Adam Pruzan on Conservative activism

This week Lisa Nehring is joined by Adam Pruzan to share why the Time has come for Conservatives to Become Politically ActiveThe Time has come for Conservatives to Become Politically Active!


True North Homeschool Academy Director Lisa Nehring is joined by one Adam Pruzan. Adam has worked at high levels of public policy and has read every Senate brief since the 80’s. He currently works as a consultant and investment manager and teachers at True North Homeschool Academy


Today, we take a brief look at history and how it informs the political situation of today, and what a reasoned response might look like.


In the Roman Republic the strong middle class gave way to a ruling empire. The strong middle class is what made Rome strong and kept it a Republic. Once the middle class dissipated, Roman became an Empire.


In the 1850’s the south went to war to protect its feudal aristocracy.

The mid 1950’s was the zenith of the middle class in America. But the 1970’s- 1990’s America found two sources of cheap labor.

  1. Illegal immigrants – mostly from Mexico
  2. China

Both of whom worked for below market value. This has gutted the middle class and empowered the wealthy. The Globalists have become a class of Lords and knights.


Aristotle points out that the middle class is the most stable and a good regime because of its moral virtue.


We should look to Brazil- the presidential election was won by a leftist candidate, a convicted felon, while the popular, loved President has been ousted.


What will stem the tide of liberal globalism? We have 3 choices.

  1. Simply surrender.
  2. Political activism**
  3. Become Slaves

** such as exhibited during the Civil Rights movement under Dr. MLK.

Under the democrats, the intellect is dead.


Turning Point USA
The Federalist

American Greatness

Victor David Hanson


Adam will be teaching Politics Philosophy & Economics, which is a 3 credit, Honors level class, limited to 8 Students. Why study philosophy while studying politics and economics? The skills needed to understand philosophy will develop your student’s analytical, critical and logical rigor. This will enable students to apply these skills to questions concerning how we acquire knowledge or make ethical judgments. The study of will provide your student with a thorough understanding of the impact of the U.S. Political institutions on modern societies both at home and abroad.


He will also be teaching World History- Strategy: War and Peace a 1 credit Honors level class, limited to 12 students. Students will learn why countries go to war, stay at peace and how to think critically and sort through propaganda and politics.


Teaching Critical Thinking Skills through Literature podcast with Adam Pruzan.


True North Homeschool Academy offers 4th-12th grade live online classes, Academic Advising, Testing and Self Paced Classes. We are your trusted academic partner!


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Special Replay: Homeschooling Through the Winter Blahs

How to Homeschool Through the Winter Blahs: The Homeschool Sanity Show Podcast

Do you feel blah once Christmas is over like I do? The tips on this episode will encourage you!

Subscribe on iTunes

The Organized Homeschool Life or on Amazon. Join me on Facebook. I hope you’ll join us for accountability.

Teaching Tip of the Week

The teaching tip of the week is Shining Dawn Books’ Nature by the Season: Winter. This preschool/kindergarten curriculum will help you and your younger learner appreciate winter and have fun learning. With 40 Nature Walk ideas and colorful worksheets, you’ll find yourself warming up to learning this winter.
Click here to view more details

Organized Homeschool Challenge of the Week

The Memory Keeping Challenge

How to Homeschool Through the Winter Blahs

I turned to the bloggers of iHomeschool Network.

Reasons I'm Thankful for Winter free printable

I’ve created a free Thankful for Winter printable for you and your kids.

There are plenty of free options for getting into the word at

If you are still struggling with your attitude to the point that you suspect you’re depressed, make an appointment to see your doctor or counselor. I did an interview with the Fletchers for Homeschooling in Real Life on depression.

I have a winter workout for kids and 6 workouts you can do at home on Psychowith6.

Be sure to check out my post of 6 more crazy-easy crockpot recipes for fix it and forget it homemade meals this winter.

I have a really fun study on Mr. Popper’s penguins on Psychowith6 that you could try. The iHomeschool network bloggers have lots of great ideas for you. I’ve also pinned some good ones on my winter inspiration board on Pinterest.

Start a new fun study. Gena Mayo’s 20th Century Music Appreciation is a great one. I bought soft fake snowballs for the kids for this purpose.

