Cure For Bragging Kids

CURE FOR BRAGGING Cure For BraggKids by Felice Gerwitz

Podcast #211

Bragging. It is one of those things parents often find alarming. There is a cure for bragging kids, but the solutions are not always easy. Kids can say the darndest things and when they are little we may laugh and think it is cute. Fast forward a few years and when we hear those “cute” things, our kids are no longer…well, cute! Bragging. Something we can help our kids overcome.

a time.

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Show Notes: Cure For Bragging Kids

Humility is the antidote to pride, which C. S. Lewis said was the “greatest sin,” the vice that leads to every other vice. “There is no fault which makes a man more unpopular, and no fault which we are more unconscious of in ourselves.”

5 Secret Revealed – SAT and ACT

5 Secrets Revealed SAT ACT5 Insider’s Top Secret Tips About the SAT and ACT

College Prep – #56 with Jean Burk

Are you ready for a series of podcasts that crack wide open the SAT and ACT myth. No, these tests do not evaluate what you know, they are standardized LOGIC tests. Do you understand what to look for? Can you answer some sections in less then one minute a question? In this series, podcast 56, 57, 58 and 59 Jean shares the information you need to crack open the code and score well. This information is something the test makers do not want you to know!

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Show Notes: 5 Secrets Revealed SAT – ACT

  1. Redesigned SAT is designed by ACT writers

One third rule – did better on ACT one better to SAT and one third do equally well on both.

The difference in the tests have been changed.

Some students didn’t like to sit longer – or on some tests they couldn’t switch their brain fast enough or found it more difficult

SAT changing began with – David Colman – he was the architect of common core – he was put in charge of testing and he decided he didn’t like the fact that more student s were taking the ACT over the SAT – the difference was close approx. 1.8 million vs. 1..7 million

David Colman hired the best ACT writer’s to improve the SAT and they did – they set up– patterns similar on both tests almost 99 percent the same

4-long sections on both test – students of any age common strategies now – on both tests

12 states including Texas – pulled out of Common Core – private and homeschoolers have not adopted CC – college board isn’t going to get sued…

influences and philosophies – testing reading, writing and math …. More on the podcast.

  1. There is now an August SAT – rising Junior – extra practice before PSAT before it counts for national merit scholar –26

College board – profile – links –College Board


  1. SAT – costs six figures to write – that alone tells you that when the college board writes this test – they have to follow the same rules all the time. Once you learn the patterns you can study those.

Change had to do with money – they wanted more people to take the SAT –

XYZ company got sued by college board – this particular company got caught cheating had the real tests and used those tests to teach their students

This is a beatable test – learning the patterns is the key –– cost to write each SAT – 625K for one test…


  1. SAT and ACT makers use similar misleading remarks – it is so discouraging and wrong advice… these tests do use high school content – these are filled with logic, and reasoning… but that alone is not enough. You have to approach it with a critical eye.

You can not study for the content –but you can study for how the questions are written. The only fair way to compare is with a standardized tests…


  1. You can get your SAT and ACT detailed scores back – you can determine your weaknesses and how to combat these

There are 3 times a year you can get your test back for a small fee – clean test booklet…

Gives you very specific results –



Curriculum, Learning Styles, and Choices… Oh, My!

Curriculum learning stylesAs a new homeschool mom with an arsenal of degrees and certifications to show for my years of college and experience in the preschool and special education arena, I thought I was prepared. I handled a class of 25+ students in the sixth through ninth grades of Specific Learning Disabilities classes. Surely I could handle two children who were my own.

So I set off as many of you do, to recreate the school within the home, only to find it was a dismal failure. Well, not totally. We loved waking up each morning to a hot breakfast, and then I’d take my second cup of coffee and my two little ones to my room where we’d snuggle up and I’d read the Bible, a biography, and often we’d end up back there again to read after lunch. My oldest child had some learning struggles and he was not getting math. Simple facts were beyond him and asking him to memorize the multiplications facts in later years was like asking him to recite the Pythagorean Theorem.

That’s when I discovered that while I could read most things and remember them, I had hands-on learners who loved exploring and delving into things, getting their hands dirty, and loving it! So instead of just talking about rockets, we turned the refrigerator box into a space ship, complete with countdown to blast off music. My children wore bicycle helmets and pretended to be astronauts.

