Fight like a girl

Blogaholic Designs”=

Saturday, February 27, 2016

A few things I've learned over my 12 years of home educating

Over my 12 years of homeschooling, I've met some very interesting ladies (aka homeschool moms).  I am blessed to have met these ladies and be a member of a wonderful homeschool group locally.  My homeschool peeps are not judging or criticizing but encouraging.  Something every homeschool mom needs, yes, even one who has been doing it for 12 years.  

It bothers me how society judges homeschoolers.  I read blogs, watch youtube videos, read Facebook posts and see comments that are rude, hateful and just down right mean.  So I wanted to ask my followers, or anyone reading, a few questions.  (Most of my follows are homeschool friendly, but may have extensions of readers who aren't.)

1.  Why is the 'standard' of education a public school setting?

Schooling didn't start out in a building with a teacher, students and textbooks.  It started out in the homes with parents teaching their children.  Nope, they didn't have a college degree or even attend a school in the beginning.  How did they survive?  ;)

2.  Why do some think that parents are not competent to teach their children now in this day and age?  Have we 'dumbed down'?  

Well, maybe.  Dumbed down from the government cramming all the nonsense, useless information, into our children's minds.  For example, I read an article on how some children in public schools are being taught the Koran, Muslim religion, etc. in school.  This made me very angry. Not that they were learning about it, but they aren't being taught the Christian faith that our country was founded on first!  They aren't allowed to bring the Bible in and teach it, but we can the Koran?   I am all for learning about other religions, but first and foremost we need to learn about the one this country was founded on.  That is like going to an American school and learning Spanish before English.  Enough said about that, I can feel my blood boiling as I write this. So back to the question, are parents not competent to teach their own children at home (with or without degrees)?  Well, I know a few who have attended public school, graduated, and can't read or write very well at all.   Have you ever had an adult count back change to you at the store incorrectly? Enough said.

3.  When is the last time you used the information you learned at school, high school especially?

I've been thinking a lot about what my 7'th grader needs to know. (My other 2 sons have graduated by the way.  One in college and one working as a correction officer at a local prison.  I'm saddened by all the teaching time I spent with the other 2 boys, wasted, that they will never use in life.  Ok, the one in college is using some of what he learned, but that is for another blog topic.  Maybe I'll call that blog post, "College, taking required, expensive, useless classes not related to their major".

I am going to break it down what I think my 7'th grader needs to learn in the remaining 5 years of his education at home (which some of these he already knows).  

* how to balance a checkbook
* how to budget; monthly
* how to shop for any household good or make it on his own
* how to have a conversation with anyone of any age
* how to be self sufficient if needed (growing food, etc)
* how and where to find information he needs
* how to respect others, even the ones he doesn't like
* how to set realistic goals for himself and achieve them
* how to care for a person (or animal) in an emergency situation
* how to do basic repair and construction skills
* how to be a wonderful husband and a good father
* how to be a good neighbor and help others
* how to the love the Lord and keep a relationship with Jesus Christ

Just for the record, I didn't learn ANY of these things/ life skills from high school.  

4.  What have you taken from high school and applied to your life?

For me, nothing.  I didn't like high school, at all.  No, I wasn't bullied or wasn't a misfit.  I was actually a cheerleader, in band and had many friends.  I tried to get along with everyone and give them respect.  I honestly cannot think of anything positive that I applied to my life that I learned from being in high school.  I did however learn things.  I learned that no one cares where "x" went.  I learned that 'clicks' existed then just like they do now.  I learned that some kids were just cruel.  I learned that getting pregnant in high school gave you the reputation of sleeping around when maybe that one person has been dating the same boy for years.  I learned that not having a steady boyfriend also gave you that same reputation.  I learned to judge people by what their parents did for a living, where they lived and how they dressed.  The most important thing I've learned from high school is that REAL LIFE IS NOTHING LIKE HIGH SCHOOL.  I have heard homeschool parents say that maybe they should put their kids back in the public school system in order to prepare them for real life.  Really?  If that is what you think, your outlook on real life is warped.  

