Back to School Replay: Winning Science Fair Ideas

Winning Science Fair Ideas | Interested in what the judges look for? This podcast will help you by former science fair judge | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast
Back to School Replay: Winning Science Fair Ideas with Felice Gerwitz

Where do you find a great science fair idea? Do not say the library or the internet! It is an amazingly easy place and it all begins with (hint-hint) your child! If you hit on this your child will have a blast and you may be amazed at what they learn.

From the author of An Insider’s Guide to Successful Science Fair Projects, Felice Gerwitz shares her insider’s tips with all of you!

Winning Science Fair Ideas

Show Notes

  1. Recap on science fair projects
  2. Where do you look for great ideas?
  3. What makes a great project?
  4. How to discover the key to a what judges want.
  5. Importance of procedure and following the rules

Winning Science Fair Idea Resources

  1. Science Fair Portal for ideas here
  2. Confidence to Teach your child science projects
  3. Contests to enter –
  4. Do a project in one day – seriously.
  5. An interesting array of projects


Winners of the Educational Alliance Science Fair – Amazing Projects!






An Insider’s Guide to Successful Science Fair Projects

Winning Science Fair Ideas | An Insider's Guide to Successful Science Fair Projects

Graphics credit: 2016, All Rights Reserved. Copyright © serrnovik

Special Replay: ABC’s Of Early College

abc's of early collegeSpecial Replay: The ABCs of Early College

 Podcast #64

Do you know the ABC’s of Early College Admission? Whether you are getting college credits or an AA degree, you may be considered a transfer student, and you may miss out on scholarships – low-cost college and credits. If you’ve ever considered this option, listen to this podcast for great information from Jean Burk.

Visit our sponsor – College Prep Genius

Show Notes: ABC’s of Early College

  1. What are some college trends?
    1. 66% of college graduates are ending up with 100K of debt. The unemployment rate is 9% — nearly 38% work in positions that don’t require any college at all.
    2. Low-cost college and credits
    3. Bachelor’s degree can make 182% more per week
    4. College tuition increased by 600%
  2. 12 Early college benefits?
    1. For homeschoolers broadens their course offerings
    2. Enhances academic rigor
    3. Avoids duplication of course work
    4. Increases their schedule flexibility – earn extra minors or majors
    5. Tend to finish college as a whole
    6. Earning a technical degree or certificate while in high school
    7. Shortens your time to earn a degree
    8. Reduce college costs
    9. Transferable college credits – basic or core credits
    10. Earning high school and science simultaneously
    11. Building your student’s confidence
    12. Still, home so you can guide and coach them
  3. Name the 3 main types of early college?
    1. Build an amazing transcript – Podcast 1 -

Podcast 2 –

  1. AP – advanced placement credits
    1. By college board – same people who make the SAT
    2. Challenging and show mastery
  • Approved by the college board
  1. Online, or buying the books and study on your own, take courses by AP teacher who was authorized by the college board
  2. Listen to the audio for recommendations for official AP courses online
  3. 38 courses your students can take
  1. CLEP—College level placement
    1. Be prepared to be sure it all transfers to the college you want to attend.
    2. Made by the college board, 2900 colleges and universities accept them, there is a cost for test and test center.
  • No age limits or restrictions
  1. Tests are 90 minutes long
  2. Testing centers listed on College board website.
  3. Official study guides by the college board
  1. Dual Enrollment – early enrollment
    1. Sometimes credits don’t transfer
    2. High school and college at the same time
  • The transition from high school to college easier
  1. Core classes out of the way
  1. What test scores are required?
    1. The entrance exam is still needed for college even junior or state college
    2. Scores need to be high enough on SAT and ACT for admission, check the college of choice

Kids Choosing Good Behavior

Choosing Good Behavior | Are you a kid? If you had a choice of choosing good behavior over bad, which would you pick? Is that a silly question? That is what I want to talk to you about today. You are going to be very surprised when I explain some things to you so that you can take charge of your actions. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #kidsgoodbehavior #goodbehaviorkids #justforkids #podcastforkids #character #goodbehaviorKids Choosing Good Behavior: ~Episode 408

Are you a kid? If you had a choice of choosing good behavior over bad, which would you pick? Is that a silly question? That is what I want to talk to you about today. You are going to be very surprised when I explain some things to you so that you can take charge of your actions.

Check out this episode – Kids Making Good Decisions.

Books for tweens – Truth Seekers Mystery Series. 

I love talking to kids. I think you guys are great. You have so many good ideas, you are full of energy and fun. Even those of you that are quiet have amazing things to say if someone would take the time to listen to you. I have five kids and eight grandkids and each of them is a blessing. While we might not always agree, and yes my kids messed up (but so have I), I think they are amazing people. I really wish I could see you and tell you this while I am looking at you. But you are an amazing person. You may not think you are, but I believe that God made us and He does not make junk. I want you to think about that if you really do not think you are amazing and special. You are here for a reason. So, let’s begin!

