Planning Your New Homeschool Year? I Have Just the Thing for You!

Planning a new homeschool year can be a fun, yet stressful, time. While most of my children adhere to a year round schedule, my high school age kids have opted for a schedule that more closely resembles a typical school year. One problem I always encounter with finding the right calendar is that the average calendar generally starts in January and ends in December, so I often end up having to use two separate calendars for one homeschool year.

I’m telling you, in a house as crazy as ours, it can be hard to keep track of one calendar, let alone two!

So I’m sure you can imagine my delight at coming across this awesome 2016-2017 printable homeschool calendar created by Jen Mackinnon, author of Practical, By Default. Not only does it start in the month of September and end in August, but it also comes with a set of adorable printable homeschool planner stickers, and each month has an encouraging quote at the top of the page.


My favorite quote is this: “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

Amen, Mr. Edison.

At first I wasn’t sure how I wanted to hold the calendar together because I didn’t want the pages getting all bent up from staples or brads, so I clipped it right to the board in our homeschool room (aka- the dining room). Now, whenever we finish a month , we can simply unclip the completed month, put it in a folder, and the new month is right there underneath!

The stickers are a very clever and practical (I should have known…get it?? Practical, By Default? I crack myself up.) idea and add a splash of color and fun to the calendar. There are stickers for day trips, library days, and study days and will be such a great asset in our pursuit of keeping our homeschool as organized as possible!

Additionally, Jen has also recently added a set of printable homeschool event stickers that can be purchased separately. These stickers are the perfect reminders for, among other things: tests, field trips, crafts, and more!

homeschool stickers

I am so excited to start planning my teens’ upcoming homeschool year, and these resources are just adding to the excitement! I highly recommend these products to you.

Happy homeschooling!


(Disclaimer: I was given complimentary downloads of these items in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are entirely my own.)

A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- Why Is School Taking So Long??

If there’s one thing I pride myself on as a homeschooler, it’s the fact that our school routine doesn’t take up a large part of the day. This is something that’s very important to me because I firmly believe that children need unscheduled time for free play and following their interests. This is a crucial part of learning.

So imagine my chagrin at the fact that our school day didn’t end until almost 5pm yesterday. 5pm!! And this wasn’t an isolated incident. Since we’ve begun our new school year, we’ve been finishing up around 4pm everyday. Last year the latest we ever ended was around 3, so I’m really trying to figure out what this is all about.  Continue reading “A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- Why Is School Taking So Long??”

How to Homeschool for Beginners- Everything You Need to Know

Are you interested in homeschooling but don’t know where to start? Are you concerned with questions about socialization? Are you just plain confused about the whole thing?

Believe me, I was right there with you all those years ago when we set out upon our learning adventure. I was nervous, frazzled, and just a little self-conscious about the whole thing.

As we enter into our eighth year of homeschooling now, I’ve learned so many things about this lifestyle- yes, it is a lifestyle- and it is my deepest desire to share these insights with anyone willing to listen. You see, what I know now about homeschooling didn’t come easily. It took years of trial and error, hard work, and, sometimes, heartache.  Continue reading “How to Homeschool for Beginners- Everything You Need to Know”

10 Easy Ways to Use the Library in Your Homeschool

Confession time.

 I love the library. There, I said it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told the librarians at our public library that if they’d just get a snack bar, I’d move the whole family right in. And I’m serious about that. So many books, so little time.

On top of that, it is the backbone of our homeschool curriculum.

Without the library, our homeschool wouldn’t just be dull- although it certainly would be- but it would be expensive. Way too expensive for a one-income family of 12 to handle.

I know that when most people think of the library these days, they just picture a stuffy old building with crabby old women shooshing people.  Continue reading “10 Easy Ways to Use the Library in Your Homeschool”

The Look and Tell Bible by Dawn Machell

Sometimes finding a story bible that holds my younger children’s interests can be somewhat challenging. Countless times I’ve felt that I was wasting my time when reading bible stories to them because it was obvious they weren’t paying attention. They would be squirming around, fidgeting, and sometimes just staring off into space.

