2020’s Extended Back to School Season

As I write this, I am celebrating the launch of 2 of 3 out of our nest, temporarily, because the colleges are closing down from Thanksgiving through the New Year. I am just grateful that they at least get a couple of months on campus this year… with social distancing, masks, and lots of hand cleaning.

For our one who is still home doing virtual school, we are being innovative to find ways to safely get her out of the house this semester… before it gets cold. I have considered just taking a long road trip and making sure we have a back-up battery and plenty of charging cords with us so she can get her schoolwork done from the road. I have also thought about getting her involved in horseback riding or tennis, which are easy to do with social distancing. I have no idea which, if any, of these options will actually stick, but I know I cannot make her just stay in the house all of the time, so, we’ll get it figured out.

2020 has caused a lot of anxiety for all of us. We have to face the challenges of uncertainty and of unexpected changes, and it is quite an adjustment for us.

How about you and yours? Where are your young scholars learning this year… at home, on campus, on the road, or something else? What extracurriculars are you doing safely?

Use Contact Form to Reply

Previous articles provided resource suggestions to help parents in this super tough year. Make sure you check out the parent resources articles and let me know which one of them has been helpful.

Anxiety can be dangerous for you and for your kids, especially being together more due to COVID-19.

Also, I want to encourage you to learn to identify and deal with anxiety, for yourself and for your children. I wrote articles previously about how it can cause a lot of problems if it’s not dealt with in a healthy way as quickly as possible. Especially due to the altered nature of the 2020 school year due to COVID, dealing with anxiety now is critical.

I recently had a conversation with a wise Mom & Grandmom. She stated that having regular family meetings is important. And she said it’s even more important to give everyone an opportunity to share their feelings, without judgement and with empathetic responses. This is something we were already doing regularly, to discuss chores mostly, but now we also incorporate the feelings sharing. It has been very helpful.

I pray that you and yours are adjusting well and staying safe as you live through this pandemic era.

ARCHIVE FROM ELEMENTARY SCHOOL YEARS – Family Pose Before Nature Walk / Hike @ Sweetwater Creek #ButterflyHomeschool Field Trip

[RESOURCE 2] Back to School 2020 Support for Parents



*Resource No. 1

Again, thank you so much to everyone who has been contributing questions and suggesting resources. My goal is to help parents by sharing information about resources for parents as they learn their options for a safe and healthy 2020-2021 school year.


If you care about and help communities, families, and children, please attend and share this free virtual home school resource fair event sponsored by CareSource and organized by Teresa Wright Johnson that is focused towards caring for them all.

Event Link:


If you are reading this and know of other helpful resources, or if you just have a specific resource need, go to my first blog post in this series and use the form to send me a message with your resource request or resource suggestion.

“…I am not endorsing these resources. I am not an affiliate of these resources. I am simply connecting parents with resources that may be helpful, but they need to still vet each resource prior to use…”

~ Donna Marie Johnson, Mom of Butterfly Homeschool


If you are a parent of a young reader or a reader who is struggling, there are resources to support you as you help them overcome their reading challenges. We went through this process with one of our readers, and now she is getting all A’s and language arts are where she gets her highest grades and testing scores.

Young and/or Struggling Reader Articles:

Again, thank you for caring about the needs of parents and their families. Please share this information with someone who could use it to help them through these strange and trying times.

[RESOURCE 1] Back to School 2020 Support for Parents

Thank you so much to everyone who has been contributing questions and suggesting resources. My goal is to help parents by sharing information about resources for parents as they navigate back to school 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic era.

If you are reading this and know of other helpful resources, or if you just have a specific resource need, go to my last blog post and use the form to send me a message with your question or suggestion.

I am not endorsing these resources. I am not an affiliate of these resources. I am simply connecting parents with resources that may be helpful, but they need to still vet each resource prior to use…”

~ Donna Marie Johnson, Mom of Butterfly Homeschool


Dr. Tiffany Russell of the “Thoughts of a Homeschool Mom” Blog


Homeschool Information Session Link: bit.ly/homeschool101info


How to Create a Homeschool Schedule Class Link: bit.ly/schedulehomeschool

I know Dr. Tiffany from an online group we are both members of which supports Moms with self-care, entrepreneurship, parenting, and more. Generally speaking, the other moms I have met in that group are stellar people. They are women of integrity who are also wise and talented.


Because I have been homeschooling in the state of Georgia for many years (just graduated our older two scholars), I have a wealth of information available on this blog’s archives to support you with getting started.

One of the first things to note is that homeschooling is actually a legal term in many states, including in Georgia, and is governed by specific laws. I notated some of this information on my resource list page to help guide you as you seek to register as a legal/licensed homeschool.

Second, note that if you are educating your children at home via a program where someone else is teaching them remotely, that is still valid home-based education, but it is not the legal homeschool that is mentioned above. All of my children were in legal homeschool during their younger years. As they got older, we chose to register them for virtual education via a public charter school that did 99% of the teaching in an online portal. During the virtual school, I am legally called a “learning coach” instead of teacher or educator and do not have to register with the state or local authorities. Once registered, the virtual school is actually responsible for your young scholars just the same as a brick-and-mortar school is responsible.


[UPDATED] Parents What Do You Need Right Now?

As we enter our 2020 Back to School season, parents, what do you need right now? Watch this video and reply by leaving a comment if you have a specific need that you want help with, and/or if you have a resource suggestion to help others.

UPDATE – The resource list is growing. The first one has now been posted here on the blog.

Video Link: https://youtu.be/DeBHLBjZTbI

Very Personal Family Celebration of Juneteenth

I discovered the names of fugitive slaves in our family who were later emancipated #Juneteenth #freedom #ancestry


My father researched our genealogy & passed that job to me before he went to heaven. As I recently discovered the names of escaped slaves in our family, my heart leaped. I can only imagine how Juneteenth would have made their hearts leap to no longer be fugitives.

Sam Smith (left), Family History Researcher

I am now passing down research to my children, too. Knowledge is power. Understanding how your own family fits into history is truly powerful.

[HOMEWORK FOR PARENTS] Helping Your Children Navigate Racial Trauma

Dear Parents, Know that, as I say this, I am both empathetic and compassionate: you have a responsibility, no matter your ethnicity/ies, to guide your children through the racial trauma of our times. Even if you don’t think they could possibly know what is going on in the world, they do. They may not have the words to express it, but they feel it and they see it.


How can I help them when I am confused and traumatized myself?

Great Question!

Start by dealing with your own trauma, instead of ignoring it or stuffing it down with wine or food or streaming binges. Trust me, I’ve been doing my own stuffing, and it’s not healthy for me physically nor emotionally. So, I finally had to start dealing with it because I was so emotionally exhausted from crying after hearing every news report. Here are suggestions based on things I’ve been doing that have helped tremendously.

  • Allow yourself to feel the pain and cry/scream… for like 5 minutes. Get it all out. Then stop. Set a timer, if needed.
  • Keep a daily private journal about your thoughts and feelings. Just write a few sentences, or more if that’s your thing. If you don’t like pen or paper, type it into the notes feature built into your smart phone.
  • Read & Pray. Have a two way dialogue with God, based on the promises He has already given you in His Holy Word. So, reading is one way to listen to Him because the Bible is his living word. Then talk back with him verbally, or by writing in your journal. [Suggestion: start by reading in the Bible App, and join one of the relevant updated Bible Studies there to guide & focus your study.]
  • Engage in constructive conversations with family, friends, neighbors, and community members that you trust to be honest and open hearted. You don’t all have to agree, but you must all share truthfully and listen to one another with open hearts AND with respect. This can be in person, by phone, over zoom, or through messaging.
  • Take decisive action. Join a boycott. Sign a petition. Call or write a letter to your governmental leaders and representatives. Volunteer to support a political candidate. MAKE SURE YOUR VOICE CANNOT BE IGNORED.

One notable thing about all of this is that your children will be so encouraged to start understanding their own feelings. Even young children will begin to ask you questions, and…

you’ll be equipped to guide them into clarity because you did your own work first.


There is so much more I could say on this, but I’ll stop here. I want you to digest this advice AND to actually do it. Use the contact form to reach out and let me know one thing that you saw differently or got confirmation about after reading this blog article.


About Anxiety: God bless you… and don’t let anxiety kill you or hurt your family. [Cick here to read articles about dealing with anxiety in homeschool.]

About Identity, Race & Combatting Bullying: I was blessed to connect with an author who is also a social worker. She has created books for children and women around issues related to identity, race, body image, and more. View her Instagram post about her books below:

[SUMMER READING] #StoryTime 2 with Mari

Book Cover for Where the Wild Things Are - Amazon Affiliate Image
Where the Wild Things Are Available on Amazon – CLICK HERE for Affiliate Link

Thank you to our #storytime reader @mari.kedar_ for reading
“Where the Wild Things Are” by author-illustrator Maurice Sendak

#StoryTime Read by Amari Kedar
Click Play & Listen to “Where the Wild Things Are” for #storytime & share with other families

This summer reading story time series is hosted by ButterflyHomeschool.com. Check out the resources area on the blog for great information, recommended resources, and inspiration during your journey of schooling children at home.

