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How to teach your kids to identify fake news

How To Teach your Children to Identify Fake News

Episode 58: How to teach your kids to identify fake news

In this episode, I suggest a number of ways for you to teach your kids to identify fake news.

To start, it would be useful to listen to this Planet Money episode, Finding the Fake News King, in which they trace a piece of fake news back to the person who created it.

The ideas below are all taught in our sponsor, FundaFunda Academy’s Computer Applications class which covers digital literacy as well as computer skills.

These two articles are both good to read:

Quick Ways to Spot Fake News
How to Spot Fake News and Teach Kids to be Media Savvy

The main points in the articles above are:

1. Look for unusual URLs

2. Does it sound too good to be true?

3. Go to the source of questionable articles and see what else they are publishing. Look at their About Me page

4. Do a reverse image search for images used in the article to see their origin

5. Do they cite sources?

6. Grammar and spelling issues

7. How does it make you feel? If you are feeling extreme emotions, good chance it is fake news

If you think it is fake new – how can you check?

1. Visit these websites and check if the article is mentioned there: Snopes, Politifact, FactCheck

2. See if the website is on this list of fake news sites

Resources to teach your children how to identify fake news

  • Sutori has a quiz your children can take to see if they can identify fake news, and then lots of other resources on the topic too.
  • Factitious is a game where you swipe left or right depending on if you think the article is fake or not. There are different levels which makes it great for the whole family.
  • Newsfeed Defenders is a game from iCivics. Students play the role of editor and must decide which article to select for their newspaper each day. It will really get your children thinking. This is appropriate for middle and high school.

Subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss future episodes.

And be sure to join our Facebook group where we can talk about this together.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

How To Teach your Children to Identify Fake News #digitalliteracy #homeschooling #wiredhomeschool

FREE All About Teaching Planner Guide and Learning Printables for Kids

Summer is almost over, and that means that many of us have either already started school, or we are planning to very soon. Homeschool planning can be very exciting, it can also be nerve wracking and overwhelming if you are a beginner. FREE All About Teaching Planner Guide and Learning Printables for Kids #ultimatehomeschoolpodcastnetwork #UHPN #freehomeschoolplanners #homeschoolprintables

We have many veterans here at the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network that are here to encourage you that you can do this! Maybe you have been doing this homeschooling thing for awhile now and are discouraged or burnt out. We are here to inspire you to keep fighting the good fight and to continue this journey with some new tips and helps. Homeschooling is such a blessing because it allows us the freedom to teach our children in a way that they learn best. It gives us amazing opportunities to let them express themselves in the safety of their own homes and the freedom and time to pursue those interests.

Felice’s own daughter began writing her very first novel at 12 years old because she was passionate about writing. She didn’t know how to write a book, or what was involved in doing so, but together they figured out! They were so successful with this endeavor that she went on to write a trilogy of creation science books for other homeschoolers! Not only did they add more books to the series, Felice was so inspired by her own daughter that they went on to write study guides, and create an entire membership platform which includes all of the books. You can find all of those amazing resources on our Membership Site HERE.

This month’s printable pack shares their story, and it encourages you to allow your children the freedom to create and learn from their experiences in your homeschool. You will be inspired by Felice’s stories of how different her children are, and where they are at in their adult lives now, and be encouraged in your journey. Not only is there encouragement and prayers for your new school year, there are over 50 printables to help you along the way. I especially love the teaching tips! In addition to encouragement and helps for you, there are always fun printables included to keep your kids busy while you pray over and plan for your new school year!

Included in this month’s printable pack is:

  • Planner for School
  • Goals for the New School Year
  • Teaching Tips
  • Teaching with Laughter
  • Wonder Bubbles
  • Memory Work
  • Printable Check off Lists
  • Printable Journaling Pages
  • Scripture Copywork
  • Fun Printable Sheets
  • And Much More!

You can receive this printable pack and a new freebie bonus pack each month by clicking HERE to sign up now!

My Kids Fight

Hate to disappoint you. We are not a perfect, Christian, homeschool family. Well, we do homeschool and we are Christians … but the perfect part? Therein lies the problem. You see many of us have these high hopes that homeschooling will insure that our kids get along – or that at the very least, will learn how to get along. Of course when things don’t work out the way we expect we are floored.

My Kids Fight! Out of five children there have been arguing and fighting at different times during their lives. Sometimes it was the oldest and the youngest. Other times it was the two youngest. I remember once being so frustrated that I made my oldest two, my son and my daughter sit face-to-face until they could “stand” to be around each other. Their words were “I can’t stand to be around him/her.” Well, that took care of them saying those offending words. The rest took work.

However, I began to see a pattern emerging…one child in particular had difficulty getting along with…well, everyone. My difficult child is a handful. He was a handful as young and even as he got older and we found he struggled academically. Mine was tough love. I expected allot from him, and often he delivered. One thing he learned—and that was to be detail oriented, when it came to what others in the family should and should not do. Unfortunately this perfectionism wasn’t applied to his own life.

Do your kids fight? Homeschooling isn't a magic wand. Our kids are still human. Tips and guidance to help you through.

I know – it’s easy to cry, “Help! My Kids Don’t Get Along!” After the relief that comes with getting it off my chest, I decided some things needed to change and namely me.

  • The way I reacted.
  • The discipline I meted out.
  • The realization that yelling did not help.

I quickly learned that micro-managing could only go so far. I once heard a seminar given by a renowned child discipline advocate that stated when the child is young redistricting bad behavior is necessary but as the child grew we, as parents could relax a bit more. This did not happen in this child’s case. Teaching him self-control proved to be a formidable task and sadly is ongoing. So, what do you do with the difficult child? Or children in general that do not get along? Here are a few of my go-to methods for those times that I am at wits end.

