Strengthen Your Family Through Biblical Homeschooling

Tag: encouragements

burning candles in church and people praying

What’s important?

Hey dads! This year is starting to come to a close real soon. We are in the last three months of the year. The weather is cooling off, leaves are starting to fall, footballs are flying around and baseball season is about over. Many guys are getting their hunting spots ready. They are taking time off of work, if possible, and making their way out into the woods to scope out the possibility of getting the big dear of local legend. Or maybe your one of the men who slips off to the lake as the cooler nights start to move the fish a bit more. Or could you be one of the true football fans and you sneak off to get that perfect tailgate spot prior to the game. But guys, are you taking time for what is important?

Family

When I ask are you taking time for what is important, I am referring to family. I understand that many guys are the bread winners for the family. I understand the part where they say, “I need some time away from everything and everyone.” I understand there are times when the stress can build to a point that you need to be alone. I don’t want you blowing up on me or the family! But are you taking time to be with the ones who need you? Are you taking time to talk to the ones who need you? Are you taking time for what is important?

God

When I ask if you are taking time for what is important, I am also referring to God. You know, if you want to get funny with it, you “owe” God 10% of your money, time and talent. If you put that 10% into time you will get 2.4 hours. That is 2 hours 24 minutes or 144 minutes. Now, how many of us give that amount of time to prayer, praise, worship, Bible study or anything with God? Hmmmm… it gets quiet when we start thinking in those terms doesn’t it?

Take some time this day dad and give thanks to God for your life, your family and your job that all bring your stress. Take time to be with your family, love on them, and appreciate the problems that come with being a dad.

Till next time…

Just a Husband of a Homeschooling Mom,
Steve Blackston

 

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.

 

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homeschool preschool encouragement

It’s August! Again. And you’ve got your schoolroom all fixed up and the curtains are pressed. The workboxes are labeled, the unit studies are planned, and everything you need through Christmas is already laminated. Or not.

If your palms are sweaty just thinking about everything you need to get/have finished so your homeschool year can properly begin, relax. Grab a cup of tea/coffee/Trim Healthy beverage of choice and join me for a few minutes. While preschool is my cup of tea, we are actually beginning a weird mesh of kindergarten/first-grade materials alongside tot-school, because little brother wants to learn, too. And frankly, it can all seem like a bit much. Without further adieu, here are my

Top 10 Back-to-Homeschool Preschool Tips:

  •  Stock up on coffee/tea/lemon for water or whatever it is that makes you breathe a sigh of “I can do this”. Not only will these begin your day with a comfort item of your own (because I know little Suzy is not going to share her stuffed ostrich with the pink bow), but when you need a “mommy moment” at some point you will have a favorite treat ready to go while the kids watch an episode of Word World for 15 minutes and you regroup.
  • Get everyone comfy pajamas for the days when you rock the stereotype and keep them on all day while doing school, chores, and having fun growing together as a family.
  • Go ahead and buy the laminator. Office whatever store that is close to you is going to charge you an arm and a leg for all those units, PreK packs, and chore chart cards to be laminated.
  • Don’t think you need a curriculum. Piece together fun things you find, enjoy nature, go to the library, check out all the amazing free printables online! Or get a curriculum if you feel that would work best, but don’t let anyone tell you-you have to have it.
  • Plan preschool activities around your household tasks. Did you know that teaching your child to wash windows in small counter-clockwise circles actually helps their muscles prepare for cursive? Teaching your child the steps to make the bed helps them understand the process of following directions. Baking cookies helps put in pegs for fractions later on. Don’t think it has to come out of a book to be “learning”.
  • Get some good read alouds that you loved or have always wanted to read. Picture books are great for lap reading, but get meaty books for 10-15 minutes of quiet-play read-aloud time each day. We are reading the Dr. Doolittle stories this year along with some others I’ve never taken the time to read. The point is to teach them to listen and eventually to be able to narrate back, so it’s OK to pick something you enjoy.
  • Be prepared. For days to go off track. For sick days and cranky days and days when it’s too sunny or snowy to stay inside. Be prepared for forgotten crock pots, spilt juice, and occasional naps to throw your schedule for a loop. And just go with it. God blesses messes, too. Not every day fits on the “perfect homeschool day” Pinterest board.
  • Try to have a routine. Not necessarily a schedule, but a routine is good for everyone. Let your kids know that mommy has her coffee and reads her Bible for 15 minutes before it’s time to start asking questions about the day. Have a set night of the week for your family’s favorite dinner. Help your kids to know it’s chores followed by school work before it’s playtime. Whatever routine works for your family, give yourself a grace period to figure it out, then nail it down.
  • Play a lot of games. Hide and Seek, Sum Swamp, Super Stretchy ABC’s, CandyLand, etc. Make learning fun for everyone.
  • Each morning, before your feet hit those floppy bunny slippers and head for the caffeine, give the day to Jesus. Give the kids and their hearts and minds to Jesus. Ask for grace and patience and more grace. Thank God that we live in a place where we can teach our children diligently to walk with Him. And then hop on out to begin your day.

