Search Results for: outside learning

Why High Schoolers Need to Write Research Papers

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Why High Schoolers Need to Write Research Papers.

Why High Schoolers Need to Write Research Papers

Why High Schoolers Need to Write Research Papers

Let’s talk about the often dreaded task of writing research papers in homeschooling. Is this topic taboo in your household?

We understand that while some students may enjoy the process, many find it challenging and overwhelming. However, there are several benefits of writing research papers, such as:

  • developing critical thinking skills
  • character development and
  • preparing students for future endeavors

It is one of those things we need to embrace, imperfections and all, so let’s dive talk about it.

The Benefits of Writing Research Papers

First of all, there are academic benefits from writing research papers:

  • learning about a specific topic in-depth
  • practicing following styles like
    • APA
    • MLA or
    • Chicago

Seeking Outside Help

Sometimes, parents may not feel equipped to teach research paper writing, or the dynamics between parents and students may become tense during the process. In such cases, it is perfectly acceptable to seek outside help. 

We encourage homeschoolers to connect with experienced writing teachers who can provide the necessary guidance and support. There are many options these days:

There is no shame in admitting that writing is not your strong suit. We all have different strengths and weaknesses as homeschooling parents. The important thing is to find support and guidance in the areas where we need it. 

When we acknowledge our limitations and give ourselves permission to seek assistance, we empower ourselves and our homeschool high schoolers. Then, they can excel in areas where we may not feel confident.

Why Are Research Papers Important?

Research paper writing is not just about academic skills. It’s also about character development and critical thinking. In today’s information-rich world, we have access to an overwhelming amount of information, where facts and opinions are readily available at our fingertips. 

Our teens have grown up in this information-saturated environment, but not all information is reliable or accurate. That is where research papers come in. They teach our teens how to evaluate the information they find. 

It is like learning to sift through the Niagara Falls of information and discern what is trustworthy and what’s not. 

Filtering Information and Broadening Perspectives

By writing research papers, our teens develop strong critical thinking skills and learn to navigate the vast sea of information available to them. They learn to filter out misleading or biased sources and recognize different perspectives on a topic. 

This broadens their understanding, fosters open-mindedness, and equips them to interact with diverse ideas and people. These skills extend beyond the research paper and find relevance in everyday life. As they grow into adulthood, they will be better equipped for

  • analyzing news articles
  • evaluating online information or
  • engaging in meaningful discussions.

Research papers offer an ideal platform for honing these skills, which are essential for their future, whether they are headed to college, the workforce, or any other path. 

Builds Perseverance

Plus, research paper writing also builds perseverance. This comes from the process as it requires multiple drafts and revisions. 

Writing a research paper is not a one-and-done task. It takes time to do careful research, evaluation, and synthesis of information to create a coherent and well-structured paper.

If you or your teen feel inexperienced or under-experienced in writing research papers, do not worry! 7Sisters has you covered in the realm of research paper writing! We offer research paper writing guides for:

These guides are affordable and designed to be user-friendly, with step-by-step instructions and different syllabus options to fit your schedule.

Overcoming obstacles and completing a research paper teaches our teens that they can do hard things. It is a valuable life lesson that will serve them well in any endeavor they pursue. 

Life Preparation

While some students may argue that they will never need to write a research paper outside of homeschooling, the skills they acquire during the process are invaluable. 

The ability to think critically, evaluate information, and communicate effectively will serve them well, regardless of their chosen path. These skills are transferable to various situations, such as:

  • verbal communication
  • online discussions or
  • even job interviews. 

Writing research papers helps to equip students for a future that demands strong analytical thinking and effective communication.

Research Papers

As you go on the research paper writing journey, remember that it is not just an academic exercise but a preparation for life, shaping your teen’s thinking and enriching them as individuals. 

Join Sabrina and Kym for this helpful discussion.

For more help on research papers, check out these posts:

Thank you to Richie Soares with Homeschool & Humor for writing this blog post and for Seth Tillman for editing the episode!


  1. Follow this link to our iTunes page.
  2. IMPORTANT STEP: Under our Homeschool Highschool Podcast logo, click on View in iTunes
  3. This will take you to iTunes and our own podcast page.
  4. Click SUBSCRIBE.
  5. Click RATINGS AND REVIEW. (Please take a minute and do this. It helps others find us. Thanks!)
  6. Thanks!


  1. Tap the purple Podcast icon on your phone
  2. Tap the search icon on the bottom-right of your screen
  3. In the search bar type: Homeschool Highschool Podcast
  4. Tap the Homeschool Highschool Podcast icon
  5. Tap *Subscribe*

INAM: Beyond the Nest

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Beyond the Nest | In this episode of "It’s Not About Money," hosts Matt and Charla McKinley, the Artisan of Adulting, delve into the essential topic of self-confidence in children. Charla shares her insights on nurturing self-confidence through meaningful experiences | #It'sNotAboutMoney #homeschooling #TipsHomeschooling #money #BeyondChores #Kid’sAllowance #BeyondtheNestNurturingSelfConfidenceinKids #BeyondtheNest #NurturingSelfConfidenceinKids #SelfConfidenceinKids #SelfConfidenceinBeyond the Nest

Episode 3 Summary: “Beyond the Nest:  Nurturing Self-Confidence in Kids”

In this episode of “It’s Not About Money,” hosts Matt and Charla McKinley, the Artisan of Adulting, delve into the essential topic of self-confidence in children. Charla shares her insights on nurturing self-confidence through meaningful experiences.


Helping Someone Different from You:

Charla emphasizes the importance of kids helping strangers who are different from them. Engaging in activities like Meals on Wheels provides a sense of purpose and showcases the meaningful impact of their unique gifts.

