Tips for Homeschooling When It Is Hectic

There are certain times when it can be difficult to fit in homeschooling along with the other situations you may find in your life, whether that is a new baby, a sick relative, or a busier than usual time of the year. While it is important to see to the educational needs of your child, you can also take a break from your regular work or routine if needed. School can still be done, just perhaps in a different way than you thought. You can return to your curriculum and/or school schedule once things settle down. Here are some ideas to help you.

Audiobooks– Don’t have time to read aloud to your child? Find a book that your child will find interesting. If you have a library card, your system may have Hoopla or Libby, both are free to use. Your child can either write or narrate a summary of each chapter or the book. Everyone can tell you the main characters and the plot of the story. You can go into depth with your older child by discussing the themes of the story (Language Arts, other subjects depending upon what you or your child has chosen.).

Educational Videos- You can find documentaries, places to travel, science experiments, and other interesting topics. You only need to do a Google search and a great big list of videos to watch will appear! You may need to preview the video to make sure it is appropriate for your child (age level, content, etc). For older students, this is a great way to incorporate Language Arts. Your student can take notes and summarize the video. Have them give it a thumbs up/down and support their answer.

Project- This can be done in a manner of ways. You can assign an activity that can enhance the audiobook or video. Your child can draw a picture, create a PowerPoint, make a poster, create a photo collage, act out their favorite scene or create an additional one, and so on. They might find additional videos and make a list to share with you and others.

Do your children like to craft and can do some things on their own? Great! Let them create something (Art). They can make cards (Language Arts), organize their toys (Math- logic, counting, spatial intelligence), make a model (Science, Art, History), read to a younger sibling (Language Arts), bake cookies and take to a neighbor or friend (Math, Health).

Shopping- If you celebrate a holiday event, making a list of things to purchase (this can be drawn or written) can be counted for Language Arts as well as for Math (order items according to price, like rating system 1- I would like to have 5-I don’t want anything else!).

Games- Do you have games the children can play? Many of these are actually math and logic games. You can also play games in the car. Have math races- call out a multiplication problem and see how fast they can solve it. Do you have a little one who is just beginning to learn their alphabet, colors, numbers? Find examples of these as you travel in your vehicle. You can also listen to an audiobook in the car.

This is just a list to stir up your own creative juices. Feel free to add more of your own ideas. Of course, if things are extremely hectic and you can’t get school done, take some time off! Scheduling a school break is fine; it just might have been an unexpected one and that’s okay. You will have time to make up the time missed within the rest of your school year.

Blessings to you! Have a great week! ~ Lisa ~

Legislative News for Homeschooling

I was looking at Christian Home Educators of Ohio’s website today and wanted to pass this information along. I am not giving any legal advice, but wanted to make you aware of the financial support that you can avail yourself of should you wish. Source:

Legislative – HB110

From CHEO Legislative Liaison, Melanie Else


The State of Ohio has enacted its biennium (2-year) budget (HB 110) effective 6/30/21. This is always a comprehensive piece of legislation that includes changes in permanent law as well as financial support for all aspects of state policy. The enrolled version is 2438 pages in length.

There are several changes in law in HB 110 that affect home educating families, effective immediately. This update will provide details on two of these changes. The remaining policies will be described in a separate update because they affect families who are leaving the home education experience to enroll their children in public or nonpublic schools.

Note: This update is for informational purposes only. CHEO’S position on both policy issues is a neutral one. As standalone policies, there are no ties to the parameters of our state regulations. Both policies are voluntary in nature on the part of the home educating parent.

Revised Code: Section 5747.72(A) on pp. 1919-1920

Tax credit for education expenses used directly for education expenses for students who have been excused from compulsory attendance for the purpose of home education. The amount allowed as a tax credit is $250 per taxpayer for whom the student is a dependent (per taxable year).

Allowable expenses:
• Books
• Supplementary materials
• Supplies
• Computer software, applications, or subscriptions.

Expenses not allowed to be used as a tax credit are computers or similar electronic devices or accessories thereto.

Note: This is a credit, not a tax deduction. The Ohio Tax Commissioner is permitted (not required) to request that a qualifying taxpayer furnish supporting information (i.e. receipts for purchase) when claiming a tax credit.

Revised Code: Section 3310.70 paragraphs (A) through (H) on pp. 747-749

Afterschool Child Enrichment (ACE) Program: This new savings account program is established for “eligible” students. This is a temporary funding source Ohio has received from the federal government for “Coronavirus School Relief”. HB110 disperses the funds directly to families on a first come first serve basis…when the funds run out, this program is terminated. Amount per student = $500 per year for the next 2 years

An “eligible student” must meet all following conditions:
• Age 6-18
• Have a family income that is below 300% of federal poverty guidelines (see info below)
• Be enrolled in a public or nonpublic school or home educated (excused from the compulsory attendance law for
the purpose of home instruction)

Money can be used for (secular or non-secular):
• Before or after school educational programs
• Day camps, including camps for academics, music, and arts
• Tuition at learning extension centers or learning pods
• Purchase of curriculum and materials (home educated students only)
• Educational, learning, or study skills services
• Field trips to historical landmarks, museums, science centers, and theaters (includes admission, exhibit, and
program fees)
• Language classes
• Instrument lessons
• Tutoring

Funds may not be used for the purchase of electronic devices.

