Join Corinna as she chats with Erin about homeschooling a large family, books, Mum guilt and burnout. Erin shares from her many years of experience homeschooling with a literature focus even giving hints to help non-bookish type children to fall in love with reading. Burnout has been something Erin has dealt with and she discusses this openly, sharing what she has learnt to keep homeschooling for the long haul.
I recommend you check out her blog at sevenlittleaustralians.com where she has 13 years of blog posts full of encouragement and help.
Click on the Australian Books tab to go to her extensive database to help you search for great living books on a many subjects and topics.
Erin is also active on Instagram and Facebook
Lacey spoke with Anthony from Living Book Press about being a homeschool dad, Ambleside Online and some of his favourite book recommendations. Don’t miss the special discount code that Anthony shares with In Cahoots listeners.
Living Book Press
Living Book Press on Instagram
Living Book Press on Facebook
Oh Peaceful Day
The Little Grammar People
Old Bob’s Birds
Doris Chadwick - John of the Sirius
Richard Halliburton - The Book of Marvels
Seven Little Australians
At the beginning of a new school term, Lacey and Corinna check in and share what's happening with them. Homeschooling in Lacey's family is looking very different for the second half of 2020 while Corinna is just flowing with what's working while tweaking a few things to incorporate some 'extra' subjects in the week. They talk in depth about planning and how they approach it now compared to seasons past and would love to chat with someone who doesn't plan their homeschooling. So if that's you, let us know!
Corinna mentions how much her children love doing a Free Write activity which is a concept she learnt from Brave Writer. She also talks about the Backyard Explorer book and how she has gained inspirations from Melissa Wiley's concept of Tidal Homeschooling.
Join artist Clare Dunstan as she shares her journey as a second generation homeschooler. She tells about her escapades setting fire to her kitchen while making an engagement ring and how this kick started her career as an artist. We discuss the pros & cons of homeschooling in this age of the internet as both Clare & Corinna (your host) were homeschooled themselves so have experience as both students in pre-internet days and as parents now.
Clare's most heeded advice is, 'Don't compare your family with others. Gain inspiration from other families then pick and choose what works for your own family.'
You are in for a treat if you check out her gorgeous whimsical art at Tog and Pini. She can be found on her website: Tog & Pini, Instagram, Facebook and Etsy.
Join Corinna as she chats with Jen, the lovely host of the NT MumHeart retreats. Jen shares some keys points from the NT retreat held in March 2020, which was serendipitously themed, 'Redeem the Time' and held just weeks before we all found ourselves with the reality we often wish for - extra hours at home with our families. Jen also shares about her own homeschooling journey straddling two countries and giving her most valued advice to simply relax more in this homeschooling lifestyle.
Jen can be found on instagram @homeschoolaustralia
We have a very special guest to introduce you to in this episode. Jacqui Wakelam leads Mum Heart
in the UK! Barb met Jacqui in London two years ago and discovered a kindred spirit mum friend.
Jacqui is from Hampshire in Britain and came to Australia in her early 20s. She met her husband Michael in
Melbourne. They lived in Victoria for 17 years and their two children, Zoe and Jonathan, were born
here. They have been back in London for 11 years. Jacqui started Mum Heart UK after meeting Sally
Clarkson in 2016. Jacqui loves writing and photography.
You can find her blog here Check out her encouraging and timely podcast series
recorded with US Mom Heart team member, Jennie Nelson, called the Quarantine Diaries over here
on vimeo and find her on Instagram
Join Lacey as she uncovers the treasures of the Living Book House with its curator, Catherine McKay. Cathy shared some of her experience with kids who are late readers, and why she’s needed to embrace structure in homeschooling. You’ll need to check the show notes for the fantastic book recommendations she makes as well.
Lacey’s been binge watching The Crown and highly recommends it.
A Delectable Education is a Charlotte Mason podcast worth tuning into.
My Side of the Mountain
C.K. Thompson wrote many Australian nature stories
You can find Living Book House on Instagram Facebook and at their website
Lacey and Barb are discussing making deliberate choices to align ourselves with gratefulness, acceptance, appreciation and receiving grace.
Lacey referenced some Bible passages. They were Psalm 16:11 // 2 Cor 7:4 // 1 Pet 1.
Barb mentioned how much she loves music by Rend Collective and Lacey gives a big thumbs up to their latest kids offering, Sparkle Pop Rampage.
Lastly, we talked a bunch (ha!) about fruit today, so here’s a blog post that Lacey wrote about fruitfulness last year.
Join the Mum Heart team in a discussion about why it's important to maintain connections with likeminded people during this time when our normal social interactions aren't happening. We share many ways we have been reaching out to others and maintaining friendships for ourselves and our children. We also talk about practical ways to be building relationships within the family while we have time at home.
