Vintage Homeschool Moms

Special Replay: Inexpensive Graduation Ideas On The Cheap

Inexpensive Graduation Ideas | Homeschooling families can benefit from frugal ideas for graduation | graduation on the cheap #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #graduationideas #inexpensivegraduationideasInexpensive Graduation Ideas On The Cheap with Felice Gerwitz and Meredith Curtis

We have inexpensive graduation ideas on the cheap – are you ready? Have you started your high school graduation party plans yet? No worries! We’ve got you covered. Inexpensive graduation ideas are our specialty. Meredith has graduated five children and Felice five and two from college, so between them, they have quite an arsenal of ideas that you can implement even if you waited until the last minute. Grab your notepad and listen in.

Graduation Party Ideas Here 

We enjoy hosting parties so it is no wonder that this podcast is a labor of love for both of us. With such large families, parties can be pricey so we want to be sure we that we can enjoy the fun without going over budget. Some of these ideas are often used for other parties and hosting friends. You can join in with other families to reduce the price.

Be sure to share our show with your friends – and rate us on iTunes, GooglePlay, or your favorite podcast app.

Show Notes: Inexpensive Graduation Ideas On The Cheap

  1. Location: churches, park, church fellowship hall, party at home
  2. Invitations – VistaPrint, at home computer
  3. Food
  4. Decorations
  5. Personal Touch

We discussed deciding on the type of graduation you want, planning the type of graduation early, and saving up money. Pray about the type of graduation that is right for you. Include your teens as well.

More great ideas

  • Food -finger foods – fun: candy bars – ice cream with toppings
  • Open house – visiting times staggers friends
  • Photo booth with props for teens
  • Personal touch – poster boards, items important to the teen


Enthusiasm and Encouragement

If you lack enthusiasm and encouragement you are not alone. I believe the understatement of all time is that life is not what you planned.Enthusiasm and Encouragement Episode 428

If you lack enthusiasm and encouragement you are not alone. I believe the understatement of all time is that life is not what you planned. If you could talk to your younger self, what would you say? Are you anywhere near the person you use to be? The person that was fun, enthusiastic about life, and couldn’t wait to get up in the morning? Well, it is time to reclaim that person, and if that does not describe the younger you, no worries, the new you will be even better.

Check out my website at and and the products in my online store now available for shipping – and stay tuned, I will soon have information about Creation Kids Classes as well as the Creation Camp for kids I hope to offer. The notebooks are available in digital form for you to use for your own children on the website, but more is coming. If you don’t want to miss out be sure you are signed up for our mailing list where new character planners are still be created each month. This month’s topic happens to be Enthusiasm. When you miss the free planner, you can purchase it in our store.

So, back to you! Are you ready to change and before you turn off this podcast hold on…there are no twelve steps to follow or even two or three, but there is one thing and I’ll share that with you in just a minute. First, I want to talk to you about, well you. Moms especially are the ones that handle the management of a family. We are the ones who hold it together in a crisis, school the kids, and take care of the home and all that entails. In fact, we do more than most CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. And, we are supposed to do it with a smile.

When I look at the reasons I often “lost it” for lack of a better descriptive word… meaning, I yelled at my children and often was upset with the way they handled everything from school work, to helping with chores–I found that the children’s disobedience increased. It did not decrease. When I was upset they were upset and I often set the tone for what happened each day.

Moms and Dads… because they play a role too, there is no class on how to be a good wife, husband, mother, father or balance work and home. There is no one perfect and definitive guide that gives each one of us every specific thing we need to do, a box to check off in order to find that happiness and family peace we all crave. And, even if there was, how much would you really embrace. If you read twelve points there are often six that you are thinking, “You have got to be kidding me, there is no way!” One of the reasons that many self-help books do not work is because if you are a thinker, and most of my audience is — we think for ourselves, we are wired in such a way to do things as others want us to do them. We, or I anyway, want to do things my own way. Think about this, is there a book or even a friend who has tried to help you in some way.

I remember as a young mom having a wonderful mother-in-law who kept a nice clean house, cooked meals from scratch and showered and had make-up on before her husband returned from…well, wherever he was because my father-in-law was retired by the time I married my husband. I had just finished two years of teaching and was staying home to raise my son. She had plenty of well-meaning and valuable advice to give me. But I am not a regimented person. If I had to follow her schedule that meant waking up each Monday with the thought that it was vacuuming and dusting day and I probably would want to roll over and stay in bed to avoid it. I cleaned, when I saw that it needed to be cleaned, and having a tiny house back then it was easy to do within an hour when the baby slept. I remember being miserable because I had no outside interaction after years of stimulation from friends, college life and even working life. I had to realize my priorities and began to make the best of everything.

I was blessed to have a husband who was very happy to be married and have a child at home when he arrived from work. He took a job he detested just because it paid well and soon, praise you, Jesus, we had our own company, which he still works at to this day. Before we married he told me how he spent much of his middle and high school years being unhappy. Once in college he made a decision that he was going to chose to be happy and make the best of whatever happened. The person I know today is usually a very happy person and has a smile for everyone – I can not imagine him unhappy. That person he described is not at all the man I know today. And he made a decision. For him it was that easy.

Of course we know that no one can be happy all the time, but we can all figure out how to make the best of a bad situation. His one decision not only changed his life – but everyone around him. He decided to dwell not on the negative but the positive in life.

And, that is the key. If you see a glass that is filled with water to the middle line do you think it is half-full or half-empty? If you can start seeing things as half full then this philosophy will truly change your life! When is the last time you laughed without reservation or the last time you woke up excited to start the day? Where is that enthusiasm and excitement about what is planned? Well, that is going to change and it begins today.

