The Homeschooling Adventure

I’m not the type to jump off a cliff and I hope I fly, I’m the research thoroughly and make a well thought out decision type. So when we decided to pull my daughter from public school and begin homeschooling all within three days my anxiety was through the roof. I’ve never looked at homeschooling before, where do I find what I need? I spent day and night researching and trying to find the right fit for my daughter. If you are looking at beginning this same adventure please keep something in mind, its a learning experience. The first, second or even third curriculum you choose may not work for your child. Be willing to change your method, you may also need something different for each child.

Here are a few places that I have used to make up our curriculum:
*Please note I am not affiliated with any of these or being compensated for sharing their information*

time4learning– We initially started with time4learning, and while I really liked it, my daughter however did not. This is a full curriculum, that can be used on a computer or tablet. As a parent you can control their lessons, view their grades, print worksheets and much more. My daughter (3rd grade) found it hard to actually grasp what they were teaching though, and they will continue to move on even if they don’t understand it. That was a downside for me.

Acellus- After switching to Acellus things became much smoother. We love this curriculum, they have actual teachers doing video lessons for each new concept. After choosing your 6 courses they will do a placement test so you know what grade level you need to begin at. I did also read it is possible to adjust your lessons, we however didn’t need to do this so I haven’t looked into this yet. With this program they do all the grading for you and it will let your kids know how many lessons they need to complete to stay on track.

teacherspayteachers-This is a great resource for worksheets, banners, busy work and much more. These have all been developed by teachers and are printable. Some of these are free and some have a small fee.

Christianbook.com- Quite a bit of our curriculum for next year was ordered from this website. We will also be homeschooling our boys next year mixing workbooks and online courses. There is several full curriculum’s available but its also possible to mix and match. They also have many other classroom resources available as well.  You can usually find free shipping coupons as well, and they regularly have sales.

Dollar Tree– Aside from a major money saving option, Dollar Tree has a large variety of options that work great for busy work. From math fact books to science and social studies lessons. They have classroom resources, school supplies, organization supplies, and the list goes on.

Pinterest-if you simply type in Homeschool, you are going to get a large list of things you can use. I’ve found planners, unit studies, posters, fun projects and much more. I find myself weekly looking for new things we can do on Pinterest.

What’s your favorite homeschooling resources? If you have any questions please feel free to ask, I will do my best to answer or point you in the right direction.

God Bless!

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The Love of a Grandmother

One of the ways I like to show affection is for cooking or baking for others. Growing up I always remember my grandparents giving or receiving food items for many occasions. I was very fortunate to have the influence and be taught by some amazing cooks and bakers throughout my childhood and into my adult years. From my grandmothers and even grandfather, friends and co-workers, they have all helped me along my way and due to their influence I believe that is why I associate cooking/baking for others with affection. Last night I attempted yet again my grandmothers chocolate sheet cake. Although I still have work to do, I am getting closer. I began thinking back at watching her in the kitchen, she was always so calm and made it seem so easy. Now while being in the kitchen has been very natural for me, I assure you I am no where as calm and collected as she was. I’ve also begun to appreciate those Sunday dinners so much more, because I understand the work that actually went into them. I don’t know how she managed to bake that cake, cut up and fry the chicken, slice all the potatoes to mash them, and still remain so graceful.
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Over the last few months I’ve also been attempting to re-create some of my husbands favorite foods that his grandmother made. Now this is no easy task, she was a homemaker and farmer’s wife for many years. Now while I’m getting pretty close on her chocolate chip cookies, Baked mac and cheese was something I was not familiar with. My family just made mac and cheese with Velveeta and macaroni. I’ve made a few batches, and well let’s just say I feel like they have a long way to go. My husband however says they are great. I only hope that I am able to pass along my love of the kitchen along to my children, it doesn’t seem like many actually know their way around the kitchen anymore. No matter what I will continue to fill my cookie jars and making goodies for others, holding dear to me the memories of the past that brought me to where I am today.  Feel free to share your favorite memories in the kitchen too!

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img_0489God Bless!

