Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Top 5 Posts of 2017


2018 has entered my life so quickly that I have hardly had time to take a look back and reflect on this blog- something I try to do each year to evaluate where we have been, where we are, and where we want to go.

Numbers may not mean a lot to you, but for a blogger numbers are everything in many ways.  Good or bad, those numbers are often the key to success, or the demise of your blog.  Sad but true.

Years ago I decided that this blog was not a money making venture for me.  It's not that I have anything against making money, I just was not and still am not sure that is the direction I want to take.  For now I am content to write about what is on my brain and heart, as well as review homeschool materials just because I want to, not because I am getting paid to.

As you know, I am a pretty eclectic blogger.  There are not many subjects I do not cover at one point or another.  In the blogging world, many will tell you that is a recipe for disaster.  Never the less, it is my life and therefore my current formula.

After looking at the top 5 posts for 2018, it seems that formula makes most of you happy and therefore you can expect pretty much the same formula this year as well.  How else could you explain that in the top 5 you will find me blogging about my life, talking about our homeschooling, sharing a review, taking you on a cleaning and de-cluttering journey, and just sharing my heart?

If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?  That being said, if you have something you want to see more (or less) of in 2018 here at Family, Faith and Fridays, drop me a note and I will see what I can do!

So the Top 5 Posts of 2018?

Adoption Aggravations

Schooling Year Round While Other Kids Have Summer Break

Is there a Doctor in the House?

34 Weeks of Clean Masterpost

Refining

And just for fun- the all time most read post is one written by my oldest daughter years ago!  This post still gets read daily and it amazes me still!

Modesty- A Command, Not a Conviction

As always, we thank you for following this blog and being a part of our lives.  You are more than readers, you are friends, and I treasure YOU!

Here's to another great year together!

Blessings,

Monday, January 15, 2018

Monday Menu and a Breakfast Treat



Happy Monday!  Welcome back to another week of meals!  With my girl headed off to college again, we will be back to feeding 5 for a while.  Ignore me while I go pout!

We have loved planning soup for Sunday nights- a great way to relax and have a simple meal after a big Sunday lunch. This week we are going to try to incorporate breakfast into one meal as well.  My family loves breakfast food and by having it for dinner, it is often a good way to save some money.  I will let you know how it goes over.


Monday- Spaghetti Pie

Tuesday- Pork Chop Casserole

Wednesday- B-B-Q Chicken

Thursday- Breakfast Pizza

Friday- Care Group Night (not sure what I am making to share)

Saturday- Chicken a la Orange

Sunday- Broccoli Cheddar Soup


Have a blessed week!



Breakfast Pizza

prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:


  • 1 package crescent rolls
  • 6-8  oz. sausage
  • 1 c. frozen hash browns
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 3/4 shredded cheddar cheese

instructions:


  1. Spread pan with rolls
  2. Cook sausage, drain
  3. Cook hash browns in 2 tsp. butter
  4. Cook eggs in 1 tsp. butter
  5. Layer sausage, hash browns, and eggs on rolls. Season with salt and pepper
  6. Top with cheese
  7. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes

notes

* We double this recipe for a family of 6, three of which are boys!
Created using The Recipes Generator

Homeschool Review Crew Weekly Link Up

A Method to Our Madness


Welcome back to week 2 of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair hosted by Susan at Homeschooling Hearts and Minds!  I hope you enjoyed last week and the 5 Reasons You will Want to Homeschool!  Today we are going to be talking about Methods of Homeschooling!

When I began teaching my kids at home almost 20 years ago, I had no idea there were "methods" of teaching or even rules for that matter.  At the time I knew of two curriculum options, ABeka and Bob Jones University, and I chose one and went for it.  ABeka won out initially though I did use BJU for a few years as well!

Now I know a bit more, and boy, have I used a bit more!

The methods are almost too numerous to list, but let me tell you about a few.

