Search Results for: academics

Kindergarten Skills for Academics

Kindergarten Skills for Academics with the Brain CoachUnderlying developmental building blocks are necessary for a kindergarten child to be ready for more formal academics.  From Little Giant Steps’ perspective, kindergarten is the culmination of effective development in six areas.   When there are gaps in one or more areas of development, children can suffer from a myriad of learning challenges and even learning labels like ADD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, CAPD and many others.  Most people try to fix these inefficiencies with curriculum when in fact, curriculum is designed to advance an individual that already has efficient brain development.

The six areas of development (tactility, auditory, visual, manual, language, and mobility) that are the foundation to function are expanded this week.  The precise activities, described this week, can produce better function.

Not only is proper development necessary but the chemistry of our body has to be considered as well.  You can receive a free metabolic consultation after submitting your request.  See details for this and other savings in the handout. Read More!

Education Methods: Unschooling and Delayed Academics

unschooling-and-delayed-bodyEducation Methods: Unschooling and Delayed Academics

Podcast #11

In this episode,  Florida Parent Educators Association (FPEA) Chairwoman, Suzanne Nunn discusses Unschooling and Delayed Academics approaches to homeschooling.

Please join us as we travel along this journey on our podcast adventure. Let’s get connected! Learn more about the Florida Parent Educator’s Association and homeschooling in the beautiful state of Florida. If you are interested in homeschooling our convention is every year in May during Memorial Day weekend.

Please visit to learn more about who we are!


How To Learn To Communicate Well In a Changing World: Interview with Ron Brumbarger

How to learn to communicate well in a changing world - get some great tips from our guest, Ron BrumbargerThis week on Soft Skills 101 Podcast, we interview Ron Brumbarger!  We discuss how to learn to communicate well in a changing world.

Bible Verse: Colossians 3:23

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men

Quote: “Failure is not bad, it’s just failure. Keep taking risks, keep trying.” Ron Brumbarger

 Details of Show:

To learn to communicate well in a changing world:

  1. Know how to Write- all kinds of writing
  2. Develop your Critical thinking skills and problem solving
  3. Speech and Debate is excellent training for writing and critical thinking
  4. Interface with people of all ages and abilities
  5. You don’t need to “get it all right” – fail forward-
  6. Apprenticeship- job skills training.
  7. Develop and work with cohorts in conjunction with professional academics
  8. It’s a big, competitive world- grab a tent and travel

Best way to teach kids communication skills?

See the World: Travel – experience different cultures, languages

Is College Necessary? Employees care about 3 things:

  1. Can you do the work?
  2. Do I like you?
  3. Can I afford you?

Resources- Books/Movies/Articles/You-Tubes/Podcasts

Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Future Succes by John Maxwell

Apprentice University

You are Always Being Interviewed by Ron Brumbarger


True North Classes

Creative Writing Club

Fundamental Grammar with Claritas

Literature & Composition




True North Blog posts

Is your Homeschooler Prepared for  High School? 

Creative Writing for Awesome People

Teaching effective on-line communications

The Lost Art of letter Writing

Get Dressed for Homeschool Success

Hey, homeschoolers!

I am so excited about this episode. We aren’t going to talk parenting or academics. We’re going to talk about you. You are so important to your homeschool. You may think I’m going to talk about you getting enough sleep, the right nutrition, and exercise–and all those things are important. But today my guest and I are going to talk about the importance of fashion for homeschool moms. I discovered the power of looking pretty to give me energy, improve my mood, and make me a better teacher and mom, all as a result of my guest’s influence.

I’ll introduce her in a bit, but first I would love to invite you to join me at the Great Homeschool Conventions in Fort Worth and Greenville, South Carolina. Register at and then stop to say hi at the Grammar Galaxy Books booth. Or join me in one of my sessions! I can’t wait to meet you.

Fashion for Homeschool Moms

I was so looking forward to interviewing Alison Lumbatis. She is a wife, mom of three, and founder of Get Your Pretty On. She’s a jeans and tee kind of girl who loves spending time with her family and exploring the best places to eat in Dallas, TX. She is an accidental minimalist when it comes to fashion and style, mixing her tried and true closet staples with a few seasonal trends. Alison’s goal is to help all women feel pretty by being the go-to resource for inclusive style inspiration and beauty advice. I know you will love her like I do!

