I just want to let you know that it’s perfectly okay to say “no” to yourself, because more times than not we have these unrealistic expectations that cause us to become overwhelmed during our attempts to tackle our never ending to-do list.
Like many of you, I felt anxious this last year and I compensated by mindlessly scrolling through social media instead of working on the goals I had set out. I wasn’t fully present in life, I wasn’t enthused with homeschooling, and I was in absolutely no mood to write.
However, forcing myself to stop and really think about why I was procrastinating helped me realize that I needed to say “no” to myself. I didn’t need to run myself into the ground trying to do all of the things. I didn’t need to set up a ton of goals that make me feel guilty for not accomplishing.
Instead, I needed to rest, reflect, and do the work to become more present in life, which is why it’s been 6 months since I’ve written a blog post on here.
For those that are interested, I started to devote more time to myself each day and it’s helped a lot. I worked diligently to make exercise a part of my daily habit, to make healthy food choices 80% of the time (I’m a big fan of applying the Pareto Principle to everything in life), and to start journaling again. In fact, most of the posts I make on Instagram come from my personal journal.
So, here I am back on the blog with a few changes. If you haven’t noticed, I’ve updated my logo and website. I no longer plan on writing weekly edits as they take up a lot of time, but instead will write them bimonthly (biweekly?) until I’m at the point where I can accept regular contributors. All other blog post will happen when they happen, because you know…life.
Now let’s get on with it!
What we’ve been studying
Between spring break and state testing, it’s literally been quiet on the homeschool front. The kids have been playing a lot, we’ve been going to the beach whenever we get a chance, and we’ve been spending a lot of time in the garden.
Right now we are raising butterflies from Insect Lore. They are currently in the chrysalis phase and will hopefully hatch in the next couple of days. We try to raise insects every few months or so and hope to get praying mantises next.
We’ve been enjoying our monthly snacks from Universal Yum. Have you tried them yet? We get a box of snacks from a different country each month. Included is a booklet with facts about the country and the snacks you are eating. It’s really a fun way to incorporate world geography into your homeschool.
I like to couple our snack box with past issues of Letters From Afar. These snail mail letters are so beautiful and filled with fun facts about the country the author is visiting. We like to keep the letters in a binder so we can refer back to them easily, and have just recently purchased a stamp collector book to store the vintage stamps that come with each correspondence.
Since we’re on the topic of social studies, we’ve recently subscribed to Honest History. It’s a quarterly journal that explores the past and deep dives into historical topics with each issue. The magazines are geared towards 6-12 year olds and are absolutely exquisite (get 10% off with “homeschoolfront”.) I just love them so much and plan on ordering the back issues we’ve missed.
What we’ve been reading
- The Monster Book of Creature Features: Wiley & Grampa’s First Three Adventures
- Zeke Meeks vs the Annoying Princess Sing-Along
- Captain Underpants and the Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo Toilet 2000
- Island of the Blue Dolphins
- National Audubon Society Field Guide to California
- Stories from Where We Live: The California Coast
- Eyes That Kiss in the Corners
- Vietnamese Children’s Favorite Stories
- Unicorns Are the Worst!
JPL has an awesome educational website. I’m looking at this lesson plan about Making a Paper Mars Helicopter.
I’ve been taking a course about email lists, and the instructor mentioned Unroll.me. It helps you EASILY unsubscribe from email lists you are no longer interested in. My inbox is so uncluttered it’s unreal and I actually enjoy checking my email now. If you decide to use the free service, just don’t unsubscribe from me, okay?! And if you haven’t subscribed, do it now!
If you’re new here, you are probably unaware of my love/hate relationship with homeschool curriculum. It’s really hard to find something that checks off all my boxes and that doesn’t need a lot of supplementation to be well-rounded in my opinion. So, I was really stoked to come across Carrier Shell Curriculum’s California Out of the Box. It is an interdisciplinary deep dive into California history with a strong literature component. We’re learning lots, and I hope to write up a full review once we’ve completed it.
Angela Duckworth’s Character LAB has weekly tips you can sign up for. Last week’s tip was about growth mindset and on the importance of letting our kids struggle. It’s worth a quick read, and if you’d like to learn more about grit, I wrote an article several months ago on the topic.
I have a YouTube channel now, did you know that? Nothing fancy as I’m still learning to film and edit. It’s a slow process to get it up and running since I’ve been prioritizing my sanity and my kids. Anyway, I would love it if you subscribed and binge watched a few of my videos.
On my nightstand
- How to Do the Work
- The 5 Second Rule
- The Coddling of the American Mind
- Dear Girls
- Sigh, Gone
- Troubled Blood
- The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan
Take care, X
Xuan Klevecka is a Southern California-based homeschool mom, wife, and sometimes purveyor of vintage goods. She’s an Enneagram 5w4, a lover of good food, and a former middle school history teacher. You’ll either find her looking at road maps and daydreaming about her family’s next epic adventure or perusing recipes and cooking up a feast for the brood.