3-month Meal Plan for busy Homeschooling Mamas

I have taken a couple of years off from homeschooling due to some health issues and now I am back. But now I have 4 children ages 11, 6, 4, and 2. Not only are my littles, well- little…but they are high energy children which means my day is full of beautiful, energetic chaos. In order to keep up this summer I basically frequented the local Carl’s Jr and Little Caesar’s pizza way too many times in a week. My health and my pocket book were suffering. With Fall around the corner, new and exciting ways to spend my money were popping up everywhere! New music classes, co-ops, curriculum, bonus material and birthdays (all but one of my kids have a birthday from Sept 15-Oct 13). Plus I really wanted to lose some of this weight I gained in the last couple of years. Writing everything down is so much easier now that I have a plan. Half the work is already done. But I must warn you, it took me a few days to get all of it organized. But it was so worth it!

So I guess the first thing is to make sure you have room for 3 months worth of food. If not, then one month at a time works too! I have a deep freezer and large cold storage room that works great for me. But I still had to make room for things in my pantry. I put everything I don’t use regularly into the cold storage or on the high shelf in the pantry. Everything I use regularly went right where I could reach quick and easy. I also got containers that always have a space in the pantry that I fill with things like flour, sugar, seed mixes, pancake mix (I mix myself), corn starch and anything else that I use a lot. I did this so I could go bulk and save some money, but still have room in my pantry for all of it. I keep the bulk in the cold storage.

So let’s talk bulk. Bulk is the best! If you have a Costco or Sam’s Club membership you know that this is the best way to go when trying to save money in the long run and get a large supply that will last.

OK this is where it gets fun.

Step one: Make a plan

I made a basic menu that I use. I put it in a plastic sheet so I could make any changes to it or add ideas. Each season I change it a little bit to go with what is available or the health needs of the family. Also Soup sounds better in the Winter than Summer, but Ratatouille is fabulous in the Summer with all those yummy veggies coming up in the garden. So the menu is flexible. For Breakfast I assigned each day a meal. So Mondays are always the same, Tuesdays are the same and on through the week.

For Lunch I do basically the same thing but I add a 4 item list. 1 Main Dish, 1 Side, 1 Snack (or another side) 1 treat.  Lunch is where I take the opportunity to teach them about food and nutrition since it’s right during our learning time anyway! I make healthy treats loaded with goodness but still sweet. The side is usually some kind of veggie or dairy like cheese. I like to make lunch colorful and fun.

Dinner is as follows:

Monday: Latin Night

Tuesday: Vegetarian Night

Wednesday: Asian Night

Thursday: Crock pot or Leftover night

Friday: Italian night

Saturday: Grilling Night (Summer) Soups (Fall/ Winter) Experiment Night (Spring)

Sunday: Crock pot/Leftover Night

I did it this way so that I could have all the basic spices and necessities for a particular night with the flexibility of changing it up a little. If we had tacos every Monday, my kids would get sick of it. So sometimes I have Haystacks, Taco Salad, Enchiladas, or Fajitas. I still serve Guacamole, sour cream, cheese, chips or tortillas with these meals and use the basic spices. So my grocery list doesn’t change much.

I have one extra meal per day because we eat Dinner around 4PM, It was nice to have a later meal so my family doesn’t go too long with out eating. With all our different activities in the evening it just worked better this way. I used to have a 3PM snack and then Dinner at 6, but this is better for our family. You will have to find what works for you. I find that about every 4 hours my family it hungry so I planned accordingly. I have this menu up on my fridge so everyone knows what to expect.

Step Two: Recipes


So Now I have my plan in place. Now I gather up recipes. I believe in keeping everything together so I don’t have to waste time looking stuff up. So my favorite or most used recipes are copied from other books, or printed off from on line and put right in the book. I keep a quick recipe guide in the front of my Recipe Keeper Book. Then I don’t have to thumb through anything if I need a reference. Most of the time I don’t use a recipe, but the reference section of my Keeper is a valuable resource.

