motivation

90 Creative Resources to Refresh Your Homeschool

Can you believe this homeschool year is almost over? This is about that time when so many of us are in desperate need of a homeschool refresh.  

We're tired, sluggish, stuck in a rut, and just looking for that great day when someone says it's finally okay to have BBQs and play in the pool all week long.

Until then... we've got to keep at it, amIright?

(Especially for us poor few that homeschool year round!)

 

We need a reset! A warm, fresh breeze to drift push through the stagnant air of our homeschool rooms. We need a new perspective to refresh our days, our curriculum, our approaches.

Is your homeschool stuck in a rut? Do you need help homeschooling high school? Here are 90 creative homeschool resources to give you a much needed refresh.

 

The beauty of this day we live in are the incredible amounts of homeschool resources, connections, ideas, and people we can access literally within seconds.

The downside is there's just. so. much. it can make you crazy.

The iHomeschool Network has taken out the hard work of culling through the thicket of information to present us a package of resources we can trust and depend on.

Welcome The Homeschool Omnibus

This year there are 90 resources to inspire you, to refresh your homeschool, to shake it up and do something different, something creative!

  • 90 resources! 
  • Total value: $420
  • Cost is $25 (6% of the actual value)

Holy smoking cow. That's awesome stuff.

These are 90 resources I wouldn't have thought of on my own (well, except one, because that is one I made) and wouldn't have had time to go searching for.

 

[wc_button type="primary" url="http://www.ihomeschoolnetwork.com/idevaffiliate/idevaffiliate.php?id=185_10_1_45" title="Grab it today" target="self" position="float"]Take me to the Omnibus![/wc_button]

I'm loving these homeschool resources

 

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The Organized Homeschool Life

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Homeschooling with ADHD

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Blueprints For Homeschool Science

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Science and Math: End the Struggle

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Books of History Fine Arts Pages

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Poem Collection 1

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Engineering Unit Study

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You Are Not Alone Collaborative Homeschooling

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Come back over the next 10 days to see exactly how these have refreshed our homeschool life. 

 

If you are a Charlotte Mason-er I'd check these resources out

 

Is your homeschool stuck in a rut? Do you need help homeschooling high school? Here are 90 creative homeschool resources to give you a much needed refresh.

If you are homeschooling high school these are some fantastic finds

 

So often many of the homeschool resources out there are for younger students and our awesome high schoolers are neglected! Well, no more!

 

Is your homeschool stuck in a rut? Do you need help homeschooling high school? Here are 90 creative homeschool resources to give you a much needed refresh.

Struggling homeschoolers and New homeschoolers you're not neglected

 

Well, I did neglect you in that I didn't make a pretty picture to show you all the cool goodies there are for you. Sorry, I'm lame.

However, there are many items just for you to ease you into the homeschooling world if you're a newbie.

At your wit's end? Just don't know how to overcome this giant hurdle sitting in your schoolroom? Scared to contemplate what your next move could be? People telling you to just throw in the towel and ship them to the nearest school?

 

Don't despair! Please. First, take a deep breath and know that I feel for you. It's tough and stressful and can be overwhelming when you try to tackle all the issues you may be facing at once. There are some amazing homeschool moms that have been where you are, and many are still overcoming their own hurdles (aren't we all, really) that have offered up some help for you.

 

One of my favorites is Homeschooling with ADHD. This is something that we definitely need in our home. I have it, and I'm pretty sure a few of my kids do as well.

[wc_button type="primary" url="http://www.ihomeschoolnetwork.com/idevaffiliate/idevaffiliate.php?id=185_10_1_45" title="Grab it today" target="self" position="float"]I want it![/wc_button]

Want to know more?

Here's an awesome catalog for you to check out each title for yourself. There's a nifty flip book for you to peruse, or just download the catalog if that is easier for you.

Is your homeschool stuck in a rut? Do you need help homeschooling high school? Here are 90 creative homeschool resources to give you a much needed refresh.

Check out the catalog. You can also click the picture to head to the catalog.

 

Over the next few days I'll be highlighting some of my absolute favorite resources and how I'm using them. Make sure to check back to see just what I have planned, and maybe you'll be just as inspired and excited as I am.

 

Full disclosure

I have a book in the Omnibus sale! I know, right!? I'm kind of amazing. ;-)

What is it, you ask? I know you're dying to know!

Master the ASL alphabet Workbook & Videos

Master the ASL Alphabet workbook and videos

Since I have a book in the sale, I get a small commission when you purchase through my link. What does this mean for you? Nothing, except for you're the sweetest, most kindest, lovingest person in the world. What does it mean for me? I get a little bit of money to keep paying for this blog. Spoiler: blogs are expensive to run.

 

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Wait! As my thanks for your kind and loving support I'll be sending you Master the ASL Numbers Workbook for FREE once it is released (end of May 2016)!

AND! I'll send you my ebook: Celebrate Your Homeschool fo' FREE

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How do you get this sweet bonus?

Purchase by clicking THIS link (or any of the pink buttons in this post) and then email me your Omnibus receipt to asldoneright @ gmail . com

 

Things to remember

This sale lasts for 10 days ONLY. There are absolutely no extensions or exceptions. At all. The Omnibus sale lasts from today, April 29th until May 8th (Sunday) at 11;59 PM Pacific time.

Cost is only $25

  • Add a DVD copy of the 90 resources for an additional $9
  • Or add a thumb drive copy (good for computers without a DVD drive) for an additional $11

The DVD and the thumb drive are mailed out May 31st.

The good thing about these two options are to keep your hard drive clear of tons of downloads. You can also set aside those resources you may not need right now (save those high school resources if your kiddos aren't yet there), and can ensure that you have a backup copy should anything happen to your beloved computer (knock on wood)!

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I love iHomeschool Network and the wonderful homeschooling mamas that are a part of it. They know their stuff and are so eager to serve and help any and all homeschool families just like them.

 

This sale is only once a year, and only 10 days. I'd hate for you to miss it!

[wc_button type="primary" url="http://www.ihomeschoolnetwork.com/idevaffiliate/idevaffiliate.php?id=185_10_1_45" title="Grab it today" target="self" position="float"]Buy the Omnibus[/wc_button]

 

Top 10 Tips For Homeschooling A Large Family: Tips 2 & 1

Did you have a tear slip slowly down your cheek too? Yeah, I know. It's the last day of the top 10 tips for homeschooling a large, and awesome, family.

Either you're crying with sorrow that it's over, or you're crying with joy because it's over (and now you can get to work... not that you were suffering, right?).

 

ten tips large family 5 header

 

The tips were so hard to put in order of importance. In a week, they could change. However, these last two tips were the ones I needed most to go from stressed and overwhelmed to feeling like a homeschooling supermom.

I'm even wearing my Wonder Woman T-shirt today to prove it.

#2

Your plan is set, that picture in your head is almost 100% clear. You ask yourself, "what will the day-to-day be like, though?"

Set your daily and weekly schedule to fit your personality and lifestyle.

This is best done by picking the scheduling method that suits you and gleaning from excellent examples, without copying.

Schedule Types

Set time schedule

You wake up and are ready at the same time, reading is always at 10 AM, lunch is always at 12:30, etc.

Robinson curriculum is similar to this. You read 2 hours a day, math 2 hours a day, and writing 1 hour a day. Without fail. It's encouraged to do this bright and early in the morning and be done at lunch.

Routine

Routine is that you do certain things in an order, but you don't care what time you do it at. reading could be at 9:23, lunch at 11:45, and history could have gone on for a lot longer than normal.

Block Schedule

Your school times are in chunks of time. You do your core subjects (3 R's) in the AM block, have lunch at a set time, and then do your other subjects after lunch.

When we were using Konos (unit studies) this is what we did. The 3 R's in the morning, and then our Unit Studies in the afternoon. I later switched it to Unit Studies in the morning and then the 3 R's in the afternoon because I was more consistent with them this way.

Rhythm Homeschooling

This is fairly new to me, but it's a different thing each week. Basically, you have a small set schedule and you have goals for each day and you allow those to dictate where you're going and what you do that day. It's got boundaries, yet it's completely flexible.

