Ultimate Homeschool Radio Show

Interviews with guests with services or products of interest to homeschool families

The Fruit of the Spirit for Moms

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

The fruit of the Spirit is familiar to most of us, but how can we apply this to motherhood? The Fruit of the Spirit for Moms is the topic of this podcast, as we examine how we can exhibit love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control towards our children. #ChristianparentingThe Fruit of the Spirit for Moms

Our pastor recently did a sermon on the Fruit of the Spirit, and it inspired me to start a Bible study inside my private Christian parenting Facebook group.  (By the way, anyone listening who’d like to join that group, I’d love to have you! You can click here to join.)

Over the last several weeks, we’ve been studying the Fruit of the Spirit, as it applies to motherhood.

Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Wow! Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are all things that I desire to be to my children as their mother.

So how can we attain this fruit of the Spirit?

The way we attain the fruit of the Spirit that we desire is by faith through the Holy Spirit. But when we put God on the back burner, we experience what I have officially named “the fruit of the mom flesh.”

And here’s the Marianna version… “But the fruit of the mom flesh is nagging, yelling, annoyance, harshness, manipulation, shaming,  and lack of self-control.”

Ouch. I have no problem admitting that some of these qualities describe my parenting some days. But, I believe that there is hope in Christ.

Maybe you’re a mom who has blown it time and time again and you think there’s no hope for you to change. Perhaps you come from a long line of emotional abuse and you feel powerless to break the cycle. Maybe you feel like you’ve been mommin’ the same way for so long that there’s not even any point to try to change.

But here’s the good news for you today.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control….it’s not up to you to produce this fruit. In fact, it’s not even about you! It’s about Christ in you and the Holy Spirit working in your heart.

When we experience the gospel and the love that God has so lavished upon us, we cannot help but overflow with that love!

Be careful not to get stuck in this place of mom guilt. If you’re thinking to yourself, “Man, I just don’t embody these fruit of the spirit,” let me remind you.  Pastor J.D. Greear says, “For every one look you take at yourself bemoaning your fruitlessness, take ten looks at Christ, boasting in his faithfulness.”

Scripture references

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13 NIV

“…’Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.” – Zechariah 4:6 NIV

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33 NIV

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

Join Marianna Chambers as she talks about practical ways to become a more peaceful parent. Having children is a wonderful blessing, but it can also be quite stressful. Every day we hear from moms just like you who are struggling to be the gentle parent they want to be. Moms desperately want to raise their children on a firm foundation of love, but those sweet kids sure know how to push our buttons. (And boy, do they push them!)

Marianna Chambers is a counselor, parenting coach, blogger, homeschool mom, and best-selling author. She’s passionate about supporting and encouraging moms. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram, or read her blog here. You can also join her private Facebook group for Christian moms on a peaceful parenting mission.

Thanks to our Sponsor: Harper Collins Christian:   Kingdom Girls Bible  on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Girls will discover the power of faith in this beautiful Bible that features women of the Bible! Here is the ideal Bible for girls on their journey of faith! This special Bible is specifically crafted to highlight the stories and lessons of the inspiring, famous, and sometimes infamous women of the Bible. With over 400 engaging features, colorful illustrations, and helpful notes, this Bible is perfect for girls ages 8 to 12 as they learn about the strong and faithful women who came before them. From Eve to Ruth, Esther to Mary, this Bible brings the stories of these women to life and shows how their faith and strength can still inspire girls today. Featuring a beautiful design and easy-to-read text, this Bible is a great resource for girls as they grow in their own faith and learn about the women who have impacted the world.

The Ark and the Darkness : Coming to Theaters Soon

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Noah’s Flood is preserved in ancient writings from every major culture aroundthe world. Recent discoveries confirm what the Bible has said all along. The Ark and the Darkness.

Thanks to our sponsor, A Fanthom Presents Film – The Ark and The Darkness – Movie Trailer here: NoahsFlood

In theaters March 20-21! Noah’s Flood is preserved in ancient writings from every major culture around the world. Recent discoveries confirm what the Bible has said all along. Sevenfold Films and Genesis Apologetics present: The Ark and the Darkness.

The Ark and the Darkness from Fathom Films

There is a tale over 4,000 years old, preserved in ancient writings from every major culture around the world. Many thought it was only a myth, but recent discoveries confirm what the Bible has said all along.

From Genesis Apologetics and award-winning Sevenfold Films’ director of Genesis: Paradise Lost, Sevenfold Films and Genesis Apologetics present The Ark and the Darkness: Unearthing the Mysteries of Noah’s Flood. Ancient history, volcanism, the fossil record—all of these and more converge on one simple point: Noah’s Flood actually happened.

Join our team of scientists from Answers in Genesis and Liberty University as we reveal the truth about Noah’s Flood. Mark your calendars for March 20-21, when this incredible film hits the theaters. Be prepared to experience the Genesis Flood like never before! This is a Fathom event.

Recommended Sponsored Podcasts for The Ark and the Darkness

From your favorite podcasters: Vintage Homeschool Moms, Homeschool Sanity Show, Making Biblical Family Life Practical, Creation Podcast, Homeschooling IRL, Homeschool Podcast Show(s), and Homeopathy for Mommies.