Alison and I discussed:

  • Alison’s time as a homeschooling mom
  • the benefits of wearing something pretty
  • what influenced Alison to care more about what she was wearing
  • women’s objections to putting a pretty wardrobe together
  • Alison’s encouragment to women who are wary of wardrobe building

I am an affiliate for Get Your Pretty On. I can’t stop talking about it to my friends and family.  You will love getting dressed for homeschool success!

The spring wardrobe list and outfit calendar is available for purchase March 8th to the 22nd, 2019.

Resources for Homeschool Mom Fashion from This Episode

Read the blog post

Free closet staples shopping list

SAHM Casual Wardrobe Basics

GYPO – Facebook, Instagram

Next Time on the Homeschool Sanity Show

Join me next week as author Sherri Seligson and I discuss how to help our homeschoolers transition to middle and high school.

Have a happy homeschool week!

Prioritizing Relationships in Your Homeschool

prioritizing relationshipsDisclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.


Christi Deason joins the show again, this time to chat about the importance of prioritizing relationships in the homeschool. We talk about the two priority relationships for our children, their relationship to God and their relationship to us, their parents.

First, the most important relationship for us to help cultivate is their relationship with Jesus. That should be our #1 goal, not academics!

Why should we prioritize relationships over academics?

  • The Bible has very little to say about academic instruction.
  • The Bible warns against prioritizing anything that has to do with prosperity.
    • “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” Mark 8:36
    • Usually the primary purpose for focusing on academics is a concern about our children “getting good jobs” and being “successful.”
    • Very intelligent people who are morally bankrupt may become successful by the world’s standards, but they often do the most damage. As C. S. Lewis stated in his book, Mere Christianity (affiliate), “Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.”

How do we properly prioritize their relationship with the Lord?

  • It happens naturally as we do life with them and they see our own walk.
  • We must be strong in our own faith!
  • Look for opportunities to make faith real and practical to everyday life.

This primary relationship depends on our parental relationship. We are a picture of Christ to them.

How do we cultivate that?

  • Treat them as individuals.
    • They are not our property or slaves.
    • They are our “brothers and sisters” in Christ!
  • Love unconditionally – “Love is patient, love is kind…”

Practical ideas for building relationships:

  • Have a weekly Family Movie Night.
  • Schedule in regular talk time or time just being together so talking can take place naturally (watching a favorite show, working on a hobby, etc.).
  • Take your children on errands and special outings one-on-one
  • Find good Bible study resources. Some of our favorites for helping our children develop their own devotional time were Kay Arthur’s Discover 4 Yourself® Inductive Bible Studies for Kids. Here are a few my children enjoyed:

Everything hinges on prayer and following God’s leading. Ask the Lord how you can better prioritize the relationships in your family, then listen as He directs!

HSHSP Ep 149: Got-to-Have Types of Courses for Homeschool Transcript

This week on HSHSP Ep 149: Got-to-Have Types of Courses for Homeschool Transcript.

HSHSP Ep 149: Got-to-Have Types of Courses for Homeschool Transcript. Basic requirements for homeschool transcript for graduation.

HSHSP Ep 149: Got-to-Have Types of Courses for Homeschool Transcript

What kinds of courses do homeschool high schoolers need for graduation?

That is one of our FAVORITE topics! Join Sabrina and Vicki for a rollicking conversation about homeschool transcripts, courses and credits.

In a nutshell, teens need these four kinds of courses for a powerful transcript:

Core academic courses:

  • Core academics are the basic courses all transcripts need. Core academic courses include Language Arts, Maths, Social Studies, Science, and World Languages.
  • The number of credits needed in each of these categories varies by state, supervising organization or college of interest to your teen.

Other courses required by your state, supervising organization or college your teen wants to go to:

These types of course requirements vary widely from state to state. They also vary from family to family. Each family’s needs and interests are different. That’s the joy of homeschooling! Your teens can develop the transcript that is right for each of them. Examples of other courses would be: Fine Arts, Physical Education, Health, Social Sciences, and Drivers Education.

Elective courses:

These are courses that help your homeschool high schooler explore or develop an interest or skill. For teens who don’t have a clue what they are interested in, choose a wide variety of different kinds of courses until they land on something they love. For teens who are already invested in an interest or talent, enrich their experiences with courses in those areas.

7Sisters offers LOTS of elective choices (because we’ve had LOTS of different kinds of teens in our families and in our co-ops and group classes, so we’ve developed curriculum to meet their needs).

Career Exploration courses:

Career Exploration courses may be the most important courses of all. It is such an anxiety-producing experience for teens to come to senior year and feel like they have no direction. Get them started with a comprehensive Career Exploration program (our popular course has been, for years, getting homeschool high schoolers on the road toward their future).

Career Exploration: A Comprehensive Curriculum from 7 Sisters Homeschool

Click image for full product description.

Join Sabrina and Vicki for a you-can-do-it discussion of the courses your homeschool high schooler needs!


  1. Follow this link to our iTunes page.
  2. IMPORTANT STEP: Under our Homeschool Highschool Podcast logo, click on View in iTunes
  3. This will take you to iTunes and our own podcast page.
  4. Click SUBSCRIBE.
  5. Click RATINGS AND REVIEW. (Please take a minute and do this. It helps others find us. Thanks!)
  6. Thanks!


  1. Tap the purple Podcast icon on your phone
  2. Tap the search icon on the bottom-right of your screen
  3. In the search bar type: Homeschool Highschool Podcast
  4. Tap the Homeschool Highschool Podcast icon
  5. Tap *Subscribe*
  6. Please tap *Ratings and Review* and give us some stars and a comment to help others find us more easily.
  7. Thanks!

Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor -Bright Ideas Press

Homeschool moms are busy! Bright Ideas Press gets that. And that’s why, for over 25 years, we have promised to publish Christian-oriented homeschool curriculum that will fit your family—curriculum that is both affordable and easy-to-use with children of different ages and learning styles at the same time. Curriculum that busy Moms love!

Offering history, science, geography, and humanities curriculum and over 100 options of online classes and clubs for homeschool families, the team at Bright Ideas Press creates products and resources that will not only help simplify your life, but also inspire, encourage, and equip you to educate your children.

Find out more here!

HSHSP Ep 149: Got-to-Have Types of Courses for Homeschool Transcript

HSHSP Ep 146: Helping Teens Find Their Passions, Interview with Cindy West

This week on HSHSP Ep 146: Helping Teens Find Their Passions, Interview with Cindy West.

Helping Teens Find Their Passions, Interview with Cindy West. Help homeschool high schoolers explore interests and talents for transcript credit.

HSHSP Ep 146: Helping Teens Find Their Passions, Interview with Cindy West

Join Vicki and our friend, Cindy West, of Our Journey Westward, NaturExplorers, and Homeschooling Gifted Kids. Cindy, who is well-known to many homeschool families,  has been homeschooling for 18 years has specialized in helping her homeschool high schoolers find and develop their interests and passions.

Cindy West of Our Journey Westward shares with Homeschool Highschool Podcast ways to help teens capture their passions as part of their academics.

Cindy West.
Photo used by permission.

Cindy’s teens learned how to identify, develop and make choices for their futures in their homeschool programs. Cindy shares how she helped her homeschool high schoolers lean into their interests and allow them to become passions.

  • Observe: Where do they get excited? Where do they invest their free time?
  • Get experiences: Go on field trips. Do some volunteer work, help others out who are in the field of interest. Go to the library
  • Discuss with experts: Interview adults. See if you can find shadowing or apprenticeship opportunities.
  • Include as part of their academic studies: Develop science, history and/or language arts courses.
  • Include as part of their career exploration electives: Give it an appropriate name and capture it on the transcript.

One of the special things that Cindy has done with her teens is allowing her teens to develop their own courses.

  • Divide the year into 36 weeks
  • Explore on the internet what other people cover for those courses
  • Ask teen to pinpoint their interests/goals for the course
  • Find a *spine*, a textbook or detailed, informative book (probably not in the juvenile section) as a base
  • Choose at least one major project: research paper, prepare a presentation, design an experiment
  • Plan out the year, month by month based on the topics of teen interest and what others cover
  • Turn the plan into a syllabus
  • Learn more about this with Cindy’s post on the topic.

