Recent Posts

The Genius Bloggers Toolkit 2017 is here!

The Genius Bloggers Toolkit 2017 is here!

Yes friends, you read that right, the Genius Bloggers Toolkit is back and it is better than ever! Check out the awesome little video below. This post contains affiliate links. So so many amazing resources for anyone who is a blogger or is thinking of […]

October Blog Ahead Challenge ~ 2017

October Blog Ahead Challenge ~ 2017

Hi there lovelies! As you may have noticed, September was a little crazy around here hence the supreme lack of posts. Since November, December and January tend to be much the same, I decided to challenge myself and do a Blog ahead challenge. Anna from […]

Easy Rustic Ranchero Potatoes

Easy Rustic Ranchero Potatoes

Does your family eat a lot of potatoes? Are you tired of the usual mashed and baked and scalloped and are looking for something a little different, maybe something with a little pizzaz, a little oomf? My family eats a lot of potato dishes partly, because they are so economical and partly because some of my kids aren’t fans of rice so usually we have something potato or something noodle. Anyways, I have a delicious and easy potato dish to share with you, these Rustic Ranchero Potatos. You can either add the cheese or leave it off, either way it is yummy!

Rustic Ranchero Potatoes

Ingredients:

4 potatoes, cooked and sliced
¼ C. margarine
2 Tbsp. flour
1 C. milk
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
½ C. onions, diced fine
¼ C. barbecue sauce
1 C. cheese, grated (optional)

Directions:

Layer half of potatoes in an 8 inch casserole dish. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and add milk gradually. Stir constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in salt, pepper, onions, and barbecue sauce. Stir in cheese until melted. Pour half of sauce over potatoes and repeat the layers. Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 25 minutes. Add cheese and put back in the oven for 5 minutes until cheese is melted. Take out of the oven and let cool a bit before serving.

Make sure you pin the image below so you can remember these yummy, easy rustic ranchero potatoes.

 

Yummy cheezie rustic ranchero potatoes

Self-Help Tips for Overworked Moms

Self-Help Tips for Overworked Moms

Moms are notorious for spending all of their energy and attention on the care of others. Add a full or part time job into the equation and it’s easy to get completely exhausted. Yet when you neglect yourself, you’re unable to give your all to […]

Currently: September edition

Currently: September edition

Hello lovelies, Today I am trying something a little new and I hope you enjoy it as much as I think I will. I have seen these types of posts around the blogosphere lately and have been wanting to try this format myself. I am […]

How to Help Your Child Overcome Fears about School and Tips on helping them make friends

How to Help Your Child Overcome Fears about School and Tips on helping them make friends

Many homesteaders either choose to homeschool or live so far off the grid that homeschooling is their only option. I myself believe homeschooling is a wonderful thing. Many people assume that when you consider yourself a homesteader, and you have kids, then that means you must homeschool.

Related: 10 Myths and Misconceptions about Homesteading

For our family though, we decided to send our kids to a traditional school and have done since our eldest was 5. We are lucky in that we have a wonderful, caring, small community elementary school that our kids have all attended and loved. But unfortunately, when they grow out of that elementary school they have to bus to town and attend the Junior High and then High schools in our small town. Transitions and changes are scary and whether your child is starting kindergarten or transitioning to a high school, it can be a challenge sometimes to overcome those fears. Here are ten ways to help your child overcome his or her fears about school.

One of the best ways to help with those fears is to make a friend or two so I have included below some tips on how to help kids make friends at school.

How to Help Your Child Overcome Fears about School

1. It’s important to know that fears about school are very common. So don’t dismiss your child’s fears. Let him (or her) know that many experience similar fears. However, it’s important to talk about it to make sure there’s not something more going on – like maybe a bully or some sort of abuse. This is rare, but that’s why it’s important to not be dismissive of your child’s fears and be open to communication.

2. Make sure your child is taking care of the basics. Eating and sleeping are still important.

3. Help your child problem solve and come up with a plan to deal with these fears. Ask him, “What’s the worst case scenario of your fear?” Then ask, “And what can you do if that does happen?”

4. Role play with your child. If your child is fearful because of a bully, then try a little role play to help him come up with ways to deal with the bully.

5. Shift your child’s focus. Help your child see the good in things. Find something about school that your child enjoys and have him focus on that.

6. Make sure you’re not adding to your child’s anxiety. Sometimes our own fears about things can rub off onto our children. You need to make sure you aren’t expressing your own fears with your child. And if you are, then take some time to talk about it together. But make more of an effort to not put your fears on your child.

7. Create a routine. Many times a child’s fears revolve around just not knowing. So create a schedule so your child knows what to expect. It will help transition into the school routine.

8. Go to the school with your child. If it’s nervousness about the school and where classes are, then help them by going to school a few days before to walk around and figure out where classes are located or see the classroom. Take the unknown away and then there’s nothing to fear.

9. Talk to the teacher about your child’s fears and anxieties. Let them know so they can keep an eye on things and help address things, especially if you’re dealing with a bully situation.

