Homeschool Sanity Show

How to Trust God With Your Kids

If you have been engaged in the Trust Project with me, you’ll love this month’s focus: kids. I made a mistake and said that marriage was our focus for June and it’s not. That will be our focus for July. I am so thankful for the grace you give me for all of my foibles.

Trust God with Your Kids Resources

Read the blog post

Great Homeschool Conventions

Trust Project Printables

Share in the comments what you’ll do differently as you trust God with your kids.

CSI Science for Middle and High Schoolers

Hey, homeschoolers!

I met Scott Moening at the Great Homeschool Convention in Cincinatti and am I ever glad! I learned about his company’s forensic science curriculum that I will be using with my 8th grader and two high schoolers next year. My kids are excited about learning what I’m calling CSI science. If you have middle or high schoolers, you can use code HOMESCHOOLSANITY (no spaces) for 10% off and free shipping at CrosscuttingConcepts.com. Stay tuned for my interview with Scott in just a moment.

But first, I’d like to thank my sponsor, Book Shark.

Podcast Sponsor

BookShark homeschool curriculum is literature-based, 4-day, and faith-neutral.

Amber Reed Davis, a busy homeschool mom, says, 

“We can’t say enough good stuff about BookShark. We’re doing Levels 3 and 5 this year. My kids are hooked. Through the amazing books, we’ve traveled to fascinating places and learned so much! And we’re only on week 13!  Who knew a middle schooler would ask if we could still do school on our 5th day because he wanted to find out what happens next in the books we’re reading? Also, I’ve been amazed at how much I’ve learned through reading along with them. Oh, and the 4-day schedule is perfect. We use our 5th day to catch up or just for fun field trips, experiments, and messy art projects.”

Amber is right! BookShark’s fully planned, 4-day homeschool curriculum flexes to match your busy lifestyle. The detailed Instructor’s Guides lay everything out so clearly that you are prepared to teach in mere minutes each day—open your guide, gather your resources (which are all included in your package), and go! Curriculum for ages 4-16 is available in All-Subject Packages or by individual academic areas: Reading with History, Language Arts, Science, and Math. WithBookShark’s literature-rich programs, your children will read (or have read to them) 35-50 engaging books each year! Visit BookShark to browse curriculum, download samples, or request a catalog.

CSI Science Resources

My review of Crosscutting Concepts

Small Class Kit

Small Class Kit PLUS

FACES software

Crosscutting Concepts on Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Conclusion

Come visit Scott and me at the Great Homeschool Convention in Ontario, California on June 13th.

Join me next week for the Trust Project when we will talk about trusting God with our marriage or with single parenting.

Have a happy homeschool week!

How To Make Grammar Fun Regardless Of Your Curriculum

Hey, homeschoolers!

Does grammar get groans at your house?  That’s how grammar lessons taught in the traditional way are usually greeted. And we can’t blame our kids for dreading grammar. It can be dry and tedious.

Skipping it isn’t a good option, however. Grammar is important because it comprises a significant part of college entrance exams. It also determines how our kids will be viewed by peers and potential employers.

Fortunately, there’s another way. Grammar can be fun! When it is, it helps make grammar lessons stick. I have six easy steps for making grammar engaging in a minute.

But first, I’d like to thank my sponsor for this episode, BookShark.

Visit My Sponsor

BookShark homeschool curriculum is literature-based, 4-day, and faith-neutral.

Amber Reed Davis, a busy homeschool mom, says, 

“We can’t say enough good stuff about BookShark. We’re doing Levels 3 and 5 this year. My kids are hooked. Through the amazing books, we’ve traveled to fascinating places and learned so much! And we’re only on week 13!  Who knew a middle schooler would ask if we could still do school on our 5th day because he wanted to find out what happens next in the books we’re reading? Also, I’ve been amazed at how much I’ve learned through reading along with them. Oh, and the 4-day schedule is perfect. We use our 5th day to catch up or just for fun field trips, experiments, and messy art projects.”

Amber is right! BookShark’s fully planned, 4-day homeschool curriculum flexes to match your busy lifestyle. The detailed Instructor’s Guides lay everything out so clearly that you are prepared to teach in mere minutes each day—open your guide, gather your resources (which are all included in your package), and go! Curriculum for ages 4-16 is available in All-Subject Packages or by individual academic areas: Reading with History, Language Arts, Science, and Math. WithBookShark’s literature-rich programs, your children will read (or have read to them) 35-50 engaging books each year! Visit BookShark to browse curriculum, download samples, or request a catalog.