A Week Away at Camp:

Reflecting on the impact of a week away at camp, Charla highlights the significance of gentle exposure to life outside the comfort of home. This experience fosters independence and a deeper understanding of the world.

Learning a New Skill:

Charla discusses the value of learning new skills in building self-confidence. Overcoming the initial intimidation by trying something new offers a sense of accomplishment and mastery crucial for future challenges.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Link to Full Episode

Explore the Full List of Confidence-Building Experiences:

For more, go to our podcast website:

To subscribe to our weekly content email:

Thanks for joining us on this parenting journey! For more insights and connections, visit Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

INAM: The 6 Must-Dos to Boost Teen Independence

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

The 6 Must-Dos to Boost Teen Independence | In this episode of "It’s Not About Money," hosts Matt and Charla McKinley, the Artisan of Adulting, explore the crucial experiences that foster independence and prepare teens for the real world | #It'sNotAboutMoney #homeschooling #TipsHomeschooling #money #The6MustDostoBoostTeen #The6MustDosEpisode 1: The 6 Must-Dos to Boost Teen Independence

In this episode of “It’s Not About Money,” hosts Matt and Charla McKinley, the Artisan of Adulting, explore the crucial experiences that foster independence and prepare teens for the real world.  Charla shares insights from their son Jack’s journey and presents a list of 6 must-do things for teens.


Independence: Managing Money-

Charla emphasizes the importance of teens learning to manage money early, covering the value of wants, gratitude, and discernment. Matt’s college story adds a personal touch.

Independence: Getting a Job-

We discuss the necessity of teens working outside the family to gain valuable life skills, using our son’s experience at Chick-fil-A as an example.

Listen to the Full Episode: The 6 Must-Dos to Boost Teen Independence-


Link to the Full Episode

Access the List of 6 Things Your Teen Must Do:

For more, go to our podcast website:

To subscribe to our weekly content email:

Thanks for tuning in! For more parenting insights and to stay connected, visit the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Listen to More It’s Not About Money Podcast Episodes that Foster Teen Independence

Connect With Us:

Homeschool Curriculum Shopping Tips | Replay

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Homeschool Curriculum Shopping Tips | Things you must know before you buy the first book. Questions to know and ask yourself and your kids. #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #homeschool Homeschool Curriculum Shopping Tips ~ Episode 333 | Special Replay

Shopping for homeschool curriculum is never easy.  In this episode, we discuss must-know-tips for homeschool curriculum shopping and an insider’s available to homeschool podcast network subscribers. 

Visit our sponsor — Media Angels and grab this special offer: Homeschool Calendars and Goal Setting Bundle!

Goal setting and homeschool planner


Fast forward and many years of homeschooling gone by and I realized the best time to consider purchasing curriculum was in June. I could finish my school year, take a look back and see what worked and what did not. I was blessed to find homeschool math curriculum we loved (I share these brands on the podcast), and these helped us in many ways to accomplish what was often considered the hardest subject. My kids loved to do the hardest subject first so that the rest of the day seemed easy by comparison. In fact, they would get up early to complete Math before breakfast.

Here is a quick list of questions to ask yourself before you buy the first book!

  1. What are my kid’s ages/ grades?
  2. Do I have a budget per subject or an overall budget?
  3. Do I want to focus on hands-on curriculum or text/ workbooks?
  4. How will my kids relate to the books I purchase?
  5. Do I want to add outside sources? Co-ops or online classes?

Often the best ideas are those that come to you after prayer. One year I was so tired of what I felt was zipping through the curriculum. I had purchased several years of a popular science text and when I found the next “new year,” which we began in January started with birds again and we had finished an exhaustive unit on birds the previous year I knew we had to regroup, skip around the book and then I found myself added unit studies which my children immensely enjoyed.

Consider doing some unit studies with the middle grades. Your kids will thank you I promise. This allows you to delve into a subject and really study it from top to bottom. A unit study on birds can turn into a study of migration patterns, bird watching, identification, the study of habitats and so much more. Or, a study on geology can turn into rock collections (which we still have) and rocks from all over the world. (We had our relatives bring us back rocks from their trips to Europe).

Look at the following to help you further narrow down your curriculum choices:

  1. Look at your child’s learning style—if your child is an auditory learner, loves having books read, listens to audios, etc. it isn’t the best to have this child do textbooks.
  2. Look at expert reviews. The only one I highly recommend is – Cathy is a long time homeschooler. She graduated three boys from homeschooling and set out years ago to look at curriculum with a critical eye. Now a disclaimer here, many of my books are on her top 100 and 102 Curriculum Picks. The Creation science series, accompanying study guides, and Teaching Science and Having Fun. You can get all of these books for less than $30 when one of them costs $18.95 retail. These are digital but you can read them, print out the experiment sheets and planning guides and use them for K-12. Looking at reviews can also tell you if it is something that will work with your homeschool.
  3. Listen to podcasts. What are some recommendations made by those in the know!
    1. Three Homeschool Curriculum Essentials
    2. When Your Curriculum Is Wrong For Your Teens
    3. Best Curriculum For Your Family
    4. Movies For Homeschool Curriculum
  4. Visit a homeschool conventions
    1. Homeschool convention attendance has changed in recent years. With everything available online and the expense involved to attend it is often the last thing on a homeschool moms list. However, it is important to attend for many reasons. The most important is encouragement.
    2. It can be overwhelming which is why I have created a standalone curriculum buying guide that will be helpful. It will be available for free for my email subscribers. After the giveaway is over, it is always available on my website.
  5. Get on email lists from your favorite publisher – get to know them.
    1. Many publishers have samples on their website.
    2. If they don’t many will send you some via email.
    3. Join their Facebook or discussion groups to ask questions or ask questions of other users.

