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Showing posts from 2018

When In The World Did I Become a Missing Person?

You're reading this blog post. So you are most likely a homeschooling mom. (I'm a genius for deducing that...)

But what else are you?

Don't just give the pat answer(s) that come to mind immediately. Really THINK on this for a sec...

What are you, lady? Besides a mom who homeschools her kids, what exactly are you?

Have I got you feeling frustrated yet?

If so, GOOD! Then I have done my job today and made you look a bit deeper than you usually do. And maybe you saw some things you really didn't like when you took that deeper look...

But maybe, just maybe, you saw at least one thing that you really & truly love.

I clearly recall a particular day when I realized that I had sort of, well, lost some of the best parts of me. And that was kinda scary to admit to myself. I mean, what do you do when you realize you are living in this body but you somehow misplaced a key part of what makes that body uniquely you?!

I may have had a bit of an internal freak out.

And then I start…

Will I EVER Overcome the Self-Help Mentality?!?

If you know me (that is, know me in real life versus the blogging world) then you probably know that I am none too fond of the self-help mentality. It's not that I have anything at all against people in need of help; I put myself at the top of the list of people I know who need help. But the notion that I can somehow fix myself ~ let alone fix anyone else! ~ is a complete misnomer.  It's a continual cycle of "work harder" followed by gut-wrenching disappointment. And there's a reason this is the cycle of's because we cannot fix ourselves! That's God's job, and He's exceptionally good at it.

Having said all that, I'd like to share about something that we moms do have the ability to change for the better. Our attitudes. I'll go so far as to say that I feel many homeschool mamas could benefit from an attitude adjustment (me included!). We're often so tired, over-worked, and spread thin that we succumb to a bad a…

How to Plan the Homeschool Year & KEEP MAMA HAPPY with The Once-A-Year Homeschool Planner

Today's post is a short one (primarily to share a video with more details about The Once-A-Year Homeschool Planner  ~  An All-in-One, All-Student, All-Subject Planning System  ~ click on the link below to watch it!)  BUT I did want to let you know an easy way to KEEP MAMA HAPPY, whether or not you end up using the planner.

Here's the deal: Keeping up with planning and grading can be really difficult, especially when you are home educating several kiddos at the same time. It's easy for the homeschooling mother to feel overwhelmed and even discouraged...and a mama who feels that way is probably not simultaneously super-duper happy.

Here's a tried & true idea that has helped me avoid the overwhelm & discouragement: Plan in "batches" & grade student work every... single... day! (Not sure how to batch plan? My next post is going to be all about that topic!)

Don't just roll over and go belly-up by giving in to the commonality among homeschoolers. P…

The "How-To's" of the High School Transcript, Homeschool Edition (Electives - Dual Enrollment - Credit Hours - All The Things)

If you are homeschooling your children during the high school years, you want to do it well.

And that includes creating a high-quality transcript. As in, the very BEST homeschool high school transcript.

In this post, I'm not going to give you a transcript template or form. And I'm not going to recommend or review a high school transcript service or provider for homeschoolers (although I have done that in a prior post ~ and I will link to that post below).

What I am going to do is share with you a session I created covering this topic in great detail for a homeschool conference. You can watch the presentation in it's entirety, no strings attached, for free (and it was not "for free" via the conference!)

It's technically about electives in the homeschool ~ but I covered a lot of ground, including dual enrollment, transcripts, what counts as credit for college, how to calculate credit hours, and more.

So if that sounds like something that you would like to check…

How a Mom of 5 Deals with Daily Chores & Homeschooling

How to manage the daily maintenance and running of your home while maintaining a successful homeschool is one of the greatest challenges the home educating mother will face. It's not just about time management when you live this unique lifestyle; I would venture to say it's actually about maintaining the sanity of everyone who lives and learns within the four walls known as both "HOME" and "SCHOOL".

I am the mom of five wonderful children. Which means that we had seven people and three dogs living in the same space. Which was the same space we were using for our children's education on a daily basis. And as an average middle-class family living on one income, our house was for sure a home and most certainly not above average (read that: we did not have space for a homeschool room that was separate from the kitchen table...)

Nobody knows how to make a whole lot fit into not a whole lot of space like a homeschooler, am I right? But managing to fit a schoo…

Plan Big...!

Ahh, September.

Such a great month for homeschoolers ~ those first days of a new academic year hold a very special place in my heart. While so many mothers were sending their kids "away" after the summer break, I was blessed to get to spend even more time with mine.

September represents so many wonderful memories for me. And I hope it does for you, too.

