Strengthen Your Family Through Biblical Homeschooling

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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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erskine college

PREPARING OUR CHILDREN FOR LIFE AFTER HIGH SCHOOL — AND WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH CHRISTMAS ANYWAY?

erskine college Preparation is a huge part of Parenthood. Joseph and Mary had to prepare the way for Jesus’ birth by traveling to Bethlehem, and once he was born, they were entrusted to raise Him in a way that was honoring and pleasing to God. Just like parents today, Joseph and Mary had no step-by-step instruction manual – they had to figure it out as they went along. Thankfully, parents today can look to the Bible for insight on raising Godly children and preparing for their future. Here are five ways we can imitate Christ in preparing our students for life after high school:

  1. Cultivate a strong work ethic. Even though the Bible doesn’t explicitly say it, Jesus probably worked in Joseph’s shop. As a carpenter’s son, he would have been expected to learn the family trade and to help provide for his family until he began his ministry. Work prepares our children for their future by teaching them:
    • Responsibility – by doing chores or summer jobs, students learn that they are accountable to others. This also helps build stronger family bonds as everyone pitches in to get things done.
    • Time management and learning how to say, “No,” in order to balance a schedule. Sometimes that means saying no to ‘good’ things in order that a greater ‘good’ can be accomplished.
    • Appreciation for what they have earned instead of contempt for what has been “handed” to them. We all remember how much more we valued the things we purchased with our own money – it is a gratifying experience and makes one grateful for the blessings in life.

Work helps students to recognize and develop their strengths.

  1. Teach Time & Money Management. There are many verses throughout the Bible that discuss stewardship. Jesus, himself, provides a perfect example of time management, as he consistently split his time between prayer with the Father and ministering to others. Here are some ways we can teach our students about time & money management:
    • Budgeting – creating a budget with our students will teach them about the reality of debt and loans – looking at long-term implications and learning to be a good steward of what God entrusts to us.
    • Setting up bank accounts.
    • Taking responsibility for financial transactions and focusing on saving up for large ticket items, where practical, are good ways to practice skills learned in consumer math type courses. Finally, living these principals out in the real world, such as shopping for the best deal and knowing when to say no to a particular purchase, enables our children to avoid possible debt traps.

Management also encompasses budgeting time in certain allotments, scheduling work/school/recreation opportunities and learning balance across these areas. Obviously, all this must be done in light of prioritizing God and family above all else.

  1. Engage Curious Minds. Have you ever wondered why Jesus used parables to get his point across instead of answering questions directly? By responding in parables, Jesus gives his followers a great gift: discovery. When we take time to think critically about things, we connect with the material in a way that is much more powerful than if someone just gives us an answer. You can engage your students by:
    • Encouraging the questions that cultivate critical thinking (example: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How)
    • Addressing social issues together from a Biblical perspective.

This mindset assists in supporting logical argumentation and learning to support opinions with facts. A Biblical worldview incorporates logical reasoning with the truth of God’s Word to form a complete understanding of our world.

  1. Encourage Ownership. Jesus was fully engaged in the work of the ministry; He wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty, and he took opportunities to do things for others that he could have easily delegated to his disciples. An often-overlooked example of this was His commission of the 70 to go out and preach. He gave parameters but then sent them out to tackle the actual mission. Similarly, you can encourage ownership of the college selection process in your students by:
    • Having your child make the necessary phone calls and inquiry through various sources.
    • Having them write the letters to search and apply for admission and scholarships.
    • Making the research of college and majors a project and have them use the critical thinking skills and research capabilities you have instilled in them to complete the work. This can go a long way toward narrowing your list of colleges to consider and determine how much your child will need to save toward college expenses.
    • Praying with your child for wisdom and guidance throughout the process.

When we allow students to be fully involved in the admissions process, we give them an opportunity to become invested in their education.

  1. Pray for a Teachable Heart. Jesus spent time as a boy in the temple engaging the scribes and Pharisees in conversation. Even though He was God’s son, He took the time to listen and learn. Take the time to sit down with your student to help them:
  • Develop goals – Only God-given goals are worth pursuing and if He has called your child to something, he will provide the strength to complete the task. Philippians 4:13 states, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
  • Create a plan – Be a diligent planner in correct correlation to God’s will in order to meet their goals. Proverbs 21:5 says, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance…”
  • Follow His lead – Allow God to direct their steps. In Proverbs 16:9, the Bible tells us, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”

Jesus had a teachable heart, that’s why he spent three days in the temple questioning the scribes and Pharisees. The Bible makes it plain that inquiry is a spiritual pursuit, so it is a natural progression for our children to seek guidance.

So, what does preparing our students for the future have to do with Christmas? As parents, we want to give our children good gifts, and this Christmas, one of the best gift parents can give their children is a good foundation on which to build their future.

 

By Dr. Tim Rees and Kendra LaGreca who both serve in the admissions department of Erskine College in Due West, SC

 

Register to attend the Teach Them Diligently Homeschool College Fair at one of the 2019 spring events and reserve a meeting time to connect with Erskine and other sponsoring institutions whom will answer your questions, give you advice, and provide information about their college to your students.

homeschool guidance counselor

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It is SO easy to get overwhelmed!

It’s funny. People often comment that I seem to have it all together. I actually just got a text about 10 minutes ago from a mama noting that she doesn’t know how I handle four children when one has her stretched thin. My answer to her, and to anyone who makes a comment like that, is that I have an amazing helper in my husband (and of course, that God is gracious beyond words to us!)

Let me explain what I mean by that comment about David. Those who know us well would probably all say that I am the organized one in our marriage, and in a way they are right. I set up things differently than David does, and I tend to notice details that he would generally miss in his “big picture world.” But so often, I get so bogged down in those little details that I miss the big picture all together.

God put us together to complete one another. We noted early on in our relationship that we were each other’s “other half,” (Even the inside of his wedding ring notes that fact. :) ) but the deeper into our marriage we get, the more clear that fact becomes.

I could write books on how we complete one another in God’s great plan, but this week, I wanted to share something David put together that is honestly an offshoot of a lot of conversations he has had with me through the years.

When I get overwhelmed…
When I get discouraged…
When I lose my way in all the various things vying for my attention…

He is the one person who can ground me. He reminds me of what is really important… and often, he always reminds me that ‘you eat an elephant one bite at a time.” :) (He’s full of wisdom like that…)

Not too long ago– maybe about this time last year when I was swimming in Christmas prep and Teach Them Diligently prep and homeschooling and parenting and basketball season and church responsibilities, and… David and I started working through some principles that we prayed would help us be better equipped and able to do what God has called us to do.

Unbeknownst to me, David felt led to compile the general ideas in some of those conversations into an assessment and an email series. I read it earlier this week, and it. is. incredible! As one who has benefited from his wisdom and insight for years, I really encourage you to check this out, for he shares with you many of the things he has shared with me through the years when I get the most undone. He will walk you through some foundational principles for being more productive, keeping your eye on the main things in your life, guarding your health, etc. It’s insanely practical, and I know it will be incredible helpful.

How I hope you will take a couple of minutes tonight to check out the productivity assessment and start that “conversation” with David. At this time of year, it’s so easy to become overwhelmed and even lose sight of WHO we are really celebrating right now in the midst of the busyness. I sincerely believe this will be a huge help to you, and I pray God uses it greatly.

Click Here To Learn more About The Productivity Assessment and Start That Conversation

Joining You Int’s funny. People often comment that I seem to have it all together. I actually just got a text about 10 minutes ago from a mama noting that she doesn’t know how I handle four children when one has her stretched thin. My answer to her, and to anyone who makes a comment like that, is that I have an amazing helper in my husband (and of course, that God is gracious beyond words to us!)

Let me explain what I mean by that comment about David. Those who know us well would probably all say that I am the organized one in our marriage, and in a way they are right. I set up things differently than David does, and I tend to notice details that he would generally miss in his “big picture world.” But so often, I get so bogged down in those little details that I miss the big picture all together.

God put us together to complete one another. We noted early on in our relationship that we were each other’s “other half,” (Even the inside of his wedding ring notes that fact. :) ) but the deeper into our marriage we get, the more clear that fact becomes.

I could write books on how we complete one another in God’s great plan, but this week, I wanted to share something David put together that is honestly an offshoot of a lot of conversations he has had with me through the years.

When I get overwhelmed…
When I get discouraged…
When I lose my way in all the various things vying for my attention…

He is the one person who can ground me. He reminds me of what is really important… and often, he always reminds me that ‘you eat an elephant one bite at a time.” :) (He’s full of wisdom like that…)

Not too long ago– maybe about this time last year when I was swimming in Christmas prep and Teach Them Diligently prep and homeschooling and parenting and basketball season and church responsibilities, and… David and I started working through some principles that we prayed would help us be better equipped and able to do what God has called us to do.

Unbeknownst to me, David felt led to compile the general ideas in some of those conversations into an assessment and an email series. I read it earlier this week, and it. is. incredible! As one who has benefited from his wisdom and insight for years, I really encourage you to check this out, for he shares with you many of the things he has shared with me through the years when I get the most undone. He will walk you through some foundational principles for being more productive, keeping your eye on the main things in your life, guarding your health, etc. It’s insanely practical, and I know it will be incredible helpful.

How I hope you will take a couple of minutes tonight to check out the productivity assessment and start that “conversation” with David. At this time of year, it’s so easy to become overwhelmed and even lose sight of WHO we are really celebrating right now in the midst of the busyness. I sincerely believe this will be a huge help to you, and I pray God uses it greatly.

Click Here To Learn more About The Productivity Assessment and Start That Conversation

Joining You In This Journey!

Leslie Nunnery

PS–I am really excited about a series of videos that is starting tomorrow on Teach Them Diligently 365 as we look at this Christmas season through fresh eyes. Tomorrow is the first video in that series, and we will look at the historical context of Christ’s birth. You can check that out– tomorrow– on that website. ( I would LOVE to have you join our community over there anyway!) 

