Non-fiction Writing for Homeschool High School, Interview with Janet and Geoff Benge

This week on the Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Non-fiction Writing for Homeschool High School, Interview with Janet and Geoff Benge.

Non-fiction Writing for Homeschool High School, Interview with Janet and Geoff Benge

Non-fiction Writing for Homeschool High School, Interview with Janet and Geoff Benge

Let me tell you, Vicki was so excited for this week’s interview. When her oldest homeschoolers were still very young, she ran across a series of biographies (Christian Heroes, Then and Now) by Janet and Geoff Benge. The first biography she read to her kids (the story of Adoniram Judson) was so inspirational, that they made a practice of reading the books as often as they could afford to by another.

So, Vicki was thrilled when she got a chance to hear Janet Benge talk at the beloved 2:1 Conference (for homeschool bloggers). Vicki made a point of chatting with Janet afterwards and next thing you knew, Janet and Geoff made time for an interview on Homeschool Highschool Podcast.

Janet and Geoff love to inspire young writers for writing non-fiction. Teens can sometimes feel intimidated by writing, especially the non-fiction topics, so make sure you listen in on this week’s episode.

Janet and Geoff are from New Zealand. Janet was originally an elementary school teacher and Geoff a chef. They had no idea God had planned for them to write. When they joined Youth With a Mission with their young daughter. After a time on a mission ship, they were stationed in the Philippines. They found this service changed their lives forever (one way it changed was that they adopted a child there).

Janet and Geoff Benge of Christian Heroes: Then and Now biography series

Janet and Geoff Benge Photo use with permission


Janet and Geoff were deeply touched by the poverty and needs of the people in the community they were serving. She began a newsletter for their supporters back home to raise funds to help their community. The newsletter became so popular, they were asked to write the national newsletter for YWAM. They were soon asked by Ginny Rogers (the sister of the founder of YWAM) to come to Texas to attend a workshop on book-writing by John and Elizabeth Sherrill (authors of the Cross and Switchblade and other Christian classics of that generation).

God miraculously provided for them to attend when an old friend tithed the sale of their farm. They were able to attend the workshop. It was revolutionary to Janet and Geoff’s writing. They learned that:

  • Books are crafted
  • There are techniques for leading a reader along
  • They could learn these techniques

Janet and Geoff next became ghost writers with their new skills (for about fifteen years). Geoff is a great partner, so their strengths and weaknesses compliment each other. Then they launched into their biography series for YWAM, at YWAM’s request because they had been to homeschool conventions where the few biographies they saw were boring and uninspiring. YWAM new that missionary stories are powerful and exciting. So Janet and Geoff started writing: Christian Heroes, Then and Now (now 35 books) and also  Heroes of History (now 33 books).

Janet wants to encourage young writers that learning difficulties do not need to keep you from writing. She is ADHD and dyslexic.

Here are Janet and Geoff’s tips for non-fiction writing for homeschool high school!

When you choose a person to write about begin to read about them:

  • Read books. Janet says is a good resource for used books
  • If there is an organization aligned with the person, check their website. You can even contact them and see if there is someone you can interview about your person
  • Get a since of the person
  • Read about their time period and location for background information
  • Interview the person, if alive, if possible (or a family member)
  • Look for little bits of interesting information or stories

Begin to organize material by time period in their lives

  • Make connections between events or ideas that can connect the time periods
  • Fact check if there are areas where the information is fuzzy
  • Remember to understand the person in context of their times and locations

How to decide what to include and what to drop in writing

  • Remember you can only give a flavor of the person’s life and events
  • Remember your audience, but you do not have to be a “Polyanna”
  • Concentrate on events and ideas that shows the person’s character

Reading and writing biographies can help inspire teens to make the world a better place. Janet and Geoff Benge

The Benges love to inspire their readers. One of their biggest blessings is to hear from parents that one of their biographies was the first book their kid ever loved.

Vicki asked Janet and Geoff who were their favorite stories. Janet listed Adoniram Judson, because he kept serving and facing down obstacles despite struggles with mental health. Geoff mentioned David Bussau, who Geoff had the opportunity to interview personally and found that David understands poverty and able to come up with wise solutions. Geoff also was inspired by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

If you have a homeschool high schooler who wants to write a book:

  • Get started with essays, shorter narratives, a research paper about a person (Check out 7Sisters’ writing materials to get started and listen to this HSHSP episode.)
  • Experiment with some journalism
  • Get feedback on your writing
  • Read, read, read
    • See how other’s write
    • When you find a book you love, read it several times, note how they start the book in the first chapter
      • How did it start?
      • How much information is presented?
      • How many characters are introduced?
        • How are they introduced?
      • How is the time period introduced?
      • How is the conflict introduced?
        • How is the main story hinted at?
  • Practice, practice, practice
  • Take a class on writing (you can find them online). Janet and Geoff have taught writing in live settings and are working on an online version now.

