About Jessica

Once a public high school teacher, Jessica now homeschools five of her six children, covering 2nd through 10th grades. Her oldest is in college, so the experiment appears to have worked! Grab a copy of Jessica’s new cookbook Good Cheap Eats Dinner in 30 Minutes or Less and the accompanying monthly meal plan to help you save money, eat well, and enjoy some freer time.

Make dinnertimes easier this school year


Written by Jessica Fisher of Good Cheap Eats and Life as Mom

Several times during a school year, the thought hits me: I just can’t do it all.

I can keep a perfectly tidy home, or I can rock an awesome homeschool, or I can make healthy, three-course meals three times a day, or I can run a great home business.

Did you see the or’s?

I simply cannot do them all, all the time. When school lessons are going great, the house is often a mess. When I am writing great content and keeping up on all aspects of my writing business, I might end up skipping science for the week. When my house is spotless, it’s probably a sign that everything else has fallen by the wayside.

There are only so many hours in a day. None of us can do it all on her own. We all have areas where we need to simplify, pull out a few tricks, and delegate.

You gotta eat, right? Thankfully, my desire for good meals has helped me identify shortcuts to meal times that mean I can do at least two things well in a given season.

Is dinner prep one of those tricky spots for you? Consider these tips for making dinner quick and easy this school year:

[Read more…]

Jessica’s Homeschool Day in the Life (with a 2-, 4-, 6-, 8-, 10-, & 13-year-old)

Jessica's homeschool day in the life with 6 kids

шины в Литве

Written by Jessica Fisher of Life as Mom and Good Cheap Eats

Yes, you read that title right. I have six children. My! How times have changed!

When I first started this homeschooling journey, my days went like clockwork. Certain days were devoted to library trips, play dates, and park days. Certain hours of the day were spoken for by math lessons, crafts, stories, lots of Match Game, and the blessed naptime.

That was nine years ago. My oldest was five. And I had a lot fewer wrinkles and gray hairs.

My days are currently not so regular. While I would love to be organized — and yes, even regimented — in how my days are spent, that’s really not my reality, nor quite frankly, my personality.

Life with six kids is richer than I could ever have imagined. Yet, it’s also more complex.

My typical day? It’s the perpetual “box of chocolates” — I never know what I’ll get.
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Plans for “summer school” at home

plans for summer school at homeWritten by contributor Jessica Fisher of Life as Mom and Good Cheap Eats

This week our family completed our eleventh year of homeschooling. Really? How did that happen?! The time has passed so quickly. It seems like just yesterday my son was doing beginning reading and now this week he turns sixteen and reads his Latin book for fun!

Going into our twelfth year, I will have all six of my children in formal schooling as my baby enters kindergarten and her eldest brother eleventh grade. It’s pretty stunning to reflect over that time. Through the years I’ve encountered different learning styles, different temperaments, and different school schedules.

For many years we did school year-round because that worked best for us. My students were all young, and most of their friends did the same thing.

In this current season of life, it’s worked out that we prefer a true summer break. My kids love the more relaxed schedule and the opportunity to play with the neighbor kids. I love having fewer items on my to do list and the chance to focus on projects.
[Read more…]

5 ways to manage home and school

Written by Jessica Fisher of Life as Mom and Good Cheap Eats

Ours is a busy household. As you can imagine, with eight people, the sheer volume of dishes, laundry, and stuff to manage is fairly high, at least twice that of the “average” home. Coupled with homeschooling and being home-based in the truest sense of the word, our home boasts a very “lived in” look.

The walls bare fingerprints. The washing machine has a shelf life of about five years. The kitchen boasts a revolving door. Or so it seems.

Here are five tricks that I use to help me manage home and school: [Read more…]

Cozy up with a good book.

Books and ZhuZhu PetWritten by Jessica Fisher of Life as Mom and Good Cheap Eats

Over the last two weeks, my kids and I have been engrossed in a family read aloud. I checked out the digital edition of The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. Since it was only a two-week check-out, it was a race to complete the book before it magically disappeared from my iPad.

Books, and specifically family read-alouds, have been a unifying thread in the fabric of our family since my eldest was about three years old. He’s always been a good listener and back then while I nursed his baby brother we read through The Little House books and Narnia. Ever since then I have always felt more “at one” with my children when we have a chapter book going.

My youngest child, a four-year old child of the technology age is not quite “into” our read alouds yet. But the others, ages 6, 8, 10, and 12, all enjoy them. Even today at fifteen, my eldest son lurks in the shadows or mutes the hockey game so that he can hear me read to his siblings.
[Read more…]