As another school year comes into focus, I want to give you a heads up about something that often happens at this time of year. You may be experiencing it even as you are reading this post.
The school year is looming and plans are swirling in your head as you prepare for another year of educating your children at home. An overwhelming job, not for the faint of heart. You work at organizing, sorting, and getting all the things ready.
Then, out of nowhere, comes some unforeseen situation or challenge, something you never expected, something utterly discouraging…. leaving you feeling like you’ve been punched in the gut. The wind has effectively been taken out of your sails.
The Household and the War for the Cosmos This is an excellent series with deep and relevant content. We have watched the short videos and are soon going to be reading the book. I wish every Christian parent today could hear, understand, and emulate these concepts. From the book description: Because people saw themselves as part of an ordered whole, they also believed that they had obligations to the people around them. They were not just autonomous individuals, but members of households with unique duties to past and future generations. Words like “piety” and “religion” did not refer to what you did in your quiet time, but were more like the seemingly obsolete values of “duty” and “honor.”
Ring-a-Majigs I found these little toys at a consignment shop while we were deep in the winter doldrums about a month ago. I was instantly taken back to my childhood! I had these toys as a child, in the same container. Anyone else remember these? Turns out they are as much fun today as they were back then.
K’nex Also during the winter doldrums, this classic toy provided hours (literally hour upon hour) of constructive entertainment. Toby and Sammy especially enjoyed making some very complicated creations, including some with moving parts connected to a little motor. We have some books of designs with detailed instructions which helped them with ideas and specifics. Did I mind having K’nex all over the living room floor, 24/7, for weeks on end….? Yes, but not really, if that makes sense.
Without social media, it’s harder to share daily life. Although we feel that exiting Facebook et al. was the right decision for us to make, I have to admit I miss it.
So here is a “patchwork” post… various items of note, combined into one rambling post, kind of a “facebook not facebook” if you will. 😄 I’m hoping to do one of these every month. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments, or hear from you personally!
Here I Stand – A life of Martin Luther – by Roland Bainton
I’ve been trying to read this book for quite a while. I’m ashamed to even admit how long it is taking me! But, I’m determined not to give up. I found out that Joshua is also reading it for his Reformation History class. I’m struck by so many things as I poke along through this book. Here is one quotation:
“I will tell you straight what I think. I am a Christian theologian; and I am bound, not only to assert, but to defend the truth with my blood and death. I want to believe freely and be a slave to the authority of no one, whether council, university or pope. I will confidently confess what appears to me to be true, whether it has been asserted by a Catholic or a heretic, whether it has been approved or reproved by a council.” -Martin Luther
Luther only made this statement after hours and hours of trembling on his face before God. He didn’t strike out on a limb without knowing Whom he really must answer to. God help us to raise warriors with this kind of courage! And help us to be those kind of warriors ourselves!
Joshua has taken on a new venture. He is now the string bass player for BJUGrass, and has the opportunity to travel out several times this semester to minister in churches and various venues. This weekend he is in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. All those violin lessons and summer Fiddle Camp experiences have paid off!
God has you where you are for a reason, even though you may not understand what that reason is. None of us fully understands God’s plan at work in our individual lives. It’s tempting to think that something really important, something that makes a lot more sense, is out there somewhere.
“That something else is, in our imagination, a very important thing, and it has an imagined importance that makes sense to us. It is a creature of ours. And if it makes sense to us, then it is a sure thing that we are flying blinkered and blind.” -Douglas Wilson, Ploductivity
At Joshua’s high school graduation, as I envisioned each child reaching this same milestone in quick succession, I remarked that the “dominoes were beginning to fall.” Steve replied, “Not dominoes. Arrows. Today the arrows are beginning to fly!”
I know he’s right, of course. They ARE arrows and it’s super exciting to watch them fly.
You may have heard President Trump’s remarks at the recent March for Life in Washington, D.C.
At one point during that historic speech, in reference to some radical pro-death statements made by Governor Northam, President Trump asked the question in a somber tone, “What is going on in Virginia? What is going on?”
The Virginia legislature is currently having a heyday with pro-death policies.
I never cease to be amazed at how the pro-life cause is labeled by the media as “anti-abortion” and the pro-death cause is labeled as “pro-choice.” Let’s be clear: this IS about life vs. death. It is not complicated. Let’s get our terminology straight.
We lived in the beautiful Commonwealth for nineteen years. Although we don’t live there anymore, Virginia will always hold a very dear place in our hearts. The reports I’m seeing are making me so sad. Of course we know it’s a battle all across the nation, not just in one state.
#1 Joel of Galilee. This book. Oh my goodness. What a treasure! As the title suggests, Joel is a boy living at the time of Christ. This little gem was written in the 1800’s and has been reprinted for today. We have been reading this aloud for our elementary school history each day. It’s had me in tears recently. Poignant, beautiful, stirring, enlightening.
#2 Independent Reading. Upon packing up all of our things for our move, sorting through, figuring out what to keep and what to get rid of, I realized how many wonderful books we had that seemingly never got read. You probably know the kind I mean— the more educational types of books of all sorts and sizes. I grouped them all together in one big box for the move, and made a note that when we started school again, I wanted these books to have more of an ‘official’ place in our homeschool. They now occupy their own dedicated shelf, and they are getting read! Continue reading “Three things I’m loving about our homeschool this year”→
I just love seeing pictures and reading updates on your family. I really look up to women like you who have big families. We have four right now and that is considered big here. My oldest two, both boys, attend school in grades 4 and 2. My 3 year old son is going three days a week to a Montessori preschool and I have the baby at home. After my oldest son’s first year of school I looked into homeschooling. I knew it was something I needed to consider. He did well in school but there were just so many conflicting ideas that we didn’t necessarily agree with. We never did decide to homeschool, however, it is always on my mind and heart. I guess what I’m asking is what kind of structure do you have to your days? At this time I’m all over the place with my home keeping and I fear that would be the case if we chose to teach the children from home.
A Mom in Canada
Thank you for your kind words. I love seeing your sweet little ones on Facebook and seeing how your family is doing, as well.
A familiar name from about two decades ago; the famous author of “I Kissed Dating Goodbye.” I will state up front that I haven’t read that book or any of Josh Harris’ books, but I have certainly heard of them and been aware of them since my high school days. He burst onto the homeschool scene with first a magazine and then this book, followed by others. He didn’t just reach the homeschool-convention type of market, either. Parents from all kinds of Christian circles bought this book for their young people. Young ladies and young men read it. The message was absorbed and the method was apparently adopted by thousands of families.
Teaching long vowel sounds while mopping the kitchen floor? In at least one place in the world, those two unlikely candidates pair quite nicely: the homeschool.
I was finishing up a few things after our morning family chore time. I was a little late getting over to the school area where the older ones were (supposed to be) already getting started. The floor had been prepped and the mop bucket sat filled and waiting, but the floor had not yet been mopped. My daughter impatiently waited in the kitchen doorway for me to get her started on her kindergarten work for the day.
I thought, “Today she is supposed to begin learning long vowel sounds.” Then, I thought, “She’s here, and I’m here, so let’s just go ahead!” So, I mopped, and we talked. We talked all about vowels and the short sounds she had been working on for the past few months, and then we began to discuss long vowel sounds and what that meant. The mop water swished as my daughter jumped for joy at the excitement of this new concept. “I LOVE long vowels!” she said.