Self Esteem Song

Self Esteem by A. Lane

Yes, my son is still writing songs. Did you catch his first song “All I Want For Christmas is a Friend”, he really touched my heart and the song opened up a great dialogue between us. I told him every month he could publish a song here on my blog.

I hope they can provide a chance to share with your kids and maybe start some discussions about things your kids are experiencing.

Self Esteem

Verse 1
Uh man when I was younger I didn’t think much of myself.
Stuck my self-esteem right on the shelf.
I always beat myself up without ever letting up.
I told myself I would amount to nothing.
That I would never amount to something.
I believed I was the worst man alive.
I don’t know how I survived.
I believed I was dumb and nothing but a bum.
I foolishly thought I was being humble.
Instead it just caused me to stumble.
But by God’s grace I got through.
Now I want to help you.
Maybe you’re just like me and you feel the same.
Always giving yourself the blame.
But think of The Lord who gave you your name.
What would he say? Would he agree?
Verse 2
I know what He would say.
Go take a look in his book.
In Isaiah 64:8 it says God made you.
There’s your first clue.
He made you just how he wanted you to be.
Don’t you see?
Now picture someone you love calling themselves stupid, silly, and shameful.
How would you feel if you could see that?
Well that’s how God feels when you say that.
It makes his heart ache.
Every time you say you are a mistake.
So please stop tearing yourself down.
Which causes God to frown.
Maybe you’re just like me and you feel the same.
Always giving yourself the blame.
But think of The Lord who gave you your name.
What would he say? Would He agree?

Verse 3
Think about that for a minute.
Then next time you want to tear yourself down.
Please shutdown that voice that wants you to.
You’re special, spectacular, and sufficient.
Don’t listen to anything that says different.
You’re not perfect but you’re not the worst either.
Please tell someone who is wise what you’re going through.
They’ll know how to help and what to do.
You don’t have to do this on your own.
You can’t do everything alone.
Maybe you’re just like me and you feel the same.
Always giving yourself the blame.
Think of The Lord who gave you your name.
What would he say? Would he agree?

Leave a comment! My son loves getting feedback. 

End-of-the-Year Writing Review with WriteShop

End-of-the-Year Writing Review

with WriteShop

We have worked hard in finishing our WriteShop Book E this year! I am excited over the progress my son is making with his writing.

I created this End-of-the-Year Writing Review to allow my son a chance to evaluate his own work. I wanted to give him the chance to share his thoughts on his writing assignments.

I decided to have our review with snacks in the afternoon. I knew if I included snacks it would create a more willing attitude in my son. Writing is not his favorite subject so extra incentives help.

End-of-the-Year Writing Review Snack

We followed the directions for School Book Sandwiches I found on Pinterest. I had my son select names of books he had read or titles from some of his writing. I found the food markers at our local craft store.

After chatting about things over sandwiches and root beer, we opened his briefcase. His briefcase is where he stores all of his writing assignments. I then gave him the awards I created and had him select which of his writing assignments he felt deserved the awards. I even let him create an award for one of his assignments and this is where we edit adolescent boy humor 🙂

You can download for free from my Teachers Pay Teacher store, Writing Assessment. 

Writing Review

He was really proud of his book report. I think in part that had to do with writing about his favorite book. He gave the book report his Best Assignment Award.

Our End-of-the-Year-Review became a great chance for him to notice how much hard work he accomplished throughout this school year.

I handed him the writing award from the WriteShop program and he colored in his trophy. I think he was happy to not be assigned a writing assignment and I was happy to end our year with smiles.

Good news! WriteShop is having a sale this month! 



Planning Moved Me From Surviving to Thriving

Planning Moved Me From

Surviving to Thriving!

Somewhere on this journey of being a homeschooling employed momma; I became in love with planners! Seriously about two years ago I fell in love with a Color Crush planner that allowed me to plan with stickers.

I am a functional sticker planner. Most of my stickers are for events I need to remember. Occasionally I throw a pretty sticker in the corner. Thank you Etsy for connecting with planning stickers!

Every Sunday night I pull out my box of stickers and plan my week. When will I squeeze in work, what will we have for dinner and who needs to be where.

