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Mom Time, Guilt-Free Homeschooling, Online Library Card

By Heather Idoni

Added Friday, August 01, 2008

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The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
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Vol. 9 No 61 August 1, 2008
ISSN: 1536-2035
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Copyright (c) 2008 - Heather Idoni, FamilyClassroom.net
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Welcome to the Homeschooler's Notebook!
If you like this newsletter, please recommend it to a friend!

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=================
IN THIS ISSUE:
=================

Guest Article
-- Time Out for Mom!
Helpful Tip
-- Online Library Card
Winning Website
-- Guilt-Free Homeschool
Reader Question
-- Homeschooling with Illness
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

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Guest Article
=======================

Mom Time
by Karen Lange

---

Being a homeschool mom is a special calling, but it’s also a
demanding job. There may be days – albeit far and few between -
when you might ask, "What was I thinking?" So, what’s a mom to do?

A few minutes of personal time can work wonders to provide a new
perspective. I know - this time is hard to come by. But I have
some suggestions that might help you get some 'Mom Time' to
refresh and rejuvenate, if only in little doses. I’m not advoca-
ting neglecting your spouse and kids, or a self-centered lifestyle,
but I’ve been a mom for over twenty-six years; I know that taking
time for yourself is important. It takes planning and ingenuity,
but it’s worth the effort.

Get up before everyone else. Grab a cup of tea and watch the
sunrise, pray, or do your devotions. Think through and organize
your day, if you like. Having time to get your head together
before everyone gets up can be a blessing. Don’t sweat it, though,
if you are not a morning person. Catch those extra minutes of
sleep and grab a few minutes later in the day.

When naptime comes, resist the urge to scurry around and do laun-
dry and whatnot. Make sure the older ones are safely occupied
and grab a quick catnap. Sometimes a twenty-minute snooze will
refresh better than you think. When my kids were too old for
naps, but too young to be roaming unattended around the house,
I instituted an afternoon quiet time. My sons had to go to their
room, my daughter to hers. They were permitted to read (or look
at) books, draw, or play quietly. When they got a little older,
I allowed them to watch a 30-minute rerun of Lassie. I used this
time for my own devotions or an occasional nap.

I recently heard about a mom that allows herself one quiet treat
during the day. While her kids are napping, she makes flavored
coffee, and sips and savors for about fifteen minutes. She looks
forward to this little indulgence each day, and it helps her
relax and refresh to continue the day in a good frame of mind.

How about meeting a friend for lunch? This involves funds and
babysitting, but what a nice occasional treat! Even the fast
food restaurants have salads and fancier offerings now, so the
excursion can be managed on a budget. Enlist Grandma, a regular
sitter, or a homeschool teen to babysit. Or ask another mom to
watch the kids while you meet your husband for lunch and then
trade the favor with her later. To save money, pack a nice lunch
and meet your friend or husband at the park for a quiet reprieve.

Don’t forget exercise! Mom Time is a great time to get the blood
flowing and muscles toned. You’ll have more energy and will feel
better about yourself. Exercise can be grabbed in short spurts,
and can be just as effective as long workouts when done consis-
tently. Marching in place for 10 minutes, or using light weights,
an exercise band or ball, a treadmill, etc. will help strengthen
and keep you healthy. Try an exercise DVD – Leslie Sansone* has
great, easy, in home walking workouts that can be done in their
entirety or in short spurts too. Don’t be discouraged if you
don’t have a big block of time; any activity through the day
adds up to burn calories and boost your energy level.

Plan some down time after the kids go to bed. Sure, you probably
have a to-do list a mile long, but take a relaxing bath, or read
a few chapters of that book you started. Make sure you allow for
time with your husband too. Your relationship with him needs to
be strong for a healthy family, so don’t neglect your time
together. Plan a regular date night – weekly, monthly, or what-
ever, and make it a priority. It can be as simple as having a
quiet dinner together after the kids are in bed.

