Relaxing in Your Homeschooling


I have been homeschooling my children for 11 years now!  Wow, I can’t even believe that!  I actually have a 10th grader and I’m still plugging along.   Homeschooling has brought me so much joy over the years.  It will truly be one of those things when I look back over the years of my life, where I know I will have no regrets that I did it.  The time I was able to have at home with my children has been priceless to me and I will forever be grateful for the memories it has created!

If I had to give advice to younger moms who are thinking about homeschooling or the ones in the middle of it with small children I would say. . . RELAX!    It really doesn’t have to be as near as stressful as we make it.  Your children are learning so much just doing life with you. When you see them older you are going to be amazed at the knowledge they have that didn’t even come from the curriculum that you put so much time into!

I have three children.  I would say a gifted one, special needs (dyslexia), and a creative one, and every one of them just blow me away.  I really thought my second child would never read and never count but I now have an almost 6 ft tall boy who reads on level!  It will happen!  Maybe not in the time slots that traditional school gives, but it will happen.

Isn’t that one of the reasons you chose to homeschool anyway?  So you wouldn’t feel you had to keep up with the standard system?

My fear for younger homeschool moms is that they will spend so many years worrying and stressing that they will forget to enjoy the moments. The moments you first hear a child read to you, the moment your child decides to devour a book in one sitting because they can’t get enough reading, the moment they spell every word right on their spelling list or when they write their first letters.  Don’t let those moments pass without savoring every one!

If you are struggling right now find some ways to make learning simple for a little while:  Here are some ideas:

*Writing letters- this is a great way to help children with their handwriting skills, I have them write to friends and family. You can also have them write poems or stories to grandparents and relatives; I even have my kids illustrate them.

*Read, Read, and Read some more- Reading books to your children is NOT just for your younger ones.  You create wonderful memories when you read great classics to your older children. It creates great conversations and bonding time, some of our fondest memories are reading great books together.

* Field trips- There are so many places to visit locally such as the zoo, aquarium, museums and much more.  We like to take a day trip every six weeks or so where we travel a couple of hours away to see a historic place or museum that is not in our area.  These places are so educational and it gives your kids a love of learning when they get to go somewhere fun.

Educational websites & Apps- This is a great way to bring learning into the house with the new electronic age.  They have apps for everything from multiplication tables to phonics. Some special needs children learn best this way!

Last but not least:

Kids need time to play- there is so much that can be done by just getting dirty in the sandbox, swimming in the pool, using their imagination in their play forts and being with family and friends. In our culture, every hour is structured for kids and studies show that it hasn’t made a big impact on learning, and maybe has even hurt the learning process. Kids need time to be kids; it opens their minds and gives them a love for learning.

Remember, you want to raise children who love God and will have strong integrity more than a high grade point average.  Many times we SAY that, but our actions prove differently.  Great questions to always go back to are: “Why did I start homeschooling?  Why was I so excited about it in the beginning?”  Don’t lose sight of your calling or your reasons, because if you do, you will blink and the years will be gone.  Instead enjoy every moment!!


Angela, Together with Family

Dinnertime Discussion: A Timeline Review {Plus a Timeline Giveaway}

Homeschool in the Woods Logo

As a former high school English teacher and now a homeschooling mom, I love all things school.


Nothing makes me happier than a basket of fresh office supplies, the cracking open of a blank  notebook, the smell of a newly-opened box of crayons, the opening of a package of untainted curriculum.

That’s right, I was the kid, the teacher and now the mom who loooooves the back-to-school time of year, so you can imagine my excitement when I received the assignment to review timeline materials published by a company called Home School in the Woods.

First, I was impressed with the selection of themes offered regarding timeline topics:

Creation to Christ
Resurrection to Revolution
Napoleon to Now
America’s History

For this review, I chose to work through the Creation to Christ timeline with my 12-year-old daughter, and I used the “Timeline Trio” which means I received CDs with all of the timeline figures (which included all four of the themes listed above) ready to print from my computer; the “Suggested Placement Guide” that provides instruction on possible timeline figure placement; and the “Record of Time” timeline binder-type notebook that neatly houses all of the timeline figures.

In order to make this an authentic review, I enlisted the help of my daughter, a typical middle-school student, meaning that — in all honestly — she was less than enthusiastic about doing something even remotely close to schoolwork in the summer. :)

That said, however, we actually had a good time together; she even admitted to enjoying it! (*gasp*)

Girl Working on Timeline

Best of all, the first few timeline figures we placed sparked excellent dinnertime discussion. For example, our whole family talked at length about the differences between “young-earth” and “old-earth” creationism as well as the merits of Darwin’s theory of evolution — and why they call it a theory.

Ultimately, isn’t that what we want?  For our children to be actively engaged and thoughtful about what they’re learning?  For them to question for understanding?  For them to understand the ramifications of history’s happenings on their faith lives today?

I’m genuinely excited to complete this timeline with my daughter, and I’d venture to say that she is excited to finish it, too.  (However, she’d rather work on it during the school year as opposed to during summer break – haha!)

