Changes to liven up your homeschool life

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I’ve now been home schooling over 10 years!  Its super excited to say I’ve graduated 2 of my children from high school too!  YAHOO! (I still have 6 more to go)  I have done a lot of things wrong, right and in between.   I’ve also did various home school styles from videos, to regular teaching, workbooks, and also unit studies.  I also taught in a Christian school for 3 years (that’s another story).

This year I’ve made some BIG changes in our home school plan!  I’m actually really excited about this year and all that I’ve gotten accomplished this past month to get the process going.

We used to have a “school room” a number of years ago, but that changed to our older daughters room and the younger gang have been doing school at the table or in front of the wood stove in the winter!  HA!

Well I truly needed change and so did the kids.  I think sometimes change is good and it’s needed.  We’ve got to reevaluate things and find what works and what doesn’t.  Find what we can spice up or what we can let go of.  For me this summer, change has created a new excitement for homeschooling.  YES!

Recently I’ve decided to turn a section of our basement into a “school area”.   So exciting!  Our basement isn’t the most glamorous, but hey it’s a space that I’ve started working on to add a special feel for the kids and a space that we can be creative and learn.  Also a spot where we can close the door when we are done and not have “school” spread out everywhere!  (why didn’t I think of this sooner?!)

(A few pics of things I’ve been updating in our basement….still in progress)

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Here’s some encouragement to new home schooling moms or even ones that have been doing it for awhile…..

Know that home schooling truly evolves as you go.  What works one year, might not work another year.  Also what curriculum works for one child might not neccessarily work for another one.  It’s truly a process!

Don’t give up when it gets tough!  In all reality home schooling your children is hard and trying at moments but remember it’s also very rewarding and can be fun!  Changing things up can help from burn out!  Let me be the 1st to say….you gotta keep things new and fresh.  This is another reason we are moving to the basement.  I needed change as well as them.  (Remember you don’t NEED a “room” to effectively home school….you can school anywhere, this is just what works for us) 

Pray over your school year, your curriculum and the goals that you want for your home.   Including God is so very important and learning to allow God to direct your steps is key!

You gotta be organized and planned out.  Chaos truly happens when you don’t have plans or goals.  Trust me…I’ve tried it many ways and it’s not pretty when your not planned out.  Here is a great resource to help get your organized in your school time, family time, and everything else. If your needing to get more organized and planned, click HERE to order your planner….it’s a great tool!

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Last but not least….be you!!  You are the only one that knows your kids the best and you are the one that God created to meet their needs.   Don’t compare yourself to what other home school moms are doing, just follow God’s leading and do what He has you do!

Schooling your children is a journey and it is a great opportunity to guide their hearts and their minds towards Christ.  It’s an opportunity to connect with them and spend time cultivating their lives to be faithful servants of the Lord.

How are you changing things up this upcoming year?  Let me hear your ideas!!! 

 

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What I’ve learned in 20 years of being a mom

10733971_977524518937889_5558030609286947239_n (1)I know you have heard the phrase…..”Time Flies” well there is much truth to it!   This month I am celebrating 20 years of being a mom!  Whoa!  How can that be?!   Truly in a blink of an eye it just happened.

As I reflect back 20 years ago and remember the excitement that lead up to the birth of our 1st child, I remember how scared and how excited I was at the same time.  Knowing I was about to give birth and all of that unknown was enough to make me run away and hide!  It’s amazing your life that very moment changes forever!   When the Dr. placed this 7lb 9 oz. daughter on my chest, my life instantly changed and would never be like it was before.1462950_10201564724973664_779184750_n

Speeding it up 20 years later and 7 more children, I can say I’ve learned a lot over these 20 years!  It’s been a journey of many failures, regrets, disappointments, exhaustion, heartache, pain, guilt, sleeplessness nights, and tears but there has also been many fun times, laughter, joy, proud moments, accomplishments, a sense of fulfillment, love, excitement, and sheer enjoyment!

Here’s a few things I’ve learned in 20 years of being a mom!  