Resources for Making Grammar Fun

Grammar Galaxy

Free sample of Grammar Galaxy

Grammar Galaxy Scope and Sequence

Read the blog post

Students perceive they are learning more from instructors who are humorous.

Grammar Fails ViralNova

 

 

 

 

 

They can involve movement and should, especially if you’re teaching younger boys.

Homeschooling Boys: The Homeschool Sanity Show podcast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

free grammar games I mentioned

Even though grammar is important, it isn’t as important as reading for pleasure.

We can build the fun of anticipation into our grammar teaching by having students edit a continuing story line by line or by teaching grammar within the context of a continuing story.

Do you have more ideas for making grammar fun? Comment with them below.

Easy Ways To Teach Vocabulary

Hey homeschoolers!

Does your child have a good vocabulary? If you aren’t confident of that, you’ll want to listen to this episode where I will explain why our children’s vocabularies are vitally important. I’ll also give you some simple strategies for improving their vocabulary. That’s next. But first I’d like to thank my sponsor, BookShark.

Podcast Sponsor

BookShark homeschool curriculum is literature-based, 4-day, and faith-neutral.

Amber Reed Davis, a busy homeschool mom, says, 

“We can’t say enough good stuff about BookShark. We’re doing Levels 3 and 5 this year. My kids are hooked. Through the amazing books, we’ve traveled to fascinating places and learned so much! And we’re only on week 13!  Who knew a middle schooler would ask if we could still do school on our 5th day because he wanted to find out what happens next in the books we’re reading? Also, I’ve been amazed at how much I’ve learned through reading along with them. Oh, and the 4-day schedule is perfect. We use our 5th day to catch up or just for fun field trips, experiments, and messy art projects.”

Amber is right! BookShark’s fully planned, 4-day homeschool curriculum flexes to match your busy lifestyle. The detailed Instructor’s Guides lay everything out so clearly that you are prepared to teach in mere minutes each day—open your guide, gather your resources (which are all included in your package), and go! Curriculum for ages 4-16 is available in All-Subject Packages or by individual academic areas: Reading with History, Language Arts, Science, and Math. WithBookShark’s literature-rich programs, your children will read (or have read to them) 35-50 engaging books each year! Visit BookShark to browse curriculum, download samples, or request a catalog.

Resources for Teaching Vocabulary

Read the blog post

The Ultimate Guide to Free Vocabulary Games

The Ultimate Guide to Language Arts Board Games

Vocabulary.com

Alexa Word-of-the-Day Flash Briefing

Great Homeschool Conventions 

Grammar Galaxy samples

English from the Roots Up and SAT cartoons

Do you have another unassailable (that means foolproof) way of beefing up your child’s vocabulary? Comment on the show notes and let me know.

I will be back next week with how to make grammar fun. Have a happy homeschool week!

A Sane Approach To Homeschool Screen Time

Hey, homeschoolers!

Do you have concerns about your kids’ screen time? If so, you’re like me and many homeschooling parents who have been forced to deal with a new digital reality. We’ll dive into the topic of developing a sane approach to homeschool screen time in just a moment.

[button link=”https://ultimateradioshow.com/screentime” type=”big” color=”orange” newwindow=”yes”] Listen to the podcast[/button]

Sponsor

But first, I’d like to thank our sponsor for this episode: Time4Learning. Time 4 Learning curriculum gives students the independence they crave, as they progress at their own pace. The multimedia lessons feel more like games, making it perfect for teaching new concepts. Students are safe in a secure, ad free, online learning environment. Learn how you can use your child’s love for screens in their education at Time4Learning, that’s the number 4, .com.

A Sane Approach to Homeschool Screen Time

My guest today has joined us on the podcast before. She is Beth Napoli, homeschooling mom and creator of TechieHomeschoolMom.com and Online Unit Studies. I love Beth’s perspective on homeschool screen time and I think you will too.

We chatted about:

  • The advantages of screen time
  • Parental concerns about screen time
  • Beth’s own challenges with screen time
  • Beth’s advice for parents who feel their kids are abusing screen time
  • Beth’s recommendation for parents of young kids with respect to screen time

Homeschool Screen Time Resources

Digital Projects

Techin’ Your Homeschool Facebook Group

Techie Homeschool Mom

Join Me Next Week

Listen next time for my interview with Jamie Erickson, author of the new book Homeschool Bravely. Thanks again to our sponsor, Time4Learning.

