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Flourish at Home

Mary Jo Tate

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Flourish at Home

Flourish at Home

Mary Jo Tate

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Homeschool encouragement and podcast

Latest Episodes

Flourish At Home – Making Memories

Ironically, when your family is together almost all the time, it can be challenging to pull away from the demands of homeschooling to just enjoy being together and have fun as a family. But taking a break is good for parents and children alike. In this episode, I'll share some of my favorite ways to make special family memories, including building family traditions, spending one-on-one time with each child, exploring the world, and enjoying the journey as well as the destination. I'd love to hear from you. What special family traditions do you enjoy? Joyful Balance for Busy Moms Are you exhausted? Overloaded? Teetering on the brink of burnout? Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, work-at-home mom, or homeschooling mom, it’s easy to be paralyzed by an overwhelming to-do list. False guilt only adds to the burden. Mary Jo Tate—an international editor, book coach, and veteran homeschooling mom of four boys—wants to help you find peace in the space between the ideal and reality so you ...

19 MIN2018 OCT 25
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Flourish At Home – Making Memories

What Should We Read? How to Choose Good Books – FAH 24

How to Choose Good Books There are millions of books available today. How on earth can you choose what's best to read? In this episode, we'll consider how to choose good books—both for yourself and for your children. This is part 2 of a series on why, what, how, and when to read and why and how to build a home library. Three Types of Books To be able to choose good books, you need to understand the different types of books. Apart from the usual categories of fiction and nonfiction, there are three main types of books: * Living Books - A living book is written by an author who loves the subject; it is challenging and inspiring. Focus on these! * Reference Books - Atlas, dictionary, almanac, etc. These are useful to have on hand even if you also look things up online. * Twaddle - This is Charlotte Mason's term for dumbed-down, diluted, silly, easy-reading books with poor writing and sometimes tacked-on morals. Avoid these. What Is a Good Book? * In general, older books are likelier t...

20 MIN2015 DEC 16
Comments
What Should We Read? How to Choose Good Books – FAH 24

Why Should We Read? 12 Benefits of Reading – FAH 23

12 Benefits of Reading Why should we read? You probably already know some of the benefits, such as education and entertainment, but there are many more. This is part 1 of a series on why, what, how, and when to read and why and how to build a home library. Why am I doing a series about reading on the "Flourish At Home" show? Because reading is an important part of a flourishing life!Education is one of my 7 FREEDOM tools that we discussed in episode 15, and reading is a great way to take care of yourself by destressing and relaxing. So let's dive in to 12 of the most important benefits of reading—for both children and adults! Benefits of Reading * Changes your life by building wisdom and growing your character. * Helps you learn facts and builds your personal storehouse of knowledge. * Develops and preserves your mind and your memory and helps prevent or slow the progress of Alzheimer's disease or dementia. * Improves your focus and concentration in a world that normally scatters y...

12 MIN2015 NOV 18
Comments
Why Should We Read? 12 Benefits of Reading – FAH 23

Just Say No to Interruptions, part 1 – FAH episode 21

It’s hard to get anything done when you’re constantly being interrupted. You know exactly what I’m talking about, don’t you? You’re desperately trying to accomplish some task, and the phone rings. The dryer buzzes. The baby cries. You hear a mysterious crash from the kitchen. The doorbell rings. Calgon can’t even take you away because it’s impossible to get 5 minutes alone in the bathroom. No matter how well we manage our time, our best efforts are often undermined by interruptions. I’m defining interruptions broadly as anything that keeps us from doing what we need to do by distracting us from our priorities and making us lose our focus. Interruptions can come from strangers, acquaintances, business associates, friends, family...and even from ourselves. They can involve bad or good news, illness, ordinary events, or enticing opportunities. Whatever the source, they distract us from what we have planned to do, hinder our productivity, and upset our balance. They can trigger ...

