Strengthen Your Family Through Biblical Homeschooling

Tag: Homeschool Family

Once upon a time, our homeschool looked like us learning all together around the kitchen table, taking nature walks in the afternoon searching for cool treasures we could learn more about when we got home, laughing, learning, and growing together.

We took the time to get together with friends for Bible study each week, recognizing that building that time into our school week showed a priority for studying God’s Word together with friends. We had our own makeshift homeschool group as three families gathered together each week- 1 mom getting to go out while 2 stayed home to teach and enjoy the fellowship. Those were great days!

This was taken on the most epic homeschool field trip ever– 10 days in Israel, learning more than this article could ever contain… and that trip certainly wasn’t possible during the same season I alluded to before– It was saved for this one.

Nowadays in our Homeschool…

These days are great, too! With 1 in college and 2 taking dual credit classes while they finish their high school work, and one in middle school, our weeks look very different now. Yet, we continue to learn together, laugh together, and grow together. We continue to invest our time in building Kingdom relationships with others and in growing together through God’s Word.

Yes, our homeschool looks different, and yes, I sometimes miss those carefree days when they were young— but the depth of relationship I now have with my bigs was built through those younger days, and I will be eternally grateful.

Stay the course, mama! Be thankful for whatever stage you are in. Look for the beauty of that season and teach your children by example what is most important— loving God and loving others even as you are preparing for whatever God has in store for you.

 

Want some help staying focused on the hearts of your children and thus the heart of your homeschool? Get more strategic in the way you pray for them! Click here to download a free prayer guide for your children and enter a 35-day email series that will walk you practically through a more strategic way of praying scripture for them that will change you as a Christian Mama or Daddy even as you see God working in the lives of your children. Click Here To Download Now.

If you are looking for daily encouragement and relationships with other homeschool moms walking the same path you are– but at various points on their journey, I invite you to join us in teach Them Diligently 365. Get more details here.

Register for the Homeschool Convention Today

Have you ever wished that there was one single resource to help you make heads or tails out of the mountains of curriculum and resources that are available?  This homeschool mama sure has!

At its core, that’s the whole point of our first ever Homeschool Family Favorites Poll. We want to hear from YOU about what curriculums and resources have worked best for your family through the years, so we can put together a resource that we hope will become an incredibly valuable, regularly updated, absolutely essential book of lists for homeschool families. (You can be on the lookout for the finished product early in 2019!!)—>

We’re going to take all the information we collect through this survey to create a comprehensive resource for homeschooling families cataloging the best curriculum and resources available for every subject and every grade level. The modern homeschooler has so much material to choose from that it is simply overwhelming! We want to help by cutting through all of the “noise” and organizing our choices in a much clearer, more user-friendly way.

So, what are you waiting for?

CLICK HERE TO SHARE YOUR CURRICULUM OPINIONS NOW!

Oh, Did I mention that You could WIN on of four $500 Visa Gift Cards?

That’s right! We want this to be the best crowd-sourced resource we can put together, so we’re giving away $2,000 worth of prizes to encourage families to share their thoughts. Filling this survey out will take you a few minutes, but the help you are giving our fellow homeschoolers will be invaluable. Click here to go ahead and fill out the survey now.

Joining You In This Journey!
Leslie

PS– There are no wrong answers! David and I worked for HOURS to pull together as many options as we could, but we probably missed some. Feel free to mark as many resources as you want to vote for in each section (we all have kiddos who excel with different curriculums than their siblings, I’m sure!) and write in any that we missed, so we improve the survey for next year and make sure your favorites are included in our book when it publishes.

PPS– If you’re still on the fence about homeschooling, I encourage you to download our free ebook- RETHINK EDUCATION. It will give you some great insight about what you can expect. 

Register for the Homeschool Convention Today
group of kids with hands and feet in circle

Inspire Responsibility

Service projects for teens inspire compassion and civic responsibility. Many schools require them for high school graduation because of their lasting impact. In addition to enriching life experiences for teens, service projects also open college doors. When your student finds a meaningful one, the impact will stick with them long after the cap and gown are packed away.