I usually spent a part of my summer planning the upcoming school year & the kids could choose new school supplies and even some of their coursework based on their interests. They could decide what extracurricular activities they wanted to participate in during the fall months, and sure enough, year after year, the big picture would come together.

The years when I planned BIG were probably my favorite ~ not because I enjoy a challenge (I seriously don't think that describes me at all) and not because I wanted to see my children get as much done as they possibly could. It was because those years were usually the ones wh…

How Do I Make This Homeschool Thing Actually "Fly"...

So here you are. A mom, probably in your mid-thirties. It's August, which probably means you are kicking off your family's homeschool year. And you are most likely a bit uncertain as to how to actually make this whole thing work.

How do I know this? Because for the last 25 or so years, I have been doing this whole thing. And to use an overused phrase, let me just say that THE STRUGGLE ACTUALLY IS REAL!

Now if you happen to be that mom who is ultra squared-away, I take my hat off to you. Please, teach the rest of us your ways! We all need some help from the mom gurus and homeschool super heroes living in our midst. Share often via social media and blog posts and through good old-fashioned face-to-face conversations. Your knowledge and wisdom and insight is so much needed!

But for the rest of us - the ones struggling to get the laundry folded the same week it was laundered and wondering how many times pancakes can be on the dinner menu in the sa…

Let the Word of God Work for Your Homeschool

When is the last time you thought about the truth that any problem you might have ~ today or in the future ~ is answerable per the Word of God?

I'm not just saying this because it's the right thing for a Christian to say; I truly believe it! There is an answer to any and all problems and struggles you will encounter in this life. The answer is alive ~ the answer is Jesus.

And since John 1:1 tells us that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... I  can dig into my Bible to find out how Jesus wants to be the solution for my current need or problem.

This carries over into our homeschools, too.

Any struggle your child may face, academic or otherwise, Jesus is the answer and the Bible is His love letter to your child/ren. No matter the circumstance, help is available. It isn't hidden away somewhere, locked up & shrouded in mystery. It isn't even all that difficult to obtain. God is not holding out on you. He is not holding out on…

Some Tasks Are Long in the Doing...

"There is something infinitely better than doing a great thing for God, and the infinitely better thing is to be where God wants us to be, to do what God wants us to do, and to have no will apart from His." - G. Campbell Morgan


Whew! Homeschooling is a long, long road, isn't it?

It is always tempting to consider giving up when a task is so long in the doing. But what benefit ever comes from quitting? What great gain can there be from taking a break? or from stopping altogether?

Homeschooling may not seem to be the "big thing" that you have always desired to accomplish for the Lord. It may seem tempting to consider setting it aside for some greater work for the Kingdom.

But may I advise you to choose carefully ~ to consider wisely ~ whether or not this is actually the truth. It is always best to be right where God wants you, in the exact spot He has placed you, doing something that is slow and steady, than to be outside of His will doing something…

A Little Romans 8:6 For Your Day

Romans 8:6b - ...but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 

A mind controlled by the world - by the flesh - by the enemy of God is a mind filled with chaos and unease. It's sort of like your mental state is comparable to a bag full of cats. Not a pleasant way to go through daily life, is it? But most of us have dealt with a messed-up mindset at one point or another.

In contrast, the mark of the Spirit's control of your mind is life and peace.

Having God's peace means having a sense of inner calm, regardless of circumstances, coupled with the ability to hear from the Lord and think clearly. It is the opposite of a panicked mind filled with jumbled thoughts and stressful ponderings.

We can pray to have a peaceful mind, knowing that this is God's will for us. (He has no desire to see any of His children living with an out-of-control mind.)

There is also the promise of life when the Holy Spirit controls one's mind. Life is the opposite of death. Deadly tho…

Perhaps the Problem is...

"The world expects, and rightly, that the Christian should be more gentle, and patient, and generous, than he who does not profess to be a disciple of the Lord Jesus." ~ Mark Guy Pearse

Well, well, well...that's a stiff drink of truth for me today! Sometimes I read something and it just pierces my heart & I know that, now that I have seen it, I cannot un-see it. The above quote is a great example.

Truth cuts right through all the nonsense and brings our excuses out of the murky darkness and into the cold but clarifying light of day. The truth is powerful and can inspire change where it is long as we let the Lord work out His will based on the truths He has shown us.

So how does this quote relate to homeschooling women?

Mothers cannot be screaming at their children and acting out in a rage and still believe that the world sees Christ when it looks at them. Mothers cannot openly ignore their children when they are misbehaving, nor when they cry out with a n…

Working on a Homeschool Transcript?