16 MIN2015 OCT 7
Comments
Just Say No to Interruptions, part 1 – FAH episode 21

To Co-Op or Not to Co-Op – FAH episode 20

Homeschooling is primarily a family endeavor. Even the name "homeschooling" has the word "home" in it! One of its greatest benefits is the ability to customize one-on-one instruction with your children instead of the less personal group instruction they'd get in an institutional school. So would it be inconsistent to move some of your homeschooling back out of the home and into a homeschool co-op? Not at all! Co-ops aren't a good fit for some families, but they're a great blessing to others. Of course, participating in a co-op (a short form of "cooperative") requires that you cooperate. You have to give up some flexibility in exchange for sharing the planning, activities, and teaching, but the trade-off can be worth it. Co-ops can range from very informal to highly structured. Some co-ops focus on field trips, activities, and enrichment, while some cover a few academic subjects, and others cover all academic subjects, often with a full day of classes every week. I've just begun my 1...

20 MIN2015 SEP 2
Comments
To Co-Op or Not to Co-Op – FAH episode 20

Multitasking – FREEDOM Tools part 6 – FAH episode 19

Moms are masters of multitasking. We have to be in order to survive! Multitasking is the final tool in myFREEDOM toolbox—7 tools for making the most of our time so we can live balanced, peaceful lives. Here’s a quick review of the tools: * Focus * Reflect * Educate * Eliminate * Discipline * Organize * Multitask Does it seem strange for the tools to begin with focusing and end with multitasking? Isn't that contradictory? No, it's not. The challenge is that you have to figure outwhen to focus andwhen to multitask. Multitasking has gotten a bad rap for the past few years. Some people claim that if you can multitask while you're doing something, it's not worth your time to do it. That might apply in the context of running a business, where it could indicate something you should outsource. But in the daily life of a mom at home,somebody has to wash the dishes and match the socks, so multitasking is essential. Another criticism of multitasking is that it undermines your focus and makes...

11 MIN2015 JUN 3
Comments
Multitasking – FREEDOM Tools part 6 – FAH episode 19

Organization – FREEDOM Tools part 5 – FAH episode 18

How do you respond to the wordorganization? * Does it make you cringe? Do you feel guilty because you’re hopelessly disorganized and wish you could be more organized? * Does it make you smile, with a happy sigh that all’s right with the world? * Do you think a certain amount of clutter is a sign of a happy home? * Do you resist the whole idea of organization—maybe because it reminds you of a neat-freak friend who labels everything in her household, uses color-coordinated storage containers, and alphabetizes her spices? Whatever your reaction, this episode is for you. Organization is the sixth tool in myFREEDOM toolbox—7 tools for making the most of our time so we can live balanced, peaceful lives. Here’s a quick review of the tools: * Focus * Reflect * Educate * Eliminate * Discipline * Organize * Multitask Organization is essentially self-discipline applied in an orderly way to free you to focus on what's most important to you. Organizing your time, tasks, thoughts, and things...

15 MIN2015 MAY 20
Comments
Organization – FREEDOM Tools part 5 – FAH episode 18

Self-Discipline – FREEDOM Tools part 4 – FAH episode 17

Discipline—self-discipline, that is—is the fifth tool in myFREEDOM toolbox—7 tools for making the most of our time so we can live balanced, peaceful lives. Here’s a quick overview of the tools: * Focus * Reflect * Educate * Eliminate * Discipline * Organize * Multitask Self-discipline is a major factor in how you exercise stewardship over the gifts and responsibilities God has given you—including how you manage your time. It's the tool you use to implement the priorities that you've decided to focus on and to eliminate the time-consuming clutter that gets in the way of your goals. In episode 11 of the "Flourish At Home" show, we talked about setting goals for focusing on your priorities in three major areas: (1) personal, (2) family, and (3) business. Those three categories are also helpful for considering the areas where you need to exercise self-discipline. Personal Self-discipline helps you avoid the false guilt that moms often suffer when you take care of yourself wisely an...

