How We're Homeschooling this Year

It's time again! We are heading back to school! Technically, I did have a math class over the summer so I really just got a few weeks break before the fall semester. Good thing I love school.

This year I'm taking Art History. It will be so much fun after almost two years of math classes(you can read more about why it took so long here). I only have two more general education classes to go before I start my interior design classes next year.

This is also the first school year of officially homeschooling our little kindergartener!

Last year we enrolled him in a program called Classical Conversations and we are still doing that this year, but this is the first year we are required to notify the state of our intent to homeschool. Last year, we were just trying out new things. This year, it's for real.

So what exactly are we doing schoolwise?

It's time again! We are heading back to school! So what exactly are we doing schoolwise? Classical Conversations Foundations Guide

It's time again! We are heading back to school! So what exactly are we doing schoolwise? Classical Conversations Foundations Guide Cycle 3

Classical Conversations is a Christian, classical education program. Little Man's age group is called Foundations as it is memorizing facts to lay a foundation to build upon as they get older. You can see some of what Little Man will be memorizing this year in the above photo.

Classical Conversations covers several subjects, as well as art and music. While there is a lot of material, it doesn't include formal math and language arts so for that we are using other curriculums.

It's time again! We are heading back to school! So what exactly are we doing schoolwise? Math U See

It's time again! We are heading back to school! So what exactly are we doing schoolwise? Kindergarten and Classical Conversations with Math U See

It's time again! We are heading back to school! So what exactly are we doing schoolwise? Kindergarten and Classical Conversations: Math U See manipulative blocks.

For math, we are using Math-U-See. I already love it because you can get a teacher manual, workbook, teaching DVD, and awesome counting blocks. It's designed to teach to all three learning styles: visual, audio, and kinetic. The boys already love playing with the blocks so I'm hoping that having these will help keep math fun for them.

It's time again! We are heading back to school! So what exactly are we doing schoolwise? Kindergarten and Classical Conversations with Alphaphonics

For language arts we are keeping it simple and simply working on basic handwriting skills and reading. We are starting with this worn Alphaphonics book.

My mom used it to teach me and my siblings how to read. It went through six kids and fell apart over the years. We all love to read and read well aloud so I figure it must work pretty well!

So that's our school year plan. I'm excited to see how it goes!

I'd love to hear other moms or teachers that have any teaching tips they want to share! Feel free to leave any questions or comments below. I'm even open to healthy debates!


How to Design a Room from a Fabric Swatch

Sometimes, I walk into a store and just see something that inspires me. My thoughts start whiring and before I've even left the store, I'll have a vague picture of a room already formed in my head. Unfortunately for my friends and family, this means that I tend to daydream my way through shopping trips.

My cup of coffee and I can get lost for a good three hours in the home decor section of any store.

So I saw this tablecloth in Target several weeks and fell in love with the print.

How to design a room from a fabric swatch. This watercolor floral is the inspiration for an entire room design. All the other colors and patterns are in harmony with it. Even the style of the room is drawn from the fabric: laid-back traditional with a fresh, modern twist. All pulled from this one floral tablecloth from Target.

Why is Interior Design Important?

Why is interior design important? Interior design is more than just decorating. It is intentionally creating a space that not only functions well, but also functions beautifully...
Interior design has always been one of my passions. When I was little, I would create paper dolls and draw elaborate rooms and houses for them. Bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms...I drew them and laid them all out on the floor in the order I wanted.

Every time we would go to my Aunt's house, I'd look for the new Better Homes and Gardens magazines that had arrived since our last visit. I'd curl up in a chair and go through every single one, soaking up all the designs and colors like a sponge.

Rustic Independence Day Decor from Target

12 rustic, yet subtle, Independence Day decorations for the fourth of July! Any of these things mixed with a few small flags in a glass jar would be the perfect red, white, and blue Independence Day decor for me!

