The Ultimate List of Podcasts for Homeschooling and Homemaking Moms!

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If you haven’t jumped on the podcast wagon, you might not realize how inspiring they can be, especially for the stay at home mom!  I started listening to podcasts when I was getting outside to exercise, and I realized just how much encouragement I had been missing by not tapping into the exciting world of podcasts!

The Ultimate List of Podcasts for Homeschooling and Homemaking Moms!

While every mom is busy, you still have a lot of opportunities to turn a podcast on. Washing the dishes, folding laundry, making beds in the morning, nursing the baby…just slip your headphones on, or put your phone on a speaker system and receive some instant encouragement!

Here are some of my favorite podcasts I’ve listened to, and then I’ll share some other podcasts that I’ve heard really good feedback on.

Cultivating the Lovely – Mackenzie Monroe makes me laugh, because she is in the mom trenches like I am. I can relate to her periscope because you might find her children crying, or a sudden emergency bathroom break in the middle of the show. Her show is on finding the lovely in everyday life, and topics such as organizing, homeschooling, mothering and much more! (FYI, Sean and I will be on her August Podcast together!).

At Home With Sally – Sally Clarkson is the Titus 2 Mentor we all wish we personally knew! I was thrilled when she started a podcast, and have been blessed by her encouragement many times. This is the podcast I listen to early in the morning while I exercise, and it helps me have the right mindset for when all six children wake up. 🙂  You can also find her podcast on her blog.

Read Aloud Revival Podcast

Read Aloud Revival – Sarah Mackenzie has become a very popular name in the homeschooling world, and it’s for a good reason! Her podcast is all about reading to your children. I have pretty strict standards for what I allow my children to read, so not all of her podcasts appeal to me (we don’t do science fiction, Harry Potter, etc.) but I’ve certainly found many to enjoy.

Your Morning Basket – Oh the morning circle time. Whether you have all littles, or you are a homeschool mom, the morning time can be such a valuable time. I really enjoy Pam Barnhill and her thoughts on Morning time (check out her Your Morning Basket ebook).

Your Morning Basket Podcast

The Homemaking Foundations Podcast – A really good blogging friend, Jami Balmet, puts this podcast together. She has some excellent topics on the podcast for busy moms who want to be a good homemaker.

The Inspired to Action Podcast – I’ve listened to a lot of these while walking, or working out at the gym. She has some excellent people on her podcast, and they are really encouraging!

Other Podcasts I’ve heard are good, but I’ve not listened to are:

Homeschooling Podcasts

Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network – I’ve seen this one advertised at homeschool conventions. There is a wide variety of topics on this podcast!

Mason Jar Podcast

The Mason Jar by Circe Institute – I have NO clue where I’ve been! This podcast looks amazing, and it’s first on my list to start listening to! Cindy Rollins is the host for this podcast, where everything Charlotte Mason is talked about!

The Homeschool Snapshots – Do you wish you could sit and just chat with other homeschooling moms about different topics? This is the podcast you should listen in on! Pam Barnhill interviews different homeschooling moms about various topics, such as large families, the only child, teaching children to appreciate reading, character, etc. This is on my list!

Podcasts for Christian Women

The Busy Mom – Anything from spiritual living, homeschooling, marriage or motherhood can be found. The fantastic Heidi St. John does this podcast. I’ve had the chance to meet her and had such an encouraging talk with her!

Revive Our Hearts – Popular author Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth hosts this podcast where she addresses topics on the Christian walk for women.

Podcasts for Homemakers

Domestic CEO – This is another one that looks really good, so I’m going to start listening to some of them! Whether you are an experienced home manager, or living on your own for the first time, the Domestic CEO has easy tips on keeping your home in tip-top shape. The Domestic CEO will explain everything from how to decorate your house on a budget, to organizing a playroom, so that you can make your home life the best it can be.

The Simple Show – From the description “The Simple Show is a podcast where we explore unconventional ways of living and making the most out of things like work, travel, and family. I talk shop with other people about what that looks like for them—food, travel, writing, books, parenting, work, fashion, and everything in between. It’s fun!”

a slob comes clean podcast

A Slob Comes Clean – This is a super popular blogger who blogs and podcasts all about keeping up a house. The topics on this podcast are very practical issues that face every homemaker.

The Mom Hour – I know nothing about this podcast, but the topics look interesting. I’m not sure if this is a Christian podcast, so I’m putting it under this section. It’s hosted by two moms of 8 children total.

Homemakers By Choice – Again, where have I been? This looks like an amazing podcast with topics that will encourage the christian homemaker.

There you go! This is enough podcasts to surely keep any mom busy for awhile, and hopefully you will receive plenty of encouragement! I’d love to know if you have any favorite podcasts yourself! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tapestry of Grace Primer Review

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Disclaimer – This is a Sponsored post for Tapestry of Grace. All thoughts are my own, but I was compensated for this post. 

When I started homeschooling our oldest child, I had lots of ideas and little energy. I was coming out of a horrible season of life where I struggled a lot with adrenal and thyroid issues. We had a new house that we wanted to fix up, and we had been blessed with our third child.

Even though there is an abundant supply of curriculum available for the early years, I never found what I was really looking for. We tried several things and jumped around as I was trying to juggle life. Looking back, I really wish I had known about Tapestry of Grace.

Tapestry of Grace Primer Review

We are currently using the 4 year curriculum that Tapestry offers (you repeat it 3 different times, and what you study gradually gets harder as you get older). Tapestry of Grace also offers a Primer curriculum, which is for families who oldest child is in K and/or 1st grade.

The Tapestry of Grace Primer is set up similar to the 4 year cycle. There are set core assignments given for each week. The student has assignments in history, literature, and geography, and you have the optional hands on learning assignments and memory work. You get to pick what math, phonics, and spelling you do.

PrimerPackage

There are four main parts in the Tapestry of Grace Primer set. It comes with:

The Primer Guidebook – this is for the parent only. It is not to be read to the child, rather it gives the parent an in-depth look at the seven “characters” the child will learn about, which is God, people, good, evil, the Word, God’s creation, and man’s creation. It is highly recommended to read these chapters in advance, so you have a better understanding of what you are trying to teach and how it ties into history.

The Primer Handbook – this is what would be considered the Teacher Guide for the curriculum. Every week you have two pages that show you what needs to be done in that week. It does not assign days however – you plan out each week and decide what you will do. I actually like this approach a lot as I can easily move things around as needed and customize each week to fit our schedule. You are given the books to read from (including what pages), memory work, geography (a surprising amount for K and 1st grade), and an arts and activities section.

A review of Tapestry of Grace Primer Curriculum

The Activity Book – you will receive a good amount of fun activity pages for your child to do! I printed some of these off for Olivia (our child going into 1st grade) to do, and she enjoyed them a lot! Map work, coloring pages, mazes, matching people and objects, etc. It provides just the right amount of variety instead of simply reading together each day.

Love The Journey book – This 355 page book is written for homeschooling parents by Marcia Somerville, the homeschooling mother of six who wrote the Tapestry of Grace curriculum (her adult son and wife wrote the Primer curriculum). You can purchase this book separately as well, and it’s full of excellent information from a veteran homeschooling mother!

Big Story Game – this is a fun card game that helps your child learn his memory work! While not required, it’s a good item to have on hand that grows with your child.

So, how do you know if Tapestry of Grace Primer curriculum is a good fit for your family?

You should consider using Tapestry for K and/or 1st grade if:

You want a very strong foundation rich in history in literature.
You want to teach your child to have a good biblical foundation.
You want to explore the world way beyond coloring pages, ABC songs, and basic history textbooks that give a tiny peep into the history presented.
You actually want to spend quality time with your child, versus textbooks that they can do themselves.

You might not want to consider using Tapestry of Grace if: 

You want fill in the blank work pages for your child.

