Category Archives: Family

Homeschooling in full swing

This is my daughter’s first year of homeschooling and she is really enjoying it immensely. Things are starting to settle down for the both of us and I’m slowly trying to incorporate blog writing back into my schedule. I had “penned” it in for earlier this week, however, I never got around to writing anything until today.

With my daughter, she’s doing a mix of online and classes at a local homeschool co-op. She’s already been to one event with her local co-op (field trip to a local 3D printing company) and she has another one coming up soon, that focuses on honeybees and ways they can incorporate 3D printing to help save the honeybee population. I gave her a few suggestions on what she might use, and am curious to see what she comes up with and see how it transfers as a 3D print. It’s her job to create the design, submit it for printing to her teacher. Socialization? That’s not an issue, and it’s something I hear some people parrot a lot without really thinking that socialization happens anywhere. Also, in regular school, children aren’t doing too much socialization within a class setting since they are typically in a class setting being instructed by the teacher. But… there are numerous ways for my daughter to socialize in what she typically does with her friends and the various activities that she’s involved with. What I do like about non-traditional schooling is that they are socializing with more than their peer group.

It’s not about the planner

Your plan means nothing, if you don’t put them into action.

I’ve always been a planner. Whether I keep a list in my head or write it down on paper, for myself, I found my productivity is best when I have a plan. It keeps me accountable. However, you can write down numerous things and it means nothing if those plans go nowhere. Based on my views of planning my recent posts about budgeting shouldn’t be a surprise. It’s just another way to document. For me… it just works! I see the results of putting my goals on paper, restricting certain wants to achieve financial freedom and for me, it’s worth the minor sacrifices. As I mentioned in my last post, one way I stay on top of my busy schedule is to visit my notebook/planner on a daily basis.

Earlier this week, I had purchased the above planner to replace my old notebook and planner. It was advertised as refillable. The frugal me leaped at that since it meant I’d only have to rotate calendar/note sheets each year. Well… guess what? It wasn’t refillable! Although it was lovely, I decided to return it and get something that suited my needs more, also I wasn’t thrilled with the false advertising.

My online search lead me to this planner, however, the more I thought about it, I realized that this would be the perfect planner for my daughter.

This is a large planner, which should easily accommodate her writing style. Currently, she writes her plans into her journal, however, she also uses that to document her thoughts and so I decided this planner will be for her. It’ll be a nice wonderful unexpected surprise for her.


Since I still need a planner, I went online and purchased a Franklin Covey planner. It’s used, but will be new to me. I love the hang tag “Attitude is Everything” that is attached. Since it is used, I’m spending much less than I would if it was purchased new. Those who know me well, realize that I in many cases, I look for used items first. I pay attention to the description and will choose “like new” or “a “gently used” item. I should receive this planner sometime next week. I must say that I’m looking forward to this product and I’m thrilled that I should receive numerous years using this item since it is refillable.

On a side note, last evening I stumbled upon CandiKCan, on YouTube and I’ve been watching and listening to her videos as I go about my daily tasks. What led me to her was searching for videos about Franklin Covey and what kept me on her page was I found her informative and entertaining. I know I’ll be back.

In other news…

I still haven’t started my free trial of the Harvest software. The more I research, the more hesitant I become that it’s exactly what I want and so I’ll do a bit more investigating before I take advantage of the free trial.

July 4, 2017: It’s Independence Day!

My daughter and I aren’t planning on doing too much today. We will most likely go and view fireworks this evening and she’s been asking for cheese steak so I do believe I’ll make that for her. Of course, we’ll most likely watch a show that focuses on this holiday and simply enjoy spending time together.

Homeschooling adventures…

I’ve already mentioned that my daughter will be homeschooled for the 2017-2018 school year. We’re both looking froward to this new chapter in our lives. Homeschooling isn’t ‘new’ to us since we have family, friends and acquaintances that homeschool their children.

My daughter will be doing a mix of online homeschooling and picking up a few classes at our local homeschooling co-op. Interestingly enough, the education background for her new teachers far exceed those of her traditional school teachers. Most have a Ph.D., while that doesn’t necessarily mean that their classes will be better, in other ways it will be since with her online learning it’s learning at her own pace and 1:1 via Skype and email conversations. With the co-op, the maximum class size is twelve students which guarantees the children have more interaction with their teacher. Up until this point, my daughter has attended a Lutheran school. Her largest class there was about sixteen students, so that’s still small compared to some traditional schools.

Since my daughter loves Math and Science, we can tailor her classes to focus on these subjects through a variety of regular courses and electives that are offered and she can work on strengthening other areas such as Public Speaking.


Another year

Today is my daughter’s fourteenth birthday. Sometimes, it feels like ‘just the other day’ when she was born. It’s so wonderful to see how much she’s grown and seeing her talents shine. She’s  good listener and her friends tend to come to her when they just need to talk. They know she won’t share their information and that she will be honest with them. Lying is  big pet peeve of hers, as with me. I pray that she has many more birthdays.

Harpers Ferry: Vacation on a Budget

This fall, my daughter and I will be going on a short vacation. It’ll be about two to three days and will land on the days when I don’t work out of the home. I recently picked up an additional job that has me working out of the home for a few days each week. Why? I have long-term goals, which I’d like to cash flow, one which involves relocating in five years.

Initially, I was going to surprise my daughter, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized this would be a perfect opportunity to hand the vacation planning reins over to her and let her choose the place… on a budget. A budget can be as big or as small as you want. In our case it’s fairly small, $500. It will be cash flowed so no hanging debt, just how I like things. I told her the the state, Virginia and she surprised me and told me she would not mind visiting Harpers Ferry. I haven’t been to Harpers Ferry since I was about 14. I love visiting historical sites and am pleased my daughter seemingly shares my enthusiasm. She really enjoyed her class trip to Colonial Williamsburg, VA. She wanted me to attend and so I accompanied her as one of the parent chaperones.

Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia

Harpers Ferry is a historical landmark recognizing the last stand of the abolitionist, John Brown.

John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry (also known as John Brown’s raid or The raid on Harpers Ferry) was an effort by armed abolitionist John Brown to initiate an armed slave revolt in 1859 by taking over a United States arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Brown’s party of 22 was defeated by a company of U.S. Marines, led by First Lieutenant Israel Greene. Colonel Robert E. Lee was in overall command of the operation to retake the arsenal. John Brown had originally asked Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, both of whom he had met in his transformative years as an abolitionist in Springfield, Massachusetts, to join him in his raid, but Tubman was prevented by illness, and Douglass declined, as he believed Brown’s plan would fail.

I gave my daughter the details. I wanted the place to be nice and cost under $130 nightly. I wanted to stay in a place that had a kitchen, so a condo or cottage. Having a kitchen means that we can prepare our own meals. I most likely will prepare the meals in advance, so the only thing we have to do is heat the meals and eat! Preparing your own meals, also reduces the cost of what you will spend. It also means the meals will be nutritious and delicious. I love to cook. She accepted the challenge and not only found several places, but a few were under-budget by at least $200! From her list, I did find a location that seemed perfect for us. It had excellent reviews and was owned by a retired couple that have a house on the premises. The cottage where we’d reside used to be home to dairy cows. Don’t worry, it’s doesn’t look like a cow’s home. The couple grows and harvest grapes which they then have processed at a local winery. They also have sheep! As a spinner, you know I’m thrilled. The only drawback is they’re about 20 miles away from Harpers Ferry. My daughter found a few other places also, but this is the one that really jumped out for us. They have a large pond on their property and that was a huge draw for her, also it’s secluded. We both love that. I’ll be following up with the owners very soon.

Outside of family, this will be the first vacation we’ve taken together. We’ve done day trips, but no overnight trips for just the two of us. I’m not counting the school based trips where they were away for a few days or the La Leche League Conference, that I attended with her, when she was only a few months old. We’re both looking forward to this time away and of course we’ll be armed with some portable crafts, excellent walking shoes to check out the historical sites and of course there will be lots of laughter.


John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry


Adventures in homeschooling…

Later this year, my daughter will be entering the ninth grade and she will be homeschooled. She approached me about 1.5 years ago and told me it’s what she’d like to do. Her reasoning being she wants to finish school a bit earlier and the freedom to move at her own pace, which tends to be fast. I already knew a lot about homeschooling, but told her to think about it for a year, do some research and if she was still interested, I’d make that happen. She was and so I went through the steps needed to get her registered with an accredited Christian homeschooling program.

Of course, the question I hear most often is socialization. What about that? It’s always nice when people parrot whatever they hear, right? But I don’t say that, I usually laugh and say what about it? What exactly does that mean? How is her socialization going to change? My daughter is quiet but interacts with a small circle of friends as well as others. In fact, her ‘socialization’ is much more well rounded than most her age since she interacts with all age groups based on the various ministries I’m involved with. But back to socialization, she’s still going to continue interacting with old friends and also develop new relationships with others she meets during her homeschooling experience. We became actively engaged in a few local homeschooling communities a little over a year ago.

A few months ago, my daughter told me she wanted to start homeschooling “right away.” I questioned her, but she was firm and gave me her reasons behind that and I support them. Her main reasoning being she’s has never ‘taken off’ in the summer. My daughter has a thirst for knowledge. The beauty of it is, that if she wants to ease up she can since she will be working at her own pace. Earlier this week, I followed up with the school where she’ll be attending, and told them our plans. I registered her towards the end of last year, but then the plan was fall. She’s now a student, just waiting for the full transcripts from her Lutheran school. She’s taking a few weeks off of school and then she’ll be in school. Working during the summer isn’t new to her since I have always had her do ‘mom assignments’ throughout the summer. NO, she doesn’t need a break. She doesn’t take a break from strictly fun activities during the school year, so why should she take a break from education just because she’s out of school? Also, her Lutheran school had summer work assigned to the students. There reasoning was similar to my own. Students within the USA, are lagging behind many other countries. Knowing this, I’ve always made sure that I gave my daughter all the support needed at home and when she’s at school.

Homeschooling facts…

“Academic Performance

The home-educated typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests. (The public school average is the 50th percentile; scores range from 1 to 99.) A 2015 study found Black homeschool students to be scoring 23 to 42 percentile points above Black public school students (Ray, 2015).

Homeschool students score above average on achievement tests regardless of their parents’ level of formal education or their family’s household income.

Whether homeschool parents were ever certified teachers is not related to their children’s academic achievement.

Degree of state control and regulation of homeschooling is not related to academic achievement.

Home-educated students typically score above average on the SAT and ACT tests that colleges consider for admissions.

Homeschool students are increasingly being actively recruited by colleges.

Social, Emotional, and Psychological Development (Socialization)
The home-educated are doing well, typically above average, on measures of social, emotional, and psychological development. Research measures include peer interaction, self-concept, leadership skills, family cohesion, participation in community service, and self-esteem.
Homeschool students are regularly engaged in social and educational activities outside their homes and with people other than their nuclear-family members. They are commonly involved in activities such as field trips, scouting, 4-H, political drives, church ministry, sports teams, and community volunteer work.
Adults who were home educated are more politically tolerant than the public schooled in the limited research done so far.”