Move Past the Juggling Act and Learn to Flourish


Moving past the juggling and learn to flourish

Are you paralyzed by such a long to-do list that you don’t know where to start? Do you drag through the day exhausted, thinking only of how much longer it is before you can finally collapse into bed . . . just to get up and start all over the next day? Is your life so dominated by the urgent that you never get to the important?

Balancing all the responsibilities of home life, home school, and home business can often seem overwhelming—better suited to Supermom than ordinary mortals. But take heart! There are practical ways to manage your life so that you can flourish. Here are some of the best strategies I’ve learned in 22 years as a stay-at-home, work-at-home, homeschooling mom.

Don’t Juggle—Balance!

We often talk about juggling our many responsibilities. The problem is that the juggling act inevitably leads to dropping the ball. Sooner or later, everything will crash—including you. It’s more useful to think in terms of balance. Imagine a performer on the high wire at a circus or crossing the Grand Canyon on a tightrope. Tightrope walkers make frequent small adjustments to maintain their balance; they move a little to the right and a little to the left, adjusting gradually without drastic shifts. That image of maintaining balance rather than juggling can make a powerful difference in the way we approach daily life.

When we’re caught up in the juggling act, we think in terms of crisis management, resulting in a triage approach to life: We ignore the things that aren’t going to be done no matter what, ignore the things that will be taken care of anyway, and give all our attention to the current crisis.

You just can’t live that way for very long. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. You’ve got to find a pace that you can maintain for the long haul. Rushing frantically from one deadline or crisis to the next will burn you out and eventually injure innocent bystanders—your family. Constantly operating in triage mode is a signal that your life is like a disaster scene.

So don’t think in terms of crisis management. Don’t even think in terms of time management. Think in terms of life management—balancing all of life in the real world.

Find Peace in the Space between the Ideal and Reality

One of my most fundamental principles for life management is this: Find peace in the space between the ideal and reality. The ideal is what you would do and have if you could do and have anything you wanted without any complications or the hindrances of an ordinary life. The reality is your everyday life—the facts that you have to deal with. No use whining about that. The real question is: What are you going to do in the middle?

Once you accept that no one can “do it all,” you realize that it all boils down to prioritizing. Saying yes to one thing means saying no to other things, so be very intentional about what you choose. Opportunity does not equal obligation. Figure out what it is that only you can do or should do, and focus on those things. Eliminate unnecessary activities, and delegate or outsource tasks that have to be done, but not necessarily by you.

Set Written, Specific, Measurable Goals

Once you’ve decided what you need to focus on, setting goals will help keep you on track. Writing down your goals makes them more real and helps you take them more seriously. Goals must be specific and measurable. If you can’t measure something, how can you know if you did it? Sharing your goals with a mastermind team or accountability partner will help keep you on track.

Set both short-term and long-term goals. Building our lives primarily around short-term tasks keeps us focused on the urgent rather than the important. Instead, start with a long-term vision for your life and build your yearly goals around that. Then you can plan each month, week, and day in alignment with that vision.

Setting goals in 3 major categories—personal, family (including homeschooling), and business—helps you see the balance (or lack of it) in your life each week. You won’t always have a perfect balance among the categories—and it’s not just about the number of items in each group. Some weeks will necessarily lean more toward one area than others. But if you often have 25 items in the business list, 5 in family, and 0 in personal, you’re headed for burnout fast!

Take Care of Yourself

Many moms neglect taking care of themselves, but you simply can’t nurture, provide for, and educate your children well if you’re always on the edge of burnout. Make time for personal rest, renewal, relaxation, and even recreation. Be sure you’re getting enough sleep, exercising, eating right, and drinking plenty of water.

When we get bogged down in the difficulties and challenges of our busy lives, we start drooping like a wilted plant that hasn’t been watered in a long time. But it’s the flourishing plant—one that has been well tended, with the right balance of good soil, water, and light—that grows and offers beauty or nourishment. When you are flourishing, you can take better care of your family so that they too will flourish.

