10 Practical Ways to Bless a Homeschool Family

Do you know and love a homeschool family? You may have great insight into homeschooling and know just what they need. But there are many people who are just unfamiliar with the unique needs of homeschool families.

I’ve listed below 10 practical ways to bless a homeschool family. Some suggestions have a monetary cost and others do not. If you know a homeschooling family that you would like to bless, pick something from the list below and offer it for their family. Let them know you love them and want to do something to help support their homeschooling lifestyle.

10 Practical Ways to Bless a Homeschool Family

1 – Give mom and dad a date night

There are so many ways you could do this. You could watch the kids while mom and dad go on a date night. You could go another route and pay for a sitter and/or dinner for mom and dad. Homeschool families are together all the time. But moms and dads need regular time alone together to have a healthy marriage.

2 – Provide a meal

Providing a meal for a homeschool family can be a blessing in several ways. Homeschool families are most often single income families, so providing a meal can help financially. It can also help give mom a break from preparing meals all day long and give some variety to their meal schedule. Just check for any food restrictions ahead of time.

3 – Gift cards for books and other homeschool supplies

Homeschool families provide their own books and educational supplies. A very practical way to help a homeschool family is to offer to help financially with any books or supplies they need. Amazon Gift Cards (affiliate link) are useful for obtaining a variety of items needed by homeschool families from books to science supplies.

4 – Pay for field trips

Field trips are a wonderful way that many homeschoolers enrich the education of their families. But there is often a cost to field trips. You could offer to pay for an upcoming field trip if you have the means. This is also a neat idea for a birthday gift for an experience instead of stuff!

5 – Provide funds to go towards fees for homeschool co-op

Homeschool co-ops charge fees for the operation of the co-op as well as specific class fees. These fees vary based on a number of factors. Check with the family to see if this is something you could help with. Note that the fees may increase with the number of children, so the larger the family, the higher the cost. If you can help with a portion of the cost, the family will be blessed. 10 ways to bless a homeschool family

6 – Offer to spend learning time with kids

This doesn’t have to cost you anything but time.

  • Offer to spend time teaching the kids something that you love to do: cooking, music lessons, sewing, mechanics, farming, gardening, computer programming, website design, knitting, photography, etc. You know what you are good at and/or like to spend time doing. Light a fire in them for something you are passionate about!
  • Offer a recurring time slot that you are available to help with school assignments, spend time reading aloud, helping with crafts, etc. You could offer to be available every week at a certain time that the homeschool parents can count on to help with whatever needs/activities/assignments they have that week.

7 – Offer to give mom a break for an afternoon

Let’s just be real here. Homeschool moms are with their children all the time. And this is a blessing! But it can be so helpful to have an afternoon free for any number of reasons: catch up on housework, run errands, go shopping, take a nap, or just chill out! Offer to take the kids to the park, to the library, or to your house for some learning fun (see #6). Use your imagination!

8 – Plan a play date with the kids

If you are a homeschool family, a great way to help another homeschool family (often without any cost) is to plan a play-date. Or perhaps you don’t homeschool, but know a family who has recently started homeschooling. Let them know you still want to hang out by planning a fun play-date.

9 – Help shuffle children to and from activities (sports, church, homeschool co-op, music or dance lessons, etc.)

This is particularly helpful for families with multiple children. Various activities can create a busy schedule for homeschoolers. Any help you can give in getting kids to and from their activities can be extremely helpful for some families.

10 – Prayer & Encouragement

This is the most simple, most powerful way to help a homeschool family. Make praying for the homeschool family in your life a priority. They are following a path less traveled. Encourage them with your words, your actions, and your prayers. May the above list of 10 practical ways to bless a homeschool family help you find a way to bless a homeschooling family in your life. And in return, may you be blessed…

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. -Hebrews 13:16

If you are part of a homeschooling family, share this post to encourage others with practical ways to bless you and other homeschooling families.

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Weekly Peek – Details Threaded by the Creator

What we’ve done for learning and fun this week

  • We went to the Great Homeschool Convention last weekend in Greenville, SC. We are big fans of Steve Demme of Math-U-See and his session about family was very encouraging. He’s a little like a celebrity at our house, so like a true fan I asked for a picture with him even though Firecracker wouldn’t join in with me. :) Does your family use Math-U-See too?

