Redeeming the Time

Yesterday I mentioned Julie Bogart from Brave Writer.  She says that when you come to a sticking point–when the math facts have flown out of the child’s head or the client has changed the deadline–adding brownies always helps!  And I really think she’s on to something.

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So often I resist these sorts of help in the name of rigor.  Education is serious business and these kids need to buckle down and apply themselves.  But what about abandoning rigor in favor of delight and nourishment.  What about finding ways to do the work for the long haul?  Here are a few more things that I find have helped…besides brownies.


Every day when I wrote a novel during National Novel Writing Month (starting soon!  Are you writing this year?), I put on a wine colored silk scarf.  It was a sign to myself that it was time to sit down and get to work on the novel.  It was also a sign to my husband that I was otherwise occupied.  What little sign could you use to show you were working?


It’s still dark when I begin my working hours.  But every morning I turn on the twinkle lights and then light a fat, pumpkin candle.  It’s just a little bit of beauty that helps me get my work done.


There’s nothing like music to change the mood of our homeschool.  If we need to lighten things up, we’ve been listening to Elizabeth Mitchell’s Turn, Turn, Turn album. One, two, three…we’re feeling better already.  Go take a listen!

Outside/Out & About

When all else fails, we take the show on the road.  Even just a walk around the long block to our favorite balancing log makes things better.  Fresh air and a change of scene work their magic on grumpy kids and mamas alike.  And VAs!  For the price of a latte, I can go to the cafe and use their good light and wifi to do my work.  And they might even have brownies!

Homeschooling and Working from Home with Ease


  1. Thank you for this. I am trying to find the balance between writing, homeschooling, self-care, and caring for my family. It’s a huge task but all well worth it!

    1. Balance is elusive for me! I was listening to Mystie Winckler talk about “wobbling in balance.” When you ride a bike, there’s a lot of tiny adjustments, a constant back and forth that actually keeps the bike upright. I think I’m always looking for that once for all perfect alignment.

      But I think working for that balance is good work. I wish there were more writing/creating hours in my current day….

      1. Oh, I love that! I do try to think of balance as a swinging pendulum that is always in motion. It’s not the particular point in the swing that is important but the entire motion.

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