Make Your Homeschool Merry | a Helpful Holiday Roundup

homeschooling through the holidays

Make Your Homeschool Merry | a Helpful Holiday Roundup

One of the best things about homeschooling is the ability to create a family schedule that works in your real life. So, if you’re not homeschooling through the holidays, I hope you spend quality time doing what’s best for your family. If you homeschool through the holidays, I’d love to hear your best tips for staying on top of it all!

This Round-Up is helpful regardless of your plans. To make the most of December, be sure and grab our free December Checklist Printable. It has all.the.goodies.

Okay, here we go!

Helpful Holiday Blog Posts

I’ve done the research for you to come up with Christmas or Holiday themed blog posts that will inspire you or encourage you.

Holiday Resources for Homeschooling Families

Homeschool moms love great resources! Here are some from our own podcasters!

Helpful Holiday Podcasts

Make yourself a cup of cocoa and dig into this mega list of homeschool holiday podcasts!

Holiday Movies for Your Family

While not all Christmas movies, why not use the holiday break to cuddle up on the coach with the family and a bucket of popcorn and dig into these binge-worthy lists of family movies?

(Thank you to our Sponsor, 5,000 Blankets) Coming to PureFlix January 9th, 2023)



Homeschooling When YOU Have a Chronic Illness – MBFLP 281

It’s one thing when you’re homeschooling a child with a chronic illness – sometimes that’s the only way they’ll get an education! But what if Mom’s the one who’s struggling? What if you’re a parent with health issues, but you’re convinced that homeschooling is the best for your kids? How can you manage your days, your illness, and your expectations? We’ve had to deal with this ourselves, and it CAN be done – let’s talk about it!

Bonus Story

We didn’t get to this in the program, but there’s an interesting and encouraging story about long-term illness and doing good things in the midst of it. Susannah Spurgeon was the wife of the legendary British preacher Charles H. Spurgeon. She often helped him proofread and correct his published sermons and book manuscripts, and when she developed a debilitating condition that often confined her to bed, she was still able to do that. When she proofread his book Lectures to My Students, Susannah remarked that it should be in the hands of every minister in England; shortly afterward, she became the manager of the church’s new book fund. Over the last 28 years of her life, she shipped out over two hundred thousand theological books to needy pastors – all while dealing with a life-restricting illness.

Read more here!

Melanie says that her months – many months – on bed rest gave her opportunities to teach our children life skills as well as academic material, simply because many of the household tasks were off limits to her. It really became a matter of looking for what she could do, rather than give in to the legitimate frustrations of what she couldn’t.


Things We Referenced

Genesis 50:20 – “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good … ”

Galatians 6:2Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.  

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God

Romans 8:28And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.



Thank You to our Network Sponsor – CTC Math!

How to Diagnose and Cope with a Brain Based Diagnosis

What is a Brain Based ? A brain based diagnosis is a broad category of disorders, which can vary in symptoms and can include any condition that affects your brain.Today I am joined by Natalie Vecchione, Podcaster at FASD Hope and co-author, with Cindy LaJoy,  of the new homeschooling book: Blazing New Homeschool Trails, Educating and Launching Teens with Developmental Disabilities.

Natalie explains how the book was born out of desperation, as she and her husband were parenting and raising a FASD student. FASD (Fetal Achhol Syndrome Disorder). This is a brain based diagnosis, and like many brain based diagnosis is on a spectrum, meaning people with this disability, has a range of manifestations, which can include physical, emotional and intellectual.

What is a Brain Based Diagnosis? A brain based diagnosis is a broad category of disorders, which can vary in symptoms and severity and can include any condition or disability that affects your brain and can be caused by:

  • Illness
  • Genetics
  • Traumatic Injury

Brain based Diagnosis can include:




OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)


Learning Disabilities, including Dyslexia, Dyscalcia, Dysgraphia, etc

Processing Disorders.

