Strengthen Your Family Through Biblical Homeschooling

Tag: homeschool

biblical homeschool for christian home educators

writing creative girl

Martin Luther said, “If you want to change the world, pick up your pen!” Harriet Beecher Stowe proved this with her compelling novel in the 1800’s, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. President Abraham Lincoln hailed her as “the little woman who started this great Civil War” because of the powerful narrative of slavery she portrayed. If the written word is so paramount in shaping the world around us, how can we as educators develop its importance in our homeschools?

Creative Writing is far more than leading your children to make up fanciful stories.

It offers a multitude of educational opportunities building skills your children will use throughout their lifetimes.

  • It teaches how to unleash creativity, how to think outside the box, invent and practice imagination. Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
  • It helps children succeed and grow in confidence. They may not feel brave enough to tackle a new skill, or process a current life experience but through speaking through the eyes of the characters they can write about it.
  • It teaches strategic thought and problem solving through learning how to write a plot.
  • It teaches close observation through learning to develop sensory writing which happily overflows into science class!
  • It teaches characterization, producing self expression and empathy.
  • It livens up language class by teaching sentence structure and format in a fun way.
  • It helps develop creative nonfiction writing by learning how to write vividly.

Five Great Tips to Help your Child Succeed in Creative Writing

  1.  Whatever they write, praise, praise, praise! You may wince on the inside over the spelling or neatness, but don’t let on. They may beam at the fact that they produced only one sentence in the beginning. So water your little plants with encouragement and watch them grow, grow, grow!
  2. Let them write about what they love. Kooky plots, oddball characters, made up fantasy worlds and all. Many times a child is processing what they are learning about in life through their characters.
  3. Don’t make creative writing a lesson in grammar or spelling. This is paramount! If the critical voice of correction becomes too noisy, it will drown out the creative voice and your child will stop wanting to write and may resist you. As their spelling improves during spelling class and grammar improves in language class, it will trickle down to writing class.
  4. Keep tools handy that will help them succeed. Find a fun and inexpensive creative writing curriculum that can help you step by step. Look for something that is easy to use and will help your child stir up ideas.
  5.  Give them a reason to write by starting a Friday night Flashlight Theater or Writing Club. Invite grandma and grandpa, neighbors or friends over to listen to the next adventure your child has written. Turn off the lights and shine several flashlights on the reader. Pop popcorn or serve a favorite snack. Let your child read their stories for all to hear. Soon they will be motivated to write more and the other children may want to join in and write as well.

God is raising up Christian writers in this generation! We need more authors like C.S. Lewis to remind us of courage, loyalty, the reward of godliness and the cost of evil. And those little writers, who are sitting at their desks in your homeschool, writing about cute puppies and kittens, could be the next world changers for Christ!

A couple of favorite interactive writing curriculums are:

Ocean Adventures in WritingDevelop characters much like the beloved movie Finding Nemo. Each child picks a character to become and writes from that point of view. It’s ocean-fuls of fun and learning!

Isabel Writing Adventure for Girls-Easy lessons that walk the student through the basics of creative writing while encouraging Christian themes. Students create a character for their story, then as a paper doll, make her closet and design her clothes. Roll playing the adventures as they go!

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.

 

For more on writing, become a member of Teach Them Diligently 365, and watch the video on “Secrets to Making Writing Fun”.
Secrets to Making Writing Fun
“Secrets to Making Writing Fun”

Writing can be an enjoyable activity for budding writers. This workshop will equip you with tips and ideas to use with elementary-age children during writing time. The result? Your children will not only produce polished writing projects, they will also be begging for the next lesson!

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homeschool schedule

The Perfect Homeschool Schedule

Many folks new to homeschooling struggle with this dilemma while adjusting to their new lifestyle. My roll as a homeschool mentor mom reminded me of this all too common and nagging issue.

I picked up the ringing phone as a new homeschooler breathlessly launched into a detailed account of how she spent every moment of the last six hours with her first grader. When she finally ran out of air, I told her to relax and take a breath. We talked about how homeschooling is a marathon not a sprint.

We discussed ways she can create a schedule that fulfills her child’s educational requirements without exhausting both of them by 3rd grade. I could hear the tension easing out of her spine and shoulders as the rapid pace of her words slowed to normal.

I’ve seen it over and over again. Moms new to homeschooling are terrified they will fail their children, fail to meet the expectations of others, and fail to live up to the best laid plans of their hearts.

We fall into the trap of thinking success grows out of having the perfect homeschool schedule. More often than not, we see another family who seems to have it all together and ask, “What is your schedule like?” We think success will follow if we fall in step with their daily patterns.