My short list on child behavior modifying techniques:

  1. Pray: When I’m at a loss I ask the Lord in prayer for help, even when it comes to the perfect punishment. HE has been amazing with HIS answers… and believe me, some were short of miraculous in nature in their effectiveness. [Listen to the podcast here for details.]
  2. Punishment vs. Crime: Be sure the punishment fits the “crime” … if your child misbehaves at dinner consider having them eat a cold dinner alone, or doing the dishes. My teenage son has done many dishes when it is not his turn due to causing a fight at the dinner table, or acting rudely. This of course is spelled out way in advance.
  3. Tell your kids what to expect: if you are going into a store, make sure they know to keep their hands behind their backs when looking at things or IN their pockets for little ones. Older children know ahead of time if they break something they will pay for it. Just be clear of expectations.
  4. Make sure you child understands what the punishment will be. If that is not a deterrent, think of another punishment. [You can’t (well you can but it does not go over very well) come up with punishments on the fly… often the punishment is out of anger or frustration and will not curb the event from happening again.]
  5. Repeat back: often I ask my kids to tell me what I said. In that way there is no confusion or the words, “I didn’t know that is what you said!” It is clear to all.
  6. Keep it short. Long explanations are often tuned out – after the first two minutes. Keep it brief and on target.
  7. Encourage. When a child is doing something good, let them know you appreciate it. Catch them and reward good behavior.
  8. Mentor: some children need extra work and practice. When children are young, practice calling their name and having them walk or run toward you. Reward this with a hug and praise. The same thing with hand holding. My grandkids hate to hold hands in the parking lot and I witnessed an accident as a child in the parking lot. So, when they are with me they know to hold my hand, or they will not be allowed to go.
  9. Prepare: Are you prepared to turn the car around on the way to a fun field trip if your children will not behave in the car? Are you prepared to pull off the road when you need to discipline. Believe me, I’ve done both of these things and the reactions are astounding, loud, and are not repeated. It only takes one time of us being firm for our kids to get the idea and respond.
  10. Relax/Anger: parenting isn’t easy. It doesn’t stop. It doesn’t get easier… little kids, little problems, big kids, big problems. Righteous anger is fine – reacting out of anger rarely works out well for either party. Be sure your life is filled with prayer and rely on God for that extra strength that is sometimes needed to get through the day!

Remember the saying, “Rome wasn’t built in one day.” It is worth repeating and remembering. Parenting is an ongoing effort and in the process we learn about ourselves, our children and best of all, if done correctly our memories will be wonderful and lasting.



Marriage Fighting Fair

Fighting-VintageHomeschoolMoms.comMarriage Fighting Fair

with Felice Gerwitz

Show Notes

How can polar opposites still be married after 36 years of marriage? A snapshot of my marriage.

  • He likes the outdoors – I like to view the outdoors while comfortably sitting indoors
  • I like to read – he likes cliff notes or to tell him what the story is about
  • I love cooking – he loves eating
  • I dislike cleaning – he loves a neat home
  • I am creative – he is a facts kinda guy
  • I am not a perfectionist – he is
  • I love to communicate everything that is on my mind – him, not so much

Fighting Fair in Marriage: Our disagreements ranged from:

  • Child rearing – I’m strict he is permissive
  • Pets – I’m a no pet is allowed – he is the more the merrier
  • Kids – I was happy with two – he wanted ten
  • Place to live – where and when we would build
  • He wants to be together 24/7 – I like a little break to read

Reasons our marriage has lasted?

Because of our faith in GOD and the idea that marriage is sacred. It is a sacramental union and one that we entered into willing – with full knowledge and have an “until death do us part mentality about it. Marriage for us is not an option.

Faith is what binds us – it is what makes us attempt to make it work.  Marriage is work – I don’t care if you’ve been married for one week or fifty years – it is a decision each day to care and love the other spouse even if we don’t want to.

During my first year of marriage I was ill equipped to handle a full time relationship. I had graduated from college – lived in a dorm – attained all kinds of social status – president, academic awards, etc. and I went on to teach. Sadly I was a hot-head to say the least, I knew what buttons to push, I would often cry, and if I didn’t get my way, threaten divorce. My husband said something that was very wise – and very possibly Divine intervention – he said, first I need to get my emotions under control before he would talk to me and secondly that if I threatened divorce again I better mean it because he would follow through if I didn’t.

That was very bold of him.

Isaiah 61:3

“…and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”

The trouble with fighting within marriage

  1. The reason people fight is never the REAL reason why … there is often a root cause of the discontent
    1. We are all broken
    2. We all have a past
    3. We all have been hurt by someone close to us
    4. We all are nothing without GOD
  1. Reasons are just that … substantiation for how you feel… think about it.
    1. He/ she doesn’t care
    2. I can’t do anything right – he/she is so critical
    3. I don’t get appreciation for all I do
    4. We are polar opposites on the things that really matter
  2. Giving Up
    1. Close off the other spouse – can ‘t hurt anymore if you don’t care
    2. Deciding it is better not to communicate because you want to keep from fighting
    3. He/she doesn’t listen anyway
  3. What I want – Me – Mine
    1. He/she doesn’t care about me
    2. I am tired of being stepped on
    3. I am the one always giving – doing – etc. and I’m tired of it
  4. Not fair:
    1. Everyone else has a vacation, lives in a house, drives a car etc.
    2. I make all the sacrifices

Mark 10:9 : “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Jesus’ Teaching about Divorce “FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”…

So how do you fight fair in marriage? Set ground rules:

  • Address the issue not the person – NO character assassination
  • Keep your voice even – no yelling or screaming
  • No character assassination
  • No blaming – it is all your fault
  • Address one topic at a time – don’t regress into the past
  • Don’t argue in front of the children
  • Don’t argue when there is not time to address the issue fully – when you or your spouse is walking out of the door for work/ meeting/ playtime w/ kids, etc.
  • Ask to be sure you understand the cause of the disagreement
  • Intense emotions – take a break until you can talk calmly
  • No threatening divorce
  • No violence – on either part

