Ultimate Homeschool Radio Show

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

5 Ways to Combat a Bad Day

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

5 Ways to Combat a Bad Day | Blog article from Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network5 Ways to Combat a Bad Day

Five ways to combat a bad day? Really? Yes. And I’ve seen my share. There have been several of those in the last few weeks. Either I’m sick, the kids are sick, someone forgot to complete an assignment, dinner time is around the corner, and I forgot to remove something from the freezer, etc. etc., etc.

Can you relate? We’ve all had those days. How do we combat a bad day?

Sometimes, I think it would be better if I had stayed in bed. Or better yet, I want a “do-over.” I wish life were like a white-marker-board and I could erase and start over. However, duty calls… the kids, the laundry, the meals, the school. You know, a typical day of homeschool life.

What do you do? How about taking a deep breath?

At times like this, it helps to remember that the Lord who called me to homeschool will also provide and provide abundantly IF I remember to ask. You see, I’m a very capable over-achiever. I often created personalized spelling lists and taught my kids grammar lessons by crafting sentences using their names or those of family or friends. And what about those fantastic homemade meals I made? Let me tell you! Let’s see…homemade muffins for breakfast; great “squished” (Panini) sandwiches, with apple slices and mini-carrots for lunch; and three-course meals, often including a beautiful homemade dessert.

No wonder I was exhausted!

But the Lord provided and abundantly! I began first by repenting for my over-achieving ways. I didn’t need to win my kid’s approval or awe! They loved me just as I am, whether or not I baked homemade muffins from scratch every morning. The same thing happened with my husband. He was okay with quick meals or making his own lunch. This took the pressure off of me to always be there for everyone. Especially as my children are older and now the house sports all teens again. Many day’s meals revolve around sports practice or games, and quick meals – mostly bigger meals made over the week-end and repurposed for week-day leftovers work well.

However, you deal with your over or under-achieving ways – include the Lord in your plans. While I love to bake, there are times when it isn’t possible due to a hectic schedule. On other times like today, when the crisp, cool air begged for an apple crisp or apple pie, I baked both! I know that each of us is different, but if you are overwhelmed or feel guilty that you aren’t keeping up with the Pinterest mommas – rest assured, me too!

Here are some surefire ways to combat that bad day.

  1. Take one-thing-at-a-time.
  2. Do the most important first – that day, the rest can wait.
  3. Avoid the subject that is frustrating (at least for today).
  4. Do something outside of the ordinary. Make a picnic lunch, even if it means eating in the living room. Bubble baths with bathing suits on could be what the little ones need when fussy on a rainy day.
  5. Leave the house. Sometimes, a change of scenery helps, whether walking around the block or just going outside to let off some steam.

What can you add to this list – what helps to turn that very bad, no-good day into a winner? Share your ideas with us!

PS: Don’t forget, Mom… take a few minutes, and think about one thing you can be thankful for and hold on to that thought for the day. And I’ll pray your next day is better.

The Joy Of Getting Things Done!

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

the Joy of getting things done blog post by Felice GerwitzThe joy of getting things done! I can see very big changes that have taken place in my life. And it took a very simple commitment on my part and sticking to it! You see, I’m married to a procrastinator who is also a perfectionist. On the other hand, I like to get things done the minute I hear about it, or sooner, and I think perfectionism was one of those gifts the Lord skipped in my life. As long as I have been married, I’ve become more like my husband… and he’s become more like me, not always so concerned about perfectionism.

Now factor into the equation ­homeschooling responsibilities, a business or two, and you will find deadlines regularly missed, meals that would never grace the cover of a magazine, and piles of clothes needing to be folded and put away. That, in a nutshell, epitomized my life –but not anymore.

Five things took me from over the top back to doing the things I enjoy!

Five Things That Restored My Joy

My five things are not brain science. They are effective ways to get out of a rut and into a productive flow that makes you and your family feel so much better and happier. And this didn’t happen overnight. I’ve been implementing these steps in the last nine months but finally realized they were working very well!

How can you go from being overworked, overstressed, and overcommitted? For each person, it will be a little different, but the first is the identification of the culprits. There are some things you can change and others you cannot.

For example, one year, as we ended a great year of homeschooling, my husband asked for help. He asked me to start a home inspection business, set up a company, and schedule time for a whole week’s training class in another town. All this time, he still had a construction business that was thriving.

Typically, this is something I thrive on, creating and doing. However, I was planning my second oldest child’s wedding and caring for three children ages ten, seven, and five!

Unchangeable Commitments That Robbed Me of Joy

At times, some commitments are unchangeable. This can be an elderly parent needing your help, a special needs child (or more), or unavoidable health issues. Yet identification goes a long way – it does help you understand why you are tired, depressed, or just out of sorts, and once you have a finger on the problem, it is easier to make changes.