Do you know an adult in your life? Is it a mom, a dad, a grandparent, aunts, or uncles? Did you know that these adults in your life were once your age? I bet you don’t think about that often. Yes, we adults were once kids, we were teenagers, we were young adults, and we finally, after many years and possibly getting in trouble ourselves we grew up, got married and had kids of our own. We learned from our past mistakes and we want to pass on this wisdom to our kids. That is why you get in trouble. We do not want you to make small mistakes now that can turn into big mistakes later. And that means we want to teach you how to choose good behavior.

It’s not easy to do what is right all the time, because no one is perfect. Right? Well, that may be true, but we can make our lives a whole lot easier if we take charge of our own behavior. Since I can’t see you, I don’t know if you are listening. But, I’m going to challenge you. If you want a happier life, please take the time to listen. As I talk, I will ask you some questions and you can stop this recording and answer them before you hear my remarks.

I like kids who think for themselves. Do you think? Of course, you do. But do you think before you speak or act? Sometimes you do and sometimes you don’t. You see the problem is when you act badly, say or do the wrong things, sometimes you get in trouble and sometimes you don’t. So you might be confused.

Let’s talk about what type of behavior gets you in trouble:

  1. Being disrespectful to your parents or adults (arguing, yelling, and saying, “no I didn’t do it.” when your parents clearly see you did.)
  2. Hitting others in your family. Many kids actually think this is fun!
  3. Breaking a rule. For example no snacks before dinner.
  4. Forgetting to do a chore or something your parent asked you to do.
  5. For homeschoolers – losing a book or not completing your schoolwork.

Now, let’s take each of these things and talk about what won’t get you in trouble.

  1. Being respectful to your parents. If you mess up, saying you are sorry or taking responsibility for your actions.
  2. Keeping your hands, feet–you know, general body parts to your self.
  3. Following the rules.
  4. Remembering to do your chores or follow through if your parents ask you to do something.
  5. Keeping your books together and finishing your schoolwork.

Wow, that was easy. Just be respectful, keep your hands to yourself, follow the rules, do your chores, and finish your schoolwork. So, what am I missing? How many of you think you can do this? Hmm… why or why not. Let’s think about this. Will life be easier and happier when you do what is right? Of course.

Choosing Good Behavior: You Are Not A Puppet.

Do you know what a puppet is? A puppet is controlled by someone else. The puppet has can’t think for itself or do something it wants to do on its own. Maybe you have never seen a puppet, but you know what I am talking about. A puppet has no free will. You on the other hand have free will. You can make decisions, you have a choice. You can decide to be the kind of person you want to be. Right? Do you agree? If not, why not?

Do you want to know what I think? I think there are many reasons why kids get in trouble.

  1. Laziness. Sometimes it is easier to not obey.
  2. React out of anger or because you are upset.
  3. Don’t think about the consequences. If you do something wrong what will happen?
  4. You are a gambler. What does that mean? A gambler takes chances. You know what you are doing wrong and you hope that you either won’t get caught OR if you do get caught the punishment won’t be bad, or maybe you are hoping for no punishment at all.
  5. Simpy forget to do what you are supposed to do. And one reason this happens? You really don’t care.

Did I forget anything? Is there another reason I did not list as to why you get in trouble?

I think the reason most of us get into trouble is that we do not consider what will happen afterward. This is called cause and effect. If I drop a glass on a hard surface, like concrete on purpose what will happen? If you said break, you are correct. We know glass sometimes shatters. Not all glasses but most. Have you ever dropped a glass? Or spilled milk or water? Sure, everyone has accidents. The cause of the incident – in this case, the glass breaking was done on purpose. The effect of my dropping the glass is it breaks. What about the accident? That is different. If we did not mean to do something then while the cause is the same – we are at fault or we did it (we dropped the glass) the motivation – or the why we did it is different.

So, let’s break this down.

  1. Things happen because we cause them. On purpose or by accident.
  2. We can sometimes control our actions or words and sometimes it is truly an accident.
  3. If we can control our words or actions, that means we are in charge.
  4. If we are in charge and are in control we can choose right or wrong. Because, hey, we are not a puppet.
  5. If we have a choice, which will we do?

So, there you have it. Choosing good behavior is up to you. You are not a puppet. You can make your own decisions. And, I for one hope you decide today, right now to make good choices. Think about what will happen if you make a good choice and what will happen if you make a bad choice. The decision is up to you! If you mess up and make a mistake apologize. That is different than saying you are sorry and not really meaning it. You should ask my kids how many apology notes I have written over the year.

One last thing to think about. Do you want to be around people who always get in trouble? Do you want to listen to people who do the wrong thing on purpose, or just because they think it is fun to have everyone yelling or arguing? Some people actually like to cause trouble. If you would not follow someone like that, then you should be the person God created you to be–and that means making choices that are wise.

One more thing – I have more shows planned just for you this month. So, stay tuned!


How do I get my teen to listen to me and get the results I want?

