I Can’t Believe You Just Said That! Guest Post with Ginger Hubbard

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Today I am pleased to introduce to you a guest post from Ginger Hubbard, author of, I Can’t Believe You Just Said That!

Getting to the Heart of Anger in Children

With a society that puts so much emphasis on the feelings of children, their self-esteem and their freedom to express themselves, it would seem that children would not be so consumed with anger these days. However, we are witnessing more and more children with all sorts of anger-related problems, leaving parents to wonder how they lost control, what went wrong and why their children are so bitter, stubborn and rebellious. These feelings and behaviors are full-blown results of a seed of anger that was nurtured and allowed to grow rather than weeded out.

Anger that is left unchecked and not biblically handled matures and expresses itself more consistently, establishing a bondage that slowly enslaves its victim.

Parents are wise to evaluate whether or not they are modeling sinful anger through their own words and actions, consider ways they might be provoking their children to anger and learn to respond to angry children with a heart-oriented, biblical approach.

Parent Evaluation

Parents are often responsible for the habits of their children. Angry parents can lead to angry children. One way parents model anger is by scolding.

It was a cold day in February when my children asked if they could go outside to play. I gave them permission but instructed them to put on their coats and shoes first. My daughter Alex has always loved to play outside barefooted, so as she whizzed by, I confirmed my orders by repeating, “Don’t forget to put on your shoes.”

Twenty minutes later, as I was taking the trash outside, what should I find but Alex, running around on bare feet that had turned a bluish-purple color. To make matters even worse, she was sporting pants that were a little too long for her legs so without shoes, she was stepping on them. The results? Two holes in her brand new pants. To put it mildly, I was ticked. It may have been cold, but the heat building up in Momma could have warmed the whole neighborhood.

Alex had chosen to directly disobey me, but I, too, had a choice.

Option one: I could scold her by yelling, “Alex, I TOLD you to put your shoes on! Now your feet are HALF FROZEN and just LOOK at what you’ve done to your pants! YOUR DADDY works so hard to buy you these clothes, and THIS is how you show your appreciation! You just see how fast you can get your tail in your room! You are in major trouble young lady!”

Option two: I could biblically reprove her in love by gently saying, “Alex, Honey, I told you to put on your shoes before you went outside. Have you obeyed or disobeyed?” Then, after she acknowledges that she has disobeyed, I could say, “Well, Sweetheart, God says that children are to obey their parents, and I love you too much to allow you to disobey. You need to go to you room, and I’ll be there in a minute.”

To which response do you think she will be more receptive? Which one shows unconditional love and careful instruction? Which one will she learn from without being provoked to anger?

Scolding is an angry response that stirs anger into the hearts of children. We are told in Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” 

A wise parent will avoid scolding in order to model gentleness and self-control.

Parent-Provoked Anger

Paul warned parents to not provoke their children to anger in Ephesians 6:4, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” This verse contradicts those who would have us to believe that discipline leads a child to anger. Through Paul, we learn that in order to avoid provoking our children to anger we must bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Part of this training and instructing involves loving, gentle and consistent biblical discipline. King Solomon, known as the wisest man on earth, confirmed, “A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces his mother” (Proverbs 29:15).

There are many other ways a parent might unintentionally provoke his/her child to anger such as: lack of marital harmony, maintaining a child-centered home, being inconsistent with discipline, being legalistic, not admitting or asking forgiveness when they are wrong or constantly finding fault. Parents do well to consider ways they could be provoking their children to anger.

Responding to Anger

Anger is a God-given emotion. It is not always sinful. The Bible does not say, “Do not become angry.” It says, “In your anger do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26). Anger becomes sinful when it dwells within the heart or outwardly attacks someone. It is important that children understand their anger and learn to express themselves without sinning. When your child demonstrates anger, consider the following three steps:

Ask your child heart-probing questions. Rather than simply asking, “Why are you so angry?” ask more thought-provoking questions such as, “What were you feeling when you hit your sister?” or “What happened that caused you to become angry?” These type questions help to move beyond behavior and words by getting to the heart of the matter.