Right behind the quick recipe guide are all the Crock-pot freezer meal recipes that I will be doing for the next 3 months. I find about 10-30 recipes that I like. Many of them follow the outline type for dinners. For example one of my favorites is a fajita freezer meal that I can use on Mondays. I could do a freezer meal everyday if planned out right. I tried it for a week and ended up with a lot of extra food. So I limit it to about 2 or 3 per week. Conceivably, we could eat for 2 days on one freezer meal, and then I would really only have to cook once a week. Finding the right balance is really an individual family thing.IMG_20160808_125952798[1]


Step Three: Shopping/Storing

IMG_20160808_130226688[1]IMG_20160808_130223406[1]So then I make my shopping list based off the menu and recipes. If I go to the store too many times in a week, I tend to spend way more money, so I try to limit my shopping. I make a basic “monthly” shopping list for each season and then get enough for 3 months. My “Monthly” shopping list is what I will need for at least that month. So the first thing I do is check my pantry and cold storage to see if I have enough to last the month. If I have that item, I mark it off. I don’t make a new list every month, that’s just a waste of time. I just use the same basic list and shop at home first. Then I hit the local Costco and try to finish off my list in bulk. Anything else gets put on the weekly list. Especially things that may go bad after a week. I also shop in the middle of the week because I can usually find better produce, cheaper produce, and shorter lines at the register. Just say’n. But if it’s going to take a long time to get it all, then I supposed Saturday would work too.

So that brings me to storing. Here are a few tips I have learned over the years. You can freeze most dairy (even milk!). When you take it out of the freezer, use a sharpie and put a new “due date” on it. When freezing chopped veggies, fruit or squash, put on a baking sheet and freeze for about 1/2 hour first, then put it in your storage bags. Labels are quite useful. On all freezer meals or anything you are canning/freezing for storage, put a “use by” date not the date you put it in the freezer. If you have extra stuff from your prepping day, freeze it and use the next prepping day.

Step Four: Prepping!!

So here is where it all comes together! Literally!! HAHA


I take one day to get as much prepping out of the way as possible. I have these nifty storage bag holders that I use when doing my Crock-pot freezer meals and other freezer bag prepping. They make is so much easier. I usually have my 10-30 recipes for Crock-pot freezer meals handy and as I chop things up I just fill up the bags. Like chicken may go is several bags and then I just add different spices to each thing. I try to do as much bulk chopping, sorting and filling as possible. I may also make my taco meat, or spaghetti meat and freeze that in bags too. Anything that can be prepped and stored ahead of time is done on this day. Then I fill up my freezer.

Somethings don’t freeze great like rice, so I will make a load of that for the week. Somethings I do only last for 2 weeks in the freezer, like my breakfast pops, so I will do those every two weeks. I will also make baked goods and treats for the week.  I do like to have fresh produce around for snacking. I just go to the produce section and get a few things or my husband can pick those things up after work. My 3-month prepping is a full day (not much longer for 3 months than 1 month). My weekly prepping is only a couple of hours. My daily prepping is almost nothing. Some days I do more, but that is by choice not necessity. The freezer meals are great because I can stick it in the crock-pot in the morning and it’s ready to go by dinner. Prepping is 5 minutes. Love, love, love crock-pot freezer meals. There have also been times that I have had a lot of leftovers from a fresh made meal that I just bagged and put in the freezer to eat later.

I have found that once a system is in place, it may need some tweaking here and there. But eventually we find that perfect balance. Of course, life changes things up and then we have to tweak it again. I had a neighbor tell me she didn’t like freezing food because fresh made dinners tasted so much better. She also has 2 kids that she is planning on sending to school. But  I find the meals taste fantastic, and nothing tastes better than a time saving, money saving meal. Except maybe one you didn’t have to make yourself ;).


Staying the Course

So today was one of those days that I thought for sure I was sending Katie to school next year. I even thought I had my husband finally agreeing to it. I started to feel peace and relief. But then, as usual, he presented something else to me to consider. And by the end, had me convinced to keep going. Here is the link to a TED talk that convinced me to keep going. I would love to get thoughts on this talk. This is Brene Brown and her TED talk titled : The Power of Vulnerability.


Some of my thoughts were one: I feel like I am not enough. Part of the reason I struggle is because I am still caught up in the assumption that I have to be perfect. I am not allowed to be vulnerable. I have been fighting a food addiction for quite some time now. Failure and guilt are my biggest triggers. But the fear of failure is this feeling of not being enough and really the guilt I feel is shame. Guilt= I did something bad. Shame= I am bad.

