Vintage Homeschool Moms

Field Trips with Little Kids

Field Trips with Little Kids | Field trips with little kids can be learning opportunities and springboards for wonderful memories. In this episode, Felice Gerwitz and Autumn McKay discuss great field trips for little ones as well as some helpful ideas and tips. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #fieldtripsField Trips with Little Kids ~ Episode 375

Field trips with little kids can be learning opportunities and springboards for wonderful memories. In this episode, Felice Gerwitz and Autumn McKay discuss great field trips for little ones as well as some helpful ideas and tips.

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, Inc, and the Media Angels Membership.

Field trips with little kids take some planning but it can be so much fun! Today my guest, Autumn McKay from Best Moms Ideas shares her insight with us! Autumn is a past teacher who decided to leave her teaching job to raise her children and she found great joy in creating some books that are an offshoot of the activities she did with her son! Here is a list of her books: BestMomIdeas Book Page PDF

Freebie for our listeners! Here are some  

  1. Field trips with little children help them to learn through to recall of information better when they see, touch, hear, smell, and it enhances their overall experience.
  2. When studying the alphabet for example you can visit something that deals with a letter, for example studying the letter “d” and what the letter sounds like, you can visit a Dog Shelter. These types of field trips help to enforce the learning of the alphabet.
  3. Fun places for little ones: police station, fire departments, and community leaders.
  4. Weekly trips to the library. Many fun activities for the kids that are held at the library, such as displays or live animals.
  5. Bigger Field Trips: Zoo, gardens, museums.



Field Trips

Field Trips | Just the idea of field trips makes me smile - I remember them from the time when I was a student. What about you? My kids also remembered going on field trips with fond memories. | #podcast #fieldtrips #fieldtripField Trips! Episode 374

Just the idea of field trips makes me smile – I remember them from the time when I was a student. What about you? My kids also remembered going on field trips with fond memories. Field trips help to spark a child’s curiosity and interest and can even help with career decisions. I wonder how many little ones going to a Firehouse or a Police Station became firefighters or police or sheriffs? What about visiting a bakery and deciding to become a baker, or visiting a courthouse and wanting to be a lawyer? This is one of the reasons that “take your child to work,” took off. Many times kids didn’t really understand what their parent’s jobs entailed.

Thanks to our Sponsors! Media Angels, Membership and Media Angels

Visiting different places expands a child’s world. It gives them different experiences. It is better than reading about the place in a book, but often can be followed up with a book as a way to learn more. Field trips give children real-world learning and the tools to learn more by this experience. Whether it is a trip to an organic garden or one that is used to combat world hunger. Visits to the theatre, a museum, a grocery store, or a supply house, or even a place “to do something.” We went to a place that made wood pens, and the children each got to create their own pens (there was a cost for this). We also went to ceramic stores and the kids experienced making a pot. After visiting a theatre we parents decided to set up a play for the homeschoolers that centered around a Thanksgiving theme.

We’ve visited different ethnic restaurants as a family, such as a Greek Restaurant after seeing the sponge boats in Tarpon Springs. We visited a French and an Indian Restaurant and ate authentic foods. More common are Italian or Spanish restaurants which have become part of our culture.

The Impact of the adults:

As homeschool parents, we can use field trips as a tool to further the learning process. We can have the children create reports, document with pictures and create picture books. We can use forms to have the children to prepare ahead of time and then after we go. I have to be careful not to make everything school! But, it comes naturally for me! And, why limit learning to a book, movie or even audios when you can experience it first hand.

Kids can see under the water at aquariums, they can look at science labs (we did this at a lab tied to a college doing marine research), the children can look under high powered microscopes or telescopes at planetariums. They can touch historical artifacts or experience things gone by (Thomas Edison’s winter home is in my town and his science lab is still intact.) Henry Ford’s home (next door to Edison’s) also has been turned into a museum. The children learned about the gardens around these homes often brought over from faraway places. The time is well spent on field trips. And it helps support many different academic concepts such as critical thinking.


Kids who visit different places must learn how to get along, act well in public and be attentive when adults are talking or teaching. They also can also enjoy times to be with friends. I taught my children to walk with hands behind their backs, in front clasped or in their pockets, until they were given permission to touch anything. This was to set them up to understand that touching might not be allowed.


Field trips are on opportunity to experience different modalities – not only are they hearing, smelling and seeing, perhaps they can touch, experience and interact. They are learning with all of their senses which helps them to retain the content.

Expanding In Knowledge:

Field trips bring the world into the home and what they learn can be studied more at home. It allows the children to become enthusiastic about a topic they perhaps thought little about. After seeing an aquarium my children wanted one of their own. These can be expensive so a clear bowl and minows caught in a pond were good enough for a first step. Later my children saved and eventually had a nice sized aquarium for years.





Art Encouragement for kids. Do you have a budding artist? Five important facts. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #homeschoolart #artArt with Sharon Jeffus and Visual Manna – Episode 373

Have you considered art as a ministry? Join me today with my special guest as we discuss how art can touch the hearts of many and ways that Sharon has used the talents that God has given her to mentor children of all ages, especially teens.

Connect with Sharon Jeffus! 

