This is the BEST Way to Organize Your Bills & Finances!


bill and budget

Are there certain times each month where you just feel overwhelmed by your bills? Do you become frustrated when you forget what is due or loose track of which bills you have already paid? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Sometimes, managing your bills and finances can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! Luckily, I have created the perfect solution for staying on track and it has worked wonders for our family over the past 3 years.

During our first year of marriage, my husband and I sat down together and discussed our goals for the future. We both wanted to own a home, have more children and we discussed our desire to open up a small business. In order to meet those goals, we both agreed that we needed to put more effort into building our credit, saving our money and organizing our finances. I began to keep a simple spiral notebook that kept track of when our bills were due. As time went on, my needs began to change and eventually I created the Bill & Budget chart you see above. I am proud to say that since we started using these charts 3 years ago we have not been late on a single bill, EVER!

One financial habit I have is scheduling very few automatic payments. Call me old school, but I feel that automatic payments make it too easy to miss discrepancies and billing issues. Plus, if you ever change card numbers it can be a pain! Once upon a time I forgot to switch over a card number for one of our automatic payments and even though we literally owed 1¢, our bill was considered late and we had to cough up a $30 late fee. Talk about a waste!!! I can assure you, that never happened again.

There are a lot of resources and printables out there that claim to help you manage your bills, but I have found that most of those are missing important information which make paying bills more difficult. My Bill & Budget Organizer charts not only allow you to keep track of bill names, dates and amounts, it also allows you to organize of the following:

  • Usernames and passwords
  • Automatic and non-automatic payments
  • Confirmation numbers
  • Pending payments (when you have completed the action of paying your bill)
  • Completed payments (when a bill has come out of your bank account)
  • Payment schedule
  • Available spending money
  • Important account numbers, phone numbers, websites and card numbers

Once a year, I print out my Bill & Budget Organizer and place each page in a pocket protector inside of a 1 inch binder.  It takes me about 15 minutes to organize all of our information and then I am all set for the next year! If we add or get rid of a bill, I can simply print off a new sheet and add it to the binder in a matter of minutes. It is that simple!


Yearly Bill & Budget Organizer

Your payment will give you access to print out the Yearly Bill & Budget Organizer! What are you waiting for? Get organized today!


What is the hardest part you face when budgeting? Do you currently organize your bills? Do you like having automatic payments? I would love to hear your thoughts!

As always, thank you so much for reading and have a blessed night,


Top 5 Ways I Make Money From Home!

Top 5 ways.jpgI am very fortunate to have a hard working, supportive husband who provides for our family. He continuously works long hours so that I have the ability to homeschool our children and I am grateful for all of the priceless memories I have witnessed over the past six years. Although I love being a stay at home mom (SAHM), there were times that I wished I could contribute financially.

Part of the reason for wanting to contribute was to help take the pressure off of my husband. Being the sole provider for multiple people has to be a pretty scary feeling! The other part of me was not use to being dependent on another person. Even as a child, I always would find ways to earn a buck – walking dogs, baking goods and even the occasional lemonade stand. I began my first job at 15 and by the age of 17 I was working two jobs, interning with my orthodontist and completing dual enrollment at my local community college.

I’ve always been the type of person that needs to stay busy. I also enjoy having an income and knowing that I can provide for myself if needed. After the birth of my oldest child, I was busy taking in all of the challenges that come with being a new mother. In addition, I was 2000 miles away from any family or friends and my husband was in the military so it was just me, myself and I (plus little man ☺). Eventually, I found my mama groove and I began to look for ways to make money from home.

Unfortunately, I had trouble finding options that would work for me. Most of the opportunities I came across required a pushy sales pitch or just seemed like downright scams or pyramid schemes. I tried selling beauty products through companies like Arbonne, but failed terribly. I also attempted to work for a company that made cold calls. It was fairly easy, but they had unrealistic expectations in regards to how many people we needed to call daily. Personally, I think they did it on purpose so that they could keep all of their employees in the “probation period”.

