Monday, January 31, 2011

Snow Plans

Tomorrow, we're expecting a blizzard.  Expectations are for six to twelve inches with thunder snow.

We are just getting over being a sick family, so want to take it easy, but do some "schooling." 

I'm planning on a snow day tomorrow.  A day that we do snow/winter related things.  Here are some of the things I'm digging up.  Maybe it will give you somethings to springboard from as well.

Well, I think that's probably plenty. I want to focus on Mr. Snowflake and make sure we remember that snowflakes have six sides and are symmetrical.  I want to review our spelling words with the word search and make the calendar. Rewarding each word found with a marshmallow might be fun. Then I think we'll go back to watch some videos and do crafts.

Animal Report Form--Currclick's Freebie

I wish I'd recieved this a couple of weeks ago!  Animal Report Form would have worked great for my daughter's first animal report.  This freebie seems to be a really cute resource to have. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's all good...and all free!

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is once again offering their Annual Freebie Directory.  Some, you get a free item.  Some, you get a free catalog.  Some, you get a free trial.  Some, you get free information.  Get the picture?  There are free things. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


"Liberty without learning is always in peril and learning without liberty is always in vain."
-- John F. Kennedy
(1917-1963) 35th US President

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend...and other jewels work equally as well!

"I'm so excited.  I just can't hide it.  I get to be a
 Gabby Mom, and I know I like it!..."

I'm singing the praises of!  They've started a new program entitled, & guess who gets to be a Gabby Mom!

In fact, this is my first assignment.  They send me wonderful Teach Magazine products and I get to try them out and tell you about it.  Think about it!  Something for free and telling people what I think, two of my favorite things!  :-)

This time I get to review True Treasures.  It is a compilation of some of the best articles from 10 years of TEACH magazine.  In case you're not familiar with TEACH, it stands for "To Encourage And Challenge Homemakers."  It just recently changed it's name to Eternal Encouragement.  Either way, it's the same great resource and encouragement.

Now, back to our to speak!

True TreasuresTrue Treasures was, well, a treasure.  I've always appreciated what Lorrie Flem and other shared through TEACH.  I appreciate it because they write from the perspective of someone who's down in the trenches with me instead of speaking down to me.  "I've got your back" vs. "Been there, done that, what's your problem.

This book of Treasures is filled with jewels like "Marriages of Solid Gold" and "Parenting Pearls."  It's exactly what the mission of TEACH/Eternal Encouragement has been all along. 

One of the many articles that blessed me was in the section entitled, "Homemaking that Dazzles Like Diamonds."  The article is "Housekeeping: A Matter of the Heart and Hands."  I don't know about you, but sometimes it seems very easy to forget the importance of being a homemaker, wife and mom.  In this article, Lorrie makes the point that not only do we get "credit" so to speak, for what we do, but we share in the fruit of those who "go out and fight the battles."

She mentioned how Winston Churchill encouraged the coal miners during WWII by making them realize that the war could not be won without the coal they would mine.  Their part may be "at home" but was integral to the war effort.  Of course, in the Bible, David said of those that stayed to guard the supplies, "The share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle.  All will share alike" (I Samuel 30:24). 

It's so nice to know that when I wash my husband's uniforms, it's not just a blessing to him, but can be a blessing to those with whom he works and guards.  Or even as I sit at the table and teach my daughter a hymn, God will use that to bless others as they hear her sing now and someday.  I get to be a part of that.

See what I mean?  All that just from part of one article!  I haven't even touched on the part of the article dealing with enjoying what we get done.

I had a hard time putting this book down.  I would make myself stop after each section just to allow myself some time to chew on what I'd read.  I could easily see this book used daily as well.  I'm not talking about using it instead of doing your quiet time, but maybe sitting down with a cup of coffee and just reading one article to get a "thatta' girl."  I also think the fact that it's in sections is great. It makes it easier to go to a specific section in which you might be having a little struggle.

So, my first mission as a one of The Gabby Moms is complete.  I'd lend you my book to read, but I'm not parting with it.  Besides, I think you'd want your own copy to keep anyway!  And if you act now, you'll also get a set of Ginsu Knives!  Not really, but if you put in the code GABBYMOM at check out when you purchase this book, you'll get $4 off.

I received this product for honest review from TEACH Magazine as part of The Gabby Moms blogging program.  All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Turn that car around right this minute!

I wish I could come up with great parenting tools on my own.  Usually, that doesn't happen.  I have to steal them.  As a student teacher, I was told that stealing another teacher's idea was paying them a compliment!  So, I compliment a lot of people!

I can't remember exactly where I got this idea.  I think maybe from Biblical Parenting

The topic was anger.  They mentioned using a car analogy to talk about anger with your child.  I was all ears, or all eyes, as the case may be.  My darling daughter can go from zero to 60 in nothing flat.  This is has been an ongoing training period for both of us.

At one point, at a down time not in the middle of something, I sat and talked to her about her anger.  She had finally realized it was anger.  (I know, the first step is realizing there's a problem!)  For a long time, when we discussed it, she would say she was sad.  I would explain the difference, and we'd even act out the emotions.  I think in part, she didn't want to admit she was angry.  She seemed to think sad was acceptable while anger was not even though I tried to explain that the Bible says, "Be ye angry, and sin not" (Eph. 4:26). 
I used the car analogy.  I explained that she was like a car.  When she expressed her anger in a bad way, it was like seeing a big wall in front of her and driving her car right into making a big wreck.  But she had a choice.  She could could stop her car and even back it up. 

She understood that.  Initially, I had to still point it out for her.  "You just wrecked your car."  "You're heading for a car wreck."

Now however, it's not surprising to hear her say, "I'm backing up the car," when I start to call her on something.  It shows me that she is being mindful of her emotions and actions.  That's a big start. 

Now, if I could only learn how to put my own car in reverse!

EXPIRED--Bossy R Phonics Manipulatives and Worksheets FREE is offering Bossy R Phonics Manipulatives and Worksheets as the free item this week.

"Flashcards, minibooks, worksheets, and more! Introduce your child to the concept of R controlled vowels and reinforce through a variety of different learning activities. These manipulatives use picture clues to help your child grasp the idea that "Bossy R" causes the vowels make sounds they don't normally make."

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Thomas Jefferson Education

I've been listening to the HECOA Super Summit the past few weeks.  I actually missed last Thursday's teleconference, but was able to semi-listen to it this morning.  I'm sure any homeschooling mothers reading this will understand what I mean about semi-listen!

The speaker was Rachel DeMille.  Her husband wrote the book A Thomas Jefferson Education.  She and her husband, Oliver, now do Thomas Jefferson Education or TJEd

There was a lot of information to share.  Some things were just mentioned in passing, but she did encourage the listeners to go to the website for more details.  I visited briefly just to flesh out a few of the Keys.

She described TJEd as "leadership education." It is "an education to match our mission."  Rachel compared the educational mindset of our founding fathers compared to now.  Now, you learn for the outcomes like good grades, good job, etc.  During the founding of our country, education was looked upon as a duty: to ourselves, our country, our God, etc.

They break education down into 3 types.
1.  Conveyor Belt (stick).  Everyone is "herded" into meeting the same standards.
2.  Professional Conveyor belt (carrot).  Encouraged to learn because of the benefits or rewards.
3.  Leadership (Love Affair).  Love of learning using classics and mentors.

The next thing touched on were The Keys of Great Teaching.

1. Classics, not Textbooks.  This concept falls in line with Charlotte Mason and classical teaching.  Basically, it's the idea of using "living books."

2.  Mentors, not Professors. The idea here is that professors (teachers) teach and grade while a mentor guides and encourages.  Mentoring deals more with working with the child's strengths and weaknesses instead of certain ideas and standards.

3. Inspire, not Require.  Instead of "What can I do to get them to learn this?"  ask, "What can I do to encourage them to want to learn it?"

4. Structure time, not content.  Have a consistent schedule our amount of study time, but don't micro-manage the content.  This is also based on what learning phase the child is in.

5. Simplicity, not Complexity.  When you start something complex, it requires an expert to explain/teach it.  On the other hand, something simple allows the child to think and learn more independently.

6. Quality, not Conformity.  This key means you avoid grading and use personalized feedback to encourage quality.  George Wythe (one of Jefferson's mentors) College used A and DA. "A" meant acceptable while anything less than quality would receive a "DA" for "do it again."

7.  You, not them.  You set the example for them by your learning.  If they see you loving to learn, it will encourage them to love to learn.

Rachel went into the learning phases they use.  I didn't get all the details on these, but I'm sure you can find more details on their site.  One phase I will mention is the "Core" phase which is from birth to 8 years old.  It's when the "core" of the person is developed.  Personality and moral character develop.  The core is very important because it will stay with the individual his whole life.

When you go to the TJEd website, you can sign up for the monthly newsletter.  They also send you 5 downloadable gifts.  Most describe all this and how to put it into practice.  One of the gifts is "Let's Learn Times Table."  It's cool and informative and well worth the sign up.

Magic Vocabulary Bullet

Received this in the January 17, 2011 edition of Teaching God's World News.

One of the questions I hear often is How do I teach vocabulary? I nearly always hesitate at this point--is this the real question? Am I being asked for a curriculum recommendation? a fount of fresh ideas? Or is the question really What's the magic vocabulary bullet?

Here's the thing: There isn't one. There is no one method or material to guarantee a prodigious vocabulary.

But I do know what vocabulary instruction shouldn't be. It shouldn't be just a list of words, however convincingly touted to boost one's SAT or ACT score. No words meted out on Monday and tested on Friday.

Most students (and perhaps some trained monkeys) can cram 10-20 words into their noggins one day and make at least a passing grade the next. However, good vocabulary quiz grades do not a William F. Buckley make. Those same vocabulary words usually evaporate before Friday night football.

Research indicates that students need at least 15 encounters with a new word before they can apply the word themselves. So students who cram for quizzes don't have time to interact with and learn the words. Vocabulary words become disconnected bits of peripheral information. Real learning gets lost in the shuffle.

So consider these strategies to engage students with vocabulary for real learning:

1) Choose words that students are interested in. Look for these in student reading and writing.

2) Make words fun. Play games like charades, and speak/write meaningful sentences using vocabulary words.

3) Capitalize on roots, prefixes, suffixes, and word families. This allows connections to be made between words like emit/emission, commit/commission, permit/permission.

4) Work with words. Make comparisons; ask questions; paraphrase definitions.

5) Use technology. Email/text/blog the vocabulary words.

6) Read aloud from above-grade-level works. Studies show that reading-including being read to-is the best way to improve language adeptness.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not encouraging The Care and Feeding of Smug Logophiles. And a vocabulary the size of the Old English Dictionary itself isn't the goal. The goal for Christian students is "that in everything God may be glorified" (I Peter 4:11).

God himself spoke to us in words. Not math equations. Not scientific formulas (though he created those too). In words. And through the Word we view the mind of God.

When your students speak or write, people see their minds. Help your students' vocabularies be their best. No magic bullet needed.

-- Kim Stegall

Friday, January 14, 2011

Explain New Rules Before You Start

This was the Parenting Tip from the National Center for Biblical Parenting on November 23, 2010.


Parenting Tip

November 23, 2010

Explain New Rules Before You Start

One of the ways to change patterns of behavior in children is what we call a Parent/Child Evaluation Meeting. Parents can call this meeting when they see unwanted patterns and are about to focus on change.

The purpose of the meeting is to explain to the child how things are going to be different and ways that parents are now going to change their behavior to address some critical issues in the child. Here are some things that make Parent/Child Evaluation Meetings successful.