  1.  It’s a sacrifice.  With something as important as raising another generation it takes pure sacrifice!  Nothing more, nothing less.  Being a mom I’ve learned what it means to sacrifice.   In small ways and bigger ways making an investment takes some giving up of things.  Learning it’s not all about me, but about a job I’ve been called to do.
  2. It’s rewarding.  Rewards do come in many different ways.  To see your children grow, learn, mature, and you see fruits of your labor is rewarding.  It’s so worth it!
  3. Making mistakes is normal.  Yes mistakes come a lot.  Over the years It’s been a learning experience for me as well.  Trial and error and growing with your children is all part of the journey.
  4. I don’t have it all together.  I honestly figured out quickly, I’m not one of these moms that “have it all together”.  Truthfully….there isn’t such a thing!  No mom, no where has it all together.  Some days you just have to survive.  Ha!189243_246708682019480_961956_n
  5. It’s fun.  Being a mom has many fun moments.  What has kept me sane is being able to laugh and even laugh at myself.  Life is way to boring to be so serious and seeing the fun in parenting isn’t too hard around here.
  6. It’s challenging.  Anyone that is a parent can attest to the challenges that comes it’s way.  Challenges of all sorts from potty training to attitudes, I’ve experienced them all.  Thankfully this experience helps out when I still have a 2 year old in the house!
  7. It’s a 24 hour a day job.   Yup!  No time off.  Your mom position is really always on.  Even if your on a date with your husband or away for a night alone, your mom brain is always on and always thinking or praying for your kids.  The job is endless.
  8. You gotta say sorry sometimes.  Well let’s just say I’ve said sorry more times than I can remember!  The job of being mom comes with a lot of humbling moments of realizing I was wrong and I just needed to say it and make amends.
  9. Hard work does pay off.   Honestly when your kids are little you think it’s all in vain. The hundred times you’ve reminded them, showed them, taught them manners and truly believed it wasn’t working, let me tell you….your hard work of instilling “good” into your children does pay off!  I am now seeing much fruit after these 20 years!
  10. I pray…..I pray a lot!  Praying I found is a MUST for me as a mom.  I truly need the Lord and I 100% believe in the power of prayer!  It changes my heart, it works in the life of my children and it’s truly essential to my daily life!  You can say, I’ve learned to become a prayer warrior!

Girls on Bald Head Island, North Carolina beach.

So as I celebrate, enjoy and reflect over these 20 years of being a mom, let me encourage you……It’s hard but it’s so worth the rewards!  Learn to be the mom that God created YOU to be.  Enjoy the journey and find joy each in every day in the little moments!  They are only little once…..enjoy all that comes with each stage of their growth….the good, the bad, and the not so easy times!

I’m so thankful I’ve been chosen to be a mom, it’s the best gift I could of been given.   Children are truly a gift and this journey has been a life changing one for me.  I’ve learned, grown, cried, laughed, matured, and had the time of my life!  And with that…..l’m going to celebrate and eat cake!!   

What have you learned since being a mom?   Let me hear…..

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“Brave Girls” 30 day devotional give-away!

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Things have been SO BUSY here lately, blogging has fallen to the way side. I’m looking to do more articles in the next few days and weeks to come!  Stay tuned! So to kick off my summer articles…. I’m super excite to have the opportunity to review this devotional book called “Brave Girls”.   (You’ll have a chance to win a FREE copy for yourself at the end)

This 90 day devotional is geared towards young girls ages 5 to 10.  It is a spin off from their original book…..Brave Girls Bible Stories in hardback cover. (Which my girls loved!)    This book features the girls “Faith” “Gracie” “Hope” “Glory” “Honor” which are characters who are pre-teen girls who navigate you through these stories and devotionals.   It gives a way for your girls to connect to one of them all while learning the principles in God’s Word.

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Each day is titled with a theme and a verse and a small devotional to explain and challenge your young girl with doing right and ways to understand God’s Word.  It also has a “prayer pointer” at the end of each devotional.   There is also a series of these 90 day devotional…..Beautiful You”  “Faithful Friends” and “Better than Perfect”.     Here’s a glimpse into Brave Girls “Beautiful You” 90 day devotional.  HERE  

Now here’s a chance for you to win a copy of Brave Girls 90 day devotional!

To enter to win a copy, please comment below why you would love to win this book!!  It’s as simple as that!   If you share it on FB, Tweet it, or Pin it please mention that in your comment for extra entries!    I’ll pick a random reader by Friday,  June 10, 2016.   Remember to share,  pin, or tweet!!     

