel like this is another nothing. However, especially if you have sensitive items on your laptop and intermingle the two together. Having a dedicated laptop for your child helps them learn how to use them and allows you to control what happens on that laptop.

    If you have a younger child, this probably won’t be an issue. However, if your kid is older, you may want to start thinking about this even if you completely trust your child. You’ll want to keep an eye on what they’re doing on the laptop, and an easy way to do this is to install apps that can watch and restrict activity and websites.

    9. Phone

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    If you don’t already have a smartphone, then I highly recommended it. You can do a ton from your smartphone as it’s pretty much a small computer in your hands. You could find material prep directly from your phone and even teach on the go if you needed to. 

    10. Printer

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    If you didn’t already know, you’ll be printing on a ton of papers for school, especially if you favor the traditional way. Printing adds up, and it’s best to buy your own printer. I recommend any HP printer because of their cheap ink service that will allow you to get less expensive ink than any other printer will. I made a mistake and purchased a canon printer, and although it’s great, the printing cost adds up because the ink cost so much money. 

    11. HSLDA membership

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    Now that most of us work and school from home, I highly recommend getting this membership. Most of us are unaware of the laws in our States or countries regarding homeschooling. And sadly, many schools shy away from homeschooling and discourage it because they do spending every time a student doesn’t enroll. Some states and countries make it a living hell while it illegal in others. Having this membership is nearly the closest equivalent you can get to have a service and lawyer in your pocket fighting for you and your rights. 

    12. Green Craft Membership

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    If you aren’t crafty or tired of pinning craft pins on Pinterest that you’ll never complete, consider investing in a membership like green craft kids. I’ve used this membership for many months because we love the simplicity of the service. Each month your kids will receive a prepared box of crafts with instructions, and all the materials don’t need to complete the said craft. And if you’re like us, receiving packages in the mail is always a tonne of fun. 

    13. Youtube Premium

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    Investing in YouTube premium will provide your family with so many benefits. Besides watching videos with no ads, which was great for children, you get YouTube music too. You’ll have the ability to download videos to accompany any subjects of your teaching. Kids will especially appreciate this as it won’t feel like schoolwork, but like watching a movie. 

    14. Easel

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    Any and isn’t necessary at all, and I personally do not use one. However, many of my homeschooling friends use them and find that their caves have a lot of fun with them. Having fun is one of the essential components for enjoying homecoming.

    Annnnddd, they can use it for painting or coloring. You can also use it as a teaching prop. Another fun way to assess whether your kids are retaining the information is to have them play the teacher and explain our parrot the material back to you. 

  • How to Stay in Touch with Friends and Family

    Can you stay close to a friend who lives miles away? Maybe you grew up together, but jobs and marriages have taken you to different countries. Maybe you met online, and you’ve never lived in the same time zone.

    If you don’t want your friendship to fade away, you’ll need to work at nurturing your connection. It’s challenging but rewarding.

    Holding onto old friends gives you the stability of having someone in your life who knew you at different stages of development.

    Any relationship may have more potential when you choose it deliberately rather than hanging out together because it’s convenient.

    Discover the secret to maintaining a long-distance friendship. Use these suggestions to make the separation work for you.

    The Secret to Staying in Touch with Friends and Family When You’re Stuck at Home or Far Away:

    Embrace change

    It’s natural to grieve when a close friend moves away. Remember that relationships shift over time, and the transformation may be positive. You could wind up valuing each other even more.

    Be intentional

    You will need to work harder at staying in touch and making specific plans. A precious friendship is worth the investment of time and thought.

    Act natural

    At the same time, you can overdo it. Enjoy ordinary conversation and pleasures instead of feeling compelled to come up with big news and adventures.

    Type less

    Texting is convenient but choose a more personal touch when possible. Try video calls and handwritten notes. Plan to get together in person whenever you can manage to be in the same area.

    Build support

    As much as you love your remote pals, you need contacts in your own time zone too. Keep making friends close to home.

