I'm Impatient with My Kids {Because I'm Distracted}

I'm Impatient with My Kids {Because I'm Distracted}

I want to openly admit that I've been completely distracted lately... by an overwhelming to-do list, endless obligations, spreading myself thin, and spending WAY too much time on social media. It has resulted in my being irritable and impatient with my kids.

The insane amount of time I spend on my phone is one of those things that I've been "aware" of for some time, but it's also something I find myself making a ton of excuses about. I work online so I need access to my email, my blog, and my social media. Plus I'm a stay at home mom with littles, so I don't get out and have many adult conversations. I have friends and family who don't live close by, so I need to keep up with their lives too. Plus, those same family and friends want to see what we're up to. RIGHT? And with many life changes going on right now and various tasks popping up left and right... of course my mind is overflowing 24/7. My brain is an internet browser with 4.7 million tabs open at all times.

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FREE Homeschool + Ministry + Home Management Planner (10 Pages!)

FREE Homeschool + Ministry +  Home Management Planner (10  Pages!)

I'm a "fixer." I'm always tinkering, never satisfied, always searching for a "better" way. It can be both a blessing and a curse. I try to share my tinkerings here so that the blessing aspect of being nit-picky can outweigh how irritating this part of my personality is (my poor husband!).

When I was looking for a planner at the beginning of my school year, I wanted something that covered EVERYTHING. I don't want one planner for school, another for home and appointments, another for my blog, and another for church/ministry obligations. I need it all in one place, and as much as I heavily rely on my phone to remind me of stuff, I still want a physical print-out to help me manage my time. 

I was looking for something that would work for someone who homeschools, runs a home, meal plans, AND either works from home or is involved heavily in ministry (which is about 90% of the homeschool moms I know!).

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Need Some "Adventure" in Your Homeschool? (FREE Printable!)

Need Some "Adventure" in Your Homeschool? (FREE Printable!)

I'm a highly eclectic homeschooler, with some very clear Charlotte Mason and Classical tendencies... but I'm also so eclectic that I don't even tend to homeschool the same "way" each year, all year long. I ran across this notion of "tidal homeschool" a while ago via Pam Barnhill's podcast and her interview with Melissa Wiley. Once I heard Melissa describe their "ebb and flow" of learning throughout their year, I knew that what had been a natural tendency for us was not a mere lack of "diligence" on my part.

I'm an INFJ (sometimes ENFJ), and as such, I am highly intuitive. Certain seasons of life, seasons of the year, and life events change how and why (and where) we homeschool. I have always made those adjustments to fit the circumstances naturally- but also fought guilt over not always (well, ever) finishing the "whole curriculum."

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When You Want to Quit Homeschooling (Part 4 of 5)

When You Want to Quit Homeschooling (Part 4 of 5)

Here we are! We are almost finished! This has been a long series, but rightfully so. The idea of drastically altering how you approach education for your children is no small matter. We are now on the final "question" of this series, question 3. There are worksheets (FREE) in the Practical Joy Resource library to add significant depth to this exploration. You definitely, definitely want those. Grab the workbook from the Resource Library here. 

Question 3: Should I just take a break from homeschooling? Will that fix whatever the problem is? 

I want to explore a few different aspects of this question, but I want to assert up front that there is not a right or wrong answer. As has been the case in every portion of this series, what's right for YOU and your family, your season, your child, will not be the right answer for everyone else. This is a journey of finding YOUR place in homeschooling and being certain that it truly is best for everyone involved. 

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FREE Spiral Review Worksheet + 300 Sight Word List (Dyslexia/Reading/Math)

FREE Spiral Review Worksheet + 300 Sight Word List (Dyslexia/Reading/Math)

Do you have a student who needs consistent review over the same skills in order to truly master them? How about a student who is just learning to read and you need a good source of sight words to pull from for instruction and game play? I did, too!

My daughter, who was diagnosed with "profound dyslexia" and "probable dyscalculia," needs to continuously cycle through the same information, even as we add additional skills. Why? Because with dyslexia and many other learning disabilities, if you don't use it, you lose it! I was tired of reteaching EVERY skill we had ever learned before I could get to the actual new content- and obviously, so was she! 

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Shift From Surviving to Thriving in Your Homeschool (FREE 14-Page Workbook!)

Shift From Surviving to Thriving in Your Homeschool (FREE 14-Page Workbook!)

Have you ever noticed that it seems that many homeschoolers don't necessarily choose home education for themselves? It seems to choose them? So sometimes we come into it a bit overwhelmed, making decisions as we go, sometimes making one mistake after another.... (raising hand!) 

Sometimes it ends up being more than we signed up for.  We may even consider quitting. Or maybe we aren't that far into questioning our choices, but we also know there has to be a better way. 

  • Maybe you started homeschooling out of necessity, and you jumped in hurriedly?
  • Maybe you just dove in hoping for the best, but you weren't sure what to expect?
  • Maybe you thought you had it figured out, but life circumstances, learning disabilities, personality conflicts... something... came in and derailed your plans?
  • Maybe things aren't going so badly, but you also don't feel like you're thriving like it seems others are?  
  • Maybe you're kind of new and feeling overwhelmed, unsure of how to make decisions when there are just SO MANY options and opinions out there? 
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107 Books to Read Before Age 7 (FREE Printable List!)

107 Books to Read Before Age 7 (FREE Printable List!)

Wow! Have you looked lately for books for your little ones and been completely overwhelmed? There are SO many- and how can we know they are good books that are of high literary quality and don't counter with our beliefs and family culture until we've bought them? My sweet friend Hayley and I wanted to combine forces and share a powerful list of 107 books that we feel like every child should have read to them (or read) before age 7.

Many lists like this include a majority of chapter books or books for children with longer attention span. We have many of those, but rest assured that this collection also includes shorter picture books with gorgeous, engaging illustrations and fewer words per page.

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28 Ways to Keep Your Toddler Busy {FREE Printable List!}

28 Ways to Keep Your Toddler Busy {FREE Printable List!}

Our littles ones can stay soooooo busy... right underfoot... all day long. Or even worse, when they disappear for a moment and get super quiet! Oh no! Rarely does that end up a good thing (sharpie vs the wall, anyone?) 

Through parenting four kiddos, I've found that the best way to keep a toddler busy without pulling your hair out is to integrate them INTO your day. Sometimes, we tend to default to building our day, our schedule, our home environment around the child. This bring everything down to their level. Sometimes, it has the unintended consequence of bringing US (and our behavior) down to their level too. EEEK! 

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How to Cultivate the HABIT of JOY

How to Cultivate the HABIT of JOY

We make THOUSANDS of small decisions daily, my friend. 

  • Should I get out of bed?
  • Should I work? 
  • Should I cook breakfast?
  • Should I shower?
  • Should I drive safely?
  • Should I respond to this text?
  • How should I respond to my husband?
  • When should I respond to my whining child? 

Opportunities to decide come relentlessly. We make so many in a day that we develop habits to overcome the overwhelm of the constant thinking required for all of these decisions. We don't think through EVERY single decision. At some point, we made a decision in the past, and it went well, so we settled into following those ruts so that we no longer have the stress of having to make that decision every single time. Our habits help us cope with the magnitude of the everyday. 

Basically, we set our lives on auto-pilot, and we do this despite the fact that our habits (pre-decided decisions) change our lives.

Our habits don't just CHANGE our lives; they ARE our lives.

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