The Whole & Healthy Family With Jodi Mockabee

We hear a lot about health these days, but what does it mean to have a healthy family? This is episode where my guest and I talk about pursuing healthy families with respect to the mind, body, and spirit.
There is so much more to our families than the bodies they inhabit. They have minds and spirits that need to be cultivated, too.

Sponsor

Finding a math curriculum that works for your family can be a challenge! With CTCMath, all of your kids from K-12 can learn at their own pace with one family subscription. That’s right! With a CTCMath membership, you have access to all grades and lessons, which means your children can work at whatever level is best for them. Whether your kid needs to catch up, keep up, or move ahead, with CTCMath they can finally understand math and work at their own pace. CTCMath is offering listeners a half-price discount plus a bonus 6 months when you register for a 12-month membership. Yep. That means you have access to a complete online homeschool math curriculum for all your kids for 18 months!

Healthy Familes Guest

Jodi Mockabee is a photographer, writer, blogger, speaker, social media influencer, and homeschooling mother of five living in the Black Hills of South Dakota. With a passion for health, wellness, parenting, and more, Jodi blogs her family’s journey and shares tips for a healthy and active lifestyle. She also writes curriculum for creative and artistic learning in a homeschool environment. I found Jodi’s vision for family health to be quite inspiring. I hope you will, too. We discussed:
  • building a family culture
  • a holistic approach to health and wellness
  • the role of prayer in family health.
The Whole & Healthy Family Book Jodi Mockabee on Instagram Thanks again to CTC Math for sponsoring the podcast. Have a happy homeschool week!

Special Replay: How To Know If You’re Doing Enough In Your Homeschool

Hey homeschoolers!

I frequently hear this worry from homeschoolers I talk with at the great homeschool conventions: I don’t know if I’m doing enough. In a time when homeschoolers have an abundance of curriculum options for teaching their children and an abundance of philosophies of education to consider, it’s no wonder that many homeschoolers are concerned that they are doing too little. I’ll address this concern with ways to know if you’re doing enough in just a moment.

Join our community

But first I would love to invite you to join to join Homeschool Sanity Circle on Facebook. This is the perfect group for new homeschoolers who have all sorts of worries like these. It’s also a fantastic place to build friendships no matter where you are in your homeschooling journey.  I’m looking forward to getting to know you there.

Podcast sponsor

I would like to thank my sponsor for this episode: 7 Sisters Homeschool

Resources for Knowing You’re Doing Enough in Your Homeschool

Read the blog post

HSLDA

HSLDA state laws

Homeschooling Through High School

Raising Arrows time for lessons

Podcast interview with Karla Marie Williams

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons

Handwriting Without Tears

Astronomy

Art course I recommend

Curriculum Paralysis episode

How to teach vocabulary

Homeschool Sanity Circle on Facebook

Thanks again to 7 Sisters Homeschool for sponsoring the podcast.  Join me next time when we discuss how to trust God with our parents. Have a happy homeschool week!

Help With Handwriting

Does your student struggle with handwriting? In this episode my guest will help us with handwriting.

Sponsor

Finding a math curriculum that works for your family can be a challenge! With CTCMath, all of your kids from K-12 can learn at their own pace with one family subscription. That’s right! With a CTCMath membership, you have access to all grades and lessons, which means your children can work at whatever level is best for them. Whether your kid needs to catch up, keep up, or move ahead, with CTCMath they can finally understand math and work at their own pace. CTCMath is offering listeners a half-price discount plus a bonus 6 months when you register for a 12-month membership. Yep. That means you have access to a complete online homeschool math curriculum for all your kids for 18 months!

Help with Handwriting

I wish I’d had Sarah’s help when my kids had a hard time with handwriting. Sarah joined me for a previous epsiode on occupational therapy. Sarah is an occupational therapist with a background in both pediatrics and home health, and a homeschooling parent. Sarah was first introduced to homeschooling in 2016 while working as an OT in a client’s home; she was amazed at the learning atmosphere and opportunities within the home. Now as an OT homeschooling her own family, she noticed that parents, though experts on their own children, were invariably asking the same questions and needed resources. As a result, Collins Academy Therapy Services was established with the dual purpose of educating parents on how to create homeschools specifically designed for students’ needs and training occupational therapists to best serve the homeschool community, together guiding children towards their specific purpose in life. You can play this episode for your kids and see how many different sounds besides our voices they can recognize. It became comical but I don’t think it was too distracting. Sarah and I discussed:
  • Whether handwriting is still a necessary skill to learn
  • Why some kids struggle with handwriting (it’s not necessarily what you think!)
  • Activities to help kids who struggle to write
Here is a form for increasing your student’s handwriting speed. Find Sarah on Facebook and Instagram or email her at sarah at homeschoolOT.com. Thanks again to CTC Math for sponsoring the podcast. Have a happy homeschool week!