Show Notes: Art as a Ministry

If a child is a gifted artist, it is important to encourage your child, but Sharon thinks you need to really understand the elements of art. There are so many opportunities that Sharon shares on the audio. Sharon believes there is a structure to art and it is important to know the elements and principles.

There are many places that would love for children to paint murals.

How do you mentor kids who are artistic?

  1. Complement the kids. Be sincere when you say you like something the child did.
  2. Find something small that you like. For example, “I love how you used the color green.”
  3. Give your child opportunities to be creative.
  4. Allow the children to look at some of the master artworks
  5. Take your child to an Art Museum (use caution here). Some places have a tour for kids, talk to them about appropriate pictures.

Mentoring Older Children Serious About Becoming an Artist.

  1. Sharon Jeffus has an online class where she teaches students, visit for more information.
  2. Rainbow Resources has some of Sharon’s classes available for free here. 
  3. Have the students compile a portfolio of pictures makes this is the very best (9-10 works of art) – use different things like a still life, portrait, etc. story illustration, a logo, variety, 2 works of your very best at the beginning and at the very end. Use different mediums as well, digital, watercolors, acrylics, oils, pastels, etc.
  4. Always photograph your work. Keep your original and give away a photograph.
  5. Murals – take pictures

There are many people who will hire students if their work is high caliber. There are ways to earn some money in that way.

Problems With Socialism

Problems with Socialism | What is the problem with getting everything for free? Isn't that what socialism promises? Join Felice Gerwitz and Jeff Diest from the Mises Institute as they delve into this question. | #podcast #socialism #homeschoolpodcastProblems with Socialism – Episode 372

What is the problem with getting everything for free? Isn’t that what socialism promises? Join Felice Gerwitz and Jeff Diest from the Mises Institute as they delve into this question.

Visit our Sponsor – Truth Seekers Mystery Series

We appreciate the totally unexpected and special offer by Jeff Diest who promised to send our listeners a special book!

Recommended Books:

Tuttle Twins ” For younger children on economics

“Economics” by Henry Hazlitt. This book was written in the 1940s.

Today Felice welcomes the president of the Mises Institute – Jeff Diest.

Jeff Diest on Twitter here

Website: Mises Institute

Jeff takes an active role in what is happening in our culture. Not necessarily a political role. He thinks we ought to organize our society around civil institutions, around families, and around markets because markets in my view are, are cooperative.

Jeff states in this interview: I believe the marketplaces represent people coming together and doing things voluntarily and that a lot of people worry about what they think of as free-market fundamentalism. Regardless of our own particular viewpoints, we can start to agree when we look at the 20th century and what’s unfolding in the 21st, that government is really not the best boss for us. And certainly not a faraway government in Washington DC that purports to rule over 330 million people with exceedingly diverse interests. We’ve become far too centralized in DC, and with the Supreme Court and with federal preemption of state law and that sort of thing. So long story short, I’m someone who had an opportunity to meet Ron Paul a long time ago when I was an undergraduate in college and just became interested in markets and economics as a result.

We probably have some diversity of opinion on what we believe, but the point I want to make today is that we have to educate ourselves and be able to talk to people who think differently than we do, which is very important. And, and be civil about it, which is another thing that is very important. What concerns me, Jeff is the problem with socialism.

Jeff :

Ludvig von Mises was a giant of economics in the 20th century and to an extent, folks on the left and even some folks on the right tried to underplay or dismiss his contributions in the 20th century. But that’s really been largely rectified. I think now, even his strongest critics would say that he was a very, very influential figure. And, and for our purposes today, he wrote a book in the 1920s called “Socialism.” And it remains today, maybe one of the most readable and most accurate criticisms of a centrally planned economy. What would later unravel in the former Soviet Union? What would later bring into turmoil Nazi Germany, which affected his life in Vienna, Austria, very much. And ultimately as a Jew, he fled Vienna to Munich for a period and then ultimately to New York City, which is how he became you know, a de facto American later in his life.

So he wrote, “Human Action,” (Free PDF on the Mises website here) which is one of his most important books a couple of decades later. And he wrote it in English, which was not his first language and it’s really the comprehensive treaty or treatise, I should say for modern free market economics. So he was a very influential guy, but more importantly someone who really understood what socialism was and what it could evolve into up close. And someone who tried to caution the world about it.

And I guess the question for our audience today is whether we listened and whether we’ve done the work to read and study history and really understand what socialism, materials and you know. Earlier we were talking off the air that sometimes conservatives are a little dismissive towards the threat and saying, oh, come on, America will never become socialist. And that might sound right in the sense that we’re not on the cusp of nationalizing whole industries.

We are going to have private ownership businesses and, and stock markets presumably for quite some time. But socialism is more than that. When we talk about ownership, what we really mean is control. So when we think about how the government controls industries, how the government controls business as an individuals, even though it doesn’t necessarily own those businesses the measure of control and the degree of control has been growing and growing and growing throughout the 20th century. And it’s increasing now. So when we look at, let’s say, the slate of Democratic candidates for the 2020 presidential election you know, the things that they advocate are absolute socialists. They want more and more control regulations, taxes, et cetera, over private industry. So if we, if we step back and look at the United States today, we could say that America is socialist in its educational system because so much of it is government ride.

