God’s Word in Your Homeschool

Hey, homeschoolers! If you’re a Christian homeschooler, you know you want the Bible to be the cornerstone of what you teach. My guest today is going to help us with that. I met Catherine Zoller at the Great Homeschool Convention in St. Louis. Speaking of the Great Homeschool Conventions. I’ll be in Round Rock, Texas, and Jacksonville, Florida this month. Please come by the Grammar Galaxy Books booth to say hi. I watched Catherine chat with her booth mates the first evening and day of the St. Louis conference, but I said nothing to her. Then on Saturday morning, I parked my car near hers. You can’t miss her car because it has the most engaging wrap on it that advertises her books. I clearly felt the Lord nudge me to introduce myself to her. Am I ever glad I did! I learned all about Catherine’s line of Bible books that my kids would have loved; I got to hear her jaw-dropping life story; and most importantly, I made a new friend. I had to ask her to join me on the podcast.

Sponsor

Are you looking for a new Math Curriculum?

CTCMath specializes in providing online video tutorials that take a multi-sensory approach to learning. Favorably reviewed in Cathy Duffy’s 102 Top Picks and The Old Schoolhouse Crew Review, the lessons are short and concise to help your children break down concepts and appreciate math in a whole new way!

The lessons are taught the traditional way, not to a “test”. Each one of the video tutorials is taught by an internationally acclaimed teacher, Pat Murray, who is renowned for teaching math concepts in a simple, easy-to-understand way (and in only a few minutes at a time). CTC Math uses a multi-sensory approach, having the combination of effective graphics and animation synchronized with the voice of a friendly teacher together with practical assessment. This three-pronged attack makes learning so much easier and more effective. Even students who struggled with math are getting fantastic results! And those who were doing OK before are now doing brilliantly. Visit ctcmath.com today to start your free trial. Join me next time as we discuss easy ways to include fitness in your homeschool. Have a happy homeschool week!

Advice For Aspiring Writers

Hey, homeschoolers! I met Phil and Erin Ulrich at the Great Homeschool Convention in South Carolina. I fell in love with their books and Phil’s writing story. I invited him to join me on the podcast to discuss advice for aspiring writers. I know many of you would like to write or have kids who love it.

Before I share this inspiring interview, I want to thank my sponsor for this podcast: Voyage Course.

The transition from high school to adult life is a major one. How can you make sure that your student is well prepared for the leap? By accessing the right resources! Voyage is an interactive, online program that walks high school students through key skills they need to transition into adulthood well. Whether they are trying to figure out a career, exploring a college path, or simply seeking to learn adult life skills, Voyage has the tools and lessons to help equip them for their journey. With five interactive modules covering personal development, career planning, college planning, financial responsibility, and everyday life skills, Voyage is designed for self-paced, independent learning, and it’s an affordable course at only $60 for all 5 modules!

Learn more about the course at thriveacademics.com/voyage-course.

Advice for Aspiring Writers

Phil and I discussed:

  • His fascinating journey to becoming a writer
  • The surprising focus every aspiring writer must have
  • Where the idea for Growly Books came from

Giveaway

You can find links to freebies, information about the Growly Books, and some special offers at GrowlyBooks.com/sanity. Enter the giveaway for a full set of books with personalized inscription, three freamable illustrations, books, and stickers by commenting with what interests you about the books here.

Thanks again to Voyage Course for sponsoring this episode. Have a happy homeschool week!

How To Make Your Homeschool A Heck-Yes

Hey, homeschoolers! You may know that I am a big fan of fashion. Ever since being introduced to Get Your Pretty On with Alison Lumbatis, I love putting pieces from my closet, thrift shops, and other stores together to create a capsule wardrobe. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, I encourage you to listen to the interview I did with Alison.

Get Your pretty On has not only changed the way I dress, but it has changed the way I think about myself and my life. That’s what this episode is all about. I’m going to help you make your homeschool a heck-yes. In the meantime, I encourage you to check out the summer capsule wardrobe list that is available now. Check it out by going to Psychowith6.com/GYPO. If a seasonal wardrobe is not what you’re looking for, I highly recommend the Closet Staples list that you will find at the same link.

If it’s not a heck-yes, it’s a no.

One of Alison’s foundational principles in choosing clothing is if it’s not a heck-yes, it’s a no. It’s taken me nearly three years, but I finally determined warning signs that a piece of clothing is not a heck-yes for me. These are the seven signs.

