FREE Character Counts: Diligence Planner

Happy New Year! We have made it through 2020 and entered a new year! With a new year comes goals, dreams and plans. We all like to sit down and dream with our spouse, and with our families to plan. Especially after this past year we have had, it is a nice break to think of a better future. It is important to sit down and discuss or write out what we want to achieve in a new year. It is a whole different thing to make those goals a reality. This is where diligence comes in.

This month’s subscriber freebie is on the theme of Diligence.

A diligent person is one who may come across as a go-getter. They set their sites on something that they want to accomplish and they don’t stop until they achieve their goal. Then there are those people who look back on regret because they can never follow through on things. They start something and never have a way to accomplish it, or it gets hard and they just give up.

It is not an easy thing to stick to something and follow through. We see this a lot with New Year resolutions and goals. If you don’t have a plan, then you plan to fail. And it happens every time. Did you know that diligence can be practiced and taught?

This is actually a good character trait that can be worked on. In today’s society it can be hard to push through and not get lazy. There are so many things that make life easy, like technology, gadgets, different devices. Yet it is important to teach our children to follow through, and be true to their word. This is why teaching diligence is so important! When you are diligent, you have a better chance at succeeding and completing your goals!

This character study is perfect for a new year with goal setting. It will give you tips and suggestions on how to practice being diligent in your home. There are ideas and helps for how to follow through on simple tasks to complete goals, and resolutions. Felice always has some great, practical ideas to work on things together as a family.

What is in this month’s planner?

Our Character Counts planners will guide you in planning out a 4-week study on the specific character trait for that month. So this month is on the theme of Diligence. Our planners are always open and go. So all of the hard work of planning is done for you. They are also customizable so you can pick and choose what you would like to use from the planner printables. They are also not dated and can be used  anytime of the year. We like to store ours in a character training binder broken down by theme. Character training is a great addition to a family morning or Bible time in your homeschool. The activities are good for all ages in your family, including parents!

Check out what is inside:

  • Character Quality Family Checklist Worksheet
  • 4 Week Study on Diligence
  • Analyze and Evaluation Sheets
  • Character Trait Planning Worksheets
  • Diligence Journaling Sheets
  • Diligence Study Worksheets for Kids
  • Activity Sheets
  • Diligence Goals Sheets
  • Printable Motivation Posters
  • Certificate of Completion

Could you use some extra help and encouragement in training up your children?

You don’t want to miss the Makeover Your Motherhood Summit full of workshops and support in a private community group with authors and workshop speakers.

Each week we send the free access to download your Character Counts Planner in our ezine. The planner access information is always located at the bottom of each email. There is a new planner every single month. If you are not signed up, you can sign up HERE.

Making Christmas Memories plus a freebie

What was your favorite Christmas childhood memory? You may remember one or two of the most important childhood events in your life. But often, our childhood memories are vague remembrances fueled by a retelling of stories by our parents. In truth, we rarely remember some of the most amazing events in our lives.

Making Christmas Memories plus a special Christmas Memory Book just for kids

This was evidenced in my own family when I began talking about the time we had to replace our Christmas tree. The Christmas tree disaster was a wonderful event for our kids. What kid doesn’t want to decorate a tree twice! And, we talked about it for years. When the kids asked for pictures, I had nothing to show them. I mean, who wants to take a picture of a tree with falling needles and ornaments on the ground? Which made me consider having the children create a memory book.

Just like we chronicle different events with journals, why not do a memory book of special events with our kids? And what I wanted to create was something we could add to each year. And that turned into the Thanksgiving Journal, the Christmas Journal, and the New Year’s Journal. The Christmas journal is the topic of this post.

Our schedules are overflowing at Christmas time, and while school work may wind down, it seems that instead, our social lives speed up. There are plays to rehearse, gifts to buy or make and wrap, and gatherings to attend. Of course, there are decorations to put up, and baking begins in earnest or, at the very least, the purchase of Christmas cookies to share with family and friends. Why this rush? Well, it’s tradition and expected.

