S9 E2 | How to Successfully Homeschool and Attend to Outside Duties or How to Successfully Homeschool While Working (Jeannie Fulbright)

S9 E2 | How to Successfully Homeschool and Attend to Outside Duties or How to Successfully Homeschool While Working (Jeannie Fulbright)

Show Notes:

Let's face it: homeschooling is hard work. Add to that the responsibilities you assume outside the home, you could become overwhelmed. Whether those responsibilities are duties to your homeschool organization, the church, a ministry, a part-time job, or even a full-time job, there are ways to organize your life and rewire your mindset to enable a peaceful, purposeful, and successful homeschool and work life. In this podcast, Jeannie will share the trade secrets she discovered over her 25 years of homeschooling to make working and homeschooling a joy. By employing important principles from the Charlotte Mason philosophy and growing your faith in God’s purposes and plans for your children, you will find that you have all you need to create a beautiful homeschool life while also excelling in your duties outside the home.

About Jeannie

Jeannie Fulbright, a 24-year veteran homeschooler, is the author of the #1 best-selling, multi award-winning Apologia Young Explorer science series: Exploring Creation with Astronomy, Chemistry and Physics, Botany, Zoology, and Anatomy & Physiology. She is also the author of the action-packed historical time travel book series Rumble Tumbles Through Time, as well as preschool science books and activity kits, the Charlotte Mason Heirloom Planner, and many high-quality Charlotte Mason based products. Jeannie and her husband Jeff became empty nesters in 2019. All four of their children all went to the University of Georgia on scholarship (homeschooling works!). For more than 20 years Jeannie has traveled around the country speaking to homeschoolers at conventions, covering a plethora of topics from Charlotte Mason to marriage and prayer.


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Show Transcript:

Jeannie Fulbright Welcome to the Charlotte Mason Show, a podcast that is all things Charlotte Mason and her tried and true philosophy of education designed to help you homeschool with more confidence, joy and success. It is our hope that you'll find golden nuggets that will transform the way you think and the way you homeschool. I'm your host, author of the bestselling Charlotte Mason science curriculum, Jeannie Fulbright, and I am so glad you joined me today.

Here's a riddle for you parents: Homeschoolers love them. Enemies of freedom hate them. What are they? It's the Tuttle Twins books. With millions of copies sold, the Tuttle Twins helps you teach your kids about entrepreneurship, personal responsibility, the Golden Rule, and more. Get a discounted set of books with free workbooks today at TuttleTwins.com/Homeschool. That's TuttleTwins.com/Homeschool. And now on to today's show.

Hey, homeschooler, welcome to another episode of The Charlotte Mason show. So I have a question. Do you have something else you do? Something that's important outside of homeschooling, homemaking, being a wife, friend, family member? Something that is important to you that you are also doing outside the home? Perhaps you have a full time job. I know a lot of homeschoolers that actually do have full time jobs, or a part time job, or a side hustle. Maybe you have a blog or a following on social media. Maybe you're in ministry, or you're the wife of someone in ministry, which can be a big job in itself. Perhaps you're running your homeschool organization. I remember well when a very good friend of mine who ran our homeschool organization of about 2,500 people once confessed to me, I need to put my children in school so I can run this homeschool group. She was trying to recruit me to co-lead with her, but I was already working from home and outside the home. Besides homeschooling, I was writing The Apologia science series that God had truly called me to write. I was also leaving at least once a month, sometimes more, to speak at homeschool conferences. And although I could sympathize with my friend, I couldn't empathize because being Charlotte Mason homeschooler enabled me to organize my homeschool life in such a way as to make working go a lot more smoothly than if I hadn't embraced her philosophy. And enabled me to be effective both at homeschooling, being a homeschool mom, and as a working mother.

If you have outside duties that require your time and energy, whether it's something you have to do during the homeschool workday or something that you do in the evenings, or really early in the mornings, you're a working homeschool mom and this podcast is for you. Or perhaps it's for someone you know. Or if you're looking for a side hustle, something to add extra income to your family, at the end of the show I am going to list a ton of ideas that might spark inspiration for you. As Charlotte Mason says," ideas germinate new ideas." Before I embark on this episode, I just want to encourage you to go to my website and sign up for my newsletter. I have got some really amazing Charlotte Mason curricula that are right now in the beta testing phase, and successfully so people are loving these things that we're creating, but we will be releasing them in spring or summer, and I want you to know about it as soon as they're released. One is my upcoming American History curriculum. One is the New Living Verse Language Arts and Scripture curriculum by Sheila Catanzarite and the other is actually a surprise, but I think you and all Charlotte Mason homeschoolers will adore this surprise. So do go to my website if you have a chance and sign up for my newsletter.

