High School and Internships

High School and Internships
This year I am blessed to have a senior and a freshman in my house. I am almost done with one and just starting with another. Every school year has looked different over our career as homeschoolers. This year Thursdays are Internship Day.

I went to the owners of the company I work for (Bright Ideas Press) and asked them if my oldest son could spend one day in the office each week. It would be a chance for him to learn some of the different computer programs and experience an office environment. He will be earning his technology credit for the time spent there. We will also document what other things he accomplishes and might be able to give him another credit in career exploration. I know he will learn life-skills that will serve him well in adulthood.

A close friend of the family is expecting baby #3. They already have a 3 year old and 17 month old. The agreement for this internship looks like this, during the mornings my daughter will be helping with childcare and in the afternoons some light housework. My daughter will earn a credit for health. Her human development book walks her through the developmental stages and Thursday’s have become her lab time. She will be able to focus on appropriate activities and nutrition for this age group. Once again we will log all her time and she may earn an additional credit.

Now since I still have 2 younger kids at home, they have also found an internship. My 6th grader is going to help me clean a friend’s home. It’s his chance to earn some money, which allows us to begin teaching budgeting and tithing. Not to mention the proper way to clean.

My 3rd grader is going to be the teacher’s assistant for my friend who runs a kindergarten co-op at her house. Although he will enjoy a lot of the activities, it is a great opportunity for him to be the leader. Not something he gets to do a lot of being the youngest of 4.

Have internships played a role in your homeschool? Are you looking for one? Try finding a small business owner or friend who can share their gifts. Start asking around, you never know what door may open up.

Debt Free Interview with The Sociable Homeschooler

You know when they quote stats on how many people are afraid of public speaking, I am pretty sure I am number 2 or 3 on that list of thousands of people. It took me years of my Christian walk to be able to pray in front of folks. So imagine the surprise of my friends and family when not once but twice this month I was on the radio. I treasure this example of; when God calls you he will equip you.

On Friday, I had the privilege of sharing with Vivienne, the host for The Sociable Homeschooler Show, parts of my journey on becoming debt free. If you haven’t had a chance you can listen to the podcast here. Scroll down until you see my name, Stacey Lane.

I stand in the knowledge that I am not of this world. When the world looks at my small paid for house, my no debt budget, and my frugal ways, all while homeschooling, and shakes its head in confusion. I keep my attention on enjoying the adventure until He calls me home.

These talks have sparked my thoughts on writing a few blog posts on living in a small house. Sometimes a shift in thinking can make the difference in utilizing your space and keeping you from wanting what you don’t have.

All American History Jr. Government Lesson

All American History Jr.
After a quick trip to the library to gather books on the three branches of government, I printed out the folderbook figures and notebook pages from the mini government lessons in All American History Jr.


All American History Jr Warm-up Lesson:

  • To introduce our government lesson I placed 12 items on a cookie sheet. I chose items that related to different kinds of government. Some of the items I found were: courthouse building, dagger, dart gun, queen figure, a ruler, pencil of the presidents, army men, and a crown.
  • Then I covered the items with a towel, putting 1 minute on a timer, I allowed my boys to study the items. When the timer went off I covered the items back up. Then they had a few minutes to write down everything they could remember.
  • First I uncovered the ruler and asked what it had in common with government. We discussed how government makes “the rules” we follow. Next I uncovered the crown and queen figure to discuss monarchy and followed by the dagger and dart gun to discuss dictatorship. The pencil and courthouse helped to discuss a republic and democracy.

Now that their brains were warmed up, we read a book on the three branches of government.

Instead of doing another folderbook, I chose to use the figures on a posterboard. I sketched out a 3-branch tree and we taped the folderbook figures on the poster. They cut out leaves and on each leaf they wrote a description on each branch of government. We hung the poster up on the wall to review for the next few days.

I really liked the larger visual of the posterboard and plan to complete a few more this year.

We did go ahead and add the figures for veto, how a bill becomes a law, and Electoral College. Now they are ready for tomorrow’s lessons.


All American History JR Planning Session

All American History Jr. Planning

Today I am spending some much needed planning time on All American History JR. Volume 2.

I am a planner, I love to have things done ahead of time, because the littlest thing can throw me off track, like no tape or printer ink ☺

First I printed out the coloring pages, notebook pages, maps and puzzles for the first semester. Then scanning through the lesson plans to know which map and puzzle go in which lesson, I put together their notebooks.