After about three years of searching, I finally came across a few ways to make legitimate income from home! There are a few pros and cons to each of them, but they don’t require any cold calling or selling! Here are the top 5 ways I make an income from home:

1.) *User Testing
To be honest, I am not sure how I even came across User Testing, but this is for sure my favorite way to make $$$ from home. Basically, User Testing connects testers with companies that want to hear your opinion and feedback about their website or app. You are paid $10 for 5-20 minutes of your time and there are a lot of opportunities for moderated test (which are scheduled and pay more). For example, I recently participated in a moderated test that took 3 days to complete, but I only spent about 30 minutes a day completing the required tasks. In the end I was compensated $280! Not bad for an hour and a half of “work”. Another great thing about User Testing is that you are paid weekly through Paypal and you don’t have to reach a minimum amount before you get paid!

On average, I make about $200-300 a month through User Testing. If interested click here to sign up and start testing today!

2.) Ebates
At first I was reluctant to try Ebates because it sounded too good to be true. With Ebates, you can earn up to 40% cash back at your favorite stores. Retailers pay Ebates a fee when you shop and then they share the fee directly with you! You can also make money by referring customers to Ebates. For example, if you refer 10 friends you will be compensated $5 per person plus a $100 bonus! Instead of being paid weekly, Ebates will send you a big fat check quarterly. A few days ago I purchased a Dell laptop and received $140 cash back!

On average, I make about $100 a month ($300 quarterly) through Ebates without referrals. If you are interested in joining for FREE and getting an additional $10 cash back please click here!!

* Just a note, I am compensated if anyone signs up for Ebates through the above links. For those that do sign up, thank you! I appreciate the support and it allows me more time to work on my blog and provide additional free materials and resources for y’all 🙂

3.) Cross Media Panel

Cross Media Panel is a downloadable browser extension which helps Google better understand how consumers use technology and digital media by keeping track of what you search on the computer. You can add up to three devices and receive up to $12 a month for participating. It isnt much, but once the browser is installed you literally don’t do anything…just search as you normally would and it will collect the data. Back when it was called Screenwise Trends, they paid me through Paypal which was convenient, but now you can select from several gift cards once you reach $25. We usually save them up to use as gifts come Christmas time or we like to choose the gift card to help lower the cost of hotels while traveling.

Each month I earn $12 through Cross Media Panel. If interested click here to learn more.

4.) Opinion Outpost and Inbox dollars
Both Opinion Outpost and Inbox Dollars reward its members for completing surveys online. I prefer Opinion Outpost because I earn money a lot faster, but I have been successful at both. Opinion Outpost allows you to collect points that you can then redeem for money through Paypal. Earning 100 points is equal to $10 in cold hard cash. Most surveys I take pay around 20 points and take about 20 minutes to complete. Inbox Dollars pays per survey and most range from $.10 – $.75 each. You can also make money through Inbox Dollars by watching videos and purchasing content.

On average I can make about $50 a month through Opinion Outpost and $20 a month through Inbox Dollars, although lately I have been getting lazy and not completing many surveys.

5.) Freelance Graphic Design
The best way to make an income long term is to learn a skill or trade. I am currently finishing up my AS degree in Graphic Design, which is great because it gives me the flexibility to work for a company or freelance from home. Many colleges like mine also offer students the option to enroll in a graphic arts certificate program instead of a degree program. This means you can start making money from home in as little as 6 months! Sometimes staying home with minimal adult interaction can put me in a funk and being able to express myself creatively really helps me stay sane.

The pay here varies, but with a certification and a great portfolio you can easily charge clients $30 an hour for freelance work. Last month I made about $600 in additional income from freelance graphic design work.

So how do you make money from home? Do you think working from home is more challenging with little ones around or more freeing? I would love to hear your thoughts and let me know if any of the above help you start making additional income for your home!

Thank you for reading.


The Easy Way to Organize Your Weekly Activities

If you are anything like me, then you know the feeling that comes with being a parent. As my children get older, I feel like it is becoming more difficult to keep track of our day (homeschooling and field trips, Taekwondo lessons, Theatre classes etc.). I am always looking for new ways to stay organized, which is why I created this nifty weekly planner. I like to keep one upstairs and another downstairs in the kitchen for easy viewing 🙂

The chart above features time slots spaced in 30 minute intervals as well as color coded cells that make each task easy to read. All you need to do is fill in the blanks with your personalized schedule and use a highlighter, or the paint bucket tool in Microsoft Word, to color code the background of each cell! Easy Peasy!