Well, here’s a thought – when is life ever flawless? If ‘normal’ adult life does not zip along without complications, we can expect that this new way of living life will have its share of complexities as well.

The rhythm of your day did not look like your best friend’s, your fellow church member’s, or  the teacher in your child’s former 3rd grade classroom before you started to homeschool. It surely won’t be any different now that you’ve begun homeschooling!

It’s okay to think about the rhythm of your own family life and craft your school day schedule around the unique needs and rhythms of your life.

Our good friend Amy, of Raising Arrows, has an idea for those of you struggling to find freedom in your homeschool schedule. After reading her post, we at Homeschool Launch know you will feel empowered to think more creatively and confidently about finding your homeschool schedule. We hope you’ll feel empowered to find your own path instead of trying to match the pace of another homeschool family.

Let us know if you use a 4-day week in your home? What led you to use that schedule? What unique way have you found to build your schedule around your family’s needs? Let us know in the comments below.

 This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.


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homeschool winter ideas in january

January can be one of the hardest months to get through schooling. By now the hoopla of the holidays are over and we are staring January square in the face. The Christmas tree is finally down, and it’s time to settle back into our homeschooling schedule. The grunts and groans are not only coming from the kids, we feel it too.

One of sport’s greatest strategies is to play each player to his strengths. If Harry can hit well, don’t put him as catcher. If Tom can run, put him in the outfield. Let the New Year work for you by switching things up:

  • Add something new to your homeschool.
  • Do something different.
  •  Switch up the schedule.
  • Play to the strengths of being inside more.
  • Start (or join) a co-op or a book club.
  • Make tents and as a reward, let them do their school work underneath it.
  • Have a Hot Chocolate Dreaming Party next to the fireplace.
  • Plan a slumber party in the living room on a Friday night and talk about family bucket list living This term has expanded in recent years to include goals for certain time frames, such as before I grow up, etc. Kids love to feel that their contributions count and what better way to bond together as a family than to help each other fulfill dreams.
  • Maryalice Leister at MyKidsAdventures.com encourages families to write down their list so they will have options ready at a moment’s notice. Put their dreams in a jar, write them on a poster, or attach clothespins onto a bucket.

It’s true our kids would much rather be outside building a snowman than studying books. Why not play to its strengths? Study snow, measure snow, taste snow, make snow cones, snow forts, snowmen, chart weather patterns, study Alaska, Iceland, Sweden.

One of my favorite January boosts is to have a Snowman Party! We decorate the house by hanging homemade snowflakes and paper chains. We make fun snowflake stars and bake snowman treats. We invite friends over to share in the fun! Before you know it January will take on new meaning and everyone can settle happily into the New Year.

FREE full download of Snowman Party Directions

New Millennium Girl Books Author-homeschool writing books

 

Jan May is author of New Millennium Girl Books: Christian mid-grade novels for girls and interactive creative writing books that hook even the reluctant writers! She is also a fifteen year homeschool veteran and creative writing teacher. Jan enjoys igniting creativity in children and believes that given the right tools and encouragement, any child can write and love it! Check out her blog.

 

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.

 

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jar of crayons and child coloring

FREE Color by Vowel Pattern Pack- Winter Theme | Teach Them DiligentlyDo you have elementary-aged kids that like to color? My oldest, when in 2nd grade especially liked it and often felt left out when I printed coloring activities for the younger three. Coloring pages for older kids that work on literacy skills are a bit tricky to find. So, I followed my son’s lead and created a Color by Vowel Pattern Pack with a winter theme.

In this pack, you’ll find seven different coloring pages that feature a vowel pattern. The first page starts with short vowel words (like rat, bug, and not) and was created for those young readers who need to work on short vowels. Each subsequent coloring page features a harder phonics skill, moving through blends, digraphs, long vowels, and other more ambiguous vowels (such as aw and oi).

Silent e Color by Word Pattern ExampleThe child uses the color key provided on each page to color the picture in by the phonics or vowel pattern. Please note that while your child might like to do all of the pages, I suggest picking the one (or two) that best fit with the developmental stage of your child. For example, if your child is working on reading words with silent e, use the sheets that feature that particular phonics skill.

Vowel Pattern Practice

The idea is to give kids practice reading words with specific phonics or word patterns. Learning to read and spell by phonics pattern is key for young readers and writers. Tons of words are spelled using the most common word/phonics patterns, like the ones I included in this printable chart, so your child will encounter these word patterns a lot when reading. For example, if a young reader can understand that the ai in rain makes the long a sound, she can look at a word like braid and figure it out by the ai pattern. Knowing the word pattern ai helps her to read AND spell the word (and most other words that contain ai).

