Advice for Moms of New Homeschool High Schoolers

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Advice for Moms of New Homeschool High Schoolers.

Advice for Moms of New Homeschool High Schoolers. Homeschool moms give tips for high school success. #HomeschoolHighSchool

Advice for Moms of New Homeschool High Schoolers

Know someone who is just starting to homeschool high school? Pass this episode along to them! Sabrina, Vicki and Kym have lots of encouraging tips for success and enjoying the high school years with your teens.

Sabrina, Vicki and Kym are part of the 7SistersHomeschool team. We love to pass along the things we learned in homeschooling our dozens of teens for dozens of years, along with decades of advising and teaching our local homeschool high schoolers in group classes and co-ops. Titus 2 in the Bible tells us that the “older women should help along the younger women” (that’s the 7Sisters version, anyway). So that’s what we are about at and that’s what the Homeschool Highschool Podcast is all about.

So with our love for you all, here is advice for moms of new homeschool high schoolers!

There are so many things we want our new homeschool high school moms to know but here are some things we have learned the hard way or the easy way (from the moms who mentored us).

The first and most important tip we have for you is this: There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school!

There are so many teens and they are all unique. There are so many different families and they are unique. We are free to adapt curriculum and goals to fit our teens’ and family’s needs!

There is no place for mom-shaming in homeschooling high school!

So do not allow any too-enthusiastic (or too-judgmental) mom to tell you that you MUST use a certain curriculum or teach a certain way.

There is no such thing as a Pinterest-perfect home or Pinterest-perfect homeschool.

As our friend, Colleen Kessler of  the Raising Lifelong Learners podcast says, “every day you must juggle a lot of balls, so every day you need to wake up and decide which balls you need to drop today.”

There’s no such thing as a Pinterest-perfect homeschool…because there are all these people involved and people are not perfect! Which leads to the next bit of advice:

Have grace for yourself, your teens and your homeschool community.

There will be things that happen that are not so pretty… they may be funny… or sometimes not. Maybe you and yours will get on each other’s last nerve. Maybe your science experiment might almost burn the house down (not that Vicki is mentioning herself or anyone like that…ahem…). Maybe you are all exhausted. That is where grace comes in. Accept God’s grace and give it to each other.

There's no such thing as a Pinterest-perfect homeschool

If you are feeling stressed and start to feel guilty that you are not a good homeschooling high school mom, remember this bit of advice: Motherhood is all about guilt.

It is not awful to feel guilty, it is simply part of motherhood. So turn it over to God and allow his grace and his growth to work in you and yours. (BTW- Have you had a chance to have some fun with different types of homeschooling high school moms? Check out our episode on Heavy Equipment Motherhood.)

So never underestimate the power of a deep breath.

Give yourself permission to stop, breathe, recalibrate. Stress is going to hit. The goal is not about avoiding stress, discomfort and pain as a parent. The road is bumpy. The battle is enormous, but it is SO worth it. It is SOOO worth it.

As Kym says, “Homeschooling high school is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.”

You have lots of time to learn how to do this homeschool high school thing. Your teens have lots of time to learn it, too. Be good to each other. Understand you might doubt yourself. We all know teens tend to doubt themselves. This is a long project but you all can do it!

Help teens lean into exploring, discovering and developing the plans and callings that God has given them.

Homeschool high school years are the best years for helping teens glimpse God’s mind for them. 

Career Exploration is one of the most important courses for teens.

Teens can explore and discover the ideas God has for them. If teens don’t have a clue about their future, start with this episode. If they have some settled interests, check out this episode. And check out 7Sisters’ Career Exploration Bundle.

Build a meaningful transcript with courses that build interests and skills.

Have your teens learn with textbooks and non-traditional courses. (Don’t forget to document!) Remember, all of life is education!

What courses do your teens need?

We have that here for you in this post.

How do you teach what you don’t know?

You can’t be an expert on everything. We want to help our teens become independent learners, so here are some ideas:

Know the answer to the eternal, infernal question: What about socialization?

First off, let’s be clear about the definition: Socialization means to pass on the values, norms and traditions from one generation to the next. Homeschooling, we believe, is a wonderful format for that! But also, our teens are not hiding out in the basement for four years. Check out this post and this HSHSP episode.

Homeschooling is a lifestyle

Homeschooling high school will change your life and will begin to be a special, unique lifestyle for you. It will affect your entire life rhythm.

How do you choose curriculum?

Check out this post from 7Sisters and this one from our friend, Samantha at Learn In Color. AND:

Last advice:

  • Vicki: You CAN do this!
  • Kym: Enjoy the journey. It will be good. AND pray, first, last and always!
  • Sabrina: You be you!

Join Sabrina, Vicki and Kym for encouraging advice for moms of new homeschool high schoolers.


