Let's be real...FRUITS are way more exciting than ROOTS! 

They're more pleasing visually.
They taste yummy.
They are refreshing, satisfying.
They energize our bodies.

Roots, on the other hand, are frankly rather ugly.
They don't really DO anything tangible for us, only the tree.

But without the roots, the fruits wouldn't have a chance!

When it comes to homeschooling (or parenting in general), it is VITAL that we have deep roots. All too often, we get fixated on whether or not we see fruits from our efforts. And while fruit is important, and we certainly pray the Lord will bring about fruit in our lives and in our children's lives, when this becomes the focus, it also becomes the measure of whether or not we are "successful." 

That, my friends, is a recipe for doubt, disappointment, and discouragement!
It can lead to burnout. 
Wanting to quit. 
Looking for other materials, methods, motivations.

But...when we attend to our roots, we rest in Jesus and trust that GOD will bring about the growth in His own way and in His own timing.

How are your roots?
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When the School Bus Beckons

When the School Bus Beckons
Have you ever watched wistfully as the big yellow school bus picks up kids in your neighborhood?! Wondered what it would be like to wave goodbye to your children, turn around, and go back inside your house to be alone (or maybe with “only” one or two kiddos) for a few hours? 

True story: We once lived in a house right at the corner of a school pick-up. I heard and saw the bus roll in every morning and pull to a stop where the neighborhood kids and their moms stood in clusters along the edge of the cul-de-sac. Usually I felt thankful for the opportunity to keep my children home with me. Doing life and school together has always been an incredible blessing. But I do confess that the year my husband was deployed to Afghanistan, there were days when I wished I felt the freedom to send the kids to the public school! With 5 kids ages 10 and under and one growing in my belly, I was one tired mama!

That was a difficult season of life, to be sure. And when life feels hard, homeschool feels extra hard. As the years have come and gone, as we’ve experienced our ups and downs, I’ve learned that the times when I feel frustrated, exhausted, and burned out as a homeschool mom are the times when I’ve unwittingly been focusing on the FRUITS of homeschooling rather than the ROOTS.

This is something I’ve been pondering for awhile, and I’m excited to share more about what God has laid on my heart as I prepare to speak at a couple of upcoming homeschool conventions! If you’re near Round Rock, TX, or Wasilla, AK, I’d love to meet up with you! And if you aren’t but you have homeschooling friends who are, pass along this message and help us get connected! 😀 

I’ll share more next week about this idea of fruits and roots. Meanwhile…I’d love to hear your thoughts about the fruits and roots of homeschooling! What does that mean to you?
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1 Corinthians 13 for Homeschool Moms

1 Corinthians 13 for Homeschool Moms
***I did not write this...if you know who the original author is, please let me know!***

Though I teach my children how to multiply, divide, and diagram a sentence, but fail to show them LOVE, I have taught them nothing!

And though I take them on numerous field trips, to swim practice and flute lessons; and though I involve them in every church activity, but fail to give them LOVE, I profit nothing!

And though I scrub my house relentlessly, run countless errands, and serve three nutritious meals every day but fail to be an example of LOVE, I have done nothing!

LOVE is patient with misspelled words and is kind to young interrupters.

LOVE does not envy the high SAT scores of other Homeschool families. LOVE does not claim to have better teaching methods than anyone else, is not rude to the fourth telephone caller during a science lesson, does not seek perfectly behaved geniuses, does not turn into a drill sergeant, thinks no evil about friends’ educational choices!

LOVE bears all my children’s challenges, believes all my children are God’s precious gifts, hopes all my children establish permanent relationships with Christ, and endures all things to demonstrate God’s love!

LOVE never fails!

Where there are college degrees, they will fail; where there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

For we know in part and we teach in part. But when the trials of life come to our children, the history, math, and science will be done away and faith, hope, and love will remain;


– Author unknown
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One of Those Days...!

One of Those Days...!
How is your homeschool day going?! Recently I had a flashback to this moment in time, 12 years ago, when an adorable little toddler managed to make a ginormous mess just as our day was supposed to be starting. (I'm pleased to say that this now-teenager takes responsibility for putting away his cereal dish and spoon in the dishwasher and putting the CLOSED box of Cheerios back on the cereal shelf!)

As a homeschool mom of 9...I get it.

The exhaustion. 
The mess. 
The chaos. 
Yes, also those incredibly sweet moments, opportunities to be with our babies and speak into their lives. But...

It's hard. 
It's never-ending. 
It can be lonely & frustrating, amazing & maddening, funny & overwhelming...all in the span of 20 minutes!

For a homeschool mom, everything in life is so intertwined. For homeschoolers, life IS school. School IS life. It can be difficult to separate yourself from everything happening in rapid succession on a daily basis.

But you know what? I believe that if GOD has called you to this, He has more than equipped you! And I'm rooting for you and your family! I've been in the trenches, ready to throw in the towel and send my children to the nearest building that remotely resembled a school. 

But by God's grace, I'm proof that it's not only possible to homeschool from diapers to diploma... just might become your greatest PASSION and PURPOSE! 

(At least for a season!) IS your homeschool day going?! 
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Being Rooted in Our Homeschool

Being Rooted in Our Homeschool
In my last post, I was recounting the story of how I nearly quit homeschooling. The trauma our family had undergone just about did me in.

In the time since those moments of absolute, utter desperation, I’ve been asking the Lord not only what He wants me to do, but also who He wants me to be. I’ve taken time for personal growth and deliberately put myself under godly mentors who have helped me see my blind spots–and also my passions and strengths–so I can move forward into the next season of life with bold and godly confidence.

The burning question was this: What exactly should our homeschool look like when I deal with seemingly endless constraints, weaknesses, and limitations?

During this time of seeking God's guidance, I kept coming back to tree imagery. I see it all through Scripture. I see it in my wooded backyard. Nowadays, even my screen saver keeps popping up beautiful photos of trees!

As a visual learner, I’ve matched some phrases to tree parts to help me wrap my brain around what I believe is my calling as a homeschool mama. This helps me see the big picture of what we're doing in our homeschool much more clearly. Perhaps it will help you as well, or maybe it will inspire you to create your own visual based on what God is pressing on your heart.

Deeply Rooted
I, my marriage, our family, and our homeschool are all deeply rooted in Christ. We hold His Word in highest regard, believing it to be the description of His great rescue plan for sinners. We stand strong on His foundation of truth.

Faithfully Focused
In a world of distractions that target our fleshly desires and weaknesses, we choose to pursue purposeful, meaningful activities to help us live out God’s principles in our specific circumstances. This helps us continually grow spiritually.

Intentionally Connected
We believe our relationships with Christ and the people He has put in our lives are our highest priority. We choose, therefore, to live in authentic community, encouraging and being encouraged by others. 

Boldly Courageous
In this cultural moment, where “truth has stumbled in the streets” (Isaiah 59:14), we commit to speaking truth in love. With our priority being to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, we know living for the eternal rather than the temporal is a must.

Mama, I pray this is helpful to you! If you are not feeling rooted...focused...connected...courageous...might I suggest something? I believe it would be so valuable to get some objective input. I know it was for me! Let's set up a chat and see what God will do in our short time together!

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