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In my last post, I wrote about some ways you can tell if you need to take a break from schoolwork. We work hard at our studies and try to keep a predictable school routine. Sometimes we just need to take a break, and I bet your family is pretty similar. Our routine can start to feel really exhausting between therapy, school, chores, and errands. If you have kids with challenges like mine, you may need to take a break or a half-day more often. Try to focus on making progress, not completing every single thing in your curriculum. Without further ado, here are our ten favorite ideas to use on your spontaneous day off! Choose one or a few and have some fun with your family!
 
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There was a time that I set a strict schedule for school. I am a teacher by trade, so it is in my nature to schedule everything. I scheduled start dates, end dates, days off, vacation dates, it was great! And then life happened.

What happened next for me was a sinking feeling of failure and guilt. We were BEHIND!!! How many times do I hear that phrase in the homeschool community?!? Living life in a constant state of self-imposed guilt is no way to live, and honestly, if you are feeling it, your kids are probably feeling it, too.
 
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I had the precious opportunity to babysit my almost five-year-old grandson and my 19-month grandson for a week while their parents took a restful and quiet trip together. I had all kinds of ideas about how we spend the days together. I had grand plans of places where we would go and things we would do. We did manage to enjoy a few of those activities, including building a gingerbread house together!
 
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Michigan is a diverse state. You can find everything, from skiing to surfing right here in our beautiful state. Another benefit of living here is that there are no reporting requirements placed on homeschoolers. We are free to educate our children as we see fit, without government oversight.
 
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Words Have Meaning

I have been an avid reader all my life. I was homeschooled through 9th grade, so I had plenty of time to read. My yearly booklists in my portfolio usually had 50-70 books listed, and they were just samplings of what I read because I didn’t always remember to write down the title and author before returning books to the library. I read multiple genres. I read books written in different centuries.

 
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When I decided to homeschool, I didn’t anticipate my children having any learning challenges. God, in all His divine wisdom, called me to homeschool these kids that would need a different environment for learning than a traditional classroom.
 
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Sometimes in life, you learn something that you weren’t really trying to learn.

That would be me . . . senior year of college. I majored in economics until we had our first child mid-year, six weeks early. Then I just majored in mommy-hood and making sure I graduated. I ended up in an Adolescent Psychology class because it fit my mommy-schedule.
 
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Have you ever opened a drawer at your child's desk, only to find it was full of jumbled worktext pages from multiple subjects? Or, like me, do you have several children calling at the same time for help locating handouts? Take heart! You're like a lot of other homeschool moms, including me. This simple system may be a big help for you. After ten years of homeschooling, the hanging file system is standing the test of our busy students. I use the hanging files to organize our student handouts, reproducible pages, completed student handouts, worktext, and test pages.
 
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Homeschooling brought me great joy over the years. It was a great bonding experience with my sons. I got to watch them grow both spiritually and academically. However, there were times when I struggled and wanted to throw in the towel. These tips helped me along the way to stay the course and finish strong. My prayer is that they will help you as well.
 
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Ever since the Lord called me to this mission field called homeschooling, I’ve known that even if it was difficult, it was what we would do. There were days in my early years of homeschooling that I really didn’t know how I would give my children the education that my husband and I wanted to give them. I found that I could either be an intentional mom and homemaker or a great teacher for my children. I would go through seasons of doing one or the other really well, while my other responsibilities suffered. It was so discouraging. I wish I had known about Distance Learning video classes from the start.
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Consultant Spotlight

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Esther Black

Esther Black is a second-generation homeschooler, wife, mom of 7, and HomeWorks by Precept Consultant from Iowa. Her goal is to encourage and support other homeschooling families to find the tools they need to continue investing in their children. ...
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Carla Heslop

As a homeschooling momma of 7, I’m familiar with the fear of ruining your children for life. I’ve even tossed around the idea of pushing my kids on the school bus and throwing in that towel! I desperately didn’t want to, and I just didn’t know what else to do! I was drowning. I needed homeschool help, and I just didn’t know where to find it...
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Beth Milligan

My name is Beth Milligan. I live in a beautiful part of North Idaho surrounded by glistening lakes and rugged forests. We live in a rural area where fishing and hiking are within minutes and where a moose may pay a visit on our back porch. In the summers, you will find our family of 5 playing a fun round of ...
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Natalie Smith

Natalie Smith lives in Fayetteville, NC – the home of Fort Bragg 82nd Airborne and US Army Special Operations. She graduated from Bob Jones University with a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Counseling and a Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education. Natalie met her husband, Germaine, at Bob Jones University working in the University Cleaners. They have been married for 13 years. The Lord has blessed them with two girls. ...
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Sharon Huizinga

Sharon Huizinga lives in Michigan with Tom, her husband of 13 years, and their four children. They both grew up in Connecticut, met at church, and got to know each other better in college at Western Connecticut State University. Sharon graduated with her bachelor’s degree just a few weeks before she and Tom married in 2006. She went on to teach second, fourth and fifth grades in Christian schools. ...
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