I realized that I still believe that somehow I am being judged for how I approach homeschooling. I’m afraid of not doing it right. Funny thing is, I am homeschooling all by myself. I am not accountable to anyone but God. No one around me knows just how “far behind” or even “ahead of the group” my kids really are because I don’t have anything or have allowed anything in my life to use as a measuring tool for that kind of thing. In fact, isn’t that the way it should be? Letting our children explore and learn and develop in their own way and in their own time?

Second thought: How is a public education going to give my kids this “connection” that she talks about? As I was listening to her describe children and that we need to let them know that they are not perfect but are loved and accepted anyway, one thought hit me. How will a teacher, or her peers do that better than me? If I can only see her in this light and realized that she is not perfect and that is OK. And I am not perfect and that is OK.

I recently visited with a few of you the other day at my homeschool meeting I hold monthly. I felt the spirit in that room. I hope you felt it too. I knew their was a lot of truth spoken there and I felt revived and alive. So why now, 2 days later am I ready to just quit? Could it be the adversary? Hmmmmm….. But I remember one thing I said and still believe, that we must be confident in our truth. Good or bad. I lose track of that too much and this video was yet one more reminder of that.

When I was young and trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grow up, I knew then just like I know now, that I wanted to be an educator. It never occurred to me then that I would fulfill this role in this way. The reason I wanted to be an educator was because I saw these kids around me who were brilliant and not getting the attention or acceptance the deserved for their brilliance. I knew that as an educator I wanted to discover each child. Find out who they were and instead of molding them to who I thought they should be, molding who they were to the best they could be. Each of us have strengths and weaknesses. Both are important to our personal development and  connecting with those around us, especially young minds eager to learn. This was a very important part that I felt was missing in the school system 20 years ago when I graduated from High School. And it hasn’t changed much in that department. At least not for the better.

Is this still the problem? This push to “fit in” to what society or even our government deems permissible if not expected? How is putting Katie in school defeating the “conveyer belt” monster; the perfectly wrapped gift box of socially acceptable? And how did this monster find itself in my home under disguise of my own insecurities and fear of failure? How did I forget the sole purpose and desire to be an educator?

As I watched this, some inspiration hit me. I am not a school teacher. I am an educator and I have the most precious students possible, my own children. If I approach their education with a measuring stick, I am molding them to what society, government, and my own insecurities dictate they should be. I need to take a step back, allow vulnerability to help me mold them into the best they can be.  And the peace I feel now knowing I can do this is greater than the peace and relief I felt when I finally said “enough is enough, she’s going to school.”

The other day I asked my daughter if she wanted to be a mom. She said enthusiastically “Yes, Of course!” When I asked her why she wanted to be a mom she expressed that she couldn’t wait to meet her children to find out what kind of people they are and what kinds of things they will be good at. And then she said she couldn’t wait to help them in those talents and watch them grow. She is 8! What a wonderful reminder of what I need to do for her. And isn’t it funny that though she is not compared to her classmates (because she has none), no teacher to give her a grade, no test to tell  her how smart she is, that I still approach my homeschooling with that darn measuring stick! I am lucky that I have this opportunity to just mold her to the best she is. Because she IS who she IS and not who someone else thinks she should be.

An airplane, during flight is off course more often then on course. The pilot is constantly making small adjustments to ensure arrival to his destination. When ever I get off course, my good husband listens, loves and then helps me get back on course. I thought for sure when I felt that peace and weight lift from me that I had arrived at the destination. Here he has done it again, and I am again, staying the course.  Here is a follow up talk that is equally awesome. It is Brene Brown and her TED talk titled: Listening to Shame


Please share any thoughts you may have on this subject. I would love to read them either on Facebook or here on my blog. Still need interaction because I need connection. I will keep you posted on my ideas of how to accomplish this.

A School Day in Nature

I finally have something to write about that is really worth posting! I never attended BYU, but lived in Provo and passed it’s portals enough to have this ingrained in my brain. “The World is our Campus.” How true, how true. Especially when you homeschool the way I like to homeschool. Out in the world and living!