How To Teach Our Kids That Everyone Belongs

How can we teach our kids that everyone belongs? In this episode, my guest and I discuss how to empathize with and welcome families who are different than our own.

Sponsor

Finding a math curriculum that works for your family can be a challenge! With CTCMath, all of your kids from K-12 can learn at their own pace with one family subscription. That’s right! With a CTCMath membership, you have access to all grades and lessons, which means your children can work at whatever level is best for them. Whether your kid needs to catch up, keep up, or move ahead, with CTCMath they can finally understand math and work at their own pace. CTCMath is offering listeners a half-price discount plus a bonus 6 months when you register for a 12-month membership. Yep. That means you have access to a complete online homeschool math curriculum for all your kids for 18 months!

Everyone Belongs with Heather Avis

Heather Avis is founder and chief visionary officer at The Lucky Few, a social awareness brand on a mission to make a more inclusive and loving world with an emphasis on shifting the Down syndrome narrative. The author of Everyone Belongs and the New York Times bestselling children’s book Different—A Great Thing to Be! she runs The Lucky Few’s hit Instagram account and is the author of a book and co-host of the podcast by the same name. A former education specialist teaching high school students, Heather is a popular speaker and a mother to three adopted children (two with Down syndrome). She lives in Southern California with her husband, Josh, and their three kids Truly, August and Macy.

I was touched by my interview with Heather and I think you will be, too.

We discussed:

  • How her parenting and adoption journey changed her
  • How we can reinforce our kids’ God-given value
  • How her faith helped her in her parenting journey
  • How we can better empathize with families different than our own and how can we foster inclusivity

For more information, visit www.HeatherAvis.com / @TheLuckyFewOfficial

https://www.facebook.com/TheLuckyFewOfficial

https://www.tiktok.com/@theluckyfewofficial

Thanks again to CTC Math for sponsoring the podcast.

Have a happy homeschool week!

How We Prepare For College As Homeschoolers

 

 

Do you wonder how to prepare your kids for college? If so, I’m not going to tell you what to do. I hope that’s a relief. Instead, in this episode, I’ll share our experience with college, so you’ll have more information to make the best choices for your family.

Hey, homeschoolers! This week I am taking child number five and my only daughter to college. Even though I have three college graduates who have had good experiences, I don’t imagine that I’ve done everything the right way, or that I have the right to tell you what to do.

Every family and every student and even every year is unique as the pandemic has taught us. But I do want to share our story with you because it may help you in college choices and preparation. The other reason I want to share our story is because so many people (including homeschoolers) have been surprised by a particular aspect of our decisions around college.

I’m going to jump right in as though we’re having a chat at a coffee shop. I’m not going to give you six simple tips as I often do, but I’m going to tell you how we got to the place of sending homeschooler #5 to college. If we were actually in a coffee shop, you could stop and ask me questions. Using this format, though, you’re going to have to comment, email, or message me with questions instead.

I will start with a disclaimer: College isn’t for everyone.

  • We are sending our children for their goals at this time in our culture
  • I didn’t originally intend for the kids to attend college in person
  • Homeschoolers can and do get an excellent education outside of college classes

In this episode I share:

  • Factors that affected our college decision
  • Our kids’ college choices
  • The advantages of having our kids attend the same in-state university

Some issues we have discussed with our kids as they begin their college years:

  • How often we expect to hear from them
  • The dangers of and our beliefs about alcohol/ drugs/ premarital sex
  • Our expectation that they will study and be focused on keeping a high GPA
  • Pros and cons of fraternities/sororities
  • Travel plans for breaks
  • Which expenses are our kids’ responsibility

Conclusion

Has everything been perfect with our kids’ college experience? No. But we are satisfied with the choices we have made for our particular kids at this time.

I pray that something I shared helps you as you consider college for your homeschoolers.

Have a happy homeschool week!

Winning Your Homeschool Week

When Friday comes, do you feel like you’ve won your homeschool week and can celebrate? Or are you thinking about all the things you didn’t do well? In this episode, I’ll share tips for winning your homeschool week through proper planning. Before we dive into the topic, I want to thank CTC Math for sponsoring this episode.

Sponsor

Finding a math curriculum that works for your family can be a challenge! With CTCMath, all of your kids from K-12 can learn at their own pace with one family subscription. That’s right! With a CTCMath membership, you have access to all grades and lessons, which means your children can work at whatever level is best for them. Whether your kid needs to catch up, keep up, or move ahead, with CTCMath they can finally understand math and work at their own pace. CTCMath is offering listeners a half-price discount plus a bonus 6 months when you register for a 12-month membership. Yep. That means you have access to a complete online homeschool math curriculum for all your kids for 18 months!

