Tag Archives: moms

Great List of Freebies

My friend Cindy Downes sent me this list of freebie stuff to use in our school.

We are all having to find ways to cut back or not spend money at all so I thought this would help.  I have my own list of way to save money in your school that I will post very soon.

Until then, here is this list.

Click Recession Proof your Homeschool.

Enjoy!

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


Free Israel Unit Study

Here she goes again…

Terri Johnson at Knowledge Quest has most graciously shared with us another one of her unit studies.  This one is on Israel.  These are simple & yet a lot of fun.

 

Go to Knowlege Quest to get the Unit Study.

If you subscribe to her newsletter, she will send you a link to her “Around the World” unit study.  Her website & blog is full of lots of freebies (& who doesn’t love that!).

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

*What about boys?

I found this article & thought it was worth passing on.  Since I have 6 boys, I understand that it does take an extra measure of creativity & patience to homeschool them.  Laurie Bluedorn understands this also.

What do I do with This Boy?

by Laurie Bluedorn Copyright ©  2006 Eclectic Homeschool Association

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: I have a boy who manifests several of the following behaviors:

  1. Hates to hold a pencil and/or has terrible handwriting
  2. Isn’t motivated
  3. Does the minimum required–seems lazy
  4. Wanders around with seemingly nothing to do
  5. Has to be continually reminded
  6. Doesn’t read much
  7. Doesn’t like academics
  8. No project appeals to him
  9. Has a narrow field of interests
  10. Has a short attention span
  11. Often seems ‘hyper’
  12. Always has to be doing something with his hands or his feet
  13. Doesn’t want to do any of the things I suggest
  14. If enrolled in a classroom school, he might be “labeled”

What do I do with this boy? I feel very frustrated

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Keep him away from television, movies, computer games, music that contains any kind of a syncopated beat, sugar and caffeine, and allow him only supervised contact with peers.
  2. Make him repeat back to you what you’ve told him to do.
  3. Work with him until you’re satisfied with his obedience. This is of the utmost importance.
  4. Make a list of the things he needs to accomplish each day, and have him check them off as he does them. Hold him accountable daily.
  5. Wait until age 8 or 9 before teaching him to read. Don’t start academics until age 11. (See our article on “A Suggested Course of Study” in Volume II of our magazine.) Read to him at least two hours each day. If he hates to write, allow him to dictate to you his letters and journal entries, or use a tape recorder.
  6. Make use of the child’s one or two chief interests. Use it as an avenue to other things. (i.e., Link guns to the Second Amendment to the Constitution and to principles of sound government) Get him started in his own business that involves his interests. For example, if the child’s interest is fencing you might suggest that he give fencing lessons to other children, develop a web page on fencing, write a newsletter on fencing, do a display at the library on fencing, write an introductory booklet on fencing, produce fencing equipment, do a fencing seminar for 4-H. He can become the homeschooling expert on fencing.
  7. Give him lots of physical work to do–regular household chores and special jobs. But don’t dump it all on him at once — he probably is the kind of person who is easily overwhelmed and frustrated. Break everything down into parts and mete them out one or two at a time. Use a chart to keep him accountable.
  8. If possible, move to the country so you can raise animals and there will be more outside work to perform (raise rabbits, goats, or chickens, display these projects at the fair, obedience train your dog and show at fairs, raise earthworms to sell or for your garden, raise berries to sell or barter, raise some specialty animal such as a certain breed of horse, and become the local expert on that breed, have him practice carpentry skills by rebuilding a small shed or outbuilding).
  9. Get the child involved in some kind of community service (visit the nursing home every week for one hour, cook meals for the elderly, do repair work for the elderly, pick up the trash around your neighborhood, make small wooden toys and give them to children in the hospital, make greeting cards and give them away, write letters to relatives or others).
  10. If possible, Dad can take him to work once or twice a week.
  11. Do unit studies instead of the traditional textbook approach to academics.
  12. Get involved in historical re-enactments (Civil War, Buckskinners, Medieval, WWII), make costumes and equipment, and attend events.
  13. Teach him to hunt and fish.
  14. Get him a good mountain bike so he can explore.
  15. Keep the child on a regular schedule (flexible, but regular).
  16. This suggestion is listed last, but is really the first: the child should be part of your daily family Bible studies led by the Father.

Sometimes, if the child persists in refusing to be interested, you must insist. The key to all this is to recognize early on that your child is one of these “late bloomers.” You don’t want to wake up to this fact when the child is 17 or 18 and has already developed numerous unprofitable habits and wasteful ways of thinking. Motivating a 17-year-old is much more difficult than motivating a 10-year-old. Molding a 17-year-old is much more difficult than molding a 10-year-old.

