Friday 13: Pop Quiz

Du has today off, so we have a three day weekend! To celebrate I’m giving you a pop quiz. 13 actually. Heather used to do these a lot. Dandelionmom posted a bunch of these recently, so I’m basically stealing them from her.

Before you do anything though head over to Best Posts of the Week and submit your best post of the week! BPOTW is doing well and growing every week. I’m seeing the BPOTW button on more and more websites. Blog Around the World and Blog Coach are both huge supporters. Thanks!

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FRIDAY 13: POP QUIZ(es)

1. What Year Do You Belong In? I actually like a little bit of every decade. I guess that’s why I can do just as well at the balls as I can at the backwoods bars.


You Belong in 1955


You’re fun loving, romantic, and more than a little innocent. See you at the drive in!
2. What Decade Diva Are You? Dude, that dude below is scary to the max. Like, gag me with a spoon. I look nothing like him when I get diva’ed up. It’s so appropriate though since my youth was spent in the 80s.

You are a 1980s Diva


Bright colors, bigger than life patterns, and outrageous fashions.Your fashion style always has a retro yet futuristic edge.                  
3. What’s Your Rockstar Name? I always thought the Beastie Boys were onto something when they named their album “Hello, Nasty”. Know how they got that name for their album? Leave the answer in the comments for extra credit.

Your Rockstar Name Is…


Venus Nasty
4. The Sesame Street Personality Quiz Now I know that Ashlyn gets it honestly…

You Are Cookie Monster


Misunderstood as a primal monster, you’re a true hedonist with a huge sweet tooth.You are usually feeling: Hungry. Cookies are preferred, but you’ll eat anything if cookies aren’t around.You are famous for: Your slightly crazy eyes and usual way of speakingHow you life your life: In the moment. “Me want COOKIE!”  
5. What’s Your DJ Name? I can’t believe this name got out. How did they find out? It’s Saturday night. The music’s loud. The shades are drawn. And no, you’re not invited.

Your DJ Name Is:


DJ Naked Groove
6. How Well Traveled Are You? I’ve been to more places listed in Europe than in America. Hmmm…. This is a neat one because there are no cheesy questions to answer. You just check off the cities you’ve visited. I take offense to them saying that I’m not well traveled in the Midwest though. They didn’t include Kansas City or St. Louis or Branson! And I just lived in the Midwest for two years!

Your Travel Profile:


You Are Extremely Well Traveled in Western Europe (86%)You Are Very Well Traveled in the Southern United States (62%)You Are Well Traveled in Eastern Europe (60%)You Are Somewhat Well Traveled in the Northeastern United States (29%)You Are Somewhat Well Traveled in Southern Europe (27%)You Are Somewhat Well Traveled in the United Kingdom (25%)You Are Somewhat Well Traveled in the Western United States (21%)You Are Untraveled in the Midwestern United States (0%)   
7. How Much Sloth Do You Have? I’m so happy to hear that these people don’t consider me a sloth. Sometimes I wonder…

Your Sloth Quotient: 16%


You’re certainly not lazy. If anything, you’re super charged, hyper, and always going.Slow down a little. You can enjoy a slow afternoon without becoming a total couch potato. 
8. What English Speaking Country Are You? Julie, my newfound Kiwi friend, this one’s for you! After Julie’s description of New Zealand on her blog I now want to go…almost more than I want to go to Australia and back to Paris.

You Belong in New Zealand


Good on ya, mateYou’re the best looking one of the bunchThough you’re often forgotten…You’re quite proud of who you are      
9. What Age Do You Act? Hmmm, maybe I need to lighten up a little. Kinda hard with two little ones hanging on my cute pants. At least I don’t act too much older than my age! I guess a lot younger wouldn’t be a good thing either would it?

You Act Like You Are 36 Years Old


You are a thirty-something at heart. You’ve had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!You’re responsible, wise, and have enough experience to understand a lot of the world.You’re at the point in your life where you understand yourself pretty well.You are figuring out what you want… and how to get it!      
10. Would You Make a Good Pirate? Aye matie, I’ll pillage me a boat and sail me way to New Zealand!

