It’s fall and the weather is crisp and glorious and perfect for a field trip to the Pumpkin Patch. Why not use this opportunity to teach your teens how to plan an event?
Event planning is a great way to build your teens’ executive functioning skills as it requires creativity, communication, critical thinking, and collaboration. These executive functioning skills are tools that will benefit themselves and others as they learn and grow.
While some kids will have natural abilities with these life skills, others will need to be shown a basic structure and be reminded more than once of how to put it into practice.
Event Planning is Easy When Using This Basic Structure
Name of Event:
Follow Up Activities
Supporting books, films & YouTube Videos
Adding Goals Keeps Field Trips Focused
I also like to add in Goals for field trips. Goals can be as simple as, “have fun” and “fellowship” or more academic such as “to grow in our understanding of world politics”. Goals help keep us focused and can help us understand how much of an investment we want to make in terms of both time and money.
Extend the Learning With Follow-up Activities
Additionally, follow-up activities are a great way to extend the learning and fun! Again, simplicity can rule- – carve the pumpkin and roast the seeds; or simple events can turn into larger events- invite friends over for a fall potluck and bonfire!
Supporting books, films, and YouTube videos can preface the event, or be add-ons after the initial event, to extend learning opportunities.
Example of a Simple Plan Using the Basic Structure
Name of Event: Visit to the local Pumpkin Patch
Who Family and friends from co-op
What Trip to the local Pumpkin Patch
When October 2021
Where You Pick Pumpkin Patch; 45 min from home. Need water bottles, simple snacks, and shoes.
How Much $5 car, $10 for corn maze, $4 pumpkin, $4 Caramel apples, and $5 Gallons of cider- $45-50, not including gas.
Examples of Follow-up Activities:
Decorate your pumpkins: carve, paint, or permanent marker, depending on age.
Create a pumpkin vase for fall flowers
Roast pumpkin seeds (recipe below)
Roast pumpkin and make homemade pumpkin soup or pumpkin bread
Scoop seeds from pumpkin and clean well. Boil the seeds for 10 minutes; then toast them in the oven at 350 for approximately 20 min (watch so that they don’t burn).
For savory seeds, toss with a few teaspoons of garlic and rosemary, curry powder, or cilantro lime seasoning.
For a sweet and salty snack, dust with a pumpkin spice blend or cinnamon and sugar!
Pumpkin Spice Latte for Momma
Prep Time: 5 minutes, serving Size: 2
2 cups milk
1 cup very strong coffee (4 tablespoons coffee grounds to 1 cup of hot water)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2-4 teaspoons of sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon (plus extra for dusting)
2 heaping spoonfuls of pumpkin
Pour all of the ingredients into a pot and heat over medium-high heat until the coffee is steaming hot. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream & cinnamon. Enjoy!
Event Planning Helps Your Teen & You!
Helping your teen grow their event planning muscles will help them handle projects that require multiple steps and follow through on the tasks assigned to them. It also develops soft skills that are so necessary for them to navigate in today’s world.
And while they are learning, they are helping you. It is important to enrich your family with fun activities that build memories but it can be time-consuming. It may take a couple of times overseeing what your teen is doing, but before you know it, you will be able to provide them with the resources and support they need and let them take some planning off your plate!
You’ve told yourself that you are ready to get started.
I have a question for you, Mom. What about YOU?
Easy Homeschool Mom Success Hacks You Can Actually Do
We get so wrapped up in preparing for our kids to have a successful school year, that we don’t stop and make a plan for ourselves. That’s what I want to do in this article today. I want to talk about some sanity savers that will help YOU prepare YOURSELF for back to school!
Homeschool Mom Success Hack #1: The 4 20s
When attending a workshop held by Oginga Carr, a business coach in my network, I heard about the 4 20s. These are four things that you do every morning before picking up your phone or doing anything for anyone else. Here they are:
20 ounces of water—Most water bottles are 16.9 ounces, but you can still find some 20-ounce bottled water, guestimate with your own water bottle, or find a 20-ounce water bottle.
20 ounces of reading from a physical book—GASP! Who does THAT anymore? The truth is that we are less likely to be distracted when we read from a physical book because it has no notifications popping up!
20 ounces of body activation—Yes, exercise is what I mean. This is one that I have to get better with myself. Sigh!
20 minutes of planning—What do you want to get done today? What is it going to take to get it done? Do you have it? If not, what can you use instead? Get things together before your family converges on you!
Homeschool Mom Success Hack #2: Chore and Responsibility Chart
Everybody in the house needs to help—and you need to LET THEM HELP! Let go of the perfectionist mentality and give your children chores. Take advantage of teachable moments because it is all stuff they need to know by the time they leave home anyway!
