Thursday, November 20, 2014

K is for Kindness: Learning About Acts of Service

     We are excited to announce that Inspired Academy Homeschool is being featured on as part of the series "ABC's of Homeschooling Through the Holidays."
     We chose to dedicate our blog post to the letter K.  Our post is called "K is for Kindness."  Kindness and service is a main focus in our homeschooling goals, because above all, I aim to encourage my family to be good, happy people.  Academic progress will unfold as it should, but nourishing the love for our fellow human beings and respect for each other is so important to our future.  The holidays are a perfect time to spread service and kindness, and there are opportunities to do so all year round.  Read about the easy and rewarding act of kindness my daughter and I completed together.  We were even able to include family and friends in the project.
CLICK HERE to read the full details of my post.
Happy Holidays!

Saturday, November 15, 2014


     I am still here, I promise! And counting down the days until my due date. About 2 more weeks!
     I am getting slower, flakier, and more forgetful everyday.  And the irony?...I'm actually adding another child to the family.  Like I can actually handle more responsibility. Hahahaha. XD

     Homeschool? Don't even ask.  Thank goodness for Bill Nye the Science Guy and PBS Kids Network.  At least I feel like the television shows my kids have been watching are semi-educational.  
     It's okay.  My kids are still so young and they just need to play to keep their minds going.  I will be grateful for when this baby is born and my girls have each other to entertain.  When I had my second baby, I had awful guilt meltdowns from ignoring Marley.  Poor baby would want me to play with her and hold her and I just couldn't do it.  It was horrible!

    But I'm hanging in there and hoping this thing happens soon.  Bleh! How can the most natural thing in the world seem SO unnatural?  

Monday, November 10, 2014

Fellow Mommies, I Need Your Help!

     Some of you probably know that I am expecting my 3rd baby soon.  Today I hit 37 weeks! Yay, home stretch! But the closer I get to the finish line, the more I realize how much I am in need of some mom wisdom and advice.  Here are some questions I have for all the moms out there, and I would love it if you could leave me a comment giving me your heartfelt opinions and suggestions. Thanks in advance!

1.  My Motivation Is Dwindling.
     The closer I get to my due date, the more flakey I get.  I am tired and find it difficult to be motivated.  I have a great homeschool curriculum planned out for the year and I have ideas and goals for my blog, but I find myself thinking, "Oh, I just can't wait to lay down!"  I do not want to let this pregnancy negatively affect my homeschooling or my blog.  How do you handle pregnancy, childbirth, a new baby while trying to maintain homeschooling or a blog or other responsibilities?  Do you have any good suggestions on how to balance motherhood with the rest of life?

2.  From Two To THREE!
     I am a little scared of growing from two children to three children.  Is there anything I should know about the transition?  Do you still go grocery shopping with all three kids?  Is that chaos?  I have heard of attachments for double strollers, but are they really necessary? Or can I just expect my 4 year old to walk alongside me?  

3.  Minivan Placement.  
     Random, I know, but I have a newish awesome Honda Odyssey and I am puzzled with where to put the baby.  We have had our minivan for a few months now, but I am wondering what the most efficient placement would be for three kids.  All three in the front row? Would the kids bug each other? One in the back? Maybe the oldest in the back so she can start learning how to buckle herself in?  I dunno.  What kind of placement would you use?

4.  42 Week Gestation. :(
     Yes, my body insists on keeping the babies in for almost an extra two weeks.  My first daughter was 12 days late and my second daughter was 10 days late.  I wish I could say that I think this one will be early, but I highly doubt it.  Maybe a week late if I'm lucky? And then even when my labor starts, I have very long, difficult labors.  My first born was 21 hours of labor, and my second was 30 hours of labor (all of it, extremely painful and not much progress in terms of dilation). *sigh* Not fun.  I feel like I have tried so many ways of naturally inducing labor, but they have not worked for me. It's as if my body does not know how to give birth.  HOWEVER, I am open to any suggestions ladies! Give me your go to ways of kicking your labor into gear! Trust me, I am listening with eagerness.  And I will let you know if anything worked.  What are some natural techniques that have worked for you?

5.  It's A Boy!
     I have two daughters.  This will be my first experience with a son.  I am looking forward to the adventure.  But I have heard that boys are so different from girls.  Is that really true or are all kids different from each other? Tell me what you think?  Are there any suggestions that might help prepare me for the differences, if any?  I currently use Huggies diapers and they have been great, but do the boy parts sit differently and require another type of diaper?  Haha.  I'm sure these sound like silly questions, but I feel confused.  Moms of boys, share your wisdom with me. ;)

6.  Exercise Junkie.
     I cannot wait to get back to the gym!  I actually have dreams about running and feeling the burn in my legs again, and it feels so nice.  I won't be able to join a gym right away due to financial reasons, and I know I can't jump right back into running or dancing, but I need to get back to being active asap.  Are there any great free online workout programs for postpartum moms?  I hate sitting around feeling helpless.  I would love some recommendations to exercise programs for childbirth recovery.

7.  Am I missing anything?
     I'm sure I have thousands of questions going through my mind about adding another child to our family, but lately I am a forgetful mess of weirdness..."mom-nesia" at its finest.  By the way, that IS a real condition. You can read more about it at "Babies Can Cause Momnesia." Haha.  My husband didn't believe me, so I had to find some supporting facts. ;)  If you can think of anything else that might be helpful to a mom adding a third child, please leave your comments for me!  I am thankful for the wonderful support system that is available through online networking and social media.  I would greatly appreciate any supportive advice.


Friday, November 7, 2014

Why Homeschooling Is Awesome: Reason #6 - We Can Ditch School & Still Learn

     I woke up in a very good mood this morning. So I decided to chuck our curriculum for the day and just run errands with my daughters and make sure we had fun together.  We started out with cleaning up the house...What? Cleaning doesn't sound fun?  Well, trust me; we made it fun.

     I blasted some Disney songs and we all danced and rocked out while we went from room to room cleaning.  Picture the scene from Mary Poppins when they clean up, but with a little more hip hop. ;)  We laughed and sang and were productive as well!

     Then I let the girls play on the computer for a while using the Photo Booth app.  They had the time of their lives taking pictures and cracking up at the special effects.  I love watching them explore new things! It's always entertaining.

     Once they were finished, I told Marley we would take her Halloween candy to the dentist office for the Candy Buyback.  She remembered doing the buyback last year and she requested to draw another thank you card for the US Troops.  She completed her picture and off we went.  Both Marley and Dylan were very excited to get a few dollars for their candy.  Luckily, they don't have much of an attachment to sugar, so saying goodbye to their stash wasn't too hard.  I gave them the choice to take the money home and save it or to go straight to the store and pick out a toy.  They both shouted "Toy!"  Next stop, Target.
     They picked out a Little Mermaid Lego set to play with.  We do need to build up our lego collection so it was a good choice.  We headed home, where Marley and I worked together to put together the set.  There is definitely educational value to lego play.  I gave Marley the instruction manual and taught her how to follow it.  She picked out the pieces and counted out how many we would need.  I helped put them together, but our teamwork was awesome!
     We finished off our afternoon by eating popcorn and watching Night At The Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.  I love the Night At The Museum movies, and highly recommend them.  They are adorable, entertaining and educational.  I told Marley that my favorite part was the Einstein bobble heads, and she told me her favorite characters are Kahmunrah and the singing angels.

     It was a great day.  We did not follow our usual curriculum and we did not engage in formal academics, but we had so much fun enjoying each other's company and we still found learning opportunities all around us.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Ancient Egypt Unit Study for Preschool/Kindergarten

     I figured going from Halloween to Ancient Egypt would be an appropriate transition since we often see mummies around Halloween. ;)  This week we are discussing Ancient Egypt.  Marley knows very little about Ancient Egypt, so I decided to start her off by watching the movie Prince of Egypt (on Netflix).  She really enjoyed the movie and it got her in the mindset to learn about that time period.