So in this episode, I'm going to share with you the tips, tools, and trade secrets that I implemented over the 25 years of homeschooling that enabled me to have a successful homeschool, even while I had other things going on outside the home, and was even traveling for work. Some of these philosophies and methodologies I've shared before in other context, in other podcasts, but it never hurts to be reminded of things that work. So let's get started. The first thing on this list of trade secrets is, attitude is everything. I'll tell you, I sometimes struggled with my attitude. Either I had a negative attitude about work I was asked to do, or work that I was late on, or work that needed to be done. Or I was having a negative attitude about homeschooling, or a child, or the way homeschooling was progressing, or the way the curriculum was working or whatever it was. This bad attitude was a sure fire way to make everything in my homeschool more difficult. Thankfully, the Word of God was always at the ready for the Holy Spirit to convict my heart. And it was during my homeschool years that the Lord truly convicted my heart about a spirit of complaining, a spirit of grumbling and complaining and just being—it's not so much self-pity, but I guess it kind of is. You just feel like this isn't the way life should go. This is not how I wanted my life to go. This is too hard. That is a complaining spirit. It really is. And God has a lot to say about complaining. In Philippians 2:14 we read, "Do all things without grumbling or complaining, so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life." So the Lord really convicted me that when I have a complaining spirit, when in my heart or mind, I'm really just resisting this situation I'm in and how hard it is or how much—complicated everything is and how things don't look the way I wanted them to look. I don't have the idyllic homeschool I had imagined in my mind. That I was no longer blameless or innocent, that I was guilty and that I was not above reproach. I was not shining as a light in this world, and I was not holding fast to the word of life. I think part of that is the whole belief that your days were supposed to look different. They were supposed to be easier. They were supposed to be conformed to the perfection of how it was written in our schedule, or just in our mind's eye of how we imagined our days were supposed to run. But Psalm 39:16 tells us, "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." So this day is exactly the day that God had written in His book, exactly as it's going, was already written down before I even was born. And for me to complain about it is for me to lose the opportunity to find God and to seek God and to watch God work in every situation. It's just complaining. It's self-focused.

James 1:2 says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you encounter trials of various kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance and perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything." Every trial is an opportunity for us to grow closer to God, to develop, to be sanctified, to develop perseverance, to develop faithfulness, to develop into the woman of God that God intends for us to be. And I have to tell you, there is no crucible more geared to sanctifying a human person than a homeschool mom. Being a homeschool mom is the testing fire, and I remember hearing so often when I would tell people I homeschool, I don't know how many times, you probably couldn't even count the number of times you've heard the same thing, I don't have the patience. I wouldn't have the patience to homeschool. And my answer is always, I didn't have the patience either. But see, that's what God is doing in me. He's growing me and developing my patience. He's developing me into His character. He's making me more and more like him through the opportunity of homeschooling. And if I resist it, if I get angry or if I get frustrated or I feel sorry for myself, then what I'm doing is I'm refusing to grow. I'm refusing to allow God to transform my heart in difficulties. Instead, I'm going to wallow in my self-pity over the difficulties. Rather than allowing God to do something powerful and amazing within me. It was so easy for me to tell people, when they were struggling, same with their mother-in-law, I would say, but see, this is your trial that God has given you, that you're going to grow and develop perseverance and be mature and complete. This is what God is using. It was easy for me to tell other people that when they were going through trials. But for some reason, when I was going through a trial, whatever it was, and I'm telling you, there was always a trial. There was a trial at least once a month, more like once a week, sometimes once a day, depending on the season. And every one of those trials was an opportunity for me to trust God. For me to to take this burden that I was holding, and in my quiet time in my prayer life, whether my quiet time was five minutes while I was cooking dinner or whatever it was, I would lay that burden into his hands and with complete faith say, Lord, you know exactly what I'm struggling with. You know exactly what the problem is, and you know the solution. So I give it over to you, and I trust you to work it out on my behalf. He asks us to give our burdens to him, and whether it's something small, like your child is not gripping their pencil correctly or something big, like you have a cancer diagnosis. All of these things can be put in his hands and he can be trusted with them. And we are to consider it pure joy. And we are actually to give thanks for our hardships. It's as he says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, "Give thanks in every circumstance," not just the good ones. Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. And I have found that there is power in giving thanks during a difficulty. It's almost like when you thank God for this struggle. Thank you for this struggle, Lord, whatever it may be, it's like Satan and all of his minions lose their grip on you because you have walked perfectly within God's will. Because it says it's God's will for you to give thanks in every circumstance. And that is not for God, that's not something that God asks us to do for him. He asks us to give thanks in every circumstance for us because it changes something powerful within us.

And so while you are working, you are going to encounter some chaos and you are going to encounter some difficulties. And I just encourage you to remind yourself, have it plastered on your wall, give thanks in every circumstance. And just say to the Lord, I thank you for this struggle, Lord, and I know you're going to work through it. I know you have a purpose for it. You're growing me. You're maturing me. You're doing something in my child. You're doing something in this circumstance. And trust it and hand it over to him. So really, I should have labeled this first tool as attitude and obedience are everything, and they really are. One thing about attitude, I will say, is that I did know moms that had to supplement their husbands income. It was just essential. And I know in this day and age, in this economy, I've heard statistics about the cost of a house today compared to the cost of a house in the 1960s, according to income, it's just- it's astronomical, it's ridiculous. And so I understand there are moms and women who have to work in order to supplement their income, and they feel called to be a homeschool mom, but they must supplement their income. And I have run into a lot of resentment about that. And I don't blame you for resenting this situation, this economy and everything that the government has done to put us in this situation.