Teens who develop their interests in homeschool high school gain important skills for life. Homeschool Highschool Podcast interview with Cindy West.

Cindy’s daughter was passionate about equine studies and developed high school courses to develop those interests. Her son has been interested in guitar, so they have deeply developed this interest and giftedness.

You’ll be blessed by this interview with Cindy West. Visit her website and social media, curriculum AND check out her book on homeschooling gifted kids to learn more!

Take a look at 7Sisters Career Exploration curriculum to help discover interests and gifts. You’ll also enjoy these posts.

Homeschool High School Transcript: How to Earn Credits

Homeschool Career Exploration: Discovering Interests and Skills


HSHSP Ep 146: Helping Teens Find Their Passions, Interview with Cindy West


Lifeschooling | She'll explain what it means to teach your children in a manner that is natural and allows you to discover your children's strengths and develop them in your family. #podcast #homeschoolpodcastLifeschooling — Episode #323

In this episode, we talk about lifeschooling with podcaster Daniele Papageorgiou. She’ll explain what it means to teach your children in a manner that is natural and allows you to discover your children’s strengths and develop them in your family.

Special guest Daniele (pronounced “De-Neal”) Papageorgiou is a podcaster on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network! You can find her show here. She podcasts about Lifeschooling. That is the topic we’ll discuss today. She also runs the — visit her online and subscribe to learn more.

Instagram – @Lifeschooling_family
2. No Return on Amazon 

Show Notes: Lifeschooling

What is the definition of lifeschooling?
Lifeschooling is the individualized process of discovering your child’s God-given gifts and talents, primarily through real-life experiences that happen within the context of your family’s unique situations and missions.
Proverbs 16:9 — A man plan his ways and the Lord directs his path.

Lifeschooling Early Years

The early years of homeschooling are more natural and the children learned with the right opportunities that are presented by their parents.
It sounds like a more relaxed approach. Is it similar to unschooling?
Unschooling is child lead where lifeschooling is parent lead. It is good to have plans and a schedule, “man plans his ways,” but the Lord directs his path. If something comes up – you can help the neighbor or life events that happen in every day.
Look at everyday life and see where the opportunities come from — there is still education and academics.
Do you use a specific curriculum for lifeschooling?
Every family has a different approach. Daniele does not use a curriculum yet prays about what she wants to teach.
Daniele’s daughter wrote a book that took her several years and research to complete.
No Return was the name of the novel she wrote.
How do you think parents can find their children’s gifts within the parameters of lifeschooling.
Lifeschooling brings out their gifts, and part of this is observing and giving them opportunities — places they can go and try something new and looking for specific skills – ask how they enjoyed different activities and go from there.
Prayer is pivotal and God has a specific purpose for each of our children.
On a practical level, what has lifeschooling looked like in your home? Listen to this episode as Daniele shares details.

Favorite Homeschooling Books – Philosophy

favorite homeschooling booksThere’s just something about winter that lends itself to reading. It’s that time of year for comfort food, a favorite hot drink, and curling up by a fire with a good book. There are even cultural traditions centered around reading during the winter months.

In Iceland, they celebrate something called Jolabokaflod, or “Christmas Book Flood.” Everyone exchanges books and on Christmas Eve and the whole family stays up all night reading their new tomes and nibbling on chocolate. Oh yes…I could adopt such a tradition!

I think it is important for us to encourage in ourselves the habit of reading, and perhaps more so with being lifeschoolers, as our children will naturally follow in our footsteps. The old phrase, “more is caught than is taught,” has much truth to it and lately I have been more focused on trying to improve such areas of weakness that I see mirrored in my own children!

Despite my love for reading, I could definitely work to be more intentional about it. And as a busy lifeschooling mom, I imagine you could use some work here, too! I also believe it is important to stay sharp in our “profession,” so in the spirit of continuing education, I thought I would take the next two episodes to introduce to you some of my favorite homeschooling books in the hopes that they may become yours, as well. They have made an impact on my lifeschooling journey, as I am sure they will for yours.

