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5 Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Started Homeschooling

Heidi St. John

With changes rapidly happening in our public school system, more parents than ever are considering the very viable option of homeschooling. If you're one of those, read on. I'll never forget our first year of homeschooling. I sort of "fell" into homeschooling, and so, admittedly, I was not as well prepared as some of you dear readers will be. In fact, I was about as green as green could get—but I was trying—right down to the flag salute and scheduled recess time. Like many new homeschool moms, I was trying to imitate what I remembered about school. And the school that I attended as a child had a flag salute. So we did, too. As you are probably guessing, our first year was tricky. The neighbors thought we were crazy, my parents wondered out loud about my "ability" to teach our children, and...
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The Three Elements of Maturity

Reb Bradley

​The foundational goal of parenting is to raise children to be mature . The problem in modern America is that most parents assume that maturity is a byproduct of getting older, so few make significant efforts to develop it within their kids. In fact, most couldn't even define maturity, let alone begin to do what it takes to cultivate it. Those parents, who do want to help their kids become mature, confuse maturity with "independence," so grant their immature children autonomy early on in life. They do not realize that an immature person granted their independence does not develop the self-restraint of maturity, but digresses deeper into the self-indulgence of immaturity . They may develop survival skills and increase in sophistication, but they will not grow in maturity.  Parents must...
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A Philosophy of Mothering

Jennifer Pepito

I have a confession to make. I might have a slight addiction to parenting books. I am so enamored with my children, and with the high calling of raising them, and this drives me to read and study all that I can about how to do this well. The only problem with all this study of parenting is that it can often lead to confusion about how to actually parent. Since every book that I read has a slightly different take on the job, It can lead to feeling overwhelmed as I try to actually navigate our day to day life. If I think back on all the books that I have read, a few of them stand out as being very insightful, and there are a few that might have offered some helpful advice, but overall are hardly worth mentioning. Aside from "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" from the La Leche League, most of...
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Go Deeper in your Geology Study; Grow Deeper in your Faith

Patrick Nurre

Geology can be so intimidating – first it has weird words to learn, like vitrophyre and orogeny and cirque . And then there is the frontal assault on what you believe – the geologic column and all it represents, the age of dinosaurs, uniformitarianism, and on and on. So it is just easier to learn some rock types, and call it a day. Or maybe just move on to biology. But I want to challenge you to think differently about geology. Truth be told, it is the foundation of it all. By that, I mean that your study of biology rests firmly on the foundation that you lay in geology. Genesis 1:1 says, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." There it is. It is the foundation. We need to understand it. This earth we stand on is the product of two momentous historic events – the Creatio...
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Out of the Mouth of Babes

Steve Demme

Last summer I had the privilege of speaking at a state homeschool convention. On Friday I led a few men's workshops and offered the book, The Christian Home and Family Worship for free, to those who would commit to reading all 90pages within thirty days of the event. Saturday morning, the very next day, one of the dads informed me he had read the entire book the previous night. Before he left for the second day of the convention, he spent some time with his eight year old daughter. He asked her if there was anything she would like to share with him so he could pray for her. She looked him in the eye and said, "Did you learn that at the conference?" The two of us looked at each other and burst into laughter. But as I pondered his words, my heart was stirred. This short and wonderful father-...
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3 Reasons NOT to Homeschool

Heidi St. John

Homeschooling is a wonderful form of education. I love it. ( Well, not always. ) But here are few reasons you might *not* want to do it: First Reason You May Not Want To Homeschool You're homeschooling out of fear. I meet parents all the time who are pulling their children out of school because they're afraid. Afraid that their kids will be influenced by the world. Afraid that their kids will walk away from their faith, afraid of any number of scenarios that they feel homeschooling can prevent. If fear is driving you, I want to encourage you to spend some time in prayer. God's Word is very clear: fear is NOT from God. "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7 "The LORD is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the st...
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Missing the Most Important Thing

Reb & Beverly Bradley

​ Good morning my friends. Last night as I was preparing a devotion that I would be presenting to a group of Home School moms, I was challenged with the topic I was given: To put into 10 minutes the priority of Self-Care. You know, in the event of an emergency while in an airplane the importance of putting on your air mask first. In the exhausting attempt to take care of so many needs around us, we might fall into the trap laid for us: to neglect taking care of ourselves by "missing the most important thing". In 2 Corinthians 2:11 we are warned to aware of Satan's schemes. I remember when our family went to Hawaii, our host told us to be sure to use sunscreen, because the environment, even though we couldn't see it, was dangerous. We couldn't just get up and start running around with our f...
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Four Reasons You Need to Change Your Parenting Style

Hal & Melanie Young

Our oldest son shook his head, sadly. "You never would have let me do that," he said, watching a younger sibling. We had to admit, he had a point. When he was that age, we were new parents, full of theories but short on experience. He was Offspring 1.0, and parenting was still something of a beta-test experience. Looking back now on more than 25 years (and eight kids) of being Mom and Dad, we realize there were several points where our parenting philosophy changed – and needed to! We changed when we realized we weren't doing it right. Eldest son wasn't old enough to remember what he did get away with, as a toddler. We were Christians from the start but we wanted to explain everything to our little guy, as if he'd say, "Oh! I get it! Of course that's what I should do!" And at a critical tim...
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Help! I Homeschool & My House is a Mess!

