Vintage Homeschool Moms

Home School Tips from Jan Bedell

homeschool tipsLet’s Meet Jan Bedell –  with Felice Gerwitz

Are you ready to meet the “Brain Coach” – she is my special guest and ready to share some great homeschool tips with you. Dr. Jan is a mom who had a child with extreme difficulties and rather than listen to the experts, Jan decided to do something about her daughter’s challenges. Jan hosts a podcast, “The Brain Coach Tips” on this network. Be sure to visit her podcast here.

Jan’s website is Little Giant Steps with many free and downloadable products to help your struggling learners.

Graduation On The Cheap

Homeschooling families can benefit from frugal ideas for graduation | graduation on the cheapLet’s Talk About Graduation On The Cheap with Felice Gerwitz and Meredith Curtis

Podcast 196

We have graduation on the cheap ideas – are you ready? Have you started your high school graduation party plans yet? No worries! We’ve got you covered. Inexpensive graduation ideas are our specialty. Meredith has graduated five children and Felice four so between them, they have quite an arsenal of ideas that you can implement even if you waited until the last minute. Grab your notepad and listen in.

Be sure to share our show with you friends – and rate us on iTunes, GooglePlay or your favorite podcast app.

Show Notes: Graduation On The Cheap

  1. Location: churches, park, church fellowship hall, party at home
  2. Invitations – VistaPrint, at home computer
  3. Food
  4. Decorations
  5. Personal Touch

We discussed deciding on the type of graduation you want, planning the type of graduation early and saving up money. Pray about the type of graduation that is right for you. Include your teens as well.

More great ideas

  • Food -finger foods – fun: candy bars – ice cream with toppings
  • Open house – visiting times staggers friends
  • Photo booth with props for teens
  • Personal touch – poster boards, items important to the teen


The BIGGEST Homeschool Sale of the Year - ends 5/30/17

Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling

Wow Science Experiments

wow science experimentsWow Science Experiments – with Felice Gerwitz

Podcast #195

As an enthusiast of teaching the children a hands-on science approach, Felice will discuss “wow” science experiments to get your kids excited but more importantly, the goal which is encouraging children to love learning and explore science on their own.

Over the years I have taught children science, first in school where I worked and then as a mom to a toddler who loved science. Then, to my homeschooled children. There are many science experiments that are wow experiments–yet, when I asked my children what we learned they were hard pressed to answer. Or, if they answered they were way off. So, while I love wow science experiments I believe it is important to understand the “science” behind the activity. In this podcast, I share ten of my favorite science experiments that teach and have your children saying, “Wow!”Are you ready to create those WOW experiences with your children? Let’s begin!

Follow on iTunes, Google Play or your favorite podcast app.

Give us a STAR rating and feedback on iTunes or your podcast app – thank-you!

Thanks to our Network Sponsor

Sony Pictures: and the latest movie with great values and message – Smurfs: The Lost Village.

smurfs movie the lost village

Show Notes – Wow Science Experiments: 

  1. Science is experimental – that means we may or may not have a successful project
  2. Science is observable and measurable
  3. Science is not magic – saying it is magic precludes finding an answer
  4. Science is repeatable – if you are successful you can recreate the experiment with the same results over and over again
  5. Science peaks curiosity – it asks what if and open-ended questions, it requires kids to THINK


10-Favorite – Wow Science Experiments:

  1. Baking soda and vinegar
  2. Milk, food color, and soap
  3. Water, pepper, and soap
  4. Mintos and soda
  5. Oil and water
  6. Remote control and a mirror
  7. Battery – strip of aluminum foil and light bulb (tiny like that in a flashlight)
  8. Vinegar and chicken bones
  9. Fire needs oxygen – light a candle and invert a mason jar or glass over it
  10. Invisible ink – squeeze lemon juice –and heat


Extra Activities Not Quite Top Ten

  1. Changing a flower’s color OR celery using colored water.
  2. Can you poke a hole through a potato with a straw?
  3. Put a coin in a balloon, a small balloon, and a dime … blow up the balloon, hold one end and shake, what do you hear?
  4. Can you pick up an ice cube with string?