For me, the first thing I realized was this truth about joy:

There are some things I can change and others I can’t, and it was up to me to change my attitude.

I’m great at throwing self-pity parties. It is self-defeating!  I had to realize I was the main reason I was miserable and overworked and needed to change.

This came about as my health began taking a toll – I finally reached a point where I was not feeling great. I occasionally suffer from migraines, but they were coming about more frequently than ever. And, I also realized I was eating antacids at an alarming rate, and they were not helping.

I don’t do doctors or hospitals – and let me say we have a doctor in the family, extended family, and very good friends in the medical profession that I love dearly as friends! So, going to the doctor wasn’t an option for me. I have dabbled in health and wellness since my mother died in 1999. We keep healthy, eat right, and use natural remedies when necessary. So, it has worked well for us.

I realized much of my illness was stress-related. So it was up to me, through prayer, to begin doing what I preach and listen to that still word from the Lord. I realized I needed an attitude check. The Lord has gifted me with the ability to multi-task. I know I’ve heard those studies where it is not practical. But, as I type this, my daughter, with her restricted license, is driving me home from her softball practice. The radio is on, and I’m typing.

Attitude Adjustment = More Joy

So, back to attitude – mine needed a significant overhaul. I needed to realize that I was the cause of my illness and that something needed to change. So, I decided to make the time to do what I enjoyed.

I made a list – and for those who know me, I detest lists – so yes, desperate times require desperate measures. I made a list of all the things I enjoyed.

My list looked like this:

  1. Coffee and relaxation each morning before I began the day time to wake up.
  2. Prayer time daily – before breakfast.
  3. Time to read good books.
  4. Baking
  5. Relaxing baths.
  6. Time with the family – no computer or cell phone nearby.
  7. Vacation time.
  8. Date night with my husband.

The first thing I want to share with you, which I’m sure you’ll understand immediately, is attitude.

A good attitude and one that is Christ-focused is necessary for anything to change for the better. It’s the key joy.

If you aren’t happy, no one else will be happy –if you pretend to be happy but are not on the inside, that is even worse! For some, just saying no isn’t an option, but look at it this way.

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.

Unlocking the World of Reading: How an Online Reading Program Can Transform Your Homeschool

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Dive into the realm of transformative homeschooling with online reading program! Discover how to unlock a world of reading wonders and elevate your homeschool experience. Get insights on harnessing the power of digital resources for your child's reading journey. #Homeschooling #OnlineReading #Education In the realm of homeschooling, parents play a pivotal role in nurturing their child’s intellectual growth. Among the essential skills they impart, reading holds a prominent place. Developing strong reading abilities is crucial, as it opens doors to knowledge, imagination, and lifelong learning. Today, we’ll explore the benefits of incorporating an online reading program into your homeschooling routine. We’ll look at how it can revolutionize the way your kids learn to read.

1. Personalized Learning with an Online Reading Program

One of the significant advantages of an online reading program is its ability to provide personalized learning experiences. Each child has a unique learning pace and style. Online programs adapt to individual needs, assessing the child’s current reading level and tailoring lessons accordingly. Maybe your child is a visual learner or thrives on auditory input. These programs can cater to their preferred learning style, fostering a deeper understanding of phonics, vocabulary, and comprehension.

2. Interactive and Engaging Content

Traditional textbooks can sometimes fail to captivate young learners. Online reading programs often include interactive elements that make learning a delightful experience. Engaging visuals, animated characters, and interactive games help make reading fun and captivating for children. By incorporating elements of play and entertainment, online programs can keep kids motivated and eager to explore the world of reading, transforming it from a chore to an exciting adventure.

3. Comprehensive Phonics Instruction

Phonics forms the foundation of reading, enabling children to decipher words and comprehend texts. An online reading program provides comprehensive phonics instruction, guiding children through the relationship between letters and sounds. With interactive activities and engaging exercises, these programs reinforce phonics rules, phonemic awareness, and decoding skills, helping children become proficient readers with a solid understanding of the fundamental building blocks of language.

4. Tracking Progress and Assessments

As a homeschooling parent, monitoring your child’s progress is crucial. Online reading programs offer built-in progress tracking and assessments, providing you with real-time insights into your child’s development. These tools allow you to identify areas of strength and weakness, adapt the curriculum as needed, and celebrate milestones along the way. With detailed reports and analytics, you can have a clear picture of your child’s reading journey and offer targeted support when necessary.

5. Access to Vast Resources

One of the key advantages of an online reading program is the abundance of resources it offers. From leveled reading materials and e-books to interactive exercises and educational videos, these programs provide a rich library of content to support your child’s reading development. With just a few clicks, you can access a wide range of genres, topics, and reading levels, exposing your child to diverse texts and nurturing their love for reading.