But I do want to encourage you to remember her, that the Proverbs 31 woman who is the wife of noble character, the one far more precious than rubies, was a very hard working woman. And if you say, oh, but she had servants. I'm going to have something to say about that. But I first want to read to you from Proverbs 31, just so you can kind of see how this woman works, how much she works, and she is also educating her children along the way. Proverbs 31 says, "she selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar." These are very hard things to do back in those days. There wasn't a grocery store around the corner. She had to actually plan to get the food that, whether she had servants cooking it or not, she made plans and she worked hard to get that food. And she, with her own hands, worked the wool and the flax to weave the clothing for her family. "She rises while it is still night to provide food for her household and portions for her maid servants." So she is providing the food. She is the one rising up while it's dark to provide food for her household, even though she does have maid servants. "She appraises a field and buys it from her earnings. She plants a vineyard." Not only is she appraising a field, there's a lot that goes into appraising a property, and then she buys it, and then she has to understand farming techniques and what the soil needs and how to plant a vineyard. And of course, she might have some maid servants or some man servants planting the vineyards, but she is the one who is advising, and she's in charge of it. "She girds herself with strength and shows that her arms are strong. She sees that her gain is good and her lamp is not extinguished at night. She stretches out her hand and grasp the spindle with her fingers." So she is working the spindle. She is always working. "She makes coverings for her bed. Her clothing is fine linen and purple. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed. Her husband praises her as well." And this is the beginning, but I wanted to read this last, "the heart of her husband trusts in her, and he lacks nothing of value." Actually, this is what I want to read last, "and she can laugh at the days to come." She can laugh at the days to come. This is a woman who is working very hard, and she's very happy about her future and the days to come. She's enjoying her life, she's enjoying the work that she's doing, and it is all about her attitude. A woman who's laughing at the days to come and not worrying about the days to come, is a woman who trust in God and one who enjoys her work. And a woman with the right attitude towards her work, towards God, and towards her husband. And I do want to make a little comment about the fact that she did have servants, maid servants. And so we all think, well, I would laugh at the days to come if I had servants too. But the fact is, is that she had no dishwasher, no washing machine, natural gas or electricity. She didn't have a car. She didn't have a coffee maker. She didn't have pre-ground wheat or pre-ground coffee. She didn't have convenience food. And so I'm going to acknowledge that it is hard when you're called to homeschool, and you also must earn income. But just know that God knew this. This was written in the book before one of those days came to be. And he has a plan for it. It is part of his purposes for your life. Romans 8:28 sums this up perfectly. "All things," not some things, "All things work together for good. For those of us who love God and are called according to his purpose," and you are called according to his purpose, and you love God. And I can promise you that everything that's happening right now in your life is part of God's plan for good.

The second tool that truly transformed my homeschool and my work life, and just everything about that was conquering worry, anxiety, and fear. That is one of the keys to having a peaceful, pleasant, happy homeschool life and also being able to work and be effective at whatever it is you are called to do or you're doing outside the home. Fear is simply the opposite of faith. God tells us he has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound and controlled mind. Our thoughts are under God's control. That is what he wants for us. He wants us to live in faith, and faith believes God's Word, believes God is handling everything and that all things are going to work according to his purpose. And our future is safely in his hands, and he is going to protect us and take care of us. Fear believes the lies of the devil. Faith believes the truth of God's Word. And of course you need to be in God's Word. You need to find scriptures that you can hold on to that the Lord gives you in your heart for you, that you can read over and over again, that you can post around your house, that you can put on notecards. You have to be in God's Word. You have to be reading God's Word. You have to be speaking God's Word in order to conquer the fear and the lies from the devil that cause fear. Fear tells you that you are not enough. But God says, my grace is sufficient for you, for my strength, God's strength, is made perfect in weakness. So your weakness, whatever it is, is where God actually works his strength and his mighty power. And so we can rejoice. We can thank God for our weaknesses. Thank you, Lord, that I am this way, for you are working your power and strength within me. Through this weakness, I hand it over to you again. We need to hand—take these things and put them into God's hands. And ask him in his power to overcome, to conquer this. Fear tells you that this is too hard, that what you're doing is too hard. That's a fearful response. But the Lord says, I can do all things, or you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Fear tells you that you are failing your children. But God has a promise for you there. He says, all your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children. And this is, I would say, Charlotte Mason's foundational philosophy. Charlotte Mason contends, very heartily, that God is the true and supreme educator of our children. God, not you, homeschool mom. Not the curriculum, God. God is the true and supreme educator of our children, Charlotte Mason says, "but we hold that all education is divine, that every good gift of knowledge and insight comes from above, that the Lord, the Holy Spirit, is the supreme educator of mankind." And so what that means is that any time your child is learning something, if they have any insight in it, if they understand it, if they have knowledge—if they actually receive knowledge in that subject. It's because the Holy Spirit gave it to him or her. That the Holy Spirit is responsible for any education, any insight, any good gift of knowledge your child understands or enjoys. That's why children should be left to get knowledge for themselves.