Check out Janet and Geoff Benge’s Christian Heroes: Then and Now; and Heroes of History at YWAM.

Vicki asked Janet and Geoff if they had any advice for homeschool high schoolers. They said, “These are tumultuous times. Dig in. Find others who have lived through difficult times. Biographies can help inspire you through these times. Also, keep notes, you may be writing your own story in the future.”

Join Vicki, Janet and Geoff for an inspiring interview!


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Non-fiction Writing for Homeschool High School, Interview with Janet and Geoff Benge

Special Replay: Raising Moral Kids In An Immoral Society

raising moral kids in an immoral societyLet’s Talk About Raising Moral Kids In An Immoral Society with Felice Gerwitz

Podcast #126

Help! I want to raise moral kids, but this is such a hard time to do so, right? It depends. In every society, there was moral decay and while I will be the first to agree that the moral climate today is horrible – I am encouraged by what I see around me. Tune into this podcast to be encouraged and supported as you strive to raise moral kids.


Show Notes:

Here is the ideal –

How are Homeschool Parents changing the culture?

  1. They are the people that are grounded in faith in Christ first and all else second
    1. They are focused on their marriage and their kids.
    2. They are the people who swim against the flow.
    3. The ones who don’t care what others think – but only what their spouse or kids think.
    4. The ones devoted and focused on providing a great education while developing their children’s gifts and talents.
    5. The ones who are encouraging, nurturing and enthusiastic about their kids and their progress – even if it is one step forward and two back on some days.
    6. They are the parents that are more concerned that their children are fed than the laundry, house or perfection is attained.


Are Homeschooled Students changing the culture?

    1. They love the Lord before everything else and are encouraged to have a personal relationship with Jesus no matter what their denomination
    2. They realize that they should be thankful for the little or the much they are given and always be thankful to the Lord for their gifts.
    3. Homeschoolers that change the culture are those that don’t buy into the culture.
    4. They are the ones with parents who are caring, encouraging and nurturing.
    5. They are the ones who are encouraged in whatever area their talents lie – my granddaughter and crafts – mass producing things…
    6. They are encouraged to pursue greatness.
    7. They are challenged by their education and seeking the best they can be.

Now – how do you attain this? Listen to this broadcast – and here are some questions to ponder:

  1. Do you have time to pray?
  2. What are the rules in your family?
  3. What does your family stand for?
  4. Do you encourage?
  5. Do you enjoy your kids?
  6. Do you have the time to devote to your family?
  7. How do you plan to change the moral culture in your family?
  8. What are ways you can introduce good books that teach morality by example and the lives of others?


Photo Credit: All Rights Reserved 2016., Copyright © sundikova

Time Management For Parents

Time Management For Parents | There is hope! Are you ready for time managment that will help you to reclaim your day and feel good at the end? Is this too good to be true? No, it is a reality and if I can do it, you can as well. How does it happen? Well, very easily with one sheet of paper and four squares. #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #timemanagement #managingyourtime #managingtimeTime Management Parents Episode 412

There is hope! Are you ready for time managment that will help you to reclaim your day and feel good at the end? Is this too good to be true? No, it is a reality and if I can do it, you can as well. How does it happen? Well, very easily with one sheet of paper and four squares. Today I will help you figure out the main issues that steal your time and the hope on how to reclaim it.

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, Inc. – Media Angels Membership

Let’s get our time management back!

Does your day lack focus? Are you overwhelmed with the shuffling of papers, trying to get school “done” and keep up with the household chores? You can see why there is such burn out among moms, and especially moms who homeschool. Even at the beginning of the year! I have to say I struggled with this for many years and it left me feeling tired, defeated, and like I wasn’t getting anything accomplished each day. I felt like a young mom with little children, if I kept everyone safe by the end of the day it was a win!

However, I wanted so much more. Especially for those who are new to homeschooling or even if you are a pro, you need the help that comes from getting all of your ducks in a row. Let me cut to the chase here. I was out of time because my time was managing me instead of the other way around. What was interrupting my day? Easy, three things:

  1. Talking on the phone (substitute social media here and texting).
  2. No set schedule with household chores.
  3. Disobedient kids

I had a defeatist attitude and could not wait until my husband came home so I could dump all of my daily woes on him, and guess what? That didn’t work out too well. My husband ran his own business and often needed my help to do the payroll, or help with management and the details of filing payroll taxes, filling out forms and so much more.