In today’s digital age, an online reading program can be an invaluable tool for homeschooling parents seeking to instill a love for reading in their children. The personalized learning experience, interactive content, comprehensive phonics instruction, progress tracking, and vast resources available through these programs can help unlock the world of reading for your kids. By incorporating an online reading program into your homeschool routine, you can make the process of learning to read engaging, effective, and enjoyable, setting your children on a path of lifelong literacy and intellectual curiosity.


This post sponsored by Reading Eggs.

Enjoy these Podcasts on Reading

Making Reading Easier

Nurturing Your Children | A Guide to Homeschooling Success | Free Planner!

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Hey there, students and parents! September is here, and it’s that time of year when we get back to school, whether it’s in a classroom or at home. This month, let’s set some goals and aim for greatness in our homeschooling journey. Imagine unlocking your full potential and making learning a fun adventure with your children!

Tailoring Education to Your Child

One of the amazing things about homeschooling is that you can customize your learning experience. You get to choose the curriculum and schedule that works best for you and your child. This allows your child to focus on absorbing and understanding information at their own pace.

Recognizing Strengths and Working on Weaknesses in Your Children, Self,  and Homeschool

We all have things we’re great at and areas where we could improve. Homeschooling allows us to identify our strengths and weaknesses and work on both. By doing this, we can grow in every aspect of our lives, not just academically.

Developing a Love for Learning in Your Children

As homeschooling parents, we want our children to love learning. And that’s not limited to textbooks! We’re also interested in nurturing their character and values. Learning is not just about facts; it’s about becoming better individuals.

Setting Goals and Planning Activities

In this guide, you’ll find help in creating goals for the month. Plan out activities, reading time, game nights, household chores, and even charitable work with your church and community. Having a plan in place helps keep things organized.

Hands-On Learning

Learning isn’t just about reading and writing; it’s also about doing. Try immersive learning experiences, unit studies, and topical studies that cover various subjects. Let your child study topics they’re passionate about; it’ll make them unique and self-reliant adults.

Encouraging Independence in Your Children

As your child grows older, give them more say in their studies. You can help them succeed by providing support and guidance. Overcoming challenges takes time and effort, but it’s worth it in the end.

Planning for the Months Ahead

Take a moment to look at upcoming holidays and events. While plans may change, having an overview helps in scheduling. The coming months can be hectic, so let’s get organized early.

Time to Be Kids

Remember, it’s crucial to give your children downtime. They don’t need to be overscheduled. This planner helps you find that balance.

 Enjoy the Journey

Homeschooling is not just about academics. It’s about exploring the world, seeking answers, and challenging ideas through experiments and discovery. Make learning an exciting adventure!

So, as we kickstart this school year, let’s aim for greatness. Use the tools in this planner to stay organized and focused on your goals. And most importantly, enjoy your time with your family and the wonderful journey of learning. Have a fantastic September!

Christina Moss

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Back to School Checklist for Special Needs Homeschooling

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Back to School Checklist for Special Needs Homeschooling | Every year, when we began school, it was with joy and a bit of trepidation. At this point, I did not have a checklist for my Special Needs Homeschooling. I didn't have a. I wondered what surprises the new school year would hold | #HomeForLearning.com #blog ##homeschooling #TipsHomeschooling #BacktoSchoolChecklistforSpecialNeedsHomeschooling #SpecialNeedsHomeschooling #ChecklistforSpecialNeedsHomeschooling #BacktoSchoolChecklist #BacktoSchoolBack to School Checklist for Special Needs Homeschooling

Every year, when we began school, it was with joy and a bit of trepidation. At this point, I did not have a checklist for my Special Needs Homeschooling. I didn’t have a. I wondered what surprises the new school year would hold. We began by reviewing information already learned from the previous year. Many times, there were tears, my tears, not his. And I wondered if he’d ever write his whole name on less than a half sheet of paper, although I did applaud that accomplishment. After a period of prayer, I knew something had to change.

A Realization About My Own Needs and the Idea for a Checklist

I quickly realized a routine needed to take place more for my sanity than my son’s.  In addition, I could chart his progress more readily and not feel we were stagnant when we were actually doing quite well. And so I began what I called the back-to-school checklist. I also created a middle and end-of-the-year list to keep our schooling on track. It was a chance to analyze my goals and make plans without the stress of trying to go to school simultaneously.

Know Your Self, Know Your Special Needs Student

At first, my list was very simple; I started with the big picture and then narrowed it down until I devised a daily schedule and chores. To begin with, I looked at things like my goals for homeschooling and training, such as a particular character quality I wanted to see improved. Then I moved to my philosophy, what homeschool methodology worked for me. I found that my methodology changed at different times in my homeschool journey. At the beginning, everything was very “hands-on” and science-oriented. As my son grew older and his analytical skills improved, we could turn a corner into the area that would be best described as creative, such as writing and beginning a simple newsletter among the cousins in the family.

