12 Secrets For the Busy Home Schooler

Life is busy. We rush from here to there. We rush through our lesson plans. We rush to finish another project with the kids. We rush to make cookies. We rush to church and special events. We have to pay the bills and buy the groceries and clean the house and make the meals that nobody wants to eat.

And oh yeah, don’t forget you are a full-time teacher. You have to plan the lessons, prepare to teach, and sit down with each child while the others run amok. Then the toddler makes a mess all over the floor while you were doing spelling with your first grader, and everything must be put on hold while you solve the problem.

We give and give until there is nothing left of ourselves, until we are empty. We handle the chores, cook the meals, teach the lessons, drive everyone to their special piano lessons and soccer practice, rush home to make dinner, tuck the kids into bed, and then drag them out of bed in the morning to start it all over again.

Yet we chose to home school because we value a family where community and creativity our nurtured, where there is joy and warmth and rest, where you are not running from one event to the next. Hidden in our hearts, a small spark, a little wish for something deeper, something more eternal, waits to blossom.

We cannot change anyone. We can only change ourselves. To move our families in the right direction, we must first move ourselves in that direction and trust that they will follow. These twelve life principles are lessons I have learned and forgotten and then reapplied to my life many times over.

1. Get up while the house is still quiet. Get your breakfast. Get your shower. Have a moment to drink your coffee and plan your day. You are worth the extra effort to take care of yourself before you start to serve others. If you let them wake you, you will be 10 steps behind the rest of the day. And you will be too tired and grumpy to tackle the day’s challenges.

If the children wake up before you are ready, send them back to bed. As a home schooling family, you can set your own schedule. Let them read in bed for half an hour or play quietly until you are ready.

2. Ignore criticisms and unwelcome advice. Busy bodies everywhere have their opinions about what you should or should not be doing. I’d like to say they mean well, but I’m really not so sure about that. Most of them just want to feel better about their own selves by tearing someone else down, and very few actually know what they are talking about.

3. Keep a journal. Write your thoughts and contemplate yourself. Take the time to recognize your emotional state. Emotions are often warning messages, helping you know when to rest and when something is not healthy. Take the time to ask yourself who you really are. Knowing and finding yourself are integral for good parenting.

4. Explore your own creative aspects. We have arts and crafts for the kids, music lessons for the kids, and writing essays for the kids. If developing the arts is so important for your kids, is it not just as important for you? You want your kids to be well-rounded, right? So don’t be a hypocrite, and you will find your kids being more willing to jump into their lessons, following your example.

5. Never stop learning. Try new things. Check out books from the library to explore a new hobby and study something you’ve always wanted to know. Your brain is a powerful tool. Whatever style of home schooling you may have, you can always unschool yourself.

6. Eat lunch. And have a snack. At the end of the day, I find that I snap more. Why? I don’t feel hungry, but once I’ve eaten dinner my mood improves. We are finite people. Only God is infinite, and we are dependent on water, food, and God to nourish our lives. So don’t be a martyr and eat something.

7. Insist on an afternoon break. Children need downtime in order to have unscheduled, undirected play. No matter how old your children are, it is good for them and you that everyone gets quiet time alone. Send them to their rooms to read or outside to play, but enforce the rule that you are not to be disturbed during this time.

8. Find time to exercise. Just as it is not your wish for your children to be unhealthy, it is not God’s wish for you either. He cherishes you just as you cherish your children. Parental duties and home schooling should never get in the way of this. Keep it fun, and find a routine that fits into your schedule. Maybe fit it in during your morning quiet hour or during the afternoon break. Or get workout videos that the kids can do with you.

9. Take quiet walks frequently. Not for the purpose of exercise. Not for some goal. Just for the chance to meander and to be quiet. To have solitude. To explore. Adults are goal-oriented. Everything we do has a purpose, whether it is to cook dinner, buy groceries, pay the bills, diet, or get some exercise. We are always striving. Sometimes, we just need to put that aside. So trade favors with your spouse, and take a little time each week.

10. Find time to play. Be a kid again. Children are experience-oriented. They do stuff for the simple joy of being. Growing up has made us lose that eternal quality of just being. Sometimes, we just need to enjoy the experience.