When our lot flooded, I would have been happy to read about the flood plain, and use words like – “cypress slough” in a sentence or learn about all the animals that like the flood water habitat using an illustrated children’s nature book, but, nooooo, not my children! They had to don boots and drag their brand-new red wagon my parents purchased for them around our flooded yard. They would play outdoors for hours. One day my son ran in all excited and asked, “Is it red-on-yellow kill a fellow, and red-on-black friend of Jack?”  Do you see a recurring theme here?ChristinaSpaceShip

These two were not happy to read about nature in a book, they had to experience it, and so when I happened upon Cathy Duffy at a homeschool conference, it finally made sense! Learning styles, yes – I remember learning about those in my special education classes and then it hit me! Our styles were completely different and not only those of my children, but mine as well.

That doesn’t mean it happened overnight, nor does it mean that I couldn’t encourage my strong visual child to learn things orally as well. It just meant that I wasn’t trying to fit a square peg into a round hole any longer. I finally was able to hit on some compromises that worked for our family and we happily became a unit study, Charlotte Mason, textbook, workbooks, biographies, fiction author, eclectic type of family. One size does not always fit all – and I’m a case in point.

Have you struggled finding curriculum that works for your family? Or did you finally have an, “Aha!” moment like I did?


Felice Gerwitz is the host of Vintage Homeschool Moms show that airs on Monday at noon eastern time. Her guest is Cathy Duffy.

Get Organized-Fast!

get organized fastGet Organized–Fast by Dejunking Your Home with Felice Gerwitz

I’m on a mission – to get organized fast and I did this by dejunking my home. Is your home neat, everything in its place? Well, congrats–but if you are like most of us, we can always use some helpful tips. Join me as I discuss how I tackled this job and won! We discuss the four-box method and even my favorite but little-known method.

I’m sure I’ve wasted years looking for things! My kids can’t find their math books or I am missing my favorite pair of scissors. Sound familiar. My mother’s voice rings in my ears, “A place and everything in it’s place.” While that makes sense it is difficult to do–and we homeschooling moms just don’t have time. Right? Well, this has changed and now with my tried-and-true method, I finally have an organized house, one drawer, and one closet at a time.

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Show Notes: Get Organized Fast!

  1. Give yourself a time limit
  2. Ten minutes a day
  3. Tackle a section of a room each day
  4. Tackle a bigger job over the weekend

The best idea is to take everything out of the room–if you can, this is the best way to get organized fast. Only put in the things you must have and categorize everything else to store or give away. See the four box method below.

Four Box Method to get organized fast:

  1. Keep the items you need or have space to store.
  2. Sell or donate the items that you do not need. Use sites such as eBay, Amazon or Craig’s List to sell.
  3. Trash: Papers–if they contain sensitive information it is best to shred them or throw them away.  Throw away broken items or things that are too worn to give away.
  4. Store the things you do not need immediately. Only if you know you will use these things again but not immediately.

Listen to the podcast for more tips and get organized fast ideas!

Missing Key To Weight Loss

key to weight lossMissing Key To Weight Loss with Felice Gerwitz

Podcast # 209

Do you exercise and struggle with weight loss? Are you looking for the missing key? Have you wondered how some marathon runners are still packing on the extra pounds? Maybe this is you – you work out and try really hard to watch the calorie intake and still you can’t shed those pounds. After doing much research I realize there is more to this than just exercise and diet. A whole lot more! Listen to find the missing key and start losing those pounds.

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Podcast Show Notes: The Missing Key To Weight Loss

  1. Extreme exercise mimics stress in the body
  2. High intensity workouts are not necessarily healthy
  3. Marathon runners and not necessarily the thinnest people if they have the wrong attitude toward food
  4. Exercise can wear our bodies down and increase insulin levels – this triggers inflammation
  5. Stress locks our body into survival mode – metabolism slows
  6. Food attitudes are very important
  7. Low to moderate intensity exercise for 20-30 minutes three or four times a week
  8. Best prescription for weight loss, health and fitness is moderation


Solutions to the missing key to weight loss:

  1. Avoid stress – if stressed find ways to handle it
  2. One thing
  3. Find exercise you enjoy
  4. Enjoy your food, sit and enjoy eating

25-Tips to Save Money on Your Electricity

tips to save money electricity

I almost wanted to title this post, “Save money so your husband can take you out to dinner.” But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

My husband, Jeff is a home inspector as well as a builder and he often shares all types of money saving tips with me. He is very, very frugal. He turns off lights, turns the thermostat up in the summer and down in the winter. He keeps windows and doors well sealed, and always goes with me when we buy appliances so he can look for the best energy savers. He likes to drive old cars, and finally has a Vintage Truck that gets very good gas mileage.

