Menu Planning, Make Ahead Meals & the Busy Homeschool

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

If I had a maid, a chauffeur, and private chef, homeschooling would be a piece of cake. Ok, maybe I exaggerate a little. We know that even the best laid lesson plans sometimes meet with reluctant learners. But what can break a homeschool mom at the knees are those regular household tasks.

Molding young minds and teaching multiplication tables is tricky enough without the meal prep, laundry, and cleaning tasks that compose a well-run household, not to mention the fact that everyone’s home all day to give the place a rather “lived-in” look.

Jamie recently shared some of her tips for tackling the cleaning tasks. Today, I’m here for the food. Careful meal planning and some make ahead meals can save your bacon when it comes to managing your busy household.

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Choosing Curricula for Multiple Students (2011 Curriculum Fair)

Written by contributor Jessica Fisher of Life as Mom

Ages of my children: 13, 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2
Educational Philosophies I Pull From: Classical, Charlotte Mason, Literature-Based

I don’t know if it’s my academic background, my penchant for planning and dreaming, or my love of learning, but exploring curriculum choices makes me happy. Like a kid in a candy store, I eagerly look forward to this time of year when our current books and resources fade in excitement and freshness, and I start thinking toward next year and all the wonderful, new things we’ll be studying.

I admit it; I am a planning geek.

Back in the early days of our homeschool when I “just” had three kids, I mapped out the rest of their school lives, calculating what grade each of my sons would be and what curriculum we’d be using. I wanted to be able to build our school library over time, as finances were tight, and I was, of course, dreaming big dreams.

Over the years our family has grown. Now as I approach “formally” schooling five children in grades K, 2, 4, 6, and 9, I find that my plans crafted many years ago have changed. Big surprise, eh?

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Finding Comfort & More in Stories

Written by contributor Jessica Fisher of Life as Mom

As a child, I loved reading. My mom would take us to the library each week where I would select 10-20 books to devour in a matter of days. In my dad’s words, I “always had [my] nose in a book.”

Books were sustenance for my imagination — and the adventures I lived through reading were a welcome respite from the cares of the everyday. Thankfully, I married a reader. And even though he favors theology and other non-fiction while I’ll take a novel any day of the week, we have a family that loves the gift of story and who takes great comfort in books.

For me, it’s not a question of reading ability; it’s a matter of loving a good story. I know the stories that my children love will bring them comfort. And that will draw them to reading.

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Identifying Priorities in a Large Family Homeschool

Written by contributor Jessica Fisher of Life as Mom

Mothering a large family is one of the greatest privileges of my life. At one time I despaired of ever having a second child, so now to be mom to six children is truly a dream come true.

It probably goes without saying that teaching six children can be a challenge. How do I prioritize? Where do I focus my time? How do I make sure they all learn to read, write, and tie their shoes?

It’s not impossible to teach a large family. Yet it takes thoughtfulness and flexibility. It’ll keep you on your toes and keep you humble.

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Building a Family Culture Through Holiday Traditions

Written by contributor Jessica Fisher of Life as Mom

When I was studying for my teaching credential, I took a class on Culture. I remember that it was really important to the professor one day that we share our cultural background. Back in the 90’s the focus was on ethnic culture.

Well, my family tree was a hodge-podge of European nationalities that had lived in the US for about 100 years. There was no language, dress, or habits that tied me to my ancestors. I felt bereft of “culture” for a moment.

But then I thought about the concept we were studying. While it has many definitions, culture can be defined as the unifying characteristics of a certain people group. Well, I had that. I belonged to my family.

My parents may not have passed down the language or habits of their forefathers, but we most definitely had a family culture.
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