Every single person has a list of all the things that are going wrong in their life and I’m sure if I asked you to write them all done you’d fill at least one sheet of paper, but what if I asked you to fill in a sheet of paper with all the good that is going on in your life? A friend of mine recently posted that his home is falling apart, literally. The foundation is off, the interior needs major work, the plumbing, and even electrical systems have issues and I believe he said there was mold in the home. In addition, he recently posted about a freezer full of food that just broke and the washer and dryer not working and they have quite a few children. It made me think that sometimes we confuse our problems with a loving God who does not hear us and this is very far from the truth! These things are not an issue if you have money to make these repairs or replace whatever is broken, but for those that struggle? Well, it remains an issue.

God does hear us every single time, but we tend to be putting out fires daily instead of getting a sense that we can handle what life throws us… Whatever it is you are struggling with I am sending you a virtual hug. I am at a place in my life where I am finally living a dream I had so many years ago when I had not time to talk to moms because we were all homeschooling, and park days were far and few between. Now I can talk to you – sure it is a one-way conversation, but I know many of you online and that is where we share our hearts.

What is your passion? It may not be realized this second, but again, God knows, and maybe someday you too will be able to fulfill this ideal. My main passion has always been my faith, my husband and caring for my children,, and homeschooling. Homeschooling was never my choice, it actually picked me, but I can not think of any way I could have better spent thirty or so years of my life, that my friends are the total number of years I spent homeschooling my children. God gives us one day at a time, take that one day or maybe that five-minute break in your life and find some way to be grateful.

Please know there are thousands of hours of podcasts on this network that will enrich and engage you in a way that I pray is beneficial and helps! Thanks for joining me! Find me on social media – I’d love to chat!

Teaching Kids Responsibility

What is responsibility – does this mean work? Does this mean not having any fun, does this mean I must watch my brother, my sister my neighbor, my neighbors next door neighbors kid? No, no and no. Responsibility is something you may already have but it is a little dusty and you need to take it out, polish it up and allow it to shine.Hi and welcome to this just for kids’ series episode – my name if Felice Gerwitz and I want to encourage the kids today to not only become more responsible but also to think about being responsible but also to see how much good they can do in the world, that truly needs brave souls!

Check out my website and the Truth Seekers Mystery series available for immediate download! And for kids – the Character planners that are available on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network – you can sign up and start receiving planners each month for free.

SO, let’s begin. What is responsibility – does this mean work? Does this mean not having any fun, does this mean I must watch my brother, my sister my neighbor, my neighbors next door neighbors kid? No, no and no. Responsibility is something you may already have but it is a little dusty and you need to take it out, polish it up and allow it to shine.

Being responsible as a kid means you will turn into a responsible adult – and what you can do is look at your parents as an example.

Responsibility means doing what is right and just and treating others the way you want to be treated. Just think about this… you are hungry and your mom says, dinner is ready. You go to the table, and there is no food, in fact you didn’t smell anything cooking. You get to the table and see a loaf of bread, peanut butter and jelly, and some stale chips. The bread is frozen, the peanut butter is the kind with the oil on top that must be stirred, and the jelly has mold on the top of the container. Your mom breezes into the room and says – hey, everyone! So, sorry, I was texting my friends, and talking on social media so I just forgot all about dinner, help yourself, I’m going out to eat, see you later!

Is that being responsible? Do you think that would ever happen? If you are listening to this podcast I think the answer is no. Being responsible means to take charge of the things that you are supposed to do and get them done, it does not mean eating and leaving your dishes in the sink for someone else to wash, especially if you are the only one left eating. It means helping without being asked and taking care of your own things –your bed, your room, your dirty laundry.

One of my children just couldn’t remember to hang up his towel after his shower, pick up his dirty laundry off the bathroom floor and put it in his clothes hamper. I would nag and ask him to pick it up and he just did not remember. He was a very polite child however and told me how sorry he was, over and over again. He truly forgot to do this simple task. So, what did I do? I didn’t plan to do this but it happened this way… once he was in bed, all snuggled up, and I left his room… I walked into the bathroom to turn off the lights – because of course that was forgotten as well – and what did I see? The normal pile of clothes that I would pick up and his towel that I would hang up – so, I decided enough was enough and I went into his room and asked him to pick up his clothes, hang up his towel and turn off the light – He said, sure mom! You are the best, I’ll do it right now… no, he didn’t say that he said, NOW? I just got to bed! I insisted and guess what It only took that one time and he never forgot again. I have another son and it took him a few more times to remember.

I told you the story because one key SECRET to responsibility is to DO. It. Now. Don’t wait, because you may forget, the zombie apocalypse might happen and you might miss your chance. I’m kidding about the zombie apocalypse – but you get the point! If we wait until later that means, we think that whatever we are doing is more important.

Have you had to wait to talk to an adult before? What happens if you interrupt – probably nothing good, you get in trouble, but you know that ANTOHER the key to repsponsibility is realizing your job – what is your job do you know? Your job is to be a kid. That does not mean you get to sit on the couch watch movies and eat bon-bons – bon bons are fancy candies in case you want to know.

A kid must be a welcome member of the family, helpful, ready to listen, excited to get to eat meals each day and sleep in a warm or cool bed (if it’s hot outside) and understand that it is a privilege to be part of a family. Families are usually small, medium or large, families are loud or quiet or somewhere in between, families are full of love and laughter. OR they would be with responsible kids.

Just like you would not be happy with oily peanut butter and frozen bread, and moldy jelly for dinner which shows a lack of parental responsibility – you should realize that when you don’t do your part as a good member of the family then you too are dropping the ball. You are not being a responsible kid.

