Life Hacks Traveling and First Aid

life hacks traveling and first aidLife Hacks Traveling and First Aid

Episode 250

Traveling with kids can be stressful and with these traveling and first aid life hacks this is an easier way to make things happen.

Sponsorship by: Media Angels, Inc.

Try out the Media Angels Membership site! Very reasonably priced for every school budget.

media angels membership

Show Notes: Life Hacks for Traveling and First Aid:

Previous Show on Life Hacks for Home and School Here

Traveling Homeschool Life Hacks: 

  1. Traveling with children can we a wonderful time to make memories. One of my favorite traveling life hacks is to have a bag or a backpack ready ahead of time with essential items such as wet wipes, napkins and tissues, quick and nutritious snacks, first-aid items such as band-aids, ointment, (one of my favorites is melaleuca oil), sunscreen, binoculars, and storage bags for “treasures” your children want to keep.
  2. For suitcases – tie a ribbon to identify yours quickly. Yes, it has worked for me for years and guess what? I learned this from my parents. We always had a bright ribbon on our bags and not trouble spotting them.
  3. Another life hack – free bags on your plane. If you have a small carry on and really wanted to check it, most of the time that can be free when you are on an overbooked or full flight. They will make an announcement soon before boarding and check your bag for free. I only like to do this on a non-connecting flight, however, if I am traveling home I will check it. Free is always good!
  4. Set up a alert. This tidbit I learned from a check-out guy at the grocery store. I set up Skyscanner alerts from our airport RSW to the airport where I want to arrive. I get alerts when the price goes up or down. I have saved hundreds of dollars on flights this way. All airlines are compared.
  5. Take a picture with your smartphone of a business card, or important number so you can find it later in your photos. I use this idea for recipes as well.
  6. Take a photo of your parking spot so you won’t forget where you park! Or better yet when you shop at regular locations always park in the same place, it will help you remember which I learned from a lady who followed us on the way out of a store one day and overheard me telling my kids I had no idea where I parked.

First Aid Life Hacks:

  1. Use meat tenderizer for bug stings. Even works for ant bites. Mix a teaspoon full of meat tenderizer with water and put on the bite. Watch for an allergic reaction. If you use homeopathic remedies use
  2. This idea works great! Use frozen vegetables such as peas or mixed vegetables as ice packs. Place it in a thin cloth or washcloth that is wet. It works amazingly well and you can refreeze it as needed or store it for a long time. Just be sure to label these bags so you don’t eat them!
  3. Homeopathic remedies such as Belladonna and Aconite for the first sign of a cold.
  4. A great cold remedy. Vitamin C for colds. Take as needed. 500 mg for adults. Also liquid drops from the health food store of echinacea – or echinacea tablets with zinc. Both have been lifesavers in our family. We use DoTerra drops such as OnGuard at the first sign of a cold. If you want to order some, go here: DoTerra – Felice Gerwitz
  5. Neem spray. Keep this to ward off mosquitoes and biting insects.
  6. Homeopathic advice and great remedies! Be sure to listen to HomeopathyforMommiesPodcast — great tips on natural remedies.

Life Hacks Home and School

Life Hacks Home and SchoolLife Hacks Home and School

Episode 249

Are you ready for some life hacks for home and school? Life hacks are those little bits of advice that make your life go so much smoother. Some are little known and others are tried and true. In this episode Felice Gerwitz shares some life hacks she has found useful for her family, home, homeschool, traveling and first aid.

Sponsorship by: Media Angels, Inc.

Try out the Media Angels Membership site! Very reasonably priced for every school budget.

media angels membership

Life Hacks for Home and School

Home Life Hacks:

  1. Reduction of clutter – keep things simple and neat. It is amazing that when you keep things clean it is easier to find and put away.
  2.  Daily to-do lists. Keep laundry to one day, shopping and errands on another and lessons for another day, or stack these “away” events to one day.
  3. Work as a team and as a family — enlist the help of your husband and kids. Or trade with a friend and watch each other’s kids.
  4. Multi-task or bundle activities. Clean while listening to CD’s or stream a podcast, watch an educational program while folding laundry.
  5. Troubleshoot what robs you of time – things such as running errands can take up so much time. Plan to run your errands on one day by hitting several places on the way.
  6. Overplanning can be a way to experience burn out. Try not to over plan. Try one event per day as a way to avoid burn out.
  7. Do you have carpet in your house? If you do in the main areas you will find the best way to keep your carpets clean is the no-shoe policy. Kids wearing socks is another way to avoid dirty floors.
  8. Clean up as you go — and teach your children to clean up as well. Keep towels off the floor, take plates off the table, rinse and place in the dishwasher. Clean up the sink in the bathroom after brushing your teeth, or make beds the first thing. Do little tasks as you go all day, this helps tremendously!
  9. Tired of folding all your clothes? Do you have closet space? Hang clothes on hangers to keep from folding them, if you lack space use thin hangers.
  10. Take a poll and ask your children what they’d like to do —you may be surprised at the chores your children select. And, the bonus is kids who do chores without complaining.