To download this Winter-Theme Color by Vowel Pattern Pack, click HERE!

 

headshot-300-2014

First and foremost, I am a daughter of the King. I am also a homeschooling mama with four little blessings. Before having children, I was a classroom teacher, both in the private and public school setting for 6 years. I got my M.Ed. in Elementary Reading and then had my first son. I began tutoring K-5 struggling readers privately out of my home until having my first child (2012).

I did not plan on homeschooling {I actually said I’d “never” homeschool, but the Lord called me to it in 2009}. Homeschooling was a bit lonelier than I expected. So in 2010, I started blogging as a way to share ideas with other parents, teachers, and tutors.

I never dreamed that God would use my blog in so many ways. I have been able to use it as a platform for writing curricula, authoring books, creating learning apps, and speaking at homeschooling conferences and MOPS groups. Through my blog, I have shared many articles, activities and free printables.

 

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.

 

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A Hands On Approach To Educating Your Preschoolers

Teach Them Diligently 365 members, listen to:

“A Hands On Approach To Educating Your Preschoolers”

During this video session we will define the components of a quality preschool education, identify some of the important skills preschoolers need to learn, and learn how to create lessons and activities using a thematic hands on approach and look at lesson examples.

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

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crosses at sunset on mountain

God Has Big Plans For You!

Have you ever felt like God wanted you to step out and do something? Have you felt His hand clearly resting on you and directing your thoughts in ways that you would have never imagined for yourself? Were you a little scared at the thought of it all?

God wants us to do big things for Him.

Isn’t that amazing? The God of the Universe, Who could accomplish His will in whatever way He chose, chooses to use poor, sinful people who in themselves have little to offer Him. He chooses to work in His children who are willing to look at Him with open hearts and hands saying “use me in whatever way you see fit.” Wow. What a privilege and honor to be able to serve the King of Kings!

Many years ago, God called our family to do some things we absolutely never saw coming. He asked my husband to quit his job to run a mission agency called Worldwide Tentmakers. The call was so clear, that even taking the step of faith to quit seemed easy. Within a month after that, God again clearly called us to take another step. It has been this step that has had the most impact on our lives in the last 7 years.

Teach Them Diligently Began

God called us to try to reach His families and encourage them to disciple their children and to equip them with great resources for parenting and home education and their own Christian walk.  We started Teach Them Diligently Convention that same month. Having no idea what to expect (or honestly exactly what we were doing,) we set out to serve. We laid every element of the event before the throne of God and asked Him to lead and direct our choices. We prayed that He would bring in the families that needed encouragement and revival– and HE did. He brought in so many that first year that I was afraid the fire marshal would come after us for overcrowding of the facility.  He has continued to bless the work of our hands, and this year we are producing four Teach Them Diligently events with the prayer of reaching even more families onsite.

The journey God has led us on has been treacherous at times. I am glad God didn’t give us a full view of what was ahead when we started out, for I fear we would not have had the faith to make the trek. Through each day, each trial, each joy, each victory– God has been right there with us. We have been brought to our knees. We have been humbled. We have been able to see just how great is our God over and over again. I wouldn’t trade it for all the world (although my flesh has thought otherwise from time to time.)

How about you?

Has God called you to step out in faith and do something higher and greater for Him? Perhaps that call involves home education and laying a strong and sure foundation in the faith for the next generation. Perhaps He has given you a vision for service in your church or community. Perhaps He has given you words to write or speak. Are you moving forward in that call?

In the days and months ahead, I look forward to getting to know you all more as we explore how to deepen our relationship with Him through the great privilege of communing with Him in prayer and serving Him wholeheartedly in our homes and around the globe. It is my sincere hope and prayer that God will bring us all together next spring at one of the Teach Them Diligently events, so we can share our stories of His faithfulness and encourage one another through the amazing fellowship found when a whole bunch of homeschool mamas get together.

In the meantime, really ask God if He wants YOU to take a big step for Him. Trust Him enough to take that step of faith. Can you imagine what He would do with a mobilized force of believers who are willing to take big steps of service?  WOW! How I pray we see that day!

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.

Homeschool Workshop

Attending a Teach Them Diligently Convention in 2019 is guaranteed to help your homeschool– and bless your family! We hope you will make that a priority!

