Have you ever been in those places where God pushes you out of your comfort zone by given you a dream that is bigger than yourself? You’re terrified, yet excited to take that step. But everything that awaits is unknown.

That is were I have been for quite a few months. The Lord began putting this stirring and dream of a community of homeschooling moms who came together from all different backgrounds and ways of homeschooling. For the purpose of building each other up, sharing about their struggles, talking about the moments they love in these child raising years and coming away knowing that they weren’t alone in homeschooling. I made a comment to my husband that I wished that there was a homeschool convention here in town or something bigger that was done where you could go and learn and connect with more people and people could ask questions about things that they were struggling with or wanting advice on. And in his true visionary personality he says, “Why don’t you do something then?”

Anyone that knows me knows that I am an introvert and the idea of starting something terrifies me. I enjoy being behind the scenes and doing things one on one with people. But this desire in my heart continued to stir of wondering what that would look like. More importantly, was this something that God was stirring inside me?

I put it on the back burner and didn’t think much about it. However, as the weeks went on it seemed like every time I turned around I was being connected with some person about homeschooling, and coming along side a mom to be a coach so they would feel confident in their homeschooling journeys.

And the dream continued to grow…

“What if…”

So with my husband’s continued spurring on, a sweet friend’s encouragement and the confidence that this was God’s timing with it all, I took the first step… and then another… and have been absolutely blown away and humbled at how the Lord continues to open doors.

What are those steps you may be asking?

One step has been to create a bi-yearly event where homeschooling moms and those who are interested in homeschooling, can come together, ask questions and grow. Where they leave feeling encouraged, confident and equipped in their homeschooling journeys. And where most importantly they don’t feel the overwhelming feeling of isolation that sometimes homeschooling brings. So if you are in the area and have seen the flyer, I hope that you join us on October 3rd for a night to connect with other moms and be handed tools to help equip you to have an amazing school year.

Our next event is slated to be held mid-January, specifically on homeschool curriculum. Asking the questions of: How do you pick a curriculum? What do you look for? Do you have to do everything as it says? How do you balance multiply age levels? And much more. I am beyond excited to see what God does with these!

For so long, I’ve known that my passion for homeschooling and coming along side moms was something the Lord had put in my heart to do. Now seeing what He is doing through that is humbling, exciting and makes me so nervous all in one! ūüôā

Remember, we’re better together. Let’s get going.

September 8, 2019
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Slow down and just be in the moment.

Take in the small things…the mundane tasks and eager little faces that greet you throughout the day. Find joy in the everyday moments. The smiling face of a little boy covered in oatmeal…the excitement of your son who once hated school, now sitting with eagerness…your daughter with her vivid imagination telling a story that her and the rest of the kids are acting out…the hugs and kisses to another little boy who tripped and hurt his knee…and your oldest just wanting to be near her mama throughout the day so while cleaning the kitchen she just sits and reads so that she can be by you.

Take in those moments. Those moments of a short prayer with your husband before you part ways. The morning snuggles and words of “I choose you today” whispered before your feet have touched the floor. The blessing of doing life together each day with the love of your life and best friend.

Breathe deep… of the little girls giggling when their suppose to be asleep. The moments when you see something has finally clicked for a child. The joy that feels your heart when they embrace the love of reading and you all go to the library and hit your max of books you can check out.

Rest…in the peace of God knowing He will give you everything you need for the day. That homeschooling is not a race but a journey.

Just be in the moment…don’t worry about running to grab the camera to capture it. Take it in and imprint it on your heart before it’s gone. Some moment are no one else but your own.

Stop running…remember the blessings when chaos overwhelms. Each day is a gift…each breathe a choice to be thankful or look at the hardships.

Life is full of the mundane and everything moments, so choose joy in them.

February 24, 2020
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In homeschooling or just parenting in general, it’s so hard to navigate what’s good for your kids to read. Especially, if you have a child who loves to read and devours books! It’s difficult to know if the books they just got in their stack from the library or as a present has content that you want your kids putting before their eyes. For our family, I want our kids to read books that have solid morals and that the characters talk in a way that’s honoring to one another. That they would be books that are pure, lovely, true and all the things that God wants us to dwell on. But sifting through books trying to find that is very hard! And to make it a bit more challenging, my girls read faster than I can keep up!

That is way I am beyond grateful for the book list The Good and The Beautiful put out because they do all the hard work for you!! This list is amazing!!! If there is a must have for all parents, whether you homeschool or not it is this book list. They write in there the different levels, moral merit, literacy merit, educational value PLUS they give you an except of what the book is about. I am totally serious that I love this list SO much!

