Thursday, January 31, 2019

#parentingtruth No. 4 - Family Boundaries

parenting truths, family boundaries, childhood, security, house rules

Sometimes it is a little hard to swallow the parenting truths we learn along the way. This may be one of those tough ones for you. 

We hope for an idyllic childhood for our kids - happy days, comfortable nights, and memorable vacations. Our realities often turn out differently than we had hoped. It is important that we learn to set some family boundaries early on so that what our children remember, and what we actually create, is focused more on a safe childhood, filled with love, than a Pinterest perfect looking childhood filled with remorse.

Today’s #parentingtruth is all about learning to set those boundaries that work best for your family. 
Your family - your rules. We all have friends who seem to have it all together. However, we cannot plan to model our families after them, because God has not called us to live their lives, but rather our own. Besides, you never know all the struggles your friends are going through - God is refining them just like He is refining you, but the methods are usually different.

So how do you set family boundaries? Think about what matters most to you and your spouse as parents. Make a list of those things, and then make a list of what your paying jobs require of you. While it might be okay in one family to have friends over until 9 p.m. every night, in a household where dad has to get up at 5 a.m. for work, the boundaries are going to be different. In a home where parents work opposite shifts to make sure someone is always available at home for the kids, sleepovers may not happen. It does not scar your children for things to be different at your house. A few years ago one of our daughters asked if we had ever had something “bad” happen at a sleepover and if that was why they rarely ever had them. I explained the reason was because their dad and I worked opposite shifts for so many years, so that someone could always be home with them, that it just did not leave enough time for having friends for overnights.

Family boundaries are meant to be bent, but not broken. What that means for us is that there is a lot of leeway for a special event, or a one time occurrence, like staying up until midnight to watch the Super Bowl, but in general, the house rules are there for your own good. You don’t want your children riddled with guilt because Grandma offers them a second piece of cake when they spend the night at her house, but you also don’t want them to think it is okay to eat desserts all the time instead of nutritious food. If you, as the parents, respect the family boundaries, then your children will learn to too. 

When it comes to where to set your family’s boundaries, remember that less is more. Less rules and more grace, less freedom and more security, less preaching and more doing. If it helps your children to understand what you expect of them, especially your preteens and teenagers, then make a list, but keep it short: no back talking, no staying out past midnight, no drinking, no smoking, no foul language. A short list is the less part of the equation. The more part is more grace and more love. Even if you were not raised with demonstrative parents, your children need to know that you love them. Allow then to apologize without fear when they have done something wrong, and daily remind them that you love them. Hug your kids, tell then you love them, make their favorite meal just because. The world is harsh, parents should not be!

When you start out setting boundaries, less freedom to roam is better than too much. Your younger children need to understand that you should always know where to find them. If they go over to the neighbor’s to play, then they should stay there unless you come get them, the neighbor sends them home, or they call you and ask for permission to go somewhere else. Setting your boundaries like this does not stifle their childhood, it allows them to thrive, knowing that you care about them. 

As the seasons of your family life change, so do the boundaries. Your teen will want to do more things and go more places. You are going to give them a little more freedom each year, but they have to retain your trust to keep that freedom. We live in a messed up, sinful world. Human trafficking and drug use are real problems that face many of our neighborhoods, schools and families. By setting family boundaries you are sheltering your children - in a good way! If we raise our children within the loving boundaries of our families, they are much less likely to fall prey to the evil in the world around them.

Sometimes, you or your spouse might wonder when your young adult children are going to stop calling you every time they go somewhere. Take heart moms and dads, they are still calling you because it makes them feel more secure knowing that you know where they are, and it gives them a feeling of safety in a difficult world. Our girls can call me forever if they want to. It is good for their hearts and minds, and mine as well. :)

Perhaps the best part of this #parentingtruth about family boundaries is learning that it is ok to stay at home. This does not mean you never go anywhere, far from it in our family, but that you value family time above other interests. It’s ok to say no to that extra sports team practice, to say no to that next concert, or to say no to committing your family to an after school club just because everyone else is doing it. Boundaries are designed to keeping you safe. A farmer’s fence keeps the sheep in the pasture, the orange construction cones help you keep your car in the correct lane, and your family’s boundaries show your children where they are safe.

In Psalm 16 David said that the boundary lines for him had fallen in “pleasant places.” He had trusted God to provide and care for him. May your children one day look back on your family boundaries and say that they had fallen in pleasant places. 