Service projects teach our children the value of helping others without compensation. The experience is the reward. Our children become productive members of society with a sense of social responsibility and have the opportunity to impact the world with Christ’s love.

Young People “Do Something” Campaigns

DoSomething.org has terrific ideas on how to call teens to action. From collecting a million pairs of blue jeans for needy families to hosting a bake sale for the hungry, any teen can find a project to feel passionate about. And for those who take the time to cook with an elderly person, there is a chance to win a $10,000 scholarship.
Talk with your teens to find out what service niche is most appealing to them. Simple skills they might take for granted like loving animals or planting flowers can be the very things that boost them forward!

Here are some service project ideas to help get them started:

  • Volunteer at a local animal shelter or zoo.
  • Support U.S. troops with collecting, packing or sending items overseas. Write letters or cards or host a party and ask others to help donate to the packages.
  • Organize an environmental cleanup in local neighborhoods, beaches or running tails. Check your county website for where to help.
  • Help paint, clean up parks or plant flowers
  • Start a neighborhood garden and donate the produce to your local food pantry. http://www.dig-itmag.com/features/lifegarden_story/471_0_6_0_M/
  • Volunteer at a charity fundraiser walk by helping with registrations or passing out water bottles.
  • Be a tutor at a local school or library who offers after school homework help.
  • Be a summer camp counselor at a local Christian Camp or YMCA.
  • Offer people you know help with an elderly parent or special needs child.
  • Volunteer at a local nursing home. Use your talents to brighten someone’s day. Teach email skills to the elderly so they can stay connected with their loved ones. Walk or read an inspiring book to them! http://www.programsforelderly.com/how-to-help-elderly.php
  • Babysit for free for a family in need-check with your church for names.
  • Be a big brother or sister and teach your skills to someone by teaching sports, music, academics or games.
  • Organize a community needs day. Paint, clean, shop or whatever people in your community need. This can be a great church outreach!
  • Make homemade blankets for missions or a local hospital’s neonatal unit.
  • Plan a year-long monthly food drive with your local food bank-enlist friends and neighbors! http://createthegood.org/toolkit/organize-food-drive

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.

 

For more ways to serve, read this related article on the “Ways to Serve Military Families“, for more information on volunteering.

And sign up for the Teach Them Diligently newsletter for more articles on discipleship, academics, family, encouragement and much more!

 

Rethink Home Education

To further your reading, we have a special ebook that we would like to send to you. It’s entitled “RETHINK EDUCATION, Turning Scary Questions About Home Education Into Exciting Possibilities.” It was written after countless conversations with moms who are either considering homeschooling or struggling with doubt. My heart in writing it is to offer hopeful answers to some of the questions moms tend to be asking… and you might be surprised at which ones didn’t make the list. I would love for it to become a resource you could share with your friends who are considering home education, or who are wondering if they’ll keep going. So, grab your copy today! – Leslie Nunnery

 

Register for the Homeschool Convention Today
teenage daughter on tablet with dog

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World Wide Web

The internet is frightening to me as a mom. Quite frankly, if I could pick one thing that I wish I didn’t have to parent through, it would be internet usage. I regularly have to cast my fear on God, though, for I know what is out there waiting to prey on my children but I also know who holds them in the palm of His hand. I see the benefit of the resources contained on the world wide web, but I have also seen the devastating effects that the evil it contains can wreak on individuals and families. Our family strives to incorporate a balanced, and well conceived internet plan.

Helpful Tips

This is not to be an article on the dangers of the internet. I hope you know those. If you have not researched this topic, please do. Covenant Eyes has some ebooks that are very informative and helpful to families trying to protect their children from being exposed to information and images that they should not be exposed to. Unfiltered is a good one to start with, for it introduces the dangers that are out there and how you can combat those.

Instead of writing about the dangers of the internet, I wanted to share how our family handles internet usage and activity. This approach has worked for us, and I hope it will at least spark discussions of ways that your family can start putting more safeguards in place as well.