I made the mistake by sending my oldest to the local public school for his high school years.  If I had it to do over again, he wouldn't have attended for several reasons that I'd rather not discuss in this post, but he is doing well....great financially.  However, I remember when he learned about credit cards in high school.  He told me and my husband how he learned how to beat the interest on them.  Curious, my husband asked him to explain.  Our son went on to explain that you look at how much interest you are getting charged and you pay that amount along with the minimum payment.  I asked him how that was beating the interest; he was still paying it.  Beating the interest would be NOT paying any correct?  The only way to beat the interest on a credit card is to pay it off within the first billing cycle so the interest won't apply or accrue.  He could not understand and completely dismissed my husband and my explanation on the misinformation he was taught. THIS is the financial information being taught in our schools? By the way, they never went over how to balance a checkbook in high school or budget that I know of.  I taught him that in 8'th grade (homeschooling).

5.  Why are some people so interested in what MY homeschool child is learning?

I personally think it is none of anyone's (including the gov't) business what my child is learning in my home education. Unfortunately, here in WV, we have homeschooling laws we have to follow and of course I follow them, ALL of them.  I just feel that if my child were in public school, I wouldn't have a say in any part of their education, so why are they interested in what my home education plan consists of?  None of your business.  

I love this quote below:

 photo download_1.jpg

I'd rather raise a God fearing leader, successor, inventor, creator, or a dreamer rather than raise a follower of the world.

M final question is:

6.  If your children (in public school) had a chance to tour another country or take advantage of another source to improve their education, would you want them to take part in it?

I have 8 words for my response:

 photo bd145baddeeb453cf81f47efd98c5e13.jpg

So before you judge another way of educating a child, think about these questions and explore your imagination into the world of homeschooling.   Do your research and you may be surprised!

*Disclaimer:  For all those who have children in public schools, please do not leave any judgmental comments.  If you have a question, I'll be glad to answer.  But this IS a homeschool blog and I don't intent to get into heated discussions, debates or arguments over any issue.  Leave that for Facebook. ;)

Monday, February 22, 2016

Homemade laundry powder detergent in our homeschool

My son's science project today was to make homemade laundry powder detergent.  I was really impressed how inexpensive it was to make this, how long it should last, and how fun my son had making it!

So let's get started.  Here is a list of ingredients you'll need:

 photo IMG_20160222_101824_453.jpg

1 box of Borax ($3.97)
1 box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda ($3.97)
3 bars of Ivory soap ($3.97 for 10 bars)

(The prices above are from Walmart.)

First, you pour the Borax and Super Washing Soda together in a container and stir. (Don't mind my kitchen table, it's a mess!)

 photo IMG_20160222_102230_918 1.jpg

Then you need to grate all three bars of soap, one at a time.  I purchased an $0.88 grater at Walmart and will use it only for soap. You want to grate the bar (one at a time) into a medium size bowl.

 photo IMG_20160222_102219_959.jpg

After EACH bar is grated, you need to take a few handfuls of the mixture (Borax & Washing Soda) from the large container and put in the small bowl with the gated soap bar.  Run it through your hands and fingers until all the soap has the consistency of powder.  

 photo IMG_20160222_102440_327.jpg

This may take a few minutes.  Then do the next bar, and then the last bar. The reason why you need to do these one at a time is because it is easier to mix a small amount at a time and to get the soap to turn into powder.  ;)

Once all the soap is of a powder consistency, you can mix it in the large container with the Borax and Washing Soda.

 photo IMG_20160222_103318_428.jpg

Mix it all together really good and your done!  You will only use 1 tbs per load!  Yes, 1 tbs!  You can use a measuring spoon if you want.  I didn't have an extra spoon so I used one of those medication cups you get with children's cough syrup. ;)  Works great!

 photo IMG_20160222_103605_277.jpg

Now, check this out!  This container will do approx. 452 loads of laundry!  (The supplies cost around $12.00)  That is $0.02 per load!

I figure that this batch will last me approx. 2 years!  I do around 216 loads per year, 18 loads per month, normally.

Why powder instead of liquid?  There are several recipes for liquid detergent.  One really good one is the Duggar's recipe.  However, it's a bit more time consuming due to you have to boil water to get the soap to dissolve, sit over night to set, then stir the next day, and then find something to put the 4 gallons in.  Yes, you could use a 5 gal. bucket with a lid or milk jugs.  But I decided that this was easier for me AND it will last longer!  The Duggar's liquid soap contains 180 loads (for top load washer).  Click HERE for a youtube video on how to make the Duggar's recipe.  

For a youtube video of THIS powder recipe, click HERE.

Now, for fabric softener.  You didn't think I was going to forget about the fabric softener did you?  I hang my clothes out all spring, summer, and fall so I need this or my clothes can get a bit wrinkled and/or 'crunchy'.  

