Vintage Homeschool Moms

Intentional Conversations ~ These 16 Things

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Intentional Conversations | These 16 Things Do you have intentional conversations with your children? In this episode, Felice Gerwitz and special guest Brian Perry discuss the importance of introducing your children to the basics of family life and beyond. Will your child be prepared for the "real world" | podcast #homeschoolpodcast #Blessingsfromheaven #kids #kidsandfamily #IntentionalConversationsIntentional Conversations – These 16 Things – Episode 499

Do you have intentional conversations with your children? In this episode, Felice Gerwitz and special guest Brian Perry discuss the importance of introducing your children to the basics of family life and beyond. Will your child be prepared for the “real world?”

Our guest today is Brian Perry – Brian is a dedicated Christian, husband, and father of seven. With a passion for coaching, Brian coaches soccer and serves as a counselor at a church camp for kids. He is also an active obstacle course racer and runs his own painting and pressure-washing business. Brian Teaches life skills to kids through his website (, which covers 16 skills not typically taught in schools. The website is accompanied by an ebook, 16 Things to Teach Kids That Schools Won’t, that provides further resources and insights.

Brian and Luke Grim have created the website and videos you can access for free. Luke is a Christian, husband, father of eight, and retired U.S. Army. He spends his time teaching these topics to his kids and teaches 12th-grade government. He coaches youth soccer, serves as a counselor at a church camp for kids, and leads a men’s group and a small group through his church. He is also a partner in the website

The focus of today’s show is the idea of having intentional conversations with your children in order to teach life skills. This came about after Brian heard a podcast on the topic of teaching life skills and the importance of this in your home. [The Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network hosts LifeSkills in the Digital Age with Lisa Nehring.]

These conversations can come naturally from situations in your home to taking the initiative to teach your children the importance of budget and balancing a checkbook account. Many of these topics are covered on their website in short videos. Brian believes this mission [of having intentional conversations] is a good idea because kids are being taught fewer life skills than ever and are ill-prepared to live on their own when they become adults.

Brain and Luke send weekly emails targeting topics you may want to address with your children. You can sign up for this on their website and view the extensive resources list and the short, informative video presentations.

Visit their YouTube channel.


Back To Homeschool Lists | Replay

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

back to homeschool lists Let’s Talk About: Back to Homeschool Lists with Felice Gerwitz 

Can you successfully homeschool easier with back-to homeschool lists? Of course, you can! Listen as Felice shares her aversion to lists, her New Year’s Resolution to make lists and USE them, and how it has helped her formulate a plan for going back to school with style!

Back to Homeschool Lists

As the back-to-school season approaches, homeschool moms often find themselves juggling various responsibilities and tasks. Making lists can be a powerful organizational tool to help ease the transition and ensure a smoother start to the homeschool year. Here are some list-making ideas that can make back-to-school season easier for homeschool moms.

Firstly, create a comprehensive curriculum list. This list should outline all the subjects and topics you plan to cover throughout the year, helping you stay focused and on track. Break it down into weekly or monthly plans to maintain a sense of progress.

Next, develop a daily or weekly schedule. Listing out the subjects, activities, and breaks for each day helps establish a routine and keeps everyone accountable. It also allows for better time management and prevents important tasks from being overlooked.

Supplies and Materials for your Back to Homeschool Lists

Don’t forget to compile a list of necessary supplies and materials. Take inventory of your current stock and note down any additional items needed, such as textbooks, workbooks, art supplies, or science experiment materials. This way, you can shop in advance, avoiding last-minute rushes.

Consider making a meal plan list as well. Having a menu prepared for the week can save time and reduce stress when it comes to meal preparation, ensuring that everyone is well-fed and nourished throughout the day.

Lastly, create a list of goals for the homeschool year. This can include both academic and personal objectives for each child, providing a sense of purpose and motivation. Regularly review and update this list to track progress and celebrate achievements.

By making lists, homeschool moms can relieve the chaos and streamline the back-to-school season. With a clear plan in place, they can focus on creating a nurturing and engaging learning environment for their children.

Show Notes:

  1. Select curriculum
  2. Purchase or order curriculum
  3. Use various websites for ideas – like Pinterest
  4. Organize your school space
  5. Purchase school supplies
  6. Organize your school supplies
  7. Organize your books
  8. Organize your year
  9. Plan field trips
    1. Plan holiday breaks
    2. Plan your day
  10. Organize your child’s workstation

Handout: Back To School Planning List

Example of Check Off Lists Example Check Off Lists-2

More lists on Lists For Back To School

Movie Review Lists – Watching Movies Paper

Support our Sponsor, CTC Math!

 CTC Math — Check out Unlimited Access today!