You Are 55% Pirate


Garrrr, yer a true pirate down to yer bones.Yer an originial sea dog, an’ ye certainly have earned yer sea legs.No one be goin’ to accuse ye o’ bein’ a landlubber.Ye got yer eye on the prize, an’ yer willin’ to go pillagin’ fer some booty.   
11. What’s Your Pirate Name? I might as well have a name to go with my new persona…

Your Pirate Name Is…


Bloody Janie Jalibird
12. Band Name Generator How awesomely correct is this? My fave flowers are tulips…and you don’t know me if you don’t know my political affiliation. All this from providing my name!

Your Band Name is:


The Republican Tulips
13. How Much Have You Changed in 10 Years? I’d like to think for the better…

You’ve Changed 48% in 10 Years


You’ve done a good job changing with the times, but deep down, you’re still the same person.You’re clothes, job, and friends may have changed some – but it hasn’t changed you.  

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Friday 13: Dear God, I’m Curious

There are things in life you understand. There are those things in life that capture your imagination. And then there are those things in life where you wonder what exactly God’s plan was…

I don’t question God on many things. His wisdom is infinite. Mine is…lacking. His choices are always for good. Mine…not so much. However, when I get to Heaven I hope to get answers to some questions. Following is my list of what I’d like to ask God. And believe me, I’m genuinely interested.

FRIDAY 13: Dear God…

  1. What did the original earth look like? Was it Pangaea?
  2. How does light have wave and particle features?
  3. Can I see some sort of map showing how the earth was populated? (I know the basics, it’s just amazing to think we all came from two people.)
  4. Can I see some sort of map showing the diaspora of different nations after the Tower of Babel incident?
  5. Did You kind of chuckle when You decided to make men and women so differently?
  6. Do I get to meet everyone? Can I? Adam? Eve? Esther? through Paul and Peter? through Constantine and Augustine? through Mother Teresa?
  7. Why did you create mosquitoes, roaches, ticks, fleas, jelly fish, gnats (great use of them in the plague btw), and clover mites?
  8. Was creation completed in six literal or figurative days?
  9. Can I see the universe in its completeness? Like how You see it?
  10. What did Eden look like?
  11. How were those huge man-made structures built?
  12. How much control did You allow Satan to have on things?
  13. Will I find out the answers to life’s mysteries? (who killed JFK? What happened to Amelia Earhart? Does the Bermuda Triangle really have strange powers?)

I’m giddy with the hope that some or all of these questions will be answered. I fully do not expect to have all the knowledge of God, or His wisdom and insight. But a little bit more than I have now would be nice. Just to satisfy some curiosities. Will I even be curious about these things once I’m in His presence?

How about you? What questions would you ask God? I know we all struggle with pain and suffering in this world, etc. So let’s keep these questions on the more curious note.

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And don’t forget to get your submission into Best Posts of the Week!

Friday 13: Thoughts

Don’t forget to send your Best Post of the Week to me! I’m pointing specifically to Tori and Leigh Anne who’ve told me they’ll play. I’m also pointing at those of you who have a blog and don’t think there’s a good post to submit.  Best is relative, so pick the one that you like and send it to me!

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There’s a lot to do today and a little time to do it. I’m already behind. I have a couple of ideas for Friday 13s, but not enough time to prepare them right now. So today, for your reading pleasure, you’re going to get a sneak peek inside my brain…ready?

