Find a Math Curriculum That Works

Finding a math curriculum that works for your family can be a challenge! With CTCMath, all of your kids from K-12 can learn at their own pace with one family subscription.

That’s right! With a CTCMath membership, you have access to all grades and lessons, which means your children can work at whatever level is best for them.

Whether your kid needs to catch up, keep up, or move ahead, with CTCMath, they can finally understand math and work at their own pace.

CTCMath is offering Media Angels readers a half-price discount plus a bonus 6 months when you register for a 12-month membership. That means you can access a complete online homeschool math curriculum for all your kids for 18 months! Just use this link by October 16 to access this deal!

Nervous making significant online purchases? CTCMath comes with a 12-month money-back guarantee. No questions asked! Just email CTCMath, if you change your mind.

How does CTCMath work?

A student starts by watching a short, to-the-point video lesson that presents the concepts of the math lesson step by step. Because it’s a video tutorial, they can stop and rewind the teacher as many times as they need to until they get it (and the teacher never gets annoyed or frustrated).

Following each math tutorial, there are interactive questions or an optional printable worksheet that tests the understanding of key concepts. Answers are entered into the CTCMath automated marking system, which then stores the results in each individual student’s ongoing progress report.

Not sure WHY their answer is wrong? After answers have been submitted, printable, fully-worked solutions become available. These show every step which should be taken to reach the correct answer, ensuring your child really understands the math concepts.

CTCMath’s multi-sensory approach to ensure retention plus detailed progress reports for the parents adds up to a whole lot less stress when it’s math time for both parents and kids!

Here’s what Teresa has to say:

“Straight into college math after a great SAT score.”

We love CTCMath, We have tried almost everything with our 5 kids, and we no longer have tears when it comes to math.

Our oldest graduated last year, and even though he only used CTC for less than two years, his math improved so much that he did great on his SAT test and went right into regular college math and is doing great.

God Bless from a little less stressed mom.

Teresa Schilling
East Troy, WI

310-281-2217

www.ctcmath.com       info@ctcmath.com

The Birth of a Homeschool Podcast Network

Today, podcasts are pretty much everywhere. When the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network first launched nine years ago, podcasting was brand new.

The success of the Ultimate Homeschool Radio (now Podcast) Network is owed to the vision and determination of one lady, Felice Gerwitz.

How It Began

The UHPC really began as a ministry. And, if you know Felice, you know how perfectly that describes her life- one of ministry.

Felice was a professional educator turned homeschooler who saw a need for community online. She was determined to minister to homeschooling families through podcasting.

She often talks about how the Lord has surprises for us, and I can imagine that as a young girl in college, she wasn’t likely to see herself as the owner of a homeschool podcast network.

From those first downloads to well over four million plus downloads, the Lord has used Felice’s vision to minister to countless homeschooling families.

Listen in to this interview with Crystal of Military Homeschool Podcast as Felice shares how it all began in this podcast interview. 

Tune in to the very first episode of the Vintage Homeschool Moms podcast (originally recorded live!).

Get Ready to Celebrate!

The Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network launched in October 9 years ago, and we are celebrating all.month.long!

Visit the Birthday Party Breakout Room & Grab Your Prizes

And Enter the Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And plan to party with us!

We’re hosting a Facebook party in our Group, The Ultimate Homeschool Podcast family.

Join the group here. 

And RSVP here!

October Ultimate Checklists Freebie

Ahhh… October!  October has arrived, and it brings thoughts of fall and harvest time. It often is the beginning of cool weather and a busy season, so take a deep breath and start preparing early! Get those checklists printed off, which will streamline planning. This approach will allow you to survive and flourish in this hectic time. Look at your schedule. Are you going to a harvest party, or are you going to plan one? How about crafts and activities?

Let’s get planning and let the ideas flow in an orderly fashion!

The October Ultimate Checklist can give you the direction and insight you need. Find out how to get a copy of the October checklist freebie below.

 

October checklist freebie

Faith, Friends, and Family

What a great month to pause and spend your planning time around your faith, family, and friends. Homeschooling is usually well underway, giving you time to interject some fun!

As you flip through the planner, highlight activities you know your family will love.

Planning, when done with prayerful seeking, is more than just a printable; it’s a way to keep your family time on track while settling into your homeschool flow.

Truly, the printable is a tool you use, but the real work in planning is done before you print the first page of the printable through prayer.

Spend some time praying for direction! And print the Bible verse graphics and hang them in a place to encourage you.

What is in the October Checklist Freebie?

This month’s checklist has everything you need to enjoy the fall season.

October is a fantastic time to focus on our small or large community and is filled with exciting opportunities to enjoy nature, family, and friends. There are also many holidays to note and fun field trip ideas. So, don’t forget to plan your field trips; winter will be here, and we’ll be hearthside more than outside!