10. Don’t pull your child out of school just because of fears. There are many things in life that will cause fear and we have to handle them. So you need to give your child the tools needed to handle these fears.

Communication is going to be key in making sure your child is comfortable with school. It might take a few days for your child to overcome these fears, so be patient and continue talking to your child and his teacher.

Helping Your Child Make Friends at School

While academics is the most important reason a child goes to school, friendships are important too. And since they’ll have to deal with other people all their life, learning how to make friends at a young age is important.

Whether children are shy or outgoing, they all are going to need help making friends. A child’s social life is very important to him/her. So to make sure they make good friends that will last a lifetime, you will want to give them tips on how to make friends at school.

Seven Ways to Help Your Child Make Friends at School

1. Be a role model for how to treat friends

Show your child that good friendships aren’t about being bossy, but it’s about give and take and compromise. It’s important that children practice taking turns and even losing graciously. So at home spend time playing board games and not always letting your child win.

Empathy is an important social skill which can be taught by example as well. Bringing food to a sick neighbor or visiting an elderly person and bringing your child along to these things will show him or her how to be empathetic towards others.

2. Know your child’s personality

If your child is shy, then you probably can’t expect him to be the leader of the group. But that doesn’t mean he’s unable to make friends. You can help bridge the gap by having playdates in your home for your child. Some kids do well with one or two really close friends while others like large groups. Knowing what your child does best with and not imposing your own preferences on your child is going to be key in making them successful in making friends.

3. Be the house all the kids want to go to

This isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Just always be open to having kids in your home. You don’t need to provide copious amounts of things to do per se, but just be welcoming of kids in your home and encourage your child to invite friends over.

4. Help your child work through friendship drama

Even the best of friends are not always going to see eye to eye on things. And that’s okay. It’s important that you help your child to see where his friend might be coming from and how to navigate problems effectively.

5. Don’t choose your child’s friends

Let your child pick his friends. Letting your child be friends with children who have different views from you is a great way for him to spread his wings. Whether it’s a different religion or the family has different political beliefs, that’s okay. It is important that your child experience different things and make choices for himself.

If a friendship ever becomes a safety concern, then you should step in, but different points of views and beliefs is not a reason for your child to not be friends with someone.

6. Talk to your child about bullying

Saying nothing is part of the problem and it’s important that your child knows he can come to you if he sees another child being bullied – and especially if he’s the one experiencing the bullying. You can speak to the child’s parents or the school administration if you need to, and work together to resolve these problems.

7. It’s okay to not be a part of the in crowd

You want your child to be himself and not push to be a part of a certain group of friends. Popularity is all relative and it’s not always measured by the number of friends you have. Quality over quantity is a good way to look at things.

For the most part you need to let your child make his own choices when it comes to friendships, but you can give him the tools he needs to be a good friend. And just talking to your child, knowing who his friends are and knowing his friends’ parents will make things a lot easier for everyone involved.

I hope you have enjoyed these back to school tips and make sure you pin this image to keep these in mind all throughout the year.

How to help your kids overcome fears about school and tips for making friends

How to Make the First Day of School Easy

How to Make the First Day of School Easy

The first day of school can be a scary thing. New teacher, new classmates, and new things to learn. And if it’s a completely brand new school, too, it’s that much more nerve-racking. You don’t know your way around or know anyone. It’s enough to […]

Introducing Lovino – the new(ish) kitty on our homestead.

Introducing Lovino – the new(ish) kitty on our homestead.

If you’ve been around here very long, you may be wondering, “is this a cat homestead?” Honestly, sometimes I wonder that myself! Just last week I told you about our cat Izzy having kittens and now I’m sharing another “new” cat? Here, let me explain a […]

Fun things to do while camping and what to do if it rains

Fun things to do while camping and what to do if it rains

Things to Do While Camping

If you think that camping is just sitting around the campfire and eating hot dogs and roasting marshmallow…well, those are some of the best things, but certainly not all there is to camping.

This post contains affiliate links. See full disclosure below.

There are so many fun things to do for young adults, couples, and families that you will not be at a loss when camping. As I mentioned in my post Camping: The Great Outdoors and the Basics, our family loves to camp during the summer and we do several of these activities, every trip.

If you are near a lake this camping trip, you have to at least try to catch a fish, don't you?

Fishing

If you have never gone fishing before, here is your chance to do it and do it up big. Fishing in your hometown is probably nothing compared to fishing in some of the greatest camping lakes around.

Once you have experienced hooking your first fish, you will be hooked forever.

Don't the stars seem bigger and more abundant when you are camping?

Stargazing

Before you go stargazing, get a book or two on the subject or do some research online. Get to know what you want to look for and then begin your search. You will be absolutely amazed at what you will discover in searching for different things in the galaxy. It can be absolutely habit forming.

Learn a new skill? Search for clues? More Camping fun

Old-Fashioned Scavenger Hunts or Geocaching

An old-fashioned scavenger hunt while camping is one of the most fun things you can do with your family. You can even have an adult scavenger hunt if you are really creative. Or maybe even try Geocaching! (Geocaching is is an outdoor recreational activity, in which participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” or “caches”, at specific locations marked by coordinates all over the world.) You can find out more about geocaching on this website.

