7 Ways to Respond to Negative Comments About Homeschool II Virtual Homeschool Co-op

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7 Ways to Respond to Negative Comments about Homeschool- The Fundamental Home with The Virtual Homeschool Co-op

Homeschoolers get negative comments from time to time.

It’s just a fact.

But let’s be real.  From the time you have your first child, you are bombarded with opinions from well-meaning family and friends (and sometimes critical strangers) who feel they need to share with you exactly where they stand on whatever it is your are doing with and for that child.

Of course, once you take a step out into the world of homeschooling, it can seem like you stepped in front of a firing squad.  Those negative questions and comments come at you so fast, you hardly know how to respond.

So, how should you respond to negative comments about your homeschool?

Let me tell you how I deal with it…

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The $44 Menu Plan- Feeding a Family of 5 for Two Weeks

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The $44 Menu Plan Feeding a Family of 5 for Two Weeks- The Fundamental Home

This has been a time of bounty.  We are coming off the end of summer.  Everyone is back on a rather normal school schedule. Our cabinets, refrigerator, and freezer are stocked.  Life is good.

So, this week, when we made our bi-weekly shopping trip, we discovered that there wasn’t much we actually NEEDED.  Instead, we could just get some great bargains and use them to build our menu plan.

Of course, I started at our local discount grocery store.  After that, it was Aldi.  My total spending: $44. 15.

Even I was impressed. As you know, we usually budget $50 every two weeks for our family of 5.  (If you didn’t know, be sure to check out my blog series called, “How I Feed My Family of 5 for $100 Every Month” for more details about how I shop.)  This was probably my smallest haul in a really long time.  Even so, I got some amazing deals!

My favorite deal of all was the packages of frozen bagels.  I got them 4 for $1.  I also bought some hot dogs for $1 a package.  What made them special was that these were all beef, kosher, gluten free hot dogs.  Let me tell you, having a child with special dietary needs means that hot dogs usually aren’t a family friendly meal.  Sure, I buy them, but then I have to make Ricky something else.  Not this time.  I could but these hot dogs knowing that everyone in the family could eat them.  That is a great buy!  Another great deal was the frozen, antibiotic-free, ground turkey that we purchased for $1 a pound.  I was SUPER excited about that.

I can’t neglect to mention, too, that my sweet friend shared her bounty with me.  We were the recipients of a large supply of free food thanks to her generosity.  Her mother decided to get rid of some things in her freezer, so she have them to the daughter.  Well, my friend filled her freezer and offered me what wouldn’t fit.  And guess what?!  A lot of it was gluten free!  BONUS!

Anyway, if you want to see all of my great deals, check out the video haul:

My face, though 🙂

This shopping trip was on Thursday, but I have not had a moment to post the video or share my menu plan until now.  I rushed to make sure it was available to you ASAP!  Without further ado, here is the menu plan…

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Is Your Homeschool Structured or Relaxed? Virtual Homeschool Co-op 2016-2016 Assignment 1

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Is Your Homeschool Structured or Relaxed? Virtual Homeschool Co-op 2016-2017 Assignment 1, The Fundamental Home

It’s a new school year!

I am so excited to, once again, be participating in the fantastic online community: The Virtual Homeschool Co-op.  This is a YouTube channel (and now a blog) where community members are assigned a question every week.  They answer that question about their homeschool and share that information online.  This can be in the form of a YouTube video or in a blog post.  Every Tuesday, we are linking up!  You should totally consider joining, too!  It’s free!  Plus!  If you don’t want to make videos or blog posts, but you are interested in learning about how other families homeschool, the Virtual Homeschool Co-op has all of this information in one place for your convenience.  We hope it will be a help and an encouragement to you.

This is the first assignment for the 2016-2017 school year: “Is Your Homeschool Structured or Relaxed?”  We were supposed to answer this question in terms of our curriculum, our schedule, and our classroom.

Let me share a little bit with you about how I responded…

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Gluten Free Pumpkin Blueberry Muffins & Pumpkin Bread Rolls

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Gluten Free Pumpkin Blueberry Muffins & Pumpkin Bread Rolls from The Fundamental Home

 

It’s starting to feel like fall!  That means pumpkin flavored everything!