This is a list of what you will need for the Liquid Fabric Softener:

 photo IMG_20160222_103847_245.jpg

1 cup of Baking Soda ($2.24 large box)
6 cups of white vinegar ($2.48, gallon)
7 cups of tap water (not pictured)
Essential oil (optional)

(Again, prices are from Walmart.)

Ok, first you pour 1 cup of baking soda in a LARGE bowl.  I stress LARGE or you will have a mess!  Then add ONE cup of water for now.  Mix until the soda is dissolved.  

Next, you pour in 6 cups of white vinegar but only 2 cups at a time

 photo IMG_20160222_104201_928.jpg

Once all the vinegar is in and mixed, add the remaining 6 cups of water and then add your essential oil.  A floral scent would work nicely.  I used Lavender. (Which will be the last time I use that.  I am finding that I don't like the smell of Lavender.)

After mixed completely, pour into a container.  

Use 1 cup per load during rinse cycle.

 photo IMG_20160222_105039_280 1.jpg

I used an this old milk jug.  It filled it 3/4 full.  I'm not exactly sure how long this will last. I can estimate that if there is 128 oz. per gallon, and 8 oz. per cup, with this gallon being only 3/4 full, I will probably get about 12 loads (1 cup per load) out of this container.  So my cost would be less than $3 per batch (not counting the essential oils).  I figured one cup of soda is probably $1 (for a small box) and then for the amount of vinegar I used, maybe another $1.  ??  Still very inexpensive for fabric softener WITHOUT the nasty chemicals! That would be approx. $0.25 per load for the fabric softener.

I hope you enjoyed this.  I decided to do this, not as much to save money, but because it's less I have to buy.   So this will not only save me money, but time.  I also have heard that there are several additives and toxic chemicals in laundry soap.  Not sure how that compares with the borax, but keep in mind, borax is NOT boric acid!  If you want to learn more about borax and it's dangers and/or environmental standings, click HERE and this blog explains and compares to others. 

Hope you enjoy your new homemade laundry soap!  

Happy Homesteading!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

3 day dirty hair, yikes!

I know some may be thinking, 'How can she go three days without washing her hair?".  Well, I thought the same thing this morning.  

I woke up today with dirty, dirty hair.  I'm talking greasy, sticking up in places, crazy hair.  I figured I'd wash it but I went in the bathroom and just brushed it out really really good.  It honestly didn't look so bad after the brushing and I wasn't going anywhere today so I decided to leave it one more day and wash it on day 4. 

After I put my make up on, I went back to style my hair and I hardly had to do anything to it!  

 photo IMG_20160216_125850_769.jpg

I ran my fingers through it and then sprayed with hairspray.  It has a messy look to it and I love it!  It also has a lot of body and fluff. Even though it's really dirty, it doesn't look dirty.

 photo IMG_20160216_103756_066.jpg  photo IMG_20160216_103752_747.jpg

I did frost it myself 3 days ago (before washing) and I have noticed that when I have highlighted (bleach) product on it, it seems to be more full and manageable more so than when I just 'color' it.   I suppose it's from the bleach?

Anyway, I thought I'd share my experience with my doo.  ;)  Dirty hair isn't all bad.  

Thursday, February 11, 2016

4 months of growing out pixie

Here's a 4 month update on growing out my pixie.  The last pixie trim/cut I had was in October.  I had the back trimmed up or 'stacked' yesterday so it's more manageable and I didn't want the 'mullet' look to start.

Here is the front view.  

 photo IMG_20160211_102457_330.jpg

I am almost to the point of calling it a stacked bob.  Yeah!

Here are the side views.

 photo IMG_20160211_102239_741.jpg  photo IMG_20160211_102228_796.jpg

Here is the back.

 photo IMG_20160211_102644_755.jpg

My goal is to get the back of my hair to my neck.  
Something like this pic (found on Pinterest) below.

 photo 99d6cb5536b15d3545226491cbb1b9ed.jpg

I really like this style below for the in between growth.  (Pic also found on Pinterest.)

 photo 5bc7d5cc7ea8d45cfdc58267b765e7af.jpg

It hasn't been easy to grow out this pixie.  Not because my hair grows slow (it actually grows very fast), but because I really do love my pixie.  I just want to be able to change up my style and put it up if I want.  Anyone who knows me, knows how I love to change my style.  I rarely keep a hairstyle more than 1 year.  ;)