Tag Archives: God

Can I Homeschool & Work Too?

Guest Blogger

Texas Home School Coalition Association REVIEW © February 2008

by: Holly Williams Urbach

When I started teaching my children at home in 1993, it was rare for me to meet a home schooling mother who worked outside the home. We home educators met at our local park and commiserated on the challenges of tackling lesson plans and getting dinner on the table each night. Our husbands worked full-time, or more, to support the school lunch program, and we wives worked hard to stretch the income as far as possible. We swapped curriculum and clothes with each other, along with recipes designed to make the most use of the available items in our pantries.

Contrast the above scenario with 2007, when quite a few of my home educating friends and acquaintances work either from home or outside the home. While there are many families living on one income, increasing numbers of households are finding it more and more difficult to do so for a variety of reasons. When I counsel new home schoolers these days, many ask me if it is possible to work and homeschool.

My family and I are part of the growing trend of home educating families in which both parents are working. When we realized that I would have to begin working, my husband and I determined to continue home educating our children. We did not want to shortchange our children as a result of the difficulties we were having financially.

I am extremely fortunate to work part-time for a company that allows me flexible hours. I know of families with home-based businesses who face the same time crunch that I have working outside my home. I believe it is likely that we will find home schooling families where both parents work more common in the coming years. Whether working outside the home or from home, combining work and school is a task that requires creativity, energy, and determination.

Even with all the perks of my situation, I find it challenging to combine work and schooling.  Following are some ideas and strategies I use to manage home, school, and extra-curricular activities while holding a job.

One of the first things to do is develop a workable schedule. Obviously, a lot depends on the age and activities of your children. My four children still at home range in age from thirteen to nineteen. Since they are teenagers who require and desire a lot of sleep, I work mornings while they are still sleeping. When I arrive home around 1 p.m., they have gotten out of bed, eaten and dressed, and they are already working on independent assignments. We then have between 1:30 and 6 p.m. to complete their studies for the day. I have students who are well-rested and ready to learn.

When I worked two afternoons a week, I struggled to accomplish schoolwork in the mornings prior to leaving for work. The children were sleepy and sluggish. I was frustrated and felt that everything was rushed and seldom accomplished to my satisfaction. Our new schedule works much better for all of us. Determining your most productive work and school hours is the first step in making school and work successful.

The next thing to consider is what curriculum to use. A teacher who is also working may not have the preparation time available that she would like to have. Many employed home schooling parents find that computer or video curricula fill the need nicely for their students. I would caution parents not to use such curricula for all subjects, because students need variety and adult feedback to help them learn effectively. Others hire tutors or send their children to outside classes for some of their instruction.

At times, I have utilized outside classes and co-ops to help meet the needs of my students in science and math, freeing me to delve more deeply into history, literature, Bible, and foreign languages. These classes make my available time with my students more productive. The point is, take a deep look into your family’s needs and develop a plan that helps you not only to survive but also to thrive in your situation. Any frustration you encounter in your schedule is a natural alarm, telling you that something still needs adjusting. Pray about it and seek God’s direction on how to resolve the situation.

With the work/school schedule planned and the curriculum squared, the next big consideration is how to deal with housework, meals, and outside commitments such as Boy Scouts, 4-H, kids work, etc. My family and I take time to discuss housework issues, and the children and I divide the responsibilities between us. The great thing about this plan is that my sons are learning to launder clothes, cook, and keep house just as well as my daughter. We all pitch in to get the work done so no one has to spend a lot of time doing housework.

Meal preparation is time consuming enough for parents at home full-time, so having less time due to working outside the home can cause a lot of stress. I try to make things ahead of time over the weekend, so getting a meal on the table during the school week is easier. I use my crock pot as much as I can. I have many cookbooks that contain recipes for cooking in quantity and freezing meals ahead of time, to best utilize the time I have available.(Once a Month Cooking by Mary Beth Lagerborg and Mimi Wilson and Jill Bond’s Dinner’s in the Freezer are two favorites.) I also solicit my children’s help in preparing meals. I reap the benefits of more time with my children and reduced time in the kitchen. Planning and executing a menu is essential to streamlining meal preparation as well as keeping expenses down by avoiding the fast-food trap.

