It’s spring – time to dance with the flowers and soar with the birds! By spring, we’re starting to think about summer break, finishing out the homeschool year (unless you’re year-round),, and thinking about upcoming holidays… Here are activities, books, and resources for incorporating the holidays into your homeschool. Pick and choose what works best for your family. Bloom in springtime!
All of these resources are appropriate for middle and high school.
Books to Incorporate
- Tu B’Shevat
- Pi Day
- History Behind St. Patrick’s Day
- History Behind Easter
- History Behind Mother’s & Father’s Day
- Severe Weather
- History of Holidays in America: Women’s History Month, Arbor Day, Earth Day & Cinco de Mayo
- Women Through History course
- The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream
- Alice in Wonderland
Online Unit Studies
- Planning a Garden
- Raised Beds & Pallet Planters
- St. Patrick’s Day Feast
- Naturally Dying Eggs
- Eggshell Mosaic
- Plant Dissection
- Pressed Flower Art
- Craft a Birdhouse
- Build the Titanic
- Basic Spring Embroidery
Other Fun Stuff!
- Spice up your Spring Wardrobe
- Field Guide to Living for Mom
- Homeschool Convention Planner
- Lego Father’s Day bundle (free to subscribers)
- Studio Art for Teens: Illuminated Design and Graphic Design
- Learning About World Cultures for Asian / Pacific Islanders Month
- Flag Etiquette: Unit Study in History, Geography, and Social Studies
- Spring Flowers paint-by-number
- Spring Gnomes paint-by-number
Are you struggling to find productivity in your day-to-day? Are you feeling like you are constantly putting out fires and not making any progress on the things that matter most to you? If so, you’re not alone. Many people struggle with productivity because they are making some common mistakes. In this blog post, we will discuss 10 blunders that are sabotaging your personal productivity. Once you become aware of these mistakes, you can start taking steps to correct them and finally get stuff done!
Blunder #1: Not Having a Plan
One of the biggest productivity killers is not having a plan. If you don’t know what your goals are or what steps you need to take to achieve them, it’s going to be very difficult to get anything done. You will likely find yourself spinning your wheels and getting nowhere fast. Take some time to sit down and figure out what you want to achieve. Once you have a goal in mind, break it down into smaller steps that you can take to get there. Having a roadmap will help keep you on track and prevent wasted time.
This will get you nowhere fast on both the little things AND the big things. When looking at the major life decisions for what comes after high school, it’s easy to get stymied by all the “what ifs.” Do a little research and choose a path, you can always course correct later. Download the free Homeschooling Help book or pick up the High School to College course.
Blunder #2: Not Breaking Down Tasks Into Smaller Steps
Another common mistake people make is not breaking down tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. When you have a big project or goal that seems overwhelming, it can be tempting to just try to power through it without taking the time to break it down. However, this usually leads to frustration and a feeling of being stuck. Instead of trying to tackle the entire project at once, break it down into smaller steps that you can complete one at a time. This will help you stay focused and make progress until the task is done.
Something I’m always telling the students at Sparks Academy, particularly as they begin to tackle large assignments, is – “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!” A racer runs a marathon one mile at a time. And a good student tackles a large project one chunk at a time.
Blunder #3: Not Scheduling Time for Important Tasks
If you don’t schedule time for the things that are important to you, they will likely never get done. It’s easy to fill up your day with busy work and put off the things that really matter, but this will only lead to frustration. Make sure you schedule time for the tasks that are most important to you, and stick to that schedule as much as possible. This will help ensure that you are making progress on the things that truly matter.
The ability to prioritize important tasks, culling the wheat from the chaff, is a hallmark of a good leader, and leadership skills are important for all kinds of successes in life, from employment to relationships. See how to boost your leadership skills here.
Blunder #4: Not Having a Dedicated Workspace
One of the biggest productivity killers is not having a dedicated workspace. If you are constantly working in different locations, it can be difficult to stay focused and get things done. Make sure you have a designated space that is just for work. This will help you stay focused and avoid distractions.
It’s possible to work from your kitchen table, but having a private workspace makes getting into the study zone much easier. Having set work hours and visual cues, such as a small sign or wearing headphones, will let well-meaning family members know you’re working.
Blunder #5: Not Taking Breaks
It might seem counterintuitive, but taking breaks can actually help you be more productive. If you are working non-stop, you are likely to get burnt out and make mistakes. instead of trying to power through, take a break every few hours to recharge. This will help you stay focused and avoid errors.