  1. It only looks good when I stand or sit a certain way.
  2. It doesn’t look good in a selfie.
  3. I keep messing with it.
  4. I wish it was different in some way and keep looking for an alternative.
  5. I keep wondering if it’s the wrong size, length, color, or style for me.
  6. I don’t want to wear it right away.
  7. I’m uncomfortable in it or relieved to take it off.

At this point you may be wondering what this has to do with homeschooling? It wasn’t long after I made my list of signs that an item wasn’t a heck-yes that I realized the concept applied to homeschooling and life.

How to make your curriculum a heck-yes.

Let’s start with curriculum, as I know many of you are on the hunt right now. The appearance aspects of heck-yes probably don’t apply, but I’m looking at sign #4. It applies to curriculum in a big way.

If you wish a curriculum was different in some way and you keep looking for an alternative, it’s not a heck-yes for you. It may be a heck-yes for all of your friends, but not for you. Don’t worry. I’m going to help ease the pain of admitting you made the wrong choice in a bit.

What about the style of your curriculum? Do you keep wondering if it’s the right one? Are you worried that it will be too dull or too time-intensive? Perhaps you plan to unschool without traditional curriculum and you’re worried about that. If you keep having these thoughts, the curriculum or homeschool style may not be a heck-yes for you.

Let’s move to the next sign it’s not a heck-yes: You aren’t excited to get started. Other things you have, you look forward to using. But not this one. It may not be a heck-yes.

Sign #7 for my clothing choices is that I’m uncomfortable in it or relieved to take it off. With curriculum, you need to try it out to be sure. Do a sample lesson if you haven’t purchased yet or get started if you have. Try a week of unschooling. Are you happy to be done with it? Does it feel uncomfortable? If so, it may not be a heck-yes.

I don’t mean to suggest that the right curriculum will be rainbows and unicorns every day. It won’t. I get tired of even the best pieces of clothing. But something my mom said to me years ago when I was dating Mr. Wrong in grad school came to mind with respect to clothing. I kept telling my mom we were working on the relationship. She said, “You shouldn’t have to work on the relationship from the beginning.”

My clothing choices shouldn’t be work to look and feel good from the get-go, and neither should your curriculum. It should feel smooth and comfortable. But what if you’re trying a whole new approach to homeschooling, you may ask. I can relate to that with clothing, too. It felt odd to wear mules and tops that required a strapless bra at first. That’s fine. But I shouldn’t be wishing these pieces were different and relieved to take them off. A new approach to teaching may be a heck-yes for you, but not if you can’t wait to finish using it.

How to cope with curriculum that isn’t a heck-yes

When I started using these rules with clothing, I felt awful at first. I had spent loads of time and money on things I couldn’t return. It was embarrassing honestly. But here’s how I felt better about it and how you can, too.

First, I can sell things that aren’t heck-yeses. There are many ways to sell your curriculum. Here’s a comprehensive list I made for how to do that.

Second, I can donate things that aren’t heck-yeses. I love to thrift shop and get a thrill when I find something beautiful for a bargain. Giving my clothes away potentially gives another woman that experience. The same list gives you options for donating curriculum as well. What isn’t a heck-yes for you may well be for someone else.

Third, I recognize what I’ve learned. I don’t buy shirts with crew necks anymore, for example. You’ll know that certain types of curriculum just aren’t for you going forward–even if your friends love it. It will save you trememndous time, money, and regret.

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By the way, not finding a heck-yes language arts curriculum is what drove me to create Grammar Galaxy. I wish I would have had it for all my kids, but I needed to learn before I could write it. You’re becoming an expert in what works for your family, too. The 7th-grade volume of Grammar Galaxy called Nova is now available. It is a review and expansion of the concepts taught in the first three volumes. It includes optional advanced writing projects with each unit. Find a complete sample to try at FunToLearnBooks.com/samples. I hope it is a heck-yes for you!

How to apply the heck-yes philosophy to the rest of your life.

We can have similar rules for determining when a relationship, schedule, or activity isn’t a heck-yes. I once had a friend who made me feel bad about myself every time I was with her. It was not a heck-yes friendship. If I never want to follow my schedule, it’s not a heck-yes and needs to be changed. And if an activity doesn’t make me happy after I’ve completed it, it’s not a heck-yes.

I even applied this heck-yes philosophy to my habits. Here are some that are not heck-yeses for me:

  • Checking email and social media in the morning.
  • Eating chocolate after meals.
  • Going to bed after 11 p.m.

Conclusion

I hope I have you thinking about what is and is not a heck-yes in your wardrobe, your curriculum, and your life. Even though it can be painful to recognize that you’ve invested time or money into something that doesn’t work, the lessons you learn can be invaluable. Have a happy homeschool week!

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OT In Your Homeschool

Hey, homeschoolers! You may be like me and wonder exactly what occupational therapy is and how it can be of benefit in your homeschool. In this episode, I interview Sarah Collins. I think you’re going to love her!
Before I do, though, I want to thank my sponsor CTC Math.
Are you looking for a new Math Curriculum? CTCMath specializes in providing online video tutorials that take a multi-sensory approach to learning. Favorably reviewed in Cathy Duffy’s 102 Top Picks and The Old Schoolhouse Crew Review, the lessons are short and concise to help your children break down concepts and appreciate math in a whole new way! The lessons are taught the traditional way, not to a “test”. Each one of the video tutorials is taught by an internationally acclaimed teacher, Pat Murray, who is renowned for teaching math concepts in a simple, easy-to-understand way (and in only a few minutes at a time). CTC Math uses a multi-sensory approach, having the combination of effective graphics and animation synchronized with the voice of a friendly teacher together with practical assessment. This three-pronged attack makes learning so much easier and more effective. Even students who struggled with math are getting fantastic results! And ones who were doing OK before are now doing brilliantly. Visit ctcmath.com today to start your free trial. Now for my interview with Sarah Collins. 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.

In this interview on homeschooling OT, Sarah and I discussed:

*what OT is and how it relates to homeschooling *how to know when to seek out OT *how to find an OT *how to advocate for your child with an OT an other professionals

Conclusion

Find Sarah on Facebook and Instagram or email her at sarah at homeschoolOT.com. Join me next time as we discuss how to make your homeschool a heck-yes. Have a happy homeschool week!

6 Lessons My Homeschool Mentor Taught Me

Hey, homeschoolers! Today I want to share with you some powerful lessons my homeschool mentor taught me. I didn’t know I needed a homeschool mentor after teaching for two decades. But I did and God provided one. I think you’ll be blessed to hear what she’s taught me.
Before we jump in, I want to thank my sponsor: CTC Math.
Are you looking for a new Math Curriculum? CTCMath specializes in providing online video tutorials that take a multi-sensory approach to learning. Favorably reviewed in Cathy Duffy’s 102 Top Picks and The Old Schoolhouse Crew Review, the lessons are short and concise to help your children break down concepts and appreciate math in a whole new way! The lessons are taught the traditional way, not to a “test”. Each one of the video tutorials is taught by an internationally acclaimed teacher, Pat Murray, who is renowned for teaching math concepts in a simple, easy-to-understand way (and in only a few minutes at a time). CTC Math uses a multi-sensory approach, having the combination of effective graphics and animation synchronized with the voice of a friendly teacher together with practical assessment. This three-pronged attack makes learning so much easier and more effective. Even students who struggled with math are getting fantastic results! And ones who were doing OK before are now doing brilliantly. Visit ctcmath.com today to start your free trial. Before I tell you the lessons my mentor taught me, I have to tell you how we met. I was in the valley. It was 2019. My husband had had a stroke, dear friends and family members had been diagnosed with cancer, my kids had made some choices that made me feel like a failure, and the day before, my new puppy had died. I was at a volleyball match out of town and had just learned that the only mom I chatted with wasn’t going to be there. I walked into the gym and the woman called me up to sit next to her and her husband. I knew that they had homeschooled their 11 children and that their youngest was on my daughter’s volleyball team. I noticed that she was always stylishly dressed, but that’s all I knew. I don’t remember any of the small talk we made before she taught me my first lesson. It was this:

#1 God loves you.

Read the blog post

Conclusion

If Sandy could sit with you, she would tell you that God loves you soooo much, despite the truth that you and your children are dirty, rotten sinners. She would tell you that you need more time in the Word to finish this race. She would encourage you to pray that you would do your husband good all the days of your life. And no matter what you and your children are facing, she would tell you there is still hope. Thanks again to my sponsor, CTC Math. I will be back next month with a new episode. Have a happy homeschool week!

How To Raise Children You Enjoy

Hey, homeschoolers! I attended the Great Homeschool Convention in St. Charles, Missouri and met Marisa Boonstra in the booth next to me. When I saw that she taught a course called Raising Children You Enjoy, I had to have her on the podcast. I enjoy my children and consider it one of the great blessings of homeschooling. I want that for you, too.

Before I introduce Marissa, I want to thank my sponsor, CTC Math.

Are you looking for a new Math Curriculum?

CTCMath specializes in providing online video tutorials that take a multi-sensory approach to learning. Favorably reviewed in Cathy Duffy’s 102 Top Picks and The Old Schoolhouse Crew Review, the lessons are short and concise to help your children break down concepts and appreciate math in a whole new way!

