BIG LIST of Christmas Homeschool Resources

 

FREE Good Tidings ebook from Apologia- devotions, copywork, experiments, encouragement, and more!

Songs for the Waiting: Devotions Inspired by the Hymns of Advent 

FREE Christmas Notebooking Pages

God Gave Us Christmas

The Star of Bethlehem video 

Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus

Christ’s First Coming: Prophecy

Jesus’ Birth in Bethlehem

Life of Christ/ Birth of Jesus

Blue Letter Bible Commentary, Luke

John Macarthur Sermon-Prophecy of Jesus

Nativity printables- prek

Pre K Letter “J” for Jesus

Answers in Genesis, Christmas Star

Answers in Genesis- The Christmas Town video

The Star of Bethlehem Video

The Nativity Story movie

Advent Conspiracy: Can Christmas Still Change the World?

Itsy Bitsy Christmas- By Max Lucado

Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas

In the Manger by Max Lucado

God is in the Manger (Bonhoeffer)

Unwrapping the Names of Jesus

The Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Readings for Advent by John Piper

Tabitha’s Travels: A Family Story for Advent

Bartholomew’s Passage: A Family Story for Advent Kindle Edition

Ishtar’s Odyssey

Listen to my podcast for more about simple Christmas ideas!

Some posts to inspire you:

Praying Over Your Christmas Cards

Christmas Schooling

Simple Christmas Podcast Episode

Clutter-Free Christmas

Real Christmas

25 Days of Simple Christmas-A Simple Story

 

Resources I love! 
The Tale of Three Trees

Little House on the Prairie Christmas

Christmas Stories (Little House on the Prairie)

 

Christmas Schooling

Apologia FREE Resource—>Good Tidings- over 40 pages of encouragement, devotionals, copywork, art projects, sciences lessons—all FREE!! www.homeschool-101.com/goodtidings

 

Check out where I am speaking in 2018—-> SPEAKING (UPDATED)

Listen to the Podcast—-> PODCAST

Watch my YouTube Channel–->YouTube

Visit my homeschooling site–>Bible Based Homeschooling

Shop Simply Living for Him——>SHOP (new items added!)

Fostering a Love for God’s Word

As many of you know, my rule for myself is to set no words before my eyes each day, until I have read the Bible. It was a life-changing and life-giving decision I made years ago that really transformed my days. Setting my mind on God before anything else each day is right where my mind needs to be.

Bible Reading Family

I have also been teaching my kids to do the same.

Training my children to have their own personal time with the Lord is so important and a lesson they will take with them long after they are out of my home. And Lord willing, one they will pass down to their children. (remember, we affect future generations!)

For my youngest boy, I bought The Action Bible for him for Christmas last year. As an emerging reader, the pages were engaging, and well…for boys…just perfect. Full of action.

I find that when we read our Bible together as a family each night, many of the stories are already alive in his mind. He will say to me, “Oh, I saw those pictures in my Bible.” (when he first got the Bible he wasn’t reading solely by himself yet.)

There is no greater gift than to give our children a love for His Word.

Personal Bible time is great. Talking about scripture all throughout the day. And then concluding with family Bible time at night. That is how we are giving our children the gift of His Word and hoping to foster a dependence on His Word. It is woven throughout our day, and we know that it is the foundation of our walk.

Bring conversations back to the Lord…Ask, “What does God’s Word say about this?” Those kinds of statements help us all refocus during difficult moments or just ordinary moments. It all goes back to Him.

Listen to my podcast episode on how I read my Bible first thing each day–>Podcast

31 Days of Praying for Your Homeschool FREE PRINTABLE

How We are Reading Through the Entire Bible as a Family

 

 

Homeschool Plans 2017-2018

Let us take time to meditate on our blessings (1)

As we embark on our 12th year of homeschooling (after just trying it out for one year…raise your hand if that was you too?? 😉 ) I can’t help but feel a range of emotions…from excited to… how on earth?

Anyway, this year we will have an 11th, 9th, 7th, and 3rd grader. Which when I type that out makes me realize – TWO high schoolers, a middle schooler, and only one left in elementary. Wow!

