There's this game called Tenzi, where each player rolls 10 dice and keeps rolling until all 10 dice match. Then you yell Tenzi! There are cards with variations of the game, but that's pretty much the gist of it. We're using it as part of our math lessons (numbers, sequences, adding, it's all in there) and this was by far the girls' favorite thing today. We must have played about 15 rounds!

Have y'all ever heard of it? Ever played it? I highly suggest it for my #homeschool Mama's looking for a fun activity to do once the bookwork is done ❤️ #accidentalhomeschoolmama #homeschoolplay #mathtime #tenzi

Homeschool Starts Monday!!

We've set a date.  We're starting school MONDAY!  I know that's too soon for some.  I keep hearing things like "Let them have a summer!" and "WOW, why would you choose to start that soon?" and let me tell you, I am just fine hearing everyone's opinion ;).  The beauty of homeschool is that I get to decide all of it!

I looked at the calendar for the next few months and realized we have a lot coming up LATER with visitors, appointments, Chris leaving again, looking for a new home, moving, and just enjoying our time here at the lake.  So by starting a bit early we'll be able to get a jump on things, set a routine, and be able to take time off as we need it without feeling too stressed <3.

I'm probably more excited than the kids are :).  I made my schedule, readied my papers, and Chris will be here to help me through the first week's bumps.

Eeeeeekkkkk  <3

I've mentioned before that we chose to purchase a curated kit from a company, rather than piece together curriculum since we'd never done this before.  I added a few things that I already had and will make it all work together throughout the year!  Looking back I'm still glad we did that, but I may have minimized a bit.  We chose a few "extras" from the kit that we may find we don't need, but hopefully those extras are what make school at home seem more fun :).  That was the thought behind it anyway!

Here's a bit of what we chose.  This is a combination of 1st and 2nd grade.  Some subjects they'll have their own levels, and others will be blended.  I absolutely love how this worked out!!

I have a few more "games" and things that will go with science and thinking skills.  We have an engineering set for each kid to build little projects and some extra little mind games.  Sonja tested into the gifted program at her old school and I definitely don't want to forget about that <3.  

If you're doing homeschool this year with your children, are you using any of the same books and resources I am? :)  I'd love to connect and share once we dive in.  I'm iffy about our History choices (minus the awesome womens history book I added), since it looks a little "dry", but I'm really excited about everything else so I will just make an effort to make history a bit more fun, or let the girls know that not everything is perfect in life  ;).

Jot me a note and let me know what YOU'RE using this year, and when you're starting!

Happy Learning!

Homeschool: curriculum choices and why we chose to school at home

Our curriculum boxes came in the mail last night, and I couldn't wait to open them up and see what everything looked like!  Of course, I made a mess and got immediately overwhelmed...

When we first brought up the possibility of homeschooling, I went crazy researching all the different options. I went through so many choices:

1.  Religious or non-religious
2.  Learning/teaching style (unit based, book based, hands on, online, etc)
3.  Complete kit or piece by piece
4.  Price point/budget
5.  Various subjects, state requirements

After a while it became clear that I'm not a teacher ;).  I know, shocking.  So I felt like I needed a complete kit.  I didn't know enough to create something piece by piece!  I found a website called Timberdoodle and fell in love with the options for our upcoming 1st and 2nd graders!

So much amazing stuff!  I customized each kit, only choosing the items that I felt would work for our particular set of kiddos.  Since they're so close in age I was able to choose some pieces to work for both kids.

Math, Science, History, Geography, Art, Language Arts, Thinking Skills... We're doing it all!

And it cleans up so nicely :).

We had a few fun books to add (the cat and dog book, the dictionary and thesaurus, and a snap science kit), and we'll get some actual school supplies and check out extra books to read at the local library, but this should be everything we need for the whole year!

One of the fun perks of Timberdoodle is their rewards program.  When I purchased the kits, I left out a math program for Sonja because I figured she was at the same level as Ellie.  Once I got everything in, I had second thoughts and wanted to make sure I didn't push her too far and skip pieces that every 1st grader goes through, even though she IS on the gifted side.  My Doodle Bucks covered that cost when I went to order it!  Nice when a plan accidentally works out ;).

The kits weren't cheap.  But they definitely weren't as expensive as the private school we paid for a few years ago! I personally feel like what we got what we paid for, but I'll update once we actually get started ;).

I spent some time last night going through everything--setting up, looking at parent guides, and seeing if anything would be too challenging or difficult to teach.  Everything comes with parent/teachee guides and the math and science curriculum has online extras too!  Today I spent some more time with the online scheduler and Excel, planning out our first semester together. It was actually pretty tricky at first trying to navigate the schedule for both girls!

Ya'll, I have a new respect for teachers having to do lesson planning every day!  It's a lot of work!

But I think we're ready!  We move in a few weeks and we'll start our school whenever we settle.  Our timeline.  Our rules.  Our terms. <3

Thursday thoughts

I lived on 700 calories a day as a teen. I drank Diet Mt Dew for breakfast and ate apples and Lean Cuisines and figured I was being healthy enough because, you know, fruit's good for you.

Later I remember swapping lunches for iced lattes, skipping breakfast altogether, and exercising hours each day to burn off the crazy feelings inside.

Later still it was hiding in the closet with candy bars, shoving food in my face to try and feel better, and overeating, trying desperstely not to go back to restricting my eating.

It's only been over the past few years that I've developed what I'd consider healthy eating habits. Veggies, fruits, lean proteins, complex carbs, healthy fats, plenty of water. Meal plans and grocery lists. Choosing food as fuel ❤️. Choosing love over self hate.

I still have times where I hide in the closet with chocolate, or eat too much when I'm stressed, or forget to eat veggies for days at a time. I still use my shake as a way to fill in those nutritional gaps when that happens. And I still go through periods of sugar addiction and self loathing. I'm human and definitely not perfect.

But I gotta say, it feels pretty good to be on the "other side" of an eating disorder. And it feels damn good to know that I've learned how overcome something that felt so shameful for so long.

My hope is that continuing to share my own story will inspire others to share too. There's a power in knowing you aren't the only one, and a power in realizing that you can acknowledge your past without dwelling on it or repeating it ❤️.

If you have a history of a behavior you don't love, please remember it's a part of you but it isn't all of you. You aren't a victim. You're a warrior.

Choose to love yourself, and choose to let others love you ❤️. You're worthy and deserving of all the good that's in your life! And if you ever need someone to chat with, know that I'm here for you, sister!