Archive for the ‘Family Life’ Category

Homemaking for Teens

Thursday, May 27th, 2021

homemaking-for-teens

Are you looking to teach your homeschooled kids how to run a home? Today I’m going to show you some of the homemaking materials that we used in our homeschool.

My daughter has been learning more advanced homemaking skills for the past year, as she is more involved in the management of the home. One of the electives for high school is home economics, which includes cooking, baking, sewing, cleaning, and taking care of children. When I was gone for several weeks last month, my daughter managed the home perfectly, cooking meals from scratch, keeping up with the laundry, and tidying up the house. I was impressed.

My three sons also learned the basic skills of cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry before going to college, so that they would not squander their money by eating out every meal. They learned a lot of these skills through Cub Scouts when they were younger, including basic sewing skills. So home economics is good for anyone to learn.

We also did Dave Ramsey’s Foundations in Personal Finance: High School Edition for Homeschool. This personal finance course is a one semester high school course that has DVD’s and a workbook, where you learn all the basic financial skills to manage money well, including staying out of debt and budgeting. It goes really well with a homemaking course, since it includes skills needed to run a home.

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One of the homemaking materials we loved was The Homemaker’s Journal: Practical Instruction for the Keeper at Home. It’s an online PDF, which we printed and had spiral bound. It’s a simple e-book that has information on how to maintain a home. It’s not curriculum, though. But if it was the only book you had, along with teaching the practical skills beside you, that would be enough for a home economics course. Not everything has to have written tests. PE doesn’t, for example. Most practical skills are learned best through hands-on learning.

However, there is something charming about a proper curriculum for home economics that has vocabulary, instruction, and quizzes and tests on the information. I found that in the Home Economics high school elective from Christian Light Education. There are 10 workbooks that teach all the skills for maintaining a home. We did not do all the workbooks, but instead, we did whatever we wanted. We spent 2-3 hours a day on homemaking this year, and we used a lot of materials, not just this set. So we flipped through the workbooks and did whichever ones we needed. For example, we did not do the health workbook because I had already done a full year of high school health from Apologia several years ago.

We loved the Introduction to the Kitchen workbook from this set. I flip through some of the pages in this video, so that you can see why we liked it:

There are many black and white sketches and illustrations to show hazards in the kitchen, for example. When my daughter tried to pick out the hazards, we were both laughing hysterically because some of the things, she would never have done instinctively, but other things, she was learning for the first time. We had many conversations we would not have had if we had never gone through these homemaking materials.

We also used another e-book called The Kitchen Primer: A First Textbook on Cooking & Keeping a Proper Kitchen by Martha Greene. We liked it a lot, but it is much more expensive than The Homemaker’s Journal, and most of it is recipes. So in the video, I show this, and I explain how you can use a basic Betty Crocker Cookbook as a textbook for cooking and baking.

We also went through a mother-daughter devotional called Beyond Beautiful Girlhood Plus Companion Guide, where we answered the questions aloud instead of writing it down. It took us a full year to get through the book, even though it only has 7 chapters. We did a little bit most mornings before doing anything else. I loved how the questions were often a springboard for deep conversations with my daughter that deepened our mother-daughter bond. And it had to do with homemaking.

I don’t know if I mentioned the fact that we didn’t write in any of the books or workbooks, but that we went through them together. I love the fact that my daughter now knows how to run a home way more effectively than I ever did at her age! My husband snapped a picture of my daughter’s stuffed bell peppers she made from scratch while I was gone on a two-week road trip. I was delighted to come home to a clean house with laundry all caught up and put away. Home economics is definitely worth teaching your teens!

Teen Homeschoolers Shoot Math Books

Monday, July 1st, 2019

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My teen homeschoolers had fun shooting their math books yesterday at the shooting range, culminating in exploding the math books to smithereens. My oldest son said the following quotes before being the first to shoot his math book:

  • “Pre-calculus took away one year of my life.”
  • “Pre-calculus is the worst thing that ever happened to me.”
  • “Pre-calculus ruined my life.”