Discuss an alternative to sinful anger. Help your child learn to demonstrate self-control while angry. You might ask, “Sweetheart, rather than hitting your sister, what would have been a better response?” You may have to make suggestions such as, “When your sister grabbed your toy without asking, perhaps you could have calmly asked her to return it. If she refused to respond to your appeal to do the right thing, you are welcome to come to me for intervention. Do you think this would have been a better and more self-controlled response?”

Have your child practice an alternative. Children learn by doing. When they put head knowledge into practice it becomes part of their lives. The training sticks better when they learn how to use it in a hands-on situation. Role-play the situation where your child demonstrated anger by re-enacting the whole scene, guiding both children in biblical resolution that leads to peace. Keep in mind, when children are learning to resolve conflict biblically by communicating with self-control, you may need to demonstrate appropriate words and tone of voice. It’s okay to have your children repeat your words in order for them to understand what self-controlled responses look and sound like.

When parents are willing to model self-control, resist provoking their children to anger and respond to anger with a heart-oriented approach, they are more likely to raise emotionally healthy children.

ginger
Pre-order Ginger’s new book I Can’t Believe You Just Said That: Biblical Wisdom for Taming Your Child’s Tongue today and receive four exclusive bonus gifts!  This revolutionary book lays out a practical, three-step plan to help parents reach beyond the behaviors of tongue related struggles—such as lying, tattling, and whining—to address your child’s heart.

Pre Order Special I Can't Believe You Just Said That

Summer School

Right now we are Summer Schooling!

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I love summer. The slower paced schedule and the time outside. Everything in bloom. So much to discover. The warm nights. The sunshine. The yummy treats. I love it all!

Our schedule is slow and our formal books may be closed, but I’ve seen that we are learning just as much as any other time of year. 

I’ve watched my kids in the garden, observing the plants each day.

The little guy points out a bumble bee in the flowers of our tomato plants and exclaims,

“He’s doing what God made Him to do.”

Yes..son…He is.

Or the day we went on a nature study on our property and discovered tons of butterflies in the wildflowers.

“Look! I can see it’s proboscis!”
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We watched endlessly as that butterfly sucked up the sweet nectar with its tongue. Can’t do these kinds of observations in books…

Then there are field trips. We went to a local zoo yesterday and my daughter practiced photography. All of the kids (and this mama!) learned a few new things about some of the animals we encountered. It was so much fun to watch them!

This zoo also has museums with lots of old artifacts that I just love. All kinds of old cars, tools, farm equipment, toys, kitchen tools, you name it! We learned quite a bit!

Just getting out each day, without an agenda has the kids learning. 

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We’ve been able to learn and explore:

  • Berry picking in our yard
  • Cooking and baking
  • Identifying unknown plants
  • Garden work every day
  • Fixing equipment
  • Building Legos daily
  • Library trips on rainy days
  • Watching birds and other animals
  • Studying insects- yes, the boys love catching ’em!
  • Watching tadpoles turn to frogs
  • Card games every day- never realized how much this helps with math for the little guy!
  • Lots of outdoor chores

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Oh, and then there’s been lessons around the house:

  • Setting up the dehumidifier
  • Dealing with a power outage
  • Fixing lawn equipment
  • Learning new chores
  • Fixing a rocking chair that goes back to Grandpa’s childhood!
  • Practicing hospitality- lots of company over in summertime
  • Drying herbs from the garden

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And some of the best lessons:

  • Reading Bibles on the porch
  • Spending time in prayer over various things
  • Living together as a family every day
  • Watching God paint the sky at night

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I’ve learned this summer that you can’t stop learning! It happens regardless of what books we open or schedule we create. God is teaching us each day, and I will savor each moment!

Join me this summer at the Simply Living for Him Women’s Retreat!

Take some time to slow down, unplug, and recharge. Find quiet and stillness in a gorgeous setting!!
Seek Him, pray, worship, and rest.

