Chaotic Bliss is MOVING!

we're moving

I’m sorry its been so quiet this week here. Due to the success of my blog so far, and because I’m having a blast with it already, I’ve decided to take it to the next step and try to turn this fun little hobby into a more professional business venture! It’ll still be the same great blog, but it will have a more professional look and feel to it. I’m so excited! So please, head on over to my¬†new home –, bookmark it, and make sure you sign up to receive new posts in your inbox!

See you on the flip side!ūüėČ

Thinking About Homeschooling? Here’s How to Get Started

how to start homeschooling

Have you been thinking about homeschooling, but you’re not quite sure where to start? It all seems so overwhelming and like something only those “pinterest moms” can pull off. Right? WRONG! Anyone, and I mean ANYONE can homeschool if they really want to! ¬†Homeschooling can be really overwhelming if you dive in head first without doing your research, but even doing the research itself can be extremely overwhelming. Where do you start? Where do you look? What are you looking for? Just thinking about that alone is enough to send some mom’s running for the next school bus! I put together a list of things you can do to help you get started.*

* Remember, this is just my own personal advice. Every homeschool mom will have a different way of going about this. Homeschooling is different for every family. No two families are the same!! 

Step 1: Research Your State’s Homeschool Laws

This should be the very first thing you research. I seriously can’t stress this enough. My method may work GREAT for families living in Missouri [since that’s where I live] but probably not for families in New Jersey, or any other state for that matter. Every state has different laws and if you’re not aware of what’s required for your own state, you could get yourself in a lot of legal trouble! Researching¬†will also be a deciding factor in helping you decide if homeschooling will fit your lifestyle. Some states have very strict laws, and others have very laid back, or no homeschooling laws at all! Once you know the law, you will have a better idea if you’re truly ready to embrace the world of homeschooling. Click here to find out what your state’s law’s for homeschooling are!

Step 2: Get Your Significant Other On Board

This is another biggie. If you’re trying to homeschool and your child’s other parent is not down with it, then you’re going to have quite the battle on your hands. Nothing makes a homeschooling battle harder than having your partner in crime (or ex partner in crime) against it. In some cases, this too can cause legal strife if you’re not careful. This one is a MUST. I would put this as the first step, but knowing the law may help you when convincing your significant other who may be hesitant. Showing them you’ve done your research will help them know¬†you are serious about it.

Step 3:¬†Find Other Homeschooler’s In Your Area

As a new homeschooler you are going to need an army of supporters surrounding you! I can’t imagine homeschooling and not being part of the local homeschool groups I’m currently part of. Online support groups are also amazing if you can’t find groups close to you. I am a member of many groups myself, several online, and one or two locally. These support groups have given me “mom’s night out” opportunities (because what stay at home mom doesn’t need more adult time?) and have also helped me better understand the local law, learn about new curriculums, and we bounce ideas off of each other. You can find the homeschool groups in your area by searching for local facebook groups, or check out this list on that’s been divided up by state.

Step 4: Determine the Way Your Children Learn

This is important because if you don’t pay attention to how your children learn, then teaching them in a way that will help them¬†retain the information can be difficult. This is also probably the easiest step because as parents we already know what’s best for our child. It’s completely natural! Trust your gut instincts as a parent! If you aren’t sure you’re ready to trust your gut instinct, this article by HSLDA may help.

Step 5: Begin Looking into Curriculum

Now, by looking into curriculum I don’t mean you have to run out and find the most expensive one that’s accredited. It’s NOT necessary! I talked more about this¬†in my post about my curriculum choices for this school year. Homeschool moms love to talk about curriculum, so if you ask another homeschooler what they’re using – you’ll get plenty of information and opinions! Also know, there is a TON out there. Don’t let it overwhelm you. Just jump in somewhere and go at your own pace. If you pick a curriculum and it ends up not working out – then switch it up! Also, don’t waste your time on curriculum that you know deep down may not work for your child. Sometimes people get wrapped up in feeling like they have to use¬†what everyone else is using. It’s the whole “if everyone else is using it, it must be what I should be using” mentality that can kill a desire to homeschool. You have to choose a curriculum that will work with your individual child’s learning style. This I know from experience! Once I tried a well known math program that everyone around me raved about. After trying the curriculum myself, I noticed my daughter actually regressing rather than getting better at math. So again, just because a curriculum works for everyone else does NOT mean it will definitely work for you, and that’s okay!

