Christmas Schooling!

Christmas School!

During the month of December our family likes to put away formal education and spend the holiday working towards making family memories!  What does that look like?

  • We read lots of wonderful books to celebrate our family’s faith!

  • We make homemade gifts such as ornaments, cookies and picture frames!

  • We decorate the Christmas tree!

In addition, I use the month of December to catch up on my scrapbooking.  I pour through pictures and reminisce about the whole year. Some years I even make scrapbook pages for my family.  Such a personalized gift that brings the whole family together!

Most importantly we pull in from all the outside activities and spend time together as a family.  It’s Christmas time…. Falalalala!

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Nosy Neighbors

Nosy Neighbors

After 13 years of homeschooling we had a situation occur that totally blew me away.  My two sons were playing with the little boy behind us.  We have never had any negative comments about homeschooling and so I had not trained my little ones how to respond should someone challenge their right.

I happened to be at a homeschooling meeting when a neighbor asked my children if they were homeschooled.  They responded yes and continued to play.  This neighbor went into her house and began pulling out books and making my children read a loud to her.  As they stumbled in their nervousness she then started drilling them with math facts.  In shock and disbelief they did not respond well.  She then began to tell them that they should tell their mama that they want to go to school.

My son looked completely confused as he shared this with me.  “Why would I want to go to school?  Is that what it’s like?”  We had a wonderful conversation about how to respond should anything like this ever happen again.  Lesson learned…. ALWAYS prepare your children for all situations.

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Goals

Goals

You must begin with the end in mind.  Why?  If you don’t know where you’re going you will not know how to get there.  My dad and brothers are hunters.  They are amazing with a bow and arrow.  I would watch them practice over and over again as they would aim for the target.  At first, the arrow would go off course and the more they practiced the more accurate their aim would become.

Isn’t this the same with our children?  They are our arrows and if we don’t have a target we are aiming for we can get lost in a sea of busyness with nothing to show for it.

How do I begin with the end in mind?  I set my foundational goals.  These goals are unshakeable and immoveable.  They are our families worldview, our philosophy of education, our deep moral compass.  Once I understand these things and officially put that on paper I now have a workable goal sheet.

When a new opportunity comes into our life I can hold it up to those foundational goals and see how it lines up.  Is it moving us towards our world view or perhaps the better question would be, is it moving us AWAY from our worldview?

Paint the picture of where you want to see your children in 10-20 years and then jump in with both feet and live your life!

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Helping Our Children Pursue Their Passions!

Helping Our Children Pursue Their Passions!

One of my biggest goals as a mother is to help my children discover their passions and purpose.  I have found that education will take you so far but passion will take you even further.  How do we discover what we’re passionate about?

  • Start a notebook! Begin writing down all the things that energize you.  There is no way to do this in one sitting and it’s an ongoing, life-long process.  As your child starts to list those things you should begin to see a pattern.  Where does he or she like to spend their time?  Is it with people, privately working on a hobby, exercising?

  • Take a Strengths assessment using Strength Finder 2.0 and discover your child’s top five talents.

  • Involve your child in a variety of activities and see where they shine!

As you begin to discover your child’s passions you will quickly begin to find their PURPOSE!

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Memories Are Made In the Mundane

Memories are made in the mundane

Dishes, diapers, laundry & Math!  Sound familiar?  This is my life.  I swear dirty socks come in and gobble me up when no ones looking.

There have been seasons when I felt completely forgotten and days when even the smallest act of service is a huge blessing.  After 13 years of being home with my children and helping launch my oldest son into his adult life I’ve learned that many of my memories were made in the mundane, daily activities.

It’s so easy to look at a friends blog post of the life sized ear canal she and her children made and begin to think our kids are going to miss out.  How can I even think of building big projects when I’m behind on my laundry?

You want to know what I have found in our home?  I have found that many of my memories have been made in the mundane.  Sitting around the dinner table every night, laughing, talking, teaching, will be what my children will remember one day when they have their own families.

Do you feel as though your life is filled with mundane?  GOOD!  Embrace it!

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Legacy Moments

Legacy Moments

What is a legacy moment?  A legacy moment is when we do something that we will never forget and neither will those who are most important to us.

