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)

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

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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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Justin and I often sing this song sarcastically as we fill the calendar with activities and fight the crowds while shopping 🙂 every December, but all joking aside, it really is a wonderful time of the year.

We had a great Christmas and hope that you did too.

I can’t wait to share 2017 together!

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Home Educators Association of Virginia

Guess what? 

The 2017 HEAV convention is only SIX months away and…..   

Registration Opens for Members January 9!

Next year’s convention is June 8-10, 2017!

Three days.

The whole family.

It will change your life.

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Why should you attend?

Watch this to find out:

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Guess What Day It Is!

Well…almost 😉 – the big event actually starts at MIDNIGHT TONIGHT

img_8944[1]For the next three days, HEAV is offering a members-only special price of $49 for the entire family to attend the 2015 Convention!

After Wednesday, the price will increase to $59 for members and $69 for non-members.

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Here’s a peek at what’s in store for this year’s event:

Keynote Speaker:  Ken Ham – Answers in Genesis

Lots of Fantastic Speakers!

Sensational Features and Add-ons–and More!

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I am so blessed and excited to be a HEAV Blogger again this year!  You will be hearing lots of news and updates regarding the convention, give-aways, Facebook parties, and tips for how to get the most out of your time at the convention.  It is one of my FAVORITE weekends every year and I hope that you will be able to join us June 11-13!

Here’s a FUN party to help get you started: