Teaching Tips You Can Use in Your Homeschool

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

homeschooler-learning-map-skills-studies-globeTeaching Tips You Can Use In Your Homeschool

This blog post sponsored by: Math Mammoth| With Math Mammoth’s clear explanations and mastery-based curriculum, your students will be set up for success in algebra and in real life!


After over thirty years of homeschooling, I have so many teaching tips that really work! And, I love my children, and no one loves my children more than I do! No one. So, who is the best teacher? I am (and so are you)!

Even the most highly degreed teacher doesn’t have what you do and with all of the resources available today you don’t need to know the information to teach it. My children’s education has centered around everything from hands-on materials, to science labs taught at home and trips to visit historical sites. We collected rocks in Georgia, climbed mountains (they climbed, I watched), went on hiking trips to various falls, collected fall leaves (we live in Florida so this was a treat), visited Washington DC, went to Canada and New York among many other places. Our learning was experiential and memorable.

And that is the crux. Teaching should be memorable or what is the point? Fast forward and all of my kids are now adults and successful in college, their jobs and with their families.

In a nutshell here are some of my Top 20+ Teaching Tips.

  1. One of my favorite teaching tips is creating a Family Statement of Faith – either a scripture verse or a motto. (As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.)
  2. This is another of my favorites! We begin every day with prayer – praying for others, The Pledge of Allegiance (someone got to hold the flag each day), and basic memory work depending on their age.
  3. A plan. Do you have a schedule? A list of books you will use? An actionable plan with goals.
  4. Don’t recreate the school in the home. Recess, lunch breaks, etc. Do try to take a moving break in between subjects, it helps stimulate the brain… No electronics – not even a computer except if you need it for school.Phones away from the school area.
  5. Organization is your friend. (Links) Organization Link here) Be sure to keep a large notebook with samples of the child’s work for each year. It can be divided into subjects and added to weekly or at least every two weeks. It makes the end-of-the-year evaluation so much easier.
  6. Have time to do school and protect this time from interruption.
  7. Plan outings – field trips, or even trips to the dentist (which can be used as a field trip no matter what the age!) If these are on a master schedule it really helps.
  8. A year-long schedule
  9. Give your children a chance to speak in front of the family. This builds public speaking skills.
  10. Resources – I loved teaching with charts (more on this later), real books, and biographies (will do a podcast on this as well). This network is a great resource UHPN! Homeschool Highschool Podcast, College Prep Genius, Making Biblical Family Life Practical, Homeschool Sanity, Homeopathy for Mommies, Finish Well Radio, Homeschooling with Technology, Life as a Lifeschooler, Soft Skills, and so many more in our More Shows category.
  11. My recommendation with little kids is lots of hands-on and experiential learning.
  12. Teaching phonics, with a tactile approach (saltbox), etc, is important and basic math concepts.
  13. Multiple modalities like reading, writing, listening, discussions, and even acting or presenting the information. While tests are often expected in learning settings I avoided these and instead used opportunities to test my children’s ability to remember.
  14. Reading kids good books begins when they are tiny and in our family extends through their teen years. We read a wonderful series like Little House on the Prarie and so many more. Some of our happiest memories surround reading.
  15. Learning is based on the interest of the child, the interesting information and the instructor’s ability to engage. If you look at school like it is a chore your children will as well!
  16. Memorization using charts. We had number charts, fraction charts, bird charts, birds of prey, the states, the musical instruments in an orchestra and so many other charts. I used these each morning or during our breaks from schoolwork in order to break up the day, and have a fun activity that they enjoyed. I even made up a “test” of sorts. A list of the birds for example and when I pointed to them the kids could tell me the name of the bird.
  17. Read the material ahead and give a brief explanation with key points written on a marker board. (The kids can take notes. Answer questions, orally or by researching it.)
  18. Have the student read a book and write a one or two-page synopsis – they can teach the “class” what they learned.
  19. Incremental – with books you read, and workbooks/questions that are answered.
  20. Unit study. You become immersed in a topic or subject. You teach it through history, science, art – even music. You can study almost every subject (except for math) using this approach.
  21. Student lead – the child can explore topics of interest and learn all about it.
  22. Performances – kids learn by teaching others, as well as giving an oral report. Make this a key part of your homeschool even if you have an only child. Bring over friends and do this together.

Teaching tips that are the most useful are the ones that you feel will make your life easier!

Celebrate Fall Baking With Kids (replay)

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Celebrate holiday baking this fall with life skills and memories. Celebrate Fall Baking With Kids ~ Episode 479 (Replay)

I love to bake and there is nothing better than celebrating fall baking with the kids. Just thinking about the warm spicy scents of pumpkin, ginger, and more brings back the joys of creating memories with our kids.

Don’t miss our 10th Birthday celebration happening right now, including a giveaway and special sponsors.

Can you smell that cinnamon? Fall is the best time to get your hands dirty and bake up some goodies with the kids. No matter your dietary restrictions, there are plenty of recipes online for all. Baking encourages children to get involved and even children who are typically unenthusiastic when it comes to hands-on activities such as crafts are often engaged when it comes to baking. I believe baking also instills good lifetime skills, such as cooperation and patience. Nothing is fast when it comes to making something without a box mix and when I talk about fall baking I’m suggesting homemade recipes.

Living in southwest Florida, the humidity is a factor in baking. Things go stale quickly if they are not stored in a cool place. If you live in a colder, less humid climate this may not be an issue for you! If so, that is great!

Safety is also important when baking. The kids learned quickly that heat burns! There are plenty of books in the library or bookstores that focus on baking with kids. These books are a good starting point if this is something that is new to you. When I was a younger mom, I had lots more energy and patience. I had a poster board with our most popular recipes written out.  And I used it for beginning reading practice. I also taught the children math and fractions while baking. As homeschool parents, we can use anything and everything at our disposal to teach our children.