With any child, you must build a solid foundation before you begin academics. With a “late bloomer” the foundation takes longer to build and more patience must be used because the bricks tend to be less than square. But, trust me, by the mercy of God, if you persist, the structure that is built on this foundation will be worth all the blood, sweat, and prayers.

This article was reprinted from Teaching the Trivium Magazine, Trivium Pursuit PMB 168, 429 Lake Park Blvd., Muscatine, Iowa 52761 http://www.triviumpursuit.com/. The magazine is now out of print, but many additional articles and resources are available at their website.

The Ungraceful Homeschool Community

I’ve been at the home school thing for a long time now (12 years) so I tend to forget what it is like for new homeschool moms coming into an established support group or co-op. We veterans are grounded in our method of homeschooling(at least we hope). We know what works for our kids and what doesn’t. New moms come in and ask how we do things. They want to know how we do it.

I am yet to meet a veteran homeschool mom who is not willing to tell a new HS mom how she should HS her kids. I enjoyed doing it so much that I help to write a curriculum for new Hs moms and then taught it for 3 years. I still get to speak every now & then. It is fun! But you know what? How I HS my kids is not the way that works for everyone. there is no exact formula to homeschooling your kids successfully! what works for me, may not work for you. That is the evidance of a great and might God in our lives. He created each of us so unique and our children are a perfect fit for us and our schooling methods.

I had an interesting conversation with a new homeschool mom this afternoon. She had joined a group that was a product of the larger homeschool group. She joined this group because it brought together moms with children the same age. She wanted her son to get to know other kids who were homeschooled and she wanted to get to know more moms. Sounds good huh? She quit the group.

She told me that there was so much judgement in that group because she didn’t do things just like the rest of the moms. She didn’t use “the curriculum” they thought she should use and the worst part is that she let her boys watch TV. Not just any TV, she let them watch shows that have been branded inappropriate by many homeschool moms. Her boys loved running around pretending to be super heroes. She felt no freedom to let her boys be themselves at these play dates. She spent her drive to the events lecturing her boys. “Don’t say “batman”, “superman”, and please do not tell anyone that we eat froot loops for breakfast!”

Finally she had enough & they quit the group. Soon she was contacted by 3 other moms who also quit because of the same reasons.

How many times has the Unit Study Mom secretly cast judgement on the Text Book Mom, because we all know that the text book kids don’t have near as much fun? How many times have we decided that a mom is just not raising her daughters right because her girls are allowed to wear makeup at 13 years old? What about the mom who BUYS her bread? Oh my gosh! Doesn’t she know that making it is way more healthy? And did she just give her kid a suger soaked drink box? Surely this mom is not serious about homeschooling. Afterall, she uses the NIV Bible, not the KJV! I have been there so many times it is embarrassing to admit to. I just wrote out actual things I have either said to thought about other moms.

The Lord really grabbed my heart and made me to realize that he loves me even when I don’t do what he wants me to, so I need to love and accept that homeschool mom who not only uses text books, but let’s her kids watch Pokemon on TV. Do I agree with watching Pokemon? No, but that is o’k, I can still learn from this mom and be her friend. And our kids can even play together. I have learned since moving back into a neighborhood that my kids will encounter difficult circumstances, but it only opens up more opportunities for us to talk about how the Lord expects us to act. I have learned that there are a lot of really awesome families out there who have made really great friends for my kids and …get ready… you won’t believe this…but the kids go to public school. Yes, that is right I let my kids play with public school kids. I know that is a big huge “no no” in the homeschool community, but if I had continued to judge these families because they do things differently than we do I would have missed out on some extremely great friendships with really fabulous christian women who are raising great christian kids. Is that hard to believe?

We have got to show grace as homeschool moms to other moms, whether they homeschool or not. We have got to stop judging each other and accept each other the way we are. We should encourage each other with the love of Christ. We already get plenty of discouragement and persecution from society who don’t think we should homeschool. Why do we create more tension by judging each other? We have become a very ungraceful homeschool community and we now have a reputation for being snobs and judgemental. I may be a bit contraversial here and maybe I even stepped on some toes. Maybe you don’t agree with me at all. That is just fine! I don’t have my act totally together, I’m still learning how to put grace into action myself. But I can tell you that it is a lot more fun when I can accept a mom the way she is instead of trying to change her.

Colossians 4:5, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.”

Romans 12:10, “Honor one another above yourselves.”

Romans 14:13,14, “Therefore let us stop passing judgement on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way. Qs one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something unclean then for him it is unclean.”