Vintage Homeschool Moms

Homeschool Teaching Checklist | Replay

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

the best homeschool teaching checklists s podcast replay vintage homeschool momsLet’s Talk About Your Homeschool Teaching Checklist!

with your host Felice Gerwitz

Do you have a Homeschool Teaching Checklist? It’s time to get personal. How are you doing? But you may be saying, “Hold on! We just started school.” And that’s why this podcast is soooooo important. Before the year gets away from you and you waste an entire year, let’s look at your methodology, how the kids are doing, and most importantly, the sense you feel at the end of the day. Is it one of satisfaction or one of thinking you are not getting enough done? I’ll explore some tried and true methods and explain ways to short-cut your child’s education without sacrificing true learning.

Listen to this podcast on giving your child time to find their passion here.

Handout: 49-VHM_TeachingCheckList

Show notes: 


Thanks to our sponsor, – we are pleased for their continued excellence in education and dedication to the homeschool community. It is due to sponsorships that our programs continue to come to you without cost. Please visit the website and check out their curriculum.

Different teaching philosophies in the homeschool world:


  • Charlotte Mason
  • Classical Education
  • Notebooking
  • Unit Studies
  • Textbook/Workbook
  • Eclectic
  • Unschooling

Enjoy this podcast? Try these Vintage Homeschool Moms podcasts:

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

Top Vintage Homeschool Moms Podcasts

Homeschool Lifestyle
Last Minute DIY Tips
Money Saving Field Trips
All About Teaching
Raising Spiritually Strong Kids
Six Homeschooling Insider Tips
Best Staycations for Kids
Avoid Curriculum Pitfalls
Top 10 Parenting Secrets
45 Family Date Night Ideas


Blessings From Heaven

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Blessings From Heaven | While I write this, I remember the sign I had over my desk for years, "Lord help me love my blessings from heaven!" How can we love our kids when we are dealing with their basic needs and raising and correcting misbehavior? This podcast will look at ways to encourage and love our kids as God intended. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #Blessingsfromheaven #kids #kidsandfamily Blessings From Heaven ~ Episode 495

Do you have blessings from heaven? Our children are indeed blessings, but in our busy lives, it is hard to appreciate this fact. This podcast will look at ways to encourage and love our kids as God intended.

Thanks to our sponsor, – check out their amazing math curriculum for K-12

My schoolroom has a plaque that has been there for many years. It reads, “Dear Lord, grant me the patience to endure my blessings!” I began my homeschool journey in 1994 and ended in 2018! It still hangs there as a reminder.

I love the quote by St. Mother Theresa – It is very important that children learn from their fathers and mothers how to love one another- not in the school, not from the teacher, but from you. It is very important that you share with your children the joy of that smile. There will be misunderstandings; every family has its cross, its suffering. Always be the first to forgive with a smile. Be cheerful, be happy.

Mother Theresa said so many things that are still quoted today, and I will share some of these relating to our children throughout this podcast.

However, I know…

IT IS NOT EASY to be cheerful and happy, especially when I was in the midst of school-aged kids. I was too busy keeping up. Of course, I think back fondly on those days – but if you are in the middle of diaper, laundry, and homeschooling older children, I know what you are going through! The saying little kids–little problems, big kids–big problems is real.

At times I struggled to appreciate one of my sons, and I often prayed, Lord, please help me to love him as You love him. It helped tremendously. Instead of only looking at the bad behavior, I remembered he was a child of God, and I prayed blessings upon him. My husband and I often prayed for our kids. We prayed together as a family, still daily struggles cropped up.

Many of you who are listening homeschool your children. And you are truly heroes for loving your kids and caring enough to make the effort this takes on a daily basis. This can not be minimized or forgotten. One of my best blessings is watching my grandchildren be homeschooled–and loving it.

Homeschooling takes most of the day for many of us, especially as the children get older. Most importantly, our time and devotion to our children make a difference. Yet, it is sometimes a struggle to have our children finish their schoolwork and chores and do what they require each day. We are constantly on them for something.

How can we appreciate our blessings from heaven when dealing with their basic needs, raising and correcting misbehavior? That is tough. For this to happen, there needs to be a foundation that comes from love.

Another Mother Theresa quote: “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”

We have an example of the unconditional love of God; he loves the sinner but not the sin. We can use this as a foundation of our love for our children. We separate them from misdeeds and focus on correcting them with love. Our kids need to know they are loved. You do this by saying it to them, and if you are uncomfortable with this, tell them at some point that you care. We think we do this as parents, but more times than not, we expect our kids to know they are loved.

In romantic love, we would never expect to know we are in love; we’d want to be told. Of course, you can show you love someone by your actions, but as parents, our actions tend to be relegated to feeding, clothing, and caring for our kids.

Are you honest with your kids? Think about this question. When you are upset with them for an infraction, is it said with love or anger? When you need them to listen when you speak (which is always), are you clear in your instruction?

Our frustrations with our children stem mostly from the lack of follow-through and how the children seem to have selective listening. I’ve witnessed this in my own family. Therefore I tried to give clear instructions and needed to make myself follow through. I had to check to be sure what I asked was completed, and if not, there were consequences. My daughter is an amazing example of parenting. She is calm and very rarely raises her voice. She deals with things in an uplifting way, and her kids listen well.

Observing other people enjoy their children was an eye-opener for me. I was so busy doing that I found I was missing the biggest gift right in front of my eyes. Sitting with a dear friend and watching the children play in her backyard, I was surprised to find our conversation focused on her love of watching her children. [All I could think about was enjoying adult time, and my friend wanted to watch her kids and how cute they were!] Yet, I walked away changed. I could see not only her love for children but also for them individually. She is one of those people who appreciates the little things.

I learned to stop and appreciate my kids. Now it is almost impossible. If you are sitting outdoors watching your children play, how easy is it to jump on a call, text, or go on social media? None of those things are wrong, and I get it — we all need a break, but just for a few minutes, watch your kids, observe their antics, and enjoy them. You may be thinking I don’t know you, your family, or what your kids are like, and you are absolutely correct. I don’t. You know your family the best, and even if it is just a few minutes of joy, take it!