 

plan to be flexible quote

 

In her book, Plan to Be Flexible, Alicia goes much much more in-depth and she might be unhappy with me for not explaining it well. Don't punch me!

This book really resonated with me, her story and mine seem so similar and her pains are mine. She's got it figured out and I don't. This is a book I'm going to have to read twice and take better notes in to figure it all out.

Loop Scheduling 

This is where you list out all the curricula you use, how frequently you need to use it and then you put it in a rotating order. You can have it for a whole week, month, or quarter. So you go down the list and check off each as you complete them and move to the next item.

For instance: 

  1. Science 12x/quarter
  2. Art 6x/quarter
  3. History 12x/quarter
  4. Music 10x/quarter
  5. etc

You'd make your list: science, art, history, music, science, history, music, science, art, history, music, etc

You'd go science, and when you were done, you'd move to art, then history. This is so that if you do history and it takes all day Monday, it didn't ruin any plans, you will just do music on Tuesday and continue from there. You may do lots that day, or you may do one. This just helps you keep on track without feeling the burden of being "behind." There's no such thing.

I'll explain this one more another day. :)

 

In the end, you pick one of these, or any other you've heard of, that meshes well with your personality. As much as I wish I could live by a set time schedule, I immediately feel trapped and stifled and crazy.

You can do a combination of the two. We'll be doing a routine/loop schedule this year. As I read more of rhythm based homeschooling I'll move over to that.

Schedule Resources

Weekly Homeschool Planner -- I've been using this planner since the beginning of time. It's fantastic!

Family Homeschool Planner 2015-2016 -- I just found this one via the Omnibus sale, and I absolutely love it! I love all the extras it has.

#1

It's so easy to let things get in our way or self-sabotage our greatest efforts and plans. Your mental mindset is the final piece. Be reasonable, yet firm, with yourself and your family. Create support, accountability, and a backup plan.

ten tips large family 5 pin

Expectations.

Be realistic, but don't be milquetoast. If something's not working, figure out why. Maybe it's YOU (or your child) that needs a reset or encouragement.

Set expectations for yourself, not unreasonable ones though. Decide what you expect out of yourself and what you expect from your children. Do not budge.

Be flexible.

Tweak when necessary, change after evaluation, and let go of impossible standards.

[Tweet "Tweak when needed, change after eval, and let go of imposs standards. #homeschool"]

When you set expectations that doesn't mean that you need to be super homeschooling mom. That doesn't mean your children are all going to win the Nobel Peace Prize. This also doesn't mean you have to do what Suzie at Iamthebesthomeschoolmomintheworldandyoullnevermatchme.com is doing.

Let go of days that just didn't go how you wanted or planned or expected. Count all the victories, no matter how small. They do count. If something isn't working out, figure out how to make it work for you, not you working for it.

Be persistent.

Be consistent. Push even on those days that are killing you. Push a little more before you call a "day off" of homeschooling.

Those days are good to have, just don't let it become a pattern or that automatic backup plan. Have other strategies in place first.

Find someone to reach out to for you to be held accountable. This is helpful during those times when homeschooling is the last thing you want to do that day.

In summary

Tip #2: Routine + schedule + rhythm

Tip #1: Expectations + Flexibility + Persistence

[Tweet "Know that you've got this! #homeschool #tips"]

You have got this!

 

What has been the most helpful tip for you?

 

 

 

 

The Homeschool Omnibus is here! Grab the 90 Creative Resources to Refresh Your Homeschool

Top 10 Tips For Homeschooling A Large Family: Tips 4 & 3

You're so close to figuring out homeschooling and your swarm of children. par

Or....maybe not. ;)

You're still just not seeing the WHOLE picture or how it all goes together.

These two tips will help fit some of the final pieces together in your mind. That picture will begin to form more wholly and beautifully!

tips for homeschool large family 4

#4

You're searching everywhere, reading everything, trying to figure out how to keep homeschooling your children. There's so many systems, and methods, and suggestions your brain is cramping.

Design your own game plan that combines methods into what works for YOU.

Go to your favorite resources and people to find the plans and suggestions that most appeal to you.

NOT what you think you should be doing. What you think would work FOR your family. Pick what will fit and throw the rest out.

Some resources I've used

Blueprint Homeschooling  -- Some serious goodness here!

Plan to Be Flexible -- Love!

Your Retreat: A Guide to Giving Yourself a Personal Planning Day -- So encouraging!

[Tweet "Your #homeschool plan should be designed for your family, not someone else's. "]

Write/draw it all out so you can see it.

Here's how I've done that.

I will say that I don't have pictures for you and I know how much those help. The huge poster I had filled out got smashed in our move. I just keep forgetting to grab a new poster every time I go to the store. Which I did tonight, I eyed the posters and thought, I think I need one of those... and kept on wheeling through.

But, I DID get to see Captain Hook (minus the hook).

Take out a piece of paper for each kid, even the baby.

  1. Write their name at the top
  2. List out every subject they do
  3. Underneath each subject list each piece of curriculum or resource you use (within reason)
  4. Grab some highlighters (or something similar)
  5. Highlight every piece of curriculum that requires Mom to be with them when they use it. Use the same color for this across all the papers.
  6. Highlight every piece of curriculum that needs some, but not full, one-on-one time. Medium help from mom (give instructions, help set it up, etc.); use the same color.
  7. Highlight every piece of curriculum that they can do on their own 100%. Again, use the same color. It may be helpful to indicate how long this task generally takes.

Now is the mind cramp time. Don't despair. I got through this with some major undiagnosed brain fog and pregnancy brain.  Meaning, even if you're at 5% of your game, you've got this. You just may stare at the paper a little longer. ;)

This is where I grabbed lots of scratch paper. Set out your plan (that you set up) and schedule. You can do this with routines rather than schedules.

 

Look at all your kids, how many things can each do alone, with you, and with some help? The younger ones will need more of you, obviously. Pick a child and a subject. Just do the first on the list. 

Now, when that child is doing this curriculum what could your other children be doing?

If Captain is doing his math (he does alone, unless he is struggling), I can have Little Miss working on her spelling and vocabulary words nearby. I sit with The Animal and do his reading lesson.  

I keep going through each child and putting them in work slots.

We usually do school in chunks of time. I break down our subjects to be efficient and and put about 3-4 work slots in one chunk of time.

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The Captain - 4th

  1. Reading
  2. Handwriting
  3. Spelling
  4. Scriptures

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Little Miss - 2nd

  1. Math
  2. Handwriting
  3. Spelling
  4. Scriptures

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The Animal - 1st

  1. Handwriting
  2. Reading
  3. Math
  4. Play with Sweet Cheeks

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Sweet Cheeks - PreK-ish & The Baby (1)

  1. Color (Baby sits with me)
  2. Reading (Baby plays or has a snack)
  3. Plays (both)
  4. Plays with The Animal (Mom plays with Baby)

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Then, I go through the next chunk of time and repeat.

I put each block of time on a post-it. This way, if something comes up, I can shift the block of time around and know that when I'm helping The Animal with math, the older two should be working on their spelling. It takes out the day-to-day thinking for me. I just look and it tells me what would be best for the other children to do if I'm helping another on a certain subject.

 

Test and tweak as necessary. Always be realistic with yourself.

 

 

ten tips large family 4 pin

#3

Large families have been blessed with many children just eager to love and be loved. There always seems like at least one child slips through the cracks no matter how hard you try.

Each week, set an appointment with each child to meet with them.

You'll check in with them, chat, and ask questions.

  • How are they doing this week?
  • What's been hard for them?
  • What's been enjoyable?
  • What have they learned?
  • What do they need help with?
  • What would they like to tell you about?

This is a perfect opportunity to go over any missed answers on work that's been turned in, anything they're struggling with, and to review any particular material you want to go over.

You can take this time to teach them something that's just for them. You can work on a special project together. My eldest son and I work on some of his Cub Scout stuff to pass off. With The Animal, we do some fun math games. Little Miss loves working on art projects together.