Lifeschooling | Love in Homeschooling

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Love in homeschooling, a special Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network episode from Life as a LifeschoolerOn this very special episode of Life as a Lifeschooler, I talk about Love in Homeschooling. 

What an honor it is to recognize the work of Felice Gerwitz and 10 years in homeschool podcasting on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network!

➡️Episode Sponsored by the 10th Birthday Celebration Sponsors, CTC Math & More on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network ✔️ out the $350 giveaway, too!

Love in Homeschooling – Exploring how love plays a central role in homeschooling

Over time, love has become a central focus of my Christian walk, as I’ve realized how impactful this one concept of loving others can be. Jesus says that all the law and the prophets are summed up in “love God, love your neighbor as yourself.” If one thing can cover so much ground, it must be essential that we understand it!

In a very basic sense, when we homeschool our children, we are loving our neighbor as ourselves. We remember what school was like for us and we want better for them. We are sacrificing our own opportunities for income, self-fulfillment, and achievement in order to see our children successful and fulfilled.

But there are times we forget this motivation. Or the motivation becomes cloudy, tainted by the pressures, fears, and worldly ambitions we allow to enter our hearts.

So it’s good to be reminded of what love really is. If we want to truly love, we must know what exactly love is. And to know exactly what love is, we must turn to the Bible’s definition in 1 Corinthians 13, the “love chapter.”

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Moms, you can have the perfect homeschool curriculum and teach with eloquence and simplicity, but if you don’t have love, you will fail your kids.

You can even do it in the power of the Holy Spirit, according to this chapter, and still fail your kids! That’s how important love is to everything you do in life. In fact, love was so important to God that He sent Jesus to die for us. Love is at the very core of the Gospel!  So we need to have a full understanding of it.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Now, let’s look at what love is…

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.


Are you patient in teaching your children about 56 times in a day that 7×8 is 56? Are you patient in teaching them how to do their chores quickly and diligently? Or is your goal to check off the boxes and be done?


Do your children see you as an example of kindness? When they talk back and disrespect you, do you respond “in kind” or with kindness (and discipline, of course)?

Does Not Envy or Boast

Pride is the opposite of love. Pride is all about self, not God and others.

If you are busy making yourself feel accomplished from the shiny, perfect children you have raised, then your homeschooling is not about love. It is about boastfulness in your own achievements. If you look at others whose kids graduated high school at age 13 and think, “That’s not so great. We could have done that if we had wanted to,” then you may have an envious heart that has no room for love.

Not Arrogant or Rude

This again comes back to a prideful heart that is not focused on others. If you think you don’t need the advice or opinions of others in your homeschooling journey, then first of all, why are you here? 😉 And secondly, you may be arrogant.

Arrogance often leads to rudeness. When someone gently and lovingly corrects your parenting or offers a kind word of advice, do you respond rudely? When your children respectfully correct your teaching, pointing out an error in something you say, do respond graciously, thanking them for the information, or do you speak to them rudely? Is your instant reaction, “You’re being disrespectful!”?

Does Not Insist on its Own Way

Do you insist on doing school in a way that works for you as the teacher? Or do you submit your own comfort to the needs and desires of your children in their learning?

Not Irritable or Resentful

Do you have to have your cup of coffee before you can be nice? Do you resent your children for keeping you from pursing your own career or hobbies? Or do you consider it a joy to sacrifice your own desires for the sake of their callings (and your highest calling)?

Does Not Rejoice at Wrongdoing, but Rejoices with the Truth

Are you more focused on the wrongdoing of your children than what is good and true? Are you almost happy when you finally catch them doing something you had suspected of them so you can finally dole out the punishment they deserve? Or do you focus on their good behavior and rejoice when they choose to do right and follow truth?

Bears All Things

Do you bear all the frustrated tears? The arguments? The lack of confidence? Do you encourage your children and give them a break when they are tired and burned out on school work?

Believes All Things

Do you believe the best when your children fail? Do you try to see their hearts and give grace, even thought discipline may still be required?

Hopes All Things

Do you tend to focus on the positive or the negative? Do you rest in the hope we have in Christ, that He is our strength and our “very present help in time of trouble”? Or do you allow fear to cripple you in your homeschooling and cause you to believe the enemy’s lies about your children’s future? Perfect love casts out fear! 1 John 4:18

Endures All Things

Are you in it for the long haul or are you swayed by your feelings and doubts? If you are homeschooling out of love, you will endure the hardest days because you know spending each day with your child is the best way to get to his heart. If your decision to homeschool was made because of love, you will continue to homeschool because of love and nothing will move you.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

“Knowledge will pass away.” It is only a tool for advancing God’s Kingdom on this earth in the short time we have. Love is what really matters and what will transcend anything we can possibly teach.

“More is caught than taught.” We’ve all heard that phrase and it’s certainly true here. No matter how biblical your teaching; no matter how diligent you are with discipline; no matter how much information you manage to fill their brains with, if you are not doing it all in love, they will “catch” that and learn the lessons you are not meaning to teach. Children know whether they are being loved or controlled.

If you want to have a successful homeschool, with children who grow up to love and serve the Lord with their gifts, let Holy Spirit-empowered love be the central, guiding force in your homeschooling!


And that’s Life as a Lifeschooler! Be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode. Hope you’ll join us next time!