Family Traditions:

But, do you have a family tradition that you cherish and hold dear? For us, the one stabilizing fact is that we have an Advent Calendar  with our countdown to Christmas. It begins one month before Christmas, and each night we light one candle (there are 4 in total), and we celebrate the coming of our Savior with readings from the Bible. I love it, and the children enjoy it as well. After our readings, we go around the room and share what we are thankful for each day. It is a beautiful way to celebrate the countdown in a less materialist way.

Is there a family recipe you wish you had? I know in my own family, we lost several cherished recipes, and after my mother died, I found one in, of all places, her address book! At that point, I urged my children to start recipe books of their own and add recipes they liked and wanted to keep for “someday.”

Where do these unique recipes and events get recorded? For many, they do not get recorded, and that is the shame of trying to remember those wonderful events. Sure, we can look at the pictures, but the pictures are often only part of the story. Having your children create a Christmas Memory Journal is half of the fun! They can add to this each year with additional pages.

Christmas Memory Journal:

Here is a FREE Christmas Memory Journal that you can print this out and have your children use this book each year to add favorite memories.

What are some things they can add to this book?

  1. Favorite family recipes
  2. Special family traditions.
  3. Special family events.
  4. People who attended or gathered together.
  5. A unique or memorable gift.

The best part of this journal is reading what took place in the past years. It does not have to be long; a page or two will suffice! For some kids, it is a drawing and two words; for others, they do a beautiful job in writing down what they want to remember. The Christmas Memory journal has been a great hit in my own family, and I pray it is in each one of yours as well!


FREE Character Counts: Joyfulness Planner

We have discussed this before, but everyone knows this year has been extremely rough. It sure can be hard to find joy in these tough situations. The stress and worries of the world, and an unknown future can rub off on our children and cause stress in the home. It is so important to teach our children about how to show joyfulness in all situations.

FREE Character Counts: Joyfulness Planner

It is hard to smile back at someone when they are crabby and scowling. But a simple smile can light up the face of a stranger, or a family member. Just the routine of smiling and laughing daily can bring joys to others.

Some of our children come about this trait rather naturally, while others may struggle with finding joy. Many of us can tend to worry and have anxiety. Those thoughts and anxiety can rob us of the joy that God so freely gives to us. If you have a child that tends more towards worry and stressing over situations then it is very helpful to teach them about being joyful.

It isn’t easy for us as parents either. All you have to do is turn on the news or social media and worry will start to seep in. This is when we need to turn our focus on God and the joy that He so freely gives us. Nehemiah 8:10 says “The Joy of the Lord is your strength.” God’s joy can bring us the strength we need to get through each day, month and year. It gives us the strength to continue on and parent our children with love and with joy.

This Character Counts planner is on the theme of Joyfulness.

If you struggle with being joyful or teaching your children how to be joyful you will enjoy this month’s subscriber freebie. It will give you tips and suggestions on how to practice joyfulness in your home. I love the practical ideas that Felice gives for us to do together as a family. Sometimes when things are hard it is difficult to think of what to do next, or how to tackle an attitude problem. Simple and practical ideas are always helpful!

What is in this month’s planner?

Our Character Counts planner will help you plan out a 4-week study on the character trait of joyfulness.  Our planners are open and go. This means that all the planning is done for you. They are also customizable. You are able to pick and choose what you would like to use within the planner printables. They are not dated so you can use them anytime of the year. I like to print ours out and store them in a character training binder. I create tabs for each character trait. Character training is a great addition to a family morning or Bible time in your homeschool. The activities are good for all ages in your family, including parents!

Check out what is inside:

  • Character Quality Family Checklist Worksheet
  • 4 Week Study of Joyfulness
  • Analyze and Evaluation Sheets
  • Character Trait Planning Worksheets
  • Joyfulness and Your Gifts Journaling Sheets
  • Joyfulness Study Worksheets for Kids
  • Activity Sheets and Create a Joyfulness Poster
  • Joyfulness Goals Sheets
  • Joy Printable Motivation Posters
  • Certificate of Completion

The directions on how to download your free Character Counts Planner are sent in each weekly ezine. The planner access information is always located at the bottom of each email. If you are not signed up, you can sign up HERE.