10 MIN2015 APR 22
Comments
Self-Discipline – FREEDOM Tools part 4 – FAH episode 17

Eliminate – FREEDOM Tools part 3 – FAH episode 16

In the previous two episodes, we've been talking about my FREEDOM toolbox–7 tools that help us make the most of our time so we can live peaceful, balanced lives. These are the tools: * Focus * Reflect * Educate * Eliminate * Discipline * Organize * Multitask Today we’ll look at the fourth tool: Eliminate. Have you ever struggled with trying to do it all? The truth is NO ONE CAN DO IT ALL. We all have to be selective about how we use our time and energy. If you want to focus on your goals and priorities, you have to eliminate things that don't support them. This includes counterproductive mindsets, such as the way you think about time; bad attitudes like fear, perfectionism, and negativity; stuff—the physical clutter that slows us down; and activities. In this episode, we'll focus on eliminating activities. You can eliminate activities by never beginning them in the first place or by stopping them if you're already involved. How? Just say no! Saying no is HARD, isn't it? You don't...

11 MIN2015 APR 8
Comments
Eliminate – FREEDOM Tools part 3 – FAH episode 16

Educate – FREEDOM Tools part 2 – FAH episode 15

In the previous episode, we began talking about my FREEDOM toolbox--7 tools for making the most of our time so that we can live balanced, peaceful lives. These are the tools: * Focus * Reflect * Educate * Eliminate * Discipline * Organize * Multitask Today we'll look at the third tool: Educate. It's easy for homeschooling moms to get so caught up in educating our children that we forget about educating ourselves! We can get caught up in curriculum, lesson plans, and goals for our children that we completely neglect our own personal growth. But the truth is that we ALL need to expose ourselves to new ideas and new strategies on a regular basis for all three major life areas: personal, family, and business. You need to sharpen your own skills and broaden your mind, learn new ideas and methods for training and educating your children and running your household, and discover new ways to build your business, if you have one. In addition, if you want your children to value reading and lea...

11 MIN2015 MAR 18
Comments
Educate – FREEDOM Tools part 2 – FAH episode 15

Latest Episodes

Flourish At Home – Making Memories

Ironically, when your family is together almost all the time, it can be challenging to pull away from the demands of homeschooling to just enjoy being together and have fun as a family. But taking a break is good for parents and children alike. In this episode, I'll share some of my favorite ways to make special family memories, including building family traditions, spending one-on-one time with each child, exploring the world, and enjoying the journey as well as the destination. I'd love to hear from you. What special family traditions do you enjoy? Joyful Balance for Busy Moms Are you exhausted? Overloaded? Teetering on the brink of burnout? Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, work-at-home mom, or homeschooling mom, it’s easy to be paralyzed by an overwhelming to-do list. False guilt only adds to the burden. Mary Jo Tate—an international editor, book coach, and veteran homeschooling mom of four boys—wants to help you find peace in the space between the ideal and reality so you ...

19 MIN2018 OCT 25
Comments
Flourish At Home – Making Memories

What Should We Read? How to Choose Good Books – FAH 24

How to Choose Good Books There are millions of books available today. How on earth can you choose what's best to read? In this episode, we'll consider how to choose good books—both for yourself and for your children. This is part 2 of a series on why, what, how, and when to read and why and how to build a home library. Three Types of Books To be able to choose good books, you need to understand the different types of books. Apart from the usual categories of fiction and nonfiction, there are three main types of books: * Living Books - A living book is written by an author who loves the subject; it is challenging and inspiring. Focus on these! * Reference Books - Atlas, dictionary, almanac, etc. These are useful to have on hand even if you also look things up online. * Twaddle - This is Charlotte Mason's term for dumbed-down, diluted, silly, easy-reading books with poor writing and sometimes tacked-on morals. Avoid these. What Is a Good Book? * In general, older books are likelier t...

