Navigating Electives: A Guide for Homeschooling High School Students

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Selecting the right electives can transform the high school experience for homeschoolers.Choosing electives can be both an exciting and daunting task for homeschooling high school students and their parents. Electives are not just filler courses; they are essential in shaping a well-rounded education, exploring interests, and preparing for future careers or college. In this post, we’ll explore how to make informed decisions when selecting electives.

Understanding the Role of Electives:

Electives play a crucial role in the high school curriculum. They provide students the chance to delve into subjects outside the core academic courses, helping them discover new passions, develop practical skills, and gain a broader perspective on the world. Whether it’s art, technology, or a foreign language, electives can significantly enhance a student’s educational experience.

1. Assessing Interests and Goals to Choose Electives:

The first step in choosing electives is to consider your child’s interests and long-term goals. Does your student show an inclination towards creative arts, sciences, or languages? Understanding these preferences is key. For instance, a student interested in a business career might benefit from courses like Entrepreneurship or Accounting 101, while a future scientist might prefer Genetics or a New Testament Survey for those inclined towards theology or religious studies.

2. Exploring Career Paths:

Electives can be a gateway to potential careers. Courses like Career Exploration or The Copywriting Experience offer practical insights into specific professions, helping students make informed decisions about their future. Encourage your student to try courses that align with their potential career interests.

3. Developing Essential Life Skills:

Some electives focus on life skills that are valuable regardless of career choice. Courses such as Economics or Political Literature & Comp not only provide academic knowledge but also teach critical thinking, financial literacy, and a better understanding of the world.

4. Balancing Academics and Personal Growth:

While aligning electives with academic and career goals is important, personal growth should not be overlooked. Encourage your student to choose at least one elective purely for personal interest or enjoyment, like Art 2 or Foreign Language Exploration. This balance ensures a well-rounded education and keeps learning enjoyable.

5. Utilizing Resources:

Take advantage of resources like True North Homeschool Academy, which offers a diverse range of electives tailored for homeschooling students. From Expedition Africa for younger students to Essay Extravaganza for aspiring writers, these courses are designed to meet various interests and academic needs.

Selecting the right electives can transform the high school experience for homeschoolers. It’s about striking a balance between academic rigor, personal interests, and future aspirations. By carefully considering their interests, career goals, and personal growth, homeschooling students can choose electives that enrich their education and prepare them for the future.

Remember, the journey through high school is as much about discovery as it is about education. Choose electives that inspire, challenge, and excite your student, and watch them thrive in their unique educational path.

Here’s a glimpse of our Spring lineup at True North Homeschool Academy:

  1. Entrepreneurship: Unleash your business potential. Learn more
  2. Genetics: Dive into the fascinating world of DNA and inheritance. Explore here
  3. Essay Extravaganza: Hone your writing skills for academic excellence. Discover more
  4. Foreign Language Exploration: Embark on a linguistic adventure. Start exploring
  5. Expedition Africa (Elementary): Journey through the wonders of Africa. Join the expedition
  6. Accounting 101: Master the fundamentals of accounting. Enroll now
  7. Career Exploration: Discover your future career path. Begin exploring
  8. Art 2: Advance your artistic journey. Sign up here
  9. Economics: Understand the dynamics of economies. Dive deeper
  10. The Copywriting Experience: Craft compelling content. Learn more
  11. New Testament Survey (Junior High): Explore the New Testament’s richness. Explore here
  12. Political Literature & Comp: Analyze the interplay of politics and literature. Discover more

Special Offer! We also have exclusive one-semester bundles available, providing a comprehensive learning experience tailored to your needs. Check out our bundles

Mrs. Nehring the voice behind the Life Skills 101 Podcast on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network and is the Director of True North Homeschool Academy.

She is loved by parents for her ability to provide them with a strategic plan for their homeschool through coaching and advising.

Her vision for the implementation of the SAMR Method of education to the homeschool world has resulted in a one-of-a-kind education experience at TNHA.

She also operates It’s Not That Hard to Homeschool and Blue Collar Homeschooling.

December Organize It! Planner

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

December Organize It PlannerDecember is the most joyous time of the year! In this planner we focus on the true reason for the season and avoid getting bogged down with our to-do lists! I love an organized schedule and lists more than most, but they are tools to help us stay on top of our daily, weekly, and monthly tasks to enjoy the month free from stress. Or, at the very least, the pressure that we will forget something!

We celebrate Jesus’s birth and remember all he has done for us.

What better reason is there to enjoy this month? While things need to be done, like buying gifts and baking, we are truly blessed to live in a time when we have the opportunity to participate in as many or as few activities as we want! Try to pair down as much as possible and keep only the events and activities that bring your family together and are a blessing.

Sign Up Here & Get the December Organize It! Planner

Get convenient links to all the latest homeschool podcasts each week- PLUS new printables every month! A free gift from the author, Felice Gerwitz, Ultimate Homeschool Radio owner and podcaster at Vintage Homeschool Moms!

This month’s planner begins with our signature ultimate organizing and planning tools!

I love putting this planner together. It is truly an honor to share all of my organizing ideas with you! With this planner, you can keep track of travel plans or your lengthy baking list! Enjoy activities and fun events while staying on top of all that’s on a homeschool mom’s plate!

Are your ready to tackle gift organization, budgets, and even how to organize your gift wrapping with a wrapping station? I included a Christmas countdown with 24 ways to embrace joy.

A reminder to us all to focus on our family, Jesus and serving each other and our community!

My kids got excited when I asked for a few suggestions for the Christmas bucket list! I hope you and your family have as much fun as my family with these activities.

Are you planning on taking the month off, or are you schooling straight through?