Tickets still available!

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

Our Schedule: Simple, Efficient, and Fun Extras!

What is a Typical Homeschool Day?

Daily Homeschool Schedule

With a new high schooler, 7th grader, 5th grader, and 1st grader this year, I have vowed to keep things simple and efficient. We have always followed a pretty loose routine over the years, and I generally find that when we fall somewhere in the middle of no routine and strict routine we work best. There were the years I scheduled every 15 minutes (for really young ones, mind you!) and it backfired. There were the years I didn’t have much of a schedule. Yet, I always go back to the middle road is best. We need a framework to maintain order and have predictability and stability. Yet, we are open to life getting in the way and teaching us things that are not in the lesson plan book!

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So here is our (loose) plan for the year, knowing that it can change at any moment. Also, please not that this is a typical day at home. One day a week we spend entirely out of the house at a local fine arts program for homeschoolers. Some days, my daughter works her part time job and that means driving her and waiting for her a few hours with my boys, so we will do errands, etc. Yet for the days without commitments outside of the house (and I really try to limit those), I am outlining our day here.

(and please note, what works for our family may not work for your family. Seek God is planning your schedule!)

Everyone wakes up around 7am (Daddy is up much earlier than all of us—4 or 5 am. I usually slowly rise around 6, and pray and spend time with the Lord before anything.) The kids get dressed (except for the occasional “pajama day”) and eat breakfast, etc. They are expected to have beds made and Bibles read before coming downstairs. I also begin working on my writing at this time. I work up until school time begins.

9:00 am Bible: This is family time. This year, we are working through the book of Joshua together. I usually read ahead and plan which passage will we read up to and make any notes from the commentary that I want to go over with the kids. I also will incorporate any geography and history that is in there, and any other noteworthy findings. The kids each have a Bible notebook where they can jot down what we are learning, and the littlest guy can draw while we are reading together.

After our Bible time, which can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour depending on our discussion, everyone starts their individual work. This is math, language arts, etc. I work with my first grader first, because he needs me the most and he needs me to teach the most. While doing this, the others have their assignments and can begin independently. The rule is that no one can interrupt someone else’s time with mom. They are to work independently until it is their turn. Knowing they will have a turn, eliminates the constant interruptions that used to happen every time I was working with one child.

(note- the high schooler has all of her assignments for the week and works through them at her own pace. She is learning time management skills this way and independently working and learning- yet, she is free to sit in with the younger kids whenever she would like, “just for fun.”)

We work through individual work until lunch time and everyone eats together. I may even assign the kids their own days to be “in charge” of making lunch this year. I think this would be a good way to give responsibility to the older kids, and the oldest three are capable of preparing lunch.

During lunch, it is also my time to catch up on emails, throw in the laundry, clean up around the house, check my blogs, etc. This is a detail that is important because I don’t have the need to multitask these things during school time because I know I will have this time later. This break allows me to focus on non-school things and not try to do them during school time.

 

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After lunch, my high schooler continues with her work, while I do history with the younger three children. We are studying American History and this is basically many read alouds right now. Lots of good historical fiction and some other history books thrown in. I also will do science at this time with my younger two boys.

Everyone finishes up any loose ends during the afternoon and then everyone is free to go outside, or explore interests. My oldest boy is teaching himself 3D animation on the computer, using my husband’s work programs. He amazes me! He may also be found doing robotics, drawing, building something, etc.

My daughter is also working on her photography and getting up her own business site. One of our long-term goals for our children is to have entrepreneurial skills and be able to know how to own their own business someday if that is where the Lord leads. Since our family has been so blessed by owning a family business and both of us being able to work from home, we hope our children can have that option too when they are older. You can hear more about that on our podcast episode (How a Job Loss Blessed Our Family.) Anyway, she loves photography and that is certainly a skill she can use for her own business someday. We feel that right now is the best time to start a business, since she has nothing to lose and is still living at home, etc.!

