Ten on Tuesday: Honest, Helpful Homeschool Encouragement



There's so much to share in a homeschool week. 

I do love to interact with all of you on Instagram and Facebook during the week, but I want to "centralize" all of those weekly thoughts in one place.

Welcome to Ten on Tuesday!  

I'd love to do this at least once a month - maybe more often.

These are ten honest, helpful - and hopefully encouraging - tips and thoughts I'm having this week. 

*This post contains affiliate links

1. It's OK to Be Selfish

Moms - take care of yourself!  It's so important.

I'm done with making homeschooling my number one priority. 

Faith, family, and my heath are so much more important. 

I've lost 7 pounds and am feeling so much healthier, patient, and happy. 

Giving up sugar, drinking TONS of water, and making time for some type of exercise each day have been my focus.

I don't want to be a frumpy 43 year old. And most of all... I want to be around for many years to come.

2. Take Time to Read Aloud EVERY Day

We have BUSY days. 

After almost six years of homeschooling I have learned that a reading aloud from a good book is one of the best accomplishments in a homeschool day.

Our current read aloud? Swift Rivers - it's a lovely adventure story that your boys especially will love.

I thought it would be hard to top The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg, but this one might come close!



3. Seize Every Moment

Recently we've gotten some new StoryStarter extension packs from LEGO® Education. 

When that box comes in the mail with LEGO tape on it you'd better believe my son's attention for anything else is SHOT.

So - today I let him open that box and he began building immediately.

It wasn't really "on the schedule", but I went with it. 

I sat down on the floor and read aloud to him while he built. 


We read for an hour. 

I think this was the best hour of my day. 

4. Make School Colorful

My 13 year old has a slight obsession with gel pens and highlighters.

{This was one of my Christmas gifts to her!}

I'm not kidding when I tell you gel pens have made Latin enjoyable for her! 


Really - do you think "The Interrogative Particle -ne" sounds like something my 13 year old would jump for joy about? 

But setting up her container of pens, her sticky tabs, and a cup of hot tea makes Latin time quite appealing.

5. Hard Things are So Worth It


As you can tell from my Instagram comment, Logic time with my Challenge B student was a little stressful one day this week.  (I couldn't even type the whole comment correctly!)

We did, however, have a HUGE breakthrough! 

As she was determining the validity of an argument through developing a truth table, she was getting VERY frustrated.

Finally - when she started explaining it to ME (because I didn't understand, either!), something clicked for her and she GOT IT! 

Then, slowly but surely, the rest of the exercises started to click. 

When we finished I told her:

"Do you see how your struggle and frustration led to your understanding? Learning isn't always supposed to be easy or FUN... you can learn so much through a struggle."

And guess what?


Friends - that was a huge moment for both of us.

It also affirmed to me that we are on absolutely the right path with our educational choices.


This is not a recipe blog, nor am I an amazing cook.

I get the job done, but I don't enjoy cooking. (There, I said it. I am a homeschool mom that doesn't like to cook.)

Funny thing, though - that is starting to change! 

Using Plan to Eat, I have been planning my meals for each week and cataloging recipes and generating shopping lists. 

We are eating healthy all the time and it's been EASY.

These Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon were delicious.

(I also made a Homemade Crunchy Taco Hamburger Helper that was a HIT!)


Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

7. Music Makes Everything Better

You would think, since I was a music major, elementary music teacher, piano teacher, and SQUILT curriculum author, that I would never forget the importance music plays in our lives.

But I do.

For the past few weeks I've been intentional about turning on Pandora to a relaxing Classical channel.

Anna and I might also be annoying my husband and Grant with listening to the music from Downton Abbey OVER and OVER. 

OOOOH!  And did you know you can purchase the ENTIRE SEASON FIVE of Downton Abbey on Amazon Instant Streaming so you can view them BEFORE they air on television.

We are so doing that. 


Music just makes everyone's mood better. (And, watching Downton helps my mood, too!)

Try it. 

8. Present Material in Many Ways

My son is such a tactile learner. 

My daughter learns by READING. 

I have to present things in lots of different ways.

In our study of the Periodic Table we have made magnetic slime, and now my son is playing with his snap together Periodic Table tiles.


9. Take Time To Compliment Others 

I had the sweetest comment and picture on Facebook from a reader.  

This sweet woman (Kerri) probably has NO IDEA how much I needed to hear her words.

She was thanking me for the LEGO Writing materials I provide for free here on the blog. 

This picture, of her son (also a lefty - I love it!) using my LEGO freebies warmed my heart.


Her compliment made me think about MY words. Do I compliment my children enough? And, do I take the time to point out good things in others? 

If you're reading, Kerri -- THANK YOU! 

10. How You End Your Day Matters

I admit that many nights I lay in bed with my iPad, pinning things to Pinterest.

This is NOT the best way to end your day. 

I think it leads to restless sleep, and really a feeling of ungratefulness as I drift off to sleep (you know all the lovely things on Pinterest that I could just NEVER do? yep - that.)

In 2015 I am vowing to read each night before bed - something either totally for pleasure, or something that can enrich our homeschool.

I'm currently reading All The Light We Cannot See (oh my goodness -- what a beautiful book!), and re-reading Classical Christian Education... Made Approachable.

What's on your night stand? 


Now it's YOUR turn... can you encourage ME?  Can you encourage others?

Do you have something helpful and honest from your week that you can share here in the comments?