Take a look at your homeschool schedule. Can you pair down your commitments so you can embrace the holiday season? By focusing on the meaning of the Christmas season, we are teaching life lessons to our children. I typically take the whole month of December off. We love reading and soaking in the fun of the season. I want plenty of time to make homemade presents, crafts, bake, and enjoy the weather! The older kids will typically work on their school work separately to complete their assignments, especially in high school, and join in the fun as their schedule permits.

The theme in all of the Organize-IT planners is balance.

Pick and choose the forms that work for your family—doing it all doesn’t always work. Balance is important. If a form doesn’t work for your family, skip it and move on. Flexibility is a value skill to learn!

Looking for more information? You will find the topic of organization, as well as many others, on the, and

If you are a long time subscriber, you will find some of the forms the same as in past planners.

This allows you access to the forms you love from last month’s planner. For example, you will receive the blank calendars as well as the 4-Square Plan in each monthly planner, along with those on setting short and long-term goals.

This is the end of our Organize-IT Planners for the year.

I hopeyou’ve enjoyed them as much as I have. You can find the entire set for sale on the if you missed a few months.

We have exciting mini-planners for January and beyond planned. Stay with us for upcoming information.

Have a fantastic and Blessed December!
Merry Christmas!
~ Blessings, Christina Moss

PS. If you missed it, we have two sets of planners this month. Get our 3 pack of mini Christmas Planners here. 

Maximizing Your Homeschool Efficiency During the Holidays with a Planner

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Maximizing Your Homeschool Efficiency During the Holidays with a Planner

A Holiday Planner for the Homeschool Mom? Yes.

The holiday season is a whirlwind of excitement and activity, which can often disrupt the rhythm of homeschooling. Between the festive preparations and family gatherings, it can be challenging to maintain a structured learning environment. This is where a well-organized planner becomes a lifesaver.

Here’s how to effectively use a planner to navigate homeschooling during the bustling holiday season, ensuring that your children’s education remains a priority amidst the festivities:

Get a 3-Pack Bundle of Printable Christmas Planners

Sign Up Here:

Get convenient links to all the latest homeschool podcasts each week- PLUS new printables every month! A free gift from the author, Felice Gerwitz, Ultimate Homeschool Radio owner and podcaster at Vintage Homeschool Moms!

Setting Up Your Holiday Homeschool Planner

Choosing the right planner is the first step toward holiday homeschooling success. Whether you prefer the tactile feel of a physical planner or the convenience of a digital app, the key is to find a system that works for you and your family. In this section, we’ll discuss various planner options and provide tips on how to customize your planner to effectively manage your holiday homeschool schedule. From color-coding to prioritizing sections like daily tasks and project deadlines, we’ll guide you through setting up a planner that caters to your unique homeschooling needs during the holidays.

When it comes to selecting a planner for your holiday homeschooling, you essentially have two choices: digital or physical.

Digital planners, accessible via apps or software, offer the convenience of syncing across multiple devices, enabling easy updates and reminders. They are particularly useful for tech-savvy families who are comfortable navigating digital tools.

On the other hand, physical planners provide a tangible experience that many find satisfying and easier to personalize. They are ideal for those who prefer writing by hand and visualizing their plans on paper. Regardless of your preference, the key to an effective planner lies in its organization.

Start by color-coding different subjects or activities – red for math, green for science, blue for holiday crafts, etc.

This visual cue helps in quickly identifying and segmenting tasks. Ensure your planner has sections for daily schedules, weekly goals, and project deadlines. These sections are vital for tracking both academic progress and holiday activities. For holiday homeschooling, consider adding a section for resources or ideas, where you can jot down spontaneous holiday-themed educational activities or resources you come across. Remember, a well-organized planner is more than just a tool for keeping track of tasks; it’s a roadmap that guides your homeschooling journey through the joyous chaos of the holiday season.

Incorporating Holiday Activities into Your Curriculum

The holidays offer a treasure trove of educational opportunities. Integrating holiday-themed activities into your curriculum can make learning more engaging and relevant for your children. In this section, we’ll present creative ideas for blending the holiday spirit with educational content. From exploring the history and traditions of different cultures’ winter celebrations to conducting holiday-themed science experiments, we’ll show you how to use your planner to balance these enriching activities with your regular academic workload.

Integrating holiday-themed activities into your homeschool curriculum can transform the festive season into an enriching educational experience.

For instance, exploring holiday traditions from different cultures can be a fantastic way to teach your children about global diversity and history. You might assign projects where they research and present on how Christmas is celebrated in Germany, or the traditions of Hanukkah, Diwali, or Kwanzaa. This not only broadens their worldview but also instills respect for different cultural practices and a deep appreciation for the influence of Christmas around the world.

In science, holiday-themed experiments, such as studying the properties of snow or the chemistry behind baking holiday treats, can make learning fun and relevant. To effectively incorporate these activities into your regular academic schedule, use your planner to create a balanced approach.

Dedicate specific days or time slots in your planner for these special activities, ensuring they complement rather than replace the core subjects.

For example, you could schedule cultural studies on Mondays and Wednesdays, and a fun science experiment every Friday afternoon. This methodical integration in your planner helps maintain a structured learning environment while allowing your children to enjoy and learn from the holiday spirit. It’s all about finding the right balance between maintaining the academic rigor and embracing the joy and learning opportunities that the holiday season brings. (You might also enjoy the Advent Planner.)

Scheduling and Time Management

Effective scheduling is crucial for a smooth homeschool experience, especially during the busy holiday season. This section will focus on how to create a balanced daily and weekly schedule using your planner. We’ll share strategies for allocating time for both academic pursuits and holiday preparations, ensuring that there’s also room for much-needed breaks and family time. Learn how to make your planner a tool that fosters a harmonious blend of education and celebration.