It fills my creative need. It allows me time to see the big picture of my week and helps me catch those moments when I am double booked!

Then this year I bought a planner for the blog. Now I am busy attempting to plan things to keep me from posting on a whim.

When I was not looking a friend gave me Michael Hyatt’s planner to help me stay on top of my goals for work. Yes, that makes 3 planners in my life.

But bouncing around from work…to blog…to homeschool…to life…is a lot to keep track of.

While you might think I have lost my mind in planner world, I generally only use the last two planners once a month. But now I have a place to help me remember where I left off at in my thoughts.

New Year Planning Giveaway

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All I Want for Christmas is a Friend

My teenaged son has taken up songwriting this year. I shared a few lines in the Special Needs Homeschooling Facebook group, since I knew they would understand. The struggle of any mom wanting their kids to have friends is very real. You are not alone moms in wanting this for your kids.

Sharing in the group provided an eye opening chance for my son to realize that there are many other kids out there struggling to find a friend. This is an expression of that desire to have a friend, my son hates math but it worked for the song. He is currently putting music to these lyrics.

All I Want For Christmas is a Friend

Dear Santa this year I want something different, not a Mac I already have two of them. No, this year I want something different.


All I want for Christmas is a friend, I’m super lonely and lowly my only friends are pretend.
All I want for Christmas is a friend, Oh Santa can’t you help me find a friend.

Verse 1

I wish I had a friend instead everybody calls me weird and I feel like I have disappeared.
My Mom is my only follower and I have 0 likes with many dislikes.
Nobody ever texts me and asks me to hang out.
Instead I’m always left-out.


All I want for Christmas is a friend, I’m super lonely and lowly my only friends are pretend.
All I want for Christmas is a friend oh Santa please help me find a friend.

[Read more…]

Field Trip Ideas for The Mystery of History Volume I

Field Trip Ideas for

The Mystery of History Volume I

The lovely ladies in The Mystery of History Volume I Facebook Group started a field trip ideas thread.

I thought it was a great idea to find easy inspiration for planning field trips. I have categorized by state. I have researched more places to visit. This is by no means an exhaustive list.

These include a wide variety of ages and topics. The topics might help you with keywords to do your own research on your surrounding area.

If you have a great field trip comment or send me a link!

Field Trip Ideas:









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Give-Away #1 for December

Give-Away #1!

There is joy in giving! I am blessed this year to be able to give back which after the past few years of needing help; really warms my heart.

Did you catch my last post on Beginning the Homeschooling Journey?

I am giving away 2 copies of How to Homeschool with Stunning Confidence, Contagious Joy, and Amazing Focus. 

For U.S residents only! Sorry I can not afford international shipping.

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Beginning the Homeschool Journey

Beginning the Homeschool Journey

I was talking with some veteran homeschool moms about the early days of our homeschooling journey. Since we began the homeschool journey before the internet and Pinterest my biggest struggle was how to actually homeschool.

Looking back, I remember talking with a friend who had been homeschooling for the past several years and begging her to just tell me what to buy to teach my kid. She was wise to not answer but did offer some vague guidance on how to make it work at my house. She knew then what I did not, that every homeschool looks different and every kid has different needs.

In my early days I was a solid oak tree. We had a schedule that we followed. Even to this day my kids stop at 3:00pm for a snack.

We had curriculum that we followed every word. It did not matter if my kids had mastered or needed more practice; we followed the pace of the curriculum because surely they knew better with how much work should be accomplished each day.

My mighty oak days did not offer much grace, my mighty oak days did not allow for flexibility. My mighty oak days fed my need to be in control of everything. My mighty oak days required much of my strength to keep things under control.

Then life brought me 4 children, 2 with health and learning issues, a sick husband, and the normal challenges of life and the time had come for me to either bend like a willow tree or break under the pressure.

Overtime I learned to bend, I let go of my expectations and I allowed grace to enter.

Beginning the homeschool journey I had no idea of how much it would change and challenge me. I thought it was all about providing my kids with an excellent education.

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The Why of Attending School

The Why of Attending School

Have you ever asked your kids why they are in school? My oldest two children can clearly articulate why they are attending school. They desire to learn the knowledge they need to enter into the job market to become a meteorologist and a pastry chef.

