This week we had several days of snow. I was raised in South Florida, so snow is not as fun for me as it is for my children who were all born into this state and have always enjoyed the snow. Well, this week a few of my children and I were also battling colds. Even as a homeschooler, I am here to confess that some of the nicest words I heard this week were this:
How do you feel about snow days in your area? Do you have snow days? Do you have let's just go to the beach days? What kinds of days make your school day off feel wonderful?
Around this time every year, public schools begin preparing their teachers and students for annual testing and evaluations. I see friends who are teachers stressing over the outcomes, parents concerned their students aren't performing at grade level, and students who are either so fixated on scoring well they get sick or are totally oblivious to the magnitude of the test results on their academic careers.
Thankfully, as homeschoolers, we don't have to be subjected to some of the stresses as others may. We are in a unique position to evaluate and know where our children are academically and can customize their learning to fill in any gaps that might occur.
If you are unsure where your children stand as compared to their traditionally schooled counterparts, I recommend the book What Every (Child's grade level) Needs to Know. The grade level is based on the current grade level your child is in. You can also order the California Achievement Test from Christian Liberty Press or Bob Jones Publishers.
Finally, trust your own instincts. You know what your child knows and doesn't know and what he or she can do or needs work at. A friend of mine had her son in public school and week after week, the teacher would tell my friend that her son didn't know this or that and couldn't do these skills. She took a step of faith and pulled her son from public school. It wasn't long before it was discovered that her son had trouble with his vision and in fact he did know nearly all of the things the teacher said he didn't. You know your children!
In some states, you can have your child evaluated by a certified teacher, too. So, Homeschooling Mama, don't fall into the rut of stressing about where your child is academically. Seek out your options and also what you know your child can do!
Do you remember the moment your realized you needed a Savior? What about the revelation of who He is? I have to be honest, I had to take a step back and evaluate those things in my life and walk with the Lord. Have I ever been confronted face to face with Jesus? If I can't remember that, what am I lacking in my relationship with Jesus? Self-evaluation of these things is a good thing! It reminds us of where we came from, what we know beyond our head knowledge of God, and builds up our faith to share that Jesus is our Lord and Savior with others. Consider these four steps:
Confrontation: The realization that we are sinners and are in need of a Savior Revelation: Knowing by divine revealing who He is Acknowledgement: No denying His authority in our lives Confession: Confessing our sins and need for Jesus as our Savior; sharing with others Do you remember when each of those times occurred in your life? Ask the Lord to remind you or if they haven't yet happened, pray for each of those steps to come into your life today! You CAN have a successful encounter with Jesus!! Lyn~
This week it seems that so many wonderful blessings have been granted to my husband and I. At one point last week, I kept asking my son whom I had flown out to meet in San Diego if I was really there! My head was swimming at the good things I was seeing. It seems that my reactions are actually normal. In Amos 9, the Word tells us about the blessings of the Lord coming so fast, our heads will swim (Amos 9:13-15, The Message).
Have you been experiencing this, too? If you're not yet feeling like your head is swimming, don't give up! It's coming for you and it's coming for me! Lyn~
The year has gone great for you and your children. Or maybe it's been more of a struggle. The curriculum just isn't working, but you think that you need to press on because you bought it so you should finish it since you have come this far.
Homeschooling Mama, that is the beauty of homeschooling. If something isn't working, change it! If the curriculum is too complicated or doesn't engage your child enough or there is too much time involved in lesson plans for this curriculum, set it aside and move on to something else.
I want to encourage you with this...
If this is your first, second or third year homeschooling, and you have a child in 3rd grade or lower, simply buy the School Zone workbooks from Walmart or Target. They are based on grade level skills and will provide a strong foundation for your child. These workbooks also take no time in planning and can engage students with links on the School Zone website.
Another curriculum I used was the Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills books found at Sam's Club. These cover a full year for grade level and run $10 or less! In the beginning of your homeschooling journey, as we've talked about before, begin your days with the Word. Next, follow up with academics and finally, fill the rest of the day with character building, practical skills (like loading and unloading the dishwasher, folding clothes, sweeping the floor, etc.), and researching and investigating those things that interest your child throughout the day.
You CAN homeschool successfully, Mama!! You're doing a wonderful thing by homeschooling...you're investing in your child's future!!
Have you ever felt as though things in your life were going so very well that you knew something bad was waiting around the corner? Maybe I'm the only one. This feeling seems to wash over me about this time every year when we receive our tax refund. We plan strategically for what we will spend that money on and then it starts...the feeling that all of this is too good to be true.Well, that is fear!
First of all, God blesses us with things that we have need of as well as things to help us along in our callings. He doesn't change His mind on things, but we change our perspective on how we view things we are given. We forget that it was God who freely gave all things. We become possessive over those things, and yes, sometimes we need to be put in our place by our Father God. But the fear that things will be taken away as punishment or that good comes before evil is just silly thinking.
I had to take authority over those feelings that something bad was coming because of the good I was seeing happening in my life! God is love and He is not the one who kills, steals or destroys! Satan has that position. And you can take authority over that in your life, too.
When things are going well in your life, you may have trials because Satan does like to try to destroy the blessings the Lord had given you. Don't mistake that for the bottom dropping out! God is the author of your life and He knows the beginning from the end. It isn't over until He says it's over and it's not over until you WIN!
This week I talked with several moms who felt as though they had fallen behind and had began to re-think their decisions to homeschool. If you're one of those moms who is feeling overwhelmed and thinking maybe you rushed into the choice to homeschool a little too quickly, let me encourage you with this: You are giving your child or children an education based on creating a desire for learning and for learning what interests them, not what some state educational board deems they should know.
So homeschooling mama, if you are beginning to question your decision to homeschool, STOP! Deuteronomy 6:6-9 tells us to keep talking with our children about the things of God. We are sowing into the lives of our children by teaching them at home. It's one of the greatest things we can do for them! And as we discussed last week, if we seek Him first in the morning, even before school, everything else will fall into place!