An Easy Way to Make Homeschool Decisions

Every year I receive many, many emails from nervous, anxious, frustrated mothers trying to make decisions about the year’s new homeschool plans.

Some are deciding to homeschool, some are deciding on teaching approaches, some are deciding on curriculum. The common thread is fear of making the wrong decision.

Putting Things In Perspective

Dear Ones, I would like to help you put things in perspective.

What if, in one day you lost your health? You were 100% disabled and unable to care for your family and home? What if during this time you had to decide on your husband taking on a new job, moving to another state, selling your home and depending on someone to buy you a new home all while you are disabled? How would you feel? What would you do? I believe I know my readers well enough that you would answer “I would pray and seek God.”

During a crisis it is easy to call out to God because we can’t rely on ourselves. But God wants us to call out to Him in all decisions – especially homeschool decisions! Of course, God cares what you teach your children. He wants you to come to Him and to have faith that He will lead you.

But My Mind is Like Spaghetti!

Many of you know I had open-heart surgery.  In this time we have been tried and tested and had to make many major decisions due to our new circumstances. My husband described my mental condition when he said, “My mind feels like spaghetti!”

I was able to put my situation in perspective when I heard of a woman undergoing an operation for brain cancer. When I heard the details of her circumstances my heart surgery seemed like a splinter.

It is easy for Christians to slip into anxiousness in any circumstances when we rely on ourselves. Being anxious is normal to the world, but we have a command from God:

In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (Phil 4:6)

We should not be anxious because our decisions should not rely on our limited abilities but on God’s unlimited abilities. We cannot begin to build a faith-based life until we accept God’s way as the only way in every circumstance. He honors our desire to make wise and biblically sound decisions. When we commit our decision-making to Him in prayer, He reveals the correct course. It’s that simple, no matter how big or small the decision.

Trusting God to make our decisions does not mean faith is passive. The Hebrew word for faith is emunah. It means faithfulness, persistent determination, holding steady, holding firm, holding true to what is true: the faithfulness of God. Our readiness to fully devote our life to the service of God and sacrifice our life for the sake of God is the expression of our emunah in God.

Hebrews 11 , the faith chapter, shows an action following every mention of faith. Our first task is to go to God in prayer and ask Him to lead us. Then, we must consciously decide to trust Him for an answer and wait with assurance and anticipation that He will follow through on His promises and then walk forward in faith that our course is the right one. But, we have to lean on Him who knows the end from the beginning. He knows which path is right. He knows which course will lead us to His will.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5)

Making Informed Decisions

Jesus explains we are to find out the facts before we make decisions. ‘

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.’

Study the pros and cons of any decision in your own mind, talk to your spouse. Listen to the Lord’s leading. He promises to guide you. Then, pray again to affirm your decision.

One Step at a Time

You don’t need to see months down the road. You only need to make one step at a time. God’s promises give you the light you need to guide you, just as He guided the Israelites out of Egypt. Don’t grumble and complain – just follow. Get alone with God and pour out your request to Him until you receive the calm assurance that you’ve made the right decision. Trust Him wholly. Don’t let doubts and fears drive you back to bondage.

We allow circumstances to become overwhelming when we take our eyes off Christ and slip into “what ifs.” But there is a peace when we seek God. Pray for wisdom, see your God leading you in all your ways, take one step at a time, fully trusting He will provide all your needs in His timing.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1:5-8).

After you pray, listen closely for any feelings you may have. If you have feelings of peace, excitement, happiness or joy afterwards, then you know you’ve made the correct decision as long as it lines up with Scripture (God will NEVER answer prayer with something that does not line up with the Bible). If you feel confused, depressed, unsure, uneasy or disturbed, you know it’s not the right decision. God will lead.

Our heavenly Father has told us to ask and we shall receive, seek and we shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto us. Don’t lean on your own understanding when a confirmation of your decisions is so easy to obtain. Ask God in faith, nothing wavering and you can go forward in confidence that your choices are right.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Matthew 6:31-34

Remember to prepare for eternity–not for one semester.

Do You Love the Law

Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. Psalm 119:165

Do we love His law?” One cannot love what one does not know. A person cannot do or understand what he has never learned. We are commanded to learn law (the Torah, scriptures or Bible) day and night and to teach it to our children—we can attempt to do so by attending church and homeschooling (a good start).

We need to know the Word of God. Not skim it, not as something tacked on but as the focus of life. This requires repeated reading. You cannot learn what the Bible has to say by reading it through once. This must be repeated daily.

