It’s Never Too Early to Learn

A friend of mine told me she was judged for teaching her kids to do laundry too early. There is so much wrong with this statement. The first? Why do we feel the need to judge parenting techniques? We are all doing our best. Unless a child is actually being harmed, assume we are trying our best and need support not judgement. Second? What age is too early to learn?

I’m a teacher. So trust me when I say it is possible to try to teach someone something too soon. For example, it would be very challenging to try to teach someone calculus before they learned certain math skills. But laundry? Start them early I say!

My kids are 2 (almost 3) and 4. They do laundry. Mind you, the aren’t doing it by themselves, but they are helping me. They help carry their baskets to the machine, they help throw the clothes in the washer, I do the soap and water settings, they help put the clothes in the dryer, they help take it out, I fold it, and then they put it away. They are probably at an age that many would think is too young. But how is dumping clothes in a washer different from them dumping their toys in their toy boxes?

My goal is to get them excited about doing laundry at an age that they still find it exciting. My kids LOVE to help me. “Mama I help you!” I hear it all day. They pull up chairs to help me cook and do dishes. They see me pull out the laundry basket and they come running. So start them young! Because they find joy in it, it gives you the opportunity to be with your kids while doing chores, and they make it much more enjoyable.

E57: There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather – Embracing Scandinavia’s Outdoor Culture With Author Linda Akeson McGurk

In today’s episode we had the honor of speaking with journalist and author, Linda McGurk! Linda blogs over at Rain or Shine Mamma and is the author of ‘There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather: A Scandinavian Mom’s Secrets for Raising Healthy, Resilient and Confident Kids (from Friluftsliv to Hygge)’.   
When Linda moved from Sweden to Indiana, she quickly learned that the nature-centric parenting philosophies of her native Scandinavia were not the norm. In Sweden, children play outdoors year-round, regardless of the weather, and letting babies nap outside in freezing temperatures is common and recommended by physicians. Preschoolers spend their days climbing trees, catching frogs, and learning to compost, and environmental education is a key part of the public-school curriculum. In the US, McGurk found the playgrounds deserted, and preschoolers were getting drilled on academics with little time for free play in nature. And when a swimming outing at a nearby creek ended with a fine from a park officer, McGurk realized that the parenting philosophies of her native country and her adopted homeland were worlds apart.

Struggling to decide what was best for her family, McGurk embarked on a six-month journey to Sweden with her two daughters to see how their lives would change in a place where spending time in nature is considered essential to a good childhood.  (Description from Amazon)

After reading her book her philosophy, ideas, and thoughts have become an inspiration to us and our entire family.  During our conversation we spoke about the importance and culture  of the outdoors, teaching children to respect nature, and how we as parents  are essential when it comes to creating a positive mindset for our children and their love of wild places.  Linda was such an amazing and gracious person to speak with and we hope you enjoy this as much as we did. So grab a seat and join us as we get inspired to not just survive the season but to embrace it! 

If you like what you hear and have enjoyed our show, please show your appreciation by subscribing to our Podcast and leaving us a review on your Podcast App of choice.
We would love to hear from you so please email us with any comments or questions you have.
Visit us and all of our content, including our blog, at http://www.thehomeschoolprojectpodcast.com
As always, let’s Light A Fire They Can’t Put Out
Thank you for listening!

Listen Here! – E57: There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather – Embracing Scandinavia’s Outdoor Culture With Author Linda Akeson McGurk (buzzsprout.com)

Show Notes
Blog: Rain or Shine Mamma – There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes
Instagram or Facebook: @rainorshinemamma
Book: There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather: A Scandinavian Mom’s Secrets for Raising Healthy, Resilient, and Confident Kids (from Friluftsliv to Hygge): McGurk, Linda Åkeson: 9781501143632: Amazon.com: Books

5 Minutes or Less : Tara and Jared (The Classroom Less Travelled) from Somewhere on the Road #vanlife

Hi everyone and welcome to our 5 Minutes or Less series! Where we are building a community through some fun questions that help us get to know each other a little better and trying to keep it within 5 minutes, ha!
To view the video version, head over to our Instagram account where we will add them as an IGTV post.

