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Posted in Homeschooling, Personal Developement, Uncategorized

The Homeschooler’s Uniform

why we choose to useEvery institution has a uniform. Something they wear that sets them apart from the rest. That ‘brands’ them. That allows others from their tribe to recognize them.

Nurses, schools, specific sport or social clubs, even specific cliques like goths or ‘soccer moms’ have a uniform of some sort.

So, what do homeschoolers wear?

What is their uniform? What sets them apart?

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Well, the kids are normally easily recognized because they are either dressed in their pajamas in broad daylight, or various combinations of dress-up clothes (think batman outfit with a tiara and a cape!). They might, at times, even look ‘pretty normal’. Then you look for the subtle hints: cutex, long or coloured hair, jewelry and and a faint whiff of ‘free spirit’ underneath.

The mom uniform is normally a comfy top and leggings. Or jeans. But comfort is key here. And the mom bun. We all know the mom bun. It’s kinda like a cross between a ponytail and a proper bun, made because it’s the most practical and fastest to do (definitely not because it’s the prettiest!). Oh, and we also normally have a half-naked toddler on the hip. With various tinges of paint, clay, colouered marker and coffee professionally layered all over the outfit!
(Super cool ready-made mom uniforms coming soon! Keep an eye on the Facebook page 😉 )

We know each other. In a packed shop, the kids will sniff each other out and become best friends in minutes. The moms will knowingly smile at each other, exchange numbers, meet for co-op and become best of friends.

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That is how the tribe grows. How we find each other.

 

We recognize the uniform!

 

Do you have a uniform? What is it?

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Posted in Homeschooling, Personal Developement, Uncategorized

Why & How we started Homeschooling {+ a giveaway!}

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When I started homeschooling I was soooo scared!
This was especially weird since I had already owned a Cottage School for the past 6 years! So, in theory, homeschooling my own kids should be a walk in the park!
But it wasn’t…
I felt I needed to prove myself. I needed to prove to my amazing husband that we are making the right decision. That it’s financially feasible. That our kids won’t turn into unsocialized weirdos. That we will actually do ‘school work’ in the day and not just loaf around. That the kids will make and keep friends.

 

I felt I needed to justify our decision to friends and family.

To myself. To my kids.

To the looming, faceless ‘them’ out to judge and condemn my little setup!

 
Oh, I was scared.
And uncertain.
I doubted everything.

What curriculum should we use? How should we set up the day? Are we doing enough ‘school’? Are the kids learning and retaining enough? Should we do tests? Should we start a social group? Is it okay to just throw ‘school’ out the window (metaphorically speaking!) when the kids are sick or it’s a beautiful day for a nature walk or we are just in the mood for a documentary?

 
My eldest was in mainstream school at the time. She had done very well in Grade R and Grade 1, but in Grade 2 her marks stated slipping.

“Your child is hyperactive.” “Your child needs medication.” ”She’s not focusing.”
We took her for tests. We tried sending earmuffs to school (she never wore them). We asked if we can send an iPod. The answer was “no”.

Then we got the final report card with the worst marks yet, and got a note with it saying that we should only come to parent’s evening if our child was in danger of failing (she wasn’t, but I’m a super involved parent, so had been to every single one to make sure we were doing everything we could!).

 
I told my husband that enough was enough.

 
We are taking her out of school and homeschooling.

 
I was brave.
I told him: “If I can’t get her marks up in one term, we can put her back into a ‘proper’ school”. Wow!

 
She ended up re-capping everything she did not know, and is now a year ahead grade-wise.

 
My child is not stupid, slow or in need of medication.
She simply needed a break.
To be given a chance.

 
To be given the opportunity to excel and prove what a gem she could be once polished!

 
Are you in the same boat? Do you also want to homeschool, but are unsure about where to start?

Well, you’re in luck! I’m giving away two spots on the HBGS (Homeschooling Basics: Getting Started) Workshop! Say whaaaaaat?! Yes! TWO SPOTS! Enter here: Rafflecopter

 

Posted in Home, Homeschooling, Personal Developement, Uncategorized

Life Lessons Winnie the Pooh taught me…

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My kids have become obsessed with Winnie the Pooh lately!

 

The toddler sings the songs, and says (in her best British accent!) “Pooh Beah” whenever she wants to watch it! “Lumpy Wheeeen” is also a well-known refrain in the Myburgh house.

 
I’m generally not a huge fan of mindless twaddle, and I must admit that the wrong pronunciation bothered me at first… “Lumpy” and “heffalump” for elephant, “unspookables” for ghosts, etc. BUT I’ve come to realize that the stories are doing more good than harm. They’re not twaddle!

 
The toddler has started counting because of them.

 

 

The tween is less grumpy and sulky because she doesn’t want to be like Eeyore!