Now that the weather is nicer, we are leaving our cave and exploring our world. In case you think you can’t learn anything unless it’s from a book, I am here to say YOU’RE WRONG! Not that learning from books is in anyway a lesser form of learning. I love books! I have few addictions and books is one of them!! But I also believe that you have to get out and see what you have been learning all winter long. And today, we did!

One thing I was able to see from our adventure today was the differences in my girls and their learning styles. Katie loves the prospect of adventure, but always wants to skip to the end. Lizzie, on the other hand  loved this adventure! I have been so worried about her because she has not caught on  to learning things as well as Katie did at Lizzie’s age. Katie is now 8 years old and Lizzie is 3. This adventure opened my eyes to see Lizzie’s brilliance! It was quite reassuring. I was also reminded of Katie’s initial fear of the outdoors. When she was little, it was actually kind of sad. We were walking home from church one day and everything that blew in the wind she coward and screamed at. I worried that she would never be able to leave the house without having panic attacks! She has since grown out of this, but today there were definite reminders that she is not one for the great outdoors.

We took a walk around Bountiful Lake. I couldn’t find it at first and so almost gave up the adventure, but then my loving husband helped me and I am so grateful we did not give up! And yes, Xander came too. He was strapped to my back with the new child backpack my hubby got me for my birthday!


That’s right! NO makeup, NO hat, NO sunscreen, and I have the burn to prove it!

Around Bountiful Lake there are several places you can just sit and enjoy the scenery. The first few benches were pleasing but Katie soon got bored with it and wanted to move on. Lizzie wanted to sit on every one of them!


Lizzie quickly found a stick which was a dried up cattail stem. She wanted all of us to have one, but when I told her I didn’t need one she decided to claim another stick as well. For a while she was using her “walking stick” and dragging the second one behind her. She really got into this nature walk. How did she know we should have a walking stick? No idea, she just did. I mused for a moment that she should have been born in the bushes. For those of you who know me, you know it crossed my mind. She soon grew tired of dragging the one stick, so let it go. But it was so cute I had to get a picture!


Our path became quite rugged when we reached a few places where there was still standing water from winter. This was when Katie’s true nature colors came through. She walked as carefully as possible, more discontented with each step. A bug flew by her and she jumped and swatted like her life depended on it. She complained her shoes were getting dirty and suggested that perhaps this was not a good idea after all.

Then there was Lizzie. Her nature colors also coming through but as bright, cheerful rays of beauty! She plowed through the trenches and I had to stop, and guide her to better treading spots. Upon seeing her sister’s distress over the circumstances, she thought for a second, raised her finger and said, “I have an idea. We push those things (the dry cattail that had not yet fallen) over on the water and walk on top!” Yeah, she’s three and a freaking genius! But Katie, not wanting to give up her authority of big sister, insisted we follow her. Lizzie then had a second idea to just push through the cattails making a new path that was not wet. And her third idea was to take her “walking stick” and beat down the cattails because it’s fun. And there was no other reason than that!


Try as we may to stay dry, we could not avoid all undesirable spots. So we got our feet wet anyway. Katie was disturbed by it, and Lizzie…yeah, she didn’t even notice. Katie moves forward at a more speedy rate to get this miserable trip over with! And Lizzie, stops to taste(?) the cattail. Yep! getting all her senses engaged!


At one of our stops, someone had piled rocks so neatly for us. We were able to see the quantity difference of 1, 2, and 3. Which is more, which is less ect… Thank you random stranger for setting up this little learning spot for us!


Of course we had to stop and look at the ducks! I didn’t have bread to feed them (shameful) but they were still quite friendly. OK-they only came over because my girls were throwing in pebbles and it looked like bread. Once they got there, we talked about them and Lizzie bent down and said, “hello guys.” Liz is so friendly! Oh, except when the pebbles turned to rocks and the rocks kept getting bigger and her aim was at the ducks! We moved on and I then took the opportunity to teach her not to throw rocks at the ducks.