  • Checklists Guide – This is a breakdown of how to use the lists for the month, with suggestions to help you get started.
  • Objectives Worksheet
  • Weekly Planning Worksheet
  • Blank Printable October Calendar
  • Four square planners: Faith, Kids, School, and Household
  • Evaluation Weekly Worksheets
  • Motivational Posters and Scripture Posters
  • Printable October Checklist
  • Fun Things to do in September Printable
  • October Holidays Printable Sheet
  • Field Trip Planning
  • Reading Log
  • Organization Checklist
  • Chore Schedule Blank Sheet
  • Quarterly Planning
  • School Planning Sheets
  • Sample School Schedules to Follow
  • Homeschool Weekly Planning Sheets
  • Meal Planning Helps and Suggestions

Download the monthly checklist sent out in each weekly ezine; these are available to subscribers only.

The planner access information is always located at the bottom of each email. Sign up for the freebie so you don’t miss it.

You can sign up HERE as a subscriber if you are not signed up.

 

Special Replay: Stress Free Fall Activities for Kids

Stress-free Fall Activities for Kids | 50 stress fall activities to enjoy with your kids. | #stressfree #fallactivities Stress-Free Fall Activities for Kids Episode 300

There are so many stress-free activities for kids that I’m happy to share with you some suggestions for examining the stress in your life and ways to combat this. On the show notes page, I have a previous podcast on asking yourself ten questions to examine where the stress comes from and ways to combat the stress.

For me, one reason I stress is that I over-plan. Once I turn the calendar and see all the ways that stress happens,  I turn the calendar and think, oh my gosh, it is October, it’s soon Thanksgiving, and now Christmas is around the corner; instead of taking a deep breath, enjoying the cooler weather and making a cup of hot cocoa and snuggling up to read a book with the kids.

Before we begin, I’d like you to ask yourself a list of questions about stress, and I created a podcast on that subject.

The link is HERE

I typically take on more than I can handle. We homeschool moms are competent, and we can get so much done in a little time until it doesn’t happen. I was a volunteer at many places, and until my husband got my attention and I wisely listened, my life was one race after another to accomplish.

I realized that I had to have more patience with myself. I’m an idea person – I want to act on my ideas rather than sit on them and pray about them! I needed to put things in priority, and that helped me tremendously.

During the fall, there were so many things I wanted the children to experience and places I wanted to visit somewhere that has fall leaves, make cookies, study seasons, work on scrapbooks, do art projects, etc., etc. Just trying to fit in school and all these extra things became overwhelming, so the stress crept in!

So… here are some ideas that will really help keep the stress to a minimum!

  1. Be Thankful
  2. Wear fall colors
  3. Visit a pumpkin patch
  4. Carve a pumpkin
  5. Bake a pumpkin and puree
  6. Go for a hike
  7. hayride
  8. paint a fall scene
  9. Attend community events – mostly free
  10. Tailgate
  11. Take a drive to view the fall leaves
  12. Make a pinecone bird feeder
  13. Bake bread
  14. Jump in a pile of leaves
  15. make apple pie – or apple sauce
  16. make soup!
  17. Build a campfire – roast marshmallows
  18. Display pinecones with tiny lights
  19. Play a game of two-hand touch football.
  20. Go to a fall harvest event
  21. Football game – at home, play flag football
  22. Roast Sm’ores
  23. Pine cone bird feeders
  24. Do a good deed
  25. Pick Apple
  26. Make Apple Dumplings – watch Apple Dumpling Gang
  27. Backyard Fall Party – pot luck
  28. Fall Scavenger hunt – look around your yard or go to the park and walk around. Check out some things to add to your list.
  29. Bake gingerbread cookies – soft chew or roll out and bake
  30. Eat apple chips
  31. popcorn balls
  32. Tree rubbings
  33. I spy fall items (in car or walking)
  34. Collect and identify leaves
  35. Learn about trees whose leaves fall
  36. Learn about evergreens
  37. Learn how to press leaves/ flowers
  38. Toast pumpkin seeds
  39. Make pumpkin bread with real pumpkins
  40. Check out the evening sky. Stargaze.
  41. Study the night sky in different seasons.
  42. Make a Fall leaf centerpiece with nature walk items.
  43. Taste different types of apples – think about crispness, sweetness, tartness, color, shape, etc.
  44. Leaves – green works best on paper and paper towels – hit with a hammer
  45. Leaves between wax paper, iron
  46. Write five things fall means to me
  47. Study seasons and compare and contrast.
  48. Thumbprint art with a fall theme
  49. Make butternut squash and pumpkin soup.
  50. Decorate your home with fall items.

 

Hopefully, these ideas will help you have a stress-free fall and enjoy your time with your children.

Thank you to this month’s Sponsor: CTC Math

September Ultimate Checklists Freebie

September is here, and that means back-to-homeschool is in full swing. The curriculum has been purchased and planned. We’ve moved from the anything-goes schedules and summer vacations of August and Summer to settled into the approach of autumn.  This is a perfect time to pause and reflect on the rhythm of our homes and homeschools. Before you blink, the holiday season will be here. How do we make the most of those introductory months of our homeschool? The September Ultimate Checklist can give you the direction and insight you need.