Life Hacks For Home and School:

Life Hacks for School:

  1. Plan your year ahead of time. Being organized helps you for all those times that life unexpectedly happens. Especially after a holiday break or an illness in the family.
  2. What robs your time? Social media is number one. As much as possible avoid social media.
  3. Routines work. Keep things organized. Return your papers, pencils, and books to their right place each day.
  4. Check off lists work! Especially for your kids. You can accomplish much each day, especially if you can see where you need to catch up or makeup work. Each evening for accountability show dad.
  5. Time to think — allow your children time to spend to “think” — to develop hobbies, read or discover something they are passionate about. Little ones need help and you can do this by providing toys for exploration.
  6. Teach your children something new each day and have your older children to teach the younger ones.

Planning For The New Year

planning for the new yearPlanning for the New Year

Episode 248

Each new year we plan so many things and most are undoable. Yes, we over plan or think we can do more than we can accomplish and therefore often feel a letdown or disappointment when things don’t turn out as we plan. So, for this new year, I’ve brought back a method that works for someone as imperfect as me…and that is my four-square method. If you are on our mailing list you’ve received a link to this year’s planner. It includes the four-square printable.

In this episode, learn how I use the four square method to make my life simpler and allow homeschool and home life to go as smoothly as possible. It does take a little advanced planning but it is so worth it.

Read homeschool life hacks here.

Sample of Four Square Method – Four Square Planning – Sample

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Show Notes:

Four Square Method – Planning for the New Year


Pray daily

Bible reading

Time to listen to God


Listen to A Few Minutes with God Podcast



Spiritual / Character

Specific Academic Goals

Assign Chores


Subjects for the weeks

Reading/ Writing / Assignments


Special Events/ Field Trips


Weekly Menu

Grocery Shopping

Cleaning Schedule


Washing / Folding Clothes/ Schedule

Homeschool Life Hacks

homeschool life hacksLet’s Make This The Best Year Ever ~ Homeschool Life Hacks

by Felice Gerwitz

Life is hard enough without making things more difficult and through the years I’ve discovered some amazing ways to make life, especially homeschool life easier with these homeschool life hacks. First, I discovered many of these ideas by accident and second, I’m not a perfectionist. Fair warning for those of you who are, therefore let it be known that I believe perfection is best left for those who do not homeschool!

I once read that successful people make their beds each day. It gives them a sense of accomplishment that carries on throughout the day. Do this yourself and teach your children to do this one chore each day. It will make an immediate difference in your life. Another great tip is to ask children to do simple tasks first. This builds their confidence early in the day and a sense of, “I can do this!”

Here is one audio on homeschool hacks and another is coming soon.

I’ve divided my ideas for homeschool life hacks into various categories. One is the home, the second is the homeschool and the third is traveling and fourth is first aid. So many times we lose track of what needs to be completed in a timely manner and with just a tiny bit of tweaking, we can make great gains in the process. One way is to fine-tune our list making. This is a great boon to any life-hack idea as well as homeschool tips and tricks along the way.

Homeschool Life Hacks: The Home

  1. Reduce clutter – the number one way to stay sane as a homeschool mom is to remember that less is more. All those great nick-nacks from field trips or your great-aunt-Margaret? Give them or store them away! Dusting these items takes precious time.
  2.  Monday is for laundry- folding and putting away, Tuesday dusting and floors, Wednesday food shopping – grill or casserole day, Thursday lessons and Friday for field trips and make-up day. Saturday is mega cooking for the week and events, Sunday a day of rest and worship. Of course, your routine may look different but keep it similar so there is less thinking and accomplishments and more doing.
  3. Work as a team. Enlist the children’s help and you will accomplish much. Or, enlist a friend with kids your children’s age. Take turns watching toddlers while another friend shops, cleans, or works on homeschool lessons.
  4. Bundle and multi-task. There is much to be said about multi-tasking if it is done correctly. Fold clothes while listening to little ones read. Make dinner while the little ones play with blocks nearby.
  5. Errands: plan them to hit different places en route and on one day.
  6. Do not over plan. Often one event per day is enough to avoid burn-out.
  7. Have kids wear socks in the house, or take off their shoes. For years when I had carpet, I never had it cleaned because we had a no-shoe-indoors policy. It cuts down on the wear and tear as well as clean up.
  8. Teach children to clean up after themselves. No towels on the floor, clean up sink in the bathroom after they brush their teeth. Make beds upon rising, etc. Minimize tasks by doing them immediately.
  9. Hang up all your shirts to keep from folding them. Use thin hangers. Use hangers with multi-clips for pants.
  10. Ask your children what chores they want to do — surprisingly my kids all liked jobs that no one else wanted to do, for example, one liked to empty the dishwasher and another sweep and mop floors, another taking out the trash! If your kids like their chores they will do them willingly.

Homeschool LifeHacks for the Homeschool:

  1. Prepare ahead. There is nothing like knowing what you are doing for the year, ahead of time. It helps for those days you are ill or can’t remember where you are after a holiday break.
  2. Stay off of social media. Yes, I mean you mom! The minute you check emails or Facebook, just “real quick” you will lose precious time. This goes for the children as well.
  3. Keep a routine for school and home. Use Monday – Friday as subject days.
  4. Divide your books by the number of days in your school year (approx. 180) to figure out how many pages you must complete daily, or pages you should read to finish a book.
  5. Spread out the subjects every other day. For example Monday – Wednesday for language arts and science and Tuesday, Thursday for history and reading. Monday – Friday for Bible daily and math. In this way, you can accomplish so much more because you are not attempting to complete each subject each day.
  6. Do not, and I stress do not leave your home on a school day. Keep errands for after school. This one tip will guarantee a productive homeschool day.
  7. Everything has a “home” … clean up your school area daily. Be sure to return papers, pencils, and books to the proper place. It makes starting each day so much more pleasant.
  8. Use a check off list for your kids. This is worth its weight in gold! You can see at a glance what has been accomplished daily and see where you need to catch up or makeup work. Show it to dad when he gets home for accountability!
  9. Allow your children to have time off each day. Set aside what I call, “Time to think.” In this way your children can develop hobbies, read or discover a passion. You may need to help little ones by providing some toys for exploration only for this time.
  10. Encourage your older children to teach the younger ones something new each day. It reinforces their knowledge and allows them to remember things better by teaching a sibling. If there is not a younger sibling you can have the child teach a friend or even another parent, aunt, uncle, etc.

Traveling Homeschool Life Hacks: 

  1. When traveling with kids, remember to pre-pack a bag or backpack ahead of time with essentials such as wipes, snacks, first-aid, binoculars, and plastic bags for “treasures” you want to bring home.
  2. For suitcases – tie a ribbon to identify yours quickly.
  3. Take a picture of a business card, or important number so you can find it later in your photos.
  4. Batteries dead? Drop about six inches above a hard surface. If they bounce once they are still good. If they bounce all over the place they are drained or soon will be drained.
  5. Put batters in squeeze bottles to pour without a mess. I use this technique for pancakes and waffles. I also freeze the leftovers for a quick breakfast when needed.
  6. The back of the door is an amazing space saver. I use clear shoe hangers to store cleaning supplies or even clothes for the kids. I also use closet storage systems to free up closet space. With little kids, put one week’s clothing all in one drawer. No thinking, just pull out the pile to dress the child. A sibling can help with this.
  7. Mega cooking. This works if you do it in this way. Every time you make one meal triple the recipe and freeze the rest. I do this for lasagna, cookie dough, pulled pork, ground beef, etc. It makes mealtime planning so easy and I do not need one entire day to cook. Use a pressure cooker (insta-pot) to hurry your meal along! Yes, you can do this with a large family. It works great. The lasagna I made in October was served through January!
  8. Use a pool noodle on the edge of a bed with a fitted sheet to keep little ones from rolling off.
  9. Use clothespins to keep chips, crackers, bread tied shut.
  10. Take a photo of your parking spot so you won’t forget where you park! Or better yet when you shop at regular locations always park in the same place, it will help you remember.