So many gorgeous hiking trails to enjoy when camping.

Hiking

Hiking while out camping is a great way to break up the day. You can also collect things along the way and look at all the different species of plants and even rocks.

Biking is a fun camping sport.

Biking

There is nothing better than an early morning bike ride to get your appetite up and your circulation going.

Kids especially love swimming and water play when camping, plus it is nice to cool down on a hot sunny summer day.

Swimming

Chances are that your campsite has a pond or lake for swimming. There is nothing as refreshing as a swim in a lake surrounded by mountains, hills, and valleys.

Why not enjoy a romantic picnic next time you go camping?

Picnicking

If you are getting weary about eating around the campfire or too much barbeque food, then a picnic with fresh sandwiches is the best way to go. A picnic can offer a form of pleasure and relaxation all rolled into one. A picnic provides an opportunity to take a break from the more rugged camping style and allows you to sit back and enjoy a beautiful meadow while lying on your back staring up at the sky.

Whether paddling a canoe or kayak or buzzing around with a power boat, if you are near a body of water, boating is an excellent activity to do while camping.

Boating or Kayaking

Boating or kayaking are great ways to get out and see the path down the river while camping. It will take you away from all the dirt roads and muddy pathways and down a crystal-clear sparkling lake or river on your own adventure.

If you (or a friend) happen to have a motor boat there is certainly a plethora of water activities to enjoy such as water-skiing, wake-boarding, tubing, wake-surfing etc. My very first time water-skiing I tried it during a camping trip!

These are only a handful of things that you can do while camping. Again, these things are appropriate for couples, singles, families, and children of all ages.

 

What to Do When It Rains While Camping

Just as you need to plan like crazy while camping, you need to plan just as much for the unthinkable – rain. There are many things that you can do impromptu if it rains, but it is also an excellent idea to be prepared for a rainy night or day in advance.

Everyone gets a vote on what to do on your camping adventure.

Take a Vote

Each family member should have a say about what he or she might like to do if it rains while out camping. Some of your family members may still like to participate in a boat ride or fishing if it is just drizzling a bit, while others may prefer the safety and warmth of the tent.

It is important to discuss this beforehand and let each family member know that he or she is responsible for bringing along something to keep them occupied if it does rain. Depending on the campsite, wireless internet and phone signals may not be a possibility.

Cards are a must bring activity when you go camping.

Games of All Kinds

There are so many games to play and it’s worth bringing some along just in case. Board games are always popular and everyone can bring one along or agree on just one or two.

Some of our favorite board games to bring camping include:

  • Yahtzee (not really a boardgame I guess, but still fun and simple to pack)
  • Pictionary (my mom always brought this one along, lots and lots of laughs)
  • Telestrations (thia is a newer one but it always guarantees some laughs)

Cards are always fun to play for both kids and adults alike. There are so many old-fashioned card games that you will never be at a loss to find one that suits everyone’s tastes, and you will have loads of fun trying. I have so many memories of camping when I was a kid that include cards and learning different card games. I always felt especially lucky when I got to play with the adults! This year we got to pass along that little bit of joy to our own kids.

Bingo is fun and always has been. And then there are the various word games such as naming a state/province and then the next person has to name a state/province with the last letter of the previous state mentioned.

Calling out names of people that start with each letter of the alphabet is always fun as well. You can even make up your own games.

Reading a book is essential for enjoying camping whether rain or shine!

Good Old-fashioned Reading

You can have a family meeting and discuss the things you can do during rainy days or nights. Reading is a great option. Have everyone go to the library and pick out a book. Yes, a real book with pages and everything! Have them spend some time reading at night by lantern or by day in their tent if it is raining. For myself, I bring a few books to read whether it is raining or not! (We also bring a hammock which is lovely to lay in and read during a hot afternoon if we are lucky enough to get a spot with two perfect trees).

Crossword puzzles, sudoku, word searches, and coloring are great ways to pass the time, as well.

A supreme lounging tent for camping.

Last but not Least

If you have prepared properly, you will have a separate tent for eating under, with a zippered lining that closes. This protects food from animals and bugs, but also offers you a place to sit and eat.

There may be nothing better than to sit around and eat and talk in order to pass the time while waiting for the rain to stop.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips on what to do while camping and what do when it rains. If you have any suggestions to add to the list, be sure to share them in the comments!

Here are a bunch of fun ideas of what to do your next camping trip. Whether it is raining or the sun is shining.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on them, my blog may get compensated, but at no extra cost to you. I promise that we are only affiliated with programs and products which we have personally tried and tested and believe to be great.  Thanks for supporting our homestead dreams!

 

Being Prepared for Emergencies Part 2

Being Prepared for Emergencies Part 2

Are you worried about being evacuated? Are you wondering if you have the right things in order if you had to leave your home or homestead on a moments notice? I live in the province of British Columbia, which is currently in a provincial state […]