The Damage of Disengaging

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Do any of you feel you disengage too often with your kids? If so, have you noticed a difference in your child’s behavior when you “check-out”? Listen to The Damage of Disengaging from The Real Kathy LeeCan we talk about parenting?

July 4th is always a favorite holiday for our family. For the past few years, one of my dearest friends on the planet shows up for coffee, long talks, and sitting by the pool. I always try and record a podcast episode during Ash-a- lee’s visit and was so excited that we were able to chat early this morning about a subject that has been on my heart for a few weeks now.

During some recent outings, I have observed lots of little children that appear “starved” for attention. As I began watching closer, I realized that parents are disengaging with the children and it is happening on a regular basis.

The episode sponsored by CTC Math.

Do any of you feel you disengage too often with your kids?

If so, have you noticed a difference in your child’s behavior when you “check-out”? How can we be intentional about engagement so that we help our children become emotionally healthy adults? I get that we need to escape from the burdens of this parenting gig from time to time, but I worry that unless we make a commitment to intentionally engage, we are going to cause damage to our children’s hearts and soul.

Ashley and I suggested the following to help you on this engagement journey:

  1. Keep a basket of books close to the sofa and say YES to reading to your children.
  2. Set a time every day to check social media so that you are not looking on your phone all day long.
  3. Be present.
  4. Participate in family activities (the bowling story).
  5. Ask each child three, open-ended questions every day!

You won’t regret investing in your children’s emotional well -being. Investing when they are young, will pay off during those teen and early adult years.

Teaching Your Kids the Character Trait of Decisiveness

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Teaching your kids to be decisive is an important life skill. By setting a good example, giving them choices, encouraging quick decisions, discussing pros and cons, praising their efforts, and using resources like the Character Counts planner from, you can help your kids become more confident and capable decision-makers. Start today and watch your kids grow into strong, decisive individuals.Teaching your kids the character trait of decisiveness is important. Decisiveness helps them make good choices quickly and confidently. As homeschooling moms, we have a great opportunity to teach our kids this valuable skill. Here are some tips and examples to help you guide your children in becoming more decisive.

Why Is Decisiveness Important?

Decisiveness means making decisions quickly and effectively. It helps kids feel confident and reduces stress. When kids are decisive, they are better at solving problems and can handle challenges more easily.

Tips for Teaching Decisiveness

  1. Set a Good ExampleKids learn a lot by watching their parents. Show them how you make decisions. Explain your thought process. For example, if you are deciding what to cook for dinner, talk through your choices out loud. “We could have spaghetti, but we had pasta yesterday. How about tacos? They are quick and easy.”
  2. Give Them ChoicesStart by giving your kids simple choices. This helps them practice making decisions. For example, “Do you want to read a book or play outside?” Gradually increase the complexity of the choices as they become more comfortable making decisions.
  3. Encourage Quick DecisionsTeach your kids to make quick decisions by setting a time limit. For example, “You have two minutes to choose a game to play.” This helps them learn to think quickly and trust their instincts.
  4. Discuss Pros and ConsWhen making a decision, discuss the pros and cons with your child. This helps them understand how to weigh different options. For example, “If we go to the park, we can play on the swings, but it might rain. If we stay home, we can bake cookies, but we won’t get any fresh air.”
  5. Praise Their EffortsPraise your kids when they make a decision, even if it’s a small one. Positive reinforcement builds their confidence. For example, “Great choice on picking the red shirt today! It looks great on you.”
  6. Use the Character Counts PlannerA great resource to help teach decisiveness is the Character Counts planner from This downloadable, printable planner is designed to help kids develop important character traits. It includes activities and exercises that encourage decisiveness and other positive behaviors. You can download it, print it, and start using it right away with your kids.

