Homeschool Preschool: Get Excited

Hey Loves!
 

I’m back with more homeschool preschool and it’s time to get excited!!!

 

Can you feel it? You have researched, lesson planned, organized, gave up, got back on the proverbial horse, maybe made a circle time wall and now, the first day is almost here!

 

Let’s party!!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

 

Something to help get the excitement in the air?

 

Decorate! Put up a cute banner, a back to school door hanger or try a different table cloth. Anything is possible and it’s up to you.

 

Get school supplies! Crayons? Paint? Construction paper? Make a list and hit the stores! You can also find fun ways to organize it! Don’t forget sales and the dollar store to make this cost effective!!

 

Finally, spread the excitement! Someone, somewhere wants to celebrate with you! Find a community of support and rally with the troops!

 

You are on your way!

 

Homeschool Preschool: Circle Time Wall

Hey Loves!
 

I’m back with another installment of my homeschool preschool series. This week, we are talking visual effects. I will say this now, a circle time wall is not a necessity. This is totally optional and chances are, your circle time will look totally different than mine. And guess what? That’s totally awesome!

 

You remember how I talked about the Internet being a great resource? Well, it didn’t quit at lesson planning. All of my circle time items, were free and I printed them from my phone, so they were very easily accessible as well.

 

How did I compile my wall, you ask?

 

I started with knowing me and my child. He doesn’t need a bunch to look at and touch and I didn’t want a bunch to look at. I wanted everything to be used regularly and for play and education purposes. I also understood that some things would come later, like the weather.

 

So what did I print? What did I do I after I printed?

 

My circle time wall consists of a:

1. Peg board ($5-Target)

2. Months of the year

3. Days of the week

4. Dates of the months

5. Number flash cards

6. Letter flash cards

7. Dry erase board (purchased previously at a great price)

 

Again, everything I printed on cardstock (Walmart) I had left over, cut them out and laminated them. I chose to laminate because my child is slowly learning gentle and that paper not being laminated, will die painfully and quickly. Lamination is the difference between hospice and ICU in our house.

 

Back to the circle time wall…

 

It was also important to me to add to a visual schedule to help all of us. It takes team work to keep this house running and we all need reminders. Plus, the visual schedule will help James with transitions.

 

Ok, so, remember when I said our walls should look different? I really want you to do what works for you so I’m not posting the exact links of my items. I will post the websites and you can do what you want with that. I will also share photos of my wall only so you can see how minimal it can be.

 

Here are the sites. Until next time!

 

teacherspayteachers.com (To download you will have to create an account. Some items cost money but prices are very reasonable.)

 

pintrest.com (I’ve pinned some things that you may like, follow me @hitswiththemrs)

 

google.com (Yup, that basic.)

Ok, here is what mines looks like. 

Homeschool Preschool: Plan to succeed

Hey loves!

I’m back with my third installment on how I prepared for homeschool preschool. This week I want to take a break from guiding you to encouraging you. I know I went from super excited and eager to anxious and nervous.

 

“I have another baby coming. How on earth am I gonna do this?”

 

“2 kids, under 2… Who’s idea was this?”

 

“I’m getting a job. And a cleaning lady.”

 

“Oh crap! Literacy is on me.”

 

Those were very honest and real thoughts I had, minus the swear words.

 

I guess I just got overwhelmed by my responsibility level in all of this. Not to mention, I’m one who always has in the back of her mind that someone else can do this better. But, I had to build a bridge and get over that. Nobody knows my kid better than me. They may think they do and I want to hysterically laugh in their face, but they don’t. It’s ok to own that.

 

That didn’t ease the overwhelming thoughts. So, I took a break. Not a huge one but enough for me to recharge. I focused on something else for a little bit. Sharpened some skills, gained some confidence, and came back at this guns blazing.

 

You see, nobody is going to remember if I forgot something but me. Honestly, nobody is going to remember if I have a stellar teaching day but me. So rain or shine, I’m going to succeed and so are you!

 

I could do all the physical planning in the world, but if my mind doesn’t believe I’m going to succeed, my heart won’t be in this and then, I’ll really fail. So, we are going to succeed!

 

Say it with me, Yes I can!

 

Yes I can!

 

Yes I can!

 

Keep on chanting.

Homeschool Preschool: Finding resources 

Hey loves!
 

