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Forum: Homeschooling Library
 Topic: Get Started!
Get Started! [message #6] Sat, 16 April 2005 01:24
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member
Getting Started
What a blessing you've received from God as He leads you to teach your own children! We'd like to give you some help in your quest for information on homeschooling and getting started.

Above all else pray and follow the leading of God. He will continue to be faithful in assisting you and your family as you get started with your homeschooling adventure. You may want to start with these Scriptures during this important step!

Each state has its own regulations for homeschooling. Find out what your state's homeschooling laws and regulations are. Contact the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA - write: P.O. Box 3000, Purcellville, VA 20134 or call: (540) 338-5600). Get in touch with one of your state's homeschool associations or a local homeschool support group. (HSLDA has a list of some for each state.) 

Watch your local newspaper for announcements of homeschool events sponsored by local support groups. Take the time to read some of the wonderful books written about homeschooling. 

Check your local library for these books doing a subject search on "home schooling" or by checking in sections 371.3 or 649 PAR. There are so many great homeschooling books available now to help get you started that it is difficult to name the best. Checking what is available at your library or local bookstore is a quick way to get reading. 

Start researching homeschool curriculum companies and ordering their catalogs. Check the CHFWeb HomeSchool Mall listings for these resources--many provide an order form for catalogs online. 

Find out if there are any homeschool workshops and/or curriculum fairs in your area and state. Mark your calendar for these events. Contact a state or local support group for more information or check out "Homeschooling Conferences By State" maintained by the Coleman Family. 

Find a place for encouragement and support. A local support group is a great place to get help and make homeschool friends. Also don't forget, the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Website (CHFWeb) is an online support group that is always available for you, 24 hours a day! Post a message on the message board to connect to other homeschooling families and obtain practical tips and encouragement. 

Again, pray and seek the guidance of Our Heavenly Father Who has convicted you in the first place to teach your own children. He is so faithful and will continue to lead you and make you strong in your quest to get started in homeschooling!

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 Topic: Scripture for Homeschooling!
Scripture for Homeschooling! [message #7] Sat, 16 April 2005 01:34
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member
Scriptures for Homeschooling


Here are some Bible verses to get you started in digging into God's Word for help in your homeschooling decision. A wonderful book to use during your preparation for homeschooling is The WholeHearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson. Chapter One, "Home Education and You" is a bible study for homeschoolers and potential homeschoolers. Also, Barbara Smith has written a beautiful book titled, Teach Me Lord That I May Teach: What We Learned Homeschooling the Kids, that encourages us all to look to the Lord for wisdom and strength! Remember, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." - Matthew 6:33 (NKJ)
Isaiah 54:13
All your children shall be taught by the Lord,
And great shall be the peace of your children. (NKJ)

Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it. (NKJ)

Psalm 78:4
We will not hide them from their children,
Telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord,
And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done. (NKJ)

Hebrews 12:9
Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? (NKJ)

1 Timothy 3:4
... one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence ... (NKJ)

Ephesians 6:4
And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. (NKJ)

Proverbs 3:1
My son, do not forget my law,
But let your heart keep my commands. (NKJ)

Deuteronomy 6:6-7
"And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. (NKJ)

Proverbs 1:8
My son, hear the instruction of your father,
and do not forsake the law of your mother. (NKJ)

Proverbs 13:20
He who walks with wise men will be wise,
But the companion of fools will be destroyed. (NKJ)

Joel 1:3
Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation. (NIV)

Other Verses to Consider:

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
He shall direct your paths. (NKJ)

Matthew 7:7-11
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (NKJV)

Jeremiah 29:11-14
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile." (NIV)

Jeremiah 33:2,3
This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it-the Lord is his name: "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." (NIV)

Acts 17:26-28
And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.' (NKJ)
 Topic: Homeschooling FAQ
Homeschooling FAQ [message #8] Sat, 16 April 2005 02:01
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member

Homeschool FAQs
Please note: These FAQs were first compiled in 1995, updated in 1999 ,
and they are still very much applicable for "today's" homeschooler in 2005 and beyond!


  1. Is it legal?
  2. What about socialization?
  3. How do you manage to teach so many children all at once?
  4. How do you have enough patience?
  5. How do you make your kids do their school work?
  6. How do you manage to teach algebra and higher maths and sciences?
  7. How do you ever have time to do anything else with your kids there all day?
  8. If you homeschool, how do you manage to do housework too?
  9. Do you ever have any time just for you?
  10. How do you afford all the different homeschool materials?
  11. How do you homeschool with babies, toddlers, preschoolers wanting your attention, too?
  12. How do you know WHAT to teach?
  13. How can homeschoolers get into college?
  14. How do you get by on just one income?
  15. Is there anyway both parents can work and still homeschool?
  16. How can I get my child to be faithful to do their assignments without me standing right over them?
  17. Don't you ever just get too tired to homeschool?
  18. How can I get my husband more involved since he's so busy already?
  19. How do I know which curriculum is best for my family?
  20. What do I do when it just seems like my child isn't "getting it" when I am trying to teach him?
  21. How do you make sure you're covering "everything"?
  22. Don't they get bored staying home all the time?


1. Is it legal?

One member answered ... Yes, it is legal in all 50 states, but the laws regulating it differ in each state. You should get a copy of your state's homeschooling law. Contact the Home School Legal Defense Association at HSLDA, P.O. Box 3000, Purcellville, VA 20134, Phone (540) 338-5600. Or contact your state homeschool association through Teaching Home's State Homeschool Organizations at http://www.teachinghome.com/states/

2. What about socialization?
Sherry answered ... My favorite is to turn the question around and ask: first, what do you mean by socialization? I get a lot of practice with this one, since this is one of the two most commonly asked questions in my neck of the woods (the other is: but are you qualified, because you're not certified). Asking them the question makes them examine their definitions and assumptions, and sometimes forces them back to the Bible, eventually. [For more thoughts on the Biblical definition of "socialization", see: "Missing the Mark: Socialization vs. Fellowship and Ministry" .]

3. How do you manage to teach so many children all at once?
Sherry replied ... I get asked this, because of the ages of my kids. People say but what do you do with the little ones during school? I say, I include them all. They'll be 3, 5 and 7 this year. Homeschooling is a modified tutoring method....it is different from regular group instruction in school. [For examples of how one family with six children homeschooled with multi-grades, see "Multilevel Homeschooling" .]

4. How do you have enough patience?
Kathy Ridpath shared ... For me, *I* don't have enough patience to teach my own children, to stay home with them every day of the year, to keep my house running in a manner that promotes a healthy and loving atmosphere, etc. I receive my patience from God!!!! It is through His help, His patience with me, His touches upon our home and our homeschool that patience has entered our home. Smile
I've recently gone through quite a bout with stomach problems and after much prayer and sharing from others, I believe my stomach problems were caused by stress. The stress that comes from me trying to keep things running smoothly around here, the stress that comes from *not* depending and resting in the Lord, the stress that comes from *not* seeking the Holy Spirit's help and guidance in our home. This past month I have felt much better and I believe it is because I have started to depend on His work in our home, His loving presence which stregthens us and the peace we receive when He overflows us with hope!! Smile
"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." - Phil 4:7

5. How do you make your kids do their school work?
Sherry answered ... Make them? LOL -- my kids love school and learning and books and stuff. I think that's one of the misunderstandings about homeschooling.....picture Mom with a whip and the circus lions behind her...to get junior to buckle down and do his math. Recently, a school child asked their parents to hs them (becoming more common here), and the parent said no, and then came to me to be talked into it. I didn't realize it at the time, and I'm not the type to talk them into anything besides child discipling, but the funniest line was: okay, *how* much time is this gonna take outa my day? When I described our day, and said that hers might be different, since she had older kids, she described her day......from trying to get the kids up at 5:30 to do their hair to get to school on time, to getting them at 2:35, to getting them to sports, to getting them home, to making dinner and doing church functions. She said and then we have to do homework and asked me when my kids do their homework. I told her our schoolwork *is* our homework right now....and she almost flipped. She said "please don't tell me that!" (like please don't tell me there's a more enjoyable method)

[For help in Biblical child training principles, see: "Homeschool Boot Camp: Dealing with Attitudes".]

6. How do you manage to teach algebra and higher maths and sciences?
Kim Schumm answered ... For algebra and the maths, make sure you buy the solution manual! Otherwise find someone competent to teach it. [For additonal ideas, see "Homeschooling High Schoolers".]

7. How do you ever have time to do anything else with your kids there all day?
One member answered ... I know that with my children I have plenty of time to do other stuff (like that word? couldn't think of what else to call it) throughout the day. My children naturally want their own time to explore and play and rest and read. They do not always want and need me hanging over their every moment. I even have times when I am shooed away so I won't interfere. You know the moments, child building a house out of blocks, mother comments, "put that block over there", child turns to look at mother with exasperated look that says without words, "I want to do this all by myself, please!"
I have also found getting up at an early hour helps me to get a jumpstart on everyone else. I can't stand to get up and having lots of activity already going on. I feel as though I'm playing catch up for the rest of the day. So my early start lets me have my absolutely quiet time with the Lord & His word, get in a brisk morning walk, and possibly get some sort of chore out of the way, i.e., folding laundry, throwing dinner in the crockpot, reading the messages here. This takes commitment, but how can that be hard when we have already committed to the awesome task of teaching our own children?
Another way I get time for myself is to take it! If I need to get some special shopping, time at the library all by myself, to rest peacefully without bangs & bumps in the background, etc., I take it!! How? I let my dh know when he gets home or I call him at work to prepare him for my departure when he returns. I either let him know that I'll be running out to the store or library or that I would appreciate it if he took the children fishing or swimming or some other fun activity so I could have some complete peace & quiet in the house.
I occasionally stay up late to get control of areas that need it. For example, my homeschool records needed to be straightened up last week, so on Friday night I worked on them. I try to limit these late "control" nights though because I need every bit of energy I can get out of the days!! Smile

[See "Managing Our Time" for more helpful principles and tips. ]

8. If you homeschool, how do you manage to do housework, too?
Sherry confided ... My downfall, but we're working on it. There are always so many fun things to do. My oldest is very helpful. The youngest loves to fold clothes. We're making a family time out of hoeing through each room. I'm up for suggestions on this, too, because our house is project-oriented, so it's never immaculate all over at any one point. [See "Homeschool and Housework" for ideas on how to balance it all!]

9. Do you ever have any time just for you?
Nancy Schofeld replied ... I get this one all the time. I found people either think I'm a saint or a lunatic! I get up at 7:00 a.m and start school at 9:00. That gives me 2 hours for devotionals, shower, some light housework, some planning and sometimes I even throw dinner together in this time. School is out at 2:30, and the afternoon is then mine (or as much as any mom with children's is! That's 3 1/2 hours til dinner. My children go to bed (to read, not necessarily to sleep) at 8:00, and I stay up until 11:00 or later. That's another three hours! By curtailing a lot of our extra-curricular activities, we don't spend a lot of time driving and picking up children, so I have more than eight hours a day to call my own!

[For more help in finding time for Mom, see "Feeling Frazzled? Take Time to Recharge!" ]

10. How do you afford all the different homeschool materials?
Sherry suggested ... You can school for nothing if you ask around and inherit books. Some people spend $1500 a year. But $1500 for four kids, is a whole lot more affordable than $2000 per year per kid for private school. It's not a money issue with us -- we'd been saving for Christian school since before the babies were born, but the savings have helped us immensely. I know of many people who are paying school tuition, but are on food pantry programs, do WIC, Visiting Nurses child checkups, etc. It makes me laugh when they talk about needing a separation between church and state. The state is already paying tuition for private schools, they just are paying through food and medical programs. It's not wrong, the people qualify because of their incomes, but it's really a weird setup.

Tamara Eaton writes: Homeschooling on a Shoestring? We've done it on a thread....

It's been our family's experience that GOD will provide for our homeschooling needs regardless of whether we have a "limited" budget or not. We have not always had the extra money to set aside funds for homeschooling curriculum needs, elaborate field trips or classes. There were many years I made a list of what I thought our needs were, prayed over them, and saw the Lord adapt or meet the needs in a variety of ways.

Most homeschooling families I know have spent WAY more on homeschooling curriculum than we ever have...but we have been very blessed by used book sales (our local libraries have used bookstores which have been a HUGE blessing), books and resources on sale, and through the years have built up a very nice home library so it's not always even necessary to buy homeschool curriculum each year. (Especially when we have materials left over from homeschooling the older children.)

I could look in homeschooling curriculum catalogs and find all sorts of "goodies" but they are not *necessary* for our homeschooling to be successful! So...my advice to those whose budgets ARE limited is to be content and trust God and don't compare yourselves to others who have more to spend. God will BLESS your homeschooling and provide ALL your needs (even if you don't have all the latest homeschool "gadgets and *all-new-must-have-curriculum*).

Also don't get so caught up in buying materials for your children that you neglect to prepare yourselves as teachers ("Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself?" --Romans 2:21). Spend time in prayer, in God's Word, reading good books and articles that would encourage you in learning HOW to teach your children. )

And above all else: "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

11. How do you homeschool with babies, toddlers, preschoolers wanting your attention, too?
One member replied ... I include them all. When they are tiny, I do school in short segments around nap schedules. My two year old last year had her own journal, her own coloring/letter book, her own crayons. She learned a lot! I see them as little people needing discipling as much as the older ones. And they learn as much playing at my ankles listening as they do at the table.

For many helpful suggestions on homeschooling with toddlers in the household, see: "Homeschooling with Toddlers!"

12. How do you know WHAT to teach?
Kathy Ridpath answered ... This is a question that *I* wondered about when I first started. I had friends offering to share the homework their children were getting at school because they were worried I would leave something out of my son's education. There are many homeschooling books which contain information about which subjects to teach and teaching approaches/methods.
I have to say though that *we* know as parents what our children need to learn about. Even more importantly, our children know!! Yes, they really do! God leads us to homeschool and He doesn't abandon us to this world then. His guidance continues on throughout the life of our children.
I'll share an example with you. Matt is naturally good at mathematics. He is naturally "challenged" in language arts though. If I was to stick with his age/grade level. I would not be challenging him in his math and I would have him struggling terribly in language arts. It would create a lot of unnecessary tension in our homeschool. I have allowed him to work through these subjects at his own rate, at his own potential. Allowing him to learn this way resulted in some very interesting results on his standardized test. He was mid-first grade level in language, beginning 3rd grade level in reading, and mid-4th grade level in math. As his parent, I could get worried about his language results, but I can't because I see the effort is there and with time he will improve in this area at his own rate.
Okay, so everyone knows we have to teach the children the 3 R's, but how about all that other stuff. This is where your own family's interests will play a big part. For our family, we do a lot of unit studies and interest studies. We also enjoy history. We will definitely cover other subjects like the arts and foreign languages, but these will not be the "core" of our homeschool.

13. How can homeschoolers get into college?
Kim Schumm answered ... There are several options. THey definitely should take the SAT/ACT or both. They can enroll as a special student and then use those grades to become a regular student. They can go the GED route. They can just apply to a college using a transcript and portfolio of their work. Many colleges will accept students based upon their transcript, ACT/SAT scores, and completion of the college application.

14. How do you get by on just one income?
From Tamara Eaton ... Some of the ways we manage to get by with one income...

  1. Matt.6:33, our "life" verse. Without the Lord, I don't know HOW we'd do it.
  2. We don't drive new vehicles. One of these days the kids will be grown and we can always invest in one of those "dream vehicles". (On the other hand, I hope that if the Lord tarries, our children will be frequently bringing our grandchildren to visit and we might decide to keep those big vans so we can cart them around.)
  3. We don't buy expensive clothing...we plan our wardrobes, usually stick to classics, purchase things on sale, and never refuse used clothing or hand-me-downs unless they don't fit or we really don't need them. The Lord blesses us in so many unexpected ways...for example, in the past year when I lost weight, my mom's good friend gained weight. She always buys classic styles of excellent quality, really expensive brands, too. She gave me all her outgrown clothes! We pray for our needs to be supplied and then just rejoice in the Lord's faithfulness to us!
  4. We rarely eat out, instead we make it fun to prepare together easy meals that are treats. We make homemade pizzas that are actually better tasting than takeout, and they are much more nutritious.
  5. We buy groceries in bulk when possible, and stock up on meat when it is on sale. We don't run out to the grocery store just to pick up an item or two, but plan our trips...making do if we run out of something, if possible.
  6. We also plan outings to conserve gas.
  7. We buy a lot of items used...furniture, vcrs, etc.
  8. We don't spend much on entertainment or travel...our kids are our entertainment! We enjoy games as a family, singing together, doing "old-fashioned" things like making homemade doughnuts together and popping popcorn. (OK, we use the microwave kind of popcorn...so we cheat a little there.<grin>) When we entertain, we do it family-style!
  9. We almost never take vacations. This we hope to change one of these days especially now that our little ones are bigger. Still, several times a year we take "mini-vacations" by either going somewhere not too far for us for day trips, or by staying home on a weekend and turning off the phone, and planning lots of fun foods, activities, etc. together as a family. No chores are done...we only pick up after ourselves, use paper plates for meals, etc. It has been a big hit and our kids ask us when we plan the next vacation! If we have extra money at that time, we might eat out a meal (brunch is a favorite!) and/or give the kids some cash and take them on a shopping trip somewhere kind of different.
  10. When something is broken or not working, we try to repair it ourselves instead of calling in the "professionals".<g> This is great experience for all of us, including the kids who are learning basic household repairs. My teen son even repairs appliances, the riding lawn mower, furniture, etc.
  11. We barter when we can! William and Micah have done this a lot with computers and equipment. Micah bartered his time putting together a computer (it took him 2 1/2 hours) for a laser printer that works perfectly. He also was able to "purchase" a riding lawn mower (his regular chore was mowing grass!) by working it off on a farm doing chores and repairing things.

These are just some of the ways we save money! I hope others will jump in with their ideas here. Our lifestyle is comfortable even though we do have our trials when it comes to finances...still we wouldn't trade our life with six happy kids for anything!

15. Is there anyway both parents can work and still homeschool?

Julia Allen writes, I homeschooled for a full year while both my husband and I worked full-time. It can be done if you have a reliable person to care for the kids during the day (we live with my mother-in-law) and you are willing to be very flexible. Homeschooling can be done at any time of the day or night - I did some of my homeschooling after work in the evenings and some on the weekends. If your kids work well independently and you use a curriculum that lends itself to requiring minimal instruction from the teacher, you can have them accomplish much of the work while you  are working as well. My boys did math, language arts, and penmenship while I worked. Together we studied social studies, science, etc. I was determined not to put them back in school, so we made the commitment to make it work. After one year, we had paid off all our debts, so now I can be home with them. -- Julia


From Brenda Rath ... My dh is a pilot for an air ambulance company, and at best, the aviation industry can be kind of fickle. It is in our best interest to keep my nursing license in good standing. So our Dad is more than just principal - he will be "substitute teacher" when I work. I only work 3 or 4 days a month, and only when my dh is "off the beeper". If the days that I work happen to be "school days", then Dad is on! We have been blessed with the flexibility of nursing. With the exception of being oversees, I have always been able to find work, as much or as little as I wanted, and still fit it in to my dh's unusual schedules.

16. How can I get my child to be faithful to do their assignments without me standing right over them?
Tamara Eaton replied ... While some children are more naturally self-motivated than others, all have some degree of inner motivation (although it may not be obvious at first). All children also need training to help them become more responsible and self-motivated learners. Here is a list of helpful principles and tips to establish good habits: "Let's Get Motivated! Encouraging Self-Motivated Learners"

17. Don't you ever just get too tired to homeschool?
From Sherry... Nope, I treat it as my most important job. I do allow flexibility -- start school early, double up days, so that we take sick days, snow days, here and there, and can take off if a great idea comes from grammie (the science museum? sure!!) Some people school lightly year round, some do four weeks on, one week off; or eight weeks on, two weeks off; some take the whole month of December off.

From Kathy Ridpath ... YES!!!!!!!!!!!!! I do get tired and I am learning to listen to this. I take a break then and there. I rest, pray, read, play, relax, and goof off. We need to do this to refresh our minds and our bodies. We need these times to get ourselves back on focus, back with commitment, back with faith!!!
For example, back in early July (I think or was it late June? <g>) we started our Flight unit study. I was not feeling well, I was feeling very exhausted. Well, I had decided what I needed was to jump into a project such as Flight! WRONG!!!! After a test "flight" of Flight, I put it aside and rested my body, mind, and soul. I did some preparations for starting Flight when we would be ready physically, mentally, and emotionally. So we started it up again (this is our 3rd week) and this time was the right time.
We need to be aware of our energy level, our enthusiasm level, and *believe* that if we have to put something off, the Lord will get us going when His time is right!! Smile

[Also see: "Comfort and Hope for the Weary" and "Confessions of a Homeschool "Veteran" (Our need of Faith, Fortitude and Focus!)"

18. How can I get my husband more involved since he's so busy already?
From homeschool dad Steve Linebarger ... I have to admit that my wife does practically all the planning and such for homeschooling our children.
As a husband, I have to say that I am very tired at the end of the day and don't look forward to having the extra responsibility of teaching. I have other chores to tend to.
In the last seven years our children have been homeschooled I have taught two courses. The motivating factor was the fact that I enjoyed the subject matter and excelled to a small extent in these areas.
Our oldest daughter's handwriting was in desperate need of some improvement. Having recently practiced the art of calligraphy I found myself teaching her Gothic Black Letter calligraphy. Each day or two we would work on a different letter and every week or so I would have her write out the letters of the alphabet she had learned so far.
As our oldest daughter reached Pre-Algebra my wife found it a little difficult to explain to her when she had trouble. I enjoyed math in high school and college and saw this as an opportunity to teach as well as brush up on my math skills.
I guess the you should find your husbands strong points. Point them out to him and ask that he teach them to your child(ren).

[See also: "The Homeschooling Father's Role"]

19. How do I know which curriculum is best for my family?
You may want to read the article on the Favorite Tips webpage called Choosing Curriculum by Tamara Eaton.

Carole Lacefield suggested ... First of all, realize that there is no perfect curriculum. It's all just a tool, and you can probably use just about anything if you're able to mold it to your family. However, I'm constantly reading books, magazines and catalogs, looking for better ways to teach. It's a learning process for the teacher that is on-going. I like to experiment with resources that sound great, and if they really don't work, I'll just get something else. I can either use it with my next child who has a totally different learning style or sell it and only be out a little bit of money. As Mary Pride says, it's an investment in wisdom in any event. But to someone just starting out, I would say to read as much as you can get your hands on, then make a decision and stick with it for one year. You can switch to something else next year.

20. What do I do when it just seems like my child isn't "getting it" when I am trying to teach him?
Kathy Ridpath shared ... I was so excited yesterday when my son had a breakthrough on a math concept he has been struggling with. He was getting frustrated and wouldn't let me help. Finally I took away his book very gently. I sat him down and asked him simple questions about place values and eventually worked up to the technique they were trying to teach him (front-end estimation.) Then I backed off and let him take it on his own. He struggled a little then suddenly he started shouting out the answers!! Smile
It was one of those moments when you feel God's work so powerfully in your homeschool. He helped me remain calm and gentle with my son, He helped my son be humble enough to let his mom help <vbg>, He gave me the right way to build a better foundation for this lesson, He pulled me back when I had completed my part, and He gave my son that drive to master this lesson. It was so neat! (I know it was only one small trick for doing math, but it was so neat! Smile

21. How do you make sure you're covering "everything"?
From Carole Lacefield ... You won't!!!!! It's better to instill a love for learning in your children and teach a few things well than to cram a multitude of facts into their heads and have them never want to look at a book again after they graduate! They'll learn more than enough doing the 3 R's and including quality books in their routine.

22. Don't they get bored staying home all the time?
Nancy Schofeld answered ... You mean in comparison to sitting at a desk in the same classroom doing pages and pages of worksheets, reading "sound bite" pieces of trivialized history, watered down literature, and science from a book rather than from God's laboratory?! <bg< Actually, who stays home?! We're at the library, in the swamp, in the woods, at the museum and wherever else our studies take us.

[And if Cabin Fever strikes, try these tips: "Cures for Cabin Fever"]

 Topic: What if your husband opposes homeschooling?
What if your husband opposes homeschooling? [message #17] Tue, 19 April 2005 14:07
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What if your husband is opposed to homeschooling? Some suggestions from "both sides" (male and female!):

Posted by  Valerie 

Subject: Following & appealing

On: Friday, 22 October 1999 at 9:54 pm

Do you know why he does not want you to homeschool? What are his concerns? Will you be quitting a job?

I faced a similar attitude in my husband. I did all the reading and kept trying to convince him. The hardest part of it all was accepting that he was the head of our house and the decision was his to make. I had to accept this in my heart and then determine that I would follow his decision and support him - not be bitter, etc. This was the first thing needed.

Next I thought about his concerns, one by one. How would homeschooling change things? What things could I do to help with these concerns?

I wrote out a list and realistically  addressed them. Kind of like a pro and con list. I listed all the pros I saw, as well, and the info to support them. This was not easy to do, as I wanted to load it with persuasive speech, but felt God wanted me to be objective and fair.

I gave the whole thing to my husband, and said, honey, this is something I would really like to do, its very much on my heart - I wrote these things out so you will know I'm aware of your concerns and you can know how I feel, but we'll do what you decide.

I do not know whether he read it - or if God just moved on his heart without it. He said he was wary - but if I felt that way, he felt he could trust me. He said life is full of regrets, and he did not want to be the reason I did not follow my heart. It was a step of faith for him, but he has supported us. I do not know how long we will school, and am always aware that should he want them back in school - that is where they will go. If it comes to that - my trust is in God and I will not be afraid. It is a good place to be. I know it meant a lot to my husband that I did not argue with him, but rather asked him to please consider my thoughts and told him I would support his decision.

Love, 

Valerie

And from a dad's view:

From: David 

Subject: I'm a Dad who also opposed the idea. (Long)

On: Friday, 22 October 1999 at 9:54 pm

Our son is 4. We had some time before a final decision had to be made, so maybe our situation was different. On the other hand, maybe a male perspective would help here.


1. My wife was very interested, but I had a lot of doubts. She didn't nag, threaten, or in any way make me feel that our future happiness depended on me "giving in". She did state her opinion, and left the decision to me.


2. I'm results oriented. Saying that she wanted to keep him at home wasn't enough. Pointing out that homeschool children, on average, score significantly better than public school children on scholastic testing run by the state carried a lot of weight.


3. We had many non-confrontational discussions about our values, and compared and contrasted those to the values taught (intentionally or otherwise) in public schools. After this discussion, we were sure that public school was not an option. We would either homeschool or apply to a private Christian school.


4. Let's face it. Money comes into play in many decisions that we make. We factored in the loss of income from her not having a job (not really that big a factor when one considers the appalling marginal tax rates in this country), the cost of a private education (shocking, even for pre-K programs in our area), and the cost for materials to educate at home. A reasoned, realistic approach is called for here. Don't try to cook the books to support your position. Additionally, she does do some paying work from home, and it helps. Even if she only clears $100 or so a month, that generally covers the cost of the educational materials.


5. I needed to be better informed on the difference between keeping your child at home and educating your child at home. BIG DIFFERENCE. Knowing that there was a daily plan for what our son would be doing each day helped me to see that this was not a case of him just hanging around the house. Now I participate in the planning process, and even do some of the schooling. My son's favorite: The "Plus" Game (aka flash cards).


6. I had the notion that homeschoolers were all a bunch of anti-government conspiracists...out of the mainstream...wacko's. For the uninformed public, I think this is a stigma that homeschoolers have. Then I met another guy, quite by accident, who was a homeschool dad. He was just a normal guy who thought that this was the best way to educate his children. The more homeshoolers I met the more I realized that these were not isolated hermits with no contact with the outside world. They were average, everyday Americans who wanted what was best for their kids. Actually, they were way better than average. They were, themselves, well educated, very aware of their rights and responsibilities as citizens, very informed on political issues and avid voters, and involved in their communities to a much greater than average degree. 


7. We decided to do a trial run by doing a pre-K at home. I've become a believer. My 4 year old son is reading (not War and Peace...we do 100 Easy Lessons), doing simple sums, easy science projects (putting beans in a jar and watching the seeds sprout) and has developed a love of learning that I find surprising and very satisfying. Maybe a trial run will be a good compromise for you, too.


Wow, this has been longer than I intended it to be. Whatever your decision, I hope things turn out well for your family.

 Topic: Hold On Tight PLEASE!
Hold On Tight PLEASE! [message #18] Tue, 19 April 2005 14:54
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Hold On Tight PLEASE!

Posted by Kathy Ridpath (NC) on Wednesday, 26 August 1998, at 10:02 p.m.

The past few days we've been watching the approach of Hurricane Bonnie. What a difference experience makes ... experience doesn't make much of a difference. What do I mean?

Two years ago, North Carolina had a double whammy hurricane season, and was particularly hit hard by Hurricane Fran. Fran was devastating and, in some ways, North Carolina is still recovering from it. But Hurricane Fran did alert people. For the past two years, a lot has been done to be better prepared for a hurricane, including educating citizens and having better emergency procedures. This state was ready for Hurricane Bonnie. What a difference experience makes.