We usually eat dinner around 5:30 and until it gets dark out too early, you will find us outside most evenings. Usually around 8pm, we always, always watch a show together as a family before bed. This may seem like a silly part of our routine, but honestly, it is such an important part of us because it is something we all look forward to together. We enjoy being together and we enjoy the tradition of watching something together before bed. We’re not running around in all directions- we are together. Since we don’t have cable, we find a series on DVD, Netflix, Hulu etc. Over the years, we’ve gone through the Little House on the Prairie series, Andy Griffith, Brady Bunch, Myth Busters, various Food TV shows, Shark Tank, etc. We really do enjoy our time, and usually we enjoy it with some ice cream or other treats 😉  Giving kids these kinds of traditions and stability matter to us.

Bedtime is by 9pm and we pray together and then off to bed before another day begins. As the kids have gotten older, most days are not nearly as hectic as the younger years, but that doesn’t mean it is always easy. Sticking to a framework for our day, that isn’t too loose or too tight, though has been a very important part to keeping things going smoothly. I find the simplest routines, with a level of predictability are just right for us.

And don’t get me wrong, some days the books are on hold because the attitudes need adjusting and the hearts need tending. Some days these are the things God is dealing with in me too! Some days I am tired, the kids are cranky, the groceries have run out and we are all a mess. Those are the days it is even more necessary that we have some kind of framework to return to the next day and continue on…

 

Real Homeschool: Letting Go of the Pinterest-Perfect and Instagram-Ideal Homeschool– NOW AVAILABLE at Amazon.com!

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Share in your community what a real homeschool looks like. Let’s build a community, together, and be real.

 

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The Perfect Learning Space- Real Homeschool Series

The Perfect Learning Space

The Perfect Learning Space

 

So many times over my homeschooling years, I focused on creating our learning space- the homeschool room. It was hard not to focus on it because I would see all these pictures floating around cyberspace of beautiful rooms that screamed success! 

The rooms matched and were warm and inviting. I assumed kids must be doing lots of learning in those rooms! They were perfect.

Over the years, I have come to realize, while a beautiful room is certainly a blessing, it is not a necessity for learning to take place. 

Life is Our Classroom

Learning has taken place in our home in many different rooms–there has probably been a lesson learned in some way in every room!

Learning has taken place many, many times outdoors. God teaches us so much about Himself through nature, and we revel in the majesty of nature daily, and in each season.

Learning has taken place at friends houses, while in the store, while in the car, and on field trips. Learning has taken place in the doctor’s office, the ER, the bank, and the relator’s office. (yes, moving provides lots of lessons!)

Right now learning is taking place, on our ever expanding mini farm here in our little slice of the world.

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The list is endless…

The Year I Discovered Our Perfect Learning Space

I recently wrote in my new book, Real Homeschool: Letting Go of  the Pinterest-Perfect and Instagram-Ideal Homeschool about the one year that we learned so much and I learned to prioritize. My husband had been laid off from his job, and we didn’t have the option to buy extras. We didn’t have to option for fancy decor. We didn’t have the option for searching Pinterest to recreate those beautiful pictures.

Our finances were tight and I knew we had to work with the bare minimum. And you know what? Without those distractions, I saw so much more clearly my purpose in all of this.

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My purpose is not to provide the best looking room, with matching decor and neatly lined shelves. My purpose isn’t about searching the internet for more ideas on how to make things look perfect.

My purpose is to raise my children in the Lord, and the circumstances around me or the school room do not define success. Without the distractions of trying to purchase extra “stuff” for our classroom, we had the most simple year, but the most successful. That was the year we used the Bibe as our main textbook as well. It was a fabulous year.

Yup. a fabulous year. When the budget didn’t allow for extras, and we just had the Bible, the library, and each other….we learned. We learned from life (and boy when Daddy is out of work and you are making major life decisions, there are certainly many lessons!).

Remember, the homeschool learning space is life all around you. Even if you have the option to make it beautiful, if you find you are focusing more on how things look, than on how things are going on the inside, take a break.

