confessions of a homeschooling mama: curriculum & update | kindergarten & 4th grade

I think it’s definitely time for a homeschooling update. So much has changed, and this year will definitely be an adjustment for all of us, but I’m actually really excited about it all! As always, God is continuing to teach and mold me so much through this process, and though it’s been incredibly emotional and difficult at times, I wouldn’t change a single second of what we’ve chosen to do. But, I’ve learned to hold whatever plan we’ve chosen for the time with a loose grasp because I realize Gods plan is always better than my own.

Open Textbooks with a Background of Formulas

In the video below I’ll explain all the changes, the curriculum I’ve decided to use, and then just a little about what I’ve come to realize regarding this whole homeschooling education approach! Like I said, God’s definitely been at work, and I realize I still have such a long way to go!

I hope this helps or blesses you in some way, and of course if you have any tips or suggestions to share, please leave them either in a comment below or in the comment section of the video itself!

Curriculum Mentioned:

Spelling Power
Wordly Wise
Singapore Math
Explore the Code
First Language Lessons
Handwriting without Tears
What your kindergartener needs to know

And then I used this book to teach both Taylor and Chloe to read, starting around the age of 3.5: Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.

If you happen to be at Public School, I definitely recommend reading this book, Going Public.

To watch my other homeschooling confession videos, just click here for the full list!

xo

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saldana fam cam: beautycon la 2014, dance party & more

We’re coming up on the last weeks of summer and I have this itch more than ever to get outside, be active and soak up each and every moment of free time that we have. It’s crazy to me that in just two more weeks BOTH my kids will officially be in school…no more babies in our house!

Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 11.37.16 PM

This week on the Saldana Fam Cam:

  • This last week my sweet friend, Becky, offered to take our kids for the day so that Jimmy and I could have our first date in 6 months. I didn’t even realize that we had let that much time pass, but once we had the time together again, it hit me just how much we need to make time for that in our marriage. Having uninterrupted time together when you’re not exhausted at the end of the day really makes a difference. But that’s a whole blog post that I’m thinking I might need to write sometime soon. Anyway, we made the most of our day and went grocery shopping without kids (how easy is that?!?), came home to pay bills (no interruptions!), and then got changed and went to hike a few miles down to Torrey Pines Beach and then back up…finishing the night with dinner out at our favorite restaurant, Tender Greens. It was honestly the perfect day for both of us.
  • Another big event went down this week, and that was Taylor finally got his braces off. Hallelujah, Praise Jesus. Although, now we get to live this next year keeping a 9 year olds retainer in tact. So ya, that’s been fun.
  • As usual, there was a Saldana Fam dance party that went down randomly in our house. This actually happens quite often, but I made sure to capture each family members mad skills. You’ll notice I don’t, however, capture my own. One day.
  • We had a family fun night with some of our bestest friends, and Becky…who is supposed to be like me (allergic to cooking) had quite the surprise for us once we showed up to their house.
  • I picked up Chloe’s books for her first official year of homeschool! I’ve never taught Kindergarten before, but I have to admit that I am beyond excited for this little adventure we get to have together. I’ll be doing a homeschool video/blog post in the next couple weeks to share more in detail about what we’re using and how it’s going!
  • I may have also done a little shopping at Forever 21, though I did get out of there for under $15. So that’s kind of newsworthy, I think. ha
  • And lastly, I went up to L.A. on Saturday to attend BeautyCon LA 2014 with Trisha from A Glittery Life, and shared the makeup look & products I used to get ready. The event was INsane, but I’m definitely glad I went and loved the chance to meet with friends as well as try out some new brands to share with you guys! (more on the goodies I got tomorrow!)

* I’ve been trying to be more selective in the moments I vlog and share, so that I am able maintain some kind of balance with being in the moment vs. capturing the ones I want to be sure I remember… It’s a dance I’m learning slowly but surely. xo

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homeschool confessions: curriculum, scheduling & why we homeschool!

I’m now going on my second year of homeschooling, and while I am FAR from truly knowing what I’m doing, I am so much closer to being convinced I am absolutely in the sweet spot of Gods will.

And this comes from a wife who may or may not have threatened divorce once YEARS ago when Jimmy suggested I begin praying about it being my heart.
In basic words, I responded…. “If you EVER desire to have a happy marriage, I suggest you NEVER bring that up to me. I am NOT a homeschooling mom.”

And then I came to know Michelle Duggar.
You know, on TV.
Although my DREAM is to be able to meet her, and possibly stay a weekend with her (with my kids) to truly see her in action and learn from all her wisdom. I also want her to teach me not to yell.  (whoever can make that happen is my favorite.)

