Encouragement

The Magic of Ordinary Days

I LOVE ordinary days - I find them simply magical. I am very blessed to be surrounded by family and friends that I love, doing work that I relish, in a place I find beautiful. But that has not always been the case for me, and it may not be the case for you at this moment. The Christmas season tends to bring out the best and worst in all of us...the good stuff is so much better and the less-than-good things are so much harder.

But regardless of our circumstances, we can choose to make a lot of our blessings and little of our troubles...

Nutritious Teens – An Oxymoron?

   

   The holidays are over and your teens (and maybe you) are bemoaning the extra pounds put on eating all that wonderful and bountiful holiday fare. Before they begin one of those crash diets, consider designing a semester long nutrition and wellness elective. All of the family can participate, which will make it more fun for your teen. The internet and library can guide you in locating resources to use. You can include lessons on...

I Can’t Wait Until…

   Twenty eight years ago when my daughter was born, friends hosted a baby shower for me. The ladies blessed me by giving me notes of wisdom on index cards.  The advice given on one of those cards has stuck with me over these many years.  It simply said “Enjoy each season of your child’s life without wishing it was the next season.”  I took that advice to heart, but it was a struggle especially during my homeschooling years to not say, “I can’t wait until…”  Have you had some of these same thoughts?

Honoring Lost Loved Ones, Meaningful Memory-Making, and Caring for Others During the Holidays

   Christmas, is supposed to be a joyful and peaceful time of year, but for many people it may be anything but those.  We look around the world and see war, famine, and natural disasters. This time of year may be a time of grieving, hunger, loss, and loneliness.  In the wake of the tragic and senseless shootings that recently occurred in Connecticut, Christmas will be a sorrowful time for many.  The consultants here at HSLDA, and I’m sure the entire nation mourns with the families of Newtown.  This Christmas, let each of us lift them up in prayer.

Joyeux Noël!

“Home for The Holidays”

- it's a song, a film, and a sentiment that is rather hackneyed this time of year. I love being home for the holidays, but I decided to think a little bit bigger this year. Bigger than connecting with my out-of-state grandparents. Bigger than making time to enjoy festive traditions with my local family and friends. Bigger than our Christmas cookie contest (although that was very interesting!)

Using December Creatively

  The approaching holidays may seem daunting with all the extra preparations and shopping hours to be added to your already full schedule of homeschooling and parenting. Do you feel behind the eight ball, trying to finish the school semester while planning for Christmas? Is your grace tank running on empty? Before falling into the holiday blues, I want to suggest some ways to reorient your vision and to take advantage of your resources.

Cookies & Milk

 

   White baking flour covered the kitchen floor, the countertop, my jeans, and the twins' noses.  Measuring cups were strewn about, mixing bowls sat side by side as the twins balanced themselves on chairs pulled up to the little island in the center of the kitchen.  It was their first time making cookies, and I stood there wondering why in the world I had decided to double the recipe!

My Math Dilemma

   In 2001 when I first began teaching at home, I was so excited to get started. Feeling called by the Lord and compelled to teach the boys in a home setting, I went to great lengths to set up a cozy little room upstairs, get all the right books, attend homeschool conferences, and consult with experienced homeschooling moms. That summer, the twins turned seven, and by the time fall arrived -- I was completely ready! Or so I thought....

Recipe for Teaching Teens

   

   Thanksgiving Day is fast approaching. Are you trying to keep on track to finish up some last assignments before taking time off to enjoy gathering your family together for a day of giving thanks? You may also be busy hunting down those favorite family recipes to add to your Thanksgiving feast. While looking, I have a recipe for you to help in teaching your teens. I am sure you will think of more ingredients to add, but let me help you get started.

The Calendar: Don't Let It Get Too Full

 

Autumn can be a particularly busy time for homeschooling families.  With lessons to coordinate, a household to manage, children to nurture, and a marriage to maintain, sometimes it's hard to juggle everything! Keeping the family's calendar is often an extremely challenging task, especially later in the fall as Thanksgiving approaches.

Bright Spots - Her Heart Through Homeschooling [Part 2]

   Homeschooling has always been at heart of everything God has done in and through Eden Eskaros and her missions.  After helping to raise donations of over 1,000 pairs of shoes for children in Mexico, Eden (affectionately called Eme by her friends and family) took on the vision of bringing school supplies, donations and resources on a return trip to Mexico in order to build and start a school.

   These ministry outreach opportunities would not have been available to Eme had she been going to a regulated school. In an interview, Mrs. Eskaros explains how homeschooling “has been at the very heart of everything God has done in and through Eden and missions”.

College Application Deadlines Approaching!

Are you under the gun to get those college applications completed and meet the deadlines?

 
Organization is the key!
 

   Becky Cooke provides key tips and useful ideas for staying on track with the college application process, and encouragement for keeping calm trusting God's plan.

Running on Empty?...Resources for Spiritual Strength and Encouragement

I recently spoke with a dear, homeschooling mom, who is teaching a child she suspects may have dyslexia.  As I also have a child who struggles (with attention, focus, and math processing difficulties), we both acknowledged that many days can be draining and discouraging.  Doris shared how one day she was praying and crying out to the Lord, “Some days I just feel like I am running myself crazy.”  She sensed His wonderful Spirit leading “You can either run yourself crazy or run to Me”. Truly,“The Name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and they are saved.” 

Growing in Relational Wisdom

How well are you growing in relational wisdom? “What is that?” you might be asking. Before last week, I didn’t know what relational wisdom was either. As long as there is relational conflict, breakdown in communication, God’s call to grow in how we relate to one another in godly wisdom will be there for us as parents. The really good news is that He is there to give us grace and help in time of need in this area. Here are some helpful truths I gleaned from HSLDA’s national leaders’ conference last week in Orlando.

Homeschooling On The Difficult Days

Homeschooling would be easy if...

If I didn't have all this laundry to do, if I didn't have to prepare dinner, if I didn't have to juggle the family calendar, if my kids were older, if we didn't have these pesky appointments, and so on!  

Just when we get on a schedule and things start to run somewhat smoothly -- one (or several) of the children need to go to the doctor...

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