March 25 2020

Back to Basics!

Homeschooling.  Something I never thought I would do!

If 26 years ago on my wedding day, someone would have told me I would be a stay-at-home mom, I would have laughed at them.  If they would have continued on to tell me I would be homeschooling, I would have thought they were crazy. No! More like INSANE!!!

Now, I am here to tell you that after 19 years of staying home with my kids and homeschooling, I am so glad God chose that path for me.  I am not going to lie. I went into it kicking and screaming. I kept telling God I had other plans, and that I did not and still do not have any patience!!!  I am also not going to lead any of you to believe that my children are perfect, that they were National Merit Scholarship recipients, and got a full ride to an ivy league university because that didn’t happen.  We will leave this story for another post. It is encouraging.

The Lord laid it on my heart to share this now during this time when everyone is having to homeschool, not because they wanted to, or felt led to do so, but because it is what everyone is having to do.

I am here to cheer you on and encourage you!  

First, I want to address a few misconceptions.  Due to our circumstances and having to practice social distancing, we are not able to get out and do the typical activities we normally do.  Therefore, I don’t want you to think the picture you are getting currently of homeschooling is accurate because it is not.

What I want to share today is specifically to encourage those who are just beginning their homeschool journey and those who have been forced into this situation.  With that said, let’s go back to basics and what really matters, the three Rs (Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic). I promise you that if you focus on just these three, everything else will fall into place.


Read to your kids aloud.  It is just as important to read aloud to your kids as it is for your kids to go find a quiet spot and read to themselves.  There is a lot of research on this. Just Google it, but a great resource and my favorite is Read-Aloud Revival.  When you read aloud to your kids, you can read books above their reading level and introduce them to higher vocabulary.  It also allows you and your children to go into an adventure together!!! If you are not comfortable reading aloud, that is ok.  Download an audiobook and listen to it during lunch, in the evening, or at bedtime. By the way, if you have fidgeters, give them something to do while they listen.  Make sure it is something quiet as to not disturb the others trying to listen. Wikki Stix are amazing, so are Legos and coloring sheets.

Here is the beautiful thing about reading.  If you teach your child to read well and understand what they are reading, they can learn anything.  They can pick up a history book and learn about history. They can pick up a science book and learn about science.  Personally, I love Sonlight because they teach history through literature instead of only using textbooks.  It makes history come to life and allows the child to be engaged. Reading opens up a whole new world of opportunity for learning.  Also, may I encourage you to be an example to your child and be excited about the book you are currently reading or are about to read together?  Also, make sure your kids see you reading books, not just scrolling through your phone! All this social distancing has led me to start a virtual book club group on Facebook.  I hope you will join us. You can find us at The Potter’s Hand Home Academy Book Club.


Don’t make your kid write without giving them clear instructions on specifically what you want.  My favorite writing curriculum is from the Institute of Excellence in Writing, also known as IEW.  Listen to all the free podcasts.  They are truly eye-opening! Hating writing in high school and in college, I never thought this would become such an enjoyable activity.


Figure out what kind of learner you have: visual, auditory, or kinesthetic.  Usually, we are predominantly stronger in one area, but if you tell, show, and allow your child to manipulate something, he/she will learn it and better yet, retain the information.  One of my kids just wanted me to show her how to do it and didn’t want to waste time with manipulatives. Another one of my kids HAD to have manipulatives. And the other two whom I’m still teaching, are very different as well.  If you have a kid who just wants to do it and is getting the concept, I highly recommend Teaching Textbooks.  If you have a kid who needs to see it and touch it, I highly recommend Shiller Math and Math-U-See.

I know this is a lot to digest, but you got this.  If I can be of any help, please do not hesitate to contact me.  Please make sure to subscribe (top right) so you get an update every time I post.  I am trying to be more consistent and post once a week.  I don’t want to do more than that and bombard you with too many posts.  One last thing, in the comments, share which if the three Rs is most daunting to you.

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December 30 2019

Is Your Vision 2020?

Can you believe this?!  It is truly unreal.  When I was a kid, there was a song titled “1999” by Prince.  If you are my age, you are already singing it!  There was the big Y2K threat in which all electronic/computerized items were going to stop working.  Fortunately, that didn’t happen.  The year 2000 rolled in and all was well.  Now it’s 2020!

What do you think about when you hear or read 2020?  I think of perfect vision.  So, instead of this being a blog in which I share, I’d like for you to share instead.  What is your vision for 2020?  Let’s break it down so that it’s a little easier.

What is your vision for 2020 in your…




…personal development?

…other relationships?

…career or business?