I failed my child

I’ve debated on whether or not I was going to share this, but at the same time I want to be honest and open with everyone. Then I came to the realization that there are others in my shoes as well, maybe I can learn from you. My daughter, age 8, was diagnosed with depression and anxiety yesterday. After exhausting every option I could think of over the last year, I decided to turn to our doctor for help and guidance. I myself have battled this over half of my life, likely longer but it wasn’t until I was in middle school I actually got help for this. I feel like I failed her, is there more I could have done? Did I not do something, am I not doing enough? Should I have gotten her help sooner?

She is a beautiful, intelligent, kind little girl with big dreams of Harvard someday. She isn’t one to ever be unkind to others, yet finds it hard to find friends. We try to reassure her that having one best friend is better than ten fake friends, but it still deeply hurts her when someone doesn’t want to be her friend or she feels like they don’t want to be. I’m just not sure how to help her or be there for her. If anyone has any suggestions or is in a similar situation please feel free to reach out to me, if you prefer to do it privately you an email me at familynfaithblog@gmail.com

Thanks for being my ear to listen today, God Bless!

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Food for the soul

When your hair can form icicles it is just too darn cold to do anything. I would rather crawl up with a book, blanket and coffee forgetting that the hair on my legs (hey its cold, cut me a break) could cut someone thanks to the goosebumps. When it’s cold there is always those foods that you instantly think of. For me its two things, Biscuits and gravy, or chili and cinnamon rolls.
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Of course you can use canned biscuits but nothing is better than homemade. I’ll make sure you include a copy of the recipe I use at the bottom. Growing up I honestly thought everyone knew you eat cinnamon rolls with your chili. It wasn’t until  I was married and my in-laws from outside of Kansas pointed out that this actually wasn’t a well known thing.  Nothing is better than some chili with homemade cinnamon rolls, it warms you down to your soul.  Make your chili, if you need a recipe just say so I’ll send you mine,  add a little sour cream and shredded cheese on top. Take a bite of your chili, then a bite of your cinnamon roll. I promise you won’t regret it. You can even crock pot your chili so you can come home to a warm meal, if you don’t have a crock pot you really need to get one! Crock pot, cast iron skillet, and a coffee maker are three things I just couldn’t go without. My kitchen aid mixer isn’t far behind on that list though, homemade noodles are amazing.

Despite that I’m more of a baker than a cook, I do love being in the kitchen and making meals that will bring my family together. I’ve been tossing around sharing some of these recipes and even trying out recipes suggested to me. I would love to try out something new! I will warn you I am not a fish eater though, I have texture aversions and fish just don’t mix with that.  Now that I’m nice and hungry though I think I will be making another cup of coffee and making some cinnamon rolls and chili!

Stay warm and God Bless!

Just saying Hi….again

Over the last few months several realizations occurred to me. There was many things I wanted to change about myself or my life. So I began that process. For those that haven’t followed me from the beginning or know me from social media I wanted to introduce myself/ update where I am in life.

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So this is me! My name is Ashley, I’m a 28 (almost 29) year old wife and mom. I met my husband 11 years ago in May, and March is our 9 year wedding anniversary. We have three beautiful children, our daughter is 8, and our twin sons are 5.  I was a cook for 6 years in a hospital and later high school before I became a mom. After having our daughter I stayed home with her making spare cash by crocheting and baking for others. I’ve always been very crafty and creative so I decided to take those passions and turn it into a business. The business has been a way to provide an income while still being available for my children and husband when needed. We’ve also used the business to help others as well, which is something that is so important to me. Goals are much bigger for this year and pray that it continues to grow. I feel like there is so much more I could probably say but I better be getting out the door to go get the kids from school.  So be watching for a follow up post, and feel free to introduce yourself!

God Bless!

 

Set your Goals high

There is just something about the words New Years Resolutions that rub me the wrong way. Maybe because they often seem to be half hearted promises, and by February most people completely forget them.  I’m a list maker, setting goals I can check off my list. I also like to dig a little deeper than the obvious things I need to change. Do I need to eat better, of course I do. Do I need to exercise more? Of course, it has been replaced with work over the last few months.