As a mom and dad, there is so much to do; sitting idly doesn’t happen unless you have a full staff at home to help. My family grew from two kids to five, and I had a dad who lived with me in his 70s and mid-80s. We were able to enjoy our kids, younger and older, and multi-generations. I was able to watch the impact of my father (my mother died years before) and my mother and father-in-law on my children. We can learn so much from our parents, even as adults. If we want our children to love and honor us, we must set an example whenever possible.

I host, A Few Minutes with God on our sister network, The Ultimate Christian Podcast Network. And I have given challenges at the end of each broadcast for the last two years. I decided a challenge would be a good way to practice what I preach, so in the spirit of solidarity, I will join you in the next week in appreciating my blessings, praying for them daily, and letting them know they are loved.

I have several resources below:

Resources: Blessings From Heaven

Building Relationships with Your Kids here.

Family Bonding Time here.

Time Management here.

Relaxing Tips for Mom here.

And I want to leave you with two more quotes by Mother Theresa:

How can there be too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers.

and …

The child is the beauty of God present in the world, that greatest gift to a family.


Time Management For Parents | Replay

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

time management for busy parents
Time Management Parents Episode 412

There is hope! Are you ready for time management that will help you to reclaim your day and feel good at the end? Is this too good to be true? No, it is a reality, and if I can do it, you can as well. How does it happen? Well, very easily with one sheet of paper and four squares. Today I will help you figure out the main issues that steal your time and the hope on how to reclaim it.

Thanks to our sponsor CTCMath, a wonderful Math curriculum for the entire family of school-aged children. This one-stop shop has grades K-12; check it out. Homeschoolers can save 50%!

Let’s get our time management back!

Does your day lack focus? Are you overwhelmed with the shuffling of papers, trying to get school “done,” and keeping up with the household chores? You can see why there is such burnout among moms, especially moms who homeschool. Even at the beginning of the year! I have to say I struggled with this for many years, and it left me feeling tired, defeated, and like I wasn’t getting anything accomplished each day. I felt like a young mom with little children. If I kept everyone safe by the end of the day, it was a win!

However, I wanted so much more. Especially for those who are new to homeschooling or even if you are a pro, you need the help that comes from getting all of your ducks in a row. Let me cut to the chase here. I was out of time because my time was managing me instead of the other way around. What was interrupting my day? What’s getting in the way of time management?

Easy, three things:

  1. Talking on the phone (substitute social media here and texting).
  2. No set schedule for household chores.
  3. Disobedient kids

I had a defeatist attitude and could not wait until my husband came home so I could dump all of my daily woes on him, and guess what? That didn’t work out too well. My husband ran his own business and often needed my help to do the payroll or help with management and the details of filing payroll taxes, filling out forms, and so much more.

Fast forward, and we raised five kids and have not one but three businesses that we run out of our homes successfully. How did this happen? Believe me, it was not overnight, but now I can share those tips and techniques with you, and these are even better than what I had in my toolbox at the time.

Rules are made to be broken, but sometimes you can look at them as good suggestions, so take heart as I share some quick ones with you.

  1. Just because you get an idea, it does not mean you have to act on it right now. Write it down and look at it at lunchtime or after dinner, and plan for it. Quickly one thing I do not do, even with a business, is looking at emails in the morning – emails such the life and my day away from me. Unless I have planned for this, I don’t do it until after lunch. People who really need to get hold of me quickly know how to do this. Everything else can wait.
  2. I learned my time wasters. See number one – but there were others. I let myself get sidetracked, and once I learned the keys to keeping myself on track, it worked.
  3. Make a plan and stick to it – I know, for those of you kindred spirits that are spontaneous. But believe me, it works.
  4. Every self-help book or how to get organized is not going to help you get organized if you refuse to do what it suggests (same with this broadcast)
  5. Seek help when needed.

I think that is important to note that many times we think an issue is one problem when it is really something else. Another issue with time management is that we have false expectations or, perhaps, no expectations at all! So first, it is homework time. I am going to encourage you to stop this recording and write out your most pressing need and what you hope to accomplish. What is your main expectation? Is it a peaceful home? Is it happiness that surpasses all understanding? Is it kids that get along, laundry washed, dried and folded, and put away in one day? Is it meals planned? What is that? What is important to you?

So the first thing to do is look at your expectations, hopes, and dreams and break them down into a day, week, month or even a year. Remember the old saying, “Rome wasn’t built in one day.” But I am going to add my Felice twist here –  “But the fires that destroyed Rome were set on purpose.”

What fires are you setting for yourself? I’ve looked at my expectations and goals and realized that they were so grandiose and my expectation so unattainable that I was setting myself up for failure. It wasn’t going to happen even with a household of full-time employees! So, let’s get realistic. I’m not going to tell you the platitudes I’ve read like, “make every minute count,” or “delegate,” or “make easy-to-serve meals.” This is a duh, duh, and double duh. We are talking about surviving the day here. But what I will tell you is that you need to use what you have on hand.

I’m an author, which I do believe most of you know, and years ago, my daughter wanted to write a novel. I told her, “Christina, I don’t know how to write a novel,” and she said, “Mom, we are homeschoolers. We will figure it out.”

Moms and Dads, if you are listening. You may or may not be homeschoolers – but if there is something you want to do, you can figure it out. The one novel turned out to be three and sold in catalogs such as Christian Book Distributors, currently on Amazon and my website,, and have been around the world. We figured it out.

Time management is what is important to you. The list usually looks like this:

  1. Need to manage the kids.
  2. Need to manage the home.
  3. Need to teach school (for those who are homeschooling.)
  4. Need time with my spouse.
  5. Need to keep my sanity.

Kids always seem to be number one when they should not hold that revered position. As a Christian, the first thing that should be on the list is a time of prayer. I’ve talked about this before, but the days I did not wake up, grab a cup of coffee, my Bible and have a short prayer session with the Lord was the day that all heck broke loose.

So, we need to rearrange the list and have it look something like this.

