Reestablishing Good Habits

For almost 20 years, we have had a daily nap time at our house. This was a hard and fast rule. No negotiating. For one hour each day, rain or shine, everyone was to go to a quiet place for a nap or quiet contemplation for the older set.

Did you notice I use the past tense in that last sentence?

When we had a major construction project going on at our house a little over a year ago, there was sawing and hammering going on while construction workers shouted to one another over the music blaring from their boom box. (I’ll never forget the day the kids learned the words to “Black Betty.” Good times.) One end of our house was completely open to the elements for weeks, except for a piece of black plastic sheeting stapled to the ceiling and walls.

That’s when our almost 20 year habit of nap time flew out the window. Or out the open end of our house. Whatever. Nap time was gone.

So, you can imagine the resistance I received recently from my 3 year old when I tried to reestablish our old nap time routine. She revolted! She could not even remember the time when this was a routine. Or even a one time event.

I explained to everyone that we were starting our daily nap or quiet contemplation routine again. Everyone would need to find a book, a notebook, and a pencil and go to a solitary place for one hour. They would know when the hour was up when the music stopped.

Everyone complied. Except the 3 year old. She cried, fussed, and/or screamed for the entire hour.

Fortunately for me and unfortunately for her, I am more determined than she is, so she stayed in her bed for the duration. I can’t say it was altogether restful or relaxing for me, but I have set my mind to reestablishing this good habit.

Past experience tells me that she may very well keep up her resistance for a few days, but if I stand firm, all will be peaceful soon.

Moms, if you have let a good habit fall by the wayside, there’s no time like today to reestablish it. Here are a few tips for doing that.

  • Explain to the family that everyone is going to be doing (_fill in the blank_) again.
  • Remind them of the procedures for above routine.
  • Don’t be taken by surprise by resistance.
  • Establish consequences for disobedience.
  • Stand firm in your expectations.
  • Keep up the routine, regardless of resistance.

Now, go reestablish a good habit today!

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What About Homeschooling Preschoolers?

What About Homeschooling Preschoolers

I have been formally homeschooling my 8 children for 13+ years, so I’ve seen my share of homeschool curriculum designed for preschoolers.

I frequently see curriculum for sale with sensory bins and water play and balancing activities, worksheets for cutting practice with special safety scissors, special manipulatives for fine motor skills and gross motor skills. The list goes on.

I get emails and messages asking for my recommendations for curriculum for preschoolers, so I am going to address that today.

I don’t use any preschool curriculum. 

Or checklists for that matter.

Homeschooling Preschoolers

I let my preschoolers play.

Homeschooling Preschoolers

And climb. And dig.

Homeschooling Preschoolers

I read books to them. We have conversations.

Homeschooling Preschoolers

They help in the kitchen.

Homeschooling Preschoolers

We have tea parties.

That’s it.

I don’t buy any curriculum at all. I don’t buy little colorful plastic teddy bears for counting. We count the apples in the fruit basket or coins in my purse.

I don’t have worksheets for cutting practice. I leave scissors around and let them cut things.

Preschool cutting practice

Just today my 3 year old asked me if she could cut up an empty egg carton. “Sure,” I said. “Go for it.”

It wasn’t on the schedule. It wasn’t part of a curriculum or checklist. I didn’t have a lesson with her. She initiated the activity herself, gathered the materials she needed, and got busy.

Yes, the scissors were sharp. Yes, she made a mess. But she learned.

  • She learned that she is imaginative enough to create “baby doll tea cups” from an egg carton.
  • She learned that she can come up with a good idea and present it to an adult in a way that is persuasive.
  • She learned about manipulating scissors.

All without a lesson plan or curriculum.

Now, if you have the money and the inclination to spend hundreds of dollars on a preschool curriculum, I would say “more power to you” and “whatever floats your boat.”

But if you don’t have the money or the inclination to buy a preschool curriculum, I would say it isn’t necessary. Optional, yes. Necessary, no.

It might give you peace to know that someone has come up with ideas to keep your preschooler busy, but here’s a little secret. (Looks around and lowers voice to a whisper) Your preschooler will come up with those ideas herself if you let her. 

If you enjoy using a curriculum, fine. If you feel burdened by it, set yourself free, Mama.

Preschoolers don’t need homeschooling.

They just need home.

*Note: Each of my children is creative, imaginative, witty, and on or above grade level having used this “no preschool curriculum” approach.

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The Great Homeschool Giveaway {$700+ in Prizes!}

Are you ready to cure the winter blues with a great homeschool giveaway?! With over $700 in prizes and 7 winners, this is sure to be a good time.

We have a great giveaway this month for all school aged kids, including character training, biblically-based art lessons, handwriting, and core subjects such as history and math. There will be one grand prize winner who will win all five prizes below, as well as one additional winner for the Startwrite Software and five additional winners for the Character Badges Bundle Set.

The Great Homeschool Giveaway [Read more...]

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You’re an Idiot if You Don’t Believe What I Believe

Did you hear about the live debate that happened recently between Bill Nye, The Science Guy and Ken Ham, founder of The Creation Museum? I watched with my children, and we found it very interesting and learned some fascinating facts from both debaters.

But apparently, hearing ideas in opposition to their own beliefs makes some people feel the need to insult those with opposing views.

This played out in internet articles, news reviews of the debate, and in my Facebook news feed.

Over and over, I saw the words “ignorant,” “illiterate,” and “idiot” pertaining to those with opposing views.