Simple Soup and Salad Christmas Eve Tradition

I love finding out the different ways that families celebrate with their Christmas traditions. Some of them are very unique and fun, with something random and obscure that was just passed down as a family tradition. Others may be more traditional, like attending a Christmas Eve candlelight service at church and opening one present.

Simple Soup and Salad Christmas Eve Tradition with recipe card! #holidaytraditions #familydinner #soupandsalad #homeforlearningblog #uhpn

There are also different cultural ways that families celebrate. These may differ from one culture to the next. I have some friends whose family have a mix of different cultures throughout. They all get together for a formal Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. They eat very late, and then they open all of their presents at midnight. Christmas Day is then spent with family and children playing with their toys. If you don’t have to get up early the next day then staying up so late wouldn’t be a problem! This was always such a fascinating idea to me.

Since I love hearing so much about other families and their traditions, I thought it would be fun to share our very own Christmas Eve tradition:

This tradition started 5 years ago. We used to gather up the family and drive to the other side of town for family dinner. We then ended up at another family member’s church for a late night Christmas Eve service. This was always so exhausting with small children, and we really wanted to attend our own home church. Somehow, I was able to entice my in laws to attend our church and have dinner at our house instead.

I have an amazing soup recipe that I have tweaked over the years that my father in law always requests that I make. It is a labor of love, so I don’t make it often. I offered to host Christmas Eve dinner at our house with the promise of Tortellini soup, and a new tradition was instantly born!

Our Simple Soup and Salad Christmas Eve Tradition:

I love making soup, because you can simmer it on the stove all afternoon, turn it off and it’s still going to be hot an hour later. You can even keep it warm in a crockpot, but I like to make mine in a large stock pot. For our Christmas Eve tradition, we attend the early Christmas Eve service at our church. This is usually around 5pm. That give us the afternoon to clean the house, to get it all ready for Christmas and to prep our soup and salad.

The reason this soup is a labor of love is because there is so much chopping involved. This soup has lots of herbs and veggies, and chopping it all up can take awhile. It is totally worth it though! If you love Italian food, and hearty wholesome soups, this is the soup for you. The entire family loves it, even small children! Once the soup has simmered for awhile, the last step is to add the tortelilnis. Since we plan on eating when we get home from our church service I leave this step out until we get home. Our service is short so we are home within an hour and the soup is still hot. If you plan on eating after church and will be gone awhile I recommend putting your soup in a crockpot.

My in-laws will meet us at church, and when service is over we come back to our house for dinner. I love the compliments when they walk in the door because the house smells absolutely amazing! I turn the soup back on and add the tortellinis for the final step. We usually snack on some cheese and crackers while the soup finishes up. This soup is very hot so I like to give it some time to cool off before we eat it. We go ahead and ladle it into bowls so it has some time to cool. While it is cooling down we go ahead and make our salads. I like to make a very light salad with fresh lettuce from our garden, cucumbers, tomatoes, freshly grated parmesan cheese and Olive Garden Italian Dressing. Once we are done with our salads the soup is ready to go!

After dinner there is very little clean up as we only have one pot, and bowls and salad plates. It is super easy and makes for a relaxed and simple evening. When dinner is over we read a Christmas story together, and the grandparents hand out gifts. This is such a cozy, sweet and simple tradition we look forward to each year.

I have included my recipe for you below. You can save the image and print it out for your own recipe book. This has been tweaked over the years to make it large family friendly and is a double batch recipe. You can half this if you need to, but it does freeze very well. This will easily feed 10 people with about a quart, maybe more for leftovers. My father in law happily brings some home with him every single time.

You don’t want to miss this special giveaway:

This year has been pretty intense for many families. The struggle is real and there are many that are worried about the bills, the presents, the tree, and even the food itself for Christmas dinner. It doesn’t need to be an anxiety inducing season though. There is a hope that can be found in help that others offer. This help can come in various forms and may it be found in a quiet moment, a shared laugh, or a restful night. This year I have teamed up with a group of amazing bloggers that want to also be a part of the help during this Christmas season.

We are so excited to share that we are going to be able to bless ONE family this year with $500 in PayPal cash. Together we pray that this will help with any of the worries and anxiousness of the season. All of us are wishing for a wonderful Christmas filled with blessings and sweet memories for you and your family!