Helping Our Kids Have Resiliency with Lisa Nehring

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Teaching Our Kids to Have Resiliency Helping Our Kids Have Resiliency

“We’re not just raising kids, we’re raising resilient adults. We’re raising spiritual beings.”

Join Lisa Nehring on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Show in celebration of our 10th Birthday Celebration!

➡️Episode Sponsored by the 10th Birthday Celebration Sponsors, CTC Math & More on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network ✔️ out the $350 giveaway, too!

In a world where people easily crumble like delicate snowflakes and take offense at the drop of a hat, it’s high time we pondered this vital question: Are our children truly growing in resiliency?

Are they emerging as fearless warriors, fortified with unyielding character and an indomitable spirit? Let me tell you, this remarkable gift of resiliency will serve as their secret weapon in navigating an increasingly secular world.

So join me on this resilience adventure as we explore the importance of resilience and why it’s high time we raise a generation of tenacious individuals who can conquer any challenge that comes their way. Trust me, it’ll be one heck of a ride.

Get Intentional!

In her excellent book, appropriately titled, Grit, Angela Duckworth takes on the task of developing the idea of resilience in our children. She advocates for making resilience development a part of kids’ life skills curriculum.

I couldn’t agree more. Our kids need resilience. It’s what allows them to go out and compete, take risks, fail, and try again.

Key Ingredients for Developing Resilience

Practice– Practice is what lets us learn as we go. To practice and develop well, we must get assessments and feedback.
Purpose– Resilience is not always about pursuing those things that we might have a natural inclination toward. Students should consider pursuing something that they can develop an interest in over the long term.
Hope– This is tied to trying and failing. Failure is a huge part of developing resilience. We need to teach our kids that success does not come without failure. Winners keep pursuing goals despite setbacks.
Time– We need to set aside time to practice with deliberation, fail, and succeed.
Create Some Resilience Goals

Angela Duckworth has some practical recommendations for bestowing the remarkable gift of resilience to your children:

Choose something that requires deliberate daily practice.
Commit to doing this activity for 2 years.
Finish what you’ve started for a specified interval.

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast

After Action Your Homeschool Year

Life Skills 101 PodcastFind Lisa at the Life Skills 101 Podcast on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Top Podcast Episodes on Life Skills 101, formerly Soft Skills 101

Check out True North Homeschool Academy

Our mission at True North Homeschool Academy is centered around the Compass, and that’s by design. It’s the heart of what we do, because we are heading True North with the Christian conviction that together our homeschools should transmit a culture of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty, as we are headed True North, rooted in Christ.

True North Homeschool Academy is a virtual online learning experience with a small class size, and dynamic teaching from world-class teachers, with a focus on creating a one-of-a-kind educational experience families will love.

Thank you to our sponsor for the Birthday Celebration: CTC Math.

November Holiday Prep Made Easy with the Free Organize-IT Planner

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

November is the lead-in to the holidays. However, we’ve got this! Say the word, “November” and breathe…take a breath and breathe it in! Can you feel the excitement? The smell of festivities is in the air! I love this time of year. It is a time to focus on being thankful to God for all he has given me, and then quickly move into preparing my mind, heart, home, and family to celebrate Jesus’s birth. What a blessing! I am praying this planner helps you to avoid the stress and instead allows you to focus on the big picture. This month’s planner begins with our signature ultimate organizing and planning tools! Each month, I am determined to make each edition of Organize-IT the best ever. I am so excited to present you with a planner that promises to help you organize this holiday season and your schedule.

November is the lead-in to the holidays. However, we’ve got this! Say the word, “November” and breathe...take a breath and breathe it in! Can you feel the excitement? The smell of festivities is in the air! I love this time of year. It is a time to focus on being thankful to God for all he has given me, and then quickly move into preparing my mind, heart, home, and family to celebrate Jesus's birth. What a blessing! I am praying this planner helps you to avoid the stress and instead allows you to focus on the big picture. This month's planner begins with our signature ultimate organizing and planning tools! Each month, I am determined to make each edition of Organize-IT the best ever. I am so excited to present you with a planner that promises to help you organize this holiday season and your schedule.

➡️Post Sponsored by the 10th Birthday Celebration Sponsors of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network ✔️ out the $350 giveaway, too!

I wanted to find a way to incorporate the hustle and bustle and long list of fun things to do for the holidays with a homeschool mom’s never-ending list of to-dos! So, I started researching and
reading about block scheduling, I decided to try it and introduce it to you. You may be way ahead of me and already use this method, or you may think, “I have heard of it but don’t know
what it is!” Well, get your schedule primed and ready to work for and not against you. This will take you beyond the lists and to-dos. Of course, those have a time and a place, but what is a
well-thought-out list if you fail to implement it and make it past the first few items?

In this planner, we will begin with a list but end with a solid plan, a schedule that blocks off your time so you can have order in your life.

A purpose so clear, it allows you to focus all your efforts
on what is right in front of you for that small window of time; no need to worry about the lengthy to-do list because it will get done in due time. I am excited to offer you an organizing plan focusing on your day. As homeschooling families, I know you typically spend a lot of time jumping from homeschooling to household chores and back to schooling while taking care of the little kids and sometimes fitting in a side job.

