Homeschooling

The Great Homeschool Sacrifice

homeschool sacrifice

 

The older my children get the better we settle into our homeschooling selves. My oldest has conquered reading and is adding multiple digits, so I feel as though I have a couple of accomplishments under my belt for the other children down the line.

 

I gotta be honest, I am still  in a great struggle over here. My struggles seem to take turns jumping from different areas. Lately, it is the struggle of sacrifice that has taken front and center.

 

The time it takes me to homeschool I could have cleaned the entire house, written several blog post, read a couple of chapters out of my stack of books, tweazed my crazy eyebrows, painted my toenails, or could finally paint that wall I’ve been trying to get to.

 

The instant and delayed gratification are in a tug of war within my heart.

 

I believe with all of my heart that homeschooling is best for our family and is an endeavour worth pursuing.  However, my tunnel vision often starts to look around me as I feel the heart flutters of panick settle in.

 

What do I do? I start to blow up balloons for my pity party. I typically want everyone to come with pats on the back and words of affirmation. I know its terrible, I feel so ugly writing it, but its real!

 

Throughout all of my cycles of pity parties to sheer focus, the Lord continuously pulls me to Him guiding me every quivery step of the way.

 

Homeschooling is a lot like Peter walking on the water to meet Jesus. He puts one scary step in front of the other. All he has is faith and Jesus. His eyes are focused on the One and Only capable. He thinks… I’m walking on water! Look at me! This is Great! While Jesus’s loving eyes were fixated on Peter He never faltered, never told him to slow down or take it easy, but encouraged him on the faith-filled journey of his life with footsteps on top of water.

 

Like most of us, Peter looked around and panicked. As he was sacrificing his very life He cried, “Lord help me!” and there it was the hand. The hand that pulled Peter out of the now sinking water is the same hand that pulls us up from the pity party.

 

We too may feel as though we are sacrificing our life, we can’t breathe, feel trapped, and feel like we are sinking.

 

For all those like me who tend to pull out the streamers for the pity party every month or so, I encourage you to fixate your eyes on Jesus! He is calling us out on the waters so let’s go. Can you imagine if Peter said ,”Nah, I’ve got some things I need to take care of on this boat over here maybe next time. ” What a terrible story it would have been. Let Jesus make your story beautiful. The sacrifice is part of the miracle.

 

Are you struggling with something you need to hand over to Jesus? Subscribe and share!

 

Photo credit pixabay

Top Homeschool Tip

I am very honored to be one of the newest contributors over at A Mama’s Story! Head on over to read about what I have found to be my top homeschooling tip for success…

Why I Want You To Home School Too

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Photo by Adamr/freedigitalphotos.net

 

It’s no surprise that I’m super excited about home schooling. My passion only continues to grow as time passes.

 

As I get into my homeschooling groove I notice it has a language all on its own. There are styles, techniques, and numerous types. The reasons are as diverse as the mommas. You’ve got the footloose and fancy free kind, the militant, and everything in between.

 

We have freedom to be any flavor of home school we like. Its great! But…I confess that I have a hard time talking mommas into taking the leap.

 

It’s easy to talk people into doing something easy, assuring them its a shortcut to something else, or will give them more free time.

 

Unfortunately, I would be lying through my teeth If I were to tell you that were true with homeschooling. It’s not always easy, there are some short cuts but they aren’t worth taking, and your free time will dwindle exponentially.

 

But, Oh my goodness the joys that come along with it are more to count. The reading aloud, the inside jokes, the curiosity, the first words read, the walks. You get to be there for it all, a front row seat.

 

So that’s why I say to do it, give it a try! You wont regret it. The memories, the creations, and yes even the frustrations are worth it. I want you to experience and see the blessing for yourself. Walk down the road of discovery, let them watch you live life and see what it’s all about. Don’t miss out!

 

There is no right or wrong way to go about it. You get to adjust it for your family and dive in whenever you see fit. No, you don’t have to wear a jumper or scrunchie in your hair. But you certainly could if you wanted:)

 

 

What would you say to all those mommas on the fence? Subscribe and share! Join us on Facebook and Pinterest!

How To Turn Ordinary Games Into 4th Of July Fun

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Photo courtesy of nixxphotography/freedigitalphoto

 

I love the Fourth of  July! Unfortunately, as a kid I paid little attention as to the fact that we were celebrating our countries freedom. It was more about the hotdogs straight off the grill, ripened watermelon, and sweet peach ice cream with the night ending in beautiful fireworks.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I want all of those same fond memories for my children. As a homeschooling momma  feel the need to bring in some patriotism while they run wild in the backyard. I came up with a little list of games to play at our Fourth of July get-together. I am hoping this will encourage them to ask questions and will be a great way for me to sneak in some awesome history lessons.