Bend but don’t break dear mom and dad, your children need the comfort of boundaries!

parenting truths, family boundaries, childhood, security, house rules

Thursday, January 24, 2019

#parentingtruth No.3 - Go Outside!

These #parentingtruth posts are in no particular order. What I mean is that No. 17 might be more important to you than No 5. will be, just depends on what strikes a chord that resonates with you. I’m putting numbers on them simply to make it easier for you to find the ones you want to read again, or share with your friends. You’re welcome! :)

#parentingtruth, the great outdoors, outdoor recreation, parenting

Today’s #parentingtruth is about our need to go outside - often! It is too easy in today’s society to get caught up in the rush of things to do, and spend all our time running from one event or place to another, or, the converse, to set inside at home and watch tv or play video games to fill all of our spare time.  For the past three years, I have been part of a group that writes a weekly column for our local newspaper. It is titled: On Nature. The four of us rotate, so we each write 13 columns a year. Every one of us has a particular focus for our columns, based upon our expertise and experience. I write to encourage families to get outside and enjoy time spent in nature - together! 

The focus for my newspaper writing came naturally, because we’ve been taking our girls outdoors their whole lives. When you see those two commercials together during a football game, one for an amusement park and the other for a forest adventure - we’re the second one. That’s not to say we’ve never been to an amusement park, just that we enjoy a hike in the forest more! Go outside with your family, it ranks right up there in the #parentingtruth highlight reel with love, forgiveness, and Jesus!

So why should you go outside? Because it’s fun. Because you can learn something, because your children will enjoy exploring, and because it can be great exercise! For young families, I recommend three things besides that diaper bag: a stroller, a blanket, and a hiking stick. When your baby is little, just getting outdoors in the fresh air and pushing them around the neighborhood or the park can help you both. Mom and Dad get exercise and baby gets healthy dose of fresh air. it doesn’t matter when they are little if they sleep through it all. Just take them outdoors. Babies are pretty tough, even though they may not look like it. That blanket will be great for putting under a tree and having a picnic. When your baby first starts to crawl, it gives you a head start to keep them from eating ALL the grass, or dirt - LOL! The hiking stick is to remind you that life is best lived outdoors. Your baby is going to grow up before you know it and want to go exploring. Be ready.

There is more to your life than these four walls you are sitting inside. Do you like to look for butterflies, flowers, cool rock formations, or animal tracks? Take your family along with you! While your kids may like watching nature documentaries on tv, they are going to learn to love living in one even better! Kids need the chance to get dirty. The naturalist at our local state park says she sees parents today that are afraid to let their kids get dirty. I see that too. Parents want to isolate their children from germs to keep them healthy. Unfortunately, what usually happens is they end up using so much hand sanitizer and limiting their children’s exposure to nature that they never develop a good immune system to keep them healthy long term. Let your kids play in the dirt. Let them eat the sand on the beach. Let them eat wild raspberries straight from the bush without washing them first. A little dirt never hurt. Let your kids be kids!

One of Arlene’s favorite places to be is up in the apple tree in our backyard. I don’t remember how old she was when she first climbed it herself, but fairly young. She has spent a lot of her life up in that tree reading a book, watching the birds, or just relaxing. When she was about 10, she sat in one of the apple trees and learned to mimic the Tufted Titmouse that was hopping around in the other apple tree. Even today, if I take too long to get outside when we’re leaving to drive somewhere, I know she’ll end up climbing in the apple tree. As a parent, you have to let go of your tendency to fear, and let them learn how to do things themselves. Teach them how to take care of themselves while outdoors, and then let them have fun!

Part of this #parentingtruth about the great outdoors is learning the difference between packing light and packing well. Once you’re past the diaper bag stage of parenthood, you need to learn how to pack your backpack well for adventures! You could spend a lot of time worried about if you can pack light, but instead, focus on packing well. If you spend a lot of family time outdoors, or you want to get to that point, then start with the basics and refine what you pack depending on your destination. It is not uncommon for me to pack two bags: one to keep in the car, and one to take on the trail. This started back when the girls were still little enough to need a change of clothes in case of "accidents." If we think we’re going hiking near water, we’ll pack and extra pair of shoes (and socks) for everyone in case we end up walking down the creek bed on our adventure. You might be going somewhere muddy and want an entire change of clothing. You don't have to take it all on the hike, just leave the extras in the car. Pack your water, snacks, compass, map, first aid kit and whistle in your backpack. I bought an extra whistle just so I could keep it fastened to my backpack. 

