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You're reading Mama You Need to Fuel Yourself by Spell Outloud. If you've enjoyed this post, consider following SpellOutloud on Twitter and Facebook

Being a mom is awesome, scary, challenging, rewarding, and character-building. I have had a tendency in the past though, to forget to fuel myself so that I could do my mama job well. Mom self-care is important. I know I’m not the only one who has let this slide before!

As a homeschooling mom, sometimes I can finish one school year and then jump right into planning mode for the next year. While this isn’t bad, I realized that I need to take some time to refuel, evaluate where I am emotionally, physically, and spiritually— and rework daily routines to help make my day run smoother before busying myself with school preparations. In a nutshell– I need to take care of me!

Mom self-care is not selfish. Self-care is stewardship. It is critical to functioning well as a mom. But self-care isn’t only manicures, time-away and coffee-shop dates. It’s developing daily habits and routines that nourish you, that help you function well and foster joy in your motherhood journey.

Areas to Refuel

While there are many ways to refuel and care for ourselves, I have found that there are 7 key areas I make sure are never on empty.

  1. Evening routines and sleep.
    Sleep is not a luxury! Fight for your sleep Mama! If you are struggling— work on the source. Is it the season you’re in with babies and young children? Is it hormones? Is it thinking about stressful stuff before bed? Don’t settle in this area. Sleep deficiency will catch up with you. It affects your mental clarity, your emotions and your energy levels. Do all you can to get adequate sleep. And Mamas of young children— you do not have to get all the things done during this season! If nursing and sleeping are all you do— that is good! Some things have to slide when you have littles needing so much of you— but please make sleep a priority.
  2. Morning routines and waking up with intention.
    Make your routines work for you. If you’re not in a season of nursing and caring for littles— get up before your kids. If you wake up with the kids or after the kids (like I used to do) you will feel behind all day. You need time to set up some good routines that fuel you!


    Chocolate Chia Seed Parfaits
  3. Fueling my body— eating with awareness and food that helps nourish, give energy and support mental clarity.
    Yeah, I used to eat for emotional support, reward myself for making it through the day or because I was stressed. I’ve had to learn to eat with awareness. Why am I grabbing those chips? Is this going to cause me to have a sugar crash? Am I supporting my mental clarity and energy with what I eat? This is not about diets. This is about eating foods that nourish you, help you think and give you energy. We need this as moms!
  4. Time with friends.
    We need time with friends. We also need the right friends in our life. Search for goalmates — people moving in the same direction as you. And carve out some time to keep in touch– whether it is a playdate, a video chat/message, a card or Girls Night Out.
  5. Fun.
    I can be a task master and forget to add fun into my day/week/month! For me, I have to be intentional about adding in spotenaity and fun. And it’s not only for me, but fun outings with my family. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive either. It can be eating dinner on the fancy china, playing a video game with my kids, going to the park etc.
  6. Thoughts, scripts and proclamations.
    This is a big one. And this little blurb does not even touch all that I can say on this subject. We need to know what we are thinking. We need to listen to those little recordings going on in our head that say, “You’re not a good enough mom, ” “If you would just be like her, then your home would run efficiently,” “You’re not smart enough” “You don’t deserve this” etc. What we think matters. For me, I need to figure out what I’m thinking and see if it lines up with the Word of God.
  7. Growing skills.
    Being a mom is a profession. We’ve got to have skills. Any other job gives you training and job shadowing. Moms— well, when we gave birth, those skills weren’t automatically downloaded into our brains (I wish!) We’ve got to keep on learning. We’ve got to seek out other wise moms who have learned a thing or two. If we’re struggling in an area, look for moms who have those skills. I’m so thankful for my mom mentors!
Mom Self-Care Tips to Help Avoid Burnout
Emotions and Self-Care - YouTube

This video about emotions and self-care was part of a online series I did. There are great nuggets there! I have experienced total burn-out and it is not fun! I don’t want you, mama, to go through it.

I go in more depth on these 7 areas listed in a 7 day Mom Reset challenge. You can get it right from your inbox! To get the challenges sent to you, fill out the information here:

The Mom Reset

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You're reading 5 Reasons Teaching Textbooks is Awesome for Large Families by Spell Outloud. If you've enjoyed this post, consider following SpellOutloud on Twitter and Facebook

When you’re homeschooling, you find that certain subjects come easy to teach and others challenge you as the teacher. Math is that subject for me. As a mom of 7 children, I have struggled with finding a math routine that works for us. With my older children, I made the mistake of switching math curriculum multiple times over the years instead of incrementally working through one curriculum. That resulted in having to do a major math intervention with my oldest, that  while it ended up well, is one experience I would rather not repeat. After reflecting on what I needed in a math curriculum and what my children needed, I decided to use Teaching Textbooks. While Teaching Textbooks is an awesome choice for any size family, it is especially great for large families.

This post contains my referral link which helps support this site. Here’s my full disclosure policy.

 Giveaway at the bottom of the post!

1. Teaching Textbooks allows me to be a math facilitator not the teacher.

Currently I have 5 students at home. I was struggling teaching math to five children at different levels–let alone getting all the grading done. On a good math day, I felt like that was all I did— teach math! And since math is a subject I personally have had to overcome negative mindsets with, teaching math was draining to me.