How this program will be set up and function:

1. Before the first week of August, the ODE must adopt emergency rules that prescribe the procedures for setting up the ACE account at the request of the parent or guardian of the student.
2. ACE accounts shall be set up on a first come first serve basis according to availability of funds.
3. Before the last week of October, the ODE must contract with a vendor to administer the accounts giving preference to vendors who use a smart phone application that is capable of scanning receipts and provides a customer service number for parents who have technical issues.
4. The vendor will monitor how the money is spent and recoup money used for purposes not authorized. They will also provide a list to the ODE of purchases made with the accounts.
5. If a parent requests an account and the funds are available, the account shall be front loaded with $500 within 14 days of the request and that money shall be used no later than the following June 30.
6. The funds must be deposited into ACE accounts no later than Dec. 31, 2021, for FY2022.

Source of funds: Appropriation #200-640 Federal Coronavirus School Relief

FY2022 (July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022): $50 million (At $500 per student, this means a max of 100,000 students.)
FY2023 (July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023): $75 million (At $500 per student, this means a max of 150,000 students.)

If the first $50 million is not completely spent, it will be re-appropriated for FY2023 (added to the $75 million the
following year).

Family income is 300% of the federal poverty guidelines.

Family of 4 – $79,500                                 Family of 7 – $120,360
Family of 5 – $93,120                                 Family of 8 – $133,980
Family of 6 – $106,740

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

Keeping Little Ones Busy

One of the questions that I have seen frequently asked on homeschool Facebook groups is how to keep your younger students occupied while you teach your school age children. I have created a sheet of activities that I believe will give you some ideas. One of the key things to remember is to limit these activities (as much as possible) to when you are in school. Here is the pdf of this list for you.

Typing/ Keyboarding

key_homeWith so many students having to do distance learning this year, teaching typing would be a terrific benefit to them.

Here are some typing programs worth considering purchasing:

Typing Instructor for Kids This is the program I used with my sons. It has lessons, accuracy tests, and games to help them learn.

Jump Start Typing This computer typing program is for children in grades 2-5 and includes video clips for hand placement. We used this program as well, but the boys for the most part, had already learned the keyboard and this was reinforcement if they wanted more games to play. I know, extra-cautious homeschool mom syndrome 🙂

Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing is a classic computer program that would appeal to older students (junior and senior high school).

Online Typing Programs

Typing Web This is a FREE online program for typists of all ages and abilities. You can even print a certificate when you finish.

Typing Club is a free online typing program and has helped 23,000,000 students. That’s a lot of flying fingers over keyboards!

Dance Mat Typing is free and is offered through BBC so it has a Scottish accented sheep who is your typing instructor. It is for younger students, but the children are entertained with animated animals that rock n’ roll. That may not be what you are looking for in regards to learning to type as I noticed it can be distracting. If not, you can try one of the other programs.

I wanted to thank Justin for sending me some amazing websites for more online typing options: 

Keyboarding Basics You are sure to find a typing program that will interest your son or daughter on this website.

Learning to Type More Efficiently  This has typing education to help you with your typing skills and typing tests.

A special thanks to Mary Anne N for sending me all of these cool websites for typing.

Wristband Express 


oOps! I meant…

~ Lisa~

How to Keep Going on Hard Days

Photo by Anna Shvets on

Wails, whines, and why’s coming from our children all happen at some point when homeschooling. But, how do you look past the behavior and continue with school?

Talk to your child about their behavior.
Is the work too hard? Is there something s/he is not understanding? Is s/he tired? Or, has this behavior worked before and you have stopped the lesson to maintain peace? (This happened in our school.)

Take steps to correct the behavior.
If the material is too difficult then go back to a previous lesson that your daughter/son understood and build from there. This will help them to feel successful and more willing to move ahead when the material is more challenging.

Is your child staying up too late? Try changing the bedtime routine, have quiet activities in the evening and turn off all electronic devices 60 minutes before bedtime. If you keep late evening hours then start school later in the day.

Has less desirable behavior given your daughter/son the desired outcome of stopping the lesson for the day? Wearing the ‘ol mom down was something I had to determine that I would not let happen as often as possible. Although, it certainly did happen at times. I found out that if that happened too often it became an established habit that was hard to break. I would tell the boys that the work was still going to be there, regardless if they did it that day or the next, or the next… I would have them do at least a little of it and we would tackle more of it the next day. I like to think of it as eating I detest them, but I know they are good for me, so I figured out that if I put a bunch of them on a fork, grab a glass of water, shove the peas in my mouth and swallow them like pills, I have “eaten” them.

Let your child know you are partners in homeschooling.
You are both learning, you are both tackling hard things. You might not like teaching Social Studies, but you are going to because it is part of the Ohio homeschool requirements. Our attitudes, as teachers toward schoolwork and routines, help set the atmosphere of our school.

Celebrate the victories!
Doing things that are hard deserve recognition. Call attention to good behavior and perseverance. If it was especially hard, then give a sticker, ten minutes of extra time for games, whatever you feel would be appropriate. Let your child see that you appreciate their effort.

Have a great week! ~Lisa~