Here are our “loose” plans for the year. The high schoolers plans are a bit more buttoned up because, well…high school. You kinda have to have a more rigid plan in place (even if it goes against my nature ;))

(UPDATED AS WE STARTED OUR YEAR!)

11th Grade

Sonlight 400 American Government- History and Literature only

We used Sonlight last year for history and literature. Originally, I said we would use “Sonlight, somewhat” and follow it loosely. But to our (pleasant) surprise, we really appreciated the schedule and followed it mostly. There were just a few books that I omitted, and because Sonlight is so reading intensive, I still felt the schedule was just fine.

We were given the entire set by a friend and it is the older edition. However, it will work just fine. She has also read some of the books already in the new edition and the older one, so we will omit those. Here are the books we are planning for history and literature so far:

A Separate Peace                              Jacob Have I Loved                             The Giver                                 The Godless Constitution

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn                   Shadow of the Almighty                       Bell Prater’s Boy                      Where the Broken Heart Still Beats

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn          My Antonia                                           Eternity in Their Hearts           Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving 

Best Short Stories of O. Henry             The Grapes of Wrath                           Moby Dick                                Free Men

Basic American Government               The Portable Poe                               Julie of the Wolves                    Never Before in History

Black Like Me                                       Up From Slavery                               Lies My Teacher Told Me

As you can see, it is a lot of books! There may be a few additions or subtractions, but these are what we have now. This will also include her English requirements- writing assignments are covered in this as well.

My daughter is able to work independently at this age. Last year she had her schedule for each week and knew she had to complete it by the end of the week. Sometimes she would do more in a day if she knew that we had a busy week, but she always managed to stay on top of it. This was something that has come with maturity. Earlier on this kind of schedule would have overwhelmed her (and me!) but I find that at this stage of the game, it works just perfectly, and for that I am grateful. I think it is also good preparation for college work- she is learning to navigate independently and to take control of completing the tasks by given dates.

Algebra II- Mr. D’s Math (UPDATE: SO FAR, SO GOOD- ONE WEEK IN 😉 )

After many, many, many years (all of our homeschool years?) using Math U See, this year we are going to try something new. I have heard great things about Mr. D’s math and am going to try it for Algebra II. My daughter (and I) painfully struggled through Algebra I and truth be told, Algebra II scares me. 😉 So, this seemed like a good fit. I am actually having my son (9th grader) do it as well. He has completed Algebra I and rather than do Geometry next (which is what my daughter did) I will have him to do Algebra II this year. He excels in math and I am hoping if they do it together, he may be able to help her (and me! 😉 )

Foreign Language- Spanish 

We will continue using DuoLingo for Spanish

Lab Science- Marine Biology (Apologia)

I am very excited for this. First, because we are DONE with Chemistry! (it was brutal for us! ;)) But mostly because I adore Sheri Seligson and this is her brand new revised curriculum for this year. We also adore all things Apologia and are very excited to continue with their science courses. Follow along on Instagram and Insta-stories as I share our experience this year in real life!

Electives

Foundations- Dave Ramsey

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I am excited about this because I have heard great things!

Fine Arts- Drama, Choir, Voice, Dance, Music Theory, Performance Arts

We participate in a local homeschool program for all of these things. It is a huge blessing and the kids favorite day of the week!

 

 

 

 

9th Grade

History and Literature- Sonlight 100

My son is not nearly as avid of a reader as my daughter, so we are definitely tweaking his book list. We will use some of the scheduled books and also the writing assignments.

Algebra II- Mr. D’s Math

(see above description for 11th grade!)

Apologia Biology with Lab


Read my review of this curriculum here

Foreign Language-Spanish

Duolingo

Electives

Foundations in Finance with Dave Ramsey (see description above)

Cinema 4D

Graphic Design and Studio

Student Internship

My son is learning from my husband all things graphic design. He works with tutorials and is currently working on his own projects! This will count for school 🙂 He is also a student intern at a local art workshop studio.