What we teach our kids matters- and if we are modeling to them our priorities, those are going to be what they will remember. If our priority is teaching His Word, and living a life that honors Him above all, we will be successful in whatever else we teach, fancy homeschool room or not.

It is not where you learn necessarily, but what you learn.

 

To read more, grab my new book Real Homeschool: Letting Go of the Pinterest-Perfect and Instagram-Ideal Homeschool!

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This summer let us celebrate simple, spiritually refresh, and unplug even for a bit…refresh, renew, and refocus.

Join me as we encourage each other for simple summer—>Videos and Blog Posts

Make sure to follow along on FacebookInstagram, or sign up for our newsletter!

More ideas on Summer schooling here—>Summer School

 

 

Get My NEW Book!

 

Join me in August!

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

 

 

 

Real Homeschool: Letting Go of the Pinterest Perfect and Instagram Ideal Homeschool

New Book Coming SOON!

Available August 3rd on Amazon!

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I have been praying and working on this book for months. I wholeheartedly believe in the message and can not wait to share it with you all!

This book is based on Romans 12:2:

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (ESV)

With all of the “internet ideal” out there these days, it is easy to start conforming and sometimes we don’t even realize it!

I want to be transformed by God and not conforming to worldly patterns.

I also long for the day where women hold each other up, stop comparing, and start walking together, hand-in-hand with God leading us all. 

When we are real with each other, we are free to have relationships, not based on superficiality, but on genuine and authentic principles. 

Let’s be real. Together. It’s a beautiful picture.

The book will be available for Kindle or in paperback! Look for it August 3rd!

Share this post with your homeschooling community! Let’s make being “real” contagious!

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Join the Movement.
Be Real
Real Homeschool.
#RealHomeschool

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Teaching Kids Through Missions by Trisha Goddard

The following is a guest post by missionary Trish Goddard. Thank you Trisha for this amazing post to teach our families about missions!

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The first time that I remembering hearing about missions was when I was five years old when my parents decided to sell their construction business to begin Bible and missionary training. I was entering first grade when we moved from Michigan to Wisconsin. During the next two years, I had the tremendous blessing of attending a Christian school, where all the teachers were missionaries, who had already served in a foreign country.

 

I remember hearing stories about tribal people, who had never heard the Gospel as well as seeing different pictures from the countries where these missionaries had served. During this year, my child’s heart was set on one specific profession – I would be a missionary. My favorite verses became Romans 10:14-15 – How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have
not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

 

During my teen years, my desire and passion for missions increased, and I went on three short-term missions trips to Bolivia, Papua New Guinea, and Mongolia. I also began financially supporting a missionary family in Papua New Guinea for $20 a month. Even though I could not be a missionary full-time overseas, I wanted to be a part of what God was doing.

 

Throughout my growing up years, I was impacted by my parents, who gave up a thriving construction business; my teachers, who had been missionaries and shared with me their love for the tribal people; and organizations that continually told about the need for more missionaries to remote locations. I am convinced that children can be challenged about missions, and I want to share with you 8 practical ways that you can teach your kids through missions:

1.) Cultivate an interest by using mission-related resources. There are some awesome resources that promote missions, and here are some of my family’s favorite resources:

Torchlighters

Trailblazer books

Brinkman Adventures

The Wild Brothers

Kids of Courage

Christian Heroes: Then & Now

Itec {Steve Saint}

 

2.) Spend time with missionaries. You can have missionaries in your home for a meal or a game night or invite them to go with you on an outing.

3.) Attend and participate in missions conferences. Through these, you can learn about what God is doing around the world, get to know missionaries and ministries, and find out how you and your family can be a part.

4.) Pray for a missionary, a ministry, or a specific ethnic group. Find out the specific prayer requests, and pray together and individually. Prayer makes a difference!

5.) Support financially a missionary, project, or ministry. I suggest that as a family you begin supporting a missionary, project, or ministry, and you can also encourage your children to support individually as well.