And then I started talking to moms who don’t necessarily homeschool the traditional way, which intrigued me, and I realized that maybe I COULD do it!!! A little prayer, and wa la…..here I am.

Totally off my anxiety pills and homeschooling, all at once… two things I never thought I’d say in the same sentence.
See?
God is a God of miracles.

And while it is definitely tough some days, I have to say that there have been so many benefits both for my own humility and character, but for our entire family unit.
And yes. It’s totally hard.
But growth doesn’t come easy.
And man, are we growing.

But sometimes God calls us to do hard things, and we obey.
His ways don’t always make sense, but I trust Him.

So. All that said, here is the latest of my Homeschooling YouTube series.
In this video I’m sharing what we’re using and loving for curriculum this year, our schedule, HOW we homeschool, and WHY on earth we decided to take this lofty road.

If you homeschool, or even if you don’t, I highly suggest you watch this… because you just never know.
PLUS, it’s always good to know you aren’t alone.

P.S. I hate asking this because it seems so desperate, but would you PLEASE subscribe.  With each view and subscription, I am allowed more opportunities to help YOU!  So help me help you.  Because YOU COMPLETE ME!

Make sure to leave a comment either here or on my YouTube video sharing your own tips, fave curriculum, vents as well as how you schedule your day.
We all have SO much to learn from each other.
I just LOVE that!

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homeschooling 101: 4 tips every family should know

{You subscribed, right?!?}

While you will hear MANY tips on Homeschooling, these are my TOP 4 TIPS that I truly feel every homeschooler, new and old, should absolutely know! And please be sure to share your own wisdom & tips in the comments below!

As always, let me know what videos you want to see next!

Music by Helen Austin (with permission!)

 

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confessions of a homeschooling mama & curriculum tips

If you have comments, ideas, questions & suggestions…leave a comment below!
Confessions Part I

Curriculum Mentioned:
Adventures in Odyssey 90 Devotions for Kids
Jesus Calling for Kids
Building Christian Character
Teaching Textbooks (Math)
Time Grammar Rules
Bedtime Math

{links = amazon affiliate}

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the homeschooling mirror

staycationeyes

I thought for sure I began homeschooling simply for my kids.
There were so many reasons and I knew there would be so many benefits.

I had no idea that in the process there would be a gigantic mirror held up to my heart showing me all the “junk” I had hanging around in there.

There was a day about a week ago when I reached my limit.
I had homeschooled long enough relying on my own strength, and God allowed me to crash and burn.

My spirit was broken and I knew it was time to submit to God’s way.

There was brokenness, but the brokenness was what finally lead me to repentance.
And I realized God absolutely called me to homeschool for now, He just never called me to do it on my own.

Not only do I need to rely on Him….

…I also need support.
From my husband.
From other homeschooling moms.
From my friends.

And thankfully He has blessed me with such incredible and supportive friends.
Ones that homeschool, and even ones who don’t.
Ones who listen and support me and challenge me.
Ones who understand my free time/social life is limited and make adjustments to see me anyway. 
One who stand by my side and pray for me and tell me I’m still doing a good job…
….even when I’m certain I’m not.
They have been my reminders from God letting me know yes, I’m human and sometimes fail, but even in that, I am still loved.
How grateful I am for those anchors.
They remind me there is still redemption.

But mostly, I need to remember I can’t get through a DAY without HIM leading it right from the start.

Still.
I’m not perfect.
I have to take lots of deep breaths.
I have to say a lot of “I’m sorry’s.”  “Mommy’s mess up too.” And “Will you please forgive me’s?”

We pray together.
A lot.

We have to in order to get through it all.

But even on the hardest days I don’t doubt this calling for a moment.
(ok truth. i do in SOME moments, but they’re fleeting.)

It is for me.
For my babies.
For my family.
For my relationship with the Lord.

It’s all these reasons and more.

I take it day by day….
And He carries me through.

If only I remember to let him.

© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”

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confessions of a homeschooler

Sometimes it’s just easier to press record and let the confessions flow.

My humorous and honest confessions of the last 6 months of homeschooling.
I think there’s something in this for everyone, whether you homeschool or not, parent or not! =)
Leave a comment below sharing your own thoughts and experiences!

And please subscribe!

Also check out Her&I Blog, my new project with my friend Sarah!

Enjoy!

