Keeping Connected

I imagine in the early years of the homeschooling movement it was easy for a mom to feel isolated and alone. In many places it wasn’t even “legal” to homeschool yet. Homeschoolers were the renegades determined to do what they knew was best for their kids, whether the rest of the world agreed or not. There weren’t many support groups and you didn’t really advertise the fact that you were teaching your kids at home.

These days things have totally changed. While homeschooling may still be looked down upon and certainly misunderstood by many of our friends and neighbors, there are plenty of ways to get support. Most major cities have at least one homeschool support group and probably several. There are homeschool coops where parents share the responsibility for teaching various subjects. And there are oodles and oodles of online resources for homeschooling moms to feel connected with other home educating moms.

One of the ways that I feel most connected to my friends is through Facebook. In fact I have a dear sweet homeschool mom friend, whose son died a year ago today. I know that God has used her friends on Facebook to encourage and uplift her through this difficult year of learning how to live with her son in heaven. Actually two of my dear friends’ sons share the same “birthday” in heaven.

Another dear homeschooling mom friend is finding support through Facebook in dealing with a newborn who has a life threatening condition called HLHS, which basically means she was born with only half a heart. There are people from all over the world who daily check in to see how my friend’s baby girl is doing and to leave words of encouragement for her mama.

So there is really no reason for any of us homeschool moms to feel disconnected or alone. We literally have a world of support right at our fingertips!


Can Tech Help Our Furry and Feathered Friends?

We have several pets here, a dog named Lightening (named by the then probably 4 year old of his former family after the movie “Cars”), a robo hamster named Sunshine (my youngest will tell you that’s ironic since she is nocturnal!) and 2 parakeets named Romeo and Juliet.

I don’t have the heart to either clip my bird’s wings or keep them caged. Sadly, there are times when they would be safer caged, like last night when we had a houseful of friends here. Juliet got a bit freaked and started flying around. She must have miscalculated her flight because she smacked right into our patio doors, something neither one has ever done in all the years we’ve had them.

This morning, when my daughter took their cover off, she said, “Mom! You may want to come see this!” I went to take a look and it looks like Juliet has damaged one side of her cere (the fleshy nostril area above her beak). It looks like one side of it has broken clean off. I was thinking, “Oh great!! Now I’m going to have to take her to the vet!”

Well, being the techie I am, I took to the internet first! My research showed that since she seems to be totally unaffected by her injury and there was no bleeding involved, she should be just fine. Most sites still recommend that I take her to the vet, but I can’t see my hubby allowing me to spend that kind of money on a $15 bird. Yes, we do love her, but as I said, she seems totally fine.

I love being able to go online to learn more about how to care for my pets. I’ve also learned how to groom my King Charles Spaniel. I’ve been able to learn what to do for my male parakeet’s overgrown beak. My oldest even learned how to care for his hamster.

While I’m on the subject of internet and critters, here is a fun place where kids can learn about nature and animals!

Tech Down??

We, of course, love our tech for teaching our kids. But what do we do when our beloved tech is not available?? Well, if we know to expect it ahead of time, such as in long car trips, vacationing in a hotel with no wifi or a field trip to the beach, there are printables to the rescue!!

Sometimes our kids just like a little break from doing school at the computer. Gasp!! Can it be true?? Printables are a great way to still get some learning in. There are a wide variety of subjects that lend themselves well to a printed worksheet.

Also, don’t forget that many states require homeschoolers to have a portfolio of their students’ work. When your kids are doing most of their schooling on the computer or other device, worksheets can be a great way to have something to put in that portfolio.

Don’t think I’ve mentioned yet on here that I have started running. It’s fun and a great way to loose my extra weight. There are all kinds of apps out there for runners, but I just want to share the two that have become my favorites!

First is Couch to 5K or C25K. This is a program that has you alternating between walking and running. The goal is to gradually increase the amount of time you run while decreasing the time you walk. This is a great way for an out of shape beginner like me to start!

Second is Endomondo. This is a cool app that uses your smart phone’s GPS to track your pace, route, calories burned and more. You can sign up with a team on Endomondo, or go it alone. It works for multiple sports. People can also send each other challenges to increase the motivation.

I must also share my favorite new gadget. My brand new running earbuds!! If you have ever tried to run with cheap earbuds then you know how frustrating it is! Yurbuds are designed by runners for runners. They do not fall out of your ear while running, and the sound is incredible.

While we are on the subject of fitness, are you trying to teach your kids about staying fit? It always pays to try to make learning fun and Learning Games For Kids does just that. There is a whole section of Health Games to teach kids about allergies, anatomy, dental health and staying fit.