  1. Keep my sanity. Begin the day with God.
  2. Time with my spouse – figure out when to have a meaningful conversation, spend time and date night even if it means to put the kids to bed and grabbing some popcorn and watching a movie at home.
  3. Manage my home. What is pressing? Laundry? Food? Use your weekends, bulk cook, and freeze. Just like a copy machine is a blessing to every homeschool family, so is an upright or chest freezer.
  4. Manage my kids. Mean what you say and say what you mean. Follow through. Practice good behavior. If this means having your kids repeat after you, do it. I have several audios on this topic, and I also have audios I have created for the kids. See the links below. Have your kids listen to them. Side note here – Tell your kids you are on the same side. Sometimes I think we are in a battle, and the kids need to know there is one leader, it is you as a parent, and the troops need to file in… if you do not have a set of consequences this is important to think about. Ahead of time.
  5. School! Yes, this is last. My kids learned despite my beautifully created curriculum or lessons. Read, read, and read. If you want your kids to learn life lessons do it in books, if you want your kids to learn math get a curriculum. I have a series of character-quality free downloads I give away every month on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network, you can sign up to get them and past sets are for sale on my website at Why is this? Because prior to the 1960s, character was infused and morality in schools, families, and churches. Now, it is all revisionist and secular. Interestingly I read a quote recently from a past president that shocked me. In the words of John Adams: “Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any others.”Friends, this is the key; we must bring morality and all that is good and holy into our homes. If that means restricting screen time, do it – if it means only watching good movies, get Pureflix. I realize this is a challenge for some of you, but I have faith in you. You can do it!

Lastly, the key here – how to do it how to get organized. Fast Track.

  1. One week at a glance. Take a sheet of paper and draw a horizontal line and a vertical line. So, it has 4 squares. Faith, Kids, School Household. You can use different headings on each of these squares for whatever you want. This is an overall sketch of what you are going to do and accomplish. The weekly goals if you will. You will not get detailed with the kid’s schooling, other than maybe to put a time frame, or perhaps books you are going to read as a family, etc.
  2. Square one: Faith you can add spouse there as well. But first, you need to get right with God. You need to be filled up before you can pour into others. My show –
  3. Square two: Kids – what are your overall goals – is there something in particular or one kid, in particular, that is the squeaky wheel that needs help. Whether it is academic or discipline. At a time of war they always went after the leader, so if there is one child that is leading the others astray begin there.
  4. School. Once again the overarching here – do you have a field trip, are you going to do a science experiment, watch a specific video -put this on your list.
  5. Household. When are you doing the laundry, prepare meals – you can have a start time, etc … list it here:

Whatever you use make it work for you! Make it your own. I really do believe you can figure this out and reclaim your time. Time management is you managing time and making an effort to not allow it to manage you!

Resources: Past Vintage Homeschool Moms Podcasts and Show notes to help you!

  1. I have several past podcasts and if you look at the show notes page, you will see links to download a bunch of forms!
    1. Here is one on Homeschool Forms and another on
  2. Last-minute Christmas prep – contains a 4-square planner
  3. Running Your Home Like a CEO
  4. Easy Way Planning link here



Relaxing Tips For Mom

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Relaxing Tips For Mom | Do you have your favorite relaxing tips for mom? Or are you shaking your head and wondering where you will find the time to relax? In this podcast, I will share some quick tips to get in those relaxing minutes even when you struggle to find the time! | #mothersday #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #relaxingtipsformom #justformom #relaxingRelaxing Tips For Mom ~ Episode 494

Do you have your favorite relaxing tips for mom? Or are you shaking your head and wondering where you will find the time to relax? In this podcast, I will share some quick tips to get in those relaxing minutes even when you struggle to find the time!

Thanks to our sponsor CTCMath, a wonderful Math curriculum for the entire family of school-aged children. This one-stop-shop has grades K-12; check it out.

There was a time when a topic like this would make me irritated. I didn’t think I needed to relax; the truth was harder to accept. I was upset because I didn’t think I had the luxury of time. I was so overwhelmed I didn’t think I had time to relax until I decided that if I didn’t take care of my own health, I’d have my kids and husband taking care of me, which meant slowing down.

The first thing I did was look at all of those volunteer, unpaid positions. And when I began scaling back, I found my stress level went down, and so did my time management. I had more time to work with, and I was much happier. Does this mean I never volunteer? Of course not! I am the coordinator of a women’s prayer ministry now, but when I was homeschooling, and my kids were younger, I volunteered in much smaller roles that I could accomplish on my time at home.

I also found that there were things that I could do quickly that were “pick me ups,” and all of these could happen during the day. Some will have you laughing, but I am telling you all are tried and true. In other words, yes, I did these things!

The first thing I’ll ask you to do is make a list of all the things you do each day, then during the week – take out a one-week calendar and map out these times. If you already have a planner, take it out and look at it. Are there any gaps in time?  Here are two to get you started if you do not have a good calendar and goal setting set:

  1. 12-Month Checklist Calendar Set:
  2. Setting Goal Set – 12 months

Before I begin, I want to warn you that your kids, especially if they are younger, are going to join in with you, especially with my quick relaxing tips. Kids are so amazing; if yours are like mine, they want to be where you are! My husband created a playroom off of our schoolroom for the kids upstairs, and they still would drag down their toys to play nearby. So, again, don’t be surprised if you are attempting a quick fifteen-minute foot soak and you find some little feet in with yours!

First, where do you find the time?  Look for it and snatch those pockets of time:

  1. While listening to kids reading, watching television, or even paying bills, you can do almost anything on the list below.
  2. Cut out social media – that can be stressful! I spent lots of time there.
  3. Space out when you look at emails. I do not allow notifications on my phone, but I do allow digests. This gives me things “at a glance” and saves time.
  4. While sitting in traffic, I can listen to music, drink lemon water, or watch the clouds.