In my family food is a priority, or I might have a revolt! I’m only partially kidding. ;-)Today, a friend asked what I do when I feel overwhelmed. I answered, “I do the next thing, right before me!” I don’t focus on being overwhelmed, because I can’t. I have too many people who depend on me. (A simple prayer of “Lord, please help me,” goes a long way as well!)

Of course, we all get overwhelmed at times, but doing the next thing has worked well for me and fits in perfectly with block scheduling.

Block scheduling is planning your day, not letting your day run you. I love that it utilizes your to-do lists but doesn’t make you a slave to it! Unfortunately (for me), it is not a way to cram more
into your day. Instead, it helps you to find more time! It’s a way of limiting distractions and procrastinating so you have more time to do what you want to do.

Look at your list. Do you have a project you’re dying to finish? Put it in a block. Are you behind on homeschooling a particular subject and need a day to catch up or review? Put it in a block!
Want to find time to exercise? Put it in the block. Do you see where this is going? In the following pages, I’ll help you schedule your time so that you can focus, thrive and accomplish. I was
pleasantly surprised by how well this has worked for me.

Take a look at your homeschool schedule, is there a way to pair down your commitments so we can embrace the holiday season?

By focusing on the meaning of the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons we are teaching life lessons. I typically stick to the bare essentials of school, like math, writing, and reading, so we have plenty of time to make crafts, bake, and enjoy the weather. The older kids can work on their school work separately to complete their assignments, especially in high school, and join in the fun as their schedule permits.

The goal is to organize your day, travel plans if you have any, and Thanksgiving bucket lists. 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.

Your holiday schedule should offer flexibility.

This allows children time to pursue things of interest. This is something that I feel is so important. Kids are burned out and often overscheduled. Hopefully, with this Organize-IT Planner, you can invest your time wisely.

Looking for more information?

You will find the topic of organization, as well as many others, on the UltimateHomeschoolPodcastNetwork.com, and Vintage Homeschool Moms.

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.

Have a fantastic and Blessed November!

~ Blessings, Christina Moss



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Disclosure Statement regarding affiliates and partnerships.

Finding Balance with Working from Home and Homeschooling

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Looking to find balance with working and homeschooling? Listen in. Finding Balance with Working from Home and Homeschooling

Article author: Gina Steffy

Join us as we celebrate 10 years of homeschool podcasting on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network. Don’t miss the giveaway.

Thank our podcast sponsor: CTC Math.

Homeschooling Work-Life Balance

In this episode of “Homeschooling Work-Life Balance,” we’re delving into the intricate challenge of balancing a full-time job while homeschooling.

Full-Time Work & Full-Time Family Life

Juggling homeschooling and a full-time job? Bet you’re pretty tired. #ihearyou

If you’re employed with full-time work inside or outside the home, your work tasks can leave feeling overwhelmed when trying to balance this with homeschooling. It can take a toll on your mental health and you might feel like one more Zoom call will end you.

Even with older children, the demands of being a full-time homeschooling parent are a lot to juggle. Take a deep breath, I have some good news for you. You can be a homeschooling mom and learn to gracefully juggle all.the.things.

One thing I’ve learned over the past year (or 5!), is that embracing a daily schedule as a working mom is key.

When I say schedule, think flow. Give yourself lots of grace and know that you can’t possibly be all things to all people. Take the little bit of help when it’s offered, for example:

  • Can a spouse or friend (or the kids themselves if old enough) be present at some of the extracurricular activities that your family has chosen to participate in?
  • Can you manage to have a home office if working from home? Have a space to separate yourself from the rest of your work (raising your family), can give you a mental break at the end of the day.
  • Consider a block schedule or loop schedule, not just for your homeschooling, but for your business.
  • If you’re a single mother, take an honest look at your best helpers, including family, friends, and church. I’m a big believer in taking help with younger children when it’s offered and you feel comfortable with it.
  • Is it in your budget to hire your tribe? Seriously, Task Rabbit, Facebook friends who are local and trying to also launch a business while homeschooling could be among the best tips you have for getting some time back.

Let’s join Vicki Tillman for her seasoned advice for homeschool schedules and additional resources and ideas to give us the highest quality time in the most effective way.

Vicki works as a counselor in her regular job, and offers life and career coaching services at vickitillmancoaching.com. Vicki helped found a large homeschool “umbrella school” and served that community for almost 20 years as an upperclassmen academic advisor and teacher (where she helped hundreds of students take the next steps toward college or career). She graduated all 5 of her children from homeschool. They are all pursuing or have completed varying levels of college degrees from BA to PhD.

Sabrina, Vicki and Kym are your Big Sisters as they share the experience they’ve gained in over 20 years of homeschooling. They are the talky-3 of the 6 Sisters at 7SistersHomeschool.com. They are often joined by their other sisters, Kym and Marilyn OR other 7th Sisters! When YOU join us at The Homeschool Highschool Podcast, YOU will be our 7th Sister, too! Hooray!!

Come be our 7th Sister each week for The Homeschool Highschool Podcast, Tuesday mornings at 9:00 am EST!

We love community, so come be part of ours! We want to help your homeschool high school experience to be the best ever!

Additional Resources:

Be Thankful + Character Counts Planners

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Thankful for character planners.