Internet Browsers and Time Online

The internet is a fabulous source of information.  I firmly believe that every student needs to have solid knowledge of how to navigate and extract the information they need. Since so much of the world’s commerce and information is shared on the internet in today’s economy, we are not doing our children any favors by keeping them completely offline.

Although we want our children to know how to handle the internet, we do not want to set them up for failure or for exposure to unwanted material. With that in mind, we use a couple of tools that allow us to control the time they spend on the internet.

 

Router

Our router allows us to give or take away access to the internet directly from the source. There are no computers or tablets in our house that have internet access overnight. This has given us incredible peace of mind, and has allowed my boys to listen to audible books, etc. on their tablets while they are trying to go to sleep. Here is an Amazon search for routers. Since pricing and updates happen so often, I didn’t want to list just one. We have used Netgear routers for years, because they allow me to control them through an app on my phone, have strong parental controls at that level, and have been incredibly reliable.

Covenant Eyes

Every device in our home is equipped with Covenant Eyes. For my older children, the settings are for accountability. We know that if they do not learn to regulate their internet usage on their own while they are at home, we cannot expect them to do it when they find themselves in a less protective environment. The younger ones still have a filter on their computers. For our older children, we get reports daily from Covenant Eyes informing us if their report looks good or if they need some attention. With that level of accountability, we are able to jump on any problems that may be building as soon as they are forming. If you use discount code TTD, you can get a free month to try out Covenant Eyes. I truly believe you will love it and want to stick with it indefinitely!

I recently recorded a video interview with Sam Black of Covenant Eyes on our Teach Them Diligently 365 platform. Check it out here to learn even more.

Time Limits, Usage, and Boundaries

Computers are a fabulous help, but I have found that my children are not writing well, because almost everything they do is on the computer. For that reason, we took one school year and made it “going old school”, and kept lots of notebooks… with actual notebook paper and pens! This helped us manage our time online and on the computer quite a bit. Still, though, there are many things they need to do on their computer, both for their classes at home and at co-op.

Social Media

“People Matter” is a mantra around our house. I have found that the more time we spend on social media, the less “real” people (as in the ones that are right here, able to be actually touched by our lives and share experiences) get our attention. We have also found that unlimited access to social media at a young age sets our children up for making mistakes and mis-managing their time.

For that reason, we don’t allow social media of any kind until our children display the maturity to handle it. When they are allowed access, it is with the understanding that I always have their password and am their “friend” on that platform. There have been a few times that I have sensed a heart change and have been able to find explanation or confirmation of it on their social media. Being tuned in has allowed us to approach the child about the issue quickly and thankfully each time disciple them through the issue.

The upside of social media is that it makes the world a lot smaller. Our oldest is able to build on friendships that were started at camps or at Teach Them Diligently. This is a great benefit of social media usage, and one that I am thankful my children can enjoy. Currently, the only platform any of our children are allowed to be on is Instagram, since that is the platform that most of their friends are on. On that platform, they are required to have private profiles and only approve followers they know. David and I can easily see who they follow and who follows them.

Accountability

This level of accountability is important. It was not born in a vacuum, though. Rather, we have been building a strong relationship with our children since they were young. They know the reasons for the accountability, and we know and respect their need for privacy. For the most part, there has been no need for me to go into direct messages, email, etc., and honestly they show me their feed most of the time voluntarily. There are some funny things on Instagram that need to be shared with Mama, you know.

If you have not built a strong relationship with your children, this may be perceived as threatening and intrusive. I urge you to work on strengthening that relationship. Become closer as a family by spending time together, talking together, playing games together, worshiping together and more. There is no greater privilege you will ever have than building strong relationships and discipling your children.

Our children understand that practically speaking, anything they put on the internet is public record and can be uncovered if someone goes looking for it hard enough. We have spent time talking to them and training them about giving the right opinion of The Lord and of themselves in everything they do and say, even on the world wide web.

A Plea

If you have children or teens that are using the internet in any capacity, please take the time to talk to them about the pitfalls and dangers as well as the opportunities and resources available there. This presents a great opportunity for discipleship in so many ways, and we have found that sins committed on the internet just like sins committed elsewhere will generally be found out, and generally pretty quickly. That is truly a mercy from The Lord who loves them so much that He will not allow them to continue indefinitely in sin.

