Thursday, June 30, 2011


From CurrClick Weekly Newsletter on May 23, 2011
CurrClick - Curriculum and live classes in a click! Affordable curriculum, online classes, lapbooks, and homeschooling resources


Pressure and rush so often describe our modern lifestyles. As a result, our homeschooling can become disorganised and cluttered. It usually starts small and creeps up until we can barely see the papers and books around us, sometimes not even the one we are looking for. Do you feel like this every now and then? Stand back, breathe deep, and simplify.

S I M P L I F Y ! Let’s start where mom’s normally put themselves: Last. Let’s start at the end to get to the beginning.

You can begin by taking a good look at yourself and making a list of your strengths and weaknesses. Next, look objectively at your children’s needs and assess what you can tackle yourself and what you can better achieve by outsourcing. Be willing to adapt and change your approach as you go along.

Fill yourself: Keep your own tank full spiritually, emotionally and physically. Old habits tend to die hard so when investing in yourself, don’t bite off more than you can chew or work through. Ensure that the new activity is convenient and fun. This will ensure greater success. Learn to laugh while you are learning and getting better at it yourself. Small victories are all stepping stones to the bigger victories.

Identify the goal: First set your end goal and then break this into smaller or short term goals that are reachable. In so doing you have things to aim at as you go along, having reached and passed each success. Supportive information in setting realistic goals is to know and understand your child’s learning styles and basic personality type.

Lighten the load: Reward goals that have been achieved. Remember to laugh at your slip-ups: Very little in life is not worth a good chuckle over. Focus on completing the essentials and fill in with interest pursuits. Aim to finish three things per day, big or sma ll. Balance the time between learning activities home based and extra mural activities. Checklists will help you declutter and reorganise.

Pray: Faced with a big decision or preparing for the year, it is always a good idea to take time to pray about your decisions. Some parents even take a weekend away to pray and seek the will of God as well as assess and re-evaluate their goals. This is good for parents and children alike.

Make memories: Family life and life in general is made up of experiences and memories. Use these to forge a bank of things both you and your children would like to remember. A daily journal keeps you on track, after all homeschooling is a learning curve for us all, not just the children!

Improvise: There is always a way, one around an obstacle. Use the creativity God has given to all of us parents. Know that every challenge brings its own learning experience. Utilise t hese.

Support: It is vital to your homeschooling success for you and your children. Take stock of all your resources, big and small, friends we can rely on and family members who understand us and our vision. For making friends and sharing experiences, join a support group. If you can’t find a support group, start one. Incorporate activities in your area: sport, drama, libraries and so on.

Sonia Hawkins is co-founder of Ripples Publishing, along with her husband Dave. They have two children aged 14 and 10. Besides homeschooling her two children for the past ten years, Sonia has three and a half years experience as a children’s pastor at a local church and currently teaches two to three year olds at a local preschool.

She has studied Edu-K for the last few years and is at present finalising her internship.
She has written five children’s boo ks so far, three of which are available as e-book downloads at CurrClick.
Sonia’s passion is children and their wellbeing. More information can be found on

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Betsy's Price is Right: CVS--2 transactions

Betsy's Price is Right: CVS--2 transactions: "Well, I blew it. I was going to do a two transaction deal, but I forgot to hand in my ECB on the first transaction. It's ok, just not how I ..."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

‘Slutwalk’ and the Negation of Female Sexuality

UPDATE:  A Slutwalk is coming to KC.  Money is still being raised, so a date has not been set.

‘Slutwalk’ and the Negation of Female Sexuality
from Ladies Against Feminism, 6/21/11

I was recently asked to cover an event in London known as the ‘Slutwalk.’ The event, which features scores of women walking down the street dressed as ‘sluts,’ started in Toronto on April 3. Since then, according to the Wikipedia article about it, the movement has spread to other towns throughout the US, Canada, Australia, Europe and even the Middle East...The march is an opportunity for women to dress in bikinis, miniskirts and other minimalist outfits. In one march a woman appeared in her underwear with the word ‘slut’ written across her skin. Some have even gone completely topless. (Read the rest of the article

Monday, June 20, 2011

Betsy's Price is Right: CVS, finally

Betsy's Price is Right: CVS, finally: "In case you missed my previous post, couponing has come to a slight stand still as we reorganize our life around my husband's unemployment a..."

