Not “Back to School” Traditions

We have been homeschooling for over 15 years now. A lot of moms enjoy planning and organizing for their homeschool year and are excited to get back to school. I personally enjoy NOT going back to school! When summer wraps up, and the local schools go back into session, it is my favorite time of year!

Find out about our special Not Back to School Tradition and be inspired to create some of your own. #notbacktoschool #homeforlearning #homeschoolfamily

Most families have a first day of school tradition:

I have always enjoyed celebrating the first day of school with my children. We start our homeschool on Labor Day. Most times my husband has the day off so he can start our school day with us and help to lay down the rules and pray with us on our first day. He will usually go and get donuts, or we will cook a big breakfast.

After breakfast, we give them some first day of school gifts. These are usually school supplies, a homeschool t-shirt or a new water bottle. It’s like Christmas though, and they get so excited and look forward to their gifts! Then we ease into school with the annual first day of school photos. We start our day with prayer, introduce the new subjects and things we will be learning and we get to work!

We have a special “Not Back to School” Tradition as well:

Our family really enjoys camping. We have a camper that we take out often. Camping can be such a fun vacation or staycation for your family. It is inexpensive and there are great memories that can be made. Some people stress out with camping, and yes, it can be stressful getting everything packed up and set up. Once we are finally there we can breathe, relax and enjoy our family!

Since we love camping so much, and we don’t start school until Labor Day, we decided to start the tradition of a “Not Back to School” Camping Trip! We live in Florida, so we love to visit the fun, touristy places that have water or pools,  that are usually busy all summer. Come back to school time, these places are dead! Since we are not going back to school, it is the perfect time to visit these crowded locations. We enjoy camping at Fort Wilderness at Disney World, or at campgrounds on the beach that are usually booked up months in advance. End of August is usually the slow, low peak season and you can find some great deals. You will also find almost empty campgrounds. It’s the perfect time to camp, or hang out on the beach, or visit a waterpark.

We even get our oldest involved with us. We plan our trip a few days before his college classes start back up so that he can come with us. It is a cherished time together as a family. We plan a special dinner out, plan fun campfire meals, and sight seeing and local activities. Since we live in Florida, we make sure to plan a bunch of these around water because it is still super hot! When we come back, we still have a full week after our trip so that I can finish my homeschool planning. I come back refreshed and ready to say goodbye to summer and take on the new school year!

If you enjoy camping with your family you will also enjoy these posts:

Activities Kids Love – camping is a favorite!

101 Staycation Ideas – a staycation is a great “not back to school” tradition!

Teamwork Wilderness Adventure – this is a fun podcast, and would be a great tradition for older teens.

Here are some other fun ideas for “not back to school” traditions:

  • Not Back to School Waterpark Trip – lots of my friends here in Florida, will visit a waterpark on the first day of school.
  • Not Back to School Amusement Park Trip – if you can save up some of your vacation money, visiting an amusement park during the first week of school will guarantee low crowds!
  • Special Lunch out to a busy restaurant – pick a fun, busy restaurant and go during the middle of the week, during the day to celebrate not going back to school
  • Movie Day – go see a popular summer hit in the middle of the day, when everyone else is in school!
  • Beach or Lake Day – visit a beach, lake or spring and enjoy no crowds!
  • I love this tradition from Felice – “We would always go the beach the end of summer each year for dinner. There is a favorite pizza place right by the beach. After dinner, we would take our pictures dressed up with the beach in the background to mark our new year. Then we would go get ice cream!”

What are some of your favorite “Not Back to School” Traditions? We would love to hear them in the comment section!

FREE All About Teaching Planner Guide and Learning Printables for Kids

Summer is almost over, and that means that many of us have either already started school, or we are planning to very soon. Homeschool planning can be very exciting, it can also be nerve wracking and overwhelming if you are a beginner. FREE All About Teaching Planner Guide and Learning Printables for Kids #ultimatehomeschoolpodcastnetwork #UHPN #freehomeschoolplanners #homeschoolprintables

We have many veterans here at the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network that are here to encourage you that you can do this! Maybe you have been doing this homeschooling thing for awhile now and are discouraged or burnt out. We are here to inspire you to keep fighting the good fight and to continue this journey with some new tips and helps. Homeschooling is such a blessing because it allows us the freedom to teach our children in a way that they learn best. It gives us amazing opportunities to let them express themselves in the safety of their own homes and the freedom and time to pursue those interests.