Even though the aforementioned teen got A’s on his pre-calculus, it took him an inordinate amount of time to finish his math each day, cutting into his free time. “Today is payback,” I said, looking in his direction. He grinned as he saw his math book fly up into the air while being shot.

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I do need to say that I have been pleased with the homeschooling math books that we’ve used, just in case you figure out what brand of book was exploded by my family. It’s a course that my kids did on the computer, with explanations for higher math that I would never have been able to teach myself, seeing as how I never took pre-calculus in school. My husband thought it would be a good idea to teach our kids to think, hence they were required to go all the way through pre-calculus before they graduated high school.

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Obviously my oldest son didn’t appreciate being taught to think in this way, hence his glee at seeing the utter destruction and annihilation of his math book, along with his brothers’ and sister’s math books, which were also demolished.

This was the destruction after the shooting and before the explosions:

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Teen Homeschoolers Shoot Math Books (Video)

In this short 1-minute video, you will see the shooting and exploding of math books. We also show the book carnarge: first of the shooting, then of the explosions. Enjoy.

A good time was had by all. For those who have never heard of tennerite, it’s an explosive target that combines oxidizers and a fuel (aluminum powder) that are combined together and mixed right before setting up the target. The two components are stored separately until you are ready to use it. This is what we used for the explosions.

Here is a close-up photo of the utterly demolished homeschool math books after being shot and exploded.

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Hope you enjoyed joining us for the demolition of our math books!

Stressed? Top 10 Self-Care Tips

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

My daughter and I have been studying high school health this year as part of our homeschooling. (The link to the Apologia health book we are using is at the bottom of this post, in case you’re interested. The self-care tips that my daughter humorously dramatized in this post come straight out of her book.) We have learned a lot of interesting things about physical, mental, and emotional health. We have also been reminded of some basics of how to take care of our bodies. As a result, we’ve been exercising a lot more and drinking fruit smoothies.

In order to not be emotionally stressed out, here are some self-care tips to keep in mind:

Self-Care Tip #1: Eat regular, healthful meals.

Don’t eat mindlessly. Plan your meals and choose healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, protein, and whole grains. If you have a test or need to think, eat some protein, raw vegetables, or orange juice. These have helped me personally to have a surge of energy to think more clearly.

Self-Care Tip #2: Avoid junk food.

If you have a healthy meal, you can have a small amount of dessert without having your body feel yucky, because the nutrients of the meal counteract the empty calories that would make your energy crash if you ate them on their own. Pay attention to how sluggish you feel after eating potato chips on an empty stomach, and compare that to how you feel after eating raw broccoli on an empty stomach. Your body feels WAY better with the raw vegetable.

Self-Care Tip #3: Be sure your diet includes enough protein with all the essential amino acids.

If you are deficient in protein, you may feel depressed, moody, or anxious. Your brain needs amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Like I said earlier, eat some protein before a test to think more clearly. One of my sons is taking the SAT this year, so he will be eating eggs and ham for breakfast before he takes the test.

Self-Care Tip #4: Get enough sleep.

If you get no sleep for many days in a row, you go insane. Literally, when you are sleepy and drive a car, you act similar to a drunk driver. Even with a small amount of sleep, you are more likely to get sick, make mistakes in judgment, and not be able to enjoy your life. Most people need 8 hours of sleep. I’ve done a lot of research to find out how to get better sleep, which you can read about here: Getting Better Sleep (Part 1) & Getting Better Sleep (Part 2)

Self-Care Tip #5: Drink enough water.

Most people don’t drink nearly enough water. Your body doesn’t function properly when it is dehydrated, leading to headaches, dry skin, etc. Optimally you need about one gallon of water (or other liquids) a day.

Self-Care Tip #6: Get appropriate exercise, not too much or too little.

