Thankful Thursdays: Home School & Down Time.

The previous week in review and what we're thankful for

Welcome to yet another edition of Thankful Thursdays. I missed last week, and I am sort of glad that I did since now I can write the post on the weekend with the rest of them for the previous week, instead of considering the week all weird from Thursday-Wednesday. So, this will be for the week of August 1st-August 6th. My Sundays (unless there is a major event planned) are spent doing blog work, house work, and preparing for the week between my 2 other businesses and home school. So, Sundays really aren’t much “fun”, However I am extremely grateful to have the time to be able to get so much caught up.

So, moving right along, first thing I am thankful for is starting Home School this week. We have been working toward finding the right groove for our day, and I think I have finally found it. I was planning on using a curriculum for The oldest, and then having the youngest just kinda follow along where she could and learn some stuff from that, however, that isn’t going to work. So we are back to the drawing board, however I think I have figured out a way to get through everything in a way we would like to. You’ll have to stay tuned to Teaching Tuesdays to find out what we are doing.

Next thing I am thankful for, is The Youngest graduating from speech therapy. I am very thankful for all the people we have had come in and out of our lives. We truly are blessed to have had lots of amazing Early Intervention therapists work with our kids and help them develop and grow. If there is one thing I can say, Early Intervention is amazing, it is there, seek it out in your area and use it if you need it, these people truly work miracles 🙂  It was bitter-sweet to say goodbye to a great therapist who has been with us for the last year, however, this frees up and hour and a day at times if we need to do other things. Having less “stuff” going on is becoming a life saver of my sanity, and I am thankful of this as well.

Speaking of more down time, my physical therapy has been cut down to 2 times a week. This is being done because all I have left to do is work on strengthening, and since insurance won’t pay for a personal trainer, they are going to be letting me go by September 🙂  Again I am truly excited for less things going on. This means more days to and times to relax and get work done, and a less stressed “But Mom” I’ll take it.

So this was our week, and a few things I am thankful for. What are YOU Thankful for this week???

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Teaching Tuesday: Our First Day of Home school

Teaching (2)

It has been a long road. A road filled with a few twists and turns, but ultimately a fun road that leads us here. Today is the first day of Home school Preschool for my little loves. They are extremely excited , and I can’t say as I blame them. They are such curious little ones and they idea that mom is going to spend time teaching them, is more exciting than words can say.

In just a minute you will get to see what our first day looked like. But first, here is our morning routine which the girls are just starting to learn.

  • Wake-up
  • Potty
  • Brush Teeth
  • Get Dressed
  • Breakfast
  • Chores
  • Start School Day

It is definitely worth mentioning here, before you get to see our day, that I am changing it up, even before the first day of school I decided to change things around, and because of this we are still in transition. I’ve decided that I am asking my girls a little too much to “sit and learn” so we are in the process of developing some new ideas to learn while playing and moving and creating.

Our first day started with pictures.

www.theadventuresofbutmom,com

I was planning on having them in dresses and hair up and all that fancy stuff, but that didn’t happen.

Next we work on our calendar/days of the week/weather and such. There is a song and we point out the day and date of the week, followed by 2 worksheets that I help them with.

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After days of the week, we work on letters. We sing our ABC’s and then I let them play and create with letter blocks. The oldest is asked to identify the letters she is building with periodically, while the youngest is shown letters and told what they are.

Next we do colors. For right now we work on a combination of identifying the colors (The oldest already knows these well) and sorting colored objects.

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Then we do a fun activity. Today they are playing with play doh.

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This day was short and sweet clocking in at right around 80 minutes, but I know they are enjoying themselves and they are learning in the process, isn’t that what school should be about???

Next week we will talk about the “new” way I am designing their preschool time.

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Mental Health Mondays: Transitioning Gracefully

Mental Health

As a mom of 2 little kids, I am always feeling pressured by: friends, family, society, other blogs… you name it.  Seasons change, and our ability to be flexible and transition gracefully becomes evident. I was not always able to handle transition well. Somedays, I still don’t. However transition is a must in our lives at different points in time. To transition gracefully has been a major milestone in my own mental health journey.

The word transition means changing from one state or condition to another. Change is hard for so many people. We get used to things being a certain way. We like that things stay the same and are predictable. Change is hard, however there are some things you can do to help.