You could say America’s socialist in its healthcare system because so much of it is government run or controlled by legislation like Obamacare. You could say the same about law. You could say the same about banking. You could say the same about energy. So there are, there are industries in America, fast industries that basically dance to the tune of the US federal government. So even though we’re not socialist in the sense that we still have nominally private businesses. We are becoming more socialists slowly but inexorably. So that’s a concern. And I don’t think it serves us well to, to just be dismissive of that. I think when the left tells us who they are, we ought to listen.


I agree. And, and I feel that people are saying why are many of the young people buying into this and why do they think it’s so great? I feel that our education system has done a great job in changing the opinions of our children. I remember reading a book in the early 90’s about data mining the information of our school kids. (“Educating for the New World Order, by B.K. Eakman – the true story about how Anita Hoge won a case against the US government before it went to court and she could make her case public!)

Anita Hoge (Follow her on Twitter: She is still fighting today trying to change the system. The goals of the schools have been and they still are to this day to change our kids’ opinions. So, when you get to the point where we are today almost 40 years later, you have what we find in the high schools and colleges. The opinions many kids have in the public and private schools are not in alignment with their parents at all!


With socialism people no longer bear responsibility as much for their actions, and when people no longer enjoy the success of their actions as much, then that kills incentives. And if there’s one thing economists tend to agree on, maybe only one thing, it said incentives do in fact matter. And so when, when people like Bernie Sanders or I hate to say it, your local teacher at a public high school wax on about socialism being a happy, healthy thing that just wants to care about people and make the world more fair. They’re trying to impress upon young people the idea of socialism being Denmark or Sweden or something like that. They don’t want to talk about the former Soviet Union. They don’t want to talk about Venezuela, they don’t want to talk about China.

So what a lot of people don’t understand of course, is history. Americans in general, not just young people, don’t know much about the rest of the world or even our own country. And, and beyond that we don’t know or understand much about economics. So this leaves the population ripe to this idea that well, socialism is just about being kind and providing a social safety net and having free health care and lots of good affordable housing and you know, free college education, these sorts of things. But it’s not that big bad a form of socialism, you know, outright communism that we had in the former Soviet Union. It’s going to be a nice soft kind of thing. And, and you know, that can actually work for a period if you have a population that’s very hardworking and that has a lot of inherited capital culturally and otherwise, like some of the Nordic countries.

But over just a few a generations, socialism always devolves into something where instead of being egalitarian, you end up with a very, very, very segregated ruling elite at the top and everybody else doing worse and worse with rationing and shortages and a lower standard of living. So it’s not rocket science. Even a lot of people on the left admit that markets work and that creates more prosperity. The question is just whether or not young people will attempt to overturn what we think of as American capitalism is as jaundiced and impure as it might be. Whether they really want to overturn that in exchange for at the least a style of European social democracy or maybe something beyond that.

So it’s our job to counter, especially for those listening who homeschool. It’s our immediate task to counter what people are hearing from their peers, from their teachers– even from mainline churches. This is a full-scale war. This is a multi-front war. That culture is arrayed against us. And so part of the cultural war is fighting back against the idea that socialism is benign.

Elites in this country are not simply financial elites. That’s certainly a big part of it. But there are also elites in the sense of media and academia and government who aren’t necessarily personally wealthy. So when we talk about who controls things, we don’t need to get into conspiracies. All human beings exhibit self-interest. So the idea that people who are sort of running things in any society would like to continue running things doesn’t require any conspiracy mindedness. It just requires an honest assessment of human behaviors.

If we look at a lot of the institutions controlled by the United States, in the 20th century, we should rejoice that they’re being challenged and questioned. And some of them are crumbling. People are no longer view the Ivy Leagues and the products of the Ivy League as they once did. People no longer view the US Congress and the US Senate as these noble institutions. The same with the Supreme Court.  The same with a lot of nonprofits, with media institutions. So it’s good.

It’s good that we’re questioning elites because anti-elitism is warranted. They screwed things up. I mean, if elites had done a good job in the 20th century, we’d have better foreign policy and diplomacy. We’d have a better dollar. We’d have a better healthcare system, we’d have a better education system. When I hear populism blamed or the idea that anti-elitism is unintellectual or something like that, I always, I always want to ask the person, well, what is it that the elites were doing so well that we should stay the course? I mean, there’s a reason why Brexit happened.

There’s a reason why Trump won. These events didn’t occur in a vacuum because everything was going so swimmingly and Hillary Clinton was going to be the next version of technocratic rule. There’s a reason all this happened. And so our job is to understand it and, and also to offer some alternatives, not just to moan and complain. And homeschooling is a great alternative. I don’t view homeschooling as dropping out or sequestering your kids or anything like that. I view it as a very affirmative and positive choice for people who understand that they have a choice and that they’re responsible for their children’s education upbringing. And it’s not enough to just sort of turn those kids over for seven hours a day to a bunch of strangers who don’t necessarily have their or your best interest in mind.

So I, I think homeschooling is, is one of the most revolutionary acts by which one can strike a blow as a society and culture and a government seems oppressive. So Kudos to you and your audience because I know it’s not easy. It is a tough, tough road and it involves a lot more work than just dropping your kid off at school. And, and it’s the most important thing because there’s nothing more important than education is as much as I dislike some of the things our government does, I don’t think revolutions generally work out best for anybody. So I think our revolution has to be intellectual and it certainly starts right at home.

