Nest Building

Simple Menu Planning for Busy Moms

If you asked me my number one homemaking problem, I would immediately tell you: MEAL PLANNING! Which is kind of humorous because I used to really rock my kitchen game. I used to be a great cook (I can say it now that it is no longer true). I used to plan meals for an entire month and rarely repeated the same meal twice! For seven years, I was a kitchen rock star.

And then kids entered the picture around here. Lots of them. And as they multiplied, my menu planning woes multiplied, too! I have never really gotten my rock star status back. But, I am resolving (once again) to be better about getting my game back! Over the next few days, I will be sharing the steps I am taking to menu plan, follow through, and simply stated: feed my family!!

Today, I am starting at square one: motivation. The things that make me want to get in the kitchen and the things that will hopefully hold me in good stead as I resolve to get dinner on the table regularly. As you are reading along, I hope it will give you encouragement to find your motivation for menu planning.

Continue Reading

Inductive Study for Kids, John 2

This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series Inductive Study for Kids

Since we got through the foundation of chapter one, we have truly picked up the pace! I can’t believe we were able to get through all of chapter 2 so quickly! The storytelling nature of the Gospel of John helps to simplify the story of Jesus. It is not a theological treatise. Rather it is a persuasive argument utilizing the various signs and miracles Jesus performed to compel the reader to believe on the Lord Jesus.

Can I just pause here for a moment to tell you how rewarding and fulfilling it is to teach my kids the Word of God? Because it is! The time we have spent diligently learning together has been the most valuable thing we have done in our home. And to see my children learning about Jesus? There is nothing better. I find it fitting that John, the author of this gospel, later wrote these words in 3 John 4:

I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.

The encouragement I get from seeing my kids learn and know the life of Christ is ineffable. And that I have the privilege of being the one to shepherd them through the word? Beyond words.

Having said that. I wanted to note something really quick regarding this series. I write this for other parents to have tools they can utilize in their family Bible time. I write this as a record of the Holy Spirit’s faithfulness to teach His word through an imperfect leader like me. And I humbly hope it blesses one person. I am not an authority on anything, but I hope to be a blessing, nonetheless.

Continue Reading
Growing Up

How to Plan Saxon Math Twice a Month

When it comes to choosing curricula for our kids, I tend to find something I LOVE and want to tell every homeschool Mom about how wonderful it is. And then…I find out the choices we made are some of the more unpopular choices. Or maybe homeschool parents are just highly opinionated creatures and I just happen to run in circles with a whole bunch of people who do not agree with me.

Whatever the case, we do our own thing around here, love it, and don’t plan on changing what works for us. And when it comes to math, we are Saxon people. I cannot foresee a change in this (because ultimately Mama decides and Mama likes Saxon, too). Honestly, my children don’t know there are other options – I am fine with that, too. We started Saxon in first grade with our first student and we haven’t looked back.

By the way, I said goodbye to kindergarten math three days into it. For the whole story on that and what we did instead, check this out.

Since I know Saxon is not the most popular curriculum out there, I am not going to even attempt to persuade you to buy it, use it, or otherwise think about it. You can run off on other homeschool pursuits around here. There’s plenty for you to read here.

But if you are still reading this article, I want to share with you my organizational tips for making preparing to teach Saxon math simple enough to only have to do it twice a month! Hooray for time-saving organizational tips for homeschooling parents!

Continue Reading
Growing Up

The Problem of the Day

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Homeschool

Our first day of school was Monday, but Monday was not a day for pictures and celebration as I had hoped it would be. It was a day filled with tears only God could could count (and screaming, and frustration).

It started almost the moment she woke up. I chalked it up to her needing food in her mouth and nourishment for her tummy to function. She and I are intensely similar. The situation improved with each moment of our Gathering.

Then we sat down for math (Saxon, grade 3). This specific morning math meeting I shall never fully understand, nor ever forget.

Continue Reading
Devotion, Growing Up

Simple Catechism Cards

As a family, we have been working through A Catechism for Boys and Girls  during our morning time – I call it Gathering.  We started when our girls were very little, so the songs we have learned together have become part of our family culture.  I will break out in Catechism songs during mundane moments of our days, even diaper changes.  The kids follow right along and know the call and response nature of the catechism very well now.  

I wanted my kids to know simple truths from Scriptures and I believe the catechism, done simply and beautifully (with music) is a wonderful way to accomplish this.  As I said we have been working on the catechism for years now.  And yet, we are not very far along.  I prefer to think of our slowness as savoring the truths therein. 

Continue Reading
Growing Up

Preschool Gathering

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Gathering

Because we have two little ones, one officially starting preschool this fall, I have been thinking about ways to incorporate them in our homeschool day. It is a task that plagues me regularly. I can’t seem to find enough activities to fill their days. As a result, they are into everything…all the time.

Now, we have also started a practice our family calls Gathering. It is basically morning time for our whole family. It tends to be directed towards our school age kids with some things that delight all of us. My son (my current 3 year old) is obsessed with Gathering. And just this morning my youngest (N, just turned 2) started hearing the requests for Gathering her brother was making and looked at our Google Home device and said, “Google.”

Continue Reading