Once you’ve done your research on the law and your children’s learning abilities, all parents of the children are on board, and curriculum choices have been made, you’re ready to get started! Honestly, if you do these 5 steps, you would have done more than I did before I got started! That being said, if I can pull this off then truly anyone can. Keep in mind that no homeschool mom ever feels like they’ve got it all figured out. We’re all just figuring it out as we go, so don’t feel like you’re failing¬†if your plan keeps changing. Always trust your gut, and remember why you’ve made this decision to begin with!

Do you think I missed an important step? Please comment below and let me know!

I’ve Been Featured! Plus, Changes Coming Soon!

quick update

Today I was supposed to share our FUN FRIDAY, but, we’re having WAY too much fun, because two of my sister’s (in-law) and my new baby nephew are here visiting us from out of state! This is my first time meeting my nephew, and I haven’t seen my sisters in 3 years, so I’m beyond happy that they are here! I plan on spending my time away from the computer while they are here, so next week we will fill you in on the fun adventures we are going to have! In the mean time I wanted to stop in really quick and let you know what’s going on with the blog as of now.

First and foremost, I’ve been featured for the first time!! I’m so excited! My friend Rebecca over at¬†Hip Homeschooling featured my Bedtime Routine post over on her blog! If you aren’t following her blog and facebook page then you are totally missing out! Hurry and go check her out, and make sure you let her know that I sent you! Also, thanks again for the feature Rebecca! I’m so blessed to have met you this year!

Hip Homeschooling

In other news, my blog seems to be successful¬†so far! I’ve had numerous friends that¬†I know offline¬†tell me that they love reading my posts and that I should keep it up. I’m so glad to know that people out there are enjoying my blog! When I started this I was originally planning¬†to start out slow and just see where it went. It’s still brand new, not even a month old yet, but since it seems to be pretty successful so far I’ve decided to build it up a little more! So in the next couple of weeks you may see a few changes here and there¬†so if its looking a little strange, that’s why! I can’t wait to see where this blog brings me. I hope the¬†experiences I share here continue to help others who are thinking about homeschooling, struggling with their decision to¬†homeschool, or might have a negative view towards homeschooling.

Thank you all for reading and for all of your wonderful comments and support so far. It’s nice to know I’m not just talking to myself over here!


My Morning Routine and Daily Schedule

The other day I talked about my bedtime routine and how it has helped me stay more sane and productive during our school day (or even non-school days honestly). Today I wanted to share all about my daily schedule so you can kind of see how we make things work around here.

Wake Up

I HAVE to wake up before my kids. Even if only 5 minutes before them. That time of peace and quiet is pure bliss. I try to wake up around 8 am so that I can have at least 30 mins to an hour before I have to deal with any other human in the morning.


Since I program my coffee machine the night before, my coffee is ready to go by 8am when I wake up. I even set my coffee cup next to the machine so I don’t have to bother with opening a cabinet. So before I do ANYTHING in the morning, I get some coffee in my system, otherwise the rest of the day just isn’t going to happen!

Check Email/Facebook

Hi, my name is Jenn and I’m a facebook addict. (*HI JENN!*) … okay… now I feel better. Yep, I have to check¬†facebook¬†and email first thing when I wake up and I’m enjoying my coffee. I never said I was proud of this but admitting you have a problem is the first step, right?

Dinner Prep

I’m a huge fan of my crock pot (slow-cooker, whatever you call it), especially during the week. It’s saved us from having to do emergency fast food dinners so many times I’ve lost count. Let’s face it, some days its just too busy around here to cook anything! So I try to use the crock pot as much as possible. Once I’m awake and before the kids have had the chance to take over the kitchen – I get dinner going. If I’m not using the crock pot that day, then I’ll¬†pull down whatever meat needs to be thawed for the day.

Wake up and Feed the Kids

Okay really, its more like the kids have been awake for at least the past 30 mins but I don’t let them come out and start acting crazy til 9. Because before 9am is MY TIME. Yep. I’m that mom.¬†I’m also the mom that doesn’t cook much in the mornings, so this is more like – tell the kids what they can help themselves to in the kitchen. Usually one of the older girls will help my 4 year old out for me.

Morning Chores

I make my girls do basic “chores” everyday. Usually its just the basics like get dressed, brush their hair and teeth, make their bed, etc. Sometimes I’ll ask one to put away the dry dishes from the night before, but since I refuse to go to bed with a clean house, there’s usually nothing else that needs to be done right away.

