Maintaining Momentum Through the Homeschool Year

Maintaining Momentum through the Homeschool Year - with Homeschool Highschool PodcastThere really is a rhythm to the homeschool year, and whether you school according to a traditional academic year (Sept. – May) or follow your own schedule, the rhythms are helpful to recognize. Every homeschool family hits moments of “stuck,” and it’s encouraging to recognize the natural rhythms that can help you get unstuck without anyone getting too frustrated with anyone else. Here are the months of the traditional academic year with notes on the rhythm that tends to match them as a starting point:

August : Gear up! Everyone feels excited. This year is going to be the best ever!

September: We are establishing the year. We are creating good habits and schedules that will be good for all of us.

October: We are in the swing of things. This feels good. We are getting stuff done.

November: Umm…that part’s not working like we thought it would. Can we change it? Is it okay to make adjustments?

December: Isn’t it Christmas yet? Can’t we play???

January: Come on, y’all. We need to wrap our heads around how to make this school year a success. We got this.

February: Okay, new strategies are working pretty well, but I keep finding myself thinking about how much fun it will be NEXT year when we __________ (fill in the blank).

March: Are we really this close the year-end? Oh, my! But we haven’t done a thing yet about ___________ (fill in the blank)!

April: Get ‘er done. Get ‘er done. Get ‘er done.

May: Hurry up! Finish up! We are SO close!

June: Woot!

July: So, next year calls for…

Maintaining momentum through the homeschool year means first recognizing that inspiration and positivity ebb and flow. It’s just the way humans respond to tasks that take a long time to accomplish. It’s okay that you and your kids don’t wake up every day ready to conquer the educational world!

Mom sets the tone in most homeschools. Yes, that can be a heavy mantle to wear, but it’s true for most families. When we are discouraged, our kids pick up on it. When we PRETEND to be positive when we are not in reality, our kids pick up on it. Having honest conversations is good for everyone in the house.

Setting long-term goals and then turning them into short-term goals by scheduling backwards from the deadline (here’s a free download that can help with Scheduling Backwards) will often get the ball rolling. Parents and students working together to set goals and evaluate progress is healthy for all!

Making time for fun, meaningful conversation outside of the normal homeschool setting can help students and parents remember the long-term goals, agree on the short-term goals that will get them there, and celebrate all that has been accomplished thus far. Try taking a drive in the car and talking there, or going out for a quick bite and talking in a restaurant. Your students want to succeed and so do you; see if you can join forces to tackles the distractions and frustrations that are common to all and come out the other side victorious. You really CAN find yourselves maintaining momentum through the homeschool year!


If you enjoyed this blog, please check out The Homeschool High School podcast on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network!

Sabrina and Vicki are your Big Sisters as they share the experience they’ve gained in over 20 years of homeschooling. They are the talky-2 of the 6 Sisters at 7SistersHomeschool.com. They are often joined by their other sisters, Kym and Marilyn OR other 7th Sisters! When YOU join us at The Homeschool Highschool Podcast, YOU will be our 7th Sister, too! Hooray!!

Come be our 7th Sister each week for The Homeschool Highschool Podcast, Tuesday mornings at 9:00 am EST!

 

 

 

 

 

Maintaining Momentum through the Homeschool Year - with Homeschool Highschool Podcast

When Our Precocious Homeschooler Suddenly Went Flat

When Our Precocious Homeschooler Went Flat with Hal and Melanie Young from Making Biblical Family Life PracticalOur first son was a precocious learner—he was reading at four years old, and before long he was two years ahead of his age group in math. We just congratulated ourselves that our child was brilliant, homeschooling was awesome, and we were fantastic parents.

And then he hit the wall. At the age of ten, math was taking three hours to finish—and sometimes that was all he got done in a day. He lost his focus, he struggled in things that had been easy, and he convinced himself he was no good in school.

What happened? Simple – he was on the way to adolescence.

What we didn’t realize until later was that it is perfectly normal for kids to hit an academic slump when they start their pre-teen transition. In fact, it’s so common, school systems intentionally plan for fourth grade to be a catch-up year. It’s a developmental stage that they all go through.

The reason they struggle is two-fold. On the one hand, their brains are beginning a transition from childhood to an adult configuration. The part which handles executive functions—concentration, focus, judgement, priority-setting—literally unravels. It will come back together with some new functionality, like abstract reasoning and the ability to connect ideas across subject lines, but for several months, they truly lose some ability in school.

What’s more, the hormonal surge that starts the familiar changes of adolescence creates an emotional whirlwind. They become uncertain and overreact to difficulties, and when school becomes harder, they can lose confidence in themselves—even give up trying.

What can we do to help our kids through this challenge?

We find the most important things are to protect their love of learning and bolster their academic confidence. Set those as your two primary goals for these transitional months and you’ll lay a foundation for success in high school!

  • Recognize this for what it is—a time of transition. Don’t assume their sudden struggles are laziness or rebellion. When you see unexpected emotions, doubts, and academic floundering together, it’s time to adapt—not discipline. They all go through this.
  • Explain and encourage them through this time. Tell them why they are having trouble keeping their temper or remembering their vocabulary words—and explain that this is a temporary problem! It’s especially important with boys; their intellectual growth spurt happens in high school, and if they were already struggling before this time, they may give up before they ever hit their stride.
  • Don’t push them beyond their development. You wouldn’t expect your five-year-old to slam-dunk a regulation basketball goal, right?—you let him finish growing up. The same thing happens in academics. Even an early learner has to wait for some things to catch up. Abstract reasoning, for example, doesn’t appear until the end of this transition; you won’t be able to teach your 8-year-old to do algebra, no matter how smart she is. Give it time.
  • Go broad and deep, not further. If your child seems to hit a wall in a subject—math in particular—don’t keep pushing. Instead, explore other subjects on the same level. Dig deeper into things they are succeeding in, and let their brains mature a bit more before you take the next step up.
  • Embrace their interests. Kids this age typically have an obsessive interest in something. It may be dinosaurs, horses, warships, the Middle Ages, baseball—fill in the blank with your own child! They will naturally study the things which captured their imagination. If you need him to write a paragraph or do a research project, adapt the curriculum to leverage those interests. Instead of a lame prompt like “What I did last summer,” assign him, “What is the value of space exploration?” or “Explain the process for training falcons.”

