How to Create Your Perfect Homeschool

Creating the perfect homeschool

Now, really. Did you just click a title that said, “Create Your Perfect Homeschool” ??

Well, I’m sorry to say, there is no.such.thing.

What do I have for you today? I have a gift! In honor of Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network’s 7th birthday, today I’m sharing the gift of wisdom.

What is Homeschool Wisdom?

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines wisdom as, “The right use or exercise of knowledge; the choice of laudable ends, and of the best means to accomplish them. This is wisdom in act, effect, or practice.

I don’t know about you, but when I began homeschooling I craved sitting down over a cup of coffee with a veteran or vintage homeschool mom. I had so many questions

So, it was so much fun to sit down with Felice Gerwitz (of Vintage Homeschool Moms) and ask her questions that I know will be a blessing to you.

 

1. How did you get started in homeschooling?

I had a child that learned differently and it was not an easy decision, as I had planned to return to teaching at some point when my kids were older. It turned into the biggest blessing ever and as I had more children, it became a lifestyle. More of a “who we are,” rather than, “what we do.”

2. What biggest piece of advice would you have regarding your marriage and homeschooling?

I know everyone says take time for date night, but truthfully I was one of those moms that missed my kids when I went out to dinner! Of course, after saying that the first time (and hurting my husband’s feelings) I learned to keep that tidbit to myself. Praying together and talking. I missed adult conversation as a homeschool mom. However, for me, it was being open, kind, and honest in conversations. No character assassination, and no criticism, aka “You are stupid.” Telling him what I was thinking rather than expecting him to guess. Our husbands can’t read our minds and we get upset when they don’t know what we think! Also, trying to be thankful for each other and seeing the best rather than the worse.

3. How would you recommend fostering connection in this Covid time for new homeschoolers?

I have to say, for me, it isn’t so much about outside connections as it is with growth within our own families. This is a time to listen to your kids when they are talking, to appreciate them, and to grow together as a family. Find new hobbies, learn something new together, plant a garden, buy baby chicks. (I’m dying to do this myself.) I do believe this time will pass and there will be field trips and park days. If you have a few friends, invite them to a park day. Learn who is homeschooling in your area and if there is any planned activity happening.
Join our Homeschool Podcast Family and ask us anything! There are some great homeschooling families in that group. Maybe some live near you!

4. Tell me about a time you thought of giving up and how you kept going with homeschooling.

I had two older kids and then had first one, then another and finally a fifth child. By the time my fifth came, I told my daughter, then eighteen she couldn’t leave the house until she taught the baby to read. Of course, I was joking, but the idea of teaching another child to read was not a fun prospect. (I had some struggling readers.) Well, God in his infinite wisdom and mercy took pity on me and Mikey taught himself to read (with a little help on my part) when he was four-years-old. I think sometimes we look at the big picture rather than tackle the every day and thank-God for each day. If you do that it can appear overwhelming.

5. If you had do-overs, what are three things you’d do differently in your homeschool?

Start unit studies earlier in my homeschool journey, especially with my little kids. We learned so much in various grade levels and we had so much fun learning it was not a chore. Once we switched to more textbooks, that is when the burn out began. Reading “real” books, for example, good historical novels, or biographies, the kids will grasp the concepts and actually remember.

6.  We moms know that the responsibility of the actual work of homeschooling usually falls on our shoulders. How do you handle the school/life balance?

I actually came up with what I call a 4-Square Planner and I took a sheet of paper and labeled it. Prayer, School, Home, Kids –or whatever 4 categories I wanted. I have used this for party planning, buying gifts, and homeschooling. It can be a daily page or a week at a glance. Either way, it works great. That way I know what I need to get done! Also, multi-task well as a family. For example, the laundry day ended up being reading in the afternoon day. Clothes were folded while I read, or the kids took turns reading while we all folded clothes and then put them away.

7. Talk to me about the middle school years. What words of wisdom or advice would you share?

I was a middle school teacher, so this is actually one of my favorite stages! Kids are great. They just are. And, if you can appreciate them it will make life so much better. Whenever you get stressed that your middle schooler is getting sassy, or lazy, or fill-in-the-blank, think back to when they wouldn’t wear pink, or insisted on wearing a skirt and pants, etc. There are always an age/stage that your kids go through that can stump us, and that is also a time for prayer. I remember being upset with my then high schooler and not knowing what the punishment would be, so I let the child know I was going to pray about the punishment. My son scoffed at me. When the Lord gave me a sense of what the punishment should be, his car keys hung in a common area (dumb right?), it really worked! So pray if things are going hard and see what the Lord gives you a sense to do!

8. What do you think the role of a a co-op might be in homeschooling?

I loved co-ops when my kids were younger and some people love them when the kids are older. It is a good time to get together with other kids if there is a subject you don’t want to teach. Or, if you can teach something well you can offer to teach.

9. There are so many blogs and podcasts to read and listen to nowadays. How can I be discerning regarding which ones will be a benefit and grace to my homeschool?

Truthfully, I love podcasts, especially from those on my network. I know most of the podcasters personally. These people walk-the-walk. I feel that so many blogs are copies of other blogs and the information is so watered down. Also, I avoid blogs that are full of ads. They are too hard to navigate even with good information.

10. What is your favorite homeschool resource and tell me about your own resources.

My all-time favorite history curriculum is a set my brother in law created for my own kids. We were able to record them and my kids know much about the Constitution and history. It is taught from a factual perspective. It can be used by all denominations as it is not heavily Christian but definitely has that as an undertone. In addition, I co-authored a Creation Science unit studies and four were featured in Cathy Duffy Top 100 and 101 Curriculum Picks, along with the Teaching Science and Having Fun books. Those books are on my Media Angels Membership (you can save 50% off with the code FOREVER50) and it has all of my curriculum and resources including the History courses. I also love our novels. They are creation based and while the story is fiction, the science is the truth!

Felice Gerwitz

Author and speaker, Felice Gerwitz, is an outside of the box thinker. Her books reflect a love of learning and education with an eye toward retention.

She is a graduate of Florida Southern College, a former teacher with a degree in Elementary Education, Learning Disabilities and Early Childhood Education. She began Media Angels Publishing in 1994.

Eight of Felice’s titles have been selected by noted book reviewer, Cathy Duffy in both her 100-Top and 101 Top Homeschool Curriculum Picks. Her science fair book was selected as book of the month by God’s World Publishing.

There are no coincidences in life, so Felice believes it is by Divine Intervention that she publishes curriculum with a Biblical Creation focus and many other educational products.

Felice owns and podcasts at the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network and the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network. Her podcast topics include homeschooling, parenting, spiritual life and a podcast for aspiring authors and podcasters.

Get in on the par-tay fun! Join us for our GIVEAWAY and celebration! 7 years is a big deal. 🙂 

It’s our birthday today and we like to celebrate all month long! We will be offering some fun freebies and resources for you this month that you don’t want to miss.
Let’s kick off our 7th year celebration with an awesome giveaway!
You can enter HERE:
https://buff.ly/2vLXa7A

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