Monday, July 15, 2019

Homeschooling and Working While Raising Amazing Learners!

THESE KIDs RIGHT HERE! 


Molded and shaped us to be able to be the best parents would could be, they love us with our flaws, our mistakes in parenting, and still made us realize that even we had more growing to do.


The eBook is on sale for AMAZON PRIME DAY for $2.99







Tuesday, July 9, 2019

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX CAREER RE-IMAGINATION

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX CAREER RE-IMAGINATION 
By LM Preston
As a working parent, I’ve had to make my career as fluid as possible, especially when we decided to homeschool our kids while working outside of our home. It meant taking a broad look at both of our careers and being willing to delve into new branches of that career or even something entirely different. 

IT ALL STARTS WITH A SEARCH Once I realized I needed to change the focus of my career to be more flexible, I started searching on job boards for careers that allowed remote work within my field. It opened my eyes to many jobs I’d never considered before. It also revealed that a previous job skill I had developed while in college would be a great transition to a flexible position while homeschooling and working. 

REPURPOSING YOUR SKILLS
I had many hobbies and side businesses that I considered something I did for fun. Even raising my kids and running my household had task I had cultivated into skills that helped me in these side businesses. Those experiences I quantified into a job description. Management of a home had many of the same skills as a Project Manager, Office Manager and Home Health Aid. The only difference was the title of the job. Skills that I had taken for granted, I started to see them in a different light. From the assessment I built a new skills list that allowed me to expand the experiences I had listed on my resume. 

THE JOB SEARCH
It all starts with the resume. After researching jobs in the area of change, I verified my skills against those positions, then created a resume for the set of jobs in the category I was wanted to pursue to add a flexible work schedule to my career path. Then I set out to apply to twenty jobs a week without scrutinizing whether I personally thought I matched all the desired points on the job description. That, I left up to the employer. My job was to apply and see what happened. 

GET THE TRAINING NEEDED TO RE-IMAGINE MY CAREER
When I observed the openings in the career path I was set to change, I realized I needed to learn a particular product in order to update my skills. After spending two intense weeks on YouTube and Udemy, I read the book on the software and started interviewing. 

INTERVIEW WITH CONFIDENCE
Before interviewing, do some practice mock interviews with friends, and ask for their honesty. Then study up on all the material listed in the job description and do a self-mock interview and record your responses. Practice makes perfect. 

TAKE A CHANCE and HAVE CONFIDENCE IN YOUR ABILITY TO RE-IMAGINE YOUR CAREER. 

My new book, Homeschooling and Working While Raising Amazing Learners releases on August 7th, 2019. Please pick of a pre-order copy here, and join a free course on Kickstarting Homeschooling and Working www.EmpoweredSteps.com
By LM Preston www.EmpoweredSteps.com 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/empoweredsteps/ 


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The Importance Of Teaching Kids to Apologize



THE ANGRY KID

This generation watches a lot of television. TV has change greatly over the years. The representation of the family is also hugely different. Nowadays, there is the smart mouth, sassy kid, and the comical parents who needs correcting by their children.

Oh, but when these kids on TV get angry, they rarely give up an apology easily.

THE STEPS TO FORGIVENESS and RESPECT

There is the beginning step towards mending a relationship that kids have to be taught. Human nature is to stay angry for as long as possible. We think it's to punish the other person, but the truth is, holding onto anger punishes us. The angry one.


  • Acknowledgement of making a mistake
  • Acknowledgement that you hurt someone by your actions
  • Respect for them to express how they feel about their position in the situation
TEACHING YOUR KID TO DO IT - EVEN IF THEY ARE STILL ANGRY or NOT SORRY

Making your kid apologize may seem like it's useless if they aren't really sorry for what they've done. The thing is, it doesn't matter if they are really sorry or not. They have to be taught how to work through their anger and say their are sorry. Have them say it over and over until they have the tone right.

Yes, it will make them angrier it seems.
It is practice though that makes apologizing easier.
It is practice that teaches the tone and actions that should go into an apology.
It is apologizing that allows the person harmed to start to release and let go of the hurt and discontent that comes with being wronged.

It is the process of teaching them the lesson. Steps to making child apologize.

  • Have them repeat why they are apologizing
  • Then have them explain their reason why they shouldn't apologize
  • If they say, "Why should I if I am not really sorry?"
  • Tell them, "It's not about you 'feeling' sorry, it's about you doing the right thing and responding the right way to give the other person some peace that at least out-loud you voiced that you were sorry, which is the beginning of thinking about what you have done."
  • Also tell them, "Apologizing with your whole heart will take the guilt and anger away too - especially, when the person you harmed accepts your apology and may even - apologize too."
TEACHING THE METHODS OF APOLOGIZING IS LIFE ALTERING

It helps kids to learn the freedom in giving and accepting apologies. The stress just pours out of us when we are able to get closure to a situation or event when those involve acknowledge they hurt us. Kids learning to take responsibility for their actions will take them a long way. It will make them start to think before they act.

