20 Best Tips

2 Day Only Sale – Stay at Home Survival Bundle

Across the country (and the world), stay-at-home orders are in place. In different ways it’s thrown things off kilter for our family and many others.

Many things have completely vanished from our schedule: sports, meetings, and work. Even though we homeschool, our daily routines are all out of whack – and it can be a struggle finding creative ways to stay put and not run to the store for the littlest thing. Or keep the kids off one of the many devices in the house.

If You Need Help…

The folks at Ultimate Bundles created the Stay at Home Survival bundle for the woman (especially the mom) who is searching for something to help with social distancing, keeping her kids entertained, and not losing her mind in the process.

This bundle is a collection of 4 eBooks, 5 eCourses, 11 printables & workbooks, and 1 summit. Inside this bundle, you will find 21 resources to help you teach your children while we’re all e-learning, find ways to take care of yourself, and how to complete the organizing projects that we haven’t had a chance to tackle until now, and so much more. It’s a pack of survival guides – all for $19.97.

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A Peek Inside the Stay at Home Survival Bundle

Here are all the categories of resources inside the Stay at Home Survival Bundle:

  • Kids Activities – 7 resources to teach your kids about nature, how to draw, learn to read, and more!
  • Parenting – 4 resources to help you discover your family’s screen time formula, how to homeschool (when you never imagined you’d be doing it!), and more!
  • Organization – 5 resources to reverse engineer those processed food recipes and learn how to develop your favorites, adjust your life to be kinder to our planet, create your own digital scrapbooks, and more!
  • Self-Care – 3 resources to give you a little rest and relaxation like coloring pages, or reveal what’s been holding you back.
  • Work at Home – 2 resources that will tell you where to find companies who hire remote employees, plus how to launch a service-based online business quickly.

Don’t Miss These Resources

There are quite a few things that I would personally recommend (and others that look fabulous. Here are a few items to not miss!

  • How to Draw by Kathy Barbro (Workbook) $25.00
    A collection of 200 tutorials created by an art teacher.
  • Life Cycle Bundle by Jolanthe Erb (Workbook) $6.00
    Learn all about the life cycle of both the monarch butterfly and the frog, with these two printable activity packs.
  • Nature Journaling by Hannah Stevenson (eBook & Workbook) $18.95
    A thoughtful resource for those who are just starting out.
  • Teaching Reading Through Play: A 36-week Early Reading Course by Lisa Tanner (Workbook) $45.00
    Help your child take their knowledge of the alphabet and learn to read with these carefully sequenced games and activities. 
  • Digital Homeschool Convention: America Homeschools Edition by Holly Chubb Summit $39.00 A crash course in how to homeschool when you never imagined you would be homeschooling!
  • The Activity Gratitude Journal For Kids by Katy Boykin (Workbook) $19.99 Help your child cultivate an attitude of gratitude in a fun and creative way!
  • Better Than a Box by Katie Kimball (eBook) $16.95 A crash course in real food cooking – ditching the pre-made and cooking from scratch.

Don’t Forget – Sale ends WEDNESDAY, April 8th

Get your bundle now!

P.S. Seriously, don’t wait. Check out all the details HERE and let me know if you have any other questions regarding the bundle.

Refocusing in the “New” Year

Moving into the months of January and February is often a more sluggish time in our homeschool. It’s easy to get bogged down in the more dreary days of winter and find our footing after Christmas break.

We recently had the most beautiful snow storm, on our first day back no less, that seemed the perfect start to re-booting the year. Everything was blanketed with a pristine white covering, hiding all the imperfections around. A clean slate, if you will.

As we ease back into our year, pulling all of our subjects/materials out, decluttering our homeschool life/room, and evaluating our progress so far this year, the fresh snow has given me reason to pause and consider how we can best move forward in the remainder of our school year.

DeCluttering Our Homeschool Life

Now that the house feels cleaner and emptier after boxing up all of the Christmas supplies, I’m also a bit more in the mood to start de-cluttering our schoolroom and remove anything in general that is just making our days just feel (for lack of a better word) – blah.

A few years ago I wrote a post, 10 Things to Eliminate from Your Homeschool, talking about some of the distractions we allow to creep into our year. It’s one I revisit to remind myself and then take a good, hard look to see if there are few changes that will help bring a fresh perspective and motivation to our day!

Evaluating our Homeschool Life

It’s also the time to infuse our day with some much-needed pick-me-ups and things we maybe pushed aside because we felt we didn’t have time or were otherwise too distracted to remember.