JThey should be given the materials and the tools and the means, but they should be the one that is guiding their pursuit of an acquisition of knowledge, because it's being led by the Holy Spirit. Anything that is force fed a child doesn't take. Doesn't actually become their own gift of knowledge or insight. It's rote memorization, and we need to allow our children freedom in their education to pursue that what Charlotte Mason calls the divine curiosity, because she believes that curiosity is what leads a child into the pursuit of knowledge. And it is led—that curiosity is led by the Holy Spirit because God is the supreme educator of our children. And if we believe that it all rests on us, we are going to walk in so much burden and fear. We need to trust God's Word. God's word tells us that all our children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of our children. As the mother of children that are adults, nothing is more important to you as a parent than knowing that your children are at peace. That is so important. If there's anything that is robbing them of peace, it's very hard on you. But God promises that he will be their teacher and he will give them peace. [00:24:04][86.6]

And so we need to trust in God's Word. And I do, again, I just recommend that you write down the Word of God that is powerfully impacted to you. That he has given you personally through—you know it's from the Lord if when you hear the word, you're struck by it. It just makes perfect sense. And it's exactly what you know is true. That's a word from God. And that should be written down. It should be read over and over again until you have rewired your fearful brain, the brain that believes that you're in charge and rewired it to believe the Word of God, to believe that God is in charge and requires rewiring. If we want to change the way we believe and think and feel, we have to rewire our brain. I actually listened to a podcast yesterday on habit training. It was just a portion of a podcast, but it was by a neuroscientist who is an expert on how to change your bad habits. And he talked about that when your brain is in theta that that is the time when—and it's that moment between waking and sleeping or between sleeping and waking or waking sleeping. It's your brain in sleep, it's delta. And you go from delta to theta to alpha to beta, and then from beta to alpha to to theta to delta. And so when you're in that theta, which is in that time period when you're just about to fall asleep—and for me, it's better in the morning when I'm kind of awake, I'm kind of waking up that I'm not fully awake. This is the time when you need to make it a practice to begin saying the scriptures over your life and just making a determination that you are going to live this day in this way, believing these things. And that is how you will change your brain to become a woman of faith and not a woman of fear. And it does take faith to practice this next tool, and that is practicing masterly in activity. And I've talked a lot about masterly in activity in other podcasts, and I have written about it extensively on my website, in my blog.

There is a lot to say about it, and I don't want to spend—It would take me an hour to go through all the precepts of masterly in activity. It's essentially allowing your children more freedom and being less of a hovering, scheduled, trying to make it all happen for your children. It's essentially handing over the power of education, putting it into your children's hands. One way I did this is I created the schedule. I did create the schedule, it was a very simple schedule. These are the subjects you have to do on Monday. These are the subjects you have to do on Tuesday. These are the subjects you have to do on Wednesday. And some of them we would do together as a family or some of them—because we'd listen to an audiobook together. And so they had to coordinate amongst themselves when they were going to listen to the audiobook, or they had to coordinate with me when I was going to be able to sit down to read the history to them, or the science to them, or whatever it was we were doing. But they were in charge of their schedules. They didn't come up to me and say, okay, I finished my copy work. What do I do now? They actually knew what to do. They knew everything they needed to do, and sometimes they would get it done early in the morning. And that's their prerogative. Sometimes they wouldn't get it all done early in the morning they wanted to do something else in the morning, and whatever it was worked on their craft or whatever it was, school—we have to get out of our mind that school has to be done at a certain time and certain hours. Unless you have an activity that you're doing in the afternoon, your child should have the freedom to do school when they—when it works for them. It just gives them more autonomy over their education, as long as they get it done that day. That is the most important thing. It's just about not hovering over and being the fussy mom over them. It's so important that we practice masterly in activities, which is we are the master, but we are choosing to be inactive. Charlotte Mason says, "we do so much for our children that we begin to think everything rests with us, and our endeavors become fussy and restless." Charlotte Mason is always admonishing us not to be fussy moms, that this is the worst thing we can do as a homeschool mom. She says, "the fussy mom is always interrupting their child. Whatever they're doing, they're always talking. They're always lecturing. They're always moralizing. They're always reminding them, redirecting them, intervening in every situation, threatening them, nagging them and fussing at them." Charlotte Mason tells us, "we are too much with our children.We try to dominate them too much, and we are unable to perceive that wise and purposeful letting alone is the best part of education." She believes, Charlotte Mason believes, that because God is the supreme educator, because the Holy Spirit is leading and guiding and directing, that when we are being a fussy mom, that we're actually hindering the work of the Holy Spirit in our children, that we are causing our children to become exasperated and overwhelmed. And when somebody feels like they have no power, there is something—there are so many studies out there about this that when children feel like they have no control over an area of their life, they lose motivation. And so by being a fussy mom, by always being so in their business, and even in their educational business, we cause them to lose motivation. And they have a natural God-given desire to learn. They have a natural, innate motivation to acquire knowledge.

Have you ever noticed how much they dig into information that you haven't asked them to learn. How much they try to find out more and more about things that are interesting to them, but that aren't part of the curriculum. It's because they're given the freedom. That's their freedom. Nobody's telling them what to do, and that's why it's so important that we allow our children as much autonomy as possible, and we give them more and more autonomy as they mature. And we give them autonomy to choose what history they want to study and how they want to study it, and what materials they want to use. We work with them to create their own way of learning this. They can choose which—whenever I'm at a homeschool conference, moms say, well, which book should I choose when they're looking at my Apologia elementary through middle school science. Which book should I choose? And I always without fail, and I've said this for over 20 years, take a picture of the cover and ask your child which one they want to learn, or download the sample chapter on the Apologia website and see which one they're most interested in learning. Because a child who's interested in something, they will persevere through every part of learning that and doing anything that maybe isn't quite as fun, they will do it because they're interested in the subject and we need to allow our children some autonomy. And this helps us, as a working mom, because our child is self-motivated to get their work done. And during the school day, we must trust our children. Part of masterly in activity is trusting our children to do well and to do right. And if you're reminding your children, you're letting them know that you don't trust them. But if you know, if you believe in your heart and treat your children as if you're certain they will always do and they will do the right thing, then if they don't and they don't tell you that they didn't, they will feel bad about that because they know you believe in them and so our children will live up to the label. For the way we treat them, the label we put on them.