 

How To Turn Ordinary Games Into Fourth Of July Fun!

1)Instead of an Easter egg hunt do an “American Flag hunt.” You can buy them pretty cheap at the dollar store right now. This gives us an opportunity to talk about the importance of our flag and what it resembles. The kids can go inside for a few moments while the grown ups hide them all over the yard. The kid who collects the most flags is the winner.

 

2)Let them divide into two teams each with a bucket of water balloons. Let them pretend they are at war for our freedom and throw water balloons back and forth at each other. This is bound to get rowdy so whatever talking you want to do, be sure to say it before they see the buckets of water balloons:)

 

3) Capture the flag is perfect! Instead of using someones hat or shoe like we did as kids, you can use a real American flag:)

 

4) Have a, “Soldier’s obstacle course.” They can army crawl, march, roll, salute, hop in a potato sack and jump, then run through a sprinkler to the finish line! (I might even do that)

 

5) Dye some eggs red and blue for a relay race of, “Egg on a spoon.”

 

6)Play “I Spy” with only the colors red, white, and blue.

 

7)Let them be creative and find objects in nature to recreate the American flag in the yard.

 

8)Have a sidewalk chalk contest to see who can draw and color the most beautiful American flag. (My girls will love this)

 

9) Provide a fun Scavenger hunt to find things in nature that are anything patriotic.

 

10) This last one isn’t really a game but it is something I would love to implement. I want to have a table full of pencils and crayons for them to write letters or draw pictures to our troops. I want them to see that fighting for our freedom isn’t something that just happened a long time ago, but that there are sacrifices being made today to keep it that way.

 

I want to start more traditions this year as my kids are getting older and give them even more to be excited about. I want to keep it as fun and simple as possible, yet give them a new found appreciation for how blessed we are.

 

It’s great to be a kid!

 

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Sharing this with: The Prairie Homestead A Mama’s story, Raising Arrows, The Modest Mom, What Joy is Mine, Growing Home, Time Warp Wife, Thankful Homemaker, Mamal Diane, Teaching What is Good,  Mom’s the word, conerstone cofessions, A proverbs 31 wife, Some of the best things in life are mistakes, Let this mind be in you, A Wise Woman Builds her home, Deep Roots at Home, Graced Simplicity, Raising Homemakers, Women Living Well, Hope in Every Season, Jill’s Home remedies, Little Natural Cottage, Our simple country Life, Raising Mighty Arrows, The Purposeful Mom, Happy and Blessed Home, Homemaker by Choice, Your Thriving Family, My Joy Filled Life. New Life Steward, Hometead simple, Let this Mind Be in You,

21 Reasons To Love Homeschooling

Reasons To Love Homeschooling

  1. You get to see the joy on their face when they, “get it.”
  2. You can have school in your pajamas.
  3. If the kids are sick Monday and Tuesday no big deal just do school Saturday and Sunday.
  4. You have the chance to pick any time for vacation throughout the year.
  5. You can do your school outside when the weather is beautiful.
  6. The bank is school, the grocery store is school, cooking supper is school.
  7. Much shorter, “sit down” learning with lots of hands on.
  8. Participate in activities any time of day.
  9. If something isn’t working you can change it whenever you see fit.
  10. Take the day off just because you feel like it.
  11. You can cater to their specific learning needs and take your time or speed up.
  12. Eat, pee, laugh, talk, pray, sing any time you want.
  13. Learn to deal with loud siblings fighting right next to you while adding and subtracting.
  14. Understand the importance of others coming first.
  15. I get to be with them all day.
  16. I am their teacher and always have their best interest at heart.
  17. They think I am so smart. (For now anyways)
  18. I am learning along side them.
  19. We get to read together all the time
  20. If  Dad’s home, we just hang out with him for the day:)
  21. Siblings become best friends.

 

Have anything to add to the list? Has homeschooling ever intrigued you? Share!

 

5 Things I Never Knew About Homeschooling

I’ve been homeschooling for over a year or so. I have learned a lot in this short period of time about myself, my children, and homeschooling in general. A lot of the things I have learned I’m sure I was told, but there is nothing like learning it all first hand. I have lowered my expectations considerably and have learned to accept the following:

  1. My house will always look like a tornado went through it. It may stay clean for a total of five minutes, but that’s about it. These babies are learning, growing, and creating constantly. The disarray of crayons, baby dolls, books, and trucks have become my new normal. Don’t get me wrong, its fun around here, but good gracious it’s messy!
  2. They really are learning all day. I’ll admit there are times I want to be done with being the teacher and want to just be momma. I’m learning that they go hand in hand. Rather it be teaching them to tie their shoe, to say thank you, or to quit picking their nose and use a tissue. The teaching and learning never stops. Education is a lifelong process that can’t be wrapped up into a couple of hours a day. Math and reading are a very small part of the equation.
  3. You have just as much laundry. I’m actually thinking I may even have more, here’s how I came to this conclusion. They wake up and after getting breakfast all over their pajamas they are ready to change clothes. Once formal school is over, they head outside and usually end up completely filthy. They come running in and have lunch then want to put on new pajamas for rest time. Once they get up from their naps…you guessed it, back outside, but with new play clothes since the others are dirty. Finally, the day ends with a fresh pair of pajamas at bedtime. As far as the baby… there’s poop, pee, food, and any other thing he can get into all over him. Since he can’t complain he just stays filthy all day:) -No, the poop and pee don’t stay on him!
  4. You never leave the kitchen. We’ve got a cute little playroom/ home school room. My husband recently put in shelves to help with the organizing and space. It seems no matter how hard I try to have a cute little learning day in there, we all end up in the kitchen with books and papers everywhere. I think it’s just because they ask for a gazillion snacks a day. Some days I feel as though I don’t leave the room until bedtime. Good thing I love eating too!
  5. The amount of patience required. I had no idea all of the learning I would encounter this year. It really is a lot of sacrifice and giving of grace to your children. I mess up quite often. Yet, this is just another way for my kids to watch me have humility, ask for forgiveness, and seek God’s help. In return, I have also experienced something I didn’t know about homeschooling. Through all the struggles, aggravations, and grace there is an unexplainable joy when you watch your child learn something for the first time. I’m telling ya, there’s absolutely nothing else like it! It’s an amazing rush of emotions that makes this all worth it. I see it as God’s gift to me, to help me keep trucking along.

I can’t wait to see what this next year will bring. Homeschooling has been one of the most rewarding blessings for our family. So… Do you want to do it too?:)

 

Linked to Raising Arrows

Today

Today is the day I would have kissed you goodbye as tears streamed down my face. Today is the day you would have climbed onto the bus. It is the day they would have taken you away in order for you to learn what is needed for the rest of your life. Today is the day you would have spent six hours away from Mommy, Daddy, your brother and sister. Today is the day we would have missed you like crazy as you went to get your, “socialization,” and form stronger bonds with others five year olds. Today is the day when the world tries to tell you to grow up. Today is the day you would have been expected to be seen and not heard. Today is the day your teacher would have known better than Mommy and Daddy. Today you wouldn’t be able to sing your prayer of thanks to God for your food. Today would have been the day where God and family would have been pushed to the back as your desires are moved to the surface.

 

But Sweetheart, because of this amazing God we serve that spoke to your Momma and Daddy’s heart, today you are home with us ( your biggest fans), your sister (who will always be your best friend), and your brother (who runs after you til the day is through.) Today is the day we can sit as long as we want as you eat your breakfast talking about the crazy dream you had the night before and about the goodness of God.  Today you are home with us for your most productive energetic hours of your day. You have amazing ideas for fun and creativity that benefit us all and are meant to be shared. Today is the day you tell us everything in that sweet mind of yours. Today we have all the time to laugh at the joys sometimes hidden in this life. YOU bring laughter to our day. Today we will learn and grow beyond four walls as you explore like a kid should with no time restraints or bells ringing except for when I call you in for lunch. Today I am so so thankful to have YOU. To have heard the sweet whispers from God to embark on this journey that could have otherwise turned out so differently. Today I am thankful!
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I’m linking this post with:

The Prairie Homestead A Mama’s storyRaising Arrows, The better Mom,The Modest Mom, What Joy is MineFar Above RubiesGrowing HomeHeavenly Homemakers,Time Warp WifeThankful Homemaker, Mamal Diane, Teaching What is Good,  A cat like curiosityMom’s the wordconerstone cofessions, A proverbs 31 wife, Some of the best things in life are mistakes, Let this mind be in you, A Wise Woman Builds her home, CSAHM Parenting Linkup, Deep Roots at Home, Graced Simplicity, Raising Homemakers, Women Living Well, Hope in Every Season, Jill’s Home remedies, Little Natural Cottage, Our simple country Life, Raising Mighty Arrows, The Purposeful Mom, Consider the Lillies, Happy and Blessed Home, Homemaker by Choice, Your Thriving Family, My Joy Filled Life. New Life Steward, Hometead simple, Christian Mommy Blogger, Let this Mind Be in You, Heart Reflected

Classical Conversations

Can I just say,  I love Classical Conversations! This is a home school group that has been extremely beneficial to my family on our homeschooling journey. This is one of the many home school trains I plan on staying on to see where it leads.

 

Classical education is the way God created our minds to learn. This model is made up of the grammar, dialectic, and rhetorical phases. These phases are also based on scripture in reference to knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

 

Three Phases also know as the trivium.

