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Are you serious about living a life of freedom? Then you need to invest in yourself. Yes, I mean spend money to learn what you need to learn to achieve that freedom.

The resources I have to offer you

If you’re in debt and/or want to be able to retire much earlier than the mainstream tells you is possible, buy my book Hatching The Nest Egg: Achieve Super-Early Retirement Without Gambling, Side-Gigs, Or An Above-Average Income.

If you know you’re not eating right, and need a nutrition/diet book that culls through all the confusion in the nutrition world, buy Simple Diet, Beautiful You.

If you want to get into a simpler and more sustainable lifestyle, I have two books that will be up your alley: Crazy Simple: 307 Ways To Save Money, Your Health, And The Planet, and Simplicity: Finding Freedom From The Inside Out (this is a book and course in one).

Need a step-by-step guide to achieving a particular dream? Buy Simple Success: Eight Steps To Dream Fulfillment. (Also an e-book course.)

Still looking for your soulmate (finding the right person is a critical part of living a free life!)? Buy my book, No More Broken Hearts: The Low-Stress, Joyful Way To Find Your Soulmate.

Want to get more food freedom? Buy How To Grow Vegetables Without Losing Your Mind.

You will not pay more than $6 for any of those books. If you bought all of them, you would pay under $40.

$3.99 would save you hundreds, even thousands, in future medical bills.

$2.99 would save you untold amounts of money when you apply the frugal living principles in the book.

$2.99 would help you leave the work force and live most of your adult life on your own terms – with more money in a nest egg than many people have even by the time they finish a 40-year career at a job they don’t like.

$5.99 would lead you to the life of your dreams.

If you’re serious about changing your life, you will invest money in books that will help you to do so.

Thanks in advance for checking out those resources! 🙂

Blessings to you,

Emily

 

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“How do homeschooled kids learn to socialize?”

This has to be question number one that homeschooling parents have to fend off. It is also one of the most common questions would-be homeschoolers ask while trying to decide whether they should homeschool.

It is, I am sad to say, a big reason a lot of parents who might otherwise homeschool their children, don’t. A few years ago I heard a podcaster tell her story of homeschooling her children for a year, only to put them all back in school because her son was very social and expressed that he missed his friends.

socialization

With all due respect, she was doing it wrong. But before I get into how to do socialization right, I want to bust some myths about school providing a good socialization experience for children.

Myth #1: Kids best learn to socialize with other kids

Fact: Kids are cruel.

Back when we had first purchased five acres in the middle of nowhere, I started to wonder how on earth I would ever find other kids for our son to socialize with. I posed the question on a homesteading forum, and one woman challenged me with her own question: are other kids the best kind of people for our own children to be socializing with? She went on to gently point out the fact that many children are not very nice. Even the children who are not intentionally cruel pick up bad habits from others, habits like excluding other children from their click, using vulgar language, cheating, or fighting for to have their own way in games.

When I thought about my own elementary school experiences, I realized she was right. I was bullied, picked on, and excluded by other children. My only safe-haven at school was the classroom (and even that ceased to be safe by the eighth grade). The playground, cafeteria, gym, and – worst of all – school bus were a different story.

I didn’t learn to socialize in school because I learned early on that many other children were cruel.

Myth #2: The school situation allows for many opportunities to socialize.

Fact: The school schedule provides very limited time every day for children to socialize.

I taught in a school for thirteen years. Trust me. It is not the ideal place for socialization. At lunch, the kids have so little time to eat by the time they get through the cafeteria line that they have to focus on eating. They don’t have much time to talk to their friends.

The recess afterwards – if there are any schools any more that allow time for recess – only lasts about fifteen minutes. Even Kindergarteners aren’t allowed to have snack time anymore, and even when it still existed, again, that was time to eat, not talk.

How about working in small groups or centers? Thanks to school curriculum focusing on standardized tests nowadays, the rare non-Kindergarten classroom that has centers is mostly academically-focused and does not allow for much authentic interaction between students. Neither does small group work, which is about discussing whatever topic or solving whatever problem the teacher has assigned. Again, little authentic interaction happens in these situations.

Myth #3: “I enjoyed my friends at school, so my child(ren) will, too.”

Fact: Many children of extroverted parents are introverted.

Admit it: if you were a social butterfly at school, you were probably constantly getting in trouble for it. Is that what you want for your child?

And children often have very different personalities than their parents. Just because you’re a life-of-the-party extrovert does not mean that your child should be.

And, back to the social butterfly getting into trouble thing, the typical classroom is not friendly toward children who are naturally inclined to converse and chat. Children are expected to be quiet and listen to the teacher, or be quiet and work. Talking is by and large discouraged.

How homeschooled children socialize

There are a variety of ways that homeschooled children learn to socialize, and practice their social skills.

*1. They socialize with their siblings.

Many homeschooled children are a part of families that have three or more children. While they are sometimes close in age, they may also be anywhere from two to seven years apart in age, even more. There is nothing warped about learning to socialize with other people by practicing with family members.

*2. They socialize with their parents.

