Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Reviewing Spelling

I'm always looking for ways to review spelling words other than the traditional copying on paper or oral "bee".  There is nothing wrong with this time proven methods that can address both visual and auditory learners, but neither really addresses a kinesthetic/tactile learner.  [Side note: Being able spell words orally and being able to write words down are actually two different skills.  Just because your student can do one well, doesn't mean automatically he/she can do the other.  Use both.  You'll see more reason to do this in the study below.]

A kinesthetic or tactile learner is one who learns through touching and movement.  In all my years of teaching, I find this learning style usual the most difficult to incorporate while teaching.  However, I know that the more, learning methods you use, the more you actually remember, so even if your child isn't a kinesthetic/tactile learner, he or she can still benefit from adding this aspect.

A study done at the University of Texas found that people remember:

10 percent of what they read;
20 percent of what they hear;
30 percent of what they see;
50 percent of what they see and hear;
70 percent of what they say; and
90 percent of what they do and say

In fact, if you've seen the movie Akeelah and the Bee (and if you haven't, you should), Professor Larabee adds kinesthetic learning to Akeelah's memorization when he has her jump rope as she memorizes her words.

All this to share just a few different ways I've had my daughter study her spelling words the past few weeks.

 She thinks it's fun to "be" the letters.  She makes her body into the letter shape as she orally spells out each word.  OK, so sometimes the letter shapes get a little abstract, but it does make her focus more on each letter as she spells the words.

Another thing I did (of which I didn't take pictures) is to write in shaving cream.  I sprayed some plain white shaving cream and had her write her words in it.  I attempted to keep most of the shaving cream on a plastic place mat to aid in clean up.  This is actually a fun activity on many levels.  I've used this for PKs to write the letters, numbers or shapes.  You can also use it for math facts, for instance.  Pretty much anything you can write on paper, you can write in shaving cream.

I also had her type her spelling words into her "blog."   You could also just do this on a word document.  Since she's not "fluent" in keyboarding, the hunt and peck method makes her focus more on each letter of the word as she types it in.  Obviously, it also starts to get her working on computer skills.

Today, we went outside for spelling.  I had her write her spelling words with sidewalk chalk on the sidewalk.  Again, plenty of movement and fun.  I made sure she did them in a column, so we didn't have chalk all over our clothes when we came back inside.


So, those are just a few of the things I've been doing.  I'd love to hear additional ideas, so if you're reading this, please share your ideas in the comment, so others can benefit in addition to me.

2010 HSLDA Commercial Video Contest

"HSLDA is excited to announce our inaugural commercial video contest! Entries are being accepted through November 15. The purpose of this contest is to create a viable commercial for HSLDA. This contest differs from our student competitions in two main ways. Participation is open to a wider range of entrants and the prizes are more significant."

More information HERE.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Check out activities as well as books

I know all library systems are not created equal.  My city, in fact, are serviced by two different systems which allows me to pick and choose. 

For instance, for summer reading, we may keep records for both but we usually attend more activities at library A because, well, they offer more activities (and more prizes!). 

Library B on the other hand, is much more homeschooler friendly during the school year.  In fact, they offer special enrichment classes during the day a few times a month. Another benefit for us is that we actually have two libraries in this system, so we have even more options for days, times and activies.

Take this week for instance, we went Thursday for a presentation on Jackson Pollock.  The librarian then took the kids outside with large pieces of paper and different "tools"  and allowed them to paint "a Pollock."  Today, the same library offered "Mad Science: Music" today which discussed in simple terms the science of music (vibration, pitch, etc.)  The week after next, the other library is having a "fall party" that will include art with leaves and fall colors.  Oh, and last week, we talked about colonial times and made a horn book.

As you can see, some of it's reinforcement and some of it is introduction or exposure to things that I might not normally get to do at home.  So, all this is just to say check out your library for some free, educational fun!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Are You Giving Instructions Clearly?