The lessons are taught the traditional way, not to a “test”.

Each one of the video tutorials is taught by an internationally acclaimed teacher, Pat Murray, who is renowned for teaching math concepts in a simple, easy-to-understand way (and in only a few minutes at a time). CTC Math uses a multi-sensory approach, having the combination of effective graphics and animation synchronized with the voice of a friendly teacher together with practical assessment. This three-pronged attack makes learning so much easier and more effective. Even students who struggled with math are getting fantastic results! And ones who were doing OK before are now doing brilliantly.

Visit ctcmath.com today to start your free trial.

Raising Children You Enjoy

Now let’s talk about raising children you enjoy. My guest is Marisa Boonstra, homeschooling mom of two and author of Bucking The System: Reclaiming Our Children’s Minds For Christ. She founded Called To Mothering in 2015 to encourage women to find purpose and joy in their God-given calling as mothers and equip them to fulfill the Great Commission at home. Her ministry provides moms with resources to create Christ-centered homes and raise children with a biblical worldview. A native Jersey girl and Oklahoma transplant, Marisa relies on Jesus and coffee (in that order) to get her through the day. She lives in Oklahoma City with her husband of 18 years and two amazing children.

I hope you will connect with Marisa at CalledtoMothering.com. Thanks again to CTCMath for their sponsorship. Join me next time as I share six lessons my homeschool mentor taught me. You don’t want to miss it!

Have a happy homeschool week!

How To Maintain A Strong Homeschool Marriage

Hey, homeschoolers!

I’ve done a couple of episodes on marriage over the years and I don’t think that’s nearly enough. A strong marriage is like a strong foundation for your house. Without it, your homeschool can crumble. This is not to discourage those whose marriages have ended or are in serious trouble. God is in the renovation business! He is able to make beauty from ashes. Those of us who are married need to make our marriage a priority. My guest will help us with that.

But first, I want to thank my sponsor, CTC Math.

Are you looking for a new Math Curriculum?

CTCMath specializes in providing online video tutorials that take a multi-sensory approach to learning. Favorably reviewed in Cathy Duffy’s 102 Top Picks and The Old Schoolhouse Crew Review, the lessons are short and concise to help your children break down concepts and appreciate math in a whole new way!

The lessons are taught the traditional way, not to a “test.”

Each one of the video tutorials is taught by an internationally acclaimed teacher, Pat Murray, who is renowned for teaching math concepts in a simple, easy-to-understand way (and in only a few minutes at a time). Using a multi-sensory approach having the combination of effective graphics and animation synchronized with the voice of a friendly teacher together with practical assessment. This three-pronged attack makes learning so much easier and more effective. Even students who struggled with math are getting fantastic results! And ones who were doing OK before are now doing brilliantly.

Visit c-t-c-math.com today to start your free trial.

Keeping a Strong Homeschool Marriage

Now let’s talk about homeschool marriage. My guest is Scott LaPierre. Scott is the senior pastor of Woodland Christian Church, an author, and a conference speaker. He and his wife, Katie, grew up together and God has blessed them with eight children they homeschool with a ninth on the way. Pastor Scott’s books are Christian nonfiction largely taken from his expository preaching. I know you will appreciate his counsel.

To connect with Scott and to get a FREE copy of Scott LaPierre’s book, click here: “Seven Biblical Insights for Healthy, Joyful, Christ-Centered Marriages.”

You may also like: Trusting God with Marriage or Single Parenting, How to Manage Anger in Marriage, Homeschooling Without Help, How to Find Balance as a Homeschool Mom

Thanks again to CTC Math for their sponsorship.

Have a happy homeschool week!

Teaching Homeschoolers World Government

Hey, homeschoolers!

Types of government have been in the news lately, but I’m going to be honest and say I don’t understand the forms of government that well. That’s why I invited a guest expert to explain it so we can teach our kids. To understand what’s happening in politics and world relationships, we need to start with this foundation.

But first, I want to thank my sponsor CTC Math.

Are you looking for a new Math Curriculum?

CTCMath specializes in providing online video tutorials that take a multi-sensory approach to learning. Favorably reviewed in Cathy Duffy’s 102 Top Picks and The Old Schoolhouse Crew Review, the lessons are short and concise to help your children break down concepts and appreciate math in a whole new way!

The lessons are taught the traditional way, not to a “test”.