Baking teaches so many skills:

  1. Measuring (precise)
  2. Fractions
  3. Reading
  4. Science (chemical reactions)
  5. Safety practices

And, those five are just off the top of my head. I think my favorite memory of baking is that it teaches a life skill. We’ve baked everything from loafs, french, and complex rolls. Of course, our favorites are cookies and candy.

During the fall we love anything with cinnamon and ginger. It is also the time of year that I begin making cookie dough which freezes very well ahead of time for the holiday. Cookies such as ginger and sugar cookies that you roll out and shape are the best to freeze. They can easily be thawed in the refrigerator and baked in small or large batches.

Quick guide for fall baking:

  1. What is it that you’d like to make? Tried and true recipes or something new, such as a gingerbread house or gingerbread men?
  2. When do you have time to bake? Schedule this. (You can use this as “school”, especially for the younger grades or middle school taking “home-ec”)
  3. What is your goal? Do you want to incorporate school-type activities or just have fun making memories?
  4. Make a list of recipes you’d like to tackle.
  5. Buy ingredients or use what you have on hand.

Go over the rules of baking with the children before you get started so that you all have the same expectations.

Kids want to dive in and do everything. Kids also love to touch everything. This can be dangerous when baking. What are your rules? Here are a few, to add to this list:

  1. Washing hands before beginning
  2. Do not taste anything without permission
  3. Safety – heat burns and whirling blades of a mixer should be avoided.
  4. Wait for instruction
  5. Share or divide the jobs. One person measures, another pours, etc.
  6. Take turns. Everyone will get one!
  7. Patience. Baking is fun but it takes time.
  8. Work together and be encouraging
  9. Clean up is for everyone, so being careful cuts down on the mess
  10. Tasting is great once the food cools.

Our all-time favorite recipes are gingerbread, layer cookies (easy and fast), and homemade fudge. My focus when baking is on cookies that last the longest in terms of freshness. I have a wonderful recipe for those yummy sugar cookies, you know the big chewy kind with thick sugar sprinkles on top? However, they go stale in about two days and must be kept in the refrigerator for freshness. Keep that in mind when deciding what you want to bake. In larger households, this may not be an issue. As my daughter with eight children says, there is always someone who likes something we are making and the kids are less discriminating when it comes to freshness than adults.

To Be Creative or Not?

One of my favorite tips when baking is to be creative without changing the recipe too much. In other words, you can be creative with shapes or decorating, but try to stick to the original recipe at least the first time. My mother was a good cook but not a baker because she baked by “eye” similar to her cooking. “By eye” is hit-and-miss. Sometimes her cookies would be great and other times, not! For example, if you are making a strawberry shortcake, you can decide not to add sugar to the strawberries, or to add sugar. If you add sugar to strawberries they must be eaten that day or the next, because the sugar causes the strawberries to shed water which makes that yummy strawberry juice which soaks into the cake. But after a few days, the strawberries taste rubbery.

What will you bake?

So, what will you bake? All Recipes is a website that has some good ideas. They have a list of easy-to-make recipes for kids. There are many other websites as well that you can use to bake with children. I’ve found that kids are happy to just count as you put in the ingredients and I usually have the kids break eggs, or measure flour separately, and I would put in the flour, etc. in the actual mix we used. Eggs are possibly the last skill I have the kids practice! There is something they love about eggs and wanting to break them is high on their list. If you are willing to have a mess, it is a good idea to give them a large bowl so you can fish out the shells. You can then use the eggs in your actual mix. I do this myself as it seems that these days the egg shells are so brittle and it is difficult to crack eggs without shells even for adults.

Baking Ingredients

Pumpkin is also a key ingredient in holiday baking. I buy baking pumpkins in bulk when I can, either from a wholesaler or from the grocery store. Another thing I do, I bake the pumpkins by cutting them in half (my husband or one of my stronger kids takes care of this for me!) I place the pumpkin halves face down in a large baking pan with a small amount of water. Once the pumpkins are soft I can easily scoop out the pulp and usually puree this in a food processor. I then store one cup pumpkin individually so that when I am ready to bake I can pull out a bag and allow it to defrost before using it.

Fruit bread is a great thing to make and is easy. The best thing is you do not need a mixer and the kids enjoy string (most of the time). I make pumpkin, banana, and apple bread. I’ve had zucchini or lemon bread as well. These are great for a quick breakfast and best of all the children enjoy eating what they bake! I found small coated loaf pans online that can be used for baking and you can use them to gift people without worrying about getting the pan back or trying to unmold and wrap your loaf. I used these when sending my college kids care packages and they arrived well through the mail!

As promised from the recording! Here is my tried and true muffin mix for you to enjoy.

Quick Recipe for Muffin Mix:

You can make all types of muffins using this handy mix. You can store this in an airtight container for months!

8 cups of flour, 3 cups of sugar, 3 Tablespoons of baking powder, 2 teaspoons of salt


  • 2 ¾ cup of dry mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of melted butter
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips OR blueberries OR cut-up apples (add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon)

Directions: In a large bowl or 8-cup mixing bowl place the dry mix, and make a well in the middle. In another bowl melt the butter and add the milk and whisk the egg. Pour this mixture into the dry mix and use a fork to mix until incorporated. Do not overmix. Add your ingredients. You can make plain muffins or spice them up with chocolate chips or fruit. When I make apple muffins I swirl in 4 large tablespoons of apple butter after I add the apples. If you feel like you have overmixed the batter you can add 1 teaspoon of baking powder to the mix. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean from the center.

