Our Yearly Schedule Pros and Cons | Traditional

When it comes to homeschooing there are so many different choices that parents have to make. One of them is what type of yearly schedule works for your family. Our family chooses a “traditional” yearly schedule. We tend to start our school year around Labor Day and try to wrap things up by Memorial Day. We take a whole month off for Christmas and a week off in the Spring around Easter. This comes with both pros and cons which I will be sharing with you in this post. If you’re interested in other types of schooling head over to these fellow YouTubers and see how their methods are working for their families!

Year Round Schooling (Ashlee at Grave and Grit)

Sabbath Schooling (Abby at FullTimeWifeLife)

The traditional method works best for our family and we have used it since I started homeschooling my now 15-year-old. I have toyed with the idea of switching schedules once in a while, but I always come back to this one being, hands down, the BEST fit for our family.

PROS:

Similarity – This type of schedule matches up with most of the other families in our area, whether they are public-schoolers, private-schoolers or homeschoolers. This means the kids have more opportunities to get together with kid because they both are “off” at the same times.

Summer – We live in the Midwest and summers are glorious and short. We really want to savor the old fashion lazy, dog-days of summer. Our kids fill their days with staying up late by the bonfire, sleeping in, hanging with siblings and friends, camping, heading over my parents’ lake house, wading in the creek near our home and helping me in the garden. It also allows me time to plant and nurture our large organic garden and our small fruit/berry orchard.

Compliments My Husband’s Schedule – My husband owns a landscaping company and his busiest time in in the summer. I work from home, so my busiest time is during the school year when I am both running my business and homeschooling my small army. Having different busy seasons allows up to help one another so neither gets too overwhelmed with their responsibilities.

LONG Break – We LOVE the long, extended break that summer offers. To have the time to relax into a nice easy routine and enjoy an old fashion summer of the past is an amazing thing that we don’t want to give up.

Although this schedule works well for us, it isn’t perfect and has a few cons.

CONS:

Burn Out: If you aren’t not careful you can get burnt out during the 3 seasons of schooling. Having week after week of school without a real break can seem overwhelming for some.

Vacationing – If you’re not into roadschooling (we will be doing this THIS winter!!!!) then you will be more than likely taking your vacation in the summer months and when vacationing is both more crowed and more expensive.

Cypress Oil | Essential Oils for Beginners

Cypress Oil is an amazing oil to keep in your oil cabinet. We love it and not just because our 8th child’s name is Cypress!

Cypress can be used both aromatically and topically. This is not intended to be used internally, so keep that in mind. Also note that MOST essential oils in your big box stores are NEVER to be used internally (because they are synthetic chemicals). If you’re new to oils go here and learn more about why I love and trust doTERRA.

Practical Uses:

Bladder Support: Dilute and apply topical over the abdomen before bed (especially for little ones who have a hard time making it through the night), before a long car ride or whenever you need a little bladder boost.

Respiratory Support: Cypress has wonderful antispasmodic properties lending it well to aid with coughing and chest irritations. Dilute and apply to chest or inhale from palms of the hands. It can also be added with  “Breathe” to the diffuser.

Circulatory support: Dilute and apply to the muscles before and after a workout. It can also be used on areas where veins are concerned. Apply to the area of concern.

Monthly Support: Dilute and apply over uterus and abdomen to support your monthly cycles. It is especially supportive if you’re prone to heavy cycles.

December’s Favorite Things

What I am wearing:

Sweaters – I am really into sweaters this winter! Which is actually quite unusual for me. I am typically not a sweater lover.

This one was purchased at American eagle (pants from JC Penneys)

This one was from the Juniors department at Kohls. It’s a bit short when you lift your arms, but paired with a tucked in cami it doesn’t bother me.

Sunglasses – I treated myself to a new set of sunglasses since I broke and lost my last two pairs. I upgraded to Ray-Bans. I went in with every intention of purchasing the classic aviators, but fell in love with a pair that were 50% off – win/win!