6.) Adopt a missionary family or a project. Adopting a missionary family or project means finding out about the family or project and investing your time, energy, and money.

7.) Travel on a short term missionary trip. You can go to another town, another state, or another country. The key is to get your family out of their comfort zone, be learners as you go, and serve others.

8.) Serve today as a family. Find out what ministries and outreaches are in your area, and get involved by serving in one today!

These are 8 practical ways to teach your kids through missions, and I can give testimony that these will impact not only your child, but you as well! As for me, I decided at the age of six to be a missionary, and now, twenty-six years later, my husband and I as well as our three children serve as missionaries here in Paraguay, South America. We have implemented these 8 practical ways throughout the years, and our children have been impacted to reach the world for Christ, as well as actively look for more ways to be involved in missions. Will you join me as we raise this generation and teach your kids through missions?

 

 Trisha is a born again believer, created and called to express her faith through love by serving her family and women in ministry. She is married to Mike, and they have three children: Michael, Lea, and Kaleb. They live in Paraguay, where they have served in ministry since 2004. In her free time, Trisha enjoys reading and traveling with her family.

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His Promises: What I Love About Bible Based Homeschooling

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I just love when God’s word speaks so clearly. These verses is Isaiah 55 are a beautiful picture of His Word and the transforming power it has:

“Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live;
hand I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.
Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander for the peoples.
Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,
and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,
because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,
for he has glorified you.
“Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but sit shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
“For you shall go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall make a name for the Lord,
an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”

There is so much in these verses that make me realize even more how much I love teaching my children God’s word. His word is essential to life. It satisfies when all else can not. It never returns void. 

If we teach our children the Bible, God promises His word will not return void. Just as the water can not fall to the earth without producing fruit somewhere, His word will do the same. It will always accomplish His purposes. What a promise!

Sometimes doubt and worry creep in, and I wonder if I am doing the right things…and then, I reminded that if I am teaching God’s word, God will always work through it. I can rest in His promises and know that His purposes will prevail! What a comfort that is!

Lately I have seen this fruit. I have seen the harvest come after a drought. I would worry that I wasn’t doing things right, and then I would be so mercifully reminded from the Lord that He is in control, and as long as I am letting Him lead us, the harvest will be plentiful, and with the fruit that nourishes.

Never doubt God. You can doubt yourself because it is never actually YOU who does the work, but Him. We plant the seeds, and He waters and causes it to grow. 

 

 

 

 

 

What We’ve Been Up to So Far This Homeschool Year

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We got off to a great start this year, yet as the weeks have progressed, some things have been taking ay attention away. I am determined to keep my eyes fixed on the Lord though, and His plans for us each day, each month, and each year. He is the One in charge of our homeschool, and not me. I may make plans, but He may also change them.

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So far we have been studying Acts and have almost read through the whole book. Once we get to the end, we are going to go back to the beginning, and do some more in depth study. This time the children will read it aloud to me, and we will do some more in depth map work. We will also memorize various sections, and continue with copying the book of Acts. (I admit, I have fallen behind my children in this..just keepin’ it real)

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We also continue to use Mystery of History and really love it. It’s a perfect fit for us. We read the lessons and choose which activities we want to do or have time to do. The children are each keeping a history binder to go with it.

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My oldest is using IEW and we LOVE it. So much. I have a review you can read by clicking below:

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We are still using Middlebury Interactive for French and that continues to go well.

My oldest is also using Apologia Physical Science, and although not her favorite subject, we are as always, happy with Apologia!

All of my children (except kindergartner) are using Math U See.  (Pray for me…Pre Algebra is no joke! 😉

The younger boys are using Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Physics and Chemistry. My boys are also on a Robotics team this year, so many days that is science. My 11 year old spends hours upon hours programming the robot. I love his mind and his focus…even if I don’t always “get” robotics. 😉

The youngest two boys are using Explode the Code.  (one is on level 4.5 and the youngest is on level 1)My kindergartner started reading three letter words and some short sentences for the first time. I experienced such JOY at seeing him do that!