    Here are Specific Strategies You Can Use to Stay in Touch That Work:

    Share activities

    Friendships usually involve doing the same thing in the same place, but they can also handle multiple locations. Play games online or read the same book so you can discuss it when you call.

    Take vacations

    Coordinate your leave time. Plan exotic getaways or visit each other at home. Enjoy having a free place to stay when you’re out of town.

    Use snail mail

    Send cards for no occasion or write a letter. Let your friend know that you’re thinking of them.

    Think local

    Keep your friend up to date on what’s going on where you live. Forward an interesting news story or your review of a new Korean restaurant.

    Schedule standing dates

    You’re more likely to be consistent if you adopt a regular schedule. Call each other on Wednesday evenings or Sunday mornings.

    Take pictures

    Make it easy for your friend to envision your life. Take a group photo with your office buddies. Post a picture of you attending a concert or your daughter’s soccer game.

    Go into detail

    You may need to provide more context when you’re talking with a friend you don’t see often. Fill in the background and explain how you’re feeling.

    Share your calendar

    The logistics can become complicated when you have lots of mutual friends spread out around the country or across the world. Consider creating a group calendar to help you keep track.

    Send gifts

    Your friends will love receiving surprise presents from you. Present them with a gift certificate so you can buy them a cup of coffee or help decorate their home. If you’re the DIY type, knit them a scarf or bake them some cookies that you can ship overnight.

    Long-distance friendships can thrive. Make a commitment to putting in the necessary effort and seize each opportunity to get together face to face.

  • How to stay patient with your kids

    Of course, you love your kids, but chances are that on occasion they drive you nuts and you find yourself struggling to stay patient with them.

    If you want to keep the peace with your children, you’ll need to practice the art of patience. When you do, you’ll also be helping your children to learn patience – a skill that’ll benefit them for the rest of their lives.

    Here are some ways to learn patience with your kids:

    What are your triggers?

    Be as specific as possible. Once you learn to understand what causes you to lose patience, you can try to avoid these situations, or at least you’ll know when it is time to start practicing your patience skills.

    How do you respond?

    What happens when you lose patience?

    Do you get sweaty palms, or perhaps experience an increased heart rate? In the future, these warning signals will alert you to react positively.

    Step away from the situation

    If you do find yourself about to lose patience, it’s best that you walk away from the situation rather than reacting negatively. Take a moment to yourself and practice some deep breathing exercises to calm yourself down.

    You must control your temper! (#beautyandthebeast)

    You must be patient, not just preach it. Actions speak louder than words. Also, it takes action to practice your patience skills.

    Patience is an intervention

    Patience as a tool that can be applied to any situation. Once we understand its value and apply it correctly, we will no longer react in anger to frustrating situations.

    Have reasonable expectations

    You can’t expect your toddler to learn to potty train overnight, just as you wouldn’t expect your five-year-old to learn calculus. It’s important to understand that many things just take time (and patience).

    Think about your relationship rather than results

    It can be easy to become side-tracked by results. However, if you focus on your relationship with your child, results will become less important, but may improve anyway as a result of the improved relationship.

    Restate, rethink, reevaluate, relax and regroup

    Instead of reacting with frustration when your child fails to complete a task, use these 5 “R’s”:

    1. Restate. Tell them what your expectations are.
    2. Rethink. Think about your timetable.
    3. Reevaluate. Is the task reasonable?
    4. Relax. Think about how you are approaching the problem and whether you would change anything.
    5. Regroup. Actively work on the situation instead of losing your temper as you would in the past.

    Be prepared to apologize

    Some may think that apologizing to your child will lessen your authority, but nothing could be further from the truth. You are the role model, so it’s important to take responsibility for your actions when your own behavior is less than stellar.

    When you apologize, you are teaching your children how to take responsibility, too.