Action Steps

If we will change our attitude about winter, take care of ourselves and the kids physically, and do something new, we can definitely homeschool through the winter blahs. Make a plan right now and let me know what you’re going to do on the Homeschool Sanity Facebook page.

Next Week

How to Teach Kids to Declutter

Have a happy homeschool week!

We Don’t Mom-Shame at Homeschool Highschool Podcast- Special Replay

This week on HSHSP: We Don’t Mom-Shame at Homeschool Highschool Podcast- Special Replay. This is a replay of a classic episode.

We Don't Mom-Shame at Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Special Replay

We Don’t Mom-Shame at Homeschool Highschool Podcast

Join Vicki and Sabrina, together in the same room for this week’s episode! It’s been a while since they have found the time to get together, what with Sabrina traveling so much. Hey, if you need an inspiring speaker with a gripping story, contact her.

In this episode of Homeschool Highschool Podcast, we are talking about *mom-shaming*. In short: we don’t mom-shame!

Mom-shaming is easy to fall into: When life isn’t working out how we want it to, it is easy to project our frustrations onto other (whether we know we are doing it or not). Then we begin to judge. Next we begin to correct others (whether they asked for it or not). Then we begin to fix others (whether they asked for it or not). That’s mom-shaming.

Mom-shaming is especially easy when we are on social media, because the barriers to slow us down are so low. That’s sad because when we mom-shame, we create a culture of fear.

We don’t mom-shame at 7Sisters or here on HSHSP.

Motherhood is all about guilt, so it is easy to feel guilty without our friends’s help.

We don’t mom-shame! With age we 7Sisters have learned a thing or two about grace and patience over the years (whether we asked God to teach us that or not). All our homeschoolers have graduated and we found that they all have different:

  • Personalities
  • Needs
  • Abilities
  • Interests

We could tailor their academics and extracurriculars into a box that some friend, some speaker or some publisher says we should use.

But tailoring our many kinds of kids into another person’s box is a destructive strategy.

Instead, we recommend that you look at each child. Ask yourself:

  • What can you invest in them?
  • What tools can you give them individually?

Then boldly begin to invest in your homeschoolers the best that you can, knowing that you will be good enough by God’s grace…but that you will need His grace.

boldly begin to invest in your homeschoolers the best that you can, knowing that you will be good enough by God's grace...but that you will need His grace.

In the early days of homeschooling, there were a few big voices (opinionated thought leaders who sometimes said that homeschooling needed to happen THEIR way). Now that we have the internet, there are not just a few big voices. Rather, there are many voices and a some of them will say THIS is the way to homeschool. They sometimes imply the ominous: If you don’t homeschool OUR way, you are dooming your kids!

The real truth is: Our kids and our families are on a journey of growth and discovery. Each journey is different. We need to be sensitive to the needs of each of our homeschoolers. That’s why we don’t mom-shame.

Remember: We invest in our kids the best we can but God is in charge of the outcomes. (Thanks to our friends, The Fletchers at Homeschooling in Real Life, for that quote.)

So, want our advice?

  • Motherhood is all about guilt.

    • We will never do good enough in our own eyes. We can do the best we can.
    • The needs are infinite and we are finite, so we must daily go to HIM on how to handle things.
    • Sometimes this looks like a programmatic curriculum or philosophy, sometimes it doesn’t.
  • While each of us are individuals, we are also in need of community.

    • We can be good sisters in community.
    • When we feel the need to fix someone, pray first, ask a question…privately.
    • A kind question, not a leading question, not a point-out-your-problems question
    • If done in public, questioning is unkind and invites little but defensiveness.
    • Ask yourself: What is my intent?
    • Are you guided by humilty (beware of pride or fear on your part)?
    • Look to be a sister, a support, do not fix your sister.
  • Model this for your kids.

    • With curriculum: You kid-shame if you have feel you “have to do it this way, kids, suck it up and just do it.”
    • That could lead to shaping character that is harsh and rigid and teaching them to feel helpless and frustrated.
    • If they are writing a paper with seven tabs open that do not have anything to do with. If they are clearly doing something wrong, it is a parent’s job to point that out.
    • If they are struggling or bored, try something like this: “I see you are not liking Chemistry. What is not working for you?”
    • Ask questions that show you care, you are curious about what is working and what is not.