Your parents are responsible – they provide a place for you to sleep, meals, and give you opportunities to learn.


How can you be responsible?

  1. Honoring your parents.
  2. Being aware of your part of being a family.
  3. Being helpful.
  4. Taking care of your personal things.
  5. Doing your chores and school work.
  6. Doing the best you can.
  7. Being accountable for what you do.
  8. Not make excuses.
  9. Keep promises.
  10. Remember the Golden Rule.


Can you, do it? Can you be responsible? Just remember that you are part of a family and that means you enjoy the good times and you enjoy all the blessings that God has given you – so be thankful and rejoice, and I pray that you will ask the Lord to bless you with a gift of responsibility not only for yourself but for your family.

Special Replay – Teaching History

In this session you’ll hear some of the ways that both Meredith & Felice have taught history to their children from the zany to the classes Felice asked her brother-in-law to teach to homeschool kids!Special Replay: Let’s Talk About Teaching History

with your co-hosts, Felice Gerwitz & Meredith Curtis

History is about a bunch dead people and stuff that happened long ago or so I thought when I was a kid. As a homeschool parent I found that history is actually “HIS” story and when it is revealed we find so many wonderful lessons to learn. In this session you’ll hear some of the ways that both Meredith & Felice have taught history to their children from the zany to the classes Felice asked her brother-in-law to teach to homeschool kids!

Please give us a rating on iTunes – go to iTunes, find our show (Vintage Homeschool Moms – or type in Felice Gerwitz) and rate it! AND… use the social media buttons on this page to share the show with your friends.

Meredith and Felice discuss their favorite resources – here is a list of their combined books, below the audio player.

American History: Class DVD hosted by Media Angels, Inc (Felice Gerwitz)- Fabulous Facts & Pres Event – $50 discount coupon VHM50 – HERE

World History Reading List  – All rights reserved Media Angels, Inc. 2014

September Reading Books

  1. In the Days of Noah by Gloria Clanin
  2. Life in the Great Ice Age by Michael and Beverly Oard
  3. The Mystery of the Ark by Paul Thomsen
  4. The Lost Kingdom (Reg Danson Adventure #2) by Clint Kelly
  5. Adam and His Kin: The Lost History of Their Lives and Times by Ruth Beechick
  6. Genesis: Finding Our Roots by Ruth Beechick
  7. Dinosaurs in God’s World Long Ago by Henrietta Gambill
  8. What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs? (DJ and Tracker John) by John Morris and Ken Ham
  9. Priceless Jewel at the Well: The Diary of Rebekah’s Nursemaid, Canaan, 1986-1985 B.C. (Promised Land Diaries)
  10. The Magic School Bus Shows and Tells: A Book About Archaeology by Jackie Posner
  11. Exploring Ancient Cities of the Bible by Michael and Caroline Carroll

October Reading Books

  1. Tutankhamun by Robert Green
  2. Tirzah by Lucille Travis
  3. Mummies, Tombs, and Treasure: Secrets of Ancient Egypt by Lila Perl
  4. Miriam’s Cup, a Passover Story by Fran Manushkin
  5. Learning About Passover by Barbara Soloff Levy
  6. Shadow Hawk by Andre Norton
  7. Adventures in Ancient Egypt by Linda Bailey
  8. The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
  9. The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt by Elizabeth Payne
  10. The Riddle of the Rosetta Stone : Key to Ancient Egypt by James Giblin
  11. Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
  12. Mummies Made in Egypt by Aliki
  13. Kids Discover: Ancient Egypt
  14. The Peaceful Warrior: The Diary of Deborahs Armor Bearer, Israel, 1200 B.C. (Promised Land Diaries)
  15. Hittite Warrior by Joanne Williamson
  16. Journey for Tobiyah by Barbara Morgan
  17. King Solomon’s Navy by Nora Benjamin Kubie
  18. The Temple at Jerusalem by Jacqueline Morley

November Reading Books

  1. The Usborne Story of Music by Simon Mundy
  2. The Usborne Story of Painting by Anthea Peppin
  3. The Usborne Book of Living Long Ago: Everyday life through the Ages, by Felicity Brooks and Helen Edom
  4. God King: A Story in the Days of King Hezekiah by Joanne Williamson
  5. Aesop’s Fables for Children
  6. Hour of the Olympics (Magic Tree House #16) by Mary Pope Osborne
  7. The Seven Voyages of Sinbad (and Other Tales from the Arabian Nights) retold by Gladys Davidson
  8. King Solomon’s Mines (Puffin Classics) by H Rider Haggard

December Reading Books

  1. The Odyssey for Boys and Girls by AJ Church
  2. Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  3. Famous Men of Greece by John Haaren and AB Poland
  4. The Librarian Who Measured the Earth by Kathryn Lasky
  5. Usborne: The Greeks by Susan Peach & Anne Millard
  6. Adventures in Ancient Greece by Linda Bailey
  7. Cyrus the Persian by Sherman A Nagel
  8. Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher
  9. Within the Palace Gates: The King’s Cupbearer by Anna P. Siviter
  10. The Greek and Roman Eras: (Journey Through History) by Carme Peris and Gloria & Oriol Verges
  11. Hand Me Another Brick by Charles Swindoll
  12. Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights

January Reading Books

  1. Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile, Egypt, 57 B.C. (The Royal Diaries) by Kristiana Gregory
  2. About the History of the Calendar by AE Evenson
  3. Battle of Actium (Great Battles Through the Ages) by David Califf
  4. The Runaway by Patricia St. John
  5. Fountain of Life by Rebecca Martin
  6. Adventures in Ancient China by Linda Bailey
  7. A Grain of Rice by Helena Clare Pittman
  8. Archimedes and the Door of Science by Jeanne Bendick
  9. The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare
  10. Ben-Hur by Lew Wallace
  11. Titus: A Comrade of the Cross by Florence Morse Kingsley
  12. Augustus Caesar’s World by Genevieve Foster
  13. Famous Men of Rome by John Haaren & A.B. Poland
  14. Rome and Romans (Usborne Time Traveler) by Heather Amery and Patricia Vanags
  15. I and II Maccabees from the Apocrypha (available in Bibles that include the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical books)
  16. Life Stories Of Men Who Shaped History, From Plutarch’s Lives
  17. Pompeii…Buried Alive! by Edith Kunhardt
  18. The Robe by Lloyd C Douglas
  19. Masada by Tim McNeese (Sieges That Changed the World)

February Reading Books

  1. Devil’s Island by John Hagee
  2. Outcast by Rosemary Sutcliff[
  3. See You Later, Gladiator (Time Warp Trio) by Jon Scieszka
  4. Detectives in Togas by Henry Winterfeld
  5. The Eagle (previously published as The Eagle of the Ninth) by Rosemary Sutcliff
  6. The Story of Valentine by Wilma Pitchford Hays
  7. Augustine, the Farmer’s Boy of Tagaste by P. De Zeeuw
  8. The City of God by Augustine
  9. Ancient Rome: How It Affects You Today by Richard J. Maybury
  10. The Ides of April by Mary Ray
  11. Beyond the Desert Gate by Mary Ray
  12. Jesus Freaks: Martyrs by dc Talk
  13. Foxe’s Book Of Martyrs by John Foxe (many different editions of this work are available)
  14. Saint George and the Dragon retold by Margaret Hodges
  15. Saint Patrick: Pioneer Missionary to Ireland by Michael McHugh

March Reading Books

  1. Anna of Byzantium by Tracy Barrett
  2. Famous Men of the Middle Ages by Haaren and Poland
  3. Augustine Came to Kent by Barbara Willard
  4. Beowulf
  5. The Shining Company by Rosemary Sutcliff
  6. Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People
  7. The Big Wave by Pearl S. Buck
  8. Against the World: The Odyssey of Athanasius by Henry W. Coray
  9. Saladin: Noble Prince of Islam by Diane Stanley
  10. The Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow by Allen French
  11. Le Morte D’Arthur by Sir Thomas Mallory
  12. The Sword in the Tree by Clyde Robert Bulla
  13. The Book of Pastoral Rule (also published as Pastoral Care) by St. Gregory the Great
  14. The Song of Roland (an epic poem)
  15. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain
  16. Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle
  17. Idylls of the King by Alfred Lord Tennyson
  18. Camelot by AJ Lerner (script for the Broadway play)
  19. Viking Raiders (Usborne Time Traveler) by Civardi, Graham-Campbell, & Wingate

April Reading Books

  1. Famous Men of the Middle Ages by Haaren and Poland
  2. Son of Charlemagne by Barbara Willard
  3. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
  4. A Chaucer Reader edited by Charles W. Dunn
  5. Leif Eriksson: First Voyager to America by Katherine B. Shippen
  6. In His Name by Edward E Hale
  7. Paula the Waldensian by Eva Lecomte
  8. Lost Baron: A Story of England in the Year 1200 by Allen French
  9. Macbeth by Shakespeare
  10. Hamlet by Shakespeare
  11. El Cid, retold by Geraldine McCaughrean
  12. Don Quixote (also published as Don Quijote) by Cervantes
  13. A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver by E. L. Konigsburg
  14. The Hidden Treasure of Glaston by Eleanore M. Jewett
  15. Castle by David Macaulay
  16. Cathedral by David Macaulay
  17. The Door in the Wall by Marguerite De Angeli
  18. The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman
  19. Knights and Castles (Usborne Time Traveler) by Judy Hindley
  20. The Striped Ships by Eloise McGraw ***
  21. The Third Crusade: Richard the Lionhearted vs Saladin (Great Battles Through the Ages) by Samuel Willard Crompton
  22. The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle (who also drew original illustrations for this book)[
  23. The King’s Shadow by Elizabeth Alder

May Reading Books

  1. Men of Iron by Howard Pyle
  2. If All the Swords in England: A Story of Thomas Becket by Barbara Willard
  3. Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
  4. Genghis Khan and the Mongol Horde by Harold Lamb
  5. A Morbid Taste for Bones (Brother Cadfael Chronicles–we recommend this series) by Ellis Peters)
  6. Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray
  7. The Dragon and the Raven (The Days of King Alfred) by G. A. Henty
  8. The Magna Charta by James Daugherty
  9. The Inferno of Dante: A New Verse Translation by Robert Pinsky
  10. The Life and Words of St. Francis of Assisi by Ira Peck
  11. In Freedom’s Cause: A Story of Wallace and Bruce by G. A. Henty
  12. The Beggars’ Bible by Louise Vernon
  13. Ink on His Fingers by Louise A. Vernon
  14. Morning Star of the Reformation by Andy Thomson
  15. Henry V by Shakespeare
  16. Joan of Arc by Mark Twain
  17. The Pied Piper of Hamlin by Robert Browning
  18. The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric Kelly
  19. Constantinople (Sieges That Changed the World) by Tim McNeese[/easyazon_link]
    [easyazon_link asin=”0374457433″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”ultihomeradin-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]A Parcel of Patterns by Jill Paton Walsh[/easyazon_link]
    [easyazon_link asin=”0375802320″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”ultihomeradin-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Joan of Arc by Nancy Wilson Ross[/easyazon_link]
    [easyazon_link asin=”0891076026″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”ultihomeradin-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]The Hawk and the Dove by Penelope Wilcock[/easyazon_link]

Teaching Kids Problem Solving

Teaching Kids Problem Solving | Maybe your kids think too much or maybe not enough. In this episode, Teaching Kids Problem Solving, Felice once again challenges kids to make wise decisions and weigh the pros and cons of rash decisions they can possibly make! Just For Kids Series!  #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #teachingkids #problemsolvingTeaching Kids Problem Solving ~ Episode 426

Maybe your kids think too much or maybe not enough. In this episode, Teaching Kids Problem Solving, Felice once again challenges kids to make wise decisions and weigh the pros and cons of rash decisions they can possibly make! Just For Kids Series! 