Your break can be a walk around the block, shooting some hoops with a sibling, or picking up a musical instrument for a bit. It could be having a snack or taking a field trip to town — after all, every field trip doesn’t have to be long and / or exotic…
Blunder #6: Not Staying Organized
Another common mistake people make is not staying organized. When you are constantly trying to find things, it can be very frustrating and time-consuming. Make sure you have a system in place for organizing your work so that you can find things quickly and easily. This will save you time in the long run and help you stay on track.
Get a hold on this with the Rise & Shine Student Planner. Each month contains an at-a-glance calendar, with space for notes and a to-do list. Weekly pages are broken down by day, and daily pages provide space for habit tracking, notes, meal planning, and an hourly planner.
Blunder #7: Trying to Do Too Much
One of the biggest productivity killers is trying to do too much at once. When you are constantly jumping from one task to another, it can be difficult to focus and get anything done. Make sure you are prioritizing your tasks so that you are only working on the most important things. This will help you stay focused and avoid feeling overwhelmed. Having a plan will help you keep on task.
Blunder #8: Procrastinating
One of the biggest productivity killers is procrastination. When you put off tasks, they tend to pile up and become even more daunting. Make sure you are staying on top of your tasks by setting deadlines and holding yourself accountable. This will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and ensure that you are making progress.
Are you easily distracted, noticing every sight and sound around you? When working on a task, are you often side-tracked and have a difficult time focusing? Procrastination is one of the hallmarks of distractibility. Learn how to focus more easily, which will help your studying.
Blunder #9: Not Getting Enough Sleep
One of the biggest productivity killers is not getting enough sleep. When you are tired, it can be difficult to focus and get things done. Make sure you are getting enough rest so that you can be productive during the day. This will help you avoid feeling exhausted and ensure that you are able to focus on your tasks.
Eliminate this blunder with the New Year, New Me Habit Tracker. This reusable calendar features monthly at-a-glance pages and weekly pages with space for notes and planning. Each week also has a habit tracker grid to help keep the momentum going with your new habits!
Blunder #10: Not Eating Healthy
Another common mistake people make is not eating healthy. When you are not getting the proper nutrients, it can be difficult to focus and stay on task. Make sure you are eating a balanced diet so that you can maintain your energy levels and avoid feeling sluggish. This will help you stay focused and productive throughout the day.
It may take some adjustments in your shopping and cooking habits, but eating real food (and not nuking it in the microwave) is so much healthier for you! Your body will appreciate the difference, and after a little bit your mood will improve as you begin to feel more energized. Check out the No Sweat! Cooking Bundle for quick, easy, and healthy meal ideas.
There are many common mistakes that people make that can stand in the way of their personal productivity. By avoiding these mistakes, you can ensure that you are able to stay focused and get things done. Make sure you try to implement some of these tips so that you can increase your productivity and achieve your goals.
Interactive CurriculaThese online literary guides have everything you need to study the book. They include vocabulary, grammar, free-write questions, videos, rabbit trails, and project ideas.
- Brown Girl Dreaming
- Bud, Not Buddy
- To Kill a Mockingbird
- Up from Slavery
- Martin Luther King Jr
- Smithsonian Museum of African American History & Culture
The Written Word
- Civil Rights Trail Guide
- Civil Rights: Then and Now (covers several rights)
- A Class Apart (Mexican civil rights)
- The Watsons Go to Birmingham
- Bud, Not Buddy
- Black Heritage Letters
A Novel Approach
- Poetry of Langston Hughes unit
- The Watsons Go to Birmingham unit
- Sharecropping & Sounder unit
- To Kill a Mockingbird & Systemic Racism
- African-American Mythology
- Freedom Summer & Summer of 1964
Go in-depth with your studies, covering a full semester or more with lessons, videos, readings, and projects.
- History of the Civil Rights Movement
- Teaching the American Civil War
- Co-op Lesson Plans for a variety of civil rights events
Download the FREE World History Timeline with Study Connections!
Your weekly meal plan might be broken down to the day, or you might plan for five days worth of meals, and then choose what you’re in the mood for each day. This is a personal choice, and will depend on how much structure you and your family need. When you’re meal planning, keep in mind:
- Your family’s food preferences — no need to make breakfasts if no one eats that early
- Your weekly schedule — have some quick and on-the-go options for busy days
- Family dynamics — older kids can help with prep, cooking, and cleaning
- What’s on hand — for less waste / spending, create menus that use on-hand ingredients
Online Meal Planning
Ordering groceries online isn’t an option where we live, but it is for many people in urban and suburban areas. If you want to order online, start a grocery list and keep adding to it throughout the week (similar to if you have a paper one on the refrigerator to take in-hand to the store). Some folks swear by online shopping, saying they prefer to spend the extra money for someone else to do the shopping because it saves them from impulse purchases. You know whether you tend to impulse shop or not, so again, this is a personal (and potentially geographic) preference.)