They have known since middle school what they wanted to study in high school and college. Next month my oldest graduates college with his degree in Geography with emphasis on GIS and Atmospheric Science! (Insert grad photo)

But just two months into this school year I realized my third child felt that school was an unnecessary event for his life. He did not have a why other then it was what his siblings had done.

Around the water cooler at the office we discussed the why. For some school was a place to be able to compare yourself to others and know how smart you were or weren’t. For others it was a place to just conquer test taking. Most of us enjoyed the social hangout.

I began having discussions with my son on how subjects and situations could provide opportunities to practice skills he would need in adulthood. That he had the safety net of still living at home while practicing these skills. This was his time to try new things and explore his gifts.

I assigned him the writing assignment of What is Your Why for attending School. Now this assignment came a few days after discovering he had been skipping his online classes and was ready to quit school.

Maybe discovering this why will renew in my son his comminement to finishing school. Maybe it will give him the courage to find his gifts and stop comparing himself to his older siblings.

Why my son was wrestling with his why for finishing high school my youngest found himself questioning his why for starting high school. Yes he said he goes to school because I make him.

Discussion of Why of Attending School

Tonight at the dinner table ask your kids why do they attend school. Depending on the ages of your kids you might get some really creative answers. You might also discover that it becomes an opportunity to explain the bigger picture of attending school.

Hopefully you don’t get caught in the how adults never use Algebra after high school but maybe you can talk thought that even if they hate math that does not mean everything about high school stinks.

Maybe you can open the lines of communication on what your kids find important to learn from their perspective. I know I failed a little with hearing what my son was struggling with and what he needed to succeed in high school.

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100 Reasons To Keep Homeschooling Through Difficulties

Homeschooling Through Difficulties

Finishing up my 17th year of homeschooling and I am thankful that I continued to homeschool, even through some really difficult situations. Then it took so long to write this post that now it is the season for preparing for the next year…bring on number 18!

Often those situations seem so much larger in the moment then I remember them. Yet even today I am struggling to help my sons finish their school assignments for this week.

Sometimes I write blog posts or create memes to remind myself why I keep pushing to finish this journey of homeschooling my children.

Because even in the ugly, horrible, and difficult circumstances that life sometimes drops into my life, my children have still been able to receive the education that they need.

Homeschooling Through Difficulties: Illness

  1. Read a book like Lost and Found
  2. Practice receiving help
  3. Follow these 12 Practice Tips for Homeschooling Through a Short Term Crisis 
  4. Take a moment and examine your expectations.
  5. Don’t beat yourself up if you normally serve a hot meal in the morning and breakfast has become cold cereal for 2 weeks.
  6. Sometimes the lesson for your kids is them learning how to run the house and not completing another math lesson.
  7. Buy paper products and forget about doing the dishes.
  8. Compassion, perseverance, and humility are often best learned in a practical situation.
  9. 10 Tips for Homeschooling with a Chronic Illness because sometimes the illness is chronic.
  10. Homeschooling Through a Chronic Illness states that you need to be willing to accept a new normal.

Homeschooling Through Difficulties: Grief

  1. Grief and Joy combined, it is okay to laugh and cry during the same moment.
  2. Homeschooling Through Grief, remember to take frequent breaks.
  3. How the Challenge of Love is Grief, copy down a scripture verse and tape it to the bathroom mirror.
  4. Sometimes choosing to do things in small amounts helps build momentum and even in your grief it is ok to smile, How Homeschooling Actually Saved Me From Depression.
  5. Homeschooling Through Grief can be done, don’t expect a cookie cutter appoach to work.