Once the girls were big enough to carry a small bag, they got to carry their own water and snacks. I remember this little belt-bag Emily had as a little girl that carried her water bottle and two or three small snacks. She wore it everywhere for a year or two. I used to have this small backpack with two outside pockets for drinks. For a while it carried the girls’ soppy cups, then they got bigger, and they got to take turns helping carry it. Today, everyone carries their own backpack or camel bag when we go hiking. When I think back over the memories that stick out the most from their childhoods, the majority of them revolve around time spent outdoors.

When it comes to spending time outdoors, the best motto is “Try, try again!” Did your adventure go well? Try another one. Did you meet some hiccups, or forget to pack the first aid kit? Try again. Did it rain? Try again, maybe you’ll have sunshine. Did you get sunburnt? Let your skin heal, get some sunblock, and then try again! Going outside can cure a lot of ills - like cranky kids, stressed dads, and tired moms - but mostly - it’s just plain fun! 

Are you looking for more ideas on how to put today’s #parentingtruth into action? 
Here is one of my favorite columns from last year with some ideas.

Stop back by next week and read about another #parentingtruth. 

In the meantime, bundle up the family and go outside!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Get a Fresh Start with

*this post contains affiliate links*

January turns a fresh page on the calendar. Are you ready to turn to a new page in your homeschooling journey? Is it time to start planning for high school? If your are going to have a student ready for high school in the fall, the answer is yes! If you have little children and need a new start, the answer is also yes!

Two things seem to trip up parents getting ready for high school: planning and transcripts. These are seen as the beginning and the end of high school, but in reality they are topics you'll circle back around to from before your children start high school until after they finish. You don't have to plan ahead for high school, but it really does help! A good way to get started on basic planning is to check your state's graduation requirements. Save them to your computer, but also print them out so you can talk them over with your spouse, and your student. The next step you will want to consider is looking at college entrance requirements. Start by picking a state university and see what they require. I know that the end of their eighth grade year is too early to know if they will want to go to college, but you want your student to be prepared if they do want to later, and it will not hurt them to be college ready but decide on trade school or an apprenticeship instead. Better to be prepared then behind.

Life has a way of changing your plans, so I suggest you start planning with a pencil. If you know your student will need four years of science, plan on one for each year, but you don't have to know just yet which one will be for each year. If you are looking for some planning pages to help you work out which courses your student should take, and where to plug in electives, you should check out the High School Schoolhouse Planner at It is a 400 page resource that allows you to print any and all of the pages you want to plan your student's courses, as well as having lots of options for them to record their work. It has many great helps pages, like a chronological Bible reading plan and goal setting pages.

One of the things I have heard parents ask frequently is where can they find good curriculum for high school? Purchasing books can get expensive. One of the great benefits of a membership is that there are no book fees and no per-student fees. One yearly membership covers the entire family from Pre-K through high school. January is the best time of year to check out because during the Fresh Start sale you can get an Ultimate Membership for only $90 for an entire year if you use the code: NEWYEAR19. Why is this an amazing sale? The normal price is $179 for a year, which is still a value, but $90 is even better! Also, when you purchase a new membership you can lock in that price for as long as you keep your membership. Imagine that, only $90 a year for over 400 courses. It is not uncommon to spend that much just on print books for one high school science course, but with you get access to six different high school level science courses.

High school electives are also a concern for some parents. How can we teach what we do not know? With a little help from our friends, or an online curriculum like! There are a variety of electives to choose from, like accounting, ACT/SAT prep, or photography. Is your child wanting to learn more about the world of graphic design or website management? There are courses on creating images, graphic design, copywriting, keyboarding, internet entrepreneurship and more.

Want an introduction to art for your students? From your preschooler to your high schooler there are options on Your student can learn about drawing, art history, art appreciation and even digital art and product design. 

I'm not sure why only homeschoolers use, even though it was designed for homeschool families, since there are so many great resources that any family could use. There are a lot of science unit studies to choose from, as well as all of those science resources from World Book that would be great starting places to plan a science fair project or classroom report.

After all these great resources I still have not told you about my personal favorite: applecore recordkeeping. The gold level of applecore is a benefit for yearly memberships with It is a really easy to use software for recording grades and creating transcripts. I like how customizable it is. While there are plenty of course names available on applecore, it also has the option to name your own courses, which I used a couple weeks ago while finishing up Arlene's high school transcript. She had courses like Fiber Arts and Fashion and Textile Design. Homeschooling allows a lot of customization, so make sure you are giving them credit for their work!