Involving Your Children in Planning

Involving your children in the planning process is not just empowering, but it also teaches them valuable organizational skills. In this section, we’ll discuss ways to engage your children with the planner, from allowing them to pick some of their holiday activities to teaching them how to track their own progress. This inclusive approach can enhance their sense of responsibility and make homeschooling during the holidays a more collaborative and enjoyable experience.

Involving your children in the homeschool planning process, especially during the holidays, is a practice that goes beyond mere organization.

It’s an empowering exercise that imparts valuable life skills such as decision-making, time management, and responsibility. To engage your children, start by inviting them to contribute ideas for holiday-themed educational activities. For instance, they might be interested in baking as a way to learn about fractions and chemistry, or creating DIY holiday decorations as an art project.

Allow them to pick some of these activities, and together, plot them in the planner.

This inclusion makes learning more exciting and tailored to their interests. Additionally, teaching them how to use the planner to track their own progress is crucial. Show them how to check off completed tasks and how to break larger projects into smaller, manageable parts. This not only helps them see their achievements but also teaches them the importance of breaking down complex task.

This is a skill useful in all areas of life. Incorporating their inputs into the planner also fosters a sense of ownership and motivation towards their learning tasks. Furthermore, periodically review the planner together, allowing them to reflect on what they’ve learned and what they’re looking forward to. This collaborative approach makes homeschooling during the holidays not just a parental responsibility but a shared family journey, enhancing the overall educational experience with joy, creativity, and mutual respect.

Staying Flexible and Adapting Plans

If there’s one thing the holiday season teaches us, it’s the importance of flexibility. Plans can change unexpectedly, and it’s essential to adapt. This section will guide you on how to use your planner to stay nimble and adjust your homeschooling plans as needed. We’ll discuss the importance of building in buffer times and being open to rearranging schedules, ensuring that your homeschooling journey remains smooth even when surprises come your way.

Flexibility is a key component of successful homeschooling, particularly during the unpredictable and often hectic holiday season.

The ability to adapt and modify your plans ensures that your homeschooling experience remains stress-free and enjoyable for both you and your children. To build this flexibility into your routine, use your planner not just as a schedule keeper, but as a dynamic tool that can accommodate changes.

When plotting your homeschooling activities, always leave some ‘buffer’ time.

These are open slots in your planner that can be used for catch-up work or unexpected holiday activities. This approach reduces the pressure of rigid schedules and allows you and your children to enjoy spontaneous holiday moments without falling behind in your educational goals. Secondly, categorize tasks and activities in your planner as ‘fixed’ (like live online classes) and ‘flexible’ (like reading assignments or project work).This categorization helps you quickly identify where adjustments can be made if something unexpected comes up.

Encourage a regular review of the planner with your children, preferably at the start or end of each week.

This habit not only helps in revising plans as needed but also teaches your children to be adaptable and resilient in the face of change. By using your planner in these ways, you create a homeschooling environment that embraces the fluid nature of the holiday season, allowing your family to enjoy its festivities fully, while still keeping education a priority.

Utilizing a planner during the holiday season is an invaluable strategy for managing your homeschooling schedule.

It brings a multitude of benefits: from providing a clear structure amidst the festive chaos, to integrating educational opportunities that the holiday season uniquely offers. A planner helps in balancing academic rigor with holiday fun, ensuring that learning continues effectively even in the most joyous of times. By involving your children in the planning process, you not only empower them with organizational skills but also foster a sense of responsibility and teamwork.

And most importantly, the flexibility a planner affords ensures that your homeschooling can adapt to the spontaneous and often unpredictable nature of the holiday season,. This allows your family to embrace both learning and celebration without stress. We encourage you to try incorporating these planner strategies into your homeschool routine. The holiday season is a perfect opportunity to enhance your homeschooling experience, making it more structured, engaging, and enjoyable for your entire family.

Call to Action:

Now, we’d love to hear from you! How do you manage homeschooling during the holiday season? Do you have any special tips or experiences using a planner or organizing holiday-themed educational activities? Your insights and stories can be a great source of inspiration and learning for others navigating similar journeys. Share your thoughts and tips in the comments below.

Let’s create a supportive community where we can all share, learn, and grow together in our homeschooling adventures!

Christmas Podcasts to Enjoy

The Meaning of Christmas

Special Replay: How To Have A Saner Christmas This Year

Top Ten Movies For Christmas

Mother Christmas

Thanksgiving Memories and Deals

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I don’t know about you, but this year has absolutely flown by! I know that many people are excited for Christmas, but Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. The food, the family, the cozy, warm fall colors and smells just calm my spirit. Thanksgiving is a time to reflect with a grateful heart on all that God has done for us.

Thanksgiving Memories and Deals

I know, this year has just been awful on so many levels, but even in the midst of all the craziness and uncertainty God is still good. There is always something to be grateful for. It can be hard as an adult to see this, children are so much better at having thankful hearts. This is a great time of year to set back and watch our children enjoy themselves. Watch them do crafts, and think about what they are personally thankful for. It really helps to put things into perspective when you see what your children are thankful for.

Thanksgiving Memories:

Thanksgiving is a time to make memories and share joy with others. A great way to do this is by making thankful crafts with your children, and writing down what you are thankful for. Felice always has the best ideas for immersing your children in the holidays by creating special memories with your children.

In this podcast, Felice speaks directly to kids, sharing with them ideas on how to make memories this Thanksgiving. There are also some fun craft ideas and help to get them thinking about what they are thankful for. She has also included a FREE Thanksgiving Memory Book! This sweet little memory book is a place for your children to record their favorite memories of Thanksgiving. There are even Thanksgiving craft ideas and scripture copywork pages for them. You can find this in the show notes HERE as an instant download. 

Thanksgiving Deals:

With the Thanksgiving season also comes lots of deals! Homeschoolers sure are a frugal bunch and love deals. We have some great sales that are running for Black Friday and through Cyber Monday, starting now.

