Ultimate Homeschool Radio Show

Interviews with guests with services or products of interest to homeschool families

Teaching Your Struggling Writer How to Write

LCP Ep 10: Teaching your Struggling Writer How to Write

Helping Your Struggling Writer #homeschool #homeschooling #writing #strugglingwriters #teachingstrugglingwriters #literarycafepodcast
Have you ever seen your learners with “a deer caught in headlights” look when holding a pencil over a blank piece of paper?

Is it a struggle to get your child to write down more than a word or two?

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage  or her Facebook Group.

Join Katie Glennon as she shares tips and practices in getting even your youngest learners more comfortable putting pencil to paper and conveying their thoughts into written words.

You’ll soon be using these techniques every day in your own routine easily and naturally.

 

Show Notes

Quick Writing Practice Opportunities

Post cards or letters to friends or relatives about a trip or event.

Pen pals.

Science nature journal or sketch pad with captions or labels on a nature hike or walk.

Grocery lists or other lists – favorite things, to do’s, menu, people.

Emails.

Thank you notes for birthday or Christmas.

Birthday cards or other cards, including invitations.

Posters, flyers, brochures, book jackets.

Journal or diary (can be just a sentence or more about their day).

Scrapbook or photo album with captions or names underneath.

Use invisible ink or secret code to make writing more interesting and fun.

Write using different media and materials – colored pencils, gel pens, scented pens, colored paper, chalkboard, white board, window or mirror, eraseable writing pad (the one with the plastic pencil and you lift the plastic sheet up to erase your writing.), driveway with chalk or water with a brush, large poster board or paper with paint, write in sand or at the beach.

Creat slide shows with Powerpoint or Google slides or Prezi.

Collaborate and take turns writing a story, taking turns one sentence at a time.

Write a story as a character or famous person using “I”.

Interview someone for real or pretend and write down what they say.

Write about an event or nature hike using “who”, “what”, “where”, “when”, “why”, and “how” to tell you what to write about.

Write a revision of a well-known story revising an event or a character in the story in your retelling. Write a new ending. Keep it a simple story like Red Riding Hood, The Three Bears or Three Little Pigs, or The Gingerbread Man.

Websites to Help You Draw and Write Your Own Story

These sites assist your child in creating a picture for a scene or multiple scenes in a story either drawing your own picture or using graphics they supply. Once they create the picture/s, they can type in the story and either read it online or print it off for their own book.

Story Jumper

Read Write Think Printing Press

Story Starters by Scholastic

My Storymaker

Writing with Writers

Imagine Forest

Writing Prompts

If you choose to use writing prompts as a topic instead of the retelling of a read aloud or a short simple story, I highly recommend you let your struggling writer draw a picture of the scene that comes to mind from the writing prompt. This way they can write about what they see happening in the picture and it will be less challenging for them to verbalize a story from the prompt. (Remember – in the podcast we discussed that creating a story from scratch takes the writer away from focusing just on getting over the overwhelm of putting words in a sentence on paper.)

Writing Prompts for Kids

Free Writing Prompts

Daily Writing Prompts

180 Journaling Writing Prompts

251 Free Creative Writing

Writing Prompt Printables for all Ages

 

Be sure to comment in the Comments box any ideas you’d like to share about how your family has overcome the “deer caught in headlights look” or the overwhelm of putting pencil to paper! Or, what techniques from this podcast or list of ideas you found helpful! I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for visiting! Come back and visit the Literary Cafe Podcast for January’s topic when we discuss essential writing skills in the upper grades! You will definitely want to catch this episode to make sure you are preparing your children for college and life with their writing.

Make sure you download our podcast at iTunes or subscribe to the Literary Cafe Podcast by clicking on the Android or RSS feed buttons below the recording on this page! And make sure you share this page with other homeschoolers whose children struggle with writing or even those just trying to make it easier and more fun!

Helping Your Struggling Writer #homeschool #homeschooling #writing #strugglingwriters #teachingstrugglingwriters #literarycafepodcast

 

 

Valuable Benefits from Reading Classic Literature in your Homeschool

LCP Ep 9: Valuable Benefits from Reading Classic Literature in your Homeschool

 

Stack of classic books for valuable benefits from reading classic books in your homeschool podcast #homeschool #homeschooling #languagearts #classicbooks #classicliterature #literaturestudy #literarystudy #highschoolliterature #highschoolliterarystudy #middleschoolliterature #middleschoolliterarystudy #homeschoolhighschool #homeschoolmiddleschool #literarycafepodcast #homeschoolpodcast

 

Do you cringe when you think about “classic literature”?

Are you intimidated by the thought of tackling challenging vocabulary or complex sentences that seem to go on and on?

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage  or her Facebook Group.

Join Katie Glennon as she shares important benefits from reading classic literature, starting with easier books and working your way (and their way) up and through more challenging works as they progress through middle and high school.

There are so many academic and personal benefits that you most likely have not considered in reading classic books, but make the effort extremely worthwhile. They range from the very practical like expanding vocabulary to developing your child’s understanding of themselves, their world, and their individual viewpoints and worldviews.

Show Notes

 

Here is a summarized list of the benefits from the podcast. Please listen to the podcast for details and examples about these benefits.

When I use the term “classic literature”, I am not referring to the ancient literature of Socrates or Sophocles or Oedipus Rex. I am discussing books that have withstood the test of time and have earned a valuable place in our culture and on our bookshelves based on their theme and content or their rich use of language to express ideas.