Please visit my website at and be sure to sign up for our monthly planners. We have new character planners each month with fun activities that you can do with your children and I think parents really appreciate the page with scenarios. I ask the children questions that they can act out or write their answers. They are open-ended. At the end of the month, the children can even earn a character award that is provided. After the month is over you can only get the planners by purchase on the Media Angels website.

Here we go! Another episode in the JUST for Kids Series of podcasts.

Has your mom or dad or another adult ever asked you, “What were you thinking?” If they have that is probably not a very good thing!  When we think we can use our minds to figure out a right or wrong answer or to solve a problem. When we solve a problem what happens? We come up with a solution. We do this in school every day. We solve math problems we solve answers at the end of a chapter in a book, we solve for a mystery if we are reading a novel. Solving the problem is only half of the answer. What are you using to solve the problem?

Sometimes we use “What if” questions to solve a problem. This is part of thinking ahead or thinking for the future. It can also be used for looking at something in the past, for example, a past mistake. Is there something that you would like to change? What if you had done something differently?

Another way we think is by comparing and contrasting. How do we do this? Well, we look at the information and come up with all of the things that are the same and different. Sometimes we do this by looking at different aspects or angles. We see things from a different perspective depending on what the question is, and there are many questions that are asked when you are learning. This series of podcasts in the Just for Kids Series is a perfect example.  Can you think of all the different ways we solve problems? It may be as easy as figuring out what piece of a puzzle fits to make a picture, or it can be something really complicated like how to fix an engine or computer. Many inventions start with someone trying to solve a problem and asking a what-if question.

There is an acronym for solutions that is called SODAS – this is an easy way to talk about problem-solving because each letter stands for something different.

  1. S is for the situation
  2. O is for options
  3. D is for disadvantages
  4. A is for advantages
  5. S is for solutions

We are going to use this method to go through a problem-solving activity using a dog covered in paint. Yes, it gets even better. This happened on your watch and it is your fault. Right? How did this happen? If you are like most kids you probably act without thinking — but don’t worry! After this podcast, you will be an expert at figuring things out. So here is what I want you to do — I want you to download this PDF that is right on the show notes on the website so you can follow along with me.

Download Graphic Here: Making Choices and Problem Solving

If you are not near a computer or printer, imagine this…your mom and dad have been painting the rooms in the house and everything looks great. They stacked up the paint neatly in the corner of the garage, waiting for a chance to put it up high on the shelf. You have a lab and this dog is a handful. He is only about a year old and you are still working on training him. Let’s give our dog a name, let’s call him “Dakota.” Your parents went out to buy more paint and asked you to keep an eye on the dog. Your sister is next door at a friend’s house and the twins went with your mom and dad to the store. You turn your back for one minute to get a book to read, and when you look back the dog is gone. All of a sudden you hear a horrible noise. It sounds like a band decided to play a song, mostly off-key in the garage. In fact, it sounds like symbols. You know there is not a drum set in the garage and least of all symbols. ALl of this goes through your head in a split second as you wonder where the dog is and head to the garage to find out. You gasp! What do you see?

There is your beautiful white lab covered in paint, and what’s more, there is paint and dog tracks all over the floor. Yep, Dakota somehow managed to knock the cans over and not only did they spill all over but they spilled on him as well. So let’s stop here. You have this picture in your mind or you are looking at this picture on the screen of your computer or printed out.

Okay let’s stop here. We are going to look at this situation with our problem-solving SODAS toolbox. The first is the situation.


How do you feel? Are you upset? What should you do? Stop this audio here and think about this. If you want to go through each of the SODAS items before you come back you can.
So, what do you think, what did you do?

S is for Situation: What is your first reaction when you see something like this? Maybe it is to tell the dog to sit and stay – afterall, you’ve been working on this command and it usually works. Maybe you feel like this is not your problem but you still need to look at the situation and make a plan, and quick. A first reaction when you are upset is to yell at the dog. But what might happen if you do this? You might scare the dog and he will run and get more paint everywhere! So, while you are experiencing upset feelings, try to look at this issue, problem or situation, calmly! Yes, in this case, it would be difficult. I agree.

O is for Options: What are the options? These are the choices that you have– what are some of the things you can do to fix the problem or work out an answer? Maybe the problem is too big and you can’t handle it all at once. One thing you can do is break up the problem in chunks. For example, what would you do first, second, third? Even if the choice is easy—in this case, a clean dog and cleaned-up paint, you still need to get to the solution through solving the problem. If you have brothers or sisters you may want to do this activity with them and see what they would do. What makes the most sense.

Some of your options are:

  1. 1Put a leash on the dog, pull him through the paint, and get him sprayed off outside
  2.  Pick up the paint and put the lids on so more paint does not spill out.
  3. Scream at the dog
  4. Call your parents and ask them what to do. Get help quick from your sister next door or the neighbor.
  5. Take a hose into the garage and just start spraying it is a mess anyway.

Once you look at your options the next question to ask is what do I do first. Out of this list put them in order one through five or cross off things that are a no.