These are perfect to help you plan out your family and your homeschool, as well as help instill good character skills in your children.

It’s time to prepare to move on from 2023, and build a foundation to make 2024 the most amazing year ever. We can do this by helping or family grow in our knowledge of God’s love and the character traits He wants us to pursue.

Check out the deals on these resources that will help:

Right now you can save 50% off and more these homeschool and parenting resources:


To See ALL Deals, Visit the Media Angels Store.


All About Giving Thanks

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

It's all about giving thanksIt’s all about giving thanks!

Happily I never tire when discussing “Giving Thanks” … this is one of my favorite topics. Giving thanks assumes there is something about which to give thanks, right?

But can you give thanks?

For instance, can you give thanks when you are upset or stressed?

Give thanks when you are under financial strain?

Give thanks when the kids are misbehaving and everything goes wrong?

Ah…and that is the crux of the issue, while we know we can’t have everything going our way or extremely well 100% of the time, we may not realize that the reason we are upset many times is because of this very fact.

Life happens.

It happens when we try to homeschool. Life happens when we plan a vacation. It happens on the way to the grocery store. Life happens when the economy tanks.

So, if we realize “life” is going to happen we should be prepared for it and give thanks anyway. That is a very hard lesson I’ve learned the last several years. I’ve learned that no matter how much you plan for or save for the inevitable, in our case a very severe recession, you just can’t plan enough. Life happens! Both my husband and I are self-employed. Actually, we would have it no other way. My husband builds new construction homes, remodels, and has a home-inspection business, so you can imagine how it effected our lives. The recent economic downturn hurt the housing market severely.

So we give thanks, right? Wrong.

It wasn’t until much later when after countless hours of prayer I remembered how beneficial being thankful was in the face of hardship. Giving thanks when we didn’t understand where the next job would come from, giving thanks as we watched our retirement fund dwindle. We continued to be thankful.

And, our children watched us.

I found a picture among my presentation slides folder and made it larger and wrote the words “Give thanks to the Lord everyday” and hung it up where we could all see it. And, we did. WE gave thanks even if we didn’t want to give thanks. It helped us tremendously and little by little there was more, and more things in which to give thanks! [If you want a larger size of the picture below to print out it is here.]

Giving Thanks | Printable Image Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network

I’m working on a talk for church, the topic is “Prayer: Humility before God.” I believe that thankfulness is showing the Lord that we are humble before Him and we realize He knows our plight and understands! Humility is a virtue, and we acknowledge that God is the author of all that is good! He knows what we are going through and understands. We also know that the Lord of the universe has the ability to answer our prayers or to say, “not yet,” and accepting that truth takes every ounce of our being. That is true humility…and can we continue to thank Him through that time? With His strength we can (the strength that surpasses all understanding!) Philippians 4:7

Please share ways you praise the Lord even when things are tough!

And one last thing, thankfulness is a character trait, isn’t it? We have to train ourselves to be thankful and build up that virtue muscle.

I want to recommend my Character Counts 12-Pack of Character Planners to you- they are designed for your kids!

Thankful for character planners. Giving Thanks is a virtue.

Meet Felice Gerwitz: A Devoted Homeschool Mom, Author, Publisher, and Podcast Host

A heartfelt enthusiast for both education and faith, Felice Gerwitz has embarked on an incredible journey as a homeschooling mom, guided by her unyielding devotion to the Lord. Alongside her incredible husband and five wonderful children, Felice’s life is a testament to the beauty of balancing family, faith, and personal aspirations.

In 1986, Felice embarked on her homeschooling adventure, a path that has been colored with both triumphs and challenges. Through the years, she has amassed a wealth of experience and wisdom that she eagerly shares with the world. As the founder of Media Angels, Inc., Felice has not only embraced her role as an educator but also stepped into the shoes of an author and publisher. Her creative ventures have not only enriched her own family’s learning journey but have also inspired countless others seeking alternative educational paths.

You can continue reading her story in her very personal story, One More Child, from Media Angels, Inc.

A Letter From a Veteran Homeschool Mom to the Newbies

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

A Letter from a Veteran Christian Homeschool Mom to the Newbie Homeschool MomIn honor of the 500th Episode of the Vintage Homeschool Moms show, and the 10th Birthday Celebration of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network, I thought it would be fun to write a letter from one Christian homeschooling mom who has been in the homeschooling world long enough she’s helping homeschool her grandchildren, to a brand new Christian homeschooling mom. I’ve hyperlinked words and phrases to guide you through her work. 

With all the years of dedication Felice Gerwitz has given to the world of homeschooling, through her writing, books and publishing, and podcasting, this is also a compilation of her wisdom. 

Thank you, Felice, for following God’s calling to start the Network. 

Okay, play along? 

— Gina

Dear New Homeschool Mom,

May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you and your family as you embark on your homeschooling journey. It brings me great joy to welcome you to the wonderful world of Christian homeschooling. I’ve walked this path for several years, and I want to offer you some guidance and encouragement from a Christian perspective as you begin this incredible adventure.

Homeschooling is not just about academics; it’s an opportunity to cultivate a Christ-centered education, nurturing not only the minds but also the hearts of our children.

Here are some Christian insights from a veteran homeschool mom  and tips to help you along the way:

1. Prayer and Devotion: Begin your homeschool days with prayer and devotional time. Invite God’s presence into your home and your educational journey. Seek His guidance and wisdom, for He is the ultimate teacher.

2. Bible-Centered Learning: Integrate the Word of God into your curriculum. Study the Bible together, memorize scripture, and explore Christian values in your subjects. Let your child see how faith is interwoven with knowledge.

3. Character Building: Use homeschooling as an opportunity to instill Christian values and character traits in your child. Teach them about love, kindness, forgiveness, and the importance of serving others.

