Encouragement

It’s Going to be Okay

One of the most difficult things for a homeschool mom to hear is criticisms about what we do all day during those years we are educating our children at home. In the tender years of homeschooling, when we were first getting our footing, I was often victim to the assumptions of others that I was watching soap operas and eating bon-bons all day.

As all homeschooling moms know, being home all day with your children is hard core, dirty-hands, in-the-trenches kind of work. There are no paid vacations, no holidays, no sick days and if there is a toddler involved...

Because English

As Amy wrote recently, she’s tired of teaching phonics. I sympathize.

When Bookgirl was learning to read, she also struggled with sensory issues. She didn’t adapt well to change—whether it was a change in location, the schedule, or the rules.

One afternoon after a grocery trip, she read the word “double” on a sign. But she pronounced the /ou/ as in the word “cow.”

If I Were Starting Over

“If you were starting over with homeschooling what would you do?” This question appeared on my phone in text message form, from a friend who is contemplating homeschooling her five-year-old this fall.   

Reading her message took me back in time. A flood of old feelings came rushing back. I was in her shoes five years ago and I immediately understood what she was going through. 

Life in the Margins

Presently, I am in an extremely busy season of life. Our family life is full of the joy of a granddaughter, launching my youngest into the adult world and preparing for my younger daughter’s wedding. We are in the midst of our busier time of year at work and it seems that in completing one task, simultaneously two new ones are added to the list. My husband and I have launched our own little fledgling business in our spare time, and it seems to have taken off. Sometimes life is so busy that the goodness of it all escapes me.

12 Ways to Keep Teaching When Life Gets in the Way

This week, we had a death in the family, I’m attempting to make our basement habitable for houseguests, and both shower heads broke. We’ve got end-of-the-year stuff, I am vigorously trying to keep up with my commitments and tutoring, friends need support, and I have a ministry and next year’s co-op to schedule. I keep having to drop everything and run to the John Deere place, the garden is overgrown and I at least better keep ahead of the poison ivy, and while we’re on the subject, I’d really prefer more plant life in the flowerpots and less on the dirty dishes...

God's Faithfulness to the Single Parent

It was not something I had planned for or anticipated. My family consisted of a husband and wife and three children, and then one day it crumbled. It didn’t happen suddenly. The seeds of sin and selfishness had cultivated deep roots that were undermining the foundation I desired so much to build. Having grown up with divorced parents, I wanted with my whole heart for my children to grow up with an intact family.

Tending a Budding Reader

I’m a book person. I love to read lots of different kinds of books for my own pleasure and learning and I also love to read children’s literature out loud to the kids.

It always thrills my heart when I see my older two kids pick up books and read of their own volition.

The Study Sheet of Doom

The intrepid adventurers scurried through dank corridors, snatching up artifacts and pocketing treasure. They stumbled into a pit, navigated a runaway mine cart, and swung over stagnant water on decaying ropes. At long last, they possessed not only the Diamond of Ancients, but both of them scored 91% on their three-page history test...

Hurry, Hurry

Things go wrong at the most inopportune time. Why is it that, when days are extra busy, it’s on those days that everything bad happens? Those are the days when the kids move extra slowly or they put up a fight or somebody spills a whole gallon of milk on the floor, causing it to splatter up the cupboards and appliances. (True story, unfortunately.) 

Keeping the Big Picture| Five ways to balance academics with God’s gifting in your children

What priorities do you have for your children? Besides academics, what do you want them to learn that will serve them their whole life long? Since God has given each of my children gifts in certain areas, I want to be sensitive to His leading us to opportunities that help them develop those gifts. I also want my children to have a vision for using those gifts for God’s kingdom.  

Enjoying Life Along the Way - Introducing Sara Jones to the Blog!

I began homeschooling our oldest child when she was five years old. We’d decided on our curriculum, ordered all the books, and were pretty confident about the whole deal. After all, both Darren and I had been homeschooled during high school, and he was an HSLDA attorney. Obviously we knew what we were doing—although we hadn’t, you know, actually done it before.

Speed Drills and Perfectionism

Ah, speed drills. How we love to hate them.

When I was little, I remember enjoying speed drills. Like Tracy, I was one of those strange children who actually liked math. I was known for doing fairly long sums in my head from about the age of five (or so my grandma tells me). I loved to be tested to see if I could solve the problems that were presented to me. But speed drills were even better: they were like a personal competition, where I could race through the problems and try to beat my own “high score.”

Poetry Contest? You Can! You Can!

Earlier this year, I shared a few stories about homeschooling students with special needs who have done quite well in past HSLDA Contests.

Today, I am pleased to introduce you to Beth Lossing. Beth is mom to Sophie, Mia and Jonathan. As you will discover, all three of these precious children have special needs. She has written about how they approached participating in the HSLDA poetry contest.

The Pictures in our Head

The other evening I had prepared a feast for my family to celebrate our Irish heritage. It was especially challenging to navigate on a weeknight. Weekends full on both ends of the holiday, I decided to meet it head on and prepare a meal that we would share with my grandparents in the middle of the week. As I planned, visions of a large, multi-generational family gathered together asking the Lord’s blessing over a shared meal filled my head.

Digging in the Dirt – leaving room for everyday exploration in your homeschooling journey

Flashback to 1997: It’s been raining outside all morning while I’ve been doing school with my children. Now, it’s the afternoon, and I send my kids out to the vegetable garden to pick some fresh green beans. I made sure they put on their rubber boots since it is pretty muddy in the pathways, and I trust that my oldest, now 10, will be responsible and make sure everyone brings more beans back into the house than mud.

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