Enter the Birthday Giveaway

It’s that time of year when holiday decorations are everywhere you turn. Some make me shudder, and others, well, let’s just say a decorating course or two would be beneficial to those people. I love to decorate my home with silk flowers in the theme of “fall” since I live in southwest Florida, where the weather still inches up to the 80s, and if I could, I would spend time at the beach daily.

Since we can’t enjoy fall weather or the leaves changing, I decorate with as much color as I can and enjoy this beautiful warm weather and my flower arrangements. I’m preparing another blog about those – didn’t know I had a flare for artsy, did you? As a result, I have a feeling of thankfulness and cheer. So, it was not surprising that I recently received a prayer journal that was along that theme.

Thankfulness Journal

Several years ago, when I was feeling very stressed, a lady sent me her draft of a document entitled “I Surrender.” She wanted me to publish her book, but instead, I ended up helping her to self-publish. However, in the midst of this project, it hit me – the Lord was asking me to surrender everything to Him.

So here I am, wondering how to instill joyfulness and thankfulness in my children at this time of the year, and what comes across my desk? Or more accurately, what comes to me via email in a PDF format? Yes, another book, this time geared for families and especially children!

I’ve noticed that some homeschool moms find it incredibly easy to fashion a book from something they’ve been teaching to their children or something that is on their hearts, and some frankly, are pretty bad. So I’m always hesitant when someone sends me a book to review, especially when I know them. This young mother, who happens to be the very talented lady who created this website, sent a draft of a prayer journal. I love prayer journals, so I’m admitting it would have to be pretty bad for me not to like it. But what I really loved was the theme of this journal: “Be Thankful.”

“Be Thankful”…doesn’t that make you smile?

The journal is for any time of the year, and it can be pulled out when you are at a low point and need a jolt to remind you to seek God and find those places that are hidden from Him or ones you need to surrender. The journal ever so gently walks you through the process, but the keyword here is gently. The author, Amanda Pelser, does not hit you over the head with the idea of thankfulness or how you must do this or that. She guides you and encourages you to listen to that still voice and search your heart.

We often teach our children that faith must be acted upon. In my own home, I have the freedom to pray and share the Good News with my children. It is such a blessing, but today was one of those opportunities to put faith into action, and we stood with our brothers and sisters in Christ for the 40 Days for Life March in our town. My children are thankful that I chose life, and we discuss the importance of praying for others who are in dire circumstances. In fact, my children held signs that said, “A baby changes everything.” Isn’t that true?

When we came home, I was able to emphasize being thankful for the many printables for the children in this journal. In fact, the Scripture we used for copywork was Psalm 86:12:

“I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name forevermore.”

If I had little ones, which I don’t, I could easily substitute this for a handwriting lesson.

What better way to practice handwriting than with Scripture verses on being joyful and thankful?  This got me thinking, isn’t thankfulness and gratitude some of the character traits we want our children to have?

It is. And I created a series of planners for kids to use to cultivate them. They are the Character Counts Planners.

Introducing the Character Counts Planners, a powerful tool to instill essential values in your children. With 12 character themes, these planners focus on virtues like Patience, Justice/Honor, Thriftiness, Awareness, Decisiveness, Forgiveness, Determination, Flexibility, Punctuality, Generosity, Gratefulness, and Joy. Our Character Planners are designed to nurture your child’s personal growth and character development. They’re easy to use, just open, print, and go!

Each planner is a gateway to meaningful discussions and activities that reinforce these qualities. Empower your kids to embrace Patience, learn about Justice and Honor, practice Thriftiness, cultivate Awareness, make wise decisions, extend Forgiveness, show Determination, adapt with Flexibility, honor Punctuality, celebrate Generosity, be Grateful, and spread Joy.

Foster a foundation of strong character with the Character Counts Planners.

Order here.


In what ways will you teach your children to be thankful? I’m open to any ideas or suggestions you may have for me!

 Vintage Homeschool Moms preserves the best of the past while blessing future generations with the fruit that comes from putting God first and using the experience as a teacher. Your host, Felice Gerwitz, is a Christian wife, mother, and educator-turned-homeschool-mom in 1986. She began homeschooling as a trial and never looked back.  Felice’s topics range from home education, child-rearing, enterprising moms, SAHM (Stay at Home Moms), WAHM (Work at Home Moms), and so much more.

Teaching Tips You Can Use in Your Homeschool

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

homeschooler-learning-map-skills-studies-globeTeaching Tips You Can Use In Your Homeschool

This blog post sponsored by: Math Mammoth| With Math Mammoth’s clear explanations and mastery-based curriculum, your students will be set up for success in algebra and in real life!


After over thirty years of homeschooling, I have so many teaching tips that really work! And, I love my children, and no one loves my children more than I do! No one. So, who is the best teacher? I am (and so are you)!

Even the most highly degreed teacher doesn’t have what you do and with all of the resources available today you don’t need to know the information to teach it. My children’s education has centered around everything from hands-on materials, to science labs taught at home and trips to visit historical sites. We collected rocks in Georgia, climbed mountains (they climbed, I watched), went on hiking trips to various falls, collected fall leaves (we live in Florida so this was a treat), visited Washington DC, went to Canada and New York among many other places. Our learning was experiential and memorable.

And that is the crux. Teaching should be memorable or what is the point? Fast forward and all of my kids are now adults and successful in college, their jobs and with their families.

In a nutshell here are some of my Top 20+ Teaching Tips.