Our purpose should be to know God and encourage our children (and grandchildren) to LOVE the law–for God’s Word to be in us. We must seek Him through His Word—not on a surface level—but digging through Scripture seeking God’s way–seeking the Truth. We need to turn off the television. Our generation is being robbed of great opportunities to learn the truth by the continual flood of television.

Seek God daily FIRST and diligently. By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.

The goal of learning God’s Word is never to be better than another—it is to know Him. I wrote “The Heart of Wisdom Teaching Approach” to explain what I have learned after a lot of trial and error—the importance of seeking God first daily—never to rely on man’s teachings but lean on the Holy Spirit’s leading. Fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in understanding. Proverbs 9:10.

It’s not enough to attend church and avoid the appearance of evil. God, in this world, has appointed wisdom to the structure, method and goal of our learning. It is not enough to simply borrow a curriculum and sprinkle it with Christian words.

Wisdom is far above any other goals. When we and our children REALLY love the law we will not stumble —but first we need to know it—not just know of it–not just a introduction to it or an overview—know it—have it written on our hearts.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1–2).

Renew your mind with His Word—humbly, not pridefully—to know Him. When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom. Pro 11:2

My son, do not lose sight of these—keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck. Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble. If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Proverbs 3:21–24—Beautiful! Read it again! “Life for your soul.”

Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. Psalm 119

Let’s turn off the televisions and let God’s Word minister to our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

The Poetry Homeschool

by Annie Kate

Throughout the ages people have sung, recited, or read poetry. Poetry seems to have always been a vital aspect of human life, and as homeschoolers we have the opportunity to introduce it to our children in such a way that they will enjoy and be inspired by it for the rest of their lives. The authors at The Curriculum Choice share their favorite poems and

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Digital Homeschool History Curriculum

by Tricia

We finish up homeschooling high school with our third child and start high school with our fourth very soon. It’s at both these celebratory times and in the day-to-day that I find myself so very grateful for digital homeschool history curriculum from Compass Classroom. All of Compass Classroom’s curriculum offers a wonderful Biblical worldview which is very important to us. And the digital, streaming classes

Download The Ultimate Guide to Homeschool Planning and Organization ebook today!

Starting Your Homeschooling Journey

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Starting your homeschooling journey is an adventure. In every adventure though, there are exciting times, mundane times and downright cortisol-pumping times! 🙂 When starting homeschooling, questions, doubts, concerns and fears can easily become overwhelming and make you doubt your decision. But be encouraged— you don’t have to do this journey alone. There are many homeschooling moms who have walked a similar path and are cheering you on.

Starting Homeschooling

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Starting Homeschooling

We have been homeschooling for over 16 years. (Putting that in writing makes it seem like such a long time! Can I really be that old?) At the time of this writing, I have graduated two children and have 5 more in our homeschool. Even though I’ve been doing this awhile, I too sometimes question what I’m doing. Am I doing enough? Did I make the right choice? Is xyz curriculum what this child needs? And sometimes I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. All of this is normal. 🙂

The advantage I have as a veteran homeschool mom is perspective. I can look back at our homeschooling career and see the different seasons we’ve walked through and the outcomes— and that has given me confidence to keep going.  I’ve homeschooled with a newborn, and toddlers— and my older kids still thrived. I’ve gone through seasons where I was totally on the ball with academics and other seasons where we did the bare minimum. I’ve seen curriculum trends come and go.

What I’ve learned is:

  • Everyone’s homeschool journey is different. Your children have different temperaments, talents, gifts and struggles. Looking at Pinterest and Instgram might be helpful— but can also lead to comparison and feeling inadequate. Be the horse with the blinders on– focusing on your path ahead instead of getting distracted.
  • Curricula is a tool to utilize in your homeschool. You control the tool.  (Here are 5 Tips for Choosing Homeschool Curriculum)
  • You are accountable to God for your children.  He gave them to you to raise and nurture — not  (insert anyone who questions your homeschooling decision.)
  • You are more than equipped to do this. If you have grit, determination and a willingness to learn— you have all you need to get started.
  • Focus on the foundation of your homeschool. For my family, our three main educational goals are: help my children walk with God, teach and model good character and stewardship, and teach them how to learn and to become independent learners.

Help I’m Homeschooling

Starting Homeschooling Resources

Over the years I’ve had many homeschool mama friends encourage me along the way. One of these friends is Tricia Hodges. We met as bloggers and even got to hang out in Florida together one year. Several of our kids are around the same age, so many times I would hop on over to her blog to see what they were doing. She also shares such practical wisdom– especially with her routines or homeschool habits as she calls them.

