New Beginnings & Do-Overs

Do you need a “do-over” this week or a fresh start this year? 

If so, then join me this week for a little coffee break and for some encouragement from God’s Word.  This week’s CWC podcast is a bit longer than usual because there is so much to explore!  In this week’s episode, I dig deep into the Book of Ruth and share five powerful lessons on new beginnings, fresh starts, and “do-overs.” 

Instead of focusing on Ruth, I focus on Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law. I share the many lessons we can from her and how we can apply them to our new year, to our parenting, and to our homeschooling.   Pour yourself an extra large cup of coffee, open up your Bibles, and join me for this extended coffee break and time in God’s Word.  

NEW PODCAST!  New Beginnings & Do-Overs:  Lessons Learned From Naomi. 



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.  



Holiday Homeschooling: Part 1

Here’s some sage advice:  Take the whole month of December off from doing formal school lessons! 

Yep, that’s what I said and I’m sticking to it!  While December brings Christmas cheer, it can also bring much stress and good old fashion guilt trips.  Homeschooling moms usually feel overwhelmed this time of the year as less and less school work gets accomplished.  If this describes you, or you are looking for a less stressful way to do school this holiday season, join me for this week’s Coffee With Carrie podcast. 

In this week’s coffee break, I give homeschooling mamas permission to take a Sabbath break and I explain how to take the entire month of December off from traditional lessons to focus on the birth of Jesus while building cherished memories.  I share how to use your family’s traditions and your usual Christmas hustle and bustle as your “school work”.  I will let you in on a little secret.  Your kids are already doing a ton of  reading, writing, math, science, and art during the month of December.  And for those moms who just can’t fathom the idea of taking an entire month off of school work, I even give some easy, fun, and educational activities you can do during the month to replace those formal lessons. 

Pour yourself a mug of peppermint mocha latte or a cup of winter chai tea.  You will be inspired by this week’s podcast, it will ease your December guilt, and it will definitely put you into the holiday spirit.   



 The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Robinson

 A Little House Christmas by Laura Ingalls Wilder

 A Christmas Carol by Dickens.  

 The Polar Express,

The Night Before Christmas 

 How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Humphrey’s First Christmas 

The Story of Christmas Book Set and Advent Calendar by Croll

Christmas Carols for a Kid’s Heart by Joni Erickson Tada

FREE Bingo Card Generator

Christmas Time Nature Studies