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If you're like most of my readers, you're committed to your family and creating the best home life possible. But the truth is, if you've given up one income to homeschool your kids, you may be struggling to make ends meet. That's why I wrote this special report, The 9 Best Business Ideas for Homeschool Moms, in which I help you design the best business to complement your family's goals. There's only one way to get it—by subscribing to my weekly blog updates here:
 
 

Homeschooling

Schedule your books

Have you ever been so wooed by a product description that you have purchased it right on the spot? Or so convinced by friends or cyber-buddies that your children’s education will not be complete unless you use a certain curriculum? Perhaps you have felt so intimidated about teaching a certain subject that you have purchased everything available on the topic to be sure that you cover it adequately and not leave holes in your children’s education.

Whatever the reason, many well-meaning homeschooling parents over-buy when it comes to curriculum. This is certainly not an unforgivable sin – in fact, I am the first one to say that we should not skimp when it comes to providing the atmosphere and resources for our kids’ learning.

But let us discuss some ways we can control the financial outflow during this season of buying.

Here are five ways that you can avoid over-buying and successfully plan for a bountiful year of learning:

1. Make Your Plan – Take some time to map out your upcoming school year. What subjects would you like to cover? How does each of your children learn best? How much time will you have to devote to schooling each day? What subjects will your children need you by their side and which ones can they study independently? These are big questions. Take one child at a time and map out some goals. Take into consideration his/her age and preferred learning style. Take stock of his progress in each subject area. Will you need to emphasize a particular subject more now because of overlooking it in past years? Are there subjects that he is truly motivated in and can pursue more independently, thereby freeing up your time as the teacher? Make for yourself a rough plan and schedule for your family and then move onto step #2.

2. Take Inventory – Scan your bookshelves and dig through those cabinets to find your educational resources. Pull out those unused math books, grammar and spelling workbooks, literature guides, etc. Make three stacks – 1. Will Never Use, 2. Might Use Someday, and 3. Will Use This Year. Take a look at stack number 2 again and ask yourself, “When will I use this?”, “Who would I use this with?”, and “What am I waiting for?” If you truly feel like you have a good sense that you will actually use the resource sometime in the near future (a year or two) then put it away until next year. If you just cannot nail yourself down on when you would use it or what the circumstances would be for you to use it, put this book or curriculum with stack number 1.

assess curriculum

3. Clear It Out – Take your books and curricula in stack number 1 and get rid of them. The best thing you can do with used educational resources is put them up for sale. Someone out there is looking for what you already have and are not using. There are many online places that you can sell your school books – homeschoolclassifieds.com, Facebook Used Homeschool Books page, and many others. Place a reasonable price to it, then add another couple bucks to the price and sell it “postage paid”. This means that you as the seller will take care of the shipping costs (this just seems simpler to me and the buyer feels like she is getting a good deal). Media mail is the cheapest way to send books and other media products – CDs, video’s, curriculum in binders, etc.

4. Buy The Basics First – Now take stock again of what you have and what you now need. Buy your basic subjects first – math, grammar, spelling, history, science. You may even find some of what you are looking for on those used swap boards while you are listing your items to sell. If you have time, wait until these arrive before purchasing anything more at this point.

5. Fill in the Gaps – Once you receive your basic materials, read through them. Take notes of what else you are going to need to fill out the program. Does the math program that you chose require that you purchase manipulatives? Does the grammar book contain writing exercises and does it meet your requirements for a good writing program, or will you need something more? Does the history curriculum contain geography lessons? Will you need notebooks, composition books or planners for each child? Finally, decide how much time and energy you will have to devote to the extras, such as hands-on projects, foreign language study, logic, music, art and look for materials that will fit the bill.

Follow these five steps and you will bring spending under control. Educating our children is not cheap these days and does require some financial outlay, but we do not have to buy everything out there to ensure that our children receive the best education possible. Your commitment to raising your children well, training them to be contributors to the family, and spending time with them – over the books or playing in the backyard – is what will bring about educational success. There is no perfect curriculum just waiting to be discovered – it is you that will make the difference in your children’s lives.

Blessings to you on your educational journey. Now, back to Homeschool Scheduling

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A 5 Step Plan for Scheduling Your School Year!

This is Part II of August = Organization Month for Homeschoolers.

It’s that time of year. Everyone is gearing up for school. All of the stores are having “back to school” sales on everything from school supplies, clothing, and even furniture. Parents are anxious, students are feeling uncertain, and everyone’s pocketbooks are getting thinner. BUT this need not be the case!

We can keep our spending under control and we can be prepared and confident for a new school year. We can even pass that enthusiasm onto our kids. This way, any sense of uncertainty they are feeling is replaced by a sense of anticipation and excitement. So let’s get started…

scheduling your homeschool year

But first, take a moment to read an archived article on the subject of How Not to Overspend on Curricula if you still have some purchasing to do. Then click right back here to get your scheduling plans in place. Continue reading Homeschool Scheduling the Easy Way

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A little organization now means less chaos later.

Every August, we homeschool moms start feeling a little rise of panic in our chests as we consider all that we must accomplish before the beginning of school. We have books to buy, activities to schedule, lesson plans to create, rooms and closets to organize. It’s time for a little organization.

bookshelf organization

It’s tempting to skip this step and get right to the good stuff – buying new Ticonderoga pencils topped with perfectly formed rosy red erasers, fresh shiny notebooks in every color of the rainbow, cellophane wrapped packages of 3×5 cards, sticky notes, highlighters, rulers, and markers. It’s enough to bring a smile to every homeschool mom and child. A fresh new year with no mistakes in it… yet!