I have compiled lists of suggested book titles for middle and high school for your reference when considering what books to include in your literature study.

Suggested Middle School Reading List

Suggested High School Classic Literature Book List

Important Benefits from including Classic Books in your Homeschool Literature Study

Learn to Appreciate the Written Word as a Piece of Art

When reading quality literature, we can envision a picture in our minds the scene the author is expressing through the written word. Through vivid descriptions, imagery, literary devices and other writing techniques, we are brought into the world or story that the author is describing. We can hear, feel, or see what the characters experience. We absorb the mood and get to know the characters through their dialogue.

Writing is a craft on paper, much like that expressed by artists with paint on a canvas. What we are reading has so much more meaning and we appreciate and enjoy it more when we can understand the techniques that a writer has used to transport us into another world for the moment.

Learn to Understand and also Absorb Complex and More Interesting Sentence Structure

Classic books, especially as you enter high school level literature, contains more complex and sophisticated sentence structure. If we start exposing our children to easier to understand classic books in middle school, they become accustomed to the longer and more complex sentences and how to tackle them when reading. When they enter high school, it will be less daunting to read some of the more challenging works because of the practice they have already gained.

Our children will also start to speak and write in more interesting sentences, because they actually start to absorb this way of expressing themselves. It comes naturally.

Enrich and Expand Vocabulary

When your children are regularly exposed to a more challenging vocabulary increments at a time, your children will become adept at using the sentence around the word to decipher the meaning of the word in its context. This is a very important and practical skill. They also more easily learn and retain the meaning of the word in the context of the sentence and the story, as opposed to weekly vocabulary lists that are not attached to a memorable story.

These words will then appear more naturally in their speech and their own writing.

Practice Identifying and Analyzing Worldview

In this day, it is important that we help our children identify worldviews that exist today and appear in the written and spoken word as it is presented in books, social media, television, and movies. We need to share with them our family viewpoints, morals, values, and our personal worldviews. Through this filter, we can then identify worldviews in speech and written word we come across or study with our children. It’s important to compare the viewpoints presented by others to our own personal worldviews and determine if they fit with our own and accept them or reject them.

It is through this study and discussion that our children develop their own views and are prepared to enter the world ready to stand by their own beliefs or be swayed and habitually change their viewpoints depending on their surroundings.

Classic literature with its content, themes, and viewpoints is a wonderful resource for this practice and discussion. Wordviews have been presented and have changed throughout literary time periods through history. (In the podcast, we have discussed this with more detail.)

Looking at Literature as a Reflection of History and Society

Because writers do not write in a vacuum and live during different time periods in history and changes in society, their writing will reflect their surrounding events and societal views and their own experiences. When we read classic books, we get a front row seat to events and feelings and beliefs of that time period of that author or of the story.

We can see why and how we are today because of the progression of ideas, events, and beliefs that have come before the present we are experiencing.

Looking at Literature as an Influence on History and Society

Writers not only write about events and beliefs around them to reflect what is happening, but also to influence those events and beliefs to bring about a change. Examples would be Thomas Paine’s Common Sense or Harriett Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Both were written to influence society and instigate change.

The written and spoken word can be powerful tools. Learning to identify pursuasive rhetoric helps our children learn to use these tools effectively and be able to discern when this rhetoric is being used to persuade them to adopt an idea or a belief.

Develop and Practice using Higher Order Thinking Skills

When interpreting and analyzing literature for its worldview and meaning and tying in our own views and experiences, we have the perfect opportunity to practice higher order thinking skills. From comprehending what we are reading to synthesizing what we have read to meld those ideas with our own, there are different kinds and levels of thinking skills that are naturally incorporated in reading and discussing a classic book.

 

Identify and Explore Universal Themes found in Literature and in Life

Classic books are a great opportunity to look at the theme presented in the story and compare it to life and our own personal experiences. These themes might be jealously, greed, grief, love, pride, revenge, or good versus evil. When we read about and explore a theme of a story, we have the opportunity to look at the consequences of actions of the characters and learn lessons from their experiences.

We can compare our own thoughts and feelings from our own experiences and examine them and learn from them. We begin to understand these “universal life truths and human experiences”.

This leads to our next benefit.

Understand and Develop Empathy and Sympathy for Others

A scientific study examined children when they read fiction versus non-fiction and they found children learned something when they read fiction. From reading about different characters and their experiences and being able to see and be a part of the characters’ thoughts and feelings in reaction to those experiences, the children in the study developed an understanding and empathy for those characters.

They were able to learn to take what they learned from those characters and those experiences and transfer an empathy to other people who were feeling a certain way because of the discussions about those characters and comparing their experiences to their own experiences. The children were able to project what they would do and how they would feel and act toward others in different circumstances that demonstrated an understanding of the feelings and motivations of other people. Practicing this with characters in literature helped them to develop this skill.

So you can see that studying classic books does not have to be a dreaded experience of convoluted sentences and long and difficult words and thoughts. It can be a wonderful practical experience to acquire not only academic skills that will help them in college, but important life skills to bring them into adulthood.

Be sure to comment in the Comments box any ideas you’d like to share about how your family has studied any classic books! Any great book titles or authors to suggest? I would love to hear from you!

 

Thanks for visiting! Come back and visit the Literary Cafe Podcast for December’s topic when we look at ways to help your struggling writer learn to write! Don’t miss this episode as I share practical and easy ways to help your writer get over the frustration and “the deer caught in headlights look” when faced with a blank piece of paper.