About a week before I downloaded this, my oldest had been given a bunch of chapter books by someone that was fictional stories about horses (which she is obsessed with). I had never heard of the series and from the cover and back excerpts they looked good and seemed to be fine. After downloading this book list and then the book lists for the books that didn’t make the list download (which is separate and you have to email for it, but definitely encourage that one as well!), I saw that it was on that list and the reasons why. I am SO grateful that I had these list to help me and then encourage her in ones that are more wholesome and beautiful literature. It’s also got ideas for Christmas books too (I just used it to request a bunch from the library to read during our morning time :))!

The best part too is that this book list is FREE right now!!! Seriously, I’m slow to promote something but this you will not regret downloading and will be such a help in navigating books for your children, teenagers or read aloud for you to read to your family.

Download here!

 

December 6, 2018
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My husband recently preached a sermon series that really was incredible (I know I’m probably a little bias but others also said it was awesome! #proudwife ;)). The main point he made throughout it was:

“We fail because we quit too soon”. 

That really hit me as I replayed my past. I have quit on so many things in my life. Growing up, I never really stuck with anything and I regret that a lot. Because of that, I have carried it into adulthood now. I fail because I get tired, doubt myself, loss motivation, get bored with it, don’t plan well or just don’t have a good direction set. But my choices and not sticking through with things not only affects me but my husband, my kids and those around me. I realized so much of it has to do with my lack of confidence in myself and my choices. I doubt myself and my abilities, whether it’s my research that I’ve done or my intelligence to be able to do it. Instead of just pressing through, I back out or jump to the easy route. Instead of being steadfast, I waver. Instead of trusting and keeping my focus on God, I get distracted by the waves and start sinking. Then I somehow wonder why I’m sinking or overwhelmed, when I’ve taken my eyes off the One who gives me that solid ground to walk on.

Sometimes I fail at things because it’s just not the right season and sometimes I fail because I just stopped trying.

Now that the Lord has showed me this though, what am I going to do with the knowledge? Am I going to keep running lacking confidence? Or am I going to change my course I’ve been on and instead run with confidence and pushing through even when things get hard. Practically speaking, when my kids whine or refuse to do their chores, am I going to keep at it even when its easier to sometimes do them myself? When I get off track on meal planning and cleaning, am I going to push it off for another day to figure it out? When my toddler is pushing limits and I’m exhausted and don’t want to deal with anymore discipling, am I going to correct or “pretend” I didn’t see and go look at something on my phone? These are the obstacles I have in my races. Everyones looks different but it all comes down to running well and not quitting even in what seems to be something small.

Running in a way to win the race and not quit before the end.

Don‚Äôt you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize.  Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. However, they do it to receive a crown that will fade away, but we a crown that will never fade away.  Therefore I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air. Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

 

How is my self control? Am I just beating the air or running aimlessly? We have just one life. One race to run. How do I want to run it? Do I want to be distracted by all the other around me running and how they’re running? This doesn’t mean I can’t glean knowledge from others and their experiences. Or encourage others in their running of the race. Instead it’s me not comparing myself to other people or doubting my confidence in the course I’m on. We are each different and have different situations. But we all add to the body of Christ in a beautiful way.

I have confidence and assurance knowing that, in my God there is no shadow of turning. He can bring consistency in my inconsistency. Thank you, God, for that!

December 6, 2018
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This past school year (we run our school years a little differently than most), we did a few things from the curriculum “The Good and the Beautiful”. I feel like now that my girls have finished their handwriting books I can give a good review of them.

First and foremost, I want to say that I LOVE this company! I love how they have sought to simplify subjects and combine them in such a beautiful and solid way. Also the people who work for the company are truly genuine and have been a joy to talk with! I have talked to one person through email {Clarissa if you read this, you truly blessed my family so much and were such an encouragement me. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. } She then got me in touch with another homeschooling mama to help me when I kind of hit a road block with certain parts. I am so thankful for the two of them! I love the vision they have for the curriculum and how the combine things so well! To Jenny Philips, you truly are such an encouragement to so many and thank you for your sacrifices to make this curriculum. Thank you and your team for putting out such solid curriculum! In a world were we have to worry about everything our kids are exposed to, The Good and the Beautiful curriculum is a breathe of fresh air!

I could go on and on but let’s get to the main point of why you’re reading this post…      

My oldest daughter just finished level 5 of The Good and the Beautiful Handwriting and she seriously loved it! I had to limit her to just one a day because she wanted to go through the whole book! I thought it was great for practice and they loved being able to have a fun pictures to color or something to practice drawing. 

