FREE November Planner with Stress Free Checklist and Printables

November is finally here, and that means that the holiday season is kicking off for many of us already! I can not believe that the year is almost over. It seems like we have all just gotten into a good routine with our new homeschool year, and now we throw the holidays into the mix! What is a busy homeschooling mama to do?

FREE November Planner and Holiday Tips and Printables to help your holidays be stress free. #uhpn #homeschoolpodcast

All of the holiday activities, as well as extra curricular school and sports activities are in full swing during the Fall. It seems like we are constantly running back and forth from one event to the next trying to keep our heads above water. I know I constantly struggle with what to make for dinner and when to feed everyone! It can all be so overwhelming if you don’t have some kind of plan or organization in place.

Thankfully, this month our Subscriber Only FREE printable pack is about the best planning tips for Thanksgiving. It is also full of activities to keep your kids busy while you plan out your weeks and month. Felice shares her heart with you as she talks about the fruits of our labor in homeschooling our children. She shares how that still continues for her today even though her youngest has graduated. This packet is full of encouragement, beautiful prayer cards and quotes with a lovely Thanksgiving theme that you can hang up around your home this Fall.

Your children will love the free printable activities created just for them. The same organizational freebies and calendars are included for you, as well as additional planning tips and tools for Thanksgiving in this 65 page pack.

Included in this month’s printable pack is:

  • Stress Free Planning Tips and Pages
  • Planner for School
  • Entertaining With Kids
  • Last Minute Holiday Prep
  • Countdown for Holiday
  • Check Off Lists
  • Journaling Pages
  • Scripture Copywork
  • And much more!

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

 

 

 

Holiday Checklist

Holiday Checklist Countdown | Are you ready to see your holidays go smoothly? What about a holiday checklist? It is possible! Here is the idea, brain dump and then organize. | #homeschool #homeschoolblog #holidaychecklistHoliday Checklist

Are you ready to see your holidays go smoothly? What about a holiday checklist? It is possible! Here is the idea, brain dump and then organize. Recently I spoke to a long-time homeschool mom friend, Janice Campbell. She like me homeschooled for many years and had some great ideas in our podcast. You can listen here – Holiday Checklist Organization 

I’m more of a big-picture person, I like to brain dump put all the things that need to be accomplished and then, organize it by time and date. Here is an example of the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. We are going to go with the idea that you are hosting a meal – if you are going somewhere you still want to take something right. (Sorry, I’m of Italian descent – we don’t show up empty-handed!)

  • Food – need to decide what to eat. (or bring)
  • Decorations – what I am doing about this
  • Christmas Cards
  • Parties
  • Gifts – who am I buying for?
  • School – what dates are we doing school
  • School – what dates are our holidays?
  • Events – am I participating in holiday events?
  • Every day – when do we have time to do laundry, food, chores.

Okay, we have a big picture, we need to continue with our everyday chores, feed people, we need to decorate, and buy gifts. But, homeschoolers have so much more. We have school and events surrounding the holidays. There are plays, and pageants, and park days and ice-skating, and well, you get the picture. Are you laying down yet?

Please friends, use short cuts, ask other people who are coming to bring a meal or if you are bringing a side or dessert keep it simple and a crowd favorite. And, give yourself permission to say no. I said no to many things such as organizing homeschool field trips or parties. We visited the nursing home, made crafts at the park (kids got to play afterward), and kept it simple.

The good news is here is the help you need. I’m going to help organize this mess. Be sure to make times for the things that are really important to your family.