Listen to More Fall Themed Podcasts

Number One Homeschool Podcast Network

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Number One Homeschool Podcast Network

10th Birthday Celebration & a Giveaway

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There are many homeschool podcasts floating around in cyberspace, but this is the home of the number one homeschool podcast network! What makes us number one? There are so many things, but the first is the heart of the people who podcast on this homeschool network. They love homeschoolers, and are the best mentors I know! They give and give of their time to help moms, dads, grandparents, and others who teach their kids at home. It takes hours to get a show recorded and uploaded, and it is truly a labor of love.

Ten years ago, after much prayer, the Lord gave me this idea for a podcast network.

I approached the following people among others, Hal and Melanie Young (Making Biblical Family Life Practical), Meredith Curtis (Finish Well), Carol Topp (Homeschool CPA), Israel and Brook Wayne (Family Renewal), and Melanie Wilson (Homeschool Sanity) who are still with me today! Then others joined, like Jean Burk (College Prep Genius), Gina Steffy (Mommy Jammies Night & VA 411), Suzzane Nunn (FPEA), Kathy Lee (Momfessions), Sue Meyer (Homeopathy For Mommies), and so many more! We have some new shows like Life Skills 101,  Homeschooling with Technology, and Military Homeschool Podcast.

There are so many people that want to podcast on our network and truthfully, it takes much of my time to vet “would be” Ultimate Homeschool Podcasters — but guess what? For every five people, I talk to, one gets accepted! Yes, one out of five. Why? Because from our conversations, their heart is the number of downloads they might get rather than the heart of homeschool families.

The podcasters with me today are the ones who want to share their knowledge, and their hearts AND have a product or service that will bless homeschoolers!

For example, College Prep Genius — my own kids increased their SAT scores and received college scholarships, or are mentors like Hal and Melanie and Israel and Brook Wayne. I can go on and on!

We have a weekly email with an amazing FREEBIE link! It goes out to all of our show scheduled, and with a click of a button, you can quickly find and listen to the show. We have improved and grown during the years to make us the number one podcast network with not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of downloads. We’ve had amazing sponsors, but again like some who want to podcast with us, I’ve turned down so many — because we only want family-friendly sponsors.

Giveaway to Celebrate!!

Our 10th Birthday Celebration Sponsors:

  Night Zoo Keeper

Night Zookeeper |Fantastically Fun Learning

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CTC Math |Join more than 217,000 students now confident in math because finally, they can do it!

Christian Light Education sponsor of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network

Christian Light Education |God-honoring Education and Stories for Students and Readers of All Ages


Math Mammoth| With Math Mammoth’s clear explanations and mastery-based curriculum, your students will be set up for success in algebra and in real life!

Media Angels homeschool materials

Media Angels, Inc. | Media Angels, Inc. is a publishing company and home of quality non-fiction and fiction books for the Christian market.

Homemaker's Friend Planner | Sponsor of the UHPN

Homemaker’s Friend Planner | Calm the chaos with this practical Planner! Designed for the active homemaker, this planner will help you organize your schedule and de-clutter your mind.

Common Sense Press

Common Sense Press | Creating Easy to Use Curriculum Since 1989


Carole P. Roman | author, sponsor of ultimate homeschool podcast network

Cheshire, Inc. Carole P. Roman (author)|Carole P. Roman is the award-winning author of over fifty children’s books. Whether it’s pirates, princesses, spies, or discovering the world around us, her books have enchanted educators, parents, and her diverse audience of children of all ages. Her best-selling book, The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids: 800+ Jokes! has reached number one on Amazon in March of 2020 and has remained in the top 200 books since then.

Below, here is a thumbnail sketch of our Number One Homeschool Podcast Network current shows!

Please visit them, tell them thank you and if you want to interact with these great people join our private pages.

Vintage Homeschool Moms – with by Felice Gerwitz

This show is the longest-running podcast on this network. This show deals with academics, family, kids, holidays, recipes, money-saving ideas, movie and book lists and so much more. As a long-time homeschool mom, (since 1986) with five children all homeschooled this show draws from my own personal knowledge. There are detailed transcripts on newer shows. Sometimes I host guests who I think will bring you value and that you will enjoy. Tune in weekly.

Creation Science Podcast with Felice Gerwitz

This show began with the idea of sharing some of my Creation Science Expo that was hosted years ago, and resides in full on my Media Angels Membership website. However, it has morphed into interviews with people and other hosts! Enjoy this show that airs two times per month.

Making Biblical Family Life Practical – with Hal and Melanie Young
Hal and Melanie are a delightful couple who love the Lord and it shows! They are parents to a multitude of boys and wrote an award-winning book on raising boys, marriage, and teens! Check out their show you will be so blessed. Enjoy this show weekly.

College Prep Genius – with Jean Burk

Want your kids to ace the SAT, ACT and learn test-taking skills? Join Jean (I host with her) and she is soooo amazing! I learned things like the PSAT is not a “practice test” it is so important for scholarships! I tell everyone with high school kids about Jean’s program, it really works and if you tune in she shares this information for free! Transcripts are also on the show – listen twice per month.

Life Skills 101 – Blue Collar Homeschoolers with Lisa Nehring and on occasion Dr. David Nehring

At Life Skills 101 | Blue Collar Homeschoolers, we understand that not every path to success requires a traditional college education. We’re here to provide you with alternative approaches to education, focused on trades, skills, and courses that empower the career-minded homeschooler. Our partnership with the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network allows us to bring you the best and most comprehensive content in the field of homeschooling and career preparation.

Homeschooling CPA Podcast – with Carol Topp

Carol knows so much and shares her knowledge with you! She studied for her CPA license when she was a homeschool mom! She was a perfect example for her children. Carol is an expert on helping homeschool co-ops and schools to stay legal as well as consult with those who need it. She podcasts two times per month.

Finish Well Radio – with Meredith Curtis

Meredith and her team love the Lord (Meredith is married to Pastor Mike – who has a church in Orlando, FL) and they encourage parents of high school students to finish the race well! She deals with high school subjects and sensitive issues that are of interest to high school students and pastors. Often she hosts with other team members or she has special guests on the show. If you have a teenager, this is a show I highly recommend! Airs two times per month.