Exercise helps to improve mood, boost energy, and improve sleep, among other things. Twenty minutes of aerobic exercise 3-5 days a week is good. If you overdo exercise, lactic acid build-up can cause muscle pain. You are more likely to sustain injuries as well.

Self-Care Tip #7: Limit grief and rumination. If you find yourself trapped in them, decide to find something better to do with your time and energy.

There is a chapter on emotional stability in this health book (see link at the bottom of this post). Apparently we have four main negative emotions: sadness, fear, guilt, and anger. It is important not to dwell on any of these negative emotions, but to rest and be refreshed and take your mind off your problems. Dwelling on the negative will not help you rise above your circumstances and have peace and joy in your life.

Self-Care Tip #8: Create a regular schedule for yourself.

You can accomplish so much more in your day with much less effort if you have a consistent schedule. If your mind is used to focusing on a specific task at a certain time of day, your body adjusts to that rhythm. You get on a roll: by accomplishing tasks, you are empowered and get adrenaline to accomplish more tasks. Don’t forget to schedule down-time into your day as well.

Self-Care Tip #9: Focus on one task at a time.

When your mind is scattered on different tasks at the same time, you don’t do as well as if you give your full attention to the task at hand. For a more full explanation with examples from my life, read Multitasking Burns Your Dinner.

Self-Care Tip #10: You cannot avoid all stress, but do not add unnecessary stress to your life. Limit your commitments to what is manageable.

Don’t add anything to your schedule without praying about it. Many times we crowd our schedules with so much that we have stress and can’t enjoy life.

Parrooom…Ch… (That’s a drum roll, if you didn’t hear it.) Those are the top 10 self-care tips that we chose to include in this post. There are 21 self-care tips altogether in the health book (affiliate link) Exploring Creation with Health and Nutrition by Apologia. We hope you enjoyed my daughter’s crazy antics in the goofy video depicting how to overcome stress and live a more healthy life.

Dropping Off Bryan at College

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

dropping-off-bryan-at-college

Dropping off Bryan at college a couple of weeks ago was more emotional for me than I thought it would be. I kept thinking of more things that were vital in life that I hadn’t mentioned yet. My mind was working overtime in trying to think of anything he might encounter and how to navigate it smoothly.

Like “always check your pockets before doing laundry. If there is a tissue, it will explode all over your laundry in the washing machine like sticky confetti and is very hard to get off.” There were a bazillion things like this that were racing through my head, including relationship advice.

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It’s almost like you’re on your deathbed and you only have a few remaining words before you die. You want to make them count because that’s what will be remembered. So I told Bryan that he was a man of honesty and integrity, and that I was so proud of him. Then I tried really hard not to burst into tears.

corban-hallway

His dorm room was simple but modern. When we met his roommate, we found out he was an outgoing homeschooler. All the faculty and students seemed friendly. We found three students singing a Veggie Tales song in the common room, which included a ping-pong table.

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Couches and a stone fireplace were also included in the common room, which you can partially see in the family picture at the bottom of this post. I played ping-pong with Alan while the kids played other games.

top-of-davidson-dorm

Corban University has many stairs to climb throughout the day, so it’s impossible for someone to live here without getting into shape. My son’s dorm is the closest one to the huge building with classrooms and the library. The cafeteria is at the bottom of the mountain. I didn’t count how many stairs are on campus, but there are many, many stairs.

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This is the gym, where there was a fair with booths including all the different activities available on campus. My daughter and I liked the theater booth the best because there was a sword, a lantern, and a costume.

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When we hugged good-bye, there were no tears because I was glad to leave him at such a great Christian school. The faculty had more than proven themselves through all the workshops and casual conversations we had with them throughout the two-day welcome. The food from the cafeteria was fresh and full of variety. It’s one of my son’s favorite things about college.

corban-university-drop-off

Though it was an emotional time for me, it was good. The entire family got to see where Bryan would be going to school, where he would be sleeping, and what his life would be like in the coming year. This will help as we pray for him, that God will make him into the man that He desires him to be in the upcoming years of study.