How to determine and cope with a Brain Based Diagnosis:

  1. Figure out why you suspect something: Take detailed notes including medical conditions, genetic components, how students are not keeping up; write down detailed deficits, needs and strengths
  2. Find a practitioner who can do a Neutral Typical Evaluation (also called a Psychological Evaluation or an Educational Evaluation), usually done by a Psychologist. These can be very pricey, so check with your local University and Clinic with a Sliding Scale).
  3. Understand the Dysmaturity or “gap” of your student. This is quite different from immaturity. Dysmaturity is a gap between a person’s chronological and developmental age. This gap, depending on the disability, can be between a few years and up to half of the students’ age.
  4. Make accommodations

Resources Mentioned

SPED Blog posts:


SPED  Podcasts:

Communication Skills with Struggling Learning with Peggy Ployhar

Special Needs and Critical Thinking Skills




Off the Shelf: Summer Mom Reads


Off the Shelf: Mom Summer Reads Off the Shelf: Summer Mom Reads Episode 101

In this episode we talk about on of our favorite things – books.  More specifically, we discuss our some of our recent and future books just for you mom!

Books and Authors Mentioned on Show

Sharon’s list:

Suzanne’s List

Some of our other Favorite Authors

  • Jenny L. Cote
  • Bryan Davis
  • Chuck Black
  • S.D. Smith


What To Do When You And Your Spouse Disagree About Discipline

Do you and your spouse disagree on discipline? If so, you’re normal, but your homeschool happiness is at risk.

A sweet couple came to my booth at the Great Homeschool Convention and asked me what to do when they didn’t agree on discipline in the moment, as in, in front of the kids. I shared a few thoughts with them but realized that this is a great topic to dig into.

I address:

  • the importance of agreeing
  • what to do if you just don’t agree
  • the attitude we should have in discussions about discipline
  • what to discuss during a meeting about discipline

With good communication, a willingness to try new approaches, and some patience, I believe that most couples can come to some agreement on discipline. For those who cannot, being consistent with your own approach will still pay more dividends than giving up.

Have a happy homeschool week!



Episode 100

In this episode, we talk about Rhythm. Does your family have a rhythm? What is rhythm? What if your Rhythm is off? Can you reset your rhythm?




Bible Crate – Teach the Bible

Bible Crate - Teach the BibleBible Crate ~ Teaching The Bible In A Year

Do you want to teach your children the Bible? Today my guest is the publisher of the Bible Crate, from  Good and True Media, Mr. Brian Gallager. He will share with you the importance of storytelling and how the impact of teaching children at a young age about the glory of God is a wonderful addition to any child’s education.

Special guest, Brian Gallager, publisher of the BibleCrate

Bible In Order ~ For Kids

 What do you think about group activities for the family that will teach the Bible in chronological order? Well, today I am welcoming a guest, the co-owner of Good and True Media, Brian Gallager.

Reading the Bible is high up on the list of any Christian, and more so as a parent. One way to learn the Bible is to study it in chronological order. Most children love stories and the Bible is filled with action, intrigue, sin, redemption, and steeped in Biblical history.  When children are presented with a good foundation as well as context, they will remember the main ideas, and as they grow older they will have an appreciation of Scripture as well as the foundation to dive deeper.

Additionally, the Bible should be a focus for any Christian family as a subject of study. The Bible Crate engages the family through stories as well as combining them with activities such as crafts. This set is ideal for any homeschooling family. There are multi-children packs available for bigger families to use

Topics discussed on air.

  1. The importance of establishing context when teaching the Bible
  2. Jesus taught through stories (parables), and the Bible IS a story (and a true one at that!). Teach the story
  3. A way to teach scriptures that are fun and not frustrating as the Bible is dense with meaning it can be overwhelming, even for adults. It’s important to make the Bible accessible to young minds and hands-on through crafts and activities that they will remember later in life with fondness.

Giving Your Homeschool Kids Time to Think

With all of the distractions that surround our families, it’s easy to gravitate toward zoning out. Often this takes the form of electronics, television, or gaming. But, do these things afford your homeschool kids time to think?

Let’s explore ways we can encourage directing our children toward deeper thinking, and see what benefits that reaps.

What is Giving Your Homeschool Kids Time to Think?

It may seem counterintuitive to ask the same student you just asked to “pay attention” to now let their mind be free of concentrated focus on school work to ponder ideas. But, this is in essence what thinking is. It’s allowing time to mull something over, chew on it a bit, and consider and ponder ideas. The ideas that your kids will entertain will certainly depend on their age and ability, but all kids can think deeply.