This is why’s curriculum exists. It is adaptable, no-busywork to fit many homeschoolers’ needs. However, we know that it will not fit everyone because there’s not ONE right way to do homeschooling! (So, we have a money-back guarantee.) To help adapt curriculum to needs: In each text or literature/writing guide, there are instructions on how to adapt to various goals and abilities. Also check out the syllabus available for many of the texts.

We want you to feel more confident as you grow in God’s work in you and your homeschoolers.

Check us out at

Join Vicki and Sabrina for encouragement and support and NO mom-shaming!


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We don’t mom-shame at Homeschool Highschool Podcast

How Homeschool Teens Can Build Future Career Skills, with Wendy Baird Packard

Future Career Skills | Future Career Skills for homeschool teens is a focus of today's podcast with special guest Wendy Baird Packard and your host Crystal Niehoff! | #homeschool podcast #homeschoolmilitarymoms #homeschoolmilitary #homeschool #careerskillsEpisode #33 – On this episode, guest Wendy Baird Packard talks about how military homeschooled teens can start now being intentional about activities that build skills for their future career plans. 

Middle school and high school homeschoolers, and even younger students, can begin being intentional about activities that build skills for their future career plans. Even if your teen has yet to decide what career path they wish to take, many soft skills and life skills are universal for all education levels and job positions. Additionally, Wendy shares specific ways military teens can find skill-building opportunities wherever the military sends their family.

Vital Soft Skills to Develop:

  • Reliable – on time, show up to work
  • Dependable – do the job you are asked to do, do it well
  • Communication – correct, cooperative, communication with team members,
  • managers, and customers
  • Interpersonal skills – how do you build relationships or interact with people at
  • all levels of your job
  • Adaptability – easily dealing with change

Wendy also goes into detail about ways military homeschool teens can be intentional about finding and utilizing activities for skill and resume building, even while still in school, as well as pitfalls to avoid.

 . . . . . .

Wendy met her spouse when he was in the Navy; per her request, he ended his Navy career after eight years. They settled into normal life, had their son, bought a house, and were civilians for nine years. However, her husband never really lost the call of the military, and after a strong sign from God, he reenlisted in the Army. Stationed at Fort Carson, she became very involved in spouse programs mentoring spouses in the expectations of military life, career, and family. She followed a long-time dream and completed her associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in communication. Wendy will begin her master’s degree in industrial organizational psychology this year at the University of Maryland. 

Seeing the difficulty service members and family members who may move often have, Wendy, found her niche in helping service members and spouses to find employment. She jumped in with every move and studied employment every step of the way. Taking a job with the Department of Labor Working with thousands of service members by teaching the mandatory Department of Labor employment readiness classes, then also providing training to staff and service members of the Wounded Warrior Army and Airforce programs, assisting as a subject matter expert for the USO employment office and Hiring Our Heroes Job fair in Hawaii, and volunteering with the Army Community Services employment office. When her family moved again, she became the Military Spouse Liaison for the Workforce Solutions office in San Angelo and the volunteer lead for the Military Spouse Professional Network chapter for Goodfellow Airforce Base.

In May 2022, Wendy launched her own consulting business that assists clients in the art of communication, potentially focusing on career change or development, public speaking, and small business employee retention. She works one-on-one with clients, facilitates group classes, and speaks at events on these topics. Wendy has developed an exceptional understanding of employment from both the job seeker’s perspective and the employer’s. She provides clients with a detailed process in career development and change. She continues to work with businesses to bring awareness to the talent pool of potential employees, military spouses, and family members can be. She loves to recreate resumes and get people on the correct path to a wonderful career despite frequent moves or job changes.

Wendy has been married to her spouse for 21 years and has a 20-year-old son. She can often be found on an adventure with her two fur babies, Rocket and Carl.  

Connect with Wendy:


Join Crystal and her guests each week as they bring relevant information to equip you, stories to encourage you, and content to inspire you. You don’t have to go it alone; tune in to the Military Homeschool Podcast and be energized in your military homeschooling journey!

How to listen:

  1. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, or Stitcher
  2. Subscribe on your favorite podcast listening app
  3. Or listen right here (just scroll down)

Got questions, comments, or have show topic ideas? Contact Crystal via email at or connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Please subscribe, follow, and share with all of your military homeschooling friends!

