November 21, 2014

Homeschooling My Autistic Son Is Worth the Challenges

A new homeschool mom discovers the rewards are worth the challenges of homeschooling her son who has autism.

I am a new-ish homeschooling mama to two awesome little boys. This is our second year homeschooling. My oldest has special needs, the most challenging when it comes to schooling is autism.

I always wanted to homeschool, but for years was scared I could not do him justice because of his special needs. I finally took a giant leap of faith after he was mistreated at school, and started homeschooling him beginning in fifth grade. It has been a challenge! 

November 19, 2014

How eMeals Saves Me Time and Money

As a single mom, I'm all about saving money and time. As a person, I just hate meal planning. eMeals solves both problems. www.HeartofMichelle.com #frugalliving #mealplanning

How eMeals Saves Me Time and Money

{This post may contain affiliate links.}

I recently found myself irritated with how much time I spend in the kitchen. I only cook from scratch, but I don't always feel like spending half of the day focused on the process.

I also detest menu planning. I am always on the hunt for new recipes or menu ideas, trying to never serve the same thing within a two-week period. 


That takes time. A lot of time. 

By the time I gather all the ideas (including vegetarian recipes for Alexis), organize them into the menu, and create the shopping list, I've lost a lot of time better spent on other things.

I have resolved both problems with eMeals.

Mind you, I tried eMeals in 2009. While I enjoyed the concept, it didn't work for me at the time because the "classic" foods being offered on the menu simply didn't work for us. I'm southern and we just eat differently here. So I left eMeals behind.

Last month I gave emails a second look and I'm so glad I did.


How the eMeals App Saves Time

I no longer have to hunt for recipes. Each week a menu, complete with grocery list, is delivered to my email. I do save these menus to my computer, but I'm not big on printing, especially if there may be meals I want to skip.

Enter the eMeals app.

The app is the perfect solution for me!

November 18, 2014

30+ Awesome Gift Ideas for Geeks

Find the perfect gift for that geek in your life with this gift idea guide from www.HeartofMichelle.com.

As the matriarch of a geek family, I'm often looking for great neat fandom gifts. Whether it's for a homeschool graduation party or some other event or non-event (because the best gifts are the random ones).

Here is my list of over 30 gift ideas for the geeks in your life.



30+ Awesome Gift Ideas for Geeks


{This post may contain affiliate links.}



Gifts for Him




Geek Bathrobes

Make him feel like the king of his castle - or at least the commander of his ship - with a Star Trek bathrobe


Or a Doctor Who bathrobe


Geek Neckties

I know ties as gifts are rather cliché, but we all know it happens. If you're going to do it, make your geek happy with a Doctor Who tie.

Or Star Wars tie.


Give Him a Geek Watch

Perhaps he'd like this Batman Watch. Or this one. He's not a Batman fan? What about Superman? Or Doctor Who?


Gifts for Her




Pajamas



She can be warm and cozy this winter with these Doctor Who pajama pants. Or these.


Jewelry



What Whovian woman wouldn't love to have a pair of sonic screwdriver earrings and a necklace? (Feel free to add me to your gift list if you want to buy these for someone.) 

Perhaps she'd like these Weeping Angel or Doctor Who charm beads. 


Or any of these many pieces of Doctor Who Jewelry.




And a place to store the jewelry is always nice.



Dresses/Cosplay


This Star Trek dress would be perfect for a cosplay.

Gifts for Kids




On-the-Go

Backpacks come in handy to homeschoolers and public schoolers alike. Minecraft fans are sure to love this creeper backpack.


Or this Adventure Time lunchbox and thermos

Of course a Doctor Who lunchbox would be great for holding all those Jellie Bellies, right?



Toys and Games


Kids absolutely love the Minecraft Papercraft sets.




If you're child loves LEGO and Minecraft, try these awesome LEGO sets.




My daughter loved receiving sonic screwdrivers at her grad party. She got the ones for the 10th and 11th doctors (they do different things).



Did you know you can get....

...Doctor Who Monopoly?

...Doctor Who Yahtzee?


...Doctor Who Trivial Pursuit?


...Doctor Who Risk?


...a Doctor Who Chess Set? 




Babies need gifts, too. Check out all these geeky onesies!



More Geek Gifts





Share some tea with this Tardis teapot.




Who would enjoy these toast warm Doctor Who boot slippers




A towel set is always nice.