4. Nature and Creation: Encourage an appreciation for God’s creation. Take your lessons outdoors to explore the beauty and wonder of the natural world, reminding your child of the Creator’s hand in all of it.

5. Christian Resources: Utilize Christian curriculum, books, and educational resources. Many Christian publishers offer materials that align with your faith and values.

6. Service and Outreach: Engage in community service and outreach activities with your child. Show them the importance of living out their faith by helping those in need.

7. Church and Fellowship: Active participation in your church and Christian fellowship groups can provide spiritual support and opportunities for your child to develop relationships with peers who share their faith.

8. Teachable Moments: Recognize that life itself is a classroom. Use everyday experiences as teachable moments to impart spiritual truths and life skills.

9. Encourage Questions: Encourage your child to ask questions about their faith and engage in open, honest discussions about Christianity. This will help them build a strong foundation.

10. Trust in God’s Plan: Homeschooling may have its challenges, but always remember that God has a unique plan for each child. Trust in His guidance and lean on Him during difficult times.

11. Fellowship with Other Christian Homeschool Families: Connect with other Christian homeschool families. This can provide support, encouragement, and shared faith-based resources.

You are not alone in this journey; the Lord is your ever-present companion.

As you strive to provide your child with a Christ-centered education, know that you are planting seeds of faith that will grow and bear fruit over the years.

If you ever need someone to pray with, seek advice, or simply share the joys and challenges of homeschooling from a Christian perspective, please don’t hesitate to reach out. As a Vintage Homeschool Mom (veteran) Christian homeschool mom, I’m here to support you in your walk of faith and education.

May your homeschooling journey be filled with blessings, grace, and an ever-deepening relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

In Christian love,

Felice Gerwitz

Resources from Felice at Media Angels


Practice Makes Perfect … Most of the Time

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

When it comes to household chores, homeschooling the children, and well, cooking, something has to take a back seat! I’m not perfect nor do I strive for perfection. I do strive for balance.Practice Makes Perfect Most of the Time

By Felice Gerwitz

There are challenges to motherhood. There are challenges to owning a business. When you combine the two, you can have an instant recipe for overwhelm. Or, as I’ll share… lots and lots of practice at getting to “perfect.”

Not to bore you with the details, suffice it to say that life has been a bit hectic in the Gerwitz household.

Today I spent a fun hour with Cindy Rushton and her guests at an online conference, her “Ultimate Homeschool Expo.” Being a minor-celeb in the homeschool world has its ups and downs. I can still go out with my children without being mobbed for my autograph, yet sometimes the two worlds are hard to balance.

After my professional endeavor, it was back to the family.

Christina was visiting today (my substitute teacher!) and she and the kids read about the Ancient American Indians. Being an Anthropology minor, she had lots to add to the book. Of course, she was accompanied by her three little children, three and under. Add that to my own three, and it becomes a houseful!

I have four children who currently live at home…one husband (thank you, Lord), and one father, who is elderly but a fantastic cook. Did I mention that he used to own, first an Italian bakery in NY, and second an Italian Restaurant when we moved to Florida? Needless to say, the smell of garlic can be found simmering anytime after 9:30 in the morning.


Well, every once in a while Dad (Papa) needs to escape to my brother’s home in Winter Haven, for a visit. (Yes, it’s quieter there. Joe and Nikki have two children.) Well, since Papa has been gone the cooking has fallen on my shoulders.

My hobby is baking and I love to cook, but since Papa moved in several years ago he’s taken over my kitchen. Of course, it had to be remodeled when he moved in and we now have three ovens (okay, that was my addition, not his), a larger work surface, and a knife set that would rival any chef’s. So, since he was gone I opted for a simple dinner, grilled hamburgers and hotdogs, chili, and melted cheese over chips. An American kid’s dream dinner, and one that would leave my father grumbling in Italian that in his country not even the pigs would eat that fare.

Out of Practice?

Having been out of practice I ended up overcooking the meat on the grill, forgetting to take out the burger rolls, and then the ground beef for the chili, from the freezer. No problem, I decided we needed a vegetarian version of the chili. Oh, and I melted the cheese for the chips way too early and had to heat it up several more times. Today, the kids still wouldn’t eat any of the leftover chili for lunch!

Perfection or Balance?

It does take some juggling between running a publishing business, writing several blogs, and running a consulting business for aspiring authors. When it comes to household chores, homeschooling the children, and well, cooking, something has to take a back seat! I’m not perfect nor do I strive for perfection. I do strive for balance.

Back to Normal(ish)

Nicholas my 13-year-old loves to cook and the meat would have been grilled to perfection if he had been home, but he wasn’t. Anne (10) and Michael (8) are both decent chefs and were a big help with my cooking endeavors. By the time we ate, we were all starved so no one had much to say about my rusty cooking skills. But, they did ask when Grandpa was coming home. Yes, I got the hint! I called him today and he’ll be back in a day or two. Then, things will be back to normal, (whatever that is), in the Gerwitz household. Practice makes perfect, most of the time.

About the Author

Meet Felice Gerwitz: A Devoted Homeschool Mom, Author, Publisher, and Podcast Host

A heartfelt enthusiast for education and faith, Felice Gerwitz has embarked on an incredible journey as a homeschooling mom, guided by her unyielding devotion to the Lord. Alongside her incredible husband and five wonderful children, Felice’s life is a testament to the beauty of balancing family, faith, and personal aspirations.

In 1986, Felice embarked on her homeschooling adventure, a path colored with both triumphs and challenges. Through the years, she has amassed a wealth of experience and wisdom that she eagerly shares with the world. As the founder of Media Angels, Inc., Felice has embraced her role as an educator and stepped into the shoes of an author and publisher. Her creative ventures have enriched her family’s learning journey and inspired countless others to seek alternative educational paths.