Friday 13: 13 Thoughts I’m Having

  1. I’m excited for the weekend because we’re going to play at the beach. White sand. Sun. Heat.
  2. I’m excited because we can eat fresh seafood. Straight from the water fresh, not “frozen immediately after catch and flown across country” fresh, which is what my grocery store likes to call fresh.
  3. I’m a little unsure if we’ll get to even enjoy the white sand, sun and heat because there’s this big thing called a tropical storm (or is it a hurricane now?) coming in. What idiotsweather challenged people actually go south to vacation in the midst of a budding hurricane? We’re not thrill seekers.
  4. I’m a little convicted after reading more of Respectable Sins. How ungodly are you? “…so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. (Colossians 1:10) Is everything I’m doing fully pleasing to Him? If not that’s ungodly. I’ve got some house cleaning to do and I ain’t speakin’ literally.
  5. I’m excited with the overall progress of school this year. We’re already done with four weeks. And we’re both still enjoying it for the most part! Homeschoolers, can I get an amen for that?!?!
  6. I need to become more creative during school, especially math time. I’m sure Reagan could enjoy math more. I just have to find some cool games to pay to help memorize addition and subtraction facts. Or songs to sing…
  7. Du & I went to a marriage conference a couple of weekends ago. I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about this yet. If thee is married, get thee to a marriage conference and soon. We’re not even having problems, but do you know what a marriage conference can do?
  8. I’m kind of wanting to listen to a little Southern gospel. Can’t imagine that will fly with Du. Maybe we can mix it with a little Skillet. What a combo. Wait, haven’t heard of Skillet? Get thee to this website then. And watch this: Yes, they’re a Christian band. On second thought, maybe we’ll just blast this on our trip.
  9. I need to spend more one on one time with Ashlyn. A friend gave me a good idea last night. She has four children and gives each of them their own special day each week. She spends time alone with that child on his/her special day. I only have two so mind could have three special days each…
  10. It’s come to that time of Summer when I still long for the hot days, yet I’m looking forward to the cooler weather that Fall brings. If only we could enjoy it in New England again. If you ever get the chance to drive through New England during the changing of the leaves you must do it. I called that trip our Fruity Pebble vacation. The hills were alive, not with music, but the with looks of a giant bowl of Fruity Pebbles. Like how my mind works?
  11. I’ve made numerous friends here already. Usually it takes me a while to get into friendship mode. And then to make close friends takes a year…or two…and then it’s time to move again. So, I’m glad I’m connecting earlier.
  12. I actually applauded Obama for one thing he said last night. I’m paraphrasing but he said that it’s not just the government’s responsibility to help families. Responsibility rests on the shoulders of parents. I disagree wholeheartedly that the government has any responsibility in my day to day life, but kudos to him for actually admitting and being willing to give parents some responsibility. It all starts at home. It doesn’t matter how sugar daddy the government is, if you’re not taking care of your own then they won’t flourish. Oh, I agreed with two things. He also said something about individual and mutual responsibility. Maybe they were in the same sentence, who knows. I agree with that sentiment, although I’m pretty sure by “mutual” we’d have different ideas of what that actually means.
  13. My husband and kids got me flowers last night on their Daddy Date. Am I the most blessed wife/mother in the world or what?

Well, dear daughter just walked in and is hungry. And I must get this day started. Have a wonderful weekend. Get your posts submitted to me. And think about Who you’re glorifying in everything you do. It’s humbling.

Friday 13: Cheap Dates

I’m easy. To please that is.

Let me explain that. I’m all for dates both expensive and cheap. I’m just as comfortable dressing up in a gown, eating steak and lobster, and hobnobbing with the rich and famous (those who think they are) as I am dressing in jeans and going people watching at the mall while eating Krystals. Both types are fabulous fun for me. I’m so blessed that I get to do both, though neither not near as often as I’d like.

That being said, we’re not made of money and so most of our date nights have to be on the frugal side. Here are some ways I think a cheap date could actually be a good thing:

