Simple Homeschooler Mission Statement

This blog, Simple Homeschooler, exists to help mothers with their most important and sacred duty of being managers of their homes. Primarily this means creating a space where her family is loved unconditionally, while at the same time she encourages the family members to take daily steps toward spiritual perfection.

Simple Homeschooler and my First Communion. Create BIG memories.
This is me on the day of my First Holy Communion

our purpose as mothers

As humans we were created to know, love and serve our Heavenly Father in this world so that we can be happy with him in the next. As mothers, the education of our children, both spiritually and academically will help us attain our eternal reward, Heaven, because fulfilling our daily duties requires the sacrificing and unselfish commitment necessary to attain true humility. Each day we die to ourselves a little more and thus move closer to a life in Christ.

The cross and our homes

Embracing our cross means striving for only the best in our homes. From creating a cozy, relaxing atmosphere, to training our children, to supporting our husbands – Trusting in Divine Providence provides that every minute of every day we are granted the opportunity to embrace our crosses for the greater glory of God.

My intention for this blog is to help younger women in the spirit of Titus 2: 3-5. That is, to “encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”

What must we do to serve god

With that in mind, I will write about homemaking, specifically meal planning for large families and minimalism for controlling the clutter and creating a relaxing atmosphere. I will also write about our Traditional Catholic Faith, especially how to celebrate feast days and how to teach our children to love and serve the Lord. Finally, I will give tips on homeschooling. What has worked for us and also what has not worked for us, including scheduling, organizing, curriculum and resources.

i am here for all of you

I encourage all my readers of Simple Homeschooler

Simple Homeschooler believes children need to connect with nature and homeschool moms need a break occasionally
Getting out to explore nature gives everyone a much needed break

to contact me with questions or comments. I will endeavor to answer you each individually as well as address some of your concerns on the blog.

Thank you for joining me on this journey. I pray for you all and wish you joy and peace as we travel the path of Simple Homeschooling.

~Leslie

 

The Regina Caeli replaces the Angelus during the joyous Paschal season. Our children love when this happens because we sing it before every meal as part of our Blessing Before a Meal.

Here is a polyphonic treatment of this beautiful prayer:

Saint Patrick’s Feast Day in Our Homeschool

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The day Amanda moved.

We absolutely love celebrating Saint Patrick’s Feast Day!

Sadly, this year we are missing our party planner extraordinaire. This past July Amanda moved all the way across the country. She was the one who really got into this holy day and did it up big. We are going to be hard-pressed to come even close to her zeal for the Patron Saint of Ireland.

SAINT PATRICK FOOD

This year we will still have the standard Beef and Guinness Stew and Irish Soda Bread. We will still break out our Google Playlist of Clancy Brothers and High Kings, plus a new favorite (see below). But there will definitely be an empty space where Amanda used to be. Perhaps a Skype call and some sing-alongs might help. (Wink, wink, Amanda!)

SAINT PATRICK BOOKS

So, what else do I have planned for our homeschool Saint Patrick’s Day this year? Well, there a few new books. We have not read these yet, but are looking forward to adding them to our shelves this coming week.

                                                       

Paddy and the Wolves is actually available for free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription. Look here for Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans and sign up for a free trial. After my free trial I realized that the monthly cost was well worth it for the savings it offered me. See my post on how I use Kindle Unlimited in our homeschool.

We are also trying out this lovely booklet about The Blessed Trinity from Catholic Icing. I decided to give it a try since it is only $3 and I found it to have several great ideas for us to choose from. Songs, drawings, craft ideas and stories. There is quite a bit included in this small book.

teach catholic kids about the trinity Saint Patrick's Day
PDF download Available from Catholic Icing $3.00

 

SAINT PATRICK MUSIC

And, of course, we had to purchase the new Celtic Thunder CD as soon as it was released. This has to be one of the most surprising albums I have listened to in a very long time. The songs range from traditional Irish folk songs to remakes of popular 70s and 80s songs, to broadway show classics. This is also available for unlimited streaming with Amazon (free 30 day trial available) or on your Google Playlist.