1) Announce in advance that you (both parents if possible) will have a meeting alone with your child. “John, Mom and I are going to have a meeting with you after dinner this evening.” The anticipation raises the felt level of importance to the meeting. Making this announcement in advance with teens and even giving a preview of the topic is also an honoring thing for parents to do since it allows everyone to come to the meeting prepared.

2) Meet with each child alone. You may want to do this with all of your children, but do it with them one at a time. Children have a way of hiding behind each other or defusing the importance of the meeting when others are present.

3) At the meeting share at least three things that the child is doing well or that you’ve appreciated lately. Share positive character qualities you see developing. “I like how responsible you’ve been with the dog lately. You’re doing a good job. I also like how diligently you do your homework. It’s been fun to watch you grow this year. I’ve also noticed your kindness with the baby, playing with her when she’s fussy. You’re growing up.”

4) Then share one concern you have which will hinder your child’s success if not addressed. “I have one concern I’d like to share with you...” Prepare what you will say in advance to give your child a vision for change by explaining why the change will be helpful. Always give specific suggestions for appropriate behavior. Ask the child to work on changing and agree to get back together the next day or in a few days to talk again.

Sometimes making observations in this formal way is enough to motivate children to think about their actions and make changes. More often than not, however, you’ll need to gently point out the dishonoring behavior when you see it, in order to help your child recognize it. Consequences may also be needed. The meeting actually helps children understand the new rules of play so they're not surprised by the changes.

Unleashing Your Children's Talents

This is from ROH Radio. It's the Nov. 22, 2010 episode.  You can hit the link and actually listen to it instead of reading.