Fast forward, and we raised five kids and have not one but three businesses that we run out of our homes, successfully. How did this happen? Believe me, it was not overnight but now I can share those tips and techniques with you, and these are even better than what I had in my toolbox at the time.

Rules are made to be broken, but sometimes you can look at them as good suggestions, so take heart as I share some quick ones with you.

  1. Just because you get an idea it does not mean you have to act on it right now. Write it down and look at it at lunchtime, or after dinner, and plan for it. Quickly one thing I do not do even with a business is looking at emails in the morning – emails such the life and my day away from me. Unless I have planned for this, I don’t do it until after lunch. People who really need to get hold of me quickly know how to do this. Everything else can wait.
  2. I learned my time wasters. See number one – but there were others. I let myself get sidetracked and once I learned the keys to keeping myself on track it worked.
  3. Make a plan and stick to it – I know, for those of you kindred spirits that are spontaneous. But believe me, it works.
  4. Every self-help book or how to get organized is not going to help you get organized if you refuse to do what it suggests (same with this broadcast)
  5. Seek help when needed.

I think that is important to note that many times we think an issue is one problem when it is really something else. Another issue with time management is that we have false expectations or perhaps, no expectations at all! So first it is homework time. I am going to encourage you to stop this recording and write out your most pressing need and what you hope to accomplish. What is your main expectation? Is it a peaceful home, is it happiness that surpasses all understanding, is it kids that get along, laundry washed, dried and folded and put away in one day, is it meals planned? What is that? What is important to you?

So the first thing to do is look at your expectations, hopes dreams, and break them down into a day, week, month or even a year. Remember the old saying, “Rome wasn’t built in one day.” But I am going to add my Felice twist here –  “But the fires that destroyed Rome were set on purpose.”

What fires are you setting for yourself? I’ve looked at my expectations and goals and realized that they were so grandiose, and my expectation so unattainable that I was setting myself up for failure and it wasn’t going to happen even with a household of full-time employees! SO, let’s get realistic. I’m not going to tell you the platitudes I’ve read like, “make every minute count” or “delegate” or “make easy to serve meals.” This is a duh, duh, and double duh. We are talking about surviving the day here. But what I will tell you is that you need to use what you have on hand.

I’m an author, which I do believe most of you know and years ago my daughter wanted to write a novel. I told her, “Christina, I don’t know how to write a novel,” and she said, “Mom, we are homeschoolers, we will figure it out.”

Moms and Dads if you are listening. You may or may not be homeschoolers – but if there is something you want to do, you can figure it out. The one novel turned out to be three and sold in catalogs such as Christian Book Distributors, currently on Amazon and my website, and have been around the world. We figured it out.

What is important to you. The list usually looks like this:

  1. Need to manage the kids.
  2. Need to manage the home.
  3. Need to teach school (for those who are homeschooling.)
  4. Need time with my spouse.
  5. Need to keep my sanity.

Kids always seem to be number one when they should not hold that revered position. As a Christian, the first thing that should be on the list is a time of prayer. I’ve talked about this before, but the days I did not wake up, grab a cup of coffee, my Bible and have a short prayer session with the Lord was the day that all heck broke loose.

So, we need to rearrange the list and have it look something like this.

  1. Keep my sanity. Begin the day with God.
  2. Time with my spouse – figure out when to have a meaningful conversation, spend time and date night even if it means to put the kids to bed and grab some popcorn and watch a movie at home.
  3. Manage my home. What is pressing? Laundry? Food? Use your weekends, bulk cook, and freeze. Just like a copy machine is a blessing to every homeschool family, so is an upright or chest freeze.
  4. Manage my kids. Mean what you say and say what you mean. Follow through. Practice good behavior, if this means having your kids repeat after you, do it. I have several audios on this topic and I also have audios I have created for the kids, see links below. Have your kids listen to them. Side note here – Tell your kids you are on the same side. Sometimes I think we are in a battle and the kids need to know there is one leader, it is you as a parent and the troops need to file in… if you do not have a set of consequences this is important to think about. Ahead of time.
  5. School! Yes, this is last. My kids learned despite my beautifully created curriculum or lessons. Read, read, and read. If you want your kids to learn life lessons do it in books, if you want your kids to learn math get a curriculum. I have a series of character quality free downloads I give away every month on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network, you can sign up to get them and past sets are for sale on my website at why is this? Because prior to the 1960s character was infused and morality in schools, families, and churches. Now, it is all revisionist and secular. Interestingly I read a quote recently from a past president that shocked me. In the words of John Adams: “Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any others.”Friends this is the key, we must bring morality and all that is good and holy into our homes. If that means restricting screen time, do it – if it means only watching good movies, get Pureflix. I realize this is a challenge for some of you but I have faith in you, you can do it!