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Music for the Feast Day

SAINT PATRICK ART

We absolutely love Nana and her chalk pastel art lessons. We had terrific results with our Advent art projects and are beginning our Spring art lessons. One of the first will be part of the Super Bundle for the Spring Semester. We will be doing the shamrocks along with the video art lesson this week.

While the Spring Semester Super Bundle is worth the price considering it is an entire semester of art lessons for the entire family, the price ($100) may be a little daunting for some of you, especially without having tried the program first. So the Shamrock lesson is also included in A Seasonal Start in Spring Chalk Pastels for only $8. There is also an Easter Chalk Pastels for All Ages that we plan on continuing with for the remainder of March.

So, besides the decorations that we will get from our local Dollar General where Meghan works, that about covers our plans for this year.

SAINT PATRICK DESSERT?

I still need to decide on a dessert. I’m open for suggestions if you would like to send your ideas my way via the comments section or by email. leslie@simplehomeschooler.com I always look forward to hearing from my readers.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Also, please join me on Facebook. I’ve started a private group for followers of my blog and would love to see you there. Follow this link. I’ll be posting pictures of our Saint Patrick’s Day celebration as well as photos our art projects.

~Leslie

Join our Private Facebook Group

homeschool facebook group

Announcement!

Have you ever wanted to be a part of a group of homeschool moms that combines experience with fun?

If so, please head on over and join our brand new private Facebook group for homeschoolers. This is a place where we can learn from each other, post our favorite resources, and so much more. I will be available to answer your personal questions within this Facebook group.

Click here to join!

Homeschooling for Almost Free with Kindle and Kindle Unlimited

I have the Paperwhite and I just love, love, love it. If you have been thinking about it, now is the time. If you’re not a Prime member you can sign up for the 30 day free trial and still get the sale price.

 

One of my favorite resources has become my Kindle that I received for my last birthday. Kindle books can also be read on most computers and devices, so the Kindle reader itself is not necessary, but using mine introduced me to the whole new world of Kindle Unlimited.

I have found numerous homeschool favorites in Kindle format. Granted, it’s not exactly the same as holding a book in your hands, but it is very portable, searchable and highlightable! Which makes it a huge plus for this busy homeschool mama.

So, on to my very first Kindle Unlimited find.

I had always wanted to read this book by Alexandra Swann, but was hesitant to spend the money in case it was not what I was looking for. When I saw it listed as a ‘Read for Free’ with the Kindle Unlimited free trial, I decided to give it a try and cancel after my free month.

This book was an interesting read and, although I do not follow everything that the Swann’s did by a long shot, some of the information in this book is spot on for homeschooling a large family. One of my biggest take-aways is encouraging independence in learning so that as the children get older they take on the responsibility of their own education. No Regrets by Alexandra Swann

After reading No Regrets, I decided to see what else was available with the Unlimited plan. I was so excited to find a few psychological thrillers. Yes, this is my weakness and my ‘help me fall asleep’ reading choice! I downloaded In the Shadow of Lakecrest by Elizabeth Blackwell. This was a decent book full of suspense and surprises.

So I was excited to find many other books in this genre for free also.

And then I found there were some children’s books! This one, Ducky Duck Doesn’t want to be a Duck, intrigued me because my youngest child has had a stuffed duck since she was a baby that’s name is… you guessed it!… Ducky Duck! So, we got to read it FOR FREE!!!

And this is my latest find. Not of This World: A Catholic Guide to Minimalism. The title caught my attention because it’s the book I would have written if I were writing a book! After ordering it for free, I quickly skimmed the chapters and am looking forward to reading this book! It looks like not only a delve into the philosophy of minimalism from a Catholic worldview, but also chapters and chapters of practical application.

I will save a review for a future post. But for now, go ahead and order and read it along with me! I always appreciate comments, so let me know if you’re reading.