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Marvel of Our Adoption

From the Desiring God Blog....

The Marvel of Our Adoption

May 30, 2011 05:00 pm
by Michael Johnson

Scottish theologian John Murray reflects on the Christian’s spiritual adoption:

The great truth of God’s fatherhood and of the sonship which bestows upon men is one that belongs to the application of redemption. It is true in respect of all men no more than are effectual calling, regeneration, and justification.

God becomes the Father of his own people by the act of adoption. It is the marvel of such grace that constrained the apostle John to exclaim, ‘Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called children of God’ (1 John 3:1). And to assure his readers of this privilege as a present possession and not simply a hope for the future he adds immediately, ‘and we are.’ To indicate the cleavage which this status institutes among men he continues, ‘On this account the world does not know us, because it did not know him.’

Lest there should be any doubt regarding the reality of the sonship bestowed he insists, ‘Beloved, now we are the children of God.’ (ver. 2). John had pondered and learned well the words of the Lord himself when he said, ‘he that loveth me shall be loved by my Father….If a man love me he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him’ (John 14:21,23).

And now in writing his first epistle his heart overflows with wonderment at this donation of the Father’s love, ‘Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us.’ It is specifically the Father’s act of grace. John could not get over it and he never will. Eternity will not exhaust its marvel.

John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1955), 136.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Betsy's Price is Right: Missing but not forgotten

Betsy's Price is Right: Missing but not forgotten: "I haven't been posting for awhile. Life has been hectic, and God's given new challenges. Last Wednesday, I found out I had Type II diabete..."

Father's Day Honor

Parenting Insight You Can Use Now from National Center for Biblical Parenting
June 2011

Father's Day Honor
The Bible tells children to honor their father and mother, but many kids need help understanding what honor is and practical ways to show it. Father's Day is an excellent time for mothers to teach their children how to honor Dad. Sure, you'll work with the kids to do something thoughtful such as create a card, give him a foot massage, or make him his favorite meal, but also use it as a teaching time that will last longer than one day.

Honor means treating people as special, doing more than what's expected, and having a good attitude. How can we treat Dad as special every day? One way is to develop a habit of greeting him, expressing gratefulness for what he does, and asking to spend time with him.

We look at it this way. The family is like a bucket with holes in it. Water represents the energy in family life and that energy is continually draining out because of the work of family life. We do a lot of work with meals, laundry, shopping, driving, and cleaning. In order for the family to work most effectively and not lose all of its energy, every person in the family needs to be adding energy. Sometimes children drain energy out of family life with bad attitudes making the job of working together more difficult.

God has instructed that honor be learned and demonstrated at home, but developing it at home is only the beginning of its benefit. Those who learn honor will be able to use it for the rest of their lives.

This idea of honor is a fun one to develop in family life and is developed in the book Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining and Bad Attitudes in You and Your Kids, by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Choosing Curriculum

This is from May 11, 2011 The Homeschool Minute e-letter from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.

Choosing curriculum may be one of the toughest jobs you'll ever love. There are literally thousands of different options available, and each was surely created because somebody thought it was the best way to teach children.

How, now, shall we then choose?

Prayerfully. Year by year. Child by child. Considering what works best for your whole family.

For instance, I've discovered that my boys thrive with visually engaging textbooks where the lessons follow a pattern that makes it easy for them to work very independently, but we also need to do some subjects together so that we all kind of stay connected.

Here are a few other things to consider:

1.Is the curriculum easy for ME to follow? It's important that you feel comfortable with how to use the curriculum. Just as our children have different learning styles, teachers have different teaching styles. If something looks too complicated or labor-intensive, it probably is.

2.Does it appeal to my children? There are so many choices out there; it's a shame to battle with your children over a curriculum that they don't like.