Prepare For Storms

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Prepare For Storms | As parents, we prepare our kids for many things, but do we prepare our kids for storms? In an uncertain world, there is something we as parents can do to alleviate the fears and help our children cope with the unexpected and sometimes dangerous | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #Blessingsfromheaven #kids #kidsandfamily #PrepareForStorms #PreparePrepare For Storms – Episode 498

As parents, we prepare our kids for many things, but do we prepare our kids for storms? In an uncertain world, there is something we as parents can do to alleviate the fears and help our children cope with the unexpected and sometimes dangerous.

Thanks to our sponsor – please visit their website for more information; our sponsors help us provide free podcasts for you year-round.

Storms are a thing, no matter where you live. How prepared are you? As a teenager, I moved to southwest Florida after living up north, New York and even a few years in Canada, to be exact. I lived through ice, hail, and snow storms that kept us homebound for days. I watched as cars skidded off the road during ice storms, and my parent prepared our car with essentials in case we were stuck in a storm. This helped me grow up as I didn’t fear the storm as much as I feared being unprepared.

Here in Florida, heavy downpours and lightning storms are the norm in summer. The winters here are mild, with rain storms rare. However, early spring and summer are another story. We had our first near brush with a tornado that barreled down our street and hit a few houses badly but missed ours. We were not as unscathed by previous hurricanes. Most of our previously wooded acreage is now bare, and we had a roof that needed to be replaced after the last hurricane that hit.

Listen to this past episode from Rookie Rescue here.

Prepare Your Kids

One thing I will say is we are always prepared. Not so much for the tornado, since they are very rare, but we know the drill for hurricanes.

Safety is important, and letting our children know that we are preparing goes a long way toward helping them feel assured. They also go off of our stress. If we are upset or worried, they will know it. Of course, there is a need for concern. Being honest with your children and listening to their concerns is one way to alleviate any they may have. There are no guarantees, but when it comes to preparation, we can do that ahead of time. Allowing kids to help makes them feel productive and part of the family.

As a homeschooler, we turned storms into a science lesson; we studied the origination of storms, picked up a hurricane tracking map from our local news station, and listened for advice from the authorities. The children learned so much about upper lows, fronts, and storm surges. This last hurricane to hit Florida had a record storm surge unseen in past years. Sometimes there is a valid excuse to evacuate. The beach areas and intercostal were all advised to evacuate, and they did.

Here is a quick overview to help you prepare:

  1. Identify the types of storms that happen in your area.
  2. Do you have the necessary supplies to withstand a power outage?
  3. What non-perishable foods do you have on hand?
  4. Make a list of things you need, such as flashlights, batteries, and backup power chargers.
  5. Check over your list of supplies weeks before whatever “season” begins.

Preparation List:

  1. Batteries and flashlights, battery backup
  2. Boxed goods
  3. Canned goods
  4. Disposable plates, napkins, etc.
  5. Water in tubs.
  6. Power source: generator (only run outdoors).
  7. Extra propane for grills
  8. Fill up cars with gas (extra gas cans)
  9. Crank radio (or another source that does not need power)
  10. A backpack is packed and ready in case you need to leave.

In addition, all important items, such as papers or valuables, should be in waterproof bags and sturdy fire-proof safes. If you need to retrieve these items quickly, it helps to have them packed in a safe in waterproof bags ready to go.

We evacuated a few times during the hurricane season, especially when our children were younger. We turned this into a mini-vacation, with chest coolers full of perishable meats, and headed to visit our North relatives. These times were short, but at least we felt our family’s safety outweighed anything else. In recent years with grown children, we’ve hurricane proofed our house as best we can and have backup generators and gas grills for the length of time after we lose power. This last storm power was returned before the “normal for us” two weeks, but our internet capabilities did not for a good two months~ my friends are still a mystery.

Some children are afraid of lightning. Listen to their concerns. Are they afraid the storm will come into the home? Identify the problem and again (another time) have a lesson with your child about the science behind lightning. Explain that thunder causes lightning. Light travels faster than sound, so we see the flash before hearing the noise. When we hear thunder, it is too late! We need to get indoors immediately. There are weather apps you can get for your phone that track lightning and let you know when it is a safe distance away so you can go outdoors.

What other storms do you have in your area? If you have tornados, then it is important to have an evacuation plan. Do your children know what to do in case of an emergency? Go over the steps to evacuate or go to a safe area like a basement after a severe storm, talk to your children, and address any needs or concerns they may have about what occurred.

My children treated storms like a big adventure (I did not share their sentiment), but having kids who were excited rather than frightened was helpful. My daughter, now a young adult, weathered the last storm here with us. She had not been through a storm in all the years since she left for college. It turns out her area was not hit as hard as we were, but it was good to be together as a family for peace of mind, and we had food and generators running and were all safe.

