Monthly Archives: June 2014

When it comes to homeschooling there is more then one method?

My daughter, age 4 practicing her Montessori practical life activities.

Have you ever wondered about the various methods of homeschooling? If so, look no further! Alecia is a fellow homeschooling blogger who is currently running a series called: There’s more than one homeschooling method?

Last week featured a blog written by  Lisa, Kathy and Karen all fellow homeschooling parents and bloggers who talked about the Eclectic approach to homeschooling. This week features a blog about the Montessori approach to homeschooling that I wrote! Click on the link below to read my blog about the Montessori method:

Please check out this great series (see link below) guaranteed to give you a good look at the various methods of homeschooling written by myself and other great homeschooling blogging parents!



How to quiet a squeaky trampoline for under 6 bucks

GetAttachmentMy kids have always had a trampoline. We love it. It is one of the best investments I have ever made for the kids. They never get tired of it. They are on the trampoline every single day.

What I don’t love is the horrible annoying squeaky noise it makes. It drives me crazy and I’m sure my neighbors don’t like hearing it either.

Here is how to quiet a squeaky trampoline for under 6 bucks

1) Buy one can of WD-40

2) Ask someone to jump on the trampoline. This will help to pull the springs apart and wiggle the other squeaky parts

3) Spray the springs GetAttachment (1)





4) Spray where the legs connectGetAttachment (4)




5) Spray where the top ring connectsGetAttachment (3)




6) Spray spacersGetAttachment (2)






It will not be 100% silent at first but its pretty close. The more the kids jump on it they will work the oil in and the quieter it will get. I seemed to notice the biggest improvement when I sprayed the legs and top ring.

Happy jumping 🙂

Gluten free/dairy free bacon and onion potato’s


Red PotatoIf you are in a hurry skip the extra optional steps and just toss it all together and cook.

Gluten free/dairy free bacon & onion potatoes

3 sheets of heavy-duty foil
3 tsp of gfcf dry onion soup mix
6 cups red potatoes cubed
12 slices of cooked and crumbled bacon
1-2 large onions diced
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (if caramelizing the onions) or 3 tbsp of gfcf margarine if using raw diced onions

Optional: When roasting potatoes I like to cube the potatoes and bring them just to a boil first. This can be done on the stove or in the microwave. This makes the potatoes less starchy and dry when roasted.

Optional: The other “trick” I use when cooking with onions (stew, soup, roasted potatoes ect) is to caramelize the onions in a frying pan first with extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of white sugar. It makes the onions taste milder and adds a sweet taste. If you prefer spicy to sweet, skip this step.

1) Divide up the potatoes (slightly boiled or raw) onto the foil in 3 even piles.
2) Top with diced onions (or caramelized onions)
3) Add cooked and chopped bacon
4) If using raw diced onions add margarine evenly to potatoes. If using caramelized onions no need for margarine because of the olive oil.
5) Add 1 tsp of dry gfcf onion soup mix to each pile
6) Add salt and pepper to taste
7) Wrap the mixture up and grill on the bbq for 20-30 mins.

For those of you not on a gluten free dairy free diet, you can add shredded cheese to the mixture, top with sour cream and not have to worry about gfcf margarine or gfcf soup mix.

The high cost of autism and long wait times

946079_10151919425798791_565530294_nAs a single parent  of 2 special needs children I know all too well about the high cost of accessing services that my children need and the long wait times for services that are government funded.

While there is some funding available for children with autism, the cost of the program or therapy needs to be paid by the parent upfront then reimbursed by the government in 30 days.

For example, if I wanted to send my son to a special one or two week camp for children with autism at a cost of $600-2000 per week depending on the camp, I would have to come up with the cash to pay the full cost upfront and then wait 30 days to be reimbursed by the government.

You may think “at least you will get your money back” and I agree it is nice of the government to cover the cost of the service after a parent pays for it.  The reality is that most parents, especially single parents don’t have that kind of extra cash on hand. So our kids miss out on great opportunities and services  that would help them.

Another problem that parents who have children with autism face is the incredibly long wait list for services that are government funded. We now know that early intervention for children with autism is crucial and needs to be done within the first 6 years. My son wasn’t even diagnosed until after his 6th birthday. I was told then he would be 11 or 12 before he received government funded services.

Despite the long wait times a lack of formal therapy my son is now very high functioning and this was due to his exposure to other children and informal therapy he has received his whole life, but I will get into that in more detail in another blog post.

There are private agencies who provide services for children with autism so that parents can skip the long wait times, unfortunately these services are very expensive.

Below are 2 links. One talks about the high cost of autism, being greater then the cost of cancer, stroke and heart disease and the other link talks about the long wait times for children with autism.




Go Play Outside!

295292_10151064769948791_1786339914_nAs a child , when my friends and I were not in my backyard pool we were playing in the woods in our neighborhood. Those were some of the best days of my life.

We would spend hours unsupervised hiking on trails, climbing trees, walking in the creek, catching crayfish, getting dirty and playing hide and seek.  We never got hurt or hurt each other.  We respected each other, the creatures living around us and the environment. Despite being without all the modern technology available today, we all grew into smart, independent and caring adults. 296743_10150341199488791_276201106_n

Playing outside in nature allowed us to burn off energy, develop our fine and gross motor skills, learn about our natural environment, get fresh air and reduce stress. It also helped us develop important  skills in a hands on way such as teamwork, trust and problem solving  skills. These skills are not learned while sitting in front of a screen.

There are hundreds of pages of reports with information on the many benefits of children being allowed unstructured play time in nature and the negative effects (both physical and psychological) of children who spend too  much time in front of a screen.

As a former teacher it was very obvious in my classroom which children spent most of their time at home in front of a screen compared to the children who had minimal or no screen time. The children who had the most screen time were severely delayed in social skills, language, had difficulty concentrating and were less motivated to learn compared to the children with the least amount of screen time.

Unfortunately  today in some areas it is no longer safe or practical to allow children to roam free as did the kids of my generation but that is no reason to deny children time outside in nature. 1932232_10152030823838791_1481896414_n

So, grab your kids and get outside to play, being in nature is good for adults too!

(below are 2 articles about the benefits of children playing outside in nature)

5 reasons people oppose homeschooling and are you qualified to home-school?

My kids age 5 and 8 at their home-school art lessons (2011)

Even though home schooling is becoming more popular each year, there are still many people who are uncertain what it means to home school a child.

The following 2 articles are informative and nicely written on the subject of homeschooling.