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?

Kindergarten:

  • 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?

Elementary:

  • 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

Special Replay – New Year New Focus

New Year New Focus: Meredith and Felice cover three important goals each have set for their well-being.

Special Replay – New Year New Focus
Meredith Curtis & Felice Gerwitz

Join Meredith Curtis and Felice Gerwitz monthly for Lunch with Meredith and Felice the first Monday of each month. This month Meredith and Felice cover three important goals each have set for their well-being. If you are a Christian wife, mother and a homeschooler you will benefit from this session.

Here is a printable for you to hold onto or take notes on as you listen to today’s session. NewYear_NewFocus_LunchwithMeredith&Felice

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

Why Homeschool Moms Need to be Tech-Savvy

Why Homeschool Moms Need to be Tech-Savvy

Episode 53: Why homeschool moms need to be tech-savvy with Felice Gerwitz

It’s our one year birthday!! Before we talk about “Why Homeschool Moms Need to be Tech-Savvy” let’s talk about birthday gifts!

If you find this podcast useful, the best gift you can give us is a rating and review on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher. OR you can share about the podcast on your Facebook page, a Facebook group you are in or an online forum.

If you do any of these things, email me a screenshot of the review (meryl@mediaangels.com) and tell me which of FundaFunda Academy‘s web-based unit studies you would like free! Our gift to you!

Felice Gerwitz and her husband Jeff have raised and homeschooled five kids. She is a self-taught techie.
Starting a publishing company in 1994 with no knowledge but an arsenal of word documents and
publishing tools on her computer seven of her books have been noted in Cathy Duffy’s 100 and 101 Top
Homeschool Picks. She started the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network in 2013 and the Ultimate
Christian Podcast Network in 2017. Her podcast is Vintage Homeschool Moms.

How has the internet changed homeschooling over the years?

1. Homeschool journey began in 1986 and ended in 2018 and as you can imagine technology has
changed incredibly in this time!
2. The biggest difference has been in the Internet and cell phone use! We used books not online
resources until the end of my homeschool journey. People were afraid to buy things online
because they didn’t trust that their information was safe. Can you imagine that today? Social
media was just beginning – just to give you a perspective, I began homeschooling in 1986 –and
FB began in 2004!! And – I didn’t even join right away because I am a private person and wasn’t
sure I wanted my “life” out there.

Techie advice for parents in a technological world

1. Stay one step ahead of your kids – there are many tutorials on YouTube – there is no reason
you can’t learn
2. Set up a password on your kids’ phones when they are younger to limit internet searches.
3. Set up an iTunes account for your family so you can see all apps and purchases

How to keep from getting overwhelmed

1. Do it in the minutes you have now – don’t put things off.
2. Set up deadlines – or goals, daily – weekly, that helps.

My favorite techie tools

1. LastPass.com – we keep all of our online passwords protected.
2. Google Suite – all online tools, I used Google Docs when homeschooling so that my kids could
submit papers – I could edit them, and they could see my edits or comments.
3. Use Google Calendar – have the app on your phone as well as your laptop. Then print a hard copy of “A month at a glance”. You can even set up different calendars for specific things, like meetings/ events

Be sure to join our Facebook group where we carry on the discussion about Homeschooling with Technology.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

Why Homeschool Moms Need to be Tech-Savvy #homeschoolpodcast #homeschoolingwithtechnology #wiredhomeschooling

That’s Why I’m Here | Interview with Leslie Nunnery

Join us to chat about motherhood – childbirth and all issues with raising families large and small.

That’s Why I’m Here | Interview with Leslie Nunnery

“That’s Why I’m Here.”

Visit Leslie at Teach Them Diligently

As busy moms, we wear many hats– wife, mother, housekeeper, chef, educator, taxi driver, and so much more. The demands on our time are endless. Do you ever lose sight of why you do all that you do? Do you ever find yourself feeling discontent with where God has you right now, or do you ever feel like there is no more of you to give to anyone? Let’s take a very practical and personal look at exactly why we are here. Along the way, I think we’ll see the incredible purpose and peace we all can have when we truly figure that out.

FREE Bonuses for Mom with Purchase of One More Child

One More Child is a testimony and memoir of author, Felice Gerwitz. She pours her heart out to her readers in this new book as she shares snippets of her life growing up in an Italian Catholic family in the era of 1970’s. With her story she shares the encouragement and the hope that only comes from God. In honor of Mother’s Day, and for the entire month of May, when you purchase this brand new book  you will get a bundle of gifts perfect for any mom!

This beautiful and entertaining book celebrates the gifts of family and children. It is Felice’s story, but it contains a message that will resonate with anyone who struggles with the often-conflicting messages about family life that are promoted to parents today. The author doesn’t claim to have all the answers; instead in each page, she encourages the reader to be open to the will of God in every area of life, including family planning.

You will be blown away by all of the amazing resources being offered for FREE with a purchase! You will recognize these popular Christian mentors, authors and podcasters who have donated their resources as a special gift to you.

