Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

As a homeschooling mom, my motto has been that the world is our classroom. If you live in an area where the seasons change, this time of year is a great opportunity for our children to see how lakes, trees, flowers, and other aspects of nature come to life, shed their leaves (in Fall) and lie dormant (in Winter). The obvious academic of studying nature is science, but math is found in leaves (Fibonacci numbers in nature, link below), children can draw patterns of leaves, and then they can write about what they see as far as the changes from one season to the next.

For those children who are too young to write on their own, they can do copy work, starting with Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, "A Time for Everything." There are many way to explore outside, giving children the benefit of seeing, doing, investigating, and then having them tell you (through writing or simply telling) what they learned and what their favorite parts of the day were.

I believe that our role as homeschoolers is to create lifelong learners and what better way than to place our children in environments where they are free to learn at their own paces?

What ideas do you have for learning outside of textbooks and workbooks?

Fibonacci in Nature

Enjoy the seasons!


Monday, March 28, 2016

The Exchange Made At The Cross: A Reflection of Easter

When we think about Easter, as Christians we often think of the fact that Jesus died for our sins and that His love is what kept Him there so that through His death we might have eternal life. He paid the price for our sins, but He did so much more at the Cross that day.

Here is just what happened, what was exchanged, when Jesus breathed His last breath:

You see, so much more was accomplished that day than Jesus dying for our sins! Yes, of course He did that! But look at what He exchanged so that we could have far better!!

May you have a blessed week!


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Snow Day Ideas...GO!

Today in Colorado we are experiencing the worst blizzard I've seen in years! Even DIA, our airport, is shutdown, which almost never happens. My kids are shoveling the driveway and the sidewalk, watching YouTube videos, and binging on our favorite Neflix shows. Just because we homeschool, doesn't mean WE don't get snow days, too.

I want to find out how other families cope with snow. I'm interested in finding new things and new ways to spend forgetting that my husband (who is a trucker) is stranded in Wyoming and need new ways to keep us focused on learning rather than the cold, yucky weather.

Share your ideas in the comments!


Monday, March 21, 2016

Vision Boards: Am I Moving Toward My Goals or Away From Them?!

We should be looking at our vision boards every day. They should not just be a reminder of where we are going but also how we are getting there in the journey of accomplishing those goals. It's necessary also to evaluate just what it is you are doing in life to move you closer to achieving your goals. It's also just as necessary to determine if there are things that might actually be moving you further away from being able to accomplish your goals that you hadn't even realized.

One of my favorite authors, Tricia Goyer, says in her book "Lead Your Family Like Jesus," that we need to give ourselves permission to say no or to stop doing those things that aren't moving us toward our goals or that don't align with them in the first place. This can be difficult, especially when we are receiving recognition and praise in our current position. But if it is hindering us, it might need to go.

Pray about those things that you feel are a distraction or hindrance keeping you from reaching your goals. When you find yourself in a situation like this, the Word says "whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men" (Colossians 3:23, NKJV). Your current position may in fact become a part of reaching your goal or it may require you to step away in order to accomplish those things on your vision board. Whatever the case, ask the Lord to guide you and show you which direction to go.

Finally, keep your eye on the vision! Remind yourself that you are expecting to accomplish your goals and that your vision is important to you and to the Lord. Habukkuk 2:2 says, "Write the vision, and make it plain." And Proverbs 29:18 says, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." You have vision and you are expecting to succeed. Keep moving toward your goals!


Friday, March 11, 2016

Friday 'Fess Up

About six months ago, I began listening to Terri Savelle Foy speak about gratitude. Having gratitude and being grateful is such a rewarding thing for us to do. I believe we appreciate the things we have, the answered prayers, and the blessings the Lord has given us more when we take a moment to recognize and acknowledge those things.
As you may know from reading my blog over the past few weeks, our three Chihuahua puppies contracted Parvovirus, an often fatal intestinal virus for dogs. We prayed and were able to give the two surviving puppies home treatments thanks to my former Navy K9 handler son and my own IV experience as a former EMT. We were able to save those puppies and my confession today is that without the blessings of the Lord saving these sweet canine companions, they might not be here today. I am so grateful for His love for me and compassion as my other sons and I tirelessly poured into the care of our beloved dogs.
You might be shaking your head right now thinking, "I can't believe she thinks God saved those puppies or that she would even PRAY for an animal!" Well, I believe that God gave us animals for a reason and they have a purpose in our lives. He often makes reference to animals in His Word, so I beleive they are significant to Him and therefore they are given time in the prayer time of me and my family.