Examples of Teaching Decisiveness

  1. Planning a Family OutingInvolve your kids in planning a family outing. Give them options and let them decide. For example, “Would you rather go to the zoo or the aquarium this Saturday?” Discuss the pros and cons of each choice and let them make the final decision.
  2. Choosing School SubjectsAllow your kids to choose some of their homeschool subjects or projects. For example, “Do you want to learn about dinosaurs or space this month?” This gives them a sense of control over their learning and encourages them to make decisions.
  3. Daily RoutinesIncorporate decision-making into daily routines. For example, “Do you want to do math or science first today?” This helps kids practice making decisions regularly and builds their confidence.

An Important Life Skill

Teaching your kids to be decisive is an important life skill. By setting a good example, giving them choices, encouraging quick decisions, discussing pros and cons, praising their efforts, and using resources like the Character Counts planner from, you can help your kids become more confident and capable decision-makers. Start today and watch your kids grow into strong, decisive individuals.



It’s Time for an Attitude Adjustment – FAH Replay

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Attitude Adjustment

It’s Time for An Attitude Adjustment

Me? An attitude?

Homeschooling moms are sometimes so busy training our children that we can forget to examine our own hearts. Do you ever struggle with guilt or fear? Are you paralyzed by perfectionism? Are you ever tempted to complain  about your own life or to envy someone else’s? On this episode of the Flourish at Home show, we’ll be talking about how we can make a choice every day to honor God with our thoughts, attitudes, and emotions as well as our actions.

Thanks to our Sponsor: Harper Collins Christian:   Kingdom Girls Bible

Girls will discover the power of faith in this beautiful Bible that features women of the Bible! Here is the ideal Bible for girls on their journey of faith! This special Bible is specifically crafted to highlight the stories and lessons of the inspiring, famous, and sometimes infamous women of the Bible. With over 400 engaging features, colorful illustrations, and helpful notes, this Bible is perfect for girls ages 8 to 12 as they learn about the strong and faithful women who came before them. From Eve to Ruth, Esther to Mary, this Bible brings the stories of these women to life and shows how their faith and strength can still inspire girls today. Featuring a beautiful design and easy-to-read text, this Bible is a great resource for girls as they grow in their own faith and learn about the women who have impacted the world.

Thanks to our Sponsor: Harper Collins Christian:   Kingdom Girls Bible

When Mom Loses Control Of Her Mouth – HIRL Episode 55

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Free homeschool podcast discussing when mom loses control of her mouth.Spicy words? Uncontrolled tongues? What do you do when Mom is the one to lose control of her mouth and damages the ones she loves with sharp words? One of our faithful HIRLers called in asking us to answer these questions, so we dove right in.

Thanks to our sponsor, A Fanthom Presents Film – The Ark and The Darkness – Movie Trailer here: NoahsFlood

In theaters March 20-21! Noah’s Flood is preserved in ancient writings from every major culture around the world. Recent discoveries confirm what the Bible has said all along. Sevenfold Films and Genesis Apologetics present: The Ark and the Darkness.

Join us as we open up about our own struggles with losing our temper with our kids. What do we do when we lose control of our mouth and unleashes on those around us. This is a transparent episode about a difficult topic we have not conquered in our own home. Join us!

1:02 – Introduction
10:24 – Listener Call-In
12:09 – Spicy Words

Show Notes

Please visit our coffee sponsor: Caroline’s Coffee for 10% off any order.

Music clips used on this show:

“Scheming Weasel” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Join Fletch (from theMangoTimes) and Kendra (from Preschoolers and Peace and for the HomeschoolingIRL podcast every week as they interview guests and talk through some of the goofiness they have experienced in nearly two decades of Homeschooling In Real Life.

Showing LOVE after Valentine’s Day is OVER!

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Showing LOVE after Valentine's Day is Over ... with The Real Kathy LeeShowing Love After Valentine’s Day is Over

Valentine’s Day is a fun holiday for me as a mom. I so enjoy getting up early to write my kids love notes, set the table with candles and red, sparkly runners and cook a special breakfast. I want my children to know on this day that they are loved!