Leslie Basham: Do you approach parenting with a mission mindset? Ann Dunagan casts a vision for your children.
Ann Dunagan: This world needs men and women of character, men and women of integrity, of deep, fervent devotion for God, not only as missionaries, not only as pastors of churches, but as men and women of God who are leaders in this world in all these different spheres of influence in society.
Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Monday, November 22.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss: As you know, at Revive Our Hearts, we talk a lot about this issue of legacy—not only living out a love for Christ and faith in Him and a vibrant, vital walk with Him, but having a heart to pass the baton of faith on to the next generation and to see seeds of purity and passion for Christ and ministry-mindedness passed on to that next generation.
I am so grateful to be the produce of a family that was mission-minded, to have had parents who were intentional about teaching the seven children in my family the Word of God, the ways of God, and cultivating in us a heart to live for the Lord, not for ourselves, but to be mission-minded.
We’re going to talk over these next couple of days about some of the ways that took place in my family, but I’m excited to have with me in the studio today a new friend. Her name is Ann Dunagan, and she’s a woman after my own heart. She’s written a book called The Mission-Minded Family.
Ann, welcome to Revive Our Hearts. Thank you so much for joining us for this conversation.
Ann: Oh, thank you, Nancy. I am very honored to be here.
Nancy: What you’ve written about in this book, and more than that, what you have lived in your life and your family, is something that resonates deeply with me. It’s something that I have a passion for and something that we want our listeners to have a passion for as well.
I want our listeners to get to know you. You are a wife and a mom. Tell us a little bit about your family because that’s at the heart of what God has led you to do in ministry.
Ann: I am very happily married to my husband John. We’ve been married for almost 24 years, and we have seven children, currently ages 8 to 22. We’re homeschoolers, so I’ve been teaching our kids at home. We’re finishing up our 18th year of homeschooling. We homeschooled all the way through high school, so we have three graduates.
Nancy: I still think mothers are the ones who should get the awards for this. You go to these homeschool graduations, and it’s the kids getting the awards, and I think, “Those moms deserve, like, serious medals.”
Ann: I do think at a homeschool graduation the parents do feel it very deeply. I actually faced a huge wall with homeschooling when my oldest one graduated from college, and I still had a first grader at home. It’s like realizing, “Oh my! We're running the marathon. We still have a long ways to go.” It’s kind of like getting up to the starting line again, but God’s grace is new every morning.
My husband and I, we have a passion for the nations. We have a passion for God’s Great Commission and extending God’s kingdom to wherever He calls us to go. Something that is deep in my heart is encouraging families to expand God’s kingdom and fulfill His Great Commission in whatever sphere of influence you are called to reach.
We’re not all going to be boarding planes and heading off to Zimbabwe or heading off to Tanzania or to India. However, we all need to have this mindset that wherever God has us, we’re His ambassadors.
So we have been just raising and training our children. We have traveled on many different outreaches, different trips. We’ve been in full-time ministry, though every single Christian is in full-time ministry. 
Nancy: Whether they realize it or not.
Ann: Exactly, whether they realize it or not. We have been involved in Christian missionary work for the last, about 23 years. We have been able to go to many different places. I’ve been to like 29 nations around the world. My husband’s been to about 60. Actually, all 7 continents. We’ve got quite the stories about how God even called my husband to go to Antarctica to preach the gospel.
And then along the way, we’ve just been raising and training our kids to see the needs overseas, see the lost, of going to places where the gospel has never been, of rescuing orphans and pulling little kids off the streets. It has absolutely transformed even our philosophy of parenting, the way we train our kids, the way we raise our kids.
In writing The Mission-Minded Family, part of it is I want to convey just the light from the Word of God of the need for the gospel and also to convey the darkness that we have seen in the different places around the world.
Nancy: And you want your children to have that heart for the nations as well.
I think sometimes when you think about missions, you think, “How could you do that with seven children?” That’s something you do when you’re single or when you’re in college or an empty-nester, or the youth group does a mission trip, but you’re saying missions really can be and should be a family mindset, not just an individual mindset.
Ann: Absolutely. God has called our families, even corporately together, with a unique combo of gifts. A husband and wife together have a unique combination of ministry skills and giftings that can impact society. It is so powerful when a family just loves God and is healthy and has fun but that is also being effective for the kingdom of God.
I’m talking about being effective for the kingdom of God out on the soccer field, effective for the kingdom of God like when you’re in an airport and people just seeing how you are interacting together as a family, how you are at church, how you are in the neighborhood. God just wants us as a family to be a light.
Nancy: Yes, a shining light. This is really a counter-cultural way of thinking even for many Christians, sadly. We talk a lot on Revive Our Hearts about this counter-cultural revolution of women who swim upstream against the culture. They say, “We want to be God’s women in this dark world.”
It’s counter-cultural when it comes to family today, don’t you think, to be mission kingdom minded? I mean, really, the prevailing mindset seems to be a lot more self-centered, building children to have self-esteem, to make worldly goals. Do you see this around you?
Ann: Absolutely, and even just as Christian women, sometimes there’s this inward striving of, “I want to do something big for God. I don’t want to just stay home. I don’t want to just be sweeping the same floor over and over again.” But God has a passion for our homes just as He has a passion for us to take the gospel to the nations.
Something that God has really put in my heart is that there is a divine balance for each day inside of Christian families.
I remember there was this one time my husband was taking some different mission trips, going and doing evangelism in some remote places. At this time, we had four little ones at home, and I wanted to go so badly. “I want to go. Can’t I go?” My husband just really felt, “Right now, you are needed here at home.”
There was this one day I got very frustrated, and I just told my husband, “What do you want me to do? You want me to just sit around here on the couch and just read story books?” He looked at me, and he said, “Yes.”
Those kids are now grown up. Those kids, they finished up high school, they went off to college, a couple of them are done with college, and they love God, and they love me and my husband. We’re a close-knit family, and it is because we were willing to invest time with our children and be with them and play with them and read to them.
Nancy: But as you were doing that, you weren’t doing it just so they could be happy and have successful lives. You really have done it with a view toward those children being kingdom-minded.
Ann: Yes. I would read good story books. Even just reading books to our kids that would instill in them a fervent heart for God.
Nancy: What kind of books?
Ann: Oh, some of my favorites are The Christian Heroes: Then and Now, missionary biographies, just being able to read about men and women of God like Amy Carmichael or about David Livingstone or Lauren Cunningham.
Nancy: I have to tell you, I teethed on those kinds of books, on Christian biographies, missionary biographies. We didn’t have a television in our home when I was growing up, for which I will be eternally grateful. Of course, we didn’t have computers, laptops and iPhones, cell phones, video games, and all those technologies either, but we did have good books, and I loved to read. I still do. I have one of the greatest collections of Christian biographies.
As a little girl, my heart was so inspired and inflamed with love for Christ and a passion to serve Him because my parents made available to us good books of men and women who had been faithful servants of the Lord. Those were my heroes growing up. It wasn’t sports figures or entertainment figures or actors or actresses or celebrities of the world sort.
It was the Amy Carmichaels and the Hudson Taylors and the George Muellers and the Gladys Aylwards. Those were my heroes, and that’s where God really lit in my heart a passion to serve Christ and to be kingdom-minded. So I’m a big fan of this reading good books to your kids, getting good books in their hands.
Let me just say, we’ve posted on a list of some of those books that you and I recommend that listeners may want to check out. There’s so many good series available today that weren’t as available when I was a little girl. What a great thing to cultivate in your children a heart and a hunger for knowing and serving the Lord through that kind of reading.
