Monday, June 16, 2014

15 Love-Inspired (Non-Fearful) Reasons to Homeschool

Once while reading a Christian parenting book, I realized how many of my parenting decisions were based on fear. It was kinda crazy to think about, but many choices have been made because I didn't want a certain thing to happen! I was afraid.

The Bible has much to say about fear. One thing I've read said that the Word addresses the issue of fear 365 times! A daily reminder from God to not fear (by the way, I've never counted references to fear in Scripture, so I don't know for sure if that estimate is exact- does anybody want to confirm?)

When we made the decision to homeschool, I'll admit, much of it was due to fear. (Some fears can be healthy, though, so I'm not saying the reasons aren't valid!) Fear about bullies or other negative social influences, fear about (for us) our son getting a hold of some kind of problematic food (he is outgrowing a few minor allergies), fears that his educational needs would not be met and he would grow to dislike school. There are more, I'm sure, if I really think about it.

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love." 1 John 4:18

As homeschooling moms, we need to look to love for our motivation in everything! Here are some of my favorite love-inspired reasons to homeschool. Some of them fun, some of them serious. What reasons can you add to my list?

  1. I get to be with my babies all day!
  2. I get to learn alongside my children (yay, me!).
  3. My children have the opportunity to experience the real world as we move through our day together, rather than only interacting with their peers.
  4. No alarm clocks! (Unless we have some place we need to be).
  5. Our mornings are calm, and we all (usually) get as much sleep as we need.
  6. Education is tailored specifically to my child's needs.
  7. If they have mastered certain material, we get to move on- no waiting for others to catch up.
  8. If they need (or want) more time with certain concepts, we can "camp out" there for as long as we need (or want) to.
  9. My children eat home-cooked and lovingly prepared meals all day.
  10. We have a ton of freedom to explore our community resources (parks, museums, libraries, etc.) while they are not busy.
  11. I get to read (and re-read) lots of favorite books with my children!
  12. We can learn in our pajamas!
  13. Nobody has to raise their hand to use the restroom. :-)
  14. More time for (godly) character development!
  15. Time! Time to be together, time to develop our relationship, time to explore their interests and hobbies, time to be creative!

I'm sure there are many more love-inspired reasons to homeschool! What are your favorites? Share in a comment!

Linking up with these fine blogs:

http:// Little R & R


Inviting Cooperation from Young Children

I just celebrated my youngest guy's second birthday this month! Could it already be? I swear I was just telling you all that I was expecting him!
At any rate, he is quickly gaining independence and communication skills and reaching other important milestones so fast. It can be hard to keep up with all the changes, am I right, moms? I feel like I was just getting the hang of mothering this baby, and now he's already into "young child" territory!

Are you in the same season with your little one(s)? Or maybe you work with toddlers or preschoolers on a regular basis. Whatever the case, we could all stand to take a minute and see things from a young child's perspective for a minute to figure out ways to best communicate with them to make our days run a little more smoothly! Today, I'm revisiting some of the ways that have helped me deal gently, but effectively my little guy (and that I still frequently use with my older children now ages 4 ½ and 7).  I'm honored to share these tips as a guest on my friend Jenni Mullinix's blog! Join me over there today and share any additional ways you know of to invite cooperation from toddlers and preschoolers! (Click the link to continue reading!)

http:// Little R & R



Monday, June 9, 2014

Unburdened: An Introduction

I hinted back a few months ago in another post, about having chosen a word (or rather it choosing ME) for 2014. This is my first time just meditating on a single word for the year, rather than setting a bunch of goals of things I wanted to focus on for the year. Both ways are great! Both ways keep you from drifting through the year, and both things can be used as a filter for decisions to pass through so that you don't waste your time and energy.

At the beginning of this year, though, I think I was feeling overwhelmed, and just needed to find that "laser-focus" and clarity to come out ahead when all is said and done (something that seems to have eluded me in some seasons).
The word that settled in my spirit is "unburdened". I know, six months into it, that this is God's path for me this year. He has been faithful to show me so many ways that He is indeed, unburdening me. And it's awesome. 

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Through this process, I'm beginning to see how "heavy laden" I am. Or was. I don't know that it is totally obvious that I have been crouching under the weight of spiritual, physical and soulish burdens- and the fact is, I don't even think I realized it! But God knows. Of course He does. And as He is peeling back those layers, I have been able to breathe easier, stand up a little straighter, and see His vision a little more clearly.

"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1-2

Some of the unburdening has been simple, little changes. Others, much bigger and more complicated. Some things, a little silly, and "why didn't I think of that sooner?" But all woven together, and totally evident that God is at work in me!

This unburdening is part of the reason I've been able to get back into blogging! I have renewed purpose for this space, and I hope you'll join me here as I continue to share what God has been doing over the coming weeks! 

Did you choose a word for the year? How's it going? Share in a comment!

Linking up with these fine blogs:

http:// Little R & R


Monday, June 2, 2014

Changing my Filter

I got a "check" in my spirit the other day. You know how that goes.

I was writing a blog post last week about What I'm Into. Typically, in that kind of post, I (and the many others who write these kinds of posts) will list certain categories and then share things that held my interest or occupied my time. It's all for fun, and to show more of the personal side of the blogger on the other side of the screen.

The "television" category came up. I started to recall what I had watched all month. I typed. I stopped. I read what I wrote. Hmm. Really? I quickly realized that I didn't really want to share that with the world! *

Not that I was afraid of being authentic so much as I realized that sharing what I watched wouldn't be helpful to anyone. I certainly didn't want to encourage anybody to then go and actually watch the programs or movies I had watched (or at least to the extent that I had). A thought popped into my mind: if I don't think I it would be beneficial to share this with my readers, maybe I shouldn't be watching it!

As Christians, we're called to wisdom!

The foolish woman is noisy; she is simple and open to all forms of evil, she [willfully and recklessly] knows nothing whatever [of eternal value]. Proverbs 9:13 (Amplified, emphasis added)

This woman has no filter on what comes in or what goes out!

Adhering to this idea of filtering and discerning what we take in or allow into our airspace kinda goes counter-culture. It's pretty much seen as a virtue to be open to all things. But God wants us to be vigilant, and protective of our minds and hearts!

Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23 (Amplified)

Entertaining though it may be, we need to be mindful of what we watch on television. The content as well as the quantity. I don't say this to be legalistic, of course, but we need to be aware that some things can easily drown out the voice of God. It doesn't happen right away. It's gradual. In hindsight, I saw this happening with me.

I don't know about you, but I need to be aware of His presence and actually hear His voice more than I want to be amused. I don't want anything, whether television, movies, music, or whatever, to dull my appetite for Him!

How about you?

*For anyone who simply must know, I watched a couple seasons of House, M.D. and a romantic comedy or two. I realize there are worse things, but with everything, we need to think, "am I helping my spirit?" If the answer is "no", it's time to adjust accordingly!

Linking up with these fine blogs:
http:// Little R & R