20 MIN2015 DEC 16
Comments
What Should We Read? How to Choose Good Books – FAH 24

Why Should We Read? 12 Benefits of Reading – FAH 23

12 Benefits of Reading Why should we read? You probably already know some of the benefits, such as education and entertainment, but there are many more. This is part 1 of a series on why, what, how, and when to read and why and how to build a home library. Why am I doing a series about reading on the "Flourish At Home" show? Because reading is an important part of a flourishing life!Education is one of my 7 FREEDOM tools that we discussed in episode 15, and reading is a great way to take care of yourself by destressing and relaxing. So let's dive in to 12 of the most important benefits of reading—for both children and adults! Benefits of Reading * Changes your life by building wisdom and growing your character. * Helps you learn facts and builds your personal storehouse of knowledge. * Develops and preserves your mind and your memory and helps prevent or slow the progress of Alzheimer's disease or dementia. * Improves your focus and concentration in a world that normally scatters y...

12 MIN2015 NOV 18
Comments
Why Should We Read? 12 Benefits of Reading – FAH 23

Just Say No to Interruptions, part 1 – FAH episode 21

It’s hard to get anything done when you’re constantly being interrupted. You know exactly what I’m talking about, don’t you? You’re desperately trying to accomplish some task, and the phone rings. The dryer buzzes. The baby cries. You hear a mysterious crash from the kitchen. The doorbell rings. Calgon can’t even take you away because it’s impossible to get 5 minutes alone in the bathroom. No matter how well we manage our time, our best efforts are often undermined by interruptions. I’m defining interruptions broadly as anything that keeps us from doing what we need to do by distracting us from our priorities and making us lose our focus. Interruptions can come from strangers, acquaintances, business associates, friends, family...and even from ourselves. They can involve bad or good news, illness, ordinary events, or enticing opportunities. Whatever the source, they distract us from what we have planned to do, hinder our productivity, and upset our balance. They can trigger ...

16 MIN2015 OCT 7
Comments
Just Say No to Interruptions, part 1 – FAH episode 21

To Co-Op or Not to Co-Op – FAH episode 20

Homeschooling is primarily a family endeavor. Even the name "homeschooling" has the word "home" in it! One of its greatest benefits is the ability to customize one-on-one instruction with your children instead of the less personal group instruction they'd get in an institutional school. So would it be inconsistent to move some of your homeschooling back out of the home and into a homeschool co-op? Not at all! Co-ops aren't a good fit for some families, but they're a great blessing to others. Of course, participating in a co-op (a short form of "cooperative") requires that you cooperate. You have to give up some flexibility in exchange for sharing the planning, activities, and teaching, but the trade-off can be worth it. Co-ops can range from very informal to highly structured. Some co-ops focus on field trips, activities, and enrichment, while some cover a few academic subjects, and others cover all academic subjects, often with a full day of classes every week. I've just begun my 1...

20 MIN2015 SEP 2
Comments
To Co-Op or Not to Co-Op – FAH episode 20

Multitasking – FREEDOM Tools part 6 – FAH episode 19

Moms are masters of multitasking. We have to be in order to survive! Multitasking is the final tool in myFREEDOM toolbox—7 tools for making the most of our time so we can live balanced, peaceful lives. Here’s a quick review of the tools: * Focus * Reflect * Educate * Eliminate * Discipline * Organize * Multitask Does it seem strange for the tools to begin with focusing and end with multitasking? Isn't that contradictory? No, it's not. The challenge is that you have to figure outwhen to focus andwhen to multitask. Multitasking has gotten a bad rap for the past few years. Some people claim that if you can multitask while you're doing something, it's not worth your time to do it. That might apply in the context of running a business, where it could indicate something you should outsource. But in the daily life of a mom at home,somebody has to wash the dishes and match the socks, so multitasking is essential. Another criticism of multitasking is that it undermines your focus and makes...