3.Do we really even need more curriculum? Many homeschool families have bookshelves full of barely-used materials. You might have what you need at your fingertips already. Just do a little digging and be realistic.

Terri Johnson has a great article titled How to Avoid Over-buying Curricula on the Homeschool Corner at Plus, you'll want to remember that education isn't all about the books.

"Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire." - William Butler Yeats

Enjoy every minute,
~Nancy Carter
THM Editor

(From July 9, 2009 THM)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Queenly Review and an Eternal Encouragement Giveaway

My daughter is all into PRINCESSES.  After all, she IS a princess.

Which makes my husband the king and me, well, it makes me the queen...

I know.  I'm really classy and elegant thanks to my Burger King crown.

So needless to say, I was immediately attracted to my newest Gabby Mom review which is a MP3 from Mrs. Lorrie Flem entitled "Keys to a Queenly Castle."  It's about the role of a wife and mother as queen of her home.   I really appreciated how she related to the command God gave for male and female to have dominion over the earth.
Boy, was it ever convicting and timely.  But of course, that's how most things are from Eternal Encouragement

Last Thursday, my husband lost his job.  It's been happening to a lot of people, so I'm sure there are other wives out there who are facing the same thing.  It hasn't even been a week, and people have already commented to me, "Well, maybe you should go out and get a job." 

I know they mean well.  And in a weak moment, if I weren't so "weak" physically right now, I might be tempted by it. 

But thanks to Lorrie's MP3, I remember that I'm "building a wall" and am too busy to come down!  She mentioned how Nehemiah was invited to "come down" by some important Arab men, but instead, he said, "...I am doing a great work and I cannot come down..." (Neh. 6:3).  I need to keep the vision of the great work God has for me here at home regardless of the chaos or temptation surrounding me!

Another MP3 that Lorrie made available for The Gabby Moms is "Attitude Adjustments".  I haven't even really gotten a chance to listen to it yet, because I was still processing all the information from being a QUEEN!

I am defintely going to listen to it, however.  I know my attitude is correct, but maybe it will help me point out what attitudes others need to adjust!  Pardon me now, while I go pull this log out of my own eye! (Matt. 7:3-5)


Now for the really fun part!  Mrs. Lorrie Flem is making one MP3 available as a giveaway.  Not only will it be free, but it will be one of your own choice.  That's right!  You can choose one of these I mentioned or another one of your choice.  Trust me.  You can't make a poor choice.

Here’s how to enter: (please complete all in ONE comment-one entry per person)

1. Click here to chose the MP3 file you’d like to win

2.  Go to and post a comment on which one you’ve chosen. (The link for comments is under the Facebook and Twitter icons.) 

3.  Make sure to also comment that you found out about it from me.  (Betsy or MrsPriceisRight)

4. Leave your contact email.  After all, I think you would want to know if you win, right? :-)

5. Winner will be chosen on Saturday, June 18th via  You will need to claim your prize within 48 hours or an alternate winner will be selected.

I recieved these MP3s free in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was provided.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Homemaking Co-Op

This sounds like such an awesome idea!

A Homemaking Co-Op

by Angela on May 10, 2011 in Activities

Last year, my friend Stacy asked me if I wanted to be part of a homemaking co-op she was setting up for a few high school girls in our homeschool group. We aren’t starting the co-op until next school year, so we had a year to think about it.

I couldn’t say yes fast enough!

A few benefits to a co-op

Take advantage of skills other moms have that I am lacking in.
Foster godly friendships between the girls as they bond over projects.
Use the gifts God has given me to bless some kids.
Spend a little extra time with my oldest and her friends!
Encourage our daughters in homemaking.

What’s not to love?

How We’re Running Our Homemaking Co-Op:

There are 5 moms.

Each Mom will teach 3 classes throughout the year in her home. The classes will last about four hours and include a project.

We’ll meet twice a month for most months, taking December off.

We’ll have 15 classes total.