Ann: And even just to instill in our children that it’s not just what they do. The bull's-eye is knowing Him, that we would just train our kids to pray, to train our kids to love the Bible itself. That’s the best Book ever to read to our children, to read aloud to our kids—the Bible, and get them to learn how to read the Bible.
Nancy: Did you find that your children were all receptive and responsive to this kind of influence? Were there some that didn’t seem to have quite as much interest? How did you cultivate that interest in them?
Ann: Even just realizing that God has unique calls and purposes for each one of our children. When the Bible talks about “train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6, KJV). In the Amplified, it says, “Train up a child in the particular bent.” There’s a particular talent, different character traits that God has uniquely equipped each one of our children.
We need to get out of our heads that a missionary is just this Indiana Jones sort of character that puts on a leather jacket and a hat and trudges off to the remotest jungles in Africa, and you hear the beating of the tribal drum and people are dancing around the fire. Missions is getting God’s heart; it is just knowing Him and allowing for His presence to flow through us in whatever sphere of influence God is going to call each one of our children.
So to train them up to love God and to know Him, to begin to develop the gifts and talents that God has given each one, and that they would hear His voice and His direction, whether that is to go into a city, whether it’s to go into media, whether it is to go into the education system, to go into business, to go into politics, to go into the military.
This world needs men and women of character, men and women of integrity, of deep, fervent devotion for God, not only as missionaries, not only as pastors of churches, but as men and women of God who are leaders in this world in all these different spheres of influence in society.
Nancy: Where did you get this heart?
Ann: A heart for Jesus? Oh, I have loved Jesus ever since I was very little. My mother led me to the Lord when I was three. I grew up in a beautiful Christian home. My dad was a high school teacher, coached golf. My mom was a stay-at-home mom who was just always there, and my mother loves the Bible. She just has such a love for the Word of God.
Nancy: Is that something you caught early on?
Ann: Yes. There was one time when I was at a camp when I was eight years old, and a teacher . . . It was a family camp, actually, but the children were having a little class, and there was a teacher that encouraged the children, “Take your little, worn-out Bible and go out into the woods and believe for God to give you a reference or something.”
So I went out into the woods, and I just prayed. I said, “God, could You speak to a little girl like me?”
The thought came to my mind, “Jeremiah—read Jeremiah, chapter 1.” My initial thought, which now I really believe was also direction from the Lord, was, “Oh, my! Jeremiah—that’s full of confusing words and hard names.” And when the book starts out, it is filled with names and confusing words. “The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, one of the priests . . .”
But then Jeremiah chapter 1, verse 4 says,
The word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations."  Then said I: "Ah, Lord GOD! I cannot speak, for I am a youth." And the Lord said to me: "Do not say, I am a youth," You will go to all whom I will send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak (verses 4-8, NKJV). 
So that was something that grew in me from the time I was a young girl, and God has just been very faithful.
Nancy: And then God gave you a husband who had a similar heart.
Ann: He did. In fact, we were pretty young. We had both just graduated from high school, and my husband was coming in to be a guest speaker at our youth group. At the time, I looked like I had my whole act together. I did love the Lord, but there was a period of time during my last year of high school where there was some compromise in my life, and there was some areas of rebellion.
I looked like Miss Leader of the youth group. I was up there leading worship; I was one of the leaders there. But this guy came in, and he was like a soccer star and loved Jesus. So he was coming to share about “daring to be different and encouraging the young people in that room to allow no compromise in your life of the type of music you listen to, the type of music and the type of movies you watch, the decisions that you make, the friends that you have. No compromise.”
I just remember looking at him, and I was very convicted. At the end of the service, I went up and talked to him. I had kind of my reasoning in my head that I’d allowed these little inroads of junk, sin, into my life. So I asked him, “I work as a waitress in a restaurant, and there are times that I don’t get off work until 2 o’clock in the morning. Sometimes I need to have a radio going on to be able to keep awake. I don’t get any Christian stations, and so sometimes I listen to a soft rock station. It’s not too bad. Is that really that big of a deal? Is that okay?”
It was so awesome. He just looked at me and looked me in the eye, and he said, “Can I ask you an honest question?” I said, “Sure.” He said, “How’s your prayer life?” I just shook my head and just said, “It could be better.” It dug deep.
He said, “Well, you know what? I just challenge you. Next time you go to work, just turn that radio off and pray. Pray for the people you’re going to work with. Pray for the people that are going to come in that restaurant, and see what will happen.”
So the next day I turned off my radio, and I don’t know if that’s a good thing to say here—those of you who are listening to good stations, you keep your radio on because this is a good program. But I turned off my radio, and I prayed. I prayed for the people who I was going to be working with.
That day, the restaurant was really slow, and there was a woman in her 30s who came up to me out of the blue, and she said, “My sister, lately, she has been talking about how you’ve got to be born again to go to heaven. What do you think about that?”
Nancy: Wow.
Ann: I was just blown off my feet. I’d worked there for a year and a half, and I’d never had a chance to share my faith before. And without me even initiating a conversation, someone came up to me and said, “Will you please witness to me?”
So that was a very influential turning point in my life. When I drove home that day, I was just praising God in the car, and just thinking, “God, You are so real, and You are so big, and I do not want any compromise in my life. I just want to fulfill Your purpose. I want to serve You with all, everything, 100 percent, and I repent of this, and I repent of that.” I was just asking God to come in and direct my life.
Then we even got to see each other again, and I told him the story. He thought it was kind of cool that someone had actually listened to what he had preached about. Then two years later, we were married, and we have now been married for 23, almost 24 years.
Nancy: How neat it is to see the way that God put two kindred spirits together. I think some people could listen to your energy and your enthusiasm and wholeheartedness and think, “Well, that’s Ann Dunagan. God didn’t make me quite that way” or “That’s a little extreme.”
Certainly everybody doesn’t need to be that way, but I’m thinking back to that verse in Jeremiah chapter 1 where God says to Jeremiah what I believe is true of all of us, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; and before you were born I sanctified you” (verse 5). We have been set apart, before the foundation of the world, to be consecrated to God for His purposes, for His kingdom purposes.
What you’re talking about . . . We have different personalities. We may express it differently, but God has called each of us to have a heart that is wholly Christ's—no compromise; passionate devotion and love for Christ; living our lives not for our sakes, not for our kingdoms, but for His kingdom; to only only have that kind of life, but to influence the next generation, the children God has given to you; to believe that this is God’s calling and commission and purpose for their lives; to fulfill whatever it is that He made them to do and to be.
So this isn’t something that's a way of life just for some small minority, very pious missionary types. You’re really talking about a calling and a lifestyle for every child of God.
Ann: The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:20 that we are ambassadors for Christ. Part of this verse says, “as though God were pleading through us.”  God has a passionate love for this world. “As though God were pleading through us: I implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God” (NKJV). There is a passionate love for a very lost and hurting world.
We don’t all have the same personalities; we’re not all outgoing. Some people are shy. I once heard somebody say, “How can I share my faith? I’m a shy person.” I heard someone say, “Well, you can witness to shy people.” There’s no excuse. We have the light of Jesus Christ, and this world desperately needs God. God wants to plead through us to see His kingdom expand here on this earth. That’s what it means to be mission-minded.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Homeschooling the Rebellious Child

