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Homeschooling The Well Prepared Child: January 2015

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Setting Up A Preparedness Group In Your Area

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    I really want to set up a preparedness group my area. Especially one that offers kid friendly get togethers and classes! Setting up a preparedness group can be a valuable resource for you.  Having a community means having back up when you need it. In case of emergency, you can't do everything on your own. You will need help. I am not good on hunting, but I can cook large meals, forage, garden, and preserve food. I may not be great on the medical side, but, I can teach, sew and Crochet. Think about all of the skills you are great with and can share with others. Now think about all of the skills others can share with you! My grandparents and their siblings had a community in the mountains. Each all chose their professions based on what would benefit the community. I love this idea. (No, I'm not talking about running for the hills and making a commune, but, knowing a bunch of like minded folks with different skill sets sounds nice to me.)
    I have been kicking around a few ideas on what kind of group classes that can be offered. Not all of them are 'kid friendly' but all of them would be good skills to learn. Not sure when I will be able to set up my own prepareness group any time soon. But, I have found a lot of people in my area that have the same interests as we do. I'm making friends. 
  1. CPR/ First Aid
  2. Join or start a Neighborhood Watch
  3. Check to see if your Local Ag Extension offers classes.
  4. Also try your local parks and wildlife centers
  5. Foraging classes 
  6. Master Gardener's like to put on presentations
  7. Thrive Life Freeze Dried Foods have in house demonstration parties. 
  8. You can do a group buy in to save money by buying bulk
  9. Prepping on a Budget would be a good class
  10. Couponing class put on by a local expert
  11. Herbal/medicinal speaker
  12. Bug Out Bag demo to see what others are packing
  13. Primitive skills/camping trip
  14. Self Defense Class- Most instructors will come to you
  15. Paint ball special ops team challenges (How fun would that be!)
  16. Sewing Basics- Fun for the whole family
  17. Creating fire in different situations- Everyone needs to know and practice this!
  18. Hiking with BOBs- Trust me... You need the practice!
  19. Dutch Oven cookout
  20. Old fashioned barn raising- or help someone build something else. Good practice or teaching experience. 
  21. Making homemade DIY items; Soap, laundry detergent, cleaners
  22. Essential Oil classes
  23. Local Nurse presentation
  24. Craft classes
  25. Hunting/Tracking lessons
  26. Water filtration/expert 
  27. Bow practice day
  28. Basics of distillation
  29. Agua ponics, hydroponics expert presentation and maybe even a field trip
  30. How Tos and Expert Demos: rocket stoves, waste oil demos,
  31. Butchering Techniques 
  32. Communications
  33. Trapping
  34. Emergency Shelter Build
  35. Brewing Homemade beer
  36. Various classes on food preservation- huge learning list here!
  37. Preserving with a food saver
  38. Pressure canning 
  39. Water bath canning
  40. Oven dehydrating
  41. Medication alternatives (Herbal and Medicinal/Pet)
  42. Prepping for pets
  43. Building a root cellar
  44. Cast iron cooking
  45. Home made bread baking
  46. Making apple cider vinegar and its uses
  47. DIY candles
  48. Knot basics
  49. First aid preps and buy in
  50. Meat preservation
  51. Greenhouse build
  52. Raised garden beds
  53. Composting
  54. Solar energy (I wonder if Home Depot or Lowes has an expert) 
     These are just a few of the classes or discussions I am interested in learning about. Do you have anything you would add to this list? 

Thank you to Alyssa over at The Bow Legged Cowboy for letting me pick her brain! 

Disclosure: I am Amazon Affiliate and may receive a small compensation for including links on my blog. Buying through my links is not necessary, just appreciated. Amazon does not charge extra for linked items recommended by their affiliates.  I only recommend products that I use and trust OR plan on using in the future. Please buy responsibly and do your own product research before buying anything online. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Operation: Candling Week 1

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OPERATION: Chicken Hatch is well under way! 