Our goal is to encourage both parents and children, especially those who have been forced to school at home because of the global pandemic. Our first #storytime was during the spring. We introduced a beautiful story about a boy and his bear comforting each other through the trials and tribulations caused by world war.

We hope that this summer series will help you and your children keep reading while school is officially out for summer. This is especially important for young readers who can learn to emulate (copy) you and others who are reading to them and with them. You can help them get excited about wonderful stories and about the process of reading. When you make a great positive event out of it, they will learn to love reading, just as my young struggling reader did. If you haven’t read our story about our young reader’s challenges, you can check out that article by clicking here.

Also, if you or someone you know would like to contribute as a storytime reader, please contact us (click here).

More About Mari

Friend Mari with Johnson Girls
Friend Mari (on right) with Johnson Girls, Charity (left) and Justine (middle)

Our very talented friend Amari Kedar is a rising high school senior. She founded Geeky Girlz Tutoring LLC and is also a singer & rapper in MADE 4 Christ, a gospel youth mobile ministry. And most importantly, she is a good friend to our children here in ButterflyHomeschool.

DISCLAIMER: Affiliate links to Amazon or other stores or service providers are provided as resources for readers, but do your own due diligence before making any purchases. If you choose to make the purchase, thank you in advance because they may provide us with monetary compensation for referring you.

[UPDATE] #ButterflyHomeschool Storytime

VIDEO via VIMEO APP or via Youtube (whichever you prefer)

 #StoryTime with #fosterdog @SmileyQueenMaggie

UPDATE: I started a storytime series of videos. I hope to get others involved, also. If you’d like to share with your children or grandchildren or a friends’ children, please follow me and re-post what I am sharing.


Amazon provides a deeper discount on book titles that are new releases in their “First Reads” program for Amazon Prime members. I recently ordered (at close to half price) a beautiful new book called:

“Bear and Fred: A World War II Story” by Iris Argaman

The preview section includes the following quote from the book:

I felt Fred’s small hand grab me. He patted me and whispered, “Bear, I won’t leave you here by yourself. You are my best friend.”

~ Iris Argaman

I am super-excited to read to/for your kids. Let me know how this helps. And, if you plan to share some videos of book readings on your instagram, please follow me and tag me so that I can reshare.

God bless. Stay safe. Please keep your kids edu-tained so that they stay interested in learning until the new school year in the Fall.


Here is my affiliate link to the book via Amazon, and they may compensate me if you buy the book. Current price is discounted, but I am not sure how long that will last.

The Perfect Enemy of Healthy Parenting

Dear Parents, You are never going to be a perfect parent (of little humans or of pets). For those of you who like me, believe that Father God is our perfect Heavenly Father both for us and for our children (and pets), then you’ll find comfort in knowing that HE always finds a way to step in and perfect everything that concerns us, in spite of our imperfections as parents.

“The Lord will accomplish that which concerns me; Your [unwavering] lovingkindness, O Lord, endures forever — Do not abandon the works of Your own hands.”

Psalm 138:8 Amplified Bible (AMP)


Know that PERFECTIONISM is an evil spirit who is the perfect enemy of you as a parent and of your healthy parenting. Perfectionism is the spirit of fear with a different face that masks its true identity. The Word of God tells us that He has not given that to us. Fear/perfectionism is inflicted as a soul disease by the enemy of our souls. He wants to tear us down and make us feel inadequate so that we are disabled from any hope of healthy parenting. He wants us to parent from a place of anger and anxiety and pride so that our children get this evil spirit transferred from us to them and passed down for generations.

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].

2 Timothy 1:7 AMP

I know that is not what any parents want for their children or grandchildren, yet it happens over and over again because our enemy has us deceived about fear/perfectionism.

Here is another way to think of it from the perspective of caregiving:

“You don’t have to be great at most things. Or anything, really. You just have to be good enough. And I bet you’re good enough at just about everything you need to do.”

Cori of TheCaregiverSpace.org
Perfectionism Illustrated By @VeronicaDearly Shared by Cori

From the perspective of a pet parent, I can share that my daughter said, “We broke her already, Mom, in less than a day,” as we watched our new foster dog begin to dry heave for the nth time. I could have just freaked out and gave up and taken her back to the shelter. However, I remembered what the shelter taught me in preparation for my role, and I also reached out for support. I am not expecting my experience as a pet parent to be perfect from day one, but I do expect for it to get better over time… and for us to get better for our dog over time.

My main goal in this blog article is to encourage you to ease up on your expectations of yourself during this unprecedented time in human history. Focus your attention on what you can control. Learn more as you go. Do better as you learn. That’s all anyone can realistically expect of you right now, so that’s all you can expect of yourself, too.

AND, most importantly, recognize who your enemy is and keep him from bringing his mess into your mind and your home. Choose to get rid of fear/perfectionism today. Take this seriously.

For more perspective on this, check out previous articles I’ve written about anxiety as a silent but deadly enemy in homeschool. It’s also another face of the chameleon called fear.

I care about you. Please reach out to me any time via my Instagram DM inbox.


Scan my IG Nametag with Smartphone to Follow (or click link above)

[IDEA LIST] UPDATED Ways to Celebrate Teens’ Achievements In Midst of Pandemic


For parents/grandparents/guardians all over the world, we have all been sorely disappointed with the ending of our young scholars’ 2020 senior years. All of the traditional milestones we experienced ourselves, and hoped for them to experience this year, have been cancelled and postponed. Some have been replaced with virtual celebrations, which, though they’re a nice concession, they’re just a concession. What’s been missed and/or lost can never fully be replaced, and you have a right to grieve that loss. BUT…


For the sake of our family members, we must keep a brave face and move forward. We must choose to find the silver lining and the full half of the glass. Choosing to focus on the positive and remember what we’re grateful for (i.e., health and togetherness as a family) will pay great dividends in the end. It will help us all get through this era in world history with our health and minds in tact, and to come out wiser and happier at the end.


So, if you feel like you’re just not creative enough to figure out how to celebrate your teen/s, here are some ideas to help get you started:

  • Order a special meal from their favorite restaurant and go pick it up (or have it delivered) – we did this to celebrate Justine and Samuel’s college scholarships
  • Get their favorite treat as a surprise in your next grocery order/shopping and then everyone at home hug them and congratulate them – we did this for Charity’s all A honor roll achievement
  • Play cards or board games with them… get them off of their devices; remind them, especially if college-bound, that there won’t be a lot more time to spend together like this
  • Feature them on your social media and let family and friends shout them out and congratulate them – one of my teens’ classmates and her mom created a whole movement to gather sponsors/mentors into a facebook group for all of the graduates at our school… and they are adopting the teens and sending them gifts, but also becoming resources for them as they move forward into college and careers.
  • Use snail mail to send out an old fashioned announcement about their graduation or other achievements
  • Plan a get together as soon as pandemic is over and ask guests to save the date
  • Ask family and friends to drive by and honk and wave instead of coming inside, just as featured on many good news reports
  • Create a wish list on Amazon or their favorite store so guests can send the gifts that your kids have chosen
  • Do you have a creative way to celebrate your kids? Please leave a comment and share. (No ads nor promotions allowed.)

If you’d like to see what I’ve been sharing with family and friends about our teens, connect with me on Instagram (donnamarie234grad).


Oh, and for those of you who are wondering how we’ve been doing since the children transitioned into their teen years:

Our oldest, Justine, is an adult and headed to a private women’s college to study elementary education. She has consistently stayed on the honor roll throughout her academic career, and has won a full scholarship to college for all four years. She has also been a competitor and winning finalist in writing and speaking competitions where she one cash and scholarships. She has also dedicated herself to volunteering and to giving her all as a leader amongst her peers at work. She has participated in leadership organizations in the community and at school, and is well prepared to continue standing out as a strong leader as she moves forward academically and in her future teaching career.

Our middle, Samuel, is 18 months younger than his sister, and is also graduating because he skipped 6th grade in middle school. He is a Georgia Merit Scholar in the top 5% of all high school students in the state of Georgia due to both his grades and his high SAT/ACT scores. His academic giftedness, high achievements and dedication to service at school and within the community made him highly competitive for many of the top private and public colleges and universities. Several of those top schools offered him gift aid for four full years averaging at least $120k per school. He chose one of the most prestigious to attend for studying the humanities as an undergraduate scholar, for continuing as a medal-winning debater, and for preparing well for a future career focused on civic justice law.

And our youngest, Charity, who had a rough start as a kindergartner due to reading challenges, is now in middle school on the all A honor roll. She is not only fluent in the language arts, but is also now tutoring other students to help them with their reading and writing. She also joined the orchestra as a percussionist and had two performances before the pandemic shutdown started. This is her first year leaving homeschool for public school, and now she is back at home due to the pandemic. Despite being home, she is still in the top of her class and receiving rave reviews from her teacher. She is very self-motivated and has been going above and beyond to get her studies done from home. We are so proud of her growth, because there was a time where she genuinely did not like school and did not have much motivation to achieve better grades.


