Wednesday, September 29, 2010

An Instruction Manual to Kids

So everyone says that there is no instruction manual for raising kids. Well, that's true. However, if you are or will be a stay-at-home parent, there's something pretty close. This semester in school, I decided to take an Early Childhood Education class. (Mainly because I registered so late the other classes were full!) Now, I've made no attempt to hide my belief that if at all possible, one parent- and yes, I do actually mean the mother (unless there's extenuating circumstances)- should stay home with the kids. I didn't really have a lot of high hopes for this class. People can be wrong, though, and I was wrong.

This class has covered topics on child development and psychology, which really helps parents understand the milestones their kids should be making. Also, it shows parents the different ways their kids could learn, very important for parents who are considering home-schooling. The most interesting part so far has been the required observations. I have had to go into preschool and day-care programs, and will also be attending two primary school classes. Although I went into these with very low expectations, again, I was wrong. I witnessed the teachers really interacting with all of the children, individually and in groups. The best thing was their language with the kids- completely appropriate to their ages and full of patience.
They all used phrases that were easy for the kids to understand and obey- and increased the social and emotional attachment the kids had to the teachers. I think this would be a great lesson for any parent.

Another one of the great aspects in observing was seeing how the classrooms are set up. I have talked about my ventures into Montessori schooling, and was pleasantly surprised to see that this has indeed invaded most classrooms (at least for the preschool set- we all know what those primary school classes post-K look like!) There was an opportunity to see how the activity centers were placed, and all of the different learning toys. I do think this will influence how I will be organizing our "school" room at home this year.

Now, obviously, the on-the-job experience that parents receive is well above the education in any class. Still, I can't help but wish that I had taken this class before I had my sons, and I would recommend any soon-to-be or new parent take the opportunity if it is possible.

Be sure to come back next week for some ideas on how to set up your learning area/ room!

I am happy to share this at Works For Me Wednesday.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Quiet Moment for Overwhelmed Moms

I have shared that I have been feeling really out-of-sorts lately. One of the things that seems to help is just writing out my feelings, and how I can work on altering how my time is spent to better my efforts. I wanted to share with you the last time I did this, about a week ago. I hope that this might help bless you in some way if you are feeling overwhelmed at all…

So I've been going through a season of stressed-out, overwhelmed, ready-to-snap… it seems like I just keep going in circles. I feel just on the edge, and then I'll think and pray about it, and feel better. But then after a bit I start getting all stressed again… and I just feel like it's never-ending. I have so many things going on, and I really need to step back and take stock of my priorities. This is something that always helps me, to just reflect on what I really need to be doing, and how I can go about allotting my time and energy to the things that really matter:

  • First is my faith, it is so important to remember this, especially when I'm overwhelmed. Only God knows what I am meant to do with my life, and only He can help me with everything I need.
  • My children- the most important use of my time, I know that being a mom is the one thing that God has planned for me to do. Right now, my focus is towards doing my home-schooling and planning good playtime activities and quality time with them, and making sure to work on teaching them about our faith.
  • Housekeeping work can really seem to pile up on me, so I need to be diligent about keeping up on my schedules. Also, we need to do a decluttering again, as we still have lots of extra stuff around. This is important to Mr. Shelley, he does get antsy when things aren't kept straightened up and nice and clean.
  • Last comes all the less-important things: schoolwork, having more time, blogging, and wedding planning. These are all things that I can get really involved in (and maybe because they're way more fun than sweeping and mopping!) but not as important. I need to really fight to put these aside and not start working on them until after my main priorities are accomplished.

Though it can be very difficult to setup your day to make the most of your time, it is so vital. Taking the time to attend first and foremost to your priorities allows you to get more done, and feel more at ease about your days. Remember that making your own plan is fine, but only God's plan really matters. What does He want you to do?

Please share, any tips and inspirations about how God works in your everyday life and helps you are most welcome!

I am happy to share this at Works For Me Wednesday.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Homemaking Inspiration

As I have said here many times, homemaking doesn't come easily for me. I like to cook, but the rest- not so much. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate how the house looks when it's taken care of. Still, with all the stuff I have to do, sometimes actually doing that to-do list seems like an impossible dream. Over time, I've realized I just need some things to motivate me to keep up on keeping home.


  • Have an "inspiration" picture- take this from a magazine, favorite blog, or even of a friend's house. Anything that looks beautiful to you, and showcases a well-kept house. I recommend keeping this on top of your housekeeping schedule or task list.


  • When you've tackled a difficult or particularly-despised task, take some time to enjoy the outcome. For me, this is the kitchen, I love to cook the mess, but cleaning it up- no, thanks! So when I clean the counters and put away dishes, I pause and admire the beauty of the clean. Make some hot water, pour a cup of tea, and sit at a chair pointed towards the kitchen. (Just be sure to clean up that mug afterwards!)


I hope these tips can help you if you are feeling overwhelmed or are struggling with your housekeeping. Sometimes you have to just push through those feelings of drudgery, but I think it's better to try and change those feelings around if you can. (And if I can, you can too!) Happy homemaking!

I am happy to share this at Homemaker Mondays.


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