We’ll say it again—this is commonplace and temporary, so when you see the signs, change your focus to protecting their love of learning and bolstering their academic confidence. It’s one of the important ways your relationship will change as your son or daughter becomes a young man or woman!

Want to know more about how to make the teen years great? Check out our new book, No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope. You’ll find out more about dealing with middle schoolers and pre-teens on everything from schoolwork to family relationships to media use and spirituality. It’s available from http://www.nolongerlittle.com/ or Amazon.com.


With humorous banter, laser beam insight, and lots of practical advice, Hal and Melanie Young address real world issues, current events, marriage, parenting, raising sons, and family life on Making Biblical Family Life Practical. They’ll encourage and inspire you to walk out the Word of God in your family — and work toward reforming our culture, too. Click here to check out their podcast!

Why I Miss Having Little Ones (and you will too)

Why I Will Miss Having Littles - and why you will too! From The Real Kathy Lee - Enjoy these early days! Click to read more on the blog.As I was enjoying my leisurely stroll through Sprouts, I found myself staring at this momma and her little girl. It seemed I kept running into them at every aisle. I couldn’t help but overhear their delightful conversation. I wanted to hear her little voice as she described the gummies she wanted. I wanted to ask her questions about the cereal characters she was admiring. I wanted to compliment her sparkly red shoes.  Suddenly, I found myself very jealous.

A few weeks later, I did it again. I started watching a mom push her two little ones around the store. This time I started talking to them. Making silly faces. Encouraging them as they “drove” their buggy. Quickly, I told the mom that I had ten kids, so she wouldn’t be worried that I might be trying to take one of hers. What was happening to me? Seriously, I was becoming obsessed with small children.

It continued. While retrieving my membership card at the gym, I noticed a pair of toddler tennis shoes sitting on the counter. I picked them up, imagining the little boy that had left them behind. He was probably so engaged in play that he ran out the door, without even a thought of those silly shoes. His mom probably became frantic when she realized that he had left them, but was too exhausted to make the haul back to retrieve them. I big smile came over my face as I thought back to the time my kids wore such tiny shoes.

A few days later, it hit me. I realized what was happening. My youngest was nine. I was done with the infant stage, the terrible twos and the preschool years. I no longer had little ones in my home and I MISSED it. You heard me. I missed it. I know, I know… you are reading this and thinking; GIRL if I could just have one day without my little ones. I was there, too. However, now I miss it (and you will too)!

A few days later, it hit me. I realized what was happening. I was done with the infant stage, the terrible twos and the preschool years. I no longer had little ones in my home and I MISSED it. You heard me. I missed it. I know, I know… you are reading this and thinking; GIRL if I could just have one day without my little ones. I was there, too. However, now I miss it (and you will too)!

 

  1. I missed singing them lullabies.
  2. I missed the nighttime snuggles.
  3. I missed the aha moments.
  4. I missed them wearing mermaid dresses with their cowgirl boots.
  5. I missed all of the “firsts”!
  6. I missed their voice.
  7. I missed the way they mispronounce their words like marote and thinger.
  8. I missed their imaginative stories.
  9. I missed their struggle towards independence.
  10. I missed the wonder in everything.

In the blink of an eye, they go from begging you to read Goodnight Moon for the hundredth time to borrowing your car, so they can go watch the moon with their girlfriend. I know it is hard to fathom. I know your days are long and you can grow weary. Take a deep breath, enjoy it…savor it. Every exhausting moment will be missed.

 


The REAL Kathy Lee is an honest podcast for REAL moms.  Kathy H. Lee Eggers shares the most important thing she has learned – grace is a beautiful thing.    The Real Kathy Lee is about getting REAL – talk about real life… real motherhood. Topics will include helicopter parenting, how to really connect with your children, how to find your joy in motherhood, why every mom needs an “all by herself” vacation, how to refrain from jumping in the car and just driving away, and why saying YES is the most powerful response to a young child’s requests.   Grab a cup of coffee (or other preferred beverage) and get ready to laugh, maybe cry, and hopefully be incredibly encouraged on this beautiful journey of motherhood.

Click Here to see more from The Real Kathy Lee on Kathy’s Podcast page.

Food Poisoning and Barbecues with Homeopathy for Mommies

Food Poisoning can put a damper on a good time ... but homeopathy can help!  Click to read this post from our podcast host, Sue Meyer, ND CCH from Homeopathy for Mommies.A Stomach ache with either or both, vomiting and diarrhea can very quickly put a damper on a good time, and here at the end of summer and with Labor Day approaching, this happens a lot at barbecues!  You hear so much about Food Poisoning these days in the news; from major fast food restaurant chains to grocery store products.   It’s scary to say the least if you don’t know what to look for or how to treat the problem!

There are different strains of bacteria that can cause food poisoning as well as varying degrees of illness. The five most common bacteria that tend to show up are: Salmonella, Listeria, E.coli , Campylobacter and Clostridium perfringens. All of these bacteria can cause much pain and suffering and, in some cases, death if the sufferer has a compromised immune system.

I could give symptoms of each of the above, but to save time, let’s just say that you don’t want the symptoms from any of these bacteria, which can cause fever,  fainting,  vomiting, diarrhea,  or any combination of symptoms.

Food poisoning can also very quickly lead to dehydration.

And the best news yet is that you can literally ingest any of these foul bacteria at pretty much any meal where the food isn’t being kept at proper temperatures or has been improperly cooked, handled or was contaminated enroute … the list goes on!

Oh, and any of these bacteria can be lurking in unsuspected places! Salmonella isn’t just from food… you can ingest contaminated water when river-rafting or E-coli from changing diapers, or Clostridium from a pot of chili that wasn’t kept up to temp, or from a contaminated cutting board.. Like I said, the list of possible ways to ingest bad food or bacteria are endless and these bacteria are literally everywhere!

The good news: they only become dangerous when they’ve been given a chance to incubate and multiply.

So all any of us can do is to be prudent! Wash your hands before eating, have good cookout habits, have common sense about what you eat, and Like St. Benedict who prayed over his food before eating, to then discover that it had been poisoned when a raven swooped in and took it from him … Yes, prayer is always a grand idea!

And another great idea! Have some basic homeopathic remedies on hand in case someone does become symptomatic.

