Hooray!!! So many of you have asked if I was going to do another homeschool planner (I’m so glad you loved the first one!) and I’m delighted to share that it’s HERE!
Enter your email below for your free download!It may take a few minutes to land in your inbox! 😊NEW in this year’s free planner download: —The new planner is UNDATED so you can start anytime, print one month at a time if you like, or set up your whole school year the way you love it. —New artwork throughout—it’s so pretty! —Just like the PowerSheets Goal Planner, simple and intuitive pages created to help you focus on what matters most. Pick and choose which pages work best for you!
How to print your planner: —Download your free planner. Once you enter your email above, you’ll get access to a folder with all the pages you need! Click the sections you’d like and hit “download.” Voila! —Print what you love for your homeschool needs. Some people love having just an attendance record and monthly pages, and some people (me!) love all the fun pages, too. Choose what’s best for you and you can always add pages in as you go! (Keep in mind: if you want a year of teal monthly divider pages, print 12 of that divider page. If you want 9 monthly sections, print that section 9 times—you get the idea! Organize your pages the way YOU want them and enjoy!) —Printing tips: I had mine printed and spiral bound at a local printer which was significantly less expensive than FedEx Kinkos, and much better quality. I had them size mine down to 7.5 x 10. Printing on a home printer and using a three-ring binder is a great option, too. You could also print on your home printer and have it spiral bound at your local print shop!
I hope this free download gives you great joy—and helps you focus on what matters most to you and your students!
Your turn! Do you homeschool? Considering it, but not sure where to start? Have tips or favorite resources for newbies? Share below!
P.S. Mark your planners: NEW Write the Word Journals are coming in 13 days—including a brand new volume for KIDS! We use Write the Word for Kids in our homeschool and Grace can’t wait to use the new one!
Long before our first day of homeschool, when I was still in the preparation stages, I was asked what curriculum we were using, what my best tips were, and even to speak at homeschool conventions. This felt a little like being asked to teach others how to ride a bike before I ever touched one myself. 🙂
I understand why friends asked me these well-meaning questions, though—I asked those same questions of others myself!
There are so many unknowns when you begin this journey. How do I do this? What do I do exactly? What if I mess up and don’t do enough? Where do I even START!? There are a million ways to do school (the challenge), and you get to do what’s best for your unique and wonderful child (the blessing).
While I’m no homeschool expert, I am deeply passionate about cultivating what matters—and a huge part of that for us is growing the hearts we’ve been entrusted with. Moving into our second year of homeschooling, I have learned a few things, but I’m still—and likely always will be—the student here.
I haven’t shared much about our homeschooling journey for the reasons above, and because this has been a really special and sacred time for just Grace and me. I’ve shared so much of my life online, and this has been a sweet experience for just the two of us. Here are some basics of how we do it, though:
We homeschool because… Simply because God led us here. Our reason for homeschooling might be easier to explain, perhaps, if I had a strong schooling philosophy that leaned toward homeschool, or if I were homeschooled myself, or if there were no great schools in the area. None of these things are true though! The honest answer is God made it clear to us with every little step forward that this would be our path for Grace. Through conversations with friends, being around other homeschool families, little nudges and opened doors… it just fit. Much like our journey to adoption, homeschool was not on our radar for life, but we’re so glad He planted us here. There are so many ways to grow our children’s hearts well, whether that’s a wonderful public school education (my path!), private school (Ari’s path), homeschool, charter school, boarding school, unschool, or circus school (technically I was required to take clowning in college so this is a real thing, people!).
I don’t do it all. Grace goes to a “homeschool school” two days a week where she does history, social studies, and science, and I work with her for the other two days. Friday she does piano lessons and gets to play with her siblings and just have fun being a kiddo.
We don’t use a formal curriculum. I’m using recommendations for each subject from close friends whom I trust. Kindergarten was our year to build foundations, learning how to learn together. If I had to put us in a category, I’d say we’re Charlotte-Mason-ish with a side of Grace-likes-workbooks. My favorite resources: My friend, Lara, has been a wonderful resource and encourager. I also love Read Aloud Revival. Her book, The Read Aloud Family, is awesome. I have modeled our year after some of the Ambleside Online suggestions. We use our Write the Word for Kids to practice handwriting and as a fun way to get into the Bible. There are a few of blogs I occasionally read too, but my very favorite resources have been in-person relationships. We are in a weekly Bible study with three other couples, two of which are long-time homeschool families—one even runs a homeschool school. My friend, Natascha, runs a homeschool school, too. Many of our church friends homeschool. The list goes on. The Lord built this community around us, and we are grateful.
