Homeschool Sanity Show

Special Replay: 6 Christmas Stress Mistakes to Avoid

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Are you already beginning to experience stress this season? The busyness can get to us. But we can make things better by avoiding the six mistakes I’ll discuss in this episode.

[box] Want to read this episode as a blog post? READ HERE or SUBSCRIBE ON ITUNES or ON STITCHER[/box]

Christmas Stress Mistakes You Don't Want to Make: Podcast

Mistake #1: Not Planning A Homeschool Break

What we typically do is get busy with other things this time of year. There is more shopping and cooking and even chatting going on. After all, it’s Christmas! Somehow in the midst of all the extra activity, we end up not doing school. But it isn’t a planned break. We just sleep in, do some Christmas shopping, or watch Christmas movies instead of homeschooling. We aren’t doing a Christmas unit study. That’s different. We find ourselves falling into a Christmas break. The result is we feel guilty. We really wanted to get a lot done before Christmas. But we didn’t. And we don’t feel refreshed like we should from a planned break. Instead of falling into a Christmas break this year, decide whether you really are going to do a Christmas unit study. Plan what to do. If you don’t have time to plan, try the Christmas Traditions or Christmas Around the World online unit studies from Techie Homeschool Mom. They’re done for you.

If you don’t want to do a Christmas unit study, plan when you are going to take a break and for how long. If you feel behind on your regular studies, decide what you want to accomplish before Christmas. Make a realistic list for yourself and your children. Give your children the option of finishing early if they finish their work early or you finish your family work early. This is the process I used to create the most motivating homeschool planner ever. Continue reading here.


Homeschool Sanity Facebook Page

try the Christmas Traditions or Christmas Around the World online unit studies from Techie Homeschool Mom

the most motivating homeschool planner ever

6 Short Workouts You Can Do at Home

The Organized Homeschool Life

Have a happy homeschool week!

Special Replay: How To Have A Saner Christmas This Year

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

How to have a saner Christmas this year #homeschoolHey, homeschoolers!

I don’t know anyone who wants to have a crazy Christmas–the kind that leads to exhaustion, sickness, and dread of the new year. Instead, every homeschooler I know wants to have a meaningful, peaceful, and joyful Christmas. Of course, we can’t control every part of our Christmas holiday. But I believe there are things we can do to make a saner Christmas more likely. We’ll chat about that in just a minute. But first, I’d like to thank our sponsor for this episode, Kiwi Company.

Have you ever been stuck on how to bring your lessons to life?  My kids have enjoyed Kiwi’s monthly subscriptions of hands-on projects that make learning fun. Their core offering is projects that make learning about STEAM — science, technology, engineering, art, and math — accessible and they are designed to spark creativity, tinkering, and learning. Some recent favorite crates are the Slime Lab, Physics Carnival, and Paper Circuits. Kiwi Crate was founded by engineer and mom of three, Sandra Oh Lin. She created these kits out of her deep desire to raise kids with the creative confidence needed to become the next generation of problem-solvers and critical thinkers.  I couldn’t agree more with their mission and am excited to be able to offer you the chance to try them for FREE. To learn more about their projects for kids ages 2 to 16 AND to redeem this exclusive offer, visit to get your first month free today (just pay $4.95 for shipping). These kits make amazing gifts! Join me on Facebook on December 5th at 4E/3C/2M/1P for an inside look at one of the crates that my son can’t wait to get his hands on.


Read the blog post

Christmas in the White House

an online study from Techie Homeschool Mom

declutter your home in a weekend

The Organized Homeschool Life

give them away or arrange to sell them– homeschool used curriculum

Do some research of other curriculum you would like to use next year.

Reverse Charades links on

White Elephant Game


Here are some resources for your devotional time.

12 ways children can give this Christmas.

Which of these tips will help you the most? Let me know in the comments.

Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor, Kiwi Crate!


We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor, Kiwi Crate!

KiwiCo has monthly subscriptions of hands-on projects that make learning fun! Their core offering is projects that make learning about STEAM — science, technology, engineering, art, and math — accessible and are designed to spark creativity, tinkering, and learning. Some recent favorite crates are the Slime Lab, Physics Carnival, and Paper Circuits.

Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network is excited to be able to offer you the chance to try them for FREE. To learn more about their projects for kids ages 2 to 16 AND to redeem this exclusive offer, click here to get your first month free today (just pay $4.95 for shipping)

Helping Our Daughters Develop Style Confidence

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Hey, homeschoolers! Many of you know that fashion is a hobby of mine. I’ve stopped and started a fashion Instagram account numerous times. In the past year I’ve been listening to the Everyday Style School podcast with Jennifer Mackey-Mary and loving it. She talked about how she deals with the topic of fashion with her daughters and I thought you would love to hear more. If you don’t have daughters but would like to improve your own fashion confidence, you’ll want to listen to the first part of this episode for sure. As Jennifer is not a homeschooling mom, I wanted to share a couple quick thoughts after the interview. Here’s Jennifer.


    • Jennifer introduces herself as a personal stylist and shares her journey into the world of fashion.
    • The conversation touches on the challenges women face when it comes to style and dressing.
    • Jennifer emphasizes the importance of aligning your personal style with your lifestyle and values.
    • The discussion includes insights on the role of mindset in developing a positive relationship with one’s appearance.

Helping Daughters Develop Style Confidence

    • The conversation delves into the dynamics of mothers guiding their daughters in matters of style, especially during the crucial middle school and high school years.
    • Jennifer shares her experiences as a mother and stylist, highlighting the balance between allowing personal expression and maintaining family values.
    • Both hosts discuss the significance of proportion in outfits and how allowing kids to figure out their style can lead to valuable insights.
    • The importance of avoiding criticism of trends and staying open to communication with teenage daughters is stressed.

Debunking Style Myths

    • Jennifer challenges the idea that style has to conform to a specific minimalist or neutral capsule wardrobe, advocating for more creativity and fun in fashion.
    • The conversation touches on the Style Circle, Jennifer’s membership program, which offers a holistic approach to style, covering body shape, wardrobe selection, and personal style.
    • Jennifer discusses the Everyday Style School podcast, aiming to debunk myths around style and empower women with the tools to make getting dressed easy.
    • The interview concludes with Jennifer expressing her mission to inspire women to love the way they look and make the process of getting dressed enjoyable.
    • Throughout the interview, Jennifer emphasizes the individuality of style, the importance of practicality, and the joy that can be found in expressing oneself through clothing.


I know Jennifer has seen mothers try to overpower their daughter’s style and understandably, she wants to guard against that. I do think we want to avoid saying, “You’re X body type” to our daughters because even grown women can struggle with the labels. However, I think fashion is something you can enjoyably explore with your daughter just as you would explore art or music.

One of my friends has read books on fashion with her daughters and the girls have developed great confidence in their unique style. It’s been so much fun to see their choices. My daughter has always seemed confident in her style. She changed outfits multiple times a day before the age of 2! I started off shopping with her when she was little by giving her a few options to choose from. As she matured, she chose the options to try on herself. We haven’t had any disagreements about her choices. If you do have disagreements, consider asking someone you both respect to weigh in. I was called upon to help mediate a fashion disagreement once and a compromise was made.

One thing my daughter and I did that was so much fun is she picked out an outfit for me to try on and I did the same for her. I think we both thought the outfits were hideous on us, but we shared a lot of laughs over it.

I highly recommend Jennifer’s style membership for us as homeschool moms. The included classes are excellent and the capsule wardrobes have everything from athleisure to church-appropriate looks. Be sure to check out her Black Friday sale!

Have a happy homeschool week!

Overcoming Feelings Of Inadequacy

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Hey, homeschoolers! I have done a podcast episode on wondering if we are doing enough in our homeschools. But we also wonder if WE are enough.

Watch on YouTube

My guest is going to help us find the truth about feelings of inadequacy. Sharla Fritz is a Christian author and speaker who weaves honest and humorous stories into life-changing Bible study. Author of eight books, including Measured by Grace: How God Defines Success, Sharla writes about God’s transforming grace and unfailing love. Sharla lives in the Chicago suburbs with her amusing pastor husband. I met Sharla many years ago at a women’s retreat where we were both speaking. Chatting with her encouraged me and I know she’ll encourage you too.


    • Melanie reflects on when she first met Sharla, and her daughter was moving to China 10 years ago.
    • Sharla shares her homeschooling journey and how her husband’s suggestion to homeschool surprised her.
    • The advantage of homeschooling for a pastor’s family—more time for family activities.
    • Melanie and Sharla discuss their initial reluctance to homeschool, despite its eventual positive impact.

