Business – the Spreeder app

I have great respect for Mr. North’s advice. He has made many suggestions for a more productive life that I have been only too happy to take advantage of, since I can see that they actually work in real life. But sometimes, even when I know the advice is sound, I just don’t take action, perhaps for a variety of reasons. This assignment has got me thinking about the root reason I have repeatedly brushed aside his admonishments to use Spreeder, an app designed to increase your reading speed for maximum efficiency and knowledge.

I have always been a fast reader, faster than anyone I know. The other day I took a test and was ranked between 440 and 560 wpm. I originally supposed that I don’t need any improvement in this area, since I already read faster than the majority.

But what if I could double my CURRENT reading speed?

AWESOME, right?

Mr. North doesn’t need to do any more convincing. The Spreeder app costs $67, and in my opinion, this will be a decision that will save me time and money in the long run, as well as increase my knowledge.

Is it worth it to me to trade $67 and 10 minutes a day to use Spreeder to increase my reading speed? Absolutely. I am planning on getting Spreeder in the near future. The cool thing about Spreeder is that it is possible to set up five different accounts! I like that because I have younger brothers who might also want to use the app and increase their reading speed!

Thanks for listening to the musings of a school girl!!


Hacking the Ron Paul Curriculum for Efficient Results!

Top tips for success in online video homeschooling, like the Ron Paul Curriculum. For those of you who don’t take the RPC, it’s an online video homeschooling curriculum that is cost-efficient (only $50 per course), covers Grades One through to college prep courses, and is liberty-minded and full of brilliant and effective principles and sound information. (This post is geared mostly toward those who are taking the Ron Paul curriculum, but anyone can benefit from the principles!)

In RPC, the whole system is dependent on your ability to stay disciplined. Depending upon your courses, it can be hard work, but with the proper skills, you can get it done better and more efficiently. So without further ado, here are my top 5 tips for success in the Ron Paul Curriculum.

1. Dress for success.

Changing out of your PJs and into your jeans makes you feel more like you’re actually working. You look more professional, you feel more professional … what could be better for your writing skills?

2. Multitask … in moderation.

Most multitasking, like talking on the phone while baking a complicated recipe, can end in disaster! But if you’re taking the Ron Paul curriculum, there are some smart ways to take advantage of the time normally spent staring at the video screen.

Personally, my concentration levels increase when I fold laundry while listening to history videos. I don’t know why, but it does! I clean my room during business videos, but I have to concentrate really hard during literature videos. I normally take in-depth notes in preparation for assignments.

The idea is to combine something you use your ears for (like a video or podcast) with something you use your hands for, like using a quartz roller, folding laundry, combing your pet giraffe …

3. Take a break.

RPC is a completely on-computer curriculum. Sitting at a desk in front of the blue screen for a few hours isn’t only monotonous, it’s bad for your body to be stationary for so long . Take a break every 30 minutes or so to move around. Run around your house 5 times, practice your set or swish, offer to do *gulp* chores …

4. TIP: look ahead for the essay.

At the beginning of every week, I look ahead to see what the essay topic is going to be. I think about it or jot down notes throughout the week and by the end, I’m pretty sure I know what I’m going to say. This keeps you from needing to write a prime essay in one day, which I find a little hard to do.

5. Always, always, ALWAYS take notes!!!!

In Grade 10, after a few years on a break from the Ron Paul curriculum, I noticed that the essay work/topics got a lot heavier. At first, its motivating, but if you don’t keep up, your essay folder starts piling up on those ones that you *thought* you’d do later!!

By taking notes you remind yourself of your topics and assignments, and it gets easier to keep on top of the things you’re learning and retain new information.

To Conclude … You don’t need to follow this to the letter to have a more productive school day. But I found that utilizing the tips helps me stay organized and stress-free in high school, and I really love to work that way!


The changes I’m making with my time for greater productivity!

Heyyyy y’all! I recently did a post on being more efficient, and here is where I get to pinpoint and be specific on which ones I’m going to focus on putting into practice first!