The Checklist Direction

The checklist kept me going in the right direction, and it was even a blueprint if my child was frustrated; believe me, there were twists and turns along the way. It allowed me the latitude to make decisions and changes very quickly. As my planning became more second nature, I implemented a middle-of-the-year check to be sure our goals were the same or pencil in time to analyze our curriculum and whether it was working for us. One year, I completely scrapped our math program and changed mid-year. It was the right decision for my son, and he flourished. I was happy I had the courage to do this, or I would have had a miserable school year!

Here is a sample of the items on my checklist, and I encourage you to add to this list and create your own.

Ultimate Special Needs Back to School Checklist:

  • Plan – Start big picture and continue to narrow down
  • Family mission statement
  • Family goals
  • Character quality (per child) and even one for family
  • Spiritual goals
  • Curriculum checklist –by subject
  • Weekly Schedule
  • Daily Schedule
  • Everyday Chores
  • Daily Chores
  • Catch-Up Day
  • Field Trips Planned
  • Mini-Vacations
  • Holiday Vacation or Break Time

Make the list work for you; don’t be a slave to this list. The great thing about making a plan is that you have a focus and a direction; your family will thank you!

If you are interested in sample audios that I recorded from a 3-audio set with handouts on the Ultimate Back to School Checklist, please visit my website Media Angels, Inc. and look for eBooks and Audio Downloads.

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.

Felice’s passion for cultivating an enriched homeschooling experience goes beyond the written word. As the host of the acclaimed podcast Vintage Homeschool Moms, Felice extends her insights to a global audience. Tune in every week to glean from her vast knowledge and unique perspective on homeschooling. The podcast, a cornerstone of the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network, serves as a beacon of inspiration and guidance for parents navigating the intricate landscape of homeschooling. You can access her podcast and explore a treasure trove of valuable resources atUtimateHomeschoolRadioNetwork.com

In Felice Gerwitz, we find more than a homeschooling advocate – we discover a devoted mother, a devout believer, an accomplished author, and a compassionate mentor. Her life story is an ode to the possibilities that open up when you blend unwavering faith with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Join Felice as she continues to inspire, educate, and uplift families worldwide through her podcast and her remarkable journey.

Thank you to our Network Sponsor, Route 60: A Biblical Highway for sponsoring this podcast. Please check out the link here. Route60.movie

Neuroplasticity – Rewiring The Brain

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

neuroplasticity rewiring the brain

Neuroplasticity – Rewiring The Brain with Dr. Jan Bedell

Podcast #19

Neuroplasticity and rewiring the brain? Hmm? Do we really have to use such an unfamiliar word?  Yes, to describe the amazing gift that God has given us we can start with a big word and break it down.  It really is quite simple – “neuro” is having to do with the brain and “plasticity” is the ability to change.  Our brains are changing all the time. This is really good news when you have a struggling learner or a child with a label like dyslexia, ADD, ADHD or autism.  The key is knowing how to fuel the brain with the right kind of stimulation so it builds new pathways.  From these new pathways, the brain can receive, organize, process and store information well enough to bring it out and use it in everyday life.  With the right kind of stimulation, your brain can take little developmental steps to achieve giant strides in academics and overall function.  That is what happens when you use the products and services of Little Giant Steps.

In this episode, you will hear the experience of a teacher that had taught first grade for 17 years before using The NeuroDevelopmental Approach in her classroom in year 18.

It made a huge difference for her students and can make a difference for you and your family as well.  Applying just a little information can make all the difference in your child’s future.  We shouldn’t leave out the adults either!  It is never too late to change the brain.  Two ladies in their 50’s, one a reading tutor and the other a Montessori teacher who had always struggled with reading comprehension, raised their reading comprehension score by 3 ½ years in only four months’ time.   And guess what? They didn’t do any specific reading program.  All it took was organization and specific stimulation to the brain and their abilities radically changed.



Visit our sponsor Little Giant Steps for information about

  • Free auditory processing kit – here
  • Help for math facts – here
  • Brain boosting products – here



Tips and Tools to Organize Your Homeschool for Insanely Easy Planning

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

homeschool organization tips

Are you a homeschool mom gearing up for a new school year? Or perhaps you’re considering homeschooling for the first time? No matter where you are on your homeschooling journey, one thing’s for certain – staying organized is key to a successful and stress-free experience. Homeschool organization doesn’t have to be hard.

In this article, we’ll explore a plethora of great ideas, tips, and tools to help you create an organized and efficient homeschooling environment, even in small spaces like your living room or kitchen table. Plus, we’ll provide you with some fantastic ideas for homeschool organization that will make planning a breeze. Get ready to streamline your homeschool!

1. Create a Dedicated Homeschool Space

While a dedicated homeschool room is ideal, it’s not always possible. Instead, designate a specific area in your home, whether it’s a corner of the living room, the kitchen table, or even a cozy nook in the dining room. This helps create a focused environment for learning and ensures that your homeschool supplies are easily accessible. A dedicated space may be all over Instagram, but you homeschool in your home, so create a homeschool storage system that makes sense for you, even if it’s the dining room table.

