A Sane Approach To Homeschool Screen Time

Hey, homeschoolers!

Do you have concerns about your kids’ screen time? If so, you’re like me and many homeschooling parents who have been forced to deal with a new digital reality. We’ll dive into the topic of developing a sane approach to homeschool screen time in just a moment.

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Sponsor

But first, I’d like to thank our sponsor for this episode: Time4Learning. Time 4 Learning curriculum gives students the independence they crave, as they progress at their own pace. The multimedia lessons feel more like games, making it perfect for teaching new concepts. Students are safe in a secure, ad free, online learning environment. Learn how you can use your child’s love for screens in their education at Time4Learning, that’s the number 4, .com.

A Sane Approach to Homeschool Screen Time

My guest today has joined us on the podcast before. She is Beth Napoli, homeschooling mom and creator of TechieHomeschoolMom.com and Online Unit Studies. I love Beth’s perspective on homeschool screen time and I think you will too.

We chatted about:

  • The advantages of screen time
  • Parental concerns about screen time
  • Beth’s own challenges with screen time
  • Beth’s advice for parents who feel their kids are abusing screen time
  • Beth’s recommendation for parents of young kids with respect to screen time

Homeschool Screen Time Resources

Digital Projects

Techin’ Your Homeschool Facebook Group

Techie Homeschool Mom

Join Me Next Week

Listen next time for my interview with Jamie Erickson, author of the new book Homeschool Bravely. Thanks again to our sponsor, Time4Learning.

Have a happy homeschool week!

What approach to homeschool screen time do you use? Comment and let me know.

What Mastery Curriculum Is And Why You Should Include It In Your Homeschool

Hey, homeschoolers! This week I want to talk about mastery curriculum–what it is and why I think you should include it in your homeschool. But first, I’d like to thank my sponsor for this episode: BookShark.

Podcast Sponsor

BookShark homeschool curriculum is literature-based, 4-day, and faith-neutral. Amber Reed Davis, a busy homeschool mom, says, 
“We can’t say enough good stuff about BookShark. We’re doing Levels 3 and 5 this year. My kids are hooked. Through the amazing books, we’ve traveled to fascinating places and learned so much! And we’re only on week 13!  Who knew a middle schooler would ask if we could still do school on our 5th day because he wanted to find out what happens next in the books we’re reading? Also, I’ve been amazed at how much I’ve learned through reading along with them. Oh, and the 4-day schedule is perfect. We use our 5th day to catch up or just for fun field trips, experiments, and messy art projects.”
Amber is right! BookShark’s fully planned, 4-day homeschool curriculum flexes to match your busy lifestyle. The detailed Instructor’s Guides lay everything out so clearly that you are prepared to teach in mere minutes each day—open your guide, gather your resources (which are all included in your package), and go! Curriculum for ages 4-16 is available in All-Subject Packages or by individual academic areas: Reading with History, Language Arts, Science, and Math. WithBookShark’s literature-rich programs, your children will read (or have read to them) 35-50 engaging books each year! Visit BookShark to browse curriculum, download samples, or request a catalog.

Resources for Mastery Curriculum in Your Homeschool

Use code SANITY5
In my experience, kids not only learn more with mastery curriculum, but also enjoy it more. When kids love what they’re learning, dopamine will aid retention of the material. I hope you will seriously consider including mastery curriculum in your homeschool this year. Thanks again to BookShark for sponsoring The Homeschool Sanity Show. Do you already use mastery curriculum in your homeschool? Comment below to share. Next time we’ll discuss easy ways to expand your child’s vocabulary. Have a happy homeschool week!  

The Trust Project: Health And Safety

Hey, homeschoolers!

I am replacing today’s originally scheduled topic with one I think is of the utmost importance. Today I want to share with you about what I believe is the biggest and best project of my life and how you can join me.