For me, February 13th 1988 was a legacy moment as that was the day that I married my best friend.

October 16th, March 9th and May 3rd are legacy moments as those are the days that my children were born.

Now that I have one child who is an adult I am watching him begin his own legacies.  Legacy is what will be left after I’m gone.

There are things that will steal my legacies if I’m not careful….. Busyness is at the top of that list.  When I am busy nothing tastes good.  I find myself “doing” but never “being”.  Another legacy stealer is not being sure of my goals.  If I don’t know where I’m going then I can run around in circles being busy but I’m not moving towards my goal.

What type of legacy do you want to leave behind?  What are you doing today to work towards that?

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Field Trip Adventures

Field Trip Adventures

Last year, I graduated my first little homeschooler and we were going back in time remembering those things we did together that really made an impression.  I am amazed at how big a role field trips play in those memories.

We went back to when my son was just 10 years old and we had attended a Civil War re-enactment.  It was amazing how vivid that memory is almost 10 years later.  The loud noises, the smells, the costumes, the music and even the goodies they sold at the concession stand.

Before that we had attended a play at The Mahaffey Theatre on, “The Diary Of Anne Frank” and then went to the holocaust museum.  I remember the way of remembrance making me cry.  Looking into the faces of all those innocent young children who had been separated from their parents and sent to work camps simply because one mad man was full of hate and prejudice.

Field trips are the portal back in time.

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Discovering My Child’s Learning Style

Discovering My Child’s Learning Style

The secret to my homeschool’s success was in discovering my child’s learning style.  Why was this a secret to our success?  Because learning my child’s learning style gave me the secret code to gain entrance into his heart and his brain.

Early in our homeschool journey I would choose curriculum that was working well in my friends home, only to bring it home and have it FLOP in mine.  One of those programs was extremely pricey.  It was literature based and filled with incredible books.  I know it appealed to “my” love of reading and so I was deeply disappointed when it didn’t work.

I was later to learn that three of my four children learn best when material is presented visually.  Their least effective way of taking in information is auditorily.  All that reading a loud was going on but nothing was clicking.  When I switched to an online learning program that had strong visual graphics our entire life changed for the better.  Information was now able to go in, stick and stay in place.

Discovering your child’s learning style can bring freedom and FUN to your homeschool!

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Homeschooling Children Who Learn Differently

Homeschooling Children Who Learn Differently

I still remember when the Lord called my family to homeschool back in 1998.  I was working as a nurse and my oldest son was enrolled at a wonderful public school by our house.  Through a series of events I found myself attending a homeschool orientation.  I walked out of that 3 hour seminar changed forever.  I knew that I knew, that I KNEW that this is what I was supposed to do with my life.

Thirteen years later and I wouldn’t change one thing.  However, there was ONE thing I didn’t know back then.  I had no idea that I was going to have a child with a significant learning disability.  Much less, THREE sons with learning disabilities.

I am so glad I didn’t know because it probably would have freaked me out.  All these years later and I wouldn’t change one thing.  Where they might struggle to take in information academically they are hyper talented in other areas.  One of my boys can take his pencil, put it to paper and make his drawings come to life.  Another one of my boys can get up on a stage with a microphone and cause an entire group of adults to go from laughing to crying in less than 60 seconds and my youngest son may not be able to understand long division but he has a special understanding of God’s word and heart of evangelism.

Homeschooling children who learn differently has been one of the single greatest things I’ve ever done with my life.

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Teachable Moments

Teachable Moments

Teachable moments are so very precious.  They are those moments that you can’t plan, can’t anticipate, they just happen.

I remember recently my son came to me concerned about an online history lesson he had completed.  The story was talking about different idols and Gods and since this did not line up with our families faith he had felt uncomfortable.

For a “moment” I felt a little angry that this lesson would teach these things to my child.  It had put something in his little brain that I was not ready for him to be exposed to.  However, as I stopped and thought it through, I realized that this was an excellent opportunity for me to talk about why our family believes the way it does.  It was a teachable moment.  Looking back I now see that this turned out to be a HUGE moment in this child’s life.

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