Want more details about Check out the Start Here page and read some of the FAQ's. You'll be glad you chose a fresh start to your new year!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

#parentingtruth No.2 - Your traveling partner

parenting truth, marriage, your traveling partner

Today’s #parentingtruth is about partnership. I want to spend some time focusing on your traveling partner for the journey: your spouse. It is all too easy to get wrapped up in the day to day issues of life and forget that this is supposed to be a partnership. God did not design us to raise children alone, although I know a lot of you are currently in that situation. So let’s start there: how do you raise children when you are a single parent? Hopefully, you can find family and friends who work as your support group. While you won’t have the same relationship with them that you would with a spouse, they can be your traveling partners and make your childrens’ lives much richer, and yours a whole lot easier. Don’t do this alone!

The first part of this #parentingtruth I’ve learned is that your traveling partner is just as (or more) important than your destination. In this case, taking care of the relationship you have with your spouse is actually more important than where and when your children are grown and ready to move out. Why? Because you said “I do” to a lifetime, not just a season. Although it seems like you’ll be raising your kids for-ev-er, it really isn’t as long as you think. 

It is important to choose wisely how you spend those precious alone times you have together with your spouse. And just a word of warning - you will have to fight to keep them alone times. Feel free to put a child-proof lock on your bedroom door. It is worth the effort it takes to go on a date with your spouse. But, you need to make sure it is a date, and not just a gripe session. There will be years when you’re thankful for two hours away just to talk and walk through a park. Other years you may get to take an anniversary trip, or at least have a night away from home when no one calls you for anything. Wives, there will be days when you will have to dig deep and remember why you married him in order to summon up the strength to stay up late and enjoy married life. Husbands, there will be days when she absolutely cannot stay awake to enjoy married bliss. So if today is that day, remember why you married her, and then pull the blanket up over her and just let your lady sleep.

The second part of this #parentingtruth about partnership is learning to walk together. There will be times when one of you wants to run ahead, and the other lags behind. There will be days when you walk beside each other well, being that iron that sharpens iron, and other times when you will have to do a lot of self-sacrificing to not speak what is on your mind, especially if it is unpleasant. That is part of adulthood, learning how to lead, how to follow, and how to walk beside someone. It is a big part of marriage because each of us has strengths and weaknesses. Our traveling partner should be encouraging both when we succeed, and when we struggle.

If you are wondering how you are doing as a traveling partner in this parenthood journey, then you need to ask the tough questions. The toughest might be this: Will my spouse and I still be together when the children are grown? In order to have a relationship after the children are grown up, you have to cultivate a relationship while they are growing. Way too many couples, even Christians, put their children above their marriage. They spend so much time and effort trying to be the cool parent, or doing everything for their kids, that they neglect to see that their marriage is failing. If you have chosen to homeschool, remember that your marriage comes before grading math papers or teaching your child how to read. You would not have the freedom to homeschool unless your spouse was supporting you, so do not let it overwhelm other areas of your life.

We live in a tough world. It takes real work to keep a marriage strong. It takes trusting God to work out all the things we cannot do on our own. It takes a lot of self sacrifice and putting the other person first. It takes a whole lot of “I’m sorry” from both of you. Being a Christian does not guarantee your marriage will last, but it can give you the right perspective. That perspective shows us that God is the One who fulfills us and gives us our value. God is the One who meets all of our needs. If we try to find our value in how our spouse treats us, what they say to us, or think that they should meet all of our needs we will get a warped outlook on life. Yes, your spouse should be loving and kind, but guess what? They are also human, just like you, so they are bound to fail at times. Give them the grace that you know you will someday need for yourself.

There is one more part of this #parentingtruth about traveling partners that I want to share with you. You need to find interests that you share, and ones that you do not. Every mom is going to have a day when she just needs to get away from the family for a while. If she has no outside interests, what will she do for recreation? Wandering the aisle at the grocery store alone might be a nice change of pace, but it’s not actually a hobby - I’m talking to you moms! Every dad is going to come to a day when he wants to hang out either by himself or with other men. If the only interests he has are ones he shares with his wife, it won’t look like he is having some recreational time, it will look like he is purposely leaving his wife at home while he goofs off. Have shared interests, but also allow your spouse to pursue an activity or hobby on their own. Your marriage will be much stronger if you have both. 

Your spouse might come along with you to events or activities that are mostly just your interests, but hopefully you sometimes go with them to things they enjoy that you really do not care much about. You might be surprised and find a new shared interest.