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Advice for Moms of New Homeschool High Schoolers

What to Do When Your Child Won’t Say I’m Sorry

Hey, homeschoolers!

If you have more than one child or if your child has had conflict with another, you know this situation. Your child has said or done something to hurt someone. Your natural inclination is to tell the child to apologize. But what if she won’t? Or what if he does, and everyone knows it’s not genuine? What should you do?

That’s what I asked my guest, Lynna Sutherland. You will love what she has to say. I know I did.

Sponsor: Homeschool Mom Science Podcast

Before I share the interview, I want to thank my sponsor for the episode: The Homeschool Moms Science Podcast.

This new podcast is specifically geared toward helping homeschool moms teach and enjoy science.

It’s hosted by homeschool dad, scientist, and former college professor, Greg Landry.
Topics include:
– When to take which middle and high school science classes
– Why you should laser focus on the ACT and ditch the SAT
– What they learned from finding and choosing colleges for their homeschooled daughters
– How teaching science should differ for likely science major students and non-science students
– Do you have a palmaris longus?
– What you should know about CLEP and AP
– The unusual benefit of daily graphing
– Your science teaching questions answered
– 4 science teaching mistakes and how to avoid them
– And much more
Listen to this upbeat, encouraging, sometimes humorous podcast for homeschool moms…
including the science story of Greg Landry meeting his wife.
Search for Homeschool Moms Science Podcast on your podcast app or visit

Solutions for Sibling Rivalry with Lynna Sutherland

Now to introduce my guest. Lynna Sutherland is a homeschool mom of eight kids ages teen to toddler. She loves to encourage moms to take a heart-based, gospel-centered approach to parenting and sibling conflict resolution. Lynna is the host of the Sibling Relationship Lab podcast and the creator of the Sibling Opposition Solution online course for parents and the Sibling Investigations devotionals for families.

Resources for Sibling Rivalry

Join me next time as I share six reasons you should homeschool this year.
Have a happy homeschool week!

Best Homeschool Scheduling Advice

best homeschool scheduling | The Best homeschool scheduling advice I ever received actually came from my daughter, do not duplicate the school at home. I looked at the way I scheduled my homeschool year. #homeschool #homeschooling #podcast #homeschoolscheduleBest Homeschool Scheduling Advice Episode 285

The Best homeschool scheduling advice I ever received actually came from my daughter. She said, “Mom if we are going to duplicate the school system then why homeschool?” With that in mind, I looked at the way I scheduled my homeschool year. I made time for those special events that make homeschooling stand out from the conventional school cuWhetherum. Whether it is a field trip, a family trip that is planned or one-to-one mentoring with a talented person. In this episode of Vintage Homeschool Moms, I’ll explain the best homeschool scheduling advice, ever!

Thanks to our sponsor – The Well Planned Gal!! 

Questions to ask yourself before you begin scheduling!

  1. What are your state laws — are you compliant?
  2. Are you part of a support group? This network IS part of your support!
  3. What are your goals and objectives for the year?
  4.  What method of homeschooling do you lean toward? If you don’t know listen to this podcast on the topic HERE PUT LINK
  5. How long are you planning to homeschool? 4, 5, or 6 hours or more per day? Check out your homeschool laws here if you don’t already know them:
  6. Are you flexible?
  7. Do you like check off lists? For you? For the kids?

These questions will set the groundwork for how you’d like to set up your homeschool year. What I might consider best homeschool scheduling advice may not allign with your homeschool philosophy. However I hope you can take what you need and make it work for you! With this clearly in mind, here is some of the best advice I can share with you about homeschool schedules and ways to have a stress-free year.

Best Homeschool Scheduling Tips:

  1. Keep your eyes focused on your family needs. What Sally Jo uses for her kids may not work for yours.
  2. Look at your goals. What do you hope to accomplish this year? What subjects do you want to cover this year?
  3. Is it important to develop your child’s creativity and imagination and encourage them to think?
  4. What character qualities do you want to work on? If you want to strengthen family relationships, select reading materials or read aloud the books that will do just that. Read the Little House on the Prarie (younger) or Anne of Green Gables (older).
  5. Each child is unique, consider your child’s needs.
  6. Never recreate the public/private classroom at home.
  7. Don’t forget about you. Do you have help scheduled, whether that is a chore chart so everyone can pitch in, or a park day so you can visit with friends.
  8. Never – and that means never answer the phone while you are homeschooling. Set special ring tones for important people – others go to voice mail. This goes for checking Facebook or social media in general.
  9. Never and that means never -unless it is absolutely impossible go on an errand during school time. No grocery store shopping, doctor appointments – until after school or on a day off if you take one, etc.

Best Homeschool Scheduling Advice — Ever! 

Tools & Supplies:

  1. Three Inch Binder: Use a three-ring binder. I began a master homeschool binder when I first began homeschooling and it contains ALL the must haves… First, copies of their schedules, important information: everything from blanks I could duplicate to things I always had to look up previously. I have the children’s evaluations in this binder from the beginning of our homeschooling in Kindergarten through twelfth grade! I also keep a copy of their evaluations in their grade/year notebook.
  2. Master Lists: Subjects, books, reading books, grade level goals, etc. I think through this once, add to it if a particular child needs more information and then file it in my book. I also have a file in a Word Doc. in my computer that corresponds. Master lists can include a supply list for school, birthdays, and a calendar of events.
  3. File cabinet. Throughout the years I kept files on each of the kids and work. As we ended a year, the binder was emptied, the information for the year filed under the child’s name (and grade labeled), and the binder was then ready for the next year.
  4. School Supplies: Notebooks: Look for sales. We get lined, spiral notebooks for less than 20 cents during back to school sales. I buy enough for all year. Use a sharpie (or a nice label from the computer) to label the subject. Notebook paper: This is one of those things we always ran out of when the children were younger. Wide-ruled notebook paper for the little kids and college ruled for older ones. Pencils: We prefer the #2 pencils and some of the kids liked the mechanical pencils, but there was one brand, in particular, they liked best that we could only purchase at an office supply store. Yes, friends, this was “pre-Amazon” days! Of course, depending on your child’s needs there are crayons, markers, erasers (the ones that fit on the pencil and the bigger ones), colored pencils, pens and sharpie and highlighters. Don’t forget the 110 lb paper to make your own dividers.
  5. Best Purchases: Large Dry Erase Boards and erasable markers, an electric three-hole punch, a laminator, laminating sheets, a stapler, a heavy duty stapler (to make those books kids love to make), and a heavy duty tape dispenser. I loved sticky notes and tabs to create my own dividers with 110 lb paper.

Best Homeschool Scheduling Advice:

  1. Know Your Kids: Do you know or have you evaluated your children? Our sponsor has these wonderful books for Placement and Evaluation.
  2. Organized: Get your books organized. Half the battle if finding the books you need when you need them. School supplies and additional resources. Everything has a place!
  3. Freebies: There are lots of sites that say you can get free curriculum, downloads, printables, etc. If you have these – organize them!
  4. Scope and Sequence: This states what your kids need to know and as homeschoolers you can be flexible. Here is a scope and sequence from Abeka as well as Bob Jones that goes from K-12. I’m not endorsing this one way or the other, you have to make your own determination.
  5. Flexibility: Build flexibility into your schedule – how can you do this? (Listen to the podcast for tips)
  6. Input: Get input from your older children. One year my kids wanted to study oceanography and space. Talk about diverse! Yet those became their favorite subjects.
  7. Routine or Schedule? What works for you a routine or schedule? The best homeschool scheduling takes into mind your lifestyle and only you can decide if you want to do things daily with a set schedule or perhaps have a routine that includes daily activities but more loosely scheduled.
  8. Rotate your schedule – doing the same thing all the time can be boring and cause kids to zone out. Maybe you do math every day, but what about history or science? You can do history two times a week and science two times for 6 weeks, and then change it to history three times and science two.
  9. 180 Homeschool Days: Get a year’s calendar and circle the days you will school each month. Yes, this can change but it is nice to have it set out before you – so you can plan. 180 days of homeschooling is what my state requires. Check your state information here:
  10. Homeschool Planner: Well Planned Gal planners are my favorite – there are digital, printed and even a prayer planner.  There is also a smaller size to keep in your purse or backpack!
  11. Use Checklists: Checklist with pictures for little kids and a checklist for you. It is an easy way to keep records.
  12. Breaks: Be sure to highlight birthday’s, events, holidays, and field trips. Do you have a catch-up/ planning day? If you can’t have one every week, try for one a month.
  13. Field Trips: Be sure to use the resources available to homeschool families in your area.
  14. Plan your week: Look at your books and divide the number of homeschool days or weeks by chapters. If there are 30 chapters you may need to do one per week. Etc. Some books you can take two weeks to complete one chapter.
  15. Teach Kids Together: Group ages and books/subjects as much as possible. Kids like working together or if they are competitive use it to their advantage.
  16. Projects: Plan early. Science fair ideas begin in the summer, papers signed as soon as school starts (grades six and up). I wrote the book, “An Insider’s Guide to Successful Science Fair Projects available on Media Angels Membership or Amazon here.
  17. High School: Planning for high school? Plan a 4-year schedule of required subjects for graduation. The scale is different for a high school diploma vs. a high school diploma with college in mind. Also if your kids are planning to attend college listen to College Prep Genius for ways to ace the SAT and ACT as well as get scholarships. If your kids play sports – know the rules. If your kids are approaching high school and have an eye to playing sports in college read up on the eligibility information about classes that count for high school for college play.

Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Well Planned Gal

Rebecca from the Well Planned Gal understands the challenges of working within a budget, managing multiple children, and trying to keep up with a variety of information. That is why she created popular planner bundles!

Combine organizational tools with year long encouragement by bundling Well Planned Day planners with the popular Family Magazine. For a limited time, Save 30% with one of her  popular planner bundles. Each bundle contains 2 planner products with a one-year subscription to Family Magazine.  

Click Here to Go to Well Planned Gal

Natural Hydration Drinks for Summer

Join Julie Polanco on this episode of Crunchy Christian Podcast as she discusses natural hydration drinks. Join Julie Polanco on this episode of Crunchy Christian Podcast as she discusses natural hydration drinks. Ditch those sugary electrolyte sports beverages and learn how to properly re-hydrate after hiking, biking, running, swimming, and the like. Nourish your body right!

Natural Hydration Drinks Perfect for Summer

Now that we’re all more active, we run the risk of dehydration and heat exhaustion. Our first instinct is to reach for those grocery store sports drinks. But, those are full of sugar, not to mention synthetically produced electrolytes. What can we do instead? What natural hydration drinks did our ancestors drink, especially since farm labor kept them in the fields for long hours in the hot sun?  They didn’t have those colorful sports drinks we have.

A word about water

Before we talk about natural hydration drinks, we need to talk about your water needs. If your diet is high in fats and fruits and vegetables, you are getting some hydration from the food you eat. A high protein diet may cause you to get dehydrated faster. That’s why the best snack to take on a hike is trail mix. Too much water taxes the kidneys, just like too much protein also taxes the kidneys. How much is recommended? The rule of thumb is men should drink 13-15 cups and women, 9-11 cups, but there are actually no real scientific studies to support that. Each person’s need depends on age, gender, weight, and activity level. Remember what I said about fruit and vegetable intake, which usually accounts for about 20% of your water need. Other sources of water include tea, coffee, milk, juice, and soda.

Signs of dehydration and heat exhaustion

So how do you know if you’re dehydrated? Let’s briefly discuss the signs of dehydration and heat exhaustion. The easiest and most obvious sign of dehydration is dark urine and excreting less urine. If you are also feeling sluggish and tired and craving sugar, you need to get hydrated. If you experience dizziness, fainting, confusion, or heart palpitations, get medical attention immediately. Severe dehydration is an emergency. Don’t let it get that bad!

Heat exhaustion often occurs along with dehydration since it happens because of not getting enough fluids. If the body can’t cool itself in the extreme heat, you may experience many of the severe dehydration symptoms. But with heat exhaustion, you will also experience muscle cramps, headache, lots of sweating and cold clammy skin, and feeling tired. It is very important that you get to a cool place and help the body cool down. Get hydrated, too. Otherwise, it may progress to heat stroke. However, plain water is often not enough. Try these natural hydration drinks instead.

Fruits and Vegetables for Natural Hydration Drinks

On the show, Julie talks about how to use lemon, cucumber, celery, and watermelon to help address hydration needs. She also discusses how to make tasty natural hydration drinks from ginger and oranges. Her family has used traditional fermentation techniques to create healthy inexpensive alternatives to sports drinks.

Other drinks

Julie also briefly discusses kombucha and water kefir as health drinks that can help with keeping hydrated on a hot day. Listen and find out more!

 Additional Resources

Weston Price Foundation: Lots of information about the health benefits of lacto-fermented foods and beverages.

Nourished Kitchen: a post about different types of fermented drinks and needed supplies.

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

The role of tech with special needs students

Using Tech with Special Needs Students

92: The role of tech with special needs students

Our guest in this episode is Peggy Ployhar, founder/CEO of SPED Homeschool, and she is going to share with us about using tech with special needs students. Peggy has a wealth of wisdom to share, and you will need to listen to this episode to get the maximum benefit.

This sums up what Peggy covers in this episode:

Teaching struggling students is difficult, thus many parents look to technology to ease that difficulty, but if not considered properly it can complicate the teaching and the learning process.

She explores 4 myths:

Myth 1 – A child who loves tech will best learn on/with tech
Myth 2 – Parent involvement is unnecessary if teaching with an app/program/online curriculum
Myth 3 – Assistive tech is a crutch students must work to eliminate
Myth 4 – Video and/or audio-based curriculum is less superior to book-based curriculum

Learn more from Peggy on her weekly live show where she talks with guests about topics relevant to homeschooling special needs students. This live show is from 8 – 9pm CT each Tuesday on Facebook or Youtube. You can catch the replay as a podcast.

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.

Using Tech with Special Needs Students

Dealing with Tough Topics in American Literature

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Dealing with Tough Topics in American Literature.

Dealing with Tough Topics in American Literature. How to have uncomfortable discussions.