4 Kinds of Exercise Every Teen Needs

Finish Well Homeschool Podcast, Podcast #178, 4 Kinds of Exercise Every Teen Needs, with Meredith Curtis on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network

4 Kinds of Exercise Every Teen Needs

In “4 Kinds of Exercise Every Teen Needs,” Episode, #178, Meredith Curtis explains four ways our bodies need to workout to stay healthy and fit: aerobic, strength, balance, and stretching. After giving a wide variety of workout examples and sports that cover two or more kinds of exercise, she shares how teens can design their own workout schedule to fit their taste and style. She also encourages teens to find a lifetime sports and shares how that plays a role not only in lifetime health, but happiness as well. Teens can build healthy habits now that last a lifetime.



Happy New Year from Powerline Productions, Inc.

Powerline Productions, Inc.

Bringing Homeschool Joy to Families Everywhere!


Show Notes

Teens, are you worried about spending too much time in front of a screen and not enough time working out? Or maybe you are a parent concerned about your teen’s health? Exercise is a big part of staying healthy from birth to old age.

First let’s talk about 4 kinds of exercise our bodies need.

4 Kinds of Exercise

  • Aerobic
  • Strength Training
  • Balance
  • Stretching

Many sports and workouts combine them all.

  • Ballet
  • Ice Skating
  • Water Aerobics
  • Swimming, Diving, + Stretching
  • Soccer + Stretching before and afer
  • English Country Dance + Stretching
  • Gymnastics


Works heart muscle. Makes heart pump harder and faster. Gives our lungs a workout too with a greater need for oxygen.

  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Dance (ballet, tap, jazz, Old English country, square, ballroom)
  • Skiing
  • Cycling
  • Basketball
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Classes (kickboxing, Zumba, Jazzercise, boot camp)
  • Gymnastics

Strength Training

Muscle strength is the amount of work your muscles can do.

Muscle endurance is how long a group of muscles can work effectively.

You build muscle strength and endurance through strength training where you focus on a particular body part (e.g. situps) or in the process of aerobic workout (e.g. running builds leg muscles)

“he’s ripped!” – when you work out to build muscle mass, you actually damage/tear muscle and when the muscle repairs itself, it is bigger than before.

Low weight + Many reps = Toned muscles

Heavy weight + Fewer reps = Large muscles


Balance is the ability to maintain poise and physical equilibrium in various body positions. Gynastics, ballet, ice skating, soccer, and football all required balance.

Balance easy – stand on 1 leg; then the other and other easy exercises


When you stretch a body part you lengthen (stretch) the muscles and associated soft tissues.


  • Improves flexibility
  • Maintains mobility
  • Increases range of motion
  • Increases blood flow
  • Prevents injury
  • Improves posture
  • Improves sleep
  • Eases anxiety
  • Releases tension from muscles, joints, ligaments (connect bone to bone), and tendons (connect muscle to bone)

Most importantly, stretching before and after working out, warms the muscles and keeps them from tightening up, preventing injury of bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Teaching Health to Teens

Physical Anatomy (How the body works & what the body needs)

Personal Responsibility (what will they do to take care of their bodies?)

I have written my own high school health course. I also teach health at True North Homeschool Academy.

Healthy Living for Christian Teens by Meredith Curtis

Teens can figure out what sports they like to play already and/or would enjoy adding to their life

  • Large group (basketball, football, soccer) or single (running, ice skating, horseback riding) or small number (tennis)
  • Making a plan that includes all 4

Benefits of at least exposure to serious team sports

Choose a lifetime sport

  • Cole-basketball
  • Aunt Joan – tennis

I teach Health online at True North Homeschool Academy

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STEM Resources

Our curriculum works great at home; or in homeschool co-ops and online classes, too! 😊

Healthy Living for Christian Teens by Meredith Curtis From Stars to Shining Seas by Laura Nolette and Meredith Curtis at Powerline Productions, Inc. Little Lambs Exploring the Heavens Lapbook by Laura Nolette and Meredith Curtis at Powerline Productions, Inc. My Creation Week Lapbook by Meredith Curtis and Laura Nolette at Powerline Productions, inc.


Thank You to our Network Sponsor – CTC Math!