2. Utilize Small Spaces Efficiently

For homeschooling in small spaces, think vertically and use wall space for storage. Install shelves, pegboards, or wall-mounted storage units to keep art supplies, craft materials, and books neatly organized. Milk crates and wicker baskets can also be stacked or hung to create storage pockets for various items. The organizational system that works best is the one you’ll actually use.

3. Invest in Practical Storage Solutions

Storage bins, supply caddies, and glass jars are your best friends. Use clear glass jars to store art supplies, small items, or craft materials. Label storage bins for different subjects or grade levels and consider using different colors for easy identification. Keep in mind your younger children will need easy access to craft supplies in any given week. Creating a great place takes a little time, but you can make it your own space.

4. Establish a Homeschool Planner

A homeschool planner is a must-have. It can be a physical planner or a digital tool. Use it to jot down lesson plans, homeschool days, and weekly assignment sheets. This will keep you on track and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. Teacher planners are great for homeschool families who need to keep track of a child’s assignments, kids’ work, and a homeschool schedule. Student planners, especially for high school, are great if you’re using a digital homeschool curriculum that has a typical week, easy steps, and to-do lists. Daily work can be tracked and simple tips for your student to make the most of the planner can go a long way. A good fit when homeschool planning is, at the end of the day, the one that works for you.

5. Morning Basket and Routine

Kickstart your homeschool day with a morning basket. Gather language arts materials, engaging books, and any other resources you want to cover as a family. This is a great way to ease into the day and cover subjects that all your kids can enjoy together. You can create a little basket for each of your younger grades and your young children can take ownership over their homeschool books. During morning time, you can relieve some of the overwhelm and amount of time it takes to get focused. Think of your daily plan when setting up this type of homeschool area, what extra space you might have, and the different ways you can create the perfect spot.

6. Individual Workstations for Older Children

If you have older kids, consider providing each child with their own desk or workspace. This encourages independence and responsibility. They can keep their textbooks, notebooks, and assignments organized in their designated space.

7. Use Chalkboard Paint and Whiteboards

Chalkboard paint or adhesive whiteboards can transform any wall into an educational space. Use it to display the weekly schedule and important dates, or even as a creative outlet for kids to express themselves. And a bonus during family game nights is the ability to grab those lap-sized whiteboards for tracking scores, etc. #winwin

8. Keep Teacher Manuals and Resources Handy

Designate a shelf or a file folder system to store teacher manuals, curriculum resources, and educational materials. This will save you time searching for materials during school time when you need to access those file folders. This can help make homeschool organization a breeze.

9. Plan Meals and Breaks Ahead

Meal planning is a game-changer. Prep meals in advance to save time during the day. Incorporate regular breaks and physical activity into your schedule to keep your homeschool family refreshed and energized. One of the best things about homeschooling is the freedom to incorporate real life into your favorite homeschool organization ideas.

10. Regular Homeschool Records and Evaluations

Set up a system for keeping track of your homeschool records, including assignments, completed work, and any assessments. This will help you gauge your child’s progress and make adjustments as needed. At the start of the new homeschool year, think ahead to the type of records you’ll need to keep and the different methods available to you to track and document.

Incorporate these homeschool organization tips into your routine to ensure a smooth and successful homeschooling experience. Remember, what works best will depend on your family’s unique needs and preferences, so feel free to adapt and modify these ideas to create the perfect homeschool space for your family. Happy homeschooling!

Get Your FREE Monthly Planner & have Homeschool Organization Help At Your Fingertips!


What to Include in your Middle and High School Language Arts Study

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

LCP Ep 5: What to Include in Your Middle and High School Language Arts Study

Join Katie with Literary Cafe Podcast to learn about what to include in your Language Arts study in your homeschool. #homeschool #homeschooling #languagearts #english #middleschool #highschool

What do you need to include during the middle school years in Language Arts to make sure your learner is ready to tackle high school work? What kind of Language Arts and English program would colleges be looking for and what can count as credit for the high school transcript?

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage  or her Facebook Group.

Join Katie Glennon as she discusses what skills and concepts you should include in your Language Arts study during the middle and high school years. Katie shares an outline with some specific areas to make sure you include them in your Language Arts study during these critical years. She will suggest and discuss curriculum resources she found useful in her homeschool when her sons were in middle and high school that work efficiently and effectively to meet English requirements and make sure your learner is prepared for the next step – moving from middle into high school or high school into college.