Dealing with Tough Topics in American Literature

American Literature is a staple of high school Language Arts. Teens are at an excellent age to wrestle with some of the difficult concepts and topics that arise through American Lit readings. That is wonderful and tough on moms because sometimes we, ourselves, feel uncomfortable with some of the topics. So how do you deal with these uncomfortable topics?

Sabrina, Vicki and Kym join forces today for a comfortable chat about uncomfortable topics in American Literature.

Things that can be distracting and uncomfortable in literature can actually be enriching when dealt with wisely. (This is timely because, if your teens are aware of the turmoil in the world around them, you can use some of these ideas to start discussions that help them grow and become healthy adults.)

FYI: We are basing our discussion on a post that Sabrina wrote a while back but that homeschool moms have often told us has been helpful to them.

So how do you deal with tough topics in American Literature (and all Lit courses)?

To start with, when teens read something that is uncomfortable to them, most of them find it impossible to ignore. (As adults, we often have developed a skills of ignoring or shelving things that are uncomfortable so that we can go on and enjoy the story.)

Often teens will stop and say things like, “I don’t like that!”, “Why is that in the book?”, “What does that mean?”

As Vicki points out, Sabrina had lots of experience dealing with these questions, with her own teens but especially in our local homeschool group classes. When teens asked pointed questions like those, Sabrina had a way of making space for them, while maintaining a healthy atmosphere. Here are her tips:

Moms, start with acting skills and non-verbals:

  • Say inside your head, “I will not freak out! I will not freak out.”
  • Keep a slight smile on your face.
  • Sit in a relaxed posture.
  • Before you respond, take a deep breath. (Never underestimate the power of a deep breath.)
  • Validate that teen for having the courage for bringing up the question.
    • “I’m glad you were brave enough to bring that up. How did you feel when you read that?”
    • “I’m glad you brought that up, I’m glad you notice you are uncomfortable.”
  • Then, be honest, “To tell the truth, this passage makes me uncomfortable too…” (Do not jump into a lecture here, just allow a pause.)
  • Often, when teens are validated and adults are calm and honest about how they feel, the young people calm down and hostility tends to fade. (Often when teens talk in a hostile way, they are doing do so because they are afraid they will be shut down or criticized for their thoughts or feelings.
    • They will present their discomfort as anger (maybe even anger at you).
    • If you enter into that discomfort with them and say, “I’m really uncomfortable with that too, let’s see what we can learn from it…”, teens will often say, “Oh, she’s on my side. She understands what I’m feeling and thinking.”

Sabrina never rushed into correcting teens for their viewpoints. For us moms, when we are uncomfortable (or want to spare our teens the “pain of thinking incorrectly”, we will rush into “fixing their thoughts or viewpoints”.

Avoid telling teens the right way to think immediately. Unfortunately, if we slip into this, teens will feel unheard and disrespected. Instead, find the common ground of acknowledging the discomfort. This makes room for healthy and productive discussion and growth (maybe for teens and moms alike).

Discussing tough topics? Never underestimate the power of a deep breath.

Next, afford the same respect you and your teens gave each other to the characters in the story

  • Ask, “When this character was faced with this situation, what do you think was going on in his mind? What did he see as his options? Put yourself in his shoes…what are your options?”
  • Then sit quietly and let them think it through. Suggest they imagine being an actor trying to climb into their character.
    • This is very valuable because teens (and many adults) think that things should be a certain way, but when they put themselves into another person’s (character’s) experience, and try to imagine and see what that person went through, it helps them evaluate things from a more gracious perspective.
    • This doesn’t mean that they will (or should) agree with the choices the character makes, but at least, they have climbed into another’s perspective and then learned something about understanding people in context. (This is an important adulting skill!)
  • This ties to literary elements (understanding characters’ motivations, needs, personalities, setting and context), so you are preparing teens for their SAT’s and being better literature studies.
    • It helps teens also ask themselves, “How will this book affect me?”
    • This also helps teens break free from their natural “adolescent egocentrism” (see Human Development).
  • Follow up with, “How would Jesus have handled this character or situation?” “What would Jesus do or not do?” “How would He respond?” (Avoid preaching or cheesiness, help them think of the character/personality of Jesus.)
  • Remember, asking teens what they think and why rather than jumping in quickly to tell them what to think, will lead to growth for them. Often, after talking for a while, teens will look at you and ask what YOU think.
  • Teach teens to read with their brain and their spirit turned on!
    • If teens just answer, “I don’t know…”, start with comprehension (what was happening, why, what changed), then have them perspective take.

Teach teens to read with their brain and their spirit turned on!

Then teach teens to apply this skill to real life

Teach them to sit before responding, relax and breathe and look for opportunities for perspective taking.

Kym has some wise advice:

There are a lot of things that are going on around us now that– regardless of our perspective on things–it can be really hard to learn to just be uncomfortable. And yet, sometimes, that’s where that’s where our greatest learning it. Even if all we’re doing is learning that somebody else that I know deals with discomfort even more that I do…They’ve had to learn to do this all the time. It’s a big, powerful lesson.

