February Printable Organizer

Are you feeling overwhelmed and disorganized? Do you have trouble staying on top of your to-do lists and tackling your goals?

The February Printable Organizer can make your life easier by helping you create an organized plan to get what you need to do.

Take control of your schedule this month, make the most of your time, and reach your goals with this helpful and convenient monthly planner.

Download today and get organized!

February Checklist Freebie | Let’s Organize It!

I can’t believe that February is almost here. The new year is in full swing, and this is the time when we continue to work on our goals and resolutions and see what is working for our families. Some fun things are coming up in February, so a February Printable Organizer will help you keep everything organized. Let’s Organize It!

Organization helps keep our lives orderly; this month, we focus on the family.

I’ll lead you through taking inventory of your time, talents, family, homes, and activities. We begin by tackling one part of our lives at a time in small chunks, and over the remainder of the year, you will be amazed at the progress you’ve made without getting overwhelmed.

This handy February Printable Organizer lets you easily organize different aspects of your life using print-out sheets.

Don’t wait; print and begin immediately! With the aid of organizational sheets, it is easier to implement a plan.

Organization is more than arranging or throwing out unused items. It can become a way of life. While a tidy house and purging the extras are necessary, they are only the tip of the overall plan to run a home with grace and joy.

This month our focus is on the family, getting rid of classroom clutter, and making lists of items to take when you leave your home, with the added benefit of family activities such as field trips.

The February Printable Organizer also includes an overall list for organizing your day.

Look at your day and decide what needs organization. This organizational planner includes tips and a system to accomplish the non-negotiables on your list, like eating and sleeping, while still leaving time to enjoy life!

Try not to put off things that you have the time to accomplish.

Keeping realistic goals and expectations is essential in planning out the day. Remember, there is a season for everything. A mom with little ones will accomplish more tasks that involve caring for the family’s immediate needs, while a mom with teens will perform other tasks that might have to do more with broader needs, such as dealing with teenage emotions, lessons, and preparing for high school and beyond.

While planning your day, look for ways to set up routines that work for you, keep a specific schedule, and know what events are coming soon.

This will go a long way in lowering your stress.

Using a large central wall calendar allows everyone to see events at a glance, plus a smaller planner or the calendar on your phone, can all be valuable tools. Having more than one is what most organized people do. Find what works for you! Be sure to share digital calendars with your spouse and older children. That way, when one event is updated, everyone gets a notification.
Focus on your priorities. When new projects or events come up, add them to the calendar or the to-do list. That helps you keep organized. Communication is key. Let your family know when you are trying something new or struggling. Don’t assume they will figure out your struggles or needs. Instead, enlist the help of your spouse and children when needed. You are in this together.

So many resources are available the February Printable Organizer and the podcasts on Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network; Felice Gerwitz’s podcast (my mom!) and her entire podcast network are free.

Check out the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network, which has many shows that deal with the topic of organization. Just search for the topic on the website. I pray that you are brought peace and joy as you organize your life!

~ Blessings, Christina Moss

The directions on downloading the monthly printable will be 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 as a subscriber.

January Organize It Freebie

It’s January, and for many of us that means new resolutions. What if this year, instead of a resolution, you join us for the themed printables we offer for our subscribers?

The printables offer you tangible support and accountability to prioritize the things that matter and get done the things that must be done.

Imagine your 2023 as one of organized action. How much could you accomplish in your home and homeschool if you had a partner (the printable!) pointing the way to success.

 

 

What is in the January Organize It! Freebie?

This month’s checklist has everything you need to plan for success.

A peek at what’s inside:

Organizational Overview
January Organizational Topics
Organizational Guide
Organization Objectives
Household Organization
Finance Organization
Homeschool Organization
Personal Organization
Overall Monthly Plan
Blank Monthly Calendar
Four Square Planner
Meal Planning
Organize Your Meals
Organize Your Month-Suggested Topics
January Organization List and Blank Forms
January To-Do List (Suggestions) and Blank Forms
Organize Your Cleaning (Suggestions) and Blank Forms
Weekly and Daily Chores (Suggestions) and Blank Forms
Organize Your Homeschool
Chore Schedule and Blank Forms
Chore Chart
Weekly Check-Off Sheets and Reading List Form


Download the monthly checklist sent out in each weekly ezine; these are available to subscribers only.

