BIG LIST of Christmas Homeschool Resources

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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

 

**NEW** LOW PRICE FOR RETREAT TICKETS! Register today. Space is Limited!

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

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

 

 

Sight & Sound Theatres: The Ultimate Homeschool Field Trip!

This is a sponsored post. I received tickets for my family to attend Sight & Sound Theaters’ production of Jonah in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine and are not in any way affected by sponsorship.

Sight and Sound Theatres

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We recently saw Jonah at Sight and Sound Theatres in Lancaster, PA and I left the show in tears. I can honestly say that no other live production has done the same thing to me, except when we saw Joseph at Sight and Sound two years ago.

It was just that amazing.

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Sight & Sound is a truly amazing experience for so many reasons. With over 40 years of experience producing shows based on Biblical truths, it is a brilliant combination of musical theater, spectacular sets with LIVE animals, and most importantly, shows with a purpose.

It took me a few days to even write this post because I truly left the theater speechless. It is difficult to put in words just how much the show affected me.

Family Friendly Entertainment

First and foremost, as a family that chooses our entertainment carefully in a world filled with immoral movies and shows, Sight & Sound is truly an experience the entire family can enjoy without having to worry about inappropriate content. But to take it further, the presentation of the Biblical stories with a message of Christ, goes beyond entertainment. It is truly unique in this way.

Production-wise there is nothing like Sight & Sound. The sets for this show were beyond anything I can describe. The theater literally comes to life with sets that surround the sides of the theater and are immense and extreme. They move all over the stage and are indescribable. At one point you actually feel like you are under water with Jonah, and as the whale (an enormous puppet) swims throughout the entire audience, the theater is filled with “whooooaaaas” from all!

A Gospel-Centered Show

Sight & Sound is by far the most professional and brilliant live show I have ever seen. But beyond that is the message. The Gospel is clearly presented and each show is based on a Biblical story. Even though some creative license is taken within the stories at times (minimally), the core of each story is the truth from the Bible. 

Jonah was spectacular and we were mesmerized by the dancing, singing, and stage performances. Yet, the message of the show left me in tears.We truly experienced the Bible come to life, and I didn’t expect to feel so overwhelmed with emotion. Yet, the songs combined with the truths that hit home were phenomenal.

Here are some fun facts about the production of Jonah:

● Jonah’s cast features more than 50 actors–after auditioning hundreds of actors
from across the U.S.
● Jonah’s nearly three dozen live animals include sheep, Highland cattle, alpacas,
camels, llamas, a sheep dog, miniature donkeys, birds, horses (of course) and . . . a
skunk.
● Jonah’s all-original music is the collaboration of multiple artists, recorded in
Prague, The Czech Republic, by the Prague Symphony Orchestra. Actors on stage
sing live.
● Among the 70-plus set pieces is 30,000-pound ship, one of the largest set pieces in
Sight & Sound’s history.
● Production teams worked two years to perfect Jonah’s underwater and storm
scenes.
● The more than 1,500 conventional lights in each performance include 102
automated and 36 LEDs with 100 color changes, requiring five miles of cable; 1,200
dimmers respond to more than 400 light cues.
● Sight & Sounds’ staff designers and seamstresses created the show’s 408 costume
designs for 830 costumes. Jonah’s costumes amount to 8,860 yards of fabric
(enough to wrap the theatre 33 times), 7,360 snaps, 530 wigs, and 217 beards and
mustaches.

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A Beautiful Theater

I also wanted to add a bit about the theater itself. Form the moment you enter the lobby, it is pristine. The tasteful decor, the friendly atmosphere, and not to mention the divine treats 🙂  available at the concessions are delightful.

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Coming in March 2018 to Lancaster, PA: “Jesus”

We are already planning to return in 2018 to see the new production set to begin in March 2018: That show is titled, “Jesus.” I can’t wait!

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There is nothing like Sight and Sound. It was the ultimate homeschool field trip for us! We are so grateful for the opportunity.

Sight and Sound has two locations: Lancaster, PA and Branson MO. Head over to their website for more info and to purchase tickets!

Sight & Sounds Theatres

Here is my Facebook Video with some more of our experience:

 

Homeschooling High School Science: Apologia’s Marine Biology

Are you homeschooling high school and looking for a science curriculum?

Apologia Marine Biology Review

This is a sponsored post. I have received the materials from the publisher as well as compensation for my time. However, all opinions are unbiased and not influenced in any way by the sponsorship. This is an honest review.