Are you a trustworthy child? We put that label on them by how we treat them. If we're constantly fussing over them, that means that we don't trust them to do well, that they need our intervention to do well. And this also includes in chores and everything that they're doing. We need to keep our hands off a little bit and not try to fix everything that is not perfect. And I'll talk more about chores in just a moment.

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Charlotte Mason says, "this is wise passiveness and indicates the power to act. The desire to act." Which might be just saying something. "The desire to act and the insight and self-restraint which forbid action." Masterly in activity is about the parents self-control. It's for us. It's about us having self-control. And if we can have self-control and practice wise passiveness and faith in our children, and faith in the Lord and his plans and purposes for our children and faith in their divine curiosity, then your children will prosper. They will do their work. They will study. They will be excited about learning, and they will be led by the Lord in their insights. They will be given insights. They will be given gifts of knowledge from the Holy Spirit. We need to trust that we are just cooperating with God in the raising of these children. We are not in charge. The Lord is in charge. But the more we try to take charge, it's like we're blocking out—we put our hands up and just say, hold it, Holy Spirit, get back! I got this. I mean, that's really what we're doing when we start fussing and lecturing and nagging and threatening and reminding and redirecting and intervening, talking and talking and talking. Charlotte Mason loves to talk about the mom who's always talking, talking, talking. And she drowns out the Holy Spirit. She drowns out the child's ability to think for themselves. She drowns out everything with her constant talking to the child. And so that's masterly in activity.

The next tool actually goes along with that. And that is truly just to provide an environment for learning and the habit of pursuing knowledge, allowing children to pursue knowledge and learn independently. We need to provide that environment by having our house filled with books, books, books and creative supplies; things for them to do. Things for them to get their hands on, to build, to work with and things to draw; notebooking journals, nature journals, and pads of paper, notebooks, high quality colored pencils, paints, pens, watercolors the highest quality and let them take the reins of their education.

Let the children alone. As Charlotte Mason says, she says, "the education of habit is successful in so far as it enables the mother to let her children alone, not annoying them with perpetual commands and directions, a running fire of do's and don'ts, but letting them go their own way and grow, having first secured that they will go the right way and grow to fruitful purpose." How do we first secure that they will go the right way and grow to fruitful purpose? The answer lies in empowering them with ownership and responsibility for their education. And part of that is giving them a vision for their future. The Word of God says, "where there is no vision, my people cast off restraint." What does that mean? That means that if his people don't see a vision for them as a people, for their future, for where they're going, then they'll just do whatever. They're not going to do the hard things. But if we are—if we can empower our children with a vision for their future, then they will not cast off restraint. They will restrain themselves to do what it takes to fulfill the purposes God has for them. He has purposes for them. And He, even now, is revealing that through their interests, through their passions, through their curiosities, many times those things will end up being a vocation for them or part of the ministry He's called them to. And when a child has a vision for these things given by God and nurtured, encouraged by us, they will restrain themselves to do what it takes to reach that goal. Something to consider is when your child is doing their lessons, if they truly struggle with a particular kind of lesson, then find a way to make that learning, living and joyful for them. Charlotte Mason says, "Every lesson has its own living way." And the truth is, is that for every child there is a different way. And that's the beauty of homeschooling, is we don't have to make all our children do the same kind of work. This is not the cookie cutter public school, where everybody has to do the same kind of work as the other children. We actually can change the way our children learn and give them more opportunities within their skill set, within the things they love to do. They can express their learning in that way, whether it be learning through audiobooks or video lessons or reading historical fiction or scientific fiction about things. Whatever it is that brings joy to your child, find a way to nurture that and bring that into their learning. And it's really important that your children know that they're responsible for their education, that they know that this is their education, not yours, and that you don't get any personal benefit when they learn something, only they do. The education—you're giving them an opportunity to grow into the person that God created them to be and fulfill their calling, but they have to take responsibility for it. They need to feel like they're in control. And we must alter the lessons—if you purchase a curriculum and the way it's going your child just, "ugh, this is no fun." Or you tell your child it's time for school and they go, "ugh," maybe it's time to rework the curriculum and change the activities or change curriculum altogether. There is always eBay, or slow it down. There are so many ways that you can alter the way things are written, but children must feel like their education is in their hands. We must allow them to have freedom to do what is best for them. To learn what is most interesting to them in a way that is most interesting to them, and that's part of your job as a homeschool mom, to find out what they get excited about doing. Honestly, if it's Legos, have them build Napoleon's Battle of Waterloo in their Lego world. Whatever it is, they can express their learning in ways that bring them joy, and that will solidify the information in their brain because they are using their own unique methods of creativity to express learning.