God Is Faithful

Even with the best strategies and goals, things won’t always go exactly as you plan. But if God has called you to homeschool your children, He will provide the strength, patience, grace, resources, and time to do it. May your family and your life be a testimony of God’s faithfulness.

 

Homeschool Podcasts You Don’t Want to Miss

Homeschool podcasts you don't want to miss

Homeschool Podcasts You Don’t Want to Miss

What is a podcast?

If you’re new to podcasts, it might help to begin with explaining what a podcast is!  “Simply put, a Podcast is a series of audio or video recordings, that you can subscribe to and listen to whenever you like.” – The Podcast Host.

This makes it easy to listen to your favorite individuals in areas that are important to you and your family, such as homeschooling and parenting.

On the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network you can listen to podcasts by streaming directly on the website for any of the show hosts. You can also subscribe to the shows via iTunes or Google Play and the new shows will automatically load to your subscribed shows. Easy peasy.

How will homeschool podcasts benefit my homeschool?

As a busy homeschooling family, you may wonder how adding one more thing to do to your day will benefit your homeschool. With the wide variety of homeschool podcasts to choose from there are so many ways you can reap the benefits!

  • encouragement- it’s not easy to get away to a homeschool conference. With the push of the “play” button you can listen to a pep-talk from your favorite speaker.
  • methods and homeschool philosophy-  you can listen to ways to homeschool.
  • homeschool helps- math, grammar, writing … there’s a podcast to help.

Homeschool Podcasts You Don’t Want to Miss

This isn’t an exhaustive list of all of the great homeschool podcasts, just a list of favorites according to listeners and a few of my own.

Do you have a favorite show post or podcast show on the Network? I’d love to hear which podcasts speak to you!

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Don’t miss our giveaway! Check it out here. 

Walk this way giveaway

 

 

 

The Benefits of Read Alouds in Your Homeschool

I wasn’t homeschooled, but I can remember loving library time in elementary school. It wasn’t just the books or the break away from the regular classroom. It was sitting on the big round rug listening to the librarian read aloud.

Benefits of read alouds in your homeschool

The Benefits of Read Alouds in Your Homeschool

There are studies that demonstrate that read alouds can improve pronunciation, reading speed, and a student’s ability to make connections while reading. Further, “Reading aloud to young children, particularly in an engaging manner, promotes emerging literacy and language development and supports the relationship between child and parent.”1

Beyond studies, as homeschooling parents, we understand that adding read alouds to our homeschool can foster much more than an improvement in reading and a love for it, it can foster relationship. Relationship is fundamental to a successful homeschooling experience for our families.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Relationship is fundamental to successful homeschooling. @HSRadioNetwork ” user=”@keeperGina ” hashtags=”#homeschool #readaloud “]

Through relationship we reach the souls of our children and through this relationship God shows us Himself.

How to Read Aloud

This might seem obvious. You choose a book and you begin reading aloud. Couldn’t be simpler, right? There are some tips and techniques that can make your read aloud time a better experience for everyone.

  1. Practice reading aloud. Vary your cadence. Use fun voices for certain characters if that seems fun to you!
  2. Pick a book YOU love when you first begin. If your favorite book is a longer one, try reading just a few chapters at a time, finding a stopping point that leaves them wanting more. This also teaches your child the art of savoring a book for themselves in their own reading.
  3. Keep a list of lists. Books lists will help you know the classics, the tried-and-true, the most-loved books. Suggestions: Caldecott winners, homeschooling read aloud lists, the 1,000 Good Books List, and the Vintage Homeschool Mom reading list podcast. 
  4. Take turns! You don’t have to be the only reader! Even the littlest of your children can take a turn in the read aloud seat!
  5. Make use of audio books and let the narrator take the role of teacher. This works wonderfully during long drives and the dinner making routine. You can find a wide selection at your library or even Audible.com. Our all-time favorite family read aloud was Where The Red Fern Grows. Other favorites include: The Courage of Sarah Noble, Heidi, and David Copperfield.

What if I don’t Like Reading Aloud?