Don’t we all have those days where we know we haven’t been as productive as we know we could have? (#worstdayever!!) It goes without saying that we all want to be superhumans in managing time, but HOW?

The trick is to remember that everything you do takes up a niche of the time during the day that you’re going to want back, so you better think ahead and wonder, “at the end of the day, am I going to be glad I did this?” I’m almost ALWAYS glad when I do chores or school all day because at least I did something productive that makes a dent in my remaining school!!

I’ve found that reallocating time not only allows me to get more things done in a day, but it also allows me to do everything BETTER than I used to be able to. Once I stopped my extra reading and self-reflection, I noticed a MAJOR spike in my productivity and effectiveness on the job. Yet, there STILL remains changes to be made that will greatly reduce time-wasting.

The first thing I’m going to change is to write down or bookmark topics or articles I would like to study throughout the week. At a point in the week where I have free time I’ll come back to the list and look up the things that I still think are important. This saves tons of time because it keeps me organized, and it keeps me from surfing the net when I should be doing my school. 😬

The second re-allocation I plan on trying out is to reduce the time I spend in pleasure reading and use that time to write essays. Although I love to learn, take notes, and store knowledge, writing essays on certain subjects can take me a long time. I need to plan a time for me to sit down and write those essays I’ve been putting off for weeks!

As I re-enter the official school year, I feel better and nearly ready to start again! My third and final reallocation is to spend less time drawing and reading books and articles, and spending more time in school, math, essay-writing, and reading the Bible.

Stay awesome, y’all!


(Business I, Lesson 60)

What recent time re-allocation changes have you made? Any tips for a gal like me?

The Early-morning habits of Successful people!

We all know that success is more than just the finished essay, the completion of an art project, or a great meeting. It takes a lot of preparation, and starting your day off right is the best recipe for success. So pull out your notebook or WordDoc and start jotting down these steps which will result immediately in a more productive day.

Habits aren’t easy to implement … when they’re good habits that take work to master. Don’t feel bad if you occasionally miss some …. Or all of them … because, you know, there is always tomorrow morning!!

1. Wake up early.

An early riser has a tremendous advantage over the late riser. We all ‘know’ that there are exactly the same amount of hours in the day no matter when you drag your body out of bed, but when you get up early you have a significant boost in morning hours, during which I personally find it easier to think.

Waking up early can also help you to be on time for classes, which is always a good thing! But don’t feel like summer is the time for lazing around! While it’s a great idea to catch up on missed sleep during summer break, too much sleep actually dulls you and makes you lazier.

Pro Tip: Unless you have a resident rooster to crow you awake with his adolescent voice at 5:30 AM *hand raised*, set a timer for your ideal wake-up, around an hour before you eat breakfast.

2. Drink water.

You’ve heard it millions of times, but it gets truer every repetition. Most people don’t drink even close to eight glasses a day, and lacking it hurts on so many levels. Potential results of not enough water include dehydration, breakouts, tiredness, sunstroke … the list goes on.

Pro Tip: Use (and frequently refill) a water bottle to get your daily water quota. It’s easier to drink if you can take it around with you.

3. Keep your space clean and organized.

A dirty desk is a useless desk. An unmade bed testifies to a chaotic mind. Take some time to clean up, even if you only set a timer for 5 minutes and scramble around. Working in a clean space fosters greater concentration, and provides way less distraction than messy surfaces and floor.

Pro Tip: Set that timer! Or, if you want to go really overboard, clean out under the bed.

4. Dress for success.

Think about it. Do you work better in PJs, or in jeans? For some, the answers are different! Most, however, work better at home when they change into day clothes. Find your outfit and slip in. You’ll feel professional in a minute!

Pro Tip: I find this super helpful in motivating me. It’s hard to feel motivated to conquer the world … when you’re wearing fuzzy slippers!

5. Mentally prepare.

This might look like a quick review of the goals that inspire you, or it might include Bible-reading and journaling. Whatever you do, be sure it strengthens you for the big, unique, amazing day ahead.

Pro Tip: Mentally go over which things are important to you. Focus on some of those things and use them to motivate you as you go through the day. Remember that you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength!