This Christmas Cash Spectacular runs from 11/30/2-12/07/20 and you can enter on the form below. It is hosted by KingSumo. There are numerous ways to enter and gain extra entries too, so please take a few minutes to visit each entry to increase your chance to win. You MUST have a PayPal address to win this giveaway and the winner will be chosen at random on 12/08/20 and notified by email that same day.

Thanksgiving Memories and Deals

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I don’t know about you, but this year has absolutely flown by! I know that many people are excited for Christmas, but Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. The food, the family, the cozy, warm fall colors and smells just calm my spirit. Thanksgiving is a time to reflect with a grateful heart on all that God has done for us.

Thanksgiving Memories and Deals

I know, this year has just been awful on so many levels, but even in the midst of all the craziness and uncertainty God is still good. There is always something to be grateful for. It can be hard as an adult to see this, children are so much better at having thankful hearts. This is a great time of year to set back and watch our children enjoy themselves. Watch them do crafts, and think about what they are personally thankful for. It really helps to put things into perspective when you see what your children are thankful for.

Thanksgiving Memories:

Thanksgiving is a time to make memories and share joy with others. A great way to do this is by making thankful crafts with your children, and writing down what you are thankful for. Felice always has the best ideas for immersing your children in the holidays by creating special memories with your children.

In this podcast, Felice speaks directly to kids, sharing with them ideas on how to make memories this Thanksgiving. There are also some fun craft ideas and help to get them thinking about what they are thankful for. She has also included a FREE Thanksgiving Memory Book! This sweet little memory book is a place for your children to record their favorite memories of Thanksgiving. There are even Thanksgiving craft ideas and scripture copywork pages for them. You can find this in the show notes HERE as an instant download. 

Thanksgiving Deals:

With the Thanksgiving season also comes lots of deals! Homeschoolers sure are a frugal bunch and love deals. We have some great sales that are running for Black Friday and through Cyber Monday. These are perfect to help you plan out your family and your homeschool, as well as help instill good character skills in your children.

It’s time to prepare to move on from 2020, and build a foundation to make 2021 the most amazing year ever. We can do this by helping or family grow in our knowledge of God’s love and the character traits He wants us to pursue.

Check out the deals on these resources that will help:

Grab our set of our set of 3 planners on Awareness, Decisiveness, and Forgiveness for 50% OFF with our special coupon code!

Use code: CHARACTER2020 at checkout.

Get this fun Homeschool Calendars & Goal Setting Bundle for the entire year made specifically for homeschoolers! Enjoy 4-square planning themed for each month, monthly and weekly planners, activities for your kids, planning tips and more.

Take 30% off with code BLACKFRIDAY

A Few Minutes With God

In this fiction account, author, Felice Gerwitz shares a story about redemption and the power of listening to that small, still voice of God. If you love Christian Fiction you will enjoy this special book!

Retails for $12.99. On sale for 50% off through 11/30/20.

​Paying for College Secret—The PSAT!

If your score sits within a certain predetermined range, you could be in the running for many amazing scholarship opportunities from many colleges.Imagine getting a $100,000 or more for scholarships before the senior year because of your PSAT score. If your score sits within a certain predetermined range, you could be in the running for many amazing scholarship opportunities from many colleges. Take this test seriously—that’s my firm advice. Then, with the right approach and timing, your efforts could reap great financial rewards!


And tuition is not the only thing your awards can pay for. If you score highly enough on your PSAT and qualify for a National Merit ranking, a full-ride might also mean room and board, unlimited laundry, cafeteria passes, study abroad stipends, honors dorms, new computer, spending cash and graduate money—now, that’s the stuff of a great many college dreams! 


Colleges love to brag about their National Merit Scholars as they represent the top one percent of the nation. They’ll often go the extra mile to compete and attract you to their school. They may even sweeten the pot and add more compelling benefits to entice you… and wave free computers or additional spending money in front of you.


You can only take the PSAT once a year, which is generally offered the third week of October, on either Wednesday or Saturday. This school year, they are administering one on January 26, 2021. For a small fee, you can sign up for the PSAT at most local high schools. 


