by Megan Bittner

Does the thought of surprise guests make you want to draw the blinds and lock the door? Is your “quality family time” overshadowed by looming chores and unfinished tasks? Do you slip through the drive-through or throw a commercial frozen casserole in the oven more often than you’d like to admit?

One of the greatest blessings of homeschooling is that our kids really live and learn at home. (On  average, school children in America will spend over 1,200 hours at school away from home.) However, Virginia homeschool parents know this also presents one of the greatest challenges of homeschooling. Managing lesson plans, extra-curricular activity schedules, meal plans, and household care with children around more often than not, requires greater family cooperation and involvement, and–perhaps–some simplification. This Homeschool Living explores some of the ways that simple living can benefit your home, your health, and your family.

 

Simple Cleaning

Does green cleaning really make a difference in anything? How much does it matter what you use to clean your bathroom? Some of the items on this list of seven benefits of green cleaning may surprise you!

Check out these 27 chemical-free, budget-friendly DIY cleaning products and replace your cupboard of half-full–and half-forgotten–chemical cleaners with a few basic, inexpensive ingredients.

This article from Scientific American discusses the dangers that harmful chemical cleaners pose–especially in households with young children–and explores alternatives to toxic cleaning supplies.

Are you thinking Are you kidding? How much time do you think I have to make my own laundry detergent? Never fear! The Environmental Working Group (EWG) website reviews and rates more than 2,000 popular household cleaning products with grades A through F, based on the safety of their ingredients and the information they disclose about their contents.

 

 Simple Eating

If it is difficult enough to implement a change in diet and lifestyle for yourself, how much more difficult is it to get your entire family on board with you? This blog post from That Clean Life shares ideas for encouraging change for the whole family, leading by example, and overcoming complaints, time constraints, and more.

These infographics from LifeHack.org can be used to teach and remind your family about healthy choices.

This unit study on nutrition includes a book list, as well as links to worksheets, activities, and resources.

The Preschool Plan It blog has nutrition resources to use with your preschooler for art, snack recipes, ideas to transform your play area, painting, large group games, ideas for your library, math and manipulatives, music and movement, science activities, writing activities, as well as miscellaneous activities and resources.

What exactly is a metabolism? And how does it relate to nutrition? These Crash Course videos on metabolism and nutrition answers these questions.

But clean eating is so expensive! Or is it? You don’t need to take out a second mortgage or give up a car in order to provide clean, healthy food for your family. Babble.com shares eleven creative ways to eat clean on a budget.

Need some fun cooking inspiration to break out of a grilled chicken rut? Check out these clean recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks from Bless This Mess.

  

Simple Living

Check out these ten benefits of living simply from Becoming Unbusy.

Explore these ideas for simplifying your homeschool from Simply Living for Him.

The idea of minimalism can seem scary. Do you have to replace all of your kids’ toys with a stick and a string? Does everyone get plain black and white clothes like some kind of colorless family uniform? Chantel from An Intentional Life explores the ways in which a more minimalistic approach can affect your family life in her post “Is Minimalism Right for Your Family?”

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” –  commonly attributed to W.B. Yeats. This poignant post from a homeschool mom talks about how her family’s return to simpler life allows her to incorporate more “fire” into her homeschool and “stop filling pails.”

These seven tiny steps for the beginner minimalist from Be More with Less offer small, practical ways to begin simplifying your life.

Allie Casazza of The Purposeful Housewife shares her thoughts–and favorite Bible verses–about how a simpler, more minimalistic life is an expression of faith.

What does the Bible say about minimalism and how does it tie to God’s instructions regarding stewardship? Check out this article from Stewardship.com.


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