 

You can make this appointment as short or as long as you'd like. You don't have to do everything I've listed. Just set an appointment, put it in your calendar, and sit down and spend time with them.

 

This brought me a lot of peace when I started it. I have time to really connect and talk to each child, to spend it in a meaningful way, that I hope will foster and grow our relationship as parent and child that will bless us for years to come.

In Plan to Be Flexible, Alicia even talks about setting up a yearly date, or appointment, with each child to evaluate your Homeschooling. She's got tons of great questions and worksheets for this invaluable date.

[Tweet "Crave consistent one-on-one time with your children? Check out this easy #tip"]

In summary

Tip #4: Design your own plan + write it out

Tip #3: Set an appointment with each child

You are nearly there! Your homeschooling is going to take off and be just what you need it to be for your family and yourself. You'll find yourself giggling with relief.

chuffed

 

Get the last two tips tomorrow!! Wahoo!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Homeschool Omnibus is here! Grab the 90 Creative Resources to Refresh Your Homeschool

Top 10 Tips For Homeschooling A Large Family: Tips 6 & 5

You thought Homeschooling was for your family, but gosh, this wrangling and teaching and cuddling and cooking and cleaning of all these kids at the same time is terrifying.

What in the heck are you to do? Give up? Throw in the towel? Never! ...but, wow.

tips for homeschool large family 3

 

It's okay. I get it. You're right, you don't have to give up. That voice that tells you there's gotta be a way, after all you see tons of Homeschooling families pulling it off and they look sane, happy, and they're all educated. They can't all be superhuman!

 

They're not. They're just the same as you, and as me.

Check out my next two tips to get you on your way to be just as joyful, calm, sane, and intelligent.

(Did you miss the first four tips? Get tips 10 & 9. Get tips 8 & 7).

 

#6

So many large Homeschooling families have little ones running around. Those precious little ones can (and will) derail your daily homeschool schedule and plans in an instant.

Implementing plans and backup plans will ensure all of your children continue to learn even on the worst days.

 

Schedule the bulk of your activities when your youngsters are at their happiest and most agreeable times. As well as during their nap times.

You can't rely on nap times all the time.

Many kids start to outgrow nap times before you're ready, or they won't go to sleep at the time you have planned, or at all.

For instance, my youngest little guy (1 years old) seems to be happiest early in the morning and then right after dinner. Between those times it's always a guess. Sometimes he's cranky (3 teeth are breaking through right now) and sometimes he's giggly. Sometimes he wants his nap at his regular time and sometimes he decides he needs his nap an hour ahead of his usual time.

[Tweet "Plan your #homeschool times around your baby's happiest times of the day"]

I plan our mom-is-needed school time around those happy times when he's happiest playing by himself with some toys, pulling out all the wipes, or exploring the kitchen drawers.

When he needs me to pay attention to him I have the kids doing the bulk of their independent work, or other items on their daily checklists. He gets lots of mommy playtime, cuddling, and food.

Use your checklists to have older kids rotate school time and sibling time. There are times when I need to help The Animal on his reading and he needs quiet. We go downstairs to the couch and the older kids are working. One is reading to Sweet Cheeks or coloring with her. The other older kid is playing with The Baby.

 

superhuman

 

As I mentioned yesterday, each child has on their daily checklist to spend time with the younger two. It is a tremendous help to me.

Have activities, easy ones, ready for the youngsters. Set guidelines for the older little ones. My Sweet Cheeks is 3.5 and she can handle guidelines where my 1 year old will just drool on my face.

Make the activities simple, easy to put together, and in a location that is easy to access. I would suggest setting rules that these are for school time only in order to keep them from growing uninterested in that set as quick.

Fun activities for babies to preschoolers

 

Follow Rochelle Barlow's board Homeschool + PreK on Pinterest.

#5

Homeschooling families can get overrun with their long lists of things to coordinate.

They don't implement them because they're too overwhelmed to think about it or where to start. Putting systems in place is a profitable strategy because it saves time, energy, and brain cells.

We can't start losing more than we already have! ;)

easy-peasy

Set up a system for your chores. Have chore rotations, each child in charge of a chore appropriate for their age. They can do more than you realize.

Here are the chores we have our kids do:

  • Dishes: hand washing, dishwasher, putting away (started at about age 6/7)
  • Laundry: sorting, wash, dry, fold, and put away (starting at age 3)
  • Trash: collecting, taking out, picking up trash in the house (age 3+)
  • Sweep and mop (age 5+)
  • Vacuum (age 5/6+)
  • Counters, table (4+)
  • Bathrooms (7+)
  • Make beds (2+)
  • Toys, books, clutter, rooms (2+)

Set up buckets or baskets for each chore containing the supplies they need for each chore (if anything is required) and put a checklist in each chore bucket. If the chore doesn't require a bucket, have a place for checklist for that chore.

This is what you'll use to say these things need to be done correctly for this chore to be checked off. You can inspect with that checklist in hand, or have them inspect themselves.

If you want chores done a specific time each day, set up a schedule. You can set up a time of day you'd like it done in (AM, after lunch, PM) otherwise just say it needs to be done today.

ten tips large family 3 pin

Set up systems for meals.

Use a meal planner system, make lunches ahead of time, make an assembly line, make dinners ahead of time, and have your older children involved in cooking.

Organize your school area to provide a place for everything and systems for your school days. Prepare every needful thing. Set aside a weekend to do major prep work, a time slot for each week, and a few minutes each day to prep for the next day.

Have shelfs, baskets, areas, pouches, folders, and bulletin boards and more dedicated to specific school work, tools, resources, and activities. Set up areas for the kids to have access their work and supplies and any other learning activity you'd like them to do independently.

This doesn't mean spend your lifetime doing this or a lifetime worth of money to do it. Do what you can with what you have and do it in the time you have.

The more you can do ahead of time setting up the systems that work for your family the better prepared you'll be when life hits you or you're all just having one of those days.

This MP3 is great at helping you organize your home for some peace!

In summary

#6 Have definite plans and back up plans for your littles.

#5 Get organized with systems and prepare as much as you can.

Today's tips require a bit more work than the previous four. You didn't think you'd get out of working did you? Nah, I knew you were realistic.

Working today will save you tomorrow. So long as you don't overdo it and try to do it all in one day. Make sure you get help from your family.

Tomorrow's Homeschooling tips are some of my favorite! See you then.

Mwah

 

 

 

 

 

The Homeschool Omnibus is here! Grab the 90 Creative Resources to Refresh Your Homeschool

10 Tools Every Homeschool Needs For Success 

We all want to be successful in homeschooling. There’s more pressure on us Homeschool parents to be successful in our children’s education.

10 Tools Every Homeschool Needs For Success

The world puts pressure on us.

What are you teaching? Are you qualified? What about socialization? What about…? What about…? What about…?

We put pressure on ourselves.

What if I can’t teach something? What if they can’t get into college? What if they don’t make friends? What if I mess them up? What if…? What if…? What if…?

Our children put pressure on us.

Why is learning to read so hard? Why are they not good at spelling? Why can’t they remember their multiplication tables? Why…? Why…? Why…?

 

We look around and see all these other moms and think, gosh, they have it all together, why don’t I?

Or we look around and say, hey, that mama’s house is just as filthy as mine, and don’t lift a finger.

Both of these trains of thoughts are wrong.

Comparison is wrong. No one wins with comparing. No one. We also can’t use other people’s weaknesses as validation for our own.

It does us no good to say, hey, you know what, I’m an inconsistent homeschooler, and leave it at that. Ummmm… no. You acknowledge it, you make peace with it, and then you [wc_highlight color="yellow"]WORK[/wc_highlight] on it.

On to the tools.

 

There are a gazillion wonderful amazing posts on the tools you need to homeschool. Things you can’t live without, things that make life easier, things that organize you, prepare you, and get you where you want to go.

I love those posts. I’m addicted to those posts. I even have a few of them myself. (Planning, Scheduling)

Before you click away because you just realized that this is not about what’s the best stapler or printer to use (I have that post coming soon - minus the stapler), [wc_highlight color="yellow"]promise me you'll give this a good thorough skim[/wc_highlight]

1. Look at these tools and see which ones you have and give yourself a treat. Maybe a cookie. Have some for me because I can’t eat them anymore.