I recently finished the audiobook The Miracle Equation by Hal Elrod. In the book, Hal encourages us to choose a big goal that is in line with our values. He also encourages us to choose a goal that will make us better people — the kind of people who are able to accomplish our other goals. I was walking my neighborhood as I listened to his book. I considered a number of goals, including writing more books and getting into better shape. But the truth is, I’ve already accomplished similar goals. And those goals don’t necessarily line up with my highest value, which is my faith in God.

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Resources for The Trust Project: Health & Safety

The podcast in blog post form

A Year of Living Productively

The Organized Homeschool Life.

I’ve shared what a rough year this has been for me already

Truth Journaling

So will you join me? If so, you can download your free Trust Project Printables at Homeschool Sanity.

All the areas of focus, Scriptures, Bible readings and journaling responses are included.  When you opt to receive them, you’ll be added to a special Trust Project list, where you will receive only Trust Project updates. So if you have a Christian friend or family member who wants to join us, who is not a homeschooling parent, they can without getting unrelated email.

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie

Jehovah Rapha by Mary J. Nelson

He Is With You by Mandisa

Miracles from Heaven.

I would love to have your recommendations as well. Comment below so others can see them.

Throughout this month, keep meditating on Proverbs 3:7-8. Read other Bible accounts of God’s healing and protection. Keep truth journaling, remembering God’s faithfulness, believing and obeying the wisdom He’s already given you, and praying and thanking Him.

Thank you for joining me in trusting God with health and safety. God bless your week!

Pin the image below to encourage others to trust God.

 

Is It Time For Your Dream, Mom?


Hey, homeschoolers!

For years I wrestled with whether or not I should pursue the dreams I have apart from homeschooling and parenting. I know that’s a struggle for many of my listeners too. That’s why I wanted Karla Marie Williams, author of the new book Mom-Spiration to join me for the podcast.

Sponsor

Before I share our interview with you, I want to introduce you to the sponsor of today’s episode: 7 Sisters Homeschool. I use and love 7 Sisters Homeschool curriculum in my own homeschool and the authors have become personal friends who encouraged me to live the dream of creating my own curriculum.

Is It Time for Your Dream, Mom?

In the podcast, Karla Marie and I disussed:

  • How to determine which season of life we are in with respect to mothering
  • What keeps us from pursuing our dreams
  • Why it’s important to pursue our dreams sooner rather than later
  • First steps to pursuing our dreams

Resources for Pursuing Your Dreams

Mom-Spiration

Homeschool Gone Wild: A Fresh Look at Unschooling

ISpeak4KidsGlobal.com

UnschoolingtheSensational6 on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram

What are your dreams apart from homeschooling and parenting? Let me know in the comments.

Join me next time for a discussion of mastery curriculum and why you should use it in your homeschool.

Have a happy homeschool week!

 

How to Teach Kids to Comfort Others


Hey, homeschoolers!

I had a different topic scheduled for this week, but then one of those unexpected crises hit my family. I was driving home from the Great Homeschool Convention in Greenville, South Carolina, when my husband called. The right side of his body had suddenly gone numb. He was exhibiting at a librarian’s conference at the time. We didn’t know it then, but my fit, healthy husband had had a stroke.

We were shocked to say the least, and it’s safe to say we are still coming to terms with a new reality: medical testing, daily meds, and questions about the future. We are enormously grateful to God, however, that the stroke was small and did not result in disability.

This episode is not about strokes or even stress, which we have also had an abundance of. It’s about teaching our kids to help those who are hurting.

How to Teach Kids to Comfort Others

When my husband’s stroke was diagnosed, I immediately texted my two kids in college. I got no response until the next day when one of them texted an unrelated question. I was shocked again. I told them so.

One of them said he hadn’t known what to say. The other had been very busy and wasn’t feeling well. I was disappointed in how they responded, but I was also mad at myself. I hadn’t taught my kids how to help those who are hurting. As a result, they responded the way so many adults do. I immediately talked with my younger kids about how to respond. I realized that I wanted to encourage you to have these same conversations with your kids.

How to Help Others Reference

I contributed to the book The Art of Helping by Lauren Littauer Briggs. It’s an excellent resource with helpful responses for a variety of hurting people. I encourage you to get a copy to keep as a reference.