Most parents want their children to embrace the same values and morals that they do, if not the exact same beliefs. What better way to pass those principles onto  your children than by spending most of the day in contact with them?

*3. They socialize with other homeschoolers.

This is where I think that podcaster fell short. If you live in any decent-sized city – say, with a population of at least 100K (even less if you’re in an area where homeschooling is a popular choice among parents) – there will be at least one group designed to get homeschoolers together on a regular basis. Even if the group only meets once a week at a park, you can connect with other homeschooling parents and arrange to meet on additional days.

*4. They socialize in the community.

Homeschooled children do not spend all day, every day, sitting around at home. When Mom has to go the dentist, they go with her. They go to the grocery store. The nearby shopping strip with a UPS store and hairstylist place. They go to the library, probably with some frequency.

And who do they find at all these places? Other people, probably adults, of all ages, ethnicities, sizes, and beliefs. They learn to accept differences among people. They learn how to talk politely to strangers and acquaintances. They learn how to make small talk.

And as they learn, they become more confident in their communication skills. As that happens, they open up even more to others – both children and adults – about what they’re learning, about their opinion on a certain issue, and so on.

*5. They socialize with schooled children.

If you live in a town or city, you likely also have a few other families in your subdivision or on your street. If you have a socially-inclined child who is homeschooled, there is no law against them getting together with their neighbors after school hours. This, plus two or three gatherings a week with other homeschoolers – or field trips where they have ample opportunity to talk to adults – will allow for more socializing than the average school-going child ever has.

Summing it all up

Children who go to school do not have more opportunity to socialize than homeschooled children. In fact, much of that “socialization” includes bullying, exclusion from cliques, and learning disrespectful behaviors and language. They don’t learn how interact with people of their own ages.

Homeschooled children, on the other hand, have many more opportunities to authentically engage with people of all ages and from all walks of life than do schooled children. If they don’t, it’s only because their parents aren’t trying.

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A Shift In Homeschooling

Lately, B and I have both gotten tired of the homeschooling routine. Especially math. I thought it had been going well, but then I would go back and review something I thought he had mastered, and it would be like I was speaking Martian to him.

Then I found out that he has “poor working memory,” a common affliction for right-brained children. In other words, unless he is genuinely interested in something, he won’t retain learning unless he goes over it five times more, and five times longer, than someone with a healthy working memory.

So I stopped short at introducing the basic multiplication facts, and went back to place value, addition, and subtraction. I’ve been trying to make it fun, but…well, if the student doesn’t think it’s fun, it’s not fun. It’s more like trying to pull a tooth that isn’t loose.

I have been sorely tempted just to take a break from doing any math until I finish my book about multiplication. Except that I don’t want to go back there, until B is doing better with memorizing addition and subtraction facts. What to do?

Remember the educational software we purchased last year, that’s what! For a while, the math games on the software was all B did for homeschool math. Then, he got tired of it. But it’s been a long time since he’s played those games, so I thought, might as well ask. Nothing to lose.

“Would you rather,” I therefore asked, “play the math games on the computer or play the games we’ve been playing?”

“Computer! Computer!” B practically jumped up and down.

Maybe he did. I’m not sure, because I was too busy feeling relieved. I do not like being in a rut, and was thrilled to have an alternative for him to practice his math facts.

Which just goes to show: when homeschooling starts to feel like a drag, it’s perfectly acceptable – maybe necessary, even – to take a step back and re-evaluate, consider your options.

You could always choose the “keep pulling your hair out” option, of course, but I don’t really care for that look.

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Scorpions, and Fall Is Here!

Winter is on its way

I’ll start with fall. It’s here! The average first frost for our area is November first, but we only got close to forty degrees for a low once or twice in October, and most every day of this October and November has had a high of anywhere between 75 and 90. (Yes, I said 90. Ninety. As in, ten degrees away from 100.)

Most every day, that is, until this morning. We awoke to wet ground and 66 balmy degrees. The breeze even felt warm.

About an hour later, the wind came up. Within a half hour, the temperature had dropped ten degrees.

The low tonight is supposed to be 31. We’ll see. For the last year the predicted highs and lows have mostly been four or five degrees lower than what we actually got.

But I’m going to cover the peppers tonight. Coax them along a little longer.

Now, about something I do not want to coax…

Scorpions

Scorpions in southeast Oklahoma are not deadly. I just wanted to throw that out there before I went on, because I used to think all scorpions could kill.

Hey, give me a break, will ya? I grew up in the North, and everything I learned about tarantulas, coyotes, and scorpions were from Hollywood.

To start off, may I share a lovely story from my journal which happened in September:

Here’s what I thought had happened, based on what I saw immediately after the sound of broken glass reverberated around the house: B had caught a scorpion in a jar. He tripped and dropped it, spilling out the pest just before the jar shattered into a million pieces. He was grabbing his foot and whining in pain because he had been cut.

Here’s what really happened: B had taken a jar (my smoothie jar, thank you very much!) off the pantry shelf to capture a moth that was on the window. He did not see the nasty, surprisingly large scorpion scuttling across the floor. Until he stepped on it. The scorpion stung his foot, which caused B to drop the jar (MY jar).