The ROOT of the issue

  1. Why are your arguing – what is the root cause
    1. Money
    2. Control
    3. Insecurities – hurt, neglected, feeling of rejection
    4. Scared
    5. Health – mental illness
  2. Analyze yourself:
    1. Do you remain calm?
    2. Do you often blame your spouse?
    3. Do you lose your temper?
    4. Do you listen?
    5. What triggers do you use to get your spouse upset?
    6. DO you close yourself off?
    7. Do you need to apologize
    8. Do you tend to say hurtful things?
    9. Are you ill?
    10. Are you worried about being left?
    11. Do you always want to win?
    12. Do you communicate well? Too little?
    13. Do you have to have the last word?
  3. Analyze your spouse: You are not dwelling on what he/she does wrong – you are analyzing ways to defuse the argument or communicate more effectively – this exercise is not to work you up even more and get angrier…
  1. Why are they angry – not what you think – ask
  2. Is there a misunderstanding?
  3. Do you understand where your spouse is coming from – his/her past?
  4. Does your spouse always want to win?
  5. Does your spouse communicate well? Too little?
  6. Does your spouse close him/herself off?

Get back to the basics:

  • Compromise is essential – sometimes there isn’t always one right
  • Complement each other – say, I love you
  • Learn to talk respectfully – Value the other person’s opinion
  • It’s okay to agree to disagree – and be okay with it
  • Apologize
  • Take a time out – brief.
  • Stick to the topic – this isn’t the time to bring everything else in
  • State the issue honestly and as clearly as you can – if you are emotional, try to get a grip if possible
  • Learn from mistakes – grow and change




Your Parenting Approach: Homeschooling, The First Year

Parenting Approach: Homeschooling, the First Year #homeschool #podcast #Christianparenting

Hey homeschoolers!

I’d like to thank our sponsor, Sony Pictures –Sony Pictures Animation along with Affirm Films.

I had time to catch up with our new homeschoolers and talk about one of the most important factors for our homeschooling success – our parenting approach. Specifically, what do you tend to revert to when you are tired and stressed? You’ll want to listen to the podcast for our chat!

But first, I would love to have you follow my Facebook page, Psychowith6: Homeschool Sanity. I have been seeking to create a community there with discussion questions, photos, videos, and other content that will entertain you, affirm you, and help you stay sane in this wonderful homeschool world.

Teaching Tip of the Week

The teaching tip of the week is to reevaluate your parenting approach as your child hits a new developmental level. We are often so busy with the day to day that we forget to take a larger view. We may be requiring our tween to hold our hand to cross the street, failing to consider the responsibilities our teen is ready for, or neglecting our child’s physical needs. My teen boys have complained loudly about not having enough to eat, for example. I kept making the same amount of food I’d made when they were younger. Take stock of your child’s needs by having a discussion with your child and spouse. What are some things they love about your family, homeschooling, and their free time? What are some things they think could be improved?

If you have a tween daughter, you’ll want to join me on Facebook for my interview with Lee Felix, creator of the Girls Created to Shine ecourse. We’ll talk about girls’ special needs at this stage of their lives and how you can encourage them to seek a personal relationship with Jesus.

New Homeschoolers

Jeanette shared her response via email:

I feel a bit behind on our curriculum. We decided to evacuate during hurricane Irma. The same week our curriculum was supposed to arrive in the mail. I kinda feel like im trying to establish a routine every week.
I feel like I’m right in the middle [on parenting approach] but lean more to passive. But one day Ii will be passive and the next I’ll be more authoritarian, which is probably my problem. Some behaviors for the passive parent in me is the kids fighting or not cleaning. And the authoritarian parent in me comes out when my children are not listening or naps and bedtime.


Have a happy homeschool week!

Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Sony and their new movie, The Star, the Story of the First Christmas – Coming in Theaters November 17th!

Visit to learn more.

Greatest Homeschool Tips

What are the greatest homeschool tips of all time? Well, wait until you hear from veteran homeschool mom, author and speaker, Felice Gerwitz. In this session, she shares some of her best homeschooling tips from over thirty years of homeschooling.Greatest Homeschool Tips – Episode 447

What are the greatest homeschool tips of all time? Well, wait until you hear from veteran homeschool mom, author and speaker, Felice Gerwitz. In this session, she shares some of her best homeschooling tips from over thirty years of homeschooling.

Thanks to our sponsors! The movie – Show Me The Father

This film is sure to change hearts and point people to the true father in heaven.  It is a story of parenting and how faith can really make changes for the better in people’s lives. I teared up just watching the trailer and you will too! The links to the movie trailer are on the show notes page – you can find more information about local airing on the website as well as streaming in the near future. This is not to be missed.

In my years of homeschooling I purchased many different programs on getting your homeschool organized or homeschooling from the first letter of the alphabet to the last, or comprehensive this or that, and found after the first few pages that it was not for me. I learned that I had to know what I could and could not do well and focus on my strengths and that is where we will get started. I cover homeschooling, family, and even touch on extended family, faith, and relationships. You should look into your homeschool laws for your state to be sure you are compliant. Here are the HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense) homeschool laws by state.

This is not meant to be a comprehensive list, but it is meant to give you some 25 tangible tips that you can do starting today.

Let’s Begin!