I use the coloring page at the beginning of each lesson, since my boys like to color while I read to them. Then I added the notebook pages, followed by the map and the puzzles. Any other additional work and activities can be added as we complete the lessons. Keeping their notebooks in chronological order.

I did design a fun cover sheet for their notebooks, later they will color in some of the images and add some stickers. All American History Jr Blank-AAH-cover

Last year cutting out figures, taking notes and assembling the folderbooks really slowed us down. This year we have assembled the books in advance. With a pencil, I labeled the back of the information inserts and placed them in a plastic bag. This way they can just tape in the information and decorate the figures as they read the lessons. My son finds it difficult to pull out the important information from the lesson, I am going to use the folderbook as a guide for that information, and then have him fill in the notebook pages.

I printed out the challenge cards and timeline figures and hired my teenager to cut them out and place them in a plastic bag. Now they are in my teacher bin waiting for school to start.

The week before we actually start school, I am going to spend that time completing the Mini-Government lesson. This should be a great way to ease back into school and get ready for this coming election year!


Are you planning for All American History Jr this school year? Have any ideas you want to share? Please leave it in the comments!


Star Trek Themed Party

Star Trek Themed Party

Well earlier this summer my kids wrote a Top 10 Things to Do This Summer  and #4 on their list was Have a Star Trek Themed Party.

Planning parties is a great family learning event! As a homeschool mom I could even work in some school lessons on budgeting, planning and creative thinking into our day.

Star Trek Themed Decoration Ideas:

First we researched decoration ideas. Then we allotted $10 for the budget. The funds went to 4 black plastic table cloths, 1 pack of silver balloons, 1 red light bulb, and 2 star ice cube trays. Add to that some Christmas lights and our own stash of Star Trek toys and we had a party atmosphere.

Star Trek Themed Menu:


Second we planned the menu. We served Star Fleet sandwiches, Vulcan Veggies, Talaxiam Fruit Salad, and lovely drinks with our star shaped ice cubes. (Blue Gatorade worked well) Oh did I mention the dessert, a Borg Cake! My daughter was kind enough to make the cake gluten and dairy free. Don’t forget to serve the Earl Gray tea hot.

Star Trek Themed Party Activities:

Third was the entertainment line-up. A challenging round of Star Trek Scene It was enjoyed.

Next we held a Phaser Challenge which was how well could you use your Nerf dart guns to knock down various items.

We ended with watching our favorite movie, “The Search for Spock.”


Star Trek Themed Costumes:

Next up the costumes. Thankfully Goodwill organizes their shirts by color, we easily scored the red, blue and yellow that each person needed. My husband (aka 1 on of 6) scavenged hoses and wires to make a Borg costume. I couldn’t resist buying Vulcan ears from Amazon. My oldest son used thumbtacks to mark his ranking as admiral. That topped off our budget at $26 dollars for costume supplies.

A new family photo…PRICELESS



Introduction to 7 Tools for Cultivating Your Child’s Potential

Verse Matthew Ch 9:27

My friends who have called needing advice on potty training, know my comment will always be “they won’t start kindergarten in diapers, take a deep breath and relax for a moment.” They will reach those developmental stages, at their time; sometimes we just need someone to remind us of that.

There are times when you just need some encouraging words that your child will conquer that stage of development. When those children start Kindergarten, I make it a point to call their mommas and ask, “Do you remember when you thought diapers would never leave your house?” The phone call is really good for a laugh.

Now I am at the point where my oldest is a senior in high school and I am panicked I have missed something he may desperately need to know for college. Ack! Take a deep breath.

I must remind myself that there all gaps, and it’s okay. He will graduate and survive college. I have made it a point to talk with moms who have graduated their children from their home schools cause I need the reminder he will conquer this stage of life. (Hey, I will survive too!)

This weeks reading was the forward and appendix of 7 Tools for Cultivating Your Child’s Potential. Zan Tyler states her purpose for writing this book is to encourage women in the journey of being a wife and mother. Yeah, I need encouragement this week! I can’t wait to read the rest of the book.

Then the zinger, Zan points out that, “God continues to focus firmly on relationships with Him and others.” Oh, that doesn’t sound like math, reading or science. Hmm have I gotten so carried away with academics I have forgotten our relationships? Didn’t I just pray for God to help us in the friendship department?