T-Shirts for All


Zebra Tees, Weekly Tees and Blue Box Tees all sell Doctor Who shirts and posters.

How it works: 
Artists submit their work. A few items are chosen and go on sale for ONE WEEK ONLY. (There's a clock at the top of each page.) This means every week you have different choices.

And the list goes on and on. I could shop for geek gifts all day!


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Happy Shopping!

Laugh and Learn Homeschool and Parenting Linkup #8

Welcome to the 8th edition of the Laugh and Learn Homeschool and Parenting linkup. Did we feature you post? Come see! www.HeartofMichelle.com

Welcome to the 8th edition of the Laugh and Learn Homeschool and Parenting Linkup!

The Laugh and Learn Homeschool and Parenting Linkup will be open at 6 am every Tuesday morning. My co-hosts and I will be picking our three favorite posts and featuring them on the following weeks linkup, so be sure to share something with us! You never know if you'll be featured next week. 

Great News! We have a Pinterest board just for this link up. Any posts we feature will be pinned to that board. Follow here:

November 17, 2014

I May Be a Single Homeschooling Mama, But I'm No Supermom

Being a single mom who homeschools doesn't mean I have it all together all the time. I'm no Supermom. www.HeartofMichelle.com


"I'm in awe of all you do!"

"Wow! I don't know how you do it all. You're awesome!"


People say things like this to me all the time. Because I work, homeschool and am a single mom of special needs kids, people are impressed. 

Now, I'm not saying I don't enjoy the boost of confidence from compliments. I do. Feel free to keep them coming.;-) But I also want you to know I'm not a Supermom. 


I want you to know that because I don't want you to doubt yourself.


It's easy for readers to look at mom bloggers and formulate conclusions based on our blogs. We can look so put together. 

November 11, 2014

Laugh and Learn Homeschool and Parenting Linkup #7

Welcome to the 7th edition of the Laugh and Learn Homeschool and Parenting linkup. Did we feature you post? Come see! www.HeartofMichelle.com

Welcome to the 7th edition of the Laugh and Learn Homeschool and Parenting Linkup! We weren't able to post last week. Tina had some technical difficulties with her internet, but we're all set to go now!

The Laugh and Learn Homeschool and Parenting Linkup will be open at 6 am every Tuesday morning. My co-hosts and I will be picking our three favorite posts and featuring them on the following weeks linkup, so be sure to share something with us! You never know if you'll be featured next week.

November 10, 2014

Raising Bipolar: What Are Racing Thoughts?

Learn what the racing thoughts of bipolar disorder are. www.HeartofMichelle.com #raisingbipolar

Last week, I explained why I don't limit my daughter's Minecraft time. In that post, I mentioned a little about racing thoughts and now I want to explain what racing thoughts are. 

What Are Racing Thoughts?

Although I had tried to understand racing thoughts in years past, it was only a year and a half ago that I finally figured it out. Alexis helped me to understand it a little better.

From the above post


"Racing thoughts are a lot of snippets of music, conversations and negative thoughts looping, one over the other, for hours on end. These racing thoughts aren't persistent in that they are not 'playing' 24/7, but when they are, the person feels as though they're going mad."

November 8, 2014

December of Darkness: Why I'm Dreading Winter

A mom describes the miserable winters when her daughter bipolar sleep patterns get worse. #kidswithbipolar #bipolardisorder www.HeartofMichelle.com

I am not looking forward to winter. In fact, I'm dreading it.

This is the first year I haven't looked forward to winter. I usually appreciate the change in time and weather. I look forward to fireplaces, bonfires, hot chocolate and all the other cozy things that come with the season.


Not this year. Not even a little. You see, for the last two winters, I haven't seen the light of day. 

Literally. And I hate it.


November 6, 2014

Vegetarian Philly Cheese Sub Recipe

A delicious vegetarian Philly cheese sub with all the texture and flavor of a 'regular' Philly cheesesteak sandwich. #recipes www.heartofmichelle.com

I'm not big on sandwiches. I never have been. I do, however, enjoy the occasional sandwich, one  of which is the Philly cheesesteak. 

To accommodate Alexis' vegetarianism, I try to make as many vegetarian meals as possible while staying within our grocery budget. When I can, I try to convert 'regular' meals to vegetarian meals.

That's what I've done with the Philly cheesesteak sandwich. 

November 3, 2014

Eating Healthy on a Single Mom Budget

Living on a single mom budget doesn't mean we can't serve healthy meals to our children. Learn how this single homeschooling mom manages to do it. www.heartofmichelle.com

Each single mom has her own unique experience and challenges. My only real challenge as a single mom is finances. 