Better make it brownies, fresh from the oven, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream covered in chocolate sauce and caramel.

2. Go through this list and look closer at the ones you don’t have. Pick one that really just hits you right in the feels and focus on that one. Once you got that, come back and work on another one.

I’m the queen of trying to work on everything all at once. If only I’d just taken one baby step at a time, I probably would be the master of a clean house by now. Maybe even have my own TV show.

Believe me, I understand trying to tackle it all at once. Don't do it, but I won't judge if you do.

What are the tools, you ask?

[Tweet "What are the 10 Tools Every #Homeschool Needs For Success? I'm about to find out!"]

 

10 Tools Every Homeschool Needs For Success | RochelleBarlow.com

1. Conviction

Be fully committed to homeschooling. It’s okay to say, let’s try this out for a year, or six months. It’s not okay for during that trial period you on give it half effort. If you’re in, you’re in. Let’s do this.

2. Intention

I realize you have probably had this beat into you, but it’s for a reason. It’s the small and simple things that bring about great things.

I go over how to know your why in this post  and I relate to you an experience I had because I forgot my purpose.

3. Support

You have got to have a good support system. That doesn’t mean you can’t homeschool and have your whole family against you. That does mean you deserve lots of respect and hugs, and perhaps donations. $$$

Go find a great support group, in a homeschool group that you mesh well with, in a co-op that has similar intentions as you, and in several online communities.

I am in several Facebook groups that have made all the difference in my life. They may have one for your local area as well. Do a quick search.

Here are a two you may love:

Hip Homeschool Moms

Christian Homeschooling Moms

4. Trusted Resources

Find people that have been there and done that. Find people that not only have been there and done that, but do it in a way similar to you, or in a way that resonates with you.

Don’t close off everyone else, just be selective. If you look at what everyone is doing you’ll change so much that you’ll either run out of money or you’ll have zero consistency and have big education gaps.

Follow the blogs that really give you what you need and turn to them for help. I am a part of iHomeschool Network. The ladies in this network are freaking amazing. I feel so supported, so energized, and am given such fabulous ideas daily.

5. Plan

You have got to have a plan. In the words of every self-help, planning, time management guru “Fail to have a plan and you plan to fail.”

Who has a wooden spoon I can gag on?

Goshdarnit, it’s true though. Why do you think there are so many gazillion planning and scheduling and organizing posts? Because these steps are the ones that can make all the difference.

Make a plan that works for you and stick to it.

6. Flexibility

Gotcha! 

Yes, make a plan and stick to it, but no, not until the death. You’ll burn yourself out, you’ll burn your homeschool curriculums, and you’ll burn your house down.

Be flexible, let your expectations go, and just chill.

7. Be Realistic

This goes along with flexibility. Perhaps that’s why they’re next to each other. So clever.

What screws us up the most in homeschool

Don’t set these impossible expectations for yourself.

No, you probably won’t bake bread and have fresh milk (from your cow/goat) and warm cookies every day for a after homeschool snack. You probably won’t have children creating science experiments that have MIT knocking on your door, and art galleries from all over the world taking down their Picasso paintings to display your daughter’s paintings, and no, your children may not all go on to earn PhD’s at the age of 18.

You may not have this classic school room with maps, portraits, globes, chalkboards, desks, lab equipment, easels, an extra kitchen, a timeline that covers your huge wall that is both educational and classy in appearance. You may not have it all.

But you do.

10 Tools Every Homeschool Needs For Success

 

Know your limitations, your weaknesses, and your strengths. Realize what you're capable of. Being recently diagnosed with Hashimotos and adrenal fatigue I've had to learn this. And don't think I wasn't breaking glass and throwing it in a fit of tantrum along the way (I need tool #8)!

No matter how much you want to teach that Adult Skills Class (Rochelle...), if it's beyond your physical and emotional limitations, just let it go and be okay with that.

This isn't the time to heap on excuses.

The other side to reality is to realize when you aren't pushing yourself hard enough, you aren't doing as much as you can. Evaluate your reality and set reasonable expectations that will help you grow.

8. Attitude

A bad attitude is like rotten fruit. It stinks. I just made that up, can you tell?

Or... it’s like raw chicken that’s been left on your counter, put away, but no one cleaned the counter properly and then made PB&J sandwiches right on top of that spot.

Dangerous, deadly, and disgusting.

Kick that rotten or the [wc_fa icon="arrow-circle-o-up" margin_left="" margin_right=""][/wc_fa] "3 D’s of attitude" out of here. Drop a hammer on it. Thor’s hammer.

You have got to be realistic, but you don’t have to be a martyr, nor do you have to be negative. “If only I had lab equipment my Fabio too could be a mad scientist.”

Wrong.

If only I had a better attitude, then I could feel happier and accomplish my goals easier.

Yes.

Now get to work on that.

Here are two tips:

  1.  Smile.
  2. Show gratitude.
  3. Serve.
  4. Learn to count.

9. Determination

  • Get it done.
  • Do your best.
  • Have a good attitude.
  • Be understanding and forgiving, but [wc_highlight color="yellow"]do not to take any lip[/wc_highlight] from yourself, nay-sayers, or your children that are whining and rolling on the floor because you asked them to ________ and they wanted to _________ instead.
Determination will get you everywhere.

10. Stick-to-it-iveness

With your powers combined…! I am Stick-to-it-iveness!!

This is not the same as determination. I know; I checked.

Consistency in homeschooling can be the hardest bit.

You have to hold yourself accountable.

You have to have loads of self discipline.

You can’t just stop doing math because you’re tired of drilling addition already. Or end your day early because you deserve it.

  • Help yourself be consistent.
  • Make a plan that works for you.
  • Set realistic goals.
  • Have reasonable expectations for yourself, have a good attitude, get phenomenal support, use fantastic resources, and take it a little at a time.
  • Set it up in chunks and give yourself small rewards for getting it done. A 5 minute breather, a chapter in the book you’re trying to read, or a nice walk around the neighborhood. Something that will relax you, rejuvenate you, and not take you off your plan/schedule.

[Tweet "10 Tools Every #Homeschool Needs For Success. I laughed, I cried, I ate brownies."]

Holy smokin' guns...

Is your brain cramping yet? Nah, mine isn't either...

There really isn't one tool better than the other. They all work together, like Captain Planet.

Pick the one that you know in your heart you can work on and buckle down. If you need some tips, some help, some support, I'm right here. I may not have it all together... in fact, I don't. But, I do make some pretty great funny faces, and I know some people who know some people.

If you liked these tools, or perhaps even one of them, would you share this post? You'd make a grown woman (who is still breaking out like a teenager) cry tears of joy.

Mwah

 

 

 

 

The Homeschool Omnibus is here! Grab the 90 Creative Resources to Refresh Your Homeschool

Homeschool: Figuring Out Our Why

figure out why title If someone asked me five months ago why I homeschool, I'd give them, what I'd consider, a valid, concrete answer.

Then, the crisis hit.

I mean THE crisis. Of 2015.

Well, that's assuming that there won't be some other type of crisis this year. I'm an optimist.

 

And so it begins...

A dear friend of mine told me about a Waldorf charter school in our area. I was immediately intrigued. I went right home and researched it.

You have to set an appointment for an orientation to find out more about the school before you can put them on the waiting list. I signed up for it and then started researching.

See, that's what I do. I research. It's kind of a hobby of mine.

 

Along the way, I thought, "if you're going to send them to the charter school why don't you just put them in public school while you wait?"

 

I mentioned this to my husband. It started a long, trying road, to figuring out just what I wanted to do with our kids.

 

I cried. I prayed. I struggled.

I wrestled, and I mean singlet, mat, sweat.

I was wracked with guilt. I just didn't know what to do. I wanted to do the right thing. Not just for the kids, but for me as well. I didn't know what that was.

 

I felt sick inside every time I thought about my children in public school. It felt wrong. Very wrong. And yet, something inside me was tempted by the prospect of free time.