There are routines and rhythms that we’ve gotten into over the past few months that aren’t the most productive in getting things done. Part of that ties in with the kids getting older (and having a social life – yes, homeschoolers CAN be social!!), but also in ways we cut corners and let things slide.

The boys and I have been sitting down together to map out what they have remaining for the school year, coming up with a plan to make sure it all gets accomplished in the upcoming months, and talking about what areas we need to improve.

To give you a few examples:

Our current read-aloud: Greystone Secrets: The Strangers
  • Reading together. We’ve let read-alouds fall by the wayside the last few months. At times the boys complain (one a little more than the other). I do believe that reading aloud is important to do with kids, so we are pushing that to the front end of our days to make sure it gets done.
  • Mapping out lessons. Last year, Zachary didn’t complete his math for the school year and had to work on the remainder of the program this fall. That meant some major digging in. We mapped out the remaining lessons/tests and came up with a game plan so we don’t have a repeat this year.
  • Going back to our morning basket. We’re adding in a few extra things with Kaleb in the form of a “morning basket” if you will: a few things we do every day and then rotating through a few specific activities to make sure they are included. Reading poetry, reviewing sight words, reading aloud, etc…
  • Putting a rest time back into our days. Yes, our kids are 13 and older, but there’s still something to having a quiet time, even if it’s just for 20 or 30 minutes each day, that causes us to pause and recharge. And as a mom, I need that time too!
  • Setting limits. Beyond knowing when to say “no” in our social life, I’m also reflecting on how much time we allow other things, especially technology, to creep in. For me that can mean social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc) and for the kids – well, devices of all kinds. So we’re pausing, limiting times, and making sure we are interacting together.

Keeping it Simple

Overall I’m trying to keep it simple. Too many changes can make me feel overwhelmed right away, and then the likelihood of follow through is slim.

Personally, I’m making a simple daily checklist and keeping it in plain sight so I don’t overlook anything, but have a visual to keep me focused. I’ll admit I’m a list girl, so checking off those boxes is a help for me, but do what works for you: be accountable to a friend, another homeschool mom, even your kids!

Are you making any changes or tweaks in the new year? How do you stay focused and accountable?

Homeschooling is Like Making Pancakes

Homeschooling is like making pancakes

If you HAD to eat pancakes every day and there was just ONE recipe for making pancakes and you had to follow that recipe without making any variations, there would be potential for a whole lot of problems.

What if the recipe called for milk and your child was allergic to milk? Or eggs? Maybe you wanted a ‘healthier’ pancake, but weren’t able to change it. How would you do it?

Fortunately, there are a multitude of recipes available to make pancakes and you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to when it comes to making pancakes. You can add chocolate chips. Or blueberries. Go egg-free. Add some flax seed. Use coconut flour. You can make those pancakes any way you want to.

Homeschooling is like that.

Someone may claim to have the RIGHT way to homeschool. A better way. The perfect way. If only you would follow how they do it, you wouldn’t have any problems at all.

But their way may not mesh with your family or special circumstances in your family.

Maybe they have a wonderfully huge room that they can use for their school time and your family sits huddled around a small dining room table.

Maybe their kids LOVE to do school {or appear too!} and your kids fight you tooth and nail to get any bit of school-time done.

Maybe their kids create amazing dioramas out of 10 toothpicks and 3 marshmallows while your kids would be sticking the marshmallows up their nostrils and your afternoon would be spent in the ER.

You know what?

There isn’t one set way to homeschool. You can’t go out and purchase a set of plans that will work for every single homeschooling family. What works for one family, will most definitely not work for another.


That’s why we homeschool! Because as a mother or a father or a grandparent that homeschools, you ultimately know what works best in your family. Ideas are rampant around the online world, but you don’t need to measure up to how any other family is doing things in their homeschooling time. You need to do what helps your kids learn, what makes learning fun, and find the niche that is perfect for your family.

No guilt for not doing it just like someone else does it.

Revel in the JOY of knowing you have the freedom to make school unique to your family and the opportunity to be there with your kids watching them grow every step of the way.

And maybe go make some pancakes. 

Matters of the Heart – 52 Weeks of Scripture Memorization

Later this week I’ll be sharing my book picks for the upcoming month, but I couldn’t wait to share with you all since it releases TODAY!!

matters of the heartMatters of the Heart: a 52-Week Scripture Memorization Journey for Women is a 52-week Scripture memorization challenge. For me, this has come at a perfect time – summer is winding down and my morning routine is getting back into the ‘normal’ place. 