Consider using a loop schedule to keep down arguments about turns. Here’s what a loop schedule looks like:
Homeschool Mom Success Hack #3: Define Your Working Hours
If you work at home or run a business out of your home, establish definite working hours and get your family on board. Let them know that if no one is bleeding, on fire, or has severed a limb, then you are not to be disturbed. Have things prepared for them to do during that time and teach time how to help each other! Call in reinforcements if you need to, especially if you have little ones.
Homeschool Mom Success Hack #4: Meal Planning and Prep
Having a meal plan can make dinner time simple and shut-down time less chaotic. Start with family favorites and then develop a rotation based on what you know your family will eat without question! For freezer meals, you can use sectioned containers from Amazon. The ones we have are dishwasher, freezer, microwave, and oven safe!
Homeschool Mom Success Hack #5: Commit to Mom Days
Contrary to popular opinion, you need to have a day and time to yourself to do the things that you enjoy. Doing so does not mean that you don’t love your family. The best thing you can give your family is a complete and whole YOU! So, even if it’s just going for a quick walk, a movie, and a snack in your room, or reading a book while they are doing their work. Make a way to do something for YOU!
Back to school isn’t just about them. You need to do things for yourself, too!
Original article by: Tammie Polk is a married homeschooling mother of three girls who has penned and published over 20 books on life, faith, family business, and fiction — all while working as a substitute teacher and virtual assistant, running two businesses, traveling to speak at various events, hosting an international radio show, and hosting her own events! When she’s not running the world, she enjoys gaming, crossword puzzles, and making board games.
Books that Every Homeschooler Should Read is an ongoing list because I am often what my favorite books on homeschooling are. Hard to pick, but my top favs are probably Jesse and Susan Wise Bauer’s The Well Trained Mind, Marva Collins, The Marva Collins Way, Rafe Esquith’s Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire but there are so many more.
Sonlight Curriculum– Literature and Bible-based teaching are a powerful combination.
Above Rubies– Establish a legacy. Gentle Spirit– What do you have in your hand? Understand, establish and work with the seasons of life.
Sally Clarkson- Sympathize with the heart of your child.
Montessori– Kids are not mini-adults. Ages and stages, uninterrupted blocks of time to focus, discovery model Mary Pride– The hand that rocks the cradle, rocks the world. Hugh Ross– Science and Theology are beautiful bed-fellows. Intellect and faith go hand in hand. Usborne books– The power of graphics; thinking skills made fun. Marilyn Howshall– Lifestyle of learning. Get one. Classical Conversations– Train the brain to retain; grammar, dialectic and rhetoric stages. Logos Academy/ Doug Wilson– The power of doctrine; living according to a clarion call; classical ed. TeenPact– Age doesn’t matter in your ability to do great things for God. There is something unique about where you live right now. What/how does God want you to know/do about it? Greg Harris– Establish your kids vocationally; do hard things; live out-loud. Diana Waring– Joy in the journey, laugh out loud. Greenleaf Press Press– 4 year history cycle, academic excellence. Jim Weiss- The power of story-telling Andrew Pudewa– Power of language; find the expert; give the kids as much help as they need; distill the difficult into simple. Master teachers and excellent curriculum rock. Robinson Curriculum– Different seasons demand different methodologies; stick with the vision and make the curriculum work for you. The basics ware gonna get you through the night, baby. Timberdoodle– Toys with a purpose; imaginative, active play; the discovery of the world through art, building, creation. Cindy Rushon– Notebooking; journaling with an academic purpose. Apologia– Textbook as lecture.
Who is on your list? Who did I miss?
*this post contains affiliate links and I may earn a small commission if you purchase through my links.
When it comes to educating our own kids, many of us, especially those who never imagined we’d be homeschooling, recognize that it’s a task that God has called us to. And He’s been faithful to equip us along the way. Amen?
We’ve understood our own role in being faithful to that calling. But have we ever stopped to consider that God has a calling for each and every one of us? Not just preachers, teachers, or pastors.
God is calling our kids.
For Such a Time As This
The story of Queen Esther in the Bible shows us just how God is working providentially through men and women who are called and prepared to stand in hard times.
Do you think Esther mulled over her calling? Did she study the nature of a calling on her life? I don’t know that we can know that, but we can know is that she was prepared.
Preparing Our Kids for God’s Calling
From the time Esther was little, she likely heard the stories of her people. She had seen God’s faithfulness demonstrated. Beyond her basic education, she’d obviously been educated in the art of persuasion!