Feeding Them Big Ideas to Think On

In order to think deeply, we need some big ideas, right? For adults, this would come more easily– there’s so much going on in the world. But, for our children, it’s helpful to break things down. It doesn’t have to be a hard idea to think on, just a wide or deep one appropriate for their age and ability. Here are some ideas:

For Preschool:

  • How do you know God loves you?
  • How do you know Mommy loves you?
  • What is your favorite food? Why?


  • Why do you think the grass grows up?
  • Why is the Moon only seen at night?
  • Where does milk come from?
  • Why is the sky sometimes blue, sometimes gray, sometimes dark?
  • How does the phone ring?
  • Where does God live?


  • What is the Holy Spirit? How does He visit you?
  • When do you feel like God is close to you?
  • How can you pray for your friends?
  • What is your favorite book? Why?

Middle School:

  • What would you do to change the world and make it a better place?
  • How could you volunteer in your church or community?
  • What do you believe about God?
  • Why do you think there are so many varieties of flowers?
  • What would you like to learn new this summer?

High School:

  • Would you rather live to 100 or have endless money?
  • Do you think countries should have borders?
  • If you’d been born at the time of the American War for Independence, would you have been a Patriot or Tory? Why?

These can go on and on. You can pull ideas from your homeschooling materials. There are also some great lists to bookmark. Try here, here, and here.


Give Them Time to Think

Of course, they have to have time to think deeply, right? Consider times in your natural daily rhythm that could provide this opportunity.

Maybe you could introduce questions and ideas in the morning at breakfast.

Get creative here — you could write them down for older kids, write them on a whiteboard, have a “question-of-the-week”, etc.  Then be intentional about allowing time for reflection. Limit screen time. Establish a “do nothing” hour, and get outside. Whatever you need to do to create the time they need to work on thinking. And believe me, thinking is work!

Allow Them to Develop Their Own Thoughts

Obviously, some of the questions to consider and ponder don’t require as much as others. But, every homeschool mom knows the value of rabbit trails. After all, that’s how delight-directed learning was born. And seriously, isn’t that part of the reason we homeschool?

To have the time to pursue thought (rabbit trails) that engage our kids’ minds and hearts? If you’ve given them a good meal of ideas, you need to give them time to not only eat them, but digest them.

Don’t look for Sunday School answers; those yes/no questions and answers that rob kids of the desire to think deeply. Ask them questions they can’t know the answer to right away or without thought. Then give them time to develop those thoughts.

Journal, Draw, Orate, Discuss Big Ideas

Now that our kids have an idea they are turning over in their minds, they need a tool to be able to reason through it. What will that tool be? Consider these options:

  • Journaling gives your wordy, writing student the opportunity to reason, reason, relate, and write or record their thought process. This is helpful in many ways. It can allow them to read their own thinking back to themselves to see that it is sound or well-reasoned. Journaling can be an outlet for emotional reasoning. It removes the confrontation of verbally expressing ideas. It prepares them for defending their written words.
  • Drawing or art can be a beautiful way to express thought. Some of your kids may draw pictures of what they are thinking on the inside. This is helpful for both student and parent as it can build communication pathways you didn’t know existed.
  • Discussion, debate, and arguing a point of view are perfect for those teens who feel passionately about ideas and thoughts and are at that age where defending them comes naturally. This is the ideal discipleship opportunity and a true window for growth for your teen (and even for you!)

Benefits of Allowing Kids Time to Think

There are so many benefits, including introducing the world to humans who can think, reason, and relate. But the biggest benefit is the relationships built along the way with your children.

Let’s Talk About Giving Homeschool Kids Time to Think

I’ll be speaking at the True North Homeschool Academy’s Summer SPLASH! Virtual EduSummit with a panel discussion on entrepreneurship, and two workshops: Giving Kids Time to Think and Podcasting as Education. Join me there for live Q & A and the opportunity to learn more about how we can give our kids time to think!

I have a special coupon code for my readers and listeners: Use the code:    felice20 at checkout to get a $5 ticket to the Summit!

I hope to see you there!

Felice Gerwitz

I’m So Overwhelmed


I'm So OverwhelmedI’m So Overwhelmed– Episode 99

Why All The Drama: Embracing Creativity


Why All The Drama: Embracing CreativityWhy All The Drama: Embracing Creativity– Episode 98