Today, Hurricane Bonnie came ashore. She seems to be a slow, plodding, determined, big hurricane. She has been and will be destructive. We can't prevent her forward progress, her high winds, her flooding rains, her storm surge, her path--which spells terrible destruction & erosion for the coastal area. North Carolina knew Bonnie was coming and couldn't stop her. Experience doesn't make much of a difference.

Hurricane Bonnie will leave North Carolina in the next day or two. She'll leave behind destruction, but there will be people here to rebuild. The coastal areas won't be the same. Lessons will be learned, new procedures put in place, new experiences that will affect the way people react the next time a hurricane comes this way.

What's my point? (IOW, why is this post in the Homeschool section? *grin*) I was thinking about some of the messages I've been reading from homeschoolers going through some tough times with their homeschool. It seems like a hurricane is in our midst. When it comes to homeschooling -- What a difference experience makes ... experience doesn't make much of a difference.

We can learn from past homeschooling experiences, whether it is our own or through others that share, but, even if we are prepared, we can't stop the trials that will come.

=================================================

In _The Valley of Vision_, a collection of Puritan prayers & devotions compiled by Arthur Bennett, one of the prayers has this beautiful quote ...

Keep me sensible of my weakness,
and of my dependence upon thy strength.
Let every trial teach me more of thy peace,
more of thy love.

from the prayer titled "Grace In Trials".

=================================================

Be prepared, learn from experience, and do not be surprised by these trials. Take some time to meditate on the following Scripture:

Are you surprised that you are having a difficult time?
1 Peter 4:12-13
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Are you worried?
Isaiah 26:3
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Are you afraid?
Psalm 112:7-8a
He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. His heart is established, he shall not be afraid

Are you feeling weak, inadequate?
Ephesians 2:10
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Do you feel like quitting?
Philippians 3:13b-14
forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Do you wonder why you are doing this?
Hebrews 12:2
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

=================================================

We watched a show recently about barrier islands. These islands are literally shifting piles of sand. Imagine building your home on one of these islands. Steadily beneath your home, the sand, upon which you've laid your home's foundation, is shifting. One hurricane can take out your foundation and send your house toppling into the sea.

Our "homes" are thankfully built on the Rock, on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ and His Word. When a "hurricane" comes against you with high winds and drenching rain, threatening to knock out your foundation and send you tumbling into the raging ocean, you should be reminded of what Jesus said ...

Matthew 7:24-27
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

Jesus sure knew what a hurricane was like.

John 16:33
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

You are in my prayers!

Love,
Kathy

Forum: Tips & Inspiration
 Topic: Encouraging Talks
Encouraging Talks [message #394] Thu, 21 April 2005 01:32
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This is a collection of old messages that have been compiled and edited.

From the first, our desire here on CHFWeb has been to encourage, edify and exhort one another in love, with all gentleness and meekness! Visiting any of the Message Board sections, you will find discussions constantly in progress. Encouraging Talks is a glimpse of the daily discussions that take place here on CHFWeb.

Symptoms of Worldliness?

How many of our values, beliefs, and priorities have actually been taken on from society without our even realizing it? This is a compilation of a thread on the Titus Two section.

Thoughts on the Biblical View of Friendships

This is a compilation of several threads where thoughts on the Biblical view of friendships were shared.

The Socialization "Issue"

This discussion was pulled out of the "archives". Back in November 1997, Kevin and Kate Megill posted this outstanding reply to a question about the socialization (or lack of socialization) of homeschooled children.

"History Without Curriculum"

"I am not interested in using a prepackaged curriculum for my 6yo son but am needing ideas for introducing him to Old Testament history. ... I want to make this a family affair since my husband is not a christian and am hoping this gets him interested in the Bible."

"New Homeschooler Seeking Advice!"

"I'm just a little overwhelmed with all the choices and teaching styles there are out there."

"Need Encouragement"

One member, who is just getting ready to start homeschooling, shares her concern about homeschooling after hearing some "horror stories" ("it costs too much" , "it makes the kids social rejects", etc.) from a non-homeschooler. Seeking encouragement she says, "It makes me wonder if I'm doing the right thing. I just want to do what's best for my son."
 

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"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

Forum: Article of the Week
 Topic: Our "Perfect" Homeschool
Our "Perfect" Homeschool [message #4] Fri, 15 April 2005 15:21
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Our "Perfect" Homeschool

Our "Perfect" Homeschool
by Tamara Eaton

Recently someone asked me what I would like to change about our homeschool. I thought about it for several minutes, but I couldn't think of anything I wanted to change. For the past few years, we've reached a homeschooling plan and style that suits our family just perfectly!

No, our children aren't perfect or even perfectly educated in all areas yet. (William and I aren't either!) We are all still growing in the Lord and learning more every day and plan to continue to do so by His Grace! I'm sure there will be wonderful new books and maybe even new curriculum that comes our way next fall, but our basic style of homeschooling will stay the same and we will continue to rest in the Lord and trust in Him to lead the way.

What is our homeschool style? We have a *lifestyle* of learning and it is a relaxed method which truly lasts year round, often including weekends and evenings! BUT we only make assignments for four days a week and we feel free to take breaks whenever we need so that no one gets burned out, including Mama!

Our first priority is discipling our children and encouraging them in their walk with the Lord and in His Word. We work hard on child- training and seek to be diligent, leaning *heavily* upon the Lord for His wisdom and direction. We work on our relationships with each other...homeschooling gives us time to perfect those areas that need perfecting! We spend a LOT of time together, we need to get along well! We encourage teamwork--in everything from caring for the house to cooking meals and doing laundry, and helping each other out.

Then comes academics...we stress the basics, giving our children the tools they need to go on and learn things on their own. We encourage and train them to be self motivated and responsible for their own studies as early as possible--with us available if they need us and as their #1 cheerleaders!

We don't overburden our children with too many assignments so that they have plenty of time to pursue their own interest studies, too. We encourage their love of reading by reading aloud to them from an early age, then teaching them to read when they're ready and continuing to encourage them to enjoy good books of all sorts-- nonfiction and biographies, as well as fiction. So much learning occurs painlessly this way!

We stay home a LOT. Too many outside activities are a killer for me, and I have learned to accept my physical limitations and concentrate on what needs to be done most in this season of my life--caring for my family. It's painful to have to say no often, but it's even more painful to say yes then regret it or suffer for it. I have all the energy I need to do what the Lord requires of me, and no extra!

Here is an example of our homeschool day. I'm a morning person so I wake up naturally around 5:30-6:00 a.m. I use this short time alone (before my youngest two wake up and join me) to read, pray, and take care of the Christian Homeschool Forum and respond to emails. The younger ones wake up anywhere from 6:30-7:00, so I have them play quietly and usually give them juice or fruit to keep them until we have breakfast. I continue to work on the computer for a while longer or read.

The other kids wake up at different times, finally the noise wakes William (or my bringing him coffee does!) and we all eat a simple breakfast. Afterwards, the three older daughters clean the kitchen and den while I supervise the younger two getting dressed and clean up their room (with their help) and straighten up the bathrooms and master bedroom.

William has gone to work by this time or is making business calls, doing paperwork, etc. and my oldest son either goes with him or works on anything that I have him to do around the house before he starts school work. Sometimes I have him run the vacuum, or scrub a bathroom. This morning I asked him to check out our dryer which hadn't been working efficiently, so he took it apart and fixed it.

I get the two youngest started on playing something in their room or let them play outside, and I usually wash a load of clothes and take some out of the dryer to fold. When it's time to put them away, I pass out loads to everyone who is going in the right direction and we get everything put up. Then I check on the progress of the rest of the clean up crew and make sure everyone knows of any extra schoolwork assignments and that no one has any questions.

The oldest four then get to work on their own, making sure they get their math done, work some on any current studies, read, write, use the computer to work on projects or email friends or even participate in an online book discussion! All sorts of educational pursuits! Someone (usually my oldest daughter or me) starts the bread dough so it will be ready for lunch.

I check on the younger ones (or most likely, they check on me, they keep me posted regularly on what they're doing!), and they will ask me to help them work some in their BJU math books (1st and 2nd grades) or we'll cover some phonics and then take a break and read aloud from a book. This morning, we read aloud from a book about birds that was written in 1909, and we observed the mama cardinal sitting on a nest with two eggs right outside my bedroom window. That lead to all sorts of interesting discussions! Yesterday we worked together on our river and boats unit study and talked about water safety while they colored the pictures and then hung them up in their room.

Everyone makes a quick lunch, either the older kids or I will make the youngest two something, the others do their own. We keep it simple and have sandwiches, salads, pasta, leftovers, etc. After lunch, or while I eat, I check the Christian Homeschool Forum again usually...scanning messages and answering any urgent emails. Then I check with all the kids to see how they're doing and if no one needs my help, I'll grab a book and take a little while to read while the youngest ones play inside or outside, or work on their own little projects. Often, they'll want my help to spell something they're writing or to read them "just one more story!", which I try not to ever refuse to do! Or they read to me while I crochet!

At 2:00, it's NAPTIME! I don't always sleep, but I do always rest, and I make sure that my youngest two do, too. Sometimes I let them watch a quiet video during this time. There is usually an older sibling in the den with them, keeping an eye on them. The older ones use the computer during this time, read, write, finish any schoolwork, bake, do crafts or hobbies, etc.

3:00, it's SNACK TIME! We aim for something healthy, but give in to freshly baked homemade cookies sometimes, too! The kids then play outside, do whatever! If I'm awake yet, I do more laundry, go outside and work a little in the yard, spend time with the kids, etc. If everyone else is busy and I have nothing pressing, I read or write. Today we all spent time outdoors working on our gardens and doing yard work and writing down our progress reports for our Amanda Bennett Gardens Unit Study. Afterwards, one of my older daughters volunteered to make supper so I could take a quick shower and the other kids could finish up their work.

4:30-5:30 We usually make supper, taking turns planning and cooking it. I do it about half the time probably, but our older four kids are good cooks and when I was very sick last year, they cooked full time with some help from William. We all actually enjoy cooking, but it helps if we don't have to do it ALL the time! We cook mostly from scratch but try to keep it simple and nutritious...lots of baked chicken, rice, salads, pasta, or roasts and vegetables, etc. Things that we can put on earlier in the day are great, too. If all else fails and we've had a busy day and not much time or energy to cook, we have a breakfast-type supper with eggs or pancakes and trimmings!

After supper, the kids clean up the kitchen, I spend time with them and with William. We go over anything the kids need help with or look over anything they've done that they want to show us, have interesting discussions, read aloud with our youngest two children, sometimes play music and sing together, then tuck the youngest two in early at 7:00 most nights.

The rest of the evening is devoted to reading, more discussions, study, music, writing, etc. I ride my exercise bike if I haven't earlier then try to get to bed by 10:15. When I write about our day, it seems quiet (HA!) and organized! Well, my house is semi-organized, we're in a routine to be sure...but I have lowered my standards for housekeeping so they are reasonable for a large family that homeschools and has kids active in the house and yard all day long. (Which means we'd never make the cover of House Beautiful!) We strive to have a home that is warm, cosy, comfortable, welcoming and filled with the love of God! (Not to mention being able to find a few matching pairs of socks.) But no white glove tests allowed right now in this season of our life! (And I keep having to just buy more and more socks!)

The noise level here gets pretty high sometimes! There almost ALWAYS is *someone* talking to me about *something*. I wouldn't know what it was like to be able to read a book without constant interruptions! But I LOVE it, yes, Lord, I LOVE IT! Each day is a special gift from the Lord and I am eternally thankful for the privilege to be a joyful mother of children!

If I begin to feel overwhelmed, immediately I take time to seek the Lord and cut out everything but the bare necessities. I manage to get more accomplished by limiting phone calls and outside activities, too. They can both REALLY eat up your time. Some people probably don't understand why I have to do this, but if they wanted to trade places with me for a few days, I'm sure they'd suddenly understand!

I am definitely not "supermom", but I have learned through the years not to try to do too much, the importance of training my kids to be responsible and promoting teamwork, and to keep my priorities in proper order. I want to live in a way that I won't regret in the future. The key is knowing the Lord's will for OUR family and then walking in it! Only then will we be assured of having all the grace, strength and wisdom we need, and when we look back one day, we won't grieve for the way we've spent this time!

"See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is." Ephesians 5:15-17

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2001, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]

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"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Feeling Frazzled? Take Time to Recharge!
Feeling Frazzled? Take Time to Recharge! [message #5] Fri, 15 April 2005 19:06
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Feeling Frazzled? Take Time to Recharge!

Feeling Frazzled?
Take Time to Recharge!

by Tamara Eaton

I'm often asked if I ever feel like sending the children all off to school. Honestly, I don't, but there ARE days when I feel the need for some peace and quiet and time alone!

It's not always easy having our children home all day long every day and it's normal for us to feel like we need some time to ourselves. One thing I've observed over the years is that some homeschool parents feel guilty about needing time apart. We talk about child-led homeschooling, always being available to help our children when they need help, recognizing our children's unique needs, etc. Well, I also believe in parents and children having a mutual respect for one another! Parents have needs too!

Sure, we're giving up some of our own interests during these years for the sake of homeschooling our children, I don't mind that. But even I need time to think and recharge without having to meet the children's needs all the time and I LOVE being with my children!

There is nothing wrong with sending your children off to another part of the house so that you can have some time to do something. (We're talking about children old enough to play or work on their own here, not those little ones that need constant supervision lest they swallow something strange, get into trouble, etc.) There is also nothing wrong with taking a break from school when YOU need it. Someone said that we had what always sounded like "THE PERFECT HOMESCHOOL", that's not true, we just know when we need to take a day off to recharge!

Allow me to describe a recent scene in our home:

It was a Monday afternoon, I was SO tired and REALLY needed my nap. I had spent the morning doing many things with my youngest two--reading aloud, covering phonics, helping them get set up for some art with fabric crayons and supplies, etc. Not to mention the laundry, housework, and phone calls (I usually don't answer in the mornings but there were unusual circumstances).

So here I was, at 2:00 (MY naptime!), cuddled up with my younger two and practically lulled to sleep after listening to both of them read aloud. I told them to run along and get an educational video or library books and lie down and rest in the den so I could take a nap. Some of the older children were there so they could keep an eye on them -- our whole family is used to having a quiet time or naps in the afternoon.

My little boy reaches over and pulls out his paper and pencil and says, "But Mom, I want to learn!" What a beautiful opportunity! He WANTS to LEARN! How could I miss this chance to pour more into his brain at this point? But I did...because there are times I CAN skip a nap and manage, but this time I knew I would be a BETTER mom and teacher if I could just have some time to rest before going on through the rest of the day. I assured him we could do more later that day or the next day or he could find something to do quietly on his own.

This is just one example that describes how I homeschool for the long haul! By the time my youngest finishes homeschooling , I will have devoted a large portion of my life to homeschooling and I just can't afford to "burn out". I think families need to respect one anothers' needs for quiet, personal time, too.

My husband also recognizes I need this time and tries to protect me from doing too much without regard to my own needs. I realize this term "my own needs" is greatly misused in our society, but we all DO need time to come apart and rest and recharge so we can be even better equipped for ministry!

That doesn't mean that I give into resentment if I can't have time apart. (And when we had babies, often my time apart included nursing, rocking, and changing diapers!) God is always able to give us ALL the grace we need for times like this!

Nor does it mean that we become selfish or lazy and only do what we feel like doing all the time! But we have to make sure we're following His plans and not taking on more than what He desires, too. I know at times I have taken on more than I could handle just because the opportunity was there. I learned from those mistakes! *HE* didn't ask me to do those things, I just decided they'd be worthwhile. I have learned to count the cost and seek Him FIRST before deciding how much to do.

When I share about our homeschooling experiences, I want it to be an encouragement. I don't want anyone to think that we haven't had our struggles and challenges along the way, but IT DOES GET EASIER the longer you do it! Trust me! It's as though the homeschooling aspect has now been *absorbed* into our family's lifestyle so that it's not as much of an effort--it comes naturally. It's all just one part of our whole discipling of the children and preparing them to follow the Lord and fulfill the ministry that He has for each one of them. These are peaceful days of homeschooling in our home, and I wish the same for all of you!

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Mat.11:28-29

A Dozen Ways for Moms to Recharge

    1. Pray and Abide in Jesus (John 15)
    2. Read and Study your Bible. Kay Arthur's Precept Bible Studies are wonderful!
    3. Read uplifting and encouraging books while enjoying a cup of hot tea or cocoa! (Even if it's just a few pages at a time, I rarely am able to read huge amounts without having to stop to do something else!)
    4. Take a hot bubble bath with a waterproof magazine!
    5. Put beautiful, uplifting music on and just close your eyes and listen. Or put on lively music and dance!
    6. Exercise! Aerobics video tapes or exercise bikes or take walks if you have someone to watch the younger children!
    7. Enjoy a favorite hobby or craft. I love crocheting-- a great stress-reducer for me is to pray and crochet! (Choose a hobby that's easy to pick up and do just when you have a few spare minutes.)
    8. Pop some popcorn and watch a good old fashioned movie on video.
    9. Call (or email!) another busy homeschool mom and share briefly then pray for one another. When we take time to encourage and minister to others, we build ourselves up, too!
    10. Keep regular naptimes and bedtimes! Even older children can be expected to be quiet in the afternoons for an hour or so.
    11. May sure YOU'RE getting enough sleep and eating well--it can make all the difference in the world!
    12. Keep a journal and write down not only your struggles, but your answers to prayer, too. What an encouragement to look back over the journal and see His faithfulness at all times. Even when we don't see or understand what He's doing in our lives, He's still moving and we can trust Him to work everything out.

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

    Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

    We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

    [ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]

    Home


    "And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
    and great shall be the peace of thy children."

    Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: A Christ-Centered Home
A Christ-Centered Home [message #11] Tue, 19 April 2005 13:21
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member
A Christ-Centered Home

A Christ-Centered Home
by Tamara Eaton

There are so many books on Christian parenting and homeschooling available now and more are being published every month, often with conflicting opinions and advice. I like the older Christian parenting books--especially those written years ago by conservative Christians who reared a large family and whose children turned out well. These books not only stressed Biblical child training principles, but encouraged parents to seek the Lord for wisdom and direction--a key ingredient in successful parenting and homeschooling! A good homeschooling book will do the same and not adamantly declare that there is only one way to achieve homeschooling success--by following their program or method.

The thought occurred to me that perhaps there is a similarity between the tendency for some parents to rely too heavily upon a program for rearing their families (instead of the father taking charge of his home and together, with the mother, seeking God for wisdom from His Word and in prayer), and the "one size fits all" educational program presented in most public (and even private) schools, and the churches that have so many programs no one even notices if the Holy Spirit doesn't show up.

Are we being conditioned by our society to rely more upon "The Experts" instead of paying the cost ourselves to seek the Lord, study His Word, and be led by His Holy Spirit? Not that we can't learn from other godly Christians, this is a valid Biblical method, but it shouldn't ever be a substitute for the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Programs can even be helpful and sometimes traditional teaching methods work well for a family. The point is, we should seek God for what will be best for our own family. The Lord wants us to be dependent upon Him alone (not a method or program), and everything we hear or see should be "filtered" through Him and His Word!

I'm surprised at some of the generalizations I see being made by so many authors of parenting books, and sometimes homeschooling books. As one who was homeschooling back in the years when it was difficult to even find curriculum publishers who would sell to individuals, it saddens me to see divisions and "cliques" developing in the "Christian" homeschooling community, too. Some seem to think that all Christian parents can be neatly divided into two sides, and one is following God's Will and one is not. (Depending on what particular program, curriculum or method they recommend!) There seems to be, in some cases, a lack of respect for anyone who doesn't agree with their "side" and the inference that they couldn't possibly be following Biblical child-training or educational principles.

One of the best books I've ever read on Christian parenting is How To Rear a Happy Christian Family by Charles Farah, published over 40 years ago by Moody Press. Mr. Farah and his wife had seven grown children, all of whom were involved in ministry, when he wrote this book. His purpose in writing was to encourage Christian parents to depend upon God's Word and the wisdom and direction of His Holy Spirit instead of the popular psychology and "pagan philosophy" prevalent even in those days. He said in the preface: "I maintain that the immutable Word of God is sufficient for every circumstance, for every age, and for each individual, family, and nation. Books of human origin are subject to constant revision." (But not the Word of God! Praise the Lord!)

He stressed the need to seek the LORD for wisdom with each individual child. It reminded me of a quote from Trumball's Hints on Child-Training (first published 100 years ago and now available again) which said: "A little babe is not a mere bit of child-material, to be worked up by outside efforts and influences into a child-reality; but he is already a living organism, with all the possibilities of his highest manhood working within him toward his independent development."

The more children I have, the more I realize the truth of this. Yes, we have standard household rules which apply to all, but in the teaching, training and discipline, we must diligently seek the Lord in how best to rear and educate each child--so that our sons and daughters would reach their full potential and glorify Him! We don't have a list of "do's and don'ts" to refer to anytime a child whimpers, or has a need. Instead, we seek to be discerning and use godly wisdom. We trust in Him to help us train our children up in the way they should go so that when they are old, they shall not depart from it.

So perhaps we can all strive to encourage each other in this common goal-- training our children up in the way they should go (the Lord's Way!) without casting judgments based upon whether we follow a certain program or method of homeschooling --whether we use textbooks, unit studies or other resources in a formal or relaxed style. Instead, let each family seek wisdom and discernment from the Lord! He will never fail!

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-8)

"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith..." (James 1:5-6)

"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6)

In closing, I'd like to share part of a prayer from How to Raise Your Children to Christ-- by Andrew Murray (1828-1917), may this be all of our hearts' cry!

"Blessed God, give me wisdom and grace to be a teacher of my children as Thou wouldst have. Thou sufferest not any other to usurp the parent's place; Thou hast appointed him the first and highest teacher. Lord, teach me, with all parents, to take home the lessons which Thou seest we need to fit us for our work.

Fill our hearts with Thy love and Thy word. Love knows no sacrifice, it counts nothing a burden; love rests not till it has triumphed. Oh, fill us with Thy love; shed it abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. And fill us with Thy word, that teaching our children will be the spontaneous overflowing of the heart. Make us diligent and wise to do our work well. Sharpen Thy words deep into our children's hearts, too. And make us persevering all the day, walking in Thy love and presence. Make our whole life an influence, educating our children for Thee."

-Andrew Murray (1828-1917)

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: A Homeschooler's Check List
A Homeschooler's Check List [message #12] Tue, 19 April 2005 13:31
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member
A Homeschooler's Check List

A Homeschooler's Check List
by Tamara Eaton

Public schools are in session again in our hometown and even though we homeschool year-round in a relaxed style, our children have been motivated to create a new fall schedule and get ready for another homeschool year. Perhaps you're an inexperienced homeschooler and tempted to panic or feel overwhelmed. Take a look at this check list to see if there is anything you've missed in preparing for this new year!

  • Check your attitudes--both yours and the children's! Attitudes are catching and we set the atmosphere for our household. Allow time to work on Biblical child-training principles, if needed. ( See Biblical Child-Training Tips )
  • Simplify your lifestyle. No, we can't control the trials and all circumstances of life, but that's all the more reason to simplify what we DO have control over. Don't overschedule--plan a basic routine with plenty of room for flexibility! Make sure your "Homeschool" doesn't end up being "Roadschool" because you're over committed to too many activities. (See Time Management ; Priorities )
  • EASE into your new routine for this school year. Consider starting just a couple of your subjects for the first two weeks, gradually adding the others.
  • Make sure your homeschool materials are organized and easily accessible. Buy LOTS of pencils. (Oh the wasted time of searching for pencils!) Choose a place for each child to keep his materials so they don't get lost. A large covered box, shelf or drawer for each child is perfect.
  • Establish a good routine for keeping the main living areas of your home relatively neat. Do the children have assigned chores so that all the responsibility doesn't fall to Mom? (See Homeschool & Housework )
  • Plan to cover the basics first--then enjoy the "frills". Give your children the tools they need to learn and don't worry about missing out on the extracurricular activities. You'll have time for that later.
  • Don't forget to ENJOY your children. Take time to read aloud or research an interest together. (Even for just 15-20 minutes!) Learning is much more than textbooks and drills. (See Book Suggestions )
  • Be prepared to run into some snags. Each year of homeschooling requires new adjustments--the children are different ages, the circumstances are different. It takes time to establish a good working routine. Take a day off when needed to "regroup".
  • Don't lose sight of what's most important--nurturing and discipling your children in the Lord. And to do this, you must not neglect your own relationship with the Lord! (See In His Presence )

"It is the parent, who has himself already experienced the salvation of God, who is appointed to lead the child to know God. The knowledge of God is no mere matter of the understanding; it is to love Him, to live in Him, to experience the power of His presence and His blessing. It is evident that the man who would teach others to know God must be able to speak from personal experience of Him, must prove by the warmth of love and devotion that he loves this God and has his life from Him."

--Andrew Murray (1828-1917)

  • Find support! Take advantage of helpful and encouraging materials available for homeschooling parents today: local support groups; Internet and online groups; articles and books.

One book I highly recommend for both new and veteran homeschoolers is TEACH ME LORD THAT I MAY TEACH... (or what we learned thinking we were homeschooling the kids.) by Barbara and Douglas Smith.

The Smiths share essays of encouragement and exhortation about lessons they learned while homeschooling. Instead of offering us "human" wisdom, they point us to the Lord and His Word and challenge us to be willing to be taught of Him instead of allowing the world's ways to be our standard. How refreshing to find not just another "how to" book filled with human opinions! TEACH ME LORD... is full of "quotable quotes" to inspire and encourage you in your day to day homeschooling. Here are just a couple:

" Getting our children educated will be a tremendous accomplishment, but graduation is only the beginning....Are we teaching them that graduation is not an endpoint? Are we teaching them to learn from the triumphs and the failures, judging nothing by appearances, but testing by the plumb line of Scripture? Will they be able to stand on the foundation we are laying? What will our legacy inspire? Teaching our children to trust the Master who always brings them through, is the best "education" we can give them" --Barbara Smith

And these words of encouragement to weary parents:

"If you, too, have failed to utter vibrant prayers because of viruses, days of cold, wet clothes, or unfinished lessons and chores, then think about the God to whom you are praying. He sees, hears, thinks, loves and cares. He knows what delights and pleases you...He is able to redeem the time that seems to slip away, to renew ebbing spirits, to heal tired bodies, and fill empty wallets. He can replenish a barn that the locusts have plundered. He will take time to comfort you, wipe away your tears, and rejoice with you. If you feel unworthy of His notice, remember He says you are more worthy than the sparrow whose fall to earth He also notices." --Barbara Smith

"Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen." (Jude 1:24-25)

May the Lord bless your homeschool and fill your lives with His Love, Wisdom, Peace and Joy!

[ NOTE: You can order TEACH ME LORD... from Third Floor Publishing, P.O. Box 827, Arnold, MD 21012 or from the chfweb.com Homeschool bookstore.]

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: A Wasted Day?
A Wasted Day? [message #13] Tue, 19 April 2005 13:33
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member
A Wasted Day?

A Wasted Day?
by Tamara Eaton

Do you ever look back upon your day and think, "What did I really accomplish?" Every week I hear from frustrated mothers who feel they don't have enough hours in the day to do all that's needed. Most of them have young children and when someone asks them, "What did you do today?", they look back and have a hard time producing tangible evidence of a full day's work!

"Hmmm...I cleaned up the house some but it's messy again. The dishes were done, but we used them again. I spent time cooking dinner but we ate it in fifteen minutes. We homeschooled---children, tell your father what you learned today!"

(Young children give their mom a blank look, then sidle up next to her and whisper, "What? Tell me again!")

We've all probably had days like this!

One of the busiest seasons of life is when all the children are young --on the other hand, when they are young, you can afford to be more relaxed about their homeschooling and cover the necessary work in just a few hours a week--while spending more time working on attitudes, obedience, sibling relationships, teamwork, talking and learning about the Lord, enjoying hugs and stories, learning about nature and why things work the way they do, counting spoons and subtracting and dividing cookies--and of course, answering lots of questions!

Are you viewing taking care of all the children's needs, changing diapers, answering questions, wiping tears, teaching obedience, mopping up spilled milk, etc., as "interruptions"? They're not, they are some of the MAIN occupations of a mom with young children!

So often during these years, our efforts seem to have no tangible results at the end of the day, but just because we can't always SEE what's been done, doesn't mean nothing has been accomplished. We are shaping young lives, and allowing the Lord to shape ours in the process as we yield to Him each day. We are ministering to the Lord as we minister to our family!

We do need to be on guard against time-wasters-- the telephone, television, too many outside activities, letting things go with the children and not taking time to train and correct them in a Christlike manner. (Otherwise, countless minutes are wasted by having to repeat ourselves every time we tell the children to do something!)

I no longer have very young children but I'd like to share something I wrote years ago when I had a nursing baby, an active 2 year old and homeschooled four older children. [Just so no one thinks I can't remember what it was like in those days!]

I used to like everything perfectly planned and in order, but I have had to learn to relax--six children and a "perfect" house just don't go together. I'll admit I still have days I'd like to have my own apartment just so I could have just one place kept perfectly neat! I have to be flexible because with so many young children, things often get put on hold. We do have a good basic routine, which helps, but I have to allow time for interruptions. I also make lists and then don't get upset if I don't get everything done. A new day begins tomorrow!