The planner access information is always located at the bottom of each email. Sign up for the freebie so you don’t miss it.

You can sign up HERE as a subscriber if you are not signed up.

 


Why become organized?

Organization will free up time to do what you’d like. It also allows you more time and energy to accomplish your goals. This also allows more time with our children and
spouse. When we are running around picking up at the last minute or cooking dinner, there is less time to spend with the family.

Organization begins with checklists and a plan for your finances, household, homeschool, personal needs, events, and appointments. How do you deal with all of these in an organized manner? That is what we will discuss in this planner. Organization is more than arranging things in a closet or going through your unused items. While neat closets, drawers, and purging unused items are essential, they are only the tip of the overall planning necessary to run a home.

Running a business for many years has encouraged me to run my home similarly. While moms and dads hold many titles, one that escapes us is chief of staff! We have children, some are too young, but others are underutilized. I know that my children became helpful when given specific tasks and the encouragement to help. It is easier to do things independently, but if we want responsible children, we must train them early and well.

I like to know what I am doing each day. This can only happen with a list of daily goals. Successful business people do not put things off; they look over their lists before starting the next day. My husband knows what his construction crew is working on, usually a week or more ahead of schedule. Otherwise, he’d have employees sitting around, getting paid for doing nothing, which would affect the bottom line. In our homes, the bottom line is time and a happy family, which is sacrificed in chaos.

As with anything we do, balance is important, as well as keeping realistic goals and expectations. If you are a mom with little ones, you can accomplish less than a mom with teens. I am happiest
when I can see my accomplishments, yet I had many years of sacrificing my goals to have kids fed and a house that didn’t look like a train wreck when dad got home. (Not that he ever complained!)
Setting up routines, keeping to specific schedules, and knowing what events are upcoming will go a long way to running your household in a way that is not stressful.

This is why I’ve created this planner, to help you feel supported as you support your family in whatever endeavors you choose to take on.

Subscribe today.

3 Reasons to Give Up on Your New Year’s Goal

What a weird headline for a New Year’s blog post, right? Give up on your goal before you even get started? You may have a goal that doesn’t fit the criteria below, and if that’s true, carry on! I wish you well. But if you can answer yes to any of the three questions I have for you, consider giving up the goal now.

1. Is the Behavior Required to Meet Your Goal Unsustainable?

You can stick with that low-carb diet, the twice-a-day workouts, and the all-day school schedule in the short-term. But how long will it take before you hate the process and give up?

If what is required to meet your goal isn’t something you can live with long-term, you will not only give up on your goal, but you’ll have a harder time achieving the goal in a more reasonable fashion later on. Overly strict dieting has been linked to weight gain, not loss, for example.

If you can admit right now that going without sugar for the rest of your life is not something you can live with, ask yourself what is? Could you exchange one soda or treat a day for something else you enjoy that has less sugar? Modify the rules for achieving your goal until you can say yes to a long-term commitment, or give it up right now. You’ll be better off.

2. Does the Goal Come from a Place of Self-Loathing?

If you are disgusted with yourself–your eating, your shopping, your time management–you’re likely to choose a punishing path to get yourself to your goal. To make matters worse, you’re unlikely to give yourself credit for changes you make. You’ll tell yourself you should have been doing the right things all along, kicking yourself for past mistakes.

This type of goal tends to come with a lot of internal name-calling: “You’re gross! You’re lazy! You’re pathetic!” It’s like hiring a harsh coach to get us on track. Initially, just like the unsustainable program, it will work. But we will soon be sick of the mean coach we’ve become. We know this coach doesn’t really love us, so we will cut her loose. We give up the goal and feel like even more of a loser.

If you know your goal of filling one trash bag a day with your stuff doesn’t come from a place of self-love, could you focus on 5-minute tasks that make your life easier? Become an encouraging coach focused on helping yourself take baby steps, or give up the goal right now. You’ll feel better about yourself.