Winning the Week by Demir Bentley

I recently finished reading Demir Bentley’s book Winning the Week. I feel newly inspired and also feel validated in the planning process I teach to homeschool moms. The key to winning your week is simple: It’s planning it. Most homeschoolers know that they should plan their week for success, just as most of the staff and entrepreneurs Demir Bentley is addressing know they should plan. But only a small percentage of us do. Why is that? • Don’t have time • Afraid of the past • Afraid of the future But planning the week is a powerful way of decreasing anxiety and improving motivation. Because it has negative affect associated with it, though, we avoid it. Demir advises us to make planning a pleasant experience.

How to Plan a Winning Homeschool Week

Once you have a pleasant experience planned, start with prayer. Then review your: • Calendar • Email • Mail inbox • Messages • Purse • Task list Use the weekly planning page from The Organized Homeschool Life Planner. Choose leveraged task (The One Thing by Gary Keller) Choose one goal for the week  – specify on weekly page Now plan these must-do tasks for the week. If you have the Organized Homeschool Life planner, you can put them on the daily planning pages. I would suggest listing no more than 3 tasks per day to leave room for tasks that pop up. You can plan in more detail each day. The other way to plan your weekly tasks is with a calendar or agenda. You can see visually that you will not have time to do math on Friday because you have a co-op meeting and a park day following. You won’t expect things to magically get done. You’ll put math on your day at home. Schedule your tasks with as much detail as you like – in the morning, afternoon, or evening boxes in the Organized Homeschool Life planner, or at set times in Google calendar or an hourly agenda. Be sure to leave time for what I call walk-in tasks. Demir advises us to schedule our goal-related and priority tasks at the beginning of the week. I like keeping Fridays for easy tasks and for catch-up time if needed. If you’re ready for more advanced weekly planning, you can plan your leisure activities, too. Put a dinner party with friends, a game night, or a hike on the schedule, so it is a lot more likely to happen. Next week during your weekly planning session, ask yourself what went well so you can do more of that. Give yourself credit for it and thank God for the blessings. Ask yourself what didn’t go well, so you can use leverage on it and improve 1% the following week.

Conclusion

With proper planning, you can have less anxiety, more motivation, and a happier homeschool. Thanks again to CTCMath for sponsoring the podcast. Have a happy homeschool week!

How To Help A Child Break A Bad Habit

Does your child have a bad habit? If so, you want to help them. For example, a dad at The Great Homeschool Convention approached me for help in getting his four-year-old daughter to stop sucking her thumb. In this episode, I’ll share tips for helping a child of any age break a bad habit.

Break Bad Habit Resources

Moms.com Bad Habits Thumbs Up, Brown Bear – on Homeschool Sanity Badabits app tracker Habit Tracking as a Family Free Habit Tracker – use squares to list time of day Have a happy homeschool week!

How to Plan for Homeschool Sanity

Are you in the process of planning for the new school year? If so, you’re likely seeking homeschool sanity. You want to achieve your goals and enjoy homeschooling, too. But is that even possible?

After homeschool planning for more than 20 years, I can say that it IS possible with a few tweaks to the way we normally plan.

Planning for Homeschool Sanity

A traditional approach to homeschool planning is to assign dates to lessons and activities for each student. In addition, we may create a schedule or routine and plan where our books and materials will be stored.

This type of planning is important but is unlikely to help you have a happy, successful homeschool on its own. Instead,

The first step in planning is to ask yourself what got in the way of your homeschool sanity last year.

If you’re homeschooling for the first time, you can still do this.

Answer these questions:

  • What contributed to stress for you and your family last year?
  • How could you have avoided that stress?
  • What strategies would have made that stress easier to manage?

I’m answering these questions, too. The death of my sister-in-law last fall was a major stressor. While we had no control over when she passed, we could have talked a lot more about what we would do when she needed care. After an extremely stressful time of interacting with difficult people who knew my sister-in-law, I realized that most of the stress was the result of how I thought about the situation. I was awfulizing mentally, saying things to myself like “This is a nightmare” and “I can’t take anymore.” If I had reminded myself that God was with me and that I had the support of my husband and other family members, I could have spared myself a lot of suffering.

My example doesn’t have much to do with homeschooling. Your answers may not either. But life stress impacts our homeschooling.

Answers I may have given in our earlier homeschool years include:

  • searching for kids’ shoes as we’re about to leave the house
  • not knowing how to handle kids’ squabbles
  • having too many church commitments

The second step in planning for homeschool sanity is to practice prevention.

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. We look to what went wrong in the previous year so we can be proactive in planning for this year.