Deborah Wuehler has another great piece.  I think we all deal with a little rebellion now and then...and then sometimes our children do it, too!!  ;-)

I won't do it!" my child screamed after being asked to sit down and start the day's math assignment.

"You will too!" I resolutely stated right back. "I will not!" And thereupon ensued an all-out fight of wills. The strong-willed mother determined to win over the strong-willed child. After all, the books said that if I didn't win every battle, I would not win the fight. And boy, did we battle. This was the beginning of years of anguish in dealing with a strong-willed, highly eruptive child.

Some days were worse than others, but all were equally miserable. The older siblings would complain and take up my offense. Younger siblings would cry because Mommy was crying. All the while, the smug little hard-nosed rebel sat defiantly on the bed screaming and shouting to his (or her) heart's content. It was a struggle not to allow bitterness to rule my spirit. The daily strain upon my heart, soul, and body were wearing me down to the point I wanted to pull away from everything and everyone. I would cry out to God. "How long, O Lord?" I lived in the comfort of the Psalms. After I cried, I would read and pray. I HAD to in order to face my child again.

How did we end up here? We analyzed everything from birth. Was it the fact that this child was born screaming? Maybe it was that time at 3 that I intervened, thinking Dad was too harsh. Or was it because in public he was well behaved, so I let slip his passive rebellion at home? Was it his early mental maturity trapped inside a childish body? Was it because he was sandwiched between six other siblings? Was it medical? (Indications of ADD were present--not hyperactive, but rather the ultra-slow, highly distracted side.) It was probably the combination of all of these things that enabled this sweet little child to erupt into a full-blown rebel. Yelling, screaming, throwing things, you name it. I had only read about this kind of child, and now I had one.

What in the world was I to do?
Read the rest here...
Homeschooling the Rebellious Child

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Brannon Howse shares some scary facts about feminism in this video at  The video runs about 15 minutes.

It includes some surprising (not really) quotes from the likes of Betty Friedan of The Feminie Mystique

Overcoming the Midwinter Blahs

This is from The Homeschool Minute put out by

Mercy Every Minute

Deborah Wuehler, TOS Senior Editor

I was trying to figure out this week why I was feeling so downcast. Maybe it was because within these last few weeks:
  • I've had tons of discipline and training issues.
  • I've had the tension of starting school after our break.
  • I've had my credit card number stolen and lost a debit card.
  • I've been falsely accused.
  • I've gained more weight over the holidays.
  • I've had several migraines, blood sugar, and yeast issues.
  • I've had lots of visitors, expected and unexpected.
  • I've had some painful teen issues to deal with.
  • I've had my plans and to-do lists laid aside once again.
  • I still have Christmas decorations up and boxes all over my bedroom.

 Okay, I just realized that the focus of that whole list was: me! Hmmm, perhaps that is the real reason for my blues. Let's see if I can change that perspective a bit:


  • God has blessed me to keep my children home all day to train for His purposes.
  • God has given me the privilege of participating in their instruction as we discover what they were created to do for Him.
  • God has blessed me to be able to live in this country, where I have money in the bank, clothes to wear, and a warm house in which to live and laugh and love.
  • Jesus was falsely accused. He was afflicted by men, rejected by men, reviled by men so that I might live and move and have my being in Him.
  • God has continually provided cupboards that are full; enough to share with others.
  • God continues to either heal me or give me strength for one more day, and children who are more than able to handle the household when I am down.
  • God has provided a bounty of good food in His Word so my soul can delight in fatness, and friends to encourage me to eat everything else in moderation. 
  • God has sent friends and strangers and maybe even "angels unawares" to my house that He might draw them to Himself and teach us all to be servants.
  • The Holy Spirit is doing His work in the hearts and lives of my children and teens as I pour out my heart for them and find help at His throne of grace.
  • God gives me the freedom, the desire, and the ability to do His will, in spite of my plans, and teaches me the necessity and grace of flexibility. 
  • Jesus is worth celebrating every day, all year round, no matter the boxes!

Real life can be overwhelming and discouraging, especially in midwinter, and our hearts can be easily overwhelmed. This is when we need to get a higher perspective:

Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. Psalm 61: 1-3


When we look up, we see His face. When we climb that rock that is higher, we get a higher perspective-one not tied down to the things of the earth. When you are tempted to look down, keep looking up! When we are on that higher ground, the Lord can minister to us so that we will be refreshed when we are sent out to serve our family and our world. He knows our frame, that we are but dust, but He is the excellency of power that dwells in our earthen vessels. To Him be the glory, and the power, forever and ever, amen.

~ Deborah








Cutting Curriculum Cost

This is from HSDLA's Homeschool Heartbeat.  If you click the link below, you can listen instead of read!

Cutting Curriculum Cost
Volume 102, Program 8

How do you find homeschool curriculum on a budget? Do you check the library? Used book sales? E-bay? What about extra-curriculars? Join Lisa Baughn and HSLDA President Mike Smith on Home School Heartbeat as they discuss homeschooling in tough economic times.

Mike Smith:

Lisa Baughn joins me this week with suggestions for economizing in tough times. Lisa, homeschoolers face the added financial burden of buying curriculum and paying for extracurriculars. What are your top tips for homeschooling frugality?

Lisa Baughn:

At our first homeschool seminar, we learned you can homeschool for almost free with a library card and a math program. First, look at life and homeschooling as an adventure. How can we create a solid education with the tools and the books and the resources that we own now? Focus on real living books, teaching history, literature, geography, with a guide or a spine, rather than canned curriculum which must be purchased yearly for each grade.

Use the library. We’ve gotten the best books, music, movies, audio books. The internet is full of free resources on everything imaginable. You can find worksheets for math and every subject, organizers, ideas, and even unit studies that you can implement.

Did you know that most museums have a free day? Explore the history, nature, and activities in your area. Go to a historical reenactment, smell the smoke, here the cannon fire. Just expose yourself to everything that is naturally going on in the world around you. And most of it is free.


Well, Lisa, I know these tips will be very helpful ideas for our listeners, and thanks for those suggestions! And until next time, I’m Mike Smith.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Ways We Have Ruined Our Children

One of the email loops I'm end sent this link for Off the Grid News: The Ways We Have Ruined Our Children.

It was awesome!  It runs about 52 minutes long.  It's an interview with a young man named Lance Seppi.  He's the third of seven homeschooled children in his family.

One of the topics discussed was the fact that our society is not instilling the ability to work into our children.  We are "raising children" instead of "raising adults."

I totally get this.  It frustrates me so when I see teenagers who are not actively part of the housework, for example.  Because my grandparents' illnesses, I was running the whole house (shopping, cleaning {somewhat!}, cooking, washing, paying bills) all by the time I was 15.  Oh, and I was handling what medical care they needed at home including frequent hospitalizations for my grandmother, all while I was maintaining good grades at school.  I know the Lord helped me through this, but I also know that teens are much more capable than for what we give them credit.  Our founding fathers were graduating from college at 18 not starting college.

Another thing they discussed was the fact you need to give humanist and socialist credit.  They understand the importance of education.  It reminded me of a post I wrote over a year ago, but I thought I'd mention it here.  It's The Parents' Responsibility.

