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Showing posts from 2017

Seeing Outside Our Own Windows

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As we continue in our series of posts using the word HOMESCHOOL as an acronym, we come to the letter O.  What I’ve Learned About HOMESCHOOLing:

Seeing Outside Our Own Windows Swimming lessons, basketball practice, family holiday plans…Which science curriculum should I use? Did Scott finish his math homework? Did I pay the water bill?...
Sometimes it is very easy for us to get so busy in our own little world that we lose sight of the big world around us. This is especially easy when we are homeschooling, because so much time and energy must be centered on our children and our home.
I urge you, however, to recognize the importance of seeing outside your own windows and investing in the lives of others—not only for yourself, but also because of the awareness it creates in your children!
It is more comfortable and less messy to hunker down at home and only focus on our own family’s needs, but life is not all about us! This is a very important life lesson our children not only need to hear, b…

When Your Child Doesn't Know How to Write

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Little Lady also has a hard time putting her thoughts into written words. Whenever she is asked to write a thank you note or a paragraph it is as though her mind, eyes, and hands do not work together smoothly. She can tell me everything she wants to say, but when it comes to actually writing it out, it becomes quite overwhelming to her.

This hit home recently when I sat and observed my girl writing with a young friend (who is also in third grade). They were writing stories together, and her friend quickly filled the page with words. In that same amount of time, my daughter wrote three sentences, and ended up drawing a picture. I could sense her frustration and asked about her story. The words poured out of her (and a good story it would have been!), but the process of writing completely stifled her ability to share it.

A reading teacherrecommended that I approach creative writing in two stages, instead of just one like most of us do.

See, I can think and write simultaneously. I do not …

When Your Child Doesn't Want to Write

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As mentioned in previous posts, my daughter loves to read and is a story girl. One area of struggle for her, however, is in the area of writing and thought organization. 

Ever since she was little and first learning to write, she has reversed her letters and numbers. There was a time when my husband called her his "little Leonardo da Vinci" because she would write everything in perfect reverse order. You could hold her papers up to the mirror and read them like a secret code. 

Although she has improved greatly in this area over the past few years, she still has to work very hard to communicate in writing. I have been concerned about this as she is now entering third grade and will be required to write more and more in her upper elementary years. 
The Lord recently connected us with a woman who has been a teacher for many years, and who frequently works with children that struggle with reading and writing.  After many conversations with her concerning my girl, I am filled with h…

Teaching Their Heads AND Their Hearts

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As we continue in our series of posts using the word HOMESCHOOL as an acronym, we come to the letter H.
What I’ve Learned About HOMESCHOOLing:
Teaching Their Heads AND Their Hearts
The basic types of clouds
The dates and leaders of WWII
Nouns, verbs and adjectives
Algebra
Literature
The fine arts… 
The list of what we can teach our children seems limitless. Combining the “required” subjects, our children’s insatiable curiosity, and all of the things we want them to learn and explore to be well rounded individuals…there are simply not enough hours in childhood to cover that much information.

So, does that mean we have failed? Since we cannot teach it all, will we let our children down?

I answer with a resounding NO! It is not about howmuch we teach our children, but rather the way we teach them that will bring success. 



Focus on deep learningOur minds absorb information in many different ways. We have short term memory and long-term memory—skills and knowledge we work with on a regular basis an…

Know Thy Child

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As we continue in our series of posts using the word HOMESCHOOL as an acronym, we come to the letter C. How well do you know your child(ren)?


What I’ve Learned About HOMESCHOOLing:
Know Thy Child

My brother and his wife have six sons. One of the joys of living near our family again is being able to spend time with my nephews. It is so fun to be an auntie.
One of the things that has surprised me is how different the boys are from one another. Here they are, having the same parents, the same home life, the same upbringing, and yet they are each so unique in their personalities, interests, and abilities.
One of the delights of homeschooling is the flexibility we have to tailor our child’s schooling to meet their needs.
My son is a numbers whiz. He breezes through math and rarely comes upon a concept he does not understand. (He is just like his dad in that way.) The math curriculum I chose for his kindergarten year was great. He excelled at the lessons and loved doing math each day. It was a…

Seasons of Life

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As we continue in our series of posts using the word HOMESCHOOL as an acronym, we come to the letter S. What season of life are you in today?  What I’ve Learned About HOMESCHOOLing:
Seasons of Life 






Spring, summer, fall and winter—each season has its own beauty and trials, reason and reward. What would life be like without beautiful spring flowers, long summer days, a full autumn harvest, or a quiet winter night? 

Each season has a different purpose and allows for different activities, hobbies and productivity.
Life also has a variety of seasons. Based on our age, ability, income, and responsibilities, we will experience many different seasons throughout our lifetime.
Much like the seasons we see in creation, seasons of life have different purposes and allow for different activities, hobbies and productivity. 
Each life season has its own beauty and trials, reason and reward.
It is easy for us to get frustrated with the season of life that we are in, or to long for a season that is past. 

This Effort Is Not Wasted

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As we continue in our series of posts using the word HOMESCHOOL as an acronym, we come to the letter E. I hope these thoughts will be an encouragement to your heart. 
What I’ve Learned About HOMESCHOOLing:
This Effort Is Not Wasted
Teaching is hard work. I spent several years teaching in a classroom setting and now many years teaching my own children here at home. Sometimes it can seem that we do the same tasks over and over again. Sometimes progress can be so slow that it hardly seems there has been any improvement at all.

But I am here to tell you that the time and energy you are putting into your children is not in vain! Your effort is not being wasted! 

The hours you spend together, the choices you make concerning your school day, the life lessons you teach will have long-lasting value.

There are many things we do each day that have practical value. I need to clean the toilets and wash the dishes so that my family can be healthy and have something on which to eat. The clothes must be …

We Were Mamas First

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As we continue in our series of posts using the word HOMESCHOOL as an acronym, we come to the letter M. I hope these thoughts can encourage you on your own homeschool journey. 
What I’ve Learned About HOMESCHOOLing:
We Were Mamas First

I am known by many names: Mrs., Auntie, Sis, Beth—but one that is beyond precious to me is that of “Mama” (even when I hear it 20,000 times a day). Ever since I was young, I dreamed and prayed that one day I would be a mother. My journey to motherhood was not an easy one. There were many tears and times of great fear as we wondered if we would even become parents. However, God has blessed us with two beautiful children and I could not be more grateful.
Those days of babyhood, now long past (they are currently eight and ten years old), are sweet memories for me—baby snuggles, first steps, silly songs, bedtime stories, all those moments we spent simply playing together... How could time have gone by so fast? 
Now that my children are older, it is easy to forg…

Opportunities Abound

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As we continue in our series of posts using the word HOMESCHOOL as an acronym, we come to the letter O. I hope these ideas will be an encouragement to you and help you brainstorm about options available to you.

What I've Learned About HOMESCHOOLing:
Opportunities Abound

One of the concerns someone who is thinking of homeschooling might have is concerning extra-curricular activities or areas where they are not knowledgeable. Over the years, I have discovered that there are so many resources and opportunities available for our children—many of which are very low cost or even free. You can pursue the opportunities that are a good fit for your family!


Some ideas to get you started:


Your public library—Not only can you access many more books than your own bookshelves can hold, the public library can be an amazing resource for educational classes, interactive play, and exciting learning experiences. Our small town library is not very big, but I have been amazed at how much they offer! This p…