Christmas Peppermint Pancake Party

Christmas Peppermint Pancake Party

Chocolate Peppermint Pancakes

Homeschool Holidays

Pancakes; Christmas Peppermint Party!

Do you have a house full of hungry home-schoolers? These pancakes are easy enough to whip up a batch or two on a cold winter morning and fill those hungry tummies with whole wheat goodness. Your littles will love making them with you- pounding up the peppermint and sprinkling them on top of the pancakes.  Your middle and older kids can learn to make them on their own.  These pancakes are simple to make but special enough for Christmas and your other favorite holidays! If you’re gluten free, just substitute the whole wheat and white flour with your favorite gf flour.

Peppermint Pancakes

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour 
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • Either 2tsp Peppermint extract or
  • ¼ cup ground, dried peppermint
  • Candy canes, crushed
  • (make your pancakes gluten free by substituting your favorite gf flour)

Directions for Perfect Pancakes

  1. Mix dry
  2. Add wet
  3. Butter griddle, and scoop ¼ cup batter for each pancake
  4. Sprinkle peppermint on top, or mix it in.
  5. Drizzle with your favorite syrup, fruit and whipped cream for a beautiful and delicious breakfast!
  6. Your Christmas Peppermint Pancake Party is about to begin. Set a fancy table with fine Christmas china or eat in front of the Christmas tree;  pajamas and pancakes are a winning combo on Christmas, or any holiday morning!

Eat & Enjoy

Christmas Peppermint Pancake

Sarah Bean Food for Homeschoolers

My name is Sarah Bean, I am 23 and live in Utah. I homeschool 2 kids, Ellie (4) and Will (2). We also teach kids to cook. Some may think they are too young for schooling, but tell that to them! My approach is simple. Learning can be found everywhere, everyday, in all things. Interested based learning is what they do best!  Sarah blogs at Raising Human Beans

Need Homeschool Motivation? The Goldilocks Principle to the Rescue

Need Homeschool Motivation? The Goldilocks Principle to the Rescue

Motivation & Homeschooling

Are you worried about maintaining your motivation for the school year ahead? I think I can help with a Principle named  Goldilocks.

Goldilocks Principle

The Goldilocks Principle states that, “humans experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities. Not too hard. Not too easy. Just right.” 1 Here are some simple steps to take advantage of this powerful concept in your homeschool.

  1. Make an honest assessment of where your kids are at. Humans love mastering a skill just beyond their current abilities. In order to set academic tasks just there, you need to know what your students current abilities are. The simplest way to asses is to observe your kids and understand their abilities. A good understanding of ages/ stage will be helpful. The Way They Learn, or Ages and Stages is a good place to start. Get clear about human and academic development, realize there can be wide variances in what is “normal” and get to know your child at a deeper level!
  2. Set your kids tasks right at the edge of their current abilities. Humans, big and small,  love a good challenge. They want to be pushed. But not so much that the task seems unattainable. Your kids are no different. They want tasks that don’t condescend to them by seeming too easy. They also don’t want to be given tasks that seem insurmountable and overwhelming, constantly demanding that they work outside of their comfort zone. They don’t always want “fun.” Sometimes they want to overcome something really tough. Motivate them with charts, stickers, rewards and time spent with you. It’s not bribery. It’s reward for a job well done.
  3. Customize your child’s learning. The beauty of homeschooling is that you can do just that. What will motivate one child will discourage another. By setting tasks for each child, particular to them, you are able to motivate each student.
  4. Don’t neglect the teacher! One of the ways I’ve maintained homeschool motivation over the past 25+ years is to set challenges before me. How can I streamline the laundry cycle, eat healthier on a budget, learn Latin with multiple kids and demands. In other words, don’t settle for status-quo.

`Understanding this powerful principle can change your homeschool for the better! Utilizing it for even one subject- say the most difficult one- can change your homeschool day, bringing motivation to the otherwise discouraged!

I’d love to hear what you think of the Goldilocks Principle! Is motivation something you think much about as you homeschool? How do you keep motivation going and flowing in your life?

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Lisa Nehring

Lisa Nehring has been married for over 30 years, has five children, 2 graduate degrees and a black belt in homeschooling. She has homeschooled since 1991 and wrote a Master’s Thesis on Why Parent’s Homeschool, including A History of Education in America. She is motivated by good books, strong coffee and finding God’s purpose. She teaches Literature and Composition, Psychology, Intro to Latin and Writing Club for True North Homeschool Academy.

Unified Passion: Finding Fun

Unified Passion: Finding Fun

Finding Fun

This is a story of following and finding fun and flowing excitement through summer. Beings normally July is a month I often found I couldn’t make it through without tears and reassessing my purpose, there have been several factors to instead solidify my direction and bring passion into this season.  

I remember when I heard a father of five boys and girls express how when their family decided to go to a restaurant, often they approached the discussion with seven different opinions. With having three children, my tally of opinions equals five with my husband. Like me, perhaps there’s a variety of decisions you make, some with unity and some with diversity.

On and off, for the past several years, my husband and I have decided upon a theme we wanted to focus on as a growth area for the year.  It’s been finances, discipline, communication, and you get the idea. Perhaps because we ran out of ways to be developed (nah), or more likely the fact we needed to focus on joy – that the theme of excitement, and finding fun, was birthed. 


With two daughters and one son ages 13-18, we started taking ideas from everyone on how they’d describe a day of excitement for the summer.  The results were to include a kickball game, a golf outing, horseback riding, trying a new restaurant and “to be determined.” I knew I had to schedule the kickball game (for my 13-year-old son) as quickly as possible so that we would get it done. I remembered being team captain and rather good at kickball as a child.  Good thing I did, because running made me substantially more tired than it had in fifth grade. Finding fun can leave one winded!


You need to know how the kickball game turned out.  It was scheduled for the fourth of July, it was super humid, sticky hot, and fortunately my oldest had to go into work that day, so the game got cut short by two innings.  She was the all-time pitcher because we had uneven numbers, and she played it well. My other daughter kept us busy with her strong “kicking the ball into the outfield habit.” My husband was the most valuable player and was not on my team, but he shared the outfield with our kick-crazy daughter, her friend and his mother.  My team was my father-in-law, son and his friend. I chased down a few outfielders, found I was again afraid to catch a pop fly, and took a rare, lengthy nap following our win.

In exploring our families list of excitement, it is sharpening my ability to provide for the creative exploration in every person and beyond. There were several laughs through that kickball game, even through the fry pan sunshine and after listening to everyone whine for awhile. Sure, we could have rescheduled, but half of our lives are rescheduled already. From a famous internet sensation, “I ain’t got time for that.”

But the good news is, August is the perfect time to start squeezing in the memories of summer which fulfill its glory in showing us the fun. One July 31st, in mothering days past, where I proudly exclaimed, “I made it through July without any tears!” Only to land a downpour August first.  As we hear the phrase “dog days of summer,” the heat does have a way of depleting energy reserves and ability to truly seek out passion – or in everyday words, making the most of it.

Following Fun

My kickball queen, middle daughter Sierra, is the one who held out on us, saying her exciting moment is “to be determined.”  Perhaps we will have a spontaneous surprise for her, or maybe after the horseback ride and new restaurant she’ll get the idea that we will follow through on her idea. Whatever the case, it’ll be awesome to continue to see these days unfold.


In getting a picture of the zest I no longer want to be without, I hope you will have a renewed vision for the short season of summer remaining and dream some new experiences as a family together. Our family took a trip to Israel in February of 2018, and I had told a friend how I thought I may cry on the last day because of it having the potential to be the last time I would visit.  Instead, I knew I needed to connect with as many students as possible to give them an opportunity to explore the country from home and know their Christian spiritual roots.

In being a little rusty playing kickball, it has actually motivated me to practice catching pop flys with my husband in the yard. Following a diverse list of what brought excitement to different people amazingly brought a unified passion to bring us together. This translates to my hope in teaching for True North Homeschool Academy because in affecting students, and motivating them towards their own “ah ha” moments, I know they’ll share their discoveries with their families and perhaps many more. It will truly be a year of excitement. Finding fun can be foundin the midst of studying and pushing beyond what we know already!

Education has been a highlight of Jen Noble’s career with a special focus on writing and curriculum development. She is presently the English tutor for the University Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which covers coursework through the universities in South Dakota. She also teaches adult students through the SD Universities OLLI program. In publishing her own writing, she’s been included in local and national magazines as well as two Christian book compilations,”I’m Glad I’m a Mom,” and “God Still Meets Needs.” In addition to teaching, she covers South Dakota’s state civil court cases in her role as reporter for Courthouse News. Jen teaching Bible in the Context of Israel for True North Homeschool Academy

How to Prepare Your Kids for Life After Graduation

How to Prepare Your Kids for Life After Graduation

How to Prepare Your Kids for Life After Graduation

Choosing how to prepare for adulthood and High school is no joke. Everyone believes they have the perfect plan for your life. They all have suggestions of which college you should attend, for how long, and what you should do after you finish. 

By the time many kids finish high school, the pressure is so strong that they feel they have no chance but to pick SOMETHING.

Too many end up with a career they hate and debt on their shoulders.

When you think about it, it’s strange to expect that a 16-18 year old should have a future perfectly mapped out. And especially when the stakes are high, it’s unfair to expect them to commit their lives to a specific career when they don’t know if they’re going to like it or not.

So if your teens don’t know exactly what they want to do yet, don’t panic.

There are many options outside college for your teen to pursue. In fact, college is the option with the least return on investment! Think about it- your child will pay thousands of dollars to learn about a career. Even if you are fortunate enough to get school paid for by scholarships, you still have to deal with the time cost of 4 years. Those are 4 years that could be spent getting experience.

Prepare with Tools and Grit

In today’s world, with the right tools and grit, you can build a career out of almost anything. And if you start young, you have an advantage.

Take Alec Steele, for example.

How to Prepare Your Student for After High School


He dropped out of high school at 16 (a mother’s nightmare, right?). He started blacksmithing full-time to learn the trade. At the same time, he started documenting his work through Youtube videos. He’s good at it: he now has over 1.1 million subscribers. He also makes money through his blacksmithing courses and his online store.

I don’t know what his mom thought when he left school. I do know, however, that nobody looks at his work and says “Wow. His mom should have made him stick with Algebra!” or “Look what happens when you drop out of school!”

Think Alec Steele is the exception? Soon, he won’t be. Technology is advancing. Information is everywhere- the cost of getting it through college is rising. Many young people are realizing that they can prepare for their future and reach their goals much more efficiently by learning on their own terms.

And remember- many of the top entrepreneurs of the 20th-21st century didn’t have college degrees. Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Milton Hershey, Michael Dell, Henry Ford, and Mary Kay Ash are a few.

Think Tools

Don’t push your teenagers toward college. Instead, give them the tools they’ll need for a strong professional foundation. Instead of taking a planned approach to the teen years, take an exploratory approach!

Here are three things you and your teen can do to prepare for life after graduation!

  • Build a personal brand. Create a website where you host all your projects and ideas! This is a way to learn multiple skills at once: some coding, graphic design, branding techniques, and much more. Along with building a personal website comes the bigger task of digging into yourself and finding what drives you. At Praxis, we encourage participants to pick 3 words that describe them at their core. (Yes, these will change some as you grow. That’s ok!)
  • Maximize on writing. This is a skill that every business needs. If you can write well, you’ll give yourself an edge no matter what job you’re trying to get. Write about what you love to do or what your newest idea is. Take some time to play around with different forms of writing. There’s copywriting, haiku, poetry, short stories, business articles, and much more!
  • Complete projects based on interests. Nothing is more invigorating than diving head-first into something you love. Even if you don’t stick to it for long, do it 100% while you’re at it. Have a musical interest? Don’t just learn the piano. Take videos of your practice, write about the tips you have for beginners, or compose your own music. Think coding is cool? Invest in a short course and go build something.

When it comes down to it, life readiness is more important than a life map. Being able to prepare for what’s ahead requires focusing on the opportunities ahead of you, and grow through the process!

How to Perpare Your Kids for After Graduation Lolita Allgyer

Lolita Allgyer is a Marketing Associate at Praxis, an apprenticeship program for the mold-breakers of this world. She is passionate about self-education, and about empowering other young people to carve their own paths in life. Her life philosophy is to live each moment to the fullest. If you can’t find her, she’s most likely outside on some new adventure! She writes on the Praxis blog, Quora, and She hosts her own podcast that dives deep into new ideas about education, called Educationeering. Ask her anything at lolita(at)discoverpraxis(dot)com!


Exclusive Holiday Book List

Exclusive Holiday Book List

Holiday Book List

Some of our best memories are centered around reading aloud and sharing books. Of course, Holidays are the perfect time to read a great book aloud together and build some more great memories! We always create a holiday book basket and spend time in the evenings with candles lit, the fireplace glowing, hot tea and chocolote near-by and enjoy our favorite holiday reads together!

Books, Short Stories & Biblical Accounts

The Biblical Account of Jesus’ Birth: Luke 2:1- 20 (NKJV). Make it a seasonal tradition to read it out loud together.
Isaiah 9:1-6, The Promised Son
Mary’s Magnificat: Luke 1:46-55

The 24 Days Before Christmas by Madeline L’Engle; an Austen family advent story.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by by Barbara Robinson. A beautiful reminder of what Christmas is all about.
The Gift of the Magi, by O.Henry- a sweet short story about sacrificial love.
Christmas Short Stories by Louisa May Alcott from the author of Little Women.
Home for Christmas, The Wild Christmas Reindeer, Who’s That Knocking on Christmas Eve; Jan Brett’s Christmas Treasury by Jan Brett. I’ve been a long time fan of Brett’s artwork. Simply lovely, with sweet stories to go with. You are never too old for a good kid’s book, eh?
Take Joy: the Tasha Tudor Christmas Book by Tasha Tudor. More lovely art-work and all things Christmas
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Read the classic

Take Joy! The Tasha Tudor Christmas Book! from a master storyteller!
Of course the Advent Trilogy by Arnold Ytreeide :Jotham’s Journey, Bartholomew’s Passage, and Tabitha’s Travels.

Our hope is that you not only survive but thrive during the holidays!  Check out our other Holiday posts!

Do you have other Christmas books that you know and love? Please share them so I can add to my Christmas Book Basket!

Spring Semester Classes & Clubs: Civics: Constitutional Studies, STOA Forensics and Speech, Creating Priorities for Students & Parents! Dismiss