Teachable Moments

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.”

Encouragement for B.O. (Born-Organized) Moms … yep, you need it too!

Last week I shared some words of encouragement for moms who, because they are gifted in relational ways (people oriented), tend to be less task-oriented and therefore, less organized. However, they are not the only ones who need a good word. B.O. moms do, too!

Being naturally more organized (though at times I can be really efficiency-challenged—“Oh, look, there’s a great book I haven’t read to my kids yet!”), I often wished I could be more like my husband, who was people-oriented—in a big way. He loved being around people 24/7.

Little Pitchers and All That Jazz

I love hearing unique or humorous twists on popular sayings. For instance, one common motto is: “Time flies when you’re having fun.” Our version of this is, “Time flies when you’re having kids.”

Another well-known phrase that carries a lot of truth is, “Little pitchers have big ears.” In our case, we like to say that little pitchers have big mouths. Because honestly, whatever they hear will likely come out in something they say.

Home Organization – Encouraging Words for Messy Moms

I just got back from the Wisconsin CHEA homeschool conference where I gave several workshops, one of which was entitled, “Order in the House! Peace vs. Chaos in the Home.” At the end of my talk, I always try to give an encouraging word to moms who are Messies.

I was Born Organized, but during several years of sickness—mine and my late husband’s—I became a survival Messie. I didn’t want to be disorganized; physical clutter is a serious, mental distraction for me...

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.

From Launch to Finish

Rose talked the other day about how she delegates chores among her children. I’ve seen her kids in action—it’s a pleasure how she and her children get things done.

Guess what doesn’t even begin to work in my household?

My personality package doesn’t include much in the way of administration. If it were up to me to teach my kids how to run a household, their skill set would consist of ...

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...

Joy is Like a Whale

Recently, my husband and I were able to get away for a few days to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. My favorite part of our trip was watching the humpback whales. They have their babies in the waters off Cabo and then migrate back to Alaska for the summer months. We saw many whales, from the balcony of our room, and on a couple of boat trips we took. They would flip their flippers and their tails often; on more than a few occasions they would jump clear out of the water.

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 Challenge With Chores

Many families seem to struggle with getting a good chore system to work. Chore charts, rewards, stickers, pocket organizers…there are so many good systems out there that it can be overwhelming!

In our case, I’ve never actually had a problem with chores not getting done. My biggest struggle is ensuring that the chores are assigned appropriately. Delegation comes pretty easily to me: with so many young children in the house, it became essential to find a good way to share the load, and outsourcing was the logical choice.



Some things about your future are impossible to envision when you first become a parent and hold that sweet-scented, swaddled-up newborn in your arms. Like the fact that just nine years later you will be standing over your stove boiling romaine lettuce leaves for 10-15 minutes to make tadpole food. 

Passion in Our Kids … fruit or goal of homeschooling?

A couple years ago, I shared a post about one of my children, John, who sort of fell into a short acting career during our homeschooling journey. John was only 11 when this adventure started. He was just going into junior high, and though clearly undecided on what he wanted to do for the rest of his life, he was pretty passionate about wanting to act in this season of his life. I shared about his first couple year’s experience in this post, with a promise of an update.

How We Always Did It

There are a dozen variations of the “Pot Roast Parable”. It is essentially a story about a newlywed bride who is preparing a meal for her husband. She peels the potatoes and chops the carrots. Just before putting the pot roast in the oven, she cuts off the end. Curious about why she does this, her groom inquires, “Why did you cut the end off of the roast?” She said, “I don’t know, it’s just what my mother always did.” She calls her mom to pose the question. The mother answers with a laugh, “I always cut the end of the roast off because it wouldn’t fit into my roasting pan.”

A Mother’s Love (of Books)

Mom grew up in a tiny Mississippi town, attended a three-room schoolhouse until high school, and never traveled extensively. But Mom was, and still is, a reader. She read everything from novels to science magazines. Google didn’t exist when I was ten, but my mother did, and that was pretty much all I needed.

Remembering Gilbert Blythe

When I heard that the actor who played Gilbert Blythe had died, I was sorry, of course. I heard it from a lady at church, who has loved the Anne movies a long time. Then I talked to my friends, who really do care. I read their blog posts and a bunch of articles and a Buzzfeed tribute. Then I explained about Crombie’s loss to Meg, who at the ripe old age of five has never heard of Anne or Gilbert (ack!), and now I’m crying.


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