    Take care of yourself

    Look after your own needs as well as those of your kids. Sometimes we put ourselves at the back of the queue when it comes to care, but this can be to your detriment and your family’s.

    Take time for yourself, get a hobby, or just have an hour off occasionally. This will give you time to recharge.

    Give yourself GRACE

    We all lose patience occasionally, and while it may not seem like a positive thing at the time, it may show you that you’re feeling overwhelmed or under-appreciated. Perhaps there is something you can do about that issue too.

    Kids can be frustrating, but practicing patience can strengthen your bonds, lessen your frustration, and teach your children valuable skills.

  • 14 Lazy Ways to Burn Calories

    You know you can lose weight by running each day or playing full-court basketball, but what if you tend to avoid physical activity? Maybe you think it takes up too much time or you feel uncomfortable when you exercise.

    Cheer up. There’s plenty of middle ground between being a couch potato and training for the Olympics. Try these 14 lazy ways to burn calories.

    Lazy Ways to Burn More Calories While You’re Exercising

    Exercise really does become easier once you make it a habit. While you’re discovering what works for you, use these tips to make your initial efforts less taxing.

    Play Fast Music

    Save the slow dance for later. Tunes with a lively tempo make you work harder, but you’ll be having so much fun you probably won’t notice.

    Increase the Resistance

    Gradually use heavier weights or raise the resistance setting on your treadmill.

    Bicycle uphill or lower the air pressure in your tires.

    You’ll expend more energy in the same amount of time.

    Add Variety

    You may have noticed that you tend to eat more at a buffet because additional options create greater temptation. Apply the same principle at the gym. When you’re tired of running laps, go for a swim.

    Be Social

    Buddying up with a workout partner turns pushups into playtime. Bring a friend to the gym or sign up for a group class.

    Lazy Ways to Burn Calories Between Workouts

    What you do between workouts affects your weight, too, since most of your time is spent outside of the gym. Some of these tips are so easy they’ll quickly become second nature.

    Stand Up

    Standing burns about 30% more calories than sitting down. Ask your boss for a standing desk or get up out of your chair for a few minutes every half hour.

    Walk and Talk

    Studies suggest that the average smartphone user is spending at least 3 hours a day on their device. The miles will add up quickly if you pace around during those conversations.

    Related: 8 surprisingly easy ways to cut calories

    Break for Commercials

    When you watch TV, do pushups or jump rope during the commercials. That way you can stay fit and still keep up with your favorite shows.

    Lengthen Your Stride

    Since early humans couldn’t be sure about where their next meal was coming from, our bodies quickly adapt to moving as efficiently as possible. Just walking a little faster than usual can help you slim down.

    Related: Simple ways to eat mindfully and keep the weight off

    Wear an Activity Monitor

    Maybe you feel more engaged when you have data to analyze. Strap on a bracelet or pedometer.

    More Lazy Ways to Burn Calories Between Workouts


    Frequent fidgeters burn about 300 extra calories a day. That’s about 2 shortbread cookies.

    Eat Whole Foods

    Chewing and digesting food uses up energy too. Choose an orange instead of juice. As a bonus, spicy foods rev up your metabolism, so munch on some wasabi peas along with your fruit.

    Related: 91+ Tips For Moms That Want To Cook Like a Pro

    Drink Coffee

    Caffeine is another metabolism booster. Most experts agree that up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day is safe, which translates into about 4 cups of coffee.

    Manage Stress

    In addition to causing chronic inflammation, stress hormones can interfere with digestion. Relaxation practices like meditating daily make it easier to lose weight.

    Take a Nap

    Similarly, adequate sleep helps you to stay trim. Go to bed and rise on a consistent schedule, and take a nap if you still feel drowsy.

    Burn calories the easy way!

    While you’re searching for an exercise routine you can stick with, start with small steps that add up when it comes to losing weight. You may even find that you look forward to working out once you’re feeling more energetic and fit.

    Related: Easy Weight Loss Tips for Achieving Your Weight Loss Goals