Our house is 20 years older than my daughter’s and about 3 thousand square feet bigger and yet our electric bill is around $150.00 per month, hers is about $20 less. Our bill fluctuates, obviously it is more in the summer when we run the air and the dryer.

Now, I realize I could save much more money on electric if I always hung out the clothes, but they are stiff as a board … so, if you have any tips on hanging towels outdoors and having them soft, please share that tip with me!

I on the other hand forget to turn off lights, leave my computer on all day (and night –shh) and sometimes I even forget to close the refrigerator quickly when I take things out for dinner. If he is home, Jeff’s eagle eyes notice all of these things. He loves to share helpful money saving hints like this, “If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an energy rated bulb it could save enough money to run hundreds of thousands of cars. (The exact stats for this are on his home inspection website here.)

Or this helpful tips, “If I change 15 light bulbs with energy-savers, you could save $50 per year, and I can take you out to dinner.”

Now, that got my attention!

There are some environmental concerns as well as safety concerns with some of the new lights. Do your research and be informed. We live in sunny Florida and have a home that is wide open with lots of windows. So, turning on lights isn’t an issue during the day.

One time after a house remodel job for a customer we gained some new lighting. The recessed lights that the electrician installed were not what the owners wanted. My husband, the builder was delighted! He had the electrician change the lights, but kept the energy efficient ones because they were considered “used.” He happily brought home the lights and proceeded to change them immediately. It dipped our electric bill several dollars that month. We had energy efficient, but not this energy efficient!

Here are 25 Great Ways to save money that are low-cost or no-cost on saving energy:

  1. Turn off lights when you leave the room.
  2. Hand-wash and air-dry your dishes.
  3. Take shorter showers instead of baths.
  4. Air dry your hair instead of using the dryer.
  5. Make a plan before you open the refrigerator, close quickly.
  6. Replace and use light bulbs with energy savers.
  7. Use a timer on the hot water heater. They are easy to install.
  8. Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120° F
  9. Use solar outdoor lighting these recharge with the sun and cost less.
  10. Wash only full loads of clothes and use cold water whenever possible.
  11. Leave curtains open in the day to keep from turning on the lights.
  12. Turn off the shower or lower the stream while you shampoo your hair.
  13. Preheat your oven but use a timer – this will remind you it is ready to use.
  14. Eat more raw foods to use the oven less. It is healthier and saves money.
  15. Clean the coils under the refrigerator, this helps it work more efficiently.
  16. Look for the Energy Star labels on home appliances and products.
  17. Use heavier curtains in colder weather to keep heat in and cold out.
  18. Be sure the weather strip seals around your windows and doors are in good condition.
  19. If you have a pool use a timer to turn it on and off. (This saved us mega bucks a month.)
  20. Charge cell phones and electronic devices in the car instead of the house. Most fast charge that way.
  21. Use ceiling, box or pedestal fans instead of air-conditioning if possible. Keeping fans on will keep the room cooler.
  22. Use your grill. The food tastes better and propane goes a long way. Be sure to turn off the tank when finished.
  23. Use your dishwasher but don’t use the drying cycle and never run until full. Use one drinking cup all day long.
  24. Install a programmable thermostat keep the air at 80 or above in the summer & 67 or below in the Winter. This may vary by family comfort levels.
  25. Plug home electronics into power strips and turn the strips off when not in use (TVs and DVDs and computers in standby mode still use several watts of power). Unplug it when you leave the house.

Here is a Printable of the list below with an easy to use check list! Give it to your family and see how much money you can save on electricity today.




Visit for more energy-saving ideas.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. Copyright free.

Playtime Develops Young Minds


Does playtime develop young minds? with Felice Gerwitz

Podcast #208

Playtime allows children time to discover and explore. Sometimes we provide the latest and greatest toys or schedule every second of our kids lives with sports, camps, and lessons. Kids need time to think and to thrive on having time to figure things out on their own. Do your kids have a hard time playing on their own? In this podcast Felice shares tips on helping children to be independent, learn and explore. Sometimes just a little bit of structure helps as well as well as having ideas they can pursue on their own.

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Show Notes: Playtime

  1. How do you gear you kids up for “free time” playtime?
  2. What do you do when our kids can’t figure out things to do on their own?
  3. What is something they ask to do – that you say,”We don’t have time to do now?”
  4. Set up timers
  5. Paper – paper airplanes
  6. Books – reading, writing their own stories, creating plays and “shows”
  7. Brainstorm lists with your children of things to do

Children sometimes need direction to play alone. If your child is one of these “types,” the best advice is to work into it slowly. If your child has other siblings this may not be difficult. However, children tend to gravitate to the tried and true. They may not explore other avenues unless parent-led. If your child tends to be a realist (I had several children who were), encourage them in the arts, theater, puppet shows, etc. I explain more about this on the podcast about playtime.