What is your number 1 tip for homeschooling preschool?

*This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, a small percentage goes to support the author, but you are not charged any additional fees.*

Lara Molettiere Laras Place and a Cup of Grace

 

I’m Lara, a sinner saved by grace, wife and help-meet to my best friend, John, and homeschooling mama to two bouncing (literally) boys, Teddy and Frederick. Hot tea, good conversations and dark chocolate are some of my favorite things. Grab your favorite mug and join us on our adventures at Lara’s Place and a Cup of Grace!

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Important Gentleman walking through a skyscraper

Robert McCloskey is one of my favorite children’s book authors. I was reading one of his books to my children and my husband questioned, “What really makes a person important?” Along came an interesting conversation with the children. It got me to thinking. In this day of self-help and self-esteem, what exactly would be the definition of “importance” when it comes to describing a person? What sort of people should we hold in high regard?

It boils down to your worldview. Let’s look at McCloskey’s book, Lentil, as an example. I won’t tell you the entire story, but here is a synopsis.

A little boy has a harmonica and he practices all the time. One day, the town is all in a tizzy because Colonel Carter is coming back to his home. Colonel Carter has paid for many of the buildings in the town and the people plan on giving him a hero’s welcome. But there is one person who doesn’t think the Colonel should receive all of the hoopla. Finally the day arrives and this important man steps off the train. Something unplanned happens and the boy ends up saving the day. {You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens!}

Important3

The town considers the Colonel to be a very important man mainly because he has used his exorbitant amount of money to build public buildings for the townspeople. The book doesn’t really mention what sort of person he is, or how he received his money. In fact, at one moment the Colonel is depicted as being slightly persnickety.

So do we teach our kids that having a lot of money and having buildings named after us is the way to becoming important in society? Perhaps the world would have us think this way, but what does scripture tell us?

But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my need; because he was longing for you all and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. For indeed he was sick to the point of death, but God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, so that I would not have sorrow upon sorrow. Therefore I have sent him all the more eagerly so that when you see him again you may rejoice and I may be less concerned about you. Receive him then in the Lord with all joy, and hold men like him in high regard; because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was deficient in your service to me. ~ Philippians 2:25-30 {Highlights are mine.}

“Close to death for the work of Christ.”

“Hold men like him in high regard.”

These words transport me to Hebrews 11 where men and women of God are listed for their faith. Those names are from the Old Testament, but I wonder if the writer of Hebrews was thinking of men and women of God in his day as well when he wrote:

And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. ~~ Hebrews 11:32-38 {Highlights are mine}

“Men of whom the world was not worthy.” That sounds like they were extremely important.

The world would have us view importance by money, status, number of friends, type of car, whether you are a college football booster or not. But we homeschoolers know all of this.

Important2

Don’t we?