  1. You – Parent: You are in charge. You and your husband are the only two people whose decisions and choices matter in your homeschool journey. If you both agree or agree to disagree, then that is the law of the land (or your household). Stand firm and do not let anyone and I mean anyone (even me) change your mind.
  2. Each Other: Relationships matter. You and your spouse started together and should end your homeschool journey together. This happens if you A. Value each other. B. Appreciate Each Other C. Encourage Each Other D. Love each Other E. Take Care of Each Other and F. ALL of the Above.
  3. Faith Matters: A family that is focused on personal gain instead of everlasting gain will do so much better. Faith brings a family together and leaves a legacy for your children. Films such as Show Me The Father is an excellent example.
  4. Your Kids: You kids are not in charge. Not even close. And, your kids are not your friends. You are the parent and God gave you these kids for a purpose. (It may be a little fuzzy right now, but you’ll figure it out at some point.) Kids are wonderful, a blessing but need to listen.
  5. Discipline is Key To Your Sanity: If you have kids that won’t go to bed and talk back when they are little the nightmare is just starting if you are going to homeschool them. You have to have consequences for your actions. Think about it, make a plan, and beyond all else? Follow through.
  6. Others – Extended Family – Friends – Neighbors: Have opinions, and they have right to their opinions but you do not, and I repeat do not have to A. Listen B. Follow Their Advice C. Feel Guilty D. All of the Above. Refer back to point one. You are the parents.
  7. Key to Homeschooling 101: Do not try to duplicate traditional school in the home. It is set to fail, especially if you have multiple ages and grades.
  8. Lifestyle: Homeschooling is more than what you do, it is who you are in the sense that you are focused on the most important people in your life and the education of their hearts, their minds, and their souls. It is the greatest job you will ever have.
  9. Not About You: Yeah, I said it – homeschooling is not what the kids are or are not doing. It is not a hobby. It is a full-time commitment. It is not for the faint-hearted. When the kids misbehave or do not get their work done it is not personal, and it does not reflect on you – you are not at fault unless you are a permissive or threatening repeating parent with no follow-through. Sorry. This was me at one time and I fell hard for the fact that I could not blame the teacher, because I was the teacher. So I took charge and the rest is 30+ years of homeschooling. Was all of it perfect. No but I do not regret it at all.
  10. Ideal Learning Environment: This is one that fosters your child’s innate curiosity about the world around them. If your children are interested in the topic they will want to learn more about it, and that naturally builds and builds until they are studying various subjects within the framework of a topic. For example: Learning to plant a garden includes many different disciplines, soil, nutrition, reading, science – seasons, weather, discipline, patience, etc.
  11. Curriculum: There are way too many choices, so what you do is figure out A. How you want to teach and B. How your kids will learn best. If you are starting out you will definitely want to have something done for you, such as an Abeka or Bob Jones if you are looking for Christian based curriculum. I do not recommend (but I am not the parent) totally online schools, but online learning for a class or two is great. And while you are learning the ropes of juggling home, school, and having the kids around 24/7 you can branch out into other things. If you are a hands-on, do-it-yourselfer, then sure pick and choose your own books. You can check out the Media Angels curriculum at and
  12. Different learning levels: Kids do not fit neatly into grade-level boxes. Some are great students and will have no problem academically no matter what book or curriculum you use, and others may struggle. Reading is key and many kids need some type of reading remediation. Starting with the phonetic sounds and building on this helps. There are Facebook groups such as one I’m a member of and participate as a curriculum provider: Top Picks Homeschool Curriculum.  There are many different knowledgeable people in the group that can help you.
  13. Work together in one room whenever possible. Sure, some kids may be distracted by talking or working with another child. But, sending younger kids to their own rooms is a recipe for disaster, and walking out of the room is another one!
  14. Stay off your phones and social media during school time – this means everyone. It will suck your time and ruin your mood. Leave research for a lunch-time or after-school activity.
  15. Research: If you get on the computer to research something, set a timer. Give yourself thirty minutes and that is it. Also, research websites without the kids around. Even with safe settings, it is amazing that the suggested ads on websites, even with good information are often inappropriate ads. There is an ad setting on websites that is family-friendly but whatever they deem family-friendly is not what I think it is therefore my websites do not contain third-party automated ads. Any ads or sponsors we have vetted.
  16. Tests: This is something you may choose or not chose to do. I didn’t give a lot of tests but my college kids complained about this when they were in college and had to deal with all types of exams. They said they wish I had given them more – so there you have it.
  17. Motivated Kids: I had a child who asked for a Trigenotry book for a summer project. He was thinking of going into engineering and did not feel like the Algebra II class he took the previous year covered it well enough. So, we ordered a book and he went through it and the video tutorial himself.
  18. Letting Kids Work On Their Own Pace: Especially if your child is highly motivated. It is not unheard of to complete two grades in one subject area in one year. Or only half a grade.
  19. To Push Or Not To Push: Working your children right below (not at or above) but below frustration level pushes them to learn. If a child is frustrated that means that they are not getting a concept or something is too difficult at this time. Does that mean you don’t push – no, but understanding your child is part of the homeschool journey.
  20. Evaluation vs. Standardized Tests: I prefer evaluations especially in the lower grades. The teacher can give you key points to work on and help you with any questions or concerns you may have. Get good resources before beginning.
  21. Making excuses: Look at the root cause of bad behavior. Is it for attention, it is to push attention to someone else, etc. Do not make excuses for children who act poorly but get to the root of the problem.
  22. Households can be divided into parts: Budget/Paying Bills, Cooking, Cleaning, Laundry, Yardwork. This is an area to divide and conquer. Who is good at what? That is their job. I am terrible at budgets, but I can pay bills, cook, clean and do laundry. I do not do yard work. When the kids were little I tried assigning jobs and taught them to do all of the various jobs, but once they had the experience I let them chose, and guess what? Doing chores was not a hassle. If they tired of a chore they could trade or enlist me for help. It worked so much better than just assigning jobs.
  23. Kids should help. Kids that help around the house are responsible. My first two did not do much in the way of chores, but the last three did – and I mean they really helped out. I had more energy, time, and help with my two oldest but not with my three youngest.
  24. Family Unity: We are a family, we are in this together, we work hard and we all enjoy the fruits of our labor. This is something my kids learned early on, if there is infighting everyone has to hear it and it makes for a miserable life. Teaching children the importance of getting along and having punishments that fit the crime goes a long way in helping.
  25. Family Mission statement: What is it that your family stands for? Write it down, have the kids learn it. Write down a family prayer and say it every night before bed.

Last Thoughts:

There are going to be days that are horrible and days that are amazing. Through it all, you can thrive with a close network of people that will give you the encouragement that we provide on our social media accounts. We have this page specifically for you the homeschool mom and dad.


A Special Thank You to Our Network Sponsor:  Show Me The Father Movie

The Kendrick Brothers, creators of WAR ROOM and FIREPROOF, have some exciting news to share: they have TWO films coming to theaters this fall—SHOW ME THE FATHER on September 10 and COURAGEOUS Legacy on September 24.