     We candled at day 4. We saw some spider web looking things in a few of them. It was still hard to determine if our eggs were developing. A couple of the egg's shells are so dark, we can only see the yolk part expanding. Since we do not know exactly what we are looking for, we have been checking back with The Chicken Chicks page to see what a developing embryo looks like at each stage. It has been so hard NOT to check them on a daily basis. I think this is one of the most exciting adventures we have embarked upon thus far in our journey. 

     We had our Amazingly Awesome Neighbor, Bree, come by to help us candle on day 7. We made our garage as dark as we could and I held the flash light tightly on the top, with the egg cupped in my hand. Bree took pictures of our eggs and then a video of one that moved around quite a bit. I can't wait for you to see it! At this stage, the chicks wings, comb, beak, and legs have began to form. We swear this little chick looked like it was swimming. Want to see? I was going to wait till the end, but I can't help but to show you now! 
     It is not as good as watching it live and in person, but still an amazing video! Thank you to my Amazingly Awesome Neighbor, Bree, for all your help and support, (and great camera!) Bree has 5 eggs in the incubator so far. Zoey and I have 2. Our experiment to see if the eggs could be incubated was a success! We are gathering more eggs to be incubated. We will put the newly gathered eggs into the incubator on the 30th. Those will all hatch together. I am not sure how many we will actually have of our own vs Bree's. Our chicks are not laying as well as hers right now. 
     Here are all of our candled eggs. You can see most of the dark embryo areas within the eggs. Some of the shells were too dark to see into them. Others, were as clear as day. 

Stay tuned for next weeks post on Water Candling Eggs!
(It is safer for the light sensitive chicks!)

Disclosure: I am Amazon Affiliate and may receive a small compensation for including links on my blog. Buying through my links is not necessary, just appreciated. Amazon does not charge extra for linked items recommended by their affiliates.  I only recommend products that I use and trust OR plan on using in the future. Please buy responsibly and do your own product research before buying anything online. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Operation: Chicken Hatch

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     We have hatched chicks at the childcare center I work at for years, but we have never actually hatched chicks ourselves. Definitely not from our own eggs! Are we a bit ambitious? Perhaps, but learning is what we do best around here. Even fails are not looked upon as regrets, just opportunities to learn. 

     The other night, Zoey and I were talking about chickens. We had gone by a local feed store to pick up feed for our chickens and the pig. We were really excited for spring and new spring chicks. No one in town has chicks yet. So I thought, why wait? I have a rooster, my Amazingly Awesome Neighbor, Bree, has a rooster... So why not? I also have some awesome connections at our local Ag Extension office. I gave my friend a call and asked if we could borrow an incubator. 

The very next day... Tadaa! 
Operation: Chick Hatch is underway! 

Funny side story, she told me to fill the bottom reservoir, and we did. BUT, I thought the whole bottom was the reservoir, and filled the whole bottom. Yup, I pretty much flooded the garage floor. 

     One of my nephews, Collin, came to stay the night and he helped us set up the incubator. I explained we were going to hatch our own chicks. I'm not sure he knows what to think of us. I have heard the words 'strange' and 'cool' come out of his mouth on several occasions. He is 10 and pretty much a city type kid. 

     Now to figure out if our eggs were actually fertile. We headed on over to The Chicken Chick to see how to tell if our eggs were going to produce some babies. Lots of great info there. We learned about blastoderms and the difference between an incubated fertile egg and an un-incubated fertile egg. This morning I cracked open one of our eggs laid by Little Red, and guess what we found? A BULLS EYE! 

     We have long suspected our Jersey Giants were laying eggs, but our rotten little stinker pup, Bo, was finding them and eating the eggs as they laid them. Today, we found an egg from one of our Jersey Giants. We marked it with a JG, for Jersey Giant, and the date we put it in the incubator. 

     Bree came over later and put in 4 more eggs, marked with her initials and the date. These are just our tester eggs. According to these instructions sent to me by a friend that swears by the Farmer's Almanac, we need to wait a few days to start incubation. Like I said, we are just testing to see if our eggs are truly fertilized, and what they look like when they have been incubated for a while. We watched a cool video from a Wiki How tutorial about candling eggs. We plan on trying it in about 4 days. If we see signs of fertilization and growth, we will place the eggs we gather between Jan. 22nd and the 29th into the incubator with the others as well. 

