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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Adventures of a Homeschool Mom is changing! Part 1

I have some really exciting news.

As many of you know, my family and I have been living and homeschooling in England since August 2013.

It's been an incredible journey. Lots of ups and downs. Lots of adventures and experiences. But also some loneliness, and nostalgia.

Through homeschooling while traveling we've  had some amazing experiences that I would love to share with all of you.

For four years, I've been sharing everything we do in homeschool, so now I want to share how we travel and homeschool abroad.  The actual name for what we are doing is world school. In other words, we are using our travel experiences, everything we see and do, to teach our daughters.


The idea is to provide our daughters the opportunities to become a well rounded, globally minded individual. She has been exposed to new languages, new cultures, different rules of behavior; all of which have helped them understand the world around them much better.

And we want to share it all with you. Our unique experiences as a traveling family,  our struggles, our trips. Everything!

As always, I plan to be completely open with my readers and tell  you the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I welcome comments and questions!

We are in the final stages of creating a new website which will be full of great information for family travelers, tips, ideas, photos.

I will keep you posted on changes and updates as they happen. Thanks for stopping by.


Friday, April 24, 2015

How do we travel so much?

I read a lot of travel blogs and I follow people who are doing this full time.

Paris
Living the nomad lifestyle.

I am not there yet.

But that is the dream. One day.....

Right now, my family and I do as much travelling as we can or even can't afford. And I say that because we sacrifice a lot in order to be able to travel.

But for us it's worth it. And I'd like to share our story.

We are a one income family. My husband is solely responsible for bringing home the bacon. I do things here and there on the side, but they don't amount to much.(I create and sell Unit Studies which you can purchase here). Hopefully, one day they will.

Anyway, we live on a shoestring budget. Counting every dollar and just making it month to  month. We have an average salary. My husband's job is in E-learning, so you know he doesn't make a six figure salary. But we get by.

Don't get me wrong. We provide for our family. Everyone has what they need. Everyone is healthy. Everyone is happy.

We are not into material things and I guess we passed that down to our children. They have toys, books, most of what other kids have, just not in excess.

We don't own a home. We did until a year ago, when we decided to sell it since we are now living in England.

We don't have a lot of savings other than our 401K. What we save eventually goes towards travelling.
Bruges, Belgium

So how do we do it?

  • I do a ton of research to find the best deals. A TON! Sometimes I spend days, even weeks researching.
  • I don't book anything without checking TripAdvisor first.
  • I make an itinerary. I call it my flexi-plan because I like to be organized and have a general idea of what we will be doing and seeing, but I also realize we have to allow for unexpected things that may come up. And they do.
  • I always try to book a hotel that offers free breakfast and free wi-fi.
  • When I can't get the free breakfast, I purchase easy to store breakfast foods such as oatmeal, cereal, milk, bread.
  • I make a list of our "must visit" attractions and cost them out, so I now how much we will be spending on those.
  • I pre-book certain attractions that offer better online rates or those that you have to wait hours in line for. (saving time also saves money)
  • I find free things to do as well.
  • I give my kids a spending limit.
  • I treat the planning phase of the trip like a job. I dedicate time and effort to it because I know it will pay off in the end.
Tapas in Malaga, Spain


We still spend way too much on our trips. I know I can cut down on our expenses even more. 

Marbella, Spain
I've become a sort of expert at booking affordable family travel. I advise my family and friends on the best deals. And I've even started planning some trips for them. So far, everyone has been happy with the results.











So this is how my family does it. I know some people have a bigger budget or a smaller one.

Whatever your budget it, you CAN travel. It may not be a 3 month trip around the world but there are so many amazing and affordable places to see on this big, beautiful Earth.

I welcome comments and tips on budget family travel. Happy World Adventures!


Rome

Friday, April 17, 2015

What am I doing in England?

Big Ben

As many of you know, my life changed drastically in 2013 when my oldest daughter decided to attend college in England.

Here's what happened. She was 17 at the time and had never travelled by herself, let alone lived in another country far from her family.

When she applied to and got accepted into a great Occupational Therapy program in England, it was an easy decision for her. She wanted the education and the experience of living abroad.


I couldn't deny her that opportunity, but it was hard to think of her a whole ocean away. We are a tight knit family and she and I have a strong bond; it was very hard to think about letting her go.

Well, what is a mother to do? I told my husband that I would be going to England with our oldest daughter and taking our youngest with me. I gave him two options: figure out a way to do your work from England and come with us, or stay here by yourself.

Of course, I didn't mean that. I would never leave him behind or split up. That was never an option. But I did want to push him into action.And push I did.

He worked it out with his company to work out of their London offices for a short predetermined period of time.

We got over our first hurdle. Now what. We are actually doing this. Panic strikes.

After realizing the magnitude of our decision and a few glasses of wine later, we had a plan.