Believing You Have Adequate Time:

    • Sharla acknowledges struggling with time management during homeschooling.
    • The challenge of wanting to do everything recommended by homeschooling experts.
    • Emphasizes the importance of seasons and seeking God’s guidance for what is needful in a specific season.
    • Quotes 2 Corinthians 9:8 about God’s ability to provide grace and sufficiency, even in time management.

Believing You Have Adequate Skills and Expertise:

    • Melanie asks if Sharla ever felt inadequate in certain subjects while homeschooling.
    • Sharla admits feeling inadequate in areas like math, science, and teaching reading.
    • Encourages homeschoolers to lean on God’s strength and emphasizes expertise in understanding and loving their own children.

Self-Worth and Comparison:

    • Sharla discusses societal expectations and criticism of homeschoolers, especially women.
    • Talks about signs of unworthiness, such as negative self-talk and unhealthy comparisons.
    • Encourages combatting feelings of unworthiness with scripture, particularly Isaiah 43:4.
    • Melanie and Sharla discuss the importance of celebrating smallness and doing the next thing God has given with love.


Connect with Sharla:

You may also like an episode I did with Deb Wolf on insecurity.

Have a happy homeschool week!

Special Replay: How to Be Happy and Homeschool Too

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Hey homeschoolers!

This week our topic is how to be happy and homeschool too. Wait a minute. Are you wondering if I’m suggesting that happiness and homeschooling are mutually exclusive? Yep. That’s exactly what I’m suggesting. I’m thankful my friends Andy and Kendra Fletcher were the first to be honest about it, saying that homeschooling can be a buzz kill.

Before we dig in, I want to thank our sponsor for this episode, the movie Ice Dragon: Legend of the Blue Daisies.  I also want to invite you to meet me at a Great Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati in April or St. Louis in July. If you want to stalk me at both conferences, go ahead! I’ll be speaking about motivating your students, managing parental anger, and managing frustration in your child. Find my booth by looking for Fun to Learn Books. Register for the conference today by going to

This is the time where most podcasters make a shameless plug for a product they’re selling. My plug isn’t shameless at all. In fact I think it’s shameFULL if you don’t already own The Organized Homeschool Life Planner. My planner was designed to create happiness. Each day the planner directs us to spend time with the Lord. We thank Him for the blessings we have (which is proven to create happiness, by the way). We read the word He has for us and write it down so we can remember it. We can then write any worries we have as a prayer. I use this space for truth journaling. I hear from so many of you who struggle to make time for the Lord. I love that The Organized Homeschool Life Planner makes it easy! Learn more by going to planner.

Time for a word from our sponsor. The animated feature, ‘ICE DRAGON: LEGEND OF THE BLUE DAISIES,’ blooms on big screens nationwide for a two-day family-friendly adventure. Take an amazing journey to an enchanted world that holds a secret…where hope is in a song! In select cinemas nationwide March 24th and 26th only. Tickets are on sale now at  If you missed the live event, purchase a copy for your home library on Blue Ray, Digital or DVD.  Visit for free resources for the kids.

Homeschool Happiness Resources

the episode I did on depression for Homeschooling in Real Life

[Read how I still fit scrapbooking into my busy life]


6 of the Best Short Workouts You Can Do at Home

A recent study demonstrated that three vigorous ten-minute walks were more effective than a longer walking session at a moderate pace.

Christian Zumba


[Listen to how to homeschool through hormones]



Which of these happiness tips are you going to practice today? Tell us in the Homeschool Sanity Facebook Group.

Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!


The animated feature, ‘ICE DRAGON: LEGEND OF THE BLUE DAISIES,’ blooms on big screens nationwide for a two-day family-friendly Adventure. Take an amazing journey to an enchanted world that holds a secret…where hope is in a song! In select cinemas nationwide March 24 and 26 only. If you missed the live event, purchase a copy for your home library on Blue Ray, Digital or DVD.

Visit  here to learn more.

How To Be A Patient Homeschool Mom

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Hey, homeschoolers! I intended to publish this episode last week but ended up giving you a chance to practice patience in waiting for it. I want to share what I’ve learned about being a patient mom, but first, I want to thank the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network. They are celebrating their 10-year anniversary, which is amazing to me. I can’t believe it’s been that long since the kind and generous Felice Gerwitz offered me the chance to have my own podcast.

