Coming from New Orleans, I am definitely an oyster kind-of-a-girl!  I eat them raw, fried, grilled, and stuffed.

As a southern girl, I was also taught the importance of wearing pearls for just the right occasion.

Big hair, little black dress, and strand of pearls —->  Yes, I could be describing my 80’s look or just a summer in the humid south!

But my dad always reminded me that I can’t have my pearls without the grit.  (And my mama would always change it up: I can’t have my diamonds without the pressure!)

No grit No pearl

Did you know that the little oyster was just annoyed?

Yep, a little piece of dirt somehow got into his little home and in a constant attempt to remove it and to eliminate the irritation the sand caused, the oyster secreted a fluid to coat it.  Little by little, the more the sand irritated the oyster, the more it coated it.  Before you know it, a beautiful, shiny pearl was formed.

Now, I’m not calling your kiddos little irritants.  However, their little habits might be grating on your ever last nerve.  Learn from the oyster.  Coat them with love.  They will turn into priceless little pearls one day.

That goes for us too, mamas!  Our lives can’t turn into beautiful pearls without the grit (and the little daily irritations).  So pour yourself another cup of coffee (probably an iced one…it’s hot out there) and ask God to help you appreciate the little irritations and to help you turn them into something beautiful for His honor and glory.

It is our prayer that our little coffee dates will help you homeschool one step at time, one day at a time, and one cup of coffee at a time.

God bless,

Carrie De Francisco



Getting Organized: Simple Steps to a Successful Year


The 2020-2021 school year is just around the corner.  Whether you are new to homeschooling or you have been homeschooling for years, you don’t want to miss this coffee break.  In this episode, we share simple steps to help you get off to a successful start.  We share time and sanity saving tips to help you organize your supplies and books, plan your daily lessons and weekly plans, create spaces around your home for learning, and how to set realistic goals for both you, your children, and your school year.

Getting organized podcastSome of the suggestions shared can be found in Part II of my new book, Just Breathe (and Take a Sip of Coffee):  Homeschool in Step with God.  Some of the other tips shared are a few of my favorite tricks.

CLICK HERE to join this special coffee break and get organized for the new school year.

CLICK HERE if you haven’t listened to Part 1:  Start the Year Strong.

Do you want Carrie’s Checklist for a Successful Start?  Then subscribe to Coffee With Carrie email newsletter.  CLICK HERE to join our community and subscribe.  As a thank you, Carrie will send you her checklist.

To purchase Just Breathe (and Take a Sip of Coffee):  Homeschool in Step with God, go to
To view or share our book trailer, go to our YouTube Channel.

Start the School Year Strong


The countdown has begun!  It is almost time to start the 2020-2021 school year.  Whether you are new to homeschooling or you have been homeschooling for years, you don’t want to miss this coffee break podcast.  In this week’s episode, we share simple and practical tips to help you prepare for this school year, how to focus on what is most important, and how to make your first day, your first week, and your first month of your school year a success.  It is the first episode in a 4 Part Series to help you start the year strong!start year strong podcast

  • Thursday, August 6th (Today):  Start the Year Strong
  • Thursday, August 13th:  Getting Organized & Simple Steps to a Successful Year
  • Thursday, August 20th:  A Good Homeschooling Day
  • Thursday, August 27th:  Your Ultimate Job Description

Some of the suggestions shared in this week’s podcast can be found in Chapter 8 of my new homeschooling book, Just Breathe (and Take a Sip of Coffee):  Homeschool in Step with God while I also share some of my favorite things our family has done at the beginning of each and every school year.  If you want to make sure you are following God’s plans for this coming school year, then join me for this special coffee break.

CLICK HERE to listen to the podcast “Start the Year Strong”

Subscribe to Carrie With Carrie Website and join our community, and we will send you as gift our “JUST BREATHE & Start the School Year Strong” Comprehensive Checklist!  CLICK HERE to subscribe.

To purchase Just Breathe (and Take a Sip of Coffee):  Homeschool in Step with God, go to
To view or share our book trailer, go to our YouTube Channel.

long cover image


Today is the day!  Get your copy of my new homeschooling book, Just Breathe (and Take a Sip of Coffee): Homeschool in Step with God.


Just breathe cover image

In Just Breathe (and Take a Sip of Coffee), we explore how to homeschool in step with God by resting in the Lord and simplifying our homeschooling.

Learn how to regain your sanity, reclaim your schedule, and reignite your love for homeschooling through two straightforward and manageable principles: (1) The Sabbath Principle and (2) The Simplification Principle. 

For more information on the book, go to our “NEW BOOK” tab.



NEW PODCAST: Science Studies Made Simple

This week we end our summer series podcasts with my favorite subject:  SCIENCE! Reasons you should listen this week:

  • If you do not share my enthusiasm for science (or the teaching of science), then you definitely need to listen in this week.  There are some doable ideas in the podcast that might actually get you a little excited about science this year.


  • If you usually sign your kiddos up for outside science classes but this year the classes are cancelled or online due to COVID closures, then check out our science podcast.  I share very simple ways to make science fun at home this year.


  • If you can’t afford a fancy science curriculum, or you just never know how to plan for science each year, then you must take a little coffee break with me this week.  You will find some stress-free, inexpensive (and even free) ways to use just your library card and your kitchen supplies to teach science this year.


  • If you are tired of teaching different science topics to different children at different grade levels or you never seem to have enough time to fit science explorations into your school day and week, then you must listen this week.  I share ways to not only make science stress-free but guilt-free too!


  • Or if you are brand new to homeschooling and you have no idea where to start, then pour yourself a cup of coffee and check out his week’s podcast.

In Science Studies Made Simple Podcast, I share how you can easily brainstorm, organize, plan, and implement super fun science studies each and every year.  Our family’s approach was always hands-on, text-book free, and student-led.  Don’t get me wrong; our science was not all loosy goosey.  We did have a plan for the year, but I tried to incorporate topics of science that fascinated my children.  So when I say you can spend an entire year learning about etymology (bugs, bugs, and more bugs) or an entire year on astronomy and space travel, I’m serious! Check out this week’s podcast to see how.


Podcast science studies

As promised, the resources, books and links I mentioned in the podcast are listed below.

For more ideas on how to simplify not only teaching science but all of your homeschooling lessons, check out my new book, Just Breathe (and Take a Sip of Coffee):  Homeschool in Step with God. In Part II of the book, we explore how to apply the Simplification Principle to all areas of your homeschooling, including science!  CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE.

May God richly bless your scientific discoveries this year for His glory and may you discover God in a new way as you explore His creation this year,

Carrie D.




earth partyEarth Party:  An Early Introduction to the Linnaean System of Classification for Living Things Unit Study by Christine Echeverri

apologia explorerApologia Exploring Creation: Young Explorer Series



nature antaomyNature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural World by Julia Rothman.

“Science: Textbook and Stress-Free ” Article

“Get Your Feet Wet This Summer With Nature Studies” article



Treking the National Parks:  Great way to learn about our national parks and the animals that live in them.

Amazing Animal Trivia Game:  mix between memory and trivia

Guess in 10:  animal card version of 20 questions

Qurious Space:  fast-paced space trivia game

The Invention Game– hilarious guessing game about real patents that were never mass- produced

Totally Gross:  Game of Science– be prepared for some silly science shenanigans!

Rock On!  Geology Game of Rocks & Minerals:  bingo-type game to learn rock cycle