Do we compare our children to other homeschooled children? Do we hope our child’s science project out performs the others in the co-op? Do we pride ourselves on how many credits our high schoolers earn before college? Are we jealous when someone’s child decides to go into the mission field and ours do not?

What makes a person important?

Jesus does.

All of these people listed in scripture were willing to be used of God. They were willing to do what it took to spread the name of Jesus. They risked their lives. They gave everything they had to serve their Master.

I want my children to consider themselves important. Not because of who they are or what they do, but because Jesus dwells inside of them. We are important enough for the God of the Universe to choose to take up residency in our being.

And if He lives in us, then anything we do for Him makes us important.

ANNE MARIE is an Austenite and the author of the blog FUTURE.FLYING.SAUCERS. She is a southern belle who is married to her Mr. Darcy. They have three of the silliest children in South Carolina. Anne Marie has a passion for Bible study and teaching the Word to adults and children. On Wednesday nights you will find her teaching Biblical concepts to Awana clubs at her church. All of her AWANA AND BIBLE LESSONS can be found for FREE on her blog. You can also find her on FACEBOOK.

 

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Whether you’re looking for a hub of information, practical support, social opportunities, or homeschool encouragement, homeschool support groups (in all shapes and sizes) can meet these needs and more — especially as you move into homeschooling middle school and beyond.

Although homeschoolers are characteristically an independent bunch who enjoy the freedom to make individual decisions about curriculum and methods, we can all be strengthened in our unique journey when we have the support of others to inform, encourage and assist us.

homeschoolsupportgroupsTTD

In today’s homeschooling world, that homeschooling support ranges from traditional and structured to a casual coffee group. There are support groups organized more like a traditional school (with shared curriculum, co-op teaching, and sometimes even public funding), umbrella groups that simply keeps your paperwork on file for state legal requirements, and a lot of variety in between.

What do these groups provide?

Again, the variety of benefits are vast. You can find legal registration support, curriculum assistance, testing and placement options, co-op teaching, lab opportunities, electives, field trips, social activities, promotion and graduation ceremonies, Web resources and support, and more.

Here are a few examples of homeschool support groups you might find in your area:

  • Publicly funded homeschool co-op or charter schools provided by your school district
  • Independent schools or state homeschooling organizations
  • Nationally organized homeschool co-ops (such as Classical Conversations)
  • Privately organized homeschool co-op schools (such as Artios Academies)
  • Regional and local homeschool support groups
  • Faith-based homeschool support groups

However, beyond filling the practical needs of curriculum or legal paperwork, a homeschool support group can provide a more important benefit: plugging you in with your local homeschooling community. Within your support group, you may develop a few close friendships with women you can open up to in times of need and vice versa. You have the opportunity to learn from mentors who’ve been in your shoes and can help you stay on course as you approach the more daunting middle school and high school years. You can also meet families with children of similar ages and build social connections for your kids.

I’ve been a part of a local homeschool support group for the past four years — and I can’t imagine homeschooling without it. Not because our group provides co-ops or anything formal in the way of education, but because of the support I’ve received from other homeschooling moms and the friendships that we’ve made for our entire family.

I’ve made practical connections that allowed us to start our own girls book club co-op, as well as spiritual prayer partners who’ve been able to lift each other up during our times of need. I learned early on that it’s important not to homeschool in isolation: Your personal homeschool support network is vital to helping you stay on course.

As to be expected in any group of people working together, there are pros and cons to opening yourself up to a group. I believe the key to maintaining positive relationships is to make sure you don’t fall into the comparison trap. Whether it’s comparing your children to other children, or your own performance with other moms, resist the temptation to look at one everyone else is doing — keep your eyes on what God is calling you to do for your family.

Don’t be surprised if that looks different from others. Don’t expect to agree with everyone on what church to attend, curriculum or learning style to use, schedules and chore programs, etc. But do agree to encourage one another to seek the Lord first in all areas of discipleship for your family.