There just never seems to be enough money. Ever. Feeding a family on a single mom budget isn't always easy, but I've found what works for us. 


It is entirely possible to feed a family healthy foods on a tight budget. In fact, I spend approximately $65 each week. Here's how.

October 30, 2014

WordUp! Increase Your Child's Vocabulary with Latin And Greek Roots

WordUp! is a fun, entertaining and effective way to increase your child's vocabulary using Latin and Greek roots. www.HeartofMichelle.com
{Disclosure: I am working as a Brand Ambassador for this product, a position for which I am compensated, having used the program myself and finding it to be a product worthy of promotion. This post may also contain affiliate links.}

I've never been one to create vocabulary lists, require definitions, and all the boring tasks that typically go along with teaching vocabulary. Instead, I've used living books and taken cues from my kids about what words they do and do not understand.


But now...


There is a fun way to help the kids increase vocabulary by understanding the Latin and Greek roots of words. Did I say it's fun? Because it is.

October 29, 2014

Why I Don't Limit My Daughter's Minecraft Time

Find out why a mom who has led her children through a screen-free lifestyle would choose not to limit time on Minecraft. #minecraft www.heartofmichelle.com

It may surprise you to read this, but I don't set limits on my daughter's Minecraft time.


If you know me or have been reading this blog long enough, you know that I'm not big on screens. Each year, our family participates in Screen-Free Week and I've even written a series of posts called Screen-Free Family Activities.


We didn't have television in my home (no service anyway) for many years. My youngest two, who are now 16 and 11, didn't have T.V. until they were 14 and 9.

So why would a mom who has led a pretty Screen-Free lifestyle not set limits on Minecraft?

October 28, 2014

Laugh and Learn Homeschool and Parenting Linkup Week #6

Welcome to the 6th edition of the Laugh and Learn Homeschool and Parenting linkup. See what our favorite posts from last week were and share your own posts! 
Welcome to the 6th week of Laugh and Learn Homeschool and Parenting Linkup! We'd love to see your posts and have you visit all the great posts others have shared.

The Laugh and Learn Homeschool and Parenting Linkup will be open at 6 am every Tuesday morning. My co-hosts and I will be picking our three favorite posts and featuring them on the following weeks linkup, so be sure to share something with us! You never know if you'll be featured next week.

When you link your post with us it will not be featured on only one blog, but featured on three blogs for added exposure!


Your Fabulous Hosts ;-)


Tina Ernspiker
Tina Ernspiker is one of the fabulous hosts of the #laughlearnlinkup You can find the #laughlearnlinkup at Los Gringos Locos, hosted by Tina Ernspiker. 
Tina lives abroad in Latin America with her husband and four children. Currently in Mexico, Tina is active in homeschool, travel, and her Bible ministry. She blogs about all of the above and more at Los Gringos Locos

Find Tina at her blog link above, and on the following social media networks:




Selena
Selena is one of the fabulous hosts of the #laughlearnlinkup You can find the #laughlearnlinkup at Look! We're Learning, hosted by Selena. 
Selena is a writer and a homeschooling mom to four kids, including three with ADHD/SPD. She and her husband, Jay, are committed to teaching their children at home and loving every minute of it! You can read about the family's homeschooling experiences at Look! We're Learning, written by Selena

Find Selena at her blog link above, and on the following social media networks: 




Michelle Cannon
Michelle Cannon is one of the fabulous hosts of the #laughlearnlinkup You can find the #laughlearnlinkup at The Heart of Michelle, hosted by Michelle Cannon
Michelle is a single mom homeschooling two daughters. She currently writes at The Heart of Michelle where you'll find articles about anything from homeschooling to special needs, opinion pieces to fandom posts. 

Find Michelle at her blog link above, and on the following social media networks:


Our Favorite Posts for the Week of October 27:


Written by Anna at In The Playroom

 
Top 100 Musical Movies
Written by Cathy at Cornerstone Confessions

 
Talking to Tween Girls about Puberty
Written by Tara at This Sweet Life


Thanks to everyone who submitted a post. Please check out the posts above by clicking on the image, if you have a minute for some good reading. Thank you Anna, Cathy, and Tara for your great homeschool and parenting posts!

Now, let's see your best posts for this week so we can share them as next week's favorites!




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Happy Homeschooling!