Test Taking Encouragement

test taking encouragementTest Taking Encouragement with Jean Burk

What is the best news? A great score on a test! In this podcast Jean discusses test taking encouragement that YOU can do it! Success is around the corner and with Jean’s tips your student will benefit tremendously.

Episode 55

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Jean Burk is a Fox News Contributor – she was recently a guest on Fox and Family with Lisa Brady!

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  • This course teaches itself, if the parent did not go to college it will not affect their ability to teach the college readiness program to their student
  • 2 day boot-camp hosts have their child attend free!
  • Boot-camp costs 249 (at the time of this podcast) to attend with a FREE online course included
  • Material is eligible for 6th graders to 12th graders, earlier is better!
  • Average increase is 200, the higher percent is 600 points
  • Have the student take the SAT or ACT first before the class to see the improvement

Ron Paul thinks Homeschooling is the Answer

Ron Paul and Homeschooling

Ron Paul and Homeschooling

Ron Paul is known as a congressman and an outspoken libertarian, but did you know he is a homeschool advocate? Who would have known? I recently read his latest book, “The School Revolution: A New Answer for Our Broken Education System.” It touted homeschooling as the answer to the failed educational system. I couldn’t agree more.

You see, I’m a long-time homeschool parent. In 1986, after a failed attempt to have my special-needs son correctly placed in a special-needs class, I decided he would never go to public school. I enrolled him in a preschool and then a private school, only to lose a year and have to begin all over again when I took him “home.” I began homeschooling to give my high-functioning special-needs son a fair chance in a system I saw as broken.

My tax-payer dollars were not being used for the special-education program; they were being used for whatever the school principal mandated. I knew this because prior to marriage and kids, I was a special-ed teacher in a school that lacked the funding for books or manipulatives much-needed by my students. As a young idealist, I brought in popcorn as math manipulatives, taught students to string popcorn together as practice in fine-motor training, and created my own incentives. I even took the initiative to meet my students’ parents and caregivers, going to their homes when they could not drive to the school to meet me. You see, I cared. Some may say that I am bitter about my experiences with the public education system. I’m not.

Ron Paul made a case for homeschooling to replace the failed education system. He made a comparison of the way the postal service has been usurped by private enterprise such as UPS and FedEx. He believes homeschool and online services such as classes and schools will be more effective than the federal government in servicing students throughout the US.

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that homeschooling is far superior to public education. I care about my children; what teacher will care about them as much as their mother does? There are a few. Many teachers give their hearts and resources to help students learn. My sister-in-laws, as well as my brother-in-law (co-host of the Current Issues and the Constitution class), are evidence of this fact! It isn’t the teachers (for the most part); it is the system that is broken. As with many other good teachers, I left the system and created not only this network, but my own curriculum, for my children as well as generations of children to come.

The public school system is overrun with bureaucracy as well as mandates that have little to do with reading, writing, or arithmetic. It is more concerned with liberal fairness, teaching evolution, and creating a group of twenty-somethings that want the state to support them in health care or any other entitlement program. Handouts come with a price: freedom.

My children understand the Constitution of the United States. They are articulate and bright. They have overcome obstacles set up as a detriment to the fact that they are “homeschoolers.” They have risen to the challenge and surpassed even my wildest expectations. My adult children have graduated from college with honors or gone into the workplace as American citizens that understand the value of hard work and family. They are not a product of an educational system that looks at them as a statistic and pigeonholes them into a class based upon age rather than ability.

As you may have guessed, I am an advocate for homeschooling K-12, and I agree with Ron Paul (even though I would not consider myself a libertarian) that homeschool students are important to our future liberties! I believe you will see many more homeschoolers becoming leaders in politics in the near future. If the United States is to have any Christian future it depends on homeschooling. Do you agree?

Listen to the original podcast interview with Ron Paul here.


Best Summer Reading For Kids

best summer reading for childrenBest Summer Reading For Children with Meredith Curtis and Felice Gerwitz

Podcast #207

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Meredith Curtis –

PictureShow Notes: Best Summer Reading For Children

Visit Meredith’s extensive book list on her website –

Podcasts about reading:

  1. Summer Reading List
  2. Best Way To Teach Reading
  3. Build Your Summer Reading List

Check out this podcast on Summer Reading

Kids read when they are ready and able.

Read aloud – lots of out door and free play.

Free play develops their minds and bodies.

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