Or are you relatively new to the homeschooling world?
However you answer those questions, this blog post is for you. And let it be known that even if you have only been homeschooling for a week, that still counts as “a while” in the homeschool community!
You may have noticed that there is a TON of reading material aimed at encouraging new homeschoolers, but those resources sort of seem to dwindle away for those who have been at it for a decade or so. I think that is because those of us who are “veterans” work hard to encourage the new homeschooling families… But the truth is, we long-term, older homeschooling mothers need a hefty dose of encouragement on a regular basis as well!
That’s just one reason The Old Schoolhouse Magazine’s Homeschooling with Heart blog is so wonderful! It gives homeschoolers of all ages and stages the encouragement so desperately needed!
One of my life goals is to encourage homeschoolers. This lifestyle means so much to me that I continue to stay plugged-in and involved with the homeschooling community, even though all five of my children have graduated from our family’s homeschool, and have either graduated from college or are currently attending college. I know how vitally important regular (as in daily, when possible!) encouragement is, because I know how vitally I needed to be encouraged when my children were still at home.
One of the sources of encouragement for me involves the study of the lives of heroes of the faith, who have gone before me. The writers such as Charles Haddon Spurgeon, A.W. Tozer and A.B. Simpson have served to push and to pull and to move me along, spurring me on to love and good deeds as I homeschooled for a quarter of a century.
And modern-day women of faith bless me in spades as I refer to their writing on a regular basis. Anne Graham Lotz, Jennifer Kennedy Dean, Susie Larson and Joni Eareckson Tada are just a few of the authors I turn to on a regular basis as a source of encouragement in my daily life, as a follower of Jesus.
Let me note that these are in addition to my daily Bible reading, of course. They never replace my time in the Word of God–rather, they encourage me to be in my Bible even more often!
As we go through the month of May and move into the homeschooling rhythms of summer time, let me encourage you to create a summer reading list, Mom. One that encourages you as a Christian woman, and draws you closer to Jesus, as well as strengthens you for your task as a homeschooler.
Ready or not, homeschooling mother, it… is… APRIL…
For many of us who are homeschooling, April is truly our make or break month.
You can, with one quick glance at your homeschool bookcase, determine exactly which subjects are on the verge of completion for the year…and which ones are on the verge of imploding. Whatever curriculum you are mostly done with will most likely be completed by the year’s end. It is basically a done deal, and all your hard work these last months is about to pay off. The celebratory shout as you close the cover one last time on that book you have been opening nearly every day, since last August… Oh, that’s a feeling only homeschoolers truly get to revel in!
(Let me pause here and briefly share a tidbit of information to encourage you, my dear fellow homeschooler: Interestingly enough, while public schools typically consider a textbook or a course “complete” once they have worked through 80% of the material, most homeschooling families see things differently. We usually think of “complete” per it’s dictionary definition of finished – fulfilled – effectuated – done – concluded – 100%.)
This is important to note since we are often a bit too hard on ourselves and don’t always recognize our successes as such.
Let me put it to you this way: If someone told you they completed a 1,000-piece puzzle using only 800 pieces, would it seem right to you? What if I were to pay off 80% of my car loan, then expect to receive the title in my name without a lien against it…would that ever happen?
I’m sure you see my point! Be encouraged, homeschooling mama, that if you are completing (as in finishing) your curriculum with your children, then you are doing are good job as a home-educating family! You have absolutely no reason to question your ability to homeschool or to compare yourself to the public educational system.
However, the April “trap” we can easily fall into has more to do with the books and courses we are struggling to work our way through than the subjects we know will be completed soon. It’s far too easy to get a whiff of that glorious fresh, spring air after a long doldrums of winter, and want to race toward summer. But wait – not so fast! Don’t give up quite yet!
With a bit of forethought and focus, we can make it through April in a way that we won’t find ourselves looking back with regrets when fall comes.
You may not finish all the textbooks and classes you started this year, but you can still finish well and know you ran this leg of your homeschooling for God’s glory. Here are some tips as to how to do that during the month of April:
Count how many days you have left for this school year.
Plan to finish as many subjects at possible in that time frame (divide the pages in each book that you truly want to finish by the number of school days left and use that as you plan the rest of the academic year).
Let go of (as in be done with for the year!) any subject that you and/or your child cannot stand to work on any longer. (If it is a vital subject, try to find a substitute for these last few weeks.)
