Super Practical Meal Planning

This is the quick notes in written form of our podcast on February Slumps! If you’d like to listen to the full talk, please find us in your podcast app!

First things first… don’t use papyrus or comic sans font. Hahaha! You have to listen to the podcast for more on that.

  1. Get an InstaPot. It seriously is worth all of the hype. It is a legit pressure cooker that saves so much time.
  2. Get Dollar Store clear plastic bins. Gather all the dry ingredients for dinner and label it “Monday”. So on Monday, you can grab the bin and know all the ingredients are right there. Also, the kids know that what is in the plastic bins are, without a doubt, not for snacking!
  3. Prep all fruits and veggies on Sunday night. Meghan dices and chops all veggies and puts them into Ziplock baggies. She can pull them out quickly on that night’s dinner, ready to be thrown into the InstaPot!
  4. Do a themed day meal: Taco Tuesdays, Spaghetti Saturdays, Meatless Mondays. This narrows the “what should we eat?” questions. Plus, kids love routine, especially if it’s a favorite meal, they don’t mind eating it every week.
  5. Stick to the grocery list and stick to your budget. It eliminates extra decisions made if you try to wiggle where there is no room. Keep it simple!
  6. Go shopping less but buying both fresh and frozen fruits and veggies. We eat through fresh produce first and then towards the end of the grocery shopping weeks we will eat meals using the frozen produce. This will allow going grocery shopping less often and still get proper foods.
  7. If you are new to meal planning, start with just one day a week of meal planning. Then work up to multiple days a week of meal plans. Start small and build on it over time so you don’t get overwhelmed. It’s easy to get overwhelmed or waste food if you go all out the first time meal planning. Start small and work from there.

 

Should We Take A Summer Break?

This is the quick notes in written form of our podcast on February Slumps! If you’d like to listen to the full talk, please find us in your podcast app!

Both Meghan and I school year round. Her family takes December off, my family takes July off. Other than that, it is close to business as usual. There are many out there who question if going through the summer for school could benefit their family. This is our thoughts on it!

What is a summer break? You are playing in the pool and camping. You are reading a book and doing nothing else. No education is accomplished. Just having fun and no education is happening! That is what we call a “break”.

What’s close to a break, but more like active rest? When you are hiking, instead of just talking and hanging out, you take the time to point out leaf shapes, ask about what kind of dirt you are walking on, and what animals are indigenous to the area while singing the 50 states song.

What is continuing on with school? Your normal day or you do block scheduling. You’ve put off science during the standard school year so that you can study botany in great depth in the summer when everything is growing.

Answer these questions to decide if schooling through the summer is right for your family. 

  1. What’s the weather like? Do you live in the south where the summers can be brutal? Then do school in the summer so you can enjoy your mild winters! Or vice versa for those Midwestern states!
  2. Have you honestly completed the required work by legal state standards? Each state is different in their homeschooling laws. Have you covered all the material the state has set out for you?
  3. Have your kids completed the work you and your spouse set out to accomplish? If you know in your heart of hearts that you’ve had a little too much fun at the park this Spring and didn’t complete the work you should have; then keep working!  When we are honest with ourselves, it doesn’t take another person or a published checklist to know if we have completed an appropriate amount of school. Just like some kids need to take summer school in the public education system, we too may need to work through the summer if life got in the way of school this year.

We aren’t being too academic. We are training our children to have a great work ethic.

  1. Is it worth the routine upheaval? You know if your kid will benefit from the break, then great! But if September is a battleground due to months of a break and the schedule upheaval that comes with it then maybe a break may not be worth the stress of retraining the routine.

 

 

 

The February Slumps

This is the quick notes in written form of our podcast on February Slumps! If you’d like to listen to the full talk, please find us in your podcast app!

It seems that every February there arises a general sentiment among homeschool moms: “UGH!” That’s about the best way to describe it. Ha! We’ve reached the 100 days of school mark (if you are counting… which Meghan and I don’t). It has been winter for months and Spring seems like it will never come. We all sit around in our couch, hot cup of coffee in hand, and beg for Jesus to miraculously take the cold away.  But this is where us mamas get to demonstrate to our kids that, we too, can rise above our feelings and get the job done. It is virtue training at its finest.

Here are some quick tips on how to overcome those February blues!

1. Take joy in the progress made! Take a moment or go on a date night with your husband to discuss and write a list of all the knowledge your kids know that they didn’t know in September. I know for me, it is seeing my kids recite the multiplication table, all of the main geographical parts of Africa, what in the world an animal cell is, committing to memory Exodus 20,  and how to play more advanced songs on the piano. And that’s just a few of the things.  WOW! We’ve accomplished a lot in these short month.

2. If you are honestly getting burnt out, take a subject off of your plate. Come back to that subject in June after you’ve completed the other major portion of your school. If you go from June-September with that one subject, that’s three whole months immersed in one subject and you will be caught up by next school year. We all have 1 hour a day in the summer months that we can dedicate to study.

3. If you feel pressure due to the amount of work you have left to finish school, feel free to not make yourself finish school by June 1st. There are more families than you know that do year-round school to allow for life to happen throughout the year.

4. If you honestly DON’T get burnt out mid-school year, that’s totally ok too! Don’t feel like you “aren’t doing enough” just because you aren’t as burnt out as others. It’s ok to feel just fine about where you are at in your school year.

5. Create an education goal for mid-April. Set this mini goal to keep your head in the game and to stop thinking about the far off June date. One day at a time. One week at a time. And soon enough it will be June!

6. Take a break alone! Take an hour, day, weekend… whatever you can manage to restore your soul to continue to lead your children well.

Let us know your thoughts on the mid-school year slumps!! What ideas do you have to help get to Spring?