She recently wrote a little book Help! I’m Homeschooling!: Helpful Habits for the Heart of Homeschooling If you ever wanted to peek into the life of a homeschooler– this is it.

I have found that with homeschooling, it’s not the curriculum, the books, the arts and crafts projects that make your homeschooling  successful—- it’s the routines. I’ve always admired her for diligently establishing these habits because it truly does make your homeschool life flow better. Her habit of morning room time is genius! And we have incorporated her habit of one more thing after lunch.

And this is where I suggest you start with starting homeschooling. Build routines that will become the foundation of your homeschool.

I am here to tell you that a firm foundation and an arsenal of habits help hold things together and bless the whole family. There’s a sense of freedom and security with habits. Be encouraged my fellow homeschool mamas! You will see the fruits of your efforts and prayers. ~ Tricia Hodges

5 Reasons Teaching Textbooks is Awesome for Large Families

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When you’re homeschooling, you find that certain subjects come easy to teach and others challenge you as the teacher. Math is that subject for me. As a mom of 7 children, I have struggled with finding a math routine that works for us. With my older children, I made the mistake of switching math curriculum multiple times over the years instead of incrementally working through one curriculum. That resulted in having to do a major math intervention with my oldest, that  while it ended up well, is one experience I would rather not repeat. After reflecting on what I needed in a math curriculum and what my children needed, I decided to use Teaching Textbooks. While Teaching Textbooks is an awesome choice for any size family, it is especially great for large families.

This post contains my referral link which helps support this site. Here’s my full disclosure policy.

 Giveaway at the bottom of the post!

1. Teaching Textbooks allows me to be a math facilitator not the teacher.

Currently I have 5 students at home. I was struggling teaching math to five children at different levels–let alone getting all the grading done. On a good math day, I felt like that was all I did— teach math! And since math is a subject I personally have had to overcome negative mindsets with, teaching math was draining to me.

Teaching Textbooks on the other hand, lets me be a math facilitator. That means Teaching Textbooks does the teaching, I do the checking up, review and reteaching a concept if necessary, but that’s it! This role-switch has allowed us to actually get math done consistently and has freed up my teaching schedule.

Teaching Textbooks for large families
2. Teaching Textbooks 3.0 Streamlines Math Materials

I used Teaching Textbooks for awhile years ago with my older two. At that time all the lessons were on discs. While I tried to make sure nothing happened to those discs— one would get scratched or lost.  And the textbooks were so thick! For multiple children, this took up a lot of bookshelf space.  This doesn’t happen anymore with Teaching Textbooks 3.0.  This new version is an online subscription so no more discs and no more bulky books! Yay!

With each math subscription, the corresponding ebook is included. You can read it online or even print it off if needed. (You can still purchase the printed math book too.) What I have done is given my children a spiral notebook. They take notes during the lecture (many times what they need to write is underlined in the lecture) and then they write the problems in their notebook to show their work. So at this time we are not utilizing the ebook, but I like that if needed, it is available.

The ebook is found in the Parent Launch Page.

3. Teaching Textbooks Provides Easy Record Keeping

Oh my goodness I love this feature of Teaching Textbooks! I can log in to the Parent’s page and see what all my kids have completed, what they struggled with and how they are progressing. This is huge! One spot for all of this information! Not only is this saved online, but I can print it out too. With multiple children to track, this makes it so easy!

The other convenient feature is that if your student doesn’t do well on a lesson, you can delete the scores and have them redo it. In our home, you must obtain a 90% or above to move on to the next lesson. I want to make sure that my kids aren’t just doing a lesson to get it done, but rather understand what they are learning. And since math builds on concepts learned, I really want them to have a solid foundation.

Teaching Textbooks Grade Book

4. Teaching Textbooks is Affordable

I appreciate that they offer a large family discount plan! This discount plan caps the total and allows you to have 4-8 students on the plan, each subscribing to their own math level. What we pay for the year is what I used to pay for one level of a high school disc version of Teaching Textbooks.

Teaching Textbooks for large families is affordable

5. Teaching Textbooks is Flexible

If needed, you could do math on the go! If you have a tablet or phone you can download the Puffin browser and complete math wherever life takes you. And as a mom of a large family, there are days where I have to be driving older kids places (or vice versa) and now our math can come with us.