FREE BONUS GIFTS:

  •  A free one day pass for coaching and mentoring with Marnie Swedberg
  • From Frazzled to Focused an e-book by Mary Jo Tate with helpful advice on getting control of your life and living with less stress accomplishing more.
  • Take Charge of Your Life an e-book from Lucia Claborn with helpful tips on overcoming procrastination.
  • Mixed Messages: Teaching Kids Discernment audio by Tyler Hogan, Bright Ideas Press

PLUS Audio & e-books from Felice herself:

  • Refresh and Restore For Moms – includes 10 audio workshops and two e-books focused on helping you simplify your life and find refreshment and restoration!
  • Gain More Time Bundle – includes 8 audio teachings along with printables and the Super Salads e-books with healthy recipes and the e-book Simplify Your Life for Greater Productivity.
  • Transformation – these audios and e-books are designed to help you zero in on transforming your thinking. This bundle includes topics on health, tranquility, and productivity – all delivered in Felice’s encouraging and motivational speaking and writing style.
  • The Lessons From Home Bundle – 10 audio workshops including topics on home-based businesses, organization, discipline, and parenting, how to teach money management and more.

The free bonus gifts with purchase are only available for a limited time, so hurry and GRAB YOUR COPY of this new book with all the freebies now!

 

TRUE Love of Christ for Mom

true love of Christ | The true love of Christ is never more evident than at Christmas time and Easter. During this season we look to Christ, #Homeschool #homeschooling #podcast #happinessinchrist True Love of Christ

The true love of Christ is never more evident than at Christmas time and Easter. During this season we look to Christ, His coming as an infant and look at this sacrifice for us! We celebrate Christmas in so many different ways. Without loved ones, or sometimes alone. I’ve spoken to many single moms who share time with their children and explain that Christmas is a time of loneliness.

Do you feel the true happiness comes from Christ? Do you reach out to others in need? Do you look at the transformation that can come into your life by placing yourself in God’s hands?

In this special episode, I want to share the true love of Christ!

Merry Christmas from Vintage Homeschool Moms!  Back in 2013, I shared a story I wrote especially for you, the busy and weary mom. Felice writes a tale of a woman you can probably identify with at some point of your journey as a wife and mother. She writes about the transformation that takes place when this woman places herself totally into the hands of Christ.

We hope you enjoy this special story – and share it with your friends!

Please follow this show at VintageHomeschoolMoms.com and visit our sister website the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network and my show A Few Minutes with GodPodcast.

 

 

 

Curriculum, Learning Styles, and Choices… Oh, My!

Curriculum learning stylesAs a new homeschool mom with an arsenal of degrees and certifications to show for my years of college and experience in the preschool and special education arena, I thought I was prepared. I handled a class of 25+ students in the sixth through ninth grades of Specific Learning Disabilities classes. Surely I could handle two children who were my own.

So I set off as many of you do, to recreate the school within the home, only to find it was a dismal failure. Well, not totally. We loved waking up each morning to a hot breakfast, and then I’d take my second cup of coffee and my two little ones to my room where we’d snuggle up and I’d read the Bible, a biography, and often we’d end up back there again to read after lunch. My oldest child had some learning struggles and he was not getting math. Simple facts were beyond him and asking him to memorize the multiplications facts in later years was like asking him to recite the Pythagorean Theorem.

That’s when I discovered that while I could read most things and remember them, I had hands-on learners who loved exploring and delving into things, getting their hands dirty, and loving it! So instead of just talking about rockets, we turned the refrigerator box into a space ship, complete with countdown to blast off music. My children wore bicycle helmets and pretended to be astronauts.

When our lot flooded, I would have been happy to read about the flood plain, and use words like – “cypress slough” in a sentence or learn about all the animals that like the flood water habitat using an illustrated children’s nature book, but, nooooo, not my children! They had to don boots and drag their brand-new red wagon my parents purchased for them around our flooded yard. They would play outdoors for hours. One day my son ran in all excited and asked, “Is it red-on-yellow kill a fellow, and red-on-black friend of Jack?”  Do you see a recurring theme here?ChristinaSpaceShip

These two were not happy to read about nature in a book, they had to experience it, and so when I happened upon Cathy Duffy at a homeschool conference, it finally made sense! Learning styles, yes – I remember learning about those in my special education classes and then it hit me! Our styles were completely different and not only those of my children, but mine as well.

That doesn’t mean it happened overnight, nor does it mean that I couldn’t encourage my strong visual child to learn things orally as well. It just meant that I wasn’t trying to fit a square peg into a round hole any longer. I finally was able to hit on some compromises that worked for our family and we happily became a unit study, Charlotte Mason, textbook, workbooks, biographies, fiction author, eclectic type of family. One size does not always fit all – and I’m a case in point.

Have you struggled finding curriculum that works for your family? Or did you finally have an, “Aha!” moment like I did?

 

Felice Gerwitz is the host of Vintage Homeschool Moms show that airs on Monday at noon eastern time. Her guest is Cathy Duffy.