 

Prayer, Planning, and Pause in Your Home

All good planning begins with prayer. Take the time to seek the Lord for your homeschool. Pray for each of your children, your spouse, and your homeschooling year.

As you pray, note anything the Lord lays on your heart, then pause.

Pausing before planning, especially when you’ve taken the time to pray, allows you to catch your breath. What’s working? Where is the stress coming from? What are our homeschool goals for this year?  Where can we improve? What can we let go of? How is my family? Take the time to reflect and record what you’ve learned.

Planning, when done with prayerful seeking, is more than just a printable; it’s a set of rails to set your homeschool success upon. Truly, the printable is a tool you to use, but the real work in planning is done before you print the first page of the printable.

What is in the September Checklist Freebie?

This month’s checklist has everything you need to wind down summer and enjoy the fall season.

September is the perfect time to pray, reflect, and organize your home and homeschool. Additionally, there are many creative holidays to note and fun field trip ideas, too. So, don’t forget to plan your field trips; winter will be here, and we’ll be hearthside more than outside!

  • Checklists Guide – This is a breakdown of how to use the lists for the month, with suggestions to help you get started.
  • Objectives Worksheet
  • Weekly Planning Worksheet
  • Blank Printable September Calendar
  • Four square planners: Faith, Kids, School, and Household
  • Evaluation Weekly Worksheets
  • Motivational Posters and Scripture Posters
  • Printable September Checklist
  • Fun Things to do in September Printable
  • September Holidays Printable Sheet
  • Field Trip Planning
  • Tips for School Pictures
  • First Day of Fall Party Guide
  • Reading Log
  • Organization Checklist
  • Chore Schedule Blank Sheet
  • Quarterly Planning
  • School Planning Sheets
  • Sample School Schedules to Follow
  • Homeschool Weekly Planning Sheets
  • Meal Planning Helps and Suggestions

Download the monthly checklist sent out in each weekly ezine; these are available to subscribers only.

The planner access information is always located at the bottom of each email. Make sure you are signed up so you don’t miss it.

You can sign up HERE as a subscriber if you are not signed up.

September Ultimate checklists

 

Giving Your Homeschool Kids Time to Think

With all of the distractions that surround our families, it’s easy to gravitate toward zoning out. Often this takes the form of electronics, television, or gaming. But, do these things afford your homeschool kids time to think?

Let’s explore ways we can encourage directing our children toward deeper thinking, and see what benefits that reaps.

What is Giving Your Homeschool Kids Time to Think?

It may seem counterintuitive to ask the same student you just asked to “pay attention” to now let their mind be free of concentrated focus on school work to ponder ideas. But, this is in essence what thinking is. It’s allowing time to mull something over, chew on it a bit, and consider and ponder ideas. The ideas that your kids will entertain will certainly depend on their age and ability, but all kids can think deeply.

Feeding Them Big Ideas to Think On

In order to think deeply, we need some big ideas, right? For adults, this would come more easily– there’s so much going on in the world. But, for our children, it’s helpful to break things down. It doesn’t have to be a hard idea to think on, just a wide or deep one appropriate for their age and ability. Here are some ideas:

For Preschool:

  • How do you know God loves you?
  • How do you know Mommy loves you?
  • What is your favorite food? Why?

Kindergarten:

  • Why do you think the grass grows up?
  • Why is the Moon only seen at night?
  • Where does milk come from?
  • Why is the sky sometimes blue, sometimes gray, sometimes dark?
  • How does the phone ring?
  • Where does God live?

Elementary:

  • What is the Holy Spirit? How does He visit you?
  • When do you feel like God is close to you?
  • How can you pray for your friends?
  • What is your favorite book? Why?

Middle School:

  • What would you do to change the world and make it a better place?
  • How could you volunteer in your church or community?
  • What do you believe about God?
  • Why do you think there are so many varieties of flowers?
  • What would you like to learn new this summer?

High School:

  • Would you rather live to 100 or have endless money?
  • Do you think countries should have borders?
  • If you’d been born at the time of the American War for Independence, would you have been a Patriot or Tory? Why?

These can go on and on. You can pull ideas from your homeschooling materials. There are also some great lists to bookmark. Try here, here, and here.

 

Give Them Time to Think

Of course, they have to have time to think deeply, right? Consider times in your natural daily rhythm that could provide this opportunity.

Maybe you could introduce questions and ideas in the morning at breakfast.

Get creative here — you could write them down for older kids, write them on a whiteboard, have a “question-of-the-week”, etc.  Then be intentional about allowing time for reflection. Limit screen time. Establish a “do nothing” hour, and get outside. Whatever you need to do to create the time they need to work on thinking. And believe me, thinking is work!

