Alivia and Nolan's 2013-2014 Home school Preschool Program!

I'm super excited to be planning for Alivia and Nolan's preschool program. I have been debating on whether to try and find some kind of program for Alivia because she LOVES the idea of school, meeting friends her age, and playing. In the end, I have decided to just home school her for preschool. Then I figured that Nolan will be 2 and although he won't be able to do all of the program, he can do bits and pieces if I scale it down to his level a bit more. I think I was hesitant to try it again, because I attempted a preschool program with her last year, but I wasn't disciplined enough to see it through. I don't think it was the right program for me or her either, and it was pretty intense for a 2 1/2 year old. What was I thinking? :) Another reason I decided not to put Alivia in a preschool program is the cost. It is expensive. I had someone once tell me that investing in your kids education, no matter what age, is a positive. I whole-heartedly agree, but some of these programs cost an arm and a leg, like more than our mortgage. We can't afford that! And, even the ones that are less expensive will lead us to become even more strict and tight with our money then we already are. I figured that if we can't pay for a program, I can invest my time instead of money. I am already home with them every day, I might as well be intentional and start a program myself. I don't have it completely worked out but I will be following the guidelines and ideas from the program, God's Little Explorers. It's ridiculously cute and it feels like I can follow this plan better. I will add some ideas from ABC Jesus Loves Me, which is what I attempted last year. Even though this program was not for us, I really liked a few things from it especially the rhymes on how to write out numbers and letters (for Alivia). Also, I will add a few books, crafts, and snacks each week that I find on pinterest if we have enough time or need more items. Since I have not started it yet, I don't know what to expect. She offers planning pages to print out, which I have already printed. I plan on starting my binder next week.

I also plan on doing one field trip, service project, or play-date a week to get the kids of out the house and involved in other people's life. We already do much of this, so this won't be much of a change. Whereas a school schedule will be a big change for us-especially since we have free-flowing, unplanned days, but I am hoping that it will be an appreciated change in our daily lives.

Goals Update!

Goals update from my 1st post of the year. OK- so goals are great right! I think so to. In the begining of the year I made this list and posted it on the blog. Loved it, wanted it, hoped it, and sort of followed it. I think it would help if I wrote these goals out in my Home Management binder so I can see them on a more regular basis. I totally wanted to do all of these, but completely forgot about most of these a couple of months in. Well, the good news is that it is only July, and I can still work through a lot of these and try to achieve them before I make a new list in 2014 (sounds weird).

Jesus' Follower:
~Read the Jesus Calling Devotional every day at breakfast (Hopefully most of the time, with the family included unless Ben is working)-Don't do this every day but about 3x a week
~Start a prayer cup (become intentional about praying for others and not just my/my family's needs/wants/prayers/joys etc.)-Have yet to do
~Read 2 Christian books that may lead me to grow in Christ- I have picked out a few, just have to make time for them
~Find a way to encourage someone 1x a month-Not intentionally, but starting this month I am picking 1 family a month to do something for or send something in the mail, even if small.

~Find a way to encourage Ben at least 1x a week-Hit or Miss, hope to be more intentional about this
~Plan a date night at least 2x a month-We are more 1x a month date-goers with Ben's crazy schedule

~Start up school/lesson times with Alivia again. (I stopped this after our house flood and never got back into it)-Currently planning on a preschool program for Alivia and Nolan for August 2013. I have not done much intentionally, but I try to throw in learning lessons when I can. I'm excited to start a new school year with the kiddos.
~Be intentional about playing with the kids (not all the time, but just moments/times out of the day that I am truly focused on them and not on anything else such as technology/cleaning the house/fixing meals etc.)-Totally, still a work in progress-some days are better than others
~Have a special time with just Alivia and a special time with just Nolan 1x a week- I don't get to do this 1x a week, I think that was/is and unachievable goal with how much Ben works but I try to as much as I can, even if it is just taking Alivia to the store without Nolan and buying her something little or reading to Nolan without Alivia (he loves that).

~Read 3 books (not including the 2 Christian books)- The Hunger Games and Divergent (hopefully I can read more)

~Decorate the kids room-Still having fun with this one

~blog 3x a week on life, family, thoughts-I hope to get this down, I love to blog! I really do! I just have to make time for it.

Homemaker: (I don't have time frames for these goals, just goals I would love to complete this year)
~Finish my meal plan for 2013 by January 15 (up to July is complete) and follow as best as can
~Figure out new, healthy snacks  and meals to make for the family-Ongoing
~Completely transition to a whole foods diet (Only buy foods at the store with 5 ingredients or less)-About 75% there! Woohoo
~Figure out a budget and stick to it :)-HAHA
~Organize garage
~Sale items that we don't need-Always finding more
~SIMPLIFY-Still a process