NEW PODCAST!  A Sabbath Year:  A Year of Rest. 

  • Listen to this week’s Coffee With Carrie Podcast (Reasons and Examples)
  • Read this week’s Coffee With Carrie Article (How To)


Do you really think I’m suggesting you take an entire year off of homeschooling???  Well, maybe I am, and maybe God is calling you to take a drastic and daring approach to the second half of your school year.  Perhaps God is calling you and your family to take a sabbatical year.   It’s not as radical as it sounds. 

Sabbaticals are actually quite biblical.  Admit it! You know you are a bit intrigued by the idea.  If you are exhausted from covid schooling, survival schooling, distance learning, and this new “normal,” then join me for a little coffee break.   In this week’s podcast, I share reasons for taking a Sabbath Year of Rest and share examples of what that might look like. Maybe what I share in this week’s episode isn’t 100% for you and your family in this season of homeschooling, but perhaps there might be a few things I share that you can adapt, amend, or try using in your homeschooling for the rest of your school year. 

Take a deep breath.  Put your feet up and grab a cup of coffee.  In this week’s episode, I will share the not so radical idea of taking a homeschooling Sabbatical Year as a way to rest in the Lord, focus on what is really important, and simplify your life and homeschooling in 2021. 

how do I take a sabbath year?

  1. You can literally take a semester or year off from doing formal school lessons! Will your children do any formal schooling? No. Will your children “get behind”? According to state standards, maybe. Will they get an education? YES! This might be the year you decide to take Mark Twain’s advice, “Don’t let schooling get in the way of your [child’s] education.” Above all things, trust in God’s promises in Isaiah 54:13.

2. Design your “school year” around 3 Words. In ten years when your son is sharing his homeschooling experience with his college roommates or your daughter is explaining her home education to co-workers, what THREE words do you hope they use to describe their years at home with you as their teacher? My three words are love, literature, and laughter. When my children look back on their childhood and their home education, I pray they remember our home was full of love (love for God and His Word, love for each other and love for those God put in our lives). I also pray that they will have fond memories of family read aloud time and that their minds will be filled with great literature and pearls of wisdom from great authors. Finally, I pray they will smile as they remember all of the fun we had, inside jokes we created, games we played, tickle fights we had, and laughing till our sides hurt. What are your three words? Use them to set three priorities for your year of rest. Since my three words were love, literature, and laughter, I didn’t plan formal lessons during one of our sabbatical years, but I made sure we had plenty of opportunities to love, to read great literature, and to laugh! During one of our sabbatical years, we spent a lot of time doing service projects and serving each other (Love). I made sure we read aloud each day as a family, the kids had plenty of free to read independently, and there were tons of great books around the house to explore. Some of our “best friends” were characters we meet in storybooks! We joined or started book clubs with other homeschooling friends (Literature & Laughter). Every day, we read and memorized God’s Word and discussed how we could apply God’s Word in our daily walk. During those years, we also joined bible studies as a family (Love and Literature). Every day (or at least every week), we played games (some educational, some not so much). We went on fieldtrips. We explored nature. We played outside. We had dance parties and played jokes on each other. We had tons of playdates and went to park days with friends (Laughter). Come up with THREE words and use those words to choose your priorities. Do things each week during your sabbath year that accomplishes those goals. Instead of focusing on textbooks and formal lessons, focus on providing opportunities to explore your three words. No formal lesson plans; just opportunities to restore relationships, create life-long memories, and learn in meaningful and fun ways.

3. Another way to do a sabbatical year without formal lesson plans or a structured schedule is to ask yourself NINE questions each day (or each week). Today (or this week), did we worship, read something, create something, write something, solve a problem, explore, move, rest and care for our home and each other? If your day (or week) had opportunities for you children to worship, read, explore, write, create, problem solve, exercise, rest, work and care for others, then it was a great day (or week)! Again no formal lessons needed; just opportunities to be creative, to feel useful, and to explore. For more information on how to use these nine questions to design your homeschooling day (or week), check out CWC blog “It’s a Good Day” and listen to CWC Podcast, “It’s a Good Day.” (Besides, the podcast is only 15 minutes long. It’s about as long as any lesson should be!)

4. The most popular way to take a sabbath year of rest is to spend a semester or year traveling! Many homeschooling families have turned their homes into an Airbnb or leased it out for the year. Then rented an RV to travel the US or the national parks. Some with extra financial means, traveled abroad. This might not be doable right now with Covid, but spending the year traveling and exploring the US, Canada, and even parts of Central and South America are possible. A good friend of ours took 3-4 major trips each year for their family-owned business. It was always a family affair. The kids went on every cruise and explored every port and every country right alongside their parents. (Can I just say I was extremely jealous every time they embarked on of their trips!). In an odd way, this is a good time to travel here at home. Flight fares are super cheap. Hotels are not booked. Camping spots are available. Museums and state attractions (for the most part) are not crowded. If you don’t mind the mask, you can explore just about anything in the continental US.

If you enjoyed this podcast and this week’s blog, then you will love my new book, Just Breathe (and Take a Sip of Coffee): Homeschooling in Step with God!


it is 50% off this week! Sale ends Jan 18th!


NEW PODCAST:  Ditch the Distance Learning in 2021! 

Happy New Year!  Is your new year’s resolution to ditch all of the distance learning in 2021 (or at least eliminate most of it)?  If so, then grab a cup of coffee and join me for this week’s coffee break!  If you are tired of Zoom classrooms and being tethered to a computer screen and someone else’s schedule all day long, then join me for this week’s episode. 