That is why I am so happy to have come across The Look and Tell Bible by Dawn Machell. This isn’t just any story bible. This wonderful resource is designed specifically for younger children who, like my children, may be fidgeters, or for children who are on the brink of learning to read. Each account included in this collection is exactly the right length, colorfully illustrated, and makes use of key words which are pictures of characters, places, or objects that are important to the story and which make the story interactive for children.  Continue reading “The Look and Tell Bible by Dawn Machell”

Becoming a Woman of Excellence by Cynthia Heald

Cover: Becoming a Woman of Excellence 30th Anniversary Edition

Society today tells us that a successful woman is someone who ‘has it all.’ A promising career, money in the bank, great kids, and fame are often the goals listed by many women who desire to become known for being special.

But what does God want from us?

While none of those qualities are bad in and of themselves, it’s important to look beyond earthly values and study those values that the Lord, Himself, treasures. In Becoming a Woman of Excellence, author Cynthia Heald delves deeply into this topic using memory verses, scriptural references, insights from well-known believers such as Oswald Chambers and George Mueller, and poignant anecdotes coming straight from the life of the author herself.  Continue reading “Becoming a Woman of Excellence by Cynthia Heald”

A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- Back to “School”!

We’ve reached the end of our first week of our new homeschool year, and we have had so much fun! The kids and I were all so excited to begin, and that has lasted throughout the entire week, so things are looking great so far!

Unfortunately, we almost got off to a rocky start because I got a phone call early Monday morning from a family member asking me to drive them somewhere (they live 1/2 hr. away). After I explained that it was our first day of homeschool, they were very understanding. Unfortunately, though, when I mentioned it to another family member I was lectured about sometimes “having to make sacrifices.” I got more than a little angry at that, because I have sacrificed many a homeschool day to help people out. The problem is that once I started doing that, people have constantly been expecting me to do it over and over again.  Continue reading “A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- Back to “School”!”

Is Homeschooling Really All That Different from School?

homeschooling different from school
Image courtesy of 29mokara at


Sometimes I feel like a broken record.

broken record
Image courtesy of anankkml at


I have made it my passion to let people know how different homeschooling is from school, but it feels like it’s falling on deaf ears. Maybe it’s because people have just been so completely brainwashed immersed in what education is supposed to look like that they just can’t picture it any other way than that of the traditional school setting.  Continue reading “Is Homeschooling Really All That Different from School?”

10 Ways We Homeschool 10 Kids for Under $1000/Yr.

low cost homeschool
Image courtesy of winnond at

The high costs associated with homeschooling are often one of the reasons people choose not to do it. We can’t afford it. We only have one income. We have too many children. 

It’s true that there are a good many homeschool curriculums out there which are high quality, with the high price tag to prove it, but today I’m going to let you in on how we homeschool 10 kids for under $1000/yr.

Since we are a one income family of twelve, it is absolutely necessary that I am resourceful enough in acquiring materials so that homeschooling will not be a financial strain. At this point in time, we plan on homeschooling all of our children through high school, so it is crucial that I find something affordable that works for our family.

Believe it or not, this is easier than you think. In fact, $1000 is actually a high number. I believe that this year we were able to keep our costs to below $500 for curriculum for all 10 children, but I’ll say $1000 just to be conservative!

In no particular order, here are the 10 biggest tips to homeschooling effectively, but frugally. Continue reading “10 Ways We Homeschool 10 Kids for Under $1000/Yr.”

Lazy Day Links- 7/8/16

recommended links books
Image courtesy of porbital at

We have officially reached the last Friday of our summer break! The kids and I are so excited about beginning a new homeschool year.

Besides getting ready for school this weekend, I’ve got a ton of things to do. I’m working on revising an article I wrote for a parenting website- more on that later- and I’ve got two books to read and review and another on the way. So I’m going to keep this short and sweet… Continue reading “Lazy Day Links- 7/8/16”