Yes, we fixed the upside down eggs very carefully...

Wish us luck and stay tuned for updates! :D 

Have you hatched your own chicks? 

Disclosure: I am Amazon Affiliate and may receive a small compensation for including links on my blog. Buying through my links is not necessary, just appreciated. Amazon does not charge extra for linked items recommended by their affiliates.  I only recommend products that I use and trust OR plan on using in the future. Please buy responsibly and do your own product research before buying anything online. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Update: Growing Tators In Buckets

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     Growing Tators In Buckets was first published on December 29th. Just 2 days before I published Our Top 10 Posts of 2014. In just 2 short weeks, the post is now #3 on my top 10 views of all time. AMAZING! Thank you to everyone that has shared, commented, tweeted, pinned and loved our Tators post. However, it was not just the views that has grown at an alarming rate, the tators have as well! 

     Now if you remember, our potatoes started out like this. They were just in a box, under my kitchen cabinet, waiting to be planted in the spring. Or so I thought... I guess they had a different idea of when they should be planted. 

     January 8th was when we first noticed we were getting stems growing up. Previous to that, we would uncover the potatoes just to make sure they were still in there. It seemed to take forever for the little stems to show up. Then, they started to grow fast! 

     Due to weather and my job hours, we were unable to cover them up on. It was a few days later that we added 3 inches of compost soil. They were already starting to form leaves. I'm sure after we watered them, the depth was not still 3 inches, but they were still covered.  

That following Monday, we looked again. One side of the bucket was already growing from up out of the soil. The other side was still growing, just not as fast. We decided not to add any more soil to the lower side of the bucket. Zoey added 3 more inches of soil to the higher side. 

     Now here it is January 14th, and they have already grown out of the new soil. It is so amazing to watch them grow! The lower side is starting to catch up, but the high side still towers over them. Unfortunately, we have to wait till Saturday to cover them again. I work from sun up to sundown at my job, but just the 2 days a week. 

   Honestly, I did not think the potatoes plants would grow this big, this fast. I thought it would at least take until spring to get to the top of the bucket. At this rate, I think we are looking at another 2-3 weeks. That might be a problem. While I have said all along, plants under the soil only need the sun for warmth, once they get to the top, they will definitely need the suns rays to survive. It is the dead of winter and I do not think they will survive indoors. At this time, we do not have any indoor growing lights and I am afraid they will not grow well in the garage with just the florescent lights over head. I may need to invest in a grow light soon... Not really wanting to grow using electricity in winter, but man, this is so exciting! 

     Zoey has been keeping up with the growth in her Science Journal. Every few days she gets out her spiral notebook and draws what she sees in the bucket. Then, she writes a small paragraph about what it is doing, or what we have done. This brings science and writing together. (AND a bit of art! ;) ) If I had really thought about it, we could have created a little chart to keep up with how fast it has grown in so many days. Also, I think it would have been a really good idea to have written an inch line from the bottom of the bucket to the top of it in a Sharpie Marker or some other permanent marking tool. That would of been fantastic! I just was not expecting this to go this well! 

Want to see the original post?

So what do you think? 
Will they actually grow some spuds?   

Disclosure: I am Amazon Affiliate and may receive a small compensation for including links on my blog. Buying through my links is not necessary, just appreciated. Amazon does not charge extra for linked items recommended by their affiliates.  I only recommend products that I use and trust OR plan on using in the future. Please buy responsibly and do your own product research before buying anything online. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Learning To Chop Wood

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     It is 38 degrees, and guess what my kid is doing? Learning to chop wood. One of the many 'prepper' goodies she got for Christmas was a camping hatchet. (She calls it her Tomahawk.) It is kind of like THIS ONE, just not as fancy. You can see the rest of what she got HERE
     She got a short lesson from daddy on how to chop wood, and I supervised. She wanted me to come out to watch her, but I could not stay outside for long. Not only am I not that crazy, (It's cold out there!) I also had to keep watch on the wood burner. We decided to use some of our preps to make pinto beans. Cooking them on the wood burning stove required me to keep the wood burning hot. So I was running in back and forth, but mostly, watching from the window. 
 I'm ready! 