Lastly the key here – how to do it how to get organized. Fast Track.

  1. One week at a glance. Take a sheet of paper and draw a horizontal line and a vertical line. So, it has 4 squares. Faith, Kids, School Household. You can use different headings on each of these squares for whatever you want. This is an overall sketch of what you are going to do and accomplish. The weekly goals if you will. You will not get detailed with the kid’s schooling, other than maybe to put a time frame, or perhaps books you are going to read as a family, etc.
  2. Square one: Faith you can add spouse there as well. But first, you need to get right with God. You need to be filled up before you can pour into others. My show –
  3. Square two: Kids – what are your overall goals – is there something in particular or one kid, in particular, that is the squeaky wheel that needs help. Whether it is academic or discipline. At a time of war they always went after the leader, so if there is one child that is leading the others astray begin there.
  4. School. Once again the overarching here – do you have a field trip, are you going to do a science experiment, watch a specific video -put this on your list.
  5. Household. When are you doing the laundry, prepare meals – you can have a start time, etc … list it here:

Whatever you use make it work for you! Make it your own. I really do believe you can figure this out and reclaim your time. Time management is you managing time and making an effort to not allow it to manage you!

Resources: Past Vintage Homeschool Moms Podcasts and Show notes to help you!

  1. I have several past podcasts and if you look at the show notes page, you will see links to download a bunch of forms!
    1. Here is one on Homeschool Forms  another on
  2. Last-minute Christmas prep – contains 4-square planner
  3. Running Your Home Like a CEO
  4. Easy Way Planning link here



Purslane Uses and Benefits

Purslane uses and benefitsJoin Julie Polanco on this episode of Crunchy Christian Podcast as she discusses purslane uses and benefits. Find out how this common weed has been used for centuries as a nutritious vegetable and helpful plant.

Some Facts About Purslane


Purslane, or Portulaca oleraceae, is an incredibly old plant. Seeds found in the modern United States date as far back as 1000 BC. But, some argue that it originated in north Africa far earlier than that because of its succulent stems and leaves. After all, that’s where many other succulents originate from. It was certainly known to the ancients, for records show that the Greeks, Persians, Indians, and Romans ate it as a vegetable.

And, indeed the most common of purslane uses and benefits is adding it to salads. Or, gently blanching it and serving it up with some oil and vinegar. Some old recipes even give instructions for pickled purslane. Indeed, people grew it in cultivated gardens as early as the 1500’s in Great Britain as a garden green. It is also used in the French Soup, bonne femme (Good Woman), along with sorrel. And, due to its hardy nature, it is found all over the world, from Europe to Japan.

More than a salad green

But, historic purslane uses and benefits are not limited to salads. Ancient people used it for urinary complaints, dry coughs and shortness of breath, and for inflammation and sores. Dioscorides (40–90 AD) recommended the leaves for headache, heartburn, and kidney and bladder ailments; he noted the juice soothes the eyes. A couple of centuries later, Galen (129–216 AD) considered it nearly a heal-all plant. In the 16th century, famous German physician Leonard Fuchs also wrote of its uses for inflamed eyes and bladder and kidney ailments, but he added toothaches, and sunstroke as well. Hear about more uses on the podcast as well as some commentary about purslane from historical figures.

What does it look like?

This succulent low-growing plant has reddish stems and somewhat small, paddle-shaped, smooth succulent leaves. The leaves have rounded tips with no spines or toothing. The reddish stems branch everywhere. The small yellow flowers have four to six petals, but they only open on sunny mornings. When it goes to seed, it forms a little capsule that opens like a lid to reveal tiny black seeds that can still germinate up to 40 years later!

Purslane Uses and Benefits

Today, it is mostly used as a vegetable and as animal feed. It is high in vitamins C and E, iron magnesium, manganese, and potassium and so it naturally supports the immune system, heart, and circulation. It’s historical uses certainly inspire a desire to at least try this plant in salads and soups as many people around the world still do. Since it grows so freely, it’s pretty easy to gather some purslane, dandelion, and other weeds to make delicious raw meals. God provides exactly what we need!


