Sunday, 6 May 2012

April Encouragement Night - Housework

At our April homeschool mother’s encouragement night we talked about home organisation.

Although this is a topic relevant to many households, home organisation and homeschooling have special challenges.

Melissa (house management extraordinaire) shared with us many ideas to help us get things more ordered in our home.

I would like to share with you 10 tips that helped me.

1.    Work is good for us. It is a God given privilege (Gen 2) and we should not be lazy (Prov 21:5). Christian’s should do our work heartily as unto the Lord. (Col 3:23).

2.    Home is a training ground for our children. We are to teach our children not to be afraid of hard work. Training is part of our parental responsibility.

3.    Make time to plan your home management. Have a planner. Make your own planner or use your electronic calendar.  I personally prefer a  paper version. Look at your calendar and see what you can realistically achieve. Plan a way to keep the mess under control. Set aside a weekly time to menu plan, decide when to shop, and decide when the chores will get done.

4.    Routine and habits are the backbone of setting up a good system for home management. Do you have one? I personally got my jobs done on a more of an ad hoc basis when I thought they needed it. I decide the bathroom looks dirty or the floor needs a sweep but I didn’t have a routine for cleaning it. I would just decide that can’t wait any longer. Melissa challenged us to set up a good morning and afternoon routine. I decided to make sure I swept the floor and made my bed every morning before breakfast. (Day 10 and its still happening.)Ask yourself what do you need done every morning and every day.

5.    Menu planning requires its own little category. I’m a big menu planner but I’ve slackened recently. After our planning night I sat down and planned the dinners for a month. It’s so freeing. I keep my previous plans to give me ideas. It also helps with eating healthily. Here’s my menu planner ideas and a free menu planner.

6.    Take control of your diary. Don’t plan to go out just to get away from the mess. Know your capacity and stick to it. Plan the big things first, then work out how to get the other things accomplished.

7.    Share the household work. Get your kids involved. Give them structure and a routine. This is part of the training that they need and it is also a way to get it all done. Little kids can do so much more than we often let them. Here is a list of Age Appropriate Chores for kids to do.

8.    Get birthdays onto the list and shop online for cards and gifts.

9.    Reward yourself with a job well done. Make time to enjoy time with friends, play with your kids and sit down to read a good book.

10.    Live a quiet and peaceful life. I Thess 4:11.

Melissa and her husband are partners in a financial planning business that is run from their home in the Upper Hunter NSW. She has been homeschooling three girls for seven years and has found ways to incorporate the demands of homeschooling and business successfully.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Our First Night Back -Encouragement 2012

Last night we had a lovely encouraging night at Kim's place. We had 9 mums and 7 teenage girls.We heard lots of giggling from the teenage girls and we all agreed it's worth getting together.

The pink cupcakes were a hit!

Annette shared a lovely story about raisin toast and how its fragrance spreads throughout the house without even trying to. She reminded us that we didn't have to make the fragrance of Christ spread thoughout our home; if we are in Christ, it should be there. Does that make sense?

We also nutted out the schedule for the year which I have published on the sidebar so we can keep a reference as the year goes on.

Then we had a quick Q and A time talking about some issues that individuals are having.

We finished with a time of prayer.

I hope other mums who are hoping to come can make it next time.



Friday, 9 March 2012

Mum Heart Conference

Some of us will be making the pilgrimage up to Noosa for the Mum Heart Conference. I hope others will come also.

We will be getting a cheap flight from Williamtown to Brisbane and then driving. It should be a great time of encouragement.
Here are the details!

Do you ever wish you could go to a special conference for input and inspiration specifically for Christian homeschooling mothers?

Come away for a special dose of encouragement in a beautiful setting on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast!

Mum Heart Conference June 16 & 17 2012

Meet other homeschooling mums from across Australia and be refreshed and renewed for your journey.

We are planning a conference with inspiring input from guest speakers, delicious meals and food for the soul as we take time out to fellowship and relax near the beach with like-minded friends. Conference package includes Saturday night accommodation, a gourmet luncheon in the resort restaurant plus a beautiful buffet breakfast on Sunday morning.

All this for $165.00

Visit the Mum Heart website to find out more and register.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Simplify Homeschool

What is key to simplifying your homeschool year?
Are you making any momentous changes this year?
Are you trying a whole new method or style?

We would love to hear from you.

May you have a fresh simple beginning to the homeschool year.

Monday, 9 January 2012

No, I Do Not Need A Break!

One of our Hunter homeschoolers has kindly offered to share a Blog post she  recently wrote. Thank you for sharing, Tricia.

No, I Do Not Need A Break!

I have often wondered why almost everyone who does not homeschool their children seem to think two things about me. One, that I must be saintly to want to spend all day, every day with my children, and two, that I need a break from them as often as possible in order to maintain my sanity. People worry about me, and enquire with concerned looks as to how often I am able to get away for a break from my children. I do enjoy time on my own, but it is not a pressing need that must be met on a weekly basis! People often exclaim that they could never do what I do, and often say that being with their children all day would drive them crazy! But do they react in the same way to women who work full time?
I know from experience that what I do day in and day out, is a walk in the park compared to going out to work full time. I no longer rush around packing lunches, arranging child care, making sure the washing is out before 7am, rush in the door in the evening to put on dinner and to find that by the children's bed time I haven't spent so much as ten minutes with my children. I do not need to sit up into the small hours marking exams, writing reports or planning lessons as I did when I worked as a high school English and History teacher.
Back then no one ever insisted that I needed to get away, despite the fact that as a teacher I spent most of my day with children, exactly as I do now! No one looked at me with pity or incredulity because they couldn't imagine how I could possibly manage! After six years of astounded looks, and concern for my lack of "me time" I feel for women who work full time. Do people continually question their ability to cope with the obvious demands of a forty hour week, and caring for their home and family? Do people genuinely believe that what I do as a homeschooler is so much more challenging than full time employment that it warrants all the concern and worry? Why wasn't I overwhelmed with concerns for my welfare when I was teaching other people's children all day?
There simply can be no comparison between what I do all day, and what women who work full time do during their days. I do not need to rush in the morning, I have no deadlines except for arriving at archery on time one morning a week, and Mass on a Sunday. I am able to leisurely learn with my children, enjoy their company (yes it is possible!) and keep house at the same time, whilst in my pyjamas if I feel like it!
I have lived both realities, and I know which is easier. We may have less money, but we certainly have more than enough despite one modest income. We do not go without, and excepting a small mortgage, we have no debt. So where is the need for concern? I lead a blessed life which I wish more women could share in.
The only conclusion I can come to is that many dislike children so much that the thought that someone would gladly choose to teach their children at home is incomprehensible to them. One only has to reflect on how many people put off having children so that they can "have a life" as if a full life is impossible once one is "burdened" with children.
I find it indescribably sad that people would think that choosing to be with my children each day could be anything other than what it is. An incredibly privileged and joyful experience. My children are not a burden, and I most certainly do not need a break from them!
(Apologies for the lack of paragraphing. Blogger seems to be playing up on me again.)