In the book, you’ll find a variety of unhelpful responses too. The contributors like me remember these unhelpful responses very clearly because of the emotions surrounding our loss or trial. If we or our kids fail to provide loving support of family and friends when they’re hurting, they’re unlikely to forget. These situations are vital opportunities for us to share the love of Christ. That’s why I believe we must teach our kids how to help.

The Most Common Reason We Don’t Help

My son’s honest reason for not responding to the news that his dad had had a stroke is the most common reason we don’t help hurting people: We don’t know what to say. We’re afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. We’re afraid of making people cry, of making the pain worse. And certainly we can say or do the wrong things, but not providing loving support is the worst thing we can do.

I told my younger kids that if anything like this happens in the future, a response is required–preferably a phone call and not a text, and certainly not a heart on a social media post with no comment. Depending on the closeness of the relationship, a visit, call, card, or message is appropriate. We had a friend of my husband’s say he didn’t want to bother him with a call. I reassured him that it would be welcomed. If you aren’t sure what level of support is okay, ask.

What You Should Say When You Don’t Know What to Say

What should you say if you don’t know what to say? Start with, “I’m so sorry for your loss; I’m sorry this happened; I’m sorry for what you’re going through.” Adding, “I love you” and “I’m praying for you” are never wrong to say, even if you’re supporting someone who is not a Christian. If you’re seeing someone in person, a hug, rubbing a shoulder, and sympathetic tears are powerful ways of caring for someone in crisis.

Busyness: Another Common Reason We Don’t Help

Let’s talk about my other son’s reason for not responding: busyness and not feeling well. Crises are never planned. They never occur at a convenient time. While I was in Greenville, a precious friend who was facing life-threatening surgery texted to ask if I could come to the hospital to pray with her. I could not. I responded that I would drop everything to be with her, but I was hours away. I asked if we could talk on the phone instead and that’s what we did. I know she felt cared for.

If you aren’t able to provide the kind of support you’d like to, explain it. Otherwise, your friend or family member may think you don’t care. If my son had said, “Mom, I’m so sorry to hear this. I want to call as soon as I can, but for now, know that I love you both and I’m praying for you,” I wouldn’t have had an issue.

If you have a choice between providing support and another more pleasurable, but not critical activity, I recommend you choose providing support. Nothing feels as bad as regret and there is no way to undo a failure to care when someone needed you. This applies to attending memorial services. Grieving people pay close attention to who is there.

What to Do When You Feel Uncomfortable

We often feel helpless when people are hurting. We try a variety of things to feel less uncomfortable. We often say, “Let me know if I can do anything.” This isn’t offensive, but it also isn’t helpful. A person in crisis can’t think about what needs to be done. If you’re in a position to provide concrete help, ask if the hurting person wants that help. Offer to take the kids, grocery shop, or bring a meal, for example–especially if you have close ties. If you aren’t in a position to provide specific help, don’t offer.

Sometimes we are uncomfortable with others’ sadness or grief. We want them to see the positive in the situation. But the hurting person may not be ready for that perspective. They also do not need to hear about you or someone who has experienced a similar or greater loss. When I had a miscarriage, I was told that God may have been spacing my children out better. I was also told about a woman who lost a baby closer to term than I was. A friend told me to take Prozac so I wouldn’t be sad. Instead of trying to minimize your discomfort, allow the hurting person to come to his or her own positive conclusions. You can then affirm them. In my husband’s case, we truly are thankful it was a mild stroke. We aren’t offended by those who add their gratitude to ours. But it’s also very affirming when others acknowledge the stress we’ve experienced.

If you or your kids are helping another hurting Christian, sharing Scripture and uplifting songs can be so kind. I have appreciated this from my friends.