D is for Disadvantages  – A disadvantage is also called a con, something that is not a good idea or option. An advantage is also called a pro—or something that is a good idea or option. We call these pros and cons. Okay, so looking at your options what are the disadvantages and advantages or pros and cons? You can go through each one of your options. Looking at the solutions one through five we can see that screaming at the dog is a bad idea so I would put that in the disadvantage column – why is that a bad idea? Because the dog could knock off more paint and run away, besides screaming is never a good idea unless you are in trouble. 4. Calling your parents and getting help from your sister or neighbor is an advantage but not sure you have time so that is not a good solution. And, taking a hose and spraying the dog and the paint is a definite disadvantage because it will make more of a mess in your garage. If one of your options is to pull the dog by the collar through the paint what might happen? If you said he could track paint all over the place, or get paint on you? This would definitely be a disadvantage!

A is for Advantages: This is a pro and we determined that putting a leash on the dog so we can contain the mess is a pro, and spray the dog off outside. Also, putting the lids on the paint cans is good as well so that more paint does not spill.  Getting help is an advantage but you do not have time. Getting the leash on the dog is the best answer without stepping in teh paint yourself as well as pulling the dog out by the collar if you can not get to the leash quickly enough.

S is for Solutions: What is your final solution what would you do?  A solution is figuring out a problem, it is looking for an answer and solving the problem – so a solution is an answer to a problem after you problem-solve and then taking action to accomplish the answer or solution. In this case, you might leash the dog, take him outside and hose him off, wash the dog, and then dry him. Also, put him somewhere out of the way. Then, grab some trash bags and paper towels and place the lids on the paint and clean up the mess. During this time, you may have called for help. In fact, this might be number one on your list! In real life, you can’t look at a situation like the picture of this poor dog full of paint with paint cans all around and go through all of these steps – but you understand the process and that is what is important.

If you practice this with different scenarios – you can make some up or look for some pictures online to help you come up with ideas, you will be able to calmly think through solutions for the times that things do not work out as you planned. All you wanted to do is sit and read and your dog caused you a ton of work! Practicing helps us to be ready and prepared.

Just like you practice your math and your reading and your spelling you can practice thinking. Thinking is an important skill and why is that? Because if you think through solutions you will have a good idea of what you want to do, what you think is right and wrong. Many times people who do not think can be lead astray. What does this mean? They can be lied to or taken advantage of by others. If you can think for yourself and come up with your own ideas and answers when other people tell you things that may not be true, you can think through the answer for yourself. Is this right or wrong? Is this true or false? That is the big question!







Time Boosters for Mom

With the time boosting strategies I'm about to share with you - you will learn how to be the master of your own time, increase your productivity and never let the lack of time get the best of you!Let’s Talk About Time! Time Boosters to Increase Your Time Daily

with host Felice Gerwitz

Everyone lives under the impression that there is not enough time to complete all the things you want to do each day, and I know, because I’ve lived with this concept for years. However, with the time boosting strategies I’m about to share with you in this podcast- you will learn how to be the master of your own time, increase your productivity and never let the lack of time get the best of you!

FREE Handout Instant Download: TimeBoosters_Handout_VintageHomeschoolMoms

Books I recommend:

Mary Jo Tate: Flourish at Home

Crystal Paine: Goodbye to Survival Mode

Teaching Kids Compassion

Can you really teach kids compassion?  Felice shares the answer to this question in this week's "Just for Kids" episode.Teaching Kids Compassion Episode 425

Just For Kids Series

Can you really teach kids compassion? You know some kids are compassionate toward others and they understand the hurts and failings of others without making the person feel bad, and others just love to antagonize and hurt for the fun of it – how help our compassionate children and those who do not become more compassionate? In this, just for kids episode, Felice asks the kids some hard questions and the answer… well, that is for you to address.

Please visit my website at and be sure to sign up for our monthly planners. We have new character planners each month, and this month it is on the topic of Tolerance. This planner has some fun activities that you can do with your children and I think parents really appreciate the page with scenarios. I ask the children questions that they can act out or write their answers. They are open-ended. At the end of the month, the children can even earn a character award that is provided. After the month is over you can only get the planners by purchase on the Media Angels website.


Do you like getting advice? Do you like having people tell you what to do and when to do it? Well, I hate to say this but you might as well get used to it because even adults have to do things we don’t like. And, today I am going to talk to you about something that you may or may not think you need, and that is more compassion. What is compassion?

You may have your own ideas about what this means but it is thinking about the other person’s feelings and trying to understand the person better. It is also respecting the other person’s feelings. You may think your brother or sisters or someone you know is a crybaby because they cry at every little thing – but by making fun of this person does that make it better, does the person toughen up and not cry. No, not too often all it does is make the person feel worse. Having compassion means that you feel something for this person and anger and disappointment are not showing compassion. Why should we be compassionate? It is part of getting along with other people.

Why? Well, because believe it or not you live in a world with lots of people in it and God gives you the opportunity to grow and learn in the safety of your families. Your family life is pretty sheltered and that means you don’t have to worry about where you are going to sleep or what you are going to eat. You know, even if we get in trouble your parents love you. You know that even if you get upset with your brother or sister, mom or dad that they care about you. They want what is best for you.

There is something called giving a person the benefit of the doubt. This means before you jump to conclusions and think the worst of people – I know, this is easy to do – you look at the situation carefully before you say anything. Here is the deal, many times it is not what you think and you might get upset with someone, hurt their feelings, and then need to apologize. But, by that time the damage is done.