I don’t know about you, but there are times when memorizing verses has been pushed aside – even though I know how very important it is for me! Throughout my life, Scripture has come to mind in so many different situations to encourage, convict, and comfort me, that’s why I am so excited about this addition to my mornings. In a few short minutes each day I can dig into God’s word, be encouraged by a devotional, write down thoughts and prayers, and memorize key verses. 

The verses in each chapter are all KJV and fall within 12 monthly themes: 

  • Mothering from the Heart
  • Walking in Love, Real Repentance,
  • The Joy of the Lord
  • God is Faithful
  • His Strength
  • God Our Provider
  • God is my Healer
  • Confronting Fear
  • Resting in Him
  • God’s Peace
  • Live to Give


scripture memory

Bonus Offers Available Launch Week ONLY

To celebrate the launch of Matters of the Heart, there are some bonus products available to those who purchase online through the LearningtoSpeakLife.com site. You will automatically receive the following for FREE as a thank you: 

Struggling with Anger and Frustration

One thing that I do not often talk about here on the site is my level of frustration that builds up often with our kids. I am far from being a patient mom, and it is very much a struggle for me to reign in my emotions at times. Add to that mix a similar-tempered husband and two kiddos that seem to be able to push every button known to man, and there are days that I want to hide under the covers or in the bathroom and count to 10. Or 1,000. 

A reason I don’t share about this – I am FAR from an eloquent writer and often have trouble adequately putting into words how I feel. And I don’t want my words to be misinterpreted or misunderstood, especially when it’s about a subject that I know so many also have issues with – and I am not an expert. I’m right in the trenches with you all. 

Raising kids is not near as easy as it seemed it would be. You know, long before we had children and we had this idyllic world going on in our heads. Back when we observed other parents and thought, “We will NEVER do that with our children.” 

Silly us.  

But back to that frustration and anger, eh? 

When you add to the mix a family of loud and boisterous children, including a mother who isn’t exactly a quiet herself – well, many situations can be culled into the ‘perfect storm’ for disaster, especially when I’m tired and not on guard to control myself and my reactions to situations. It’s hard to know when to step in, when to leave something alone and keep my mouth shut, when to back down, etc…etc… 

Believe me, I’m the first to beat myself up for my attitude and lack of self-control or over-reaction. I get frustrated with myself, feel I am forever a failure as a parent, and then worry how our children will turn out in the future. 

You all – to just interject here – we do have great kids. No, they aren’t perfect. We struggle with similar issues other families do including pushing limits, bad attitudes, and whining, but they really are great kids. 

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A book I’ve been reading lately (and HIGHLY recommend) is Triggers by Amber Lia and Wendy Speake. I’m a girl that needs short chapters to mull and meditate, but there are so many nuggets in the book that get right to the heart of the matter for me – and are ENCOURAGING. 

I don’t know about you, but with my propensity to feel like an absolute failure in the parenting department, encouragement for my heart and direction for the next step is always welcome. Triggers has 31 chapters – umm, perfect to read a chapter a day, no? And lots of great stuff to underline, dog-ear, and refer to on tough days. Or every day.

Here are a few snippets that caught my attention recently. And by ‘caught my attention,’ that means taking a picture of it to send to my hubby, underlining it, dog-earing the page, and copying it down into my journal to review constantly. 

Parents of strong-willed children must choose words that build up their God-design, not tear it down with blame and shame. God didn’t make a mistake when he made them tenacious. You honor God when you honor your child’s hardwiring, even if their personality rubs you wrong. (p. 43)

Ouch. Something I struggle most with is the personality of a child in our home – one that is suspiciously similar to mine (shocking, eh?). There are days I honestly cry an ugly cry about this issue. It’s not that I do not love this child, but it is a sincere struggle for me.

Reading that snippet brought renewed tears to my eyes, but in a different way. I KNOW that God created each of our children uniquely to be who they are, and sometimes it is (and will be hard), but it was the honor part that really struck me. How often do I make that internal decision to mentally stop and remember to honor, rather than run through a mental list of everything that irritates about the personality, focusing on the negatives. Yes, there is conviction in there for me, but also encouragement in how to refocus myself toward honoring both that child and God. 

It’s not my job to strangle them into submission. I am responsible to navigate my own free choices, not control theirs. I can only hold captive my own tongue, leading by example, training them to do likewise. (p. 30)

Oh – I could run with this one. So very, very far. The power struggle can be so very difficult. The home I was raised in left little room for arguing, and while submission to authority is important to understand, there was also very little room for grace. This area is another that I have such a hard time with – finding that balance and understanding the need to lead by example, when so often the need to ‘prove’ who is in charge doesn’t feel like it should be done with humility (especially when the precedent set for me left no room for argument). 