  1. Evaluate Where You Are Now. This is one of those things I sometimes forget. I am so busy with trying to get to where I want to go, I forget to figure out where I am currently. I’m going to use going back to school as an example for this. During the summer, where we are now, there are less rules and more fun. The atmosphere is light, and while we still have rules, they are fewer than during school. We are also having a lot of fun. We sleep in more, there is less structure, and because we all kind of do what we want, there is more cooperation.
  2. Define Where You Want (Or Need) To Be. This means making a conscious effort to decide what things you want to achieve. It means making a list and then prioritizing the list. For me, I want my kids to learn to love learning. I want them to be excited to go to preschool. I also want to increase my bond with them through teaching them and doing fun activities. These are major points on my list. Some minor points might be some things I’d like them to learn (Colors, shapes, letters, etc) however the main point are the ones I am going to work toward. For me, this means home school preschool has to be: exciting, fun, and we need to work together on projects. I can then fit in the things I want them to learn, in ways they will enjoy.
  3. Work Out A Plan. This is the one everyone usually starts on. Planning and deciding what is important for the school year (or whatever you are transitioning to). However, if we evaluate first, and then define where we want to be, we might see things a bit differently. For instance, I notice that when there are fewer actual demands, there is more cooperation. Now, I know that life has demands, and we can’t get away from that, so we have to keep some demands in the picture. But, what if just for a while, instead of dumping all the demands back on your kids, you slowly added an extra one or 2, here or there. What if instead of trying to transition in a week or 2 before school started, you only added 1 new demand a week for 4-6 weeks, and then expect that with increased demand, cooperation will be lower until everyone is used to it. I also know what my main objectives are, so sitting and doing book work for an hour for a 4 year old does NOT meet those qualifications. If I was choosing that route, I know I need to find a route that will meet the qualifications and goals I set in step 2.  Planning is fun, but if you haven’t done the 1st or 2nd step, you are planning blindly and likely to fail as a result.
  4. Plan A Test Run. This is so important. So often we just set out to work our plans, and then if they aren’t right, we get discouraged and give up. This is why test runs are so important. By remembering to call this a “test run” you are giving yourself permission to fail. You are acknowledging that this might not be “perfect” and that you are allowed to tweak it so that you can get it right. It also means you are still actively working on it. For us, preschool itself is a test run. I have allowed myself the grace to continuously tweak our format, schedule, and topics to get us to a place where we are meeting our main goals. The important part of a test run is to give it a time frame. So, we are going to test run throughout preschool to learn what works best with each of the kiddos in how they learn and work. Other plans may only need a week or 2 as a Test Run (I’d consider 2 weeks which makes it a habit and help you hold on to the plan longer).
  5. Allow Yourself Grace And Don’t Give Up. There are a lot of times when “life happens” and your perfect plan may fall to the wayside. It is okay to fall off the plan as long as you don’t STAY off of it. Get back up, keep going, keep trying. Give yourself grace and say it’s okay if I fall off AND I can get right back on. Don’t wait for a “better” time, or the beginning of a day, week, month, or even year. Get right back on by reminding yourself that getting back on right away helps to keep the momentum going. If I have a day in the middle of the week that I am tired and the girls are cranky and I don’t school that day, it’s okay. It is also okay to either have school in the evening, or jump right back to it the next morning.

These steps can be applied to any changes you are wanting to make. A healthier lifestyle, changing jobs, or even moving.

What helps you transition???

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Inspirational Parents Giveaway

InspirationalParents25.00 Target Gift CardGiveaway!!!

 

*Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by Born This Way TV Show on A&E. I received compensation for this post, however all opinions are my own.

Being a mom is hard. I mean really, there are critics everywhere you go, and so many opinions. As much as being a mom is hard, being a mom of a child with a disability is an entirely different kind of hard.

I consider the parents of children with disabilities an inspiration. They have to be strong when they don’t know what is going to happen. They have to keep spirits up when they feel like hope is gone. Being a parent of a child with special needs myself, I get it.

My child may not be in the same situation as yours, but this mama understands a few of the things you go through. The loneliness, the second guessing every decision you make, and dealing with people who think they understand, but clearly don’t.

We as mamas put ourselves last. We run to therapies, and Dr appointments. We buy special equipment for our littles. So many times I have decided I was going to buy something I wanted, but then I found a new toy that could help with self regulation, or a compression shirt or chewie that I hoped would help instead.

For the above reasons I am thrilled that I have been chosen to share a very special Giveaway on my blog sponsored by the TV Show Born This Way.

This Giveaway is for 1 very special MOM who is raising a child with a disability. This will be a very different giveaway. I am asking YOU my dear readers, to nominate, in the comments, a mom who you think deserves to win. The prize is a 25.00 gift card to Target. Please make sure this mom would be willing to share a little bit of their story, and able to contact us either via email or phone.

I will keep this giveaway open until Next Friday (August 12th at Noon Eastern time). That afternoon one (or both) of my daughter(s) will be seen either on a Live video (Facebook Live) or we will record the video and post it to Facebook with a Live drawing of the winner!!!

