Considering Homeschool This Year?

Another Hatchett Job blog, Creative CommonsAs Back to School sales begin in earnest in the stores, some parents struggle with the decision of whether to send their child to public schools. Private schools are an option for those who are open to them. Homeschooling is another option, but it is often difficult to make the decision to homeschool when faced with little understanding or support from your family and friends.

Even worse, it is hard to consider doing something when you are filled with self-doubt about whether or not you could actually be successful at it.

Let’s face it, every homeschool parent has felt this way at one time or another. I did. And, I have taught both public and private high school classes. And, I worried about teaching my sons at home. Honestly, there are parts that went really well and parts that, in retrospect, I would do differently if I could do them over. But, I am satisfied that for my children, I did as well or better than the schools in our area could have done.

In an effort of full disclosure, I have one gifted student and one special needs (but smart as a whip) child and we didn’t seriously homeschool until the oldest was starting high school and the youngest was in middle school. We had done one year of homeschooling in the elementary years.

My boys both began in a public charter school when I was teaching public school. After a year of homeschooling and being home with them, I was offered a high school teaching position in a local Christian school that was k-12. My kids were right down the hall from me and I could keep track of how they were. For several years, that worked really well for us.

When it didn’t, we began to homeschool again, eventually leading to my running a co-op for a year and teaching high school Science and Literature courses for various homeschoolers.

So, you can see that I have tried all of the alternatives that were local to us and they all have strengths and weaknesses. However, homeschooling is where my children have blossomed.

There are myriad reasons to consider homeschooling in the first place. The following articles are from a series that I wrote outlining the most common reasons that I know of that people choose to homeschool. I hope that they can help you to learn if homeschooling may be of benefit to your family.

Why Homeschool?

Why Homeschool?  Academic Excellence

Why Homeschool?  Appropriate Socialization

Why Homeschool?  Field Trips

Why Homeschool?  Child Led Learning

Why Homeschool?  School Safety

Why Homeschool?  Religion

Why Homeschool?  Learning Styles & Multiple Intelligences

Why Homeschool?  Life Long Learners

Do you homeschool?  Are you considering it?

Till next time,

Another Hatchett Job blog, signature, Jan Hatchett


Homemade Salsa

Another Hatchett Job, cooking, canning, salsa, frugal life, frugal gifts, photo by Eddie HatchettThere is nothing that my family likes better than homemade salsa throughout the year. It is the one thing that my sons request that I make in large quantities (that includes the many jams and sweet goodies that I also make).

For them, Mama’s homemade salsa is a sure winner!

I wish I could take credit for this amazing salsa making prowess, but, alas, I cannot. I learned to make homemade salsa from my wonderful hubby, who, in turn, had learned from his mother, an excellent cook.

However, she made hers fresh in small batches whenever she needed some and I make mine and can it for year round eating and some gifts. Hubby and I have learned how to expand those same fresh flavors into a safely canned product that we have been making for years.

First off, please consult a good book or website on food preservation and review the section on Water Bath Canning. As salsa is a high acid food, it can be easily canned in glass jars with two part lids.

This year, we have not had luck with growing tomatoes (last year, either), so we are using #10 cans of diced tomatoes that we got from our local grocery store. It is an economical alternative to fresh tomatoes when they aren’t at hand. It also enables me to make a batch on the fly when tomatoes aren’t in season for gift giving or if we run out (hungry hubby and two teen sons and all that).

Now, I would prefer having crushed tomatoes, but those aren’t available locally in the big cans for me, so I use an immersion blender (either when they are in the can or in the pot) to crush them up a bit for better texture. I pulse cilantro, onions, garlic, and peppers in the food processor, but you can put chunks in a good blender with diced tomatoes and let it grind all up together if you prefer. We have done both ways.

Another Hatchett Job, cooking, canning, salsa, frugal life, frugal gifts, photo by Eddie Hatchett
Finished jars cool overnight on the counter.

We tend to just add peppers until we like the taste. We do add about 1 tablespoon salt to each big batch, but no other dried spices are needed. So, when it is hot enough to make our eyes water, we heat to boiling and can it according to the latest USDA guidelines.

We will also make a much milder version for most of our friends and other family for gift giving and entertaining. We don’t want to hurt anyone! He he!

Water bath canning is simple and easy to do. Just look up the procedures in a good book or online and follow the steps. You will have a delicious, preservative free, fat free, vegetable salsa in no time. Yum!

Till next time,

Another Hatchett Job blog, signature, Jan Hatchett

It’s Official!!!

Another Hatchett Job blog, Creative Commons, alphabet, homeschoolThe contract has been mailed back to the home office and it is all a done deal.

The good people at the soon to be relaunched (in August) Molly Green Magazine has asked yours truly to be a regular contributor.  My work can show up in their blog, newsletter, or magazine issues throughout the year.
Molly Green is a magazine with articles all about HOME, homeschooling, home living, homesteading, and life at home. I am really excited to work with such a great organization and to be included along with some super-exciting colleagues as we work on articles for each issue.

I learned about this from Patrice Lewis’ blog. Patrice is the author of The Simplicity Primer and is a wonderful example of living a thoughtful, self-sufficient life. It’s an honor to be able to work with a magazine that features Patrice’s work as well.  I would never have dreamed that Patrice and I would be colleagues.  Wow!

I hope that this blog can grow from my connection with Molly Green Magazine and that my readers will be interested in learning more about this quality magazine as it re-launches.

