1000 Subscriber Giveway

If you have been around my site or YouTube channel for a while you know I love giveaways.

In honor of 1000 subscribers and the 2019-2020 school year beginning I am giving away some of my favorite things. 😊

P.S. Through September 3, 2019 you can purchase my CM Planners from Etsy 20% off.


Charlotte Mason Conference and Giveaway

It is my pleasure to announce a fabulous opportunity for parents, home educators, or anyone working with children.  This June, in Johnson City, TN, the Charlotte Mason Soirée will be hosting a conference with all things Charlotte Mason. I am so excited!  In my video, I say retreat, please forgive my excitement.

The next bit of fabulousness is a giveaway for Karen Andreola’s new book Mother Culture.  I can’t wait to send it to the winner! The link for entry is below the video. 🙂


Conference Info

Mother Culture by Karen Andreola Giveaway

Habits Are Like Fleas

Every day, every hour, the parents are either passively or actively forming those habits in their children upon which, more than upon anything else, future character and conduct depend. Vol 1 Pg 118

No FleasI am tired, I really mean it.  Physically, mentally, and emotionally I am drained.  I have bombed, I have sprayed, Borax-ed, and yes, prayed.  As I vacuumed my semi-shag carpet in the basement for the umpteenth time I realized how much this whole situation reminded me of habits and the training thereof.

At first, one of my kids said they had an itchy spot, it being summer I thought it was just mosquitos.  You have to understand that I have never really had an indoor pet so fleas never entered my mind.   The two dogs that sleep indoors do just that, sleep indoors.  They are out all day but sleep in their crates at night.  One of them is cozied up to my daughter’s bed in a room with semi-shag carpet. They have, however, been rehomed to the mudroom until this situation is rectified.

Before I knew it, we were sitting in our library area doing lessons and I saw those little black bugs jumping on my children.  I knew then, it was serious.  War was declared.

What do habits and fleas have in common? Let me explain, a bad habit will not seem like it is in your face at first.  It can be a disrespectful attitude, a scowling glance, unjoyful obedience or any other number of “little” incidents that pass under a parent’s eye.  Especially if the parent is preoccupied with other endeavors.  If preoccupation sets in so will the habit and it will then increase, multiply, and begin to reign in the “carpet” of your child’s heart.  Before you know it, you are are in an all-out war and if you are like me, you stand there with your mouth gaping and wondering what on earth do I do? How did this even happen?  How do I fix this?

To tackle this problem I had to strip the area to the bare bones first.  Vacuuming was next and then a fogging was in order, I am the last person to want to use chemicals, but I had met my limit.  And you know what?  My formulated plan of precision fogging and vacuuming didn’t get rid of those nasty black bugs in one fell swoop!  Do you know what has worked the best?  Vacuuming. Consistently.

While vacuuming is when it occurred to me that consistency is the best process for good habits in our children and ourselves.  I expected to have a one and done experience with fleas, but in reality, it has taken a good week and I will continue to vacuum daily until the day  I die.  If we expect to give our children a nice little lesson or poem on let’s say, picking up after themselves, then we don’t follow through in making sure the habit is adhered to, should we be upset when the child fails?  No, we cannot fault the child.

So what do we do?  How do we handle this? Well, bare bones.  Get to the heart of the problem, if need be, take time to cut extracurriculars and spend time with your child.  It is that important.  If it is something you wish to cultivate then it should be worth the time that it takes to grow.  Once you have established your expectations and your child is fully aware of what you expect then begin the daily task of “vacuuming”. And never forget to bathe yourself and your child in prayer.  Over the years, there have been times when I knew that my patience was a gift from God, not of my own power.

It does seem laborious and at times the days long, but we shall reap if we do not faint.  I am hoping to reap dead bugs?  What are your plans?

The Best Advice I Never Took

My Dad doing what he does best. Making apple butter from our family’s heirloom apples.

It’s been nearly 21 years since I walked down the aisle, drove two states away, and started life with my husband at 18 years of age. Honestly, my Dad was not entirely thrilled that I married when I did, but he consented and held his tongue. There were hopes of my attending college and being the first from our family to earn a degree. I’m afraid I dashed those hopes as I had absolutely no desire to attend college, married life suited me fine.

After a month had passed my Dad wrote me a long letter, this was in the age before we readily had email and all of our out-of-area calls were long-distance costing a fortune. I sat down to read the very loving letter from my Dad that was packed with wisdom from years of marriage. I smiled a very naive smile and tucked the letter into the case of my Bible. I thought that life was so absolutely wonderful and my husband and I would never disagree and have to have those “hard conversations” because I was blissfully wed, right?

Seven years later our marriage had endured separations due to military orders, the adjustment after returning, births of children, loss of a home, the death of a son, marital miscommunication, and a new beginning in another location. While packing away books for an impending move, I picked up the Bible case and decided to give it a wash before moving. Out fell the nine-page letter my Dad had written in July of 1997, on a Wednesday. And I cried as I reread the whole letter with different eyes than before. Off fell the rose tinted glasses and I saw the letter for what it was. He knew when he wrote it that I was happy, yet he had lived long enough to know the reality of happiness. It fades and can be replaced with many different feelings, feelings that take you a long way away from where you began. The advice he offered, had I taken it, would’ve saved my husband and me many struggles. I had learned these truths, yet I learned them the hard way. All I had to do was look inside the pocket of my Bible cover and there they were, just waiting.