***This review was my honest opinion and was done in exchange for the book.

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” I am” 40 reasons to trust God Book give-away & review

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This month I had the opportunity to review a book/devotional from Tommy Nelson called “I AM” 40 reasons to trust God by Diane Stortz.  This is by far one of my favorites from Tommy Nelson.   (I’m so excited to be giving a copy away…..enter below to win) 

This hardback book  (224 pages) is very well put together to teach children ages 4 to 12.   I particular like the fact that they go through the names of God along with the account in the Bible as well as the “what does it mean?” section and also “learn more” section.   It was very engaging for my kids to go through stories they already knew but to learn about all of God’s names and how they pertain to each of these accounts.  Great stuff!!

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Each day during our home school day we incorporate Bible into our learning.  We memorize verses, go through accounts of the Bible and learn principles that we can apply to our lives.  I used this with my 4th grader and 1st grader but it can easily be adapted to many different levels of learning.   

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This devotional book is great to learn about who God is and help your children to learn more about all of God’s names and what they mean.   I just love that!  This is something we will be incorporating into our weekly study.

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my kids love being silly for the camera!!

Here is some additional information:

Creator, Comforter, Healer, Friend
God’s names tell us who He is, what He is like, and what He does. This beautiful book covers 40 of the Bible’s many names and descriptive titles for God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
Jehovah Jireh
The Lord My Shepherd
Immanuel
Rabbi
I Am
Through Bible stories, short devotions, and prayers, children discover the meaning of each name and how it relates to their lives. As they develop understanding of God’s character and His love for them, children will grow to know, love, and trust the great I Am more and more.
Those who know your name put their trust in you. —Psalm 9:10

Click here to purchase or for more information.

CLICK HERE for additional views   AND for extra fun here are FREE COLORING sheets!

To win a FREE copy for your family enter here below! (just click on the Rafflecopter give-away link)   *Remember this is for 18 years and older and must live in the U.S

  CLICK THIS LINK to enter 〉〉 〉〉〉〉〉       a Rafflecopter giveaway

**All opinions were honestly given in exchange to review this book from Tommy Nelson.

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A Secret “tool” that will improve your kids behavior

a-woman-holding-hand-of-child (1)If I told you there was a secret “tool” that will really improve your child’s behavior, would you believe me?  (well there is…..and you can find out below what this “tool” is) 

Well let me first start out by  saying…….I am NOT a professional in any way in the parenting field.  I’m just a regular mom that is trying to train and raise my children for the Lord. I can say I have almost 20 years of experience to the eight wonderful children God gave to my husband and I.   

Parenting one child or many children is down right difficult at times.  If you are a parent at any stage of life it all has it’s challenges.    Now, let me say though it is also the greatest blessing and the most  highest calling to raise children that God blesses you with.

As I mentioned before, I am on my 20th year of parenting and I still can’t believe it’s been that long!  Over the years of course you learn as you go and pick up parenting tips here and there especially through the Word of the God (your #1 tool) and you pick up many tips and tricks from other parents or from how you were raised.  Parenting is mentioned all through out the Bible and here are just a few of the familiar ones…..

Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Ephesians 6:4 – And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Proverbs 29:15 – The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left [to himself] bringeth his mother to shame.

Proverbs 13:24 – He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Psalms 127:3 – Lo, children [are] an heritage of the LORD: [and] the fruit of the womb [is his] reward.

Colossians 3:21 – Fathers, provoke not your children [to anger], lest they be discouraged.

But one main ingredient besides prayer, training, teaching, setting a good example, character training, setting rules & guidelines is almost like a secret weapon in your child’s behavior.

You ready for it?  It’s called PRAISE!!!!     Yes…..Praise!  I have noticed over the years of parenting my little ones that giving your child praise during the day really builds them up and will improve their behavior.

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Sometimes in parenting we tend to ALWAYS focus on the negative.  We are constantly correcting and punishing or scolding and drawing attention to their bad behavior.

We easily forget to see all the things they do right!  I’m guilt of that myself.  I’ve got to remind myself to look for things they are doing and praise them for it!  Make a BIG deal over it when they share on their own, when they obey the 1st time, when you see kindness to their siblings, when they clean their room, etc.

It’s amazing to see when they hear the praise for doing good how much they want to continue doing it!  (I really don’t think they are much different then adults, do you?)  You know we as adults like to hear when we are doing a good job or someone notices your doing a good job.   So do they…..and it’s like fuel for good behavior.

Through out the day, make a conscience effort to look for what they are doing right and praise them!  When you see them making right choices big or small…..make a big deal of it and draw attention to that.    You soon will notice a big improvement with their behavior.

Here’s a little chart with 25 ways to Praise your child……what can you add to it???  I would love to hear how you praise or recognize your child!  Comment below!