My favorite curriculum shopping happened when I decided to use an eclectic approach and I began with topics we wanted to study, and I created my own yearlong study. It was so much fun. I shopped for books that were topic related. We used these books for many, many years. For example, a Creation Science focus requires books to be purchased as you won’t find these in the library (although you can try for interlibrary loans).

When you use topics that interest your children guess what? They are so excited about school and they want to get started each day. Another thing to consider is to focus on your faith.

We did many Bible studies and one of the things we enjoyed was doing a family Bible study that I created, Homeschooling with Proverbs. This study consisted of audios that were focused on each book of Proverbs and we loved it! I had studied Proverbs quickly in the past but there were so many nuggets of truth that were so applicable to homeschooling! I created study sheets, journal pages and dig deeper sections. Each audio (there are three per lesson) is geared to different age levels. This is a standalone digital product on my website.

You can look at online learning. I am not a fan of putting kids in front of a computer for all their subjects, however when they struggle or if you are not interested in teaching a particular subject this can be valuable. We used a DVD for higher math – our favorite was Chalk Dust. Mr. D. Math one of my previous podcasters on this network has a higher math online program as well.

When it came to history I felt my American History was lacking so I partnered with my brother in law who was History Professor of the Year two times in West Virginia where he taught. His online courses were so wonderful that my daughter is now a history major in college.

These classes focused on teaching the US Constitution and the lives of the American Presidents. We also have an American Government Classes. These were taught in real time but recorded so they can be enjoyed by families throughout the years.

There are classes taught by:

  1. North Star Academy
  2. Bright Ideas Press
  3. Luma Learn (you can even teach a class if you feel qualified!)

Of course, there are many others, but these are the ones I personally know about that are high quality and geared to homeschool students.

Whatever curriculum you select keep your kids, your schedule and your sanity in mind. You will be glad you did! If you have a favorite curriculum share it with me!


Helping Overachieving Teens Find Balance in Homeschooling

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Helping Overachieving Teens Find Balance in Homeschooling.

Helping Overachieving Teens Find Balance in Homeschooling

Helping Overachieving Teens Find Balance in Homeschooling

You know it if you have one: an overachiever. Some homeschooling high schoolers cannot stop! While being an achiever is a good thing, teens who cannot find the place where enough is enough are in danger of burnout or anxiety issues.

While not all teens are overachievers, it is important to address the concerns of parents who notice their capable teens heading towards burnout. Let’s dive into the topic of helping our overachieving teens find balance in homeschooling.

Understanding Overachieving Teens

Overachieving teens, especially in the homeschool community, value accomplishments. So they engage in numerous academic and extracurricular endeavors. These teens do not necessarily  they love everything they do. Rather, they think they need to do these things in order to get to the next place in life as successfully as possible.

Whether they engage in NCAA-type athletics, academics, or arts, these teens tirelessly build impressive transcripts. They are aiming for competitive colleges. Whether driven by the desire for a full-ride scholarship or a competitive transcript, these teens can be at risk of hitting a wall halfway through junior or senior year. 

Anxiety, burnout, and panic attacks may become issues if we do not address overachievers’ need for balance. Here are some ways you can help.

Setting Realistic Expectations

As a parent, it is crucial to sit down with your teen and reflect on the expectations you may have unintentionally conveyed. Discuss whether a full-ride scholarship to an Ivy League school is the only path to success. Help your overachieving teen understand that there are other colleges and career paths that can lead to fulfilling lives. Not every teen needs to attend an Ivy League school or obtain a full ride scholarship. 

Realistic expectations can alleviate the pressure and allow teens to pursue a healthy balance in homeschooling between academics and personal well-being. 

Be honest and clear on your part on what your expectations are, and then let them say what their expectations are. Then, talk about how realistic these expectations are, really! See if they can be reeled in to find a healthy level of lifestyle and achievement.

Clarify Their Goals

Encourage teens to clarify their ultimate goals for college and beyond. Does their career path require an Ivy League degree? Many fulfilling careers do not.

Also, it is crucial to understand that not every excellent student secures a full-ride scholarship. Accepting this realization (knowing some things will be out of their control- including scholarships) can alleviate undue pressure on overachievers. 

Happiness is often a common goal for teens, but what does happiness mean to them? Research suggests that individuals who contribute to the greater good tend to experience greater happiness. Sometimes, overachievers who are stuck in all-day academics feel better and more balanced with they add service projects to their schedules.

Discuss the importance of finding meaning and purpose in their pursuits, whether through their career or personal hobbies.

Also, it is wise engage in financial literacy discussions to help them understand their future needs and goals. Incorporating financial literacy, into goal-setting discussions can guide teens in aligning their career aspirations with realistic financial goals. Tools like the Career One Stop website can provide valuable insights into salary expectations and suitable career paths.

Exploring Career Options

To avoid burnout, it is wise to guide your teen in exploring realistic career options which can help support their overall goal. Incorporate Career Exploration, including researching different careers and their corresponding salaries to help them set achievable goals. 

Visit college campuses, attend college tours, and look for scholarships that align with their career aspirations. By doing so, you can help your teen understand the possibilities and make informed decisions without overwhelming themselves.

3Ws Self-awareness page freebie from Vicki Tillman Coaching

Download this 3Ws Self-awareness page freebie from Vicki Tillman Coaching

Building Self Awareness and Time Management

Teach your overachieving teen the importance of effective time management. Conduct a time audit to help them visualize how they spend their time. Encouraging teens to perform a time audit can reveal imbalances in their daily routines. 

Often, overachievers focus heavily on academics while neglecting self-care, socializing, and sleep. Overemphasis on academics at the cost of social interaction or adequate sleep is a recipe for long-term issues.

Encourage them to strike a balance in homeschooling by making adjustments to their schedules. Ensure they are getting enough sleep, engaging in social activities, and taking care of their physical and mental well-being.

