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Why We Aren’t Homeschooling This Year

Little Who is going back into the public school system.

Before we ever homeschooled, she went to public school Kindergarten. She was in a fantastic school in Kansas City and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Well, except for having to get up so early and pack lunches – that is seriously the worst part of all of this. 😂 Other than that, it was a really great year. 

But we were always curious about homeschooling and after we moved to Washington, I had some concerns about sending her to school.

You know, the normal worries like “What if she gets teased?” and “What if we want to travel outside of break times?” But there were (and still are) bigger concerns like “What if there’s a school shooting?” At the time, I felt like homeschooling was a good way to avoid all of that until I was ready. Also, I really didn’t want to go out in the rain to wait at the bus stop. 😂

So, we ventured down the homeschooling path and honestly, I loved it at first. It was really fun to go through school alongside her. We slept in, took our time, figured out how she learned best, and we genuinely just loved being together. And we were pretty successful! She is right on track with school standards, so we’re good right?

Y’all, the second year was rough.

Part of it was adding on the extra responsibility of tutoring her Classical Conversations class every week. As much as I can be extroverted, it was really hard for me to be “on” for other people once a week. I’m glad I committed and saw it through but it was a struggle. I quickly learned how much teachers pour into other kids so I will never take them for granted. I only had 8 students and there was always another parent or two in there with me! 😂 It was rewarding and I loved those little people but man, it was utterly exhausting!

The biggest challenge at home was having a 2 year old running around, being… well, a 2 year old. I would get frustrated at every turn – at Lea for not wanting to do schoolwork, at Amy for being so wild, but mostly at myself for feeling like a failure

Maybe the novelty of homeschooling wore off. I’m sure all homeschoolers go through this at some point. Wondering if they made the wrong choice. Asking themselves if they are only doing this because they are just scared of the alternative. 

Or maybe, while I really enjoyed being with my child all day, I didn’t enjoy teaching. I had to ask myself if I truly felt called to homeschool or was I doing it just because I didn’t want to be a slave to the school system. 

I’m sure it’s a combination of all of it but by the end of the year, I was convinced that we needed a change. Most days ended in tears and I felt like I was throwing my hands up and walking away more than I was actually teaching. And Lea is a very compliant kid so I couldn’t imagine continuing homeschooling a child like Wild Amy. 😂 

The biggest frustration was hearing the (completely normal) moaning and groaning about having to do school everyday. Listen, I know every homeschool parent deals with this. But it was incredibly annoying to have to push past it when I was thinking, “Dude, I would much rather be doing anything else than this.” Call me selfish but I didn’t wake up everyday excited to teach and then to have to deal with the whining? No, thank you.

Every day, I told myself, “You just have to get through this year.” That was my light post. “Just get to the end of the year.” And when we cut our year short in March, to move across the country… All I felt was relief. We could just “be” again, without the pressures of being student and teacher. I instantly felt lighter, knowing that I was done. 

Fast forward a few months and today, we are going to the local public school to meet her new teacher. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel like I failed at homeschooling. I love that she just wants to be next to me every day. I love having her with me where I can protect her and build memories. But playing the teacher role was really hard. I felt she could sense my frustration and I don’t want her to ever feel like it’s her fault.

There are so many things that I loved about homeschooling. The flexibility of our schedule, being able to tailor her education to her interests, having the freedom to explore things outside of a standard curriculum, and most of all, letting her just be a kid without any peer pressure. But none of that really matters if my relationship with her suffers.

I hope that we’ll come back to homeschooling one day. I still want that for us when the time is right.

But at this moment, I need to just be Mommy again. She needs to just be my daughter again. 

And we’re excited about that. ❤️ 

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‘Trust the Timing of your Life’

Remembering that in this season of my life, these two are my most important work. <3

I love creating. I love working. I have a million ideas and I crave uninterrupted time with my thoughts.

But that is not the season I am in. I am in the season of interruptions, sippy cups, scooter rides and “Mommy, play with me!”

It’s not that I don’t want to do all of those things. It’s just that I have so many things that I want to do. And time seems to be fleeting and I sometimes feel like I’m not moving fast enough. I want to do all the things right now and I get anxious that I’m running out of time.

But then I slow down long enough to look at my life and realize that I’m right where I’m meant to be, at this very moment. And I only have them home with me for a short period of time. And that once they are gone and living their own lives, I will wish I had poured more of my time into leading them. Not just caretaking and doing the bare minimum but actually treating them as if they were my life’s work.

So, girls, here I am. Trusting that I’m in this season to create and nurture the most important masterpieces of my life.

You.

But make no mistake… that nap-time hour? That’s all mine, little peanuts. All MINE. ;P

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Meal Prep Containers

I’m always asked about the containers I use for meal prep and they have evolved over the years! In this post, I’ll keep you updated with the ones that pass my standards and that I use currently.