 

 

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discipleship teaching

As a homeschool mothers, wives, and believers in Christ we have many aspirations. We want to love the Lord with all our heart and be a godly wives according to Proverbs 31. We want to teach our children in the ways of the Lord and shield them from the evils of this world. We want to give them a Christian worldview so they can be world changers and carry on the message of the Gospel to the next generation.

Recently as I pondered these thoughts I wondered if how we attempt to do this is really an effective strategy. Am I teaching my kids to stand up for Jesus or stand apart?

Standing Up for Jesus

Standing up for Jesus means sharing my faith when it is not the popular thing to do. For me that means inviting people of different faiths into my home and sharing truth from God’s Word. It means not being afraid of those different from me and being willing to show the love of Jesus to those in need. It means letting go of the critical spirit that so easily besets those of the Christian faith and reaching out to the world in need.

I grew up completely surrounded by those of a faith just like mine. It wasn’t hard to stand up for Jesus in that environment. I learned to be comfortable and I spoke with all the Christian lingo of my friends. I was a good girl who followed in the faith of my fathers. There came a day, however, when I had to make my faith my own. I began to take ownership of my faith and realized the joy of my salvation. I wanted to share that with others. I spent time doing short-term missions. I was exposed to those in need in a great way by those trips.

When I came home, I saw the world through different eyes. I was no longer content to stay in my little circle and reach out to only those like me. I saw the sadness in the eyes of those I passed in the street. I was more aware of “divine appointments” or opportunities that God brought into my life to share his love with others.

 

gospel matthew 24:14

Standing Apart

My definition of standing apart in this context is to reject a spirit of pride and haughtiness and not convey to my kids that we have all the answers and those that are not living, doing or acting as we do are in the wrong. I teach my kids that there are moral standards that we should follow and I am purposing to take them to the Scriptures when we have questions about right and wrong: however, I want them to see others who are different from them through eyes of love rather than judgement. Can we see the victims of abuse through the eyes of Jesus? Can we see the homeless through the eyes of Jesus? Can we see the addict through the eyes of Jesus? Can we see the friend who is bitter and out of church through the eyes of Jesus? Jesus sought out sinners to dine with them.

 

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. Mark 2:17 (NIV)

 

I found that the early years of child rearing were tough and some days I was living on flare prayers. “Jesus help me!”, I would cry as I went about wiping runny noses, cleaning up potty messes and mending scraped knees. I spent my time teaching the kids Christian values by sharing truth with them from the Bible.

Now as my eldest is entering middle school, I am starting to see the transfer of faith and how important it is for me to live out my faith by example. It is no longer enough for me to tell my kids we need to love like Jesus because the Bible says so. They need to see me loving like Jesus loved.

We need to serve in the soup kitchen together. We need to do missions as a family. They need to see us give as a family. They need to see mom and dad participate in missions. They need to be beside us on their knees crying out for the salvation of our loved ones.

Am I teaching my kids to stand apart in judgement or join in the work with a heart of love toward those that are different? I want to join with Fanny Crosby and make the lyrics of this old hymn Rescue the Perishing my heart’s cry:

 

  • Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
    Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
    Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen,
    Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.
  • Refrain:
    Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
    Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.
  • Though they are slighting Him, still He is waiting,
    Waiting the penitent child to receive;
    Plead with them earnestly, plead with them gently;
    He will forgive if they only believe.
  • Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter,
    Feelings lie buried that grace can restore;
    Touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness,
    Chords that were broken will vibrate once more.
  • Rescue the perishing, duty demands it;
    Strength for thy labor the Lord will provide;
    Back to the narrow way patiently win them;
    Tell the poor wand’rer a Savior has died.

1869 – Public Domain

 

Let’s teach our kids by example to put away pride and haughtiness and be about our Father’s business. Let’s not get so caught up in standing apart from sin that we neglect the sinner in need of a Savior. Let’s look for opportunities to teach our kids to stand up for the faith and reach out to a world in need with a heart of love and compassion, while holding firm to our convictions and beliefs.

 

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

 

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.

 

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.

 

Do you want more fun articles on a wide range of topics like discipleship, academics, family, encouragement and general homeschooling?  Just click here to search the vast blog library!

 

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

 

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aop homeschool curriculum

Parents love to buy toys for their children. A 2010 British study of 3,000 parents published in The Telegraph reported that parents averaged spending about $475 yearly on toys, while friends and other family members chipped in another $400 annually. As a result, the study concluded that while the average 10-year-old child owned 238 toys, only 12 were played with consistently.