“So, as you can see students of all types can be successful in their academic careers when they are homeschooled, and don’t allow anyone to tell you otherwise.” ~ Donna Marie Johnson, @DonnaMarie234grad

If this is what your family chooses to do (and even if you’re just forced into it via the pandemic), stay connected with older homeschool families so you can see how their kids are doing and listen to their advice. That’s what has gotten us through all of these years, staying connected with other families in the community who choose to homeschool.


And now, as we transition to parenting young adults, we’ve also started receiving support from a friend, Vanessa Hogan-Filmore, who has children slightly older than ours. Check out her Instagram page, upcoming events, and a new recommended resource “Mothering & Daughtering” by Eliza Reynolds, which she will be using during one of her events. She is a wise and empathetic mentor to moms who are transitioning to a new stage of parenting.



[REBOOTED] Breathing New Life into Butterfly Homeschool Blog

Dear Parents / GrandParents / Guardians

be encouraged during this very unique season in world history due to COVID19 (aka the much hated coronavirus), because…

you are not alone

…as you seek to create a healthy atmosphere for continued digital learning at home for the next month or two. I and many other homeschool veterans in communities worldwide are present online to keep you encouraged and provide helpful tips to help you get through this season day by day by day.


I call this homeschool blog “rebooted” because I archived it due to all of my children being in rolled in public schools. I “thought” that I was done with homeschooling, but the coronavirus changed all of that very rapidly. I actually had a full 6 months of all of our children being out of the house at school. It was lovely, but that’s over now.

The great thing is that all of us are adjusting very quickly because we are veterans at this. AND, we are available to be a resource for other families as they make adjustments, too.

If you have specific questions, call or text me at __+1(678)861-8121__ … I will use this blog to reply with answers. Sometimes, I may even post videos via Instagram (@donnamarie234grad).

GrandDaddy was proud of the kids

I know their GrandDaddy would be so proud of them now. (Sam Smith on left, Donna on right)

I wanted to start this reboot of our homeschool blog by sharing some vital tips that will help you gain/keep a healthy perspective. This is the first step in having successful schooling at home because YOU are the key to making that happen, or not, even if “success” for your family doesn’t look the same as it looks for us or for others.

So, my most important recommendation is that you 1st gain a healthy perspective about…


…it can easily become a silent killer of people’s health and of relationships.

Past articles I shared on how anxiety impacted us in the past  and on tips for how we overcame anxiety can be found below:

I am planning to also create videos, based on your questions and feedback… so please send me a connection request via Instagram (currently set to private because I share about family and friends and need to protect the young ones).

Oh, and also, for those of you with older children / youth, connect with me on IG to exchange info and encourage each other about transitioning to that stage of life. On my IG, you’ll also see my other homeschooler veteran friends and their tips/advice for parents “stuck” at home with kids due to quarantine and/or “shelter in place” orders given by state/local governments.

Until we connect, may you enjoy a peaceful weekend/spring break.

God bless you all.


Donna Marie Johnson, aka @donnamarie234grad


Our oldest two scholars are graduating with honors from public high school… and, despite all of my hopes and dreams for them, just like other families, they don’t get the chance to experience the normal senior activities of prom and walking across a commencement ceremony stage. So, we understand just how messed up things are right now. We are praying that all of the high schools and colleges worldwide figure out a way to at least celebrate graduation in person, maybe during the following end of year holidays. Again, God bless you, despite the many disappointments and inconveniences of this season.

Support For Homeschoolers in South Fulton

If you or a family you love is homeschooling in Atlanta or the South Fulton region, please save the date and join us. Also, use the sharing links on this page to pass on this information quickly and easily.

There is an event announcement about a venue change for the upcoming 4th Sunday monthly meeting that has been held at Wolf Creek Library for most of 2015.

Homeschool Support Meeting will be at

Time and Date: 2:30pm on Sunday 10/25 at

Club E Atlanta

Address: 3707 Main St College Park, GA 30337

Learn more about this awesome support group and event at this link:




Video Journal Called #SamRisingStar

Video Journal For #SamRisingStar Parent Edition – Mom of #ButterflyHomeSchool shares great news about one of the children’s dreams coming true.

I am so grateful to be able to share with you that our son, Samuel, has started a journey into his dream of getting training so he can become a professional entertainer. Please have a look at his video series on his gofundme page. If you like the videos, please share the link or hashtag: #SamRisingStar – Link: http://gofundme.com/risingstarsamuel

#SamRisingStar Video Journal - Click to visit his gofundme page.

#SamRisingStar Video Journal – Click to visit his gofundme page.

“This is from the Lord and is His doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.” Psalm 118:23 (AMP)

Hidden Danger For Homeschool: Anxiety

“Whatever it takes, get anxiety out of your life because it is a destructive force and a danger to your family.” ~ Donna Marie, The Mommy @ ButterflyHomeschool.com

In previous articles here on ButterflyHomeschool.com, I shared about anxiety and how we’ve learned to cope with it better. Recently, I also shared about how I almost destroyed my family and what helped restore us.

You can find that new article on the ChristianHomeschoolMoms.com blog.

anxiety danger donna marie

Read series of articles on this blog about anxiety to learn why I say it is a danger for your family. ~ Donna Marie Johnson

Because Spring is the traditional time of testing for most students, it can also be a very high anxiety time for homeschool families. Take a moment to read the articles I have already been sharing on this topic here on this blog and on the CHM blog. Also, please pass it on to other families.

Please leave a comment and let me know how my articles help or encourage you.

Have a wonderful Spring!

~ Donna Marie, The Mommy Butterfly

P.S. Also, there’s a private event invitation listed there on the CHM article. Make sure you check it out to get the details.


Effective Way To Handle Anxiety in Homeschool

The previous post shared about how anxiety has been a problem for us during homeschool:
To read previous article, click here.


One of the main things we started doing to handle anxiety better on purpose at the start of our homeschooling days is by opening up with praise and worship. This one thing helps us in so many ways. The main thing praise does is to prevent anxiety before it can even get us going each day, but it can also help sweep it away after it has started.

3 Truths Praise Helps You Remember

Praise and worship helps you remember who and whose you are.

1. Stay Grateful

Praise reminds you to keep an attitude of gratitude, instead of complaining when things don’t go as expected. And with all the unexpected that happens daily in homeschool, praise has become a NEED for us. It is not just a good idea, but an actual craving and need. Ever heard of the hymn that says…

“As the dear panteth for the water, so my soul longs after you…”?

2. Father God Loves and Never Forgets You

Praise reminds you that you belong to the Great and Only Wise and Loving Father God who never leaves you and never forgets the details about your homeschool or life needs.

3. God’s Love Flows Through You For Others

Praise as a group reminds you that you are not just connected by blood, but also by the blood of Jesus. This helps us live out the True Love Walk. Being reminded of our divine connection with Him and each other helps us walk in grace and love with each other. This shapes how I parent, how I teach and how I partner with my husband. It sets the atmosphere of our home and homeschool and reduces anxiety not just for me, but for the children, too.

Resources For Praise And Worship


We are creating our own video playlist of songs that include the lyrics to help us sing along. I have to set this up for them because this site has other music that is not parent approved, too. If you use Apple TV, you can show your video playlists on your tv and enhance the worship experience for yourself and your children.


The children have found some songs that they love on this site which is totally focused only on providing worship music. They have been able to find some great videos as a result of using this site. We prefer not to use YouTube directly, but using the weareworship site helps us find great YouTube videos that don’t have the ads and other video previews and thumbnails that we don’t want the children to see.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Music Education

The children enjoy making their own instruments (usually they’ll use closed containers of grains or salt as shaker noise makers). They also love using instruments that they have received as gifts to play along during some songs. They also sing along, sometimes by using videos that include the lyrics on-screen. And, of course, they love to dance, too. For the most part, I step aside and let them enjoy this experience together, but sometimes I join in with them. However, if I take part, I try to stay in the background as a participant and allow them to lead it out. Each child is required to choose and lead one song.

How Do You Celebrate God’s Love In Your Homeschool?

Please use the comments area to share how your family stays reminded of God’s love and grace and mercy over your lives. What works well for you and your children to stay focused and avoid anxiety … or to deal with anxiety after it has started rearing its ugly head?


Thanks for stopping by. Please use the sharing buttons to let your friends know about this discussion, too.

~ Donna Marie, The Mommy of Butterfly Homeschool

Please follow our blog at ButterflyHomeschool.com for inspiration and information that can help you in your homeschooling journey.

Successfully Recognize and Overcome Anxiety in Homeschool

This article shares about how you can overcome anxiety in your homeschool journey.

One of the things that you may not often see homeschool families blogging about is their struggle to overcome anxiety – both for parents and for children. This is part of the ugly side of homeschool. People don’t like to talk about it openly because it shows that we are only human and that we need God’s help, just like everyone else. If you have weakness, how can you maintain that “Super Mommy” image?! LOL 🙂

The good news is that God loves being our Super Everything. Leaning on Him is the only thing that has helped us to successfully recognize and overcome anxiety in homeschool. And I am good with that: laying aside all pride, I have surrendered to the Lord to guide my parenting and homeschooling.