Begin School Day

10am is our “start time”. Usually one of the older girls goes back in the other room and works on their computer work while the other stays in the living room to do their book work. The 4 year old usually gets educational ipad time, because this girl is HOOKED on the ipad! This also helps me focus on one kid at a time making sure they’re getting that one on one time with me and I can really see that they understand what they are doing. It also keeps things quiet around here because the two older girls aren’t fighting or goofing off with each other. We’re MUCH more productive this way.

12pm we break for lunch for about an hour. We eat and then make sure the kitchen looks exactly how it looked before we started our day – table and counters clean, all dishes from lunch washed, and floor swept if needed.

1pm means lunch over we work on any of the subjects that the older girls work on together (science, social studies, non-cores, and sometimes Literature). Then when that work is done they split up again, only this time they switch (whoever did computer work first does their book work now and vise versa). Then when they’re done with their individual work it’s usually anywhere between 3 and 4¬†pm.¬†Once our school work is done for the day, then it’s a free for all for the rest of the night!¬†Since my house is clean (should be) the kids are able to play and have fun and just be kids for the rest of the day. Our evenings are used for having fun, spending time together as a family, or for extra curricular activities (we do American Heritage Girls and 4H).

9pm we begin the bed-time routine, which you already know about. And that’s it – that’s our homeschool day and how it all functions! Since beginning this new schedule this year, I’m able to accomplish so much more during the day and I feel like my kids are so much less crazy throughout the day.

Hip Homeschooling

Do you follow a routine or schedule? If so, please share about it in the comments! I’d love to hear about what works for you, and what doesn’t!

Bedtime Routine

I’m not normally one of those people who can stick to a routine or schedule. In fact, I’m usually the opposite! Mostly because¬†I can change my mind about anything at any second of the day. I love my spur of the moment mentality, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that sometimes it really causes me problems.¬†So this year I decided I NEEDED some sort of a routine and schedule to make our lives run a little smoother, and to keep the anxiety at bay. So far it seems to be working out extremely well, so I thought I’d share my new bedtime routine with you all.

Make the Kitchen Sparkle

There is nothing that will derail my mornings along with my sanity than waking up to a destroyed kitchen! When my kitchen is a mess, there’s hardly no counter space to work on, I can hardly get to my faucet with the dishes piled up everywhere, and the floors feel like I’m walking on sugar. I HATE that! If I have to wake up to that mess, then my nerves are already shot for the entire day! So I make it a point to make sure my kitchen is completely clean before I go to bed. That means all of the counters and table are cleared and wiped down, All dishes are washed, and the floors are swept. If my kitchen doesn’t sparkle, then I’m not going to bed! If it’s a really big mess then I call in the kids and husband to help. After all, we all make the mess, its up to all of us to clean it up! Then when I wake up the next morning, I’ll be greeted with a sparkling kitchen that needs no attention yet.

Quick-Clean Living Room and Bedroom’s

Once the kitchen is clean, I make everyone pitch in and do a quick cleaning session in the living room and bedrooms. There’s something about waking up to a clean house that makes the flow of everything so much better. If I wake up to a messy house, my anxiety is on peak for the rest of the day! When everyone pitches in and makes sure there’s no toys or dirty clothes laying around, then everyone wakes up in a much better mood.

Plan Tomorrow’s Dinner

I always make sure I have a plan for dinner the next day. Last year I spent most of my day being so busy that when it came time to eat, I had no idea what I was making, because everything was still frozen! We spent a lot of days making quick boxed dinners or having “fend for yourself” nights. Now when I know exactly what to make, I can start preparation during my morning schedule, which I’ll elaborate on more in a minute.

Program the Coffee Pot

Once the house is completely clean, I make sure to take a couple minutes to prepare and program the coffee pot. That way when I wake up in the morning, and I’m too tired to function, my coffee is already brewed! (I LOVE the program function!) I even sit my coffee cup out right by the coffee pot so I don’t have to worry about finding my mug in the morning. Those who know me know that I’m NOT a morning person. My children call me “the dragon” in the morning for a reason. This one simple step helps the dragon have a smoother morning!