My daughter has a part-time job, and she and my youngest son are active in 4-H. Such additional activities are worthwhile enough to our family to factor into our schedule the time they take. We have found 4-H to be a great program for our family, because each child can participate in an area of their own interest as we take monthly trips together to the meetings.  Another great thing about 4-H is that it helps our home schooling so that we work smarter rather than harder. Finding an activity that the whole family enjoys together is a great way to manage the time spent out of the home. Each family can find activities that add enough to the family that they also justify the time taken to participate in them.

Do I long for the days when I was home all day with my children? I certainly do. I have actually started a home-based business for just that reason. Once my business replaces the income from my part-time job, I will once again be at home all day with my children. I will still face that juggling act that comes with working and homeschooling, but I think that my children and I will all have gained a greater understanding of what it means to work together as a team and of how to adapt to changing situations. In the world we face today, those will be valuable and useful abilities for all of us.

Meet Holly Urbach


Homeschooling the Rebel

We have a rebel in our family & this article by Deborah was very helpful to me.

Homeschooling the Rebel

by Deborah Wuehler

“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!”

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?

Recognize the Triggers of Rebellion

We both desperately needed help, so I started to research. I learned to recognize the triggers of these angry responses and my contribution. I began to look at what happened before the flare-up and recognize the signs of an impending eruption. Was I angry with him? Was he provoked by a sibling or maybe jealous for my attention? Was he distracted? Was his schoolwork too difficult or too easy? Did he get enough sleep? What was he eating? Getting to know the triggers helps in warding off the explosions. Follow me as I share with you what I have learned in dealing with a rebel.

Be a Disciple, Make a Disciple

Discipling was one of the keys to eventually opening our rebel’s heart. As we continued to disciple and pour the Word of God into our child, we began to see things change. Here are some suggestions:

  • Be a good disciple of the Lord yourself! My goal is for my rebel to follow Christ as I follow Christ.
  • Draw your child in close. We had to pull our rebel in as a shepherd does with a wayward lamb. We took him with us wherever we went, and he stayed by our side as much as possible.
  • Be to her what you would have her be. Exemplify patience and kindness. You will begin to see your child’s heart soften and your own heart change toward her.
  • Have other godly influences in his life: teachers, friends, and godly pastors and speakers who reinforce what you are teaching.
  • He needs to be close to the authority figure. He should go to work with Dad or become his shadow when he is home.
  • Disciple her in prayer. Show her who to run to! Let her see your vulnerability. She usually sees your strength. Let her see your tenderness. Allow her to follow you to Jesus.
  • Discipling takes time. Invest time you do not have, and you will reap fruit you did not expect. 

Teach What Is Good

  • Teach your rebel the Word of God. Help him define rebellion. Lead him to Scriptures relating to “rebellion,” “fools,” and “stiff-necked” people.
  • Teach him that God disciplines those He loves.
  • Teach her the cycle that is repeated throughout history: idolatry, bondage, repentance, deliverance, and rest. Idolatry is turning away from God’s commands to our own self-rule: this leads only to bondage. If we repent, we are delivered and find rest (read the book of Judges).
  • Teach him God’s plan for protection offered in authority. When we step out from under the authority placed in our lives, we are left unprotected.
  • Teach repentance by modeling repentance toward the child. If I show any signs of anger or unkindness, I ask for forgiveness quickly.
  • Teach the order of godly government. God has given us the duty to govern our own households. Children lacking self-government must be governed. God’s beauty and order is displayed in godly government.
  • Creation is governed by order, not chaos, and declares the glory of God.
  • Teach the foundation of our faith based on the order of a literal, six-day creation. God also created our rebel to declare His glory-teach her that she can glorify God if she stays under His authority structure. Teach him that self-control is placing himself under God’s control. He will soon realize that he can’t control himself; this is when you can show him his need for God’s control.
  • Go over what Christ did on the cross. Christ can free us from the power of sin and the penalty of sin. Lead your child to the cross at every turn.