If you are anything like me, today is your day to pick up all those last minute things for the 4th of July festivities. Because, as usual, you forgot to do it before today to avoid the other crazy people buying beer and burgers. In my defense, I’ve been slightly preoccupied and housebound because of the bathroom renovation(Yes, it’s still going on. More on that to come). 

At least my kids have flag shirts from grandma. 

Because I will be out doing my last minute shopping today, I put together a list of all my favorite rustic 4th of July decor from Target. Because Target gets my style. And, all too often, my money.

These items are things I would use in my own home. I’m not too keen on obvious decorations; I like to be subtle. Any of these things mixed with a few small flags in a glass jar would be the perfect red, white, and blue Independence Day decor for me! 

A Vintage-Inspired Bathroom Idea Board

It's been so long since I've written and I have so much to tell you! The last couple months for us have been filled with unexpected happenings. Good, bad, neutral: it all hit at once.

The biggest happening isn't quite finalized so I can't share it quite yet. It's so exciting, I can't wait to tell you all! It's a super big thing for us so I want to make sure everything is settled first . What I can tell you is that our small, dated rental bathroom is getting a renovation!

It all started with a clogged toilet that overflowed one weekend. Exactly one week later, the sink backed up and then overflowed because a certain little one forgot to turn off the water. Both incidents involved water covering the floor and water pouring through the kitchen ceiling.

A few days after the sink overflowed, water started pouring through the ceiling again while the tub was being used. A small chip in the tub had given way and there were two additional slower leaks in the tub plumbing. Not only does all the water damage have to be fixed, but the tub also has to be replaced.

Since replacing the tub involves taking out the toilet and fixing the floor and walls, the whole bathroom is getting redone!

I've been on cloud nine. Who cares about not having an upstairs bathroom for two weeks if it means a new, pretty bathroom! And I get to help design it? Icing on the cake.

Positive Negativity

We're all about the power of positive thinking but is that a good thing? Negative emotions have a power of their own. Maybe we should rehtink them. Can a little negativity be a positive?

If you have ever seen the movie Inside Out, you know the story is from the perspective of five emotions in the head of a girl named Riley: Fear, Anger, Disgust, Sadness, and Joy. The emotion in charge, Joy, can always find the bright side of anything and tries her best to make sure everything is always upbeat and happy. One of my favorite things about the movie is that it showcases the importance of all the human emotions and the roles they play in our lives.

Much like Joy, we all want to be happy. Radio stations and blogs pride themselves on the positive environment they create. News outlets receive complaints about their coverage of depressing news stories, as if the journalists themselves decide the events that happen each day.

When I'm feeling down, I reach for the coffee and chocolate for a pick-me-up.

Fear, anger, hurt, disappointment...these are what we think of as negative emotions. We want to avoid them. However, these negative emotions plumb the depths of what it means to be human. They are the emotions that show us who we are and why we do what we do. They are complex. They beg to be analyzed.

I find the "negative" emotions fascinating and mysterious-it's why I'm drawn to them. I can't be distracted from feeling them, nor do I want to be distracted. There's a kind of satisfaction I get from allowing myself to dive down and go through the depth of emotion and rise up on the other side with a deeper understanding of myself and the world around me. 

It seems there is no such depth to happy. Happy is what it is. You usually know why you're happy. It doesn't need to be figured out and, unless you are a scientist, you don't want to think too hard about it.

I'm not saying that people should stay negative and wallow in emotional pain. I am saying that there is a place for feelings like discomfort and sadness, that they have a beauty and depth to them that is underappreciated. We should not be so quick to run from them.

At the end of Inside Out, Joy realizes that the one emotion she has pushed away for Riley's entire life is the the only one who can put everything right again. She finally understands that Sadness has a valid purpose, as do Fear, Anger, and Disgust.

It's a fun movie meant to entertain but it teaches a lesson most of us, like Joy, would do well to learn: that all emotions are important. We shouldn't feel like we've achieved something by being positive all the time. We too need sadness just as much as we need joy.

Sometimes, we need it more.



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15 Lessons to Learn by 30

This month I turned 30.