Our family struggled with overcoming anxiety for years. When I say struggled, I mean that we didn’t recognize what it really was, AND didn’t deal with it well. One of my children had major issues with anxiety that pushed my patience to the limit. My inability to deal with it in my own strength, as a professionally trained therapist, left me feeling helpless and hopeless.

But that is a very good place to be because it forced me to seek Father God’s help. This challenged me to learn how to be better for my children’s sake, not in and of myself, but in Christ by renewing my own mind. Allowing the Lord to transform me from the inside out in a whole new way has changed the whole atmosphere of our marriage, parenting and homeschool learning.


I am grateful for my local church and excellent teachings by my pastor on how to take authority over your emotions from a grace-based mindset.

Grace = undeserved and unearned favor and help from God; no condemnation because of Christ’s Sacrificial Blood; unconditional and non-judgmental love – He takes us as we are right now

I am also grateful for prayer and accountability partners, and for the AOP homeschool devotional called “Daily Focus”. All of these have helped me to daily remember who I am and whose I am.

God has come alongside of me and supported me through His Word and through His People. He has not come down from Heaven and sat beside me in flesh form to help me deal. He has sent me all of His Ever Present help in all of my time of need. I embrace and welcome His Help in whatever way He chooses to send it.

In our case, we didn’t get to the point of seeking medical help this time (we have sought pro therapy help in the past when I had post-partum challenges), but for some people, this may be a part of your journey. If that is something that you need, then by all means, get the medical help that you need for yourself or your child.


Looking back on the very challenging and sometimes overwhelming times of high anxiety for myself or for my children, I am amazed that this is now rarely a struggle for us. I can look back now and see how our trust in the Lord has grown. This transformation in our mindsets basically boils down to daily (and sometimes hourly) remembering this promise from His Holy Word:

There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection]. 

~ 1 John 4:18 AMP

This scripture has come alive to me in recent months more than ever, even though I have been reading and hearing it for years. It helps me remember that because God loves me AND I choose to truly trust His Love for me, I have nothing to fear or worry about ever. I know that He does not miss any details and never leaves or forgets about me. He has all of those bases covered.

That truth has set me free emotionally from bondage/slavery to fear so that now I just live, love, learn and have fun with my husband and children like never before. What a feeling!

Now these changes have empowered me to set a better example for my children in this, too. I am truly amazed at how the Lord is helping them to learn how to turn to Him for help when fear or anxiety starts to rear its head. They calm down faster now and are more teachable. I am also overjoyed at the increased peace in our household which helps our homeschool learning progress better and faster.


If you would like support as a homeschool parent, here are ways I recommend that you can get support online and locally in Atlanta:

God bless you and your family.


(This means “total peace/wholeness” from God so that you have nothing missing nor broken in any area.)

~ Donna, The Mommy Butterfly

Christmas Play Ideas #ButterflyHomeschool

Our Christmas Gift For You Is Play Ideas.

During the holiday season, you might be a little lost about how to keep your children busy. You might need to keep them occupied while you prepare for your Christmas event guests or for travels. Or maybe you just need to keep them busy so they stay out of trouble when your normal schedule is not in play. Here are some mild weather outside play ideas that we have been using, along with some recent photos.

Why Play With Your Children?

Also, if you play with your children, it is a great way to get some exercise AND clear your head from holiday stress. You can use the time while they play to take photos of the children in action. Later, you can use printed versions of those photos for craft projects to create future greeting cards and gifts for close family and friends.

Make A Holiday Welcome Mat

Get out the colored chalk and make your own holiday welcome mat.

chalk welcome mat and holiday greeting #butterflyhomeschool

chalk welcome mat and holiday greeting #butterflyhomeschool

sidewalk chalk fun #butterflyhomeschool

sidewalk chalk fun #butterflyhomeschool

Mild Weather Outside Play Ideas:

  • Sidewalk chalk play – create a hopscotch board
  • Freeze Tag – even with a small yard this game is easy
  • Frisbee – get a really big one with soft cushy edges
  • Hiking at your local or state public park

giant soft frisbee #butterflyhomeschool

jumbo disc – giant soft frisbee #butterflyhomeschool

Where To Hike With Your Family

We recently checked out our local library’s complimentary state park pass in Fulton County, Georgia. Library patrons can access it once per year per adult library card. It was a blessing because the park we chose to visit was much much nicer than we ever expected. Also, our unseasonably cool weather warmed up nicely at about mid-day, and was not too hot. Check out our picture gallery of Sweetwater Creek, a Georgia State Park below.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

~ The Johnson Family: Henry, Donna, Justine, Samuel and Charity


Please also check out Mom Donna’s articles over on the Christian Homeschool Mom’s blog. Here is the link to her profile:


The series of articles that she shared in Fall 2014 gave tips on why and how to connect or re-connect locally and prevent or stop isolation.

Mother Of A Brown Boy Speaks – Open Letter About Social Justice

{Mother Of A Brown Boy Speaks} Open Letter About Social Justice

One of the main things that has been on my heart lately is about social justice for our children. As a mother of a young brown boy in America, I cannot ignore what has been going on with social justice in the USA and worldwide, in recent years and for centuries, in regards to the treatment of men and boys with darker toned skin – our brown boys. If you do not want to hear about this topic of civil rights and social justice, please stop reading now. I will be sharing very strongly because I know how important it is for mothers (and grandmothers) of brown boys to speak up, in America, and everywhere in the world. Civil rights is important for the whole world to talk, think and pray about. It is not just an American thing.


When certain prominent children do the most heinous of crimes, even murder, certain prominent leaders rally and cover it up, even at the top levels of government. They hide the video. They declare it an “accident”. And the responsible prominent youth are never found in the unsolved cold case mysteries in police files all over our nation and world.

When our young brown boys do lesser crimes or any kind of crime, they are pursued fiercely by deputies of the justice system who are brought on board by our prominent leaders. The child had no chance from the moment the deputy spotted him walking in the street. He was either going to be in jail or dead that night. Most of the prominent leaders would not advocate for the young brown boy, like they do for prominent children.

Because the justice system’s prominent leaders protect their own first, there is no slap on the wrist for overzealous (or scared) deputies. These deputies don’t know how or choose not to do anything beyond using a gun or other methods of deadly force. They just get a pat on the back for a job well done “keeping the peace”. Keeping the peace to the prominent leaders equals using deadly force, with no other options being considered for young brown boys and men. Prominent leaders protect their own from this treatment, but they leave no room to consider the civil rights of the brown boys and men.


There is not even an expression of remorse by the leaders for the lives of young brown boys and men. Only blame and shame are expressed by the prominent leaders. But for prominent boys who commit devastating crimes, there is barely and rarely a reprimand. This is why most incarcerated boys and men are mostly brown.

The prominent leaders’ messages are loud and clear to a mother of a brown boy in America:

  • Prominent leaders don’t plan to ever change. Status quo must continue.
  • Deputies assigned by the prominent leaders must keep brown boys in their place as an essential part of “keeping the peace”. And deadly force is the go to – it is their main choice for keeping peace. The laws are set in place to ensure that even the grand jury can uphold this status quo for them.
  • So, Mamma’s teach your boys right. But, if they mess up, and they will mess up because brown boys are like animals, expect the harshest treatment possible to come to them directly and swiftly. It doesn’t matter how minor or how great the mistake was that the young immature brown boy has made.

Mothers And Grandmothers of Brown Boys Please Speak Up #ButterflyHomeschool

Mothers And Grandmothers
of Brown Boys Please Speak Up #ButterflyHomeschool


And as long as the brown boys’ mothers sit back and say nothing, things will stay the same. Violence is not the way. However, we, mothers of brown boys, have options:

  • Use Your Voice – Silence NEVER works.
  • Boycott is a voice in and of itself – Money ALWAYS works.

Only Father God can give real justice. And, He does that through using bold fearless leaders, including brown boys’ mothers, to peacefully and persistently protest. We must not give up and must raise our voices.

This mother of a young brown boy protests. Things in the institutions of our nations’ communities, and in the international community, must change. Prominent leaders and their deputies must find other ways to keep the peace without continuing to funnel the brown boys either to jail or to the grave. Leaders need to want to find a better option than these two. Their hearts and minds will only change as we keep speaking up; as we keep boycotting.

We won’t resort to violence. And we won’t stay silent either. And we will find ways to re-direct our money into the influential leaders’ businesses who are also willing to stand up and speak up for our children, the young brown boys.

MOTHERS AND GRANDMOTHERS: Keep paying attention, praying and speaking up, as Father God leads you to do so. Some of us moms are not brown, but our children, and other children we love, are brown. All of us moms must use our voices and our money to help our leaders know that we expect them to make better choices; that we expect them to put pressure on prominent leaders to make the changes our society needs to move past this persistent problem.

We love all of our children, no matter what they look like. And continuing to advocate for the brown children will help the whole world. We can even see that with South Africa and with America’s civil rights movements. They have rubbed off on nations all over the world and shaped social justice movements worldwide. Social justice for brown boys will have an impact on proper justice for everyone. We are all connected. Please choose to pray and get involved, instead of ignoring and staying silent about this.

