Chill, Mama: Stress-free Homeschooling
November 28, 2018
Hey Mama,

When you were little, remember all the excitement? Every little trip or errand was an adventure. You woke up, bounded up out of bed and got moving. Your future was bright and you knew it, and you were going to embrace the day for everything it had to offer.

Then you grew up. Stress came. Heartache showed up. Bills and obligations, responsibilities and expectations. That zeal and joy that once came ever so naturally was now just appearing between the cracks of life.

Not sure you can actually experience a stress-free homeschool
ever? Try these tips from those of us who have been where you are, those at The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

And remember, Mama. . . 

Your kids are where you once were. EXCITED!!!!! Jumping up and down, hyper as monkeys because everything is new, thrilling, and just for them. Today, shed the worry and the problems. Laugh in the face of stress; cast your anxieties on the Lord where they belong, and enter into that world of fun and new beginnings with your little ones. Let today be that day they see the furrow disappear.

Take back that pizazz for life, Mama. It's still there, buried deep under piles of stress. Relax. . .as the holiday season approaches, rest easy in Him—because His burden is light. Show your kids how to relax so when they become a Mama (or Daddy!), it’s gonna be even better than when they were young. Their now is exciting, but their tomorrow is crazy awesome!
Their future IS bright. Life IS fun. There IS joy to be had. It’s for you and for them, right now. Show them, Mama. Get up and do it.


“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” Matthew 11:30.
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Stress-free homeschooling is what I'm all about. It's what I want for you, Mom. That's why I started I want you and your children to smile. I'm afraid there are too many loud voices in the homeschooling world who are piling up stress on you like your grandmother used to pile up pancakes on your plate. They do it with a smile. . .but it'll kill you if you let it.

Here's the deal. It's not enough to KNOW what is good and what causes you stress. You have to DO what you KNOW. You have to take action and steps to reduce the stress.

I can reduce the stress in your homeschool world right now. Don't believe me? Try this: skip the subject in school that causes you the most stress today. It might be math, science, or reading. Skip it today. Just don't do it.

The truth is, it won't matter two hoots if you don't do it. It won't affect your kids to miss one lesson. . .and you'll have a better day. If you say otherwise, make excuses why you can't, or are shaking your head. . .you're lying to yourself.

So I ask you, can you do it? If you CAN'T, then you're doomed to be a stressed-out, no-fun, guilt-laden homeschool mom.
You need to do what you know to be true. . .not what others have guilted you into feeling.

So do it! Pick a subject, and skip it today (or tomorrow). I promise your children are going to smile. . .and so are you.
If you can't do it. . .go sign up for our free weekly email at The Smiling Homeschooler. . .or listen to the Smiling Homeschooler podcasts. It's just what the doctor ordered.

Be real,

PS - The Christmas season is right around the corner. If you're needing some great Christmas ideas for your family, check out our Christmas board game, Christmas read-alouds, and Christmas audio series. We even have family Christmas crafts, and the world's best gift for husbands—The 2019 You 'da Dad Daily Calendar. You can see them all here.
I'm not really a chill, stress-free mama. I mean, if we're going to be honest, when I was younger, I tried to freak out by myself in the pantry where no one else could see me. When it comes to homeschooling, I've done more than my fair share of panicking. Now my strategy consists of praying rather than worrying—lots and lots of praying!

When we decided to homeschool our younger two children, my stress levels were just a tad bit high. I consoled myself over taking the road less traveled by planning all twelve years of curriculum for our boys in the first two months of our homeschool. All. Of. It. Every semester was documented for all twelve years of schooling. I must confess, we are doing very little of what I thought we'd be doing ten years ago.

While I really didn't want to drop the ball academically as my children's teacher, I've learned a few things that have helped me calm down just a tad, and I'd like to share them with you:

Character surpasses academics. Are you struggling to get your fourth grader to do her math? If you're sure it's not a learning issue, it's worth pulling out all the stops to make sure she obeys and follows through with her work. Her character is going to form the basis of her entire life.

Relationship surpasses curriculum. It really doesn't matter if you have the best science curriculum in the world if you're yelling at your child over his handwriting. Your relationship with your child gives you credence as his teacher. It also, more importantly, affects the way your child will understand his relationship with his Heavenly Father.

Twelve years is a long time. Ok, standing at the edge of an empty nest, twelve years doesn't seem like it was that long. But, I had plenty of time to play games with my kids, go for nature walks, and draw a blue whale to scale on the street in sidewalk chalk. I'm so glad I did those things, but I wish I'd done more playing with my kids early on.

The Bible is the most important subject. Really. Of all the things I've taught my kids, Scripture is the one thing I'm most glad of and wish I'd spent even more time on.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, chill, Mama. Everything is going to be all right.

Danika Cooley is an award-winning children's author and the developer of the popular Bible Road Trip™ curriculum. Grab your FREE Sample Pack!

Danika Cooley is an author and homeschool mother of four. Her passion is equipping parents to teach Scripture and Christian history to their families. You can learn more about Danika's popular  Bible Road Trip™  curriculum  and teen historical novel  When Lightning Struck!: The Story of Martin Luther  at  Thinking Kids .
Stacy Farrell
Stress. It’s often linked to anxiety and fear. It can make your heart race, palms sweat, and stomach churn. 