Have a happy homeschool week!

What approach to homeschool screen time do you use? Comment and let me know.

What Mastery Curriculum Is And Why You Should Include It In Your Homeschool

Hey, homeschoolers! This week I want to talk about mastery curriculum–what it is and why I think you should include it in your homeschool. But first, I’d like to thank my sponsor for this episode: BookShark.

Podcast Sponsor

BookShark homeschool curriculum is literature-based, 4-day, and faith-neutral. Amber Reed Davis, a busy homeschool mom, says, 
“We can’t say enough good stuff about BookShark. We’re doing Levels 3 and 5 this year. My kids are hooked. Through the amazing books, we’ve traveled to fascinating places and learned so much! And we’re only on week 13!  Who knew a middle schooler would ask if we could still do school on our 5th day because he wanted to find out what happens next in the books we’re reading? Also, I’ve been amazed at how much I’ve learned through reading along with them. Oh, and the 4-day schedule is perfect. We use our 5th day to catch up or just for fun field trips, experiments, and messy art projects.”
Amber is right! BookShark’s fully planned, 4-day homeschool curriculum flexes to match your busy lifestyle. The detailed Instructor’s Guides lay everything out so clearly that you are prepared to teach in mere minutes each day—open your guide, gather your resources (which are all included in your package), and go! Curriculum for ages 4-16 is available in All-Subject Packages or by individual academic areas: Reading with History, Language Arts, Science, and Math. WithBookShark’s literature-rich programs, your children will read (or have read to them) 35-50 engaging books each year! Visit BookShark to browse curriculum, download samples, or request a catalog.

Resources for Mastery Curriculum in Your Homeschool

Use code SANITY5
In my experience, kids not only learn more with mastery curriculum, but also enjoy it more. When kids love what they’re learning, dopamine will aid retention of the material. I hope you will seriously consider including mastery curriculum in your homeschool this year. Thanks again to BookShark for sponsoring The Homeschool Sanity Show. Do you already use mastery curriculum in your homeschool? Comment below to share. Next time we’ll discuss easy ways to expand your child’s vocabulary. Have a happy homeschool week!  

The Trust Project: Health And Safety

Hey, homeschoolers!

I am replacing today’s originally scheduled topic with one I think is of the utmost importance. Today I want to share with you about what I believe is the biggest and best project of my life and how you can join me.

I recently finished the audiobook The Miracle Equation by Hal Elrod. In the book, Hal encourages us to choose a big goal that is in line with our values. He also encourages us to choose a goal that will make us better people — the kind of people who are able to accomplish our other goals. I was walking my neighborhood as I listened to his book. I considered a number of goals, including writing more books and getting into better shape. But the truth is, I’ve already accomplished similar goals. And those goals don’t necessarily line up with my highest value, which is my faith in God.

[button link=”https://ultimateradioshow.com/truthproject” type=”big” color=”orange” newwindow=”yes”] Listen to the podcast[/button]

Resources for The Trust Project: Health & Safety

The podcast in blog post form

A Year of Living Productively

The Organized Homeschool Life.

I’ve shared what a rough year this has been for me already

Truth Journaling

So will you join me? If so, you can download your free Trust Project Printables at Homeschool Sanity.

All the areas of focus, Scriptures, Bible readings and journaling responses are included.  When you opt to receive them, you’ll be added to a special Trust Project list, where you will receive only Trust Project updates. So if you have a Christian friend or family member who wants to join us, who is not a homeschooling parent, they can without getting unrelated email.

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie

Jehovah Rapha by Mary J. Nelson

He Is With You by Mandisa

Miracles from Heaven.

I would love to have your recommendations as well. Comment below so others can see them.

Throughout this month, keep meditating on Proverbs 3:7-8. Read other Bible accounts of God’s healing and protection. Keep truth journaling, remembering God’s faithfulness, believing and obeying the wisdom He’s already given you, and praying and thanking Him.

Thank you for joining me in trusting God with health and safety. God bless your week!

Pin the image below to encourage others to trust God.

 

Is It Time For Your Dream, Mom?


Hey, homeschoolers!

For years I wrestled with whether or not I should pursue the dreams I have apart from homeschooling and parenting. I know that’s a struggle for many of my listeners too. That’s why I wanted Karla Marie Williams, author of the new book Mom-Spiration to join me for the podcast.