School this week with my buddies. : )
We finally have a school name! It took us our entire first year to come up with a school name that fit. Trying to create a name that embodied our school and also looked good on a future transcript felt like trying to name a child! Our final decision? Thanks to Ari’s suggestion, we chose C.C. Austin Day School. Cecil Clyde Austin was my grandfather, who I have written about many times. He greatly impacted my faith, and Joshua even has “Cecil” as a middle name. We often tell stories about him to our kids, flip through his old Bibles, and I probably mention his name at least once a week. Our school name makes us think of his humility and passion for the Lord. We love it! Now, onto our mascot, chosen by Grace: a unicorn, naturally!
We take it day by day, week by week, and we plan to take it year by year. Right now, this is where God wants us. We’re open to whatever He wants for each child in the future.
Homeschool is challenging and wonderful all at once. Our journey so far has been, to put it mildly, spiritually refining. It’s the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve done. And some days, it’s totally overwhelming!
To help me—and you—I have a little surprise!
Feeling overwhelmed by homeschool planning? I can relate! When I began our homeschool adventure, I prayed, researched, and readied myself as much as I could—but the most helpful thing I did was start each day with open hands. More than growing Grace’s mind, I wanted to cultivate her heart. I needed a simple system to stay focused on our big picture goals while getting the day-to-day learning done, too.
It is possible to set intentional goals and tend to them little by little with this customizable planner. No matter your method of schooling—or if your homeschool terms are six weeks long, three month periods, or traditional “semester” lengths, you can customize this undated planner to meet your needs. *I had mine printed and bound at a local printer which was significantly less expensive than FedEx Kinkos, and much better quality. I had them size mine down to 7.5 x 10. Printing on a home printer and using a three-ring binder is a great option, too!
I hope you enjoy this free download as much as I do!
Your turn! Do you homeschool? Considering it, but not sure where to start? Have tips or favorite resources for newbies? Feel free to share below!
You may be tempted to wake up that morning and think: How is it October already?! The holidays are here. Merry Christmas! HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!
There are still over 90 days left in this year. A lot can happen in 90 days. No matter how your year has gone so far, that’s a whole lot of life to live—and plenty of time to finish the year well. In the next 90 days, with small but mighty steps forward, you can cultivate what matters.
I’ll be right there with you doing the same, little by little, day by day—no perfect progress required.
September was a turning point for me and our family. I knew it was going to be a month of craziness between our house flooding repairs (still not done!), unexpectedly not having childcare for the month and having to somehow keep our business running, too, staging and selling a house in the middle of this, and my plans generally not going as planned. Guys. God moved in such big ways! What I thought was going to be a month of overwhelm (I had my moments!) was an unexpected blessing. I loved my time with the kiddos, the business didn’t fall apart, our marriage stayed strong in prayer, the house sold quickly, we signed on the dotted line for our new office that’s under construction as I type this, and we’re all still camped out sleeping in one room and grateful for it. More on my September PowerSheets goals and what I learned below.
September Monthly Goals: — Ask God to prioritize my days. / I took every day this month hour-by-hour. I relied on Him more. Generous friends came to the rescue on many occasions. God always provides the next best steps. — Do what’s most important in the big picture. / Same as above—yes! — Finish the BOOK / Yes! I submitted the first draft of the manuscript, written in the parking lot while I waited on Grace during jump rope practice. Praise the Lord. So excited for this! — Delight in the Lord. / There was a lot of crying out to Him and delighting in His power in my weakness. — Enjoy the best month in the garden. / I picked the flowers we do have an put them in little vases all over the house. It has been sweet to savor these few blooms.
September Weekly Goals: — Cultivated homeschool begins / PRAISE THE LORD for a truly wonderful start! Download the Cultivated Homeschool Planner here for free. — Pray over the 2020 PowerSheets / Yes! Thanks to my mother-in-law coming to be with the kiddos for a few days (bless her!), I was able to go to our team summit in the mountains where we prayed over all the 2020 PowerSheets together.
September Daily Goals: / Progress on all of them below! — Bible reading each morning — Run! — Re-creation
On to October! You know the phrase, “Don’t fix what ain’t broke?” September was such a great month of perspective in hard things and I’m keeping most of my goals going for October.
October is going to be a fun month! The 2020 PowerSheets Collection launches on October 16th and the podcast is finally back next week (I can’t wait to chat with you again—text CULTIVATE to 81787 to get all the podcast updates!).
October Monthly Goals: —Ask God to prioritize my days —Do what’s most important in the big picture —Delight in the Lord —Hire a full-time Admin and Ministry Assistant —Put our home back together anew (next week all of the floors downstairs are being torn out and replaced from the flooding, so I’m using this as an opportunity to get rid of things and make our spaces more meaningful with less)
October Weekly Goals: —Sabbath —Be there (I’ve loved doing drop off and pick up and carpool and taking Grace to jump rope practice this month. Keeping that going for the long haul so I can be there more for them in those seemingly small moments.)
October Daily Goals: —Bible reading each morning —Run! —Re-creation with the kids (lots of fall fun ahead in October!) —Pray over our children
Your turn! Do you have goals for October? Comment below and I’ll pick one of you to send a special surprise box of goodies to from the Cultivate What Matters Shop! I love sending real mail, and I love hearing your thoughts!
P.S.Mark your planner for the 2020 PowerSheets Collection Launch on October 16 at 10 am. I can’t wait to get these new products in your hands!
You’re ready for a new month of fresh routines. A month of getting the best things done. A month of crisp air and being re-energized. A month of intentional decisions. A month of soul rest. A month of savoring.
“Savor” means to enjoy something completely. Fully. All-in. This month, let’s do that. Let’s savor the little things that add up to our lives!
A quick progress update on my August PowerSheets goals and what I learned is below. I hope this encourages you to celebrate even the tiny victories!
August Monthly Goals: — Do the Fresh Faith Challenge. / Our house sort of fell apart in August (exploding water heater flooded the kids’ room and our living room so the kids are all sleeping with us right now) and I count these 6 days of Writing the Word as a big win! I did it under the covers with soft light so I wouldn’t wake everyone at night. 🙂 — Number my days and gain a heart of wisdom. / Yes, the Lord did this for me. Through Eva and several family members having major health issues, I have been constantly reminded that this life is a GIFT and I want to live it with all of me for the glory of the Lord! — Prepare for fall homeschool. / YES! I LOVE MY HOMESCHOOL PLANNER! Get it for free here. — Finish the first draft of the book. / Yes! The first draft has been submitted for feedback to my editor! Yippee! — Take a month of rest from the podcast. Hear that story here. / Yes, and taking most of September off, too. The next episode will be live for you on September 25th! — Teach the “How to Cultivate Your Calendar” class with Shunta. / This was so much fun. You can catch the replay here.
August Weekly Goals: — Prepare for Q4 / Yes! 2020 PowerSheets are coming October 16th! — Enjoy the garden right where I am (listen in here for more!) — Delight in our home. / Yes – from music to an abundance of library trips that have filled the house with books, there has been lots of delight in our house.
August Daily Goals: / Progress on all of them below! — Cultivate my days — Bible reading — Run! Praise! — Write the Word
On to September! Long story, but I unexpectedly have no childcare for most of September. I’m excited for this time with them and also excited to be the most efficient with work I’ve ever been. I’m not sure how it’s all going to work yet, but little by little, the best things will get done!
My goals in September are simple and purposeful—and more big-picture so I can be flexible in how I tackle them with the time I’m given.
September Monthly Goals: — (In light of what I shared above…) Ask God to prioritize my days — Do what’s most important in the big picture — Finish the BOOK — Delight in the Lord — Enjoy the best month in the garden
September Weekly Goals: — Cultivated homeschool begins! — Pray over the 2020 PowerSheets. I’ll be praying over every set as they get nestled in our warehouse for launch day—that they would be filled with good things and help women to walk in the light of life!
September Daily Goals: — Bible reading each morning — Run! — Re-creation
Your turn! Do you have goals for September? Comment below and I’ll pick one of you to send a special surprise box of goodies to from the Cultivate What Matters Shop! I love sending real mail, and I love hearing your thoughts!
P.S.Mark your planner for the 2020 PowerSheets cover reveal on September 24th at 1:30 pm ET on Facebook. I can’t wait to show you what’s new. A clue? EVERYTHING!
“The trees tremble with delirious joy as the breeze greets them, one by one—now the oak, now the great sycamore, now the elm.” —From the poem “In August,” by Hamlin Garland
Hello, August! A new season is around the corner. A season for new rhythms. A season to choose rest. A season for aligning our lives with the big picture. A season for getting back to what matters.
Maybe you’re feeling this right now, too: so much has changed since the start of the year and you need a little time to catch up with yourself. I’m right there with you. This month, we’re going to do just that together.