If you don’t like reading aloud, it’s likely due to one of the following:

  • it’s a new concept to you and the learning curve seems too great
  • you’ve never developed a love of reading
  • you’re scared of failing
  • you’re tired after a day of homeschooling and homemaking or working and you don’t need to add one more thing to your list

I understand! You don’t have to be perfect at reading aloud, you just have to begin! It’ll be an adventure! Make use of some of the techniques above and master the new skill or allow others (your own children and audio books) to help you!

Happy reading!

1 Archives of Disease in Childhood.

 

Read alouds by Media Angels: (available on Kindle)

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Struggling Learner? Homeschool Success!

Struggling Learner Homeschool SuccessHomeschool Success with Your Struggling Learner

Educating a child that is struggling academically, emotionally or behaviorally can be a real challenge. Sometimes when you are out there, seemingly alone as a homeschool mom you can even start to doubt yourself and if you are equipped for the job.  After all, the educators may have told you that you should let the professionals handle things.   Let me assure you, your precious little one is in the right place, at home!  Often, recommendations from the school system indicate a need for more one-on-one instruction.  What better place to receive that extra attention than home where love abounds?  When parents are equipped with the right information, the sky is the limit to where their struggling learner can go.

In podcast #24, the Brain Coach, Jan Bedell, will give you tips and techniques to make it a “no more tears learning zone” at your house.  Tune into this episode, entitled; Homeschool Success with Your Struggling Learner, airing on April 6 to learn that the foundation of all learning abilities is the efficient functioning of the brain.

It seems more and more children these days have some sort of learning inefficiency. It is estimated that 1 in 5 US children suffer with a learning challenge.  Remember your old dial-up connection to the Internet? Is your child’s brain acting like a computer with a slow connection speed? That is, do they struggle academically and socially, are not able to reach full potential; have trouble remembering daily activities, chores and personal hygiene; knows something one day but not the next; can’t  follow directions? Do you suspect learning labels? What is a parent to do? You could buy another curriculum, OR you could address the “root cause” so that academic success could be attained with any curriculum. You could help the same brain become like a computer connected to high-speed Internet. The difference in function is HUGE!  Addressing the root cause is what we teach in the Brain Coach Tips’ podcasts. I encourage you to listen to some of the previous episodes while you are waiting for #24 to come out.  You will discover some root causes of reading and math difficulties, attention issues, sensory challenges and more.

Parents can be the key to breaking free from learning challenges and even the many labels that are littering the education landscape. Helping you to reach far beyond the limits of labels and their negative effects is our goal. Open a brilliant future for your child through understanding how the brain works . . . or why it doesn’t currently seem to be working so well.

In the Homeschool Success With Your Struggling Learner podcast you will discover:

  1. The importance of giving input to the child instead of the frustrating experience of expecting so much output (i.e. the typical, fill-in-the-blank and do it quickly routine!)
  2. How your child might not be seeing correctly even though his eyes check out as having 20/20 vision.
  3. How some of our cultural practices in modern America are robbing our children of their full potential.
  4. The reason why your child may get so stressed with a test and often can’t remember what you know that he knows.

Future Flying Saucers?

What are future flying saucers?

A better question is who is the lady behind Future Flying Saucers?

Meet Anne Marie Gosnell.  Anne Marie is the founder of Future Flying Saucers where she shares creative, engaging resources so parents and teachers can share Jesus without fear.

And she’ll be joining us for Mommy Jammies Night March 14th.

Anne Marie Gosnell on Mommy Jammies Night

I’m pretty excited to learn how we moms can be leaders! She’ll take us on a walk  into the book of Judges and pop into Ruth and discuss teaching ethics and sanctification to our kids.  Anne Marie says, “Let’s make sure they know the WHY and the HOW of being a Christian.”

And that’s a struggle for moms isn’t it? How well do we know our own faith? Do we know it well enough to share it without fear? If we don’t, how will our kids? Do we know the why and how of being a Christian?

My youngest child is now 17 years old. I don’t know about you, but those teen years were a challenge for them in the culture in which we live. I was thankful for the time we’d spend in homeschooling making sure they knew their faith and could cling to it in times of trouble.