When children are smaller, it is good to let them see the real world and not shelter them totally. That does not mean we go and show them the devastation in pictures or by watching startling news stories on air, but it does mean we address and deal with their concerns. In this way, our kids will grow to be resilient and prepared to deal with hardships in the future.

Some kids have an unfounded fear. For example, a fear of the dark. Think back to your childhood. How was this addressed? Sometimes our fears are not addressed, and that can make them worse. Scaring each other by hiding behind doors, under beds, etc., was not allowed in our home. This was a rule in my home growing up as well. I believe this helped my kids feel safe and confident in our homes. (I don’t like scary movies and never watch them for the same reason, this puts unneeded fears and concerns in our hearts for no reason!)

I think talking to your child and letting them stay with you during a storm is important. Being united as a family, being prepared and being aware of the dangers, and addressing them ahead of time is helpful.



Summertime Making Family Memories | Replay

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Making Summetime Family Memories podcast Vintage Homeschool MomsSummertime – Making Family Memories

Episode 277, Making Family Memories

Making family memories is one of the most important things you will ever do as a family. As homeschool parents, we naturally make memories with our children each day, but in this episode, we explore making positive memories!

Thanks to our sponsor – Media Angels.

The topic of making family memories is very important to me, and I recall my own parents trying very hard with a meager budget to create memorable events for us each summer. There were eight siblings and they all pitched in to buy a house in upstate New York. I remember the house being very small but most of what I remembered was the stream with running water that ran across the property and we happily played in, the baths outside in a big steaming metal tub, and the huge play balls we enjoyed with my cousins. The food was delicious, the fresh watermelon and barbeque chicken on the grill.

This was a family adventure and we spent time there every summer up until I was in the third grade. One of my uncles was part owner of this house and when he aged and retired to Florida, he and my aunt were frequent visitors to our home and family events. He would smile as he surveyed the table, the decorations or the big homemade cake and his comments resonated with me, he would say that no matter what we do with our children each day, making memories is the most important.

I recently heard the same quote at a business meeting – and that seemed like the Lord’s confirmation that this is something so many of us need to hear. The quote was something like this, “People will forget what you say, what you do, but they will not forget how you make them feel.”

This is the basis for so many successful businesses. How do you feel when you walk into a coffee house, or a small mom and pop business where people say hello when you walk in the door? There are several brands that focus on the user experience – and that is the key to their success. Another brand continually updates their food, their product line because they listen to the customers and again they want to make the customer welcome and a “regular.”

Applying business principles to our families seems rather cold, but in reality, it is a good way to look at things through a different set of filters. I know what it is like to be sleep deprived and wake up early to see my husband off to work, then stay up late with a little one who just would not go to sleep! There was nothing special I thought I was doing during those years, but I was wrong. Spending time with your children is so important – listening to your children is another aspect of parenting often overlooked.

When I discussed this podcast with my husband I asked him for his input and this is what he said was important and foundational for him:

  1. Sharing the children’s interests
  2. Learning about their passions
  3. Making an effort to listen and be involved

Making memories with your children takes into consideration so many different aspects of raising kids. It’s those little things that the kids will remember and believe me, the strangest things you’ve done as a family stand out. When I asked one of my kids what they enjoyed the most about their week, they said helping Daddy paint! I have to admit it was a bit of a messier proposition than my husband had hoped and of course, it took longer but my son remembered that as the fun activity of the week.

Top 10 Activities to Make Memories with your family 

  1. Faith building events
    1. Retreats
    2. Camps – as a family
    3. Bible studies
    4. One day events
  2. Camping
    1. Slowly build up your camping gear
    2. Look for sales
    3. Ask around or borrow
  3. Campfire Stories
    1. Begin with a topic
    2. Each person adds to a story
    3. One person shares a made-up story
  4. Cooking together
    1. Use a boxed set of ingredients
    2. Try something new
    3. Use skewers
  5. Work on a project together
    1. Painting
    2. Planting a garden
    3. Set up a swing set
  6. Pets
    1. Visit pet store
    2. Think about pet sitting
    3. Think about purchasing a pet
  7. Road trips/traveling
    1. Day trips – upcoming podcast
    2. DIY trips – here and here
    3. Visit friends or family on the cheap
  8. Volunteer work as a family
    1. Habitat for Humanity homes
    2. Soup kitchen
    3. Ask at your local church, adopt a family
  9. Backyard or neighborhood stargazing
    1. Learn about the stars
    2. Invest in good binoculars
    3. Go to the planetarium or local nature center
  10. Collections – rocks, shells, antiques, etc.
    1. Decide on a collection
    2. Figure out storage – box under the bed or shelves, etc.
    3. Go on trips to collect

If you loved this episode, listen to more Vintage Homeschool Moms episodes:

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

Prepare Your Kids – Rookie Rescuer

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Prepare Your Kids ~ Rookie Rescuer | Are your kids prepared? Join us for the Rookie Rescuer interview with author and creator Firefighter Tommy Neiman and your host, Felice Gerwitz | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #Blessingsfromheaven #kids #kidsandfamily #PrepareYourKidsRookieRescuer #PrepareYourKidsPrepare Your Kids ~ Rookie Rescuer: Episode 497

Are your kids prepared? Join us for the Rookie Rescuer interview with author and creator Firefighter Tommy Neiman and your host, Felice Gerwitz.