Any preparation you do will mean you have a significant advantage over others. Did you know that the best way to prepare for the PSAT is to prep for the SAT? Both these tests rely on your skills of logic and critical thinking to answer the multiple-choice questions, which have tricky answer choices, many designed to purposely mislead you. So, practice is always time well-spent.

You need to know the PSAT—just like the SAT—is a beatable test. It doesn’t measure your IQ and doesn’t test what you’re learning at high school. You can actually learn the recurring patterns and rules found on every test and learn to answer questions in 30 seconds or less.


If you want to gain an early edge, take the PSAT 8/9 in both eighth and ninth grade and PSAT 10 in the sophomore year. Testing at these times does not count for the scholarship contest, but if you’re serious about making your future easier to afford, then the benefits outweigh the objections you might have. You get to familiarize yourself with the testing environment, gain test maturity and lessen anxiety. You may as well. Your future is going to be peppered with standardized testing instruments and they may very well determine the jobs and careers you follow, not just to get you into a tertiary institution.



Jean Burke is the host of College Prep Genius, here to teach you all the tips and tricks in which you can ace the SAT and get FREE money for college (no strings attached)! Jean Burk’s program will give you all the inside information on how to get money for college, put together a college transcript, and become a logic-based thinker. Jean will debunk myths & misconceptions, all while providing you all the information on how to stop fearing the SAT.  

FREE Character Counts: Gratefulness Character Planner

Gratefulness is one of those character traits that we can always improve on. I have noticed in my own life that when I am showing gratefulness it seeps down to my children and my entire family. If I am grumbling and complaining about circumstances, or petty things, that gets passed down too. How many times have you found yourself complaining about something little, and then you hear the same thing come out of your child’s mouth the next day? OUCH.

FREE Character Counts Gratefulness Planner

This year, more than ever is a time to really settle down and focus on what we are grateful for. It has been a tough, tough year for so many families. Job losses, sickness, civil and political unrest. Vacations and special events cancelled. Disappointment. Worry for what the future holds. We need to be able to take a step back, enjoy our family and the resources God has given us.

Being thankful for the simple things.

How many of you are so thankful that you have toilet paper in your house right now? Who would have ever taken something like toilet paper for granted until this year? We literally jumped for joy when my husband found a pack of 1 ply. That is something I would normally complain about, and we rejoiced to have anything! Can you believe it? It sounds silly, but it is absolutely something to be grateful for.

Every little step at showing gratitude, helps you to be more grateful for even the hard things. Sometimes it is the hard things that shows us the simple things we can thank God daily for. It helps your children to be grateful and complain less as well when they see you modeling this in your home. Before you know it, gratefulness will be flowing from your heart, and you will see true change, joy and happiness.

This month’s subscriber freebie is our Gratefulness Character Planner:

November is always a great month to hone in and focus on being grateful and thankful for our blessings. Even more so this year, but it is just more easily done during the time of Thanksgiving. With the Thanksgiving holiday around the corner, our family always enjoys doing unit studies on thankfulness.

This is the perfect time to gather your family around and work on these activities together. Felice always includes some creative ideas, experiences, activities, printables and worksheets to help your family work together towards the specific trait. There is a lot of room for discussion, and very good thinking and conversation points as well.

What is in this month’s planner?

Our Character Counts planner will help you plan out a 4-week study on the character trait of gratefulness.  Our planners are open and go and all the planning is done for you. They are also customizable, meaning you can pick and choose what you would like to use. The planners are not dated so you can use them anytime of the year. I like to print ours out and store them in a character training binder. Character training is a great addition to a family morning time in your homeschool. The activities are good for all ages in your family.

Check out what is inside:

  • Character Quality Family Checklist Worksheet
  • 4 Week Study Gratefulness/Thankful vs. Ungrateful
  • Analyze and Evaluation Sheets
  • Character Trait Planning Worksheets
  • Gratefulness and Your Gifts Journaling Sheets
  • Gratefulness Study Worksheets for Kids
  • Activity Sheets and Create a Poster
  • Grateful Tree Craft
  • Gratefulness Printable Motivation Posters
  • Certificate of Completion

The directions on how to download your free Character Counts Planner are sent in each weekly ezine. The planner access information is always located at the bottom of each email. If you are not signed up, you can sign up HERE.