Then – get this – B wouldn’t let us kill the bleeping bug!

How are we getting scorpions in our house, you ask? Well, the risk of DIY when you’re not a professional is that you might hang the exterior door just a little bit crooked. Which just might leave a little crack at the bottom for critters to crawl through. And even though I got smart about a month ago and started stuffing the crack at night, they are apparently still sneaking in during the day.

Yesterday, there was one on the kitchen wall. This morning, B found one on the wall near the ceiling in his bedroom.

B sleeps in a loft bed. Translated: the scorpion was inches away from his mattress.

This is the second time he has found a scorpion up there.

Good thing he likes scorpions.

Don’t’cha just want to come for a visit? You can sleep in his bed!

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Liver Cleanse, Anyone?

A liver cleanse. What is it? Got a picture of a butcher spraying rows and rows of…no, wait, that’s gross.

I’m talking about your liver. You know, that organ that is almost solely responsible for moving the junk out of your body, and that is probably moving more slowly every day thanks to the ridiculous amount of toxins you are exposed to every day?

Do you need a liver cleanse?

If you talk to most medical doctors, they will scoff at the idea of a liver cleanse. The more savvy ones will cautiously tell you that it could be helpful, but to be careful because there is some kind of detox scam around every corner of the Internet.

Natural health nuts will tell you that YOU ARE GOING TO BE DEAD WITHIN FIVE YEARS IF YOU DON’T CLEANSE YOUR LIVER AT LEAST FOUR TIMES A YEAR!!!

Let me answer the “do I need” question right off: if you’ve never done a liver cleanse, your liver would probably thank you if you do one.

J and I are doing one right now, because I muscle-tested that we needed to. Why would that occur to me? Once upon a time, when I still lived in the suburbs and B was not even four years old yet, I learned from a lady who does Electrodermal Screening that my liver is the weak spot in my body.

So I know that every so often, I need to cleanse it if I want it to stay as healthy and strong as it can. But even knowing that, I forget. And start to develop symptoms. This time, I began having lower bowel issues that would not resolve themselves. When I asked my body if it was Candida overgrowth, the answer was no. “How about a congested liver?” was my next question.

Yep. In part, anyway.

But first, THE COLON!

Experts on body cleansing recommend cleansing the colon first. After all, as you decongest your liver you all the icky stuff has to go. And if your colon is already packed with old crap…well.

The thing is, we eat a 100% plant-based diet that consists of at least ten servings of fruits and vegetables every. Single. Day. Why do you think God put all that fiber in plant foods? So scam artists could bottle it and tell you that YOU’LL BE DEAD BY NEXT YEAR IF YOU DON’T START MIXING THIS IN WATER AND CHOKING IT DOWN RIGHT NOW?

No! The fiber is nature’s colon cleanse.

But most people don’t eat like we do, so the liver cleanse system we purchased had two products to help with the colon: one to make sure things moved out, and one that supposedly sucked out all of the old stuff stuck up in it. The former is to neutralizing the constipating effects of the clay and activated charcoal in the latter.

(Before I go on, I want to make this point: the source from which we purchased is very reliable. An M.D.-turned herbalist/natural health practitioner.)

Long story short: both of us ended up not needing either one of the colon cleanse products. (How did we know? Muscle-testing after unsavory results.) Lovely. Those two bottles of capsules were easily half the $90 that we paid for the system.

And it’s all the doctor’s fault. Oh, yes. It’s not my fault that I didn’t actually look to see what products we were going to get with the cleanse system. Nor that I didn’t check out the individual products, pray about whether we needed them, and then just buy what we needed. That would be too…too…sensible. Logical.

So it’s not my fault.

Anyway.

The other stuff

The two colon-cleansing supplements aside, there remained a detox tea and an herbal tincture. Both contain the herbs that are known to support liver function, such as dandelion and mill thistle. The tea, in addition, contains a variety of spices, including cinnamon and coriander.

I love, love love the tea! Yummy!

What about the tincture? Uh, er, not so much. Ever had a tincture (that’s herbs soaked in alcohol) made from bitter herbs? Maybe a friend recommended Echinacea to you one time you caught a bad cold, and you ended up dumping the contents of the vial over your friend’s head into the toilet?

Then, you understand.

Here’s what it’s like to watch J take the tincture, two droppers mixed in about three ounces of water:

ME: Here’s your delectable, tongue-tantalizing liver/gallbladder cleansing drink!

J : (Grimaces. Then downs all the liquid in one gulp.) “Cough, cough. Gag.” (Another grimace as he shoves a forkful of food into his mouth to get rid of the taste.)

**************

Aah, the joys of cleansing. But you know what? After I had already ordered this complicated mess of a liver cleanse, and it had already been shipped, I found out that all we needed to do was take two drops of rosemary and two drops of lemon twice a day for a month. (Make sure it’s a high quality brand, like one of the ones I mention in this post.)

Which would be much less than the $90. And not require me to slave in front of a stove simmering tea twice a day. And taste a lot better than an alcohol tincture.

Live and learn. You can learn vicariously from our liver cleanse mistake. You’re welcome. 😉

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