Our Mum Heart website has a fantastic resource of blog posts with discussion points which you can use to share with a likeminded friend.
Belinda blogs at Live Life With Your Kids and can be found on instagram here.
Ainsley shares her homeschooling journey on instagram here.
The group mentioned WhatsApp and Voxer as tools they use maintain connections at the moment.
Our Mumheart team are discussing the concept of “moving onward” today, as the dust begins to settle on the crisis of COVID19 and we are all looking to rebuild a new normal. How can we help ourselves find a good rhythm and mindset to move forward, and what can we do to help ourselves do this chapter as well as we can?
Jen and Lacey both discussed two apps that help them stay virtually connected with friends and family: Marco Polo and Voxer. Check them out!
Cultivating an environment of a comforting haven is more important than ever at this time. In this week’s special podcast conversation, Corinna, Barb and Ainsley discuss what home means. How do we create a nurturing sanctuary for our families and ourselves as we hunker down together?
It’s important to create a safe space for beauty, growth and love to flourish.
What makes a house a lifegiving home?
“It takes effort to create memories” is one of Corinna’s family mottos.
Barb talks about the importance of interests and hobbies to anchor us and nourish contentment. Ainsley brings up the importance of balancing creative mess with a sense of order and being together, yet separate, with our own space for individual projects.
We talk about gardening and having some structure to find rhythm for our days. Many of you may be growing veggies for the first time in your own backyard.
Busy hands make happy hearts. Let us know what you’ve turned your hands to this week in your family.
We’d love to hear what makes home homely for you all.
With so many families finding themselves unexpectedly thrown into homeschooling, Lacey and Corinna share a whole bunch of resources, ideas and encouragement for you at this time. We talk about what our priorities would be for different ages, how growing the relationships within your family is more important than book work, why you should work to your strengths as a family and the importance of being gentle on yourself (and your family) in this time.
Lacey has been sharing a bunch of links and resources on her Instagram Stories over the past week, generally aimed at the lower primary years. They’re all being collected in the Highlights on her profile.
Teachers Pay Teachers has more printable worksheets than you could ever need. Many are free; some are pay as you need.
Artventure is a fantastic Australian art curriculum with levelled tutorials for every ability level and is linked to the National Curriculum. It’s a great subscription service that gives you some time out as teacher.
For music, try using a free Spotify playlist and explore a composer, musical artist, style or album. Listen to an Aussie classic every day for a week or two and print out the lyrics for your children to sing along. Clap out the beat, choreograph a dance routine or have a go singing without the music.
Nature Study Australia has some amazing resources for Science in your own backyard. These guides are put together with Australian seasons in mind, and allow you to look at the fauna and flora changes that occur with the calendar season.
Looking for more picture books and your library is closed? There are oodles and oodles of picture books read for free on YouTube. Try looking up some classics that you haven’t had a chance to read yet or pick an author that you’ve enjoyed and try to find more books by them. Lacey’s top recommendations are Julia Donaldson (who’s written 100+ titles), Lynley Dodd, Aaron Blabey, Jan Brett, Mo Willems, Russell Hoban and Rebecca Cobb.
Lastly, join a Facebook group for homeschoolers in your local area. They will be so glad to answer your questions, share resources, point you in the right direction. They have a wealth of knowledge they can share with you.
Corinna recommends Brave Writer for many great literacy resources for all ages. Julie Bogart, the founder of Brave Writer, speaks on a variety of topics is a great encouragement for homeschooling parents. Find her on her youtube and blog.
Other websites worth a visit are: Khan Academy - great for high school Science and Math help; Simply Charlotte Mason has a page full of links and free downloads collated especially to be helpful at this time; Blueprint has many great courses for creatives and they are free until 9/4/20; Ambleside Online has a free curriculum especially put together for emergency situations.
Especially for Mums: Check our Mum Heart Australia blog articles for encouragement. You might join together with someone else you know who has also found themselves homeschooling and share these articles & discussion questions.
Peta Goddard talks to Corinna about her experience of transitioning between homeschooling, school and back home again, their beginning adventures travelling and ministering to country churches and communities and how she manages homeschooling with babies and toddlers in the mix. She shares encouragement and tips for those considering homeschooling especially those who may have unsupportive people around them.
The Goddard Family shares their everyday life on their youtube channel - Goddard Family
Peta recommended Our Tribe Of Many as an inspiring youtube channel.
Peta occasionally blogs at twopunkshadabunchofkids.com
Peta may be a slow and steady reader but she is enjoying a book by Trim Healthy Mama now and recommends anything written by Sally Clarkson.
Amy Linneman spoke with Lacey about keeping fresh when you return back to the start with a new child, how homeschooling has changed her and an unusual lunch meal which her family keep turning to.
Lacey’s been reading Hinds Feet on High Places.
Amy used Snapfish for her daughter’s photobook.