 

 

The stories actually DO teach value life lessons to young and old (and even the odd homeschooling mom 😉  )

 
Here are a few things the Adventures of Winnie the Pooh has taught me:

 
It’s okay to be sad at times. Your friends are there to help you through it.

 
You’re never too small to make a difference.

 
No matter how scared you are, when you CHOOSE to be brave you can accomplish big things.

 
Alone we are weak, but when we have friends watching our back and supporting us, nothing is impossible.

 
It’s okay to eat honey, be a little squishy and still love yourself.

 
Sometimes we just need to look at the world from a different perspective to see what we missed the first time.

 

Be kind to all people, be sensitive to their feelings, and they will love you even more.

 
“How to be a Tigger is up to you”- There is nothing wrong with being your own unique YOU.

 
Always be the type of person others can count on. Be reliable. Be trustworthy. Be someone else’s ‘safe place’.

 

 

Have you gained any valuable insights from the stories your kids watch? Share them with me!

Posted in Homeschooling, Uncategorized

How to keep kids busy for the Holidays!

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Firstly, I need to say this again: LET THEM BE BORED! Boredom fires up creativity, which is exactly what you need! That will help them entertain themselves instead of constantly looking to YOU for entertainment!

BUT, I know we sometimes need a bit of extra help, so here are a few quick and easy ways to keep them entertained if you really just need half an hour of peace! 😉

 

*Paper crafts: Give them old magazines, writing books, pens, pencils, whatever you can find. Just not glitter! Glitter is a nightmare to clean. And it WILL get EVERYWHERE!

*Paint: Give them old boards, mix some paint and send them outside!

*Gardening: Give the kids their own special little place in the garden to dig tunnels in, play with their toy cars, scoop, and shovel, make mud pits and plant a few plants. Pumpkins are super easy to grow, and it makes them feel soooo accomplished!

*Board games and jigsaws: Let them play with what you already have OR let them design their own!

*Play Shop: Let them ‘sell’ their toys to their sibling/friends. They can even set up a stand and make play money by tracing over real money and cutting out the coins.

*Rock Painting: Let them paint rocks and hide them in the local park to find later, or to pretty up their own garden! Let them try out different designs and techniques.

*Spy Games: Let them become spies for a day! Make secret ink, make disguises and design a secret cipher. Lots of undercover teaching opportunities here 😉

*Handicrafts: Give the kiddos the sewing needles, knitting needles or crochet hook (if they’re old enough) and plonk them in front of YouTube to learn some skills! They’ll feel super chuffed if they can knit granny a tea cosy all by themselves!

*Rolled Paper Beads: These are super easy to make and they can use them to make play jewellery (bracelets and necklaces) as well as special event cards.

*Games: Revive old games like touches, hide and go seek and more. Game books can be found in your local library or online!

 

So, what are you doing to entertain the kiddos these holidays? Or are you leaving them to be bored? ;)1.

Another death. And a poem…

It happened again yesterday. An angel, plucked from the earth too soon, taken by the devastating shadow called ‘Death’. I have no words. My heart is sore. I’ve cried. And felt like I a fraud. That I should’ve (could’ve) done more. Been there more. Loved more. Said more. Supported more. And then I’m thankful for what I have. again. A house. My health. My family. My work. Things (material, emotional, spiritual). I have no words. So I went with a poem from my (yet unpublished) poetry collection…

Shades of life

When, once again, I sit and ponder
Life, with all its complexities
And all its magic, bliss and wonder
And sameness, stagnation as its enemies
I sit, awestruck with amazement,
And admire the Great Creator’s blueprint

The intricacy of all things,
Monstrous, minute, flamboyant and plain
And all the music it brings
To our unexpected lives, otherwise the same,
And thank our God,
Greatly humbled and amazingly awed

For, at times, we experience blue,
A freshness, calmness, cooling waters
Altering with dappled hue
The souls of all of His adopted daughters
And we dance and sing in his flood of blessings
All the while His grace professing

Then comes times of red, of fire
And brimstone in the deserts of our lives
Tinged with blood, stuck in endless mire
Cut to tender ribbons with sharpened knives
And pain that seems too severe to bare
And our prayers seem flimsy, like air

And finally, after many trials,
Our lives, again, turn green
With blossoms and buds along the aisle
Of our journey, and things seem
To grow in abundance, once again,
And my soul exclaims- God is good! Amen

Posted in Personal Developement, Uncategorized

Things I Would Tell my Younger Self…

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Looking back now, I could’ve (and maybe should’ve) done a few things differently…

Thing is, with age (and kids, and grey hairs, and stretch marks) comes wisdom. That really is true. And our experiences turn us into the amazing, intricate people we become. We need those experiences to grow into the individuals we need to become.

