Notebooking Pages- A Homeschooling Parent’s BFF

Being a stay-at-home mother for many means they do not add to their household financially, while other’s are entrepreneurs or work from home. No matter which category you fall into, you’re most likely the one viewing the bills, budgeting and making all the payments due on a daily or monthly basis. Regardless of how much your spouse makes, bills still have to be paid, diapers need to be bought, the refrigerator needs to be full and more.  Add being a homeschooling mother to that list, you find yourself trying to find and take advantage of every free and affordable curriculum, class, adventure, activity and more. Of course you want great quality out of that entire list.

As I stated in How To Get Started With Homeschooling, I chose to create my own curriculum by choosing what I wanted my daughter to study in each required subject. That was a huge step to take as a first time homeschooler, but it has been working out amazing thus far. There are many online resources that I use to provide a fun learning experience for my child, but there are also worksheets and pages that I absolutely LOVE that provide a little more structure and guidance. I discovered a little while back and find it SO helpful with our homeschooling day. It actually saves me time from scouring the web to find helpful worksheets or inspiration for certain subjects.

Guess what… IT’S FREE!

That is a major win for my family and I since I am extremely frugal and strict on our budget. If you want a more detailed and bigger experience, you are also given the opportunity to purchase a lifetime membership which is very affordable . At this time, I love having the free membership with the option of purchasing lessons that go along with our homeschooling set up.

One of my favorite notebooking pages is the Character Study Notebooking Pages. If you follow me on Instagram (@_queen.tiana) or Facebook (Queendom Wife and Mother), you’ll see videos of my daughter reciting her daily affirmations and explaining why she believes those things to be true about herself. We also practice scripture memorization through verbal and written application. I don’t believe in just saying the scripture, so we practice understanding what the scripture means. We then discuss how the scripture applies to our lives.

The Character Study pages provide you with several special-themed pages that your child(ren) will use to document what they have learned about specific character traits. The first few pages are typically used to write about the major points and ideas about the character trait or seed (as the creator calls it) that is being studied for the week. They are perfect for recording a definition of the trait, and then allows for your child to “determine which habits and attitudes need to be “uprooted” or “weeded out” in order to give room for the character “seed” to grow.” Afterwards your child comes up with a list of new habits that should replace those that were tossed.

The pages are so organized and easy to navigate. The creator actually provides headings on each of the pages. When you continue to make your way through them, you’ll find  a page where your child(ren) are given a space to write what God’s Word says about the character trait for that week, and an additional space that gives them the opportunity to write about all they have learned. While I make writing a major part of our day, I choose to talk about what my daughter has learned so that we can make it a healthy conversation, and discuss any questions or comments she may have.

What’s amazing is that you can use the sheets how you please. Not all believe in the same God, so if you choose to omit that portion it’s up to you. You have complete control over your child’s experience with this notebooking resource. An entire lesson for only $3. That amount of money is music to a homeschooling parent’s ears. You can also expect to get several helpful tips and tutorials on how to properly execute the lessons with every notebooking set.

I could easily say that was created by a mom for moms, but that wouldn’t be true. This resource is for everyone. It was created with homeschooling parents in mind, but parents with children in school can add this to their weekend, holiday break(s) and Summer studies.  There are so many options to choose from ranging from nature study, science, geography and more.

If you’re looking for free or affordable worksheets/notebooking pages, check it out for yourself. It has allowed me to remove useless busy work from both my daughter and I’s days. And if you’re anything like me and need to watch or read a step-by-step plan on how to teach certain lessons, I strongly encourage you to give it a try. Use the following link, if you’d like to get a feel of the entire site and search other subjects. If you’d like to be more specific and try the Character Study package for only $3, then use the following link Character Study Notebooking Set.

Treat Him Like A King

Lately I’ve been seeing posts on Instagram and Facebook where a woman will make a statement, and then say something like “treat your man like a king.” For example, a woman posted a picture of her partner’s clothes, shoes, accessories, lunch, and everything else he would need for the day laid out for him with the following caption: “When you get your Man [man] ready for work while he sleep [he’s sleeping] [be]cause  he have [has] to be there at 4am [.] Lunch packed, clothes ready, ran him a hot bath before bed, and when he gets home [sexual innuendo], nothing but King treatment when you [you’re] a hard-working man. I also saw another post where a women said  “If my man pays for lunch, I’ll pay for dinner. If he pays for movie tickets, I got the snacks. If he gets the bill I’ll get the next. 50/50 is where it’s at stop expecting to be treated like a queen if you’re not treating him like a king.”

