Thursday, August 17, 2017

5 Encouraging Tips for the Homeschool Mom




If you haven't yet noticed, I have been talking more about homeschooling. I think it is because it's a huge part of my life. It really is life itself, for my children. Life is all about learning. To live the best life we can possibly live, we must learn and grow. We cannot do that behind a desk for 8 hours. We cannot expect children to learn real life taking tests. I don't go grocery shopping and take a test for my groceries. Laughable right? Homeschooling can get very frustrating. BUT, so can life in general. When you are trying to start a new business, that can get frustrating too. Do you give up? NO, you keep pushing forward. So, homeschooling and juggling everything as a Mother gets really hard but I choose to keep going. They deserve the best from me.

In this post I want to encourage you. I want to help you by reminding you why you are doing this in the first place. We all need a little reminder every now and then. I know I sure do! Keep reading and hopefully by the end you will feel a little more encouraged in your journey and maybe a bit more inspired.

5 Encouraging Tips for the Homeschool Mom


Homeschool days are never the same at my house. It is rare that things go as planned for more than a day at a time. I probably have said that before. My point is that no matter what happens during your day, keep at it. If there is not enough time to finish those math problems, that is okay! There is always tomorrow. The beauty of learning at home is there actually is more time! Seriously, there doesn't have to be a set schedule. It can work out any way that you want or need it to. Don't let life's little inconveniences get you down. Make another plan, set another goal and do the best you can. One day, all of the learning will show itself in many different ways. 

So....."If you can't fly, then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward."



"It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings." Ann Landers

That just says it all right there. As I was typing that quote, it reminded me once again that I am doing just fine. I am teaching little human beings to help themselves. Yes, math, writing and learning world history is important, but so is the ability to be a thoughtful and responsible adult. At the end of the day, what is the most important thing that your children learn? To have the ability to teach themselves!


Have you ever felt afraid to tell people what you do all day? Do they say, "Wow! You must have plenty of time to homeschool since you are a stay at home Mom." ? And you think to yourself, there never seems to be enough time to get it done. I always feel like I am not accomplishing anything if I don't finish that to do list. Wrong! My 5 year old boy is having a hard time remembering his lower case letters. We should have started with those but I didn't so now we are working on it. Today, we played a memory matching game. We also read a book together. I never got to math, which seems to come so easy to him. Did I accomplish nothing because we didn't do arithmetic? I think you get my point. Don't fret Mama, you got this.

"You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody." Maya Angelou


By the way, I am cooking dinner and feeding my 7 month old crackers to keep him happy. I always hope I can finish a post the same day. I think I may have mentioned the schedule thing already. To elaborate further, I would like to say how spot on the above quote is. Have you noticed that public school has a mundane schedule? Yes, I know this is a must because of all the children. It seems to be the only way that really big schools can achieve anything. Supposedly, their idea of an education is a schedule and grade levels. I find that to be a very sad fact. Kids all learn at different paces. Education is not a one size fits all thing. You cannot expect every child to know and learn something at the same time. Because of this idea of an education, so many children's self-esteem plummets. I was one of them. So, stop worrying about someone else's schedule and what level your child is at. As long as you keep trying for them and be there for them, they will get it.

"The idea is to educate, not follow anyone's schedule about when something should be studied." Ray Drouillard



This also goes for your entire home. He does not care that you didn't have time for the dishes the night before and he doesn't care that all of the books aren't put back on the shelf. He also does not care that your school table is full of cut up pieces of paper and broken crayons. He cares about what is in your heart and your children's. Do not let those trivial things get in the way and make you stressed. Trust me, it does you and them no good at all. In fact, that messy table and dishes in the sink is proof that you are an amazing mother. You are taking care of little humans and fostering a home of learning and growing. I needed this reminder today. Did you?

I truly hope these small reminders have encouraged you, inspired you and brightened your day. Sometimes we just need to hear that we are doing just fine.

Do you have any encouraging words or quotes to add? Leave me a comment or send me an email! I would love to hear from you.

