Friday, July 24, 2015

Homeschooling 5th and Beyond: Debunking the Myth Of Short School Hours

     Okay, so I'm not new to the homeschooling arena.  Since the time my oldest was 4 years old, we started off on the wonderful homeschooling journey that we are still doing with 2 of our children now going on 7 years.  Kindergarten took 1-2 hours of our day, and it was a wonderful start.  1st, 2nd, 3rd all came around and passed the same way.  4th grade was a transitional year, and even though it was more challenging curriculum-wise, we still pulled it off in 2 - 3 hours.  Then came 5th grade~we had 4-5 hour days, including teaching new concepts and correcting work.  It seems at the end of every week I became discouraged, thinking I must be doing something wrong.  I looked at other homeschooling articles, moms, and such for encouragement and most of the main topics were affirming and cheering you on that you Can do school in just a few hours.  Really?  But how effectively?  I started to research more and realized most of the articles and people I was (speaking truthfully) comparing myself to were homeschooling children Kindergarten-3rd Grade!  A light came on and suddenly I realized I needed to take a different approach to my child who was in 5th grade at the time.  I evaluated all sides:  I looked in to my state's requirements for graduation from each grade, I looked at a local middle school nearby to research the academics for my child's current grade compared to what he would receive at the public school, and I looked in to my child's individual needs.  I came to the conclusion that, if you want to Effectively homeschool your child so that he goes on to receive a Higher Education, it Will take more work 5th grade and beyond.  It just will~and as a homeschooler, you have to accept that fact. 
     Of course, everyone has their own style, curriculum, and schedule based off their children's and family's needs.  But, contrary to popular belief from others I encounter in my life, homeschooling is not where we wake up early do 2-3 hours of school and have the rest of the day to do our "own" thing.  After waking, doing chores, and taking care of oneself, we personally spend 4-5 hours doing school each day for children that are 5th grade or higher.  By 5th grade, your child may have stronger subjects and weaker subjects as the curriculum becomes more advanced.  This means you may have to slow down on certain subjects to allow the child time to digest, or you may have to spend more time to complete that subject for the day.  Though your child may breeze through his strong subjects, that extra time may be used up correcting problems with him/her in his weaker subjects. 
     So, to those who Dare to venture in to homeschooling 5th grade and beyond, You Can Do It!  Don't be discouraged at the amount of time it takes.  Realize that time is the sacrifice you make so you can give your child the Godly foundation, Godly character, and solid education your children need for  their lives.  It will be hard work, but in the end, it will be so worth it when you see your child with that diploma in-hand and going in to the season of adulthood with a Godly foundation. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Homemade Antibacterial Hand Soap

This was so so glad to be sharing it with you today:))

You will need:
~3 quart pot
~cheese grater
~plastic ladle for stirring
~measuring cup for pouring
~funnel for pouring soap into your container
~1 gallon empty container

~5 oz. bar of your favorite soap
~1 gallon of water
~2 T. Glycerin
~tea tree oil ( this is what makes it antibacterial)

I started out by grating my favorite soap.  I used Cheeky Maiden's pumpkin lavender soap, which is all natural.  I later learned during the thickening process the bar was only 4 oz. and I needed 1 more I just shaved 1 ounce off another bar I had on hand, added about 1 cup of water, melted it, and added it to the mixture.  It was Cheeky Maiden chamomile bar.

I filled the gallon container with water and poured it into the 3 quart pot.  Next time I'll slow down and take time to measure the water just to make sure I don't mess up and get a runny soap in the end:)
Then, I added the soap shavings and 2 T. glycerin and boiled on medium high heat until melted.  When you see bubbles and the shavings are gone, then it is done.  This was my favorite part of the process, as it smelled heavenly. 

Yay!~then your done with that part, and you can turn the oven off and let cool.  The soap will need to be set aside to let cool for 24-48 hours.  I just set mine on the counter against the wall.  When the soap is cool, you may add tea tree oil any time while it is geling.  I used 15 drops of tea tree oil.
The next day, I started to see mine gel up into what looked like a brain-like substance.  I stirred mine a couple of times within the 48 hours too, and it seemed to help with the geling. 

You can see I started out using a wooden spoon for stirring but read up on the fact that the wood will start to strip, so I discontinued using it and switched to a plastic spoon instead.  In the picture above, I have already stirred and mixed the white brain-looking substance with the clear, so it looks for muddled than what you might see at first glance. 

