10 Homeschooling Pros & Cons

10 Homeschooling Pros & Cons to consider when thinking about Homeschooling! - sixtimemommy.comHomeschooling your kids is a decision that no parent takes lightly. There are a lot of things to consider, but in the end, you have to do what is right for your children and your family.

When considering whether to homeschool your child or keep them/send them to public school, it’s best to take a look at a few of the pros and cons of homeschooling to see if it really is what’s best. Let’s take a look at a few of them, but keep in mind that I’m not advocating for or against homeschool. Instead, I’m playing Devil’s advocate.

Pro: If you’re unhappy with how your son or daughter is being taught, homeschooling allows you the freedom to teach them what you want and how you want.

Con: If you don’t have the heart of a teacher, your desire to homeschool will eventually fizzle meaning your child may potentially miss out on their education.

Pro: Homeschool allows your family to have more freedom in your lives. Everything from schedules to field trips and curriculum is yours to play with as you like.

Con: Homeschooling also requires a lot of record keeping and (in some states/provinces) reporting adding another thing to your plate.

Pro: Homeschooling strengthens a family in a way that public school can not.

Con: Homeschooling also means that your kids are with you pretty much 24/7/365 so “me time” is rare for most homeschooling moms.

Pro: Homeschooling can literally be done from anywhere. Want to go on vacation? Grab your school supplies and go!

Con: Traveling and homeschooling from anywhere is great but can also add significant weight to your expenses and budget.

Pro: While a curriculum is great for some families, the internet is full of homeschool freebies that can be used in its place for well…free!

Con: If you choose to go with a set curriculum, you could easily set yourself back $2-$300 each year, per child.

Pro: Homeschooling kids are provided with a nutritious, lunch chosen by their parents.

Con: Having your kids at home when you’re not used to it will cause your grocery budget to jump.

Pro: Your Kids are only taught what you want them to be taught. This is fantastic for religious families or those with strong political views.

Con: Your children are only taught what you want them to be taught with no outside viewpoints to allow them to develop their own beliefs.

Pro: Your kids learn a wide array of topics that they might not otherwise learn.

Con: They may want to learn a topic that you aren’t familiar with making you hire a tutor or pay for expensive lessons and supplies.

Pro: Your kids will be involved in a lot more extra-curricular activities to provide them with the socialization they need.

Con: Your schedule will be very, very busy so if you work full time you may not be able to juggle it all.

Once you’ve really thought through the ones I’ve listed (and the ones I haven’t), it’s time to make your decision. Sit down with your family and talk it through. No matter what decision you make though, be confident in it. You’re only doing what you feel is best for your family.

The Ultimate List for Cinco de Mayo Recipes

CINCO de MAYO - The Ultimate List for Cinco de Mayo Recipes all listed in ONE PLACE! - sixtiemommy.comCinco de Mayo is right around the corner! I am always on the hunt for special recipes to make these celebrations a little bit more special.

Whether you are having a small get together, just a little celebration with your family or aren’t quite sure you want to do anything for Cinco de Mayo, you may want to check out this list I’ve put together. The recipes are absolutely incredible. The variety is insane, and the dishes will blow your mind!

Main Dishes, Desserts, Cocktails and even Dips are all complied right here in one place. I’m not exactly sure what I’ll be doing for Cinco but I can tell you one thing  – We sure will be eating good!

The Ultimate List of Cinco de Mayo Recipes:

1. Easy Crockpot Chicken Faijita Meat
2. Peach Magarita
3. Raspberry Margarita
4. Mexican Fiesta Black Bean Hummus
5. 3 Ingredient Crockpot Chicken Tacos
6. Chorizo Potato Tacos
7. Breakfast Burritos
8. Mexican Breakfast Casserole
9. Copycat Taco Bell Quesadillas
10. Mango Coconut Margarita
11. Enchilada Skillet Lasagna
12. Tasty Homemade Taco Bowls
13. Pork Fajita Filo Lasagna
14. Seven Layer Dip Cups
15. Grilled Corn Quesadillas
16. Cheater Margarita Smoothies
17. Carnitas Tostadas with Strawberry Salsa
18. Taco Rice Tortilla Pizza
19. Grilled Cheese with Guacamole and Corn
20. Avocado Lemon Feta Yogurt Dip
21. Southwestern Guacamole
22. Spicy Shrimp Tacos
23. Mexican Cornbread with Hatch Green Chilies
24. Homemade Blueiguana Cantina Burritos
25. DIY Tortilla Chips with a hint of Lime
26. Sweet Potato Tacos
27. Homemade Posole
28. Cinco de Mayo Fondant Cake
29. Authentic Mexican Rice
30. Baked Black Bean Dip
31. Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas
32. Easy Mexican Meatballs
33. Mexican Grilled Pizza
34. Steak Soft Tacos
35. Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes with Dulce
35. Slow Cooker Beef Taquitos
36. Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole
37. Mango Chicken Quesadillas
38. Chicken Tortilla Soup
39. Mexican Pinwheels
40. Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup
41. Macagacados Snow Cones
42. Layered Taco Salad
43. Taco Cupcakes
44. Corn Salsa
45. Skinny Taquitos
46. Cinco Recipes for Kids

Over 40 ideas, amazing recipes and drinks to share! I have so much fun looking at recipes people come up with. So many of these I would make any day not just for Cinco de Mayo, but They are perfect just for the day too! I will be getting creative and making some wonderful recipes from this list for my kiddos for the day. I don’t think we will do much else, but hey – who doesn’t love some great food and fun at home? We do!

What about you, do you have any favorite recipes, crafts or things to do for Cinco de Mayo? What will you be up to?

Have a Delicious Cool Treat: Frozen Caramel Hot Chocolate

FROZENcaramelhc4As the weather starts to get warmer, we all start to look for delicious treats to help us cool down! I know I get sick of ice water, and the same boring beverages day after day. So why not try to mix it up a little bit.

I’m not a coffee drinker. I like the odd slice of coffee cake, or cupcake. But, I don’t drink coffee. So iced coffee beverages aren’t my thing. I can’t stomach them so, while everyone else is enjoying their frozen frapps, I’m all “heyyy, I have some ice water!”

Not anymore! Who needs to go spend $5+ on a cool drink, when making them at home is easy, quick and cost effective!Frozen Caramel Hot Chocolate: The PERFECT Sumer COOL Treat! - sixtimemommy.comWhen I was younger my Grandfather used to make a few frozen drinks for me and this one is just like one he used to make. It’s cool, refreshing and best of all tastes absolutely amazing! You can top it with chocolate of your choosing and add sprinkles, chocolate shavings or whatever you’d prefer! It’s delicious, and kids? Even go nuts for it!

Have a Delicious Cool Treat: Frozen Caramel Hot Chocolate
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A Delicious Frozen Caramel Hot Chocolate for those hot summer days!
Serves: 1-2 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 serving Hot Chocolate, prepare it as directed
  • 2 cups Ice ( may need more if made in warmer months )
  • ¼ cup Caramel syrup
  • Whip Cream to top
  • Rolos or Favorite Chocolate to garnish
Instructions
  1. Add your hot chocolate ( room temp ) with ice in a blender.
  2. Blend until well mixed. Add more ice if needed
  3. Add caramel syrup and blend on low for 30 seconds
  4. Pour into a large cup
  5. Top with Whip Cream, Caramel Syrup, and optional toppings

I like to make my own caramel syrup and sauce, but you can use store bought or your favorite syrup you make!

Hot Chocolate is one of my favorite drinks I could drink it all year ’round but who really wants to in the summer? Well, Frozen hot chocolate is the best option! It’s just as good as the hot version but doesn’t make you overheat in the summer! I’ve bought quite a few from Coffee Shops but they get expensive, so I’d rather make my own!

We had 3 really warm days in the last 2 weeks so I made some for my kids and they went nuts for it! I couldn’t make it fast enough! In the Winter hot chocolate is a wee bit too hot for them so this is the perfect treat for them! Especially when we are out in the backyard, they want drinks constantly… This was a nice surprise for them!