Recently, I made a vlog showing how I make some pumpkin treats.  The pumpkin bread rolls were tasty, and I wanted to share the recipe, so I looked all over the internet thinking I could just attach a link.  Would you believe that I could not find it?!  The recipe came from an old Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.  I figured that the blog would be a good place to share this old, classic recipe.  To spare my fingers from typing more than necessary, I snapped this picture of the recipe:

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How I Feed My Family of 5 for $100 a Month: June 2016 Bi-weekly Meal Plan

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How I Feed My Family of 5 for $100 a Month with Bi-weekly Menu Plan. thefundamentalhome.com

It’s  been a while since I have been active on the blog.  My new love for YouTube and finishing up the homeschool year has kept me from having the time and energy to write.  That doesn’t mean I won’t be writing in the future.  I just have to figure out a way to balance it all.  You know how it is, moms.  We have so much on our plates, something has to be let go or we get super overwhelmed.  In my case, it was writing.  I am sure you understand.

Of course, if you miss me, you can always run over to my YouTube channel, called- The Fundamental Home.  I am posting there every day.

Anyway, this week, I did my 6 month video update on the “How I Feed My Family of 5 for $100 a Month” series.  If you haven’t read that blog series, there are five parts.  Here are the links to each part:

Part 1: Organization and Discipline

Part 2: Menu and Inventory

Part 3: The Process with Video and Tips 

Part 4: Making Your Groceries Stretch (this is my favorite part)

Part 5: Tips to Make the Most of Your Budget

The last video I made for the series was in January after we had been snowed in for two weeks.  I have been so surprised by the number of views and comments on that video.  People are asking the same questions over and over.   I think I am going to do a follow-up video and answer those questions, even though, if folks read the comments, they could probably find the answers they are looking for.

But I digress.

So, here we are with the new update.  I went shopping with Briana yesterday, and we found lots of great bargains.  You will see in the video that I did use one coupon, which I don’t normally do.  Hey, if you give me a coupon to get something for free, I will use it!  I also went to several stores.  We had the time and energy, and I wanted to try some new stops.  Normally, I don’t drive around so much because it defeats the cost-saving purpose, but you have to check out the competition every once in a while.  Otherwise, you might miss out on a deal.  Here’s the video:

I like to share my menu plan after I do a shopping video.  This way, you can see how I use my purchases.  I did shop on Friday this week.  We had enough that I didn’t have to run out on Thursday, my usual shopping day.  This was good because I had made plans to go see one of my new YouTube friends.  It was a blast!  So, the plan is for Friday to the 2nd Thursday.  I have links to some that have videos.  Without further ado, here’s our menu plan…

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Natural Remedies for Pneumonia That Worked When I Couldn’t Take Antibiotics

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Natural Remedies for Pneumonia that Worked When I Couldn't Take Antibiotics- Essential Oils, Mullein Leaf Tea, Etc...

 

I have been away from the blog for a LONG time because I have been recovering from a-typical pneumonia.  It’s a long story, so I won’t go into all the details.  The short version is that I got bronchitis, which turned into a-typical pneumonia.  For the sickness, I was given an antibiotic, which my body had a bad reaction to- INTERNAL BLEEDING!  It was awful!    After the reaction, I had to stay away from antibiotics, build my intestinal flora (which was ravaged), and recover from my illness with only natural remedies.  It was a long, slow recovery, but I am feeling a lot better.

Not perfect.  Better.

I am on my way to a full recovery, though, and feeling positive about the month of April- so positive, in fact, that I have agreed to participate in VEDA (video every day in April) on YouTube.  One of my most requested videos was a discussion about which natural remedies worked for me (the actual remedies are linked below if you just want to check them out), so I made that one today.  Here it is:

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3 Fast & Frugal Crockpot Meals for When Mom is Sick

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The Fundamental Home

If you are following me on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube (and if you aren’t, you should totally click those links and take care of that), you may know that I have been taking a break from blogging because I have been very sick.  I had some kind of sickness that turned into a-typical (AKA walking) pneumonia.  The struggle has been real-er that real.  It has been R.E.A.L.