My younger daughter finished her as well and I had thought it was going to practice more cursive throughout hers but I misunderstood it and saw from my older daughters that the cursive writing really started in level 5 and that level 4 is just a small introduction to it. So after she finished she has been practicing more of her  cursive writing in A Reason for handwriting T book (once she finished her level 4 book I just transitioned her to that for extra practice as they have a ton of repetition in their books-which is good and bad ;)).

One of my favorite parts is this cursive handwriting chart. It is so nice to be able to flip to the front and them to see how to write the letters (or for me if I forget how to write a cursive Q or Z ;)). They also have a printed word chart too.

I am so thankful for us being able to do The Good and the Beautiful Handwriting book. And am looking forward to doing it next year for my girls and starting my son in the level 1 for kindergarten!

November 27, 2018
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Today I thought I’d share a bit about my mission¬†in homeschooling my kids. What’s the goal I have by homeschooling? What do I want to accomplish?

We began homeschooling about 2 1/2 years ago when our oldest was around 3 1/2. Ever since she was little she has loved to learn. She knew her ABC’s, numbers and shapes before she was 3, and was like a tiny sponge that soaked up anything you would show her. By the time she was 4 she was reading, and now at almost 7 years old she’s cruising along at at least a 3rd to 4th grade reading level and doing a cross between those same grade levels of work as well. It’s never been anything I’ve pushed in the least but since she was little I’ve always wanted to cultivate a love of learning in her. Her sister who is 5 is not far behind her and soaks up everything that is put in front of her. And as their brothers are coming up now I hope to instill in them that same love of learning.

That is my mission in homeschooling. I want them to love to learn. I want them to never stop learning. If there is something they’re interested in, we explore it. We’ve explored space, dug deeper into the life of George Washington, learned about the different parts of flowers and leafs, and my girls know more than I could ever know about the lives of Pocahontas, John Smith and the pilgrims.

My favorite thing about homeschooling is watching them flourish and grow in their knowledge, and getting the privilege to be a part of it. I love seeing them curled up in their beds reading, or reading to their little brothers, and knowing that I was a part of cultivating such a milestone in their lives.  Getting to hear my 6 year old using multiplication facts, or my waiting with my 5 year old in the doctors office as she is wanting addition and subtraction facts one right after the other and begging me to keep them coming. Their love of learning has been unlocked!  Praise God!

I feel like the biggest piece of the puzzle when it comes to their learning has been our approach and methodology. ¬†After all, the motivation and method are crucial when trying to create a plan to educate your kids for the rest of their lives. ¬†Whoa! ¬†If that isn’t a sobering reality… I don’t know what is! ūüôā ¬†So, what’s the reasoning? ¬†Am I just looking at school as something we need to hurry up and get done with? ¬†As a chore that must be check off on the daily list? Or instead am I helping them dig into things that interest them? Learning what they love and finding out their passions that grow as they get older. Looking at their learning styles and finding ways to help them retain knowledge. If I sit my 3 1/2 year old little boy at the table and expect him to diligently sit and do a work book for longer than 5 minutes, he’s going to hate it and not look forward to it at all. ¬†Knowing my song, he WILL see it as a chore. But if I make it fun, get ABC puzzles and take time to sing the ABC song with him as we point out each letter. ¬†If I congratulate him when he gets a letter right, seeing his face light up at the praise. Then, THEN I’ve accomplished two extremely important things: our relationship has grown because of the time we’re spending together AND learning comes alive for his auditory learning mind!

As their Mama, I know my kids the best. I know when they need to slow down in a concept or subject, or when they can speed up. I know when school needs to be pushed to later in the day and they need some extra attention. And because of homeschooling we can do that. ¬†It is because of all of these things that I am thankful for the chance to be a homeschooling mom! ¬†Now don’t get me wrong, it has it’s challenges. ¬†But the truth is, what part of life doesn’t? ¬†Thats just a fact of life. ¬†The benefits are so much greater than anything I could have imagined.

Each morning as my children wake up and I see their faces, I’m reminded of how much they seem to change overnight. Where did the time go that somehow my oldest is going to be 7 years old in a few months and I can clearly remember the day she came into this world? ¬†Now, she’s making lunches and beside me as we are cleaning the kitchen. It makes me even more grateful for the chance to homeschool them and walk daily beside them, guiding them and being for them as they navigate this life.

April 12, 2018
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