Hi! My name is Tina, and I am the webmama of The Homeschool Realm. I am a stay-at-home/work-at-home, secular (NON-religious) homeschooling mom of 2 kids and 4 cats, living in the Central Valley of California.
Click on the pics to see full images:
We’ve been homeschooling since the beginning (fall 2006) when my oldest was kindergarten age. She graduated from our homeschool in 2019 and I will graduate my son in 2024.
You’d think that I had this homeschooling thing down pat by now, but no…I am the perfect blend of disorganized and industrious…forever working on finding the right combination of effective learning and fun. Just trying to make positive progress without wanting to beat my head against a wall at the end of the day.
A Little More About Me…
I have ADHD and only got my official diagnosis in May 2020 at the age of 49. So I am still figuring out what that means exactly in our homeschool life and finding the right tools and medications to help manage its idiosyncrasies. But at least now I know where many of the struggles I’ve had all my life were coming from! (AND so many fun quirks! My crazy passions, my endless creativity!) And so many struggles in my homeschooling. Homeschooling has never come easy to me. It has always been an uphill battle of struggling to follow through on things, trying to find a way that will work for me (and of course, my kids…one of whom also was diagnosed with ADHD this year as well…and the other that I have my suspicions about.)
I have always loved working with kids, even before I had kids. Even when I was still a kid myself! I have always been drawn to children. I got a bachelor’s degree in child development because I knew that I had to work with children.
I started babysitting regularly before I turned 12 years old and spent all of my tweens and teens making a LOT of money when all the other girls my age were having sleepovers and doing all kinds of socializing. I was spending all my free time babysitting.
This transitioned naturally in adulthood to full-time jobs working with children …summer camp counselor, country club nursery supervisor, preschool teacher, outdoor education intern in charge of teaching 6th graders about science & nature topics, recycling education coordinator for a job training program that taught school children about recycling & teens/young adults how to teach them, children’s science museum educator, nanny, running my own “mommy & me program” in my home once I became a mom myself, children’s event coordinator, homeschool field trip organizer, homeschool resource center founder, coordinator and educator…and other things that are too many to list! Not to mention all the amazing themed birthday parties I put on for my kiddos over the years. (It was kinda my thing, figuring out how to turn a special day into a special memory for both the birthday child and every child attending. And do it every year with new ideas for 2 different kids without being forced to take out a second mortgage on the house. I have a whole other website I’m working on with all those stories and ideas I came up with on those. They are pretty amazing, if I do say so myself!)
I have a lot of the stuff I’ve done detailed more on my LinkedIn page.
I am one-half of the “Savvy Homeschool Moms“, a secular homeschool podcast that gives listeners a peek into homeschooling families’ lives. Every episode of The Savvy Homeschool Moms is jam-packed with homeschool related info including tips, links, book & resource recommendations, reviews of homeschool products, and interviews of fellow homeschoolers and curriculum developers.
I am a sporadic blogger (thanks, again, to ADHD…I’ll never be consistent at anything) and website developer. I have many websites that I develop with many different themes. I just LOVE working on my projects! I have them all listed on my main site, Tina’s Realm. I created it recently as a place to keep all my original Blogger posts and links to ALL my projects (sites) and a hub for finding everything all about ME. I recently thought to create that site when I realized my list of links was getting ridiculously long!
I HATE to cook and I hate everything about cooking. I hate planning cooking, I hate prepping and cooking and cleaning up afterward and I hate washing dishes!! My kitchen is ALWAYS a wreck and my family has always had to eat at late meal times because I put it off as long as possible. All our meals are late because I always put everything off as long as possible. We wait until hunger sets in, not planned times.
Now that my kids are older, I have gotten them more on board with helping and my husband too. But still, meal times are never really planned. Sometimes we do family meals, sometimes we fend for ourselves. With the pandemic, it’s all really just hit or miss every day. Everyone always eats because everyone is old enough to deal with it themselves now (my youngest, at the writing of this, is now 15 and my kids have been making their own meals regularly for years now. I keep the cupboards stocked. That’s pretty much how I was raised in adolescence as well.)
But that doesn’t mean I don’t feel GUILTY about it still. Oh, I DO! But now that I’ve been learning so much more about ADHD, I have come to learn that the day to day stuff is just such a drag for us shinies and damned near impossible to get yourself to do until they are super pressing. Hence, our eating “routine.” Bleh. I have so many ideas for “fixing” this…but damned if I can get anything in place to make it happen! I’m just happy that I finally got my kids to pitch in and do chores regularly without hassle finally! My daughter has been doing them without struggle since age 9 (and she’s my diagnosed ADHDr! Go figure!), but my son only FINALLY got on board this past year. Up until then I had to harass him DAILY about it. So I count this as a huge accomplishment, I tell ya! We’ll work on meals next. Maybe by the time they both move out, I’ll have it figured out!
Honestly, I’m just not domestic. I’m bad at housework in general. I do it when I get sick of seeing it. I get a hyperfocus going on it periodically and I use it for good. But they never come regularly enough to have a regularly tidy house, of course. We have 4 indoor cats and I have divided up the duties of keeping up with the work of them among me and the kids…and that alone is a LOT of work! The cats are a priority. I refuse to let them not be.
I have divided up a lot of the housework because I know I suck at it. And my kids are a big help. And on weekends we sometimes do a whole family clean, where we all dig in and do a deep clean. Not often enough…I need to schedule these in. But when we do them, they are awesome! Usually they happen when we know someone is coming over. Of course, with the pandemic, that’s not been happening. Looking forward to that ending if for no other reason than to force us to clean more!!!