3. Does Your Goal Require Extraordinary Willpower That You Haven’t Had Before?

If you have to white knuckle it, summoning willpower that has never been available to you in this area of your life, you’re likely to fail with the goal. If you have a strong desire to shop for curriculum you don’t need, for example, you can exercise self-control in the short-term. You’ll delete the email, unfollow curriculum groups on Facebook, and tell friends you’re happy with your choices when they talk about their latest finds. But then you’re listening to a podcast and hear about something completely new and amazing. It won’t do any harm to check it out, right?

Like a goal that requires unsustainable behavior, you’re likely to give up on willpower goals quickly. When the excitement of New Year’s fades, when you’re tired, or when the unexpected stresses you out, your willpower will fail you. Even when we ask God to give us more willpower, we will quickly find our reserves have run dry.

If you know your goal relies on your own willpower, ask God to change your desires instead. Meditate on Scripture and read Sidetracked in the Wildnerness. If you don’t want unnecessary curriculum, a second helping, or the dopamine hit you get from social media, you won’t need more willpower. The added benefit is you will recognize how much God loves you right where you are and how powerful He is to help you. If you won’t trust God with your goal, you’ll be better off giving it up now–at least until you’re ready to wave the white flag and ask Him to take over.

Conclusion

My prayer is that God would get the glory as you find yourself transformed by the love of God this year.

If you have a goal of getting organized or being more productive this year, my books The Organized Homeschool Life and A Year of Living Productively will give you a sustainable plan.

Melanie Wilson is the host of The Homeschool Sanity Show and the author of Grammar Galaxy language arts curriculum.

Back To School After The Holidays

back to homeschool after holidaysBack To School After The Holidays

First, Happy New Year! I pray for a wonderful and blessed New Year for all of you!

The most wonderful time of the year for many people is the celebrations during Christmas and New Year – however, with the holidays fast behind us it is time to take a look at the new year, and homeschooling is a big part of our lives. How are you approaching the coming weeks? Are you jumping right in? Are you taking it slow and easy? Are you planning to delay school for a week? In the past, I’ve done all of the above, and here are the results:

Jumping  into school right after the holiday:

Pros:

  1. Get the kids back into a routine
  2. It allows you to get ahead and therefore end earlier once your lessons are complete for the school year.
  3. It keeps down the discipline problems that tend to happen when kids have too much time on their hands.

Cons:

  1. You may not be ready for school to begin.
  2. There is still a mess from the holidays to clean up.
  3. No one feels ready for school.

Taking it slow and easy after the holiday:

Pros:

  1. Introducing one subject at a time allows kids to acclimate to the routine.
  2. Remediation if needed – helps to go over past learned information.
  3. It helps to get everything organized and plan for special projects or experiments.

Cons:

  1. What do you do the rest of the day if only one subject is introduced a day?
  2. Most kids do well with routine, and what happens when you keep changing daily?
  3. Keeping track of more subjects and planning.

Whatever you decide, be sure you are ready. There is nothing like “losing” your class very quickly when mom is looking for printables on a specific subject on the computer – hops on Facebook for a second (that turns into 15 minutes), and then looks up to see everyone is running around, or outside…okay, for those of us who live in Florida this happens. Really!

Do you have some after-holiday tips that have worked well? Share them with us.

 

Make Your Homeschool Merry | a Helpful Holiday Roundup

homeschooling through the holidays

Make Your Homeschool Merry | a Helpful Holiday Roundup

One of the best things about homeschooling is the ability to create a family schedule that works in your real life. So, if you’re not homeschooling through the holidays, I hope you spend quality time doing what’s best for your family. If you homeschool through the holidays, I’d love to hear your best tips for staying on top of it all!

This Round-Up is helpful regardless of your plans. To make the most of December, be sure and grab our free December Checklist Printable. It has all.the.goodies.

Okay, here we go!


Helpful Holiday Blog Posts

I’ve done the research for you to come up with Christmas or Holiday themed blog posts that will inspire you or encourage you.

Holiday Resources for Homeschooling Families

Homeschool moms love great resources! Here are some from our own podcasters!

Helpful Holiday Podcasts

Make yourself a cup of cocoa and dig into this mega list of homeschool holiday podcasts!

Holiday Movies for Your Family

While not all Christmas movies, why not use the holiday break to cuddle up on the coach with the family and a bucket of popcorn and dig into these binge-worthy lists of family movies?