This year, in an attempt to avoid wasting your money (not to mention cutting down on the clutter accumulated in your home), Alpha Omega Publications invites you to consider these five experiences you can give instead of things.

CLASSES OR CAMPS

If your children are already involved in activities they’re passionate about, it might be hard to convince them that their fall soccer league or dance class is a gift, but the reality is that in most cases, those experiences aren’t cheap. Beyond the regular season or classes, however, there are usually lots of opportunities for extra summer camps. From coding clubs or pottery workshops to horseback riding or piano lessons, this gift could also be a wonderful opportunity for your child to do something new that they’ve been asking to try.

SUBSCRIPTIONS

What child isn’t excited to see his or her name on something when the mailbox is opened? Ignore the fact that the magazine you loved as a child or teenager has fewer issues today and find a subscription that fits your child’s interests. When the topic is right, sometimes a fun magazine can be the trick to reigniting a love for reading.

YEARLY MEMBERSHIPS OR SEASON TICKETS

One-time visits to attractions or museums can quickly add up for a whole family, but often, only a couple extra visits can cover the price of a season or yearly pass. If it’s a place your children love to go, you can easily maximize savings while giving your child days of entertainment and possibly education as well.

SPECIAL EVENTS

The reason vacations provide so many lasting memories for families is that you can experience so many new things together. However, hotels, food, travel, and tickets can all be costly. Find a fun way to reveal your next destination and watch the anticipation build for the upcoming family trip. On a lighter budget, purchase tickets for a concert of a favorite band or sports team in your city or closest metropolitan area.

FOOD

The larger your family size, the harder it can be to find one-on-one time with each child, but a gift card to your child’s favorite restaurant or smoothie shop can be a meaningful way to show that you value that time together. Then, be sure to block out time on your schedule to share some food together and catch up on life.

 

Founded in 1977, Alpha Omega Publications is a leading provider of PreK-12 Christian curriculum, educational resources, and services to homeschool families worldwide. AOP follows its mission every day by creating and providing quality Christian educational materials to thousands of students through curriculum, support services, and an accredited online academy. Visit Alpha Omega Publications online or call 800-622.3070.

 

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kid painting crafts

Holidays & Homeschooling

If you’re like me, one thing you need is extra time to prepare for the holidays. Do you need to find a way to relax on schooling through the holidays as well?

In those early years of homeschooling, I made a list of all the Christmas activities, traditions and shopping I needed to do. I plopped on the couch in despair. How would I get it all done and homeschool too?

Incorporate Festivities

The mailman delivered a ray of hope. I received a public school flyer with their December schedule printed. It was overflowing with school plays, holiday concerts and parties! I let out a sigh of relief. They too were making special considerations by giving the students a lighter academic load to put the holidays first.

Before I knew it, all was calm again.  Instead of dreading the holidays, they became a source of joy and warm memories. We continued this tradition of lightening academics through the holidays for the entire time we homeschooled.

I decided to capitalize on homeschool flexibility by focusing on the core subjects of math and language. This opened the rest of the time for something more light and festive. A unit on evergreen trees, the history of ginger bread houses, chocolate or candy canes became an inspiration. Who wouldn’t want to write a report on those?

I employed my love of paper crafts and instituted the re-purposing of Christmas cards into ornaments to use and give away. (I realized the teacher needed a refreshing activity as well!)

Below are ways to benefit from the creative side of education while enjoying the holidays.

Holiday Activities

  • Study geography by drawing a map and studying international Christmas traditions. Draw in special icons or prepare special foods.
  • Do the same with states. Study how Americans celebrated Christmas in each century.
  • Bake bread – measure, count and double!
  • Prepare a care package for the military troops. Add personal handmade cards or letters. Send them early. Many times it takes up to a month to receive them
  • Write a family Christmas play.
  • Enjoy outdoor winter sports like sledding, ice skating, skiing and animal tracking.
  • Read Christmas classics and favorites aloud.
  • Be community minded by helping distribute goods to needy families, collecting warm coats, reading to the elderly, or Christmas caroling at nursing homes.
  • Take field trips to a bakery, candy factory, pioneer museum or zoo. Many times zoos have Christmas specials like lighted train rides and decorations!
  • Sew Christmas gifts like pillows, sachets or a soft baby book or Nativity Scene

More ideas of Christmas Crafts for Children

Check out this video with ideas for refreshing our homeschool and busting through those mid-semester blues.

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.

 

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You can also find many more articles on the topic of Family and Holidays 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

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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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Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Convention
2435 East North Street, Suite 1108 PMB 363
Greenville, SC 29615
teachthemdiligently.net

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