Wow Science Experiments Including Mentos and Soda – On This Website 

Deposit Photo – All Rights Reserved. 2017. Copyright @shalamov



Fun Activities Teach

fun activities teachFun Activities Teach!  with Felice Gerwitz

Podcast 194

Fun activities teach, right? Or do you believe that learning does not have to be fun to be effective? A little fun can often spark the creativity in your child and lead to learning that happens spontaneously. In this episode, Felice discusses some fun activities that teach and great memories of activities she accomplished with her children to make homeschooling not only a success–but something she has passed down to the next generation (her grandkids!).

Thanks to our Network Sponsor

second harvest curriculumThanks to our sponsors – Second Harvest Curriculum

Second Harvest Curriculum Website  | Blog and Facebook Page | Twitter Account | and follow on Pinterest

Show Notes: Fun Activities Teach

Follow Felice’s Pinterest Board: Fun Activities That Teach

Here are some fun activities that teach:

    1. Math: Learning to add using numbered paper (one on each page). Child solves problems by standing on the first number and counting forward to the answer, or backward (or subtraction)
    2. Paper Airplanes – study aerodynamics, air pressure, resistance, etc.
    3. Pond life – Reading, researching, studying and documenting all without twisting their arms!
    4. Teaching Science and Having Fun – creating lab boxes, it is the importance to have all the equipment or supplies handy when doing science projects or experiments.
    5. Bubbles – in the tub, bubbles with a wire coat hanger – surface tension – learn about the science behind a bubble
    6. Baking soda and vinegar – what chemical property does this make? What is it used for? Have fun using a zipper plastic baggie, small paper cup (fill 1/2 full with baking soda) pour vinegar into the bottom of the bag, zip closed, flip and watch it pop! (and make a mess – do this outdoors!)
    7. Magnifying glass and the sun. Make s’mores, harness the power of the sun through magnification!
    8. Bug catchers – with a magnifying glass – catch and release – use nature journal to document.
    9. ART – fabulous fun projects, use fingerprints and paint or ink pads to make fun creatures, studying fingerprints
    10. Crayon relief – with watercolors. How wax repels water (colors).

Culmination Education Events:

  1. Unit studies – Studied Medieval Period. Reenacted a full medieval meal complete with bread bowls for plates, whole chicken, and the kids could even throw the bones on the floor! Children staged a joust complete with pretend swords, damsels in distress and wood horses. (We even had a court jester and neighbors dressed up like the King and Queen!)
  2. Weather Unit with Weather “Man” Broadcast. The children studied weather, learned how to read a weather map, made weather instruments and took readings for weeks, and then each child took turns being a weather man or lady, and we recorded the entire production The children used their own “findings” to give their weathercast.

Copyright 2017, Felice Gerwitz, Media Angels, Inc. All Rights Reserved.



Appreciating Classical Music

appreciating classical musicLet’s Talk About Appreciating Classical Music with Felice Gerwitz

Podcast #193

Is appreciating classical music a priority in your homeschool? Our family has enjoyed many wonderful unit studies surrounding this topic, the children learned how to identify the sounds of the instrument and many of the composers. This has not only expanded their minds but encouraged them in their study of music. Whether you are a classical music fan or a newcomer to studying classical music you will find many ideas and tips for teaching your children about classical music.

Thanks to our sponsors

Home Music Tools –Website

With special offers, be sure to visit their Facebook Page and website for more information.

– Sony Pictures: and the latest movie with great values and message – Smurfs: The Lost Village.

Download your Christian study guide here: smurfs_discussion_guide

Show Notes: Appreciating Classical Music

For the kids – Printable Appreciating Classical Music Music Appreciation

Why Study Classical Music?

  1. It is enjoyable
  2. It evokes emotion
  3. The lives of the composers are interesting
  4. It is complex
  5. You might learn the sounds the different instruments makes
  6. It may encourage you to attend the Philharmonic or performing arts center near you (yay! Field trip – add that in the “book”_
  7. You can learn to identify pieces to the composers
  8. It helps you become engaged, you don’t tune it out like you might other music
  9. It is a form of escape – a break from reality
  10. IT may spur your child to learn to play an instrument and create music of their own!