Homeschooling

If you are dealing with major rebellion from your child, you may need to adjust your educational goals for the time being. You may need to step back and let your child excel at a lower academic level rather than struggle where he “should” be. I had to re-focus my standards on the basics: Bible, math, and language arts. You can also help your child with the following adjustments:

  • Provide lots of good reading to cover the rest of the school subjects, such as good biographies that exemplify people strong in spirit.
  • Look for curriculum that doesn’t frustrate. Don’t hesitate to change curriculum that is boring or overkill.
  • If writing is too hard, have him dictate to you and then show him his work.
  • Allow her to choose topics of study. Find out what she delights in and continue in that direction until the desire ceases.
  • Have him read a Proverb and ask him to tell you what it might be saying to him personally. What did God mean when He wrote it? How can he apply it to his life this day?
  • During peaceful times, have her read the Bible or a good character book to you and discuss it together.
  • Scripture memorization changes hearts. Write the same verse every day until it is memorized. Feel free to do so with her.
  • Let him play his instrument before doing his schoolwork. It can help soothe and set the tone for other work to follow. If it doesn’t distract, play calm praise music quietly in the background during school time.
  • Separate siblings. This eliminates many distractions and potential trouble. Try to make a place of solitude for your rebel. Have the other children respect that privacy.
  • This is the kind of child that needs to be “doing” something with you. Our child flourished when we worked together and balked at independent study. Stay with her until she is confident and successful.
  • Give him something to look forward to when he gets his assignments done. Have a good book, special project, or free time waiting for him as a reward. Rebels can be highly motivated by rewards.

Consistency

Provide clear, strong guidelines in all areas-personal, school, chores, etc. The child must know what is required of him, and requirements must be clear. Print them out. Have the same rules, the same school assignments, and the same chores every day. Give him a daily schedule or checklist to visually keep him on track and monitor progress. Be consistent in all of these areas:

  • Have a consistent bedtime. This child may have an earlier bedtime than his siblings, since he may need more sleep.
  • Have consistent meal times. We eliminated sugar and provided snacks between meals to keep blood sugar level issues at bay. This helped the intensity of emotion to decrease.
  • Be consistent with discipline, and be sure consequences for each offense are consistent. Allow input so that the child knows you are being fair.
  • One of our rules is no breakfast until morning chores are finished. Our rebel can’t handle more than two assignments at any one time. We keep our instructions as few and simple as possible and try to keep them focused on the task at hand.

Discipline

Drastic rebellion sometimes calls for drastic measures. We employed all of these disciplinary tactics at one time or another:

  • If he caused trouble with siblings, he was not allowed to play with them for a time and was assigned to his room. He could play quietly or read books of our choosing.
  • For disrespect, disobedience, or angry outbursts: loss of privileges such as computer time, playing or talking with friends, going on field trips, or participating in classes or any form of entertainment for a given length of time (rest of the day, week, etc.).
  • If the morning went badly or if he had an eruption the previous day, he went to work with Dad with a backpack full of school books. He followed Dad around on the weekends frequently.
  • We have had to say no to many activities. For the most part, people understand. Some think we are too harsh, but they have never seen the rebel who lives at our house. They only know the sweet child who goes out in public. Only after a year’s worth of many painful cancellations did our child begin to realize his loss and our commitment to keeping our word. Only then did we begin to see a real change.
  • We have had a tendency to ride the rebel hard and forget about the other children. Stay consistent in enforcing the rules with all of the children so that no “respecter of persons” or bitterness is fostered.
  • Don’t drag out the discipline. Take care of it quickly. When it’s over, allow her the grace to start over. Don’t bring it up again. Always pray together afterward.
  • If he cannot control his emotions, he is grounded to his room. I have him read the Word and pray before he is allowed to come out so that he will have an acceptable attitude.

Change the Way You Respond

This type of child tends to be extremely intelligent and to push the boundaries wherever possible, employing manipulative strategies. They are also good at blame shifting. How should we respond?

  • When I react harshly to disrespect or disobedience, the battle escalates. My grievous words stir up anger in both of us. I have to be quiet and calm, purposing to be kind. Falling into anger and bitterness against the child does no good, as our anger never produces the righteousness of God.
  • Continuing to repeat a command only frustrates both of you. If the argument is over a command you’ve given, don’t continue repeating the command. Set aside the physical action you want done and take the spiritual action of dealing with the heart issue of rebellion.
  • Don’t entertain an argument or try to have the last word. Stop yourself in the middle of the battle. Drop it and allow the Holy Spirit to intervene. Rebels love to battle, so this will make them angry. You may need to isolate the child until he has calmed down. Don’t take personal offense. The rebel is not the enemy; we are doing battle with the enemy of her soul.
  • Instead of pointing out all her faults, share your own struggles with her. Come up with word pictures or analogies to show her the effect of her actions.
  • He feels like a failure, so watch him closely with the purpose of praising him. Find the good, however small. Praise any attempt at obedience or kindness. Praise for the lack of meanness.