(Thank you to our Sponsor, 5,000 Blankets) Coming to PureFlix January 9th, 2023)

 

 

December Checklists Freebie

Are you ready for the December Checklists?

December is the busiest month of the year. However, it can be something other than the most stressful or chaotic, and we are here to help!

Remember, the season’s true meaning is Jesus, our Savior, and everything will fall into place. Take the time to enjoy your family and friends and spend time connecting and relishing the love you share. It is a month to create memories with your family.

Whether you are hosting a Christmas Day meal or are a guest and bringing a side dish, get planning now! Print off the handy checklists in this planner and begin putting your ideas on paper. Being prepared will lower your stress level. Take the time to enjoy your family and celebrate your family traditions. Remember to update your lists as the month goes on and things change. Use these as a template for your own ideas.

To make things less stressful, utilize the organizational tools compiled in this planner.

It will allow you to keep from becoming overwhelmed with events and activities. Don’t let the month run you; instead, plan for each thing you want to accomplish. Carve out some time at the beginning of the month, and then you will only need a few minutes once a week to keep focused on the schedule and be way ahead of your planning for the month. Won’t that be nice?

The Holiday Ultimate Checklist can give you the direction and insight you need. Find out how to get a copy of the November checklist freebie below.

Printable holiday planner and checklist from ultimate homeschool podcast network

What is in the December (Holiday)  Checklist Freebie?

This month’s checklist has everything you need to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday season.

A peek at what’s inside:

  • Checklists Guide – This is a breakdown of how to use the lists for the month, with suggestions to help you get started.
  • Objectives Worksheet
  • Weekly Planning Worksheet
  • Blank Printable December Calendar
  • Four square planners: Faith, Kids, School, and Household
  • Evaluation Weekly Worksheets
  • Motivational Posters and Scripture Posters
  • Printable December Checklist
  • Fun Things to do in September Printable
  • December Holidays Printable Sheet
  • Field Trip Planning
  • Reading Log
  • Organization Checklist
  • Chore Schedule Blank Sheet
  • Quarterly Planning
  • School Planning Sheets
  • Sample School Schedules to Follow
  • Homeschool Weekly Planning Sheets
  • Meal Planning Helps and Suggestions

Download the monthly checklist sent out in each weekly ezine; these are available to subscribers only.

The planner access information is always located at the bottom of each email. Sign up for the freebie so you don’t miss it.

You can sign up HERE as a subscriber if you are not signed up.

the ultimate holiday planner checklist printable

November Thanks Checklists Freebie

Are you ready for the November Thanks Checklists?

November is permeated with the theme of thankfulness—an excellent time to remember all the gifts God has given and his daily blessings. No ma#er how busy we get, we can all agree that the most important thing is to thank the Maker of everything for making time to breathe and enjoy our family and friends.

Whether you are hosting a Thanksgiving Day meal or are a guest and bringing a side dish, get planning now! Print off the handy checklists in this planner and begin putting your ideas on paper.

Being prepared will lower your stress level. Take the time to enjoy your family and make memories; now is when your children surround you. Don’t forget to update your lists as the month goes on and things change.

Let’s get planning and let the ideas flow in an orderly fashion!

The November Ultimate Checklist can give you the direction and insight you need. Find out how to get a copy of the November checklist freebie below.

November Thanks Checklists

What is in the November Checklist Freebie?

This month’s checklist has everything you need to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday season.

A peek at what’s inside:

  • Checklists Guide – This is a breakdown of how to use the lists for the month, with suggestions to help you get started.
  • Objectives Worksheet
  • Weekly Planning Worksheet
  • Blank Printable October Calendar
  • Four square planners: Faith, Kids, School, and Household
  • Evaluation Weekly Worksheets
  • Motivational Posters and Scripture Posters
  • Printable November Checklist
  • Fun Things to do in September Printable
  • November Holidays Printable Sheet
  • Field Trip Planning
  • Reading Log
  • Organization Checklist
  • Chore Schedule Blank Sheet
  • Quarterly Planning
  • School Planning Sheets
  • Sample School Schedules to Follow
  • Homeschool Weekly Planning Sheets
  • Meal Planning Helps and Suggestions

Download the monthly checklist sent out in each weekly ezine; these are available to subscribers only.