All in Ones-  These are those curriculums like Abeka and Bob Jones where you can order a complete curriculum, with all the materials you need, open the box when it arrives and then start teaching.  There are more out there like Sonlight (which I have also used for many years) and even companies like Christian Liberty Press and Timberdoodle.  Let me just say, if text books are your thing, there are many amazing companies out there.  Choose one that looks good to you and go for it!  There is much to be said for companies that provide everything for you including lesson plans, especially for a new homeschooler!

Living books/Charlotte Mason- This style is very BOOK based, usually rich with literature and living books.  Think of yourself in a library checking out books on every subject you can think of.  You will include fiction, biographies, non-fiction- anything that you can learn you will.  I know of families that practically live in their library and they LOVE it!  This method is also often very student directed.  If your child is interested in a certain subject, find books about that subject and let the sky be the limit in their learning.  My Father's World curriculum also has a very Charlotte Mason bent.

Unit Studies- This method is a neat one too, if you like to concentrate on one subject for more than a day!  Pick a subject and learn!  Take bears for example.  Use math to count bears and sort the kinds.  For science study about the kinds of bears and add geography by learning about their habitats.  Read The Bear on Hemlock Mountain for literature and diagram sentences from that book for Grammar.  Get the idea?  When you grow weary of one subject, choose another and off you go.  There are AMAZING unit studies to be found, and many people like to add journaling or lap booking to them.

Classical- Classical education is a back to the fundamentals.  There was a time when the biggest guidance for this approach was the now famous book, The Well Trained Mind.  It walks you through the stages of learning and the things your child should be learning and how to teach them.  Think Latin, and lots of reading of old, classic books and memory work.  I loved the years we used the classical approach, but I must say it wore me out because at the time I was creating my own lesson plans from scratch for 3 different grades, not to mention trying to round up all the books myself.  Now there are several companies and programs that take a classical approach AND have lesson plans and provide the books.  Veritas Press and Classical Conversations are two that come to mind.

Unschooling- Yes, you will hear this word floating around in the homeschool community, though not as much as you used to.  This is one method that makes me a bit nervous, but I have seen it done well by a few families.  They allow their kids to learn from the world around them, devoid of most "textbooks."  That is not to say they are not learning, but you will not usually find tests and quizzes or lesson plans in their homes.  They learn as they go through life, often studying within a child's interests for an extended period of time.

Overwhelmed yet?  There is no need to be.  Trust me when I say that no matter which homeschooling method you choose, your kids WILL learn!  I recommend you find what you are most comfortable with as well as the way you believe your child will learn best and go for it!

If the fit is not perfect, you can tweak and adjust as needed, or completely stop what you are doing and start with something new.

Ask me how often I have done that!

THAT will wait until next week!  See 'ya back then!

Blessings,

What do my fellow homeschool bloggers have to say about their Homeschool Methods? Go visit them to find out!

Note: all posts will be live after 8 am EST on Monday, Jan. 15th.
How Our Academic Co-op Completes Our Eclectic Homeschool by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Finding Our Homeschool Method by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
How We Homeschool by Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool
Give Us.... by Annette @ A Net in Time
A day in our Home by Sarah@DeliveringGrace
Lit-Based Education: How We Homeschool by Debra @ Footprints in the Butter
Overhauling Our Homeschool - Adjusting our "How" to fit our "Why" by Sabrina Scheerer @ Kids, Crunch, and Christ
A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler: Expectation Vs. Reality by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road
How Charlotte Mason Transformed Our Homeschool by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Captain's Log, Supplemental - Our Homeschool Days by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
How we get it done. by Kim @ Good Sweet Love
How to Organize Daily Curriculum with the School Cart by Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine
Learning For LIfe by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens
Eclectic Homeschooling: When It All Comes Together by Jen @ A Helping Hand Homeschool
A Typical Day? by Lizzy @ Peaches@Home
This is the Way We Do Our School, So Early in the Morning by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
A Little of This and a Little of That: Eclectic Homeschooling by Laura O @ Day by Day in Our World
Still Classically Educating After All These Years by True North Homeschool Academy
So what exactly is Life Led Homeschooling? by Dana @ Life Led Homeschool
The way we learn ~ 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair by Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
Our Homeschool Routine by Joelle @Homeschooling For His Glory
Homeschool Methods – 8 Tips for the Journey by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset





Homeschool Review Crew Weekly Link Up






















Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Don't Assume I Don't Care


Full disclosure- I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.  There. I said it. 
I keep threatening to take a social media break. Or at the very least to check it only once a day instead of the numerous times that I do but would hate to confess to.

I admit it. I have an insane and growing fear of my missing a post and then my not commenting will be interpreted as "I don’t care."

But here is the reality.
I cannot ever see everyone’s posts due to the insane way Facebook works. 
As busy as my feed is there is a real possibility I will never see your post even if I scroll for hours. 
But I know (because I am guilty of the assumption as well) that most people post something and then assume everyone that needs to has read said post. It has become the way to communicate. Got something to say?  Post it. Need to pass information? Post it. 

We put it out there for the world to see and yet we have no idea if 10 or 10,000 people have seen it. 

Trust me I know. I see the stats of my Family, Faith and Fridays FB page. Some times the people reached is 25. Sometimes, if I am lucky that day and used the right words, it is 225. Despite the fact that over 1500 follow that feed. 

And yet we just keep loading our feeds with the stuff of our lives and expecting that all of our friends now know those details.

Honestly, in a season of my life where I desperately long to slow down and be quiet, it all weighs on my mind.  I am a people pleaser you know.  I want you to know I care!

It is a privilege to be a part of people’s lives and to have the opportunity to lift them in prayer. That is the thing I love about Facebook. But surely there is a better way to do that than social media in some cases.

Call me. Write me. Text me even.  But don't assume I don't care if I do not respond to your Facebook post.  Please know that me not responding to your post is not a statement on my feelings for you or your worth.

That being said, I am trying to step back for a while and put my family before Facebook.  I will be posting for Family, Faith and Fridays and continuing my part of social media for The Homeschool Review Crew, but other than that I will be checking in just one time a day.  I need a break from the hoopla.
But friends, I am not taking a break from you. 
I am here. Reach out if you need me. Reach out if you have a prayer request. And reach out just to
chat.  I play by different rules than Facebook, and unlike them, I am not randomly choosing whom I see. I always choose you!!

Blessings,

Homeschool Review Crew Weekly Link Up

Monday, January 8, 2018

Monday Menu!

Happy January and welcome back to Monday Menu!

Yes, I took off last week from posting, but I assure you, I did feed the family! ;)
Now that we are back to a regular schedule and starting school back today, I am ready to post our menus again.

Enjoy!

Monday- Chicken Stir Fry

Tuesday- Scalloped Potatoes, Ham and Cheese


Wednesday- Meatloaf

Thursday- Chicken and Dressing Casserole

Friday- Pizza Night

Saturday- Out to eat for Indian food (college daughter's request before she heads back to school!)

Sunday- Veggie, Beef and Noodle Soup

Here is a recipe we like to make and share with others!

Blessings,


Yield: 2- 9x13 casseroles

Italian Stuffed Shells

ingredients:


  • 2 boxes jumbo pasta shells, cooked and drained
  • 2,  26 oz. canned spaghetti sauce
  • 1 box frozen spinach, cook and drained
  • 1.5 ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp each- salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 C. shredded cheese

instructions:


  1. Spread each 9x13 with 1/2-1 cup spaghetti sauce.
  2. Brown beef with onion, add remaining sauce and spices
  3. Stir in drained spinach
  4. Add eggs and 1 1/2 C. cheese to meat sauce
  5. Spoon meat into each shell, place in baking dishes and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  6. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes

notes

This is a great dish to eat one and freeze one, or better yet, eat one and SHARE one!
Created using The Recipes Generator