Distance learning is not for everyone.  It can be the right fit for some but not for most. A virtual environment for most kids can be too distracting.  It lacks the one-on-one personal interaction and hands-on learning most children and teens need.  If you feel distance learning is the only way your students can safely fellowship and build friendships in 2021, then definitely grab a cup of coffee and join me for this week’s coffee break. 

In this week’s episode, I discuss the pros and cons of online learning and give simple tips on how you can minimize or eliminate distance learning altogether in 2021.  

click here to listen

Don’t forget to share this week’s episode with a friend who is struggling with online learning or with a friend who is new to homeschooling!

Happy New Year!


20/20 Vision:  Reflections on 2020! 

The year 2020 has been a year of answered prayers!  On January 1st, my prayer for the new year was that God would give us 20/20 vision in 2020.  I prayed that God would give us a clear vision, spiritual insight, and help us see things the way God sees them. I prayed that God would reveal the hidden, reveal the things we needed to know, reveal the things we needed to see, and reveal things we didn’t understand.  God answered that prayer in a mighty way! 

2020 has been a year of reflection, a year of revelation, and a year of purification.  In this little coffee break, I reflect on the lessons learned this past year and on the spiritual insight God has given believers in 2020. 

Grab a cup of coffee and add an extra shot!  This week’s episode will give you much to think about and pray about for the new 2021 year.  


ADVENTures: Preparing for Christmas

The Advent Season is a perfect time to refocus our attention on the God’s greatest gift to mankind: our Savior, Jesus Christ!

Christmas is a month away and the season of Advent begins this Sunday, November 30th. As you read this, my family is dancing around the house, listening to Christmas carols, drinking lots of hot cocoa and peppermint mochas while decorating our home and tree. Yep, we are one of those crazy people that start listening to Christmas music and pull out all of the Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving. And after a year like this one, I think we are all ready to get 2020 over with and usher in a new year as soon as possible. Christmas time reminds us we are almost to the finish line of 2020!

Growing up, our family celebrated the liturgical season of Advent, so when I became a mom, I wanted to make sure I incorporated this tradition with my family. If you don’t celebrate Advent, let me encourage you to start. It is a wonderful way to keep Christ at the center of your Christmas celebrations and preparations. And it is so simple to do! I promise! You won’t be adding more things to your already busy and hectic holiday schedule.

Advent is two-fold.  It celebrates the first coming of Jesus, His birth, and His incarnation.  But most importantly, Advent also looks forward to Jesus’ second coming!  And aren’t we all ready for Jesus to come back! The whole idea of celebrating the Advent season is to celebrate Jesus’ first miraculous coming AND to remember His promise to come again!  In Latin, Adventus means “to arrive” or “to come.” This is what Jesus did 2,000 years ago. But in Roman times, Adventus was also a military term for a “glorious entry.” An emperor would enter the city after a military victory. This is exactly what Jesus will do in His second coming!

The easiest way to celebrate Advent and to use it as a time to prepare our hearts and minds for the birth of Jesus and His glorious promise to return, is to use an Advent Wreath. Each week, light a new candle and read and meditate on certain scriptures. Yes, it is that simple, but when you take the time each Sunday to read a new passage and light a candle each day before a meal, it forces you and your family to slow down, refocus, and meditate on the reason for the season.

The Advent Wreath has four candles, one for each Sunday of Advent. In a nutshell, our family would light a new candle each Sunday of Advent and would focus on the following passages and themes:

  • First Sunday: Prophecies of Jesus’ Birth (Main Passage Isaiah 9:2-7)
  • Second Sunday: Preparation of Jesus’ Birth (Main Passage Luke 1:26-56)
  • Third Sunday: The Joy of Jesus’ Birth (Main Passage Luke 2: 1-21)
  • Fourth Sunday: Promises of Jesus’ 2nd Coming (Main Passage Acts 1:10-11)

During the week as we sat down to share a meal, we would light the candle again, re-read the passage, discuss it, read other similar passages, memorize scripture, sing Christmas carols with the same themes, and pray. You can make it more elaborate, you can make it part of your morning time basket, or you can save it for family dinner time. That’s really it!

In this week’s podcast episode, ADVENTtures: Preparing for Christmas, I go into more detail and explain the activities you can do, the scriptures you can read, and the carols you can sing each week and each morning.


Subscribe to  Coffee With Carrie during the month of December, and I’ll send you  as a gift the weekly Advent Devotional I created and use every year. 

Put on some Christmas music, pour yourself a cup of peppermint mocha, and join me for this little coffee break.  Let’s turn your Christmas preparations into an Advent Adventure.  


Advent Wreath: Traditional wreath with evergreen sprigs

Nativity Advent Wreath: Nativity Scene instead of evergreens

Make Beeswax Advent Candles: This is a fun activity and great gift idea too!

Advent Candles (3 purple & 1 pink)

The Story of Christmas Book Set Advent Calendar: Read one each day when you light the advent candle.

The Adventures of Christmas: Helping Children Find Jesus in Our Holiday Traditions by Lisa Whelchel 

Unicorns, Hamsters, & the Comparison Trap

Riddle me this:  What do unicorns, hamsters, and comparisons have in common? 

If your interest is piqued and you are wondering what on earth this has to do with homeschooling, then join me for this week’s Coffee With Carrie podcast.  Do you feel like you are constantly spinning your wheels but going nowhere and accomplishing nothing?  If so, then take a little break from all of the hustle and bustle, get off the crazy train for a spell, and pour yourself a much-needed cup of coffee. 

Join me this week as I use a few humorous analogies to explain why homeschooling moms are always in perpetual motion and more importantly with a little humor, I share a few ways to make the never-ending spinning stop.  I promise, you will never look at unicorns and hamsters the same way again!  

NEW PODCAST: Unicorns, Hamsters & the Comparison Trap