Monday Motivation Homeschool Review Crew Back to School Blog Hop

I started investigating homeschooling as an education option for my family when my oldest, who was then my only, was 14 months old.  We were an active duty army family stationed in Germany and my husband was deployed to another country.  At the same time that I was introduced to home education my husband had stumbled across it.  We felt it must have been God working it out to bring us to decide together to homeschool.

That was 22 years ago.  My husband changed up his career path and we continued to be a homeschooling family. We've had 3 of our 4 daughters graduate from our home school.  I continue to home educate Supergirl who is our medically fragile, developmentally delayed special needs daughter.

As I thought about what to write for this Motivation Monday, the first day of Homeschool Review Crew's Back to School 5 Days of Homeschool Encouragement Blog Hop I couldn't decide if I wanted to talk about the encouragement I've been getting from Julie Polanco's God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn or to share the whys behind my family's decision to home school. After starting two other blog posts for this topic, I've decided to go in a completely different direction and share  how I am taking what I've learned and working to apply it to this year as I home school Supergirl. I don't feel that last year was very successful.

Grab your favorite beverage, hot or cold, mine is Sugar-Free Caramel Breve hot, and let's chat!

Are there things I wish I had done differently over the years? Yes absolutely, but there have been some things that have been consistently helpful over the years.

One of the things that has been incredibly helpful is having menu plans.  During one season of our lives I had a 6 week rotating menu plan that was nearly all crock pot meals.  Years ago I blogged about creating your own rotating menu plan.  Having a set meal plan reduces stress because it reduces the amount of decisions you have to make.  It also makes building a pantry and grocery shopping easier because you don't have to think so much about the grocery list.

As life does, things change.  Setting up the rotating menu plan takes an investment of time and it does need to be tweaked as seasons change and dietary needs change.  Here are some options that have helped me at different points.

Through the Homeschool Review Crew I was introduced to e-mealz. After my subscription ran out from the review I did purchase another subscription.  But after I while it just didn't work for me anymore.  It was a huge help as I loved having something tell me what is for dinner.  It is just that I had to do too much tweaking for my family.

A friend of mine introduced me to Build-a-Menu.  The advantage of this program is that I could pick the meals and I could do breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks!  And it would create a grocery list for me.  I paid for this program for two years!  Eventually though I was finding I wasn't using it regularly enough and I let the subscription go.  It takes time to  pick the meals. Yes it saved me time and sanity in that it is far more easier to pick from list than to come up with something on my own but I was finding I needed more help with actually getting the meals from "planned" to actually "cooked" so we could eat.

I would have these fabulous menu plans so I knew what was for dinner or rather what was supposed to be for dinner.  But often I would find that I was just too tired or busy to cook and we'd end up with take out.

I rediscovered freezer cooking and that helped!  Taking time to make dinner ahead of time meant that I could plan dinner, cook dinner and eat dinner! What a concept! Even if you don't cook a month's worth of meals at time it is work looking at Freezer Cooking options such as cooking bigger batches of hamburger and freezing it in meal size portions for the base for things like tacos or spaghetti.

My current favorite meal planing site is   When I take the time, when I invest the time to choose my menus and prepare some meals for the freezer I save time, energy, sanity and money!  And what I love about Erin Chase's method is it is mostly prepping things for the freezer.  That means that your chicken goes into a freezer bag with the tomatoes and olive and Greek marinade but isn't cooked until the night you want to eat it.  It is not like eating warmed over leftovers which in my early days of learning about freezer cooking a lot of recipes I had required you to cook the food and then you are reheating it and it tastes like leftovers.

I love having a freezer full of meals.  Having those meals increases the odds that I'll get school done with Supergirl and we'll have homecooked meal.  On the same day.  I don't know about you but it seemed like if I had full day of school done and laundry done we ended up with take out if I didn't have a meal in the crock pot or freezer meal to pull out.  And if I managed to cook a homemade dinner we probably didn't get much school done.

 My crock pot is still a well used appliance that helps me take those meal plans and making cooking easier!

During the more productive times, I also had a schedule and a routine.   Even with my most successful schedules and routines, we did not, not even for one day, follow the "schedule" completely.  But when we have a schedule or least a routine we accomplish so much more than we do without one.

This year with Supergirl, I really want to work on a strong routine with a looser schedule.  I'm working a schedule that has some anchor points like meal times and maybe schedule certain subjects for certain days like Science on Tuesday and Thursday but I want a solid routine that will help us work on some habits that have slipped away.

Supergirl thrives with structure and routine and I need to use that to my advantage.  She is also far more cooperative and a more pleasant human being when she has structure and consistent time with mom.

So as I gear up for this new school year I am making sure I include time to invest in freezer cooking with MyFreezeEasy and that I have a structured routine with some scheduled slots for anchors to our day.

I'm also mapping out my goals and a rough idea of what we'll be studying but I will share more about what we'll be studying tomorrow on Take a Look Tuesday!

Here are a few of the other Homeschool Review Crew bloggers who are participating this week in the Back to School Blog Hop!

Nicole @ Bless Their Hearts Mom
Patti @ Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy
Rebekah @ There Will Be a $5 Charge For Whining
Rodna @ Training Children up for Christ
Stacy @ A Homemakers Heart
Tess @ Circling Through This Life
Wendy @ Life at Rossmont
Holly @ Gypsy Road


  1. Menu planning... I need to inventory our freezer and pantry and begin planning to use what we have.

  2. I have been meal planning too and it is much easier for sure.

  3. Menu planning is a huge time saver. I need to make up some more freezer meals as we will be adding back in lessons for piano and gymnastics soon. I need grab and go dinners for those nights.


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