Allow Them to Develop Their Own Thoughts

Obviously, some of the questions to consider and ponder don’t require as much as others. But, every homeschool mom knows the value of rabbit trails. After all, that’s how delight-directed learning was born. And seriously, isn’t that part of the reason we homeschool?

To have the time to pursue thought (rabbit trails) that engage our kids’ minds and hearts? If you’ve given them a good meal of ideas, you need to give them time to not only eat them, but digest them.

Don’t look for Sunday School answers; those yes/no questions and answers that rob kids of the desire to think deeply. Ask them questions they can’t know the answer to right away or without thought. Then give them time to develop those thoughts.

Journal, Draw, Orate, Discuss Big Ideas

Now that our kids have an idea they are turning over in their minds, they need a tool to be able to reason through it. What will that tool be? Consider these options:

  • Journaling gives your wordy, writing student the opportunity to reason, reason, relate, and write or record their thought process. This is helpful in many ways. It can allow them to read their own thinking back to themselves to see that it is sound or well-reasoned. Journaling can be an outlet for emotional reasoning. It removes the confrontation of verbally expressing ideas. It prepares them for defending their written words.
  • Drawing or art can be a beautiful way to express thought. Some of your kids may draw pictures of what they are thinking on the inside. This is helpful for both student and parent as it can build communication pathways you didn’t know existed.
  • Discussion, debate, and arguing a point of view are perfect for those teens who feel passionately about ideas and thoughts and are at that age where defending them comes naturally. This is the ideal discipleship opportunity and a true window for growth for your teen (and even for you!)

Benefits of Allowing Kids Time to Think

There are so many benefits, including introducing the world to humans who can think, reason, and relate. But the biggest benefit is the relationships built along the way with your children.

Let’s Talk About Giving Homeschool Kids Time to Think

I’ll be speaking at the True North Homeschool Academy’s Summer SPLASH! Virtual EduSummit with a panel discussion on entrepreneurship, and two workshops: Giving Kids Time to Think and Podcasting as Education. Join me there for live Q & A and the opportunity to learn more about how we can give our kids time to think!

I have a special coupon code for my readers and listeners: Use the code:    felice20 at checkout to get a $5 ticket to the Summit!

I hope to see you there!

Felice Gerwitz

Help! I Don’t Want to Homeschool Anymore! Dealing with Homeschool Burnout

It happens to the best of us; homeschool burnout. We grow weary of homeschooling and we’re ready to throw in the towel. Rather than giving up, let’s look at how we got to this state and what actions we can take to get out of homeschool overwhelm.

What Homeschool Burnout Looks Like

Think back to when you first began homeschooling. You were full of hope and excitement and couldn’t wait to pour over homeschool curriculum catalogs. You had a new identity to celebrate, you were now a homeschool mom!

New friends were made, conventions visited, and curricula purchased. Things went great in the beginning, or even for a while.

Then it happens, burnout!

Now you dread getting up to more schoolwork, more laundry, more meal prepping, more of anything. You’re just tired, and there seems to be no end in sight.

How Homeschool Burnout Happens

The truth is, you didn’t just wake up tired of it all one morning. Let’s look at the road to burnout and see if you can identify with any of these:

  • you don’t have a predictable schedule
  • you have an overly stressful schedule
  • your homeschooling a wide variety of ages and levels
  • your partner works long hours
  • you’re not plugged into co-op or homeschool group
  • you are overly committed to a co-op or homeschool group
  • lack of support from friends or family
  • expecting too much of yourself
  • putting everyone else before your own basic needs
  • over-commitment to church
  • neglecting your spiritual life

If any of that sounds familiar, you might be in homeschool burnout.

What We Do About Homeschool Burnout

There are some action steps you can take to help yourself walk out of burnout to relief. Try a few of these to see what works.

  1. Practice the art of saying “no.” You don’t need to do everything. If you feel like you need permission to bow out gracefully, granted.
  2. Understand the difference between roles and responsibilities. Your role is mom, wife, sister, daughter. You have different responsibilities within each of those roles. Make a quick list of what your true responsibilities are. This will also help you learn to say no.
  3. Re-think your identity. Yes, you homeschool. But, your identity isn’t a homeschooling mom. You’re a mom who homeschools, right? And most importantly, you’re a daughter to the One who made you, loves you, and doesn’t want you sit in homeschool burnout.
  4. Make prayer a priority.

PRAYING AND WORKING. I Like that saying of Martin Luther, when he says, “I have so much business to do to-day, that I shall not be able to get through it with less than three hours’ prayer.” Now, most people would say, “I have so much business to do to-day, that I have only three minutes for prayer; I cannot afford the time.”

But Luther thought that the more he had to do, the more he must pray, or else he could not get through it. That is a blessed kind of logic: may we understand it! “Praying and provender hinder no man’s journey.” If we have to stop and pray, it is no more hindrance than when the rider has to stop at the farrier’s to have his horse’s shoe fastened; for if he went on without attending to that it may be that ere long he would come to a stop of a far more serious kind.—C. H. Spurgeon.