It’s socialism versus freedom and you know that this state is not the best to organize society. The government, if you believe in it at all, ought to have a very small role as a referee and a judge perhaps, and not much else that it ought not to be an active participant in society like it certainly has become, or what I’m talking about at first, the US Federal Central Government. So what at animates the left today is the doctrine of egalitarianism. And that has really become a religion unto itself. And socialism is a part of that.

Socialism is sort of the economic and political end of that, but egalitarianisms bigger–it is a religion. When people question egalitarianism you know, even pragmatically and you ask “Gee Whiz, when you raise the minimum wage because you think it’s going to help the poorest workers, it actually dislocates some and causes a lot of them to lose their jobs and they’re made worse off.” The reason you get such a vitriolic or emotional response is because you have challenged something that is an article of faith on the left.

Egalitarianism is not necessarily a rational worldview or mindset because of course, it’s so at odds with human nature and human experience. So it’s rude, but it’s very powerful. I mean, the idea of creating a more equal society is a very, very powerful and effective narrative. And we can understand why it works and why it holds appeal, especially with young people. It tugs at the heartstrings. So the fact that it produces the opposite of what it purports is something that requires some critical thinking and taking a few more steps and doesn’t always lend itself to sound bytes.

Like, well, let’s have medicare for all. Well, Gee Whiz, that sounds great. What’s the cost as opposed to what? So, you know, we have to, we have to appeal to the segment of the population that’s willing to go a little deeper and think a little harder. And, and I don’t think we should shy away from that.

Well, I think you have to get hyper-local, you know, hen something sounds philosophical or sounds overwhelming or daunting, I think you have to start at home and then work outward in concentric circles. So I would love to see people a lot more concerned about their town or their region. Then, you know, the Federal Government and America at large. I’m not a big fan of taxes, but if I have to pay them, I’d rather pay 80% to my state and 20% to Washington DC instead of the other way around. I think things can be improved locally. I think that that locally you can make a bigger difference get involved with education or schooling or whatever it might be. So there’s more to life than just the national politics. There are all kinds of things happening and below that. And, and I think you start with figuring out your own family situation and, and moving out from there. I mean, that’s, that’s the most important thing. No question.




NCCA Sports

NCAA Sports | Do you have a star athlete in the family? Anyone who wants to play high school or college sports must become familiar with the NCAA Sports Website! In this podcast, we discuss the right way to do this and what you need to do now, especially if you are a homeschool parent. | #podcast #ncaa #ncaasports #highschoolatheletes #homeschoolpodcastNCAA Sports ~ Episode 371

Do you have a star athlete in the family? Anyone who wants to play high school or college sports must become familiar with the NCAA Sports Website! In this podcast, we discuss the right way to do this and what you need to do now, especially if you are a homeschool parent.

Thanks to our sponsor – they keep us on the air and coming to you for free! So, please check out our sponsor’s information Reading Eggs

The NCAA sports process is the legal entity that keeps our kids qualified to play amateur sports. This is for kids that play in their local leagues, in Sr. League, on travel sports teams, and in tournaments. If your children have competed in tournaments you are already familiar with this organization because they need an official NCAA Sports Number which is assigned to them through their amateur career status.

There is so much to know for an athlete considering playing beyond local rec teams or even high school teams. My children were blessed to play for a local Christian school affiliated with a church. Not all schools are open to homeschoolers, but those that are will learn that it is a win-win. Typically homeschoolers are on time, diligent, polite, have good sportsmanship and are generally helpful.

Our kids were accepted to the team and the coaches were wonderful. In fact, one of my son’s who played for this particular team in high school has been an assistant coach since his graduation and the boys look up to him. Check out your state and local schools to learn about the rules for playing. Ask around as well.

We had to have papers signed and notarized each year and submitted to the schools where my children played. We had to submit grades, and sign an affadavit saying we were the instructors. The school where you play will give you the pertinent forms. There may also be a fee involved and then uniforms to buy as well. So, consider the costs when you think about this.

The experience of playing is helpful to athletes who want to play in college. The NCAA has a guide for students considering this here.

What are the odds of US High School Athletes to play in the most popular sports? Source 

Boys playing in High School:  Basketball 17:1  | Baseball 9:1   | Football 12:1  | Soccer 13:1

High School and College athletes must:

  1. Keep a good GPA – typically 3.2 or higher
  2. Show up
  3. Perform well (or you won’t play)
  4. Daily practice or work out
  5. Eat well and rest

Student-Athletes Beware! Recruiters are not always forthcoming!

One of the most frustrating things in the recruiting process:

  1. Coaches that recruit from schools where they don’t have your potential major
  2. Unrealistic goals (Atlanta school)
  3. Coach’s interest may not be a guarantee of an offer
  4. Offers change
  5. The contract is different from the promise.
  6. Scholarships

The NCAA sign up is important for students. Sign up here:

Here is the list of what you will need and the importance of learning about this before you need to fill this all out! I had to fill this out after the fact, and thankfully I had our high school notebooks with our compiled years, but it still was a daunting task! If you can keep up with this throughout each grade level it will be so easy for you.

Here is the Home School Tool Kit that you can download that give you more information. 