Also, the online subscription is good for 1 math level for 1 year for each student. What happens if you go on vacation? Or take a month off during December? Teaching Textbooks allows you to pause a subscription. That is a huge perk!

Teaching Textbooks 3.0 Subscription Giveaway

Free trial of Teaching Textbooks

Yes! You can give Teaching Textbooks 3.0 a try right now for free! Not only is there no limit to the number of free trials you can sign up for at once, there is also no time limit for completing each trial. You can try any level up to lesson 15, then if it is a fit for your family, you can actually get those grades transferred to your new subscription! If you’re not sure what level to place your child, follow the placement test instructions.

Teaching Textbooks is giving away a 3.0 subscription level of your choice! Simply follow the directions in the rafflecopter widget below…

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Weekly Homeschool Roundup – 22120

It was all too quiet here this week.

My son was at the Georgia TeenPact leadership event all week.

Yes, I got all the laundry done, wrote a TON of SQUILT LIVE! lessons, watched TWO movies with my husband, and spent quality time with the dog (ha!), but there was something missing – the sound of kids in the house.

I still have three years to prepare for being an empty nester, but this week made it feel more real.


It’s also been raining and raining – and the raining some more. The sun is out right now and I can feel my mood lifting. Spring is on the way!

Weekly #Homeschool Roundup - 2/21/20

Teen Pact was a fabulous experience for my son and his friends. Grant was elected a senator and wrote a speech to deliver on the last day, so that’s exciting!

He told me he definitely wants to attend next year.

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Here’s what I discovered for you this week while I was missing my guy!

  • Just Mercy and the Changing of a Mind

    This week I finished Bryan Stevenson’s book, Just Mercy. It is a book that caused me to truly examine my thoughts about some hard issues. It is a book that I believe makes me a better homeschooling mom because it broadens my view of the world and allows me to share that view with my children.

    While I have yet to see the film (it’s on my list), I loved this review from The Rabbit Room. I think you will, too.

  • Your Tech is Changing You

    This article, from the Teen Pact blog, is excellent. It’s worth thinking about and discussing with our teens. Are we taking every thought captive to obey Christ? It’s hard in this digital age!

  • Substitute Teachers in Our Homeschool

    Of course, I love this post from The Waldock Way. Jessica shows you how she uses online opportunities with art, music, and nature study to give her a little break in her homeschool teaching duties. It’s a win-win!

  • Beyond Candyland: Growing Gamers

    My Little Poppies is where you want to go to learn how to incorporate more games into your homeschool. In this post, Cait shares games that kick it up a notch from Candyland — lots of great stuff here!

  • Homeschool Masterclasses

    My friend Cindy West is beginning to teach homeschool masterclasses online! It’s so easy to sign up and attend training from the comfort of your own home. Cindy has graduated two children and is homeschooling another and she’s a smart cookie. I’m excited about this!

I hope you had a good week! Spring is getting closer, isn’t it?

Do you have any good things to share with me?

Leave them in the comments below!

Weekly Homeschool Roundup 22820

Here we are at the end of February.

We made it!

I read (somewhere) today that January and February are the hump days of the school year. That’s very true, isn’t it? I feel like now we are on the home stretch, and I can cope with anything homeschooling throws at me as long as I have sunshine!

Last weekend was my son’s Classical Conversations Protocol event. My husband and I were parent chaperones and we had the best time. After a lovely dinner in midtown Atlanta we went to see the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. Just wow. I had never seen them before and was mesmerized.

What struck me as we were with these young people was the depth of their friendships, the way they handled themselves so beautifully in different situations, and what a gift it is that they are together for homeschooling high school. We have a UNIQUE group of children and parents and are very blessed!

Weekly #Homeschool Roundup 2/28/20

In these high school years I believe that the “social” aspect of homeschooling has to be one of the biggest benefits. Healthy socialization is so important, and I’m watching deep friendships develop that are having a HUGE impact on my son.

These kids are like a group of siblings – it’s really neat to watch.

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And of course I just feel so small compared to my 6’4” son. He’s really turning into quite a wonderful young man.

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On to my finds for the week…

  • Free Star Wars Inspired Bingo Game for Kids

    This is such a great free printable from Rock Your Homeschool… oh, how I miss the days when my kids were young and loved to play Bingo!