Homeschooling Through Difficulties: Tough Times

  1. How to Homeschool Through Tough Times, remember to be flexible.
  2. 4 Lessons I’ve learned Homeschooling Through Hard Times, kids still learn even despite the difficult moment.
  3. Listen to others who have experienced similar situations, Homeschooling Through Hard Times.
  4. Homeschooling When the Schedule is Disrupted, flexibility is a skill to practice.
  5. Homeschooling Through Trying Times, remember to be gentle with yourself.
  6. Homeschooling When Life Gets Hard, family comes first.
  7. 5 Reasons Why We Continued to Homeschool, you get to set the pace
  8. 8 Tips to Help Your Homeschool Thrive Through Hard Times, remember to relax.
  9. Does Your Homeschool Need a Grace Year? yes, always add more grace.
  10. Keep things simple when Homeschooling Through a Crisis 

Homeschooling Through Difficulties: Being Overwhelmed

  1. Embracing Overwhelm
  2. Battling the fear of failing 
  3. Take a break from the books and plan some fun.
  4. Maybe you just need to take a Homeschool Sabbatical.
  5. Don’t forget to adjust the homeschool plans to better serve your kids.
  6. Teach Science in the summer instead of squeezing it into an already busy school year.
  7. Create Margin
  8. Take a Moment to say a Homeschool Prayer
  9. Remember that God does provide and when He does, take a photo of the provision.
  10. Accepting Limits, Balancing Homeschool, and Work

Homeschooling Through Difficulties: Depression [Read more…]

The Mystery of History in a Co-op Setting

The Mystery of History in a Co-op Setting

Would you like to use The Mystery of History in a co-op setting? Since the book is intentionally adaptable to teaching multiple ages, you will find many ways to plan lessons for your co-op.

The following ideas and questions will help you think through what you want to cover in your co-op class. Once you have decided what to cover, then you can decide whether a co-op license or co-op discount will work best.

Ideas for Teaching The Mystery of History in a Co-op Setting:

  • What is the goal for the co-op class?
  • Will it just be simply delivering the lesson content or will you keep grades?
  • Will it be project based, group activities, or individual activities?
  • Will you present all the information or require students to come to class having read the lesson?
  • Do you want to include supplements like coloring pages or notebook pages?
  • Are you going to include extra resources?
  • Include extra literature assignments?
  • How much time do you have to teach?
  • What ages are you teaching?

For example, if you have 1 hour to teach 1st to 4th grade students and your goal is to supplement lessons taught at home, your schedule could include:

  • Go over the highlights of the lessons by doing a group review
  • Select one or two activities from the week to complete
  • Bring in an extra resource like a YouTube video or book
  • Wrap up class by doing map work or a timeline.

Another example, if you have 2 hours to teach 5th to 8th grade and you are not requiring students to do any work outside of class, your schedule could include:

  • Go over the pretest orally, then present the lesson information while students take notes on the notebooking pages
  • Ask follow-up questions or allow kids to offer narration of the material
  • Complete a few activities from the book, and if questions are research based assign them the week before so students can share their thoughts.
  • End class with the wrap activity or quiz

Co-op License or Co-op Discount:

Do you need a co-op license or a co-op discount? The size of your co-op and what you want to teach in co-op will determine which works best.

If you want every student to have their own copy of the book or material, a co-op discount would work best. The co-op discount gives you 30% off an order of 6 or more copies. The teacher can make copies without a license since each family has the material already.

If you are not requiring students to own the material, a co-op license gives the teacher privileges to copy material for students. Each co-op license is for 25 students and includes one copy of the material. If the material is a download, the co-op license is for the teacher only. The download should not be shared with the families.


Number crunching scenarios with co-op license and co-op discount.

Keep in mind that you can buy a co-op license just for the Companion Guide. If you present the material from the lessons and just want to copy pre-test, quizzes, and map work then a co-op license for the Companion Guide would be the best price.

A co-op license on The Mystery of History Volume 1 book would cost: $124.87. Keep in mind you will have to make copies of the book.

A co-op license on The Mystery of History Volume 1 Companion Guide would cost: $62.38. This product contains everything but the lessons.

The website will automatically apply the co-op discount when you select a quantity of six or more. Then you can look at shipping costs. While the website will allow for Media Mail know that large boxes move slower in shipping and have a higher chance of damage.

Tracking Forms for The Mystery of History in a Co-op Setting:

To help make that job easier I created a form, Co-op Tracking Expenses * to help you keep track of who has paid. Could be used for supplies for the class, splitting up the cost of the license, or paying for the group book order. 

* indicates required 


After you have decided what you are teaching, then you just need to gather money from parents to cover the costs of materials.

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