Ron Paul thinks Homeschooling is the Answer

Ron Paul and Homeschooling

Ron Paul and Homeschooling

Ron Paul is known as a congressman and an outspoken libertarian, but did you know he is a homeschool advocate? Who would have known? I recently read his latest book, “The School Revolution: A New Answer for Our Broken Education System.” It touted homeschooling as the answer to the failed educational system. I couldn’t agree more.

You see, I’m a long-time homeschool parent. In 1986, after a failed attempt to have my special-needs son correctly placed in a special-needs class, I decided he would never go to public school. I enrolled him in a preschool and then a private school, only to lose a year and have to begin all over again when I took him “home.” I began homeschooling to give my high-functioning special-needs son a fair chance in a system I saw as broken.

My tax-payer dollars were not being used for the special-education program; they were being used for whatever the school principal mandated. I knew this because prior to marriage and kids, I was a special-ed teacher in a school that lacked the funding for books or manipulatives much-needed by my students. As a young idealist, I brought in popcorn as math manipulatives, taught students to string popcorn together as practice in fine-motor training, and created my own incentives. I even took the initiative to meet my students’ parents and caregivers, going to their homes when they could not drive to the school to meet me. You see, I cared. Some may say that I am bitter about my experiences with the public education system. I’m not.

Ron Paul made a case for homeschooling to replace the failed education system. He made a comparison of the way the postal service has been usurped by private enterprise such as UPS and FedEx. He believes homeschool and online services such as classes and schools will be more effective than the federal government in servicing students throughout the US.

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that homeschooling is far superior to public education. I care about my children; what teacher will care about them as much as their mother does? There are a few. Many teachers give their hearts and resources to help students learn. My sister-in-laws, as well as my brother-in-law (co-host of the Current Issues and the Constitution class), are evidence of this fact! It isn’t the teachers (for the most part); it is the system that is broken. As with many other good teachers, I left the system and created not only this network, but my own curriculum, for my children as well as generations of children to come.

The public school system is overrun with bureaucracy as well as mandates that have little to do with reading, writing, or arithmetic. It is more concerned with liberal fairness, teaching evolution, and creating a group of twenty-somethings that want the state to support them in health care or any other entitlement program. Handouts come with a price: freedom.

My children understand the Constitution of the United States. They are articulate and bright. They have overcome obstacles set up as a detriment to the fact that they are “homeschoolers.” They have risen to the challenge and surpassed even my wildest expectations. My adult children have graduated from college with honors or gone into the workplace as American citizens that understand the value of hard work and family. They are not a product of an educational system that looks at them as a statistic and pigeonholes them into a class based upon age rather than ability.

As you may have guessed, I am an advocate for homeschooling K-12, and I agree with Ron Paul (even though I would not consider myself a libertarian) that homeschool students are important to our future liberties! I believe you will see many more homeschoolers becoming leaders in politics in the near future. If the United States is to have any Christian future it depends on homeschooling. Do you agree?

Listen to the original podcast interview with Ron Paul here.

 

Stress-Free Celebrations

 

Stress-free celebration

 

Regardless of the holiday you’re celebrating, there’s always a certain amount of stress to go with it. There’s no magic wand to make that disappear, but some thinking ahead can go a long way. Here’s what Felice has to say …

 

Is stress-free enough? Every year, I dream of a stress-free celebrations. I’ve created seminars on the topic for my Thanksgiving and Holiday Expo, I’ve drilled down to the things that really bother me during the holiday, and I plan ahead. Throughout the year, I keep an eye out for holiday bargains that won’t break my budget. But I’ve realized that during the holidays, there is going to be some measure of stress that just can’t be avoided. The strategies below keep me sane: enjoy this list from my Stress-Free Seminar.

Which one of these things can you implement in your holiday planning?

  • Plans with Prayer
    • Make a Plan
    • Plan to Break It
    • Cross Out
    • Add To
    • Discuss
  • Adult Privileges
    • Just Say No!
  • Exceptions:
    • Brings you peace and joy
    • You want to do it
    • You are obligated
  • Mommy Time Out
    • Meditations
    • Focus – 60 seconds
    • Praise music
  • Revive Your Soul
    • Music
    • Reading
    • Praying
    • DO the ONE thing
  • Gift Giving  –card wrap
    • Time
    • Creativity
    • Exchange
    • Encouragement
  • Back Up Plan
      • You aren’t in control
      • Take out the List and cross out
      • Enlist help
      • Regroup
    • The Reason for the Season
      • CHRISTmas (or THANKSgiving)
      • Attitude Check
        • Expectations – yours?
        • Expectations – family?
        • Others WORSE off
  • Permission Granted
    • Neck rub
    • Foot soak
    • Hand massage
    • Family snuggles
    • Eat chocolate or cookies!
  • Affirmations
    • You are loved
    • You are a child of God
    • You are special
    • You are unique
    • You are treasured

 

Regardless of the holiday (or holy day), with a little advanced planning you can make your celebrations more stress-free.

How do you plan to avoid stress during family celebrations? I’d love to hear from you!

Felice Gerwitz is a wife, mother and author who strives to keep stress out of her life — but knows that only with GOD are all things possible! Here is a handout she hopes you enjoy: Vintage Handouts Stress Free Holidays