Sponsor

Before I share our interview with you, I want to introduce you to the sponsor of today’s episode: 7 Sisters Homeschool. I use and love 7 Sisters Homeschool curriculum in my own homeschool and the authors have become personal friends who encouraged me to live the dream of creating my own curriculum.

Is It Time for Your Dream, Mom?

In the podcast, Karla Marie and I disussed:

  • How to determine which season of life we are in with respect to mothering
  • What keeps us from pursuing our dreams
  • Why it’s important to pursue our dreams sooner rather than later
  • First steps to pursuing our dreams

Resources for Pursuing Your Dreams

Mom-Spiration

Homeschool Gone Wild: A Fresh Look at Unschooling

ISpeak4KidsGlobal.com

UnschoolingtheSensational6 on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram

What are your dreams apart from homeschooling and parenting? Let me know in the comments.

Join me next time for a discussion of mastery curriculum and why you should use it in your homeschool.

Have a happy homeschool week!

 

How to Teach Kids to Comfort Others


Hey, homeschoolers!

I had a different topic scheduled for this week, but then one of those unexpected crises hit my family. I was driving home from the Great Homeschool Convention in Greenville, South Carolina, when my husband called. The right side of his body had suddenly gone numb. He was exhibiting at a librarian’s conference at the time. We didn’t know it then, but my fit, healthy husband had had a stroke.

We were shocked to say the least, and it’s safe to say we are still coming to terms with a new reality: medical testing, daily meds, and questions about the future. We are enormously grateful to God, however, that the stroke was small and did not result in disability.

This episode is not about strokes or even stress, which we have also had an abundance of. It’s about teaching our kids to help those who are hurting.

How to Teach Kids to Comfort Others

When my husband’s stroke was diagnosed, I immediately texted my two kids in college. I got no response until the next day when one of them texted an unrelated question. I was shocked again. I told them so.

One of them said he hadn’t known what to say. The other had been very busy and wasn’t feeling well. I was disappointed in how they responded, but I was also mad at myself. I hadn’t taught my kids how to help those who are hurting. As a result, they responded the way so many adults do. I immediately talked with my younger kids about how to respond. I realized that I wanted to encourage you to have these same conversations with your kids.

How to Help Others Reference

I contributed to the book The Art of Helping by Lauren Littauer Briggs. It’s an excellent resource with helpful responses for a variety of hurting people. I encourage you to get a copy to keep as a reference.

In the book, you’ll find a variety of unhelpful responses too. The contributors like me remember these unhelpful responses very clearly because of the emotions surrounding our loss or trial. If we or our kids fail to provide loving support of family and friends when they’re hurting, they’re unlikely to forget. These situations are vital opportunities for us to share the love of Christ. That’s why I believe we must teach our kids how to help.

The Most Common Reason We Don’t Help

My son’s honest reason for not responding to the news that his dad had had a stroke is the most common reason we don’t help hurting people: We don’t know what to say. We’re afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. We’re afraid of making people cry, of making the pain worse. And certainly we can say or do the wrong things, but not providing loving support is the worst thing we can do.

I told my younger kids that if anything like this happens in the future, a response is required–preferably a phone call and not a text, and certainly not a heart on a social media post with no comment. Depending on the closeness of the relationship, a visit, call, card, or message is appropriate. We had a friend of my husband’s say he didn’t want to bother him with a call. I reassured him that it would be welcomed. If you aren’t sure what level of support is okay, ask.

What You Should Say When You Don’t Know What to Say

What should you say if you don’t know what to say? Start with, “I’m so sorry for your loss; I’m sorry this happened; I’m sorry for what you’re going through.” Adding, “I love you” and “I’m praying for you” are never wrong to say, even if you’re supporting someone who is not a Christian. If you’re seeing someone in person, a hug, rubbing a shoulder, and sympathetic tears are powerful ways of caring for someone in crisis.

Busyness: Another Common Reason We Don’t Help

Let’s talk about my other son’s reason for not responding: busyness and not feeling well. Crises are never planned. They never occur at a convenient time. While I was in Greenville, a precious friend who was facing life-threatening surgery texted to ask if I could come to the hospital to pray with her. I could not. I responded that I would drop everything to be with her, but I was hours away. I asked if we could talk on the phone instead and that’s what we did. I know she felt cared for.