And as I've said before, many times, creativity and memory all work together in the hippocampus, and it connects to all the other senses of the brain when creativity and memory are working together. And that is how you want your children to be expressing their lessons in their own creative words and their own unique narrations, either oral or written or a creation they make, whatever it is.

The next tool is, if you have older children, it is so imperative that you enlist their help with educating and taking care of the younger children while you're helping other children learn, or while you're getting some work done. And a lot of times people don't feel right about doing this. They think, my child, this older child, has so much work to do and it's such important work. And this education is so important. The fact is that nothing is more important than learning to minister to your family members, to being a servant leader. A child who teaches the younger child something interesting, like their colors or their letters, or how to spell the word cat. These things actually bring joy to the older child and encourage a kind of character development that you don't get anywhere else in the world. That's more important than all the stuff you have put on her schedule or his schedule. Take a few things off the schedule and build the character that comes with serving the family. And another tool that will truly help you as a homeschool working mom, if you are working during the day, is to save some school subjects for evening reading or bedtime reading.

I remember talking to this one mom at a homeschool conference and she was telling me a story. She was pointing to my anatomy book and she said, oh my goodness, we did that book. But I'll have to tell you a story. A friend of mine finished that book and she gave it to me and said, you need to do this book, it's great. And so she got the book and she looked through it and she said, there is no way, this is so boring. I'm not going to do this with my children. And one night her children were begging for another book. Please read another book, please. And she thought, you know what, I'm going to get that boring anatomy book, and I'm going to read that and they'll for sure go to sleep after that. And she started reading to them, and at the point where she thought for sure they would be done, they said, please read some more, read some more. So they were enjoying the anatomy book as their story time, bedtime. And I knew so many people who would tell me, yeah, we actually listened to your audiobook. My kids listen to your audiobook before they go to bed. They listen to science before we go to bed, and then we do the experiments in the morning. You can learn at night. There is no law that says you need to be learning during the day. Evening reading time—my husband actually was responsible for most of the read alouds that we did in our homeschool. He read historical fiction to them. And that really, by the way, that is the best way to teach history. Children remember historical figures and times and eras if they hear it in a story form. That's why Jesus always told stories. People understand truths through stories. He read literature, whether it was The Hobbit or The Pirates of the Caribbean, or whatever book I would tell him what book to read and he would read it. They did geography by reading the Why We Have Missionaries stories. Why we have some great historical fiction as well. And again, my science books can be done in the evening. You can listen to audiobooks. My kids loved audiobooks. And there's so many things you can do in the evening, either during family reading time or when you're putting them to bed. And having the freedom to save some subjects for nighttime is enables your homeschool to run so much more smoothly because you know everything is getting done and you have a more peaceful day.

So the next thing is, regarding chores, it's so important that you teach your children early to be a team player in your family. That they are contributing to the family. You're all a team working together. Everybody makes messes. Everybody needs to help clean up everybody else's mess. And it's not a punishment. It's just part of being the family team. And it's how we bless each other and how we make the family run smoothly. And one thing I would say, is that when you teach a child a chore, a specific chore, teach them step by step everything they need to know. Maybe you might have to go over it with them twice or three times. Whether it's loading the dishwasher, unloading the dishwasher, or loading the laundry, or unloading and folding the laundry, whatever it is, you really need to go over it with them. So they got it, they understand it. And then let them do it in their own way. Give up the need for perfection because "I'm done" is the goal not perfectly done. I recommend having chore charts and again, you can allow some independence with this as long as you have an hour that it needs to be done. You can do it any time between here and the dinner hour or whatever it is, just as long as they're doing it, and then you have freedom to do it because you're in charge of your chores. And I trust that you can do it again, conveying to our children that we can trust them. And sometimes this is—we have to untrain the bad habit of not trusting them and teaching them that they can't be trusted. We have to untrain that through step by step in letting them know you know what? I'm sorry I have treated you like I don't trust you when actually I do. And I know you're going to do these things, and I know what you're going to do, and you're going to do it well, and you're going to do it right. And I'm sorry I've not trusted you, and I've been reminding you. And that's and it's exasperating, I'm sure. We just need to apologize. Try to wipe the slate clean and start with trusting your children to do—to be the person that they are. That God called them to be. The child that really desires to do well, to do right, to learn, to be motivated to learn.

Some of the things that children can do are; they can cook my daughter, when she was seven years old, used to make the entire family breakfast every morning. So excited to get up early in the morning. We would all come down, sleepyheaded and we'd have this elaborate breakfast pancakes and and eggs and bacon all laid out on the table with, unfortunately, she liked to use the fine China, which meant that I had the job of hand washing the fine China every day, but she was so happy to do it that I allowed that little indulgence. The dishwasher, the laundry, cleaning the bathrooms, toilets, sweeping, cleaning up after themselves, of course, babysitting the younger children. And there's a lot of things, obviously, in your family and chores that you'll have that other families don't have, so keep a chore chart. I recommend that you have your children focusing on one chore until they've mastered it, before they can move on to another chore. Sort of like the bees in a beehive. They graduate to the next activity or the next job. And I think that's kind of a better way to do it, because then they actually learn how to clean that thing or do that thing.