Educational resources like the 7Sisters health curriculum can help teens understand the importance of sleep and overall wellness, fostering a more holistic approach to their activities.

Learning From Leadership

In cases where teens are involved in extracurriculars with strong leadership, like sports, it is wise to discern the healthy and potentially harmful influences these figures may have on them. Sometimes you have wonderful role models of coaches, but sometimes they are a little quirky in their personalities. So you need to look into their leadership more to see what kinds of things they are learning from this coach and if they are healthy. 

Developing Self-Awareness

Help your teen develop self-awareness by asking them to reflect on their emotions and actions. Encourage them to journal or have conversations about how they feel, why they feel that way, and what actions they can take to address those feelings. 

Fostering self-awareness can help them make healthier choices and prevent burnout. They can look at the log over time to see where a lot of their time has gone. This can help them visually see where their time is going.

Teaching teens the “three Ws” – What am I feeling? Why am I feeling this? What am I going to do about it? – aids in developing self-awareness and emotional intelligence. Applying these questions to themselves and others fosters empathy and realistic goal setting. (Here’s a freebie 3Ws journal from Vicki’s life coaching website.)

Sometimes overachieving teens have a strong-willed streak. Here’s a post to help.

Supporting Friendships and Relationships

Recognize the importance of friendships and relationships in your teen’s life. We recommend that overachieving teens spend quality time with friends regularly. This social interaction is vital for their emotional and mental health. Encourage them to spend quality time with friends and engage in activities outside their academic pursuits. 

If you need to make an assignment to socialize with their friends, then make it an assignment. There is nothing wrong with giving them a homework assignment of spending at least some time every week in person in real life with some friends.

Sometimes it is just necessary to have friendships in a digital format, but they need that friend time.

Helping Overachieving Teens Find Balance in Homeschooling

Finding balance in homeschooling is essential for overachieving teens to avoid burnout and lead fulfilling lives. We want our teens to be healthy and productive people that, in the long run, glorify God by their personalities and their choices and behaviors. 

If you are the parent of an overachiever and need some other ideas, one of the coolest places to discuss things is at the 7Sisters Homeschool Facebook Group.

Thank you to Richie Soares with Homeschool and Humor for writing this blog post.


  1. Follow this link to our Apple Podcasts page.
  2. OR take this IMPORTANT STEP: Under our Homeschool Highschool Podcast logo, click on View in “…your favorite podcast source”
  3. This will take you to Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast source and our own podcast page.
  4. Click SUBSCRIBE.
  5. Click RATINGS AND REVIEW. (Please take a minute and do this. It helps others find us. Thanks!)
  6. Thanks!


  1. Tap the purple Podcast icon on your phone
  2. Tap the search icon on the bottom-right of your screen
  3. In the search bar type: Homeschool Highschool Podcast
  4. Tap the Homeschool Highschool Podcast icon
  5. Tap *Subscribe*
  6. Please tap *Ratings and Review*

Navigating Electives: A Guide for Homeschooling High School Students

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Selecting the right electives can transform the high school experience for homeschoolers.Choosing electives can be both an exciting and daunting task for homeschooling high school students and their parents. Electives are not just filler courses; they are essential in shaping a well-rounded education, exploring interests, and preparing for future careers or college. In this post, we’ll explore how to make informed decisions when selecting electives.

Understanding the Role of Electives:

Electives play a crucial role in the high school curriculum. They provide students the chance to delve into subjects outside the core academic courses, helping them discover new passions, develop practical skills, and gain a broader perspective on the world. Whether it’s art, technology, or a foreign language, electives can significantly enhance a student’s educational experience.

1. Assessing Interests and Goals to Choose Electives:

The first step in choosing electives is to consider your child’s interests and long-term goals. Does your student show an inclination towards creative arts, sciences, or languages? Understanding these preferences is key. For instance, a student interested in a business career might benefit from courses like Entrepreneurship or Accounting 101, while a future scientist might prefer Genetics or a New Testament Survey for those inclined towards theology or religious studies.

2. Exploring Career Paths:

Electives can be a gateway to potential careers. Courses like Career Exploration or The Copywriting Experience offer practical insights into specific professions, helping students make informed decisions about their future. Encourage your student to try courses that align with their potential career interests.

3. Developing Essential Life Skills:

Some electives focus on life skills that are valuable regardless of career choice. Courses such as Economics or Political Literature & Comp not only provide academic knowledge but also teach critical thinking, financial literacy, and a better understanding of the world.

4. Balancing Academics and Personal Growth:

While aligning electives with academic and career goals is important, personal growth should not be overlooked. Encourage your student to choose at least one elective purely for personal interest or enjoyment, like Art 2 or Foreign Language Exploration. This balance ensures a well-rounded education and keeps learning enjoyable.

5. Utilizing Resources:

Take advantage of resources like True North Homeschool Academy, which offers a diverse range of electives tailored for homeschooling students. From Expedition Africa for younger students to Essay Extravaganza for aspiring writers, these courses are designed to meet various interests and academic needs.

Selecting the right electives can transform the high school experience for homeschoolers. It’s about striking a balance between academic rigor, personal interests, and future aspirations. By carefully considering their interests, career goals, and personal growth, homeschooling students can choose electives that enrich their education and prepare them for the future.

Remember, the journey through high school is as much about discovery as it is about education. Choose electives that inspire, challenge, and excite your student, and watch them thrive in their unique educational path.