A Painful Journey – Our Story of Progress

I have been enjoying sharing our story about a painful journey for our family and homeschool with the awesome Christian Homeschool Moms community.

We have had some very interesting shifts in our home and in our homeschool in recent years. In part 2 of this series of articles, I shared more about our story of progress through this painful journey. I believe that our story will be a blessing to you so you can avoid a big mistake that we made. It can help you all have a happier and healthier homeschool year.

The article title is:

Big Mistake You Can Avoid For A Healthier Happier Year-Pt 2

Please check out the most recent article at this link:



My choice was to keep moving forward, instead of staying locked into old patterns…

This tough choice had a lot of consequences that were good. However, the painful consequence was…

I do not regret it because I recognize…

I can now see the progress that came from that pain. It was a vitally important…

I share our story to show that…

If what I shared on the CHM blog helps you, please leave a comment in the CHM community; and use the social sharing buttons to share it with your friends, too.


Donna, The Mommy Butterfly

Delicious Homemade Fudge Chocolate For Fall


Our aspiring Chef Justine has been perfecting her delicious homemade fudge chocolate skills this Fall. You can be sure that all of her family members are enjoying being her taste testers! 🙂

PREVIEW – Click to watch delicious homemade fudge chocolate video.

Preview - Fudge Gift For Donors to S Africa Missions Fundraiser - Click or Go To: http://www.gofundme.com/safricamissions

To Watch Video, Visit Our GoFundMe page for our S Africa Missions Fundraiser http://www.gofundme.com/safricamissions


If you would like for Justine to send you our thank you gift (a small batch of delicious homemade fudge chocolate), consider giving $20 or more to our missions trip fundraising campaign on GoFundMe between October 8th and 15th of 2014. On our GoFundMe page, we posted a brand new update and included a video that Justine made while she was cooking.

You can see the video at this link:



Raise the rest ($2,380) of the

UPDATE $1200 deposit due by 10/31

$2400 deposit by October 15, 2014

To learn more about our trip and our goal, please visit the gofundme page at the link or type in http://www.gofundme.com/safricamissions

Disappointed and Excited With Starting Homeschool

I have to be honest and say that I am disappointed in our #ButterflyHomeschool blog on one hand, and totally excited about starting homeschool on the other. Read on to learn why, and to see a tip to help you help your children more.

So, we didn’t achieve our monthly goal of posting here on the Butterfly Homeschool blog in August. I admit that August was totally a blur. I barely remember last month from the first day until the last because it went by so very fast.


Part of why August went so fast is because I was writing, for someone else’s blog (and for my book, but I digress). That is what I am totally excited about. I have been making a shift in how I do business, with more of a focus on providing trainings and on writing than ever before. I also have shifted how I flow business part-time while homeschooling more intensely during the Fall, Winter and Spring seasons.

So, starting homeschool by writing to help others has gotten me pretty excited. I also know that my writing and the other team member’s writing on the blog I contribute to will help you. This great blog will especially help you get excited if you are new to homeschooling, or have been struggling to get\ re-started this year.


I have been writing more than I’ve written all year long. And, yes, again, I am excited. My flood gates finally opened up more after choosing to open my heart more and let God work on me more.

Frequently and regularly, when you teach and write for other people’s benefit, you also need to take time out to refill your own tank. My prayer for you is that, as you start this Fall season of schooling, that you’ll do that for yourself. Your children will benefit so much more from you with your tank overflowing than from you just barely squeezing out drops for them.

QUESTION FOR YOU: How do you keep your tank full? When do you set aside time for your own learning and growth?


So, the other blog that I am writing for is very encouraging for moms who school their children at home, no matter how you choose to do it. I posted a page here on this blog about it. You’ll see the page listed above in the menu bar.

The page is called “Encouragement“. Please have a look there to see a preview. My first article will post in mid-September. The topic for my first series of articles is one that is familiar to me. It may help you avoid an unhealthy big mistake that homeschool families sometimes make. It is a mistake we have made and started overcoming after we understood it better. I will share our lessons and our journey to help you avoid or correct it.

The blog that I am contributing to can be a great source to help you with keeping your tank full, too. I pray that you will check it out and be very blessed by it.


So, if you are going to share your answer to my question about keeping your tank full, please use the comments area below to share. When you do, this helps others who are reading to join the discussion with us all in the future.

Thank you for reading. 🙂

~Donna Marie

P.S. If you find this helpful, please use the social sharing buttons and tools on this page to pass on the link to your friends and family.

[FAITH FRIDAY] Our Story of How We Know Everything Is Awesome

The #ButterflyHomeschool Family Shares Their Story About Learning and Life Challenges And What It Takes To To Succeed. We really believe that #EverythingISAwesome – read on to learn why we say that.
awesome God everything

Charity and I, Mom Donna, had an interesting conversation this week. It went something like this (see image below):

image preview of post from my personal profile at Facebook.com/AuthorDonnaMJ

If we are not yet connected on Facebook, click here or go to: Facebook.com/AuthorDonnaMJ

Now, honestly, that morning I was a little disappointed that she wasn’t as optimistic as I was. At that moment in time, I was super excited for the older kids, who had the blessed opportunity to go off on a new adventure to a business-work immersion event at the World Congress Center in Atlanta because of their membership in One Talent. (We shared about OT in a previous post. Click here to learn more about it.)

So, after reflecting on what she said to me that morning, I decided to ask her again later in the day after the big kids had returned. At first she said, no, but then I framed it in a different way and asked:

“Right now in this moment is everything awesome?”.

Then she said:


And this mom was so happy that the Holy Spirit turned around the heart of my little optimist-in-training. Praise God!

In #ButterflyHomeschool, one of the main things we learn every day is that attitude impacts every part of our lives, even though it is intangible… and because it is intangible. Attitude is a spiritual force that is ‘tangible’ as long as you are breathing and have a soul. Attitude is most easily seen physically manifested in a person’s face and body posture, heard in their voice and manifested in their choices. We set the atmosphere of our day and of our entire life by how we choose to carry our attitudes.


So, will you say our confession with us, no matter how you are feeling right now, and see your life and world change?












More of Charity’s Story

If you know us or have been following our blog for any time, you may know Charity’s story, however, for those of you who don’t, we’ll share more below so that you can see why this story about attitude is so very important for her.

Charity began life as a 35.5 week preemie. Evenso, she has always been very healthy with few residual issues after she came home from the NICU. Currently, she is 8 and in 2nd grade, but she looks 10 or 11, and most people are shocked when they realize that she’s tall for her age.

Charity’s Challenging Learning Journey

Charity began kindergarten with a reading challenge that had us both in tears and very discouraged. To make it worse, the public charter virtual school teacher (who was a great teacher and as helpful as she could be) informed us that our state doesn’t test for reading challenges. So, because there is no testing, there is no support. The teacher helped me understand what was going on by providing me with resources and encouraging us. However, there wasn’t anything else she could do or that the system would do. So, we returned to traditional homeschooling, and by first grade, she was a fluent reader.

We shared about Charity’s reading journey in a previous article, too. When we shared, we talked about how her attitude was critical in her learning process (and so was mine). Well, as you can see from what I shared above, this is super duper duper important!

For a child that learns differently,

parents need to be even that more diligent about

managing attitudes and atmosphere surrounding learning,

at home or at school or wherever you choose to learn.

Now, Charity still has more work to do, and so do I, to ensure that she’s able to learn in ways that fit her learning style. Now our focus has shifted to writing. And I expect that, as we enter a new school season, setting our atmosphere now during this summer will be critical as we transition into the Fall learning season. And, everything is going to be #Awesome because Father God is Awesome, and He’s got this. He’s handling all of the details and helping us in our successful learning journey.

~Donna Marie 🙂


This little cutie will be singing and dancing with all the kids of One Talent on July 26th. Please buy a ticket. And even if you are not in Atlanta, please buy #TheBelieveMovement t-shirts for your whole family.

image - Preview of #BelieveInYourself Step Dance practice

Preview of #BelieveInYourself Step Dance practice


Going To South Africa With Kingdom Purpose

IMPORTANT UPDATE – We have not given up on our dream of volunteering at the Teboho Trust school for at risk youth in Soweto, South Africa, even though the KDE trip deposit deadline passed. We provided more details about what we plan to do now on our gofundme fundraiser page. Please click the image below or click here to learn more about our current goals.

South Africa Missions Trip #ButterflyHomeschool

South Africa Missions Trip #ButterflyHomeschool – TO GIVE NOW – CLICK IMAGE

Our family has had an ongoing love and passion for volunteering, especially when it has to do with things we are most interested in including: God, family, children and business. Because of this love, we have been volunteering with the Kingdom Driven Entrepreneur Community. We affectionately call it the KDE Movement. It covers all of those bases of helping expand the Kingdom of God by helping families, kids and businesses.