What is your favorite cool drink to enjoy in the warm summer months?

Let’s Celebrate Earth Day: With ISeeMe! {Personalized Books + Special Earth Day Code Offer!}

ISEEME1Happy Earth Day!

Today is Earth Day one of my absolute favorite days of the year! Today we celebrate our Earth and all it’s beautiful glory. It’s also a day I take my kids outside for the sole purpose of picking up garbage and making our neighborhood just a little cleaner. Of course this is encouraged all year round, but having a day dedicated to our Earth makes it that much easier to get the kids out there helping!

For Earth Day I partnered up with I See Me! for this wonderful review and special code offer!

Our family is a huge reading family. We all love to read, and love getting new books. This time around I picked Jackson to receive a special book. He will be turning 4 next month and starting Junior Kindergarten in September so what better time to try to get him as excited about reading as his siblings?

When his book, Jackson Can Change the World arrived he was so excited to open it. I showed him the cover and how it said “JACKSON” he was happy to see his name but it wasn’t until I turned to the dedication page he really let out some squeals! Yes, the dedication page…

iseeme2

iseeme3I wish I had recorded it because the look on his face as he stood there and saw himself in a book was PRICELESS. He squealed and had to show his brother, Jordan who was sitting on the other couch! I had never seen a photo of a child in a book, even about themselves before so this was  huge plus that I See Me! added this! Very, very special for kids.

iseemejacks

iseeme4The book is beautiful. Not only is it very well written but it’s also perfect for kids of all ages, and tells an amazing story with a wonderful message. I didn’t want to photograph too much, or give too much away because this book is really wonderful – I want you all to order it for yourselves! It’s very worth it. You can choose the gender of the child in the story as well as hair color, type and also the child’s skin tone! When reading the book Jackson kept pointing to the child drawn in the book and saying, “That’s me!” it’s amazing that kids can actually feel like they are the the one in the story, and feel that connection to the book – he’s wanted to read this book every change we’ve gotten! He is very proud and excited that he is able to change the world!

What is I See Me!
I See Me! is Personalized Children’s books! High quality Children’s books and unique gifts. I See Me! is loved by many, including celebrities such as Courteney Cox, Brooke Shields and Jessica Alba. The mission statement is quite simple, to improve self esteem in children through personalized books that celebrate the uniqueness of each child.

About the book “I (or your child’s name) Can Change the World” and Special offer from I See Me!
iseemeI Can Change the World! is an uplifting personalized storybook that teaches your child that change can start with just one person—your child! Even a small child has the ability to spread kindness and change the world… by using manners, doing chores around the house to help the family, being a good friend, collecting food for the hungry, and more. Even a simple smile can change someone else’s day!

This storybook empowers kids to believe in themselves and their ability to affect change in those around them. Part of any child’s development of healthy self-esteem is making a habit of giving back to others. Our Friends at I See Me! invite you to save 25% off this title at ISeeMe.com. Use code EARTHDAY. Expires 5/1/2015

If you are looking for personalized gifts head on over to I See Me! Not only do they have a book for most Holiday’s they also have this wonderful book for Earth Day, a really important day that children should enjoy, and really learn about. Our World is a beautiful place, but with the way things are going – we need change. I Can Change the World really touches that, and my kids are all enjoying it – and enjoying that Jackson is the center of attention in this beautifully drawn and written book!

Like I See Me! on Facebook  ||  Follow I See Me! on Twitter

Follow I See Me! on Pinterest

 Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I was given this product complimentary to review. However all opinions are mine and 100% true.

Verilux CleanWave Portable Sanitizing Wand Review + Giveaway

Verilux CLEANWAVE Sanitizing Wand Review + Giveaway - sixtimemommy.comGerms. We all encounter them, we all try to avoid them but with kids? They are sure to happen and probably more than you even want to know.

I can only wash, clean and sanitize some things so much. But, at home I probably do this more so because when one of my kids gets sick usually all 6 of them get sick. Then I fall sick. It never fails. Half the time though, I get sick and no one else does. It’s really odd. But makes a lot of sense.