At this point we were only half way done and it had taken us about an hour. Most people could do that stretch in about 20 min including taking in the scenery. Liz, happy as a lark. Kate, not so much. By this time Katie wants to get this walk over with and get to the car to eat lunch. Lizzie decides she doesn’t need her walking stick anymore because our trail is somewhat paved at this point. But still wants to stop at every chance to say, “hi guys,” to the ducks and geese along the way. At one point, a goose was coming closer to us and did not seem so happy. So I instructed Lizzie to move away. I did not trust this goose. Turns out, she did not trust us. We were getting way too close to her little goslings! As mother goose called them away, I taught my girls about a mother’s love for her young and how they protect them. We also noticed that when they broke the surface of the water when swimming, we could see a shape. Katie was the first to identify that it looked like a triangle. Can you see more triangles in these pictures? We sure had fun looking for shapes. We also noticed that when you drop in a rock, the ripples made circles! Ooooh! Shapes everywhere!


At this point, Katie really wanted to get moving. She was hungry, tired and she had to go potty! But Lizzie was still enjoying her walk at a slow pace. She would dump twigs, rocks and bark bits into the water, pick up hand fulls of more the same, walk to the next clearing, throw them in and repeat. Over and over again. Finally Katie discovered an educational sign telling us about some of the animals at the Lake. Lizzie got into these. Katie saw the next one ahead and Lizzie ran to it to learn more about the animals at the lake. And that is how we got Lizzie to finish the rest of the walk in less than 10 min. She can’t read, but she loved the pictures and learning about it. So cute!!


What a day at the lake!


Our plan next was to have lunch at one of the tables and sketch while we were there. Lizzie even brought crayons! But after seeing the condition of the bathrooms, we high tailed it to a park where they could potty and then just play. We saw some friends at the park (another homeschool family) and that made for just the perfect day!

So what did we learn? A lot! I learned so much about my kids. I didn’t mention Xander much because he was just on my back enjoying the entire ride while sipping his milk from a bottle. That kid was in heaven! He loves the pack.

This evening I looked at Lizzie and said, “I think you must have gotten a few mosquito bites on your cheek.” Katie says, “That’s because she was going so slow!” So I ask Lizzie what her favorite part was and she said, “sitting.” Meaning the benches. Yep! that sums it up. Katie presses forward, Lizzie enjoys the ride. And I get to be their mom!

Teaching different ages is not so difficult as teaching different learning styles. Katie is so much like me it’s easy. But Lizzie has been much harder. It’s been harder for me to see how she processes and what that means for me as her teacher. But she has taught me so much about just stopping  to smell the roses. Or in her case, to taste them.

Homeschool Support Meeting

Now that I am settled into my new home, and the crazy sickies have all disappeared, I can be more active in documenting my homeschool experience. I am super excited about it! So I have started a support group for homeschoolers in Davis County, UT. So far they have been great! I hold them at my home every last Tuesday of the month at 8pm. For those who may start to follow my blog, email me at aurora@beattie1.com for an address if you are interested in attending.

My husband set up a website for homeschoolers in Davis County. It is www.daviscountyhomeschoolers.com , and that is where I would usually post my notes about the meetings. But we are experiencing some server issues so I will post the notes here and my husband will set up a link on the website to this blog. Sorry for the confusion everyone. I will only post notes from a meeting if it seems helpful. Not all meetings will have notes posted.

I started the meetings in January and due to a snow storm, not many were able to attend. This last meeting we had quite the turn out and from several cities! Bountiful, Farmington, Layton and Syracuse were all represented this last meeting. It was so fun to meet all of you and I hope to see you at future meetings.

Here are the notes from this last meeting!

Conferences and Forums

March 15-16 Family Forum (Tjed) I have been to one of these and loved it! www.familyforum.co

June 14-15 UHEA convention www.uhea.org

Advice and other Homeschooling support

Advice #1

Track your homeschooling for college transcripts. You can use this tool www.homeschooltracker.com

There looks to be some cost involved, but not a lot. The most important thing to track is service hours!

Advice #2

Teach with the spirit. Have a family devotional to get started with the spirit. If things get rough, stop what you are doing and get the spirit back.

Advice #3

Mississippi GED is commonly used for military kids, possibly the easiest and can be used by anyone. I do not have more details on this, if anyone else does, please share.

Advice #4

If you want your kids to have good penmanship, teach them to knit!

Advice #5

Some kids have a really hard time writing fast enough for their thoughts. Have them dictate to you what they want to say as you write it. Then later they can type it up.

Kimber Academy also mentioned. Very Christian based curriculum also looks like it is very LDS influenced. I didn’t know about Kimber Academy but seems like it is worth looking into. Any other thoughts on Kimber Academy please share.