Felice’s own daughter began writing her very first novel at 12 years old because she was passionate about writing. She didn’t know how to write a book, or what was involved in doing so, but together they figured out! They were so successful with this endeavor that she went on to write a trilogy of creation science books for other homeschoolers! Not only did they add more books to the series, Felice was so inspired by her own daughter that they went on to write study guides, and create an entire membership platform which includes all of the books. You can find all of those amazing resources on our Membership Site HERE.

This month’s printable pack shares their story, and it encourages you to allow your children the freedom to create and learn from their experiences in your homeschool. You will be inspired by Felice’s stories of how different her children are, and where they are at in their adult lives now, and be encouraged in your journey. Not only is there encouragement and prayers for your new school year, there are over 50 printables to help you along the way. I especially love the teaching tips! In addition to encouragement and helps for you, there are always fun printables included to keep your kids busy while you pray over and plan for your new school year!

Included in this month’s printable pack is:

  • Planner for School
  • Goals for the New School Year
  • Teaching Tips
  • Teaching with Laughter
  • Wonder Bubbles
  • Memory Work
  • Printable Check off Lists
  • Printable Journaling Pages
  • Scripture Copywork
  • Fun Printable Sheets
  • And Much More!

You can receive this printable pack and a new freebie bonus pack each month by clicking HERE to sign up now!

Get a Personalized and Custom Home Education with Bridgeway Academy

If you have multiple children that you are homeschooling, you know that every child has a different way of learning and taking in information. There can be lots of struggles and tears when your child isn’t being taught the way that they learn best. This is also how so many children can slip through the cracks in a school classroom setting. The beauty of homeschooling is that we can absolutely tailor our children’s education to be the best personal fit for them.

Get a Personalized and Custom Home Education with Bridgeway Academy #bridgewayhomeschoolacademy #bridgewayproud #homeschoolpodcastnetwork

If you have been homeschooling for any amount of time you know how overwhelming it can be to try to come up with curriculum that is the perfect fit for your children. This is why I am excited to share an amazing resource that we found that will do all the hard work for you! Bridgeway Academy was founded in 1989 and is a long distance, accredited academy for grades K-12. They understand that every child learns differently and they have come up with a wonderful solution with their homeschool program.

With their distance learning homeschool academy, you will get a personalized and custom home education for your children. With options to pick and choose the classes that will be the best fit for your children is a way to tailor their education just for them. They have classes for visual learners, auditory learners, and kinesthetic learners. Bridgeway Academy has so much flexibility because they understand that there is not a one size fits all curriculum!

You can choose from:

Unique Homeschool Programs

There are two different types of customized homeschool programs. Choose from the option of different curriculum kits and textbooks tailored to your children’s specific learning style. You can also choose from the popular online homeschool courses to mix and match your child’s education. These online courses have a live teacher and other children in an online classroom setting. There are tons of courses to choose from that are as unique are your child. They offer courses for Kindergarten up through the 12th grade.

Private Homeschool Academy

Bridgeways’s private homeschool academy gives you all the benefits of a private school education with the flexibility of school at home! Being an accredited private school, you know that you are protected as a private school. There is no need to worry about keeping track of your records. This is great for a family that may have two working parents and doesn’t have the extra time to teach. It also works well for a parent who needs some extra help with record keeping and guidance.

What is so special about this academy is that it will give your child a personalized and custom home education. With each Total Care Package that will be designed to your child’s learning style. It includes everything you need to homeschool them. All the curriculum, grading, record keeping and support from an academic advisor all year long.