FPEA Connects  – with Suzanne Nunn

Suzanne Nunn is currently the chairman of the Florida Parent Educators Association with the largest (or one of the largest!) homeschool conferences in all 50 states! Here you will learn about things that are Florida-specific as well as homeschool-specific. Details for upcoming conferences is also shared. Airs two times per month.

The Homeschool High School Podcast with Vicki Tillman, Sabrina Justison & Kym Smythe

The team from 7SistersHomeschool.com (you have to visit their podcast page) is one that is all about including you in their fold and helping, mentoring, and making your high school homeschool journey successful. These ladies know their stuff, Vicki is even a consultant for homeschool families needing extra help with transcripts and the like. They want you to know that homeschooling high school years are the best years. You can do it! This show airs weekly.

Family Renewal – with Israel and Brook Wayne

Godly content from Israel and Brook deals with many things that focus on raising families as well as large family topics. They also delve into topics related to homeschooling such as literature and history our kids must know!

Military Homeschool Podcast – Your host, Crystal Niehoff, is an active-duty Army chaplain’s wife, mother of five, and grandmother to five.

Homeschooling among military families is on the rise due to the many advantages and amazing learning opportunities! Still, it also presents some unique challenges. The Military Homeschool Podcast aims to equip and encourage parents by covering topics relevant to military homeschooling families and featuring guest interviews with experienced military homeschoolers and experts in the educational field.

History for Christian Teens – Your host, Crystal Niehoff, is an active-duty Army chaplain’s wife, mother of five, and grandmother to five.

History is so much more than boring facts about obscure topics and time periods! Learning about the past can be fun! Not to mention the treasure trove of wisdom that is ours for the taking when we study history using the thoroughly accurate and wholly reliable source for knowledge- the Bible- as our guide to understanding the deeper whys and reasons behind it all. History for Christian Teens is for middle and high school-age students- but Moms and Dads are invited to listen in, too! Each week, we will cover a historical person, place, or event, examining it through the lens of the Bible to draw relevant life and character lessons to then apply to our own lives as Christ-followers.

Homeopathy For Mommies with Sue Myers, ND, CCH

Sue came to my attention years ago when she helped me and a close friend to get healthy using natural remedies. Talk about knowledgeable! It is a must-listen-to show if you want to become educated in natural health. Learn how to get healthy and ditch the meds that can make you sick. Of course, check with your health provider before following any advice! Listen two times per month.

Homeschooling with Technology with Meryl van der Merwe

Meryl is a walking-talking techie who knows how to code and has taught students successfully. Her show is full of great information that will help you supercharge your home with technological knowledge. Learn about the apps, and computer programs, and improve your productivity! How exciting! This show is on weekly.

Mommy Jammies Night with Gina Glenn & Felice Gerwitz (archived)

This is just for you moms! Gina Glenn brings you special women who love to mentor moms and bring love, peace, and joy so that you can have an advocate in your corner. Many times home school moms feel isolated and alone or misunderstood. These shows help to bring you encouragement that you’ve Got This Mom! Archives available once-a-month.

The Homeschool Sanity Show with Dr. Melanie Wilson

Long-time homeschooler and podcast, Melanie, is an expert at encouragement, organization, and every hot topic that revolves around homeschool topics! She brings sanity back into your homeschool, and helps moms to understand Christian psychologist and veteran homeschooling mother of six, Dr. Melanie Wilson solves homeschoolers’ biggest headaches every Tuesday.

Life of a Lifeschooler with Danielle Papageorgiou

If you have lost your love of homeschooling, tune into Danielle’s show and learn how to bring it back! She shares with special guests how to allow the children to pursue the things they love their learning will soar! She shares the true meaning of lifeschooling and how you can bring joy back into your home!

Momfessions with Kathy Lee Eggers

Can I say, wow? Kathy is an amazing, loving mom who is full of energy and loves homeschool moms! She is always encouraging listeners and often has some of her listeners on her show. These shows are real, raw, and understand the heartbeat of the homeschool moms!

Virtual Assistant 411 with Gina Steffy & Jenn Hamrick

Learn the 411 on starting, growing, and running a virtual assistant business while homeschooling, homemaking, and living your IRL mom life.

Ultimate Homeschool Radio Show with multiple shows and hosts

This is a series of replays from the popular Ultimate Homeschool Expo with hundreds of listeners at one point only available for pay — now, totally free. This is a channel that will bring you a multitude of popular homeschool speakers, many keynotes, and wonderful information to help you on your homeschool journey!

So, what makes us number one? You do! As our faithful listeners, you’ve laughed with us, you’ve cried with us, celebrated and enjoyed our shows, and I want to thank you! I also want to thank our sponsors who have kept us on the air.

Please share the topics you’d like to hear as well! 

~ By Felice Gerwitz, lover of the Lord, wife, mother, grandmother, and owner and creator of Media Angels(R), Inc., the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network, the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network, author of seventeen books, creator of multiple online classes, and the first-ever Ultimate Christian Communicators Conference.

Streamline Your Homeschool – Take Two

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Streamline Your Homeschool | Today, we are going to discuss how to streamline your homeschool. There is so much to homeschooling because we do it in the home. There is almost no way to thrive as a homeschool parent unless you take time to plan | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #Blessingsfromheaven #StreamlineYourHomeschoolStreamline Your Homeschool Take 2 ~ Episode 505

Today, we will discuss how to streamline your homeschool – take two! There is so much to homeschooling because we do it in the home. There is almost no way to thrive as a homeschool parent unless you take time to plan.

Media Angels, a company dedicated to bringing you self-paced classes, books, and podcasts, sponsored this show. Visit the Media Angels store here.