As soon as you feel that there is a possibility that someone may have ingested noxious food. I like to do the following: (Again, symptoms vary…but the moment anyone says, “I don’t feel so well” and they hug their abdomen…)

Give one capsule of Activated Charcoal (this product is a must in every first aid kit) And then give a dose of Arsenicum 200c. (or whichever potency you have on hand)

This little trick of Activated Charcoal and Arsenicum will pretty much take care of any type of poisoning, including the dog that accidentally ate rat poison! (I do tell that story on one of my old podcasts)

I like to always give a capsule of activated charcoal for any occasion of possible poisoning or toxic exposure. Charcoal has the ability to absorb mountains of impurities and then will pass them out the safest route possible. The fecal matter.

and

Arsenicum: triggers the body to rid itself of toxins, even when the poisoning was so subtle that the body didn’t recognize the intrusion.

Other homeopathic remedies to have on hand:

Veratrum: (any potency from 12x to 200c) for symptoms that include both vomiting and diarrhea! Vomiting and diarrhea at the same time with cold sweats and Extreme Exhaustion.

“Which end goes on the potty first?”  For acute gastric upsets. Desires large quantities of COLD drinks.

Diarrhea drinking cold water on hot days.. Cholera. Watery, green, odorless or colorless (rice water) stools, or in large masses with straining, until exhausted with cold sweat. Constipation of babies in cold weather.  Both Veratrum And Podophyllum, have great thirst. Arsenicum is thirst for small sips of water.

Podophyllum: (any potency from 12x to 200c) This is a most violent Oh do I have a Tummy Ache”….this tummy ache is a very serious matter: Vomiting and/or Diarrhea. The Patient can go downhill very quickly. He is very ill and losing fluids quickly. GREAT THIRST for Large Quantities of Cold Water.  I always think of this remedy for vomiting with diarrhea or just vomiting or diarrhea, when Arsenicum has been given and failed to work, or when some type of food poisoning or foul water poisoning (like: lake or river water where salmonella or similar bacteria may be the cause) is suspected.

Stomach so weak that rice wouldn’t digest. Heartburn, gagging or empty retching.  Gurgling of Bowels. Hot, sour belching that smells like rotten egg, nausea and vomiting: hot, frothy mucus Alternating conditions: diarrhea/Constipation: headache/w diarrhea. Profuse diarrhea: stool watery w jelly-like mucus, painless, (or painful) gushing, offensive. Painless morning diarrhea, stool greenish in color, strong fetid odor, profuse and gushing. Diarrhea early in morning, during teething, with hot, glowing cheeks.

Cistus Can.: (I like 30c) for the patient who looks as though he is suffering intensely.  This remedy is often useful to bring patients back to a place of balance.
J.T.Kent. “First remedy to give when patient looks as though he is suffering intensely (for any illness). Often acts as an overall immune system stimulant”

And

China: (I like 6c or 30c) in case of Dehydration by means of “For Dehydration due to Loss of Fluids”
Travelers diarrhea: Food Poisonings. Tympanitic abdomen: Post operative gas pains, Fermentation in intestines from eating fruit. Much flatulent colic, Better bending dbl. Dysentery with dehydration and weakness. Diarrhea and Dehydration. Prolonged diarrhea, Exhaustion following irritable bowel. Food poisoning from bad food or water.

So if you have these few items on hand in case anyone you know develops symptoms of bad food, suspected bad food, or of the flu….They shan’t suffer for long!  Find out more on these fantastic remedies on this podcast episode.  May God Bless You and Yours.


Sue Meyer, ND, CCH explains natural homeopathic treatment alternatives to help bring healing and pain relief for mommies and their families in the Homeopathy for Mommies podcast.  Sue has been helping her family attain wellness for many years now, she is the author of the book Homeopathy for Mommies.  Sue Meyer is a wife and the home school mother of eleven. She and her husband, Ron, currently have nineteen grandchildren, whom they dearly love and enjoy spending time with on a regular basis. Sue spends most of her free time in the study of Natural Medicine and Homeopathy with her main focus being on Proper Nutrition, Essential Oils and Classical Homeopathy, and in visiting with folks that hope to benefit from the curative powers of such. Sue is a Certified Classical Homeopath through the Council of Homeopathic Certification.

Visit Sue’s website at http://homeopathyformommies.com for free resources, products mentioned above, online training classes, and informative blog posts.

 


The content of the Homeopathy for Mommies Radio post, including text, graphics, images, or information contained in text or audio, or other content, is offered on an informational basis only. No content is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice and guidance of a qualified health professional before: Changing or making any adjustment to any medication or treatment protocol you are currently using.

  • Stopping any medication or treatment protocol you are currently using.
  • Starting any new medication or treatment protocol, whether or not it was discussed on the Homeopathy For Mommies Radio show, page or post on this website.
  • Information on this site is informational and not as specifically applicable to any individual’s medical problem(s), concerns and/or needs.
  • These products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to treat or prevent disease.

In each audio and post remedies are recommended. We are not claiming that the product will cure any of these problems or disorders. We are merely reporting that people have used the product to aid these conditions.

Making Wise Choices with Free Homeschool Materials (and Giveaway)

Free Homeschool Materials | Making Wise with Free Homeschool Curriculum

Free homeschool materials are so popular right now. I don’t see this trend going away. It’s too easy to google and find all kinds of free resources. But, let’s be wise when it comes to these freebies.

Making Wise Choices with Free Homeschool Materials

When you start your homeschool curriculum search, it doesn’t take long to realize you’ll be spending some money. However, most homeschool families are also single-income families. This can make it appealing to school your children completely on the freebies you find online. I want to challenge you to start with a strong homeschool mission statement or philosophy of education before you start down the freebie-only road. Make sure the free resources align with the overall goal you’ve sent for your homeschool.

Developing a Mission Statement for Your Homeschool

This doesn’t have to be complicated. Start with a simple list of the things that are important to you. Answering these questions can be a good start:

Simple Mission Statement

Answering these basic questions can help you create a simple mission statement that can guide your purchases or choices of free homeschooling curriculum. A simple mission statement might be something like this, “Our homeschooling model is based upon our Christian faith and desire to establish that Faith as the foundation upon which all curriculum choices are made. Academics are a top concern, as it’s important to our family that our children be able to reason and communicate not just their faith, but all things. We will work together as parents to ensure we stay committed to these basic ideals.”

