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FTC Disclaimer: Wild River Country invited my son and me to spend the day splashing around with our friends. I am receiving compensation for this post, but all thoughts are my own. 

I don’t know what the weather is like in your part of the world, but here in Arkansas, summertime is super hot.

I’m talking “100 degrees in the shade” hot, lol! As someone who moved back here from the East Coast (and who has never been a fan of heat), Arkansas summers are pretty darn miserable.

Literally every “I hate summer” meme can apply to yours truly, lol!

I don’t spend all winter praying for summer.

I don’t look forward to summer vacation like the rest of the world seems to.

But do you know what I DO look forward to?

Wild River Country!

I don’t have very many everyday memories of my childhood, but one thing I do remember was when our big family would load up in a caravan of cars and drive to Wild River Country for the day. And if you had your birthday party at Wild River Country, you were practically everyone’s BFF.

Between the popular Wave Pool, the kiddie area, the “Lazy River,” and the water slides, there was something for everyone to enjoy, regardless of your age. They even have a gift shop for people who love to grab souvenirs.

Going to Wild River Country was something that all of us looked forward to doing.

Now that I’m a parent, I get to experience Wild River Country on another level.

We started going a year or two ago and let me tell you – Christian LOVES it! He is a most definite water child, even though he can’t swim yet, lol!

Now, I admit, going to such a big water park with a non-swimming child as a single parent can be daunting. Honestly, ANY family outing where you’re around a lot of people can be stressful, lol.

But the thing I love about Wild River Country is the safety precautions they take to make sure everyone enjoys their day.

First of all, they have so many lifeguards on duty. 60 of them! They are stationed all throughout the water park and you can tell that they are focused on keeping an eye out for people who need their help.

They also have other staff members walking around the park helping people with various things. One of the staff members was very helpful when I found a little boy walking around lost. I’d just confirmed that he had become separated from his family when she walked up asking if we needed help. She was able to take him to the front office to help him reconnect with his family.

Another thing I appreciated was the fact that Wild River Country has an area where you can pick out life vests for the entire family.

I’m a strong swimmer, so I didn’t need one. But, as I mentioned, Christian does not know how to swim yet, so I made sure to grab one for him before we headed to the Wave Pool.

I’m a strong swimmer, so I didn’t need one. But, as I mentioned, Christian does not know how to swim yet, so I made sure to grab one for him before we headed to the Wave Pool.

The park is so big (fun fact: at over 20 acres, it’s actually the biggest water park in Arkansas!) that you could spend hours there and still not get your fill. My son, however, prefers hanging out in the Wave Pool and I’m a fan of the Lazy River, so that’s where we spent our time.

We also grabbed some food with our friends. After a while, you work up an appetite, lol! They have all the food that kids (and adults) love. I’m talking pizza, burgers and fries, chicken strips, hot dogs, ice cream, and more! You can enjoy your meal in the food court area or you can do what we did and eat at the private cabanas. They are conveniently located right between the Wave Pool and the Lazy River, so as soon as you’ve finished eating and relaxing, you can jump back into the water.

Some of the other perks of renting a private cabana are that you have your own locked storage bench to keep your purse and other belongings safe while you swim, chairs and tables for lounging, shade from the sun, water bottles in case you get thirsty, AND a cabana host/hostess to help you if you need them. And for a little extra, you get 4 combo meals delivered right to you (so you don’t have to travel across the park to the food court OR wait in line)! They also have a Cabana Party option that would be really cool for small birthday parties. If my son’s birthday were a bit earlier in the year, I’d DEFINITELY take advantage of that.

Next time, we’re going to hit up some of the water rides for sure! Personally, my favorite is the Cyclone. And I can’t wait for Christian to get into the Ole Swimming Hole activities. It reminds me of the things we used to do at summer camp back in the good ole days, lol. I also can’t wait for the chance to bring my nieces out there and hang out in the Tad Pool (how cute is that name by the way?!)

Never been to Wild River Country or haven’t been in a while? Come on out! There’s still time to squeeze in a visit. If you’re a money-saving mama (or dad), you’ll be thrilled to know that they have Manic Monday and Two for Tuesday coming up in August where you can save big on admission. However, you can also come by in the afternoon (after 3) to hang out for a few hours at a lower cost. Plus, kids 2 and under get in for FREE. I just love how their admission prices are so affordable.

Next year, be sure to grab a season pass so that you can get the most out of your summer! Your tickets are more than paid for after the third visit. And, let’s be honest, who wouldn’t love to spend the entire summer splashing around? Spend your summer, from Memorial Day to Labor Day cooling off, relaxing, and getting in some FUN exercise. Maybe we’ll see you there!

For those of you who HAVE been to Wild River Country, what’s your favorite thing to do? For those who haven’t, what would you look forward to the most? Let me know in the comments below!

The post Staying Cool (and Safe) at Wild River Country appeared first on Single Mommy Warrior.

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This post is the first of 5 in a 5-day series. Check out the Homeschool Hopscotch (hosted by the iHomeschool Network) for more posts from homeschool parents around the world. 