Holiday Checklist

Here is the same list with some sublists:

  • Food – need to decide what to eat. (or bring)
    • Easy – Easy – Easy. Make-ahead casseroles
    • Make roasts such as turkey or chicken it goes further
    • Bake ahead and freeze. I have pureed sweet potato, pumpkin, mashed potatoes
    • Sides – have your guests bring them or use frozen or store-bought.
    • Use short cuts – I give you permission.
    • Baking – are you doing this or buying ready-made?
    • Use a schedule for when you are doing the different parts of the holiday meal
  • Decorations – what I am doing about this
    • Thanksgiving – have the kids make chains with fall colors
    • Use fall type decoration – kids art is great
    • Make a handprint wreath -instructions in November’s printable
  • Christmas Cards
    • Taking pictures? Buying cards? Mailing? (This is one thing I send only to immediate family.)
    • When are you taking pictures or writing and mailing cards?
  • Parties
    • Are you hosting or going?
    • Put these on the calendar.
    • Prep guide in this month’s printable
  • Gifts – who am I buying for?
    • Big gifts like nature center pass, the zoo or events (plays)
    • Year-long passes keep giving all years
    • Little filler gifts like nice binoculars (online for less than $10), etc.
    • Are you doing stockings or not
    • Make gifts? When are you scheduling this?
    • Gift buying – budget, when, etc.
  • School – what dates are we doing school/Datesforholidays
    • If you know when you are taking a break it is easier to plan all the other events.
    • How much more school work must you complete before the break?
    • When are you starting school back up?
  • Events – am I participating in holiday events?
    • Can I make time?
    • How important is this to our family
    • What dates will I need to plan for.
  • Every day – when do we have time to do laundry, food, chores.
    • Schedule these.
  • Unexpected
    • Need flexibility for the things that will happen!

The Ultimate Field Trip

Postcard image with a traveling family on an ocean tripThe Ultimate Field Trip – Traveling!

Travel is the ultimate field trip! It is so educational. Traveling exposes you to new people, places, language, food, culture, and ideas. It pushes you out of your comfort zone. Travel helps us see the long view instead of our shorter, “close-to-home” view. It promotes wonder, curiosity, research and exploration if you let it!

This past week, my husband traveled to Nashville for a professional conference and our youngest and I went along for the ride. We worked and studied for part of each day and then went adventuring. One day we went to Andrew Jackson’s estate, The Hermitage. The next, the Botanical Gardens and Cheekwood Estate. The last day we met family members at the Grand Old Opry and roamed around the amazing gardens. It gave us a lot to think about.

Have Family – Will Travel

Over the past two years, we’ve had the opportunity to visit three presidential residences: Monticello, home to Thomas Jefferson; Mt. Vernon, home to George Washington; and now The Hermitage, home to Andrew Jackson.

Visiting all three presidential estates has given us the opportunity to compare and contrast Presidents; the impact each has had on the country, their attitudes towards the Union, slavery, and marriage. These inexplicably different presidents, each charted the course of this great nation.  Even affecting the way Americans live today. It’s a great history lesson! Our academic lessons are made all the more powerful by seeing where and how they each lived, ran their personal lives and interacted with others.

The Gift of Travel

Having the opportunity to travel has been a gift and one we don’t take lightly! We’ve worked to maximize travelling opportunities as they’ve come up. In the past year, we’ve taken field trips to the Black Hills in SD, St. Louis MO, South Carolina, San Antonio TX, Washington DC, Gettysburg, VA and Nashville, TN. Some of that travel was for our kids’ activities (Bible Bee participation, graduation from Army Basic) and some for work. We’ve visited Monticello, Mt. Vernon, Gettysburg, Mission Conception, State and National sea-side parks, Botanical Gardens in TX and TN, the Arch in St. Louis, Mansions and Colonial homes, the Museum of the Bible (read my review here), Lincoln Memorial and a host of other D.C. Memorials, and the Grand Old Opry. We’ve eaten the best shrimp and grits in TX, fries smothered in gouda cheese in D.C. and superb hamburgers in TN. We’ve been on the look-out for amazing opportunities and experiences and found them!

Of course, that list also represents admissions fees, gas, and other costs. We are fortunate that we are able to write off some expenses for our work. We have also traded admissions fees for blog reviews and asked for the homeschool discounts whenever appropriate. Planning ahead and discovering off-season discounts can also make family travel more affordable. We count these fees as part of our homeschool expenses because they add so much to our children’s education.