The Areas of Language Arts you should include in the Middle and High School Years

What-to-Include-in-your-Middle and High School Homeschool-Language-Arts-Study pdf (Printable for you to download)

Show Notes

The Areas of Language Arts you should include in the Middle and High School Years

For literature during these years, I recommend a mix of short stories, poetry, essays (non-fiction), drama, and novels. These can be found either separately or in the form of a literary anthology and additional novels to read alongside the anthology.

Along with the novels, you will want to use some kind of novel study guides (that will also assist you with suggested vocabulary words and various questions).

Suggested Homeschool Literary Resources to Assist you in your Literature Study –

Total Language Plus (novel study guide)
Progeny Press (novel study guide)
Mosdos Press Literature Anthologies

Skills and Concepts for Literature Study

There are a number of skills and concepts you will want to include in your literary study.

These skills include –

• Vocabulary – I recommend using words from your reading for your vocabulary words because it saves you time and money from using a separate vocabulary program or curriculum. Most of all, in my experience it is more effective. The words are in context of what your learner is reading and will be understood and remembered more effectively because it is part of a story they will remember. It also gives your learner the practice in figuring out what words mean using their context within a sentence.

• Comprehension and Higher Order Thinking Skill Practice

Recalling details
Comprehending and understanding what they read (being able to identify the “main idea” or “theme” of the story)
Application skills – using what they have learned from the reading to problem solve
Analysis – drawing conclusions, comparing this written work to another from the same author or another author, or comparing what they have read to a personal experience.
Evaluation – critiquing the writing, selecting an issue from the writing and debating it.
Synthesis – taking a point, idea, theme, character from your reading and creating something new from that piece.
Elements of a story – plot, conflict, setting, characters, point of view, mood, tone
Literary devices and writing techniques such as similes, metaphors, imagery, personification, onomatopoeia, hyperbole, alliteration.

• Study different Genres – forms of writing and rhetoric – speeches, drama, essays, short stories, poetry, non-fiction, and novels.

• Study different literary time periods and areas around the world.

American Literature – Native American, Pre-colonial/Puritanism, Colonial, Revolutionary (age of Enlightenment/Reason), Romanticism (includes American Gothic, Transcendentalism), Realism/Naturalism/Regionalism, Modernism, Contemporary

British – (some crossover from American) Old English/Anglo-Saxon, Middle English/Medieval, Renaissance, Puritanism, Enlightenment, Romantic (Regency), Victorian, Modern

World Literature – (Western, Eastern, Other) Can focus primarily on Ancient works from Greek Philosophers or Christian authors, or a broad cross-section of countries, authors, and time periods from around the world.

Semester Specialty Classes – Poetry, Shakespeare, Drama, Journalism, Creative Writing, Research and Composition, specific types of literature or specific authors or parts of the world.

• Worldview – Christian Worldview expressed by author and content or Secular/Humanist view.

• Author Biography and Time Period in which he/she lived or wrote about.
Literature can be a reflection of cultural, religious, societal, and historical views, beliefs, and events written from the author’s point of view or the content itself.

Literature can also be an influencer of cultural, religious, and societal beliefs from the time period and society in which it is written or the author’s point of view and intent. It can influence thinking and historical events.

Writing and Composition

I recommend using your literature study as the jumping off point for essay writing and composition. However, before you can begin with that practice, your middle schooler and early high school student has to have some basic foundation in writing skills.

Middle schoolers should master the proper format of a paragraph –

A Hook to capture the reader’s interest and a Topic Sentence
At least 3 detailed supporting sentences that gives more information directly related to the topic sentence.
A concluding sentence that brings that paragraph to a close.

By the time learners start their first year in high school, they should be working on mastering the proper 5 Paragraph Essay (in this case an informative essay).

I recommend having your learner pick a topic they could talk to you about off the top of his/her head for 15 minutes without really having to think much about it. This topic lends itself to writing this kind of essay and the learner can concentrate on the format of the paper instead of what to write.

Proper 5 Paragraph (Informative) Essay
A Hook and topic (thesis) sentence with an introductory paragraph that include mentioned the three subtopics (or details about the main topic) that you will be discussing in the paper.
3 Body – detailed, supporting paragraphs in the order in which they were mentioned in the introductory paragraph. – Include transition words and sentence variation.
Concluding paragraph which includes a rewording of the topic sentence with a mention of the 3 subtopics and a Clincher sentence (could be a big statement, last thought, question, or a call to action).

Then you are ready to use your literary pieces as a basis of other essays –
Persuasive essay
Analytical essay
Research (and/or MLA, APA, Chicago format) essay
Persuasive essay with citations
Compare and Contrast essay itself to college application essays)
Literary Criticism


Here is a bundle of notebooking pages that we used for our written narration that I mentioned in the podcast to develop our writing skills before we wrote formal essays of different forms. There is a set for different subject areas that we used to either make our own books or put into a 3-ring binder to put together a notebook of our writing and what we learned in that subject that year.

Make Your Own ABC Book Notebooking Pages Bundle Set


Use your learner’s writing to assess what skills they need to review and practice each week.