  • I saw my friend Mary Prather of Homegrown Learners in one of the booths at the Great Homeschool Convention. She has wonderful SQUILT curriculum to help you teach your children about music.
  • Part of Firecracker’s morning calendar activity includes counting the number of days of school we have had so far this year. It’s ticking away so fast!
  • Firecracker’s sign language class continues to be something he looks forward to each week. I’m so glad I did that survey at the beginning of the school year and found out that he wanted to learn sign language.
  • I’m learning more and more about how the brain works and The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks is a quick, easy read. If you need some help getting your kids to focus, a little movement may be all that you need. Find out more in my recent post How To Use Movement to Improve Focus.
  • For Famous People Spirit Day at our homeschool co-op, Firecracker chose to dress as Anakin Skywalker and Ladybug went as Thor. Yes, it used to be her brother’s costume and she really has no idea who Thor is. But she totally rocks the outfit!

Famous people dress up

 

Latest Finds & Other Things on my Mind

  • Our family has been touched by the efforts of sweet friends and the 180degree farm this week. This farm was started by a local family when their son was diagnosed with cancer. Knowing that families in need often only have access to food that is processed, preservative-laden, and chemical-filled, the 180degree farm is instead providing whole, organic food to local families in need. What a beautiful thing they are doing!
  • In my pre-kid days, when I worked full-time in an office all day, I often said I wished I worked somewhere that I could bring my dogs along. That eventually became a reality when I began working from home before our journey to homeschooling began. Now my sweet dog gets to hang out with my sweet kiddos and me while we homeschool. Those perfect little details that are threaded throughout my life have to be the work of the Creator.

Math with dog by his side

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How to Use Movement to Improve Focus

Do you have children who lose focus while doing schoolwork? Have you seen that glazed look on their faces? Do you sometimes need help finding focus yourself?

Did you know that some simple movement might be all that is needed to regain focus?

How to Use Movement to Improve Focus

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks

I received a copy of Heather Haupt’s ebook, The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks which is full of information on why  and how to use movement to improve focus and attention in your students, which ultimately is going to help them learn better.

Although I received a free copy of this ebook in exchange for writing this review, all opinions are my own.  This blog post contains affiliate links which means if you click on one of the product links, I will receive a small commission which will go towards our homeschool needs. Thank you.

What is a Brain Break

The author describes how different types of movement actually help the brain function better. These movements are called brain breaks, essentially strengthening the brain’s connections and “waking up” the brain. I find the information in The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks about how the brain works just fascinating. The author does suggest that if you aren’t into all the science of it, to just skip through that section. But I totally dig all the info! The human brain is magnificent and the more I find out about how it works, the more I learn about how to help my children.

Who Needs Brain Breaks

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks is for people who want to help their students and themselves learn how to improve focus and attention:

  • Teachers
  • Parents
  • Homeschool Parents

How it will help you

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks will teach you about how movement helps the brain function better and how to apply that information using different movements. There are printables in The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks for 60 brain breaks along with instructions on how to do all the movements. I’ve printed out all the brain breaks and have them in our school room. We can pull one out whenever we need a brain break.

We have breaks as part of our daily homeschool routine where we typically do a couple of high energy dances or ride scooters in the driveway. Now we can also pull out one of the brain break movements to add more variety to our breaks.

Brain Breaks printables

These are simple, fun, easy movements for re-focusing your child.

Today, as I saw Firecracker going backwards down the stairs, I asked him what he was doing. He said, “another brain break!” Movement is just part of who we are. I want to help my wiggly children learn how to use movement to improve how their brains work which will help them for a lifetime.

Get your own copy of The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks and use movement to improve your children’s focus and learning.

To receive 25% off The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks, use coupon code SPRING which is only available until the end of April!

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Weekly Peek – Spring is here!

Each week I like to give you a glimpse into what is going on in our little world. I hope you find ideas that inspire you, encourage you, or help you in some way.

Note that this post contains affiliate links.

What We’ve Been Doing for Learning and Fun

  • March 20 celebrates the 45th birthday of  The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Last week at our homeschool co-op, our preschool class made caterpillars using empty egg cartons. We wrapped the kiddos in toilet paper and let them break loose like a caterpillar breaking out of a cocoon. This week in our class, we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and made butterflies. What a fun way to celebrate the beginning of Spring!
  • We attended an event  this week with some of our lovely friends in support of Lifeline Children’s Services. This Christian organization is doing amazing things around the world to help children. Seeing and hearing stories of families who have adopted was beautiful. I love opportunities like this to help open my child’s eyes to life beyond our little world.
Books

Earlier this week, I posted about how we choose good books to read. Some of our favorite things to read this week were:

In the Kitchen

My neighbor who has backyard chickens gave us some farm fresh eggs after letting us check out her chickens and their coop. Firecracker got to pull a couple of eggs out of the coop that we later ate for breakfast.

But first, we compared those eggs to the ones in our fridge that we got from the grocery store. Not only were the shells a different color, but the yolks were a deeper color too.

They were just beautiful. And delicious. Maybe we’ll be lucky enough to get some more eggs from our sweet neighbor!

Backyard Chicken Eggs

Brown Egg

Latest Finds & Other Things on my Mind

I hope you are having a beautiful week wherever you are!  There really is beauty all around us! Are you seeing signs of spring where you are yet?

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Choosing Good Children’s Books

I’m a book junkie. And I want my kids to love books as much as I do. So we read all the time and have books everywhere in our house. But how do we find the best books, books that are worth our time to read?

choosing good children's books

This post contains affiliate links.

Twaddle? No thanks.

There are thousands and thousands of books in the world to choose from to read. And I don’t want to waste our time reading twaddle. In case you are unfamiliar with this term, the dictionary defines it like this:

twad·dle: trivial or foolish speech or writing; nonsense.
silly idle talk, drivel. something insignificant or worthless,  nonsense
But if you’re familiar at all with the Charlotte Mason approach to homeschooling, you have heard this term before. And SimplyCharlotteMason gives a more detailed explanation including: talking down to a child, diluted, undervaluing the intelligence of a child, and easy reading. 

Benefits of Quality Books

I do want to choose quality, non-twaddle, books for us to read.
Reading quality books has numerous benefits. I consider these two very important reasons to read quality books with our kids:
  • Creates desire to read
  • Engages the imagination
And to be perfectly honest, I don’t want to waste my time reading nonsense to my kids. 
One day last week, I was reading aloud to Firecracker. I must have zoned out while reading because he said… “Mommy, you are reading like a zombie.” Nice. I had totally lost interest in what I was reading and had lost all inflection and feeling in my tone of voice. I can’t even remember what we were reading. It must have been twaddle. ;) (note: I do let him choose books at the library himself, with a bit of oversight and guidance to encourage his love of books.)
“No book is really worth reading at the age of 10 which is not equally worth reading at the age of 50.”
― Gladys Hunt, Honey for a Child’s Heart: The Imaginative Use of Books in Family Life
choosing good children's books

Choosing Good Children’s Books

So, how do we choose quality books from the thousands and thousands of books out there? I’ve found several ways that work well for our family. 

1 – Books that contain lists of suggested titles to read

My favorite book for locating good books for our family is  Honey for a Child’s Heart: The Imaginative Use of Books in Family Life by Gladys Hunt. I use this book frequently to choose books for our family. I sit down with Honey for a Child’s Heart and my computer and go online to our library’s website. I select books to be placed on hold, the librarians pull the books for me (and if needed, have them sent to my library from another one in the same system) and then I get a recorded phone call when my books are ready for pickup. Easy-peasy! I could spend hours browsing through Honey for a Child’s Heart and picking out books, but it doesn’t take that much time. She has them listed in groups so you can use the book as a resource list for making your book selections.

Another great book for encouraging reading through good books is Read for the Heart: Whole Books for WholeHearted Families by Sarah Clarkson. I just love everything by the Clarkson family.

And for your teens, consider Honey for a Teen’s Heart: Using Books to Communicate with Teens. This book is designed to help you connect with your teens through reading good books and encourages teens to get on a path for a lifetime of reading.

choosing good children's books

2 - Recommendations by friends, family, and blogs

Friends and family are often a good source for book suggestions, depending on your friends and family. :)

There are many blogs with book lists that you may find helpful. Here’s one of my favorites:

3 – Lists of suggested books that come with homeschool curriculum

Each homeschool curriculum is different, but there are many that contain a list of suggested living books. We are currently using My Father’s World First Grade and it suggests using Honey for a Child’s Heart to select read-aloud books.

Many homeschool curriculum is based on living books. Jimmie’s Collage has compiled a list of living books based curriculum.

“The man who does not read good books is no better than the man who can’t.” — Mark Twain

May we all set our children on a path to a lifetime of reading through good books. 

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