Featuring a variety of amazing, true stories, the Kendrick Brothers’ new feature film SHOW ME THE FATHER takes audiences on an inspiring and emotional cinematic journey. Their first documentary film has something for everyone and invites you to think differently about how you view your earthly father’s story and also how you personally relate to God.

Check out the trailer here!


Amazing History of Flight

Finish Well Homeschool Podcast, Podcast #139 Amazing History of Flight, with Meredith Curtis on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network

Amazing History of Flight

In “Amazing History of Flight,” Episode, #139, Meredith Curtis introduces you to the amazing history of flight! Aviation history is thrilling. Meredith touches on some of the highlights and the men who risked their lives because they believed they could somehow fly. Unit study, delight-directed suggestions given too!



Powerline Productions, Inc.

Bringing Homeschool Joy to Families Everywhere!

Show Notes

Each time I fly, I’m overwhelmed by the miracle of flight—that we can soar through the air on a huge heavy plane!

Aviation history is thrilling. I want to dive into every detail! Instead, I’ll just touch on some of the highlights from early flight adventures. I’m hoping this will inspire your family to explore more!

Chinese Kites

A thousand years before Jesus was born, the Chinese people invented kites. They flew on their kites to spy on enemy troops.

Monk Oliver Breaks His Legs

A thousand years after Jesus’ birth, Benedictine Monk Oliver jumps from his Abbey with the aid of wings. After a very brief flight, he falls and breaks his legs.

Marco Polo Observes Humans Flying on Kites

When Marco Polo visited China, he was amazed to see huge kites carrying people!

Leonardo Designs Flying Machines

Leonardo Da Vinci draws a flying machine after studying bird wings.

Hezarfen Celebi Leaps & Lands

In Turkey, Hezarfen Celebi jumps from a tower and flies, landing in the market place of Scutari.

Model Hot Air Balloon

In Portugal, Father Bartolomeu de Gusmao creates a model of a hot air balloon. Then, he demonstrates how it works to King John V in 1709.

First Hot Air Balloon Rides

The Montgolfier brothers, Joseph and Jacques, create a hot air balloon in 1783. The have 3 successful flights: with human passengers, with animal passengers, and unmanned. The balloon is powered by burning wood.

The next year, the Montgolfier brothers fly in their hot air balloon with 6 passengers. Hot air balloons become popular!

Andre Parachutes Out of a Balloon

In 1787, Andre Jacques Garnerin leaps from a hot air balloon 2,000 feet in the air. Lucky for him, he is wearing a newly-invented parachute.

Sir George Cayley Builds a Glider

In 1799, Sir George Caylay of England created a design of a fixed-wing aircraft. 5 years later, he built and the first successful model glider.

In 1852, Sir George and his grandson George John Cayley completed a large glider that flew an adult.

Sir George Cayley was one of the first people to understand and identify weight, lift, drag, and thrust. He is considered the Father of Aviation.

Clement Flies a Steam-Powered Monoplane

In 1890, Clement Ader flew a steam-powered 1-wing plane a distance of 160 feet outside of Paris.

Otto Lilienthal

Otto Lilienthal enjoys several glider flights in the summer of 1891. These flights were observed to be safe and repeatable. People began to see gliding in a different light.

Over the next few years, he improved his designs. Unfortunately, he died in 1896 in a glider accident.

Zeppelin Airships

In 1900, the airship Zeppelin takes her first flight.

Wright Brothers

In 1892, the Orville and Wilbur Wright open a bicycle shop. However, their hearts are on flight. In 1900, the brothers took their first glider flight. In 1902, they modified their glider to make it more flyable.

On December 17, 1903, the Wright brothers have the first successful powered, manned, heavier-than air flight. It lasts only 12 seconds.

Over the next few years, they modify their plane, improve their flying, and eventually start a business selling airplanes and training pilots. They sell their flights to Americans, British, French, Italian, and German buyers, and the US War Department.

Flying airplanes travels around the world with folks crossing the English Channel (Louis Bieriot), gaining speed (Glenn H. Curtiss wins speed tests), flying across North America (Cal Rodgers from NY to CA), and first night flight (Charles W. Hamilton).

First Helicopter

French inventor Paul Cornu flies the first helicopter in 1907. In 1939, Igor Sikorsky pilots a helicopter lifting off the ground 3 feet for 10 seconds. Later on, in the Vietnam War, helicopters will be the “work horse” of the USA Army.

World War I

The brand new airplanes are used in World War I for reconnaissance.

At first, enemy pilots just wave to each other. Soon, however, they begin to shoot at each other and throw grenades out of the planes on the enemy below. Dog fights become part of fighting in the air.

What is a dog fight?

A dog fight is a battle in the air conducted at close range. The fights often took the form of a dance between the pilots in the air with swooping and swirling and turning and dodging. Pilots learned to fly their planes in all different directions to avoid a hit.

Learn more about World War I heroes on this podcast: 7 Amazing World War I Heroes

Boeing is Born

In 1916, Boeing is founded by William Edward Boeing, an aviation pioneer. The company designs, manufactures, and sells airplanes. Later on, they will design, manufacture, and sell missiles, rockets, and satellites.

USS Langley

The USS Langley is the first American aircraft carrier, commissioned in 1926.

Charles Lindbergh

Charles Lindbergh flies across the Atlantic Ocean by himself in 1927 on the Spirit of St. Louis from New York to Paris.

Amelia Earnhart

Amelia Earnhart is the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

Toy Airplanes

Model Airplanes become popular in the 1930s as little boys dream of growing up to be pilots.  At the end of the century, remote control planes become popular with kids, and even more popular with dads.

Airship Crashes in New Jersey

German airships Zeppelins are a popular form of transportation until one crashes in New Jersey in 1937 and burst into flames.