An Excellent Spirit- Character Lessons from the Life of Daniel (Sandi Queen)

Created for Work

 

 

7th Grade 

Math- Principles of Mathematics, Master Books

Again, we are trying something new. This particular son needs a change in math, and I am willing to make that change for something to help him. Update: So far we are really enjoying this! It is very different from what we are used to, but it is a good change.

Science- Applied Engineering  from Master Books

This is still in the air. We have loved Apologia, but again, this student learns a bit differently. Anyone have suggestions for a right-brained, hands-on learner? Update: This is a great fit for this particular son!

Language Arts/Writing/Reading

Writers in Residence from Apologia

This was a last minute change and we LOVE it so far. It is a great fit for him.

History/Literature

I am pulling books from Sonlight’s Core W list but will not follow the schedule. We will do these at our own pace:

The Bronze Bow

Adam of the Road

The Samurai’s Tale (he started it, but needed to switch to a different book as it seemed a bit difficult for him. Again, he is my struggling learner.)

The Trojan War

The Breadwinner

Number the Stars (His current read.)

Extras

An Excellent Spirit- Character Lessons from the Life of Daniel (Sandi Queen)

Created for Work

Foundations in Finance with Dave Ramsey (see description above)

Drama, Choir, Art (local homeschool program)

3rd Grade

Booklist taken from Sonlight Core B&C (read alouds and easy readers to start progressing as the year goes on)

Homer Price                            Window on the World

Charlott’es Web

Little Pear

George Mueller

Aesop’s Fables

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Magic Treehouse Books

Language Arts

Sandi Queen Language Workbooks
Copywork
Dictation

Science

Lots of animal books plus working with our hobby farm animals. This boy has a huge interest in animal science, so that will be our studies for science! These resources will come from things we have plus the library!

Math

Math Lessons for a Living Education: Level 3, Grade 3, Master Books

Update: Loving this curriculum so far! We are so glad we switched!

Handwriting

Handwriting Without Tears Cursive

History

America’s Story (We are reading this together with the 7th grader)

Update: Loving this one too!

Extras

Art (local homeschool program)

Possibly 4H

Registration is NOW Open!

Get My NEW Book!

 

Now Available in Spanish!

Check out where I am speaking in 2017—-> SPEAKING

Listen to the Podcast—-> PODCAST

Watch my YouTube Channel–->YouTube

Shop Simply Living for Him——>SHOP

 

31 Days of Praying for Your Homeschool

Several years ago I had this free printable available, and it was also part of the appendix in my book, Called Home.

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Last year when I re-released the book, we updated this section without the actual verses. Because of my desire to have women in the Word on their own, we just included the verse reference so that you can look up the verses on your own and in the translation of your choice. There is space for you to write out the verses or how God is teaching you through that verse.

Please feel free to share this post, not the PDF itself.

 




 

31 Days Of Prayer for Your Homeschool

To purchase the book, which is now updated with a journal section at the end, and includes these verses as well as other journal prompts, please click below:

 

Called Home DeBeus


Check out where I am speaking in 2017—-> SPEAKING

Listen to the Podcast—-> PODCAST

Watch my YouTube Channel–->YouTube

Shop Simply Living for Him——>SHOP

 

 

Great Big, SUPER-DUPER, Deluxe List of Homeschool Favorites!

HOMESCHOOL RESOURCES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we wind down this school year and look ahead to next year, I have some new favorites to add to our curriculum. I have put together a list below with lots of goodies I have shared over the years with some new favorites mixed in! We haven’t used every single one, but those I have listed have been recommended highly.

My high schooler used Sonlight 300 this year for 10th grade and we LOVED it. In the early years we felt it was a bit much and never tried again, but now has been a perfect time for us. She takes the weekly schedule and makes sure to complete by Friday (she doesn’t necessarily follow each day, but just completes the five days by Friday.) We only used History and Literature and did do some tweaking, but stuck mostly to the schedule.

So Sonlight has become a new favorite. 

Here is our BIG list of favorites and recommended resources with some newly updated additions as well!

Preschool/Kindergarten

A Is for Adam: The Gospel from Genesis (excellent resource!)