Kristi Clover

Some days I feel like I have to make a decision: Will we get everything done with our homeschool work today or will I actually get my house clean? There doesn't always seem to be a middle ground. It feels like it's one or the other. Balancing homeschooling and house work is very hard work. Overwhelming work. It probably shouldn't have surprised me that one of the top questions I was asked this summer at the homeschool convention I spoke at was how I kept up with my house and homeschooling. It just showed me that other homeschool moms were thinking the same thing. Honestly, I don't always get to my house work. My house definitely does not stay as clean as it did before I started homeschooling. I should give myself some grace in that I now have five kids in the mix. I started our homeschool ...
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Homeschool with No Regrets

Rhonda Stoppe

How you ask?  How can those who educate at home avoid some of these regretful mistakes: Become prideful Seek to find own personal value in their child's academic accomplishments Keep from being too controlling or micro-manage their child's efforts Appear judgmental to those who do not homeschool Shelter kids so much that they have no opportunity to learn from mistakes Homeschooling brings its own challenges for parents. You want to do your very best to educate your kids well, and yet there is a real temptation to find your own glory and satisfaction in your children's successes. I know, I have been a homeschooling mom. The Bible teaches that God created us for His glory. To glorify God means to represent HIS character to a watching world, to create in them an appetite for knowing Him....
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Confessions of a Left-brained Mom

Pamela Gates, CLS

There she was, my 8-year-old daughter, crying at the table with her phonics workbook in front of her. This was becoming an all-too-familiar scene. I thought, "What am I doing wrong?" I loved being a homeschool mom, but schooling should not be this hard! But my other kids learned this way As a mother of six, I had learned to be efficient at assigning independent learning times. My older boys (11 and 9), learned to read so easily using the regular curriculum. They breezed through the phonics games. Completing their workbook assignments was not a challenge for them. Checking off each assignment from their daily list was something that gave them a sense of completion. Oral instructions were no problem, and their spelling words were learned by using the spelling curriculum and writing each word...
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The Arts of Language

Andrew Pudewa

For many of us, the expression "Language Arts" evokes an emotional response; in some it causes excitement, but more often uncertainty, anxiety, or confusion. As with many terms, it has meanings both modern and traditional, but it is likely the newer reference to which most parents and teachers of today are oriented. On one extreme, a "complete" language arts curriculum is expected to "cover all the bases": phonics , handwriting, spelling, reading comprehension, grammar, mechanics, composition, even literature. Just the list is tiring. Doing it all seems impossible. Burnout is around the corner. At the other end of the spectrum are those who believe that reading unlocks it all; that if children just read a lot, they will naturally become good spellers and writers while also gaining a love o...
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Teaching the Reluctant Learner

Teri Spray

One day while we were attending the Christian Ministries Convention, a friend grabbed us and said, "You own a donkey, don't you? I told the director of the Easter Production to contact you. They need a donkey for the Easter program." For the next few weeks, we cringed each time the phone rang, fearing "they" would ask to use our donkey. About a month later the call came. We reluctantly agreed, though I encouraged them to keep searching, because this wasn't a donkey you could use without miraculous intervention. This donkey was a stallion, a BLM Rescue donkey who still had many of his own wild ideas! He is a gentle creature, but had been badly traumatized by trailers, since his most recent previous experience at loading involved the "business end" of a cattle prod! He was thoroughly convinc...
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Should Money Management For Kids Be Core Curriculum?

Steve & Annette Economides

by: John Doe The 2009 National Home School Research Institute proved, beyond doubt that home-schooled children excel in every measurable academic category. From a survey of more than 12,000 students the statistics revealed that on standardized tests our kids scored more than 30 percentage points higher than their public schooled peers. But how do they fare in non-academic areas? Are we instilling in our kids the life skills they'll need to survive in the fast-paced, hard-hitting, real world? Consider the area of personal finance. Whether our children become highly paid engineers or wonderful, loving home school moms, not knowing how to manage their household's income can lead to financial and emotional disaster—disagreements over finances is one of the top reasons for divorce. Here are 10 ...
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