Which leads me to a side note: these timelines are chock full of information!  They are designed as ongoing projects to be pieced together a little at a time over many weeks or even months.

If any of this intrigues you at all, Home School in the Woods is giving away TWO Creation to Christ pre-printed timeline figures! To enter, just follow the instructions below.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy learning!


Disclosure: This post is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. See full disclosure here.

Why I’m Glad I Was Homeschooled

stories made it possible

The smell of ancient paper still makes me want to sob, the way spines line up like soldiers on the wooden shelves of small-town libraries. I know they would defend me if they could, those armies of words.

I grew up in second-hand clothes and mushroom-cuts and plastic glasses. I grew up homeschooled until the age of 9, with my nose in books, stories of Pippi Longstocking and Laura Ingalls Wilder and Anne of Green Gables. Books whose characters were as real to me as every-day, as the few friends I made the houses between, for we moved fast and far, my father a pastor and so, I clung to these characters and they, to me. I could count on them to be there, when nothing else was. We became a family of sorts.

And Mum, she taught me the Queen’s language. A language lost to this texting generation. She taught me when to use “which” and when to use “that”; she saluted the apostrophe and shuddered when it was put in the wrong place. She set every word reverently in its place, in a sentence, and taught me the feel of a pen between my fingers.

I learned the art of penmanship, but not only that—I learned what it means to know a language inside and out, backwards and front, and to hold it in awe.

Throughout high school Mum pulled me out of the English classes and taught me herself because she knew what I did not: that with the age of computers we’d lose the craft of a noble speech. We’d add slang and acronyms would become actual words and kids would trade the romance of a hand-written letter for the convenience of a text message.

my goal since those days

Not only did Anne and Pippi and Laura befriend me; they paved the way smooth for an awkward girl. They made it possible for me to believe on days when my heart seemed to stop working. On days when I yelled at my parents and slammed doors and slipped dark into anorexia, on those kinds of days, only the story could reach me. Only the story could save me.

It pulls you deep, this literature, deeper than any technology could. It introduces culture, countries, religion and history and it whets the soul for learning. The story creates sympathy for a world full of characters, and provides boundaries for good and evil. It sheds light on people’s unspoken suffering and creates a longing for justice, for truth.

I will never understand the intrigue of a book-less library, of the e-book, of the Kindle, for the very charm of the silence and the old stuffed chairs lies in a library’s walls of literature. In the dog-eared page, the margin-scribbled-notes, the smell of dusty intrigue, the quiet hush of pages turning.

And my goal since those days has been to write a story that draws people in so they forget where they are, so they too befriend the people they are reading about, so they too, don’t have to be lonely, anymore.




Friends? I’ve written a story (a memoir) and it’s releasing next month.

It’s called Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look (—and all proceeds are going towards a non-profit which TBM contributor Joy Forney and I have founded in the slums of Uganda: The Lulu Tree ~ “Preventing tomorrow’s orphans by equipping today’s mothers.”

Atlas Girl_700x175_2

Pre-order your copy of Atlas Girl HERE and receive a FREE e-book on How to Write Inspirational Memoir!




This post is a part of our “Who We Are” Series. For all posts visit,

“Who We Are: The Stories Behind TBM Writers”

Who We Are at The Better Mom

Books and Bonuses {eeek!!}

Okay friends I have been sharing for the past few days about an incredible bundle sale going on right now through this Monday April 28th. Many of you have grabbed the deal and I am thrilled for you because this is seriously the best eBook bundle sale out there.

For those of you that are still deciding if you want to purchase the bundle here are several of my favorite books/resources from the sale to help give you a more in depth look:

Ahem…. I NEED this first book big time!! I definitely have a laundry monster living in my house! :)

taming-the-laundry-monster-200x300Taming the Laundry Monster by Angi Schneider

If you are regularly overwhelmed and frustrated with laundry, then let me assure you there’s hope. Whatever the reason for your frustration, this book will help you think through your schedule and systems and develop a plan that is unique for your unique family. $3.99 value


discipleship-and-discipline-200x300Discipleship & Discipline: Practical Parenting Help for the Desperate Mom eCourse by Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae

Here are some of the topics covered: How to Raise a “Wild One”, How to Instill Excellence in Your Child, How to Find a Mentor, How to Build a Winning Relationship With Your Child, How to Motivate Your Children to Listen to Your Instruction and Obey Your Training, How to Deal With Your Lies So You Can Parent in Freedom Instead of Fear, and more. $17.99 value

warrior-weekend-200x300The Warrior Weekend: Helping Dads Raise Boys to Be Godly Men by Patrick Schwenk

Get away, get outdoors, and get into God’s Word! The Warrior Weekend is a resource to help dads raise boys to be Godly men. Written as a devotional, it is full of biblical wisdom specific to boys, applicable stories of brave men, and adventurous activity ideas or a weekend away. $4.99 value

equipped-200x300Equipped: Because You’ve Been Made to Live On Purpose by Elisa Pulliam