Now, in my house, I have two grown men with college degrees, one young man that is a full-time college student, and a girl who has been cooking since she was 4.  I have a meal plan with all the ingredients in the cupboards.  I have Pinterest boards that every member of my family can access to get recipes for the meals on the meal plan if they don’t remember how to make them.  I even keep the kitchen relatively clean, so they don’t have to work too hard to get something started.  Yet, in spite of all that, on the day that I was feeling the worst, everyone could not get it together with what I had in the house in order to make dinner.

They ran to the dollar store to grab some cans of pasta (the red ones made by a chef 😉 ) .  No problem with that part, exactly.  We have emergency funds to cover the cost.  The one issue was that my husband, who is cheap, did not buy himself anything for dinner.  He decided to do without until I could cook for him again.

Is my husband the only one who does this?

OK.  Actually, he decided he would make something from what we had at home, but couldn’t figure out anything when he got there.  So, I woke up from a fitful sleep at 7PM to discover that my kitchen was a mess and my husband was hangry.  Not a good combination if you know about his OCD issues.  I even offered to make him something, and he responded that he would figure it out.  He didn’t.  The next day, he didn’t figure out lunch for himself either.  I knew that if there was going to be peace for my recovery, I would need to ensure that everyone in my household had food while I was sick.

Out comes the Crockpot.

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When People Don’t Agree With How You Raise Your Children

 

The Fundamental Home

I posted a picture with Briana and me on Facebook.

Someone told me that I shouldn’t allow my children to use the peace sign.  I also has someone say that I shouldn’t encourage Briana to make a poochie face, and I definitely shouldn’t be doing it with her.  Then, they said that we could take the picture for our fun, but we shouldn’t post it to Facebook because my husband is in ministry, and it would reflect poorly on him and the Lord.

Le sigh.

I have been reading blog posts, and it seems that a lot of folks had issues with acquaintances, friends, and family (and sometimes, strangers) that didn’t agree with how they raise their children.

There’s the homeschool mom whose extended family felt that they were sheltering their children too much with their educational choices and were vocal about the dangers of this “extreme” option over the turkey dinner, even calling them names in front of their children.

There’s the parents who allow their children to listen to certain types of music or watch certain movies that another member of their church does not feel is acceptable.  The children overheard someone criticizing their family over their entertainment, and now, they don’t even want to go to church.

There’s the family who is vegetarian, and every person who meets them that finds out about their diet feels the need to tell them the dangers of not eating meat (or gives them “helpful” Bible verses).  That one’s for you, C.O.

Maybe you have seen some of the same posts I have.

Maybe you have even experienced critical attitudes from others.

It’s pretty hard to deal with when it is happening to you.

We’ve had our moments.  I have bitten my tongue.  I have also neglected to bite my tongue, and later, wished I had.  When people don’t agree with how I raise my children and feel the need to tell me, I struggle with extending them grace, but that’s exactly what I need to do.

Extending someone grace isn’t simply a matter of biting your tongue, though.  It is also a matter of the heart.  It means not thinking ill of them.  It means letting hard comments pass by without even inflicting pain.  It means compassion and understanding on your part.

I should have two goals when dealing with people who don’t agree with how I raise my children.  I want them to leave the conversation feeling as though they were able to effectively communicate with me, and I want to leave the conversation with feelings of love toward the other person.

So, here are a few ways we try to handle it when people don’t agree with how we raise our children.  Maybe it will help you to extend some grace when you need to do so.

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The One Thing I Know About Homesteading (and life in general)

The Fundamental Home

On the surface, I am not a homesteader.  In my heart, I was born one.

Outwardly, I was born in the Washington DC metro area.  We only visited anything resembling a homestead on field trips.  At least, I think we did.  I can’t remember a single one.  I did see farm animals at the National Zoo, though.