Other review and practice for grammar skills can be found with these resources –

Rod and Staff – (books go up to 8th grade, but the concepts and skills are up through high school work.) These books use diagramming and are very well explained. If you have a learner that loves following and making lists of steps and learns best this way, you might want to try diagramming. However, if it is frustrating or challenging for you or your learner to understand the “diagramming process”, it may not be worth using that method to learn the grammatical concepts.

If you have a hands-on learner, you may want to check out Winston Grammar. This program uses a hands-on approach and labels parts of speech and how the words are used in a sentence.

Another program I recommend is the Easy Grammar series. The Easy Grammar books have the text and instruction to learn and practice new skills and the Daily Grams are workbooks that have a daily review with 5 different kinds of grammar concepts with one sample of each per day for a total of 5 quick review samples to practice. Loved this! As your child moves into high school, you may want to use the Ultimate Series which has the text and instruction and the practice in each. There are placement tests on the website to assist you.

Spelling in Language Arts Study

Spelling for middle school can still be in a phonics-based spelling book as recommended in my Language Arts for Elementary Ages podcast such as Building Spelling Skills by Christian Liberty Press .

You can also look at your learner’s writing and include words they misspell in your weekly spelling list.

If you have a learner who is ready to tackle more complex words, I recommend Spelling Power, an inclusive book that you will be able to use for years through high school and multiple learners. It supplies word lists and ways to study and learn the words each week.

Be sure to comment in the Comments box any ideas you’d like to share that your family has used in your Language Arts or any of these ideas from this podcast you found helpful! I would love to hear from you! Thanks for visiting! Come back and visit the Literary Cafe Podcast for August’s topic when we discuss how to study grammar in your homeschool!

Make sure you subscribe to the Literary Cafe Podcast at iTunes so you don’t miss an episode or by clicking on the Android or RSS feed buttons below the recording on this page!

Join Katie with Literary Cafe Podcast to learn about what to include in your Language Arts study in your homeschool. #homeschool #homeschooling #languagearts #english #middleschool #highschool



Exploring Biblical Themes Through Cinema: Teaching the Bible with Movies

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

 Using movies to teach the Bible | Home for Learning blog post

Teaching the Bible with Movies

Hey there, homeschoolers! Are you ready to dive into an exciting world where movies meet the Bible? If you love stories and adventures, you’re in for a treat. We’re about to show you how movies can take you on a thrilling ride through the pages of the Bible, helping you understand its amazing stories and lessons like never before. Get ready for an adventure that combines the magic of movies with the wisdom of the Bible! Be prepared for the Holy Spirit to be on the move and for older children to learn more deeply the story of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Discovering Deeper Meanings in Bible Stories

Imagine stepping into a world where biblical stories come to life on the big screen. Just like your favorite characters in movies, the Bible has its main characters who embark on incredible journeys. These journeys are packed with challenges, triumphs, and important lessons. When you watch movies about these stories, like “The Prince of Egypt” or “The Chronicles of Narnia,” you get to know these main characters like friends. You’ll witness their struggles and victories, and you’ll learn the values and lessons that are hidden within these ancient tales. And the best part is that these scriptural narratives are a true story, teaching Biblical truth through Biblical events.

Learning Through the Magic of Animation

Have you ever watched an animated movie that made you feel like you were part of the adventure? Well, imagine that feeling while learning about Bible stories! Animated Bible movies use colorful visuals and exciting animations to make the stories come alive. For younger homeschoolers, movies like “Finding Nemo” or “The Nativity Story” are not only entertaining but also teach important lessons from the Bible. It’s like learning while having a great time in fresh ways.

Discussing Movies with Your Homeschool Group

Learning with your family and friends can be so much fun. With movies, you can turn learning into a shared adventure. Imagine watching “The Ten Commandments” or “Noah” with your homeschool group, and then discussing the characters’ choices and the messages of the stories. It’s like having your movie club where everyone gets to share their thoughts and learn from each other. You’ll find God’s word to have one great lesson after another.

Journeying Through Different Cultures and Times

Movies have this amazing ability to transport you to different places and times. In the Bible, there are stories from ancient Egypt, the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, and even the story of Noah and his ark. When you watch movies about these stories, you’re not just learning about the Bible. You’re also exploring different cultures and times. It’s like going on a time-traveling adventure without leaving your living room!

Supporting Parents in Teaching Complex Ideas

Parents, just like teachers, sometimes use movies to help explain things more simply. Some Bible stories can be a bit complex, but movies can break them down and make them easier to understand. If you’ve ever wondered about stories like the life of Jesus Christ or the story of Joseph, movies can help you see these stories from a fresh perspective. There are also special apps and websites with tons of Bible movie resources, making learning about the Bible even more exciting!

