How to Enjoy History

Teach History by Throwing a Party


I love history!

I even pick up history textbooks and read them for fun. There! I admitted it!

However, not every child is born loving history. So, I have looked for ways to bring history alive, to make it fun. We read historical fiction, make timelines, look at maps, watch movies, make crafts, time travel in the kitchen,  create radio dramas, and write poetry.

We also throw parties to study history! We love to have fun when we homeschool.

Yes, we do!




We have had medieval banquets, archaeology digs, luaus, 1950s sock hops, Victorian teas, and Ancient Greek Olympics.

How Hard Is This?

Doesn’t that sound like a lot of work just to homeschool history? you ask.

Well, yes and no. We love parties, so I am motivated if it means people I like, good food, and lots of wholesome fun! My kids love parties, too.

Here is why we learn history when we plan an event like a sock hop or a medieval banquet. We have to research history to create an authentic experience. We dig deeper than normal to find out what they wore, what they ate, exactly what they did, where they did it, and why they did it.

When we planned our Ancient Greek Olympics, we learned that the games were a form of worship to their idol/gods. They opened each day by committing everything to one or more of the idol/gods or idol/goddesses. We decided to open our ceremonies in prayer and commit the whole event to Jesus. Then we learned about all the events and how they competed. In the process, we learned about Greek city-states and their relationships with one another. We discovered some funny stories along the way.

[Read more…]

How To Deal With Homeschool Burnout – Special Replay

Free homeschool podcast discussing how to deal with homeschool burnoutThis is our second stab at the topic of homeschool burnout. Back in Episode 39, we interviewed four homeschool moms and discussed the topic: I Love Homeschooling, But I’m Totally Burned Out.  On that episode we verified that homeschooling moms burn out often and regularly.

Our listener Anna, wrote in and asked if we would expand the topic a little more. “I’m just having a really hard time figuring out how to carve out some (consistent) space in our life for me to recharge my batteries, and I’d love to know how other moms manage to do that.”  Anna, this episode is just for you!

We decided to hit this topic alone. We are not strangers to burnout. In fact, we are in the middle of our own homeschool/homeschooling/homeschoolers burnout as we sat down to record this show. Our listeners get a front row seat as we discuss honestly how we are choosing to work through our own burnout.

Tune in as we offer practical advice to both mom and dad as we answer the question about how to deal with homeschool burnout.

1:53– Introduction
8:00 – Letter #1 – Jennifer, Binge Listener/Fluff Lover
10:37 – Letter #2 – Heather, Hope Shifting
16:00 – Homeschool Burnout – Segment 1/Practical Response
31:58 – Homeschool Burnout – Segment 2/”Me” Time
41:30 – Homeschool Burnout – Segment 3/Fletcher Burnout

Music clips used on this show:

“Slow Down'” Keb’ Mo’ (Buy It Here On iTunes)


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!


We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Sony and their new DVD release, The Star, the Story of the First Christmas!

Visit  here to learn more.


Special Replay: Easy Fundraisers for Homeschool Groups


Does your homeschool organization need some ideas for raising money? Carol Topp, the Homeschool CPA, shares ideas for easy fundraising in this episode of the Dollars And Sense Show.

Easy fundraisers show notes:

Coupon and reward programs
Box Tops. Need 501c3 status
Shopping reward like Kroger Plus program
E Scrip

Food as a fundraiser
Pizza sales, bake sales to members
Candy, popcorn sales to public could impose a reporting to you state’s AG office
Restaurant (Chik-Fil-A) give a percent of proceeds from one night to your organization
Dinners as fundraisers

Via email, website, crowd funding, etc
Read-a-thon or walk-a-thon
Car washes and bake sales

Sell products
Ideas at
Used curriculum sale. Charge an entrance fee, or a table fee to the sellers (or both!)

Reporting the Fundraiser income:
The IRS considers fundraisers to be unrelated to your nonprofit purpose and therefore, subject to taxation. Exceptions to the Unrelated Business Income tax:

  • Under $1,000 income from fundraisers in a year
  • All volunteer labor (no hired help to run the fundraiser)
  • Not regularly carried on
  • Selling donated items

State may require reporting to their attorney General if you sell to the public or solicit donations from the public. Usual exceptions are: only sales to members, a  dollar threshold ($25,000 is common), all volunteer labor, but these vary by state.

Warning: No Individual fundraising accounts!

New links:

Blog posts  on fundraising:

Article “Easy Fundraisers for Homeschool Groups” at

More information:
Money Mgmt HS OrgCover

Money Management in a Homeschool Organization book

Blog posts  on fundraising:

Article “Easy Fundraisers for Homeschool Groups” at


If you enjoyed this podcast, please leave a review on iTunes. (click on View in iTunes to leave a review)

Special Replay: Any tax breaks for homeschoolers?

Any tax breaks for homeschoolers?


Are there any tax breaks for homeschoolers? Carol Topp, CPA answered this question originally back in 2014, but the answer is still the same-even with the new tax laws passed in 2017. Additionally, Carol gives some details on college expenses that are tax deductible and tax advantaged college savings plans.

In the podcast Carol mentioned these resources:

Home School Legal Defense Association has an explanation of some states’ tax breaks or credits:

Ann Zeise of A to Z Home’s Cool has a great, detailed and lengthy post of tax write-offs for homeschoolers:

Featured Resource from the Homeschool CPA: helps homeschool leaders with legal and tax compliance.