If you like what you heard, then stay tuned for our full interview with them! That episode will be released in the near future 😉

If you want to join in on the fun and participate, just send us an email at thehomeschoolprojectpodcast@gmail.com or message us on Instagram.

Listen Here! – 5 Minutes or Less : Tara and Jared (The Classroom Less Travelled) from Somewhere on the Road #Vanlife (buzzsprout.com)

Hope you enjoy!

You can find Tara and Jared on:
Instagram @ theclassroomlesstraveled

FLAX MUFFIN IN A MUG

How was everyone’s holidays? If they were as crazy chaotic as mine, then I totally understand!! Things for us got a little more crazy than expected and are currently extending our stay with family. BUT thank God for homeschooling!!! Cuz we haven’t missed a beat! We also started a new unit study with Gather Round Homeschool, SPACE!!! And Ohmygosh are we loving it! And when I say “we”, I totally mean myself included! We even started creating a solar system that we are adding each planet to it as we learn about it. I may be sad when this unit is over!

But since things have been off schedule, off routine and just all around upside down, finding good filling foods has been a challenge these days. Especially since I’m not home with my own kitchen and ability to stick it up like normal. But my baby sister reminded me of this recipe I passed on to her years ago. Tried it this morning and remembered why I loved it so much! AND the best part: mix it in a microwave safe mug, microwave for 2 min and done! Top it with peanut butter or whatever you like and it’s even better!
Can you tell I’m excited? Give it a try!

Flax Muffin In A Mug

1/4 cup ground flaxseed

1 tsp baking soda

1 egg

2 tablespoons milk of choice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

dash of sea salt

optional: add in a drizzle of honey, half mashed banana, chocolate chips, berries, nuts, etc.. get creative

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a microwave safe mug
  2. microwave for 2 minutes
  3. Top with peanut butter, honey, Nutella, jam, whatever or leave it plain
  4. Enjoy a filling muffin to get you going!

E56: Rabbit Holes with S.D. Smith Author of the Green Ember Series

Today we spoke with  S. D. Smith!  He is the author of The Green Ember Series, a bestselling middle-grade adventure saga. The Green Ember has reached hundreds of thousands of readers and spent time as the number one bestselling audiobook in the world on Audible. Smith’s stories are captivating readers across the globe who are hungry for “new stories with an old soul.”

It was such a pleasure speaking with Sam.  We are huge fans of his books and our kids (elementary age) hang on every word.  Getting to know him a little better through this conversation just solidified us as fans of him and his work.  He was such a funny, entertaining, and humble person that we will be life long readers of anything that he creates.   We hope you will be as well! 

If you like what you hear and have enjoyed our show, please show your appreciation by subscribing to our Podcast and leaving us a review on your Podcast App of choice.
We would love to hear from you so please email us with any comments or questions you have.
Visit us and all of our content, including our blog, at http://www.thehomeschoolprojectpodcast.com
As always, let’s Light A Fire They Can’t Put Out
Thank you for listening!

Show Notes:
Sam’s website – https://sdsmith.com
To receive The Green Ember audiobook (Book 1 in the series) for FREE- Free Audiobook – S. D. Smith

E55: Appreciation For All Of Our Firelight Conversations And Wrapping Up Season 1

This is our last episode for 2020!   Today we are recapping Season 1 and spotlighting all of our guests from 2020 to discuss what each one means to us.  We wanted to say thank you to all of them as well as all of you for listening and giving us the motivation to keep creating.  We hope all of you finish up 2020 strong and enter 2021 with a new found appreciation for everything that we have and a positive outlook for all that is possible.  See you next year with some exciting new content and more campfire conversations with amazing people. 