Make sure you download our podcast at iTunes or subscribe to the Literary Cafe Podcast by clicking on the Android or RSS feed buttons below the recording on this page! And make sure you share this page with other homeschoolers with middle and high school aged children!

Stack of classic books for valuable benefits from reading classic books in your homeschool podcast #homeschool #homeschooling #languagearts #classicbooks #classicliterature #literaturestudy #literarystudy #highschoolliterature #highschoolliterarystudy #middleschoolliterature #middleschoolliterarystudy #homeschoolhighschool #homeschoolmiddleschool #literarycafepodcast #homeschoolpodcast

 

 

Flourish At Home – Making Memories

Making Memories 3

Ironically, when your family is together almost all the time, it can be challenging to pull away from the demands of homeschooling to just enjoy being together and have fun as a family. But taking a break is good for parents and children alike. In this episode, I’ll share some of my favorite ways to make special family memories, including building family traditions, spending one-on-one time with each child, exploring the world, and enjoying the journey as well as the destination.

I’d love to hear from you. What special family traditions do you enjoy?


Joyful Balance for Busy Moms

Are you exhausted? Overloaded? Teetering on the brink of burnout? Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, work-at-home mom, or homeschooling mom, it’s easy to be paralyzed by an overwhelming to-do list. False guilt only adds to the burden.

Mary Jo Tate—an international editor, book coach, and veteran homeschooling mom of four boys—wants to help you find peace in the space between the ideal and reality so you can stop struggling and start flourishing. Learn how to:

· Stop the juggling act and find a balance you can live with
· Minimize interruptions while being sensitive to real needs
· Take care of yourself so you can take care of your family
· Value and protect your time to do what matters most
· Establish a pace you can maintain for the marathon of life

Visit the show page for replays here

Essential Guide to Out of the Box Book Report Ideas and Literary Study

LCP Ep 8: Essential Guide to Out of the Box Book Report Ideas and Literary Study

 

Book Report and Literary Study Ideas #homeschooling #homeschool #languagearts #reading #bookreports #literaturestudy #literarystudy #elementary #middleschool #highschool #literarycafepodcast

 

Running out of ideas for what to do when your learner finishes reading a book?

Are you looking for book report ideas or ways to conduct a literary study and keep your learner interested?

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage  or her Facebook Group.

 

Join Katie Glennon as she shares tons of fun and creative out of the box Book Report and Literary Study Ideas to get even your most reluctant reader excited about reading.

You’ll be surprised and excited by the ways you can use your child’s strengths, interests, learning styles, and talents to capture their interest in reading and conducting a literary study while learning about literary devices and story elements and practicing different kinds and levels of thinking skills at the same time.

Show Notes

 

I usually present to my students and my own children different choices of activities after reading a book where I want them to do some of kind of literary analysis or learn specific skills and concepts. The activity would focus on that skill and concept, but the type of activity would be geared to the learners’ learning styles, personal interests and talents so that they will be motivated and interested.

These activities are geared toward specific skills or concepts that are included in the literary and story elements for the book, but are of a nature to make sure to capture the interest of the learner.

The ideas below are just a list of ideas that are fully explained in the Podcast and summarized with descriptions in this printable handout – Descriptions of Out of the Box Book Report and Literary Study Ideas to Motivate your Readers pdf

Book Report and Literary Study Ideas Geared toward the Visual Learner

 

Construct a mobile

Write an advice column

Character email or letter exchange

Character Facebook Page

Journal or Diary

Character Resume and Cover Letter

Character Dossier

Retell the story from a different point of view

Symbolic Time Capsule or Museum Exhibit or Suitcase or Collection

3 D Relief Map or a Diorama (For Hands-on learner as well)

Photo Album

Foldable Display Board

Drawing Projects (Book Jacket, Comic Strip, Collage, Flip Book or Trading Cards)

Mini Quilt

Charts (Timeline,  plot map, analogy chart, Literary Devices Chart, Compare and Contrast Books or Authors)

Wordle

 

Ideas for the more Auditory Learner

 

Drama (Acting as a character or author, a monologue, a speech, a dramatic reading, a mock trial, puppet show)

Write poetry, songs, or raps

Book Club (just discussions, a tea, a party centered around a book with costumes as characters, theme games and refreshments)

Audio or Video Recording (talk show interview as a character or an author)

Radio Play (Imitate an old fashioned radio show with sound effects and character voices of a scene)

Videos (News report, movie trailer, commercial, sales pitch – recording video or using animation software or creating movie with Power Point or Prezi)

 

Ideas Geared toward Hands-on Learners

 

Games(Create board game or a game to play, or scavenger hunt)

Cooking and Baking

 

Be sure to comment in the Comments box any ideas you’d like to share that your family has used in engaging your reluctant reader! Any great book titles or authors to suggest? I would love to hear from you!

 

Thanks for visiting! Come back and visit the Literary Cafe Podcast for November’s topic when we discuss why you should study the classics and the benefits! You’ll be surprised by what your learner will receive from reading these books that have withstood the test of time and why many people treasure them and read them over and over!

Make sure you download our podcast at iTunes or subscribe to the Literary Cafe Podcast by clicking on the Android or RSS feed buttons below the recording on this page!

Book Report and Literary Study Ideas #homeschooling #homeschool #languagearts #reading #bookreports #literaturestudy #literarystudy #elementary #middleschool #highschool #literarycafepodcast

 

 

Flourish at Home – Training Our Children

Flourish At Home

Flourish At Home

People often ask me how I manage to homeschool and run a home business as a single mom. One of the most important factors is that I have taught my sons how to run the household. In this episode, I’ll talk about how to train your children to be independent and responsible, how to take initiative, and how to serve others cheerfully. These four things will prepare your children well for adulthood and contribute greatly to building a balanced life for your whole family now.