There are times we might wish for a “do-over” in regards to raising our children. If you find yourself in that situation, just know that it’s never too late to get reaquainted with the Lord.

I hope you’ll join us March 14, 2017 at 9 pm (est). In the meantime, get to know Anne Marie Gosnell and Future Flying Saucers by visiting her site.

She has a freebie for you!

Free sample lesson upon subscribing!

In Walk This Way: Ethics and Sanctification Lessons for Kids, you’ll discover:
  • How to define a godly lifestyle so kids gain understanding.
  • Twenty lessons for children in grades K-6 to be used at home or church.
  • Engaging dialogue that gets kids thinking critically about life topics.
  • Tips and retrospectives that help you improve your teaching skills.

Walk This Way is available in paperback on Amazon for $19.99. (Kindle version is Free with purchase!)

Get a Sample LESSON sent to you (17 pages!), along with weekly Bible lessons, tips for teaching kids the Bible, and Children’s Ministry ideas. Just type your email address here.

Words Do Matter

words do matter

What’s in a Word? Words Do Matter.

Words do matter, the ability to communicate makes us human. Words connect us to each other, they spark our imagination and give us hope. On the other side, words can be divisive, it can be considered hate language and incite riots. We as parents and homeschoolers should take note and not let this teaching moment go unchecked.

How do we teach our children that words matter? How do we explain that what they utter can impact those around them? The best way is by our example. We are the frontline for our children and the way we respond is the way we get a good response back from those we love.

Words do matter – especially when we say things that are uplifting and encouraging. Words also matter when they are hurtful and condemning. We often talk, out of anger without thinking–and then we pick up the pieces. We have plenty of reasons, for speaking angrily, but truthfully they are excuses.

Words matter like…

~ I love you

~ I’m getting married.

~ I’m going to have a baby

~ “It’s a boy,” or “It’s a girl.”

Life’s progression is beautiful and we are given an amazing capacity to communicate wisely, especially to those we love the most. And here is the problem…it is often those we love the most that we hurt with our words. We are kind to strangers and friends.  What about at home? What about with those we are around most of the time?

I know, kids can try your patience. I have five of them. Yet, I had many excuses for speaking unkindly.”I am Italian.” ,  “I speak my mind.” ,  “What you see is what you get.” ,  “There is no need to pretend.” ,  “Kids are resilient.”  Maybe you’ve used one or more of these excuses, or maybe some I haven’t thought about. We can fool ourselves into believing a lie – and that is a belief that words don’t hurt.

Words hurt.

They do and many adults walk around with old wounds that have not healed. And that is the issue at heart. While we’ll agree that words do matter, we need to prepare to speak love and truth, but in a way that avoids becoming angry and losing your temper. It also has much to do with the way we phrase our words. “Get that for me,” can become, “Would you please bring that here?”

With a little preparation, we can arm ourselves with caution, prepare for future incidents, and teach our children valuable lessons as well. You can practice good conversation or appropriate answers. Recently when I called my oldest son, he answered the phone, “What?”  I said, let me hang up and call you back again because that is not an acceptable way to answer your mom.” I called back, he said, “Hello?” and I said, “Much better.” He then apologized that something had happened right before I called and he was irritated. Typical right – of all of us!

I recall a conversation my daughter had with my then four-year-old granddaughter. The conversation went something like this:

Samantha: “Mommy did you bring my sippy cup?”

Mom: “No, I’m sorry I didn’t.”

Samantha: “Well, that’s not thinking of others!”

The exchange is hilarious because her parent’s modeled behavior was given back. How many times had her mother said, “You are not thinking of others?” This became a natural way for this four-year-old to respond to her own mother. She spoke the truth and we adults were careful not to laugh outright! But what struck me is the child’s ability to articulate her thoughts, no temper tantrum, no tears, just facts. Her mother was quick to remind her of the responsibility to gather belongings before leaving home. By analyzing the times you, your children, or your spouse speak harshly, you can avoid adverse situations.