Travel is the ultimate field trip...It promotes wonder, curiosity, research and exploration if you let it! Lisa Nehring, author, and administrator at True North Homeschool Academy and Softskills 101 Podcast Show Host. Click To Tweet

Tips for Planning Amazing Family Field Trips

  • Facebook groups provide great opportunities to connect with natives who know their area. I am in a couple of homeschool travel groups and there are always a few people who just got back from where we’re going or someone who lives where we are going in the group. It’s a great way to get a current perspective and get reasonably priced ideas on amazing places to eat!
  • Google – search “Best Sightseeing” in whatever place you plan to visit. I just searched Tampa and came up with various categories: parks, sight-seeing, air-helicopter-balloon rides, shopping, eating, museums, sights, and landmarks, etc.
  • Pick up brochures at area restaurants or cruise through the Airbnb/Vrbo binder wherever you are staying.
  • Ask the locals – whenever we land in a new location, we ask waitresses and other service professionals what the “must-see” and “must-do” opportunities are in any location.

Wherever we go, we do a bit of research and gather everyone’s ideas ahead of time. Because we are all readers, we might have ideas in mind already- historical places we want to visit, or places my husband and I visited as children. We decide how much time and money we have to spend and make a tentative plan for what we want to get done. In the last several years we have often traveled for work and my husband and I have taken turns going places with the children while the other does the work-related stuff.

The World Is Our Classroom

Finding great field trips while traveling, in many ways, gets back to having a sense of what you believe about education. Do you believe that the world is your classroom? If so, you’ll make a point of being curious about the world and want to explore the nooks and crannies. Your preferences and those of your family will differ from mine. Perhaps you are real foodies and are willing to wait in line to experience the most amazing Hunan food in San Francisco, while I am more interested in the Missions along the coast. Of course, one would expect nothing less!

And when I meet you in an on-line group, or at a conference, and we compare notes, we might both broaden our horizons by doing what the other experienced and found fascinating, further enriching our lives through travel!

About the Author: Lisa Nehring hosts the podcast Soft Skills 101: Life Skills for a Digital Age, along with her husband Dr. David Nehring. She is the Director of  True North Homeschool Academy and she and her husband have homeschooled their five kids for the past 27 years. Lisa is passionately committed to resourcing and connecting fellow homeschoolers and Christians with the tools and resources necessary to navigate a complex world in need of a Savior. You can connect with her at the True North Homeschool Tribe on Facebook

Field Trip Packing List

Field Trip Packing List | Do you have your field trip packing list? Enjoy this article by Samantha Anne Moss   Field trips are fun and exciting but sometimes you can be a little unprepared...| #homeschoolblog #fieldtrips #packinglist Field Trip Packing List 

Do you have your field trip packing list? Enjoy this article by Samantha Anne Moss 

Field trips are fun and exciting but sometimes you can be a little unprepared, knowing what to pack and how to prepare can make all the difference. These are a few things that can help when you are packing for a field trip. Here is a list of common items you should consider bringing on just about every field trip. 

Indoor Field Trips: 

  1. A camera, video camera, tablet or phone (if you have any of these devices)    
  2. Comfortable shoes.
  3. Comfortable clothes
  4. A purse or backpack to hold your stuff.
  5. A sketchpad and pencils, some museums and other indoor field trips do not permit markers and crayons because they can cause damage to the displays, especially paintings. Therefore, it would be best to avoid these.
  6. Bringing a sweater can be a lifesaver especially if you are in a museum, they always seem to be twenty degrees colder than is comfortable!
  7. A notebook is a very good way to keep track of what you saw and learned.
  8. A question sheet (a blank piece of paper can work) allows you to keep track of your questions, and the guide’s answers.   

I love gathering what I bring in my backpack to the particular field trip we are going on. This is something each kid can do on their own. Use this list as a jumping-off point to help you brainstorm what you need and what you can leave at home for another trip. 