Weekly Planner

Your purchase gives you access to print and customize your personal weekly schedule. Fill in the time slots with activities, then use the paint bucket tool in Microsoft Office (or regular highlighters) to color code each cell for easy visibility.


So how do you keep track of your hectic schedule? What are your favorite organizational tools?


Storage Space Low? Try these Printable Math Manipulatives!


Homeschooling has been a great experience this past year and I love finding new books, resources and products. However, with all the awesome homeschooling materials in our home, storage can start becoming a bit of an issue. There are just so many great games, books and products…and I want to buy them all! One item we purchased as part of our curriculum last year was Math U See, which comes with a great sturdy set of manipulative blocks to help your child solve their math problems.

Math U See is seriously AMAZING. Math has always been a strength of mine, but before I began homeschooling  I was concerned about whether or not I would be able to teach the subject successfully. The program made it so easy for me and tons of fun for my son and my fears quickly faded away. Although I love the program and plan to use it for years to come, the blocks can sometimes be hard to store.

The integer blocks came in a really nice box, but unfortunately it was too big to keep in our curriculum bins, in my desk and even too big to fit in my filing cabinet! At first, we decided to place them in a large tackle box. It worked okay for a while, but if we didn’t place the blocks in precisely, then not all of them would fit. And let’s be real here, when you have three kids under six not everyone has the patience to put things away properly 100% of the time (myself included).

Learn more about my manipulative blocks.

Not only are the blocks hard to store, but when we decide to take our schooling on the road, it can be cumbersome to find space for them. They are also really expensive. At about $80 for just the blocks alone, it can be hard for some families to afford the program, which is a shame because it works so well. I know that for us, the price was a bit of a shock (how much can paper and plastic really be?), but I made sure to pinch our pennies in order purchase the program.

Printable Math Manipulatives

Your purchase gives you access to print these vibrant math manipulatives that can easily be used on the go! These colors also coordinate with the Math U See curriculum for easy supplementation.


Thankfully, I have come up with a pretty awesome solution which could solve both financial and storage concerns. I created my own 2D manipulatives that can be printed out and stored saving about 75% MORE space than our “space saving” tackle box! So, if you are interested in my handy dandy math blocks, here is what you need to do:

1.) Print out as many blocks as you need. I recommend printing out 5 copies so that you have 10 of each block.

2.) Once printed, use a laminator like this one, to make sure the blocks are nice and sturdy and will last for years to come.

3.) Cut out all of your laminated blocks.

4.) Store your new blocks in a large envelope or use a hole punch to create a place to connect them using a ring clip (see picture above).

And that’s it! Now you have an affordable, space saving set of math manipulatives that you can use anywhere!

So what do you think of my new printables? Will it help you save some space? Where do you store your large homeschooling materials? Let me know in the comments section 🙂

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful night.

Weekly Meal Plan (July 17th – 23rd)

instgram july.jpg

This week I have decided to do a little experiment. Let me be 100% real with you all for a moment. Back in April, I decided to get back on the health and fitness train. I was eating right and exercising five days a week and lost about 15 pounds in 6 weeks. Then, the in-laws came. During that time we so were busy visiting local tourist attractions and catching up that I put exercise on hold (terrible excuse I know). My diet was also atrocious and all over the place.

It was a lot of fun, but once they left, I continued on with the habits I had quickly grown accustomed to. I’ve gained about 4 pounds in since they departed 2 months ago, which doesn’t sound too bad, but I feel horrible. I can visually see a difference in my body and  strength and I feel a major difference in my energy level. This week I decided to finally get back on track! I created a meal plan that involves a variety of healthy foods (see below) and my goal is to stick to it. The only difference is that I will not be following any workout routine. This is partially due to the fact that I am extremely busy with work and also because I am interested to see just how much diet plays a role in our health.