Big Thoughts for Little Thinkers: The Gospel

A Bible Alphabet

What’s in the Bible? Volume 1- In the Beginning

A Light for My Path: An ABC Book Based on Psalm 119

God Gave Us You

The Story for Little Ones

The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name

Answers in Genesis Preschool Curriculum

Leading Little Ones to God: A Child’s Book of Bible Teachings

Elementary

God Creates the World and Chooses a Family (Firmly Planted Family Study Guide)

Ten Girls Who Made A Difference (Lightkeepers)

Beautiful Girlhood: Revised by Karen Andreola

Apologia Who Am I Series

Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends

The Donkey Who Carried a King

The Tale of Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale

Mountain Born
(one of my favorite read alouds- with Christian themes)

YWAM Books– our very favorite was George Mueller

Little Pilgrim’s Progress: From John Bunyan’s Classic

Answers in Genesis Pilgrim’s Progress Complete Curriculum

The Princess and the Kiss

Wild Thing (Winnie the Horse Gentler Book 1)

The Garden Wall: A Story of Love Based on I Corinthians 13

Imagination Station Series – Adventures in Odyssey –(historical fiction)

Little House on the Prairie 

The Gospel Story Bible: Discovering Jesus in the Old and New Testaments

The Hedge of Thorns (Rare Collector’s Series) or any Lamplighter books

The Mystery of History, Vol. 1: Creation to Resurrection (all ages)

The Story of the World

A Child’s History of the World

The Growly Books: Begin

In Grandma’s Attic (Grandma’s Attic Series)

Hinds’ Feet on High Places [Illustratred]

Rush Revere Series

The Children’s Illustrated Bible

God of Wonders

Metamorphosis: The Beauty and Design of Butterflies

America’s Providential History (Including Biblical Principles of Education, Government, Politics, Economics, and Family Life)

Genesis: Finding Our Roots

Hymns for a Kid’s Heart, Vol. 1

Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends

Did Adam Have A Bellybutton?

 

Middle School

Sierra Jensen Collection (my daughter read through these several times!)

Secret Keeper Girl books

Through Peril and Sword (Soldiers of the General Book 1) (written by a teenage homeschooler!)

Adam and His Kin: The Lost History of Their Lives and Times

 

We Became Men: The Journey into Manhood

Foundlings (The Peleg Chronicles, book one)

The Chronicles of Narnia Complete 7-Book Collection with Bonus Book: Boxen

The Bronze Bow

Created for Work: Practical Insights for Young Men

The Hobbit

The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings (the Hobbit / the Fellowship of the Ring / the Two Towers 

A Family Guide to Narnia: Biblical Truths in C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia

Kingdom Series by Chuck Black

From Sea to Shining Sea: 1787-1837 (God’s Plan for America)

Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends

Created for Work: Practical Insights for Young Men

High School

Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God

More Than a Carpenter

Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations

I Kissed Dating Goodbye

All C.S. Lewis Titles

How to Stay Christian in High School

Jesus Freaks: Martyrs: Stories of Those Who Stood for Jesus: The Ultimate Jesus Freaks

The City of God

The Chosen

And the Bride Wore White: Seven Secrets to Sexual Purity

Hinds’ Feet on High Places ( I love this book!)

Don’t All Religions Lead to God? (Tough Questions)

Perfectly Unique: Praising God from Head to Foot

True Love Project (True Love Project Series)

Answers Book for Teens Vol 2 (Answers Book (Master Books)

Devotions for the God Guy: A 365-Day Journey

The Story: Teen Edition: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People

Essential Guide to Public Speaking: Serving Your Audience with Faith, Skill, and Virtue

Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books

Life Application Study Bible NIV

High School Reading (newly updated!)

(these are our favorites from Literature/History and Bible Sonlight 300)

The Hiding Place

Know What You Believe

Know Why You Believe

Parallel Journeys

How to Ruin Your Life By 30

Walk to Two Moons

Children of the River

Mere Christianity

Screwtape Letters

Other Curriculum for all ages:

ApologiaHands down, best science for us. We have completed several in the elementary series, and this year my daughter is using the middle school level General Science course.  We enjoy the activities throughout each lesson, as well as the notebook activities. Apologia is a top-notch company that I respect immensely. They bring it home to God each lesson, and it is Bible-based.