Quick Relaxing Tips for Mom

  1. Foot soak. Use episome salts, one or two drops of lavender, or your favorite essential oil scent. Fifteen minutes is all you need.
  2. Rub lotion on your hands, arms, or legs. This is a quick pick-me-up!
  3. Diffuse lemongrass oils or your favorites, and sit with your eyes closed for five minutes. Have the kids sit with you and just be in the moment.
  4. Watch the clouds. I do this in traffic or when I sit outdoors while the kids play and watch the clouds go by – I love it, and it is so relaxing!
  5. Drink water with a sprig of mint or a slice of lemon. Use a squirt of lemon juice if you don’t have fresh on hand.
  6. Neck rub – my kids gave me the best neck rubs, and I used to ask for “neck-rub-coupons” for gifts when they were younger.
  7. Five-minute walk. I have a thread mill and enjoy a quick walk when I feel tired.
  8. Listen to nature; there are many nature soundtracks to help you relax. We used to have specific songs for cleaning day. Make a playlist of the opposite, relaxing songs to help you…relax!
  9. A foot massage. I purchased one of those slide-in foot massagers, and it is great! I take it out when I need a few minutes of relaxation. Yes, they work, and no I dont’ want to get up after ten minutes, so I often do at least fifteen.
  10. Sit. Yes, something as simple as sitting for a few minutes is invigorating. I found my legs so tired each evening until I realized I was standing when I could be sitting doing activities like folding clothes.

Longer Relaxing Tips for Mom

  1. Dinner out with my husband, or even a drive!
  2. Get a manicure or pedicure. Would you believe it took me months to use the gift card my friends purchased for me? I just couldn’t seem to make the time. I usually get two or three a year; taking my daughters is so much fun.
  3. Read. I didn’t have time to read long novels when I was homeschooling, but I could read spiritual books and a chapter daily.
  4. Baths are a favorite of mine. Bath salts help give you the at-home spa experience. Add a terry cloth robe and a bathtub pillow. These are great birthday and Mother’s Day gift ideas.
  5. Time on the phone to talk to a family member or friend. With text messages the norm, it is so nice to have time to catch up!

What are your favorite relaxation tips? Share them with me. We are each so different, and maybe running or exercising is your go-to for relaxation! I never made it to that point in my life, even when I ran each day. Take some time and make a list and try to do one or more things a week, if not each day, and you will be glad you did!

Special Replay | Mother’s Day Gifts

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

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Mothers Day Gifts Podcast

Mother’s Day Gifts, aka “What Mom Really Wants,” is the topic for today’s podcast. As a long-time mom – my first child was born in 1980 – I’ve had some experience *WINK* celebrating Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day has been a time of joy and, truthfully a time of hardship! We moms want to be grateful for whatever we have. While this is true, and I am grateful, I’ve also struggled. Listen as I share some tips for the best Mother’s Day gifts ever, and be sure to subscribe to the Vintage Homeschool Moms podcast!

This episode is brought to you by – a wonderful math curriculum for all of your homeschool needs, or to brush up on new skills.

Mother’s Day Gifts – What Mom Really Wants

Episode 271

I’m including something personal at the end — so stay tuned for Mother’s Day Gifts that I now learn to except and enjoy!

I’ve had some exhausting Mother’s Days! When my children were little, I was sleep deprived, and I don’t do well with little sleep. I’m not one of those people that thrives on four hours or less and feels so productive. No, I’m the crash and burn Mom who would fall asleep while nursing my baby in the middle of the day. When baby number two came along, baby number one was a wild-man two-year-old, and he kept me awake in the day, so no worries about falling asleep! At least baby number one was sleeping through the night, and two, well, let’s say she finally slept all night at age four!

Then came numbers three, four, and five. A larger home, and guess what? Our home turned into a party central. All of the family came for Mother’s Day dinner, and somehow my day turned into a frustration for all. The kids and my husband had to help clean up, I had to cook, and everything had to be perfect when the first mom came! I finally became wise and learned that with these easy tips, I could reclaim my Mother’s Day! First of all, I had to think about what I really wanted to do. Did I want to go out to a costly meal? Did I want a gift that we couldn’t really afford? Did I want to stress my husband and kids by wondering, “What does mom really want for Mother’s Day?

Truthfully the best Mother’s Day gift is to be appreciated and loved.

Those precious handwritten cards with “Mommy, I love you!” are the ultimate best!

Mother’s Day gift selection for me from my family was not working! After years of costly presents, presents that didn’t fit, household items I didn’t want, and the worse, costly flower bouquets ordered and delivered by the florist–have you seen how much they cost?! I said enough! We needed to cut back financially and it was getting so out of hand. It all came to a head, after the following event.

One Mother’s Day, after church and breakfast, my husband decided to take the three younger children fishing. Our subdivision has many small ponds and drainage streams/ ditches where fish abound. He was doing this to give me “alone time.” As I sat with my feet propped up, enjoying my day, my older son came home and looked smug. I knew something was up! Later I learned from the little kids–you’ve gotta love them; they can’t keep a secret–“Dad called up Neal and asked him to buy and bring us flowers — your Mother’s Day gift — to us– at the pond! Isn’t that great Mom?” So much for secrets. I certainly gave flower delivery an entirely different spin!

Yes, as my husband walked in to hand me flowers! A gift. And I was grateful, especially for the smaller price tag, but I decided that day…it’s now or never time to take charge of my own Mother’s Day gift!


First, my sanity tips for Mom, and next, my ideas for the best gifts ever — or ones I’d enjoy!

Here are my Mother’s Day Sanity tips:
1. If you are cooking, make an easy meal: Baked Ham, store-bought scalloped or mashed potatoes, frozen or canned veggies, and prepared salads.
2. Do a potluck. Everyone loves to show off a special recipe. Assign different entrees or sides and desserts to those attending and let everyone else help with the meal.
3. Use paper products. The trees will survive another day.
4. Flowers. Buy yourself some. You can get them locally at a discount. Make your own arrangements. Hint: Use all of one color and baby’s breath for filler. You can not mess up. I promise!
5. Do something for you. Is it a 15-minute uninterrupted shower or soak in the tub? Is it a manicure? Is it a book that you want to read?
What I’ve learned from the thirty-eight years of being a mom… many times, your family wants you to have the perfect day because they really do love and appreciate you; they need help! Being proactive goes a long way to making your day wonderful!
My favorite Mother’s Day gift was going to church, then out to the beach, and one of our favorite casual restaurants. There is a pizza restaurant that has an extensive sandwich, and salad menu as well. Here we can sit with an amazing view and enjoy each other’s company. The food is delicious and then we can go to the beach and enjoy a few hours before it gets too hot! When we get home, the kids help clean out the car; it gets vacuumed while I shower. Then, prep for an evening meal handled by my now grown-up teens and husband! Things have changed but then, I had to ask for the change, something we moms don’t want to do!