I’ve heard people say things like, “weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise”. This week I will be putting that theory to the test and hopefully I will see a difference on the scale and feel a difference in my energy level. I hopped on the scale to weigh myself Monday morning and will do it again next week….wish me luck!

meal plan 7.17 to 7.23 chart

When I meal plan, I try to make breakfast, snacks and lunches as simple as possible. I usually just spend an hour or two prepping those foods for the entire week, but if I don’t, I try to plan it so that it takes less than 10 minutes to make. I made our lunches ahead of time this week and will make breakfast daily since it only takes a few minutes to scramble eggs. All of my snack choices for this week are basically grab-n-go.

It is also important to note that I try to stay away from added salt. There are times when I will add it to a recipe, but normally I just season foods (like the sauteed squash) with a small pat of real unsalted butter, a drop of extra virgin olive oil or fresh herbs. I also check ingredient labels on frozen and canned goods to make sure there is no added salt. For lunch, I will be using Mrs. Dash Salt Free Seasoning to season the chicken breast. The majority of recipes I use can easily be adjusted to fit everyone’s needs. For example, when making spaghetti this week I will be using the Veggetti to make myself some delicious Zoodles, but the kids will be eating it with whole grain pasta. I will also be drinking my favorite premade protein shake, but will be combining almond milk, bananas, spinach and chocolate to make our children’s shake from scratch in my trusty ninja blender.

Here are a list of recipes I will be using this week.
You may need to make adjustments based on the size of your family.
chicken noodle.jpg

lemon chicken
spaghetti sauce

sweet potato hash

What are some of your favorite recipes? Do you meal plan or are you more spontaneous?
Let me know below! Thanks for reading 🙂

DITL: Weekly Cleaning Routine of a SAHM

DITL Weekly Clean.jpg

What do you do all day?

That is the question I get asked A LOT. By strangers, friends and family, even my husband (YIKES). I guess people assume that there is some magical fairy that comes in each day to prepare meals, do dishes, fold laundry, the works. Cleaning a home with three little ones is a lot of work. Add in sports activities, doctor and dentist appointments, grocery shopping, homeschooling and my three at home jobs…and things start to get a lot more chaotic. Honestly, I feel like it is amazing I get any cleaning done, although I might be a tad bias.

Normally I try to pick up the house and declutter everyday. I also make sure to do the dishes and throw a load of laundry in the washing machine. There are some things however, that I let slide and only do on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis.  So I don’t bore you do death, I am just going to discuss a little bit about my weekly cleaning routine. You can also watch my cleaning routine time lapse video here.

Bathrooms: Once a week all the bathrooms in our home have the counters wiped down, cabinets washed, mirrors wiped and toilets and showers scrubbed. We have granite counter tops and I love cleaning them with BioCleaner, a multipurpose cleaning clay that has a fresh citrus scent.

Kitchen: Our kitchen also gets a similar wipe down. I clean the counters, cabinets and appliances. For stainless steel, I like to wipe first with regular rubbing alcohol to get the grime off. Then I use a microfiber cloth with olive oil to keep it smudge resistant. 91LkzIoJL7L._SL1500_.jpg91LkzIoJL7L._SL1500_

Living & Dining Room: I dust around these areas making sure to get any fans and light fixtures. I also wipe down any wood furniture with a microfiber cloth and Murphy’s Oil Soap. The smell is amazing! Like all of the floors in the house, I sweep, mop and vacuum where appropriate. I recently purchased the EGOFLEX Spin Mop and LOVE it. It is made with stainless steel making it more durable than other spin mops on the market. It also has wheels for easy mobility and does not have a pedal in order to spin. The ones with pedals are more prone to breakage.

Bedrooms: For all the bedrooms I make sure to make the beds, put away any laundry and wipe down any wood furniture. I also dust where needed. I used to change the sheets weekly, but recently it has been hit and miss with that… whoops.

And that’s it! It is fairly easy really, just finding the time to do can be challenging. On a good day with minimal interruptions, it usually takes me about 3-4 hours. I have been toying with the idea of hiring a cleaning service. What do you think? Do you hire a cleaning service? How much does it cost for your home? If not, what does your cleaning routine look like? Are there any products you love?