Valentine's Day Once Valentine’s Day was over, I started questioning my attitude towards the other 364 days of the year. Did I work hard to make sure my kids know they were loved everyday? If so, how do I accomplish that and how do I encourage you to love your kids every February 15th – February 13

I came up with a few things…

  1. Write love notes throughout the year.

    Be creative. Write on their bathroom mirror with lipstick, leave notes on the pillows, tape notes to the back of the seat where they sit in the car, put notes in their books, in their backpacks, in their lunchboxes. Share specific things you love about them or positive things you have noticed them doing.


  2. Spend TIME with them.I recently saw a news clip about young children and tablet time. The reporter stated that it is fine for young children to be on devices as long as adults were engaged with the children. They showed a video of one child and two adults sitting on a sofa. All three people were on their own device. This is NOT what I am talking about. Real time with your kids means devices are put away. Conversations are happening. Dinner Time, time in the car, while tucking in at night, etc… In order to have a real relationship with anyone, you MUST spend time with him or her.
  3. Honor their work.If your child paints a picture for you, hang it up. If they want to sing you a song, stop what you are doing and listen to it (it usually takes less than two minutes). If they want to read you their story, listen! Honoring their work will teach them that their work matters!
  4. Be careful with your conversations.We have all been guilty of getting on the phone with a girlfriend and firing off. Maybe you were upset with a friend, your partner, or even your child? If you think your child is busy playing and not paying attention, WRONG. They are listening to every word. Decide to share positive things instead… about your friend, your partner, and your child. Words are powerful so choose them carefully.
  5. Create a home that is welcoming for your children and their friends.I am honored when kids say they feel comfortable in my home. I love it when my kids want us to host the party, the bible study, and the special event. I want every one who walks into my home to feel welcomed and relaxed. Hopefully, your children will want to follow your lead and have that kind of home when they grow up and leave the nest.

I am far from perfect as a mom. However, I am confident that my kids will know that I love them and I want them to grow up and love well.

How will you show love today???

Thanks for listening. If you have topics you would like for me to discuss or people you would like to hear from, let me know. 


Find a way to #sayyes today.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review on iTunes!!!

Thank you to The Homegrown Preschooler for sponsoring this Podcast! Check out the blog post Kathy mentioned, Farmhouse Schoolhouse, to read more about A Year of Playing Skillfully.

Also, to thank you for listening, you can receive a 10% discount on any purchase at

The Homegrown Preschooler by using the code, THEREALKATHYLEE.


Thanks to our sponsor, A Fanthom Presents Film – The Ark and The Darkness – Movie Trailer here: NoahsFlood

In theaters March 20-21! Noah’s Flood is preserved in ancient writings from every major culture around the world. Recent discoveries confirm what the Bible has said all along. Sevenfold Films and Genesis Apologetics present: The Ark and the Darkness.

Giving Kids Time to Think with Felice Gerwitz

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Giving Kids Time to Think | Interview with Felice Gerwitz on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast NetworkLifeSkills101 Episode: Giving Kids Time to Think

Interview with Felice Gerwitz of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network

Celebrating 10 Years of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network. Happy Birthday, UHPN! Check out the giveaway!

In this episode of LifeSkills101, we dive into the importance of giving kids the time and space to think. We’ll join Felice Gerwitz, a prominent figure in the homeschooling community and the founder of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network. Felice shares her wealth of knowledge and experience. She shares how parents and educators can foster an environment that nurtures critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills in children.

Giving Children the Room to Think for Themselves

The conversation begins with Felice emphasizing the significance of allowing children the room to think for themselves. She explains how this practice promotes independence and self-reliance, empowering kids to make sound decisions and explore their interests. Felice underscores that giving children time to think does not equate to neglecting them; instead, it’s about striking a balance between guidance and freedom.

Throughout the interview, Felice touches on the role of curiosity and how it fuels a child’s innate desire to learn. She discusses various strategies, including open-ended questions, discussions, and hands-on experiences, that parents and educators can employ to stimulate critical thinking and keep children engaged in their education.

Patience While Processing

The episode also delves into the concept of patience and its importance in nurturing a child’s thought process. Felice emphasizes the need for adults to resist the urge to provide quick answers. Instead, give children the space to formulate their own solutions and ideas.