6. Make a To Do list.

I’m a list lover and I’m not ashamed of it! Seriously though, a list can be a great visual aid to remind you what you need to get done. Challenge yourself to complete everything on your list, no matter how hard you have to work. Remember, “six days you shall work, and the seventh you shall rest.” Make those six days COUNT!

Pro Tip: Do not procrastinate! Procrastination can become a bad habit. If you absolutely can’t do something on your list today, force yourself to do it tomorrow, before you even check your email. This builds discipline.

7. Get some exercise.

Working out is not only helpful for gaining muscle and losing fat, it can be a great way to destress and clear your head. Be active outside in some way! Sports and biking and hiking and swimming, the list goes on!

Pro Tip: Exercising is only good for you if you aren’t hating every minute. Find something you actually enjoy.

8. Kill your bad habits and morning time-wasters.

I’m looking at you there! You know your personal time-waster. I’m encouraging you to take steps to let go of it. If it’s a waste of time, it’s probably not that important … give it up! (Or at least reduce it.)

Pro Tip: Most habits are reactive mechanisms. Find another way to deal with the issue, like replacing it with a good habit.

Here are a few things NOT to do …

  • Unless you must, try not to check your email or the news first thing in the morning. Negative input can affect your mental attitude, so try to only take in uplifting material while you are still beginning your day.
  • Don’t give in to your bad habits. It’s okay to slip sometimes, but have in your mind the goal of attaining a new routine. It’ll be hard, but it’s worth it.

Have a great day, and remember … there’s always tomorrow morning!

~ Makayla

As always, please comment! What’s in your morning routine?

Social Media

Photo by fauxels on

Social media has become the most popular pastime in the world. Seriously! From blogging to Instagram to Pinterest to YouTube to Facebook, everyone’s on and wants to know what’s going down in the world.

There are many positive things associated with social media viewing:

  • Keeping in touch with friends.
  • Faster communication between people you don’t know.
  • Faster information than ever before.
  • Gives you inspiration and ideas for fun projects.
  • It’s a mindless activity to help you relax (Some people do this … not me.)
  • YouTube has made it super easy to listen to music.

Unfortunately, not everything about social media is peaches-and-cream. A host of problems could arise, like:

  • Getting addicted and spending WAY too much time on it.
  • Getting screen neck (from bending over to much)
  • Getting headaches and problem skin from the blue light.
  • Feeling badly that you don’t look like those other (photoshopped, hint hint) people, or have the idealistically perfect life that they have (again, “photoshopped”, hint hint!!!)

Why do people go on social media? To connect with others (or get inspired.) But studies have shown that online relationships don’t fill up your emotional tank so much as a real, physical relationship (I’m talking about real friendships here!)

I think that as long as people are using social media in order to …

a. Connect with people they already know,

b. Grow their business (or learn about their work), or

c. Learn about something important, or something they’re interested in,

… then it’s alright. But if people aren’t setting time limits on how long they can be on a social media platform, or are surfing the net (too often I have done so and regretted it!), or have spent too long  sitting down that their legs fall asleep or they miss out on the awesome world right in front of them and forget to live the way we were made to … Then it’s just SAD, PEOPLE!!

So here’s a plan of action that I challenge you to follow up on …

1. Spend only 5-10 minutes a day on each social media platform you’re involved in (this includes Facebook and homeschool forums. Does not include personal emails, but does include group hangouts.) Feel free to spread these minutes around.

2. Get up every half-hour of sitting at the computer and move around.

3. No matter what you do, DO NOT SURF THE NET!! This tires you out and makes you lazy and unproductive.

4. Do this for a few days. See how you feel. After this, increase your social media time but not by much. Only do what is really important to you.

It’s important to remember to take EVERYTHING in moderation. Social media itself is not the bad guy … over-use is. We are a race of variety – put a little spice in your life! Act like a pauper, think like a prince. This means to work hard, but work with a goal. You are awesome … so act that way! Don’t imprison yourself by the standards that bodybuilder-YouTubers or Instagram baddies live by. Be free from the hold of the world!

Stay awesome, y’all!