Let me know in the comments 🙂
Thanks for reading!

Sight Words Handwriting Practice

sight words handwriting challenge kindergarten


When I began my homeschooling journey, I quickly became overwhelmed with the amount of curriculum available. For some strange reason, I thought that in order to homeschool the “right” way, I would need to purchase expensive texts or subscriptions. Thankfully, I eventually realized that there isn’t a right or wrong way to homeschool your child and sometimes it is best to just keep things simple.

Before my son began kindergarten I purchased a popular handwriting program called Handwriting Without Tears (HWT). Although it wasn’t as expensive as some of our other curriculum, it was still an added expense that our single income family had to take into consideration. After completing the program, I felt a little let down. I had seen so many great reviews praising their methods, but in the end I just felt like it was okay.

Was it terrible? I wouldn’t go that far. However, was it worth the $20+ dollars I spent? Not really. I felt like there wasn’t enough room to practice each letter on the pages provided and the teachers manual was sooo lengthy. The manual did have decent content… it just had TOO much information and most of it seemed unecessary. It only took us about 3 months to complete HWT, so I decided to start finding more cost effective ways for my son to practice handwriting.

One of the things that really helped was thinking outside the box when it comes to writing. Who says you have to write with paper and pencil every single time? Use a chalk or dry erase board. Spray shaving cream on a baking pan and let your child practice writing using their finger! Take your children outdoors and let them use dirt and a stick to work on their manuscript. The possibilities are endless!

I also realized fairly quickly the large amounts of paper we were going through once we started home educating. One of the things I really recommend homeschooling parents purchase is a laminator. I found mine at Amazon for less than $40. Having a way to quickly laminate items at home allow us to reuse worksheets multiple times without pesky eraser marks all over the page. It also makes charts, flash cards and posters sturdy enough to last years! If you don’t have the ability to purchase a laminator, try placing worksheets in protective sheets made for binders! Works just as well 🙂

Eventually I began making my own worksheets and practice pages. Today, I am excited to share with you my printable Draw. Write & Learn Handwriting worksheets. Not only does it give children the opportunity to practice their writing, it also incorporates drawing and sight word recognition! Simply print out the pages and follow the instructions to begin!

Included are:
*  A list of 100 sight words
* Sentence Train wall or binder chart
* “Draw. Write. Learn.” reusable worksheet
* Certificate of Completion!

Draw. Write. Learn.

Your payment gives you access to printable handwriting practice pages. This activity is geared toward children ages 4-6.



What is your favorite handwriting curriculum? Does your child enjoy writing? Let me know down below 🙂


Meal Planning Conundrum & the eMeals Solution!

food chicken If you’re like me, meal planning each week can feel like a major chore. It is hard trying to find healthy meals on a budget that our whole family will enjoy. Each week I spend hours trying to plan breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for our lovely family of five. Then I spend even MORE time creating a list and going through our pantry trying to see what we already have on hand. Before I discovered the fabulous  (and most importantly FREE!) Walmart Grocery Pick Up, I would load all three kids into their car seats with my diaper bag in tow and begin the trip to our local grocery store. I would then pray that there would be no melt downs or blow outs while I quickly tried to gather our cart full of items. On the plus side, squatting down multiple times to reach bottom shelf items while baby wearing was like a mini workout. I’m just trying to stay positive here…

*** Check out my recent video where I talk more about eMeals!

Please note, I am an eMeals affiliate. This means that eMeals gives me a small fee to link their products on my page. I became an affiliate AFTER signing up for eMeals myself and AFTER writing this blog post so all of the opinions are 100% my own. If you are interested, please click on an eMeals banner or link in order to purchase their product. Doing so will help supplement our income and provide me with more time to create and share FREE materials with you 🙂 Thank You!!

Luckily, those days are no more. For the past nine months or so I have been utilizing Walmart’s Free Grocery Pick Up! I use their handy dandy little app to add things to my shopping cart, select a pick up time, pay and then head to the store where I park and everything is delivered right to my car. Talk about a GAME CHANGER! There are some downsides to using the service, but for the most part the good definitely outweighs the bad. Although the service has helped shave about 2 hours off of my weekly meal planning and shopping routine, I was still stuck trying to figure out exactly WHAT we were going to eat that week.