Stress is painful.

We desperately want to escape it, but some stress is unavoidable. . .perhaps even necessary. (I would even go as far as to say that some stress is good.) 

The Power of Perspective
One writer compared stress to the tension on a stringed instrument: Too much tension, and the strings snap. But without tension, there is no music—only a dull, raspy sound. 
Is there a way we can use stress to “make music” with our lives rather than become so overwhelmed by it that we “snap”? 
The key lies in perspective.

What does Scripture say about stress? 
Our homeschool publishing company teaches “critical thinking from a Biblical worldview.” So, naturally, I approach this topic from a Biblical perspective. 

If you equate stress with fear, Scripture has a lot to say about it. ( Deuteronomy 31:6, Isaiah 41:13, and Psalm 34:4 are a few verses that may encourage you.)

“Fear not!” is repeated throughout the Bible. It appears frequently enough to indicate that fear is a real problem. 
If you struggle with fear, you are not alone.
My worst homeschooling-related stress was provoked by fear: 
  • fear of ruining my children’s lives. 
  • fear that my sons would suffer because of my inadequacies.
  • fear that they wouldn’t be prepared for life. 

Have you ever struggled with similar fears? If so, you may be encouraged by an article on fear that I wrote for the 2016 annual print edition of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine: (You can find it here.) 
You might also be interested in our blog series titled, “ Overcoming Your Greatest Fear about Homeschooling.” 

The Hidden Blessings of Stress
How we respond can determine whether we will transform painful stress into productive stress.

When fear motivated me to evaluate our homeschool progress and consider where we needed to improve, the subsequent insights and course corrections were a blessing. 

It doesn’t feel good to be in a state of desperation, but when fear motivates me to pray and humbly ask for God’s help, I’ve been amazed by the way God has graciously answered my prayers!

Put Stress to Work.
When you feel your pulse picking up, your palms getting clammy, or your belly beginning to ache—take a deep breath and pray. 

Pray. Trust that He has heard you. Then do whatever you can right now to make the best use of this day that the Lord has made—knowing that. . .

  • His strength is made perfect in your weakness. 
  • He is trustworthy and knows what is best.
  • He is for you

Rest in Him, dear friend.

With love & joy (Phil. 1:4),

P.S. - If you struggle with fear, checkout this article and blog series on overcoming fear. 

Stacy Farrell helps parents equip their children to stand firm for truth in the midst of this crazy culture. She writes books on time management, motherhood, manhood, philosophy ( Philosophy Adventure ), and writing, but she considers her role as wife to Roger and mother to two precious sons as her greatest work. Find her @
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Contest Corner  
For the month of November

Liberty Rings! is a company that has created a series of educational products that inspire and encourage the learning and understanding of the principles of freedom and liberty. These are the principles that the Founding Fathers had in mind when creating the U.S. Constitution. Liberty Rings! has created this line of educational products for students and families with plenty of icons, games, and artwork.

Liberty Rings! has based the games and activities on 28 principles. These principles were extracted from the study of the U.S. Constitution by Dr. W. Cleon Skousen, a top authority on the Constitution. The principles cover everything from the role of the family and the role of the Creator to the Founding Fathers. Principles such as the separation of powers and having an educated electorate are important in the Constitution and are included.

Liberty Bingo is a game of bingo focused on these 28 principles. It uses the typical bingo game set-up with calling cards, playing cards, and markers. Each square on the playing card is a different one of the principles. The calling cards have a picture on one side to illustrate the principle and the words to describe the principle on the other side. The playing cards have the same thing: an image on one side and words on the other. This makes it a game that can be used by students in the younger elementary grades all the way up through adults. ( . . . )

Liberty Bingo is a fun game that teaches through play. Combining fun and games always makes for a good time. By learning these principles, the appreciation for the way our country was set up and founded grows. This creates a stronger country as more people learn and understand the Constitution.

Checkers is a classic game that is painless for a young child to get the hang of. It’s graced the tables of families from what seems to be as early as 1400 B.C. according to some sources. The red chips versus the black chips leaping over their opponents and getting crowned when successfully reaching the contestants turf is enjoyed repetitively by children and adults alike.

Now visualize a game of checkers that worked hard at instilling important values of freedom and virtue into the heads and hearts of its players through standard play. What an incredible and resourceful idea! Especially as a parent of young American children, this would be a checker board I would gladly welcome into the grasp of my babes.

Liberty Rings! has taken on the mission to equip Americans to learn, share, and perpetuate the important truths of the principles of liberty laid out by the Founding Fathers into everyday common items. The concept of “apperception” which is defined as the mental process through which a person makes sense of an idea by assimilating it into his or her body of ideas is what Liberty Rings! applies to their product line. ( . . . )

I greatly encourage patriotic families, and likewise, all American families, to allow this board to have a prominent place in their game closet and induce virtue, principles, and truth into the hearts of all who play it. As it says in Liberty Rings! The Glorious Standard of Liberty Summaries, “By thoroughly acknowledging these core principles, a well-informed citizen will be liberated and empowered to contribute to the betterment of a free and prosperous society” (Principle #23 Educated Electorate). Read the rest of the review.

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TO ENTER: Click on over to our entry page and follow the instructions! Contest ends at midnight, the last day of the month.

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