A Girl and Her Doll

I love this picture! Our sleepy little girl and her baby! Tired little mommy!

When I was about 6 years old, I got a baby doll for Christmas. We were living in Ft. Stockton, Texas and we were in the middle of moving. The night before the big move to a new town, my family went to some friends of my parents home for dinner. I took my brand new baby doll. The next morning we were on our way out of town and I remembered my doll. I had left it at the house we were visiting the night before.

When I told my dad, he said that we didn’t have time to go get it and he would get me another one. I remember sitting in the back seat of the car and was extremely sad. I felt sorry for my doll. I missed her. But…life goes on.

I didn’t have many dolls growing up that I remember. When I was 3, I got a Susie Smart doll for Christmas. She wore a red plaid jumper and had a school desk and chalk board. A year or two later, I got a Candy Fashion doll for Christmas. She was a fashion doll and had mannequins that you could put clothes on since she was a model. I’ve always wondered what happened to those dolls. We moved quiet a bit when I was young, so no telling where they are.

This picture was recently found by my cousin. I had never seen it until recently. And look, I have a baby doll! I love this picture!

As life went on, I helped take care of my two younger brothers. I was 9 years old when my youngest brother was born. I was really too busy with a real baby to worry about baby dolls. I carried him around every where I went. I remember getting in serious trouble from my father when he was disciplining my brother and he came running to me and I hugged him as he was getting in trouble. I could tell millions of stories about my brothers and I growing up as I was a miniature mommy to them. My parents had divorced and my mother worked around the clock, so I was the babysitter and housekeeper. Back to the doll stories….

After the loss of the doll in Ft. Stockton, the only doll I remember having after that was when I was in about the 5th grade. She was called Crissy. She had short red hair and when you pushed a button on her tummy and pulled her hair….her hair grew down to her waist. I really liked her, but, I didn’t really have anyone that played dolls around. I fell into the trap that I was too old for dolls. I kept her for a long time and ended up giving her to a younger girl that I knew.

When our daughter was young, we always made sure she had baby dolls to play with and she so loved her dolls. She would even dress them up and take them to church. I always loved looking at dolls and seeing all the different ones available when shopping for her baby dolls.

Now that we have two granddaughters, we have bought several dolls for them as well. Matter of fact…recently, we took our youngest granddaughter on a birthday trip and we ended the trip with a visit to The American Girl store. I always love going in that store. It’s all I can do to not buy everything possible.

We each picked out a new doll and accessories!
It took me a while to unpack my doll, but, today was the day.

As we were picking out our granddaughters doll, I told myself….”I’m getting me a doll as well!” And I did! I picked Mary Ellen. She is from the 50’s. Each of the dolls from American Girl has a story of a certain time period. They have books and of course lot’s of accessories. Mary Ellen had all the extras such as a pearl necklace and bracelet set, a poodle skirt with oxfords, a sundress, the cutest Christmas punch bowl set and of course a juke box that really works! Yes, I fell for it all!

It felt like Christmas!
I love the way they package everything!

I’m sure my granddaughter will love playing with her when she is here. I have 4 sets of clothes and changed her once for pictures. I was too tired to change her again…so you will have to settle for just the two pictures of her change of outfits.

Isn’t she the cutest! I loved the retro punch bowl and Christmas deer set. The juke box came in today and it really works. Oh, how could I not get the little dog! I think I need a leash, though. And, look at her little gloves and pearls!
There she is, ready for the sock hop! I think that’s what they called it!

I so hope that parents are still allowing their girls to play with baby dolls. What fun it would be to have all your dolls from your childhood and pass them on to your daughters.

On my Pinterest, I have a board called, iLove Things From the Past. I have found pictures of the dolls I had as a young girl. They look just like I remember them. Except the poor baby doll that was left in Ft. Stockton. I don’t remember what kind of doll she was. I just knew that I missed her and cried for her..that’s all I remember.

Do you have memories of special baby dolls?

She’s loved American Girl dolls for a long time!

I am linking this post with A Wise Woman Builds Her Home.

Homeschool Resources and The Winners of the Giveaway!

Thank you for sticking with me as I shared a few posts on the subject of homeschooling.  I love homeschool moms and their families and I always love sharing my thoughts and ideas on this subject.

 

Today, I will share just a few homeschool resources that I think would be an encouragement to you as a mom.  There are so many resources and sites available for the homeschooling family.  I’m sure you will find exactly what you need.  I’m just sharing a tiny bit to get you started.

Also, at the end of this post you will find the names of the two winners of the amazing giveaway!

If you live in Texas, you will want to be connected with The Texas Homeschool Coalition (THSC) and receive their free monthly magazine, Review.  www.thsc.org  Be sure to spend time researching their site and see what all they have to offer and the resources they are sharing.  If you don’t live in Texas, your state may have something similar.

The Homeschool Legal Defense Association is a good idea to be a member of.  www.hslda.org will keep you updated on the laws and what is going on in our country as far as homeschooling.

I had mentioned before that I love the idea of attending homeschool book fairs.  In Texas, we have a couple that always have some great workshops and vendors:

Great Homeschool Convention

Texas Homeschool Convention

Teach Them Diligently

As far as curriculum, I could go on forever.  I would go to Christian Book Distributors and browse what all they have to offer.  I love research curriculum.  I bet you do, too!

Also, Mardel Christian Book Store is always fun to browse in the homeschool section.

Liberty University Online Academy

Aiming Higher Consultants is an organization that will assist you in all of your needs in preparing your student for graduation and getting into college.  This site is full of great information.

PureFlix.com has a homeschool library that you can access.  I love Pure Flix and I would encourage you to check it out.  We subscribe to Pure Flix for the movies and I recently learned of their homeschooling resources.  Looks wonderful!

The Well Planned Gal site if full of great resources and encouragement.  She has calendars, journals and curriculum resources s well as a magazine that you will always look forward to.

That should get you started as each site will have tons of recommendations.  I would sit down when you have time with a cup of hot cocoa and browse, take notes and then make your choices.  I would be anxious to hear what you find and what your favorites are.

I will soon have a permanent link on my sidebar that you can access homeschool resources and helps.

Enjoy your homeschool journey and always know that I have your back!  You can do this and you will do it well.  Blessings on you and your home!

Now for the winner of the Calendar Prayer Journal!  You will love it!  Amy B!