  • Women’s History Month — Learn About Teresa Carreño, composer

    Beginning in March we will be learning about women composers in SQUILT LIVE! (as well as in the listening calendar I create monthly). Teresa Carreño, a Venezuelan performer, conductor, and composer, is an interesting figure for kids to learn about. She played for President Lincoln at the White House when she was a young girl, and there is a beautiful picture book about it, too. Join us in SQUILT LIVE! to learn about Teresa and other female composers.

  • Buy the Swimsuit

    I know it’s not close to summer yet, but this post is close to my heart at any time of year. I wrote it when my mom passed away – almost three years ago now. There are times when I miss her a lot, and this week has been such a time. Cherish your time with the people you love.

  • Coarsening is Not Educating

    This article (and letter from a parent to his child’s private school teacher) in World magazine was excellent. I shared it on the blog Facebook page and it got a lot of pushback. Interesting…

  • Never Discount the Importance of These Days in the Trenches

    I hope you are familiar with Kara Anderson. I feel like she and I are kindred spirits – this article really spoke to me.

    We are HERE with our kids. That’s what hard to explain, I guess, to people who don’t understand homeschooling.

    It’s part about school, and part about just life.

    It’s a little about math, and a lot about errands, really.

    Can I tell you a secret, though? My son and I have the best talks while running errands.”

Enjoy the extra day in your year this weekend – and I’ll see you next in March!

Did you have any good things to share this week?

Let me know in the comments below!

10 Tips on Reading Aloud

We have always used living books in our Charlotte Mason-based homeschooling.  Literature-based education requires a lot of reading aloud.  It takes effort, practice and skill to read aloud in a way that is engaging and entertaining.

Here are 3 lists of 10 tips on how to read aloud well ~20151210_180943

I absolutely love alliteration and when I researched this topic, I found Emily Guille-Marrett’s from Reading Fairy top tips on “How to read aloud well“.  She used P to begin each word in her list.  (I have added my own suggestions and points* to her list.)

  1. Purpose – Select a book that is written well and is suitable for being read aloud. Choose a book that features a character or a story your child can relate to. You must enjoy the book that you are reading  – your enthusiasm will be infectious!
  2. Preview – Read the story yourself first to know the story, characters, the vocabulary and style.  To read aloud well, it helps to read it yourself in advance.
  3. Prepare – When starting a new book, show your children the cover and illustration and describe the title and storyline. Tell them a little about the author and spend a few moments briefly telling them something about the story and characters.  When starting the next session, spend a moment with a quick recap of the previous reading.  Ask your children some leading questions such as, “What happened to …? How did our story end?” or begin with a short reminder of the last points of the earlier reading such as, “Remember last time …”
  4. Place – Choose a comfy couch to enjoy the read-aloud.  Allow children to snuggle close, or keep busy hands with quiet colouring-in or playdough or other hands-on activities while they listen.  Plan your reading aloud times and be consistent.
  5. Perform – Show enthusiasm! This is vital!  The key to successful read-aloud performance is to skim your eyes ahead to anticipate the story dialogue or action.  Then when you read aloud, read slowly.  This gives you time to change your voice for different characters, use accents,  use funny voices or pull different facial expressions,  even use appropriate movements,
  6. Projection, pitch, pace, pause and pose – Vary your voice with loud and soft, high and low, fast and slow.  Use pauses and silence for drama and impact.  My kids loved the suspense of cliff-hanger endings!
  7. Props and puppets – Kids love to participate.  They love interaction in read alouds!  Encourage them to make sounds effects such as animal noises, rumbling of thunder, clapping hands, adding hand movements or pretend to be the character.  This dynamic involvement makes a story unforgettable.  Encourage them to narrate the story after the reading using finger puppets, masks or hats which are quick and easy to make and use.   See the next point –
  8. *Presentations– Encourage active listening before you begin and tell your children that you require a detailed, accurate narration (telling-back) from your children when you have completed a paragraph, page or chapter.  Their narration should include the same style, vocabulary and detail used by the author.  This skill is a powerful teaching method.  Living books with narrations really teach!
  9. *Persevere –  Keep reading aloud to your children even when they can read for themselves.  Listening to read alouds required less concentration and skill to enjoy the story than reading to themselves and the intimacy and the dynamic of the performance of a read-aloud makes a book come alive.  Teens and even grown young adult graduate children still love read-alouds.  It is a family experience and not a school lesson.
  10. *Practice – Practice will make perfect, so keep practising.  You will be amazed by how your read-aloud skills develop as you keep going.

Here’s a summary of Anna of The Measured Mom’s  10 tips for reading aloud to kids of all ages.