How do I get my teen to listen to me and get the results I want?As a life coach to families with teens, I hear this common complaint from parents: – “my teens don`t listen to me, and as a result I always have to nag them.” Likewise, I hear these complaints from my students: – “my parents don’t listen to me, they don’t understand me, and they are always nagging me.”

Parents and teens are co-creating this relationship and neither parties are hearing or listening well. The consequence to family relationships create nagging-frustrated-parents and unmotivated-apathetic teens.

As parents, we need to assess and end this negative recurring pattern.

Join me and explore crucial questions that demonstrate how we as parents can communicate differently so teens listen and respond with more relationship and respect.

Consider these questions:

What is your vision for your teen?

Where do you want your teen to be in 5- or 10-years’ time?

What character qualities do you want to see?

How are you preparing your teen for adulthood?

What IS your role as the parent? Is it to fix their problems, find their solutions, rescue them from failure, make sure they are happy, healthy, and comfortable, or be the expert in their lives?

Perhaps we need to rethink our role as the parent?

What if we were not meant to be the immediate-and-ever-present expert on our teens nor were we meant to solve all their problems or make sure they are comfortable and happy?

In fact, we do not have to be the expert to prove we are good parents. Let this mindset go. Breathe and give yourself grace. They NEED to see themselves as capable experts, and so doing, realize their capabilities.

We do not need to play “super-parent-to-the-rescue” anymore. Intentionally and gradually letting go of being the expert, we will inspire our teens to be more receptive, relational, and responsible.

How are your expert-parent-superpowers inadvertently holding your teen back?

Let`s explore this crucial concept: by doing less, we gain more.

Break the pattern and re-calibrate relationships

  1. Shift your parenting.

We need to make a transition from “telling our teens what to do” (we are the expert) to helping them “tell themselves what to do” (they are the experts). Shifting our role helps our teens become more competent and confident in their own abilities.


Change your parenting FROM the expert manager/controller TO the expert mentor/coach.

Here are the distinctions between a manager/controller and a mentor/coach:

  • A manager/controller gives (my) advice and has an imposed agenda
  • A mentor/coach has a conversation with a (teen`s) self-discovered agenda

A manager has a solution-focused-mindset – constantly giving advice – fixing problems – finding solutions because it`s all about the (my) agenda/results – external outcomes and success.

A coach has a conversation which involves connection and curiosity, with no pre-determined agenda, allowing the other person to be heard and therefore discovering a unique, organic agenda.

The key is to listen to hear the heart. No judgment. No advise. No solving. No telling what to do. No nagging!

Let go of (our) results-driven-agenda.

When we, as parents, get more focused on our own agenda (results we want to see in our teen), we tend to become critical and judgmental especially when teens disappoint and do not achieve or perform according to our expectations. Results-driven-parenting discourages teens and affects relationships.


Re-frame our manager mindset.

When we let go of what we want, we are more relaxed and freer to enjoy our teens and this creates more peaceful connections. When parents shift from a solution-focused-mindset and show up in a connection-focused-mindset, this changes the narrative and the negative pattern.


Mathew 11:28-30: “Come to me all those who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in spirit and I will give you rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”


  1. Listen to connect

An expert coach listens well!

When we listen well, we create a shift in family dynamics which improves receptibility. Teens want to be heard; they want to know that parents are interested in their opinions/ideas, and value their feedback. This builds trust and respect – the basis of any relationship.

“Without question, the greatest emotional need of people today is the need to be understood. And to understand we must listen.” Dr Tim Elmore

How well are you listening?

How well do you really understand your teen?

What do you need to let go of?

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen Covey

I’m sure you know of people who do not listen well. They jump into the conversation with a solution, advise or interruption and disregard your feelings, even with good intentions.

How does this make you feel?

How does this affect your relationship?

What if you respond in the same way to your teen?

How does this affect your closeness?

Whose voice gets heard?

Whose voice gets drowned out?


Listening well nurtures trust and respect and communicates value and appreciation which deepens relationships as teens feel heard. When we open the conversation by giving them space to think, share ideas, and build trust in a non-judgmental environment, they will respond better because they will listen better.


Can your teens trust you with the truth about their feelings?

How do you come across?

How are you respecting your teens and how are they respecting you?


Great parents listen and connect well!



  • We get the results we want by not focusing on the results
  • We get the results we want when we let go of being the expert
  • We get the results we want when we are being who we need to be

The better we connect, the more influence we have with the best outcomes. When our teens feel validated and heard, they will listen and become more engaging and receptive. This leads to more responsibility as they become more confident in their own abilities and see themselves as capable experts.


Here is the gold: When we give them space (and) they trust us; they (will) come to us for advice and listen. We get to be the expert at the appropriate time! And we get to see more positive results in their lives. It`s all about timing!


How does life coaching help students? Coaching uses tools and strategies to help with motivation, organization, goal setting, time management, mindsets & limiting beliefs, relationships, communication, self-management and discovering interests, values, strengths, abilities, career path.


