Tag Archives: learn

Websites for Homeschoolers…or for Anyone!

12 Apr

I’m not sure if I’ve ever technically been considered a homeschooler, but I do know that even before my kids were born, I never intended for them to wait until they got to school to start learning.

Their entire short lives (they’re 4 and 6), I’ve stocked up on educational supplies, created lesson plans, and scoured the internet for craft ideas.  We’ve made countless trips to museums and zoos, attended story time, and sought out just about every educational opportunity at our disposal.  Long ago, I also turned our office into a “classroom”—so maybe I am a homeschooler at heart!

Part of our "classroom" at home

Now that my son is in kindergarten full-time, and my daughter is in preschool part-time, I don’t need to put so much thought into planning out educational activities for them.  But I don’t think I’m capable of leaving everything in the hands of their teachers – it’s just in my nature!  I like to be involved as much as possible, which also includes volunteering at their schools whenever I can.

So from time to time, I still hit my favorite homeschooling-type websites for ideas on lessons, activities, crafts, and other ideas for fun things to do with my kids.

Check these out – I guarantee you’ll be inspired!

www.notimeforflashcards.com – craft ideas, book suggestions, and songs from a homeschooling mom

www.confessionsofahomeschooler.blogspot.com – activities and downloads from a homeschooling mom

1plus1plus1equals1.blogspot.com – lesson plans from a homeschooling mom

belladia.typepad.com/crafty_crow – art activities for kids of all ages

www.artprojectsforkids.org – art activities for kids of all ages

www.preschoolexpress.com – activities and printouts for preschool kids

familyfun.go.com – crafts, activities, and recipes from Disney’s Family Fun magazine

sippycupcentralmom.blogspot.com – crafts and activities from a homeschooling mom

www.schoolbox.com – educational supplies

www.learningpage.com – lesson plans and worksheets for various ages

www.worksheetlab.com – free printable worksheets for preschool and Kindergarten children

I like to have as much of a role in my kids’ education as I can.  Much of the time, education comes in the simple form of fun.  My kids won’t be little forever, and I want to fill up our time with as many enriching activities as possible to create a lifetime love of learning!

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Change

24 Aug

Yoga is powerful.  Someone I admire once said that doing yoga twice a week will change your body.  Doing yoga five days a week will change your life.

As a busy mother of three, I can only dream of practicing yoga more than once a week.  While vacationing recently, my mom gave our family a beautiful and generous gift.  She hired a yogi to come and teach yoga on the beach (three mornings in one week)!!

It was glorious.  Being outdoors, feeling the warmth of the sun on my face, the wind blowing my hair, the coolness of my feet in the soft cold sand, and hearing the waves crashing nearby was surreal.

We had three different yogis that week, by choice.  Two of the three included a guided meditation, which I always love.  One of the yogis had been inspired by an Indie Arie song.  She said the only thing constant in life is change.

Profound.

The only thing constant in life is change.  I started thinking about it.  I am not a person who generally runs from change, in fact, I embrace it most days.  I believe that life on Earth is a continuous evolution; that as people, we are constantly growing and changing.  Plants, birds, animals, humans, cells, energies; everything is changing.

I think back to the child I was, the young woman I developed into throughout the high school years, and the free spirited woman I became in college.  I think of all of the things I would have missed out on, had I not branched out and tried something new: home brew, cliff jumping, artichoke, freshly made juice, skiing, getting a tattoo, overseas travel, hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, chiropractic adjustments, meditation, reiki, and even yoga!

As a mother, it’s even easier to see.  My children are growing, learning new things, developing their personalities, trying new things, testing boundaries, and exploring new things.  As they change, I change too.  I’ve had to alter discipline methods (many times).  I’ve had to change the way my home was child-proofed (I thought it was perfectly safe until my son came along!)  I’ve changed the way I perceive things too, like extended breastfeeding, movie ratings, circumcision, buying organic produce, chiropractics, and teasing.

Philosopher and psychologist Carl Jung once said, “What you resist persists.”  I have found this to be completely true in my life.  The more I try and control things, the more they seem to spin away and out of control.  The more I let things be, the more things fall right into place.

Just like the waves in the ocean undulate and never stay the same, so must we as humans.  If things never changed, I shudder to think of how oppressive our society would be today.  So today and every day, I salute change!

Forgiveness

9 Feb

Being a mother means so many things.  Every day, I am pulled in a million different directions.  With each new day comes a new lesson.  I learn from my children, from my friends, from other mothers, from my husband, from my family, and even from strangers.

One lesson that keeps coming up for me personally is forgiveness.  I like to think I am a very forgiving person, but when it comes down to it, and I really start to reflect on my life, it becomes clear I have a lot of work to do.

Through meditation and yoga, I have learned to be more present in my daily life.  When I take that awareness and apply it to every day situations, it becomes easier to learn life’s lessons.  More and more I am trying to act upon my thoughts.  When I see someone struggling, instead of thinking to myself, “Oh, someone should help her.” Or “If I didn’t have my kids with me, I would help him.”

A breaking point for me happened a few weeks ago while I was shopping at a local grocery store.  My husband was home with two of the kids.  I was wearing the baby on my back.  A store employee had accidentally knocked over the recycled bags bin and was struggling to empty all of the bags from the bin, into another larger bag.  Here I stood, completely able-bodied, just thinking to myself, “Someone really should help him.  I can’t believe none of his co-workers are helping him!  He clearly needs help.”

Then what did I do? I kept walking, right on out of the store.  The entire way to my car, I beat myself up, in my mind.  I thought, “Oh my, I should have helped him.  Why didn’t I help him?  I don’t even have all three kids today.  I am wearing the baby, and could have easily bent down and helped him.”  I debated over and over whether or not to return to the store.  I knew I should, but ultimately, I just got to my car, loaded the groceries, and drove home.

For this inaction, I must forgive myself.  How can I learn to forgive anyone else, if I am unable to forgive myself?  In fact, how can I expect anyone else to forgive me, if I cannot forgive myself?  Once I forgive myself, it is easier to forgive the guy who cuts me off in traffic, or my friend for being insincere, or my husband for saying something to me or the kids in a negative manner, or even my kids for misbehaving.

In forgiving myself, I extend a little bit of light to the world.  It creates space for me to forgive others.  When I forgive others, they can more easily forgive themselves and in turn other people.  One person at a time can create a ripple of change within the Universe that can snowball into something big. All it takes is that awareness!

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