Homeschooling Update: Thanksgiving Week Idea’s & More

It’s rare to find such a large amount of free lessons in Reformed circles, so make sure to bookmark this one.

Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! I just wanted to share a few fun resources for what you might be doing this week, particularly if you’re in the U.S.A. and are preparing for Thanksgiving. There’s also some great resources for everyone else, especially if you teach youth or children’s church. So, long story short, this is a list of things including but not limited to Thanksgiving.

First, The Puritan Network has a free curriculum based on the Reformed Christian worldview. The older Kayliegh gets, the viewer free resources are available, so I was excited to see this one. It includes Biblical survey’s, logic, history, and much more all free. It’s rare to find such a large amount of free lessons in Reformed circles, so make sure to bookmark this one.

For Thanksgiving, first a warning! There is an insane amount of ‘politically correct’ nonsense, borderline rewriting of history, which paints Puritans in a bad light for their belief in God being their authority. This is often done in comparison with the pilgrims, which are said to be more ‘open-minded’. It’s important to check free resources, sometimes they’re fantastic, but other times they’re free for a reason. Here’s a fun, free, worksheet that leaves out the PC stuff, and adds some math. Anytime we can mix math with science and fun, I’m on board! Of course, each year I recommend Kirk Cameron’s movie Monumental and watch it with Kayliegh. It does a tremendous job of showing what hardships led to Plymouth! I’ve likewise mentioned Kids Art Hub here before, and I’m going to do it again because this family keeps things clean while drawing some adorable stuff! Here is a list of all their thanksgiving videos.

This next resource I wanted to share is for all the homeschoolers studying music in any way, shape, or form. Musical Time Machine is a new YouTube channel created by a very sweet sister-in-Christ for her students. There are four episodes already available, and she’s currently working on episode 5!

As far as other updates go for Kayliegh, we’ve all been getting unpacked in our new home in our new assignment. This is an exciting opportunity for her to learn organization skills, as we allowed her to pack all of her stuff on her own this time. She now gets to unpack it and place things where she wants them. It was an interesting experiment to see if anything would break! Thankfully, she did a good job listening to advice on how best to pack breakable items, and nothing broke. That’s really all that’s new at the moment, besides the links listed above. I’d love to hear what kind of stuff you’re working on this week during the holiday. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.


Homeschooling Update: Reformation – Science – Birthdays

Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! I wanted to highlight a couple of different resources and talk a little about homeschooling during birthdays. That might seem random, unless you’ve watched Friday’s Not so Live MEGA List. At the end I shared some photos of Kayliegh growing up, and a silly video of her trying to get a gift open. It’s a tradition for us to make gifts difficult to open, it’s something fun she does when wrapping gifts for me or Justin as well.

Life can be full of distractions, but the great thing about homeschooling is that we can use every opportunity to learn. When holidays or birthdays come up, Kayliegh typically has a lot of trouble sleeping. I was the same way when I was little, often I would attempt to stay up all night so that I could still be awake when the big day dawned. All that ever came of that was that I’d fall asleep on accident and sleep in really late. Unfortunately, that’s not what happens with my darling daughter. She tosses and turns, then wakes up really early exhausted. frustrated, and even sometimes panicked about her inability to rest. That puts us in a bit of a bind with lessons, as she’s now distracted by the upcoming event and also quite grumpy. In those situations I pull out the easiest lessons I have, the ones that involve her favorite things like cooking or experimenting. We move slow when she needs to, take breaks when it seems to be overwhelming for her, and pick back up with the heavier lessons the next day. It’s important to remember, as homeschooling teachers, that our little ones will retain more understanding if they’ve rested well. Pushing through lessons on a few hours of sleep won’t accomplish as much as taking it easy for the day.