If you haven’t seen Born This Way it airs on A&E every Tuesday night. The young adults they follow are a delightful bunch and the twists and turns in life will keep you cheering, bring you to tears, and make you proud to be a human 🙂

Check out this clip and learn more about Rachel:
https://wdrv.it/present-project-detail/assetId/31466550/token/44ee5aa6b

 

These men and women are a great inspiration as well as their parents. Let’s help recognize some more amazing men and women who are raising children with disabilities. Nominate someone in the comments

Good Luck!!!

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Mental Health Mondays: Getting Back On Schedule

Mental Health

 

Happy Monday!!! For us, this Monday means the first day of school. As you are reading this we are probably getting ready (or already done) with our first school day, which you will be able to read about tomorrow. As with any school year, this year we will adapt our “routines” to make them more friendly for school. This has been great for this Mama’s Mental Health since having a plan means everyone knows what to expect, and while there are a few hiccups along the way, stuff just gets done better that way.

Our Routine starts with Dinner and goes a little something like this:

  • Dinner
  • Clean-Up Toys/Dishes
  • Baths
  • Movie
  • Bed Time Snack
  • Potty
  • Brush Teeth
  • Books
  • Lights Out

It is simple, and as long as it is followed it seems as though everything gets done and the girls have some time to decompress with bath time play as well as a movie.

This routine wasn’t easy for me to come up with. I love planning, maybe a little too much. So, as I started to put together a routine, it felt very much like I was packing on way to much. We eat Dinner around 6:00 and Lights out is by 9:00. When you think about all the things we have on that list, they pretty much have to go like clockwork if we want to get everything done.

I struggled with this until I realized that a “Movie” could be shortened to a “TV Show” if it takes that long. We have “Books” down, but if I only get through 1 book, it was still time spent reading to them.

Learning to keep an open mind has helped me tremendously. I feel like no matter what I can adapt the schedule. I am also teaching the girls at a young age to prioritize. If we get home late and everything gets pushed around, they can decide if they want a quick bath with no play for a longer time to watch a movie or TV Show or if they want a normal bath and only watch 1 TV show instead of a movie or more than 1 TV Show.

Having a schedule also helps me in the morning. If I have plenty of time to relax and finish up all my nightly routines and get to bed at a decent hour. It’s much easier for me to wake up earlier, ready to conquer all that we have to do that day.

My nightly routine includes:

  • Dinner
  • Dishes
  • Baths
  • Laundry/Chores Of The Day
  • Snack
  • Get Girls In Bed
  • Relax (Watch TV or Read)/ 2 Day a Week Work Until 10:15
  • In Bed By 11:00pm

When my nights go smoothly, my mornings go smoothly as well. This is better for everyone’s mental health, since there isn’t as much frustration and yelling. Everyone has a job, and everyone is expected to be doing their job.

Having nightly routines in place is important for your mental health. It provides a gentle guideline to keep you focused while allowing you the freedom to bend a bit and be flexible. They also alleviate the possibility of forgetting important tasks, and ensure a more peaceful day.

Do you have routines???

 

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Thankful Thursday: Energy, Play Dates, and Glasses

The previous week in review and what we're thankful for

Welcome to another addition of Thankful Thursdays. This week was REALLY busy, so let’s get right to it.

We have been running all over the place the last 7 days, so let me start by saying I am crazy excited about the energy increase I have found, and super thankful for it as well. I am using some all natural supplements from an amazing company that we will discuss in the future on the blog I am sure. (However, for now, if you are really curious, send me an email and I’ll explain it all to ya). So, yeah, crazy energy. Now, I’m not talk about zip around the room at a mile a minute because I can’t sit still energy (I’ve had that from a supplement too). I am talking about finally being able to keep up with day to day stuff and not needing a break. working through my “To Done” list and not getting it done, or at least close to done.  So Thankful for that for sure.

I am also thankful for some amazing friends. My kids have had 2 play dates in the last 7 days and I’m super excited about that. We are finally at a point where I feel like we can get out and do things more and (with the exception of our crazy schedule) we do pretty good. I am thankful for some particular friends who “get it”. Who understand my struggles as a mom and we really hit it off being able to chat while the kids play. Best. Feeling. Ever.

I am also Thankful for needs being met. The Oldest needed glasses, and while insurance would pay for a cheaply made pair, this would not hold up to her and her curious nature. We were able to buy her a pair of (practically) unbreakable glasses. I was impressed with the quality and she loves them, and has been doing pretty good with not messing with them too much.

So there you have it this Thankful Thursday!!!  What are YOU Thankful for???

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