The Downside to Minimalism (that no one likes to talk about)

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Minimalism is in. Marie Kondo has become a household name, and even Emily Gilmore jumped on the decluttering bandwagon!

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5 Ways We Teach Language Arts without a Curriculum

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You don’t need an expensive curriculum to teach Language Arts in your homeschool.

When I first started homeschooling, I was so tempted to purchase a curriculum called All About Reading and All About Spelling to teach Language Arts. Each level cost more than $160 combined! With four levels each (this didn’t even include handwriting or writing!), I would have spent more than $600, and that’s just for one kid. 

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Why You Should Quit Clipping Coupons

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I first read about extreme couponing in the Boston Globe sometime in 2011. The front page featured Kathy Spencer, author of How to Shop For Free: Shopping Secrets for Women Who Love to Get Something for Nothing. Her minuscule grocery budget inspired me, to say the least, and I immediately jumped on the extreme couponing bandwagon.

We had a new baby, a boatload of student debt, and one income. I committed to being a stay at home mom out of deep conviction, but I itched to contribute financially. Like any good drug, extreme couponing filled a void, and I convinced myself that saving money was my most valuable contribution to our family.

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Quitting Babywise Saved my Motherhood

babywise parenting, should i quit babywise

I like steps. I love plans. And I really love control. And sleep, did I mention sleep?

Babywise parenting seemed to fit my personality like a glove. I bought the book On Becoming Babywise, prepared to follow its advice with precision.  What could go wrong?

Only that babies could care less what book you read about feeding and sleep training.  

They just want you to figure out what they need and give it to them.

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Bullet Journaling for Homeschool Moms

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Do you love planners like I did before I discovered the bullet journal? Perhaps you have several sitting in a drawer somewhere because you try a few different ones every year just to find one that fits.

Judging by the fact that you have several half (or completely) unused planners, you are still searching for the perfect planner to meet all your planning needs as a busy homeschool mom.

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How to Encourage Pretend Play (A story of kids needing less than we think)

how to encourage pretend play

Creating an environment that encourages pretend play can feel daunting in our screen-filled world.  Many parents who want to foster their child’s imagination think a play kitchen is an essential toy for encouraging creative play.  In fact, play kitchens are now commonplace, found in most homes with young children.

I fell for it too – believing a play kitchen (and other props) to be absolutely necessary for my kids to play pretend.  

As my daughter approached three years old, I started looking for the perfect play kitchen.  Home aesthetics are important to me, so I prioritized the ones I could handle looking at every day in our small apartment.  

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How to organize with a disorganized family

how to organize the disorganized family, organizing with a disorganized family

Have you ever spent hours rearranging and organizing your home only to have it be a disaster the very next day? 

You think angrily to yourself, our house could be clean and orderly if everyone else would just get on board.

Perfect Storage Solutions…For Your Habits

That perfect IKEA storage case with drawers – one for each LEGO® color? One child always empties every drawer onto the floor to find what he wants, and they need to be resorted all the time.

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The Most Important Thing to do BEFORE You Homeschool

homeschool philosophy of education

So many parents start homeschooling with only a vague idea of what they want their homeschool to look like. They only know that traditional school isn’t going to give their kids the kind of education they want for them. But with only a vague idea of what you want school to be, you might end up hating homeschooling, or worse, your kids will.

If you invest time before you homeschool to develop your philosophy of education, you will find a homeschool style that fits your family and have a thriving homeschool for years to come.

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Dear Parents: You’re not Failing, You’re Learning

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One tantrum. One major misbehavior (the kind that ends up in the principal’s office or worse). One minute of lost self-control. Head in your hands, you ask yourself in despair, “Am I failing?”

It’s so easy as parents to feel like failures. But a failure mindset will NOT help us to be good parents. If you can make just one simple perspective shift, it will transform your parenting for good.

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Why We Stopped Giving “Chores”, and What We Do Instead

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You probably came here looking for a chore alternative. Let me start by telling you our kids don’t do chores.

Gasp! Before you jump to the comments for a good rant about the value of contributing to the family via chores, let me explain. Instead of “chores”, our kids do “family service” and “paid jobs”.

Does it really matter what you call it? Whatever you call it, chores are chores, some would say. But I believe word choice makes all the difference, especially when it comes to our attitude towards work.

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