You can continue reading her story in her very personal story, One More Child, from Media Angels, Inc.

Get Ready for a Fantastic Back-to-Homeschool

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Get Ready for a Fantastic Back-to-Homeschool in August with the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network Planner!

Hey there, fellow homeschooling families! As summer comes to a close, it’s that exciting time of the year again – back-to-homeschool season! While it may feel bittersweet bidding farewell to vacation mode, the thought of embarking on a brand new homeschooling journey is undeniably thrilling.

To ensure a smooth and successful start to the academic year, a well-organized homeschooling plan is key. And what better way to achieve that than with the August Organize It! Planner from the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network? This planner is an absolute game-changer, designed to help you conquer your homeschool planning like a pro!

With its fantastic features and thoughtful layout, the August Organize It! Planner is your ultimate ally in creating a structured and efficient homeschool routine. The planner offers dedicated sections for lesson planning, goal setting, and tracking, ensuring that you stay on top of your homeschooling game all year round. Say goodbye to last-minute scrambles to find the right materials – with this planner, everything will be right at your fingertips.

One of the highlights of this planner is its user-friendly design, making it easy for both seasoned homeschoolers and newcomers to navigate. From weekly spreads to monthly calendars, you’ll find plenty of space to jot down your thoughts, ideas, and schedules. Meal planning is a breeze with designated areas for organizing your family’s nutrition, saving you time and energy during busy days.

The August focus of this planner perfectly aligns with the start of the academic year, allowing you to seamlessly integrate it into your homeschooling routine. Whether you’re planning your first year of homeschooling or a seasoned pro looking to revamp your approach, the August Organize It! Planner caters to your needs.

When we embrace the back-to-homeschool season with a well-thought-out plan, we set the foundation for a successful and enjoyable academic year. The Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network Planner empowers you to navigate the beautiful chaos of homeschooling with confidence and grace.

So, as you gear up for an exciting back-to-homeschool in August, make sure to get your hands on the August Organize It! Planner from the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network. Prepare to welcome a year of growth, learning, and unforgettable moments. Here’s to a fabulous homeschooling adventure – let’s make this year the best one yet!

The directions on how to download the monthly checklist are sent out in each weekly ezine. The planner access information is always located at the bottom of each email. Make sure that you are signed up so that you don’t miss it.

If you are not signed up, you can sign up HERE as a subscriber.



Summer Planning for Homeschool Families: Making the Most of the Break

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Summer is a time of relaxation, fun, and exploration for many families. While traditional schooling takes a break during this season, homeschool families often see it as an opportunity to continue the learning journey in a more relaxed and flexible manner. With proper planning and organization, homeschoolers can make the most of their summer break and create a memorable and enriching experience for their children. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of summer planning for homeschool families and highlight the July Organize It! Planner from the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network as a valuable resource for effective organization.

1. Embrace the Freedom of Flexible Schedules:

One of the greatest advantages of homeschooling is the freedom it provides in terms of scheduling. During the summer, this flexibility can be maximized to suit your family’s needs and preferences. Encourage your children to engage in activities they are passionate about, such as art classes, sports camps, or music lessons. Use the summer break to explore topics that might not be covered during the regular school year. Whether it’s science experiments, nature walks, or creative writing projects, the possibilities are endless.

2. Set Realistic Goals:

When planning your summer homeschooling activities, it’s important to set realistic goals that align with your children’s interests and abilities. Assess their strengths and weaknesses, and tailor the curriculum accordingly. Consider incorporating outdoor activities, field trips, and hands-on experiences that promote learning through play. This will help keep the summer learning experience enjoyable and engaging for everyone involved.

3. Create a Summer Bucket List:

A summer bucket list is a fun way to ensure that your family makes the most of the break. Sit down together and brainstorm activities and experiences you would like to have during the summer. Include both educational and recreational items on the list. Whether it’s visiting a local museum, having a picnic in the park, or learning a new skill, ticking off items from the bucket list will add excitement and a sense of accomplishment to your summer.

4. Utilize the July Organize It! Planner:

The Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network offers a valuable resource for homeschool families through their July Organize It! Planner. This planner provides a comprehensive and practical system to help you stay organized during the summer break. It includes monthly and weekly calendars, goal-setting worksheets, meal planning templates, and much more. By utilizing this planner, you can streamline your summer homeschooling activities and ensure that you cover all the necessary subjects while still leaving room for relaxation and fun.

5. Maintain a Healthy Balance:

While summer homeschooling provides ample opportunities for learning, it is also important to strike a balance between academic pursuits and relaxation. Summer is a time for children to unwind, recharge, and explore their interests. Encourage your children to engage in hobbies, read for pleasure, or simply spend quality time with friends and family. Remember, a well-rounded education encompasses not only academics but also social, emotional, and physical development.

Enjoy Your Summer!

Summer planning for homeschool families can be an exciting and rewarding experience. By embracing the flexibility of homeschooling, setting realistic goals, and creating a summer bucket list, you can make the most of the break while ensuring your children continue to learn and grow. The July Organize It! Planner from the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network serves as an excellent tool to help you stay organized and make the most of your summer homeschooling experience. Remember to maintain a healthy balance between academic pursuits and relaxation to create lasting memories and a well-rounded education for your children.

The directions on how to download the monthly checklist are sent out in each weekly ezine. The planner access information is always located at the bottom of each email. Make sure that you are signed up so that you don’t miss it.

If you are not signed up, you can sign up HERE as a subscriber.



10 Ways to Jazz Up Your Science

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Are you looking for ways to make homeschooling science fun and engaging for the whole family? Look no further with 10 ways to jazz up your science!