<3 Jessica



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Saturday, August 12, 2017

4 Questions For A Homeschool Mom




Hello my friends!

Recently, a new friend asked me a few homeschool questions. I find it hard to answer them fully because my explanations are more in depth then a small conversation. There are so many details that run through my mind when anyone asks me about our homeschool life. So I thought I'd type up these questions here and do my best to answer them for anyone else that may be interested. 

I actually get nervous answering these kind of questions because in the past I would get funny looks and rude comments. I have tried harder to just not care and only worry about what I think is best for my children. Homeschooling is also an emotional journey. For me at least. 

What made you choose homeschooling?

Well, this is actually not a simple question. If a stranger asks me, I will just say, "It is just best for our family" or "My kids learn best at home."

Since I don't consider you all complete strangers, I don't mind answering. First, I wasn't comfortable with the school buses. My oldest daughter was hurt a few times and nothing was done about it. I also noticed she was struggling and each year it was Math. I felt that the teachers couldn't giver her the time. Too many kids to help. She worked at a slower place which caused her to always be "behind." Her self esteem plummeted and I felt helpless. I didn't know how to help her. I wasn't there!

At this time I had two kids in school. My second daughter went for a few months in Kindergarten. She was always anxious and worried. Both her and her sister were sick so much, they missed many days of school. Homeschooling was on my mind even more. I was at home with two other little ones. I had the time anyway.

So, that is basically why I decided to homeschool. The first year we deschooled and took a lot of time away from schoolwork. During that time I learned a lot and realized that education in public school is highly overrated. Children are only learning how to take tests. They are not being prepared for life.

This makes me so much more confident in my decision. I still worry that I'm not giving them enough but every day they prove me wrong. 




How do you keep your kids in activities with other peers?

This one is tough because I'm going to have to be more transparent. I have not had them join activities with other kids very often. Our life is quite different then some. There are co ops that families can join for involvement and learning outside of the home. Those aren't for us. My children are around people of all ages and that has influenced them greatly. It is good for kids to learn to interact with older people as well as younger.

We use the library resources quite a bit. They have activities certain times a year. We have been to the museum with family and we have play dates with friends or sometimes a park run. Every family is different and so are their circumstances. My goal is to one day take them on a road trip and learn about the places we drive through. Like the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore. I hoped I answered that well enough.

How's much does it cost to homeschool each year? 

I am pretty sure I have saved money since homeschooling. Some years I may have spent a bit more. I started out using all free resources. The only things we paid for was internet, paper, ink and pencils. There are so many websites and free printable a out there. Anyone can homeschool on a small budget. 

I do buy workbooks and reading books occasionally. Four kids times 10. So about $40-100 a year. If you buy a whole set curriculum you would spend anywhere from $100 on up....per kid! I couldn't bring myself to do that knowing my kids change their interests so often. If you do want to buy a set be sure to know your child's learning style before you choose. All kids really need are books, paper and pencils and lots of crafts and activities. 

Our typical day?

I am always hopeful that when I wake up each morning that it will run smoothly. I will make my coffee or tea (hopefully I'll sneak out before baby wakes up). I will start breakfast and go over in my mind how I'll work with the little ones while the big kids begin. Some days that happens. Most days are all over the place. I have no schedule. Not for lack of trying! 

Once breakfast is done, I scramble around tidying up because OCD. I will check my group notifications and then the baby gets fussy. So now it is his morning nap. I can't start helping my 5 year old and that bums me out. He is so sweet and patient. I just have him play or do some learning games while he waits. I have everyone read and write while I'm getting little guy down for a nap. 

Are you tired yet? Okay, so baby is asleep. Shhh. There are dishes in the sink and it makes me a bit crazy. Ignore them. I try to help everyone work on there school work. Usually, questions come one after the other. Sometimes there are none. My oldest two daughters can work independently. They know how to research on the computer and they usually help with lunch time...because Mom is busy AGAIN. 

If I am lucky, everyone will have done something stimulating for their brains. I really don't worry too much. This is why we learn all year round. Learning is in everything and it is everywhere. It isn't always in a book. 