Commercial Airlines

Just like the Wright brothers started a business selling planes and giving pilot lessons, other folks start businesses flying passengers in planes. The first commercial airline companies are founded in 1920:  KLM ( Netherlands) and Qauntas (Australia). Finnair (Finland) is founded in 1923.

Early European airlines are spacious and comfortable. Passenger cabins are luxurious. In America, Pan Am and Northwest Airways are the only airlines with international flights in the 1930s.

World War II

In 1941, US fighter pilots fly across the Pacific together, the Tuskagee Airmen (first black fighter squadron) is formed, and there is a surprise fighter pilot attack on the naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The USA enters World War II immediately. Airplanes play a huge role in the battles of World War II, ending in an Allied victory!

Learn more by listening to this podcast: Pearl Harbor 12.7.41

Golden Age of Flying

Jet airliners were introduced in the 1950s and good-bye to noisy propellers. Though plane tickets are expensive, you will be treated like royalty once you are on the airplane with unlimited food, drinks, and snacks. Magazines, newspapers, pillows, and blankets are provided to passengers. To get on your airplane, you have to walk across the tarmac and climb up stairs.

The flight crew (pilots and flight attendants) operates the airplane and takes care of the passengers. planes have three pilots: the captain, the first officer, and a navigator. The ground crew takes care of everything at the airport with flight dispatchers, baggage handlers, ramp agents, aerospace engineers, gate agents, ticket agents, reservation agents, and crew schedulers.

What Happens Next

From jumbo jets to rockets with the Concorde flying faster than the speed of sound, flight has continued to advance throughout the 20th Century and on to the 21st.

This brief history of aviation is a great jumping off point for a unit study. Here are some suggestions:

  • Pilots
  • Aviation Pioneers
  • Airline Companies
  • Aviation Manufacturers
  • Airports
  • Fligth Careers

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More Podcasts You Might Find Helpful


Finish Well Radio Show, Podcast #099, 7 Amazing World War 1 Heroes, with Meredith Curtis on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network Finish Well Homeschooling Podcast, Podcast #102, Life Lessons from History: Pearl Harbor, 12.7.41, with Meredith Curtis on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network

Staycation Planning

Staycation Planning | If you are not sure how to plan a staycation, stay tuned – this episode is just for you! We will learn how to plan your staycation and enjoy the time with family and friends. #podcast #staycation #homeschoolpodcastStaycation Planning Episode 349

If you are not sure how to plan a staycation, stay tuned – this episode is just for you! We will learn how to plan your staycation and enjoy the time with family and friends.

  1. Be sure to take the time off.
  2. Indulge – reading, events, food.
  3. Make a plan for the day, week-end or week.
  4. Research

Begin by brainstorming. What are some of the things in your area that you could do with the kids, and maybe even with just your husband? In our area these things revolve around water sports. There is boating, Skiing, Jet skiing, parasailing, fishing, SCUBA diving, and more. We have a shell museum, actually two – we have a hands-on museum for kids, and a small zoo nearby.

There are sporting events such as baseball. We have two indoor ice-skating rings and an island nearby. There are also many outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, outdoor concerts at the local mall and more. There are art events, theatre and music festivals. Once you have a list of ideas, narrow it down to the top ten.

Which of these top ten ideas are feasible? Now it is time to make a plan.

Five Things To Think About In Staycation Planning


  1. What is the amount of money you will spend for these events?
  2. If you do not have a set budget think about a max you are willing to spend each day?

Activity or Event or Both

  1. List your event – be sure to figure in the time.
  2. Is this free or is there a cost?
  3. How long will it take to get there?
  4. Will you pack breakfast/ lunch or eat out?

Planning – Schedule

  1. What is your time frame?
  2. Can you take the time off of work?
  3. Do you plan to go out to eat? If so, where?
  4. What will you do during the day – the more planned out the better your vacation will go even if the schedule deviates.


  1. Try something new.
  2. Enjoy an appetizer/ or dessert or both
  3. Go to restaurants that are family owned and not chains.
  4. Think of conversations you can have with your family.
  5. Take your time – there is no hurry! You are on vacation.


  1. Relax! Make a decision you will enjoy yourself (think about how much money you are saving!)
  2. Enjoy each other.
  3. No drama – set boundaries for fighting, etc.
  4. Make time to see the little things you would normally overlook.
  5. No work. This is a vacation so be sure to leave your work behind temporarily.
  6. No electronics during the outing.
  7. OR – your kids can enjoy unlimited electronics if you decide this is their vacation!
  8. Relaxed dress – unless you are going somewhere that requires fancy clothing.
  9. Enjoy the events – look at the little things and enjoy!
  10. Praise God each day and what are your thankful for?





Special Replay: Problems With Socialism

Special Replay:  Problems with Socialism – Episode 372

What is the problem with getting everything for free? Isn’t that what socialism promises? Join Felice Gerwitz and Jeff Diest from the Mises Institute as they delve into this question.

Visit our Sponsor – Truth Seekers Mystery Series

We appreciate the totally unexpected and special offer by Jeff Diest who promised to send our listeners a special book!

Recommended Books:

Tuttle Twins ” For younger children on economics

“Economics” by Henry Hazlitt. This book was written in the 1940s.

Today Felice welcomes the president of the Mises Institute – Jeff Diest.

Jeff Diest on Twitter here

Website: Mises Institute

Jeff takes an active role in what is happening in our culture. Not necessarily a political role. He thinks we ought to organize our society around civil institutions, around families, and around markets because markets in my view are, are cooperative.

Jeff states in this interview: I believe the marketplaces represent people coming together and doing things voluntarily and that a lot of people worry about what they think of as free-market fundamentalism. Regardless of our own particular viewpoints, we can start to agree when we look at the 20th century and what’s unfolding in the 21st, that government is really not the best boss for us. And certainly not a faraway government in Washington DC that purports to rule over 330 million people with exceedingly diverse interests. We’ve become far too centralized in DC, and with the Supreme Court and with federal preemption of state law and that sort of thing. So long story short, I’m someone who had an opportunity to meet Ron Paul a long time ago when I was an undergraduate in college and just became interested in markets and economics as a result.