Purslane has some poisonous look alikes, so be sure you have the real purslane if you choose to harvest it from your backyard. The real plant has watery sap, not milky. The real plant is generally safe for human consumption. Be aware, though, that some cattle grazing on large amounts of purslane have suffered oxalate and nitrate toxicity. The toxicity levels depend on the growing conditions of the purslane.

Don’t forget to subscribe! Check out the new gardening e-book collection in the Julie Naturally shop.

Testing Secrets During COVID

Testing Secrets During COVID | With so much misinformation out there about college testing here are the testing secrets during COVID, Jean Burk with College Prep Genuis is here to set the record straight. | #podcast #testingpodcast #homeschoolpodcast #testingsecrets #SAT #ACT #CLT #testingsecretsCollege Testing Secrets In The Time Of COVID ~ Episodes 80

With so much misinformation out there about college testing here are the testing secrets during COVID, Jean Burk with College Prep Genuis is here to set the record straight. Tests are constantly being canceled, and it is such a confusing time. With so much frustration among students and families, here is a simple guide of 5 top tips to help you navigate the uncertainty.

If you are the parent of a college to be a student it has been a very confusing time. People are worried, and confused about what to do – is there liability if someone gets sick? Parents are angry with the SAT college boards and ACT college boards. But Jean explains test makers do have a link with updates with cancellations and extended testing time and additional test times. She suggests you pay more attention to the college board websites rather than a friend that has misinformation.

Tests may be canceled but not necessarily in your area. The wrong information is being shared and that is the issue. First, one claim is that the SAT and ACT tests are going away. They are not going away. There are some schools that are temporarily suspending the testing for right now.

ARTICLE – California school system the USC which has 10 schools out of nearly 5000, and they are coming up with their own test which is similar to the ACT and SAT – Keep in mind there is misinformation out there.  80% of colleges give scholarship money just based on a test score.  The reason colleges can not just use transcripts is that different high schools have different levels of difficulty. For example, if a student has a 4.0 or 4.5 transcript in high school in one school, and they are not the same value as a student in another school. On paper, they look the same but the school load or class load can be very different.

College Testing: SAT, ACT & CLT:

The one numerical component that is fair to all kids is a fair system known as standardized testing. There have been cries that it is biased, but actually, it is not. It is based on logic, reasoning skills, and the ability to answer questions under a time constraint and pressure. It crosses the socioeconomic group as well. Colleges achieve their national ranking based on test scores. Colleges get more money based on ranking. SO, these are extremely important for the college.

Five Tips to Taking Test During Difficult Times:

  1. Find a location that is having the test. School search button – zip code, schools in your area. It gives you a place to start. If you are not finding a location, your support group your co-op you can become your own test facility. Link — directly to the information you need to figure this out. ACT as well. If the facilities are canceled – you can reschedule or get a refund. To transfer you have to complete the form on the website. Be sure you have the right, email to the account. [Cancelling happens – you can get it canceled by online form or call the phone number. It takes a while to get your refund, so keep that in mind.
  2. Alternative tests – if your ACT is canceled see if the SAT is canceled – they are about 99% the same test … still doing well if you know how to logically answer the question and beat the test. The new PSAT date – offering a Jan. 26th If you have a junior right now, don’t take the Oct. test. Wait for the Jan. test you have several more months to promise. National Merit Scholarship is based on the PSAT test only in the Jr. year. One student went up 590 points in your SAT in 5 months! You can get a full ride to just about every school. Full ride, full tuition, dorms, money in cash, the perks and benefits are unbelievable.

Oct. CLT – All of a sudden (Classical learning Test – PODCAST) proctored remotely and schools began accepting the CLT that never accepted it before. All schools were accepting the CLT now since the pandemic. Read more about how to beat the CLT – tips – information about it.

Could apply to a test-optional school without a SAT and ACT not required but to get scholarship money you need a SAT and ACT 0 80-90 percent of students will still submit a score. It will set you apart in a negative way, even though they are not required, it is important to the school. Submit other tests instead of the AP or IB tests, school-administered placement test. Catch: Vary between universities. AP will work in one school and not another. Require means a minimum.