Homeschool Planner Bundle and Encouragement for Mom FREEBIE

Our podcast network is celebrating 7 years of sharing hope, encouragement and tips with homeschooling families. Earlier this month, we told you that we would be celebrating with some freebies, giveaways and really awesome sales. Today, we will be sharing these gifts with you. These are time sensitive and you don’t want to miss out on them!

Homeschool Planner Bundle and Encouragement for Mom FREEBIE

If you have been an email subscriber with us, you may have seen the detailed planners that Felice creates each month. This year she has focused on character planning studies that are open and go with no planning on the part of the parent. We look forward to getting these in our emails each month and using them for our morning homeschool Bible time. If you don’t already subscribe to our ezine you can sign up HERE. We send a brand new freebie every single month. A lot of time and love is put into creating these for you.

Before the character planners, a brand new homeschool calendar would come out for each month. These were themed with special themes for the seasons, or holidays of that month. Once the month was up, they were not available any longer. Until now! We have brought back our popular homeschool calendars and goal setting sheets in one bundle as a special release for our birthday celebration.

Homeschool Calendars and Goal Setting Bundle Deal:

The Homeschool Calendars and Goal Setting Bundle is good for an entire year of homeschool planning and goal setting. These were created specifically for homeschool families! Enjoy 4-square planning themed for each month, monthly and weekly planners, tips, notes of encouragement and more. Each planner also comes with printable posters and scriptures with pretty borders to match the season. There are even activity sheets for your children to work on while you work on planning out your month. I especially love the meal planning and printable lists for holiday meals, and celebrations.

There are 12 planners for each month in the year. Some of these planners have at least 50 pages of activities and resources, and a few of them are almost 100 pages long. This is a great value! 12 planners have a retail value of $24.00.

You can grab them HERE for only $7.00 to celebrate our 7 years on the air! Hurry! They will go back to full price in November.

Homeschool Moms Album FREEBIE:

FREE Homeschool Moms Album for homeschooling moms. The Songs of Prayers for Homeschool Moms has music and printable lyrics to refresh and encourage you. These are very soothing and uplifting. They are great to download to the device that you listen to your podcasts on, or to your computer when you need an encouraging moment in your busy day.

Use coupon code momsalbum to get it for free.

Expires 10/31/20.

$200 Birthday Celebration Giveaway:

We have partnered with our homeschool podcast hosts to giveaway over $200 in gift cards! There are two prizes in this giveaway. One winner will receive their choice of a $200 gift card to Christian Book Distributors or Rainbow Resources. Another winner will receive a $100 gift certificate for any of our Media Angels products, ebooks or memberships.

This giveaway ends on 10/31/20/

You can Enter the Giveaway HERE.



How to Create Your Perfect Homeschool

Creating the perfect homeschool

Now, really. Did you just click a title that said, “Create Your Perfect Homeschool” ??

Well, I’m sorry to say, there is no.such.thing.

What do I have for you today? I have a gift! In honor of Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network’s 7th birthday, today I’m sharing the gift of wisdom.

What is Homeschool Wisdom?

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines wisdom as, “The right use or exercise of knowledge; the choice of laudable ends, and of the best means to accomplish them. This is wisdom in act, effect, or practice.

I don’t know about you, but when I began homeschooling I craved sitting down over a cup of coffee with a veteran or vintage homeschool mom. I had so many questions

So, it was so much fun to sit down with Felice Gerwitz (of Vintage Homeschool Moms) and ask her questions that I know will be a blessing to you.


1. How did you get started in homeschooling?

I had a child that learned differently and it was not an easy decision, as I had planned to return to teaching at some point when my kids were older. It turned into the biggest blessing ever and as I had more children, it became a lifestyle. More of a “who we are,” rather than, “what we do.”

2. What biggest piece of advice would you have regarding your marriage and homeschooling?

I know everyone says take time for date night, but truthfully I was one of those moms that missed my kids when I went out to dinner! Of course, after saying that the first time (and hurting my husband’s feelings) I learned to keep that tidbit to myself. Praying together and talking. I missed adult conversation as a homeschool mom. However, for me, it was being open, kind, and honest in conversations. No character assassination, and no criticism, aka “You are stupid.” Telling him what I was thinking rather than expecting him to guess. Our husbands can’t read our minds and we get upset when they don’t know what we think! Also, trying to be thankful for each other and seeing the best rather than the worse.