Outdoor Field Trips:

  1. A camera, a video camera, or your phone.
  2. Comfortable shoes. It is especially important to have closed-toed shoes and high socks.    
  3. Comfortable clothes are a necessity and if you are camping or on a hike or any other outside field trips you need to able to move and run.    
  4. Bug spray is super important if you are getting bit up then it can easily turn an enjoyable trip into a nightmare. I went camping not that long ago and trust me it was, it was a lifesaver.  
  5. A first aid kit, or if you don’t have a whole kit then a simple solution is to stick a few bandages and maybe some kind of pain-relieving ointment in your pocket. 
  6. A sketchpad, this time you can have as many different types of writing utensils as you want. Vibrant colors can help you capture God’s creation. 
  7. A backpack or a purse to hold your things. 
  8. I would also recommend that you do some research on the place where you are going and think of some questions, then put them on a piece of paper, this question sheet may come in handy and you can always add answers to the sheet later.   
  9. Sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen, you are probably thinking these are no brainers, but I’m also sure you know it is very important to keep the sun out of your eyes and off your face. I decided to add these anyway because the last thing that you need is to get a sunburn, that would not be pretty!           
  10. A nature book (Specific to your location) is a very helpful way to help you identify what you are observing in nature.

 I hope that this gives you some good ideas of what you should bring on a field trip. There are many different kinds of kids and field trips so take into consideration what you will need and use. Don’t overpack or you will be hauling unnecessary and useless items. Some of these items may not be necessary, while others are a must-have! I hope that when you go on your next field trip, indoors or out, that you consider what you need so that you can have an awesome trip and be well prepared for anything that may happen.          

FREE Ultimate Field Trip Planner and Printables for Kids

October is here, and for many of us, that aren’t currently residing in the south, October means cooler outdoor temperatures! This is the perfect time of year to spend time with your family and friends and take some field trips.

FREE Ultimate Field Trip Planner and Printables for Kids

Some of the best memories that we have in our homeschool are the memories that are made when we take field trips. Even my oldest, who is now 20, still remembers places we went, and the things that happened on the field trips we took while he was elementary aged!

Field trips are a favorite among homeschooling families:

As homeschoolers, field trips can help to spark a child’s creativity and encourage them in a particular career field. They are great if you are studying a certain time period in history, or learning about a certain topic in science. Field trips will help to solidify the things they have been learning, and create an immersive learning experience.

We have the freedom to take lots of different trips, since our schedule is so flexible. As homeschoolers, we can also take advantage of group discounts. These give us the opportunities to visit places we otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford, especially if you have a large family!

The theme of this month’s printable pack is on field trip planning:

There are over 65 pages of planning tips, field trip guides and a list of must-have items for a field trip. I love the activities that are included for your children. They can create a mini book of memories from their trip, or answer the memory questions in their very own journals.

It includes all the normal monthly planning printables you have all grown to love, (calendars, meal planning sheets and 4 square planner). There are lots of extra bonuses included, like nature study and Fall themed printables. Your children can use these printables while you are taking some time to plan.

This month, you will find that the Vintage Homeschool Moms Podcast is also full of field trip topics. You will want to tune in to learn how to plan, how to find free or inexpensive trips and even virtual-field-trips. Keep on eye here on the blog, as there will be a few blog posts about field trips as well!

Included in this month’s printable pack is:

  • October Monthly Calendar
  • October Goal Sheets
  • Planner for School
  • Fall Party Planner
  • List of Free Field Trips
  • Printable Field Trip Planner
  • List of Virtual Field Trips
  • After the Trip Mini Books for Kids to Create
  • Field Trip Questions to Ask
  • Field Trip Planner Check Off Lists
  • Student Field Trip Memories and Journal
  • Scripture Copywork
  • Fall Activities
  • Fall Nature Studies
  • And Much More

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

Scroll down to the bottom to sign up to get direct access to our freebies each week in our ezine.

Number One Homeschool Podcast Network

Number 1 Homeschool Podcast | There are many homeschool podcasts floating around in cyberspace, but this is the home of the number one homeschool podcast network! #homeschoolpodcast #numberonehomeschoolpodcast #homeschoolpodcastNumber One Homeschool Podcast Network

There are many homeschool podcasts floating around in cyberspace, but this is the home of the number one homeschool podcast network! What makes us number one? There are so many things, but the first is the heart of the people who podcast on this homeschool network. They love homeschoolers, and are the best mentors I know! They give and give of their time to help moms, dads, grandparents, and others who teach their kids at home. It takes hours to get a show recorded and uploaded, and it is truly a labor of love.