I don't know about you, but I'm so thankful there are so many resources and sources of encouragement available.  To me, it often feels like a "Thata' girl" or "Keep on keeping on."  This was from 

Parenting Tip

September 23, 2010
Are You Giving Instructions Clearly?

We’ve all found ourselves in situations where adults are supervising children. Some adults have the ability to command attention and get children to listen better than others. All they use is what we call a Firm Instruction, a very important part of the discipline process. It's quite useful whether you're working with your own children or someone else's.

Good discipline doesn't just mean finding appropriate consequences. In fact, developing the skill of giving instructions can prevent many of the discipline problems we experience. Here's what makes a Firm Instruction work best.

To give a Firm Instruction you must first get your child's attention. This may involve things like moving close to the child, obtaining eye contact, and requesting the child remove the earphones. Next give a brief, firm, verbal instruction. You don't have to be harsh or irritated, just calm and matter-of-fact, communicating one-on-one with the child.

After giving the instruction, teach your children how to acknowledge your request. This will help you know that the message was received. A good response is to say, "Okay Mom" or "Okay Dad." This type of response tells you three things. It tells you that the child has heard the instruction, avoiding the common excuse later, "I didn't hear you say that."

The child's acknowledgment also tells you that the child intends to follow through. And lastly, the way the child responds to you indicates the child's attitude at the time. Is this an angry or disrespectful "Okayyyy Dadddd!” response? If so, now you know you're dealing with an attitude problem, not just working on following directions.

The Firm Instruction is one step in a complete discipline process, yet it’s often overlooked. Take time to evaluate your instructions and you'll be surprised at how small changes can make a big difference. . .

This parenting tip was taken from the book, Home Improvement, The Parenting Book You Can Read to Your Kids, by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rodinia Wall Chart - PDF Download FREE

In case you've been missing out, Answers in Genesis offers one of their posters as a free download each week.  This is about this weeks:

"This exclusive wall chart from Answers magazine Vol. 2 No. 2 illustrates the immense topographical transition of the pre-Flood world into the world as we know it today. Along with a diagram of Rodinia (the pre-Flood world), diagrams and information about continental break-up, Pangea, and the transitional period to today’s world, this amazing chart also describes each of these time periods from a biblical perspective. Equips Christians with plausible, illustrated answers to the world's view that "continental drift" was an extremely slow process that required millions of years."

Rodinia Wall Chart - PDF Download - Answers Bookstore

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Animal Enrichment Tools

In the recent Teacher's Toolbox email from, they provided several links for resources you can use for an animal unit.  It came perfectly timed for me since we are doing animals this semester for school.  I thought I'd share them here although some I know I've mentioned previously. I'll also try to get them on my tab for websites as well.

If you notice, Enchanted Learning is mentioned several times.  I have found it to be a very helpful website.  There are a lot of things on it that are free, BUT there is even more available if you become a member.  I don't remember how much the membership is per year, but I have found it well worth it.

Here ya' go.

Animal Coloring Pages
ABC Teach
Enchanted Learning
National Geographic

All About Animals
Enchanted Learning
National Geographic
Sheppard Software
Scholastic Teacher

Animal Puzzles Online
The Kidz Page
Animal Planet

Animal Puzzles Printable
Enchanted Learning

Online Adventures/Games
Switcheroo Zoo
Animal Planet

Animal Recipes
All recipes--Animal themed
All recipes--Animal Crackers
San Diego Zoo
Family Fun
101 Cookbooks

Animal Crafts
Enchanted Learning
Dannielle's Place

Abandoned to the State


In 2006, parent David Parker insisted he would not leave his son’s elementary school until someone spoke to him about opting his kindergarten son out of offensive sexual material. Parker was arrested for trespassing and spent the night in jail. Further, the school refused to excuse his son from the class. The case of Parker v. Hurley ensued.