We are so excited to be using Apologia Marine Biology for lab science for my 11th grader in our homeschool this year. After completing biology and chemistry the past two years, she was looking to take one more lab science. Even though Physics is typically the next step, my daughter knew she definitely didn’t want to take that course, as math isn’t her strong suit and she was anticipating loads of formulas in physics! 😉

Since we wanted to continue with Apologia, however, we were thrilled to discover the second edition of Marine Biology by Sherri Seligson was being released this year!

We are working to complete one module every two weeks. Each module ends with a test. We also have the DVDs and mp3s which we have found in previous years to be very helpful. My daughter normally reads through the module on her own using the student notebook to take notes as she goes. If she needs the DVDs she may watch them as well, but not always. They are wonderful to have on hand though, especially for labs.

So far we have not had a dissection yet, but this year she will complete a few dissections and labs. We actually didn’t mind them when we did Biology back in 9th grade and you can read about those here. (our lab experiences are here and here.)

We are really looking forward to our science course this year thanks to Apologia. What I love about their courses are they are challenging and that gives me confidence that my kids will be able to handle college work in the future. I also like that we have so many options with the mp3s and DVDs to help us really understand the materials (Sherri Seligson is an excellent teacher!), as well as the student notebook. My daughter has become very efficient at taking notes, another skill needed for college.

My main excitement at this point is the very first week of school, my daughter was telling me interesting things she had learned in the course! Not because I asked, but just because she was excited! THAT says a great deal about the materials!

I will be sharing on the blog, Instagram, and Facebook all year as we navigate through this course, so be sure to check back for updates and follow me on Facebook and Instagram a!

If you have any questions or need more info head over to Apologia. They are my absolute favorite homeschool publishing company and I know their staff will be happy to assist you!

Here is my latest Facebook video sharing about this curriculum!

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

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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

 

Choosing a Verse for Your Homeschool Year

Verse for Homeschool

For as many years as I can remember, we have been choosing a verse for our family each homeschool year. I usually pray about it for awhile and see where the Lord leads.

It has been amazing to do this because we have seen each year how the verses truly fit our family and where He led us that year!

This year every time I prayed about it, I kept hearing this one in my mind:

 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 4 (ESV)

And that was that. I went no further. I declared it our verse for the year.

 

The truth is, as we get further on this journey, and nearing the end for my oldest (only two years left!) this has become more and more my prayer.

How about you? do you claim a verse for your homeschool year?

Share in the comments below!

 

Get your copy of 31 Verses to Pray for Your Homeschool here—> 31 Verses for the Homeschooling Family

Get your FREE  Homeschool Mother’s Prayer—> Free printable for the homeschooling mom

Join me for a Homeschool Mom’s Day Out August 25th!

RSVP here!

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

Join me on Instagram and Instagram Stories to get a sneak peek into our day!

 

When the First Day of School Isn’t Picture Perfect

Dear Mom whose first day of school wasn’t picture-perfect

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Yes, I know it hurts as you scroll through facebook and see picture after picture of smiling children, matching outfits, and hair just so. The chalkboard they’re holding proudly proclaims their grade level…

Yet, your kids somehow don’t look like that. No one wanted to get dressed, let alone wear a new outfit or pretty hairstyle. And grade level? You are wondering where your struggling learner is even at these days.

You try to get the kids in order, so you can take the obligatory picture. After all…everyone is doing it– it’s tradition.

They bicker as you try to get them in a cute pose. They whine. They aren’t digging the picture…and neither are you.

Mom, I’ve been there. I know. Every first day is not picture-perfect. We’ve had years where there were tears, arguments, and big, huge let-downs. Mainly on my part. I had built up that the first day should look a certain way…That we needed to have a new outfit, fresh school supplies, a traditional picture, a gift for each child, a special breakfast… and mostly, great big smiles while doing it.

We build these expectations in our heads about what it should be like. We want the picture perfect life. We want our first day to fit in with the world. 

Well, sometimes life isn’t picture-perfect. What if God doesn’t want that for your family. What if He is using your struggles right now for a purpose to grow your family closer to Him? He isn’t looking at that picture, He is looking at your hearts. It is much more essential to have the inside in order right now, than a picture that portrays perfection.