© 2013 “Le Musings of Moi”

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friday update, video favorites & links

Well, look at that. 
Looks like I took a week off without even realizing it!
My birthday weekend turned into a birthday week (which I love!), and I am still catching up on my sleep from all the fun!  Never in my life have I ever been so spoiled from my friends, and I really believe the people in my life now will forever be.  It took a long time to find friends like these, and I realize I am blessed.

birthday

{they’ve seen me in the best and worst of times, and love me regardless}
{hashtag: fabfour}

And then life, as it does, is continually changing (even though I desperately wish it wouldn’t!!!) and this last week was all about making changes in Taylor’s homeschooling schedule.  
When I have a big decision to make, especially when it comes to my kids, I easily become all consumed.  
I’m just always so afraid of making the wrong decision and ultimately SCREWING THEM UP FOR LIFE.  
Okay, so I get that isn’t so true….but still…I’m middle child dramatic and that’s just where my brain goes.

Thankfully, the decision was made, and I feel happy and content about it.  And I believe in the end, Taylor and I will both be happier.  


Or at the very least, less stressed.

~~~~~~~

Also?  
I started working out again!  
Yay me!
And it’s all thanks to The Dailey Method for a offering me a month long challenge, and I’m so so SO glad, because I’m finally getting my motivation back to get in shape and back in gear.  

It’s been a full week now, and I’ve already attended 6 classes and am TOTES feeling the burn.
Every.  Single.  Class.
Which is always new and different, by the way, and I think I quite like that.

~~~~~~~
In other news….

This week I signed a contract to begin writing for one of my favorite websites, Home Made Simple.  
I probably won’t have any articles to share until January, but in the meantime if you haven’t already, go check them out!  
You will love!
~~~~~~~

Speaking of love, here’s what caught my interest this week on the interwebs…

Always a fan of Elle, and I feel like she just gets me in this video…


And I feel like they get Jimmy in this one…


~~~~~~~

Speaking of videos…I have a little video/contest to tell you about*:

T-Mobile created a “Life Without Limits” series featuring Andy Blackman Hurwitz who is the co-founder of Baby Loves Disco.  
Vimeo award winning director Eliot Rausch and his crew will follow around Andy for two days to find out how he’s able to balance his entrepreneurial spirit with raising 3 sons.  
See how Andy Blackman Hurwitz combined his passion for music with the love for his family…
THEN…post a photo that shows you living your life without limits on Twitter or Instagram with #LifeWithoutLimits and @TMobile. Presented by T-Mobile, the only nationwide 4G network with unlimited data.’ 

Please be sure to use @TMobile and #LifewithoutLimits!

And now, check out the video:

~~~~~~~
And because this seems to be a video edition, you guys have to check out Harris III or as Clare calls him, Harris the Third.  
I had the pleasure of meeting him this week when I met up with Candace and Clare in LA to have a night out celebrating Clare’s visit.

Harris was sweet enough to take the three of us to The Magic Castle.
Which was….magical.
magiccastlethree

Especially the phone booth.
I hear it makes people break glass and accidentally cuss when they don’t even know it.
Weird stuff I tell ya.
Anyway, Harris III is a talented magician/illusionist who gives THE TRUTH in his performances, and I kind of dig that.

magiccastle
{p.s. i’m about to kiss that dark hair goodbye!}

~~~~~~~

And then of course, here’s what you missed on the Mommalogues

~ Should parents have guns in their homes? (Jimmy once again says his piece…)

{bad video quality, i know.  i was deathly sick and just filmed when i had clear moment.}

~~~~~~~

Got answers to Mommalogues questions above? 
Leave your comments below!!!  
Don’t be scurrrrred!
~~~~~~~
*paid sponsorship, yet i only team up when i believe in or love something, and this happens to be one of them!  i hope if i love, you will too.
© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”
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making changes

Since September, life has been a whirlwind of change.
First there was homeschooling.  
What the?!?!?
And then I began teaching and adding more Aqua Zumba classes to my schedule.
Then we listed our house.
Then we had to FIND another house.
Then in just one week we had to pack and move.
{and thennnnnn….}
Then there was unpacking.
And still there was homeschooling.
And after all that, I began to experience incredible pain in both my feet.
Which led to the diagnosis of Arthritis/Heel Injuries…
Which brought with it the instructions for,
“Bedrest.”
{ha.}
Workout rest.
And of course, that brought with it….
My own eating healthy rest.
And writing/blogging rest.
I love change.
And I hate change.
It’s exciting and exhausting.
Draining and invigorating.
And so my mind feels all kinds of cluttered.
My thoughts don’t feel complete.
I feel torn between so many things and people.
I have a list of important to do’s and obligations that are way past due.
We’re behind in homeschooling.
I’m behind in taking care of my health.
I’m behind in friendships.
I’m simply behind.
I don’t much enjoy that.
But, I’m not a quitter.

