Hi fabulous friends! …Lots of new and exciting things going on behind-the-scenes over at Simply Rachel! Speaking of exciting, I’m so excited to be launching my first ‘Friends ask Friday’ segment!
What exactly is ‘Friends ask Friday’ about?
Obviously it involves YOU! (I love getting my readers involved – yay!)
I get quite a few private messages with questions ranging from how I’m accomplishing certain tasks, what suggestions I have for a specific organizational issue, cake decorating or party hosting questions, or something homeschool or DIY related. I thought it would be fun for you to submit your questions throughout the week and I would post & answer them every Friday on my site! This allows my readers to get to know me a little better, but it also allows for others to get some answers on something they may have been wondering! Please don’t be shy with your questions! If you have even the slightest wonder, shoot away! I’m happy to answer! (This has the potential to be very interesting, friends!)
Where I’d like to see this go…
In addition, I will soon be asking others questions of my own and featuring them right here on my blog! That’s right! If you have something to share and you’re interested in being featured, submit your information here.
If you’ve been featured on ‘Friends ask Friday’, you can grab your button here!
So let’s move on to this week’s ‘Friends ask Friday’, shall we?
Friends ask Friday #1:
1. Isabella asks:
How do you come up with your Ikea hacks? What’s your inspiration? Do you recreate things you’ve seen or do you just do them on a whim?
Isabella, thanks for your question! Most of my Ikea hacks stem from needing some sort of solution to a storage problem, or because I can’t find something particular that I’m looking for (usually in the right size or color). I’ve been known to google or scan Pinterest for inspiration, but most (not all) of the time I make alterations that are truly unique. I have my mind set on something specific (that I’ve envisioned in my head) and I look for it. When I can’t find it, I look for ways to make it. Aaaaand because I know literally nothing about wood working, altering (A.K.A. hacking) has become a pretty common practice in my home!
2. Jody asks:
How do I school a preschooler or toddler while trying to get in a full day with my older student?
Jody, this may be a long answer! 😉 I’m by no means the ‘set standard’ here, but I can tell you what I do with our family! First off, let me say that it can be TOUGH! There are days that not everything happens, and days that I want to pull my hair out! But overall, it can work smoothly with a lot of prep work and pre-planning involved. It has helped save a lot of time in my day by prepping all schooling to be completed in advance. I usually do most of this on Sunday (for the upcoming week) and then add and prep any extras at night when my children are in bed. Next, the schooling area plays a factor. We have been very blessed to have a classroom that compensates for my daughter’s need to ‘play/learn’ independently while I school the others. We have a gate in her ‘section’ so that she is safe and unable to wander up the stairs (depending on the age of your child/toddler). She also has her own desk so that she can ‘do what her brothers are doing’. When she is happy, we are all happy. ha! I understand that not everyone has a classroom, nor wants a classroom. I would just make sure to have their normal ‘quiet toys’ and busy bags prepped in advance and available for them so that they are less fussy (which equals less distracting) while you school. When my daughter gets clingy (and she does get clingy) I just hold her and continue to teach. When it comes time to actually ‘school’ your young one, keep in mind that the pre-k ages learn mostly through play! If I were to add up a total of how much focused ‘learning time’ is actually spent on my youngest, I’d say maybe 1-2 hours max a day, and 1 of those hours is usually spent creating art and dancing/singing! My older children absolutely LOVE this and we all do it together! (Keep in mind they are only 6 & 7 years old, though). Even though they still learn from it (believe it or not, they do!) I consider this more ‘elective’ time for the older kids – as they get in their music and art time, and sometimes even a bit of PE! As you probably know from reading my posts, we’ve started Mother Goose Time recently, which is primarily a pre-k program, and it’s actually made our overall curriculum more balanced – for the older kids! So long story short, if your older children are still fairly young – it may be an added 1-2 hours of schooling per day, but do the pre-k schooling together, and then have your younger child play independently while the others work, or allow him/her to ‘school’ along next to them. If your other children are much older – I would imagine they would be working more independently while you are working with your little one. When schooling the older ones, the same as above would apply in terms of keeping your younger one contained and happy! Great question, Jody, and thanks for asking! I hope that helps some!
3. Stephanie asks:
You blog, homeschool, and fulfill your wife and motherly duties. You make it look so effortless! How do you manage to do it all so smoothly?
Stephanie, I am flattered! But clearly you have not been to my home! ha! I do blog, but not as much as I would like. I do school my children and yes, it is a LOT of work. But it is absolutely not in a flawless manner! There are days where voices are raised and patience runs thin. While I’m pretty good at attempting ‘beautiful images’, my home is
almost always a literal disaster. (An organized disaster). My husband deserves a lot of credit because he is very supportive and helpful. I truly believe that in order for a household to function, both parties need to be on-board, and supportive of each other. So do I get it all done? No. Nothing ever gets ALL done, nevertheless – smoothly! But I love you for imaging so!
4. Mary asks:
I see you post quite a bit about homeschooling. I, as a non-homeschooling mother, sometimes feel judged by homeschooling mothers because I choose not to homeschool my children. I’m not speaking about you directly, but I’m curious to know your stance on it.
Wow, Mary! That’s a loaded question! But I’m happy to share my opinion on that with you! First off, I am sorry that you feel that way. I can only speak for myself, but to judge someone because they choose to or not to do something (within the legal realm) is silly to me. And the reality is, even within the homeschooling community there are people feeling judged because they choose a different curriculum, or a Religious approach, or a secular approach, or a different learning method, or even unschooling. The simple fact is, (generally speaking) we are all mothers (or fathers) looking to provide the best that we can for our children. People obviously choose things for their family because they feel it is best for them… And as long as homeschooling continues to be best for us, that is the path we will continue to take. Will this always be the case? Who knows! But that’s not something I worry about. We will assess it as we trek along!
Thanks for joining in on ‘Friends ask Friday’!
Don’t forget to submit your questions for next week’s post here!
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