  1. Home School Transcript
  2. Initial eligibility, banned drugs, and sports wagering
  3. Core-course worksheets
  4. Home School Administrator and accordance statement
  5. Official transcript
  6. Official SAT/ACT scores
  7. Final amateurism certification
  8. NCAA date and reports
  9. Ninth grade start date
  10. High school review


Techie Advice For High Schoolers

Techie Advice| Are you interested in techie advice that is most important to learn, especially for kids before they leave home? What should your high schooler know before they graduate? Today we discuss Techie advice with our resident expert, Meryl van der Merwe. | #podcast #techieadvice #homeschoolpodcastTechie Advice For High Schoolers ~ Episode 372

Are you interested in techie advice that is most important to learn, especially for kids before they leave home? What should your high schooler know before they graduate? Today we discuss Techie advice with our resident expert, Meryl van der Merwe the podcaster at

Thanks to our sponsor – Reading Eggs – you can find out more information about their award-winning reading program here!

Here is Meryl van der Merwe’s website is Funda Funda Academy here.

It is never to early to begin! But, if you have an upcoming highschooler or soon to be graduate they should know the following techie advice. In fact, it is never too old to learn. (Yes, parents I’m talking to you!)

Techie Advice For Students

Computer basics: 
  1. This includes installing software, knowing how to organize files and folders, how to take a screenshot
  2. How to troubleshoot problems on your computer or electronic devices.
How to navigate online classes
  1. Should know how to submit assignments online
  2. Contact teachers
  3. Find assignment deadlines
Be familiar with Google Drive apps
  1. They should be able to use Google Docs, Sheets, Forms and Slide
  2. How to use and understand how to work with others online
Know how to find credible sources
  1. Should know about Google Scholar
  2. How to find sources they can use for research papers, know how to spot fake news
Know how to spot phishing attempts
  1. They should know what to look for in phishing emails and phone calls
  2. Be vigilant, if it sounds to good to be true it probably is.
Should know basic video and digital graphic creation
  1. They should be able to make screencast videos
  2. Do basic video editing
  3. Create graphics using tools like Canva
They should know basic coding
  1. They do not need to be proficient coders, but as coding will be part of most jobs of the future, a basic understanding is necessary
  2. Look at some of the following: FundaFunda Academy offers a Computer Applications class  – which includes digital literacy and covers points 1 – 7. They also offer programming classes, including a free 4 module Intro to Game Programming Class.
 The best ways to prepare as a highschool homeschooler for jobs in the tech field?   
  1. Make sure they are very familiar with computer technology
  2. Include basic coding in what they learn. FundaFunda Academy offers online classes in Scratch (an easy drag and drop language) and Python (which is used by many businesses).
  3. Participating in First Lego League will also teach programming skills.
  4. There are many free websites to learn as well.
  5. Coding is becoming as important a skill as reading, writing, and math.
What are some jobs that don’t have enough qualified people?  
  1. Engineering jobs are expected to increase by 140 000 between 2016 and 2026 in the USA.
  2. And software engineering jobs will increase more than 24%. You can find more info in these articles.
  3. As we live in a world where so much is driven by technology, there is an increasing need for people to write the software for the devices we are using.
 Recommended articles:



Mistakes Teaching Math

Mistakes Teaching Math | We all make mistakes teaching math but in this episode, we will learn that these can be overcome. Today's guest discusses the program Pat Murray created. | #podcast #CTCMath #homeschoolpodcast #teachingmathMistakes Teaching Math – Episode 369

We all make mistakes teaching math but in this episode, we will learn that these can be overcome. Today’s guest is CTC math spokesperson, Nadim Al Rahi.

Thanks to our sponsor CTC | Math Curriculum

Not being a great math student until I became a homeschool mom, I was interested in what CTCMath had to offer. My guest Nadim was a student of the founder. Pat Murray. Pat was Nadim’s high school math teacher. The two formed a bond and kept in touch. Years later, Nadim would work with CTCMath. Pat teaches the online courses, and there ‘is also a free trial that you can do. The trial gives the user a little bit about the different lessons, to test out the system before you buy, which is wonderful. That’s CTC, but we’re going to talk about some of the most prominent mistake teachers make when teaching math. And so you’re going to share that with us.

Mistakes Teaching Math:

  1. The biggest teaching mistake the long drawn out explanation. Sometimes as parents, homeschool parents, and teachers, we think that more information is better and it’s actually the opposite. Students can often get lost and confused in a long, drawn-out explanation. So if we can just keep the teaching to a short, concise explanation that’s best and most effective when, when it comes to teaching math, um, you can use your time. There may be twenty minutes of explanation and then ten minutes of practice problems. Well, that time is probably better spent doing five-minutes of explanation and twenty-five minutes of practice problems. Complicated explanations that show too many diverse methods is also an issue. We think that if we equip the children with more information, it’s going to lead to, better grades and a better toolkit, but often students just need the one method, the simplest method, the easiest methods for them to understand now is that first method doesn’t work. You might want to try a second method, but the risks can sometimes be that we show the students too many diverse methods and that can often complicate them. And you see it in, in advancements in the curriculum and changes in curriculum and current eyes, uh, traditionally used to be just the traditional methods that were taught. So more and more you see these popping up.
  2. Another of the mistakes teaching math is thinking rote learning is a bad idea. That students need only to use discovery learning and believing the hype around the need to discover things and conceptualize things on their own. I’m sure it has its place, at an age-appropriate time. But I always use the analogy of a Rubik’s cube. You can give a child a Rubik cube and tell them to solve it. They’re going to spend hours and hours and hours trying to work it out. And most of the time they will probably give it up. But you can show them a simple algorithm and a simple way to solve the root issue. Now, once they’ve done that and I’ve worked out how to do it using the simple pattern, you can see that confidence is lifted. They want to find a bigger Rubik Cube, and they want to go on and do more. And maybe that’s when you allow the discovery learning to take place. It is very important in the early grade levels, ensuring that students can instantly recall their math facts. It builds confidence and sets them up for later years too, to really enjoy math more. So this idea that discovery learning and children really need to, to work it out on their own, I think is, is a big hype. That’s, beating a lot of confidence in children. But I think the important thing is to learn what your child likes. And then it’s almost like love languages, you know, working out your child’s love language will work out what component of math they enjoy and really pursuing it.
  3. Math is not enjoyable. I think the feedback that we get is confidence is that their confidence is down, is that they no longer enjoy math is that it’s difficult. We, as parents and educators have to work how are we going to get their confidence back up? How are we going to try to make math more enjoyable? And often it’s through the understanding of math. When I started to understand it you will see light bulbs and the aha moments begin to click and they want to do more and more of it, then we hear from countless parents that we can’t get them off the math anymore. So it’s really figuring out how to get their confidence up, how to get them really enjoying math again through understanding.

On a side note, the homeschooling movement in Australia is wonderful and growing. The homeschool community is building and growing. The creator of CTCMath, Pat Murray, homeschooled their children.

Five Things Josh Harris Forgot

Josh Harris | This is not a show that will bash Josh Harris, a previous bestseller, Christian pastor and evangelical leader and author of books that many Christians and many homeschoolers loved. What I will do is point out the five things I believe he forgot in his journey from seeking what people thought about his book. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #ikisseddatinggoodbye #joshharrisFive Things Josh Harris Forgot Episode 368

This is not a show that will bash Josh Harris, a previous bestseller, Christian pastor and evangelical leader and author of books that many Christians and many homeschoolers loved. What I will do is point out the five things I believe he forgot in his journey from seeking what people thought about his book.

Thanks to our sponsor –

My heart grieves for Josh Harris and I will share why in a bit, but as I think about his situation there are some major points I feel he completely forgot. I have not watched his entire documentary that was filmed with clips from the people he interviewed that were harmed or liked his book, mostly it was the latter as the title is, “I Survived I Kissed Dating Goodbye.” He apologizes in the film and I think apologies are always good, they are freeing but he is personally taking responsibility for a movement that flamed within many Evangelical churches that he truly had no idea would happen.

Point #1 – People Have Free Will.

Sorry. God gave us free will. Each person who read your book made a decision to follow your advice or not. People need to take responsibility for their own actions – there is a lacking of this in our society.

As an author I have first-hand experience with this, having written many books from 1994 to the present day. Years ago, my daughter and I co-authored the Truth Seekers Mystery Series. These are action-adventure novels, that focus on archaeology, paleontology, and anthropology. We called them Truth Seekers because we wanted our readers to seek truth in their lives, the dialogue contained both sides of an argument with both teens and adults.

I taught my children to learn by investigating, asking questions and research from three primary sources. I didn’t want them to read someone else’s interpretation of what happened, which is why I will give a link to the statement Josh Harris made about his book. Here is his official statement.

Point #2 – Do Not Throw Out The Baby With The Bath Water

We had two books that Josh Harris wrote. The first is, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” and the second one “Boy Meets Girl,” a quick search shows the Kindle version received 366 stars on Amazon that resulted in a rating of 4.6 stars. Not bad. He had good information to share and I think what I liked about his books is his authenticity in sharing his struggle and his ultimate victory in what he believed was an ideal method for dating.

Josh wrote an apology in his statement that said, in essence, if I hurt you I’m sorry and if I helped you I am happy. But, because I think this is flawed, I’m pulling sales of the book.

We read the books and felt that parts of the books made great sense. The part, we as a family liked is that teen dating and breaking up had become an epidemic that set kids up for heartbreak at a young age. We never told our kids, you have to do this, or this is our family rule. We said, “What do you think.” Of course the twelve-year-old thought it was great advice and then as she matured and was eighteen, she asked for some leeway which we gave her.

My parents were super strict, they didn’t let me date in high school other than one prom date (that my father accepted for me) when I was a Senior in High school–and not with the person I wanted to go with, you have to read my book, One More Child to hear that story.) However, I didn’t want to be as strict as my parents but I did want some parameters and I thought Josh’s book did that well.

I would never credit him for my success or failure in parenting because I read his books and encouraged my kids to read them. I think his book contained caution for a world that is hurting. Why not put out a revised edition with some cautions? Why ax it totally? I can’t answer that question.

Point #3 – Love Comes From Above First Before It Comes From Within

The source of all love comes from above and once we know God we can have this love within and then share it with others. We have to pray and search our hearts for what God calls us to do, should we marry, go into ministry, be celibate. It is a personal relationship. I know that some people, some churches took his information as the gospel truth without looking at the gospel. A book can guide but it can not make someone do something, point number one!

