Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Became Parents- Review

Plus a giveaway!!!

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How many times have you heard someone say that parenting doesn’t come with an instruction manual? What if I were to tell you that I’ve found the closest thing to it?

Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Became Parents, by Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages, and Shannon Warden, assistant teaching professor at Wake Forest University, is a treasure trove of information for new and expectant parents.

This book covers topics such as: how much a child changes your schedule, the costs of parenting, the uniqueness of each child, how to keep your marriage strong, and even thoughts on preparing for your child’s education, among many others. In fact, there are several ideas broached here that even I- a mother of 11 children- have never consciously thought much about.  Continue reading “Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Became Parents- Review”

3 Reasons Not to Worry About Homeschool Subject Requirements

If you’ve ever visited this blog before, you are well aware of how passionately I try to spread the message that homeschooling does not have to be a replica of school and how important it is to get out of the schoolish mindset. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately and have come to the realization that homeschool laws and even homeschool curricula can make that very difficult. (Watch my video on this topic here.)

Many states have specific subject requirements that must be fulfilled each year, thus homeschool resource publishers follow suit and produce textbook after textbook covering grammar, writing, spelling, reading, math, social studies, science, and so on and so on.

Countless times I have seen stressed out homeschool moms completely burned out from trying to fit all of these different classes into their day, inevitably erasing the possibility of any enjoyment that might have occurred in their homeschool routine. Continue reading “3 Reasons Not to Worry About Homeschool Subject Requirements”

An Inside Look at Our Relaxed Homeschool- Spotlight on the Middles

The other day I wrote about a specific day in our homeschool with the littles. Today I’m going to focus on a recent day of learning with my 9, 10, and 12 year olds. 

As with my younger children, I do not consider only our structured homeschool time as our learning time because each day brings so many opportunities for natural learning experiences that I’d be remiss to not mention them.

As you may notice, our middle children’s homeschool day is very similar in structure to their younger siblings’. It is this familiarity that helps me remember everything that has to be done from day to day- and it also helps me keep my sanity!  Continue reading “An Inside Look at Our Relaxed Homeschool- Spotlight on the Middles”

An Inside Look at Our Relaxed Homeschool- Spotlight on the Littles

So many times recently I’ve been asked what homeschooling looks like in my house. I find that no matter how basically I describe it, it always ends up seeming utterly confusing to anyone on the outside trying to make sense of it.

Additionally, I think a lot of people are unsure of what relaxed homeschooling actually is, and moreover, often wonder whether it’s “enough.”  Continue reading “An Inside Look at Our Relaxed Homeschool- Spotlight on the Littles”

How to Homeschool High School English Simply and Effectively

Homeschooling high school can seem like an intimidating prospect. Homeschooling, high school simply, however, turns a potentially daunting task into one in which not only much learning occurs, but a love of learning prospers.  Continue reading “How to Homeschool High School English Simply and Effectively”

8 Things You Need to Know Before Deciding to Unschool

Do you find yourself pondering the notion of disposing of all curriculum and simply allowing your children to learn from what life throws at them? Are you intrigued by fairy tale-like stories you read about families who live as if school didn’t exist?

Although I haven’t considered myself an unschooler for quite some time now, I still find myself drawn to writing about it from time to time. Despite the fact that I am now a bit more structured, I’m still very passionate about what I learned from this experience- the good and the bad.

Unschooling has in so many ways opened the doors to a new world of learning for us- a world free from the schoolish mindsets that so many of us grew up with and tend to not even question.

On the other hand, living in this world for a couple of years also made me realize that there are some important principles to keep in mind when making the decision to immerse your family in this style of learning.

It is this aspect that I choose to address today.  Continue reading “8 Things You Need to Know Before Deciding to Unschool”

Are You Looking for More?

Sometimes living the life of someone seeking God can be a bit harder than it looks on the surface. The busyness of life tends to get in the way, and we find ourselves filling any unscheduled time with serving others. Helping in the church nursery. Volunteering at a soup kitchen. Teaching a Sunday School class or hosting a small group. Preparing for the next mission trip.

All of these acts of service are wonderful ways to show others Christ’s love; however, those of us fulfilling these acts oftentimes fall under the illusion that these deeds alone will bring us into a deeper intimacy with God.  Continue reading “Are You Looking for More?”

A Homeschool Day in the Life of a Dozen

Last month I published a post documenting a typical day at our house. Since the older kids had not yet started their new homeschool year, I decided to write another one that included more of what my teenagers do so you’d get a more accurate picture of what homeschooling is actually like at our house. Thankfully, this day was not as crazy as the last time I did this. Phew! Remember that one?? Anyway…  Continue reading “A Homeschool Day in the Life of a Dozen”

What About You? Are You One of the Few?

“For many are called, but few are chosen.”
-Matthew 22:14

One of the most crucial decisions you will make in this life is what you believe. Not only will this decision impact your loved ones, yourself, and your worldview, but it will also affect your eternity.

Statistics show that Christianity in America is on the decline. Our country has now reached a point where a large portion of its citizens have begun to demonstrate religious and moral apathy. They just don’t care enough about these things to give them much thought.  Continue reading “What About You? Are You One of the Few?”

What If the Problem Was School in the First Place?

If you know me at all, you know that I love new homeschoolersI am all about encouraging them, guiding them, and giving them the confidence they need in this huge undertaking. Lately, however, I’ve had more than a few conversations with newbies that go something like this:

“You’re homeschooling now? That’s awesome! What made you decide to do it?”

“My son/daughter just wasn’t learning in school. No matter what they did, nothing. I just don’t think school was the right fit.”

“I think you made the right decision. So what have you been doing with them?”

“Oh, we’ve been following a similar schedule to what they had in school.”

“You know you don’t have to do that, right?”

“I know. It’s just that that’s what they’re used to.”

“But…but…” 

Continue reading “What If the Problem Was School in the First Place?”