That being said, although this has literally never happened, Kayliegh slept well on the lead up to her birthday. This is due to the lingering fatigue from her having COVID, that gift that just won’t stop giving no matter how many times we try to return it. Still, she struggled to focus with all the excitement of her big double digit day, and with all the packing for our next move. What do I do when focus is waning? The same thing I do when she gets no sleep, except I can make the lessons more challenging. When you see that your kiddo is no longer picking up what your putting down, keep a few fun and education lessons hidden you your sleeve to bring them back down out of the clouds. For Kayliegh, this tends to revolve around Home Economics or Science. Slip in some hints about what’s coming up next, and suddenly you’ll have a little one ready to get through their math or piano class.

I haven’t had the chance to write a homeschooling update in such a long time! I wish I had compiled more links and resources. However, these two totally rock. The first one is free, and I mentioned it on that MEGA list I linked to up above. It’s Reformation worksheets, free to print and use to teach about why this month is so awesome! The owner of Theologia Gear also let me know that their shop is having a discount on all their products during Reformation month. That’s pretty exciting! The last resource I have for y’all is not free, but is incredible. Jasmin Davis from The_Clever_Decorator recommended Apologia’s (no connection to Jeff Durbin’s Church) science curriculum when she joined me on the program to discuss evolution. Kayliegh is officially at the point where there is far less free worksheets available, and the lessons are far more complex. So, I did it, I actually paid for a full years worth of curriculum. Yup, that’s right my friends, this is the first time I’ve had to do that. Why? Because there is an insane amount of free curriculums out there for elementary school ages. It gets less and less the older they get, right when the secular evolutionism begins to build. Apologia’s curriculums all follow a Biblical view of Creation. As we learn about anatomy, the end of each chapter brings it back to Gods Word! It’s wonderful! That’s it, that’s my update, hopefully it was a little helpful. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Homeschooling Update: Vacation to the Black Hills

We were blessed to have a few days to finally take a trip somewhere, anywhere. Bismarck is a wonderful little city, but we’ve been stuck in quarantine so long we nearly forgot how to travel. One of the fun things about homeschooling is the ability to go on trips like this whenever we feel like it, since we don’t need to wait for days off of school. However, this year has been a bit of a homeschooling trip flop so far! Usually we’ve seen half a dozen museums by August, so we attempted to make up for some lost ground by visiting the South Dakota Geological museum. We also went to drive through Bear Country in Rapid City where the bears are walking around outside next to your vehicle. It was all fun and games until Mr. Forckle, our new puppy, decided he was going to bark at the bears the entire time. Aren’t puppies so precious? With that high pitched bark and puppy breath? It was actually really cute, he was just trying to warn us of imminent danger.

We stayed in a little cabin in the Black Hills, where we talked about the history of the area and the Wild West. During some hiking we saw mule deer, a beautiful wood pecker, and chipmunks galore! It was really hot, and we ended up cutting the trip short, but we had such a great time. Learning through conversations is my favorite way to teach homeschooling, especially when Kayliegh is getting to interact with her surroundings. We had to stop at the museum gift shop, of course, where she found some great rocks and her dorky mother bought another fossil. I’m really excited about this one! I’m going to talk about it a bit on the MEGA live list today.

I know, I know…it’s not Friday. It’s Saturday. Unless you’re not reading this on Saturday, in which case it could be any day of the week really. Either way, we had a bit of an adventure driving home to North Dakota. Most of the highway from SD to ND consists of tiny two lane streets. These streets stretch between the beautiful rolling hills and miles upon miles of uninterrupted cattle grassing. You don’t see power lines, phone lines, or gas stations for most of the drive. You also hardly notice the large reservations you drive through on the way north. Those reservations all have COVID check points now, something we didn’t have to drive through to get to the Black Hills so we were certainly taken by surprise. We have an out of state license plate, so we were not allowed through their land. Instead, we traveled what was undoubtedly some of the most beautiful country we’ve seen, an hour or more out of the way of home. Thus, my carefully constructed plan to arrive home with exactly enough time to unload the truck, go live, and then get everyone to bed, was wrecked.