The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts in that case held that “Parents do have a fundamental right to raise their children. They are not required to abandon that responsibility to the state. [They] may send their children to a private school…. They may also educate their children at home.” In other words, the court outlined three options for parents: send your child to private school, teach them at home, or “abandon [your] responsibility to the state.”

Read the rest of the article here...Abandoned to the State

Monday, September 20, 2010

Enhancing Language Skills Through Reading Aloud

This is from's email this week.

Enhancing Language Skills Through Reading Aloud

By Deborah Lott
Super Star Speech

One of the best activities you can do with your children to encourage language acquisition is reading together. I started reading to my children when they were two or three months old. The first books we read were bright and colorful board books with a single word or short sentence per page. We soon progressed to books of nursery rhymes and books that were illustrated songs. Although my babies didn't understand the words at first, they enjoyed the bright pictures, the rhythm of the words, rhymes, and songs, and the cuddling with Mommy. Story time became a treasured part of the day for both of us.

Most parents know that reading to their children is very important. But did you know that reading straight through the book from beginning to end is not always the very best way to stimulate your child's language skills? Studies have shown that when children are engaged more actively in reading, their vocabulary, comprehension, and language expression are greatly improved. Here are some ideas for new ways to read a book:

  1. Point to pictures and name them. Ask your child to name the pictures. Action words and adjectives can be labeled as well. You could ask, "Can you find an animal that is tall?" or "What is that girl doing?"
  2. After you read a page, ask questions about the story. The simplest questions are factual ones..."Who said...?" "What happened...?" More difficult are "why" questions.
  3. Ask, "What do you think will happen next?"
  4. Have your child retell the story after you finish reading it (narration). {Betsy here: This is a great skill to begin especially if you are considering teaching following the classical method.}
  5. Have your child tell you the story by looking at the pictures. Or the two of you alternate pages, making up a story to go with the pictures.
  6. Interrupt your reading occasionally to comment on the story or setting or to explain a concept or define a word.
  7. Read expressively! {Betsy here:  You'll find that not only does reading expressively captures your child's attention but also trains them to read more expressively on their own}
  8. Rhymes and songs are wonderful for language development--even if you can't carry a tune!
Most importantly, keep reading fun! Use these suggestions to enhance your storytime, not to turn it into a lesson. Enjoy the time spent with your child. Snuggling up on the couch and reading together has always been one of my favorite ways to spend time with my children.

Deborah Lott is a speech pathologist and homeschooling mom of four. She has written the Super Star Speech series of books to help parents correct their children's articulation errors at home. She has also designed a series of homeschool enrichment games that are sold at Currclick. She blogs about speech and language development and therapy at

Exploring Letters in My World: Letter A---FREEBIE

Exploring Letters in My World: Letter A: Currclick's freebie this week.

"Within this series, you will find a unique variety of learning opportunities for each letter of the alphabet.
Each book contains a suggested reading list as well as stimulating activities in seven different categories: Letters and Sounds, Handwriting, Math, Science, Social Studies, Crafts, and Simply Fun (this section includes ideas for dramatic play, cooking, and games). All of the activities are designed to use items you would normally have around your home or pages printed from your home computer.
The highlights of this series are the mini lapbooks and mini pockets designed to showcase each letter of the alphabet. Each book in this series comes with all the directions and templates you will need for creating this adorable learning tool and keepsake.
Although Exploring Letters in My World was designed with preschoolers in mind, it can easily be used with any emerging or young reader. As your preschooler continues in their education, these activities can offer fun ways to reinforce basic concepts."

Early Birthday Present.

I can be so easy to please and practical.  My husband never settles for simple or cheap, oops, I mean inexpensive.  If he buys something, it has to have many bells and whistles.  It may not be most expensive but it's close.

My birthday is next week.  I asked for an electric pencil sharpener for school.  That was extravagant.   After all, I could use just one of those simple, hand held ones that leave shavings all over, but no, I wanted and electric one to make my life just a little more luxurious.

Since my husband was running to Office Depot anyway, I hinted that maybe he could go ahead and pick up a pencil sharpener for an early birthday present.