Still, if given the chance, I would give my younger self some pointers. You know, just to alleviate some of the damage…

1. They really DON’T care…
I used to care so much about what people thought. How they saw me. If I was ‘cool’ enough, ‘good’ enough, just ‘enough’… Meanwhile, they probably didn’t even know I existed. I could’ve used all that energy in a much more positive way. Built myself up as a person. Educated myself more. Instead of trying so hard to impress ‘them’, I could’ve spent more energy on loving myself.

 
2. You are perfect
I’ve always had issues with my body… Big hands, thin arms, protruding hip-bones. Large hands. Big feet. Being asked, constantly as a child, if I’m anorexic. Being the ‘weird’ kid. The nerd. Not liking the long, dark hairs on my arms. Not liking my mousy hair colour.
I wish I could’ve grown up loving my body the way I do now. My sharp edges and soft curves, my musician’s hands, my wisdom streaks, my stretch marks, my scars. Because I truly am beautiful. Inside and out. Carved by life and circumstances into a living, breathing masterpiece.

 
3. Don’t grow up too fast
I wished my childhood away. I wished to be ten. Then 16. Then 18. Then 21. Then 25.
I believed that once I reached a certain age things would be better. People would respect me more. I’d have more money. A good job. The kids would chill out. My marriage would get better.
Thing is, I’ve learned that NOW really is the best time to be living in. I get to experience things (emotions, places, people) NOW. ‘Then’ might never come. I could die tomorrow. So I choose to make the best of today. Each day truly is a gift just waiting to be unwrapped and enjoyed. Use your pretty crockery. Wear your special dress to that picnic. Eat the condensed milk out of the jar. Don’t keep things only for ‘special occasions’. Being alive is a special occasion!

 
4. Listen to your parents
Oh, how I wish I had listened to their advice more! But when you’re young you know everything, right?
Yes, that dress was too short. No, black lipstick really did not look good on me. Yep, Rob Zombie reallllly sucked and I only listened to him to piss my parents off!
I wish I understood then that my parents did not have rules to spoil my fun, but to protect me. Because they love me deeply. And that is a love I only got to understand once I became a parent myself.

 
5. Have a soft heart, but don’t show it off too much.
I’ve been hurt by many people in my life. Taken advantage of. Because I don’t believe only in second, but also in third, fourth and fifth, chances. People have used my good heart against me countless times. And it hurts every time. Because I truly do believe in the innate good nature of people, and am genuinely surprised when they act in a manner contrary to that belief. Call me gullible if you must. I love people. All people.
If I could give my younger self some advice, though, it would be to have more friends, but let them in more selectively. To guard my heart more closely. To judge more with my head, and follow with my heart. Not the other way around…

 

If you had a chance, what would YOU tell your younger self?

Posted in Home, Homeschooling, Uncategorized

More Ways to Entertain a Homeschooled Toddler

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Kids grow up so fast… Thing is, we need to grow with them!

So, here are a few more ideas for homeschooled toddlers (original here)!

1. Do hopscotch (I use this paint that simply washes off with water- Video DIY here) or play on a painted number line.
2. Draw henna shapes on their hands and feet and have them show daddy!
3. Do sensory play with cooked oats, yogurt, finger paint, spaghetti or instant pudding.
4. Go on a nature walk and pick up nature finds for the nature box (great to play with on rainy days).
5. Go on a nature walk and try connect the sounds to what they can see (dog, bird, plane, etc.)
6. Blow bubbles to encourage them to jump and clap.
7. Make a mud pit and give them old kitchen spoons and bowls to play with.
8. Give them fruit pieces and some sosatie sticks to skewer them on.
9. Play hide and seek by hiding stuffed animals and letting them find the ‘elephant’ or ‘tiger’.
10. Paint outside or in the bath with dishwashing soap (I use this non-toxic cleaner for EVERYTHING)

Have any ideas to add? Leave me a comment!

Posted in Home, Homeschooling, Personal Developement, Uncategorized

Life Lessons Homeschooling has taught me!

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Homeschooling has taught me a great many important life lessons. Truths I’m very thankful for!

 

Here are a few of them:

1. There is NO ‘perfect’ way to do things.

In life or homeschooling. There will ALWAYS be someone out there with a ‘better way’ of doing things. Thing is, that’s THEIR way. You need to find YOUR way. The curriculum, the schedule, the extra-murals, the social group that works for YOU and YOUR FAMILY. Because we’re all different, as we should be! There IS no one-size-fits-all approach that works. We are INDIVIDUALS with individual needs!

2. Embrace the change.

Learn to appreciate seasons. The ebb and flow of life. Because everything happens for a reason. We just need to find it, and adapt. Change is good. t’s not always comfortable, but it’s very much needed. Because when changes come about, and shove us out of our comfort zones, we grow, and learn and become better versions of ourselves.

3. Appreciate the little things.

I’ve learned to treasure the quiet, simple pockets of precious time I get to spend with these amazing little humans. The utter joy on gog’s face when she sees a butterfly, or feather, or leaf, or seed, or fluffy, or little bird is PRICELESS. I wouldn’t change it for the world. The meaningful conversations I’ve had with Snippie are also blessings I wouldn’t have had otherwise. These moments tend to happen after reading from God’s Word, or after prayer, or just while loafing outside under the trees. Oh, the times we’ve prayed and cried and laughed together. The ‘lightbulb moments’ when a difficult book makes sense. The musical ring of a poem read aloud. The helpful little hands when it comes to Poetry Teatime. The eclectic mix of drums, kids’ laughter, Capoeira music and gospel all mingling with the smell of incense and sunlight and wood. The little things matter.

4. You are enough.

As parents, we tend to feel ‘less than’. Like we’re not doing enough, trying hard enough or getting enough done. I have days when the house is clean, washing on the line, lunches packed, hubby off to work, kids fed, dressed and ready, AND school work done by 9am. I ALSO have days where I feel like crap, use the tumble dryer, let them watch documentaries for the day while lying in bed. You can do that. Give yourself GRACE. the world won’t end, but you will be a better parent after a good rest. It’s okay to replenish yourself. you  can’t pour from an empty cup!

5. It’s a way of life.

When you become a homeschooler, you become a part of a tribe. A group of likeminded individuals that are fundamentally DIFFERENT from the mainstream. A community. Socialization is not only nice, but necessary for homeschoolers and their parents. Join (or START!) a tribe. Because sometimes you just need to talk to people that ‘get it’.

Based in centurion? Pop me a message (072 082 3102) and I’ll add you to our Tribe! ❤

Posted in Health, Home, Uncategorized

Re-mineralizing Tooth Powder Recipe

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I’ve made this tooth powder for a very long time, and I actually prefer it to the toothpaste as it’s less messy!

 

You simply wet your toothbrush, dip and brush.

 

You can add other flavourings like crushed citrus peels if you want, but I prefer to keep it simple!

 

The Recipe I use:

 

Re-mineralizing Tooth Powder Recipe

 

4 Tablespoons Bentonite Clay

2 CalMag pills, crushed

1 tablespoon Bicarb

8 crushed mint leaves

1 teaspoon cinnamon

A pinch ground cloves

 

Mix everything together and keep in an airtight container. Use as you would any other tooth powder.

 

 

Posted in Health, Personal Developement, Uncategorized

If I could have any superpower…

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If I could have any superpower…

If I could have any superpower, I think I’d take healing.
And no, not because I’m noble and a tree-hugging do-gooder attention nut!
Think about it- I’d be able to help soooo many people! And I’d be able to heal myself.

Because, let’s face it- we can eat non-GMO, organic EVERYTHING and still get things like cancer. We have little to no control over the water we drink and the air we breathe.

We can’t all be survivalist crazies bunked up underground waiting for the end while sipping water through purification straws. Who seriously has time for that?

So, for now, reality sucks. People get sick. Especially those that don’t deserve to get sick. And at times it feels so bloody unfair and I wish with all my heart that I can change their illness around.
Because I’m tired of seeing cancer take the good ones. The pure people that could’ve still done so much good. The innocent ones.
I’m tired of seeing children die from horrible diseases. Sometimes because of the sins of their parents.
I’m tired of things like cancer and diabetes and ADHD and autism being ‘normal’. It’s NOT normal! Why can the world not see that?

People, I wish I had the power to heal. But I don’t.

I have the next best thing: knowledge.

That is the only way we can heal ourselves and others. By studying. By gaining knowledge. By talking to those that know of a different (better) way. And then telling the world.

We need to move away from processed junk. From refined crap. From Genetically Modified Everything. From pesticides and herbicides and E-numbers and colourants and flavours and anti-caking agents and MSG and allllllll the other toxins that are turning us into the sickest generation YET!

How do we do this?

By going back to our roots. By eating food. REAL FOOD. Grown in dirt and harvested to be eaten.
Buying from sustainable and reliable suppliers. Buying in season. Saving and planting and growing our own seeds.
Making our own medicine (herbal tinctures, ointments, teas, etc.)
Buying pure, non-GMO and all-natural supplements to fill our nutritional gaps (I ONLY trust Neolife’s whole-food based nutritionals)
By not being dependent on the all-important ‘them’ to take care of us.
To take our health and future back into our own hands.
By healing ourselves.

We can ALL have the power of healing. We simply need to listen when our bodies speak to us.

If you could have ANY superpower, what would it be?