Suggestions for Great Mother’s Day Gift Ideas:

1. Gift Subscriptions – sometimes there are subscriptions I won’t buy for myself and I really want. This is my top list. DO you have any you would add?
  • Audible
  • Kindle Unlimited or other eReader subscriptions
  • Streaming movie channels – like Hallmark *wink
  • Streaming radio channels
2. Coupons from kids
  • I love you mommy notes!
  • Neck messages
  • “Chore upgrade” coupons
  • Car wash
3. Flower bushes
  • Rose bushes
  • Flowers planted
  • Mulch
  • Tree planted
4. Household
  • Trash emptied each day!
  • House cleaned
  • Floors cleaned
5. Devices
  • Sleeve for laptop
  • New phone case
  • eReader
  • Battery charger
Relax. Have Fun. Enjoy Your Day.

Enjoy this podcast? Listen in to these:




Soldier Lessons

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Soldier Lessons | What are soldier lessons? These are things we can learn from soldiers and apply to our lives. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #lessonsforkids #justforkids #podcastforkids #lifelessons #miltarylifelesson #mentalstrength #tipsforkidsSoldier Lessons ~ Just For Kids ~ Episode 493

What are soldier lessons? These are things we can learn from soldiers and apply to our lives. The military men and women are tough and become tough through training and the ideals of protecting others. They give of themselves for noble causes. In this JUST for Kids episode, we can learn from the men and women that serve our country.

This episode is brought to you by – a wonderful math curriculum for all of your homeschool needs, or to brush up on new skills.

I want to welcome you to this podcast and encourage you to like this episode and share it with a friend, this helps us tremendously and in doing so, pays it forward.

Do you know a soldier? Perhaps you have a family member or a neighbor, or maybe you live in a town that has a military base. Maybe you know what a soldier does, and maybe this is new information for you. In my family, my youngest son is in the Army and he is a 2nd Luietnent. I’ve watched him work very hard to get in shape and eat right. This is way before he was sent to training.

I think we can learn so much from soldiers and that is what this episode is all about, learning by watching others and using the useful information in your own life. Each branch of the military has a set of rules the soldiers follow, but most are very similar.

There are words like loyalty, honor, respect, duty, giving of yourself (selfless), courage, and integrity. Do these words mean anything to you? In a family we do these things,  we are loyal to our family and have respect for our parents and siblings, we have our duties, the things that are required of us, and we give of ourselves when we are asked to do things that are above what is expected. Having integrity means not cheating or stealing and doing what is right, these are also called morals. Courage may not be something that is used as much in families because you should feel safe in your own family. But maybe you might need courage if there is something you must stand up for, even yourself. We will get back to these traits in a minute.

Something remarkable that I’ve noticed about my own soldier son and his friends is that many are self-motivated. What does this mean? It means they do the hard things because they are supposed to not because someone makes them. I watched my son fill a backpack with forty-five pounds of weight and walk and run until he could do at least five miles well. It turns out he had to do 12-14 miles or more rucks – that means walking and running with a heavy weight on your back. He said sometimes his pack weighed 100 lbs. He trained in water, in the mountains, and in the swamps and this prepares the soldiers for the different terrain they may experience.

What these young men do is train to be ready. Are you ready? Ready for what? For your life? How are you training to be the best you can be? Many times we try to get away with doing the least amount of work, right? What if you are asked to clean up your room? Is it easier to pick up your clothes and put them away or is it easier to kick them under the bed for another time? What did you say? If you said kick them under the bed, that is a short-term solution – this means you will eventually have to do the work of getting those clothes out and taking care of them, so why not do it right away?

In your life, you can be the best you can be or the worse. Who wants to be last or be a loser? No one. You might say you don’t care, but all of us care.  What can we learn about life from a soldier? Soldiers must do the best they can or they will be cut out, fail their training, be sent to the end of the training to do it again, or worse get dropped. That means they will get jobs that no one else wants. If a soldier does the best they can they will be selected for important jobs because they have proved they can do it. Don’t you want to get the best jobs instead of the worse? If you show you can do the easy stuff you will. It takes practice. No one not even a soldier is great at a job the first time.

Let’s say you are not happy OR you may think no one cares about you so why should you try? The only person you can make care of is yourself. You should want to do the best you can because you can, not because of what you think others will say. That is being a soldier, the kind of soldier that puts integrity and honor first. Integrity is doing what is right and not cheating someone and trusting yourself to make good choices. Honor is carrying respecting others and serving others in a way that is right and just.

Write down the words loyalty, honor, respect, duty, giving of yourself (selfless), courage, and integrity. Think about how you live your life and think about ways you can improve. All of us can get better and learn from others, not just kids but adults as well. How can you be more loyal? Show honor and respect within your family. How can you do your duty in a way that is correct and how can you give of yourself to your family and friends? What about courage and integrity? How can you use those in your daily life?

In the training that some soldiers go through they are sleep deprived and don’t have enough to eat. Sleep deprivation means they are not allowed to sleep very much each day, and often work through the night. Sometimes they stay up all day and all night. Not having enough to eat is hard, it means the soldiers go hungry. Why does this happen? To make the soldiers stronger, and to show them that if they can withstand this type of hardship they can do anything. They keep going, they do not stop, they do what they are told, and they do it to the best of their ability. They are hungry. They are tired. They have to push beyond their limits. That makes them stronger.