Some weeks (like last week), it’s challenging to get the content out, but most of the time I love sharing encouragement with you, some of the most committed moms on the planet. The network has some special plans to mark our anniversary, so I hope you’ll check out the website or my social media to participate. Finally, I want to thank you for giving me the honor of listening to this podcast and other podcasts on the network. I don’t take it for granted.

Introduction to Patience

Now let’s jump into the topic of the week: patience. I was surprised to learn that I haven’t done a podcast on this topic when a mom asked me for resources. I’ve done episodes on anger (Anger episode 2 Anger episode 1). But impatience is the precursor to anger. If we can manage our impatience, we are much less likely to lose our cool.

Just as with anger, I believe that only Jesus can rescue us from a real stronghold of impatience. That rescue usually isn’t immediate. When I started homeschooling, I learned I was an impatient mom. I had this image of what homeschooling would look like. My son didn’t share that image. My impatience in response was a nasty surprise. Many moms would have said I had no business homeschooling with that kind of impatience. But I’m glad I persevered. Homeschooling was the fire that God used to refine my patience.

Practice to be PATIENT

I think we can cooperate with God to develop patience. I’m using the acronym PATIENT to share how.

The P is for process. When we don’t process our emotions, it’s like letting trash accumulate. Soon it will overflow the container. We’ll have a blow up.

Not processing our emotions looks like this: Our homeschool friend announces at the last minute that she will not be coming to the co-op party. She is getting her hair done. You are not happy about that. But you push aside that unhappiness because you have a party to get ready for.  You also didn’t sleep well because your husband says there is a chance he will be laid off. You’re tired and you’re worried. But it’s too upsetting to think about, so you focus on the party. If you don’t process those emotions, where will your patience be if another friend forgets to bring the paper goods, or your child drops a jar of pickles on the floor?

Processing our emotions doesn’t have to take a lot of time and is unlikely to make us feel worse. It can simply be a matter of praying about how you’re feeling, truth journaling, or talking it out with someone. In a household of eight, we had to take out the trash daily. If you’re working to overcome impatience, I recommend processing your emotions daily too. As we process, we realize that there are steps we need to take to deal with the things that are bothering us that can prevent negative emotions from occurring in the future.

The A in Patient is for Asking Yourself If It’s Important. Is it important that your friend forgot to bring the paper goods? Maybe not. You can either cobble together something else or she can run home or to the store to get them. I often find myself feeling like I’m in a hurry when I’m really not. When I ask myself if it’s important that the cashier is behaving like a sloth, I have to answer no. But what if it is? What if the subject of your impatience is truly important? You have a loved one needing medical attention or you could be late for something critical? In this case, we don’t have to be impatient. We can be assertive. We can say that we need something to happen in a timely fashion and why. We can’t expect others to know that we’re in a rush if we don’t tell them.

The first T in Patient is for Tell Yourself the Truth. In situations that can lead us to impatience, we tend to awfulize. We make the situation much worse in our minds than it is. I’ve shared the example before of walking into a messy house after being gone for a while. I can tell myself it’s a disaster of epic proportions! It looks like a tornado hit. It’s going to take all day to get the house back in shape. Or I can tell myself the truth that I can set a timer for 10 minutes and with all of us working, the house will be back to normal. When we haven’t processed our emotions or asked ourselves if something is important, we may have difficulty telling ourselves the truth. It’s a good time to talk to someone who can talk you down. They will tell you the truth. Before we’re in a challenging situation, we can also renew our minds with God’s truth. We can meditate on not only scriptures having to do with patience but on who God is. When we’re thinking about our awesome, holy, loving God, the broken jar of pickles doesn’t seem like such a big deal. We can also recall the truth that we have an enemy actively working to make us impatient. That truth annoys me enough that I stubbornly refuse to become impatient!

The I in Patient is just what it sounds like: I. In other words, we’re more likely to be impatient when it’s about me, myself, and I. We are doing the JOY acronym backwards as YOJ (first you, then others, then Jesus). It’s the mistake impatient Martha made. Martha was impatient because she wasn’t getting the help she wanted from Mary. She wasn’t focused on Jesus either. Perhaps she hadn’t processed her emotions, asked herself if getting the meal on the table quickly was really important, or hadn’t told herself the truth that it was not a fact a nightmare if Mary wasn’t helping. Back to our co-op party example: Who is the party about anyway? If it’s not your birthday party, you didn’t plan it for yourself.