So today you’ll have a Saturday MEGA list! And I’ll be geeking out over my newest fossil, as well as giving some great recommendations, updates, and shout outs. I’m going to be sharing some of the fantastic work on hermeneutics done by David Knight at Exposit the Word, some listener questions, and some other great stuff as well. I hope you can join me over on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or even Instagram today at 3:30 CST. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Homeschooling During the Busy Seasons

Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well. Today I want to talk a little about my homeschooling patterns over these past couple months. Why those in particular? We’ve had a lot going on, soft ball season started for Kayliegh, we bought a new puppy, and I helped put on the Open Hearts in a Closed World Conference. Of course, all of that was added as our state opening back up and homeschooling events beginning again. We don’t take summers off, Kayliegh takes intermittent breaks during our moves from town to town instead. That gives her ample time to explore the new home, pick out her room, and decorate to her hearts content. So, all that is to say, with everything else going on, we were still homeschooling.

Inevitably, as homeschooling parents, you’re going to come across a season where you have less time for teaching and preparing lessons than what you’re use to. Hopefully my experience with those seasons will help you mentally prepare before it comes to that. The first thing I’d recommend is getting ready now, don’t wait until something happens. If you have extra time, plan lessons as far out in advance as you can, even if they’re primitive, and you may never use them. It’s better to have them ready and waiting, in case an emergency happens or you suddenly find yourselves face to face with double headers for the first time. I didn’t know they started them on multiple games in one day at 9-years-old but having four hours blocked off instead of two threw me for a loop. Then there was practice the following night, and her desire to learn to pitch which gave my darling husband the initiative to turn the garage into a batting cage so she could practice both hitting and pitching. All in all, I would say the new schedule includes 8 to 10 hours of softball related stuff.

The second thing that helps me through times like this is prioritizing lessons based on what needs to be taught on any given day, and what you add in because it’s fun and they like it. That doesn’t necessarily mean you take out all the fun and leave only the math, English, science, and history. What you consider to be a priority will depend on your child, what subject are they struggling in? You don’t want to skim on that area, give it the extra time if they’re excelling in something else. What are they interested in? Homeschool children tend to have a myriad of talents and skills, whether its multiple languages, crafts, instruments, or all of the above. What particular talent/skill are they focused on currently? Prioritize that over the continuation of other topics or trades. That way when you bring home a fluffy new member of your home that needs to be taken out every hour for potty training, your kiddos have the time to learn responsibility in caring for a living thing.

The last thing I recommend is clearly communicating with your homeschoolers. Let them know that time is being crunched, and you’re going to be changing things up. Talk to them about time management, ask them their opinion about where time can be used more wisely, let them share their thoughts on what classes might need more focus. Taking their suggestions to heart, letting them know you listen and appreciate their input (even if you decide that math really is more important than experimental home economics e.i. seeing how something bakes if you put in too much baking powder). This does two things for your homeschooling curriculum, first it lets your children know what their agendas are going to look like for the next couple months or so. Second, it helps them recognize that time is important, every task takes a certain amount of time and without careful attention you might end up not getting everything done. These have been helpful ways that I’ve gotten through the last couple months with so much on my plate. The conference ended yesterday, and I was tremendously honored to have been apart of it. My ministry in my home comes first, serving my husband and teaching my daughter, so if I’m going to add anything to my day I have to be careful not to do so at their expense. I hope this is helpful for all you homeschooling families, I’d love to hear about ways you’ve improved on time management in your home in the comments below. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Clever Decorating & Homeschooling with Jasmin Davis

Today I had the joy of being joined on the program by The_Clever_Decorator, Jasmin Davis herself! Jasmin will be one of the breakout session speakers in the upcoming Open Hearts in a Closed World Women’s Conference. In this interview she shares her testimony, parenting and homeschooling tips, plus the way she decorates her home on a budget! She also gives us the inside scoop on what she’s addressing at the conference. You can find Jasmin on Instagram @the_clever_decorator.