I’m continuing my series on how I’m homeschooling my toddler. This post will explain how I found my resources and how you can too. To be clear, this post could be summed up in two words: The Internet.

 

Yup. That’s it, folks. Seriously. I’m not joking. I didn’t design one single thing.

 

So, let’s delve a little deeper into the World Wide Web.

 

Lesson plans: I have to have things written out and planned. I understand they may change or repeat, but I need framework. Kudos to you that can fly by the seat of your pants. I envy you. So, I went to Pintrest and behold- tons of lesson plan printables. Don’t go Pin happy. Remember what you are focusing on. Keep it simple. I decided on this one as it was separated by subject matter and day, and I could add bible verses and black history facts.

 

Curriculum/Themes: We decided not to go with a curriculum and not, necessarily, doing a hard- core theme every week. Again, I used what I wanted to focus on as a guideline and went from there. Yes, in October we are doing Halloween crafts and a bunch of stuff with pumpkins but in January we are learning about the Chinese New Year because inclusion of different cultures is very important to me. Get the picture?

 

Printables: For us, this looked like letter coloring sheets, maps, flags from other countries. For you, this could be very different.

 

Lesson plan ideas: I honestly couldn’t believe what was available to me. I mean, they took information sharing to a whole new level. Yes, there are entire lesson plans out there for you to print and teach on various subjects. I looked up ideas especially on subject areas I wasn’t the most familiar on like Ramadan and applied them to his level of development and educational goals.

 

So, here are my steps so far on how I prepped for homeschool preschool;

 

1. Know what I want to teach/focus on

2. Find a lesson plan printable that worked for us

3. Make a schedule to complete lesson plans (make this reasonable)

4. Research ideas, printables and whatever else I needed to.

 

Lastly, and I’m only saying this because in this information-sharing age, it gets over looked, the Library. Your local library is there for you to help you and your child delve into so many new things. And it’s free! (As long as you return books on time.)

 

 

Ok-I’m cutting this one off here. Until next time!

Homeschool Preschool: Getting Organized

Hey Loves!
 

I’ve gotten lots of inquiries about my homeschool adventures we are starting so I thought I would share here in several posts. Today, we are talking about getting organized.

 

A little back history on me- I used to be a preschool teacher and nanny so I’ve studied childhood development and spent lots of time around young children. When the Hubs and I decided I would stay at home with our littles, we decided against preschool. For those who send their kids-this is not an attack. I applaud you. I’m just telling you our decisions and why. (You need a disclaimer for everything these days…) I had the skills and honestly, it wasn’t in the budget. I’m not a luxury SAHM in case you missed that. So preschool at home was always “the plan” for us.

 

Now to getting organized…

 

As I stated in an earlier post, my son has a speech delay and other things we work on in occupational therapy (OT), so I wanted to get on some sort of schedule and start our goals for those things before introducing a “school” schedule. Then I realized, frankly, I’m a raising a black male in white America-a country that doesn’t value him or others like him and removes his history and his God from all curriculum. That doesn’t fly for me. Those reasons solidified that we will be educating at home for as long as we can. So, knowing me, I had to get organized and make a plan.

 

 

I started by figuring out what I want to teach/focus on: My son is almost 18 months and, again, has therapies which come with assignments for the week. So we already have a lot on our plate. I also believe that learning through play, especially at this age, is integral. There was also no need for both of us to dread this every day. So, I narrowed down what I wanted to focus on daily and what we would focus on 1-2 days a week.

 

For us, it looks like this:

 

Everyday: We will review the calendar with songs and dance, a short bible verse and a Black History Fact. Am I expecting him to know the latter? No. This is laying a foundation for him to eventually remember them and inherently know this is what we learn and its importance.

 

1-2 days a week: Subject matters of Language, Math, Science, Art and Sensory. The latter is important for us because that will tie into our OT assignments as language will tie in speech. We will also learn letters, numbers, counting, etc.

 

Then, I figured out what I want my day to look like. For this, you have to be real with yourself and your schedule. I also had to keep in mind my child’s abilities. He isn’t one to sit still for 60 seconds, let alone 3 hours. We also have a life. We do play dates and run errands. We can’t spend every day in our house. So, after compiling all of that and remembering what preschool schedules were for his age, I decided 10-15 minutes for circle time. I know that may seem long but this includes lots of transitions because my little one needs that. Standing, sitting, singing, dancing, reading, reciting…get the picture? Circle would be followed by breakfast. After breakfast, a subject area or whatever we have planned for the day. I decided, for the most part, I would let him decided how long the subject area last. I wanted to know his interest, see his brain learning and developing, not shoving activities down his throat. I will want him to try new things, but I know he isn’t going to love everything. (Wouldn’t it be nice if he did though?)