 

 

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Internet Safety

Watch the Free Video, “Internet Safety”

Teach Them Diligently 365

In this fallen world we live in, the internet can naturally be a scary place. However, that doesn’t give us reason to fear! I’ll share with you what precautions my family has taken in regards to internet safety, and I hope this will give you some ideas for how to best protect yourself and those you love from the dangers of the internet.

Become a member of Teach Them Diligently 365 for access to more!

Sign up for a free 7 day trial and explore the extensive content!

 

 

 

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From One Mom’s Teen to Another

What makes a school day perfect for your teen? Other than world domination, homeschooled teens really don’t want all that much . . . or do they? My son has a few ideas. He is sharing 5 things your teen wishes you’d change in your homeschool. See if you agree? 

Maybe you can learn alongside me as we continue the school year!

~Allie O.

With organization comes empowerment. ~ Lynda Peterson

Scheduling:

It’s not that we aren’t grateful. But we are growing up. While we certainly need your guidance in our lives, we don’t need you to tell us what to do at 9:00 a.m., and 9:07 a.m., and 9:15 a.m.

You have been training us to manage ourselves and be responsible for the last 13 – 17 years.  You have equipped us with spiritual and physical tools.

What better way to allow us to apply those skills than to do so in a safe and controlled environment? 

Last year, my mom decided to let me schedule myself. I use Homeschool Manager to schedule one or two weeks out at a time and have kept up with my homeschool, co-op, and dual enrollment classes this way.

Routines:

As we grow up, our schedules change. It is a wonderful release for me when I’m able to have a steady routine that accommodates things I need and want to do. As long as I do the things that need to happen within the sanctioned time, I am released to schedule them in the order I prefer.

I know Mom likes us all to read aloud together or go on surprise field trips to the beach, but her releasing me to do my school at my pace motivates me.

Where school happens:

In our family we have a ‘school table’ which doubles as the dining room table. Because I have five siblings, this table gets rather loud. In the last year or so my mom has opened up our seating policy and allowed her older teens to do school in another room because we no longer need the accountability of her keeping us on task.

Music:

It is possible that Piano Guys at full volume is not your preferred music genre. For some of us, music helps us think, or at least drown out the sibling asking for a snack, wanting to be excused for a bathroom break, wanting to skip math, etc. Maybe asking your teen to put in headphones can be a good compromise.

Coffee:

Sometimes a little pick me up can be very, very nice. It always makes me smile when mom walks in with a cup of coffee for me. Even if your teen doesn’t drink coffee, I am sure that they have something that they enjoy.

Take a moment and bless them. When you do this, the final exam doesn’t seem so bad and that math concept is much more doable. Never underestimate the power of affirming acts and a smile.

As teens we really do love what you do. We may not that vocal about it. We may take you for emotional and relational roller coasters you hadn’t budgeted time for. Even so, we are very glad, and mostly thankful, for everything you do for us.

~Ben O.

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.

 

 

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Connected Teens, Connected Families

Teach Them Diligently 365 members, listen to:

“Connected Teens, Connected Families”

Parents and Teens learn together in this session. Leah will discuss the most popular social media platforms available for teens. She will cover basic social media principals for teens and their families as well as go over how to set up and use a variety of social media platforms. She will also cover safety issues. This is a fun and engaging session for the family!

Become a member of Teach Them Diligently 365 for access to more!

Sign up for a free 7 day trial and explore the extensive content!

 

 

 

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Have you ever wondered how to get your extended family on board with homeschooling? There are all types of families who homeschool. Some families have very supportive extended families and others spend years trying to gain the approval of extended family.

As Christian parents, we know that the only approval that matters is God’s approval, but letting the grandparents get directly involved in some aspect of your kids education may help them see your choices in a different light. Here are some things that we have done to involve my kid’s grandparents in our homeschool.

Grandparents Nearby

We are blessed to have a set of grandparents that live right down the road from us. We live in the rural south and we are able to get together frequently. On occasion I have left my kids with my mom for the day and sent schoolwork with them for her to help them complete. We have invited her along on several field trips and 4H events. We go out of town with her to visit my grandma on occasion and they learn lessons about helping the elderly and meeting the needs of others.