Homeschool Pitfalls

Homeschool Pitfalls | Homeschooling is the right choice, but how do you avoid the homeschool pitfalls that will sabotage your success? In this podcast, veteran homeschool mom Felice Gerwitz shares her thirty-two years of experience with you! | #homeschoolpodcast #podcast #homeschoolpitfalls #homeschoolhelp #helpforhomeschoolHomeschool Pitfalls and Help ~ Episode 486

Homeschooling is the right choice, but how do you avoid the homeschool pitfalls that will sabotage your success? In this podcast, veteran homeschool mom Felice Gerwitz shares her thirty-two years of experience with you!

Visit the Media Angels website for books, and bundles, especially the self-paced set, “How-to-Homeschool Blueprint.”

Did you know that I was hesitant to try homeschooling? When I heard a friend mention her hopes of homeschooling, I talked her out of it! This friend was overwhelmed with her four children, didn’t have a set bedtime, and walked around sleep deprived. I explained that homeschooling took some discipline and that having a parent who was awake and attentive was important! When I began homeschooling some time after, this friend was upset with me! And, rightly so.

Your decision to homeschool should be your own, and being persuaded by someone, even someone well-meaning, is not a good thing!

Today homeschooling is the best option for your children. You know the state of the school system. It was bad in the past; today, it is worse. Parental rights are called into question. What the heck is going on in our world?

When I began homeschooling my son while my daughter was in preschool, I looked at it as a way to help my struggling learner. It was a short-term goal. In other words, I was “trying” homeschooling without thinking of making it past six months. This was in 1986-87, and I never looked back. It became a lifestyle for us, and I built relationships with my children that are strong to this day, even as they are adults.

One of the fallacies is making your homeschool ideal or identical to the public or private school. Having said this, there is always an exception to the rule. My sister-in-law homeschooled her two grandkids for a year using the same books as the school because they planned on reintegrating the children into the school system. In this case, it was a good idea, and she was not only highly successful, but she was also able to raise their test scores with the one-on-one attention she gave the girls.

It is not fun; all fun and games. A good friend of mine used to say homeschooling is not fun, yet she homeschooled her boys K-12, and they not only learned several foreign languages but were proficient in fencing. How is that not fun?

I am going to go through a list of pitfalls in two parts. The first deals with hearsay about homeschooling, and the second is in regard to the act of homeschooling. Please join our Facebook group if you have questions about homeschooling or want to connect. Homeschool Podcast Network Family

Homeschool Pitfalls – Combatting the Lies:

  1. You do not have enough time.
  2. You don’t have an education degree.
  3. You work full-time.
  4. It is too restrictive.
  5. You have to recreate the school at home (use all the same books)
  6. Your kids won’t get into a good college.
  7. You won’t have time for yourself, and you won’t have a break from your kids.
  8. People who homeschool are strange.
  9. Your home is too small, and there is no room.
  10. You don’t have money to homeschool.

Homeschool Pitfalls — Challenges

  1. Lack of vision or goal
  2. Lack of organization
  3. Unruly children
  4. No routine
  5. Failure to check the schoolwork
  6. Uncompleted assignments
  7. Unsocialized kids
  8. Unable to play sports
  9. Lack of knowledge (parent)
  10. Unable to teach

Homeschooling is what you make it. If your children are unruly, the focus needs to be getting the kids under control. Teaching cause and effect is amazingly successful. I have several podcasts in a collection I call “Just For Kids” (search for that term, and you will find them). These are geared toward children, and they are highly effective.

Kids want to be heard and appreciated, just like us! Listen to their needs and focus on the entire child, not just academics. I know you can do it, and don’t forget to join our Facebook group – Homeschool Podcast Network Family on Facebook or share your concerns in this post on the website.

Teaching children to be kind online

Teaching children to be kind online

212: Teaching children to be kind online

Vicki Tillman is a veteran homeschool mom and a trained counselor and in this episode she shares ideas on teaching children to be kind online.

Topics covered include:

1) Why should we intentionally teach young people to be kind online?
2) When should we teach them to be kind online?
3) What are some guidelines for kindness to think about sharing with kids?
4) What should they do if they experience unkindness online?
5) What should they do if they slip up and act unkindly online?

Where you can find Vicki

Vicki Tillman is a fellow podcast host and you can listen to her on The Homeschool Highschool Podcast. Vicki also develops curriculum and is a homeschool coach at 7 Sisters Homeschool.

Take a look at show sponsor, FundaFunda Academy to see what they offer for online classes and web-based unit studies.