 

Ok-that’s enough for this post. I have more coming. 

I’m Not Dead

I’m not Dead 

I’m sure many of you asked this-whether you were joking or seriously concerned, rest assured, I am not. Toddler chasing is a full-time job and real life doesn’t leave any room for anything else but sleep. I try to sneak in household chores and errands when I can, but sometimes even those can’t get done. It’s my life. I’m learning to love it.

 

May I also say I honestly and truly forgot how hard pregnancy can be on a body? I’m not complaining or even whining (yet), but it takes a lot to create a human while keeping another, who doesn’t value his life at all, alive. Anywho, my hope is to get several posts out to you regularly before number two comes along and yet another inevitable break.

 

One thing is for sure-I’ve missed you. I haven’t even met most of you, but sharing my life and you taking the time to read about it means the world to me. I’m thankful you haven’t given up on me.

 

Until next time…

 

Re-Blog Kinda Day

Hey Loves!

I saw this article and had to share. It’s makes so much sense and explains a lot of my daily to-do’s and/or stressors. How Do you handle “Kin-Keeping”?

The Invisible Burden That Leaves Moms Drained

“You put her in the wrong outfit,” I said matter-of-factly as my husband came down the stairs holding our baby girl.
He stared at me with a look of confusion and bewilderment, as if to say, But I didn’t know there was a right one.
 “Your mom’s coming over today, remember?” I explain. “So I thought it’d be nice to have her wear something your mom bought her.” 
“And my mom didn’t buy her this outfit?” 
“Nope. My mom bought her that one.” 
“Ok, well I have no idea who bought her which clothes. How do you even remember that sort of thing?” 
The short answer? Because I’m a mom.
Today many families that include a mom and a dad are challenging the traditional gendered division of labor—mine included. My household couldn’t function if my husband didn’t handle the dishes and I didn’t keep tabs on the checking account. We’re in this together. 
Even so, I—along with most moms everywhere—am still almost entirely responsible for the following tasks:
Remembering family birthdays and sending birthday cards.

Planning and organizing family celebrations.

Sending holiday cards.

Selecting holiday presents. 

Sending thank you cards.

Planning family vacations.

Keeping in touch with out-of-town relatives.

Remembering to dress the baby in the “right” outfit when her grandma visits.

The Invisible Burden That Leaves Mom Drained
In the field of women’s studies, these tasks are called “kin keeping,” and they are serious business.

Why? Because even though these obligations seem relatively small and insignificant, they actually play a very important role in keeping families connected and emotionally supported. 
Just think about how different your own childhood would have looked without birthday cakes and family beach trips and homemade gifts for Grandma, and you’ll see how valuable these kinds of tasks really are. 
Here’s the problem, though: These incredibly important kin-keeping responsibilities are leaving moms emotionally exhausted.

Why? Well, as I mentioned earlier, they almost always fall completely onto the mom’s shoulders. Even in households where there’s a fairly even division of labor, these tasks are overwhelmingly handled by women.
What’s more, kin-keeping responsibilities are mostly invisible. They’ve become such an expected part of family life that they almost always go unnoticed and unacknowledged. (Unless, of course, you don’t do them, in which case you’re likely to draw some negative attention and head shaking.)
Indeed, moms themselves often don’t realize how much time and effort they put into kin keeping. As feminist scholars Susan M. Shaw and Janet Lee (2015) explain, “These tasks are time consuming and involve emotional work that is not easily quantified.” 
Translation: It’s not easy to measure exactly how much time and effort you’re putting into remembering Aunt Cathy’s birthday or calling your husband’s grandma to thank her for the baby gift or making a last minute trip to buy more paper plates for the family BBQ.
But these invisible tasks are sucking the life out of us.