These sample chore charts will give you an idea of how I allocated housework and other responsibilities among my sons at different stages of our family life:

Training Your Children – Sample Chore Charts

How do YOU teach your children responsibility, independence, initiative, and service? After you listen to the podcast, please leave a comment and share your best tips with us!


Joyful Balance for Busy Moms

Are you exhausted? Overloaded? Teetering on the brink of burnout? Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, work-at-home mom, or homeschooling mom, it’s easy to be paralyzed by an overwhelming to-do list. False guilt only adds to the burden.

Mary Jo Tate—an international editor, book coach, and veteran homeschooling mom of four boys—wants to help you find peace in the space between the ideal and reality so you can stop struggling and start flourishing. Learn how to:

· Stop the juggling act and find a balance you can live with
· Minimize interruptions while being sensitive to real needs
· Take care of yourself so you can take care of your family
· Value and protect your time to do what matters most
· Establish a pace you can maintain for the marathon of life

Visit the show page for replays here


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Change is in the Air Movie

This story embraces the imperfections that make us human, offers a way to set ourselves free and asks us all to take a good, long look at the wild birds in the sky.

Watch the trailer here!


Ultimate List of Fun Ways to Engage your Reluctant Reader

LCP Ep 7: Ultimate List of Fun Ways to Engage your Reluctant Reader

 

Ultimate List of Fun Ways to Engage Reluctant Readers #homeschool #homeschooling #literarycafepodcast #reluctantreaders #booksforreluctantreaders #funreadingideas

Do you have a reader who is “reluctant” or has no interest in reading? Is it a battle to get them to show any interest in a book?

This is a common problem and you are not alone. I fought that battle and overcame it while teaching in the classroom and in our homeschool!

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage  or her Facebook Group.

Join Katie Glennon as she discusses fun ways to engage your learners in reading and offers suggestions of kinds of books and book titles to capture your child’s interest in a story. There are plenty of activity suggestions for all ages to get everyone in your home reading and enjoying it. Reading can be a fun, interactive experience instead of a chore.

Show Notes

Suggested Books and Activities for Reluctant Readers pdf (Printable for you to download)

Suggested Books and Activities for Reluctant Readers

Mostly For your Younger Readers

Books and Activities for Cooking

Hedgehog Bakes a Cake by Maryann Macdonald

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (upper elementary) Turkish Delight

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (middle and high school) Hobbit Food

The Lord of the Rings series (high school) Second Breakfast

12 Recipes Inspired by your Favorite Children’s Books

31 Recipes Inspired by Popular Children’s Books

Books to Inspire Cooking with Children

 

Books with Printable Mini Books and Manipulatives (Story Props)

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

More The Very Hungry Caterpillar printables

Make Your own Books – Gingerbread Man

Make Your own Books – ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Make Your own Books – Little Red Riding Hood

Almost 100 Story Patterns to Use

 

Circular or Chain Stories with Predictable Patterns

Predictable Books

 

Funny Unexpected Stories

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka

Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty? By David Levinthal

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

There is a Bird on your Head by Mo Willems

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin

Giggle, Giggle, Quack: Duck for President by Doreen Cronin

The Hoboken Chicken Emergency by Daniel Pinkwater

Anansi Trickster Tales – Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock

 

Seasonal and Holiday Activities for Themed Books

Fun Fall Ideas with a Printable Fall Scavenger Hunt

Fun Ideas for Fall #homeschool #homeschooling #fallreading #fallactivities #literarycafepodcast #reluctantreader #readingfun #makereadingfun

Reading Incentive Programs

Pizza Hut Book It Program

Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Program

Chuck E. Cheese Rewards

Six Flags

Reading Rewards

 

Interactive Doodle or Draw Your Own Story and Pick Your Own Adventure Books

Draw It Yourself Adventures

Doodle Adventures

Choose Your Own Adventure

Choose Your Own Story– Minecraft

An Interactive History Adventure

 

Be sure to comment in the Comments box any ideas you’d like to share that your family has used in engaging your reluctant reader! Any great book titles or authors to suggest? I would love to hear from you!


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor, Kiwi Crate!

 

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor, Kiwi Crate!

KiwiCo has monthly subscriptions of hands-on projects that make learning fun! Their core offering is projects that make learning about STEAM — science, technology, engineering, art, and math — accessible and are designed to spark creativity, tinkering, and learning. Some recent favorite crates are the Slime Lab, Physics Carnival, and Paper Circuits.

Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network is excited to be able to offer you the chance to try them for FREE. To learn more about their projects for kids ages 2 to 16 AND to redeem this exclusive offer, click here to get your first month free today (just pay $4.95 for shipping)


Thanks for visiting! Come back and visit the Literary Cafe Podcast for October’s topic when we discuss thinking outside the box for book reports! They don’t have to be boring! And I’ve got some fun and great ideas to share with you that you will want to try!

Make sure you download our podcast at iTunes or subscribe to the Literary Cafe Podcast by clicking on the Android or RSS feed buttons below the recording on this page!

