Building Character

Helping Kids Learn Money Management || Part II

For families, especially large families with lots of kids to think about giving allowance to, it can seem impractical to implement a weekly allowance. I understand that. But here are two things to consider: 

I think the allowance system is great for getting kids to learn to save, give, and manage their spending habits. But aside from learning money management, the best thing about allowance is teaching kids principles of restitution. 

Helping Kids Learn Money Management || Part I

Gas fumes and fried food smells wafted through the Texas gas station where my daughter stood, counting her coins to see if she had enough money to buy both the king-sized candy bar and the bag of gummy worms. It turns out that she did not. We were on a road trip and she had looked forward to buying her own treats at gas station stops, with the allowance money she’d saved up. Now her money was running out.

When Cookies Go Bad | What I Did on the First Day of Summer Vacation

Meg finished her last workbook on June first. June second arrived, cold and raining all day, and I had to clean house for company. By the time afternoon rolled around things were kind of under control – not clean, of course, because a house is never clean when kids are awake, but at least the backlog of dishes was gone and a couple of rooms were pretty good -- so I agreed when Meg asked to make cut-out cookies and use the cookie cutters. Cookies are good for a rainy day.

How We Build Sibling Harmony

The fact that I’m even writing an article on the topic of sibling harmony does not mean that our family has mastered the subject. Far from it! Note that I’m not titling this “How to Achieve Sibling Harmony,” because we haven’t accomplished that yet. However, we do recognize this as a priority, and I thought it might be helpful to others on the same journey for me to set down a few things we do to encourage the fostering of good, healthy sibling relationships. It’s also a good reminder for me to review on those days when things just aren’t going smoothly!

Passion in Our Kids … fruit or goal of homeschooling?

A couple years ago, I shared a post about one of my children, John, who sort of fell into a short acting career during our homeschooling journey. John was only 11 when this adventure started. He was just going into junior high, and though clearly undecided on what he wanted to do for the rest of his life, he was pretty passionate about wanting to act in this season of his life. I shared about his first couple year’s experience in this post, with a promise of an update.

A Mother’s Love (of Books)

Mom grew up in a tiny Mississippi town, attended a three-room schoolhouse until high school, and never traveled extensively. But Mom was, and still is, a reader. She read everything from novels to science magazines. Google didn’t exist when I was ten, but my mother did, and that was pretty much all I needed.

Remembering Gilbert Blythe

When I heard that the actor who played Gilbert Blythe had died, I was sorry, of course. I heard it from a lady at church, who has loved the Anne movies a long time. Then I talked to my friends, who really do care. I read their blog posts and a bunch of articles and a Buzzfeed tribute. Then I explained about Crombie’s loss to Meg, who at the ripe old age of five has never heard of Anne or Gilbert (ack!), and now I’m crying.

Laissez-Faire or Fairly Lazy?


We have, as I’ve mentioned before, a fairly laid-back approach to schooling. Of course, my motto (or one of my mottoes; I’m as fond of mottoes as the Duchess in Alice in Wonderland was of morals) is do what works for you. Right now, a flexible homeschooling approach works wonders for the smoothness and serenity of our lives.


The Ever-Elusive Perfect Learning Environment

In my most glowing pink, rose-colored dreams about home education, my children are perfectly groomed, sitting attentively around the table, smiling or perhaps looking intrigued, as I speak articulately and passionately about faith, academics, or some other important subject matter. Every word out of my mouth is being absorbed into their spongy brains, for permanent retention and life application. The room is quiet as I speak, or perhaps there is soft classical music providing some white noise in the background.

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall! - 5 Tips For The Transition



As we savor the remaining moments of summer, and launch a new homeschool year, I'd like to offer some down-to-earth, real-life encouragement to you.


Showcasing Interests, Abilities, and Activities

As I look back on my homeschooling years, it amazes me just how God directed our path. In my son’s 8th grade year, I wanted to prepare him to attend the public high school, so I signed him up for two outside classes. As my husband had played on his high school basketball team, he knew how important this could be for our son, so we also signed up our teen for winter basketball, which a local homeschool organization offered. Our son enjoyed being part of the team, and this pleased my husband.  

Chicken Pox and Lice...Extracurricular Activities For Home Schoolers!

Of the list of things we try to protect our children from when we homeschool—drugs, violence, alcoholism, gang wars, sexual promiscuity, I think chicken pox and lice should also be up at the top, too!

Unfortunately, our family has experienced both of these during our homeschooling journey. 

A Summer's Day: 7 Ideas For Fun


The heat waves rise up from the street, the sun blazes hotter than ever, and the kids look up at you after breakfast wondering what's in store for the day. Well, don't let the heat get you down! Revive your spirit of adventure and think of some fun activities that are free (or practically free) to enjoy while you take a break from school.

The Pilot & The Passengers, Part II


As typical six-year-old girls, my twin sister and I bobbed up and down like little jumping beans while we watched the Stinson gracefully touch down on the runway. "Never mind the plane. You stay right here, and don't walk through that door!" Ms. P cackled with her eyes fixed on our every move.


Thoughts on Being a Mother

I know not everyone likes celebrating Mother's Day. Some of our own childhoods were punctuated by pain and brokenness. While my experience with my birth father was like this, I'm thankful to have a mom who loved me and laid down her life for me in so many ways.

If you are a homeschooling mother who looks to the Lord each day to fulfill her calling, you are making a difference for good in the life of your child! Don't look at your failures; look at God's faithfulness...


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