Our Streamline Your Homeschool is available on your time~ topics such as streamlining your laundry routine, one-on-one teaching, curriculum buying and planning, virtual field trips, dealing with distractions, and even a bonus, streamlining your work-at-home.

I recently did a podcast with this same topic, but I had SO much more I wanted to say – and here it is in part two.

Streamline Your Homeschool

The key to finding the perfect curriculum is understanding there is NO perfect curriculum.

I’ve made mistakes. When my son was five, I purchased a math curriculum, and he was struggling so much that I decided to buy another one mid-year at someone’s recommendation. That, too, turned into a disaster. The best way to buy a homeschool curriculum is to know what you want. One of the best websites for homeschool curriculum review is CathyDuffyReviews.com

Prayer is essential when deciding what you will teach and what books you’d like to use. All curricula will not work for all kids. One child may love a math program, while another will struggle to get through a lesson. Look at your kids, note what they can or cannot do, and then go from there. We work to remediate weaknesses and build on their strengths.

Parents, knowledge retention will not be great if your kids struggle all day. If your child is struggling academically, get help. This can mean beginning your introduction to education with a hands-on approach. Encourage your kids to learn, especially in the younger years, by setting up their day in small chunks of learning. With younger children, work plan ahead of time to alleviate as much frustration as you can. We will talk about planning a bit later in this presentation.

Streamline Your Thought Process:

  1. Think about each subject you’d like to teach.
  2. Refer to a scope and sequence. This is an overview of what subjects should be taught in specific grades. Still, you will learn in homeschooling that many subjects overlap, especially if you are preparing using a unit study or themed-based curriculum.
  3. Consider activities such as field trips or lessons.

What are your homeschool goals?

  1. Discuss with your spouse.
  2. Pray about what you want to accomplish
  3. Chose a family motto and “test it out” with the kids

Our family motto or saying is part of a Scripture Verse: As For Me and My House, we will serve the Lord…

How will you plan?

Let’s take history, for example:

  1. How will you teach history? Books or theme-based?
  2. What are you teaching? Ancient, World, American?
  3. Are you interested in incorporating faith, relationship, family, and worldview values?

Here are some handouts to Streamline Your Homeschool

Handout: Back To School Planning List

Example of Check Off Lists Example Check Off Lists-2

More lists on Lists For Back To School

Movie Review Lists – Watching Movies Paper—podcast

Four Square Planning:

There are four main parts of any homeschool mom’s life. Faith, Kids, School, and Household. In that order for me! Here are some squares to get you started. I’ll include some blanks for you. You can do a week in review like me, or do this daily. Each month, these priorities may change.

  • God – Pray
  • School
  • Household
  • Errands
  • Field Trips


Yearly Plan

  • Divide out the year
  • Plan holidays, birthdays, and other days off
  • Schedule backwards
  • Notable events – graduations, anniversaries, reunions, etc.
  • Months you will school

Be sure to add dates that you can – block these off

Have a clear idea of how many days you will be schooling – most states require 180, but the hours will vary depending on your condition.


Once you have decided what to do … Remember – if you are finished in 2 or 4 hours – you are done as long as the work is completed. You may need to be creative if you have a state where you must record specific hours.

Plan it and forget it.

  • Schedule school times
  • Time for meals
  • Read Aloud
  • Keep work samples
  • 3-Ring Binders
  • Folders, school supplies

Streamline Your Outings ~ Go out bag—Backpacks

Put in all the things you will need. Pick it up and go. If you have older kids, put a laminated card on the outside, and someone can double-check the bag to ensure nothing was out or replaced.

  • One for field trips
  • One for the park
  • One for church

Friends, I can say so much more, but homeschooling is a journey. It is not a race or a comparison of who did what better. Enjoy your time with your kids.



Biblical Creation Terminology

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Biblical CreationBiblical Creation Terminology

In order to have an intelligent discussion, you must understand the terms. Biblical Creation terminology is the focus of this podcast.

Thanks to Media Angels website featuring Creation Science Unit Studies for an unbelievable price~MediaAngelsMembership.com

And thank you to our sponsor, CTC Math.

Biblical Creation vs. Evolution:

A quick definition of Biblical Creation begins with the Creator God. A Creator God began the world with His Word. Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

Evolution – by definition is a change over time, it is a two-step process.
1. The theory that life began spontaneously on its own
2. Darwin’s theory of simple life evolving into more complex

The terminology is confusing.
Terminology is everything. “He who defines the term wins.”

What is in a word?
1. Creation science
2. Biblical Creation
3. Old Earth Creationist

1. Macro Evolution
2. Convergent Evolution
3. Darwinism
4. Neo-Darwinism
5. Old Earth
6. Theistic Evolution

God created the world with His Word. Genesis 1:1

Do you believe that God created? It is a matter of faith, evidence points to a Creator.

Intelligent Design:

An “Intelligent” Designer began the world
Science points to order not disorder
Evolution does not make sense in regard to life beginning by accident
The Designer could be:
1. God (for Christians)
2. Aliens
3. Unknown


Scientists are conflicted and confused when discussing this aspect of evolution. The idea that traits are inherited by use and disuse is unscientific. The theory is that an organism adapts or alters according to certain genetic limits or due to circumstances.

Creationists do believe that adaptation does happen within certain generic limits. Adaptation happens within a kind. For example, there are different kinds of dogs, cats, finch, etc.

However, dogs remain dogs. New creatures or new features are never observed through adaptation.