We’ve recently been bombarded with words in politics, mostly sound bytes that are irritating and annoying used on social media and in the news. Most have reacted angrily and this has caused an epidemic of “unfriending” on Facebook. How can this be avoided? Speak with truth and agree to disagree if necessary. Speaking in anger does not win arguments or make friends–it has the reverse effect.

I think one of the most chilling use of words is to cloak evil as good, such as in the discussion over abortion. “Pro-Choice” is a term used to spin the idea of abortion into a favorable light. Who would not like choice? So, the proponents of anti-abortion say, “Pro-Life” to explain their position clearly. And, what about the recent “March for Women’s Rights” … sure, I want rights for women. They were chanting, “This is what democracy looks like.” Sure. I want democracy. However, I couldn’t sign their statement of beliefs. However, I successfully managed to discuss my differences with them here. Yep, words matter. Use them wisely my friends.

How do you use words in a positive sense?

 

Real Womanhood

Would The Real Woman Stand UpWe need strong women – we really do! Women who can make up their own minds. Would the “real” woman please stand up?

Our present culture believes with enough spin it can tell us how to act, what to think and what it means to be authentically a real woman.  To really understand what authentic womanhood is you have to search deeper than your television screen. And from all appearances in today’s media, authentic woman are those who side with a cause, are angry, are card-carrying-NOW members, scared or need a “safe place.”

Women, or the ones I know and call my friends, are not drama queens.

We don’t have time. We are busy people. Contrary to popular belief most stay-at-home moms would earn six figures if they were paid for all the things they do. Just think if you hired a full-time chauffeur, housekeeper, cook, personal shopper, tutor or private teacher (in the case of homeschoolers), etc. If you are a working mom, you can pile all of the previous on your plate, and then add work- okay, maybe back out the schooling part. Now we may understand why working women are overwhelmed. Six figures would not cover the costs of what moms gladly do for their families – for free -full time…but that isn’t what defines womanhood it isn’t what you are or what you do – it is the essence of who you are. Think about it.

I grew up in a family of boys. First, my male cousins who were my best friends. When we moved from New York to Canada, I was in third grade and my companions became my younger brothers. I had two best friends, one was my neighbor and the other a friend down the road both girls, but I had friends at school who were boys. My dad and mom worked alongside each other most of their lives. My dad and mom were both seamstresses. My dad was equally as good with a sewing machine as my mom. Both were in high demand and worked as personal dressmakers for the rich clientele in Canada, and then as co-owners of an Italian Restaurant in Winter Haven, Florida.

I didn’t think I was better or lesser because of my chromosomes. My dad sewed, my dad cooked and my dad was very, very successful in business.

I am truthfully fearful — not so much for you  – but for our children and grandchildren.

Gender Identity is currently in confusion.

  1. Our identity is being formed by the media in sound bites of misinformation
  2. Our children are learning about their identity by those who are loudly protesting or gender neutral restrooms in stores or if your children attend schools in some school districts
  3. In the information overload world in which we live we are being told how to act, what to think and if we – *gasp* disagree with status quo we are maligned, marginalized and called all kinds of hateful names – usually with the added suffix FOB

Consider this:

  1. Can you be truly feminine without being a feminist?
  2. Do you have to be a VICTIM or a REVOLUTIONARY?

I believe there are so many things that happen in our lives and shape who we are … but REAL womanhood is and should NOT be shaped by our culture – because it is ordained by God.

Is it too late? Is it too late to talk about authentic womanhood or has our culture shut us out and we must remain a minority? I don’t believe it is, but I do believe it begins with you. When you witness anger, hostility and horrible negative comments, and truthfully confusion about what it means to be a woman, don’t let it get you down.

If you don’t’ know who you are and your place in society as a woman, it is time to get on your knees and seek the ONE who knows. Do you know enough about WHO you are AS A WOMAN to pass it down to your children? Who are you? What is true womanhood? Obviously, this question must be answered.

There is darkness in this world. There is confusion …We now hear about gender confusion all the time. Friends how did our world go so quickly down the tubes. Right is Wrong and Wrong is Right.

The enemy does not want us to be authentically woman – the enemy wants to confuse and break up marriages – break up families.