Music Selections Played in this podcast on appreciating classical music:

  1. Johann Sebastian Bach, Jesus Joy of Man’s Desiring
  2. Bach -Tocatta and Fugue
  3. Beethoven – Fur Elise
  4. Beethoven – Moonlight Sonata
  5. Brahms – Lullaby
  6. Mozart – Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
  7. Mozart – Rondo A la Turca
  8. Tchaikovsky Nutcracker Suite
  9. Tchaikovsky – Sleeping Beauty Waltz

Suggestions for studying classical music for appreciation–Classical Period 1750-1830

  1. Composers – take a week and focus on each one and several of the composer’s more famous pieces
  2. Watch video of composers – stories on youtube etc.
  3. Great Classes – composers series
  4. Music appreciation
    1. Composition and beat (I have a link on this podcast – beat meter and form –
    2. Theme **
    3. Instruments
    4. Placement of instruments in an orchestra
  • **Different forms are:
    theme and variation

Theme and Variation is one thing to learn how to identify.

A theme is a small group of phrases that make up a complete musical idea
then several or altered or modified variations of the theme – the general music is changed by changing tempo, pitch, tonality, meter, texture, rhythm or overall emotional expression. The composer can select one or several variations.

Best Exercises

best exercuses Let’s Talk About The Best Exercises For You and Exercises That Work with Felice Gerwitz

What is the BEST Exercise for you? There are exercises that work and exercises that don’t – and in this podcast, Felice discusses the absolute best exercises when trying to maintain your weight loss as well as some great tips for continuing to exercise and making it part of your routine. In this podcast she asks many questions and works you through possible responses to find the ideal work out for you! Felice is a reluctant “exerciser” who recently decided to change her sedentary habits and turned to exercise as a way to begin… she shares her progress on weight loss and her exercise regime as well!

Thanks to our Network Sponsor

Sony Pictures: and the latest movie with great values and message – Smurfs: The Lost Village.

smurfs movie the lost village

Click here for the FREE Faith-based Movie Guide!

Show Notes: The Best Exercises For You

  1. The best exercise is the one you will do consistently
  2. The best exercise is the one that fits your schedule
  3. The best exercise is the one that will be your life long companion


Questions to ask:

 What are your options? 

  1. High impact – Pilates cycling, running/jogging, weight lifting, exercise machine such as a thread climber, stair stepper, running marathons, etc.
  2. Low impact – swimming, jumping on a trampoline, walking, etc.
  3. Average impact –weights – 1lb-3lbs,  stationary bikes, etc.

What is the BEST Exercises for you?

  1. Do you have physical limitations?
  2. What are you doing now? Welcome to the club? I only began exercising recently
  3. What time do you have?
    1. Look at the your schedule?
    2. What are you doing now?
  4. What can you do as a family?

How do you continue exercising through the days, weeks, months and years?

  1. Select an element of exercise you like
  2. Make it a routine – begin with three times a week – two times or at least one time. Typically if you try to create a routine and are only doing it one day it will easily be something you will drop, so try for at least two days.

Habits take time to form – to make a routine a habit try for a least 21-30 days – until it becomes part of your day! And a new you.

The best exercises for you – listen to the podcast for me.

Last thoughts –

                We schedule doctor appointments, lessons for our kids – and all the important things we have to do – how can we not set aside time to be healthy? I never wanted to exercise because to me exercise was sit ups and crunches – I hated it so much I avoided it most of my life. Now I can see the importance of doing a physical activity for my future mobility and health to take care of my family.





The Real Kathy Lee – Momfessions

real kathy leeLet’s Meet The Real Kathy Lee Momfessions – with Felice Gerwitz and Kathy H. Lee

Podcast 191

Meet the Real Kathy Lee “momfessions, and discuss her awesome podcast, when she joins Felice Gerwitz to discuss homeschool successes, do-overs and what she wish she had known when she started homeschooling! Kathy was involved in public education and was often in front of other educators discussing how to engage early learners. However she always knew she wanted to homeschool … and she did, all ten of her children. Learn more about Kathy, what she shares on her own podcast [Momfessions here] and how to use the great advice she shares.