Get a Personalized and Custom Home Education with Bridgeway Academy #bridgewayhomeschoolacademy #bridgewayproud #homeschoolpodcastnetwork

If you are a busy, homeschooling parent who would like some help tailoring their child’s education in a hands-off way, then Bridgeway Academy may be the perfect fit for you!

Find out how you can get started building a personalized and custom home education for your children HERE!

FREE Fun For Kids Planner

Summer is in full swing around here. We are always looking for fun things for our kids to do on these long summer days. We also like to work on activities that go along with a special theme for that month.

Some families may be doing light school work over the summer while others take the entire summer off for vacation. Regardless of what you choose to do, it always seems like kids find themselves bored during the hot summer months. This month we have you covered with fun activities to keep your kids from saying the dreaded words: “I’m bored”! 

This month’s subscriber bonus planner is packed full of activities for your kids to do with an underlying theme of truth, honor and conviction to focus on the important holiday we celebrate every July. What do the words truth, honor and conviction really mean? We can apply these to our every day lives, but when looking at the heritage of the United States of America and the cost of freedom and lives lost, it takes on a new meaning.

Our children need to learn the importance of their American heritage and you can help them with these fun question and answer activities and worksheets included. There are over 67 pages of summer planning helps, patriotic activities and even school planning for parents!

Included in this month’s printable pack is:

  • Planner for School
  • Puzzles for Kids
  • Party Planning
  • Patriotic Activities
  • Journal
  • Scripture Copywork
  • Fun Worksheets
  • Activities kids will love to do
  • And much more!

You can receive this printable pack and a new freebie bonus pack each month by clicking HERE to sign up now!

Since this month’s focus is on Truth, Honor and Conviction you will enjoy these podcasts and posts:

Military Mom to Be is an episode of Vintage Homeschool Moms that an honest portrayal of one mom’s journey to becoming a military mom.

10 Top Tips for Teaching Patriotism – Feeling united about a common cause is patriotic and our children can enjoy them even better if we focus on some key points. Enjoy these top tips to teach your children about patriotism.

The Truth Seekers Mystery Series Perfect for Summer Reading – Keys to the Past: Unlocked

The Truth Seekers Mystery Series is perfect for summer reading in your homeschool. We enjoy lots of reading over the summer and like to keep track of how many books we have read and discover new books. We choose books that have value and substance. I just don’t want them to read twaddle, but to read something they can learn from and enjoy. The Truth Seekers Mystery books fit this perfectly. Your tweens and teens will be kept on the edge of their seats with these books! They will enjoy the adventure aspect as well as learning about creationism and how to refute evolution at the same time!

The Truth Seekers Mystery Series is perfect for summer reading in your homeschool. Keys to the Past: Unlocked is a great summer book choice for your teens.

 

About The Truth Seekers Mystery Series:

We have been highlighting  The Truth Seekers Mystery Series on our blog the past couple of months. Each month we have been highlighting a new book in the series. This is a unique series. It is not just an adventure novel, it also has a Christian, Creation Science worldview. This is why these novels teach truth and justice. They teach your children how to defend their beliefs. What makes this series special is that it was written by a homeschool mother daughter team Felice and Christina Gerwitz. Her daughter decided at 15 years old that she wanted to write an adventure mystery book and the series began!

Keys to the Past: Unlocked is the third book in the series.

More Homeschool Adventures:

The Murphy teens are always getting into some kind of trouble. If your children have been following the series for awhile it won’t come as a surprise when they are thrown into another exciting adventure. The teens accompany their father on a special assignment to document the salvaging of a sunken Spanish wreck found off the coast of Key Largo. They make a new friend and find themselves in trouble again! The trouble starts when they begin helping their friend dig for answers surrounding the tragic accident that involved her own father. You will soon see that their discovery puts them in danger while seeking out the truth.

You will love the setting for this book. The location for this book can’t be beat as it covers a famous summer vacation locale in the Florida Keys. Your teens will be pulled in as they uncover a mysterious artifact that has the answers they have been looking for. This book is full of deep sea diving adventures, pirates, and finding evidence of the age of the earth in the deep-sea core drillings done by the scientists.