Natural DO – I’ve been meaning to make the switch for a while, but honestly, I wasn’t sold on the idea of it working. I was BLOWN away that it actually worked! The ingredients consist of easily available items that I normally have around the farmhouse making this recipe super cheap and super easy. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO.

What I am reading

(hanging my head in shame) Over break I wanted to try to finish up Little House on the Prairie, but absolutely NOTHING school related happened during our 4 week long hiatus, save for building science fair project paraphernalia.

Jesus Calling – This is the devotional that I purchased for the year and I am loving it so far! The passages are quite short, so I am pairing it with the Proverb of the day and also diving into a larger portion of scripture that the devotion mentions.

What I am doing:

Detoxing – I am a week into my first detox and I am loving it. Today was day 9 and my energy levels soared today! I am using the doTERRA “Cleanse and Restore” kit and super pumped about it! I have a group and will be saving the info shared there (recipes, workouts, instructions for the detox, non-toxic DIYs for the home) for anyone who purchases that kit! If you’re interested, here’s the LINK: www.facebook.com/groups/cleanseandrestore2018

Weight-loss – I know, I know – this was my goal last year, but my business became the center of my “spare” time. God knew I needed to focus there. It is what is supporting our entire family this winter and the blessing is beyond what I ever imagined! #grateful. BUT, this year is MY YEAR! And I am bound and determined to hit some goals – #1 is to fit into my wedding dress (I was 18 when Mike and I married) on my 17th anniversary this year (April), and be more fit and healthy version of myself by my 36th birthday (in May)

CrossFit styled circuit training – this is an exercise routine the whole family has been able to be a part of which makes it a lot more fun. Here’s a few of the workouts we’ve been doing. I am going to also start pairing it with heavy lifting after my detox.

Prepping for our PUNTA CANA trips – Y’all I am SUUUUPER excited about 5 days of undivided hubby time ON. THE. BEACH!!!

Photo organizing – I am SOOOOO behind with printing photos of our family! I have downloaded freeprints.com and am hoping they uphold what they have stated in their advertisement – FREE prints. I’ll let you know later about that one!

 

What I am making:

Mermaid Tail – My brother requested a crochet mermaid tail snuggy in the style of “Splash”. If you were raised in the 80/90s you probably know of this Tom Hank/Daryl Hannah movie! Here is the pattern I am using!

Mittens – I can NEVER find mittens that fit toddlers (1-2) well so a few years ago I came up with my own pattern. I recently made Cypress and Ezra some new ones. Click here for the FREE pattern!

 

What I have been using:

Bialletti  Moka pot – I looked into a few high dollar expresso machines that took up HUGE counter real estate and decided to try a stovetop version first! I AM IN LOVE! So much so that our coffee consumption has probably doubled due to my older kids and pretty much having a coffee shop in our house!


Roller ball case – I love this little case! They are super well made and very affordable. My husband even requested a black one – DONE!>

 

Slicer – Why, oh why haven’t I owned one of these before? We do make-your-own-sub nights here regularly and this stupidly easy! For $9 at Walmart  – treat yourselves ladies. BUT… be careful! Those blades are razor sharp! I have already sacrificed a few band-aids due to brushing against it while rinsing it off. #lessonlearned!

Teal Yeti – THANK YOU, NICOLE!

 

NO-Aluminum, Non-Toxic, EASY, Natural, DIY Deodorant

Ever google “aluminum in antiperspirant”? It’s kind of scary what problems have been potential linked to clogging your sweat pores with aluminum for decades on end. But let’s be honest… I smell like a the bad end of an onion if I go with out and that’s a little bit of an issue too. While I am a bit crunchy I an not THAT crunchy. So, what’s a girl to do? Make my own!

I wanted to test this recipe for several weeks/months before bragging on it, but I am pleased to say that it is AMAZING! Everything I have ever wanted in a DIY/Natural deodorant

  • Made from easy to find (CHEAP) ingredients
  • No annoying processes making it (Mix and go)
  • Easy to apply
  • I DON’T stink with it!