  1. One of my favorite teaching tips is creating a Family Statement of Faith – either a scripture verse or a motto. (As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.)
  2. This is another of my favorites! We begin every day with prayer – praying for others, The Pledge of Allegiance (someone got to hold the flag each day), and basic memory work depending on their age.
  3. A plan. Do you have a schedule? A list of books you will use? An actionable plan with goals.
  4. Don’t recreate the school in the home. Recess, lunch breaks, etc. Do try to take a moving break in between subjects, it helps stimulate the brain… No electronics – not even a computer except if you need it for school.Phones away from the school area.
  5. Organization is your friend. (Links) Organization Link here) Be sure to keep a large notebook with samples of the child’s work for each year. It can be divided into subjects and added to weekly or at least every two weeks. It makes the end-of-the-year evaluation so much easier.
  6. Have time to do school and protect this time from interruption.
  7. Plan outings – field trips, or even trips to the dentist (which can be used as a field trip no matter what the age!) If these are on a master schedule it really helps.
  8. A year-long schedule
  9. Give your children a chance to speak in front of the family. This builds public speaking skills.
  10. Resources – I loved teaching with charts (more on this later), real books, and biographies (will do a podcast on this as well). This network is a great resource UHPN! Homeschool Highschool Podcast, College Prep Genius, Making Biblical Family Life Practical, Homeschool Sanity, Homeopathy for Mommies, Finish Well Radio, Homeschooling with Technology, Life as a Lifeschooler, Soft Skills, and so many more in our More Shows category.
  11. My recommendation with little kids is lots of hands-on and experiential learning.
  12. Teaching phonics, with a tactile approach (saltbox), etc, is important and basic math concepts.
  13. Multiple modalities like reading, writing, listening, discussions, and even acting or presenting the information. While tests are often expected in learning settings I avoided these and instead used opportunities to test my children’s ability to remember.
  14. Reading kids good books begins when they are tiny and in our family extends through their teen years. We read a wonderful series like Little House on the Prarie and so many more. Some of our happiest memories surround reading.
  15. Learning is based on the interest of the child, the interesting information and the instructor’s ability to engage. If you look at school like it is a chore your children will as well!
  16. Memorization using charts. We had number charts, fraction charts, bird charts, birds of prey, the states, the musical instruments in an orchestra and so many other charts. I used these each morning or during our breaks from schoolwork in order to break up the day, and have a fun activity that they enjoyed. I even made up a “test” of sorts. A list of the birds for example and when I pointed to them the kids could tell me the name of the bird.
  17. Read the material ahead and give a brief explanation with key points written on a marker board. (The kids can take notes. Answer questions, orally or by researching it.)
  18. Have the student read a book and write a one or two-page synopsis – they can teach the “class” what they learned.
  19. Incremental – with books you read, and workbooks/questions that are answered.
  20. Unit study. You become immersed in a topic or subject. You teach it through history, science, art – even music. You can study almost every subject (except for math) using this approach.
  21. Student lead – the child can explore topics of interest and learn all about it.
  22. Performances – kids learn by teaching others, as well as giving an oral report. Make this a key part of your homeschool even if you have an only child. Bring over friends and do this together.

Teaching tips that are the most useful are the ones that you feel will make your life easier!

Ultimate List of Read Alouds for Your Homeschool

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

I wasn’t homeschooled, but I can remember loving library time in elementary school. It wasn’t just the books or the break away from the regular classroom. It was sitting on the big round rug listening to the librarian read aloud.

This post sponsored by:Night Zookeeper | Fantastically Fun Learning

Night Zookeeper is a children’s brand on a mission to make learning fantastically fun and help kids unlock their creativity. Our reading & writing program has helped over 1 million children aged 6-12 to develop their reading, writing, and creative thinking skills.


The Benefits of Read Alouds in Your Homeschool

ultimate homeschool read aloud book list

There are studies that demonstrate that read-alouds can improve pronunciation, reading speed, and a student’s ability to make connections while reading. Further, “Reading aloud to young children, particularly in an engaging manner, promotes emerging literacy and language development and supports the relationship between child and parent.”1

Beyond studies, as homeschooling parents, we understand that adding read-alouds to our homeschool can foster much more than an improvement in reading and a love for it, it can foster relationship. Relationship is fundamental to a successful homeschooling experience for our families.


How to Read Aloud

This might seem obvious. You choose a book and you begin reading aloud. Couldn’t be simpler, right? There are some tips and techniques that can make your read-aloud time a better experience for everyone.

  1. Practice reading aloud. Vary your cadence. Use fun voices for certain characters if that seems fun to you!
  2. Pick a book YOU love when you first begin. If your favorite book is a longer one, try reading just a few chapters at a time, finding a stopping point that leaves them wanting more. This also teaches your child the art of savoring a book for themselves in their own reading. Stumped, this resource is a great guide.
  3. Keep a list of lists. Books lists will help you know the classics, the tried-and-true, the most-loved books. Suggestions: Caldecott winners, homeschooling read-aloud lists, the 1,000 Good Books List, and the Vintage Homeschool Mom reading list podcast. 
  4. Take turns! You don’t have to be the only reader! Even the littlest of your children can take a turn in the read-aloud seat!
  5. Make use of audiobooks and let the narrator take the role of teacher. This works wonderfully during long drives and the dinner-making routine. You can find a wide selection at your library or even Audible.com. Our all-time favorite family read-aloud was Where The Red Fern Grows. Other favorites include The Courage of Sarah Noble, Heidi, and David Copperfield.