Williamsburg Academy

Da Vinici Academy

Capitol Hill Academy all mentioned as well. You can google any of these for more information.

Latter-day Learning –The Family School www.latterdaylearning.org

Bob Jones University www.bjusuccess.com

Michelle Duggar’s books

Resource Books

Charlotte Mason Companion

Well Trained Mind

Where to go for good stuff



Sams’ club


www.ldfr.com (Latter-day family Resources) They also have a store in Payson,UT.


Useful websites




www.homeschoolclassifieds.com (selling and buying used books)

www.homeschoolreviews.com (you can read reviews for various curriculum)



Teaching Help

Preach My Gospel

New LDS youth Curriculum


A House United by Nicholeen Peck www.teachingselfgovernment.com


See Hear Do www.seeheardocompany.com This is for teaching letters and sounds.


Bob books

Words in color (google it) I think this was for spelling as well.

“Teach Your Child to Read in100 Easy Lessons”

“Ordinary Parents Guide to To Teaching Reading”


Institute for Excellence in Writing www.excellenceinwriting.com


Getty Dubay www.handwritingsuccess.com

www.activityvillage.co.uk for printable writing paper

Writing Workshop (I didn’t write enough notes on this. Anyone want to expound on this?)

Knitting can be useful for helping with penmanship! So teach your kids to knit if you want to be able to read their writing!


Math-u-see www.mathusee.com

Life of Fred (just google this, you can get it on amazon.com and they have a facebook page)

Teaching textbooks www.teachingtextbooks.com

Use quad paper. You can get it at Walmart and such.


“America the Beautiful” and “We the People” by Charlene Notgrass

Christen based history curriculum you can learn more at http://www.notgrass.com Looks like they have a lot of good stuff there.

“All Through the Ages: History through Literature Guide” (you can get this through amazon.com)

“Story of the World” (you can get this through amazon.com)

www.konos.com Based on Character Traits

History Odyssey (just google it)


Apologia Science www.apologia.com

Christian based science program. Teaches about the creation more than evolution from what I understand.

Www.noeoscience.com another Christian based program.


Foreign Languages


Muzzy language course for children (google it)

Netflix (Spanish channel)

amazon.com (Sesame Street in Spanish)



Kangaroo Zoo

Yoga class

Park Days

Free Museum and Zoo days

Treehouse Museum

Please list any other activities you know of, especially if they are low cost or free!

Possible Learning Disabilities or Learning Enhancement Resources

National Association for Child Development www.nacd.com

Earobics www.earobics.com

For Fine motor skills follow Melanie Hill on Pinterest (I hope I got the name right. Couldn’t really read my writing.) She also suggested things like play dough and using a water bottle to water plants.


As you can see, we had a very productive meeting.  Please comment any other suggestions or resources you know of. I will try to list them on www.daviscountyhomeschoolers.com as well.

A Rough Start

I guess I should start with a little introduction. I live in Davis County, UT and I am a homeschooling mom. I have a 7 year old that will be turning 8 in just a few short weeks. I also have a 3 year old and a baby turning 1 year in a couple of weeks. You can probably guess I am a pretty busy mom.

Homeschooling was not something I thought I would be doing with my life when I dreamed of being a mother. In fact, my view of homeschooling was very mainstream. I thought people who homeschooled were weird. I admit I believed all the stigmas that come with the word “homeschool”. When I was in High School I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to change education and make a real difference. I got all excited about the prospects of being able to work and still be there for my kids. After all, if I was a teacher I would have all the same vacations they did plus be on the same daily schedule.  I wanted to be a teacher in the school they were attending. I had it all planned out!

So how did I get here? Well, it was simple really. I was serving an LDS mission and one day while being deeply involved with my personal studies I had this feeling come over me. I can’t really describe it except to say it felt almost out-of-body. It was as if the Lord was speaking right to me, but in my heart. “You are going to homeschool”. This came as quite a shock at first since 1-I wasn’t a big fan of homeschoolers, 2-not married and no kids yet, and 3-on a mission…educating my children was not exactly the focus of my life right then. But I knew in that moment the Lord was speaking to me and wanted me to homeschool. I remember telling my mission companion about it and she took the opportunity to save me from a terrible mistake. It was funny. She said all the things about homeschooling that I  had thought before hand but I knew those stereotypes were not true. It didn’t take long to see that there was going to be quite a bit of opposition to the idea of homeschooling. But even with it all, I chose to follow what I had been personally commanded to do.