Here's what he brought home.  It's a Bostitch Quiet Sharp 6.

"This heavy-duty pencil sharpener features an industrial-strength motor and an extra large shavings receptacle so it's ideal for use in classroom or other high-capacity setting. The built-in auto-stop mechanism keeps pencils sharp without oversharpening, while the patented magnetic safety switch keeps cutters from turning when the shavings receptacle is removed. Thermal overload cutoff prevents premature motor burnout. Simply turn the dial to choose from 6 sharpening sizes. Includes a 6' power cord. U.L./CSA approved. Backed by the manufacturer's 3-year limited warranty."

Here's what I like about it.  It's the quietest pencil sharpener I've ever heard.  It's soooo fast.  It's got cute little suction cups on the bottom to keep it in place.  It's a pretty blue color.

And the principal said that it wasn't a birthday present, it was a school supply!

Home School Math--Multiplying Integers

Maria Miller of has sent out her latest newsletter.  She deals with many different levels of math, so even if you're not doing "multiplication of integers" right now, you know you will be sometime.  Also, I like to review what she shares because sometimes you can take the principle or practice and apply it to the level of math you're teaching.

"This lesson goes through the positive x negative, negative x positive, and negative x negative. It has basic exercises, a pattern exercise, a riddle, a coordinate grid exercise, and lastly an optional explanation (using distributive property) of why negative times a negative must be positive. The lesson suits grades 5-8, or even Algebra 1 students.

This free sample lesson will (later) be included in Math Mammoth Grade 6-B complete curriculum, and also in a separate book for the Blue Series. Feel free to use it with your students and to share with others."

Here's the link:  Multipy Integer Lesson

Friday, September 17, 2010

I've got my "eye" on you!

Mary is an awesome friend who is homeschooling for the second year.  She posts all kinds of cool pictures of the things they do.  This eyeball one really caught my attention.  I asked her to share because if I blog it, I always know the information when I want to do it!

"This is our second year of home schooling. For science classes, we are using Apologia which is challenging and Christ centered. Our 9th grader is learning Biology. For lab, she needed a proper microscope, prepared slides, dissection kit, and specimens. These can be ordered directly from Apologia. However, we discovered an excellent resource in Home Science Tools ! This company markets to home schoolers and provides all necessary equipment and supplies. They make it simple by providing a list according to most commonly used science curriculum! Their product line is comprehensive, top quality, and priced right. Fresh specimens are usually best, but not always nor practical.
For fun, we let our 4th grader chose some specimens of his own (not part of his Apologia curriculum which includes labs and journal). He chose a cow eye for his first "stab" at dissection. Rather than purchase dissection manuals, we first bookmarked very good ones online, and for free, for each creature on our wish list. This one for the cow eye was great! It not only has printable steps, there are video clips to watch prior or during the lab. This and much more can be found at (though not Christian) or just google for reputable sites. Much can be found on but I made sure to prescreen the material. My enthusiastic son needed to be reminded of safety, sanitation, and respect. Our daughter is less impressed and thinks she'll "stick" only with her required assignments!"

I really appreciate Mary for sharing.  I also appreciate the dilligence and effort she puts towards everything she does including educating her children.  It's a real encouragement!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Lesson Plans

This is from HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru the Early Years Newsletter dated today.

Lesson Planning: Strategy for Success

Dear Friends,

There’s a saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Lesson planning is just determining what you want to cover in the school year and laying out a framework to accomplish those goals: a strategy for homeschool success. Some parents will be more detailed than others, but having an overview or rough sketch in writing puts your priorities in black and white and lets you see what you may have inadvertently left out.

Whether you use a prepackaged curriculum or an eclectic approach, a written plan can help you operate more on “autopilot.” If your kids can read on their own, include them! Whether you let them look through the lesson plan book, or set out work boxes or learning stations for them, they’re on their way to taking some personal responsibility in their own lesson management. A lesson plan also gives you a timeline to measure against as the year progresses. And if you’re in a state requiring the submission of lesson plans, or a record of what you’ve accomplished, this puts you ahead of the game.