I would like to address those insults one at a time.

Ignorant – lacking knowledge or awareness in general

The bottom line on this criticism is that all of us are ignorant as to how exactly life began on earth. As in, none of us, not even the most brilliant scientist, has been able to replicate this event.

Never mind creating life in a human being. How about creating a living chicken? Or creating a living lady bug? A living amoeba?

Nope. It has never been done because all of us are ignorant in this area.

Illiterate – unable to read or write

I saw this word being thrown around in a quote from Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist who speaks openly about his belief that “intelligent design is stupid.”

Mr. Tyson spoke of “scientifically illiterate adults” being a “problem” for our country. I assume he is referring to those who believe in intelligent design, since he seems passionate about his views on that.

The thing is, there are quite a lot of scientists with long lists of credentials and accomplishments who do believe in intelligent design.

Take Professor Stuart Burgess, for example. He has a PhD in engineering and was the head of the department of mechanical engineering at Bristol University in UK from 2004-2011.

I wouldn’t call him “illiterate” as it seems he has been able to read and write quite well, even reading and writing papers of scientific importance.

Then there is Dr. Raymond V. Damadian, who invented a little thing called the MRI. Dr. Damadian is a believer in intelligent design, and he was also able to read and write his way into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Dr. Damadian

(photo credit)

How about Jennifer Wiseman? She is a believer in intelligent design, and also Senior Project Scientist for NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and past Chief of the Laboratory for Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. I bet she can even read and write.

In fact, there is a long list of scientists who are creationists who are far from illiterate.

Idiot – a stupid person

Ah. Now we have come to the old eighth grade standby of making ourselves feel better by insulting someone else. I don’t really have a response to this criticism, except maybe to say “Yo mama.”

Honestly, I believe I am right in my belief, otherwise I would believe something else that I thought was right-er. But, I also respect my friends who have a different belief because I feel sure they have thoughtfully considered their positions, just as I have.

I even suspect that one day I will be seeing some of my friends in heaven who have opposing views to mine. Now, won’t you be embarrassed to have to spend eternity looking me in the eye if you have called me an idiot?

I really like how my friend Leslie, from Interactive Biology, handled opposing views – that is with respect.

Can’t we hold onto our beliefs and still respect those with different beliefs?

Not if we are calling them insulting names, we can’t.

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2:1 Ebook Bundle Sale

Did you know I am speaking at the 2:1 Conference in Chicago in a few short weeks? 2:1 is a conference specifically designed to encourage bloggers who homeschool.

From the website:

2:1 will guide you to:

  • better use your online time
  • be effective with your gifts
  • (but most importantly) strengthen your relationship with Christ because you are a mother and wife first.

And because the 2:1 organizers are awesome, they have put together a bundle of speakers’ ebooks to offer you for a limited time, at a discounted price.


Buy this ebook bundle now.

For one week only, you can get 14 ebooks for only $12.95. That’s 93 cents each! 

Here are the ebooks you’ll be getting in this bundle:

There are also freebies from 2:1, See The Light Art, and All About Learning.

This ebook bundle will only be available until February 16, so hurry!

Go here to buy this ebook bundle!

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All Clad Stainless Cookware Set Giveaway {$800+ Value}

Does dinner time at your house leave you feeling frustrated? Is it too difficult to menu plan and serve a meal that everyone will enjoy while sticking to a budget. Don’t be discouraged because you are not alone.

Over the next two weeks, the Inspired Bloggers Network is teaming together with Favado and $5 Dinners to equip you with the tips and inspiration you need to make dinner time with the family a less stressful ordeal. You can follow all of our updates in social media with the hashtag #inspiredfamilydinners, but first, we want you to get to know our sponsors with an awesome giveaway!

Enter to win an All-Clad Cookware set and $5 Dinners Cookbook Gift Basket for Inspired Family Dinners with Favado

Enter to win an All-Clad Cookware Set (valued at $800) from Favado and a Cookbook Gift Basket from $5 Dinners between now and February 23rd at 11:59 PM CST.

About Favado

Favado is a mobile savings app that helps shoppers stop overspending on groceries by notifying them when their favorite items are on sale.

With Favado, users can…

  • Compare prices across multiple local grocery and drugstores.
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  • Build a shopping list in the app, so you don’t forget anything that’s on sale!

Favado has money saving experts who hand select sales and coupons every week — in more than 65,000 grocery and drugstores nationwide — to enable discovery of the best deals for savings up to 70% on everyday items.

So, sign up for Favado and start saving. Then, follow Favado everywhere: Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Win $1,000 with #FavadoLove

About $5 Dinners

Erin Chase has helped millions of families across the countries enjoy delicious and nutritious family dinners, for less! She’s put together a gift basket with a copy of each of her cookbooks – The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook, her Breakfast and Lunch Cookbook, and her One Dish Dinners cookbook – along with some fabulous cooking utensils!

You can find more of her great recipes at

Enter to win

To enter for a chance to with the All-Clad Cookware Set (valued at $800) from Favado and a Cookbook Gift Basket from $5 Dinners, you must choose from any (or all) of the choices in the giveaway widget below. This giveaway will close on February 23rd at 11:59 PM CST. For official rules, please view below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Ships to US addresses only. Facebook and Pinterest are in no way connected or responsible for this giveaway and are held blameless of all legal responsibilities. Winning entry will be selected through Rafflecopter using and will be notified by email on February 24, 2014. If the winner has not responded within 48 hours, another winner will be selected. Good luck.

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