Point #4 – No One In This World Can Always Make You Happy

I think a bunch of criticism is that his book taught a method that people followed and had a disastrous outcome, while some said his method worked. But the main point is that no person on earth can fill that void that belongs to God. God created us to love Him, and if we do not love Him first, we will always seek for that true love that will never be fulfilling.

Point #5 -Applying The Bible To Dating Is A Good Idea

God gave us life and we, as thankful Christians should look to the Word of God in the Bible for advice. God said, “…go forth and multiply…” He didn’t give us a direct path, but if we proceed based on the love of God and His will for our life no matter what happens we will always have God. That makes no sense to someone who is not a Christian or who doesn’t have a relationship with God. When Harris wrote the book he was committed and he loved the Lord and wrote what he felt the Lord was teaching. It is up to each individual (read point one above) to pray, discern and seek God. Even life’s rejections can be a learning tool and healing for all of us.

Unfortunately, I read that Josh and his wife are getting a divorce and for this, I grieve. I will pray for him, for her, for their children. Divorce is heartbreaking no matter who it happens to and is never a cause to rejoice or point fingers.

Friends, what we can learn is that while books are great for teaching and even sermons, teachings, podcasts, etc., it is important to have a spirit of discernment (which is free by the way, just pray for it!) and critical thinking, and making up our own decisions. I pray that a new generation of young people do not think his apology means that everything is wrong with waiting to date, to kiss and to have intimate relationships until we get married.

I’ll leave you with one thought before we point to others with blame take a hard look at yourself. Take responsibility for your own actions! Look at your relationship with God and your hopes and dreams. Do you even know what you believe? Do you have a firm foundation in Christ. If not, get on your knees and pray. It begins with one person. You. And it begins today.



How To Homeschool High School

How To Homeschool Highschool | Are you new to homeschooling, or perhaps entering those high school years? Do you wonder how to homeschool high school? In this episode, Felice Gerwitz and Vicki Tillman | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #howtohomeschoolhighschoolHow To Homeschool High School – Episode 367

Are you new to homeschooling, or perhaps entering those high school years? Do you wonder how to homeschool high school? In this episode, Felice Gerwitz and Vicki Tillman (The Homeschool Highschool Podcast) discuss how to get started and the information you need to know!

Visit Vicki Tillman and the 7-Sisters at

SO you want to know how to homeschool high school…well, you came to the right place. Today’s wonderful guest is a supercharged knowledge bank of information, Vicki Tillman!

Thanks to our sponsor CTCMath – visit for more information and a current offer of a free subscription. These offers tend to change so hurry to grab your set.

Be sure to check out Vicki’s list for high school students to discern what track they should take. | Math Curriculum

Vicki Tillman does everything homeschool highschool! Transcripts, encouragement, and everything in between. Vicki started homeschooling about thirty years ago and times have changed yet if there were not opportunities they started them. If there were enough of us moms we’d start co-ops or debate teams or cinematography teams and, choirs. We began an umbrella school that was registered with the state of Delaware so that the high schoolers could get a transcript approved by the state.

Homeschooling opens doors. What the universities have found in this early generation, especially my older kids is that homeschoolers know how to rock things. They know how to study, they know how to motivate themselves and they actually often have better social skills than their traditionally schooled peers. So they often were campus leaders in organizations. That is so true.

Yet parents have so many questions:

  1. Will this work for us?
  2. Is this something that will be longterm?
  3. Will our kids be able to get into colleges?
  4. What kind of transcripts do I need?
  5. Where can we get our books?

How do you start homeschool high school?

  1. Start by joining the homeschool legal defense organization 
    • At the HSLDA website, they have all the information for state requirements for high school.
  2. There is no one right way to homeschool. All kids are different. What works for one may not work for the others.
  3. If the student needs a transcript, they need to have a piece of paper that they graduate with that will follow them to college or even into the workforce. Employers can ask for them even ten years later
  4. Know what credits you need to graduate.
    • Typically four language arts credits, between two and four maths according to what their goals are and what the state wants. They’ll need somewhere between two to four sciences. And the same with social studies. They usually need a couple of world languages. Phys ed, usually a health and then usually a fine arts credit.
    • Every state varies. That’s why we send you to HSLDA, look at their state map for more information about your particular state.
    • Sometimes God calls some kids to go into the trades or into some kind of artisan work. If that is the case they don’t need to kill themselves doing super-duper academics in high school.
    • The college-bound kids, especially if they’re going after scholarships or going to a state or a more competitive college, will want to go to the high end of things and do more vigorous curriculum.

Overview of Four Years:

  1. Go over this with your teens. Sit down and discuss it, what you want to have accomplished by the time they graduate.
  2. Knowing how many maths, if they’re going to a competitive college, then they need all four math.
    • So they’ll need Algebra one to Geometry, Precalc or if they’re going into a stem subject, they need the Algebra in, in middle school and go for the higher math and as Statistics.
  3. For Literature. Ask do you want a free for all literature where the kids just randomly pick and you pick and you have a mixture of, of different kinds of literature? Or do you want to focus on American Lit, one year in British Lit, one year in a whole year of CS Lewis, American or World Literature? You can even concentrate on poetry for a year.
  4. There is no one right way to homeschool high school. You can focus on a student’s interests. For example the histories, etc.