Six years ago, after much prayer, the Lord gave me this idea for a podcast network. I approached the following people among others, Hal and Melanie Young (Making Biblical Family Life Practical), Meredith Curtis (Finish Well), Carol Topp (Homeschool CPA), Israel and Brook Wayne (Family Renewal), and Melanie Wilson (Homeschool Sanity) who are still with me today! Then others joined, like Jean Burk (College Prep Genius), Gina Glen (Mommy Jammies Night), Suzzane Nunn (FPEA), and Kathy Lee (Momfessions), Sue Meyer (Homeopathy For Mommies), and so many more! We have some new shows like Softskills and shows that just hit one year like Homeschooling with Technology!

Homeschool Podcast | Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network | #podcast #homeschoolpodcastIt’s our birthday and we always have a wonderful mega prize worth over $800-$1000 – see our giveaway link below. [The link will be available Oct 1st!]

There are so many people that want to podcast on our network and truthfully, it takes much of my time to vet “would be” Ultimate Homeschool Podcasters — but guess what? For every five people, I talk to, one gets accepted! Yes, one out of five. Why? Because from our conversations their heart is the number of downloads they might get rather than the heart of homeschool families.

The podcasters with me today are the ones who want to share their knowledge, their hearts AND have a product or service that will bless homeschoolers! For example, College Prep Genius — my own kids increased their SAT scores and received college scholarships, or are mentors like Hal and Melanie and Israel and Brook Wayne. I can go on and on!

We have a weekly email with an amazing FREEBIE link! It goes out to all of our show scheduled, and with a click of a button, you can quickly find and listen to the show. We have improved and grown during the years to make us the number one podcast network with not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of downloads. We’ve had amazing sponsors, but again like some who want to podcast with us, I’ve turned down so many — because we only want family-friendly sponsors.

Below, here is a thumbnail sketch of our Number One Homeschool Podcast Network current shows! Please visit them, tell them thank-you and if you want to interact with these great people join our private pages.

Vintage Homeschool Moms – with by Felice Gerwitz

This show is the longest-running podcast on this network. This show deals with academics, family, kids, holidays, recipes, money-saving ideas, movie and book lists and so much more. As a long-time homeschool mom, (since 1986) with five children all homeschooled this show draws from my own personal knowledge. There are detailed transcripts on newer shows. Sometimes I host guests who I think will bring you value and that you will enjoy. Tune in weekly.

Creation Science Podcast with by Felice Gerwitz

This show began with an idea of sharing some of my Creation Science Expo that was hosted years ago, and resides in full on my Media Angels Membership website. However, it has morphed into interviews with people and other hosts! Enjoy this show that airs two times per month.

Making Biblical Family Life Practical – with Hal and Melanie Young
Hal and Melanie are a delightful couple who love the Lord and it shows! They are parents to a multitude of boys and wrote an award-winning book on raising boys, marriage, and teens! Check out their show you will be so blessed. Enjoy this show weekly.

College Prep Genius – with Jean Burk

Want your kids to ace the SAT, ACT and learn test-taking skills? Join Jean (I host with her) and she is soooo amazing! I learned things like the PSAT is not a “practice test” it is so important for scholarships! I tell everyone with high school kids about Jean’s program, it really works and if you tune in she shares this information for free! Transcripts are also on the show – listen twice per month.

Homeschooling CPA Podcast – with Carol Topp

Carol knows so much and shares her knowledge with you! She studied for her CPA license when she was a homeschool mom! She was a perfect example for her children. Carol is an expert on helping homeschool co-ops and schools to stay legal as well as consult with those who need it. She podcasts two times per month.

Finish Well Radio – with Meredith Curtis

Meredith and her team love the Lord (Meredith is married to Pastor Mike – who has a church in Orlando, FL) and they encourage parents of high school students to finish the race well! She deals with high school subjects and sensitive issues that are of interest to high school students and pastors. Often she hosts with other team members or she has special guests on the show. If you have a teenager, this is a show I highly recommend! Airs two times per month.

