Homeschooling Blog

Peaceful Sleep

The human body’s need for sleep has always amazed me. God has designed us to literally turn off like a machine for eight hours or more each night. Science tells us sleep is something our bodies need to do. It is not an option. During our sleeping hours, some parts of the brain actually increase their activity dramatically, and certain hormones are produced by many of the body’s major organs and regulatory systems that continue to work.

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Young Love

I’ll never forget the day my son declared his future marriage intentions. As we sat in church Sunday morning waiting for the service to begin, a new family filed in and sat in the pew opposite ours. For the next several minutes, I watched as my son observed the youngest female member of their family—a vibrant, freckle-faced redhead with a smile that went from ear to ear. Just as the pastor stood up to announce the first hymn, my son pulled on my sleeve and nodded toward the crimson-haired beauty. With all the earnestness a six-year-old could muster, he proclaimed, “Mommy, someday I’m going to marry a girl just like that!”

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Too Many Loads

Does your burden seem heavy today? Too many loads of laundry, too many ungraded papers, half-finished art projects, or birthday cards left unwritten? Sometimes we are overwhelmed with all that has to be done as a homeschooling parent.

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Homeschool Stereotypes

As a homeschooling parent, you likely know the frustration of being stereotyped. Unfairly, mainstream America has deemed us unfashionable, overly protective, dogmatically religious, and socially backwards. Like other stereotypes that develop from negative assumptions, homeschooling parents suffer from unjust labels with unfounded perceptions of their true character. Added to this misconception is the fact that homeschooled children are also stereotyped.

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Less than the Best

When your children turn in assignments that reflect less than their best effort, what do you do as a homeschooling parent? I can recall a specific instance when my teenage son had, once again, turned in less than his best. Although I could have graded his paper accordingly, his halfhearted efforts were simply not acceptable this time. Scanning his poorly written essay, I asked, “Do you really think this is your best effort?”

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Security Blankets

What makes you feel safe? Is it a clean bill of health from the doctor, a well-stocked pantry in the kitchen, or a large balance in your checking account? We all have things that make us feel protected, but life can throw you a curve. In just a moment, everything can change.

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Great Aspirations

Have you ever wanted to do something great for God? You know, something great like being a gifted Bible teacher, a talented Christian singer, or an inspirational evangelist? I did, but as a young mother living in a remote rural area with two small children and one on the way, I couldn’t imagine how. I wanted my life to count for God, but for the most part, no one knew I even existed. Our single income left our family with one vehicle for my husband’s use in getting to work. I was isolated and made irregular trips into town for groceries, library books, and church activities. Most of my days were consumed with simply homeschooling, cleaning house, and caring for my family. “Not much opportunity to do great things for God,” I thought to myself as I prepared for another homeschooling day after my morning devotions.

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Over the Edge

All of us start homeschooling for a particular reason—some defining catalyst that throws us over the homeschooling fence. Some homeschoolers make the decision to teach their children due to a negative experience with public school. Prompted into action by their children’s negative attitudes and personality shifts, these parents are concerned about meager instruction, the absence of godly curriculum, or a threat to their child’s safety.  

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Mission Impossible

Have you been weighing the pros and cons of homeschooling and trying to decide what to do this year for your children's education? Although the idea of schooling your children at home seems like a daunting task, you can successfully teach them. Planning schedules, purchasing curriculum, and making lesson plans may sound foreign to you right now, but God will help you if you simply pray and ask for His leading. Not only will He send the encouragement and support you need from homeschooling families, but He'll also show you where to get the ideas, resources, and supplies you need to complete the task.

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Foolish Mothers

As homeschooling mothers, we hold within our hands the power to create a wonderful school day or a horrible one. Our attitude can dictate a day filled with joy or one filled with tense anxiety. In Proverbs 6:19, the Lord says that strife is one of the seven things He hates. Strife can develop from many situations, including heated debates and unresolved arguments with your husband. Left unchecked, marital strife can cause you to be abrupt and short with your children, and if you aren't careful, seeds of anger, bitterness, and hate could be planted in your children and ultimately destroy your home.