Well, I hope I have answered these questions well enough for you all to understand. Learning looks different for all families. Our life is busy with a baby...they are learning a lot about that. My 9 year old can change a diaper and get him to sleep. I promise I don't make her Lol. She loves it and I'm grateful for the help. 

I bet next year will be entirely different. I'm sad and excited for the changes to come like always. Thank you for reading this far!

<3 Jessica

PS: Do you have any questions for me? If so, comment below or contact me! I'd love to hear from you.



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Friday, August 11, 2017

Book Review: Perfect Imperfections





I love to read and I love the smell of a new book. It is something I don't get to do enough. I can get totally lost in a great book, it's scary! I love to read many genres and I would say mysteries, romance and life based novels (drama) are at the top of my list. Oh, I forgot about science fiction! :D



I was sent another great book to review. The author, Taryn Leigh has presented me and many more with an amazing and breathtaking story of suffering, loss and deceit. I wanted to cry every time I had to put it down. My interest was held every sentence of the way!

My cutie pie holding Perfect Imperfections, By Taryn Leigh


A dramatic story with its location based in London and South Africa. A caring and loving woman thinking her life was perfect, to only have it ripped from her heart. She goes back to South Africa to stay with her dear friends, whom help her through her emotional turmoil. Is running away from her home in London and her failed marriage good for her? Can she open her heart once again? Will she ever heal from the worst pain she has ever experienced in her life?


Two quotes from this book that I love.

"He taught me that it's not necessarily time that heals all wounds, but it's what we do with that time that brings healing to our wounds."

"Darkness cannot drive away darkness, only light can do that."


Synopsis

"Sarah Lewis desires nothing more than to begin again after a failed marriage and a tragedy so terrifying, it forces her to leave her life in London to stay with her best friend a world apart in South Africa. Despite immediate success in her business, she struggles to understand who she really is and where she belongs in the world. So begins a journey of discovery as Sarah re-unites with Katy in the land where she was born, where the air is lavender scented, and weekends are spent cycling on the beach.

Until the day when she has to return to London to face the ghosts of her past and confront a situation that has grown more complicated in her absence.
 Perfect Imperfections is an intriguing tale which hints at wrongdoings and deceit without giving too much away. The author cleverly weaves a tale around fragile yet strong Sarah as she tries to reconcile the reader to the point where we simply want the best for her and for happiness finally to come her way."


As I began to read this story, it took me away from reality and into Sarah's world. I could smell the Lavender and I could feel the emotions within every word. My heart ached and my heart smiled for her. This is an unbelievable story. It had joy, sadness, pain and anguish. This book should be on everyone's list this Fall. Cozy up by the fire and enjoy!

To get to know Taryn Leigh read further, her biography below.










"Taryn Leigh is a South African born citizen, who spent her childhood with her nose buried in books. Her love for reading transpired into her ambition to become a writer. She first tried her hand at blogging, which eventually led to her writing her first novel. She lives in Pretoria, with her husband, son and two cocker spaniels."





Thank you Taryn, for sharing this with me! Many blessing to you and your family.

You can purchase Perfect Imperfects on Amazon right here!




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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

How I Prioritize life while Homeschooling







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People ask me all the time. How do you manage to get everything done and Homeschool? Well, sometimes I don't. Sometimes, formal school work is really ignored around here. On the days that I do manage it all, it feels pretty amazing. If you haven't read any of my past homeschool posts, we are unschoolers. We love to learn in natural ways. Sometimes that involves workbook and notebooks and other times it involves cooking and drawing fantastic drawings for Mommy.

How I manage on those successful days: I get up and get to it! Motivating myself is the kicker. Throw my hair up and get it done with swiftness and care. There is no secret. It is no mystery at all. All four kids know what is expected of them. First we take care of business and the fun and relaxing times come after.

Before anyone can play Minecraft, play with toys or whatever else they want to do, first things first.....

Is your bed made?

Brush your hair...