Thanks to our Sponsor – Sony PicturesSmurfs: The Lost Village and Download smurfs_discussion_guide

smurfs the lost village

Don’t forget to follow us on iTunes, Google Play, on this website, or download to your computer. Do you have a smart phone? Either an apple or an adroid. Use any podcast app and search for “Vintage Homeschool Moms,” or the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network. There you will find this show as well as many other shows on this network, such as, “Momfessions with The Real Kathy Lee” … and please leave us a comment – below and on iTunes, etc. 5-stars please!!

About the “Real” Kathy Lee “momfessions”- Kathy is a mom of ten children, biological and adopted. She is determined and honest, in that she made mistakes…many! She hosts a podcast on this network, “Momfessions ~ with The Real Kathy Lee.” She interviews guests and does solo podcasts weekly. Visit Kathy on her website here.

Show Notes: Meet The Real Kathy Lee Momfessions:

We discussed:

The need to savor every day. We discussed how quickly it (homeschooling) goes by! Also, that every single day isn’t critical.

Homeschool Success: According to Kathy it was the ability to allow her children to play and discover learning during play. In addition, she allowed her children to study according to their areas of interest.

I asked if she could do something over again, what would that be? Homeschool Do Over: Trust my instincts – intuition said it wasn’t best for a specific child and it wasn’

Kathy Lee’s curriculum: The Homesgrown PreSchooler 

When pre-schoolers kids say they want to do school, what this generally means:

  • I want to be big – let the children role playing – setting up pretend school – as a play station…
  • Rotate kids – older child can work with the younger, doing a sensory activity or art project
  • Do together – let the little ones sit there doing something tactile – while you do the read aloud activity with the older children.

Find many more ideas and tips in Kathy’s book as well as on her website. The links are above.

Yearly Evaluations

yearly evaluationsLet’s Talk About Yearly Evaluations with Felice Gerwitz

Podcast #190

Do you worry about yearly homeschool evaluations? Each year homeschoolers are required by law to provide evidence of an increase of knowledge. Depending on several factors including location (where you live) and legalities – your state’s policy or homeschool support or “umbrella school,” requirements your stress level can soar! Don’t worry, veteran homeschool mom will help you overcome testing anxiety with practical tools such as understanding your options or identifying which method will work best for you.

Thanks to our Network Sponsor

Sony Pictures: and the latest movie with great values and message – Smurfs: The Lost Village.

smurfs movie the lost village

Click here for the FREE Faith-based Movie Guide!

Show Notes: Yearly Evaluations  

Standardized Tests

  • Standardized Tests –for yearly evaluations
    1. Know deadlines
    2. Retest or not
    3. Prepare your kids to sit and bubble in
    4. Don’t cheat
    5. Don’t teach the test
    6. Scores –
      1. Percentile and rankings
      2. Stanine
      3. Grade equivalent

Standardized tests are logic tests they don’t test what a child knows – keep this in mind!  – Listen to College Prep Genius Podcast

  1. Don’t freak out
    1. Keep results in perspective –
    2. Remediation – and
  • Yearly Evaluations – special issues or not
    1. Evaluation is when a teacher (certified) looks over your child’s work progress – typically a portfolio evaluation
    2. Who will you get to do the evaluations?
      1. What to ask evaluator
      2. Simple tests – can be administered
      3. Should get the evaluation on the spot – (I recommend) a letter saying nothing specific goes to the school board
      4. Send school board a basic letter that say your child has made progress.
      5. Don’t like the results? You have the option of turning it in or not.
  • Portfolios for Yearly Evaluations
    1. Simply a 3-ring binder with work progression
    2. A collection of the beginning, middle and end of the year – papers, videos, picture albums, collection of math or writing papers, any tests, or samples of work, list of field trips, books you’ve read as a family and the child individually – any curriculum you’ve used, name and publisher – with of course work samples – I liked to slip sheet some stellar work to highlight in their notebook, lapbooks, etc. – again depending on what is required by law
    3. Your child may be required to be in attendance and most kids love the evaluations so they can show the person all they’ve learned.
    4. Umbrella school requirements –Umbrella school may require attendance
  • Ways to alleviate parental stress:
  1. You don’t have to use the test scores
  2. You can give the test again – or seek a different approach
  3. Seek an evaluation
  4. Start early with fun review
  • Safeguards to ensure that your kids are on track to make progress
  1. Beginning, middle and end of the year check up
  2. Evaluate your year as you move along
  3. Change curriculum or remediate
  • A review process that is fun and effective
  1. Play educational games – low stress for kids
  2. Be relaxed.
  3. Use manipulatives to teach difficult concepts or struggling learners.
  4. Creative teaching: Cooking– to teach fractions, etc.
  5. Look at your curriculum –use assessments as practice.