BUT before you go shopping, let’s get our house and mind in order. Only then will we know where we are going and what we need to get there. Continue reading August = Organization for Homeschool Moms

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burnout

Have you ever experienced bone-weary burnout?

Burnout has a way of creeping up on us. It begins with a quiet sensation of listlessness, followed by annoyance, accompanied by an occasional outburst of unexpected anger that you didn’t see coming.

burnout

Great idea, huh? Well, maybe not!

Some homeschool moms may carry on for years before experiencing burnout, while others may experience it yearly, generally in the spring. Because, goodness, by then we are just plum worn out from teaching school all year long.

If you, like me, are feeling a sense of despondency, fatigue, or angst, it is time to head off burnout at the pass. This is the time of year that we can intentionally set up our children, routine, and schedule for success as we finish the year strong. Continue reading Help, I Feel Burnout Coming!

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The right priorities

And why am I always putting out fires?

Priorities… Everybody has them but everyone’s priorities are personal. While I cannot tell you what your priorities are, I can help you find them. And I can help you work on them more intentionally.

If I were to have you list out your top 5 priorities and then your top 5 time-consuming activities, they probably wouldn’t match up very well. Because the truth is that while we usually know what our priorities are, we struggle to find time for them.

Why? Because we are putting out fires, that’s why!

Let me demonstrate this to you using Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Priority Matrix. This is not new to you, but how we are going to approach it probably is. Continue reading How can I tell if my Priorities are Right?

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surprising discoveries

My surprising discoveries from 2016…

The end of the year is a time of reflection. Did I reach my goals? Did I stretch myself? Did my relationships grow? As I have been reflecting on 2016, I realized that I learned 5 surprising things about myself, my business, and the world around me.

Here are my surprising discoveries:

1. We are capable of so much more than we think we are.

We shortchange ourselves all the time. So often, we hold limiting beliefs about ourselves that simply are not true. Here are just a few of my limiting beliefs that I’ve held over the years: Continue reading 5 Surprising Things I Learned in 2016

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scheduling to set sail in 2017

Scheduling is essential for success!

Let’s face it… scheduling is important. You can either let life happen to you, or you can plan, schedule, and manage your life. In other words, it is within your power to create the life you want. It may take time and it may take diligence, but you are in the captain’s seat, at the helm of your own ship.

scheduling is like steering

 

Let’s take vacations for example… If you want to take that dream vacation, you need to put it on the calendar, even if it is 5 years out from now. Then it’s time to plan for it and save for it. Otherwise, that dream vacation is simply not going to happen.

Continue reading 5 Scheduling Essentials for Success in 2017

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10 day list building challenge

Because email list building still reigns supreme!

In 10 days, the 10-Day List Building Challenge* kicks off and it is looking like it is going to be a great event! You may be wondering who this challenge is for. Let me tell you.

10-Day List Building Challenge

The 10-Day List Building Challenge* is for you if…

  • You are a business owner
  • You are thinking about starting a business
  • You are a writer and/or published author
  • You are a public speaker
  • You are a social media celebrity
  • You are hoping to become a social media celebrity
  • You run a nonprofit organization

Let’s put it this way, if you are the leader of any growing organization or business, you should be growing your tribe. Many people are saying that email is dead, but I beg to differ and here’s why: Continue reading 5 Reasons to Grow Your Email List

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your blog or other entrepreneur platform

Playing Facebook’s Ever-Changing Game

Last week, I started a new group on Facebook for all of us homeschooling mompreneurs. This group is meant to be a place where we can support and encourage one another. It’s a place to get advice, share our struggles and our triumphs, and help out a fellow mompreneur when possible.

The group has started out with a bang with nearly 200 members already, sharing their struggles and offering encouragement to others. I’m excited to see this group come together.

Today at 12 Noon PST, I will be doing a Facebook Live session within the group. It’s a great way to connect with people. There will be no marketing involved in this session whatsoever. I’ll just be using Facebook’s new LIVE feature as a way to introduce myself and encourage my fellow moms who are juggling home businesses with homeschooling. Super fun!

Going Live on Facebook

But, I wanted to take a moment to share with you how exciting Facebook Live can be for your business from a marketing standpoint. Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm favors posts from friends and family in the newsfeed. Contrary to how many business owners feel, I am glad for this. It’s appropriate. But that doesn’t mean that Facebook is dead for business. Oh no, quite the contrary!

Facebook is also giving preferential treatment to video and even more specifically, LIVE video. So, what does that mean for us, as smart-working business owners? It means that we should learn to get comfortable with Facebook Live and then incorporate it into our Facebook Pages.

Not only will your video shoot to the top of the newsfeed when you are live, but it will remain there for quite a while even after you have logged off. In face, even if no one shows up for your live session, your recorded Facebook Live post will get lots of traction in the newsfeed and you should see it get many views, likes, and comments.

So, be sure to check back later and respond to the comments that people leave for you AFTER your live video is over.

If you see this post in time to join me LIVE, I hope that you will. If not, consider live video on your business page sometime in the near future. I think you will be glad that you did!

Here is the link to the Homeschool Mompreneurs Facebook group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/homeschoolmompreneurs/

See you there!

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Why should we study history? To inspire!

The age-old question that has some fairly standard answers, such as…

  1. So that we don’t repeat it.
  2. To understand the present and shape the future.
  3. Because it is our collective memory.

But I say that we should study history so that we may be inspired to greatness and leadership, willing to serve as vessels for positive change in a beautiful, if somewhat chaotic, world.

While studying history can certainly dishearten us, it can also inspire us. In children, history tends to inspire. It becomes the inspiration for their play as they imagine themselves as the heroes in a desperate and critical moment in time. Continue reading Studying History Will Inspire THIS…

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