Love Your Rebel

Your child needs to see and feel your love, and not only when it is manifested as correction.

  • Don’t pull away from her physically. She needs to be reassured of your love for her every day.
  • Discover his “love language.” Plan dates whenever possible. Your child’s wayward actions may be his way of trying to get your attention. Be proactive and give him undivided attention regularly.
  • Teach all the children to love and not to engage in conflict with or provoke each other. Teach them to love their enemies and to find a way to bless and not curse them. Teach boys to honor and protect girls. Teach girls to love and respect boys.
  • Love is patient and kind-but is Mom patient and kind? Allow God to fill you with the same love that He has for your child. She needs to see love from you even while she is yet a rebel.

Stay Grounded

Rebels are very draining-spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. We need to stay grounded in the Word and in prayer.

  • We need times of refreshing at regular intervals. Get away to a quiet place and rest. Spend time in the solitude of prayer and Bible study.
  • We need the Word. This is a heart-wrenching, iron-sharpening, full-out battle, and we need to keep our armor on. We need the belt of truth. Untruth comes forth from the child regularly. Read the truth, speak the truth, and memorize it together.
  • We need prayer and fasting. We are in the trenches of warfare for the soul of our child. We need to be vigilant and proactive and one step ahead in prayer. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against every evil thing that exalts itself. Spend time fasting and focus on the spiritual battle-not just the outward rebellion.
  • We need to die to our pride, our anger, and our unrealistic expectations.

Have a Future Vision

We need a future vision as we are raising the next generation. What will these rebels have to face in their future that will take this kind of strength of character? If persecution comes to your rebel for his faith in Christ, what kind of person will he need to be? Obviously, God is raising up an army. Remind your child to fight the good fight he was created for. Remind him that he is fighting the wrong fight when he is fighting God’s authority (you), and tell him that God made him strong for a reason-he is to be God’s warrior. Give her a cause to stand up for, something to fight against, and help her use her strength for good now. We need rebels in the Kingdom of God to stand against sin and to stand for righteousness.

Be a Rebel

Homeschooling a rebel is extremely difficult, and we are still working through it all. Yes, we still have eruptions, but much less frequently. We have learned how to pray, repent, and start over. More importantly, the strong will has carried over into spiritual battles. This will be the time to form a stronger prayer life, a stronger sense of what is right and wrong, and a stronger love for the Lord and His Word. Rebels don’t give up easily-be a rebel, Mom, and don’t give up on your child. You will both learn to turn to the only One who can truly change hearts: Jesus Christ.

I can hear you asking, will my child ever change? I am here to tell you that there is a God and that He is more interested in the heart and soul of your child than you are. Jesus Christ Himself intercedes to His Father on your child’s behalf. Join Him in prayer as you intercede for the heart of your child. Don’t give in to discouragement; be encouraged with new vision for your child. You are not alone in having the special blessing and calling of raising a rebel.

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” -Galatians 6:9


Further Resources

I highly recommend the following resources:

  • Homeschooling the Challenging Child, by Christine Field
  • No Greater Joy-free monthly newsletters
  • Winning the Heart of a Rebel and other resources on anger by S. M. Davis
  • The Five Love Languages of Children, by Gary Chapman
  • Doorposts-many resources taken from the book of Proverbs
  • Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit, by Teri Maxwell
  • The Heart of Anger, by Lou Priolo

Deborah Wuehler is the Senior Editor, Chapel Editor, and Devotional Editor for the Old Schoolhouse Magazine. She resides in Roseville, California with her husband Richard and their seven gifts from heaven. She loves digging for buried treasure in the Word, reading, writing, homeschooling, and dark chocolate!
http://www.HomeschoolBlogger.com/DevDoorDeborah

New Online Resource

kids painting

I just found a neat new resource for us homeschooling moms.