Be on the lookout for little projects that will help you feel as
though you are accomplishing something. Sure, raising children
is without a doubt, productive, but sometimes you feel like you
are treading water. It helps to see tangible results that don’t
need redoing (like vacuuming!). I starting doing bookkeeping for
my husband’s business when our kids were small. It gave me a
satisfying task - a project that stayed done! A mom I know likes
to pull weeds while her two-year-old son plays nearby in their
yard. She says it gives her great satisfaction to get it done.
Another mom I know loves to sew; she relaxes by doing projects
after the kids go to bed.

You are doing such wonderful things for your kids, just remember
to allow yourself time and space to refuel. If you are running
on empty, you aren’t any good to anyone. So, use your imagination
to carve out a little Mom Time. You might feel slightly guilty at
first, but you’ll be glad you did. Trust me!

---

Karen and Jeff Lange homeschooled their three children in grades
K-12 in southern New Jersey. Now living near Louisville, Kentucky,
Karen is a freelance writer and instructor of The Homeschool
Online Creative Writing Co-op for Teens. Her favorite Mom Time
snack is chocolate.

Visit her website at www.hswritingcoop.bravehost.com, or email
her at writingcoop@yahoo.com.

*Leslie Sansone’s dvds are available at www.lesliesansone.com,
www.collagevideo.com, and www.amazon.com.

---

Do you have comments to share? Please do!
Send your emails to: heather@familyclassroom.net


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================
Helpful Tip
================

Online Library Services Memberships

I just wanted to share this really AWESOME resource with you.
(As a disclaimer - some of you may already have these benefits
at your public library, but we do not.)

The Chattanooga-Hamilton Bicentennial Library offers an 'online
patron' library card for $30.00 a year. With that library card,
you can access a host of databases. I got this card last year
because you could use Rosetta Stone online (for $30!). Unfor-
tunately, Rosetta Stone isn't selling to libraries anymore;
however, they are using a language program called 'Mango' which
looks pretty good.

THEN - I got to looking around the databases, and I could NOT
believe all of the test prep courses/practice tests that were
available plus additional mini-courses in things like Reading
Comprehension, analogies, math skills, reading skills, etc.
(too many to list). If you want to see a little sample of
what they offer, go to learningexpresslibrary.com

To request an on-line patron card, go here for instructions:
http://www.lib.chattanooga.gov/librarycards.html#online

-- Robin A., Homeschooling Gifted Yahoo Group
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hsgifted

---

Do you have an idea, experience, or tip to share? Please write!
Send to: HN-ideas@familyclassroom.net


==================
Winning Website
==================

Guilt-Free Homeschooling
http://guiltfreehomeschooling.org

This week's winning website is a real treasure-trove of practical
help and encouragement for homeschool moms. Articles cover
everything from getting started to co-ops. There are well over
100 articles, written over a period of several years by a veteran
homeschool mom. Whether you're new to homeschooling, stuck in a
rut, or just looking for some encouragement - this site's author,
Carolyn Morrison, wants you to experience the joys of truly
guilt-free homeschooling!

-- Cindy Prechtel, www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com


===============================
Last Issue's Reader Question
===============================

"I have recently been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I know other
families continue to homeschool with fibromyalgia and other
similarly difficult conditions. What advice do you have to help
our family as we continue to homeschool? My sons are ages 10 and
7 and my daughter is 4. Thank you for your help." -- Sara in SD


=========================
Our Readers' Responses
=========================

"Dear Sara -- My advice is that you just get up everyday with a
purpose and a plan and do everything that you can to carry that
out. As with any other health problem you just have to keep
going and not give up or give in to the pain as much as you are
physically, mentally and spiritually able. Especially being a
mom with three children, you just don't have any other option.