If you are interested in participating in our 5 Minutes or Less series, please send us an email at thehomeschoolprojectpodcast@gmail.com or message us on Instagram. We would love to hear from you!

If you like what you hear and have enjoyed our show, please show your appreciation by subscribing to our Podcast and leaving us a review on your Podcast App of choice.
We would love to hear from you so please email us with any comments or questions you have.
Visit us and all of our content, including our blog, at http://www.thehomeschoolprojectpodcast.com
As always, let’s Light A Fire They Can’t Put Out
Thank you for listening!

A Time for Rest

I decided to do something this Christmas that is very different for me. I decided to rest. For those who don’t know me, this probably sounds ridiculous. For this who do, you know this is a HUGE challenge for me. But I did it! I rested. Well, as much as a mama of 2 littles can rest. Because let’s be honest, that is not easy. Ever.

I love the holidays. I especially love spending the holidays surrounded by loud family, loud music, and lots of food and laughter. But this Christmas was our year to not travel. (Pro tip: Create a schedule where you split holidays with your family and your in laws. This will make them less crazy. One year we spend Thanksgiving with my family and Christmas with the husband’s family then the next year we switch.) So this year Christmas was with my family, who live in town. So we didn’t have to go anywhere. Which meant I was going to rest.

Rest can look different for different people. For some overly active people, resting is still doing but doing less. That is me. My days are filled with making meals, getting little people ready for school, going to work and teaching, coming home to do more meals, trying to squeeze in workout and prayer time for myself while kids are taking baths, cleaning the house that magically becomes a mess in 5 minutes, getting in bed and doing it all over again. Then during the holidays, we spend our days trying to jam as many activities with family members into a week as humanly possible. I love it all! But I always come back from holidays exhausted and needing another break. So this year was different.

I decided to hide my school bag and just do all the things I haven’t done in forever. I started with an audio book (baby steps). Then I made Christmas cookies with my kids. Then we made more Christmas cookies because Santa needed some and daddy ate them all! Then I read an actual book! I got reacquainted with my podcasts and found some new ones. Went driving around to look at Christmas lights (a lot!) and even went walking around to see Christmas lights. I did 2 puzzles. 2! It’s been glorious!

The house is a MESS! The kids are 100% off their regular schedules and routines. We even skipped bath time a few times (gasp)! But, we’ve all been laughing and just relaxing. Which is what we all need right now. A small glimmer of joy and love during this crazy 2020 year. I wish you all the same!

Chocolate chip banana muffins

Merry Christmas Eve!!

Can anyone else believe that 2020 is almost over?!? I sure can’t! And I also can’t believe that it’s already Christmas Eve.

Before I go into these delicious muffins, I just have to talk about the Christmas Unit we finished last week from Gather Round Homeschool. My kids have always been very Santa and getting gift focused. So much so that they would get what they wanted and already start asking for stuff for the following year. It really got to me. Since we have started using Gather Round, and since she had put out a Christmas Unit that was focused on Christ, I HAD to do it with my kids. It was less actual schoolwork, and more about learning about Mary, Joseph and Jesus. Also, focusing on quality family time and how to use your own gifts to give to others. Even I learned from it.
Needless to say, by the time we ended the unit, my son was asking to bake a cake for Jesus today instead of baking cookies for Santa. Why? To celebrate His birth. And this mommy’s heart was beyond full!! The kids helped bake the cake and also did all the decorating themselves! Guess they did learn more than I thought!

Now to these Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins. Would you believe there are beans in them? And you can make them Gluten Free?? Yup, just use gluten free oats for the oatmeal. (Or any other flour substitute) That’s it. AND they are super easy to make by putting the ingredients in the blender!

Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Preheat oven 350 degrees

1 can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed

1/2 cup oats (gluten free or any other flour substitute)

1 large ripe banana

1/4 cup peanut butter (or any nut butter)

1/4 cup honey

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp baking soda

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup chocolate chips

  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender, minus the chocolate chips.
    tip: first blend the garbanzo beans, then add one ingredient at a time until everything is blended and smooth.
  2. stir in the chocolate chips
  3. line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and fill most of the way up (they don’t rise much). Makes about 9
  4. Bake for 20 min or until firm.
  5. Enjoy!

Re-Imagine Series – E54: Homesteading and Homeschooling with Farm to Table Mama

Today we spoke with Brittany, the creator of Farm to Table Mama and the YouTube channel, Honey I’m Homestead.  Her and her family have spent the last five years learning to grow their own food and be self sufficient.  They sold their home, payed off debt, left corporate America, and are now building a new off-grid homestead from the ground up! They are currently living in their camper on 9 acres while they build their new home.  For the time being they are without a water source or electricity.  This is their story of making the decision to change their family’s future and to raise and educate their children as they see fit.   
We hope you enjoy this inspiring conversation as much as we did! Grab a seat and join us as we discuss one family’s mission to living out their dream, despite the hardships and sacrifices that come with it.

If you like what you hear and have enjoyed our show, please show your appreciation by subscribing to our Podcast and leaving us a review on your Podcast App of choice.
We would love to hear from you so please email us with any comments or questions you have.
Visit us and all of our content, including our blog, at http://www.thehomeschoolprojectpodcast.com
As always, let’s Light A Fire They Can’t Put Out
Thank you for listening!

Show Notes
You can find Brittany on:
YouTube- Honey I’m Homestead
Instagram- Farm to Table Mama 

COMFORTABLE BEING UNCOMFORTABLE : WHY WE DID THE POLAR BEAR PLUNGE IN LAKE ERIE

About two weeks ago we were down by the beach of Lake Erie on a cold December day. There were a few other people walking and checking out the waves but there was one group that stood out. They were in bathing suits and Santa hats. They were all doing calisthenics apparently getting ready for some big event. That event took place a few minutes later. In one fell swoop they all headed for the frigid water, diving in and spending a good few minutes basking in Lake Erie. The temperature was somewhere in the 40’s (degrees Fahrenheit) and the water not to far off from that. As my kids watched they laughed and giggled realizing how crazy these people were but they couldn’t look away.

What happened next is what surprised me. Our daughter, who is 9, said “I want to do that”. We laughed and then realized that she was very serious. She told us that we should all come back next weekend and do the same thing. All I could say was, “Okay. Lets do it”. Anita thought we were insane but the good news is, so is she. She was onboard.

All week all the kids could talk about was doing the Polar Bear Plunge. The anticipation of doing something we all knew was going to be extremely uncomfortable was driving them crazy. When Saturday finally came, we packed the truck up with changes of clothes, sleeping bags for the back of the truck, and thermoses full of hot chocolate and tea. When we arrived at Lake Erie the temperature was in the mid 40’s and the wind was howling. We walked down to the beach and slowly stripped down to our bathing suits. We darted for the water knowing that in moments like this you just have to rip off the band aid. The water was incredibly cold and it almost took your breath away. It was painful. The funny part was once we were all out we felt incredible. We went back to the truck to change, the kids got into the sleeping bags in the back of the truck and we poured some hot chocolate. We were all satisfied with our accomplishment.

The reason we were so proud of the kids, and even ourselves, was that most people will never purposely put themselves into an uncomfortable situation. We spend our whole lives trying to avoid this. Knowing that the kids were willing to do that to accomplish a goal that they had set out to achieve was inspiring. It is a life lesson that they will take with them as they get older. Jumping into that cold water proved to them that they could get past the feeling of being out of their comfort zone. They now know that they can break though the barrier of their own minds. The Polar Bear Plunge was not just a family adventure, it was a lesson in self control and determination. So here is to all of you who have taken the plunge in 2020.