I am holding a worn napkin I received from a friend that says – BE THE KIND OF WOMAN THAT WHEN OUR FEET HIT THE FLOOR EACH MORNING THE DEVIL SAYS, “OH CRAP, SHE’S UP.” I want to be that kind of woman– and we can only be that woman in Christ.

True womanhood is not defined by the time period in which we live. It is not defined by your education, the car you drive, the jewelry you own, where you live… true womanhood is not defined by the man you married or what he does for a living. True womanhood is not defined by the job you hold or if you are a stay at home mom – or ladies, by the number of children you have. Our womanhood is a gift from God – being open to life is authentic womanhood but even a good thing can come off as bad when we use it to elevate ourselves. As I go through what true womanhood is I realize there is an exception to the “rule” … there have been stay at home moms who hated being at home or hated being mothers – sad, but true. And, their children suffered for it – maybe you are one of those children.

Ladies that is not the norm – that Is not how God ordained it.

To be clear I am saying that our womanhood is not defined by what we do but WHO we are – there is a distinction here. Can you be a woman who works outside the home and be an authentic woman? Yes. But don’t use that as an excuse to not be fully woman especially if you are married and have children.

No one at the end of their life says, “Oh, I am so sorry I did not get that job promotion or missed that big deal…” what they do regret is time wasted or lost with their children or family.”

I made a statement earlier … authentic womanhood is a gift from the Almighty God – something that NO one can take away from YOU – because YOU have been entrusted with a very special gift – and now I want to share that gift.

  1. True womanhood is closely connected to love, it gives life it is balance. To love is to be a woman
  2. True womanhood remembers the gift of our feminine genius – this is the charism that the Holy Spirit gives to women – all of our victories, our faith, hope and charity is thanks to this gift.
  3. True womanhood understands we have our dignity – due to the very fact that we are women – genetically our DNA is female– no matter what a person does or how they act this fact cannot be changed—we are given the dignity and rights as a HUMAN person, a woman by Almighty God
  4. True womanhood isn’t an either or – it isn’t an revolution it is a gift given to us as good by our very nature, the fabric of our womanhood was knit in our mother’s womb… it was formed when two people loved enough to form a child, an outgrowth of love. True womanhood is found in Motherhood – God has given us and only us the gift of motherhood the ability to shelter a child in the womb which is a unique and joyful experience that is not given to any other but US. If you are an adoptive mother – God bless you for taking a child into your home – as women we have that gift of being able to guide our children in life – we are there for all the firsts in our child’s life. In addition real womanhood cooperates with men –ladies without a man there is not baby – Gen 1:28 “Fill the earth and subdue it” [Given to both men and women.] For single women – there is “spirtual motherhood,” the ability to mother in the form of ministry.
  5. We are the only ones who are called daughter – mother – wife – no other. We are gifted with intuition, sensitivity generosity and self-giving. We are gifted with loyalty… women are fiercely loyal.
  6. Authentic woman is knowing who you are despite being marginalized by society or the circumstances in your life whether it is an abusive home or abusive marriage – authentic womanhood is seeking help and leaving an abusive situation.
  7. Authentic womanhood gains its strength from an infilling of the Holy Spirit – from an acknowledgement that it is no accident that you were born a woman – it is no accident that God knew you before you were born and held you in the palm of His hand and will love you with a love that surpasses all understanding.
  8. True womanhood is the courage to take this gift we’ve been given and pass it on as a legacy to our children – to share this with our friends to explain the value of being a woman in the true sense of the word.
  9. True womanhood is the gift of being an equal partner (not better or worse than) with our male counterpart – to understand that womanhood compliments manhood and allow our husband to be real men – to be our protectors to open the door or provide for us and it is not a detrimental thing. Genesis 2:20 “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” [The help is not one sided but mutual—womanhood expresses the “human” as much as manhood does but in a different way.]
  10. True womanhood remembers the greatest example in history and that is the mother of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and that is Mary. She exemplifies all that is good and holy in motherhood, Mary’s yes … let it “… be done to me according to thy Word,” gave us the perfect example. If we want a happy life if we want to be fully woman we must surrender to the Lord and understand HIS holy will for our life

So, ladies – stand up and be that true woman God wants you to be!

