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Start Here to Train Up a Child

You want to bring your kids’ homeschool education to life and still manage your other responsibilities. But how?


The house, the meals, the shopping, your church activities, your work… You might even feel like this reader:


“It’s just too much. I feel like I’m not doing a good job at anything. My house is always a wreck, I’m behind with everything, the kids are bored and are fighting me about school. I feel like I’m constantly being interrupted and mad at them all the time. This is not how I pictured homeschooling!”


I’m Dana, and I believe you can bring your kids’ homeschool education to life and still manage your other responsibilities.


bring your kids' homeschool education to life kids graduating with doctoral degrees


When I started homeschooling, I was totally in over my head. I didn’t know how hard it would be to teach my kids.  And run the household and volunteer at church and work part-time…

And when did I get so CRANKY?!

Then I realized a few things.  First, just like with parenting, the foundation of homeschooling had to be Christ-centered mentoring and discipleship between parents and children. And with all the focus on fitting homeschooling into my already busy life, I had almost lost sight of this.

Christ-centered, grace-based parenting had to come first.

Secondly, with the extra responsibility of homeschooling, it was crucial for me to learn better habits. Not only did I need to learn them, but I also needed to teach them to my kids. And I had to prioritize what I could do and what I had to say “no” to.

Most of all, I had to stand back and realize that having my kids’ hearts was a crucial part of lifegiving homeschoolingActually more important than getting our academics done.

Slowly, but with certainty, I grew in my ability to bring my kids’ homeschool education to life while still managing my other responsibilities.


I prayed more specifically for my kids. I got to know them better. When my children fought me (or each other) on something, we put away the books and dealt with it. We worked at consistently training obedience and other good habits.

I also studied brain and learning research to see how kids learned best. And I discovered that using those learning methods, made learning stick for my kids. And it can do that for yours as well!

We read the best in children’s literature.  We settled on using a Charlotte Mason-inspired approach that fit our family perfectly.  And I eventually co-created a curriculum that parents can customize to fit their children, instead of trying to make their children fit a curriculum.

Along with a more streamlined and effective homeschool, I  continued to prioritize what I could do and what I couldn’t. This made my days go more smoothly so I wasn’t carrying that mountain of undone things on my back all the time!

Then homeschooling became something we could all enjoy. Instead of the chore that it had been before. Our homeschooling and our homelife had been transformed.  

LIfegiving homeschool.  Happy Home.

If you want to bring your kids’ homeschool education to life and crave a peaceful, happy home, I’d love to help!  Drop your email address below, and I’ll send you my free checklist, 25 Terrific Tips that will Transform Your Christian Homeschool.  You’ll also get weekly-ish posts from a long-time homeschool mom who’s already graduated kids to college and then graduate school. Read what our kids are doing now.


My Goal with this Website and Blog

Train up a Child Publishing is here to help you bring your kids’ homeschool education to life while still managing your other responsibilities.   With our literature-based, Charlotte Mason-inspired curriculum, helpful blog, and experienced mentoring, you can learn how to make homeschooling and homemaking work effectively.

Our Popular Posts

My blog has been around a while, so there are LOTS of resources here. Whether you’re looking for:

How to Teach Narration – Charlotte Mason Mondays

That’s it?  That’s all you have to do? Said my friend, who was in her second year of homeschooling. (She started her first year using a textbook curriculum. And they hated it.) She couldn’t believe how simple my suggestion was. How much less time it took. And how little preparation it needed. And you know me…I […]

Why you should teach using real books

A savvy homeschool teacher with a library of good books (at home or in the public one down the street) has the potential to teach almost anything. And with your or your library’s collection of excellent children’s literature, it’s even better. Using real books has the power to transform your kids’ lives. This is why […]

What comes with Daily Lesson Plans?

Today, I’m answering a recent question from a homeschooling mom asking about what comes with Daily Lesson Plans.   Here’s the question: I want to make sure that I understand ordering options correctly.  The 1st grade daily lesson plans don’t include the lists of books, the teacher manuals, or the k-2 unit program tools, right?  […]

Unit Programs or Daily Lesson Plans?

  Which is best for your family – our Unit Program Tools or Daily Lesson Plans? Here’s what you need to know. The most common curriculum question I get is this: I don’t know whether to get the Unit Program Tools or the Daily Lesson Plans. How do I know which one would be best? How […]

Our Curriculum

We offer literature-based, Charlotte Mason-inspired homeschool curricula written from a Christian point of view.  For your kindergarten through high school students. And even better, it’s customizable to fit your family. Assignments are not just reading and writing, either. You build models. Plan and make Renaissance Feasts. Design costumes. Cook period meals. And much more.

