I wanted to tell my story of how God not only called me to homeschool, but how he changed the heart of a man who was dragging me through the mud!
Here is my homeschooling story:
When God called me to homeschool I was excited, but so terrified!
My youngest was only a few months old, my middle son was 5 (still in Pre-K) and my oldest was just starting 3'rd grade in a Christian private school located in our church. I felt that God told me to start homeschooling. I started by going to a local homeschool meeting and I was hooked! This was going to be awesome, but so terrifying at the same time.
I first talked this over with my husband and at that time we needed to decide if I was going to go back to work or just going to stay home. Like I mentioned, my youngest son was only a few months old and I had been on bedrest since the 24'th week of my pregnancy, so my maternity leave was over with before our son was even born and we were already surviving on one income. So we weighed out the costs of a babysitter, gas to work and back, the stress of working and having three young boys to raise and of course our private Christian school the two older boys were attending was NOT cheap so it was a no brainer. So my journey began.
The principle at our Christian school, who was also our pastor's wife, was not amused at the notice of our homeschooling. My friends and some relatives thought we were out of our minds. The most famous line was getting thrown at me from several angles, "What about their socialization?". That gets really old. But guess what? I didn't have all the answers and that was terrifying! But I knew that the Lord told me to homeschool my children so I didn't have to have all the answers.
Then we had a court issue with our homeschooling with my ex-husband. When I first discussed the homeschooling with my ex husband, he forbid me to homeschool our son.....even if our son wasn't the legal school age yet! Remember, he was only 5 and the Compulsory Attendance Ages in Florida were 6 - 16 at that time. So my ex husband took me before the judge. Well, the judge was clearly not educated on the homeschooling issue and definitely NOT homeschool friendly and he was on the verge of forcing my son back to the private school or the local public school. I was so frustrated.
But then one Sunday, I went to the altar in our church (during service). I gave it all to the Lord. I remember praying, "God, you told me to do this. I obeyed. But I cannot fight in court anymore, and I cannot convince this judge or my ex husband to let me homeschool so if you want me to do this, you must work it out. I am giving it to you." This was so hard. Hard to give it all to Jesus and tell him that I was defeated and I couldn't fight anymore. The Lord reminded me that I didn't have to fight. If HE wanted me to homeschool, he'll make it happen.
Well, two days later, the phone rang. My ex husband had changed his mind. He was dropping all the court proceedings and was giving me permission to homeschool! This was a man who drug me through court hearing after court hearing and even threatened to file for custody! Over the previous few months, I had to provide the court and my ex husband ALL of my sons work that he had done at home, while homeschooling two boys and taking care of a newborn. It was exhausting! My ex husband did not give me a reason for changing his mind and I never asked; I knew that the Lord changed his heart and mind! So when that phone call came, that my friend, was the LORD!
So you see, if the Lord calls you to do something and it seems too much or impossible, think again. If he calls you to something, he has already worked it out. Nothing is too great or too small for God.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to
prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Homeschooling life is much better now. My boys are now 9, 14 and 16 yrs. old. I will never doubt the plan that the Lord has for us. I will also never regret our long struggling journey with our homeschooling adventure.
Oh, and just last month my ex husband told me that I was doing a great job homeschooling our son! God is good.....yes, all the time.
So be encouraged!
God has a plan for you and it's better than you can ever imagine!
First, I have to mention that this blog is a bit weak tonight. I am sooo tired! ;)
Well, it's Christmas Eve and what a great Christmas we had. Yes, had. I have to explain....... my parents just left today to head back home to Michigan. They came on Friday and stayed the weekend so we had our Christmas on Saturday.
The first thing I think about when I think of Christmas is FAMILY. We may not be able to all get together some holidays and Christmas is one of those we don't get to see our extended family most of the time being that we (my family) is out of state. So this year, when my parents came to our home in West Virginia, it was all about family! Yes, our Lord Jesus is a huge part of our family. He is the reason for this wonderful holiday season. We thank him for our family, friends, food, gifts, warm home, and love.
My mom and I both got our ears pierced as our Christmas to each other. She got her second holes done and I got second and third holes done. It was fun watching each other react to the piercing, lol. Then we went to the Mall, just the two of us. We just window shopped, (because we already had our Christmas) but we had a great time!
COOKIES, COOKIES, COOKIES! We ate so many homemade Christmas cookies, pies, brownies, food! I definitely must cut back after this holiday season! I will have to work extra hard to lose the few pounds (that feel like 10!) that I put on, lol.
