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!

Always Room for A Children’s Book!

The earliest I remember of being interested in reading, was when I was in first grade.  I loved going to reading time and putting my little wooden chair in the reading circle.  There would be several groups and each group was labeled a different color to coordinate with the reader and your reading level.   The books that I learned to read from were the famous Dick and Jane books.  I LOVED looking at the pictures more than anything.  I would study how they dressed and all the fun they were having.  Cooking, working in the yard, driving to the grocery and getting ready for bedtime are the ones that stand out in my mind the most. I would dream that those pictures were of me and my family.

This book was given to me by a dear friend who knew that I had fond memories of my readers in 1st grade.  She had a collection of these and surprised me with one.

In my later elementary years, Library Day was my favorite day.  I loved going through all the books and studying the titles and then choosing my books.  The first thing I always wanted to know was what the limit of books to check out were.

I’ll always remember that time of year when we would get a catalog of books that we could actually order from and have as our very own.  I would go through and mark all the books I wanted.  It always ended up that I could only order one book, if any.  Money was extremely tight at our house.  My first book that I ordered was a reader about Abraham Lincoln.  I can still see the cover of that book in my mind.

I had the honor to homeschool our children and books were a huge part of our schooling.  Our son and daughter loved to read and were always reading something interesting.  They both were excellent readers and they both love reading today, as adults.

While my husband served in full-time ministry, money for books was a huge luxury.  I would go to bookstores with him and drool over all the books I wished that I could purchase and read.  But, we were only able to get him the needed books that he had to have.  Commentaries, study books, Bibles, etc. were very expensive for our little family that was in the throws of ministry life.  I always said that if we were ever in a position of having a staff while serving as pastor, I would request that the wife of the staff member would get a book allowance for sure, alongside her husband. *If you are reading this and you are in a position at your church to make a decision such as that, I would highly recommend it.

All that brings me to my main reason for writing today.  Children’s Books!!!!  I love books for kids.  I began collecting them many years ago.  I’ve given many away and of course, we encourage our grandkiddos to read them.  My favorite thing to listen to is, my Jim reading a book to one of the little ones before bedtime.

We had many Little Golden Books when my kids were young and they were always a part of bedtime stories.  But, I think their favorite was when Jim made up stories instead of reading.

Today, I visited a bookstore looking for a certain decorating magazine.  I found myself in the children’s section and of course bought four books for the “kids.”  I always have to read them first and they are just as exciting to me as when I was little.

This is my “book haul” from today, as they say…..

I hope children’s books are a big part of your life and that your children and grandchildren will fall in love with reading because you made it easy for them to have access to books.

I am picky about the books I choose.  They must always have a good message.  There is enough negativity in the world that will find its way into your child’s mind. The books we choose for them should always be full of knowledge and good things!

My sweet elderly friend and mentor, Iris, wrote a little story that would be perfect for a board book.  I’m doing my best to help her with it.  Pray that it will work out.  I’ve always thought about the idea of writing a children’s book.  Maybe this will let me know if it is for me or not.

What are some of your favorite books that you remember as a child?

Our cutie pie grandkiddos are in the middle of a reading challenge for the summer.  I’m speechless when they tell me how many books they have already read.  Isn’t that fun!  I’m so proud of them!

I love the program that Dolly Parton has concerning children’s books.  Read about it here.  When I was a child, I would have LOVED to be on the receiving end of this amazing gift.

Happy reading!

Homeschool Mom Get Away!

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Are you a homeschool mom?  Are you curious about homeschooling?  The Homeschool Winter Summit just might be what you are needing right now.  It’s always refreshing to get away every now and then and refocus on your calling as a homeschool mom.

I attended as a mentor a couple of years ago and served in the prayer room and what a blessing I received in visiting with and watching the many moms who came for a weekend of learning, encouragement and making new friends.

Central Summit will be in Norman, Oklahoma on January 20-21, 2017

Southern Summit will be in San Marcos, Texas on February 3-4, 2017

Go to the link here and read all about it.  If you can’t go this year, make plans to attend next year!  You won’t regret it!

Happy Homeschooling!

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A Heart For Homeschool Moms

1The bell has rung and school has started!

For some, you are waiting until the day after Labor Day. When I was a homeschool mom, we would begin our studies the day after Labor Day.

For the month of September, I will be posting on the subject of homeschooling.  Whether you are a seasoned homeschooler, just beginning, just curious or you would like to be an encourager to a homeschool family, this is the place for you.

First of all, congratulations, Mom and Dad for deciding to take on such an endeavor to educate your own children.  You are in for a treat in the way of being with and enjoying your children each and every day all the while training and educating them for their future.

If you are like I was, you are a bit scared.  When our Patti was just a toddler, I made a comment that I would love to homeschool her.  I didn’t know anyone who was homeschooling, I had just read an article about it in a magazine.  I didn’t have the first clue of how to go about it.  As time went on and Patti began Kindergarten at a school nearby our house, I volunteered for everything possible.  I helped the teacher with anything she needed.  That same year, a friend from years ago introduced me to her homeschooling lifestyle.  I loved it!  She became my mentor in anything homeschooling.  So for Patti’s first grade year, I began.  I think I might have failed to mention that we didn’t have any extra money for anything out of the normal living expenses.  I could write an entire book on homeschooling with zero money. I think they call that “homeschooling on a budget.”  Well, our finances were so tight, we didn’t even have a budget.

That first year, we used the Alpha Omega Curriculum.  It seemed the easiest to follow for me since this homeschooling way of life was so new to me.  I loved every second of it.  I had my daughter at home with me and our little boy, Nathan was 3 at the time and I wouldn’t have traded it for anything in the world.

Things were humming along and one day right after lunch, our door bell rang.  When I answered the door, a man introduced himself as the Truant Officer and he was there to find out where my daughter was.  I explained that we were homeschooling that year and all was well.  He then told me to fill out papers for the school administrative offices and to call the superintendent of schools.  I made the call and as I explained what we were doing, the man on the other end of the phone said, “Mrs. Dillow, in the end, we will decide what is best for Patti.”  Fear hit in the pit of my stomach to hear someone tell me that they would decide what was best for my child.  Fortunately, at the direction of my friend/mentor, we joined the Home School Legal Defense Association.  Their advice was to not sign any papers and if we heard from them again, they would take over the situation.  Fortunately, I never heard back from anyone.  Many years later, both of our children graduated from our homeschool program with flying colors.

All that to say, I learned so much during all those years.  I hope to share with you things that will help you, encourage, to stay strong and enjoy your years of homeschooling.

During the month of September, I will cover these topics and more:

Mission Statements and Goal Notebooks

Homeschool Mom Image

One Home Schoolhouse

The “S” Word

Where Can You Find Encouragement

Home Sweet Home

My Favorite Homeschool Things

We will even have some profiles of Homeschool Moms that have made it through.  I love success stories, so we will have a few of those for sure.

Plus, many more topics that will hopefully encourage you and for those curious, will help you understand the homeschool way of life.

See you soon!