One of the most important aspects of homeschooling (in my opinion) is having a support system. Especially when you are new. And ESPECIALLY if you are a single parent.

Why?

For me, the most obvious reason is that having a support system makes everything a bit easier. You have people to turn to for advice on the many aspects of homeschooling that often confuse newbies. Things like what you have to do to be compliant in your state (some states are really lax about homeschooling, while others are super strict), the various homeschool methods, how to put together a curriculum, how to find done-for-you curricula, what to do when you come across homeschooling challenges, what kind of activities your child can do, and so much more.

Having a support system is also essential for your emotional health. Because trust me when I say that it’s not all rainbows, butterflies, and glitter. It can be challenging. Some days, you may feel like giving up and dropping your child off at the closest school and peeling rubber to get away. Getting through those days is more bearable when you have other homeschool parents to turn to. You can vent to them and get their advice (chances are whatever you are going through, one of them has gone through as well).

Having a solid support is also important because you will need them to bolster your confidence when you are confronted with naysayers. The people who say that they “don’t agree with homeschooling”, “homeschooled kids are weird”, “homeschooled kids will never get into a good college” and ask you whether “you think you’re doing the right thing?” and “why don’t you just put your kids in public school?”.

Yeah, that kind of stuff happens. For some reason, hearing that you have opted for an “alternative” form of education causes people to chime in with al sorts of unsolicited opinions, judgments, and misinformation, lol. It can be annoying at best. At worst, it can make you doubt your decision to homeschool. So, it can be helpful to have your support system there to remind you that other people’s opinions don’t matter, that weirdness is not restricted to homeschooled kids (I mean, I’m weird and didn’t even know public school was still a thing until I was well into my twenties), that homeschooled kids all have different personalities, and that home education is a viable option. It may not be for everyone, but you have the right to try it out and see if it’s the best option for YOUR family.

So, how do single parent homeschoolers find support? I can’t speak for everyone, but I can tell you where I find support.

Local Homeschool Community

When I first seriously considered homeschooling as an option, what I did was look for local homeschoolers. I asked around with my mommy friends to find out if they knew anyone who homeschools. I was still pretty new to the area (I moved to this part of Arkansas from Baltimore a few months before I had my son), but I’m one of those people who strikes up conversations everywhere. In the elevator. On the playground. In line at the grocery store. I’m an introvert’s worst nightmare, lol. If I see you with a child and you are within shouting distance – we are going to be friends. It’s pretty simple to bring the conversation around to what school your child will be attending. From there, you can just mention your interest in homeschooling and ask if they know anyone does that.

However, the person who was really helpful was someone I met on Freecycle (and who has remained a friend for over 5 years). She had posted that she was giving away homeschool books for elementary. My son was not even in pre-k yet, but I’m a hoarder, so I reached out to her, lol. We met up in town so I could get the books and she told me about a huge local homeschool community and told me how to be added to their Yahoo group. I started chatting in there, learning about the different events, groups, co-ops and more that are in town. That was the beginning! I was amazed by the fact that there was such a thriving homeschool community right under my nose. Every time we go to the store, the playground, the library, or any community event, I run into several homeschoolers I know.

Once I knew about our local homeschool community, I got involved. I joined various clubs and organizations, like 4-H, co-ops and playdate groups. I engage with people when we attend events, making friends and getting contact info. The more involved I get, the bigger my circle becomes. After about 4 years of doing this, I have a pretty big network of local homeschoolers to turn to when I need them.

Online Homeschool Community

In addition to getting involved with local homeschoolers, I am also active in several online homeschool communities – mostly on Facebook. I’m in groups for homeschoolers, homeschool moms, secular homeschoolers, homeschoolers with boys, homeschoolers who have kids who love gaming, techy homeschoolers, homeschoolers with children who have special needs, and single mom homeschoolers. I’m also in groups geared towards specific homeschool methods. I’ve even created a few groups myself. No matter what your interests are, you can either join a group or create a group that caters to that. Here are some of my favorite Facebooks for homeschoolers.

Hip & Single Homeschoolers

Hip Homeschool Moms Community

The Relaxed Homeschool Community (run by my friend, Jenny

Techin’ Your Homeschool 

Homeschool Mompreneurs

Rock Your Homeschool

Family and Friends

Another source of support for single parent homeschoolers is their family and circle of friends. Identify the ones who are supportive of your choice and lean on them. If you have family and friends who are willing to help you on your homeschool journey in any way (whether that means helping you buy school supplies, sending you info on things they think you might be interested, wanting to learn more about homeschooling, attending events with you, offering to help you with subjects they are an expert in, or whatever form their support comes in, appreciate it.

These are just some of the ways you can build your support system as single parent homeschoolers. Keep your eyes and your mind open! You might be surprised by the many places you can find people who are supportive of and enthusiastic about your decision to homeschool your children.

Interested in reading more blog posts by homeschoolers? Click the image below to check out the 5 Day Homeschool Hopscotch.

The post How Do Single Parent Homeschoolers Find Support? appeared first on Single Mommy Warrior.

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