We spoke about Amy using the Sonlight curriculum / book packs.
Join us as we meet Renee White from the Sunshine Coast. This creative mum of seven creative children brings God's words to life through her beautiful artwork. She shares about the difference between choosing what refreshes us and what sustains us. Her journey into the Bible showed her the truth of who she is and who we all are in Christ. Renee chats with Corinna about the transition from the time intensive early years to the logistical challenges of the middle stage with her youngest now nine.
Renee's favourite books are:
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
Seasons of a Mother's Heart by Sally Clarkson
You can find Renee on Instagram here @wordsoflifeart
Ferne Hood speaks with Lacey about her own educational experience in Ireland, her kids’ wildly different lifestyle and what it’s been like to homeschool in crisis mode through bushfire evacuations in NSW.
Ferne referenced Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts
as well as the Instagram account @thesaltybiscuit.
You can find Ferne’s homeschool Instagram here
or her personal account here
And her blog is here.
We are back for Season 3! This year look for a new episode every second Monday.
Lacey is sharing all about her family’s next great adventure, while Corinna has loads of practical advice for all of us who are in the thick of planning and prepping for the start of a brand new school year.
We were gushing about this book: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Lacey and her family will be staying at English L’Abri.
She might be writing some updates on her blog here
and you can follow her on Instagram here.
In August, we recorded a round table discussion at our Victoria conference. Listen in as the ladies talk about their highlights from the time away, mother culture, the difficulty in recognising our own strengths and the importance of encouragement. You will love eavesdropping on this conversation. This is our final In Cahoots episode for 2019.
We mention Barb’s instagram @CountryGardenSnippets
Barb recommends the beautiful watercolour book, Beholding and Becoming
Jo exposed the ladies to A Fine Romance by Susan Branch
We also talked about Simply Charlotte Mason as a great resource to start with all things CM.
You can find the Victoria MumHeart conference audio bundle available on our shop.
Marie Viljeon is the brain behind Nature Study Australia and she joins us in this episode to help encourage homeschool families to get outside more. We talked about how she began homeschooling, her family’s favourite resources and what nature study does for kids.
Find Marie on Instagram and her nature guides on her website.
The Facebook group she mentioned can be found here.
Both Corinna and Marie recommend a visit to Sovereign Hill.
Marie listed off a bunch of curirculum that they use, including Apologia Science , Saxon Math , Life of Fred, North Star Geography , Mystery of History.
Simply Charlotte Mason was the website she mentioned that she uses for things like picture study, poetry and hymns.
Marie’s recommendations for nature resources included Steve Parish books and The Wonderland of Nature by Nuri Mass.
Have you ever wondered if combining work, further study and homeschooling can be a successful option? Listen as Jo chats about how her family has made this work for them. In a nutshell – it’s a team effort – as is a lot in her family including studying Latin over the summer, star gazing, bushwalking and keeping their brains active. She also gave some good book recommendations for any homeschooling Mum who needs a boost of encouragement or who is just starting out.
Jo can be found online on her instagram account @grace_and_clarity
Jo mentioned the following books:
Around the Year with the von Trapp Family By Maria von Trapp
Seasons of a Mother’s Heart by Sally Clarkson is currently out of print but I know the Clarksons are looking forward to it being back in print shortly.
When Children Love to Learn by Elaine Cooper (and other contributors)
Cindy Rollins books are available through the Circe Institute: The general link to their products is here:
Belinda Letchford is one of our Mumheart team members and we got to chat with her about W.A. living, the joys of adult children, some pivotal moments in her homeschool ‘career’ and the best time of day to wake up in the morning (warning: it’s intense).
Lacey spent way too much time talking about Ikea’s OFTAST tableware
Belinda’s family used the Five in the Row curriculum
You can find Belinda’s website here, or connect with her on Facebook or Instagram
If you have ever thought about jumping into homeschooling midway through your child’s education, this episode is for you. Mel Moody is Mum to 6 gorgeous kids & has just begun educating at home after many years in mainstream schooling. We loved hearing how she came to that decision, how it’s going for their family & the realities of jumping into the deep end. Spoiler alert: they didn’t drown!
Mel referenced a few books that they’ve been exploring as a family this year:
A Sunburnt Country (Australian history)
Our Island Story (British history)
Charles and Mary Lamb’s Shakespeare for Children
Know and Tell by Karen Glass is a great exploration of the technique of narration.
Chatting to Alice Burke about her arc of homeschooling from little years up to graduation was like a great big hug. She had so much wisdom to share about how to sustain the lifestyle, and the provision of God for her children. Oh, and there’s some stuff about kids clothes, washing windows and throwing parties too! Housekeeping note: there were a few dropouts of the audio in this episode. We think you’ll manage okay.
You can find Alice’s website here. The Kingscliff 2016 conference audio sessions are available from the Mum heart Shop. Alice spoke twice over that weekend.