The planner access information is always located at the bottom of each email. Sign up for the freebie so you don’t miss it.

You can sign up HERE as a subscriber if you are not signed up.

How to Homeschool: Practical Tips and Advice to Launch

So, you think you want to homeschool, and you’re wondering how to homeschool; you’re looking for practical tips and advice to launch. You’re asking yourself some of the following questions:

These are the types of questions parents who are considering homeschooling ask. 

In this overview, we’ll cover all those questions and more. Soon you’ll be on your way to educating your kids at home with the know-how, excitement, and confidence you’ll need to create the homeschool of your dreams. 

A Quick History of Homeschooling

You’ve likely read that many of our Founding Fathers and other famous people, like Booker T. Washington, Thomas Edison, and even Beatrix Potter, were homeschooled. Those are handy when discussing homeschooling and socialization or other polarizing issues, but the modern homeschooling movement began much later. 

Most parents of homeschooled children were privately or publicly educated. So, the history of homeschooling begins with public school and an educator named John Holt. His concern with the, in his view, oppressive nature of institutionalized learning gave birth to a method of education that is much like what homeschoolers call unschooling. 

He, in turn, inspired a more recognizable name in modern homeschooling circles, Raymond Moore. Moore, an educational philosopher and theorist. They taught that early learning is injurious to young children and that most kids should be taught at home until age eight or nine. Moore’s view of delayed academics would expand Holt’s early views of “unschooling,” and he would become known to many as the Father of Homeschooling. 

The Growth of Homeschooling

As homeschooling became more widely accepted, it became influenced by Christians. As these Christians stepped into the legal fight for homeschooling acceptance, Homeschool Legal Defense (HSLDA) was born. 

Today, homeschooling is legal in all fifty states and growing at more than 8% per year. 

Getting started with homeschooling has never been easier, and the statistics on the success of schooling at home prove it to be an excellent option for any family who chooses to homeschool. 

How to Get Started Homeschooling

As with most things, the hardest part of homeschooling is getting started. Why is that? In a nutshell, it’s pretty overwhelming to take on the responsibility of your children’s education. 

While ninety percent of kids are getting on a bus to go to school, homeschooling parents are headed to the kitchen table to start their school day. This is bound to create self-doubt, economic concerns, and overwhelm. The best way to combat those feelings is to create a homeschooling plan and start!

Create a Homeschool Plan

Before launching any major life change or undertaking, developing a plan is wise. Any good plan begins with a strong foundation. So, ask yourself, “why am I homeschooling?”

Your Homeschool “Why?” 

 Think through the possible reasons you’ve chosen to homeschool. Start with a clean piece of paper and write those down. Some possible reasons to homeschool include:

  • Religious conviction. These parents desire to pass on their faith culture to their children and believe they are called to homeschool. Their end goal is passing on their faith. Their method is discipleship. 
  • Academic rigor. Families who choose to homeschool to provide greater academic rigor to their children look for educational partners, such as online academies, cottage schools, or classical schools and co-ops, to expose their kids to a more demanding educational model. Their end goal is academic achievement. Their method is academic rigor.
    • Bullying. Harassment and bullying can be emotionally taxing on anyone, but kids suffer a greater impact. Families escaping abuse may be drawn to homeschooling to protect their children. Their end goal is safety. Their method is bringing education home. 
  • Cost of private school. Private schooling is expensive, and homeschooling can provide the same faith-based experience or academic rigor without the price tag. The end goal of these parents is affordability. Their method is schooling at home while embracing those tools that will bring about academic achievement. 
  • Poor public school. Like any form of education, not all things are equal. This applies to public schools. A family may live in a district with poor public schools and want something different for their children. Their end goal is the desire for something better than the public school has to offer. Their method is to take on the responsibility of homeschooling for themselves. 
  • Freedom. Families who want to homeschool to embrace a freedom lifestyle might include reasons such as; missionary responsibilities, travel opportunities, or personal conviction about the role of parents, homes, school, and state. Their end goal is autonomy and freedom. Their method is accepting responsibility and defending their right to homeschool their children. 