My signature coaching GO PROGRAM curriculum is for students 13-18 years. It is a personal development and life prep 15 week zoom online curriculum. Students learn listening and communication skills as they coach each other in zoom break-out rooms. This is the most fun part of the course and the students LOVE this interaction! This curriculum is unique as I involve parents in the learning process. I value a three-way partnership (coach-parent-student) as communication with parents is key to student success. I send out weekly parent emails with regards to what students are learning. In addition, I meet for two group parent zoom coaching sessions to discuss progress, and how parents can support their student. Essentially, I give parents coaching tips and tools for preparing their teen into adulthood. These essential group parent sessions are offered as bonuses.


I have a special gift for Media Angel subscribers with no expiry date. Receive 30 % off and enroll 6 students in a class or receive 50% off and enroll 8 students in a class. This is perfect for home school groups, co-ops, youth groups or any groups your teen belongs to.


Watch a video version of this post. Join my Facebook page and stay in touch or sign up for free tips and tools to connect with teens on my website.


About the Coach:

Mandi is originally from Zimbabwe, Africa and she successfully homeschooled and launched her 3 sons (20, 21, 24 yrs.) and two of them have their own online businesses. Mandi believes that children learn best through real life experiences as they delight in their learning and explore their interests. Mandi continues to serve home school families and as a certified academic life coach, career coach and ACC ICF coach, she offers life coaching to parents, teens, and young adults. Mandi understands the challenges parents face with regards to preparing their teens for adulthood and coaching supports families on this journey. Proverbs 20:5 “The purpose in the heart of a man is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.” Parents have an important supportive role in their children’s lives by drawing out their God given potential. Mandi lives in Clovis CA with her husband and three sons who are “in and out” of the nest as they transition into a new season. Soon, they will fly from the nest for good. God speed! 😊

Lists For Back To School–Plus $200 Rainbow Resource Giveaway

back to school lists One of the greatest inventions was the idea of keeping track of things with a list, and what better way to celebrate Back to School, than with a series on lists! I’ve tackled organization with the disclaimer that I’m not naturally an organized person. In the series on organization I’ve taken back and overturned the chaos of messy piles and will soon be looking at a newly organized and CLEAN home! I’m excited.

In fact, I mentioned to my sister-in-law the other day how excited I was to have one top shelf almost cleared off. Okay, I admit — I’m a work in progress. I’ve decided that what works for me is cleaning in small bursts. If I can clean one section of a room and keep it clean, then clean another section in a weeks’ time I have a clean room! The key is keeping it clean.

But, we were discussing homeschooling … so, the list can be massive but take or delete what you’d like. I’ve created a podcast on the topic here as well. See what you think. The lists are over on the podcast post- on VintageHomeschoolMoms episode 96  – Amazing Lists For Homeschooling – so don’t forget to download yours.

An overview of the topics of the podcast began with listing making in general for your homeschool.

Lists for back-to-school

Select Your Curriculum and Order It:

By this time many of you have your curriculum; however I know many of you are still ordering books as we speak! There are many great book selections from Cathy Duffy on her website of homeschool reviews. She wrote a series of books on the topic of the Top Homeschool Picks. My own books have been selected in two of her books. So, once you’ve selected your books – order them! I know many of you enjoy free products, but if you do get these, be sure to keep them in a file so you can find the when the time comes.

Organize Your Homeschool Space:

Atmosphere – atmosphere – atmosphere – let your learning space be a place that is conducive to learning. Be sure to check for clutter, keep books contained and be sure to pick up after each school day. Whether you school in the kitchen, on the dining room table, back porch (as we did one year while our house was being remodeled), or you have a specific room for school, make sure it is organized.

Organize Your Supplies:

I love office supplies – seriously, I could spend hours in office stores. However, discount stores are much more reasonably priced when it comes to school supplies. Every year I purchased the kids new spiral notebooks, pencils, crayons, markers, colored pencils; and when they got older, mechanical pencils, pens and highlighters. We keep all of our saved work (the ones we will keep to show for evaluations) in a big 3-Ring binder book.  That is handy all year so as I see papers that are worthy of inclusion I will ask the kids to place them in the book. You will have to help the really little ones. I also purchased a good 3-Ring Notebook-all-in-one that has multi-subjects and multi-pockets. Once the kids were in high school we no longer needed this type of binder. It just didn’t hold enough papers. They prefer spiral notebooks anyway to keep all their notes within. I like to surprise the kids with one, two or three special things. Like the year I purchased time-line notebooks, or special school supplies and holders. It is after all the first day of school when I pass out the new books and supplies, so I like to make it special.

Organize Your Books:

messy homeschool shelves organized

Shelves – Before and After They Were Organized!

How exciting – new books! I love to get the new school books for the year, even if it means I’m pulling books from the shelves and placing them on another! Many beloved books are keepsakes, and we’ve added them to our library. These were used for many years ago, by their older siblings. Organizing the books on one or two shelves helps the children to have easy access. I am going to admit that after many years of homeschooling my bookshelves are a wreck! I organize reading books for literature, books I will read to them and I give them their school books such as Math to keep at their own desks. It makes it easy for me to see whether or not they’ve completed their reading lists by a quick view of the shelves as well as their check-off lists. Here is a picture of one set of shelves that are going to be organized and another set that is almost completed!