Different Approaches to Lesson Planning

Of course, families will want to take into consideration any specific statutory record keeping or subject requirements for their states, so these are some general ideas. I liked having a lesson planning book, and once my children could read, each child had her own lesson book to help her learn basic time management. You might use one book for several children, or you can make your own sheets on the computer, or use index cards, a white board, a spiral notebook, or even a computer to-do list. You could even modify the card chart in a recent Early Years article to hold school assignments, readings, memory verses, and more. The point is to have a framework in writing that will help you feel accountable—even if only to yourself—and to give you a standard against which to measure as the year progresses (so you’re measuring against the goals that God has given you, not your neighbor or the support group leader).

Some people are most comfortable writing their plans out in detail. For example, “XYZ text, page 93, prepositional phrases exercises 1–12.” Others might put under English, “page 93, 1–12.” Still others may just do what comes next in the book, and then just log it afterward, journal style. Some moms even have their older kids log what they did.

An alternative to the standard lesson plan book is the workbox or workfile approach; this can be especially effective for younger children or especially distractible children. Instead of writing each assignment in a “box” on a page, you physically put the work for each assignment in a separate box, such as a clear plastic shoe box or a stacking drawer unit, or even a hanging file or envelope system. Some parents use this approach all the way into the upper grades: you could teach them to concentrate on the work in one literal box at a time, then (the next year or so) put the papers with assignments in the boxes, then transition into writing the assignments in a lesson planning book.

Whatever system you use, it is helpful for the children to have an overview of the expectations. They are more likely to be motivated to finish their work if they know there is a “finish.” When Mom is the only one privy to the assignments, it can feel to a child that finishing one assignment just means getting another one heaped on (and that sure isn’t very motivating!). Seeing a manageable (read: finite) number of workboxes, or lesson plan book “squares” for the day, or assignments on the white board gives them hope that there can be an end in sight (for the day, anyway!), and possibly incentive to work ahead.

What Should You Include?

What do you want to accomplish this year? And what tools will help you to achieve those goals? Choosing your curriculum and lesson planning are sort of the roadmap for getting from where you are, to where you want to be, with the actual curriculum itself likened to your mode of transportation. An airplane will get you where you want to go fast, while an RV is good for leisurely trips.

A few years ago, we drove from Virginia to Arizona on a tight deadline for an event, so we drove straight there, no time for sightseeing. But on the way back, we had almost two weeks, so we stopped at landmarks in at least 10 states and had a great family time, just enjoying the trip and enjoying each other’s company.

It’s the same with homeschooling: If your goal this year is to catch up a child who has lagged a little, you’ll take the direct route—the airplane—covering the basic skills areas of math and language and character/Bible, and then add the content areas of history and science as time allows. Once you feel more comfortable that you are where you want to be on your timetable, you can start cruising or sight-seeing, taking more time to enjoy the homeschool journey, adding extras to help you meet more advanced, delight-directed goals.

Resources such as What Your Child Needs to Know When or Learning Objectives for Grades K–8 can help you feel more confident that you aren’t leaving major gaps in your child’s academic education.

Build in Some “Down” Time

Plan to succeed by recognizing that there will be tough days, sick days, good weather days, catch-up laundry days, and so on. If you have a weekly co-op day or recurring medical appointments, plan a lighter academic load that day. Consider adding an educational games day every few weeks, which can be used for educational play if your children are on track, or catching up if you feel you need that. For example, I planned math lessons (our toughest subject) on a four-day schedule, with math games on Friday; if the girls were caught up, they played a math game on Friday, but could use that day to finish any lagging lessons or corrections, if needed.

And if you need an occasional catch-up-the-house day, remember that organization, sorting, and classification are math, science, and language arts skills!