Ask yourself what you can do to prevent similar stress or to cope with it more effectively.

Because I overreacted to difficult people in the past year, I can expect that to be a problem this year, too. Besides spending more time increasing my trust in God, I can ask friends and family to help me reframe my thoughts when I talk about difficult people.

  • With missing shoes, I could have trained the kids to take them off in a specific place or to set them out before bed.
  • With sibling rivalry, I could have planned to have focused discussions with the kids, rather than looking for a quick fix.
  • With church commitments, I could have limited them to one ongoing role and one short-term role at a time.

The third step in planning is to choose one leveraged weekly goal.

A major contributor to stress is trying to achieve multiple goals at the same time. When we want to be good at it all, chances are that we won’t be good at anything.

There is nothing wrong with having a goal for the homeschool year–goals like developing a love of learning, building stronger relationships, or establishing organizing habits. These are great options to consider.

But more often than not, we have unwritten goals of finishing all our curriculum (even the multiple options per subject); inspiring the kids to be pursue multiple passions independently; making healthy, homemade meals every night; reading 50 classics aloud with the family; going on lots of field trips; getting in shape as a family; and starting a business. We think somehow the time will magically expand to allow us to accomplish all these things. But, of course, it doesn’t. We are disappointed and feel like failures until the next year when we commit to trying harder.

The way to stop this stress cycle is to plan one goal a week that will result in an improvement in your life and homeschool. Some of these goals will be so effective that you’ll continue them. These are some ideas that I have used as weekly goals:

  • Exercise alone or with others
  • Plan meals for the week or have your kids plan them
  • Arrange to have grocery shopping done for you or have groceries delivered
  • Hire a mother’s helper for a day this week
  • Get together for homeschool activities with another family
  • Start your homeschool day later in the morning
  • Read aloud or watch educational videos during family time, freeing up time during the day
  • Train one of your kids to help you in your business or volunteer work
  • Sign up for service activities as a family
  • Teach a subject to multiple students to save time or increase motivation
  • Trade teaching responsibilities with a friend
  • Go to bed early so you can personal time the next morning
  • Plan time to connect with your spouse in the morning or evening

Doing any of these activities is likely to have a positive impact on other areas of your life or homeschool. See my book The Organized Homeschool Life for even more ideas and the associated planner for a way to regularly plan weekly goals.

Conclusion

If you ask yourself what created stress for you last year, what can you do to prevent or cope with stress this year, and what weekly goal will result in an improvement in your life this week, you’ll have a plan for homeschool sanity that is likely to succeed this year.

What To Do When You And Your Spouse Disagree About Discipline

Do you and your spouse disagree on discipline? If so, you’re normal, but your homeschool happiness is at risk.

A sweet couple came to my booth at the Great Homeschool Convention and asked me what to do when they didn’t agree on discipline in the moment, as in, in front of the kids. I shared a few thoughts with them but realized that this is a great topic to dig into.

I address:

  • the importance of agreeing
  • what to do if you just don’t agree
  • the attitude we should have in discussions about discipline
  • what to discuss during a meeting about discipline

With good communication, a willingness to try new approaches, and some patience, I believe that most couples can come to some agreement on discipline. For those who cannot, being consistent with your own approach will still pay more dividends than giving up.

Have a happy homeschool week!

Self-Publishing For Homeschoolers

At a recent Great Homeschool Convention, a mom asked me for the best way to have her son’s books published. This is the best time in history to become a published author. That’s because you no longer have to convince a publisher that receives thousands of manuscripts a year to choose your book. Neither do you have to pay thousands of dollars to publish the book yourself.

My guest today is Grace Walker, a homeschooled student who self-published her first book, Stardust, at just 14. You’re going to want to get your copy of this space-themed adventure novel that’s perfect for teens. But if you are interested in self-publishing for yourself or your student, you’ll want to listen to our conversation.

Sponsor

Hey, homeschoolers! Before we dive into the topic, I want to thank CTC Math for sponsoring this episode of The Homeschool Sanity Show.

Finding a math curriculum that works for your family can be a challenge! With CTCMath, all of your kids from K-12 can learn at their own pace with one family subscription. That’s right! With a CTCMath membership, you have access to all grades and lessons, which means your children can work at whatever level is best for them. Whether your kid needs to catch up, keep up, or move ahead, with CTCMath they can finally understand math and work at their own pace. CTCMath is offering listeners a half-price discount plus a bonus 6 months when you register for a 12-month membership. Yep. That means you have access to a complete online homeschool math curriculum for all your kids for 18 months!

Self-Publishing Resources

Stardust (on Homeschool Sanity)

Kindle Direct Publishing

Canva

Self-publishing group on Facebook

Tips for Aspiring Writers