Life is too short, and parenting too hard, to do on your own. Make time to spend with your traveling partner. Cultivate your marriage. After all, they are the reason you are a parent in the first place. 
(Wink, wink!)

parenting truth, marriage, your traveling partner

Thursday, January 10, 2019

#parentingtruth No. 1 - Curiosity is a gift!

parenting truth, curiosity, exploration, childhood

#parenting truth No. 1 - Curiosity is a gift

I suppose I could write this series from start to finish by starting with posts about babies and moving up through those teen years, but really, that would be boring, and I’ve spent a lot of my life purposely trying to not live it in a boring manner. Besides, I don’t want any of you to check out and decide you can just wait three months before you check in again! ;)

Today’s #parentingtruth is about curiosity. It seems to be the one thing all children are born with, and unfortunately, it is one of the first things we unintentionally kill in our children. As parents, it is our job to foster our children's curiosity, even if, and especially when, it is inconvenient. We cannot hope to raise curious, thoughtful children if we never give them time to explore and be curious. We cannot hope for them to grow up and embrace the wild world around them if we never let them leave their chairs.

It truly does not matter where your children receive their education, it matters that they receive one. Education does not save people, only Jesus can do that - but that is a topic for another #parentingtruth post! We chose to homeschool our kids, but it looked nothing like traditional school. There are private and public schools around the world that foster creativity and curiosity, and others that stifle it. These are YOUR children, not wards of the state, or the property of their grandparents. YOU are the parents, and thus, the need to learn about this ever-changing art form of parenting is real!

Our girls have always been curious. Sometimes to their detriment - like when Emily was a baby and kept wanting to explore what was in the kitchen trash can - mostly because it was off limits. When the house got quiet, Kurt and I would look at each other and draw imaginary straws to see who got to go remind her that the trash can was off limits and clean up the mess.

Even after graduating high school, our girls are still curious today. Arlene loves experimenting with natural dyes on her wool yarn. Sometimes she asks other textile-savvy friends for advice, and sometimes she just dumps it all in the pot and takes whatever comes out. I’m always happy when she is curious about a new recipe for cookies or scones, or tweaking an old one. Along the way our girls have had time to follow some of the rabbit trails of their curiosity, and that was always time well spent.

Are you curious? 

I know we have often turned down a side road out in the country just because someone in the car asked “I wonder what’s down that road?” Kurt said he enjoys doing that because it was always something he had to convince his parents to do. 

Curiosity does not wane unless we allow our attention to become so fixated on a particular goal that we miss the life that is going on around us. Don’t stifle your children’s curiosity, and allow your own to flourish as well. A couple years ago I attended a writing conference to learn more about how books are made - as in how they go from an idea to a printed copy on the shelf at the bookstore. While there, they mentioned that one of the breakout sessions had to be cancelled because the speakers had an emergency. But in its place, there would be a session on making books - as in how to put the raw pieces together to bind a simple book. I was SO excited! This was something I had always been curious about, and now I was going to get to experience it. While I learned a lot during that conference, the book making session was my favorite.

So what are your children curious about?

If you have not been the type of parent to embrace rabbit trail following in the past, you may find a little resistance as you learn about this part of the parenting art form. When asked directly, your children may not have anything in mind that they are curious about today. Maybe they’re wondering who you are and where their goal-driven parents went? LOL! But, I encourage you to persevere. Take your children outside, Yes, even in the dead of winter, and let them explore. Take them to the zoo, the art museum, the historical site, the local park, the library. Eventually they will start to regain their natural curiosity. And then, you will see their eyes light up when they make connections between things, places and events all on their own.

Having a child be curious is not a bad thing. All the time I see children who want to see what is beyond that rope, what is under that rotten log, or how many legs a bug has. As parents, you need to drop your natural tendency to say “no, stop, or don’t touch” and start being curious again alongside them. Teach them why there are ropes or fences to protect displays of artifacts, rare art, or building sites. Then teach them how and when to ask for permission if they are unsure if they can touch something they are curious about. Teach them how to whisper in your ear, or touch your arm to ask for help. Teach them how to interact with others from all walks of life. Help them learn, and be willing to learn something new alongside them.

Curiosity might have killed the proverbial cat, but curiosity with guidance can be the very best thing for your children to have.

parenting truth, curiosity, exploration, childhood

Friday, January 4, 2019

Parenting Truths - a new series

weekly series, parenting as an art form, #parentingtruth

Parenting Truths

As our children grow, we walk along this journey as parents wishing that those sweet little darlings had come with an instruction manual. In a way, they did. God’s Word tells us to talk to them about Him as we rise, walk along the road, and sit down again. Speaking the truths of Scripture into and over our children is the single best thing we can do to succeed as parents.