  1. Deferred Exam score submission. Allow new students to enroll that they will submit score later when they can –bought yourself some time to study for it. At this point, it is not clear if you don’t make a high enough score, so it is a gray area. It gives you a grace period. But, no scholarship.
  2. Special accommodation for high school students – if you are a senior right now, and not taken the test –early registration access to the test. Who has not taken it you will get priority. If you have taken the test it does not apply, but If you have never taken the test it applies.
  3. Don’t stop test prep. Use this as a grace period. It is a time to study they are beatable test; it is a different skill test. It is knowing how to take the test. Learning the logic makes the test beatable; the questions are purposely misleading. It is a skill because the colleges are testing your ability to answer questions under pressure in a short amount of time.

Your decision should be the institution and not the money on how to pay it. Do not worry about content, learn the recurring patterns, standardized questions, and standardized answers. Success can be yours! 3-Day and 8-week Boot Camp online. Online eCourse at no cost. Proven program with lots of awards.

Get Out and Play

Get Out and Play

Get Out and Play – Episode 88


In this episode, we discuss the importance of outside play. So take some time to get outside and play.

Mentioned on the Show


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Please visit to learn more about who we are!

Social Distancing in a Homeschool Group

Three homeschool leaders discuss the challenges of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.Social Distancing in a Homeschool Group

Three homeschool leaders discuss the challenges of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In June 2020, Carol Topp of hosted a webinar titled Planning an Uncertain Future for homeschool group leaders. The purpose of the webinar was to help homeschool groups plan their fall activities given the COVID-19 pandemic was making it uncertain of they could operate. This podcast will air the highlights in small chunks over five episodes.

Join this episode and the other episodes as Carol and three panelists discuss:

  • Part 1: Making decisions as a board or team
  • Part 2: Tools a homeschool group can use for planning an uncertain future
  • Part 3: Dealing with social distancing rules and wearing masks
  • Part 4: Questions regarding lawsuits, health restrictions, and accommodating new families
  • Part 5: How to communicate the plan to the members
  • Part 6: Using Zoom, offering refunds and other topics.

During the podcast Carol mentioned:

  • Criteria to consider when social distancing: “From Camping To Dining Out: Here’s How Experts Rate The Risks Of 14 Summer Activities” May 23, 2020
  • For the RegFox discount Amanda mentioned, email her at
  • The I am a Homeschool Group Leader Facebook group. Please join us!

The webinar is available to watch on YouTube at no charge. It runs for one hour 38 minutes

Featured Product

Books for Homeschool Leaders

HomeschoolCPA has several books to help leaders start and run a homeschool program

  • Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out
  • Money Management for Homeschool Organizations
  • The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization
  • Paying Workers in a Homeschool Organization
  • Homeschool Board Member Manual
  • Taxes for Homeschool Business Owners

All these books can be found at




Moving and Creating with Minecraft Earth

Minecraft Earth Review

Episode 101: Moving and Creating with Minecraft Earth

Minecraft Earth is an augmented reality app that could be described as a cross between Minecraft and Pokemon GO. It gets students moving because they have to move to collect resources and it gets them creating as they build their own worlds.

Students can not only build, but can also participate in Adventures and take on Challenges. As they progress through the game they accumulate points and level up. Leveling up as well as completing challenges earns rewards.

Students can take items they collect and can either use them as is or, turn them into something else by selecting the “make stuff” option and completing a recipe.

I have also just played alone, but there is also the option of playing with friends.

The app is free and available in the App Store and Google Play Store

You can find show sponsor, FundaFunda Academy’s online classes and web-based unit studies here.

Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool. If you know of other online stock market resources please share them with the other listeners there.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review! Subscribing will help you make sure you never miss an episode.

Minecraft Earth Review

How to Use Personality to Overcome Procrastination In Your Homeschool

Hey homeschoolers! Perfectionism is an obstacle to getting more done and certainly to enjoying your homeschooling. In today’s episode, I will discuss how understanding your own and your kids’ personality can help you get past perfectionism and on to enjoying your homeschool journey again.
Before I dive in, I want to encourage you to follow my Psychowith6 page on Facebook. There I will be sharing regular Facebook Live videos where I can continue you to provide you with homeschool sanity from the comfort of your couch. I can also talk with you in the comments and get to know you, and that something I love to do. Perfectionism can look different depending on your personality. In fact, you may not even recognize your struggle as perfectionism with some personalities. There are four personality types that I will discuss in terms of perfectionism.