If a girl is using the classes as high school credit, then their mom will come up with work for them to do during the week to add up to the required number of hours.

We’re coordinating our class days with our group’s park days, so the hosting mom will provide lunch and bring all the girls to the park.
Homemaking Topics

Stacy sent us all this list of ideas for topics.

Cooking/meal planning
Using coupons/being a good steward of money
Taking care of our bodies-exercise/healthy living
Spiritual discipline

We haven’t totally settled on which classes we’re teaching, but I am hoping to teach baking, hospitality, and spiritual disciplines.

I don’t know for sure yet if I will teach on those topics, but I do know this: Someone else is definitely teaching housecleaning. Ahem.

As we go through some of the projects, I’ll share some with you. I’m looking forward to seeing what we all come up with.

Have you ever joined a homemaking Co-Op? Or are you dreaming of starting one now? If you did, what would you like to teach? What would you definitely not want to teach?

Angela can be found at Homegrown Mom, home of the 30 Days of Homemaking for Girls Series.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

HANDWRITING--Seven Ways to Improve

From Weekly Newsletter 5/31/11

Seven Ways Guaranteed to Improve Your Child’s Handwriting

Do you find yourself cajoling, wheedling, demanding and insisting on handwriting practice? A child can be resistant to practice because some small changes are needed to meet the needs of the child.

Most children struggle to learn proper penmanship. It is a huge developmental task for them. Many burn out, not for lack of practice but for lack of some relatively small adjustment to be made or activity presented.

Here are seven golden tips that are guaranteed to improve your child’s handwriting.

Appropriate desk height - To measure the appropriate desk height for your child, have him hold his arm at his side with the elbow bent at a 45-degree angle. When his forearm can rest on the tabletop, this height will give good writing posture. It is also important to have a chair that allows his feet to rest flat on the floor.

Pencil grip - Teach your child early on the correct pencil grip. An incorrect grip is a hard habit to break. We use the word “grip”, but in reality the pencil should be gently held. A test of this is to slowly pull the pencil from between your child’s fingers. It should slide out easily. To teach the correct grip, lay the pencil across the thumb and second (index) finger. Then, grasp it near the point with thumb and index finger. This pencil position provides easy control without the cramping experienced with many other holding methods.

Copy strip - While learning and using italic handwriting, whether manuscript or cursive, your child will need a model from which to easily work. A copy strip with the letterforms is a great help. Prepare a strip of lined paper with each of the letters of the alphabet, written in the manner you expect your child to print or write. You can copy the appropriate letters from the italic handwriting book. Then, post the copy strip where penmanship practice takes place. Cover the strip with clear, self-adhesive paper to make it last longer.

First lessons - It can be helpful to begin with a desktop whiteboard and erasable markers. Make a couple of models on the board, commenting where the letter begins and how the strokes are made. Let your child copy the letter as many times as necessary to learn its form correctly. This might be the whole lesson for one day. When your child knows the form, move to lined paper. Show him where the parts of the letter go and give him an opportunity to practice under your watchful eye. Evaluate his writing with comments on letter formation. An example might be, “I like the shape of the oval” or, “Look how nicely this letter touches the top (or bottom) of the line.” Evaluating in this way prepares your child for evaluating his own writing.

Self-evaluation - Another method to encourage good penmanship is to have your child evaluate his own writing at the end of each practice based a scale that includes: letter form, height, spacing, and consistency. If he is working on an individual letter, have him look at each line, choosing his best and worst let

Writing projects - One of the things I’ve found that motivate students to improve their penmanship is to give them something to produce. A special penmanship project such as one of these could be offered to your child: • Letters to friends, • Verses on fancy paper to hang on their walls, • Poetry to copy (their own, or one they hear and like) and send to someone or to put on a poetry bulletin board, or in their copy notebook, • Cards of all types, • Titles for drawings, • Non-fiction re-writing to put into publication (journal, science newsletter), • Family history or newsletter, • Historical document in poster form, • Final copies of stories sent to friends or family members.