Organize Your Year:

You’ve got the books – now take out a calendar and look at how long it will take you to complete the books on hand. For example, if a science book has 300 pages you would divide the number of pages by the number of school days. Here in Florida we school for 180 days so do the math! Be sure to leave holiday days – for example, if you are taking days off for vacations, Christmas holiday break, etc., you want to plan for these times as well. Once you do this with all your books you can move onward.

Unit Studies – or Theme Studies:

For unit studies, I always gave myself six-to-eight weeks to complete the study. Many times it didn’t take us that long, so we filled in the time with extra reading, field trips and fun television shows or videos that kept us on track. Other times, if it was something mom didn’t like studying – like insects, we’d motor through the unit study and move on to the next one. I’d also give myself some planning time in-between to find additional books or plan out my days. However, I knew exactly what we’d study for the entire year or I could loose valuable time trying to make it up on the go!

homeschool scheduleOrganize Your Day:

Years ago I was very frustrated that the kids were having difficulty completing their work. My husband asked me to create a simple check off list. When they were younger it included time –so for example where math was it would say 30-min. All the kids had to do was check off Math when they did the work. Every week they turned it in for special stickers, a movie night, or something else fun we had planned. No checkoff list meant an extra chore. You can give this to your children as a guide and keep one for yourself. This is a high school example, but you can do this same type of thing with elementary students or middle school.

Once you get your books the ideal is to divide pages by the number of weeks in the school, for you textbook people and create a schedule like this chart.

Here is another version to download: Example Check Off Lists-2

You can give this to your children as a guide and keep one for yourself. This is a high school example, but you can do this same type of thing with elementary students or middle school.

You can give this to your children as a guide and keep one for yourself. This is a high school example, but you can do this same type of thing with elementary students or middle school. I have a daily check off list I give my children as well – for a copy go here: blank copy and another one here: Example Check Off Lists – Younger and older ones here: Example Check Off Lists-Older

Whatever format you use – even if you un-school – it is nice to keep track of your progress – and it helps the children become familiar with check-off lists!

Organize Your Child’s Work station:

We’ve homeschooled on the kitchen table, on the back porch, out of a book bag on the way to doing errands, in the car on audio cassette and CD (by the time mp3 came along, my kids had outgrown “car learning”, and in a desk in a designated room. We’ve done it all in the years since I first decided to homeschool. So, what is the common thread in homeschooling in various places? Keep your stuff together! Some homeschool moms keep clear bins with plastic lids and contain their school stuff there. Other’s school out of a closet or shelf. Whatever you do give your child ample space to spread out.

What is on your list? Share yours with all of us!

Photo Credit: Copyright 2015 Deposit Photo – photo credit – stuartm

It’s Back to (Home) School time!!

I’ve never been more thankful for the freedom to homeschool my kids as I am this year.  I can’t imagine the uncertainty, stress, and overwhelm that many families are feeling right now with not knowing what the upcoming school year will look like.  As homeschoolers, our plans for the upcoming school year have likely not been disrupted or derailed, schooling will take place in our homes this fall (or year-round if you are in that camp).  Plans may have changed some as jobs and financial situations may have changed; so many families, homeschoolers or not, are feeling the strain of the economy’s decline.  Maybe you don’t have the funds to get your favorite or usual curriculum this year, or maybe you don’t have the budget to buy any at all.  Maybe you are brand new to homeschooling; you’ve decided to take your child’s education into your own hands, to have more control in what and how they’ll learn, and you had to cut back your work hours or quit altogether to do just that.

Well, I’ve teamed up with a great group of homeschool bloggers that would like to help and bless a few homeschool families this year.  We wish we could bless more, but we will be able to give THREE families $200 to spend at Rainbow Resource Center to buy curriculum, resources, and supplies for their homeschools.

To enter for your chance to win, simply use the Rafflecopter form below to enter.  Now I know this is quite a few entries, 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 July 31, 2020 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

Homeschooling With A Twist – God Schooling

God Schooling | Never heard of God Schooling? Well, you are not alone. Many are new to this concept of education but homeschool mom and herbalist, Julie Polanco will share what it is and how you can achieve homeschool success. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #christianunschooling #GodSchooling #childleadschool #naturallivingHomeschooling With A Twist – God Schooling Episode 407

Never heard of God Schooling? Well, you are not alone. Many are new to this concept of education but homeschool mom and herbalist, Julie Polanco will share what it is and how you can achieve homeschool success.

Julie Polanco is a podcaster on this network! Check out the Crunchy Christian Podcast here.

Julie’s Book – God Schooling here.

Connect with her on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and YouTube.