Career Exploration ~

Here is a list of questions high school students can ask themselves, pray and think about, from Vicki Tillman!

  1. What are my strengths?
  2. What are my weaknesses?
  3. What is important to me? (education, just enough education, LOTS of education, working with my hands, serving my country, 9-5 working hours, travel, time for family and friends, climbing the corporate ladder, fame, predictability, time for church and volunteering, good benefits?)
  4. What things have I done in life already that are interesting? (Career-focused or not)
  5. Who are the most influential people in my life? What do they do for a career and volunteering?
  6. What has God already shown me about me? (Career-related or not)
  7. What careers might be interesting to me? (Do I already know? If not, what can I do to try on some new hats? Field trips? Volunteering at new places? Reading some biographies? Interviewing people in various jobs?)
Here’s a freebie from Vicki to get started – Visit the 7 Sisters Website for the Questionaire. 

Six Benefits Of Learning Spanish

Learning Spanish | With a passion for speaking Spanish, and experience as a homeschool mom, Alba Alonso shares the benefits of learning Spanish. You will be surprised at the innovation she uses and she explains more of this in this episode! | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #fitnesslatinos #foreignlanguageSix Benefits Of Learning Spanish Episode 366

With a passion for speaking Spanish, and experience as a homeschool mom, Alba Alonso shares the benefits of learning Spanish. You will be surprised at the innovation she uses and she explains more of this in this episode! Time to learn a #foreignlanguage ~ try #fitnesslatinos

Thanks so much to Fitness Latinos our sponsor! Please visit the website here: VISIT Fitness Latinos here 

An informational video about the product is here: VIDEO Here

About Alba Alonso

  • Her first language was Spanish. She lived in Colombia in South America for her first 10 years. She learned English during her middle and high school years and moved from Miami to Oregon and went on to college in South Carolina. You can say she has tasted a little bit of our US culture in a short time!

    She gave up a career as a marketing coordinator for an international architecture firm to be a stay-at-home mom and homeschooled her two children for the next 20 years. When her firstborn was eight years old her friends began to take an interest in learning Spanish. The first year her homeschool coop started with twenty students!

    Alba is the founder of an all-male Hispanic soccer league, has been an interpreter and was the co-host of Mom’s Homeroom, a parenting web show. Thirty-eight years after having moved to the US she has poured her life’s experience into her online business Fitness Latinos where she teaches Spanish and English in a practical way that will commit learning the foreign language in a personal and permanent way.

    She believes you have to define your “WHY?” before you learn to enjoy the journey. Her life’s motto is, “Transformation Through Education and Each One Teach One.”

Handout from Level 1 & 2 Syllabi and Benefits

Top Six Benefits of Learning Spanish

  1. Inspire – Your journey will inspire others to be courageous and to step out of the mundane routine of life and get to know someone new and exciting.
  2. Fun – The study of a new language helps us be able to navigate outside the tourist bubble, to connect and interact with the place and its people in a way that is typically not accessible to those without the language.
  3. Appreciate –We begin to appreciate other traditions, mannerisms, and cultures. We develop a greater acceptance of others and we learn to have empathy for humanity.
  4. Health – Highly successful people exercise because exercise keeps the brain healthy, reduces stress, helps improve memory, creativity, concentration, problem-solving skills, we can multitask better and we become better listeners.
  5. Connect – We become someone who can connect at a deeper level with others simply because we are more in tune with the differences we each possess.
  6. Challenge – Our motto is “Through language, we communicate, through actions we connect.” Our weekly challenge will encourage you to have the courage to make new friends one step at a time.

By nature, learning our native language or foreign language is elementary. The same way we learned to say hello, learned our colors, numbers, and animals in our mother tongue is the way we instruct students to learn a foreign language. Even if you have some knowledge of Spanish or English but you cannot carry or understand a simple conversation with a foreign speaker then you need to go back and master the basics. By the end of our 1st level course, you will be able to understand your GPS in Spanish or at least give someone directions.

You will understand cognates, articles, nouns, and 50 verbs. Our 2nd level will help our students have a full conversation using feelings, sports, professions, opposites, as well as learn cognates, nouns, prepositions, interrogatives, and 50 verbs. In addition, we give our students specific websites they can focus on to take ownership over their future studies. Learning how to conjugate in different tenses is more advanced and requires different examples best learned one on without stress.

It is important for students to read, write, hear and physically practice the language in a fun environment. There are 22 lessons with written instructions, a video with me pronouncing the vocabulary for the week and a challenge for the week. Some of the challenges are right in your own home and some require you to go to a local store and ask for help.

We have to live with the end in mind. No one lives a happy life without these three: love, purpose, and support. We need more than theoretical knowledge, we need to challenge ourselves to gain practical knowledge. The best way is through relationships. In each lesson’s video, I give my students tips on how to break out of that shyness, fear, lack of interest and truly experience how easy it is to learn Spanish or English. Through weekly assignments that include: family, friends and their community, they will retain the vocabulary for the week for years like my past students.

We have combined effective linear learning (as in one theme per week which is curriculum controlled) and flexible learning (where the environment is learner controlled) and coupled it with motivation to help decrease stress and master cognitive load. The weekly assignments connect our students peer to peer in their own community, something that no computer software can do. We lead the way for better relationship habits in all areas of life.