Like Sabrina’s teaching ideas? You’ll find her kinds of questions and literary themes in American Literature Study Guides.

What makes 7Sisters Literature Study guides unique? They concentrate on growth in inferential skills while learning critical thinking skills, in a no-busywork and friendly format.

Join Sabrina, Vicki and Kym for a comfortably uncomfortable discussion on dealing with tough topics in American Literature.


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Dealing with Tough Topics in American Literature

More Child Discipline Lies That Make Homeschooling Harder

Hey, homeschoolers! Last time I shared 3 child discipline lies that make homeschooling harder. I’m back with 3 more lies this week. If you haven’t listened to the previous episode, I recommend that you do. Subscribing to the podcast makes it easy to find the episode.

Sponsor: Homeschool Mom Science Podcast

Before I dive into the topic, I want to thank my sponsor for the episode: The Homeschool Moms Science Podcast.

This new podcast is specifically geared toward helping homeschool moms teach and enjoy science.

It’s hosted by homeschool dad, scientist, and former college professor, Greg Landry.
Topics include:
– When to take which middle and high school science classes
– Why you should laser focus on the ACT and ditch the SAT
– What they learned from finding and choosing colleges for their homeschooled daughters
– How teaching science should differ for likely science major students and non-science students
– Do you have a palmaris longus?
– What you should know about CLEP and AP
– The unusual benefit of daily graphing
– Your science teaching questions answered
– 4 science teaching mistakes and how to avoid them
– And much more
Listen to this upbeat, encouraging, sometimes humorous podcast for homeschool moms…
including the science story of Greg Landry meeting his wife.
Search for Homeschool Moms Science Podcast on your podcast app or visit college prep science dot com slash podcast

Now for today’s topic: 3 more child discipline lies that make homeschooling harder

Last time I covered “My child is an exception,” “I can’t discipline because my spouse and I don’t agree,” and “My child should always like school, life, and especially me.” Those are all lies that will lead you to neglect disciplining your child, which will in turn make homeschooling harder.

Lie #4 Requiring chores is mean

The fourth lie is related to this false notion that kids should like everything, covered in lie #3. I have been flabberghasted when parents have suggested that requiring kids to do chores is mean or actually abusive.

My father was forced to work on an abusive uncle’s farm beginning at age 4. The idea that having kids unload the dishwasher, do their own laundry, or help with younger siblings is abuse is very upsetting to me. If you aren’t going to work alongside your children in the running of your household, your chore expectations are probably too much. But this concern is voiced not by authoritian parents but by passive ones.

Chores train your children for adult responsibilities. They learn skills and a work ethic. But perhaps you’re thinking that there are enough years for them to learn these things. You’d like kids to have time to be kids. However, there’s another reason to give your children chores.

Chores build self-esteem. We all feel good when we’ve worked hard to accomplish something. When your children help run your home, they feel needed. I have told my children for years the truth: I couldn’t do it all without them. Start a simple chore plan today. Ecclesiastes 2:24 says “A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil.” Your child’s happiness requires doing some work.

Lie #5 My children should behave without rewards

Once I begin sharing with parents how they can motivate their children with rewards, I’m soon presented with this lie: my children should behave without being rewarded. They should do their schoolwork and chores out of the goodness of their hearts. Never mind that their hearts aren’t filled with good. They’re human just as we are. The fact is we don’t do anything for long that isn’t rewarded because that’s how we learn.

Many parents don’t understand that they’re not only failing to reward children for good behavior but they’re punishing it. Here’s what I mean. Your child writes the paper you’ve assigned. You look at it and point out all the errors or comment on how it doesn’t look like much effort was put into it. Don’t get me wrong. That may be true. I’ve told my students that I know they can do better and I get away with it because I usually reward them with praise.

We do the same with chores. Rather than acknowledging the work that’s been done, we call attention to what wasn’t done. Our kids won’t be motivated to work, even if they “should.” And that only makes sense. We would quit a job that withheld a paycheck from us and we would certainly quit a volunteer position that only gives us grief. I know I have.

When you’re only disciplining a child with criticism, yelling, or punishments, you have to break out of that cycle and start rewarding the smallest of good behaviors. It’s not that your child “deserves” a reward. It’s how children and even animals are trained. In Matthew 25, we read the parable of the talents in which the good steward is rewarded with praise and more responsibility. God knows that we all respond to rewards. If you’d like to learn more about motivating your child, you can find my class on the topic here. It’s just $7!

Lie #6 It’s too late

The final lie I want to discuss with you today breaks my heart. After I’ve explained principles of good discipline, parents of even very young children will tell me, “It’s too late. The damage has already been done.” This is said to justify continued lack of discipline or harsh discipline–usually with reference to having an exceptional child. I won’t delay in telling you that this just isn’t true.