Trust the Lord! These are the days to grow in your faith and trust Him as you see Him work in your homeschool.
The adage of Proverbs 3:5-6 holds true for homeschoolers, and in the ESV it reads, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
As you seek His path for the end of your homeschool year, you will surely discover it. Be blessed, my fellow homeschooling mother, and know you can have a successful month of homeschooling!
Lord bless you today!! ~~ Jan L. Burt
Jan L. Burt is a 25-year homeschooling veteran, mother to five children, and has been happily married to her husband Tony for 28 years. She has a Facebook page (All Things Homeschool) where she shares encouragement and videos with her fellow homeschooling moms. Her current ministry roles include youth ministry with her husband (for the last 11 years), leading a weekly women’s Bible study, attending a women’s Christian leadership meeting of 30 women each week, and working on her Titus 2 discipleship website. She is also the owner/operator of JanLBurt.com and blogs at MomsWhoHomeschool.blogspot.com. She has written for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and was a product reviewer for TOS for several years. In addition, she is the author of The Homeschooling Mothers Bible Study (available on Amazon) and The Once-A-Year Homeschool Planner (An All-In-One, All-Student, All-Subject Planning System). Her online Bible study site aimed at encouraging Christian women of all walks of life can be found at Titus2DiscipleshipwithJanLBurt.com or on the Titus 2 Discipleship Facebook page. Her newest plans include the launch of a podcast (on her blog & website) in the immediate future.
I have to tell you, as the calendar rolled from 2018 to 2019, I could hardly believe it. How did another year pass by so quickly?
I don't ever get used to the speed at which life travels. And maybe that's a good thing. Maybe I need to be aware of the days and weeks, and feeling like time is flying by helps me to refocus, slow down, and be present in the "right now".
I have a couple of things to mention, but I also wanted to share about a GIVEAWAY that I am going to host here on my blog.
I am giving away one paperback copy of the devotional book "Whispers of Hope: 10 Weeks of Devotional Prayer" by Beth Moore.
This book sells for $14.99 at bookstores and on Amazon. And one person will be mailed a physical copy as soon as this GIVEAWAY comes to an end!
All you need to do to enter is A) post a comment on this blog post to tell me what you are most excited about OR are most dreading in 2019 or B) find me on Facebook and like my page All Things Homeschool (you'll know it's my page if you see a cute blue bird on a hot pink background!) Any new followers/likes that I get after January 7th, 2019 will automatically be entered! OR C) purchase a conference ticket (see details below) via the link and you will be entered into this GIVEAWAY! So you have 3 ways to enter and can even enter all 3 ways to increase your odds of winning. Feel free to share this post if you'd like
And the other couple of announcements that I wanted to share with you are ...
I am speaking at this year's "A New Year - Your Best Year 2019 Conference for Moms". It is an entirely online conference with dozens of speakers, a plethora of topics, and over 175 sessions. AND if you purchase a ticket, you get lifetime access to the conference sessions. The conference is hosted on Teachable and there is also a Facebook group for all conference attendees.
My 3 sessions are:
Let’s Get in the Word – All Year Long! (A Bible Reading Plan for 2019) by Jan Burt: This conference workshop is all about planning and maintaining a Bible reading plan that will last throughout the entire year. We all know it’s important to be in the Word of God on a regular basis. But many of us need a plan in order to make quality Bible reading time a reality in our busy lives! Join me during this session to discover a reading plan that is “doable” for busy moms & let’s get in the Word all year long!
Help! How Do I Live Out This Christian Life, anyway?!? (Titus 2 Discipleship) by Jan Burt: When Jan was a brand-new Christian and a busy mom of little ones, she desperately sought out Titus 2 mentors…and sadly, she found nothing in place to help her at my local church. So she turned to books and other resources to try and fill her need to be discipled according to the Biblical model given in the second chapter of Timothy. Again, she found very little available to help her become a better wife, better mother, and a better Christian. She was disheartened to find so little material of any substance regarding the most important parts of her life. If you have ever felt the same way, this conference session is for you! Jan will be sharing with younger women what she needed but could not find when she was a young woman – Biblical truth & guidance from a Christian woman who has been there and wants to bless those coming along behind her. (And if you are not a “younger” woman, join us for this session and learn some tips about how to be a Titus 2 mentor for the women in your life!)
