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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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Danielle Misciagna

My name is Danielle Misciagna, and I homeschool my three children: Christian, 15, Adriana, 13, and Stephen, 11. I started homeschooling when my oldest was in preschool. He’s now halfway through high school. It has been a journey that I mostly loved but was sometimes not always eager to take....
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Alice Bradley

Hi, my name is Alice Bradley. I grew up in southern New Jersey, the home of the absolute best hoagies, where we drank “wooder” instead of water, and in a home with my mother, who was a single parent, and four sisters. I went to public school until attending Bob Jones University, where I met my wonderful husband, Roger. We have been married 32 years and have 4 daughters and a son.....
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Mandi Fox

Mandi Fox lives in south-central Illinois, just southwest of the capital, Springfield. She graduated from Bob Jones University in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. She works as an emergency room nurse one day a week and also picks up work at the local Express Cares. She also teaches a variety of certification classes needed for nurses and doctors...
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Kristi Lawerence

My name is Kristi Lawrence. My husband Dan and I have been married 15 years now. We live in Salem, Oregon. The Pacific Northwest is beautiful and my husband loves to be out in nature hunting, fishing, and anything else with our boys. I on the other hand am usually found home curled up next to the fireplace with a good book...
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