Homemaking 101

Getting from More to Merrier

One of the greatest and oft-touted benefits to homeschooling is the flexibility it provides. In fact, I myself praised the freedom to set our own pace in a previous post. It’s undeniably a great advantage of the homeschool lifestyle, and also one of the more obvious ones. However, during my parenting career, I’ve learned of quite a few more subtle benefits to homeschooling.

The Challenge With Chores

Many families seem to struggle with getting a good chore system to work. Chore charts, rewards, stickers, pocket organizers…there are so many good systems out there that it can be overwhelming!

In our case, I’ve never actually had a problem with chores not getting done. My biggest struggle is ensuring that the chores are assigned appropriately. Delegation comes pretty easily to me: with so many young children in the house, it became essential to find a good way to share the load, and outsourcing was the logical choice.

 

Putting Down Roots

Once again, the changing of the seasons decrees that it is high time to prepare the ground for planting. This isn’t new territory for us; I’ve made at least some sort of attempt at a garden every year since I got married, even if it was as feeble an attempt as putting a few tomatoes in buckets on the patio. Our plans for the summer, my energies levels at planting time, and the ages/usefulness of the young helpers all play a role in how elaborate the garden can be.

The Glass Catastrophe - A Good Lesson Learned

Recently my sweet and helpful daughter offered to fetch me a drink of water. Somehow in the course of things, the glass slipped from her grasp and shattered on the kitchen floor. Fortunately, it was an otherwise low-stress moment, and I had the patience and presence of mind to assure her that it was fine. While I gave her comforting platitudes about how this wasn’t the first dish to be broken in this house by children, nor will it be the last, she brushed tears from her eyes, clearly far more upset by the incident than I was.

Crunching The Numbers | Part 2

Previously I shared how I slowly came to improve our family’s diet by upgrading our grocery budget. Although it was difficult at first to reconcile my frugal nature to spending more money than we absolutely “had” to, I came to appreciate the benefits of eating better quality food. There will always be more room for improvement and learning, but I felt we had achieved a good balance.

Crunching The Numbers – Our Meandering Journey Toward Healthy Living | Part 1

When I was growing up, my family had a pretty standard healthy diet, at least according to the common wisdom of the times. We grew our own produce—or at least as much as we could raise—in our vegetable garden, we tended to avoid junk food, and we ate whole grains.

Before the Internet, our sources for information were gleaned from the library, from resourceful friends, and of course from common sense.

The Resurrection and Homeschooling

As we look forward to celebrating Easter this Sunday, my thoughts have turned toward the resurrection. 

I love celebrating holidays and sometimes I can get carried away with the frills and fun. I like to plan Easter outfits, maybe even matchy-matchy ones, since my 9-year-old hasn’t yet complained about that. Although, I feel like this might be the last year she happily agrees to do matching outfits, now that she is entering that tween phase.

But We’ve Always Done It That Way!

Some time after we were married, my husband remarked on how much he appreciated good home cooking, thoughtfully-packed lunches, and fresh baked goods. He especially liked the chocolate chip cookies, which I made faithfully for him because I knew they were just about his favorite dessert. However, he did wonder whether I had found a new recipe for them, because he didn’t remember chocolate chip cookies tasting quite the way I made them. Was I using the classic Nestle Toll House Cookie recipe, he wondered?

Cooking Up Appearances

Much has been written—on social media and elsewhere—about the prevalence of social media in our lives.

A common lament is that an overindulged obsession with online life tends to swallow up the reality of our actual life, leading to discontentment, unfair comparisons, wasted time, silly fads, and the like. On the other hand, failure to document our lives leaves no record of them, ensuring that our legacy will disappear into a forgotten void and possibly, through the cumulative loss of information, spawning another dark age.

A Summer's Day: 7 Ideas For Fun

 

The heat waves rise up from the street, the sun blazes hotter than ever, and the kids look up at you after breakfast wondering what's in store for the day. Well, don't let the heat get you down! Revive your spirit of adventure and think of some fun activities that are free (or practically free) to enjoy while you take a break from school.

Today Is The National Day of Prayer

Have you ever considered that prayer is one of the most beautiful blessings of homeschooling? I can't think of anything more precious than hearing our own children talk to God in prayer―to have the opportunity to pray throughout the day about all the issues of life, however big or small―well, that is a wonderful thing...

Start Lunch, Finish Lunch

At lunch time, we assembled sandwiches or leftovers from the night before, took our time to eat, and lingered at the table to talk. When I look back, I see that homeschooling provided a great opportunity to make good nutrition a top priority. Plus, it provided the added benefit of making healthy, effective communication a top priority, too...something that's often overlooked in our quest for fast everything...

A Very Nutritious, Very Greek Snack

Last weekend, my twin sister and I celebrated our birthday together. A wonderful thing about having a twin is that you get to share the celebration with your favorite person in the whole world! The bond for twins is so strong, and something I definitely treasure.

As we've done for years, my husband, Jay, and my twin's husband, Costas, went out to eat last Saturday night. Well, I happened to mention how much I like yogurt, and, of course, the Greeks are known for their outstanding yogurt.

Saying I Love You to Your Family…how about starting a new tradition?

IIt’s Valentine’s Day and you are perhaps planning a special meal for your family or thinking of ways to show them you love them. Are you looking for some new ideas?

In our household, we love traditions. I started many traditions when my children were little that are centered on familiar holidays, like Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, and yes, even Valentine’s Day. I started these specifically to not only draw attention to the significance of that holiday, but also to reinforce the value of our family life together.

February Is National Children's Dental Health Month

"Be sure to brush gently, okay?" I reminded the twins as they scrambled from the lunch table that afternoon. I walked upstairs and looked into the bathroom where the twins faced each other like mirror images, and pulled out their bright toothbrushes (from the pretend sheaths) and started scrubbing―as if  they were in some kind of dental competition to out-do the opponent to win the incisor-polishing contest. Just then, they both looked over at me with those toothy, second-grade grins―and giggled...

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