And so this final tool for ensuring that your homeschool runs smoothly, while you are a working mom, whatever working you are doing is you must, as Charlotte Mason says, practice self-care. Charlotte Mason says, "If mothers could learn to do for themselves what they do for their children, we should have happier households." The fact is, if you are not caring for yourself and nurturing yourself and taking care of things that bring you joy, doing things that bring you joy, and maybe the thing you do outside of your homeschooling and homemaking and wife-ing is, is something that brings you joy. And that, for me, was definitely true. But I also had my girls night out every week. We were homeschool moms, we all got together to do a girls night out. Either we went to dinner, or we had our monthly mom meeting, where we all came together and shared our burdens and pray. Or I would do a prayer group or a Bible study or something every week where I was getting out with the girls. That was really important for me to hang out with just friends and being with girls. And I think that's important for all of us. Self-care might also be—might look like something else for you, but make sure that you are weekly giving yourself that break. That moment of just feeling like yourself again. That is so important to being a great mom, being a great wife, and being an excellent whatever it is you're doing outside the home. Don't feel guilty for taking time for yourself because you will be better, your family will be better off for it. And so I hope all of those tips and tools and trade secrets were helpful for you. They were really helpful to enable me to do what God called me to do and to homeschool well. And it's just—it can be hard, but I believe that again, if you employ these principles and these ideas and attitudes that you will find that you can do it because you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

So I want to end this podcast with just giving you some typical things that people do as working moms that they can do from home, or some of them they can do just short term going out of the house. And maybe by listening to some of these ideas, you'll be inspired with ideas of your own. Let's begin with some ideas of things that you can do from home on your computer. So one thing that can bring in some extra income, and sometimes a lot of extra income, is affiliate marketing. And there are many ways to do affiliate marketing. The number one easiest thing to do is to sign up for Amazon affiliates. And what affiliate marketing is, essentially, if you have a product or you used a product or you know of a product that you love, then if it's Amazon affiliate, you actually sign up to be an affiliate with Amazon, and they give you a personal link to each thing you want to tell people about. And so when they click on that link, if they purchase that product, you will get a percentage of that. And there is nothing wrong with getting a percentage of products that you are promoting. You are like an advertiser. And so there's nothing wrong with promoting products you use. As long as you actually are promoting products you actually personally love and use, or somebody else has told you about, and you let them know. A lot of times there are rules. Actually, there are laws, saying that you have to let people know that you're going to get a percentage of it. You have to let them know that you are an affiliate marketer. Otherwise it's kind of a little underhanded. So that's just the governing laws of affiliate marketing.

There are many homeschool companies—and I will be one included in this soon—homeschool companies that sell curriculum or products that they are also allow affiliates to sign up, and they give them a percentage. If they recommend their homeschool product to other homeschoolers and they purchase from their link. And Apologia has a great affiliate marketing program that, if you use the apology ebooks and you've never told anybody to use Apologia books, you can sign up for affiliate marketing and you can earn income every time. I think it's 10% anytime somebody purchases anything from Aologia from your link.

If you like to make videos, if you don't mind making video content. There's also the TikTok shop affiliate marketing program, which is pretty amazing because everybody who sells things on the TikTok shop has a place where you can sign up, and they tell you how much percentage they're going to give. I actually have a TikTok shop, and I have an affiliate program there, and I actually pay 15% of anybody who talks about my products on TikTok and shows my products on TikTok and puts a link to my shop, which is part of how the affiliate thing goes. And you get 15% off anything anybody purchases. So that's for people who don't mind making a video about what they're doing or what they love. Even if you're just—you don't even have to have your face in it, you just have your hands showing things. That's perfectly fine. If people like how you talk about it and they buy it, you can earn an income. And I've actually—you can kind of scroll through the TikTok shop content creators, the affiliate people, and they tell you how much money they make each year. Some of them are making big bucks. It's kind of shocking. Most people aren't making that much, but they are making some money, so that's a great place to go if you feel good about your video creation skills. And a lot of times I do this, I will send the product to people who have a certain number of followers, and I'll send it to them for free. A lot of these TikTok shop affiliate people will send you the product for free, or you can purchase the product, you're probably going to make your money back.

Another online option that you can do is become a social media virtual assistant. And what a social media virtual assistant does is they post the content that the company creates. So the company has all this content that they want disseminated on all the different social media platforms, and you essentially are the person who is posting it and scheduling it and doing all the—just posting content that the company has already created. There's also a higher level job of that where you actually create the content, but you would have to have some knowledge of Canva or perhaps have some graphic design skills.

Other online options can include things like data entry, being an online tutor, or an online teacher. If you have editing skills. There's a lot of people who are looking for editors for their self-published books. What are you—think about things that you were actually good at that you could post as a job, something that you could do for other people, whether it be graphic design or photography or illustrations or computer programing. When my daughter graduated from UGA with her computer science degree, she actually put up a Fiverr gig. Fiverr is a place where you can advertise online work that you can do—you can even do illustrations or any kind of work that you are able to do for other people. And people hired her out to do some software development for their companies. And so she was keeping her skills up until she got her big job. If you have money, a little money to invest in creating a product to sell, you can sell it on Etsy. You can become an Etsy shop seller, and you can sell artwork and craft boxes and put together gift boxes. People sometimes just want to send a gift to somebody. And some people put together like a little cup and a—all just the little gift box stuff, and they have the little boxes they buy and they invest in that, and they invest in the products, and then they sell them on Etsy, and people can make some good money on the Etsy shop, you can also do homemade items like candles and soaps and decoupage or Christmas crafts, or even refurbishing antiques, or things you find at garage sales.