FPEA Connects  – with Suzanne Nunn

Suzanne Nunn is currently the chairman of the Florida Parent Educators Association with the largest (or one of the largest!) homeschool conferences in all 50-states! Here you will learn about things that are Florida specific as well as homeschool specific. Details for upcoming conferences is also shared. Airs two times per month.

The Homeschool High School Podcast with Vicki Tillman, Sabrina Justison & Kym Smythe

The team from 7SistersHomeschool.com (you have to visit their podcast page) is one that is all about including you in their fold and helping, mentoring and making your high school homeschool journey successful. These ladies know their stuff, Vicki is even a consultant for homeschool families needing extra help with transcripts and the like. They want you to know that homeschooling high school years are the best years. You can do it! This show airs weekly.

Family Renewal – with Israel and Brook Wayne

Godly content from Israel and Brook deals with many things that focus on raising families as well as large family topics. They also delve into topics related to homeschooling such as literature and history our kids must know!

Homeopathy For Mommies with Sue Myers, ND, CCH

Sue came to my attention years ago when she helped me and a close friend to get healthy using natural remedies. Talk about knowledgable! It is a must-listen-to show if you want to become educated in natural health. Learn how to get healthy and ditch the meds that can make you sick. Of course, check with your health provider before following any advice! Listen two times per month.

Homeschooling with Technology with Meryl van der Merwe

Meryl is a walking-talking techie who knows how to code, has taught students successfully. Her show is full of great information that will help you super-charge your home with technological knowledge. Learn about the apps, computer programs, and improve your productivity! How exciting! This show is on weekly.

Mommy Jammies Night with Gina Glenn

This is just for you moms! Gina Glenn brings you special women who love to mentor moms and bring love, peace, and joy so that you can have an advocate in your corner. Many times home school moms feel isolated and alone or misunderstood. These shows help to bring you encouragement that you’ve GoT This Mom! Archives available and once-a-month.

The Homeschool Sanity Show with Dr. Melanie Wilson

Long time homeschooler and podcast, Melanie, is an expert at encouragement, organization and every hot topic that revolves around homeschool topics! She brings sanity back into your homeschool,

and helps moms to understand Christian psychologist and veteran homeschooling mother of six, Dr. Melanie Wilson, solves homeschoolers’ biggest headaches every Tuesday.

Life of a Lifeschooler with Danielle Papageorgiou

If you have lost your love of homeschooling, tune into Danielle’s show and learn how to bring it back! She shares with special guests how to allow the children to pursue the things they love their learning will soar! She shares the true meaning of lifeschooling and how you can bring joy back into your home!

Soft Skills 101 – True North Academy with Lisa Nehring and on occasion Dr. David Nehring

What are soft skills? These are the ability to interact effectively, harmoniously and productively. Why is this important? Because in this digital age when kids talk on text and apps this important skill is often lost. Join Lisa to learn about soft skills, how to implement these in your life, practical information about curriculum and books and ways to equip your family!

Momfessions with Kathy Lee Eggers

Can I say, wow? Kathy is an amazing, loving mom who is full of energy and loves homeschool moms! She is always encouraging listeners and often has some of her listeners on her show. These shows are real, raw and understand the heartbeat of the homeschool moms!

Ultimate Homeschool Radio Show with multiple shows and hosts

This is a series of replays from the popular Ultimate Homeschool Expo with hundreds of listeners at one point only available for pay — now, totally free. This is a channel that will bring you a multitude of popular homeschool speakers, many keynotes and wonderful information to help you on your homeschool journey!

So, what makes us number one? You do! As our faithful listeners, you’ve laughed with us, you’ve cried with us, celebrated and enjoyed our shows, and I want to thank you! I also want to thank our sponsors who have kept us on the air.

Please share the topics you’d like to hear as well! 

~ By Felice Gerwitz, lover of the Lord, wife, mother, grandmother and owner and creator of Media Angels(R), Inc., the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network, the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network, author of seventeen books, creator of multiple online classes, and the first-ever Ultimate Christian Communicators Conference.

Join our Giveaway!