And the winner of the subscription to Family Magazine.  What a source of encouragement that will come to your mailbox for a year!   Courtney W!

I’m so excited for both of you and I know you will love your free gift from The Well Planned Gal.

Happy Schooling!

If you missed the previous posts on this subject, here are the links!

Do You Know a Homeschooling Family?

Homeschooling..First Things First

Where Do You Homeschool?

Don’t Forget To Take Care of You as You Homeschool!

Help!  My Grandchildren are Being Homeschooled!

How To Be a Great Homeschool Dad

 

How To Be A Great Homeschool Dad!

 

 

 

Homeschool Dads may have it the most difficult in the homeschooling world.  As the one who is actually homeschooling your children, you might be saying,”I don’t think so!  I work the hardest around here!”  Hopefully, no one in your family feels put upon in this season of homeschooling.  If you are, you may be putting too much on yourself.  Home education is very serious, but it doesn’t have to be torture and always feeling like you are missing out on life.  Once you decide this is for you and your family, do it with joy and know that it is a privilege and an honor to be a homeschooling family.  Life is so short and so fast, you might as well have fun and make each day the best you can possibly make it.

We also know that there are going to be bad days.  Days when nothing goes right.  We all have them.  The really awesome thing about homeschooling is, you can put your pencils down and change the day up and make it a better day.

Most dads work full time and when they come home, they are ready to relax and not think about work unless they have to.  There are some dads who have a high stress job and they may  even bring their high stress home.  That’s a disaster waiting to happen.

We were in full time ministry while we homeschooled. Many times, my husband  worked all day and then had to make visits in the evening or be at a meeting.  There was a season where he worked in a very high stress situation.  I could share more here about that, but I won’t for now.  But, trust me, when I say that I know what it’s like to be responsible for homeschooling and then do my best not to share my ups and downs as not to put more on my husband during this high stress season.

Dads play such a huge part in the homeschooling of our children.  I wanted to share some tips and ideas on how fathers can be great homeschool dad.

*Love your wife and children and don’t be afraid to show it in words and action.

*Pray with your family.  Let your children hear you pray for each one of them about their education.

*Make sure your children know that you are serious about learning and that you are there for them if they need any help in any area.

*Praise your wife in front of the children.  Let them know  that you are thankful for a wife who has decided  to home educate your children.

*Be interested in the kids lessons and activities.

*Attend as many of the children’s events and field trips as possible.

*Go with your wife to homeschool support meetings or events.

*Be an encourager.

*Let your wife express her feelings after a bad day without her fearing that you will say, “you know, if they were in public school, you wouldn’t have days like this.”  A good example might be like when you have a bad day at work and are sharing your thoughts and feelings and then your wife says, “Oh, just quit that job, it’s not worth it.”  Everyone has bad days.  We are to lift one another up.

*Find something you can do to spend time with each child personally.

*Is there a subject that you are really good at?  You will be perfect at helping your children on that subject.  I have a friend whose husband is a doctor.  He would have special classes for his children and their friends in chemistry.  This has left a lifetime of fun memories for him and his children.

*Be the principal of the school.  Be the leader that your wife needs and your children need.

*Let your children know that you are 100 percent supportive and proud of your homechooling family.

*You will have naysayers in your world that will question and even discredit the value of homeschooling.  Know why you homeschool and be proud of it.  The naysayers may need to see and hear some positive things about homeschooling and you are the perfect one to do that.

*Be proud of your home, wife and children.  If you see chaos going on, step in and help out to make it better without judgement.

*If you prayed with your wife first thing in the morning, told her you were proud of her and that you are there if she needs anything; you are an amazing homeschool dad.  That’s the easy part.  You got this!

I recently met a dad  who had several children and his wife was a homeschooling mom. Naturally, I was interested and so I asked  about her when I would see him.  Each time we would briefly talk, I detected that he was totally detached from homeschooling.  He didn’t know much about it and brushed it off as that was her deal.  He seemed almost embarrassed or wasn’t sure she was doing the right thing.  Because of his job, he worked long hours and wasn’t home much at all.  I always wondered about her and how their children were making it.  I recently learned that they are now divorced.  I hate to say that the writing was on the wall, but, I think it was. My heart breaks for the children and for the mom and dad who didn’t get on the same page and make their home and marriage a priority.

Dads (and moms) make your marriage a priority.  If your marriage and your home is not what it should be, homeschooling may be in vain.

I would like to take this moment to thank my husband for allowing me to homeschool our children.  Even when he wasn’t too sure about it.  He trusted me and had faith in me to give it my best.  He supported me and helped me in the areas that I needed help.  He was understanding when I felt like I blew the entire day and accomplished nothing.  Even when he was busy with work, he knew he could trust me and together we made it work.  Oh, it wasn’t perfect and if I could go back it would be a lot different than it was.  But, I am truly grateful for that season of our lives.  I loved every second of it.  I even loved the hard days.

One last thing.  Ask your wife what you can do for her to make your homeschooling home a better place.  And mom, you ask your husband the same question.  Now get on the same page and make memories that will all too soon pass.  You got this!

Please share in the comments below your thoughts or ideas on how dads can be great homeschool dad.

I wanted to share with you a picture of our son-in-law and his sweet family!  I love the way he loves his wife and children.  He is a huge supporter and leader in their homeschooling.  This is the guy to talk to about life as a homeschool dad.  So vey proud of this sweet family.  Their life is an adventure, that is for sure!

Don’t forget to leave a comment below.  Share your ideas of how to encourage a homeschool mom and her children.  Or just say, “I would love to win your amazing giveaway!”

Did you miss any of the previous posts?

Do You Know a Homeschooling Family?

Homeschooling..First Things First

Where Do You Homeschool?

Don’t Forget To Take Care of You as You Homeschool!

Help!  My Grandchildren are Being Homeschooled!

 

Help! My Grandchildren Are Being Homeschooled!

Thank you for joining me as I talk homeschooling for a short while.  You may not even homeschool, but, it’s possible you know of someone that does.  I hope these last few posts will only help you to understand how it works and what a mom and dad have dedicated their season of child raising to.

I hope you take advantage of the giveaway that I’m having.  The Well Planned Gal has generously offered two great gifts to give away to a couple of my readers.  The way to have a chance at winning is to simply leave a comment at the end of this post.  I can’t wait to see who wins!

The Prayer Journal is a calendar with many inspirational articles on the subject of homeschooling, plus so much more! Click here to read more about it.  I love mine and I don’t even homeschool!

The Family Magazine is a wonderful magazine that I have subscribed to for a few years now.  It is very professionally done and is packed with information for homeschool families.  Click here to read more about the magazine.

You will want to make both of these resources part of your homeschool world.  If you win and you are an encourager to a homeschool family, they will be so excited that you would give them such a great gift.  (You may be like me and just want it for yourself.)

Today, I want to talk for a few minutes on being the grandmother of homeschoolers.  How can we as grandmothers encourage our children as they homeschool?  Here is my list of ways to be a source of encouragement and acceptance of our homeschooled grandchildren.  (This can also go for  other family members and friends)

-Be vocal about your excitement in their decision to homeschool.  If you have reservations, feel free to ask questions without judgement.  You want to learn more.  More than likely the mom who is homeschooling has done her research and has prayed for a long time about this adventure and she doesn’t need judgement, she needs faith from you that she knows what she is doing.

-Be excited for the children.  Tell them how excited you are for their school year and that you will be praying for them.

-Send a bouquet of flowers on the first day of school to mom with a note wishing her a great year.

-Throughout the school year, send simple notes in the mail to the children telling them you are so proud of them and praying for them.

-On National Teacher Appreciation Day, do something special for the special homeschool moms in your life.  Recognize them in a special way. (May 8, 2018)

-Be interested in the special projects that the kids are doing.  You will find they always have special art projects they are working on.  Listen as they tell you all about it.  Encourage them to share with you what they are leaning.

-Sit down and let the kids read to you.  Reading out loud is important and what fun it is to have your grandchildren read aloud to you.  Ask them questions about what they are reading.  Be interested in what they are interested in.

-Build the homeschool family up to others.  Don’t ever pass judgement and speak in a negative way to others.

-Make the education of your grandchildren part of your daily prayer life.  Pray that they will always walk in God’s perfect will and accomplish the things that God has set for their life.

I hope that this little list gets you started in thinking of some ways to encourage the homeschool mom and family this school year.

What are some ways that you have shown your support to a homeschool mom and her kiddos?  Please share in the comments below.

I wanted to share two special ladies that I know that are grandmothers to homeschool children:

My mom was a huge supporter of my family as we homeschooled.  She was always interested in what the kids were learning and wanted to see first hand.  Many times she would sit on the couch as one of the kids read to her or showed her their latest project.  She would take them out to lunch and just be with them and let them talk, talk and talk.  I always knew my mom was praying for me and my children.

Another grandmother that is an amazing lady is my friend, Carol.  She not only homeschooled her four children with flying colors, but she is now homeschooling her two grandsons.  They began in kindergarten and now they are now in their final two years of high school.  Carol’s daughter is bedridden most days.  They have worked it out to where Carol is the homeschool teacher to her grandsons.  Isn’t that amazing?!  If you met my friend, Carol, you would never know all that she does.  She is a godly woman who quietly goes about her business and never complains about all that she is responsible for.  She is grateful that she gets to do it.  This is a lady that deserves a medal for sure!  I have a feeling she is going to have some extra shiny jewels in her crown someday!

Have you thought any about the homeschool dad?  We will talk about him next.

Don’t forget to leave a comment below.  Share your ideas of how to encourage a homeschool mom and her children.  Or just say, “I would love to win your amazing giveaway!”

Did you miss any of the previous posts?

Do You Know a Homeschooling Family?

Homeschooling..First Things First

Where Do You Homeschool?

Today’s post is being linked with A Wise Woman Builds Her Home.

Don’t Forget To Take Care of YOU as You Homeschool Your Children…

It is easy as a homeschool mom to get so busy with schooling, home care, providing meals and just the daily task of living and then to put yourself on the back burner.  Many moms even let themselves go while thinking, “What is the use, it doesn’t matter anyway, I’m too busy to care about myself.”

Today, I want to share just a few tips on ways to make sure you are taking care of you.  We’ve all heard many times that you can’t take care of others unless you are first taken care of.  You begin your day by making sure everyone has everything they need.  When you make your list of daily to do’s, I’m sure it is filled with all the things that everyone is needing from you, right?  Unless, of course, you have all this figured out.  I didn’t really have it figured out when my kiddos were young and we were in the world of homeschooling and ministry.  My life seemed to revolve around what everyone needed from me.  It took me a few years to get my thinking straight and realize that I had to have my stuff together or I wasn’t going to make a difference in anyone’s life.  Please don’t think that I would have the thought that I ever have all the answers.  What I am sharing through this homeschooling series, are things that I learned many times the hard way.  They are my experiences and all I can do is share what I know.  I don’t have a degree in child education and psychology.  I’m a mom who loved her children with all her heart and desired to have a home that was a safe haven for her family.  I love my husband dearly and was and still learning daily how to be a better wife.  Nope, I don’t have a degree in marriage relationships, but I do know that after 37 years of marriage, how to make it work.  When I married, I knew NOTHING about marriage.  We will just have to talk about that another time.  That will have to be a series in itself!

Okay, back to my tips on how to take care of YOU as you care for and homeschool your children.

*Stay in God’s Word!  Find a time daily to spend alone in prayer and in Bible reading.  I always heard that getting up at 5 a.m. was the best time for so many moms to spend time with the Lord.  How many times did I try that?  Too many to count.  I finally discovered that was not my time.  Oh, how I wish it were, but it wasn’t.  My time was mid-morning.  I did spend time in prayer in the morning as I always wanted to give thanks for each day and to give my day to Him.  I need His help and guidance in every step I take each day.  What better time than first thing in the morning.

If you have the opportunity to participate in a Bible study with a group of friends or your church group, you are blessed.  Always be growing in your Faith.  Don’t let your personal relationship with Christ falter while trying to build your children’s up.  Your faith walk will speak louder than your words.

*Keep your relationship with your husband as it should be.  If you are having issues in any area, then take care of it.  I’m such a great counselor, aren’t I.   Just fix it!  You don’t have time to have a marriage that is not where it should be.  There are many books on marriage and how to love and accept your husband.  Read them!  Your marriage will speak volumes to your children.  What good is it to keep your children at home and educate them and then have a marriage and home life that is miserable.  Your a wife first.  Your husband comes before your children.  Make sure you have a healthy, strong and godly marriage.  Build your husband up to your children.