For the sake of explaining I will use the grocery store as an analogy of how the three phases of learning work.

  1. Grammar (memorization)- Memorizing what food is in what aisle. Biblically: Knowledge
  2. Dialectic (reasoning)- Being able to reason that yogurt could be near the milk because they are both in the dairy family. Biblically: Understanding
  3. rhetorical (teach back)- Being able to use what hey have learned to can grab ingredients and make a cake for someone and give instructions on how they did it. Biblically: Wisdom

 

Every Thursday we meet with our group (community) and go over the new material we will be going over in home that week. The children also do a presentation every week along with an art project or science experiment.

 

For a home school Momma this stuff is awesome! It can be difficult to teach public speaking or dissect a frog at home. This gives them that chance and helps put us momma’s minds at ease.

 

As I have gotten older I have wished I had more knowledge of the world around me. I feel that if I had that background knowledge then I would feel more confident and validated to give my point of view. After test taking all of the history, math, or science I learned went right out the window.

 

The classical education has God in the center with every subject pointed back to Him while all being interrelated. With this model I will be able to show my kids HOW to learn anything. They can take what they are passionate about and then teach others and bring God glory all at the same time.

 

I would love to hear your experiences! Which home school groups have worked well for your family?

Teaching Respect

 

                                          image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

Just when I have a good day or two of obedient children it never fails that they will get a wild hair and start acting crazy. This can be so frustrating. When one issue is settling another is bubbling getting ready to spew when you least expect it. Yesterday, the disrespect has been one of my greater challenges to deal with.

 

It’s not only the disobedience. It’s them talking back and trying to explain themselves is what keeps them in trouble. I am choosing to have faith that I can persevere and discipline God’s way to overcome these darn obstacles.

 

I have been praying for some wisdom on the best way to approach their discipline. Over the past couple of days it has become so obvious to me that we are all born rebellious and mean. God has to work it out of us, and He uses me to work it out of our children. Its a constant. The thing is, we will never be done just as God is never done with us. It’s much like a revolving door or dance with our children that God is in the center of. He is continuously teaching and molding us.

 

For example, when the kids are being exceptional I hop on my high horse and think to myself it must be this awesome discipline, man I’m good! Then before you know it one of them has shoved the other then screamed at me and ran off. This is where He is teaching HUMILITY.  Their good behavior is not a reflection of me but of His goodness and grace on my family.

 

In an effort to discipline appropriately (and not loose my mind) I call on the name of the Lord. -This just HAS to be apart of His plan! Our children watch us asking for help. What an amazing example we can set for them. As all this is going on He is also teaching me to RELY on Him, and to PERSEVERE when things are tough. As I pray I am asking for patience and wisdom which He says He gives freely to those who ask.

 

Once God has corrected my heart I am then able to correct my children’s heart. I am able to discipline with love just as Jesus does for us. I am able to exemplify forgiveness to them because I am forgiven. I am able once again to lead them because I am following the one true leader. God is revealing to me day after day that my children are one of my greatest blessings because they are what brings me closer to Him. Thank you Lord for the change in perspective.

Feeling Discouraged?

This is to all those hardworking Mommas out there feeling the pressure.

 

There are days when you feel as though you are pulled in a million different directions. You long to be that Proverbs 31 woman, laugh with your children, love on your husband, and cook awesome meals from scratch. At times, you feel as though you’ll never measure up and the joy to serve can feel like a burden.

 

Let me tell ya mommas, YOU are so precious in the eyes of God. You are feeding, teaching, and molding His army. The smile you give to your children is the comfort that they need when the world is cruel. The prayers you send up on their behalf are heard, God is working. He sees your tears and knows your heart. By the way, that 4th morning of cold creal your feeding them will not be recorded in any kind of books in heaven.

 

When God sees you He sees a warrior raising the next generation. Because of you we have hope that all of our children will have faith filled friends to link arms with when they are facing this world outside our homes. No, you don’t have it altogether…but God does and is pouring wisdom and strength in you daily to keep nourishing His army.

 

Don’t ever forget your value. When your changing diapers, washing dishes, and chasing children God is in the midst. Stand tall and remember your doing Gods work day in and day out.

 

This is what true feminism SHOULD be. Us women holding each other up and keeping each other accountable to the calling of caring for our families. Instead of being anti feminist we can be…pro feminist for God. Reminding each other that the freedom isn’t in leaving our God given duties but in caring for the little ones He places at our feet. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.

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Hey Y'all! My name is Brittany Styron. Sweet Country Roots is a place I hope to encourage, inspire, and bring a chuckle. Grab yourself a cup of coffee and join conversations about marriage, babies, homeschooling, frugal living, good food, and an old fashioned way of thinking.

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