Category Archives: parenting

31 Days of Creative Homeschooling: An Unexpected Gift

Dyslexia a gift?
My daughter will scoff and I can’t blame her. I don’t imagine she can see the gift. In fact, I’m fairly certain she might never see dyslexia as a gift. But dyslexia has been a gift to me and in turn, has made me a better mother to her and to her siblings.
Learning to parent a child with dyslexia meant examining my preconceived notions of what her interests would be, her education & learning style, and my life plans & goals.
We had decided to homeschool when she was quite young, therefore, homeschooling meant finger painting, reading about Jesse Bear, talking about Jesus, and going to the zoo. Good times! Fun & easy! We were golden until the time came when I thought she should be reading.

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She was such a little bean, and I had so much to learn. We plugged away with pathway readers, explode the code workbooks, sing spell read & write curriculum, read alouds, wizardspell, computer games, posters, board games, blocks…..are you getting worn out reading the list? We certainly got worn out trying to achieve the list. She would do the work, many times in tears, we would spend far too long on each assignment, I would push far too hard….
It is a sad memory for me & I’m certain sadder for her.

Hear this, “she would do the work”.
If I could have seen she was doing it, maybe I could have slowed down. But no.
Although she was doing the work, it didn’t stick. It took years before anything stuck. Not her fault. Not my fault.
I did eventually wake up from my homeschool mommy fog. We slowed down. I apologized for pushing too hard. I acknowledged things she said. I read aloud, we loved good books, we played. I remembered to breathe.

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Dyslexia taught me to know & love my children right where they are for exactly who they are. Some parents never learn that.

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Has she conquered dyslexia? No. I’m not sure one ever fully can. We both have learned to live with dyslexic quirks, not to bite off more than she can chew and to not be defeated by dyslexia.
How can I not be grateful?
(originally posted 11/2011)

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31 Days of Creative Homeschooling: Dear Mama

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Dear Mama,
You aren’t perfect, you know that I’m sure. And dear mama, you surely have some relief in knowing that you’re not perfect and you give yourself some grace when you make mistakes. I hear you! I know how frustrating it is, this daily battle with self.
Dear mama, I want to take a moment and remind you that as you cannot make yourself perfect, you cannot make your children perfect. Take a breath and listen,

You Cannot Make Your Children Perfect.

You can gently lead, train, pray for and guide them. You can use kind words and show love, you can tenderly correct them. But dear mama, in no way can you make them perfect. No lists, no charts, no punishment, no scripture memory, no perfect curriculum, no amount of chores, no scrubbing the floors or walls, no tears, harsh words, arm jerks, face smacks…. none of it will make your children wise up and be perfectly obedient.
Just as you and I struggle daily with our own sinful nature our children struggle with theirs.
I’m not saying that order and expectations can’t help you in training up your children, please understand that. But I am saying that in the training you want to have a Relationship and in a relationship you need to have trust. If you are so worried about how your children behave or obey that you are destroying their trust then you will endure rough waters.
Jesus Christ gives us the gift of perfection in His death and resurrection, until He returns we will struggle repeatedly with our own sinful nature and with our children’s sinful nature. The Lord works through us as mothers and we have to remember that He will equip us. We have to remember to seek Him in our parenting decisions, not the standards & expectations of this world.

Robert Frost once said, “In just three words I can sum up everything I have learned about life. It goes on.”

My three words ~

Love
Your
Kids

They are words that I think are important to hear, words that sum up my day and words to inspire. They are the words of advice I give to new moms.
Perhaps that advice seems obvious, yet I have seen moms get so caught up in what they are supposed to teach their children, they forget to love them. Moms (and dads) focused on training up their children, on what punishments fit what behaviors, what schooling is the best, what will put their child on top, what will fulfill their needs. (whose? the mom’s needs or the child’s needs?)
I have a friend who has one of the most gentle personalities. She is funny, witty, intelligent, loving, passionate, and kind. She’s human, I’m pretty sure of that, but I’ve never seen her raise a voice or hand to her children.
I had to ask one day, how? How do you do this? Don’t you get angry? Is there ever a time when they make you crazy?
Her answer was a resounding yes, certainly. (Ah ha, she is human!)
But she was once reminded that her children are a precious thing.
She was reminded by her tearful toddler after a spanking.
“But mama, why did you spank me? I’m a precious thing.”
That was the one and only spanking in her home. There is no screaming at the children either. Their home is a place of peace, Christ, love, & creativity.
She has never corrected me when I was angry with my children, never shook her head or looked disappointed by my frustration. But quietly witnessed to me when I asked.
And reminded me

Love
Your
Kids

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31 Days of Creative Homeschooling: Inspiration

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~ Get creative – God commands it ~
He who is Creator made us creative. That includes when we teach our children His commands!
Deuteronomy 6:5-10

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31 Days of Creative Homeschooling: Listening

After discussing Words this week, I thought Listening was an appropriate theme to visit. This post is originally from June of 2012:

Saturday night after devotions, I tucked my youngest two in for the night & told them to stay in bed in the morning as I was treating them to breakfast in bed! Their eyes lit up, I got extra hugs. So very sweet! I don’t think I have ever given them this treat before.

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I made mini pancakes & fruit kabobs with donut balls from The Fresh Market (they were my favorite!!)
I didn’t use my husband’s pancake recipe and I totally should have, the kids agree! He makes pancakes with orange juice instead of milk and they are the best! Next time for sure.
So why is this post called “Listening”? Well it dawned on me the other day that all three of my children have offered to make me breakfast in bed a gazilion times. While I’ve certainly let them & pretended to enjoy the buttered burnt toast 😉 I really don’t like it at all. It doesn’t even have anything to do with burnt toast. I’m just not a breakfast in bed person. I like getting up at a certain time & doing certain things… routine. (it’s my favorite)
I realized though that they would probably love it. I was actually thinking about how sometimes we get presents that we *know* the gifter really picked for them… We all know someone like that, right? At any rate, I was reminded to listen to what others enjoy, be aware of things they are excited about & the whole breakfast in bed deal popped into my mind.
It was well worth it & I am trying to be more aware of other little ideas I might find in our every day conversations.

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31 Days of Creative Homeschooling: Words

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A quick glance at one of my journal pages tonight ~ more on words tomorrow!

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31 Days of Creative Homeschooling: Making Meals

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A super easy step by step:
1) training
The most fun way to introduce cooking to your children is to sit at the table with your family’s favorite cookie recipe & read. Read the ingredient list & let the children grab the ingredients. Read the directions & watch them measure & mix. Do Not get up! Most of the training comes in mom being supportive and giving guidance from the table as the kiddos learn by doing.
2) shop
Show them how expensive everything is, how to get the best for your money, how to make wise & delicious choices in the grocery store. But also be willing to get something they choose and you typically wouldn’t.
3) explore
Be willing to try new & different recipes yourself. Have a “you pick dinner night” where the kids can choose the meal you make for everyone.
Steps 1-3 prepare your kids for making meals themselves! When they are fully capable to make a full meal for your family, hand over the reigns for the day. Of course you should be willing to help, but Momma, if you can release some control they will learn.
Allow them a budget, ask them to plan the meal, shop & cook. It’s a big step toward independence and a fantastic learning experience.

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Summer in pictures…

I don’t know what happened to June or July- I think someone stole them from my calendar.
I have some blog plans – loose plans- but plans nonetheless.
For now ~ our summer:

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