Practical steps:

  1. Keep a simple schedule.
  2. Keep meals simple.
  3. Plan time with friends and don’t talk about homeschooling.
  4. Communicate your needs clearly to your partner, friends, and family.
  5. Partner with an online homeschool provider to handle some of the teaching load.

Working through these 8 quick steps can help you gain clarity for yourself, your relationships, and your homeschooling. Keep things simple!

 

Starting Your Homeschool Over

Listen, I hear you! You’ve already purchased all of this curriculum. You’re determined to use it.

You’ve already purchased the convention tickets and reserved the hotel.

Your church is counting on you.

Your partner isn’t supportive.

All of that can be true, and you can still simplify.

That curriculum? Set a timer and work through it for a set amount of time. No one says you have to do all.the.things!

Let your kids know that for a while school is during the hours of x and x and after that mom needs a recess or reboot.

Go the convention, but change your aim. Have fun! And if you want to, cancel it. No one is judging you. There’s always next year.

Your church probably does need you, that’s the nature of it. But they want the best version of you. Not the stressed-out, burnt-out version. Have a conversation about volunteering boundaries for this season. They will understand.

You’ve Got This!

Just do the next thing. Pick one area to simplify. You’ve got this. And maybe some of these podcasts will help: *scroll to the bottom of the page to play the podcast

Let me know how this article and the podcasts have helped. Have more advice? Leave a comment and bless another mom.

How to Create Your Perfect Homeschool

Creating the perfect homeschool

Now, really. Did you just click a title that said, “Create Your Perfect Homeschool” ??

Well, I’m sorry to say, there is no.such.thing.

What do I have for you today? I have a gift! In honor of Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network’s 7th birthday, today I’m sharing the gift of wisdom.

What is Homeschool Wisdom?

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines wisdom as, “The right use or exercise of knowledge; the choice of laudable ends, and of the best means to accomplish them. This is wisdom in act, effect, or practice.

I don’t know about you, but when I began homeschooling I craved sitting down over a cup of coffee with a veteran or vintage homeschool mom. I had so many questions

So, it was so much fun to sit down with Felice Gerwitz (of Vintage Homeschool Moms) and ask her questions that I know will be a blessing to you.

 

1. How did you get started in homeschooling?

I had a child that learned differently and it was not an easy decision, as I had planned to return to teaching at some point when my kids were older. It turned into the biggest blessing ever and as I had more children, it became a lifestyle. More of a “who we are,” rather than, “what we do.”

2. What biggest piece of advice would you have regarding your marriage and homeschooling?

I know everyone says take time for date night, but truthfully I was one of those moms that missed my kids when I went out to dinner! Of course, after saying that the first time (and hurting my husband’s feelings) I learned to keep that tidbit to myself. Praying together and talking. I missed adult conversation as a homeschool mom. However, for me, it was being open, kind, and honest in conversations. No character assassination, and no criticism, aka “You are stupid.” Telling him what I was thinking rather than expecting him to guess. Our husbands can’t read our minds and we get upset when they don’t know what we think! Also, trying to be thankful for each other and seeing the best rather than the worse.

3. How would you recommend fostering connection in this Covid time for new homeschoolers?

I have to say, for me, it isn’t so much about outside connections as it is with growth within our own families. This is a time to listen to your kids when they are talking, to appreciate them, and to grow together as a family. Find new hobbies, learn something new together, plant a garden, buy baby chicks. (I’m dying to do this myself.) I do believe this time will pass and there will be field trips and park days. If you have a few friends, invite them to a park day. Learn who is homeschooling in your area and if there is any planned activity happening.
Join our Homeschool Podcast Family and ask us anything! There are some great homeschooling families in that group. Maybe some live near you!

4. Tell me about a time you thought of giving up and how you kept going with homeschooling.

I had two older kids and then had first one, then another and finally a fifth child. By the time my fifth came, I told my daughter, then eighteen she couldn’t leave the house until she taught the baby to read. Of course, I was joking, but the idea of teaching another child to read was not a fun prospect. (I had some struggling readers.) Well, God in his infinite wisdom and mercy took pity on me and Mikey taught himself to read (with a little help on my part) when he was four-years-old. I think sometimes we look at the big picture rather than tackle the every day and thank-God for each day. If you do that it can appear overwhelming.

5. If you had do-overs, what are three things you’d do differently in your homeschool?

Start unit studies earlier in my homeschool journey, especially with my little kids. We learned so much in various grade levels and we had so much fun learning it was not a chore. Once we switched to more textbooks, that is when the burn out began. Reading “real” books, for example, good historical novels, or biographies, the kids will grasp the concepts and actually remember.