Then one day I was on facebook and saw an ad for something called eMeals. I decided to investigate further and it seemed very promising! Basically, eMeals will create a weekly meal plan for you based on your preferences. You can select or pass on which meals you want to make, quickly add all the ingredients to your shopping list and even schedule to have it delivered to you! eMeals was having a promotion where we could try it free for 14 days so I figured, why not? We just finished our first week and I have to say, I’m digging it! I am going to share with you a few things that I liked and disliked about eMeals, and maybe it will help you decide if it is something that might work for your family. Also, I will be sharing an eMeals recipe that was surprisingly delicious for everyone! Lets get started:

Price – I have tried meal delivery services like Blue Apron before, but at $140 bucks a week for only 4 dinners… I just can’t justify that. We spend about $120 a week and that includes all meals. Thankfully, eMeals is only $59.99 for a 12 month subscription for a family of six. That comes out to less than $5 a month. Combine that with free Walmart delivery and you have yourself a deal!

Time Saving – Using eMeals has probably cut my meal planning time by 70 percent. I select my plan, click to add the ingredients to my shopping list and then use that as a checklist while I add them to my shopping cart on the Walmart delivery app. Simple!

Plans Offered – I absolutely LOVE how many different plans they have to choose from. If you are following a paleo diet? They have you covered. Low carb? They’ve got it. Low calorie? Kid friendly? Budget friendly? Diabetic? Gluten free? Yup, eMeals has it.

Unlimited Switching – You are not tied down to just one plan a month. You can switch your plan at any time to update to new recipes, so as your needs change, eMeals will change too.

Scheduled Delivery – I did not use this feature during my 14 day trial, but if you wish, it will take all of your shopping cart items and add them to Instacart, where you can then schedule to have it delivered right to your door! Normally I love any opportunity to stay in my PJ’s longer, but since Instacart charges a delivery fee and I like to tip the drivers, I choose to save my $$$ for other things.

Shopping Cart Features – It is nice that you can add more than just the recipe items to your shopping cart. Need laundry soap? You can add it to your eMeals cart. eMeals will also transfer those items to Instacart to be delivered along with your food items. Score!

Broaden our Horizons – Using eMeals has helped us expand our taste buds and try new meals that we wouldn’t have necessarily tried otherwise. I was surprised at just how well my husband and children liked some of the dishes. If you have a dish that you really like, you can even add it to your favorites on your eMeals app to make it easier to find in the future.

Pay Up Front – Although the price was great compared to other similar services, I was kind of bummed that there was not an option to pay monthly instead of the full $59.99 upfront. Because of this, I haven’t decided if I am going to keep eMeals past the 14 day trial.

Almost Perfect – It is nice that eMeals has the option to add your shopping list items to Instacart for delivery, but it would be REALLY awesome if you could upload your shopping list straight to your Walmart Grocery App to save even more time.

One Plan Per WeekIt is great that you can switch your meal plan whenever you want, but as far as I could tell you can only choose meals from one plan per week. For instance, if you need dinner for 7 nights and only 4 meals on the “low calorie” plan suit you, there isn’t a way to add those meals as well as three meals from the “low carb” plan. Maybe there is a way and I just haven’t figured it out yet, but it seems to be one plan per week. Technically you could add the meals to your shopping cart, then go to another meal plan and write down or print the recipes and then add it to your list, but that would be unnecessarily more time consuming. UPDATE: This is not true! If you want to add meals from multiple plans you need to follow these steps:
1.) Select the meals you want to make from plan #1
2.) Click them to add them to your shopping cart
This is where I went wrong…..

3.) Go back to your meal plan and select the option to change your plan. It will then give you an option to look through the plans and their specific meals  for the week first. When you find the meal plan you want, click it.
6.) Then click the triangle at the bottom in the purple navigation bar that says “switch to this plan”.
7.) Click the green “Switch Now” button.
8.) Find the meals you want to add to your shopping cart for plan #2

Pictures – I wish all the meals had pictures to accompany them. So far I would say that half of the recipes I have come across had images. I would be more likely to make a meal if it had a scrumptious picture to go with it!