Prepare Tomorrow’s Lessons

Usually I do this step on Sunday Nights. I make sure I have the entire week planned and I help the kids stuff their binders with their work for the week so we’re completely ready to start the day. Doing this on Sunday night makes my week run so much smoother because I know everything is ready to go and I only have to spend one night prepping instead of worrying about it every night.¬†You can read more about my “system” here.

Put the Kids to Bed by 10 PM

This one is more for my own sanity. I’ll admit – its probably the most selfish thing I do! I make my kids go to bed by 10pm. I know some of you may think that’s late for kids their age but honestly, since we don’t HAVE to be up early, I encourage my children to sleep in while they can! And just because society says I should do something doesn’t mean that I have to do it, right? Anyway, I do this because I NEED to have at least 2 hours at the end of the day to myself. I have to unwind, gather my senses, and just breathe! I can’t do that when the kids are awake. So by putting them to bed by 10 I get some time to myself with my hubby before I go to bed and I get to watch TV that *I* want to watch (since the rest of the day the tv is either off, or ruled by the Wii or a sporting event of some kind). Everyone in the house knows – 10pm they have to surrender the TV and get to bed! It’s MOMMY TIME! Sometimes I’ll have the girls lay down by 9:30 and tell them they can read or write in their journals until 10. But 10 pm means lights out and voices quiet!

Go to Bed by Midnight

Midnight is what I consider *my* bedtime, but it all depends on if I was successful at getting the kids in bed by 10 or not. If they take longer to get to bed I’m usually even more stressed from trying to get them finished and it takes me some time to wind down. I’m not someone who can just go to bed and fall asleep easily. I have to numb my brain and ease into bedtime. If I get to bed by midnight I can still get enough sleep at night (I NEED my 8 hours!) and wake up at an early enough time to beat everyone else in the morning and have some quiet moments to myself!

And there you have it – My bedtime routine! Since I’ve stared this I’ve noticed my anxiety is much more under control, my house is much cleaner for a longer period of time, and I just feel like I’m so much more put together and with it the next morning when I wake up. Some nights I HATE that I still need to do things like wash dishes, or sweep. But I’ve learned that if I make myself just do it really quick, I’m always so much happier in the morning. If you haven’t developed your own night time routine – I highly recommend giving one a try for at least two weeks. Once you develop the habit, you’ll forget how went so long without one!

Hip Homeschooling

Check back tomorrow and I’ll tell you all about my morning routine!

Friday Funday – Week 3 in our Homeschool!

It’s Friday Funday y’all! This is actually the second week we’ve done this, but only the¬†first time I’m blogging about it. I may try to make this¬†the new Friday norm around here (that is, if my sanity holds up. Ha!) What is Friday Funday? Basically we put the workbooks away and pull out the fun stuff to celebrate the end of a hard working week! Here’s what we did today for Friday Funday, and some other things we worked on throughout the week:

Of course our day had to start with muffins.. because.. well.. MUFFINS. We needed a fun breakfast to start the day. If we’re being honest here, I don’t cook breakfast most days. I’m the queen of cereal or sometimes I’ll make egg and cheese burritos, freeze them, and have the girls heat those up. I know. Lazy mom of the year award goes to.. ME!

Also, its not possible to have a “Fun-Day” without a little music right? My 4 year old loves the CD on the left! The other girls think its “too babyish” so we really only play this one for the youngest anymore. It’s cute songs that are educational, so I’m hoping the more she memorizes the songs, the more she will learn! We played the “Wee Sing America” CD during our geography time while we played…

GEO BINGO! My girls absolutely love to play games of all types so when I can find a game that is educational, it’s a double win for me. While we played we discussed the capital cities of the states (since we’re working on learning the 50 states this year) as well as the state’s nicknames.¬†Since my 4 year old can’t read, she tried to match the state shapes.


After our game we checked out a new book I bought over the summer called “States”. It had QR codes you can scan on the pages that lead you to activities that further explain the lessons. Today we reviewed Washington D.C. Some of the codes brought us to a video about some of the national monuments, a quiz about the white house, and more. Each state has its own set of QR codes, so we’ll be using this for every state.

¬†For our independent reading time we logged¬†onto our new favorite app: Epic! I’ll write more about this app in the near future. It’s definitely one you’ll want to check out if you have young readers though!


For math we played a bunch of math games¬†on one of our favorite educational websites,¬†! I’ll blog in more detail about this website as well in the near future.

