4 Steps to Academic Achievement Series

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by what you think your child should be learning? There’s so much to cover, how do you fit it all in? The common response goes like this:  “if I had more time I could get more done.”  But you don’t really need more time because it just goes on and on and on. What you do need is a strategy to organize and implement that works.

Successful people have the time they need because they implement strategies. They work hard and play hard, get their work done so they can be with those they love.

There’s no rule that says you have to get it all done before you have fun. As homeschool moms it’s easy feel as if we’re on duty 24/7, don’t have a life or allow ourselves to express our own purpose.

In fact when we do this we set ourselves and our children up for failure. The first sign is stress and struggle between you and your children. There does come a time in every homeschool where the honeymoon is over and a strategy is the answer.

CLICK TO TWEET! Here’s today’s tweetable:

There’s no unlearning or retraining when living success habits as a family. @DonnaVail


Practicing success habits in your home and homeschool will produce daily benefits that will assist you and your children going forward into the future. Success principles will be engraved. There will be no unlearning or re-training. You and your children will be empowered.

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Get Smart, Put the Brakes on Busy

Let’s face it moms… we’re busy and life seems to getting busier by the day. There’s absolutely no way we can get it all done. What if something falls through the cracks and we don’t catch it? Who’s going to get it done if we don’t? But that’s just part of the problem. The source of most of our stress comes from placing unrealistic expectations on ourselves, which impact our happiness, wellbeing and relationships.

You say you want to be productive, but getting it all done is not productive. Getting it all done is an unrealistic expectation we use to inflict self-defeating guilt on ourselves over and over again. It doesn’t matter what schedule or system you have in place, unless you use it and respect it. When you respect the system or schedule, at the same time you’re respecting yourself and others.

CLICK TO TWEET! Here’s today’s tweetable:

Getting it all done on your own is not productive, it’s an unrealistic expectation. @DonnaVail

Today I’m sharing with you one big giant get-smart-tip so you can put the brakes on busy and get to living the life you want to live. If you apply this one strategy to your every day you’ll get more done, gain clarity on your priorities and the life you truly want to live will begin showing up.

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8 Ways to Inspire Math Excellence

Do you ever wonder if the math curriculum you are using will cover everything your child needs to learn? Will he be prepared for advanced studies, even college? Maybe the big voice of doubt appears when your child is procrastinating or complaining about the math being too hard, perhaps even crying over it. And let’s be honest, most of us, yes including me; do not want to stand in front of our children teaching Algebra every day. I know there are parents, who are the exception, but a larger percentage of parents do not want to teach math and a big percentage of them don’t feel confident in their own math skills. This is why it is even more imperative that you ensure your child is using a math curriculum that includes the following eight ways to inspire math excellence and ensure you are getting the results you expect.

CLICK TO TWEET! Here’s today’s tweetable:

“Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics; I can assure you that mine are far greater.” –Einstein via @DonnaVail

Here’s my list of 8 Ways to Inspire Math Excellence

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Work Like a Woman

In today’s society, whether consciously or unconsciously women often give up part of their feminine traits in order to compete in business or politics. No matter what your vocation, it’s important to work like a woman and not a man. Women are creators. We have our own unique endurance levels such as the case during childbirth as well as raising our children, creating a family legacy and serving many through fulfilling our purpose.  We are not meant to be driven like our male counterparts. We are energized in other ways and to persevere in our great purpose by giving ourselves time to rebuild, rest, contemplate, be inspired, learn and refill our cups.

Doesn’t that sound nice? It resonates with you and you know deep down inside that this is the way it’s supposed to be for women. When we run ourselves like men, compete in the working world with men in a masculine manner we disown a part of ourselves that over time leaves us weak and needy. It’s not by daily sprints we win, but through marathons and then periods of rest and recuperation before we embark on the next marathon.

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Everyday Balance for Moms

Being a mom is a never ending job. If you’re like me you sometimes experience moments of feeling frazzled, overwhelmed and overworked; your plate is full and you feel like the days are slipping through your fingers.

As a mom we are producers and must operate most of the time as a high performer. Unfortunately most moms are not trained in high performance techniques. We’re often going it alone to figure things out often on little sleep. We receive scattered tips from neighbors and friends. In contrast, high performers such as professional athletes and extremely successful entrepreneurs always have the help of a mentor inspiring high performance.

Don’t you think it’s time for moms to have access to the practices and habits of high performance? After all, we’re raising the next generation who will advance our world. Many of the young children we care for in our homes are future athletes, musicians, artists, inventors, statesmen, philosophers and leaders. Imagine how they could advance growing up with success practices and habits as a natural part of everyday living. Imagine how much more inspired you can be as a mom when you’re not overwhelmed and overworked.

CLICK TO TWEET! Here’s today’s tweetable:

It’s time for moms to have access to the practices and habits of high performance. @DonnaVail

I’ve spent the last 20 years studying the most successful people focusing on those individuals who also raised extraordinary families. Moms deserve to get more done in less time, manage home and household more effectively; all while still meeting the needs of our families.

On Thursday, February 28th I’m sharing specific how-tos you can begin using immediately in your everyday on a complimentary teleseminar – More for Mom.

Click here for more details.

I look forward to meeting up with you and sharing the secrets all moms should have access to.

Please invite your friends and other moms.

Peace and love,


P.S. Be sure to register. We have limited seating. Click here.


more for mom banner




About Donna Vail

Donna Vail, Education and Parenting Specialist, is founder of An Inspired Education and the Mentor Mastery Inner Circle, the proven step-by-step program dedicated to maximizing the success in the human potential through homeschooling and life mastery for the whole family. She creates educational programs for homeschool children, “after-school” study programs for public schooled children and personal development for moms, while homeschooling her five children. Get free tips and resources from Donna Vail at: www.donnavailinternational.com

How a Daily Rhythm Can Save Your Homeschool Day

Homeschooling your children means they are with you 24x7x365. This reason alone is an excuse for many not to homeschool, claiming they need a break from their children during the day and by the end of summer they can’t wait to send them back. This is a very sad but true statement for many moms and even scarier is that many will boldly admit it publicly. For those parents who have been bold and brave and true to their parental role, it is possible to have your children with you most all the time without pulling out your hair and having plenty of personal time for yourself and your spouse.

In order for this to be so, it does take some structure by maintaining a regular routine or family rhythm while at the same time remaining flexible. It also requires a narrowing down of activities or involvement in outside pursuits. I have never experienced a family that was sorry for having these parameters in place.

CLICK TO TWEET! Here’s today’s tweetable:

Family rhythm, flexibility, and focused activities make the homeschool day successful. @DonnaVail

So let’s take a look at each of these and how you can begin implementing them in your home for greater every day success in your homeschool and the raising of your children.

1)      Regular Routine: I like to call our regular routine a family rhythm because I don’t go by a strict hour by hour or 15 minute regimented schedule. We’ve divided our day into four quadrants including morning, afternoon, evening and night. Each quadrant has an anchor which helps us transition from one to another and get back on track if our day requires more immediate attention such as working through character issues, learning a new academic process or the needs of the younger children. If we get “off track” from what would be our normal routine our family rhythm naturally picks up where we need to be so that nothing is ever lost or left behind. We are always right where we need to be. Routine is good to help children remain balanced which is achieved through regular sleep, meals, naps, open play time and reading a lot of good books. The routine shouldn’t be so strict that it squeezes out inspiration and novelty. Children remind us that novelty, playtime and exploration, are all essential for our every day.

2)      Flexibility: This goes hand in hand with the regular routine. When working with children you must at all times remain flexible. It is only right to honor each of our children with the space they need to grow and learn. Rushing about or demanding only creates undue stress which leads to other issues to handle. Being flexible takes understanding your child’s highest values, observation, doing your own inner work, learning about yourself and many times preventing issues from ever arising in the first place. It means moving at the speed of nature, sometimes waiting on the child’s timing and at other times the child has to wait on the parent’s timing. As you are flexible with your children they too can be flexible with you. Flexibility is written into our family rhythm so I am no longer looking at the clock running a daily race. This is a big stress reducer.

3)      Narrowing Down or Focused Activities: Children are young and small for a very short time. There doesn’t need to be engagement in activities outside of the home on a daily basis. What children under the age of seven needs is purposeful engagement with others outside of the home with upstanding characters in the family and community. Perhaps one activity or class otherwise they are getting plenty from the regular interactions you make in everyday living through going out to meet with family and friends, engage in the community and take care of the household errands. As you have your children by your side, they will grow to trust you which is extremely important as they enter their teen years. This is especially beneficial when they begin coming to you for guidance as they step out more on their own. A child will gleam much from being with you as you work and do your own chores. This also gives them more space for imaginative play and projects. When you’re no longer running at break neck speeds, stress for the entire family is reduced.

Structuring your day in such a manner will positively influence your children to grow up in this habit and adopt it as a way of life. Once you have your family rhythm you can relax and have time to yourself knowing your children are well cared for and getting everything they need. As mentioned above this will greatly reduce stress and improve relating.

At first glance, many people mistake seeing children as demanding or too much work, however it is through establishing a family rhythm, maintaining flexibility and focusing on letting go of the need to do it all, that we find ourselves experiencing greater insight and balance, without which attempting such insight without children in our lives seems virtually impossible.

“Never again clutter your days or nights with so many menial and unimportant things that you have no time to accept a real challenge when it comes along. This applies to play as well as work. A day merely survived is no cause for celebration. You are not here to fritter away your precious hours when you have the ability to accomplish so much by making a slight change in your routine. No more busy work. No more hiding from success. Leave time, leave space, to grow. Now. Now! Not tomorrow!” –Og Mandino

Parents Inspired to Action:

  • Create a family rhythm instead a trying to keep a rigid schedule. Set up your quadrants and anchor times.
  • Notice when the need for flexibility arises and make the necessary adjustments.
  • Be more selective with the amount of outside activities you choose to be involved in. Guard the open play and project time so your children have time for exploring, imagining and creating.


As we parent there are so many insights and lessons we can see in our everyday. What wisdom can you pass on to other parents you’ve learned about creating a family rhythm in your every day? Please leave a comment below.

I can’t wait to hear from you! Thank you for sharing the path as we homeschool and raise our children to love more, live more and learn more.

Peace and blessings,




 About Donna Vail

Donna Vail, Education and Parenting Specialist, is founder of An Inspired Education and the Mentor Mastery Inner Circle, the proven step-by-step program dedicated to maximizing the success in the human potential through homeschooling and life mastery for the whole family. She creates educational programs for homeschool children, “after-school” study programs for public schooled children and personal development for moms, while homeschooling her five children. Get free tips and resources from Donna Vail at: www.donnavailinternational.com

The Balance of Change and How to Work with It

If you have been following me for a while, you know that I love to collect pictures of the lotus flower. I love to garden and most plants and flowers I’m taken with, but am especially fond of lotus flower because of its courageous story. It begins as a tiny hard seed that is planted in the depths of mud under murky water. The seed has to sprout down in these dark depths and push its way up through adversity, finally rising out of the mud and water to reach the sun. Then a beautifully pristine flower opens to be all it can be. Can you see the parallel with our life? During those moments when I feel stuck, as if I’m standing in the mud I think of my beautiful lotus flower and almost instantly I feel my strength and resolve return, and I open to the sun to be all I can be.

As you work to develop yourself becoming more, doing more and accomplishing more, change is an inevitable byproduct of self development. As you embrace change and except that both negative and positive change serves your highest good, you’re able to reach a state of gratitude that empowers your life.

Balancing positive and negative changes in your life is imperative if you and your spouse, your partner, your children want to experience new levels of personal achievement. If you’re too positive sided feeling prideful you will attract people and circumstances in your life to bring you back down. Alternatively if you’re too negative sided, you’ll invite people and circumstances in your life to bring you back up. In either case the universal/natural laws will always be working to bring you back into a state of balance. It’s how we’re wired. When you’re too polarized to one side or the other you will feel tossed about, terrified and grasping for air like a fish out of water.

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Celebrate Love as a Family


Love is in the air as we approach Valentine’s Day this week. It can have different meanings in different countries, depending on where you live. In some countries it’s strictly about romance while in many other countries everyone joins in not only for romance but also to acknowledge friendship. Any which way you look at it, on this day we have opportunity to do something a little more special for those we love to show them how much we love and appreciate them.

Here’s a few ideas you might like to do with your children to spread more love.


1.       Valentines’ Day Melted Crayons Mobile Craft

Melted crayons and wax paper make stained glass heart sun catchers.

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Donna’s Homeschool Day in the Life (with 17, 14, 12, 9 and 5 year-old)

 Vail Family (3 of 4)

Donna’s Homeschool Day in the Life (with 17, 14, 12, 9 and 5 year-old)

When I first began homeschooling in 1995 with my oldest, now in college, I had a strict routine loaded down with curriculum and seemingly burdensome deadlines to meet. Like many new to homeschooling, I did all I knew to do and that was to structure my homeschool based on the public school model I grew up with. I was bold and determined and it only took two and a half years until me and the kids experienced homeschool burnout.  I knew that homeschooling couldn’t be this maddening for everyone so I took time off to explore different paths. After reading and researching I discovered self-education and An Inspired Education was born.

We’ve evolved a lot since our early days of strict schedules and mountains of curriculum and now follow a family rhythm. With the birth of each new child I’ve learned to expand time, be more flexible and simply allow. This greatly reduces stress. Trying to “fit it all in” and always pushing the children to what’s next is not only stressful for mom but also the children. I want my children to remember the freedom they grew up with exploring and following their curiosity, having plenty of fun and adventure where they could and honing in on their life mission, focusing on their highest values.

CLICK TO TWEET! Here’s today’s Tweetable: Trying to “fit it all in,” pushing the children to what’s next is stressful for mom but also the children. via @DonnaVail

Our family rhythm is set up in quadrants and time blocks that are sliding. This is where I create flexibility. Caring for a child’s need or character takes precedence over what time it is and what we “should” be doing. For the most part though, our family rhythm flows steady and we are constantly learning and growing. [Read more…]

Do You Have a Dream?

Today we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 and while doing his work to bring justice, he was assassinated on April 4, 1968. This was a time of great struggle in our nation. I can still remember to this day, only two years after his death, I was attending a private kindergarten school (this was before kindergarten was part of public school) and I got in trouble for coloring. It was a page that had several children ice skating and I colored one of the children black. This did not go over very well at the time.

Martin Luther King Jr. is best remembered for directing a peaceful march on Washington D.C. of 250,000 people to whom he delivered his address, “I Have a Dream.” He caught peoples attention during an intense eleven year period, between 1957 and 1968 as he traveled over six million miles and spoke over twenty-five hundred times. He always appeared wherever there was injustice, protest and action. Not only was he speaking in person, he also wrote five books and many articles, carrying his word to places he hadn’t reached in person.

Click to Tweet! Here’s today’s tweetable:

We must learn to live together as brothers or we will perish together as fools. -MLK via @DonnaVail


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