We are back for Season 2, and we've set aside some time to talk through where each of our families are at. Lacey's kids have had a monumental curve ball thrown at them, while Corinna and her family are providing the stability portion of this episode! Listen in as we chat about our two wildly different lifestyles right now.
Lacey is reading Emily Wilson's translation of the Odyssey and listen along with the close reads podcast.
Corinna recommended reading Sally and Clay Clarkson's Educating the Wholehearted child. as you assess your next year, and also enjoyed Sarah Clarkson's Book Girl.
Lacey mentioned Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt.
Where do you find support and encouragement for you as a homeschooling Mum? This week we join a Mum Heart support group and chat about why these types of gatherings are beneficial. We discuss why it's important to prioritise your own personal growth and build your support network throughout the intense & busy homeschooling years. These ladies also share discussion topics, ideas and resources they have used in the past.
"It's a safe place to share our honest struggles ... to cheer each other on & share the victories."
"I always leave here encouraged ... and with a reminder of what I am doing and why."
" It nurtures friendships ... there's always laughter and joy."
"We are always better for these evenings, I always go home a nicer person."
Teaching from Rest (occasionally available in Australia through the MumHeart website - keep an eye out or follow us on social media for restock announcements)
Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson
Ann Tattersall has a wealth of experience to offer after 20+ years of homeschooling her eight children. We asked her about keeping fresh, how she doesn’t enjoy reading aloud & some of her favourite family traditions.
Ann recommended a parenting book, Loving Our Kids on Purpose by Danny Silk. She also recommended The Power of a Praying Parent.
"We were fascinated by talking to Rebecca Anderson this week, as she gave us a little peek into the life of a multicultural family with a single child. You’ll hear all about her bookclub, pick up some information about Chinese culture and why she thinks it’s important for children to struggle with something that challenges them. There are loads of show notes for this episodes, because Rebecca drops book references into all that she does!”
Lacey posted a few pictures from her family holiday on her Instagram page (no shots of the lists though!)
Joshua Gibbs How To Be Unlucky (you can read a sample of it here and Boethius here
The Essential Marcus Aurelius
Augustine’s Confessions and City of God
Corinna loves buying her fabric at The Fabric Store in Brisbane but they have stores in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide as well.
Rebekah also rattled off some quick fire recommendations:
Plato OvidXenophon’s The Long March (sometimes called the Anabasis)
Julius Caeser’s Gallic War
Rebecca recommends the Circe Institue and Roman Roads Media, with Wes Callahan
Ainsley Smith is a farmer’s wife and mum to three growing boys. She told us all about their rural lifestyle, how mentoring has shaped her family’s decision to homeschool and how she is currently reminding herself of all the things that she does achieve, even when it feels like nothing is happening.
You can find Ainsley on Instagram and her mentor, Belinda as well. Belinda has a blog that makes for great reading that you should check out. She also blogs regularly on the MumHeart website.
Five in a Row is a picture book-driven curriculum that Ainsley began her homeschooling years with.
Ainsley referenced Teaching From Rest, which you can buy in Australia from our MumHeart shop (currently out of stock, so keep an eye out). She also recommended Educating the Wholehearted Child by Sally and Clay Clarkson.
You are going to love listening to Vanessa Curtis, who has so much wisdom to share with us about mothering lots of little people, individualising for learning styles and why we need to scrub the word “should” from our vocab.
Is it possible to homeschool without the roots of home and community? Brooke Pipes is a military wife who has navigated the challenges of homeschooling through decades of regular moving and stretches of single parenting. She’s also familiar with the challenges of mothering children across a broad age range, with a large gap in her children’s ages. We talk to Brooke about starting again, keeping a positive attitude, and how her homeschool graduates were able to achieve recognition for their work for university entrance.
Brooke had been reading Rhythms of Rest by Shelly Miller
She also mentioned Middlemarch, Lacey’s favourite book.
Alphacrusis College - Diploma of Leadership.
Institute for Excellence in Writing (Brooke mentioned the Elegant Essay which can be found here.
Awe by Paul David Tripp.
Barb Somervaille is the founder of MumHeart Australia and a friend to many homeschool mums. We get to ask her about her 26 years of homeschooling, her highlights, her many hobbies and the way she has been able to make and sustain friendships while mothering 8 wonderful children.
Corinna uses Chatbooks to make her family photo books
Sally Clarkson’s ministry and her book Educating the Wholehearted Child
Find details about our Victoria conference
Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
Find Barb on Instagram
In our very first episode, we take a chance to ask each other some questions about our history, our families and what homeschooling looks like for us. We also talk about why In Cahoots exists and where we are headed.
Find Lacey on Instagram and her blog
Find Corinna on Instagram
Find Mum Heart: Website, Instagram, Facebook