Family, Homeschooling, Motherhood, Parenting

Thumbprints and Homeschooling

What the heck do thumbprints have to do with homeschooling?

Well, think about what you know about thumbprints. They are unique to everyone; no two people have the same thumbprint. My thumbprint is different from my mother’s thumbprint. My child’s thumbprint is different from my thumbprint. Even identical twins have unique thumbprints. Like snowflakes, God has made each of us unique with both a unique thumbprint and unique purpose.

Your homeschool is like your thumbprint. It is unique; there are no two homeschools that are the same. Your homeschool is a conglomeration of your personality, your spouse’s personality, your children’s personalities, your faith, and the specific plans God has for you. Two families can be using the same curriculum, have the same theological beliefs, be of similar family structures and similar personality temperaments, yet their schools will still function very differently.

This “uniqueness” is important to remember when interacting with other homeschooling families. You see, there is a game we homeschoolers play when we are out and about with other homeschoolers. It’s called, “Let’s Secretly Compare”. And while learning from others can be a good thing, comparing yourself to others can be harmful.

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Family, Motherhood, Parenting

The Season of Exodus

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“The Lord said to Moses, “Depart; go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give it.’ Exodus 33:1 (ESV)

When I was a little girl I dearly loved Christmas Day.  While all the events leading up to Christmas were exciting (the cookie baking, letters to Santa and gift wrapping, etc.), to me they were merely steps along the path leading to the ultimate destination – Christmas morning.  As soon as the weather turned cold in late November my longings for the arrival of December 25th started to churn.  I counted down the December days and cursed the slowness of the calendar. Periodically (when no one was around) I would vigilantly search the house for hidden gifts (to my parents’ extreme frustration). Every Christmas Eve I listened and watched for Santa (making it quite difficult for my parents to finish their last minute gift wrapping), and rejoiced with pure delight and relief when Christmas Day finally arrived and I could run downstairs to see what wondrous surprises were waiting for me under the tree.  On December 25th my joy became complete.

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Family, Motherhood, Parenting

Our Curse-Ravaged Homes

Another great article from Desiring God Ministries:

“All I need to do is practice hammering up my own tent so I’m ready with a peg in hand when my time comes.”

http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/when-women-face-their-curse-ravaged-homes

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Boys, Family, Motherhood, Parenting

Family is a Verb

Family is a Verb…..

from Ann Voskamp

http://www.aholyexperience.com/2015/06/when-family-breaks-your-heart/

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Boys, Family, Fatherhood, Homemaking, Motherhood, Parenting

The Obedience Trifecta: Or the “Three-finger Strategy”

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Lest you think by looking at the picture that this post is about the three Harry Potter children, it isn’t. I just thought the little fingers were cute, are they not?.

This post IS about fingers, though…..sort of.

When our children were young my husband and I really wanted to focus on their obedience.  We knew obedience would be key if we wanted a peaceful home.  We weren’t sure, being young ourselves and having four small children, how to carry out this goal.  To gain some wisdom on this I listened to cassette tapes (yes, I am that old) of the same name by Elisabeth Elliot which taught the importance of instilling obedience in your children:peaceful home lI listened to my “Peaceful Home” tapes over and over again.  They were a tremendous help.  Soon after I had all but memorized these tapes, I became aware of an additional component to obedience that I hadn’t heard before – for lack of a better description, I call it the Obedience Trifecta (OT).  This OT answered a concern we had (not from what we learned on the tapes, but with our own parenting style): we didn’t want our kids to just mindlessly obey like robots; we wanted them to obey well.  I can’t remember how I first heard about this trifecta (the author of the concept didn’t call it a “trifecta”, that was just my name for it).  The idea came from either reading a book or listening to a radio show.  (If anyone knows of its author/origin please let me know so I can give them credit.) The OT had three components: a child’s obedience must be 1. right away, 2. all the way, and 3. the happy way.  To help children remember this, the parent held up three fingers to remind their kids of these expectations.  I loved the idea and we decided to give it a try. Here is how the concept played out in our home.

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Education, Family, Fatherhood, Homeschooling, Motherhood, Parenting

Ten Things To Include In Your Child’s Education, pt. 1

child helping childWhether our children attend a public school, private school, or a home school, their education must include more than just academics.  As parents we need to teach our children “life” skills.  While having book smarts is good, having humility and integrity is better. Here are ten things to teach our children that aren’t academic.  To keep from being too long, this will be the first of two posts, covering 5 suggestions each.

1.  Teach them how to answer the phone and take a message.

With the household phone becoming a thing of the past, this skill is becoming trickier to teach, but children still need to know how to answer a regular phone or a cell phone when needed.  Teaching them simple phrases such as “Hello, this is Mommy’s phone; this is Julie speaking” enables children to practice phone courtesy and interaction with adults.  I have a friend who has taught her children to answer the phone like this:  “Hello, Smith residence. This is Mary speaking, how may I help you?”  Now that’s how you answer a phone!

Good phone skills should also include learning how to take a message.  Teach your child to write down the caller’s name, phone number and reason for the call.  By doing this they will learn responsibility and gain confidence talking to someone over the phone.

2.  Teach them how to call someone on the phone.

This obviously has many of the same benefits as #1:  Calling other people teaches children to be more comfortable conversing with adults they have never met. It also teaches them how to speak politely and appropriately when they make a phone call.  Children may be taught to say something like, “Hello Mr./Mrs. Smith.  This is Bobby Jones.  Is Jason available to come to the phone?”  If Jason is not available then they could respond with, “Then would you please let him know I called?” And then finish with a “Thank you very much.”

Often, before making a phone call, we would sit down with our child and role-play the potential conversation.  That way, when our child made the actual phone call they felt a little more comfortable with what to expect.

We occasionally asked our children to call businesses for information, such as their operating hours.  Truth be told, they never really liked doing it; it definitely put them out of their comfort zone when they were young.  But living out of your comfort zone for short periods of time is not a bad thing.  It seemed to help our kids overcome their fears of talking to a stranger on the phone.

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