Simplicity by Choice

Off-Grid Living & Self-Reliance

Setting the Example of Education October 15, 2012

Filed under: homeschool — ourprairiehome @ 10:29 pm

Being a homeschooling Momma, I am in te throes of education on a daily basis. Whether itbe oranized lessons that the children’s curriculum has laid out or the simple, quiet teaching moments that arise throughout the day, the children are being taught. I started thinking about hw parents should always strive to set the example for their children. If we, as parents, truly see education as being something valued and worth pursuit, whatare we doing to actively show this to our chlidren?

I am a bit on the strange side. I have always been the most content when I am actively studying or researching something. At those times, I am in my element. If I go too long without reading or researching a topic, then I begin to fee out of sorts. My focus in daily tasks becomes diminished and I just struggle to cope. It gets so bad at times that I can honestly say that I understand my autistic son more becaue of it. I was never very social in school. I tolerated having to deal with others so that I could focus on the classes. For fun, one summer I had bought a used Calculus and a book on trigonometry. I studied both over the next several months. I related to books and research far better than people. I find that I am still this way. Now though, it serves a deeper purpose.

As I am teaching the children, they are also seeing that I am suying too. Today, for example, our daughter was working at her desk. I sat along side of her at another desk and was making notes from a book that I am reading. She saw that I was “doing school” and became much more interested in her own studies. She liked having me study right along side of her.

Currently, I am working my way through a college textbook on writing as well as an online course. Since I am writing a book, I find it valuable to take the classes to better hone my skills. My husband is also taking online courses through a college. He is doing so while out on the truck. When parked in an area that has WiFi access, he is able to go to the college website and watch the lectures.

You don’t have to be taking college courses. What about simply reading a good book on a topic of interest? Take a class at an art supply store or a cooking class. Many sewing centers have classes available to earn how to do basic sewing. What about learning how to repair any small appliances or a sewing machine? This helpful skill would be a great way to save money later on when you avoid repair bills through making the repairs yourself.

The key is to let your chlidren see you reading and studying. Show them through example that you find education to be a very valuable resource. You may surprise yourself and find that the kids will develop a love of learning also.


Joy to a Momma’s Heart August 27, 2012

Filed under: cooking,homeschool,old fashioned,simplicity — ourprairiehome @ 5:54 am

We have taken 3 weeks off from homeschooling to both have a break and to give me time to prepare for the next term.  The kids had their vacation at Aunt Edie’s home while I went out on the truck with Joe.  Now we are preparing to get back to doing lessons Labor Day.

While working on the next term’s thematic units, our daughter has been asking when we will get started.  She is ready to do the lessons.  She also has asked for the afternoon tea to resume. Over the summer it was too hot for enjoying hot tea and baking the sweets to go with it.

Now, autumn is nearing and the temperatures are beginning to become cooler.  Today, I am going to surprise her with our first afternoon tea of the season.  She will be helping me to do some baking.  She will be excited when we get out the tea kettle.  I love having tea with her.  She is such fun to be with.  I know how fast these years will pass by, so I am enjoying it. 


Back to School Shopping July 25, 2012

Filed under: homeschool,simplicity — ourprairiehome @ 3:41 pm

Recently, I was at the store and overheard a couple of women complaining about the prices of school supplies. They were buying the items off of the list provided by their children’s schools. I have to admit, I felt badly for them. They had several children each. One of the women was very upset. She had 3 children and had already run up a total on her calculator of just over $100. She still had to buy the kids some clothing, shoes, etc. She mentioned that by the time she was done, she was going to have to charge about $350 per child onto her credit card. I was gobsmacked. This amount t did not take into account any special activities, such as sports, that the kids may get involved in. It is times like this that I really appreciate homeschooling.

I remember when my oldest children were in school. We bought supplies for them that were kept in their own pencil boxes or zippered binder bag. I could buy any brand we could afford. Today, many schools require that the parents buy a specific brand only. The school supplies are turned in to the teacher, to be put into a classroom supply cabinet. All the crayons, for example, are dumped into containers to be shared by all. One teacher explained it as the school doesn’t want a child to feel bad because their family couldn’t afford to buy the more expensive brands. So, it is required that ALL students have to bring the expensive name brand. By placing all of the crayons into containers to be shared, no child has to feel bad because they lost theirs. So, tell me, where is the child learning to take responsibility for their belongings? I remember a teacher keeping a “loaner” box of crayons or extra pencils on hand for such situations. You had to ask to borrow them. Now, the child is not given the opportunity to take responsibility.

While at the store, I saw some school supplies at a very cheap price. I ended up buying enough crayons and colored pencils to last the next school year. In all, I bought 4 packages each of crayons and colored pencils for $4.00 total. I have more than enough pencils from last year that are still in their package. I had purchased several boxes when I found them on clearance after the back to school sales were over. That is the best time to shop! One tip for those with kids enrolled in a public or other school would be to not only take a supply list for the grade your child is entering, but for the next one also. Then, as the year progresses, you can gradually pick up the basics to be stored until the next term. Many of the supply lists have little to no change from one year to the next. Instead of having a very large cost all at once, gradually purchase the supplies throughout the school year.

One of the advantages to homeschooling is that I am able to bypass much of the back to school madness. We can even save costs through making homemade supplies. A quick search online can result in recipes for homemade adhesives, chalk, and a wide variety of play doughs and clays. I searched for them using the terms, “homemade art supplies.” Not only are we saving money, but the kids are learning an important lesson. They are learning that you do not have to buy everything if you are willing to be resourceful. One of my favorite websites for recipes is KinderArt. There are numerous sites where recipes can be found. Try them out. When I find recipes that I really like, I jot them down in a blank journal for easy reference later.


My 1st Post November 2, 2011

Filed under: homeschool,homesteading,off grid,old fashioned,simplicity — ourprairiehome @ 7:00 am

Where to begin?  It is always daunting to introduce yourself.  I am married to a wonderful husband and the mother of 5 children.  The eldest 3 are adults, then late in life I was blessed with 2 more.  My husband and I have a small farm property of 20 acres.  We live off grid and have a small solar power system set up currently just to charge up the cell phone.  My husband is a truck driver.  I am a SAHM and am homeschooling our 2 youngest children.

We are striving to live more simply and less dependent upon the “conveniences” which society deems to be so important.  In the nearly 4 years since we went off grid, we have never wished we had stayed on grid.  We have found a peace in this journey.

I refer to myself as a woman who is modern by necessity, but old fashioned by choice.  I am modern in that I do use a computer and have incorporated very sparingly used technology in our lives.  My heart though has always been one that treasures the old fashioned ways.  The older I get, the more the lifestyle of my Grandmothers before me makes sense.  There was great wisdom in how they lived their lives.  As I travel this journey to Simplicity, I am blessed to be learning their ways.  It brings joy to our family’s lives.