Other ways to practice penmanship - For just practice of penmanship, some things can be used that are practical, but don’t add much to the student’s work load such as the following: • One day a week use spelling list; • Poetry, verses, or historical documents being memorized; • Spelling or grammar rules to be written in a notebook; • Final copies of stories, letters, thank you notes, or other documents; • Lists to be memorized.

Sheila Carroll
Living Books Curriculum

Saturday, June 4, 2011

John Piper - God cares about your body

I have had my share of health issues.  It can really make homemaking and homechooling challenging.  I know of many other moms out there who have it even worse than I do.  This really blessed and encouraged me to go on.  God cares about my body, but he cares infinitely more about my eternity.  Thanks for the reminder, John Piper.

Friday, June 3, 2011

As the family goes, so goes the economy

As the family goes, so goes the economy
Posted By Jennie Chancey on May 30, 2011

From Mercatornet:

As we know, the family in western countries is not going very well. In its introduction the FRC report points out that people have a reduced capacity for the intimate social relationships that marriage demands.

Most American parents cannot stand each other enough to raise the children they have brought into existence. In 2008, only 45 percent of American seventeen-year-olds were in a family headed by their biological parents, leaving them weaker in their relational capacities than prior generations. The numbers are lowest among African-Americans, where only 17 percent of seventeen-year-olds have spent childhood in an intact family. Among Asian Americans the intact family is strongest, but even for them it is only 62 per cent.

Some people claim that family breakdown and the rise of cohabitation is nothing more than growing pains experienced as the family changes and becomes more diverse. Laws, social policy and the economy have to catch up with the evolution of the family, they say.

In sharp contention with that view is the title of the report: “Marriage and Economic Well-Being: The Economy of the Family Rises or Falls with Marriage”. Authors Patrick F Fagan, Andrew J Kidd and Henry Potrykus have analysed federal data and academic studies and demonstrate their case convincingly: the family based on a lasting marriage (the “intact married family”) outperforms other sexual partnering structures — by a mile.

Read the full piece HERE.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Narration--The Art of Retelling

May 31, 2011

The Art of Retelling

The communicative tool of retelling has been used at least since the days when Moses was commanded to repeat the works of God to the children of Israel. It continues even today when parents tell their histories to their own children.

The methodology of narration is important to learning. A student learns to visualize a scene he has heard or read about, to assemble what he knows, to inquire, criticize, organize, select, and even express himself through speaking and writing. The narrator becomes actively engaged in the learning process.

Begin to hold your children accountable for what they are hearing, reading, and observing. Ask them to retell parts of their lessons. Do this after readings in Bible, history, science, and literature. Do it as they solve problems in math and as they observe art and nature.

Several powers of the mind will be activated as students begin really to know what they are reading and observing. Students will be able to develop a clear understanding of the material and will be able to participate in a broad variety of discussions with a certain degree of knowledge. They will learn to reflect, ruminate, remember, and participate in thoughtful discussions.

Here are some practical ways to use the process of narration with your students:

· Begin a new lesson or selection from a book with a review of what the students previously have learned.

· Introduce new vocabulary, background information, and facts before you begin the lesson or the reading.

· Read slowly and carefully though the material once. The students are to read or listen with the understanding that they will narrate or retell what they are hearing. Students are inclined to pay closer attention if they know they will be accountable for the information. In turn, their listening and attentiveness skills will be strengthened.

· Then have students narrate orally the portion read or heard, or the lesson observed. Students can be called upon in turns to narrate the passages or chapters until the whole is told back. Narrate less before you narrate more.

· Narrate point by point, episode by episode, not word for word.

· Do not talk too much, interrupt, or prompt.

· Assign written narration only after a students are fluent in oral narration. You may act as a scribe for younger students.

· Keep a record of written narrations as evaluations of the students progress. Evaluations should be according to sequence, details, and word choice.

· Follow up written narrations with the students reading aloud their work. For younger students, the teacher should read back what the students were told.

· Take time to narrate daily. Make this time calm and unhurried.

-- Maryellen Marschke

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