DSC04711

Yes I’ve been a bit scattered here and there….it’s not the end of the world.
It’s simply the phase I’m in.
It’s just what my life is right now.
I am a planner though, and I’m not content to sit in this mess and wallow, so in order to get organized….
MORE change is a comin’.
First, I’m in the fun process of switching this blog to WordPress.
I also want to start the New Year off with a clear mind on where I want to go with this blog and my writing.
I want to have committed days that I write.
And committed days that I work out.
I especially need committed time to homeschool.
I need to sit with my schedule and take control, instead of letting my schedule take control of me.
I’m excited though.
Tired, yes (i fall asleep sitting up now, it’s a talent…), but excited.
It’s been months of chaos and a lot of stuff coming up that’s been shaking up my life, but I can see that it’s going to be good in the end.
I can see clearly now…
Well…
…once the rain has gone.
Hang in there with me.
© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”
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caught between two worlds

It seems I’m caught between two worlds.

And sometimes it feels like it’s between even more.

My eyes are full of tears (strange for me, I know)….but my heart is full of passion.

I have fallen even more madly in love with my kids in these last few months.

I used to need my time, and I still do, but now it seems I need them more.
I’ve always loved them, but I can see now that I was in a place of survival.
It was simply about getting through each day, and always looking forward to the future when they would be in school, and I could have that time back for me.

And that world, the world of me….I’d be lying if I didn’t say I miss it too.

I miss the time I was starting to have to write and workout, or to read and talk on the phone without being interrupted.
I miss writing and teaching Zumba as often as I was beginning to.
I miss having more of a social life.
I miss being more connected with my friends.

I had always felt I’d lost a part of myself when I had kids.
And I longed for the day I got me back.
Right before I started homeschooling, I had just begun to get a taste of that world.

And yet, I still wasn’t fulfilled.

I struggled with not feeling enough.
I was still feeling as though I wasn’t a good mom, and that maybe God had made a mistake by even allowing me to have kids.

I felt increasing anxiety because it felt as though I was constantly failing the expectations I had of how a good mom should be.
It seemed, in my eyes, I was failing day after day after day.

I only had so many hours a day with them, and in those precious hours….I was absolutely failing my babies.

But then there was my life.
My me time.
Suddenly things were falling into place.
I was writing.  And getting paid.
I had followers on Twitter, friends on Facebook, and a blog that was growing by the month.

My life, my dreams, my time, me….me….me.

No wonder my burden was heavy.
My focus was all wrong.

And so God got to work.

One thing I know for sure is this:
I don’t feel myself if I don’t stay true to what God has called me to be and to do with the gifts (the very few i have) He’s given me.

But, I also know…that the biggest gift I’ve been given is my family.
He gave me the incredible privilege of getting to be a mom to Taylor and Chloe.

They are bigger than a blog.
Bigger than my career.
Bigger than my ministry.

They are the biggest audience in my life.
They are my most important followers.
My most important ministry.
And they are also growing by the month.

And I’ve been missing out because I was too focused on me.

This homeschooling world?
Is so beyond outside of my comfort zone, it’s not even funny.

Still, there hasn’t been a single panic attack nor a need to take up drinking, so I guess I’d say so far so good.
It’s only been a couple of months but already there is a shift in my home.
Taylor is calmer and happier, and way more loving than he’s ever been.
And our bond seems deeper as we both charter new territory and experience this change together.

We are learning to love even more unconditionally and with each day comes incredible forgiveness and the sweetest grace.
On both our parts. 

And the strangest thing of all?
I used to dread the end of the school day when the kids would come home.
Not because I wasn’t excited to see them, but because my alone/quiet time was over or being interrupted before I was ready.
Now?

I love that I’m with my kids all the time. (okay, most of the time…)
I don’t see it as a burden or an inconvenience, and in just weeks of being purposeful in my time with them, I feel as though I know and understand them better.
And I love that.

These last few months haven’t been easy.
It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.
It’s as though I’ve been dropped off in a foreign country and without knowing the language or the land, I must find a way to make it my home.

I want to be here, doing things for me.
But, I need to be there, caring and tending to their hearts and lives.

God has called me to both.

It’s a learning curve.
A new life.
A chance to combine the two worlds I’m caught between into one.

I feel as though this place….this incredibly uncomfortable yet comforting place, is exactly where I’m supposed to be.
For now.

I’m scared and I’m excited.

I finally feel I have a purpose.
I finally feel like a good mom, even on my bad days.

God is changing me.
It’s not easy and it’s most certainly not comfortable.

But, it’s a change I needed, and I think He knew that.

© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”

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