They’re (one of) the reasons our to-do lists never end, why we can’t turn our brains off at night, why it feels like we’re always forgetting something. These obligations seem to take root in the back of our minds and just sit there, forever, invading our ability to truly relax or take a breath. 
Did I remember to buy cousin Emily a wedding present? Who’s bringing the hot dogs for our camping trip? Shoot, it’s been way too long since we called your Aunt Susie!
Geez, I’m feeling exhausted just writing about this stuff!
So what do we do? How do we reclaim our time and our energy in the face of these seemingly endless kin-keeping tasks? 

The first step is simple awareness. Start paying attention to how much kin-keeping work you do. I bet you’ll be surprised!
Then go ahead and ask for help completing these tasks—from your partner and from your kids, depending on their ages. 
If you get any pushback, remind everyone that while these little things sometimes seem silly and not worth the effort, they’re actually really important to maintaining family solidarity and continuity—and that having them fall entirely to one person is just too draining. 
In the end, a more equitable division of labor—kin keeping included—is better for everyone. And the best news? You might finally be able to turn your brain off at night. 

Valentine’s Day Attire

Hey Loves!

So, my mom went ham and bought me a ton of vinyl for Christmas and it was a burning a proverbial hole in my proverbial pocket and I just had to make something. And then this happened… 

 
I have no idea how I got all this done but I made:

1. For James- the shirt for his basketball-themed first birthday party (Deets later because y’all know I’m already in mourning.) with a green shirt he already had (hand-me-down, maybe?) and orange vinyl. It spells out ‘One’ but the ‘O’ is a basketball. He also got a YOOO (in conjunction with, not in opposition to YOLO) shirt on a solid grey shirt from Hobby Lobby and red and black vinyl. Finally, I made him a Valentine’s Day outfit with a solid white shirt and grey pants (Old Navy, $1.87 for both after coupon) with red and black vinyl. This is the cutest Valentine’s Day outfit!
2. For me- A heart-themed shirt, red vinyl on a solid black long-sleeve shirt (less than $2 from Old Navy). This has my monogram in the heart with hearts as elbow-patches. I also made a shirt that reads “Mommin’ ain’t Easy” on a blue and white Baseball tee($7.99 from Sports Authority but free after coupon). Lastly I added monograms to my phone case and my planner. 
I’m in love. And vigilantly searching for more things to make…

DIY Days: Mom Edition

Hey Loves!
So, my son doesn’t handle drastic weather change well. And since he was born, that’s all that happens where I live except the 4 months out of the year where it is too hot to move. I digress. 
Anywho, he gets really congested and snotty and it’s hard for him to sleep and it’s kinda gross. Well, really gross. 
So, when I was pregnant I bought boogie wipes with one of the gift cards I got and was going to buy some more when I googled to see what other people did and that led me to many recipes. I chose this one. I doubled it, I can’t remember why now but unless your wiping 20 noses a day, I would say doubling it is unnecessary. 
So far, I’m really pleased. And they aren’t just for my son-we all use them. I know all the ingredients in it and I can wash the wipes and re-use them. That’s what I call #winning!

New Year, New Planner

Hey loves!

We’ve discussed how weird I am, right? Well, in case you forgot, let me give you a refresher. My favorite part of the end of one year and the beginning of another-researching and getting a new planner. Oh. Sweet. Joy!
I feel inspired and rejuvenated! For the past two years, I’ve had a Paper Plum Planner and loved it. It was great. However, it wasn’t suiting all my needs being a SAHM now. I needing something that allowed for personalized daily sections and places to make list and stay organized with my stuff, baby stuff, house stuff and what my husband has going on. So the search continued. It was pretty bleak until Google images led to the Mom On The Go Planner. My life was forever changed from that moment. 

Not only does it have everything listed above, it has holiday planning guides- SERIOUSLY!!!! No extra sheets or printables needed. It has home goals finance trackers, note pages, pocket folder, plastic pouch and the list goes on. To top it all off, it’s the cutest thing ever. I also got some sweet new pens to plan away. I’m in heaven every week.  

My 3 drawbacks-
You can’t personalize the cover. They have different options for you to choose from but it’s not your name or monogram and the options on design are limited. But, I put my silhouette to work and added a monogram. 
The sheets are thin-about as thin as Paper Plum but I would like a heavy stationary. 
It starts on Jan. 3., not Jan. 1. My OCD couldn’t handle that. 
But that’s it. Those are my only issues! 
You know you want one. 
Here’s to an organized, very happy 2016!