FRIDAY 13: 13 Cheap Dates

  1. The bookstore. This is my favorite cheap date right now. We go, get coffee and chai and browse the books for as long as we possibly can. Then we browse the magazines. Then we browse the sale aisles. We reluctantly leave either when I’m frozen (see this post) or it’s time to head back home.
  2. People watching. We haven’t done this in a while, well, because for two years we didn’t have a place to go people watch. We’re living withing ten minutes of at least three different shopping centers now so I plan on doing lots of it. It’s fun to make up stories about people or, heaven forbid, try to eavesdrop. It brings you closer together when you’re planning out others futures.
  3. Walk in the park. Our best walk in the park was in Vienna, Austria. It was just dusk and there were several couples walking hand in hand enjoying the crisp, cool air. We were admiring the golden busts and statues poised along the walkways. All of the sudden, out of the bushes, comes a man in a loose coat, hands in his pockets. NO, get your minds out of the gutter. As we were walking by he quietly whispers, “hashish?” and let us just continue walking. At first we had to check with each other to make sure we heard correctly. Firstly, because we were used to trying to “hear” things in German and we were confirming that “hashish” did indeed mean the same thing in any language. Secondly, because…wha!?! Who does that?!? We’d never been propositioned before. To this day that one word sends our minds back and reminiscing about our trip to Vienna.
  4. Star gazing. If you can afford a telescope it’s even better. This can only happen if it’s warm outside. I ain’t sitting out under the stars shaking and just wishing I was back indoors. We went star gazing at White Sands, NM once. It was amazing to lay on a dune of the finest sand in the world, gaze up at the most stars we’d ever seen before (and probably never will see again) and even see satellites orbit the earth. My mind really begins to ponder big things when I star gaze. I always leave with an awakened awe of God.
  5. Adult “toy” stores. Get ’em outta the gutter people. I ain’t goin’ there on this blog. Adults like to play as much as kids do. Our toys are just bigger and more expensive. It’s fun to go in stores like The Sharper Image, Hammacher Schlemmammammaccherrr, Bath & Body Works…and just browse. It’s kind of freeing knowing you’re just there to play so you’re not obligated to pull out the wallet. Get a free massage in one of their multi-million dollar full-body massage chairs. Try out every single lotion in the store and leave smelling like that million bucks.
  6. Volunteer. This is something I’d like to do more of, and now that we’re settled I can start looking around for places to volunteer. Many volunteer opportunities aren’t conducive to having kids around. Going with your spouse to help others can be one of the most fulfilling dates you go on.
  7. Go on walks in those neighborhoods. You know, the neighborhoods you’ll never be able to afford to live in, but isn’t it loads of fun to mentally create your dream house? We did this throughout our “four year honeymoon” in Germany. Whew! Our “retirement home” had all the trappings of a medieval castle, complete with turrets and a moat. And a hall of mirrors. And a grotto. We were living high on the hog…in our minds at least.
  8. Ice Cream. There’s something about getting a scoop in a cone (a cup for me) that makes you feel younger. Maybe even like a kid again. Talking about life while eating ice cream makes everything a little bit lighter. You think of new ways to tackle old problems while eating that frozen goodness.
  9. High School football games. Or college if you’re close to a town that has a smaller school. These games are fun to go to because you get the thrill of competition (albeit on a smaller scale) on the cheap. Take your stadium seats and blankets. Get a little stadium food. A watered down Coke. Be amazed at how much high school kids have changed since you were in school. Be thankful you didn’t act like that. And ladies, if you don’t know much about football, these games are easier for your hubby to explain the ins and outs (yes, high school, college and pro rules are different but the basic premise is still the same).
  10. Community events. Many towns, larger ones especially seem to go out of their way to always have something going on. Jazz nights downtown; free nights at the museum; festivals at the river walk; free days at the zoo. Get in touch with your Chamber of Commerce or Visitor’s Bureau to see what’s on the calendar in your area.
  11. Geocaching or letterboxing. I’ve mentioned these before. With geocaching you do have make the initial investment of a GPS Receiver, but those are fairly cheap now days. With letterboxing all you need to buy is a stamp (with ink, not postage) and a note pad. Enjoy the thrill of mystery solving together while getting out in nature and enjoying your surroundings. We love doing both of these even if it is for different personal reasons. Du likes to get out in nature and enjoy the day. It’s the thrill of the hunt for me and the more we find in a day the better. We’re still together though.
  12. Dinner and a movie in. If you’ve got someone who can take your kids away from the house it’s fun just to stay at home and hang out there. Set rules though. No bills, no computer (what?!), no phones. Just you, your spouse, your favorite drink and a good movie. If you’re lucky enough your kids will be spending the night somewhere else.
  13. Miniature golf. Putt Putt! This is fun to do even if it’s just to make a total fool of yourself. I don’t play to win at mini golf, I play to see how many strokes I can actually take. Well, it’s not that bad, but I’m there to have fun. This also takes you back to younger freer times. If you don’t feel younger after a game of Putt Putt then I’m not sure anything would help.