I’ve decided to divide the books up into two sections, and subsequently two separate podcast episodes. I’m sure I could further subdivide them, but I’ve found that when reading about homeschooling, there are generally two categories that everything falls into: Educational Philosophy and Practical Methods.

In order to know how to teach, you must first know why to teach it. You have to first come to a fundamental understanding about what education actually is. But all philosophy and no methodology can leave a teacher feeling a bit lost. So once the philosophy is firmly established, it’s important to also have some practical books on how to carry out the educational process.

I encourage you to check these books out and commit to reading some new books this year! While I have read parts of all of these books, there are some that I have not yet finished. But I want to recommend them because I have read enough to infer their value and usefulness.

Educational Philosophy

The following are books that have helped shape my educational philosophy of “lifeschooling.”

Gifted: Raising Children Intentionally by Chris Davis

Pioneer homeschooler Chris Davis is most responsible for solidifying my personal educational philosophy. Years ago, I read a blog post he wrote about education and finding our children’s gifts and I excitedly read it aloud to my husband and shared it with just about everyone I knew! It was just the validation I needed that what I felt deep in my heart was true and would, in fact, work in reality. Chris started homeschooling in the 70s and 80s before it was even legal. He graduated three boys who, despite a very different educational philosophy and practice, have all gone on to be successful.

It is impossible to narrow it down to one, but one of my favorite parts of the book is where he talks about the importance of blessing our children and calling out the gifts we see in them. We have a responsibility, as parents, to help identify and name those gifts we see in our children.

Once we have done this, we must do two things in order to help our child develop these gifts. 1. We must resource what that child needs and 2. We must gift the child “sufficient time to become eminently qualified in the field of his giftings.” Davis did this by purchasing a large amount of computer programming books for his son, who had an interest in learning “all the computer programs currently in use.” Today he is a very successful computer programmer and owns his own business.

Upgrade: 10 Secrets to the Best Education for Your Child by Kevin Swanson

This is one of the simplest, yet profound books on education that I have ever read. It succinctly breaks down the idea of education and what makes it a “good” one. This would be a book that I could hand to another parent without “offending” them and I believe it would have them convinced to homeschool by the first or second chapter. The reason why is that it takes such a practical, logical approach that is hard to argue with.

Here are the 10 secrets laid out in the book:

  1. The preeminence of character
  2. Quality one-on-one instruction
  3. The principle of protection
  4. The principle of individuality
  5. The rooting in relationships
  6. The principle of doing the basics well
  7. The principle of life integration
  8. Maintaining the honor and mystique of learning
  9. Build on the right foundation
  10. The principle of wise, sequential progression

I had the opportunity a couple years ago to be interviewed by Kevin Swanson at his home studio for one of his podcast episodes, Why Most Schooling is a Waste of Time, and it was funny to see how many similarities we had in our educational philosophy. He thought I had read his book. . . but it turned out that we had both just read another Book the had helped shape our thinking into something very similar!

Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto

This was another book that profoundly impacted my belief in homeschooling as not only a valid form of education, but the best form. John Taylor Gatto was an educator in the public school system of New York City for more than 30 years and even won the Teacher of the Year award. But his methods and beliefs were far from typical or conformist. Sadly, he passed away just last year, but he left a huge impact on the field of education. . . to those wise enough to listen.

In this book, Gatto starts by telling us “what he does wrong” as a school teacher. In his words, what he does that is right is simple to understand, “I get out of kids’ way, I give them space and time and respect.” But in carrying out his expected duties as a public educator, he instead teaches:

  1. Confusion
  2. Class position
  3. Indifference
  4. Emotional dependency
  5. Intellectual dependency
  6. Provisional self-esteem
  7. One can’t hide

These may seem like radical assertions. However, when you understand the history of public education and why it was instituted, they become obvious and self-explanatory. Gatto does a good job going into this background information so that the reader can better grasp his seemingly-radical propositions.

What makes such assertions even more shockingly ironic is that fact that this entire section is a direct copy of his acceptance speech for the award of 1991 New York State Teacher of the Year! I wonder if anyone clapped?

Einstein Never Used Flash Cards by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph.D., and Roberta Michick Golinkoff, Ph.D.