You don’t want to do very much reading out loud.

You don’t want to dive right into history and how it fits into the Bible.

How Much Time Does Tapestry of Grace Primer Take?

This program is written for K and/or 1st grade. It covers all of history, starting at the garden of Eden, and ending the with modern day Presidents. If I was doing this curriculum I would start it in K, and do it for two years. Personally, I think you could even make this curriculum work for 1st and 2nd grade if needed (provided you are doing it with your oldest child).

TOGP

Would You Do This Along With Tapestry of Grace?

No! The Primer is meant to be used with the oldest child only, or maybe if you have an extreme age gap, like a highschooler and a K age child. I briefly thought about adding this into our school days for our younger children, but after looking at it I realized I just couldn’t keep up. They actually discourage you from doing this. Rather they encourage you to let your younger children do the older version of Tapestry of Grace if you have a large family.

You can download a three week sample and try it with your child before purchasing this curriculum! 

Find the required list of books needed here.

If you are just starting out your homeschool experience, I would highly encourage you to look into this curriculum and see if it will work for you! We are excited to start our second year of Tapestry of Grace!

 

What We Are Using To Teach Our Children About Sex

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I’ve never met a parent who is super excited to have the sex talk with their child. It can be a delicate subject, and one that can be uncomfortable to talk about with your child.

I had a super positive experience as a child with having “the talk” with my mom. I was 11, I went and asked her how babies get to be in a mom’s tummy, and as she cleaned her room she told me all about it. I don’t remember her being flustered, she calmly told me what I needed to know.

Not all parents are like that though. Many a child has been scarred by being told that sex is dirty, evil, something to be endured, or that it’s just gross. Some really conservative parents are so scared to let their children know, they don’t even say anything until right before the child is to be married!

Resources We are Using To Teach Our Children About Sex!

There has to be a better way than that. While we might feel like blushing or stumbling over our words, it’s totally possible to teach our children about sex in a way that the child understands it’s a God ordained act between married people, and it’s really a good thing, as long as you are married!

At one of the homeschool conventions we attended this spring, Sean and I both took some time to really look through a resource we wanted to use with our children called The Talk.
The Talk - Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality

Even though this book is designed for ages 6-10, we are going to use it with our 12 year old. It’s an amazing resource, and only has illustrated pictures, nothing really graphic to share with our son.

If you are needing more resources, Luka and Trisha just came out with a video course for parents called Having The Talk, which goes through each chapter of the book and how to talk to your child, what to share at what age, and what not to share.

I’ve been watching through this series and have found it to be a great resource. Included in this course:

8 instructional videos – around 25 minutes each.

Several mini-videos on specific topics

A free digital copy of the book The Talk

1 year access to all videos, and a lifetime access to the book.

They say this course is for parents of 6-10 year old children, but I find this is really up to the parents to decide when they want to talk to their children. We haven’t felt ready to dive deep into the actual details of sex with our oldest until now, and he is 12.

If you grab this course by July 7th, you also receive $73 in bonus offers!

Included in the bonuses is a favorite resource of mine for teaching girls modesty, It’s The Heart, Not The Hemline. It’s a 5 week unit study on modesty from a biblical perspective for girls ages 8-14 years old.

You might be wondering if we have talked to our oldest child about anything related to sexuality at this point? Yes, we definitely have. He just doesn’t know all the details. All of my children are very familiar with the term homosexuality, and that it means a man and a man live together like a husband and wife, again, they just don’t know the details.

My children all know that it takes a mommy and a daddy to have a baby. My oldest has also grasped that unmarried people have babies, and has asked a lot of questions regarding that. We are definitely right at the age to dive right into all the details, and I’m so very thankful for the wonderful resources that Luke and Trisha have come up with!
 

Staying Content With Your Homeschool Curriculum

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Your school year has either ended, or it’s winding down. Or you might do school year round, but at some point you turn the page on a new curriculum. For many of us, it’s the season of conventions and used book sales, the time to look and touch, handle the curriculum with our own hands. We might even pick up some new curriculum just to look at it closer at a used book sale.