Mommy Jammies Night 2017 Preview

Mommy Jammies Night

Mommy Jammies Night 2017 Preview

I’m so excited about Mommy Jammies Night this year! You’ll see some new faces and some old favorites and lots of exciting topics!

I’m going to introduce you to our guests for this year and share a little about each one so you can get to know them!

In January we had Jennifer O. White and she shared about One Wise Choice That Can Improve Any Relationship. You can catch that replay and get to know Jennifer on social media here.

February (this coming Thursday, a special night) we’ll have the creator of Mommy Jammies Night, Felice Gerwitz. She’s going to share with us about True Womanhood. Get to know Felice via her Vintage Homeschool Moms podcasts here.

March 14, 2017- Anne Marie Gosnell  About Anne: I have a graduate degree in education with a focus on developing curriculum and instruction. My life journey includes over 25 years (so far!) in Children’s Ministry: Sunday School, puppetry, Vacation Bible School, Children’s Church, and various outreach ministries.I am also the author of Walk This Way: Ethics and Sanctification Lessons for Kids.

April 11, 2017 Kendra Fletcher  About Kendra: While many things could define my life in terms of how I spend my days...I want most to find my identity in Christ alone, knowing how quickly all the other descriptors can take my focus off the one who has Redeemed my soul.I’m married to the best man I know– Fletch is my friend, confidant, provider, humorist, and lover of Jesus. There are also 8 fun-loving children entrusted to this home and growing up (or grown up already) here.

Blogging and podcasting at HomeschoolingIRL, where my husband Fletch and I tackle the not-so-pretty and the very good of homeschooling with humor and tongues in cheek.

Since 2006, it’s been a passion and a privilege for me to encourage other moms beginning their homeschool journeys with little ones underfoot.  The Preschoolers and Peace website and blog can be found here.

May 9, 2017- Lindsey Stomberg About: Two different perspectives on life, motherhood, homeschooling, and more. Join the conversation with moms just like you at TalkingMom2Mom.com!

June 13, 2017 Heather Laurie About: I started Special Needs Homeschooling because 4 of my 5 children were diagnosed with autism. Our homeschooling was filled with therapy, doctor’s appointments, and behavioral issues that others just didn’t understand. Later we found out that I and my children also have mitochondrial disease.

Our homeschooling is unique and this journey had taken us to many unexpected places. We have homeschooled in the hospital, doctor’s offices, and therapy parking lots. The wide variety of problems the children are dealing with have left Chris and I uniquely positioned to cover first hand a large variety of problems.

I began my blog to reach out and help other families homeschooling with special needs. My blog Special Needs Homeschooling has grown since then bigger than I ever imagined. It now has a Facebook page and group that is highly active.

July 11, 2017 Kathy Lee About: Kathy H. Lee is an award winning author that has been dedicated to the well-being of young children for over 25 years. As a former teacher and ​​administrator,​ Kathy has extensive experience in the field of early childhood education.She is the mother of many children, both adopted and biological and enjoys sharing her journey of imperfect motherhood. A sought-after speaker worldwide, Kathy is most often described as a passionate, experienced, and humorous presenter.

August 8, 2017 Lea Ann Garfias  About: I’m a homeschool graduate and homeschooling mother of four children, ages eight to seventeen. My oldest just graduated! My husband works for Bank of America, coaches his own competitive soccer club, and leads children’s ministry.  I teach our children, make lists, scream at soccer games, conduct church choir, and play the violin in local symphonies. Somehow in the midst of that I find time for writing.

September 12, 2017 Jen Grice About: I believe beauty can come out ashes. Your story is not over after divorce; it has only just begun. I am not a therapist or a psychologist, and I do not know the perfect path to healing. I have just been there. I support others as they start on this new chapter of life… after divorce.I know God can heal, redeem, and restore your life… just like He did mine.