This year I want to continue to grow closer as a family. We have movie and game nights, go for walks on nice nights already but I want to sit down with the kids and see if they think we can improve anywhere. Maybe they have a list of things they would like to do this year as a family.  I also want to finish reading the Bible, I began but found it hard to get through the first few books of the bible, so I did some looking and found a guideline  helping you figure out in what order you should read all of the books. It has helped a lot and I’ve already begun reading more. I also need to become more faithful in my scripture writing.

Helping others through my business, FamilyNFaith is definitely a bigger goal for the year. I’ve continually felt the need to go on a mission trip in the last few weeks. Research has begun and I’m trying to see when my husband and I can do this in 2018, I hope to make this a yearly thing.  I’m hoping this is something the kids will be interested in doing as well. I want to sponsor another child this year as well and donate to different charities.

What are your goals for 2018? I’d love to hear them!
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Twitter: familynfaithblg

Stay safe tonight, Happy New Year and God Bless!

It’s a beautiful morning

It’s a new week and I’ve decided I’m going to take on a new look at Monday. Yes I said that nasty word. My oldest child came down with the flu this morning and my knee is hurting me a lot today. Despite this, I refuse to be ungrateful for the day. It is so easy to look at the bad in your life and decide you’re having a bad day, month, year, life, ect. In truth, that is a very small part of your day or life. When you choose to look at your blessings instead, your outlook on your life will change. Hand your worries, your struggles and your pain over to God. Hit your knees and pray. A year ago if you would have asked me if I would be where I am today, I would have said not a chance.  My husband and I had filed for divorce, tension in our home was unbearable,  and our kids were miserable. It took a friend of ours forcing my husband into counseling, which I joined to help him, actually ended up saving our marriage. We were in the hands of a christian woman who wasn’t going to give up on us. At first it began with being assigned books to read, then it grew into us doing daily bible study together. Which grew into me beginning to blog so I could put what I was feeling into words. Eventually it grew into me writing my own scripture writing and bible studies, but most importantly it led to us finding a church to call home. During this journey I was led to branch out and start up my craft business, after a few months I have found my items that keep my order book full and it’s helped me to pay for Christmas this year. Christmas hasn’t been paid for with my paycheck in 8 years now (since our daughter was born). My husband also left the job he’s been at for several years, taking a few months off to stay home with us and help me get the business off the ground. Immediately after him leaving his job our marriage really shifted, he became more involved in our home and with the kids. He took a job doing what he loves and now we can’t imagine life any other way. It took a lot of praying, digging deep and soul searching, many tears, heart ache and more, but this past year I wouldn’t change for anything. I have my husband and best friend back, the man who I love to laugh with and spend every moment with. My kids are so happy and thriving, and they love going to Sunday School.  God doesn’t promise life will be easy, but he does promise he will be there with you through it all. As learned last week in the scripture writing, we are wonderfully made by a faithful God. We all have a special purpose, and we should be thankful under all circumstances.

This weeks Scripture Writing will be focused more on Moms.
December
10th- Galations 1:10
11th-Isaiah 40:30-31
12th- Proverbs 3:5-8
13th-1 John 3:1
14th- Matthew 5:44
15th- Matthew 5:16
16th-Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Reading- Deuteronomy 6

I am still looking at the possibility of beginning a facebook study group, if that is something you would be interested in please leave a comment below! Also find me on instagram #familynfaith Leave me a comment letting me know your a blog follower!

God Bless!

This mom is Batman

Why is it that children have to test your every nerve? They want to toe that line with seeing how far they can push before mommy loses it completely and brings out the Batman voice? You know the voice, the one where it drops several octaves and your children finally pay attention. It’s also the voice you want to bring out when people tell you they always wanted twins, it must be so much fun. Coming from a mom of twin boys, as much as I love my children, I would describe it as being a walk in the park….Jurassic Park.