Oh, no I can’t write about Chapter 1 until next week!


Sibling Rivalry

Sibling Rivalry

Ok I am just going to assume if you have more than 1 child you have experienced sibling rivalry in your house. The culprits in my house are my 7 yr. and 11 yr. old sons. They share a room, they share toys and they share their parents.

In my quest to bring peace to my house, I have found one idea that helps bring unity. Now we have memorized scripture, prayed about heart changes and encouraged kind gestures, but sometimes it’s hard to act lovingly when you have back-to-back confrontations.

When I notice the constant bickering and fighting is reaching a peak of out of control, I look for an activity for just the two of them; an activity where they get to feel special for going and can have a chance to bind their hearts over a pleasant experience.

Sometimes it is simple moment like sneaking away for ice cream. Sometimes you need to plan an adventure for the afternoon.


Last week I took them to the rodeo, just the two of them. They laughed at each other riding the mechanical bull. When we got home they were happy to report to the family their adventure.

Then when the bickering started, I could remind them how much fun they can have with their brother. It amazes me how quick they can forget the fun times but I hope when they are older then can be friends.

Part of my intentional parenting includes helping the children build better relationships with each other.

Do you have any special things you do to help battle sibling rivalry?

Cupcakes for Missions Continues


In case you missed my first blog post on Cupcakes, Missions and Social Media.

My daughter continues to receive orders for cupcakes, even after funding her first 3-week mission trip back in April. These cupcakes have allowed her to fund and attend another mission trip.

This week she is serving a special needs camp in Pennsylvania. A group of teens are scrubbing dishes, setting tables, and cleaning bathrooms to help serve the staff and campers.

Since her cupcakes are homemade people like to comment on them. Some of her customers take her cupcakes to public parties and have been able to share how they purchased them to support missions. It has been a great way to start a conversation about Jesus!

She has baked well over 500 cupcakes since January and she continues to love baking them. I love to see her heart grow in the serving of others. She starts high school in September and I am already working on getting her high school credit for all her work.

I am blessed to be able to encourage her and thankful that her family rallies around her by washing dishes and cleaning up the kitchen. May the Lord continue to show me the potential of each of my children.

Thank you to all of “YOU” who have ordered cupcakes!!


Political Map Done With Cupcakes


Political Map

My daughter decided to make a political map of South America for extra credit for her geography class. It was the last co-op class of the year and we wanted to celebrate the kids hard work with North Star Geography.

Creating a Political Map with Cupcakes:

  • My daughter can get 20 cupcakes per box of cake mix. This time we placed them together and treated them like a cake. She used black icing to create an outline of the country borders. She did her best to copy the outline from her atlas.
  • Once we outlined the countries we choose different colors of icing to fill in each country. It did take a little planning to make sure the same color did not get used for any countries sharing borders.
  • Next some blue icing for the oceans. We did decide to layer the icing so the gaps between cupcakes would be hidden. Most people don’t turn down a little extra butter cream icing. We really like the way the political map looked connected.
  • Now once the design is done, using toothpicks and address labels, we labeled the countries of South America.

For a little bonus we told her co-op that they had to name the capitals in order to enjoy a cupcake!

Of course creating a political map was easier then creating a topographical map but we might be up for the challenge over the summer. Yes the kids did know the capitals and were more then happy to answer the questions for cupcakes.

I recently have seen a periodic table done in cupcakes on Pinterest. Almost make me wonder if we could create an entire unit study on cupcake based lesson plans.

Political Cupcakes


Summer Reading Plan


Summer Reading Plan

We were at the library yesterday and saw the advertising for the summer reading program. I am always shocked how a sheet of paper, a strip of stickers and a chance for a prize motivates my kids to want to spend some of their summer reading!

So fast-forward to this morning, since our bible reading comes from our school curriculum and we are finishing that up. I told my 7 year old, go read you bible. He was immediately lost on what he should read and slumped on the couch. Hmm might need to offer some guidance here.

Summer Reading Plan for His Glory
A Family Challenge

I then remembered I had some great family activity coupons lying in a drawer, the kind of coupons that can get you ice cream for dinner or a special outing with dad. I grabbed a lovely red gift bag and added the coupons to it.

At the end of June, July and August if your reading chart is filled with stickers you can grab a coupon out of the bag! Hmm I might need to come up with a coupon my husband and I can strive towards. It always makes things fun when the kids can check to see how WE parents are doing.