What happens when we are out? I always bring wipes with me, but what about Germs that wipes just can’t touch? Running to a bathroom to scrub with soap and water isn’t always an option…

The Verilux CleanWave Portable Sanitizing Wand has brought a little piece of mind into our house.

cleanwave3

cleanwave2What is The Verilux Cleanwave Sanitizing Wand?
The Verilux CleanWave wand is a portable sanitizing wand that eliminates germs on the spot.
– Kills up to 99.9% of Germs and Allergens on Hard Surfaces
– Destroys odor-causing bacteria
-Sanitizes without Chemicals or Irritants

The Verilux CleanWave Sanitizing Wand has been tested by a United States independent, third party laboratory and is proven to eliminate up to 99% of H1N1, Influenza A and MRSA to name only a few.

How does it work?
CleanWave germ reducing light can penetrative a micro-organisms cell membrane damaging the DNA, preventing growth and killing the organism.

How?
While holding the Wand face down, You simply wave the wand closely and slowly over a surface you want to disinfect from side to side in a 12″area and it will do all the work for you.

Where to buy and price:

You can purchase from Verilux directly here. Price is $59.99

I have been using this wand for about a month now and I love taking it with me when we go out. It’s lightweight and fits right in my purse or bag. When we are out and the kids have to use the bathroom my least favorite part is washing my hands THEN opening the bathroom door. So, having the CleanWave helps and I feel a lot more comfortable opening that door. I can’t even tell you how many people walk in, use the bathroom then walk out without a thought of washing their hands. Yeah, no thanks.

If anything the peace of mind I am getting from the CleanWave is extremely calming. For those of us who try to fight germs on a daily basis it’s a great tool to have, and help combat the nasty germs that make all of us so sick all of the time. This would be an absolute perfect baby shower gift, or gift for a new mom! If you are looking to sanitize  quickly and easily without chemical residue, harsh liquids or odors. Whether at home, work, dorm, hotel, public restroom, car, bus, train or vacation – the CleanWave is ideal for everything you touch except people, pets or food!

GIVEAWAY
The kind folks at Verilux CleanWave are offering up a CleanWave to one lucky reader!

Verilux CleanWave Sanitizing Wand Giveaway ($59.99 value)

Giveaway ends 4/25 winner will be emailed and given 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I was given this product complimentary to review. However all opinions are mine and 100% true.

Fun & Delicious Popcorn Treats + Family Movie Night Suggestions!

funanddeliciouspoprcornOur family LOVES having movie nights. We do them weekly, and in the summer often twice a week! We love grabbing all our blankets and pillows and cramming all on the floor in the living room, snuggled up watching a movie good for the whole family!

It’s hard to make bowls of popcorn because usually with my kids, they end up all over the place! So, what I’ve started to do is instead of just plain ol’ popcorn in bowls – I make it fun. I find cool recipes to try, add candy, add chocolate – it’s a movie, who wants to egg carrots during a movie? (okay, so my kids probably would but when we want a treat, we don’t want carrots!)

Why do I do this? How is it any less of a mess? Well, the more awesome it looks and tastes the less likely they’ll let any hit anywhere but their mouth! So far? It’s been working! 

So here is a great round up of some of the best, AMAZING, delicious and fun treats to make during movie night! Too bad the movie theaters don’t prepare this kind of awesome  –  thankfully there are amazing bloggers out there who do! I’m not even kidding if you click on these links your taste buds will be screaming!