Beyond that though, we often wish for some practical helps. There are a variety of parenting books out there, and they promote a wide range of parenting styles. Some solid, some really wacky. But our children are more than a style. They are unique individuals, who need our hearts, and our time. 

Sometimes our best resources are friends who have “Been there, done that.” In the spirit of giving you and your family some encouragement in this coming year, I’ll be sharing a lot of those parenting truths Kurt and I have learned along the way. I’m working on my first book, one that talks about parenting as an ever-changing art, and not just a style or method. Along the way, there are some truths that I want to share with you. Some are practical tips, some might rock your perspective on life.

This series of parenting truths posts won’t encompass the entire book, but it will hopefully make you smile, and encourage you that there are others out there that have made it from point A to at least point G or H. I am of the firm belief that we will always be parenting our children in one way or another, because they never leave our hearts, even when they leave our homes. My mom has always been my source of inspiration when it comes to the basics of loving my own children well. If someday I grow up and can be half as patient and kind as she has always been with me, I will have succeeded indeed.

Just in case you’re new here, I’ll let you know right now that even though our daughters are 20 & 18, I do not have all the answers. I do however, know The One who does, and God is always, always, always faithful. When it seems He is far away, it is not because He has changed, but because we have taken our gaze and set it on other things. It might be time to take note of where our gaze is focused. God is our Father, and He loves us. Let’s remember that as we travel along this parenting journey. If God can love us, with all of our fear, failures and doubts, surely He can teach us how to love our children, and do it in a way that glorifies Him.

You can follow along by visiting the blog each Thursday, as I’m planning to have a #parentingtruth column up weekly, you can subscribe by email and get it in your inbox each Thursday evening, or you can follow along on Instagram and be reminded of when each new post is up. However you choose to tag along - welcome! Here’s to parenting those unique little darlings with joy, intention, and a lot of hugs! It is never too late to tie heartstrings with your children.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Homeschool check-up and the Fresh Start sale at

*this post contains affiliate links*

homeschooling, evaluation, new year

It is a new year, and that means time to evaluate what you're doing in your homeschool.

Are you happy with how things went last fall? Did you have enough choices that your kids weren't bored? Were you bored? Are you looking for something new or different, or are you looking for encouragement for the long haul?

Life has a way of throwing curveballs. Homeschooling is no exception. There were years when I thought we had everything we needed, and then a particular resource just didn't mesh with one of our girls' learning styles. There were years when we had enough, but decided we wanted to try something new. Sometimes you have plenty of money to buy something new, and other years you cringe when your child says they can't find a new eraser. Been there - done that.

We were always the piece things together type of family. Our youngest graduated high school last month, and we only had one year when we went with a set-by-someone-else curriculum. That was a painful year. The girls learned a lot, but it didn't really fit with their learning style, or my teaching style, to have everything so regimented that there was no extra time for exploration. We always loved exploration - especially time spent outdoors.

So where are you on that homeschooling journey? Ready to try something new? Firmly entrenched in your routine? Wondering if you're doing it right? Know that we are cheering for you, and praying for you!

It is a freeing feeling when you realize that your homeschool journey does not need to look like anyone else's!

If you've been considering something new, I encourage you to take a look at the Fresh Start sale that is happening over at this month. For new memberships, you can get access to all of their 425 courses plus extra resources for only $90 a year! That's half off the regular subscription cost! 

We have been members since started in 2012. Even though Arlene has graduated, I'm still keeping our membership for a while. There are a lot of planning and record keeping resources included with a yearly membership, and I'm not finished with them yet. Plus, it's fun to look at the newer courses and be able to tell you about them. One of the best things about home educating your children is the ability to go back and learn things you missed the first time. A lot of the high school level courses are great for adults... and learning something new helps stave off dementia - I'm all about that!

So take a while to reflect on how last semester went for your family. It's only January 1st, it is not time to jump back into homeschooling just yet - enjoy a few days of peace and reflection first. And if you decide you need a change, or some different resources, hop over and check out for some great inspiration at a really reasonable cost!

P.S. Just a reminder that if you join during the Fresh Start sale, you'll get to renew each year at the super low price of $90/year!

P.P.S. If you join during January, you'll receive a print copy of the Winter Issue that just released last month!