Science can be a blast when it’s creative and interactive, so you’ll love our top 10 ideas for livening up your next homeschool science lesson. Discover how to mix in art and music, explore multi-sensory activities, and create a hands-on experience that your kids will never forget. From playing science-based games and crafting homemade projects to visiting tech-savvy museums and putting science experiments to the test, you’ll find a variety of ways to turn science into a lively adventure.

So get ready to awaken your kids’ curiosity and whip up a storm of STEM fun in your home.

10 Ways to Jazz Up Your Homeschool Science | Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network

Here are ten ways to jazz up your science!

  1. Jazz up your science. Go outside:

  • Dig a hole Amazing what you can find. If you have manicured lawns, try digging in an obscure section of a flower or shrub box. Make sure the ground is damp. If it isn’t, you may want to water an area of ground where you plan to dig for several days in a row. This will attract larger insects you can observe with the naked eye. Bring a cardboard box out of a shoe box or larger, so you can sift through the dirt. You can make a sifting screen box to put your dirt in and gently shake it back and forth. Bring a magnifying glass or, better yet, a lighted microscope and look at the grains of sand under it. If you can, use the same hole and continue to dig deeper each time. 
  • Study the trees, shrubs, or plants in your own yard or in the neighborhood, and take a walk 
  • Observe butterflies and categorize them.
  • Observe birds and identify (one year, we had chimney swifts nesting in our fireplace. We didn’t know what type of birds they were at first, but with some research we found out. Isn’t it amazing how the Lord provides?!)

More Outside Observation

  • Observe the types of airplanes and helicopters that fly by. Research them.
  • Take pictures of these things and put them in a nature album with a brief description, which can be a single word for a preschooler or a paragraph for an older child. 
  • Draw pictures and keeps a nature album of all of the above.
  • Blindfold your child and have them identify sounds they hear. Let them blindfold you, and you can do this too!!
  • Study and observe the weather. Make various instruments to gauge the weather.


If we were in a small group, I would ask you what areas of academics we covered above, just by the things I mentioned, but since we aren’t, I’ll answer my own question Writing (which encompasses spelling and grammar), reading, observing, researching, math (counting, sorting, categorizing), acoustics study of sounds, ballistics study of flight, ornithology bird study, nature study, dendrology tree study, The botanical study of trees and other woody plants, entomology insect study, meteorology weather study, etc…


While you are outside, jazz up your science like this…


  1. Plant a Garden

The benefits of growing a garden are innumerable such as teaching children the art of giving, generosity, the joy of sharing, responsibility, nurturing, productivity, and accomplishment. From a scientific point of view: they could learn about soil analysis, seed germination, weather, seasons, calendar, insect control with and without pesticides, composting and fertilizers, and, best of all, fruits of labor! Eating: digestion, health, nutrition, etc


While you are still outdoors…


  1. Nature Walks

Possible supplies needed: A magnifying glass, binoculars, sunscreen/ bug screen, camera, pad, paper, and backpack to carry supplies. Try to take walks in different ecosystems. Begin simply in your own neighborhood, then branch out. If you have never camped, maybe this is a time to get started. If the thought of buying everything you need to “rough” puts you off, you may want to consider going to a “retreat” campground. Look around and see what is available near where you live or take a trip!

Areas for Nature Walks

 Mountainous area: Look at rock formations. As you probably already know, in Florida, there is an abundance of porous rock called limestone. Many times the kids can use a sharp object and scrape away at it and find fossil formations have the children look at the rock formations and categorize them. You can have them collect rocks from different locations they visit or enlist family and friends to bring rocks back for them. Remember to use your resources

 Beach area: Study or collect shells, in FL the coquina are great fun to watch (Take a clear cup and fill the bottom with sand, some water, and these tiny creatures. Then watch them bury down into the sand. It’s neat. Make a shell collection/ organize and classify your finds at the beach.

 Swamp area: There is an abundance of swamps in the Southern area of Florida. As I mentioned earlier, I have first-hand knowledge of this because we happen to live in the middle of an area known as the 6-mile cypress slough. Some of our land is underwater for a good part of the summer. While it may not make me very happy at times, it supplies an abundance of wildlife for the children to observe and learn about.

 Projects: Use your resources. There are great resources available on the Internet. You can do many searches using science as the keyword or the subject you are studying and find many resources. We have been involved in Science Fair projects and competitions. It may be worth considering if you have access to these competitions in your area or within your homeschool group.


5. Videos or Television Programs, computer programs, and Internet Sites 

The list is endless. You may need to see what is available in your area for videos and television programs.

 Here are some websites with great information on science.

Internet Sites: some of my favorite…

  • www.exploratorium. edu/


Computer Programs I have an extensive list in my book, but here are some I have personally used…

  • GeoSafari Science ages 8 and up,
  • A.D.A.M. the inside story (may need to be monitored),
  • Mayo Clinic Family Health,
  • ProOne Chemistry and Biology.


There are times when life gets in the way of schooling. Has this happened to you? Perhaps someone is ill, there is a new baby in the family, or it is the holiday season. There are times when video, computer, and internet resources can be a wonderful supplement to your curriculum.

When we studied astronomy, we downloaded free software that made looking at the night sky so much easier. We were able to maneuver around the night sky, look at planets close up and figure out what the night sky would look like when we went out in the evening to view the stars on a clear night. What a wonderful supplement to our curriculum.

Last year we studied world history and the children and I watched the series “Planet Earth.” It was a spectacular cinematographic feat. I enjoyed it more than the children. We took notes, mapped the geographic locations of the varied DVD, and kept track of the animals listed with drawings and additional research. This can be a stand-alone assignment for older children, with you keeping a watchful “ear” as you view the show nearby.

Of course, since your children are grounded in the evolution vs. creation debate, hint, hint, wink 😉 they can view these programs with an ear out for anti-creation thoughts. If not, you may want to look at our curriculum.