The E in Patient is for Expect More Challenges. Much of our initial feeling of impatience is related to our expectations. Your co-op friends have probably skipped out or forgotten things before. Your kids have certainly dropped things at inopportune times, as have you. Pretty much every time I was away from home without the kids, they made a mess. And once one thing happens to hit our impatience button, we can count on more. With the party example, expect something to break, someone to get hurt, or someone to have a conflict. You’re more likely to remain calm and you can rejoice if all goes well.

The N in Patient is for Neglect the Upsetting Memories. Just because you should have known your friend would no-show the party doesn’t mean you should ruminate on that. Doing so will create more negative emotions that need to be processed or they can lead to impatience. Every day is a fresh start with new opportunities to experience joy. We can choose to forgive ourselves and others with the power of the Holy Spirit. One powerful way of neglecting the negative memories is to see the humor in the situation. Your friend bailed on your long-planned party to get her hair done? That’s hilarious! When I’m in the middle of an impatience-provoking situation, I often think about how I can later tell it as a funny story.

I recently went to the DMV to get my license renewed. I tried to get an appointment online but my office doesn’t have that option. When I got to the office, it took me a number of attempts to get the screen to allow me to check in. Once I did, it said to go ahead and leave and I would get a text message when it was my turn. The room was full, so I thought it could be a while. But I was just about out of the parking lot when I got a message that it was my turn. As I quickly drove back, I got a message that I had missed my turn. When I got back into the office, the clerk was helping someone else. She noticed me though and said that she was going on lunch break for half an hour but I would be the first person she helped when she came back. I did plan to meet someone after getting my license, but I thought I would be okay even waiting half an hour. I went across the street to a thrift store for 15 minutes, figuring that I would go back a little early, just in case. As I got into my car, I got a text message that it was my turn. As I pulled into the parking lot, I got a message that they had gone on to the next customer. I went back to the office and sure enough, someone else was ahead of me. But in a few minutes, the new clerk explained that she had taken over for the woman on lunch break and would be helping me next. I am so glad the Lord gave me patience in this situation and a sense of humor. The new clerk was delightful and I was on my way in plenty of time for my get together.

The T in Patient is for Thankfulness. It’s impossible to be impatient when we are grateful. When you’re in a situation that is provoking you to impatience, find something to be grateful for. If you’re really struggling, start going through the alphabet. A, I’m grateful for our automobile. B, I’m grateful for this healthy body. By the time you’re through the alphabet, you will likely be much calmer. Of course, we want to thank the Lord for helping us resist the temptation to be impatient and for a humorous perspective as well.

I pray that this episode has given you some encouragement and some tools the next time you’re provoked to impatience.

Have a patient homeschool week!

Special Replay: Christian Parenting Practices With Israel Wayne

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Hey, homeschoolers! Today we’re going to talk about how to parent as a Christian homeschooler. We are spending more time than ever parenting as we shelter in place. There’s nothing like a quarantine to show you what needs your attention.

Great Homeschool Conventions

Before we jump in and I introduce my guest, I want to tell you about Great Homeschool Conventions online, April 16th-18th! VIP access is free. You’ll have access to two popular parenting sessions from me: “How to Outwit, Outthink, and Outlast the Strong-Willed Homeschooler” and “How to Negotiate Sibling Conflict Like an FBI Pro.” Both of these sessions are going to be especially helpful to you when you’re staying home full-time. To register, go to

Christian Parenting Practices

Now let’s talk about parenting with my guest Israel Wayne. Israel has a podcast on The Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network, but we hadn’t met until we both attended a BJU Press conference. We got to talking about parenting and realized that we share similar views.

Israel desires to point parents to raise their children with a biblical worldview. As a nationally known speaker and author, he captivates audiences with enthusiasm for bringing the Word of God to bear on all aspects of life. His messages, from education to theology to current events take him across the country to challenge and encourage families. As the pandemic has left him unable to speak at in-person conferences, I’m thrilled to be able to chat with him on the podcast.

We discussed:

  • the difference between secular and Christian parenting
  • what Gospel-Centered parenting looks like
  • effective discipline for young children
  • how parenting should change in the teen years, and more!

Raising Them Up: Parenting for Christians. Find more of Israel’s resources at

and be sure to check out his podcast!

Join me next week as we discuss the best audiobooks for kids and families now.

Have a happy homeschool week!