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Nearsighted Homeschooling

As I drove home from our back-to-school shopping spree, I felt confident that I had finally purchased everything we needed for a successful school year. My schoolroom was ready, the curriculum had been ordered, and now these additional school supplies would complete my preparations for starting our year off right. Smiling smugly to myself, I thought I had everything under control.

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Subject to Change

If there’s one thing you can count on as a homeschooling parent, it’s change. Like the weather, no two days are ever exactly the same. More times than I can remember, my best lesson plans and organized activities were altered by the day’s events. Whether my children became absorbed in a particular topic and spent more time studying or an untimely interruption caused a delay in teaching a lesson, it was necessary to make adjustments without becoming anxious. Whatever failed to be taught one day was usually made up within the next few days, and I learned not to worry about the setback, as long as we continued to move forward with our studies.

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First Words

If you homeschool young children, chances are you constantly correct their pronunciation of many words and verb tenses. Correcting their speech becomes a daily task and one that should be taken seriously in order to instruct them in proper grammar usage. “Hangaber” and “Sgetti” were our children’s first words for hamburger and spaghetti. Although the correct words were eventually learned, our children continued to pronounce these words as they had first said them. Unfortunately, they remain a part of our family’s vocabulary even today.

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Signs of the Time

When taking nature hikes for science, one homeschooling activity my children especially loved was looking for animal tracks in the soft mud or snow. Identifying creatures from their tracks became a favorite game, and my oldest son especially took to the challenge. With a field guide in hand, not only did he learn to identify the shapes of particular animal prints, but he also learned to read other signs as well. Bruised or broken vegetation, hairs snagged on branches, feathers, opened nuts, and scratches in tree bark all provided additional signs in determining an animal’s trail.

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Wayward Children

Nothing breaks a parent's heart more than living with a disobedient child. After investing so much time teaching godly values and academics, homeschooling parents are especially discouraged when their children refuse to live according to God's Word.

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Love's Compassion

Parents who teach their children at home have a tendency to sacrifice the fruit of gentleness on the altar of homeschooling. Ever the exacting teachers, we sometimes forget our role as merciful comforters when educating our children. My foolish insensitivity to my children’s needs was revealed one day when my daughter came running into the house. Whimpering, she cried out, “Mom, an ant bit me!”

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The Writing on the Wall

My daughter’s feet pounded on every step as she went up to her room. I should have known it was going to be “one of those days” when I saw the mood she was in the very moment she woke up. Everything had been a test—eating breakfast, getting dressed, doing schoolwork. “Why can’t kids just do as they are told?” I thought to myself.

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Day by Day

As a homeschooling parent, do you ever wake up in the morning and want to run away and hide from your responsibilities? Last night’s dishes, last week’s laundry, and yesterday’s schoolwork all clamor for your attention. Your baby’s cry reminds you of yet another need, and your young toddlers seek your affection and time for play. On top of that, your church is having difficulty finding help with Sunday school and the nursery, and you know you should offer your assistance. Exhausted before the day has even begun, you throw the covers back over your head and think, “Why would God give me all this responsibility? Doesn’t He know I can’t take care of everything? Where can I go to get away from all of this work?”

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Starting Over

Almost three years ago, I watched as my youngest son left for college. He was the last of four children, and my homeschooling years had come to a close, or so I thought. The heartbreak I felt in the symbolic finality of his saying good-bye was immense. Sure, I would see my adult children and share wonderful moments together in the future, but our family would never be the same. Added to my overwhelming feeling of loss was the apprehension of a fifty-plus retired homeschooling parent’s future. “What now?” was the question that continued to reverberate in my mind.

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Cup of Water

“Why would you want to stay at home with your kids? Are you NUTS?” Have you ever heard these questions when you told someone you decided to homeschool your children? Most homeschooling parents have at one time or another. We are a different breed that receives little or no recognition from the world for our efforts. Expecting applause or appreciation for teaching our own children are dreams we have long since given up, along with paychecks and promotions. So, how does a homeschooling parent cope with the lack of support and affirmation he needs to continue educating his children at home?

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