At the moment, I’m loving these Rubbermaid Brilliance containers. They are super clear, the snaps are sturdy and they stack impeccably on top of each other. They have saved me so much space in my fridge!

Lunchbots

These are my favorite containers for the girls’ school lunches. They are easy to open and I love that they are stainless steel. Since they won’t be warming anything up at school, the metal isn’t a problem and I feel a teensy bit better about not putting their food in plastic.

I’m on the hunt for new glass containers because the snaps on my current stash are getting worn out. These Pyrex containers are on my short list. If you get to try them out before me, let me know how you like them!

I’ll continue to add to this list as I use and abuse my meal prep containers every week!

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How I Switched to Digital Planning

Simplifying my life, reducing my carbon footprint, saving paper, yes to all of the above! When I switched to digital planning, everything changed for the better.

I get it. You love your paper planner. It’s beautiful and allows you to be creative and you invested a bunch of money into it.

But it’s heavy, the pages rip, you have scratch-outs or whiteouts and your favorite pens bleed through and you’re already kind of bored with it.

That’s exactly how I felt with all of my paper planners over the last several years. I would get insanely excited about building it online and when I’d finally get it in my hands, I’d pull out all of my markers, pens and stickers and go to town on it.

But I’d get tired of carrying it around with me. I’d make a mistake and then had to painfully cross something out or use correction tape. And then a few weeks later, I’d realize that the layout wasn’t exactly right or I’d just get bored with it.

And then I discovered digital planning! I love that all I need is my iPad to keep my entire life organized and planned. Everything from calendars to meals to fitness to budgeting is in one place. I can access it and make quick edits to it on my iPhone when I’m out and about.

But one question I get a lot is how to move completely into digital when so much of your life is still in a paper planner. I’m going to run through my process to help you make the switch as seamlessly as possible.

Compare Your Planner To a Digital Planner

A digital planner works just like a paper planner if you use an iPad that is compatible with the Apple Pencil. You’ll even have unlimited ink color and thickness options, a few different pen tips and … my favorite feature … an eraser to quickly fix any mistakes or changes to your schedule! You can also “grab text” and move it around the page or resize written text to fit into a smaller space. You can add as many pages as you want without it getting any heavier and you can duplicate pages as well. There are just so many reasons why digital planning has made my life so much simpler!

You’ll want to find a digital planner that fits in line with your lifestyle, even if it differs from what you’ve been using. The great thing about being a digital creator is that I can create a custom planner for you without the overhead of printing a paper planner. You can view the planners I’ve created here for reference. The sky is the limit with design options!

Transfer Important Information From Your Current Planner

Once you have switched to digital planning and you have your digital planner downloaded onto your iPad, open your two planners side by side. I like to immediately write important information into my new planner before I get too excited about making it super pretty. These are things you don’t want to fall between the cracks like birthdays, anniversaries, medical provider information, passwords, trips, etc.

Set Up a System For Quick Planning

A big hurdle for many is that a digital planner doesn’t work like a calendar app. It won’t give you reminders or alerts on an upcoming appointment. I don’t use that function a lot because I open my planner daily but I understand the concern.

In my opinion, a planner is very different from a calendar app. A planner gives you space to plan things out, break down tasks, and organize many aspects of your life. A calendar app simply holds appointments and gives reminders.

But if you rely on those features, you can still use a digital planner! For all appointments and date specific events, you’ll first write them into your planner. And then you’ll also make a quick event in your calendar app if you need the alert. Yes, it may seem counterintuitive to do “double planning” but if you need the best of both worlds, this is the way to get it!

Another trick is to use the Notes app in your phone. When I need to quickly jot something down, I’ll type it into my Notes app. Then I’ll write it into my planner when I have a little more time. You can even copy the entire text and paste it right into your planner so it’s super quick!

Make Digital Copies of Everything

Since I switched to digital planning, I’ve been able to get rid of so much paper clutter. I do this by taking pictures of receipts, bills paid, notes, etc and then importing them into my digital planner. You can still file the papers away if you’re nervous to completely get rid of them but for the love, get it off your countertop! 😉

Backup Your Digital Planner

Another important step is to make sure you have a backup of your planner. I sync mine to iCloud so there is always an updated copy saved at all times. I also back it up monthly to a hard drive. Your digital planner is just a PDF with annotations so you can easily back it up onto any storage device.

If you write something down in your planner that you want a triple backup of, you can export that single page to your email so a PDF copy will “live” in your email server forever.


And that’s really it, friends! You can treat your digital planner just like your paper planner without fear.

Wondering what a digital planner looks like? Watch this video to see one in action!

To see my digital planners, click here to visit our shop!

Thanks for reading!