Here’s a glimpse of our Spring lineup at True North Homeschool Academy:

  1. Entrepreneurship: Unleash your business potential. Learn more
  2. Genetics: Dive into the fascinating world of DNA and inheritance. Explore here
  3. Essay Extravaganza: Hone your writing skills for academic excellence. Discover more
  4. Foreign Language Exploration: Embark on a linguistic adventure. Start exploring
  5. Expedition Africa (Elementary): Journey through the wonders of Africa. Join the expedition
  6. Accounting 101: Master the fundamentals of accounting. Enroll now
  7. Career Exploration: Discover your future career path. Begin exploring
  8. Art 2: Advance your artistic journey. Sign up here
  9. Economics: Understand the dynamics of economies. Dive deeper
  10. The Copywriting Experience: Craft compelling content. Learn more
  11. New Testament Survey (Junior High): Explore the New Testament’s richness. Explore here
  12. Political Literature & Comp: Analyze the interplay of politics and literature. Discover more

Special Offer! We also have exclusive one-semester bundles available, providing a comprehensive learning experience tailored to your needs. Check out our bundles

Mrs. Nehring the voice behind the Life Skills 101 Podcast on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network and is the Director of True North Homeschool Academy.

She is loved by parents for her ability to provide them with a strategic plan for their homeschool through coaching and advising.

Her vision for the implementation of the SAMR Method of education to the homeschool world has resulted in a one-of-a-kind education experience at TNHA.

She also operates It’s Not That Hard to Homeschool and Blue Collar Homeschooling.

Homeschool Burnout: How to Get Your Groove Back

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Overcoming Homeschool Burnout on the LifeSkills101 Podcast with Lisa NehringHey there, learners! Today, we’re talking about something important: homeschool burnout. Ever felt super tired, both in your body and mind? That’s what we call burnout. It can happen to both parents and students. But wait, how is it different from regular stress? Well, stress is like having a lot on your plate, but burnout is when that plate overflows. It’s not fun for anyone! So, let’s figure out the signs and consequences of homeschool burnout together. Ready to dive in and learn how to make homeschooling feel balanced and awesome again? Let’s do it!

Watch this LifeSkills 101 Podcast on YouTube Homeschool Burnout

Navigating the Complex Terrain of Homeschool Burnout

Welcome to the Life Skills 101 Podcast, proudly presented by Blue Collar Homeschoolers and the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network. Whether you’re an experienced homeschooling family or just starting your homeschooling journey, this podcast is your go-to resource for equipping your family with the skills and knowledge needed for a successful future.

Show Notes for LifeSkills 101 Podcast Episode with Lisa Nehring

In today’s episode, we delve into a topic that resonates with many homeschooling parents and students: navigating homeschool burnout. Homeschooling is a rewarding journey, but the demands it places on both parents and students can lead to a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion. It’s crucial to recognize the signs of burnout and understand the difference between stress and burnout. Join us as we uncover the root causes of homeschool burnout and share practical strategies to restore balance in your homeschooling journey. Whether you’re a seasoned homeschooler or just starting out, this episode is packed with insights to help you overcome burnout and create a fulfilling and sustainable homeschooling experience.

  •  Brief overview of homeschool burnout
  • Importance of recognizing and addressing burnout
  •  Purpose of the episode: providing guidance to navigate and overcome homeschool burnout

Understanding Homeschool Burnout

Alright, curious minds, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of understanding burnout. Imagine your energy tank running on empty – that’s burnout! It’s not just feeling tired; it’s feeling super, duper tired in your body, your heart, and your brain. Now, here’s the cool part: we need to figure out how burnout is different from regular stress. Stress is like having a bunch of homework to do, but burnout is when it feels like you’ve got way too much homework, and your brain is saying, ‘Nope, I need a break!’ So, buckle up for this learning adventure as we explore what burnout really means and how it can sneak up on us. Ready to be a burnout detective with us?

  • Definition of burnout
  • Differentiating between stress and burnout
  • Impact of burnout on parents and students
  • Recognizing signs and consequences of homeschool burnout

Addressing the Root Causes

Ever wondered why you feel so tired or stressed? It’s time to ask some important questions to uncover the real reasons behind it. Imagine you’re solving a mystery – we’re going to be like Sherlock Holmes, but for homeschool burnout! What are the things that might be secretly making us feel overwhelmed? It’s time to be super sleuths and figure out the clues that will help us understand what’s really going on. Ready to put on your detective hats and uncover the secrets behind burnout? Let’s crack the code together!

  • Importance of identifying root causes
  • Essential questions to uncover underlying issues
  • Creating awareness of potential triggers contributing to burnout

Strategies to Overcome Homeschool Burnout

  • Taking Breaks
  • Importance of breaks for rejuvenation
  • Incorporating short breaks into the daily routine

Establishing Routines

– Creating a structured daily schedule
– Balancing flexibility with routine for optimal learning

Setting Realistic Goals

– Significance of achievable objectives
– Strategies for setting and adjusting realistic goals

Prioritizing Self-Care

– Role of self-care in preventing burnout
– Incorporating self-care practices into daily life

Seeking Support for Homeschool Burnout

– Importance of a support system in homeschooling
– Strategies for reaching out and building a network

Experimenting with Teaching Methods

– Need for variety in teaching approaches
– Trying new methods to keep homeschooling engaging

Going on Field Trips

– Benefits of experiential learning outside the home
– Incorporating field trips into the curriculum

Delegating Tasks

– Recognizing the need to share responsibilities
– Strategies for delegating tasks effectively

Reviewing and Adjusting Your Approach

– Importance of ongoing assessment and adaptation
– Making necessary adjustments to the homeschooling approach

Seeking Professional Guidance for Homeschool Burnout

– Knowing when to seek professional help
– Resources and avenues for professional support

Subscribe and Stay Informed

Check out our other podcasts & subscribe.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to provide your family with the best possible homeschooling and career preparation resources. Subscribe to the Life Skills 101 Podcast and stay up-to-date with the latest episodes and valuable insights.