Praying Your Way Through 2019 – Your Best Year Ever! by Jan Burt: This workshop is all about prayer and how to make 2019 the best year ever for your prayer life! We will cover Bible promises about prayer and will reference specific verses to grow our prayer lives and move us forward in faith as we seek the Lord for our best year ever. In addition to discussing prayer in depth, there will be a time of prayer during this conference session and a “follow up” pdf which can be printed out to use as you keep track of how God answers your specific prayers throughout 2019. Join us & let’s start 2019 off with a bang and make it our best year ever!
You can purchase your lifetime access ticket to the conference via THIS LINK: (but tickets are only available until the conference ends...which is in just a couple of days!)
And there are $800 worth of freebies included in the ticket price - which is just $20. When's the last time you went to a conference for Twenty Bucks?
And the last thing I wanted to mention was that I am finally ready to launch the Titus 2 Discipleship members site! After months and months of work on my website (JanLBurt.com) I finally decided to use a different platform and get the site up and running rather than mess with my tech issues with never-ending delays.
There are individual courses available at either a FREE price or very modestly priced; or every single thing on the site now as well as every single thing that will be added is available for one monthly price of $10.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that the freebie I am giving away via the online conference is "A 21-Day Prayer Journey". What a great way to kick off the New Year - with focused, dedicated prayer!
Those are all of my big announcements!
The GIVEAWAY will end on January 23rd, so don't wait too long to enter!
Lord bless you and I pray your 2019 is truly a wonderful year, filled to overflowing with things Jesus has especially planned for you! May you know how much the Lord loves and cherishes you & grow in His grace every day, all year long!
Jan L. Burt
This book sells for $14.99 at bookstores and on Amazon. And one person will be mailed a physical copy as soon as this GIVEAWAY comes to an end!
All you need to do to enter is A) post a comment on this blog post to tell me what you are most excited about OR are most dreading in 2019 or B) find me on Facebook and like my page All Things Homeschool (you'll know it's my page if you see a cute blue bird on a hot pink background!) Any new followers/likes that I get after January 7th, 2019 will automatically be entered! OR C) purchase a conference ticket (see details below) via the link and you will be entered into this GIVEAWAY! So you have 3 ways to enter and can even enter all 3 ways to increase your odds of winning. Feel free to share this post if you'd like!
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 started to pray that God would restore what I had seemingly lost. Make up the years that I had lived in a state of blindness. Guide me to be the me He wanted me to be.
He is, after all, the God Who Sees (El Roi).
So I needed to be seeking Him to find out what He saw inside of me, and what He saw that I had misplaced.
And guess what? He showed up. In lots and lots of little ways, but also in some huge ways.
What used to be in you that you can't find in you when you look within these days? A hobby you just stopped "hobbying"? A skill you no longer put into practice? Baking? Crafting beautiful hand-penned letters? Driving muscle cars? Reading classic literature and writing annotations just for the fun of it?
Can I challenge you, fellow homeschooling mom?
To go beyond the frustration you felt when asking yourself what, exactly, you are & go out into the deep waters with the Lord on this one...will you do that?
And will you respond to whatever misplaced thing(s) He shows you?
You are truly a magnificent masterpiece ~ and wise women don't misplace masterpieces!
P.S. ~ Wondering what I found what lost when I took that good but hard look within? Writing & learning...for more than just the purpose of being a good homeschooling mom. Titus 2 Discipleship is being born from this good but hard look...what will be borne from your looking within?
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 self-help...it'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 attitude without any conscious effort on our part. It doesn't have to be that way! And I don't mean to say something contrary to my stance on self-help...I really think this one idea I'm about to share can have a positive impact on a mom's attitude, and subsequently on the entire family, and it's actually not that hard.
So here's my big idea. What if we went to bed each night having made the conscious decision to wake up thankful and happy the next morning?
The ramifications of a happy mother on the family and the homeschool are incalculable. The happiness will spread and so will the thankful attitude. And a happy, thankful homeschool environment is really one of the greatest blessings a mom can receive.
So why not try it, starting today? Pray and ask the Lord to bless you with a happy demeanor and a heart full of thanks, and prepare to be amazed at how the Lord moves in your family. That's the kind of self-help I can get excited about!
And remember to check out the testimonials from homeschoolers who have used The Once-A-Year Homeschool Planner at the end of the video...and to use coupon code THANKYOU for a discount off the original purchase price - available at JanLBurt.com/home
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 out, here it is: