Monday, July 19, 2010

Calgon, Take Me Away . . .

Almost coming in first under Top Homeschool Products were: Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Dr. Pepper
Personally, when the kids are on my LAST nerve or the phone keeps ringing when I am TRYING to read a book aloud, or I just need a little pick me up, my fav is SWEET TEA. If only there was a Taco Casa in Forestburg!!! During the winter it's Starbucks apple cider. It is always a race on Friday mornings to see if I can make it to town early enough to swing through the drive thru before our enrichment classes. Sweet Tea or Apple Cider just seem to make the day better.
How 'bout you? Are you a morning coffee drinker? I know I have seen many of you in the same Starbucks line I sit in! What get's your day off to a good start? OR what helps you make it through the afternoon?
Come on . . . Spill it!! (No, pun intended!)

“Yes, sweet tea for me, too. I having with breakfast (or before) every morning. Don't like coffee, and gave up DP.”

“I am so blessed to be able to read the bible and drink a few cups of hot tea every morning. I couldn't manage to find the time when the kids were younger, but now, I think I can't function without that quiet time! My current tea favorites are Wisdom of the Ancients Yerba Mate Royale and Yogi Muscle Recovery Green Tea. I buy both of those from Michelle's United coop.
I also enjoy Uncle Lee's Jasmine Green Tea and Uncle Lee's White Tea (tastes just like black tea) that I purchase from Alison's Frontier coop. “

“Venti Starbucks Iced Double Shot with White Mocha gets me through the rough days. Two of our homeschool graduates introduced me to this drink, last year when I was getting ready for Cotillion and my energy level was at zero.”
- Pennye

“Starbucks is my pick up.I drink cheap, instant decaf diluted by half with a generic brand of vanilla soy pre-warmed in a microwave.  What do I know about taste?  Know what I like about
Starbucks?  My personal unwritten rule:  No Kids Alowed.  For years, I never took a day off unless it was sanctioned by their father.  This was my choice, not his demand. He worked so many long, hard hours, I figured he needed his
rest.  Then one day while feeling particularly murderous I realized I hadn't had a day off in 2 YEARS.  Now, I strike out whenever the humor is on me.”

“Everyone should get a break.  Sometime during my 30's, while being either pregnant or lactating or both for 10 (yes, that's ten) sleep-deprived, contiguous years, I decided everybody needs some down time. That may mean going to my room for a "Mommy time-out" or talking on the phone or, rarely, it means a night out with my dh or friends. Having a break keeps me out of survival mode, that robotic, pragmatic state in which all creativity and humor is lost.
Coffee, chocolate, and tea can help. But when I have 5 minutes and am inspired to do something really invigorating for myself and my kids, I turn on the music and we all dance.”

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Homeschool Planners, Calendars, & To Do Lists . . .

According to several of the responses from last weeks "Homeschool Products You CanNOT Live Without"  the number one favorite was: 

A Plan.  A Planner.  Lesson Plans.  A Schedule.  A "To Do List".  A Calendar.

So, what planner do you use?  How or where do you keep up with your "To Do List?"  What is your favorite calendar? 

Tiffany says,

“I love my Well Planned Day Planner (  )   I use it daily.  It has both a monthly section, & a weekly/daily sections as well. It also has great homeschooling articles/inspiration each month.  I use this for lesson plans, field trips, weekly priorities, & dinner menus.  It also includes tear outs for shopping lists, an attendance & grades section & so much more.  It is kind of pricey, but it has been well worth it for me. 

I use my planner for a weekly "To Do List", sheet of paper for daily household "To Do's" & my cell phone for my errands list. 

I have 3 working calendars :)  I use the calendars in my planner for mostly school/kid related planning, I use Google Calendar for a core calendar & photoshoot bookings (because I can pull it up on my phone when I'm away from the house).  I also use a dry-erase monthly calendar in my office for a quick reference for the entire family (so no one is hounding me about when this is or what we are doing today, tomorrow, next week, etc.  & they aren't diggin' through my stuff).  *I color code this calendar to make it easier.”

Allison says,

I used to have a daytimer in my purse and it just wasn't useful to me, so now I have a slimline credit card holder as my wallet and a small diary type book in my purse. I have a page tabbed for monthly appts and then anything else, whether shopping list or notes to do for the current are on the next available page. I use a calender on my computer for all appts, meetings, etc. with
reminders. (yahoo or outlook work great) So things will be listed on both, but I am on the computer daily so it works. (For those of you who access more than one computer, use yahoo. There are many options for reminders and printing calendars and viewing on the screen that can be selected......) The older two have their school schedule on a small whiteboard on the wall and they have the order they like and check off when they do it. This is not the whiteboard we use for school. It is a schedule only beside the magnet calendar we have had up for years. The little ones still like that one. I keep a small one page year at a glance in the kitchen cupboard.  I have found this to work for me. When I tried to use the daytimer, I either missed putting everything down and it didn't have the automatic reminder that the computer does for me. And I need that.  But then again, life is always changing and I am always changing, sorting, assessing or reassessing or RE-organizing something. aren't you? :-)”

Linda says,

“I use a monthly calendar that I carry with my grocery list, etc. in a medium sized zippered portfolio book. That way I have it to reference when I'm out and about. Invariably that is when Albert calls and tells me of something I need to put on the calendar! Also, it is a good quick reference for doctor's appointments and the orthodontist (a series of never ending appointments that make your child's smile perfect and your bank account empty - but it is worth it). However, my BRAIN is a dry board calendar on the front of the fridge. Next to it is a smaller blank dry board that is for family members to write me notes and reminders - or what we need from Wal-Mart. The fridge is Mommy Central. If it doesn't make the fridge – you are taking your chances! I sync the two calendars (purse & fridge) religiously: that would be those spiritual moments in the morning when I stand there clutching my coffee mug hoping the caffeine and the information with magically merge and spring to life in my sleepy brain. If that doesn't work, I take two steps to my right - add more coffee - place it in the turbo machine (microwave) and repeat the process. I also keep a small note pad and pen in the car and the bathroom. You know...those places where you have flashes of brilliance at inopportune moments.
As you can tell, I'm over 50 and the techy stuff doesn't really get it done for me. It was a huge mistake for them to make electronics small enough to be pitched from the window of a moving vehicle...I'm just sayin'...”

Nicki says,

“Calendar, schmalendar. I keep it all in my head. I had a nifty planner from Wal Mart that I used to carry in my purse, until I changed purses. Then the calendar was too big, so I left it at home. It hasn't been filled in for months. I also used to have a big dry-erase calendar hung up in the kitchen. But when I was sick in bed for several weeks, it mysteriously came down from the wall, and it hasn't been hung back up.
So now I just use my brainpower (and during pregnancy, that's running at about 50%). So my solution is to quit doing stuff. Then I don't have anything that needs to be remembered! We go to church on Sundays, and since that's my husband's only day off, I know that if he's at home, it  must be Sunday. (Postal holidays do cause some confusion.)
The only thing coming up is the Skillet/Hawk Nelson concert at Six Flags and my teenager has made sure that NONE of us forget that, with notes on the white board, post-it notes stuck to the computer screen, and verbal reminders every half hour.
Oh, there is one calendar in my house. It's a free one from Oriental Trading Company that someone hung up in an out-of-the-way place in the kitchen. And since Oriental Trading wants us to buy craft and party supplies, they've listed every holiday one could imagine on their calendar. For instance today is Cow Appreciation Day. Next Tuesday is National Lollipop Day. July 3 was Stay Out of the Sun Day (seriously? the day before July 4th???). My 9 year old keeps me apprised of these holidays.
What will I do when EC starts back, and piano lessons, and cotillion, and the baby comes, and blah, blah, blah??? Ask me later.”

Jen says,

“I am a meandering trail of sticky notes tied to calendar blips from my cell phone backed up by yahoo calendar reminders on the computer.  I too have several computers but only one of them works.  I have given them a home in a corner of my living room where they can watch TV in the evening with the rest of us.  They're part of the family, after all.  I think they are the ones responsible for the messes no one else under my roof will 'fess' up to.  I have note pads in my purse, by both phones and on my desk but I think maybe I aught to put one in the bathroom.  It might help me remember why I went in there.

Sara says,

“Daytimer from Walmart because it's cheap.  Sometimes I get the daytimer from the NCTC Bookstore.  It has the quickie math and language basics in the back of it.  I use it for Craig's daily work, but also put the extracurricular on days, too. Calendar with pretty pictures of historical places on the top is placed on the wall in the kitchen.  All parties, appointments, b-days, etc. go on there.  If I run out of room on any particular day, I know that I wouldn't be able to do all those things anyway and either don't do that thing at all or plan it on another day.  Dry erase pad on the refrigerator for grocery list and anything I'm afraid I'll forget to do written REALLY large with a circle around it.  Each day of the week is written at the top with things that are pretty much consistent (i.e. AWANAS, Scouts, EC) under the right day with time next to it.
Almost any coffee in the coffee pot will work just fine because I have a microwave.  There is one kind of coffee that will not work, though.  When the packages at Starbucks say "mulch/garden use" on their coffee grounds
that they put in the bucket by the door, they mean it.”

Linda’s response,

“Starbucks mulch / garden use? I am fascinated and horrified all at the same time. My garden screams "coffee" but the Know Thyself Angel on my right shoulder is shaking her precious head and begging me to consider the
ramifications of getting them confused in my morning stupor. The Evil Twin Fallen Angel on my left shoulder is rolling around laughing at the thought of Albert making the same mistake.
I must get out more.”

Friday, July 9, 2010

Must Have Homeschool Products

The verdict is in. Here are the RRCH Top Must Have Homeschool Products:

1. A Plan. A Planner. Lesson Plans. A Schedule. A "To Do List". A Calendar.
2. Caffeine: Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Dr. Pepper
3. Paper/Pencils/Pens/Crayons/Markers/Erasers
4. Computer/Internet/Printer
5. Dry Erase/Chalkboard
6. Favorite Curriculum
7. Timer
8. Leftovers
9. Patience
10. Sleep
11. Good Attitudes