My family (parents & siblings) are HUGE card players! We played hours of 'Hand & Foot' (card game) over the weekend. It's a great time to chat, laugh and just plain be together!
So, being Christmas Eve and our Christmas is done, it feels a bit weird. But, maybe we'll catch a movie tomorrow? Hmmmmmm.
Homeschooling over Christmas break can be stressful. But not if you put your books away! ;) Make homeschooling FUN over Christmas break.
Our homeschooling schedule over Christmas break is as follows:
This week we are taking off Friday because our local church is doing something with the youth. Next week we are taking off all week. The following week I plan to take off Monday & Tuesday (Dec. 31'st & Jan. 1'st). This doesn't mean that we will not be doing any schooling though. The kids will be baking with me, hanging Christmas cards that we get in the mail, decorating, wrapping presents, checking in on elderly neighbors, etc.
Also, my 14 yr. old loves to read. So I plan to document what he reads over Christmas break! Also any Christmas books that younger children can read would be great!
Are your children going to be watching any Christmas movies? If they are educational, document them! I would say, just about every Christmas (Christ based) movie would be educational. If you have a Hallmark movie playing with a family theme, document it. After the movie, just ask your children a few simple questions to make sure they learned something. :)
Kids learn things everyday whether it be in the traditional schooling style or not. So take this opportunity to study your children to see what they enjoy and how they learn. You may already know what type of learning style your children have (are), but maybe they need a break from the books this winter to enjoy a week long 'movie marathon'! You could buy or rent the whole Little House on the Prairie series and learn about the mid to late 1800's and early 1900's. And of course make some good old fashioned food to eat during the movie!
What a terrible time for these families and people of Newtown. My heart goes out to them.
I usually do not blog about politics, and things going on in the news. I hardly watch the news anymore due to all the violence and hate.
People continue to ask why something like this happens. I will tell you why. But first, the reason behind the violence will NOT bring loved ones back. It will not take the nightmares that these children surely are enduring away. It will not replace that sad Friday. But it could change our future!
Before I get into the 'why', lets take a minute to find peace knowing that these little ones hurt no more, will never be scared ever, ever again, and know that they are with our Lord Jesus Christ.
In Matthew 19:14 Jesus says, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
The WHY -
Because we have taken God out of everything.....even some of our churches! When I was a little girl, I could pray in the lunchroom before eating and never think twice about it. Did I offend anyone? Nope. We, as a nation, have removed our Lord God from our government buildings, our schools, our department stores, our personal business and lives and even took him out of the holiday created for his birth! Easter isn't even about his resurrection anymore; it's about the Easter bunny! And then we get to our churches. Yes, our churches. There is a church in PA that a missionary our church knows who visited this past year. When he entered they told him that he shouldn't bring his Bible into the church because they didn't want to offend others! Yes, this is no lie! Seriously people? As a Christian I am fed up! I have had all I am going to take! This nation needs God! Guns do NOT kill people, Drugs don't even kill people, evil is the killer. Without God that evil will continue to exist.
What can we do? -
We as a nation we cannot change people's hearts or remove the evil....only God can. But as a nation we can start by allowing him back into the places that the violence is occurring most, which is our schools. I pray protection over my niece, nephew and my oldest son who is in the public school system. Yes, I homeschool my other two boys, but my oldest (for personal reasons) attend public school. He is a Junior this year. Last night before I feel asleep I was terrified to send him to school today! I thought about pulling him out and homeschooling him again as well. (It's a bit more complicated than that though. My oldest goes to a trade school 1/2 the day through the school system so it's a bit harder to just pull him out. He really enjoys the trade school.) But the Bible says that we need to pray over our children. The Lord confirmed in me last night that he will protect him. I plead the blood of Jesus over my son, niece and nephew for a long time. I cannot be with them every minute....but Jesus can and will. So pray protection over your family, friends, neighbors, etc. If we stand together and bring Jesus back into our states and communities, things WILL get better.
Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV
The Armor of God
Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
This time of year is excellent for teaching fractions! This is the time of year we all bake Christmas cookies and other desserts.
Here are a few tips:
Make sure the child is measuring with the same measuring cups or utensils every time until he/she learns his/her measurements.
Also, make sure they are well marked.
You may want to have individual bowls for each ingredient until he/she gets the hang of it. This will help with being wasteful and having to throw away dry or wet ingredients that may have been measured wrong and cannot be separated.