Reasons Lead to Decisions

As you look over some reasons an individual might choose to homeschool their children, you’re likely to see yourself in more than one category. That’s the beauty of homeschooling! Each homeschool is as unique as the family homeschooling. Embrace it! 

Use your homeschool “why?” to create a simple mission statement. A mission statement is a short, action-oriented statement that embodies your values. For example, a homeschooling parent’s mission statement might be: The Smith Family Homeschool- disciplining our children to make an impact for Christ in the world. 

Go ahead, give it a try! 

Create Your Homeschool Vision

Once you understand the foundational reason you’ve chosen to homeschool and have your mission statement, you can begin to develop a vision for your homeschool. 

When figuring out how to start homeschooling, a vision will help clear away the clutter of overthinking and provide direction for your homeschool journey. A vision statement for your homeschool incorporates a time element and supports the mission statement you’ve created. 

For the example above, The Smith Family Homeschool, a vision statement might look like this: The Smith Family Homeschool: Pointing our kids towards Christ and the Gospel through the use of the Bible, Christian curriculum, discipleship, and a family-centered lifestyle so that they are equipped to handle life and the rigor of college. 

Developing the vision statement can guide us to our curriculum choices. If we look at the Smith Family, we know: they’ll be discerning when it comes to the worldview of the curriculum author, the curriculum should lend itself to the discipleship model of teaching, and it needs to be academically rigorous. 

Your turn. What are your non-negotiables when it comes to homeschooling? Use those alongside your mission statement to craft your homeschool vision statement. 

Know the Homeschool Laws

Okay, you’ve equipped yourself with the why of homeschooling. Let’s move on to the how of homeschooling. And that begins with knowing the homeschool laws. 

Most new homeschoolers (and even veteran homeschooling families) have questions about what constitutes a legal homeschool. When looking for answers to legal questions, consult a reputable source, such as HSLDA, and think of your questions in advance. Some common questions are:

  • Do I have to register my homeschool?
  • Do I have to notify anyone that we are homeschooling? 
  • How many hours per day do I have to homeschool?
  • Do I have to use the curriculum the school uses?
  • How do I graduate as a homeschooler?
  • Do I have to keep attendance?
  • What about a transcript?

Find good homeschool groups online and in your area, consult with HSLDA, and search your state’s Department of Education website. Understand what’s required to homeschool in your state, and begin. 

Set Up Your Homeschool Space

If you spend ten minutes on Pinterest, you’ll quickly discover a million ways to set up your homeschool space. This is a highly personal thing, so be creative! Have fun!

Having a few things in place is great, but the result belongs to you. Some common things you’ll find in a homeschool space include:

  • Bookshelves
  • A printer 
  • Craft Supplies 
  • A laptop or PC 
  • Maps
  • Timelines
  • 3 Ring notebooks

A central place to homeschool is helpful, but you can school at your kitchen table or on the family room floor. Helpful doesn’t equal essential, and the important thing to remember is to figure out what works for your family. 

Does clutter bother you, and you’ll need to put everything away daily? Can you have kids share a room to create a homeschool space? What type of budget do you have to put towards your homeschool space? Think through the logistics of what you need to do, when you need to do it, and where you’ll do it. Giving this some attention before school starts can help you feel better prepared. 

Begin Your Curriculum Search

One of the favorite parts of homeschooling for most homeschoolers is picking out the curriculum. Keep your mission and vision in mind, and get ready to have fun. 

To keep the search from becoming overwhelming, start with the grade level you’re teaching (Preschool, Kindergarten, Elementary, Middle School, High School, Special Needs)  and then begin with your core subjects. 

As you search through the curriculum, you’ll uncover different homeschooling methods, too. Methods such as Charlotte Mason, Classical, Unit Study, and others. Give yourself some space to learn about these styles of homeschooling. They can aid you in your curriculum search. 

Homeschool Curriculum Core Subjects

The core subjects in homeschooling are generally considered to be English (Language Arts), Literature, Math, History, Science, and for many homeschoolers, Bible. Your state requirements may demand additional core subjects, such as Government

There are so many options for curriculum in the core subjects alone that it’s easy to feel like you’ve been thrown into the deep end of the pool and you’ve forgotten how to swim. 