6.  We moms know that the responsibility of the actual work of homeschooling usually falls on our shoulders. How do you handle the school/life balance?

I actually came up with what I call a 4-Square Planner and I took a sheet of paper and labeled it. Prayer, School, Home, Kids –or whatever 4 categories I wanted. I have used this for party planning, buying gifts, and homeschooling. It can be a daily page or a week at a glance. Either way, it works great. That way I know what I need to get done! Also, multi-task well as a family. For example, the laundry day ended up being reading in the afternoon day. Clothes were folded while I read, or the kids took turns reading while we all folded clothes and then put them away.

7. Talk to me about the middle school years. What words of wisdom or advice would you share?

I was a middle school teacher, so this is actually one of my favorite stages! Kids are great. They just are. And, if you can appreciate them it will make life so much better. Whenever you get stressed that your middle schooler is getting sassy, or lazy, or fill-in-the-blank, think back to when they wouldn’t wear pink, or insisted on wearing a skirt and pants, etc. There are always an age/stage that your kids go through that can stump us, and that is also a time for prayer. I remember being upset with my then high schooler and not knowing what the punishment would be, so I let the child know I was going to pray about the punishment. My son scoffed at me. When the Lord gave me a sense of what the punishment should be, his car keys hung in a common area (dumb right?), it really worked! So pray if things are going hard and see what the Lord gives you a sense to do!

8. What do you think the role of a a co-op might be in homeschooling?

I loved co-ops when my kids were younger and some people love them when the kids are older. It is a good time to get together with other kids if there is a subject you don’t want to teach. Or, if you can teach something well you can offer to teach.

9. There are so many blogs and podcasts to read and listen to nowadays. How can I be discerning regarding which ones will be a benefit and grace to my homeschool?

Truthfully, I love podcasts, especially from those on my network. I know most of the podcasters personally. These people walk-the-walk. I feel that so many blogs are copies of other blogs and the information is so watered down. Also, I avoid blogs that are full of ads. They are too hard to navigate even with good information.

10. What is your favorite homeschool resource and tell me about your own resources.

My all-time favorite history curriculum is a set my brother in law created for my own kids. We were able to record them and my kids know much about the Constitution and history. It is taught from a factual perspective. It can be used by all denominations as it is not heavily Christian but definitely has that as an undertone. In addition, I co-authored a Creation Science unit studies and four were featured in Cathy Duffy Top 100 and 101 Curriculum Picks, along with the Teaching Science and Having Fun books. Those books are on my Media Angels Membership (you can save 50% off with the code FOREVER50) and it has all of my curriculum and resources including the History courses. I also love our novels. They are creation based and while the story is fiction, the science is the truth!

Felice Gerwitz

Author and speaker, Felice Gerwitz, is an outside of the box thinker. Her books reflect a love of learning and education with an eye toward retention.

She is a graduate of Florida Southern College, a former teacher with a degree in Elementary Education, Learning Disabilities and Early Childhood Education. She began Media Angels Publishing in 1994.

Eight of Felice’s titles have been selected by noted book reviewer, Cathy Duffy in both her 100-Top and 101 Top Homeschool Curriculum Picks. Her science fair book was selected as book of the month by God’s World Publishing.

There are no coincidences in life, so Felice believes it is by Divine Intervention that she publishes curriculum with a Biblical Creation focus and many other educational products.

Felice owns and podcasts at the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network and the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network. Her podcast topics include homeschooling, parenting, spiritual life and a podcast for aspiring authors and podcasters.

Get in on the par-tay fun! Join us for our GIVEAWAY and celebration! 7 years is a big deal. 🙂 

It’s our birthday today and we like to celebrate all month long! We will be offering some fun freebies and resources for you this month that you don’t want to miss.
Let’s kick off our 7th year celebration with an awesome giveaway!
You can enter HERE:
https://buff.ly/2vLXa7A

11 Funky Fresh Back to Homeschool Celebration Ideas (and Giveaway!)

Rock your back to homeschool celebrations with these 11 funky fresh ideas and a $250 giveaway | Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network #homeschool #homeschooling #backtoschool #podcast

Okay, honestly. Are you sitting there wondering what in the world  is a funky fresh back to back to homeschool celebration? It’s that type of back to homeschool celebration idea every homeschool mom needs in order to get back in the groove after a super awesome summer break. You know what I mean. I’m that mom. You’re that mom. So let’s get to it.

Here are your 11 Funky Fresh Back to Homeschool Celebration Ideas.

Funky Fresh Back to Homeschool Countdown

Okay, to make the list, the idea had to have 2 criteria. First, it had to be funky. And by funky I mean it had to be something your kids enjoy, but also might roll their eyes at. (If you allow your kids to roll their eyes. Which of course, no self-respecting homeschool perfectionist ever would.)

Second, it had to be fresh. Fresh as in new and not your typical back to homeschool countdown lists.  And of course, it had to be a back to homeschool celebration.  Are you ready, mama? Let’s do this thing.