Be Realistic

Think “overview.”

Decide on your basic timeframe, keeping in mind any legal requirements for your state. (I found it workable to plan for eight weeks on, one week off, for five cycles, with four-week breaks in December and July.)

Look over the curriculum: What will you cover and what can you skip? Your curriculum is a tool, not your master, and you want to remember to include life skills and character training, as well as academics.

Divide your materials by the number of weeks or days, for a rough plan.

“A Day in Our Homeschool” will give you a peek into the typical day of several other homeschool families (did I really just say typical and homeschool day in the same sentence?), and you'll find a few sample plans and routines in our lesson planning section.

While you don’t want to be a slave to your schedules or plans, you’ll want to be diligent and do your best to meet your reasonable goals. Do you have realistic expectations, or have you over-planned? Have you expected too much in too short a time? Have you underestimated the time to master a skill or complete an assignment? Or maybe you had realistic plans, but life broadsided your homeschool and you are totally overwhelmed.

My first year, I thought I would be ultra-organized, so I lesson-planned the entire year in August. In pen. So what happened when the first child didn’t grasp the math concept as quickly as we’d anticipated? Right—we “got behind” (or we thought we did—maybe you’ve been there, too?). So that threw my whole plan off.

This panic taught me to have an overall goal of what I wanted us to cover each year, but to divide that up and put it in writing only eight weeks at a time. After all, I can do anything for eight weeks! At the end of the eight weeks, I would evaluate our progress and, during the week off, would write down the plan for the next eight weeks. I learned to get more specific in smaller time chunks, so this motivated me to regularly evaluate our materials, our methods, and any character issues. Rather than being in bondage to a rigid schedule, we found security in a basic routine that helped me to transition through my day without having to make all the little decisions all over again.

The Real Lesson in Lesson Planning

Plan prayerfully and realistically, execute those plans diligently, but hold them loosely. “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9) What we consider interruptions to “our” day, God often intends as the real purpose for the day!

Planning in pencil,

Vicki Bentley
HSLDA Early Years coordinator
Homeschooling Preschool thru Middle School

Friday, September 10, 2010

Unit Studies


Unit Studies

Amanda Bennett

More and more homeschooling parents are beginning to use the unit study approach as a primary instructional method, leaving behind the piles of textbooks and workbooks for each child. Unit studies can be more interesting and captivating than a standard textbook/workbook curriculum. They encourage the use of imagination, creativity, and analytical thinking.
Another advantage is that the whole family can work on them together, teaching all of the children the same unit simultaneously while varying the assignments based on the child's capabilities. While the youngest child might draw pictures of the story, the oldest child might be writing a brief summary of the book and its author.

This saves the parent time and money, instead of having to buy, assign, teach, and check separate workbooks and text materials for each child.

It is such an interesting time at home when everyone is pursuing a common topic. Dinner conversation is never dull, and the ideas that the kids come up with are priceless. I will never forget some of the daily stories that the children shared with Dad at the dinner table. Like the time they told him about their lessons in the phase change of metals that day, learned as they watched me melt a pot on an electric burner when I forgot that I was boiling water for tea!

Learning together as a family can provide a wonderful experience for everyone, and memories that last a lifetime.

~ Amanda Bennett

Amanda Bennett is an author, wife, and homeschooling mom, as well as a sought-after speaker at conventions across the country. Her revolutionary new series of studies, Download N Go™, are a new kind of learning experience--a combination unit study and lapbook for K - 4th. Studies include history, geography, reading, science, spelling, vocabulary, writing, and art--perfect for repeated use as your children grow!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Homeschooling from Behind the Eight Ball? Let Us Help....

From email dated 9/2/10

Years ago I worked with a couple who decided to pull two girls out of school and bring them home. As I talked with her about what she was planning on doing I became instantly concerned. I felt like I could predict what would happen.

Sure enough, she followed the plan below and burned herself out within the first quarter. Of course, she did not intend to do this but it was the inevitable result of the products she purchased and trying to follow the plans someone else had laid out for her.