We probably have some diversity of opinion on what we believe, but the point I want to make today is that we have to educate ourselves and be able to talk to people who think differently than we do, which is very important. And, and be civil about it, which is another thing that is very important. What concerns me, Jeff is the problem with socialism.

Jeff :

Ludvig von Mises was a giant of economics in the 20th century and to an extent, folks on the left and even some folks on the right tried to underplay or dismiss his contributions in the 20th century. But that’s really been largely rectified. I think now, even his strongest critics would say that he was a very, very influential figure. And, and for our purposes today, he wrote a book in the 1920s called “Socialism.” And it remains today, maybe one of the most readable and most accurate criticisms of a centrally planned economy. What would later unravel in the former Soviet Union? What would later bring into turmoil Nazi Germany, which affected his life in Vienna, Austria, very much. And ultimately as a Jew, he fled Vienna to Munich for a period and then ultimately to New York City, which is how he became you know, a de facto American later in his life.

So he wrote, “Human Action,” (Free PDF on the Mises website here) which is one of his most important books a couple of decades later. And he wrote it in English, which was not his first language and it’s really the comprehensive treaty or treatise, I should say for modern free market economics. So he was a very influential guy, but more importantly someone who really understood what socialism was and what it could evolve into up close. And someone who tried to caution the world about it.

And I guess the question for our audience today is whether we listened and whether we’ve done the work to read and study history and really understand what socialism, materials and you know. Earlier we were talking off the air that sometimes conservatives are a little dismissive towards the threat and saying, oh, come on, America will never become socialist. And that might sound right in the sense that we’re not on the cusp of nationalizing whole industries.

We are going to have private ownership businesses and, and stock markets presumably for quite some time. But socialism is more than that. When we talk about ownership, what we really mean is control. So when we think about how the government controls industries, how the government controls business as an individuals, even though it doesn’t necessarily own those businesses the measure of control and the degree of control has been growing and growing and growing throughout the 20th century. And it’s increasing now. So when we look at, let’s say, the slate of Democratic candidates for the 2020 presidential election you know, the things that they advocate are absolute socialists. They want more and more control regulations, taxes, et cetera, over private industry. So if we, if we step back and look at the United States today, we could say that America is socialist in its educational system because so much of it is government ride.

You could say America’s socialist in its healthcare system because so much of it is government run or controlled by legislation like Obamacare. You could say the same about law. You could say the same about banking. You could say the same about energy. So there are, there are industries in America, fast industries that basically dance to the tune of the US federal government. So even though we’re not socialist in the sense that we still have nominally private businesses. We are becoming more socialists slowly but inexorably. So that’s a concern. And I don’t think it serves us well to, to just be dismissive of that. I think when the left tells us who they are, we ought to listen.


I agree. And, and I feel that people are saying why are many of the young people buying into this and why do they think it’s so great? I feel that our education system has done a great job in changing the opinions of our children. I remember reading a book in the early 90’s about data mining the information of our school kids. (“Educating for the New World Order, by B.K. Eakman – the true story about how Anita Hoge won a case against the US government before it went to court and she could make her case public!)

Anita Hoge (Follow her on Twitter: She is still fighting today trying to change the system. The goals of the schools have been and they still are to this day to change our kids’ opinions. So, when you get to the point where we are today almost 40 years later, you have what we find in the high schools and colleges. The opinions many kids have in the public and private schools are not in alignment with their parents at all!


With socialism people no longer bear responsibility as much for their actions, and when people no longer enjoy the success of their actions as much, then that kills incentives. And if there’s one thing economists tend to agree on, maybe only one thing, it said incentives do in fact matter. And so when, when people like Bernie Sanders or I hate to say it, your local teacher at a public high school wax on about socialism being a happy, healthy thing that just wants to care about people and make the world more fair. They’re trying to impress upon young people the idea of socialism being Denmark or Sweden or something like that. They don’t want to talk about the former Soviet Union. They don’t want to talk about Venezuela, they don’t want to talk about China.

So what a lot of people don’t understand of course, is history. Americans in general, not just young people, don’t know much about the rest of the world or even our own country. And, and beyond that we don’t know or understand much about economics. So this leaves the population ripe to this idea that well, socialism is just about being kind and providing a social safety net and having free health care and lots of good affordable housing and you know, free college education, these sorts of things. But it’s not that big bad a form of socialism, you know, outright communism that we had in the former Soviet Union. It’s going to be a nice soft kind of thing. And, and you know, that can actually work for a period if you have a population that’s very hardworking and that has a lot of inherited capital culturally and otherwise, like some of the Nordic countries.

But over just a few a generations, socialism always devolves into something where instead of being egalitarian, you end up with a very, very, very segregated ruling elite at the top and everybody else doing worse and worse with rationing and shortages and a lower standard of living. So it’s not rocket science. Even a lot of people on the left admit that markets work and that creates more prosperity. The question is just whether or not young people will attempt to overturn what we think of as American capitalism is as jaundiced and impure as it might be. Whether they really want to overturn that in exchange for at the least a style of European social democracy or maybe something beyond that.

So it’s our job to counter, especially for those listening who homeschool. It’s our immediate task to counter what people are hearing from their peers, from their teachers– even from mainline churches. This is a full-scale war. This is a multi-front war. That culture is arrayed against us. And so part of the cultural war is fighting back against the idea that socialism is benign.

Elites in this country are not simply financial elites. That’s certainly a big part of it. But there are also elites in the sense of media and academia and government who aren’t necessarily personally wealthy. So when we talk about who controls things, we don’t need to get into conspiracies. All human beings exhibit self-interest. So the idea that people who are sort of running things in any society would like to continue running things doesn’t require any conspiracy mindedness. It just requires an honest assessment of human behaviors.

If we look at a lot of the institutions controlled by the United States, in the 20th century, we should rejoice that they’re being challenged and questioned. And some of them are crumbling. People are no longer view the Ivy Leagues and the products of the Ivy League as they once did. People no longer view the US Congress and the US Senate as these noble institutions. The same with the Supreme Court.  The same with a lot of nonprofits, with media institutions. So it’s good.

