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There are days that seem like they just need to end, even though they've just begun. Children cry, siblings fight, the jeans that fit last week are tight again, you forget that you need gas in the truck before you start errands, the dog chews something he isn't supposed to... They are filled with little challenges but a bunch of little challenges add up to a hard day.

There are days that seem hopeless. Big challenges. Custody battles, infertility, financial woes, health concerns, relational difficulties. Just one of these can make for a string of very hard days.

But then there are days when the goodness of God is so real, so present. It seems like you could reach out and touch it. Surrounding you, making everything easier, joyful, calm, good.

It doesn't mean there won't be challenges again. It doesn't mean that there won't be little bumps even while you're living in that tangible goodness.
But to me, it reminds me that God cares more for me than I can ever understand. Not just about my salvation or my work, but about me as a person, His child, His creation. He blesses us, even when we feel like we've failed miserably.

I've been blessed with more than I can comprehend.

My hubby is building me a house, in the most perfect spot tucked back in the woods. For this housewife that loves the way the air smells when you stand surrounded by trees, it doesn't get much better than that.


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Khan Academy

{Check out the UPDATED tutorial on using Khan Academy!!}

I'm not a math person. It just never clicked for me. So many homeschool moms have shared similar thoughts as well as their worries over how they'll teach their children upper levels of math. Finding tutors is always an option as are the more expensive computer-based curriculum. But what if those expensive curriculum are out of reach for you or you don't know anyone who can tutor?

Enter Khan Academy.

Khan Academy is a completely free resource that began with Sal - the original genius behind Khan Academy - wanting to provide a better education for relatives overseas. What began as some math videos shared with family members has become an extensive virtual library of over 4,000 videos on topics ranging from basic math to trigonometry to American Civics. They've been featured on The Today Show and have thousands of Twitter followers.  Khan Academy is being used in schools around the world.

So how does this work for …

Khan Academy - UPDATED

{UPDATE #2 -- Khan Academy now gives each person the option of choosing a grade level, from early math - which covers K-2 - to high school. You have to log in under your student's account to change their grade level. But it definitely guides their exercises in a very clear way! We really enjoy it. Let me know what you think!}

One of my most popular posts has been this little tutorial on using Khan Academy for homeschool.  Soon after I posted, Khan Academy completely revamped their Learning Dashboard.  It is even easier now for homeschool families to use Khan Academy for their students.

Here's how to get started, if you haven't yet.  And you should! Because it's amazingly easy and totally free.

First step. Sign in. Always sign in as a teacher, so you have access to all the 'coach resources' as they're called. It will also give you more ways to track what your students are doing and what skills they need to keep practicing.

Once you're signed in, what you…

map tablecloth

Reposting a popular homeschool idea...

One issue homeschoolers run into at times is where to keep maps. Many programs really require access to a world and US map. Some homeschoolers are blessed with enough space to have a dedicated homeschool room. For those of us that do school at the dining room table, the living room couch or where ever we land - where do we display a map?

My oldest daughter suggested gluing a map to the underside of a clear tablecloth. Sounded like a good idea to me! Turns out it was the easiest project ever. We now have a sturdy plastic tablecloth to protect the table as well as easy access to a world map as well as a US map.

I purchased a large clear table protector, a World & US wall map set and clear Elmer's glue.

First step, spread the whole plastic cloth out and line up the maps up the way you want them. Our table is large enough that we could have both maps shown at once.

Glue like crazy on the map side, then carefully flip it over so the map side…