Harvest Your Child’s Strengths

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Harvest Your Child’s Strengths ~ For Any Age ~ Episode 506

Harvesting Your Child's Strengths | Vintage Homeschool Moms on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network

Harvest time calls to mind many things, but this is a perfect time to work on your child’s strengths and develop them more fully. Each of us has gifts and things we do well. This podcast discusses how you can encourage your children to achieve.

This show is a celebration of our ten-year podcast birthday. The Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network has undergone some name changes, and we are still here and better than ever, with wonderful presentations for the entire family. Enter the giveaway.

Each child has a strength; some you can easily distinguish, and others may be hard to find. Finding your child’s strengths is our topic today.

I recently listened to a presentation by a speaker who shared that we all have an anointing, a gift from God. When we work in this anointing, we feel empowered at enthusiastic. However, when working outside of our anointing, that blessing and grace from God, we feel tired and down, as if a weight is on our back, and we trudge along having to do whatever “that” is in our life, but not doing it happily.

This happens to all of us, doesn’t it? Think about something you enjoy doing.

Do you enjoy homeschooling? Doing faith-filled activities? Doing crafts with the kids? Do you like to bake? Are you organized? Do you enjoy spending time with your family? Taking the kids outdoors to explore? Are you good at finding unique books or topics to study? Do you make school fun? If your answer is no, no, and no, don’t worry! The idea here is to find something you enjoy and think about the why.

  1. What activity or hobby do you enjoy?
  2. Where did you first learn you had a gift (or anointing) in this area?
  3. Why do you enjoy an activity or hobby?
  4. How often do you do this enjoyable activity?

I believe it is the same with our children. When we work within our talents, gifts, or anointing, it does not seem like work; in fact, we highly enjoy it and are motivated to do it often.

You may enjoy these activities to help you find your child’s strengths.

Building Relationships with Your Children 

Great Gifts Kids Can Make

Celebrate Fall Baking

Stress Free Fall Activities

So, how do we harvest their strengths? First, by observing.

  1. What types of activities does your child enjoy? Musical? Academic subjects? Art? Activities such as crafts. Physical activities such as sports?
  2. How does your child exhibit their strengths?

(Coming soon – a freebie we are putting together to help you print off quick checklists.)

I created a list that might be helpful; look at this as a springboard to consider what your child does well. Once you consider their strengths, you can discuss ways to enhance them and perhaps encourage new ones. In fact, you can have them. See the following PDF for your personal use.


  1. Character -honest, responsible, persistent, works hard, gets along with others, reasonable self-control, thinks about others over self, etc.
  2. Communicates – storyteller, communicates thoughts and ideas well, listens, articulates, and is persuasive, etc.
  3. Social – has a way with people, an extrovert, has good friends, is polite, has leadership abilities, works well with others, plays and shares, follows rules, has good relationships, and is well-liked, etc.
  4. Emotionally mature – has good common sense, is a half-full rather than a half-empty person—sees the good in things and others, is able to handle disappointment, is empathetic, has good intuition, etc.
  5. Academic – does well in school, reasons well, has good memory, can multi-task, is focused, likes to read, writes well, enjoys a particular subject, etc.
  6. Logical – can figure things out, good at problem-solving, has an interest in math, science, computers, or engineering, etc.
  7. Hands-On — is good at fixing things, can do puzzles or legos (building) well, strong visually, etc.
  8. Physical or hands-on — good at sports, active, enjoy playing active games, physically strong, has good flexibility and balance, physical endurance, likes to exercise, likes the outdoors, etc.
  9. Fine Motor — good at details, creative and enjoys crafts or building things, good hand-eye coordination, etc.
  10. Empathetic – has a good sense of self, sympathetic to others, has a strong or growing faith, understands and senses when others are hurting, etc.
  11. Musical or Artistic or Creative— Musical: can sing, understands rhythm, can play a musical instrument(s), enjoys practicing; Artistic: is creative, artistic, has good eye-hand coordination, can draw what they see, has an eye for beauty, etc.; Creative: has a good imagination, has great ideas, dramatic and creative, good memory and original, etc.
  12. Technical— computer savvy, good at coding, analytics, good at research, and learning with hands-on and trial and error.
  13. Spiritual — understands there is more than what we see in this world, realizes that faith is an integral part of humanity, knows that God exists, bases their world-view on Judeo-Christian principles, has a good philosophy on life, and is empathetic.
  14. Hobbies – various

When your child exhibits or demonstrates any of these strengths (and I’m sure I’m leaving out many), they are normally energized and focused. Why do they enjoy movie night, but it is a struggle to get them to read a book or do an assignment? We can’t always work within our strengths, but we can recognize them and address those that need work.

My granddaughter is good at crafts; she taught herself to knit and crochet, and she still enjoys this activity as a seventeen-year-old. Yet, I found she had an aptitude for working with her cell phone and on computers. What does knitting have to do with computing? She is organized; knitting is creative but sequential. You get one stitch wrong, and it messes up the entire thing. Similar to computing. I taught her audio editing and graphic design. She already had an aptitude for creativity and technology, so it was an easy fit. Perhaps she has a future in web design or more.

This gives you a quick idea of how to use a child’s strengths, even something they enjoy, and helps them develop it into something more. If your children are little, you can help them develop in more minor ways. Giving them time to explore their interests. Children are often overwhelmed without time to develop their gifts. Be sure to pray and ask the Lord for help in this area; you will be surprised at what you find.

This show is a celebration of our ten-year podcast birthday. The Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network has undergone some name changes, and we are still here and better than ever, with wonderful presentations for the entire family.

Be sure to enter our special birthday giveaway here, which includes a $250 cash giveaway!