October 10, 2017 –  Karla VanBibber About:  At Living the Life Fantastic, I share the tips and resources my children have learned to use to manage their own anxieties, and help you find peace of mind.
November 14, 2017 – LaToya Edwards  About: Hi! I’m LaToya, a certified Christian Life Coach and mentor. I am a recovering perfectionist and control freak who loves old movies, good books, and strawberry Häagen-Dazs® ice cream.  A few years ago I traded in a law degree to stay home and homeschool my boys and I never looked back!

December 12, 2017 – Two Teal Mugs, Prayse and Danielle About: Two friends, lots of kiddos, spilling coffee and a little bit of chaos! The creators of the Intentional Life Planner are going to share organizational ideas, planning, and ways to make 2018 your best (most organized) year yet!

I hope you’re just as excited as I am!

See you soon!

Gina

Encouraging words for the homeschool mom

Encouraging words homeschool mom

Encouraging words for the homeschool mom

Where do you for for encouraging words as a homeschool mom? We can go to our friends. We can sometimes go to our family. Can I suggest we go first to God’s Word?

Encouraging words from the Bible

The Bible has over 780,000 words so sitting down with Bible in lap to find ones to encourage you might seem daunting! What if I share some of my favorite with you? That will get you going.

  • Be still, and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10). I love this one because it means I don’t have to have everything figured out. That’s God’s job.
  • For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, “Do not fear.  I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:14). If you’re like me, fear can be a bad motive in decision making. This verse reminds me that I can depend on God. So can you.
  • Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. (Psalm 127: 3-5). This one keeps me grateful when the laundry is piled high and dinner dishes are still in the sink at breakfast. My children are a reward, not a burden. So are yours!
  • Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. (Proverbs 31:31). You know when you’re sporting that pony and sweatpants this is the verse you say to yourself. 🙂

My challenge to you this week is to write these verses out. Hang them where you can read them and begin memorizing them! Meditate on them this week when motherhood gets hard.

Join us at our next Mommy Jammies Night at a special date, Thursday, February 16. 

Encouragement for the exhausted homeschool mom

Encouragement for the exhausted homeschool mom

Encouragement for the exhausted homeschool mom

Can you really provide encouragement for the exhausted homeschool mom? Can you really know just how tired I am? Do you understand what it’s like to be too tired for date nights with my husband? Does anyone really understand the loneliness of a homeschool mom?

Yes, I can. I’ve been there. My name is Gina Glenn and I’ll be hosting Mommy Jammies Night. I wanted to introduce myself to you and let you know, I understand. 

I’m the mom of four kiddos. They are now ages 17-24 and life is changing for us at a dizzying pace. But, it wasn’t that long ago that I had my littles in my lap. My hairstyle was pony-tail chic. I hope to encourage you with the lessons I’ve learned along the way and get to know you!

Can we be friends?

All good friendships start out with getting to know one another. I’ll go first and I’d love if you’d share with me all about you in the comments!

I’m a mom of four (I mentioned that) and a homeschooler for twenty years. I educated my children with the Principle Approach until they were self-directed. We then switched to a form of Living Books education, but not a strict Charlotte Mason.

My oldest child is finished with college and lives (too) far from home. The next two are college-bound in the fall and the “baby” is still homeschooled.

I’ve written a primer on the Principle Approach which you can find here. I’ve been a mentor in the Principle Approach for 15 years.

I am a Christian and I love to share the love of Christ with others.

Chocolate and salty chips are my weakness. Scripture is my kryptonite.

Mommy Jammies Night and encouragement for the exhausted homeschool mom

Nine o’clock on the second Tuesday of each month rolls around and you might ask yourself, “Why should I stay up and listen to a podcast?” I get that. You’re already tired, right?

You come to the gathering for a little self-care. You come to be encouraged and lifted up. That’s the intent of Mommy Jammies Night and I’ll be hoping to see more of you there!

Until we meet on our next Mommy Jammies Night (note: a date change!), I want to leave you with a bit of kryptonite of your own.

“Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.” John 19:25-27

See how Jesus cares for moms? He cares for you and loves you. Meditate on that today.

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