What if I Don’t Like Reading Aloud?

If you don’t like reading aloud, it’s likely due to one of the following:

  • it’s a new concept to you and the learning curve seems too great
  • you’ve never developed a love of reading
  • you’re scared of failing
  • you’re tired after a day of homeschooling and homemaking or working and you don’t need to add one more thing to your list

I understand! You don’t have to be perfect at reading aloud, you just have to begin! It’ll be an adventure! Make use of some of the techniques above and master the new skill or allow others (your own children and audiobooks) to help you!

Ultimate List of Read Alouds for Your Homeschool


1. Misty of Chincoteague by Margueritte Henry
2. The Secret Garden by Frances Burnett
3. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
4. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
5. Tornado by Betsy Byars
6. The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh
7. Bright April by Marguerite De Angeli
8. My Father’s Dragon series by Ruth Stiles Gannet
9. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson This one we still quote to this day! So many funnies. Worth the audio version.
10. The Sword in the Tree by Clyde Robert Bulla
11. Runaway Ralph by Beverly Cleary
12. The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne
13. Star of Light by Patricia St. John
14. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
15. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Warner
16. The Green Ember by S.D. Smith
17. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
18. Walter the Lazy Mouse by Marjorie Flack
19. Mary on Horseback by Rosemary Wells
20. The Matchlock Gun by Walter D. Edmonds
21. Sox by Beverly Cleary Read belly-laughs happen with this one!
22. The Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill Miss Agnes is the type of teacher every homeschool mom aspires to be. <3
23. A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
24. The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
25. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
26. Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson
27. The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois A favorite of my kids when they were in the 8-10 year-old range.
28. Riding the Pony Express by Clyde Robert Bulla
29. Justin Morgan Had a Horse by Marguerite Henry This was wonderful to read around Kentucky Derby time.
30. Twenty and Ten by Claire Huchet Bishop An introduction to WW2 for youngers.
31. The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare
32. Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary Both my boys loved this one!
33. The Apple and the Arrow by Mary and Conrad Buff
34. Treasury for Children by James Herriot I love all things James Herriot, and for the parents, the BBC series is a must.
35. The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame  Children love this “put yourself in the place of” imagining of a dragon during the time of St. George the Dragonslayer.
36. Mice of the Herring Bone by Tim Davis Growing up on Highlights magazine, I fell in love with this series of how the ordinary can do extraordinary things.
37. Centerburg Tales by Robert McCloskey Homer Price belongs on every bookshelf.
38. The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling Can you have too much of a good thing?
39. The Adventures of Peter Cottontail by Thorton Burgess Burgess books were my first exposure to the living books classification. A happy discovery!
40. Betsy-Tacy Books by Maud Hart Lovelace
41. The Wilderking Trilogy by Jonathan Rogers I loved this more than my kids, but still made the list.
42. The Bears of Hemlock Mountain by Alice Dalgliesh
43. Joel, A Boy of Galilee by Annie Fellows Johnston This one is special to me. Not only did I love the book, but lived down the road from Pewee Valley, KY, the author’s town.
44. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
45. Pollyanna by Eleanor Porter
46. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM by Robert C. O’Brien We also enjoyed the motion picture.
47. Ribsy by Beverly Cleary
48. The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
49. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
50. Who Owns the Sun by Stacy Chbosky
51.  The Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
52. The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh

Middle School | High School Reading List (yes, you can read aloud in the upper grades)


53. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
54. Watership Down – Richard Adams
55. The Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum
56. A Bear Called Paddington – Michael Bond
57. The Book of Three – Lloyd Alexander
58. Tuck Everlasting – Natalie Babbitt
59. Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing – Judy Blume
60. The Incredible Journey – Sheila Burnford
61. Ramona the Pest – Beverly Cleary
62. The Chocolate War – Robert Cormier
63. Walk Two Moons – Sharon Creech
64. The Watsons Go to Birmingham: 1963 – Christopher Paul Curtis
65. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
66. Because of Winn-Dixie – Kate DiCamillo
67. A Girl Named Disaster – Nancy Farmer
68. Harriet the Spy – Louise Fitzhugh
69. Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key – Jack Gantos
70. M.C. Higgins, the Great – Virginia Hamilton
71. Redwall – Brian Jacques
72. The Phantom Tollbooth – Norton Juster
73. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler – E. L. Konigsburg
74. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
75. The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton
76. Across Five Aprils – Irene Hunt
77. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
78. Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes
79. The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
80. Mary Poppins – P. L. Travers
81. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain
82. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea – Jules Verne
83. Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
84. Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder
85. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
86. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
87. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
88. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
89. The Indian in the Cupboard – Lynne Reid Banks
90. Watership Down – Richard Adams
91. The Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum
92. Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
93. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
94. Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
95. My Ántonia – Willa Cather
96. The Canterbury Tales – Geoffrey Chaucer
97. Murder on the Orient Express – Agatha Christie
98. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
99. The Red Badge of Courage – Stephen Crane
100. Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe
101. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
102. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
103. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
104. Silas Marner – George Eliot
105. Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
106. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
107. Johnny Tremain – Esther Forbes
108. The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank
109. The Miracle Worker – William Gibson
110. Old Yeller – Fred Gipson
111. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
112. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
113. Summer of My German Soldier – Bette Greene
114. Death Be Not Proud – John Gunther
115. Roots – Alex Haley
116. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
117. The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne
118. A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway
119. For Whom the Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemingway
120. The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway
121. The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton
122. Across Five Aprils – Irene Hunt
123. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
124. Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes
125. The Jungle Book (Books I and II) – Rudyard Kipling
126. A Separate Peace – John Knowles
127. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
128. A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle
129. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
130. The Call of the Wild – Jack London
131. The Giver – Lois Lowry
132. Sarah, Plain and Tall – Patricia MacLachlan
133. Moby-Dick – Herman Melville
134. The Crucible – Arthur Miller
135. Death of a Salesman – Arthur Miller
136. Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
137. Anne of Green Gables – L. M. Montgomery
138. Island of the Blue Dolphins – Scott O’Dell
139. 1984 – George Orwell
140. Animal Farm – George Orwell
141. Cry, The Beloved Country – Alan Paton
142. A Day No Pigs Would Die – Robert Newton Peck
143. Where the Red Fern Grows – Wilson Rawls
144. All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque
145. The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
146. The Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger
147. Shane – Jack Schaefer
148. Romeo and Juliet – William Shakespeare
149. Pygmalion – George Bernard Shaw
150. Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
151. Antigone – Sophocles
152. Call It Courage – Armstrong Sperry
153. The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
154. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
155. The Pearl – John Steinbeck
156. The Red Pony – John Steinbeck
157. Kidnapped – Robert Louis Stevenson
158. Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
159. Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift
160. The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
161. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain
162. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
163. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – Jules Verne
164. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
165. Ethan Frome – Edith Wharton
166. Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
167. Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder
168. Our Town – Thornton Wilder
169. Black Boy – Richard Wright
170. Native Son – Richard Wright
171. The Swiss Family Robinson – Johann David Wyss
172. The Pigman – Paul Zindel


Happy reading!

1 Archives of Disease in Childhood.


Read aloud by Media Angels: (available on Kindle)


Choose Your Own Adventure Games in Your Homeschool

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Choose Your Own Adventure GamesChoose Your Own Adventure Games: A Fun Way to Learn!

Homeschooling is a great way to provide a tailored education for your children, and incorporating board games and card games into your homeschool curriculum is an excellent choice.

Choose Your Own Adventure games, along with educational resources, can make learning a lot of fun, whether you’re teaching 1st graders or high school students. Let’s explore how these interactive games can engage students across various subjects and age groups.

Interactive Learning with Choose Your Own Adventure Games

Choose Your Own Adventure games are not just a fun way to pass the time; they can also serve as valuable educational tools. These games allow students to navigate their own adventures, making decisions that impact the outcome of the story. They’re great for independent work and encourage critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Engaging Across Subject Areas

These games can cover a wide range of subject matter. There’s a game for every interest, from social studies to math skills, English language arts, and science topics like the rock cycle. Younger students in 3rd grade can use them to explore the early years of history or discover the United States, while older children might delve into concepts of world history or learn about Native Americans.

Easier Access to Online Games

In the digital age, having easier access to educational resources is essential. The latest version of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge allows you to access these online games. Websites like Google Drive or Google Slides provide access to a variety of educational activities and lesson sets for different age groups.

Comprehensive Homeschool Curriculum

By incorporating “Choose Your Own Adventure” games into your homeschool routine, you can create a comprehensive K-12 curriculum that covers multiple subjects. These games can supplement your lesson plans, and students can explore different time periods, practice math skills, and develop their social skills while having a lot of fun.

Interactive Learning for Middle School Students

Middle-grade books often fail to engage students, but Choose Your Own Adventure games bridge the gap between fun and education. These games can be a game-changer for middle school students who need a new way to learn about history, the Middle Ages, and more.

Resources at Your Fingertips

In addition to the games themselves, many educational publishers offer free resources that can enhance your homeschool curriculum. Recommended resource links can lead you to free lesson plans, picture books, and index cards to supplement your lessons.

Learning Beyond the Classroom

Homeschooling isn’t just about what happens within your home. It’s an opportunity to provide your child with a unique and enjoyable learning experience. “Choose Your Own Adventure” games can be a vital resource to make learning a lot of fun and fight against the summer slide.

Prepare for the Future

These games can also help your child develop important skills for the future, such as creative writing, problem-solving, and critical thinking. They can also engage in hands-on vocational education activities and learn about a variety of careers.

Incorporating Choose Your Own Adventure games into your homeschool routine can be a fun and effective way to enhance your child’s education. It offers a new way to explore subject areas and engage with various time periods and concepts while making learning a lot of fun.

So why not try adding this interactive element to your homeschool day and watch your child’s love for learning grow?

Resources to Get Started

Online Choose Your Own Adventure Games

How to Create Online Choose Your Own Adventure Games

Gameschooling In Your Homeschool – The Power Of Play

Choose Your Own Adventure Games from TPT

The Ultimate Guide to Gameschooling: Transform Your Homeschool Routine with Game-Based Learning