Homeschooling Survival - taking time to cleanse the palate

I've been doing a LOT of writing for work lately. I don’t mind  writing articles, and appeal letters, and thank you notes, and blog entries…really, but sometimes my head needs a break, especially when all the writing is piled on top of the homeschooling. As I sat thinking about this today I realized...I needed a palate cleanser for my BRAIN!

10 Benefits of Homeschooling ~ From the Brain of a Former Public School Teacher


What you’re about to read is a very light-hearted perspective of homeschooling.  If you’ve never been a classroom teacher, this list may mean nothing to you- but these are the honest thoughts and thrilling revelations that occurred to me as I began planning for Kindergarten and our first ‘official’ year of homeschooling!


Your Transition Team

Instinctively, I poured that last bit of coffee into the sink before reality hit me. This was our first morning of homeschooling! I didn't need to rush through breakfast. I loved that! I didn't need to scramble to get the boys' uniforms ready or to pack lunches and snacks (which hardly got eaten anyway). I tell that little story in the blog, Healthy, Wholesome Homeschooling. No scurrying into the old white van with my usual, "Hurry or we'll be late!" message.

You're Going To Soar!


Wide-eyed and smiling, the four-year-old twins looked up at me. This was their first flight, and their own dad (my husband, Jay) was the pilot. The boys held my hand as they jumped up and down like Mexican jumping beans, hardly able to contain their excitement. Just then, I looked at that long, dark runway and wondered if everyone noticed that I was not my usual enthusiastic self....


Taking Care of Siblings


Most of the parents I speak with who are raising children with special needs are also raising children who are developing typically.  In terms of parenting, these moms (and dads) are dealing with more issues than the normal sibling rivalry and clash in personalities. In this post, I thought I’d focus on those other, very special children. 

Build Time Into Your Day For Fresh Air, Exercise & Sunshine

We fluffed up the pillows in the corner of our upstairs school room that September afternoon, and settled in to review the spelling list. Sun poured through those two windows warming the carpet and our three freckled faces. 

We opened the book and worked to pronounce those special sounds: scr as in scrape, squ as in squeak or squint. After about thirty minutes and some major fidgeting, I gave a big yaaawwwnn... and  silently considered that this third-grade language lesson was not going exactly according to plan --

Get Ready To Homeschool: 3 Things You Can Do Today


Are you new to homeschooling?  If so -- welcome aboard!

Whether you're brand new to teaching or a seasoned veteran, I hope these three ideas will encourage and inspire you as you eagerly anticipate a great year ahead...

"Do what you can and pray for what you cannot yet do."  -Saint Augustine

Helping Your Children Realize Their Biggest Dreams

Today’s post is a bit unorthodox. You will hear about an incredible new audio drama by Phil Lollar, co-creator of Adventures in Odyssey, and what YOU can do to help make it a reality. (It’s called Iliad House and you’re about to get the inside scoop because I am a member of the team!) 

You will also find out the dirty little secret behind why I never became a veterinarian. But most importantly, you will hear the practical steps that my parents and mentors have taken to help me realize my dreams so that you can help YOUR children do the same. (Get ready to be impressed by how many things you are already doing to help make your kids’ dreams come true!) So today’s post is a little about me, but it is mostly about you.

To Our Kitchens, O Mothers

...I pictured myself back in my college days at the University of Maryland giving a speech to my fellow classmates. I envisioned telling them what I'm about to tell you. A few people, including the professor walked toward the podium. I knew that they wanted to usher me out of that lecture hall quicker than a flash...

I think that moms really set the tone at home, and that when it comes to nurturing their families --- no one is quite as good as a loving mother. And, specifically when it comes to nutrition, mothers are extremely influential. 

Your Important Role As Mom and Teacher

"The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world."   -William Ross Wallace

In the blog, A Mom's High Hopes, I reflected on motherhood. And, once again, I encourage you to look at your vital role as you shape your children's lives...

One of the hardest things about being a mom is that at the end of the day, you don't always see the results of your labor. But I encourage you...never for a moment think that your role, your work, and your love for your family is anything less than crucial

Life Skills for Teens

The high school years are a prime time to teach important life skills to your teens. Some skills will be taught spontaneously as you live life with your teen on a daily basis. Teaching other life skills may take some intentional planning. A checklist for teaching life skills may help you organize a strategy to instruct your teens in eight areas: home management, nutrition and health, financial management, job preparation, computer skills, cultural arts, volunteering, and spiritual preparation.

Teach Hospitality: 3 Ideas


This summer, why not teach the kids what it means to give a warm welcome? Although hospitality may seem like a lost art, let's revive our passion to use our homes as lighthouses in a dark world by inviting people over. Forget about cleaning and having the perfect house -- we're talking about reality here...


Make It A TV-Free Summer

...The family of four sat motionless in the family room that night after dinner. All facing the same direction, their eyes stared at that blue screen, conversation abated. They couldn't hear the symphony of summer crickets and frogs in the little koi pond outside their patio door. And they didn't hear the breeze blowing or the distant whistle of the train...

As we calculated the many hours wasted in front of the TV, we decided to do something radical. We said goodbye to TV-viewing that night fifteen years ago, and don't regret it one bit! 

Longing for Noise


Looking back over 20+ years of homeschooling, I wanted time to be alone. Yep. I admit it. I wished for places of silence in my life. As much as I loved the sounds of life all around me, I longed for moments of stillness throughout most of my parenting and homeschooling years...


Natural Beauty: Take Care Of Yourself

Today let's talk about the importance of taking care of ourselves in order to maintain and cultivate inner strength and outward beauty. Strength -- to do our very best in what we're called to do: love our husbands and children, manage our homes (I realize that many work outside the home, too), and teach our children. Beauty --- not just outward. We're also talking about those inner qualities like graciousness, kindness, and a pleasant demeanor -- virtues that are fast disappearing and often mocked in our androgynous American culture... 


Subscribe to Encouragement