Appliances & Early Meal Prep
Kitchen appliances are a huge time saver today…something our grandmothers would have cherished! You’ll want to take some time to get to know your appliance, but utilize them for convenient, healthy meals. Incorporate appliance-specific recipes into your meal planning each week to save time.
If you have them on hand, use your crockpot, air fryer, and InstaPot. However, if you’re in the market for a time-saving kitchen appliance, you can’t go wrong with the Ninja Foodi. This is the one we have, and it is A-MAZ-ING! (It does even more than the famous InstaPot.)
Freezer CookingIf you know you’re going to have a busy period, try freezer cooking. This is essentially cooking everything ahead of time and then pulling it out of the freezer to reheat. Not all recipes lend themselves to this method, but many recipe PARTS do. You can prep taco meat or spaghetti sauce ahead of time, making dinnertime easier. Check out the freezer cooking resources below to get you started!
A Slow-Cooked Year
This book includes : the whats and whys behind crockpot cooking, how-to tips and tricks, safe crockpot guidelines, printable planning sheets, and more than thirty seasonally-appropriate, kid-friendly recipes!
Another Year of Freezer Cooking
For anyone who wants to get a leg up on getting healthy meals on the family table, without much fuss…this book includes : the whats and whys behind freezer cooking how-to tips and tricks pantry freezing guidelines, printable planning sheets more than thirty seasonally-appropriate, kid-friendly recipes!
Snag this adorable tee to tout your homeschool status and celebrate the #HomeschoolMomLife!
Resources for Meal Planning
- Introduction to Freezer Cooking
- Stress-Free Family Meal Planning
- Taste of Home: Meal Planning
- The Ultimate Meal Planning Guide
- Monthly Menus (covers breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks & dessert)
- Homemade Baker’s Box
- Whole Food Cooking e-book
- Magnetic Meal Planner w/ List Feature (easy organization!)
- FREE – Tiny Steps Tuesday e-book
Novel Studies & Hands-On Helpers
- Around the World in 80 Days + International Cooking
- KidStir Cooking Kits
- Home Economics year-long curriculum
Recipes to Get You Started!
- Six Basic Freezer Cooking Recipes
- Apple Recipes for your Crockpot
- Hearty Stew & Homemade Bread
- Nourishing Homemade Bone Broth
Take the 30 Day Challenge!
Homeschooling has the potential to place an enormous toll on a your mental mental health. You might become excessively tired, cranky, or sad, or have difficulty concentrating, or have lethargy that leaves you not even wanting to teach at all. (aka, burnout)
- Acknowledge that this is a busy season of life
- Create a routine to reduce stress
- But be flexible with your routine, when needed
- Ask friends and family for help
- Get plenty of sleep
- Eat healthy foods
- Exercise both your mind and body
- Take a moment all to yourself
- Remember to have fun
Outside (the body)
- Month by Month Garden Preservation
- Natural Cleaning Recipes e-book
- DIY Bug Spray
- Tiny Steps Tuesday (small changes for big effects!)
- Homemade Cleansers
- Coffee-Infused Serum
- Living SLOW
- Simple Tricks to Keep Your Resolution
- Four-Week Internal Detox
- Self-Care During the Holidays
- Self-Care for Moms
- Beating Homeschool Burnout
- Handling Holiday Stress
- Mental Wealth Box
- HopeBox (our favorite! Take a peek inside here.)
- Super Easy Sauerkraut
- Homemade Truffles
- DIY Apple Cider Vinegar
- Blueberry Infused Honey
- Basic Freezer Cooking
- Canning Basics + Pickling
- Kefir & Granola Cereal
- Whole Foods Cooking
- Healthier Oatmeal Creams
- Homemade Bone Broth
- Natural Food Coloring
Herbs & Herbal Remedies
Resources for Further Learning
- Fever 1793 unit study
- Nature series Book Club
- The Giving Tree book club
- Homesteading course
- Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health
- The Big Book of Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health and Home
- Planted with a Purpose
- The Whole and Healthy Family: Helping Your Kids Thrive in Mind, Body, and Spirit