Be Sure to Follow Up

Finally, teach your kids to follow up in providing care. People’s need for support doesn’t end when they’re discharged from the hospital or when their loved one is buried. Check in and ask how your friend is doing. Give the hurting person the chance to talk about it without being interrupted. Make a note of the date of a loss, so you can provide support on the anniversary date. Reassure your friend of family member of your continuing prayer and ask if there are particular requests to be praying for. Never imply that a hurting person should be “over it by now.” There’s no timeline.

Conclusion

Both of my college kids apologized and called their dad and we all feel a lot better. Teach your kids to apologize if they don’t care for people like they know they should. This humility goes a long way toward healing any hurts we may inflict on people we care about.

Finally, we have to accept God’s grace. We are human and imperfect in the way we care for others. I have made many mistakes in this area, which makes it easier for me to forgive my kids.

In teaching your kids how to help hurting people, use examples of good and poor support you’ve experienced in your own life. Talk about what you are doing to help others and why. Thank you for raising up a generation of caring kids.

Next week we’ll discuss whether it’s time for you to pursue your dreams.

Have a happy homeschool week!

How to Homeschool Bravely with Jamie Erickson

Hey, homeschoolers!

Are you worried that you’re not doing this homeschooling thing right? If that’s you, and I know that’s the case for many of my listeners, you’ll love my guest’s perspective on this topic in just a bit.

Sponsor

But first, I’d like to thank our sponsor for this episode: Time4Learning. Time 4 Learning curriculum supports the homeschool parent with access to resources such as printable lesson plans, homeschool teaching tools, detailed reporting, activity scheduling and parental support through an online Parent Forum. To learn more, go to Time4Learning.com.

How to Homeschool Bravely

Now for this week’s topic: how to homeschool bravely. My guest today is Jamie Erickson. Jamie is a Christian homeschooling mother of five, a fellow podcaster, and blogger behind The Unlikely Homeschool. Today we’re discussing her new book, Homeschool Bravely: How to Squash Doubt, Trust God, and Teach Your Child with Confidence. I know you’ll love her encouragement.

Jamie and I discussed:

  • why so many homeschool moms quit after the first year
  • moms who don’t feel “called” to homeschool
  • how to handle homeschool naysayers
  • tips for homeschool overwhelm

Find Jamie at TheUnlikelyHomeschool.com, HomeschoolBravely.com, on Facebook, and Instagram.

Join me next week for a discussion of how to teach kids to help hurting people.

Thanks again to Time4Learning for sponsoring the podcast. Have a happy homeschool week!

What keeps you from homeschooling bravely? Let me know in the comments.


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor -TimeforLearning.com


Making the Most of Your Homeschooled High School Years


Hey homeschoolers!

This is an unusual episode of The Homeschool Sanity Show because my guest and I are going to be speaking primarily to homeschool high school students. If you have a high schooler or even better, a soon-to-be high schooler, have them join you in listening!

But first, I would love to have you subscribe to Psychowith6.com.  What you will receive when you subscribe is the Sanity Saturday newsletter, in which I share one sanity saver for your life. Typically that sanity saver is related to what’s going on in my life. My hope is that you will be able to relate. You’ll also get a link to show notes in your inbox every Tuesday. If you’re already subscribed on iTunes or Stitcher, the email will remind you to listen to the episodes that most interest you.

After today’s interview, I learned that my guest and I will both be at the Great Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati. If you’re going to be there too, I hope you’ll stop by my Grammar Galaxy Books both. I would love to meet you!

Now for this week’s topic: how to make the most of the homeschool high school years. My guest is homeschooled high schooler, Noah Tetzer. You’re going to be so impressed with him as I was.

I asked Noah about:

  • the biggest advantages of being homeschooled
  • what he would do differently if he was starting high school today
  • what he thinks high schoolers’ primary goals should be, and more

Homeschool High School Resources

History of Vikings.com

Lessons from a Homeschooler

Join me next time when my guest Beth Napoli and I will discuss a sane approach to homeschool screen time.

Have a happy homeschool week!

How to Help Your Homeschooler Transition to Middle and High School

Hey homeschoolers!

The homeschooling parents I talk with are most likely to get panicky when the middle and high school years aren’t far off. My discussion today will put your minds at ease.