Staying Content With Your Homeschool Choices!

It’s a fun time of year for me. I love the planning, the dreaming, the time where everything is fresh and new. I get to see other homeschool moms interact with each other, and I always leave this season encouraged.

However – (You knew something was coming!)

I’ve found it easy to get sidetracked. Blown off the path I had decided on by something else shiny and bright. 

Oh wait! There is the Veritas Press booth. Let’s go chase it!

The Sunlight curriculum looks so appealing with all those read aloud books. My children love literature, so this must be what I need.

Abeka has been around for years, and I’m afraid I’m missing gaps in my children’s education.

Teaching Textbooks will give my children the best math education, because I can’t teach algebra. Let the computer teach it to them!

The Simply Charlotte Mason curriculum has the Charlotte Mason method all put together in the history, art, and poetry packs. This must be the answer.

Math U See teaches math in a totally different method, and I’ve heard other children love Steve Demme. I’m confident this is what we’ve been missing!

And it goes on and on and on. 

It’s so easy to get sidetracked at conventions, talking to other homeschooling moms about what works for them, and even at used book sales. You have found something that works for your family, and you planned on doing it the next year. But Mrs. Jones just told you about her shiny new curriculum that has transformed their family. And Mrs. Smith said her children’s test scores improved by switching curriculum.

Suddenly, you begin to doubt yourself. Maybe you should switch things up yourself?

I found this happen to me at the last convention we attended. It was the largest one we had been to yet (14,000 people attended it!), and almost every vendor you can think of was there. Suddenly, I was seeing all this curriculum that I had previously only seen in catalogs. My head was swimming, and I begin to question myself and my choices.

Should I switch? Tapestry of Grace has been the curriculum that has worked the best for our family, but Veritas Press has such a nice booth, and I love the literature books! (I later discovered that Tapestry of Grace uses many of the same books!).

Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you make a dramatic switch.

  1. How would I rate our previous school year? Was it one of our better years, or more stressful?
  2. Was it stressful because of life circumstances, or was the curriculum difficult to teach?
  3. Do I have the money budgeted to make a large curriculum switch?
  4. Should I switch our entire curriculum, or only switch a subject that wasn’t working well for us?
  5. Have I heard good reviews about this curriculum from families my size? A smaller size family might be in love with a certain curriculum, but it could be a horrible fit for a larger size family. Make sure you are matching up family size and keeping that in mind!

I took home all the catalogs to look at, and after the post convention fever went away, I remembered all the reasons why I love Tapestry of Grace, and will continue to stick with it. I’ve hopped from curriculum to curriculum over the past few years, looking for the right thing. I can’t switch again, especially with my oldest going into 7th grade.

Please know, the curriculum I mentioned above are all excellent companies. I even use some of the material from them myself, so this is not a negative post on any of those companies. If you use Abeka, or Math U See, or Veritas Press and it works for you, then by all means…stick with it. If you are drowning in your curriculum and the whole family is unhappy, try something new! Just don’t do it on an impulse, right at the convention. 🙂

Now that I came home, I’m working on purging curriculum for the used homeschool book sale in our area, and planning our new school year. As I’m cleaning my very messy bedroom, I’ve been watching these brand new videos on The Organized Homeschool, put out by my blogging friend Kim Sorgius, who is a master at helping people create homeschool systems that actually work. She’s a single (work at home) mom who has homeschooled her 4 kids for 12+ years and she has created an amazing new course to help others tame the homeschool chaos, too.

You’ve got to see the video of her homeschool room. She’s real, practical, and super encouraging. It’s going to shock you when you see her confession and then inspire your heart when you see how easy it is to take control of your own chaos.

Click over now and see what I’m talking about!

video image
I’m especially excited about the Portfolio Pack that is included. This is one of those items that I physically held and looked at during one of our conventions, and it was high on my wish list. So getting the digital item is great!