Over the past year or so, the Mom, Donna Marie Johnson, and the kids have participated by:

  • Interviewing KDE Founders Shae Bynes and Antonina Geer Before They Launched The Community in 2012
  • Moderating Business Forum in the online KDE Community
  • Leading as Certified Small Group Leader Locally for #AtlantaKDE
  • Volunteered at the Atlanta Firestarter Tour
  • [FUTURE] Volunteer at South African At-Risk Kids’ School: Teboho Trust

#ButterflyHomeschool Volunteering at KDE Firestarter Atlanta Tour

#ButterflyHomeschool Kids Volunteering at KDE Firestarter Atlanta Tour

In the near future, we will have another opportunity to serve, and this time internationally during the South African Retreat and Missions Trip to the Teboho Trust school which helps protect and educate at-risk kids to ensure they get a better start in life.


If you’d like to help us, please support us one or more of the following ways:

  • 1. Pray For The Johnson Family Regularly

    • Henry, Donna, Justine, Samuel and Charity
  • 2. Support Us Financially & Believe BIG With Us

  • 3. Follow/Subscribe to Our Blog Updates

    • Keep Up With What We Are Doing (and keep praying for us, too)
  • 4. Share Our Updates

    • Use sharing buttons and tools  to help spread the word

Thank you so much for reading, sharing and supporting us.

We love you!


The Johnson Family – Henry, Donna, Justine, Samuel and Charity

P.S. In addition to asking for your donations, we will also be selling some items (t-shirts, recipes, artwork and more) to raise funds in the future. So, please click on the blog follow button so that you can receive our updates.

Grateful For Freedom To Homeschool


We are grateful for the freedom to make educational choices as a family that fit with God’s vision and purpose for our family. We are grateful that we clearly understand why we are learning, and it is not because the law requires it.


We shared the Purpose for Our Homeschool:

To Read #ButterflyHomeschool Purpose – Click Here

“Point your kids in the right direction — when they’re old they won’t be lost.”

~Proverbs 22:6 (MSG)

We fully understand that this is our job and can’t be left up to

professional educators or children’s ministries.

We are grateful for the help of dedicated educators and ministers to supplement what

Father God has called us to do as stewards over these, His Children’s lives.

They came from Him in Heaven. He sent them to us here on Earth, but they belong to Him.

We are just their primary caretakers and mentors here on Earth.

So, as the stewards or managers of their education,

We are grateful to be free to choose when, how, where, what, and with whom we learn day by day.


Even though we do school at home most days,

we are free to learn wherever we happen to be.

This gives us great joy and is one of our best freedoms.

We shared about our recent adventures:

–we used our swimming skills we’ve learned this summer during our vacation

–we were trained in CPR at the local firehouse and got a tour of it, also.


We have an untraditional schedule which is centered around

the Daddy’s work schedule and the Mommy’s business schedule.

During the summer months and holiday seasons,

we usually modify our schedule to learn, as we have fun and stay active,

which we share about on our Adventures Page.


During the traditional school semesters (Fall, Winter, Spring),

we focus on learning in an integrated way and from a Biblical perspective.

For this year, we invested in a Bible-based curriculum called


which has received a lot of great reviews, especially from larger families,

such as the Duggar Family, who talked about it in their book.

We hope that sharing about our journey of freedom as a homeschool family is a blessing to you. And hope that you’ll share about your journey with educating your kids, even if you don’t homeschool.


How about you and your family? What freedom are you and your family grateful for today?


We are grateful for YOU. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

~Johnson Family #ButterflyHomeschool

Each Child Can Learn To Use Their One Talent

FOR TICKETS, CLICK HERE  or Go To http://bit.ly/believemovement

Our family’s #ButterflyHomeschool is blessed to be part of a wonderful ministry called One Talent, Inc. and The Believe Movement. One Talent is based out of Club E Atlanta at 3707 Main St in College Park, GA. The founders are Jo Ann Allen (also General Manager of Club E) and Kamilah “Milah” Burrow (Christian recording artist).


Christian Recording Artist, Milah, has recorded “Believe In Yourself” to inspire girls to shoot for the stars, which releases at a special event on July 26th.

During the One Talent meetings on most weekends, our kids have been learning how to sing and dance and more from Milah and the One Talent Volunteers. They are also receiving training and mentorship on important life and leadership topics including faith, finances, character building, personal hygiene and beauty care and much more.

Also, the anti-bullying campaign is really important to us. We are glad to be a part and pray that you and all of our friends will support us and #TheBelieveMovement by buying t-shirts and tickets and sharing with your friends and family.

Dance practice for #ButterflyHomeschool with One Talent at Club E

Dance practice for #ButterflyHomeschool with One Talent at Club E


Support #BelieveMovement and #BelieveInYourself Music Release

The CD Release party for the Believe In Yourself song will be on July 26th at the College Park Auditorium. Please consider purchasing a ticket and sharing this blog post to tell your friends about it, too.

Buy #TheBelieveMovement T-Shirts

Buy #BelieveMovement T-Shirts

Click Image to Buy #BelieveMovement T-Shirts or go to https://www.booster.com/onetalentinc

Release Party Event Tickets

For Tickets To The The Believe Movement Release Party and National Bullying Prevention Campaign Kickoff

The Believe Movement Release Party and National Bullying Prevention Campaign Kickoff

Click Image To Learn More and Buy Your Ticket. Feel free to share image on Pinterest or Instagram, also.

FOR TICKETS, CLICK HERE  or Go To http://bit.ly/believemovement


Finally, on Monday June 30th, listen to the podcast interview with Jo Ann Allen on AuthorDonnaMarie ‘s podcast show called #MarketLikeAQueen at Podcast.MarketLikeAQueen.com, and hear how bullying impacted the Allen family in a personal way.

Helping South African Students Thrive

This video is a documentary about a school in South Africa that we have an opportunity to volunteer at in 2015. We will share more about our trip in the near future, so that you can have time to pray about supporting us financially.

For now, please have a look and see why we’d like to go and be a part of God’s blessing to these students on another continent – on The Mother Continent.

Summer Learning – Swimming and CPR and More




Our spring activity for #ButterflyHomeschool was tennis (click here to read about it).

SAMUEL SAYS (middle 11 years old – 7th grade):

I like playing tennis. I liked hitting the ball. I liked learning how to serve the tennis ball.

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And now our summer activity has been swimming. We have been learning during June. This was just so right in time for our vacation. We were able to use our new skills during our Father’s Day Family vacation. The oldest girl has taken to the water like a fish (she’s the one with her head under water in the picture).

JUSTINE SAYS (oldest – 12 year old 7th grade):

Swimming was the number one thing I wanted to do for the summer. I feel that everyone should learn how to swim because it is so much fun. I was not scared to swim, but floating didn’t work for me because I could only float on my face, instead of on my back. I also like helping my brother and sister learn how to float when I hold them on their backs.


Just right in alignment with our summer activities is learning how to help ourselves and others be safer if there is an emergency. Read on to learn more about the training that we received from the local firefighters.

Click Here To Download CPR AED Class Registration Flier

Click Image To Download CPR AED Class Registration Flier


In addition to learning how to swim, we were able to get CPR training at our local firehouse.

If you’d like to register for a class, click here to download the CPR AED Class registration information.

At Firehouse No. 1 in College Park, Georgia, Officer Taylor taught us CPR AED and helped us become comfortable with driving more than half of the chain of survival. I had no idea that an informed citizen could make such a huge impact on someone else’s survival rate. 
CHARITY SAYS (youngest – 8 year old 2nd grade):

I liked the CPR class. I liked pushing the hearts of the mannequins. And the baby mannequins looked so cute! I liked talking with the firefighter officers. 

Become Part of the Chain of Survival with AHA CPR AED Training

Become Part of the Chain of Survival with AHA CPR AED Training

I highly recommend that you get yourself and your kids certified, too. If you’re in Atlanta this summer, you can get training for free because it is sponsored by the American Heart Association. If you want the certification option, you pay only $20 at the firehouse after you have passed the test.

To register, call 404-766-8248

Their goal is to get people comfortable with the process of helping the EMT’s out before they arrive on the scene. Training took the fear out of it all for my kids, and I know it will for you, too.

One great perk of our training was the tour of the firehouse. Officer Taylor was wise to tell the kids about that before class started, it gave them something to look forward to. And, of course, the firehouse tour didn’t disappoint. Check out our tour pics below.

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Thanks for reading! If you liked this blog article, please subscribe (follow) our blog; click like and favorite on our posts; and share our posts with your friends and family.


Donna, The Mommy Butterfly


Exciting Spring 2014

Over the past month, our family has had some interesting adventures. We will summarize them here and share a bit.

Before we do, can we ask you for a favor? Will you leave a comment and let us know about your family’s adventures, too? We know we are not the only folks who have fun hanging out together and want to hear about your stories, too.

Okay, so, here is what we’ve been up to:

In April, our very generous friend, Kamilah, founder of the One Talent org for girls, invited us to her very generous employer’s headquarters offices in Atlanta. We had a blast, and the food was way beyond our expectations. Thanks, Kamilah and Chick-Fil-A!

digital scrapbook tour of Chick-fil-A headquarters

#FieldTrip #ChickFilA #ButterflyHomeschool

We also started our Tennis Co-Op / Physical Education Co-Op so that we can have fun while learning with other families. One of the awesome things we learned helped us to get started now, instead of waiting until we have all of our gear in place: when tennis was first invented, it was played by hand. So, no tennis racquets were needed on our first day. However, we are planning to buy them as a group with the other families so that we can save on the price a bit.