Well, after 48 hours of no sweat or tears, I made my own Antibacterial Liquid Handsoap and am so proud of it!

When refilling your soap bottles, always shake your container a bit to mix things up.  There will be a little separation sometimes, depending on what type of soap you use to make your batch.  I filled up my bottles and wow!, the smell was so subtle and calming, the feel of the soap was not bubbly, but rather just enough to lather and rinse (which is perfect if you have kids that have a habit of not washing off all the soap from their hands), and had the satisfaction of knowing there are no extra chemicals or ingredients going onto my skin.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Blog, Blog, Blog

It's bad ya' bad.  I know...I have blogged since, like, April?  Wow~But, it has been a busy year for me, so I'll try to catch up and post some blogs to share with you.  I now have two homeschoolers, yay!  Kindergarten and 4th grade, which I've found isn't hard if I first teach the 5 year old in the morning and then proceed with the bigger boy.  I let the oldest study 4 hrs tops, with a lunch break in between and we knock it all out by 3 p.m. the latest.  I've been enjoying doing the Kindergarten curriculum again, through A.C.E. curriculum.  It seems like light years ago when I was teaching it to my oldest.  And 4th grade has come with its pros.  I no longer have to labor, groan, yell, or pull my hair out over getting school done, like it seemed I was doing Every Single Day in 3rd grade~lol~.  My oldest is more independent now and is comprehending his weaker subjects so well this year, it's knocking my socks off!
Let's see, more to share later!  I'll have some DIYers, tips on saving, budgeting, and some fun art projects you can do with kids or by yourself to add to the decor in your home. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent


     Here is a great liquid laundry detergent recipe that I chose to use.  After realizing how much laundry I have to do, including cloth diapers, I quickly was inspired~ha ha ha:)~by the Duggar's, mothers, and bloggers out there who have made this recipe. 
     I found the Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda and Borax at my local grocery store.  I ordered my Fels-Naptha Bar on Amazon since they had the best price at the time. 
     I used tree tree oil in my laundry soap, as this is a good anti bacterial oil. 
     May it serve you well!

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap~Front or Top Load

Yield:  10 gallons
Top load machine:  5/8 cup/load (180 loads)
Front load machine:  1/4 cup/load (640 loads)

4 cups hot tap water ( for use in melting soap in medium saucepan)
1 Fels-Naptha bar
1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda  (Baking soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent.)
1/2 cup Borax
Cheese grater
5 gallon bucket with lid
Stirring stick
~optional:  essential oil such as lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil

Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with 4 cups of water.  Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water.  Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax.  Stir well until all powder is dissolved.  Fill bucket to top with more hot water.  Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water.  Shake before each use.  (It will gel.)

This is optional, but you can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons.  Add once soap has cooled. 

Clumping and geling of the detergent is normal.  Stir before putting in dispenser, and shake before each use. 

Low sudsing.  (It's not the suds that cleans the clothing but the soap itself.)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Egg Bacon Casserole~A Perfect Breakfast for the Entire Family

I finally came up with a great way to serve up breakfast for everyone!  My boys have been eating an arm and a leg, not to mention my little girl has been eating just as much.  So, cereal was out.  But after getting up every morning to make eggs, toast, fruit....yeah, I didn't really care much to be rolling out of bed to cooking, since the kitchen is where I spend most of my day doing just that.  I combined about 2 1/2 days worth of making eggs for 15 servings~I took into account that the hubby eats 2 each day and there are a few left over going into the 3rd day, so I can always eat oats or something else and let the kids eat the casserole.

Here it is and oh so simple to make:

You will want to spray your pan before you begin.  I used olive oil spray.

I started out using an electric blender to whisk the eggs.  Then, I combined the milk and added the cheese.  Add your salt and pepper.  Pour the mixture into your prepared oiled 13x9 dish. 

Next, you can add your bacon bits or whatever meat you prefer.  In the picture above, I used turkey sausage.  I love adding the bacon bits on top instead of the mixture~you can taste more of the bacon flavor by doing this.

Stick it in the oven at 340 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. 