Perfectionism in the Sanguine Personality

The first personality type is the Sanguine. This fun-loving personality is the least likely to have a problem with perfectionism, you may think, as you observe a messy room or school space. But it is perfectionism that contributes to the mess. Sanguines tend to believe that they must have devoted periods of time to do every bit of the work or they can’t even get started. If the Sanguine doesn’t have all the tools and ideas and the time, she will move on to something that seems a lot more fun. To help you or your Sanguine child overcome perfectionism, turn getting started into a game. In my book A Year of Living Productively, I discuss the randomized task list and Autofocus as approaches that can help us take action without the perfect circumstances and without the chance to finish the work. The idea is that even doing a little on a selected task counts. We can train ourselves and our kids that all we expect is for them to get started. That might mean getting out the calculator or decluttering five expired food items from the pantry. As mom, you can choose one small organizing task each day in your Organized Homeschool Life planner to develop the organizing habit apart from perfectionism. When I was a child, I believed that a clean room included organized dresser drawers. Invariably, that’s where I would start. I would get lost in the items in my drawers and my room would end up looking messier than it had when I started. With a child like this, you want to clarify what you want done. Had my mother said “Get your bed made and everything off the floor put away,” I might have had better luck. The Sanguine would do well to reflect on Philippians 1:6. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Sanguines tend to feel a lot of shame about their imperfection and avoid it. But God is at work in us, imperfect as we are.

Perfectionism and the Choleric Personality

The Choleric personality likes to have control. If the Choleric doesn’t get the results and especially the cooperation she expects, she may give up. If your child doesn’t consistently get his work done or if the kids balk at starting school or if a curriculum you purchased isn’t helping you meet your goals, you may be tempted to throw out the whole notion of homeschooling. If you have a high-control, choleric child, the curriculum is confusing, the teacher of your online class isn’t engaging, or there is no direct correlation between the work and your child’s goals, your child may refuse to do any of it. The source of perfectionism for the Choleric is desire for control. If you’re a Choleric parent, you may think the solution is to either quit homeschooling or to crack down with strict discipline on your choleric child. But neither of these approaches may be best. Instead, consider giving your child some control. Perhaps the curriculum could be changed or modified. Perhaps the class could be dropped or done with less focus. Perhaps you could give your child choice over when work could be completed or even how much of it seems reasonable to do. My Choleric child was told he only had to do enough exercises in his language arts workbook to understand the concepts. So to exercise control, he completed every single one and enjoyed showing me that he did so. Proverbs 16:9 says, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” While desire for control can be a blessing, it has its limits. To overcome perfectionism, Cholerics must respect those limits.

Perfectionism and the Melancholy Personality

The Melancholy is the personality we most often think of with respect to perfectionism. The desire for perfectionism is fundamental to this personality, though we all crave perfection and completeness. We would love for life to be as God originally intended. The Melancholy personality often takes others’ failures to do things perfectly as a personal attack. The towel that isn’t put back on the rack neatly or the letters that aren’t formed correctly are thoughtless and inconsiderate. Of course, this is not case–even if you’ve told them and told them. As we’ve already determined, others don’t necessarily share our motivation for acting as they do. The Melancholy’s desire for completion should be honored when possible. Follow the schedule when you can. If that’s impossible, make it a realistic routine instead. Also give your Melancholy child permission to redo work or tests to get 100%. This permission helps immensely with perfectionism. If you’re a Melancholy parent, I encourage you to spend time in hobbies or projects that can be completed. Homeschooling and parenting are never ending. Finishing something is very rewarding to a melancholy and other personalities, too. Put boundaries around perfectionism. Perfectionism in the Melancholy may be related to anxiety. You’ll want to listen to the episode I did on anxiety if that’s an issue for you. Give your child a number of attempts or a time limit and then have her recognize the anxious thoughts that come afterward. Doing some truth journaling or discussion of these thoughts can be helpful. If the thought is, “If the handwriting isn’t perfect, then I’m a bad student,” have your child challenge that thought with truth. Is that really true? Plenty of doctors’ success in school would argue otherwise. And what does it mean if you’re a bad student? You’re not valuable? Einstein’s life contradicts that notion. 1 John 4:12 says, “No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” Melancholies want to keep relationships primary, not perfect work. After all, we could not be saved if God expected perfection in us apart from His Son.