3. How would you recommend fostering connection in this Covid time for new homeschoolers?

I have to say, for me, it isn’t so much about outside connections as it is with growth within our own families. This is a time to listen to your kids when they are talking, to appreciate them, and to grow together as a family. Find new hobbies, learn something new together, plant a garden, buy baby chicks. (I’m dying to do this myself.) I do believe this time will pass and there will be field trips and park days. If you have a few friends, invite them to a park day. Learn who is homeschooling in your area and if there is any planned activity happening.
Join our Homeschool Podcast Family and ask us anything! There are some great homeschooling families in that group. Maybe some live near you!

4. Tell me about a time you thought of giving up and how you kept going with homeschooling.

I had two older kids and then had first one, then another and finally a fifth child. By the time my fifth came, I told my daughter, then eighteen she couldn’t leave the house until she taught the baby to read. Of course, I was joking, but the idea of teaching another child to read was not a fun prospect. (I had some struggling readers.) Well, God in his infinite wisdom and mercy took pity on me and Mikey taught himself to read (with a little help on my part) when he was four-years-old. I think sometimes we look at the big picture rather than tackle the every day and thank-God for each day. If you do that it can appear overwhelming.

5. If you had do-overs, what are three things you’d do differently in your homeschool?

Start unit studies earlier in my homeschool journey, especially with my little kids. We learned so much in various grade levels and we had so much fun learning it was not a chore. Once we switched to more textbooks, that is when the burn out began. Reading “real” books, for example, good historical novels, or biographies, the kids will grasp the concepts and actually remember.

6.  We moms know that the responsibility of the actual work of homeschooling usually falls on our shoulders. How do you handle the school/life balance?

I actually came up with what I call a 4-Square Planner and I took a sheet of paper and labeled it. Prayer, School, Home, Kids –or whatever 4 categories I wanted. I have used this for party planning, buying gifts, and homeschooling. It can be a daily page or a week at a glance. Either way, it works great. That way I know what I need to get done! Also, multi-task well as a family. For example, the laundry day ended up being reading in the afternoon day. Clothes were folded while I read, or the kids took turns reading while we all folded clothes and then put them away.

7. Talk to me about the middle school years. What words of wisdom or advice would you share?

I was a middle school teacher, so this is actually one of my favorite stages! Kids are great. They just are. And, if you can appreciate them it will make life so much better. Whenever you get stressed that your middle schooler is getting sassy, or lazy, or fill-in-the-blank, think back to when they wouldn’t wear pink, or insisted on wearing a skirt and pants, etc. There are always an age/stage that your kids go through that can stump us, and that is also a time for prayer. I remember being upset with my then high schooler and not knowing what the punishment would be, so I let the child know I was going to pray about the punishment. My son scoffed at me. When the Lord gave me a sense of what the punishment should be, his car keys hung in a common area (dumb right?), it really worked! So pray if things are going hard and see what the Lord gives you a sense to do!

8. What do you think the role of a a co-op might be in homeschooling?

I loved co-ops when my kids were younger and some people love them when the kids are older. It is a good time to get together with other kids if there is a subject you don’t want to teach. Or, if you can teach something well you can offer to teach.

9. There are so many blogs and podcasts to read and listen to nowadays. How can I be discerning regarding which ones will be a benefit and grace to my homeschool?

Truthfully, I love podcasts, especially from those on my network. I know most of the podcasters personally. These people walk-the-walk. I feel that so many blogs are copies of other blogs and the information is so watered down. Also, I avoid blogs that are full of ads. They are too hard to navigate even with good information.

10. What is your favorite homeschool resource and tell me about your own resources.

My all-time favorite history curriculum is a set my brother in law created for my own kids. We were able to record them and my kids know much about the Constitution and history. It is taught from a factual perspective. It can be used by all denominations as it is not heavily Christian but definitely has that as an undertone. In addition, I co-authored a Creation Science unit studies and four were featured in Cathy Duffy Top 100 and 101 Curriculum Picks, along with the Teaching Science and Having Fun books. Those books are on my Media Angels Membership (you can save 50% off with the code FOREVER50) and it has all of my curriculum and resources including the History courses. I also love our novels. They are creation based and while the story is fiction, the science is the truth!