Here is my outline for our Egyptian lesson plan:                            

- The Egyptian Cinderella
- Seeker of Knowledge: The Man Who - Deciphered Egyptian Hieroglyphs 

- Egyptian Tombs: Torchlight (My First Discoveries: Torchlight)
- Mummies Made in Egypt (Reading Rainbow Books)
Egyptian Activity Book (Dover Little Activity Books)
Mummies, Pyramids, and Pharaohs: A Book About Ancient Egypt

- Egyptian Worksheets Collection
  This site has SO many great worksheets for Ancient Egypt! My daughter loved the coloring pages provided. I had fun coloring with her too. ;)

- Make A "Cartouche" (to easily translate any name into hieroglyphics click here)  We used paper bags to cut out the shape.  I drew her name using pencil and then instructed Marley to trace the pictures with black marker.  We taped up her Cartouche on her door and declared her the Egyptian Princess of the house.  She really liked that!
- Ancient Egyptian Headband
- Make an Egyptian Collar
- Make a Mummy

- Build a pyramid from legos or blocks
- Making pyramids in a sandbox or sensory bin

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Surviving the Halloween Hangover

     Yesterday was an amazing day! We had so much fun! My husband takes the day off for Halloween every year, because it is a family favorite and we love to soak up as much Halloween fun together as possible.  Well, kind of last minute, we were notified that my daughter, Dylan, had an audition scheduled for a commercial.  After our family breakfast I had to drive her out to LA early in the morning, which was actually nice because I rarely get one-on-one time with my toddler and she enjoys her auditions.  After that we decided to meet up with Dad and Marley at Disneyland.  Disneyland was awesome! So many fun and creative costumes are there on Halloween.  After a nice afternoon of Disneyland, we headed home to eat a quick meal, carve our pumpkins, and get dressed for a Halloween Party.  The Halloween party was so much fun.  Lots of friends were there and it was complete with food, drinks, crafts, games, and a spook alley...all you could ask for at a Halloween celebration.  Then we went trick-or-treating.  [My favorite moment was watching my 4 year old experience a haunted front yard where people were pretending to be dead bodies coming to life.  There were full grown teens running away screaming, whereas my little girls thought is was entertaining and they both really enjoyed it. Haha! I love it!]  I was surprised my kids stayed alert for so long after a full day (without naps!)...

     Trust me, we are all paying for it today.  Heehee.

     Not in bad way, but we are suffering from Halloween Hangovers.  None of us had any time yesterday to sit and rest!  It was fun, but terribly exhausting.  Pair that with a whole lot of sugar, and you've got a family of lazies the next day.  Poor dad has to work, but the rest of us are making it a "lay around in our pajamas and watch movies" kind of day.  Here is what I did to try and make the day a smooth transition back into reality.

1) I hid the candy.
My kids already had so much sugar yesterday.  Halloween day we don't restrict sugar much at all.  I plan to give them a couple days of detox before distributing a few pieces later on.  But we usually participate in a candy buy-back anyway, so my kids don't go through their candy for more than a few days or so.  Anytime our kids start to eat sugar on a regular basis, I've noticed we start having behavioral issues, so it just works better for our family to heavily limit candy intake.

2) We stayed in pajamas all day.
Call it a family slumber party and check out mentally for the day.  It helps. Haha.

3) I cuddled my kids up in cozy blankets, distributed some books, and put on some movies.
The lazy, quiet time is essential to my own sanity.  Hopefully my girls appreciate it as well. Looks like they aren't complaining. ;)

4) I limited talking and used only my whispering voice.
Yesterday was a non-stop party.  So much was going on and we all experienced sensory overload.  Today has been a much needed rest-stop.  My kids are re-discovering calmness and quiet.  It took a few hours, but they adjusted after I persistently set the mood for silence and relaxation.

5) No productivity. No Stress.
Aside from cleaning up the house a bit (since I can't relax in a messy house, haha), I didn't do much at all today.  It's okay to take a day once in a while to do absolutely nothing.  I am not thinking about anything on my to-do list (trust me, it's full).  I will get to that hot mess tomorrow.  It's okay.  Procrastinating is not the worst thing in the world, and I believe our minds and souls need a break sometimes.  Just as long as slovenliness doesn't become a habit. ;)

Good luck handling your Halloween Hangover!