I felt selfish. So so guilty and selfish.

 

I reached out to everyone I knew for help. I prayed and cried and researched some more.

VERY long story short, I came to my decision through multiple avenues.

Examining it all

I have struggled with my health for quite some time, and have recently been diagnosed with Hashimoto's (that's a whole other story). I work part-time as a transcriber for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. I also want to expand and grow this blog and business. We want to have another baby, but I have HG when I'm pregnant, so it's hard on all of us. These were all major factors in our decision.

 

Things were looking up with my health, though. My energy was higher than I can remember it ever being. I think I've been tired since I was in high school.

 

I reached out to: family, friends, Facebook groups, moms with kids in public school, moms with kids homeschooled, etc. They all said a variety of things, all helpful, yet not what I was looking for.

 

I spent a lot of time in prayer. If I wasn't actively talking to someone, I was probably praying.

I wrote a ton of pros and cons. A ton of pros and cons. I love and hate pros and cons lists.

 

At the charter school orientation the presenter was showing developmental information on children. He said, the most influential person at this child's age was their teacher. The teacher could tell the kid that 3 + 1 = 5 and they'd believe them, no matter what their parents said.

Does that freak out anyone else?

As an ASL interpreter and transcriber, I have daily experience with classrooms and the  information taught. Suffice to say, I'm not liking it.

 

The rest of the meeting he went over all the things they did, all these things seemed revolutionary to the rest of the parents in the meeting. They all had kids in public school. I was nodding along, thinking, duh, get on with it already.

I already knew this stuff, I was already doing this stuff. I believed it, we lived it.

 

I don't know why it took me so long to realize this. I just took what we did for granted. I didn't realize what a rich life we led.

 

I also spoke with a friend that had gone through a similar crisis the year before. We talked about her experiences on both sides, her regrets, things she wouldn't change, etc.

The decision

After more thinking, I came upon my answer, slowly, yet suddenly.

 

You know what to do

 

I knew the answer all along, l'd just forgotten. I had gotten in my own way. I was so caught up with this tempting idea of having some free time. Maybe some time to nap, to read, to potentially go out with other ladies, or to go to the store without 3 of the 5 kids.

Those things weren't important, in the scheme of things. I knew how to get my free time, my alone time, my time with friends all along. I wasn't going to go out with these ladies at lunch time anyway. I can nap and read if I want to, even while homeschooling.

 

I don't have a lot of time with these kids in my home. I don't have enough time. None of us really do. Even if we get the full 18 years. Is it ever enough? I say eternity isn't enough with our angels in our arms.

 

All that anguish, guilt, turmoil, stomachache, and heartache went away when I made my choice. Or, I should say, remembered my choice.  I was filled with peace, confidence, and a surity that this was right for me and the children.

So now, when you ask me why I choose to homeschool I have an answer that reaches to my very core, my heart and my mind.

figure out why

Want to know my reasons?

  • Lots of time with my kids
  • I can pick our curriculum
  • Tailor their learning
  • Use the method that resonates with us
  • Time for a more rigorous scripture study
  • Character improvement
  • Help our family be close and strong
  • Focus on the things I want them to learn
  • Time to develop interests, hobbies, and talent
  • Good environment
  • Able to thrive in their education

We also have access to a charter school that has educational and social opportunities. We are joining a great co-op this next fall that will be a great opportunity for them to be involved with kids and other people, in addition to giving me a few hours of time with the youngsters and other things I need to do during that time.

 

This experience strengthened my resolve to homeschool and has helped me to grow and to really have set in stone what I want for our children. On top of that, I think it was a great thing to have this debate with myself so that I could find a better solution for our temperaments and our life situations.

The relief I feel is amazing. Even looking back I can't understand why it took me so long to figure it all out. Sheesh.

 

If you ever need someone to bounce ideas off of, or help sorting your thoughts, I'm here for you! For reals.

 

Your turn:

Why do you homeschool? Have you ever doubted your decision?

 

WhyWeChose

60 Homeschooling Tips From 60 Years + Giveaway

Holy crap. I'm going to screw up my children forever. They're never going to learn to read, they'll never be able to do simple math, much less calculus.

They're going to never have friends, be bullied in college, if they even make it into college. They're going to never find a spouse unless they're equally out-casta-able.

They won't get into college. They won't be able to do any of those stupid standardized tests. I'll be that "mother" you know, the one that everyone says "oh she homeschools -- yeah right -- that's just her excuse to stay home and do nothing."

They won't ever understand a single thing they're learning. They won't understand all those quirky things you can't find in a curriculum, but necessary life skills.

I won't ever be able to cover enough. I'm dooming my children to failure. Not just academically, but in every freakin' stinkin' blinkin' area of their miserable little lives. All because I'm homeschooling them. What a selfish beast I am.

Have you ever felt this way?

120 Ideas for Back to (Home)School

Last year I found the first day of school crept up on me and I stood there without so much as a "Yay! It's the first day!"  Not even a blinkin' picture.

What kind of mother does that? This kind.

 

I was determined that I would not let this year go by without doing something special to commemorate the day. Something... anything.

Getting back to school (even if you've been doing it over the summer like us) is a fun event! It's the time of new beginnings and fresh starts.

 

As Homeschoolers back to school is just as fun and important as non-homeschoolers.

 

Enter research time! Wow, did I find some great ideas! I wanted to share them with y'all. I decided to put them in all one spot so you wouldn't have to go searching and searching like I did.

Now you'll just have to click and click.

 

120 ideas

 

Trust me, I've found some goodies for y'all!

 

 

 

Photo Ops

1. Giant Polaroid  Make your own polaroid frame photo prop.

2. Pencil Prop Cute giant pencil photo prop.

3. Chalk speech bubble  Fun DIY sign.

4. Same outfit on first and last day of school. See how they've grown!

5. Chalkboard sign  Make your own sign with a canvas and some paint. Personalize with their details.

6. Photo checklist  Not all of these photo ideas are for homeschoolers. You can adapt the list to suit your situation. Have fun with it!

7. Printable sign

8. Printable signs (put on a stick)

9. Printable sign

10. Big Letter/Number Sign Use a big wooden letter and paint it! Cute photo prop

11. Graduating year T-shirt Make a T-shirt for their graduating year and take a photo with them in it every year as they grow up.

12. Chalkboard sign A framed chalkboard.

13. Large Printable Sign This one is editable with photoshop and she printed it at a copy shop.

14. Sidewalk chalk Make a grade year sign on the sidewalk. Add in some personal details or fun pictures. Pose away!

15. Paperstrip backdrop Cute backdrop for some pop of color.

16. Mini Chalkboard Such a cute little chalkboard.

17. Mom holding all the signs of each kid Show what grades mom is teaching this year!

18. Printable Bus Sign Cute school bus sign.

19. Hashtag sign Modern #photoprintable

20. Photo props Cute photo booth-like props

 

 

Interview Your Kids

21. Interview made into a special page Ask your questions and design them into a pdf or pretty document to print and keep.

22. 21 questions to ask Great questions to ask. Put them on video or write them down. Or be crazy and do both.

23. First and Final Day Ask your kid the same questions at the start and end of the year.

24. Printable interviews Free printable for each grade level.

25. Back to school Survey Another fun set of questions.

26. K-12 Printable interviews More I tell you, more!

27. My summer printable What did you do this summer interview!

28. first and last day memory page Put your memories down on paper!

2

Celebrate it Up!!

29. You're so Sharp themed party - with printables

30. When I Grow Up Fun idea for what you want to be when you grow up party.

31. Ice Cream Party Who doesn't love ice cream? Don't answer that. I"ll just pretend I didn't see that.

32. Dessert Party Desserts people, desserts!

33. Apple Party Cute classic apple theme.

34. "Be Brave" I love this idea. Be Brave is their slogan for the year.

35. Going Places Great theme.

36. Wheels on the Bus Cute for the little ones. Even if they don't ride a bus :)

37. Coffee Date for Moms A fun celebration for the moms and dads to celebrate the start of a new year.

38. "Future is Bright" Another fun theme.

39. Milk and Cookies party Milk and cookies people, milk and cookies! Classic after school snack!

40. 50 more Celebrations Dude, my hand would've cramped if I tried to post more of these. I ♥ Naptime did it for me.

 

 

 

Special Meals

41. Lunch box notes Gotta love lunch box notes!

42. decorated lunch bag Make their brown bags look extra fun.

43. lunch survey A fun way to get to know what your kiddo has been up to at school (or wherever if they're homeschooled)

44. lunchbox notes Love fun printables!

45. lunchbox jokes Jokes! Who doesn't love a good laugh? Your kiddo could use some cheering up.

46. owl lunch bag Another fun way to decorate the classic brown bag.

47. back to school luncheon Celebrate with a special lunch. Invite some homeschool families.

48. back to school dinner Special dinner either the night before of the night of.

49. back to school breakfast Have a feast!

50. back to school bash Invite the friends over!

51. breakfast butterflies Cute special breakfast meal.

52. back to school feast !ith crowns!

Cute treat bag full of whatever goodies you want! School supplies, treats, gifts, whatevs.

 

Magical-ness

53. Back to School Fairy visit Have her visit the morning of.

54. Fairy Treat bag Have her visit the night before.

55. Magic School Bus Same idea, but it's no fairy, it's a Magic Bus, baby! *cringe* Sorry about the cheesiness.

 

 

A Little Something Fun to Give

56. First Day Ribbons Little badges for them to wear with their new grade!

57. Decorate a Composition Notebook Decorate a notebook for them to use all year long.

58. Craft Stick Bookmarks  They're designed to look like pencils, crayons, or super heroes.

59. Decorate Journals Make journals together!

60. School binders Have a special binder just for them.

61. First day Certificates These are just for your preschooler and kindergartener.

62. Smile catchers Fun little toy you can put in their lunch box. You know those folded thingys you used to say who your crush was and all that fun stuff. What's its name?

63. Back to School Mad-Libs Who doesn't love a good mad lib?

64. Washi tape bookmarks, clothespins, thumb tacks, dry erase board, and labels  Lots of cute supplies you can make with washi tape.

65. Crayon Favor Box Cute cute giant crayon stuffed with whatever treat you want to put in.

66. Button Book Marks Sweet little things!

67. Personalized Pens Decorate a boring ole pen.

68. Pencil Bag So fun, it looks like notebook paper

69. Personalized Pencil Cans In the post they aren't personalized, but you could definitely make one for each child.

70. bottle cap magnets Such a fun thing. If they have a locker, a magnet board, or anything really.

71. School supply crate A fun idea to decorate their curriculum/supply box.

72. Dry Erase Clipboard Could be a great tool for keeping them on task.

73. Printable bookmarks Cute easy bookmarks! Free!

74. mini chalkboard easels Cute little gift.

75. Survival bag Scroll down a bit in the post to see it.

76. First Day Survival Kit Gotta survive that first day!

77. pencil can with pencils Make a fun pencil can and then fill it with fun pencils!

78. Back to school pencil cases Love pencil cases!

79. notebook cover Fun way to cover a notebook.

80. Schultute A cute way to give a bunch of gifts. Could be used along with the BTS Fairy.

81. back to school bag Great idea.

82. school tools Fun fun! Fill it with whatever supplies they love.

 

 

Yummy Treats

83. Lucky Charms goody bag Cute little cereal bag.

84. Apple Cupcakes Adorbs!

85. Gumball Rulers So clever! You gotta check it out.

86. Rice Krispy Apples So simple and fun

87. Confidence Cookies I hearts and flowers this idea.

88. Edible Glue Stick What a cute idea - a fake glue stick filled with white candy!

89. lemon cake cookies Lemon. Cake. Cookies. Yummmm

90. 7-up treat Cute little saying to go along with the 7-Up!

91. bookworm cupcakes So cute. There's a couple more cupcake ideas on this post as well.

92. tic tac printables Cute little printables to put on a Tic Tac box.

93. apple cake pops So cute!

94. back to school cookies She did a fabulous job on these cookies!

95. edible crayons Such a fun idea to make together.

96. Back to school cupcakes Cupcakes! Love!!

97. hershey kiss pencils These are so cute. Big pencils but with candy instead of graphite. Win!

98. apple jelly bean treat Super cute! Jelly beans are so yummy.

99. crayon cupcakes Cupcakes made to look like crayons. Love the wrappers. Post has a party idea as well.

 

Won't Be Boxed Into a Category (a.k.a. Don't put Baby in a corner)

100. Countdown paper chain Fun free printable chain!

101. Morning routine printable Great idea to get the kids ready for their day.

102. Alphabet art Cute way to decorate your home.

103. Be Awesome Today print A fun print to keep near your kid's desk.

104. Countdown banner Another fun countdown idea.

105. Back to school printables Lots of cute and practical stuff here:  lunch checklist, refrigerator note, daily school clothes labels, and school money.

106. Printable Reading Log A fun printable to keep track of reading.

107. Crayon Wreath Make a cute wreath for your door or school room. Run out of crayons during the school year just steal one from your wreath. ;)

108. Ruler Wreath I love this wreath!

 

little miss drawings

 

Great Ideas Without a Blog Home

109. Write a letter to your child

110. Scavenger hunt for school supplies.

111. Scavenger hunt for a treat at the end. Maybe a gift, or special meal, or a gift card.

112. Make goals with your children.

113. Ask them what they want to learn this year. What are they looking forward to this year?

114. Make a list of "firsts."

115. Start a newsletter.

116. Draw or paint self-portraits.

117. Homeschool club parties -- some homeschool clubs and co-ops have back to school parties.

118. Field trips - go somewhere fun on your first day back!

119. Do something special that non-homeschoolers can't do!!

120. Go out to eat for breakfast/lunch/dinner.

----------------------------

 

Are you exhausted? I am!

Obviously you cannot do them all. If you try I'm calling an asylum and have you committed. I'll visit once a year and bring you a shiny red apple.

 

What are your family traditions for the first day of school? What new ones will you start this year?

 

I'll report back to tell you which ones we decided to try this year!

♥ Rochelle

jonathangarcia via photopin cc

How to Take Charge of Your Self-Doubt Part 3

This is Part 3 in a 3-part series.  Here is Part 1 and Part 2

 

Source: Amy Wilblanks http://www.flickr.com/photos/arazas/

 

Self-doubt does not need to come between us and our dreams.

 

We can take back control over our fears and doubt.

 

In Part 1 you figured out where your self-doubt was stemming from.  In Part 2 you learned how to differentiate between a thought and a feeling and why that's important.

 

[Tweet "Laughter is poison to fear. ~ George R.R. Martin"]

 

Now we'll finish it up with some of the best tools.

 

Act as though you already are

 

What is your dream?  Okay, that's great!  Now you act as though that already is true.  Let's try one together.  I want to be a best-selling author (It's true, I do).  What does a best-selling author do?  Besides sign books?  Ha!

They write.

They read.

They promote.

They blog.

They are involved in their community.

They are involved in many online communities.

They help others.

What else am I missing?

 

I could break that down even further to really get into the nitty gritty.  I could look at what some of my favorite authors do and emulate them.  I won't go walking around offering to sign books (after all I wouldn't be signing mine just yet), but I will walk around telling myself and others that I am a writer, an author. I will tell myself that my writing is best-selling-book-grade writing.  What!

 

You want to be a painter?  Bam! You are.  You want to be a coach?  Bam! You are.  A proctologist?  Bam!  An esthetician?  Bam!  Of course, don't go operating on people if you haven't graduated yet.  You may have several steps to go to actually get there, but you tell yourself you're there and you'll start to believe it.

 

 

Source: Symphony of Love http://www.flickr.com/photos/pictoquotes/

 

 

The mind is a funny thing.  As a kid I would tell some made up story so much that over time I actually believed it was true.  Some of my childhood memories I don't even know if they ever happened.  I could have easily passed a lie detector test in the midst of an outlandish lie (I told some doozies -- I'll save that humiliation for another post) easily because I believed what I was saying.