Bringing the Bible to Life: From Small Screens to Big Lessons

As homeschoolers, you’re on a unique journey of learning, and movies can be your companions along the way. From animated tales to epic adventures like “The Prince of Egypt,” movies help you explore the wonders of the Bible in ways you’ve never imagined. These movies make the stories exciting and engaging, and they’re packed with life lessons that you can carry with you. By watching, discussing, and learning from these cinematic gems, you’re not just learning about the Bible. You’re also building a deep connection with its stories, themes, and teachings.

Bible Movies: a Journey Fun

Congratulations, homeschoolers! You’ve just embarked on an adventure that blends the magic of movies with the wisdom of the Bible. Through the power of animation and cinematic storytelling, you’ve explored ancient tales, witnessed the struggles of the main characters, and learned important life lessons. With every movie you watch, you’re delving into a world where stories from the Bible come alive, guiding you through different cultures and times. So keep watching, keep learning, and keep discovering the incredible stories and teachings that the Bible holds. Your journey through the world of biblical movies has just begun, and it’s a journey filled with excitement, wonder, and the joy of learning.

This blog post is sponsored by:

Route 60: The Biblical Highway

How Homeschool-Themed Podcasts Empower and Encourage Homeschool Moms

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

How Homeschool-Themed Podcasts Empower and Encourage Homeschool Moms (plus some faves you won't want to miss listening to!)Homeschooling is a beautiful journey filled with ups and downs, challenges, and triumphs. As a homeschool mom, you have taken on the noble responsibility of educating and nurturing your children at home, providing them with a personalized learning experience. However, like any journey, there might be times when you feel overwhelmed or unsure of your choices. During these moments, homeschool-themed podcasts can be a source of inspiration, guidance, and encouragement. In fact, that’s a BIG part of how the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network came to be!

Hey-ya! Don’t miss our Homeschool Do-Over’s Giveaway.

Let’s explore how you can use homeschool-themed podcasts to empower yourself, grow as an educator, and find the support you need to thrive on this incredible homeschooling adventure.

1. Finding Community and Connection:

Homeschool-themed podcasts create a sense of community by connecting you with other like-minded homeschooling parents and experts in the field. Listening to these podcasts allows you to hear real-life stories, struggles, and successes of other homeschool moms. It reminds you that you are not alone in this journey and that there is a vast network of support available to you. Embrace the shared experiences and connect with these virtual communities, which can help you feel understood, supported, and motivated to continue on your path.

2. Gaining Valuable Insights and Advice:

Many homeschool-themed podcasts feature experienced homeschool moms and educators as guests, sharing their knowledge, tips, and tricks. By listening to their advice, you can gain valuable insights into various aspects of homeschooling, such as curriculum choices, time management, creating a conducive learning environment, handling challenges, and nurturing your child’s passions. Learning from others’ experiences can help you refine your own homeschooling methods and strategies, ultimately leading to a more enriching educational experience for your children.

3. Fostering Self-Care and Personal Growth:

As a homeschool mom, it’s essential to prioritize self-care and personal growth. Listening to homeschool-themed podcasts allows you to take some time for yourself, even in the midst of a busy day. By dedicating a few moments to listen to episodes that resonate with you, you can gain fresh perspectives, encouragement, and renewed energy to keep going. These podcasts might inspire you to explore new hobbies, develop your skills, or simply encourage you to take a well-deserved break when needed.

4. Staying Informed about Current Trends and Research:

Education is an ever-evolving field, and homeschool-themed podcasts often highlight the latest trends and research in the homeschooling community. Staying informed about innovative teaching methods, educational resources, and advancements in the homeschooling world can help you stay ahead of the curve and continually improve your approach as an educator. Being up-to-date with relevant information will boost your confidence and allow you to make well-informed decisions about your homeschooling journey.

5. Celebrating Milestones and Progress:

In the fast-paced world of homeschooling, it’s easy to overlook the little victories and milestones achieved by you and your children. Homeschool-themed podcasts often share heartwarming stories of families celebrating their successes, both big and small. By listening to these stories, you can gain a sense of pride and fulfillment in your own accomplishments. Celebrate each milestone you and your children reach and acknowledge the hard work and dedication you put into their education.

A Rewarding Experience

Homeschooling is a rewarding and challenging experience, and as a homeschool mom, you have embarked on an incredible journey of lifelong learning with your children. Homeschool-themed podcasts can serve as a powerful tool to inspire, guide, and encourage you throughout this adventure. By finding community, gaining valuable insights, fostering self-care, staying informed, and celebrating milestones, you can nurture your passion for homeschooling and create an enriching environment for your children’s education. Embrace the power of podcasts, and let them empower you as you continue to embrace the joys of homeschooling!

Podcasts to Get You Started

Vintage Homeschool Moms:

 Making Biblical Family Life Practical

Military Homeschool Podcast


Homeschool Sanity Show