Thankfully in your life, you can go to bed at a decent time, and no one makes you wake up to take a walk in the woods to do training, thankfully! In your life, you can eat three meals a day and often have snacks if you are hungry. Try to be like a soldier and don’t eat your snacks or dessert one day. How does that make you feel? If you can deny yourself a treat, you can deny yourself something else like doing the wrong thing. You may be tempted to sneak that cookie before mealtime when your mom tells you to wait or do something else that is not right. Showing yourself that you have the willpower (that is the power to go against the easy way or what you want to do) will make you a stronger person.

I hope this makes you think about the ways you can improve your life. Can you make a plan to try one thing a day? One day try to be loyal, another respectful, try to do your chores or school work the best you can, another time be helpful to others and another has the courage to stand up for what is right and to have integrity in all that you do. Can you imagine if we all tried to live lives like this we would be so much stronger and better!

When people do not act the best it causes all of us to pay for it in some way. We lock our cars and our homes because we are worried someone might steal from us. We put our money in the bank for the same reason. People get hurt when others do not act honorable. But the best place to show that you can be the best is at your own home. If you can try these things without anyone knowing about it – and I am sure your brothers, sisters, and parents will notice. Just like being bad gets attention, being good and doing what is right does as well.

I pray that looking at the good qualities of a soldier that is to fight and protect us is very helpful to our own country. It is designed to keep us safe. Acting honorably in your own family will be helpful to all!

Truth Seekers Mystery Series | Special Replay

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Mystery Series | Has you child wanted to write a book? What about a mystery? Join Felice as she interviews her co-author and daughter. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #creationscienceTruth Seekers Mystery Series Episode 

Join Felice Gerwitz as she interviews her co-author in the Truth Seeker’s Mystery Series, Christina (Gerwitz) Moss. Christina shares her homeschool experience and how the series evolved from an idea to three books in the series.

Thanks to our sponsor, – we are pleased for their continued excellence in education and dedication to the homeschool community. It is due to sponsorships that our programs continue to come to you without cost. Please visit the website and check out their curriculum.

Christina began the idea of writing a novel and finally convinced her mom it was a good idea. When Felice, a non-fiction author with a publishing company, Media Angels, Inc., explained she didn’t know how to write a novel, her daughter shot back. “We are homeschoolers; we can figure it out!” And figure it out; they did.

First In The Truth Seekers Mystery Series

Christina’s first novel, The Missing Link Found (Book One in the Truth Seekers Mystery Series), outsold her mother’s Creation Science: A Study Guide at the convention debut. In fact, this book helped children learn about Creation science in a fun way, and in turn, they were enthusiastic about attending creation science events.


Encourage Your Kids to Solve Their Own Creation Science Mystery

Media Angels, Inc. offers the Creation Science Camp. Perfect for homeschool, co-op, or Christian school classroom. Each day you study one day of God’s amazing Creation! One Week of Full Activities or break it up into a longer period of time. Your choice.

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If you Enjoyed this Podcast on the Mystery Series, Listen to This:

The Truth Seekers Mystery Series Perfect for Summer Reading – Keys to the Past: Unlocked


Faith and Homeschooling

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Faith and Homeschooling | regardless of your primary decision to homeschool, bringing elements of your faith into the equation is a powerful relatinship builder. Faith and Homeschooling

Episode # 262

Faith and homeschooling, how do these two things work together? Is faith and homeschooling a part of your life, or are faith and homeschooling compartmentalized?

In this episode, we explore why our faith should be an integral part of our homeschool day and integrated into our lives. Our children learn best by example, and what better way to show our children than through the experiences in a well-rounded homeschool curriculum?

Thanks to our sponsor, – we are pleased for their continued excellence in education and dedication to the homeschool community. It is due to sponsorships that our programs continue to come to you without cost. Please visit the website and check out their curriculum.

Show Notes: Faith and Homeschooling

Homeschooling is a lifestyle with learning coming easily into our daily experiences. In this way, my children recognize the opportunities presented to them as part of what we do but also part of their school experience.

Quick Tips for incorporating faith into you homeschool:

Let’s get started.

Incorporate Bible into your daily homeschooling routine.

Kids watch us; are we praying? Do you use a journal in prayer? Do you study the Bible? I created the course, Homeschooling with Proverbs– because I wanted a family Bible course with all of us on the same page. Homeschooling and faith in our family are intertwined, although it didn’t begin that way. Listen to the audio as I share my beginning of the homeschool journey.

Make prayer a large part of your day – faith in practice.

We pray as a family and still do this today, even with grown kids in the house, kids home from college, and kids who work and live at home. Daily prayer keeps our family focused on the real meaning of life – a life with God. Prayer has been answered in abundance in our home by keeping God first in our lives.

Use a Curriculum that is Christian faith-focused.

Do you use a curriculum devoid of faith or one that encourages your faith journey? My daughter and I wrote a series of Creation based novels that are still popular today. You can find them on or on Amazon: Novel 1- Missing Link Found, Novel 2- Dinosaur Quest at Diamond Peak, Novel 3- Keys to the Past Unlocked, along with study guides. These novels have a Christian focus, and the children are homeschooled (of course!). We also studied the creation vs. evolution discussion and studied a series I also wrote on the topic.

How do you incorporate faith in your homeschool? My kids have gone on to college and be able, successfully, to present scientific evidence for creationism in the college classroom and with professors in private. This came from years of homeschooling and study.

Additional Tips for Introducing Faith into Your Homeschool

  1. Celebrate feast days; make it part of your homeschooling curriculum. I love to celebrate the names of my children and the days on a religious calendar. You can find information here
  2. Visit places that are notable, churches and shrines. I share a testimonial about doing this as a child with my family in Italy when I toured the Vatican and Sistine Chapel in Rome as well as a friend who came to know God through the churches in Europe.

Media Angels Creation Bundle Membership Site

Media Angels Creation Bundle

Do you believe that God created all … what about the world? Do you think HE could have created the world as stated in the Book of Genesis? This series will answer those questions and so much more!

No boring science here! Great hands-on activities that children love, and they’ll actually remember what they’ve learned long after the books are closed. Read great books, demonstrate theories with activities, and learn the joy of knowing our universe was created by an amazing God.