I suppose it is much the same as God’s letter to us. We can struggle and make frustrated efforts at pleasing others, ourselves, and think we are pleasing God all at the same time, yet we are not. Our Father doesn’t want us learning the hard way. Have you heard the expression that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? God gives us wonderful “advice” and words of encouragement from His word, we only need to open His letter and read.

So what did my Dad write that July nearly 21 years ago? I will tell you in a nutshell.

Dad’s Seven Steps to a Successful Marriage

  • Watch my spending and don’t get into debt, debt is hard on a marriage.
  • Talk to your spouse when you are down or troubled, they are your friend.
  • Never go to bed mad, we are not promised tomorrow.
  • Take time to do something the other likes, share interests with your spouse.
  • Be careful in choosing friends, choose wisely.
  • Life is more than what you are and how much money you obtain. Riches are in your family.
  • Trust God always.

I am extremely thankful that my Dad didn’t say “I told you so”every time I failed, cause I would’ve heard it often. But make no mistake, since that day in 2004 when I reread that letter, when my Dad offers advice, I lean in a little closer.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

Love, Jess

Charlotte Mason Freebie Alert

There are some wonderful resources that are up for grabs until April 17th, 2018. I personally have used these resources and can attest to their usefulness.  You can click the video and watch as I describe a little more about them or you can click on the link provided to go directly to the source.  *Disclaimer* In order to receive the PDFs, you will need to provide an email first.  You will receive your first PDF then receive one weekly until you have collected all nine.  Well worth the wait, in my opinion.

~Thanks for stopping by.

The Home Educator’s Tutor

Giveaway Time

Hi All,

It has been a while since I have hit the “blog-o-sphere” and thank you for being patient.  This week I discovered that my YouTube channel has hit 500 subscribers.  That may not sound like much to some, but to me that’s amazing.  I want to be a channel that encourages Mamas in their decision to home educate and give an honest view, one not skewed by “Pinterest” perfect homes or “Instagram” life.  I am real, you are real, let’s keep it real, ok?

NOW on to the fun stuff.  In honor of having 500 subscribers I am hosting a giveway on my Facebook page or you can click the link to add your email.  Also, commenting on a YouTube video will garner an entry.  You can just leave a smiley face. 🙂  Click the link in the sidebar for the giveaway page and you can watch the video below for info about the giveaway and also some of our favorite things we are using in our Farmstead school.


SCM Homeschool Planner

On this post, I plan to add a few different planners for the use of homeschooling.  The first one I have here is for up to three children while using the Simply Charlotte Mason curriculum especially if you use it exclusively. (I will be creating a more generic CM planner as well.)

This planner is in muted colors as to save on ink and can be printed with your toner save on or printed in gray scale.  Also, it is designed in landscape format.  For me, I need more room to write out assignments and landscape helps me achieve this.  Each spread is for one day, the whole planner printed out is 12 weeks worth of school or one term.  NOTE: planner needs to be printed double sided.

The planner is free~Enjoy!

CM Lesson Pic
Simply Charlotte Mason (Three Student)

Charlotte Mason Resource GIVEAWAY


I have so enjoyed chatting with other mamas through my YouTube page about homeschooling.  In honor of my 300th subscriber, I decided to pay it back with a giveaway! The winner will choose a resource from one of the following:

The Living Page

When Children Love to Learn

Exploring Creation with Your Children

All you have to do is visit my Facebook page and look for the giveaway post.  Leave a comment on which of the resources you would choose should you win, and voila, you’re done.

I will announce the winner Friday, September 1,  2017, at noon via Facebook Live.


Jewel Weed Salve ~ Help for Poison Ivy

Our family loves summertime but there is one thing, ok two, that can make summer a little less glorious, mosquitos and poison ivy.

I had heard about using a specific “weed” to combat the effects of poison ivy and so tried it out this summer.  Jewelweed is common in the eastern U.S. and southern Canada and known as Touch-me-nots.  The pretty little orange trumpet-shaped flowers are easy to spot.  Careful when collecting it due to it usually growing in close proximity to poison ivy. If you believe you have been infected by poison ivy and are “in the field”, grab some leaves and flowers from the jewelweed plant and crush in your hand. Then you want to rub in on the infected areas to help combat the components in the poison ivy that humans react to.

If you find out too little too late and are displaying a rash from exposure, a simple salve can be made from the jewelweed.  Honestly, I was a bit dubious, but after my husband came in with poison ivy on his arms and used my salve to reduce the recovery time,  I was sold.  See, my husband gets poison ivy by just sniffing the air around it, not really, but it seems that way.  Also, it stays with him FOREVER, weeks on end of red itchy rash.

So let’s get to it: (I used Sunflower oil to steep my jewelweed.)

I used this basic recipe here, then added a few extras, because I am like my Dad-we add extra to everything.  Just ask my Mom. 😉

Here are the additions I made:   1/2 tsp Apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp European clay (I imagine you can use any drying                                                              clay  you wish)

10-12 drops of Lavender.  I followed Reclaiming YourRoots‘ directions added my additions and you can see the finished product in the pictures below.


Now, enjoy the rest of that summer!