You can purchase the Keys to the Past: Unlocked paperback HERE and you will be excited to see that it is discounted to only $5.50 for a summer special!

More Resources:

Literature Guide:

This book is wonderful by itself, but if you are wanting to add a more educational spin to it, you will enjoy the addition of the Keys to the Past: Unlocked Literature Study Guide. This study guide has everything you need enhance the educational value of the novel. It is great to aid in reading comprehension skills with the reading comprehension questions. There are pre-reading research activities for the student who likes to research and dig deeper into topics. It is full of critical thinking questions, vocabulary words and fill-in-the-blank questions with an included answer key. The literature guide will help lead your teens through the novel every step of the way. I believe this would work well to add to a morning time, or family reading study over the summer.

You can purchase the Keys to the Past: Unlocked Literature Study Guide HERE. This is the paperback guide and it’s on sale for only $4.99 this summer only!

Podcasts:

Truth Seekers Mystery Series: Teach Creation with Novels – in this podcast Felice interviews her co-author and very own daughter. Join them as Christina discusses her homeschool experience growing up. She shares how the series came out of an idea for fun into a full fledged series with three novels!

Teach Creation to Kids With a Novel – Creation Science is a great subject to teach your children. On this podcast, Felice and Christina discuss exactly how to teach creation science to your kids using the novel and the companion literature guide.

 

FREE Summer Staycation Guide and Printables

Summer is here and for many of us that means you are ready to start planning some type of summer vacation. A vacation is a great way to take a break from the long school year, to relax with your family without having to teach.

This month's FREE subscriber bonus is just what you need to plan an amazing memory filled staycation for your family with our FREE Summer Staycation Guide and Printables. #summerfunathome #staycation #staycationguide

Summer vacations can be costly though, and unless you have been financially planning for one for a very long time, they can be hard to do last minute. They are even harder to do when you have a large family and are a one income family on a budget. If you have been wanting to plan a vacation with your family, but are nervous of the cost, you should consider taking a staycation instead! This month’s FREE subscriber bonus is just what you need to plan a fun, memory filled staycation for your family with our FREE Summer Staycation Guide and Printables.

You don’t have to leave home or spend money on an expensive vacation for your family to have a good time together. Some of the best memories can be created in your own hometown, supporting local business, exploring the city you live in, and relaxing right in your back yard. Summertime is great for making memories with your family and this guide will help you with your planning. There are over 50 pages of planning helps, crafts, activities and projects to help you create some amazing memories with your family this summer.

Included in this month’s printable pack is:

  • 100’s of Staycation ideas
  • A Staycation planner
  • Printable staycation brainstorming idea list
  • Fun Activity Sheets
  • Summer Activities that kids will love
  • Backyard Events
  • Party Planning Printables and Ideas
  • Encouraging words of wisdom and advice and so much more!

We hope that this guide is helpful to planning a frugal staycation with your family and creating some wonderful memories this summer. Please let us know in the comments which ideas you liked the best, and what your favorite staycations are.

You can receive this printable pack and a new freebie bonus pack each month by clicking HERE to sign up now!

These are only available for a limited time only!

 

 

 

The Truth Seekers Mystery Series Great for Summer Reading – Dinosaur Quest at Diamond Peak

The Truth Seekers Mystery Series is the perfect summer read for your teens and tweens.  That’s right, summertime is almost here and it’s time to think about summer reading! Many families enjoy taking a summer break, but still want to get some reading and educational time in over the summer. Summer is a great time to cool off by the pool, or at the beach, with a good book. Our kids love reading whenever it’s too hot to play outside.

Truth Seekers Mystery Series | Excellent summer reading novels

About The Truth Seekers Mystery Series

We have been highlighting some wonderful summer reading books on the blog. The Truth Seekers Mystery Series is educational and exciting! The series is full of adventure with a Christian worldview. What’s so special about this series is that it was written by Felice Gerwitz and her daughter, Christina. Christina started writing the series when she was only 15 years old!

Dinosaur Quest at Diamond Peak is the second book in the series.

Homeschool Adventurers at Diamond Peak

If your kids like adventure novels, they will enjoy this book. A turn of events pushes the Murphy teens into the middle of a paleontological dig near the summit of Diamond Peak in the Rocky Mountain National Park.  This heart-stopping suspense story takes these teens mountain climbing, skydiving and uncovering the mysteries that surround this T-Rex dig site. They must avoid the danger around them while defending their faith. They find their knowledge of science is powerful against those who are challenging their faith with evolutionary beliefs.

You can purchase the Dinosaur Quest at Diamond Peak paperback HERE.

More Resources

This book is a great stand-alone leisure read, but the creation science topic will be further enhanced when you use the companion Dinosaur Quest at Diamond Peak Literature Study Guide. This study guide has everything you need to add even more educational value to this adventure novel. There are pre-reading research activities, literary devices, reading comprehension questions to help with accountability, critical thinking questions, a list of vocabulary words, fill-in-the-blank questions with an answer key and so much more! It will help lead your children through the novel so that they receive an amazing reading and learning experience!

This would be fun as a family read-aloud summer activity as well.

You can purchase the Dinosaur Quest at Diamond Peak Literature Study Guide HERE.

If you plan on taking a family vacation to the Rocky Mountains, the book and study guide would make a great addition to your trip!

These podcasts from The Creation Science Podcast will be great to listen to before reading the book:

Truth Seekers Mystery Series: Teach Creation with Novels – in this podcast, Felice interviews her co-author and daughter! Christina shares her homeschool experience and how the series evolved from an idea to three books in the series.

Teach Creation to Kids With a Novel – Felice and Christina discuss how to teach creation science to your kids using the novel and literature guide.

The Cover of Book 2 in the Truth Seekers Mystery Series

FREE Bonuses for Mom with Purchase of One More Child

One More Child is a testimony and memoir of author, Felice Gerwitz. She pours her heart out to her readers in this new book as she shares snippets of her life growing up in an Italian Catholic family in the era of 1970’s. With her story she shares the encouragement and the hope that only comes from God. In honor of Mother’s Day, and for the entire month of May, when you purchase this brand new book  you will get a bundle of gifts perfect for any mom!

This beautiful and entertaining book celebrates the gifts of family and children. It is Felice’s story, but it contains a message that will resonate with anyone who struggles with the often-conflicting messages about family life that are promoted to parents today. The author doesn’t claim to have all the answers; instead in each page, she encourages the reader to be open to the will of God in every area of life, including family planning.

You will be blown away by all of the amazing resources being offered for FREE with a purchase! You will recognize these popular Christian mentors, authors and podcasters who have donated their resources as a special gift to you.

FREE BONUS GIFTS:

  •  A free one day pass for coaching and mentoring with Marnie Swedberg
  • From Frazzled to Focused an e-book by Mary Jo Tate with helpful advice on getting control of your life and living with less stress accomplishing more.
  • Take Charge of Your Life an e-book from Lucia Claborn with helpful tips on overcoming procrastination.
  • Mixed Messages: Teaching Kids Discernment audio by Tyler Hogan, Bright Ideas Press

PLUS Audio & e-books from Felice herself:

  • Refresh and Restore For Moms – includes 10 audio workshops and two e-books focused on helping you simplify your life and find refreshment and restoration!
  • Gain More Time Bundle – includes 8 audio teachings along with printables and the Super Salads e-books with healthy recipes and the e-book Simplify Your Life for Greater Productivity.
  • Transformation – these audios and e-books are designed to help you zero in on transforming your thinking. This bundle includes topics on health, tranquility, and productivity – all delivered in Felice’s encouraging and motivational speaking and writing style.
  • The Lessons From Home Bundle – 10 audio workshops including topics on home-based businesses, organization, discipline, and parenting, how to teach money management and more.

The free bonus gifts with purchase are only available for a limited time, so hurry and GRAB YOUR COPY of this new book with all the freebies now!