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Everyone is reading assigned books during reading time. We haven’t had as much time for read alouds together as I have liked, and I am hoping to change that when things settle down…although they never seem to settle much, so perhaps I need to just find more time!

We also participate in a fine arts program ALL day once a week. It is a long day but my children are able to take cello, guitar, choir, art, dance, band, computer animation, etc. It is worth being out all day, and they love it. We also are involved in a public speaking group, robotics, and my husband teaches photography.

Life is good. Homeschool is good. We are blessed.

Is it always smooth sailing? No way.

Yet, the Lord is teaching us everyday about so many things beyond academics, and for that I am grateful.

 

A few exciting announcements!

The Simply Living for Him Podcast (named after my other blog) is live at iTunes. You can subscribe here. I will be recording a new episode this week.

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A HUGE announcement from Teach Them Diligently:

Dr. James Dobson will be the keynote in Nashville! Head over and get all of the info here: Space is limited, so register early! (I will also be speaking in Nashville, as well as Atlanta and Sandusky, OH.) Click below:

Dr. James Dobson to speak in Nashville, TN March 19-21, 2015.

I am still working on getting Called Home into paperback. Right now Simply Homeschool is available for Kindle or Paperback:

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Taking the “School” Out of Homeschool

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Last year I had the privilege of presenting two workshops at ENOCH of New Jersey’s Annual Homeschool Convention.  I am going to share with you some of the highlights from one of my workshops. 
My first topic was “Taking the “School” Out of Homeschool.” Essentially this was an encouragement to homeschooling families to embrace the freedom that comes from homeschooling. We don’t have to follow a formula of what the public or private schools do, because we are not recreating those environments in our homes. Further more, we have the privilege at home to go beyond the academics and teach our children to follow the Lord above all else.
 
I do not believe God called me to homeschool,

 so that I could recreate the public school in my home

 

Yes, as a new homeschooler several years ago, I created a school room and a strict schedule of what our day would look like. We would have “school” time and then “regular time.” We had a blackboard, and times for each subject to begin and end.
How stifling!

Over the years I have learned to let go of the schedule and the confinement, and embrace the fact that real life, everyday, teaches my children more than any textbook. Children at home have an “immersion” learning experience to prepare them for life- living in the “real world” is how we learn to live in the real world.

I don’t “unschool” by any means, but I do allow my children’s interests to be cultivated at home. For instance, when my daughter started writing “for fun,” it turned into her writing her first 30+ page  short story. I didn’t instill a bunch of rules on her, but I let her be free to express herself. I didn’t ring a bell and tell her it was time to move on to another subject, but I let her spend hours on her book if she saw fit.
Then there is my son. His mind is beyond mine 😉 He is ten and just loves building, inventing, and electronics. He loves taking things apart and finding out how they work. After a field trip to The Thomas Edison Museum, we were inspired. You see, Thomas Edison’s mind couldn’t be confined to the classroom. He was kicked out of school and when he was home, he thrived. Ultimately he had 1,093 patents in his lifetime. Amazing!
So we set up a workshop in the garage, and my boys spend a great deal of time out there. They are free to explore and create on their own time line.
He organized his supplies
He has space to create in the garage and not worry about being “messy.”
Homeschooling is about so much more than just “school” at home. It is real life training by immersion!
 
Here are some ideas to use to incorporate real life learning into your child’s education!
  • 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 ant hill, 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 preiminary 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!
In PART 2 going to share with you the more important part of taking the word “school” out of homeschool. The discipleship. The reason we are doing this thing we call “homeschooling.” We are fulfilling a calling from God and are raising up the next generation. Without Him first, we will not succeed. 
To read more about my journey with simplifying homeschool and letting God lead our homeschool, you can check out my eBooks!
Simply Homeschool 2nd Edition PAPERBACK, PDF or Kindle!
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Called Home: Finding Joy in Letting God Lead Your Homeschool  Available for PDF download or Kindle at Amazon. com just $0.99!