#WeLoveTennis #ButterflyHomeschool

We were so happy that our local Atlanta-Fulton Public Library system had so many books about tennis on their shelves. We recommended a couple on the PE Co-Op page (click to go see what we are doing in the co-op and the books, too).

Speaking of the library, one of the main things that we do every season of the year is to read, read and read some more. Here is a snapshot of less than half of the books we checked out last month.


Book reports have already been written, and the kids are now learning the basics of blogging so that they can start sharing them with you, our readers.

What about you: what are you reading right now?

I hope you like our brief update. Leave a comment and let us know what you and your family has been doing and reading this Spring.


Donna Marie, Mommy at the ButterflyHomeschool.com

Over The Top Leadership


My kids have been blessed to live life a bit differently than some of the other kids in our community just because they are home-schooled; but also because of some tough choices that their daddy and I have made over the years. We decided to emulate leadership for them… radical leadership. When we started homeschooling, we hardly knew anyone that was doing it. Now we know lots of families who choose to school at home.


Over the years, we have come to know awesome parents who are also doing things differently, even if they are not schooling from home. I applaud all of the parents out there who are stepping up to teach and show their kids how to be leaders, instead of just being led by peer pressure.

One of these parents is Magaline Harvey, whose oldest daughter is Kiersten. She has befriended our oldest, Justine, and it is awesome to watch my oldest girl’s friendship with this beautiful bright girl grow. It makes me remember when I was young and started becoming close friends with one of my schoolmates. I know how important that is for youth to have like-minded friends with families that have similar values in their lives.


We want to just give a shout out to Kiersten on the leadership role she has taken to pursue a singing career from a young age. Bravo Sweetie! She has been blessed by supportive parents who are allowing her to follow her dream and become a BOSS Kid (Donna’s translation = an Over the Top Radical Leader). Check her out in this newly released video from the singing group that she is a part of, L.O.U.D.

boss kid video preview image

Video – BOSS Kid – Single by L.O.U.D. (Link Opens Our Playlist Page)

(‘Live Out Ur Dreams’ – Group founded by AGI)  Congrats to my friend, Mom Magaline Harvey, and

to the Founder and Pro Team from AGI: Brandin Jay, Natarsha Kinder-Garcia and everyone involved.


Support your young folks who are pursuing their dreams – who are seeking to be radical leaders by doing so. Teach them how to lead and then leave room for their gifts to come forth in whatever way God chooses to use them. Guide them and give them the proper foundation in God’s Word. Then let them emerge and soar – without coddling, judging or shunning them. Us older folks don’t always understand the creativity of the younger generations, but we need to move out of the way and let God do His Thing through them.


Charity (8) said that she liked the music and outfits. Justine and Samuel (12 and 10) said that they liked to hear them talking about being leaders and being responsible.


If you liked the video and the message these kids are spreading, please use the sharing buttons on this page to pass this on.

~Donna Marie, The Mommy of #ButterflyHomeschool

Physical Education – Keeping It Simple

In previous years, the #ButterflyHomeschool founded and ran a Physical Education Co-Op in College Park, Georgia. After we re-located to a new home, we didn’t start the Co-Op back up because we needed to get used to our new community. We also didn’t want to do a new group the same way we did the old one. We wanted to keep it simple this time. So, on that note, here is what you can expect.


  • *Registration is via Eventbrite so that I don’t have to keep sending individual emails or Facebook messages to each parent.
  • *For Spring 2014, we’ll be focused just on Tennis, instead of just having general recess/playground time, like we used to do in the old group.
  • *We will have a group buy opportunity to help families who are interested in saving money by coming together on costs for equipment and lessons / coaching.
  • *We have announced the dates and times for our upcoming Tennis Co-Op activities for April and May on Eventbrite.


Within the event registration area, I have shared more details about what you can expect, but below I will share some of the highlights that you probably will want to be aware of before you register:

  • When you register, make sure you register one chaperone and up to a maximum of 5 children. Then in the box indicated, you will be able to list the full names and ages of each child.
  • Make sure you read the registration form carefully. We have included a required waiver and permission/consent form as part of the registration.
  • Make sure you sign up for the group buy opportunity, if you believe that you’d like to save money on sports equipment and lessons.
  • Each adult chaperone must have legal custody or legal guardianship of each child they register.
  • Know that, as a mom who has lead a PE Co-Op before, I know that discipline issues (i.e., lack of parental guidance and/or bullying) can become a huge problem and destroy the whole atmosphere of the group. So, we have a clearly stated zero tolerance policy and warning system, which is detailed on the waiver and consent form.


  • As mentioned above, the zero tolerance policy and warning system information is included on the registration waiver and consent form.
  • Location details will only be sent privately to each adult chaperone who has registered and verified their identity by way of signing the waiver and consent form.
  • We will verify each adult chaperone’s identity. If we find that someone may not be who they say they are, their registration may be cancelled prior to sending out our meeting location details.


Use the contact form to reach out to us by email or call / text Donna at 678-861-8121


[Learning Challenges Part 2] How Do You Help Your Kids Love Writing?

This article discusses how we are now learning to love writing in the #ButterflyHomeschool and ask for your help.

Before we moved this blog over to wordpress.com, I shared a ‘victory dance’ video post about learning challenges our young reader had overcome. She is a fluent reader now. Yeah!… but, that’s not the end of our story. Here is…

Learning Challenges Part 2

‪#‎ButterflyHomeschool‬ is tackling creative writing nowadays. For our young one, we’ve started using a story starter tool on the  Chateau MeddyBemps website to help Mommy help the baby really learn to love writing.

This site is great because she has had anxiety about all things language learning, and their illustrations are fun and inviting and fun for her.


It’s weird (to me) that she’s still anxious about it even though she overcame her reading challenges (serious dyslexia symptoms but no formal diagnosis), and now is a fluent reader. I don’t really fully get why she has been anxious, but I am working over time to learn what I have to do to help her get past it.


If you have had similar challenges, please comment and help me out by answering the following questions:

  • What writing resources have you found for your reading challenged child?
  • How do you help to soothe their anxiety when it is time to work on language learning assignments?
  • Where have you found articles or books on this topic that have helped?
  • Any other comments?

Even though I did successfully teach her how to read, and publicly celebrated her victory in a past video post, now this new hurdle with her writing has kind of thrown me for an unexpected loop. I thought we had conquered it all, but I guess the reading was just our first stepping stone to help her learn to love learning language skills.

Thanks in advance for reading and for sharing your answers and feedback!

~Donna Marie Johnson, The Mommy at #ButterflyHomeschool

P.S. I’ll repost that victory video again, soon, once we’ve made more progress on building up this new blog site.

To Check Out Amazon Prime, Click Here

Amazon Prime Referral


One of the most valuable tools that we’ve come to love for our homeschool is Amazon Prime… they even have a complimentary book lending library, thousands of free educational tv shows and movies, free 2-day shipping on amazon fulfilled products and many more perks.

DISCLAIMER: This is my affiliate link: If you decide to click and sign up, Thank you in advance for supporting #ButterflyHomeschool  because Amazon may compensate us for referring you to them. My opinions expressed here are my own true opinions about the Amazon Prime program which we truly enjoy using.
referral url: http://ggen.biz/amazonprimesignup

Creating New Black History For All American Kids

DO BETTER MOVEMENT – CREATING NEW BLACK HISTORY – This is the perfect way for #ButterflyHomeschool to start out our 2014 blog posts. Please read and share on how we can get our media outlets on board with creating a…

New Black History for All American Kids.

Black History is American History. And the most important history is the one that is created every day in our kids’ lives. ALL of our kids’ lives are impacted, no matter what color their skin happens to be. Reach out to your media outlets and let them know that you will no longer put up with genocide by destructive media targeted at your kids and loved one’s kids.

Yes, We Can DO BETTER for All American Kids’ Benefit.

Check out this ad placed by a concerned citizen… let’s promote a New Black History.

Download New Black History preview Michael and Connie Smith

Click Image To Download New Black History preview Michael and Connie Smith

To Read The Full Document – Click Here


This movement called “Do Better” was started by Pastors Michael T. and Connie Smith of Jacksonville, Florida USA

Teaching Time Concepts And Fall Back


In the Eastern USA (we are in Atlanta, GA), we turn our clocks back an hour tonight (Sunday Nov. 3rd at 2am).

Learn More About My Event #MarketLikeAQueen At http://Count.MarketLikeAQueen.com

FYI: The Mommy Butterfly is Donna Marie Johnson and is also the host of a podcast and annual conference called #MarketLikeAQueen



Daylight saving time (DST)—also summer time in British English— is the practice of advancing clocks during the lighter months so that evenings have more daylight and mornings have less. Typically clocks are adjusted forward one hour near the start of spring and are adjusted backward in autumn.