11 MIN2015 JUN 3
Comments
Multitasking – FREEDOM Tools part 6 – FAH episode 19

Organization – FREEDOM Tools part 5 – FAH episode 18

How do you respond to the wordorganization? * Does it make you cringe? Do you feel guilty because you’re hopelessly disorganized and wish you could be more organized? * Does it make you smile, with a happy sigh that all’s right with the world? * Do you think a certain amount of clutter is a sign of a happy home? * Do you resist the whole idea of organization—maybe because it reminds you of a neat-freak friend who labels everything in her household, uses color-coordinated storage containers, and alphabetizes her spices? Whatever your reaction, this episode is for you. Organization is the sixth tool in myFREEDOM toolbox—7 tools for making the most of our time so we can live balanced, peaceful lives. Here’s a quick review of the tools: * Focus * Reflect * Educate * Eliminate * Discipline * Organize * Multitask Organization is essentially self-discipline applied in an orderly way to free you to focus on what's most important to you. Organizing your time, tasks, thoughts, and things...

15 MIN2015 MAY 20
Comments
Organization – FREEDOM Tools part 5 – FAH episode 18

Self-Discipline – FREEDOM Tools part 4 – FAH episode 17

Discipline—self-discipline, that is—is the fifth tool in myFREEDOM toolbox—7 tools for making the most of our time so we can live balanced, peaceful lives. Here’s a quick overview of the tools: * Focus * Reflect * Educate * Eliminate * Discipline * Organize * Multitask Self-discipline is a major factor in how you exercise stewardship over the gifts and responsibilities God has given you—including how you manage your time. It's the tool you use to implement the priorities that you've decided to focus on and to eliminate the time-consuming clutter that gets in the way of your goals. In episode 11 of the "Flourish At Home" show, we talked about setting goals for focusing on your priorities in three major areas: (1) personal, (2) family, and (3) business. Those three categories are also helpful for considering the areas where you need to exercise self-discipline. Personal Self-discipline helps you avoid the false guilt that moms often suffer when you take care of yourself wisely an...

10 MIN2015 APR 22
Comments
Self-Discipline – FREEDOM Tools part 4 – FAH episode 17

Eliminate – FREEDOM Tools part 3 – FAH episode 16

In the previous two episodes, we've been talking about my FREEDOM toolbox–7 tools that help us make the most of our time so we can live peaceful, balanced lives. These are the tools: * Focus * Reflect * Educate * Eliminate * Discipline * Organize * Multitask Today we’ll look at the fourth tool: Eliminate. Have you ever struggled with trying to do it all? The truth is NO ONE CAN DO IT ALL. We all have to be selective about how we use our time and energy. If you want to focus on your goals and priorities, you have to eliminate things that don't support them. This includes counterproductive mindsets, such as the way you think about time; bad attitudes like fear, perfectionism, and negativity; stuff—the physical clutter that slows us down; and activities. In this episode, we'll focus on eliminating activities. You can eliminate activities by never beginning them in the first place or by stopping them if you're already involved. How? Just say no! Saying no is HARD, isn't it? You don't...

11 MIN2015 APR 8
Comments
Eliminate – FREEDOM Tools part 3 – FAH episode 16

Educate – FREEDOM Tools part 2 – FAH episode 15

In the previous episode, we began talking about my FREEDOM toolbox--7 tools for making the most of our time so that we can live balanced, peaceful lives. These are the tools: * Focus * Reflect * Educate * Eliminate * Discipline * Organize * Multitask Today we'll look at the third tool: Educate. It's easy for homeschooling moms to get so caught up in educating our children that we forget about educating ourselves! We can get caught up in curriculum, lesson plans, and goals for our children that we completely neglect our own personal growth. But the truth is that we ALL need to expose ourselves to new ideas and new strategies on a regular basis for all three major life areas: personal, family, and business. You need to sharpen your own skills and broaden your mind, learn new ideas and methods for training and educating your children and running your household, and discover new ways to build your business, if you have one. In addition, if you want your children to value reading and lea...

11 MIN2015 MAR 18
Comments
Educate – FREEDOM Tools part 2 – FAH episode 15
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