Julie has four children and has recently completed her eighteenth year of homeschooling. As children, she and her husband were both bullied and she didn’t want her children to have the same experiences, and the idea of homeschool resonated with them.

While on a family camping trip the family on the next site was a homeschool family of eight. Julie felt like it was a God-incident. They were so impressed with the family, how close they were with each other, and the maturity of the older children. It was a turning point for the Polancos.

*This is an excerpt from the interview with Julie Polanco on God Schooling. Listen to this broadcast for the entire content.

Julie realized after not too many years that it became a real chore trying to get the kids to do what she thought they should be doing.

God Schooling

Within a short time, God revealed a need for something different. And at the time, Christian unschooling was a “dirty” word. Yet, Julie felt like the Lord was leading their family toward a Christian unschooling approach, in a sense, it is child-directed learning.

  • Secular Unschooling allows the child to learn what they want when they want, how they want, and if they want. It often looks hands-off. l
  • Children will not always choose wisely or productive pursuits.

God Schooling

  • God Schooling is focused and informed by the child’s passions and their natural bents and interests
  • Parents work with their children by collaborating. It is relationship-driven.
    • Questions such as: What is God doing in this child? Where what how is God shaping this child?
    • How can we (as parents) develop our children’s passions and interests?
    • How can we direct our children toward productive uses of their time to develop those skills?
    • How can we train our children with good habits, morals, and good character?

Parents are very much involved and looking at how the child is using their time and making sure that the skills development happens.

Wellness and Herbalist

Julie has always had an affinity for nature and plants. She has learned that many plants have medical qualities, and some are derived into essential oils. After battling an illness in her twenties Julie turned to natural remedies to return to wellness.  (More on the audio.)

Julie’s new podcast is here! Crunchy Christian Podcast

Order Julie’s books via your local bookstore. If you went you can get it Amazon Barnes and Noble, etc. Or here




Workforce In The 21st Century

Workforce | What does the workforce look like in the 21st century? Today's guest, Lisa Nehring shares what it means to enter the workplace today. How it is different and what you can do as a student, or adult to prepare. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #workforce #workforce21Century #jobs #newjobsWorkforce Today ~ Episode 406

What does the workforce look like in the 21st century? Today’s guest, Lisa Nehring shares what it means to enter the workplace today. How it is different and what you can do as a student, or adult to prepare. Lisa is a podcaster at Lifeskills 101 here.

Find Lisa here: True North Homeschool Academy  True North offers K through 12 live online classes and some prerecorded classes.

So many people today work at home and during the year 2020, we learned the lesson the hard way as more and more stores and offices were shut down. Many were unprepared but those who worked at home just continued on.

*Excerpt of the show – listen to the recording for the full presentation.

Lisa shares how to move forward.  She believes we are just in such a time of transition, technologically we’re in, what’s called the fourth industrial revolution, and it’s really fascinating. You can look it up and check out the three previous revolutions, but we are in an industrial revolution. That’s global, we’re a global culture. And a lot of how we work is changing a lot of how we educate is changing. One book that I’ve really enjoyed the last year is called College Unbound. It’s just about how we were going through school, we would graduate from high school and there were two groups. One group would go to work and get married. And one group would go to college and then get married. Not everybody got married, but it was typical. Today that’s not necessarily the case.

You can go to work in high school. You can go to work after high school, a lot of entrepreneurial opportunities because of technology that didn’t even exist five years ago, are available today. And so a college degree isn’t going to determine your lifestyle necessarily as much as it used to. Licensing makes a big difference depending on the industry that you’re in. But we’re going to see real shifts in, in how people work and technologies that are really important and a couple of technologies that are going to become really important in the next you know, in the future three-D printing, artificial intelligence, and robotics.

During the pandemic, when a lot of people were told to stay home and work from home, people made this big shift in their life. Their kids were sent home, and parents had to figure out how to juggle work, staying at home, managing their lives, and their kids being home. Many people will not go back to work in the traditional ways that they thought they would. Other industries that are going to really explode in the future are, or not go away. They’re not going to change too much. There are jobs with stability such as our counselors, pastors, and physical therapists. And I think those two lists are very interesting. On the one hand, we have three-D printing, AI, and robotics.

We have this real techie space in this rural interpersonal space. And I think as our world grows more technologically astute with artificial intelligence, robotics, three-D printing, I mean they replaced a spleen printed by 3d. That’s crazy, right? But in that technological space, there’s this real need and desire for connection and understanding who we are as people. And that’s where the pastors and counselors come in and physical therapy, of course, a robotic entity cannot take care of PT issues. There’s just not going to work. And I think right now, as we’re all experiences that experiencing this pandemic and just walking through it, we need to be really aware of the fact that we’re living in a, in a world where we can understand what’s going on globally, by turning on our phones or computers.

We have to be really intentional about reaching out in the ways that we can. And thankfully we have technological devices to help us with that. Like just you are half a country away. And yet we’re seeing each other and talking to each other, which is a beautiful thing that is that’s amazing. And, you know, we don’t really think about the emotional side of things.