Felice’s expertise in the field of homeschooling shines through as she shares valuable insights on tailoring educational experiences to suit a child’s unique learning style. She discusses how homeschooling allows for a more flexible and personalized approach, which is conducive to fostering independent thinking and lifelong learning.

Tune In to Learn: Giving Kids Time to Think

Tune in to this enlightening episode of LifeSkills101 as Felice Gerwitz shares her wisdom and practical advice for parents and educators seeking to empower the next generation with the life skills they need to succeed in an ever-changing world. Whether you’re a homeschooling parent or not, you’ll find valuable takeaways on how to give kids the time they need to think and thrive.

Enjoy Felice’s Most Popular Shows

Top Vintage Homeschool Moms Podcasts

Homeschool Lifestyle
Last Minute DIY Tips
Money Saving Field Trips
All About Teaching
Raising Spiritually Strong Kids
Six Homeschooling Insider Tips
Best Staycations for Kids
Avoid Curriculum Pitfalls
Top 10 Parenting Secrets
45 Family Date Night Ideas

LifeSkills 101 is the official podcast of Blue Collar Homeschoolers. Visit us at our Facebook Group, Blue Collar Homeschoolers.

Angry and Stressed Out Parenting

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Angry Stressed Out Parenting | Family Renewal on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network

Angry and Stressed Out Parenting | Replay

Subscribe to Family Renewal HERE.

Join Israel Wayne every month as he discusses life, theology, Christian Apologetics, education, family and cultural issues from a Biblical worldview. Israel is an author and conference speaker who often speaks at homeschooling conferences, and churches, as well as marriage and parenting seminars.

Finally, the information he teaches around the nation will be available to listeners like you. Each broadcast will be about a half hour and will feature interviews and thoughtful commentary from Israel and his guests.


Israel and Brook Wayne tackle an area that has been the menace of parents for way too long.  Frustration, irritation, and anger often find a way into our homes, trying to turn the kindest of parents into a meanie. What happened? Where did this anger come from? What can be done to get rid of it? Come along and join the discussion.

You can order our new book here: Pitchin’ A Fit! Overcoming Angry & Stressed-Out Parenting.

Homeschool Answers Book Bundle

The decision to homeschool is difficult. There is so much to learn, and there are often radical changes that take place in your family. Unfortunately, not everyone will be supportive.

Well-meaning friends and relatives may believe you are going to “ruin your child.” How can you make sure that you have laid a good foundation for your child’s future? How can you respectfully defend your choice to those who disagree with you?

Many studies indicate that Christian youth are leaving the Church, and anti-Christian education has been linked as a major factor in this equation. The Bible is full of instructions on how God desires His children to be educated. IF GOD has a definite opinion about the issue of education, wouldn’t you desire to find out what it is and how best to implement HIS WISDOM?

Special Replay: Rediscovering The Joy In Motherhood

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Rediscovering the Joy in MotherhoodRediscovering the Joy in Motherhood with Kathy Lee

On this episode, I have the pleasure of talking with one of my favorite homeschooling moms on the planet. Keri Vasek is the mother of three muddlings and opens up to share her journey of losing her joy (and rediscovering it). You will see in this episode just why I call my show The REAL Kathy Lee and often refer to myself as a hot mess!

In this captivating episode, I am thrilled to engage in a heartfelt conversation with Keri Vasek, a remarkable homeschooling mother whose journey of rediscovering joy resonates deeply with me. As the host of “The REAL Kathy Lee” show, I’ve had the privilege of meeting inspiring individuals, but Keri’s story is a true gem.

Keri, a loving mother of three, candidly shares her personal odyssey, one that many of us can relate to. She speaks candidly about a time when she felt like she had lost her joy, a sentiment that often plagues parents and caregivers amidst the demands of daily life. Her honesty is refreshing, reminding us that it’s okay to embrace our “hot mess” moments.

Throughout the episode, Keri’s resilience and authenticity shine through. Her journey towards rediscovering joy is a testament to the power of self-reflection, perseverance, and the supportive community that homeschooling can provide. As Keri opens up about her experiences, listeners are bound to find inspiration in her words, understanding that even in the midst of chaos and challenges, there is a path back to joy.