I have to remind myself that even though it may seem like I didn't accomplish much some days, I'm actually doing the most important work in the world--helping to mold and shape precious human lives with the Lord's help. What an awesome responsibility. We can provide a secure, loving environment for them in the midst of all the chaos in the world! We can lead them to Jesus, teach them His ways and help prepare them for the unique ministry that He has for each one of them.

Sometimes too, we must think of all the things that could have happened that day, but didn't! The children didn't throw a temper tantrum and talk back because we have been faithful to be consistent and train them in the ways of the Lord. (Not that they aren't still "in training" in some areas--we are, too!) They didn't experience rejection because we have demonstrated our unconditional love for them. They didn't grow hungry because we fed them peanut butter sandwiches and fruit! They were sheltered from many negative circumstances--they were safe in our care. They heard about Jesus from our lips and saw Him in our lives today, they joined in with singing songs to Him.

If the floor didn't get mopped, and the clothes are filling all eight baskets in the laundry room, what difference does it make? Eventually those things will get done, but in the meantime, our children have a mother who truly loves and cares for them, even during the less than glorious times!

Some days being a godly mother is all one can accomplish--and it is a BIG accomplishment. After all, I don't plan to take my baskets of laundry and the kitchen floor with me when Jesus returns--I do plan to take my family! And there won't be any quizzes for my 9 year old to make sure she knows her multiplication tables before she enters Heaven. We've got to keep things in perspective. Academics are important, but there are other things more important--and if we keep the right perspective, the Lord will bless our homeschooling, our mothering, and our family!

[Please note--this was written years ago and I can now report that the nine year old is now a teenager and knows her multiplication tables well!]

Attempting to be "good stewards" of their time, some mothers crowd many activities into each day. Therefore, they end up pressuring themselves in ways God never intended! We need time to train our children and enjoy them--time to rest and meditate upon God's Word and allow Him to speak. Time to act in response to circumstances of daily life instead of reacting to the swirling events that surround us. Doing all things without murmurings and disputings--that we might shine as lights, holding forth the word of life--so we can say with Paul, that we will not have laboured in vain. (Colossians 3)

If this has been a struggle for you recently, why not ask the Lord to give you His perspective, and allow Him to reveal any areas that need changing? He is so patient and longsuffering with us, and the conviction of the Holy Spirit is always tempered with encouragement that we can repent, receive forgiveness and a clean slate. He delights in our dependence upon Him and freely bestows all the grace we need!

Don't allow a search for tangible accomplishments to distract you from the work the Lord is doing through you in your children's hearts. This ministry has eternal consequences and rewards, and truly you'll reap "treasures in Heaven" if you're faithful!

" And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work" --2 Corinthians 9:8

"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ." --Colossians 3:23-24

" And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." -- Matthew 25:40

"But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." --Matthew 6:20-21

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Anti-Homeschooling Excuses: Are They Valid?
Anti-Homeschooling Excuses: Are They Valid? [message #14] Tue, 19 April 2005 13:42
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member
Anti-Homeschooling Excuses: Are They Valid?

Anti-Homeschooling Excuses:
Are They Valid?

by Tamara Eaton

Ten common excuses which are actually reasons to homeschool!

  • 1. My kids drive me crazy.

Then maybe it's time you do something so they don't drive everyone else crazy, too! It's easier to ignore problem areas if you send your children off to school each day--you don't have to put up with it all the time. Let the teacher and other students do it instead.

But who must answer to the Lord for how you taught and trained your child? Not the teacher but the parent. Homeschooling isn't a "cure-all" for poor behavior but it does give us time together to work out any problems instead of ignoring them, and it eliminates the negative role models and peer pressure which often influences negative behavior.

Or maybe you feel that they DO respect others, just not you? You can tell them when to brush their teeth, get dressed, go to bed--just not when to do their math! There is really no difference--it's all a matter of obedience and respect.

Ephesians 6:1-2 "Children obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth."

  • 2. I don't have enough patience.

Patience comes through overcoming trials and learning to yield to the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25) instead of the fruit of flesh. You'll never develop patience if you continually avoid opportunities that would require you to put it into practice. But you might be surprised how quickly it grows with frequent exercise--homeschooling can be that vehicle the Lord uses to work patience in you!

  • 3. I'm not highly educated.

Fine--here's your chance to learn right along with your children! There are tremendous resources available to help us teach our own children. Studies have proven time and again that the success of homeschooling is not dependent upon the level of the parents' education. According to Dr. Brian Ray's recent study, "Home educated students' test scores remain between the 80th and 90th percentiles, whether their mothers have a college degree or did not complete high school." [http://www.nheri.org National Home Education Research Institute's website address]

  • 4. I love my job.

What's more important during this season of your life--your children or your job? Your job can wait. Your children can't. Your decisions and priorities are already influencing them every day--either for good or bad. I've never heard older people say that they wished they had spent more time on their job. I have heard them say they wished they had spent more time with their children.

If you love your job more than spending time with your children then maybe this is a sign that your priorities need reevaluating.

  • 5. I don't have time.

There is always time to do the will of God. Is He calling you to homeschool? Then He will provide the time. As a result of homeschooling our children, we have limited outside activities and found a simpler lifestyle. We're not forced to succumb to the modern pressures and stresses of our society with its hectic pace--instead we are able to slow down enough to enjoy time together as a family, embracing a slower paced lifestyle without sacrificing the modern conveniences of our microwaves, washers, dryers and computers! (See articles on "Priorities" and "Time Management Tips" for more encouragement.)

  • 6. I'm selfish--I need my privacy and space.

Jesus said unless we take up our cross and die to self, we can't be His disciple. (Luke 9:23-24, 14:27) Good parenting requires sacrifices during this season of our life. However, choosing to homeschool doesn't mean that you can never have any privacy anymore. When the children are young, we have regular naptimes and bedtimes so that gives us time apart. Older children are trained to respect the need for quiet time in the afternoons and evenings. The children also have their own activities and playtimes apart from mom during the day at times, too. (See article on "Feeling Frazzled" for more tips.)

  • 7. I can't afford it.

If it's God's will that you homeschool, you can't afford not to! And He will provide all your needs if you trust Him. (Matthew 6:33) We have never been a "high income" family but God has worked in the most unexpected ways to provide our needs over the years. Think of how much you spend now by sending your child off to school--don't forget to include the "hidden" expenses of special school wardrobes to keep up with the peers. Homeschooling curriculum can cost as much or as little as you like--it all depends on what you choose to do. The public library is free and full of helpful resources for your homeschooling! We have always chosen not to purchase a full packaged curriculum and saved so much money by putting together our own curriculum. (For more help on this, see the article on "Choosing Curriculum")

  • 8. I never liked school.

Homeschooling will help you see how enjoyable learning can be in a relaxed, pressure-free atmosphere at home! You don't have to structure your homeschool like a public or private school-- so don't let your past experience with school hinder you from committing to homeschool your children. Give them the opportunity to experience what you missed out on in your childhood and see how much fun you can have while learning together!

  • 9. My children are too sociable--they'd get lonely homeschooling.

An EXCELLENT reason to educate them at home so you can make sure their "socialization" experiences are positive instead of negative. Homeschooling doesn't require your children to become hermits, but you will have the freedom to select the activities and make sure they are blessings and not hindrances. (See article on socialization called "Missing the Mark" for more information.)

  • 10. I could NEVER do that!

If we had known in advance and in detail all the negatives and challenges we'd have to face as parents, who among us would have been brave enough to have children? God gives us the grace, strength and wisdom we need when we need it-- not in advance! I find great encouragement in scriptures that remind me that I must yield and abide, then He is sufficient to take care of all the needs and enable me to fulfill my responsibilities.

2 Corinthians 3:4-5 "And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God..."

John 15:4-5 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing."

Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

And the following scripture has always encouraged me when I've been tempted to dwell upon my inadequacies:

1 Corinthians 1:27-31 "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God had chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."

Homeschooling, like parenting, requires faith--faith that the Lord will give us wisdom and grace as we need it. In His infinite wisdom, He has designed us so that we MUST rely upon Him! Why doesn't He give us all the wisdom we need to be parents right at the start when the child is first conceived? Instead, He allows wisdom and maturity to develop as we grow through trials, the study of His Word, and experiences--all the while, pointing out our need of Him daily in order to walk in His ways. Thus, He receives ALL the glory!

May the Lord direct your family in His Ways and give you clear wisdom and direction in the education of your children!

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Back to School List: Essentials for This School Year!
Back to School List: Essentials for This School Year! [message #15] Tue, 19 April 2005 13:49
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member
Back to School List: Essentials for This School Year!

BACK TO SCHOOL LISTEssentials for This School Year!

by Tamara Eaton

Summer is almost over and homeschooling parents everywhere are gathering curriculum for the coming year. Catalogs are filled with items that promise to bring success to your homeschool, things you don't dare skip...but don't let the advertisements fool you, here are the only things you really DON'T want to do without...

1. A Heart of Prayer

Not just prayer, but a vibrant, consistent relationship with the Lord! He promises to give us wisdom, supply all our needs, and teach us His ways, but in order to do that, we have to follow the principles set forth in His Word and abide in Him.

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering." --James 1:5-6

"Pray without ceasing." --1 Thessalonians 5:17

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." --Philippians 4:6-7

2. A Heart of Obedience

God wants to establish His order in our homes --parents in obedience to Him, and children in obedience to the parents and to God. Homeschooling without divine order in the home can lead to chaos. Disobedient children, disobedient parents --what a mess!

* Take time to train and teach your children consistently to obey without whining and constant reminders.

* Submit yourselves each day to God and determine to respond to situations as HE would have you respond instead of yielding to the flesh.

* Be that godly example for your children; sometimes the attitudes that distress us so in our children are merely reflections of our own sins.

* Allow God to search your hearts and His peace will reign in your home. What a difference it will make --you'll ALL enjoy being together so much more!

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you." --James 4:7-8

"Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged." --Colossians 3:20-21

3. Commitment and Perseverance

Homeschoolers should count the cost; homeschooling takes time and patience. Every single day isn't going to produce those golden educational triumphs you read about in homeschool articles. Steady progress in learning is encouraging but there are ebbs and flows to academic development just like in physical development. Children grow and learn at different paces --don't be discouraged when some things take longer to grasp than you'd expected.

* Maintain a balanced perspective by looking at what you're accomplishing over the period of a week or month instead of each day.

* Pace yourself so neither you nor your children burn out.

* Prayerfully determine both long-term and short-term goals.

"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." --Galatians 6:9

4. A Joyful Heart

To be joyful is a decision we must make each day. Our joy can't be based merely upon our outward circumstances but it should be based upon Whom we know: Jesus Christ --Who has all our circumstances under control! Paul knew what it was like to be joyful in the face of adversity. [See "None of These Things Move Me"] We can have joy at ALL times simply because we know and trust Jesus.

Mothers especially have the opportunity to set the tone and atmosphere for the home --wouldn't you rather live in a joyful home than a discouraging, depressing home? If we allow the enemy to rob us of our joy, we allow him to rob of us our strength. We grow weary, depressed and the children suffer, too. Teaching becomes a chore instead of a privilege and learning becomes dull and dreary for all. If you fall into this snare, confess your sin to the Lord, get into His Word, start praising Him and allow Him to refresh you by His Holy Spirit!

"The joy of the LORD is your strength." --Nehemiah 8:10

"But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee." --Psalm 5:11

5. A Heart of Faith

Oh how we need faith! Faith in the LORD --that He will bless the homeschooling and discipling of our children. He has plans for each one --He knows their needs and future and promises to give us wisdom to equip them if we will trust Him! Our own strength and wisdom will always fall short but God's strength and wisdom will never fail. Tap into His promises today --ask Him and have faith that He will provide!

Someone once described faith as simply believing God will do what He said He would do in His Word. No situation is too minor for Him to care about --whether you need wisdom in selecting the proper curriculum for your child or in creating a workable schedule for your day, or even in learning how to teach your child a new concept. Look to God to provide these answers and direct your steps. You'll be amazed at how He answers once you begin expecting Him to actually respond to your prayers!

"Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." --John 16:24

"If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." --John 15:7

"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised..." --Hebrews 10:23

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." --Hebrews 11:6

None of these "essentials" for this school year can be found apart from Jesus Christ. He has already purchased all of this for you through His shed blood on the cross. If you have been taking Him for granted or leaving Him out of your "back to school" plans, won't you take time to seek His face today? He promises to meet with you, if you will but seek Him with your whole heart. Take time to discover His plans for your family and put them into practice this year --the benefits reaped will be of eternal value!

"Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart." --Psalm 119:2

"Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." --Jeremiah 29:12-13

"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us..." --Ephesians 3:20

 


[Note--If you don't know the Lord in a personal, saving way--find out how you can be set free from all condemnation and receive Eternal life, as well as His daily help and guidance! (Knowing God)

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Beware of Pedestals
Beware of Pedestals [message #16] Tue, 19 April 2005 13:51
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Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
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Beware of Pedestals
Beware of Pedestals
by Tamara Eaton

In the past twenty years, the Homeschooling community has produced its share of speakers, writers, workshop leaders, and "veteran" homeschool parents--many who speak authoritatively on a vast number of subjects. While it's true that the Lord uses human vessels to teach, encourage, rebuke, and exhort, He never wants us to put any man or woman on a pedestal-- or worse, let them replace the function of His Holy Spirit in our lives.

There is a temptation to look at others who have more experience in certain areas and place them on pedestals, as well as seek to imitate them--but God doesn't want us to be molded into anyone else's image but conformed into the image of His Son! (Romans 8:29) He has created each one uniquely, with different strengths and weaknesses. He never encouraged anyone to follow others except as they were following Him, and everything we read and hear must be weighed in light of His Word and filtered through Him.

There is also a danger in allowing others to put us on pedestals. Sometimes we might receive human recognition, honor and praise, but we'd better lift it up to the Lord, giving Him all the glory, and not keep it ourselves. No flesh is going to glory in His presence and if we want Him to dwell with us, we'd better humble ourselves and exalt Him alone!

The Lord wants us to concentrate on our own relationship with Him, growing in His Word and in grace and mercy, allowing Him to bring our family into conformity with His Word, overcoming the trials He allows and, as a result, glorifying Him instead of ourselves and pointing others toward Him as The Expert-- omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God of the Universe!

Others will then see Jesus and be drawn to Him, and when we share, we'll be able to share out of what HE has done in our lives--not boasting of how long we've been a Christian or how long we've homeschooled, or even how many children we've taught! "Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Though they join forces, none will go unpunished."-- Proverbs 16:5 (Scary thought!)

Homeschooling for a long time, or having many children doesn't necessarily make one an expert. Neither does designing a curriculum or writing a book!

What really matters is:

  • What does God think about this?
  • What does His Word say?
  • What is His will for our family?
  • Does the advice point us toward the Lord as our Ultimate Source? (Psalm 1)

A close, daily relationship with God will enable us to recognize and learn to crucify the flesh and pride. When we see how beautiful He is, and how it's only through His Blood that we have been forgiven and are able to stand before Him, then we will be reminded of how we have no reason to have ANY pride--and that should motivate us to share humbly and meekly with others, bestowing mercy and grace--even as the Lord demonstrated His mercy and grace in our own lives.

"For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us." -- 2 Corinthians 4:6-7

Let's keep on shining for Him and allow Jesus alone to be exalted. Yes, we should appreciate and be thankful for the earthen vessels God uses in our lives, but let's remove all those pedestals and worship only the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords--Jesus Christ, taking time to seek His opinion first and foremost--after all, His is the only one that matters!

More Encouragement From Scriptures:

"For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." --Isaiah 57:15

"Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD." --Jeremiah 9:23-24

"And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." --Matthew 23:12

"Let him that boasts, boast in the Lord." --1 Corinthians 1:26-27

"But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." --Galatians 6:14

"But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." --James 4:6

      [Note--If you don't know the Lord in a personal, saving way--find out how you can be set free from all condemnation and receive Eternal life, as well as His daily help and guidance! (Knowing God)

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: The Homeschooling Father's Role
The Homeschooling Father's Role [message #32004] Sat, 23 July 2005 10:49
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
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The Homeschooling Father's Role
by Tamara Eaton

While some fathers are the principle teachers in the homeschool, more often, it's the mom doing most of the teaching and actual homeschooling. What are some of the things a father and husband can do to help the homeschooling process go smoothly?

My own husband has always been very supportive of me and the children's homeschooling, but because of time constraints, he has not been involved so much with the actual day-to-day homeschooling. He does work hard to provide for our family's needs so that I can stay home and homeschool my children! He also is our number one encourager and provoker of good homeschooling habits. We have always given him nightly or weekly reports of what we've been accomplishing in our homeschooling and it has given the children an opportunity to "review" what they've learned, too. He has been a wonderful example to the children as well, as an adult who enjoys learning and growing in knowledge.

When we were just beginning to "formally" homeschool, all the children were young and sometimes I'd have a rough day. His coming home in the evenings would be all I needed to encourage me that tomorrow was yet another day, a fresh start! He would hug me and listen to me without jumping in to criticize me or tell me I was over-reacting, etc. After I was all talked out, either he would have some calm, encouraging suggestions, or he would express confidence in my ability to find a solution to my problems. Often just talking it out would be all the help I needed! Other times, he would suggest I take the next day off and let him work some with the children in the evening. Sometimes we ALL needed the day off!

Once a week he would watch and play with the younger kids so I could go off to the library alone and "regroup" and have an opportunity to expand my own education. He would pick up meals and bring them home, or grill out dinner for me. Not every night, but often enough that I had a break. It wasn't always easy to homeschool with four young children, but with his support and help in the other practical matters, it went very well and we all enjoyed it!

Years later, we added two new members to our family in the period of 20 months. It was challenging for me to care for two babies as well as check over all the lessons that the older four did each day. One of the ways William helped me was by offering to cover the math for me. He'd check the work each night and help the children if they needed help. He also would listen to the young readers read aloud and encourage them. He made it a point also to watch and take care of the babies so I could work independently with my younger grades when they needed it. And, he personally saw to it that the bedtime routines were accomplished promptly at 8:00 p.m. so that I could get some rest in the evenings!

As our teens have matured and gone on to mostly independent studies, William has taken on more responsibility in supervising their studies and suggesting new research topics. This has especially been helpful in homeschooling our teenage son, who also works in our family business and spends a great deal of time with his dad. My older son has "answered to" William for years now for getting his work done well and on time and this has helped me out so much!

Even if a homeschooling father has almost no free time to help in homeschooling or even to spend with the family, (which would be a hard thing, indeed) if he can give his wife the love, support and encouragement in a *visible* form, that can be enough to help her homeschool alone joyfully!

He can also see to it that he and his wife have time alone to nourish their own relationship. A mom needs to be reminded of the fact that she is not *just* a mother and teacher, but that she is an individual as well. She needs to be taken out from time to time, with just a tiny handbag instead of a huge diaper bag! Even if a couple is on a strict budget there are plenty of fun things couples can do that don't cost a lot of money. These days we have teenagers and "built-in" babysitters for our younger two and it's easier for us to go out, but for years we had a weekly "date night" when we would put the children to bed and then enjoy some quiet time alone together just at home. One of the best gifts parents can give their children is a happy marriage!

Homeschooling at its best is a lifestyle that involves the WHOLE family. If you feel your homeschool needs more "teamwork", prayerfully discuss problem areas and trust God to provide wisdom! We believe that God has given Christian husbands and wives to each other to function as a team, in parenting and homeschooling-- in mutual respect and honor, totally sold out and committed to the Lord, each contributing special gifts and wisdom and thereby working efficiently and effectively to further not only His will in their homeschooling, but their whole lives, and in the kingdom of God!

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]

Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Priorites
Priorites [message #32005] Sat, 23 July 2005 10:51
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Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
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PRIORITIES
by Tamara Eaton

Ever notice how God's priorities aren't usually man's priorities? Man often is tempted to do things "outside in"--because he has to "maintain this appearance" (or what would others think?), but God tends to do things "inside out" by taking care of our hearts and attitudes and then having the rest fall in place. (And that method doesn't always look pretty while work is in progress and it's certainly not always understandable to men!)

I still have to battle the urge to explain my priorities to others and worry about what they must think of me sometimes. For example, when someone pops by the house unexpectedly and it's a mess but we've accomplished great things spiritually, emotionally, academically and enjoyed learning and spending time together. Jesus sees the inside of us and all that we accomplished that day, and He knows we'll get to the messy house eventually. Man sees the messy house and might not understand what all was accomplished that day! I'm trying to get to the point where I'm not tempted to apologize or defend my day.

When people ask me how  I manage to homeschool six children on six different levels and take care of the needs of my family, I tell them that I have learned to set priorities and do what comes first instead of all the things I'd "like" to do. We especially limit outside activities right now and we don't accept a lot of invitations to get together with other homeschooling families, although we'd like to do that more.

Sometimes I find myself feeling guilty about this, other times I wonder how do others manage to still homeschool while they carry on so many other outside activities, too? I have to remember not to compare myself with other homeschool moms, but know that the Lord will give all the grace and energy to do what I need to do, but not necessarily all the energy I need if I take on things that He never intended for me to do in this season of my life.

By concentrating on my family now, I DO have time to "be there" for each one of them, and we are making wonderful memories every day! We don't do many elaborate projects together, but we talk, share portions of good books, sing, learn, and laugh a lot as we go about our daily routine.

I am reminded of an excellent chapter in Elisabeth Elliot's _Discipline: The Glad Surrender_ called "The Discipline of Time". She writes about how the sum of our job here on earth is to glorify God and how that Jesus was able to say to His Father shortly before He was crucified, "I have glorified Thee on earth by completing the work which thou gavest me to do." Can't you imagine that there were endless demands on Jesus' time? He came as a man, with a man's limitation of time and space and there probably was so much He wanted to do, but He concentrated on doing the work He'd been given.

Elisabeth Elliot writes, "Still He was able to make that amazing claim, "I have finished the work You gave me to do." This was not the same as saying He had finished everything He could possibly think of to do or that He had done everything others had asked. He made no claim to have done what He wanted to do. The claim was that He had done what had been *given*."

The bottom line? *There is always enough time to do the will of God.*

She goes on to say that if we're always frantic and frustrated, harried and harassed, and "hassled,", it's a sign that we're running on our own schedule, not God's. Jesus said *His* burden is light, and it's only when we carry additional burdens that He never meant us to carry that weigh us down. The whole chapter is filled with helpful insights and I highly recommend this book. She talks about how worry robs us of time, too.

Having a large family with many responsibilities in homeschooling and ministry has taught me that I *must* be a good steward of my time. I'm not perfected in this area but I've sure grown a lot from the time before I had children! I try to simplify as much as possible so I can have more time available to spend on priorities. I want to hear His Voice and know His Will for my life...I pray, "Lord, teach me to number my days so I might apply my heart to wisdom." Psalm 90:12 I want to be unencumbered so I am free to pursue what HE wants me to do.

Unless we have God's perspective and view our life in light of Eternity, we will fail to accomplish the Lord's perfect will for our family! I pray that we will all look to the Lord and say with the Psalmist:

"But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, "You are my God." My times are in Your Hand..." Psalm 31:14-15

[For more encouragement, see related articles on "Managing Our Time", "Feeling Frazzled" , "In His Presence" and "Homeschool Management Tips" ]

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]

Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Homeschooling In Time Of Trials
Homeschooling In Time Of Trials [message #32006] Sat, 23 July 2005 10:53
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Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
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Homeschooling in Time of Trials
by Tamara Eaton

No matter what we're going through in life, if God has called us to homeschool, He will give us the grace, wisdom and strength! In all the years we've homeschooled, we've done so through many different circumstances and trials. It's not like God calls us to homeschool and we say, "OK, Lord, now will you please hold off all the trials for the next 12 years so we'll be able to really concentrate on academics?" He promises to help us THROUGH the trials, and in the MIDST of the trials!

There have been periods of time when we didn't accomplish as much academically as I'd planned because of major moves, new babies, busy toddlers, a major illness, and other challenging circumstances, but guess what? Through it all we not only survived, but the Lord blessed and worked in many other areas of our lives! It was good for our kids to see us trust God in trials, they grew stronger spiritually. And they didn't really suffer academically either because we operate on a year round, relaxed homeschool as a part of our whole lifestyle plan. I like what William Butler Yeats said, "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." Homeschooling parents are busy lighting fires and those fires continue to burn in spite of difficult circumstances if we have helped our children enjoy learning during their early years.

At times those challenging homeschooling periods were a blessing in disguise because they kept me from trying to imitate "school at home" in the earlier years. I was forced to have a relaxed attitude and look to our textbooks or curriculum as "tools" to enrich our homeschool instead of being a slave to them. As a result, our children really enjoyed learning and didn't get burned out from too much formal studies.

It also helps to look at the overall picture in light of Eternity. What does *God* want us to accomplish in homeschooling our children? Has He called us to homeschool? Has He not promised to give us wisdom and strength? If we're experiencing trials is it not because He has allowed them for a purpose in our life? Is He not still in control? Nothing catches Him off guard! We can certainly trust Him to work out all the "details"! We all have seasons of our lives when circumstances aren't the best--we just have to trust the Lord to help us do the best we can and to "fill in any gaps".

He has used the trials to help *mold* me into the person that I should be...patience comes from overcoming trials, from learning not to allow our circumstances to determine our attitudes, but instead yielding to the Holy Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit and not the fruit of flesh! We are inadequate at times, but GOD isn't! He promises to use us to minister to our children and He will enable us to care for their needs if we will just trust Him.

Sometimes when things get out of whack, we call a family meeting and lay out the problems and prayerfully discuss solutions and enlist everyone's help. It needs to be made clear that this is not just "Mom's problem" but everyone needs to pitch in and work together as a family.

If we or our kids are stressed out, fussy and exhausted, something has to give! We have to take time to examine the situation as objectively as possible. Get to the root of the problem. Then trust God for wisdom to fix it. Ignoring it and hoping it will resolve itself won't work!

It's amazing how you can feel all overwhelmed and bogged down only to dig through all the stuff you're going through and find out the root of the problem is something you hadn't considered before...like if the kids' attitudes are straightened out, your homeschooling will be less of a burden and more of a joy! You can live without catching up with the laundry or having a spotless house, but when you have disobedient, grumpy, uncooperative kids, you want to RUN AWAY from home! THAT is what needs to be worked on first! Or maybe you're not getting enough rest because of too many commitments--simplify your life! Then everything else will fall into place as you trust the Lord for wisdom and direction.

Now for some practical suggestions--how about getting the kids motivated so that even if you are especially busy, the older ones can continue doing their work on their own and even help supervise the younger ones?

When I had small children and had to "homeschool from the couch or bed" (or perhaps from a rocking chair with a new baby or sick child), I often set up a little table with chairs right beside me so the younger ones could spend quiet time coloring or doing "school work" nearby. It's helpful to keep some boxes of "quiet" toys and educational games in storage just to bring out or rotate on challenging days. It's also VERY helpful to consistently work on Biblical child training principles BEFORE you experience trials so that you only have to tell your little one once to do something and he will obey without delay!

Homeschooling gives us flexibility in teaching our children, on days we don't accomplish much "academically", then we can take time in the early evening to go over something or make it up on the weekends. Or use the summer to work on any weak areas. It also helps to find ways for the kids to learn "painlessly" through interesting hobbies, fascinating books, wholesome PBS TV or videos, computer software, educational games, etc. Then they're still enjoying learning even if you had to stay up all night with a sick child and can't even function well enough to put a complete sentence together!

In some ways the past two years have been the most difficult of my life but God has NEVER let me down, He has *carried* me through it all and given me the grace I needed so that regardless of the circumstances at times, I still have been able to enjoy my family and minister to their needs. Sometimes not physically as much because of some health trials, but always emotionally and spiritually.

What God has given me to share in this area doesn't come out of a life that has been perfect and without trials, but from a life that has meant trusting Jesus in the midst of the trials, focusing on His Word instead of all the circumstances and seeing Him ALWAYS faithful! The Lord wants to encourage us all to come to Him when we are weary, when we are in trials, in fact, ALL the time! He delights in our dependence upon Him. Even when it seems as though darkness is all around, HE will be our light and lead us in His way.

"Why do you say, Oh Jacob, and speak, O Israel: "My way is hidden from the Lord and my just claim is passed over by my God"? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. " Isaiah 40:27-31

"...count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting..." James 1:2-6

Oh that we might all look to Him for our strength and wisdom!

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our seven children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]

Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Homeschool and Housework!
Homeschool and Housework! [message #32008] Sat, 23 July 2005 10:59
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


HOMESCHOOL AND HOUSEWORK!
by Tamara Eaton

Does the combination of homeschool and housework seem like oil and water--they just don't mix? It used to seem like we were either successful in homeschooling or housework but never both in the same day. It's easier now-- our kids are older, we have a good system and most importantly-- lower standards! We would never make the cover of "Better Homes and Gardens" but at times we could qualify for "Cluttered Homes and Jungles"!

Here are some tips that have worked for our family:

SIMPLIFY & DECLUTTER!