Homeschooling throughout your child's high school years can be intimidating. Daunting. Freaky-Friday scary. 
So much feels as if it is resting squarely upon your shoulders, homeschooling mom. 
And just one aspect of this overwhelming endeavor is the transcript.
But, thankfully, this one piece of your child's high school career does not have to be enormously difficult. We have the opportunity to learn from homeschoolers who have walked this path before us ~ and having the way paved ahead of me made me a lot less nervous about creating transcripts for my five children. 
Here are a few tips for you as you work on transcripts:
     ~ Use a transcript generating program if you need to.
               There are a variety of online programs available to the homeschooling community with varying price ranges and options, which means you should be able to find one that works for you. The benefit of an online program is that all your child's info is saved remotely, making the odds t…

The 2018 Homeschool Moms Conference ~ The Homeschool/Work-At-Home/Blogging Event of the Year!

This is it! It's finally here! Go time, ladies & gentlemen!

The 2018 Homeschool Moms Conference is now open for business - beginning today (May 28th, 2018) you can buy tickets for this unique event.

Here are some details:

     The conference will take place entirely online ~ no lines, no traveling, no extra expenses for eating out or childcare ~ you could even attend this conference in your pajamas if you wanted to!

     There are two conference options ~ the Homeschool Mom track or the Work-At-Home/Blogger track ~ AND you also have the option of taking advantage of both tracks for one low price!

2018 Homeschool Moms Conference All-Access Pass ~ early bird price of $25

     The conference officially kicks off on June 4th, 2018 but you have access to an early-bird price if you sign up before June 3rd!

     The early bird price is...$15 for either the Homeschool Mom track or the Work-At-Home/blogger track OR $25 for both tracks! That's something like 20 cents per session - t…

~ Book Review ~ The Rescue by Jim Cymbala (with Ann Spangler)

If you have been around the Christian world for very long, you have most likely heard of Jim Cymbala as well as the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. And you may know of some of Jim's previous best seller - Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire. You may also recognize the name Ann Spangler (co-author of The Rescue). When I think of Ann, I immediately think of the Names of God (look her up - I have learned so much about God's Names from her work!). Basically, I was more than happy to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

The thing I loved most about The Rescue was the fact that it is both an encouragement to believers that the Lord is still working and moving in the lives of people all around us who seem to be living such train-wrecked lives & that a seeking person could easily pick this book up and meet Jesus personally in any one of the amazing stories shared here.

That's powerful stuff.

And that's why I think this would make a great book to buy, read, and then pass on to s…

iBlog Post ~ Joy in the Journey Begins with Your Thoughts...

I am a part of the iBlog event taking place throughout the month of May and wanted to share a little teaser from my post (which is about finding joy on your homeschooling journey).

Do you think of homeschooling as your full-time job, or more like a part-time endeavor? What I am really asking is this: Are you fully engaged in your homeschooling work? Where is your heart?

To read the rest of the post, visit the blog WiththeHuddlestons

I think you will enjoy what bloggers have to share with you all month long, so be sure to bookmark the page and check back every couple of days to see what's new.

Lord bless you today!

Day 383 done :)

Jan L. Burt

author of The Homeschooling Mothers Bible Study (available on Amazon) 
& speaker at the 2018 Homeschool Moms Conference (details HERE)

One Thing I Hate About Homeschooling...

What would you say you dislike the most about homeschooling? Is there anything that just gets in your craw and drives you batty?

In all honesty, I probably have a few things that have driven me nearly bonkers over the years - but one thing in particular I pretty much could not stand. Grading school work every evening. 

It was always there, looming, waiting for me in a gigantic pile. Every. Single. Day. So many evenings spent grading, feeling as if I were missing out on family time or failing to take care of other tasks around the house. The homeschool day is not finished until I have graded every single subject for every single child and recorded it all in my planner. It's just no fun!

Like the laundry, it never goes away...

But here's the truth: one day it will go away. Children grow up, go to college, get jobs, get married, move away.

Our greatest homeschool burdens are disappearing before our very eyes...and there isn't really any joy in it!

For me, the mom who so disli…

Book Review ~Always Fall Forward by Todd Gerelds (author of Woodlawn)

When given the opportunity to review the new book "Always Fall Forward" (by the author of "Woodlawn" - which is a great book & a great movie) I didn't realize how much I would glean from it, even though it is geared toward a male audience.

This little book packs quite a punch and has loads of encouraging counsel based on the Word of God.

Divided neatly into 52 weekly readings, it makes a perfect devotional and I really, really think it would make an awesome Father's Day gift. Or a graduation gift (high school or college).