Felice Gerwitz

Author and speaker, Felice Gerwitz, is an outside of the box thinker. Her books reflect a love of learning and education with an eye toward retention.

She is a graduate of Florida Southern College, a former teacher with a degree in Elementary Education, Learning Disabilities and Early Childhood Education. She began Media Angels Publishing in 1994.

Eight of Felice’s titles have been selected by noted book reviewer, Cathy Duffy in both her 100-Top and 101 Top Homeschool Curriculum Picks. Her science fair book was selected as book of the month by God’s World Publishing.

There are no coincidences in life, so Felice believes it is by Divine Intervention that she publishes curriculum with a Biblical Creation focus and many other educational products.

Felice owns and podcasts at the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network and the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network. Her podcast topics include homeschooling, parenting, spiritual life and a podcast for aspiring authors and podcasters.

Get in on the par-tay fun! Join us for our GIVEAWAY and celebration! 7 years is a big deal. 🙂 

It’s our birthday today and we like to celebrate all month long! We will be offering some fun freebies and resources for you this month that you don’t want to miss.
Let’s kick off our 7th year celebration with an awesome giveaway!
You can enter HERE:

FREE Character Counts: Generosity Character Planner

Generosity is a trait that some people have and give of generously. Other people may struggle greatly with being generous, and may be seen as stingy, cheap, or down right selfish. You probably can see this difference in your own family unit. Not everyone has a love language for giving gifts, and some children struggle to give with a happy heart. This can be a hard habit to break and to encourage the opposite of.

FREE Character Counts: Generosity Character Planner

So what is the opposite of being generous? It is plain and simple and its called selfishness. This is a sin nature that all children are born with. I think one of the first words out of a toddler’s mouth is “NO! That’s mine!” If you have multiple small children you may hear them yelling this at one another often! I remember reading a book with that title to my little ones when they struggled with sharing.  I think for a time that we read that book almost every single day. It took awhile before it finally caught on that what they were doing was being selfish.

We can read books to our children, and speak to them and tell them to share and to give freely, but it isn’t always that easy. If you have been following along with these planners each month, you will know that Felice always says that character is caught, not taught! We can model generous and giving behavior to our children, and they will quickly catch on to how they should behave.

This month’s character training planner is on the character trait of generosity.

If you have children that are struggling with sharing, or giving, or just down right being selfish then this month’s character planner is for your family! It will give you helpful and practical suggestions to teach you how to model a generous and giving spirit to your family. There are many wonderful ideas and experiences that you can do together as a family to work on this trait as well. I love the worksheets, posters and activity sheets. This planner is great for all ages and has many different things you can print off and use.

What is in this month’s planner?

The Character Counts planner helps you to easily plan out a 4-week study on the character trait of generosity.  Just like our previous planners, the planning is done for you. Yes, these planners are completely open and go. It is also customizable, meaning you can pick and choose what you would like to use. The planners are not dated. We do that on purpose, so that you can use them at any time. I like to print ours out and store them in a character training binder. You can easily access them and pull them out when you are dealing with a certain issue that needs to be focused on in your family. Character training is a great addition to a family morning Bible time. These are designed to be simple and fun, with activities for your entire family to participate in together.

Check out what’s inside:

  • Character Quality Family Checklist Worksheet
  • 4 Week Study Generosity vs. Selfishness and Self-Focuses
  • Analyze and Evaluation Sheets
  • Character Trait Planning Worksheets
  • Flexibility and Your Gifts Journaling Sheets
  • Generosity Vocabulary Words
  • Activity Sheets and Create a Poster
  • Generosity Study Worksheets for Kids
  • Make a Generosity Blue Print
  • Generosity Printable Motivation Posters
  • Certificate of Completion

The directions on how to download your free Character Counts Planner are sent in each weekly ezine. The planner access information is always located at the bottom of each email. If you are not signed up, you can sign up HERE.