How We Began Homeschooling

How We Began Homeschooling
I had not heard much about home schooling during my own school years. My college roommate, though, was a homeschool graduate. She, like the few other homeschoolers I had met, seemed perfectly normal (!!), with above average intelligence and a well-rounded resume. So I never really understood the concern about the "stereotypical" homeschooled child.

During my student teaching semester, winter of 1997, I lived off campus with a homeschooling family. Even though I was gone during the hours Laurie, the mom, was actually doing school work with her children, I truly owe much of my foundational commitment to homeschooling to her and her family. Laurie was an example to me of what a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom might look like. I had never really put much thought into it previously, but at this point I was newly engaged, and thoughts of marriage and family occupied my mind as never before. 

So my time with Laurie and her family was probably the single most influential aspect in what I have come to view as my calling as a homeschool mother. Meanwhile, my husband Ted was attending Bible studies while at the Air Force Academy, being mentored by a captain who was a father of four children, all homeschooled. Our letters (yes, old-fashioned, handwritten letters!!!) discussed our ideas about homeschooling, so the idea was germinating.

Fast forward to early 2004. We began "homeschooling" Charis, our firstborn, when she was about 3 1/2. I thought I would try a pre-school workbook from Sam's Club, and as it turned out, she loved doing her pages and begged for them every day. We continued doing easy, fun workbooks and reading tons of books from the library. During this time we had a military move from Ohio to Maryland, and I planned to spend our one-year assignment there digging into this homeschool thing and learning all I could. I joined a Christian homeschool group and became friends with several ladies who graciously mentored me during that year, answering the bazillion questions I kept throwing at them.

Before we knew it another military move loomed, this time from Maryland to Nevada. By the time we got settled into our new home in August 2005, I knew what I'd be ordering from the Sonlight and Math-U-See catalogs. We joined a new homeschool support group, and before we knew it, were were officially a HOMESCHOOLING FAMILY! 

Are you a homeschooling mama? How and when did you begin this journey?

Pic: Arden (2), Charis (5), and Tobin (3 1/2) play with the Math-U-See blocks at our kitchen table.
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Before Summer...Let's Rest & Reflect

Before Summer...Let's Rest & Reflect
You're invited to a 3-day challenge! And it will be the easiest one you've ever accepted. 😁 This homeschool mom has been ready for summer since...well, maybe Groundhog's Day, lol! At the same time, I know it's important to be intentional about summer schedules and activities.

This 3-day challenge (which will run next week, June 7-9) will direct our thoughts to intentional REST as well as meaningful REFLECTION on the past school year. You don't have to do much to participate. But if you're not already in the Homeschooling for the Long Haul support group, where the action will take place, you'll need to join. You can do that here

If you want to be sure to intentionally connect, put it on your calendar and maybe invite a friend who needs encouragement and community in this Mom Journey! 

What does "rest & reflect" bring up for you today? 

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Let Us Not Become Weary

Let Us Not Become Weary
Is there an area in which you are feeling "weary of doing good?" Over the years this verse has become my mothering and homeschooling mantra! Eugene Peterson writes about a long obedience in the same direction [affiliate link], and though I haven't read his book, that phrase has been floating around in my brain ever since I first heard it some years back. It perfectly describes many aspects of the Christian life, but I especially apply it to motherhood and homeschooling.

It's easy to become weary in doing good...for me as a homeschool mom, I get weary of training and correcting children, herding them in the right direction (physically and spiritually!), wondering if anything I am saying is even "sticking." But daily faithfulness (not perfection) adds up: we truly WILL reap a harvest. Now that I'm blessed to have roughly 2 decades of mothering and homeschooling under my belt, I'm delighted to report the harvest DOES COME! I love my teenagers and young adult children, and I love the sweet relationship I have with each of them individually. Reflecting on how far we've come, I am more patient for the next round of harvest, as I persevere in homeschooling our younger children.

How do you need encouragement to persevere today?

By the way...if you'd like to join some like-minded homeschooling mamas, hop into my new group where we're building a community of Christian moms committed to homeschooling their children for the long haul!

This support group is set up to help you...
✔️ avoid burnout
✔️ manage the overwhelm
✔️ sustain your homeschooling long-term
✔️ persevere in spiritually training your children
and...perhaps most important...
✔️ know and apply God’s truth in the daily activities of educating your children.

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Taking Every Thought Captive

Taking Every Thought Captive
"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5

This verse means more and more to me as time goes on! I learned it in high school, but apparently I am NOT finished learning how to apply it. All too often I find myself allowing my thoughts to run wildly out of control, assuming everything that floats through my head is absolute truth.

BUT IT'S NOT! Just because you think something...doesn't mean it's true!

Here are some thoughts I've had to battle:

You're never going to figure this out.
You've failed.
You're not doing enough.
You're not making any difference.

And while I haven't provided context for the above thoughts, you can probably imagine they surface in a variety of arenas: physical exercise, self-control with eating habits, homeschooling, ministry...the list goes on and on.

Anyone else have daily battles inside your own minds?!

No matter what our personal goals are in this season of life, I've learned one of the MOST important steps is to get our minds in the right place. As a Christian, for me that means digging into God's Word and speaking truth over myself. How can I pour out truth into my children's hearts and minds if I'm allowing my own untrue thoughts to run me into the ground?!

What are some ways you take your thoughts captive?
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Repentance & Fasting

Repentance & Fasting
Repentance is a turning away from the direction we are headed and turning toward God. As Ted and I dug into the book of Joel, our discussions sometimes centered around how little our culture knows, let alone talks about, the concept of repentance. Rationalization, yes. Accusations of someone else's wrongdoing, absolutely. (Let's not make this political, but we could all go there.) But honest, sincere, humble repentance? Never. 
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