 In 1996. Married for a couple of months.

 
Jan 2006. 10 Years of Cheap Dates.

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How about you? Are you a cheap date? What are your favorite (cheap) ways to go out with your honey?

Friday 13: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

*Happy first day of the Olympics. That’s all I’m going to say about it because I’m boycotting it.*

Whew, thanks for letting me take the breather last week. I’m back, refreshed and not “having my moon” as Insane Mama so eloquently and euphemistically calls it. I am adopting that term for forever, or at least until Jesus returns. ‘Cause in Heaven, since it’s perfect, we won’t have moons.

Living for about three decades allows one plenty of time to get particular about what she likes. Actually, living for about 4.25 years allows one plenty of time for that. My daughter has long since been telling me such and such is her favorite: “I like it 100”. I tried to explain percentages to her, because she really means she likes it 100%. But her way is so much cuter. Maybe I should adopt that saying as well.

I like not having my moon 100.

There are plenty of other things that I like 100 too. I’m going to list them for you, at least 13 of them.

Friday 13: 13 Things I Like 100

  1. Favorite body cream: Orange Chocolate Shea Butter by Fresh  If I could eat body butter I would get fat on this. I could open the lid and sniff the jar all day. In fact, I need to find this in a candle scent. Whoever the genius was that decided to mingle chocolate and orange, I’d like to pay him or her great respects right now. Come to think of it, chocolate covered orange sticks were one of my favorite treats when walking around any town in France….but that’s another story. I’m depressed that this is no longer in stock. Now I’m going to have to use what’s left sparingly.
  2. Favorite perfume: Baby Doll by Yves Saint Laurent Is it weird to want to smell yourself all the time? ‘Cause I do. I can’t get enough of this scent. I discovered this (and my lovely chocolate/orange potion above) on my 30th birthday (shopping) trip to NYC. The bad thing is that I keep having to spray more and more on myself in order to be able to smell it. I love France and all, but I never want to end up smelling like a French…ahem. A close runner up would be Champs-Elysées by Guerlain. French as well. 
  3. Favorite lip stick: L’Oréal Endless Lipstick in Fawn Fatale  The perfect lipstick in the perfect color. Once you put it on it does not come off: on his collar, on her little cheek, on the rest of your face when you’re eating. I used to be a lipstick groupie (I really don’t care to call myself a *ho*e of anything, not even French perfume), but after finding Endless I am fulfilled. Complete. I do change shades though.
  4. Favorite lip gloss: C. O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Shine in Vanilla Cola Yummy. That’s really all I should have to write to describe it. The perfect combination of vanilla cola and tingling mentha. And this doesn’t get sticky on my lips. If only the real Coke were as good for me.
  5.  Favorite mascara: Définicils by Lancôme The waterproof kind. I neverwear mascara that is not waterproof. Why take the chance when these buckets could start pouring at any moment? I like to pretend that I’m not very sentimental, but show me a Kleenex commercial and I’ll be darn relieved that my waterproof mascara will stay put. Définicils never clumps, and it separates my lashes perfectly. I don’t even have to curl them (like I’d spend time doing that anyway…on a daily basis). I’m using an impostor brand right now and regretting every clumpy, crumbly swipe of it. Sometimes it pays to not be cheap.
  6. Favorite soap (not of the daytime variety): Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Line in Eucalyptus Spearmint. Another yummy scent. At some time or another we’ve had the hand soap, the lotion, the pillow mist… B&BW touts it’s powers as “Stress Relief.”  It truly is. When I’m feeling stressed I just go wash my hands. My hands have never been cleaner.