1. Host a Popcorn and Movie Party

Don’t dust of those homeschool books just yet. Mom, you have the power to make a back to school celebration they’ll remember all year long. You can host a popcorn and movie party. All day.

Here’s some help:

2. Matching Tee Shirts

Visit your local Hobby Lobby or Walmart and grab some low price tee shirts, tee shirt paint, markers, or even tie dye. Put a tablecloth down on the kitchen table and let everyone go to town designing their own back to homeschool celebration tee shirt. If you want them to match, add your homeschool theme or Bible verse. Voila! Insta worthy.

3. Write a Homeschool Anthem

You can totally do this. Pick a familiar tune, such as your state song or favorite hymn. Change out the words to reflect your unique homeschool. Keep it fun and reverent. Dad can vote on the winner (if you’re the competitive type family), or treat everyone to a trip for soft serve ice cream to celebrate.

4. Start with a Field Trip Someplace Weird

Search out an unusual and  unique to your region field trip spot and make a day of it. It doesn’t need to be educational. Fun is the name of the game. It can be food related, someplace you love to go, or someplace you’ve never been.

If you really can’t stand the thought of someplace unusual, you can still use this idea, try this article, Homeschooling by the Field Trip Method.

For the adventurous moms, (you know who you are):

5. Host an Open House

I know, you’re thinking NO WAY. After all, you get enough flack over homeschooling. The last thing you want to do is invite the naysayers in! I’m not talking about that type of open house. I’m suggesting you organize your homeschool stuff, go ahead and have your first week of homeschooling, and on that weekend invite the welcoming grandparents and family members over to celebrate with you. Show off your best sample from last year or the week and let your more outgoing kiddos share a poem, picture, or paper. Go ahead and brag a little on all those color coordinated binders.

Need some insight or tips? Here you go:

6. Paper Shredding

Every year should be a fresh start for your kids, and for you. Why not make it official? You can pick up an inexpensive paper shredder from Walmart or Amazon for the event. Explain to your students that last year was last year. It’s time for a fresh start. Allow them to pick something from their last year’s work, or write a list that only they read. One by one shred the list or work. When the little ceremony is done, give thanks in prayer for new beginnings.

7. Audio Book Bonanza

If you’re looking for a non visual way to have some non bookish back to homeschool celebration fun, try audiobooks. Let the kiddos draw, craft, play legos, play a board game, or rest while listening to audiobooks. Our family enjoyed Lamplighters, Laura Ingalls, Where the Red Fern Grows, and Your Story Hour.

Need some more audio inspiration? Listen in:

8. Homeschool in Reverse

Be a student in your own homeschool for the day. Let the kids take turns as instructor. Encourage fun and parody. It’s worthwhile to establish ground rules so parody doesn’t get taken too far and feelings aren’t hurt. But, if you’re a family who enjoys and thrives on this kind of fun, let me tell you, you’ll learn heaps about how your kids view their homeschool experience. Keep an open mind and heart.

9. Different Decade Homeschool Day

I could’ve called this one Homeschool Appreciation Day, for truly we stand on the shoulders of giants in homeschooling. Pick a decade when homeschooling wasn’t legal in your state, or when legislation was oppressive. Don’t scare your kids, but do help them see how the freedom to homeschool was hard won. Give thanks in prayer for the freedom to legally homeschool.

Grateful to homeschool research list:

and Internationally:  Finland: Heroic Single Mother Withstands School Officials

10. Christmas List Making Homeschool Style

Who doesn’t love to shop or make a wish list? Collect catalogs from homeschooling vendors, visit Amazon.com, visit your favorite homeschool website, or even buzz the Walmart with notepads in hand. Give each student a budget then make a wish list of items related to learning that you’d love to have show up under your make believe homeschool tree.

11: Back to Homeschool Giveaway

Hey, $250 buckaroos isn’t anything to sneeze at. 🙂 Enter to win the gift card and snag some funky fresh  stuff for your homeschool. Or spend on yourself, Mom. We won’t tell. Best of luck! (Be sure to subscribe to our emails  where everyone gets a FREEBIE & where the winner will be announced!)

Have an awesome, funky fresh back to homeschool celebration. Send us pics! We’d love to celebrate with you.

PS. Some day we can chat about why Homeschool Karaoke didn’t make the list. 🙂

*This article was written for The Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network by Gina Glenn, copywriter and podcast hostess of Mommy Jammies Podcast.

Homeschool Giveaway

It’s Back to (Home) School time!!

It’s that time of year, when many homeschoolers are busy preparing for a new school year.  Some of you may have already started your new year, and some of you may have never stopped!

I’ve gotten together with a great group of bloggers to make getting ready for the new school year just a little bit easier and hopefully a little less stressful on your wallet.  How does $250 sound in helping you buy curriculum, books, games, puzzles, and educational supplies?  Two people will win a $250 gift card to Christianbook.com!!

