Hi there! Welcome to Your Vibrant Family! I’m Alicia Michelle, and I’m a married, homeschool mom of four kids ranging in age from thirteen to three. I am thrilled that you’re here and I can’t wait to encourage you and to share stories together.
If you and I were to sit down face-to-face today at a coffee shop (here’s what I’d be drinking … what’s your favorite hot drink?), I hope you’d see me for who I am–a transformed-but-beautiful-mess of a woman. Any good that is in me comes from the power of God shining through my heart. You can read my testimony (my most important story) here.
When I first became a mom thirteen years ago, I had no idea how much parenting would change me. Being a mom has taken my breath away many, many times–because of both the exhausting relentless nature of motherhood, and the indescribably amazing moments of joy.
Before I became a parent, I never thought I would have kids who didn’t always get along (“those parents” just weren’t doing something right); kids with ongoing learning/social challenges (why couldn’t “those parents” just teach their kids differently and it would all be better?); and even kids who, although they were raised from birth to know God, sometimes made extremely poor choices.
And homeschooling! Wasn’t that supposed to give us perfectly schooled (and behaved) kids? My husband and I had done our research and were convinced that homeschooling was the best solution for every family.
Nearly 10 years later, we are more convinced than ever that homeschooling is a beautiful calling for many, but not all; and that,within the homeschooling lifestyle, there simply is no “right” or “wrong” way to teach a child and that’s not only alright, but it’s evidence that you’re listening to your unique call for your family and your children (and that’s a great thing).
In terms of marriage, I have been surprised many times by the power of love.
Our nearly-fifteen-years of marriage has not been perfect, but at the core, we love God (and each other!) deeply. We can testify to what the good book says:”love covers up a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). And honestly, I’m often the obnoxious one (an unfortunate side effect of my passionate, over-zealous heart) that needs to ask forgiveness.
Through life’s ups and downs, my husband and I have fought to have a strong base for our family by continually working on our marriage and on our relationship with God. It’s never easy and we often fail, but through it all, He has proven strong enough to help us weather any storm (including our current battle with ongoing an ongoing illness).
Those battles (along with our son’s Aspergers diagnosis) have taken us on a journey through the world of natural living (things like essential oils), healthy recipes (my husband, my son and I maintain a fairly consistent gluten-free, low-carb lifestyle) and ways to lower stress in the midst of a hectic schedule (I’m convinced it starts with saying no so you can say yes).
P.S. You can read other crazy things about me here, such how I used to drive a very famous giant hot dog and how I served as a midwife in an African medical clinic. Come on, you know you’re curious.
P.S. Are you a brand looking to connect? Learn more here.
About Your Vibrant Family
Ladies, motherhood, homeschooling, marriage (and even maintaining a healthy lifestyle!) is very challenging…. but with God at the center of all of them, these things can be oh-so-good too.
Bottom line: friend, I want Your Vibrant Family to encourage and inspire you to be the best (imperfect) version of yourself you can be.
Our homes (or our families) don’t have to look like a Pinterest-perfect image in order to be good. If that were true, lasting joy would never be possible!
If you get stuck in that place (like I do too sometimes), I want this site to remind us that beautiful miracles are all around us as we walk through the chaos of everyday family life.
I also want us to both to remember that we’re not alone through the (sometimes very long) mothering days, and that we are best when we lean on each other and share good ideas.
Speaking of good ideas, Your Vibrant Family is full of great tips for managing a household, being the best mom possible, keeping a strong marriage, and growing in the Christian faith. You’ll find a new post from me about two to three times a week, and a plethora of fresh content daily on the Your Vibrant Family Facebook page.
You can read some of Your Vibrant Family’s most popular posts here.
I’ll be sharing my stories and all the things God is teaching me (even those that come from my biggest messes). I’ll also be praying daily that you will find real hope for your journey too!
P.S. Are you a brand looking to connect? Learn more here.
About My Books
Plan to Be Flexible: Designing a Homeschool Rhythm and Curriculum Plan That Works for Your Family
Plan to Be Flexible was the first book I wrote, and it is my honest confession of a mom (me) who felt chewed-up-and-spit-out by the homeschool lifestyle. While chronicling my own first few years, the book offers practical advice and loads of tips on how to (really) follow a child’s unique learning patterns (hint: it’s not about a schedule!).