The conference will be completely free, with CityALight doing the worship music, and main speakers including Susan Heck, Michelle Lesley, and Brooke Bartz! It will be live streamed on YouTube, FB, and IGTV and can be projected into your church if you’d like your women’s ministry to join in. I can’t wait for Jasmin’s breakout session, and I’m so thankful for her time on the program. You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as Podbean, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, and in video form on Youtube. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

You can find more info about Open Hearts in a Closed World Women’s Conference here:

The YouTube Channel here:

and the website here:

If you’d like more information about Tulips & Honey check out my website: 5Solas.Online

My store:… or my Patreon here:

Did you miss last weeks live MEGA list? Catch up here:

Homeschool Update – The Spelling Bee

Hello, and happy Saturday! I’m sorry I missed the MEGA list yesterday. This coming Monday is going to be a very exciting conversation with the Friendly Calvinist. His testimony is God glorifying, but make sure your have tissues handy! Most of our conversation revolves around social media, although he is the first guest we have ever had come prepared with their own Shenanigans, so there are going to be some laughs! Thats pretty much the only update I have for the podcast. So, let’s move on to homeschooling.

Kayliegh is officially entered into her first ever spelling bee! I’ve never seen her study so hard, although she already had a knack for spelling. We replaced our ordinary spelling lists with the lists we were given for the contest. It’s going to happen early in January, so she does have some catching up to do as far as memorization goes. The neat thing I wanted to mention about this spelling bee is that it was set up by an older Homeschooling student! There are adults over-seeing it, of course, but she has personally gone around town collecting prizes from local business. Once a week she hosts a live feed on FaceBook where the students are given a word from their list, which they are instructed to type next to their initials. Not only is this great practice for the words, but it’s also teaching typing! At the end of each live feed every child who participated is entered to win a small prize. Again, this was put together by someone half my age.

This was exciting on two levels, first, and most obvious, is that Kayliegh is participating with other homeschooling families. She’s getting the experience, she’s going to learn the benefit of hard work and study. Second, homeschoolers can do set up events, we’re not limited by keeping our children out of Public School. Not everyone has the ability, or even the option, to homeschool, no parent shaming here. But, for those of us that can, it helps to know what a wonderful world of opportunity there is when we are called home. That’s my only update for you today, but I do have a question. If you homeschool, or were homeschooled, did you do lessons all the way up until Christmas? As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved!

The Importance of Balance in Homeschooling

Instead of an update I want to talk about an issue that I’ve noticed in our own home. For a long time I thought it was just me, until we started participating in homeschooling events and I was able to get to know other parents. A very poorly kept secret is that we all tend to feel as if we’re not getting enough done. I was so blessed to hear believing sisters encouraging one another to push through the bad days. I couldn’t believe it, other parents were struggling like I was! One thing I’ve figured out is that balance is imperative.

What do I mean by balance? Well, for me personally I homeschool, blog, podcast, clean, cook, manage the bank and bills, study, pray, read and research. Do you see a missing component? My marriage is the missing component. This is where the balance was off in our home, I kept trying to tend to other things while spending “time” with my husband. The results were that I felt the weight of the work load without a partner, and my husband had no idea. He’s incredibly helpful, and great at time management. I was ignoring the most important ministry in my life, and everything else was suffering from it. Finding balance in this area meant putting everything aside and giving him my full attention when we have the chance to.

When I did that something really neat happened, I talked to him about all the issues I was having. He sat down with me and helped me with balancing it all, and I’ve had a much easier year of homeschooling. He had some great advice too, that I hope will be a blessing to you all as well. He told me that if I get overwhelmed I need to stop, I’m not going to be able to teach like that anyway. Set up a fun project, something that can give me a moment to calm down and recollect my thoughts. That has been a tremendous help. Spending the extra time with him has also gotten us on the same page with Kayliegh’s lessons.