Life Skills

kids on lawnmower

My dad is a man of many talents. He was raised in the city and moved to the country as a young married man and has dabbled in farming ever since. His past occupations have included contractor, builder, pastor, teacher, lawn business owner, etc. He built a house and my boys were able to participate and observe different aspects of the house building process. He purchased chickens and built a chicken coop, and the kids have helped clean out the chicken pen, gather eggs and watched the process of butchering. His most recent farming venture has been raising goats, and he children have really enjoyed learning about the goats. They have learned to split wood from their granddad too.

What do they learn?

Besides the life skills they have learned from their grandparents, the kids have also had many spiritual discussions with their grandparents. They love sharing scriptural truths with them as they work together and I think they will remember some of the lessons they have learned from them for the rest of their life.

Grandparents Far Away

VA family Christmas

The other sets of grandparents live over 650 miles away. We have had to be more creative in looking for ways to include them in our homeschool. In the past we have taken field trips to museums, aquariums and historic sites while visiting with them.

Their grandpa loves to play chess and my oldest son has been challenged to work on his game at home so  he can play Pepaw when we visit. We have lively history discussions with grandpa, he would take the boys fishing and teach them to fish for crab in the brackish water of the Chesapeake bay area.

Grandma read to the kids and took them treasure hunting at Goodwill, etc. The other set has taken us on a dolphin cruise in the Atlantic Ocean when we were studying dolphins and communicates with the kids regularly via Skype. We share artwork, details about our schoolwork and Lego creations via Skype.

A Fun Idea

We made a homeschool yearbook and sent it to the grandparents out of state. It was such a big hit! They were encouraged and were able to really see the progress we had made over the year. I plan to continue this tradition.

 

Other Suggestions

In addition to these suggestions that have worked for our family here are some other suggestions that I received from other homeschool moms:

  • Learning a foreign language together via Skype (grandma teaches the grand kids Latin).
  • Having grandparents use your lesson plans to continue schooling your kids during times of parent illnesses or surgery.
  • Have them teach skills they possess to their grand kids such as astronomy, art, sewing, music, etc.
  • Invite grandparents to teach group classes at your local homeschool co-op.
  • If they are willing, have grandparents invest in homeschool supplies such as maps, reference books, microscopes, etc.

I hope these ideas help spark your imagination and motivate you to tap into the great wisdom the senior members of your family have to offer your kids. We would love to hear your ideas in the comments section below.

 

Bio photo JSA

Jennifer Allen is a homeschool graduate, wife to her soulmate David (who also contributes to the blog), homeschooling mom, registered nurse, AWANA teacher, pianist, reader and lifelong learner. She can be found on her little corner of the web at conversaving.com. The person on the street would define “conversaving” as the act of easing the discomfort of someone left out of a conversation by including them in the dialogue.  “Conversaving” the blog seeks to do the same thing, by relieving the awkward silence across the Internet of those seeking a real place to engage in constructive conversations about news, family,homeschooling, saving money, etc.  Sprinkle in some laughs, tears, personal stories and curriculum reviews and you have the recipe for Conversaving.com!

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.

 

 

Here is a link to sign up for our Teach Them Diligently newsletter to receive more great articles!

You may also find many more articles on the topic of Family under blogs.

 

Rethink Home Education

To further your reading, we have a special ebook that we would like to send to you. It’s entitled “RETHINK EDUCATION, Turning Scary Questions About Home Education Into Exciting Possibilities.” It was written after countless conversations with moms who are either considering homeschooling or struggling with doubt. My heart in writing it is to offer hopeful answers to some of the questions moms tend to be asking… and you might be surprised at which ones didn’t make the list. I would love for it to become a resource you could share with your friends who are considering home education, or who are wondering if they’ll keep going. So, grab your copy today! – Leslie Nunnery

Register for the Homeschool Convention Today

Object Lessons from Life

“It is more important for your child to be who he should be than know what he should know. “

Knowledge is important, but character trumps that. If you teach your child to manage time well, work hard, and love learning (and if you teach him HOW to learn), he can conquer any learning curve ahead in the future. If, however, you teach him knowledge without character or the skills above, he will be hard-pressed to continue learning new skills as an adult.