For Language Arts we¬†worked on our creative writing stories. During this time the kids are allowed to write whatever they want as long as they try to practice writing more creative and descriptive sentences. I don’t worry about anything else since we focus on those things so heavily during the week. ¬†When they’re done filling at least 1 page with creative paragraphs, they can draw a picture to accompany this part of their story, because stories just aren’t stories without pictures!

Finally, we ended our Fun Friday with a super messy but¬†fun science experiment called “Magic Muck“. We discussed¬†the differences between solids and liquids, and then pulled out the muck! It was really the weirdest thing, because the muck acted as a solid and a liquid all at the same time.

I even decided to do a periscope broadcast about it, which you can find here. Of course I look like a hot mess, as I do in any of my¬†scopes, but hey – just keeping it real (or as I would say in real life, “Aint nobody got TIME!”)

By the end of the day, I was so frazzled and exhausted, but it was all completely worth it. My kids love Fun Friday and after working so hard all week, they definitely deserve it!

A few other things we did in our homeschool this week:

2nd and 3rd graders:
  • Began reading the original Beauty and the Beast story and started our lapbooks. I’m creating this as I go and will be sharing it when its finished!
  • Learned about how our eyes see objects and colors, and about 4 different types of energy (chemical, mechanical, radiant, and thermal)
  • Learned about The 5 different regions of the U.S., Washington D.C., The White House, and memorized the first verse of¬†Wacko’s States and Capitals Song.
  • Practiced our drawing skills by watching instructional videos on youtube and mimicking what the artist does. (I’m truly amazed at how fantastic they’ve done with this.)
  • Learned how to¬†write the letters V, W, and Z
  • Learned how to write the numbers 6, 7, and 8
  • Worked on her¬†tracing and cutting skills
  • Worked on her learning path on

Do you do Fun Friday in your homeschool? If so, please comment and share a little more about what you do! If you tweet or instagram about it, use the hashtag #funfriday so we can see all of the fun in one place!

Childrens Book Review – “Smarty Pad’s Had Enough! No More Pink!” by Donna Marie Shaffer

More Pink Front Cover 5 17

A good friend of mine, Stephanie Wright, asked me if I could do a book review of a new children’s book she recently helped out with as editor¬†and art director. Of course I couldn’t say no! We love to read around here, so we jumped at the opportunity at reading a brand new book!

The book is called “Smarty Pad’s Had Enough! No More Pink!”, written by Donna Marie Shaffer and Illustrated by Stephanie Helgeson. The book is geared towards younger kids between the ages of 5 to 9, and is about a smart pad/tablet that is tired of all the pink princess movies that Emmalynn (the little girl in the story) likes to watch. Smarty Pad decides to boycott and takes over his own operating system, refusing to put anymore pink on the screen. The story is about the funny exchanges the little girl has with her boycotting tablet.

As a mother, I felt the book was very cute and definitely appropriate for my young kids. There were three¬†things I really loved the most about this book. First, I loved that the book has a page of definitions to help kids who may not understand some of the terms in the book. These definitions included words like “operating system”, “incessant”, and “wince”. Since I homeschool you can imagine this makes me happy! Before we even read the book we spent some time learning the different terms and what they meant (thanks for helping us with our vocabulary skills today, Donna!). The second thing I really liked about this book was that at the end there’s a letter from Smarty Pad to the readers teaching kids about internet and technology safety. With the way the world is today, this was an excellent reminder to our kids that they need to play it safe at all times, even if something looks or sounds kid friendly! Third, I thought the artwork was incredible! The pages are so bright and colorful so it keeps the kids engaged the entire time. Is it just me or are a lot of children’s books these days kind of slacking in the visual department? NOT this book!

Overall, I thought the book was cute! It’s definitely worth the price and I think that both boys and girls alike will find it entertaining. Want to know what my kids thought of the book? Catch out our latest periscope stream here¬†where they¬†give their own review of the book (beware – I had just woken up, was still working on my coffee, and looking like a hot mess here! Just keeping it real, right?)

You can purchase this book for yourself by clicking on this link. If you do purchase this book, please email my friend Stephanie at, let her know you found out about this book through my blog, and she will send you a cute bookmark for free!

Happy reading!

*Please note, I did not receive any kind of compensation for this review. I did this to help a friend and this review is the honest truth of how I felt about this book (I don’t do fake y’all!). If you have a book or other product you’d like me to review for you here on my blog, please feel free to contact me at