New seasons give us opportunities to do things differently. To live more simply and refocus on the things that last. To number our days and gain a heart of wisdom.
This month, we’re going to focus on getting back to what matters together!
How was your July? What goals did you inch forward on? I’d love to hear! A quick progress update from my July PowerSheets goals and what I learned is below. I hope this encourages you to celebrate even the tiny victories!
July Monthly Goals:
— #GoalSettingIsFUN! — Moving forward on the things that matter feels great and it can be a lot simpler than you think! / Progress and it was fun to spend time on what matters! — Write the book with JOY! — Yes, I’m writing a book this month! After two years, it’s finally happening. Sometimes, you just have to wait and wait and wait some more for the Lord’s timing. I’m so grateful for the waiting that got me ready for this month! Any guesses what book this is??? ☺️/ You all had some great guesses on my last post! Yes, progress here and continuing into August. — Summer fun with the kids. — We’re working through our summer bucket list from the Cultivate shop and it has been so simple and fun. Next on our list: picking blueberries today at a farm we love! / Such a sweet month with the kids. We picked peaches, played in the sprinklers, saw fireflies, and had fun with my mom who came to visit for a week. — Be a generous host. My mom AND Gina are coming to visit this month for big chunks of time and I want to love them so well! (Gina is coming to photograph our 2020 PowerSheets Collection that launches in October! Yahoo!!!) / It was the best visit with my mom, complete with lots of gardening and pulling weeds together—which doubled as a great time to talk together. We really had the most lovely time. These are days I won’t forget. — Finish The Out of Sync Child. We have a sweet kiddo with Sensory Processing Disorder and this book has been incredibly helpful so far. / I am almost done with this book. Highly recommend. — Release the NEW Cultivated Homeschool Planner. SO MANY OF YOU have asked about this and emailed me wondering if there’s a new one coming. We are only days away from releasing the new one and it’s so good! Stay posted—it’s coming so soon! / YES!!! UPDATE: The NEW Homeschool Planner is HERE!! — Make our fall homeschool plans. / I didn’t complete this one. Moving to August! — Work heartily for Q4. I’m working ahead so I can do work with excellence and clear out my time around the holidays. / Yes, we had many conversations about how to do things differently this year and I think you are going to love it, too!
July Weekly Goals: — Sabbath: surrender and be renewed / There was one Saturday I had to take my mom to the mall and Target. In the dictionary, under Sabbath antonyms is “the mall.” Enough said! 🙂 — Lead the kids to the Word. / Yes, Grace loves her NEW Write the Word for Kids Journal! — Spread joy around like manure—encouraging young things to grow! : ) / I have proof on this one! Listen to the first 10 minutes of this. I love surprises!
July Daily Goals: / Progress on all of them below! — Bible reading — Run! Praise! — Slow down and soak in the summer — Write the Word at night.
Don’t miss these from July: —You LOVE the new Write the Word journals—this bundle is going fast! —Learn 3 ways to refresh your faithwiththe amazing Ruth Chou Simons. I was so inspired by this free class! —Have you ever made plans—and they didn’t go as planned?Listen in to my story here and get 3 steps to move past frustration and disappointment. A must-listen (and my last podcast episode for a few weeks—you’ll get that story in this episode, too!). —Join me and Shunta Grant to learn how to cultivate your calendar! You’ll get the formula for going into this next season with intention, planning ahead, and making space for what matters most! Register here.
Onto August! It’s a new month with new rhythms on the horizon. I’m excited to get intentional and dig into these August PowerSheet goals.
August Monthly Goals: — Do the Fresh Faith Challenge! Join me! — Number my days and gain a heart of wisdom — Prepare for fall homeschool — Finish the first draft of the book — Take a month of rest from the podcast. Hear that story here. — Teach the How to Cultivate Your Calendar class with Shunta!
August Weekly Goals: — Prepare for Q4 — Enjoy the garden right where I am (listen in here for more!) — Delight in our home
August Daily Goals: — Cultivate my days — Bible reading — Run! Praise! — Write the Word
Your turn! Do you have goals for August? Comment below and I’ll pick one of you to send a special surprise box of goodies to from the Cultivate What Matters Shop! I love sending real mail, and I love hearing your thoughts!
P.S.We’re almost completely SOLD OUT of 6-month PowerSheets. Now is the perfect time to set yourself up for clarity and intention for this next season. Buy yours today for 30% off—no code needed!