If you aren’t able to provide the kind of support you’d like to, explain it. Otherwise, your friend or family member may think you don’t care. If my son had said, “Mom, I’m so sorry to hear this. I want to call as soon as I can, but for now, know that I love you both and I’m praying for you,” I wouldn’t have had an issue.

If you have a choice between providing support and another more pleasurable, but not critical activity, I recommend you choose providing support. Nothing feels as bad as regret and there is no way to undo a failure to care when someone needed you. This applies to attending memorial services. Grieving people pay close attention to who is there.

What to Do When You Feel Uncomfortable

We often feel helpless when people are hurting. We try a variety of things to feel less uncomfortable. We often say, “Let me know if I can do anything.” This isn’t offensive, but it also isn’t helpful. A person in crisis can’t think about what needs to be done. If you’re in a position to provide concrete help, ask if the hurting person wants that help. Offer to take the kids, grocery shop, or bring a meal, for example–especially if you have close ties. If you aren’t in a position to provide specific help, don’t offer.

Sometimes we are uncomfortable with others’ sadness or grief. We want them to see the positive in the situation. But the hurting person may not be ready for that perspective. They also do not need to hear about you or someone who has experienced a similar or greater loss. When I had a miscarriage, I was told that God may have been spacing my children out better. I was also told about a woman who lost a baby closer to term than I was. A friend told me to take Prozac so I wouldn’t be sad. Instead of trying to minimize your discomfort, allow the hurting person to come to his or her own positive conclusions. You can then affirm them. In my husband’s case, we truly are thankful it was a mild stroke. We aren’t offended by those who add their gratitude to ours. But it’s also very affirming when others acknowledge the stress we’ve experienced.

If you or your kids are helping another hurting Christian, sharing Scripture and uplifting songs can be so kind. I have appreciated this from my friends.

Be Sure to Follow Up

Finally, teach your kids to follow up in providing care. People’s need for support doesn’t end when they’re discharged from the hospital or when their loved one is buried. Check in and ask how your friend is doing. Give the hurting person the chance to talk about it without being interrupted. Make a note of the date of a loss, so you can provide support on the anniversary date. Reassure your friend of family member of your continuing prayer and ask if there are particular requests to be praying for. Never imply that a hurting person should be “over it by now.” There’s no timeline.

Conclusion

Both of my college kids apologized and called their dad and we all feel a lot better. Teach your kids to apologize if they don’t care for people like they know they should. This humility goes a long way toward healing any hurts we may inflict on people we care about.

Finally, we have to accept God’s grace. We are human and imperfect in the way we care for others. I have made many mistakes in this area, which makes it easier for me to forgive my kids.

In teaching your kids how to help hurting people, use examples of good and poor support you’ve experienced in your own life. Talk about what you are doing to help others and why. Thank you for raising up a generation of caring kids.

Next week we’ll discuss whether it’s time for you to pursue your dreams.

Have a happy homeschool week!

How to Homeschool Bravely with Jamie Erickson

Hey, homeschoolers!

Are you worried that you’re not doing this homeschooling thing right? If that’s you, and I know that’s the case for many of my listeners, you’ll love my guest’s perspective on this topic in just a bit.

Sponsor

But first, I’d like to thank our sponsor for this episode: Time4Learning. Time 4 Learning curriculum supports the homeschool parent with access to resources such as printable lesson plans, homeschool teaching tools, detailed reporting, activity scheduling and parental support through an online Parent Forum. To learn more, go to Time4Learning.com.

How to Homeschool Bravely

Now for this week’s topic: how to homeschool bravely. My guest today is Jamie Erickson. Jamie is a Christian homeschooling mother of five, a fellow podcaster, and blogger behind The Unlikely Homeschool. Today we’re discussing her new book, Homeschool Bravely: How to Squash Doubt, Trust God, and Teach Your Child with Confidence. I know you’ll love her encouragement.

Jamie and I discussed:

  • why so many homeschool moms quit after the first year
  • moms who don’t feel “called” to homeschool
  • how to handle homeschool naysayers
  • tips for homeschool overwhelm

Find Jamie at TheUnlikelyHomeschool.com, HomeschoolBravely.com, on Facebook, and Instagram.

Join me next week for a discussion of how to teach kids to help hurting people.

Thanks again to Time4Learning for sponsoring the podcast. Have a happy homeschool week!

What keeps you from homeschooling bravely? Let me know in the comments.


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor -TimeforLearning.com