Regardless of your stance on this particular topic, I'd like to ask you what you're grateful for today. Have you expressed gratitude to your friends and family, no matter how large or small the gift, time, or action given to you? What can you thank someone for today? How can you share the Lord gratitude for His blessings, favor, love, or answers to prayer?

Feel free to share, if you'd like!

Have a blessed and grateful weekend!!


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

When my older sons were schooling, we had purchased a particular homeschool curriculum for them to use. My oldest son thrived on the new material, but he needed silence in order to do his work. My next son preferred to have background noise in order to do his school, but he was not as engaged with the new curriculum as the older son. At the time, I felt as though I was stuck and had to stick with what we had chosen, partly because I wanted to make sure I got my money's worth out of using it. I was wrong.
You see, as homeschoolers we are at liberty to change and adapt our schooling and even our curricula to fit the needs and learning styles of our children! We don't have to stick with something just because. As far as the financial aspect of changing curricula, there are MANY new online, free options as well as options for worksheets and printables in order to make sure our children are learning the necessary skills they need for each grade level.
I want to encourage you this week to take time out of your homeschooling year and evaluate how things are going not only for you but for your student as well. Is he or she struggling? Are they not engaging as much as you would like them to or as much as they once had? Perhaps a change is in order.
Some of my favorite free websites are:

What are your favorite FREE websites for homeschoolers? Maybe your favorite will become someone else's foundation for their homeschooling journey!


Monday, March 7, 2016

What Are You Expecting?

When I was pregnant with each of my children, I expected to have a baby. And I did! When I planted tomato plants, I expected to one day harvest tomatoes. And I did! When I took a position as an editor of a magazine, I expected to edit articles and produce an edition of the magazine. And I did! But something happens when we pray for certain things in our lives. We pray, sure. But were aren't necessarily expecting the answers to come or likely don't really know the answer we truly desire. Our expectations are not defined, so we don't see anything happening.

Throughout the Word the Lord points out that we should have expectations in life. We should expect the favor of the Lord, we should expect answers to prayers (Luke 11), we should expect the Lord's plans for us to be better than our own plans (Jeremiah 29:11), we should expect to lay hands on the sick and for them to be healed (Mark 16:18), we should expect angelic visitations (Hebrews 13:2), and we should expect visitations, manifestations, and demonstrations of the Lord and His power!

This week, I would like to encourage you to expect things of the Lord. In Luke 11:9-10 Jesus tells us:

John 16:24: Ask,and you will receive, that your joy may be full!!


Friday, March 4, 2016

Friday 'Fess Up

Ever have a day similar to this...?

I planned to get up early, shower, write my blog post for the day, take a friend's daughter to school, and watch youth from my organization take off on orientation flights. Then I would work on school, catch up on emails, check my students' work, and have a relaxing lunch with the possibility of a nap! But then, I got up later than I planned, didn't write because I needed to pick up my friend's daughter, and barely made it to the airport on time. And checking on emails and doing school just didn't happen. Can you relate to a day like this?

No matter how we might try, sometimes our plans for the day, week, or month just go awry. As women we have so much we try to do everyday and if we don't accomplish everything, we feel like we perhaps have failed for the day. But that isn't true! You see, when you plan to do 100 percent but only hit say 50 percent, you've still accomplished more than if you hadn't planned to hit anything all!

One of my favorite sayings is:

Even if you don't accomplish all that you set out to do, remember what you did complete and achieve today, this week, and this month. Celebrate your victories!


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Homeschooling Hump Day Encouragement

Around this time of year every school year, public schools begin to prepare students for annual standardized testing. This starts thoughts in many homeschoolers' minds of just how well their students are doing academically. There are some practical things we can do as homeschoolers to identify where our children are in the scope and sequence of learning.

Many of us use textbooks that have quizzes at the end of each chapter. You can use these to correct any learning gaps as you go. Another tool you can utilize is the scope and sequence that more than likely is included in the curriculum you've chosen to use. There are also standardized tests available through such companies as Bob Jones and Christian Liberty. Finally, many states allow for evaluation by certified teachers in your state. These evaluations serve to show that the child has made a year's worth of progress in a year's worth of time.

Whatever method you choose for determining where your child is academically, remember the end goal is to create lifelong learners. And no evaluation or test can replace building that desire to learn in your children yourself!