Do you have an accountability partner to help you stay on track of these goals?  Let’s not make New Year’s Resolutions which quickly fade away.  No matter how small or huge your vision is, please share.  I know we can all learn from each other.  2020 is coming whether we are ready or not, so let’s do this!


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October 21 2019

Life Interrupted

Most homeschool moms dream of having a week, heck, a day, go as planned without any interruptions.  I know I am not the only one. Unfortunately, life happens! Sometimes a sickness, an injury, a natural disaster, or someone in need will completely “mess up” your plans.  At this time, we have a choice on how we see this “set back.” We can choose to say, “I have to _____,” or we can choose to have joy and say, “I get to _____.” I get to take care of my child.  I get to have the opportunity to help someone or simply listen and pray with them. Having the right attitude and perspective is everything and an example for our children. If you know me, you have heard me say, “It could always be worse!”

At this moment, my youngest daughter has experienced a knee injury during Tumbling & Trampoline Team practice.  We have had to take time out to see an orthopedic doctor, to take x-rays, to get an MRI only to find out that the MRI machine was down at the facility where we were referred, BUT praise God another facility not too far had an opening, and we took it.  Praise God we have insurance. Praise God we live in an area where these imaging facilities are almost everywhere and praise God that the injury is not worse. Yes, she cannot practice nor participate in any sports for the next 3 weeks and will need physical therapy for the next 6 weeks, but that’s nothing!  It could always be worse. I have a friend whose daughter has been recently diagnosed with a pretty serious autoimmune disease that will more than likely require some lifestyle changes. Another sweet friend reminded me today of how much worse this situation could be as she shared with me about a 13-year old girl who is having her leg amputated at the knee because of bone cancer.  So, yes, it’s inconvenient for my daughter to be on crutches. Yes, it takes her longer to do everything. Yes, I have to help her with a lot of what she does during her daily activities which of course puts me even more “behind,” right? However, this is only for a little while, and we are not facing a more serious diagnosis and procedure.

As I reflect on my day today, I am most thankful for the many people praying for us on a daily basis and extremely thankful to be reminded of real-life examples of how this is only temporary.  In the meantime, I will remember that God is good all the time and trust in His word because “We know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.”  Today, I choose joy even though I am tired. Today, I choose to say, “I get to serve God by serving my child.”

What interruptions have you faced lately, or are you facing right now? I’d love for you to comment below, so I can pray for you.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2-3

July 8 2018

On The Journey, Chapter 1

So, did any of you get the book?  Just in case you need the title:  It’s The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, The Japanese Art of Decluttering And Organizing.  On my last post I promised we would go over chapter one.  Here’s where I am.  Marie Kondo suggests starting out with your clothes.  I did.  Unfortunately, she suggests you do it all in one sitting.  Well, the problem I encountered is that I only have pockets of time.  Normally, this would discourage me, but this time, it did not.  This whole week, I’ve been taking a few minutes here and there to go through my closet.  This will take me a while since I only have time to go through 5 or 7 pieces of clothing at a time.  To make matters a little more difficult, this week, our church is doing VBS.  I’ll be tied up all morning every day and exhausted in the afternoon, but I am not giving up.

Here’s a few things I’ve learned in chapter one.  It was eye opening to read, “The general assumption, in Japan at least, is that tidying doesn’t need to be taught but rather is picked up naturally.”  Kondo explains how that cannot be farther from the truth and I agree.  Just because your mom is tidy, and you grow up in a tidy home does not mean you will automatically know what to do.  I know this personally.  The state of our home affects us in so many ways.  Just like food, clothing, and shelter are basic necessities, so is the state of our shelter!  Here is a HUGE one for me.  She talks about rebounding.  It is so frustrating to me when I spend so much time and many times even money on organizing a space only for the space to end up a huge mess again.  The problem I’ve had is that I shouldn’t just organize.  I should be getting rid of everything I no longer need nor brings me joy.  Why spend the time and money organizing stuff I don’t care about or need?!?!  After all, “Putting things away creates the illusion that the clutter problem has been solved,” but we know in reality it’s just hidden, waiting to explode!  I love that this book is forcing me to look deep and figure out my WHY and that, “Tidying is just a tool, not the final destination.”

The only part I found goofy is that I should be taking care on how I fold my socks because they need to rest.  What?  Really?

As with anything that is not the Word of God, I will take it with a grain of salt, apply what will work for me as well as for my family, and hopefully learn from it.


One very important lesson God has taught me is that minimalism looks different to different people and that is okay!

What have you learned this week?

*All quotes came from the book mentioned above.

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