We rented our house, sold almost all of our things, put the rest in storage and took off for England.

Traditional Double Decker Bus

We've been on a rollercoaster ride ever since. But I wouldn't change it for the world.

Our daughter is incredibly happy at University. Our youngest is homeschooled and we've been all over London exploring museums, parks, and everything in between.

My husband and I are enjoying this adventure which has had an unexpected benefit. We've grown stronger as a couple. Nothing can shake us and I feel blessed and proud of that.

So how long are we here for? Originally we planned on 3 years. Now, it's open ended. We will see where life takes us!

Thanks for sharing this space with us and following us on this adventure!

Platform 9 3/4

Christmas at the South Bank

Stone Henge

Thatched Roof House


Somerset House

Sunday, April 12, 2015

India Unit Study is here!!!

I am so happy to announce that I've completed the India Unit Study and it is available for purchase and download.

Purchase India Unit Study by clicking on the title.

The India Unit Study is a comprehensive lesson plan for the classroom or homeschool. 

It is based on a cross-curricular approach to learning, covering topics such as geography, math, language arts, science and foreign language to name a few. 

Included in the India Unit Study are: lots of information organized by topic, detailed teaching notes, lots of vibrant photos, games, and hands-on activities. 

Kids will immerse themselves in the Indian culture.  More than 100 pages of information!





Happy Homeschooling Adventures!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Sale on Country Unit Studies!!

Hey all,

Follow this link I LOVE A SALE! for some savings on unit studies.

The ones up so far are:

Italy

Russia

Brazil

Eastern Asia (which includes Japan, China, North and South Korea and Taiwan)

15% off on any of the unit studies.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Asia Unit Study!

It's finally here! As promised.....

I've just released my new unit study and dare I say it.... it's my best one yet!

Can you tell I'm excited to share this with you?

Asia Unit Study

It covers East Asia which comprises of China, Japan, North and South Korea, and Taiwan.

As with my other unit studies, this follows a cross curricular approach where there is an opportunity to cover all major subjects. What does that mean, you ask?


Well, with a cross-curricular unit study, your kids will learn about:
  • Geography
  • History
  • Math
  • Language Arts
  • Science
  • Foreign Language
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Grammar and Spelling
  • Writing
  • Art

..........all in one fun lesson.

The lesson can take as little as one week to complete or as long as you want. My unit studies are designed so that the parent has total control and lots of flexibility.

What's included:

Day by day instructions
Basic Facts about each country
Maps
Words to learn in each featured language
Foods
Culture
Sports
Money and currency
Cities and Landmarks
Famous Figures
Science and Nature
A Day in the Life
Tons of vibrant pictures
Activities, Activities and more Activities
Lots of hands-on projects too!

 
I tried it out with Buttercup and she absolutely loved it. I think her favorite project was making paper lanterns. She also enjoyed learning about China's rice fields, Mount Fuji in Japan, and origami.

As a parent, my favorite part of  studying Asia, was showing Buttercup a new culture and a different approach to life. It really opened up both of our minds.

You can get the Asia Unit Study here! With each purchase, you support our website and blog and it allows me to continue to work for you and create awesome content for your kiddies.
Thank You! 

And please come back and leave me comments. I love to hear from my readers.

Happy Homeschooling Adventures!





Sunday, July 20, 2014

Brazil Unit Study!


If you've been following this blog for some time, you know that I create almost of my lessons from scratch. The main reason is that I can never find exactly what I'm looking for on the internet, so I use it mostly for research.

With that in mind, I have a great unit study to share with you - Brazil!

I created an 8 week unit study that includes some basic facts about Brazil, maps, pages to color and more activities.

I did this unit study with Buttercup and she loved it.             BUY IT NOW!

We started by reading some basic facts about Brazil such as size, location, population, and language. We used a map to locate Brazil. I used this opportunity to include a little geography lesson.


Every day, I would review what we did the previous day and introduce the next topic.


We learned some words in Portuguese, we learned recipes that are easy to make and so yummy, and we even learned about some of their folklore.


This unit study was easy for me to create because I am Brazilian, so most of what I included in the lessons are things that I either learned as a kid or grew up doing.

The Brazil unit study is full of photographs with an easy to follow guide that allows for flexibility and encourages the child to go beyond what is in the packet. This unit study really will get students excited about learning about another culture and they will want to know more.

It is perfect for a classroom or for homeschool. The Brazil unit study covers most subject areas:

·        Geography

·        Social Studies

·        Reading

·        Writing

·        Math

·        Foreign Language



You can get this comprehensive unit study right here for a small fee. I hope that by charging a small fee for some of the lessons I offer will allow me to continue to offer other things for free, like my printables.


I welcome feedback on the study units, if you would like me to add something of interest to you, please let me know and I will do my best to include it in an upgraded version.

Brazil Unit Study

Thanks for your support!



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