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 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

Teaching children to be kind online

The New Year is a Great Time to Reset Your Homeschool: with Stepheny Seabolt

This week Crystal Niehoff shares that the turn of a new calendar year being the perfect time to freshen up your homeschool Episode #32- On this episode, Crystal and guest Stepheny Seabolt chat about the turn of a new calendar year being the perfect time to freshen up your homeschool and give it a restart, giving tips on implementing changes and how to handle the dreaded mom guilt.

As we look ahead to a new calendar year, many homeschool moms find themselves feeling the need to do things a little differently in their homeschool. There may be aspects of your homeschool routine and curriculum that are working well. But others, not so much. Or perhaps you’re a bit behind academically from where you would like to be at this point in the school year. You may even be feeling a little burned out.

If you feel that you need to rethink how you homeschool or are altogether burned out, be sure to tune in to this episode as Crystal discusses using the new year as a fresh start or restart for your homeschool with special guest Stepheny Seabolt!

Stepheny Seabolt is the wife of one amazing husband and the mama to three very interesting kiddos, ages 12, 13, and 16. She’s a West Virginia gal through and through, even though she is currently stuck in North Carolina. Stepheny has been homeschooling for ten years now. She went back to school in 2016 and received her associate’s degree in business administration. She also runs a homeschool bookstore from home and works with The Old Schoolhouse to help other parents get started homeschooling. In her free time, she loves to cook from scratch, read, sing, and add to the list of places where she doesn’t have to wear shoes!


Interview with Stepheny Seabolt: I Don’t Have to Look Like the Public School

Seabolt’s 2nds Homeschool Curriculum Consignment

Join Crystal and her guests each week as they bring relevant information to equip you, stories to encourage you, and content to inspire you. You don’t have to go it alone; tune in to the Military Homeschool Podcast and be energized in your military homeschooling journey!

How to listen:

  1. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, or Stitcher
  2. Subscribe on your favorite podcast listening app
  3. Or listen right here (just scroll down)

Got questions, comments, or have show topic ideas? Contact Crystal via email at or connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Please subscribe, follow, and share with all of your military homeschooling friends!


Family Devotions / Worship – Steve Demme

This week Steve Demme joins Israel to share the important issues of personal Bible study and family devotionsSteve Demme of Building Faith Families joins Israel Wayne to discuss the important issues of personal Bible study, family devotions / family worship and hymn studies.

More about Steve:



To Learn more about Family Renewal, LLC visit

Other Links of Interest

Israel & Brook’s blog
Israel’s blog
Family Renewal Facebook Page
Israel Wayne’s Facebook Author Page
Israel Wayne on Twitter
Israel Wayne on Instagram
Israel Wayne on MeWe
Israel Wayne on LinkedIn
Family Renewal YouTube Podcast

Israel Wayne’s Books:

Questions God Asks: Unlocking the Wisdom of Eternity

Questions Jesus Asks: Where Divinity Meets Humanity

Pitchin’ A Fit! Overcoming Angry & Stressed-Out Parenting

Education: Does God Have an Opinion? – A Biblical Apologetic for Christian Education & Homeschooling

Answers for Homeschooling: Top 25 Questions Critics Ask

Raising Them Up – Parenting for Christians

Foundations in Faith – Bible Doctrine Curriculum (7th-12th grade)

How to Get Started Starting Things, Interview with Natalie Mack

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How Get Started Starting Things, Interview with Natalie Mack.

How to Get Started Starting Things, Interview with Natalie Mack

How Get Started Starting Things, Interview with Natalie Mack

We have our friend, Natalie Mack, with us today to discuss starting things. Natalie is a mom of homeschool high schoolers (and graduates), a military spouse, author, speaker and consultant to the military homeschool community for HSLDA. You already know her from previous interviews such as Tips for Homeschooling High School.

One of the things that homeschoolers seem to do a lot is: starting things! And Natalie understands that sometimes you just start things because your kids need it to happen. A few of the things Natalie has started in her community include:

National Beta Club,

About Natalie Mack

To start, Natalie usually has to sit on her hands to keep herself from starting another project. However, because her teens have had so many interests AND because there were not ready opportunities for them to get involved with those interests, Natalie has had to start a number of new activities for her area.

When you want to get started with starting an organization, simply contact them, tell your story, ask what needs to happen in order to start a branch or local group. That is what Natalie has done over and over. Her teens and others in the community have been truly blessed.