In this book, you will:
* Analyze what’s working (and what’s not) in your homeschool
* Develop a flexible and goal-oriented curriculum plan for each student
* Discover why rhythms (not schedules) are the secret to homeschooling sanity
* Learn how to homeschool with joy and freedom
Plan to Be Flexible is available in print and Kindle on Amazon; or here on the Your Vibrant Family site as an individual PDF download or as a bundle with a other homeschool resources. You can see what other bloggers have said about Plan to Be Flexible here and also read the 5-star testimonies from others on Amazon. Download a free chapter of the book here.
Back to School Survival Manual: A Girlfriend’s Guide to an Organized and Successful Homeschool Year
This is my most recent book! I love this book because it’s a much-needed compilation of how to successfully start a homeschool year.
Back to School Survival Manual is not only my step-by-step approach of how to prepare mentally and physically for back to school, but it offers 30 pages of reproducible 8.5 x 11 inch checklists, charts and planning activities! This is an invaluable reference tool you can use every year.
In this book, you will:
–build self-confidence in your homeschool’s purpose
–determine what supplies you have (and what you really need)
–learn practical tips for managing daily homeschool chaos and clutter
–discover how to create a realistic learning rhythm
–get powerful tips for daily homeschool success
Back to School Survival Manual is available in print and Kindle on Amazon (5 Stars!); or here on the Your Vibrant Family site as an individual PDF download or as a bundle with other homeschool resources. Read what others have to say about it here, download a free sample chapter and order your copy!
About My Online Courses
This BRAND NEW course is changing lives around the world! If you’re looking to (finally) take control of your mommy anger, this 7-class course is an excellent resource. Consisting of 7 video classes and 50+ pages of homework (think journaling prompts, charts, etc) and a Facebook group for accountability and encouragement, “7 Days to a Less Angry Mom” is a powerful way to identify key anger triggers and make a plan for peace and calm (yes, even in the midst of raising kids)!
Here’s what we talk about:
Day 1: Understanding the Big Picture About Anger
Day 2: Identifying Our Current Anger Sources
Day 3: Establishing “Offensive” Strategies
Day 4: Learning “Defensive” Strategies
Day 5: Experimenting with New Habits
Day 6: Living in Reality: When Anger Strikes Again
Day 7: The Journey Forward (and the Legacy)
This is a self-paced course that is open for enrollment anytime. We’d love to have you in the course with us!
You will love the new freedom and peace possible when mommy anger doesn’t control your life anymore! Learn more here.
Oh the potential in the powerful “bloom” online video course! In this 8-video session course (complete with 88 pages of printable worksheets and lifetime access to a private Facebook group for accountability and encouragement!), I spill my heart and deepest desires–that every woman would be able to take steps toward experiencing a fuller, more joy-filled life than she ever thought possible.
Here are the “bloom” class topics:
Class 1: The Big Fat Lies (and the Truths That Set Us Free)
Class 2: Firm Foundations: Building Rhythm Around Daily Pillars
Class 3: Steps to Simple (and Rest-Filled) Days
Class 4: Homeschooling Joy Stealers: Part 1: The Perfectionist Vice
Class 5: Homeschooling Joy Stealers: Part 2: The Comparison Leech
Class 6: Homeschooling Joy Stealers: Part 3: The Anger Monster
Class 7: Needs and Opinions: How to Not Drown in the Tidal Wave
Class 8: The Path to Perennial (not Annual) Joy
Go here to learn more about “bloom.”
“Bloom” registration is only open at certain times of the year (our next session opens in early Spring). However, go here now and get your name on the list so that you can be notified when we open registration. Access to this course is only available once a year (during a one-week window!) so you don’t want to miss it.
“rhythm” is a great way to boost your confidence as a homeschool mom and finally create order in your homeschool day without having to answer to a schedule!
The purpose of the course isn’t to get you to follow my specific learning method or teaching style. Instead, through a series of three online video classes and three corresponding At-Home Discovery Packets, the “rhythm” course introduces you to some key concepts and then allows you to discover how these concepts play into your family’s unique, ever-changing rhythm.
Specifically, we discover:
•How to create structure without being stifled by a rigid schedule
•Tips on tackling those “wrecking balls” that disrupt your daily homeschooling rhythm
•How to know when your child’s rhythm is changing (and what to do about it)
•Ways to welcome free-form learning (without it taking over your day)
•The secret to goal-setting (while still allowing room for real life)
Like “bloom,” access to “rhythm” is only available during certain times of the year. Again, we only open access to this course during a one-week window in late summer, so you don’t want to miss it (learn more here)!