What We’re Up To:

I promised last week that I’d share what we’ve been up to academically. There’s nothing really exciting to report or show…11th and 8th grade just aren’t as much fun as those younger grades are. Anyway, here you go 🙂 :

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Brendan:

-Working his way steadily through American History and Literature with My Father’s World (Bible elective, history, and language arts)

-Currently studying government using Under God and various other resources

-Taking Spanish 3 and Chemistry at Arete

-Took his first SAT back in January (and did pretty good!!!)

-Getting ready to take his first dual enrollment class (Psychology 101) with Liberty University’s Edge program

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Ryan:

– Finishing our study of Japan this week using Exploring Countries and Cultures with My Father’s World (Russia is next)

-Only has two modules left before he is finished with General Science

-Writing his first research paper using Essentials in Writing

-Is almost finished with Pre-Algebra and getting ready to start Algebra with Teaching Textbooks

-Still taking private guitar lessons and playing in the worship band weekly at church

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STAY TUNED for a BIG announcement over the next few days!!!

Hint, Hint:

HEAV 2017

Dodgeball!!!

Since it can be hard to get outside and get exercise during these cold winter months, we got together with some friends a few weeks ago to burn some steam off at the gym.  The kids had a blast shooting hoops, playing on scooters, and competing in dodgeball.

Our “pro dodgeball” player (AKA our church’s Children and Recreation Associate) came down to help the moms PUMMEL the kids with balls 🙂 ! SOOOO much FUN!!! It’s a yearly tradition and I’m so glad that he’s such a good sport…the kids LOVE when he plays with us!

Both kids are still plugging along with their schoolwork. It’s been a long time since I’ve shared what we’re actually studying, so I’ll try to post an update in the next few days with what we’re doing academically.

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Don’t forget to register for the 2017 HEAV Convention!

HEAV 2017

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ryan and I had fun helping with our church’s homeschool Valentine’s Day celebration last week.  This is an annual event that we hold so that the kids have the opportunity to exchange Valentines with their friends and help others by working on a service project.  Ryan was a good sport and did a great job with his buddy Noah, running an activity table.  

Although I miss the days when my boys were little and still liked to participate in these types of parties, I am so thankful that they can still be involved and help others!

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Beating the Winter “Blahs”

Ok mamas, today it’s your turn for some encouragement 🙂 !

Here’s a devotion that I wrote to to share with my church’s homeschool support group a few weeks ago – I hope that it speaks to your heart:

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The winter months of homeschooling are tough. They can be lonely, long, and sometimes even depressing.  By now, the newness of your curriculum has worn off, the days are cold and dark, your kids are less enthusiastic about their schoolwork (and so are you), there’s no big break in sight until Easter (which is months away), and you are just plain tired!

These dreary winter months are when I often start second guessing myself.  The “big” plans and ambitions that I had in the fall may not have not come to pass.  I realize that half of the school year is over and I feel like we should have accomplished more. 

I begin to have doubts. Maybe I should have tried that other curriculum. Maybe I need to add another resource to be sure that they are mastering a particular subject.  Should my kids be farther ahead by now? Are they learning everything that they’ll need to succeed in life?

What if I’m not doing any of this right???

I compare what other homeschoolers are doing and feel like I’m not doing enough or that my kids aren’t as smart as theirs are…

Well, just as my thoughts seem to go to dark places in the winter, the world around us is also dark and dreary.  The cold wind blows through the trees’ bare and colorless branches. The grass is brown and gray. Even the sky seems gloomy most days.  But what we tend to forget is that underneath it all, deep down beneath the freezing soil, new life is forming.  Some roots are growing deeper and stronger, while others are resting in a dormant state as they prepare for the upcoming season.  New sprouts are making their way out of seeds trying to break though the cold, hard ground.  Things are happening all around us, even when we don’t see the changes!  Winter will finally end as warmer temperatures welcome springtime. Summer follows predictably as the days turn hotter and hotter.  The leaves begin to change without fail every October and we can always count on the order of God’s creation.

Just as the sure as the seasons come and go, God too is faithful as we homeschool our children. He sees our struggles and knows our deepest fears. He understands our doubts and worries. Our heavenly Father, who has called us to keep our children at home and teach them in His ways will fulfill His plan, even when we mess up.  When we lose our temper or have a bad day.  When we are burned out and don’t give it our all.  Even when we make mistakes and fall short…I truly believe that He will honor our obedience to follow His will for our families.

I wanted to share some promises that we can hold on to during the difficult seasons of our homeschooling journey:

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(I printed these beautiful cards from Clothed in Scarlet.org – Click here to print your own!)

Hold on to these promises. Post them where they can be daily reminders. Share them with your children.

God does not expect us to have all of the answers. He knows that there will be bumps along the way. All He asks is that we put Him first, to be faithful, and to rely on His strength and wisdom.

My son Ryan gave me a sign a few years ago that is a wonderful reminder for me– If God brings you to it, He will see you through it.

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This spring as you see the trees budding and new growth springing forth from the earth (I promise it’s coming soon!), remember that God is working behind the scenes in your life and your children’s lives. Even when things seem dark and we don’t see any growth or change, we can trust that God is in control and that seeds are being planted.  We can know, without a doubt, that” if He brought us to it, He will see us through it!”

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*Don’t forget to register for the 2017 HEAV Convention (June 8-10) for more inspiration and encouragement!

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Encouraging Our Kids

A few weeks ago I had a chance to share with my church’s homeschool support group. The theme was “Encouraging Our Kids” and we learned why it’s so important to learn our children’s love languages (Dr. Gary Chapman) in order to speak to their hearts.  I try to be intentional about doing this with Brendan and Ryan, but it was a good reminder for this mama too 🙂 .

Here’s the handout that I shared with our group:

Ways to Encourage Your Children:

 -Pray with them each day.  Praise God for successes, ask for help with struggles, and thank Him for the incredible blessing of homeschooling!

-Smile!  Even when you don’t feel like it – your attitude influences the whole family. Remember that the joy of the Lord is your strength. A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22

-As much as possible, make learning fun!  We want our kids to have a love of learning. Even though it requires more work, an effort to provide a hands-on project, a field trip, etc. will be well worth the effort.

*Learn your child’s love language (Dr. Gary Chapman)!

  • Words of affirmation
  • Quality time
  • Receiving gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

(If you want to read more about the Five Love Languages of Kids, click here.)

-Be spontaneous!  Let God guide your day, not the lesson plan or curriculum.

-Leave your kids notes of encouragement, Bible verses, jokes, etc. in random places that they will find throughout the day.  Another option is to text your teens.

-Surprise them with a special treat (a small gift, a letter, a day off, a surprise field trip, etc).

-Just live life with them, build them up in the Lord, let them know that you’re not perfect (be real), and love them every day!

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 We then took some time to write our kids notes of encouragement and make treats to share with them. I forgot to take pictures, but below are a few pics of things I have done over the years including gifts, hands-on projects, and spending time one-on-one with each child.IMG_3729

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I also took a few minutes to encourage the moms in our group…I’ll share more about that next week 🙂 .

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