Trusting in God’s Ability
Leaning on TRUTH, she used her best soft skills and life skills to make a stand and save her people.
Did all of the preparation that brought her to that place cause her to rest on her own ability? No, but she did have God Confidence.
And that’s exactly what we want for our own kids, isn’t it?
Independently Dependent On God
Back to homeschooling, I see so many parents diligently preparing their children for a future of independence. This independence comes with great responsibility, and we ultimately want to see them independently dependent on the Lord, right?
This is the only thing that will cause them to stand against a world in chaos.
Why the 3 R’s Aren’t Enough
We believe that Education is the Transmission of Culture. Every child can learn the basics of a good education. Many will excel at the difficult subjects. But that’s not a complete education. They need a foundation of a strong culture to find their true north.
But, what I care about most deeply, is using those fundamentals in a way that serves a bigger purpose — the transmission of culture.
A Bold Statement & A Challenge to You
I want our kids to excel at academics. I want them to be prepared for the Future of Work, be equipped with soft skills, and win in the gig economy.
But, what I ultimately want (and I have a feeling this is important to you, too) is to develop our kids to find their true north (the TRUE NORTH – Jesus Christ) and bring others with them.
All the teaching and learning we do is to that end. That we would know Christ and make Him known.
Is God calling your kids? I challenge you to ponder that question.
Then ask yourself if you’re moving in the direction you want to with their education.
Two Have a Greater Return for Their Labor
True North Homeschool Academy teachers are a group of passionate, qualified, creative educators providing carefully curated Core Courses and Clubs delivered by utilizing cutting-edge technology, gamification, and solid academic pedagogy.
We understand the unique challenges and opportunities of homeschooling.
If we share the same goals, and I think we just might, won’t you take a moment and check out our catalog?
Let’s face it, we homeschoolers love figuring things out. As a group, we DIY homeschooling. It’s in our DNA. While everything is “figuroutable” — it’s not always the easiest path to follow, is it?
A History of Homeschooling
When homeschooling got its start, materials were limited, groups were non-existent, and laws were strict. In fact, it was illegal in many states. The first homeschoolers were true pioneers. They invented DIY homeschooling because they had to! We truly stand on the shoulders of those who’ve gone before us.
Homeschooling Has Changed
Homeschooling has seen a lot of changes, and friends, that’s a good thing. The craziness of 2020 has accelerated some of the changes, and we now have more homeschooling families than ever before. So, why are we still DIY homeschooling? What can we do differently and why should we?
Deuteronomy 6:7 You shall teach [the words of God] diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
The Bible also tells us we don’t have to do it alone. Two are better than one, because they have good return for their labor. Iron sharpens iron. We’re to use our gifts to minister to others. When we know the truth, we’re to be helpers to the truth. We’re to provoke one another to good works. We’re one body, with members.
This sums up my point — we need one another. We can DIY homeschooling, but we don’t have to.
The World Has Changed (Sort Of)
The world has changed. We’re more connected than at any time in history. What hasn’t really changed is human nature. Let’s be honest, it’s the realization of the continuity of human nature that’s part of why we homeschool in the first place. As Christians, we feel a responsibility to our children to provide for them and protect them from the worst in human nature.
We also want them to see the best in people and be prepared to live and work in the world God has given us. It is our Father’s world, after all. He wants us to tend to it and the people he puts us in touch with.
Homeschooling prepares our kids for that.
With all of this connectedness, we need to be diligent to our responsibility to our children. And again, we don’t have to do that alone. We don’t need to DIY homeschooling.
Moving Beyond DIY Homeschooling
True North Homeschool Academy was born out of a passion to equip and nurture parents as they intentionally educate their children.
We’ve been offering live online classes for over a decade, and have collectively been involved in alternative education in the form of private schools, classical academies, yeshivas, co-ops, class days, classical charters, online academies, and more.
We believe that Education is the Transmission of Culture. We are coming from a decidedly Judeo-Christian point of view. We are people of the Book.
True North Homeschool Academy teachers are a group of passionate, qualified, creative educators providing carefully curated Core Courses and Clubs, delivered by utilizing cutting-edge technology, gamification, and solid academic pedagogy. We understand the unique challenges and opportunities of homeschooling.
Making Your Homeschool Your Own
I know many will choose the DIY homeschooling route. And I’m here to support all homeschoolers. But, if you’re looking for support, accountability, and connection, I encourage you to consider our live, online, interactive classes.
A partner in homeschooling doesn’t mean you have to have a cookie-cutter homeschooling experience. And you don’t have to DIY homeschooling. Pick and choose what works best for YOUR family. Make your homeschool your own.