Usually, we show people a lack of compassion when we feel we are wronged or someone has hurt us. Our first reaction is to fight back – because strong people fight and don’t get taken advantage of right? Of course, no one wants to be made a fool and taken advantage of but then, we really have to look at the situation and figure out why we are upset. Some people enjoy making others angry and that is never nice or kind.

Let’s say you built this amazing Lego creation and you just finished it and left it on the living room floor because you want to show your mom – you go and get your mom and when you get back you see your brother standing over a mess! You scream and yell at him, he starts crying and your mom gets upset with you. You then find out it was the dog that sat on your creation and not your brother, and your brother was trying to pick up what was left before the dog came back to do more damage. How do you feel?

Is it possible to go back and undo the yelling and making someone cry? I am sure your brother felt horrible to see your amazing creation messed up and was trying to help – that is showing compassion. When you see the other person’s reaction. We speak many times with body language and that is one way you can try to figure out what the other person is saying without words.

Body language is a frown or crossing your arms – which may show you are closed off and angry – standing with your arms crossed while someone is trying to talk to you means, I am not really going to listen to what you have to say. In the same way, smiling and nodding your head yes means I am in agreement with what you are saying. Of course, you know that crying means the person is upset.

Do you know someone who is understanding in your family, who gives the other person the benefit of the doubt – meaning they wait for that person to explain what happened without jumping to conclusions that could be wrong. Who is that person? Is that person you? Do you want it to be you?

For those of us who have faith, there are so many Bible verses that speak about God’s love and the way that Jesus spent time not with those who were perfect but with sinners. Why did He spend time with sinners? Because Jesus was compassionate. God is love and you may have heard that before, well if you have the love of God in your heart it will actually be easier to be compassionate to others because God will give you that grace, and compassion is truly a grace.

Sure, you can try to be compassionate on your own – go ahead and try it and let me know how it works out for you. But, I will tell you now that it will be so much easier to pray to the Lord and ask for this gift. This is truly a gift to love others as God loves them.

Do people mess up and hurt you? Of course. Was it possible in the story I told you about your messed-up blocks that your brother could have destroyed it – sure! But if you don’t hear the other person out and allow them to help to make it better you will not be showing compassion.

Compassion is a gift that we give to others and it is the same gift we get from those who love us and care for us. Most of us are blessed to live in homes that are safe, and we have the example of parents who love us – and because of this love, you too should love others.

Wait or count to ten the next time you want to show a lack of compassion for someone else. And see if you can figure out a way to say things better. This takes practice. And, the next time that you can, try to show compassion to those you care about, and guess what? It may be the biggest blessing in your life.



Special Replay: Easter Celebrations On The Cheap

Easter Celebration On The CheapEaster Celebrations On The Cheap

Easter celebration on the cheap includes fun and easy ideas. Celebrating Easter on the cheap doesn’t mean skimping on our favorite time of the year, it means celebrating in style and saving money along the way.

Remember, it’s about Jesus not the candy! Remind your children about the true meaning of Easter which is the Ressurection of our Lord. This is what you are celebrating. Let’s review some fun, cheap activities  you can plan this Easter!

  • Potluck:

    • Ask family to bring a side
    • Delegate ice or drinks
    • Baked ham goes far and is a favorite
    • Little kids love chicken fingers
    • Cold salads – make ahead.
  • Reuse and Repurpose – Eggs:

    • Those plastic eggs should be saved each year
    • Fill with coins instead of candy – redeemable in the store (see below)
    • Use as decorations
    • Have little ones hunt for specific colors, or count how many they collect
  •  Easter Store – order online or dollar store (Explain easter egg hunt Gerwitz style):

    • Shop sales, for everything.
    • Candy bars, candy kisses, everything is a mini.
    • I look for candles at odd times, discounts on decorations after the holiday, etc.
    • Store under the bed in plastic bins or farm out to a family member with more storage space
    • Less is more. I like minimalistic decorations. The more understated the better. Fresh flowers with outside greenery is wonderful.
  •  Make Your Own:

    • Create your own dips or salads
    • Rolls are very cheap, easy and fun to make. Kids love to help.
    • We love chocolate. Many of our treats are chocolate based such as trays of brownies and dipped strawberries (hint: I use 2 cups of chocolate chips with a spoonful of unflavored coconut oil, helps it to harden – this is so much cheaper than buying them!), make a big cookie – use disposable (can be reused) round pizza trays. Be sure to leave room for expanding dough.
    • Easy appetizers: fresh fruit with marshmallow dip, salsa, and chips, melted cheese poured over chips, cream cheese and packaged dressing for an easy dip (add mayo to liquify if needed.)
  • Decorations – Easter egg tree from kids “blessing others”

By performing these activities with your family, not only do you save some money, you teach your children the real meaning of Easter! Thank you for joining us for today’s special replay, “Easter Celebration On The Cheap”! Be sure to check out my other podcast episodes at

Have a great week!


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Teaching Kids About Cause and Effect

Cause and Effect | What is cause and effect and how can we teach our children to understand that everything they do has a ripple effect on our world? In this Just For Kids Episode, Felice explores the meaning and how we can encourage our children to lay the foundations they need in their lives, now. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #homeschool #justforkids #teachingkidsTeaching Kids Cause and Effect

What is cause and effect and how can we teach our children to understand that everything they do has a ripple effect on our world? In this Just For Kids Episode, Felice explores the meaning and how we can encourage our children to lay the foundations they need in their lives, now.

Please visit my website at and be sure to sign up for our monthly planners. We have new character planners each month, and this month it is on the topic of Tolerance. This planner has some fun activities that you can do with your children and I think parents really appreciate the page with scenarios. I ask the children questions that they can act out or write their answers. They are open-ended. At the end of the month, the children can even earn a character award that is provided. After the month is over you can only get the planners by purchase on the Media Angels website.


If you drop a pebble in a body of water, like a pond what happens? That’s right. You see a ripple effect. The act of dropping a stone causes the water to ripple and this is something we can see with our own eyes, but the reason this happens is because of any action on your part. You took the time and energy to throw the stone. The same happens without actions.

This is a scientific law, did you know that Issac Newton had theories about laws and motion, and there is actually a third scientific law of motion that is taught as part of physics, it states for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So, that explains scientifically why this happens but now for the hard part, controlling our own actions.

In the last podcast, we talked about the golden rule and how this is something that we should do, treat others the way we want to be treated. In this way, we are setting an example for others and we can cause a good effect as a leader who does things that are right and trustworthy. This causes a positive effect.

An effect happens because of what we do or it also follows a “what will happen if…” question. What will happen if I punch my brother? What will happen if I spill this glass of water, what will happen if I eat an entire bag of chocolate? The effect comes directly, once again like the pebble from our actions.

An amazing thing happens if we are aware that what we do – through our entirely given by God-free will – can cause things not only today but in the future. How does this happen? Well, now you know…by your direct actions. Some things are very easy to figure out and others are what we would call gray areas, those areas that are harder and take thinking or work to figure out. We can brainstorm some of these areas with our family. Here are a few you can discuss with your parent at home:

  1. If I spend all of my free time playing games I will…
  2. If I fix my bed every morning the effect will be…
  3. Treating others as I want to be treated will lead to…
  4. If I pitch a fit and am loud and rude I will… (helpful hint here: no, you will not always get your way.)
  5. I can lead by example doing what is right and just or I can lead by example doing what is always right for myself and this will cause the effect of…

What are some of your answers? Can you imagine a world where we think through our actions before we do them? What do you think the outcome would be of this way of thinking first before we act? In many ways, we as adults do this because we have already lived longer and have had the experience. We have learned by our mistakes and we have learned to fix these by actions that are right and just.

Long ago when I taught school I remember a sixth-grader telling me that I didn’t understand him at all, and there was no way that I could. I looked at him and said, “That’s right. I never was a sixth-grader, I skipped right over the sixth grade. I went from 11 to 23 (my age at that time) … do you think that is right? Of course, he said no. So, I said, I was in sixth grade and our teacher made us sit with our hands folded on our desks while she spoke, no paper, no pencils, and definitely no devices anywhere to be found. After she was finished we took our lessons and worked on them, copied from the board, and never spoke up unless spoken to. I knew at that time that I didn’t like school and would work hard to be done with school — and here I am years later a teacher. Obviously, that plan didn’t work well! Here I am many years later still writing curriculum and still teaching kids. Why? Because I love it!

We can make plans as a kid and guess what? Our plans might change but one thing you can do as a kid is to realize that what you do has an effect on others and you may or may not get away with bad behavior, this time. But realize at some point it will catch up to you. When we see people who commit crimes or have no self-control because of drug or alcohol use, we know they were not born that way, at some point one bad decision, on top of another and another made them the way they are today.

So, look at your life and take charge. Look at the decisions you will make and chose wisely. It can be the difference between a life that is filled with joy and happiness (as much as possible on this side of heaven) or one that is filled with mistakes that we have to constantly apologize for. A quick aside here to the idea of accidents. I do believe accidents happen but I also know that saying, “It is just an accident” can lead you to lie to yourself. You know deep down in your heart if it really was an accident or it was done on purpose. And, if you continue to lie to yourself, guess what? You will soon believe your lies and you are heading down the wrong path… a path that is wide and leads to, at some point judgment.

So, what is it going to be? One thing I do love about kids is that you get it – you see the big picture and I think we as parents often do not give you enough credit for understanding. You know what is right, you know what is just you know that you can make a difference in your world for the better. So the question is are you going to think before you act? Yes or No? This may be one of the most important decisions you ever make!

Special Replay: Easter Faith Filled Family Activities

Let’s Talk About: Easter Faith-Filled Family Activities

Podcast #125

with your host, Felice Gerwitz

I like activities that teach and in this episode I will discuss some fun ways to teach deeper theological concepts to very small children, all while making memories that last a lifetime. Many links provided below from other blogs with printables!

Visit Today’s Sponsor – Media Angels

Wonderful novels, books and classes all with a Christian focus. Visit for more information.

Show Notes: Easter Faith-Filled Family Activities

1. The purpose of the days leading up to Easter

2. What are your goals?

3. What are some fun activities that are tried and true.


a. Fasting – from something as a reminder of self-control from sin.

Make an Easter Garden visual parable

b. Cross and Paper plates

d. Easter Story Bag

e. Easter tree – medallions with “catch you being good”

f. Tie Dye Cross

g. Christ Centered Easter Activities

h. He is risen craft 

i. Random acts of kindness


Budget-minded activities

a. Scavenger hunt

b. printables

c. Resurrection nature walk

d. Make our own Resurrection eggs – Link Here  – preschool  Resurrection eggs Link Here

e. Visual Parable

f. Cross Fingerprint Art


Recipes To Make:

Resurrection Cookies

Easter Bread – with or without hard boiled eggs

Coloring Easter Eggs – teach “eggs” symbolize new life – new life in Christ!


Resurrection Scavenger Hunt 

Lenten eBooks Here

Christ Centered Printables

He Is Risen – Two Printables

Make Words Out of Resurrection Here

He is Risen Puzzle

Empty Tomb Coloring Page

Christ Centered Easter Books

Easter ABC Fill-In

Lenten Count-Down Calendar

He’s Alive Flannel Set

Flannel Set Resurrection 

Resurrection Cards