  • Make a list of everything that needs to be done then work toward your goal. Don't despair over the things still undone but know you'll get to it eventually. In the meantime, work at maintaining what you've already accomplished so it doesn't get so cluttered again.
  • Be RUTHLESS--get rid of things you don't use or need! Organize into three boxes: Throw away, Give away, and Put away.
  • Invest in inexpensive storage containers for things you must keep. We purchased 19 gallon rectangle storage boxes with lids for $5 each from K-Mart and use them for to store homeschool supplies, library books (we could qualify as a branch of our public library with all the books we check out!), clothes, "treasures", legos, toys, etc.
  • Don't try to do too much all at once. Focus on one area at a time and set reasonable goals. Perhaps one room a week? Or one closet a week? This way the rest of your routine doesn't suffer as much and you're not totally exhausted.
  • Limit "knickknacks" and go for clear spaces to make cleaning easier. We already have plenty of "educational clutter" to "decorate" our homes!
  • Take 15-30 minutes to do some of those "dirty jobs" that you've been putting off for ages. Clean one window, or one drawer. Then stop and get back to the normal routine.

OUR DAILY ROUTINE:

In earlier years when my children were too young to help out much around the house, I neatened up the house before bedtime each evening. That helped us get off to a better start the next morning. After breakfast I would get them started playing while I quickly did the morning chores. Afterwards, my day was free to play with them, teach them, care for them and enjoy them. I loved it! (Although it certainly had its shares of frustrations at times!) I stayed home a lot, which was my main secret for success.

Now that my children are older, they have regular kitchen chores which don't change except two or three times a year so it's easy for everyone to know what is expected. I can also tell at a glance who has done his job--no more confusion about which child is responsible for each chore. Then each child picks a part of the family room to clean up quickly. I neaten up the bathrooms, living room, master bedroom and help the youngest two clean up their room.

We try to have 9 AM as our deadline each morning to have all chores completed and the main living area picked up. Then we schedule several quick pick-ups a day: after lunch, before supper, and before bedtime. Friday mornings are for "deep cleaning"--many hands make light work, then we have "computer school" for the rest of the day or the kids do educational projects.

If the house is a wreck and standards are creeping way too low, we take off from school and other activities and concentrate on getting things in order. Instead of "nagging" the children, we politely and firmly tell them what we need done. (In our home, children who don't follow instructions when asked, get added jobs or responsibilities.)

TRAINING CHILDREN TO HELP:

It's been my experience that young children are the most enthusiastic helpers! It's important not to overwhelm them though because what looks like a small task to us, can seem enormous to them. It's best to have them work along beside us. Even a 2 year old can fold bath cloths, pick up toys and books, etc. with mom close at hand working, too.

I rarely tell younger children (7 and under) to do something without sticking around to see that it's done and working right beside them. This helps create good work habits. As they get older, I give them more responsibility and expect them to be able to complete a task whether I am there or not.

It's easier to be consistent if I require a small amount and make sure it's done. Otherwise, they get into the habit of not obeying right away, or not finishing a job. I use the same principles to train older children who have poor working habits. Many parents don't like the way their kids clean up, but they don't take the time to demonstrate more efficient ways to do it. We want to help our children learn to do a job well.

William and I have also put on "training workshops". We pretended to be a couple of the children and demonstrated poor working habits, contrasting them with good working habits. The children thought it was hilarious! Then we purposely messed up the den and allowed each child to come in and clean it up as fast as he could, timing him. We demonstrated time-saving motions and encouraged them to use them. They all did a very good job, from the oldest down to the youngest. The (at that time) 3 year old won the contest!

Young children are notorious for messing up the house. It helps to keep an eye on their activities during the day as a preventative measure--otherwise they start many different activities and forget to put anything away. Or they scatter their things all over the house! It also helps to create special play areas using a small quilt or child-sized table and chairs in the main homeschooling area. This confines their toys to a specific area and they enjoy being in the center of things. They can be taught to play quietly, or to go to another room if they're distracting the rest of the children.

Be consistent in training children to help with chores. I had years when I'd wonder if my kids would EVER get to the point where they wouldn't need supervision or to be reminded. Eventually consistency paid off. They aren't perfect yet (kids usually don't see all that moms see!), but they generally do their jobs without reminders and can manage the whole house, if necessary. (At least the teens can, the younger two are still "in training"!)

Two years ago, I was very sick and for several months my older four children did all the housework and most of the cooking and helped take care of the younger two children. It made all the difference in the world, and was good training for them, too. They practiced teamwork and since then, have viewed our home as our joint responsibility--often they tell me to go do something else and let them take care of the cleaning up. Hang in there, it is worth it!

BAD ATTITUDES:

If anyone whines or complains about working, I give them a little extra work. If they keep on, I add some more. It nips it in the bud! Bad attitudes are catching, so I try to keep a positive attitude myself about work. We put on peppy music and get it done as fast as we can. Teamwork is great!

If someone is purposely dragging his chores out and not cooperating, a little extra work solves this problem, too. We always seem to have an area beneath a couch that needs cleaning or a porch to sweep!

CHILDREN'S BEDROOMS:

I have organized the younger children's room so that it is easier to keep neat. We use large rubbermaid tubs with lids to organize their toys. Their favorite toys stay out, but everything else is stored in their closet which is off limits to them. Occasionally we rotate toys.

They have legos in one container, little cars and trucks in another container, and dolls and accessories in another. They each have a "treasure drawer" where they keep their very special treasures (bird feathers, pretty rocks, letters, drawings, pogs, etc.). Each morning I help them straighten their room, and check it several times a day, too. It stays neat this way and they enjoy playing there so much more! If I weren't involved, it would be a mess constantly.

Older children sometimes need encouragement, too. They look at their disorderly bedrooms and don't know where to begin! It helps for them to have some steps to follow. This is what we do:

  1. Make beds.
  2. Pick up all clothes.
  3. Pick up all books.
  4. Pick up any toys.
  5. Pick up any paper or trash.

By this time the room should be presentable and they have room to vacuum and dust, etc. What was once a insurmountable task becomes possible!

QUICK PICK-UP GAMES:

  • "Around the World" - Usually we divide the family room into parts and each child has a part to clean, but sometimes we play "Around the World". Each person works his way around the room clockwise until everything is neat and clean.
  • "The Age Game" - Everyone picks up the same number of items as his own age, then if there are items left over, they do it again. Only problem is when they want the parents to pick up the same number of items as their age--whew!
  • "Mr. Jones is Coming!" - We clean up the house as fast as we can, pretending that Mr. Jones is coming over at a specific time. If we finish in time, we celebrate with a tea party. If we need more time--well sometimes "Mr. Jones" gives us a call and says he has been delayed for a bit! Sometimes Dad dresses up as "Mr. Jones" and comes around to the front door and rings the bell. Inspection time follows!

KEEP YOUR PERSPECTIVE!

I find that I go in cycles --there are times we're caught up in other projects and we let the housework go, only doing the basics. Other times, I get in the mood (or force myself!) to make our standards higher and in the process, usually move some furniture around and make it cosier, redecorate, etc. I do the same thing with extra baking and elaborate cooking.

William has told me many times that although he appreciates us having the house extra neat and clean and cooking extra special meals, he also appreciates all the time and effort that is going into our homeschooling and discipling our children. He also encourages me to write, work on the computer, keep up with my reading, and do other things. I appreciate his balanced view because sometimes I feel guilty over the simple meals or how the laundry is never totally done. But we are enjoying our family so much and we know we won't have that many years left before they will no longer be under our roof!

Elisabeth Elliot shared the following essay written many years ago by an unknown mother in one of her newsletters ( Elisabeth Elliot Newsletter, P.O. Box 7711, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48107-7711 -$7 yr.) She says while not too many women iron sheets these days, it is still possible to let many other things take precedence over the primary task.

"I am sadly concerned that thousands of mothers are so over-burdened that the actual demands of life from day to day consume all their time and strength. But of two evils, choose the lesser: which would you call the lesser--an unpolished stove or an untaught boy? Dirty windows, or a child whose confidence you have failed to gain? Cobwebs in the corner, or a son over whose soul a crust has formed, so strong that you despair of melting it with your hot tears and fervent prayers?

I have seen a woman who was absolutely ignorant of her children's habits of thought, who never felt that she could spare a half-hour to read or talk with them--I have seen this woman spend ten minutes in ironing a sheet, or forty minutes icing a cake for tea, because company was expected.

When the mother, a good orthodox Christian, shall appear before the Great White Throne to be judged for the "deeds done in the body," and to give her report of the master's treasures placed in her care, there will be questions and answers like these:

"Where are the boys and girls I gave thee?"

"Lord, I was busy keeping my house clean and in order, and my children wandered away."

"Where wert thou while thy sons and thy daughters were learning lessons of dishonesty, malice and impurity?"

"Lord, I was polishing furniture and making beautiful rugs."

"What hast thou to show for thy life's work?"

"The tidiest house, Lord, and the best starching and ironing in all our neighborhood!"

Oh these children, these children! The restless eager boys and girls whom we love more than our lives! Shall we devote our time and strength to that which perishes while the rich garden of our child's soul lies neglected, with foul weeds choking out all worthy and beautiful growths? Fleeting indeed, O mother, are the days of childhood, and speckless windows, snowy linen, the consciousness that everything about the house is faultlessly bright and clean will be poor comfort in that day wherein we shall discover that our poor boy's feet have chosen the path that shall take him out of the way to all eternity."--Author Unknown


If I'm tempted to be discouraged over the state of my house, I remember the scripture I prayed many years ago when I was unable to conceive: "He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord!" (Psalm 113:9) I am filled with thankfulness that the Lord so abundantly answered our prayers with six precious children! ( Note: March 2002 we were blessed with our seventh, a precious little "mid-life bonus blessing" from the Lord!) They are MORE than worth ALL the work involved in keeping house for them! Give your children a hug and offer up a prayer of thanksgiving for them and don't forget to greet your dear husband with a hug and kiss and a cheerful hello when he gets home from work-- chances are, he won't even *notice* how the house looks!

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2005, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our seven children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]

Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Doing Enough?
Doing Enough? [message #33391] Fri, 29 July 2005 14:21
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Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
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Doing Enough?
by Tamara Eaton

Summer is almost upon us! Homeschooling families are busy finishing up studies and looking forward to a change of pace. Many parents look back over the past year and wonder, "Did I do enough? Did the children progress well?" Others worry about too many outside activities and not enough homeschooling. Or maybe both parents and children are burned-out from too many formal studies and not enough time enjoying learning and being together. It's a time of evaluation of the past year, and of looking ahead and setting new goals for the coming year.

The ebb and flow of homeschooling often gives parents the feeling they're not doing enough some days, and too much other days, but isn't that life? We try to maintain a healthy balance, but sometimes our schedules need adjusting. We want to avoid both extremes--never planning anything and letting homeschooling "just happen" (and it mostly doesn't) or having such rigid lesson plans that the slightest interruption throws everything out of whack. Another danger is planning too many outside activities and having more "road school" than "home school". All of these situations can result in major frustration and burn-out!

There are many worthwhile subjects we can teach our children in our homeschool, but it's impossible to cover them all. We must give them the "tools for learning"-- the opportunity to become well-grounded in the basics first, then teach them how to learn and research things on their own. By keeping our homeschool joyful and as stress-free as possible, our children will cultivate a love of learning instead of viewing it as drudgery. One of my favorite definitions of education is by William Butler Yeats: "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." Homeschooling parents are busy lighting fires!

We have many years to teach our children, we don't have to cram it all into one school year-- nor should we feel compelled to do everything on public school timetables. So what if our child learns about space the year his peers in public schools study animals? We should be free to explore our children's interests in science, history and other subjects!

Our children can become independent learners as well. What if they do have some gaps--for example, you always wanted to teach them Greek, but you just didn't have the time? They can learn it on their own when they're older! When they're motivated, they're able to learn it twice as fast. Maybe they don't have "hands on" experience with dissecting cow eyeballs--if they really want to do it, they can do it when they're grown and have their own apartment!

We hear the best ideas from homeschool magazines, online sites, and support groups. We get the "highlights", the "glorious times"; we also get a glimpse into homeschoolers' lives when some of them are honest enough to say, "It's not like that ALL the time." There are challenging times, too. Sometimes the children are less than enthusiastic about learning. Sometimes we all feel in need of a break. Sometimes we just need a day off so we can get some laundry done!

Homeschooling is a joy even though at times learning something can be plain hard work. But if it is sheer drudgery for them or for us, then something is wrong--perhaps the teaching, or the materials, or even the timing. Sometimes I have to find other ways for us to learn a subject and sometimes I put it aside to try again later. Haven't you ever experienced a difficult time trying to learn something, then put it aside only to come back to it later and find you understood it perfectly? You wonder why it seemed so difficult before. Children go through this, too!

We have been homeschooling for many years and since our youngest child is only in first grade, we have many years ahead of us. I find I must pace myself--that's one reason we homeschool year round in a relaxed style. The Lord doesn't expect more from us than what He has called us to do and be. We don't have to live up to others' expectations or compare our homeschooling with others' experiences. We are free to seek the Lord for the best methods that work for each individual child and for our family! What once seemed complex now becomes simple--loving Jesus, seeking His will in our homeschools and allowing Him to direct our steps. Only then can we be assured that He will give us all the wisdom, strength and grace we need!

"My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." Matthew 11:30

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33

"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Galatians 6:9


Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]

Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Missing The Mark: Socialization vs. Fellowship & Ministry
Missing The Mark: Socialization vs. Fellowship & Ministry [message #33394] Fri, 29 July 2005 14:26
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
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Missing the Mark:
"Socialization" vs. Fellowship & Ministry

by Tamara Eaton

Our definition of needed "socialization" for our children is different from societal norms because we have a different standard --God's Word. We see "socialization" as opportunities for fellowship and/or ministry and not limited to peer groups. We believe that these skills are best developed and nurtured from a place of strength and security in a loving family, reaching out to others together--sharing Jesus with a lost and dying world, edifying and encouraging our brothers and sisters in the Lord.

When parents ask us, "But what about socialization? Aren't you concerned you're neglecting to give your children a chance to do things with their peers in a traditional school environment?", we could easily ask them, "But what about your family relationships? Aren't you concerned you're neglecting to give your children enough opportunities to do things with their family since they are separated for so many hours a day?"

Even the "world" recognizes the need for children to have strong, stable families, yet somehow our culture has elevated the importance of peer relationships over family relationships--this ought not to be! Do our children value their peer's opinions and influences over their parents? In time of crisis, where do our children want to go? To the Lord and parents for wisdom or to their peers?

Children have a need of acceptance--we pray that ours find their security in being accepted and loved by the Lord and their family first, then from that secure position, reach out to others and stand strong in their Biblical convictions without being tempted to compromise in the face of persecution or during encounters with peers or adults who don't share similar standards.

We strive to develop close relationships within our family from the time our children are born, having a Christ-centered home, yielding to the fruit of the Spirit instead of the flesh, making time to do things together: praying, worshipping, learning, talking, laughing, listening, playing, loving and really enjoying the time spent with them. We believe that our close family relationships will continue through the teen years and beyond. With a house full of teens and two younger children, we are actively teaching, training, nurturing, and discipling daily--this has eternal significance thus we are driven to the Lord daily for grace, wisdom and strength!

"And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." (Deuteronomy 6:5-7)

While some limit homeschooling to their children's early years, we feel that the high school years are an important time to homeschool. We have a better opportunity to help our children with positive influences instead of negative peer pressure. Our children naturally desire more independence at this age; we can encourage their interests by allowing them to help choose their studies and being open to their ideas. This is a time to seek God for His wisdom and help in recognizing and developing these unique gifts and callings--we don't want to impose our own ideas upon our children without considering God's plan!

Our teens have had an opportunity to do volunteer work in the community, be involved in ministry, own and operate their own businesses, teach and care for younger children, do home-ec, auto repair, household maintenance, develop good leadership and organizational skills along with creative thinking.

Above all else, in our home, we want to nurture and encourage them in their walk with the Lord. In this time of adolescence and in their search for their own "identity", we want them to find their identity in HIM! They need to have a knowledge of the Word of God and know how to apply it to their everyday lives. We don't believe that rebellion should be a part of a teenager's life. We can trust the Lord that our children come to know Him and yield themselves to Him with all their heart!

We, alone, are responsible for our children and must answer to the Lord for how we bring them up, even if we delegate some of the teaching to others. We're careful to investigate our children's friends, teachers, coaches, etc. before we allow them to get involved with outside activities. We make sure we adequately monitor their activities. Even homeschool support group activities or church activities aren't immune from negative influences at times. We protect them from harmful influences and situations.

If you're having a difficult time finding godly fellowship for your family--pray for it! The Lord cares just as much about your family's emotional needs as He does your other needs. He can be trusted to work out all the details. Often He will use that time of waiting on Him to draw you even closer, preparing you in His Word to minister more effectively to others, and encouraging you to find your all sufficiency in Him!

We must be strong in our convictions based upon God's word and resist the temptation to be apologetic or insecure when criticised by others for being "overly protective" or "depriving" our children of certain things--remembering that we must answer ultimately to the Lord, not man. This doesn't mean that we should have an unhealthy desire to control our children or cause them to have an unnatural dependence upon us--our goal is to encourage them to develop a strong faith and confidence in the Lord and His Word and discern His will for their lives and be obedient unto Him!

So will our children miss out on anything? Hopefully, they will-- drugs, alcohol, premarital sex, rebellion against God and parents, resentment over helping out at home, ungodly dependence upon peers, embarrassment over being seen with mom and dad in public--to name just a few things!

Is this "sheltering" detrimental to future ministry opportunities? Will they still be able to demonstrate compassion to those in the world with different backgrounds? We believe that the Lord can give our children insight by His Holy Spirit so that they can have discernment, understanding and wisdom in dealing with others who are "out in the world" involved in things they've never experienced.

For example, William and I have been surprised at some of the areas of ministry the Lord has opened up to us in the past--to people with drug, alcohol and emotional problems. We weren't ever involved in these areas, but the Lord chose to open the doors of ministry for us. God has given me a burden for unwed teen mothers, but I never was one myself. In the Bible we see Paul, apparently unmarried, teaching on marriage. He also had a ministry to gentiles even though, to our minds, we might have thought that the Lord would have sent him to the Jews, instead!

It seems that Timothy lived a godly, sheltered life from early childhood and I'm sure his ministry wasn't hindered because he hadn't experienced the depths of sin! John the Baptist is another good example. There are many examples in the Bible of a season of preparation before ministry--which is primarily what our children are doing right now (although they are involved in some ministry--especially with us as a family).

The most effective ministry results when one walks closely with God, hears His Voice, follows His leading, and stays in His Word. The Lord anoints this person and fully equips him with all the necessary "tools" for ministry, receiving ALL the glory!

"... I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom...For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified... And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)

We need MORE Christians like this! I do believe that many of these "sheltered" homeschoolers will be used mightily in ministry. What a blessing to see our children develop in their relationships with the Lord and others and in their unique gifts and callings, becoming "vessels unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work." (2 Timothy 2:21) We're convinced that God has a purpose and special ministry for each of them--something that only they can fulfill. This makes our parenting and homeschooling all the more special and joyous!

 


God's Word is filled with principles to help us disciple our children, prepare them for ministry and develop godly relationships. Here are just a few--take time to search the scriptures with your children!

Romans 12:2 "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

1 Timothy 4:12 "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."

2 Timothy 2:22 "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart."

Colossians 2:6-8 "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."

Psalm 71:5 "For thou art my hope, O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth."

Psalm 101:2-4 "I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.
I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person."

Titus 2:12-13 "Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ..."

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

1 Corinthians 15:33 "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners."

2 Corinthians 6:14 "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?"

Ephesians 4:17 "This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind..."

1 Peter 1:15 "But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation..."

James 4:4 "... know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."

Proverbs 22:24-25 " Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul."

Proverbs 13:20 "He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed."

Ephesians 5:8-11 "... walk as children of light: (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them."

Colossians 3:1-2 "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."

[Note--If you don't know the Lord in a personal, saving way--find out how you can be set free from all condemnation and receive Eternal life, as well as His daily help and guidance! (Knowing God)

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: LIVING IN HARMONY: Encouraging Sibling Friendships
LIVING IN HARMONY: Encouraging Sibling Friendships [message #33395] Fri, 29 July 2005 14:32
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


LIVING IN HARMONY:
Encouraging Sibling Friendships

by Tamara Eaton

As parents, we want our children not only to get along with one another, but to develop friendships and actually enjoy one another. There is a saying: "If Christianity doesn't work in the home, don't export it!" We want to encourage our children to demonstrate the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) in the home, as well as toward those outside our family.

Sometimes differences have to be worked out, but our children have learned to love, respect and appreciate their siblings. We have never tolerated unkindness toward siblings in our home-- we wouldn't allow them to be rude to those outside our home, why should we overlook it just because they are brothers and sisters? There shouldn't be a double standard.

As we trained them from the start to be kind, loving, friendly, and considerate to one another, we also sought to protect them from negative influences in this area.

  • We sheltered them from ungodly playmates who fought and bickered with their siblings and were unkind and rude.
  • We helped them choose good books to read, and didn't allow books where siblings were treated as brats or called names and considered enemies instead of friends.
  • For most of their childhood, they haven't watched TV, but when they have, or seen videos, we chose shows that were wholesome without siblings fussing and fighting and being unkind.
  • We encouraged teamwork and for them to appreciate the gifts and unique personalities God gave each one of them.

We also spent four years "in the wilderness" where our only neighbors were the wild deer and other animals. We drove into "civilization" twice a week for church, and once every two weeks for shopping and the library. Our fellowship with others during this period was largely limited to church and family and while there were disadvantages, there were also numerous advantages and the Lord used that time for good for our family. Especially in fostering our children's close friendships. Our children still are best of friends-- enjoying doing things together and sharing common interests.

It touches me when I see our children help each other out without being asked and demonstrate unselfishness and kindness to one another. I feel such joy as I observe them playing and working together! Sometimes it's the little things--seeing two heads close together working on a problem, hearing one sister calling out to another to double-check the spelling of a word, seeing an older sibling reading aloud with great expression to the youngest two (in the midst of lots of laughter!), watching them plan surprises for one another, or seeing my daughters working together in the kitchen as a team, singing, laughing, and dancing.

I love seeing my son tenderly rock his little sister to sleep, make paper airplanes for his little brother, hold them when they need it, wipe away their tears, fix their trikes, kiss them and tell them he loves them. Is this a rough and tough all-boy son? Yes, indeed, but he has learned tenderness from being at home with younger siblings. One of these days, Lord willing, he will make a terrific father.

We want to encourage our children from an early age to "take up their cross and follow Jesus" and learn to live the crucified life. At the same time, we strive to be that godly example for them, trusting God to do that work in our own lives so that we might consistently practice what we preach. And we demonstrate His great love and compassion to our children, so we're not unkind or unloving in our parenting but tender and merciful and full of grace and longsuffering ourselves--they, in turn, can learn to demonstrate that same attitude toward each other.

Thankfully, we don't have to rely on our own abilities to accomplish this great task, but we have a Source who never fails us, if we'll just keep our eyes and hearts toward Him. And if we do sin, we repent, ask the Lord to forgive us, and ask one others' forgiveness and start all over again with a clean slate!

RESOLVING CONFLICTS

In the early years, we supervised our little ones' play and preferred to be involved in working out conflicts. This helped them learn how to resolve problems and prevented them from forming negative habits such as bossing or controlling siblings. As they matured, they were given more responsibility in working things out on their own, in a *Christlike* manner, but we were still available, if needed. Here are some common examples:

* What if little brother plays with big brother's train tracks and inadvertently destroys a bridge that was painstakingly built by big brother?

In our home, big brother would come to mom and get some sympathy and perhaps help in building it back and little brother would be forgiven, and reassured that it was an accident, but asked to please be more careful next time. Probably mom would find a good activity for little brother in another area so big brother could do his "work" without interruption. We try to respect the needs of the older children to have time without interruptions from younger siblings at times, that way they don't resent it when we ask them to include them at other times.

* What if little sister grabs big sister's favorite book? Big sister's tendency is to grab it back. How should she respond?

We would instruct big sister to politely ask for the book back, then if little sister refused, big sister would go to mom or dad or older sibling and ask for help in getting it back. We encourage the children to share, but they are not allowed to grab others' things without permission.

* What if little brother is purposely "attacking" big brother by either hitting or taking or knocking things down?

We would tell big brother to come to mom or dad right away and tell us the problem. We want to know when a child misbehaves so we can properly train him, discipline him, if necessary, and keep it from reoccurring in the future. At the same time, we encourage big brother to forgive and little brother to tell him he's sorry and help them restore their relationship.

We are also careful to make sure our older children don't tease or provoke the younger ones. Name-calling is not allowed, either. By nipping this sort of negative behavior in the bud, we avoid many problems!

BUDDY SYSTEM--When our first four were born within four and a half years, we used the "buddy system" so each older child could help look out for a younger child. Instead of fostering resentment, this encouraged special relationships that are still in existence many years later.

Years later, the Lord blessed us with two more babies within 20 months and they had four older siblings who were delighted to help care for them. It was so helpful to have someone to help me watch out for them especially when we would go on an outing. (Although, ultimately, I was still in charge and careful to keep an eye on everyone.)

PICK A FRUIT!--When our older four were young, we made a tree with the different names of the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5: 22-23) and hung it in the playroom. When someone was grouchy, they'd cheerfully be instructed to "Run-- quickly! Pick a fruit!" and they'd run to the tree and pretend to pick the correct fruit. Of course, ALL of our problems weren't resolved this instantly, but it was a good teaching tool.

SECRET PALS--We sometimes had "secret pals" where everyone in the family would draw names and not tell anyone else who his secret pal was--then each day we would do something special for our secret pal, in secret, of course.

Children CAN be taught to be kind to one another from an early age, and it's well worth all the time and trouble for mom and dad to be consistent in requiring kindness and respect in the family as well as outside the family.

CONFLICTING PERSONALITIES?

Occasionally two of our teens (both have been gifted with strong leadership skills!) have had different opinions on how something should be done. We talk to them individually and together, and pray with them. Ultimately, this is something that *they* have had to deal with, although we will continue to help them along the way and won't tolerate unkindness.

The good news is that they are both Christians and have recognized their need to die to self and overcome the temptation to be irritated with one another. William and I have both challenged them to cultivate a greater friendship and understand each other's personalities and look for ways to *bless* one another. We have noticed a maturing in both of them in this area in recent years and it's been months since we've had to challenge them in this area.

We're so thankful to see the Lord's work in our children's hearts because while we can change outward behavior by setting certain standards in our home, only He can change their hearts. We're convinced that the key to good relationships is to have each individual committed to living a crucified life unto the Lord. We can also help our children learn how to "walk out" their Christianity in a practical way, as they learn to yield to the Lord and the Fruit of the Spirit.

We're still working on the youngest two not bickering at times, but it helps so much for them to have older children who have victory in this area and can model sibling love for them. In fact, recently when the younger children were fussing over who got to do something first, I asked them if they could imagine two of their older sisters ever doing such a thing. They sheepishly grinned and said, "Well...no." Then the older two sisters jokingly mimicked what had just transpired between the young ones--it was hilarious and the little ones saw how ridiculous they'd looked.

Sometimes when our youngest two fuss with each other, we have them both sit on different couches in the den until they agree to be friends again. Sometimes they both need encouragement in finding some positive activity, too, but regardless-- they MUST realize that they have to be kind to one another whether they FEEL like it always or not. We all must make that choice daily (sometimes hourly!) to yield to the Fruit of the Spirit instead of to the flesh.



FAMILY COURT

We resolve minor problems that occasionally arise between the children in Family Court. (For more serious problems we call the offending/offended members into our room to privately discuss, pray and resolve the situation)

The whole family gathers together in the den. William and I are the lawyer (who handles both sides of the case) and the judge. The children are the jury and the witnesses--good thing there are a lot of them to go around!

Anyone with a complaint must step up to the bench and state his case, his lawyer adding hilarious and serious comments all along, of course. (There is usually a demand for QUIET IN THE COURTROOM when the people get to laughing too hard.) We do discuss and resolve the problems but we can usually see humor in it all, too.

Sometimes we must re-enact what actually took place earlier: the two parties show what they believe happened, the witnesses show what they believe happened, and sometimes the lawyer and the judge demonstrate what they think *probably* happened.

The judge and lawyer offer the guilty parties and jury a chance to voice ideas on how to resolve the situation, then discuss the case and announce the verdict. We have done this for many years and consider it a great success! It's not necessary to hold Family Court often these days, but anyone may request a hearing and we will schedule it for that evening. Sometimes we even serve refreshments afterwards or bring out the guitars and sing a hearty chorus or two. I'm sure we'll all have good memories of the times Family Court was in session.

We also have regular "Family Meetings" where family problems such as the need for higher standards in housework or school work, etc. are discussed. Solutions are suggested and agreed upon, and we discuss family goals. These meetings always encourage our family to function as a team.

SETTING BIBLICAL STANDARDS

By consistently training our children using Biblical principles from the start, we eliminated so much stress and set a household standard. Our little ones were able to observe the behavior of their older siblings and just knew that some things were not allowed in our home!