Each one of the video tutorials is taught by an internationally acclaimed teacher, Pat Murray, who is renowned for teaching math concepts in a simple, easy-to-understand way (and in only a few minutes at a time). Using a multi-sensory approach having the combination of effective graphics and animation synchronized with the voice of a friendly teacher together with practical assessment. This three-pronged attack makes learning so much easier and more effective. Even students who struggled with math are getting fantastic results! And ones who were doing OK before are now doing brilliantly.

Visit ctcmath.com today to start your free trial.

Now let’s discuss world government. My guest today is Jessica De Gree. Jessica is a high school teacher, former homeschooling student, and the host of a new history podcast called My Life Under Communism. The podcast features interviews with residents or former residents of communist countries, allowing us to access stories of their unique experiences that shed light on an otherwise lofty and complex political term. Her family is the creator of the homeschool history publisher The Classical Historian, an award-winning history curriculum company.

I think you’ll enjoy this interview.

Thanks again to CTC Math for their sponsorship. Join me next time as we discuss how to maintain a strong homeschool marriage.

Have a happy homeschool week!

How To Manage Homeschool Mistakes

Hey, homeschoolers! I’ve been thinking a lot about mistakes in homeschooling. One reason I have is because I’ve been talking with homeschooling moms at the Great Homeschool Conventions. They’ve been asking me about their mistakes. Another reason I’ve been thinking about mistakes this because I see the end of my homeschooling years on the horizon. My youngest is a freshman this year, and it’s hard to believe we have just a little over three years remaining. I’ve been thinking about what if anything I would do differently in my homeschooling if I had the chance. The third reason I’ve been thinking about mistakes is because I talk to many parents of perfectionistic kids – kids who take all day to get things just right.

Grammar Galaxy

So I thought I would address the whole topics of mistakes in homeschooling. Before I dive in, I want to mention the elementary language arts curriculum I’ve authored — Grammar Galaxy. It’s story-based, explaining what happens to literature, spelling, vocabulary, grammar, and writing when the Gremlin tries to destroy the English language. Kids don’t complete boring workbooks. Instead, they complete missions as guardians of the galaxy, and put things back in order. Grammar Galaxy is used by thousands of students across the country and even around the world. But I’m going to tell you a secret about it. It has mistakes in it. I call them Gremlins. It seems as quickly as I correct them, the Gremlin produces more to take their place. I can be a perfectionist and I found it very difficult to publish a curriculum, knowing it wasn’t perfect. But if I had waited for perfection, I wouldn’t have written a curriculum kids and parents alike enjoy. And I wouldn’t have been living my dream of writing these past five years. With that context, I want to frame today’s topic of managing mistakes in terms of do’s and don’ts.

Resources for Managing Homeschool Mistakes

Read the blog post Great Homeschool Conventions Grammar Galaxy Perfectionism Math curriculum we used Homeschool haters Conflict resolution Doorposts parenting resource Join me next time as my guest and I discuss teaching world government. Have a happy homeschool week!

Unschooling To Prepare Teens for Life

Hey, homeschoolers! Do you have teens or will you soon? When you are homeschooling teenagers, the day they leave your home looms large. Whether they plan to attend college, begin working, or start their own business, you want to give them the best preparation possible. My guest today is going to help us prepare our kids for whatever lies ahead.

But first, I want to thank my sponsor, CTC Math.

Sponsor

Before we dive in, I want to thank my sponsor, CTC Math.

Are you looking for a new Math Curriculum?

CTCMath specializes in providing online video tutorials that take a multi-sensory approach to learning. Favorably reviewed in Cathy Duffy’s 102 Top Picks and The Old Schoolhouse Crew Review, the lessons are short and concise to help your children break down concepts and appreciate math in a whole new way!

The lessons are taught the traditional way, not to a “test”.

Each one of the video tutorials is taught by an internationally acclaimed teacher, Pat Murray, who is renowned for teaching math concepts in a simple, easy-to-understand way (and in only a few minutes at a time). Using a multi-sensory approach having the combination of effective graphics and animation synchronized with the voice of a friendly teacher together with practical assessment. This three-pronged attack makes learning so much easier and more effective. Even students who struggled with math are getting fantastic results! And ones who were doing OK before are now doing brilliantly.

Visit c-t-c-math.com today to start your free trial.

Now for today’s topic: preparing teens for life after homeschooling. My guest today is Karla Marie Williams, prolific author and homeschooling mother of six, whose new book is called Teens Unleashed. You’ll want to grab your copy and also give a listen to the excellent interview I did with Karla on unschooling.

Karla inspires me! If you’re not following her on social media, you’ll want to do that today. Find Karla on Facebook and Instagram.

Thanks again to CTC Math for sponsoring this episode. Join me next time as I discuss mistakes in homeschooling. Have a happy homeschool week.