Let God be your strength each moment of every day. Realize that
God may not choose to take this illness away, but He will always
be here to help you each day. Don't let the illness define who
you are. God loves YOU, He knows the pain you are in and how
drained of energy you may be. Eat right, exercise, drink lots
of water and cut out junk foods, and do everything that is medi-
cally known to help you have the best life possible. Keep YOUR
relationship with God #1 as He will help you have the best atti-
tude possible in these difficult days.

Your children are old enough to help you a lot with chores around
the house; do the day-to-day work WITH the children and you'll
be teaching them wonderful life lessons AND giving them wonderful,
necessary attention all at the same time. Kids in the United
States today have a life SO MUCH easier than children of past
times and children in other parts of the world, so the simple
tasks that you may need them to help you with will only be valuable
lessons for them to learn about good work ethics, etc. Don't feel
sorry for your children that they MUST work to help you, God has
given them YOU as their mother, and so they are exactly where God
wants them to be.

I have many physical health problems that have dictated that I
suffer every day, pretty much every moment; I just cannot give up.
This has been my life for almost 30 years now and it doesn't seem
that God will heal me this side of Heaven. I put on my smiling
face and rely on Christ to give me a good attitude, a positive
outlook on the day and joy in my heart. I'm a Pastor's wife
married 37 years, the mother of two daughters, now ages 28 and 32,
mother-in-love to two sons-in-love, and grandmother to eight
amazing grandchildren. I take care of my elderly mother and was
employed for most of my life. I worked from home for most of my
career. Not one day of my life in the last thirty years has been
easy; but, what choice do I have -- what choice do you have? We
must LIVE and LOVE and be all that we can with the grace, mercy
and love of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Take your medications, keep your doctor's appointments, smile and
do everything humanly possible to be as healthy as you can." -- PJ

---

"Sara -- As a sufferer of migraines and caregiver/helper to my
elderly parents, I am sympathetic to health problems interrupting
school time. Planning ahead for your bad days would be a good idea.
Have a craft box available, or some educational books like histori-
cal fiction. My children would love to cuddle in the bed or the
couch and read about Johnny Appleseed or George Washington. Perhaps
having some educational videos on hand would be helpful -- pop them
in and you can rest for a bit. Educational puzzles, like Lauri
puzzles, would be good to have around. School doesn't have to always
be workbooks or textbooks around the kitchen table. If you are bed-
ridden or resting on the couch, the kids can come to you or you can
use some alternative ways of teaching as mentioned above. Another
option would be to keep a year-round school schedule; that way you
can be flexible if your bad days outnumber your good days."
-- Christine in SC


=========================
Answer our NEW Question
=========================

"Hi! I have a 16 year old son who will be studying U.S. history
this year. I'm looking for some living books that would go along
with that study. We've started the study by reading 'Sea to Sea'
by James Alexander Thom (edited by mom!) but don't know where to
go from there. Any suggestions would be great! Thanks!" -- Judy N.

---

Do you have suggestions for Judy?

Please send your email to: HN-answers@familyclassroom.net


=====================
Ask YOUR Question
=====================

Do you have a question you would like our readers to answer?

Send it to HN-questions@familyclassroom.net and we'll see
if we can help you out in a future issue!


=======================
Need Immediate Help?
=======================

Visit our Homeschool Encouragement Center! This is a live 24/7
'chat' area where you can talk live to our homeschool counselors
by typing in a box. When you get there, just introduce yourself
and let them know that Heather sent you!

This ultra-safe chat is supervised by experienced moms who are
there to serve and share their wisdom... or just offer a listening
ear and encouragement.

http://www.HomeschoolChat.us

[Note: This ministry is especially for Christian parents, but
all are welcome. Email Luanne@educationforthesoul.com if you
have any technical difficulties.]


=====================================
Our Searchable Newsletter Archive
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Access the Homeschool Notebook issues you have missed...
at our archives! http://www.FamilyClassroom.net

...or you can search on a specific word or phrase in issues all
the way back to January 2001! Just go to this link:

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Here is the link to sign-up!

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All contributed articles are printed with the author's prior
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