To avoid panicking about making a choice, review your vision, and consult trusted sources for recommendations. 

What to Look for in the Homeschool Curriculum Core Subjects

When looking through the available curriculum, is it available to know what you’re looking at? This can help you make fair comparisons and choose what’s most likely to work for your family. 

Here are some general guidelines to help you when comparing curriculum by subject:

  • English: Does it teach grammar as a stand-alone subject? Is it a consumable product? Does it incorporate Literature? Will I need a teacher’s guide? Does it teach writing mechanics?
  • Math: Are the principles taught sequentially, or does it use an incremental spiral approach? Are there workbooks? Do I feel confident teaching this, or are there DVDs or online access? 
  • Literature: Do the reading selections align with my family’s mission and vision? Can I obtain the recommendations from the library or read them on Kindle?
  • History: Is it taught in cycles? Does it cover American history fairly? 
  • Science: What does it teach about creation? Are there required labs? 
  • Bible: Does it incorporate memory work? 

And for all core subjects, beyond considering the contact itself, does it excite your student? Will they look forward to the subject in general? Can it be passed down to other kids in your family? Is it in my budget? What’s the return policy? Do you love it? 

Don’t be afraid to try a homeschool curriculum for a year and pivot for the second year. Do the best you can to gather information before you purchase, but know that it’s normal to make a curriculum change at the end of the year or even in January! 

Choosing Homeschool Curriculum Electives

Moving past the core subjects, homeschool electives can truly be where all the fun is at. This is where you can see the individuality of your kids shine. They can be free to try things and experience personal and academic growth! 

Examples of some electives include:

Enjoy observing your children’s choices for electives and seeing them embrace learning!

Where to Shop for Curriculum

Once you have an idea of the subjects you want to cover in your homeschool, you will want to see the curriculum

Many homeschool curriculum providers offer free samples you can download online or a free trial of their software. And, that’s great! 

Nothing beats a homeschool convention for homeschooling parents who want to see the curriculum in person! 

More than just shopping, it’s a time to equip yourself for the important role of educating your kids. You’ll be able to listen to workshops from veteran homeschoolers, motivational speakers, and curriculum providers. Not to mention, you’ll be surrounded by other homeschoolers! 

Attending a  Homeschool Convention

When planning your trip to a homeschool convention, be sure to have a list of the curriculum you need, vendors you want to visit, and your budget. 

How much homeschooling costs largely depend on your own homeschool goals and how much of your financial resources you can dedicate to homeschool purchases. Knowing this in advance will keep you on track during the convention and prevent buyer’s remorse after. 

The average family spends between $700 – $1800 per student per year. Even if you have a small budget, attending a homeschool convention can give you confidence and help you see the possibilities for your school. 

And a bonus: if the convention has a children’s program, it can even become a family vacation!

It’s Time to Get Started Homeschooling

Schedule Your Homeschool Day 

Now that you’ve thought through why you’re homeschooling, set up your space, and begun searching for and choosing a homeschool curriculum, it’s time to start. 

You’ll need a schedule that works for your family. Sometimes the curriculum you choose will help you with that by offering daily instruction for the teacher on a four or five-day schedule. But, it’s really up to you! 

Popular homeschooling scheduling tactics include loop scheduling, block scheduling, and traditional scheduling. 

Loop scheduling is assigning subjects to certain days. For example, Math on Monday, Literature on Tuesday, History on Wednesday, Science on Thursday (alternating with Grammar), and Electives on Friday. This type of scheduling is helpful if you’re concerned you won’t get things done. After all, you’ll loop back around to that subject again and pick up where you left off. 

Block scheduling sets aside blocks of teaching each day for different subjects. So, while you’ll cover more than one subject in a day, you won’t cover all the subjects daily. 

Traditional scheduling covers all subjects for small amounts of time every day. Math is always daily from 8 a to 8:30 a. 

When considering which one to pick, look at your current family life. Think about how your kids learn best. What are the ages of your kids? Don’t be afraid to experiment with scheduling. A good rule of thumb is to give the scheduling style you choose a solid month before you make a change. Give your family grace during the learning period and time to acclimate. 

The Last Word On Getting Started Homeschooling

The Homeschool Teacher Mom

We’ve discussed the when, where, why, and how of homeschooling. Now I’d like to talk about the teacher – YOU! 