Giving Instructions

Parenting Tip from  I appreciated them defining exactly what directions are.  I think it helped me to realize that I'm not just "being bossy." 

January 9, 2011

Giving Instructions

The word "instruction" comes from the words "in" and "structure" and basically means "to put structure into." When someone comes on the scene and gives instructions, that person brings structure to the situation and helps people know what to do. Dad or Mom sees the need to clean up around the house or get ready to go out and begins giving instructions to move the family in a positive direction.

The parent adds the structure needed at the moment to make family life work. Unfortunately, because of the well-worn relationship between parent and child, kids may react with resistance. At that point parents often become more intense in their instruction or just give up. What was meant to be a move toward order and structure has turned relationships into chaos.

Remember that you're not giving instructions just to make your life easier. You're bringing the much-needed structure into the situation. If you don't provide the structure, who will? Of course, the way you give instructions affects the strength of your relationships with others, but don't let resistance keep you from your job. Without instruction, family life falls apart.

"But they don't appreciate me," is an excuse parents sometimes tell themselves that motivates them to want to give up. The fact is, that whether they appreciate you or not, they need you! So, continue to work on your own attitude and frustration level, but hang in there and keep giving the much-needed structure to your family.

Proverbs 19:16 says, "He who obeys instructions guards his life."

Well-Balanced Reading

Today's Seeking Him from Nancy Leigh DeMoss was good...

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Almost every mom struggles to give her kids a well-balanced diet.

“It doesn’t matter what I cook! She only wants to eat pizza and peanut butter and jelly!”

Nancy: Do you know that we can approach the Bible just like a picky child?

(Yawn) “Oh, where was I? I guess I’ll just read a psalm—a short psalm.”

Nancy: Just as our bodies need a balanced diet, our spirits need the whole counsel of God’s Word. Some passages seem more appetizing than others. But if our diet consists mainly of the Psalms with a smidgen of the New Testament Epistles on the side, we just won’t grow as we should.

Paul reminded Timothy that “all Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable.” We need the Psalms and Epistles. But we also need the Old Testament books of the Law, history, the Prophets, and the New Testament Gospels.

Are you getting a balanced diet from God’s Word?

With Seeking Him, I’m Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Super Summit Tonight

Heather Laurie
 We listened to the HECOA's Super Summit tonight.  The speaker for tonight came down with the flu, and Heather Laurie was the replacement.  Her website that was mentioned was Special Needs Homeschooling

The topic was special needs.  There were a lot a good points which could be useful even if your child isn't special needs.  I'm jotting them down before I forget them!

One thing her family does is to homeschool year-round.  This allows them to slow down during the day, and to avoid forgetting through the summer.

She also said don't be afraid of Saturday.  For instance, if math is an issue, don't be afraid of taking 45 minutes on Saturday to review.  Another option would be to ask your husband to do it.  It allows your child to hear the same thing from a different perspective, and also allows your husband to see what you are dealing with.

Heather noted the difference between diagnosing vs. labeling.  Diagnosing is helping.  It may give you a description of a symptom.  It doesn't give any excuse not to succeed.  It allows you to find out how to adapt and work to overcome.

Using a public school system to diagnose is not a great way to go for several reasons.  First, their only focus is addressing issues that effect educational goals.  It's definitely not holistic.  Also, depending on the school district, it can really get the public school system into your business. 

She mentioned that some insurance will pay for special needs evaluation.  Also, don't be afraid of getting a 2nd or 3rd opinion.  As Heather mentioned, you have a master's in your child.  You need to go in with a question and come out with a plan.

Her family also has a website for their ministries.  She wrote a great piece that really spoke to where I live.  It's Making a House a Home When You Are Chronically Ill

There was a lot more, but I can only write so fast!  I've friended her on FB and bookmarked her sites, so I'm looking forward to finding out more!

Using Words That Bless

Last summer, I posted about Using Words That Bless by Rachael Carman.  I didn't realize it but she also spoke about it as a HSLDA @home e-vent.  It aired last summer, as well, but you can still listen to it (if you pay, of course). 
Here's the details:

Rachael Carman

Do your kids tend to wound one another with their words? Do they cut down their siblings and friends with cruel or teasing speech? Are you looking for ways to curb their unkind behavior and transform it into gentle and positive communication? Join author, speaker, and homeschooling mom Rachael Carman for easy-to-remember ideas that will turn outbursts of squabbling into words of blessing. Learn to effectively encourage your children to consider the language they use as Rachael explains how to apply “BLESS” as an acrostic to teach your children godly speech. She will show you how to dig deep to touch your children’s hearts as you guide them to treat each other with love and respect. 
The link to listen to this is HERE.  The costs are $10.99 Non-Member Price or

$5.99 Member Price.

Multiplication Games Level One is offering this week's freebie.  It's Multiplication Games Level One: by"Fifteen Multiplication games studying 0, 1, 2, 5, and 10's. Extremely easy way to introduce multiplication to your math fearing student."

It's great timing since we are just starting multiplication!

Why Home Educate?

Once again my FB/blogging friend, Lea Ann Garfias posted some great stuff in her blog Whatever State I Am a great piece, so I wanted to share it with you.  You can go see it yourself here.


Why Home Educate?

Posted on January 3, 2011 by Lea Ann Garfias

The numbers

In America today, there are nearly 2 million homeschoolers. Over 80% of them claim to be Christian. Less than one-third of them are homeschooling to impart their faith to their children.

The primary reasons of homeschooling are to avoid government institution environments or to provide better academics. Many parents home educate because of health reasons or special needs.

Only one-third of Christian homeschoolers are purposefully passing on their faith.

Thus saith the Lord, “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches,
But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord Who exerciseth loving-kindness, justice, and righteousness, in the earth; for in these things I delight,” saith the Lord.
- Jeremiah 9:23-24

My husband made me homeschool.

My husband made me homeschool. You can read more about that in my story, “I Know Better,” part oAmy Puetz’s free e-book here. I used to be one of the 70%. After that infamous first year, we homeschooled for lots of reasons: we provided better academics than the schools around; we were definitely cheaper than the schools around; we couldn’t beat the one-on-one instruction; we liked the schedule.

It wasn’t until later, years later, when we had 3 children and were far from any schools, friends, and influences, that we began to see God’s Scriptural pattern for education.

The Bible and Home Education

These words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart;and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up…and when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, “What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the ordinances, which the Lord our God hath commanded you?” Then thou shalt say unto thy son,”‘…The Lord brought us out … and the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as He hath commanded us.”
-Deut. 6

Ye shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
- Deut 11:19

Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law. For it is not a vain thing for you, because it is your life; and through this thing ye shall prolong your days in the land.
- Deut 32:46-47

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
My son, hear the instruction of thy father,
And forsake not the law of thy mother.
- Proverbs 1:7-8

Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding;
For I give you good doctrine;
Forsake ye not my law.
For I was my father’s son,
Tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.
He taught me also, and said unto me,
Let thing heart retain my words;
Keep my commandments, and live.
Get wisdom, get understanding;
Forget it not, neither decline from the words of my mouth,
Forsake her not,
And she shall preserve thee;
Love her, and she shall keep thee.
Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore, get wisdom;
And with all thy getting, get understanding …
I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.
– Proverbs 4:1-11

Fathers… bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
- Ephesians 6:4

For more Scripture, see Gen 18:19; Psalm 1; Prov 23:6; Eph 4:17-24; 2 Cor 6:14-7:1; Titus 2:1-15; 1 Peter 1:15-16.

The Why of Home Education is so Important

The Lord used Bible passages such as these to strengthen our hearts during difficult trials in our own home education journey. It has not always been easy. We have lost jobs, faced death and disappointment, and struggled through illness. I am not proud to say that I have begged to put my children on the yellow school bus. Earnestly, tearfully, frantically. I know that desperate feeling.

But now I know why and it is the why that is so important now – at the New Year – and every time we face doubts and fears.

I am home educating my children to pass on my faith, to show them God is real every day, and to point them constantly to God’s Word as the ultimate Authority for their life.

That is really all that matters.

Will you join me?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

It's Winter! Free Pocket Chart Set

Ingles 360 is offering a free pocket chart set on It's entitled It's Winter
This is what what the site mentions about using pocket charts.

What can you do with pocket charts?

  • Re-tell stories, songs, poems and chants
  • Sequence alphabet or pictorial story lines
  • Sort vocabulary
  • Add creativity and visualization
  • Promote the imagination and learning skills of children
  • Increase the use of fine motor skills
  • Hold the attention of children
  • Help children remember songs, rhymes, stories
  • Present or reinforce vocabulary items
  • List day of the week, month, season, special dates

No worries. Free is good. You can always figure out what you want to so with it later!! ;-)

Friday, January 7, 2011

FREE--CurrClick Open House for Online Classes

Divine Interruptions--Nancy Leigh DeMoss

January 7, 2011

Divine Interruptions

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Sometimes we need to ask God to keep us from distractions during our devotional times.

“Jesus got up, left the house, and went off to a solitary place." (Ding) "The dryer’s done. No . . . I think it can wait. Let’s see . . . 'Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: "Everyone is looking for you."’”  (Phone ring.) “Uhhh. Maybe it’s an emergency. (ring) No, keep reading. ‘Let us go somewhere else (ring) to the nearby villages (ring) so I . . .'”

Nancy: But sometimes an interruption may be God-sent.

“Mommy, what are you doing?”
“Well, come here. Let me show you. See, I’m reading about Jesus.”

Nancy: Ask God for discernment. Sometimes an interruption is actually an opportunity from Him.
With Seeking Him, I’m Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Home Education Super Summit--My recap of day one

I've been "attending" (if you can attend something that is a teleconference) the Home Education Council of America's Home Education Super Summit the I mentioned a few days ago.  I could call it the "supper" summit because it comes on at 6 PM Central time which is when we've been eating or cooking supper!

It's been "ok" so far.  Nothing mindblowing, but somewhat informative.  Of course, each speaker is promoting their own product/website, so it's somewhat of an extended commercial, but some of the things are useful.

The first day was Donna Goff.  Her topic was "First Steps and New Beginnings", and that was pretty much what it was.  She gave guidelines on how to prepare your family before you start homeschooling in PreSchool or start homeschooling period. 

She shared a few websites.  First was her own, which is The Princess Academies.  Its purpose is to encourage woman and their daughters as they grow from princesses of God into queens.  The website offers various things, but the idea is that you form groups of "Princess Circles" where mothers and daughters meet for "Princess Training."  Their focus in training is:
Painting: Le Gouter by
William A. Bouguereau

Beautiful Girlhood
Equipping through
Love and Learning
Ladies of
Eloquence, Generosity, Comeliness, Grace, and
(taken from the website)

Donna Goff began this whole idea in 2006 with her daughter in mind.  She wanted to develop something that would assist her helping her daughter become a godly woman. 

This sounds interesting to me.  I'm going to find out more about it!

Another website she mentioned was Living Math.  If you are familiar with Charlotte Mason and "living books,"  you have the concept of Living Math.  It suggests books and activites to use to teach or reinforce math concepts. They are integrated with history, science, and art.  There are even lesson that can be purchased.

Apart from the lesson plans, I find this site rich with ideas and information.  I'm probably too "old-school" to use "Living Math" exclusively to teach the subject, but I definitely like the resource of ideas to add to my teaching.  It saves this old brain from all the work!

In fact, I found about it Monday evening, I went to the site and looked up multiplication since I just introduced it to my daughter, one of the first things listed was "Play Yahtzee," so that evening we did.  My daughter got the thrill of playing a game with the family AND reviewed some skip-counting/multiplication skills. 

So, while I didn't necessarily gain a lot of new information from day one, I did gain two new websites to explore and use!

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