So, tune in to this episode of “The REAL Kathy Lee” to witness Keri Vasek’s touching story, and join me in celebrating the beauty of embracing our authentic selves, imperfections, and all.



Thank You to our Network Sponsor – CTC Math!

5 Ways to Combat a Bad Day

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

5 Ways to Combat a Bad Day | Blog article from Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network5 Ways to Combat a Bad Day

Five ways to combat a bad day? Really? Yes. And I’ve seen my share. There have been several of those in the last few weeks. Either I’m sick, the kids are sick, someone forgot to complete an assignment, dinner time is around the corner, and I forgot to remove something from the freezer, etc. etc., etc.

Can you relate? We’ve all had those days. How do we combat a bad day?

Sometimes, I think it would be better if I had stayed in bed. Or better yet, I want a “do-over.” I wish life were like a white-marker-board and I could erase and start over. However, duty calls… the kids, the laundry, the meals, the school. You know, a typical day of homeschool life.

What do you do? How about taking a deep breath?

At times like this, it helps to remember that the Lord who called me to homeschool will also provide and provide abundantly IF I remember to ask. You see, I’m a very capable over-achiever. I often created personalized spelling lists and taught my kids grammar lessons by crafting sentences using their names or those of family or friends. And what about those fantastic homemade meals I made? Let me tell you! Let’s see…homemade muffins for breakfast; great “squished” (Panini) sandwiches, with apple slices and mini-carrots for lunch; and three-course meals, often including a beautiful homemade dessert.

No wonder I was exhausted!

But the Lord provided and abundantly! I began first by repenting for my over-achieving ways. I didn’t need to win my kid’s approval or awe! They loved me just as I am, whether or not I baked homemade muffins from scratch every morning. The same thing happened with my husband. He was okay with quick meals or making his own lunch. This took the pressure off of me to always be there for everyone. Especially as my children are older and now the house sports all teens again. Many day’s meals revolve around sports practice or games, and quick meals – mostly bigger meals made over the week-end and repurposed for week-day leftovers work well.

However, you deal with your over or under-achieving ways – include the Lord in your plans. While I love to bake, there are times when it isn’t possible due to a hectic schedule. On other times like today, when the crisp, cool air begged for an apple crisp or apple pie, I baked both! I know that each of us is different, but if you are overwhelmed or feel guilty that you aren’t keeping up with the Pinterest mommas – rest assured, me too!

Here are some surefire ways to combat that bad day.

  1. Take one-thing-at-a-time.
  2. Do the most important first – that day, the rest can wait.
  3. Avoid the subject that is frustrating (at least for today).
  4. Do something outside of the ordinary. Make a picnic lunch, even if it means eating in the living room. Bubble baths with bathing suits on could be what the little ones need when fussy on a rainy day.
  5. Leave the house. Sometimes, a change of scenery helps, whether walking around the block or just going outside to let off some steam.

What can you add to this list – what helps to turn that very bad, no-good day into a winner? Share your ideas with us!

PS: Don’t forget, Mom… take a few minutes, and think about one thing you can be thankful for and hold on to that thought for the day. And I’ll pray your next day is better.

Don’t Skip the Picture Books – MBFLP 294

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Do you have a precocious reader? We’ve had some! And when they’re being homeschooled – and around grownups all day – their vocabulary can be surprisingly rich. So should we move them on into the youth books, and skip over the picture books and beginning reader stuff? Or is there a purpose for enjoying the simple books together, even when your child could read more complex things?

This episode we’re talking with Hal’s mom, Norma Young, a retired elementary school librarian with nearly three decades of choosing quality children’s literature for young kids. There is indeed a good reason to enjoy the books we grew up with, and read them to our children just like they were read to us!

A resource we mentioned:

The Love of Reading – a downloadable collection of recommended reading lists for all ages, three helpful workshops on teaching reading, and discounts on other materials too!

This episode brought to you by Reading Eggs

Reading Eggs 4 Weeks Free