Oh, that reminds me of garage sales. eBay is a great place to have a little side hustle. It can even be a big side hustle. I follow this family on TikTok who actually paid off their house by going to thrift stores. They knew all the name brands, the top brands, and when they saw a shirt that would sell for $120 new, they'd buy it at the thrift shop for 5-10 bucks and sell it for $60 on eBay. And they did this weekly. And their children help with shipping. And if you do get a Etsy shop or an eBay shop, I do recommend you invest in a standard label printer and you can get the labels to print for free through UPS. So that's an important kind of thing to make it easy to ship. Also, if you have a product, another place to sell is through Amazon. The best way to do that is through FBA, fulfilled by Amazon. If you have a unique product, because that gives you that one click purchase or that buy it now button on the Amazon shop, and there's a lot of training on how to do it. A lot of people want you to pay them to train you, but I think that if you just spend some time, you can learn how to do Amazon selling on your own.

And the last idea is just some in-person services that you can do. That you can maybe advertise on Nextdoor, or advertise by putting a flier in the library, or in the grocery store and Home Depot, and advertise that you can be a tutor. Do you have a specific subject that you're skilled at? You can tutor some public school children. You could be a seamstress. You could be a closet organizer. Better yet, you could be a homeschool consultant. They say that if you have 10% more knowledge than the person who knows nothing, then you are qualified to teach that person. You're qualified to talk to that person. You could be a homeschool consultant to people who are considering homeschooling. You could be a child care provider or an after school care provider. Or you can have a preschool, arts and crafts at the library, activity that people pay to come and be a part of. Or you could go to preschools and go once a month, and they'll pay you to come and bring the arts and crafts to the kids. There's a lot of preschools that do that. I hope that these ideas have just kind of got your wheels turning and helped you to just start thinking about what side hustle you might like to do. Obviously, social media, if you're really consistent in posting content, I think that people make money doing that, I've heard. But just remember that whatever it is that you are doing outside of the home, if you apply the principles that I've talked about, you will have the ability to do that and homeschool well. Always remember that you are God's chosen mother for your children. He has chosen you to be the wife for your husband. And God says, "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future." The life you live will not look like other homeschoolers because God has unique plans for your children. Embrace the journey he chose for you. Embrace each day with thanksgiving and remember Galatians 6:9, "Let us not grow weary in well-doing for in due time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." So don't give up. It's not too hard. You can do it through Christ. Y'all have a blessed rest of your day.

Is there anything worse than spending a lot of money on something you are unhappy with and feeling like you're stuck with it? Well, I do have good news for you. You've probably heard me talking about our sponsor for our podcast, Medi-Share. Members of Medi-Share save up to 50% or more per month on their healthcare costs. They say the typical family saves up to $500 per month. And here's the best part: you can become a member at any time. So that means it isn't too late to switch to a more affordable healthcare option that will save you money and help you sleep better at night. If this is the first time you're hearing about Medi-Share, it's the best alternative to health insurance that allows Christians to share one another's medical bills, offers access to 900,000+ healthcare providers, and has a proven almost 30 year track record. Plus, in addition to saving hundreds per month, telehealth and tele behavioral counseling are included with membership. It literally takes two minutes to see how much you can save. To investigate this for you and your family, go to GreatHomeschoolConventions.com/MediShare.

Hey, a couple more things: Do you wish you had a Charlotte Mason mentor? Someone to keep you focused on the things that matter--the Lord, His word, and prayer, and habit-training, and living books, nature study, and, of course, the most neglected thing of all, self-care? Well, I have the perfect mentor for you: the Charlotte Mason heirloom planner. It is much more than a planner. It's a guide and a mentor and a place to chronicle your treasured moments and memories. All the things you want to remember and keep sacred and special from this homeschool journey. Check it out on my website at JeannieFulbright.com, and learn about that and so many of the other Charlotte Mason curriculum and tools that I have created to make your homeschool journey the richest and most fulfilling experience of your life. Thanks again for listening to the Charlotte Mason Show.

If you haven't already, please subscribe to the podcast. And while you're there, leave us a review. Tell us what you love about the show. This will help other homeschooling parents like you get connected to our community. And finally, tag us on Instagram @HomeschoolingDotMom, and let us know what you thought of today's episode. And don't forget to check out my friends at Medi-Share because you deserve healthcare. You can trust to learn more about Medi-Share and why over 400,000 Christians have made the switch, go to GreatHomeschoolConvention.com/MediShare.

Have you joined us at one of the Great Homeschool Conventions? I would love for you to come. On my website I have a special coupon code that you can use when you register. The Great Homeschool Conventions are the homeschooling events of the year with amazing speakers, hundreds of workshops to help you homeschool well, and the largest curriculum exhibit halls in the United States. People travel from all over the United States to Missouri, South Carolina, Ohio, California, and Texas to find encouragement, friendship, and curriculum. Be sure to go to my website JeannieFulbright.com for your coupon code. And when you're at the convention, please come by my booth and say "hello" because I love meeting homeschoolers in real life. It's always fun to have new homeschool friends. So thank you so much for listening and I do hope to see you at the convention. Have a blessed rest of the week.

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