God has given us a partner in our spouses, what a kindness! I was confusing time together with time alone, or maybe qualify time alone. With a better balance in this area the trickle down affect was amazing, we worked together to get the remaining issues resolved. It’s been a very productive year, and that’s all owed to the grace God has given me in providing me with a partner. Delegation is difficult, nearly as difficult as even admitting we need help, but we need to utilize everything we have at our disposal for teaching our kiddos. That’s why I encourage you all to find other homeschooling groups in your area, yesterday we went to a museum with a group of homeschoolers. We had a blast! What areas do you have trouble balancing in parenting or homeschooling? As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Homeschooling Update: Saturday, November 30th, 2019

Hello dear ones, I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend. I know it’s been a long time since I did an update on homeschooling. Hopefully I’ve been able to work my schedule around to where I’ll be able to do these posts more often. There’s been a lot of changes since the last update, so at least that will make for more interesting reading. I also have several links and resources for you all, that I’m very excited about. Let’s start with some updates, shall we?

As you all well know, we’ve moved again, taking a new assignment in ND. I found a successful way of homeschooling while packing and unpacking. We split lessons in half, making sure she was still learning, but not overwhelming her. Moves, even for a family that is always moving, can make little ones uneasy. While she’ll swear up and down that moving is her favorite part, there’s still a sense of excitable anxiety. She gets less sleep, which makes lessons more difficult for her to focus on. I also used this pattern, splitting one days worth of lessons into two days, upping the amount of art and play, during the lead of to the holidays.

For English we’re moving into a stage of more advanced sentence structure. I know most of her generation will rarely use handwriting, but I’d still like her to know the skill if need be. She’s already got such beautiful cursive, now she just needs to improve on putting together functioning, grammatically accurate, sentences. Spell check can only take us so far, after all. We’re still using Khan academy for math, so she happily made it through the unit on division. She’s officially better at math then her mom! For science, we’re going over the Periodic Table. After this we’ll be having some fun with chemistry. In history we’re covering both American history, and doing a global geographical review. For art class we’re using Paul Priestley’s YouTube lessons, now that she’s finished with his beginners drawing, we’re going to be doing his painting lessons.

Some great resources I’ve found helpful are Pastor Jims free lessons on dinosaurs which you can find here. These free lessons from Answers in Genesis Sunday School worksheets. And this great podcast episode from Semper Reformanda Radio explaining where we are legally with public schools, and why homeschooling is so needed. I hope these links, and the update, will be helpful for all my homeschooling readers, and encouraging for those of you whose little ones are not so little anymore. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Tulips & Honey – Episode 4: Homeschooling

Today’s episode on Tulips & Honey you’ll finally get to hear Kayleigh’s discussion with me about homeschooling. Becca also joins me to discuss her childhood in both homeschooling, and public school as well as what she’s learned in college about children’s education. I hope this episode will be fun and edifying at the same time.

For those of you who were praying for the interview today with Ray Comfort, thank you so much! It went great, he was very kind and humble. He answered almost all your questions, so keep your eye out for that interview. You can find all the links to the podcast at my profile, or here at our new website. Don’t forget to subscribe, comment, like and share. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Saturday Homeschooling Update: Apologetics, Gardening, and Books

Today, dear ones, I’m excited to have the first few worksheets prepared in what will, Lord willing, be an entire homeschooling unit on apologetics. I’m using Pastor Jim’s three part series on trusting the Old Testament as a guide. This is just the beginning worksheets, with some definitions and scripture reading. I can’t wait to discuss these with Kayliegh, and I hope they’ll be a blessing to other believers as well.

Apologetics for Kids

The garden is doing well, the baby pumpkins we planted are thriving and the tomatoes are going crazy. Our dill, and basil have begun to seed which means they’re done for the season. But the rosemary and thyme are still producing so we’ll have plenty of that. The mint from the greenhouse next door has infiltrated, again, which means we will still have plenty of that as well. Kayliegh’s not interested in the garden now, so many of the plants have stopped producing. She I’m tending to them until the pumpkins come along, I have a feeling that will rekindle some attention.

So long as we’re using Pastor Jim’s Old Testament for lessons, here’s also a reviewed of a child’s book here. It looks like it would be very helpful, and edifying for young people. I’m going to continue to work on the apologetics lessons, please let me know if there is an area of homeschooling studies you’d like to do but are unable to find. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.