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This is written for all grade levels integrating all subjects. This includes outlines, activities, experiments, vocabulary, reading lists, math ideas, book reviews, reproducible sheets, and much more. Get yours here.


Moms Fill Up Your Tank

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Moms Fill Up Your Tank | When moms are empty, there is nothing to give; in this episode, we discuss how to fill up your tank so that you can pour out the best to your family. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #encouragementformoms #helpformoms #homeschoolhelp #homeschooltips #homeschooladviceMoms Fill UP Your Tank ~ Episode 492

When moms are empty, there is nothing to give; in this episode, we discuss how to fill up your tank so that you can pour out the best to your family. Join Felice as she shares her struggles and victories as a busy mom, business owner, and homeschooler.

Thanks to our sponsor, – we are pleased for their continued excellence in education and dedication to the homeschool community. It is due to sponsorships that our programs continue to come to you without cost. Please visit the website and check out their curriculum.

Each of us measures success differently. Maybe success is getting the laundry washed, dried, folded, and put away all in one day. For someone else, success is getting through the day without spills and serving sibling squabbles. For another, it might mean figuring out a pesky Algebra problem. For me, success means accomplishing something no matter what I do.

I invite you to visit my website for a selection of Character Planners here for your kids, just in time for any season.

Years ago, I would not have created a podcast on this topic because I am what I would call a mommy martyr. What is the definition of a mommy martyr? That is someone who doesn’t think they need any help and can do everything on their own!

I struggled with thinking I needed any time for myself. I thought it was selfish if I wanted a few minutes to regroup, change my clothes, or even use the restroom without an audience. Any mom with kids under five totally understands what I am saying. So, it is no wonder that we sag at the end of the day and are greet our spouses with lackluster enthusiasm. As a young mom, my wonderful and caring mother-in-law shared a book with me that caused me to laugh so hard I had tears in my eyes.

It spoke of being showered, dressed and ready at the end of each day to greet your spouse. To be fair, I don’t go anywhere without some eye makeup on – that is just me. I don’t like to look like I am dragging, and it is amazing what a little mascara and a light coating of eyeliner can do to make my eyes pop! Not that it is the same for everyone. But if we look good, even for ourselves, it is a blessing to others. Of course, the lady on the cover wore heels, no less. She considered this the guide to being a good mother and housewife. But nowhere within the pages was this lady a homeschool mom – and that friend makes us unique. As homeschool moms, we don’t get that daily break of having kids at school, but even parents whose kids go to school find their days filled with all types of activities, many family-focused.

How can we divide our day to give ourselves a break? A good friend shared that she would switch off time with another homeschool parent. Maybe they had craft days during this time, but instead of using her time grocery shopping or cleaning, she spent the time at the park praising God or praying in some way. She said that filled her up with the love of God to the point that she was ready to tackle the rest of the week. For me, that time of prayer was in the morning during my first cup of coffee. I had a chair in my bedroom and had instructed my little ones to wait until I was done for breakfast and prayer time with them. My husband left early in the morning, and I used the time after he went to work to pray. The kids learned early on that if they interrupted me with something unnecessary, in their words, “Mommy was grouchy all day.”

What is helpful to you? If you have little ones, the answer might be just getting them down for naps or sleeping all night. It is different for each of us, depending on the stage of life we are in. However, filling up the time that we have can take minutes. Here are some helpful ideas, and please use this as a jumping-off point. We moms are great multi-taskers! Perhaps doing one of these things while doing something else will be useful. Playing music while folding laundry. Listening to a favorite podcast while emptying or filling the dishwasher. These small things can be so helpful! One mom told me she and her children listened to my podcasts while painting a room. I have specific podcasts that I call the “Just for Kids Series,” and these are available as well. Whatever that is, it may take some planning, but it is helpful.

Truly friends, sometimes it takes seeing a short list of ideas to spark our own. It really boils down to planning your time wisely. If we do this, we can easily increase the time in our day. Our checklist planners and our current free offering, our “Organize IT” monthly planners, are designed to help moms as well. These are available on the website or to our subscribers of this network. You can sign up here for our weekly eZine and planners.

Quick Ideas For Moms

  1. Take time in the early morning for yourself, whether that is a cup of coffee, tea, or your favorite drink. A prayer meditation on an app, or the Bible, something that fills you with joy, is helpful.
  2. Music – do you have a playlist of favorite songs? When you need that, pick up and listen to one!
  3. Use an essential oil diffuser – it is amazing how a little bit of lavender goes a long way, or whatever your favorite scent.
  4. Changing out of your PJs – I know we like to be comfortable. But either make the day jammies day, and the entire family can sit around in loungewear or change after breakfast. I always feel better when I start the day fresh.
  5. Put on light makeup. This does wonders for me. Once, I tried going without eyeliner, and everyone kept telling me I looked tired when I was not! Try looking your best for yourself!

If you have a little extra time, here are some things I enjoy that may be helpful; again, remember to make up your own list of things, even if it is a wish list at this point in time.

Longer Ideas for Moms

  1. Read a good book. Sure, it may take a month to get through to the end, but at least you have something to look forward to at the end of the day.
  2. Listen to an audiobook; I have a subscription to an audiobook service and listen in the car while doing errands. The public library has free services.
  3. Plan a date night. Even if it is in the home after the kids are in bed, it is something to look forward to! My husband and I take turns asking each other out via text. It really lifts my mood during the day. One of my friends trades off with her husband, and each week one of them plans an outing for the other.
  4. Downtime. Go to the park or just out for a drive alone if you need time for solitude. As one mom shared, “I wish someone would put me in my room for time out!” If you can’t get away, allow your kids movie time and retreat to your room for some quiet time alone. When I suggested this to a friend, she looked at me as if I was brilliant; the thought had never occurred to her.
  5. Sitting outdoors and observing nature. This is so soothing to me. It is not in my nature to sit and enjoy my surroundings but when I do I am so blessed. The other day a red cardinal sat on our backyard fence singing, which was so beautiful — but instead of just enjoying it I had to find my phone and snap a picture. Trying to slow down and fill up does not come easy, but when we do, we will be happy we did.