So often my ‘leading by example’ hasn’t been prefaced by humility or holding captive words. Again – convicting. 

Here’s the thing. I know I’m not alone. And admitting we struggle in this area is tough. I know for me, the ‘perfect homeschool mom’ model is one who never raises her voice and is always the example of humility to her family. THAT IS SO FAR FROM WHERE I AM. It’s a daily struggle. Some days and weeks are better than others, but it is a real struggle and an area I am quick to judge myself and feel that I don’t measure up. 

Are you struggling with this area as well? For our family I want to change the dynamic (with the help of Jesus) – and would love to pray for your family as well. If you aren’t comfortable leaving a comment on this post, please feel free to email me directly. 

Hang in there and know you are not alone. Grace to you today and a hug from me to you. 



5 Things to ADD to the End of Your Homeschool Year

With the end of the homeschool year in sight for many, there are days when motivation is running L-O-W and the desire to be done is on the opposite end of that spectrum. It may seem an oxymoron, but really, there are five things you can add to the end of your homeschool year that may help you finish the year strong!

 5 things to add to the end of your homeschool year from Homeschool Creations

5 Things to Add to the End of Your Homeschool Year

I know, I know. Who has time to add anything in? Right now, it seems like we are barely holding on. Distractions are running rampant (spring fever anyone?). Kids are gazing out the windows, wondering when all this book-stuff will be over with. Let’s face it. Years ago, when spring rolled around the corner, we were doing the same exact thing as students. 

Years later and even as the teacher I’m looking out the same window ready for the final countdown. 

Here are 5 things you can add to the end of your homeschool year to finish it off well. Maybe there are a some that you haven’t tried yet! 

A Different Location

Our schoolroom is quite honestly the last place we have been spending time lately. I know – that wonderful space we put so much thought and effort into. But it really isn’t going to waste! It’s easy to forget the world offers some wonderful places to stretch out and learn. A front porch swing is perfect for reading together. A blanket on the lawn in the warm sun is a great place to work on math. Swinging in a hammock means grammar time will go by a little more quickly. 

Wherever it is – outside or in- the world is at our fingertips. Maybe there is a fun playground nearby (hey, those public school kids are still in school and not hogging all the equipment) where you can sit on a bench and work on some math, take a 10 minute play break, and then get back to another subject. 

Fun Days 


Make Fridays ‘fun days’ or start scheduling in some field trips. Often those are the first things we eliminate from our homeschool time because we get so caught up in the academic work that needs to be accomplished. But don’t forget, learning can happen anywhere. There are so many amazing educational field trips and just because they don’t fit in with a particular historical period you are studying or a unit you are learning about, doesn’t mean that trip won’t teach you and your kids a thing or two. 

Schedule an end of the year field day or plan some joint fun days at the park with another family – get out and enjoy your time together as a family! While you’re at it, be sure to plan in a celebration day too! Make banana splits for dinner or have a Wii night – let the kids choose how they want to celebrate the upcoming end of the year. Having fun stuff in place makes the time fly faster and keeps everyone motivated to finish up!


Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to check off every.single.box in your lesson plans. Oh, a good plan is always lovely, but when that plan gets in the way of stimulating learning, it’s time to add in a little flexibility. 

Take a look at what curriculum still needs to be focused on, sit down with each of your kids, and see if there is a way to be flexible with what remains. Alternatively, ask your kids if there is anything other subject they are interested in focusing on the remaining time of school and don’t be afraid to switch it up and focus on a new learning area!


It’s important to teach our kids that we finish what we start. Set a goal – and a reward – to the completion of your school year. It can be as simple as a trip to your favorite smoothie shop (especially when drinks are half-price in the morning) or an afternoon of bowling. As adults we work hard when there are incentives on the line and our children are no different! It’s not bribery, it’s encouraging them on. We don’t need to offer them all year long, but sometimes an added bonus is nice and makes us work even harder!


Who doesn’t love a little encouragement? While hearing something verbally is wonderful, sometimes having a written note to remind a child of a job well done can be an added reason to press in and keep going! 

Pull out that old set of notecards or print off some fun ones here. Stick them in your children’s books, bags, or under their plates, but remind them of the great job they are doing, how much you love them, and how proud you are of them. We all need to hear that! 

5 things to add to the end of your homeschool year


How do you keep your children focused

and finish the school year strong?

Tell us in a comment below!

Another few posts you may enjoy….Why Your Homeschool Needs a Rest Time….


…and 10 Things to Eliminate from Your Homeschool.

10 things to eliminate from your homeschool