I saw mixed views in the comment section of each post, but majority were “I’m not doing all that for no grown man.” I also saw responses like “I know my man wouldn’t do that for me, so I’m not doing all of that for him.” I made no judgement against anyone and their response because we are all entitled to our own opinions; however I was appalled at some of the responses I read. Here’s my thoughts:

First, let’s separate the two posts and break them down individually. I believe that going 50/50 in a relationship is for those who are girlfriend and boyfriend only. In that type of relationship, majority of your finances are separate, you have your own car, and if you believe in cohabitation before marriage, both names are on the lease so you feel obligated to split the payments for rent and utilities. When it comes to marriage, there is no 50/50. My money is your money, and your money is my money. So whoever decides to pull their card out first to pay isn’t doing the other a favor or saying “I got this baby.” You’re basically saying “we can use my card this time.” When you’re married, all your money should go into the same accounts. If you have the bills automatically drafted then there is no “I’ll take care of the electricity this month,” or “You didn’t put up your half for the rent/mortgage.” I’ll be honest and admit that my husband and I operated in this manner before we actually said “I do.” That mindset started before marriage because we already had our first daughter so we saw no point in going 50/50 when we were in a healthy relationship with one another. It makes me wonder… People who are in relationships and are cohabitants… do they go 50/50 on the child(ren) also? For example, one takes care of the pampers, wipes and milk while the other takes care of daycare and clothes? I’m not sure, but that mindset made no sense to my husband (fiancé’ at the time) and I.

I know a lot of married women and men dislike the idea of shared bank accounts because they still want the ability to do what they want without someone checking on them, or having to discuss a purchase. Well that’s where communication comes in. You have to put it all out there. Go over your budget to see what you have to pay for and how much it costs; what’s left over and how much you will allot for yourselves in order to treat yourselves. Separate bank accounts screams secrecy and “my money!” so loud to me and those are both negative elements that can lead to negative outcomes in one’s marriage. Why? Because finances are one of the leading causes of divorce in married couples. Why? Because married individuals are lying about their debt, their spending habits and create a war zone within their union. If you’re boyfriend and girlfriend, by all means keep it separate and 50/50. Why? Because when you sign that lease with one another and a break-up happens, you both have to come up with the money to break the lease. Or will you live with one another in suffrage until the lease is up? Everyone’s definition of Queen and King treatment is different, but going 50/50 on lunch, a movie date and dinner is not treating your partner like a Queen or King. I see that as simply seeing your partner as an equal and not expecting him/her to pay for everything while you spend your money freely on yourself. It’s an act of generosity and empathy.

Now when it comes to taking care of all your significant other’s needs in preparation for work the next day, I’m all for it. I don’t think one should expect that treatment from their partner, but I also don’t think that a woman should feel like she is taking care of an additional child while doing it. I’m a mother so I know that struggle of “I’ve been working, taking care of the kids and this house, I’m not about to be your maid.” Many of us feel like our husbands only go to work and that’s it. They come home take their clothes off, sit on the toilet for an hour or two, play with the kids for a little, eat and watch TV. Meanwhile, we’re washing the same load of clothes for the 3rd time because we keep forgetting to put them in the dryer, stopping one child from knocking their entire plate onto the carpet, all while trying to hold onto our edges. After all of that, who feels like getting their husbands belongings together like it’s their first day of school?

I strongly believe this act takes for one to know their spouse’s love language and their individual love language as well. This action sounds like an act of service to me. Maybe that wife appreciates her husband going out and working 12 hours in the sun and wants to see him relax. Maybe her husband responds to her in a positive way when he sees how much she’s done around the house and still managed to take care of him. I saw some women say that they begrudgingly lay everything out for their husbands so that they won’t wake them up and bother them when they can’t find something. Sounds about right.

I also see laying everything out as an additional way of being a keeper of one’s home. Just making sure that everything and everyone is ready for the next work and school day. It makes for a smooth transition in the morning and a stronger possibly of an on-time arrival. My husband typically likes to choose his own clothes and likes to put his wallet and keys in the same place each day (or he’ll forget) so I don’t have to worry about doing those things. Nevertheless, if he needed me to do it, I surely would. My husband works 14-hour days, and as a black man walks out our home into a world where there is a target on his back, and the weight of providing for his family weighs heavy on his shoulders. While he’s home with us, I want to make sure that I make his time as easy-going as possible, and do what allows for him to spend every free minute he has with the children. I know that if I don’t give him something for breakfast or provide some snacks, he may not eat until dinner. I refuse to let my husband wither away. I do it out of love. The Bible calls it agape love. When you do something out of pure love and don’t expect anything back.

As far as King status goes, he’s definitely my King on earth. In a world that views him as a threat, I see him as royalty so I will most definitely treat him like a King. I also believe myself to be a Queen; therefore I am married to my King. Treating him like a King doesn’t mean I become his servant, but I do acts of service. Jesus Himself served his disciples. I don’t view the act of taking care of my husband as taking away from me. It doesn’t mean that I ignore what the world thinks of me as a black women. It doesn’t mean that I beat myself to a pulp trying to care for our children and him. It’s all about perception. But I’m also married to a man where those things are not options. He reciprocates that agape love the best way he knows how and treats me like the ultimate Queen.

I’m grateful.