So we have to be ready. And I just think this is such a perfect time to talk about this because you happen to have an online school that is available. As an educator, for example, I’m sure they’re going to need more because things are, some people won’t want their children to go back to school. At True North, we do an orienteering class where the kids are doing college and career exploration. And they’re doing personality inventories because not everybody is going to be geared towards being an AI specialist. There’s space for everybody and who they’re created to be in this new world.

The four areas to think about are our physical, mental, social, and emotional, and again, when things get really tough, when you have a crisis in your life habits can be disrupted I really think it’s important to keep the habits that you can.  So if you got up at seven before, try to get up at seven even now and then create new habits in the new space that you’re in. So one of the things we always have done for years and years, because we don’t all have to leave right off in the morning, we’re homeschoolers is that we get up and share a cup of coffee together and just talk about things. How’s it going for everybody? What’s the news and just kind of chat together. But if you don’t have this kind of habit already established create some new ones.

We can focus on the things to be thankful for that can get us through a lot of things and, and talk to each other about the things to be thankful for.



Saving Money For Big Purchases

Saving Money For Big Purchases | Saving Money For Big Purchases is not as hard as you think! Today, we are going to be talking about money, saving tips for large purchases. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #savingforbigpurchase #savingmoney Saving Money For Big Purchases – Episode 405 with Felice Gerwitz and Meredith Cutis.

Saving Money For Big Purchases is not as hard as you think! Today, we are going to be talking about money, saving tips for large purchases.

Thanks to our sponsor – Media Angels Membership and Meredith’s curriculum – Powerline Productions

Debt free living is closer than you think. Meredith has done this for years and learned that not every American needs to have debt! It takes so much pressure off of life. If you’re a teen listen up, because I just tell you from experience, it is better to live debt-free than to struggle under debt. Debt can feel like bondage.

Meredith has written her number one bestselling book is called Economics and Finances and Business, and it’s a high school economics class. It covers all the basics of economics. It covers all the basics of financial management, including how to buy a car and how to write your first department. And it even covers how to start a business. And so I do want to encourage you to consider that course, you can find that because it does cover some of the things I’m talking about in a very thorough step by step way, but so much more.

Budgeting is important and knowing how much money a month you make and how much you want to save. a

  1. The first thing, when you’re thinking of large purchases you be realistic and you need to pray and to say, Lord, this is what I would like. Is this something that you want me to have? And if it is something you want me to have, will you help me come up with a realistic plan? So here’s what I mean by that. It is not realistic to think that you are never going to go to a movie that you are never going to eat out, but it is realistic to think, I’m only going to spend $40 a month on entertainment and food. Come up with a plan that will work for you and commit that to the Lord and keep praying about it.


Lord, I’m trying to save money, help me save money. And of course, it goes without saying that the tithe belongs to the Lord. I find that when we give the Lord his ten percent, it’s much easier to live on ninety percent.  I’ve actually seen it help us to save money quickly when you put the Lord first in your finances. When you are first – or just committing all of that to the Lord and trusting him to move forward with your plan it can be frightening.

  1. Look at your income
  2. Look at your needs vs. you wants
  3. Look at your bills – make a list and total costs
  4. Create a budget, how much will you spend on eating out and entertainment?
  5. How much will you save?

Saving money – put the money into a savings account. If you are paying for things use a debit card tied to your checking account. The money in your savings account can go toward a big purchase. Keep in mind the money in your savings account is not to spend. Keep a goal in mind and as you get toward that goal it becomes exciting to see how much you’ve saved.

And, take a look at your expenses and then live in a way that focuses on your needs versus your wants.

When you earn money, earmark it by breaking the money out and separating it, so it is off-limits. You will find with finances, there is always a financial need. And if all your money is together, you just tend to think, Oh yeah, I am saving money. My savings are accumulating. But then when then you realize, Oh, it’s not accumulating, I’ve spent it on this and this and this and this. So I think when you separate money out that your savings, it helps better to keep track of it.


Special Replay: Teaching Creation Science

Teaching Creation Science | How do you teach Creation Science when you have no background in science? Try teaching with Creation Science Study Guides! Primary sources are always the best, but how about first-hand research? | #podcast #teachingcreation #creationscienceSpecial Replay:  Teaching with Creation Science Study Guides Episode 362

How do you teach Creation Science when you have no background in science? Try teaching with Creation Science Study Guides! Primary sources are always the best, but how about first-hand research? In this episode, we will delve into not only why teaching creation science is important but some amazing resources to complete your homeschool library.

Many years ago, early in my homeschool journey I attended a homeschool conference and walked away with hundreds of dollars worth of books on the topic of creation science and no idea how to teach the topic. I had attended an amazing set of talks but creation scientists who were all degreed in science for the universities in different areas. For example, Dr. Jay Wile has a Ph.D. in nuclear chemistry from the University of Rochester.

While I was impressed with the science credentials and knowledge of many of the people that I listened to, they taught me many great facts, but not how to implement teaching creation science into my homeschool. So, I began as many other homeschool moms before me and I wrote a curriculum series.