Ultimate List of Fun Ways to Engage Reluctant Readers #homeschool #homeschooling #literarycafepodcast #reluctantreaders #booksforreluctantreaders #funreadingideas

 

 

Filling Up Mom with God’s Love

Filling Up Mom | Filling up Mom with God's love. #homeschool #podcast Filling UP Mom with God’s Love

Filling up mom with God’s love is from the Vintage Collection of Mommy Jammies Night and this wonderful presentation is by Judy Dudich who stopped blogging some time ago to focus on her family and homeschool. Her very popular blog was enjoyed by many. Enjoy this presentation.

We are promoting the movie Unseen Film.org a movie that discusses suicide. It is free with handouts and support materials. Visit the website for more information.

Homeschooling mothers are vastly different and unique from one another; and yet, most likely, every group of homeschooling mothers usually has some things in common, as well.

Think if five “common” adjectives you would use if we were to generalize the personality
of “the average homeschooling mother”:

  1. Creative?
  2. Innovative?
  3. Multi-tasking?
  4. Diligent?
  5. Devoted?

A common thread among homeschool mothers:
* They are too HARD on themselves!
* They spend time praying, reading, researching, learning, practicing, and instilling
gentleness in their children, and they, themselves ARE gentle with children…

But not with themselves — is this you? The time has come for homeschooling mothers to hear a message of LOVE…a message that encourages you to be gentle with yourself.

What does God expect of Us?

  1. Does He expect us to know everything?
  2. Does He expect us to succeed in everything we do with our children?
  3. Does He expect our kids to score perfectly on the SAT’s?
  4. Does He expect us never to grow tired or weary or frustrated?
  5. Does He expect us never to fail?
  6. Does God expect us to try our best?
  7. Does He expect us to surrender ourselves to His holy will each day?
  8. Does He expect us to persevere in times of struggle?
  9. Does He expect us to pray?
  10. Does He expect us to LOVE?
  11. Does He expect us to forgive others AND ourselves?

Do whatever He tells you~
* In Mary, the mother of Jesus, we find an example of complete trust, hope, persistence, and surrender in the Lord; as well as confidence in prayer.
(See John 2:5)

Do you trust God completely with your marriage, family life, and the education of your children? Or, have you fallen into the enemy’s trap of thinking YOU are responsible for the outcome of these things and therefore, feeling like a failure when it doesn’t turn out the way YOU have planned?

* Mary is persistent in her plea to Jesus.
Much like the Canaanite woman (See Matthew 15:25) who continues to ask Jesus to help her, even after He has seemingly answered “in the negative”, so too, does Mary persist (after Jesus says, “Woman, how does your concern affect me, my hour has not yet come”) by instructing the servants (i.e. US) to ‘Do whatever He tells you”.

* Our faith is tested in homeschooling and we must persist; like Mary, the Canaanite Woman, and the determined widow who makes her plea to the judge. (Luke 18)
They had complete trust and persisted until their need was met. Think for a moment of what Jesus tells the servants next. He tells them to “fill the jars with water”. These were jars used for ceremonial washing and each jug held about 20-30 gallons of liquid. The servants fill them to the BRIM.

We must do the same!

The work you do each day and the efforts with which you serve, care for, teach, and nurture your family is the water with which you are filling the jars!
* God does not need us to perform His miracles/work. ~ Think of the Miracle at the Wedding in Cana  Jesus did not need the water to be there in order to bring forth the wine. He could have brought the wine into existence by thinking/commanding it into existence.

~ Each and every day, God is inviting you to “take part” in the work of His hand and in the sacred work He is doing in the soul of your spouse, each of your children; and in your own soul. *God gives us an opportunity to take part in His Divine Plan. ~ We must remember that we are educating for eternity and within that realm
, here is a much larger picture at-hand than merely checking off items on a to-do list or measuring our tasks and accomplishments against those of our neighbors.

~ God accepts even the smallest of efforts if offered with a joyful and willing heart out of love for Him and gratitude for His blessings. * We Do Not Provide the Wine
~ Understanding that our good deeds can never “merit” our Salvation; which is a GIFT, freely given to us by Jesus Christ, we must then understand that we have nothing to give which can be offered to the Lord as though it were already the “wine” in the jars.

~ All of our tasks, duties, and good deeds as wives, mothers, and homeschooling instructors are “water”. But, that’s OK! We must learn to accept that fact (that we are not able to give anything “of worth” outside of Christ) and FILL THE JARS, with love. ~ NOT filling the jars, because we feel that “we are not good enough”, “not
capable enough”, or “not ‘whatever’ enough” is a sin against God’s mercy and charity. This is a tool that the enemy uses (tricking us into believing that we are not good enough) which, left unchecked, will lead us to despair.

“We are not called to be successful, only faithful” ~ Every homeschooling mother should heed the above wisdom of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Thinking that we must meet a certain status quo, or achieve a certain level of success, is a self-induced and skewed mindset. The Lord wants us to love, and to love as He loves. That’s it! If you wake up every day and provide a safe and loving atmosphere in which your child has an opportunity to know, love, and serve the Lord, then you are a faithful
servant; even if that child rejects your teaching, fails in his/her school work, or takes a path in life that is opposed to your convictions and beliefs. (Call upon GOD in times like these for the Lord will not forsake the prayers and tears of a mother’s heart.)