For some reason, I’ve been feeling more tired lately in the mornings (probably because it is so dark), so I am truly looking forward to gaining an hour and having more early morning daylight. I am a true morning person and hate when it’s so deeply dark in the mornings.


We have been teaching our kids about time concepts even before they could read (or read well). Part of why I taught them so early is because I had a very difficult time grasping time concepts when I was in elementary and middle schools. I really don’t know why, but I think it was because adults may have just assumed that I knew. However, I didn’t know how to read an analog clock properly until I was about 12 to 14 years old.

Even though it’s embarrassing to admit that, I own up to it so that I can be vigilant to make sure our kids get time concepts. So, over the past several years, explaining DST (daylight savings time) to them has been like pulling teeth, but when I asked them about it the other day, all three of them actually get it. They used to think they’d lose an hour in the Fall. But now they understand that they get to sleep in when time Falls Back and are excited about it, just as much as I am.


So, we have used manipulatives, like paper clocks, to teach our kids about analog time. That helped to introduce the concepts, but, the real learning came when they were forced to use real analog clocks in real life situations. However, our house is filled with digital clocks in pretty much every room. So, what did I do?

I disabled all of the digital clocks. You should have heard their whines when I did it, too. However, at the end of that month, they knew how to tell time.

How do you teach your kids time concepts?

I look forward to hearing how you make it fun and easy for your kids to learn time concepts. Please share.

~Donna Marie, The Mommy Butterfly

Fall Update and How To Stay Safe From Fire

#ButterflyHomeschool is now in the Fall phase for 2013, and focused on learning how to stay safe from fire, after having started our season with an awesome Stay-Cation last week.

2013 Staycation with Grandmommy Val with Johnson Kids

2013 Staycation with Grandmommy Val with Johnson Kids


We have been enjoying this totally awesome weather in Atlanta. Temperatures are in the low 80’s and high 70’s in the day and drop into the 60’s (50’s sometimes) at night. We are so happy that GrandMommy Butterfly Val visited with us and went on our zoo field trip with us and enjoyed this heavenly weather, too. She is from Chicago, so she really enjoyed the warmer weather.

photo taken by #ButterflyHomeschool - sea otter at zoo atlanta

Mommy Butterfly’s Heart Was Stolen By This Clever Creature Who Loves the Limelight

We’ll share more about that zoo field trip later this Fall, too. For now, we want to let you know that, if you are a Fulton County resident and library card holder in good standing, you can check out a complimentary zoo pass once each year at the library. When we share about our trip, we’ll let you know more details about that free pass from the library, too.

sparky video

Click To See Our Video Playlist of the NFPA Video Series with Sparky The Fire Dog


Okay, so the first #ButterflyHomeschool Team Fall Project is centered around Fire Safety because it is National Fire Prevention Week. So, the kids have received individual jobs that they each have to do as part of their group project (jobs are: illustrator, researcher and recorder). The overall project includes all of the main subjects including: math, science, geography, reading and writing all rolled up into that one project. We love integrating our learning this way. It really helps us to use what we are learning right away so that our learning sticks with us for the long-term.

image of banner for National Fire Prevention Week

National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) National Fire Prevention Week

link: http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/fire-prevention-week

Also, of course helping to prevent fires and teach your kids to be safe is extremely important, especially for homeschoolers because, unlike in the public school system, no one is there to do it for us. This is our responsibility to step up and incorporate this into our schooling at home.

The main tips that you’ll learn from the video and website talk about kids being safe in the kitchen, but there is a lot more information way beyond just that. We strongly recommend that you watch our playlist (see video pic and link above), and that you visit the website at the link above. Also, specifically for the kids, check out: Sparky.org for info, games and fun all centered around kids learning about being fire safe.

Question For You:

How are you all spending National Fire Prevention week with your kids?

~Donna Marie, Mommy Butterfly

How To Overcome A Common Family Disagreement

One of the main things that the parents of the Butterfly Homeschool have been in disagreement with the students about is the look and smell of their…

  • bathroom
  • bedrooms
  • personal grooming

I am sure that many families go through the same thing. Here are some solutions we came up with to try to help us all get on the same page without the screaming and tears. lol

For the smell part of this equation, we have found a line of fragrant natural products that we like.

The girls found a truly girly scent that both of them like. They use it for their room and on their clothing (and in their hair, too, sometimes).

image of Fresh Sheets & Me 8oz - Pink Friday Scent

Our girls love the Pink Friday scent for the Fresh Sheets & Me multi-purpose natural spray/mist

violet summer oil fragrance butterflyhomeschool

Our Family (Now) Loves To Smell Good With Help From: smellgoodspa.com

We decided to try out samples of natural fragrances. Violet was one of the ones that I did not like, but that the kids enjoyed. So now they keep the little oil bottles in their bathroom. I purchased an aroma /oil lamp for my office, and now I’ll need to buy the kids one for their bathroom, too.

image of Sunset Aroma Lamp #ButterflyHomeschool

Adding this beautiful lamp to my home office (in the laundry room) provided a fragrant solution for laundry days.

So, I am happy to announce that the kids and the house are smelling better.

In my opinion, the residual effect is that the house is also neater and cleaner. It seems that since we started upleveling our home and personal aromas, the kids (and the parents) have become more conscious about how our house and personal grooming is looking. Who would have thought this would happen?!

Hopefully, you will try out samples from Smell Good Spa or another of your fav places, too, and let your kids decide which scents they like the best for their personal space in the home.

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT: How have you overcome similar disagreements in your family?

Thanks for reading!


Donna Marie Johnson, Mommy Butterfly

Starting Homeschool in Georgia

This archived blog post will be updated soon, but for now, I wanted to re-post it so that those who are looking for help will have a resource start them off.

Starting homeschool in Georgia is now a little easier to understand.

link to Georgia DOE Homeschool Website

Visit Site For Dept of Education – State of Georgia – doe.k12.ga.us

If you live in Georgia, you can now find a more clear outline of state mandated legal requirements for your homeschool at this link:

As usual when it comes to bureaucracy, completing these forms can be very time consuming and tedious. So, here is what we have done to help make the process a bit easier on the Mommy.


We turned it into a homeschool project. Here is our process:

  1. Mom created an attendance spreadsheet for our own files/records.
    • (no longer available) download spreadsheet template, if you think it might help you (in 2014 and beyond, attendance is no longer required by State of Georgia to be turned in, now just keep for your records)
      • It includes 12 monthly worksheets for July 2012 – June 2013.
      • Spaces for entering 3 children’s attendance. (You can insert new rows, as needed.)
      • Totals for Monthly and Year To Date Attendance on Each Monthly Attendance sheet (formula automatically adds it up for you)
      • Complimentary for those who join our mailing list.
  2. Mom completed the official parts of the online forms
    • submitted the Declaration of Intent form myself (very simple)
    • assigned each child to complete their own online attendance form on the State’s website using information from our attendance spreadsheet
    • Mom double checked that each child’s form was correct and that all totals on the spreadsheet and on the online form matched; and then submitted the attendance forms online for each child.


Here is our picture slideshow so you can see what we did:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Please leave a comment and let us know.

~The Butterfly Homeschool Family

P.S. This is an archived post. I plan to post some updated homeschool start-up articles in the near future. For now, know that your best resource is to use the DOE link I gave at the top of this article.

Reading Hater Now Loves To Read

Our family has been so blessed to see our young reader’s progress. She was a true reading hater that would do all she could to get out of it, and now she loves to read. And we are happy to say that Reading Eggs and other great online learning resources have been a great part of it. We were able to get a membership in Reading Eggs via our homeschool co-op, and it was worth this very affordable investment (was less than twenty for the whole year).

Our Little One Is Reading Much Better and Keeping A Great Attitude

She was rewarded with her own mini-Kindle (6 inch) for her great attitude.

In past posts, we have shared about her reading challenges. When we initially realized that she was turning letters and numbers around and tried to get help through the public school system in Georgia, we were shocked (and upset) to find out that there was no help. No testing for dyslexia = no help for dyslexia. Despite it all, her teacher at that time was a huge help. And our co-op group and other homeschool families who share online have also been very helpful.

So, fast forward a year and a half, and she is now reading relatively fluently. She self-corrects most of the time, if she has a backwards letter episode. And she has tools and tricks that she’s learned to help her keep her learning momentum going. Yes, she still needs some encouragement on the bad days, but she always turns things around. Who doesn’t have a bad day? We all do. We all need encouragement. Hers is just a different kind of encouragement.

To all of the families out there who are dealing with reading challenges, fear of reading and hatred of reading:




And don’t allow them to give up or to give in to the temptation for having pity parties. Let them take a break to rest, then get right back to it the next day.

Our little one has memorized:

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. ~Philippians 4:13 (KJV)

And this one scripture has been a great way for her to encourage herself and for us to keep her reminded about encouraging herself. She is so much more confident now. Here is a recent video of her reading. 


link: http://youtu.be/VB846J65aLA

If you find our blog helpful, let us know what you liked the most in the comment area below.

Thanks for taking a look at our blog!


Donna, The Mommy at Butterfly Homeschool