Before William and I were married, we asked the Lord for His wisdom in managing our future home so that we could be in divine order and not disorder. Neither of us grew up in homes with fathers present and active and we wanted to make sure that when we had children, they would have two parents working together to train them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. There is no greater gift that we can give our children. (Although we believe Christian parents can trust the Lord to "fill in the gap" if there are unfortunate circumstances with single parent families, or where only one parent is a Christian.)

"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord and great shall be the peace of thy children" (Isaiah 54:13)


A FRESH START!

About now some of you may be thinking, "I can see that training our children from the beginning is the best, but what if we haven't done that with our family? Where do we begin?"

Begin with prayer! Confess your failings in this area and ask the Lord to forgive you and give you wisdom for a fresh start. Call a family meeting and explain to your children that the Lord has convicted you that some changes need to be made. "Children, Mom and Dad have been allowing you to get away with some things that we shouldn't have, and there are going to be some changes from now on." Explain to them that you are going to trust the Lord for a happy home, and that you need their help in creating a positive, praise-filled atmosphere that will glorify God!

Perhaps hold a little training session where you act out possible situations and demonstrate what the Lord wants them to do in those instances, instead of what they might be tempted to do.

Begin each day by asking the Lord to help you maintain a positive attitude. Pray for wisdom and direction--look for ways to bless your family. Encourage teamwork! Let the older siblings help you entertain or care for the younger ones. Demonstrate your appreciation for them-- encourage them and tell them, "You are such a great big sister to the younger ones!" and "Your little brothers and sisters are really blessed to have you as their big sister!"

And don't forget to tell them all how blessed you are to have them in your life and that they are special gifts from Jesus. I regularly tell my little ones (big ones, too!), "I'm so glad Jesus blessed us with you, He knew how much we needed a little girl/boy just like you!"

Ask the Lord to help you demonstrate His love to the children each day. Keep a cheerful attitude and try to always *act* instead of *react* in response to situations and circumstances that arise. We really set the tone for our whole households-- it's a tremendous privilege and responsibility.

If someone starts the day out by being grumpy around here, we send them back to bed to get up on the right side. We pray with them and ask the Lord to forgive them and help them start all over again and have a happy day. This works great for grumpy moms and dads, too. Sometimes we have to take hold of ourselves and change our attitude to one that glorifies the Lord.

Plan pleasant activities that involve the WHOLE family--picnics, hikes, nature studies, hobbies, wiener roasts, singing together, reading aloud together, Bible studies, praying together, ministering to others as a family. Nurture your family relationships-- looking to Jesus, the perfect example for us all--knowing that true peace and harmony in our home will only be found by abiding in Him.

Andrew Murray said it well, "Look to God as the author of your family life; count upon Him to give all that is needed to make it what it should be. Let His Father-heart and His Father-love be your stay. As you know and trust it in adoring love, the assurance will grow that He is fitting you for making your home, in ever-increasing measure, the bright reflection of His love."

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Homeschooling High Schoolers
Homeschooling High Schoolers [message #33397] Fri, 29 July 2005 14:35
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


HOMESCHOOLING HIGH SCHOOLERS
by Tamara Eaton

Even veteran homeschooling parents sometimes panic at the thought of homeschooling through high school. When tempted to worry, it's helpful to start thanking the Lord for all He's accomplished in your homeschooling in the past, knowing that He will continue to carry you through to the end!

Here are some practical tips:

  1. Realize it's more important to give your child the "tools" he needs for learning and researching, etc., than that you cover ALL the subjects. You'll NEVER be able to cover EVERYTHING, even the very best schools can't do that. What you want is to help your child develop into a lifetime learner.
  2. Prayerfully research and list the subjects your child needs to cover during high school in order to meet his future goals--college? Trade schools? Entrepreneur? Make these priorities and don't get so caught up in all the "frills" or "field trips, etc" that you neglect these areas.
  3. When you see a weak area (and we ALL have them!), research your options to cover this area most efficiently, then talk to your child and plunge in with enthusiasm. It's amazing how much can be accomplished in a short time if you're concentrating on one area without distractions.
  4. Take note of all the gifts and strong points of your child and APPRECIATE them. Don't get so caught up in the "weaknesses" that you no longer see the strengths. God has made us all so unique, with special gifts and we want to develop those areas in our children (with His help!).
  5. Talk to other parents who are homeschooling their high schoolers and encourage one another. Homeschool parents come up with GREAT innovative ideas for covering even those sometimes "tricky" subjects like chemistry or physics.

Finally--and most importantly--ask the Lord to show you what to do for high school and how to prepare your child for the future. He loves your child even more than you do (imagine that!) and He will bring you through the next few years triumphantly. Who else knows the end from the beginning and the past, present and future and promises to lead you every step of the way? Nothing is hidden from Him either, so He has the complete picture-- sometimes we only see a little part of it.

Isaiah 46:9-10 "... I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure."

Psalm 9:10 "And they that know Thy name will put their trust in Thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee."

James 1:5-6 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering."

Psalm 142:3 "When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path."

Just think of it--infinite wisdom--available to us, but only through prayer and commitment to Jesus. No wonder the enemy would seek to distract us from prayer! It's an awesome, truly amazing privilege to be able to go to the Lord for EVERY need and see His faithfulness! Put your faith and confidence in Him today--you are NOT alone, He will lead your family and give you His peace--just ask Him!

HELPFUL RESOURCES

These materials have been recommended by Christian Homeschool Forum members who are currently homeschooling their high schoolers:

  • CHRISTIAN HOME EDUCATORS' CURRICULUM MANUAL: Jr. High and Sr. High by Cathy Duffy-- Cathy Duffy has done a marvelous job of covering many different homeschooling needs and materials. Not only does she describe many programs and materials, she gives helpful teaching advice, suggestions of what to study and when to study it, tips on learning styles, graduation options, etc. (Available from most homeschool catalogs, including the online chfweb.com Homeschool bookstore)
  • THE RELAXED HOME SCHOOL by Dr. Mary Hood-- Very practical, encouraging and easy to read. The author suggests ways to make learning as stress-free as possible for all ages. Gives advice on how to prepare your teens for college or career or both, as well as record keeping.
  • HOMESCHOOLING HIGHSCHOOLERS by McAlister and Oneschak -- This book comes in two volumes (I think the two volumes have now been consolidated into one). First volume is all the information about evaluating the high school years, career and college exploration and preparation, goal-setting, transcript making, course outlining, etc. It is brief enough for you to not be overwhelmed yet still carry away all that you need to know to do high school. The second volume includes more coursework examples and extra forms for a whole year of transcript and course description forms.
  • APPRENTICESHIP PLUS (Patterning Learning Upon Scripture)-- Inge Cannon gives a seminar that is absolutely invaluable (and comes with a comb-bound book of workshop notes/graphs, etc.). Concerns "high places" in homeschooling, burnout, *real* goals for highschoolers rather than being subject to the "norm" in homeschooling-- like diplomas/accreditation. Warming to review again and again. Available from: Education PLUS (864-281-9316) PO Box 1029, Mauldin, SC 29662
  • SENIOR HIGH: A Home Designed Formula by Barb Shelton-- Barb walks you through the steps of finding a "big picture" vision for your homeschooled child's high school years. Especially helpful is Barb's encouragement to seriously seek the Lord for His plan for your homeschool and not just imitate the world's or anyone else's "formula" or expectations for high school. She has helpful ideas for applying real life learning to high school "credits" (if you choose to go that route) and various reproducible forms for record-keeping, planning, etc. Senior High: A Home Designed Form+U+La is available from: Barb Shelton, 182 No. Columbia Hts. Rd., Longview, WA 98632 (BEShelton@aol.com )
  • SCROLL'S HIGH SCHOOL GUIDE TO HOMESCHOOLING EXCELLENCE by Diana Johnson is a very good, concise book on the essential considerations and approaches for homeschooling a high schooler. It contains a detailed list of books at every grade level, and can be used to construct a total curriculum plan for 9th thru 12th grades. Topics include: record keeping, schedules, figuring and applying credits, various homeschool styles, alternative high school diplomas, grading and alternative methods, early admissions to local colleges, remedial to advanced level suggestions. Resources listed include: video, correspondence, satellite, and umbrella schools. Course listings offered include remedial to advanced level suggestions. (She includes information about Texas law, and the first version is a bit Texas specific, but a revision is planned in the near future that will be more general.) Available From : The Scroll Christian Bookstore, 2719 University Blvd., Tyler, TX 75701, (903) 566-8263 (903) 566-3166 Fax

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Enjoying Homeschooling: Tips on Teaching 1st-3rd Graders
Enjoying Homeschooling: Tips on Teaching 1st-3rd Graders [message #33399] Fri, 29 July 2005 14:40
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


ENJOYING HOMESCHOOLING:
Tips on Teaching 1st-3rd Graders

by Tamara Eaton

If you and your child haven't enjoyed homeschooling lately then it's time for a change! Homeschooling young children (1st-3rd grades) can either be a joy or sheer drudgery--it all depends upon your method and attitude.

Every week I hear from parents who are having problems homeschooling their young children--almost invariably it is because of one of two areas (or sometimes both):

  1. They're using hyper-structured curriculum and can't keep the focus or interest of the child. (Some children thrive on this but many don't!)
  2. They've been inconsistent in training and disciplining their child and his whining and disobedience is making homeschooling miserable for everyone. (If you're having this problem, don't miss the "Homeschool Boot Camp: Dealing with Attitudes!" article for Biblical child training tips!)

Thankfully, there are solutions to these problems. Look for ways to make learning fun instead of thinking you have to imitate school at home. Create a natural learning environment where children enjoy learning all the time in a relaxed way.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Use curriculum as a tool instead of a dictator, it's not necessary to do all the "busy work" included in most textbooks or workbooks.
  • Make "formal" lessons short and sweet.
  • Keep instructions brief and give clear examples.
  • Don't expect independent work to be done for long periods at a time. It's best to work with or near the child at these ages, keeping an eye on the progress and available if help is needed.
  • Young children usually tire quickly of writing; offer to be their "scribe" and write down their stories, letters, and answers to math problems when necessary. Many times their ability to do math or compose stories exceeds their ability to write-- don't hold them back but help them when needed. They can still practice a little every day, just don't burden them with too much, too soon.
  • Allow your child to go at his or her own speed--there are enormous differences in the rate of maturity in children under nine years of age. Don't pressure your child but encourage him to do his best without constantly comparing him to his peers.
  • Give your child the opportunity to investigate and explore new interests and model a lifestyle of learning before him. Are we interested in learning new things? Chances are our children will be, too!
  • Turn off the television. Too much television stifles creativity and takes up valuable time that could be used in pursuing new hobbies and interests. Ever notice how those who say they don't have time to read or explore new interests often find plenty of time for television?
  • Enjoy your local public library and build a wonderful home library, too. There are fascinating books with colorful pictures that will make history, geography, science, etc. come alive to your child--learning will be painless as you both enjoy reading aloud together.

We learned the hard way that having "school at home" did not work for our family. (Especially for our younger children.) Many years ago, I ordered a traditional first grade classroom curriculum for my oldest child and we both experienced frustration and boredom. Finally, we put the curriculum up on a shelf and just enjoyed learning together by reading interesting, colorful books from the library and doing a little math and reading instruction on the side. (Covering both math and reading lessons took an hour or less each day.) Guess what? He really enjoyed learning again! And so did I!

This relaxed method of homeschooling sounds frightening to many new homeschoolers because they're afraid that if they don't require much "seat work" or written work, their children won't learn much. They want to do everything "just right" so they try to imitate school at home--not realizing that it's not only unnecessary but also often inefficient and boring. Schools have to do things differently because they're forced to deal "one on twenty-thirty" instead of "one on one", therefore, it's impossible for them to give individual attention to each child and customize their curriculum to fit every need. But we don't have these limitations!

We don't want our children to be turned off from learning at an early age or to think of learning as something that only takes place within the context of "school". We want them to enjoy learning from the start and become a lifetime learner--interested and curious about everything whether it's "school time" or not.

We became even more relaxed with our younger children because we saw that children are naturally curious and want to learn new things--and they learn best when they're interested and ready to learn instead of forced to cover a certain amount of highly structured curriculum daily. Instead of pressuring them, we have tried to make learning enjoyable for them so that they look forward to homeschooling instead of dreading it.

Now this doesn't mean that they are allowed to run the household or that they don't also have plenty of structure and discipline in other areas. They are still expected to have a good attitude and be obedient and respectful when asked to do something--we just make sure that we're using wisdom in how much we require of them so that they are not overwhelmed or turned off by learning.

Next week, I'll share more examples of how we make learning fun for our younger children and give you a "typical week" (if there is such a thing!). I prefer looking at how much our children have learned in a week instead of a day because it presents a more balanced picture of what we accomplished. Some days we do more "school work" than others, but we always enjoy reading together and the children have many educational interests and games that they enjoy playing, too. They are learning new things all the time--what a privilege and joy it is to homeschool them!

"The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice." Proverbs 23:24-25

MY FAVORITE RESOURCES FOR HOMESCHOOLING YOUNGER CHILDREN:

  • THE WHOLEHEARTED CHILD by Clay and Sally Clarkson The Clarksons discuss how to create a lifestyle of learning and the importance of discipling our children. Everything from spiritual encouragement to practical ideas on organization. The best book I've seen on homeschooling children in a long time! I recommend it for everyone--both new homeschoolers and veterans.
  • Dr. Ruth Beechick's THREE R'S SERIES (Grades K-3) A Strong Start in Language, A Home Start in Reading, An Easy Start in Arithmetic, and a wall chart for teaching phonics and arithmetic. An invaluable, inexpensive guide for new homeschoolers-- filled with practical teaching tips and ideas to make learning enjoyable. Definitely a "must have" for teaching these grades!

These books are available through most homeschooling catalogs, including the online chfweb.com Homeschool bookstore.

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Homeschooling Highlights: Typical Week Homeschooling Grades 1-3
Homeschooling Highlights: Typical Week Homeschooling Grades 1-3 [message #33400] Fri, 29 July 2005 14:50
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


HOMESCHOOL HIGHLIGHTS:
A "Typical" Week Homeschooling Grades 1-3

by Tamara Eaton

[Last week I wrote about enjoying homeschooling grades 1st-3rd and this week I'd like to continue that theme by sharing examples of our family's experiences.]

We like to get our children off to a good start in homeschooling! We encourage them to enjoy learning new things without pressure so they can proceed at their own pace. We read lots of books to them, answer their questions, introduce new skills, and help them learn how to research and explore topics of interest in a relaxed atmosphere of learning.

Most younger children don't like to spend much time sitting down with workbooks and formal textbooks so we limit written work unless they enjoy it. Our job is to keep them challenged and interested in learning--busywork can be dull and dreary and turn children off! This relaxed method has worked for our family--our older kids continue to love learning new things and are self-motivated in their studies. By requiring less, more was actually accomplished because they enjoyed learning and didn't see it as being confined to a certain time of day or period in their lives called "school".

A "Typical" Week

Here are some highlights from one "typical" week in the life of our younger children. (Our youngest daughter is in first grade and our youngest son is in second grade.)

  • This week we have been reading aloud a chapter a day from George Washington's World by Genevieve Foster. This is a fascinating book that covers the years 1732-1799 and talks about different people all over the world who were alive during George Washington's lifetime. What a neat way to study history! We're really enjoying it together and since it's about 350 pages, we'll probably be reading this for a while.
  • We covered geography because they were interested in the route between England and the colonies during George Washington's time and that lead to all sorts of other discussions about maps and travel routes. We compared the older map in the book with our newer wall map and globe. We discussed what it would have been like to travel during Washington's time.
  • We also have been reading aloud all the Carolyn Haywood books and just finished one called Eddie and Gardenia which was published 45 years ago and is about a boy named Eddie and his goat, Gardenia, visiting his homeschooled cousin on a ranch in Texas. (We all loved it!) Now we're reading Eddie's Pay Dirt.
  • My first grader and I worked together on phonics (for about 10-20 minutes each time) three days this week, writing out sentences and making a little story with pictures.
  • My second grader is fluent in reading now and loves to read during afternoon naptime and for 30--60 minutes before bedtime each evening. He also reads aloud to me several times a week for a short time so I can be sure he's continuing to do well, and I read aloud to him regularly, too. (He enjoys reading the Box Car Children mysteries by Gertrude Warner, Encyclopedia Brown mysteries, as well as many non-fiction books.)
  • They watched Bill Nye: The Science Guy and Kratt's Creatures on PBS a couple of times this week. (We watch them with them and discuss any comments that come up about evolution.) My second grader especially loves this and likes to pursue topics discussed on the show and get more books about them at the library. We really limit TV viewing in our home and for many years we didn't even have a TV--we're convinced that that's one of the reasons our children all enjoy reading so much. They were forced to be creative and find entertainment in other ways besides television. 99.9% of the time our television stays OFF!
  • We read aloud a book on porpoises because my son is fascinated by them and wants to do a unit study on them.
  • We haven't done formal math in their textbooks this week (but they played Monopoly Jr. and counted money) and they will probably do some this weekend. They generally do several lessons at once when they do math because they think it's fun. My daughter uses BJU 1st grade math text, as well as many "natural" and hands on math exercises using legos, counting money, etc. My son uses Saxon 54 text, Math-it, and enjoys thinking "mathematically" all the time.
  • They did crafts with older sisters who were making things from wool. They drew lots of pictures and made books. They used legos to build a steamboat called the Mississippi Queen and it sat in the middle of our kitchen floor for four days!
  • One of their older sisters read them a couple of books from the library about mammals.
  • My son also watched his dad and older brother taking apart computers and changing hard drives, etc.
  • My daughter helped me pick roses, greenery and mint from our garden and make pretty arrangements using an assortment of odd containers around the house.

These are just a few of the highlights--it would be impossible to share them all here! My preparation time is minimal so I have even more time to enjoy my children. We are so thankful to have this time together and treasure each fleeting moment of their childhood--these are precious years, never to be captured again.

If you and your children have grown weary of learning together, search for ways to brighten up your homeschooling. Seize the moment! Children won't wait--they grow up all too quickly. Create warm, wonderful homeschooling memories with your child this week--and get excited about learning again!

"Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward." Psalm 127:3

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Homeschooling in Perpetual Motion: That's My Boy!
Homeschooling in Perpetual Motion: That's My Boy! [message #33402] Fri, 29 July 2005 14:54
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


Homeschooling in Perpetual Motion:
That's My Boy!

by Tamara Eaton

[In honor of Mother's Day, I'd like to share about one of my most precious and rewarding challenges as a mother--my son Joel! ]

My seven year old son is perpetual motion and does math problems while hanging upside down or thumping his leg against the furniture. He's relatively still when he reads to himself and to me now, but when he first learned to read, he would bounce around so much he would sometimes lose his place.

When he was younger, he had the following conversation with a new librarian (the older ones already knew we homeschooled):

Librarian: How old are you?

Joel: 5 1/2, and I'll be 6, Jan.4th!

Librarian: How nice! You'll be able to go to school next year, won't you?

Joel: I'm not going to go to school. I have better things to do!

And homeschooling has definitely proven to be a better thing for him to do! After observing Joel's learning style and unique personality, I appreciate even more the benefits of homeschooling--with individual attention he has been able to progress at his own rate of maturity and not be limited to a single grade level. We have been free to "work with the wiggle" (as one famous homeschool curriculum advertises). I can't imagine a classroom teacher allowing him to sit in her lap while learning to read or snuggling up with a good book or doing advanced math problems while hanging upside down! ("I can think better this way, Mama!")

From birth he's had an enormous amount of curiosity, energy and determination! Often it was exhausting to keep up with him and to be consistent in discipling and training him, but it was well worth it. What a blessing it is to see his energies channeled in positive directions instead of negative. Although it was tempting at times to just want a break from him--what worked best in the long run was to stay right with him and train him consistently, in love. Now we are reaping the benefits, although he still keeps us on our toes! He has always been very intense; when he gets interested in a topic, he doesn't let go.

  • At age two, he wanted to know more than just that the light switches turned the lights on and off, he wanted to know HOW it happened so we talked about electricity. He even wanted us to take the wall down so he could see the wiring, but we made do with a book on it instead.
  • When at age three, he understood that Jesus died for his sins, and asked the Lord for His forgiveness and to be His Lord and Savior, he wanted to also know the answers to deep theological issues: What was the difference in his relationship with the Lord when he was a baby and now? HOW could God manifest Himself eternally as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
  • When he was four, I'd just finished reading to him about Jesus turning water into wine when I discovered him standing on a chair in front of the kitchen sink, water running full force, filling up a cup. What was he doing? "I'm going to ask Jesus to turn this water into wine!"
  • At five, he wrote his first book-- a book of manners as a special gift for his teen brother. This was his own idea (I suppose he thought it was needed!) and he spent two whole days working on it. At first he tried to do all the writing himself and asked me to spell the words for him, but after a while he got tired and dictated the rest to an older sibling.
  • He pleaded with me to teach him something from the high school English grammar text his older siblings were using--I said, "Ok, let's talk about nouns. Nouns are persons, places, or things." Joel looked puzzled and quickly responded, "But, Mama, I thought hounds were animals!"
  • At six, he wanted to know how to carry numbers using addition, so I showed him and told him he could make up his own example--he wrote down a problem like 1,237,000 plus 1,999,999.
  • He created his own math "workbook" by making up problems and solving them. He also tried to invent some "short cut" methods to get answers because he noticed a particular pattern in a couple of problems. Unfortunately, it wasn't consistent so we had to explain that he needed to test his theories using more than two examples!
  • When people asked him where he lived, it wasn't enough to tell them the town, he added the continent and threw in stories about the differences between the climate in North America and South America!

I could go on and on-- for the last seven years, he has filled our lives with such joy and excitement. He was the reason we had to install high locks on all the doors to the outside. He was the one who took things apart to see how they worked and swallowed a screw. He was the child who never walked when he could run, never whispered when he could yell and liked to sing "Jesus Loves Me" at the top of his lungs in the grocery store. He also has never met a stranger. (Which has made life more challenging!) It's just been in the past year that we no longer have to ask every five minutes, "Has anyone seen Joel?"

By God's grace and with His strength and wisdom, we're going to fill our precious young son up with God's Word and teach him His ways and watch out world--he is going to be an intense, committed, yielded vessel for the Lord to use for His glory!

JOEL'S HOMESCHOOLING METHOD

The key to successful homeschooling with Joel has been to challenge him and take advantage of his own curiosity and interests in different areas. We don't do much "seatwork"--just when he's in the mood and we keep lessons short. Now, this may sound to some like he's not learning much. Nothing could be further from the truth!

When he's in the mood for math (which he loves but doesn't do a text every day), he's likely to cover four or five lessons in one sitting. He is quick to pick up on new concepts and enjoys the challenge and doesn't need as much drill work as some of my other children. Probably because he "thinks in numbers" and constantly relates everyday experiences and thoughts to math problems. We played fun math games together when he was little, too, and he has always liked math software programs.

Because he had a good foundation in basic math using simple manipulatives found around the house (cheerios, legos, etc.), it took him almost no time to complete the first levels of BJU math so he jumped into Saxon 54 and is doing well. He doesn't need all the drill so I don't make him do all the problems on each page--just a few of each type unless it's something he already knows so well--then he skips it. Most of the time, I sit beside him and write down the answers as he does the work orally--he amazes me with his ability to do it all in his head. Sometimes he has to grab the notebook and figure it out on paper, but often it's not necessary.

Writing has been difficult for him, but I see no reason to limit his experiences in math, composing stories, letters, etc. until he matures in this area, so many times he dictates to me or an older sibling. (Although he has been motivated lately to improve his writing skills.) He loves to type up emails so he is writing and improving his spelling that way, too. He also has started a typing program.

He loves to read, although he didn't become fluent until January, which was also the month he turned 7. He had been able to read some words and knew how to sound out words for a couple of years, but he would get frustrated and give up. He has always been the type of child who wanted to know how to do something instantly--and well. (We're working on that!) I never pressured him to read because I wanted him to enjoy it, so I just read aloud often to him and encouraged him to read a few words or sentences every now and then. Finally, it all came together for him and he took off!

His major motivating factors were wanting to read computer instructions easily and to be able to do more computer educational software games (he adored SimFarm but had to ask for help sometimes in reading the text) and he really wanted to be able to read exciting books on his own. After he read his first book by himself, he was still tempted to grow weary of all the work involved so we decided to offer a small "prize" for each book he finished reading. (Prizes included new books, notebooks, crayons, pens, etc.)

We made a chart for his room and wrote down each book that he'd read. Within a short time, it was difficult to keep up with writing them all down and he began to read chapter books. He also realized the truth of what we'd been saying all along--the more he practiced, the easier it got and it didn't take long before he didn't have to sound out all the words.

Now he delights in being able to read fluently and no longer needs any incentive but the pleasure of reading and learning. When he chooses a book to read, he first looks at the copyright date and determines the age of the book, then wants to know what was going on in the world at that time. Finally, he digs into the book, often reading the especially interesting or funny parts out loud to me so I can enjoy it, too. He also likes to read highlights to the rest of the family, so he gets plenty of practice. Now that he's reading well, he's allowed the privilege of staying up an extra hour before bedtime to read in bed just like the older members of his family.

I've continued to read aloud to him often, too--both non-fiction and fiction books and this is the way we cover many subjects. He's fascinated with books, maps, people, animals, places, science, space, the wild west, history, computers, sports, music and life in general. He has many interests in so many areas that it's difficult to keep up with him at times.

William and I try to answer his questions, help him with any research, read aloud to him daily, equip him with the tools he needs to learn, be sensitive to his needs, continue to train him in the areas of obedience, respect and responsibility, teach him the Word of God and Christian ethics, demonstrate the love of the Father to him, and treasure and enjoy each moment with him. He truly is a precious gift from the Lord!

Although I've been a mother for many years now, the last seven years with Joel have been a journey through often previously uncharted territory--a joyous, exciting, exhausting adventure which has thus far given me nerves of steel, an increased measure of patience and perseverance, a few grey hairs, and far more affection, love and devotion than I could possibly have imagined. His joy and zest for living overflows and has a profound effect upon our whole family and homeschooling.

If you have a child who stretches you in many areas, look to the Lord Jesus Christ for WISDOM...

Colossians 2:3 "In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."

STRENGTH...

Psalm 105:4 "Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore.

Psalm 138:3 "In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul."

Proverbs 10:29 "The way of the LORD is strength to the upright..."

and GRACE...

2 Corinthians 9:8 "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work..."

He will never fail us!

Some of Joel's favorite books and resources:

  • A series of books by Mark Taylor about Henry the Explorer was the basis of some interesting little unit studies when he was five or six years old. Henry explores mountains and nature trails, leaving little flags behind him everywhere he travels.
  • Five-in-a-Row unit studies by Jane Lambert (We used these off and on when he was four and five years old. For more information, visit the Lamberts' website at http://www.fiveinarow.com )
  • Baseball, Trains, Homes, and other unit studies by Amanda Bennett. (For more information, visit Amanda's website at http://www.unitstudy.com)
  • Math-it (Available from many homeschool catalogs.)
  • The Beginner's Bible
  • Encyclopedia Brown books by Donald Sobol
  • The Boxcar Children mysteries by Gertrude Warner
  • Carolyn Haywood books (Especially the Eddie series)
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder books
  • Homer Price by Robert McCloskey

[Note: Most of these books are available from the online chfweb.com bookstore!]

Computer Software: Oregon Trail, SimFarm, Word Rescue, Math Rescue, Bible Baseball, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Family Feud (He plays these educational trivia games with his older siblings and learns so much!)

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2001, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Homeschool Graduation!
Homeschool Graduation! [message #33405] Fri, 29 July 2005 14:57
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


Homeschool Graduation!
by Jane Swanson

[ We've been on vacation and hope to be back on schedule next week with the articles of the week! This week, we'd like to feature an article by one of the Christian Homeschool Forum members, Jane Swanson. The Swansons have homeschooled their five children for many years and their oldest son graduated this month. We believe this account will inspire and encourage you all! --Tamara Eaton]

A Homeschool Graduation By Jane Swanson

Sweet baby faces, little boy smiles, and young man grins, in gold picture frames, greeted guests from the tops of twenty square tables. Baskets lined with purple napkins held goldfish cracker snack assortments while napkins cheering on the class of 1997 sat boldly on the side. Tabletops sprinkled with metallic colored *97*'s and gold cushioned chairs also helped proclaim the commencement exercises of Swanson Christian Academy.

An Awards table showcased trophies, plaques, and medals earned by the graduate. Examples of course work mingled with the awards and a Creative Memories school year book. Guests milled around the table and signed the yearbook with exhortations such as: JARED-GO WITH GOD AND FOR GOD! LOVE YOU MAN!

Helium-filled balloons of purple and gold topped by a silver star balloon imprinted with *Congratulations Graduate* swayed on each side of the platform. A felt quilt edged in purple and gold triangles was hung from the center stage. The many colored squares and rectangles sported different aspects of the young graduate's life. Boldly stating life verses, school banners, uniform numbers, basketball and soccer logos, it provided a perfect backdrop for the graduation festivities.

Hearty greetings from Principal John Swanson on May 31st, 1997 at 2:00PM began the ceremonies. Speaking emotionally to the many parts of the Swanson's lives gathered together in that one room, he thanked them for coming. Descending the steps of the platform he joined his wife and their other four children to welcome the graduate.

Pomp & Circumstance, as played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on CD, filled the air as the purple-gowned graduate strode into the room. Gold cords and tassel swung in time to Sir Edward Elgar's march. Three red roses were carried proudly by the graduate as he approached his waiting family. Bending slightly, he offered the first red rose to his seven year old sister, Joelle. Kissing her on the cheek, he moved to the next sibling in line. Ten year old Jordan blushed embarrassingly as his older brother shook his hand. Another red rose was bestowed upon his thirteen year old sister, Julia, as she stood on tiptoe to offer her kiss. A handshaking scenario and chest thumping was the manly greeting to his 16 year old brother, Justin. The final red rose was sweetly presented to his mother accompanied by a loving embrace while his father was greeted with a handshake and hug. Ascending the three steps to the platform, the graduate stood awaiting the final cresando before seating himself on a high stool.

Korean pastor Min Chung was introduced and offered the opening invocation. He thanked the Lord for the gift of Himself and the blessing of Jared Paul Swanson, the graduate. It was a heart-felt prayer that graciously led the way for the rest of the program to bring great honor to our God.

Julia stepped up to the platform to read the introduction. She explained the founding and purpose of Swanson Christian Academy. Sharing verses from Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Proverbs 22:6 she delivered the message that our school has focused on understanding the individual bent of each student, developing a committment to academic excellence, acquiring a lifestyle of learning and above all maintaining a sincere love and devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Introducing his basketball coach and friend, Jared shared that Coach Pico was like a second father to him. A man who had taught him, on and off the court, that Jesus Christ was most important. Mr. Tim Pico began his address by focusing on the type of character that Jared portrayed in the midst of intense pressure during basketball games. He gave a *wish-list* of what he hoped for Jared while music played in the background to accompany his comments. With wit and candor, he expressed that this was a young man who would accomplish great things for the cause of Christ.

"What can I say about this next speaker?" Jared began. "He's like a big kid." With a broad smile and obvious affection Jared introduced Andy Thomas, assistant basketball coach and family ministries pastor. Andy blessed all by his comments and poem. He entitled the poem _ All About Shoes_, in reference to the store where Jared is employed. Each family member's shoes and sandals for Jesus were displayed on the stage as he made reference to Jared's part in leading or following. Ending his address with Steve Green's song _Find Us Faithful_, Andy left few dry eyes.

The Charge to the Graduate was powerfully delivered by the principal and father. He exhorted his son to: Fix his eyes on the prize, Fill his mind with His Word, Find companions who are strong in their love for the Lord, and Faithfully serve Jesus by serving people. It was a tender salute from father to son.

Jared stood solemnly in his purple robe and delivered his commencement speech. He gave a stirring message of the Lord's work in his life. A small excerpt:

"Not only am I graduating from high school, I am graduating from home school. For 13 years my mother has given her life to teaching me the basics of education. Today is as much a graduation for her as it is for me. She taught me how to read. She taught me how to write and she taught me math. But most importantly, she taught me about my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Both she and my father have shared with me the miracle of Christ and how he paid for my sins on the Cross, and for that I am eternally grateful. Through their teaching, they have not only prepared me academically for life, but they have taught me how to be a man of God in this secular world. I have received an education that I could not have received anywhere else. I have learned how important my family is, and how to face the world with all it's challenges and temptations."

It was a tribute to his parents and they were humble before the Lord.

An Arrow Award was then presented by his mother. As the first arrow pulled from the Swanson quiver, Jared was reminded that the Lord had given him a target to hit and that he was released to do His work. A touching moment of giving a child his wings.

Presentation of the Diploma was next on the program. It was read aloud and presented with a round of applause from the audience. As the commotion settled, the melody of Watercolour Ponies by Wayne Watson filled the room. A video medley featuring the graduate from birth to senior year brought many tears.

A closing prayer from Jared's pastor beseeched the Lord to continue the good work that He had begun. To bring truth from Jared's lips to his generation as he preached the gospel. A prayer of hope and exhortation that encouraged all children of the King to use their lives unto His service.

With a strengthened heart, Jared stood to be presented as the graduating class of 1997 from Swanson Christian Academy. Moving his gold tassel from right to left on his mortarboard hat, the applause thundered throughout the room. For a few moments, he watched proudly as all assembled stood and acknowledged his achievement. Then he removed his hat and tossed it into the air.

Let the reception begin!

Chunks of frozen gold punch sat solidly in bowls. Refusing to melt, the ice mountains floated stubbornly in pools of gingerale. Thirsty family and friends clustered around the purple and gold decorated tables and filled their plates with food. Chocolate chip, molasses, and peanut butter cookies disappeared quickly from mounded piles on loaded trays. Pudding cake breads arranged in flower wheels of butterscotch, lemon, chocolate, and strawberry were besieged with reaching fingers. Cheese and fruit trays also offered their delicacies to all who had come to celebrate.

As music filtered from the speakers lending the atmosphere an air of gaiety, the proud parents caught each other's eye. The unspoken message was "and let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary." Galatians 6:9

Graduation Poem for Jared Paul Swanson

      ALL ABOUT SHOES by Andrew Thomas ( copyright 1997)

      Life gives you many chances
      To follow or to lead.
      People share their lives with you
      They all will plant their seeds.
      
      Shoes are all around you
      As you live from day to day.
      They choose their paths by what they see.
      We pray the narrow way.
      
      Joelle's shoes have followed you.
      She's watching you, big brother.
      And though sometimes you wonder
      She won't trade you for another.
      
      Jordan's shoes are all worn out.
      Their chance for life is dim.
      They're worn because he follows you
      Or cuz you're chasing him.
      
      Julia's shoes are busy too.
      She's dancing on her toes.
      Priceless value is a brother
      Listening as she grows.
      
      Justin's shoes are high tops.
      Basketball's his wife.
      Your friendship helps prepare him
      To play the game of life.
      
      Your Mom and Dad's shoes lead the way.
      You follow close behind.
      They feed you, teach you, raise you, love you
      Christ they've helped you find.
      
      Your parent's shoes are out ahead.
      They want the best for you.
      So follow close behind, they'll help you
      Know just what to do.
      
      You've led and followed many shoes
      Not on the stage today.
      Family and friends alike
      Have helped map out the way.
      
      God has said your family
      Priority should be.
      But look beyond the shoes of man
      And sandals you will see.
      
      The Word has often taught us
      Of the price that you must pay.
      You must surrender all - it's black and white
      There is no gray.
      
      More than family, more than friends
      Step up your pace, walk hand in hand
      With Christ who wears His sandals
      Leaving footprints in the sand.
      
      So you see - Christ leads us to the cross
      He paid our dues.
      And life is worth it all
      If you strive to fill His shoes!
        by Andrew Thomas ( copyright 1997)
       

We appreciate the Swanson Family allowing us to share this article and poem with you this week. I first read this account and poem when I was right in the middle of preparing mandatory progress reports and it served to remind me once more of what a precious privilege it has been to homeschool our children--it has been worth it all!

Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Favorite Books
Favorite Books [message #33408] Fri, 29 July 2005 15:02
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


Favorite Books!
by Tamara Eaton

Lazy warm summer afternoons are perfect times to stretch out in a cool place with a good book! We also enjoy reading aloud to the younger children from chapter books. Since it's fairly easy to find good children's picture books, but more difficult to screen chapter books for content (especially if your children are heavy readers--it's difficult to keep up!), I'm sharing some of our family's favorite chapter books for light summer reading, along with a few reviews--two positive and one negative. These books should be found easily in your local public library or through Inter-Library Loan. You can also order many of them online from our CHFWeb Favorite Books Bookstore in association with Amazon.com (look in the Children's Best-Loved books section!). We'll be adding more books soon!

We have always sought to provide good, wholesome reading material for our children and while our family considers the books we recommend here in our lists of favorites to be well worth reading, there are things we would not agree with and issues we discuss with our children as we read these books. (Isn't that true of everything except the Bible!) Occasionally, we have listed an author's name with the notation "All of his or her books"--obviously it's possible that we might not have read everything the author's written, so please forgive us if you come across one (especially a new one) that you don't feel is up to the usual wholesome standards.

H. Clay Trumbull (1830-1903), Christian father of eight, had this to say about cultivating a child's taste in reading in his book, Hints on Child Training:

"As one of the fathers of English poetry has told us, "Books should to one of these four ends conduce, For wisdom, piety, delight, or use"; and that reading which conduces merely to "delight" for the time being, has its essential part in the formation of a character that includes wisdom and piety and useful knowledge. But it is to be understood that no child should be left to read only those books to which his untutored tastes naturally incline him; nor should he be made to read other books simply as a dry task. His taste for instructive books as well for amusing ones should be so cultivated by the judicious and persistent endeavors of his parents, that he will find enjoyment in the one class as truly as in the other."

We hope you'll enjoy some of these books with your family if you haven't already read them and please feel free to email us any of your family's favorites. We'll be updating this list from time to time as we think of more good books to share. Happy Reading!

REVIEWS:

GONE-AWAY LAKE by Elizabeth Enright

We just finished reading aloud one of my favorite childhood books, Gone Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright (ISBN O-590-40904-2). This is a chapter book that appeals to all ages and to those who enjoy history, nature, mysteries and just a good story! The writing is excellent and needs to be read out loud to be properly appreciated and savored. Some of the vocabulary was over the heads of my 5 1/2 and 7 year olds but they still were able to follow the story and loved it.

Here is a brief summary of the plot: An loveable elderly brother (Mr. Payton) and sister (Mrs. Cheever) find themselves low on money and decide they've had enough of this world anyway--so they go back to Gone Away Lake which used to be a lovely lake resort where they spent their childhood summers. Now it's dried up and muddy, with deserted homes, much like a ghost town. But they choose homes and make the most of the old items they find and live off the land--only the brother goes to town once a month for supplies.

Two cousins, Portia and Julian, discover this place when they get lost in the woods one day at the beginning of summer vacation--it's like stepping back in time. They love the elderly brother and sister from the start and these older people are so excited to have children around once more. They share childhood memories with the children and give them a clubhouse, all the while teaching them about nature, "the good old days", and that the gift of friendship transcends ages and generations.

 


 

"Mrs. Cheever's kitchen was calm and cool. Mr. Payton, in a chair by the window, was reading a very old newspaper. "Old news is more soothing to read about," he said, " You know that you lived through it all right."

On the table, where four places were set, there was a chocolate cake under a glass bell. Julian noted with pleasure (so did Portia) that it was a triple-decker, with the frosting laid on one inch thick.

"It's my belief that a fudge cake should be built, " Mrs. Cheever said, "strong and thick, the way the Mexicans build adobe houses. You may wash your hands here at the pump, children, and I suggest you do so. A. P. Decoction [homemade mosquito repellent!] has a fearful flavor."

...More than half of the mighty cake was gone. The teapot was cold as a stone, Portia carried plates and cups to the iron sink.

"Do you know what I would like to offer you, children?" said Mrs. Cheever, tying another apron over the one she was already wearing. "Pin, do you know what I would like to offer them?" She paused dramatically. "A house!" she said, "Here are all these old houses! Nothing ever uses them but bats and birds, and some of them are still quite safe. You could pick a safe one and have it for a clubhouse; bring your friends if you wanted. Oh, Pin, wouldn't it be nice to hear children's voices here at Tarrigo again? Though perhaps they wouldn't care for the idea--" she added hesitantly, looking at them. But Portia, clasping a dish towel to her wishbone cried: "Heavenly! Oh, Mrs. Cheever, what a *heavenly idea!" And Julian said: "Brother! Would that be neat!"

".....Portia scrubbed the glass panes with vigor and enthusiasm; Julian, on all fours, polished the floor boards with a will. If their parents could have seen them, they would have been astounded. Through the open windows the sweet in-coming smell of the marsh mingled with the strong practical odors of floor wax, soap, and A.P. Decoction. (Mrs. Cheever had thoughtfully provided a bottle for the use of club members.)

When at last the place was clean enough to suit them, they returned to the Big House to get their furniture. It was hard, hot work hauling the stuff up all the stairs, but when they finally had it in place, after a great deal of haggling and arguing, it looked very fine.

"Jule, it's going to be absolutely beautiful," said Portia, in an awed voice.

"It's going to be terrific. Just wait till I get the moose up!" (Julian)

"Just wait till I get the curtains up!" said Portia.

...The reeds of the swamp looked washed, too; green and refreshed. They could see Mr. Payton pottering about his beehives. The little goats were capering nearby and the chickens strutting in the sun. The Machine [their auto], newly polished, was taking a sun bath outside the stable, glaring brightly with all its brass. Everything they saw before them delighted Portia and Julian."

 


 

There are a very few cautions, which is why I liked reading it aloud to the younger ones so we could discuss these issues:

  • Euphemisms are scattered throughout the book--"heck", "by Jove", "gosh", "gee", etc. We don't use these and since the younger children see everything in black and white, they were kind of shocked by them and I was able to explain.
  • The children at first make Gone Away Lake a secret and don't tell their parents. We discussed our family policy--"We don't keep secrets from mom and dad and remember, this is just a story, but make sure you don't follow their example."
  • Once Portia meets a new friend and they discuss how much they have in common, including the same zodiac sign. We talked about why we don't do horoscopes, etc., but this was just a couple of sentences in the whole book.
  • The terms magic, witches and ghosts are mentioned a couple of times each, but there are no instances of magic, witches and ghosts at all. (Our family doesn't read books that contain anything to do with the occult at all--including "white magic" or "good witches".) But sometimes young children are confused when those terms are mentioned so I was glad to talk about these instances with them. (For example, the "ghost" was a squirrel" running over the piano keys.)
  • One time one of the children in the book crossed his fingers and told a lie---another opportunity to explain that we don't EVER lie, and crossed fingers mean nothing!

I hope that if you haven't read this, you can share it with your children and enjoy it as much as we have! No boy-girl romances or sibling fussing; learning is looked upon as something delightful and "socialization" includes families with all different ages being involved. Now we're enjoying reading the sequel Return to Gone Away!

THIMBLE SUMMER by Elizabeth Enright

Thimble Summer is a delightful story of a ten year old girl's adventures in the early 1900's growing up on a farm. This book really is geared more toward children ages nine and up, although younger ones will enjoy parts if read aloud. Our favorite part was when she and a friend were accidentally locked in the public library (with no electricity or telephone!) after closing.

 


 

"The room was very dark now; strange, unknown and filled with shadows. It was as though it wakened at nightfall; as though it breathed and wakened and began to wait. There were tiny creaking sounds and rustlings, and airy scamperings of mouse feet.

"I don't like it," whispered Citronella. "I don't like it all: My own voice scares me. I don't dare talk out loud."

"Neither do I," murmured Garnet. "I feel as if all those books were alive and listening."

"I wonder why our folks don't come after us," said Citronella.

"They don't know where we are, that's why" answered Garnet. "They don't even know we came to town: and we didn't tell Mr. Freebody that we were going to the library."

"I wish I'd never learned to read," sighed Citronella. "I wish I was some kind of animal and didn't have to be educated."

"It might be fun to be a panther," agreed Garnet, "or a kangaroo, or a monkey."

"Or a pig, even," said Citronella. "A safe, happy pig asleep in its own pen with its own family!"

"One that had never seen a library and couldn't even spell pork" added Garnet, and giggled. Citronella giggled too, and they both felt much better."

[Later, after being found, they were fed late suppers by their fathers in the local little restaurant and their next door neighbor, Mr. Freebody, walked in...]

" Yes sir!" said Mr. Freebody coming in the door. "Don't you be fooled! Those ain't two little girls you see settin' up there; those are two genuwine bookworms, couldn't stop reading long enough to come home. Planning to take up permanent residence in the liberry from now on, ain'tcha?"

Everyone laughed.

"Just the same, "whispered Garnet to Citronella. "I sort of wish they hadn't found us until morning. Then we could have told our grandchildren that once we stayed in the public library all night long!"

 


 

Again, there were a few cautions so you might want to either skip or explain some parts if you read it aloud to younger children:

  • The title comes from when Garnet finds a silver thimble at the beginning of summer-- she tells her brother she thinks it's magic and that it will bring her good luck. The only other mention of it is in the end when she says: "There is something wonderful about this thimble; everything began to happen as soon as I found it....As long as I live I'm always going to call this summer the thimble summer." We discussed the fact that as Christians, we look to the Lord to bless our days and take care of us--not "luck" or "magic" which is occult.
  • In one chapter, Garnet gets angry with her older brother and decides to leave home and hitch-hike into a nearby town. Once there she quickly gets over her anger and decides to buy presents for everyone, including her big brother. But there are consequences to her actions and by the time her "adventure" is over, Garnet has learned some valuable lessons. We discussed her very unwise actions and decisions and the consequences with our younger children.
  • There is also a small frightening part when an old great-grandmother in the neighborhood tells a childhood story of how she was disobedient one time and learned her lesson. This is short, and I chose to skip it with my younger children just so they wouldn't have bad dreams!

Elizabeth Enright also wrote a wonderful series that our daughters have loved about the Melendy Family: The Saturdays; The Four-Story Mistake; Then There Were Five; Spiderweb for Two; The Melendy Family (a three-in-one collection containing The Saturdays, The Four-Story Mistake, and Then There Were Five)

[Note: The Enright books are very old (Thimble Summer was originally published in 1938 and won a Newbery Medal in 1939)) but most of them are still in print. If you can't find these at your local library, via Inter-library loan, or bookstore, check http://www.amazon.com , they have several of these available in paperback at low prices.]

THE BABYSITTER CLUB Series By Ann Martin

A few years ago when the first Babysitter's Club books came out, I thought, "Oh, what a cute idea!" We checked a few out from the library but I was disappointed in the content and told my daughters that they were not the sort of thing that I wanted them to read. Recently, I read another one since some homeschool moms had told me how much their girls enjoyed them. This is what I found:

  • a lot of name-calling
  • siblings weren't appreciated
  • so-called "white" lies were told
  • some of the girls called a girl who was babysitting for two small children and told her that the house was on fire (it wasn't)
  • another girl ordered two weeks of diaper service delivered as a practical joke to a "snob"
  • one character ordered pizzas to be delivered to a girl who was considered an "enemy"

Although in the end, everyone became friendly, it was never even implied that anyone had done anything wrong. It's a shame, because the idea of the book is cute-- girls who like babies and children and desire to form a club and a business. We decided that for our family, we would prefer to skip this series and enjoy books like Baby Island by Carol Brink instead!

Some of our Family's Favorite Children's Novels:

[You can order some of these online from our CHFWeb Favorite Books Bookstore in association with Amazon.com (look in the Children's Best-Loved books section for more ideas!). We'll be adding more books soon!]

Alcott, Louisa May

  • Little Women (unabridged)
  • Little Men
  • Jo's Boys
  • Eight Cousins
  • Rose in Bloom
  • An Old Fashioned Girl
  • Under the Lilacs

Aldrich, Bess

  • A Lantern in Her Hand

Anderson, Margaret J

  • Journey of the Shadow Bairns

Blos, Jan

  • A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal (1830-32)

Brink, Carol Ryrie

  • Baby Island
  • Caddie Woodlawn
  • Magical Melons [Nothing to do with Magic!]
  • Andy Buckram's Tin Man
  • Family Sabbatical

Bulla, Clyde Robert

  • The Secret Valley

Burnett, Frances H.

  • Little Lord Fauntleroy

Burstein, Chaya M.

  • Rifka Bangs the Tea Kettle

Canfield, Dorothy

  • Understood Betsy

Caudill, Rebecca

  • Somebody Go Bang a Drum
  • Tree of Freedom

Curtis, Alice T.

  • The Little Maid of Old Maine

Clymer, Eleanor

  • The Trolley Car Family

Dalgliesh, Alice

  • The Silver Pencil

Daringer, Helen

  • Pilgrim Kate

Deucher

  • The Young Brahms

Dodge, Mary

  • Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates

Enright, Elizabeth

  • Gone Away Lake
  • Return to Gone Away
  • Thimble Summer
  • The Saturdays (warning, contains short portion about visiting a fortune-teller, which is occult--we skipped this!)
  • The Four-Story Mistake
  • Then There Were Five
  • Spiderweb for Two
  • The Melendy Family (3 in 1 collection)

Fitzgerald, John D.

  • The Great Brain series

Fleischman, Sid

  • By the Great Horn Spoon

Fritz, Jean

  • The Cabin Faced West

Forbes, Esther

  • Johnny Tremain

George, Jean

  • My Side of the Mountain

Haywood, Carolyn

  • All of her books (for younger children)

Lenski, Lois

  • Indian Captive : The Story of Mary Jemison
  • Strawberry Girl
  • Judy's Journey
  • Bound Girl of Cobble Hill
  • All of her books

Little, Jean

  • Spring Begins in March
  • One to Grow on
  • Mine for Keeps
  • All of her books

Lovelace, Maud H.

  • Betsy Tacy
  • Betsy and Tacy Go over the Big Hill
  • Betsy-Tacy and Tib
  • Betsy in Spite of Herself
  • Betsy Was a Junior
  • Betsy and Joe
  • Betsy and the Great World
  • Betsy's Wedding

McCloskey, Robert

  • Centerburg Tales

McKay, Hilary

  • The Exiles
  • The Exiles at Home

McSwigan, Marie

  • Snow Treasure

Meadowcroft, Enid L.

  • Silver for General Washington

Montgomery, L.M.

  • Anne of Green Gables and others in series

Nesbit, Edith

  • The Railway Children

North, S.

  • Little Rascal

Porter, Eleanor

  • Pollyanna (unabridged)

Reece, Colleen L.

  • The Mayflower Adventures

Richardson, Arleta

  • The Grandma's Attic Series (The first 6)

Rinaldi, Ann

  • In My Father's House

Robertson, Keith

  • All the Henry Reed books

Roop, Connie & Peter

  • Pilgrim Voices: Our First Year

Serendy, Kate

  • The Good Master
  • The Singing Tree
  • Open Gate Farm

Sewell, Anne

  • Black Beauty

Sidney, Margaret

  • Five Little Peppers and How They Grew (and rest of the series)

Simon, S.

  • Einstein Anderson Series

Sobol, Donald

  • Encyclopedia Brown Series

Speare, Elizabeth

  • The Bronze Bow
  • Calico Captive

Spyri, Johanna

  • Heidi (Unabridged)

Stevenson, William

  • All his books (historical fiction)

Streatfield, Noel

  • When the Sirens Wailed
  • Ballet Shoes
  • All of her others

Taylor, Sidney

  • All of a Kind Family
  • More All of a Kind Family
  • All-of-a-kind-family downtown
  • All-of-a-kind Family Uptown
  • Ella of all-of-a-kind family

Webster, Jean

  • Daddy-Long-Legs

Wiggins, Kate Douglas

  • Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

Wiggins, Eric E.

  • Rebecca: The Girl
  • Rebecca: The Woman

Wilder, Laura Ingalls

  • Little House on the Prairie books

Williams & Abrashkin

  • Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine. (And others in the Danny Dunn series)

Wyss, Johann

  • Swiss Family Robinson (unabridged)

Favorite Mystery Series:

  • Trixie Belden Mysteries by Kathryn Kenny & Julie Campbell
  • The Original Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Warner

? And how about the Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys mysteries?

We wouldn't want our children to have a steady diet of these books alone because we believe they can spoil their appetite for better literature that takes more effort to read and understand, but we have never been opposed to these mysteries as a little "light" diversion. We do make sure that the books don't contain occult material and there are a few that we skip. (In my opinion, the older ones in the series are best!)

Some Favorite Books for Teens

(I'm separating these from the above list due to slightly mature themes at times or the occasional bad language in Red Badge of Courage and some of the Ralph Moody books. We read some of the Moody books aloud as a family, skipping any bad language spoken by the occasional "rough cowboy". Some of these may also be suitable for 11-12 yr. olds, use your own judgement according to your family's standards and the maturity level of your children!)

Bjorn, Thyra Ferre

  • Papa's Wife

Bro, Margueritte Harmon

  • Sarah

Canfield, Carolyn

  • One Vision Only (Life of Isabel Kuhn)

Crane, Stephen

  • The Red Badge of Courage

Gilbreth, Frank & Ernestine

  • Cheaper by the Dozen

Hunt, Irene

  • Across Five Aprils
  • Up a Road Slowly
  • No Promises in the Wind

Jensen, Margaret

  • First We Have Coffee

Keith, Harold

  • Rifles for Watie

Ludwig, Charles

  • Mother of an Army/Champion of Freedom

Marshall, Catherine

  • Christy

Moody, Ralph

  • Little Britches
  • Man of the Family
  • The Home Ranch
  • Shaking the Nickel Bush
  • Mary, Emma & Co
  • The Fields of Home
  • The Dry Divide
  • A Horse of a Different Color

Oke, Janette

  • All of her books

Phillips, Michael

  • Secret of the Rose series

Sheldon, Charles M.

  • In His Steps

For more suggestions, visit our online bookstore CHFWeb Favorite Books in association with Amazon.com

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Overcoming Anxiety
Overcoming Anxiety [message #33410] Fri, 29 July 2005 15:07
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


Overcoming Anxiety
by Tamara Eaton

Probably all homeschooling parents have struggled with anxious thoughts before--am I making the best decision for my child? Which curriculum is best? What method should we use? What if I fail to adequately prepare him for life (or his next achievement test!)? What if homeschooling laws get worse and we can't meet the requirements? Or worse--what if homeschooling becomes illegal?

But has God called you to homeschool? Then you can trust Him to pave the way for you to walk in His perfect will for your family. He will never call you to do something without also enabling you to do it. As soon as an anxious thought comes, turn it over to the Lord!

Philippians 4:6-7 gives us both God's command that we shouldn't be anxious and the means by which we can obey His instruction:

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

It also tells us the result of our asking the Lord to take away our anxiety and work everything out--the peace that surpasses all understanding!

I've had plenty of practical experience in this area--I used to worry about anything and everything. Even as a child, I didn't like change, trying new things, or controversy--I thrived on routine and stability and liked knowing exactly what was going to happen each day--well in advance. But life isn't like that and God doesn't usually operate that way, either.

Instead, He asks us to trust Him to take care of ALL the circumstances that arise, and rely upon His wisdom and ability to work out all the details. And some of the ways He has chosen to lead us seem pretty revolutionary and controversial to the world!

I learned to find my strength in the Lord and in His Word and found that I had a choice in what I thought about--I no longer had to entertain the negative, anxious thoughts and worries that entered my mind. I began to give those thoughts up to the Lord immediately, and then fill the gap left with prayer, praise and the Word of God. I would meditate on His character, His promises, His works. I would thank Him for everything He had done and was doing and would continue to do in my life. What a difference it made!

Sometimes, in the midst of a struggle, I would leave my Bible open to encouraging scripture, or jot it down on a piece of paper and carry it with me--reminding myself that His Word was true and He was worthy to be trusted in EVERY situation! I kept a journal of prayer requests and praises. How encouraging it was to look back and see God's faithfulness day to day in every way. How could I have ever doubted that He would resolve each problem in His time and way?

The enemy would like nothing better than to see Christians consumed by worries and anxiety and rendered useless in ministry and ineffective in carrying out God's Will. Anxiety also robs us of our joy and the joy of the Lord is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10) But we are no longer slaves to sin and worry--not when we have the Lord indwelling us and empowering us to overcome! We have the ability to "bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5).

His Word tells us to fill our minds with "whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; meditate on these things." (Philippians 4:8)

Invest time in getting to KNOW God, spend time in His Word--you'll find it easier to trust Him to take care of all of your worries. We serve an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent Heavenly Father who is intimately concerned with every aspect of our lives--nothing is "trivial" to Him.

If you haven't experienced His involvement in every area of your life, then maybe it's time for you to pray specifically and then expect Him to respond. He will never force Himself on you. Instead, He gives you the choice to either seek Him for help or stumble along on your own. What freedom there is in casting all your cares upon the Lord! You will then be able to truly enjoy homeschooling and walking in His will for your life--free from anxiety and worries.

"He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is established; He will not be afraid..." (Psalm 112:7-8)

 


 

More Encouragement From Scriptures:

Luke 12:25-26 "And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?"

Luke 12:29-32 "And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."

Matthew 6:34 "...Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."

Psalm 27:1 "The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?"

Psalm 34:7 "The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him."

Psalm 50:14 "Offer to God thanksgiving, And pay your vows to the Most High. Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me."

Psalm 56:3-4 "Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?"

Proverbs 29:25 "The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe. Many seek the ruler's favor, But justice for man comes from the Lord."

Psalm 115:11 "You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield."

Matthew 7:7-8,11 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened....If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!"

Mark 11:24-25 "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses."

Hebrews 13:6 "So we may boldly say: "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"

Hebrews 4:15-16 "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: In His Presence
In His Presence [message #33411] Fri, 29 July 2005 15:10
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


In His Presence
by Tamara Eaton

If someone asked us if we'd like to meet personally with our Heavenly Father and hear what important things He has to say, wouldn't we all say yes? Jesus has already made that possible for us by His shed Blood--we can enter into the Holy of Holies. What a privilege and honor--never to be taken for granted. We should delight to come into God's presence and study His Word! Even so, making time to spend with the Lord and in His Word is a common challenge for busy homeschool moms--but so essential to our Christian walk.