Anyway, as you can probably guess, I did not cancel my subscription. I get so much use out of my Kindle Unlimited and the free Prime books, that it is worth the $9.99 a month.

I encourage you to give the free month a try and see if you can’t find some great additions to your homeschool curriculum.

UPDATE 2/22/18  My original Paperwhite froze one day. I couldn’t do anything with it. Granted, the kids had slightly cracked the screen earlier in the week, but I didn’t think that could do it. So I contacted a very nice Amazon representative through the chat and he arranged for it to be sent back (free) and replaced with a brand new Paperwhite Kindle. Not only that, it does not have the ads (I didn’t want to pay extra to begin with). So I’m giving them an A+ for awesome, stress-free customer service. 

The Lonely Homeschooler

Have you ever wondered if you are causing your children to be forever lonely by homeschooling them? While some siblings get along just great, others seem to be the lone sheep in the family, constantly searching for a companion. A ‘bosom friend’ as Anne Shirley would say.

This article by Melody Lyons was shared to me by a good friend.

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A siblings ‘girls night’. Painting nails, face masks, hair styles, food and a movie.

In it she addresses every mother’s concern for her children. She affirms what I have been thinking for the past few years, ever since we pulled all of our children from our private Catholic Schools.

Melody begins with:

This article is written primarily for homeschooling parents who wonder if their kids will ever find true, Christ-centered friendships with someone of similar age… and also for those parents who avoid homeschooling because they are afraid for the same reasons. I will spoil the ending for you in this first paragraph but then you still have to read the rest of the post. The answer to your question is: Likely, but not certainly.” >>more…

This is well worth the read and I would love to know your thoughts. Either comment here or head over to my Facebook page.

~ Have a simply happy homeschool day!

Discounted Prime for EBT card holders

This Prime Discounted Monthly Offering may help several homeschoolers who use EBT cards.

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Crazy Hair Homeschool Morning

We use Amazon Prime for educational movies, free shipping on books we need and also music. One of my most treasured subscriptions. While we aren’t EBT card holders, I appreciate that Amazon offers this for people who are struggling to make ends meet.

We are currently studying World War I and there are several documentaries available for free with Amazon Prime that we are using for our school curriculum. I will also order school supplies and not worry about the cost of shipping.

 

There is the  30-Day Free Trial or the Prime Discounted Monthly Offering for EBT card holders. And also Kindle Unlimited (which is another favorite!)

 

Guadalupe: The Miracle and Message Free with Prime

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Another Wednesday and another deal post. I will update throughout the day with more deals, but for now, a really terrific one is available free for Prime members. If you are not already a Prime member, you can sign up for a free 30 day trial. 

 

Also, in case you were not aware College Students get 6 months free Prime and EBT Card holders get discounted prime.

Guadalupe: The Miracle and the Message

“In 1531 in Mexico, the Virgin Mary appeared to an indigenous convert named Juan Diego. As a result, our Lady of Guadalupe’s image was miraculously imprinted on Juan Diego’s cloak. Featuring interviews with leading theologians, historians and scientists, this film explores both the inexplicable mysteries behind the image, and the continued relevance of the Guadalupe apparition to the modern world.”

On days when things aren’t going quite as planned (sick baby, sick momma, sudden need for mom to make food for a new baby in our parish), putting on a movie, especially a movie about the saints is one of my go-to resources.

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Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pray for Us

Five Simple Things You Can Do Reboot a Bad Homeschool Day

All of us homeschool moms know that being teacher and mom is not an easy job. Some days we just feel like throwing in the towel. But there are ways you can turn that around and be a better homeschool mom.

#1 Read a Book Out Loud

It doesn’t need to be a long book. Simply choose one off the shelf and sit all the children down and read to them. If it’s been a particularly bad day, choose a silly book. Laughter cures many ills. Continue reading “Five Simple Things You Can Do Reboot a Bad Homeschool Day”