Methods of Homeschooling

Once you’ve developed a basic mission statement, you can begin to look at the different methods of homeschooling. Knowing HOW you plan to education your kids is as important as WHY you’ll educate them at home.

Here are some helpful podcasts that can assist you in determine your method of homeschooling:

Understanding the Value of Free Curriculum

For most homeschooling moms, free curriculum is a supplement to their main curriculum. It might even be something we fall back on when times are tough. Looking at how curriculum is developed and the role of free curriculum can also help you make wise choices.

Give a listen to Is Free Curriculum Really Free? by Felice Gerwitz to get a better understanding of the pro’s and con’s of  free curriculum.

Felice Gerwitz has been a curriculum writer and developer for over 25 years and knows the painstaking hours that go into the development of curriculum. She’s spoken on the importance of using your homeschool mission and method to make your homeschool as successful as can possibly be.

She joins her voice to that of Carol Topp & Cindy West in their episode, 5 Warnings Against Frugal Homeschooling.

Her desire to provide quality, affordable homeschool materials gave birth to MediaAngelsMembership.com where you can homeschool your entire family starting at just $15 per month.

Make a Wise Decision

Knowing that for most of us, we’re homeschooling with eternity in mind. Choosing the very best in homeschooling materials and methods are something we take seriously. Free homeschool material has a place in the education of your children, but I challenge you today to think about how far you go with frugality. If you choose a free homeschool curriculum, look for one, such as Ambleside Online or Easy Peasy which offers a more cohesive approach.

You can make use of homeschool curriculum swaps, resale or homeschool consignment stores, eBay, or Amazon. Check out these resources:

PS. Here are some additional resources you can try to save money on other areas to better afford homeschool materials

To Help You on Your Homeschooling Journey

We’re all moms here (and dads!) and we know what it’s like for money to be tight. To kick of your back to homeschool, Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network is participating with our blogging friends to bring you the following giveaway! …  (be sure and see our privacy and giveaway policy).


Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network partners with Back to Homeschool Giveaways

Another (home) school year is upon us!

Some of you may have already started your year, or some of you might school all year long, or some of you might be making those final curriculum decisions before your new year starts.  Whatever boat you are in, I’m sure you could use a little extra money for homeschool curriculum or resources.  Am I right?
I’ve gotten together with some fellow homeschool bloggers and we are pooling our money together to bless two homeschool families with a gift card to spend on their homeschools.  How does $250 sound in helping you buy curriculum, books, games, puzzles, or whatever educational supplies you might need?  Two people will win a $250 gift card to Timberdoodle!!

We know homeschooling can put financial strain on families – whether it’s from living on one-income or buying curriculum for multiple children – the financial aspect of it can be stressful.  Our hope is that we can bless a couple of homeschool families (although we wish we could bless many more) so they can buy the curriculum and supplies they need.

Enter to Win

To enter for your chance to win, simply use the Rafflecopter form below to enter.  Now I know that is quite a few entries for you, but each of these bloggers generously chipped in their own money to bring you this giveaway, so I hope you will take the time to do all of the entries.  And hey, the more entries you do, the better your odds are of winning!

Giveaway ends Aug. 15, 2018 at 11:59pm ET.  Must be at least 18 years of age.  Must be a resident of U.S. or Canada to enter.  Selected winners will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prizes or another winner will be drawn.  By entering this giveaway, you agree to be added to the email lists of the participating bloggers.  Please be sure to read the Terms & Conditions upon entering the giveaway.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Creating A Unit Study

Creating a Unit Study | Tools, schedules, and tips to make it a success in your homeschool. #homeschool #unitstudy

Creating Unit Study For Optimum Learning

As the co-author of a creation science unit study, I found that creating unit studies is the ultimate key for learning to stick. Unit studies may not be the flavor of the month in the current homeschool climate but for me, it is the epitome of what real homeschooling is all about. Why? Because it keeps the family together, engaged and excited about learning from the youngest to the oldest child.

A unit approach emphasizes the integration of various books related to a topic of study. Instead of grade-level textbooks, unit studies encourage learning on a different level, immersion. It also lends itself to discussion and research with children enthusiastically jumping in, which is the key — curiosity which is natural in children. This means more of the information is remembered and the overall experience of everyone is much more successful. This is ideal for parents with children of different ages. It keeps the family united and speaking from experience, it can be very enjoyable providing life-long memories.

How Long Do Unit Study Take?

The question I am most asked question is how long does a unit-study take? It can take several months broken up into six to eight-weeks of studying one main topic, or even six months to a year depending on your level of instruction. Ultimately, the choice is yours! I highly recommend the Media Angels Creation Study Guides as the main focus of your curriculum this year. It is truly life changing. Your kids will be armed with the information they need to combat evolutionary thought at every turn. You can not watch anything scientific without the spouting of “of course we know millions of years ago…” as if the commentator was an eye witness. Evolution at best is a hypothesis as is the study of creation. Your kids will spot out the lies and learn to think and discern the truth for themselves. The Media Angels study guides are made up of four books that may take you about one school year to complete. We purposely created the Creation studies to serve as a yearlong unit study, or to supplement your current curriculum for an in-depth study of creation with an apologetic focus.

How Do I Get Started with Designing A Unit Study?

It’s easier than you think. Do you have a book on unit studies or a topic you want ot study, let’s say Ancient History? This type of broad topic will naturally bring in other subjects.

  1. Decide on your broad topic of study. Will it be science, history, literature or art and music?
  2. Once you’ve decided on a topic the idea is to bring in as many subjects as you can.
  3. Creating a study surrounding history?
    • Pick a period of time
    • Study the people who lived during that time
    • What scientific advances or discoveries happened?
    • What historic events of significance happened?
    • Tie in fun assignments in art and music to round off your unit study.
    • Use books from the library to read
    • Little children can do copy work, older ones write reports with a research element
    • Children may create mini-books, journals, lapbooks, or timelines on the topics they’ve studied.

Is A Unit Study A Complete Curriculum?

Yes! Add a good language arts curriculum if you want and a math program and you are all set! While you can forgo the reading program in the older grades it is important to have a good phonics foundation in the younger. Checking for comprehensions is easy with a unit study because discussion abounds! As for math, our family uses textbooks. However look for ways to add math to your unit as it lends itself to the study. For example, you can study fractals or the Fibonacci sequence which is so much fun and brings in a wonderful element for those who love puzzles or challenges.