  7. Favorite blush: Bare Minerals in the color Lovely by Bare Escentuals.  This is probably the best color I’ve ever found for my face. I even got a compliment on it. By another woman. She was my stylist and was about one foot away from my cheek as she was washing my hair, but hey, who would know better than someone who stares at ladies’ faces all day right? Yeah so, that’s the only reason it’s my favorite.
  8. Favorite podcast(er): Let’s move away from the girly stuff for a while. I love me some Sephora, and I could outlast anyone in that store browsing and testing, but I’m a deep woman. My likes and desires are diverse. Whatever. My favorite podcast(er) is none other than Grammar Girl!!!!  aka Mignon Fogerty. Girl knows some English! And she’d probably freak to see how I’ve been writing in this blog. Oh well, it’s always good to know the proper way. And she has a book out. I should buy that. Maybe it would learn me a thing or two. I blog as though I were speaking, not really writing. (Hey Grammar Girl, I used “as” properly! I didn’t use “like”!) And no, I don’t really speak like this.
  9. Favorite dessert: I don’t care if you serve it to me as a Crème Brûlée or a Crème Caramel , just serve it to me s’il vous plaît. The original plain vanilla please–don’t debase it by adding anything, not even chocolate. I can’t believe I just wrote that. This is another hold over from France for me. Every restaurant we ate at had either crème brûlée or caramel on the menu. Il n’y a rien de mieux. Ooh la la.
  10. Favorite movie: I could probably name 13 movies. If I absolutely had to, had to, pick one I’d pick…one from each decade that I can actually remember. The 80s: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off ; the 90s: Elizabeth ; the 00s: The Passion of the Christ . I told you I was diverse.
  11. Favorite tv show: Would I even have to give you more than one guess? In case you haven’t been reading my blog (Shame on you. But welcome! Please browse at your leisure.) Project Runway!  But do you know what? I haven’t seen the latest episode. I know! I can’t believe our tv decided not to give us the channels we weren’t paying for in the first place! I hope to visit YouTube soon to see the latest. So please, no spoilers in the comments. I really won’t forgive you. Well, I eventually will because Jesus tells me to. But I’ll never forget. Project Runway has got to be the best show ever (don’t argue with me here, it’s my blog). The sewing. The competition. The personalities. The masterful designs. The horrible ones. It’s so fascinating to me to see how the designers can bring their concept to design to actual garment within a day or two. A girl can aspire.        A close second would be The Office , although we’ve never actually seen an episode on prime time tv (enter Netflix, Blockbuster and NBC.com). “Dunder Mifflin, this is Pam.” The jokes, the looks! There’s nothing funnier than the facial comedy on that show. I think that’s why we like it so much. And we so totally get the humor. Steve Carrell is just about the funniest physical comedian out today (I do love another Steve too who’s perfected the facial expressions: Steve Martin) And who doesn’t heart Jim and Pam? PB&J forever. Sigh. We’ve even made converts of my mother, brother and sister-in-law.
  12. Favorite computer tool: The F5 key. Don’t know what it is? Try it. It’s fabulous for Wootoffs and ebay auctions. A very close second would be the screen capture feature. How else do you think I get all these photos? I mean other than right clicking and “save as”ing. Sometimes you just aren’t able to right click. That’s when you hold down the windows button while hitting S.
  13. Favorite daughter: Just kidding! They each have their moments and each one is my favorite for something.  