My time to read the Word of God usually comes at night after the rest of the household has settled down, or right before naptime each afternoon. I often grab my Bible and read a small portion at different times during the day, too--kind of a quick "snack" to give me strength and something to meditate upon as I go about my daily tasks.

I have found that while I enjoy praying first thing in the morning, and last thing at night (alone!), I also have ample opportunity during the course of the day to communicate with the Lord and have an attitude of prayer. I pray when I drive, I pray when I shower, I pray when I vacuum, I pray when I begin to make a phone call, I pray when I cook dinner (Oh help me Lord! What shall I cook tonight?!), I pray when I answer mail.... My children do this as well--they see that prayer and the Word of God is something that is an integral part of our lives, not something to be separated and done only in church or during "devotions". When we enjoy that close communion with the Lord, then He is a part of our everyday experiences and we are reminded to abide in Him--truly "in Him we live, and move, and have our being..." (Acts 17:28)

Years ago, I attended a church where the pastor said, "If you don't spend at least an hour a day alone in prayer with God, you are not serious about God!" He also stressed the need to spend at least that amount of time in study of the Word of God. At the time, it was very difficult for me to "get my hours in" each day. I had little ones and there always seemed to be something going on! I did pray as I worked, worshiped and praised the Lord in song with my little ones, listened to teaching tapes, etc., but deep down, I always felt guilty--like I just wasn't doing enough. At some point, the Lord set me free from that guilt and condemnation. He showed me that as I had my heart toward Him and loved Him and His Word, I didn't have to worry about logging in a certain amount of time a day in prayer and the Word, nor compare myself with others. This really made a difference in my life!

I began to view my entire life as an opportunity to serve and glorify Him and commune with Him even as I ministered to my family. (Colossians 3:23) God understands busy moms and knows that sometimes we don't have as much time for formal Bible studies and prayer alone as other times. However, I believe we can ask Him to help us find that needed time to recharge and get His Word deep within our hearts.

I often tell Christians who have not been spending time in the Word to begin by faithfully spending short segments of time reading the Bible--even fifteen minutes a day will do at first. Planning longer periods often results in inconsistency and failure. Really enjoy the Word, pray over it, ask for understanding and for it to get into your heart--this will cause your love and desire for the Lord and His Word to grow and soon you will be wanting to spend more time!

It is better to read just one verse and really meditate upon it and get it into your heart, than to skim through several chapters with your mind wandering and yet say, "Well, at this rate, I should be through with the Bible in one year." Expect His Word to come ALIVE to you, cleanse you, change you--expect Him to show you how to apply it to your life right now! Ask Him to give you a hunger and thirst for more of Him--He'll never disappoint you. Won't you make time to fellowship with Him today?

Psalm 55:17 "Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice."

Psalm 84:2 "My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God."

Psalm 119:18 "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law."

Psalm 119:11 "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."

[NOTE: Kay Arthur has some wonderful Bible studies for both new Christians and more mature Christians. Her studies will get you into the Word and help you understand how to apply it to your life. For more information see: http://www.precept.org ]

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Thoughts On Mothering
Thoughts On Mothering [message #33415] Fri, 29 July 2005 15:14
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


Thoughts on Mothering
by Tamara Eaton

Every mother of more than one child has times when she feels stretched in several directions at once--trying to meet the needs of each individual child. In fact, often a mother of one or two who is thinking of having more children asks herself, "Will I be able to handle more than one or two? Will I love each child as much as the first? How will I manage if they all need me at once?" There's only one adequate response--the same Lord who blessed you with the children will enable you to take care of them!

We can trust in His grace during busy seasons of our lives and ask Him to help us cherish each moment with each child--whether we have one or twenty or more! He's our strength during nurturing, discipling, and homeschooling our children, and His strength never fails.

I love each of my six children unconditionally and each one is very special and unique. Maybe it's because all our children were a result of much prayer (Psalm 113:9 "He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children.") but each one has been so treasured and appreciated.

I can remember all their first steps--it was just as thrilling to see the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth child take the first step as it was for the first one. Not only that, but in addition to the cheers of Mom and Dad, they had the cheers of the other children, too! I have many special memories of each one--physical and spiritual birthdays, learning to read, getting his own library card, cute sayings and stories, learning to whistle, learning to drive--and before I know it, (should the Lord tarry) I'll have memories of weddings and grandbabies and more....(With all those memories crowding my brain, no wonder I sometimes get their names mixed up!)

Our first child didn't have much time to be the "only child" so we had a crash course in parenting more than one. By the time our firstborn was nine months old, we were expecting another baby--and we ended up having four children in four and a half years. But that didn't make us love any one of them less--our love for them multiplied! And when years later, after a God-planned gap, we were blessed with two more within twenty months--we rejoiced again!

We sought to never look upon them as a group--"the children" but to see them as precious individuals with individual needs and gifts. Each one created by the Lord for a special purpose in life that only he or she could fulfill. It has been exciting to watch them develop and mature.

There are quite a few books written about birth order, and while they're interesting, I don't always agree with them. A recent parenting book suggested we give all our children a "first born" experience by making sure they get our special attention and don't get overlooked or taken for granted. I do agree with making sure we treasure each individual child, but I also know that being a first-born of several children isn't always all it's cracked up to be. William and I are both first-borns and experienced firsthand some of the joys and sorrows of the position, so we've tried to be especially aware of not burdening the older ones or expecting too much from them--viewing them as "miniature adults". They need a normal childhood, too.

Our later children have some benefits to their birth order--parents with more experience and wisdom! And older siblings to love them, help nurture them, and do things with them--but not to take over rearing them! I often say to my older children, "There are already two parents in this house and that's enough!"

Each birth order brings its own potential problems so we have to be on guard and ask the Lord for His help in bringing up our children--we don't want to push and pressure the firstborn, or ignore the middle ones, or spoil the younger ones. (I've seen quite a few families where the younger children were showered with all the attention.)

Homeschooling has given me time to spend with each child--time to be home with them, enjoying them, knowing them, treasuring each season of our lives. The little ones were able to get special attention from me when the older ones were busy doing other things, the older ones were able to get special attention from me while the younger ones were sleeping or playing, and the middle ones were able to receive special attention from me when the older ones and younger ones were doing different things. It all balances out when we allow the Lord to reign in our hearts and homes!

And much, much valuable attention takes place within the daily routine when we're all together, enjoying one another. I don't buy the idea that the only time we can really minister to our child is when it's just the two of us alone without distractions, although we do have time alone with each child sometimes and often catch moments during the day.

I believe the key is to keep our focus on what's really important and not let other things interfere--our children are only young once and we can let up on housework, laundry, elaborate meals, outside activities, etc., when necessary, to take time to really play with them, read to them, talk to them, listen to them, discern their needs and BE THERE for them!

It could seem overwhelming if we get our minds into it too much, but God has a plan for our family and it included six precious children. We can trust Him to help us give all the attention and care and love to each one--for they are all very precious to us and we will be eternally thankful for this privilege!

Psalm 90:16-17 " Let Thy work appear unto Thy servants, and Thy glory unto their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish Thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish Thou it."

Psalm 127:3-5 "Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is His reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate."

Psalm 128:1-3 "Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in His ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table."

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


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"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Profiles From The Past
Profiles From The Past [message #33416] Fri, 29 July 2005 15:19
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Profiles from the Past
by Tamara Eaton

I'm always interested in learning more about how people received their education and what they remember most about their childhood. This week I'd like to share some highlights from two old biographies of famous writers--Alfred Tennyson and Robert Louis Stevenson .

So many writers learned to write by practicing the same methods recommended by contemporary educational experts such as Dr. Ruth Beechick (Three R's -grades K-3rd ; You Can Teach Your Child Successfully- grades 4-8)-- dictation and rewriting. We have also used these methods in our own family's homeschooling. Other common traits are the writers' love of books and their self-discipline and determination to continue to work on their writing--never totally satisfied, but never giving up.

While we look to the Lord Jesus Christ as our true model and to His Word as our absolute standard, we can glean encouragement and wisdom from much that has been written about education in the past, as well as learn from others' mistakes! I hope you enjoy this brief glimpse into two famous authors' education.

ALFRED TENNYSON

Alfred Tennyson was the fourth of twelve children, son of a rector, in an household "rich only in genius and health".

"But the children turned their simple circumstances into a fairy world. Their games were either highly athletic or highly imaginative. They would tell each other stories, or sometimes they would write them in letter form and hide them under the vegetable dishes at dinner, to be read when the dishes were removed; sometimes of an evening Alfred would take a younger sister or brother on his knee, with the others crowding round, and would hold them fascinated for hours. His rendering of his own stories was so dramatic that the family expected him to turn out an actor."

He attended grammar school for a few years, but from the time he was 10 or 11, his father taught him at home so that he might prepare for college.

His earliest verse was composed on a slate when he was eight years old.

"As Tennyson grew into youth, he had the advantage, not only of his father's excellent teaching at home, but of the companionship of his brothers, all only less gifted than himself. They read together Shakespeare, Milton, Burke, Goldsmith, Rabelais, Addison, Swift, Defoe, Cervantes, Bunyan, and other authors; and they expressed themselves habitually in verse or prose as though they did not realize such accomplishments were exceptional."

Arthur, one of his younger brothers, said, "He was very kind to us who were younger than he was....indeed he was always a great reader, and if he went alone he would take his book with him on his walk."

Tennyson was around 18 yrs. old when his first book of verse was published in collaboration with his older brother Charles, Poems by Two Brothers (1827) (A younger brother, Frederick, also contributed.) Charles later became famous as a writer of sonnets.

"In his studies Tennyson did fairly well, but he seems to have showed that frequent tendency of genius to educate itself; he did not feel that the academic life of Cambridge in his day was very humane or inspiring....but he continued his habit of prodigiously wide reading, he wrote much, and he discussed the inspiring ideas of the day with the most important of his friends...." (They formed a club and took turns writing essays to be read aloud during the meetings.)

In 1829, he won the university prize for best poetry, then published a volume of poems the following year. Around this time, his father died so he left college to go back home to help his mother care for the family. He published another volume of poems dated 1833. These were considered great by many even when compared with his mature work, but the critics found fault with the "prettiness and apparent lack of strength".

"For ten years he published no book, though he wrote steadily. What the reviewers said of his faults, had struck home. No English poet ever took criticism more wisely than Tennyson, nor so invariably improved his poems when he altered them. This silent decade established him in the opinion of his friends and readers as an artist of the highest conscience, and the work he later published justified his long self-discipline. "

[All quotes are taken from Selections from Tennyson's Idylls of the King Edited by John Erskine, copyright 1912 by Henry Holt and Company.]

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Here are some interesting quotes and stories about Robert Louis Stevenson's childhood and writing. His mother kept a journal during his childhood so many incidents were recorded.

[Because of poor health] "....He would be kept indoors for a whole winter, saturating his mind with the Bible and the shorter catechism and the writings of Presbyterian divines. By way of relaxation, he made himself little pulpits with chair and stool, sitting therein to read a service and standing up at proper intervals to give out a hymn."

"You can never be good," he observed at the age of four, "unless you pray." His mother asked him how he knew. "Because, " he replied, "I've tried it."

At age six, he won a prize from his uncle for writing a history of Moses. (He competed with his cousins.) He dictated the whole thing to his mother during five consecutive Sunday nights. From that time forward, his heart's desire was to be an author.

"His haphazard schooling [he was often sick so spent much time at home in his father's library and listening to his nurse read to him] and his desultory travel gave him an ultimate mastery of French, familiarity with German, much Latin, no particular Greek and an unorganised intellectual ferment in his brain of all that he had read and dreamed. With this material he began to build a style, taking for foundation the English of the Covenanting writers read to him by Cummie."[His nurse]

"His interest in his father's lighthouses went with a firmer determination than ever to be an author. Hot upon the history of Moses had come his history of Joseph produced without collaborators at the age of seven. Then appeared a small book of travels in the handwriting of his mother, to whom he dictated the work. He was thirteen when he completed a description of the inhabitants of Peebles and when he was fourteen he could rhyme."

"He kept two books always in his pocket. One he read. The other he wrote in. Whithersoever he went his mind was busy fitting what he saw with appropriate words. If he sat by the roadside, it was either to read or to note down with pencil the aspects of nature before him or to rescue from forgetfulness what he is pleased to term "some halting stanzas."

"....he lived with words; and what he thus wrote was for no ulterior use. It was written consciously for practice. It was not so much that he wished to be an author--although he wished that, too--as that he had vowed he would learn to write."

"That was a proficiency that tempted me; and I practised to acquire it, as men learn to whittle, in a wager with myself."

"To any one with senses, there is always something worth describing and town and country are but one continuous subject."

Later he went on to explain that all of this was not the most efficient part of his training though--in fact, he considered that it taught him only the "lower and less intellectual elements" of choosing the right note and right word.

His real profitable labor was when he would read a book or a passage that thrilled him with its style, then sit down immediately and try to imitate it. Often he was unsuccessful so he would try again, and again--always he was unsuccessful he said. He practiced the construction of sentence and in coordination of passages, some mastery of rhythm and of harmony, yet he was never satisfied.

[All quotes are taken from : A Child's Garden of Verses And Underwoods by Robert Louis Stevenson (In English and in "Scots") With Life of Robert Louis Stevenson by Alexander Harvey, New York; Current Literature Publishing Co.; 1909 ]

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


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"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Multilevel Homeschooling
Multilevel Homeschooling [message #33417] Fri, 29 July 2005 15:22
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Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
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Multilevel Homeschooling
by Tamara Eaton

Most moms of several children become experts at multitasking with experience--although don't let anyone convince you that it's as simple to homeschool a bunch as it is one or two. Those same people use the argument that once you have so many children, adding more doesn't make a difference--each child makes a difference (otherwise, why does it seem so different if even one or two of them are gone for a while?), but we can trust the Lord to enable us to care for them and homeschool them. The multiplied joy more than makes up for the sometimes multiplied challenges and trials!

We often are asked how we manage homeschooling multiple learning levels and I find it difficult to explain. It's like preparing a seven course dinner--how do you tell someone exactly how to prepare everything in such a way that it's all ready at the proper time and stays the proper temperature?

I suppose you could lead them step-by-step through all the directions and it would be easier, but still experience is the best teacher. And there is no way we could have a "normal" homeschooling day if I had to take the time to write down each and every thing that was said and done. (I'd go crazy well before 9 a.m.--wait!! slow down, children, I'm not getting all of this written down fast enough!) Besides, each family is unique. No one else would have the exact same combination of personalities, learning styles, number of children, curriculum and other circumstances that we have.

In the very early years, I worked a little separately with my oldest child while the younger ones played--later the next oldest would sit in on what we were doing and start to pick up things, and I would spend a few minutes introducing her to new things, too. We talked about things as we did the laundry, cleaned house, cooked, played, etc.--all those ways parents teach and influence their children every day. [See Teaching Kindergartners.]

Eventually, we wound up on several different levels of math and reading, but did history and science together by reading aloud books and discussing textbooks that were on one of their levels. We filled in any gaps by extra explanations to the younger one and older one.

There would be times when one of the children would leap ahead or others would need extra attention in an area, and then I provided help or used different materials. Since we used a lot of "real books" in our homeschooling (not limited to one grade level), this helped.

We also worked to give them the basic tools they needed for independent studies and encouraged them from an early age to spend even five or ten minutes working on something with us nearby, but not watching over their shoulder.

During one period when my youngest two were babies, I had the older three children in one level of BJU (Bob Jones University Press Textbooks) English which made it much easier. This method worked for three years. (Later we used another basic high school grammar course and writing materials geared more toward independent studies.) During this same period, my fourth child used a different BJU English textbook, but she participated in the older girls' history and science studies, while the my older son worked on a higher level independently. For example, we used one of BJU's Heritage studies as a "springboard" to more studies using real books for the girls, and my older son did a separate BJU course. This was during the time I had a very active toddler and a nursing baby and it was helpful to have a combination of texts and books so I didn't have to spend hours supervising and planning things.

So, for some years, we were able to cover some of the same subjects with some of the children at the same time, but it was unrealistic to think we could do this all the time for every subject. Some children prefer to work alone, rather than in groups, too.

For several years now, my older children have preferred to do mostly independent studies, with the exception of occasional unit studies. Recently they studied Classical composers and their enthusiasm was so contagious that the younger children wanted to get involved, too!

We no longer use as many textbooks, but have a traditional high school on CD-Rom program that the teens are continuing to use, along with reading a large variety of good books and writing. Our "unit studies" would be better defined as using books and materials to research topics in depth and don't always include "hands on" projects. Our older children are involved in our family business and ministry though--the ultimate "hands on" projects!

I am now doing very much the same thing with my younger two that I did with my oldest two when they were this age--we do things separately for math and reading, but read aloud books for history and science together and discuss them. Some things go over my youngest child's head, that's fine. There is no pressure. Her slightly older brother is advanced in some areas and so we help him research interests and make sure he stays challenged. [If you're interested in learning more about how we teach the youngest two, see "Homeschool Highlights".]

In summary, these are the things that have helped us the most in teaching many different levels:

  • Training our children to be obedient (otherwise, what a lot of wasted time goes into, "JOHNNY, FOR THE TENTH TIME, I TOLD YOU NOT TO BOTHER THAT!") [See "Training Children (And Parents!)"
  • Training our children to be responsible and help with the house as they get older so all the burden doesn't fall on mom--thus freeing up time to help with all the different children. [See Homeschool & Housework for training tips!]
  • Not structuring our homeschool to be a "school" at home.
  • Having a basic structure to our day, yet allowing room for flexibility.
  • Staying home a lot.
  • Encouraging each child to learn to play alone at times without having to be "entertained" by another.
  • Teaching our children to respect our need to sometimes have quiet time to work with another.
  • Giving our children the tools they need for independent studies.
  • Choosing curriculum that doesn't require too much advance preparation and teaches concepts as simply as possible.
  • Teaching children the same subjects together whenever possible and adjusting them to fit each level. (Especially when they're younger and not ready for independent studies.)
  • Helping them learn to be self-motivated and responsible in their assignments and eventually, planning their own schooling with our direction, when needed. [For more help on this topic, see "Let's Get Motivated!" and "Motivation Tips!"]
  • Encouraging them to help each other out when needed--often while one child was waiting for me to have time to explain something, another sibling was able to explain it perfectly.
  • Allowing the older ones to tutor the younger ones in favorite subjects or lead a discussion on what they've been learning about something.
  • Concentrating on the "basics" when young instead of too many neat sounding projects or tangents--there will be time when they're older to make papier mache' models of the solar system, etc. (Unless you just love this sort of thing--in this case, it won't cause stress!)

Sometimes people read what we've written about our homeschooling experiences and feel overwhelmed--not remembering that we've done these things over a period of many years, not all in one school year. There will be time for projects when the two year old is no longer two! I no longer have little ones so we now have freedom to pursue projects and activities that were once difficult when we had toddlers in the house. Plus we have another advantage now-- the children are old enough to clean up their own messes!

Whatever your children's ages or levels, you can be confident that God has a homeschooling plan just perfect for your family. Take time to thank Him today for showing you His path and enabling you to walk in it joyfully!

"Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost." (Romans 15:13)

"Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen." (Jude 1:24-25)

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Comfort And Hope For The Weary
Comfort And Hope For The Weary [message #33419] Fri, 29 July 2005 15:26
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Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
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Comfort and Hope for the Weary!
by Tamara Eaton

I have experienced trials in several areas lately and just as the Lord has comforted me, I would like to comfort those of you who may also be in a season of trial. Perhaps you're battling depression because of feelings of inadequacy, or health problems or financial worries. You may feel nervous and fearful over the coming school year or experiencing conflicts with relatives or friends. Whatever your circumstances, God is more than willing to meet your needs and give you peace and rest in the midst of them!

He has not only made provision for all of our needs, but He has promised to forgive us of all of our sins, so that nothing can separate us from Him.

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?.... Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:35-39)

The temptation during a trial is to put the rest of our lives "on hold" while we battle depression over our seemingly unanswered prayers. Yet, this is the time we must be all the more faithful to trust not in our wavering emotions and circumstances, but in the all powerful, holy righteous God-- Who sees all, understands all, and is continually working in our lives, whether we have physical evidence of it or not!

We have a choice-- we can wallow in despair or boldly proclaim His Word is true and He is worthy of all our praise regardless of the circumstances! Even if God seems silent for a time, He has given us His Word which will endure forever and is always available for comfort.

Sometimes during a trial, I'll wake up first thing in the morning with a heaviness. If this is left unchecked, my whole day could be wasted in worries and defeat. Instead, I try to immediately put on the "garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness" (Isa.61:3) and the "full armour of God" (Eph.6:13-18) and begin to pray and meditate upon God's Word to get "recharged" for the day. God has given us His Word to use to defeat the enemy and the negative thoughts that assault our mind. Just like Jesus used the Word during His temptation in the wilderness to defeat the enemy ("It is written..."MT 4; MK 4), we also can use His Word to overcome our battles.

I believe that often the Lord uses these times of trial to draw us closer to Him, to allow us to renew our commitment to be "set apart" unto Him, and as a reminder to not get too caught up with the cares of this life or distracted because of physical infirmities or someone's criticisms or anything else. He is tugging at our hearts saying, "Come closer, I want to do a deeper work in you!"

So let's yield to Him, and allow Him to do that precious work in our lives. Put on the praise music and worship Him! Make time to saturate yourself in His Word, allowing it to comfort you and build you up in faith. Commune with the Lord, day and night and let Him flood you with His grace and mercy and strength. Allow Him to help you redeem each day, not wasting one hour in defeat. Enjoy your family, reach out to others, seek to glorify Him in everything you do and say!

Elisabeth Elliot has shared how her mother's teaching of "Do the next thing" helped her so much during the days after her first husband, Jim Elliot, was killed by Auca Indians in Ecuador, leaving her to raise their young daughter alone as she continued their missionary work in the jungles, and later when her second husband died of cancer. She found this poem in her mother's things and I share it here hoping that it will encourage you as much as it has encouraged me:

Do the Next Thing

From an old English parsonage down by the sea There came in the twilight a message for me; Its quaint Saxon legend, deeply engraven, Hath, as it seems to me, teaching from Heaven. And on through the hours the quiet words ring, Like a low inspiration: DO THE NEXT THING.

Many a questioning, many a fear,
Many a doubt, hath its quieting here.

Moment by moment let down from Heaven,
Time, opportunity, guidance, are given.
Fear not tomorrows, Child of the King,
Trust them with Jesus. DO THE NEXT THING.

Do it immediately; do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care;

Do it with reverence, tracing His hand
Who placed it before thee with earnest command,
Stayed on Omnipotence, safe 'neath His wing,
Leave all resultings. DO THE NEXT THING.

Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
(Working or suffering) be thy demeanor.
In His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
The light of His countenance be thy psalm.
Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing!
Then, as He beckons thee, DO THE NEXT THING.

--Source Unknown

"Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work."

(2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 )

More Comfort from Scriptures:

"Remember the word unto Thy servant, upon which Thou hast caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction: for Thy word hath quickened me." (Psalm 119:49)

"Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God." (Psalm 42:11)

"...I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation. For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears. Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us..." (2 Corinthians 7:4-6)

"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

"For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." (Romans 15:4)

[NOTE: For more encouragement along these lines, see these past articles of the week: "Overcoming Anxiety" , "In His Presence" , "Homeschooling in Times of Trials" and "Feeling Frazzled".

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Are You Neglecting The Needful
Are You Neglecting The Needful [message #33421] Fri, 29 July 2005 15:29
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
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Are You Neglecting the Needful?
by Tamara Eaton

In the flurry of gathering curriculum, planning lessons and teaching academics, let's not neglect the most important responsibility of Christian parents--bringing up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and teaching them His Word!

The principles found in the Bible cover everything we could possibly go through in life, therefore, it's crucial that we teach our children His Word and how to apply it. We don't want them to blindly follow traditions of men or even of our Christian family. We want them to understand WHY we believe the way we do and back it up with Scripture. For example: Should the Sermon on the Mount be taken literally? How should we apply it to our lives?

We talk about these issues constantly with our children. Not in a "preachy" way, but in everyday discussions where we challenge traditions or discuss options and search the Scriptures to find principles that would apply to different situations in our lives. We discuss current events in light of Christian principles with our children. Something comes up on the news and we'll ask the children what they think about it. What should be a Christian's response? Why?

Our children need to learn how to discern God's Will for their own lives, cultivate a close walk with Him, and understand how to interpret Scripture. Why are there so many Christians who think just like the world? Is it because they have assumed that the world's standards are the same as God's standards in so many areas? Have they not been taught to reexamine things in light of Scriptures? Or do they not make time to read their Bibles and seek the Lord for themselves?

We can read books about the Bible and find many different interpretations, but it's only through reading and studying the Bible ourselves that we find out for sure what God actually said. We all probably know Christians who change their theology and beliefs according to the book they've read most recently; we want our children's beliefs (and ours!) grounded in THE BOOK, the Bible!

"...it is the bound duty of all Christians to reexamine their spiritual philosophy in the light of the Bible. Having discovered the scriptural way, they must follow it, even if to do so, they must separate themselves from much that they had accepted as real, but which now in the light of truth is seen to be false.

A right view of God and the world to come requires that we have a right view of the world in which we live and of our relationship to it. So much depends upon this that we cannot afford to be careless about it."

--A.W. Tozer in This World: Playground or Battleground?

Concerned Christian parents today seek to protect their children from ungodly influences and the negative attractions of this world. They teach their children to be separated from the world, even as they witness and minister to those in the world. Over one hundred years ago, Andrew Murray wrote this strong admonition to the parents of his generation--how much more do we need it today?

"....too often Christian parents allow the world to prey upon their children. Children grow up in comparative ignorance about the blessed Saviour, are entrusted to the care of irreligious or worldly teachers, are allowed to associate with those whose spirit and influence is altogether worldly...."

"To what a large extent the education of the young has been left to the State, to the secular school, and to the spirit of the age, until the youthful heart has lost the simplicity and tenderness of which the Master spoke when He said, "Of such is the kingdom of heaven".....Would God that the eyes of His people might be opened to the danger which threatens His Church! It is not infidelity or superstition; it is the spirit of worldliness in the homes of our Christian people, sacrificing the children to the ambition or society, to the riches or the friendship of the world, that is the greatest danger of Christ's Church. If every home once won for Christ were a training school for His service, we would find in this a secret of spiritual strength not less than all that ordinary preaching can accomplish.

"It is faith that still finds the same path of safety. 'By faith Moses was hid by his parents.' They trusted God....Christian parent, hide your child. And where? Oh, hide him in that safest refuge, 'The shadow of the Almighty,'....Lay your child from its birth daily there in faith....Let the mighty rock of God's strength and the tender covering of His feathers be your child's ark, while still he is all unconscious of temptation or danger. With the first dawn of reason, may the clefts of the rock and the love of Jesus be the place of safety to which you guide the youthful feet."

"....The education Moses' mother gave her son during the years of his childhood was such that all the years of training in Pharaoh's court could not obliterate it. His parent's faith bore fruit in his faith when he, at every cost, chose suffering with the people of God and was not afraid of the wrath of the king. Moses saw Him who is invisible. Train the child for God and His people, and when the time comes that he must go into the world, even into Pharaoh's court, he will be safe in the power of faith of of God's keeping."

--Andrew Murray (1828-1917)

Oh, if every one of our homes was such a training school for Christ! Our children would be prepared to be mightily used by the Lord to pull down the strongholds of the enemy and to fulfill God's purposes in their lives and ministries. It is my prayer that as you teach your children reading, math, and other subjects this week, you won't neglect that which is of ETERNAL value--the teaching and training in God's Word and sitting at His feet.

"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)

"...from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Timothy 3:15-17)

"Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding." (Proverbs 4:7)

"And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful..." (Luke 10:41-42)

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Cultivating Calmness
Cultivating Calmness [message #33424] Fri, 29 July 2005 15:35
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


Cultivating Calmness
by Tamara Eaton

I once heard a preacher say that God created families to do a perfecting work in us that couldn't possibly be done unless we were thrown together with the same group of people day in and day out. As a homeschool mom, I can sure identify with this! I've spend a lot of time with my family--and while I love it, we've had our share of "grumpy" days when nothing seemed to be going right and we were irritated by one another.

For many years I had the following quote displayed on my refrigerator:

"That woman who is cool and collected, who is master of her countenance, her voice, her actions and her gestures, will be the mother who is in control of her children, and who is greatly beloved by them."

When tempers flare or children are disobedient or irritating, it's so helpful if we stop what we're doing, and take a moment to calmly ACT instead of REACT to the situation. It's generally when we're very busy, involved in something else, that the temptation is greatest to get upset with our children. We need to consciously yield to the Lord and the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25), instead of to our fleshly instincts. If we're grumpy, we'll most likely produce grumpy children--it's a vicious cycle. But we can glorify the Lord as we yield to Him instead of our flesh! And the more we yield to the Fruit of the Spirit and abide in the Vine (John 15), the easier it gets.

If one child is disobedient or causing a disturbance, I like to walk the child back to my bedroom or somewhere private and talk to them in a calm manner "eyeball to eyeball". Or I might have him sit on the couch and calm down, and then talk to him about it. This works especially well when younger children are fussing with each other--they each sit on a couch until they can work things out and be friends again.