What About Unit Study Prep Time?

Unit studies take a good outline and typically one afternoon or roughly three to four hours or less to plan. Then a few days to gather the supplies you may need. If you have a complicated study it may take a few days longer, especially if you want specific books from the library – don’t forget inter-library loans. Now it is just a computer click away that you can do in your own home! Sign up for a public library card and ask how to access the library system at home on your own personal computer. You can order your books, the librarian gathers them, and alerts you when your titles are ready. One quick trip to the library to pick up your books and you are done! I often planned out my unit studies in the summer which made it easier to leisurely gather the supplies I needed beforehand.

What About Scheduling A Unit Study?

  1. Scheduling is the most time-consuming part of any unit study. Figuring out what day you want to teach each particular subject, or complete the activity.
  2. If you are creating your own study you will need to first create an outline. Be sure to add the main points you would like to study, the days you’d like to complete your activities, and if you are using one day for catch-up.
  3. I decide on the days:
    • You plan to do experiments or activities.
    • Three days per week or two days a week?
    • Days we will plan for reading, researching and gathering the information needed to perform the experiments?
    • What day will you complete the experiments or activities?
    • What other hands-on activities will you complete?
    • Will there be a culmination activity of the study? A family event? A final book or notebook?

Unit studies the core of my homeschool 25 out of the final  32 years of my homeschool journey. The only times I did not do a complete unit study was when my kids were in high school — those considering college. I’ve had three of my five children attend college. One graduated Magnum Cum Laude and the other two are currently in college with full academic scholarships. Unit studies teach your children to think, to figure out the answers and to delve in deeper, something that textbooks and workbooks fall far short of doing! As you can tell I am a major advocate of unit studies and I pray you will try one, I’m sure you’ll love it! Any questions or successes? Please share them with me, here!

About Felice Gerwitz

Felice Gerwitz has five children and graduated two. Along with her huband Jeff, Felice owns Media Angels, Inc. Felice is a mentor to homeschool moms and hosts several podcasts, VintageHomeschoolMoms.com, The CreationSciencePodcast.com, A Few Minutes With God Podcast.com and WritingAndPodcastingAdvice.com. You can still access the former Ultimate Homeschool Expo in its entirety for a fraction of the original cost on the MediaAngelsMembership.com website.  To learn more about Felice, visit http://www.MediaAngels.com

 

 

Flood Geology and the Ark

Flood Geology | Flood geology is an interesting study. Many of you are familiar with Noah’s ark. #creation #homeschool #creationgeologyFlood Geology and the Ark

By Felice Gerwitz ©Media Angels, Inc.

Flood Geology is an interesting study. Many of the ideas in this article come from the Creation Science series, published by Media Angels. Many of you are familiar with Noah’s ark. Possibly, the image that comes to mind is the cute tub shaped boat, with smiling animals, the typical giraffe poking out his head, and of course, a radiant Noah and Mrs. Noah. This drawing has hung on many a child’s bedroom walls, including my own. In fact, some scientists believe that this cute little depiction has been detrimental to the Biblical account. The true purpose for the flood was punishment to the world that had turned its back on God. Man, who was created in the image and likeness of God, had instead chosen evil. The sentence was death, destruction, and despair…except for those in the haven, of the ark, which housed two of each animal and six humans that God, entrusted to carry on the population of the world.

Check out the creation books available on the Media Angels Membership website – here

In Genesis 9:15 and in Genesis 9:11 scripture states, “And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.” We all know that it does flood in various parts of the earth. We know God does not lie, which brings us to the conclusion that the flood referred to is Noah’s Flood. Many have speculated that there were many floods. Yet, God promised never to flood the world again. Moreover, God has stood by His Word. There has never again been a worldwide flood.

The Biblical account of Noah’s Flood is one of the most well-known stories in the history of man. There are over 200 “flood legends.” Unfortunately, many consider this story a fairy tale. Those of us who believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God; know the worldwide Flood did happen. We also believe that if we do not heed the Word of God, history will again repeat, even if not with a flood. Why do people have a hard time believing?

Evolutionists do a very good job at speculating, and then propagating their theory as fact. One such erosion to the truth is the theory of uniformitarianism. This theory teaches the slow, uniform erosion process, going on today, is the same as in the past and has spawned the saying, the “present is the key to the past.” Evolutionists believe the Flood account had to be dispelled at all costs because of the ties to the Bible. Slow erosion processes replaced the single cataclysm of the Flood. In fact, it was this belief that opened the door and the success of Darwinism to yet another generation.

The Greeks remembered Noah as Nereus, “The Wet One,” and as “The Old Man of the Sea”.  The epic story of Gilgamesh found in the library of Nineveh contains a universal flood story. 2 Peter 2:5 states, “And [God] spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.” The difficulty lies in observing the same evidence with different eyes. Creationists look at the scientific evidence with the Bible as a foundation whereas secularists look at the world with an anti-biblical mindset. We must arm our children with the truth.

In my years of homeschooling, and counseling countless parents, I have found, to my dismay that the number one reason children leave their faith is due to a belief in evolutionary principals. How does this happen? Many children cannot clearly refute evolutionary beliefs with scientific evidence, yet evidence does exist.

Creation geology flies in the face of the teaching of uniformitarianism, and the rocks err on the side of a Creator God and the destructive forces of the Flood. The Flood was more than just forty days and forty nights of rain. It was the cataclysmic rendering of the earth; spewing volcanoes, earthquakes, hurricane force winds, mudslides, rapid erosion, and the splitting apart of the continents. The waters abated approximately after a year when the ark came to rest on Mt. Ararat. This area is highly protected to this day from trespassers with threat of death to anyone caught and persecuted. Why is there fear that the ark might be found? Because it would be evidence that the Biblical account is true. As believers, we do not need evidence, 2 Corinthians 4:18 states: “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Even so, we must educate and equip our children to refute evolutionary thought. The world is not kind and we know there is an attempt to capture the hearts and minds of our children. In fact, that is the reason we homeschool. Do not let a fear of not understanding the science of creation hold you back. When Jill Whitlock, a Creation Scientist, and homeschool mom approached me in 1994, she shared her conversion from atheism and evolutionary thought. The information was so compelling I asked her to form an outline that turned into a four book series. For over a decade, we have armed parents with the information, explained in layman terms.