Life got in the way and I never completed this book, but it is one I hope to pick up again in the new year. I enjoyed the authors’ perspectives as scientists because they were able to counter some popular myths by showing how scientific studies on learning have often been manipulated and misinterpreted. One such myth is the “Mozart Effect”: the idea that if you expose your child to classical music at a young age will help them become smarter. They are also strong proponents of allowing children to learn through play, including one chapter called “Play: The Crucible of Learning.”

The Joy of Relationship Homeschooling: When the One Anothers Come Home by Karen Campbell

I am currently thoroughly enjoying reading a book called “The Joy of Relationship Homeschooling.” Though we didn’t interact much, I actually went to college with the author’s daughter and had no idea she was homeschooled, let alone the daughter of a homeschool pioneer who wrote books and spoke at conventions. I didn’t discover that until just recently!

This is another book that would be beneficial not just to homeschooling moms, but to moms everywhere. Karen’s goal is to help us see that the most important aspect of homeschooling is not academics, but relationships. It is about practicing the “one anothers” of Scripture: Love one another, submit to one another, etc.

I love this quote: “Typically, the first question asked by new homeschoolers is, ‘What curriculum should we use?’ assuming that academic success ought to be the first priority. And yet, if happiness in life is most fully measured by the success of our relationships, why is it so rare to hear someone talk about the dynamics involved in building sound relationships, especially those based on the commands given in Scripture?”

Karen drives home the point of the importance of relationships in homeschooling with a story about a “famous” homeschool veteran in her town with whom she was excited to have the opportunity to chat. She was surprised, however, when this revered leader asked her, “Karen, can you tell me how to have a relationship with my grown children?” With tears in her eyes, she asked, “Why are we not friends?” This woman had missed out on the greatest opportunity that homeschooling affords us: the chance to build deeply-rooted relationships with our children.


I hope this overview has given you a good place to start with planning your 2019 reading list! We often work hard to plan our children’s curricula, but forget that learning never stops and we are as much in need of continuing education as they are. Be sure you set aside time this year for your own learning! Next time, we will talk about some great homeschooling books to help with the practical aspects of choosing curricula, planning, and organizing. That’s Life as a Lifeschooler! Subscribe to our podcast so you never miss an episode!

Lifeschooling and The Arts (Part 2) – Lorina Harris

Lifeschooling and the arts part 2(There is a bit of an echo in this recording. Apologies!)

In part 2 of my interview with Lorina Harris, we focus more on what their own homeschool looks like.

We start with a discussion of the importance of art with regard to academics. Studies have shown that involvement in the arts actually boosts test scores among students. There is something to be said for exercising both the left and right sides of our brains. As Lorina points out, all the various arts–music, acting, visual arts–help us learn to study detail and see things we are not used to looking for. There are subtle nuances we miss as mere observers that are gleaned when actually studying these creative disciplines as students. This skill of observation is transferable to many other subjects and areas, including business and entrepreneurship.

Lorina and I also talk a bit about the connection between music and math and how that has helped her son, in particular. We talk also about their family’s methods and philosophy of homeschooling. Lorina has always tried to expose her children to many different types of experiences and field trips, showing them how learning relates to real life and developing a love for learning in her children. Even during the fun times, there has always been a focus on learning. Video games are educational-based, for example, and not just mindless entertainment.

She relies heavily on “living books” and doing what works for their family rather than relying on rigid curriculum or highly structured co-ops and classes. As she puts it, “I don’t believe there’s a curriculum out there you could follow fully 100% and get everything you need for your particular family.” With such an emphasis on books, her daughter in particular has grown to love reading and we talk about some of the challenges of a voracious reader who needs to be constantly “fed”!

I ask Lorina how homeschooling has strengthened the relationships she has with her children. “We have a different kind of connection. We’re closer. My daughter considers me her best friend and I’m thrilled that she says that out loud to her friends.” She talks about the importance of talking to our children and being honest about our mistakes and weaknesses.

We talk at the end about Lorina’s art studio and her plans to begin offering online art classes. She also currently offers sketch excursions in the D.C. area and around the world. And in January, she will be launching a podcast called “Be Inspired Now” available on iTunes. You can find Lorina on Facebook at and on Instagram at

Did you miss part 1 of this interview? Go here to listen now!