*Love your children individually.  Take the time to spend with each one.  Build a strong relationship with each child.  Let them know they can talk to you about anything at anytime.  Be a mom before you are a teacher.  Moms are teachers in every way, but don’t think you have to be constantly teaching a lesson.  Have some downtime and fun with your kiddos!

*Practice hospitality.  Invite people into your home.  Let your children learn from you how to love other people and entertain in your home.

*Attend a good solid church with people that are interested in growing in their faith.  As a homeschooling family, you may have found out that there are actually some churches that frown on the homeschooling world.  But, there are many that love homeschoolers and treat them the same as a child that attends a public or Christian school.  Find a church that you can call home and you and your family will grow strong in your faith and service to others.

*Be organized and run your home smoothly.  If your house is a wreck and you have no order and nothing is planned for dinner, you are going to be a wreck.  In taking care of yourself, you must have order and a plan.  You will be much happier, I promise.

*Get dressed up each day.  Yes, dressed up!  That might mean different things for different people.  Me?  I have to have a shower, hair done, face done and dressed before I face the world.  I feel better about myself.  If I have an off day and I don’t do anything but brush my teeth and put on sweats, I’m going to feel like death.  Seriously.  Oh, and as soon as I do that, it will be the busiest day of the year.  My doorbell will ring with someone just in the neighborhood or an emergency will happen and I have to run out and take care of things….all while looking and feeling like death….ask me how I know this.  Just do it;  get dressed up for the day, you will be glad you did.   So will your kids. Your husband, too.  Okay, your neighbors will appreciate it as well.

While we are talking about getting dressed up each day.  You will do yourself a huge favor if you are in tune with your clothing style.  When you know your style and what looks good on you and even the best colors for you, it will change your world.  Your closet will be fun to go in and get dressed because everything in your closet is what you love, can wear and looks good on you.  You don’t have time to stare into your closet wondering if something will fit or look good on you.  Keep your close it perfect working order!

*Speaking of your husband.  When it’s getting close to time for hubby to get home, take a few minutes to spruce the house up, make sure your hair is combed.  Get the kids excited that Dad is about home.  Many times when dad walks through the door and the kids run and give him big hugs, it’s usually because a mommy got them excited that daddy was coming home.  It’s time to put the books away and have family time.

*Take care of your health.  Stay on top of health issues.  Our goal should be to be as fit and healthy as possible in order to take care of our family.  It takes lot’s of energy to keep up with kiddos and a husband, so you might as well get yourself in gear and be as healthy as possible.  One of my biggest regrets while raising my kiddos was by not losing the weight I needed to.  After our second baby was born I didn’t lose the weight like I should have and I had gained almost 60 pounds with him.  When he was 14, I decided that I couldn’t use the excuse of baby weight anymore.  I got to my goal weight and oh, my goodness it changed my world.  Oh, how I wish I could have done something like that when my kids were little.  So, now I can encourage you to get fit and healthy while your babies are little, you will be glad you did.

So much more I can say, but I’m going to end on this one:

*Know yourself.  Know who you are and why you are the way your are.  Know your strengths and weaknesses.  Do you have lot’s of baggage from your past?  It’s time to fix it.  We will always have baggage, but we can either let it destroy us or we can be stronger because of it.  Set your standards for what you will allow in your life and what you won’t.  Trust me, everything in the world will be thrown your way, so you better have an action plan before it is thrown at you.  We could go into so much right here, but we will stop for now.  I think you get the idea, right?

All that to say….take care of the things that are important to you.  Be organized and orderly.  Know your purpose in life.  Keep your marriage and family life God centered.  When you take care of all those things and then take care of yourself by loving yourself enough to be the best you can be…nothing more…nothing less…….life will be fabulous.  Okay, maybe not that fabulous, but, if I were you I would at least strive for fabulous!

You are a wife and mom before you are a teacher!  You just have the honor of educating your child and being a part of an amazing plan of helping to design their future.  What an awesome job you have.  It will be so worth it to take excellent care of yourself.  Do I dare mention that you will have another season after your children are grown, so yes, take care of yourself NOW.  Life is good and God’s got a plan for you in every season!

Don’t forget about the fantastic giveaway at the end of this series.  Each time you leave a comment, your name will go in a drawing for the following:

 

A Prayer Calendar/Journal and a year subscription to Family Magazine.  You will love these items! I’ve read this magazine for several years and the journal is new this year.  I’m loving it!

Click on these links to read previous posts on the subject of Homeschooling:

Do You Know a Homeschooling Family?

Homeschooling..First Things First

Where Do You Homeschool?

Linking up with A Wise Woman Builds Her Home.

Where Do You Home School?

I hope you are enjoying this week of my “Home Schooling Series.”  If you happened to miss the first two posts on this subject, here are the links to those articles:

Do You Know a Homeschooling Family?

Homeschooling…First Things First

With the growing trend of homeschooling and since I homeschooled both of my kiddos and now I get the joy of watching my daughter homeschool my grandchildren, it is always on my mind.  As I’ve said before, I was very hungry to learn and be encouraged as I went through the season of homeschooling, so, I’m always hoping to inspire that mom out there who might be in the same shoes that I was in.  Today, there is so much available as far as blogs and websites that have a ton of information for the homeschooling family.  I didn’t have that when my children were young.  I gleaned from mentors, books and conferences/workshops when possible.

Today I wanted to talk briefly about where you actually do your homeschooling?

I know many who homeschool at the kitchen table each day and it works perfectly fine for them.  Some may have a corner in a room with a desk or a computer center.  When my kiddos were young, we tried several different locations; kitchen, bedrooms even on the screened in back patio.  My very favorite was the several years that we had an actual school room.  This was a room that was once a dining area and my husband built a wall to divide the dining room and living room.  It had a pocket door that I could close when school was finished for the day.  I loved that room!  It had a nice window and we wallpapered the room with the cutest green check and the border had books on it.  I decorated country style back then so it blended perfectly with the rest of the house.  We had a bulletin board that I loved decorating and a marker board.  Along with the bookcase the kids had a desk and a long table for projects.

This school room was where the kids did their school work and we were able to leave everything out and not have to pack it all up at the end of the day.  I could just close the door if it was too messy with projects.  It was important to me that my home didn’t look like a large school room.  I wanted it confined to one area.  I was determined that life wasn’t always school for us. Learning takes place 24/7, but the actual school time was different than family time.  I wanted a designated time for schooling.  Yes, there were many times the kids would take their work or projects to another part of the house to work on, but we always knew the school room was where everything was located.

Everyone has their own style of schooling and it’s always fun to hear what everyone else does.  For me, I’m a huge encourager of a designated schoolroom or space…a place that you know is the spot that you “do school.”  As a teacher you need to keep up with your records, lesson plans and teacher manuals.  It’s always nice to know that you can always find everything in one place and not scattered throughout the house.  When your children have projects, they love to see them displayed.  Your schoolroom/space is the perfect place to display their creations.  When you have guests they can always tour your room and see some of the awesome things your children are working on.  Be proud of their hard work and display it when you can.

I would love to hear where you do your schooling and what it looks like.  Share a picture if you can. It’s always fun to see what everyone is doing with their space.

Don’t forget about the fabulous giveaway of the Prayer Journal and a year subscription to Family Magazine.  Trust me, you will love this giveaway.   I will draw one name for the journal and another name for the magazine subscription.  If you don’t homeschool but know someone who does, it will make a great gift to that homeschool mom that you are supporting and praying for.  I would even say that if you don’t homeschool, these two resources would still be great for you and your family.

 

I love your comments and your emails.  I’m always excited when I see your name pop up.

Homeschooling….First Things, First!

Thinking about homeschooling?  Maybe, you are just curious and wonder what in the world would one need to think about before they get started on this homeschooling lifestyle.

I made a list of a few things that I think are important to have set in place before you dive in to the world of homeschooling.

* I honestly feel that the Lord put a desire in my heart to educate my children.  I wouldn’t have done it had I not felt that nudge.   I have always felt that you should feel the call to homeschool.  How would you feel that call?   *It is always on your mind and you can’t shake it, you can’t imagine sending your child to a public or private school, you have total peace about it and you have the blessing of your husband to go for it.

*You love being around your children.  That sounds crazy doesn’t it?  There are actually people that will tell you they couldn’t stand to be with their kids all day.  That always puzzled me.  Trust me,  I understand that we all need a break every now and then and need to have some  “me time.” But, to actually not enjoy your children at all times is hard for me to understand.  So enjoying your children and love having them around is very important.

*You love your home.  You really need to enjoy making a home by seeing that it is organized, orderly, safe, comfortable and a place that your family loves being in. You run your home like a well oiled machine.  If staying home and being at home most of the time drives you crazy, homeschooling may not be the thing for you.  There are moms/wives who just can’t stay home; they get bored or they don’t feel like they have any worth by being at home.  I would say that loving to stay home and taking care of your home would be one of the things at the top of the list.

*Your marriage is intact.  By intact, I mean you and your husband are on the same page and you don’t have severe marital issues.  I’ve always thought, what is the point in homeschooling your children if your marriage is out of sorts.  Loving and honoring your husband/wife comes before your children.  A secure mom and dad is the best education you can give your children; way before reading, writing and arithmetic!  I once heard a marriage counselor say, “If you and your husband are having marriage problems, it is imperative to get it worked out and have a marriage as God designed and if it means putting your children in public school to do that, then that is what you must do.”  I have seen what I thought was a strong homeschooling family and then be shocked when the news was that the parents were divorcing.  How sad that must be for those children.  Make sure that you and your husband keep your marriage strong and take care of any problems before they get pushed to the back burner.

*You have done your research.  Do you admire someone that home schools?  Then call them and glean as much wisdom from them that you can.  Study learning styles and curriculum choices.  I would encourage you to go to a Homeschool Conference and you will be amazed at what all is available, not to mention the workshops on so many much needed topics.  (*I will be sharing resources and conference information this week.)

*Know your child.  I mean really know them…study them.  Know their personality trait and their learning style.  What is it that they are the most interested in?  To me, that is the best part of homeschooling, designing their education plan around who they are.   Know their strong points and their weaknesses.  As a mom/teacher you want your child to excel in every area.

*Put in writing why you are homeschooling.  I’m a big believer in mission statements.  You need to have a reminder of why you are doing what you are doing and what you are willing to do to succeed.  As I have written just the little bit I have about what you need to have set before you begin to homeschool, I have realized once again, that homeschooling is not for the faint of heart, you must be sure of yourself and committed to educating your children.  You will have things pop up here and there that will make you question what you are doing and you will have others question you as well.  When you have that mission statement or purpose statement written out and maybe even posted where you can read it regularly, it will be a reminder of why you are doing what you are doing.  Many times you will be your own cheerleader, you don’t have time to second guess yourself and question yourself.  You can’t depend on others to always be affirming you in what you are doing. If you wait for that, you might be waiting a long time.

So much more I could share, but I will stop there.  I think that is a good starter for if you are thinking about homeschooling.  Maybe your have been homeschooling for a while and this is a good reminder to take care of some things that need taking care of before you continue on.  You are doing so much more than just teaching your child how to read.  You are shaping them to be a light in this world and to make a difference in whatever path they choose.  You have a big job and it isn’t to be taken lightly.  You are molding, shaping and showing your child how to follow the path that has been set and ordered for them.  Great and mighty things will be done because of your tenacity and your willingness to spend your child’s educating years focused on building them to be all they can be.

It could be that you don’t homeschool but you know someone that does.  This is your chance to understand just a little bit in just how serious it is and how important it is to lift that mom and dad up in prayer and with encouraging words.  Don’t forget the kiddos.  They need affirmation as well.  Ask them about their homeschooling and speak words of kindness and challenge them to study hard and learn all they can.

 

Don’t forget about the amazing giveaway at the end of this series.  For each comment that you leave, your name will go in a drawing to win a subscription to one of my favorite homeschooling magazines and a prayer calendar/journal.

 


If you missed the previous posts in this series, click on each title.

Do You Know a Homeschooling Family?

 

Do You Know A Homeschooling Family?

Chances are you know a homeschooling family personally or you know of one in your community.  I’m not sure what your opinion is, but there is an array of opinions going on about homeschoolers.

I homeschooled my two children in the 90’s when homeschooling wasn’t that cool.  There were many homeschooling families, but it was pretty much undercover.  We were very careful and many were fearful of being “turned in” by those that didn’t understand the concept.

Today, you see homeschooling children everywhere and are happily and freely blended into the community.

In 1999, it was reported that about 850,000 children were being homeschooled.  This number isn’t that accurate as a few states didn’t report due to it being illegal to homeschool in their particular state. In 2003 it was reported that there were 1.1 million students being homeschooled.  I just read a report that in 2016, 2.3 million children were being homeschooled and it is expected to rise even more over the next few years.

I’m excited to spend this week sharing ways to encourage the homeschool family that you know in your world, to stay strong and that you have their back.  If you don’t quiet understand or even agree with homeschooling, maybe this week you will look at it a little differently and realize that homeschooling families are just like you, they just decided to take the education of their children into their own hands instead of sending their children to the local school house.

Homeschooling is a commitment.  This commitment could be for a short season or for the entire twelve years.  Whatever the time frame is, it is hard work.  Homeschooling looks different in different families.  Not everyone does it the same.  When I began, there were so many different methods and styles of teaching.  I may have tried all of them.  I loved reading about families and how they educated their children.  When I would read a style that I thought would work with our family, I would try it.  Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.  We will talk about those methods this week.

Supporting and encouraging homeschool moms is one of my favorite things to do.  I look back on my 15 years of homeschooling and oh, how I would have loved to have had all the encouragement possible.  Just someone to say, “I’m praying for you, you are doing such a good job!”  My biggest encouragers were my husband and my mom.  I had a couple of friends who were my mentors and I knew I could talk to them about anything; even the words, “What am I doing?  I can’t do this!”  They would pick me back up and remind me why I was homeschooling and that yes, I could do it.  I had a few strikes against me as I have always had people in my life that their mission was to discourage me.  I would usually get their disapproval by their comments or their looks and even their questioning of my children.  But, alas, my children graduated from home education and both of them are doing extremely well and I might add…..they are extremely smart!  Not because of me, but because of their love of learning.  If anything that I would be thankful for…. and that would be that maybe I instilled in them to love learning.  I did my best to provide a safe and fun place to learn.  I loved those years and oh, how I wish I could go back with what I know now.  Instead, I will spend the rest of my life sharing what I learned and what I would do now if I were a homeschooling mom again.

My children survived homeschooling and are beautiful examples of our season of learning at home.

I’m very excited to share that at the end of the week, there will be a giveaway.  If you are a homeschooling mom, you will love this!  If you don’t homeschool, you may know someone that does and if you win, you can give it to them and you will be a huge blessing to that homeschool mom.  The Well Planned Gal will give a Well Planned Prayer Journal and a years subscription to the magazine, Family.  I have followed and subscribed to this magazine for years and love everything about it.  Click here to visit the site and you can see the other things that are offered.  I have a feeling that you will love everything the Well Planned Gal has to offer.


 

To be included in the drawing for this amazing giveaway, just leave a comment and share your thoughts on homeschooling or what you hope to learn this week on this subject!

What Is Shyness and How Do I Overcome It?

I was going to start out by saying, “I’m not an expert on shyness, so I did some research on the subject and this is what I found.”  Well, the fact is, I feel like I am an expert on shyness as I was very shy as a child.  So, I thought I would combine a little bit of what I read about shyness and then how I’ve dealt with my shyness.

First of all, if you missed my last two posts on my memories of just how shy I was, you can read them here.  Just click on the titles and it will take you to each post.

The Life of a Shy Girl Who Graduated 40 Years Ago

How It Is In Speech Class As a Shy Girl

With the big 40 year high school reunion coming up, my mind has been flooded with memories of school.  So, as usual, I had to write about it.

What Does Shy Mean? (Dictionary)

1.bashful; retiring.
2.easily frightened away; timid.
3.suspicious; distrustful:

4.reluctant; wary.

Statistics: (Research from the site No More Shyness)
  • 64% of shy individuals view their shyness as a result of external factors beyond their control, such as early family experiences, over protective parents or peer victimization.
  • 24% attribute shyness to internal factors within their control, such as intrapersonal difficulties, like low self-esteem and high self-consciousness, or interpersonal difficulties, like poor social skills and dating difficulties.
  • 62% experience feelings of shyness daily.
  • 82% report shyness as an undesirable experience.

Causes of Shyness: (research from the site 2knowmyself.com)

The Good and The Bad of Shyness: (research from Parenting and Child Health)

The good

  • Shy children often do well at school because they concentrate on their school work.
  • Shy children are not as likely to get into trouble for misbehaving.
  • Shy children are often liked by adults because they are easy to care for.
  • Shy children are often liked by children because they are not aggressive.
  • Shy children are often good listeners.

The hard

  • Shy children may be unhappy and lonely.
  • They do not get practice in learning to get on with others.
  • They are often overlooked by teachers and other adults.
  • Shyness can cause stress which leads to physical problems such as tummy aches and headaches.
  • Shy children may miss out on lots of opportunities.

By the way, if you have a shy child or work with a shy child you might want to check out more on this site.  Parenting and Child Health

That was the site with the most information that seemed the most helpful.

Now to the girl who lived it and fought to overcome it.  What are her thoughts?

My mother was extremely shy and timid as a child.  She has shared her stories with me of things she went through by being shy and….I thought I was bad, you should hear her stories!  Oh my!  She was one of seven children and just one of the bunch.  If you knew her today, you would never believe she was ever that shy.  She is the most friendly and welcoming person you would ever meet.  She loves people and she loves helping people.  She had to be strong when she became a single mom of three.  She didn’t have time to be shy anymore.

I’m thinking with my mom being on the shy side and with my home life being a bit unstable with moving many times to new towns and not having the security of a dad, it just happened.  Very scientific isn’t it?

I did not like any attention to myself.  I don’t ever remember feeling pretty.  Matter of fact I thought I was fat and ugly.  Words meant a lot to me.  It’s funny when someone said something nice or complimentary, I didn’t believe them.  But, if they said something ugly or mean, I believed them. To this day I can still remember things that kids or adults said to me that formed my self image.  I guess that is what you call the tapes being played out in your mind.

As a teen, I had several good friends and one in particular liked to make me feel vey inadequate at everything I said or did.  She regularly told me that I was like a bump on a log.  If we were in a group of friends and my face turned red, she would point it out and tell everyone to look at my face to see how red it was.  Oh my, that was killer.  Anytime, attention was brought to me, I would shut down.  I could have been having fun and talking and if someone said, “Why are you so quiet….why does your face get so red……what are you thinking about,” and I would just shut down and be content not to say one more word unless necessary.   The ultimate would be when I was talking someone would invariably say, “Stop, everyone!  Beverly is talking!”

In school when you had to answer “here” as the teacher called your name, I so dreaded it.  The teacher would say, “Beverly Fisher” and I would simply say “here.”  Then through out the class room you could hear someone mimicking the way I said here.  Oh, how I loved it when we were only required to raise our hands, which wasn’t too often.

If you are a teacher of a shy child:

Don’t single them out in front of their peers.  Realize that teasing, making fun of and belittling them only makes it worse.  If you truly care about children, take the time to get to know the shy child.  Encourage, speak positive and good words into them.  They may be told over and over again, but keep on.  They may not be getting any type of encouragement or praise from anyone but you.

If you are a friend of a shy person:

Accept them just as they are.  When in groups of people, don’t ever make fun of them.  Build them up.  Help your friend to excel at what he or she is good at and speak works of kindness to them.  If you have a home that is filled with love and acceptance, include your shy friend in when you can to join in on family activities.

If you are a parent of a shy child:

Lot’s of love and acceptance.  Do your homework on what shyness is.  Go to the site that I shared, Parenting and Child Health and read as much as you can about shyness.  Do whatever you can to give your child the tools he/she needs to excel.  Talk to them.  They are usually quiet and easy to overlook.  Make your children regardless if they are shy or not, your project.  Grow them into successful and responsible adults.  Don’t ever make fun of your own child.  Don’t ever speak negatively about your child to others.  Your child needs to have total trust in you.  They should be able to talk to you about anything and not be made to feel bad.  Even if they are telling you someone mistreated them.  Take it seriously, they need to talk.

If you meet someone who you discover is shy:

Treat them just like you would someone who isn’t shy.  Don’t point out that they are shy.  Don’t tell everyone, “This is Beverly, she is shy, but she has a lot to say if you let her.”  I could tell you stories. If you notice they are sitting alone, just include them like you would anyone else.  Don’t ever let someone sit alone unless of course, they really want to.  I know for me, I am very sensitive to seeing someone sitting alone, I always introduce myself and do my best to include someone with whatever I’m doing. Not out of pity.  I do it out of caring for people, shy or non shy.  People are people.  Rich, poor, black, white, brown, whatever.  Everyone wants to feel like they matter.

How did Beverly overcome her shyness:

I don’t think she really did.  She still has her moments.  She is sensitive to others and she knows her purpose in life.  When she gets her eyes off herself and all of her insecurities she can soar.  She knows that her Heavenly Daddy is right with her in every step she takes and He gives her the confidence she needs for the many tasks that have been set before her.  Who really has time for shyness when you realize your purpose.  You don’t have time to miss an opportunity to encourage or help someone by being consumed with yourself.  So much can be said on this topic of overcoming shyness, I’ll have to save that for another day.  If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or even leave a comment.

The hardest part of being shy for Beverly:

Being so sensitive that words can hurt so deeply.  The actions of others are so hard to understand when you try so hard to make others feel accepted and loved.  Seeing how cruel others can be with their words and actions.  Also, shy children can also be an easy target for those that want to harm children.

The best part of being shy for Beverly:

I can honestly say that I probably stayed out of some trouble simply because I was too fearful to walk the way some walked and tried to take me with them.  I’m thankful for that.  Being quiet gives you time to listen to others and to watch others.  You can become very discerning and wisdom comes with discernment.  For that I am very thankful.  Being discerning has many advantages.

Well, that sums up my thoughts on shyness.  I hope it truly helps you to understand those that are shy.  It might come in handy as I just read that 40 to 45% of adults say they are shy.

 

 

 

 

The Life of a Shy Girl Who Graduated 40 Years Ago

I remember hearing years ago of someone going to their 40th high school reunion.  I thought, “Woah, that is a long time ago and I wonder how school was back then.”  Well, guess what, my 40th year reunion is coming up this weekend.  Don’t ask me how that happened…I have no idea.  Just innocently going about my business and one day you get this invitation that says the unbelievable, “40th.”  Just doesn’t seem right.

Needless to say many times these past few weeks, memories have flooded back into my mind of my life in school.  I can honestly say that I can remember ever year of school and every teacher I ever had.  But maybe not in a positive happy way as so many can say about their school life.  School life for me was very traumatic.  The life of a shy girl is hard.  I’m not talking about shyness as in being on the quiet side, I’m talking, shyness as in wishing I could disappear and why am I even here.  If there was any focus on me for any reason, I thought I was going to die.  My face would turn so red that I actually thought I was on fire.  My chest would break out in hives if I was put on the spot to say my name or much less talk in a complete sentence.  You would think I was attacked by killer bees by the way my chest and neck would look.

My first day of first grade is vivid in my memory.  Oh, how I loved the classroom.  The bright colors and the posters on the wall and the smell of crayons and pencils.  I had my brand new red plaid satchel and Big Chief tablet ready to go.  What I wasn’t ready for was the stomach aches every morning as I got ready for school.  Many times I was sent home because I was throwing up.  The school nurse would take me home with a can in my lap to throw up in. I had no idea at the time why I was always so sick.  It was called shyness.  This is the year that I found out what “show and tell” was.  If you are extremely shy, “Show and Tell” day is the day from the pits of you know where.  I still have the note that my teacher sent home to my parents.  It said “Beverly is very quiet, she points at things she wants and won’t talk.  During Show and Tell she just holds up her item that she is showing and won’t talk about it.  Please send her on errands and teach her how to communicate.”   Not a good start and I had 11 more years to go.

A couple of  months into my second grade year, we moved to another town.  For a shy girl to have to move to a new place and then walk into a classroom mid year is heart wrenching.  Not once, but twice we moved and I had to enroll in a new school.  I’m thinking that is why today, I love fresh beginnings.  I love new things and I really did like meeting new people.  But, the second any attention was brought to me, I would shut down.  I could be talking away to friends and if someone mentioned how quiet I was or how soft my voice was, I stopped.  The second I became aware that someone was watching me or taking note of anything about me, I wanted to hide and not talk at all.