I so wish we were in a room chatting to share ideas, but I hope some of these were helpful or, at the least, gave you ideas of your own. We, moms, are unique. We give our time and efforts to our kids, and it is a thankless job but something we would do all over again and again. We signed up for this, and I pray you are blessed in your own journey and living the dream!

Homeschool Secret Weapon

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Homeschool Secret Weapon | The homeschool secret weapon is not the perfect curriculum, perfectly run home, or peaceful household. | #homeschoolpodcast #podcast #secrethomeschoolweapon #helpfformoms #momstips #insiderhomeschooltips #homeschoolersHomeschool Secret Weapon ~ Episode 491

The homeschool secret weapon is not the perfect curriculum, perfectly run home, or peaceful household. While all of those things are great, the true secret lies in the little-known information, and once you get it right, the rest falls into place. Join veteran homeschooling mom Felice Gerwitz as she shares her homeschool experience with you.

Visit the updated website for classes, books, and planners to help you on your homeschool journey.

If you missed my last podcast, Homeschooling Secrets, check it out here.

So…it’s time to dig deep, and I need your full attention. Sure, homeschool moms are great multi-taskers. You may be driving, folding clothes, or perhaps even painting a wall with your kids. (I’ve received emails telling me the favorite activities of my listeners.) But, seriously, I need your attention today because the information I am sharing with you will take some convincing.

It is not that my information is incorrect or that it is flawed in some way; the issue at hand is that humility may get in the way.

I’m not trying to be vague if you have listened to any of my past 490 podcasts a ridiculous number, I know, and I’m still at it; I normally get right to the point.

The Real Secret Weapon

The truth is the secret weapon is you, mom, or dad. Not to put pressure on you more than you possibly put on yourself, but the simple fact is you are it! You are the head of your home, classroom, discipline, and organization in your family, the head honcho, or whatever title you give yourself. Who gives the final word on what happens in your child’s education? You. In regard to your child’s physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being in the palm of your hand. Literally.

How did I come to this conclusion? Carefully. Over the years, I placed blame on various sources, entities, and even my own shoulders for what I considered academic or character struggles my children went through in their life. The curriculum was easy – if my child didn’t “get” Algebra using one book, no worries – we purchased another. Character struggles were the result of a young age (they are too young to get it), too little knowledge (we haven’t covered that yet) or lack of information (we are working on that). But at some point, I had to stop and say, “I can’t blame their teacher because I am their teacher.”

Instead of that statement being a burden, I embraced it. I realized that I could not address the issue without acknowledging my shortcomings. If my child was misbehaving, I had many options, but I had to do something to correct that behavior, or I’d see it again and again. I’d turn into the nagging, repeating parent.

Word on the Street

At every convention I attended, I found the next best thing. Yet, upon implementation, I found that this next-best thing was not what I was looking for, whether it was a book, workbook, video, game, or even a book on scheduling and organization. I discovered that I needed to be “all in” in order to embrace what we were learning and be there to support my child in the process. As homeschoolers, we tend to want to set it and forget it. Give your child a book and walk away and then become frustrated when they walk away from the table and never come back, lose their book, or fail to complete an assignment. This all happened in the course of my 32 years of homeschooling.

My discovery came from many discussions with my husband, homeschool friends, and children. First, my husband shared information he learned from listening to a homeschooled dad of a large family, a Catholic Psychologist he listened to on the radio. He loved this man and his advice, especially to dads.  His advice was that moms hold so much power in their hands. They can determine if the child receives privileges. It is up to them. That is not novel advice, but in the context of homeschooling it becomes powerful. We are with our children 24/7, and our children know what buttons to push; they know when we are tired, or they conquer and divide, tell mom or dad that the other parent gave permission when this isn’t true. Or, they blur the lines of exactly what it means when you ask, “Did you complete your assignment?”

Homeschool Secret Weapons Tool Box:

Having the tools to get the results you need is in your tool chest of homeschool secret weapons. And what are these?

  1. You have the power of yes or no.
  2. You can remove distractions.
  3. You can set boundaries.
  4. You can decide if a child forgoes a snack or a treat.
  5. You can give permission or take it away.

My daughter brought home some friends when she attended a local university. One girl went on and on about how she was now an adult. I asked what age constituted adulthood and, secondly, when she turned said age. She answered eighteen and that her birthday had been a few months prior. So, I concluded you had been an adult for three months? She saw where I was going with it, and my daughter just laughed and rolled her eyes. This friend then proceeded to tell me that she and my daughter had had quite a few conversations, and she considered my interest in her life excessive. (She wasn’t quite blatant, but I knew what she meant.)

I explained, “Well, this household is not a republic or a democracy. It is a monarchy, and I am the Queen.” My daughter had a smile on her face, thankfully because she had heard it before, but this girl was appalled. So I went on to explain further.

You Are The Queen

Being the head of your household and reigning as Queen means caring for those in your charge (your spouse, your children), laying down your life for your kingdom (your family), and providing the best within your means. A responsibility, yes, but a privilege as well. It is a weighty responsibility; we need to refill our tanks occasionally. (I have an upcoming podcast on the topic). Being the Queen is also a thankless job. We do it because we are born into this and thrive if it is done well.

The homeschool secret weapon is our attitude and our outlook on our homeschool journey. It is placing things in perspective and not stressing the small stuff (guilty of both). Honestly, I had to pull away from the homeschool community at large for a time. I had to pull back and reexamine my focus on my spouse and children and regroup. I founded this Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Community out of a need to celebrate what was good in homeschooling with people I knew (the majority of the people on this network are those I know personally or have met in real life). You can trust these podcasters as having your best interest in giving homeschool advice.

Next Step

Friends, you are the homeschool secret weapon, and the question is, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to realize the power you have and use it wisely? I pray that this information has been helpful and you can use it to benefit your children and your family life. We undervalue our service to our family, or at best; we are too humble to appreciate it — that is why I asked for your full attention at the beginning of this podcast. I know your hearts are good, and you want what is best for your children, and when there are frustrations or difficulties, it is easy to blame others or even your children for their lack of cooperation. Knowing we have the tools at our disposal is a good start.