Flood Geology Points to Consider – Here are some points to consider:

  1. Evidence of a worldwide catastrophe
  2. Geologic evidence to support The Flood
  3. Paleontology that confirms that creatures were rapidly buried
  4. Living Fossils
  5. Oil, Coal and Flood Geology

Catastrophic Evidence:

The Earth’s surface reveals catastrophic geologic processes that appear in crisscross patterns. These rigid blocks called plates have divided the surface of the earth. The continents appear to have fit neatly together at one time, known as Pangaea. These plates have moved great distances apart due to some type of catastrophe. We believe the Flood played a pivotal roll in breaking apart and causing the movement of these plates. Plate tectonics is the study of the earth’s movements. Today the movement is slow, but this was not so in the past. Some creationists refer to the splitting apart of the continents, as Continental Sprint.

Flood Geology – Geologic Evidence

The existence of layers of strata formed by rapidly laid sediment is evident throughout the world. Each layer of rock was deposited in rapid succession. We see folding and faulting of granite once in a liquefied state in order to bend without breaking. Traveling on mountain roads through huge slabs of hewn stone, we see layer upon layer of sediment in different colors, thicknesses, and textures. This sediment traveled at speeds rivaling the fastest hurricanes before coming to rest, causing massive erosion.

Fossils found in specific layers of sedimentary rock are based on geologic ages. Sedimentary rock ages are based upon the fossils found in the rock. Do you see the dilemma? This is called circular reasoning. The fossils were rapidly buried, or they would have deteriorated. All we know conclusively about the fossilized creature is that it is dead. Scientists cannot prove fossils lived billions of years ago; there is a pre-supposition formed in evolutionary thought that taints scientific reason.

Rapidly Buried Creatures

Rapidly buried creatures are evident in the fossil record, worldwide. These fossil-bearing rocks show that various groups are found, not because of evolutionary stages of development, but due to the assembly of these creatures in their natural habitat. Fossils require an ideal environment to be preserved, which is why there are rare examples of human fossils. Marine fossils deposited by the Flood are found on virtually all mountaintops including Mt. Everest. There is no explanation for this phenomenon in the slow, gradual processes of evolutionary belief. The only reason to think that various types of fossils represent different ages is the assumption of evolution. Evolution has not produced animals that have evolved from simple to complex, despite what the media tells you.

Flood Geology – Living Fossils

This term originates from the discovery of still living plants, animals, insects, and microscopic organisms closely resembling the species previously considered extinct. A quick example of this is the horseshoe crab, found in fossilized records and given the tag of millions of years. Horseshoe crabs wash up on beach shores today; I have found them.

Flood Geology – Oil and Coal

My co-author, Jill was a oil and well geologist, schooled in secularism. She explained that her scientific findings, once becoming a Christian and creationist made much more sense with a Biblical mindset. For example, she could not explain the extreme pressure found in rock when drilling for oil. If the earth was billions of years old, the pressures within the rock reservoirs (where oil is found) should reach equilibrium with the rock surrounding it in about 10,000 years. This is not the case and is perfectly understandable with a young earth model.

As Christians, we should be vigilant in the teaching of the creation model with evolution to show a contrast and comparison. God’s story, the Bible always points to the truth. This generation of children we are training must be armed with the knowledge to refute the tactics of evolutionary science. I am happy form my small part of this revolution.

Felice Gerwitz teamed with Creation Scientist Jill Whitlock to write this series of Creation Study Guides. Jill was a Creation Geologist and spent years as an atheist and Oil and Well Geologist before finding the Lord. She studied the differences in evolutionary theory with Creation and spent ten years learning before meeting Felice Gerwitz in 1994. Felice is an educator (BA in Elementary Education) and Jill was a Scientist and together as homeschool moms, they brought their education and knowledge together in these books.

All four books in the series, as well as the activity packs, have been featured in Cathy Duffy’s book, “Top 100 Picks for Homeschooling Curriculum.”

Media Angels has 8 books chosen for this distinction all of them are curriculum.

Website: http://www.MediaAngels.com

Originally Published in Homeschooling Today Magazine

 

Planning for High School Success

Planning for Homeschool High School Success with Homeschool High School There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school, but planning is such an important part of setting yourself up for success! Let’s talk about how to choose courses that will help mold teens’ character while giving them excellent life preparation, then how to plan to implement them over the 4 years of high school.

Homeschool high schoolers must be ready to face adulthood: educationally, spiritually, emotionally, physically, socially. As a homeschool parent, YOU get to help them prepare for the independence of adulthood. Here are tips for planning for high school success!

1) Set Long-Term Goals

Prayerfully think about what kind of young adulthood God has called your homeschooler to. Can you write a “wish list” describing his/her educational preparation, spiritual maturity, health, and social/relational skills? Keep it in perspective, of course:  a homeschool mom may plan her kids’ path- but God will direct their steps. You don’t want to get in His way, but thinking about the long-term picture will empower you to pray and help you make wise decisions.

2) Create some Short-Term Goals

Short-term goals are one-year-at-a-time goals for each year of high school. These will be the areas that you want to cover educationally each year with your homeschoolers. Here are some general thoughts about what to include:

Language Arts/Literature

Think about covering the common literature categories over the 4 years of high school. These common categories are typically recognized as British Literature, World Literature, and American Literature (in no particular order). Then add other categories that interest you and your teen, like Great Christian Writers, C.S. Lewis Studies, or why not blend topics for more general studies? Be sure to include vocabulary study, but incorporating that into your literature study is fine; using literature study guides is a great way to do that AND build a basic skill set for literary analysis.

Language Arts/Writing

Each year needs lots of writing of various types. Be sure to include a Research Paper, several Essays, and varied types of Creative Writing (poetry, short stories,journal entries, letters, song lyrics).

Grammar can either be learned using a stand-alone curriculum or (for students who have already mastered the basics) by editing their writing assignments and learning the nuances of good grammar as they correct their mistakes.

Maths

Include Algebra I, II, Geometry, and Financial Literacy (higher maths or business math may be a good choice according to your homeschool high schooler’s strengths and needs).