Help Your Child Become a Stronger Reader ~ Plus Limited Time Special Offer

The biggest struggle I have had in our homeschool, has been teaching my children how to read. My oldest was an avid reader at an early age. My other 3 children struggled with reading. It took them much longer to be able to read on their own without my help.

Help Your Child Become a Stronger Reader plus a special offer from Reading Eggs! #readinghelp #homeschoolreading #readingeggs #homeschooldeals

I believe my oldest was able to read earlier because I had more free time to work with him. He is 6 years older than my next child. After my 2nd oldest was born they started coming around 2 years apart! At one point, I had one in middle school, one with dyslexia, another that needed weekly physical therapy and a baby. To top that all off, I began working from home shortly after having my fourth child.

It sure is hard to find that balance of being able to spend extra time with a struggling reader, when you have so many other things that you are juggling at once. This is where technology can come in quite handy and really be a blessing in your homeschool. I have to be honest, when I first started homeschooling I wasn’t a fan of putting a child in front of a screen, but sometimes you just have to do what you need to do! There is no judgement here. Sometimes we are in survival mode, and that’s okay, at least we are able to still be with our children everyday.  I am so thankful for the opportunities that are available to us now vs. when I started homeschooling 17 years ago.

I have a child that would get extremely frustrated sitting next to me being pushed to read words outloud that she struggled with. It was a daily fight and so exhausting. I would put this same child in front of a computer reading program, and she would excel! She really enjoys the games because it doesn’t feel like school, and it is exciting and engaging. I would have to set a timer to have her stop, because she would want to keep playing. She was actually learning to read and I didn’t have to do anything!

Reading Eggs is one of those programs that children look forward to doing for their school time! It really does make reading easy and fun! They are offering a special 4 week FREE access to new subscribers. Sign up today and watch your child become a stronger reader this Back-to-School season! A multi-award winning online learning program for children ages 2–13, Reading Eggs supports the essential foundations of reading with its highly engaging lessons, games, and e-books!

You can register for your FREE trial by clicking this link HERE.

Hurry, offer ends October 19th! *Valid for new customers only.

FREE Everything High School Planner plus Blue Print for Life Printables

School is finally upon us, I know many of you are homeschooling a high school age student. I am sure you are still trying to navigate the waters of planning and coordinating their subjects, electives and teaching them the life skills and organization skills they need to be successful.

FREE High School Planner and Blue Print for Life with teaching tips for highschool. #homeschoolhighschool #homeforlearning

Homeschooling through high school is not an easy task. It takes a lot of prayer,  planning and organization. It will be one of most rewarding things you ever do and the time spent one on one with your teen during planning will be help to build your relationship together. If you do not have a highschooler at the moment this planner is still for you. It never hurts to think ahead to the future and have an idea of goals you want to achieve in your homeschool.

The theme of this month’s printable is all about having a blueprint for life for your homeschool. Even you have a high schooler to be this will be of great value just as much as if you are currently homeschooling high school. There are over 50 pages of encouragement from Felice who is a veteran in the homeschooling community. She has successfully graduated FIVE children from Kindergarten through High School Graduation and shares her insider tips with you!

We hope you are blessed by this month’s planner. It includes all the normal monthly planning printables you have all grown to love, (calendars, meal planning sheets and 4 square planner), but includes a very special Blue Print for Life Lesson and Bible Study just for you. There are also additional high school planning helps and goal sheets that Felice has personally used to successfully graduate her children with honors!

Included in this month’s printable pack is:

  • September Monthly Calendar
  • Fun National and USA Celebrations for the Month
  • Home School Goal Sheets
  • High School Goal Sheets
  • Goals for the Month
  • Printable Scripture Cards
  • Plans for the Month
  • BluePrint for Life – Lesson Plan and Bible Study to go along with THIS PODCAST.
  • Planning Sheet for Student and Parent
  • High School Transcript Help
  • Four Square Planning
  • Meal Planning
  • 3 Month Planner
  • And Much More!

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

Back To Homeschool

Back To Homeschool | Try a new back to homeschool tradition this year! | #backtoschool #homeschool

Back to HomeSchool!