Moms, if you are struggling with not living up to what you see online...or you have created expectations based on others, let’s remember Who we are living for. We are living for the King of Kings and not an Instagram ideal. When did the Internet become the standard for which we live? His Word is the standard in which we should be desiring to follow. He is the One who has given us these children to raise- let’s not waste it worrying about things that are so unimportant in the grand scheme of things.

So if your day had joys, then celebrate them. If your day wasn’t so joyful, let it drive you to your knees and seek the Lord. He wants us to go to Him. And remember it often in the hard times, where we grow closest to Him.

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And share those joys and struggles with your friends. Seek prayer, and seek support. We are all in this together and we are sisters in the body of Christ. Don’t pretend it’s all together when it’s all falling apart. Authenticity matters. So much. It matters. Shallow relationships based on appearances aren’t real. But the ones who share the nitty-gritty, where you have cried so much there’s no tears left…those are the times, where your girlfriends step in and pray for you, They cry for you. They lift you up. It’s a beautiful picture.

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And remember, the first day, is really just another day. Kids won’t look back and remember all those first days specifically, but you can bet the ones in between, will be what fills their memories- and what you did on those days…what you taught them…will matter. Teach them well- teach them His Word, teach them to follow Him and not the world.

Now, in being transparent…this was our picture yesterday. It wasn’t even supposed to be our first day, but on a whim, we started early. Everyone was smiling and happy because we also got baby chicks yesterday! We always take a photo with our verse for the year, and this year we chose Romans 12:2.

 

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Immediately after this picture, the kids argued about who was holding the chicks, and who was holding them too tight or not right. Later on, there were tears as the high schooler was overwhelmed with her work. Overall, it was a good day, but not without it’s difficult moments. We did work through the hard stuff, and it sure brought me to my knees at times.

This picture is not supposed to represent our whole day. It was a snapshot of a moment, to document our first day. Remember that when you see a photo and take it for what it is- a snapshot of a moment in time. Not a whole life.

 

 

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

Join me as we create a community, of moms being REAL!

Real_homeschool copy copy

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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 then 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

 

 

Will She Be Prepared?

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Two summers.

My baby girl has two summers left before she is officially a bonafide adult and graduated from this journey of homeschooling. And actually, we are in one of those summers right now. So I guess that makes it one and a half summers? 

Sigh.

With each beautiful summer sunset, we get one day closer to the sun setting on a journey that has been so special for us.

And the sun also rises on sweet new days.

(Hear all about our very rocky beginning of our homeschool years here.)

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As I think about our nearing the end of this journey, often times I get panicked. It can be just a small thing that will set me off, but all of a sudden I find myself there in my thoughts, frozen. And I ask myself,

Will She Be Prepared?

Did I teach her enough? Will she be able to handle a college course? Can she write a proper essay for the SAT? Will she know enough? 

Then I fret:

We never spent enough time on handwriting..it’s a lost art….kids these days….I should have…

blah… blah… blah

And I stop. And I am quickly brought back to reality.

While there are many things she may not know, and perhaps she will not be prepared for at first… maybe a challenging college course or that Algebra we struggled with will come back.

There is so very much she is prepared for.

Homeschooling has given us a unique opportunity to use life as our education. We have lived each day together, much more hours together than if she were in public school.

She has watched and observed “real life” unfold daily- the good, the bad, the ugly. She knows about so many things I never did as a teen. 

I smile as I think about a few months back, and how she traveled with me and navigated the way to Arkansas for a speaking engagement. Connecting flights, airports, rental cars. She was my lifeline. She did it all.

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She is independent. She researches what she does not know or what she desires to learn. She takes control of her life in many ways. She even planned an entire trip to Dinsey for us! All we had to do was show up 😉

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So while there may be gaps we left out academically, I have no doubt that she will be able to learn anything she wants to, after the next two summers are over. After all, even though she will technically “graduate,” the classroom she has been in will continue always…LIFE.

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And then I am gently reminded as I glance at my Bible. She is prepared. We have made the most important book a priority. She has all the wisdom and knowledge she will ever need in that book.

While I may have taught her math and science, and writing, and all the in between subjects, nothing at all is more important than laying a biblical foundation. If she knows the Lord, she is prepared for whatever will come her way.

She embraces life, isn’t afraid to take risks, and exudes joy. She always chooses to dance in the rain.

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Yes, my baby girl will be prepared. God will be with her always, and as long as she follows Him, I can rest that I have taught her what she needs most.

 

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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