After they have mastered the measures, you can start 'splitting' the recipe or 'doubling' the recipe. Great hands-on fraction lesson!
ALWAYS be encouraging. No one likes to be told that they didn't do something right. So if he/she does make a mistake, you might want to say
"Let's double check that measurement again"
to encourage him/her to be more careful and
letting them find their own mistake is always a big plus.
Make sure they get used to reading the recipe several times to make sure they are not forgetting anything.
Don't forget to let them lick the beaters!
All kids love to lick the beaters....
ok, even moms.
Give credit where credit is due.
Praise them for all their hard work and
let them present their baked goods to friends, relatives, neighbors, etc.
Remember you aren't just teaching, you are making memories!
Which kind of gifts do you prefer? Of course we accept any gift with gratitude, but if you had a choice, which would you prefer?
I would say the homemade gift. You know it took time, thought and individuality to create this personalized gift just for you. This is something that a store bought gift just doesn't contain.
For example, my mother in law makes me those dish towels every year that hang on your refrigerator door handle. I love them! Not because I need them or even use them very often, but they are a great holiday display that shows she took the time to make just for me.
I crocheted the boys a scarf one year with color of their choice. That was many many years ago. Do you believe that they STILL wear them when they go snow sledding? Yep. I've tried to make a sweater, but failed. But I will find another item that I can create. That is the great thing. We all are good at something whether it is sewing, crocheting, knitting, painting, cooking, etc.
This year is really tight for us financially. My husband got laid off right before Thanksgiving. We had most of the money set aside for Christmas, but just for our boys, not for the extended family. So these next few weeks I am going to have to get my head together and concentrate on 'homemade' gifts for all. Not an easy bunch either. Because they are all of different ages.....teenage girl to preppy city slickers ;) But I will find a way.
Here are a few ideas I found on the net-
First there are gift baskets. Everyone has some kind of food that is their absolute favorite! Just place it in a basket and decorate! It could be cookies, brownies, candy, even a bottle of wine! Of course that wine may not be homemade....well.... maybe ;)
How about a child's play swing? This is so cute!
Looks like it is an old tire. Do you have some old chains in your garage? You never know what you may find when you look! Clean the items up, paint them and wala!
Here is a felt picture puzzle for a small child. How cool! Just need some fabric, thread and needle (unless you are blessed with a sewing machine like me).
Here are some homemade baked goods. I would add the recipe to it on nice cardstock. I like the bows.
Again, found all these the net. I just googled 'homemade gifts', then clicked 'images'.
So get your imagination working and please feel free to post and share your ideas! I'd love to see!
Yes, that is correct. Homeschool for free! Are you on a tight budget or a $0 budget for homeschooling? Did you know that it IS possible for you to homeschool for free? There are several sites out there with free printables for your child.
Well, as you can see there are several sites for free printables.
Your local library is also a wonderful place to start! For an older child, they can pick a series and then you can create a study guide for them (if you know the book) or you can sometimes find a FREE study guide online!
Here is one site that I recently found and used for a study guide-
Cannot find a book? Ask your local library. They may be able to get it from another library (inter-library loan). Did you know that libraries also have a budget for new books? Ask them to order you something that you will need! Our library has done this for us several times!
What about high school? -
Don't worry, you can homeschool through high school for free too! Again, use your library for history and literature. For math, check out Khan Academy!
You will have to register as a teacher and place your child as your student, but it is FREE! Your child will be able watch the lessons desired and do the work on the computer. The student is able to work at their own pace.
Science can be done at the library as well. Again, ask your local library for help. And remember your friends! Most of my friends are always willing to lend a book for a semester or a schoolyear.
Even foreign language books can be found on your library's shelf!
And keep in mind that even highschool learning doesn't always have to come from a textbook. Home-Economics is great to learn at home.
Do you have a microscope? If not, borrow one. Have your child go outside and pick a few 'living' things (grass, mushrooms, feather, etc) in the yard and place them under a microscope and take notes on what he sees.
Does your child like to do a lot of reading for fun? Calculate the hours he/she has read and give them a literature credit. Create a course, like 'Contemporary Literature' and have him/her keep track of the books he reads.
Here is a free printable that helps keep track of your child's book reads.
This link above (donnayoung.org) has several printable forms to place in your portfolio and/or lesson plan binder for excellent record keeping!
So have fun, explore and be frugal!
Disclaimer: The above content is my opinion only. The links listed above are just some sites that I have used in the past and I found helpful. I have in no way received anything in return for posting these links today.