 

We use object lessons from daily life to mold our children’s character, foster a love for God, and inspire a love for learning. Every little circumstance and observance is a chance to learn about life, God, and ourselves.

Object Lessons from Life:

  • Someone trips over a stone:  a sin we consider very small can cause great damage and downfall.
  • Salt and pepper on a bland dish at dinner: the Lord wants us to season our words with grace to make them easier for others to swallow.
  • Choosing healthy foods over sugary snacks: be discerning about the choices we make. Do we think ahead ahead to the results of our decisions, and are we making wise choices?
  • Boiling spaghetti noodles: the Lord sometimes takes those he loves through a trying time of “hot water” so our hearts become tender and of benefit to those around us.
  • Gift giving: a gift comes as an unexpected surprise reminding us that God loves us — not because of our behavior or it is deserved, but because of his goodness and great love for us.
  • Honey on a cracker: reminds us God’s word is sweeter than honey to our souls and sustains our spiritual bodies.
  • A project that must be done in steps: reminds us God is a God of order.  When we follow his commands, we can see the beauty at the end of the process.
  • An army of ants in the yard:  a chance to stop and observe God’s creation to learn from them as they work diligently, work together, care for one another, and store up food. God uses them as an example of a great worth ethic.
  • Cleaning the smudges off the window: God wants to wash us clean with the water of the Word.
  • Adding food coloring to pancakes (or cupcakes or cookie dough): a lesson about how what we take into our minds changes us. We need to carefully guard what we allow into our hearts and minds.
  • A bird’s song on a cool, wet spring morning: a  reminder to be thankful and sing praise to God for our blessings. The bird was outside, wet and cold, but still sings for another day and a bright sun to warm him.

There are so many more object lessons from life we can use as teaching opportunities. Everywhere you look, you see examples of God’s love, his greatness, and his principles for life. You just need to be mindful as you look around you.

Ask the Lord to help you look for those object lessons of life.

Ask for eyes to see the lesson and the words to share it with your child. It only takes a few extra seconds to do it.  When done consistently, you teach your child to be one who expects to see God show up in mundane moments of life. These moment-by-moment conversations develop their desire to share the same lessons with others.

 

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 3 John 1:7

 

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The A to Z of a Characterhealthy Homeschool

Teach Them Diligently 365 members, listen to:

“The A to Z of a Characterhealthy Homeschool”

If we homeschool simply to achieve high academic marks, we are squandering the opportunity to influence our children for Christ. Character healthy leaders are those children who have learned to elevate virtues above feelings. Check out the video for more information.

Become a member of Teach Them Diligently 365 for access to more!

Sign up for a free 7 day trial and explore the extensive content!

Register for the Homeschool Convention Today
This post was originally published on this site

Sometimes we lose our way because we take our eyes off why we’re doing what we’re doing as well as how high the stakes and how great the opportunities really are. This week, we’ll chat with homeschool pioneer and publisher of Five in a Row, Steve Lambert, about what he’s learned about homeschooling and parenting through the years. This is a must watch!!

Make sure you head over to Teach Them Diligently 365 to pick up the resources that go with this video and to learn how you can connect with us there all year long. A membership in TTD365 affords you access to over a thousand audio and video resources as well as a private members-only FB group, monthly virtual meetups, exclusive opportunities at Teach Them Diligently events and so much more! Get more details at Teach Them Diligently 365 Membership Information.

Then, make sure you make your plans to hear Steve Lambert at Teach Them Diligently 2019. He will be joining us in Rogers, Nashville, Waco, Mobile, and Columbus. Register now!
You may also want to pick up our free RETHINK EDUCATION resource to help you think through how you approach your homeschool as well!

The post Keep It Simple – An Interview With Steve Lambert appeared first on Teach Them Diligently 365.

Register for the Homeschool Convention Today