The author of Rookie Rescuer shares his thoughts on homeschooling (he was a homeschool dad) as well as his newest project, and interactive workbook for kids. In this podcast we learn that firefighter Neiman wears many hats. Not only as a firefighter and paramedic but in Christian ministry. His life work is serving others, saving lives and sharing the good news. He answers questions such as how he became a firefighter to discussing how Rookie Rescuer is more than just a workbook introducing children to a firefighter’s life (it is) but also how he has incorporated faith into the book.

He grabs the children’s attention with 12 calls he experienced in real life, and additionally there are vocabulary words (relating to rescue) as well as spiritual lessons. The lessons contain an overall theme and a scripture verse that is recommended to the children, with a memory verse as well.

Lt. Neiman discusses several of his firefighter calls and explains that while this is riveting for children it is also a way to gain their spiritual attention as well. He explains that parents are the first responders for their children, not only taking care of their physical needs but also their spiritual needs. He explains that we can be an example to our children and that we should.

Lt. Tommy Neiman is a a firefighter/paramedic with Saint Lucie County Fire-Rescue and also a former homeschool dad to three wonderful kids. He is the author of a Rookie Rescuer, a workbook where he take kids on actual I’ve had and present powerful Spiritual truths at their level. He was honored as 2003 Firefighter of the Year for the state of Florida and spoke at the Florida Governor’s prayer breakfast for Governor Jeb Bush. He worked with the Discovery Channels Shark Week for a shark bite call I had and responded to New York during 9/11 in 2001. For more information visit his websites: or

Staycation Planning

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

staycation planning podcast with vintage homeschool moms felice gerwitzStaycation Planning Episode 349

If you are not sure how to plan a staycation, stay tuned – this episode is just for you! We will learn how to plan your staycation and enjoy the time with family and friends.

  1. Be sure to take the time off.
  2. Indulge – reading, events, food.
  3. Make a plan for the day, week-end, or week.
  4. Research

Begin by brainstorming. What are some of the things in your area that you could do with the kids and maybe even with just your husband? In our area, these things revolve around water sports. There is boating, Skiing, Jet skiing, parasailing, fishing, SCUBA diving, and more. We have a shell museum, actually two – we have a hands-on museum for kids and a small zoo nearby.

There are sporting events such as baseball. We have two indoor ice-skating rings and an island nearby. There are also many outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, outdoor concerts at the local mall, and more. There are art events, theatre, and music festivals. Once you have a list of ideas, narrow it down to the top ten.

Which of these top ten ideas is feasible? Now it is time to make a plan.

Five Things To Think About In Staycation Planning


  1. What is the amount of money you will spend on these events?
  2. If you do not have a set budget, think about the max you are willing to spend each day.

Activity or Event or Both

  1. List your event – be sure to figure in the time.
  2. Is this free or is there a cost?
  3. How long will it take to get there?
  4. Will you pack breakfast/ lunch or eat out?

Planning – Schedule

  1. What is your time frame?
  2. Can you take the time off of work?
  3. Do you plan to go out to eat? If so, where?
  4. What will you do during the day – the more planned out the better your vacation will go even if the schedule deviates.


  1. Try something new.
  2. Enjoy an appetizer/ or dessert or both
  3. Go to restaurants that are family-owned and not chains.
  4. Think of conversations you can have with your family.
  5. Take your time – there is no hurry! You are on vacation.


  1. Relax! Make a decision you will enjoy yourself (think about how much money you are saving!)
  2. Enjoy each other.
  3. No drama – set boundaries for fighting, etc.
  4. Make time to see the little things you would normally overlook.
  5. No work. This is a vacation, so be sure to leave your work behind temporarily.
  6. No electronics during the outing.
  7. OR – your kids can enjoy unlimited electronics if you decide this is their vacation!
  8. Relaxed dress – unless you are going somewhere that requires fancy clothing.
  9. Enjoy the events – look at the little things and enjoy!
  10. Praise God each day, and what are you thankful for?

Don’t Miss These Episodes from Vintage Homeschool Moms

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





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!