Falling into fitness

Well, fall is slowly arriving this year here in Alaska. The leaves are turning and nights are getting chilly. I’ve even had to burn a fire in the wood stove a few mornings. So while many animals in the north are desperately trying to put on as much fat as possible before winter, I am trying to get rid of my extra fat.

A month ago I started Turbo Fire. I completed the first week before my life got crazy complicated morning to night. Things are calming down, but I’m not sure I want to commit to it again right now. I think I will do this routine I found on YouTube for a few weeks instead. If I’m short of time, I can do this brief, but intense routine. If I stick to that, then I will start Turbo Fire again.

I have 2 weeks until my husband comes home. I know crash diets don’t work so I’m not even going to try that. I will eat very healthy with lots of fresh fruits, veggies, lean protein, and whole grains following the principles of eating clean.  We splurged a lot over the weekend, but that’s enough! It would be great if I could lose at least 5 pounds by then.

How to start homeschooling

The start of the new school year is just ahead for most of us here in the US. I’ve been on Yahoo!Answers this week about homeschooling. Several people have asked how to homeschool, or how to get started homeschooling, so I thought I’d post this brief explanation about different homeschooling options and resources for getting started.

First research the homeschoolilng laws for your state and be sure you comply with them. Each state is different. A great resource is HSLDA http://www.hslda.org/ There may be requirements about record keeping, reporting, the minimum amount of time spent on schooling (either annual or daily which I think is ridiculous), and the type of things taught in each grade for core subjects.

There are many different varieties of homeschool and homeschooling programs, so you need to decide what will work for you. They can range from online, public school correspondence program, umbrella program, or totally independent. Prices range from free to thousands of dollars, but most spend a few hundred per child.

Some curriculum providers offer full programs with all subjects in a kit. A lot of these companies also offer record keeping service for an additional fee. (this may be referred to as an umbrella program or correspondence study instead of homeschool by some purists, but don’t worry about that) Examples of these companies include Christian Light Education, Sonlight, Abeka, Bob Jones, and Calvert. A lot of new homeschoolers will use one of these programs their first year as they get used to homeschooling and figure out their teaching and learning styles.

My friend has had good luck with Sonlight and continues to use the full program. Abeka and Calvert are closest to traditional school curriculum so don’t always work well for homeschool. I didn’t like Abeka because it was too scripted and bored my kids literally to tears.

There are also companies that specialize in just a single subject such as math, reading, or science. Most of the companies mentioned above also allow you to order just individual subjects rather than the full package, but you can’t be part of their record keeping program if you do. (Calvert is an exception. You must do the full package only with them.) This allows you to pick and choose among companies to custom design a program to fit your needs, interests, and budget. That is what I do. Rainbow Resource is a terrific homeschool supply store for getting books, workbooks, kits, and other materials.

Then there are unit studies you design yourself. This can be a lot of work and is more likely to lead to gaps in your child’s education. However, it has been successful for families too.


Up for a challenge?

Today begins day 1 of my 30-day fitness challenge. This means I am going to do all the Turbo Fire workouts as scheduled (unless I decide to do the 5-day Inferno quick start) and eat clean every day. I’m hoping to lose 10-15 pounds in the process. My husband is gone on a business trip this month so it would be nice surprise to get in shape when he gets back.

I’m hoping to have others join me. It’s easy. Just pick your favorite workout program and eat healthy for the next month. Each week you must exercise at least 4 times and have no more than 1 sweet treat. Leave me a comment on this post telling me you’re in and what program you will use. If you are brave, you can tell me your starting weight. (I’m at 172) Otherwise just your how much you hope to lose or other goal. Drink lots of water. NO FAD DIETS. I’ll post weekly fitness updates where you can let me know how you are doing too.

Today we went grocery shopping for healthy stuff. I don’t have a lot of money so it’s not perfect. Breakfast was oatmeal with pineapple chunks. It’s not that bad a combination. It gave it a tropical twist. Lunch was turkey sandwich on multi-grain bread with a little cheese, hummus (instead of mayo), and spinach.  My son wanted ravioli so we had that for dinner tonight. He spent his allowance on a box of them as a treat for the family. I made a spinach salad to go with it.

After dinner, I did Fire30 workout. The kids joined in as much as they could. It was fun. Tomorrow is either HIIT 15 or Fire 55EZ if I start the Inferno. I’ll just see how much time I have.

Planning, planning

I was browsing curriculum sites trying to decide where to go for middle school. Hard to believe that he is in 5th grade already. Anyway, that leaves more advanced and diverse studies for middle school.

So I think for 6th grade we will do the Sonlight Science F which covers health, medicine, and human anatomy. We covered a bit of this in 3rd grade but will go into more detail.

Karen is following Richard’s studies except for science. She isn’t as gifted at it as he is. However, she is studying the same subjects, just not in the same depth.

I would like to find a good middle school level government/civics program as well as electives suitable for 6-8 grade. Any ideas?