Don’t you like how I provided shopping experiences for each product? Please know though that I rarely pay full price for anything. Even the best of the best of the best. There’s always a deal to be found somewhere. I didn’t go searching those out for this post though. I’ll leave that to you if you’re serious about trying out some of this awesomely fabulous booty.

What about you? What are some of your favorite things? Some things that you like 100?

So You Think You Can Homeschool

When people find out I homeschool I get two distinct reactions, and they usually come from the same people.

  • Wow, that’s great!
  • Even so,  I could never do that.

The reasons I get are varied, but I rarely hear the old standby: “what about socialization?”

Parents can be their children’s teachers. I’m the perfect example.

  • I have little to no patience (I’m working on it), but I put one foot in front of the other each day and I have just enough patience each day. 
  • I do not have a teaching degree, but there’s so much help out there that if I’m not strong in a subject I can get help (and at the elementary level that Reagan is at this hasn’t been a problem).  
  • We’re not rich, but I find bargains for curriculum and other ways to get things for free.
  • I have to have “me” time everyday, and I still manage to have that, even with spending so much time with my children.

I’m writing this post, not to chastise those who truly don’t feel they can homeschool. I’m writing this post to encourage those who are thinking about it or may be on the fence. You can do it!

So, here is my Friday 13 for this week:

FRIDAY 13: 13 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN THINKING ABOUT HOMESCHOOLING

  1. Keep an open mind. Weigh the benefits of homeschooling with the risks that may be involved. I could write on and on about the benefits. If you’re thinking about homeschooling then I’m sure you’ve considered those. Seriously take a look though at the “risks”. Can your family subsist on one income? (That answer can be yes). Will you be dedicated to teaching your child in the best way for him/her (and that’s easy to figure out)? Can you be flexible enough to give yourself a break (don’t be hard on yourself)?
  2. Pray about it. Seriously. Ask God what His will is for your family. If you get the idea that He’s for it, then by all means, go for it!
  3. Research your options. There are so many different ways to homeschool. From the stricter Classical method (to which we try to adhere) to unschooling. There are video courses, online courses, mixing curriculum, making up your own curriculum, 9 month schooling, year round schooling. So many different options. You’re not locked into anything. And if you try something and it doesn’t work for your family you can change directions.
  4. Know state rules. The Home School Legal Defense Association is a great place to start. HSLDA lists state regulations so you know what you’re required to do as a parent (and what you’re not obligated to do).  
  5. Ask for help. Ask other parents who are currently homeschooling. Pick their brains about any and every question you have. We love these chat sessions. If you decide to take the plunge seek encouragement. The first few months or first year can (will) be tough. Seek out that encouragement. And don’t be hard on yourself.
  6. Curriculum Fairs. Go to them. Ask other homeschoolers if they know of any coming to town. Do a little google research and you’re certain to find a couple. Curriculum fairs are the best way to get a good look at tons of curriculum at once. It’s a lot easier to decide if a program will work for your family if you can flip through the books. Often you get curriculum discounts if you buy at the fair.
  7. Buy curriculum early. Many companies offer discounts for buying early. Alpha Omega has a 20% off sale in early spring. MUCH cheaper than waiting until later in the summer. If you’ve missed these sales don’t forget to search websites like ebay, half.com and amazon for curriculum deals. There are tons of curriculum sites on the web as well.
  8. Sign up. There are plenty of homeschooling organizations you can join. HSLDA, state and local organizations, website groups (CafeMom has some great ones to join), there are lots of organizations that are geared towards helping you be a successful homeschooler.
  9. Co-ops. Seek out and join co-ops or get together with other homeschooling families. If you have trouble teaching a certain subject (calculus? chemistry?) there’s bound to be someone in your area who is competent. Co-ops are great for pooling resources and also a good source of “socialization”. In some subjects, like drama, there is strength in numbers. Online co-ops can be a great help as well. Homeschool Buyers Co-op gets their members deals on curriculum by buying in bulk.  
  10. Prepare your child. If you make the decision to homeschool make sure you talk to your children extensively about what is going to happen. Let them know what you expect of them as a child and what they can expect of you as a teacher. Let them know that this is a big experiment and there are likely to be changes along the way. By all means, be excited (both you and your spouse). The enthusiasm will catch.
  11. Prepare others for your decision. Other people will be affected by your decision to homeschool. Family and friends may not understand your decision at first. Boundaries may need to be set as to when people can call on you by phone or visitation. Be prepared to answer questions positively. You’ve done your research, you know the benefits!
  12. Set up your homeschool space. Or not. Many families have one room that they have designated their “school room”. That doesn’t work for us. We’ll “do school” in the dining room for a month or so and then switch to the living room. We’ve done school in the kitchen and in the bedroom when it suited us. Be flexible. Work with your house, your family’s needs, etc. And it doesn’t take a lot of money to get a room set up. All you need, really, is the curriculum. A white board is the next thing I’d suggest. A table would be good if you don’t want your child doing school on the floor. See? That’s easy!
  13. Internet help. Never forget that you have the world at your fingertips. Do research online. Find curriculum online. Find help online. Find immediate answers to your children’s questions online. How did people homeschool before the internet? Use it!

Intrigued? Do you have questions about homeschooling? Ask me! I’ll be happy to answer them.