  1. Start as soon as possible – even as babies, in the high chair or in the bath.
  2. Start with rhyming books – words and sounds that children love to hear over and over.
  3. Start simple and build to more complex books – begin with hardboard books, then go on to short picture books, more complicated picture storybooks, short chapter books,  funny stories, classic books, complex chapter books.
  4. Choose books that are appropriate developmentally – suitable for your child’s emotional and intellectual maturity.  Be aware of triggers or concepts that may alarm or frighten your children.
  5. Read them yourself first before reading aloud to your children.
  6. Do not be afraid to abandon a book that doesn’t suit or connect to your children or has content you are not comfortable sharing.  Don’t be afraid to skip parts of a book.  Replace bad language or skip any long boring passages,. Shorten sections when children are not interested.
  7. Follow through and be consistent.  Read regularly, read daily.
  8. Chose books that you enjoy reading aloud yourself.  You may not want to read books based on children’s movies or TV stories.  Chose quality books that you know is not fluff.
  9. Be interactive as you read.  Make your children part of the story.  Pause to ask their thoughts, opinions, consider what may happen, what a word means.
  10. Do not stop reading aloud when your children can read on their own.  It is important to keep reading because they can listen at a higher level than they can read.  It builds vocabulary,  teaches writing style, covers topics that teach and inform them.   High schoolers love good stories, fiction and non-fiction
  1. Preview the Book.
  2. Prepare a Comfy and Roomy Read-Aloud Area.
  3. Introduce the Book.
  4. Notice How You Hold the Book.
  5. Give It All You’ve Got!
  6. Involve Your Listeners.
  7. Help Children “See” the Story.
  8. Invite Children to Use Their Senses.
  9. Develop Ways to Respond to Questions
  10. Take Time for Discussion

There are so many videos and articles on how to read aloud well, but nothing replaces good old practice.  Just do it!   Read aloud often.  Read aloud dynamically and your children will love it and learn from it!

Do you have any read-aloud tips to share or problems you would like to discuss?  Please share in the comments below.

Blessings, Nadene
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Letter 25 Change

Another letter to my younger self reflecting on insights and understanding gained in my 23+ years of homeschooling.  As I share my hindsight perspective, I trust this will also be an encouragement to you in your homeschooling journey. ~ Letter 25 ~ Change

Dear younger Nadene,

Change is the only consistent character of life, so embrace it and anticipate it.  You will change — as a parent, as a  homeschool teacher, and definitely as a person. 

Your homeschooling methods will change as you learn how children naturally learn.  Your homeschooling ideals will change.  Do you remember your motto, “Nothing is cast in stone“?  This mindset is helpful as you prepare for each new season in your homeschooling and in your life in general.  Your experiences, both the good and the bad, will motivate you to try new approaches and abandon or accept others.  Your final years of high school homeschooling will be very different from the hopes and dreams you had back in the beginning. You will change as your children grow up and change. 

The most powerful words of encouragement to you in those early days of new motherhood and long, sleepless nights with your first baby was, “This too shall pass.”  Your children will change!  In many ways, you longed for change with thoughts of … “If only my baby slept through the night … if only she could sit on her own … if only she was potty-trained … if only she wasn’t so fearful and clingy … ”    Yet you loved each age and stage.  Despite this, you were often insecure when your children changed because everything felt uncertain and different.  Having the right attitude to change in your children is liberating.  The Lord heard and answered your prayers for each challenge and each new unknown.  He is faithful!

Look at your young adult daughters now!  Wow, how much they have changed!  Your intense and fearful young daughter will emerge as a posed and beautifully assured young woman. Your painfully shy daughter who refused to answer the door or speak on the phone will actually become your most confident, brave and self-assured child. You butterfly child will settle into herself and become steadfast, deep and mature. 

When your children are young, view at any limitation and simply add the word, “yet” … “My child cannot read/write/ ride a bike on her own … yet.”  See how that little word adds hope?  Hold onto hope!

Looking back now, you will see that when you did not put a label on a child’s behaviour or place a box on a child’s personality, you gave them the freedom to become, to change, to alter and to grow into the amazing, awesome people that they are now. 

Accepting change is a form of grace.  Be gracious to yourself and those you love.  With the Lord, your life is full of promise and blessing.  Trust Him for each child and for every change and you will experience the deep and abiding peace He brings.  

With compassionate love and grace from your older self,

Love, Nadene

I’d love to hear your views and thoughts on this topic!  Please, would you share yours in the comments?

In case you missed any of my previous “Letters To Me” in this series:

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