Teaching Textbooks on the other hand, lets me be a math facilitator. That means Teaching Textbooks does the teaching, I do the checking up, review and reteaching a concept if necessary, but that’s it! This role-switch has allowed us to actually get math done consistently and has freed up my teaching schedule.


2. Teaching Textbooks 3.0 Streamlines Math Materials

I used Teaching Textbooks for awhile years ago with my older two. At that time all the lessons were on discs. While I tried to make sure nothing happened to those discs— one would get scratched or lost.  And the textbooks were so thick! For multiple children, this took up a lot of bookshelf space.  This doesn’t happen anymore with Teaching Textbooks 3.0.  This new version is an online subscription so no more discs and no more bulky books! Yay!

With each math subscription, the corresponding ebook is included. You can read it online or even print it off if needed. (You can still purchase the printed math book too.) What I have done is given my children a spiral notebook. They take notes during the lecture (many times what they need to write is underlined in the lecture) and then they write the problems in their notebook to show their work. So at this time we are not utilizing the ebook, but I like that if needed, it is available.

The ebook is found in the Parent Launch Page.

3. Teaching Textbooks Provides Easy Record Keeping

Oh my goodness I love this feature of Teaching Textbooks! I can log in to the Parent’s page and see what all my kids have completed, what they struggled with and how they are progressing. This is huge! One spot for all of this information! Not only is this saved online, but I can print it out too. With multiple children to track, this makes it so easy!

The other convenient feature is that if your student doesn’t do well on a lesson, you can delete the scores and have them redo it. In our home, you must obtain a 90% or above to move on to the next lesson. I want to make sure that my kids aren’t just doing a lesson to get it done, but rather understand what they are learning. And since math builds on concepts learned, I really want them to have a solid foundation.

4. Teaching Textbooks is Affordable

I appreciate that they offer a large family discount plan! This discount plan caps the total and allows you to have 4-8 students on the plan, each subscribing to their own math level. What we pay for the year is what I used to pay for one level of a high school disc version of Teaching Textbooks.

5. Teaching Textbooks is Flexible

If needed, you could do math on the go! If you have a tablet or phone you can download the Puffin browser and complete math wherever life takes you. And as a mom of a large family, there are days where I have to be driving older kids places (or vice versa) and now our math can come with us.

Also, the online subscription is good for 1 math level for 1 year for each student. What happens if you go on vacation? Or take a month off during December? Teaching Textbooks allows you to pause a subscription. That is a huge perk!

Teaching Textbooks 3.0 Subscription Giveaway

Yes! You can give Teaching Textbooks 3.0 a try right now for free! Not only is there no limit to the number of free trials you can sign up for at once, there is also no time limit for completing each trial. You can try any level up to lesson 15, then if it is a fit for your family, you can actually get those grades transferred to your new subscription! If you’re not sure what level to place your child, follow the placement test instructions.

Teaching Textbooks is giving away a 3.0 subscription level of your choice! Simply follow the directions in the rafflecopter widget below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Spell Out Loud by Maureen Spell - 4M ago

You're reading Nature Study Displays by Spell Outloud. If you've enjoyed this post, consider following SpellOutloud on Twitter and Facebook




It took me awhile to be ok with bringing nature inside. I mean, I was a little concerned about little critter hitch-hikers finding their way into my home. But after figuring out how to address that problem, I was all on board for creating a nature display for our nature treasures. And now we keep adding more around our home. Here’s a few things to think about when planning our nature display.

This post contains my referral link which helps support this site. Here’s my full disclosure policy.

First you need to decide what kind of nature display container you would like to use. I’ve seen:

  • baskets
  • shadow boxes
  • old printer press drawers
  • miniature display case
  • trays

Next, go find some nature treasures! Go on a nature hike! Many of our nature treasures were found in our own back yard or neighborhood. Things to remember:

  • Know the rules for keeping nature objects. If you’re at a state park, national forest or nature preserve, you can only look– not take anything you find.
  • If you reside in the U.S., there are some rules regarding collecting bird feathers. Because of this, we don’t pick up bird feathers.  We did purchase some feathers at Hobby Lobby (which is where we got the peacock feathers.) See Is it Illegal to Pick up Bird Feathers
  • For objects such as pine cones, nuts and bark– you can put them on a cookie sheet and place in a 200 degree oven for about 20-30 min. Watch items carefully so they don’t burn. This will make sure you don’t have any unwanted critters.
  • For things like seashells, soak them in cold water. Change the water daily for a week. I did use a plant-base cleaner on the last day (adding a very small amount to the soaking water) but that isn’t necessary– especially if you are picking up empty shells.

We decided to create a wall display first. I found our display box at Hobby Lobby, but when I went back to get more, I couldn’t find them there. They might have been a seasonal item.

For bigger items, we placed them directly in the space. But I found that clean, glass spice bottles are awesome for holding smaller items. We have a bottle of sand, shark teeth, tiny shells, crab pinches, and tiny rocks. We also love using Tim Holtz Idea-ology Corked Domes for items too.

We quickly ran out of room in our wall display, so we added a small display on top of the bookcase. I love that my kids can pick up and observe objects and have a space to proudly place items they find. (The book on the stand is Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural World (Julia Rothman) )

Do you have a nature display or nature box? What tips would you add?

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