1.Evolution of populations with species
2. Evolutionary biologists involved in the debate over what the term means
3. Based on the word “species”
4. Signifies a small step along evolution from one basic kind to another (false)
5. Variation should be used instead
6. Changes that occur with certain characteristics

Evolutionary scientists:

1. Have faith in evolution
2. Will not back down even with the lack of evidence
3. Bottom line: atheists, agnostics or Bible believers who see evolution evidence through evolutionary filters
4. Those who believe God created the world as stated in Genesis
a. take Genesis and the entire Bible in faith
b. Believe science confirms the Bible

Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – CTC Math


No More SAT Tests

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

no more SAT testsLet’s Talk to Jean Burke about “No More SAT Tests!”

Podcast #18

What’s this? No More SAT Tests? Did you hear this right? I ask Jean Burke, the author and founder of College Prep Genius if she believes the SAT is a test of the past. Come listen to what she has to say.

Learn More here:

Show Notes – No More SAT Tests

  1. Out of approximately 45,000+ colleges a small portion do not require a SAT or ACT test score.
  2. 95% of Colleges require standardized entrance scores – college board or their own.
  3. Colleges collect data and scholarships and entrance is based on scores as likely to do well.
  4. There are exceptions to every rule.
  5. What is the test optional score
  6. Fine Print
  7. Logic
  8. Is testing discriminating to lower socioeconomic classes?
  9. Free waivers to take the test are available
  10. Pick up test booklets with sample tests – look for the patterns

More Shows – 

Transcripts Your Key To Free – Here

Transcripts Your Key To Free – Part Two Here


Photo Credit: Copyright 2015 DepositPhoto.com – kikkerdirk

Fall Learning Starts Now

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Fall Learning Starts Now | When does fall learning start? It starts now. Before long, we will turn over the calendar (or swipe right or up) on a digital device and see that the holidays are approaching. We have a fall, Thanksgiving, and Christmas…three in a row! What is a busy homeschool mom to do? | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #Blessingsfromheaven #StreamlineYourHomeschool #FallLearningStartsNowFall Learning Starts Now ~ Episode 504

When does fall learning start? It starts now. Before long, we will turn over the calendar (or swipe right or up) on a digital device and see that the holidays are approaching. We have a fall, Thanksgiving, and Christmas…three in a row! What is a busy homeschool mom to do? In this episode, Felice shares how she prepares for the active months with an action plan.

Thanks to our ongoing sponsor, CTCMath.com, and their excellent math curriculum for grades K-12

How many of you have planned out your entire year until Christmas? Raise your hand. Okay, so if not, no worries, I will help! First, I recommend you get on our email list and sign up for our latest planners. I have an ongoing series of monthly Organize It Planners for the year. These planners are chock-full of tips you can implement quickly. You will receive a new topic free each month. The upcoming Organize It is for October, with information on preparing your home for the forthcoming holidays.

Cooler Months – Ripe for Fall Learning

During the cooler months, planning things that take the children outdoors is nice. If you have younger children, you may want to add seasonal activities, such as fall crafts. You can also jumpstart the fall decorations by making paper chains using fall colors. I have some links to podcasts on the topics.

One of my favorite topics to study was trees and their types of leaves; if you’re blessed to live in the north, you have the full array of fall leaves coming soon! For those of us in the South, it means taking a trip up north or learning about these things via a book or online. Then there are the fall activities such as parties, fairs, cooking contests, and many other things that we, as homeschoolers, want to take advantage of. Often, harvest parties begin in October … then there is Thanksgiving, and around the corner, Christmas. Christmas quickly takes over the entire month of December. Between baking, shopping, and activities, there doesn’t seem to be much time left at school.

So, what is a busy mom to do? Well, the best thing I can advise is to get as much done as possible before the holidays, including school. As homeschoolers, we sometimes fit our household into our homeschool or our homeschool into our family. I’ve received emails from many people who have said when they’ve done an excellent job homeschooling, they’ve done a lousy job managing their homes, and vice versa. Well, you can do both.

So, first things first, how much time do you have?

Fall Learning Action Plan:

The age-old question. Well, let’s start with this:

  1. What is your daily routine?
  2. What is today’s job, and what is tomorrow’s job?
  3. What are your non-negotiable? (Taking care of your family, eating, and sleeping fall into this category!)
  4. Distractions? How can we combat these?
  5. What is the next upcoming event this week? This month? And for the next three months?

Now that you have an overview and overview of how to plan, let’s get going! What do you want to get done this month? With fall on the horizon or whatever the next big thing is, it is essential to use these pockets of time and focus on learning. At the beginning of each school year, you should look at the books or curriculum you plan to use and decide how long it will take you to complete in one school year. It may take six weeks or more to complete if it is a detailed unit you are studying.

Another thing to consider is using the days the kids are doing well and doubling up on activities. We did this to keep our Fridays free. In this way, we could use Fridays as a catch-up day, or we could use it for field trips or other activities we had planned. Of course, as the children get older and schoolwork piles up, it may not be as easy to have a free day a week once you can look at your priorities, the things you have to accomplish each day and work around those items.

We completed most of our homeschooling before Thanksgiving in late August, September, October, and November. After Thanksgiving, we were lucky to meet for a full two weeks with all the extra activities planned for Christmas. Of course, after Christmas was the New Year, and this was a solid vacation time.

In the new year, most of our schoolwork was in January, February, and March. Do you see a pattern here? We focused on the times between holidays and other significant events for our family. For some of you, Easter may not be a big event, but it is in our home, and we typically take a week off, a week before Easter, and a few days afterward. After Easter, all the kids can see his summer on the horizon. Therefore, working hard on days too hot or cold to go outside is essential. My children naturally do better when there are fewer distractions. I’m sure yours do as well!

I have links in the other podcasts’ show notes with great ideas for fall activities.

Past Episodes on Fall and Activities Kids Can Do:

Celebrate Fall Baking

October Checklist- 

To purchase Checklist Planners, go here.