Sponsors of Harvest Your Child’s Strengths

This podcast episode: Reading Eggs

Sponsors of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network’s 10th Birthday Celebration:

Number One Homeschool Podcast Network

Common Sense Press




Ultimate List of Read Alouds for Your Homeschool

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

I wasn’t homeschooled, but I can remember loving library time in elementary school. It wasn’t just the books or the break away from the regular classroom. It was sitting on the big round rug listening to the librarian read aloud.

This post sponsored by:Night Zookeeper | Fantastically Fun Learning

Night Zookeeper is a children’s brand on a mission to make learning fantastically fun and help kids unlock their creativity. Our reading & writing program has helped over 1 million children aged 6-12 to develop their reading, writing, and creative thinking skills.


The Benefits of Read Alouds in Your Homeschool

ultimate homeschool read aloud book list

There are studies that demonstrate that read-alouds can improve pronunciation, reading speed, and a student’s ability to make connections while reading. Further, “Reading aloud to young children, particularly in an engaging manner, promotes emerging literacy and language development and supports the relationship between child and parent.”1

Beyond studies, as homeschooling parents, we understand that adding read-alouds to our homeschool can foster much more than an improvement in reading and a love for it, it can foster relationship. Relationship is fundamental to a successful homeschooling experience for our families.


How to Read Aloud

This might seem obvious. You choose a book and you begin reading aloud. Couldn’t be simpler, right? There are some tips and techniques that can make your read-aloud time a better experience for everyone.

  1. Practice reading aloud. Vary your cadence. Use fun voices for certain characters if that seems fun to you!
  2. Pick a book YOU love when you first begin. If your favorite book is a longer one, try reading just a few chapters at a time, finding a stopping point that leaves them wanting more. This also teaches your child the art of savoring a book for themselves in their own reading. Stumped, this resource is a great guide.
  3. Keep a list of lists. Books lists will help you know the classics, the tried-and-true, the most-loved books. Suggestions: Caldecott winners, homeschooling read-aloud lists, the 1,000 Good Books List, and the Vintage Homeschool Mom reading list podcast. 
  4. Take turns! You don’t have to be the only reader! Even the littlest of your children can take a turn in the read-aloud seat!
  5. Make use of audiobooks and let the narrator take the role of teacher. This works wonderfully during long drives and the dinner-making routine. You can find a wide selection at your library or even Our all-time favorite family read-aloud was Where The Red Fern Grows. Other favorites include The Courage of Sarah Noble, Heidi, and David Copperfield.

What if I Don’t Like Reading Aloud?

If you don’t like reading aloud, it’s likely due to one of the following:

  • it’s a new concept to you and the learning curve seems too great
  • you’ve never developed a love of reading
  • you’re scared of failing
  • you’re tired after a day of homeschooling and homemaking or working and you don’t need to add one more thing to your list

I understand! You don’t have to be perfect at reading aloud, you just have to begin! It’ll be an adventure! Make use of some of the techniques above and master the new skill or allow others (your own children and audiobooks) to help you!

Ultimate List of Read Alouds for Your Homeschool


1. Misty of Chincoteague by Margueritte Henry
2. The Secret Garden by Frances Burnett
3. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
4. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
5. Tornado by Betsy Byars
6. The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh
7. Bright April by Marguerite De Angeli
8. My Father’s Dragon series by Ruth Stiles Gannet
9. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson This one we still quote to this day! So many funnies. Worth the audio version.
10. The Sword in the Tree by Clyde Robert Bulla
11. Runaway Ralph by Beverly Cleary
12. The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne
13. Star of Light by Patricia St. John
14. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
15. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Warner
16. The Green Ember by S.D. Smith
17. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
18. Walter the Lazy Mouse by Marjorie Flack
19. Mary on Horseback by Rosemary Wells
20. The Matchlock Gun by Walter D. Edmonds
21. Sox by Beverly Cleary Read belly-laughs happen with this one!
22. The Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill Miss Agnes is the type of teacher every homeschool mom aspires to be. <3
23. A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
24. The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
25. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
26. Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson
27. The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois A favorite of my kids when they were in the 8-10 year-old range.
28. Riding the Pony Express by Clyde Robert Bulla
29. Justin Morgan Had a Horse by Marguerite Henry This was wonderful to read around Kentucky Derby time.
30. Twenty and Ten by Claire Huchet Bishop An introduction to WW2 for youngers.
31. The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare
32. Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary Both my boys loved this one!
33. The Apple and the Arrow by Mary and Conrad Buff
34. Treasury for Children by James Herriot I love all things James Herriot, and for the parents, the BBC series is a must.
35. The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame  Children love this “put yourself in the place of” imagining of a dragon during the time of St. George the Dragonslayer.
36. Mice of the Herring Bone by Tim Davis Growing up on Highlights magazine, I fell in love with this series of how the ordinary can do extraordinary things.
37. Centerburg Tales by Robert McCloskey Homer Price belongs on every bookshelf.
38. The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling Can you have too much of a good thing?
39. The Adventures of Peter Cottontail by Thorton Burgess Burgess books were my first exposure to the living books classification. A happy discovery!
40. Betsy-Tacy Books by Maud Hart Lovelace
41. The Wilderking Trilogy by Jonathan Rogers I loved this more than my kids, but still made the list.
42. The Bears of Hemlock Mountain by Alice Dalgliesh
43. Joel, A Boy of Galilee by Annie Fellows Johnston This one is special to me. Not only did I love the book, but lived down the road from Pewee Valley, KY, the author’s town.
44. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
45. Pollyanna by Eleanor Porter
46. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM by Robert C. O’Brien We also enjoyed the motion picture.
47. Ribsy by Beverly Cleary
48. The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
49. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
50. Who Owns the Sun by Stacy Chbosky
51.  The Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
52. The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh

Middle School | High School Reading List (yes, you can read aloud in the upper grades)


53. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
54. Watership Down – Richard Adams
55. The Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum
56. A Bear Called Paddington – Michael Bond
57. The Book of Three – Lloyd Alexander
58. Tuck Everlasting – Natalie Babbitt
59. Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing – Judy Blume
60. The Incredible Journey – Sheila Burnford
61. Ramona the Pest – Beverly Cleary
62. The Chocolate War – Robert Cormier
63. Walk Two Moons – Sharon Creech
64. The Watsons Go to Birmingham: 1963 – Christopher Paul Curtis
65. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
66. Because of Winn-Dixie – Kate DiCamillo
67. A Girl Named Disaster – Nancy Farmer
68. Harriet the Spy – Louise Fitzhugh
69. Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key – Jack Gantos
70. M.C. Higgins, the Great – Virginia Hamilton
71. Redwall – Brian Jacques
72. The Phantom Tollbooth – Norton Juster
73. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler – E. L. Konigsburg
74. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
75. The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton
76. Across Five Aprils – Irene Hunt
77. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
78. Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes
79. The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
80. Mary Poppins – P. L. Travers
81. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain
82. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea – Jules Verne
83. Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
84. Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder
85. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
86. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
87. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
88. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
89. The Indian in the Cupboard – Lynne Reid Banks
90. Watership Down – Richard Adams
91. The Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum
92. Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
93. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
94. Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
95. My Ántonia – Willa Cather
96. The Canterbury Tales – Geoffrey Chaucer
97. Murder on the Orient Express – Agatha Christie
98. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
99. The Red Badge of Courage – Stephen Crane
100. Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe
101. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
102. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
103. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
104. Silas Marner – George Eliot
105. Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
106. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
107. Johnny Tremain – Esther Forbes
108. The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank
109. The Miracle Worker – William Gibson
110. Old Yeller – Fred Gipson
111. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
112. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
113. Summer of My German Soldier – Bette Greene
114. Death Be Not Proud – John Gunther
115. Roots – Alex Haley
116. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
117. The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne
118. A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway
119. For Whom the Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemingway
120. The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway
121. The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton
122. Across Five Aprils – Irene Hunt
123. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
124. Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes
125. The Jungle Book (Books I and II) – Rudyard Kipling
126. A Separate Peace – John Knowles
127. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
128. A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle
129. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
130. The Call of the Wild – Jack London
131. The Giver – Lois Lowry
132. Sarah, Plain and Tall – Patricia MacLachlan
133. Moby-Dick – Herman Melville
134. The Crucible – Arthur Miller
135. Death of a Salesman – Arthur Miller
136. Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
137. Anne of Green Gables – L. M. Montgomery
138. Island of the Blue Dolphins – Scott O’Dell
139. 1984 – George Orwell
140. Animal Farm – George Orwell
141. Cry, The Beloved Country – Alan Paton
142. A Day No Pigs Would Die – Robert Newton Peck
143. Where the Red Fern Grows – Wilson Rawls
144. All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque
145. The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
146. The Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger
147. Shane – Jack Schaefer
148. Romeo and Juliet – William Shakespeare
149. Pygmalion – George Bernard Shaw
150. Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
151. Antigone – Sophocles
152. Call It Courage – Armstrong Sperry
153. The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
154. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
155. The Pearl – John Steinbeck
156. The Red Pony – John Steinbeck
157. Kidnapped – Robert Louis Stevenson
158. Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
159. Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift
160. The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
161. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain
162. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
163. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – Jules Verne
164. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
165. Ethan Frome – Edith Wharton
166. Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
167. Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder
168. Our Town – Thornton Wilder
169. Black Boy – Richard Wright
170. Native Son – Richard Wright
171. The Swiss Family Robinson – Johann David Wyss
172. The Pigman – Paul Zindel


Happy reading!

1 Archives of Disease in Childhood.


Read aloud by Media Angels: (available on Kindle)


Teaching Subjects You Don’t Know

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Teaching Subjects You Don’t Know | Feeling unqualified to teach your children is normal, especially when faced with a topic or subject you never learned or forgot from your own school days. In this episode, Crystal shares three tips for teaching subjects you don’t know | #militaryhomeschoolmom#militarymoms #homeschooling #TipsHomeschooling #FosteringResiliencewithMorganFarr #FosteringResilience #TeachingSubjectsYouDon’tKnow #TeachingSubjectsTeaching Subjects You Don’t Know

S2, E8 –  Feeling unqualified to teach your kids? Don’t worry, it’s normal! If you’re struggling with a subject you’re not familiar with, check out these helpful tips for teaching subjects you don’t know.

Have you ever wondered if you are genuinely qualified to teach your children? Especially when faced with teaching subject matter that you don’t know. It’s completely normal to question your abilities, even if you have a degree in education. So, what can you do when what your children are learning is outside your expertise? What if you just don’t know what you’re doing?

There is no possible way to know everything you will ever teach your children prior to actually teaching them. You are not a human encyclopedia. Even the best teachers don’t know everything. We all have experiences that master different skills. Like, you may be a whiz at math yet have a child who struggles in that area but is totally into literature or science. What a wonderful thing to have a family that is multi-passionate. One that pursues knowledge in a multitude of subjects. But what a challenge, too.

On this episode, let’s talk about what to do when that happens and how to teach what you do not know.

Join Crystal and her guests each week as they bring relevant information to equip you, stories to encourage you, and content to inspire you. You don’t have to go it alone; tune in to the Military Homeschool Podcast and be energized in your military homeschooling journey!

How to listen:

  1. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, or Stitcher
  2. Subscribe on your favorite podcast listening app
  3. Or listen right here (just scroll down)

Got questions, comments, or show topic ideas? Contact Crystal via email at or connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Please subscribe, follow, and share with all of your military homeschooling friends!



Get two free planners delivered to your inbox every month. Easy, peasy.