Let’s Connect

But first, I would love to have you follow me on Instagram at Psychowith6. I have recently begun sharing inspirational content there–inspiration for your faith, getting organized, your parenting, and of course, homeschooling. I am also enjoying having real conversations with you there.

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How to Help Your Child Transition to Middle or High School with Sherri Seligson

Today’s guest is Sherri Seligson. I was so excited to talk with her as I’m a fan. Sherri is a 21-year veteran homeschool mom of four children, a degreed marine biologist, researcher, wife, and Christian. Before being promoted to motherhood, Sherri worked as a marine biologist at Walt Disney World’s Living Seas, publishing shark behavior research. She has authored Apologia’s Exploring Creation with General Science, Marine Biology and Internships for High School Credit, instructional video courses for Apologia’s science curricula, and companion curricula for feature films including Dolphin Tale and War Horse. An international conference and retreat speaker, Sherri uses transparency, truth, and humor, to encourage moms on their homeschool journey and to teach families and students the importance and excitement of studying God’s creation.

Sherri and I discussed:

  • what’s different about the middle and high school years
  • how we can help our students adjust and grow into these new seasons
  • how to get past the anxiety that often accompanies these changes

Resources for Helping Your Student Transition to Middle or High School

Apologia General Science Curriculum

Apologia Marine Biology Curriculum

Internship for High School

Teaching to Your Child’s Talent Podcast

How You Can Homeschool High School

Lessons Learned from Homeschooling High School

How to Keep Homeschooled High Schoolers Happy

The Homeschool High School Podcast

Connect with Sherri Seligson

SherriSeligson.com

Facebook

Instagram

Conclusion

I hope Sherri gave you confidence about helping your kids make the transition to middle and high school. I am an affiliate for Apologia’s materials because I use and love them! Join me and my guest next week as we discuss how your high school student can make the most of the high school years.

Have a happy homeschool week!

Get Dressed for Homeschool Success

Hey, homeschoolers!

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

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

Fashion for Homeschool Moms

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

Alison and I discussed:

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

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

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

Resources for Homeschool Mom Fashion from This Episode

Read the blog post

Free closet staples shopping list

SAHM Casual Wardrobe Basics

GYPO – Facebook, Instagram

Next Time on the Homeschool Sanity Show

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

Have a happy homeschool week!

Homeschool Gone Wild: A Fresh Look at Unschooling

Hey, homeschoolers!

I’ve done a lot of reading on unschooling and I’ve experimented with it in the afternoons with my kids over the years. But I was forced to take a fresh look at unschooling when I read the book, Homeschool Gone Wild. I invited the author, Karla Marie Williams, to be a guest on the podcast and I posed some challenging questions to her. Whether you’re all about unschooling or think it’s not for you, I know you’ll enjoy my interview with this fascinating homeschool mama.

But first, I’d love to invite you to join our Homeschool Sanity Facebook group. I am enjoying your answers to the daily discussion questions. I am happy to give my answers to your burning questions along with allowing the rest of the group to respond, and I consider it a privilege to pray for your requests.

I’d like to thank our sponsor, the Christian Standard Bible. Listen for more about this fresh version of God’s Word.

Homeschool Gone Wild: A Fresh Look at Unschooling

Karla Marie Williams is a speaker, writer, and global child advocate. As the founder of iSpeak4KidsGlobal, her work has touched multple countries and cultures. She is a homeschool conference speaker and a mentor to parents through social media – Unschooling the Senational Six. Karla is a wife of 21 years and a mom of si inspired learners. She and her family reside in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Karla responded brilliantly to several criticisms of unschooling, including that it’s:

  • not parenting
  • not for college-bound students
  • allowing kids to play video games  all day
  • for do-nothing homeschoolers

You may be interested in my episode on alternatives to video games here. 

Find the episode on interest-led learning here.

Karla’s book Homeschool Gone Wild is excellent. Follow her on Instagram. How were you inspired by this episode? Comment below.

Have a happy homeschool week!