Equipped: Because You’ve Been Made to Live On Purpose is a step-by-step workbook created to help you embrace your God-given purposes, priorities, and potential. It is steeped in life coaching principles and relevant Biblical truth so that you can discover how God has equipped you with all you need for doing his will (Hebrews 13:20-21 NLT). $6.99 value

76-free-things-to-do-200x30076 Free Things to Do with Kids: A Real Mom’s Guide by Shannon Brown

Each of the activities in this book includes a complete description, along with a list of any necessary supplies (usually gathered from around the house), links to additional free resources, and a free printable with coupons for each of the 76 activities that your kids can draw out of a jar anytime you need a fun and frugal activity idea! $5.97 value


Meal Planning Made Easy by Kelly Smith 

In Meal Planning Made Easy, you’ll learn an easy, step-by-step meal planning system that will help you better nourish your family with the awesome added benefits of saving time, money, and stress! And you’ll also discover Kelly’s proven “Cook Once, Eat Twice or More” strategies and gain access to an entire month of free whole food meal plans and additional meal planning resources. $6.99 value

a-heart-prepared-200x300A Heart Prepared: A Simple & Effective Scripture Memory System by Jami Balmet

This guide covers everything you need to start memorizing Scripture today (and some resources for digging in deeper), including: how to cultivate a love for God’s Word, the sufficiency of Scripture, how the Bible helps us to change, tips for memorizing Scripture, dozens of practical Bible verses to memorize (grouped by section), beautiful printable Scripture memorization cards, and more! $9.95 value

the-ultimate-marriage-vow-200x300The Ultimate Marriage Vow: 21 Days of a Life-Long Commitment by Darlene Schacht

The Ultimate Marriage Vow is a 21-day journey through love. It encourages us to cherish our vows, love our husbands, fulfill our role as a help meet, and seek God’s plan for our marriage. Each day includes a vow that is designed to strengthen one area of your relationship. $2.99 value

steady-days-200x300Steady Days: A Journey Toward Intentional, Professional Motherhood by Jamie C. Martin

You can apply the same techniques of efficiency, intention, and purpose that you’ve used in other careers to your most important position in life – motherhood. Steady Days takes you through the process of becoming an intentional, professional mother. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by a lack of direction in your parenting, this book can help. $9.55 value

real-food-on-a-real-budget-200x300Real Food on a Real Budget: How to Eat Healthy for Less by Stephanie Langford

Real Food on a Real Budget is written as a primer for families who want to learn how to save an average of 20-30% on their food budget ($100-$200 per month for most families), while at the same time serving better quality and more nutritionally dense foods. $18.97 value

See what I mean?!? This bundle is amazing! The quality of the content is superb! These are only 10 of the eBooks in the bundle and they retail for over $88.00!! If you purchase the bundle you will get 68 more eBooks and resources plus over $200 in bonus offers for only $29.97!

Buy the PDF BundleBuy the Kindle Bundle

And you guys…. the bonuses!! Here are my favorite bonus offers that I claimed:


HopeInk $15 store credit to be used towards anything + a FREE 8×10 Art Print with order ->$39.00 value

This is one of the prints I picked out and I love it! 1Cor 13 is such an important verse to have at the forefront of our minds and I can’t wait to hang this in our home.



RB-Net-Ad-250x250I got to pick out 3 fun colors of eyeshadow for FREE!!>$16.47 value All Redeeming Beauty’s colors are hand-ground with a mortar and pestle, and NOT ground in huge batches with a coffee grinder. All mineral makeup is completely handcrafted with love from Emily’s original recipes.


Dizolve-for-Ultimate-Healthy-BundleOkay remember the laundry monster?? Well this is going to help take care of that!! ha! —> Free 64-load pack of Dizolve Laundry Strips for you PLUS a Free 64-load pack of Dizolve Laundry Strips for food banks —>$25.98 value



The bundle sale is only available through Monday April 28th at 11:59 pm EST so be sure to grab yours asap!

Buy the PDF BundleBuy the Kindle Bundle

In this bundle, you will find 80+ eResources aimed to grow you in all aspects of homemaking! I’m confident you won’t find a more comprehensive set of homemaking resources anywhere — and certainly not at this price. Bought separately, they’d cost a total of $698 (not including $200+ in bonuses!). But you can have all of them for just $29.97!

Or, for just an extra $10, you not only get the full set of PDF files, but also a bonus set of Kindle editions, perfectly formatted for easy Kindle reading. This has been a popular request over the years and I’m excited to say it’s now available!

To read all of the details of the bundle, along with the complete list of books and bonuses click–> here.

If you are ready to purchase your bundle just click below on the option that you prefer.

Buy the PDF BundleBuy the Kindle Bundle

Once you have grabbed a bundle tell me one thing that you are most looking forward to learning from your bundle. I would love to hear from you!


Ruth Schwenk

Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

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