NEW PODCAST!  A Sabbath Year:  A Year of Rest. 

  • Listen to this week’s Coffee With Carrie Podcast (Reasons and Examples)
  • Read this week’s Coffee With Carrie Article (How To)


Do you really think I’m suggesting you take an entire year off of homeschooling???  Well, maybe I am, and maybe God is calling you to take a drastic and daring approach to the second half of your school year.  Perhaps God is calling you and your family to take a sabbatical year.   It’s not as radical as it sounds. 

Sabbaticals are actually quite biblical.  Admit it! You know you are a bit intrigued by the idea.  If you are exhausted from covid schooling, survival schooling, distance learning, and this new “normal,” then join me for a little coffee break.   In this week’s podcast, I share reasons for taking a Sabbath Year of Rest and share examples of what that might look like. Maybe what I share in this week’s episode isn’t 100% for you and your family in this season of homeschooling, but perhaps there might be a few things I share that you can adapt, amend, or try using in your homeschooling for the rest of your school year. 

Take a deep breath.  Put your feet up and grab a cup of coffee.  In this week’s episode, I will share the not so radical idea of taking a homeschooling Sabbatical Year as a way to rest in the Lord, focus on what is really important, and simplify your life and homeschooling in 2021. 

how do I take a sabbath year?

  1. You can literally take a semester or year off from doing formal school lessons! Will your children do any formal schooling? No. Will your children “get behind”? According to state standards, maybe. Will they get an education? YES! This might be the year you decide to take Mark Twain’s advice, “Don’t let schooling get in the way of your [child’s] education.” Above all things, trust in God’s promises in Isaiah 54:13.

2. Design your “school year” around 3 Words. In ten years when your son is sharing his homeschooling experience with his college roommates or your daughter is explaining her home education to co-workers, what THREE words do you hope they use to describe their years at home with you as their teacher? My three words are love, literature, and laughter. When my children look back on their childhood and their home education, I pray they remember our home was full of love (love for God and His Word, love for each other and love for those God put in our lives). I also pray that they will have fond memories of family read aloud time and that their minds will be filled with great literature and pearls of wisdom from great authors. Finally, I pray they will smile as they remember all of the fun we had, inside jokes we created, games we played, tickle fights we had, and laughing till our sides hurt. What are your three words? Use them to set three priorities for your year of rest. Since my three words were love, literature, and laughter, I didn’t plan formal lessons during one of our sabbatical years, but I made sure we had plenty of opportunities to love, to read great literature, and to laugh! During one of our sabbatical years, we spent a lot of time doing service projects and serving each other (Love). I made sure we read aloud each day as a family, the kids had plenty of free to read independently, and there were tons of great books around the house to explore. Some of our “best friends” were characters we meet in storybooks! We joined or started book clubs with other homeschooling friends (Literature & Laughter). Every day, we read and memorized God’s Word and discussed how we could apply God’s Word in our daily walk. During those years, we also joined bible studies as a family (Love and Literature). Every day (or at least every week), we played games (some educational, some not so much). We went on fieldtrips. We explored nature. We played outside. We had dance parties and played jokes on each other. We had tons of playdates and went to park days with friends (Laughter). Come up with THREE words and use those words to choose your priorities. Do things each week during your sabbath year that accomplishes those goals. Instead of focusing on textbooks and formal lessons, focus on providing opportunities to explore your three words. No formal lesson plans; just opportunities to restore relationships, create life-long memories, and learn in meaningful and fun ways.

3. Another way to do a sabbatical year without formal lesson plans or a structured schedule is to ask yourself NINE questions each day (or each week). Today (or this week), did we worship, read something, create something, write something, solve a problem, explore, move, rest and care for our home and each other? If your day (or week) had opportunities for you children to worship, read, explore, write, create, problem solve, exercise, rest, work and care for others, then it was a great day (or week)! Again no formal lessons needed; just opportunities to be creative, to feel useful, and to explore. For more information on how to use these nine questions to design your homeschooling day (or week), check out CWC blog “It’s a Good Day” and listen to CWC Podcast, “It’s a Good Day.” (Besides, the podcast is only 15 minutes long. It’s about as long as any lesson should be!)

4. The most popular way to take a sabbath year of rest is to spend a semester or year traveling! Many homeschooling families have turned their homes into an Airbnb or leased it out for the year. Then rented an RV to travel the US or the national parks. Some with extra financial means, traveled abroad. This might not be doable right now with Covid, but spending the year traveling and exploring the US, Canada, and even parts of Central and South America are possible. A good friend of ours took 3-4 major trips each year for their family-owned business. It was always a family affair. The kids went on every cruise and explored every port and every country right alongside their parents. (Can I just say I was extremely jealous every time they embarked on of their trips!). In an odd way, this is a good time to travel here at home. Flight fares are super cheap. Hotels are not booked. Camping spots are available. Museums and state attractions (for the most part) are not crowded. If you don’t mind the mask, you can explore just about anything in the continental US.

If you enjoyed this podcast and this week’s blog, then you will love my new book, Just Breathe (and Take a Sip of Coffee): Homeschooling in Step with God!


it is 50% off this week! Sale ends Jan 18th!