 

FREE Just for Mom Printable Pack and Fun Stuff for the Kids

May is here, and I think it is one of the busiest and event filled months. It is almost the middle of the year, but it is also the end of a school year for many, as well as lots of end of the year events that are going on. It is such a busy, happy time full of celebrations. One of these holidays that is right in the middle of all of the other important events is Mother’s Day!

Sometimes when we are busy planning, organizing and coordinating important events and homeschooling, we tend to put ourselves on the back burner. When there are so many things to cross off the to do list the last thing we think about is doing something for us. We know how hard you work moms, that’s why we have decided to devote the entire month of May to you! We will be sharing lots of podcasts on our social media networks that are devoted just to you. They are full of encouragement for mothers, with tips and ideas to help your important job to be easier and more manageable.

Felice has devoted this month’s printable to you as well. There are over 50 pages, including a precious letter of love and encouragement. There are even some fun things for you to give your kids to do while you relax, sit back and read this packet that was created specifically for you!

Included in this month’s printable pack is:

  • Special Letter for Mom
  • Printable Charts
  • Mental Fatigue Solutions
  • Procrastination Solutions
  • Planning Mother’s Day and Gifts
  • Praise and Thanksgiving Journal
  • Checklist for Mom
  • Keys to Confidence
  • 4 Square Planner
  • End of School Year Checklist
  • Fun Recyclable Projects
  • Write a Mother’s Day Letter
  • Card Templates
  • Praise Journal Templates
  • Historic May Events
  • American Flag Report
  • Lewis and Clark Timeline
  • Scripture Copywork

We really hope that you take the time to pour a cup of coffee or tea,  sit back and enjoy reading and being refreshed. I plan on printing some of the Mother’s Day card templates to have my husband give the kids to work on too. Please let us know what you loved the most, and what printables were the most helpful to you!

You can receive this printable pack and a new freebie bonus pack each month by clicking HERE to sign up now!

Available for a limited time only!

 

The Truth Seeker Mystery Series Great for Summer Reading: The Missing Link Found

Spring is upon us, and summer is right around the corner. During the summer many families take time off from homeschooling or do some light school while pursuing other educational interests. I personally love to add in extra reading material that we wouldn’t normally get to during the school year. If you are looking for some summer reading that is educational, exciting and has a Christian world view you will love the Truth Seekers Mystery Series!

 

The Truth Seekers Mystery Series was written by Felice Gerwitz and her daughter Christina when she was only 17 years old! If you have teens that enjoy writing, they will love that this was written by a fellow homeschooler.

The Missing Link: Found is the first book in the series.

If you have a child that enjoys any type of mystery, or action/adventure suspense novels they will have a lot of fun with this book. Travel along with the Murphy family as they vacation in the Florida Keys. This vacation is full of adventure, mystery and suspense. Follow along as they face a deadly illness, mistaken identity, rare coins, a startling discovery, and an encounter with the FBI! Your tweens and teens will be immediately drawn in to the excitement and adventure of this story as the Murphy’s search for the truth to refute evolution. I love how they won’t even realize that they are learning science and creationism at the same time!

You can purchase The Missing Link: Found paperback HERE.

This book is great as a stand alone novel, but the learning can be further enhanced with the companion The Missing Link: Found Literature Study Guide. This study guide has pre-reading research activities, literary devices, accountability reading comprehension questions, critical thinking questions, vocabulary words, fill in the blanks and more! There are even photographs of a real archaeology dig, which really makes the book come alive.  This guide would be fun to do in a family study setting as well as a summer reading assignment.

You can purchase The Missing Link: Found Literature Study Guide HERE.

These podcasts from The Creation Science Podcast will be great to listen to before reading the book:

Truth Seekers Mystery Series: Teach Creation with Novels – in this podcast Felice interviews her co-author and daughter! Christina shares her homeschool experience and how the series evolved from an idea to three books in the series.

Teach Creation to Kids With a Novel – Felice and Christina discuss how to teach creation science to your kids using the novel and literature guide.