First Aid Life Hacks:

  1. Use meat tenderizer for bug stings. Even works for ant bites. Mix a teaspoon full of meat tenderizer with water and put on the bite. Watch for an allergic reaction.
  2. For ice packs: use frozen vegetables such as peas or mixed vegetables. Place it in a pillowcase. Works great. Refreeze as needed.
  3. Homeopathic remedies such as Belladonna and Aconite for the first sign of a cold.
  4. Vitamin C for colds. Take as needed. 500 mg for adults.
  5. Neem spray. Keep this to ward off mosquitoes and biting insects.
  6. Listen to HomeopathyforMommiesPodcast — great tips on natural remedies.

Special Replay: Neuroplasticity – Rewiring The Brain

neuroplasticity rewiring the brain

Special Replay: Neuroplasticity – Rewiring The Brain with Dr. Jan Bedell

Podcast #19

Neuroplasticity, hmm? Do we really have to use such an unfamiliar word?  Yes, to describe the amazing gift that God has given us we can start with a big word and break it down.  It really is quite simple – “neuro” is having to do with the brain and “plasticity” is the ability to change.  Our brains are changing all the time. This is really good news when you have a struggling learner or a child with a label like dyslexia, ADD, ADHD or autism.  The key is knowing how to fuel the brain with the right kind of stimulation so it builds new pathways.  From these new pathways, the brain can receive, organize, process and store information well enough to bring it out and use it in everyday life.  With the right kind of stimulation, your brain can take little developmental steps to achieve giant strides in academics and overall function.  That is what happens when you use the products and services of Little Giant Steps.

In this episode, you will hear the experience of a teacher that had taught first grade for 17 years before using The NeuroDevelopmental Approach in her classroom in year 18.  It made a huge difference for her students and can make a difference for you and your family as well.  Applying just a little information can make all the difference in your child’s future.  We shouldn’t leave out the adults either!  It is never too late to change the brain.  Two ladies in their 50’s, one a reading tutor and the other a Montessori teacher who had always struggled with reading comprehension, raised their reading comprehension score by 3 ½ years in only four months’ time.   And guess what? They didn’t do any specific reading program.  All it took was organization and specific stimulation to the brain and their abilities radically changed.


Visit our sponsor Little Giant Steps for information about

  • Free auditory processing kit – here
  • Help for math facts – here
  • Brain boosting products – here



Special Christmas Show: TRUE Love of Christ for Mom


HSMtale2 Merry Christmas from Vintage Homeschool Moms!  Back in 2013, Felice Gerwitz shared a story she wrote especially for you, the busy and weary mom. Felice writes a tale of a woman you can probably identify with at some point of your journey as a wife and mother. She writes about the transformation that takes place when this woman places herself totally into the hands of Christ.

We hope you enjoy this special story – and share it with your friends!



Sattler College Affordable For Homeschoolers

Sattler College Affordable For HomeschoolersSattler College Affordable For Homeschoolers an Interview with Dr. Finny Kuruvilla

College is so expensive! Not any longer. Sattler College is affordable for homeschoolers or anyone who wants a Christian education. What makes Sattler unique? Join Felice Gerwitz and her special guest, founder Dr. Finny Kuruvilla. Dr. Kuruvilla has created an amazing environment with faith as the focal point of higher education. For a limited time, Sattler tuition is waived for the first year. Hurry – the offer expires on January 15, 2018.


Show Notes:

  1. Dr. Kuruvilla’s involvement in academia began with his own college experience. He realized that college education costs were prohibitive and he was determined to create change.
  2. Dr. Finny Kuruvilla shares information about his time at Harvard and the trends he noticed among his students that concerned him.
  3. Students are not necessarily better off after four years of traditional college, so Dr. Kuruvilla has some ideas that are innovative at Sattler.

Sattler College Affordable For Homeschoolers:

Other questions covered in the interview:

  • What makes Sattler different than other education options out there?
  • How is Sattler revolutionizing higher education?
  • Can you explain Sattler’s three “C’s”?
  • Why do you feel it’s important for students to take these core classes?
  • What specific skills are you hoping to instill in students?
  • How will Sattler prepare students for the professional world?
  • Tell us about how Sattler will invest in the students’ spiritual lives?
  • How are students matched with their mentor?
  • What will student life be like? Will any activities or clubs be offered for students?
  • Why are traditional universities so expensive?
  • How has Sattler managed to provide a quality education for a low price?
  • Why is Sattler a great fit for homeschooling families?
  • How do you feel homeschooling better prepares students for college?
  • What qualities are you looking for in applicants?
  • Why did you decide to establish Sattler in downtown Boston?
  • How can students apply?