Similarly, if you succeed in raising children who go on to ivy league schools and climb to the tip-top of the corporate ladder, making gobs of money and living lives of luxury and ease, but they have never been told the Good News, have never learned compassion, or the joy of serving others, or empathy for fellow man, or how to LOVE for the sake of God, then where is your faithfulness? (St Paul reminds us that “faith without works is dead” in James 2:26)

*Get Out of God’s Way
~ Learning to “just fill the jars” and step aside so that our Lord and King, Jesus Christ, can take what we have done in obedience and submission to the Father’s calling, and bless it, change it, and make it holy, is the true essence of “surrender”. ~ “Do your best and leave the rest”, “Let go and let God” and other familiar
sayings are true. The point is, God does not have a big checklist in heaven where He ticks off items according to “how well” we do on a given day. We must do our best to tend to our families, and love God with our whole mind, heart, and body, and then LET GOD BE GOD and do what’s needed to carry out His Divine Plan.

*SURRENDER OUR MISERY
~ The most difficult thing to let go of is our own misery. Everyone has it. The complaints. The whining. The fatigue. The self-pity. ~ Gratitude and joy go hand in hand and part of surrendering our misery is to look for the JOY in our lives and give thanks to God in all things.

~ The “water” with which we fill the jars is made up of: our love, our gentleness toward our children, our focus and diligence in our work, our joyful hearts, our charitable acts, and our faithfulness to the Word. This is the “water” Your Savior will transform into His heavenly wine! ~ You are doing a mighty and sacred work. Just by being there for your children, helping them to learn, and tending to their temporal and spiritual needs, you are filling the jars.

~ When you persevere in a marriage that is hurting, forgive the offenses, overlook the faults, and forge ahead, in prayer, trying to restore what satan and the world has damaged and torn, you are filling the jars. ~ When you can’t see past the mountain of laundry, don’t have a moment to spare for yourself, and are feeling like quitting more than giving, but, in spite of it all, you give anyway, you are filling the jars.

~ True giving starts when you feel you have nothing left to give but give anyway. * Each day is a new JAR. * Each moment brings an opportunity for you to fill it.
* Nothing you do in sin or by fault can empty your jar. * One drop of water in the jar is enough for Jesus to make wine. (Meaning: When you are struggling and feel you can’t go on, but you DO go on, in surrender and by faith, you are filling the jar)

* Your prayers for others can fill THEIR jars, as well as your own! Mothers! Pray for one another!
Strive to surrender in:

  1. Homeschooling
  2. Marriage
  3. Friendships
  4. Faith Life
  5. Family Life
  6. Schedules

JUST FILL THE JARS AND JESUS WILL MAKE THE WINE! “I Surrender”, written by Judy Dudich encourages you to make God the center of your daily life and to
reflect upon the Scripture Verse: Joshua 24:25, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.

Judy Dudich was the owner of Homeschool Faith and Family Life Website – no longer available
She is the author of “A Thankful Woman’s Book of Blessings.”

TWITTER: @Benmakesten
FACEBOOK: Search “Judy Dudich” & “Homeschool Faith and Family Life”

Copyright © 2011 Judy Dudich


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Unseen Film

After finding his grandson Owen preparing to end his own life, Alexander takes him along on an errand. As the day unfolds, Owen learns new information about his grandfather’s past and unlocks the secret to facing his own future.

Click Here to Download the Film for Free and get Resources for Your Family


Getting Into The Zone Help For Mom

Getting Into the Zone | Getting into the zone means help for homeschool mom. #homeschool #podcast Getting Into The Zone – Help For Mom

Getting into the zone is a replay of a past mommy jammies night hosted by Felice Gerwitz. Real help for mom and ways to get unstuck.

4-Getting into the Zone_Handout

What are ways of Getting into the Zone with Joanne Calderwood

In this Ultimate Homeschool Radio Show episode, we listen to a vintage Mommy Jammies Night guest who shares “Getting into the Zone,” and ways to identify how this can help you to avoid the pitfalls that can keep you from success! Moms take charge.

Please share this podcast with a friend.

Thanks to our sponsor the movie Unseen – find out more info here.

Getting Into The Zone

1. What is the definition of getting into the zone? It is different for each person. Listen to the audio and download the PDF file on getting into the zone.

2. Here are the various zones and think about the ones that apply to you — by listening to this podcast you will understand more about each zone and the ways to overcome or make them work for you!

a. in circle zone
b. go it alone zone
c. clutter zone
d. exhaustion zone
f. combat zone
g. oblivion zone
h.wits end zone
i. hurdle zone
j. who am I again zone
k. hit a wall zone
l. unwound zone
m. child – training zone
n. juggling zone
o. zombie zone
p. self-sabotage zone

Some zones are more prevalent in your life and there are ways that we get comfortable in our zone and feel like there is no way out. However, you can get unstuck!

Getting into the Zone that works for you!

What are the reasons you live in these zones?

What happens to our time when we dwell in these zones.

Do you have a comfort zone?

What are the three B’s?

We have a body and a soul.

What are your strategies for change?


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Unseen Film

After finding his grandson Owen preparing to end his own life, Alexander takes him along on an errand. As the day unfolds, Owen learns new information about his grandfather’s past and unlocks the secret to facing his own future.

Click Here to Download the Film for Free and get Resources for Your Family


How Should we Study Grammar in our Homeschool

LCP 6: How Should we Study Grammar in our Homeschool

 

Join Katie with the Literary Cafe Podcast for tips in How to study grammar in your homeschool #homeschool #homeschooling #grammar #language arts #english

Every homeschool mom eventually asks herself, “How should we study grammar in our homeschool? Should I use diagramming or not? How do I apply the grammar to learning how to write?”

Join Katie Glennon as she shares years of experience in her own teaching and homeschooling to answer these questions and provides easy to use tips and suggested resources to use in your homeschool.

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage or her Facebook Group.