An early indication of the love in my heart for the country was my early love for boots.  As a small child, my mother tells me that I wouldn’t wear anything other than boots.  Things were so serious that “Boots” became my nickname.  My mother still calls me “Boots.”  My husband does, too, when he is trying to be funny 😉

I think it was in third grade that I started to hear the siren song of the homestead.  Mrs. Shannon read to us every day from The Little House on the Prairie books, and I imagined myself teaching cows to drink milk from a bucket and raising chicks to make a flock.  Years later, I even told her about the impact those books have had on me and my family and thanked her for reading them aloud to the class.  I have forced all of my children (even the boys) to read those books.

The teenage years led me away from my homestead dreams.  I think this happens to the best of us.  I started thinking that maybe city life was a better choice.  I even pursued it (and rather succeeded) until my mid-twenties.  One day, a friend of mine brought her sister-in-law, Teri, to my home for a visit.  She was very unusual for someone so young.  She had made some changes in her life to intentionally simplify it.  She made all of her family’s clothes, cooked from scratch, and eventually, raised livestock.  This she did while living on about an acre next to a very busy road in our not-so-rural area.  I had gotten very far from my young homestead dream, but Teri re-awakened it.  We became fast friends.  Though she was younger than me, she taught me to cook and sew.  When she got goats, I milked them and tasted my first fresh goat milk.  I also gave some to Rick (you can imagine his reaction).  At this point, I embraced the homestead dream as something I would pursue once I was able.

Alas, we spent many years stuck in our suburban townhome.  We could cut the grass in our yard with a weedwhacker.  Even that bit of greenery was not really accessible.  The neighborhood we lived in was known for its crime, and we did not feel comfortable with the children playing outside, even if Rick and I were there.  Occasionally, we went to a local park.  My heart wanted to “to laugh like a brook when it trips and falls over stones on its way.”  I wanted to run through hills that were alive, but the only chance I had was when we borrowed The Sound of Music from our local library.

So, I prayed.

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The Importance of a Mother

 

The Fundamental Home

It’s been a while since I have had a moment to write.  Life often takes a lot of twists and turns that are unexpected.  For instance, I am on YouTube now.  I never really thought of myself as an “on camera” person.  As you know, I am an introvert, and though I am very comfortable talking one-on-one or in small groups, I am not totally comfortable speaking in  front of large groups of people.  To me, a camera feels like the eyes of the world- especially when you are filming something to put on the internet.  I am far more comfortable with writing.  However, in order to write, I need a quiet moment.  Not a lot of moments.  Just a moment.  Needless to say, I haven’t had one for quite some time.  I’ve missed blogging and my blog friends.  I hope you all have missed me, too.

In the past couple of weeks, I have spent a lot of time talking to folks about homeschooling.  As you may know, I am teaching an a class on “How to Get Started Homeschooling” at The Great Appalachian Homesteading Conference in Crossville, TN in April.  In preparation for this event, I have been chatting with my experience homeschool friends to get advice for my presentation.  I have also met many new folks, mostly through my new YouTube community, who have asked me about homeschooling.  Some are considering homeschool as an option.  Others have only been homeschooling for a short time.  I have even had some conversations with homeschool veterans.

My friend, Trish (AKA Just Sew Trish from YouTube), is one of those veterans.  She and I were talking one day about homeschool, and the next thing I know, she was reading my blog post, “7 Things I Am Glad I Didn’t Do As A Homeschool Mom.”  The next day, I find a message from her on Facebook.  She had made a video about the post.  Well, her video was amazing.  She called it, “Why My Homeschool Approach is All Wrong.” Click the link to watch it.  She says some really profound things.  One of my FAVORITE things she says in the video comes after she tells the story of the time she put her daughter in school and she cried everyday (if you want to watch her words, this story starts at 16:34).  At the time, she said, her attitude toward her daughter was “Suck it up, Buttercup.”  Her children, at the end of that school year, told her how they never saw her.  Considering that situation in retrospect Trish’s response was (and this has stuck with me), “What I had forgotten, what I had missed, what I didn’t acknowledge, was that… I am important.  I am important to their daily life.  I am somebody important cause [sic]  I had kind of taken a mental capacity that I was just a caregiver, that being a mom was being a caregiver, and it had nothing to do with being a mother and how much you need your mother.”  I am telling you.  Watch her say this (starting at 17:04).  I can’t watch it without feeling this in my own heart.

I guess it hit me so hard because I have been there.

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