It’s another week and another Friends ask Friday! I’m excited to share a new feature with you today, so Make sure to keep reading beyond the initial segment!
In typical fashion, let me first answer a few questions that some of you had for me!
Friends ask Friday #3
1. Miranda asks:
Could you please share with us some of your favorite go-to meals for the family on busy days? By the way, I DID try the hummus recipe and it was great! Thanks!!!
Miranda, I’m so glad you liked the hummus recipe!!! We are seriously huge fans of it in our household! I’ll be honest here, we cook very boring (and most of the time without recipes)! I come from an extensive fitness background and I have a habit of cooking plain foods in bulk, and seasoning small portions specifically to the meal I am throwing together at the time. Sometimes my schedule is so incredibly full that in order for us to function, we just have to go about things this way. My husband and I like to take one day per week (usually Sunday) to cook our meats. That way it is prepped in advance. We cook our lean ground beef on the stove top and typically bake or boil (yes boil) our skinless chicken breasts. We also pre-cook things like brown rice. If you make waffles or pancakes from scratch, do it then and freeze it.
By doing this, throughout the week, it is then easy to prepare super quick meals. Here are a few examples of what we do:
- Open 2 cans of Amy’s Organic Lentil soup & throw it over a bed of cooked brown rice. Add some shredded chicken, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and you’re good to go. We like to serve with cut carrots on the side.
- Take some ground beef and throw it over a bed of lettuce, throw in some fresh cut tomatoes & onions and some organic canned corn, crumble some organic blue corn chips in the salad, toss in some shredded cheddar cheese and mexican seasonings of choice, and you have a mexican salad. We like to serve this with a side of black beans and cheese.
- Pasta! With the chicken and beef pre-cooked, you really can’t get much quicker (or more versatile). You could make a quick spaghetti with the pre-cooked beef, or as my children love most – spinach pasta with chicken! I simply toss in shredded, frozen spinach with the pasta noodles and cook and drain. I stir in shredded chicken and parmesan cheese, garlic powder (if you don’t want to use fresh garlic), salt & pepper. I personally love this with sliced sausage in place of chicken and cut pieces of olives! It tastes better than it sounds! (And I’ve been known to mix up my pasta noodles quite often, too. I try to eat gluten free due to my Hashimoto so I’ve had fun looking for gluten free types. Explore Asia Organic Black Bean Spaghetti, 7.05-Ounce Pouch is a new one that I really like and it’s incredibly high in fiber and protein!
- Breakfast for dinner!!! This is one of my ultimate favorites because… who doesn’t like breakfast?! lol. Eggs are super fast to scramble! You could make cheese eggs or throw in veggies for an omelet and extra nutrition! This would be the perfect time to heat up those frozen waffles you previously made (or if you prefer to buy egos, go for it. ha!), or heat up oatmeal (or even just toast some whole grain bread). You can serve this with a berry medley (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, & cut banana), & honey yogurt.
So as you can see, I eat pretty simply – unless I have company coming and then I like to spice things up a bit! 😉 I’ll work on getting actual recipes up for you! I promise my recipe foods are much more interesting!
2. Bianca asks:
I’m seriously considering homeschooling but have a few concerns getting started. What are some of the first things you’d recommend.
Bianca, I will most definitely help get you going via PM, as it’s easy to get overwhelmed with so much information thrown at you at once! However; here are my first TOP suggestions as you start this process:
- Know your local laws. Every state has different laws and homeschooling requirements. I do not recommend contacting your local school district as sometimes they have been known to give false information and sometimes even bully/pull fear tactics. Have access to legal representation if need be. I always recommend friends joining the HSLDA (or similar). They will guide you through your state laws and legal requirements, and if God forbid anything happen while you are a current member, they will be your legal representation.
- Purchase this book! Hands down this was my best investment! It really helped me understand my children’s learning styles as well as my teaching style, and provided an extensive list of curriculum divided into categories (a few examples are): Teacher prep time, secular or religious, type of learning method, which learning style it best fits, as well as a full review of the curriculum. You will love this book!
- Join a support group! There are numerous FB groups that are designed to encourage homeschooling parents and allow you to post questions! I have learned a LOT from being in these groups – and if you’re shy at first, you will also learn a lot just from reading others questions and the replies given! Some of my favorite groups:
- Get involved in a local co-op. Homeschooling is a lot more common than it used to be and often times you will find a local group that periodically meet together for classes, special events, elective courses, and even holiday parties! I suggest you google your local area to see what is available.
Bianca, you’re especially going to want to keep reading for some super resourceful links!
Let’s move on to this week’s feature…
As mentioned in previous weeks, I wanted to take Friday as an opportunity to feature other bloggers, and even readers such as yourself!
Remember, if you’ve been featured on ‘Friends ask Friday’, you can grab your button here!
Your blog name is Hip Homeschooling. Without assuming due to the name, give us a little insight into what your blog is about and how it came to be.