     I know, she is so scary! She ended up moving out of the front yard and into the driveway for more stability. Zoey actually did a really good job. Once she learned how to chop is a smaller area, and turn the limb so she could chop on the other side, it took her no time to get the limb off of the branch piece. When she was finished, she handed me the wood and told me to go put it in the wood burner for the beans! 
      You can tell she is pretty excited to have chopped her first piece of wood. Once spring hits, we are going to see about chopping enough wood to build an emergency shelter. Hmmm... we will definitely have to research that! :D

Disclosure: I am Amazon Affiliate and may receive a small compensation for including links on my blog. Buying through my links is not necessary, just appreciated. Amazon does not charge extra for linked items recommended by their affiliates.  I only recommend products that I use and trust OR plan on using in the future. Please buy responsibly and do your own product research before buying anything online. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Take A Hike

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     Along with our new motto for the year, 'Do More,' we are also following our old motto of 'If you're going to talk the talk, you better walk the walk.' And that is just what we did, We took a walk! Full G.O.O.D. bag, gear and all! It was a bit chilly, 42 degrees. Maybe that is not chilly for where you live, but it is for Texas. Definitely, a lot chillier than I want to go for a walk in. However, the girl has been begging me to go out since BEFORE we got her New G.O.O.D. Bag. (It was my idea... That is what I get for thinking out loud!) So today, we messaged our Super Awesome Neighbor, Bree, and asked if she wanted to go with us to test out our bags. She messaged back, "I'm in!!" However, when she showed up, she didn't bring a back pack. She got a little lecture, agreed she needed to make up her own bag, and will come prepared next time.

Here are a few pictures of our first hike in full G.O.O.D. Bag gear!

Getting ready to head out.

 And away we go! 

Hiking across the bridge to the road. 
I swear she tries to give me a heart attack! 

 Are you going to wait on us? I guess NOT!

Zoey and the Awesome Neighbor Bree! 
(She will probably kill me for this! BAHAHAAA!)

Zoey stayed in front of us for most of our hike. 

     We didn't walk far. We started out late and needed to get back to make the hubby dinner. It was a good walk though. The road we took has a slight uphill angle the whole way up. We found out a lot about our bags. Lightening them up a bit, of course, is on the list of 'Hiking To Dos' but it is not at the top. Zoey had some issues with the back pack pulling her pants down. (I know you can hear me giggling from here! bahahahaaa!) She was constantly having to hike them back up. She saved some of her birthday money to buy her some camo clothes. We are thinking she might need some overalls. The back pack is a full adult size. It hits her on the hips differently than me. She also said the pack made her itch under her clothes. I'm not sure why, but maybe a good rub down with lotion might help in the cold winter wind.  (She claims she just needs a back scratcher.) However, she never complained about a thing when we were walking. I knew of the pant situation from seeing her struggle, but never a complaint. I found my bag to be a bit heavier than what I would like, but I can't think of anything to take out. (My pants did not fall down, I remembered to wear a belt.) Zoey also claims that we need to be quicker when walking. She walked in front of our Awesome Neighbor, Bree and I for most of the way. 

     What did she like about the hike? She found a 'Cool Rock.' No, baby, about the hiking with your back pack... "OH! It was AWESOME!!!!! I like my new back pack. It was not so bad walking in it. I liked that we all walked together." 

     We have plans to walk again soon. (Weather permitting) Hopefully, this time the SUPER AMAZING AWESOME NEIGHBOR, BREE will pack and bring her own G.O.O.D. Bag

(Yes, my friend, You have been challenged!) 

Want to see what we pack in our 'Get Out Of Dodge' bags? 
Click the pic! 

Disclosure: I am Amazon Affiliate and may receive a small compensation for including links on my blog. Buying through my links is not necessary, just appreciated. Amazon does not charge extra for linked items recommended by their affiliates.  I only recommend products that I use and trust OR plan on using in the future. Please buy responsibly and do your own product research before buying anything online. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

How Much Does Homeschooling cost?

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     Recently, I had a private message on our Facebook Fan Page. One of our fans asked, "Hi. I am very interested in learning about the cost involved in homeschooling. Perhaps, keep in the back of your mind, it is a topic not very well covered." I responded with, "Very true, it is not covered much because homeschooling is different for everyone. Homeschooling is virtually free for me. I have her old work books we are going through from her previous grades, I supplement with free stuff I find online. Teachers Pay Teachers is a good place to start. Even though it is a paid site, you can still find a lot of freebies. When she completes all of her work books, I have had homeschool buddies gift me their old work books. We all trade and exchange. I also keep an eye out on Facebook homeschool curriculum sell and swap groups. I do pay about $60 for Co-op classes, but they also let me barter some of my tuition through my embroidery business. A huge part of her curriculum is homesteading and gardening, survivalist skills. We journal, budget, research and read about a lot of stuff. What I buy for her to learn (mostly gardening stuff) is also factored into our household budget. Things like our dehydrator were free, the canner a gift. There is so much science and math in homesteading and gardening, that all my curriculum is from personal know how and research. We Google everything. However, not every homeschool family is like us. I have heard several times from parents that they are not comfortable with designing their own curriculum. They prefer to buy it. Buying curriculum can get very expensive. I am confident in designing my own because curriculum is my passion and I am creative. I have a degree in education and took extra classes in curriculum development. As you can see, you have sparked my creative juices, I might have to blog this...." 
     AND, I forgot to mention, when I homeschooled my teenage son, we used Discoveryk12. It is a complete curriculum that is also completely FREE. 
     BUT, like I said, homeschooling is completely different for every family. I decided to ask my online friends that are in FB homeschool groups and some of my blogging/homeschooling friends. Here is what they had to say:

"Homeschooling had always been something we considered, but we didn't do much about it until we had problems at public school. When I made the decision to homeschool, I wanted to start as quickly as possible. The curriculum choices were overwhelming, and so was the thought of homeschooling. I felt that our best option was to enroll him in K-12 so I could get help and guidance for the first year. 

     K-12 is an online public school, so it's completely free! He still has to take the state standard test, but I can teach him how he learns best. Our particular school lets us move at his own pace, so he doesn't have to attend the daily class sessions as long as he does well on his own. We did get permission from his teachers to do this. Most kids do attend daily classes online. K-12 ships all of his books, workbooks, teacher books, art supplies, and some science lab supplies to our home. They also sent a computer, printer, headphones, and microphone. I get a $10 a month reimbursement for Internet too. They also sent him a Kindle Fire this year so he can read more. I have to buy ink, computer paper, some art supplies, and very few supplies for science lab. 
I think I've spent less than $50 in supplies. 
     We really like K-12 so far, so we may stay with it for a few years. Or we may create our own curriculum next year. We will have to see what's best for him and our family." Cari @

Deana Hipwell at The Frugal Homeschooling Mom, "homeschools her 3 children classically AND eclectically. Most of her curriculum is purchased through online curriculum swaps and sales, in gently used condition. Then she resells them or donates them to others in similar forums (you can find the numerous resources she lists on her blog). She supplements the used curriculum she buys with free printables and other free resources online. In doing this, homeschooling is a fairly inexpensive endeavor for her family. The most expensive part of her children's schooling is the tuition costs for the homeschool co-op she participates in. Otherwise, she homeschools all 3 children (a 3rd grader, a preschooler, and a toddler) within a budget of under $200 per year." 

My fb homeschooling friend, Rob, said, "Honestly, I thought it would cost a lot more than it does. It's so insignificant a difference that we don't really consider homeschool financially. 
We've got 4- 2 toddlers & 2 schooling. We may do more "field trips" & need to buy supplies but it isn't a financial burden at all. We actually don't use a curriculum (aaaah!) Mostly just answer the curiosities of our kids. I think they call that Unschooling."

Tanya from Treats By Tanya reports, "Our first year homeschooling I spent 2k on curriculum and supplies for 3 boys. Then, I went frugal. Not everything in the books we're on my boys level (below and above). I homeschool for as free as possible. With 1 paycheck to support our family now, we really have to budget in field trips and extras. I have a blog that I created just to share other free resources with parents that are in the same boat. I don't count internet as an expense, because we would be paying for that even if the kids were in school. The same for food; they packed their lunch. If anything, our food bill went down because I can serve leftovers for lunch, instead of individually packed processed unhealthy food. I buy 1 case of printing paper a year and thats about it. Spring we usually restock our art center, but we did the same when they were in public school too."

Dawn, also a friend from Facebook, says, "I have 5 kids in school/on record this year. I use Easy Peasy for curriculum, so my cost there is the internet and keeping up computers, then our umbrella school costs of $300 per year. So, $350 total with incidentals because I would have computers and internet anyway. lol. The hidden costs of homeschooling are that everyone is home all day using electricity and eating up the groceries. Savings in that you don't have to have nice school clothing, shoes, coats, backpacks, mandated school supplies, and the numerous "fees" and fundraisers. Homeschooling for us is much cheaper than public school."

LaRae over at Jones Jungle says, "We homeschool 3 kids and we buy curriculum. Last year we used a hodge podge that I placed together. It was in the neighborhood of $800.00. This year we bought a complete curriculum and it was just over $1000.00. Next year I will be piecing together again and have started buying and it should come in somewhere around $800.00 again (or at least that's our budget for it). I haven't compared the added cost to our daily living because there has always been at least 2 people home all day everyday."
"We participate in a classical education homeschooling program that looks very much like a "one room schoolhouse" one day a week. Since my children are still elementary age, it is approximately $450 per student (times 3 for us), and that does not include our math and phonics curriculum, plus some of the "extras." Our results are so excellent, however, that we have a strong commitment to this style of education. We help cut costs by our active involvement in the community; my stipend is nearly enough to cover the entire cost of homeschooling to include additional curriculum! Plus, the heavy involvement makes me a better homeschooling mom the rest of the week!" Chaya @The Pantry Paratus 

Another FB Homeschool friend, Sarah, said, 'I spend around $1500 on curriculum for five kids. We do a ton of field trips! A minimum of 1/week, so with the cost of the gas/entrance, or other field trip fees we spend about $200 on those each month."

Angi from Schneider Peeps says, "We live in Texas which has very little regulation for homeschooling. We have six children and two have already graduated. The children still in our homeschool are an 11th grader, 9th grader, 7th grader and kindergartner. One of the great things about homeschooling long term is that you can reuse curriculum, so each child actually gets a little cheaper to educate. So this year I did not have to buy any math, science or history curriculum. This year for 4 students we spent $190 on curriculum for our homeschool and $120 on college textbooks for our 11th grader who is taking early admission classes at our local community college. He received a scholarship that covers all his tuition and fees. We also spent about $50 on school supplies which mainly includes the art notebooks, Prang watercolors, spirals and binders. We pay $210 a year for two of our children to take art lessons from a college student. We are part of a homeschool co-op and pay $120 a year in fees. We are also part of a drama club and pay $190 a year in fees. This year three of our children are taking a social dance class where they are learning how to two-step, swing, line dance, etc and we pay $315 for the year. Our 9th grader is taking a photography class at co-op and that is an additional $50. We spend about $400 a year on field trips. Our older daughter is in our local ballet company and I’m not including those fees or Boy Scout fees since our children would be doing those activities even if we were not homeschooling.
I’m sure I am leaving something out as there are always small expenses that I overlook. But I can confidently say that we don’t spend more than $2000 a year educating 4 children. We can definitely spend less but the arts are really important to our family and we want to encourage the creative side of our children. And that’s really thing for homeschooling families to consider, it’s not the dollar amount that we should be aiming for but what do we want to encourage and nurture in our children. For our family that means used books and sometimes even borrowed books and lots of trips to the library so that we can do some of these other things that our children are interested in." 

"This year is the first year we have homeschooled. My older two children are at a 5th grade and 3rd grade level, and after years of public schooling we decided to make some changes. My youngest is 5 this month. We will be getting some basic kindergarten curriculum for him, but I am undecided on what I will choose. I spent quite a bit of time researching the type of curriculum we wanted to have. After the time spent researching, reading reviews of many different Waldorf based curriculum packages and programs we had finally settled on Oak Meadow. It has been great for having a starting point, as a tool to guide us in a general direction. After spending roughly $900 on getting the curriculum packages for our children you would think we would be sure to use them as much as possible. However I’m not sure if we will actually move forward with this in the future. To be honest, coming into Waldorf a little later there are many gaps that we have in what has been taught in previous areas. I have also found that my kids have been much further ahead in what is being covered in the curriculum as a result of coming from public school. The rate at which material is covered has a much different pace. This has left me feeling a somewhat disappointed since I love the concepts, but nevertheless we usually end up taking most advantage of free resources.
     I have learned to take a more laid back approach to schooling, and my main goal has become to foster a passion for learning. How does that translate to cost? We have a fantastic public library in our city of Fargo, ND that we frequent often. Whatever they are passionate about we find books on at the library, which is of course free (unless you forget to return them on time). We get craft supplies at the store, but don’t usually spend more than $50 every two to three months. We meet up with other homeschool families each week. Sometimes we go somewhere that costs $2 per child to play for the day. We try to keep the costs as low as possible, but I think what I have spent the most on is the printer ink! I would say this year we probably have spent at least $1200 on costs over all." Tiffany @ Findingthestory.com

 Erica Mom Prepares "We have two boys, ages 7 and 3, so 2nd grade and Pre-K. In previous years I homeschooled for free, printing stuff I found online. This year I realized I was going to need to be more organized and have a plan so I bought Abeka books for both of them for the main subjects and I'm using some handed down stuff and things I bought on consignment at a used curriculum sale for everything else. It's going great! I love the mix of curriculum and that I only spent about $100 total this year.
Fun side note: My husband and I were both homeschooled from Pre-K through graduation. My husband even did college on his own via online courses!"

So as you can see, "How much does homeschooling cost?" is not an easy answer. Every homeschooling family is different, even if they are the same. If you are planning to homeschool, just figure out what is right for you. Do your research, ask questions, join a co-op, find groups local and online, find your niche. 

You can find my blog page with lot's of free homeschooling sites HERE. And, don't forget our Free Lessons and Our Homeschool Classroom(s)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Celery Scrap Gardening

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      I have heard of scrap gardening, but we never really thought to try it. We bought celery about a month ago, and I kept looking at thinking... What if? What if I put it into a bowl of water? What if I didn't put it in with the scraps to go out to the compost bin? What if I didn't throw it into the food scrap bowl to feed the pig? What if.. What if it grew? 
     So I asked Zoey, "What if?" and she said, "Let's do it!" and guess what it did... 

And it Grew!
 To the point we thought, "What if... we planted it?"

 Zoey went out to the yard for the good gardening soil. We got out a Terra Cotta pot. She filled it half way with soil. 
She put the celery plant in the pot and then used the rest of the soil to cover up the rest of the plant. 

  Suddenly, our big celery plant, did not look so big. But that is okay, because it grows larger every day.

 We sat our celery plant in the kitchen window where it is nice and sunny, even in winter time. It has already grown bigger since we took this picture. Now we wonder, "What if it grows large enough that we can eat it?" :)

We are working with these onion ends now. Hmmm... What if? 

Want to see what else you can grow from scraps in your kitchen? Check out this article on 25 Foods You Can Re-Grow Yourself Using Kitchen Scraps

Have you tried this before? How did it work for you? 

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