It’s good that we’re questioning elites because anti-elitism is warranted. They screwed things up. I mean, if elites had done a good job in the 20th century, we’d have better foreign policy and diplomacy. We’d have a better dollar. We’d have a better healthcare system, we’d have a better education system. When I hear populism blamed or the idea that anti-elitism is unintellectual or something like that, I always, I always want to ask the person, well, what is it that the elites were doing so well that we should stay the course? I mean, there’s a reason why Brexit happened.

There’s a reason why Trump won. These events didn’t occur in a vacuum because everything was going so swimmingly and Hillary Clinton was going to be the next version of technocratic rule. There’s a reason all this happened. And so our job is to understand it and, and also to offer some alternatives, not just to moan and complain. And homeschooling is a great alternative. I don’t view homeschooling as dropping out or sequestering your kids or anything like that. I view it as a very affirmative and positive choice for people who understand that they have a choice and that they’re responsible for their children’s education upbringing. And it’s not enough to just sort of turn those kids over for seven hours a day to a bunch of strangers who don’t necessarily have their or your best interest in mind.

So I, I think homeschooling is, is one of the most revolutionary acts by which one can strike a blow as a society and culture and a government seems oppressive. So Kudos to you and your audience because I know it’s not easy. It is a tough, tough road and it involves a lot more work than just dropping your kid off at school. And, and it’s the most important thing because there’s nothing more important than education is as much as I dislike some of the things our government does, I don’t think revolutions generally work out best for anybody. So I think our revolution has to be intellectual and it certainly starts right at home.

It’s socialism versus freedom and you know that this state is not the best to organize society. The government, if you believe in it at all, ought to have a very small role as a referee and a judge perhaps, and not much else that it ought not to be an active participant in society like it certainly has become, or what I’m talking about at first, the US Federal Central Government. So what at animates the left today is the doctrine of egalitarianism. And that has really become a religion unto itself. And socialism is a part of that.

Socialism is sort of the economic and political end of that, but egalitarianisms bigger–it is a religion. When people question egalitarianism you know, even pragmatically and you ask “Gee Whiz, when you raise the minimum wage because you think it’s going to help the poorest workers, it actually dislocates some and causes a lot of them to lose their jobs and they’re made worse off.” The reason you get such a vitriolic or emotional response is because you have challenged something that is an article of faith on the left.

Egalitarianism is not necessarily a rational worldview or mindset because of course, it’s so at odds with human nature and human experience. So it’s rude, but it’s very powerful. I mean, the idea of creating a more equal society is a very, very powerful and effective narrative. And we can understand why it works and why it holds appeal, especially with young people. It tugs at the heartstrings. So the fact that it produces the opposite of what it purports is something that requires some critical thinking and taking a few more steps and doesn’t always lend itself to sound bytes.

Like, well, let’s have medicare for all. Well, Gee Whiz, that sounds great. What’s the cost as opposed to what? So, you know, we have to, we have to appeal to the segment of the population that’s willing to go a little deeper and think a little harder. And, and I don’t think we should shy away from that.

Well, I think you have to get hyper-local, you know, hen something sounds philosophical or sounds overwhelming or daunting, I think you have to start at home and then work outward in concentric circles. So I would love to see people a lot more concerned about their town or their region. Then, you know, the Federal Government and America at large. I’m not a big fan of taxes, but if I have to pay them, I’d rather pay 80% to my state and 20% to Washington DC instead of the other way around. I think things can be improved locally. I think that that locally you can make a bigger difference get involved with education or schooling or whatever it might be. So there’s more to life than just the national politics. There are all kinds of things happening and below that. And, and I think you start with figuring out your own family situation and, and moving out from there. I mean, that’s, that’s the most important thing. No question.




Raising Siblings Without Rivalry – Part 1 – MBFLP 253-1

Dealing with sibling rivalry

One of the questions we hear most often is, “How do you deal with sibling rivalry?” 

We had eight children, and six boys in a row, so we had plenty of competition and challenge to work with! A certain amount is normal and can be accommodated even within the family, but it has to be guided and supervised to keep it from becoming bullying or persecution.

Girls have their own temptations too, especially in emotional and relationship areas; we’ve known women who grew up as “mean girls” in their own family, and struggled with broken relationships decades after they left home.

We didn’t want that in our own family – we wanted our children to grow up to be friends – so we tried to take positive steps to build and protect relationships between our kids. And like Tedd Tripp says, we trained behaviors in the youngest, in the process of teaching the hearts and attitudes of all!

Principles for Preventing Sibling Rivalry

Home Should Be Safe – Nobody should feel like they have to keep their guard up when they cross the family threshold. That goes for spouses, too.

Zero Tolerance for Bullying – or Provoking – Bigger kids can tyrannize young kids, but younger kids can cause lots of trouble for older siblings, too. Proverbs 6:16 says God hates one who causes discord among brothers – so bickering and arguing are important, not just kid stuff.

See the Family as A Team – You won’t score together, if you are fighting one another instead of your enemy or opponent. Encourage your kids to pull together and support each other, especially in front of the rest of the world.

Enjoy Teasing and Wrestling but Don’t Cross the Line! – It’s fun until it’s not, for somebody. If you continue after someone calls “stop” then you’ve become a bully – see “zero tolerance” above.

Recognize How Different Your Kids May Be – and Keep an Eye on Them – Some kids can tolerate teasing and rough-housing, and some can’t. Don’t let either set the tone for everybody, but guide their interaction to head off offenses and hurts. That also goes for the child who’s quick to take offense — that’s no help either.

Raising kids without rivalry at home


This week we’re trying a new format – three shorter episodes on the same topic! Look for parts 2 and 3 later this week and let us know what you think

And if you have suggestions, questions, or requests, leave us a message on our Listener Response Line – (919) 295-0321

Next Segment – Making Competition Helpful, not Hurtful