Did you have breakfast? Oops I better get on that Lol

Did you help with a Chore?

Did you read a book and finish your school work? (Every day is different)



Some days work out so smoothly and I wish everyday were like that. When it is a beautiful day out, everything gets ignored. All of it. But that is okay because I want to make the most of these days. Days when they are young and happy just being in the moment. They grow up too fast. Let them be kids. Learning happens all of the time, whether we want it to or not.

This is the best I can do right now. Life is always changing and I know one day it will be easier to manage it all. As long as I teach them to work as a family (a team), we will be fine. 

That was my quick post of the week! :) Please drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts.

<3 Jessica


P.S. Are you a homeschooler? I would love to connect with you in my homeschool group. Check it out here--> Homeschool advice and Tips





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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Entrepreneur Connections: Monday





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Yes it is Monday again! A fresh new week just for you. You have been granted and blessed with time. Time with your loved ones, time with enjoyment of life. Lastly, time to make the most of your time on social media.

We all know it's hard work. Trying to get people to see you. I'm still figuring it all out myself. It is definitely a learning process. But, I will not give up on my quest! I will not give up on helping you also.

Today, we are going to connect on Instagram. This is my favorite social media site. I love seeing pictures of my friends families and other awesome entrepreneurs, bloggers and authors. 

Have you had trouble with Instagram? I'd love to help you. You can email (whatshappeningwithjessica@gmail.com) 
or message me on Facebook anytime.

Instagram tip: Hashtags! Want more views, likes and fans? Use them.



Do you have a Facebook party or event planned? For many direct sales people, Facebook parties are very important and successful. Do you use online parties for your business?

Well, I hope to connect with you at Entrepreneur Connections. Let me know how I can help you. 

Happy Monday
<3 Jessica

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Twitter & Tech Support




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Good morning and happy Tuesday!

Another new social media post. I'm on a roll I'd say! How is networking "working" for you?  Have you only stuck with one platform or possibly two? I use to only use Facebook and Instagram. When I started blogging I discovered why more people were using other platforms. 

Twitter....why?? What is the point? I thought Facebook was enough. Wrong! Do you want to grow your fans and customers? In order to do that you have to reach further away from where you are now. Which is normally Facebook, ha.

So if you haven't used Twitter yet, be sure to get it started pronto. I believe it is the easiest platform to get going, from my own experience of course.

Tuesday is for Twitter engagement and Tech Support.


As the graphic states, follow, like and retweet. The more people that do that for you the better. More views to your website or blog. 

If you have questions about how you can get started using Twitter contact me today or join the group. We'd love to have you there!

Have a fantastic Tuesday and don't forget to support one another!

<3 Jessica

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Featured Entrepreneur


www.virtuousmama.org

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Hello homeschoolers and entrepreneurs!

I am so excited to tell you all about my featured business. She is a dear friend, wonderful Mother and child of God. I have gotten to know her over the past year or so and I am so grateful to have met her. She is a warrior, boss-lady, independent, intelligent and kind woman.


Her name is Kayla and she is my friend and a fellow blogger. As a Christian Life Coach and Virtual Supporter, her mission is to help encourage, motivate, and empower women through Christ. 




She has been an inspiring blessing to me. She has helped motivate and encourage me in my writing and with God. 

Do you need encouragement? Could you use a little motivation in your live? How close are you to the Lord? I encourage you to contact Kayla and have a conversation with her. She is a very caring and understanding person.

Are you an entrepreneur who struggles with social media? She has many tips to share and guidance to provide you. Visit her website VIRTUOUS MAMA. You will find it very helpful I promise you that!

Connect with Virtuous Mama on Facebook and send her a message. She would be glad to help you.

Follow her on Twitter and Instagram too!


"Hey, Mama. You are beautiful, you are strong, and you are loved. Do you need encouragement? Do you need inspiration? Do you need help with walking closer with the Lord? Let's connect. 

Are you an entrepreneur? Is social media a mystery to you? Would you like some tips and ideas for how to unravel that mystery? Let's connect!"