For me, birthdays are usually not too different from any other day. I'm not sentimental about them and, since I prefer to avoid being the center of attention, I'm perfectly fine with letting them go by with little to no fanfare. Except this one. When I reached 30 it hit me hard. Much harder than I thought it would.

I've been married almost seven and a half years and it really doesn't feel that long. In the next seven and a half years, I'll be nearing 40. The realization of just how fast time goes now that I'm older, the pants that fit tighter than they did last year, a week of sick kids plus sleep deprivation, all added up to one bad day.

So I started doing what I normally do when I'm stressed. I made a list. A list of 15 lessons that I've learned in 30 years. I filled in with posts from my Instagram account because I was lazy for something different than my usual photos. Just for fun.

15 Lessons to Learn by 30: This month I turned 30. I made a list. A list of 15 of the more important things I've learned in those years. Here I am at 30.

1. It's ok to start a project or hobby and then quit if you fall flat on your face. You learned something about yourself even if all you learned was that you weren't good at it.

2. How to make my own phone calls and schedule appointments.

3. Coffee is amazing. I'd also like to add that I began adoring coffee before it was cool. It's better hot anyway.

This month I turned 30. I made a list. A list of 15 of the more important things I've learned in those years. Here I am at 30. With my coffee bar.

The best part of waking up is seeing this every morning. And every afternoon. At night it's just cruel. #coffeelove #drinkallthecoffees @realinspired


4. It's possible to outgrow friendships, especially as you get older and your interests and values change. You may always be friends and love each other deeply, but you might not be as close. It is sad but it is also ok.

5. You don't ever have to give up on your ideals or quit hoping for their realization.

This month I turned 30. I made a list. A list of 15 of the more important things I've learned in those years. Here I am at 30 with my favorite Sherwin Williams paint pallette.
The Sherwin Williams guy took pity on me and gifted me with this. It's a dream come true! I was sqealing over it for the rest of the day! #colornerd #ilovepaint by @realinspired

6. Public speaking isn't the end of the world(but I'd still rather jump in a pit of nonvenomous snakes).

7. It's ok to be introverted. If someone thinks less of you because of it then it's their problem, not yours. You are not broken; our culture is.

8. Read anything and everything. Never stop.

This month I turned 30. I made a list. A list of 15 of the more important things I've learned in those years. Here I am at 30 with CS Lewis and Harry Potter books.

When #bookworm loves #harrypotter and #cslewis. Oh, the irony...@realinspired


9. Broken hearts heal. They might not forget, but they do stop hurting.

10. Trust your intuiton.

11. Perfection is impossible. Strive for it but be ok with falling short.

12. You have to make your kids do things themselves. It's so hard to implement in real life and I still fail at it, but I know I have to allow them to fail or fly on their own.

13. Marry your best friend. Someone with similar interests that understands you and loves to let you be you.

This month I turned 30. I made a list. A list of 15 of the more important things I've learned in those years. Here I am at 30.
I don't usually get all sappy and share this kind of thing, but this is my Valentine gift from hubby. I share it because it made me cry and gifts usually don't do that. This one did because this man encourages me to pursue my dreams and try scary things. He's the reason that I'm finally finding my voice and writing the daydreams I've carried in my heart my entire life. He makes me feel brave enough to try. I'm so glad I married my best friend! by @realinspired

14. You have to be that kind of person for the person you marry too. It goes both ways.

15. Listen. Listen when people talk. Listen when they're hurting or disagree with you. Really listen. Sometimes that's all you can do or all anyone needs. You might learn something in the process too.

This month I turned 30. I made a list. A list of 15 of the more important things I've learned in those years. Here I am at 30. With a picture of lights in Lowes.
When I was little, I thought home improvement stores looked like places where dreams came true. That's still what I think at 30. by @realinspired

Here I am at 30.

Do you have any lessons you have learned that you could add to the list? Want to follow on Instagram? Follow this link to the Real Inspired Instagram account!



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