PPS– I would love to hear from you about a way that YOUR spouse is a great completer for you. Sometimes, I think it’s easy to forget how perfect God’s plan for us really is, and how clearly we can see that in our marriages if we aren’t too distracted to look for it. Take a few minutes this evening to think about those things your spouse really helps you through. Thank him or her… then you can send me an  email to tell me about it. I’d love to rejoice with you as I read your testimonies of God’s grace in this way! :)

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seven closed doors to choose from

The year has brought about changes in our family’s homeschool. I let go of many of my pre-conceived notions about home education. The difference has been great. We still don’t live in a “Pinterest-perfect” house or run our school in a picture-perfect way, but we are all growing and changing and becoming more like the individuals God created us to be. For that, I am thankful!

I realized that if God called me to homeschool because of discipleship, and I was allowing my ideals or what I thought others expected of me to distract me from that most important task, I was failing in my calling. Our homeschool looks very different as a result. (You can learn a little more about how the Lord taught me that in “My Homeschool Doesn’t Have To Look Like Your Homeschool.”)

So often, just when we think we have it all figured out, something changes. Those changes may be due to finances, becoming a single homeschooling parent, loss of job, health issues or the normal year -end/beginning assessment of the year to come.

The changes (and stresses) associated with homeschooling do not stop there. There’s the risk of burnout and the never–ending necessity to truly place God first and taking time every day to reconnect with our spouses.

Regardless of what causes the change – change is change and it can be stressful.

So, what can we, as homeschooling families do to help one another during these changes? Perhaps you are changing curriculum, moving, or nothing at all (other than the grades your children are in). Either way, we want to know so we can pray with and for you and encourage you during this year’s homeschooling journey.

Suggestions for handling change:

  • Pray – alone and with a spouse.
  • Find friends you can discuss the changes with.
  • Write down your ideas and identify if they will help you achieve your over all goal for your family.
  • Talk with your children. Identify their strengths and where they need to grow.
  • Last but not least, take it slow.  Change takes time!

Now, it’s your turn. Share your changes for the homeschool year. Leave a comment below.

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.

 

Homeschool Workshop

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

 

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New Year, New Path

Yes, this homeschool year looks very different than when we started! It looks very different than it did last year.

But what does it mean…

As I mused on that point, waxing a bit nostalgic about where we’ve been and looking forward to where we’re heading, I couldn’t help but think about how important it is first of all to know why we’re doing what we’re doing. There are many days when there simply aren’t enough hours to accomplish all that is asked of us. I feel overwhelmed often and defeated as I look at mountains of papers to grade and register. I feel unequal to the task God has given me, and I am unequal to that task. There is simply not enough of me to go around any more than there’s enough of any mom pouring her life into her family and trying to make a difference in the world as she does.

Foundation

Thank God, though, there is more than enough of His grace for each hour. He is the “lifter up of my head” on those days when I feel too weary to lift it myself or I am so discouraged I simply don’t want to. He reminds me of WHY we started on this journey all those years ago. We desired to instill in our children a deep-seated love for the Lord our God and a commitment to serve Him whatever He may ask of them. We wanted them to see the world and the needs represented throughout it. And, to enlarge their borders and their thinking beyond themselves and to encourage them to prepare with all their heart for the special calling God has for them.

Our foundation is far more important than our curriculum, method, or set up!

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.

 

 

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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!

 

 

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By Becky Muldrow, Dual Credit At Home

Most of us attend a Teach Them Diligently homeschool convention for the “Aha!” moments of inspiration and encouragement. But those moments don’t just happen; we have to be intentional about our time and focus!

3 Simple Steps To Make the Most of TTD

Here are three surefire ways to get the most out of a Teach Them Diligently convention weekend…

  1. Decide ahead of time to totally immerse yourself in the entire convention. Once you have that program in hand, sit down and absorb it. Orient yourself with the entire convention area – the weekend will be over quickly and you don’t want to have just learned your way around when it’s time to head back home. Plan a detailed schedule – know where you need to be and when to be there. Keep that schedule in front of you and MAKE IT HAPPEN! (Much of this can be done ahead of time because the speakers and topics are online for us!)
  2. Rather than just sit back and relax, lean forward, listen, and take notes! Just like we tell our kids when they’re studying: “you remember more of what you write down!” So whether you use a yellow pad or an iPad, write down everything worth re-reading when you’re back home. Jot down speaker names and websites that you’ll want to visit later, great ideas, and especially some of the “how-to” information you’ll hear.
  3. Carefully choose your company for the weekend. If socializing is your goal, go with friends. If not, don’t. You can always plan a fun dinner together to enjoy time sharing about your day, but do even that with caution – you need rest to be at your peak. Focus on the sessions that will be full of the valuable information you are seeking. The weekend will be over before you know it, and you want to wind it up with excitement for school days that lie ahead!

 

The upcoming conference can change the course of your home school and even your child’s life. Don’t waste the experience!

Becky Muldrow

Hi there! I’m Becky Muldrow, wife to my high school sweetheart, Gene, and mom to 10 great kids! I love spending my days homeschooling the last 4 of them and sharing (on my website and at home school conferences) how we do high school differently (or not at all) – by replacing it with college. I’ll be attending both the Nashville and Atlanta conventions! Learn more about how we do high school differently at Dual Credit At  Home.

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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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