Each week covers a topic based on something the author's dad ~ who was the head coach at Woodlawn back in the day ~ would often say. He then takes each saying and adds Scripture to create some excellent content.

This book really seems to embody the idea that the author of Hebrews was conveying when he told us to spur one another on toward love and good deeds (see Hebrews 10:24-25).

Day 381 done :)

Jan L. Burt

On my "Page Turn…

Get Ya'self a Word...As Often As You Can

If there is one thing I have learned from a couple of decades plus change as a homeschooler, it's this:

          ~ Getting the Word of God into me as often as possible keeps my family advancing onward....and keeps me from going insane.

Now, I'm not implying that homeschooling will make a mama go nutso. But I am saying that life in general has a way of bringing the crazy out of the best of us. And homeschooling adds a whole new layer to the crazy-cake at times. Not because it isn't awesome (because it is!) but because it takes the job of "Mom" and gives that job a massive promotion that comes with the title "Homeschool Mom". Which could also be read "Guidance Counselor/Gourmet Chef/Housekeeper/Laundress/Chauffeur/Athletic Coach & Encourager/Financial Adviser/Teacher-of-ALL-the-Subjects". (disclaimer: this is not an exhaustive list!)

So, yea. It's no big stretch to understand that some crazy could come into play when a woman juggles so …

Handy Homeschool Tools (some of my FAVS after 25 years of homeschooling...)

This is a completely practical post ~ just me sharing a few of my absolute favorite tools from 25 years of doing this whole homeschooling thing.  

# 1 ~Weighted Book Page Holder (preferably a non-slip version) ~ This is an item you will use again and again and again from preschool through high school graduation...and I personally use one every day (holding open a cookbook - a Bible - a journal - you name it). It's perfect for holding open your first graders math workbook; perfect for your seventh graders science textbook; perfect for your high school students hardback copy of To Kill A Mockingbird, freeing up their hands to take notes, and so on. Here is a link to a set of 3 on Amazon:
Weighted Page Holders

# 2 ~ KUM Artists' Color-Combi Pencil Sharpener ~ We have several of these around our house, and believe me when I say my artistic children always made sure to have one in their bedrooms where nobody else could get hold of it (they are just that awesome). Colored pencils a…

Let Jesus Be Tougher Than It All...

Often I find myself wondering, "How can I encourage so-and-so today?" Usually I am thinking of a friend facing a specific situation in which I know for sure a little encouragement would go a long way. But sometimes I just pray that question and kind of let it sit there until the Lord gives me an idea of some way and some one to encourage.

Today, that someone is anyone who happens to be reading this post.

Homeschooling is tough ~ but your Jesus is tougher.

     Adulting is tough ~ but your Jesus is tougher still.

     Having healthy friendships is tough ~ and Jesus will always prove tougher.

     Health issues are tough ~ and our Healer and Deliverer is oh so tough in this arena.

     Parenting is tough ~ your loving Father is tougher.

     Life is tough ~ but you aren't on your own; you do life with your Jesus.

Don't take my word for it. Take His Word for it. 

Ephesians 3:20 says, "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to H…

Faithful Finance by Emily G. Stroud ~ book review

I think the title of this book is an excellent description of what all Christians should aim with regard to their personal and business finances. Faithfulness. One single word that carries a ton of significance.

Faithful Finance by Emily G. Stroud is an easy but informative read. It's a great way to, say, teach your teenager about money and how to handle it God's way. It's also a good reminder for those of us who have been dealing with money for years that we need to trust the Lord in this area and believe that His ways are best and that His provision for us is sure.

The author has a lot of sound advice offered here - from disability insurance to college money, she covers pretty much every base that I could think of. I really found it to be a thorough resource and it would serve as a good refresher course for most anyone. And of course, as a Christian, her perspective rings true with me. I probably appreciate that most of all.

If you are looking for a book about money to r…

Give Over Continually

It is very nearly February.

In the life of a homeschooling family, February is often the longest month of the year (academically speaking) while simultaneously being the shortest month of year (per the calendar).

The eight-ish weeks between the first of February and the thirty-first of March can drag on and on and on. But what if the Lord's plan for us is something more than time slowly dragging on and on, creeping by at a snail's pace?

To play on both an age-old saying and a modern Christian pop song, I beg to ask you: "What if there's more?"

There is more. Tons more.

The Lord does not intend for any one chunk of time to ever, ever be drab or boring or lifeless. He desires to infuse every part of your life and every moment of your day with joy and peace and fulfillment. Note that I did not say you can have joy and peace and fulfillment without Jesus ~ because you cannot. Again note that I did not say you have to find a way to create your own joy and peace and fu…