Read more about it on our Curriculum Options page or click the graphics below.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Unit Program Tools
Daily Lesson Plans
High School Courses

From our FAQs Page

Yes, the Unit Program Tools are more economical I know that’s a factor for most us. But in the long run, you’ll be the happiest and your homeschooling will get the best results if you get the program that matches the way you want to teach.


You should choose the Daily Lesson Plans over our Unit Program Tools if this sounds like you:

  • You don’t know what you should teach (or how to teach) history, science, art, or language arts. And you don’t have the time to figure it out.
  • The desire, energy, and time to come up with the best children’s literature, fun projects, interesting assignments, or age-appropriate science experiments just aren’t there.  The same goes for copy work, spelling, and vocabulary words — you want them chosen for you already and be relevant to the history, science, and language arts your child is learning.
  • You’re worried you aren’t covering the right things or enough of the right things. So you’d feel more confident with structured daily lessons. Especially when they include reading assignments, discussion questions, narration prompts, spelling, vocabulary, grammar, and composition lessons all ready for you to teach. You really just want an open-and-go curriculum.


You should choose the Unit Program Tools over our Daily Lesson Plans if this sounds like you:

  • Creating your own curriculum and lesson plans is something you love doing. You like to search the computer for activities, experiments, and projects.  But you’d like to have a “framework” already created so you don’t have to start from scratch.
  • You prefer homeschooling at your own pace, enjoy having the time to go down rabbit trails. You don’t want the pressure of a curriculum that tells you what to say and do.
  • Teaching all or most of your children history, science, and fine arts at the same time with the same curriculum is the way you want to teach.
  • You’re looking for a fabulous list of hundreds of exciting and often character-building books (that have been pre-read by someone with your values), organized chronologically by time period and topic to supplement this or another curriculum you’re already using.


You can also use a combination of both!

And, actually, many moms get a combination of both Daily Lesson Plans and Unit Program Tools or get the Daily Lesson Plans and the Teacher’s Manuals. (Note that the Teacher’s Manuals are included with the Unit Program Tools, but not with Daily Lesson Plans, but are available separately if you would like the extra help.)

There are many more book suggestions, projects, and assignment ideas in our Unit Program Tools curriculum, as well as Teacher Overviews summarizing each period in history.  There’s also an extra unit of Resource listings that are not in the Daily Lesson Plans.

In addition, although the Daily Lesson Plans are clear and simple to implement, the Teacher’s Manual has some extras. It includes more detailed information regarding teaching and evaluating writing, for example. than the Daily Lesson Plans.  (However, you may certainly use the Daily Lesson Plans without purchasing the Unit Program Tools or the Teacher’s Manual.)

The Daily Lesson Plans give the Unit Program Tools structure; the Unit Program Tools give the Daily Lesson Plans flexibility.

Our history courses, American History I and World History I, are both full-year courses. Our literature courses:  General Literature, American Literature, British Literature, and World Literature, are also all full-year courses. Our English electives are one-semester courses: Essay Styles for High School, The Art of Public Speaking, and The Steps to Writing a Research Paper.

First, our courses use real, whole, excellent books, instead of textbooks or excerpts of books.

Secondly, our courses are not “cookie-cutter” courses where everyone does the exact same assignment. Instead, our courses offer several choices of assignments, and you and your student are free to choose.

Yes, we have writing assignments and we recommend your student write at least one or two of every essay type. But we also have assignments that utilize the gifts and talents God gave your high school student. The assignment choices in our high school courses include building a model,  cooking a historically accurate feast, dramatizing a scene from a story or an event, creating period costumes, illustrating a scene in a story, and more.

Using your students’ natural gifts will make learning not only be more enjoyable, it will make the learning stick.


What parents are saying …

I was looking for a literature-based curriculum that incorporated several subjects and I was praying that God would lead me to the right one. I did a quick google search one night and this is the first curriculum that came up and I cannot tell you how excited I was!

— Katie

WOW! Your World History I course is thorough! Very well done. You make it easy for a teacher to use without having to do the expert research. After a year with this resource, no one will be second-guessing their choice [of a World History course], wondering whether there was a better one out there, or did they cover everything. Your course was well worth the wait! The only problem is, now I am salivating for World History II!

With admiration, Amy

Thank you again for your wonderful [high school] literature program. My daughter is currently completing her 2nd year with Train up a Child Publishing literature and loves it.

– Ann