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Polished CornerstonesThis is a very large book from Doorposts that my daughter has been using for a few years. It is worth the investment. It is essentially a Bible study and character curriculum with numerous topics and activities for each age level. There is also a boy version (Plants Grow Up) which we have not used yet.

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Math U SeeWe’ve been using Math U See for many years and my children all have done well with it.  I love that the DVD’s teach the lessons, and then I can help my child as needed. I also have high respect for Steve Demme, the writer of the curriculum, not just for his math books, but his heart for ministry and families.

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Language Lessons from Sandi QueenThese little gems are perfect for our family in teaching language. Each Charlotte Mason style workbook has short lessons that teach just enough without creating a ton of busywork. We have really enjoyed this series for all levels.

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A Child’s GeographyWritten by An Voskamp, these geography books are fascinating for the kids and for me 🙂 We’ve completed the first book in this series.

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Truthquest History Guide: American History for Young Students Volume 1Our family used this during our studies of American History, and I actually miss those years. Truth Quest provides a book list for each unit that exposed us to so many great pieces.

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Explode the Code– We’ve used all levels from pre-reading up to reading comprehension and my kids have always looked forward to these books. I was able to teach them all to read through these books alone in the early years.

We also LOVE Answers in Genesis and used many resources during our year that we used the Bible as our main text.
Check out their specials below:

 

Handwriting Without Tears Nothing helped my lefty, who-lea41XBAzK55bL._AC_US218_rns-differently- son better than this handwriting curriculum!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Favorites for Homeschool Moms

Educating the WholeHearted Child — by Clay and Sally Clarkson

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Oh, I am so thankful this gem came into my life. I had never even heard of it as a new homeschooling mom, but there it was on sale at CBD.com, so on a whim, I bought it. Best.purchase.ever. I have read that book practically once a year, marked it up, and recommended it to so many friends. It is a must have.

For the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

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A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning

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A Biblical Home Education: Building Your Homeschool on the Foundation of God’s Word

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This book gave me the confidence to use the Bible as our main textbook last year. I am so grateful for the inspiration in this book, the wisdom, and the truth that pointed me to the most important things I wanted to teach in my homeschool.

Get My NEW Book!

 

Check out where I am speaking in 2017—-> SPEAKING

Listen to the Podcast—-> PODCAST

Watch my YouTube Channel–->YouTube

Shop Simply Living for Him——>SHOP

 

A Relationship Requires Communication

I often use this example to share just how much we need to talk and listen to God:

I’ve told my kids:

Mommy and Daddy are married. And we live in the same house. What would it be like if every day, we went about our day and never talked to each other? If in the mornings, we went about our day and didn’t even acknowledge one another? What would it be like if all day, we just walked past each other and didn’t even communicate with one another? If we just lived in the house but never talked? We just walked by each other?

That is what it is like when we walk by our Bibles sitting on our shelves each day!

That is what it is like when we say we are in a relationship with God, but we don’t read His Word and listen to what he has to say!

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Now there have certainly been times in my life, especially as a new believer where I have done this very thing. I wanted a relationship with the Lord but found myself communicating very little with Him. And if I was communicating, usually I was doing all the talking.

As I have grown over the years, I have come to fall in love with His Word. It is my life and my very breath. I can’t live without it. And it transforms me.

So that is why I am passionate about passing that on to my children and encouraging others who may be at a place where there Bible reading has become stagnant or maybe even non-existent.

Read the Word

 

If we are in a relationship with someone we must communicate!

If His Word seems too hard to understand, keep reading! Trust Him to teach you. If you say you don’t have time, then you must prioritize! His Word should come before everything else (Matthew 6:33). If you say you are struggling with getting in the Word, then that is even more the reason to get in it!

The Lord is our ultimate love and we must communicate with Him daily. Talking (praying) and listening (reading His Word.) You don’t have to start with an in depth study, just read it! He is enough and His Word is enough.