Not the Best for Large Families – The meal plans come in two options. The first option is for one to three people and the second plan is for a family of four to six. If you are a large family, you would have to adjust the recipe and your shopping cart items to fit your needs which may, or may not, save you as much time.

So there you have it! Hopefully I was able to give you some additional information that will help you decide if eMeals is something worth signing up for. BTW, I am in no way sponsored by Emeals and my opinion is all my own 🙂 If you are interested in trying the recipe in the picture above, follow this simple and delicious recipe!


What I learned our First Year of Homeschooling.

Homeschooling is never something that I had envisioned doing. To be honest, being a stay at home mom was never in my plans either, yet here I am! There are many reasons why parents might choose to homeschool. Maybe you would like to travel more. Maybe your child is having issues with bullying.  Maybe you are like us and feel like the public school system, and its one-size-fits-all curriculum, just isn’t beneficial to your child. Whatever the reason, it is a major decision that will impact your family for years to come.

This year I was a newbie. I scoured the internet researching curriculum for almost two years trying to make the most educated decision I could. As a one income and fixed income family, wasting money on curriculum really isn’t ideal. Unfortunately, the biggest challenge I have come across in my first year of homeschooling was one that I couldn’t really research. It was brought on by my own experience in the public school system, mixed with what our society deems “normal”, as well as my own personal need to constantly meet deadlines and to-do lists.

This year, the biggest thing I have learned was to forget what society has taught me the past 26 years. By that, I mean that I am [still] in the process of learning that it is perfectly acceptable to go at each child’s individual pace. I am still learning that it is absolutely okay if we do not finish our curriculum by the end of our homeschool year and that it is perfectly okay to skip over some topics and elaborate on others. Even though the whole point of us homeschooling was to do things differently than the public school system, it was still incredibly challenging to actually accept our newly found freedom!

Some days I found myself literally in tears because our curriculum wanted us to finish (x) amount of pages in (x) amount of days and if we didn’t, I felt like I was failing. I grew impatient with my children simply because of my inability to realize that the curriculum is a mere guideline of what can be accomplished, not an enforced law that had to be followed exactly. Once I realized that, it was like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I became more patient with our children and I feel like my son was able to concentrate better without his overbearing mother and her pressure of completion vs. true understanding.

It seems so simple, but honestly it has been the biggest game changer in our homeschool lives. Besides being a mother, wife, teacher, website tester, babysitter and blogger, I am also a graphic designer. In graphic design, the ability to meet deadlines is crucial. Being able to distinguish when deadlines are necessary, and when it is okay to relax will be the key to our homeschool success. I wish I would have learned this little tip towards the beginning of the year rather than at the end, but I guess late is better than never!

Today, I uploaded a new video to my Youtube channel that talks about what I have learned this year and also quickly reviews the curriculum we have purchased for the 2017-2018 school year. My son will be going into first grade this year and I am excited to have a fresh start with my new found knowledge. How was your homeschool year? Did you learn anything new as a teacher and mother? If so, I  would love to hear about it!

I’m Back! ( + Bible Curriculum)

I know. I know. It has been a while (to be modest). First, let me just start by saying thank you so much for being so patient while my blog was down! I know that there have been a lot of people who were trying to find links that were no longer available and I sincerely apologize. With that said, I hope to start posting weekly and getting back on track :]

One of the most requested links was the daily bible program that I modified from Armor Your Children. It is a simple, 5 minute, 32 week program that christian families can utilize. If you are a Mormon, head on over to the Armor Your Children page to get your unmodified, FREE devotional series or click here to download my modified version that omits scripture from the Book of Mormon and Doctrine of Covenants.

I really liked using Nicole Carpenter’s program this year because it made our bible time quick and easy, which is perfect for those on-the-go moms and dads out there. Also, be on the lookout for my new video on YouTube where I cover our upcoming 2017-2018 homeschool curriculum choices!