 

Don't lie to yourself, but tell yourself you are that someone that you want to be often enough and you'll believe  (clap your hands if you believe in fairies).

 

Wait!

Did you see that heading up there?  It said act as though you are, not just say that you are.  That's a big difference.  Our actions and in-actions, our choices, are what shape our lives.  If we want a full, rich, meaningful life, we need to make choices and then follow them up with the actual doing part.

 

choices

 

The 3 tools of fear

 

tools of fear

 

1.  Discouragement

Something happens to us, or doesn't happen, and we're discouraged.  Maybe we didn't get as many page views or comments on our blog as we were hoping for.  Maybe we got a bad review, or someone unsubscribed.  An opportunity didn't work out. Or maybe someone did the same thing as you, but they succeeded when you didn't.

 

Talk about lame.  That hurts.  You try and you skin your knees.

 

Source: Massdistraction http://www.flickr.com/photos/sharynmorrow/

 

2.  Doubt

That's what this is all about: self-doubt.  You are discouraged and then you begin to doubt yourself, doubt your abilities, others, or even God (or whatever higher power you believe in). It's gone from "gosh, it didn't work out" to "it's just not possible."

 

This is even worse.  You don't think you'll be successful.  You don't think you can actually write, blog, paint, dance, coach, teach, operate, etc.

 

 

3.  Despair

This is the lowest level.  You say to yourself,  I'll never be able to do anything good.  I'll never amount to anything.  No one loves me, no one cares about me, I don't deserve to be loved or happy.  I'm a total screw up.  Nothing I want to do works out and nothing ever will.

 

This is heartbreaking.  This isn't where you want to be.  You'll never be able to do anything that brings you joy if you are in this stage beating yourself up.  No one deserves to be told this.  Ever.  Even those poor people that try out for some reality competition show that really can't dance or sing or whatever.  They may not be great at those things, but they are great at something.  Everyone is great at something.

 

Source: Mourner http://www.flickr.com/photos/mourner/

 

What do you do when you find yourself in any of these stages?  What do you do when you feel stuck?

 

The 3 tools of confidence

 

1.  Hope and Trust.

 

hope quote

 

Have hope in yourself and your abilities.

 

Have hope in others.

 

Your family, your friends, and other people out there in the world sincerely want to help you, guide you, and teach you.  They are there!  Since blogging I have found so many people out in the blogging community that truly care about helping me to succeed and to grow.  I am blown away by their sincerity and their advice.  There are others that you know that care about you.

 

Most of all, trust yourself.  Have faith and hope in your abilities.  Go back to your Part 1 exercises or start over again.  What are you thinking and feeling (part 2)?  Let's replace the negative thoughts and feelings with something a lot more realistic, logical, helpful, positive, and true.

 

thought progression

 

2.  Service.

Most of the time when we are stuck in a vortex of negative thinking it's because we are thinking of only ourselves.  We're on Me Planet. Captain You Planet (you can watch the whole video, it's hilarious, but the Cpt You Planet part starts at 3:53).

 

The best way to stop thinking about ourselves is to think about others.

 

Is there a charity that means a lot to you?  Is there a charity in your community that needs help, even if you don't know anything about it?

 

Is there someone - a family member, friend, neighbor, or stranger - that needs help?  It doesn't have to be major.  In fact, it's those little somethings that bring the biggest smiles.

 

Someone just had surgery or a baby?  Bring them a meal.  Someone just lost their pet? What could you do for them?  A stranger needs help jump starting their car, or a friendly or encouraging smile.  A friend needs a break from her kids, or needs help organizing her closet, or folding her laundry.  Maybe your brother needs a night out.  Maybe his job is stressing him out.

 

Source: Rosie O'Breine http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosieobeirne/

 

The more we think of ways to help others the better you'll feel.  Weird isn't it?  You help others with their issues and the joy you feel gets deep inside your heart and sets roots.  You will feel encouraged and lightened, even if you weren't directly working on your problem.  You never know, maybe someone you help can in turn help you in other ways.

 

We need to get out of our way and realize that the world doesn't revolve around us.  This world is a community.  We each do better by helping others do better.

 

3.  Meditation.

I'm not saying you should sit on the ground, ankles crossed, fingers pinched and say "omm" over and over again.  You can if you want to though!  Take time every day.  In the morning, in the afternoon, at the close of your day.  Take some time to just sit and think. Or not think.

 

Photo source: Moyan Brenn http://www.flickr.com/photos/aigle_dore/ Quote addition: Me!

 

Just be still and quiet and at peace for a time.  If you are going to think, think of positive action oriented things.  Think of the good in your life, think of the positive steps you're taking.  Celebrate your successes.  Brainstorm ways you could tweak something you've been working on.  Give yourself a break.  Do you need help? Where could you go to get help?  Who could you go to?  If you are religious, say a prayer from the heart.

 

{Tweet "Courage is fear that has said its prayers. ~ Dorothy Bernard"]

 

easelly_visual

 

Gratitude

Be grateful for what you have, no matter how small.  Just like the song from White Christmas, count your blessings.

 

The place you live in, your comfy bed, your food, your job, your ability to read, your freedom, the mountains, the sun, the stars, your favorite candy, water, toothpaste, and on and on and on.

 

[Tweet "When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears. ~ Anthony Robbins"]

 

Here's another challenge for you: keep a gratitude journal.   I kept a gratitude journal a few years back when I was having a hard time and it changed my outlook within days.  I listed the big to the mundane.  I thought of everything I could in one sitting each day.  Even if it takes a while to get rolling  just write until either your hand or your brain is dead.  Keep a gratitude journal for at least one week, that's 7 days folks!  That's not too rough.

 

In the end...

 

I have really enjoyed writing this series and I hope that it has helped you.  We do not have to let self-doubt keep us from living and being happy.  You ought to be confident and hopeful.  You have so much to offer.  Self-doubt can come and go in cycles.  You may be feeling great now (yay), but then for whatever reason hit a slump.  That's okay.  Stand up, read these posts again, and get back to work.  If you need me, I'm here!

 

Source: Always Thirteen http://www.flickr.com/photos/dlba13/

 

Your Turn

 

What things have you done that have helped you let go of your self-doubt?  Let us know some new strategies in the comments.  Also, I'd love to hear your thoughts on these latest steps.

 

[Tweet "Take charge of your self-doubt now!"]

 

 

 

 

 

How to Take Charge of Your Self-Doubt Part 2

This is Part 2 in a 3 part series.  If you missed Part 1 go read it, then come back. I won't go anywhere without you!

You're still alive!  I didn't have to put you on sui-watch after Part 1!  I have fun stories about putting people on sui-watch.

 

Self-doubt is a pesky thing I'd like to take a pick ax to.  You feel the same way? Well, read on my friend, read on!

 

Put Yourself Back in Control

Remember that list of negative thoughts? Pull them back out!  We're going to do a little exercise.

 

Really? Again?

Stop your whining folks.

This is you.

 

Step 1

Take your paper filled with negativity and then look at the first one. You're going to replace that thought with a correct one.  You can take as much time and as many sentences as you need to dispute and dispel your snippet of self-doubt.

 

Here's one of mine:

 

No one will care what you have to say.

Umm, that's not true. My mom cares.  Oh! So do my husband and children. I have friends that go out of their way to support me and listen to what I have to say.  I have important things to share; I can be useful and helpful to others.

 

It's your turn now.  You may have too many to do it all in one sitting.  You will see that many of them overlap and won't require you to do the exercise for each and every single thought.

 

[Tweet "Replace negative thoughts with the truth."]

[Tweet "Devour your fear. ~ Simon Holt."]

 

 

Step 2

When we start throwing our emotions around and don't identify and separate our thoughts from our feelings we lose control of ourselves.  An I Feel statement is a great tool to put you back in control.

 

What is an I Feel statement?  I'll show you the outline of it and then give an example.

 

I feel _____ because I think that I _____.  My hope for myself is _____. My hope for you is _____.