Television Programs

The most common are on the Discovery station and PBS Science. Noted shows include, “Bill Neye the Science Guy, Newton’s Apple, and Weird Science.

Here are a few Internet websites.



Discovery Channel


Sadly, the internet has replaced computer programs for the ease of accessibility and the freedom to view what you want, when you want. Thankfully, we can host a virtual field trip!

What are your favorite science internet websites or television programs? Share your favorites with us!


  1. Experiments and Activities

If you are teaching by reading science textbooks or having your child read the information in a workbook and skipping the experiments, then your child may find science very boring. This is the reason I didn’t like it as a child. I don’t remember doing one experiment until I reached high school. With hands-on experiments or activities come a better understanding and a greater chance for the retention of knowledge. Just observing has its limitations, just experimentation has its limits, and the scientific method in itself has its limits. Not everything is observable, but a mixture of reading about the topic and doing an activity or experiment is a wonderful combination. There are too many great experiment books to mention. I have many reviews for my book.


  1. Planetarium and Nature Centers

If your town has one, a nature center is a wonderful place to visit. They often include designated walks, museums, guides, gift shops, and group discounts. If you do not have a Nature Center in your town, perhaps you could find the closest one to you and plan a visit. Our children attended many of the science workshops they offered during spring break and during the summer.

If you want a guide to star gazing, then a Planetarium is for you. Most have shows (some that are pre-taped), and they shine various stars on the curved ceiling, pointing to various constellations and stars. They also have high-powered telescopes, and most of the nature guides we have met have been very enthusiastic, some offering to stay as long as we wanted! I recommend that anyone can attempt star gazing at home or in a dimly lit area. It’s exciting to take a car ride in the evening to view the stars. Get acclimated to the dark first. Put out a big blanket or get out the lawn chairs using a glow-in-the-dark star finder and a good pair of binoculars.


  1. Archaeological Dig

Remember when I mentioned action and adventure? Archaeology is something many children enjoy. There are archaeological sites all over the world! Did you know people out on walks have found the majority of the dinosaur fossils? Over the years, my children have viewed various digs. When they were younger, we visited Pine Island and a Caloosa Indian Dig. They found all types of artifacts, broken pottery, and shells. They took a canoe (the only way to get there is by boat) to Useppa Island and observed a dig there.

By far, their favorite has been the Fossil Float, which they took in Arcadia, Florida. A gentleman on a previous dig with CSI (Creation Science Institute) found Mammoth bones! The kids looked forward to this trip for a long time! They took canoes, homemade sifting screens, and their survival skills and braved the Peace River. There are alligators in this river, so care must be taken. The children found countless shark teeth and some fossilized remains. They were given charts to help in identifying the pieces they found. The Peace River is a freshwater river, and there is interesting speculation as to how saltwater creatures’ teeth are in a freshwater river. (We have written a fiction account, which takes place in Arcadia. It is an action-adventure in the book the Missing Link Found!)


  1. Field Trips

There are great places to visit all over the world. When you plan trips, consider a study of science. Once again, the Internet is a wonderful source for finding great locations. It is fun to plan trips with friends who are also homeschooling. Or try a virtual field trip!

Here are some trips we have attended:

Turtle Watching: In Florida, several times of the year are optimum for turtle watching. The large loggerhead turtles come up on FL beaches to lay their eggs and check with your nature center many have night watches using volunteers.

The Kennedy Space Center includes many rockets, space gear, and interactive displays. A hot air balloon festival. We went to the Brandon balloon Classic and usually held it in April. Brandon is near Tampa. For more information, contact the Chamber of Commerce.

Museums and State Parks are fun trips located all over the world. As the children get older, so do their interests. This year my older 2 children and husband took a SCUBA certification class. They learned so much science in this intense course. They learned about currents, tides, buoyancy, air pressure, altitude, water pressure, pressure/ volume and density relationships, safety in handling scuba equipment, underwater vision, underwater hearing, heat loss, respiration, temperature, bottom compositions, aquatic animal and plant life, fresh and saltwater and on and on. Best of all, they had covered many of these concepts earlier at a much younger level. This was an opportunity to re-learn and apply past knowledge.


10. Co-ops

A definition of this is several families pooling their resources and talents, working together with the best of both worlds, still homeschooling, and enjoying group dynamics with handpicked friends. One parent recently told me she invited two of her daughter’s friends over once a week to do science, and this ensured that they got to the projects and experiments she often neglected. This gives you time to do experiments, activities, arts and crafts, plan trips, etc.


Could I keep this to just ten ideas? Of course not. Here are some extras:

  •  Study Scientists: Kepler, Newton, Morse
  •  Hatch chicken eggs: I have had many friends who have ordered eggs from a science catalog, and the children patiently waited for the chicks to hatch. Make sure you have a place for them to go after they’ve hatched!
  • Take Lessons: As I stated earlier, Scuba, water safety, boating, canoeing, sailing, and mountain climbing.
  • Science Camps: There are many camps available for children those that readily come to mind are space camps and oceanography camps. These are quite pricey, and you may want to plan ahead with your children for ways to fund these. Perhaps they could do special jobs for you, a neighbor, or a relative. Work takes on a whole new meaning when they are saving for something special.
  • Host a workshop: Have a speaker come to your area. This is a great way to motivate yourself or your children. Many are available and travel extensively.

 You can teach science!

As you can see, it is as easy as walking outside and digging a hole. You are the best model for your child, even your special needs child, whether you are enthusiastic, curious, or have the ability to make mistakes and correct them. There are many valuable lessons to be learned. The best way to begin is to just do it!

Felice Gerwitz is a wife, a homeschool mom and has five children, and has graduated two.

She is the owner of Media Angels, Inc., an author, and a conference speaker.

Resources for teaching Science and more from Media Angels