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Treat Yourself Valentine’s Day Give-away!

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Can you believe it’s February already!?   And you know with February all the “Love” gifts and cards that you either give out to your family or ones you receive, it makes this month super special.   A Heart for the Home along with a few other of my “blogging friends” have gotten together to do an awesome give-away for you!!  (just enter below to win)

Here is what is included in this Treat Yourself Valentine Give-away:

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Mary Kay Satin Hands Set

3 Jamberry Nail Wraps

The Love Dare (book by Alex & Stephen Kendrick, mailed to you)

Song of Solomon Love Notes (mailed to you in time for Valentine’s Day)

God’s Word in My Heart: A Scripture Learning Guide with Memory Verses eBook (by Jennifer Thorson)

A Wife’s Guide to Studying Proverbs eBook (by Becky Zale)

Click on the link below to enter…….  Be sure to share, pin and tweet! 

To enter, just plug in your email address into the Rafflecopter giveaway below and follow the instructions for entries! Your email address is just for contact purposes, and the other entries are optional, but recommended! I love these ladies and I know you will love what they share if you choose to follow them via the options below!

Contest ends 2/6/2016 at 11:59 CST!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Strong willed children & how to handle them

StrongWilledChild (1)Oh you know,…… they are oh so cute and cuddly when they first come home from the hospital.  They are so sweet and warm and they smell delightful.  As the weeks go by then you start seeing the sweet smiles, and gummy grins to their first time they sit, crawl, and then start to walk. As your little one gets bigger their personality and temperament starts really coming out.  You start seeing whether you child is shy, outgoing, compliant, or strong-willed.  

 I think for most families, one of their children will end up being strong-willed. A strong-willed personality isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is if you don’t properly shape it and keep it under check.

In a family our size, I would probably say I have 2 children I can clearly say that are strong-willed.  It can be very challenging and tiring!  (Also let me add….I’m not a parenting expert just a regular mom to 8 kids and this is what has worked for me!) Be reminded that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.  And know that God created each child in a special way for a special purpose.

So what do you do in the mean time?  How do you handle a child that is challenging and at times seems like it’s always a battle.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind while dealing with a strong-willed child:

  • Pick your battles.   Not every situation or every event has to be a power struggle.  Learn to pick your battles and not go head to head on every little thing.
  • See the positive.  Sometimes when dealing with a child that is more time consuming and challenging you tend to just see the negative.  Learn to see some of the positives and point them out as much as possible.
  • Stand your ground.  There are times when you as the parent MUST stand your ground on certain issues or rules.  That is that!  It can be tiring but in the end it is better that the child knows there are somethings just not up for discussion or debate.  You know the areas in your family that are most important and things that just can not be compromised.
  • Be consistent.   With any parenting….consistency is key!  But when dealing with a child that can be stubborn, you’ve got to learn to be consistent with your boundaries and rules.
  • Love them.  I know this one may sound a bit much, but sometimes it’s hard to truly love them when all day it can be frustrating.  You sometimes need to go before God and ask for the strength to love them where they are.  Try and take one on one time with them and just put your arm around them and just show them unconditional love.
  • Pray.     This is a huge, huge one!  You must make a point to daily lift their name before the Lord.  Ask God to give you wisdom first on how to handle them.  Ask God for the strength and grace each day to better communicate on their level.  Prayer is a powerful tool and something that will help us as moms to draw closer to God. Here’s a little help with finding quiet time here.

Girls on Bald Head Island, North Carolina beach.

Here’s something I read from Kendra Smiley “The Journey of a Strong-willed Child”, she said  “Ask God to show you the vision He has for your child’s future, and what specific and measurable goals you and your spouse should set to help your child get there.”

Remember that God has a wonderful plan for each of your children, but God designed this child with a strong-willed temperament for a reason!  Keep that in mind.

For me I’m just starting to see progress in one of my two children that are strong-willed.  It’s been a long road at times, & tiring too, but seeing the progress is very encouraging!

Does that mean I won’t have any more problems?….. not at all but know that if you give it to the Lord and depend on Him for help, you will start to see remarkable difference in your parenting skills and how that child learns to handle themselves.

Parenting a child can have it’s challenges but when dealing with children that are strong-willed it can feel like it’s never ending.  Hang in there and keep on loving them, keep on connecting with them, keep on praying for them………Remember God is the one who formed this child and He knows them better than you!   Hang in there Mom, your not alone!

Here are a few resources that maybe of help::

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