YOUR THOUGHTS?

This message is bought to you by LM Preston, read more about Homeschooling and Working While Raising Amazing Kids here: Amazon

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Summer for Summer School


He did it!
Finished the Spring Semester strong.
At this rate, he'll be getting a BS in Information Systems by age 16.

SUMMER TIME RECOVERY AND LEARNING

Speed Racer still needs to write his papers faster. Also, there are some subjects he should catch up on for his next journey into in person courses. Since he has friends that are attending summer school, he also wants to take some courses at his online college late in the summer.

WRITING PAPERS FASTER with the help of tutors. Since he never took the SAT, we didn't spend time working on the essay portion of the test where the student has to actually write, in hand, a 300 word essay within 50 minutes. I signed him up for an SAT review tutor course focusing on essays for him to fine-tune the skill. He does fine by typing his papers, and using grammar check. Even so, he needs to work on writing faster since it will help with the quality and speed in which he does his research papers.

SOCIALIZATION plans involve summer camp for about 5 weeks to include sailing camp, teen camp, and Junior Lifeguard camp.

Sports this summer are in addition to camps. He will be doing paddling/canoe team, breakdancing, boxing and martial arts.

DRIVING LESSONS are coming. He begged to be able to take his learner's license. He passed. Now it's time for practice, practice, practice.


WORK and HOME BALANCE Working and Homeschooling 

MEAL PREP: I've been cooking but no one wants to eat it. It's frustrating, but hopefully we will get back on track.

HOUSE CLEANING: Nope, the house has been a wreck for awhile. That's all for now. Big plans to have a family clean up after I recover from my recent trip to see my oldest daughter graduate - again, for the 3rd time.

LESSON PLANNING: No planning needed since it's summer and I hired a tutoring service. 

MARRIAGE CHECKUP: We are planning a little get away.

SELF CARE: I am going to schedule a massage. My daughter gave me one for a present.


More details to come in New Book: Homeschooling While Working to Shape Amazing Learners by LM Preston


Monday, May 13, 2019

Owning Our Flexiblity

Skateboarding in New Zealand

This last month was extremely hectic for us. We traveled to Syndey, Australia and then New Zealand. Just four days after we returned, my friend visited us for two weeks. We had no downtime. School work suffered in small ways, our optional homeschool curriculum work didn't get done. Now I am too tired to restart it.

KIDS PROGRESS

SPEED RACER worked through challenges of traveling while doing school work

He only focused on his college classes, but with the weeks of travel, it was stressful getting the work done on time and with lacking internet speeds. It was stressful and challenging for him to have to contact his professors and ask them if he could turn in work early or late.

Also, this 8 week session I made the fatal mistake of scheduling 2 programming classes in one semester. He had a literal freak out moment. Then I talked him off the cliff and got him some tutoring help.

Homeschool Classes that were put on hold 
Bible Study (online) Just six videos to go and we have halted due to a crazy life schedule.

Pilot Training (online) He's been doing these on his own, but reduced to 3 a week.

Java Programming (online) this is with CompuScholar and he is taking a college Java course. He will resume this after the college course for more practice.


College Classes online - All Finished.

Java Programming
In week 8 of 8
-Final programming projects
-Weekly discussion post and replies
-A final paper and project

Software and Hardware Infrastructures
In week 8 of 8
-Final Project paper design
-Discussion post and reply

Javascript Programming
In week 8 of 8
-Weekly group post and discussion
-Final Project

This is the end of the school year for him. We will casually finish the homeschool classes.



WORK and HOME BALANCE Working and Homeschooling 

MEAL PREP: I am still recovering from our vacation and friend's visit. We've just thrown together frozen meals.

HOUSE CLEANING: We cleaned the house! Yay! It's starting to get messy again as we speak.

LESSON PLANNING: I am doing minimized planning and just created checklist of work I put on the dry erase board. 

MARRIAGE CHECKUP: Hubs and I had a spat where we were polite, but not really speaking. It lasted for just under a week when he and I finally got bored with not speaking and apologized.

SELF CARE: I pampered myself and made my husband join in the foot massage, facial, pedicure and back massage. I needed it.

Monday, April 1, 2019

The Power Of Rest


When you are a working and homeschooling parent, it's especially hard to make time for yourself to get rest. It's not about just your rest, but also about your family rest time.

HAVE A STANDARD RESTING HOUR

Plan to take a moment to be quiet, to sit and think, to nap. This is something we did a lot when our kids were all young. We had family nap time. Now, it's easy to forget to do that when kids are involved in activities outside the home. We have made it a point to do this weekly now. Usually, on the weekend, we have a set hour where we just nap or be quiet in our own spaces. It has kept us revitalized.