Fast forward 15 years later. Here I am with three kids and doing what I think I am supposed to be doing and it is hard! Sometimes I wonder if I was just crazy back then. I have tried over and over to deny what happened that day. After all, it would be so much easier than going through this struggle! I hear so many moms talk about how wonderful homeschooling can be and how much they enjoy it. I have had my moments, but I can tell you right off, some days, or even most days, I wonder if I should just give up!

I have to admit, at first it was great! I really did love homeschooling. When it was just Katie and me and she was just sponging in everything I was telling her, it was quite satisfying. But then along came Lizzie. It became really difficult to teach Katie while tending to a brand new baby. Then Xander hit the scene and it’s just craziness! At least Katie got a really good head start because with my pregnancies being tough and then having a new baby, then a toddler  and new baby, Katie is getting the short end of the stick. Which bring me to this year.

I was so excited because I had come up with some really great ideas to help with the different needs of my children.  Xander is getting into a more regular schedule, which helps, and Lizzie wants to do school with Katie. This is perfect! So I thought…

I had decided with this year to follow the school district schedule. So we planned on starting school the day after Labor Day. I got everything sort of planned and somewhat prepared. I started feeling a little under the weather a few days before school was supposed to start. I didn’t really pay much attention to it because I always come down with some kind of cold this time of year. I even did a triathlon race on Labor Day. The next day I tried to start school but I just didn’t feel well. I couldn’t deal with the children and their whining and crying and screaming. These things bother me anyway, but that day it was the worst! I finally gave up after trying to read out loud to them and getting no where because I had lost my voice. The next day I tried again. Same stuff. I just couldn’t do it. I finally went into the doctor and found out I had bronchitis. Ugh! So my excitement for a real homeschool kick off was quickly deflated into me crawling into bed and praying for a miracle. My children were left to their own doings.

Now you may think this is great news. Children are often creative and engaged in situations like these. But my children just turn into beasts! Not to mention my poor little Katie who was so excited to “play school” soon resigned to the fact that she was getting ignored. You should have seen her that first day. She was so thrilled! She got herself ready for the day, made up a desk for herself, sat down and patiently waited for me to come teach her something. She kept asking me what we were going to do and tried to be patient with the tantrums the others were throwing. When I finally told her we just couldn’t do it that day, her face fell and she was clearly disappointed. I felt like the worst mother ever.

But then it got worse! In my efforts to recover and not doing so well, the bronchitis progressed to pneumonia. We were now in the second week of school and had done nothing. It was miserable and my children became unruly. So did my house. Really, what could be done? During one of the days I was in bed, we had a couple come look at our house. We have been trying to sell for a while and we have had many people come through, so this was not so unusual, but then they put an offer in on our house. That was unexpected! Now we are in the process of selling/buying a home. But it gets worse!

We had several trips planned for this Fall and if I had not been sick, we would just be cruising along until the vacation time came and then just took a break. But since we’ve been on break since day one, I am a little stressed. So here is what’s on my plate: Trip to West Yellowstone in 2 days, our anniversary as soon as we get back,  Xander’s 1st birthday a week after that, Trip to Disneyland two days later, Katie’s birthday and baptism the day we get back from Disney, and a possible move 2 weeks after that. When am I going to homeschool?Wait, when am I going to find a new house to move into?!  Granted, all of this is just one big teaching opportunity and that truly is the beauty in homeschooling, but when I think of that first day with Katie patiently waiting at her “desk” , looking at me longingly hoping to learn something, and then the look of total disappointment when I had to say “no school today”, I just want to die inside. I feel like I am failing my poor little buddling.

Today, we did some really good work, but not without some huge tantrums (one came from me unfortunately), and all I can say is, I’m going to keep trying. I am going to keep trying because I promised the Lord I would do this. So I will figure it out, and hope for the best. One thing I have learned in life is that when things get tough, it either means you are on the wrong track, or just getting the kinks out for something amazing! So, here’s to amazing!