Stay tuned, and I’ll be sharing more about my endeavors with Molly Green, and hopefully others (soon).

Have YOU ever subscribed to an online magazine?

Till next time,

Another Hatchett Job blog, signature, Jan Hatchett


pencil, eraser, Another Hatchett Job blog, homeschool, education, writing, creative commonsI have written for years. The college I attended even published a poem that I wrote.

But, other than in my blog, I don’t even really write. Well, I write, but I don’t share my work with others and I certainly have never submitted my work for publication.

Today, I submitted an article to a magazine that is re-launching itself in August. I have no idea if they will like it or accept it, but I went out on a limb and wrote up something simple and sent in some photos to go with it.

I also listed several other ideas that I was ready to write about. So, we will see where this all leads, but I do find myself feeling rather brave at this moment.

Who knows where this adventure will end up? I hope you will keep reading and come along for the ride!

Have YOU ever written for publication?

Till next time,

Another Hatchett Job blog, signature, Jan Hatchett

Collette Moneta in Teal

Another Hatchett Job, plus sized sewing, learning to sew, sewing, plus size fashion
Hubby and I out for Sunday Lunch. Photo by Ethan Hatchett

It is honestly the hardest thing ever to look at a blog post with a picture of yourself on it.  At least it is for me.  I imagine that I will grow accustomed to how I look (even if I am less than thrilled about some things), but that will take a little time.  There is around a decade with no pictures of me, so I guess it’s time to be kind to myself and just be accepting.  The growing new wardrobe will help.

This time, Mom and I took a cue from the adorable Moneta dresses that were blogged about by the Curvy Sewing Collective.  I have enjoyed everything these ladies have made and it is a particular joy of mine seeing clothes on people that look and are actually real people, not airbrushed willow-y models who aren’t really like the final photo anyway.  My figure is probably the closest to that of Tanya of the Mrs. Hughes blog, but all of the ladies are inspirational!

I love cotton knits in the summer because they are so cool and comfortable.  No wrinkles and ease of movement are nice, too!  This is my Collette Moneta.  I think it may be the first of

Another Hatchett Job, plus sized sewing, learning to sew, sewing, plus size fashion, sewing with knit, Collette Monet
Teal Knit Dress (Moneta by Collette). Photo by Eddie Hatchett.

many, but I am still wondering if a seam right around my ample middle is a good idea.  The fabric came from JoAnn’s.  It is a tone on tone teal with lighter teal design on it.  It is kind of subtle, so it doesn’t show up well in the photos.

I am only 5 feet 2 inches tall, on a good day with shoes and fluffy hair, so I was shocked that the hem on this dress only barely covered my knees!  I thought it would be longer on me.  It is modest and fine, but I have to be mindful of breezes and bending down to pick things up.  I usually go with a bit longer hem for security, but this does look nice for church.  However, it isn’t terribly practical for around the house.

The best part of this dress is the pockets!  Mom always warned me that pockets will add a bit of bulk and make me look wider.  Maybe if I was tiny that would bother me, but since I am already curvy, why not?  They are so handy to have and make the dress far more wearable to me.

As for the downsides, the neckline is so wide, I have to pin the neckline to the bra straps to keep the bodice from showing off my underwear.  I am finding that lots of necklines are like that on me.  But, oddly, the shoulder seams are spot on.  So, are all the other ladies wearing their brassiere straps on the very outside of their shoulders?  Or is there a trick I need to know about for keeping the straps out of sight and the neckline from shifting around?

I hate to admit it, but I am still getting used to wearing garments that are fitted, so everything feels a bit too form fitting on me, although I am very careful not to wear items that are too tight or binding.  As my Mama says, “just because you can get in it, doesn’t mean that you have any business wearing it.”  Every trip to Wal-Mart reinforces that saying for me.

Have YOU made a Moneta dress?  How do you like it?

Till next time,

Another Hatchett Job blog, signature, Jan Hatchett

Remember Me?

IMG_3030This little number was the first dress muslin that my Mom and I made (okay, mostly Mom) in order to find out if a new pattern that I had purchased had worked.

It was an utter disaster!  I blogged about it here.  Both Mom and I were utterly disgusted with the pattern, the fit, and everything about it.  But, we didn’t throw it out.  We shoved it into a bag and started on another idea.

And it sat in the bag.  And sat.  And finally, we ran across it and decided that maybe it wasn’t quite as awful and we first thought.  So, we altered it heavily and gave it a new shot.  It looks SO much better now!  Sorry about the photo.  I am not sure why no one mentioned that the dress was bunchy and the hem crooked.  Sigh.  And we won’t mention the odd expression on my face.  Yikes!

Another Hatchett Job, plus sized sewing, learning to sew, plus size fashion
Photo by Ethan Hatchett


But, it is still not quite right.  So, back to the drawing board we go!  We lifted the front yoke significantly in order to make it sit on my high bust.  Now, we will lift the bodice a tad higher so that the fullest part of the princess seams actually sit directly on my, er, …fullest parts, shall we say?

So, maybe I was a tad rough on this pattern to begin with.  It is actually one of the few that doesn’t have a shoulder and neckline made for a linebacker.  I think when we get this dress altered correctly, it may be the most flattering dress I have worn.  Not too shabby for something that was destined for the rag bag a while back.  And it is wearable in it’s vintage floral (sheet!) form.  Cool and comfy on a hot, summer day!

Have you ever remade or saved a project from the rag bag?

Till next time,

Another Hatchett Job blog, signature, Jan Hatchett