Teaching Mental Health To Teens

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Hey, homeschoolers! Even in an age of enlightenment, there is still stigma and misunderstanding about mental health. As homeschoolers, we don’t want to neglect to teach it to our children–especially to our teens. But before I introduce my guest, I want to thank you sponsor: Reading Eggs.

Sponsor: Reading Eggs

With Reading Eggs, your homeschoolers will enjoy a highly personalized learning journey, designed to support them at every stage. Plus, you’ll get four programs in one with your subscription – Reading Eggs, Reading Eggspress, Reading Eggs Junior, and Fast Phonics. Our interactive lessons are based on scientific research and feature colorful animations, fun music, and exciting rewards to keep your children motivated to learn.

“My kids are homeschooled and this is the best reading and math site that I have ever found. My son started not knowing all the letter sounds and within a few months he was reading at a first grade level.” – Mehdi C.



Interview Summary

Melanie starts by asking Tiffany to introduce herself and share a bit about her family. Tiffany talks about her three children, her experience of adopting her oldest child, and her initial reluctance to homeschool due to negative childhood experiences with it.

Tiffany explains that she decided to homeschool her oldest child when the school suggested holding her back due to behavioral concerns. She emphasizes the flexibility and enjoyment she found in homeschooling, despite initially being hesitant about it. She also shares that she believes parents should choose the best educational path for each of their children individually.

Melanie and Tiffany discuss the topic of in and out of homeschooling, with Melanie sharing that one of her own children attended public high school for their last two years of education, and it worked well for that particular child.

The conversation takes a deeper turn as Tiffany talks about her interest in mental health. She shares that her mother had bipolar disorder, and her family’s church community did not respond well to mental health issues. This led to feelings of shame and secrecy around mental health problems. Tiffany eventually sought therapy and began her mental health journey.

Later on, Tiffany discusses her involvement in a church-based group, where she participated in a Bible study called the Armor of God by Priscilla Shrier. This experience helped her understand her inner struggles and the importance of self-compassion.

Throughout the conversation, Melanie and Tiffany touch on various aspects of homeschooling, mental health, and personal growth, providing insights and reflections on these topics.

Tiffany on Instagram

Have a happy homeschool week!

How To Teach Kids To Cook Independently

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

In this podcast episode, Melanie Wilson interviews Chanel Miller, a homeschooling mom, about her journey and her new cookbook for kids called Kid De Cuisine. Chanel shares that she homeschools her three daughters and explains how the idea of homeschooling began during the pandemic when her daughters were in pre-K. She wanted to be more hands-on with their education and spend quality family time together.

The conversation then shifts to discussing Chanel’s cookbook, which is designed to teach kids to cook independently. Chanel’s cookbook is unique because it comes with measuring cups and spoons that are color-coded to match the recipes, making it easy for young children to follow along. The cookbook also includes stories before each recipe to facilitate parent-child interaction, review sessions, fun tidbits, and activity pages.

Melanie and Chanel discuss the importance of allowing kids to be in the kitchen and start with simple tasks before gradually adding more complex cooking skills. Chanel emphasizes the value of creating memories and spending quality time with kids in the kitchen. The cookbook includes recipes that can be completed in about 30 minutes, including setup and cleanup, making it accessible for busy parents.

Chanel mentions that the cookbook is available for pre-order on their website,, and offers various incentives for pre-orders. She also shares that she plans to release two more children’s books after this one, each dedicated to one of her daughters, with a focus on breakfast, lunch, or dessert recipes.

The podcast episode ends with Melanie expressing her appreciation for Chanel’s cookbook and its potential as an educational and memorable gift for children. Chanel thanks Melanie for the opportunity to share her work and hopes that listeners will enjoy the cookbook as much as she enjoyed creating it.

Have a happy homeschool week!

What To Do When Your Day Is A Dumpster Fire

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Hey, homeschoolers! Do you ever have days that go so badly that you just want to throw your hands up in surrender? I know I have. In this episode, we’ll discuss a better approach than surrender for a day that’s a dumpster fire.

But first I want to thank my sponsor:  the Route 60 movie.

Personal Dumpster Fires

There are a lot of reasons we want to give up on a day. Perhaps it’s personal. We might have a personal goal of eating better. But we get up and instead of having that egg white omelet packed with protein, we reach for the Pop Tarts that somehow made it into the pantry. After snarfing them and a chocolate milk laced with coffee (better known as a frappacino) down, you commit to having a salad with chicken breast for lunch–only you end up at Sonic for an impromptu family picnic and there is no way you can order a salad when the cheese curds, chili dog, and slushy are just the reward you need after a stressful morning. Now you want to surrender and wait until the next day or week to eat well.