I have been so transformed by the Lord. I can’t imagine life without Him. But He must be first in everything we do. We can’t expect to live a life for Him and then put Him off to the side…or His Word off to the side on a bookshelf.

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I encourage you. Just start reading His Word. Make it a habit every single morning that no word will go before your eyes (text, email, etc.) until HIS WORD has gone before your eyes.

You can watch my recent session on being a Transformed Woman of the Word below from my YouTube Channel: 

GET MY FREE EBOOK!

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Jesus is Enough

This summer, I am hosting a women’s retreat in Gettysburg, PA. In a world of excess, we are going to focus on that fact that Jesus is enough. The world will tell you YOU are enough. But truly, HE is enough. He is all we need. We don’t rely on ourselves, or earthly comforts, but on Him alone.  I have lived with it all stripped away, and I have seen that yes, Jesus is enough. In fact, Jesus is MORE than enough.

Early Bird Registration is Open! Join us for this life changing and life-giving event. You will spend two days with other sisters in Christ, tired of what the world offers, and ready to live the life that HE offers.

Check out where I am speaking in 2018—-> SPEAKING (UPDATED)

Listen to the Podcast—-> PODCAST

Watch my YouTube Channel–->YouTube

 

 

Taking the “School” Out of Homeschool

I’ve been preparing for my new session at Teach Them Diligently this year – Preparing for Life. Not a Test. I remembered this post from years back and republished it this morning!

Enjoy!

 Taking the “School” Out of Homeschool

I don’t know why we use the term homeSCHOOL sometimes.  I have been finding more and more when we take the word “school” out of our day, we actually learn much more.

I spoke last year at an Online conference about Education as an Atmosphere.  I want my home to be a continuous atmosphere of learning.  Not a 9am3pm time of enforced drilling of facts.

A typical day in a homeschool looks like LIFE.  It can range from anything from:

  • a day of research on a topic of the child’s choice
  • an afternoon spent listening to Mozart while painting
  • a day in the yard observing an anthill, a robin’s next, or a bee hive
  • a morning gardening, while learning all about compost, seeds, and zone planting
  • writing creative stories, plays, or poetry
  • a construction project in the home. complete with preliminary plans, blueprints, and the execution of the plan with the proper tools
  • cooking up an authentic cultural feast after weeks spent reading about that country
  • analyzing the nutritional content of your pantry
  • grocery store math, while grocery shopping
  • a day out to see a play or visit a local museum
  • a visit to the local nursing home
  • writing a letter to your sponsor child in Africa
  • designing buildings on the computer
  • helping with the finances by watching dad pay bills and budget (or do taxes!)
  • chores, chores and more chores…all life skills!
  • figuring out the how to build rockets, legos in 3D, and more
  • raising chickens
  • spending the day at work with dad as a mini-intern
  • learning all about how day to day life works by being immersed in it and not a classroom!
The list is truly endless.

Life is a classroom. Life is what we are preparing our children for. What better way to learn that with the hands-on lesson of life?

I have found lately when I loosen the structure {not throw it away}, the kids are free to pursue their interests and that is when they truly learn.


When I don’t see a separation between learning and life…they thrive…


This is a video I love of my boys learning in nature….


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© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved

SimplyLivingforHim

The Best Friend Interview by Deborah Bode

A New Children’s Book For Those Who Have Experienced Loss

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If you ask a child today who her best friend is, chances are her answer will probably be different next week. Children have many “best friends,” “good friends,” and “acquaintances.” Sometimes they form a special bond with someone and that friendship can last a lifetime. Unfortunately, situations can change and the friendship may end because a child moves, different interests develop, or even the unfortunate case of death of one person.

Losing a best friend can be devasting to anyone, especially a child. The main character in the book experiences the loss of her best friend. She tries to cope with the situation by replacing her. She soon realizes that no one is capable of replacing her best friend. Instead of finding a replacement, the mother in the story helps her daughter validate her feelings of sadness and loss. She encourages her daughter to find a special place in her heart to remember her best friend and keep the wonderful memories alive that they shared together. Mom’s advice reinforces the idea that if you are fortunate enough to have a true best friend than one should consider oneself lucky. The main character comes to the realization that even if a friend is no longer in one’s life for whatever reason, that friend can remain in one’s heart and never be replaced.