Perfectionism and the Phlegmatic Personality

The Phlegmatic’s perfectionism is often motivated by a desire for peace. If a Phlegmatic fears disappointment or anger with an imperfect job, he will procrastinate. This is especially true with decisions. My son kept putting off making a decision about continuing piano lessons. He wanted to make the perfect decision and not upset me or the piano teacher. I persisted in telling him that I would not be unhappy either way, but that he had to make the decision. He chose not to continue and I could see him holding his breath to see my reaction. I complimented him on making a decision. He did not take piano lessons again but taught himself after learning guitar. Phlegmatics need reassurance that they will have our respect after doing a job or making a decision imperfectly. Otherwise anxiety will keep them stuck. Make sure that compliments far outweigh constructive criticism. I find this to be an issue with kids’ writing in particular. Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Even when we make the wrong choice, God is with us and working all things together for our good. Make sure to give Phlegmatics guilt-free leisure time. If they cannot have couch potato time without us making them feel lazy, they will struggle to get their work done. If you’re struggling to get your work done, make sure you give yourself guilt-free leisure time, too. I like to plan it as my reward each day.


The solution to perfectionism isn’t one-size-fits-all. The source of it is often rooted in personality and so are the strategies for overcoming it. Join me next time as we discuss what every homeschooler needs to know about science. Have a happy homeschool week!

What Formats Can Be Used For Homeschool High School Courses?

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: What Formats Can Be Used For Homeschool High School Courses?

What Formats Can Be Used For Homeschool High School Courses?

What Formats Can Be Used For Homeschool High School Courses?

There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school. AND there’s not ONE right way to earn those important credits for the homeschool transcripts. One of the most asked questions that we receive is: What are the formats that can be used to earn credits?

Vicki will give an explanation of the basic ways to earn those transcript credits. Here are the basics:

For a start, you can get more information at Check out our post on earning credits. Here’s a download and editable transcript template to help.

In most states, teens will earn Carnegie credits

Carnegie units are the basic way to earn and assign high school transcript credits. You can actually go to to learn the history of credits (the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching set about in 1906 to try to standardize the way high schoolers show the amount of time they have studied a subject).

Carnegie suggests that 120 hours of study will earn a credit. This has been adapted over the years so that each state has a different number of hours needed (anywhere from 120-180). Check your state homeschool organization or Department of Education to find out for certain.

A few states use different credit units. Again check state homeschool organization or Department of Education to find out for certain.

Logging hours

Some courses have such rich and interesting information that a textbook will not do it justice. If your teen has a specific interest but there is not a good-fit curriculum, allow them to explore their interest with a log system. Include:

  • Date
  • Time spent
  • What was done

Keep it in a master portfolio or other record keeping system.

Things that can count:

  • Relevant documentaries
  • Relevant field trips
  • Relevant audiobooks or real books
  • Relevant short courses on a MOOC such as Edx (often only a few lessons long)
  • Time spent or interviews with a tutor or expert

Studying with a textbook

Sometimes teens just want to blast through a textbook. It feels cleaner to them than logging hours. If your teens like no-busywork, adaptable, downloadable texts, check out 7Sisters ebookstore.

Independent study with real books

Use real books to dig deep into a topic of interest. Choose approximately sixteen relevant books that help your teen really understand their topic. The self-designed course is capped by creating a large project or research paper. Keep book lists and brief reflection on each book, also. It will also help to keep a course description in your records.

Participate in online courses

Make sure of the amount of credit being assigned (check the course description to find out).

For lots of ideas check out this post.

There's not ONE right way to earn a high school credit! 7SistersHomeschool and Homeschool Highschool Podcast

Dual Enrollment College Course

Teen participates in a course at a local community college. Some universities also offer online courses to high schoolers. Usually a one semester course in college is equivalent a full-credit high school course. (This can be frustrating to teens because the college says they earned 4 or 5 credits. That’s because they are on a different credit system.)

That college course is a college course, they need to be ready. Assignments on time, work hard, participate. Usually colleges do not transfer the grade in the course (some do, ask). Also make sure the credits are transferrable.

CLEP Testing

For teens who are expert in an area of interest, CLEP testing can allow them to test out of a related college course. Check college website that your teen may be interested in to see if it accepts CLEP. We suggest using a practice test also because it will help teens get into the mindset of the test format and vocabulary.

AP Testing

Homeschool high schoolers can take AP courses and tests. (College Board has to approve the course, you can’t just call a course AP.) High AP scores will allow teens to skip that course in college. We suggest using a practice test also because it will help teens get into the mindset of the test format and vocabulary.

Allowing teens to use a variety of formats will keep them interested and owning their courses. Be sure to include your high schoolers in the planning and format choices as often as possible.

You can do this! Homeschooling high school years can be the best years yet! For more in-depth information check out 7Sisters Authoritative Guide post suite:

Join Vicki for an informative discussion on formats for earning homeschool high school credits.


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What Formats Can Be Used For Homeschool High School Courses?