Social Dumpster Fires

Or maybe your day is more of a social dumpster fire. You prayed for patience and you were determined to be the meek and quiet mother that you’ve read about in books. But then your child couldn’t find his shoes before you had to be out the door. A fight broke out between that child and the one he was sure intentionally moved his shoes just to aggravate him. Another child is complaining about how tired they are, how bored they are, or how hungry they are, and your patience commitment is gone.

Homeschool Dumpster Fires

Or perhaps your day is truly a homeschooling dumpster fire. You had your lesson plan that was going to have you on track. You were finally going to get caught up. And then a toilet backed up, the dog escaped the yard, or your kiddo had a meltdown over the math lesson. Suddenly it’s noon and you’ll be lucky if you make something for lunch let alone get any school done. You may as well give up for the day, right?

Wrong! I have given up on dumpster-fire days more times than I care to admit. I have even felt helpless in the face of them, as though the failure that follows is inevitable. I was having one of these days recently and I was feeling discouraged. I was going to have to wait until the next day to get back on track, right? That’s when I remembered something I learned as a child about fires. You may have learned it too. Instead of running away in a panic and surrendering to the flames when you are on fire, you stop, drop, and roll. You may have said it with me! How does this short set of instructions apply to dumpster-fire days? Allow me to explain my thinking here.


First, stop. The day does NOT have to continue on the same path. Stop what you’re doing. Stop panicking and don’t give up. This day can be salvaged. I promise!

If you’re in the middle of the chili cheese dog, ask yourself if you’re satisfied. If you are, stop eating. Don’t continue eating in despair or as a punishment. If the cheese curds are long gone, forget about them. What’s done is done.

If you are in the middle of yelling at your kids, stop. Put yourself in time out. Take some deep breaths. If you finished ranting this morning, ask your kids for forgiveness now. Then give yourself grace so you can start fresh.

If no school has been completed, stop what you’re doing instead if you can. Collect the kids and let them know that school will be back in session shortly.


After we’ve stopped, the next step is drop. For our purposes, we are going to physically or metaphorically drop to our knees in prayer. We’ve been doing this day in our own strength. Now it’s time to let God help us. Wherever you are, pray. Remind the Lord that you can’t do these things without Him. Ask Him for self-control and freedom from overeating. Ask Him for supernatural patience with your kids through the Holy Spirit. Ask Him for wisdom to know which lessons are the most important to focus on as you return to your homeschool day. Then believe that He will answer that prayer. Psalm 32:8 says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” I love this image of God seeing exactly what’s happening with us and responding to our requests.


The final step to take when our day is a dumpster fire is to roll. For our purposes, it means to get on with the day. Philippians 3:13 tells us to look forward in our journey with God rather than back. When we have made poor food choices, we can start fresh. Wait for hunger or plan a healthy dish for your next meal. When we have lost our cool, we can say “Serenity now!”  and laugh when the kids misbehave again and play with them to blow off steam. When we haven’t followed our homeschool plan, we can create a new plan for the rest of the day or we can use our original plan. I tell families using The Organized Homeschool Life planner to either jump in where they are in their loose schedule for the day or start where they left off when you were interrupted. Either approach will help you get more done than if you give up.


Are there days that it makes sense to give up? If your neighbor invites you over for a lasagna dinner and you risk offending them if you say no, maybe it is. If your kids’ behavior doesn’t improve all day, maybe they need to see they’ve pushed Mom too far. If you’re spending the day waiting in urgent care for stitches when a kid sliced his knee open, you might want to try again tomorrow. However, when we string dumpster-fire days together and regularly give up, waiting for things to improve, I think we’ll all have more sanity when we choose a stop-drop-and-roll approach instead.


I used this approah when I felt I’d wasted a good part of the day online. I stopped and went for a walk. I returned and dropped for some prayer time. I asked the Lord for wisdom on how to spend the rest of the day and I rolled with what He said to do. And the amazing thing is I ended up feeling good about the day–so good that I wanted to share this approach with you on the podcast.

If the Organized Homeschool Life Planner would help you stop, drop, and roll on dumpster fire days, here’s the link. If you give this approach a try and it works for you, would you let me know? Screenshot this episode and share it on social media.

Have a happy homeschool week!