Related Podcasts

Empower Kids To Learn

empower your kids to learnLet’s Talk About… Empower Your Kids To Learn with Felice Gerwitz and special guest, Jodie Oare

Podcast #189

Have you thought about ways to empower your kids to learn? Join us as I interview Jodie Oare, a successful volunteer, child advocate, and teacher. She wears many hats, mainly that of mom, girl scout leader, preschool teacher, Preschool Director, Bible study volunteer, substitute teacher and so much more! Jodie is my husband’s sister and my amazing sister-in-law. She is always talking about these topics when we sit around and discuss kids and grandkids (what else!).  Now for the first time – ever – Jodie shares her insider’s secrets with you!



Thanks to our Network Sponsor

Sony Pictures: and the latest movie with great values and message – Smurfs: The Lost Village.

smurfs movie the lost village

Click here for the FREE Faith-based Movie Guide!


Show Notes – Empower Your Kids To Learn:

  1. Create a space and atmosphere where teaching and learning are to take place that supports and confirms the educator’s participation and the learner’s participation by visibly establishing the concept of “WE”.
  2. Communicate to the learners that learning is an adventure (expectations) and that you know where we are going and how to get there because you have planned and have methods/ways to help us enjoy the adventure and to get where we are going (the next level of education/skill).
  3. Establish and communicate routines, schedules, rules, and behavior strategies to encourage engaged participation. Consensus is encouraged.
  4. Present topics/instruction/themes in a variety of modalities/senses. This is the adventure that we are taking, the skill work should be included in the adventure, as well as interesting fact finding and knowledge acquisition. Tangible evidence of the learning adventure reinforces knowledge and provides an opportunity for mastery (owning).
  5. Affirmation of effort supports the engagement and participation of the learner from where they are encouraging continued effort which will create a sense of trust, empowerment, and possibility leading to improvement and advancement.



Music 101 In The Homeschool

music 101 in the homeschool
Let’s Talk About … Music 101 In The Homeschool with Felice Gerwitz and Meredith Curtis

Is music 101 the focus in the homeschool? Do you use music in your homeschool? Do you realize the mathematical, emotional and focus as a musician? In this podcast, Felice and Meredith focus on several points to introduce you to thoughts of placing music in your home. Your child is never too young to learn about music!

Podcast: # 188

Our sponsors: please thank them for bringing you this show for free!

Home Music Tools – owned by a homeschool dad! Visit Sean’s Facebook Page

Sony Pictures – Smurfs: The Lost Village 


Show Notes: Music 101: In The Homeschool

  1. Music is mathematical (talk about math in music and how music helps math)
    1. Helps to understand the foundational mathematical element
    2. Helps our children to excel in math
    3. Music may come naturally to children who are mathematical
  2. Music is emotional (a great outlet for emotion in a positive way)
    1. Different types of songs
    2. Rhythm, count – musical instruments
    3. Dance
  3. Studying the Composers
    1. Studying different compositions
    2. Studying musical instruments
    3. Classical music appreciation
    4. Listen to a live performance
  4. How to grow from playing and instrument to being a Musician
    1. Piano lessons
      1. Simple scales
      2. Moving through several octaves
    2. Start with piano
      1. With weighted keys – you can learn music theory
    3. Guitar – a little more tricky
    4. Voice
      1. A voice is an instrument
      2. Develop and grow your voice
    5. A musician:
      1. Practices all the time.
        1. Scales, fingering, drills
        2. Set aside practice
        3. Practice makes permanent
      2. Grow in their gifts
        1. Struggle with one or two things
        2. Take care of their instruments
        3. Learn new things on their instruments
        4. Listen to other players
        5. Performs
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