Special Thanks to our Sponsor, Sattler College!

 Sattler College is a four-year Christian college granting the bachelor’s degree in the following majors: biblical studies, business, computer science, history and human biology.  At Sattler College, our vision is to train graduates to  be a city on a hill: a shining light in greater Boston and the nations.  Because the city of Boston is one of the most important global cities for world-changing movements and institutions, pursuing higher education in Boston provides students with the opportunity to train for a lifetime of impact for Jesus and His church.

For a limited time, Sattler tuition is waived for the first year. Hurry – the offer expires on January 15, 2018.  Click Here to apply!


When Your Homeschool Owns You – HIRL Replay

Free Homeschooling Podcast about homeschool bondage and competition.When Cindy West reached out to us and asked to talk about something she’s seeing in the homeschool community at large, we jumped at the opportunity. And it’s this: Some homeschoolers feel they must adhere so closely to a particular homeschool philosophy that they have lost all their homeschool joy. Essentially, their homeschools are owning them.

So what’s the remedy? Tune in to “When Your Homeschool Owns You” to find out!


Recommended Resources:

Cindy West can be found here: Our Journey Westward.

Get Social With Us:

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Rasta The Chocolate Lab – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Website

Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor, Veritas Press!

We’d like to thank our sponsor, Veritas Press and their app, The Phonics Museum!

The Phonics Museum is the only complete reading app that will teach your child to read in record speed. Taking a “tools of learning” approach, the app helps establish a strong foundation of reading for children through a complete commitment to a phonics approach.

Vintage Homeschool Moms is excited to be able to offer you the chance to try The Phonics Museum for two weeks FREE. To redeem this exclusive offer, click here to get your first two weeks free!


Are you ready to listen to Fletch and Kendra get real about homeschooling? Press the PLAY button below.

How to Homeschool the Uncooperative Child

Homeschooling the Uncooperative Child The Homeschool Sanity Show Podcast
Special Series Replays while Melanie is on Christmas Break:

He never fails to groan when you announce it’s time for school. It takes her forever to finish her work. Or worse yet, you get outright rebellion. What to do? Rebecca Spooner of Hip Hoomeschooling shares her tips as a homeschool graduate and homeschooling mother of five on this episode of the podcast.

Listen on iTunes



7 Sisters Homeschool

Homeschooling the Uncooperative Child on Hip Homeschooling Blog

Rebecca on Periscope, Facebook, and Pinterest

Next Week

How to Hold on to Faith While Homeschooling with Kendra Fletcher of Homeschooling in Real Life

Have a happy homeschool week!

Finding Jesus At Christmas

finding Jesus at ChristmasFinding Jesus At Christmas

Holiday Traditions

Episode 246

Finding Jesus at Christmas seems to be the obvious choice, right? That is the entire reason for the season. Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus. However, so many traditions vie for attention. Reading the Christmas carols, singing Christmas songs (not all that are religious), and opening presents take center stage on Christmas morning. In this episode we discuss finding Jesus, putting the focal point back on the real reason for Christmas.

Finding Jesus at Christmas can be an intellectual, spiritual or even an activity that you can do that will help your family focus on the real meaning. Jesus coming as an infant touches our hearts. When we look at a nativity scene or watch a Christmas production at church many of us can’t remain dried eyes – tears flow! Why? Because we understand the importance of that first Christmas and the ultimate sacrifice on Good Friday. How do we encourage our children to celebrate Jesus?

Here are some tips for finding Jesus at Christmas:

  1. Start the month of December with an Advent calendar. The children can count down to the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day.
  2. Celebrate Advent with an advent wreath. Light a candle each evening (or at dinner), one for each week before Christmas, read a Scripture verse from the Bible or use a book (here is one we have used for years: The Season of Light Daily Prayer )
  3. Have the children participate in a Christmas play. Typically these events take weeks to practice and that does take time, however, the results are the children knowing the story of the birth of Jesus. Be sure to read the Bible story and discuss with your children.
  4. Recite the Christmas story. Take turns telling a few lines of the story, each family member adds more and more until the entire story of the Christmas birth is told.
  5. Set up a nativity set at home. My children always had small sets they placed in their own rooms. It was a wonderful reminder of the reason for the season.
  6. Christmas morning attending church. We attend on Christmas Eve and celebrate Christmas morning with prayers, lighting of our Advent wreath, thanking Jesus for His birth, and when the children were little we would hide baby Jesus for them to find before they opened presents.
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