11. Never let life become a competition. We compete to be the best mom, to be the best dresser, the best decorator, the best friend, the most organized, the best scrapbooker, the most creative, the most athletic, the most beautiful. But when I stop to contemplate this, I realize that my value really has no bearing on anyone else. Parents celebrate their child’s first steps, however wobbly those steps may be. In the same way, we should celebrate our own wobbly attempts to grow.

12. Learn to say “No.” Sometimes, one more activity, one more responsibility, or one more event is just one too many. Instead, choose to say “Yes” to being home, to spending time with family, or to enjoying a dinner around the table.

How To Find A Legitimate Online Business

The Worldwide Web is truly a large database of potential business opportunities. The sad thing is that while many legitimate online business opportunities abound, there are a number of fly-by-night scam operators, who prey on their hapless victims, and immediately scamper away after they skim off cash from them. Here are a number of helpful tips for finding legitimate online business ideas.

Real Online Business Ideas Are Built Around A Product

A legitimate online business opportunity provider offers an actual product or service. If you don’t have a clear idea of what you’re selling or offering, or you cannot properly describe what you market to someone else, then chances are you most likely are joining an illegitimate online business scheme.

Popular & Legitimate Ideas For Building A Legitimate Online Business

To build a truly legitimate business, it would be nice if you first set your sights on being an affiliate, or offer advertising space, or sell your own products. When you’re an affiliate, you actually sell or market other company’s products and services, where you earn a percentage from the sales made by the people you refer to the company. If you have a Web site that’s able to generate as much as a hundred or more visitors per day, you can actually sell advertising space on it, since ad space is a valuable piece of online real estate. You can also sell your own products, whether they are physical or information products, which are popular items on the Internet today.

How To Spot Legitimate Online Business Providers

When shopping for legitimate business opportunities, here are some tell-tale signs to keep an eye on: First, look at the company Web site to see if you can find contact information, whether an email address, phone number or a physical address displayed on the Web site. Also determine whether the company has logos of official regulatory or business bodies on the Worldwide Web, like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for example. Also find out if there are any guarantees offered by the business opportunity provider. If the company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee or a 15 to 30-day trial offer, the company could be a legitimate online business opportunity provider. Also determine what type of training or customer and distributor support system is offered.

In choosing the right opportunity for you, it would also be nice if you regularly visit forums, message boards and review sites, so that you can review each business opportunity presented. On home-based business review sites, you’ll find out whether someone has anything negative to say about a specific company, and you’ll be sure that anyone who has had a bad experience with a certain company will make sure that they will tell this to everyone who is listening. Be an active member of business forums, and ask questions, share your thoughts and ideas, or warn people about work-at-home scams that you already know about.

The Importance of Business Body Language

Most of us go about our daily business, and conduct a number of both business and personal conversations without giving much thought to what the body language we use is saying to other people. In business though it really is as much about the way you say something as the actual words you use.

But what does the way you conduct yourself and your conversations say about you, and what might others be thinking?

Eye contact is of course very important. Maintaining eye contact with another person during a conversation is of course the best way to convey that you are truly interested in what they have to say. But there is a fine line between eye contact and out and out staring, which is discomforting to most people. However, beware of those who speak to you without making eye contact at all, as that is often a good indicator that someone is being less than honest with you.

Holding your head up straight while delivering a speech or presentation conveys the right air of authority. However, tilting one’s head to the side occasionally while listening to someone else speak conveys that you are truly interested in what they are saying.

Your hands and arms say a lot in conversation too. Folded arms indicate defensiveness, and can be very off putting to the other parties involved in the conversation, as can having your hands shoved into your pockets. Excessive hand gestures can also detract from your message, so the best place for your hands, during a business conversation at least, is at your side.

When it comes to posture what you learned to do in grade school, sit or stand up straight and tall, applies in the business world too. Slouching indicates a lethargic, disinterested person, who no one will want to do business with.

Watch where you place your legs when seated at a business meeting too. You can often tell if a person is nervous because their legs move about endlessly, which can be off-putting too all at the table. For women, crossing the legs can send out a rather unprofessional signal so if you must do it, cross them at the ankle, not the knee. Guys should avoid the “figure four” resting one leg or ankle on top of the other knee. This is taken by others as a sign of cockiness that can put the observer off you before you ever open your mouth to speak.