Originally Sent: 11/22/2013

HSLDA's Toddlers to Tweens Newsletter

November 22, 2013


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Dry Bones

Learn more.Learn more.
Vicki Bentley helps HSLDA members homeschool children in preschool through 8th grade. She and her husband homeschooled 17 children and led a support group of over 250 families. Read more >>

Let’s be real … homeschooling is not a cure for all that ails our families. In fact, sometimes all that one-on-one time can really magnify shortcomings in our relationships with our children as well as with our spouses.

Some of the most heartbreaking calls I get are those from parents who have lost hope for their marriages or their relationships with their kids. I listen; I cry; I share thoughts; I pray with them—but ultimately, God alone is the healer of hearts and restorer of relationships.

I was recently reminded of the Valley of Dry Bones in Ezekiel 37. You may remember the story: God took Ezekiel to a valley filled with dry, disjointed bones. He instructed Ezekiel to speak His Word to the bones, and they became not just rattling bones, but flesh-covered skeletons. Then God breathed life into the bones and they rose up as a living, mighty army!

Maybe you (or someone you know) have a child who seems to have lost her way, or a spouse whose heart has grown cold. Perhaps you are afraid you began too late to train your children or to appreciate your marriage. The relationship appears to be a “valley of dry bones.”

God is the author of life and restoration—the God of hope.

May you know His hope this Thanksgiving season.


Vicki Bentley
HLSDA Toddlers to Tweens Consultant

We Pray for You

Did you know that the HSLDA staff gathers twice a week to pray for you? While protecting your rights as a homeschooling parent is the primary mission of our organization, the heart of our staff is to serve your family.

Resources for Healthy Relationships

I asked some of our staff members to recommend resources they have found helpful in growing healthy relationships—here are some of their suggestions:

The Birth Order Book by Dr. Kevin Leman—great for parents and siblings!

The Biology of Behavior by Dianne Craft

Blame It on the Brain: Distinguishing Chemical Imbalances, Brain Disorders, and Disobedience by Edward T. Welch

Boundaries and Safe People by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
Colleague comments: Both books discuss how to be loving and honest in relationships, but not allow people to control or use us in damaging ways.

Cherish the First Six Weeks by Helen Moon—on mothering

Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness by Edward T. Welch
This book is also great for caregivers, friends, and family members of those who struggle with depression.

Fit to Burst by Rachel Jankovic—on mothering

The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman
(Also available: Five Love Languages of Children, Teens, etc.)

The One Year Love Language Minute Devotional by Dr. Gary Chapman

For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men by Shaunti Feldhahn
(Considered to be a great complement to Love and Respect by Eggerichs)

Full-Time Parenting: A Guide to Family-Based Discipleship by Israel Wayne

Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick—on parenting

The Heart of Anger: Practical Help for Prevention and Cure of Anger in Children by Lou Priolo & John MacArthur
There is also one specifically for teens

Hedges (Loving Your Marriage Enough to Protect It) by Jerry Jenkins, Tim LaHaye, & John Perrodin

How People Change by Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp

I’m Outnumbered! (One Mom’s Lessons in the Lively Art of Raising Boys) by Laura Lee Groves

Lost in the Middle: Midlife and the Grace of God by Paul David Tripp

Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

Also: The Language of Love and Respect: Cracking the Communication Code by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

Love and Respect in the Family (The Respect Parents Desire; The Love Children Need) by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

The Love Dare by Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick

Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic—on mothering

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray

My Beloved and My Friend (How to Be Married to Your Best Friend Without Changing Spouses) by Hal and Melanie Young

Myers-Briggs personality testing/website
My colleague commented: I’ve found this website highly effective in understanding relationships. They provide accurate tests allowing you to find your personality type. Once you’ve identified your personality they will sell you a detailed document describing roadblocks and blessings between the personality types you’ve chosen. There are 16 standard and recognized personalities leading to 256 combinations. I can find other tests for free, but I can’t find the type-to-type relationship analysis anywhere for $2. I’ve also found Bible verses scattered about the website, leading me to believe it’s been put together by a Christian or Christians. Here’s another: This site quickly gives you your personality type; it can be harder to use this one than the Myers-Briggs because it only asks four questions, but it worked for me.

Myers-Briggs has been a great tool in helping me understand other people—and can totally be applied in family relationships! Here’s a resource link which has a free version.

Parenting on Purpose by Jason Free

Parenting Teens with Love and Logic by Jim Fay and Foster Cline

Peacemaking for Families by Ken Sande and Tom Raabe

Praying for Boys by Brooke McGlothlin—to be released Jan 2014 with 200-plus topically arranged Scripture-based prayer prompts for 21 areas in which boys struggle most

Prodigals and Those Who Love Them by Ruth Bell Graham—For those with teens who may be walking away

The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura Schlessinger

Relationships: A Mess Worth Making by Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp

The Respect Dare by Nina Roesner

Rosemond.com (anything by John Rosemond)

Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas

Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes … in You and Your Kids by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller

In this practical book from the National Center for Biblical Parenting, the authors give practical suggestions for teaching our children not only to obey, but to honor others, targeting the heart issues behind behavioral challenges.

Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp—on parenting

Tender Warrior by Stu Weber—for husbands/men

War of Words: Getting to the Heart of Your Communication Struggles by Paul David Tripp

What a Daughter Needs from her Dad by Dr. Michael Farris

What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage by Paul David Tripp

When People Are Big and God Is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man by Edward T. Welch

Note: As with any book recommendations, some materials on the list may not be written from your family’s worldview or may include resource suggestions inconsistent with your worldview so, as always, you are encouraged to use discernment in selecting materials appropriate for your family’s needs.

"Homeschooling Toddlers to Tweens" is a newsletter of the Home School Legal Defense Association. All rights reserved. For more information on Homeschooling Toddlers to Tweens or the Home School Legal Defense Association please contact us at:

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