By: Samantha Anne Moss

How do you feel about going back to homeschool? Are you excited, unhappy, or nervous? If you are like me, you feel all three! I am sure that you never complain about school, but for those of you that do, I have a few ideas that should make this school year easier. I will list them in a minute, along with some other suggestions, but first I want to ask you a question.

During the end of summer, do you ever get bored? Well, I do! I seem to find myself saying, “Mom, what should I do?” or “I am bored!” As I am sure you know, moms always help you think of something to do, but most of the time the ideas don’t sound too appealing! Some of my mom’s great ideas consist of things like cleaning your room or doing your chores. Naturally, I immediately find something else to do, especially if those are options for something to do and not chores! When school starts, I am always excited to be busy and learning new things… at least for the first week!

Back to Homeschool Fun!

So, once the novelty of going back to homeschool has worn off, how do you keep it fun? You may be thinking, “she is crazy.” Well, learning can be fun, but first, you must work hard on the subjects assigned and help with your given chores! Oh, great, I am starting to sound like my mom (not that that is a bad thing)!

If you complete your schoolwork early in the day, you have a better chance of having free time to do your own thing. I enjoy free time activities such as an art project I can work on each day or reading a favorite book. I know when we’ve completed our school work ahead of time our mom surprises us with an unexpected field trip! I love going to museums, parks, or historical sights and learning fun things as well as enjoying time spent with my friends.

Another reason to finish your work efficiently is to allow for time to do science experiments! No fancy kits are needed; we do lots of experimenting with around the house supplies. (My grandmother wrote a book, Teaching Science and Having Fun my mom is even the model on the cover when she was about my age, twelve! This book has home-supply lists and do-it-yourself lab kits.) My family loves to do science experiments.

My brothers favorite is making a baking soda and vinegar explosion. This is a perfect example of something that is cheap, and it is an easy experiment that almost anyone can do. If you want to bring this experiment up a notch then you might consider purchasing (or making) a fake volcano that you can dump baking soda to vinegar into, don’t forget to try different ratios of baking powder and vinegar. My siblings and I, along with our Uncle Mike, did this and had a blast! Our volcano was made of an upside-down cut, aluminum foil (on a tray) and Plaster Paris that was molded around the foil. After it hardened, we painted it! This just shows you that you can have fun and count it as school.

Homeschool Co-Ops are fun, and we have joined several during my years of homeschooling. This puts children in groups, and the activities are led by the parents. This keeps the fun in back to homeschool! Each co-op is different, and you can do many of these suggestions at home as well. There are enough people in my own family to have our own co-op!

Another fun idea is to do a STEM project! (I didn’t know they were called STEM projects until I wrote this, but regardless they are so much fun!) All you need to have on hand for this project is toothpicks and mini marshmallows! You can create engineering marvels such as building bridges, pyramids, and all sorts of other things. We did this fun building project with our co-op, and my brother insisted that it needed to be included in this year’s back to homeschool fun!

It is easy to make almost any design using these tools. My older sister Emma built a pyramid that was bigger than her head! She is very focused when it comes to these types of activities. There is one thing that always gives us a problem that requires quick thinking. The little kids (our younger siblings) tend to like to eat this experiment rather than build it. I must admit that it is not just the little kids that want to eat the mini-marshmallows necessary for this project, my friends and I ate our fair share too! Our co-ops are so much fun and educational. It is also a bonus that I get to see my friends.

I hope that this gives you a different perspective on starting your back to homeschool with a good attitude that lasts throughout the year! Also, the reward of starting and finishing your schoolwork quickly. Who has the time to complain about school work? Especially when there are so many fun things to do once it is done! I hope that you try some of these fun ideas, begin projects that interest you, and do some fun experiments. After all, learning is fun!

To see another article by Samantha Moss visit here.

About the author:

Samantha Anne Moss is a twelve-year-old homeschooler who lives in southwest Florida with her family. She enjoys reading, photography, and playing the piano. Samantha is the second oldest in a family of eight children.

Copyright 2019 – All Rights Reserved Samantha Anne Moss

 

 

 

 

 

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!