Thanksgiving Gifts and Crafts

DIY Crafts for Kids

Great Gifts Kids Can Make

For example, fall is an excellent time for baking. We did a lot of bulk baking that we could freeze, and when the holidays came around, we had ready-made sweet bread that we could give away as gifts, cinnamon rolls, and more. There is a baking link here: Celebrate Fall Baking.

If you don’t like to bake, perhaps you like crafts. Before Christmas, we focused on making presents for grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Gifts link here.

As the winter months get closer, use this time to spend reading together as a family. Our favorite times were reading the Little House on the Prairie and other books in front of the fireplace with cups of cocoa. These are memories you can create with your family and get some learning in there as well. We often read books that went along with the themes we were studying.

I would throw in some hands-on experiential activities to round up your fall learning. If you have read any of my books (LINK HERE), you understand my need to involve the children. As a child and even an adult, I love to learn by doing. Sure, reading it in a book and moving on is more accessible, but what about authentic learning, learning things the children will remember?

Encourage your children to set time limits to get things done, especially if you have a child who takes all day to get math done. That usually means there’s nothing else the child wants to do afterward. If we give our children those to get their schoolwork done, more than likely, they will work right along. I also encourage your children to find hobbies or things they want to pursue in our family. Children my three youngest children play sports each day, and they have to spend time practicing. If your child plays a musical instrument and has another hobby, I am sure they also need time to pursue this interest.

We want to instill values that allow our children to do what is right, not just when we’re watching them. Give them opportunities to learn independently, especially if they are old enough, then make sure you check their work each day or at least every couple of days. I remember leaving their schoolwork for a week to check, and then sometimes I would be overwhelmed by all I needed to grade and be frustrated when I saw the work was half done. If I keep up with this, it’s helpful. My husband was willing at times when I was overwhelmed. He would take over the grading, and the children disliked it because he was much stricter than I was

I hope these ideas help you to accomplish and have time for all the fun activities. Be sure to visit me at mediaangels.com. Come check out our podcast family at our Facebook group, which is a homeschooled podcast family; you can look for that or search for it. If you have any questions, contact me on our FB group.



Practice Makes Perfect … Most of the Time

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

When it comes to household chores, homeschooling the children, and well, cooking, something has to take a back seat! I’m not perfect nor do I strive for perfection. I do strive for balance.Practice Makes Perfect Most of the Time

By Felice Gerwitz

There are challenges to motherhood. There are challenges to owning a business. When you combine the two, you can have an instant recipe for overwhelm. Or, as I’ll share… lots and lots of practice at getting to “perfect.”

Not to bore you with the details, suffice it to say that life has been a bit hectic in the Gerwitz household.

Today I spent a fun hour with Cindy Rushton and her guests at an online conference, her “Ultimate Homeschool Expo.” Being a minor-celeb in the homeschool world has its ups and downs. I can still go out with my children without being mobbed for my autograph, yet sometimes the two worlds are hard to balance.

After my professional endeavor, it was back to the family.

Christina was visiting today (my substitute teacher!) and she and the kids read about the Ancient American Indians. Being an Anthropology minor, she had lots to add to the book. Of course, she was accompanied by her three little children, three and under. Add that to my own three, and it becomes a houseful!

I have four children who currently live at home…one husband (thank you, Lord), and one father, who is elderly but a fantastic cook. Did I mention that he used to own, first an Italian bakery in NY, and second an Italian Restaurant when we moved to Florida? Needless to say, the smell of garlic can be found simmering anytime after 9:30 in the morning.


Well, every once in a while Dad (Papa) needs to escape to my brother’s home in Winter Haven, for a visit. (Yes, it’s quieter there. Joe and Nikki have two children.) Well, since Papa has been gone the cooking has fallen on my shoulders.

My hobby is baking and I love to cook, but since Papa moved in several years ago he’s taken over my kitchen. Of course, it had to be remodeled when he moved in and we now have three ovens (okay, that was my addition, not his), a larger work surface, and a knife set that would rival any chef’s. So, since he was gone I opted for a simple dinner, grilled hamburgers and hotdogs, chili, and melted cheese over chips. An American kid’s dream dinner, and one that would leave my father grumbling in Italian that in his country not even the pigs would eat that fare.

Out of Practice?

Having been out of practice I ended up overcooking the meat on the grill, forgetting to take out the burger rolls, and then the ground beef for the chili, from the freezer. No problem, I decided we needed a vegetarian version of the chili. Oh, and I melted the cheese for the chips way too early and had to heat it up several more times. Today, the kids still wouldn’t eat any of the leftover chili for lunch!

Perfection or Balance?

It does take some juggling between running a publishing business, writing several blogs, and running a consulting business for aspiring authors. When it comes to household chores, homeschooling the children, and well, cooking, something has to take a back seat! I’m not perfect nor do I strive for perfection. I do strive for balance.

Back to Normal(ish)

Nicholas my 13-year-old loves to cook and the meat would have been grilled to perfection if he had been home, but he wasn’t. Anne (10) and Michael (8) are both decent chefs and were a big help with my cooking endeavors. By the time we ate, we were all starved so no one had much to say about my rusty cooking skills. But, they did ask when Grandpa was coming home. Yes, I got the hint! I called him today and he’ll be back in a day or two. Then, things will be back to normal, (whatever that is), in the Gerwitz household. Practice makes perfect, most of the time.

About the Author

Meet Felice Gerwitz: A Devoted Homeschool Mom, Author, Publisher, and Podcast Host

A heartfelt enthusiast for education and faith, Felice Gerwitz has embarked on an incredible journey as a homeschooling mom, guided by her unyielding devotion to the Lord. Alongside her incredible husband and five wonderful children, Felice’s life is a testament to the beauty of balancing family, faith, and personal aspirations.

In 1986, Felice embarked on her homeschooling adventure, a path colored with both triumphs and challenges. Through the years, she has amassed a wealth of experience and wisdom that she eagerly shares with the world. As the founder of Media Angels, Inc., Felice has embraced her role as an educator and stepped into the shoes of an author and publisher. Her creative ventures have enriched her family’s learning journey and inspired countless others to seek alternative educational paths.

