Encouragement

Congratulations Graduates & Homeschoolers Of All Ages!

Temperatures climbed into the 80's that bright day last year. Graduation day. I remember how my heart skipped a beat or two when each of the guys put out their hands to receive their high school diplomas.

      "I'm so proud of you!" I said afterward as we basked in the wonderful feeling of having completed our homeschool journey.

     Big smiles. Everyone squinted as we snapped pictures. I stood on my tip-toes to give each son a kiss. Thoughts of all our official last days of school flooded my memory... 

3 Helpful Tips As Your Kids Study Music

 

I kept my eyes on the highway as our old white van whizzed past small towns in Maryland's rolling suburbs.  Monday night, 5:25, three years ago.  The twins had only recently gotten their driver's permits, so I decided to drive Austin to orchestra rehearsal that night.  His straight-forward comment broke the silence.  "Mom --- I have to tell you --- I'm quitting orchestra tonight..."

Music, Part II

I sat outside the violin lesson that afternoon while I graded math papers and wondered, "Is this worth it?" I taxied the twins to lessons once a week, encouraged them to practice every morning, and sat through many long recitals and rehearsals ... 

   Our family found that studying music is about so much more than simply learning songs. It takes a big commitment from the parents and the students!

Music, Part I

He positioned the guitar to the left side of his body and held its long neck like a hunter with his prized goose. He looked straight ahead, his new dress shoes creaking as he ascended the three steps to the vast stage which consisted of one lone chair. The audience was oddly silent except for one lady who coughed. I sat there in the second row and wondered if my nine-year-old son had practiced enough. This was his first recital.... 

Happy Mother's Day

 

How can we describe the love, admiration, and appreciation we have for our own mothers?   Next Sunday, our extended family plans on having a picnic in the mountains  ---- to celebrate Mother's Day, and to pay tribute to our wonderful mom who worked so hard (along with my dad, of course!) to raise us ....

What a Mother's Love Does

Now that I have six adult children and my last child soon to turn that corner (unless I can figure out a way to keep him from getting any older!) I've been thinking about my role as a mom these past 25 years. I started out knowing so very little about what makes a good mom. I was a bit scared. I had no confidence. I certainly hadn't formed any lofty long-range plans; I still had to learn how to hold a newborn and change a diaper!

Our Mothers Told Us So

Have you ever said something to your kids and thought, "I sound just like my mom." 

    "Say something nice, or nothing at all," or "Please get those elbows off the table," I reminded the boys over and over again.  Countless reminders.  We've all been there...

       I'm sure that all of us occasionally find ourselves repeating those tried-and-true phrases that are forever etched in our minds because they were so often repeated by our own mothers.

Encourage Your Family, And Your Family Will Encourage You

"I have absolutely no desire to learn how to swing a golf club and hit that elusive white ball.  Why don't you three go?" I said that spring afternoon.

"Mommy, come with us. We'll teach you," Justin pleaded as he looked up at me without blinking his hazel eyes...

So I reluctantly tagged along to the golf course with Jay and the boys that day.

Twelve Reasons To Start Homeschooling This Fall

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to teach at home? Are you new to the whole idea of homeschooling? Maybe you're in the information-gathering stage, or perhaps you're already planning to begin homeschooling after summer.

Maybe you and your husband are ready to start teaching your kindergartner, or maybe you're just curious about the whole idea. Perhaps you're taking your kids out of the public school system. If so -- fantastic! You won't regret it.

Songs in the Night - How Moms Can Have Authentic Joy In Hard Places

 
The ability to believe in the face of fierce adversity can only be described as a life-sustaining gift of God. His overflowing lovingkindness toward me was, and has always been so very great. In His perfect wisdom, He kept the storm raging all around me, and in His mercy He calmed the heart of His child.
 

 

Today Is the Nat'l. Day of Prayer and Holocaust Remembrance Day

 

One of the greatest privileges we have is to pray -- to bring our praises and petitions before our loving and merciful God.  And when we homeschool, we have many opportunities throughout the day to teach our children what it means to pray.

 

Ten Things I Discovered About Motherhood

 

Here are 10 things I discovered as I lived and learned as a teacher of little boys:

Pulled from my journal entries over the years...

The years will fly.  Enjoy your kids today. Tell them (and show them) how much you love them!

Don't Jump Ship! Don't Quit Homeschooling

"Okay, I've had better days," I thought to myself. I tried to be positive, but felt that I wanted to quit. Teaching. Mothering.  Managing a household. I wanted to jump ship... 

     I called Jay at the lab to inform him that I was resigning from my teaching position. He said, "Mare—just hang in there for the afternoon, and we'll talk all about it when I get home. We'll take a walk or something. Does that sound good? I love you." 

 

Let My Students In: Hope As Your Teens Go Through The College Application Process

Let's say that your teen took the PSAT's, the SAT (maybe several times!), and feels that college is the next step.  But what if they're still unsure about which college to attend?

       At exactly this time last year, that was our scenario.  The twins took all the necessary college prep classes during the high school years, took the SAT twice, visited seven different schools --- and still had no clear idea of exactly what to do!  

Spring

I positioned myself between and behind each swing that sunny morning almost fourteen years ago.  That way, I could alternate pushing each four-year-old.  My mind wandered as I reflected on some of the things I wanted to accomplish that day... 

   The sound of those old swings at Baker Park lulled me into a thoughtful state.  Creeeeeeek... I gave a little push with my right hand.  Creeeeeeek... my left hand offered a gentle shove to the other twin's back.  I reviewed my grocery list and today's errands. 

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