I know parents who have adult children who are on drugs, in jail, and out of many failed relationships. You cannot make the right choices for an adult child or even a minor child. But you can always choose to discipline. In fact, Eli in the Bible suffered for failing to discipline his adult sons.

Obviously, you can’t turn your six-foot, teen soon over your knee to spank him, nor should you. But you can give consequences for lack of respect and poor choices–just as you would with any other adult. You can also reward a child for giving respect and making good choices, regardless of that child’s age.

The truth is God doesn’t hold you responsible for a child’s choices. He holds you responsible for disciplining. The training God expects of us includes teaching our children to honor God. In Psalm 78:5-8, we read “For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God.”

We can make God’s Word known to our children of any age and we can begin today. It’s never too late with God.


Give your kids chores, reward them with praise and privileges when they do what is right, and begin today because it’s not too late.

Thanks again to my sponsor, The Homeschool Moms Science Podcast.

Join me next time to hear what to do when your child won’t give a genuine apology. That episode was delayed, but I promise to have it for you this time.

Have a happy homeschool week!

Economics Explained So You Can Understand It

Finish Well Homeschool Podcast, Podcast #117, Economics Explained So You Can Understand It, with Meredith Curtis on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network

Economics Explained So You Can Understand It

In “Economics Explained So You Can Understand It” episode #117, Meredith Curtis explains what economics is in very simple terms so even the most economic-phobic teen or adult can understand. GDP/GNP, Macroeconomics, and microeconomics will make sense to you now. Get rid of intimidation! You can understand economics! Meredith believes that understanding economics is a blessing, especially when we understand biblical principles and apply them to our lives.




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Show Notes

So many people I meet feel intimidated by economics. Why is that?

What Economics Is

Economics is the study of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services according to Webster’s dictionary.



The dollar bill in your purse.


  • What people make and do and how those things are sold
  • Studying how, why, and where money goes
  • Who ends up with what and how it gets there


The big picture

Economic Systems

  • Command (Government controlled like socialism, communism, fascism)
  • Free Market (People controlled, capitalism)
  • Mixed

What is happening in the world that makes people buy more stuff?

Flow & Distribution of Wealth

Supply & Demand (Big Picture)


Consumer Behavior

Business Behavior

Production Cost/Customer Willing to Pay/Sweet Spot


Economics looks at how people get what they want, who gives it to them, how they get it, and how much they get.

GNP (Gross National Product) or the GDP (Gross Domestic Product)

Total amount of all the good and services that are sold.

Economic Cycle

The economy goes in cycles of growing and recessing. This cycle, if not tampered with, is natural and normal. People go through seasons of spending and saving. A healthy economy has seasons of expanding and decreasing flowing gently from one to another. We will talk more about this cycle next time.

Teaching Economics In High School

Say good-bye to dry boring textbooks!

  • Biblical economic principles for real life!
  • Read Living books and conversational textbook to learn economics
  • Apartment Project and other hands-on experiences
  • Purchase Stock
  • Budget
  • Plan for College
  • Choose a Career
  • Make a Business Plan
  • Start a Business

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Resources for Economics & Homeschooling High School

Our one-credit high school courses use conversational text, living books, hands-on learning, and projects that prepare teens for real life! Enjoy!

Economics, Finances, and Business Economics, Finances, and Business Answer Key HIS Story of the 20th Century by Meredith Curtis HIS Story of the 20th Century: High School Workbook by Meredith Curtis
American Literature & Research British Literature & Writing High School Class Communications 101:Essays and Speeches High School Class Foundations of Western Literature by Meredith Curtis
Real Men 101: Godly Manhood Real Men 102: Freedom, Courtship, Marriage, & Family Real Men 103: Leadership Who Dun It? Murder Mystery Literature and Writing High School Class
God's Girls 101: Grow in Christ God's Girls 103: Courship, Marriage, and the Christian Family High School Class God's Girls 104: Motherhood by Meredith Curtis God's Girls 105: Homemaking by Meredith Curtis

More Podcasts You Might Find Helpful

Finish Well Podcast #018, Exploring Careers in Business and Rescue with Meredith Curtis on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network Finish Well Podcast #027, Exploring Careers in Real Estate & Pools with Meredith Curtis on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network Finish Well Radio, Podcast #024, Link Between Literature and Political Freedom Finish Well Podcast #037, Shine for Jesus in the Business World with Meredith Curtis on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network

Homeschooling With A Twist – God Schooling

God Schooling | Never heard of God Schooling? Well, you are not alone. Many are new to this concept of education but homeschool mom and herbalist, Julie Polanco will share what it is and how you can achieve homeschool success. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #christianunschooling #GodSchooling #childleadschool #naturallivingHomeschooling With A Twist – God Schooling Episode 407

Never heard of God Schooling? Well, you are not alone. Many are new to this concept of education but homeschool mom and herbalist, Julie Polanco will share what it is and how you can achieve homeschool success.