You can continue reading her story in her very personal story, One More Child, from Media Angels, Inc.

Replay | Organization – FREEDOM Tools part 5 – FAH episode 18

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.


How do you respond to the word organization?
Does it make you cringe? Do you feel guilty because you’re hopelessly disorganized and wish you could be more organized?
Does it make you smile, with a happy sigh that all’s right with the world?
Do you think a certain amount of clutter is a sign of a happy home?
Do you resist the whole idea of organization—maybe because it reminds you of a neat-freak friend who labels everything in her household, uses color-coordinated storage containers, and alphabetizes her spices?How do you respond to the word organization?

  • Does it make you cringe? Do you feel guilty because you’re hopelessly disorganized and wish you could be more organized?
  • Does it make you smile, with a happy sigh that all’s right with the world?
  • Do you think a certain amount of clutter is a sign of a happy home?
  • Do you resist the whole idea of organization—maybe because it reminds you of a neat-freak friend who labels everything in her household, uses color-coordinated storage containers, and alphabetizes her spices?

Whatever your reaction, this episode is for you.

Organization is the sixth tool in my FREEDOM toolbox—7 tools for making the most of our time so we can live balanced, peaceful lives. Here’s a quick review of the tools:

Organization is essentially self-discipline applied in an orderly way to free you to focus on what’s most important to you. Organizing your time, tasks, thoughts, and things helps you overcome and prevent obstacles to focusing on your priorities.

How organized you are has a powerful effect on the atmosphere in your home. Disorganization creates chaos, while organization promotes peace. Which do you prefer?

If one aspect of your life is unorganized, it spills over into every other aspect of your life. For example, if you can’t find your car keys, you’ll get flustered and be late for your appointment. If you’re sleep-deprived or running late, you’ll be much likelier to forget things and drop things, which will make you even later.

Organization even affects your relationships. If you’re running late and feeling frazzled, you may become irritated and impatient with your family.

It’s important to remember that there’s no one right way to organize. What helps you function effectively may be completely different from what helps your best friend or your mother-in-law function effectively. Isn’t that a relief?

Ironically, it’s possible to over-organize—to spend so much time on organization that it keeps you from focusing on your priorities instead of facilitating them.

Take some time to reflect on your life to identify areas that hinder you, and commit to becoming more organized if it would help your life run more smoothly.

If you struggle with managing your time and organizing your life to focus on your priorities, you’ll find many more strategies in my book, Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms, available at online retailers and through my website at www.FlourishAtHome.com.

final cover

Family Business and Entrepreneurs

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Summer seems to be a good time to have fun, but it also is a great time to think about a business for the entire family. Are you ready, here are some great ideas to get you started.Family Business and Entrepreneur – 431

This podcast is sponsored by: Route 60 – The Biblical Highway. In theaters September 18th & 19th only. Please check the website to learn more about this wonderful movie.

What about starting a family business? Anytime is  a good time to have fun, but it also is a great time to think about a business for the entire family. Are you ready, here are some great ideas to get you started.

Visit my website at MediaAngels.com for great books, memberships, and classes.

Years ago I gave a talk at a state homeschool conference on family businesses, and then later at a smaller conference and there was a real interest in working from home. When we fast-forward today we find that many businesses are cropping up online and are based at home. I grew up with a family that was self-employed. My parents owned a bakery…(more on podcast).

We have been conservative in our investments and our businesses and we’ve never had a business not succeed – so, I feel a little bit qualified to give you some advice about beginning a home business. There are many questions you should ask yourself and the teacher in me always starts with the questions…because it is a great place to begin.

Keys to beginning a home business:



(Details are on the podcast – here is the short list)

  1. Keep it simple.
  2. Learning curve.
  3. Is there a demand?
  4. What makes your product stand out?
  5. What is the start-up costs?
  6. Do you know how to write a marketing plan?
  7. How much time are you willing to invest?
  8. How are you willing to do it right?
  9. Is this something you can do on the side until it can be a standalone job?
  10. How much do you love this idea?

Our kids worked and helped in our business throughout their time as homeschoolers. There were book sales and books to pack and ship, they helped with all aspects of the business that were within their ability. One of my children, Christina (now an adult) was the co-author of a three-book series we wrote together. She learned firsthand that there is no free lunch it takes work and perseverance. There is a booth at homeschool conferences, there are speeches to write and to give, and there is selling online and websites – business cards to design and slogans or catchphrases to create. If you want something that keeps the family together and teaches a good work ethic, this is it.

Well, what do you think? Do you have the next best idea? Well then, I hope you look through these suggestions, add some of your own and let me know if I left anything out that I should have added in the comment section below –

Check out these Information in a Nutshell books about Business!

Information in a Nutshell Writing Tips – Are you passionate about your writing? Do you have an idea that may be the next best seller? Do you have a story that must be told? Do you aspire to share your experience or knowledge with others?  It took me over ten years to get my first book published, not because I didn’t have the desire, but because many books I read about the entire process left me feeling lost or overwhelmed. This book is easy to read and will give you a quick understanding with insider’s secrets and tips. Don’t wait for ten years like I did! Discover today how to turn your ideas into a published book. Learn insider’s tips from successful published authors. Don’t wait another day.  This book will give you the tools you need to jump start your writing career.

Information in a Nutshell – Business Tips and Taxes for Writers – This long awaited companion book of the Information in a Nutshell line is finally here! Authored by Carol Topp, CPA this short book packs a powerful message ~ Authors MUST know the business tips, strategies, bookkeeping and tax advice in order to keep those profits from their writing. Whether you are an author of a book, blog or magazine articles you will want to read this book from cover to cover.