Homeschooling isn’t always easy, but it is rewarding. Please keep that in mind as you move forward. There will be days you’re tired and overwhelmed. The laundry will get behind, and supper may be on the table later than you’d hoped. Your kids will be grumpy. And so will you. Your husband may not be supportive, and your family may not understand. It’s okay. 

That’s why we spent so much time on your mission and vision. You’ll need those to hold on to. 

Oh, and prayer. You’re going to need that. 

So take the rest you need along the way in your homeschooling journey. It’s not a race. 

Your kids need the best version of you you can give them, rooted and grounded in Christ. 

When you’ve done your best, and that’s all you can do, “Give it to God; he’ll do the rest.” 

Additional Resources

Credits and Transcripts

Develop Your Student’s Standout Factor

 

Find a Math Curriculum That Works

Finding a math curriculum that works for your family can be a challenge! With CTCMath, all of your kids from K-12 can learn at their own pace with one family subscription.

That’s right! With a CTCMath membership, you have access to all grades and lessons, which means your children can work at whatever level is best for them.

Whether your kid needs to catch up, keep up, or move ahead, with CTCMath, they can finally understand math and work at their own pace.

CTCMath is offering Media Angels readers a half-price discount plus a bonus 6 months when you register for a 12-month membership. That means you can access a complete online homeschool math curriculum for all your kids for 18 months! Just use this link by October 16 to access this deal!

Nervous making significant online purchases? CTCMath comes with a 12-month money-back guarantee. No questions asked! Just email CTCMath, if you change your mind.

How does CTCMath work?

A student starts by watching a short, to-the-point video lesson that presents the concepts of the math lesson step by step. Because it’s a video tutorial, they can stop and rewind the teacher as many times as they need to until they get it (and the teacher never gets annoyed or frustrated).

Following each math tutorial, there are interactive questions or an optional printable worksheet that tests the understanding of key concepts. Answers are entered into the CTCMath automated marking system, which then stores the results in each individual student’s ongoing progress report.

Not sure WHY their answer is wrong? After answers have been submitted, printable, fully-worked solutions become available. These show every step which should be taken to reach the correct answer, ensuring your child really understands the math concepts.

CTCMath’s multi-sensory approach to ensure retention plus detailed progress reports for the parents adds up to a whole lot less stress when it’s math time for both parents and kids!

Here’s what Teresa has to say:

“Straight into college math after a great SAT score.”

We love CTCMath, We have tried almost everything with our 5 kids, and we no longer have tears when it comes to math.

Our oldest graduated last year, and even though he only used CTC for less than two years, his math improved so much that he did great on his SAT test and went right into regular college math and is doing great.

God Bless from a little less stressed mom.

Teresa Schilling
East Troy, WI

310-281-2217

www.ctcmath.com       info@ctcmath.com

The Birth of a Homeschool Podcast Network

Today, podcasts are pretty much everywhere. When the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network first launched nine years ago, podcasting was brand new.

The success of the Ultimate Homeschool Radio (now Podcast) Network is owed to the vision and determination of one lady, Felice Gerwitz.

How It Began

The UHPC really began as a ministry. And, if you know Felice, you know how perfectly that describes her life- one of ministry.

Felice was a professional educator turned homeschooler who saw a need for community online. She was determined to minister to homeschooling families through podcasting.

She often talks about how the Lord has surprises for us, and I can imagine that as a young girl in college, she wasn’t likely to see herself as the owner of a homeschool podcast network.

From those first downloads to well over four million plus downloads, the Lord has used Felice’s vision to minister to countless homeschooling families.

Listen in to this interview with Crystal of Military Homeschool Podcast as Felice shares how it all began in this podcast interview. 

Tune in to the very first episode of the Vintage Homeschool Moms podcast (originally recorded live!).

Get Ready to Celebrate!

The Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network launched in October 9 years ago, and we are celebrating all.month.long!

Visit the Birthday Party Breakout Room & Grab Your Prizes

And Enter the Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And plan to party with us!

We’re hosting a Facebook party in our Group, The Ultimate Homeschool Podcast family.

Join the group here. 

And RSVP here!