1. Bunny Tails Popcorn Mix
2. Bacon Caramel Popcorn
3. Peanut Butter and Jelly Popcorn
4. Lucky Charms Popcorn With White Chocolate
5. Microwave Marshmallow Caramel Corn
6. Gooey M&Ms Almond Popcorn
7. Sweet Cinnamon Sugar Popcorn
8. Brown Sugar Sticky Bun Popcorn
9. Cookie and Cream Popcorn
10. Pinecone Popcorn Balls
11. Marshmallow Popcorn Balls
12. Sea-Salted Sorghum Pecan Popcorn Balls
13. Pumpkin Spice Popcorn With White Choc Drizzle
14. Indian Corn Popcorn “Pop”sicles
15. Copy Cat Cracker Jacks Popcorn

What would movie night be without movies? Here are a few titles my family just LOVES to watch together for our movie nights. Of course, we always check out the new releases too but these are some goodies we ALWAYS go back to when there’s nothing new to catch!

familymovie1. Hotel for Dogs
2. Mr. Peabody & Sherman
3. A Turtle’s Tale One & Two
4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
5. Free Willy
6. Dolphin Tale One & Two
7. Happy Feet
8. Mars Needs Moms
9. Up
10. Ant Bully
11. Finding Nemo
12. Bee Movie

As you can see most (if not all) of these are not only great family movies but they also have really great messages in them. I try to limit screen time, but when it comes to movie night I try to pick movies that will not only be entertaining but also teach my kids something while we watch. Bullying, Empathy, Compassion, Caring, and I’m sure there’s a few I’m missing are important to me when picking a movie. Sure, we sometimes watch movies like Alvin and the Chipmunks and Spiderman – but if you pay attention to a lot of movies, most have a small message too even if they aren’t as apparent as some!

We love movies! But like I said I do limit screen time so we try to watch 1 movie a week until summer when we attempt for 2 depending on how days go. My kids can only watch certain tv shows, and for only a few hours a week. I’m more into the whole crafts, get outside, lets play type of stuff during the summer!

Winter/Fall/Spring it changes a bit, but we always make time for extra family time, and movie time is one of our fave ways spent some extra time as a family (we also go for walks, go to the park, dance, bake, etc)!

What are your favorite things to do as a family?

Looking to Purchase a Home? Join us at The #RBCFirstHome Twitter Chat!

CCznRKNVIAA-J3XBuying a home can be scary, exciting and there can be lots of questions! Well, RBC has you covered!

Join us on April 21st at 8:30pm ET on twitter – where all your questions can be answered! I have been apart of a couple of these chats and I’m amazed by the information I have gotten out of each one!

Have questions? Submit them to the experts during the twitter chat. You can submit your questions during the chat using the hashtag #RBCFirstHome

RBC has invited a Lawyer, Realtor, Design, Home Builders, Home Experts and Mortgage experts to answer questions!

Chat participants have a chance to win 1 of 5 $100 gift cards!

rbcchatI will be there, I hope to see you there! It’s a great chance to have any questions about home buying answered by friendly knowledgeable professionals who really know their stuff!

Disclosure: I am part of the RBC First Home Campaign with Influence Central and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group.  The opinions on this blog are my own.

Educational & Fun Math Activities for Kids

Educational & Fun Math Activities for Kids  - sixtimemommy.com
Homeschooling has its ups and downs but what I find the most challenging and has the most downs is math.

I’ve never been very good at math, and I’ve often found if I voice that then it projects onto my kids. So, I’ve had to really button my lips and them grumbling and groaning about math has dramatically changed. I don’t hear anymore “I can’t do this!” or “this is way too hard!” before they open the books. Now they are opening their books and ready to go before I get to the table!

I believe it’s not only because I have stopped showing how much I am terrible at math but also because they are out of the school they were in which also diminished their self esteem so much.. But also, because I try not to make it too formal. I add fun to math, I add hands on activities and I try to make sure they are doing work that is not only grade level appropriate but also age, and emotionally appropriate.

What exactly does that mean? Well, my kids have been through a lot. While one may be above grade level, one may be slightly behind and one may be right on par however, they’ve been through a lot emotionally and I want to make sure I am sensitive to that so learning isn’t a chore but is something they look forward to.

Taking all of that into consideration making math more about fun education is what I’m focusing on. Unlike school where it’s no fun, forced and drive kids away I want them to embrace math, and love it like I once did (when I could remember all my multiplications and fractions without answers in the back of the book that is! )

So, I’ve got a list of 10 educational and fun math activities for kids to share! If your kids need a little bit of fun education and a little less forced, more exciting that doesn’t drive kids away you may want to take a peek at the list below!