Lastly, if you’re struggling to find a local homeschool support group in your area, consider the homeschooling community at large: There are both local and national homeschooling events taking place yearly that are designed to support and encourage you in the practical, emotional and spiritual aspects of homeschooling.

I’ve attended both a state homeschooling conference and the Teach Them Diligently Convention, and I can honestly say that I’ve never been so energized and refreshed. I’ve also made inspiring and supportive friends when attending these events, and these friendships are now an important part of my personal homeschool support network.

So don’t homeschool in isolation: Make time for a homeschool support group. Build your personal encouragement network for the road ahead!

Are you currently part of a homeschool support group? Is it formal and structured, or more casual in nature? Are you looking for practical, social or spiritual support from a homeschool support group? What other ways do you seek homeschool encouragement if you don’t have anyone local to connect with regarding homeschooling?

 

 

 

 

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The Lord has taught me much this past year. Many of those lessons have come in the “school of hard knocks” as my father always called them.  I have made mistakes that have been costly. I have taken my eyes off the mission God has given me and put them squarely on myself far too often. I have been too busy for family and friends. There has been a constant struggle to maintain a proper balance in our family. I have been misunderstood– and I have been too quick to judge others God has brought across my path.

It’s been quite a year.A Heart Overflowing With Thankfulness

Yet through this roller-coaster year we have experienced, God has never left me. My family has never gone hungry. We have never wanted for anything. We have learned to depend on God in ways we haven’t had to depend on Him before, and He has never failed to provide. Ever.

Yes, “my heart is filled with thankfulness.” I am thankful for the wonderful husband God gave me 15 years ago and with whom I fall more in love– and in deep admiration of– every day. I am thankful for the four children He chose to place in our family and to give David and I the chance to make disciples of our loving Heavenly Father. I am thankful for my parents, who still guide me when I am in need of discipleship and coaching myself. I am thankful for the godly friends who never cease to amaze me with their compassion on me, their service to me, and their grace when I cancel plans at the last minute because other things got in the way.

But I am also thankful for the rough waters we’ve sailed through in 2013. I hope we never have to relive the waves, but oh, the lessons learned on the fretful sea!

Keith and Kristyn Getty have written a song that really gets to the heart of Thankfulness.  The second verse really sums up the year that our family has had– and turns my heart even more to praising God for it!

My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who walks beside;
Who floods my weaknesses with strength
And causes fears to fly;
Whose ev’ry promise is enough
For ev’ry step I take,
Sustaining me with arms of love
And crowning me with grace.

Did you catch that??  His every promise is enough for every step I take!! Because He can be trusted, I can be thankful in all things! He will never call me to go or be or do ANYTHING that He will not also equip me to do.  His promises and His grace are enough!

I have needed way too many attitude adjustments this year, but I am thankful that my Heavenly Father never tires of loving and leading His children.  My heart is truly overflowing with thankfulness!

In case you haven’t heard it, I wanted to share a video of Keith and Kristyn performing My Heart Is Filled With Thankfulness. I believe it will encourage your heart as it does mine.

 

I pray you all have a wonderful and very Happy Thanksgiving!

David and Leslie Nunnery

 

Leslie Nunnery is first and foremost a child of the King. She is the wife of David and the homeschooling Mama of 2 boys and 2 girls, who work right alongside of them as they produce Teach Them Diligently Conventions and run a mission agency called Worldwide Tentmakers. Encouraging families in discipleship and missions is her family’s calling and passion, and God has allowed them to see and do so much more than they would have ever imagined. They stand amazed at the great things He is doing!

 

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Homeschooling Parents

About David and Leslie Nunnery

Leslie Nunnery and her husband David founded Teach Them Diligently, the nation’s premier source for gospel-centered homeschool events. With seven years of homeschooling experience from preschool-high school and a passion to encourage and equip homeschool families, this mom of 4 shares her know-how and insights weekly through Teach Them Diligently media and on TeachThemDiligently365.com.

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