It is called Little Blots of Faith.  It is another social network much like The Homeschool Lounge.  But this one concentrates of teaching the Word to our kids and offers us many excellent & fun resources.  Like the other social networks out there membership is required, but it is free.

LITTLE BLOTS OF FAITH

Interested in Reducing Stress?

I saw this posted on HOLY EXPERIENCE and thought it was worth sharing and posting here.  A university student (and mother) is performing a study on the results of gratitude in one’s life.  It sounds like it is a very good idea.  Just follow her directions & contact her if you are interested in partcipating.  I would also like to hear if you participate & what was the result for you.  Just drop me a line here as a comment or on my contact page.

~Dana

She writes:

WANTED: Parents who desire to reduce child-related stress.

COST: A little bit of your time.

PERKS: Improved outlook and better parenting relationships! HOW? Introducing an exciting study in the works with an outcome that will benefit you! We are happy to present you with the chance to participate and hope that you will find this helpful to your daily life. Read on for more information ~

The Purpose of the Study:

To consider gratitude as a method for reducing stress in parenting
– To measure instances of parenting stress using the method below
– To measure the potential benefits (and maintenance) of gratitude as a means of stress reduction in parenting

The Method of the Study:

The 2 Simple Steps:

[Prior to beginning, compile a list of 10 specifics for which you are grateful. This should make the required expressions of gratitude easier.]

#1: When you experience a moment of stress related to one or more of your children, “reset” your thinking by verbally expressing gratitude, either in reaction to the current stressor, or by reading/saying something from your list.

#2: Add a mark to your daily tally (so that we have a record of how many times this happens each day).

That’s it.

This exercise will be carried out for seven days, beginning on Tuesday, April 1st, followed by a seven day break, and then repeated for a second seven day period.

If you want to participate, please e-mail gratitude.study@gmail.com by Tuesday so we can have an idea of the size of the study. Give your name, age, and gender—although you are welcome to participate anonymously, if you like. Feel free to spread the word to as many adults that you know that wish to participate. (This would make a fun project to do with friends and/or a spouse—men being specifically encouraged to participate as most studies tend to neglect the impact of gratitude from a male perspective.)

What’s in this for you?

Multiple studies have shown that people who feel more gratitude are much more likely to have higher levels of happiness, lower levels of depression and stress. They are seen as more empathetic, agreeable, and extraverted. Grateful people should be more likely to notice they have been helped, to respond appropriately, and to return the help at some future point.

You mean, you’ll get all that, just by adding some gratitude to your life? YES!

Definitions, for the purpose of this study:

Gratitude: Being aware of and thankful for the good things that happen; taking time to express thanks.

Parenting Stress is defined as those moments when life as a parent seems overwhelmingly unpredictable and uncontrollable (based on the 10-item Perceived Stress Scale). Within the context of parenting,

– you become upset because of something that happens unexpectedly.
– you feel you are unable to control the important things in your life.
– you feel nervous and “stressed.”
– you feel you cannot cope with all the things you have to do.
– you become angry because things are outside of your control.
– you feel difficulties are piling up so high that you cannot overcome them.

Obviously, this will be a largely subjective assessment—that is the difficulty in measuring an emotional state. Just try to be as aware as possible.

Thank you! We look forward to sharing the results of the study.
Join us at gratitude.study@gmail.com by Tuesday (April 1).
(Feel free to repost this post in its entirety. Let’s give thanks in all things!)

Astronomy

 

How much do you know about the origins of the names of the constellations?  I didn’t know much, except that I thought that it was astrology and christians had no business looking to the stars for their future.  There is evidence of the scriptures and the existance of God all over the stars.  Many of the names of the constalations have Hebrew origins. 

 

I have found a really neat website called Classical Astronomy.  It has some really good links telling us what is happening in the sky today.  They have a newsletter that keeps you updated.  It is geared towards homeschoolers, but anyone can subscribe.  The newsletter is called The Classical Astronomy Update.  They also have a blog, though it doesn’t seem to be updated very often, but it still had a lot of good information available.  Also, from teh website is a link to their christian curriculum, Signs and Seasons.

 

 

Here are some more Astronomy Websites

Biblical Astronomy

Jeanie Fulbright’s Blog

 (author of Exploring Creation through Astronomy)

Christian Astronomy

Answers in Genesis