Social Studies

Most families study American History, World History (try integrating World History with Philosophy for a meaningful course!), Civics, Economics, Geography, Social Sciences (courses like Psychology or Sociology), and special topics of interest. These don’t need to be studied in any particular order, but make sure you spend time each year earning a credit of Social Studies.

Science

The commonly required sciences with lab experiments are Biology, Chemistry, and Physical Science (or Physics). Additionally, consider studying Health (or Human Development), specialty Courses such as Advanced Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology, Astronomy, Environmental Science, or others that fit with your child’s plans for college or career after graduation.

World Languages

It doesn’t matter which language you pick, but your student needs 2 or 3 years of the same language for the high school transcript.

Fine Arts

Music, visual art, dance, drama, photography…so many options, and one credit  is the absolutely minimum.

Phys Ed

This can be earned in many ways, but your teen needs at least 2 years of credits.

Career Exploration

This is one of the most valuable AND most-often-overlooked courses in high school. Varied numbers of credits need to be earned according to student needs. Help your homeschooler recognize what God has already done in his/her life and where He might be leading.

Religion

This is material that can be studied in many ways; choose an approach that fits your family.

Drivers Ed

You don’t want to play chauffeur the rest of your life, do you? 🙂

Electives

Elective courses are the ones where you get to choose what will uniquely complement your teen’s personality, areas of interest or passion, calling from God for ministry, and more. Use these to develop skills/talents, explore new areas of development, or add power (SPARKLE) to the high school transcript making it extra-attractive to colleges.

Planning for high school success means considering the generally agreed-upon requirements for a high school education AND considering the unique needs of your teen and your homeschool family. By giving both considerations time and importance, you will find the plan coming beautifully together for homeschool high school!

 


If you enjoyed this blog, please check out The Homeschool High School podcast on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network!

Sabrina and Vicki are your Big Sisters as they share the experience they’ve gained in over 20 years of homeschooling. They are the talky-2 of the 6 Sisters at 7SistersHomeschool.com. They are often joined by their other sisters, Kym and Marilyn OR other 7th Sisters! When YOU join us at The Homeschool Highschool Podcast, YOU will be our 7th Sister, too! Hooray!!

Come be our 7th Sister each week for The Homeschool Highschool Podcast, Tuesday mornings at 9:00 am EST!

The Best of Vintage Homeschool Moms – A Birthday, Giveaway, and Special Gift For You!

It’s Felice Gerwitz birthday and we are celebrating! We want to take a moment  this week and wish Felice a Happy Birthday and thank her for all she has done to impact the homeschool world. This radio network is only the beginning! If you don’t know, Felice Gerwitz is a Christian wife, mother, and educator-turned-homeschool-mom in 1986. She began homeschooling as a trial and never looked back as she homeschooled her five children, who are now all grown and finished with their homeschool journey!  In 1994, Felice founded Media Angels in 1994 and has authored several books over the years.  As a former teacher with a degree in Elementary Education, Learning Disabilities and Early Childhood Education, she publishes curriculum with a Biblical Creation focus and many other educational online products that can be found on at Media Angels Membership.  Felice believe the message of Biblical Creation is vital and is convicted that it should be a focus for homeschooled Christian families.

Felice is the host of Vintage Homeschool Moms, the podcast that helps you preserve the best of the past while blessing future generations with the fruit that comes from putting God first. Felice’s topics range from home education, child rearing, enterprising moms , SAHM (Stay at Home Moms), WAHM (Work at Home Moms), and so much more.  Felice also is the host of A Few Minutes with God and Writing and Podcasting Advice on the sister station of this network, the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

This week we want to feature Felice’s podcast by sharing with you the top 10 podcasts of all time for Vintage Homeschool Moms. Stay tuned to the end for a special giveaway that you won’t want to miss!

#10 – Let’s Talk About Discipline That Makes Sense And Works with Felice Gerwitz
Podcast #127
What do you do when discipline doesn’t work – or what about discipline methods that are unfair. What about just being your kid’s friend? Yes, there are all kinds of different types of advice about discipline but in this podcast Felice explores discipline that makes sense – and actually works.

#9 – Let’s Talk About the Top 10 Reasons to Homeschool Your Middle to Highschool Student with Felice Gerwitz
So, you think middle schoolers are a handful or what about your highschooler? Are you ready to help them pack to leave home? If you are a homeschool family that isn’t often the case. Yes, homeschooling does not always solve every problem but I believe that homeschooling is the answer for your middle or high school student. As a middle school teacher, I could tell you stories, which I won’t that would convince you! However, it is better to pray, seek God and listen to this podcast as I share some ways to get your kids off to a great start!

#8 – Let’s Talk About Organizing Your Life! Podcast 94
Here we go – let’s tackle the tough topics! What is your family scripture verse? Do you have a life goal? A plan?
“A life without a plan is one that is navigated poorly!” ~ Felice Gerwitz

#7 – Let’s Talk About Homeschool Hacks with Felice Gerwitz
Do you need some shortcuts? Some things that really work in your homeschool? How about while on the road, or with many kids? In this episode of Vintage Homeschool Moms Felice Gerwitz celebrates the podcast network’s third birthday with some wonderful guests from the network who want to share some exciting tips with you. You’ll learn about ways Melanie Wilson saves time by allowing her children to check their work, and she shares with you the concept of 20%. The Roadschool Moms share their adventurous lifestyle of homeschooling on-the-road, and ways they incorporate group learning and the backpack for on-the-go learning fun.

#6 – Let’s Talk About – Homeschooling After Public School
Transitioning to Homeschool from Public school – Felice gives her best tips to parents who are transitioning their kids from the public school environment to homeschool.  Learn from her experience as an educator and homeschool mom.

#5 –What I Wish I Had Known Before I Began Homeschooling

Meredith Curtis and Felice Gerwitz have years of homeschool experience and in this podcast they share some of the things they wish someone had told them when they started their homeschool journey.  Listen in as they share some much needed information.

#4 – Let’s Talk About Homeschooling 101 Pre-K to Kindergarten
So, you are a homeschooler or you are thinking about homeschooling. Well, welcome to homeschooling 101 – today we are going to delve into the BEST advice for homeschoolers. Don’t get bogged down on the methods such as Charlotte Mason or Classical – Unit Studies, Unschooling or Eclectic. See what fits you and watch our children – and pray – it is amazing what you will learn.