 

Your feelings flow from your thoughts. They are not the same thing.  I don't feel like I'm unsuccessful. I don't feel that you're a jerk. (you're not, by the way). I cannot feel a thought.  You feel a feeling.  Ya dig?  So keep the I feel a feeling.

 

Also, keep it about yourself, not others.  You don't feel something because of what others do to you.  You feel something because of your own thought.  We have to be accountable for our own thoughts and feelings. Hence the because I think that I part.

 

shout

Sorry folks. I'll give an example based on my above self-doubt and you'll see what I mean.

 

I feel discouraged because I think that I am not comfortable putting myself out there.  My hope for myself is that I will push myself to make sincere connections.  My hope for you  is that you will recognize my efforts to be sincere.

 

Your knee-jerk reaction may be to say something full of self-pity.  Or a thought that may be out of your control.  For instance, I could have said because I think that I am unpopular.  or because I think that I am unsuccessful.  or because I think that no one likes me.  The first two are out of your control and full of self-pity. The latter, isn't even about me: it didn't even start with I.  

 

The I Feel statement and its rules empower me.  No one else can dictate how I feel.  I do that.  It helps me to be a better communicator to my friends and family.  I take better accountability for my actions and in-actions.

 

[Tweet "Mastering others is strength. Mastering oneself makes you fearless. ~ Lao Tzu."]

 

Your turn!  Take the self-doubt that is the biggest stumbling block for you.  Now put that into an I Feel statement.  What is the feeling that you associate with it?  What is the thought associated with that feeling?  It helps you break it down into your mind of what it really is and where it's really coming from.  It's not from my brother and all his accomplishments.  It's from me.  It's not from that amazing best-selling author that I compare myself to.  It's from me.  Whatever it is you're fearing and doubting is from you.

 

[Tweet "Your fear is 100% dependent on you for its survival. ~ Steve Maraboli."]

Step 3

Take action!

 

In your I Feel statement, in the "my wish for myself" section, you are guided to what needs to be done next. Now is the time for attainable steps.

 

In my first example sentence I said that I will push myself to make sincere connections.  How?  It is an ambiguous statement.  It's not concrete and it's not measurable.  It's a hope: not a goal and not an action.

Photo courtesy of Michaela Kobyakov.

How am I going to push myself to make sincere connections?

  • I will be involved with my friends in various ways -- phone calls, play dates, girls night out, game night, emails, connect on FB
  • I will be involved on my Facebook fan page in various ways -- polls, conversations, recommendations, contests
  • I will engage in conversations on Twitter.
  • I will follow new people with similar interests on Twitter -- real people, not the ones that are solely pushing products.
  • I will get involved on the blogs that are meaningful to me. -- commenting, replying to others' comments, guest posting, encourage
  • I will be involved in forums and groups and be fully supportive to others.

 

These are all steps I will take to foster real relationships.  They will ensure that my purpose and my passion remain authentic and true.  I want people to perceive me as I am - genuinely interested in their success and happiness.  When I do this with concentrated effort I know I will be successful in accomplishing my goals.

 

My only remaining step is to make these measurable.  I will do such and such 3x a week, etc.  Then I set a date to evaluate my progress.

 

What am I supposed to do again?

  1. Disprove your negative thoughts - replace them with truths.
  2. Write down your I Feel statement.
  3. Take action. List goals and steps to make your hope from #2 happen.

 

[Tweet "Disprove, I Feel, Take Action."]

 

Was it hard for you to work through your I Feel statement?  What are some steps you are taking towards your new goals?  Share your I Feel statement with me! I'd be happy to help you if you're stuck.

 

Stay tuned for Part 3!  [Part 3 is now here!]

 

 

 

 

How to Take Charge of Your Self-Doubt Part I

Note: This is Part 1 in a 3 part series.  I will update this post with links to Parts 2 and 3.

 

We have all been there.  Yes, I just put you in a corner (don't put baby in a corner).  I am not immune to self-doubt.  I do not think there are many people out there that are.  If they are I'd like to slap them until they begin to doubt themselves.  No, no, I jest.  I applaud them.  After all, that is why I'm writing this post.

 

depressed woman

 

Common Negative Thoughts

What's the first thing you say to yourself when you get lost in your "Dream?"  You know, the big one.  The one you've been dying to get started on, or have just put your toe into. I'll share some of mine.  "You're not good enough."  "You'll never be as good as --"  "No one will care what you have to say/do."  "You won't be successful."  "You'll get the worst reviews anyone has ever seen."  "No one will read your book."  "If someone does read it they'll mock it until the day they die."

 

The last one was dramatic, I admit, but when are we ever not dramatic?  I can feel thousands more just poking at my brain, begging to be released onto this post.  I won't overwhelm you with all my self-doubt.

 

Where do these stem from?  What's the pattern of my negativity?

 

Fears

We all have fear.  I am one of the most fearful people I know.  Besides Monk.

 depressed man

 

Fear of Rejection

To me this dictated how I acted in my growing up years.  I was so scared of rejection that I would be friends with anyone who was remotely friendly.  Even if they were the worst kind of people.  I would pretend I knew all about a certain band or show or celebrity just so I wouldn't be made fun of.  I stopped doing that after one friend caught me in it.  She made up some band and asked me if I liked their music.  When I agreed she called me a liar.  Eek.  Thankfully my storytelling (read lying) got me out of that one real fast.  I never pretended to know about something I didn't after that!

Ones fear of rejection is ones fear of love. ~ Alexandria Honey

Fear of Comparison

I'm sure you hate being compared to anyone or anything as much as I do.  Of course, if you're comparing my writing ability to a child's then I'll win happily.  I have a brother who is just sickening.  I am a jack-of-all-trades kind of girl, but he is the Master-of-all-trades kind of guy.  He never played soccer before, joined a club, and the week later the University he went to was asking him to play on the team.  He wants to work with wood so all of a sudden he's a master carpenter.  He can do any outdoor activity there is.  Rock climbing, ice climbing, cave diving (and I mean the real scary ones that no one has gone in before), river rafting, sky diving (all the cool moves included), and on and on and on.  If the stores ran out of food today the man could survive off the land for the rest of his days without a worry.  He is also hilarious.  And handsome (all my friends were in love with him).  He can act!  He can sing!  He paints! He is an amazing writer!  He is a wonderful husband and father.  He is intelligent.  He knows all there is to know about business.  "He speaks Kiribati fluently.  I'm telling you, he can't do anything wrong.    Now you're thinking, where in the blink is his blog so I can read it instead of yours?  Ha!  He doesn't have one!  Yet.  He could fart in someone's face and people would say it smelt of roses.  I'm here to tell you his farts are lethal.  I lived through them.  Barely.  I have let my fear of being compared to my brother, J, keep me from venturing out and trying out my own dreams.  I'd never be able to master anything to the degree he could nor as quickly.   I love you, you dirty rat!

 

Fear of Success

This one is a weird one for me.  My dad is the one that told me I was scared of success.  I don't get it, but I'm sure I've got it.  It probably has a lot to do with my fear of being compared to my wizard brother. Where is the number to that psychologist?

 

[Tweet "Fear kills everything. Your mind, your heart, your imagination. ~ Cornelia Funke"]

 

Your Next Steps

Get out paper and a pen.  Think of the goals, dreams, and projects that are on your to-do list.  See that one that's waving its arms at you like a kid dying to be called on in class? That's begging for you to pick it?  Yeah, that one.  Pick that one.

Put that on a new sheet of paper.

Now, the scariest bit.  Write down all those negative thoughts associated with it.  Every single one.  Don't dwell on them, just get them out quick.

Do you see a pattern?  Is there a theme to the fears on your paper?

 

[Tweet "If a fear cannot be articulated, it can't be conquered. ~ Stephen King"]

 

To avoid leaving you in a pit of despair and vowing to never again attempt a dream I'd like to leave you with something positive.

light and quote

 

[Tweet "If you will you can."]

 

Part 2 has arrived!!

What is the goal you want to accomplish the most?  What is a fear you associate with this dream?  I shared a few of mine!  I won't judge you!  Unless your goal is to destroy the world or the Tri-state area.  I'm looking at you Doofenshmirtz.