The Creation Science Study Guides still is as relevant today as when I co-authored the series in 1994 (when our first book was published). God introduced me to a creation scientist. A geologist by degree and homeschool mom to three boys by occupation. We met by a God-incident and became friends and soon co-authors. You see, Jill Whitlock had been an atheist and had worked as an oil and well geologist for a big company. When she lost her job she found a new one at a church. When they handed her a Bible she told me that she opened it an immediately had a difference of opinion with the first sentence, “In the beginning, God created…” Jill went on to study creation for ten years before I met her.

She was able to take all those books I wrote and we used them as resources for our study guides. We wanted something parents could use with their kids with no prior science knowledge. My background was education so I could teach. I just didn’t know enough science to teach from a creationist perspective. Teaching creation science became my passion and taking difficult topics and bringing them down to basics while the kids had fun was a challenge.

First, why teach creation science? Why not? Secular books, and all public and some Christian schools teach evolution as fact. Why can’t we teach both? I’m not opposed to teaching science from an evolutionist perspective, besides a creation one. If your children are little, begin with the Bible as a foundation. Start at the beginning in Genesis and study Biblical history. This foundation helps when teaching creation science.

Give big bang theory example here.

DNA example here.

Another example in our book deals with plate tectonics. This is the divide of the continents. Have you ever looked at a map of the world and see that it could fit together into one landmass if you cut out all the continents and puzzle-pieced them together? Evolutionists claim that it took millions of years for the division of the continents from one landmass to land masses that are continents that are divided by oceans. Creationists believe the continents split, quickly as stated in Genesis 10:25 where God divided not only the lands but the languages.

For example, our study guide talks about radiohalos. A quick search online recently showed that this finding set the scientists crazy trying to refute the claims. I’ve included two links you will find helpful. The bottom line is the radiohalos are an indicator of a young earth. The question becomes, does this matter?

Evidence For:


It matters. Why teach from only one perspective?

Here are my reasons for teaching creation science:

  1. Your kids won’t get it anywhere else.
  2. Evolution has many false findings taught as fact. Ernst Haeckel among others.
  3. I believe God created the world as he stated in Genesis.
  4. If we teach creation as a myth or allegory then that means the entire Bible is one as well.
  5. Darwin said that the fossil record would validate this theory and it never has.

If you want a series of study guides that will entertain your kids from preschool to high school I highly recommend you check out the Media Angels Creation Study Guides. They are available for immediate download on the website – all of my books for one low price and they include the study guides which are ready to go experiment sheets, games and puzzles as well as the books.

One of the great things about teaching creation science is that it is so hands-on. Your kids will love doing the activities and learning as they have fun. I do believe there is an added benefit. Creation science points to a creator God. It talks about the wonders of God’s creation and gives us awe about the world God created!


Replay Vacations On The Cheap

Vacations On The Cheap | How about DIY vacations on the cheap? Many people would like to travel but feel they can’t afford the cost. That’s exactly right, but we share some top secret tips! | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #vacations #vacation #vacationonthecheap #cheapvacations Replay Vacations on the Cheap ~ with Felice Gerwitz

How about DIY vacations on the cheap with your hosts, Felice Gerwitz and Meredith Curtis? Many people would like to travel but feel they can’t afford the cost. That’s exactly right, but in this podcast, we share some top secret tips!

Visit Meredith Curtis here: and her podcast Finish Well with great family podcasts here.

Visit Felice Gerwitz here: and

Research for DIY Travel on the cheap!

  • Where do you want to go?
    • Must see vs. I’d like to see if we have time
  • Look online, DK Travel Guides
  • Keep a folder on Pinterest

Look For Deals

  • TravelZoo
  • Groupon
  • Living Social
  • Skyscanner

What do you want to see?

  • List of must-sees
  • List of  what you’d like to see, but only if time

Saving money can be done with little-known tips such as packing snacks, renting condos or homes outside of bigger cities or famous attractions, and being prepared to fly instead of drive if the airfare is cheaper — yes, it often is… I can fly from Fort Myers to BWI (Baltimore/ Maryland) for less than $100 round trip! Gas to get there is more, as well as wear-and-tear on the car! Look for deals for DIY travel on the cheap tips.

Where will you stay?

  • Hotels
  • Rental homes
  • Rental condos
  • With a friend

Where will you eat?

  • Restaurants
  • Bring food, nonperishables
  • Take water on the plane if you fly (must buy it after security point) or bring an empty water bottle and fill it at the airport for free
  • Roadside kiosks (depending on where you visit, this may be an inexpensive option).
  • Buy food to cook.


  • Plan your itinerary. Where will you go first?
  • Plan transportation if you are taking the bus or train
  • Costs – be sure to account for the cost of travel

Check the Weather

  • When you have a travel date look at the weather
  • Plan indoor activities if the weather is bad
  • Layer clothing, it is better than taking big, bulky clothing