I do apply it before bed and in the AM – but really I had to do that with my Rx strength DO too (Yeah, I am THAT smelly… hanging head in shame)

Enjoy!

(Remember to use PURE unadulterated oils for this so you don’t end up putting something else potentially harmful in your body) HERE is more info on my company of choice!

Also, I add in 3 drops of Clary Sage, BUT if you are pregnant or plan to be – omit the Clary Sage. It is the one oil that is not wise to use while pregnant until you are in labor or FULL term as it could encourage contractions.

Crocheted Toddler Mittens (FREE pattern)

Ever tried to find good fitting mittens that aren’t a pain in the rear to put on your small toddler? None of them are small enough to fit their tiny hands well.

PROBLEM SOLVED!

“I’ll just make my own!”

BUUUUT… I struggled to even find a crochet pattern that worked, so I designed my own! I have used this pattern for a couple of years and made MANY mittens for my kids and my friend’s and family’s kids as well. They are amazing! Pattern is for Toddler (1-2T) and Preschooler (3-5T). I didn’t bother writing the pattern for any older kids because by the time they were 5 or so they preferred gloves and by that time gloves fit well enough to be useful.

CLICK HERE FOR A BEAUTIFUL & PRINTABLE PDF PATTERN

1-2 years:

Ribbing:

G hook and worsted weight yarn
1.) Ch 13, starting in the second ch from hook, Sc 12, ch 1 and turn
2-16.) BLO – Sc in each, ch 1 and turn
Slst last row to first to form cuff, ch 1

Hand:
Switch to H hook
Notes: Work in rounds now using a stitch marker. Do NOT join at the end of rounds.
1.) Sc in the side of each row (16)
2.) (Sc 3, inc) 4 times (20)
3.) Sc 9, inc twice, sc 9 (22)
4.) Sc 9, inc, sc 2, inc, sc 9 (24)
5.) Sc 9, inc, sc 4, inc, sc 9 (26)
6.) Sc 9, skip next 8, sc 9 (18) (thumb hole formed)
7-13.) Sc in each Sc
14.) sc2tog 9 times (9)
15.) sc2tog 3 times, sc3tog
Finish off leaving long tail to sew up hole at top.

Thumb:
Join at thumb hole on first skipped stitch time round 6, ch 1, Sc in same as joining and next 6, (insert into last skilled stitch and PUL, insert into hand portion of glove and PUL, insert into first st of this round and PUL, YO and pull through all loops, place stitch marker.
2-5.) Sc in each sc (7)
Finish off leaving long tail to sew up hole at end.

3-5 years:

Ribbing:

G hook and worsted weight yarn
1.) Ch 15, starting in the second ch from hook, Sc 14, ch 1 and turn
2-20.) BLO – Sc in each, ch 1 and turn
Slst last row to first to form cuff, ch 1

Hand:
Switch to H hook
Notes: Work in rounds now using a stitch marker. Do NOT join at the end of rounds.
1.) Sc in the side of each row (16)
2.) (Sc 3, inc) 5 times (25)
3.) Sc 11, inc, sc 1, inc, sc 11 (27)
4.) Sc 11, inc, sc 3, inc, sc 11 (29)
5.) Sc 11, inc, sc 5, inc, sc 11 (31)
6.) Sc 11, skip next 9, sc 11 (22) (thumb hole formed)
7-15.) Sc in each Sc (22)
16.) sc2tog 11 times (11)
17.) sc2tog 4 times, sc3tog
Finish off leaving long tail to sew up hole at top.

Thumb:
Join at thumb hole on first skipped stitch time round 6, ch 1, Sc in same as joining and next 7, (insert into last skilled stitch and PUL, insert into hand portion of glove and PUL, insert into first st of this round and PUL, YO and pull through all loops, place stitch marker.
2-6.) Sc in each sc (8)
Finish off leaving long tail to sew up hole at end.