Superhero Dads!

What would we do without our amazing dads and husbands???

Our homeschooling group wanted to honor the men who support our families and our homeschooling journeys, so we decided to host a special dinner night to demonstrate how much we love and appreciate them.  The theme was “super heroes” since they truly are heroes to us 🙂 !  The kids helped decorate, serve drinks and desserts, and clean up after the party.  The most special thing that they did though was they each wrote a personal letter to their dads. I loved watching the reactions and smiles as the fathers read their letters! So sweet!

It was such a wonderful night and I’m so glad that we got the chance to tell them all thank you for all that they do…we couldn’t homeschool without their love and support!

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Ok, here’s your third and final chance to enter my giveaway for a FREE full family registration ($79 value) to the 2017 HEAV homeschool convention!

To enter, leave a comment on today’s blog post and tell me what your sweet spouse does to support you as you educate your kids at home….THEN GO AND THANK THEM PERSONALLY FOR ALL THAT THEY DO!!!

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Winner will be announced on Wednesday, April 12th!

Survival Tips!

Tips for “surviving” and thriving the HEAV Convention 🙂 :

  1. First, take the time to pray.  Pray about how God is directing your plans.  Pray for wisdom and guidance as you and your spouse make decisions about the upcoming year.  Pray for your children. Just pray!
  2. Wear comfortable shoes (tennis shoes and not sandals if your feet tend to get cold).  You will be doing a lot of walking!  Bring a sweater or jacket as many of the conference rooms are chilly.
  3. Take a few minutes to look over the map and schedule after you check in.  Circle or highlight the sessions that you don’t want to miss and plan other activities such as shopping, meals, etc. around those sessions.  Many times there are too many wonderful sessions and not enough time – you can purchase the sessions on MP3 at the convention for a discounted price (or go in with a friend and share the cost).  Remember, the vendor sessions (for example – Tapestry of Grace) and Keynote speakers are not recorded. Then you won’t feel rushed or stressed out because you are missing an amazing speaker!
  4. Bring a notebook and pen to take notes.  It’s helpful to carry a binder with notebook paper, folders, pens, highlighter, paperclips, Post-It notes, and rubber bands.  It’s also a good idea to print off your registration confirmation (just in case).
  5. Bring a durable, rolling cart to carry all of the wonderful goodies that you’ll be buying!
  6. Decide on a budget and stick to it!  Try not to make any purchases on the first day (unless you are 100% sure it’s something you need).  Take time to shop around at different vendors to find the best price, or even better – see if you can find the item you’re looking for at the Used Curriculum Sale! (Tip – You can search the UCS on the HEAV website before convention to see if what you’re looking for is available)
  7. Print off labels with your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address.  Many vendors offer prizes or the chance to sign up for more information…instead of filling out all of those forms by hand, you can just stick a label on it and move on, saving yourself lots of time!
  8. Take inventory of what items you already have at home, what products/curriculum that you need, and a wish list a few weeks before the convention.  You can even take pictures of your bookshelves with your phone! If possible, research items online beforehand and write down prices so you have a basic idea of how much things cost.
  9. Drink lots of water and eat healthy meals and snacks high in protein to help keep your energy up.
  10. Carry an envelope and keep all of your receipts together in one place.
  11. If you see an item that you may be interested in, write down the item and the booth number so you don’t forget where you saw it (or take a pic with your cell phone)!
  12. Volunteer! HEAV is such a wonderful organization that helps so many families.  You will be blessed by helping out and giving back (plus you get a golden ticket to get into the Used Curriculum Sale early)!
  13. Enjoy your time at the convention!  Soak up lots of encouragement, make new friends, be inspired, gain wisdom, feel uplifted, get prepared for next year, and HAVE FUN 🙂 !!! 

    Here are some of my favorite memories from past conventions:

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    Soooo excited to meet Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis!!!

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    The whole family came out to hear the Duggars!

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    A photo op with Andrew Pudewa of Institute for Excellence in Writing!

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    Are you ready for your second chance to win a FREE full family registration to the 2017 HEAV homeschool convention?

To enter, leave a comment on this blog post answering the following question:

What is your favorite part of convention?

(You guys ROCKED the last question!  Feel free to go back and look at all of the wonderful comments from my last post to read all of the amazing advice readers have received about homeschooling!)

Click on the picture below to learn more about the HEAV Convention:

HEAV 2017

 

 

One of my favorite words: FREE!!!

(I’m so excited to announce that it’s my turn to host a giveaway for HEAV (Home Educator’s Association of Virginia)!

Each year the bloggers are blessed to be able to give one winner a full FREE family registration to convention ($79 value).

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Think you can’t enter the contest because you have already registered and paid for this year’s convention?  No problem!  If you win my contest, HEAV will reimburse your registration fee…they are THAT awesome 🙂 !

How do you enter you ask?  It’s super easy!  You’ll have three chances by leaving a comment on three different posts.

Today is your first chance and today’s question is:

What is the best advice you’ve ever received regarding homeschooling?

I can’t wait to hear your answers and share them with my readers.  I think it’ll be a blessing to everyone!

Ready, set, GO!!!

(Winner will be announced April 12th)

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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