1. Tally Marks Busy Bag
2. Alligator Math
3. Patterned Multiplication Circle
4. Sort and Count Math Bottles
5. Lego Duplo Math
6. Geometric Shapes
7. Uno Flip
8. Number Line Run
9. Fraction Connect Four
10. Stomp It Place Value

How do you keep math fun yet educational?

Taste Guru: Tantalizing Your Taste Buds One Box at a Time! {Gluten Free Subscription Review}

Gluten Free: Taste Guru is the monthly subscription box for you A box full of GF goodness right to your door EVERY month! - sixtimemommy.comTaste Guru is like no other Subscription box I have seen. Not only is the cost very reasonable but the box is packed full of Gluten Free goodness. I was shocked when I opened my box because it was completely full. I’m not 100% Gluten Free but I do really try to watch what I eat, eat as healthy as I can and usually that means making my own treats and snacks from scratch so I know exactly what is in them! Which can be time consuming and difficult to do when I am craving a snack!

Now I know a lot of people are Gluten Free as a lifestyle change, but some are Gluten Free because they have no other option but to be. This is where Taste Guru is a huge asset. Of course there are junk boxes full of food that you or I could get at the grocery store, but Gluten Free foods and snacks aren’t always cheap. So, would you go into a store blind pick out a bunch of Gluten Free snacks because that’s all you can eat, but aren’t sure what you will like? But have to spend SO MUCH money on it anyway? I don’t think so. I for one like trying things because I spend a lot of money on them, and Taste Guru helps with that.

With a monthly subscription box the cost is 29.90/monthly, $86.70/3mos, $167.40/6mos and the 1 year plan offer is $310.80. Shipping to Canada is $12 and to the USA it’s $6. (prices here are listed in Canadian with shipping, please see Taste Guru for American prices! They are a bit cheaper!)

You get a box full of 7-9 Gluten-Free products. The products will come in Full size and Sample size. Being able to try new products before you buy them has never been easier!

Exclusive Offer: Sign up today for any Subscription plan and receive a Taste Guru Grocery Tote absolutely FREE! ($10 value is yours FREE!)

What did I get in my box? Here is what my March box contained:

tasteguru2As you can see it was FULL of amazing goodness!

tasteguru3IPS EGG WHITE CHIPS

tasteguru4DANG COCONUT CHIPS

tasteguru6YUM EARTH NATURALS SOUR BEANS

tasteguru7TEAS’TEA JASMINE GREEN TEA

tasteguru8MAMMA CHIA SQUEEZE

tasteguru9LEVEL LIFE PROTEIN SNACK BAR

tasteguru10NOCCIOLATA ORGANIC HAZELNUT SPREAD

tasteguru11SWOFFLE TRADITIONAL DUTCH TREAT

tasteguru12BETTER BATTER FUDGE BROWNIE MIX

So much goodness in one box! I’ll be honest and say before this box I would never, ever walk into a store and buy any of this. But, now that I’ve gotten them in this box and tried every single one, there isn’t one I wouldn’t purchase if I saw them at the store. That is the absolute best part about Taste Guru. You don’t have to pay the huge price tag to try all the goodness, but once you’ve tried them you’ll want to spend the bucks buying all the things you’ve tried.

You can also just subscribe and see what happens to come next month in your box! I’m happy to say the first thing I will now grab to snack on while I’m watching a movie will more than likely be a bag of IPS Egg White Chips or a Level Life Protein Bar. These were both by far my favorite from the box, but I can’t say there was one thing I didn’t like. The whole box, was great.

With that said, I’m not completely sold on the Jasmine Green Tea by Teas’Tea but I would like it as a treat once in a while, it’s different than anything I’m used to!

If you are looking to eat a bit healthier, and kick out that Gluten the Taste Guru box is a great way to test out variety, and explore new food you may want to add to your diet, and grocery list!

Anything in this box look interesting to you? What do you think?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I was given this product complimentary to review. However all opinions are mine and 100% true.