So, You Think You Wanna Homeschool…

Be true to yourself…

This ties in to the post I did on marching to the beat of your own drum, but is more specifically directed to what you actually do in your homeschool.

I’m just going to put this out there:

I can’t get behind a nature study, no matter how hard I try.

That doesn’t mean they’re not swell and that you shouldn’t do it, it just means that it’s not my thing.  I tell you, though, for the first year of homeschooling I thought, “What the heck is wrong with me?  We’re not doing weekly nature studies…  I’m a freaking failure.  All the other homeschool moms do it…”

Then I realized something:  just because it’s someone else’s thing doesn’t mean it has to be my thing.  I do stuff with Babydoll that someone else might not want to do.  And that’s fine.

Part of homeschooling is {in my opinion} sharing who you are with your children, and then, if they share that interest or passion, you can work at it together.  This teaches them something in a way that no other person could.

People, especially children, can tell if you’re not being genuine.  If I took my daughter outside to do a nature study, she might be excited, but she’d wonder why the heck we were doing it.  She knows mommy despises creepy crawlies and dirt and the outside…  She would derive a little less enjoyment because she’d know I was only doing it because I thought I should.

But, when we’re in the kitchen creating, she knows that’s where I love to be and I love to be there with her, and that’s where she loves to be, so we really enjoy it.

She’ll learn about nature if she needs and wants to learn about nature.  And I don’t have to be out there every week doing it.

It’s just that simple.

Weekly Wrap-Up: The One Where I’m Glad it’s Over

As mentioned in yesterday’s Homeschool Mother’s Journal, I had one heck of a start to the week.  So, that is solely why I’m glad it’s over.  The rest of the week wasn’t half bad, just had a crazy start.  At any rate, let’s detail what Babydoll did this week:


Babydoll decided to go back through her Magic Tree House boxed set {thanks G-ma!} and read a few MTH books this week.  She even applied a few things to what we’ve learned throughout the year.


Still in those x3 facts, but I think she’s ready to quiz out of them.  We should finish multiplication soon, then it’s on to division


This week Babydoll made what she and I think is her best dish yet, and it was so, so, so easy to make.  And fast.  And good.  So freaking good.

She made a Parmesan cream sauce with spinach, roasted tomato, and carrot fettuccine, peas, and prosciutto.  The sauce cooks in about a minute, you add the cooked noodles, defrosted peas, and prosciutto, give it a toss, and it’s ready to go.


Babydoll is still working in HWT, and is writing more and more in cursive.  It’s looking good.


Babydoll did a few crafty things this week, but I can’t remember them all now…  I do remember how excited she was to see the SMASH* book I got for her {and I snagged one for myself}.  She promptly began SMASHing that night.  She wrote about the Hello Kitty Razor scooter she “bought” {through My Job Chart}, cut out the picture of the scooter on the box, and pasted it into her book.

Have a great week guys!

The Homeschool Mother’s Journal

In my life this week…

You ever have those days/weeks where you’re really apprehensive going into them because you know they’re going to be really, really, really busy?  I had three days of that this week.

Monday was spent getting Winston to the groomer, grabbing breakfast, going grocery shopping, and setting the oven to start cooking the Stouffer’s lasagna while I went to get Winston back from the groomer.  We got back and I snatched the lasagna out of the oven just as we were walking out the door to participate in a Feed the Needy program at a local women’s shelter.

Tuesday saw a third round of soccer tryouts {there were two last week} and a soccer meeting afterward, which got us home for dinner after 9 pm.

Wednesday Babydoll had a dentist appointment, and I promised her lunch afterward.  I had to run a few more errands as well.

Thursday and Friday were pretty slow, which was nice.  Of course now, my body’s feeling pretty run down and I think I might be getting sick.

In our homeschool this week…

This was one of those “practical life” weeks…  In addition to the valuable skills learned in time-management {or how to learn from Mommy’s bad example}, trying really hard for something you want, decision-making, and dental hygiene, Babydoll also learned a great deal about helping others.

Sadly, our experience at the shelter was not like others we have had. Most of the women had an attitude of entitlement, like we owed it to them to be there bringing and serving them dinner, and only a couple {yes, really, just two} thanked us.  It was disheartening, however, I wanted Babydoll to know that we didn’t do this to be thanked, we did it because it is the nice thing to do.  She should always be looking for ways to pay it forward, without any expectation of gratitude in return.

She also continued practicing multiplication, handwriting, cooking, art, and reading.

My favorite thing this week was…

Seeing Babydoll’s face when she found out she made her soccer club’s Foundations team. This is basically a training team to get them ready for their first year of competitive soccer a year from now.

She had three rounds of tryouts, and it was her first time trying out for anything.  Babydoll’s a naturally shy child who sometimes needs an extra boost in self-confidence.  So, seeing her go through this process hoping, but not knowing, she’d make the team, and then making it, was great.

What’s working/not working for us…

I think things are fairly “normal” around here right now…

Homeschool thoughts I have…

Although we will school throughout the summer, I would really like to have a soft end date.  I think this gives Babydoll something to look forward to and will help her feel like summer is kicking off.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

I’m taking this one from Oprah’s farewell show.  I know, some people love her, some people like her, and some people hate her.  I personally was a fan and am sad to see the show the go.

Babydoll and I sat and watched the final show together, and Oprah gave some great advice.  One quote in particular stuck with me:

We often block our own blessings because we don’t feel “good enough.”

That is a powerful statement.  I know I’m guilty of this, probably down to this very day.  I have vowed to really try to tell myself each day that I am good enough. I am not the sum of my size, or my intelligence, or my traits, or what I can do for people.  I am good enough, just the way I am.

I want Babydoll to grow up seeing a mother who was strong and felt worthy, so that she will grow up to be a strong and independent woman who feels worthy of everything she receives.

Mini Housekeeping Notebook

I’ve been following the 30 Days of Homemaking for Girls series and read the post about making a mini homekeeping book for girls.  I thought putting one together for Babydoll would be a great idea, since I always get questions like, “What setting do I use to wash this?”, or “How do I clean this?”, or things just aren’t cleaned like they should be {I’m a mean mom who makes her clean her own bathroom…}.

I asked Babydoll if she’d use it, and she said she would.  She spent some time decorating a binder and we decided what we’d put in the binder.

  • Emergency information
  • How to maintain her room and bathroom each day
  • How to clean her room and bathroom each Sunday
  • A laundry guide to go along with my sweet new washer and dryer
  • A section for her to record ideas for posts for her blog
  • A section to record and store her favorite recipes
  • A menu planning section for her to plan the Wednesday night meal she makes

I wanted the notebook to be useful for her, not something that would sit around and collect dust.  We use My Job Chart, so she doesn’t need anything to do with chores in there.

I’m sure we’ll add to it as she gets older, but it’s working for now and she actually uses it.

What are some ideas of things you’d add to a mini homekeeping binder?

What Should My Tagline Be?

So I know one of the “fundamental rules” of blog setup is to ensure that a person knows exactly what your blog is about when they land on it.

I also know that mine could be confusing.  I mean, there are cupcakes up there…

I came up with the name Sweet Phenomena based on my love of baking {and eating} sweet stuff, and all the phenomena that we would experience over the course of our borne-of-necessity homeschooling lives.  You know, the sweet phenomena.

This is my long drawn-out way of asking you guys to please help me come up with a tagline.  I’m sure once I can sit here and think about it, I could come up with something.  But then again, maybe not.

I’d like it to be short and snappy, clever and catchy; all the things a great tagline should be.

Any ideas?