In no particular order, let’s talk about the things she has started for her homeschool high schoolers and homeschool community! 

Congressional Award

As a military spouse, Natalie’s teens have volunteered a lot. Her family has always been a family of service – specifically, military service. But separate from that service in their military communities, they have given back, a charitable service very important to them as a family.

Having said that, Natalie realized years ago in her military spouse service that there was something called the Presidential Service Right Award. She was being asked to give her hours so that they could be calculated, so she looked into it, and by doing so, she found the Congressional Award.

She started the Congressional Award for the volunteers of her support group, Ft. Belvoir Home Educators. She wanted them to be able to get credit for their services, along with anyone over the age of thirteen to get credit for their volunteer work. At first, Natalie thought no one would respond to the Congressional Award when she promoted it on social media channels. But she did get responses and people came out of the woodworks to volunteer.

Natalie saw this opportunity and did not keep it to herself. She shared it on social media and that is all it took to give other people the confidence to jump in on the process.

National Beta Club

Next on Natalie’s to “done” list is the National Beta Club, a club for homeschoolers. It started in 1934 in Spartanburg, South Carolina and has lasted over eighty years so far. 

Many famous people have been a part of the National Beta Club, such as Kevin Duran and President Clinton to name a few. It currently has 445,000 active members and 9,600 clubs nationally and internationally.

So what is the National Beta Club, exactly? Beta has four principles that they seek:

  • Achievement
  • Character
  • Leadership
  • Service

They recognize and honor “Achievement,” which means students can compete in their state and national conventions to take tests in academic subject areas.This helps pre prepare young people for life and empowers them to be successful. 

Beta club chapters have presidents and offices that the students serve. They present leadership skills and make speeches for their peers to choose who should serve in office. It is leadership developing the leaders of tomorrow, which is what the Beta club focuses on primarily. 

The Beta club has done charity work in homeless shelters, where a representative will go and speak to the people there. This is one way for the kids of the club to know about those who are less fortunate and teach them how important it is that everyone is all in this together. 

This Club was the only homeschool club available in their area in the Washington, DC area. There are two different ones depending on age, beginning with a Junior Beta from 4th grade to 8th grade and then a Senior Beta from 9th grade to 12th grade, and they had both clubs. 

Natalie got involved with the Beta Club when she heard they opened the doors to homeschoolers. She felt God was tapping her on my shoulder to join. And so she did!

Homeschool Moms: If our teens need it, we can start it!

A few of the other leadership opportunities and services Natalie’s teens have been a part of are:

  • The Fairfax County Watershed Cleanup
  • A military organization called Blue Star Organization

They also partner with Starbucks to put yellow ribbons on Christmas trees in the Starbucks so people can acknowledge the military service and give thanks to them. 

Toastmasters Youth Leadership Group

Natalie loves public speaking, even though she’s never received official training. And Toastmasters Youth Leadership Group is a program that enables young people under the age of 18 to develop their communication and leadership skills through practical experience.

Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, the organization’s membership is approximately 280,000 in more than 14,700 clubs in 144 countries.

Natalie had an opportunity for her and the kids to participate in a Youth Leadership Group (YLP) for Toastmasters. The YLP has a training they recommend students go through first in order to set up a Toastmasters Youth Leadership program. 

Once they went through the training, the kids absolutely loved it, so when they moved to Northern Virginia, Natalie started the YLP again. 


Natalie has always been fascinated with 4-H. One thing she appreciates is that 4-H to no longer just agriculture. It is an organization with so many opportunities now, more than just about farm animals. They have summer camps and several leadership opportunities. 

Homeschooling brings to so many opportunities, such as Toastmaster or 4-H, and it allows kids to discover and use their passions and interests. Teens are able to take those passions and interests and put them into established programs or even start a club, much like Natalie did.

Homeschooling gives kids the opportunities to shine.

To all the homeschool moms out there who want to start a club: 

Be confident that you can do it. If you have an idea for your teen, there are likely one or two other moms who have that same eagerness too. The beauty is in coming together and making it happen together.

Join Vicki and Natalie for some ideas about getting things started.

Thank you to Richie Soares with Homeschool and Humor for writing this blog post!

How Get Started Starting Things, Interview with Natalie Mack