You’ll walk away more confident in tackling this sticky area of Language Arts.

How Should we Study Grammar in our Homeschool

How Should we Study Grammar in our Homeschool (PDF download for you to print)

Show Notes

How to Study Grammar in your Homeschool

Grammar Resources

Use your learner’s writing to assess what skills they need to review and practice each week.

Other review and practice for grammar skills can be found with these resources –

Diagramming –

Rod and Staff – (books go up to 8th grade, but the concepts and skills are up through high school work.) These books use diagramming and are very well explained. If you have a learner that loves following and making lists of steps and learns best this way, you might want to try diagramming. However, if it is frustrating or challenging for you or your learner to understand the “diagramming process”, it may not be worth using that method to learn the grammatical concepts.

Old Warriner’s English and Composition textbooks are a secular alternative that provide valuable instruction and practice with sentence diagramming for all grade levels starting with upper elementary through high school grades. You may find them on Amazon or Ebay or used book store websites.

Hands-On Grammar –

If you have a hands-on learner, you may want to check out Winston Grammar. This program uses a hands-on approach and labels parts of speech and how the words are used in a sentence. Basic and Advanced levels are available.

Non-diagramming –

Another program I recommend is the Easy Grammar series. The Easy Grammar books have the text and instruction to learn and practice new skills and the Daily Grams are workbooks that have a daily review with 5 different kinds of grammar concepts with one sample of each per day for a total of 5 quick review samples to practice. Loved this! As your child moves into high school, you may want to use the Ultimate Series that has the text and instruction and the practice in each. There are placement tests on the website to assist you.

 

Incorporating and Practicing Grammar Skills in Writing

Narration –

When your learner retells back to you what they have just heard, it not only improves their listening, recall, and comprehension skills, but also the process of organizing their thoughts, practicing vocabulary, and formulating sentences to express their thoughts. These are all important skills in the “Pre-Writing” process, and what a writer needs to be able to do before putting pencil to paper.

After getting into the habit and practice of “Narration” in this manner, the next step we followed was – writing down what they just told me orally.

For my younger guy- this might be drawing a picture of what he just told me about and writing just one sentence about the picture.

For my older guy- this meant starting with the first sentence of his oral narration to me – writing only one sentence at a time as he says it aloud.

The grammar came into play when some of their narrations on paper – were used to review proper grammar. We would read each sentence together and make corrections to certain errors I felt we had already learned and needed practice. So that the next narration on paper they did, I made sure to look over their shoulders and point out to them the mistake they made last time so that this time and next time, they wrote it correctly. We repeated this process every few narrations and always reviewing and adding a new concept or two to correct and practice in their writing.

Dictation –

We would practice dictation with our spelling words. I would dictate a sentence to them for each spelling word they had for the week. This would be for a weekly spelling test. I would grade them for the correct spelling of the word. But use the sentences to see how they were doing with their grammar. I would pick and choose which mistakes to review with them and make sure that in future writing I would steer them in the proper way to use that particular grammar concept.

Copywork –

Copywork – was sentences I would select from novels we were reading aloud together or novels they were reading on their own.

This might be C.S.Lewis or Tolkien or Mark Twain. These were quality classic type books. – even starting with something like Charlotte’s Web. I would look for a passage (the length depended on their age and ability) that contained various skills and concepts of grammar that they had or were in the process of learning.

They would practice copying these passages almost every day for a week. I would look at it with them and point out punctuation, capitalization, and other grammatical features and any corrections needed.

This also gave them practice in their handwriting. I would print out worksheets with the copywork passage at Handwritingworksheets.com that would show the proper way to write the letters as well.

I began to notice, that as young as fourth grade, my guys would want to write their own stories and their writing started to sound like Tolkien from doing so much copywork from that author.

Their natural sentence structure and vocabulary was influenced by the practice of this copywork.

 

Be sure to subscribe to  iTunes so you don’t miss an episode and comment in the Comments box any ideas you’d like to share that your family has used in studying grammar or practicing it in your writing or any of these ideas from this podcast you found helpful! I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for visiting! Come back and visit the Literary Cafe Podcast for September’s topic when we answer the question many moms ask, “My child hates reading. What can I do?”

Make sure you subscribe to the Literary Cafe Podcast by clicking on the Android or RSS feed buttons below the recording on this page!

Join Katie with the Literary Cafe Podcast for tips in How to study grammar in your homeschool #homeschool #homeschooling #grammar #language arts #english

5 Ways to Stay Connected to Your Child

Do you desire a closer relationship with your child? In this podcast, we'll discuss five ways to stay connected even when life gets busy and stressful. #ChristianparentingStaying connected to your child

In this fast-paced world, it’s easy to let distractions and everyday stress creep in and build a wall between ourselves and our kids.
Today, we’re going to be talking about how to stay connected to your child even in the midst of day-to-day life.

If you’ve been listening to my podcast or reading my blog, you know that I am all about building a close bond with your kids.

I believe that God calls us to be compassionate and gracious to our children and nurture them to the best of our ability. So I’m excited to dive in and talk about five of my favorite ways to connect with my kids.

1. Laugh and be silly

Laughter is a wonderful gift from God. And it’s also a great way to bond with our kids!

A child’s laughter is something that we should always be thankful for. Psalm 126:2 says, “Our mouths were filled with laughter.”

Laughing, goofing off, and just being silly can help improve our mood and help establish a close connection. I mean, don’t you just love being around people who make you laugh?