We're not teaching our children to "bottle up" their anger or negative feelings, but instead to deal with them properly and learn to give them to the Lord, crucifying any works or fruits of the flesh, replacing them with the Fruit of the Spirit.

We want to encourage our children from an early age to "take up their cross and follow Jesus" and learn to live the crucified life! At the same time, we strive to be that godly example for them, asking God to do His work in our own lives so that we might consistently practice what we preach. We want to demonstrate His great love and compassion to our children, by being merciful and full of grace and longsuffering!

Thankfully, we don't have to rely on our own abilities to accomplish this great task, but we have a Source who never fails us, if we'll just keep our eyes and hearts toward Him! And if we do sin, we repent, and ask the Lord to forgive us, and ask our children's forgiveness. They know we aren't perfected yet, but if we are humble enough to admit it when we are wrong, they will have much more respect for us, and it will be another good example to them.

We can't control all the circumstances, but we can control our reaction to the circumstances with the Lord's help--and sometimes, we can take preventative measures to avoid having the same problems reoccur. The next time you have a negative situation develop, take time to analyze it. What was going on when you or the children got angry or the children were disobedient? Is there a need for further training in an area or maybe for closer supervision by you in some circumstances? Does a cranky toddler or baby simply need a nap?

One mother described her anger over coming back to a room that she had recently cleaned, only to have her young children totally undo all her work. Her toddler had gotten into the baby powder and sprinkled it liberally over the floor. The floor was also littered with crayons, papers, legos, little cars-- and her little children were sprawled out in the midst of it all, having a wonderful time! They were shocked when their mother started screaming at them and burst into tears. How could this have been prevented?

1. Powder all over the floor-- Always take time to keep it (and similar items) out of the reach of the little ones. Don't allow them to be tempted above that which they are able to bear. Our Heavenly Father uses this principle in His dealings with us; we should follow His example with our children!

2. Taking crayons out and leaving them everywhere--Have a specific place for coloring and artwork, and encourage the children to clean it up before going to something else. We use a large flat plastic container for all the crayons so the children don't have to dump them all over the floor to find the right color.

3. Legos and little cars on the floor-- Have a specific area where they can play with legos and small toys so they don't get so scattered. If they do get scattered, call for a quick pick up--it takes less than 5 minutes. Keep a cheerful attitude and see that the children do it efficiently without getting sidetracked.

It's frustrating to clean a room and come back minutes later to see everything messy again, but it helps to keep things in perspective. While it may look like a wreck, usually a quick pick up (five minutes or less) resolves the problem. If the children have gone on to something else or are just being messy, have them pick it up and train them to pick up things before they start something else. Yes, it takes time and patience and it's sometimes easier to do it yourself, but by being CONSISTENT, you will be rewarded! The same thing applies to all areas of child-training--hold fast and don't give up.

My attitude is greatly improved if I meditate on the Lord and His Word and sing praises to Him as I go about my day. ("He maketh the barren woman to keep house and be the JOYFUL mother of children!") When I concentrate on communing with the Lord, really enjoying my children, I find I don't mind the mess as much. I think, "Oh look at what a good time they're having....they're so creative...they're playing so well together...", instead of dwelling on how the house looks. On the other hand, we do need to train them to clean up after themselves when they're through!

Let's all trust God to help us maintain a calm and loving attitude toward our family, as we yield to the fruit of the Spirit. He has already provided ALL we need to overcome!

"Almighty God, give to Thy servant a meek and gentle spirit, that may be slow to anger, and easy to mercy and forgiveness. Give me a wise and constant heart, that I may never be moved to an intemperate anger for any injury that is done or offered. Lord, let me ever be courteous, and easy to be entreated; let me never fall into a peevish or contentious spirit, but follow peace with all men; offering forgiveness, inviting them by courtesies, ready to confess my own errors, apt to make amends, and desirous to be reconciled. Let no sickness or cross accident, no employment or weariness, make me angry or ungentle and discontented, or unthankful, or uneasy to them that minister to me; but in all things make me like unto the holy Jesus. Amen." --Jeremy Taylor, 1613-1667

" I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." --John 15:5

" If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples." --John 15:7-8

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." --Galatians 5:22-25

"But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth....seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." --Colossians 3:8-10

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Homeschooling With Toddlers!
Homeschooling With Toddlers! [message #33426] Fri, 29 July 2005 15:39
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


Homeschooling With Toddlers!
by Tamara Eaton

Do you view your toddlers as assets or liabilities to your homeschool? Yes, homeschooling with toddlers can be a challenge--especially if you're trying to do "school at home", but they are also a precious blessing and provide your homeschool with excitement, enthusiasm, laughter, joy and freedom from boredom and dull routine!

During the many years we homeschooled with toddlers, we incorporated homeschooling into our lives, instead of allowing it to replace all the time we needed to nurture and care for our family. Our little ones need a normal childhood, too, with mom available to listen and train and give hugs. We weren't running a "little school" at home, but we were able to teach our children academics in a relaxed, positive manner by developing a whole lifestyle of learning--just like we taught them how to tie their shoes, brush their teeth, and have good manners!

Here are some tips that worked for us :

  • Meet the needs of the little ones first. Take time to enjoy them, play with them, nurture them, then they will be contented later when you have to do other things.
  • Choose a time when everyone feels their freshest to do the "schooling". There were years we homeschooled in the mornings and years we homeschooled in the afternoons. We tried out different routines then chose the one that worked best for that season, always staying flexible.
  • Don't set unrealistic goals. Keep lessons short and sweet--I can't stress this point enough! Make the most of the "teachable moments" that occur in the course of the day. Young children are so curious about everything and want to learn new things--capture their interest and find the method of learning that works best for them.
  • Don't feel like you have to cover ALL the subjects every day. We found we accomplished more by concentrating on the basics, then adding extra subjects a couple of times a week. We also used many "real books" in our read aloud time to cover history and science in an interesting way for the younger children.
  • Homeschool four days a week, then use the fifth day for "catch up" or fun "educational" activities.
  • Keep life as SIMPLE as possible--there will be time for more elaborate projects later when your toddler is no longer a toddler. Time passes so fast!
  • Consider saving special tutoring sessions for evening when Dad is home to either help with the toddlers or homeschooling. Fifteen to twenty minutes of UNINTERRUPTED time goes a long way!
  • After a quick clean up of the house in the mornings, I would often give the little ones juice and crackers in their high chairs while I helped the older children get started on something. We would all be in the kitchen around the table and this usually gave us fifteen to twenty minutes for a writing lesson or math work.
  • Create a safe place for toddlers to play when you work with the older children. Take frequent breaks to check on them, hug them, and, if necessary, start them on new activities. We generally kept our little ones in the same room or in an adjoining room so it would be easier to supervise them and help them feel included. We used gates to confine them so they wouldn't get into trouble "exploring" the rest of the house. (And trained them to neither open nor climb over the gates!)
  • We also began to teach them to spend small segments of time (like 15-20 minutes) playing in their room. We provided creative toys and made sure the room was safe and "toddler-proof". Toddlers love to be in the middle of things, so don't force them to spend too much time in their rooms, but it's helpful for a short period so you can work with an older child or do a load of laundry.
  • Keep a special box of toys just for "school times". I rotated the toys regularly and was always on the lookout for new, inexpensive, creative toys to add to our collection. (Yard sales were great--I stocked up on toys in the summer and saved them for the new school year.)
  • Work with one child at a time and let another one watch and play with the toddler for fifteen or twenty minutes.
  • Alternate quiet and active activities. Take a quick nature walk around the back yard or neighborhood to help work off some energy and provide a change of scenery for your toddler. [For more activities see Homeschooling Our Little Ones! ]
  • Make a very limited use of children's good quality videos--I'm not talking about more than 30 minutes here! Our children were always more creative and contented when we limited their video viewing. (They loved the Donut Man tapes and Kids Sing Praise tapes though and these were very uplifting.)
  • Schedule a regular time for reading aloud good books together. We did this after lunch and I would rock the little ones as I read aloud to everyone. They learned from an early age that this was a time to be quiet and still--for at least fifteen to twenty minutes!
  • Schedule regular naps and quiet time for all. Some homeschool moms use this time for concentrated work with the school-aged children. Generally, I found I needed a nap as much (or MORE!) than the toddlers did. Resting in the afternoons preserved my sanity and refreshed me so I could really ENJOY my children--and actually manage to do some things later in the afternoon, too, without collapsing from exhaustion.

In summary, the key elements in successful homeschooling with toddlers are:

  • A positive attitude
  • Consistent Biblical Child-training
  • A sense of humor
  • Flexibility
  • Homeschooling in "spurts" of fifteen to twenty minutes
  • Making the most of "teachable" moments
  • A lot of love
  • Abiding in Christ

Be encouraged that the same Lord who has blessed you with these little ones and called you to homeschool will enable you. He will give you wisdom in teaching, training, and nurturing your children so that they will be a blessing and not a burden. He has a perfect homeschooling plan for YOUR family --let Him lead the way!

"He shall feed His flock like a shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young." --Isaiah 40:11

"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children." --Isaiah 54:13

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: When Parents Disagree
When Parents Disagree [message #33432] Fri, 29 July 2005 16:10
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


When Parents Disagree
by Tamara Eaton

Karen was concerned, she appreciated her husband's leading in their home but was worried that his decision to change to a new structured curriculum was going to spell disaster for their homeschool!

She said, "I don't know what to do. I'm the one who spends all the time homeschooling the children and I feel this material wouldn't work as well for their learning styles. Is God's will always revealed through the husband? Should I accept his decisions as God's perfect will automatically?"

God doesn't always reveal His will solely through the husband. Sometimes the wife is the one who is on the right track and the husband is off base. It could be God leading the husband, or he could be choosing this course out of ignorance, convinced it's the best decision for his family. This doesn't mean that the wife shouldn't submit to her husband , but there are often things she can do that are entirely "Biblical" if she disagrees with her husband's desire to use structured, formal curriculum.

Perhaps this situation wouldn't have even developed if the wife had, all along, discussed what she was researching with her husband, along with her observations about their children's learning styles. Or maybe she tried to but he wasn't listening--in that case, she must guard against bitterness or resentment, yielding her emotions to the Lord and maintain a humble, meek, loving, and teachable spirit.

She should first and foremost pray, asking the Lord to clearly reveal His will to both of them, and if she's right about using less formal curriculum, to reveal it to her husband, and if she's wrong, then show her--in other words, help them both to have one mind, His mind in this matter.

Most decisions we make aren't so urgent that we can't take time to pray about them and discuss them together and do further research. There could be several reasons why the husband wanted to go with structured curriculum--perhaps he is only secure in structured curriculum because he doesn't think children learn well using other methods, or possible he's concerned about proving to future colleges that his children had a solid educational foundation. He may know families who have thrived using this curriculum and thinks it's the best! If this is the case, then the wife could (in a right spirit) share with him further highlights from books and articles, or suggest they talk to different families who have used other homeschooling methods.

He may be concerned that his wife will have to work too hard to do another method or isn't suited for coming up with her own plan. Perhaps she has a poor track record in this area and he thinks she needs more accountability and help. Here again, the wife can gently share her heart in this matter, as well as present a proposal of some of the things she thinks would work well for the children--in a non-confrontational manner!

He may feel he has no time to help in homeschooling and thinks a structured curriculum can make up for his uninvolvement-- so his wife isn't forced to totally "go it alone". They should talk this over and see if this plan would really help his wife, and if there is a way he can be involved that isn't as time consuming. A wise husband will also be sensitive to the teaching style of his wife and take that into account, as well.

Just because the husband is the head of the family (and he should be!), doesn't mean that what comes out of his lips is always a revelation of God's Will for the family and the wife should resign herself to "God's answer" without further respectful discussion or prayer.

We believe that God has given Christian husbands and wives to each other to function as a team, in mutual respect and honor, totally sold out and committed to Him, each contributing special gifts and wisdom as they're yielding themselves to Him, and thereby working efficiently and effectively to further not only His will in their lives, but in the kingdom of God!

When You Disagree:

  • Don't automatically assume you're right and your spouse is wrong.
  • Be humble. Be teachable. Be willing to change.
  • Don't rush into a decision.
  • Spend time praying together and determining major goals together.
  • Share your concerns and thoughts without being defensive.
  • Try to be objective and keep things in perspective.
  • Don't be critical of your spouse, treat him or her with respect.
  • Be willing to compromise!
  • Demonstrate a unified front before the children, even if you have yet to reach an agreement.
  • Don't view homeschooling as "mom's project", it should be a joint effort by both parents, even if one parent is the primary teacher of academics.

"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them." --Colossians 3:17-19

"Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is....Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it..." --Ephesians 5:17-25

"Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear..... Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered." --1 Peter 3:1-7

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Overcoming Condemnation
Overcoming Condemnation [message #33434] Fri, 29 July 2005 16:14
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


Overcoming Condemnation
by Tamara Eaton

There are some things you can never do enough of--praying, studying God's Word, cleaning your house, and learning. Think about it-- if someone asks you-- "Do you pray enough?", what is your response? "Well, I could always pray more." It's true, you could always pray more, study more, clean more and learn more. So why do you allow condemnation to overwhelm you when you see your child's weak areas or your own weaknesses? You do need to work in these areas, but don't try to tackle everything at once. It will not only overwhelm you, but it will overwhelm your child and take the joy out of homeschooling and learning together!

The difference between condemnation from the enemy and conviction from the Lord is easy--when the Holy Spirit convicts, He is specific and gives hope and help for any changes necessary. He gives you confidence that if you trust Him, He will enable you to fulfil His plans, and if you stumble along the way, He will pick you up and set you once again on the right path.

God challenges us in different areas, but with the challenge comes the grace to act upon His "assignments" and overcome the trials. (1 Corinthians 10:13) Each day has its own tests which we don't always recognize. We must slow down enough to discern His voice calling us to overcome in the "small things" as much as the larger tests. Our thoughts, our words, our actions--are we glorifying Him each time? Are we sensitive to when we displease Him and quick to repent? Do we learn from our failures and allow them to make us all the more determined to yield to the Holy Spirit next time instead of to our fleshly impulses? Our whole life is a School of Faith and we're learning just as much as our children if we allow the Lord to be our Teacher and Example. He is a perfect Teacher and will give us wisdom in teaching our children, too!

The enemy, on the other hand, is a discourager, the father of all lies and never offers any hope of improvement (unless you choose his way instead of God's). He has assistants who help him along the way--sometimes inadvertently, like critical relatives and neighbors who are convinced you're going to fail if you persist in that ridiculous notion of homeschooling! The key to overcoming his lies and deception is to recognize his tactics and overcome them by the Blood of the Lamb (Revelation 12:11) and the Word of God!

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you....Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." --James 4:7-8,10

When Jesus was in the wilderness being tempted by the devil, He responded each time with the Word of God--"It is written..." (Matthew 4:1-11) We should respond to temptation and condemnation the same way, with the Word of God!

In our fast-paced society, we're pulled from every side....The secular media bombards us with reports from studies showing we need to eat better, exercise more, spend more time "smelling the roses", get regular check-ups, and save for our retirement years. Some in the Christian community call upon us to boycott companies, write letters, participate in marches, reach out to our community and support their ministries. Pastors encourage us to evangelize the lost, lead Bible studies, teach Sunday School classes and don't forget to help in the church nursery!

Homeschool support group leaders challenge us to lead workshops, participate in group classes, attend field trips and social events, and be diligent in our homeschooling and record keeping. Our husbands appreciate good meals (sometimes viewing light and healthy meals as "snacks"!), a clean house, fresh laundry and socks that match. Our parents and in-laws can't identify with our homeschooling lifestyle and may not always understand why we're not following their examples--their homes were spotless and the laundry was always caught up by 7 a.m. each Monday morning! (It worked for them, why doesn't it work for us?)

Even homeschooling curriculum developers and speakers often promote their philosophy or program as being absolutely necessary in order to achieve "The Successful Homeschool". Every month brings "bigger, brighter and better" and "all you ever needed to know" homeschool packages for sale. And don't forget the comparison between homeschooling families--"Did you hear about the Smiths? Harvard is actively recruiting their six year old son (homeschooled from the womb) who has completed several high school programs and speaks seven languages fluently!" It can become confusing and overwhelming if you don't keep your eyes upon the Lord!

While the Lord gives us some wonderful examples of believers we can follow as they follow Him, He never asks us to compare ourselves with others, but to look to our perfect example, His Son. Note Jesus' response when Peter questioned Him about His plans for someone else--"what is that to thee? follow thou Me." (John 21:21-22) There are no two children alike and there are no two homeschooling families exactly alike either. God has created us all to be unique, for His glory!

So instead of throwing your hands up in defeat and saying, 'It's hopeless. I can't do EVERYTHING, I'm sending my child back to school!', "lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet..." (Hebrews 12:12-13) Take it all to the Lord and He will help you discern His will so you can have a *well-balanced* life.

By no means am I encouraging laziness or irresponsibility in homeschooling, but I am encouraging you to not allow yourself to be overwhelmed and depressed by those vague feelings of failure, hopelessness, and helplessness. I have good news to offer you-- if you belong to the Lord, you have the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God of the Universe on YOUR SIDE, how can you fail if you trust Him? You have all you need in Him! He has you fully COVERED.

The Lord also has the perfect plan for your family. He knows the "end from the beginning" (Isaiah 46:10) and He is working in you "both to will and to do of His good pleasure." (Philippians 2:13) Your relatives, friends and acquaintances may have opinions about which way you should go, but God has more than an opinion, He has ALL the facts and He has the plan and He has promised to provide your every need if you'll just trust in Him. One step at a time. If you have been floundering on a road paved with condemnation and fear of failure, turn it all over to Him. Recognize your enemy and run to the Lord! He will restore your joy and set you free!

"O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember Thee... Yet the Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life....Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God." --Psalm 42:6a,8,11

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand." --Psalm 37:23-24

"Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me." --Psalm 50:14-15

"When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O Lord, held me up. In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul." -- Psalm 94:18-19

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:1

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." --Philippians 4:13

"... greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world." --1 John 4:4

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." --John 8:32

 


 

[Note--If you don't know the Lord in a personal, saving way--find out how you can be set free from all condemnation and receive Eternal life, as well as His daily help and guidance!Knowing God) "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life."--John 5:24 ]

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Managing Our Time
Managing Our Time [message #33435] Fri, 29 July 2005 16:16
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


Managing Our Time
by Tamara Eaton

Successful time-management consists of so much more than who can get the most done in the least amount of time--as Christians, we want to be sure we're about our Father's business and fulfilling His plans for our lives. We need reminders of this often--it's easy to get caught up in doing, doing, doing and get ahead of the Lord so much that we end up asking Him to bless what we've already decided to do instead of waiting for His wisdom and timing. I have learned this the hard way by taking on tasks He never intended just because they appeared to be needful! No wonder I fizzled out--I'd been trying to do it all in my own power.

Jesus saw many needs when He was performing His earthly ministry but even He didn't meet them all--instead He did the work that His Father had given Him. That's all anyone can do--seek the Lord for His will and do it, not becoming side-tracked, even by seemingly worthwhile things. These side issues can drain us or keep us so occupied that we aren't able to accomplish what God has called us to do in the first place.

A.W. Tozer once wrote, "A great economizing of time and effort can be effected by learning what we should do and then sticking to it, quietly refusing to be turned aside from our task. Paul said, "But one thing I do," and by paring his activities down to an important minimum he multiplied his efficiency many times over. We must avoid the error of assuming that because we are busy we are therefore getting a lot done. Much of our current activity is in line with the old gentleman who got his peg leg caught in a hole in the sidewalk and walked around it all night trying to get home."

How much stress could be avoided each day by taking time to seek the Lord first and ask Him for wisdom and help in establishing priorities? Daily we see so many needs and have so many demands--it can seem overwhelming at times. We need to use good judgement in how much we take on in this busy season of our lives. God has called us to be wives and mothers first of all, and this takes time. Too many outside activities can rob us of the time we need for our family. We must discern what is God's will and say no to everything that is not, in spite of what others may think, staying focused on what we KNOW God has called us to do.

It's also important to have a proper view of interruptions--some can be avoided and others can't. I use voice mail or an answering machine for phone calls most of the time so I don't get caught on the phone. On the other hand, some interruptions are God ordained so we must be sensitive to His leading! We certainly don't want to hinder the Holy Spirit's work in our lives and His ability to use us as yielded vessels. After all, the very fact that Jesus is Lord of our lives means He is Lord of our time!

Jesus also had interruptions during His ministry on earth and we can again look to His example. G.H. Morling wrote in Quest for Serenity , "Interruptions never distracted Jesus. He accepted them as opportunities of a richer service. Interruptions were the occasion of some of His most gracious deeds and revealing words."

With children at home, it's unrealistic to think that we will have long periods of time without interruptions or necessary breaks. If you are a driven person who hates to stop working until you've finished something, it's easy to grow impatient with the children when they don't measure up to your expectations. Ask the Lord for help in this area and expect Him to help you overcome this tendency!

Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength--if we allow the enemy to rob us of our joy by worrying or fretting over all we have to do each day, we won't have the energy to do all God has called us to do! The Lord will never give us more than we can handle--so if it seems as though we have too much to do, then either we're taking on too much ourselves or we can handle more than we think by trusting in God's promise of "I can do all things in Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13)

Learning to distinguish the difference between the important and the urgent can be another challenge. Some of the loudest demands may seem urgent but turn out to be mere distractions and not important--especially in light of Eternity. Someone once said we should all live as though we had Eternity stamped on our eyeballs --a constant reminder of what really matters.

Try making a list of how you spend your days, writing down everything that takes at least thirty minutes. Evaluate your day and prayerfully determine what is important and what can be eliminated. If you find you're spending too much time on things of little importance, and too little time on what really matters, you will have a good starting point for change. Remember though, don't try to change in your own power--turn to the Lord and ask His help! "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." (Philippians 2:13)

We must also allow plenty of time for refreshment and recharging. If we aren't filling ourselves up with God's Word and praying and getting enough rest, how can we expect our ministry to others to be effective? Jesus knew the value of coming apart to rest for a time; in spite of the demands and needs of the crowds, He took time to recharge.

"And He said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat." -- Mark 6:31

We're all familiar with the story of Martha and Mary in Luke 10--Martha felt overwhelmed with all the work and wanted Jesus to tell her sister Mary to help her, but Mary was sitting at His feet, receiving His Word.

"And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:41-42)

Ken Gire gave a wonderful commentary on this passage in his book Windows of the Soul :

"The words spoken to Martha are words spoken also to the Martha in me. But what were those words correcting? It was her worry, not her work. It was her being upset, not her being under pressure. The issue wasn't her preparations; it was her distractions. It wasn't the many things; it was that the many things didn't revolve around the one thing that was needed.

There was no quiet center that Martha was working from, no solitude of heart, no still axis around which her activities revolved....

I don't want to live in the kitchen of religious activity, distracted with all my preparations. I don't want to live slumped over some steamed-up stove, worried and upset about so many things. I want to live at the Savior's feet, gazing into His eyes, listening to His words, and seeing as many windows as He'll show me....when we're at His feet and our heart is still, we can hear Him even when He whispers."

If we want our service and ministry to be acceptable and pleasing to the Lord, we must get our priorities right. We have to receive Jesus' ministry to us before we can be effective in our work and ministry toward others. When we neglect to sit at His feet first, taking in His Word, we end up feeling overworked and unappreciated. When we keep our priorities in line with His priorities, He will enable us to do what needs to be done with joy and a sense of fulfillment, whether it is always recognized by others or not.

Offer up each day unto the Lord and ask Him to guide you by His Holy Spirit! Ask Him to help you use your time efficiently and to keep you from being so rushed that you neglect to hear His Voice. Take time to appreciate and treasure the people He brings across your path each day--especially your family. The Lord has given us a gift of 24 hours, that's 86,400 seconds today. How many of those seconds have been spent praising the Lord, encouraging our children and family, speaking LIFE to others instead of death, BLESSINGS instead of curses and grumbling? Let's make a positive difference in someone's life today! Each day is a new beginning, a fresh start. God wants to do beautiful things in and through us as we yield to Him!

A Dozen Time Management Tips:

DON'T . . .

  • rush ahead of the Lord--His timing and wisdom are crucial
  • try to meet all the needs, it's impossible!
  • get side-tracked, even by "worthwhile" things
  • allow too many outside activities to rob you of family time
  • let the enemy rob you of your joy--it's your strength
  • confuse the urgent with the important

DO . . .

  • Pray for the Lord's guidance and help each day
  • Look to Jesus as your example. Study His Word, His life as revealed in the Gospels. Ask yourself, "What would Jesus do in this situation?"
  • Plan for interruptions and needed breaks
  • Put on the garment of praise (Isaiah 61:3) and do your work as unto the Lord. (Colossians 3:23-24)
  • Take time to enjoy your family.
  • Stay focused on what God has called you to do and seek to view everything in light of Eternity.

Encouragement from Scriptures:

"But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, "You are my God. My times are in Your hand..." --Psalm 31:14-15

"And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ." --Colossians 3:23-24

"See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." --Ephesians 5:15-17

"For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers..." --1 Peter 3:10-12

"Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore." --Psalm 86:11-12

[For more encouragement, see related articles on "Priorities" , "Feeling Frazzled" , "In His Presence" and "Homeschool Management Tips" ]

[Note--If you don't know the Lord in a personal, saving way--find out how you can be set free from all condemnation and receive Eternal life, as well as His daily help and guidance! (Knowing God)

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Formula For Failure
Formula For Failure [message #33436] Fri, 29 July 2005 16:20
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


Formula For Failure

by Tamara Eaton

Flirting with disaster but not quite there yet? Hang on, here are a dozen tips that will turn your mediocre homeschool into a sure failure!

    • Look to your own abilities. (After all, we're all inadequate--to be human is to be inadequate!)
    • Entertain guilt and wallow in despair often--but don't seek the Lord for help or if you do, don't believe He'll really answer.
    • Have a poor attitude--it will surely rub off on the children.
    • Dwell on the negative instead of looking for good-- stew over weaknesses and label them hopeless.
    • Don't take time to Biblically train and discipline your children--instead play manipulative games with them--bribe them, distract them, yell at them, try to escape from them.
    • Be unrealistic in your expectations--then give up instead of adjusting to more reasonable standards.
    • Be a martyr-mom (she never enjoys being with her family but just endures it because God has called her to this role).
    • Pay more attention to what your critical family members or neighbors think about what you should be doing than what God thinks. After all, you run into them daily, you don't have to answer to the Lord for years! (Or do you?)
    • Envy other women who have their children in school and their days to themselves again--they are free to REALLY serve God by participating in Bible studies and many ministry opportunities, as well as have time for their own interests. Resent the fact that the house always looks "lived-in" and you're rarely alone.
    • Blame others for your failure in homeschooling--your husband refuses to help with the homeschooling or housework, the curriculum company didn't send the necessary books in time, you bought the wrong material (if the author had done a better job, your homeschooling would flourish!), your children are just too difficult--they refuse to listen or do what they're told.
    • Stay busy with "fluff" and outside commitments and activities that look so wonderful on the surface, but neglect the "weightier" matters of substance and enduring value.
    • Let the flesh determine what you do every day instead of the Holy Spirit--the children watch all the tv they like, play on the computer all the time, and do whatever they like--after all, learning shouldn't be FORCED upon them--when they're ready to learn, they will. (A perverted, twisted view of "relaxed homeschooling"!) Always put off until tomorrow what should be done today.

Succeeding as a homeschool parent doesn't require academic genius or a certain personality--it does require a whole heart and 100% commitment, as well as the ability to acknowledge our weaknesses and look to the Lord to provide all our needs.

Has He called you to homeschool? Then have you dedicated your homeschool to Him and committed your family to seeking His Holy Spirit for wisdom and instruction daily? Don't begin in the Spirit then try to finish it up in the flesh (Galatians 3:3).

If you're consumed with the fear of failure --surrender it all to the Lord and choose to change your attitude and actions to reflect steadfast faith in the Lord. He never intended for us to make it all on our own--He promises to be there for us every step of the way if we will just trust Him. Believe His Word and act upon it!

In 1 Samuel 12, we see an example of how Israel sinned against the Lord by trying to do things their own way--who among us has not been guilty of this at some time or another? We can take comfort in the words of truth spoken by Samuel:

"Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider how great things He hath done for you." (1 Samuel 12:24)

He has truly done great things for ALL of us and we need to take time to reflect upon this often so we don't lose the proper perspective. He's never failed us before and He never will.

We won't always see great strides taken daily in our children's education--often it will be just as the Word says, "For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little..." (Isaiah 28:10)

The Lord has good plans for your family this year, it may be time for a fresh start and a clean slate. I pray that you might be able to say with Paul: "...this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (1 Corinthians 3:13-14)

      [Note--If you don't know the Lord in a personal, saving way--find out how you can be set free from all condemnation and receive Eternal life, as well as His daily help and guidance! (Knowing God)

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

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"Logs In Our Own Eyes" ... Barbara posted this prayer -- believing that God will give us victory -- in response to the question ..."I am judgmental and critical. How do I change?"

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