Saturday, July 22, 2017

Sunday: DIY



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It is DIY Sunday at What's Happening With Jessica. Where we share all of our awesome "Do it yourself" ideas, tips and tricks! At Entrepreneur Connections you can post any of your DIY ideas. Do you sell essential oils? Maybe you have a great recipe to share. Do you sell makeup products? Maybe you have a homemade makeup remover recipe.

Follow my Handmade Crafts & More, board on Pinterest to get some fun craft ideas for your kids. 




We also have Snap a pic or Selfie Sunday. It is pretty neat to see what everyone is up to. It also helps us get to know one another better. So, where are you today? What does your day look like? Come share with us or comment on this blogpost and let me know.

I hope you all have a relaxing Sunday.

"It is time to do what makes your Soul happy"

<3 Jessica


Find Craft supplies and More HERE

Utilize Pinterest for Business



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Hello there! It is Saturday....does that make you happy? Or maybe days of the week do not matter to you like some. For me, well, it usually doesn't matter here at home. However, it does in the online world where I schedule posts and keep up with social media sites.

Today I bring to you Pinterest and A Fact About You. This is one of my favorite posting days. I really love them all though! For Pinterest we share, follow and pin. Ahhh I love Pinterest. Even more now, since I am getting the hang of it.

You can follow my Homeschool, business and other Pinterest boards below by tapping the purple Pinterest icon below. Psssstt...don't you just love my new icons?



I like to get a little personal. Getting to know the people you are supporting is a must in my book. 

Connections=Real Support

We all like to help our friends right? I find it more rewarding to support if I know who I am lending a hand to. That doesn't mean I wouldn't help a stranger. I would in a heart beat!

So....Saturday is for sharing something personal. What is one unique thing about you?

Join my group ENTREPRENEUR CONNECTIONS and like my page and share with us!

I hope to see you there. <3 Jessica




Thursday, July 20, 2017

Fan Page Friday


I absolutely love helping my fellow entrepreneurs! I can't say it enough. It brings me much happiness to know I am able to help others; even in small ways. Like I have said before in my Website Wednesday post, support is so important to our success.

Each day I schedule posts on What's Happening With Jessica to help others get support on their social media pages. It is all about promoting each other. 

Friday is Fan page day. We follow, like and share content in order to reach a 
bigger audience.


Did you know?


Facebook's algorithm has changed. If you like someone's business page or follow someone on their personal page, you won't see every post! If no one likes it after the first few minutes it gets lost. If you like their post and comment it gets put through again and again so another set of people will view it. 



So if you visit a page and interact that helps them greatly. There is also a follow setting you can choose: default, or see first.






Another engaging post that has become very helpful is Groups & Events. I guess it is pretty obvious what this one is for as well. Share your group or event and join! It is not mandatory to join a group. I actually encourage you to NOT if you have no interest and do not plan on being active. Let's be real right?

I also post all of these within my group ENTREPRENEUR CONNECTIONS. I would love to have you join us. Happy Posting!


<3 Jessica




"I don't want to live in the kind of world where we don't look out for each other. Not just the people that are close to us, but anybody who needs a helping hand. I cant change the way anybody else thinks, or what they choose to do, but I can do my bit."





Website Wednesday





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I have decided to bring Website Wednesday to my blog. How cool is that!? Each Wednesday on my Facebook page and in my group Entrepreneur Connections, we share our websites and help each other by interacting. We have direct sales professionals, bloggers and writers that come together for support and connecting. 

It is so important to me to support other entrepreneurs. We all have goals, plans and our eye on the ball. In order for a group like this to succeed, we all need to interact and be as active as your life allows. It is hard going it alone. Let's do this!


We do this by following each others pages, sharing sales, blogs and posts and most importantly learning and connecting. There is so much we all can gain. 

This group is very new and still a work in progress. The members are all very great people who all want basically the same thing....to get their audience to SEE them. So, come join us and see how we can all help each other!

I look forward to seeing you there.

<3 Jessica