My daughter is now at the age where she is in between. Intellectually she is about two years above her fellow classmates, which leaves her relating to kids older than she is. She’s in that in between of no longer being a little girl but not quite at that pre-teen phase. Which also leads to her being frustrated and often throwing attitude around. We seem to butt heads more often than get along here lately, which leaves me dreading the teen years. I’m trying to not smother her and try to fix things because ultimately finding herself in this new phase of life is up to her and her alone. I will be here to guide her, and pray she continues to grow in her faith and stay the kind, responsible girl she has always been, but I also remember how cruel kids can be. Especially in the upper grade school/ middle school ages.

I often struggle with that balance of am I being too hard on them or am I not being hard enough. You want your child to grow up with manners, well behaved and responsible. We are no longer in the world that it’s safe to send your kids outside to play. Which also means while I’m attempting to clean I have fighting children running around me asking for a snack every few minutes. I have a stack of books on parenting as a Christian, and  I’m slowly making my way through the stack. Maybe with my two week break from work over the holidays I’ll sit down and make a list of the books I want to get read and begin checking them off the list. Work hasn’t left much room for reading anything other than things for work or research so I think it’s time to start making time for pleasure reading again, maybe I wouldn’t be so stressed and become Batman so much then…..

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God Bless!

December Study

This month I’m going to try something new. I’ve done weekly writing and reading plans so they can be used as a short study. I will post the plans at the beginning of the week and closer to the end of the week I will write a short recap over that plan. The focus of these will be for the different roles in your life, geared more towards women but if there is any men that would like this I would gladly do a plan for men too.

Week ones plan is focused on being a Godly Woman. This week is for the 1st through the 9th ( I apologize for being a day late).

The writing plan:
1st- Romans 8:28
2nd- Romans 8:38-39
3rd- Matthew 6:33
4th- Hebrews 13:2
5th- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
6th-Psalms 139:14
7th- Proverbs 21:21
8th- Job 22:21
9th-Luke 16:10

The reading passage is Proverbs 31

I hope you enjoy these scriptures and I look forward to reflecting on these at the end of the week.

God Bless!

This month I’m going to try something new. I’ve done weekly writing and reading plans so they can be used as a short study. I will post the plans at the beginning of the week and closer to the end of the week I will write a short recap over that plan. The focus of these will be for the different roles in your life, geared more towards women but if there is any men that would like this I would gladly do a plan for men too.

Week ones plan is focused on being a Godly Woman. This week is for the 1st through the 9th ( I apologize for being a day late).

The writing plan:
1st- Romans 8:28
2nd- Romans 8:38-39
3rd- Matthew 6:33
4th- Hebrews 13:2
5th- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
6th-Psalms 139:14
7th- Proverbs 21:21
8th- Job 22:21
9th-Luke 16:10

The reading passage is Proverbs 31

I hope you enjoy these scriptures and I look forward to reflecting on these at the end of the week.

God Bless!

After sending my children off to school in the morning, I usually take a few moments and enjoy a cup of coffee. Those with small children know what a luxury it is to actually enjoy a warm cup of coffee. Not one you’ve reheated several times already and it’s cold yet again. This morning as I sipped my coffee I began looking at my list of orders I currently have, supplies I need to order, and the cold medicine I need to take yet again. Now I’m not sure if it’s because my children have been taking turns being sick for weeks, that it hit me this time and I feel like I was hit by a bus, or that I’m just burnt out. I love my job, I truly do, but I feel like my passion is fading. Part of why I’ve loved my job is because it was something different every day, I could be creative. Here lately though I seem to have lost that spark. The weather changing has caused road blocks at every turn, I can’t paint or it’s too cold and things are setting up correctly. My computer isn’t acting right and my software continues to shut down every few minutes. It’s difficult to not become discouraged when it seems like everything is going wrong. It would be quite easy to just give up and move on. But instead I am going to take my medicine, jump in a hot shower to so I can breathe, then I am going to hand it all over to God because I know he will guide me in what I need to do. I’m going to work the next couple of hours while my kids are in school, this afternoon spend some time trying to repair my computer, and this weekend I will get all the things prepared that I need to so that I can have a productive and good work week next week. Instead of throwing in the towel, I’m going to find a way to renew my passion. I know it is in there, I just need to have faith.

So tell me, how do you keep from being burnt out?