Here is the Recipe:
Egg Bacon Casserole

16-18 eggs
1 cup milk (any preference-we like unsweetened coconut milk)
1 cup shredded cheese (whatever your preference is with eggs)
a dash of white pepper (I love using this because I can put in this spice without the kids turning up their noses to black peppery specks in their food)
a dash of salt
1/4 c. bacon bits or 1 serving of your choice of cooked meat

Oven 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes until golden brown on top.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Hi! My name is Kelsey and I am a SAHM, homeschooler, wife, a Jane of all trades, and enjoying living in Texas.  I currently have 3 littles:  a budding engineer & 9 year old big brother, a 4 year old son who is an aspiring entomologist, and a precious & funny 17 month old girl.  I am rather new to the blog world but so so excited to be sharing a large part of what I do every day with those of you who find an interest!  I hope you enjoy the Recipes, Art, DIY projects, encouragement and spiritual refreshers, and many array of things you find here!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Guest Bathroom mini-makeover~Find Your Perfect Gray

What a nice project this was.  It took about 8 hours total, taping, painting, stenciling, taping again, painting, and lastly, hanging new hardware.  I really enjoyed doing the stencil wall art~it seemed to be relaxing, however, I am glad it was only one wall I had to do. 
Now, you may think gray is an easy color to find, but did you know there are different undertones to grays, and depending on what color you want to accesorize with, can be a great challenge to find the right one?  I quickly learned this in shopping for the right paint choice.  Thankfully, I found a lot of useful websites I'll share later.
So we started with an off-whitish bathroom. 
I used a white that complimented the gray on the accent wall first, painting the entire wall with it.  I also used the white for the sideboards, door, and ceiling. 
White wall dry~my wall stenciling began.  I started just like how the stencil instructions recommended:  In an inconspicuous place, preferably on top.  So I stenciled from top to bottom, right to left, and left the edges for last.  To hold your stencil in place, you will need to place painter's tape on each side and top of stencil.  Once you've done one area, you gently pull the stencil off the wall, move and line up the pattern, and fill the next area.  Make sure to follow the instructions in wiping off the stencil every few areas, as this will keep the paint from seeping onto areas you don't want your color.  Also, you will want to make sure not to put too much paint on the brush.  Use a paper towel and roll the brush over it once or twice to get rid of excess paint. 
Once the whole wall, except the edges, were stenciled, I moved on to finish off and fill in the corners, and edges of the wall.  This was the most challenging part of the bathroom.  I had to match the stencil up with the pattern, bend it until it was flush with the edge and corner, then tape it down, and paint with the stencil brush rather than a roller brush.  It was challenging, but I knew I would be pleased with the results~and I was;)))

I painted the rest of the walls the same gray I used for stenciling.  As soon as that was dry, it was time to take off the tape and put new tape on so I could paint the ceiling.  I also painted the sideboards and the door after the tape came off.  I mostly freehanded the sideboards with a smaller paintbrush since it is a small bathroom. 
I added a brushed nickel ring towel holder to the sink area.  I didn't want the traditional towel rods, so I went the route of getting hooks instead~which I totally am glad I chose them.  The towels hold really well on the hooks and dry faster.

I shopped for black and white shower curtains but decided on all white, since it was more budget-friendly.  It turned out to be my favorite and makes the small bathroom feel larger.

One thing I have yet to do is install two white shelves above the toilet.  These will be handy for storing floss, qtips, cup, and other accessories.  I will have to give you an update with the artwork I will be creating for the bathroom space.  

I chose a greige color, which is a cross between a gray and beige.  This is a good alternative if you do not want to commit to either spectrum yet find an inbetween.

Happy painting!

Gray Color:  Behr Perfect Taupe
Target floating shelf (not shown)
Martha Stewart towel ring
Hobby Lobby stencil

Additional websites to help you choose that perfect gray:

Monday, October 22, 2012

No-Mess Painting

I'm finally getting to some of these blogs I have been meaning to post over the past several months.  It has been quite busy here on the homefront:))lol
This was soooo much fun and veerrry easy to put together for the kids~even T who is 10 months joined in on the art project!

No-Mess Painting for Infants-99

Here is the List of Items Needed:

Tempera paint(or any water-based paint)
Olive oil(baby oil will do as well)
Large ziplock bags
Packing tape or other strong tape.