  • Sneak in a power nap while taking kids to activities
  • Do a family nap time daily
  • Create a quiet space for yourself in the house
  • Trade off a nap time with your spouse
  • Let the kids know you need a nap too
  • Let the kids sleep in
  • Put them to bed early


MAKE SURE YOU GET AT LEAST 7 HOURS OF SLEEP

I prided myself on not requiring much sleep. I could keep going on 4 hours sleep each day for at least five days. However, when I started trying to lose weight, I found I only had success the weeks that I had at least 6 to 8 hours of rest. This was eye opening. Then I did research that validated my discovery. Parents need at least 6 to 8 hours, but our kids need more. Kids should have 9 to 10 hours sleep. So if your kid wants to sleep in all the time, let them, make up the work at other times, but for their health, let them rest.

WATCH FOR SIGNS FOR FATIGUE

This isn't just about the parents, we know when we are tired. Usually, we also need to think about the amount of coffee we are consuming. For kids, this is especially important. We need to be watchful of signs that they are tired. Older kids suffer from this just as much as younger ones. Many times my kids would stay up all night playing video games and can't seem to get up to be productive. It's because they needed rest. In those instances, I just let them rest, but locked up the video games the next few days to get them back on schedule.

SELF CARE

Remember, if you are going to be a working homeschooling parent, a wife, a parent, and all the other things we seem to take on, you deserve some self-care time. Schedule it in, make it a priority. It will be part of the reason that you can successfully keep doing it all.

What do you do to get rest?

More details to come in New Book: Homeschooling While Working to Shape Amazing Learners by LM Preston

Friday, March 8, 2019

A Week's Progress - We Just Keep Going

WHEN WILL OUR SEMESTER END
My son asked


He is getting ready for a break. Literally, he starts to complain about doing school work every 8 to 10 weeks. It's been on schedule since he started college classes that run 8 weeks long. I still have him do homeschool focused classes on a 12 week schedule but he starts to get real irritable around 8 weeks.


He has ups and downs these few weeks.
He's at Microsoft Store Coding Event looking Unhappy.


His smile returned after I snapped the photo though. Mainly, he felt it was boring but liked being there with his friend. Lucky for him, next week is the last week of college classes. Heck, I may even take a break from the homeschooling ones since we are going on vacation.

KIDS PROGRESS

SPEED RACER has a mildly packed schedule

These few weeks he has had some days where he finished his work on time and before I got home. The motivator is that his friend lives walking distance from the house. Also, paddling season started. There were some weeks where the quality of work was subpar so I just worked with him through it.

I realized that I want his writing to be faster and plan to put him in some writing camps over the summer.

Homeschool Classes 
Bible Study (online) with discussion with mom or dad - He is almost finished the series! Thank goodness. I'd planned for this to be done in just four weeks and it has taken us about 12 weeks.

Pilot Training (online) mom reviews his test and quiz success and helps

Java Programming (online) this is going so slow. Partially, because CompuScholar doesn't auto check the work or have an emulator for the code so I have to review his work against the provided solutions. It's been a bit frustrating but we are getting through it.


College Classes online - All Finished.

C Programming
In week 8 of 8
-Weekly programming projects
-Weekly discussion post and replies
-A final paper and project

Information Technology Ethics
In week 8 of 8
-A group project
-Weekly discussion post and replies
-A detailed report, Ethical Policy Proposal

Foundations in Information Systems
In week 8 of 8
-Weekly group post and discussion
-Strategic Plan, Decision Paper and CIO Memo with Organization documentation

This is his last week of those classes and we are both tired. I spend tons of times reviewing his work before he turned it in. He had to use a tutor for programming class just to help him through the difficult labs, but he survived.


College Classes online - Not Finished. Plan to finish in 2 more weeks

Straighterline Courses that transfer to his online college
It's taken him about 4 weeks to complete these classes. He has is proctored online final in two next week.

English - still has to finish 4 papers (he's been working on this class for awhile, took a break, and starting again)
Western Civilization 2 - has to finish mid-term, two test and proctored final
Introduction to Business Management - has to finish mid-term, three test and proctored final


GAUGING HIS FOCUS PERIODS

He has moments of high focus and motivation, then he wants breaks so we do an ebb and flow schedule. When he is in a highly motivated mood, I can add more courses, then he relaxes and takes a break of a few months, then he is motivated again.

WORK and HOME BALANCE Working and Homeschooling 

MEAL PREP: We've been doing a decent job of this, but have fallen off the wagon a few times. It hurts our schedule when that happens. We also eat badly and spend way too much money on fast food.

HOUSE CLEANING: The house has been wrecked the last few weeks. I haven't had the energy to keep them on schedule since I've been working extra hours. I also let them slid on a few chores so they could play with their friends.

LESSON PLANNING: It's been better, although, I have started putting lessons on a dry erase board now. 

MARRIAGE CHECKUP: We have had a few date nights to comedy shows and it's been wonderful. There's nothing like laughing together.

SELF CARE: I went for a facial! My daughter and I did facials and it was wonderful. They were offering free ones at the mall. After that week, I did my own at home.