It’s the last day of August. Where did the summer go? I know we always ask that question each year, but this year I’m asking it in a different way as I’m sure you are as well.
This will be our fourth week of homeschooling. We are off to a good start and I’m thankful. We’re still adding subjects in, but we’re solidly into most of them. I’m going to write a separate post about our curriculum choices and plans for this year. One thing we’re utilizing that we hadn’t really used up to this point is our membership at Schoolhouse Teachers. (We get a free membership because David is the designer for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.)
I had looked at Schoolhouse Teachers a few years back and it wasn’t a good fit for us at the time. I decided to take a look at it again this summer as we are very much in a “make the most of what you have” type mode as a family. I was amazed at how much more is there since the last time I looked! I found quite a few things that will work for us this year so I’m going through all it has to offer and deciding what to incorporate into our plans. Since I plan as I go through the year, this works well for me. I’ll share more details about that in the curriculum post.
This week we are getting firewood delivered. We don’t heat with firewood, but do use quite a bit for enjoying fires all fall and winter. It also serves as a back-up heat source so we try to keep enough around that if we need it, we have it in a pinch. The weather has turned seasonably comfortable this week so it will be excellent weather for David to clean up the area, stack the new wood, and restack what we still have.
We’ll also be cleaning windows and blinds this week, jumping into our fall cleaning before we get out the autumn decorations.
Caroline has a birthday coming up at the end of next month so I asked her for a birthday wish list last week. I’m noticing that deliveries are starting to slow down again. Have you noticed that? In the middle of summer, everything was coming pretty quickly and normally. Now things are slowing down and showing up as not available again. I’ve noticed in discussions online that many people have already been purchasing everything they need for Thanksgiving and Christmas that they possibly can. I haven’t started on Christmas shopping, but it is in the back of my mind.
This week Caroline and I will be finishing up By the Shores of Silver Lake and will move on to The Long Winter. I told her that after we read about what the Ingalls endured with The Long Winter, it will make the pandemic shutdown seem a lot more enjoyable. LOL! Not to make light of what we are all dealing with regarding the pandemic (and now social unrest), but I’ve been trying to find the bright spots. Last week was kind of a low week for us. I had conversations with others and heard the same thing. People feel like their emotional and mental reserves are low. Not only their own but also their children’s.
Because we were all feeling kind of low, I didn’t do much writing last week. I didn’t make any videos either. I wasn’t lacking for ideas. Just energy. Hopefully this week will be better. I refuse to give in to the forces at work to break our spirit in the midst of all that is happening. I’ve mentioned before that much of this that we’re dealing with as a nation is a mental and spiritual battle. I put the Trump-Pence flag in my sidebar because I refuse to be silenced. I want others who come here to be encouraged they are not alone. We must all speak up in whatever way we can.
Last week I watched an online meeting regarding the ramped up efforts by the Teachers Pay Teachers leadership to purge materials that are not sufficiently woke. They have set out a list of guidelines and any products that don’t meet their politically correct guidelines are either being deactivated by the “Marketplace Integrity Team” until they are “fixed” or are being deleted altogether if the Marketplace Integrity Team decides there is no way they can be reworked to meet the new guidelines. If you think this sounds like something out of 1984, you aren’t the only one and I specifically said that to TPT when I submitted my question.
I know people who have already discovered that things they’ve purchased have been removed from the TPT platform. I specifically asked about this in the seminar and whether or not buyers would be notified of these impending changes. I was told they would not because people should be keeping a copy of what they purchase. If you’ve ever purchased anything from TPT and don’t have a copy saved to your own computer, you need to go there and do it right now. I believe products related to Thanksgiving, Columbus Day, explorers, American History, etc. will be especially targeted. I would also be concerned if I bought and sold traditional Bible products. This includes not just printables but also clip art that is also being purged for not being politically correct.
This is not theoretical. This is real and here now.
I am beyond thankful that I opted to build my online business beyond TPT. The income I make on TPT is important to us and I know I could lose it at any time as things start to change. We’ve spent so much time over the years making sure I have my own shop set up for reasons such as this. This summer I mentioned in my post 4 Ways to Simplify Your Life for the Coming Decade the following:
Expand and improve your professional network. No matter what field you are in, begin making connections that are as free from political ramifications as possible. If your professional network is heavily tied to a particular point of view that could prove problematic, expand your network. Start developing relationships with people and companies of similar values and perspectives that will not be easily threatened during potential political unrest. Try to insulate your professional network from the possibility of being cancelled as much as you can.
Perhaps what is most striking to me is the fact that there was zero pushback in the TPT forums. Usually when something this large happens, there is pushback in various ways. No one has publicly spoken up to push back. Why? I think we all know why. The people who support the changes will do as they are told. The people who disagree with the changes are afraid of losing their livelihood. There are a lot of teachers who quit their teaching jobs to do TPT full time. They stand to lose a great deal if TPT is their only income. And so they will comply.
As you spend your money every day, try as much as possible to support businesses that are closely aligned with your values. Try to spend your money in places where it goes directly to helping small businesses, family businesses, etc. who are in an uphill battle to overcome the many forces aligning against them.
Lastly, I’ve now redesigned the cover of the A Quiet Simple Life Planner & Guidebook four times this summer (see below). LOL! I think this is the final cover for now. If you purchased it when it was Creating Your Cozy Life Planner & Guidebook, I sent you an email in July with a code so you could download the new version for free. If you received the email and didn’t follow through, please email me (sallie at sallieborrink dot com) and let me know. I want you to have the updated version and will send you another code.
What is happening in your home right now? I hope you’ll leave a comment below.