In the ziplock bag pour about 1/4 cup of oil.  Make sure to put the oil in First, or the paint colors will mix together and make a deep indigo~unless, of course, you want that:))
Next, squirt in 2-3 different colors of paint.  It really depends on how much of one color of paint you want of each, but I put in equal amounts of each color for a balanced approach.  In the end, it will not make a difference. 
Add any color of glitter for a bit of pizzazz~I used gold.
After putting in the ingredients, starting at the bottom of your bag, slowly flatten out the bag, taking out as much air as possible, and seal the top. 
Lastly, with the strong tape, seal the top of the bag where the zip part is~this will make it spill-proof and prevent any oil or paint from escaping as little hands turn it about and enjoy.

Here you can see the glitter we added for special effect.**

This is an example of what happens when you put in the paint before the oil.

Almond Biscotti

I recently took up the *addiction of cafe and decided that I would drink a cup each day for afternoon tea, or earlier if I was going insane.  But I needed something with a small taste of sweetness to go along with it.  I discovered biscotti right across from the cafe selections at the store, but 3$ for a box of 8-10?  I don't think my search for a good biscotti recipe, following the ingredient contents on a box of Nonni's, led me to try and absolutely loove these I'm going to share with you<3.

Biscotti mean "twice baked" so it will take a bit more time, but the reward is ohh so worth it!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Place the almonds on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until they're brown and fragrant.  After I took them out and let them cool, I chopped them coarsely with my coffee grinder.

While the almonds are in the oven, mix all the wet ingredients together:  eggs, vanilla and almond extracts along with the sugar.  I went ahead and added the dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, and optional salt.
After the almonds were chopped, I added them and stirred until it was one big piece of dough.

Turn the oven down to 300 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with wax paper.
Separate the dough in half and make each into a log of about 7 in long and 3-4 in wide.  I made mine more square-like so the end pieces wouldn't be so small in the end.  Place the logs onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let them cool for 10-15 minutes.

On a cutting board, using a bread knife, cut into slices.  I was able to cut 9 slices each loaf.  Place them back on the baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, turn the slices over, and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until firm to the touch. 

My favorite part The Chocolate Dip:
Place 4-6 ounces of finely chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place it over a saucepan of simmering water.  I have used Ghirardelli  bittersweet and Nestle semi-sweet and found that bittersweet is my preference.  But it really just depends on taste.  Once the chocolate has started to melt, stir the chocolate until it has completely melted.  Remove from heat. 

Using a tablespoon, dribble the chocolate one tablespoon at a time over each biscotti piece.  Once each biscotti have been dribbled in chocolate, I spread the chocolate out using the tablespoon.  Place on the baking sheet and put in refrigerator for 10 minutes or longer until chocolate has hardened.  After chocolate hardened, I individually cut them in half with a bread knife to have more servings available and to cut calories in half. 

Almond Biscotti

3/4 c whole almonds, skins on or skins off
3 eggs
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t pure almond extract
2 spelt flour or all-purpose flour
3/4 c raw sugar or granulated
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t salt optional

For Chocolate Dip

4-6 ounces semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Calories using bittersweet chocolate:
Cal. 83g
Carbs 10g
Fat 4g
Prot 3g

Thanks to

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Chocolate Nutty Nuggets

I was browsing around my kitchen the other day, trying to think up some concoction of a snack I could give the kids.  I realized I love to eat chocolate chips, almonds, and sometimes marshmallows with it.  Every once in a while I'll grab a handful and put it in a cup to eat.  So I decided to simplify that version for the kids~if I gave it to them in the cup, they would more than likely eat All the chocolate chips and marshmallows and leave the healthiest part, the nuts.'s my rendition of the snack:

Chocolate Nutty Nuggets
6-7oz almonds or other nut you prefer
1 cup chocolate chips any preference ( I used Tollhouse semi-sweet)
1-2 handfuls of marshmallows (which is about 1 serving)
1 serving of shredded unsweetened coconut (about 1 ounce)
1-2 cookie sheet sized  pieces of wax paper

Directions:  Put a small saucepan on low heat.  Melt the chocolate chips.  Once they are melted, add the almonds and coconut.  Mix well.  Take the pan off the heat.  Add the marshmallows.  Scoop out each serving and drop onto wax paper. 
Mine made:  15 nuggets
Calories:  161

Pair with a glass of cold milk and enjoy!