Go to

Cybersecurity Tips for Homeschoolers

Cybersecurity Tips for Homeschoolers

Cybersecurity Tips for Homeschoolers

Homeschooling has so many advantages, it’s hard to list them all! Direct and consistent teacher-to-student interaction, a tailored education, and better teaching materials are just a few of the many reasons so many families feel drawn to homeschooling. Overall, parents have much more control over their child’s educational experience when they homeschool. However, when it comes to cybersecurity threats and computer viruses, homeschoolers are often more vulnerable and at risk than their public school peers.


The majority of school computer labs have some form of cybersecurity software that protects students identities, keeps them off harmful websites, and protects against malware infection. With so much homeschooling curriculum being based on the web, internet safety and privacy protection is a topic that every homeschooling parent needs to address.


But awareness of this growing issue is just the first step. Communication is the next one. A recent survey shows 33% of parents who named “cyberbullying” as their biggest fear have never talked to their kids about the topic. Navigating the dangers of the internet means being honest with your kids about what’s at stake. Identities can be stolen, data can be destroyed, and cyberbullies can do serious psychological harm.


Educating your kids and engaging in an ongoing dialogue about cybersecurity is one of the most effective things you can do to keep them safe while they learn online.


Be honest

Cybersecurity is serious business. Don’t avoid issues because they’re uncomfortable or complicated to explain. Instead, be honest. Tell your children some online activities are safer than others, and set ground rules for what is and what is not appropriate behavior.


The online world is just like the real world. Not talking to strangers at the park is just as important as not talking to strangers in chat rooms. Leaving your toys out for thieves to steal is just like telling someone too much information online. Avoid dividing the real world from the online one. Instead, bring them together by making these types of connections. Children need consistency, and keeping the rules consistent for on and offline activities will help them understand the dangers of both.


Being honest about cybersecurity also means pointing out the good things about online activities. Keep a balanced outlook. Emphasize they need to be cautious but enjoy the internet. It contains wonderful things to help them grow, socialize, and learn. As they learn better online habits, they will feel safer, confident, and in control. Honesty is always the best policy!

Use your creativity

Cybersecurity concepts like online identities and malware can be abstract concepts, especially for younger children. Use examples and analogies that children can relate to easily. For example, use the analogy that computer viruses work like biological viruses. Explain how one “sick” computer infects another. Personal identities are unique like our fingerprints. Stealing someone’s identity is like dressing up as that person for Halloween so you can steal all of their candy. Find creative ways to relate cybersecurity concepts to their everyday lives.

Build trust

Your child (especially as a teenager!) may assume your concerns are more about spying on their online activities rather than looking out for them. Reassure them you won’t get upset if they accidentally click on something they shouldn’t or if their device gets a virus. Overreacting will likely cause resentment, anxiety, and rebellion. These are all counterproductive to building good habits and trust.


For teenagers, be consistent about your concerns. Make it just as much about protecting devices and information as it is about who they’re talking to online. For small children, reinforce the notion that cyberthieves are tricky, but you can beat them by following the rules.

Go online together

The best way to teach a child something is to show them firsthand. Go online and search for a term that interests them. Then explore the results looking for good and bad websites. Take a tour of the browser’s interface. Point out the address bar, bookmarks, extensions, and the search results. Show them how to close an internet pop-up ad and what to do when they can’t find a close button.


Websites come in different flavors when it comes to data safety. Some talk with your browser using encryption and some don’t. Encryption keeps your data safe. Encrypted sites begin their URLs with “https”. Unencrypted ones have “http”. Browser extensions like HTTPS Everywhere identify unsecure websites from secure ones automatically.

Sit down with them and open their favorite app. Explore its social and/or messaging features. Explain what to do if they receive a message. Show them how to respond to in-app purchase and pop-up ads. If you feel your child isn’t mature enough for messaging, check to see if the app allows disabling this feature.

Use online resources

Another effective way to teach children about online safety is using online resources. Internet safety websites like the Federal Trade Commission’s OnGuardOnline has security tips, games, and other online learning resources for parents and guardians. Other sites use videos, quizzes, and other activities to teach cyber security basics to children in a fun and interactive online environment.


You can learn more about online threats and even download a conversation checklist to start a dialogue with your children using the Parents’ Ultimate Guide to Cybersecurity. Downloading free antivirus software will also keep them safe as they practice smart online habits.


The investment you put into talking to your kids about cybersecurity will pay off down the road. The digital world is here, and learning to navigate it is the reality of future generations. Your child’s future success will be tied to their online safety. Helping them create smart online habits at an early age will protect them and keep the internet a fun, safe, and educational place for continued learning.

Best of Homeschool Sanity: How to Have Your Sanest Homeschool Year

Hoping for a saner homeschool year? I have six suggestions for you. While simple, they’re very powerful for creating the peace and joy you long for.

Want to read this article as a blog post? READ HERE or SUBSCRIBE ON ITUNES or ON STITCHER

How to Make This Year Your Sanest Homeschool Year Podcast




the mistake of giving up on our routines this time of year

The 5 Am Miracle by Jeff Sanders

Pam Barnhill’s Morning Basket Guide

Konos How to Have a New Kid by Friday by Kevin Leman


Nanny 911

an episode I did with Reb Bradley

an episode of this podcast on teaching children to do chores well

Plan to Eat

Tastefully Simple

The Once and For All Meal Plan.

two free planners


Techie Homeschool Mom

The Organized Homeschool Life

Which of these sanity steps will you take first? Let’s talk about it at Homeschool Sanity on Facebook.

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!



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:

Follow Fletch/Kendra:
Fletch Twitter
Kendra Twitter

Follow the Studio Dogs:
Betty the Surf Dog – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Website
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!

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