I started my blog originally as a way to report to my support teacher. In BC, Canada the requirements are that if you are to receive any funding, you must have a support teacher you make regular reports to, pictures, examples, etc. to ensure that you keep up with the provincial learning outcomes. I started blogging on a more professional level when I wrote a post on my personal blog over at Truth from the Trenches about why we homeschool. It caught someone’s eye over at Mother Goose Time and I was approached to become a blog ambassador for them. For me, this was the beginning of a whole new world. Blogging is insane! I had absolutely no idea what it would mean to blog “professionally”. It is a TON of work and at this point little to no pay. But each view, each comment, each e-mail, each person that I can reach out and encourage in some way, makes it all so worth it!
You were homeschooled as a child in a time when homeschooling was not as common. Why do you think your parents chose that route, and what was that like for you growing up?
My mom was crazy, what can I say? 😉 I have 5 siblings, although two were “late bloomers” (one was born when I was 11, the other when I was 16 and already moved out of our home). My mother was passionate about our education and was so involved in everything homeschool related. I LOVED being homeschooled! I literally taught myself to read when I was four and later jumped two grades ahead! The odd year that we tried public school, I found it to be boring and complicated. I loved working at my own pace! I loved the safety and feeling of utter comfort and acceptance of being at home with the people who loved me the most! I loved having more opportunities and not being held back by a classroom! Pretty much every single aspect of homeschooling worked for me! I thrived! Going to school was never a good experience and although I went the last two years of high school, it is one of the most treasured memories of my life. You can read more about why I chose to homeschool here. It is honestly a lot to live up to. My mom was so organized, did so much for us, was involved in co-ops and activities. Some days I feel like I can’t live up to the standard she set, but I am so thankful for her sacrifice and am determined to do it as long as it works for our family.
You now homeschool your children. A) What brought you to that decision, and b) How did your homeschooling experiences growing up now affect your role as a teacher to your children?
My husband and I had a lot of debate when we first got married and found out we were expecting. He went to public school and thought it was great and thought it was something we should consider. To be honest, I watched the sacrifice my mom went through, never having time alone, not being able to pursue her dreams and vision and career, financially, etc. I knew it was a huge sacrifice and if my husband wanted us to put the kids in school, I would follow and trust that God had a plan. My husband is RCMP (federal police in Canada) and when he started working in the elementary schools everything changed. He became my advocate, he nearly pushed me to the first homeschool convention, eager to see what this would mean for our family. You can read more about that here.
My experiences being homeschooled kind of set me up for failure in the beginning. I had all these expectations of myself and what homeschooling should look like. I thought I “knew it all” and was overly confident. My first year hit me HARD! I mean utter failure! Trying to keep up with reporting, dealing with my own impatience and failures, realizing how much curriculum had changed, the provincial requirements, trying to do it with a toddler and a new baby… AHHHHH! Each year has been better and better. Though my life has only gotten crazier, I’ve learned a ton along the way!
What would your advice be to those interested in homeschooling but:
- Worry their child may turn out awkward
- Fear their child may fall behind academically
- Doubt their ability to teach
- Are concerned they are not patient enough
I am the queen of impatience. If I can do it, you can do it.
Your child will not turn out awkward, with a little bit of work on your part (getting your kids involved in activities, co-ops, classes, etc.) you don’t have to worry about socialization.
Academically, homeschooled children rate much higher and score better on standardized testing so this is absolutely NOT a concern if you are choosing to homeschool. Working with your children one on one or even one to four (or whatever your ratio may be) is far better than what a teacher can offer in a classroom ratio of 1:30.
There are so many amazing curriculums out there that walk you through step by step. If you are concerned about your ability to teach I would highly recommend checking out the following:
The Learning Style Quiz (knowing your child’s learning style is KEY to successful homeschooling!)
Clearly you have a lot to ‘bring to the table’ for those in or interested in the homeschooling community. What do you feel is most special about your site, and what can others expect to take away from it?
I think I have a lot to offer moms who are interested in homeschooling or new to homeschooling. People who have questions about what curriculum to use or how to get started. I do a lot of curriculum reviews and have worked with a really broad range of curriculum so I love to help people choose curriculum based on their children’s learning style and their teaching style.
My blog is not perfect, my life is not perfect. I try to be real and authentic and relatable. I have videos of my messy house, stories of my frustrations and my bad days, crazy days, and more! I don’t want to be a blog that you come to and feel bad about yourself! I aim to be a blog that you can come to and be refreshed, encouraged, and most of all… know you are not alone!
Well, I absolutely adore you! I quickly became a fan of your blog b/c of your authenticity and resourcefulness! You are straight forward and sweet spirited at the same time and strive to genuinely help your readers! I am thrilled to have met you and equally as thrilled to have introduced you to my readers! Thanks for joining us, Rebecca!
Rebecca is a freelance writer and blog author at Hip Homeschooling. She is passionate about sharing her experiences as a homeschooled child to encourage and support other homeschool moms. She has five young children of her own that she homeschools! Rebecca aims to provide quality resources, tips, encouragement and support, practical advice, and more to benefit the homeschooling community! You can find Rebecca on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, and Google+.
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