#3 – About….Organize Your Home Before School Begins
Grab your lunch and listen to Meredith and Felice as they discuss getting your home and homeschool year organized before school begins. What you do by way of preparing will go a long way in helping you when the school year begins. Do you know where everything is? If not, now is the time to get it together – join us for helpful hints and tips from two veteran homeschool moms!

#2 – Let’s Talk about Great Ideas to Organize Your HomeSchool
Felice and her daughter Christina discuss scheduling your homeschool year, your curriculum, books as well as how to make changes when curriculum choices don’t work.  Christina (Gerwitz) Moss was homeschooled K-12 and graduated from FGCU with a degree in Communication, and minor in Anthropology. She is married and homeschools her children. She has six children grades 3 and down. She is the co-author of the Truth Seekers Mystery Series.

#1 – Let’s Talk About Living Books Library
Are you interested in collecting living books? Have you wondered how to set up a living books library in your area, or where you can find the nearest one? Michelle Miller is today’s special guest and she shares her years of experience with you. Michelle is a “pioneer” in this area and shares her expertise with you. She has built an extensive library and teaches others how to do this as well.
Information about beginning your own living books library.

These 10 podcasts are only the beginning of the wealth of knowledge shared from a Homeschool Mom who has “been there!”  Find MORE by clicking here to go to the Vintage Homeschool Moms podcast page for all her episodes.

And NOW for the presents!

Let’s give Felice a very Happy Birthday gift by commenting below on this blog post!  Everyone who comments will be entered into a giveaway where one person will be selected to receive the Premium Bundle from Media Angels Membership

ALSO – On June 11th ONLY you can use the code BIRTHDAY60 to get 60% off of the Creation, Premium, or Forever bundle at Media Angels Membership.

For those of you who missed the June 11th deadline, we are extending the discount for the entire week until June 17th – but for 25% off (USE THE CODE BIRTHDAY25)

Felice has worked tirelessly, behind the scenes to bring you this network for free. Join us in making making this a very special birthday.

~Joy Rhodes (Webmaster) and Gina Glenn (Social Media Manager)

Making Memories as a Family: Summer Edition

making memoriesAs the school year comes to a close and summer is right around the corner, it is important to prioritize making memories as a family. When planning trips, weekend outings, or summer camps make sure I’m sure you are like many other homeschoolers and family needs are at the center. Making memories together will only increase family unity and stories that will be remembered and retold for years.

Choose a Destination that …

1. Matters to Family Heritage

Family heritage is so important to know and pass on to your kids. Not only will your child be able to understand basic genealogy, but researching family heritage can be fun! Flip through some old photo albums of relatives and tell your kids the story of how their grandparents met. Visit the town where they met and find the house where each grew up. If you can do this as a couple, this is fun as well!

Does your family have an annual family reunion? Maybe consider going so that your kids can meet the people in the pictures hanging on your wall or sitting on the shelf. Still not jazzed about packing the kids in the car and heading to Small Town, USA? Research interesting places around the location of the get-together. Perhaps there is a county fair, national park, or town museum nearby. Even window-shopping down Main Street can be a new and exciting experience for a suburban kid.

2. Reinforces your studies

We planned a trip to the mountains in order to collect rocks for an upcoming Geology study the coming year. It was a wonderful time or climbing and hiking. The kids enjoyed a train ride in the mountains and we were blessed to stay at a cabin owned by friends. The entire trip was well within our budget and best of all, one we still remember years later. The rocks were used over and over again in studies throughout their homeschool years and now are used by my daughter with her children as she homeschools! Another year we took a trip to the Florida Keys. Actually, several trips. This was used as research for our Truth Seekers Mystery Series novels.

Another time we visited the DC area and the Smithsonean Museums. We studied American history that year and this was a culmination of our studies. How wonderful to see a the Constitution and visit the artifacts in the American History Museum. These memories were revisited by my daughter and I when she visited colleges in that area during her high school years.

  • What are you studying this upcoming year?
  • Is there any way to reinforce a study?
  • Can you plan a trip in advance or even after the fact that will be enjoyable for the entire family but also further your studies?

3. Increases family time

Going on a family vacation means doing things together. Whether that is hiking, visiting museums or on a cruise. Many times “family vacations” mean separating the kids from the parents. We all need time away to regroup, but a family vacation should center around doing things as a family and exploring together. How else can you talk about your vacation if you didn’t experience it together?

4. Focuses on Faith

A family we know takes a pilgrimage every summer with their family. They have toured the shrines in Europe, walked along the Via Delarosa – the path that Jesus walked in Jerusalem, visited the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel. While this is outside of our budget, for them it was important. They saved money all year long with this trip in mind, and it was on a tight budget staying at convents whenever possible. They told the children ahead of time if they wanted to purchase souvenirs, they needed to bring their own money. Once home, they gathered family and friends and we viewed their movies and still shots and visited these beautiful sites alongside them. What a wonderful legacy they leave their children as well as sharing it with us, their friends!

5. That includes extended family

One year we tied a family trip to Canada, a place I lived for three years as a child to a family reunion in upstate New York. We were able to combine alone time with our family. After walking the streets of Niagra Falls, my son asked if we could read books by the fireplace, a tradition started at home–since the hotel had a fireplace! After a few days drove our rental car to our location in New York, for extended family fun, which included a horseback ride on trails through streams and hills.

Recently, after picking up my daughter at her college location, I realized that Long Island, New York was only four hours north. We visited the city while staying with my cousin and his wife. My second-cousin, who attends a college in Manhattan took us on a nine-mile hike throughout the city, showing us sites and insiders locations. On Sunday we enjoyed a family reunion with my cousins, the last time I visited them was as a teenager.

Memories that last a lifetime are easier said than done. It takes time, planning and a budget. There were many years that we could only afford day trips, and truthfully my family still prefers a weekend camping to a ten-day trip! Patrick Patton may have popularized the saying, “A family who prays together stays together,” however it is something we say as well! You don’t need a long or expensive vacation to make memories. Remember to spend time as a family laughing and enjoying each others company!

You may also be interested in several sessions I recorded for the 2018 Homeschool Moms Conference. This conference is a wonderful addition to your education, moms–and I’m sure you’ll agree. Check it out!