For my son, he is the comedian in our family. He loves to laugh and tell jokes. When we’re doing our homeschool lessons together, I always try to incorporate humor because it helps him to have fun and really helps our bond. He loves one-liners and cheesy knock-knock jokes, so I’m always on the hunt for a new joke to tell him.

2. Tell them about your childhood

Let’s face it — we know our kids inside and out. But how well do our kids know us? After all, most of us have lived a big chunk of our lives before they were born!

My kids love hearing me tell stories about when I was a kid. Even telling them something that I would consider mundane or boring, they are a captive audience. They love hearing me talk about family vacations, my embarrassing moments, and even the times when I disobeyed and got into trouble.

And, they also love hearing about when their dad and I first met. The places we visited together, the dates we went on, where we lived – they soak it up.

One of the reasons I wrote the mother-child devotional, Jesus, Mommy, and Me was because of this very thing. Each night at bedtime my daughter would ask me to tell her about something from my childhood.

I loved how talking about my past could let her get to know me – and learn from my mistakes. (There are so many valuable “teaching moments” from our childhoods!)

I searched for a devotional that focused on helping a mother and child get to know one another better and build a close bond, but I couldn’t find one!

So I wrote my own. And I made sure to include talking points every day to allow moms to teach their kids about when they were young, as well as speaking words of affirmation over them.

Which brings us to our next idea…

3. Affirm them

We tell our kids we love them every single day. But is that enough? I kind of feel like I say those three little words so much that they lose some of their meaning.

Sometimes it may mean more to say, “You know what? I think you’re a really great kid.”

Kids love to hear that we’re proud of them – not just for what they do or things they accomplish – but for who they are as a person/their character.

My oldest daughter is incredibly kind and nurturing – and she also happens to thrive on words of affirmation. So I constantly remind her of how much I admire her kindness.

I also love to tell my kids that I’m so thankful that God made me their mom. I’ll say, “Out of all the kids in the world, I’m so glad God picked you out for me.”

Not only does this help them feel special and wanted, but it’s also a good reminder to me. Because let’s face it, there are hard days. There are days when there’s lots of whining and my nerves are fried. Days when I don’t feel like being affirming or nurturing.

But affirming my kids always brings me to a place of gratitude. I’m so grateful that I have the privilege of being their mom.

Related listening: The Fruit of the Spirit for Moms

4. Remind them you think of them

When you’re apart, let them know you were thinking of them. As moms, our kids are never far from our thoughts. We constantly think about them, worry about them, and wonder what they’re up to.

When I go into the office, I miss my kids like crazy. If I have time, I’ll grab a scrap piece of paper and draw each child a little picture. It’s nothing fancy. I’m not an artist by any stretch of the imagination.

But I’ll sketch out a little picture of their favorite cartoon character, animal, or whatever they’re interested in. For my oldest daughter who can read, sometimes I’ll write her a quick letter. She has a whole photo album filled with those little scrap pieces of paper – little notes and drawings I’ve brought home over the years.

Those kids love it when I bring them a simple, amateur drawing. It helps to remind them I was thinking of them. It reminds them that I know what they’re interested in. And it means a lot that I took the time to make them something.

5. Give them your undivided attention

Okay, I have a confession to make. If you see me, you’ll generally also see one other thing. My phone.

I always have it with me. I’m also a chronic multi-tasker, so it seems I’m always doing at least three things at one time.

The problem is, my attention is divided. When one of my kids wants to spend thirty minutes telling me a story they made up, they don’t feel like I care.

I’m really working on this area of my life and I want to encourage you, too. It’s really amazing what leaving the phone in the other room will do for your relationships. It helps your child feel valued. When we pause what we’re doing, get eye level with them and make eye contact, offering a smile, they feel valued.

They feel wanted. And they feel important.

And they are important!

Way more important than how many likes we have on Facebook or how many followers we have on Instagram.

My son is kind of obsessed with animals. Especially endangered animals or ones that have gone extinct. He loves telling me about rare species and one of the ways we bond is by learning about rare animals together.

Now honestly, I’m not very passionate about Tasmanian Tigers. But because it’s important to him, it’s important to me. I love his enthusiasm and I love that he shares it with me.

And if I listen eagerly to the things that matter to them when they’re young, my hope is that they’ll talk to me about the things that matter to them when they’re older. You see, there’s a bigger purpose behind putting intentional effort into cultivating closeness with our kids. Yes, we love them and we want a close-knit relationship with them. But bigger than that is a God-given responsibility to be a role model to them. We are to be a reflection of God’s love for them.

Romans 5:5 says that “God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.” It’s only through God’s love living in us that we can truly show love to our kids.

If you’ve been struggling lately with feeling annoyed with your kids…or if harshness has driven a wedge between you and your child, I want to offer you some encouragement.

Today is a new day. Today you can start building a bridge and reconnect with your child. One of my personal mottos is “progress, not perfection.”

There’s no such thing as the perfect mother. But each day is a new day to try again.


Join Marianna Chambers as she talks about practical ways to become a more peaceful parent. Having children is a wonderful blessing, but it can also be quite stressful. Every day we hear from moms just like you who are struggling to be the gentle parent they want to be. Moms desperately want to raise their children on a firm foundation of love, but those sweet kids sure know how to push our buttons. (And boy, do they push them!)

Marianna Chambers is a counselor, parenting coach, blogger, homeschool mom, and best-selling author. She’s passionate about supporting and encouraging moms. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram, or read her blog here. You can also join her private Facebook group for Christian moms on a peaceful parenting mission.