We know homeschooling can put financial strain on families – whether it’s from living on one-income or buying curriculum for your children – the financial aspect of it can be stressful.  Our hope is that we can bless a couple of homeschool families (although we wish we could bless many more) so they can buy the curriculum and supplies they need.

To enter for your chance to win, simply use the Rafflecopter form below to enter.  Now I know that is quite a few entries for you, but each of these bloggers has generously chipped in their own money to make this giveaway possible, so I hope you will take the time to do all of the entries.  And hey, the more entries you do, the better your odds are of winning!

Giveaway ends August 16th, 2019 at 11:59pm ET.  Must be at least 18 years of age.  Must be a resident of U.S. or Canada to enter.  Selected winners will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prizes or another winner will be drawn.  By entering this giveaway, you agree to be added to the email lists of the participating bloggers (see the Terms & Conditions on the Rafflecopter form for the complete list).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

PPS. For more funky fresh (and also serious, sigh) homeschool fun, join the Podcast Family Facebook group.


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor -Overcomer Movie

Life changes overnight for coach John Harrison when his high school basketball team’s state championship dreams are crushed under the weight of unexpected news. When the largest manufacturing plant in town suddenly shuts down and hundreds of families begin moving away, John must come to grips with the challenges facing his family and his team. Urged by the school’s principal to fill-in and coach a sport he doesn’t know or like, John is frustrated and questioning his worth… until he crosses paths with a student struggling with her own journey.
Filled with a powerful mix of faith, a twist of humor, and a ton of heart, the Kendrick Brothers return to theaters with OVERCOMER, their newest feature following FACING THE GIANTS, FIREPROOF, COURAGEOUS, and the #1 box-office hit, WAR ROOM. The inspiring family film stars Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer, Shari Rigby, Cameron Arnett, and introduces Aryn Wright-Thompson.

Opening nationwide on August 23, OVERCOMER dares to leave you filled with hope, inspired to dream, and asks the question: what do you allow to define you?

Click here to learn more!


Why Every Homeschool Mom Needs a Homeschool BFF

homeschool mom needs a homeschool mom bff

Why Every Homeschool Mom Needs a Homeschool BFF

Every homeschool mom goes through a similar experience. We start with the conviction that we should homeschool our children. Moms get excited with shopping for and choosing curriculum. We spend our summer planning.

Then we begin. And it’s not long before we start to feel like we’re going at this thing alone.

We Question Ourselves

Once the loneliness sets in we start to question our decision to homeschool.

One days when our children’s behavior or lack of interest in their studies sets in, we want to give in and hand it over to someone else. Even if we don’t admit that out loud.

It doesn’t mean we’ve lost faith in our conviction, it just means we really are meant to be in community with one another. We need a friend who gets it.

Reaching out to Friends and Finding a Homeschool BFF

This is where having a homeschool BFF can really make your homeschool experience so much better. She understands your struggles. She can hold you up with you’re feeling down. It’s often that homeschool mom BFF who reminds you of why you’re doing this in the first place. And if she’s a true friend she points you back to Jesus, so you don’t lose your way.

Friends for Life

And these friends aren’t just friends for a season. You never really outgrow them. In this podcast I share a little about Mom School and how that experience introduced me to a circle of friends who are still my friends to this day. Good friends.

The Homeschool Sisterhood

That’s why I’m kinda (okay, a lot) excited about the Homeschool Sisterhood  (referral link) with Ana Willis. I wish I’d had this opportunity when I was a brand new homeschooling mom. The opportunity to learn from a veteran homeschool mom who can share how to stay focused would’ve been such a blessing.

Wherever you’re at in your homeschooling journey, check out The Homeschool Sisterhood (referral link) and get yourself plugged in.

PS. Check out …

My podcast interview with Ana Willis, topic: How to Stop the Hustle and Find Your Purpose

Join the Mommy Jammies Podcast Community on Facebook.

 


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor -Overcomer Movie

Life changes overnight for coach John Harrison when his high school basketball team’s state championship dreams are crushed under the weight of unexpected news. When the largest manufacturing plant in town suddenly shuts down and hundreds of families begin moving away, John must come to grips with the challenges facing his family and his team. Urged by the school’s principal to fill-in and coach a sport he doesn’t know or like, John is frustrated and questioning his worth… until he crosses paths with a student struggling with her own journey.
Filled with a powerful mix of faith, a twist of humor, and a ton of heart, the Kendrick Brothers return to theaters with OVERCOMER, their newest feature following FACING THE GIANTS, FIREPROOF, COURAGEOUS, and the #1 box-office hit, WAR ROOM. The inspiring family film stars Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer, Shari Rigby, Cameron Arnett, and introduces Aryn Wright-Thompson.

Opening nationwide on August 23, OVERCOMER dares to leave you filled with hope, inspired to dream, and asks the question: what do you allow to define you?

Click here to learn more!