If you don't want to homeschool for the long haul, here is what you should do (otherwise known as "How to Burnout Homeschooling").

1. Use curriculums that were really written for private schools. . .then mom can struggle through reading the chapters written for a classroom teacher. This is a great way for mom to feel bogged down before she even starts with the program. Then when she starts the actual lessons using the separate and required teacher's guide and student books, she might even be too tired to start.

2. Use the schedule set by the curriculum. . .this way you will be behind within the first month and feel behind from the get go. As a result of feeling behind the recommended schedule, mom feels like she is not doing very well as a homeschooler. Soon this turns into feeling defeated, unworthy, and these are precursors to quitting.

3. Use too many subjects. We all hope to fit in other subjects that would be beneficial for the kids. Keyboarding, Latin, and geography are all great things to know. So squeeze them in the schedule and put school into every little bit of time we have available. No one - mom or children - will like it and you will be headed for a quick burnout.

4. Use a separate program for each child. Don't put two children together on any subject. If you have 8 and 10 year olds who both need to learn something, buy them each their own curriculum. This will quickly fragment mom. Now you'll be reading two separate sets of teacher's guides and trying to merge two completely different schedules intended for two teachers. And that's just for the mom who has two think about that if you have three or four or five...

5. Use other people's rules of measurement. Ignore and overlook any signs you have seen that show progress is being made. If your new reader reads the yield sign of her own accord and picks up a book on his own, don't let that lift your spirits. If your 3rd grader starts doing his brother's 5th grade math don't let that be an indication of his learning ability for you. Instead, rely on tests to measure academic improvement. Oh, and of course, disregard any seeds of spiritual growth.

6. Use short-sighted vision for why you homeschool. Let go of the long-term reasons and instead focus on the trees. Set aside those lofty goals of spiritual maturity and character growth that reflects our Savior. Think only of the short-term academics. This will side-track you from the real reasons you homeschool and divert your focus to the secondary reasons instead of the primary ones.

7. Use what nay-sayers say as your guide. Listen to what people who disagree with your decisions say. Let others influence you so that soon you too question your every intent and ability. Forget about the Holy Spirit and what He impressed upon your heart.

There you have seven ways to burnout homeschooling!

Under the Shadow of His Wings,

Do We Teach Honor or Respect?


September 2, 2010
Do We Teach Honor or Respect?

When families think about honor, they often restrict their thinking to respectful behavior, being polite, courteous, and having good manners. This is a rather narrow understanding and is only a small portion of what honor actually is. Respectful behavior, although a subset of honor, is incomplete in and of itself.

Susie learned manners at an early age. "What a nice girl," people would say. Susie learned acceptable behavior but as she grew older she rebelled against the rules, finding them empty and overly restrictive. Teaching respect is not enough.

Honor comes when you recognize a person's worth or value. Respect focuses on behavior, doing the appropriate thing, whereas honor comes from the heart. Respect acknowledges a person's position, while honor attaches worth to that person. Respect teaches manners and proper behavior in the presence of others. Honor teaches something deeper, an appreciation of that person.

Respect can become an outward technique to make a family look good to others, but honor builds the hidden bonds that provide great strength and long-lasting unity. It's one thing to obey the crossing guard out of respect for his position. It's yet another to show honor to him because you know him as a friend.

Although we're making a contrast between respect and honor, don't assume that honor is good and respect is bad. Both have their place. When children are young, they learn respectful behavior, but as they grow older, they can develop a heart response of honor as well. It's good to teach respectful behavior but it's important that you not stop there. Honor adds a deeper dimension to relationships.

Honor deals with meanness in relationships. Honor does a job thoroughly and with a good attitude. Honor looks for what needs to be done before being asked. All children (and adults) need to learn honor. Teaching it makes a big difference in family life.

This parenting tip comes from the book, Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes in You and Your Kids, by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.
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