My third grade year wasn’t getting any better.  Once again, we were moving to a new town.  The school I was in was huge to me.  I had a different teacher for every subject.  For each class, I had to get my teacher to sign my records that I was going to have to take to my new school.  One particular class I took my little piece of paper up to the teacher and asked her if she would sign it.  Only the Lord knows how I got that across to her.  As I was walking back to my desk and it was so very quiet you could hear a pin drop, the teacher yelled out, “Well, Beverly Fisher, I hope wherever you are going, you learn how to talk!”  Oh my goodness… I sat down at my desk and tears welled up in my eyes, I was so embarrassed as I felt every kid in the class watched me until the bell rang.  I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.  I was ready to move, I wanted to go somewhere else and hide. I thought, I will start over and learn to not be so afraid to talk.

Life goes on.  Life happens, parents divorce, unstableness, insecurity, hating school, being bullied, wanting to learn but, so much going on in my head I couldn’t concentrate.   As a child you just take one day at a time and deal with whatever is handed to you.   I was a perfect target for being bullied.  I didn’t take up for myself or care to.  Jr. High was a nightmare.  That was the year I actually got into a fight.  I got the pulp beat out of me and the only reason was because a girl got upset because her boyfriend talked to me in the library.  I had written a note to a friend (notes were big in those days) and called the girl a “queer”  who then told her what I said.  Ah, nothing like a friend, right?  Granted, I didn’t have a clue what that word meant.  It was the big word in those days, everyone used that word. Regardless what  I thought it meant, it was obviously a fighting word and I was going to pay for it.  Whatever was done or said that day, all I know it was the worst day of my life.

Should I mention that I rode a bus to and from school?  I had to ride a bus with the high schoolers.  By the time I got on the bus they had all the seats.  In those days if you didn’t have a seat, you stood in the aisle.  Yes, I rode across town on a bus standing in the aisle with a load of books.  No backpacks back then, those weren’t cool yet.  Many times I would ask if I could sit in a seat that had only one person in it and they would say no and put there leg on the seat so I couldn’t sit down.  It wasn’t just me, they did many people that way.  I had gum thrown in my hair by the high school girls. I could write a book on my bus riding days, but I’ll save that for another day.  I can pass a bus to this day and I get a sickness in my stomach.

My ninth grade year was the year that I became a believer in Jesus Christ. (You can read my story by clicking here.)   I began to learn that I was somebody special to my Savior.  He created me for a purpose and I had a strong desire to live my life totally for Him.  I loved church and I loved my new friends and my church family.  Oh wait, I was still shy!  Yes, it was still hard for me, but it was different as I had people around me that seemed to love me for who I was.  Of course, there were always people teasing me for not talking, not talking loud enough, my face turning red and on and on.  Many times I would go home from a church youth activity and cry myself to sleep because I was so embarrassed by things that were said to me.  I never gave up though.  I strived to get better and learn to talk and not be so shy.

In eleventh grade I signed up for a speech class.  I know….a moment of insanity.  At that time, I had wanted to fulfill my life long dream of being an airline stewardess/fashion designer and somewhere I read that you needed two things, to know a foreign language and how to speak well.  Well, I had visioned myself flying to Paris as a stewardess or a fashion designer,  so french was the language for me.  Hello, for a girl who struggled with focusing and taking the time to really study, french might not be the language to take.  That was a bust.  I knew a few words but I sure couldn’t carry on a conversation in french as my  teacher did as she led the class in french.  After a couple of weeks in my speech class, my good friend who joined with me got out of it.  She didn’t want to give a speech every Tuesday morning.  I didn’t either, but I didn’t know  we could change our mind.  So, the next day I went to my counselor and told her I wanted to get out of my speech class.  She looked at me and said, “No, you can’t, you waited too long, the deadline was over yesterday to switch classes.”   Tomorrow I will share “Life in Speech Class for a Shy Girl.”  Many lessons were learned in the longest 8 weeks of my life as a shy girl who signed up for only the Lord knows why,  speech class.

Ahhhh, at last graduation!  Oh wait.  My english teacher called me up to her desk the week of graduation and told me I didn’t have enough credits to graduate.  Somehow I had failed to turn in a couple of book reports.  How did that happen?  Don’t ask me!  It’s all a blur.  All I know is that I worked really hard at reading a couple of books that I had no interest in whatsoever and wrote a book report.  I never heard another word from my English teacher on wether I got my credits and I would graduate.  The day came for graduation rehearsal.  We met at the stadium and sat in our assigned seats.  They began calling each person to come up and walk across the stage.  As my row stood and went to the platform in the middle of the stadium I didn’t know if my name was going to be called or not.  I had the horrible sick feeling in my stomach that my name wasn’t on the list.  As I stepped up on the platform, they called my name and handed me a little card that was a replica of my diploma that we would receive on graduation night.  I double checked and there was my name.  I was in!  Oh wait….I then had the thought that maybe they messed up and it was already printed and they hadn’t told me yet that I wouldn’t graduate.  Well, graduation night came and not only was I nervous about walking up to the stage but I was double nervous that there was a mix up and my diploma wasn’t there.  Well, it was there and oh, my goodness, the sickness went away the second the announcer called my name.   I now look back and wonder why I was put through that torture and why didn’t the teacher talk to me….why didn’t I have the sense to go to her and understand exactly what it was she wanted from me and what I did to deserve that torture.   What did it all matter, I just felt like a million pounds had been lifted off of my shoulders.  Now to go set the world on fire as they say.  Not really set the world on fire, but go and do something really exciting and life changing.

Now what’s the shy girl going to do……

Life only got better.  Well, lot’s of bumps and bruises along the way but I had a Heavenly Father that walked through every second of life with me and He’s still with me nudging me as I write and as I share things on this blog that I only hope would encourage and inspire others to be better people, to think about others and most importantly to share the amazing love of my Savior, Jesus Christ!

I’ve learned so many lessons…..many good….many very good and many not so good.  I try to use each of my stories of life and what I’ve learned to show that my God is a good God and He loves you just as much as He loves me and He can get you through anything….even through 12 years of school where I learned how to make it and keep on keepin’ on regardless what was thrown at me. Even if you are the most shy person on earth…..you can make it!  Actually, my shyness kept me out of a lot of trouble and away from some things that I watched others be hurt by.  That’s all for another day, too.

So, I’ll leave you with this:

If you know of a shy person, especially a child, give them the biggest hug you can give and look at them in the eyes and tell them they are special to you and special to God.  They can do great and mighty things and that you will help them be the best they can be.  Then you pray daily for that person to be secure and strong in who they are.  Don’t be shy, you can do it!

Until next time,

 

*This post is linked with A Wise Woman Builds Her Home.