 

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This book is incredibly near and dear to my heart for so many reasons. My beautiful sister wrote this book as a tribute to her best friend who had her life taken much too early this summer in a tragic domestic violence incident. That incident also left her three children behind with no parents.

From my sister: On July 6, 2016, my best friend, Michele Sabia was shot and killed tragically. Her husband shot her multiple times outside their home on the front lawn. Her three children now ages 15, 12, 10 witnessed this horrific scene and as you can imagine have suffered tremendously. After barricading himself in their home for hours, her husband then shot himself, taking his own life. As a result, the children lost both of their parents that horrible night. They are currently living with the maternal grandparents, who are both close to 70 years in age. Michele’s entire family is amazing and the love and support they have provided for her children is incredible. However, one can only imagine how all of their lives have changed tremendously. The children are currently in counseling but are struggling emotionally. A Go Fund Me Account has been set up to help the children financially, and fortunately, to date $81,659 has been raised. Michele and I became friends when we were just three years old. Our fathers were friends when they were growing up so you can imagine our families share a lot of history. Michele was my best friend and will always be my best friend. She truly touched the life of everyone she met. I’ll never forget the day of her funeral as we left the church and drove to the cemetery a few towns away. There was a police escort that led us and numerous roads were blocked off as we entered each town to her final resting place. The procession of cars was close to 75 long. I had never seen anything like it. She was truly being honored and it was obvious how highly she was thought of and loved by the entire community. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Michele, her children, and her family. I’ll never forget watching the news on Channels 2, 4, 5, 7 and 11 that night and next day and trying to understand what had happened and why she was gone. I wanted to do more to help and decided to write a children’s book based on memories of our friendship growing up. My purpose in writing this book is to honor Michele and help her children. All the proceeds from the book will go to benefit Michele’s three children. I’m sharing this story because having a best friend like Michele was truly a blessing. If you would like to help her children, you can purchase the book, “The Best Friend Interview” on Amazon.com. Thank you for your help and support. Now an angel in heaven, Michele is watching over her children. Your generosity is greatly appreciated by us both. – Debbie

The outpouring of love after MIchele’s death by her family, friends, church family, and community was a testimony to a life well-lived. My sister wants this book to be nothing more than a blessing to her children and a way to honor Michele’s life.

Would you please consider purchasing this book? This is a beautiful story for children who may have experienced loss. In a world where there is so much darkness, we can do something to bring light!

Thank you!!!

You can buy it by clicking below:

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Family- Dependent and God- Dependent

I took this photo today and posted on Instagram.

 

It truly warms my heart when I see my children and the relationships they have with each other, that grow deeper each day.

One of the biggest benefits of homeschooling is seeing how they are family-dependent and God-dependent, but not peer-dependent. I remember when I was young, my peers were my everything. I spent most of my time with them, and family ( even though ours was pretty close) was totally separate. It was almost like two lives. (this is just my experience and I am not saying this is the same for everyone and that homeschooling is the answer to everything…just my experience 😉 )

I also know that for us, our family is close.  As I often say, we are like our own “clique.” We spend so much time together, doing life togetherhomeschooling, running family businesses, hobby farm life, etc., that we naturally are developing really strong ties within, because we do life together.

We also are really close with several families that we often get together with. The kids all hang out together, as do the parents. And there is quite a bit of hanging out between parents and kids too! So social activities that involve other families are really important to us as well.

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Homeschooling is about so much more than academics. it is doing life together. With each other. With others. Learning about life together. Learning to grow together. Seeking the Lord together. The list could go on and on…but mostly it includes quite a bit of togetherness and I wouldn’t trade that for the world!

It’s HERE! The revised edition of Called Home is NOW available- expanded with a journal section!

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Watch the replay of my Live broadcast on facebook and hear the back story behind this book!

God is faithful!