Julie Polanco is a podcaster on this network! Check out the Crunchy Christian Podcast here.

Julie’s Book – God Schooling here.

Connect with her on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and YouTube.

Julie has four children and has recently completed her eighteenth year of homeschooling. As children, she and her husband were both bullied and she didn’t want her children to have the same experiences, and the idea of homeschool resonated with them.

While on a family camping trip the family on the next site was a homeschool family of eight. Julie felt like it was a God-incident. They were so impressed with the family, how close they were with each other, and the maturity of the older children. It was a turning point for the Polancos.

*This is an excerpt from the interview with Julie Polanco on God Schooling. Listen to this broadcast for the entire content.

Julie realized after not too many years that it became a real chore trying to get the kids to do what she thought they should be doing.

God Schooling

Within a short time, God revealed a need for something different. And at the time, Christian unschooling was a “dirty” word. Yet, Julie felt like the Lord was leading their family toward a Christian unschooling approach, in a sense, it is child-directed learning.

  • Secular Unschooling allows the child to learn what they want when they want, how they want, and if they want. It often looks hands-off. l
  • Children will not always choose wisely or productive pursuits.

God Schooling

  • God Schooling is focused and informed by the child’s passions and their natural bents and interests
  • Parents work with their children by collaborating. It is relationship-driven.
    • Questions such as: What is God doing in this child? Where what how is God shaping this child?
    • How can we (as parents) develop our children’s passions and interests?
    • How can we direct our children toward productive uses of their time to develop those skills?
    • How can we train our children with good habits, morals, and good character?

Parents are very much involved and looking at how the child is using their time and making sure that the skills development happens.

Wellness and Herbalist

Julie has always had an affinity for nature and plants. She has learned that many plants have medical qualities, and some are derived into essential oils. After battling an illness in her twenties Julie turned to natural remedies to return to wellness.  (More on the audio.)

Julie’s new podcast is here! Crunchy Christian Podcast

Order Julie’s books via your local bookstore. If you went you can get it Amazon Barnes and Noble, etc. Or here




Herbal First Aid Essentials

Join Julie Polanco on this episode of Crunchy Christian Podcast as she discusses herbal first aid. Join Julie Polanco on this episode of Crunchy Christian Podcast as she discusses herbal first aid. She talks about what you need to keep in your cupboard or take with you on your outdoor adventures. Ready to stock your medicine cabinet with natural helps for scrapes, bruises, and other emergencies? Let’s dig in!

Herbal First Aid Essentials

Before we dig into the herbal first aid and what to stock, let’s talk a bit about first aid. What do we need our remedies to do? We need herbs and essential oils that will soothe and heal burns and scrapes while also keeping infection away. If they can help stop bleeding, that’s great, too. What about muscle sprains and bruising? Headaches? Nausea? Stomach aches? Let’s see what we can keep on hand to address these occasional needs. (If you are experiencing muscle aches, bruising, headaches, nausea, or stomach aches frequently, something more serious may be going on. You need more than herbal first aid).

You can get a FREE PDF, Putting Together a Natural First Aid Kit, by clicking HERE.

Natural Items

These items are not herbs or essential oils, but they are natural items that are very useful in a variety of ways.

Apple Cider Vinegar

As I mentioned in the last episode, apple cider vinegar helps repel mosquitoes. It can also be used for soothing sunburn if diluted and for soothing bug bites. It can also help with poison ivy exposure and minor indigestion. It’s inexpensive and great to have around.

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is safer than rubbing alcohol and you may choose to include it for minor wound cleaning, not deep wounds. Use diluted or sparingly, though. It can also be used for sanitizing, too, since it effectively kills yeast and other fungi, bacteria, and viruses, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Bring it along in a small bottle on hikes and it effectively cleans any wildcrafted food you collect. It will also keep your toothbrush and dishes clean on those summer camping trips.

Hear about some additional natural items to include in your herbal first aid kit on the podcast.

Herbal First Aid Kit Essentials

Cayenne Pepper

Believe it or not, sprinkling dried and powdered cayenne pepper directly into bleeding wounds stops the bleeding. It doesn’t sting, either. Cayenne causes the blood to redistribute throughout the body and coagulate at the wound site.

Witch Hazel

This astringent, anti-inflammatory herb helps ward off infection, soothe sore throats, and help with irritated inflamed skin.


This herb is essential for muscle aches and pains and helping heal bruises faster. It usually comes in a cream or gel.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is an absolute must. It is antimicrobial and antiviral and gentle enough to be used on children’s skin. It’s very good at warding off infections and soothing burns and scrapes. Also helpful with warts and other skin issues.

Julie talks about additional herbal helps on the podcast. Tune in and stock up!

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